Robert C. McAdoo ’43

It’s with a heavy heart but also an immense sense of gratitude for having been lucky enough to know Bob McAdoo that I share he passed away on Aug. 26 in Bryn Mawr, Pa. He was 100. Bob was born in Philadelphia. At Amherst he was a member of Psi Upsilon, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa junior year and played on the baseball team. He served as a naval officer until 1946, when he attended the University of Pennsylvania’s law school and subsequently joined Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, where he was partner until his retirement in 1980. 

In 1944, Bob married Dorothy M. Osborne of Cleveland, Ohio, who predeceased him just before their 50th wedding anniversary. They had four children: Susan M. Levy, McKinley C. McAdoo, Dorothy M. MacColl and Cameron M. Peake. 

Bob is survived by his wife of 26 years, Mary Cheston Hancock. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and four stepchildren.

Through marriage to Tucker Levy, his oldest grandson, I was his only grandchild to go to Amherst, so we had a special bond. Amherst was very much at the heart of Granddad’s life. He was a fixture not only at his reunions, which he attended every year until he couldn’t, but also at ours—class of 1994. Granddad loved everything about Amherst, and the joy was infectious. 

It’s difficult to encapsulate in a few sentences just what a special man he was, so instead I will say this: Granddad’s kindness, thoughtfulness, sense of fun and generosity of spirit brought out the best in those around him. If you were lucky enough to know him, you know just how lucky I was to call him Granddad. He was a true gentleman in every sense of the word.—Vicky (Schwartz) Levy ’94

Dolph Warren Zink ’43

Dr. Dolph Warren Zink, A.M., passed away peacefully at Hollywood Hospital on July 2, leaving his wife, Pamela Elaine Marguerite; two sons, Dolph Bradley and Kurt Warren; one daughter, Ellen; one stepson, Andrew Melville Knox; one stepdaughter, Fiona Heather Sarich; nine grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

He was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and raised in suburban Long Island. Upon high school graduation, he entered Amherst and pursued a degree in political science and economics. He had to leave Amherst early in his senior year to enter the U.S. Army; upon his discharge at the end of World War II, Amherst retroactively awarded him a bachelor of arts, and he earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. After serving as executive vice president and a director of a mortgage banking firm in Philadelphia, he formed his own company, Heritage Inc., which was engaged in residential and shopping center development. 

In 1972, his family decided to live elsewhere for a few years. Australia won out, and a house was purchased at City Beach, Western Australia. He was made a director of Bunnings Ltd., which led to his appointment as chairman, and then he accepted an appointment as head of the department of management at the Western Australian Institute of Technology. 

He devoted much of his personal time in the late ’70s and early ’80s to sculpture and wood carving, and he received six awards at the Perth Royal Show. He also devoted time to procuring sculpture for the Perth Art Gallery. In 1987, he became an Australian citizen, and in 1988, HRH Elizabeth II awarded him membership in the Order of Australia at an investiture held at Government House in Perth.—Pamela Zink

George H. Plough ’44

George H. Plough, age 99, passed away June 19 after a brief stay in hospice. George is survived by his wife of 68 years, Louann Plough, and was predeceased by his parents, Harold and Frances Plough; his brother, Irvin Plough; and his grandson, Jeffrey Doolittle. George’s father was a marine biology professor at Amherst. George grew up on Dana Street in Amherst and spent many summers in Woods Hole, Mass., on Cape Cod, where his father did research. 

George was an English major at Amherst and a member of the DU fraternity. In July 1942, George enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserves. Due to World War II, his graduation was accelerated to the summer of 1943, whereupon he began his officer’s training at the U.S. Navy Reserve Midshipmen’s School at Notre Dame University. He spent his naval tenure on three LSTs, participating in the liberation of Southern France in August 1944. He was honorably discharged from the Navy in October 1946. 

He taught English at Solebury School in Pennsylvania, where he met his wife. They spent 50 years in Pennsylvania, raising three children. George left teaching to help run the family’s commercial laundry, Blakely Laundry. 

George played ice hockey into his early 70s. He enjoyed woodworking, birding, hiking, camping and the outdoors, photography and gardening. He carried on his mother’s love of jelly making, and beach plum jelly was a favorite. He liked to travel, taking the family on three trips cross-country when the children were younger. After retirement, he and Louann traveled globally and spent time with their daughter’s family in Paris. They also spent summers at their place on the Cape, where he loved collecting sea glass. He leaves behind three children, their spouses and six grandchildren, and he just missed seeing three great-grandchildren. —Alan Plough

Theodore R. Rogowski ’49 

A few months ago, I was happy to advise that Ted, who had been out of touch for some 70 years, started writing me with all manner of news. It is with sadness I learned of his passing in July, since we had chatted shortly before then. 

Ted came to Amherst from Chicopee, Mass., a Gaylord Scholar, 100 percent, as he was proud to tell me, and he proved his worth academically. He was captain of the cross-country team and formed a club for fishing, supported by President Charles Cole, who was an angler. It proved to be a seminal move. 

In 1949, he was drafted and sent to OCS, ending up in Wellfleet, Mass., training National Guard units in anti-aircraft fire. He admitted, “What a deal!” In 1953, he went to Columbia Law School and became involved in fishing and conservation with Lee Wulff and CBS, which involved trips to Labrador and Newfoundland.

Upon graduation, he joined the Wall Street firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. Along the way, Ted Williams, the baseball legend, became his client and fishing buddy in Florida and Canada. 

Ted left CWT for a post with the Department of Justice in Washington as senior trial attorney to prosecute environmental degradation cases. He worked with Interior Secretary Stewart Udall and William Ruckelshaus in forming the Environmental Protection Agency.

Ted’s first wife—mother of their three children—died of cancer while they were living in Seattle. He retired from the EPA in 1992 and spent most of his time hunting and fishing. He became a nationally recognized expert in fly-fishing and wrote articles for Esquire and Fly Tyer magazines. 

Ted married Joan Wulff in 2002 and assisted in teaching at the Wulff School of Fly Fishing, near their home in Lew Beach, N.Y. A fascinating life. —Gerry Reilly ’49

Paul Errol Bragdon ’50

Paul Bragdon, former president of Reed College and other educational institutions and a leader in efforts to reform the New York City Democratic Party in the 1950s and 1960s, died in Portland, Ore., on Aug. 7. He was 94. 

He was born in Portland, Maine. His mother was a homemaker who sold homemade fudge to get the family through the Depression, while his father, a traveling paint and janitorial supply salesman, was unemployed for years due to illness. Paul left high school at 17 to join the Marines during WWII. With the G.I. Bill, he became the first in his family to attend college, choosing Amherst. As chairman of the Student, he editorialized against discrimination at fraternities. After graduation, he maintained a lifelong connection to the College and was a champion for admitting women when he served as a trustee in the 1970s. 

After graduating from Yale Law School, Paul worked as a lawyer in New York but soon transitioned to public service. He married Nancy, who shared a love of politics, and the two became leaders in a Democratic reform movement, challenging the corrupt Tammany Machine, working closely with Eleanor Roosevelt. Paul held several positions in Mayor Robert Wagner’s office and worked closely with other leading New York politicians, including Robert Kennedy. 

In the late 1960s he began a career in education, becoming NYU’s vice president of public affairs and, in 1971, president of Reed College in Oregon. He served for 17 years. A champion for liberal arts, he grew Reed’s endowment substantially, built academic programs, transformed the campus and improved faculty compensation and the student experience. He later served as president of Oregon Graduate Institute and Lewis & Clark College. He is survived by wife Nancy; children David, Susan and Peter ’84; and five grandchildren (including Jane ’20). —Peter Bragdon ’84

Phil T. Elliott Jr. ’50

Phil died on May 4 at age 92 in Savannah, Ga. Phil came to Amherst from Rochester, N.Y., and joined Alpha Delta Phi. He was a popular member of our fraternity and a major contributor to fraternity life. He played freshman football and was on the student council.

