Eric P. Hamp ’42
Eric Pratt Hamp, born in London on Nov. 16, 1920, to William and Edith, immigrated to the United States in 1925 and was naturalized in 1947. He married Margot Faust in 1951 and had two children, Julijana and Alexander. After Amherst, he served as U.S. Lend Lease officer for South Africa (1942–46), U.S. Army (1946–47) then resumed studies, receiving an M.A. in 1948 and a Ph.D. in 1954, both from Harvard.
At Amherst, Eric was a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity and the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. He worked to pay his way through Amherst and was a member of the crew and swim teams.
Eric took up a post at the University of Chicago in 1950, was promoted to professor of linguistics in 1962 and served as the Robert Maynard Hutchins Distinguished Service Professor of Linguistics from 1973 to 1991, emeritus upon retirement. He chaired his department from 1966 to 1969. He was a member of four departments at Chicago, was one of the most eminent scholars of linguistics and was a major figure in historical Indo-European linguistics. He championed studying living dialects, not just ancient texts. He was also a key figure in the study of Balkan and Slavic languages that were in danger of becoming extinct. His knowledge of many aspects of the world’s most marginal languages and dialects was due mainly to his pioneering fieldwork and brilliant analyses, carried out at the last historical moment before the speakers of these languages were co-opted into the modern world.
Eric was awarded six honorary degrees, of which one was from Amherst. He was a member of many academies and learned societies the world over.
He was a kind, patient man who was generous with his time and knowledge.
—Rick Ward ’42 and Julie Hamp Love
Donald Peck Burt ’44
Donald Peck Burt, M.D., of Morristown, N.J., passed away in hospice Sept. 18, 2019, wrapping up a full, active life as doctor and family man. He died peacefully with family by his side.
Originally from New York City, Don attended Collegiate and graduated from Storm King School in Cornwall-On-Hudson in 1940. He followed in the footsteps of father Wilbur F. Burt, class of 1912, and older brother Wilbur Burt Jr. ’43 by attending Amherst. At Amherst Don charted his own path with pre-med studies. Don majored in biology, played varsity tennis and joined Psi Upsilon. After graduation he attended the Long Island College School of Medicine, interned at Multnomah Hospital in Oregon and completed his residencies at Methodist Hospital in the Bronx, VA Hospital, and Bellevue in 1947. Don served from 1947 to 1949 as a captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps.
Don married the love of his life, Frances “Franny” Diver, in 1948. In 1953, he opened his practice in internal medicine in Morristown, where he and Franny settled to raise their family. An attending at Morristown Memorial Hospital, he established the hospital’s first pulmonary unit and served as president of the Morris County Medical Society. He practiced medicine until his retirement 35 years later. The Burts remained at their Washington Valley home until 2013, when they moved to an assisted living community. They celebrated their 69th anniversary there before Frances passed away in 2017.
Don is survived by his four devoted children, eight adoring grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and an admiring extended family, including this niece. I will dearly miss but continue to be inspired by this remarkable man. While his body started to diminish, Don remained sharp in mind and spirit until the end.
—Ann M. Diver ’84
Myles S. Lowell ’46
Myles Lowell, a Michigan native, died peacefully at his Beverly Hills, Calif., home on July 30, with loved ones at his bedside. He was 94. Born on Sept. 20, 1924, in Grosse Pointe, Mich., Myles followed his father into the real estate business. He had a flair for friendship and a love of travel. He befriended and often regaled a small Who’s Who of celebrated characters. These traits took him from the ballrooms and ski slopes of Europe to the mansions of Newport, R.I., and the glamorous homes of Palm Springs, Calif. Paris, in particular, was a city with which he had an ongoing love affair. His wit and sense of humor were legendary, as was his ability to recall names, places and events from decades past and spin them into colorful stories. He matched his affinity for high society with a love of animals and a lifelong advocacy for the protection of all creatures great and small. He was rarely without a beloved Schnauzer by his side.
—Dick Banfield ’46
Jose E. Lopez ’49
Jose came to us from Puerto Rico, joined Phi Delt and was a diligent pre-med student. In later life, he was honored as perhaps the most distinguished and dedicated doctor they had in the School of Medical Science at the campus of the University of Puerto Rico.
He attended the University of Puerto Rico until 1954 and did his internship at the University Hospital of Maryland.
Jose married Chela O’Neil when he began his residency in internal medicine at the University of Wisconsin. In 1957 he joined the army and was assigned to the 97th General Hospital in Frankfurt, Germany.
Upon discharge, Jose returned to Wisconsin to specialize in cardiology.
When he returned to Puerto Rico, it was clear that his vocation was teaching, and he joined the faculty at the school of medicine, where he designed the course of physical diagnosis and was chosen many times as Teacher of the Year.
Jose’s obsession with details led him to take an hour with every patient and to work all hours of the night. In the late 1960s, an immune disease affected his nervous system, but he continued his work in a wheelchair.
In 1979, the mayor of San Juan invited him to serve as chief of internal medicine at the municipal hospital, which he did for four years before going back to his teaching and chairing programs at the Cardiovascular Center of Puerto Rico. He won numerous awards, worked for 55 years and earned the highest honor of Distinguished Professor.
He died Feb. 5, 2017, survived by his wife and two daughters and enshrined in the memory of thousands of students, doctors and patients for his love and dedication. Here is a man who really made a difference and one for whom our class can be truly proud—and humbled.
—Gerry Reilly ’49
Kirk Munroe ’49
Kirk and I lived in adjoining suites on the second floor of Psi Upsilon in our junior and senior years. We rose every morning at 5 a.m. to deliver The New York Times, Herald Tribune and Boston and Springfield newspapers to every fraternity, dormitory and the “G.I. Village” and still make our 8 a.m. classes. We did this with the aid of his antique green pickup truck.
Kirk was the oldest member of the class of 1949 and planned to attend the 70th reunion in 2019 but unfortunately died on May 12 at the age of 99½.
Kirk majored in economics and graduated with honors. He wrote a successful thesis on the government subsidy program on Maine potatoes. His capitalist theory was that Maine potatoes would do better on a free-market basis. Some time later, the subsidy was removed, and Maine potatoes thrived.
Kirk retired to Naples, Fla., after a successful career in sales in newspaper, radio and TV stations.
He left three surviving children, Dorcas, Ronald and Kirk Jr. His concept of life was, “It’s always a game, and you play it to the hilt.”
—Linn Perkins ’49
Richard L. Silva Jr. ’49
My father, Richard L. “Dick” Silva, died on May 22, 2019, at age 95. Dick came to Amherst after serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, during which time he was wounded in combat in Belgium, earning a Purple Heart and other distinguished service medals. Dick attended Amherst on the G.I. Bill, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in English, made lifelong friends and developed interests that continued throughout his long and rewarding life.
After Amherst, Dick received his M.B.A. from Harvard University and began a career in retail finance at such stores as Macy’s and Bergdorf Goodman. In his mid-50s, Dick changed careers and went to work for Yale University in development and human resources, retiring as the director of benefits. Throughout his life, Dick supported numerous charities and institutions, including Habitat for Humanity, the Neighborhood Music School in New Haven and his alma mater.
Dick was an honest, smart and hardworking man; he had a quick wit and a keen sense of humor. He loved music and enjoyed the opportunity to travel in his later years. Dick will be deeply missed by all whose lives he touched during his eventful life, especially his children and grandchildren and his devoted and loving companion during his final years, Louise Williams, of Chapel Hill, N.C.
