Deceased June 22, 2019
…Now the doctor came in, stinking of gin,
And proceeded to lie on the table.
He said, “Giff, you met your match.”
And Giff said, “No Doc, it’s only a scratch.
And I’ll be better, I’ll be better, Doc, as soon as I am able…”
—as sung by Jed to the ER doctor while I was lying on the operating table, waiting for stitches. We all had a good laugh.
Jed Deppman is the best friend I’ve ever had and has never been far from my thoughts since we first exchanged “new roommate” letters 33 years ago. Memories, like the one above, are even more poignant since he passed away in June following a heroic 10-plus year battle against metastatic colon cancer.
One obituary keenly observed that “he appreciated life’s every moment and will be remembered for his deep love of his family and friends, dedication to his students, fierce intelligence, sharp sense of humor and for his exhortation to us all to live.” His many Amherst friends will recognize this exhortation as how he always was, and why we remember Jed as a fun-loving character who was liked and respected throughout the college community.
While I’ve always said that Jed is the smartest person I’ve ever met, his professional accomplishments are too great in number to list here. He graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and he is remembered as a brilliant student whom other students flocked to for guidance and advice. After reading several loving tributes to him as a classmate, teacher, women’s hockey coach, Vermonter, Francophile, Warren Zevon enthusiast, cribbage player, bridge partner/opponent and waffle chef, I’ll now add that he made his most significant impact in how he brought happiness to friends and family. He is deeply missed, and vividly remembered, by many.
Giff Eldredge ’90