Arthur B. Church Jr. ’50
Art passed away in Chipita Park, Colo., on March 19, 2021, at the age of 93. He grew up in Kansas City, Mo., and went to the Pembroke Country Day School before serving in the Navy during World War II. At Amherst, he was a member of Delta Upsilon and majored in political science.
Art had two very different careers. For 20 years, he was in television broadcasting sales, starting in Kansas City and then moving to Chicago, New York and Phoenix. In 1971, he went to Colorado and started the process of becoming an antiques expert and appraiser. Along the way, he owned antique stores in Green Mountain Falls and Old Colorado City, Colo. He retired at 85.
Art is survived by his wife, Virginia; three daughters, Jacqueline Simonds (Robin), Ann Cardle (Robert) and Catherine Miles (Brian); and four grandchildren.—John Priesing ’50
James Alexander Hawkins II ’50
Jim Hawkins died peacefully in March 2021, after a brave battle with Parkinson’s and 92 years well lived.
Warm, affable, interested but never overpowering, Jim connected easily with folks from all walks of life. He was a man of quiet passions, family and religion. Photography was, for Jim, both a professional focus and a means of artistic expression.
Much of Jim’s 40-year marketing career with Eastman Kodak was spent in Washington, D.C. He was an appealing presence at diplomatic receptions, at the White House and on Capitol Hill, sporting a classy bow tie, smile and camera and snapping photos later sent to delighted attendees.
After retirement, Jim devoted his life to voluntary charitable work. He joined the boards of Children’s Hospice International and the National American Mental Health Association. He traveled the world, including to Vietnam, Belarus and Cape Town, to promote hospice care for children. Favorite fundraising events he chronicled with his camera included fishing tournaments in Key West in support of mental health and “Fantasy Flights to the North Pole” for sick children.
Religion was central to Jim. He served numerous terms on the vestry and as senior warden at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. He was always willing to explain, test and refine his beliefs about the human spirit and God.
Jim’s greatest passion was his family. He and his beloved wife of 63 years, Marian Stoudemire Hawkins (1927–2018), raised and adored Anne, Betty and Alec and delighted in their five grandchildren.
Jim experienced bouts of dark depression and observed similar suffering in those close to him. To the great joy of those who knew and loved him, he was able to overcome and use the memory of his struggles to fuel his empathy and efforts on behalf of those in need.—Dave ’69, Rob ’71 and John Hawkins ’75
Arthur “Sam” Crowe ’51
Sam passed away on March 23, 2021. He was a Beta and a four-year baseball player at Amherst. Thereafter, he graduated from Harvard Business School and spent three years in the Navy, followed by nine years with W.R. Grace in various financial capacities. Sam had an ingrown desire to run his own company, starting with small entrepreneurial ventures in financial, marketing and general management opportunities. Some were successful, some not.
Around 1983, Sam became intrigued with the budding computer industry and developed expertise in computer programming as it grew in the business world. This allowed him to start his own company, Systemania Inc., working each day to hone his skills and producing software for worldwide clients who wanted to catch up with this new way of doing business. So Sam became a world traveler, establishing computer programs for those seeking to join the new parade. When we last talked in spring 2019, Sam admitted he had eased off the computer programing business, spending more time “smelling the roses” but still doing some tax work picked up as a sideline to programming challenges.
Sam married Kit in 1957. They had four “overachieving” children—three daughters and one son—and he enjoyed 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren when he left us. Kit died in 2008, but Sam stayed on in the four-bedroom West Chester, Pa., home in which he lived and worked his entire proprietary career. —Everett E. Clark ’51
Thomas C. Sweitzer ’51
Thomas C. Sweitzer’s life was remarkable for his dedication to his family, his community and his volunteerism. He spent much of his childhood in Madison, Conn., racing sailboats with his brother Skip and enjoying their experiences as they became Eagle Scouts. He attended Deerfield Academy and went on to Amherst College. Soon after he graduated, Dad joined N.W. Ayer, a renowned advertising firm in New York, where he spent his entire professional career, ultimately helping to make the firm a global agency.
Tom’s proudest professional achievements were found in his work in China in the 1980s. He and his Ayer team were engaged to conduct an extensive survey of China’s cultural, industrial and manufacturing assets to identify, develop and promote to Western/international markets. The China Exposition, which Ayer designed and produced, was China’s reintroduction to the world. This virtuoso exhibition premiered in San Francisco and traveled across the United States and on to Europe, setting the stage for the economic powerhouse that we know today.
Throughout his life, Tom shared his passions with the communities he lived in, through teaching, mentoring and volunteering. He freely credited the impact of the Boy Scouts on his personal values and development as a good citizen. During his early years in Westport, he spent his Monday nights teaching advanced piloting and celestial navigation for the United States Power Squadron.
He accompanied wife Jan on her travels to the Southwest as she searched for gems and minerals for her recent passion, jewelry making. In Sedona, Ariz., not only did they find a breathtaking place to live, they also found an incredible community of locals and snowbirds as they lived out their retirement years. Together, they found a burgeoning arts community and an astonishing patronage base to support it.—Thomas C. Sweitzer Jr. with Charlie Tritschler ’51
Robert C. Barber ’52
Bob prepped for Amherst at the Loomis Chaffee School in his hometown of Windsor, Conn. He majored in economics under the watchful eye of Professor Colston Warne, lettered on the Jeffs’ outstanding swim team, developed his musical talent as a trombone player in the marching band and member of the Choir and Glee Club, and was a Masquer at Kirby Theater.
Bob joined a strong pledge class at the youngest fraternity on campus, Phi Alpha Psi, making lasting friendships and, most notably, finding Marcia Bourne, Smith ’53, whom he married in his first year at Harvard Business School. With his MBA in 1954, and the Korean War just ended, Bob became a Navy second lieutenant, with duty on a destroyer and submarine tender.
The first phase of Bob’s 32-year business career utilized his economics background and talent for solving challenging math problems in his position as manager of finance at Hamilton Standard in Windsor Locks, Conn. He arrived just as Hamilton began developing electronic controls for jet aircraft.
Bob and Marcia raised three children in their 1840s home, renovated over time by Bob’s improving carpentry skills. He spent his spare time as chairman of the school board and town treasurer of Granby, Conn.
Bob accepted Choate’s offer to become business manager in 1969. He was elected president of the Connecticut Association of School Business Officials and was an active Rotarian. While at Choate, he married his second wife, Lynne England, whom he introduced to classmates at our 50th reunion, before eventually retiring to Rockledge, Fla., in 1990.
Bob’s combined families extended to seven great-grandchildren by the time he died on April 14, 2021. During his long journey with Alzheimer’s, his family could always bring a smile to his face by singing “Lord Jeffery Amherst” again.—Nick Evans ’52 (with gratitude to Robyn Barber Miller)
John Hoyt Stookey ’52
John Stookey conquered all that came within his sight and he looked around for more, but the virus struck. He died Jan. 31, two days after his 91st birthday, comfortably, with loving family and favorite music.
In business, no hidden asset was safe from John’s development energies. As chairman of National Distillers, he auctioned its liquor brands at handsome profit and molded the strong energy firm Quantum. He served on 25 corporate boards.
A life trustee of the Boston Symphony, John launched his own musical ventures. In 1982, he founded Berkshire Choral International, a summer camp for choristers like himself. He rented a prep school campus and engaged orchestra musicians, renowned conductors and soloists. We’d rehearse a major work all week to sing Saturday night. Ultimately, thousands sang everywhere. John was a driving force in rehabilitating the rundown Mahaiwe theater in Great Barrington, Mass. He recruited a Juilliard professor for lectures keyed to the Metropolitan Opera’s HD telecasts.
Appy, the former Katherine Emory and John’s wife of 66 years, was a chorus singer too. For her 50th birthday, John sprang for a performance, by musical friends, of her beloved Brahms Requiem in a Southport, Conn., church. Appy promptly joined the sopranos.
Public service? In 1991, John created Landmark Volunteers to connect high schoolers to service organizations. In 1994, he launched Per Scholas, a Bronx nonprofit that opened tuition-free technology training to 12,000 students for permanent jobs.
What about his free time? He started competitive rowing at Amherst. He canoed, rowed, flew, sailed the coast and paddled rivers, canals and lakes. There’s much more.
