David C. Rees ’48
David Charles Rees was born in Albany, N.Y., on June 28, 1926, and died on Dec. 12, 2018. At Amherst, he belonged to Psi Kappa Psi, the squash team, tennis team, chess drive and the pre-med club. Dave graduated from Albany Medical School and was in general practice from 1957 to 1985 in Elsmere, N.Y. He was a physician at SUNY Albany in the Student Health Service from 1956 to 1991. He served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force from 1955 to 1957. He retired in September 1991. He is survived by his wife, Betsy, and four children, David Jr., Stephen, Libby and John. He will be missed. —Celeste Ringuette W’48
Harry Siderys ’48
Harry Siderys was born in New York City on March 2, 1927, and died on Nov. 27, 2018, in Indianapolis. At Amherst, he was a member of Theta Xi, the basketball team and the Political Union. Harry received his medical degree from the State University of New York and accepted postgraduate training in cardiothoracic surgery at Indiana University Medical School. In 1960, he started a group practice, eventually with 10 physicians. Harry authored many articles that were published in professional journals. He is survived by his wife, Cathy, and five children: George, Susan, Robert, William and Christopher. He will be missed.
—Celeste Ringuette W’48
John H. McKeon ’49
One of our legends is gone—three-letter varsity athlete, devoted alumnus, father of an alum, Jack passed away at age 95 in Medford, N.J., on March 22 after a long illness. He was the first student I met at Amherst. It was October 1941, and my brother Gene ’45, unhappy with his assigned roommate, pulled his bed across the hall in North College, moved in with Jack and started a lifelong family friendship. We were all fraternity brothers at DU.
In World War II, Jack went to the New York State Maritime Academy and served in the U.S. Navy as a deck officer and small boat commander on an attack transport in the Pacific. I used to kid him (after his return to college) that, thanks to his multisport skills and Coach Lloyd Jordan’s affection, he was able to have seven years of eligibility!
After graduation Jack spent 15 years in the family lumber business on Long Island, where he had grown up (and first met his future teammate Lew Hammond ’49) before beginning his lengthy academic profession in the Cherry Hill (N.J.) Public Schools and at Moorestown (N.J.) Friends School, retiring as schools superintendent in Cherry Hill.
While at Amherst, he met Joan Rogers (Smith ’48), and they wed in 1948, starting a joyous union of nearly 71 years. I caught up with them when they moved to Vero Beach, Fla., for the winters, where Jack could sharpen his golf game.
He is survived by his wife, two daughters, a son and a grandson. A memorial was held at Medford Leas o April 1. One of our best known, most popular classmates, whose prowess in football, basketball and baseball will be long remembered. Rest in peace, old pal. —Gerry Reilly ’49
Rowland H. Muller ’50
Rowland Muller, 90, died of a heart attack in Santa Barbara, Calif., on March 15. His only survivor was his sister, Edith Hollister, with whom he lived for a number of years at the end of his life.
Rowland, a graduate of Belmont (Mass.) High School, joined Kappa Theta and was in the Glee Club. Ray Vigneault ’50 reports that “Rollo was a very quiet but likeable fellow whose principal pastime was playing classical compositions on the piano—my favorite being Chopin’s ‘Fantasie Impromptu.’” After college, Rowland was a scientific writer for a number of organizations. He left upstate New York in 1990 and moved to California. In retirement, Rowland was an avid reader and worked in a home for disabled people. —John Priesing ’50
Gerard B. Palmer ’50
Gerry Palmer passed away after a protracted illness in January. He was born and raised in New York City and was a graduate of Groton School. At Amherst, Jerry played freshman football and rowed crew for three years, serving as captain his senior year.
Following Amherst, Gerry served four years in the U.S. Navy, first as an ensign and later as a lieutenant. His first assignment aboard a ship was performing hydrographic surveys off Thule, Greenland. After finishing the surveys, the ship performed escort service to freighter ships carrying heavy equipment to a military airfield at Thule.
His next assignment was as a communications officer aboard a destroyer operating off the coast of Korea during the Korean War. He later wrote an article, “A Hostile Place,” about his experiences in Korea. The article was published in the Navy magazine The Tin Can Sailor.
After his naval service, Jerry had a long career in the investment business in Philadelphia. He served as president of the Philadelphia Securities Association and as a director of the Bond Club of Philadelphia.
Gerry was an active member of his Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill and was the church’s treasurer of the Home for the Homeless Committee.