—Bill Silva ’78
John A. Cavins ’50
John A. “Lex” Cavins passed away July 27, 2019, at age 90 in Indianapolis. Born in Terre Haute, Ind., he prepped at Mercersburg Academy.
At Amherst, Lex joined Phi Delta Theta, majored in biology and chemistry and belonged to the pre-med club and band for all four years. Amherst’s band at that time had a robust 45 members. Lex loved music and played with a group, the Jazz Gents, later in life.
Amherst was followed by a medical degree from Johns Hopkins University and a residency at Ohio State in hematology/oncology. Between 1970 and 1977, he was an associate professor at Indiana University and after that a full-time physician.
His medical career involved significant research. One project concerned establishing the groundwork for bone marrow transplantation with Dr. E. Donnall Thomas for which Thomas ultimately won a Nobel Prize. Lex also pursued research enabling the military to preserve blood for longer periods than known at the time.
Lex is survived by a sister, Barbara Moore; son Scott Cavins; daughters Dr. Susan Cavins-Stewart and Bonnie Toscano; and four grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife, Myrtle “Skippy” Cavins.
—John Priesing ’50
John C. Neimeyer Jr. ’50
John was from St. Paul, Minn., and a graduate of St. Paul Academy. At Amherst he earned degrees in history and economics. He was an outstanding member of the football team and also lettered as a member of the wrestling team.
During the Korean War, John was drafted into the U.S. Army. He served as combat engineer with the 120th Combat Engineer Battalion of the 45th Infantry Division. He saw action in Korea for six months subsequent to having spent three months in Japan as a member of the Division’s football team. After his military service, John returned to Minnesota. He loved skiing, and it was at one of the western ski areas that he met his wife, Karin.
John’s career was centered on the building products business. He and Karen spent their first 11 years of marriage in Long Island, N.Y., and later in Wilmington, Del., before returning to the Minneapolis area. In 1975 John formed his own company, a manufacturer’s representative sales agency, Residential Products Marketers. He led the firm for the rest of his career.
As a five-decade ticket holder of the Minnesota Vikings, John missed only a handful of games. He maintained a condominium at Snowmass. He made his last ski run on the slopes of Vail at age 79. His greatest passion was hunting geese and quail in Canada with Bob “Bunzo” Dunn ’48. For more than 50 hunting seasons, the two traveled to Canada, where more than half of their trips were spent at the delta marshes of Lake Manitoba.
John is survived by his wife, Karin; two children, John Neimeyer III and Martha Gart; two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. John’s obituary describes a “dedicated family man who lovingly has cared for his wife during her long illness.”
—Andy Scholtz ’50
George Franklin “Frank” Smith ’50
Frank, 90, passed away peacefully in West Hartford, Conn., on April 28, 2019. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Evelyn Lyman Smith; daughters Wendy Smith, Kimberly Pratt, Brenda Sanden and Cheryl Espinal; and eight grandchildren.
After earning his J.D. in 1953 from Boston University School of Law, Frank spent 10 years with Allstate Insurance, followed by 32 years with Aetna Life and Casualty as a bond claim attorney and later doing legal analysis and technical writing.
At Amherst, Frank was active in Delta Upsilon. He also played baseball four years for the College. On Frank’s 90th birthday, his grandchildren gave him an array of Amherst memorabilia, which he proudly displayed in his nursing home room. His family all knew how much Amherst meant to him.
According to his daughter Brenda ’85, Frank never lost his Amherst spirit. For more than 40 years, Frank and his dear friend Roger Conant (Trinity College ’45) never missed the annual Amherst/Trinity football game. The loser bought the winner dinner. Not originally in favor of Amherst going coed, Frank changed his mind when Brenda decided to go there. He especially enjoyed visiting Brenda at Amherst in 1982, when she resided in the old South College dormitory in the exact same room Frank had in 1947. Brenda picked the room in a housing lottery.
Frank loved spending time with his family, sports, politics, swimming, gardening and traveling. To celebrate his 80th birthday and 50th wedding anniversary, he took his wife, his daughters and their families on a combination Disney World vacation/Disney cruise. In retirement, Frank served for many years as the tour organizer for the Old Guard of Connecticut.
He never lost his Amherst-inspired quest for knowledge or zest for living.
—Brenda Sanden ’85
Howard M. Teaf III ’50
Howie, 90, died on June 10, 2019, in Concord, N.H. He was a man of many interests. He sang in the Amherst Glee Club and, after graduation, with a number of barbershop quartets. Boy Scouts were important during many of his working years. And then there was Rotary in both the Philadelphia area and Concord. He was a member of the Canterbury New Hampshire Planning Board.
He enjoyed the outdoors in the mountains of the East. And Howie traveled in motorcycles, old cars and canoes.
At Amherst, he joined Phi Gamma Delta, majored in psychology and won his “A” for several years in track and field. He then earned an M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.
For most of his professional life, Howie was an administrator for health care organizations. His last assignment was running the Merrimack County Nursing Home in New Hampshire. Before that, he was director of Montgomery Hospital in Norristown, Pa. For more than a decade, he served as an administrative assistant at the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania. He also sold medical supplies for a time.
Howie is survived by his wife, Terry. He has six children with his first wife, Sallie Sloan; they are Amanda, Daniel, Elizabeth, Virginia, Sallie and Christopher. Thirteen grandchildren also survive.
—John Priesing ’50
Robert C. Knowles ’51
Bob Knowles died Oct. 24, 2018, as the result of an illness sustained in January of that year. He and his first wife, Shirley, whom he married in 1953, had two daughters. Shirley died in 1986. In 1987 Bob married Nancy, his surviving widow.
Upon graduation in 1951, Bob entered the U.S. Navy Officer Candidate School and graduated first in his class of 422 in December 1951. He completed further training in the first half of 1952 and joined Task Force 77 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Kearsarge for duty in the Sea of Japan until 1954. Bob then attended Harvard Business School, graduating in June 1956.
For the next five years, he was employed by the Stanley Works in New Britain, Conn., focusing on long-range planning and budget matters. He moved on to the American Hardware Corp., and then, from 1963 to 1979, he worked at R. Dixon Speas Associates, a major aviation consulting firm, as its treasurer and vice president for economic planning.
In 1979 Bob went solo with his own company, Aero Economics, which he described in our 35th reunion book as “one of the world’s foremost sources of opinion reports on aircraft useful lives and current and future values. My client list reads like a Who’s Who of airline and aviation finance, and the aircraft on which I opine range from business jets up through 747’s.” Bob’s company was basically a one-man operation requiring lots of traveling.
Bob retired (kind of) in 1992. He and Nancy bought a waterfront townhouse near St. Michaels, Md., with a great view of the Miles River. For our 50th-year reunion book, Bob wrote, “I (like Dean Wilson) sometimes wish that I had worked harder at Amherst, but I am convinced that my experience there was invaluable in preparing me for life.”
—Everett E. Clark ’51, with input from Nancy Knowles
Lee N. Shaw ’51
After several months dealing with lung cancer, Lee died comfortably on June 12, 2019 at his summer farm in Auburn, N.Y., attended by his wife, Clare.
Lee and I were friends for 72 years, meeting at reunions and homecomings and more frequently when he settled in Vero Beach for the winter months. It was great fun when Clare and my new wife, Nancy Dupree, became instant close friends, and the four of us cruised the Caribbean in 2017.