In addition to Appy, John leaves daughters Helen Jones and Laura Johnson, sons Hunt and Anson, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. A memorial is scheduled for Sept. 25 at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington. —Jack MacKenzie ’52
John V. Rugg ’53
John’s devoted wife of 65 years, Eleanor (“Ellie”), wants “to convey the caring, log, warm man that John was. He was an honest, warmhearted husband and father. He devoted his life to education and young people.” At his death, “many cards came from former students and friends who still remember how John was so interested in their hopes and dreams.”
After Amherst, John moved to New York State to earn a master’s degree in education from Syracuse University, began teaching biology at Williamson Central School and then served as the principal at Whitney Point Central School from 1960 to 1987.
A man of many interests, John enjoyed “golfing, boating, woodworking and camping in the Adirondacks.” He sang with the Finger Lakes Chorale and in the choir as a longtime member of the local Congregational church, where he also served as moderator. A member of the Rotary Club for more than 50 years, he was active with its college scholarship program. He was the cubmaster for Cub Scout Pack 169.
In his retirement from schooling, John enjoyed his part-time job with Avis, shuttling cars between airports, especially because he made many friends with colleagues and gathered with them for lunch.
John, born in Syracuse, N.Y., grew up in Cortland, N.Y., and prepared for Amherst at Cortland High School. He majored in biology, played basketball and joined Theta Delta Chi and the Christian Association.
John died on April 3, 2021, and leaves his wife, Ellie; daughters Leslie (Roger) and Karen; sons Geoffrey and Christopher (Alana); and five grandchildren.—Eleanor Rugg with George Edmonds ’53
Anthony E. “Tony” Sowers ’53
Tony’s daughter, Jamie, admired him for his constant learning. Tony’s second wife of 43 years, Patricia, emphasizes that Tony was extremely smart, always eager to improve things and to share his good sense of humor. Amherst friend George Murphy ’53 asserts that “Tony could do anything” and was “like Mr. Spock of Star Trek, extremely logical and goal-oriented.”
Tony loved the mountains—horse packing, backpacking and winter camping.
After Amherst graduation, while living in Walnut Creek, Calif., Tony began his electronics manufacturing business as a one-man operation in his garage to produce the ultrasonic leak detector, which finds leaks in pressurized systems (Ansonics.com).
Feeling crowded in Walnut Creek, he moved the family and fledgling company to Taos, N.M., where he obtained electrical and plumbing contractor licenses so he could remodel housing units and create an apartment rental business. His daughter, Jamie, continues to run both businesses.
He moved to Halfway in eastern Oregon, near Hells Canyon. There, with his wide knowledge and many technical skills, along with his backhoe and dump truck, he designed and supervised construction of a passive solar underground home.
Community contributions included serving on the local school and county budget committees and on the boards of the local health clinic, economic development corporation and tri-county senior services agency.
Tony prepared for Amherst at Webb School of California in Claremont; majored in history; and joined Alpha Theta Xi and the Automobile Club.
Tony died on Feb. 5, 2020, in San Raphael, Calif., where he had moved for medical care. He leaves his wife, Patricia; sons Charles (Dena) and Todd (Maggie); daughter Jamie (Celia); four grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. His first wife of 21 years, Martita, predeceased him.—Patricia Sowers with Jamie Sowers, George Murphy ’53 and George Edmonds ’53
Thomas R. Swanston ’53
Bob Peterson ’53 treasures the close friendship he had with Tom, first as classmates at Western Reserve Academy, then as fraternity brothers and roommates at Amherst and beyond. Bob remembers Tom “as the smartest, most eloquent leader, who lit up the room with his endless charm.” Bob credits Tom, as president of Delta Upsilon, for arranging Robert Frost’s visit to the house and, especially, for “saving the chapter from closure [by Amherst] at DU’s National Conference with an emotional speech convincing National to adopt new anti-discrimination language in its charter.”
After Amherst, Bob and Tom remained close up to Tom’s end as they met often at Amherst homecomings and at mini reunions of five Amherst men. They shared regular family get-togethers, including time during a power outage, when Tom’s family moved in with Bob’s. On the phone, “Tom always had great stories to share—or themes about his industry. He was a deep thinker; no matter what the problem, he always had answers. The smartest person I have ever known, Tom was charming, personable and energetic.”
After Amherst, Tom served in the Navy for four years, earned an MBA at Harvard and then had a long career as an executive in a variety of home furnishing companies—among them Ethan Allen—in the Northeast and Toronto, as well as in his own company. He served as a trustee of Southern Vermont College and on the boards of two companies and the Chamber of Commerce.
Tom died on Jan. 24, 2021, in Roswell, Ga., of complications from COVID-19. Predeceased by his wife of 63 years, Barbara, he leaves sons Thomas Jr. (Gail), David and William (Michelle) and daughter Leigh (Robert), as well as six grandchildren. Preceding Tom in death were his siblings William ’50 and Mary.—Bob Peterson ’53 and George Edmonds ’53 with help from Bob’s daughter Zoe Ward
Jerold B. Wilkoff ’53
Jerry Wilkoff—gracious, private, genial and urbane—died in November 2020. A longtime resident of Scottsdale, Ariz., Jerry had his last address in Paradise Valley. He grew up in Pittsburgh, graduated from Shady Side Academy and entered Amherst as an only child who had always lived in a hotel.
I first knew Jerry as the mellifluous voice of WAMF and marveled that he had outwitted the frosh strictures of “three in a double” and “no cars on campus,” managing to live in a Valentine suite and drive an Oldsmobile. I joined him on one of his “Anyone for the Yankee Pedlar?” trips when Valentine offered mystery meat. Memorable.
We were classmates at Harvard Business School and the U.S. Army Finance School. Puzzled over his assignment to “Camp Odia,” Jerry learned he had been chosen to become the French-proficient aide in the American embassy in Cambodia.
After two years of very hot work, Jerry returned to civilian life in retail ready-to-wear, first with a startup that named itself “J. Crew” after the group of young employees Jerry led, then with a prominent retailer that chose Jerry to launch its presence in Scottsdale—another hot spot.
Jerry lived there for the rest of his life. He stayed in retail, starting his own business, As Is, AZ—buying from the best department stores expensive gowns that had been worn once (or never) and returned. Jerry resold them to boutiques in a network he had built nationwide, largely by phone in his velvet WAMF voice.
Jerry never married. His survivors are all of us and his many other friends, including my Scottsdale grandchildren, who loved the way he always treated them as adults and were intrigued by his Rolls-Royce—and the Bentley convertible he kept garaged, in reserve. A good man, with style.—Rich Gray ’53
Thomas Malcolm Little ’54
Tom Little, 60th reunion chairman for the class of ’54, died peacefully on March 18 after several strokes.
Tom took on the reunion responsibility and did a great job with it despite reservations about the College’s new “open” curriculum., which he laid out in detail in our 50th reunion book, Strangers Once.
He came to Amherst from Narberth, Pa., and Lower Merion High School. He joined Chi Psi and was social chairman. He majored in political science, graduating with honors. Tom earned the A for soccer and was a member of the Pre-Law Club. A lifelong sailor, Tom joined the Naval Reserve while still in college. Meetings in Springfield obviated attendance at fraternity meetings. After graduation, he served two years on a coastal minesweeper.
In 1956, following his Navy service, Tom married Nancy Sparnon, whom he had met on a blind date at Mount Holyoke College in 1952. With an MBA from Harvard Business School, Tom embarked on a career in packaging, initially with Container Corporation of America, where he served for 23 years. When Scott Lea ’54 recruited Tom to join Rexham Corp., he and Nancy moved to Charlotte, N.C. He retired in 1988. He then spent several years with the International Executive Service Corps, providing advice to developing countries. Over the years, for business and pleasure, Tom and Nancy visited 36 countries. Retirement also allowed for skiing, golf and socializing on the 19th hole.
Tom was recognized as a great teacher, leader and mentor, friend and father. He is survived by Nancy; daughters Deborah Chiumento (Mark Miklavic), Amy (Mark Stabingas) and Susan Evans; seven grandchildren, who knew him as “Pops”; brother Jerry (Barbara); and his border collie, Molly, his beloved companion for 17 years.—Hank Tulgan ’54 and Matt Mitchell ’54
Lawrence Rayner Jr. ’54
The College has belatedly learned of the death of Larry Rayner on May 5, 2019.
