G. William Juergens ’50

Bill reached the age of 95, passing away on Oct. 27, 2020, in Hugo, Minn. He was a radioman on a Navy patrol bomber (PBY) and flew combat missions in the Pacific Theater during World War II.

Born in Rome, N.Y., and a graduate of Rome Free Academy, Bill came to Amherst and lived in Chi Phi. A warm, gregarious person, Bill had numerous friends at the College.

His first job was with Revere Copper and Brass in sales and advertising. He left in 1968, joined the Vollrath Co. and then was vice president of marketing for Spotts International. This was followed by a move in 1980 to the Carlson Marketing Group, where he was vice president of marketing. At the end of his career, he became an independent manufacturer’s representative.

Bill was an avid golfer and reader. In retirement, Bill and his wife, Jean, went periodically to Florida but always came back to Minnesota. He leaves his wife; a son, Bill; daughter-in-law Candy; two grandchildren; and a sister, Lucille Throop. Our sympathies go out to the Juergens family.—John Priesing ’50

Alexander M. Keith ’50

Sandy Keith died in October 2020 at the age of 91 in his hometown of Rochester, Minn., where he spent most of his adult life. A lawyer, he was a very prominent public servant in numerous ways in the state.

He was elected to the state senate, then was lieutenant governor from 1963 to 1967. In 1966, he lost the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party primary for governor. After politics, for many years he practiced family law and gained a reputation for solving problems through mediation with an optimistic outlook.

In 1987, Sandy was appointed to the state supreme court as a justice. This was followed by becoming chief justice in 1990 and serving eight more years in that role. After that, he became the first executive director of the Rochester Downtown Alliance, formed to improve the city. His leadership roles continued when he headed up a group to bring a branch of the University of Minnesota to Rochester.

At Amherst, Sandy belonged to Psi Upsilon and was elected to the student council, Sphinx, Scarab and Phil Beta Kappa. An outstanding athlete, he lettered three years in football and four in wrestling, which he captained senior year. He was a New England intercollegiate wrestling champion.

Sandy went to Yale Law School after Amherst and then entered the Marines, which included serving one year as a lieutenant in Korea. His first job was in the legal department at the Mayo Clinic. Over his lifetime, he relished skiing in Colorado and fishing in Canada with his family.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Marion; two sons, Ian and Douglas; and four grandchildren.

Well done, Sandy.—John Priesing ’50

Eugene E. Mori ’50

Gene lived in two worlds. Not long after Amherst, he became prominent in South Florida as president of the family-owned and nationally known Hialeah Park Race Track. (The family also controlled Garden State Park in New Jersey.) Later, Gene became a citizen of Monaco, where he kept a large yacht on the French Riviera about equal in size to his other in Florida. Gene was also quite an international skier and race car driver.

In 1961, he broke the Hialeah clubhouse barrier against Black admissions. One day when Gene was at lunch, a Black man at the gate asked to see the president. After learning the Black man had an appropriate coat and tie, Gene invited him in for lunch—he was Cab Calloway, the well-known bandleader. Gene got recognition for allowing the famous flamingoes in the infield to grow back their clipped wings and added shrimp to their diet so as to regain their beautiful color.

Gene went to The Lawrenceville School. He became a member of Theta Delta Chi at Amherst. Ben Linton ’50, a fraternity classmate who worked with Gene off and on over the years, remembers him as “a loyal friend and shrewd business operator.”

Following Amherst, Gene went into the U.S. Navy and served as an officer on a destroyer. Unexpectedly, his destroyer and mine pulled into tiny Midway Island on the same afternoon during the Korean war. That night, we had to leave the officers’ club to break up a fight between our crews.

After the horse racing tracks, Gene became a real estate investor and backed entrepreneurs.

He never married and died Aug. 30, 2020.—John Priesing ’50

Charles T. Plough Jr. ’50

Charles T. Plough Jr., died on Feb. 17, 2019, in Albuquerque, N.M., after a long battle with prostate cancer. He was 92 years old. His father was in the class of 1924.

Charlie was born in Oakland, Calif., and grew up in Stockton. He graduated from Berkeley High School and then served in the U.S. Navy for two years.

At Amherst, he was a leader in the Intramural Council and became president of Kappa Theta. At our senior goat in 1950, we elected him “president for life.” He graduated cum laude in psychology and earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering at UC Berkeley, launching his career in transistors in Silicon Valley. He held five patents on solid-state processes and electronics, two of which were “among the thousand most important patents in the 20th century.” He had a fascinating and creative professional life and a large and loving family. He is survived by his wife, Glorya Hale; four children; two stepchildren; and two grandchildren.

After a course with Professor James Martin, Charlie became a Universalist and was an active member of the church. He was an avid golfer and got deeply involved in local politics in New Mexico.

In his essay in our 50th reunion book in 2000, Charlie waxed eloquent on the subject of the big new world of computers: “The continued rapid improvement in electronic devices from the 1950s to today has revolutionized all our lives and will continue to do so for the next century. … Rote learning is the sort of thing computers can do very well, and teachers could then concentrate on the things they enjoy doing, like teaching concepts and explaining nuances. … If that doesn’t make an Amherst education important, I don’t know what will.” Wise words, written more than 20 years before the COVID-19 pandemic.—Kingsley Smith ’50

Ralph F. Gildehaus Jr. ’51

My dad died on Oct. 27, 2020, at home in Moorestown, N.J., at 91.

Born into a South St. Louis German American family, Dad and several John Burroughs School classmates, including best friend Ferg Fowler ’51, attended Amherst, sight unseen. Dad was a member of Phi Psi and earned his B.A. in chemistry. With his wife, Betsy, he attended his 25th to 65th reunions. For the 60th, Dad gave a vintage Glee Club recording to each classmate.

Dad served for two years with the U.S. Army Chemical Corps, stationed for his final six months protecting an airbase near London. In 1953 he started in sales with Union Carbide, which took him to NYC; Charlotte, N.C.; and Philadelphia, where he met Betsy Jane Davis. They were married in 1960, moved to Tulsa, began a family and moved farther, to Chicago, St. Louis and finally Moorestown.

Dad served as an elder, deacon and trustee of the First Presbyterian Church of Moorestown. He was a member of the Moorestown Field Club and of the New Jersey Society of Pennsylvania (serving a term as president). For several years he raised funds for United Way of Burlington County. Dad lived with humor and optimism. He loved entertaining people in his decorated basement, including playing his “boomba” instrument.

After retiring, he and Betsy enjoyed traveling around the world, visiting with family and vacationing in Siesta Key, Fla. (including dinners with Skip Hunziker ’51, Ev Clark ’51 and their spouses). They took a riverboat cruise to celebrate Dad’s 90th birthday and last year attended grandchildren’s graduations from college and high school.

Dad loved his family, neighbors, friends, church, alma maters and Moorestown community. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, children Ralph ’83 (and wife Jan) and Charles and grandchildren George and Diane. —Ralph F. Gildehaus III ’83

Frederick L. Luddy ’51

Fred passed away on Sept. 18, 2020, at age 91. He was born and raised on North East Street in Amherst, attended East Street grammar school and Amherst High and, as a “townie,” joined our freshman class in 1947. A Theta Delt, Fred might be best remembered by most of us as a member of the DQ for our last two college years. Amherst opened Fred’s world to a productive career in writing, teaching, organizing and running secondary schools and holding college administrative positions.

After Amherst, Fred taught sixth grade at a private school in Portland, Ore., then enlisted in the Army, serving in Korea until the Armistice. Back in the Pioneer Valley, Fred taught history at Hopkins Academy in Hadley, then moved to Boston to serve as secretary to the first Massachusetts State Scholarship Committee. In 1959 Fred accepted the challenge of developing a new independent elementary school in Lexington, Ky., hiring teachers, developing curriculum and enticing parents to trust their children in this new enterprise. The Lexington School celebrated its 61st anniversary last September. Thereafter, Fred hopped to different academic challenges in Massachusetts, Kentucky and Michigan.

