Deceased November 3, 2022

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IN MEMORY

Jeff was the son of an Amherst alum and the father of another. His father, Henry 1917, was so proud to call himself an alumnus that he named his only son after Lord Jeff (including the middle initial). Jeff was a husband to Susan; a father to three children, Deborah, Sarah and Josh ’07; and grandfather to 11 more. 

After Amherst, Jeff attended Harvard Law School and practiced for many years in New York, Chicago and Hartford. However, his most rewarding professional endeavors came in the classroom as he served as an adjunct professor at Trinity College and the University of Connecticut. Outside of the office, Jeff enjoyed traveling the world on scuba-diving expeditions, golfing near his home in Connecticut, and nervously pacing the corridors of Orr Rink (while humming out of superstition) as he watched my hockey games during my undergraduate days. 

As Seth Frank ’55 said, “Jeff was hard-headed, with a keen and incisive mind, and he brooked no nonsense.” His intelligence was as undeniable as his grasp of sarcasm was nonexistent. In his later years, his interest in marine biology drove him to volunteer at the New England Aquarium, where his passion for teaching found a new home. While it was apparent to everyone he encountered that brevity was not a strength, his stories were always fascinating, with a heavy dose of nuanced wisdom. 

Although Jeff’s frustration with the direction of the College grew over time, he truly cherished the memories and friendships he built during his Amherst years. When I married another alum, Danielle Brick ’08, it helped him regain his understanding of what makes Amherst special. 

In as great a compliment as you can pay those who have departed, Jeff left those he was closest to much better off for having known him. 

Josh Fillman ’07