L. Manlius Sargent Jr. ’45
Manny Sargent was born in Boston on Nov. 21, 1922. He attended the Belmont Hill School in Belmont, Mass. His Amherst education was interrupted by service in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He returned to Amherst after the war and received his B.A. in 1948. Manny married Joan Comly Harvey in 1946, and they had four children together: Peter ’69, Pamela, Manny Jr. and Amy ’84.
After college, Manny and Joan settled in Wellesley, Mass. Manny spent several years in the sales department of American Can Co. He enjoyed coaching youth hockey and baseball and in 1960 realized that his true calling was teaching. Manny taught mathematics at several independent schools between 1960 and his retirement in 1988, chiefly at the Governor’s Academy in Byfield, Mass.; Noble & Greenough School in Dedham, Mass.; and Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, Mass., serving as head of the math department at each school. In 1968, Manny took a year off from teaching to attend Bowdoin College, where he earned his M.A. degree in mathematics. Manny was a beloved teacher and coach wherever he taught.
In 1975, Manny, by then divorced from Joan Harvey Sargent, married Mary Hallock Wells, a fellow educator. The Sargents lived in South Natick, Mass., until 1989, when they moved to Bath, Maine, drawn there by Manny’s lifelong love affair with the coast of Maine and with sailing. After he moved to Bath, Manny continued teaching, tutoring and coaching. Over the years, he developed strong friendships with many of his neighbors in Bath, ranging from age 5 to 95. Manny’s zest for life left its mark on many of his friends; he has been an inspiration to us all.
—Peter Sargent ’69 and Amy Sargent Swank ’84
Sanford B. Sternlieb ’46
Sanford B. Sternlieb, M.D., died suddenly but peacefully at home on Dec. 8. He was predeceased by his wife of 57 years, Esther (Iskowitz) in 2003; his brother, Alan ’49, in 2013; and a son, Michael, in 1999. He is survived by two children, Jeffrey ’69 of Wyomissing, Pa., and Susan of Fort Collins, Colo.; seven grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and his companion, Renate Koppelman.
Amherst memories with my dad include my interview for admission with Dean Wilson. He and Dad spent more time talking about Dad’s freshman English class. Being at Amherst was intimidating, and I almost dropped out sophomore year. To my dad’s credit and my benefit, he convinced me to return for the spring semester. Years later, I joined Dad for his 65th reunion. He had donated his collection of 20th-century American art to the Mead Art Museum. There was a ceremony marking the exhibit of these works along with a discussion of the significance of the collection. It was wonderful to see him get this appreciation from his classmates and the College.
Dad enrolled at Amherst in summer 1942, continued in the U.S. Navy’s V-12 program at Williams (serving as a frogman in underwater demolition) and returned to Amherst to graduate. He completed his M.S. in biology at Michigan and his M.D. from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. Following an internship and residency in orthopedic surgery at Philadelphia General Hospital, Dad established Bone and Joint Associates in Wilkes-Barre, where he earned a reputation for excellence in hand surgery and joint replacement.
My father had a strong passion for life and a commitment to education. His only complaint was that there wasn’t enough time to read everything! He left an indelible impact on his family, profession and community. —Jeffrey L. Sternlieb ’69
Robert M. Martin ’49
One of our more colorful classmates—Jones Beach lifeguard, ball turret gunner, Los Angeles prosecutor—Bob passed away Dec. 5, with his beloved wife of 67 years, Monica, at his side. Tragically, she died of a massive stroke eight weeks later.
Born in New York, grew up on Long Island, graduated from Baldwin High School, he turned down a Duke baseball scholarship and followed pals to Ohio State, where all joined Chi Phi.
During World War II he became a B-24 ball turret gunner with the 454th bomber group, 15th Air Force, based in Italy. After the war, he joined us at Amherst, where he sparred regularly with Professor Baird, eventually earning the encomium, “You have been an interesting student.” On Long Island he met Monica Schmid of Switzerland, his future wife.
He went to graduate school at Trinity College in Dublin before they accepted teaching positions at Chadwick School in California. Bob left teaching and entered the aerospace industry, but went to night law school at the University of Southern California, receiving his J.D. in 1965.
Law was his passion, and Governor Reagan appointed him to several boards before he became special assistant to the Los Angeles district attorney, spending 22 years prosecuting serious felonies and in 1989 being voted Prosecutor of the Year.
At age 70, Bob became a pilot, flew Cessna 172s and began to travel extensively—and I do mean all around the world, as we would hear in his letters and conversations.
Thanks to today’s electronics, I was able to watch his memorial service live. Of the many tributes, the most significant was his daughter Tara’s, which captured Bob’s spirit, quoting Dylan Thomas, “Do not go gentle into that good night.” As the service closed, we heard the familiar music of Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman.
He is survived by three children and 10 grandchildren. —Gerry Reilly ’49
David H. Steel ’49
At age 92, Dave passed away on Dec. 7 after a lengthy illness. He was born in Huntingdon, Pa. (incidentally the same hometown as David Kunz ’49), entered Amherst after high school and became a member of the Deke house.
His education was interrupted by World War II, as was the case for many 1949-ers, and he joined the Marine Corps and served in the Pacific Theatre. When he completed college, he pursued a career in pharmacy, becoming a successful businessman.
He owned three pharmacies and two gift shops and eventually moved to hospital practice at Center Community Hospital in State College, Pa., naturally becoming a loyal Penn State football fan.
Keeping busy, he enjoyed the outdoors and gardening and was an avid golfer. He obtained a private pilot’s license and was the family historian. I have been unable to learn more about his flying but hope someone in the class can provide more information on this.
Dave eventually retired to Charlottesville, Va., for many happy years, and I have noted how many well-educated retirees seek an academic community for those later years. Preceded in death by a brother and a sister, he is survived by his loving wife of 35 years, Joy Ann; four children; five grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and his twin sister. —Gerry Reilly ’49
Robert W. Timbie ’49
It is always sad to report these events but hardly surprising for a class that has reached its 70th reunion. Bob passed away peacefully after a short illness on Dec. 6 at age 94 in the company of family and friends.
He graduated from Lowell (Mass.) High School in 1942 and attended American International College in Springfield, Mass., for a year before joining the U.S. Army in 1943. He served as a medic on a troop transport ship, primarily in the Pacific.
After the war, he came to Amherst and was a member of the Lord Jeff Club. (I wonder what the College calls the club today, if there is such a designation.) On a blind date in his senior year, he had the great fortune to meet his future wife, Grace Paddock, who was a student at Mount Holyoke. They married in 1952 and moved to Simsbury, Conn., in 1955. For most of his career, starting in 1950, Bob worked in the group marketing department of Aetna Insurance at the home office in Hartford until he retired in 1986.
He enjoyed the outdoors, photography and reading American history, and he was a railroad enthusiast. A family cottage on Lake Winnipesaukee was a longtime favorite for relaxation and a change of pace. In 2009 he and Grace moved to the RiverWoods retirement community in Exeter, N.H.
A longtime member of St. Albans Episcopal Church in Simsbury, he was noted for his friendliness, concern for others and devotion to Grace, who has suffered from a long illness. In addition to Grace, he is survived by three children and two grandchildren. —Gerry Reilly ’49
Richard A. Leland ’50
Dick died at 91 on Oct. 5, much to my surprise. I had spoken to him a few months earlier, and overall he had been optimistic and enthusiastic.