After the start of the Korean War, he joined the U.S. Air Force and, in 1951, married Marjorie Ruth “Tex” Harvey in San Antonio, Texas. After discharge, Phil spent almost 40 years with Eastman Kodak. His most satisfying position was as photofinishing plant manager in Atlanta.

Phil is survived by his wife and four children—Phil (Jeanne) Elliott, Cynthia (Andy) Gvist, Bradley (Jane) Elliott and Linda Elliott—plus 10 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.—John Priesing ’50

Sheldon K. “Pete” Towson Jr. ’50

Pete passed away at the age of 93 in May 2021 in his hometown of Cleveland. A graduate of the University School, Pete came to Amherst after serving in the U.S. Navy.

Pete joined Alpha Delta Phi, majored in physics, played on the soccer team for four years and was prominent on the swimming team, winning his “A” three times. Early on, Pete started bringing my attractive high school classmate, Anne Wofford, to our parties from Smith. Subsequently, they were married for 69 years and brought up four daughters.

After Harvard Business School, Pete took a job in labor relations with Allegheny Ludlum Steel in Pittsburgh. But he was destined for the family company in Cleveland, Elwell-Parker Electric Co., a pioneer in the development and sale of electric forklifts. Starting as assistant to the president, Pete then ran the company for 30 years.

Pete served on many boards in Cleveland. He also was president of the U.S. Industrial Truck Association and of the Material Handling Institute.

The Towsons summered on Georgian Bay, Ontario. Pete enjoyed the beauty of the Great Lakes and passed on the wonderment of the outdoors and its many possibilities (canoeing, camping, etc.) to his family.

Pete was a thoughtful, caring person. He was inquisitive and loyal to friends and had a positive outlook on life.

Our sympathy goes out to Anne and daughters Carol Siegel, Katherine Sherry, Jane Towson and Liz Towson. Also surviving are one granddaughter and four great-grandchildren. —John Priesing ’50

Philip F. Alexander ’51

Phil died on June 12 in his apartment in Winnetka, Ill.

My close friendship with Phil began when we were neighborhood buddies in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, at about age 7. It extended as we became Psi U roommates and had reunion and home visits and regular phone calls over many years.

At Amherst, Phil majored in English and worked on his senior thesis with Robert Frost as an adviser. He was elected to Sphinx and as vice chairman of The Amherst Student. 

After graduation, Phil served as an officer in the U.S. Navy on a destroyer in the Far East as part of the Korean War and then attended Harvard Business School. For the first 12 years of his business career, he worked in three different companies in upper-mid-level management positions. Phil then joined an investment bank, A.G. Becker, and later left as vice president and controller. His last job, for 10 years, was with John Nuveen & Co. 

Phil earned a master’s degree in English at Loyola University Chicago, taking classes for almost a decade. He enjoyed volunteer work with the parish of his church and being a steady member of prayer groups. 

In our 35th reunion book, Phil stated, “Amherst, the Catholic Church and the Democrat Party are the three long-standing institutional loyalties in my life.” Two of his children went to Amherst. He also said Amherst stimulated his love of reading. Phil wrote and taught poetry and short stories. 

He showed his strong character in battling illness for many years with a determined, optimistic approach to life and a wry sense of humor. He delighted in his 52-year marriage to Ann, who predeceased him, and in his five children and 12 grandchildren. —Hobie Cleminshaw ’51 and Phil’s children: Mark ’80, Mary, Jane, Katey ’86 and Ryan

Alan C. Donaldson ’51

Alan died peacefully at his Morgantown, W.V., home on June 9. 

He grew up in Northampton, roomed with Paul Coon ’51 at Deerfield and, following receipt of his cum laude geology degree from Amherst, where he had a close relationship with Professor George Bain, Alan obtained his master’s degree in geology at UMass Amherst and his Ph.D. in geology at Penn State. He then established, in 1957, an expanded geology and geography department at West Virginia University. He served as chairman of that department from 1971 to 1995, when he retired, but continued to teach geology classes as a professor emeritus until 2005. He supervised those seeking advanced degrees in his chosen subjects, establishing bonding experiences with many that became the highlight of his career. His national reputation in research led to an invitation to contribute to the prestigious Geological Society of America’s Centenary Volumes on a Decade of North America Geology. 

Alan enjoyed living in Morgantown. He served as an active member of its Planning Commission, Ward and Boundary Commission, and neighborhood associations. Alan is survived by his wife, Ruth Ellen Rapp, whom he met at Penn State and married as he journeyed to Morgantown in 1957. They have four children, all married and surviving, and nine grandchildren. 

In our 50th reunion publication, “The Book,” Alan wrote, “Thank you, Amherst College, for the riches you provided me. I will always be grateful for the classmates and faculty there. I realized as a student how special Amherst was, and ever since, it has remained an internal standard for excellence in whatever I encounter.” Alan clearly had a happy life, contributing to his profession, teaching undergraduate and graduate students, enjoying his family surroundings and his community contributions. No doubt he left us with a smile. —Everett E. Clark ’51

Raymond B. Jones ’51

Ray Jones died on July 12, at his home in Bend, Ore., after a brief illness. He joined our Zoom 70th reunion gathering last May and was in good spirits then. 

He is probably best remembered from Amherst days for singing in Glee Club and Choir. He recorded in our 50th reunion book that his lifelong affiliation with singing groups resulted from “learning the mind-cleansing virtue of vocalizing with the Glee Club. … Singing uses both sides of the brain, as well as the body, and it is impossible to sing and worry at the same time.” 

Upon graduation, Ray joined the U.S. Navy and, during the Korean War, served aboard the USS Seminole, an amphibious cargo ship operating in combat areas. He left the Navy in 1955; married Laurie Oberg; settled down in Berkeley, Calif.; started his family; and became part owner and manager of Gillick Printing until he retired in 1985. Private consulting followed until 1990 or so, when Ray and Laurie sold their Berkeley home and moved to Bend. They proceeded to travel worldwide, were locally active (Ray was a Rotary member for more than 55 years, starting at Berkeley, until he died) and enjoyed life to the fullest until Laurie died in 2002. Thereafter, Ray continued his barbershop singing, being a charter member of the Central Oregon chapter of the High Desert Harmoneers, founded in 1991. He was a 50-plus-year member of the Barbershop Harmony Society, having joined in 1958. He wrote and produced a number of barbershop chapter shows and was a member of six registered quartets traveling all over Oregon, parts of Washington State and even Vancouver, B.C., performing concerts and participating in barbershop competitions. 

He is survived by three children, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Ray was an outstanding plus for his community.—Everett E. Clark ’51, with very helpful input from Katharine Dalton, Ray’s daughter

Gorham L. Cross Jr. ’52 

Jerry (“Gar” to many classmates) attended Wellesley, Mass., public schools before graduating from Noble and Greenough. At Amherst, he joined Alpha Delt; majored in political science; participated in wrestling, the Prom Committee, and Chest Drive; and served as the Pre-Law Club president, presiding over an unruly group in an exceedingly spirited “mock” court. This irreverent sense of humor became one hallmark of his life.

After a brief learning curve in the printing and publishing industry, Jerry formed the Nimrod Press in 1955 and built it into the third largest printer in Boston. In 1973, he joined Warren, Gorham & Lamont, a hugely successful family-owned publisher of legal and business information services, serving as board chairman until its sale in 1980. He did consulting work and bought one more company before retiring in 2000.

Jerry was always mindful of how well life had treated him. He had a keen interest in others, was generous in giving to charities and was a trustee of Noble and Greenough and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. As a civil rights advocate with a special interest in the career of Charles Hamilton Houston (1915), Jerry donated Houston’s portrait to Amherst. It was unveiled in Frost Library in a 1978 ceremony, followed by Thurgood Marshall’s speech honoring Houston, his mentor, to a crowd of 1,000 in the new gym. (This portrait now hangs more prominently in Johnson Chapel.)