In 1979, he moved to Amherst to devote himself to writing a book about mountain life in the Kentucky hills, to editing a magazine on rural New England and to the preservation of a historic Amherst building.

Fred married Judy in 1962 and is survived by her and their three children and 12 grandchildren. To Fred, his greatest loves were his close family ties and the many dear friends he gathered wherever he journeyed throughout his long life. As our “in-town” class members, Fred and Judy were kind enough to open their home to returning classmates for many homecoming and reunion parties and dinners. Great fun! Fred was much loved and is greatly missed by all.—Everett E. Clark ’51 with Judy Luddy and John Kirkpatrick ’51

Ulric St. C. Haynes ’52

Rick Haynes told a civil rights panel at our 40th reunion that he had a Yale law degree and a U.S. ambassadorship, “but I can’t get a taxi in New York.” I remember it well. Some said he should have been more grateful. I thought otherwise; still do. Attention must be paid, even at this late date. Rick died on Aug. 21, 2020, at 89.

Rick’s parents, from Barbados, settled first in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. His father clerked for Socony Oil, run by Amherst’s Pratt family. Fred Pratt ’30 determined that Rick must attend Amherst, where he won a full scholarship.

Shunned by fraternities, Rick shunned back and joined Lord Jeff. His roommate, Ken Brown ’52, completed the racial quota. When a white classmate wanted to room with them, the dean required written permission from his parents. “Ironically,” Rick later noted, “no one in the Amherst administration felt it was necessary to contact my parents for permission to room with a white student.”

Rick sang in the Glee Club, played Hamlet’s ghostly father as a Masquer, fenced and was class choregus. After Yale, he was rejected by dozens of law firms but landed with New York Gov. Averell Harriman, who later boosted Rick’s major diplomatic mission, ambassador to Algeria 1977–81. His skills and French fluency were key for the team who negotiated the release of American hostages in Iran.

Racial slights and insults punctuated Rick’s professional successes, including serving on LBJ’s National Security Council staff, at the Ford Foundation, in foreign posts and
in U.S. corporate positions. He taught, served as dean of Hofstra University’s business school, settled in Florida and taught at colleges there.

Rick had many victories against racial headwinds, all too plentiful for this space. Amherst awarded him an honorary degree in 2012. His wife, Yolande; daughter Alexandra; and son Gregory survive him. He was bitter, charming and able. Rest well, Rick.—Jack MacKenzie ’52

Daniel Madden Schuster ’52

Dan was from Rochester, Minn., his father head of the Mayo Clinic there. Dan graduated from Rochester High School and was elected to the National Honor Society. At Amherst he graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa and was president of Psi Upsilon. He received his MBA from Stanford in 1954. He spent 33 years with IBM, largely in Rochester. Later, Dan was active in the development of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and the county Republican party.

After his first marriage, Dan married Delone Schnorr in 1979, famously, on top of Snowbird Mountain in Utah. In time, he suffered from peripheral neuropathy that increasingly affected his mobility. Dan and Delone moved close to the Mayo Clinic for his care as his condition deteriorated. Sadly, Dan died Sept. 29, 2020, at the clinic’s St. Marys Campus.

Dan was well-known for his humor (and found it even in the leaking drip pan under his GI Village icebox). He was a talented toastmaster at reunions, graduations and birthdays, focusing on the lighter side of life. This is from his remarks at an Amherst event: “As a nostalgic commentary, let me conclude with this little poem called ‘Black and White’: ‘Everything always turned out right / Simple people, simple lives / Good guys always won the fights / I’d trade all the channels on the satellite / If I could turn back the clock tonight / to when everyone knew wrong from right. / Life was better in black and white.’ This has been fun. We should do it every 55 years.”

Dan leaves his wife, Delone, of 31 years; brother Slade; sister Mary; three children, Sheri, Scott and Mary; stepsons Randy and Brent Schnorr; five grandchildren; a great-grandchild; and a sad world, but with a smile on its face.—Sam Wright ’52

Steven M. Jacobson ’53

Steve died on Dec. 8, 2019, in New York-Presbyterian Hospital after a six-week illness. Steve prepared for Amherst at Midwood High School, Brooklyn. He majored in English, joined Phi Alpha Psi and the Debating Council and was the editor of the magazine Context. After earning his law degree at Harvard, he served two years in the U.S. Army.

As his friend, I recall two special times together. Faced with writing the final paper for English 1–2, we walked around the quadrangle vigorously discussing strategies. The other time, we drove to nearby old cemeteries to observe tombstone symbolism, a subject prompted by Professor Baird in our Shakespeare class. As usual, Steve displayed a keen analytic mind and a warm friendliness.

Walt Leinhardt ’53 roomed with Steve at Amherst and Harvard and remembers him as an intense student with a great sense of humor and a wide range of interests.

These traits served him and others well over his life as a managing partner in the real estate firm Dreyer and Traub in New York and as a Renaissance man. Steve wrote full plays and scripts as a hobby. He loved tennis and helped found and preside over the East Hampton Tennis Club. He collected modern art and donated 178 pieces to the Mead—a large collection of photographs, many by Lee Friedlander, and diverse paintings and sculptures, one by Frank Stella.

He also supported Guild Hall, a center for the visual and performing arts, and LongHouse Reserve, a sculpture garden, both in East Hampton, a place he treasured during summers. He devoted himself also to literature, classical music and travel and to bringing out the best in other people

Steve’s first wife, Diane Intriogator, died in 2007. He leaves his second wife, Susan Pattaman; daughter Karen; son Neil; stepdaughter Sasha Mann; grandson Charles; and sister Linda.—George Edmonds ’53 with Walter Leinhardt ’53

William King Peck ’53

Bill is well-remembered for his lifelong love of history and literature, passion for world travel and appreciation for creativity and wordplay.

A history major at Amherst, he was active with Chi Phi and as manager of squash and tennis. His roommate for two years, George Gates ’53, writes, “He was a great friend with an always welcome sense of humor, especially when dealing with absurdities, always free to tease each other.” Providing rides to Mount Holyoke for dates, Bill also made whiskey sours and did Churchill imitations.

After serving in Korea with the U.S. Army Signal Corps, he completed a master’s of business science at Boston University and began a long career in public relations and community affairs with U.S. Steel, taking his family to Pittsburgh and Yardley, Pa., and to Gary and Valparaiso, Ind. Active in Rotary International and as a United Way and Red Cross volunteer, Bill also served as 1953’s class secretary and agent.

Bill met his wife, Jean Hauser, shipboard on a transatlantic crossing while both were headed for European tours. Married in 1958, they embraced a lifetime of travel. He delighted in creating elaborate holiday scavenger hunts, revealing the itinerary for another trip to travel the globe. Family vacations were also as much about exploration as relaxation, from camping in Maine to cross-country road trips to natural wonders and historic places.

In retirement, Bill and Jean moved to the warmth of Ashland, Va., and its historic sites. After Jean’s passing in 2015, Bill returned to Amherst, close to his son, Stephen ’84. There, Bill enjoyed local drives, reading poetry aloud (Wordsworth’s “Daffodils,” Robert Frost) and singing songs from days past.

Bill died in Amherst on Oct. 3, 2020, leaving a sister, Elizabeth; daughter Sarah; son Stephen ’84; wife Marla; daughter Susan and her husband, P.J.; and five grandchildren.—Marla Miller and Stephen Peck ’84 with help from George Gates ’53 and editing by George Edmonds ’53

Jack S. Putnam ’53

Jack Putnam prepared for Amherst at the Leelanau School in Glen Arbor, Mich. He attended the College, played ice hockey and joined Phi Gamma Chi but transferred to the University of Michigan, where he graduated in 1953 with a degree in business administration.