Dick, who went to Amherst High School, joined Psi Upsilon and played on the baseball team. After Amherst, he worked for International Harvester before going in the Navy from 1952 to 1954.
He then decided to learn about graphic arts and earned a B.S. from Carnegie Mellon in 1956. The rest of his career was spent in advertising and sales, almost entirely on the West Coast. He left California Graphics in 1980 to become vice president of George Rice and Sons, a quality printer, retiring in 1990.
In 1994 the Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce gave Dick its annual award for service. He had adopted a classroom in a public school and was active in Rotary. He also served as an associate class agent.
Dick died in Wilmington, N.C. Our sympathies go out to his wife, Barbara, and his children (whom he shared with his first wife), Richard Jr. ’76, Amity and Katherine.—John Priesing ’50
Philip A. March ’50
Phil passed away at age 92 on Nov. 27 in his hometown of Nashua, N.H. Phil was a veteran of World War II. He served as a hospital corpsman with the Seabees in the Pacific.
At Amherst, he joined Kappa Theta and played in the band. After graduation, he got his doctor of physical medicine from Temple University. For well over 50 years, almost up to his passing, he practiced and was active in podiatry in Nashua. He was a past president of the New Hampshire Podiatry Association. In addition to family, his interests were golf and tennis.
Phil is survived by his wife, Marjorie; sister, Helen Boyd; daughter, Elizabeth; and two sons, Philip “Andy” ’77 and Jonathon “Jon” ’80. Among his six grandchildren is Erik ’21. He is also survived by two stepchildren, Steven Point and Debra O’Mahoney, and two great-grandchildren. Our condolences to the family. —John Priesing ’50
Mercer Cook III ’51
Mercer Cook passed away Jan. 5. After Amherst, Mercer was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study international relations at the Instituts d’Études Politiques in Paris. Thereafter he took up residence in Chicago in 1953, received his law degree from the University of Chicago in 1956, joined the Illinois Bar and spent 10 years in the private practice of law.
The balance of Mercer’s career was devoted to public service, including working for the Cook County Legal Assistance Foundation, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and the state’s attorney’s office, where he held the position of deputy state’s attorney until his retirement in 1993.
He was an expert on city land acquisitions and a seasoned courtroom attorney. In 1993 Mercer participated in the founding of the National Black Prosecutors Association, an organization dedicated, through scholarship programs and public forums, to promoting the advancement of Blacks as prosecutors for state and local governments.
Mercer recalled that being at Amherst was a wonderful experience. Both history professor Dwight Salmon, for whom he graded examinations, and Geoffrey Atkinson, his honors professor with whom he met three times a week one on one, provided him with stimulating learning experiences.
Aside from work, Mercer was an avid reader and a golf enthusiast.
As writer of this piece, I recall I always enjoyed my five or so phone visits with Mercer during my 13 years as class secretary or co-secretary. We shared similar golf round experiences!
He is survived by his wife, and by three of his four children from his first marriage. —Everett E. Clark ’51
William L. Hanaway ’51
World traveler, professor and serious hiker Bill Hanaway died on Dec. 30.
After Amherst, Bill spent four years as an officer in the U.S. Navy (1951 to 1956). In 1957 he earned a master’s degree in Iranian studies. Bill received a master’s from Columbia University in library science in 1959 and worked at the New York Public Library until 1964. In 1979 he earned a Ph.D. in Iranian studies from Columbia University.
He taught at the University of Pennsylvania from 1970 to 1995. He became chairman of Asian studies in 1981.
Bill married Lorraine Kure in 1959, and they lived for many years in Wayne, Pa. The Hanaways had one child, Annie, who is a practicing therapist. During Bill’s career, they lived at various times in Iran, England and Italy. In addition, Bill traveled extensively in Iran, Afghanistan and around the Middle East.
In 1981 Bill was cofounder of American Overseas Research Centers, which create opportunities to bring people together to facilitate change, growing and understanding. This flourishing worldwide organization provides programs and fellowships to visit and carry out research with emphasis in the Middle East and Far East.
Bill and Lorraine, had many hobbies together. They hiked all over the country, including 1,000 miles on the Appalachian Trail, Glacier Park, the White Mountains and the Green Mountains. They hiked in northern Pakistan as well. Bill was an opera fan and played chess weekly with a friend during his retirement days.
The class extends its sincere sympathy to Lorraine and Annie. We can all agree that Bill had a unique and productive life on his own terms—as usual. —Tom Bushman ’51
Byron Tanner Foster ’53
By Foster was a leader for our class and the College in many areas and times. At Amherst he was managing editor of the Olio and vice president of Phi Alpha Psi. Later he served as class president and associate class agent and as president for the Amherst Associations of both New York and Wisconsin.
By also was one of the earliest members of the original Zumbyes. For our 50th reunion he had the LP recording of the Zumbyes, DQ and glee club made into CDs, which he distributed in advance for our many singing members, to stimulate our vocal chords and enthusiasm for Amherst songs.
By had a passion for music and performing arts his whole life, starting with the church choir in his youth in Cleveland, then with the Glee Club and Zumbyes at Amherst and with the Blue Hill Troupe in New York and Skylight Music Theatre in Milwaukee.
After graduation he served in the U.S. Coast Guard for two years in Hawaii, earned an M.B.A. from Harvard and a law degree from New York University and then pursued a business career with Goldman Sachs and, later, with Merrill Lynch, Arthur Young and his own consulting firm.
By Foster died on Jan. 16. His wife of 51 years, Suzy, preceded him. He leaves daughters Laurel and Elizabeth and two grandchildren, Langdon and Tinsley. The family remembers him “as a dear friend to many, a true lifelong learner, dedicated father, model train and classic car enthusiast, world traveler and avid reader.” His Amherst friends remember him for his high energy, friendliness, positive outlook and good humor, and for his help in keeping alive Amherst as a singing college. —George Edmonds ’53
James W. Clyne ’54
Jim died on Feb. 1. Until the previous day, he had lived at home in Delmar, N.Y. His house was next door to his childhood home.
Jim’s wife, Diane, died in 1984. He is survived by four children, Christine Clyne ’80 (Edward Beecher ’81) of Tamworth, N.H.; James W. Clyne Jr. (Shauneen McNally) of Delmar; Elizabeth Clyne of Delmar; and Carolyn Clyne (Andrew Ross) of Sandy, Utah. He is also survived by six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, and by longtime friend Debby Greer, who joined him at many class reunions.
Jim came to Amherst from Bethlehem Central High School, where he lettered in football, basketball and baseball. At Amherst he majored in American studies and was a mainstay of the basketball team, the quintessential sixth man, regularly teaming with Tony Mahar ’54 in the backcourt. He played a leadership role in the Theta Delt house as well, serving as co-rushing chairman junior year and president our senior year.
After Amherst, Jim graduated from Albany Law School and served in the U.S. Air Force as judge advocate general. He returned to Albany and joined the New York State Insurance Department, where he had a distinguished career, rising to deputy superintendent with responsibility for regulatory oversight of all health and life insurers. He took up golf and played well until shortly before his death, and he never stopped rooting for his beloved New York Giants, Boston Celtics and St. Louis Cardinals.
Jim was a natural leader, made all the more effective by his quiet confidence and wry humor. He devoted this talent to the things that were important to him—his work, religion, sports and especially family and friends. As Debby has said, “He made all of us who knew him well, better people.” —Chris Clyne ’80 and Cliff Storms ’54
John C. Sherman ’54
A Facebook posting from a California friend, perhaps a first for our class, alerted us to the death of John C. “Jack” Sherman on Feb. 15.
