Deceased July 30, 2018
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Douglas W. Silsbee passed away July 30, at his home in Asheville, N.C., at the age of 64. He was diagnosed in fall 2017 with a solitary fibrous tumor, a rare form of cancer. Doug is survived by his father, Robert; wife Walker; children Alisia Parrott, Megan and Nathan; grandchildren Miles and Maxwell; and brothers Peter and David.
After graduating from Amherst with a geology major, Doug began his career as a field geologist, analyzing drill cores for a uranium mining company in Wyoming. Curious to try teaching, Doug moved to Cincinnati to teach science and administer an outdoor program for a private high school. He left classroom teaching to join the staff of the Outward Bound School in Boone, N.C. His Outward Bound experience with corporate clients led Doug to launch a private practice in life coaching for individual clients and to conduct workshops for developing effective team dynamics. He established himself as a leader in the field and created the discipline of Presence-Based Coaching and Leadership. He published three books on the subject. The last, Presence-Based Leadership, was published shortly before his death.
My wife, Lida, and I attended his Celebration of Life at Bend of Ivy, a serene retreat that Doug and Walker created from an old farm outside Asheville. Numerous friends and family members spoke of Doug’s impact through his teaching and his personal example. Afterward I shared with his children photos and a few memorable anecdotes about their father from our Amherst years. Classmates and fellow members of Chi Psi will recall them too. From his undergraduate interests in Eastern religions, photography and geology; to his love of the outdoors and his family; to his career teaching individuals and firms how to achieve personal and organizational excellence, Doug Silsbee led a remarkable life.
Robert Stewart ’75