As a 12-year-old, Jerry kept a backyard coop with 200 chickens. His major hobby became gardening. He was an avid photographer of shorebirds. He was addicted to vanilla frappes. He loved all dogs, with one on his lap until his last days, ending Aug. 25 at age 92.

Joan, his wife of 68 years, predeceased Jerry last December. They have three children, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild. —John Cross ’77 and Nick Evans ’52

Howard M. Fisher ’52

Howie was one of our youngest, tallest and most talented classmates. He died April 30, just five days after his 90th birthday.

A star student and athlete in high school in Wyomissing, Pa., Howie continued to compete for the Jeffs and graduated with honors as an English major. He pledged Beta, where he was assigned the most coveted residence, concealed in the Beta House basement.

Howie was elected to Student Council and appointed treasurer. A versatile athlete, he lettered in three sports as forward in basketball, catcher in baseball and goalie in soccer. In the band, he played trombone with zest. In recognition of his achievements, Howie was elected to Sphinx, the junior honorary society.

Basketball drew enthusiastic crowds, the stands packed on weekend date nights with students in jackets and ties. Howie’s first big game and win came sophomore year vs. Wesleyan. Senior year was the most successful since 1943, with the Little Three title and wins over UMass and Brown. Howie sparked big wins over Williams and Union and excelled in a riveting last-second loss to Wesleyan.

Howie’s business career began on Madison Avenue with two top agencies, Dancer Fitzgerald and Foote, Cone & Belding. Gillette then became his long-term business focus; he led its strategic marketing initiatives to extend the competitive life of an exceptionally valuable consumer franchise. P&G acquired Gillette in 2005 in what Warren Buffet described as a “dream deal.”

Howie will always be best remembered for his devotion to his family, his kindness and his gentle spirit. Dixie, Howie’s wife of 55 years, and his three daughters were his “girls,” and he was “Poppa” to seven grandchildren.—Nick Evans ’52 and George Guenther ’52

Raymond A. MacDonnell ’52

Ray entered Amherst on the G.I. Bill and graduated with a Fulbright Scholarship to study in London at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.

After graduating from Lawrence (Mass.) High School and arriving at Amherst, Ray joined the Lord Jeff Club and House Management Committee and was elected to the Student Council and Masquers vice presidency, with both leading and supporting roles, and to the Sphinx honorary society.

Our senior year was widely viewed as one of the most successful in the history of the Masquers. Curt Canfield, professor of dramatic arts and director of Kirby Theater, produced and directed early live television dramas in NYC while maintaining a full academic load; student acting talent was abundant; and the technical side of set and costume design and background effects was a special strength of Masquers president George Whitney.

The Tempest, in November 1951, broke all attendance records and earned rave reviews: “best production ever at Kirby Theater” and “in the latter half of the play, it surpassed professional work.” Ray’s supporting role as Calaban, a savage and deformed slave, added comic relief that had the audience roaring.

Ray’s early professional career included roles on Robert Montgomery Presents and Armstrong Circle Theatre. He appeared on Broadway in Mame opposite Ann Miller and Angela Lansbury, then had a leading role on the soap opera The Edge of Night. In 1970, Ray became an original cast member as Dr. Joe Martin on ABC’s All My Children. After a 40-year run, he retired in 2009 when production was moved from NYC to California. Ray received the Daytime Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2004.

Ray died on June 10 at age 93 of natural causes under hospice care in Chappaqua, N.Y., leaving his wife, Patricia, and children, Kyle, Daniel and Sarah.—Nick Evans ’52

Edwin F. Wesely Jr. ’52

I’ve always thought that Ed Wesely lived better with less than anyone I’ve ever known. And to his dying day, May 26, he lived a life better than most.

A much-loved only child, he grew up in Chevy Chase, Md., and graduated from Georgetown Prep and Amherst before heading west to explore the world. He hitched rides, working here and there to earn his keep, including a tour of duty in the U.S. Army. 

He spent many days helping ranchers bring heifers into the world, running a summer camp for children and spending icy winters alone in the freezing Cascade Mountains. He found his way to Oregon and fell in love with the place. He would be there still if his ailing mother hadn’t called for help.

Back east, he found work he loved, teaching at Hood College and serving as seasonal park ranger for the National Park Service.

When we met through a mutual friend, I quickly learned of his passion for protecting the natural world and sharing his knowledge with others. We treasured the benefits of open spaces and the agricultural scene. He taught me how to speak to planning commissions and promote effective land-use measures.

We soon became a couple—a new life for us both—buying 12 acres along the Upper Delaware River; working to create the Delaware Highlands Conservancy, today protecting over 18,000 acres of land; building a nature center we called the Butterfly Barn; hosting monarch butterfly programs, rescuing thousands of these beautiful insects for safe annual migration; and mentoring children.

I miss Ed terribly. His voice will guide me and the rest of the world to help move it into a future of beauty and safety for all he has now left behind. —Barbara Yeaman

Raymond W. Turner ’54

Ray Turner, our class co-president, died in a motor vehicle accident June 12, two weeks after we last met. 

Ray came to Amherst from Brooklyn’s Midwood High School, which he commuted to by subway from Bed-Stuy along with two of my grade school classmates, Marty Seham ’54 and Fuzzy Fendrick ’54. We bonded very early, leading to 70-plus years of friendship. 

During undergraduate years, the fraternity system treated Ray cruelly. Despite that, he loved Amherst, and at Phi Gam we invited him to live in the fraternity house as a “social member”—to this day I am humiliated that in our youth we lacked courage to challenge the “national” by pledging him. 

Ray was a biology major, received his “54” for crew, served as associate manager of the Glee Club and was a member of the pre-med club. 

Ray went on to Yale School of Medicine and completed a residency in internal medicine, interrupted by two years with the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission, studying radiation effects in Hiroshima. I still treasure the souvenirs he brought us from Japan. On return to residency, Ray met Maria Lourdes Chanco. Norma and I attended their wedding in New Haven 57 years ago. 

Ray started practice with group health while acquiring an M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins. He gravitated to medical administration, ending up as CMO of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield while teaching medical students at Hopkins and George Washington. 

Surviving Ray are Maria, a distinguished dermatologist; daughter Melissa Turner, M.D. (Eric De Jonge, M.D.); son Nicholas (Theresa Trzaskoma); grandchildren Nathaniel ’21, Maya, Wiley and Malcolm; and sister Judy (Vann Kinkle Jones, M.D., deceased). Ray was predeceased by his brother Clyde Turner, M.D. (whose son William, M.D., is ’94). 

Ray loved classical music and ikebana and was a member of the Cosmos Club. 

Sayonara, dear friend! —Hank Tulgan ’54

Paul C. Helmreich ’55

Paul was born in Brunswick, Maine, where he prepped for Amherst at Brunswick High School. Paul and I got acquainted freshman year over swimming. We lived in Stearns dormitory, one unit apart, and roomed together sophomore, junior and senior years. He was a history major and a member of Kappa Theta fraternity. Paul was on the swim team all four years, where he swam the breaststroke. When the butterfly came out, he stayed with the conventional stroke. Senior year, Paul received the Tug Kennedy Award—voted by teammates. He remembered this as his favorite honor. 

After Amherst, Paul went to Harvard Graduate School, earning an M.A. in 1957 and a Ph.D. in 1964. He served in the history department of Wheaton College from 1957 to 1999 and was college historian. Paul taught primarily 19th- and 20th-century European history until he retired in 1999.

Paul’s interests were gardening and yard work, swimming (he had a pool in his yard) and the Red Sox. He moved to Norton, Mass., where he had 19 acres; it took four hours to mow the grass. He umpired for 20 years for Norton Youth Baseball Leagues and served on the Norton Finance Committee for 48 years. Between 1984 and 1998, the Helmreichs traveled to Europe, the western United States and Canada; to Egypt in 1996; and for three weeks in China in 1998. They spent three weeks in winter on Sanibel Island, Fla.