Jack came to Amherst from Mamaroneck (N.Y.) High School and was a member of Phi Delta Theta. He became associate editor of the Amherst Student and was a member of the Debating Society and Delta Sigma Rho. His major was political science. He was a good student and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Following graduation, Jack served three years as a navigator in the U.S. Air Force with the Eighth Squadron, 62nd troop carrier wing at Larson Air Force Base, Moses Lake, Wash. He married Elinor Hafstad in 1957. In 1959, he received his M.B.A. from Harvard.
Jack was employed for 32 years by Transamerica Corp. in a number of roles after short stops at Union Oil Co. and Security Pacific Bank, rising to president and director of Transamerica Investment.
Jack was predeceased by Elinor and one grandson. He is survived by his four children, Kenneth (Mi Kyong), a special education teacher; Tinka (Gary Crosby), a registrar at the University of Denver; Kristy (Kevin Colaco), a businesswoman; and Tod (Michelle) in government in Minnesota. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Jack’s interests included Civil War history and World War II history and collectibles. He served as president of the Los Angeles Society of Financial Analysts during his time at Transamerica.
Friends remember him as a happy person with a big smile on his face and so very proud of his family. He is reputed to have traced up to 1,500 members of his family through ancestry.com dating back to the 1500s. —Hank Tulgan ’54
Jack H. Vining Sr. ’54
I received word from a former high school classmate that Jack Vining died at home in Columbia, Conn., on Feb. 2 following complications of a stroke. Jack was born in New Haven, Conn., and came to Willimantic, Conn., in 1948, where we played football together. Following high school, Jack spent a year at Deerfield Academy. At Amherst, Jack played football and lacrosse and was a member of Deke. He left after his sophomore year and attended Hillyer College in Hartford, where he was a member of ROTC, and then entered the Navy with the rank of lieutenant. While stationed in Puerto Rico he met Madge Alexander, a teacher at the Puerto Rico U.S. government school. They were married in Monticello, Fla., in 1958.
Jack then began an 18-year career with the Friendly Ice Cream Corp. before leaving in 1977 to buy a Dairy Queen franchise in Manchester, Conn.
Jack continued his military affiliation by joining the National Guard and was frequently a member of honor guards for military funerals. He was an avid skier, serving on ski patrols at various resorts throughout New England, and has been honored for his ski patrol service. In retirement, Jack and Madge enjoyed worldwide travel, including stays at their homes in Siesta Key, Fla., and Freeport in the Bahamas.
In addition to Madge, his wife of 60 years, Jack is survived by son Mark Vining; daughter Debbie Forde and husband Jim; son Jay and wife Sue; and daughter Lynsie White and husband David, as well as eight grandchildren. —Jack Hargreaves ’54
Robert M. Blumenberg ’55
Bob came to the College from high school in Gloversville, N.Y. He died on Dec. 2, in Portsmouth, N.H. As an undergraduate, Bob majored in biology, worked on the Student and was a catcher on the freshman baseball team. As one of four honor students of Professor Schotte, he was first introduced to the challenge of micro-surgery.
Upon graduation from Amherst, Bob earned his M.D. from Albany Medical College and spent several years gaining training in his chosen field of vascular surgery. In July 1965 he began a three-year stint with the Army that included nearly two years on Okinawa, where he treated Vietnam War wounded.
His military service completed, Bob “hung out his shingle” and opened his own vascular surgery practice in Schenectady, N.Y. Eventually he added two partners as the practice thrived. The group wrote numerous papers about vascular surgery. Bob held leadership positions in surgical and vascular medical societies. He also served as a professor at Albany Medical College.
Since Schenectady was a fairly short drive to Amherst, Bob became a regular at our reunions and homecomings. Upon retirement, he enjoyed recreational reading, golf, skiing and travel. He bred Golden Retrievers and wrote autobiographical fiction. In the early 2000s, Bob and wife Gayle divided their time between Naples, Fla., and Nantucket, Mass. A few years ago, they moved permanently to Portsmouth.
Bob appreciated the quality of the people he met at Amherst. He felt privileged to know his classmates and count them as friends. Bob was forever grateful for his Amherst experience.
He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Gayle; three children; and a stepson. We are grateful to have had Bob as a classmate. His outgoing, friendly spirit was noted by all. —Rob Sowersby ’55
Charles G. Kopp ’55
Charlie died on Feb. 6. He grew up in Avon, Conn., and came to Amherst from Suffield Academy. As an undergraduate, he was an Alpha Delt, played freshman baseball and was a political science major. Charlie’s campus activities included involvement with the Chest Drive, FBM, Olio, Pre-Law Club and Student Council.
After Amherst, Charlie spent two years in the Air Force and then went to Pennsylvania Law School, graduating in 1960. He joined a long time Philadelphia law firm, where he spent the rest of his life, primarily as a tax lawyer. Indicative of his leadership abilities and the respect in which he was held by fellow workers, Charlie was co-chair of the firm’s executive committee and co-managing partner from 1985 to 1995. He never officially retired. Charlie had the reputation of always being impeccably dressed!
Over the years, Charlie became a Republican fundraiser on the national, state and local levels. He served in leadership positions for numerous candidates. As a result of those activities, he was appointed to several governmental organizations. One of which Charlie was very proud was the Delaware River Port Authority. He stated that Philadelphia, in spite of being an inland port, was among the top locations on the East Coast for freight movement by ships.
Although we did not see Charlie at our reunions or other College alumni activities, he had deep appreciation for his Amherst education. In our 50th reunion book, he indicated that the College gave him a foundation for honesty and integrity. It educated him on how people of class and character conduct themselves. Charlie was a quick learner on how to treat others. —Rob Sowersby ’55
Charles F. “Chip” Merrill ’55
Chip died on Feb. 3 of natural causes. He came to Amherst from Mendham, N.J., the Morristown School and a long line of Amherst grads, including his father, grandfather and even a great-grandfather. At the suggestion of Dean Porter, Chip left Amherst and served in the Army from 1954 to 1956. He returned to the College to graduate in 1957. During this time, Chip married Suzanne France.
Following this rocky road for Chip and his Amherst education, things turned bright for him as a successful banker. He started with Manufacturers Hanover as a loan officer. Chip became a specialist in turning failing banks into profitable enterprises. This led him into executive positions at the Bank of North Carolina in Raleigh and two banks near Harrisburg, Pa. He retired in 1995 but later became one of the organizers and on the board of Legacy Bank in Harrisburg.
Chip and Suzie attended our 50th reunion in 2005, arriving on a Wednesday and participating in our class activities. Then, early that Friday morning, they drove to Bradley Field and flew to Wisconsin to attend the graduation that evening of a grandchild. The very next morning, the Merrills hopped on a plane back to Bradley and thence to Amherst, where they were just in time for the finale to our reunion—the Saturday night banquet. Amazing!
As one might expect, Chip was always active in community affairs wherever he lived. In his leisure time, he enjoyed tennis, bicycling, travel, platform tennis, bridge and golf. Several years ago, the Merrills moved to a CCRC near Harrisburg. There Chip did all of the cooking for the two of them and served as primary caregiver for Suzie. She survives Chip, as do their three children, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. —Rob Sowersby ’55
John J. Shillington Jr. ’55
John died on Dec. 24 following a brief illness. He came to Amherst from Webster Groves High School near St. Louis, the son of a 1929 Amherst graduate. As an undergraduate, John was academically a history major but actually an activities minor. He was involved with the Chest Drive, Managerial Association and Olio. John was chairman of the Prom Committee. As a result of his various involvements, he was elected to Sphinx our junior year.