For the next three years, he served as the deck division officer of the U.S.S. General Butner for the U.S. Navy. Then, self-employed, he worked as a manufacturer’s representative until he retired in 1999.

From his home in Glen Arbor, on Lake Michigan, he enjoyed cooking, photography and bird-watching and was a dedicated, lifelong Christian Science practitioner.

At the University, Jack met his wife, Susan, now deceased. Married in 1954, they raised their two sons and a daughter in Birmingham, Mich. Son Jeffrey died in 1978.

Jack died on Aug. 7, 2020, in Glen Arbor, leaving a son, Peter, and Leslie; a daughter, Wendy, and Michael; and a sister, Karen, as well as four grandchildren.—George Edmonds ’53

John F. Lewis ’55

John Lewis truly led a life of purpose as a business executive, civic leader and husband/father. In doing so, his sense of humor, humility and concern for people shone through brightly. John was easy to admire and like.

John joined the class of 1955 as a sophomore after spending a postgraduate year in England following graduation from Kent School. His friends from Kent—Sam Davenport ’55 and Dick Wright ’55—quickly spirited him into Beta. It was a seamless transfer, although he never could fully appreciate those mutterings about “English 1” and what freshman riots were about. Hockey and economics were interests at Amherst, but most importantly, he found his lifelong companion, Cathy, at Smith.

Next came Michigan Law School and a move to Cleveland (near his hometown of Oberlin, Ohio) to join the prestigious law firm of Squires, Sanders and Dempsey. His specialty became the issues associated with secondary education. John remained there for more than 50 years, rising to managing partner. Inside the firm, he led the effort for diversity in the 1970s. Jews, Catholics, Blacks and women were actively recruited.

Deeply committed to the community, John spearheaded downtown redevelopment efforts like Playhouse Square while also finding time to chair nonprofit boards at Case Western Reserve and the Ohio Aerospace Institute (“Keep NASA in Cleveland”), among others.

While accomplishing all of this, he and Cathy were raising a family of four children and big dogs. For relaxation and fun over the years, the Lewises chose to spend time at a cottage on the dunes (“It’s going into the ocean”) in Wellfleet, Mass., on Cape Cod.

John passed away peacefully on Oct. 11, 2020. The world is a better place because he was an active, talented participant in it. His many friends are glad they knew him. —Dick Wright ’55

John W. Salisbury Jr. ’55

Jack was born on Feb. 6, 1933. He grew up in the Philadelphia area, where he attended Episcopal Academy. He came to Amherst with Jim Schumacher ’55 and Don Stewart ’55. There, he majored in geology, was on the track team and was a DU. After graduation, Jack earned an M.S. and a Ph.D. from Yale. On a blind date, he met Lynn Trowbridge (Smith ’57). They were married June 5, 1957. He was in the U.S. Air Force 1957–59.

His entire career was in geophysics. Jack spent some time working for the government in the area of geothermal energy, authoring numerous articles on the subject. For many years he was a research professor at Johns Hopkins. Jack said he appreciated Amherst because it taught him to think, as opposed to memorization and regurgitation.

In retirement, Jack did consulting work on the Internet in the field of spectroscopic remote sensing. He lived in Palm Coast, Fla., where he enjoyed kayaking in the salt marshes. He was heavily into fitness, both pumping iron and walking 2 miles a day. Jack was on several civic advisory boards and read a lot. To prevent losing power during Florida storms, he had a whole house generator installed.

Bob Lansdowne ’55 was on the Amherst track team with Jack. One spring vacation, the team went to Florida. On the way south, the team stopped overnight in Virginia. There the motel management had a limit of four occupants to a room, and the team could afford only one room. So the eight of them kept rotating in and out of their one room all night, through the windows, to comply with the rules.

Jack died on Oct. 14, 2020. He is survived by his second wife, Jean; two sons; and two grandchildren, plus a stepdaughter and two step-grandchildren.—Rob Sowersby ’55

Bruce A. Macdonald ’56

Tragically, in early September, Bruce Macdonald died in an automobile accident as a result of an apparent heart attack, not far from his home in Quechee, Vt. He is survived by his wife, Janis, and two stepsons and their families. Bruce had a long career in advertising and was with BBDO Worldwide as executive vice president, working mostly from London and/or Moscow. One of his accounts, ironically, was McDonald’s, of the golden arches variety.

Interestingly, Janis and Bruce spent each of their first 52 wedding anniversaries, April 15, in a different city or location, until COVID-19 broke the string in 2020.

In retirement, Bruce spent a good portion of his time on Dartmouth’s adult education program and sat on five committees.

Bruce came to Amherst as a sophomore, pledged Deke and was a history major.

With his quick wit and delightful sense of irony, Bruce was a wonderful friend, and he will be sorely missed.

Peter Levison ’56

In retirement, Bruce Macdonald was an early leader of a continuing education organization based at Dartmouth College (then called “ILEAD,” now called “OSHER at Dartmouth”).

Bruce instituted an engaging summer lecture series that brought experts and well-known speakers and attracted, on average, 500 paying attendees each year. This series became one of the signature events of the year at “The HOP,” Dartmouth’s performance venue. Bruce’s energy and extensive contacts turned an experiment into a much-beloved summer highlight that helped put “ILEAD” on the map in the Upper Valley.—Richard Neugass ’68

Joel M. Chazin ’57

Rabbi Joel Matthew Chazin died on July 11, 2020, in Cleveland from COVID-19. His life was dedicated to the study and teachings of Jewish religion, ideas and culture and to the number of congregations that he passionately served throughout his life.

Born in Jamaica Estates, N.Y., in 1935, Joel graduated as valedictorian of Jamaica High School and received a full academic scholarship to Amherst. He majored in history, graduated cum laude, rowed on the crew team and was a member of Theta Delta Chi. After graduation, he spent one year at Harvard Law School before deciding to enter the rabbinate instead and subsequently matriculated at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City.

In 1967, Joel married Linda Levine, a spirited artist and art educator. She stood by his side as friend and partner for the many decades of their marriage. He officiated with devotion at congregations in New York, Connecticut, Michigan and Florida. However, his happiest times were the last 20 years he spent as chaplain to the residents and staff at the Montefiore Nursing Home in Cleveland. What characterized his rabbinic life were the profound sermons he delivered throughout his career. They were imbued with Biblical and Talmudic scholarship as well as his deep love of American and European history and literature. He sought ways to help his congregants see the beauty and complexity of human relationships and to hold on to the unwavering tolerance that must soften our decisions in times of conflict. In addition, Joel was fiercely loyal to the Jewish people everywhere and to the state of Israel.

He leaves behind his wife, Linda; a sister, Judith Bennahum, of Albuquerque, N.M.; three children, Shoshana, Shayna and Aryeh; and five grandchildren, Willow, Annie, Zev, Eli and Aliza.—Judith Bennahum, Leonard Prosnitz ’57 and George Mathewson ’57

Harold E. Donnell Jr. ’57

Hal Donnell passed away on July 23, 2020, from complications of Parkinson’s disease and a subsequent stroke. He had been bedridden two years as he fought on with the help of outside caregivers and, most importantly, the loving care of his wife, Rosemary Gatch, the love of his life. They met in 1957 and were married in 1959 on probably the luckiest day of his life.

I had the good fortune to be paired with Hal as his freshman roommate, and we remained roommates for three years. As we both struggled to acclimate to the challenging academic environment, we leaned on each other for support. We spent many a late night shooting baskets at the empty Alumni Gymnasium. Hal was a great notetaker, with excellent handwriting, and he generously shared his class notes with me.

