Deceased October 19, 2022
Jeff Belden was a kind and thoughtful young man when he was at Amherst. I knew him as a fraternity brother in Chi Phi and as a waiter at the Skipper in Nantucket. We all benefitted from his generosity with his car. He got us to the beach.
Passionate is not a word I would have used to describe Jeff back then, but later in life, he was passionate about many, many things—travel to unusual places; hiking (he was doing just that when he tragically fell off a cliff above the Colorado River on Oct. 19, 2022); photographing the beauty around him; and spending as much time as possible with his beloved daughter, Sarah. He made many intergenerational friends during his 30-year attendance at the Strawberry Music Festival, friends whom he entertained at his home, where it was often said that “he could always be found in ‘a pile of kids.’”
For 25 years, Jeff spent summer weekends as a whitewater rafting guide, and his love of adventure had him exploring rainforests and scaling peaks. He loved playing bridge. Through his extensive devotion to Save Our Shores and to The Marine Mammal Center, he developed a love for elephant seals; he became a docent who enjoyed mentoring new docents at Año Nuevo State Park. Jeff was the kind of man who jumped in wherever he saw a need, and he had a huge impact on the people and organizations he cherished.
Jeff was devoted to his daughter and grandchildren, and in 2017 he found love with Lynne Lenger, which brought him the kind of happiness he had brought so many others.
Arthur “Tommy” Thomas ’67