Deceased May 25, 2012

View alumni profile (log in required)
Read obituary

In Memory

Our good classmate passed away on May 25, 2012. Bob and I graduated from Holyoke (Mass.) High School and roomed together during our freshman year at Amherst. We played football together in high school, and Bob was cocaptain and fullback on our undefeated team that played in the “Peanut Bowl” on Jan. 1, 1951, in Columbus, Ga. As a powerful fullback on the Amherst football team, Bob held the school record for the longest touchdown run from scrimmage (85 yards) for 50 years.

Bob had a great appreciation for a good education. He told me in high school, “I am going to become a doctor.” He was first in his family to go to college, and he graduated from Amherst and Tufts Medical School and did his residency in orthopedic surgery at Rhode Island Hospital. He then became a partner with an established orthopedic surgeon in Holyoke.

Drive, determination and education were hallmarks of Bob’s entire life, and he passed them on to his children.

Bob was especially proud of and blessed with his loving family: his wife of 52 years, Priscilla (a graduate of Mount Holyoke College); his son, Thomas, retired U.S. Navy and an attorney/public defender in San Diego; and his daughters, Arlene (husband, Thomas Jermann), an architect in Seattle, and Elizabeth (husband, Gregory Takacs, and their sons Geoffrey and Jake), a corporate attorney/compliance officer in Fairfield, Conn.

Bill Duffy said, “Bob is the glue,” meaning that he kept us all together and in touch with each other over the years. A 7 a.m. or 8 a.m. call from Bob to Whitey, Lee, Abe, Chuck, Bill, Everett or myself asking, “What’s going on?” It was Bob.

For the last 20 years, Bob had severe back problems that three back operations did not correct, and his walking was badly affected. Still he and Priscilla traveled extensively and had a wonderful life together. HE NEVER COMPLAINED.

We will miss your calls, Bob.

Frank Downey ’55