Deceased October 14, 2020

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In Memory

Jack was born on Feb. 6, 1933. He grew up in the Philadelphia area, where he attended Episcopal Academy. He came to Amherst with Jim Schumacher ’55 and Don Stewart ’55. There, he majored in geology, was on the track team and was a DU. After graduation, Jack earned an M.S. and a Ph.D. from Yale. On a blind date, he met Lynn Trowbridge (Smith ’57). They were married June 5, 1957. He was in the U.S. Air Force 1957–59.

His entire career was in geophysics. Jack spent some time working for the government in the area of geothermal energy, authoring numerous articles on the subject. For many years he was a research professor at Johns Hopkins. Jack said he appreciated Amherst because it taught him to think, as opposed to memorization and regurgitation. 

In retirement, Jack did consulting work on the Internet in the field of spectroscopic remote sensing. He lived in Palm Coast, Fla., where he enjoyed kayaking in the salt marshes. He was heavily into fitness, both pumping iron and walking 2 miles a day. Jack was on several civic advisory boards and read a lot. To prevent losing power during Florida storms, he had a whole house generator installed.

Bob Lansdowne ’55 was on the Amherst track team with Jack. One spring vacation, the team went to Florida. On the way south, the team stopped overnight in Virginia. There the motel management had a limit of four occupants to a room, and the team could afford only one room. So the eight of them kept rotating in and out of their one room all night, through the windows, to comply with the rules.

Jack died on Oct. 14, 2020. He is survived by his second wife, Jean; two sons; and two grandchildren, plus a stepdaughter and two step-grandchildren.

Rob Sowersby ’55