Deceased April 3, 2011

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In Memory

Roger died on April 3, 2011, after battling Alzheimer’s disease for several years. He was born in Lewiston, Maine, on Feb. 3, 1932, and grew up in Cromwell, Conn., where he was an outstanding athlete.

Entering Amherst in 1951, Roger continued to play football and basketball at Amherst and became a member of Alpha Delta Phi. Roger majored in political science. Bill Duffyreports, “Roger had many wonderful traits, not the least of which was his ability to act as a catalyst or ‘live wire’ when things weren’t happening. Most memorable to me was the time early our freshman year when Roger lined up Saturday night dates at Mount Holyoke for himself and three of us in James Hall by making a ‘cold call’ to a ‘Big Sister’ at one of the dorms. And then when we arrived at Mt. Holyoke, Roger and the ‘Big Sister’ paired us off by height for a trip to a movie house in Holyoke.” 

Following graduation, Roger went on to Yale Law School from which he graduated in 1958. For many years he practiced law as a partner of Gross, Hyde & Williams in Hartford, where he also served as chairman of the firm’s management committee. Roger acted as general counsel to several small corporations, with the balance of his practice involving estate and probate matters and general real estate transactions.

In 1957, Roger married Virginia Balf, who took extraordinary care of him in recent years. Roger and Ginny were blessed with eight stalwart sons. Perhaps the importance of Amherst College in Roger’s life was best reflected in the choice of “Lord Jeffery Amherst” as the recessional hymn for his funeral service, which overflowed with Roger’s family, friends, clients and classmates.

Bill Duffy ’55
Dave Ormsby ’55
Rob Sowersby ’55