Tick Litchfield ’55 and John lived on the same floor in James freshman year, and they became good friends. The Litchfields hosted John for Thanksgiving in Mamaroneck every year plus a few vacations. Tick was manager of the track team in 1954–55, and John was his assistant. The two of them traveled with the team to Florida senior year, where, in addition to track duties, they enjoyed parties at the homes of Amherst alumni in Miami. Tick is a godfather of the Shillingtons’ oldest child.
After Amherst, John spent two years in counterintelligence with the U.S. Army in Japan before joining the family business, Shillington Box Co., a third-generation corrugated box manufacturer. He was president for 34 years. John enjoyed traveling, nature, wildlife and photography. He had a cabin in Defiance, Mo., for weekend getaways from managing his company.
In December 1955, John married Jacqueline Rowe, his wife of 63 years. They had two daughters, a son and nine grandchildren. All survive him. In the last decade, John and his two sons-in-law worked together to grow Missouri grapes and run a winery. John’s managerial acumen was appreciated by all with whom he came in contact. John was a quality gentlemen and a credit to our class. —Rob Sowersby ’55
David N. Weinman ’55
Dave passed away in his home in Alexandria, Va., on Dec. 15 after a brief illness. Dave and I were good friends and Theta Xi fraternity brothers at Amherst. A few years ago, my wife, Elin, and I relocated to Northern Virginia and had the pleasure to see Dave and his partner, Patricia Schoeni, more frequently.
I will never forget Dave’s 75th birthday party, held at a dive Turkish restaurant in Arlington, Va., in 2009 and attended by a large group of friends from all aspects of his life. Toasts were made by Dave’s friends: from Amherst College (me), his graduate school at the University of Michigan, his service as the first Peace Corps director in Turkey, fellow retired federal government colleagues from the Office of Economic Opportunity, Office of Management and Budget, Health and Human Services and members of the team responsible for forming the Department of Education. In addition, recent clients attended and spoke from College Match, his consulting firm that provided college advisory guidance to countless high school students.
As the group saluted Dave, there were several consistent themes: his idealism, inspired first by JFK; his passion for public service; and his curiosity about people, politics and the world. Dave was a Renaissance man, a brilliant and innovative policy person in presidential administrations from LBJ to Reagan. However, the most striking thing about this gathering was the number of guests who benefited over the years from having Dave as a mentor and friend. Dave was always available for college and career advice. So Dave’s idealistic urging that young people consider public service is a true and impressive legacy.
Dave is survived by his partner, Pat Schoeni; his son, Todd Weinman; Todd’s wife, Mariel Hagan; and his grandson, Duncan Weinman. —Bill Frymoyer ’55
Thomas A. Wilson ’55
Tom Wilson crossed the river on Dec. 22 following a courageous battle against severe lung disease. His sweetheart, Randee Laikind; his faithful dog, Calvin; and his family were present. We will miss his special ways. As Tom had planned a “green burial” (Google it) followed on Dec. 28 at the West Leyden Cemetery in Leyden, Mass. His biodegradable coffin was made by his son, Tom Jr., and his stepson, Wyatt.
After Amherst, Tom attended and graduated from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry in 1959. He developed a successful dental practice in Shelburne Falls, Mass.
Tom was a political activist and tax resister. He taught classes in nonviolent resistance, participated in numerous protest demonstrations and campaigned for what he believed in. Risking accusations and threats from the government were part of the territory. Many of his dental endeavors resulted in bartering as payment.
Tom Jr. has two restaurants (Reunion and Playa Betty) in Manhattan. His twin, Becky, teaches at Martha’s Vineyard High School. Mother Joan also lives on the Vineyard. Daughter Kara is an intensive care nurse in the Seattle area. Son Dan and family live in Shelburne Falls.
Tom’s activities led to many special friendships. A memorial celebration for Tom is being planned for later this year. To the end he always advocated for the individual and for common sense solutions. Terras Irradient.
—Harry Wilson ’52
William R. Baird ’56
Bill died Feb. 4 in his birthplace and lifelong hometown, Akron, Ohio. He came to Amherst from Buchtel High. He is survived by Patricia, his wife of 57 years; two daughters; and two grandsons.
After Amherst, where he was a Deke and political science major, Bill received his J.D. from Case Western Reserve in 1959. First, private practice; then county prosecutor; 1966, appointed law director for City of Akron; 1976, his first elected office, common pleas judge; 1983, appointment to vacancy in the Ninth District Ohio Court of Appeals, being re-elected four times before retiring in 2004. He spent summers teaching aspiring judges at the National Judicial College in Reno, Nev. After retirement he received a prestigious award for professional excellence as a member of the Akron legal community.
In retirement Bill and Pat made a remarkable segue from the law to alpaca farming, with a herd that peaked at 26. Bill kept busy caring for the alpacas and their babies, shearing their wool and shoveling a fair amount of alpaca output, until hanging up the shovel in 2014.
Bill was a wonderful, clever, fun roommate, full of imagination and unique ideas. Among those that can be told: he was one of the organizers of a trip to Cuba during spring break senior year, 1956, where about a dozen Dekes drove all the way from Amherst to Key West, chartered a yacht, sailed to Havana through a tropical depression (all hands were quite sick and spent a lot of time at the ship’s railing) and moored at the Havana Yacht Club, sleeping alfresco on the main deck. Fidel Castro was mobilizing in the hills, resulting in armed machine gunners we could see on the roofs of the Batista regime government buildings.
More colorful stories upon request. Rest in peace, Bill, and thanks for the memories. —Peter Levison ’56
William Q. Ascari ’57
From his home in Wallingford, Conn., and his good preparation at Choate, Bill brought to the college his height, optimism and broad smile. In his summer after junior year—with aid from a tubby Holland-American ship, a yellow Legnano bicycle and a ready Eurorail pass—he cast his smile upon Milan, Venice, London, Edinburgh and other points in Europe. And in that summer, he met Laura Porter (she of the red-ribbon gondolier’s hat), whom he would marry in 1958.
In senior year, he turned from basketball and crew at the College to
take up deadline-driven work for a newspaper publisher in Greenfield, Mass. But he had fulfilled enough requirements to qualify for medical school and could enjoy the pleasures of his major in English. By then he knew that he wanted a career as a pathologist. He made the most of his medical school years at Penn. And he weathered the chaos of a residency at Bellevue.
He flourished as a pathologist in and around Somerville, Mass., and enjoyed teaching medical students at Rutgers-Newark. He served as an expert witness in asbestos-mesothelioma litigation—over and over.
His second marriage, to Elisabeth, a native of Holland, brought with it an opportunity to live in the Caribbean, where, on Saint Maarten, he taught in its medical school. After Elisabeth’s illness and death, he married Nicole, of French-Canadian heritage, and lived in Pennsylvania and in Maryland. Nicole brought him great happiness.
