Deceased March 25, 2017

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In Memory

William Lawrence Velton died on March 25 in San Francisco. Bill was the second son of John and Edythe Velton, born in Ogden, Utah. He is survived by his older brother, John Velton Jr.; his sister-in-law Pauline; two nieces; and two grandnephews, all of whom loved him.

He graduated from Ogden High School as valedictorian and from Amherst with a B.A. in English, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa and SCARAB Senior Honor Society. He was the class of 1956 Bond Orator and a member of Alpha Delta Phi. A little known additional distinction: even after taking three years of swimming lessons to pass the lap-of-the-pool-before-graduation prerequisite, he still never learned to swim properly, thus necessitating the College to waive the requirement. An English major, Bill was permitted to submit original works of poetry for his thesis, rather than the standard research submission. After graduation, he attended Union Theological Seminary for one year before serving in the U.S. Army editing a newspaper.

He received his J.D. from University of Chicago Law School, Jcum laude, Order of the Coif, in 1963 and was articles editor for the University of Chicago Law Review 1962–63. He had 28 years of legal experience, which including several years at Breed, Abbott and Morgan, a prestigious New York law firm. He taught antitrust and corporate law at the University of Virginia, followed by a legal editorship with Bancroft-Whitney law book publishers in San Francisco.

After studying Sufiism and Vedanta, he became a Buddhist, living in the Buddhist Ashram in San Francisco for more than 20 years. His final Buddhist memorial service, called Shagu, took place on May 13, the 49th day after his death. On this day, the decision is made whether to return as a human or move to a higher realm.

John Velton
Henry Pearsall ’56