Hal had an upbeat personality, a ready smile and an infectious laugh. Although serious, he never took himself too seriously, an endearing quality. Hal loved Amherst. He happily shared his generous spirit and, often, his class notes with his DU brothers.

Hal and Rosemary moved in 1974 to Willamette, Ill., where he became executive director of the Academy of General Dentistry in Chicago. Under his leadership, the organization grew from a membership of 8,000 to nearly 40,000 over a 30-year period. After he retired in 2004, they moved to Arizona, where Hal enjoyed playing tennis and bridge.

Rosemary reported that, even when Hal’s memory failed him in his last months, he still recalled with great clarity the many extensive trips they took together, as well as his time at Amherst. She describes Hal as having “a life well-lived.”

In addition to his wife, Hal is survived by their son, David; daughter Laurie; and their families.—George Furbish ’57

John Harlan Underhill ’57

In his statement published in our 50th reunion yearbook, Harlan’s first sentence embodied his Amherst education, quoting an infamous query demanded in our first English 1 essay: “Where are you, and how do you know?” Harlan wrote: “By October ’83 my spot was that my mother had died in a nursing home in Michigan. After flying her body to the family burial plot in Boston, I drove back to Amherst on the way to her memorial service in Connecticut.” He and his son checked into the Lord Jeff Inn, and Harlan walked up to the campus, where he encountered Professor Theodore Baird; he told him he was a teacher and that he’d been thinking about metaphor for 25 years. “That means a lot to me,” Baird said.

Baird took care of his wife, who had Alzheimer’s disease, until her death; he lived to be 95. Harlan wrote in 1983 that he had a similar role for his wife, who had polio and post-polio syndrome. He nursed her until her death.

Harlan taught at Detroit Institute of Technology and at the Greenhills School, striving every day, he said, to be the best teacher he could.

My own friendship to Harlan dates back to fall 1956, when he had a role as the one-eyed cyclops in Euripides’ satyr play, which I had translated. He wore a huge mask, now in the Amherst College archives, designed by my roommate Ralph Lee ’57, a theater major.

My last memory is of Harlan at our 60th class reunion. Unable to walk easily, he rode around campus in a cart. At a reading hosted by our class, he read his poem “Lord Hamlet’s Lesson,” which concludes: “When we answer summer autumn winter’s call, Spring prepares us; love’s readiness is all.”—Bob Bagg ’57

Peter T. Esty ’59

Peter Esty was the least successful retiree ever. Following a distinguished career in education, he seemingly took to the retirement bench. But whenever an emergency erupted, the coach turned to the bench yelling, “Esty, get in there and save us!” And that’s what Peter did, time and again. In each case, he shook up the team, inspired a positive outlook and reinvigorated institutions that had lost their way. He was a master of inspiration, sparking a sense of renewal everywhere.

Peter’s career in education was delayed by a couple of business assignments, but neither fit his desire to help others. A Harvard master’s in education was a better bet. With a degree in hand, Peter and Happy moved to Deerfield for his first posting. He never looked back, ever moving upward in leadership positions at prestigious schools in the East, then ultimately at the San Francisco University High School. He also enjoyed three foreign assignments with School Year Abroad.

Over the years, we kept in close touch, often together in the summer, sharing an apartment in Paris, and traveling extensively in California. It was always laughter, discovery of new places and tall tales of adventures on our own. And we were not his only fans; on many cross-country road trips, the Estys stayed with friends en route, never far from welcoming hosts.

Peter Esty was a remarkable man who contributed brilliantly to his beloved field of secondary education. He will never be forgotten by his colleagues and friends, an immense cadre of students and all those of us who were so fortunate to have known him. —Jim Bartlett ’59

René Steuer ’59

It is hard to imagine the world without René’s exuberance and energy lighting up everything around him. His son Claudio, my student at Babson, told me René passed away on March 10, 2020, from two forms of cancer.

Born in Petrópolis, Brazil, near Rio de Janeiro, René was my roommate freshman and part of junior year. From the beginning, his humor, expressiveness, ability to weave and embellish a story, enterprising nature and devotion to Hermina, his beloved girlfriend and eventual wife who joined him at Amherst senior year, all contributed to my education and anticipation of world travel. As much as I and others liked him, we soon learned not to sit anywhere near him during mass exams in the gym; he enabled his own thinking with extravagant arm waving and gestures. He also went to bed each night counting the days until he could see Hermina by intoning, “The [date] is dying; the [date plus 1] is about to be born.” When we realized he would be alone in Massachusetts during Christmas vacation, I invited him to come home with me to Cleveland and, in a win-win, work at my father’s store for the Christmas rush. He was a natural at helping customers.

After graduation, we lost touch for several years and then reconnected around his operations management career at Vick’s in Brazil. I was delighted to discover he had essentially invented his own humane and productive management style that was better than the ideas I studied getting an MBA and doctorate in organizational behavior. Years later I visited him in his beautiful home near Rio, where we watched a Brazilian World Cup game on TV. After retirement, he turned to philanthropic fundraising.

I miss him—and Herminia’s nightly senior-year sandwich runs.—Allan Cohen ’59

Richard B. Ferguson ’60

At Amherst, Rich Ferguson majored in physics, was a member of DKE and served as president of the band. His senior-year roommate in Seelye House, Pedro Belli ’60, remembers that they got along well in their shared rooms, “maybe because of his peace-loving Quaker upbringing.” Pedro visited him in Göttingen, Germany, when Rich was doing graduate studies in physics, and then reconnected in 1968 when both were teaching in the University of California system. When they met for dinner in 2013, Pedro “thoroughly enjoyed” red wine from Rich’s own winery.

On the third floor of Morrow, Phil Heckel ’60 and Rich became friends and had “many discussions of politics, religion and girlfriends. We frequently traveled together in my distinctive Pontiac station wagon,” Phil remembers. Once, parked by a bar in Philadelphia, Phil found Heckel go home written in snow on his windshield; he learned later that Rich was responsible, but even more surprised than Phil when seeing that car there. Phil last visited him in St. Louis, where Rich got his physics doctorate at Washington University.

“Through the Amherst alumni network,” Phil says he “reconnected with Rich in 2015, resulting in telephone and email discussions about politics, life experiences and wives/girlfriends. Rich taught physics at California Polytechnic State University and then became involved in environmental work. Co-founding CEERT [the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies], a nonprofit advocacy group, his role was ensuring that they had good scientific data for proceedings before various California agencies, promoting the statewide switchover to green energy. In the process, he married Glynnis Jones, his surviving wife, who also worked on energy-efficiency projects. Rich’s work is much needed by humanity, if we are to save the world from increasingly familiar climate-linked environmental catastrophes.” As CEERT noted, “When presented with a new technology or scientific claim, we had a simple review process: ‘Ask Dr. F.’ He never steered us wrong.”—Pedro Belli ’60, Phil Heckel ’60 and Dick Weisfelder ’60

Charles J. Chotkowski ’61

Charlie Chotkowski died on Aug. 8, 2020, after a life of many interests, contact with classmates, postings on the listserv and The New York Times—and railroading.

Charlie’s passions, as his freshman roommate Bert Rein ’61 noted, were his dedication to his Catholic upbringing and his Polish heritage. Stan Masters ’61, who roomed with Charlie at Chi Phi and stayed connected with him through the years, said Charlie dropped out of a Ph.D. program at the University of Minnesota and took a job as railway station manager in a remote area, later moving to a position with the Soo Line in Minneapolis. He retired in the mid-’90s, returning home to Fairfield, Conn., to care for his mother.

He saw the film Shoah (Hebrew for “Holocaust”), which he said presented a negative opinion of Poles. He devoted himself to the subject, becoming a member of the executive committee of the National Polish American–Jewish American Council. He was a member of Fairfield’s Holocaust Commemoration Committee. In 2002 he was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland at the Polish consulate.