In 1953, Paul met Dorothy Lee Heise (Smith ’56), aka Dorolee, on a blind date, and they married on Aug. 11, 1956. They had three children, James, Alan and Kristen. Dorolee passed away in 2012. At our 60th reunion, Paul brought along Zephorene Stickney, college archivist at Wheaton. They married in 2016 on Sanibel Island. —James P. Hanks ’55

Philip J. Kaplan ’55

Phil died on Jan. 11 after a long illness. He grew up in New Rochelle, N.Y., and graduated from its high school. As an undergraduate, Phil majored in English, played tennis and worked with the automobile association. He was also in the Glee Club, was on the Student staff and was a member of the Lord Jeff Club.

After Amherst, Phil spent two years in the U.S. Army and then earned a law degree from Syracuse University and a master’s in corporate law from New York University. He worked briefly for a law firm in Lower Manhattan before opening his own practice on Staten Island. There, Phil primarily served an underrepresented clientele. He retired at age 82 due to health issues.

Phil worked tirelessly and never planned to retire, never spoke ill of anyone and held no prejudices. John Hammond ’55 remembers Phil as “gentle, quiet and kind,”; he “always seemed to be in his single room with the door shut” and lent John his car for an evening. While an undergraduate, Phil and Hal Kolb ’55 went over to the Lord Jeff Inn to visit Robert Frost following a lecture Frost had given on the campus. The two were too timid to knock, so Phil slipped a poem he had written under the door. The next day Phil got his poem back, covered with Frost’s comments and encouragement. Hal adds, “Even during his busy and demanding legal career, Phil continued to write poetry, read widely and pursued discussions with his lifelong friends.” 

Phil is survived by his second wife of 26 years, Gina, and his three children. They remember that Phil did his best to help people and that “we are all proud to be his family.” A wonderful tribute to a true gentleman. —Rob Sowersby ’55

William S. Norden ’55

Bill came to the College from Brooklyn and Abraham Lincoln High School. As an undergraduate, he was a history major, worked on the Student and was a member of Kappa Theta fraternity. Bill enjoyed the stimulating educational experience. He thought the 750-word papers we wrote in the American studies course were particularly helpful during his professional career in law and municipal government. John Hammond ’55 remembers Bill as “an exceptionally nice person.”

Bill was one of the few of our class who were drafted into the U.S. Navy. He spent most of his tour on a heavy cruiser stationed in the Mediterranean in France and had fond memories of his travels there. Bill went on to graduate from NYU School of Law before starting an insurance brokerage business with a friend in 1963. This led him into practicing law on his own, where he found his calling. Bill became chief of law and appeals for Nassau County, N.Y., which he loved. He acted as a mentor to many starting lawyers. Working for the government afforded Bill the opportunity to retire early and spend 20-plus years traveling the world.

In 1963, Bill married Joyce Levine. Four years later, they moved into a beachfront condominium in Long Beach on Long Island, where he resided until he died on Aug. 6, 2021. He loved that location, just sitting on the balcony and gazing at the beach below with Long Island Sound in the distance. Joyce died in 2014. They had a son, John, who drove Bill to our 60th reunion in 2015—a class first, because Bill really looked forward to those reunions, attending our 35th through 60th gatherings. We always enjoyed seeing Bill and Joyce there. —Rob Sowersby ’55

Paul Livingstone Penfield Jr. ’55

Paul died from complications of prostate cancer on June 22. He prepared for Amherst at the Cranbrook School in Michigan. As an undergraduate, Paul was a physics major, ran cross-country, helped at the radio station, was active with the automobile association and was a proud member of Theta Xi. At Amherst, Paul was the guy with a pickup truck, seen driving spools of wire around and stringing them in the steam tunnels to improve radio reception across campus.

After Amherst, Paul earned a Sc.D. degree in electrical engineering from MIT. He then joined the MIT faculty in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in 1960; he served as associate head from 1974 to 1978, and department head from 1989 to 1999. He was the Dugald C. Jackson Professor of Electrical Engineering from 2000 until his retirement in June 2005. Paul published five books and hundreds of articles. 

Paul loved spending time with multiple generations of Penfields at the family cottage on Lake George, N.Y. He was passionate about genealogy and built our family tree back to the 1600s. He became a North American fern expert and was a member of the American Fern Society and the Hardy Fern Foundation. He was a longtime member of the First Parish Church of Weston, Mass. He supported environmental organizations including the Lake George Land Conservancy, Nature Conservancy, Weston Forest and Trail Association, as well as the recently created MetroWest Climate Solutions Group. In recent years, he spearheaded development of the Rail Trail in Weston. 

After the memorial service for Paul on Aug. 21, there was a Second Line procession, led by the Hot Tamale Brass Band, from the church to the Weston Rail Trail.

Paul is survived by his two Amherst children and son Michael. —David Penfield ’79 and Patty Penfield Jonas ’82

Peter C. Wykoff ’55

Born and raised in Cleveland, Peter Wykoff traveled to other places (just to visit, of course) but always returned to his hometown. He died in Cleveland on July 12.

Pete attended Hawken School before graduating from University School in Shaker Heights, Ohio, in 1951. At Amherst, Pete was a member of Delta Upsilon and a history major. A sports enthusiast his entire life, he played soccer, swam and dove on the swim team, and played baseball in high school and at Amherst (including three years on the varsity soccer team at Amherst). Throughout his undergraduate years, Pete was accompanied by his twin brother, Tom ’55, who was also his fraternity brother in DU. 

Pete was in the AFROTC unit and, after his commission, spent his years in Europe. He then returned to Cleveland, where he met the woman who would become his beloved wife of 57 years, Carol Thompson (Hathaway Brown ’53 and Smith College ’57). Pete graduated from Case Western Reserve University’s law school and practiced law for several years before transitioning to what would end up being his life’s calling as a trust officer with National City Bank in Cleveland. He was active with several not-for-profits.

Pete continued to be an athlete, playing A-league squash, running with his friends and fly-fishing all over the United States. Both my brother Scott and I followed in his athletic and fly-fishing pursuits in high school, college and beyond. One of my favorite memories of my father is revisiting with him several years ago the bus-and-trolley ride from his home in Shaker Heights to League Park in Cleveland, where he was a batboy for the Cleveland Indians.

My father loved his time at Amherst (and the reunions), and it rubbed off on me. —David Wykoff ’82

Donald P. Buebendorf ’56

Don died in Vero Beach, Fla., on June 26, after a short fight with cardiac disease. He is survived by his high school sweetheart and wife of 65 years, Nancy Flint Buebendorf; daughter Laurie Pallin; son Jeff Buebendorf; five grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. 

Don was raised in Chappaqua, N.Y., matriculating to Amherst from Horace Greeley High School. He received his M.D. from Yale in 1960, completing his pediatric residency there. Don was a small-town doctor, often making house calls at night. After retirement from pediatrics, he and Nancy moved to Danbury, N.H., where they opened a B&B. Famous for homemade popovers, which he perfected after years of experimentation, Don treated guests to gourmet breakfasts for special occasions. Don always made special time for his grandchildren; each waited excitedly until it was their turn for a trip to NYC to watch the Nutcracker ballet.

Don and Nancy retired a second time, to Vero Beach, and spent summers at Lake Toxaway, N.C., where Don developed a passion for the sport of formal croquet. His persistent advocacy led to the creation of croquet courts at Indian River Estates, where the ribbon-cutting ceremony, just weeks before his death, made him very proud.

Don’s greatest hobby was photography. He commemorated every occasion by creating a book of photos for the participants. As an ardent hiker, he hiked all the Appalachian 4,000-footers with son Jeff.

As a homeowner, Don never hired others to do work he could do himself, including growing his own food. He especially enjoyed working in his huge vegetable garden. But most of all, he cherished time with his wife and family. Living life to the fullest, he earned the respect of his children and grandchildren for his integrity, perseverance and tenacity. —Peter Levison ’56

James A. Freeman ’56

Jim died on June 15, doing what he loved: working out in the gym. His life was filled with travel, work, friendships and hobbies—a full, blessed life, bursting with memories, accomplishments and adventures. 