At Amherst, Lee was not a distinguished student, as Dean Scott Porter reminded him on a few occasions, but he muddled through and graduated on schedule. He thoroughly enjoyed his college years.
After Amherst, Lee went into banking, primarily in the Foreign Exchange Department of the Morgan Guaranty Trust Co., and subsequently running the New York office of Banque Canadienne Nationale.
In 1979 he exchanged his business suit for blue jeans, pursuing a lifelong dream of operating a farm. He purchased a small parcel on Owasco Lake in Auburn, N.Y., gradually adding to it to reach 500 acres, 350 tillable, and a commercially viable enterprise growing oats, wheat and rye.
He married Corinne Spellman, who previously had a daughter, Lisa, and after Corinne died he remained very close to Lisa. He married Clare Callaghan in 2000. She exhibited her prescience in organizing an elaborate three-day celebration for Lee’s 89th birthday at the Quail Valley River Club in Vero in March 2019. He was able to have a grand time, enjoy several Dewars and boogie on the dance floor.
Lee is also survived by a sister, Virginia, whose grandson, Tommy Sweeney, played as a tight end for Boston College and was drafted by the Buffalo Bills.
Lee was a good guy who loved life, and the love was returned.
—Dick Snodgrass ’51
Howard J. Burnett ’52
Howard J. Burnett was a distinguished member of our class, both academically and athletically. Howie grew up seventh of William and Bridget Burnett’s eight children in Holyoke, Mass. From a working class background, Howie excelled scholastically and athletically at Holyoke High School. He spent a year at Deerfield Academy, where he was over the top in his studies and on the athletic fields. Amherst College was very lucky to get him.
At Amherst, he majored in political science and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He also captained the College soccer team. He was twice named to the All-American Soccer Team. The College awarded him the Howard Hill Mossman Trophy.
Howie received a Rhodes Scholarship and attended Queens College, Oxford, where he received a B.A. and an M.A. in philosophy, politics and economics. In 1965, Howard received his Ph.D. in government and international relations from NYU.
In between Oxford and NYU (1954–58), Howard served as an officer in the U.S. Navy Supply Corps. In 2010 he was named as one of the Supply Corps Distinguished Alumni.
In 1970 he became president of Washington & Jefferson College. During his first year as president, W&J began admitting women, and Howie successfully managed the transition, which included hiring the first female faculty member and placing women on the board of trustees. While president, he substantially increased the W&J endowment.
Howie served as civilian aide to the secretary of the army for Western Pennsylvania, while also serving on the boards of Cyclops Steel, Washington Hospital and the Pittsburgh Opera.
Howard was married to two wonderful women, Maryann DePalmer Burnett, who survives him, and the late Barbara “Binky” Burnett. He is survived by three children, Lee Berman, Sue Petito and Mark Burnett; three stepchildren; nine grandchildren and three step-grandchildren. We are very proud to have had him as a classmate and friend.
—Bill Smethurst ’52
John Burton “Jack” Collier ’53
A lifetime resident of Youngstown, Ohio, Jack Collier died there on Dec. 7, 2017.
He prepared for Amherst at Boardman High School in Youngstown, where he was reported to have been a star in three sports. At Amherst he majored in history, joined Psi Upsilon and played baseball and basketball. Fraternity brother Mike Palmer ’53 remembers Jack as an exceptional athlete and as a good friend of Ray Dresser ’53, Bill Frack ’53 and Wray Zelt ’53. Baseball teammate Rich Gray ’53 remembers Jack as an outstanding pitcher and as a classmate with a strong will.
After Amherst, Jack earned an M.B.A. from the Wharton School, served in the U.S. Army for two years and had a career as a stockbroker from 1966 to 1987 with Butler Wick and Co.
He was a longtime member of the YMCA, the Presbyterian Church and the Youngstown Country Club, where he was a record-setting golfer.
He is survived by his wife, Janet.
—George Edmonds ’53
Michael Gardner “Mike” Crowell ’53
Mike was born in Philadelphia; had his childhood in Riverton, N.J.; and prepared for Amherst at Groton School, Groton, Mass. He joined Phi Alpha Phi and the Masquers and majored in English, a step toward his later professional career, which was interrupted by two years after Amherst in the U.S. Navy as a fighter pilot. Mike always felt proud of having flown 101 flights and successful landings on his aircraft carrier, USS Essex.
With a Ph.D. in English from Northwestern University in hand, Mike settled into being a professor of American English for 35 years at Knox College, Galesburg, Ill., and devoted himself to classroom teaching, his students and curriculum development. He especially prized the freshman interdisciplinary seminar in the liberal arts that he developed with his colleagues. Walt Whitman’s poetry and Herman Melville’s Moby Dick were his favorite books. He also spoke French and was a master at creating limericks.
Mike and his wife, Karen, retired to northern Wisconsin, near Washburn, to a 100-year-old Norwegian immigrant farm that Mike and his family had been using for vacations. From there he was free to sail frequently (even all the way to his former Riverton, N.J.), raise chickens and entertain family and friends.
An environmentalist, he served on the Bayfield Regional Conservancy board. He loved opera, reading and his dogs.
Raised an Episcopalian, he became a devoted Unitarian Universalist.
Mike will be remembered by all who knew him for his quick wit and ironic humor. He died on July 15, 2019, in Washburn. He is survived by Karen, his wife of 44 years; sons James (Julie Rademaker), John (Megan Williamson) and Mathew (Michelle Frey); and six grandchildren.
—James Crowell, Julie Rademaker and George Edmonds ’53
Thomas H. Joyce Jr. ’53
I first met Tom Joyce in Stearns Hall in September 1949. My assigned roommate, he became one of my best friends at Amherst. There I was, a nervous freshman, worried and unsure of myself. There he was, relaxed, happy and extremely cool. Tom seemed to have it all figured out. He was at ease everywhere. His wonderful girlfriend, Barbara Pritchard, came for special weekends from the University of New Hampshire. Tom and Barb were married in March of their senior years so that, right after graduation, they could go to Long Beach, Calif., for his naval reserve training, after which he was assigned as an ensign to the USS Cavalier. A long-distance romance for four years and then a happy marriage for 66 years. That’s true love!
Tom and I were members of Phi Gamma Delta, rooming together with Hubert Zeller ’53 and Ted Wentz ’53. Tom majored in psychology, sang in the Glee Club and helped at WAMF.
From 1956 to 1968 Tom worked for Alcoa in Dallas, Detroit, Milwaukee and, finally, Tampa. In retirement, he remained active, traveling to England and Wales and fly-fishing in Alaska, New Mexico and Colorado. He was the leader of the local Boy Scouts Council. He volunteered as house manager at the Tampa Performing Arts Center. He helped start a lifelong learning institute and served on its board. Beyond all that, he became a Master Gardener!
Tom Joyce died on Aug. 8, 2019. He is survived by his beloved wife, Barbara; his children, Tom, David, Lisa and Steven; nine grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Tom lived a happy and very good life. He was a modest person. I never heard him boast, though he had plenty to boast about. He was a smart, handsome good scout, much loved by his family and friends.
—Robert Kiely ’53 and George Edmonds ’53
Burton Albert ’54
Burt loved people. He had the intrinsic ability to make anyone feel great. For a man notorious for misplacing keys, forgetting directions or leaving his car running in the garage, he recalled pertinent details of people’s lives because he truly cared. Burt lived a great life. He knew how to live, and he found joy in simple pleasures, especially if they involved family. Every gathering was a holiday; every accomplishment was ceremonial; every hug was heartfelt.