Charlie pursued his passion for railroading, traveling throughout North America and abroad, including on the Orient Express and the Trans-Siberian Railway. When asked the scale of railroads he liked best, he always answered, “12 inches to the foot.”

“He was a lovely, gentle person,” said Stan—and, in Valentine, “a calm, good-humored and steady worker.” Stan last visited him in 2014 when Charlie invited him to meet his girlfriend, Christi. She observed in an obituary that “for the last eight and a half years of his life, it was the first time he felt truly loved and could just relax. He left no family but will be missed by his loving friends.”—Stan Masters ’61, Dick Klein ’61 and Paul Bracciotti ’61

Jeffrey H. Gordon ’61

Jeffrey Gordon died on April 26, 2020, in Glen Cove, Long Island, N.Y., from complications due to coronavirus. At Amherst, he was named an Honors Scholar in biology under training grants from the National Institutes of Health in the field of genetics. He was a member of the varsity crew and swimming teams; of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Honor Society; and of Alpha Delta Phi. He graduated with honors.

Jeff graduated with honors from Weill Cornell Medical College in 1965, followed by an internship at Memorial Sloan Kettering hospital. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Duke University Medical Center and a fellowship in endocrinology at the NYU School of Medicine. Jeff served in the U.S. Air Force on the Berry Plan as a physician during the Vietnam War. He received a two-year endocrine research fellowship at the Veterans Administration in Newington, Conn. He had been in a private endocrinology practice in Glen Cove since 1972.

Jeff had many interests. He was a passionate reader of nonfiction. He enjoyed swimming, woodworking (especially faceplate turning), underwater photography, scuba diving, skiing and world travel. He enjoyed his occasional stogie as well. In his older years, he enjoyed ballroom dancing.

Jeff is survived by his wife, Marie, whom he married in 1969; and two children, Julian ’91, a plastic surgeon, and Deborah, employed by Publishers Clearing House.

Jeff’s favorite lines by Robert Frost, quoted in his obituary, were “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— / I took the one less traveled by / And that has made all the difference.”—Ted Ells ’61

Theodore C. Jones ’61

Ted Jones died Aug. 17, 2020, in Rockville, Md. He was a member of Kappa Theta and an editor of the Olio. Art Landy ’61 recalls an incident when Ted dozed off in physics class and Professor Townes threw a piece of chalk or an eraser at Ted, who snapped awake, saying, “You got me.” Townes kept on lecturing, and Ted went on to do well in physics. After Amherst, Ted graduated with a doctorate of philosophy at the University of Washington in 1967.

Ted taught at Amherst and Mount Holyoke College from 1972 to 1979, and from 1980 to 2020 he was a biologist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Ted did his Ph.D. thesis research in the laboratory of John Gallant at the University of Washington, on a class of enzymes that remove phosphate from nucleic acids and proteins. These enzymes (called phosphatases) perform many critical functions in all life forms and are involved in many human diseases. Ted showed that phosphatase gene expression in the model organism E. coli was determined by a number of different, as yet undiscovered, genes—an insight that foreshadowed our present understanding of the complexity of gene regulation.

Ted did his postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Bill Dove ’58 at the University of Wisconsin, where he developed and characterized a method for inhibiting transcription from DNA into RNA. The drug he used (BrdUrd) was one of the earliest anti-tumor drugs, and his work generated an important new tool for molecular biology.

Ted is survived by his wife, Olga Spears Jones; daughter Emily Powell; son-in-law Terry Powell; son Steven Jones; and many stepchildren and step-grandchildren.—Ted Ells ’61 and Art Landy ’61

Philip R. Elia ’62

Beloved classmate Phil Elia died on Sept. 5, 2020, after several illnesses. He is survived by Kathleen Doolin Elia, his adoring wife of 47 years; four daughters; and six grandchildren. He grew up in Boston, the son of Drs. Andrew and Dimetra Tsina Elia (who was among the first Albanian American woman doctors). He was a graduate of Boston Latin School.

At Amherst, Phil enjoyed playing drums in a trio called The Storms at class functions and fraternity parties, with Fred Rodgers ’62 as lead and Bryant Robey ’62 on bass. Their hit single was “38 Slug.” He loved to wear his Boston Latin School jacket while playing, notable for the patch on the left shoulder—“Sticks”—which became his nickname. His handwriting was so beautiful it almost looked like printing (an “Elia” font predating computers?).

Phil had a magnetic personality and wit, which made him a natural leader and delightful to be around. He was a member of Alpha Delta Phi; senior year, he served as president of the HMC and class president.

He graduated from Boston University School of Medicine (where he was also class president) and practiced for years as a plastic surgeon in Natick, Mass., working side by side with Kathleen as surgical nurse. He was revered by his patients for his technical skill and compassionate manner. He and Kathleen divided their time between their Cape Cod home and The Villages in Florida during retirement.

Blair enjoyed being Phil’s roommate freshman year on the fourth floor of Morrow, and then Fred and Blair doubled up as roommates with him sophomore year on fourth-floor Pratt. Fred and Phil spent many hours studying together as pre-meds. Their friendship made the long hours in the science labs tolerable. They maintained their friendship by cross-country visits. Although he stopped attending reunion in recent years, Phil remained very close to his Amherst friends.—Alfred Sadler ’62 and Blair Sadler ’62

Farzam Arbab ’64

Farzam Arbab, one of our best and brightest, died unexpectedly on Sept. 25, 2020. He came to Amherst from the elite Alborz High School in Iran. He excelled in physics, writing his honors thesis in that subject—one of only two summa cum laude ’64s (with David Soskis).

Farzam, Phil Allen ’64 and I next ventured to UC Berkeley for graduate school. Farzam and I shared an apartment. I was awed by his skill at price bargaining in second-hand furniture shops. I later left for physical oceanography at MIT. Farzam and Phil completed Ph.D.s at Berkeley, Farzam with leading theoretical physicist Geoffrey Chew.

Farzam met his first wife, Laurie, in Bahá’í circles in Berkeley. Their son, Paul, survives him; Laurie died in 2000.

Bringing both his faith and science to bear on human problems, Farzam moved from physics into development problems, notably in Colombia, where he helped strengthen the physics department at Universidad del Valle, as part of the University Development Program of the Rockefeller Foundation, and subsequently became the Foundation’s representative. He also co-founded an NGO (fundaec.org) based on a concept later known as the University for Integral Development—a social space for a population to search for an appropriate path of progress.

His 1989 Amherst honorary degree recognized this work. He was elected to the international governing body of the Bahá’í Faith, the Universal House of Justice in Haifa, Israel, serving from 1993 to 2013.

Farzam married Sona Farid in 2002; she survives him. They lived in San Diego most recently but traveled frequently to Colombia and elsewhere, so our crossings here were rare but always delightful.

For more information, see the In Memory section of our class webpage.—Bob Knox ’64, with help and advice from Sona Farid-Arbab, Phil Allen ’64, Gene Palumbo ’64 and Doug Reilly ’64

John V. Giarratana Jr. ’66

His smile sometimes entered the room before his feet crossed the threshold. He was funny, gregarious and genuine. But, sadly, our classmate and friend John Giarratana—businessman, athlete, musician and devoted husband of Pam and father of Deb and Jack—passed away in Jupiter, Fla., on Nov. 18, 2019.

John was born in Malden, Mass., and grew up in nearby Wakefield. At Amherst, he majored in American studies, joined Delta Upsilon and played football and rugby.

After graduation, John enjoyed a 29-year career as an employee benefits professional with the Travelers Insurance Co. I was happy to play a small part in introducing John to the firm: During our senior year, John interviewed with another insurance firm in Hartford, Conn. On his return, he mentioned the interview to me and said he thought group insurance sounded interesting. I told him that my father managed group insurance for the Travelers in Boston, and I suggested John might talk with him. They did talk, everything was right, and my dad hired John.