Born in Jerseyville, Ill., Jim cherished his early years on a dairy farm. His love of the outdoors continued after his family moved to Rochester, N.Y. 

After a year at Hobart College, Jim transferred to Amherst, where he majored in history and pledged Phi Gam. After two stints in the Army, Jim went to work for Bausch & Lomb for a successful but unsatisfying four years as an advertising account manager. At his wife’s urging, he enrolled at the University of Minnesota and received a Ph.D. in English. He began his teaching career at UMass in 1968. For the next 45 years, Jim remained a cherished educator, inspiring countless students with his infectious passion for Dante, Chaucer, Hemingway and other foundational authors. He published three books and almost 80 articles on subjects as varied as his interests, ranging from John Milton to gravestones to Donald Duck. He traveled the globe presenting lectures and serving as a guest professor, from Italy to Singapore and places in between. His love of the Renaissance led him twice to Florence, Italy, for yearlong sabbaticals.

Though literature was Jim’s love, nothing eclipsed his adoration of Margaret, his wife of 60 years. They moved to Hadley, Mass., in 1969 and raised sons Matthew and Eric. Jim instilled in them his love of swimming, biking, hiking and exercise. His wit, humor, curiosity and interest led to many lasting friendships, as few were able to resist his charm. While we grieve his passing, we take solace knowing his children, grandchildren and myriad friends will keep his memory alive. —Peter Levison ’56

Charles N. Leach Jr. ’56

A longtime New Englander, Charlie had plans in 2020, until COVID struck, to return to his place of birth, Beijing, where his father taught at Peking Union Medical College. The family fled in 1937 shortly before the Japanese entered the city. Charlie was most disappointed to have to forgo the trip. 

After receiving his M.D. from Columbia’s medical school, he met Joan Gross, a nurse, during his cardiology residency at Bellevue Hospital. They were married in 1962. They lived for more than 50 years in a wonderful 1659 home in Farmington, Conn. Charlie eventually became director of cardiology at New Britain General Hospital, having founded the state’s first cardiac rehabilitation program. Upon retiring in 2000, he dedicated his energies to volunteering with town and state historical, environmental and arts organizations. 

Charlie imbued his children and grandchildren with a love for music and the out-of-doors; he and Joan continued to bike, hike, camp and canoe in the United States and Europe well into their 80s. He was especially amused by how different his grandchildren were from him and one another and took pleasure in seeing them take their unique paths. At family gatherings he often sported a special pair of red plaid pants. He will be remembered for his quick wit, infectious sense of humor, love of language and affection for tropical fish. 

He is survived by Joan; four children, Nancy Leach, Cynthia Evans, Caroline McCrave and Charles Leach III; and seven grandchildren. 

He came to Amherst (Phi Gam, biology major) from Northwood School and his home in Newfane, Vt. 

We were happy to see Charlie participating in our class of 1956 65th reunion Zoom event just last May. The class is saddened by the loss of such a wonderful citizen and classmate. —Peter Levison ’56 

Robert H. Weil ’56

Bob died July 2 in Mérida, Mexico, after contracting COVID-19. He was born in St. Louis in 1934. At Amherst, he majored in political science and fine arts. He married Suzanne “Zannie” Hoyt (Mount Holyoke ’56) in June 1955, and they lived in an off-campus apartment senior year. Bob and Zannie frequented Eddie Condon’s jazz club in NYC, and jazz gradually became a cornerstone of Bob’s life. Not enamored of his family’s shoe business, they moved to Santa Fe, N.M., in 1960 and became ranchers. Never forgetting their love of music, they underwrote the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival in 1972. In the 1980s, Bob produced the Santa Fe Jazz Festival, which morphed into the New Mexico Jazz Festival, still going strong today. Bob and Zannie divorced in the early ’80s, and Bob married his beloved B.J. in 1986. 

Many knew him as “Bumble Bee Bob,” a moniker he acquired when he bought a large Arizona cattle ranch that included a ghost town called Bumble Bee. The name fit his personality perfectly.

After retiring from ranching and land development, he turned his energy to his other true love besides jazz: cooking. At the age of 70, Bob and B.J. opened a restaurant in Santa Fe called Bumble Bee’s Baja Grill and soon had four locations. Turning 80, they built a home in Mérida, a Mexican expat cultural and gastronomical oasis, where they lived for seven fantastic years. 

Besides B.J., Bob is survived by six children, 13 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. He was extremely proud that his daughter Linda ’81 and granddaughter Seewai Hui ’16 carried on his Amherst legacy.

“He rode the biggest horse, wore the biggest hat, had a huge heart and always sported a big smile. He was a man who checked off his bucket list.” —Linda Weil ’81

Laurence R. Young ’56

Larry died peacefully at home on Aug. 4 after a yearlong illness. He attended Amherst (physics, ski team, Theta Xi) and MIT on a 3–2 plan. As a professor at MIT, he directed the Man Vehicle Laboratory, studying weightlessness and human adaptation to space, working closely with decades of NASA astronauts. He knew them all. At age 55, he trained (but did not fly) as a Space Shuttle mission specialist. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

Larry enjoyed outdoor activities, especially white-water canoeing, skiing, ski racing, hiking and biking near his home in Waterville Valley, N.H. He worked on the Waterville Valley Ski Patrol for several decades, initially to defray the family’s ski costs but eventually developing a research program on ski safety. He served as the first chair of the Ski Safety Committee of ASTM: “I’m known for how to get healthy astronauts to Mars, but my real contribution to humanity is convincing insurance companies to allow ski brakes instead of those awful safety straps.”

The pedagogy Larry experienced at Amherst had a profound effect on his own teaching. He liked to relate how Professor Breusch came to Milliken infirmary to provide missed lectures so he wouldn’t fall behind. At Amherst, Larry made many close friends among classmates and faculty, and it gave him great joy to reconnect with them through the decades. He was delighted to be able to share a chapter of his memoirs with classmates at the 2021 ’56 virtual reunion.

Larry is survived by wife Vicki Goldberg; former wife Jody Williams; three children, Eliot ’84, Leslie and Robert; and five grandchildren, Joshua ’17, Evan ’19, Xander, David and Rachel. —Eliot Young ’84

Philip H. Pfatteicher ’57

The Rev. Dr. Philip H. Pfatteicher passed away on June 22 after a battle with cancer. His wife, Lois, had passed away three years earlier. Both born in Philadelphia, they had resided in Melrose, Mass., for the past several years of their retirement.

He is survived by his four children: Carl Pfatteicher ’85, Carolyn McDermott, Sarah Pfatteicher and Linda Pfatteicher. Philip’s son, Carl, graduated from Amherst in 1985, and Carl’s daughter Julia in 2019. Philip’s daughter Carolyn attended Mount Holyoke. Sarah Pfatteicher attended Smith College and currently serves as executive director of the Five College Consortium. Linda Pfatteicher attended Simmons College in Boston.

At Amherst, Philip was a member of Alpha Theta Xi. He played football and was a member of the track and wrestling teams, Christian Association, Outing Club and Glee Club. Recently, he was an associate agent for the Amherst Fund.

Philip attended William Penn Charter School before coming to Amherst, where he graduated cum laude with a major in English. He received a master of divinity degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and became an ordained Lutheran minister. He later obtained a master’s degree and Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania and a master of sacred theology degree from Union Theological Seminary. 

Philip had a dual career for much of his life, as a pastor in the Lutheran ministry and an English professor at East Stroudsburg University. He authored 24 books and nearly 100 articles and reviews, mostly for the Lutheran Church, and was well regarded for his unparalleled knowledge of the Christian faith and its traditions.

