Leslie T. Webster Jr. ’47
Dr. Leslie T. “Les” Webster Jr. passed away peacefully at his home in Cleveland on Sept. 28. He was 92.
Les grew up in Scarsdale, N.Y. He was an avid golf and tennis player and spent summers in the Adirondacks. He attended Amherst during World War II and was only able to spend three semesters there. He loved his professors, Glee Club, squash and late-night “bull” sessions with his fellow students. During his time there, his own father, Dr. Leslie T. Webster ’15, died suddenly of a cerebral hemorrhage. Les was then entered into the V-12 program and “fast-tracked” into Harvard Medical School due to the war. After medical school, he began a career in academic medicine and basic science research.
Les became a world expert on drug treatments for parasitic disease. He published numerous scientific articles, and he was a long-time contributor to the pharmacology textbook used in medical schools nationwide. He worked with the World Health Organization, the NIH and the Rockefeller Foundation. He also directed site visits to review and credential other basic science departments. He served as chair of pharmacology at both Northwestern University in Chicago and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He also served as director of the M.D.-Ph.D. program at Case for many years. He took two sabbaticals at Oxford University and one in Nairobi, Kenya.
Les was grateful to receive an honorary degree from Amherst in 1982. His father had received one as well, and the Webster biology building was named in his father’s honor. Les loved Amherst and was a generous lifelong supporter of the College. He is survived by his wife, Alice, and four children, including Leslie T. Webster III ’89. —Les Webster ’89
Henry O. White ’49
Let me say at the start, I don’t think I can do justice to the life Hank lived. He died Sept. 15 at age 90 after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease and a lifetime of greatly improving medical care in coastal Maine.
Following graduation, he spent four years at Boston School of Medicine, married Marian Ritch from Mount Holyoke in 1950, did his internship and residency in surgery at Rhode Island Hospital and spent two years in the U.S. Naval Reserve. Along the way, they had four children.
Hank had 25 years of private practice in thoracic surgery in Camden/Rockport/Rockland, Maine, and a few years at a VA hospital in Togus, Maine, where he did general surgery. His father was a doctor and his two grandfathers were ministers. All his life, Hank felt it necessary to be of service to people and to be needed.
Marian was the true love of his life of 68 years, a life that included his passions in music, sailing, gardening, tennis, Habitat for Humanity, travel, camping, a universal health care system, hospice and end-of-life care.
Besides this, he relaxed with wintering in Venice, Fla., and singing with choral groups around the country, as well as with church choirs in southern Europe, Scandinavia and Russia.
A celebration of Hank’s noble life was held Nov. 3 at the First Congregational Church of Camden. He is survived by his beloved wife, three of his four children (predeceased by a son), five grandchildren and one great-granddaughter, as well as many nieces and nephews.
A robust life of worthy service to his community, his profession and his elegant passions: one could not do much more with his allotted time on earth. The class saluted him. —Gerry Reilly ’49
Philip W. Cranshaw ’50
Phil Cranshaw died two days after Christmas in 2015. He was the father of five with his first wife, Laura Cranshaw, and the stepfather of two by his second marriage to Janette Cranshaw. He had six grandchildren and three step-grandchildren. Phil’s son, John Cranshaw, reports that he loved and was very involved in the lives of all his children and stepchildren, as well as the lives of all his grandchildren and step-grandchildren.
Phil served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and was stationed in France.
Phil worked for many years as a stock market broker and later in his career became a banker.
Phil loved sailing and was also well-known as a talented builder of ship models. Phil’s stepdaughter, Day Farenga, writes, “Phil enjoyed working on model boats, building three-masted schooners with meticulous care for rigging, deck planking, sails and more. He worked as a volunteer at the USS Constitution Museum in Boston, where he built model boats while guests watched and asked questions. He loved doing it.”
Day also writes, “He always had a book going, reading military history, biographies, political intrigue and much more, and claiming towards the end of his life that he thought he may have read every book at the Belmont library.”
Phil was involved in the creation and support of the Belmont Senior Center in his home town, Belmont, Mass.
In the words of Phil’s son John, “I think that many of us remember him for his quirky sense of humor. Some people thought that he didn’t take things seriously. I think that he took a great many things seriously, which is exactly why he chose to leaven that by seeing the humor in most all situations. He was a kind and gentle man, always willing to help others.” —Andy Scholtz ’50
Eugene M. Dickins ’50
Gene arrived at Amherst for the summer session in 1945 and then enlisted in the army during 1946, serving in the military police in Japan. In 1948 he returned to Amherst, joining our class for his last two years.
In his first stint at Amherst, Gene was on three “wartime” teams for football, basketball and track. He advised that competition was “fierce.” When he came back from the army, he made a total switch to music, playing in the band and the Smith College symphony orchestra. Gene joined the Lord Jeff Club. He wrote in our reunion notes that “academically, the gentleman’s C was a wonderful concept.”
After Amherst, Gene worked for General Motors, Montgomery Ward and then Top Value Enterprises, where he was manager of the merchandising department.
Retirement called for moving from Ohio to Daytona Beach, Fla., where he died at 88 in October 2016.
He is survived by a daughter, Mary Strope, and two stepsons, Steve and Gary Angi.—John Priesing ’50
Conrad R. Hirzel ’50
Conrad passed away in New Jersey at the age of 87 in April 2016. He went to Fair Lawn High School in that state.
At Amherst, Conrad joined Phi Delta Theta and was business manager of both the Olio and the Amherst College Photographers Association. The latter was a relatively new organization, yet it contributed a lot to various Amherst publications. He participated in squash and was active in the Amherst College Flying Association and WAMF.
Conrad spent two years in the army after graduation, then worked for a time in Switzerland, where he held dual citizenship. He returned to the States and joined the Citizens First National Bank as a vice president. He was there from 1958 to 1995. Community service was an important part of his life. He was head of a very active Ridgewood New Jersey YMCA (which I have visited) and was president of the Bergen County United Way.
Conrad was a devoted cyclist and world traveler who relished going to the opera and ballet. Every winter for his last 16 years, he spent a week in Montana to enjoy the outdoors.
He is survived by sons Conrad and Peter ’84, daughters Alice Palmeri and Meg Digby and eight grandchildren. —John Priesing ’50
Robert D. Jones ’50
Robert, 92, died on March 7, 2018, in Hackettstown, N.J. Bob was one of our World War II veterans, serving from 1943 to 1946 in the navy in the Pacific as a radio and communications specialist.
A member of Chi Phi, Bob was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He then joined Prudential Life Insurance, where he became a manager in the actuarial department and stayed for his entire career.