John retired from the Travelers in 1995 to start his own firm, North Shore Benefit Associates, in Boston. He and Pam moved to Florida about five years ago.

John was an avid golfer. No doubt Florida provided the opportunity to improve his game, certainly more than Boston could.

John observed that fate sent him into myriad unplanned endeavors: his business career, music (rock band keyboard player and vocalist) and soccer (kids’ coach, referee and adult-league player). Perhaps this was true, but some astute decisions were consequential. In our 50th-reunion yearbook, he wrote that Pam, his wife of 55 years, “made all the difference,” and anyone who knew John also knew this was true.

We will miss John and remember him with great affection.—Bill Wise ’66

Thomas Haws Eldridge ’68

Tom Eldridge, my roommate in Pratt freshman year, was a very sweet guy. He was always cheerful without ever being silly, and he had a good sense of corresponding with people who were vastly different from him or from each other, leaving me well behind in the way he understood how to communicate. He taught me by example something about interacting with people besides your close friends, and he did so effortlessly. I never saw him angry. He was a Midwesterner with a great sense of humor.

Working with the Veterans Administration hospital (in Salem, Va., 1977–2020) was just right for him. He had a good grip on who he was, he was very comfortable to be around, and he always listened. His patients must have loved him. He was definitely a 99.9 on the empathy scale.

His later Amherst roommates felt the same. “We loved Haws dearly,” said Gordy Allen ’69. “He was a lot of fun—that shock of red hair. There was a lot of celebrating when he got into medical school at Virginia.”

“He was a great one for going to Smith and bringing back Smith women for blind dates,” said Tony Castle ’69. “One of his blind dates turned into my wife.”

Hospital colleagues knew the same Tom. In the online remembrance book, they mention how friendly he was, how compassionate he was with patients, how much they learned from him.

In Salem, Tom also served as senior warden at St. Thomas of Canterbury Anglican Catholic Church and sang in the choir, as he had sung in the glee club at Amherst. “Wow, what a voice!” wrote one of his Salem friends. He is survived by his wife, Barbara, and their children, Katie and Jackson. We all send them our deep sympathy.—Marc Damashek ’68

William Hardy Heaney ’68

Bill Heaney died on Nov. 25, 2020, of COVID-19. Bill grew up in Oshkosh, Wis., and came to Amherst sophomore year. We became close senior year, when we had singles on the same floor in Pond. I was best man at his wedding and godfather to his son. We remained close over the years and shared adventures in remote places around the world.

Bill’s mind was peripatetic and novel. He could jump among five topics and back within the same sentence. His senior thesis won the English department prize. He loved rugby, and when he blew out his knee, he elected himself team documentarian, filming the club’s games. After Amherst, he enrolled at Columbia Teachers College, taught public school in Harlem and drove a New York taxi.

Anthropology captured his fascination. He studied at Columbia, doing his fieldwork in the remote highlands of New Guinea. When tenure-track positions became scarce, Bill worked for J.P. Morgan, got an MBA at Yale and became the administrator at the observatory at Columbia. On his father’s death, Bill became co-owner of The Daily Northwestern, the major newspaper in northwest Wisconsin, where he embraced the civic responsibility that comes with newspaper ownership. After the paper had to be sold, Bill returned to anthropology, teaching in New York and Wisconsin.

Bill is survived by his wife, Vivian; children Chris, Jess and Douglas; and grandchildren.

Bill was an avid outdoorsman, fly-fisherman, photographer and philanthropist. Irrepressible in spirit and conversation, he would talk to anyone and made friends wherever he went. His heart was boundless, expressing not just generosity but an infectious energy, drawing you into his life and curiosities. Everyone who knew Bill is diminished by his passing. He was unique, and no one like him will cross our paths again.—Gordon Radley ’68

John Howard Nesbitt ’72

John Howard Nesbitt died unexpectedly on Aug. 26, 2020, in Jacksonville, Fla. John was raised in Orange, N.J., and graduated from Amherst with a major in anthropology. He completed his MBA in finance at Rutgers as a Ralph Bunche Fellow in 1988.

John’s impressive career is chronicled in an In Memory piece on the class of ’72 webpage. He had been working in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as head of employment branding for the Saudi Electric Co. When his contract ended in 2019, John returned to Jacksonville. He planned to retire at the end of 2020.

Wayne Wormley ’72 recalls, “Nesbitt and I partied together and took a class in the history of Black music at Smith together junior year. He had a big Afro when he arrived at Amherst and wore this great winter coat that may have belonged to a West Point cadet. After graduation, we ran into each other periodically through the National Black MBA Association, to which we both belonged. I was really saddened to learn of his passing.”

Mark Kuperberg ’72 roomed with John junior year. “You got room-draw points for accepting a transfer student, and that is how Nesbitt joined our group. He was the hardest-working student I ever met, working day and night and taking caffeine pills to stay awake. On Easter Sunday, he came out of his room dressed in a blue suit. It was 1971; no one wore a suit. We asked him what was going on. He said at home his family always dressed up for Easter Sunday. We were 20 years old, breaking down so many of society’s norms, and yet this reminded me we were still kids clinging to the cherished pieces of our childhood.”

The class of 1972 expresses its deepest sympathies to John’s family for their loss.—Eric Cody ’72

George R. Johnson Jr. ’73

George Johnson passed away in Greensboro, N.C., on Nov. 15, 2020, after a long illness.

After graduating from Amherst, George had a long and distinguished career as a lawyer, teacher, trustee of Amherst College, president of LeMoyne-Owen College and dean of Elon University School of Law. Richard Ammons ’74 and Cullen Murphy ’74 have written an extraordinary tribute to George, chronicling his life and many accomplishments. This piece, called “A Tribute to George R. Johnson Jr. ’73, P’03,” can be found on the College’s website.

Here, we are sharing memories of George as a classmate, mentor and friend.

When George arrived at Amherst from Columbus, Ga., he was one of 24 Black freshmen, by far the College’s largest class of Black students. A similar number of Black students was admitted in following classes. For some, Amherst was a foreign world. But George quickly distinguished himself with eloquence beyond his age. He was a mentor for many, sharing not only his warmth and wisdom, but also his scotch and a place at the bid whist table. No one forgot his kindness. Some became his friends for life. We all learned from him.

George’s connections with the Amherst student body, staff and teachers were not limited by race, politics or anything else. George built strong relationships throughout campus. He found a home at The Amherst Student, where he created lasting bonds with students who shared his passion for fine writing and critical thinking.

George connected with faculty and staff. He admired scholarship. He enjoyed reenacting Professor Kateb’s lectures, complete with gestures and moral anguish. He built strong relationships with staff, especially those willing to share inside information. George was always well-informed.

While we are sad to announce George’s passing, we are grateful that he was part of our lives. George’s connection with Amherst will continue through his son William ’03, a source of great pride.—Paul Murphy ’73 and Stephen Keith ’73

Peter E. Brawley ’74

“He was tough as nails and soft as Charmin at the same time,” Peter Brawley’s children wrote in the eulogy they prepared together. “He loved being a father. He loved being a grandfather. And we loved him being all those things and more.” Everyone who knew Peter viewed him in the same way: solid, honest, funny and absolutely dependable. To many, he was known as “The Rock.”

Peter passed away on Sept. 21, 2020, after suffering a sudden heart attack. For most of his life after Amherst, he lived with his beloved wife, Erin, and his six children in Lordship, Conn., a waterfront neighborhood of Stratford. He was one of those people who occupy the very heart of a community. More than 500 people attended his memorial service.

