Deceased March 27, 2023

View alumni profile (log in required)
Read obituary


Bob Mason combined studies at Amherst and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to further a career as a physicist. In retirement, he used his love of nature and Chesapeake Bay as the basis for great community service.

Bob died March 27, 2023, at the age of 91. He resided in Easton, located on his beloved Maryland Eastern Shore.

Bob was at Amherst as a member of the class of 1953 for three years before heading to MIT for three more. In the class 50th reunion book, Bob wrote: “I found that the two bachelor’s degrees in physics, one from Amherst and one from MIT, served me extremely well, both in securing jobs I wanted and in performing them. 

“The intellectual environment at Amherst was totally different from that at MIT. The contrast was so remarkable that it immediately drove home to me the wisdom in seeking a more broad-based preparation than would be found at MIT alone.

“In three out of four career endeavors, I rose quickly to positions of technical leadership, an achievement I attribute to interpersonal and communication skills acquired at Amherst.” 

As a physicist, Bob worked for the government and multiple small companies, culminating in the development of instruments that measure color.

Bob enjoyed volunteering at the Pickering Creek Audubon Center, where he helped establish a bluebird monitoring system and was on call when equipment needed fixing. He logged more than 8,000 volunteer hours as a docent for the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. As part of the Riverkeeper organization, Bob took regular readings at designated locations to monitor the health of the water as it flowed into the bay.

Bob is survived by his wife of 66 years, the former Marilyn Turner; two sons; and four grandchildren. 

George Gates ’53