One of Burt’s best qualities was his ability to express his feelings of love. We knew how he felt about us, and he felt our love and respect in return. Generous with his affection, attention and time, he never missed a meaningful opportunity to be a part of his family’s lives. His unconditional love was strong and genuine, and his life’s lessons were simple: he modeled integrity, honesty and gratitude with his words and deeds. One of Burt’s fundamental principles was giving back to his community. He devoted a significant amount of his time and resources to philanthropy and community service.
Burt served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Air Force, and he was third generation in a family business. He was passionate about Israel, his friendships, reading, music and keeping abreast of current events. He loved jokes even though he routinely forgot the punch lines. He was a lifelong learner, always thirsty for knowledge and ardent in his beliefs.
Burt was an exceptional husband, father and grandfather. He is survived by his wife, Sylvia Albert; his children, Eric Albert, Jonathan Albert ’83 and Debbie Rosmarin; two daughters-in-law, including Rachel Cohan Albert ’84; a son-in-law; eight grandchildren, among them Sarah Albert ’13 and Jake Albert ’15; and many dear friends and family. He will be deeply missed and forever loved.
—Jonathan Albert ’83 and Rachel Cohan Albert ’84
Donald A.B. Lindberg ’54
The class has lost one of its superstars with the death of Don Lindberg after a fall on Aug. 16, 2019, only months after he was with us for our 65th reunion.
Don was a native of Brooklyn, where he attended Poly Prep. At Amherst, he was a biology major and a member of Phi Gam. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated magna cum laude.
Don attended Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, graduating in 1958, and continued his training in pathology. He moved to the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he became the forefather of computer applications to medicine and the founding president of the American Medical Information Association.
In 1984 he became the director of the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health and served until 2015. He embraced the Internet early, and he told us at our 60th reunion panel “The Playing Field Has Changed” how he facilitated access to the medical literature for both professionals and the public through PubMed, PubMedCentral and MedlinePlus. He also served in a number of appointed capacities in the Bush and Clinton administrations.
Over the years, our paths crossed as colleagues in the world of medical education, and I was embarrassed to be the individual certifying some of his programs for credit. But Don took it in good stride!
Don’s awards and recognition are too numerous to list here, but most memorably his honorary degree from Amherst in 1979 must be mentioned.
In 1956, Don met Mary Musick, a nurse at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, and they were married the following year. They had three sons, one of whom predeceased him. In addition to Mary, sons Donald A.B. Lindbergh and Jonathan E.M. Lindberg, and grandchildren Christopher M.J. and Frances M.M. Lindberg survive him.
—Hank Tulgan ’54
Richard G. Davis ’55
Dick passed away on April 20, 2019, at the age of 85 after a short illness. He lived in Amagansett, N.Y., on the eastern tip of Long island, and enjoyed gardening, landscape and still-life painting, his three terriers and volunteer activities including driving for Meals on Wheels and supporting liberal political causes. He did not have a partner. In his later years, he spent much time with his sister, Ann Dunn, and her husband.
Dick graduated magna cum laude. After getting a Ph.D. in economics from Princeton, he crafted a distinguished career as vice president and director of research for the Federal Reserve Bank in New York. He was a pioneer in the field of econometrics, and he published numerous articles in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Quarterly Review.
Dick was part of a freshman group that was housed in South, apart from the rest of the class. We bonded over common intellectual interests and an identity as outsiders, and most of us went on to join the Lord Jeff Club and work toward the abolition of the fraternity system.
Dick was a person of integrity and sincerity who was not entirely comfortable in social situations. Childhood mumps left him deaf in an era before modern hearing aid technology. He was the reincarnation of an 18th-century English gentleman. He loved Samuel Johnson and named one of his terriers Boswell. His ambition was to write a biography of Franz Joseph Haydn. In my mind’s eye I remember his determination to master one of Bach’s inventions on the Jeff Club piano. In my last contact with him, around the time of his retirement, I asked how his deafness influenced his appreciation of music. He responded that he didn’t need to listen to music anymore, he could play it all in his head.
—Michael Robbins ’55
Richard P. Hauser ’56
My dear friend and classmate Dick Hauser made our remaining circle of friends a lot smaller with his untimely passing on June 6, 2019.
Dick came to Amherst from Great Neck High School on Long Island where, among other accomplishments, he was valedictorian of his class. At Amherst he was likewise an outstanding student, a Phi Gam, majored in history and graduated magna cum laude. He received an M.B.A. from Columbia (also magna) and went on to become one of the outstanding retail executives in the United States.
His very first job was at Bloomingdale’s in New York, where he rose rapidly to executive vice president. Then, in succession, he became president of the Broadway in Southern California, CEO of Neiman Marcus in Dallas and, at age 43, CEO and chairman of John Wanamaker in Philadelphia. He retired 20 years later in 1999.
He married his high school sweetheart, Joan Goldberg, two months after graduation and they were happily together for 61 years until her death last year. They had three children, Jonathan, Betsy Abernathy ’83 and Andrew, plus six grandchildren.
He maintained homes in Northport, N.Y., and Oak Ridge, Tenn. Dick was an avid skier, mostly in Stowe, Vt., where our families vacationed together for 40 years.
He and I met as freshmen in Morrow. I was in his wedding, and we remained closest friends for 65 years.
Dick was truly one of the best guys in the western world, and his family and many, many friends will miss him greatly.
—Steve McGeeney ’56
Donald W. Newberg ’56
Don passed away June 17 at home in Harpswell, Maine. His wife, Peg; his two sons; their wives; and all four grandchildren were with him the day before, Father’s Day, talking, singing and holding his hand.
Strong and healthy all his life until afflicted with mental issues six years ago, he continued to be active until a very recent decline.
Don attended schools in New Haven before Amherst. During junior year, a course in mineralogy and a summer job arranged by Professor Brophy ignited his love for geology and determined his life’s direction. His first job for a copper mining company was interrupted by two years in the U.S. Army. After that military obligation, he earned a Ph.D. in geology from Harvard, followed later that same year (1965) by marriage to Marguerite “Peg” Bottai. Next, mineral exploration, first in Virginia and later Val-d’Or, Quebec, Canada. A teaching opportunity arose in the geology department at Colgate University and was snapped up in 1969. Denied tenure seven years later, Don moved on to Maine and taught geology at Bates and Bowdoin, mapped for the state, wrote and published. In 1992 eager to get back into the field again, Don founded his own company, performing hydrogeological assessments, subdivision planning and other property use designs.
Don loved camping, the out-of-doors and meeting people and hearing their stories. He was fiercely loving and loyal to family and friends—highly principled, a bit of a perfectionist, responsible and conscientious. He was honest to the core; there were no pretenses around Don. He loved problem solving, being a volunteer firefighter, projects around the house, dogs and cats, ice cream and beer. For many years he enjoyed an annual 150-mile bike ride, fundraising for MS.
Farewell, Don, you have done your family, friends and Amherst ’56 proud.
—Peter Levison ’56
John B. Bartlett ’60
John Bartlett died July 17, 2019. His service to Amherst and our class was noteworthy. He was our 50th reunion chair, served as class president and held many fundraising roles for the College. He traveled extensively, highlighting, in our reunion book, his “inheriting 15 French lawyers who wouldn’t take orders” following a corporate merger but noting the resultant “fun going to Paris for a week every month.”