Steve Scroggins ’74 and Dave Moriarty ’74, fraternity brothers at TD, recalled Peter as steady, hardworking and unpretentious. As Steve wrote, “Peter lived the life he wanted, where he wanted, surrounded by extended family and friends.” No one who knew him at Amherst ever doubted that marrying Erin and raising an Irish-Catholic family was foremost on his mind, and none of us are surprised that his wife and family, including six grandchildren, were the center of his universe. Pete was a passionate golfer and, fittingly, played 18 holes with a son the day before he died.

Peter was born in Needham, Mass. He attended Fairfield Prep in Connecticut before coming to Amherst, where he majored in history and played for The Darp as a defensive back. He went on to a graduate degree at NYU.

But family and community counted most. His children wrote: “Peter has always taken his time with everything in life. He drives slow, walks slow, golfs slow, but taking to loving Erin Lyddy Brawley was something he jumped to and did every day of his life since then.”—David “Bronco” Werner ’74 and Cullen Murphy ’74

Adam Steven Henschel ’75

Adam came to Amherst from the Ramaz School, a Jewish preparatory school in the Yorkville section of Manhattan founded in order to serve the children of those adults who managed to escape the darkness surrounding European Jewry just prior to WWII. This alone made Adam sui generis in the Amherst student body.

He was an intense, hypercompetitive guy, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that there wasn’t a single person in our class who was pursuing pre-med coursework who didn’t know who Adam was. He was consumed with keeping track of everyone’s grades, courses, plans, etc., and seemed completely caught up in the absurd zero-sum environment of pre-med studies in the mid-1970s.

Late in our freshman year, I finally approached Adam to try to figure out why he needed to navigate his planned medical career this way. He confessed to me that he was under enormous pressure from his family to become a physician; he was really interested in political science and the law but felt trapped by social forces he couldn’t control. Ultimately, though, Adam was able to come up with a strategy to make a permanent break with pre-med, take some much-needed time off to reboot and pivot to studies and a career that was what he really wanted.

Adam got his J.D. from NYU School of Law in 1976; he had a very successful career in the health insurance industry as a claims analyst and went back to school mid-career to get a master’s in library science.

Adam can and should be remembered well by all of us for having the courage to be his own man and the honesty to recognize and change a life choice that was not his.—Bruce Patsner ’75, M.D., J.D.

Bradley Adam Weinberg ’79

Dr. Bradley Adam Weinberg of Indianapolis passed away on June 28, 2020, 21 months after being diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, a nearly universally fatal form of brain cancer.

Brad attended Livingston (N.J.) High School before coming to Amherst. After college, he went to NYU for medical school, where he met and later married his wife of 30-plus years, Betty Routledge. They both went to the University of Cincinnati for residencies in internal medicine. In 1987, they moved to Indianapolis, where Betty entered practice as a primary care physician, while Brad continued his training. After completing his fellowship in interventional cardiology, Brad joined Indiana Heart Associates (later Community Health Network), with whom he would practice until his retirement in 2018. Brad and Betty raised three sons, Barry, Samuel and Matthew.

His family wrote: “Brad truly loved people; he considered the practice of medicine, the opportunity to hear patients’ stories and to become part of their lives an enormous privilege. He also had the rare combination of being an incredibly patient-focused physician and a brilliant scientist. Over the course of his career in medicine, Brad performed thousands of lifesaving procedures in the cath lab. A dedicated teacher, he taught scores of students and residents over the years and, ironically, was to receive a teaching award from the Indiana Chapter of the American College of Physicians the day after he died.

“A ‘fitness nut,’ Brad famously told his patients, ‘You only need to exercise on the days that you eat.’ He spent many happy hours running on the trails of Eagle Creek Park near his home, sometimes with one of his sons joining him in a baby jogger when they were toddlers. A kind, loving and gentle man with boundless childlike wonder, he will be remembered and cherished.”—Keith Stephenson ’79

Richard Allen White ’79

Rich White passed away on Oct. 24, 2020, at age 63. A native of Hadley, Mass., he attended the Williston Northampton School before Amherst and married Noreen Fucci in the summer of ’79. Rich then went on to obtain his law degree from St. John’s University. He and Noreen raised two children, Alicia and Brendan, in whom he nurtured an enduring love for the arts. During their hockey careers, Rich became a model “hockey dad,” driving hundreds of miles up and down the East Coast for games and tournaments and numerous NESCAC matchups during Alicia’s years at Wesleyan University.

Rich’s family wrote: “Rich had a passion for art, food and underloved technologies, from film to reel-to-reel tapes to 8-track. He was an avid musician and music lover, collecting instruments, records and tube-based amplifiers, eventually building a recording studio and darkroom in his basement. Upon corporate retirement in 2019, Rich devoted himself to painting and became an enthusiastic member of the studio community at the Manufacturer’s Village in East Orange, N.J. His paintings were heavily indebted to abstract expressionism and were shown in galleries in Yonkers, Brooklyn and Jersey City. His ready wit, cooking prowess and jovial spirit will be sorely missed.”

My last image of Rich is watching him tell stories, that great mane of silver hair flying, from one of the overstuffed leather chairs in the library at Chi Psi at our 40th reunion. It’s a shame that his creative energies were snuffed out too soon. “Work hard, have fun, learn something.”—Keith Stephenson ’79

Libby Hyde Moore ’83

On Sept. 24, 2020, Libby concluded a yearlong, valiant battle with cancer. Surrounded by family, she spent her last weeks in hospice care near their home in Freeport, Maine. Libby’s deep connection to nature’s spirit gave her, and everyone around her, courage as she approached the end of her life. She is survived by her husband, Bob; their children, Jo ’17, Nina and Willson; her parents, Polly and Alan Hyde ’50; and sister Pam ’85.

Libby came to Amherst from Cleveland. Many of us quickly became beneficiaries of her rare gift for listening and her laser-focus attention to our worries and accomplishments. Amherst friends will fondly recall sharing late nights laughing, pondering philosophical hypotheses, gazing at star-filled skies and listening to the Grateful Dead.

She pursued biology and English at Amherst and went on to work in forest ecology, land use and conservation. Libby met the love of her life, Bob Moore, during graduate school at Yale’s School of Forestry. They discovered shared passions for trees, dogs, words and birds and made a Maine farmhouse their perfect home for 30 years, raising three truly remarkable children.

In recent years, Libby developed a Reiki practice and led women’s spiritual retreats. She also played a leadership role, establishing the Red Canoe Foundation, a nonprofit supporting youth access to wilderness opportunities, inspired by her own transformative experiences canoeing in northern Ontario. Her blog, TheComingSeason.blogspot.com, combined her love of natural cycles, raising a family and writing with spectacular imagery. Well before her cancer diagnosis, Libby completed text for a children’s book addressing love, death and nature. The River of Birds, beautifully illustrated with the birds she so loved, will be published in the coming year.

Libby treated every day, every loved one and every wonder of the earth like a gift. She encouraged us all to see beauty and opportunity in everything. Those of us so fortunate to have known Libby can still see her, every day, in all of nature’s miracles.—Katie Fretwell ’81

Jonathan F. Webster ’86

Conspicuous in his absence.

“The world has lost Jon Webster, Radical Jon, RH, the Rad Master. He of the Large Dripping Sandwich and the shaved-head belly rub. A man who loved and studied German, and philosophy, and peace, and dog girls, and Jimi Hendrix, and funk, and skateboarding and doing things your own way. He drank more, smoked more, loved hard and well. I don’t yet know how, and I’ll never understand why. The world is a poorer, meaner place without him. My heart goes out to his family, our mutual friends too many to name, his friends in North Carolina, his family and the Baroness,” writes Hannah (Cooperman) Bray ’86.

RJ’s beautiful Shakespearean heart gave way. He suffered a stroke and could no longer attend reunion, so Will Hannum ’86 and Chris Bragdon ’86 traveled yearly to bring reunion to RJ, whose physical form was on a different track from his spirit. As his body failed, he exulted in life, increased in the vigor of love for existence.