He came to Amherst from Latin School of Chicago and was a history major and a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon.
After Amherst, he served in the USAF for three years, assigned to Patrick Air Force Base in missile research and development at Cape Canaveral, now the Kennedy Space Center. During that time, he met his wife, a former Miss Brevard County and graduate of the University of Florida, where she was a cheerleader. They were married in 1958.
Larry obtained his pilot’s license in 1955 and flew his plane for business and pleasure for nearly 60 years.
The Rayners returned to Chicago; he entered the family business but soon moved to Northbrook, Ill., and started several businesses of his own in the forest product industry. He served as village trustee, as a member of the school board, as chair of the board of appeals and on the traffic and transportation committee. In addition, he belonged to a group called COWS (Citizens Opposed to Willow Road Super Highway)!
He was also an avid doubles tennis player at Middlefork Tennis Club.
Larry retired in 1998 and moved to Lake Geneva, Wis., where older generations of his family had lived. The Rayners also had a home in the Abaco Islands of the Bahamas.
Survivors include wife Sally, daughter Martha and grandsons Alex and Eryk.—Hank Tulgan ’54
Forest Pratt Reichert ’56
Woody was born in Cleveland and attended University School before entering Amherst. He was a member of Beta and led the soccer team to many victories. After college, he ran a company in the steel industry and then Knollwood, a well-known Cleveland cemetery, until his death from cancer in March.
Woody had four sons from his first marriage—one named Gage, in honor of his good Amherst friend Gage Hindle ’56—and loved to regale us with anecdotes of their successes. In 1976, he married Susie, who had children of her own. They were proud of the way they successfully blended the two families.
Woody’s great passion was the sport of fishing. He fished the remote lakes in northern Canada to catch his trophy fish. Eventually, he moved on to fly-fishing and soon had enough equipment to make Orvis proud. He was a member of the Rockwell Trout Club in Castalia, Ohio, where he drove over every Thursday to catch the elusive browns and rainbows. In early fall, a group of friends would drive to Michigan to fish the Pere Marquette River for salmon that ran up to 25 pounds and then release them to spawn, all with fly rods! Woody was in his element on the river, enjoying the fall colors and watching the eagles soar overhead in the company of his good friends and the outdoors.
He and Susie enjoyed traveling through New England after a reunion, to Amelia island, Fla., and abroad. He was also creative—designing their home in Chagrin Falls, located deep in the woods. He designed a building on the cemetery grounds, which the board named after him, and where he was laid to rest.
Woody and I, and our wives, enjoyed many wonderful times together. He is missed.—John Fulton ’56
Albert Lenthall “Ky” Sylvester Jr. ’56
Ky came to Amherst from Milton Academy (south of Boston), where he was a three-sport athlete. He continued that excellence as a Lord Jeff, playing freshman soccer, hockey and baseball. Ky went on to play varsity hockey and soccer for three years apiece, co-captaining the soccer team senior year. He majored in economics and was a member of Sphinx, Scarab and Alpha Delta Phi.
Following stints in Europe with the Army, he moved to New Orleans and entered the oil and gas development business with his father and a business partner. He married Beverly “Bevry” Joyce, and two sons followed in due course. Ky started a soccer program at their K–8 school and coached there for many years. Bevry passed away in 2000. A few years later, Ky moved from New Orleans to Sylva, N.C., to be closer to his son and daughter-in-law and their family. He loved river fishing with his grandsons while watching his golden retrievers swim.
Ky will be remembered for his abundant talents and humility, his easy warmth and the special affection in his heart for Boston’s professional sports teams. He was a quintessential sports trivia nut, especially as related to the Boston baseball teams. He knew all of Ted Williams’ achievements and records and recited them often. One of his proudest moments was being “on the scene for the opening game of the 1948 World Series when Bob Feller and Johnny Sain pitched in a memorable and controversial duel.”
Ky died on April 17, 2021, from kidney complications and heart failure.
He leaves his two sons, Todd and Mark; Todd’s wife, Julie; four grandchildren; two sisters, Susan and Amy; and his brother, Duncan.—Irving Grousbeck ’56
Kent N. Knowles ’57
Kent’s life of public service and leadership ended, after a long battle with cancer, on Feb. 6, 2021, with his family at his side. His characteristic quiet manner belied his sharp intellect, high integrity and iron determination. These qualities resulted in his becoming coxswain for Amherst crew and president of Phi Gamma Delta. When the fraternity pledged a Black student, Kent took on the national, with the chapter finally going independent.
After graduation, Kent served in the Navy as an officer. He attended Harvard Law School, graduating in 1963. He began a long career in civil service, notably in the Department of Commerce, where he was named Attorney of the Year.
In retirement, Kent’s passion for nature and birds led him to found the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia. For more than 25 years, RCV has rehabilitated owls, hawks and eagles in the Washington, D.C., area. There are many stories of Kent’s stopping what he was doing to attend to a wounded bird and using it as an opportunity to teach whoever had brought it. RCV provided thousands of educational events. Kent and his Raptor Ambassadors were well known in his Lake Barcroft community, delighting children and adults in annual Earth Day celebrations. For a presentation at one of our class reunions, Kent brought a huge raptor whose transfer required many state permits. The earlier speakers ran over, leaving no time. Kent, with his keen sense of irony, just smiled and shrugged, but the raptor squawked loudly.
Kent was a solid member of the Amherst AC/DC luncheon bunch, with Carol, his wife of 55 years, a cheerful addition. He will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery later this year. Kent is survived by Carol, sons Brian and Kevin, and brother Stephen ’61. More information can be found at mykeeper.com/profile/KentKnowles (password: KNK2021).—Brian Knowles, Carol Knowles, Carl Gray ’57 and Bruce Watson ’57
George H. Megrue ’57
George Megrue passed away Dec. 27, 2020, from complications of COVID-19. He is survived by Suzanne, his wife of 63 years; three children; their spouses; 14 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and a brother.
Megs lived an extraordinary life with accomplishments too numerous to mention in their entirety. Prominent among them were M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in geology from Columbia University, followed by pioneering work at the Brookhaven, Smithsonian, Harvard and other laboratories, and at NASA. Subsequently he explored the soil and rocks in the Great Rift Valley of Ethiopia. His professional career culminated in the establishment of his own spectrometry company, Megrue MicroAnalytical Systems.
Along with Suzanne, he founded the Foxglove School in New Canaan, Conn. In addition to leadership roles in numerous civic organizations, he was a member of Rotary International, serving as its president in 1985.
Megs studied sculpture at The Art Students League of New York and participated in several exhibitions featuring figurative work in wood, metal and fiberglass. He also did work in graphics and photography.
During his time at Amherst, he led summertime excursions with several classmates to Washington state for employment at pea canneries in Walla Walla and Mount Vernon. There he met Suzie, his future wife.
What we remember most about Megs were the wide-ranging conversations that took us on journeys of words for hours, whole afternoons, whole evenings. He knew a great deal about the physical, geographical and geological world but also about the world of ideas, both as a scientist and as an artist. Talking with Megs always left us enriched and inspired.
He was intellectually curious, a lifelong learner, affable and generous. Most important, he was a family man and a great friend. We miss him, but our time together during and after Amherst leaves wonderful memories.—George Amabile ’57, George Furbish ’57 and Jeff Nugent ’57
Frank Stevens “Sandy” Rose ’57
From Sandy’s brother Stuart ’60 came the sad news that Sandy died unexpectedly on Feb. 26, just shy of his 86th birthday. Dealing with Alzheimer’s, he was residing at an assisted-living facility in Middlebury, Vt., with his companion, Peggy Childs.
In spring 1953, Sandy “was thrilled to be admitted to Amherst.” His appreciation for Amherst was evident in the classroom, his fraternity (DKE) and wide-ranging activities. He worked at Valentine as a student. With a “have fun” spirit, he borrowed Valentine trays for winter slaloming down Memorial Hill. “A couple of beers helped.”
After Amherst, Sandy set out on his professional path with the Harry M. Stevens family concession business, working at numerous sports venues (e.g., Fenway Park). Ending his career as senior VP/director at HMS, Sandy retired in 1988.
