Deceased August 22, 2018
View alumni profile (log-in required)
In his contribution to the class notes for our 25th Reunion, Jim Wicklatz wrote: “Many of you will not remember me. Many of you I never knew. Some of you I will never forget.” Jim’s comment captured what many of us feel decades after the experience of being together on the Amherst campus. We may drift out of touch with classmates. Yet we are never forgotten.
Jim came to Amherst from Wayzata High School in Minnesota and majored in history. He proved himself a scholar, graduating summa cum laude and receiving his diploma in February 1973. Jim went on to study in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh, from which he received his M.A. in 1976.
Jim’s 30-year, professional career was spent in publishing, mostly as a meticulous and exacting editor of scientific books for the American Phytopathological Society, an international scientific organization devoted to the study of plant diseases. In Jim’s own words, “I worked as copy editor, typographer, typesetter, proofreader and indexer.” A lover of books and other forms of printed matter, he was a long-time member of the Ampersand Club, a group that fosters appreciation for the historic and artistic importance of the printed book. In an era where society may be moving too fast to abandon the printed word for its digital replacement, Jim would probably have felt that touching the pages with our fingers and feeling the slight breeze on our skin when the pages are turned are part of our shared experience and our humanity.
Jim died of cancer on Aug. 22, 2018, at his home in Minneapolis. Our sincere condolences go out to Elisabeth Sövik, Jim’s wife of 34 years, and the rest of Jim’s family. You are remembered, Jim.
Eric Cody ’72