Gerry is survived by his wife of 55 years, Harriet; a daughter, Mary Palmer Schultz; and grandsons Matt and Nick Schultz. Gerry’s daughter describes her father as a talented musician. He played a variety of instruments, including bagpipes, fife, saxophone, clarinet and horn. She goes on to say that her father was “the kindest, most forgiving, most unselfish, humble and strongest man that I have ever known. He was a man of integrity and grit and taught me life’s most important lessons from a very young age.” —Andy Scholtz ’50
Wallace “Wally” Anderson ’51
Wally passed away on March 11 at a hospice facility near his villa in Towson, Md. He came to Amherst from Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass. Wally grew up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and in Portland, Maine, and became an excellent skier as a teenager. From Amherst years, Chuck Longsworth ’51 recalls their skiing trips, where Wally displayed his superb athletic skills at Mount Washington’s perilous Tuckerman’s Ravine. He graduated with us (Phi Beta Kappa) and then from Union Theological Seminary in New York City in 1955. Under the tutelage of the famous theologian Paul Tillich, and as UTS’s leading graduate student, Wally was awarded a one-year scholarship to attend England’s Cambridge University. While there, Wally skied on the Cambridge team against Oxford in Austria and Norway. Returning to the States, he commenced his parish work, lasting over the next 37 years, first in Everett, Maine, then in Simsbury, Conn.; Middlebury, Vt.; and New London, Conn. He married his wife, Lynette, in 1959. They had two boys, David and Peter. Sadly, Lynette died in March 2000 and David in 1992. During his last eight years in New London, Wally became close friends with a rabbi and the rabbi’s Jewish congregation. Both minister and rabbi participated in many lectures and discussions of the differences, commonalities and points of tension between the two religious communities. Wally cites this venture as one of the most satisfying things he did as a pastor. Recalling his Amherst days, he noted that Larry Packard taught that we can be sure of one thing in life, and that is change. Wally recited some changes that were painful and others, marvelous. He was most grateful for the love that helps us cope, and especially the love he shared with his best friend, Lynette. —Everett E. Clark ’51, with input from Chuck Longsworth ’51 and Peter Anderson
James Francis Ahearn ’53
“Curious to the end,” asserts Jim Ahearn’s wife, Mary Ann—just what you would expect a distinguished journalist to be, and not only curious, but also meticulous. Jim began his 54-year career as a journalist in New Jersey in 1959 as a wire service reporter for United Press, covering state politics in Trenton. Two years later he settled in for the rest of his career with the Record in Bergen County, N.J., first by running the newspaper’s new full-time office in Trenton and then through a series of positions in the main office. Beginning there as an editorial writer, he became an editor (with varying defining titles) and columnist.
Recognized for his journalistic stature, he was awarded a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard in 1970. The family moved to nearby Newton, Mass., for what turned out to be a most pleasant and productive year for the whole family. Jim used the time to study issues relating to his interests in urban and suburban affairs. Another honor came in 1985, when he served on the Pulitzer Prize screening jury.
Jim prepared for Amherst at William Hall High School in West Hartford, Conn.; joined Phi Delta Theta; majored in history; and ran cross-country and track. To the substantial benefit of our class and the College, Jim was chairman of our 1953 Olio and editor of our 50th reunion book. He also served as class president, associate agent for the Amherst Fund and member of the Executive Committee of Alumni Council. Class members will remember Jim as pleasantly low-key in manner and admirably high-key for being competent and genuine.
Jim died on April 13, and leaves his wife of 64 years, Mary Ann; son Michael; and daughters Molly, Sarah and Margaret. —George Edmonds ’53, with assistance from Mary Ann Ahearn
Albert H. Dickhaut Jr. ’53
Al Dickhaut died on June 9, 2012.Before Amherst, Al prepared at West High School in Rochester, N.Y. He joined Kappa Theta and majored in history, played in the concert band and was a member of the Christian Association and the Intramural Council. The College was notified only recently of his passing. —George Edmonds ’53
Gustave Vicary Mahler ’53
Gustave Vicary “Vic” Mahler died April 10 at a memory care facility in Sarasota, Fla., in the company of his wife, Janet, and their daughter, Sarah ’81. It had been a long struggle for a relentlessly positive classmate who expanded the role of class agent and produced great results. “Our” Mahler’s compositions drew on Lincoln’s “mystic chords of memory.”
Vic telephoned quiet classmates and sometimes traveled to visit those out of touch. When his periodic newsletter, replete with photos, grew to a large size that gave the controller heartburn, Vic volunteered to pay the postage. However, Amherst recognized success and, at the 1997 graduation, presented Vic its Award for Eminent Service. In 2010 Vic endowed a fund to support internships for Amherst economics majors.
Vic was magna cum laude in economics, Phi Beta Kappa at Amherst, a Baker Scholar at Harvard Business School and an officer at the Army Finance School. He was also a starting guard on the football team. Upon retiring as class agent, he received a decorated helmet and an Amherst football inscribed by the College president.
In business, Vic accepted a challenge from his New York City company’s chairman to resuscitate a moribund electronics company that had been the economic anchor of the chairman’s home in the Catskills. The reward for success? “You fix it, you can own it.” Moving his family to upstate New York, Vic changed almost everything but the location of the company. It prospered and grew. He acquired a local, unprofitable woodworking firm (“the sawdust factory”) and made it successful, too.
Later, when ready to retire to Sarasota, Vic arranged for the employees to buy the businesses, preserving local ownership. Both are still profitable. Mission accomplished. “Rah! Rah! Vic!”
Vic’s wife, Janet; daughter, Sarah; sons Jeff, David, and Mark; and six grandchildren survive him. —Rich Gray ’53
Philip Walter Ransom Jr. ’53
Phil will be remembered for his generous spirit, his personal interest in other people and ideas and his subtle humor. Classmates can be grateful for his service as class secretary over 11 years, taking care to make his class news interesting and well crafted. Phil listed three points about himself: A need to know. A search for essence. A love of language. All three were ways of seeing himself as “an idea and concept person,” “always looking for perspective and context.” Yes, context, a high-currency word on campus in our day that Phil took seriously.
Family and neighbors remember Phil for being a perfectionist, practicing his tennis swings or his golf strokes in the house or outdoors at night under a street light. He had the same intensity for playing jazz and classical piano for hours from The Great American Songbook or pieces from Chopin and others.