Philip was a frequent contributor to Amherst and to the class of ’57 in particular. Donations in his memory may be made to the College. —Carl Pfatteicher ’85

William R. Silverman ’57

I am sad to report the passing of Bill Silverman, a fellow Beta. Bill passed away from cancer on July 4, 2021, the date of his 36th wedding anniversary with his late wife and love of his life, Cynthia.

Bill left Amherst at the end of our junior year. The following year, he enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania’s dental school and received his D.D.S. degree in 1960. He then served a two-year term as a dentist in the U.S. Army, stationed for a time in South Korea. Following his discharge, he returned home to Elizabeth, N.J., and established a very successful dental practice, which lasted more than 50 years. Bill volunteered his services to the Elizabeth public schools, where he examined children and developed treatment plans for them.

Bill and Cynthia were married on July 4, 1985. They enjoyed a great life together, which included frequent travel and many funny moments playing golf. Bill is survived by his son Paul, grandchildren Zachary and Maia, siblings Jane Broadman and Robert Silverman D.D.S. and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. He is missed by many.

As I write about the memory of Willy, I have in front of me a photograph of Betas and their spouses taken at our 40th Amherst reunion. And there he is, front and center, with his customary big grin. It brings back many fond memories. —Bill Donohue ’57

Peter N. Rugh ’58

Peter Rugh—at 87, the oldest member of our class—died peacefully in his sleep on Aug. 9, after a 13-year struggle with Parkinson’s disease.

Peter matriculated at Amherst in 1954 after serving in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. He pledged DKE, majored in economics and was active in numerous extracurricular activities, earning his “1958” numerals in lacrosse, managing hockey and belonging to the ACAA, Chest Drive, Outing Club, Student, Management Association, Glee Club and Harlan Fiske Stone Law Society.

After law school, Peter moved to San Francisco in 1964. For 35 years, he practiced as a civil trial attorney in the Oakland firm of Clancy & Rugh, retiring at 65 in 1998. He subsequently worked as a tour guide for the San Francisco Giants ballpark, volunteered for Meals on Wheels and became an accomplished baker of breads and pastries. “Retirement beats working,” he wrote.

With his wry humor, Peter bragged that his greatest achievements were receiving an AmEx card statement with a $2.47 credit and being named a finalist in the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes.

Actually, his greatest accomplishment was meeting and marrying Debra Galoob in San Francisco in 1964. During their 48-year marriage, they enjoyed their children, Charles and Suzannah, and grandchildren, Race and Caroline, and traveling the world together. In 2008, Peter wrote, he and Debra, “agree and often express to each other, ‘No one has a better life than we do.’” 

That year, however, Peter was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. He joined PD Active, becoming treasurer, then president. But, as he wrote in 2018, “Parkinson’s is relentless.” While his mind remained clear, Peter declined physically. After Debra died of a stroke in 2015, their grandson, Race Rugh, provided exemplary care for his beloved grandfather for the rest of his days. —Ned Megargee ’58

H. Spencer Bloch ’59

Spencer left us on May 12, 2021. His full given name was Herbert Spencer, evoking the English polymath who coined the phrase “survival of the fittest” that undergirded Social Darwinism. By contrast to his namesake, our Spencer devoted his life to helping vulnerable individuals survive and prosper.

At Amherst, Spencer played trumpet, wrestled at 137 and 147 pounds, joined Phi Alpha Psi and was elected to Sphinx and Scarab. Senior year, when he and I were advisers in Stearns freshman dorm, persuaded me that there was no better listener among us. After graduation, Spencer earned an M.D. at Cornell (1963), interned in internal medicine in New York City and held psychiatric residencies in Boston. In 1967, he volunteered to serve with the U.S. Army in Vietnam, where he was stationed near Saigon and earned a Bronze Star for meritorious service. 

Based near San Francisco in 1970, Spencer’s clinical, instructional and scholarly activity focused on adolescent psychopathology. He mistrusted biomedical approaches and reliance on pharmaceuticals, and his therapy with young patients often extended over long periods. Spencer conveyed his skepticism of standard treatment models in two books (1995 and 2015). In an interview, he described his approach as “an ego-oriented maturation model” that emphasized the strivings of young persons to mature, their need for parental support and their wish to retain a positive relationship with their parents. This focus, he acknowledged, diverged from the usual emphasis on adolescent self-centeredness and rebellion.

In his last decade, Spencer lived with multiple myeloma and, in his final years, was the primary caretaker for his ailing wife. She survives him, along with three children and six grandchildren. 

Old friend, I still see you crouching on the mat, still hear your mellifluous horn. —John Dower ’59

Charles Marvin III ’60

My relationship with Charley Marvin predated Amherst and continued right up to the day he died, close to 70 years.

Before Amherst, Charley and I were on opposing junior league baseball teams in adjoining Connecticut towns. And it was baseball that brought us together in college. He pitched for the freshmen team, but a damaged arm shortened his varsity career. 

Charley at first struggled academically at Amherst. He later stated, however, that the critical thinking skills needed for his classes were crucial to his occupational successes.

Upon graduation, Charley joined the U.S. Navy and served four years as an intelligence officer. He then got a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, followed by a highly successful legal and real estate investment career. His work and properties were predominantly in Southern California.

Only recently Charley and I reconnected, spurred by our writing interests. He wrote profusely in recent years on myriad subjects, including a history of the Vietnam War from his naval intelligence perspective; a history of Idyllwild, Calif., where he and his wife owned property; a history of Leucadia, Calif., the beach community where Charley and his family lived (and surfed); an anthology on his local associates entitled The Tuesday Morning Gang; a recounting of his family years; critiques of California’s politics; Donald Trump; and many other subjects.

On Friday evening, May 14, Charley and I talked at length by phone, preparatory to the upcoming class reunion session on memoir writing. We exchanged emails on Saturday. I asked for a list all of his writings and a page tally. On Sunday morning, he reported that it came to 7,000 pages. I responded, “And you’re only getting started!”

He unexpectedly passed away that evening, leaving his wife, Kirsten, and their four adult children and grandchildren. —Bob Madgic ’60

Gordon L. Doerfer ’61

Gordon Doerfer was a scientist and a lawyer, always faithful to science and the law. He never coined a fancy phrase, never worried about appearances and never insisted on winning an argument. Yet he was the most successful debater, the most convincing advocate and the most cogent reasoner.

Gordie had a twinkle in his eye that let you know that there was something humorous going on to which he was attuned but of which he suspected you were unaware. Duff was pre-med at Amherst but found time to participate fully in college life. He played the bassoon (the bassoon!) as well as poker and bridge. He went to Harvard Law. He was an accomplished lawyer with two distinguished Boston firms and became a prominent and effective judge, both on the trial court and ultimately on the state appellate court. In his later years, he was a much-sought mediator.

Gordie was blessed with the companionship of his loving and supportive wife, Priscilla; his four children; and his two grandchildren. Their annual Christmas parties were the highlight of the season. 

He and his first wife, Jane, daringly moved into a burned-out townhouse in Boston’s Back Bay and were instrumental in the transformation of the neighborhood. 

Gordon spent his last years in convalescence, always managing with dignity and common sense, nurtured by Priscilla and the children. He welcomed my teasing him as “Lazarus” after rising from his “death bed” to perform the wedding of his son, Byron, now an attorney in his father’s footsteps.

Teddy Baird used to say, “If we could be anybody we’d want to be, we’d all be fine people. Fine people. But we can’t.”

The professor, however correct about the rest of us, was wrong about Gordon Doerfer. He was as fine as people get to be.  —Gil Shasha ’61

John O. Merritt ’61

John and I were roommates during our junior year at Amherst. I think we knew each other fairly well then, but I got to know him much better after our 25th reunion. We became much more comfortable with each other whenever we reconnected. We last talked on May 16. John joined our virtual reunion, after which we had a good conversation by phone. He passed away peacefully at home from sarcoma on July 9, surrounded by his family. 

John had a dry sense of humor and a constant sparkle in his eye. How many times as we were talking did he suddenly digress, saying, “Did you know that [such and such]…,” starting from what we were talking about? I was looking forward to more visits by phone or in person, but it wasn’t to be. 