Bob is survived by a brother, Peter, and two sisters, Carol Fuller and Nancy Placko. —John Priesing ’50
G. Lynn Krause Jr. ’50
Lynn went back to his hometown, St. Louis, to practice surgery after receiving his M.D. from the
University of Pennsylvania. He first interned at the Washington University School of Medicine, then served as an army captain for two years. Upon return he was at St. Luke’s Hospital for more than 50 years. For much of his professional life, he taught surgery at the Washington
University School of Medicine. He also contributed articles to the medical profession.
Prior to Amherst, Lynn went to the John Burroughs School. He joined Psi Upsilon, played freshmen football and majored in biology.
He was a strong supporter of Amherst. For four years during the 1970s, Lynn was president of the St. Louis Amherst Association.
Lynn died from pneumonia in December 2016 at the age of 87. Our sympathies go out to his wife, Maryjane; sons, George and Paxson; and daughters, Jane and Debby ’84. He also left numerous grandchildren. —John Priesing ’50
Hugh Rosaaen Jr. ’50
Hugh left us at the age of 88 in January 2017 after a long battle with cancer. He had retired to Vero Beach, Fla., after many years in California.
Hugh was president of the California Sugar and Pine Agency in San Mateo for 40 years, until 1997. He had earlier jobs in the wood products industry.
Hugh was another class member who prepped at the John Burroughs School in St. Louis. At Amherst he joined Phi Delta Theta, majored in chemistry and played squash and baseball.
In retirement, driving for the Indian River Volunteer Ambulance Squad and Meals on Wheels occupied his time, along with golf, bridge and travel. He is survived by two sons, Marc and Ian; a daughter, Mary Brock; and a brother, Tom.
—John Priesing ’50
H. Cartan Clarke ’51
Cartan passed away on Aug. 29 at his St. Simons Island, Ga., retirement community.
He grew up in Katonah, N.Y., and attended Canterbury School and Deerfield Academy before joining our class in 1947. He roomed in Morrow near several of us our freshman year, then left, but kept in touch, attended several of our class reunions and remained a loyal alumnus. I recall that Cartan had an outgoing personality, always ready to meet people and be part of whatever was going on. Cartan told me in one of our phone conversations that English 101 was not his favorite class!
He joined Marsh & McLennan in 1949 and retired in 1992 after 43 years, starting at their New York City offices, and then working at their Buffalo, Minneapolis and Atlanta locations. He was one of the firm’s original group of managing directors.
He married Helen “Pat” Kennedy of Mt. Kisco, N.Y., in 1950. They had seven children, six of whom survive Carten, as does his wife, Pat. He is survived also by 15 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. He was an avid golfer and enjoyed tennis and paddle tennis. Other related Amherst alums include Cartan’s father, Richard ’19; brothers Dick ’52 and Michael ’57; an uncle; and several cousins.
During retirement he served as head marshal for the 2001 Walker Cup, and, as he and Pat moved to various locations, Cartan was on the boards of various schools and a member of various golf clubs.—Everett E. Clark ’51
Donald S. Cohan ’51
Donald was larger than life. A real character, leader, force of nature and storyteller with an arsenal of adventures. If you listened closely, you could hear adversity, triumph and silver linings topped with exaggeration and bravado. His grit and determination were inspiring. For more than 28 years he battled different lymphomas and brain tumors, but the diseases never interfered with living his life. His family and friends were proud of his determination against the odds.
Donald was a Renaissance man: scholar, athlete, debater, poet, practical joker, patron of the arts, philosopher, historian and family man. He set the bar high with his victories, attitude, generosity and sportsmanship.
At Amherst, Donald developed lifelong friendships. He was the Class Poet and a member of Beta House. He played varsity squash and tennis, and he was a member of the debate and chess teams. He was a devoted alumnus.
After graduating cum laude, he received a J.D. from Harvard Law. He was a partner at Dilworth, Paxon, Kalish & Kauffman and was known as an authority on wills, trusts and estate law, on which he widely published and lectured. Later, he changed careers and founded the Donesco Company, specializing in real estate development, investment, management and consulting.
Active in many sports, sailing was his passion. He represented the United States in many world and Olympic class championships and was a member of the U.S. Sailing Team. In 1972, Donald proudly represented our country in the Munich Olympics by winning a bronze medal in the Dragon class.
Donald is survived by his wife, Trina Cohan; his children, Rachel Cohan Albert ’84, Benjamin Cohan and Susannah Cohan McQuillan ’89; his sons-in-law, Jonathan Albert ’83 and Joe McQuillan; seven grandchildren, among them Sarah Albert ’13 and Jake Albert ’15; and a handful of dear friends. He will be deeply missed. —Rachel Cohan Albert ’84 and D. Jeffery Hartzell ’51
Thomas Lee ’51
Tommy Lee died Oct. 1. Tommy and his wife, Hideko, moved from Cape Town, South Africa, to a retirement community apartment in Seattle some years previously.
Tommy traveled to Amherst in summer 1947 from Hong Kong, first by a 17-day voyage across the Pacific and then by train to New York. His father and Charlie Cole were graduates of the class of ’27 and were both DKEs. So Tommy became a DKE “among all those big football players.” English 101 was not his thing, and the required math-science course didn’t fare much better in his view. But Tommy had a better recollection of Baird (aside from English 101), Latham, Packard and Whicher and, in hindsight years later, of his Amherst education in general.
After Amherst, Tommy served two years with the U.S. Army, taught for 17 years, made some good real estate investments in Hong Kong and found himself in England, where he met and married Hideko. They had no children. Hideko is Japanese. Neither Tommy nor Hideko could speak the other’s native tongue, but English worked for both. They moved to Cape Town and settled into an enjoyable lifestyle, living near the docks and bookstores where global news was available. At some point the South African government decided to gather the assets of “foreigners” so there would be funds on hand to pay for their last years’ needs. This irritated Tommy, and he returned to Seattle.
After much back and forth with U.S. bureaucracy, he also managed to secure Hideko’s admission to the States. She probably has now returned to Japan, where she has relatives.
Tommy is remembered as a well-mannered, friendly classmate. He would be amazed and pleased at the number of Asian students in attendance today. —Everett E. Clark ’51, with assistance from John Kendall ’51
Charles A. Pittman III ’51
Charles Pittman died on Aug. 9. He joined our class for freshman year and some part of sophomore year, after which he transferred to Clemson University, where he graduated from its engineering program.
Charles’ father had a small manufacturing firm that Charles joined and then managed and expanded with significant success in the years after his dad’s death. His first marriage didn’t last, but thereafter he married Clair, his surviving widow. They had no children and spent their free time on the high seas in their ocean-going sailboat (no hurricanes, please!).
In retirement Charles and Claire moved to a retirement community in Vero Beach, Fla. He retained his interest in the College and our class. Some years back, he was asked to serve as treasurer of the Amherst Association of the Treasure Coast, a position he held until he died, since, as he stated to me, he couldn’t find a replacement! —Everett E. Clark ’51
Harleigh V.S. Tingley ’51
I first became friendly with Van our freshman year playing lacrosse on the first post-World War II team at Amherst. Van played defense and always claimed that I, playing attack, broke his nose in a scrimmage, which, he admitted, could possibly have been partially his fault for not wearing a helmet. Van was a Chi Phi in the good old days at the College.