Born in Buffalo, N.Y., Phil prepared for Amherst at the Nichols School, joined Alpha Delta Phi and majored in philosophy. He loved being basketball manager and also served as fraternity secretary and vice chairman of Olio.
After Amherst, Phil served in the Navy on a destroyer, studied business at Harvard and launched his 50-some-year career in advertising and public relations, first as advertising manager for Pan Am, then with IBM in corporate recruitment. In 1970 Phil started his own firm, Corporate Presence Inc., a pioneer in information technology, which enabled his wife, Susan, to join in by contributing graphic designs.
Phil and Susan raised three children in White Plains, N.Y., where Phil served as chair of the public library. In 1994 they moved to Cape Cod, where Phil continued to work before moving to Saco, Maine.
Phil died in March, leaving his wife of 58 years, Susan; daughters Lisa ’84 and Julie; and son Jeffrey. —George Edmonds ’53, with assistance from Susan Ransom
Joseph Ira Wedeen ’53
Joe Wedeen died on Dec. 31, 2009. Born in Brooklyn, he prepared there for Amherst at Midwood High School. He became a member of the Lord Jeff Club and majored in philosophy. After obtaining a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley, he practiced law for 35 years. At the time of his death, he was survived by his wife, Ena, and a brother, Robert Wedeen ’46. The College only recently learned of his passing. —George Edmonds ’53
W. David Malcolm Jr. ’54
W. David Malcolm Jr. died on Feb. 1 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.
Dave came to Amherst from Hingham, Mass., via Milton Academy. He joined Theta Xi and was an active member of the Amherst Outing Club. Being mechanically inclined, Dave took on the care and maintenance of the Outing Club truck, which he described as “a well-worn ’37 Chevrolet Suburban [that] was a sight to behold, with a wooden luggage rack on top, a cow skull replacing the grille and a permanent twist to its frame.” The truck served well for many adventures, including a fortuitous trek to the White Mountains, where Dave met his future wife, Louise.
A seminal event after graduating was Dave’s two-year stint in the army. A fellow astronomy major and fraternity brother helped him get assigned to the Army Map Service, which led to work with the Army’s Univac I computer. Dave wrote, “I immediately knew that that was where my future lay.” He began working at DATAmatic, which became Honeywell, then Bull, and became a dedicated programmer, remaining with the company for 31 years.
Throughout his life, Dave was involved in numerous activities, projects and hobbies, yet always made time for family and friends. As my brother put it, he was not only a computer pioneer but a “storyteller, part-time actor, Renaissance-instrument musician, hiker, mechanical tinkerer, railway and genealogical enthusiast, lifelong Unitarian Universalist, endlessly supportive father and grandfather and loving husband; these were just a few of the many faces of this kind and gentle soul.”
As a proud Amherst alumnus, Dave attended as many of his class reunions as possible and even a few of mine! Dave served as the class choragus and associate agent.
Dave leaves his wife, Louise; three children; and three grandchildren. We will all miss him very much. —Andrea Malcolm ’83
Socrates N. Tseckares ’54
Socrates “Soc” Tseckares died Feb. 2 in Potomac, Md., after a long illness. He was surrounded by his family, including his wife of 47 years, Gail; and two sons, Stephen ’85 and Scott.
Soc was from Concord, N.H., the eighth of nine children born to Greek immigrant parents. He attended the Taft School in Connecticut and arrived at Amherst on a scholarship for Greek students. He was active on campus, playing basketball, hockey and golf and participating in the Masquers. He majored in economics, was a member of Chi Psi and served as rushing chair.
After college, he became a pilot and captain in the U.S. Air Force, where he spent six years, much of the time in Germany as the aide to the general in charge of NATO. He then spent 12 years at Martin Marietta Corp. as a marketing executive. He left and started his own executive search firm, which expanded to seven offices around the country before he sold it. He then became an independent marketing consultant helping numerous companies market their products and services.
On Sept. 23, 1961, he married Esther Gail Wainwright, a graduate of Mount Holyoke. They had known each other in college and reconnected, fell in love and married, settling in Washington, D.C. They would eventually build a home in Marco Island, Fla., where they spent their winters.
Soc was the consummate people person who enjoyed bringing a smile to friends and strangers alike. On the occasion of his 50th Amherst reunion, here is what he wrote about his life: “I couldn’t be happier, having time to do what we enjoy—lots of golf, tennis, boating, gardening, exercise and traveling. We have taken several trips around the world from Thailand to Turkey, to the Amazon to Alaska.” —Stephen Tseckares ’85
Anthony A. Morano ’55
Tony died March 12. At age 16 he spent a month in St-Etienne, France, where he cycled around the region. This solidified an interest in language study. Tony later spent three months in France at age 19, becoming fluent in French. At Amherst he was a DU, French major, Italian minor, and member of the Zumbyes. Tony was in our senior class play, It’s Greek to Me.
Upon graduation Tony spent three years in the air force, stationed in Texas and Ohio. This was followed by law school at Fordham and two years practicing law in Connecticut. In 1963 Tony joined the faculty of the University of Toledo College of Law. There he taught courses in evidence, trusts and estates, torts, contracts and trial practice. He received the Outstanding Teacher Award in 1970 and again in 1974. He retired in 1993.