He was born to Robert Webster ’59 and the late Beverlee Webster. He is survived by his father; stepmother Gay Webster; brothers Malcolm Webster ’88 (wife Paula) and Alexander Webster (wife Amber); nieces and nephews; and his beloved Plott Hound, the Baroness Olive von Oyle.

“There was a beingness to him. His contributions were extraordinary, deeply personal with a philosophical basis. He had this great caring quality about him. He was thinking deeply about how we approach our decisions in life, and he was comfortable in those deep waters. When the time came and he was gone, he was conspicuous in his absence,” writes Mark Valladares ’86.

Kevin R. Kimber ’90

Kevin Kimber, D.V.M., born in Minneapolis, died Oct. 1, 2020 at Carlos Avery Woods. He was a father, veterinarian, lifelong learner, athlete, coach and teacher who had a special sense of humor and favored time spent in wild places.

Kevin was the guy you always wanted on your team, whether it was sport or life. I still see him as my partner for our freshman-year Friday-night pre-football-game ritual wrestling matches versus our freshman offensive lineman teammates in Stearns. He was outwardly silly but always deep in thought beneath the smiling exterior.

Kevin’s lifelong love for animals was apparent at Amherst. Dave Smink ’90 recounted Kevin losing his beloved king snake out of his jacket pocket during a flight home to Minnesota. Luckily, it was found and returned to Kevin weeks later. Kevin, like all Amherst students, kept a pig as a pet while living in the dorms.

After Amherst, Kevin attended vet school at Cornell and lived in the Ithaca area for many years. He coached and played hockey until his death. I treated his two children in my sports medicine practice, where it was evident that they possessed the same intelligence and athleticism as their parents, Kevin and Lara Litchfield-Kimber ’92.

David Wolfe ’90 and Rudy Parga ’90 each independently described him as a quiet warrior on the football field: the hulking blond Viking. Kevin’s main battle in life was with depression, possibly made worse by multiple blows to the head as a football and hockey player. True to his quiet demeanor, he tried to hide his pain from others. He died by suicide, without blame, on his terms, in a nature reserve in Minnesota. Kevin was beloved by many and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.—Andrew Getzin ’90


Mary Catherine Bateson

Mary Catherine Bateson died on Jan. 2, 2021. She was a linguist and cultural anthropologist like her parents, Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson.

She was Amherst’s dean of the faculty from 1980 to 1983. Among many other roles, she served as president of the Institute of Intercultural Studies in New York City.

She wrote numerous best-selling books. At Amherst, she worked with biology professor Richard Goldsby, co-authoring Thinking AIDS: The Social Response to the Biological Threat in 1989. In 2019 they collaborated on Thinking Race: Social Myths and Biological Realities. Her literary legacy will be cataloged at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

Later in life, she was dedicated to addressing climate change and intergenerational communication. She was a visiting scholar at Boston College’s Sloan Center on Aging and Work, and served on the ethics committee for the American Society of Cybernetics and the board of the National Center for Atmospheric Research. In 2004 she founded Granny Voter, now a program of Generations United, developing ongoing efforts to involve seniors on behalf of children. She was co-chair of Seniors4Kids.org and served on The Possibility Project’s advisory board.

She was a three-time MacDowell Fellow and was well-known locally for her monthly salons at the Mariposa Museum on such topics as “Learning from Children,” “Learning from Other Cultures,” “Learning from Nature” and “Learning from Death.”

She is survived by her husband of 60 years, J. Barkev Kassarjian; daughter Sevanne Margaret Kassarjian; son-in-law Paul Griffin, grandsons Cyrus and Anton Gregory; and half-sister Nora Bateson.

She said, “We are not what we know but what we are willing to learn.”

Sigrit Schütz

Sigrit “Sigi” Schütz, senior lecturer emerita of German, died on Sept. 19, 2020, of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Schütz retired from the College in 2012, but returned to teach for three additional semesters, until the end of 2015.

Provost and Dean of the Faculty Catherine Epstein wrote the following in an email to faculty and staff: “Sigi taught German at the College for more than three decades, and her introductory German classes were legendary. She was devoted to her students and remained in close contact with many, long after graduation. An active and beloved member of our community, Sigi was known for her warm and engaging presence, which enriched our campus for many years. I always enjoyed spending time with her at college events, and I will miss her.”

She is survived by her husband, Jim, and two daughters, Christina ’00 and Anja.


David A. Cetto

David A. “Dave” Cetto, 65, died on Oct. 21, 2020, at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence. He worked as a server with Amherst’s Dining Services starting in 1993 and retired in 2017, but returned to work on a casual basis for two additional years. He was chosen as an honorary class member by multiple graduating Amherst classes.

Richard H. Dexter

Richard H. Dexter, 89, died Sept. 9, 2020, at home, surrounded by family. He was born in Webster, Mass., to the late Ernest and Viola (Young) Dexter. He worked as a kitchen stock supervisor at Amherst for 28 years.

He loved motorcycles, raising llamas and other animals, camping, gardening, collecting model cars and yard work. He was the oldest member of his chapter of the Lions Club.

He was preceded in death by his first wife of 61 years, Ruth (Cleveland) Dexter, in 2014. He is survived by his wife, Phyllis (Montross) Dexter, and children Regina Wright and partner David; Marlene Rule and husband Robert; Deanna Wiseman; Richard II and wife Susan; and stepchildren Caren Ouellette-Bragg, Donna Kozub and Diane Ouellette-Holden. He also leaves 13 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Sara Schmitter

Sara Kathleen (Hoctor) Brunner Schmitter, 44, died peacefully surrounded by loved ones on Sept. 5, 2020, at the home of her mother, following a brief illness.

She was born in Keene, N.H., to Kathleen E. (Abbey) and Martin L. Hoctor. Sara was a 1995 graduate of Franklin County Technical School.

She worked at Amherst in the Physical Plant for some 15 years. Previously, she was a manager for F.L. Roberts & Co. for several years.

She met the love of her life, John Robert Schmitter, at work. They dated for more than 10 years and married on Nov. 16, 2019.

Whether freshwater fishing at Forest Lake or deep-sea fishing on her dad’s boat or aboard the Yellowbird, Sara always managed to catch the biggest and most fish. She enjoyed camping and metal detecting. She loved her frog pond and dog Lulu. She loved cruising the Caribbean and spent countless vacations enjoying the sun and sand with her sister.

In addition to her husband and parents, Sara leaves her sister, Michelle Paulin, and brother-in-law Robert.; aunts Ann Gray, Robin Casey (Bob), Theresa Cody (John) and Donna Lyn Potts; sister-in-law Diane Sabin; brother-in-law Earl Schmitter; and several nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. Countless friends will remember her with affection.

Ruth Thornton

Ruth Thornton, 82, died peacefully on Dec. 29, 2020, surrounded by her family. Ruth was born in Holyoke, Mass., the daughter of Raymond and Ruth (Mutch) Hennequin. She was married for 61 years to her high school sweetheart, R. Michael Thornton, who died in 2018. She was a lifelong resident of South Hadley, Mass., and a member of the First Congregational Church of South Hadley for over 60 years.

She began her career in human resources at Mount Holyoke. She then worked in human resources at Amherst, from which she retired in 2002 as assistant director. After retiring, Ruth worked as ombudsperson at Amherst and was instrumental in starting the Ombuds Program at Hampshire College. She served on the board for the Five College Credit Union for many years. At 59, she received her bachelor’s from UMass.

She enjoyed spending time with her family and visiting their summer camp in New Hampshire, where Ruth was often the “co-pilot” in the canoe.

She is survived by four children, Kathy Holmes (Marty), Susan Rigali (Brian), Michael Thornton and Peter Thornton (Tina); a sister, Carol McCreary (John); nine grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and her lifelong friend Ruth Ruel.