Charlie Johnson ’60’s friendship with John “began at the University of Virginia Law School and blossomed in 1962 when we had first dates with our future spouses, who were good friends. We remained close companions, taking 10 trips to the Caribbean supervised by a ‘committee’ system where prizes were awarded for undistinguished behavior. John developed legal counsel services for several companies, including Pan Am, Regal Paper, Fidelity Bank, International Utilities, American Medicorps, Rohrer Pharmaceutical and Corning Glass, after beginning legal practice at Cadwalader. He was ‘the best,’ as he often described others. His devotion to his wife, Barby; his sons David and Jon; his six grandchildren; and his oldest friend John Quisenberry ’60, was total.”
Carlton Russell ’60 wrote, “There was something about ‘Bartlett’ that endeared him: a combination of leaderliness and calmness, humor and gratitude, friendliness and commitment to our class, his family and friends. At a reunion, John responded to something I said by lightly touching my arm, a typical low-key gesture of friendship and appreciation. His people skills were clear to Dick Weisfelder ’60 when John recognized him on a tour in Petra, Jordan. Both Don Pollock ’60 and Sandy Smith ’60 remembered John as the light-hearted mastermind of college pranks. Dave Keffer ’60 recalled Barby’s dismay when John promised to serve as our 50th reunion chairman. But what stood out was John’s view that “the two most powerful words in the English language are ‘thank you.’”
—’60 classmates Charlie Johnson, Dave Keffer, Don Pollock, Carlton Russell, Sandy Smith and Dick Weisfelder
Daniel A. Guthrie ’60
In our 25th reunion book, Dan Guthrie stated, “It was our duty not to simply enjoy [our Amherst education] but to carry it to the world and do something worthwhile.” For Dan, that meant teaching students environmental and evolutionary biology at Claremont Colleges and emphasizing their developing “a way of looking at things rather than just a body of facts.”
Chi Phis will remember Dan as a formidable presence following his own agenda. Bill Vetter ’60, Dan’s roommate, tells how Dan spent summertime with Professor Wood in the fossil beds of Wyoming searching anthills for teeth of extinct rabbit-sized rodents. He then spent senior year cataloging, describing and comparing them to establish the identity of the species. “Dan was also a serious collector of modern creatures, resulting in problems of space allocation in our refrigerator. Our winter exploration of an abandoned garnet mine led to brown bats being stored in jelly jars and stowed away for months in the freezer. This tended to surprise those who came looking for ice cubes.”
Dan’s obituary reveals the origins and trajectory of his finding, viewing and identifying both extinct and contemporary bird species and making his collection available to museums, researchers and students. Moreover, he engaged his whole family in annual expeditions looking at birds and collecting fossils. Favorite locations were San Miguel Island, Calif., and remote Attu in the Aleutians, where he observed birds while accumulating a “life-list” of 7,153 bird species. He was a leader in Audubon Society activities. Not to be forgotten is his love for lacrosse as a club player and coach for 15 years of the Claremont Colleges women’s lacrosse club.
Dan died on July 1, 2019, surrounded by his family, which includes three daughters—Kate Poaster, Ruth Guthrie and Winnie Larson; their spouses; eight grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
—Bill Vetter ’60 and Dick Weisfelder ’60
James M. Newcomer ’60
After a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease, Jim Newcomer died on Aug. 3, 2019. Despite physical infirmity and limited mobility, he remained sharp of mind and stoic. He loved being a grandfather and enjoyed playing with his four grandchildren. He is survived by his beloved wife, Martha; sons, Jeffrey and Andrew; and daughter, Juliet.
Jim and Gordon Holmes ’60 were roommates for four years at Amherst. Their relationship was extended during time spent in the Washington, D.C., area, where Jim did his military service with the Strategic Communications Command. Gordon highlighted Jim’s “understated wit and contagious laugh.” Jim majored in American studies, joined Phi Delta Sigma and was managing editor of the Olio. He subsequently received his M.B.A. in finance from Columbia University in 1962.
Living abroad and General Motors were key elements of Jim’s life. In 1950 his family relocated to Antwerp, Belgium, where his father engaged in restoring GM operations. Jim attended a French-speaking school, and his resultant fluency in French and willingness to travel greatly influenced his professional career. Exposure to war-ravaged Europe generated his lifelong interest in World War II history and led him to compile a large library featuring that subject.
Jim’s own career was with GM, primarily in its Overseas Operations Division. His work abroad included a three-year stint in Iran, ending just before the Islamic revolution, and a year in Tunisia. Thereafter he worked from Michigan but included extensive international travel. In 1992, he accepted a buyout during GM downsizing but resumed contract work on the GM audit staff until full retirement at the end of that decade.
Jim loved opera and classical music. He became a staunch fan of University of Michigan and Lions football, Red Wings hockey, Pistons basketball and Tigers baseball and spent much time rejoicing or lamenting their results.
—Gordon Holmes ’60 and Dick Weisfelder ’60
Bruce E. Northrup ’60
Bruce was a fine student at Amherst who became a well-known and successful neurosurgeon in Philadelphia. That he would become a doctor, like his father and grandfather, was no surprise, for that was always his ambition. That he succeeded immensely is likewise no surprise, for he was smart and alert, not only with respect to intellectual and scientific matters, but also with human beings, whom he took seriously (though not without finding their quirks and oddities of interest). Typically, he was most proud of teaching young neurosurgeons.
Ohio-born and -bred, Bruce had a unique way, even as a callow college kid, of slowly turning a statement around, in his mind, to examine its validity and possible importance—as Bruce himself might have said, it was reminiscent of the way raccoons reportedly do the same when given a sugar cube, often ending up dissolving it entirely after deciding to cleanse it in a nearby river or pond. It was wondrous to watch.
He was scarily powerful physically and totally fearless: a good man to have at your back, as reflected by his pride in serving in Vietnam. Our intense friendships with Bruce had flourished in Havana on our freshman spring break trip.
Some years after graduation, he went to Colorado to visit Jim, who remembers meeting his lovely wife, Francesca, obviously a person with a real heart and a real mind. Stephen and his wife, Barbara, also enjoyed socializing with the Northrups a couple of times in New York. Summing up what we know of Bruce, we can say that he was always deeply engaged with the question of meaning: what a book meant, what a particular remark or gesture meant, what a relationship meant, what a career meant. We think he found real meaning in all these aspects of life and more.
—Stephen Baldwin ’60 and Jim White ’60
David Edward Powell ’60
Dr. David Powell passed away on April 18, 2019. He was a professor of Russian studies and international relations at the University of Virginia, the Harvard Russian Research Center and Wheaton College. He requested no obituary other than the preceding.
His preference will be honored except to note that he majored in mathematics and was a member of Phi Delta Sigma at Amherst. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University in political science. He was the author of Anti-Religion Propaganda in the Soviet Union (1975) and other publications on the USSR and Russia. He was a Harvard fellow from 1974 to 2019.
—Dick Weisfelder ’60
Timothy F. Woodbridge ’60
Tim Woodbridge died on June 9, 2019. He had practiced trial and appellate law for more than 35 years before retiring from Cigna in 1998. His multi-generational Amherst roots include his grandfather Frederick, class of 1889; father, Donald ’26, son James ’87; and several uncles and cousins. He majored in history, played lots of bridge and served a two-week suspension once for overdue library books. But his self-taught musical skills on the fiddle, mandolin, guitar and banjo were the constant in his life, which included a radio show and participation in numerous traditional music festivals and competitions throughout New England.
Tim is survived by daughter Laura, son James, stepson Sean, stepdaughter Siobhan, two grandchildren, three step-grandchildren and sister Jennifer.