Away from the classroom, Tony was an avid gardener, often leaving bags of garden vegetables on the front steps of neighbors and at food banks. He loved to ride motorcycles and taught his children how to shoot a shotgun at a target. He was also a voracious reader. He kept a list of books he read after his retirement. It topped 1,000 and kept on going. Tony found time to do challenging crossword puzzles, especially those with large-enough print.
Tony loved good food, good music and a good drink. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Marlene; three children; and six grandchildren. —Rob Sowersby ’55
Henry F. Anthony II ’56
Rev. Henry Anthony, of Vero Beach, Fla., and Jamestown, R.I., died April 9. He was born in Providence, the son of Ralph and Doris Ostby Anthony. His wife, Mary Swan Anthony, died in 2005. He is survived by Frank (Pam) of Rye, N.H.; Stephen (Leona) of Honolulu; Dana (Sean) Leary of Easton, Mass.; three grandchildren; his partner, Diana Sherman Luth, and her family; and a brother, Harold.
Hank came to Amherst from Moses Brown School. After retiring as a vice president of Smith Barney in 1979, he earned a master of divinity degree from the University of the South, a life-changing pivot to a new calling. He was ordained an Episcopal priest and served parishes in Rhode Island (Newport, Narragansett, Barrington and Providence) and in Lookout Mountain, Tenn. In recent years he returned to part-time work with Van Liew Trust Co. in Providence.
Hank felt his Amherst experience had a profound and positive impact on his development. In four years at the College, he formed relationships that would last the rest of his life. He was full of Amherst stories, from madcap antics at the Beta House and showing of Sabrina, to the rigors of English I and other academic challenges. Growing up, the Anthony family regularly sang the classic Amherst songs, led by the Zumbyes on Hank’s records. I recently came across my father’s old varsity letter sweater, earned in swimming.
Hank always supported Amherst and worked to inspire his classmates to join him and up their 25th reunion gifts to the College. He shared many fun stories about reconnecting with his classmates across the country in that effort. —Frank Anthony ’79
Edward “Ted” Blodgett ’56
Ted was born in Haddonfield, N.J. At Amherst we were roommates and became great friends. Following graduation, we pooled our resources and headed West in my rickety Plymouth station wagon, taking camping gear and the College directory. Running out of money in Texas, we worked on an oil rig there, then headed up the West Coast, staying with relatives and college friends. Out of money again, we became bus drivers in Lake Louise, Canada. Memories of that beautiful area eventually led Ted to accept a teaching job at the University of Alberta, following his M.A. in French at the University of Minnesota and Ph.D. in medieval studies at Rutgers University.
Ted had a full life and a distinguished career. He became a beloved professor of comparative literature and later headed the department, edited its journal and authored more than 30 books of poetry and dozens of literary essays. He became a skilled player of the lute. Ted spoke French and German and could read seven other languages. He was twice given the Governor General’s Award for poetry, named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and appointed Distinguished University Professor of Comparative Literature.
As poet laureate of the City of Edmonton, he wrote Poems for a Small Park, some of which were engraved on metal straps in several languages and wrapped around lamp posts in a riverfront park. He founded the Writers Guild of Alberta, chaired the Edmonton Arts Council, sang in a choral group and was named to Edmonton’s Arts and Culture Hall of Fame.
Ted died in November 2018 from melanoma and is survived by his wife, Irena; three children; a stepson; and eight grandchildren. He was an exceptional friend and will be missed. (An extraordinary obituary from the Edmonton Globe and Mail is on Ted’s In Memory page on the College’s website.) —Jack Heise ’56
Paul Gary Foster ’56
Paul passed away peacefully March 20. Four generations were with him in body and spirit as he gently closed a life of service. Born in Norwood, Mass., Paul attended Norwood public schools, excelling academically and athletically. At Amherst he played football and lacrosse, joined Beta Theta Pi and completed his pre-med major. He graduated from Tufts Medical School in 1960, followed by three years in the army.
At Amherst he discovered his love of literature and poetry. He passed his fondness for learning and words to successive generations, maintaining that one could only honestly complete the New York Times crossword puzzle in ink.
In 1964 he started his private family practice in Wellesley, where he became an institution, caring for many families over the years, an old-school doctor who made house calls. He met you with a smile, an outstretched hand and a silly joke, to ease suffering and create trust. A member of the Massachusetts Medical Society for more than 50 years, he wore his 50-year pin with immense pride. It was an honor to serve so many families over the years.
Life outside of medicine was always full. Paul loved reading, golf, gardening and friends. Treasured family memories are of Doc/Dad/Poppy/Grandpa covered in mud from a day in the yard and toting small grandchildren on his tractor. He was the consummate goofball. He danced a mean jig and would crush you with his bear hug. He loved being silly with his grandchildren.
In retirement he moved to Maine with Carol and enjoyed reading, church and exploring the state. Paul is survived by his wife, Carol; daughters Jan Macleod and Suzy Blodgett; sons Mark Foster and Christopher Foster; daughter-in-law Clare Foster; stepsons Scott Woods and Doug Woods; and his younger beloveds, 16 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. —Peter Levison ’56
D. Bruce Hanson ’57
Bruce Hanson died May 16, survived by his devoted wife, Jean Alexander, two stepchildren and four grandchildren.
Despite reluctance to call attention to himself, Bruce had a spectacular Amherst career and a noteworthy life championing civil rights and social justice. At Amherst, his citizenship, service and steady personality were evident from day one. The 1957 yearbook notes that he played freshman basketball and varsity lacrosse, was vice president of the Christian Association and served on the Student Council. Bruce was ubiquitous in volunteer activities and was elected to the Junior Honor Society (Sphinx) and the Senior Honor Society (Scarab), serving as president. Post-graduation, Bruce received an Amherst-Doshisha Fellowship to study in Japan.