Of all the influences on him, he valued most his medical training at Penn. In his last years, he endured discomfort from a pancreatic disorder—about which he knew all too much. Life experiences and the illness sought to wear away at his smile, but even at the last, he could—and did—still flash it. —Robert Allen ’55
Thomas D. Herzog ’57
Tom Herzog, who died in his sleep on Jan. 27, was a man who had found his place in the world and left it better than he found it. That place was South Salem in Westchester County, N.Y. Over the course of 60 years Tom had a 33-year career as an elementary school teacher and principal, followed by seven years in town politics. He served three terms as town supervisor—a combination of manager and mayor. There he worked to protect the natural world and to enhance the quality of life in his community.
He and his wife, Mary Andrews (a Smithie whose Amherst roots went back to her grandfather, father, uncles and brother), were active in the local amateur theatre. He was a member of the South Salem Volunteer Fire Department for more than 50 years and was president of the library board, a promoter of affordable housing and, before the years caught up with him, managed and pitched in the men’s softball league. He was a Yankees fan and an active supporter of local Little League teams. And he was an obsessive gardener, specializing in little tomato plants.
At Amherst, Tom was notorious for his ever-present pipe, his Sphinx hat pulled low and his wry and perceptive sense of humor. He majored in English, and worked on The Student, the literary magazine and the College Chest Drive. Phi Psi was his fraternity, and his final year there was notable for the presence of his two cats, God and Dammit, who lived in the closet they shared with Zog, Harold Haizlip ’57, Bill Patrick ’57 and me. Tom loved Amherst, served a term as class secretary and returned whenever he could.
He leaves Mary, for whom he cared with great devotion these past years, and his sons, Charlie, Jimmy and Will. —John Thompson ’57
William McCall Vickery ’57
William Vickery died on Feb. 4, 2019, at Mass. General Hospital.
Bill was one of my closest friends, an usher at my wedding 55 years ago and a regular luncheon partner at the Red Lion in Sturbridge. I will miss Bill greatly. He was a good man in every respect. (B.K.)
There was no aspect of Amherst’s mission that did not interest him, no project too big or too small for his input, no area of the College that did not benefit from his energetic, wry and deeply insightful engagement. Bill was brilliant, urbane, opinionated, observant and one of a kind. (B.M.)
Bill was class agent; class president; board member and president of the New York Alumni Association; member and chairman of the executive committee of the Alumni Council; and Alumni Fund chairman. He was a Board of Governors founding member for the Emily Dickinson Museum and a Friends of the Amherst College Library life member. He served on the Amherst Inn Co. (Inn at Boltwood) Board and multiple Friends of Athletics committees. He was a singularly unique figure; as a local alum who supported the College as an employee, volunteer and donor, he was involved with the College in so many ways. (K.W.)
Bill was awarded the Medal for Eminent Service in 1979 and the Distinguished Service Award in 1983 and 2001. The William McCall Vickery 1957 Professorship honors a senior faculty member distinguished by and dedicated to the teaching and research of art history or musicology. The College’s #1 Squash Court, the exhibition court, is the “William McCall Vickery ’57 Court,” where his chair will remain. Bill’s mark is across virtually every aspect of campus—he was a devoted friend to and supporter of our college. (B.H. and B.C.S.) —Bob Keiter ’57, President Biddy Martin, Chief Financial Officer Kevin Weinman, Betsy Cannon Smith ’84 and Bill Hart ’69
Rody Patterson Biggert ’58
Rody Biggert died of leukemia on Nov. 15 in Hinsdale, Ill., where he resided most of his adult life. He is survived by Judith, his wife of 55 years; four children; and nine grandchildren.
Rody came to Amherst from Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., where he participated in every extracurricular sport, club and publication he could find.
At Amherst Rody majored in economics and pledged Chi Psi, serving as social chairman junior year. He had an active social life, joined the glee club and sailing club and played tennis, soccer and squash, in which he earned freshman numerals. He also learned perseverance through taking challenging courses, a trait that he later said served him well in his professional life as a litigator.
After serving in the U.S. Army Reserve, Rody enrolled in Northwestern University Law School, where he met Judith Borg (B.A., Stanford ’57; J.D., Northwestern Law ’63). In 1963, he graduated from Northwestern and married Judith. They had three daughters and a son. Judith had a noteworthy legal and political career, serving in the U.S. Congress from 1999 to 2013 and in the Illinois General Assembly from 1993 to 1998.
Two days after their wedding, Rody joined the distinguished Chicago-based law firm of Seyfarth Shaw, specializing in employment and labor law. Over 38 years with the firm, he represented a number of eminent corporate clients.
After retiring from the firm in 2001, Rody worked as an arbitrator for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, negotiating settlements among those in financial disputes. He served on various civic boards and, of course, pitched in to assist Judith during her biannual election campaigns.
Rody continued to play tennis, squash and golf and, as often as possible, took his growing family on bare boat sailing charters in the Caribbean. —John Davenport ’58 and Ned Megargee ’58
Stephen Leonard Dinces ’58
Stephen Dinces, my good friend and Chi Phi roommate, died from Parkinson’s disease Feb. 10, 2017. In our 50th reunion class book, he described himself as a “happy camper” who had “a lifelong love affair with Amherst.”
Steve, who majored in economics, came to Amherst from Cedarhurst, N.Y. His managerial talent was evident in his Amherst activities: vice president of Chi Phi, Mardi Gras business manager, Chest Drive, House Management Committee and Harlan Fiske Stone Law Society.
Steve was quiet and hard-working, with a good sense of humor. Although he described himself as shy and introverted at Amherst, he blossomed at Yale Law School, where he made many good friends. While at Yale, he married Gale, his longtime girlfriend and the love of his life. Over the course of their 68-year marriage, they had three children, one of whom graduated from Amherst in 1987, and four grandchildren.
After Yale, Steve joined a prestigious Wall Street legal firm in 1962. He made partner in 1970 and remained with the firm for 35 years, retiring in 1996. Soon after, he began his second legal career as vice president and deputy general counsel at the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Co. (“Freddie Mac”) for seven years, retiring permanently in 2005.
With four grandchildren living within a half hour, Steve became the quintessential doting grandfather. He had regular lunches with eight fellow retirees, took up golf and enjoyed going into the city to explore areas he had never visited. He and Gale subscribed to the opera and the ballet and attended Jets games. Foreign travel included trips to Israel and France. As his Parkinson’s progressed, he had to cut back on activities involving travel, but he continued to enjoy his family, especially the grandchildren. —Ned Megargee ’58
Thomas Carey Gorman ’58
Thomas Gorman of Jupiter, Fla., died in the hospital of multiple causes on Dec. 15 with his wife and children by his side. Tom came to Amherst from Swampscott (Mass.) High School, where he played baseball, basketball and football and received statewide All-Star recognition.
At Amherst, Tom majored in economics, pledged Chi Phi and was elected to Sphinx and Scarab. He won freshman numerals in baseball, football and basketball (which he captained) and varsity letters every year in baseball and football, which he also captained, being selected to the Little All-American football team senior year.
After graduation, Tom served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps in California and Southeast Asia as an officer in a combat-ready battalion landing team from 1958 to 1961, retiring with the rank of major. While in the Marines, Tom married Karen Giesen, the love of his life, in San Diego (with Joe attending.)
After leaving the service, Tom earned his M.B.A. at New York University and joined Equitable Life in New York as a management trainee. Over 25 years, he rose to the rank of senior officer in the investment unit and president of a subsidiary company, Calvin Bullock. He later founded and ran an investment consulting business for high net-worth individuals.
