Deceased August 17, 2023

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In fall 1960, Tom Guilbert and I flew from San Francisco to Bradley and bused to Amherst. Neither of us had seen the College. We had attended public high schools in Northern California and were the only students from the Bay Area to enroll at Amherst that year.

We pledged Chi Psi and were roommates with Cary Keith ’64 and John Ruppe ’64. Tom and Cary majored in economics, John and I in English. Tom was a quick study, mastering Professor Sprague’s calculus the night before the final, never having cracked the book before. 

After graduation, there was no doubt about the direction Tom would take. He had applied only to Amherst for undergraduate education, and he applied only to Yale for law school. 

After two years, he took a year off to teach English in Japan, having mastered Japanese in a short course. He met Hiroko there, and they were married after Tom returned to Yale. 

Following law school, Tom and Hiroko moved to Portland, where Tom established a reputation for environmental law. The text he co-edited for West Publishing in 1974 continues to be cited. After serving the State of Oregon in several positions, he opened a private practice and thrived. 

Tom and Hiroko raised son Andrew in Portland; he is now a legal consultant, raising his family in the San Francisco Bay Area.  

Tom’s father had been a leader in the Episcopal Church, and Tom was very involved in his local parish. He developed the practice of researching the weekly lessons, sharing his conclusions with the parish and interested others. Tom taught readers to dig deeply into Biblical passages. Tom was also well known for his research into consumer goods, which he shared widely. Here and elsewhere, his searching intellect and clever humor will be remembered and missed. 

Bob Benedetti ’64