Robert. S. Fay '56

Deceased May 12, 2013

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25th Reunion Book Entry

In Memory

Robert died at his home in Hancock, N.H., on May 12, 2013, apparently overcome by the effects of the flu and subsequent respiratory complications. Robert had been active and vital right up to the end, and his death came without warning. That he died at his desk is a telling testimony in itself for this life of dedication to the arts and their explication.

Robert was born in St. Louis, Mo., to the Reverend Wolcott Fay and Helen Mary Sargent. In 1964 he married Grace Ann Morse, and their three children survive him: William Bradford Fay of Skillman, N.J.; Elizabeth Fay Russell of Wakefield, Mass.; and Helen “Joy” Sargent Fay of Melrose, Mass.

After graduation from Amherst, Robert received his Doctorate in Education from Harvard in 1968. His longest tenure was at the Contoocock Valley Regional High School in Peterborough, N.H., where he taught English for 25 years, serving as chairman of the department during the 1970s. He was also an Assistant Professor in Education at Boston University during the 1960s. For the last decade, Robert was a Professor at Landmark College in Putney, Vt., a college dedicated to the education of students with dyslexia, ADHD and ASD.  He resonated passionately to this opportunity, receiving in 2011 a reciprocal honor in being named the first faculty member to be distinguished with the title, “Professor Emeritus.” Not only a classroom teacher, Robert also served students by providing direct instruction and academic support in the College Center for Academic Support. In over five decades, Robert taught and mentored thousands of students with different learning styles and was known for his ability to uncover hidden talent in students with different learning styles.

Robert was also an accomplished photographer whose work is in the permanent collection of the Currier Art Museum in Manchester, N.H., and was exhibited at the Sharon Arts Center, the Fitchburg Art Museum and the Brattleboro Museum of Art, among others, including several exhibits at his Amherst class reunions. He was a consulting photographer on the PBS documentary of the life of Mark Twain, directed by Ken Burns.

At Amherst, Robert was on the Crew and Swimming teams and participated in WAMF. As an English major, he developed a love for the poetry of Robert Frost and the writings of Henry David Thoreau, leading him to attempt to photographically capture the land and vision of each. He chose to live in that area with a modest life style, photographing the lakes and mountains repeatedly in all seasons of the year and at all times of day. As a member of the Christian Association, he developed lasting friendships with eight classmates who held mini-reunions every year between class reunions for the last several years. We called ourselves “The Band of Brothers,” and so we were. For us, Robert is an unforgettable “Brother.”

Bill Fish ’56

25th Reunion

Robert S. Fay.png
Family: Married to Grace Ann Morse
Children: William Bradford - 16
Elizabeth Grace - 15
Helen Sargent - 10

Employment: Teacher of English
Contoocook Valley Regional High School, Peterborough, New Hampshire
Special Interests: Photography, Arabian Horses

A Few Words: Nearly every day I consciously draw on my Amherst college education. Now, more than ever, I believe in the importance of a liberal arts education. The results of early specialization in high school and college seem evident in the lives of a vast majority of people.

My son and I look forward to the 25th reunion. See you then.

Best regards,

Bob Fay