Bruce graduated from Union Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1961. He was a participant/facilitator/advocate in some of the major civil rights struggles of that era. He was at the Lincoln Memorial when Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I have a dream” speech; he trained students who challenged segregation and voter suppression in the South; he advocated for Cesar Chavez’s Farm Workers Union in California and local organizations in the Southwest.
In 1971, Bruce joined the Center for Community Change, a Washington-based organization focused on economic and social justice issues affecting low-income and minority people. In retirement Bruce continued to serve as an adviser to programs he helped to organize.
At our 40th reunion, Bruce, Kif Knight ’57, Dick Anderson ’57, Phil Hastings ’57, Stephen Yale ’57, Stu Tuller ’57 and Pierce Gardner ’57 formed a group to celebrate good health and Amherst friendships. They met annually (with additions and subtractions) for 20-plus years.
Over five decades, Bruce was the unofficial “pastor” for a summer colony of my family and friends, performing numerous weddings, memorial services, and blessings of children, pets, etc., for multiple generations.
We celebrate a life well lived.
—Pierce Gardner ’57
David J. McClune ’57
I report with sorrow the death of David McClune on Nov. 7, 2018, and the death of his wife, Barbara Harding McClune (Smith ’57), this past Jan. 31. I never met a pair more intimate than these two, and, as I recently said to their youngest child, Kimberley, they presented that intimacy spectacularly in their ballroom dancing, Dave moving like a tree in the wind and Barbara the wind itself. I was Dave and Barbara’s best man one week after our Amherst graduation, and he was mine and Sheila’s three years later in London.
If you still have your yearbook, you will find Dave’s photos predominant. For our four years, he also produced many of the photos (including sports) in The Amherst Student. Dave (with his “RAF” mustache) committed to the Air Force ROTC in his junior year. Before that, he spent his summers as a seaman on oil tankers (“good pay, nothing to spend it on!”) and thus earned his way through to a professional life as a chemist with Kodak. (Dave’s cerebrum resonated to the elegance and depth of carbon-chemistry the way mine resonated to the cognate dimensions in Shakespearean verse!) Barbara also earned her way through Smith teaching ballroom dance in Northampton. While Dave was on active duty in England, Barbara taught in English secondary schools. They leave three children.
They were world-class “grinds” in study and work and accordingly generally private on campus. But they were nevertheless the warmest and most forgiving and generous friends. —Bob Twombly ’57
Wilson H. “Tony” DeCamp II ’58
Wilson H. “Tony” DeCamp II, of Spotsylvania, Va., died of pneumonia in hospice on March 14.
Tony had dealt with Parkinson’s disease for 15 years. Initially, with the help of home-based health care, he was able to cope. As the disease progressed, however, he had to move into assisted living, then to a memory care facility and finally to hospice.
Tony was not happy at Amherst and left during our freshman year. Nevertheless, our 50th reunion class book listed him as an “active classmate,” and he responded to the request of Hendrik Gideonse ’58 for news as recently as 2016. At that time, Tony and his wife, Mary Lazar, had just celebrated their 25th anniversary and welcomed their sixth grandchild.
After Amherst, Tony enrolled at Indiana University, where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry, becoming a lifelong fan of Hoosier sports in the process. In 1970, he earned his Ph.D. in physical chemistry at the University of Maryland.
This led to a research career in chemistry. In the 1970s Tony was affiliated with the University of Georgia, publishing research papers in such prestigious journals as Science, Inorganic Chemistry and the Journal of the American Chemical Society. From July 1979 until his retirement in April 2004, Tony continued his research career with the Food and Drug Administration, working as a chemistry team leader.
In his spare time, Tony enjoyed crystallography and genealogy. After his diagnosis, he was actively associated with the Parkinson Pipeline, a patient advocacy group, from 2005 to 2009. At the time of his death, Tony and Mary had been married 27 years, raised five children and stepchildren, four of whom were married, and had eight grandchildren. They remember him as a loving husband, father and grandfather. —Ned Megargee ’58
Leonard S. Newcomb ’60
Len Newcomb died on May 14 in Boston. He had been incapacitated for several years with a progressive cognitive disorder akin to Alzheimer’s disease, but throughout retained his gentle personality and subtle sense of humor.
Len honed and used his skills as an artist, woodworker and draftsman. He worked for a number of years with a Boston landscape architecture firm and, from 1976 to 2009, was a professor of landscape architecture at Rhode Island School of Design. He was beloved by his students, who described him as “my greatest teacher,” “brilliant and witty,” “a voice of reason and a calming force” and “someone who taught me that we could learn from everyone and everything we came in contact with.”
A highlight of Len’s work at RISD came when he lived for two years in Rome as the chief evaluator of its programs there, an engagement that produced his many skilled and subtle drawings of Rome’s gardens, sculpture and architecture.
Len and his wife, Lynn, lived in Boston, where they raised their children, Jesse and Sarah. (Allegedly, they were introduced in fall 1956 as freshmen at Holyoke and Amherst, when someone commented on their nearly identical names.) I have vivid memories of arriving at their walk-up North End apartment at bath time for Jesse in the kitchen sink. They later acquired a row house in the South End that provided a design laboratory for Len. He usually had a renovation project underway, undertaken with his own hands.
