Deceased June 12, 2022

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In Memory

Bill passed away in June 2022, the final result of the brain trauma and other injuries suffered in a terrible car accident in 2017. While he recovered somewhat from the crash, he never regained the characteristic energy of mind that made him such a lively personality. His condition saddened his many friends from Amherst and elsewhere, and we all grieved for the Bill we had known.

 He grew up in Stroudsburg, Pa., and worked at a law firm there after graduating in 1976 from the University of Pittsburgh law school. He remained close to high school friends. In 1978, Bill married epidemiologist Annette Stemhagen, DrPH, and after a short stay in New Jersey, they settled in the Philadelphia suburbs to raise their daughter, Carolyn ’08. After a successful career in law and banking, Bill retired in 2012 “to pursue his true hobbies,” as his newspaper obituary read, “locating the best chocolate chip cookie in the Tri-State area; taking Fiona, his Scottish terrier, through the car wash; and sharing political chain emails.”

Bill was devoted to his family. He read all his daughter’s college papers (even those on ancient Greek literature), loved walking grandpups Troy and Lucy, purchased and traded cars “for” Annette but really for him, and handled all his mother’s major and minor crises. He was a fiercely loyal friend and easily befriended everyone from the dry cleaner to his daughter’s college professors. Bill loved good chocolate, Napoleon Bonaparte and his mount, and obscure Roman generals. He read biographies, wore fly-fishing vests but never once ate fish, collected paper napkins and used weed killer not always on weeds. He was an original, a quondam philosopher and a free-spirited conservative. He has already been much missed. 

Tom Smith ’71