After Amherst, Harvard Business School and the military, Van worked, very successfully, as a management consultant and as such lived in Larchmont, N.Y., from 1968 to 1995. While in New York, he was a devoted attendee of our well-publicized annual 1951 dinners in the city.
As was reported by Lu, Van was an avid and expert skier with whom I had the pleasure of skiing both at Sugarbush and Tignes, France, with Lu; my wife, Joan; and an Amherst group led by the legendary alumni secretary, Fred Gardner ’49. In addition to the skiing, we had the good fortune to spend several extra days in Paris as guests of Air France as a result of the infamous air traffickers’ strike, during which time Van and Lu, who had family in Paris, took us to all of the best- and little-known bistros and the like.
I refer those who have not already read it to Lu’s aforementioned notice to the class for additional details of his life and death, such as his love of sailing and tennis.
For the last several years, Joan and I shared annual lobster dinners with Lu and Van during our visits to Maine. At our last dinner this past June, we had been invited to stay at their home in Yarmouth next year.
Our thoughts are with Lu, Sam and Perrin. —Gary Holman ’51
Charles D. Cobau ’52
Charles, age 88, died suddenly July 5, at his home. He was born June 13, 1930, in New Castle, Pa.
After Amherst he completed medical school at the University of Pennsylvania and an oncology fellowship at the University of Michigan, and also served in the U.S. Air Force. His first medical oncology practice began at the Toledo Hospital; he was the first medical oncologist in Toledo. He then joined the Toledo Clinic and was a member for more than 40 years. Under his tutelage, the Toledo Clinic Medical Oncology group expanded to include eight more medical oncologists and the oncology program at Flower Hospital.
Charles was a caring and concerned professional, committed to expanding oncology care to those in need. He started Toledo Community Hospital Oncology, a program that helped create satellite oncology clinics in the areas surrounding Toledo. He was a charter member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and was very involved with numerous research activities. He was instrumental as a consultant with the National Cancer Institute as a reviewer and evaluator for oncology grant proposals. He was also adjunct faculty with the University of Toledo, taught medical students and internal medical residents and was an active clinical preceptor. The legacy for the current Toledo and surrounding areas for oncology practice and patient care started with Dr. Cobau’s footprint.
He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Teresa Betts-Cobau; two children, Dr. Henry Cobau (Nancy) and Edward; grandchildren Stephanie, William, Nick, Charlie, Daniel and Thomas; his son by marriage, Nathan Bowden; his grandchildren by marriage, Sam, Myles and Lauren Nessif; and brothers John (Arlene) and William Cobau. He was preceded by a son, Duffy Cobau; his daughter by marriage, Anna Nessif; and sister-in-law Judy Cobau. —Teresa Betts-Cobau
Charles D. Barkwill Jr. ’53
Good friend and fraternity brother Charles Barkwill, known to his classmates both as Chuck and as Charlie, passed away on Oct. 4, a few days before his 87th birthday. Chuck and Linda spent their last eight years in Splendido, a retirement community in Tucson, Ariz.
Born in Cleveland, he prepared for Amherst at University School and majored in history. He went on to earn a master of arts in teaching at Harvard, and spent two years in the army. He and his first wife, Connie, with their son, Jeffery, then moved back to Cleveland, where he started a career in business.
After 25 years of corporate life, he yearned for the life of an entrepreneur. His initial plan did not succeed and occasioned a divorce from Connie after 22 years of marriage. A five-year partnership with a talented product designer ensued and provided Chuck the opportunity to hone his skills in sales, marketing and administration. Then he succeeded as an independent representative for several Midwestern product design firms.
Along with Chuck’s business success and after 12 years as a bachelor, he married Linda Karen Guckes, who shared his special interest in travel. With them, my wife and I had the opportunity to visit new locations, such as St. John, V.I., along with Manson Hall and his wife, and to take a tour of Tuscany with Rome resident Herb Uhl and other classmates.
My fondest memory of Chuck is of the time he served so admirably as chair of our 50th reunion. Always outgoing, optimistic, humorous and attentive to people and detail, he made sure we all had a heartwarming occasion. Afterward he became our class president, later remarking to me how humble he felt with that honor.
He is survived by his wife, Linda; a son, Jeffery; granddaughters Jessica and Eve Barkwill; and a sister, Barbara Barkwill Larson. —Myron Hamer ’53
James Carroll Daugherty ’54
Jim died on Sept. 22 at the age of 85 with his family at his side. He was born in Pittsburgh and graduated from Episcopal Academy in Philadelphia in 1950. At Amherst, Jim majored in economics and joined Delta Upsilon. As a member of the wrestling team from our freshman year on, Jim was a consistent and highly skilled member of an outstanding team that I also had the luck to participate in. When the College dropped wrestling in 1989. I shared Jim’s dismay at the elimination of a grand tradition and a source of great personal growth for all of us who grappled. When the sport reemerged as a club team a few years ago, we both applauded the effort.
After Amherst, Jim served in the Marine Corps until 1965, attaining the rank of captain. In his notes for our 50th reunion class book, Jim reflected on the wisdom of his decision not to accept a regular commission, since he well might have ended as a casualty in Vietnam. In 1961 he earned his M.A. in public administration from George Washington University. For 25 years he served as a Washington bureaucrat, as he wrote, again in the reunion book, “trying to understand the mess we are still making of our health care system.” (Sound familiar?)
Reflecting on the Amherst experience, Jim acknowledges that “we were privileged to be at Amherst” in our day and treasures the “foundation” laid then that “has been with us all these years.”
In retirement Jim and his wife moved to Bradenton, Fla. He was very active with the Episcopal Church as head usher, and as senior warden of the vestry. He is survived by his wife, Elyse; three children: Paul, Jeffrey and Debra; five grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and two sisters. —Tom Blackburn ’54
Bruce F. Hollister ’54
Bruce passed away on Oct. 12 with his wife, Kathy, at his side. After many years of alternating between summers at their home in Short Hills, N.J., and winters in Daniel Island, S.C., Bruce and Kathy made Daniel Island their permanent residence in 2007. Entering Amherst from the Summit (N.J.) Public Schools, he joined Psi Upsilon, where our friendship from freshman year deepened over the next years.
Our last meeting was at a dinner hosted by Bill Tehan ’54, with Jerry ’54 and Jane Grant; George Tulloch ’54 and Benni; Micki Hoitsma; and me and my wife, Ann, following the memorial service for Derrik “Red” Hoitsma ’54. I am now the last survivor of that Psi U contingent. Life in the Psi U house in our day was a truly convivial experience, and Bruce was always a lively presence. I am pretty sure that he and I joined in a ritual carefully observed by our class members: since Bruce’s 21st birthday was just a day after mine, we sequentially joined to celebrate at the bar in the Lord Jeff Inn, enjoying our first legal martinis.