John served as a Naval air intelligence officer from 1962 to 1968, where his work as a photo interpreter inspired a lifelong interest in 3-D imagery and stereo vision, areas in which he became an internationally recognized expert. He was an active member of the Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers, was elected a fellow of the Society and was the founding chair of the annual conference on Stereoscopic Displays and Applications. In 2018, he received an IS&T Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding service and contributions to the electronic imaging community. 

John maintained his avid curiosity throughout his life and had a special knack for approaching everyday problems in a new way. He loved sharing the joy of discovery with his three children and, in recent years, his three grandchildren. He is survived by his wife, Pat Billingsley; his children and grandchildren; two siblings; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. —Joe Richardson ’61 

John Laun Afton ’63

John Afton, who grew up in California but ended up in New York City, died Aug.14, just 12 days short of his 80th birthday.

Born in Cleveland, son of Frank G. Afton and Margaret Katherine Laun Afton, John moved to California as a child. He went to high school in Palo Alto and Santa Barbara. At Amherst, he played basketball and was on the crew team. He was a member of the Kappa Theta fraternity.

Bill Amend ’63 remembers being squeezed between John, “probably our tallest classmate,” and another big man, Jim Andrews ’63, during Arnie Arons’ “Introduction to Physics.” Rick Fried ’63, a fraternity brother, recalled John’s boisterous singing at house parties as he let off steam on the weekends after studying hard all week. 

John majored in economics, won a Harlan Fiske Stone prize, then returned west to pick up his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1966. The next year, he joined a law firm in New York City, had an office on Park Avenue and served on the council of the New York Law Association.

John spent much of his career as a corporate lawyer in the mining industry, ending up as general counsel for the Zinc Corp. of America. For a couple of years, he worked for Avon Products, the cosmetics company, and at the prestigious Davis Polk & Wardwell firm in NYC.

Around 1994, John left the corporate law world and worked another 13 years as a lawyer on his own. He loved to take cruises and went on a number with his daughter Marissa.

In 2001 he began serving as an associate agent for the Amherst Fund and was still a volunteer for the College when he died. —Neale Adams ’63

Gary Lester Arling ’63

Gary Arling, 82, died in Madison, Wis., on June 17. He served for four decades as a clinical psychologist and administrator in the Wisconsin Correctional System.

Gary was born in Joliet, Ill., and went to high school there. He was the son of Lester J. Arling and Catherine Quinn Arling. Since he did his military service in the U.S. Army before entering Amherst, Gary was a few years older than most of the class and perhaps more serious. He pledged Delta Upsilon and worked at WAMH, the college radio station.

Gary’s major at Amherst was psychology, and he continued in that field at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, first earning a master’s degree in psychology and then, in 1971, a doctorate in clinical psychology. While working in the university’s primate lab on his M.A. thesis, he met Katherine “Kathy” Lowe Schwoegler of Madison. They married in 1969.

He began working as a psychologist in the Wisconsin Department of Correction and held many positions within its Bureau of Clinical Services. During his time at the bureau, Gary, with colleagues, developed protocols for psychologically classifying inmates that came to be used throughout North America. 

At the time of his retirement, he was director of the Bureau of Clinical Services, supervising some 50 psychologists and psychiatrists who provided mental health services to juvenile and adult offenders in Wisconsin.

After retirement, Gary enjoyed golf and fishing. He served as a ranger at the University Ridge Golf Course, overseeing the smooth operation of the course. He and Kathy enjoyed traveling and hosting large social gatherings for friends and family. Kathy died in 2018 after 49 years of marriage to Gary. He is survived by sons Daniel and Ric, six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. —Neale Adams ’63

Edward Gilbert Gubar ’63

Edward Gubar, 78, died on Jan. 16 at his home in Bloomington, Ind. At Amherst only for his freshman year, Ed went on to graduate from City College of New York and, after more degrees and journalism, became an award-winning teacher and professor at the University of Indiana for 34 years.

Born Feb. 26, 1942, son of Jacob Gubar and Beatrice Miller Gubar, he graduated from Weehawken High School, across the Hudson River from Manhattan. At Amherst, Ed soon realized that small-town Massachusetts was not for him and left after a year.

Graduate work came at the University of Iowa, where he earned an M.A. in English and an M.F.A. in fiction writing. His journalism included a book review column, Off the Rack, which syndicated to Midwest newspapers. He wrote fiction and nonfiction for periodicals and won fellowships and grants for his writing.

At Indiana, Ed taught in the school of journalism and later in the university’s Hutton Honors College. In 2013, he won the Indiana Trustees’ Teaching Award. Ed was a lifelong Yankees fan. In Bloomington, he coached a winning softball team for many years.

George Peterson ’63, who lived down the hall at Morrow dormitory, remembers Ed’s love of cool jazz: “He would sit in his room listening over and over to Brubeck’s ‘Take Five’—often skipping class. … He tried to explain the time structure of ‘Take Five’ to me but ended by saying, ‘Here, take the album. This is the cut for “Take Five.” Listen to it three times, back-to-back, and see if you don’t want to listen to it yet again.’ I did as he suggested and had the response he predicted.”

Ed left a partner, Christine Matheu; her daughter, Laurel Cohen; and his daughters, Marah “Molly” Gubar, an MIT professor, and Simone Silverbush. —Neale Adams ’63

Joe R. Comfort ’65

Josh Comfort (born Joe Robert, known as Joe Bob at Amherst) had an easy grace and natural manner that (fitting his name) made you comfortable in his presence. He was multitalented. While a gifted athlete, he preferred to focus on music, as student conductor of the orchestra and as a virtuoso French horn player. He was an independent who embodied creativity, curiosity and generosity.

He met his first wife, Randy Lee, while in college, and they settled in Denver, Colo., to raise their children—Megan, Justin, Mathew ’96 and Loren. Josh obtained master’s degrees in city planning and architecture. In 1991, he established Josh Comfort Architecture and enjoyed a long career restoring historic buildings and helping spearhead the blossoming of the lower downtown area. He served the city generously as a commissioner on the Denver Commission of Cultural Affairs, as a board member of the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District and in numerous other design and art roles. 

Also in 1991 (annus mirabilis!), Josh met Kate Culligan, who in 1994 became his beloved wife. The happy couple traveled off the beaten paths in Europe, South America and Asia; supported the arts in Denver and Taos, N.M. (their adopted second home); and renovated an array of houses. One highlight of Josh and Kate’s travels was their 2019 trek on the Camino de Santiago in Portugal and Spain, where they walked 116 miles of the sacred route. 

As an adult, Josh loved singing in a quartet (The Fourgone Conclusion) and performing in Opera Colorado productions. Unsurprisingly, Josh turned to music for solace during the pandemic, taking video lessons to learn to play a cello he inherited from his grandfather.

He is missed by many and will be remembered for his smile and his zest for life. —Mathew Comfort ’96

Stoddard “Skip” Lane III ’65

Stoddard Lane III passed away on Aug. 11, 2021, after a brief illness. He was born in Long Branch, N.J. In the course of combat missions, Stoddard Jr.’s B-24 crew came to call their captain’s unseen son the “Li’l Skipper.” Hence the nickname “Skip,” which stuck for life.

Skip followed three generations of Lane men before him to attend Amherst College, excelling scholastically and on the tennis team. He and Tom Poor ’65 were dorm proctors at Stearns during our senior year. Following graduation, he attended law school at Cal Berkeley—where he shared an apartment with Tim Savinar ’65—but decided a legal career was not for him. He and a friend hitched a ride on a barge from New York to Israel and joined a kibbutz, where Skip met his first wife, Danish national Lisbeth Hansen. They moved back to California. After working in the cellar at Robert Mondavi Winery, Skip co-founded the first modern-day cooperage in Napa Valley, Barrel Builders. Skip transitioned to a career in real estate in the Napa Valley, co-founding and operating several real estate companies with his second wife, Gail Morgan Lane.

