Deceased April 8, 1988
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Dad spent his life helping others. Whether as assistant headmaster of a small independent school aimed at leveling tuition costs with a sliding scale; director of a non-profit aimed at testing housing discrimination; state representative to a largely African-American district in Hartford, CT; or in small and not so small business ventures with friends; or as an involved parent to three children in a challenged public school system; his charisma, his enthusiasm and ability to interact with anyone made him a life force. He and Mom died in a single car accident on April 8, 1988.
At various points since their death we have talked about doing a book on the story of Wendy and Boyd—of Mom and Dad. A family friend commented it might be more compelling to write about being the children of such idealistic parents. In 1971, with several other families, we moved from suburban Simsbury to inner city Hartford so that we would grow up knowing diversity instead of talking about it. We moved to a middle-class neighborhood and went to public school, often being in the minority with our white skin. There were many moments when as children we struggled with our environment and the situations it created, yet Mom and Dad’s confidence in their decision never seemed to waver. At the time this was comforting and helped us through those moments; now looking back we are amazed at the strength of their convictions.
Soon after that move Mom and Dad went looking for a small weekend house in the country, and typical of Dad’s adventurous nature, ended up instead with a 180 acre dude ranch that had gone bankrupt. This became a gathering place for many families, and was where Dad became the project master. We did deep bed gardening one summer, put in many accent stone walls for another, had lantern lit sledding runs in the winter, just to name a few activities. The energy that Mom and Dad generated is mind-boggling to us now as parents; they were always so full of ideas and enthusiastic. They were a wonderful team. The house in Hartford has long since changed hands; Mom and Dad in fact had moved to Colrain the year before they died. We still have the house and it is still the gathering place.
Dad was always cheering loudly at our sporting events, willing to talk about any topic, and known for his bear hug greetings. We miss both him and Mom terribly, but the gifts they gave us as parents are everlasting. We are healthy, spend time with each other, have great friendships, and are active in our communities. They created a network of friends that have continued to support us in our lives. We keep in touch with Tom Wood and Bob Barrett, who have been wonderful friends to Dad and to us.
Bo graduated from Amherst in 1988 and now lives in Manhattan with his wife Kate and two daughters, Fiona and Sophie. He is president of his co-op board but also manages his own mutual fund, along with being a very active dad. Benji graduated from UConn in 1990 and now lives in Bay Head, NJ, with his wife Kirsten and their three sons, Trevor, Brenner, and Ethan. He is a mortgage broker who also serves on the School Board, retired from lifeguarding just two years ago and is also a very active dad. Lisa graduated from Harvard in 1991 and now lives in Brookline, MA, with her husband Ben and their three children, Sam, Peter, and Wendy. She taught middle school social studies before having children and is now thinking of how to return to education other than through her kids.
We are thrilled to be included in the Amherst Class of 1961 50th reunion book! We hope you are all well and that you have a great reunion.
Lisa (Hinds) Humphreys
Bo Hinds ’88