After his cognitive difficulties surfaced and he was in assisted living, Len’s eyes always brightened when I mentioned someone or something related to the College. He was a quiet man, but he had strong emotions, including his deep appreciation of his experience at Amherst and his affection for the lifelong friends he made. —Tom Urmy ’60
Morris F. Wise ’60
Morry’s essay in our 50th reunion book reflected his wry wit. Telling of his chagrin after both his sons chose Ivy League schools over Amherst, Morry quipped, “Whose life is this anyway?” He joked about “volunteering” for the Air Force to complete his training in urology during the Vietnam War before serving as captain and major at Carswell Air Force Base in Texas.
The photos and content of that essay show that family was the core element for Morry. He featured his wife of (now) 55 years, Jean; his daughter, Amy; his sons, Roger and Andy; and his (now) five grandchildren. Jane’s serving as mayor of Leawood, Kansas; Amy’s success as an ophthalmologist; Roger’s career as a tax lawyer; and Andy’s international experiences in private equity got more attention than his own achievements as a urologist in private practice. Tennis, golf, trivia games and international travel enriched his life.
Morry died on March 6 from complications of Parkinson’s disease.
Bob Madgic ’60 wrote, “Morry Wise was the gentle giant in our class, the tallest among us. I knew him primarily on the basketball court where we played together for four years. I remember his quiet demeanor, subtle sense of humor and eagerness to contribute. A gimp leg kept him from being a starter but didn’t prevent his maximum effort whenever he got a chance. He was a serious student, dedicated to becoming a physician. He excelled in his practice of urology. Everything about Morry showed a commitment to his fellow beings, to being the best person he could be and to making the world a better place. At reunions, he was always there with a quip, a word of wisdom, an ever-present courtesy toward others, an ability to not take himself too seriously. Above all, Morry exemplified the values of the Fairest College throughout his life.” —Bob Madgic ’60 and Dick Weisfelder ’60
Alan L. Greenbaum ’61
Alan Greenbaum was a pre-med student at Amherst and a member of Beta. Alan had a marvelous spirit, a keen mind, a superb sense of humor, a gift for friendship, a near-boundless energy and an adventurous nature. One summer he hitchhiked to San Francisco, drawn by the allure of the beatniks. He loved to tell the tale of wandering in North Beach, in a beard and a Mexican serape, looking for beatniks, when suddenly a bus crammed with tourists, pulled up beside him. The tourists began taking pictures: they’d been seeking a beatnik, and had finally found one in him.
In the 1970s, I encountered Alan in Berkeley, where I lived and he had opened a medical practice as a GP. I promptly became one of his patients and continued to be one until he retired four or five years ago.
Alan was a great doctor—caring, compassionate, highly competent and devoted to his patients. He listened attentively, explained clearly and gave as much time to each patient as he felt that patient needed. Unsurprisingly, he was often behind schedule. I quickly learned to bring a book to an appointment with Al.
When “managed care” arrived during the ’80s, Alan decided he should try it and signed up with a major healthcare company. Within a few weeks, a company executive told him he wasn’t seeing enough patients per day and had to speed up his practice and see another patient every 15 minutes. Alan immediately quit. During the remaining years of his practice, he remained independent and continued to give each patient as much time as he felt was necessary.
Alan had a child from each of his first two marriages and two children with his third wife, Laurel, who survives him. —Denis Clifford ’61
Richard Todd ’62
Richard Todd died on April 21 at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton after a fall and complications from recurring cancer. He died peacefully with his family by his side.
Born in 1940 in Newburgh, N.Y., Dick lived on his grandfather’s farm and later settled in Connecticut, where he attended Darien High School. He entered Amherst in 1958, the first in his family to go to college.
At Amherst, Dick majored in English, was review editor of the Amherst Student, belonged to Phi Psi and wrote his thesis on Emily Dickinson, with Ben DeMott as his adviser. He met his wife, Susan Bagg (Smith ’63), in the Octagon following a poetry reading by her brother, Robert Bagg ’57.
While he was enrolled in a creative writing program at Stanford, he and Susan eloped in 1964 in Palo Alto, Calif. In 1966, they returned to the East Coast, living first in Cambridge, Mass., then on a farm in Westminster, Mass., and next Boston before moving to Ashfield, Mass., in 1981. He was an editor at Houghton Mifflin, the Atlantic Monthly and New England Monthly. He edited many prominent writers, including Tracy Kidder, with whom he worked closely for 46 years.
Dick taught an English 11 class at Amherst in the 1980s; most recently he taught in the M.F.A. program at Goucher. He was the author of The Thing Itself: On the Search for Authenticity (2008) and many magazine articles over several decades. Dick’s distinctive voice in the 1962 class notes delighted readers across Amherst classes. He and Kidder co-wrote Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction (2013).
When his daughter Emily Todd ’89 attended Amherst, he began a new era of friendships and mentoring, hosting her classmates for spirited Thanksgivings, Easters and other gatherings in Ashfield. He leaves his wife, Susan; daughters Emily, Maisie and Nell; and six grandchildren. —Emily B. Todd ’89
William H. Newell ’65
Bill Newell, 75, passed away in April after a long downward spiral driven by cancer. He is survived by his wife, Susan Hopp; a sister, Carole Elewell; a daughter, Sylvia; a son, Will; a stepdaughter, Megan Smith; and four grandchildren.