In 1983, Tom was elected our class president at our 25th reunion.
At age 50, Tom retired to focus on golf, joining a number of prestigious clubs. He also enjoyed other outdoor sports such as sailing, slow pitch softball and skiing with Karen and their children. He and Karen began spending winters in Florida, eventually selling their Connecticut home and moving to Jupiter in 2011.
In addition to Karen, his wife of 57 years, Tom is survived by his son and daughter, their respective spouses and five grandchildren. —Joe McDonald ’58 and Ned Megargee ’58
Archibald Talbot “Tab” Hodge ’58
Tab Hodge died peacefully at age 82 after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s, survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Suzanne. They had two sons (Jay and Edgar), a daughter (Laura) and seven grandchildren (including Christopher Hodge ’17).
Hailing from Honeoye Falls, N.Y., Tab majored in biology and pledged Phi Delta Sigma (vice president). Without telling his parents, he began sports-car racing. Junior year, he married high school sweetheart Suzanne Quinlan, whose faith was so important to her that he gladly converted to Catholicism, marrying in the Catholic Church in Amherst. (Suzie later graduated from Harvard Divinity School.)
Tab wrote: “Relative to work, I still cannot believe I got … exactly where I wanted to be. … I think a lot about the role … luck … played in my career.” After Amherst, Tab entered the University of Rochester Medical School. Inspired by a chance meeting with an orthodontist, he switched to the Harvard School of Dental Medicine (D.M.D. 1964) and postdoc at Boston University’s School of Dental Medicine. Tab began a private practice, Scituate Orthodontics Inc., in Scituate, Mass., in 1966, eventually passing the practice to his elder son, Jay, in 1994.
Tab’s skills and concern for patients brought a new smile and joy to many. Jay describes him as a strong family man and a role model in dentistry and business.
Tab and Suzie traveled extensively: the Caribbean, Europe, Kenya, Nepal. They retraced the pilgrimages of the early Christian saints and enjoyed watching sunsets together with family and friends. Tab wrote, “Suzie and I … found … adventure and discovery slow the onrush of time. … [S]ecret anchorages, deserted beaches, new reefs to snorkel, different cultures … , food and marketplaces [are] very exciting and challenging.” A well-lived life. He will be greatly missed. —Win Smith ’58 and Ned Megargee ’58
Culver Arthur “Cal” Hooker ’58
Cal Hooker passed away peacefully at his home in Apache Junction, Ariz., on June 7, after living a long, full life.
The son of Edward W. Hooker ’21, Cal came to Amherst from Waupon, Wis. Remembered by fellow residents of Morrow’s fourth floor as a “big guy” with a winning smile who favored Western attire, he left Amherst during or immediately after our first semester freshman year.
Cal subsequently enrolled in Colorado College, graduating in 1958. He moved to the western United States in the 1960s, settling in the small town of Apache Junction, Ariz., near the Apache reservation at the foot of his beloved Superstition Mountains, the reputed site of the fabled “Lost Dutchman’s” gold mine. Cal enjoyed the outdoors and is remembered for having “an infinite love of dogs.”
According to his obituary, Cal is survived by a son, Thomas Thiel; a fiancé, Virginia Schweiter; a granddaughter, Breanna Thiel; and a sister, Nancy Hall. —Ned Megargee ’58
Eric Daniel Lanphere ’58
My longtime friend and fraternity brother Eric Lanphere died unexpectedly Nov. 9. His son told me that despite his long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease, Eric was kind, humble, compassionate, joyful and selfless to the very end.
At Amherst, Eric played intramural baseball and football, majored in political science and pledged Delta Kappa Epsilon, where he served as intramural chairman. He served on the Intramural Council, chaired the Blood Drive and belonged to the Harlan Fiske Stone Law Society.
After Amherst, Eric attended the University of Michigan law school and served two years in the U.S. Army at Fort Knox, Ky., before beginning the practice of law in Albuquerque, N.M.
Like his parents, Eric was a man of great integrity, with exceptionally strong views on the ethical obligations of the legal profession. When instructed to file a motion he believed to be ill-advised and unethical, he quit his job in open court (and was immediately hired by the senior partner of one of Albuquerque’s finest firms). In one lengthy libel trial, he prevailed 10-2 over none other than F. Lee Bailey.
Eric and I got together most years. About 1968, I introduced Eric to his future wife of 48 years, Carolyn, who brought two beautiful teenage daughters to their marriage, girls he would love as his own. Together they had a son, Eric Cessna Lanphere. Emulating his own father, Eric Sr. spent many hours guiding his children and, later, his five grandchildren, creating and modeling a character compass that would lead them in their treatment of others and in establishing a work ethic.
The federal judge who delivered his eulogy praised Eric as a brilliant and courageous trial attorney who was kind and considerate of all and stood unwaveringly for the truth. Eric will be missed by all. —George Willis ’58
Ronald Earl Sherman ’58
Ronald Sherman died peacefully Sept. 15. from complications of Parkinson’s disease. He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Trish McEvoy, and by his sister and twin brother, as well as their spouses and many nieces and nephews.
Ron came to Amherst from Englewood (N.J.) High School, where he was class valedictorian and captained the tennis team. At Amherst, he majored in biology and pledged Chi Phi. Ron was sports editor of the Olio, worked on the Student and joined the Premedical Club.
After graduating from New York University Medical School in 1962 and interning at Montefiore Hospital, Ron served two years as a physician in the U.S. Coast Guard, traveling extensively and, according to his memoir in our 25th reunion class book, learning “that the real world, unlike Amherst, is coed—a discovery that at the time seemed sufficiently remarkable to require extensive research.”
Following his U.S. Coast Guard service, Ron completed his residency in dermatology at Mt. Sinai Hospital, becoming a diplomate of the National Board of Dermatology.
“For the next 10 years,” Ron wrote in 1983, “I operated a private practice, taught dermatology at Mt. Sinai and lived as an unshakably confirmed bachelor.” Bachelorhood ended when he met, collaborated with and married Patricia “Trish” McEvoy, a skin care specialist and makeup artist. “To believe our own press clippings,” Ron wrote, “Trish and I run a glittering business catering to the world’s top models and theatrical personalities as well as the general public.” However, he reported, no matter how beautiful the patient, psoriasis is still just psoriasis, especially at 8 a.m.
In later years, Ron reduced his practice to enjoy long weekends with Trish at their Southampton summer home, relaxing and reading Russian history and biographies. After his diagnosis, he and Trish became fervent supporters of the Michael J. Fox Foundation. —Ned Megargee ’58
Howard Bennett Wolman ’58
Howard Wolman died after a lengthy struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. He is survived by his life partner, Dennis Hudson, as well as by a niece and a nephew and their respective spouses and children.
A classics major, Howard came to Amherst from Baltimore. He pledged Theta Delta Chi, was solicitations chairman of the Chest Drive and belonged to the Christian Association, Debate Council, Intramural Council and Masquers. Moe Wolff ’58 remembers him as a “wonderful man with an infectious laugh and an ever-present smile.”
After dating “a lively girl from a nearby college” for three years, Howard wrote in our 50th reunion book, “I realized I really was gay.” While earning his master’s and doctoral degrees in classics at Johns Hopkins, Howard met Dennis Hudson who “became a good friend … , then became a very, very good friend!”
They moved together to New York in 1968. Howard taught classics at Brooklyn College, rising to the rank of full professor before retiring in 1998 to join Dennis, who had recently moved to Key West.
