Deceased November 22, 2022
Steve and I knew each other casually until we pledged Phi Gam and became fast friends. When we became roommates junior and senior years, I recognized that Steve was brilliant but down-to-earth, with an infectious sense of humor. We were hard studiers but enjoyed late-night breaks to play ping-pong and pool, where we were well matched.
Steve invited me to Hyannis, Mass., for Thanksgivings and other occasions. His home was full of intellect, energy and good spirit. His diplomatic-corps father and English mother were gracious hosts, sharing Steve’s sense of humor. Other interesting guests joined in days of sailing and touch football and evenings of competitive parlor and card games.
Conflicted about his future, Steve applied to Harvard Medical School at the last minute and was immediately accepted. After Amherst and med school, our geographical and professional paths diverged—mine to Salt Lake City and a clinical focus, and Steve’s to an academic research / administrative path in epidemiology lasting more than 30 years at the University of California, San Francisco. Steve’s professional accomplishments were prodigious and meaningful and are well documented in a beautiful UCSF eulogy.
Thereafter we communicated and met sporadically. About 2000, Berthe and I visited Steve in Mill Valley, Calif., and met his delightful wife, Linn. Later, we all spent an evening at Reuben ’60 and Jennifer Clay’s home. Steve and Reuben (ob-gyn) had a spirited, evenly matched debate regarding Steve’s research on hormone replacement therapy. In 2012, we visited Steve and Linn at their retirement home on Orcas Island, Wash. On Steve’s prized pool table, we rekindled our youthful competition, ending tied as usual.
Steve will be sorely missed by the international medical community and especially by his Amherst friends, including me. I’ll never get to play that final rubber match of eight ball.
Thomas B. Keith ’60