After graduation, Bruce returned to his northern Jersey roots and began a long and distinguished career with IBM until he was recruited by AT&T, retiring at age 65. He was a member of Christ Church in Short Hills and the Short Hills Club. During retirement, he continued to excel at tennis, traveled extensively with Kathy and enjoyed walks on his favorite beach on Sullivan’s Island.
He is survived by his wife, Kathleen; three daughters: Katy, Abby and Molly; two granddaughters: Addie and Langely; and two grandsons: Ryan and Luke. He is also survived by three stepdaughters: Melissa, Laura and Noelle. —Tom Blackburn ’54
Gerald A. Cantor ’55
Gerry was born in Jersey City, the oldest brother of William “Bill” ’58 and Howard. At Stevens Hoboken Academy, he was active in theater and sports. He attended Amherst (Psi U) for two years before completing college at NYU, majoring in theater and French. He and Dorothy Wolf (CCNY ’57) were happily married for 61 years, with two children, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
After two years in the army, the Cantors moved to Westfield, N.J., where he became a stockbroker, never retiring. Gerry was very involved with his synagogue as a “para-rabbi,” leading services and shiva minyans. He served his federation by taking two terms as president and represented them on the board of the Jewish Agency. He took the job as president of the Rutgers Hillel because of his concern for anti-Semitism on campus. He gave generously of his wealth.
Gerry never lost his love for theater, appearing as the leading man in many straight and musical productions as well as directing community shows. Gerry remembered lines in plays he had done or seen. He played ukulele and piano (not great) and knew hundreds of old songs and sang a natural tenor harmony. He and Dorothy were avid travelers, especially to England and France. He did the New York Times Sunday puzzle in ink in about one hour.
He was a terrific big brother and role model, a wonderful father and husband, but best as a grandfather.
Gerry loved tennis, despite needing shoulder surgery because of it. On Oct. 2, he tripped while playing, hit his head and suffered a subdural hematoma with major brain injury, from which he never recovered. He passed away on Oct. 16.
I still want to pick up the phone and share a concern or a joke with my big brother. —William L. Cantor ’58
Charles H. Pimlott Jr. ’55
Chuck was part of the large group in our class from Shaker Heights High School. At Amherst he was an economics major and a Phi Gam. Chuck was active in several activities including the crew, Glee Club, debating council and WAMF.
After college Chuck earned an M.S. in industrial management from MIT and then started a career in marketing and research. This took him from Metal & Thermit Co. to Pfizer to Glidden Durkee and finally to Stouffer Corp. There Chuck ended up as corporate director of marketing and research. Among his many successes was developing a retail product line of institutional frozen hors d’oeuvres for Durkee. This earned him the nickname of Hors d’oeuvres King of Durkee.
In 1980 Chuck saw no future at Stouffer so set up his own company, Cambridge Associates, which he ran himself. However, in 1998, Chuck suffered a fall from a ladder while trimming a tree, resulting in a hospital stay of several months. Although he suffered some brain damage and had to learn how to work and write again, Chuck was able to regain some semblance of a normal life.
He moved to the Boston area to be near several of his children, with whom he would spend holidays. He owned a string of candy vending machines.
In recent years, as his health declined, Chuck lived in an assisted-living facility and then a nursing home for the past three years. He died peacefully in his sleep on July 6, at age 84. Until his head injury, Chuck played tennis and rode his bicycle. His hobby was gardening.
Many of us remember Chuck as the morning headwaiter in the Garden section of Valentine Hall. He attended both our 20th and 25th class reunions. Chuck is survived by three children. —Rob Sowersby ’55
John C. Zink ’56
My roommate and great friend died on Sept. 16 at home in Laguna Nigel, Calif. John came to Amherst from Westfield High School in New Jersey. At Amherst he majored in economics and played varsity football (a 165-pound tackle!) and varsity baseball. After college he became a U.S. Air Force pilot, which shaped his working career: 27 years flying for TWA.
His greatest loves, other than family, were music, especially jazz, airplanes and old movies. Fittingly, his son Tom (Anne) of Long Beach, Calif., is a jazz pianist and son Andy (Carolyn) of San Luis Obispo, Calif., is an airline pilot.
After retiring, he kept busy with sports, working out, volunteering at Chino Air Museum and his church, leading the Old Bold Pilots in Carlsbad and flying aerobatics out of Orange County Airport.
What I will most remember about John is his interest in people, his joy in friendship, spending time and giving to those he cared for. He would volunteer before being asked. He never sought the limelight but was comfortable in the background doing what was necessary. The world would be a better place if we had more John Zinks.
John and his wife, Carol, have been my best friends for almost 70 years. They were high school sweethearts and married two weeks after graduation from Amherst. Their marriage was a true loving partnership. They lived for more than 50 years in Laguna Nigel, a community in the rolling hills of Southern California, just three miles from the ocean.
John, you truly made your world a better place. —Neil Hurlbut ’56
Michael N. Abodeely Jr. ’58
Mike Abodeely died on April 12, 2018.
Many of us knew Mike as a football star. All of us who became close to him knew of the centrality of family to his persona—of the pride he felt for his Lebanese roots; for his brother, Paul, who followed him to Amherst; for his wife, Daphne; and for his two daughters, Stephanie and Melissa, who both made their way to Amherst (’84 and ’88, respectively) and married their Amherst classmates. Mike served as class president from 1993 to 1998. Amherst roots ran deep.
Sophomore year, Mike roomed with fellow footballers Sam Chase ’58 and Pete Jenkins ’58. Pete recalls frequent wrestling matches with Mike, who outweighed Pete by at least 80 pounds.
Mike was a big man at Amherst in the ’50s, a DKE and left tackle to Preston Brown ’58 on the right. After a junior-year ACL tear, Mike somehow managed to play rugby for a number of years thereafter. He was a surprisingly gentle mediator, partly because of his size but mostly due to his level-headed attitude.
Mike’s younger brother, Paul, followed him to both Amherst (’62) and football, co-captaining the ’61 team. Mike and his dad went to all the games, where they shared the joys and helped soften the disappointments. Mike followed his dad to Boston University for law school and, afterward, joined the family firm until the end of his life.
Mike is survived by his wife of 56 years, Daphne; his two daughters and sons-in-law; and five grandchildren. Mike and Daphne’s home in the Worcester area was overshadowed by their love for their second home on Cape Cod, where they continued their friendship with Pete, John Pendleton ’58 and Fred Greenman ’58.