His close friend in Phi Delta Sigma, Bob Holmes ’59, writes, “Bluegrass music was Tim’s passion. Before any of us had even heard of country music, Tim was an expert. He spent hours studying the music of the Carter family, picking out their tunes on his guitar. He had a large collection of instruments ranging from banjos to autoharps to guitars, which he used to entertain us at fraternity parties. We both ended up in New Haven after his graduation and marriage. He introduced me to the folk music scene at Yale, where he regularly joined pickup groups while studying law. We lost touch when his legal career took him to Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Thereafter, a friend from Hartford kept me posted whenever the local paper covered Tim’s bluegrass hobby, so I knew he never abandoned music. A few years ago, I found Tim via Google listed as part of a small bluegrass group and was able to reconnect. He met with several of us from the class of ’59. It was the same old Tim with his guitar and his music!”
—Robert Holmes ’59 and Dick Weisfelder ’60
Peter L. Sill ’62
Peter Sill died on April 2, 2019. He had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for several years.
Pete was born in New Rochelle, N.Y., on May 15, 1940, and graduated from Atlantic City (N.J.) High School. He roomed with Dick Nugent ’62 and Bob Cook ’62 freshman year and eventually joined Psi Upsilon. After graduation, he went straight to Harvard Law School. While at Harvard, he attended a mixer at Harkness Commons and had the good fortune to meet Marcia Harriet Joslyn, who became his wife of 53 years.
After obtaining a master’s degree in taxation from NYU in 1967, Pete worked for Cadwalader, Wickersham and Taft from 1965 to 1971. The family then moved to Seattle, where Pete first worked in the law department and then as a corporate executive in mergers and acquisitions at Weyerhauser.
After retirement he started a company to do mergers and acquisitions for small companies. He also worked as a volunteer on the advisory board of the Seattle Metropolitan Improvement District, was a volunteer mediator for the Dispute Resolution Center of King County and worked with the Family Law CASA and as a FINRA arbitrator.
As if that weren’t enough, he also volunteered as a coach and referee/umpire for youth soccer/baseball.
Pete was devoted to his family: wife Marcia, daughter Jennifer, son Randolph, their children and his extended family. He was also an avid reader, gardener, sailor, golfer and traveler, and loved spending time at the family’s beach house on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound. He wrote poems and for many years wrote a sonnet to Marcia on their wedding anniversary. He also enjoyed a cold beer.
Pete had a wonderfully quirky sense of humor. He also had a lifelong interest in the theater both as actor and audience and appeared in more than 25 plays in local Seattle theaters.
—Robert S. Cook Jr. ’62
Winston Wiley Wynne Jr. ’62
Winston Wynne Jr. died on July 21, 2019, in Virginia Beach, Va., where he had lived for 29 years. Winston was born Aug. 28, 1941, in Norfolk, Va. When he was very young, his parents—Winston Sr. and Mabel—moved the family to Coral Gables, Fla., where Winston grew up. He attended Phillips Exeter Academy before Amherst.
During college, Winston majored in English but spent a fair amount of time on Route 9, back and forth to Northampton, to court Patty Corcoran in Chapin House at Smith College. He was an active and jovial member of Delta Kappa Epsilon, where I was a best buddy.
He married Patty after college and moved to White Plains, N.Y., where they produced three children—Winston Wiley Wynne III, Andrew Patrick Wynne and Keeley Wynne (Stokes). Winston and Patty’s marriage ended in divorce.
In 1978, Winston married Susan Warnecke, with whom he had two more children, Rebecca Lee Wynne and Shannon (Wynne) Butera. In 1990, the family settled in Virginia Beach.
Winston’s agile mind and quick wit served him well in his chosen profession at Mutual of New York and then AXA. He was an active golfer and softball umpire. He could polish off the New York Times crossword each day in a short time; he loved to travel, loved to read and loved his kids.
In 1999, Susan died, and for the next 20 years, Winston threw himself into parenting, working (he retired in 2017), church and finding the ugliest ties imaginable. He also amassed a huge repertoire of jokes to amuse his kids, clients and friends.
From daughter Keeley’s eloquent eulogy: “Winston leaves behind a family of funny, bright, curious and loving people: no better tribute to his life and personality.”
—Sandy Short ’62
Michael L. Alcivar ’65
It was my lucky day in September 1961, when I walked into 304 Stearns and met my roommate, Mike Alcivar. He, from Lawrenceville, me, from Deerfield. We shared not only a prep school background but also interests in sports, activities and some classes. Freshman math-physics was not one of them. I passed with a 61; Mike’s 59 earned him summer school at the notorious Trinity make-up session.
Neither of us had money. To survive, we worked in Valentine, delivered newspapers and napped on security duty at the Mead Art Gallery. After graduation, we painted houses. One day I was told to stay behind while Mike was sent out with a crew. The foreman said, “Tom, you work too slowly; you’re fired.” In shock, I found Mike and told him. He said, “Then I quit.” Despite my protests, he said, “You’re my friend, and we go together.” He dropped his paintbrush, got in the car, and we left. I have never forgotten that singular moment of friendship.
Our paths diverged, but we saw one another occasionally as years passed. After the navy, Michael received an M.B.A. from UMass, joined Citibank and specialized in training personnel for service in Caribbean and Latin America countries. He moved several times, finally ending up in St. Louis as their children entered school age. Tragically, his wife, Dianne, died in 1997 of a brain tumor. Later, Mike married Ximena Parga.
Mike traveled often for business; he and Ximena continued visiting foreign countries after his retirement. Last year, Mike faltered in France; it became apparent that he had cancer. I visited him three times in 2019, the last in early July, when he sat in a chair, covered by a blanket. When it was time to leave, I put my hand on his shoulder, wondering if this would be the last time I would see my friend.
—Tom Poor ’65
Andrew W. Irvine ’65
Andy Irvine passed away due to a heart attack while bicycling near his home in Paris. No health indications preceded this shocking and sad event. Andy had for years ridden his bike to his office, taking a tree-lined path along the Seine River. Andy was of Scottish and Mexican descent. He and his wife, Eugenia, moved in 1984 to Paris, where he was secretary general of an international real estate group, supervising commercial portfolios, work that, Eugenie said, “he loved.”
Andy Lawrence ’65 recalls how Andy was enjoyed by his soccer teammates at Amherst—he also played rugby and enjoyed his fraternity’s social life. John Rousseau ’65 reminds us that Andy came to Amherst from four years at the Fettes School in Edinburgh. Once at the College, John remembers, he was “unfailingly classy in an unassuming way, with a sly sense of humor, and unfailingly loyal to us lucky enough to be Andy’s friends.” As testimony to that humor, Andy, having lost sight in one eye due to a detached retina, reported that it was a relief to only need one contact lens.
Andy was a welcome participant at all of our reunions; to say he will be missed this May is an understatement. Andy is survived by his wife, Eugenie; and three children, Annette, Alejandro and Adriana.
—Paul Ehrmann ’65
John M. Sellers ’65
Harvey Yaverbaum ’65 recalls that, even 58 years ago, John seemed like an adult among us adolescents. Pat Murray ’65 reminds us that John was the only member of our class to receive a bid from all 13 fraternities.
John passed away due to a cardiac event this July. A dozen years ago, he’d suffered a heart attack; John and Nancy then turned to a vegan diet, and John remained active. There were two memorial services, one Buddhist, the other Quaker.
