Deceased March 5, 2017
Will had a passion for squash. He started at Exeter, carried on at Amherst and continued in Tokyo, where he ran me round the court at the American Club. Back in the United States, Will resumed play at Exeter. “I hated going to the gym,” Will told me, “but my competitive side can go on and on within the confines of a court.” And so it did—until on March 5, 2017, Will suffered a fatal heart attack after a Sunday morning match.
At Amherst, Will was the calm at the center of the storm. On move-in day, Bruce Springsteen thundered from the windows of his Pratt dorm room, but that was not Will’s choosing. We often heard him quietly strumming his guitar in the adjacent stairwell, tones languidly floating down the halls and drifting into our rooms. Not one for the limelight, he preferred a supporting role. He listened, remembered and encouraged. He made us laugh—and feel good about friendship and life.
“Will was at his most wonderful when sharing thoughts with just one or two good friends,” Tom Dubin ’84 writes. “He was eager for real personal connection and fully present in those conversations”—often over late-night backgammon at Chi Phi with Jorma Kaukonen playing and periodic trips to the basement tap.
Will’s banking career took him from New York to Tokyo and London. But home beckoned, and he and wife Michiyo, son Daniel and daughter Jenny settled in Exeter, N.H. Will slipped over to Amherst for reunions, where he made a strong first impression on my wife, Mari: “Will was so aware and appreciative of others.” Will also pursued his passion for wine, bottling at harvest time and lecturing at Jewell Towne Vineyards near Exeter. Will “was a wine expert,” the owner writes, “and a brilliant, funny, caring, wonderful friend.”
Ted Holden ’84