A loyal “Lord Jeff,” Sandy was a generous contributor to the College and served as an associate class agent. For 1957 reunions, he was our “go-to guy” who took care of all food and beverage provisions.
On a blind date junior year, Sandy met Anne Bleakly, a Southern belle attending Smith. Sandy and Anne were married a few weeks after commencement and began their life’s journey, fueled by love and devotion. Home base became Blawenburg, N.J., where daughters Margaret, Lisa and Leslie grew up.
In retirement, Sandy and Anne split time between their lake home in Severance, N.Y., and town house in Saratoga. Anne having Alzheimer’s, and both having suffered serious injuries in a car accident, they moved to the senior facility in Middlebury in 2012. Sandy dedicated himself to a demanding rehab program while caring for Anne. Anne died in 2014.
Sandy, we will miss you!—Stuart Rose ’60, M.D.; Ted Kambour ’57; and Margaret Rose Lane (Skidmore ’81)
Peter S. Fernald ’58
On March 29, 2021, Peter S. Fernald ’58 died of lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma in his Portsmouth, N.H., home. Born in Springfield, Mass., to Lloyd Dodge Fernald and Gladys Neff Fernald, Peter enjoyed a childhood of games and sports with beloved older brothers Kent, Dodge ’52 and Jack. Sports and physical activities were his lifelong passions. He played varsity sports throughout secondary school. At Amherst, he played three varsity sports, captaining two teams his senior year.
After receiving a master’s degree from Springfield College and a doctorate in clinical and experimental psychology from Purdue, Peter returned to Springfield, where he taught graduate psychology courses and directed the counseling center for three years before joining the psychology faculty at the University of New Hampshire.
In his 46 years at UNH, Peter designed, developed and evaluated innovative techniques for teaching psychology. A highly skilled and passionate lecturer, he taught large sections of introductory psychology as well as advanced graduate seminars and practicums on teaching psychology. His introductory text, co-authored with his brother Dodge ’52, went through five editions. In addition to two UNH teaching awards, he received the 1993 American Psychological Foundation’s Distinguished Teaching Award.
Ever the sportsman, outdoorsman and lover of nature, Peter, with his cherished wife, Susan, enjoyed sailing at their Damariscotta, Maine, lakeside cottage; skiing at their Sunday River ski resort condo; camping in New England state parks; and canoeing the Allagash River rapids.
Peter and Susan had no children, but their ubiquitous teachings and practices of psychotherapy epitomized generativity. As his final legacy, Peter wrote a powerful plea urging New Hampshire legislators to support a bill allowing the terminally ill to end their own lives with physician assistance. His plea appears at CompassionAndChoices.org/stories/peter-fernald.
Peter is sadly missed and fondly remembered by Susan, family and many friends. —Obituary prepared by Peter S. Fernald ’58 and condensed by Ned Megargee ’58
W.B. Martin Gross ’58
W.B. Martin Gross ’58 died peacefully in the presence of his family on May 12, 2021, at the age of 84.
A native of Hinsdale, Ill., a suburb of Chicago where he spent most of his life, Martin was born on Sept. 9, 1936, to Fay and Lawrence Gross. After graduating from Hinsdale Central High School, he enrolled at Amherst in the fall of 1954. He majored in economics and pledged Psi Upsilon fraternity, serving as treasurer. Martin also served on the Prom Committee, chaired the College Hall Committee and was a member of the Glee Club, Masquers, Student and Harlan Fiske Stone Law Society.
After graduating from Amherst in 1958, Martin received his LL.B. degree from Harvard Law School in 1961. Returning to Hinsdale, Martin practiced law in Chicago, making partner in 1968. He specialized in real estate and probate law and served as counsel and director of several multimillion-dollar corporations and philanthropic organizations. In the 1990s, he became chair and majority stockholder of Federated Group, a national sales and marketing group that manages corporate brands for the grocery and food services industries.
Over the years, Martin occupied leadership roles in a number of civic and community service organizations, serving as president of Hinsdale’s school board and village board, chair of the local retirement community, chair of the West Suburban Transit District and president of the Anti-Cruelty Society, among others. Most notably, he served as a special assistant attorney general in Illinois from 1967 to 1969 and as special counsel to U.S. Vice President Hubert Humphrey from 1967 to 1969 during his presidential campaign.
Martin is survived by Lavina Gross, his wife of 36 years; his daughter, Allison Gross; his son, Jeffery Gross; stepson Christian Dill; and four grandchildren. —Ned Megargee ’58
Peter John Leach ’58
Peter John Leach was born ca. 1935 in Ladue, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis, the son of Dorothy and John Herbert Leach. He died at the age of 86 on May 8, 2021 of complications from a fall in November 2020.
Peter prepared for Amherst in 1954 at the John Burroughs School, a private nonsectarian high school in Ladue. At Amherst, he majored in English, participated in swimming, worked on the literary magazine and was in the Masquers.
After graduating from Amherst, Peter earned a master of fine arts degree in playwriting at the Yale School of Drama on a Merrill Fellowship from Amherst.
After Yale, Peter served two years in the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany; got a job writing picture captions for The Saturday Evening Post; and taught writing courses at Stephens College in Missouri and at Bryn Mawr. There he married Eleanor Winsor, a classics professor at Bryn Mawr and later The University of Texas at Austin. At our 15th reunion in 1973, Peter reported, “Since finally beginning to get some fiction published, I am basically living off my wife.” He assumed that she must get some vicarious satisfaction from his writing or she would kick him out.
Eleanor’s investment in Peter apparently paid off. According to his extended obituary, which you can find on his College webpage, Peter went on to receive a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, an O. Henry Award; a Gival Press Novel Award for Best Regional Fiction, Midwest; and other accolades. He also taught writing at a number of venues.
Eleanor herself, who predeceased Peter in 2018 at the age of 80, went on to become an award-winning and acclaimed professor of classics. She and Peter are survived by their daughter, Harriet Leach. —Ned Megargee ’58
Peter C. Van Dusen ’58
When Peter died in the hospital on March 2, 2021, after a head injury, Minnesota women’s water sports lost an iconic figure. After playing hockey into his 60s and racing sailboats himself, Peter coached collegiate women’s hockey, taught sailing and sponsored a nationally competitive women’s sailing team. In later life, he was described as the Minnesota Gophers women’s hockey team’s biggest fan.
Peter and twin sister Pam, who later married John Carpenter ’58, were born to Marnie and Frederick Van Dusen in Minneapolis on June 5, 1936. At Amherst, Peter pledged Alpha Delta Phi, majored in American studies, played soccer and co-captained both his freshman and varsity hockey teams.
After Amherst, Peter graduated from Navy OCS in Newport, R.I.; received his commission; served on active duty; and was honorably discharged. He also obtained a commercial pilot’s license.
In our 50th reunion class book, Peter reported “40 years’ experience in sales and management, 20 years of which were spent in the retail grocery business. … I was honored by being elected … into the Who’s Who worldwide registry for leadership and achievement.”
However, water sports—as well, of course, as his children and grandchildren—were Peter’s chief joys. A superb hockey player, expert sailor and past commodore of the Wayzata Yacht Club, Peter assisted the Gophers hockey team in winter and sponsored a senior women’s sailing team, The Hot Flashes, in summer. “Peter Van Dusen won more trophies than he could ever display or store, but more importantly, he was a friend and mentor to many,” one of his protégés wrote. “[He] had the best qualities of a sailor, competitor and human being. He was humble, kind, patient with beginners. He never lost his temper or bullied … [and] shared what he knew about sailing and racing with fulsome generosity.” —Ned Megargee ’58
Robert R. Abbe ’59
Our class has lost one of its most likeable members with the passing of Bob Abbe on Feb. 23, 2021, in Alameda, Calif. Born in Hartford, Conn., Bob graduated from Wethersfield High School, spending his senior year as class president. Their yearbook noted, “Red hair, but where’s the temper…?”—aptly characterizing the cheerful, easygoing manner that served him well throughout his life.
After Amherst, where he was a member of Phi Alpha Psi, Bob completed his M.D. at the University of Rochester. There he met his wife of 60 years, Dr. Jean Skoglund. They had two daughters, Ruth ’86 and Jennifer, both still living with their families in the Oakland/Alameda area.