Pete Jenkins ’58 said it most directly: “I loved him.” He spoke for me, too, indeed, all of us. —Hendrik D. Gideonse ’58, with Stephanie Abodeely Carlson ’84
David Van Allen Fauvre ’60
David Fauvre was a member of the class of 1960 during our freshman year before transferring to the University of Indiana.
He married his high school sweetheart, Beverly, in 1960, and they remained married for 53 years, until her death in 2013.
In 1967, the family moved to Saratoga, Calif., when they purchased Taco Bell franchisees in Santa Clara County. They had two children, David and Elise. David enjoyed his family and friends, the La Quinta Country Club, tennis and watching baseball.
He passed away peacefully in his sleep in March 2015, 18 months after Beverly. —Dick Weisfelder ’60
Robert L. McRoberts ’60
As a freshman at Amherst, Bob McRoberts was very busy, earning his numerals in football, basketball and golf. Thereafter, he joined Phi Alpha Psi, majored in English, won three varsity letters in golf and was a member of the DQ.
After a stint in the National Guard, he worked in Manhattan as a ship broker until a “change of heart” led him to Yale Medical School (1966), followed by his surgical internship at St. Luke’s Hospital (N.Y.) and a four-year orthopedic fellowship at the Mayo Clinic. In our 50th reunion book, he wrote poignantly about his service in 1969 as a civilian orthopedic surgeon in Vietnam, where he treated the devastating wounds suffered from landmines by women and children. His sensitivity to the needs of imperiled peoples had been honed during medical school by a 10-week foreign fellowship at the Mission Hospital in Ganta, Liberia. His 25th reunion message emphasized his involvement in countless musical activities, including participating in many musicals and in the New Mexico Symphony Chorus, and his commitment to golf, where he reported a 69 score! By 2010 he reported the onset of Parkinson’s, which ended his surgical practice, but he remained a consulting physician and instructed orthopedic residents at the VA Clinic in Albuquerque.
Bob wrote that the “saddest day of my life” was when Judi Spielman, his wife and mother of his three sons, died from leukemia in 1988 at age 42. He reflected upon that experience in a 2004 article “A Piece of My Mind” in JAMA. He married Patty Anderson in 1996, combining her four children with his sons—Ian, Tate and Judd—in a much larger family.
Bob died on July 29 from heart failure and Parkinson’s disease. —Dick Weisfelder ’60
Howard Barton Myers Jr. ’61
Throughout Bart’s life he had a warm manner and gentle wit, charming all who knew him. He grew up in Washington, D.C., where he went to Sidwell Friends, while tending to a large Washington Post paper route. Then off to Amherst, which became dear to his heart.
After Amherst Bart went to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor to work toward a Ph.D. in economics, and by 1968 met all requirements short of completed dissertation. As an economist, his interest was in what lay behind relative foreign currency values—as a precursor to the euro. After Michigan he taught for eight years at Rutgers University in New Jersey, followed by four years at La Salle University in Philadelphia. He then became a personal computer dealer and freelance programmer.
It was at the University of Michigan that Bart, never having ridden a motorcycle, bought one and discovered an amazing talent for racing. Within eight years, he achieved national ranking alongside professionals, who raced full-time on faster, factory-team bikes.
How did he manage his double life? With stealth, fearing that if the Rutgers economics department knew of his racing, his chances for tenure were nil. So, after his last Friday class, he would quietly leave town in his van, drive overnight to some far-flung race course, then catch some early morning sleep in the van before rolling his motorcycle onto the track for pre-race practice.
Although Rutgers knew not of Bart’s racing, race announcers did get wind of Rutgers, shouting “Professor Myers just set a course record!”
Unfortunately, a serious crash ended his racing days in 1978.
Bob Perkins ’61, Bart’s sophomore roommate and DU fraternity brother at Amherst, made contact with Bart in his waning years, which Bart spent in central Trenton, and where he died on Sept. 3. —Craig Morgan ’62 and
Bob Perkins ’61
Henry G. Fieger Jr. ’62
Hank and I first met as high school seniors. Robert Powell ’60 inspired us to try out for the Zumbyes when we got to Amherst. With his rare tenor voice, Hank was admitted right away; I followed later that school year. At Chi Psi we were roommates. Hank was a good student and could crank out a difficult term paper with seemingly no preparation. Always smiling and positive, with boundless energy and boyish good looks, he was the fraternity soloist when we all trouped over to Smith or Mount Holyoke.
Chris Grose ’61, a fellow Zumbye, remembers Hank and Dominic Manfredi ’62 performing a comedy routine involving “the greatly attenuated, long-delayed opening of … a screen door.”
Hank was called into the army in 1968 as a doctor and served in Vietnam under combat conditions; he was awarded the Bronze Star, Air Medal, National Defense Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal and Vietnam Service Medal.
After Columbia Medical School, Hank did his internship and residency at the University of Colorado Medical School. He went on to a distinguished medical career, rising to chief of neurosurgery at St. Joseph and Children’s Hospital and later chief of neurosurgery at Colorado Permanente. He and his wife, Jill, were enthusiastic skiers. I remember wonderful visits to their weekend houses in Breckenridge and Silverthorne. At one of those, when we were in our mid-50s, he revealed that the discovery of arthritis in his hands had resulted in the abrupt termination of his legal ability to perform surgery. He took this disappointment with characteristic bravery and later began several stints teaching and serving as the chairman of the Surgery Panel of Colorado Medical Examiners.
After Jill died in 2015, Hank moved to a retirement home. He died on Aug. 9. —Peter Bellows ’62
Edward T. Johnson Jr. ’62
Edward T. Johnson Jr. died on Oct. 6, 2018, after a very long and valiant battle with cancer. Ed was born in Cleveland on May 20, 1940, to the late Dr. Edward T. and Camille Johnson. He was also preceded in death by his only child, daughter Brittany, and by his wife of 25 years, Charlette Brown Johnson. He is survived by his beloved sister Judyann Elder, television and movie actress; and his brother James, a writer.
Before Amherst, Ed was the first black boarding student at the exclusive Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio, where he was an outstanding scholar and athlete. Although the Johnsons lived fewer than two miles away from us in Cleveland, I didn’t meet Ed until we both had summer jobs with the Cleveland City Planning Commission, where he greatly enjoyed working with surveys of land use, housing quality and other issues; this may have helped propel him toward his career in architecture.
At Amherst, Ed became a fine arts major; he pledged Chi Psi and lettered in track. He was also active playing piano at mixers and parties throughout the three college campuses. On Sundays, he really enjoyed playing the Stearns Steeple carillon. After graduation, Ed took a degree in architecture at Yale; after a few years of apprenticeship at illustrious organizations in Boston, he established his own firm and worked on many projects in Boston.