After Amherst, Bill attended the University of Pennsylvania and found his intellectual footing at Miami University, where he taught for 40 years. He was a pioneer in the field of interdisciplinary studies and assisted many universities besides his own in setting up their own programs. Bill believed this curriculum created new approaches to solving the complex problems of our times. In the course of his academic career, he painstakingly corrected thousands of senior theses and lectured tirelessly. (Sometimes to his children, was the report!)
He and Susan traveled widely, including to the Galapagos, Peru, China and Costa Rica. Bill also took a couple of memorable wine-inspired adventures—cross-country trips on a private train car and a river cruise in France, surrounded by friends, as he was at Amherst and throughout his well-lived life.
He and Susan loved classical music, creating a program to bring local students and their families to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Yet Bill’s proudest role was that of father and grandfather. He was, according to people who knew him throughout his life, a fundamentally good human who also believed in the inherent goodness of humanity. He was, his wife Susan reports, less benign when it came to “waiting in lines, shopping malls and pop music.” —Paul Ehrmann ’65
Thomas F. Dunn ’68
We have lost a beautiful voice and a beautiful person. Tom Dunn came to Amherst from New Rochelle (N.Y.) High School with a droll sense of humor, a gracious manner toward everyone and a voice that epitomized the meaning of the word mellifluous. Along with Tom Jones ’68, Don Stolper ’68 and Dick Frantzreb ’68, Tom was one of the soloists who formed a brilliant core of the re-energized Amherst Glee Club in the fall of 1964. In high school he had already mastered the acrobatic art of a Gilbert & Sullivan patter song; in our freshman year he learned to yodel, drawing copious applause with the relentlessly catchy “Switzer Boy.”
The relaxed, fully felt quality of Tom’s singing voice was part of everything else about him. He was easy to talk to. He carried his inner conflicts quietly while listening attentively to others.
He could also be deadpan hilarious. On one Glee Club bus trip, as we were passing through New Rochelle on the way into New York, Tom appropriated the bus’s P.A. system and delivered a parody tour-guide narrative. “On your left is New Rochelle’s tallest skyscraper …” (Eleven stories.)
After Amherst and a Harvard M.B.A., Tom worked for 15 years as a writer and announcer at WGBH public radio in Boston. Later he did voice-overs for clients as diverse as Martha Stewart, Range Rover and various charities, as well as for scientific organizations that valued his ability to handle difficult medical and engineering language.
Tom attended as many of our reunions as possible. At the 50th, Jim Lynch recalls, “he mentioned some of the health issues he had endured as well as the ups and downs of broadcasting. I am glad to have known him and to have been with him during those Glee Club years.” Spoken for all. —John Stifler ’68
Robert V. Duss ’68
Bob Duss and I grew to know each other towards the end of freshmen year when we decided to join Phi Delt. We became good friends while attending Saturday night fraternity get-togethers and spent hours discussing our dating lives. I loved his self-effacing humor; I envied his ability to write; everything seemed to come easily to him. He, Lance Willcox ’68 and I decided to find out what fraternity living was really like, so we tripled up on the second floor of Phi Delt. When we hit the sack at the same time, talk revolved around holding our beer until morning or whether or not our teams would win.
Since his family lived in Florida, Bob did not always go home for a week-long break. Junior year I invited him to stay with my family for Thanksgiving, and I remember what a smoothie he was with my mom—loved her cooking and, by the time he left, had her eating out of his hand. For years thereafter, it was always, “So how’s Bob doing?”
Bob was #2 on the tennis team, and his love for the sport continued through his life. We stayed in touch only infrequently, but Mark Rosenfeld ’68 continued to see Bob after Amherst, visiting him in Jacksonville. “I always marveled how consistent he was,” Mark wrote. “He grew up playing on soft courts and was an incredibly steady player with a vicious flat backhand. Bob also played squash, and our varsity was ranked third in the nation, with Bob as one of our top players. In Jacksonville, he was his club’s champion for years. He endured Parkinson’s stoically.”
When I heard he was suffering, I wrote him and his wife, Winfield, a couple of notes that she said he appreciated. He was a very good friend. —Chris Nielsen ’68, with Mark Rosenfeld ’68
Charles M. Tatum Jr. ’69
Charles “Chuck” Tatum Jr. died April 21, of brain cancer. He lived with his wife, Mary, in Fernandina Beach, Fla.
Chuck grew up in Radnor, Pa., and went to Westtown School. He graduated from Amherst with honors in chemistry and earned his Ph.D. from Penn State University. After teaching at Middlebury, Chuck joined Rohm & Haas, in Philadelphia, as a senior scientist. He retired after serving as senior vice president and chief technology officer.
Besides Mary, survivors include two daughters from his first marriage, Rebecca ’95 and Carrie. His marriage to Gail Danckert ended in divorce.
At Amherst, Chuck played freshman soccer, sang in the Glee Club and was a member of Phi Delt. Chuck was fun to be around, smart, modest, funny, kind. Raised as a Quaker, he became a conscientious objector after graduation, postponing graduate study to work at a Denver hospital in lieu of military service.
Chuck never stopped learning, said Rebecca. He was also “the kind of teacher and father who believed in me and my sister.” Rebecca was 6 when they moved to Pennsylvania from Vermont. They caravanned, her mom and younger sister in the family car, Chuck and Rebecca in a U-Haul truck. The truck had no rear-view mirror; Rebecca “rode shotgun” by the window, scouting traffic.