John came to Amherst from Longmeadow High School. Dale Richter ’65, a teammate back then, reminds us that John quarterbacked their high school team to an undefeated season; he was one of the many, many freshmen who lined up for the position at first practice in the fall of 1961.
John enlisted in the U.S. Navy, then received his D.V.M. from the University of Pennsylvania. He established a large-animal practice among the dairy farms of Berks and Lancaster counties. He became a volunteer Buddhist mentor for the Berks County prison system.
John raised three children and two stepchildren. He is survived by his wife, Nancy; his brother Phillip; and his children. The class of 1965 extends sympathy to John’s family but could use sympathy ourselves for the loss of John, a classmate both modest and accomplished.
—Paul Ehrmann ’65
Robert J. Tracy ’66
Bob Tracy died Jan. 6, 2019, of liver cancer. Bob was a geology major and a member of Alpha Theta Xi, the Outing Club, the baseball team and the staff of WAMC. After Amherst he earned a master’s degree from Brown University and a Ph.D. from UMass. After a post-doc at Harvard, he joined the geology department of Yale University. In 1986 he moved to Virginia Tech, where he taught and did research until his death. Bob’s specialty was metamorphic petrology. He was the author of more than 90 scientific papers and was co-author of a widely used textbook of petrology.
Bob and his wife, Pat (Smith ’69), had, for many years, a rather amazing long-distance marriage, as she was a professor of history at Williams. Later, Bob and Pat had a beautiful home in Blacksburg and were extremely gracious hosts. The first time I visited them I offered to bring a bottle of wine. Bob laughed and said that would not be necessary. I understood when I saw his incredible wine cellar. (I brought gin instead.) Only after his death did I learn that he was an avid fisherman. That was an area where our interests did not intersect.
Bob came to Amherst from St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C., where he participated in the oldest junior Army ROTC program in the United States. He took a year off to serve military duty and therefore did not graduate until 1967. But Bob chose to affiliate with the class of 1966, with which he had entered.
Besides Pat, Bob is survived by his brother William of Springfield, Va., and his sister Betsy Pankey of Falls Church, Va. There was no funeral, but a commemorative gathering was held in Blacksburg last spring.
—Charlie Scharnberger ’66
Clark Joseph Bullock Tibbetts ’68
Clark Tibbetts died on June 21, 2019, due to worsening chronic constrictive pericarditis resulting in heart failure requiring surgical correction that proved unsuccessful.
I came to know Clark through lacrosse, also from chemistry class. He was hard-working, goal-oriented, but mostly fun—with a wry smile and keen sense of humor accompanying his storytelling. While he was brainy, Clark was not without love of sport and sports, and he thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with teammates and jocks. Clark was all about getting the most that the College’s liberal education offered.
Following graduation, we went separate ways but reconnected in 2016. The occasion was the lacrosse reunion celebrating Amherst’s undefeated 1967 and 1968 teams. Clark jumped at my invite to stay with me that weekend; thereafter our friendship flourished.
A sense of who Clark became, and what interested him, best comes through his own words.
Lacrosse and pursuing happiness: “I played club lacrosse while at Cal Tech, and at Vanderbilt up to 40. Age, work and second marriage in 1984 brought an end to such, but it’s been a full and happy set of decades since.”
Love of travel with family: “I’m off again with older grandson Emerson for three weeks in Scandinavian arctic [tracing Linnaeus’s travels].”
Retirement activities: “I’m raising hops, chickens and have started a home brewery … to engage with the small craft breweries that are popping up everywhere.”
Our 50th: “My excitement about upcoming 50th reunion—the reunion book has prompted and sustained a deluge of memorable flashbacks.”
Clark’s optimism never faltered. Two months prior to death, he wrote, “I keep reminding myself that if this all works out, I could return to brewing operations and enjoy sharing time with family and friends. Or better yet, just getting around well enough to (re)engage with friends.”
Farewell, good friend.
—Jack Widness ’68
Henry Gowan Dacey Jr. ’73
Our friend and classmate Gowan Dacey died on Aug. 16, 2018, after valiantly battling cancer. At Amherst, he was a member of Psi U and stood at the center of a strong circle of friends. Although Gowan took a break from college after his sophomore year, working in the Amherst-Holyoke area and returning to graduate a few years later, the class of ’73 has always considered him a stalwart member.
Gowan spent much of his career in accounting and finance with U.S. Surgical, Bank of America, Greyrock Capital, Siemens and ATOS. For the last decade, he worked hard to advance Amodex Products, the family-owned business in Bridgeport, Conn.
Gowan was a Renaissance man, forever curious about the world. He could talk knowledgeably and passionately about most any topic—about apple varieties with cider producers, the history of rock music with recording artists, global economics with international lawyers.
Gowan savored life. He relished good beer and raved about the joys of garlic and fish sauce as he prepared one of his superb feasts. Copland, Mozart, R.E.M. and Chanticleer overwhelmed him. Gowan delighted in nature’s beauty and cherished family trips to France and Greece. He loved to laugh. Gowan’s decency and largesse were always evident; he was a good man to his core.
Gowan was involved with his community, coaching youth soccer and engaging actively with political causes in his hometown of Easton, Conn. He valued direct democracy and transparency in government, pointedly questioning the established order at town meetings.
Gowan dearly loved his family and embraced the joys and challenges of helping raise two sets of twins. His wife, Beverlee, and his children—Peter and wife Alexandra; Alexander; Marica and husband Blaise; and Nick—were the center of his life.
Gowan’s spirit, welcoming smile and easy manner—and the smile in his voice—remain with all those who knew him.
—Peter S. Buehler ’73, John C. Cuddy ’73 and John E. Noyes ’73
John E. Deppman ’90
…Now the doctor came in, stinking of gin,
And proceeded to lie on the table.
He said, “Giff, you met your match.”
And Giff said, “No Doc, it’s only a scratch.
And I’ll be better, I’ll be better, Doc, as soon as I am able…”
—as sung by Jed to the ER doctor while I was lying on the operating table, waiting for stitches. We all had a good laugh.
Jed Deppman is the best friend I’ve ever had and has never been far from my thoughts since we first exchanged “new roommate” letters 33 years ago. Memories, like the one above, are even more poignant since he passed away in June following a heroic 10-plus year battle against metastatic colon cancer.
One obituary keenly observed that “he appreciated life’s every moment and will be remembered for his deep love of his family and friends, dedication to his students, fierce intelligence, sharp sense of humor and for his exhortation to us all to live.” His many Amherst friends will recognize this exhortation as how he always was, and why we remember Jed as a fun-loving character who was liked and respected throughout the college community.
While I’ve always said that Jed is the smartest person I’ve ever met, his professional accomplishments are too great in number to list here. He graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and he is remembered as a brilliant student whom other students flocked to for guidance and advice. After reading several loving tributes to him as a classmate, teacher, women’s hockey coach, Vermonter, Francophile, Warren Zevon enthusiast, cribbage player, bridge partner/opponent and waffle chef, I’ll now add that he made his most significant impact in how he brought happiness to friends and family. He is deeply missed, and vividly remembered, by many.
—Giff Eldredge ’90
Lisa Y. Faden ’94
Our friend Lisa Faden died peacefully on June 19, 2019, having lived with metastatic breast cancer for almost three years. She was 47.
People loved Lisa, especially her husband, Rob MacDougall; her children, Yuki and Eli; her parents and sister; her friends and admirers, some of whom never met Lisa but came to know her through her blog chronicling her journey with cancer, “Breathing In Breathing Out” (breathinginbreathingout.blog).