After his academic pursuits, Ed pledged one of the major black national fraternities, Omega Psi Phi, and was active in the chapter, as well as in leading youth programs for his church. His architectural masterpiece, a three-level home for a retiring Boston doctor overlooking the Caribbean in St. Croix, remains under construction, but Ed was thrilled to work with progress pictures and reports until the end. —Lowell Henry ’62
David Tulio Pagnini ’62
David (always Tulio to me) Pagnini passed from us on Nov. 25, during the course of a surgical procedure. David, aka “The Raccoon” (don’t worry folks, it’s a DU “thing”) and Nathan Detroit, came to us from Milford, Mass., and after graduation and law school returned to his home area to successfully practice law for five decades. We had the good fortune on several occasions to have his presence at reunions and homecomings. He was a gentle soul without a mean bone in his body. Although mild-mannered, he had, as they say in northern New England, a “wicked good” sense of humor. Over the years, David never seemed to change and was always a pleasant, positive person. As Jody Freeman ’62 put it, he was “one of the good guys,” or as Jody and Jim Shrager ’62 have described him, a gentleman in the finest sense of the word.
Although one has to know the personalities, the roommate combination at DU of David, Jody Freeman ’62, Tony Cotignola ’62, Al Deaett ’62 and Paul Sherwood ’62 was, to say the least, unique. As the only non-athlete in the group, one would have thought that David might not fit in, but the opposite was the case, and the interesting amalgam that was DU was always made stronger by David’s presence and contributions.
There are many great memories of David, some of which will be recounted elsewhere. In sum, he was a wonderful guy, and it was an honor to have him as a friend and classmate.
Our deepest sympathies to Judy and the rest of David’s family for their great loss. —Nick Prigge ’62
Lanric Hyland ’64
On Sept. 6 we lost Lanric “Ric” Hyland, who died in his sleep in Kapa’au, Hawaii. Ric was undoubtedly one of our older, most colorful and shorter-tenured classmates. He knew his life was fragile and even provided an anticipatory obituary to Jesse Brill ’64 prior to our 50th reunion.
He was the son of 1924 Olympic rugby gold medalist and Stanford All-American halfback, Richard “Tricky Dick” Hyland, and Louise “Lulu” Hyland, also a Stanford graduate. His stepfather, Al Weingand, was co-owner with Lulu of San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, Calif.
Ric attended high schools in Hawaii (Punahou and Iolani) and California and matriculated into Amherst without a high school diploma. He attended Amherst for less than one year. Later he attended McGeorge law school in Sacramento before earning a master’s in human services administration from Antioch University and a master of arts in criminal justice from the State University of New York at Albany.
He was corrections consultant for the 1974 and 1976 legislative sessions, chair of the Oahu Chapter of the Hawaii Corrections Association and a director of the Hawaii Council on Crime and Delinquency while employed as a Youth Corrections Officer at Koolau and as a third-year clinical instructor at the University of Hawaii School of Law. He also worked at law enforcement jobs in New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maryland, California and Washington, D.C.
In 1964, he used a gun in a holdup of his stepfather’s business, was convicted and sent to Soledad prison (“a prank,” he later said; he was pardoned in 2016). He is alleged to have dropped acid with Timothy Leary and have been in Eldridge Cleaver’s inner circle in prison. In his later years, Ric was an ardent ethics advocate who pushed for housing rights and government accountability in his community. —Vince Simmon ’64, with input from ’64 classmates Jesse Brill, Carl Levine, Gene Palumbo, Ray Battocchi, Rip Sparks, David Stringer, Terry Segal and Phil Allen
Richard A. Kelly ’67
Richard A. Kelly was a prince of a human being. In the words of the head of school at Colorado Academy (the Denver prep school where he taught for more than 30 years) to 200 people gathered at the memorial service celebrating “Richard’s eclectic interests and full life” shortly after his death in August, he was a “master teacher in the best of ways … , deeply intellectual, and deeply committed first and foremost to students. … Richard’s teaching will reverberate through the generations. He impacted thousands of students (teaching mathematics, economics, English and logic), and I consider myself one of them. No, not in the classroom sense, but in the way he shared his philosophies and discoveries about life.”
I am grateful to have experienced that impact first-hand when Rich and I roomed together in our first year of graduate school at Harvard (he was a transfer student, and too few of our classmates got a chance to know him well at Amherst). That year—1967–68—was a momentous one in the life of the nation, and it was marked by many long conversations and debates into the night. I have never known a fiercer, more knowledgeable, morally grounded, yet somehow gentle intellect—a reflection, perhaps, of his education at a Jesuit prep school.
Active in the Denver community, Richard served as board chair of the Colorado Endowment for the Humanities and the Denver Free University.
A New Jersey native, he is survived by his daughter, Margaret, and his brother, Robert, and remembered with great affection by the thousands of students, colleagues and friends who were lucky enough to have crossed his path over the past seven decades. —H.R. Wilde ’67
W. Jeffrey Simpson ’67
W. Jeffrey Simpson, author, cultural historian and Architectural Digest columnist and editor, died Aug. 24 at Sherwood Oaks, a retirement community north of Pittsburgh. He died of liver cancer five weeks after it was diagnosed.
Jeffrey, who transferred to Amherst after a year at Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio, graduated cum laude in English. After earning an M.A. from the University of Michigan, he moved to Manhattan in 1970. There he covered New York showrooms for AD for 30 years.
The most celebrated of Jeffrey’s 10 books was American Elegy. It’s a family memoir that describes with affection and piercing objectivity the dissipation of a 300-acre land grant that Jeffrey’s great-great-great-great grandfather received for playing the fife in the Revolutionary War. Jeffrey was the last descendant. David McCullough called American Elegy “a beautiful, touching, funny, heartfelt and provocative book.”
Jeffrey was the only child of W. Clyde and Margaret Simpson of Mount Lebanon, Pa. In Manhattan he occupied a succession of old Greenwich Village townhouse apartments, which he furnished with Victoriana. A bow-tied bon vivant, he rarely dined in.
Jeffrey was a four-term trustee of the Chautauqua Institution, the southwestern New York resort and cultural center where he spent a part of every summer of his life. He was also a former trustee and elder at the Village’s “Old First” Presbyterian Church. When writing, he usually sat in his Amherst chair, its maple arms polished deeply by his own.
Jeffrey was buried in Plum Creek Cemetery back home between parents and among kin. The 50 pounds of family papers on which American Elegy was based are now part of the Joseph Downs Collection of Manuscripts and Printed Ephemera at the Winterthur Library in Winterthur, Del. —Frank Greve ’67
Michel L. Spratford ’69
Michel “Meech” Spratford passed away Oct. 10 in Oswego, Ill. Meech majored in math, played football and was my senior year roommate at DU fraternity. He met the love of his life, Olesja “Lesh” Kozar (Hartwick ’69), in high school, and they married the week after Amherst graduation.
