Deceased March 31, 2017

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In Memory

Bob died March 31, 2017. He grew up in Summit, N.J., where he was active in his church youth group and with the Boy Scouts. At age 14 he attended the World Peace Boy Scout Jamboree, alone, in Paris. At Amherst Bob was an economics major, a member of Phi Gamma Delta and on the freshman swim team, and he enjoyed building stage sets for performances at Kirby Theater.

Former roommates Bill Burleigh ’55 and Jack Anderson ’55 remember Bob was chosen to speak at one of professor Arnold Collery’s economics classes, the only one to be selected. In their Phi Gam study room, Bob had playbills and/or record albums on the walls from popular stage plays of the time. Midway through senior year, Bob married Mary Jane Parker, a senior at Mount Holyoke, and moved with her to G.I. Village to close out their respective college careers.

After graduation, Bob spent four years as an officer in the Coast Guard before joining the Stanford Research Institute. Bob was loaned to the Ford Foundation in the mid-’60s and spent the next seven years in Southeast Asia as an economic adviser. There the family explored the region, mainly by hiking.

However, Bob always wanted to be an entrepreneur. In 1972 he founded Pineland Development Corp. and was able to secure a license from California to operate an outdoor recreation business at Collins Lake. This 1,200-acre property attracted thousands each year to enjoy fishing and water sports. He retired in 2004 and turned operations over to three of his children, who live and work at the facility.

Bob had a deep Christian faith. He was active with his church leadership, serving as church treasurer. The Youngs had four children of their own and also adopted three others. Mary Jane died in 2009.

Rob Sowersby ’55