“I quickly became a Key Wester,” Howard later wrote. He taught literature courses to adults at Key West Community College, sang basso profundo in the Keys Chorale and served on the boards of several community nonprofit and civic organizations.
After Howard was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2008, Dennis became his devoted caregiver. In 2016 they moved to a total care facility in Boca Raton, Fla.—Dennis in independent living while Howard entered assisted living, later transferring to the memory care unit. There he died of a heart attack on Oct. 11. After a shiva gathering on Nov. 7, Howard’s ashes are being distributed among his favorite places around the world. —Ned Megargee ’58
Jay Gold Barnett ’60
After graduating from Amherst, Jay Barnett attended medical school in Syracuse, N.Y.; did an internship in Greenwich, Conn.; and completed his residency in dermatology at New York University. He served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force with time spent in Thailand during the Vietnam War.
Jay was a board-certified dermatologist for more than 40 years. Recognized internationally, he published many articles as a pioneer in hair transplant surgery and in the use of liquid injectable silicone to treat acne scars, aging lines and other facial problems. He provided care for HIV and AIDS patients in the 1980s and 1990s, welcoming all patients without judgment. He received the President’s Award from the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery. He occupied an office in a brownstone on East 70th Street in New York, and lived above it. Jay was described as “a gregarious fixture of that neighborhood.” In later years he practiced for “a glittering clientele” with his daughter, Dr. Channing R. Barnett.
Jay frequently attended dermatological meetings in San Francisco, where he would meet for meals with Reuben Clay ’60 and Russ Kirschenbaum ’60, but, mysteriously, never simultaneously. He and Reuben shared annual phone conversations about the “state of the world.” Similarly he and Russ talked annually just before Rosh Hashanah. Tony Alonso ’60 remembers last seeing Jay at a medical meeting at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Fla., where Jay “was full of life and a delight.” Dick Weisfelder ’60 witnessed Jay starring in basketball for Riverdale Country School, a role Jay reprised at Amherst, where he majored in biology. Jay also competed in high school football against future classmate Pete Gilbert ’60, who played for rival Poly Prep.
Jay is survived by his wife of 45 years, Donna; a sister, Serena Weisberg; children Franya, Dov and Channing; nine grandchildren; and his beloved dog, Chase. —Reuben A. Clay ’60, Russ Kirschenbaum ’60, Tony Alonso ’60 and Dick Weisfelder ’60
Peter R. Gilbert ’60
Peter Gilbert’s death from recurrent prostate cancer elicited a flood of memories. Russ Kirschenbaum ’60 met Peter “at Racquet Lake Boys Camp when we were 9. We shared a bunk and a canoe, with me in the bow and Peter guiding in the stern. In spring of senior year in high school we were, coincidentally, in line at the Roosevelt Hotel ballroom to see Louis Armstrong. We compared college application destinations and agreed to accept and be roommates at Amherst if we were both admitted. We did, and we were.”
Paul Strohm ’60 remembered that “Peter set the highest standards for himself but was never over-solemn about it. He moderated a rock show on Amherst radio as ‘King Pete the Man with a Beat’ and appeared in a town parade, wearing a cloak and golden crown, mobbed by enthusiastic fans. His seriousness about his studies put him into Harvard Law School, but he also played sports and was president of Phi Gamma Chi.
Paul and David Purdy ’60 recalled “his robust political values. Peter led classmates who traveled to Washington to picket the White House in support of the sit-ins for civil rights. He demonstrated personal bravery when he worked in Mississippi for voter registration and assisted in James Meredith’s university admission.” His letters home were included in the Purdys’ book on the civil rights movement.
Peter practiced law for 45 years, where he “enjoyed learning about different businesses, handling complex transactions and dealing with cultural challenges in a multinational context.” His “transactional legal work” usually “permitted everyone to walk away from the completed deal with a smile.” This exemplifies Peter’s commitment to conciliatory, warm relationships. Peter leaves his cherished wife, Robin; two sons, Richard and Jeffrey; and his adored grandchildren, Samantha, Jake, Lexie, Grayson and Zach. —David Purdy ’60, Russell Kirschenbaum ’60, Paul Strohm ’60 and Richard Weisfelder ’60
William Robert Perkins ’61
Bob Perkins died Dec. 5 at age 79 of gastric cancer complicated by Parkinson’s disease. He is survived by his wife, Ginny (McMillin); two children, Betsy and Bob; and two grandchildren. Bob came to Amherst from Sidwell Friends School. He was a member of Delta Upsilon at Amherst, majoring in economics. His thesis topic was “Should the U.S. Adopt Compulsory Health Insurance.” A man ahead of his time. He received an M.B.A. from Kellogg Business School at Northwestern.
Bob was a banker, beginning with Central National Bank in Cleveland as pension fund portfolio manager, moving to the trust department and then into bank management as director of corporate planning, then treasurer of the bank holding company and member of the office of the chairman. After the bank was sold, he worked for Key Corp. and then started an investment and financial planning business, retiring in 2009.
Bob and Ginny lived in Bratenahl, Ohio, on Lake Erie, east of Cleveland; had a summer home in Chautauqua, N.Y.; and wintered in Fort Myers, Fla. They traveled extensively to many parts of the world. Bob enjoyed tennis, golf and fly fishing. He volunteered with a number of not-for-profits, including the Deaconess Community Foundation, Cleveland Skating Club, Young Audiences of North East Ohio and the Suicide Prevention Center.
Mark Levine ’61, a great friend of Bob’s, informed us of his death. Mark reports that Bob loved life and had an infectious personality, with many friends, and was devoted to his wife and family. Mark says Bob was emblematic of what the Chautauqua Institution stood for, with a keen mind and intellectual curiosity.
One of Bob’s last efforts for the class of 1961 was reaching out to Bart Myers ’61 before Bart’s death. —Ted Ells ’61
Richard Stanley Wirtz ’61
Richard “Dick” Wirtz died in hospice on Jan. 3, cared for by his daughters, Margy Wirtz-Henry and Liza Wirtz. Dick was married to Margaret Ann “Peggy” Hickman Wirtz, whom he met working in the War Against Poverty. Peggy predeceased him, and, throughout her long illness, Dick was her devoted caregiver.
After receiving a master’s degree from Princeton, Dick worked with the Peace Corps in Washington, D.C., and with HARYOU-ACT Inc., which operated in Harlem. However, both he and Peggy became discouraged: “It was rhetoric. There were no resources. There was no war.” Hoping to acquire “clout” and “do some good,” Dick got a J.D. from Stanford. He then clerked for a federal judge in New Orleans, practiced law and taught at the University of Tennessee College of Law, becoming full professor in 1987 and, five years later, dean. Named a Distinguished Professor of Law in 2000, Dick became emeritus professor in 2004 and continued to teach until 2010.
In reminiscences, classmates describe Dick as a man of wit and brilliance, unfailingly kind and always looking out for others. As the semesters at Amherst passed, he earned one distinction after another. He was in Scarab and Sphinx, an editor of Sabrina, Deke president, an excellent trumpet player and friend to many. All of his life, Dick remained a funny and stimulating conversationalist, posing unexpected questions and provoking new angles of thought.