Meech taught math and coached football in New Jersey while completing an M.Ed. from Rutgers and welcoming the birth of their children: Dr. Eric ’94 (Becky [Siegel] ’97), children Samantha, 16, and Nathaniel, 13) and Melanie (Kenyon ’98). The family relocated to Aurora, Ill., where Meech worked at Plano Molding Co., ultimately as VP in marketing. He bought and ran Centerline Models (an engineering and prototyping company) in Bartlett, Ill., until retirement.
With a keen intellect and inquisitive mind, Meech was a Renaissance man. He loved sports, particularly the Chicago Bears and Bulls, and appreciated good food and drink, history, culture and travel. In the late 1980s, I vacationed with Meech and his family at a beautiful home high on a cliff on his favorite place on earth, St. John, USVI. He never lost his joie de vivre, but it was spectacularly displayed when he was visiting the Caribbean.
Three weeks before his passing, I visited Meech and Lesh at their home. Despite his failing condition, he insisted we dine at Gibson’s. His family joined us for what turned out to be a celebration of Meech’s life the way he wanted to be remembered: on his own terms, enjoying great food and drink. It was a privilege to be included.
Near the end of his life, he wrote a final statement worthy of repeating: “Lesh is the love of my life. Eric and Melanie are the pride of my life. Samantha and Nathaniel are the joy of my life.” Well said, old friend. —Mark Dickinson ’69
Uthman F. Muhammad ’70
Popularly known as “C.P.” during his days at Amherst, Uthman Faruq Muhammad passed away on Oct. 31 in Chicago, after courageously battling cancer and diabetes-related complications. He was born Calvin Peter Ward Jr., on April 3, 1948, in Canton, Miss. His family moved north in 1953, ultimately resettling on Chicago’s Southside, where he graduated from DuSable High School at the top of his class. Uthman is survived by five children, five grandchildren, ex-wife Anisah Muhammad and a host of other relatives and friends.
While at Amherst, Uthman played football and served as president and founding member of the Afro-American Society, predecessor of the Black Student Union. Perhaps his most precious legacy to Amherst was the leadership he provided as an architect of the protest movement that forever changed the college. On Feb. 18, 1970, Uthman and black student representatives from the Five College area led hundreds of students in the seizure and occupation of several Amherst buildings to protest the Five College Consortium’s failure to seriously address longstanding grievances. That occupation was the catalyst for establishing, among other things, Amherst’s Department of Black Studies; an expanded Smith-Amherst Tutorial Program, which provided academic support and mentoring for inner-city youth; and a commitment to increase faculty and student diversity at Amherst and the other consortium institutions.
After Amherst, Uthman changed his name upon adopting Islam, and earned an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago and an M.A.T. from Roosevelt University. For more than 35 years thereafter, he worked passionately as an economic development activist and a public school teacher.
Until the end, he never stopped promoting community development and social justice—and he never stopped teaching and mentoring young people. (Read more about Uthman in our online notice.) —Irshad Abdal-Haqq ’72 and Faruq Abdal-Sabur ’73
Kenneth J. Burchfiel Jr. ’73
Kenneth James Burchfiel Jr. died on July 22 of cancer.
After graduating from Cornell Law School, Kenneth had a distinguished career as a patent lawyer with the Washington, D.C., firm of Sughrue Mion. His expertise was biotechnology.
Kenneth retired to Sante Fe, N.M., in 2017. He enjoyed trips with his wife and children. He was an avid photographer and fly-fisherman.
At Amherst, Kenneth was a classics major. He was fascinated by the intricacies of Latin and ancient Greek. For his senior photo in the Amherst yearbook, he even posed wearing a toga. His interest in the classics continued, as shown by the fact that he took a sabbatical year, in the midst of his legal career, to study ancient Greek legal thought at the Max Planck Institute in Munich.
Kenneth attended high school in what was then the U.S. Canal Zone in Panama. I first met Kenneth at the bus station in Springfield, Mass., as we were both heading to start classes at Amherst. I was coming from Colorado, and he was coming from Panama. He was dressed in tropical whites and wearing a straw Panamanian hat. During that freshman year, we became friends and then were roommates at Phi Gamma Chi for the next three years. Kenneth was always up for an adventure, like the time he suggested that we hitchhike to Manhattan one weekend to visit a high school friend of his at Cooper Union. We made it there and back, with one of our rides actually being in a VW mini bus with hippies who were smoking pot. After Kenneth’s father gave him a car during sophomore year, we didn’t have to hitchhike. After we both turned age 21, we regularly drove out of town for a Pabst Blue Ribbon beer at a tavern on the Belchertown road.
Kenneth suggested that we go cook lobsters on the beach in Maine. We even borrowed a pot from the kitchen at Valentine Hall. Neither of us had ever been to Maine, but off we went with two young ladies from Smith College. This was long before GPS. It was dark by the time we got to a beach that had public access, and we had no lobsters, but a good time was had by all.
We went together to the big anti-war protest on the mall in D.C. I’ll never forget walking across the bridge to the Lincoln Memorial, each with a lit candle. Then we read into a microphone the name of a deceased soldier and extinguished the candle.
Kenneth is survived by his wife, Linda, and children Nellie and Ken. —Charles Unfug ’73
William T. Taylor ’74
I am sorry to report our loss, this past July, of Bill Taylor. We met in the fall of 1971, rock-climbing on the walls of Barrett and Frost! Bill loved all things “outdoors” and was a rock-climber, hiker, ﬂy ﬁsherman and back-country skier, long before these became popular. He spent summers skiing, climbing and doing construction in western ski towns. At Amherst, he abandoned his planned biology major—he wanted outdoor biology, not lab-based intracellular research—and graduated with an anthropology degree.
After college he moved to Mammoth Lakes, Calif. His anthropology background got him a job with the National Forest Service evaluating project sites for archaeologic impact. In 1985 he was hired by the village to assist with incorporation into a town, using his knowledge of NFS and California regulation. For the next 20-plus years, he worked for the town as the deputy director of community development. A staunch advocate for the environment, he also fought for better education, quality affordable housing and thoughtful town and recreation planning. He had input into most major developments in the district.
He met his future wife, Sherry, in 1977; they built their own house, had two sons (Nathan and Davis) and spent countless hours exploring the wonders of the eastern Sierras. My family enjoyed their hospitality numerous times over three decades, and we were looking forward to more adventures since Bill’s retirement. Unfortunately, he became severely ill in the winter of 2018, spent seven difﬁcult months in hospital and ﬁnally succumbed to acute leukemia.
