Deceased March 24, 2020

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In Memory

Joel Fairman '52
Joel was well prepared for Amherst, a valued classmate, successful in career, with a loving family, and a lifetime involvement with sports, community and social engagement. He was poised, confident, with an analytical intellect, but is best remembered by family and friends for “his puckish charm and wit.”

With a Central Park West and Horace Mann background, Joel achieved Phi Beta Kappa honors, enjoyed fraternity life as a DU and pursued his tennis and skiing activities. He became our class co-secretary in 2012, using this pulpit to keep us well informed in a genial style. Joel delivered thoughtful critiques in letters to Amherst’s financial officers about quality of reports on overhead trends and other matters. His membership at the Racquet and Tennis Club provided the venue for memorable mini reunion class dinners in NYC.

After Yale Law School, he practiced law at Patterson Belknap, known for its supportive culture in balancing work and personal life. Then he headed the Prudential Bache Communications group before founding his own Faircom Inc. in 1982, retiring in 2004.

His growing family thrived in Locust Valley, N.Y. Claire, a Radcliffe Distinguished Service Award honoree, was a devoted community volunteer. Joel continued tennis at Piping Rock Club, ice hockey at Beaver Dam Winter Sports Club and skiing, and he chaired the Board of Zoning Appeals. He was a soloist in the Barbershop Harmony Society and played banjo.

Claire died in 2011, and daughter Betsy Weyerhaeuser in 2013—equals in beauty and talent. Joel moved to Hobe Sound, reporting to classmates: “After 44 years of raising a family, making great friendships and leaving activities I cherish, starting a new life here is daunting.” Joel took his last months of uncertainty about congestive heart failure with courage, his full life ending March 24, 2020.

Nick Evans ’52