Deceased October 10, 2021

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In Memory

Robert Basseches passed away on Oct. 10 at the age of 87. He is survived by his wife, Harriet; children K.B., Josh and Jessica; and grandchildren Jacob, Sophie and Adam. 

Bob arrived at Amherst with the class of 1955, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in physics. During college, he achieved both scholarly excellence and a jovial camaraderie with his friends, many of whom remained close throughout his life. Bob was a dedicated member of the Amherst golf team and took up boxing for a brief and bruising period; a knockout punch from the coach abruptly concluded his short-lived boxing career. He was also an avid singer at Amherst and a devoted member of DU fraternity.

After Amherst, Bob attended Yale Law, graduating cum laude and second in his class in 1958. He then married his longtime sweetheart, Harriet, and settled in Washington, D.C., where he clerked for Court of Appeals Judge David Bazelon and Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black.

Bob then joined the law firm Shea & Gardner (later Goodwin Procter), where he practiced for 58 years, ultimately serving as chair of the executive committee. A specialist in administrative law, he became president of the Maritime Administrative Bar Association and chair of the American Bar Association Maritime Transport Subcommittee. 

For recreation, Bob bought and operated Sharmans Run Farm, which also served as the family retreat. Some of his happiest times were spent there caring for the herd of Charolais cattle. Bob moved seamlessly from the barn to the art gallery, where he collected Inuit sculpture and Japanese prints. World traveling, sharing flights of single-malt scotch and playing golf with Harriet were also precious moments in Bob’s life.

Bob was a true friend and a caring companion and father. He will be greatly missed.

Josh Basseches ’84 and Jessica Basseches ’91