A local ofﬁcial stated, “He brought collaboration and respect to every meeting he attended, letter he wrote and community effort in which he participated,” and commented further on Bill’s “great intellect, love of the outdoors and sense of civic responsibility.” He will be sorely missed by family, friends and community. —Bruce Thompson ’75
Anita Cilderman Kuenzi ’76
You’ve probably seen the photograph, which has achieved iconic status in the history of the College. The scene: graduation, June 6, 1976. On the porch of Frost Library, Anita C. Cilderman, by virtue of alphabetical order the first woman graduate of Amherst College, lifts her diploma in triumph after receiving it from a beaming Bill Ward. On Sunday, March 11, 2018, not quite 42 years after that event, Anita passed away at her home in Mint Hill, N.C. She was 64 years old.
Anita was born in the Bronx and graduated from Teaneck High School in Teaneck, N.J. She came to Amherst during the 1974–75 academic year from Mount Holyoke as an exchange student on the 12-College exchange program and was one of nine women in the program who, after Amherst made the decision to go coed, were admitted as transfer students to the class of 1976. Described by a classmate as “feisty and smart,” Anita majored in psychology. After Amherst, she did graduate work in psychology at Montclair State University and trained at the Runden Institute, founded by Montclair professor and pioneering sex educator Charity Runden, which specialized in marital counseling and issues of human sexuality. She is survived by her husband, Russ Kuenzi; her son, Colin; and her daughter, Ariana.
—Robert Howard ’76
Armando Galindo Jr. ’84
With great heartache, I learned that my former roommate and once close personal friend, Armando Galindo Jr., died unexpectedly in Falls Church, Va., on Nov. 7.
The first sentence of his obituary states that he was an Amherst graduate. Such was the pride and meaning that he communicated to those closest to him for having had the privilege of attending our school.
While I was at Amherst, Armando was a vital person in my life. He was there for me in my darkest hours, and I am in his debt for helping me soldier on through the education that still guides my life.
I watched Armando sprout from a fidgety, skinny kid with Coke-bottle glasses into a commanding male presence. He had style, class and guts. With no experience to speak of, he walked onto the Amherst football team and held his own.
At the drop of a hat, he was a suave gentleman ace. His Bronx-bred common sense and wit were breathtaking and hilarious.
His interest in my life was at times comforting, at times aggravating, but always sincere and well-meaning.
After graduation, we met up in Italy with Eurail passes. Still hearing the echo of his unflinching straight talk and thunderous pronouncements about everything, I remember with fondness, irritation, interest, agony and amusement our time together.
We attended each other’s weddings. And as married friends sometimes do, we drifted apart. Or I pushed him away with something I said or did. So, for many years, I could not talk to, or find out about, Armando until a mutual friend called me with the terrible news.
Though there may be a few other souls who engage life with such forthright candor and gusto, I’ve never met one like Armando, and I am so very fortunate that I did. —David R. Martinez ’84
Bruce D. Wickersham ’86
Bruce D. Wickersham of Dedham, Mass., passed away suddenly Aug. 27. Born in Norristown, Pa., he was raised in Spring Mountain, Pa., and graduated from the Hill School in Pottstown, Pa. After Amherst, he earned an M.B.A. from St. Joseph’s University, class of 1993, and a J.D. from Boston College Law School, class of 1996, where he received the McGrath Kane Award and an Outstanding Graduate Student award.
He was a partner at DLA Piper in Boston, where he represented institutional investors, real estate private equity funds and their sponsors and real estate investment advisers in real estate transactions, with a particular focus on joint venture transactions. Bruce was recognized as a Massachusetts Rising Star by Super Lawyers magazine. He lived in Dedham for the past 18 years and was an avid boater and fisherman.
He was the brother of Mary Anne Migan, of Michigan; Susan Wickersham, of Washington; Laura Wickersham, of Pennsylvania; Louise Lagoy, of Pennsylvania; and Ronald Wickersham, of Houston. He is also survived by his longtime companion, Young Lee, of Illinois, and several nieces and nephews. —Jordan Lewis ’86
Benjamin C. Boyden ’01
On Nov. 14, Benjamin Cary Boyden, loving son, brother, uncle and friend passed away at age 40 in Los Angeles.
Ben arrived at Amherst as a competitive soccer player with a keen intellect and a thoughtful, cool demeanor that revealed his California upbringing.
Ben balanced being a serious student and serious socializer remarkably well. He had a famous talent for reading textbooks and writing academic outlines in a dorm room full of friends who were watching TV, listening to music or talking about romantic frustrations. While deeply committed to his own education, Ben was always generous with his time and graciously provided advice and academic guidance to his peers, no matter what time of night his services were needed.
Ben’s friends’ fondest memories include many laughs shared in late-night study sessions in Stearns, Stone and Hitchcock dormitories, often accompanied by Antonio’s pizza.
Ben received substantial teasing for his attention to his appearance and always took the ribbing graciously. Ben also enjoyed a good laugh and some mischief, and this may explain his unique charm that endeared him to the family members of his friends.
Ben spent most of his professional career applying his majors in economics and sociology, magna cum laude, as a strategy consultant for Monitor.
However, Ben also found spiritual nourishment from his travel and voracious consumption of literature, music and film, as well as lively debate with his old Amherst friends. He was a perpetual student.
Ben loved, and was loved deeply by, his family, which had deep Amherst roots. Ben capably filled the shoes of his predecessors: great-grandfather Frank Boyden ’02, grandfather John Boyden ’35 and great-uncle Theodore Boyden ’36.
He will be missed terribly. —Myles Ranier ’01
William Michael Hexter, the Edward S. Harkness Professor of Biology, Emeritus, died Dec. 20 in Amherst after a long battle with dementia. He was 91. He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Rachel (Ringler) Hexter of Amherst; son Jim and daughter-in-law Eileen Haggerty; daughter Marla and son-in-law Larry Cohen; daughter Karen; and grandchildren Abigail, David, Lillian and Nora.
Born in Canton, Ohio, in 1927 to Milton Hexter and Jean Bonda Hexter, Bill graduated from Joliet (Ill.) High School, where he was a member of ROTC. He attended the University of California, Berkeley, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1949 and a Ph.D. in biology in 1953. That year, he was hired by Amherst. He made Amherst his home and remained there for the rest of his life.
Bill was committed to teaching and loved being in the classroom and challenging his students to academic rigor. A serious geneticist, he could be seen leaning over a microscope in his lab looking at fruit flies. In addition to teaching biology, he was instrumental in creating an Introduction to Liberal Studies course on Darwin. He was also a member, and often chair, of every major committee of the College. He taught at Amherst for more than four decades, serving as pre-med adviser from 1965 to 1993 before retiring in 1997.
The arrival of grandchildren brought him new joys. In retirement Bill and Rachel split their time between Amherst and Florida and traveled extensively.
Bill had a great sense of humor. He liked to say that there were only two things that he didn’t know. Unfortunately he never shared what these two things were! He was a talented bridge player and enjoyed games of trivia. And whether the Red Sox did well or not, he was a loyal fan, sharing his love of the game with his children and grandchildren. —Marla Hexter