The blog, like Lisa, is insightful, compassionate, quirky and mordantly funny. It also has good recipes.
Lisa never stopped being quintessentially Lisa. Her illness seemed almost to have a clarifying effect on her already beautiful qualities.
Lisa had long demonstrated a far-ranging intellectual curiosity; now, it became personal. She pursued an education in cancer (the disease; its treatment; its effects on body, mind and soul) that came with no advanced degree but might as well have provided a second Ph.D.
Lisa had long been a brilliant history teacher, her noble calling. At Newton North, Lisa honed her craft; she followed Rob to the University of Western Ontario, where she completed her doctorate, worked as a research and innovation specialist, made many new friends and fell in love with Canada.
Lisa had long been a good mother. Even in college she was intuitively nurturing, inquisitive and a whole lot of fun to be around. She liked dancing and clever wordplay and The Sound of Music. Now, she focused her children’s total wellbeing with a clarity about what matters and what really doesn’t that comes only, perhaps, from living with an insidious disease.
Look to the people Lisa has known and loved—her family, her friends, her students—and measure her impact by their gratitude. We, devastated at her untimely death, have yet so many seeds of her love and learning to plant.
—Jonathan Blake ’95
Michael J. Noone Jr. ’98
Michael Noone died unexpectedly on July 16, 2019. Mike played on the hockey and golf teams and was named captain of the hockey team his senior year. Those lucky enough to have known Mike agree he was one of the kindest humans they ever met. He was shy at first, yet possessed the sharpest of wits. Mike’s modesty was legendary; you may not have guessed he even played hockey, but from 1994 to 1998 he was one of the best players in the country. Mike graduated fourth in all-time scoring at Amherst. He was a pass-first player who led by example. His life mirrored his hockey style; he would think of himself second and led a passionate purposeful life by example.
After graduating, Mike was an assistant with the Jeffs; he then coached the JV team at his high school alma mater for the past 15 years. In 2011 Mike quit the finance industry and became a teacher. It was brave, as he had recently met the love of his life and future bride, Sara. Mike’s brilliance on the ice rink was eclipsed by his ability as an educator. Mike taught passionately in the social studies department at Melrose High School for the past six years.
Mike and Sara welcomed a son into the world in August 2017, seemingly making Mike’s life complete. He embraced fatherhood as he did everything in his life; he was passionate, caring, calm, focused and always put himself second. Mike was never the loudest in the room, but he was the funniest. His humor was never at the expense of a teammate or friend; his heart was too kind.
—Thomas Carideo ’98
Luke H. Patterson ’00
Luke was one of our first and best friends at Amherst, and that relationship stood the test of time. We were immediately attracted to his passion for everything and willingness to go further than others in whatever we did. He was the guy whom we aspired to meet in college but thought only existed in movies; we were very wrong about that. Luke was larger than life with a heart that his body could hardly contain.
Whether reacting to a joke with his contagious laugh, focusing on the details while cooking innovative and delicious food or dedicating his time and money to a worthy cause, nothing was unimportant. He approached his passions with incomparable fire. There was great depth to everything he did.
He truly was a unique soul, and we will miss him more than he could know. We didn’t worry about Luke because he always looked to the future with positivity and excitement; that makes his passing so much harder to grasp.
Because of his big personality and impact, he left a large imprint on our lives that will not fade with time. He knew our children, spouses and parents, and they feel the same as we do.
We are fortunate to have had him in our lives and to have called him a friend whom we loved as our brother.
—Jamie Greenthal ’00, John Maguire ’00 and Ben Mathes ’00
James Q. Denton
Professor Emeritus of Mathematics James Quincy Denton—the first statistician on the Amherst faculty and the College’s first African-American faculty member—died on July 14, 2019. Born in 1929, he began teaching at Amherst in 1964 and retired in 2005.
Denton was the first black student to receive an undergraduate degree from California Institute of Technology. While awarded a full academic scholarship, Cal Tech prohibited him from living on campus. He secured a job that exchanged room and board for working nights at a mortuary. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in chemistry.
Early in his career, Denton worked for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, served in the Korean war, completed post-doctorate work at Stanford and worked at Sylvania. In 1963 Duane Bailey, a graduate school friend, approached him about coming to Amherst to join Bailey in the math department. Given the tension in race relations, his family used the Green Book and AAA to guide their cross-country drive to Massachusetts.
At Amherst, he devised new ways to connect students to mathematics and developed lasting mentoring relationships with his advisees. He was on the initial committee for the creation of Hampshire College. He served on the boards of the Amherst ABC House and the Amherst Montessori School. Summers and sabbaticals were spent administering grant funding for the National Science Foundation, working and teaching at Stanford in biostatistics and teaching at Harvey Mudd University.
Denton was a practitioner of transcendental meditation and a longtime member of the Da Camera Singers. He enjoyed hiking, rock climbing, squash, tennis, jogging, chess, cars, stereo systems and health food. He was known for his preference of walking over driving.
Denton is survived by his wife, Jean Thompson-Denton; his former wife, Janice Denton; a son, Daniel Thompson-Denton; a daughter, Jennifer Denton; a stepson, Cheong-Tseng Eng; a grandson, Jaden-James Alexander Denton; and a nephew, Donald Deroy Primous.
Lyle A. McGeoch
Lyle A. McGeoch, the Brian E. Boyle ’69 Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science and chair of the computer science department, died suddenly on Oct. 5, 2019, at his home in Amherst.
Born in 1959 in Lower Merion, Pa., he grew up in Athens, Ohio, and attended Princeton University and Carnegie Melon University, where he earned his doctorate in computer science and met the love of his life, Catherine Cole. They married in 1983 and moved to Amherst in 1987. For 30 years they worked together at Amherst with offices across the hall from one another.
“Lyle was an extraordinary scholar, teacher, and mentor; the most generous of college citizens; and a kind, modest, and gentle man,” wrote President Biddy Martin and Provost and Dean of the Faculty Catherine Epstein in a letter to the campus community. “As a class dean [to the class of 2017], he earned a reputation for the care and compassion that he brought to his work with students, including the lengths to which he went to help those who struggled the most. He was also a cherished husband, father, and grandfather, who treasured his immediate and extended family—including the Amherst community, of which he was such an integral and admired member.”
McGeoch advised hundreds of students during his career. He served on nearly every faculty committee and was the College parliamentarian for many years. He was an active member of Wesley United Methodist Church, donated blood as often as he could, and, on multiple occasions, led youth groups in hurricane relief efforts in and around New Orleans.
McGeoch was preceded in death by his father, Lyle Archibald. He is survived by his wife, Cathy; his mother, Florence; two sons, Ian and Alex, and their wives, Alicia and Jill; a grandson, Rigela; a brother, Peter; a sister, Betsy Nurre; and nine nieces and nephews.
Washington & Jefferson College began admitting women during Howard J. Burnett ’52’s first year as its president. He successfully managed the transition, which included hiring the first female faculty member and placing women on the board of trustees.
“Our winter exploration of an abandoned garnet mine led to brown bats being stored in jelly jars and stowed away for months in the freezer,” writes a college roommate of Daniel A. Guthrie ’60. “This tended to surprise those who came looking for ice cubes.”
John M. Sellers ’65 “was the only member of our class to receive a bid from all 13 fraternities,” recalls one classmate. Sellers went on to become a veterinarian with a large-animal practice among the dairy farms of Berks and Lancaster counties in Pennsylvania.