Deceased September 29, 2014

View alumni profile (log in required)
Read obituary

In Memory

Dick was born on Nov. 28, 1933, in Indianapolis. In 1947 the family moved to Syracuse, N.Y. There he attended Nottingham High School, graduating as salutatorian in 1951. His classmates voted him the “most intelligent” male in the class.  

Along with his high school classmates Tom Metcalf and Jan Farr, Dick came to Amherst with the class of 1955. He joined Theta Xi fraternity and headed a most unusual fraternity project—an assessment of the Amherst curriculum, which produced a lengthy booklet of evaluations and recommendations. Dick majored in English and wrote a brilliant senior honors thesis on Mark Twain’s Huck Finn. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude. He returned to the college occasionally in subsequent years, most notably for his 50th reunion in 2005.

Following navy service, Dick went to the University of Michigan and then to Stanford University for graduate studies. He never finished a degree. After Stanford, he remained in Palo Alto and joined the navy reserve on a full-time basis, working out of Alameda Naval Air Station. He retired as a captain in 1992.

Dick never married. After his retirement, he moved back east, where he lived with and later took care of his invalided mother until she died in 2007. Periodically the navy asked him to return to active duty for special projects. He then took up residence in Arlington, Va., to work at the Pentagon. His major assignment was to update the officer evaluation system. 

Dick retired for the second time in the late 2000s and returned to Asheville, N.C., where he lived in his mother’s former residence. There he was very active with the condominium association, largely as their treasurer. Dick died on Sept. 29. Bill Frymoyer ’55 described Dick as “a bright talent with terrific analytical skills.”

Thomas Metcalf ’55
Robert Dirks