Following graduation, Bob served 30 years in the U.S. Navy, reaching the rank of captain and earning, among other honors, the Navy’s Distinguished Service Award. His tours of duty included hospital ships in Vietnam, the Philippines and the Persian Gulf. Ashore, he practiced surgery at the Great Lakes Naval hospital in Illinois before completing his service at Oak Knoll Naval hospital in Oakland. Through his Naval career, he was highly respected as a “contagiously emulative” surgeon (to quote one trainee) who helped “so many become better doctors and people.”
After retirement, he served 15 years as a medical consultant for the California Department of Health Care Services. This also proved mutually rewarding, continuing his clinical associations and enhancing the State’s mission through his keen insights, dedication and collegial manner.
Bob now rests under a tree overlooking the Pacific at Half Moon Bay, Calif. Our condolences go to Jean, Ruth and Jennifer; Bob’s sister Elizabeth and brother Ronald; and their families. For us in ’59, Bob was first alphabetically in our class—a place he will always retain in our minds and hearts.—Henry T. Keutmann ’59
Richard E. Keady ’60
The death of classmate and lifelong friend Richard Keady was not unexpected, but his passing on March 28 nevertheless was a shock. The cause was Alzheimer’s, a horrible, degenerative disease.
On the most important measures of a person, Richard was tops: uncompromisingly honest and moral, egoless, caring, loyal.
At Amherst, like so many of us, he found the academic regime challenging. But he came to thrive with the study of literature.
Richard and I were both members of the Theta Delta Chi fraternity, an experience I feel greatly enriched our college years. When he was elected president, he excelled in this role.
Although Richard was a practicing Catholic, it was nevertheless surprising when he chose to be a Benedictine monk, perhaps spurred by the death of his mother our junior year. This intensive undertaking involved eight years of overseas study. However, when the time came for him to be ordained a priest, Richard opted out.
He proceeded to earn a doctorate in religious studies at Claremont College, leading to a faculty position in the humanities department at San José State University, where he spent 41 years.
Richard lived most of his life in the Bay Area, where my wife, Diane, and I spent countless hours with him and the extended Keady family. Always, Richard exhibited his special qualities of self-effacement, sincerity, compassion, good humor and generosity.
Later in life, Richard met and married Catherine Banbury, a fellow college professor. She was his one true life partner. Married in 2005, they moved to a senior community, Pilgrim Place, in Claremont in 2011. Here, Richard loved sharing ideas and values with other members.
Catherine stated, “Richard was an extraordinarily loving man. I was so blessed to share the years we had. He was the love of my life.”—Bob Madgic ’60
Gary Bair ’61
Gary died on Feb. 28, 2021, predeceased by his wife, Norma, in 2014 after 49 years of marriage. They had two sons who, with their spouses and children, survive him. They were Gary and Norma’s reason for settling in New Orleans.
He spent nearly 32 years of active Naval service as a designated surface warfare officer, 15 of which were on sea duty in cruisers and destroyers and nearly 15 of which were in command of ships, Naval Reserve and readiness installations bases. Gary made three Pacific Vietnam deployments and was deputy commander of 126,000 members of the Naval Surface Reserve Force, of which he directed 21,000 reservists for the first Gulf War. Gary received many Navy awards, including two Legion of Merit honors, two Meritorious Service Awards and the Commendation Medal.
Gary retired from the Navy in 1993 and began helping to establish and then serving many public organizations. He was a founding member and vice chairman of the Belle Classe Academy, the first charter school on a U.S. military base. Other organizations included the New Orleans Mayor’s Military Advisory Committee, Chalmette Refining West Bank Citizens Advisory Panel and Algiers Development District. He was active in Kiwanis and Junior Achievement and a supporter of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.
Gary didn’t intend a life in the Navy. He was working for the New York Telephone Co. when he got a draft notice: “I ran to the nearest Navy recruiter.” He returned to the business world but missed the excitement and challenge of sea service. He came home one day and told Norma that they were going into the Navy. She said, “Good.” He said, “I thought you didn’t like the Navy.” She said, “I don’t, but I like you better in the Navy.”—Paul Bracciotti ’61
J. William Hill III ’61
Billy died on Jan. 2, 2021, in Edinburgh, Scotland, where he had lived since graduation. There he learned Greek and Latin as preconditions for the Presbyterian ministry, and he met and married Pauline. They had two sons, one of whom survives.
Billy’s path to the ministry was prompted by George MacLeod, former moderator of the Church of Scotland, who was a visiting lecturer at Amherst. He invited Billy to study at New College, Edinburgh, where he earned a B.D. in theology. Billy was assistant minister at St Giles’ Cathedral when, in 1967, “the royals” came to open the General Assembly and to visit the cathedral—the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip—and Billy got to shake their gloved hands.
Billy also enjoyed some fame earlier, when his speech for Professor Garrison’s class found its way into The New York Times. He praised “the gutsiest of all cross-country runners—the last man to cross the finish line.” Chris Knipp ’61 remembers the summer of freshman year, which Billy and he spent at Columbia repeating physics and calculus; their entertainment was Sunday church with an outstanding Scottish preacher.
Billy was much loved by his congregations, who, as Pauline says, “spoke of his gentleness and humor, his faithfulness and grace, his courage and wisdom—a strength in challenging times, a reassuring presence, a listener who led by example and had the whole trust of his people.”
Billy was a self-taught lutenist with a passion for Scottish and Italian Renaissance music, producing three recordings. He and Pauline loved Italy, a love formed when Billy spent Christmas 1961 among Paul Bracciotti ’61’s relatives in Fano and was enthusiastically welcomed as a member of the family.—Pauline Hill and Paul Bracciotti ’61
Richard Inglis III ’61
Richard Inglis III—called “Richie”—died peacefully at home in Walla Walla, Wash., March 9, 2021. According to Marion, his wife of 61 years, he “chose to stop eating and drinking” after a 25-year bout with Parkinson’s disease, which had incapacitated him until “he could no longer get around.”
Richie lived a robust life: studying, teaching, counselling, playing music, running, biking, swimming—in triathlons—and raising a family of five children with Marion.
Richie grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio. At Amherst, he majored in psychology, lettered four years in varsity swimming and played clarinet in the Amherst Band. After Amherst, he attended Duke, earning a Ph.D. in psychology.
Later, Richie taught psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno. In 1973, he and Marion moved to Walla Walla, where he opened a counseling practice, interspersed with teaching stints at Whitman College and Walla Walla University. He also performed with the Walla Walla orchestra.
According to the Walla Walla Union Bulletin, Richie “cared deeply about others, and friends and family turned to him for his counseling skills … and he volunteered at Walla Walla Community Hospice for many years.”
Richie and Marion raised two biological children, two sons from Vietnam and a daughter from Korea. One child died in January 2021. Richie is also survived by nine grandchildren.
Richie had a latent sense of humor. When last I saw him in 2017, he playfully reminded me that he, David Bornemann ’61, Bert Rein ’61 and Joe Brecher ’62—all Phi Delts—became men-about-campus models for the August 1960 issue of Mademoiselle. Richie fit perfectly as a handsome young Amherst guy but with a silly, what-am-I-doing-here smile.
Richard Inglis III—who lived a vigorous, caring life—exited on his own terms, at home, surrounded by those who loved him.—Paul Steinle ’61
Christopher S. Rhines ’61
Chris Rhines died at the end of December 2020 in Annapolis, Md., after a short bout with pneumonia. He had a minor fall and was admitted to the hospital for observation, where he picked up pneumonia. It was not COVID but meant his family was unable to visit him for months before his death. His brother Peter, three years younger, says they had a “fine 80th celebration a year ago.”
Chris’ first marriage broke up shortly after he and his wife moved to Baltimore and Johns Hopkins for his Ph.D. Both remarried and remained good friends. At the end of his graduate stipend, to make ends meet, Chris took a “temporary” position at the community college in Baltimore County, where he stayed for 41 years. It was there he met another Ph.D. candidate, Charlotte, a single mother with two children. He moved in with them; they were married and added two daughters of their own. Chris remained single after Charlotte’s death in 2004. Peter says Chris’ children and grandchildren carry on with the homestead on Chesapeake Bay, which the family built and rebuilt.
