Deceased December 29, 2022
Our beloved father, Herry Cattell ’54, died early in the morning on Dec. 29, 2022.
After Herry endured an itinerant youth, including an orphanage in London, fleeing the Blitz to Ellis Island and multiple foster homes in New England, Amherst was welcome solace, stability and stimulation—intellectual, athletic and creative. He thrived academically, played football and basketball, and sang in the Glee Club. Dad’s love of poetry was richly rewarded through Robert Frost’s frequent presence at Amherst. Frost on many occasions recited his poems and offered his insights at the AD house. Herry developed lifelong friendships at Amherst and took great joy in returning for his class reunions, always accompanied by his cherished wife of 63 years, Bobbie. The educational foundation he built at Amherst served him well.
He went on to become a highly skilled, respected and sought-after orthopedic surgeon, but more importantly, he cared innately for his patients’ overall well-being.
One of his longtime colleagues said of Herry, “Your father was an anachronism in the most positive sense of the word. He stood for a time of the highest ethical standards and the most professional behavior in medicine. He was uncompromising in his principles, which were founded in science and facts. He was completely without guile and defined the words fair and honorable. His behavior was something that all surgeons should want to emulate, but I am afraid that era has passed. So, in that sense, he was the last of giants that walked the earth.”
Nothing more need be said, save that every time I read Robert Frost’s “Birches,” I will see Herry’s boyish smile and the loving twinkle in his eye, and feel his kind, loving and stalwart presence.