Richard Thomas Elder '52

Dick Elder, a quiet man who accomplished much, died on June 22, 2004.  Dick came to us from Hebron Academy, the reputation of Amherst’s Physics Department and the bucolic environment of Amherst College having beaten the competition for his scientific interests and talents.  Following a two year stint in the US Army after graduation, he returned to acadème for graduate study.  An MS in engineering from RPI in 1958 led Dick to jobs at Sprague Electric and then Alloyd Electronics.  He worked as a systems engineer with General Electric from 1962 until his retirement in 1990.
Apart from the classroom, Dick’s primary interest at Amherst was WAMF, the College campus radio station.  In addition to his work in the music library, he did a two hour light jazz show on the air.  He played a major role in creating the Pioneer Broadcasting System (PBS).  It connected the College campus radio stations at Smith College, University of Massachusetts, Springfield College and Amherst where programs were aired live from the four stations.  We understand it was the first line-connected college radio network, a tribute to Dick’s initiative and dedication.

At the time of his death, Dick had been living in a retirement home, Norumbega Point at Weston (Massachusetts).  To our knowledge, he did not have any survivors.

—David B. Wray ‘52

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