Chris’ zeal for history and politics was tempered by love of the arts, especially opera, leading him to be a founder and manager of Annapolis Opera, overseeing some 27 performances. Chris and David Hamilton ’61 kept in touch after Amherst. David credits Chris’ determination to go on after Amherst with planting in him the idea of graduate school, something of which he was “blithely ignorant.”
At Amherst, Chris was a DJ at WAMF and another local radio station. The history faculty set in motion his lifelong love of politics, history and political science. And although not much of an athlete, he said, he played 10 years with the Baltimore RFC.—Peter Rhines and Paul Bracciotti ’61
Warren A. Spence ’61
On April 23, 2021, the class of ’61 lost Warren Spence, who served in nearly every class leadership capacity, including several decades as class agent. A month before the 60th reunion, Warren was unable to recover from surgery to remove a brain glioblastoma.
Warren came to Amherst from Port Washington, N.Y. It was at Amherst that he discovered choral singing, which would become a lifelong passion; he was always eager to add his voice to barbershop quartets, musical theater and church choirs.
His internship with Vick Chemical Co. the summer of his senior year at Amherst led to a successful marketing career. In 1964, during a three-year leave from Vicks to serve as a Naval officer, Warren visited the IRS office while docked in San Francisco. It was there he met a young IRS auditor, Christine Rigney, who became his beloved wife. When Warren resumed his Vicks role in NYC, the couple settled in Connecticut, where they enjoyed many happy years raising kids Carrie, Wells ’90 and Colleen.
Warren loved being of service to others and sharing his unique gifts through the faith community. Church choirs crescendoed with his clear tenor voice, and church fundraising campaigns soared, thanks to his humble charm and leadership skills.
Sailing was his favorite hobby to relax and recharge. But he also loved the competitive thrill of racing, helming a Flying Scot many summer weekends on Long Island Sound.
In 2003, Warren and Chris relocated to Williamsburg, Va., where they were blessed with good friends and neighbors and a loving church home, Wellspring United Methodist Church.
Warren was guided by a love of family, of seeing the good in people, of dedicating himself to the communities he cherished and of living his life with kindness.—The Spence Family and Bob Siegel ’61
David K. Braun ’62
Dave Braun died April 6, 2021, after a lengthy struggle with pancreatic cancer. To his immediate family, his fraternity family and his Amherst classmates, Dave’s legacy is how he valued his personal relationships, the tremendous work he did to help others, and the integrity and honesty with which he approached life.
Dave was born and raised in Denver, then moved in 1957 to Bronxville, N.Y., where he met his future wife, Nancy. They were an inseparable duo from the moment they met, Dave at Amherst, Nancy at Mount Holyoke. Married in 1962, they moved to Boston and Harvard Business School, where Dave was a Baker Scholar. He had a magnificent career with General Foods Corp. and its successor, Kraft, from 1964 to 1996, serving most of that time as director / vice president of corporate media services. Dave led a number of innovations in corporate messaging strategy, including negotiating the first major advertising commitment for the launch of CNN and the development of multiple made-for-TV-movies.
Dave lived in Westport, Conn., for 42 years, devoted to Nancy, their three children and their seven grandchildren. He and Nancy later moved to Fairfield, Conn., where Dave found great satisfaction as chairman of his residential community, in service to Green’s Farms Church, and as an independent media and marketing consultant. He maintained remarkably close friendships with many Amherst classmates until his final days, with his ineffable sociability, humor, wit, precise thinking and brilliant command of language—including speaking and spelling full sentences backwards! He contributed his professional skills and meticulous attention to detail as our longest-serving class treasurer.
Dave, we are fortunate to be your classmates and grateful for so many quality years together, extending well into our eighties. We are smiling as we carry you in our hearts. —Dave’s Amherst ’62 Fraternity Family
Ed Harriman ’65
We lost Ed Harriman in April of this year from pneumonia following liver surgery.
After leaving Amherst—where he was in Psi U—Ed became an investigative journalist and filmmaker.
Ed grew up in Rochester and Binghamton, N.Y., where, according to his son Lucian, he “trapped muskrats, photographed snow crystals and detonated cherry bombs.” He came to us from St. Paul Academy in Minnesota. He moved to London on graduation from Amherst to avoid the draft and earn advanced degrees at the London School of Economics. He campaigned against the Vietnam War and worked as a laborer, digging a line for the London Underground.
Ed began his journalism career with an article in the Manchester Guardian on oil drilling in Aberdeen, Scotland, that set the tone for his life’s work focusing on family issues, poverty, conflict, science and pollution. Granada Television provided an arena for much of this activism and, in 1987, one of Ed’s films won the gold medal for TV drama at the New York Film and Television Festival. In 1992, it was Ed who traveled to Serb-held territory in Bosnia to do the first television coverage of the genocide against Muslims. The legendary British author Graham Greene described Ed’s book Hack: Home Truths about Foreign News (1987) as “masterly.”
Ed married Barbara Jacobs in 1986. She survives him along with sons Oliver, Andre and Lucian and grandson Leon. Along with his family, and people around the world whose causes Ed took up, it is clearly not only we, Ed’s classmates, who regret his passing.—Paul Ehrmann ’65
Michael W. Dwyer ’66
Michael Watson Dwyer—writer, artificial intelligence researcher, philosopher, photographer, guitarist and sometime connoisseur of the distinctive scents of different bookbinding glues—died at the age of 75 on Jan. 31, 2020, in St. Louis, survived by his cousins Jane and Edward Fordyce and Paris Day.
The son of Lucy and Embert Watson Dwyer, Mike came to Amherst from Horton Watkins High School in St. Louis. He majored in philosophy at Amherst, writing his senior thesis on Ludwig Wittgenstein; applied to Yale Law School to please his father, who did not consider philosophy a sensible career path; left Yale after half a semester, convinced that the classroom sparring that characterized the Socratic method of legal education was an elaborate game; and returned to St. Louis, where he joined the McDonnell Douglas Research Laboratories and began a 24-year career in information technology and AI, serving as an IT specialist, manager and senior scientist in the applied mathematics and computer science department.
At 48, taking advantage of the closing of the labs in a restructuring, Mike, as he put it, “dropped out to devote myself exclusively to my underground literary endeavors.” Picking up on a passion dating back to his Amherst days, he began serious work on what eventually developed into a four-volume work of imaginative fiction. Mike planned that the work as a whole would be titled Amherst Eclipticalis, after John Cage’s orchestral work “Atlas Eclipticalis,” and although he described the 900-page manuscript wryly as a “totally unpublishable, idealistically uncommercial literary artifact,” he was proud of its creation and little troubled by the thought that the world at large was ill-equipped to appreciate it. Mike often heard a different drummer and was satisfied to step to the music he heard.
A longer version of this memory is at amherst.edu/amherst-story/magazine/in_memory/1966.—Geoffrey Drury ’66
John David Lane ’66
John D. Lane died at home on Aug. 30, 2020, after a brave struggle with lymphoma.
John is survived by his wife of 48 years, Elizabeth; son Edward ’98 and wife Vanessa; daughter Mary Jackmin and husband Thomas; and two adored grandsons. He was predeceased by his son Andrew Thomas Lane, whose loss was described in his class of 1966 50th reunion yearbook submission.
Born Sept. 24, 1944, in Princeton, N.J., John was the son of Howard Rich Lane (1926) and Doris Andrews Lane. A 1962 graduate of The Hun School, he earned an M.Div. from the General Theological Seminary in New York in 1972 and a D.Min. from Drew University in 1988.
At Amherst, John was moved by the death of President Kennedy. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal from 1966 to 1968, serving in the most remote post of that organization, a six-day walk from any transportation. John served as a curate in Charlotte, N.C.; a rector in New Orleans; and a rector in Staunton, Va. He was a longtime member of Rotary International and served on the boards of the local Salvation Army and the YMCA.
He welcomed classmates who were in New Orleans for a Super Bowl and assisted others whenever he could.
John was known for his quick wit, sharp intellect, spiritual guidance, loving care and thoughtful leadership. He placed high value on preaching and liturgy and believed that his calling was to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”
One of John’s proudest achievements was appearing on the television quiz show Jeopardy! in 1972. A lover of travel, he made the most of his retirement years and spent many happy hours researching and planning trips. He was a voracious reader and an enthusiastic, if often vanquished, player of tennis.—Ed Lane ’98 and John McKenzie ’66
Victor W. Dahir ’67
Victor William Dahir died after a long illness on March 20 at his home in Pebble Beach, Calif.