To almost the very end, Dick remained active as a reader, learner, traveler and legal scholar, and as a volunteer for an astonishing number of groups and services, ranging from community sports to hospice, visitation and progressive politics. Twice a winner of outstanding teaching awards, he exemplified an Amherst ideal, and his friendships with Amherst classmates meant a lot to him in his later years, as his daughters report. —Jan Beyea ’61, John Bursk ’61, Denis Clifford ’61 and David Hamilton ’61
Laird J. Stuart ’65
Laird Stuart passed away on Dec. 19 from a rare heart condition that had been stable until complications occurred shortly before his death. His accomplishments were many.
After Amherst, he attended the Princeton Theological Seminary where he earned a master’s and doctorate and later served on the seminary’s board. He was pastor of churches in Connecticut, New Jersey, Michigan and Pennsylvania before becoming pastor and head of staff at Calvary Presbyterian Church in San Francisco in 1993.
During his career, he championed inclusivity in the Presbyterian Church and became a national leader in promoting it.
After his retirement from Calvary in 2010, Laird served as interim president of the San Francisco Theological Seminary for 16 months before retiring (again) and moving to Michigan, where he fulﬁlled a longstanding dream and purchased a sailboat capable of negotiating the waters of the Great Lakes. Laird was an avid sailor. One of our first encounters was traveling to Newport together to watch the America’s Cup races when we were at Amherst; one of my last was sailing with him on Lake Michigan on his sloop in 2017.
Religion was undoubtedly important to Laird, but he had no trace of religiosity. As freshmen, Laird and Roger Siemens ’65 moved roommate George Michaels ’65’s desk, chair, lamp and notes to the second floor James showers as academic encouragement. His sense of humor encompassed his work; Laird once pointed out to me that the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Bob Dylan proved that there is a God, after all. Laird could only be held in great affection by anyone fortunate enough to have known him, and Amherst and our class in particular are diminished by his loss. —Warren Lux ’65
John Richard Amsterdam ’68
John Amsterdam died on the weekend of Feb. 3 at his home in Bala Cynwyd, Pa.
My first contact with John was in the summer of 1964, at a welcome-to-Amherst event at a prestigious and restrictive Philadelphia private club. Walking in, I spotted him standing alone at the back of the room radiating a “when can I sneak out of here?” aura. Sensing a kindred spirit, I approached and asked, “What’s a nice boy like you doing in a place like this?” He frowned, then broke out in a grin saying, “I stumbled in by accident, probably just like you!” A lifelong bond was launched.
John projected seriousness in almost all the things that he did. With extremely accomplished parents, Mort and Fay, and three highly competitive younger siblings, Joan, Jane and Jim, he may have had to. At Amherst we were roommates our junior and senior years and teammates in football. We were equally skeptical about fraternity life, and we had each other’s backs. On the night in April 1968 when Dr. King was killed, John was the only person able to find me on the dorm balcony and sit with me while I processed, seethed and calmed.
After graduation John distinguished himself at the University of Pennsylvania’s dental and Wharton schools and found particular success in healthcare management. He married his middle school sweetheart, Susan Goldman, in a spectacular wedding, and they had two wonderful kids, Alexis and Daniel. Years later John would marry Alice Vasselli and have a third wonderful child, Julia, now a junior at Wesleyan.
Separately settled in California and Pennsylvania, John and I maintained regular contact, including last spring’s wonderful 50th reunion.
Like many of you I will miss John deeply—his wry humor, rocklike dependability, sensitivity and above all his extraordinary character. —Bill Hastie ’68
Eric H.A. Whyte ’73
We lost a good man when Eric Whyte passed on Dec. 24 after succumbing to more than his fair share of cancer and its complications.
Arriving at Amherst in 1970 as a sophomore transfer from Stanford, Eric majored in English, soccer, Sunday morning basketball and making friends throughout the Amherst community.
After graduation, Eric taught at Northfield Mount Hermon for a year and then wrote for UpCountry Magazine in Pittsfield. In 1975 Eric’s father died from complications of polycystic kidney disease, and Eric was motivated to complete premed studies and apply for medical school, wanting to provide more compassionate and competent medical care than he felt his father had received. He graduated from medical school at the University of California San Francisco and completed a four-year residency in psychiatry at the University of Colorado.
Eric married Michelle Duff in1986; over the years, three daughters were born. The family moved in 1988 to Colorado, where Eric worked at the Colorado Mental Health Institute. In 1993 he took a position at the Department of Veterans Affairs and spent the last few years of his career at the VA Outpatient Medical Center in Golden, Colo., until ill health forced him into retirement in 2016. At the VA, Eric fulfilled the promise made in memory of his father to provide the most compassionate care possible to more than 500 veterans, many of whom credited Dr. Eric H.A. Whyte with having saved their lives.
Eric died at home and is survived by his wife, Michelle; three daughters, Acadia, Mateya and Sadie; and two sisters, Robin Reisman and Kristin Whyte.
Eric lived a selfless life, always giving much more than he took, and will be missed greatly by his family, friends, colleagues and the hundreds of patients whom he served. —Henry Eakland ’74
William Scott Notar ’85
William Scott Notar passed away on Oct. 6 in Greenville, S.C., two days before his 59th birthday. Bill was born in Pittsfield, Mass., on Oct. 8, 1959, and transferred to Amherst, joining the class of 1985 junior year. He spent many years in corporate life, before settling down south, getting his M.B.A. from Clemson and buying one business and later another.
Robin (Ludwig) Matt ’85 was in the same transfer class. “Bill was a warm, funny and supportive friend and really helped with the transition into a new school. He had wonderful perspective and was a great person to go to for advice on any topic. I have great memories of getting ice cream at Fayerweather. We had a lot of fun during our brief tenure at Amherst. I am so sad to hear of his passing and will always have warm memories of him.”
What Gerri Walsh ’85 remembers “most fondly about Bill were his smile and easygoing sense of humor. I met him shortly after he transferred to Amherst and got to know him a bit over Harbor Bars in the Valentine quad and at a tailgate or two. I studied abroad that spring and rarely saw him senior year—but every time our paths crossed, he exuded warmth. Recently I pulled out a box of old photos, certain I had one of him from a football game back in the fall of 1983. I couldn’t find it. Still, burned in my memory is an image of Bill, gazing out at the field instead of looking at the camera, standing with a small group of revelers and smiling that wonderful smile.”
The class of 1985 extends heartfelt condolences to Bill’s wife, Jennifer; his children, Gabriella and Maximillian; and the entire Notarnicola family. —Kate Foster-Anderson ’85
Bob Martin ’49
Bob Martin ’49 was one of our more colorful classmates—Jones Beach lifeguard, B-24 ball turret gunner during World War II, Los Angeles prosecutor. He spent 22 years prosecuting serious felonies and in 1989 was voted Prosecutor of the Year.
John Shillington Jr. ’55
John Shillington Jr. ’55 spent two years in counterintelligence with the U.S. Army in Japan before joining the family business, a third-generation corrugated box manufacturer. In the last decade, he and his sons-in-law worked to grow Missouri grapes and run a winery.
When instructed to file a motion he believed to be ill-advised and unethical, Eric Lanphere ’58 quit his job in open court. In a lengthy libel trial, he prevailed 10–2 over none other than F. Lee Bailey. The federal judge who delivered Eric’s eulogy praised him as brilliant and courageous.
“To believe our own press clippings,” Ron Sherman ’58 once wrote, “Trish and I run a glittering business catering to the world’s top models and theatrical personalities as well as the general public.” Yet, he reported, no matter the patient, psoriasis is still just psoriasis.