Deceased August 19, 2021

View alumni profile (log in required)

In Memory

To be honest, I never called him Chauncey but rather Laurey, from his middle name, Lawrence. This was how he was known in Pelham, N.Y., where we grew up and where he was celebrated as an expert jazz pianist who played in several local bands.

He went off to prep school in Ohio, entered Amherst and then, as many of us did, enlisted in the service. He was in the Navy, stationed in Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. His musical talents enabled him to have a disc jockey show called the Kwage Podge. (Think the movie Good Morning, Vietnam.)

By coincidence, his service and mine ended at the same time, and we came back to Amherst and roomed together in Pratt until he joined Theta Xi. After graduation, he earned a degree in industrial design and landed a first job involving plastics. Then, at General Motors’ styling section, he helped develop the 1953 Corvette.

For Boeing, his team designed interiors for the first commercial jet and eventually 707s for 17 different airlines. The company opened an office in Puerto Rico, redesigned an old pier for cruise ships and did an array of projects for many of the Fortune 500 companies.

He married Anne Wall, another old friend from Pelham, and their two sons were born in Puerto Rico. When both sons moved to Seattle, the parents decided to relocate as well. So, after 37 years in Puerto Rico, they moved to Cape Cod, where I visited them; I also hosted them in Vero Beach, Fla. Anne died a year ago, and Laurey passed away on Aug. 19 of this year. He was multitalented, different and very interesting to know.

Gerry Reilly ’49