Vic grew up in Barrington, Ill., a town of 5,500 people. At Amherst, he majored in economics, was a member of DQ and served as president of his fraternity, Theta Delta Chi. Vic appreciatively credited his Amherst classmates, professors and experiences with expanding his perspective beyond his nuclear family’s small-town upbringing.
After graduation, a congenital back condition thwarted Vic’s enlistment in the Navy, as it had prevented him from playing baseball at Amherst. Undeterred, he “talked his way into Harvard Business School” at a time when applying students were expected to have had prior business experience.
After completing his MBA, he headed for the West Coast and decided he would not go back to Barrington, having seen San Francisco. His initial career step was at Arthur Young & Co., where he earned his CPA certificate. He followed with executive stints at Redwood Bank and Levi Strauss and many years as CFO at Visa. After leaving Visa in 2006, he enjoyed retirement on the lovely Monterey Peninsula.
Two remarkable children, Victoria and Rob; four grandchildren; and his wife, Kimberly, will continue Vic’s legacy. He lived an impactful, meaningful life. We will miss hearing him sing, engaging with his insightful mind, benefiting from his sound advice and enjoying his friendship. —Mather Neill ’67 and Richard Skillman ’67
Thomas J. Smith ’67
Thomas J. Smith, M.D., 75, of Shrewsbury, N.J., died Feb. 3, 2021, after a valiant battle with cancer. Born in New York City, he was the son of the late Lotte (Moos) and Eric Smith, Ph.D.
Dr. Smith graduated from Fair Lawn (N.J.) High School. After he graduated from Amherst, where he received a bachelor of arts degree cum laude, he earned an M.D. from Tufts University School of Medicine. He then served two years with the U.S. Navy. He completed his surgical residency at New England Medical Center and served a fellowship with the National Cancer Institute.
His career spanned more than 35 years caring for cancer patients, teaching residents and being involved in community cancer programming. He was a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. He began his career at the New England Medical Center in Boston. In 1994, he became chief of surgery at Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey, where he was saw patients who needed breast/melanoma medical care as well as directing the surgical residency program. In 2002, he was recruited to Everett, Wash., and joined The Everett Clinic.
A lifelong avid sailor, he also enjoyed singing and classical music.
He was predeceased by his former wife, Barbara, the mother of their two sons. He is survived by his wife of 22 years, Jean McMahon; son Damon and his wife, Denise; and son Colin and his wife, Megan. He was blessed with six grandchildren.
Physician, teacher, colleague, friend, husband, father and grandfather. He will be missed. There will be a celebration of his life later this year.—Marc Hersh ’67
Saunders Mason ’69
Sandy Mason died Dec. 26, 2020, at home in his beloved Teton Valley, Idaho. Though he left us after freshman year (“Isolation Ward,” first floor of Morrow dorm), Sandy stayed in lasting relationships with many in our class. He painted houses with Dave Rea ’69. He played golf and skied with Marc Beebe ’69, Bruce Hogan ’69, Bill Thompson ’69, George Revington ’69 and Steve Jamieson ’67. He hiked with Bill Hart ’69 and me.
Sandy had a 40-year marriage to Mary, his true love, best friend and business partner. After a successful career in business, Sandy distinguished himself in the field of land management, conservation and protection of wildlife habitat.
He was joyful, curious and tenacious in the pursuit of what is best for the environment and all creatures. He had the kind of charisma that would change and charge the energy in any space he occupied.
Sandy was buried during a snowstorm, on his property, on a bluff overlooking the Teton River. He wore flip flops, Bermuda shorts, a loud Hawaiian shirt and his Cubs hat. Rest in peace, brother.—Will Barrett ’69
Jay C. Sendzik ’69
Jay Sendzik, a lifelong resident of Brick Township, N.J., passed away on March 7, 2021. He is survived by his wife, Maria Mageros Sendzik; his daughter, Katie; and five adoring grandsons. He was their favorite storyteller and will be missed greatly by his family and by the entire community of Brick, where he founded his law firm in 1977 after graduating from Delaware Law School at Widener University. He was also an active and admired civic volunteer who co-founded Brick United, which provides scholarships to worthy high school students.
Jay met his future wife, Maria, while substitute teaching in Brick in 1971, where he had also been a well-known high school athlete. They were happily married for 45 years and had two children, including Joseph, who died tragically in an auto accident at 27. But Jay was happy and proud when his daughter, Katie, became a lawyer and joined Sendzik and Sendzik in 2004 as his partner. Their practice represents many municipal agencies throughout New Jersey, with a specialty in fire districts.
Jay loved golf and hiking, in particular the Appalachian Trail, as well as flea markets and antiques. He also loved his family and would frequently come home with gifts for Maria, such as an antique Singer sewing machine because she’s an avid quilter. On the day he died, peacefully at his desk, at the place he called his “fortress of solitude,” Jay had just given Maria a bag full of decorative old thimbles, something she’ll cherish forever. I guess she’ll literally and metaphorically be able to keep him “under her thumb” every time she uses them! She said he had lost touch with Amherst but had wonderful memories of his years there and his friends from DU. May you rest in peace, good brother.—Mark Dickinson ’69
James R. Steinman ’69
Returning to Amherst for a 2013 honorary degree, Jim Steinman was in post-stroke recovery, shielded with sunglasses and black leather. He regaled students about his college days, when he test-launched his creative dimensions as composer, lyricist, producer, arranger, performer and dramatist.
Jim’s public persona emerged in Amherst fraternities, where he played keyboards and extemporized provocative, comedic lyrics with such bands as Things that Go Bump in the Night, Sundance and Leaves of Grass.
Jim’s musical theater career began with The Fantasticks in Stone basement, starring Ken Howard ’66 and Larry Dilg ’69. Jim played wooden chair percussion. Soon he integrated his music into underground plays directed by Barry Keating ’69, then Bertolt Brecht’s A Man’s A Man in Kirby Theater. In 1969, Jim seized Kirby, writing and composing The Dream Engine—a rock opera in which Jim starred, Barry directed and acted, and Larry and Stephen Collins ’69 appeared.
In 1972–73, Jim wrote a rock version of Wagner’s Das Rheingold and found Meat Loaf to sing his music at The Public Theater. The Kennedy Center later showcased Jim’s Neverland.
In 1977, Jim and Meat Loaf released Bat Out of Hell—one of the best-selling albums ever. Their 1993 sequel, Back into Hell, produced No. 1 hits in 28 countries. Jim’s songs were also recorded by Barbara Streisand, Bonnie Tyler, Celine Dion, Barry Manilow and Jim himself, selling 150 million copies worldwide.
In 1996, Jim wrote Whistle Down the Wind lyrics for Andrew Lloyd Webber and, in 1997, music for Tanz Der Vampire, which ran for 18 years in Germany, where Jim became a cult figure.
A full-blown Steinman rock musical was realized in 2018–19—Jim Steinman’s Bat Out of Hell in London, Toronto and New York.
Reflecting on Jim’s life, we see “rock and roll dreams come through.”—Frederick Baron ’69
John A. Richmond ’71
Retired Col. John Alan Richmond, M.D., of Concord, N.H., died peacefully on April 9 with his family by his side. He was born in Nagoya, Japan, in 1949, and grew up on Air Force bases around the world. He graduated from Goldsboro (N.C.) High School, Amherst College and the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine. He served in the U.S. Air Force as flight surgeon and as psychiatrist in the U.S. Army. Following his military service, John worked as a consultant for St. Paul’s School and in community mental health and prison settings in New Hampshire.
At Amherst, John was a proud and dedicated member of Psi U and the varsity crew team. He was equally known for cultivating a wide range of friendships off campus and for his spirited adventures (and occasional misadventures) around the Pioneer Valley. Friends remember him as indefatigable. Says his old buddy Dave Moriarty ’74, “He had an incredible gift for drawing out the warmth and enthusiasm in others.”
True to his Amherst education, John was a Renaissance man, with an appetite for literature, music, science, history, aviation and sailing. Throughout his life, he was at ease, engaging in spirited conversation with persons from all walks of life. A colleague noted: “John had a unique quality for bringing out the best in others without their being aware of it.” He enjoyed time with his family, backpacking, meditation, playing guitar and all things motorcycle.
