Deceased December 20, 2022
Bob was an exceptionally loyal ’55er. He was a poli sci major and a member of Chi Psi. A skilled racquets player, Bob was a stalwart on the squash team and its captain. He also found time to play tennis, be president of the athletic association, work at WAMF and be our class secretary-treasurer junior year. Bob was highly respected by all.
After graduation and receiving his ROTC commission, the USAF provided another great adventure for Bob—flying jet fighters around the United States, Europe and North Africa. Among his fun times in the air, Bob flew a F-100 Super Sabre at the speed of sound, earning him membership in the Mach Buster’s Club. While Bob was stationed in England and flying high-ranking officers around Europe, his navigational aids and radio failed. Fortunately, he was able to land in Denmark after contact with a helpful Dane!
Upon discharge from the Air Force, Bob returned to his native Philadelphia and spent his career in commercial and industrial real estate. In 1971, he and another young broker set up their own firm, Zalesne & Herd, to successfully compete with the big real estate offices. He retired in 1999. During those years, Bob gave substantial time to community service and continued playing squash and tennis. He served as president of the Merion Cricket Club from 1982 to 1985.
Shortly after his military service, Bob met Sally Oldt (Vassar ’58). They were married in 1959 and spent summers on the Jersey Shore in Stone Harbor, where Bob enjoyed his classic 1950 Chris-Craft speedboat. There, Bob and Sally became avid bird-watchers. He went to Antarctica once on a cruise to see the famous penguins.
Bob died on Dec. 20, 2022, after a brief illness. He is survived by Sally, three children and their families.
Rob Sowersby ’55