“My dad had to rely on 6-year-old me to know whether it was safe to change lanes as we headed down 91, to 95, through New York City, and then the Jersey Turnpike,” she recalled. “I love the image and memory of him trusting me (whether that was a good idea or not!) to give him credible information about whether he could merge, and I love the idea that I was his buddy for that drive. It was a perfect experience for a dad to give his young daughter.” —Don Colburn ’69
Robert E. Kingman ’72
Kinger left this world on April 14 while in hospice care, near his home in Topsham, Maine. During his long, fierce battle with lymphoma, then bile duct cancer, he was loved and cared for by his wife, Judi Watters; children Meagan and Eddie; and stepchildren Amy, Sam and Claire.
Following a year in Germany to study photography (and obtain his favorite lederhosen), Bob returned to graduate in 1973, then worked as the Amherst College photographer for three years. He later earned a M.Ed. from Antioch College and a J.D. from the University of Maine Law School.
A compassionate listener, Bob set others at ease with his always present smile and calming manner. For more than 30 years, he was a well-regarded counselor and advocate for those suffering from mental illness and chemical dependency.
A lover of outdoor adventures since his childhood in Minnesota, Kinger was a sailor, golfer and skier. He was a ski instructor to the disabled through the Maine Adaptive Sports program for 15 years.
As a freshman living in James Hall, Bob’s zany sense of humor caused him to frequently break out in a wild and flailing air-drummer version of “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,” or play the complete William Tell Overture by finger snapping his throat or transform into one of his many alter ego characters, complete with accents and costumes.
At his memorial service at the Maine Maritime Museum, it was endearing to hear that his playful, engaging manner—even under the most trying circumstances—lasted throughout his life. Many gave testimony to his antics, and a slide show documented a range of disguises and silly behavior in hospital and treatment rooms over the years.
Bob’s unending positive energy and smile remain with all of us. —Peter Shea ’72, Jim Maitland ’72, Jeff Craven ’72, Tom Moss ’72 and Ted Smith ’73
James D. Wicklatz ’72
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 an 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 longtime 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 to the rest of Jim’s family. You are remembered, Jim. —Eric Cody ’72
Malcolm Dawes Ewen ’76
I met Malcolm on my first day at Amherst. Malcolm was at Kirby working on the first production of the year. He was also a legacy (Gordon ’37). We always agreed that otherwise we wouldn’t be there at Camp Amherst for boys. This began a friendship that lasted some 46 years. We worked on many, many shows together. He directed Sleuth as the first graduation/reunion show. We also worked together on Three Penny Opera, his thesis production. He stage-managed and I was master electrician on probably 12 or so shows. Malcolm worked summers at the Weston Playhouse, and with Tim Fort ’72, he eventually took over its operation. With Steve Stettler they made it into a nationally renowned summer stock theater. He stood up as best man at my wedding to Kate Siegel Olena, Smith ’79, and my son carries Malcolm as his proud middle name.
Malcolm was a longtime stage manager with the Steppenwolf company in Chicagoland and toured shows all over the world and to Broadway. He was the first stage manager named an ensemble member of Steppenwolf, a signal honor.
We last saw Malcolm in fall 2018 for a dinner full of laughs and reminiscences. I think we both knew we wouldn’t do this again. His cancer had come back and he was on his way home for treatment. He was, as always, optimistic and positive. He was that friend who you wouldn’t see for a year or two, yet pick up the conversation as if you had last talked to the day before. To paraphrase Noah Webster, the world is now a smaller place, and I love it less. I know this hasn’t done true justice to the man, but so be it. A good man’s life well-lived speaks for itself. —Ken Olena ’77
Katherine Min ’80
Katherine Min died on March 17 in Asheville, N.C.
Born in Champaign, Ill., to Kongki and Yungwha Min, Katherine grew up in upstate New York. After graduating from Amherst and marrying Roy Andrews ’80, she attended Columbia Journalism School and worked as a journalist in Boston and Seoul, Korea. She then worked at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire and raised two kids,
Kayla ’08 and Clay Min Andrews, while writing fiction at home. She began publishing in literary journals such as Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Glimmer Train, TriQuarterly and many others. She received a National Endowment for the Arts grant in 1992, a Pushcart Prize in 1998 and New Hampshire State Council for the Arts Fellowships in 1998 and 2004. In 1999 her short story “The Brick” was read on National Public Radio’s Selected Shorts program.
Katherine’s novel Secondhand World was published by Knopf in 2006 and published in Italian in 2011. Secondhand World was one of two finalists for the PEN/Bingham Prize, given to “exceptionally talented fiction writers” whose debut books “represent distinguished literary achievement.” Katherine attended residencies at Yaddo, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the MacDowell Colony and many others. She received a North Carolina State Arts Council Fellowship in 2009 and won the Sherwood Anderson Foundation Fiction Award in 2012.
She was working on her second novel when diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014. Her diagnosis inspired her to start writing personal essays instead of fiction. In 2017 the Peabody Institute presented an evening of classical music to accompany a live reading of Katherine’s essays. Selected essays are published in The Rumpus and elsewhere, and all are available at katherinekmin.com.
Katherine taught literature and creative writing at the University of North Carolina, Asheville from 2007 to 2018. She is survived by her partner, Greg Hershey; two children; her parents; and a brother. —Kayla Andrews ’08