John is survived by his wife, Claire; his children, Ellen ’12 and William; his sister, Ann Dulevitz, and brother-in-law, Alexander Dulevitz; his sister-in-law, Lourdes Jacob; his cousin, Alan; and many extended family members. He is preceded in death by his parents, Maj. Gen. Luther and Jean Richmond; his brother, Luther Richmond Jr.; and his nephew, Mark Dulevitz. He is greatly missed. —Ellen M. Richmond ’12
James M.E. Mixter Jr. ’73
On the last day of April, Jim Mixter boarded a train bound for glory. Weeks before, his smoldering cancer had turned suddenly aggressive, to everyone’s surprise.
Born and raised in Cincinnati, Jim was known for his pleasant, even keel. He made friends not only in James and Phi Delt, but in classes (an economics major), the Glee Club (baritone) and the local business community. Jim took it as a badge of honor when folks beyond the College recognized his name. He once crafted a scheme to operate a train car serving pizza between Smith, Mount Holyoke and Dartmouth. While it never got on track, it exemplified the confluence of his entrepreneurial imagination, sociability and love of railroads.
In some ways, Jim was the early-’70s counterpoint to long hair and liberal politics. He was simply and unabashedly himself—usually right of center, but emphasizing “center.”
At Amherst, Jim discovered a lifelong passion for choral singing. He traveled with the Glee Club in 1972 to Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East. After his MBA, he joined various alumni in the Mastersingers ensemble. For more than 20 years, he sang with the National Cathedral Choral Society, also serving on its board. In his home church, he graduated to tenor. Whatever it took for the good of the team.
Teamwork was something Jim valued and stressed throughout his career with Exxon. Numerous colleagues appreciated his honesty and collegial style. Those of us who attend reunions remember Jim as one who’d run errands quietly and keep things going. Not an attention-getter, not a soloist, but eager to listen, whether or not he agreed.
Our condolences go out to his wife, Lolly (Smith ’73). We know that Jim honored Amherst with a bequest. We commend his example to others.—Ted Wright ’73
Hector L. Scott ’74
Hector Lloyd Armando Scott passed away Feb. 23, 2020, in Hartford, Conn. He started out with the class
of 1972 but left during sophomore year, returning to graduate with the class of 1974. Hector was born in Kingston, Jamaica. His parents moved to the Hartford area when he was a boy. He grew up there surrounded by his many siblings—three sisters and nine brothers. After Amherst, he started a family in Hartford and worked as a counselor for many years at Cedarcrest Hospital in Newington, Conn.
Several classmates, including Eric Cody ’72, recall Hector as a teammate on the freshman soccer team. Bernie Barbour ’72 recently reminded me of his winning smile. I also remember his melodious voice and expressions. Hector liked engaging in spirited debate. At dinner in Valentine, whenever anyone made a questionable comment, he’d say, “For crying out loud!” in an exasperated tone. I didn’t know he had been an outstanding member of Hartford Public High School’s debate team.
Once he invited me home during a holiday weekend. The weekend seemed like a family reunion, and I quickly felt like Hector’s cousin. With so much food, rum and laughter, and so many siblings and cousins coming and going all day and night, it was difficult to keep up.
Hector’s surviving siblings and relatives, as well as his two sons and daughter and his nine grandchildren, will also have many memories to cherish. I was saddened by the news of his passing. Peace to his spirit.
The classes of ’72 and ’74 extend our heartfelt sympathies to Hector’s family. —Horace Porter ’72
David Michael Lombardo ’77
Dave “Lombo” / “Lumpy” / “The Bard” Lombardo passed away on May 25, 2021, after a courageous battle with Stage 4 prostate cancer. He had survived an aortic dissection, a rare and almost always fatal blood vessel condition that required emergency surgery, about a dozen years earlier.
Lombo grew up in West Hartford, Conn., where he was an All-American soccer goalie and fabulous playmaker on the Conard High School basketball team. At Amherst, he continued to play while double-majoring in psychology and chemistry. He attended the University of Virginia School of Medicine, trained at Harvard and Duke in radiology, and practiced for many years in Jacksonville, Fla. After retiring for medical reasons, he made the best of the following years by traveling widely, hitting the golf links, becoming proficient in Italian, furthering his trumpet-playing skills, attending jazz clubs, listening to opera and drinking the very best red wines. Lombo became Jacksonville’s “most interesting man.”
Although very accomplished, Dave was always humble. Everyone liked Lombo. He was smart but never overcompetitive academically. He always showed an interest in what his friends were doing and encouraged their pursuits. Lombo had a dry yet profoundly witty sense of humor. After Amherst, he kept up with his soccer and basketball buddies, Psi U friends and pre-med classmates.
My last time together with Lombo was an unforgettable weekend in New York City that reflected his wide variety of interests. We biked around Central Park, watched a Premier League soccer match on TV, sailed around Lower Manhattan, had dinner in Little Italy and finished up at a jazz club in Greenwich Village.
David was an outstanding physician, a singular person and a great friend. He was an even better loving husband and supportive father. David is survived by wife Carol, son Robert and daughter Lara.—Scott Osur ’77
J. Peter Mitchell ’79
It is with sadness that the class of ’79 notes the sudden passing of John Peter Mitchell of Brookline, Mass., and Warren, Vt., on March 30, 2021. Peter joined us at Amherst from his hometown of Winchester, Mass., rooming in Stearns freshman year with his high school classmate Phil Simmons ’80 (who, sadly, died of ALS in 2002). Peter spent his junior year abroad at the University of Tübingen in Germany. Following graduation, he went on to earn a degree from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in 1981.
Peter was a managing director in the Investment Banking Group at Bank of Boston. He later became the CFO for Longwood Health, a consulting firm based in Dubai, which grew out of wife Judy Dayton’s architectural practice designing hospitals throughout the Middle East.
Peter was extraordinarily accomplished in a number of areas. He gave up typical downhill skiing, presumably because it was insufficiently challenging, for the telemark technique, rarely seen in the East. An extremely gifted woodworker, Peter redid all the moldings and trim in a Brookline row house that he and Judy bought and rehabbed.
Judy was the perfect complement to Peter’s quiet, introverted personality, and together they were extremely adventurous, pursuing Peter’s curiosity about the world. They trekked through Annapurna in Nepal and explored the outer provinces of China, visiting the Uighurs long before the ethnic minority came to the attention of the Western world. Peter was also a skilled photographer, and some of the photos from these trips ended up in his photography shows.
Our condolences go out to Judy; her brother, Jim; Peter’s siblings, Tom, Bill and Lisa; and their spouses and children.—Jim Mendelsohn ’80 and Keith Stephenson ’79
Robert M. Hepner ’86
Bob Hepner passed away on Sept. 27, 2020, after five years living with cancer. It was Kol Nidre, and though he was Jewish only by affiliation with his wife, Lauren Rosenberg ’86, it is said that those who pass on the High Holy Days are Tzadik, “righteous.” Anyone who knew Bob would agree. He touched all who knew him with his creativity, love of people—especially children—and enthusiasm to connect deeply. He was an artist and maker of things whose wildly colorful kinetic art illuminated life’s mundane objects, and who performed with the sculpture carnival on his truck in parking lots and other unexpected places.
Bob was forever madly in love with Lauren and wholly dedicated to his daughters in everything they did. A flamboyant dancer who ran like Hermes and rode or drove many unsafe vehicles, he finished every day at home, cooking with his family. Bob taught art at the Smith College Campus School for 15 years.
In his community work, he always pushed himself to be more just: cooking at the Amherst Survival Center and designing and helping build the Leverett Elementary School playground. In his short time living in Las Cruces, N.M., he was a justice advocate, a volunteer for AVID in the Chihuahuan Desert (working with detainees), a bus driver with Las Cruces Public Schools and a rider with middle schoolers in the Scorpion Bike Club. He loved biking and hiking in the Organ Mountains and driving his 1946 pickup.
Bob had magical, magnetic energy that inspired others. He loved fearlessly and generously. He will be remembered always by his wife, Lauren; his daughters, Bess and Ella Hepner; their partners, Parker Ziegler and César Ignacio Pérez de la Rosa; parents Anne and Charles Hepner; sister Liz Hepner; and his many friends.—Jordan Lewis ’86