Skip proudly served as president of the St. Helena (Calif.) School Board, St. Helena Historical Society and St. Helena Library Foundation, among other groups.

Skip’s later years were lovingly spent traveling with his third wife, Cynthia, and enjoying active participation in children’s and grandchildren’s lives. He was a lifelong voracious reader, and his final years afforded him ample time for his favorite hobby. 

Skip is survived by his wife, Cynthia Lane, of St. Helena; daughter Sarah Lane; son Sebastian Lane; sister Elizabeth Cabot; stepdaughter Leah Jaeger; stepson William Jaeger; and four grandchildren. —Paul Ehrmann ’65

Terry F. Cashmore ’69

At our 50th reunion banquet, Terry read his poem “I’ll Be a Lord Jeff ’til I Die.” Two years later, Terry succumbed to an aggressive, inoperable tumor originating in his left jaw. He passed away on June 27, at his home in San Diego, with his daughters and his dear friend by his side.

Cash came to Amherst from Penfield High School, near Rochester, N.Y. Neighbors on the fourth floor of James, we became fast friends. Two lads from public schools, inclined to music and athletics, ready to take on the “core curriculum.” Then Terry drew Professor Arons as his section leader in Science 1–2. Terry became a grinder, absolutely dedicated to meeting the demands laid out by “Arnie.” He did prevail and remained forever a grinder.

Terry was a psychology major and graduated with honors. We both pledged Theta Delt. He was a reliable, gritty defender on Amherst’s soccer team and developed into a fine first tenor in the Glee Club. He twice toured with the Glee Club and later with Bruce McInnes and his Mastersingers, along with several classmates. For many years, he sang with the San Diego Master Chorale.

Terry earned his M.D. at the University of Rochester, then completed a pediatrics residency at Case Western Reserve, where he met and soon married Susan Steber. Three daughters and a stint in the U.S. Air Force followed. When his beloved Susan passed away, Terry raised their three adolescent daughters into wonderful young ladies.

For 33 years, Cash was a highly respected pediatrician with Kaiser Permanente in San Diego. He enjoyed gardening, hiking and singing. His daughters, Jenny, Sarah and Emily; his three grandchildren; and his cherished friend Janis Cassel will miss him, as will his many friends among the class of ’69. —Kit Francis ’69

Peter H. Henning ’69

Peter Henning passed away on June 14, 2020, after a long battle with cancer. He is survived by wife Jackie (Smith ’71), daughter Jana, son, Louis ’03 and four grandchildren. Peter was a remarkable person whose energy, enthusiasm, optimism and intelligence were an inspiration to those who knew him. 

At Amherst, Peter majored in economics, graduating with honors. After graduation, Peter completed a Ph.D. in economics at the University of Michigan, which included more than a year of research in Kenya. 

After graduate school, Peter’s intended teaching career was cut short by a summons to return home to Aurora, Ill., to become the third generation of his family to lead the Plano Molding Co. Peter combined his knowledge of economics and the business to help create a series of successful new products, greatly increasing the company’s net worth.

Peter and Jackie retired to beautiful Carmel in Jackie’s home state of California. His children and grandchildren live nearby in the Bay Area. In retirement, Peter played the trombone, sang in local choirs, delivered Meals on Wheels and played golf. The Peter and Jackie Henning Fund supports many local activities in Monterey County. 

Pete was huge-hearted guy with great enthusiasm. When he was excited about something, he would jump up, ready to go, with a big, booming “Yes!” At other times, he would mention something he was interested in and then give you a sidelong quizzical glance as if to say, “What do you think?” At Amherst, Pete didn’t just stick to his inner circle. He was as comfortable in a smoky room at Phi Psi as he was at a beer party in DU. His daughter Jana said it best at his inurnment: “Thanks, Dad, for making the world a technicolor, magnificent place.” —Tom Jones ’69 and Paul Morgan ’69

Thomas Harrison Hooper III ’75

Our brother and our classmate Thomas Harrison Hooper III passed away on Dec. 8, 2020. 

Tom attended St. Andrew’s from grades eight through 12, graduating in 1971. His connection to St. Andrew’s was a lasting one. He made lifelong friends and, as an alumnus, was an active volunteer, frequently returning to speak to students of color, identifying potential future candidates for the school, serving on the board of trustees for many years and ultimately being named a trustee emeritus in 2014.

Tom attended Amherst and graduated with a degree in economics in 1975. During college, Tom met his future wife, Diane Boykins, a student at nearby Smith College. After graduation, Tom worked at Morgan Guaranty Trust Co., in their Corporate Contributions area, before attending Harvard Business School, where he earned an MBA in 1978.

Tom then embarked on a nearly-twenty-year career in broadcasting. Tom was extremely personable and had a strong ability to connect with people, skills that complemented his initial jobs at the ABC radio network and later WPAT Radio in New Jersey.

In 1982, Tom moved into radio station ownership, becoming co-owner, with his wife, and general manager of an AM daytime R&B station called WHYZ Radio in Greenville, S.C. Tom and Diane eventually sold the radio station and returned to New Jersey, where Tom continued working in broadcasting as a radio consultant.

In 1992, after the passing of his father, Tom took ownership of the family business, Hooper Funeral Home in Winston-Salem, N.C., and served as president until his death.

Tom was survived by wife Diane Hooper, daughter Lauren (Daren) Rogers, son Phillip (Carla) Hooper, grandchildren Winston and Harmony, and a host of extended family and loved ones. 

(A longer version of this In Memory piece can be found on the class website.) —Everett “Skip” Jenkins ’75

Mark W. Cannon ’77

Mark W. Cannon died on July 30. A native of Tucson, Ariz., he entered Amherst’s class of 1977. We soon became close friends, bonding early at Amherst. He was a wide-ranging, enthusiastic reader of all kinds of books, from fantasy and science fiction to philosophy and literary criticism. He embraced the intellectual dimension of the “Amherst experience.” He also sought to get to know the social dimension of Amherst.

Mark did not finish at Amherst. He dropped out and returned to Tucson. I tried to keep in touch, but we drifted apart. He got his B.A. from the University of Arizona and his M.A. from George Washington University. He developed health problems and was waiting for a heart transplant when he discovered that he was suffering from non-Hodgkins’ lymphoma, the illness that ended his life too soon.

Mark always symbolized what attending Amherst meant. He was one of the best, kindest, most decent people I knew there, and I will cherish his memory. —Richard B. Bernstein ’77 

Cameron E. Hutchins ’81

Cam loved Amherst, and Amherst loved him back. Cam died on July 9 from pancreatic cancer. 

The College mailbag is full of inquiries about Cam. We answer some of them.

Why is Google so slow these days? Because Cam’s no longer answering every query. Cam was the proto-Google. He knew obscure facts about almost everyone in the class. Forget your mother’s maiden name? Ask Cam. 

Which was Cam not affiliated with: Pratt, Chi Psi, DKE or the Iso Ward? The Iso Ward. Cam bolted Chi Psi for DKE without generating ill will and, once at DKE, pushed for it to become coed. Later he railed against an off-campus version of the frat he viewed as retrograde.

What were Cam’s academic bona fides? An AmStuds major, he triumphed with his paper examining religion in Archie Comics (A-). He attended UPenn’s Annenberg School for Communication, where he met his wife, Julia Portale.

Did Cam go abroad junior year? No, New Canaan High School wouldn’t let him return to do more coursework. Cam lived in New Canaan, Conn., from ages 6 to 62. He was involved in preservation and school issues and was a force for good town governance. Cam’s children, Emma ’15, Alex and Lily, had a father who was the town’s unofficial mayor.

Why are ’81’s class notes the best? Because they reflect Cam’s riotous sense of humor and his application of just the right touch of sentimentality without bleeding into nostalgia. 

What did Cam do in the real world? Cam was most recently communications director of Horizons National, an academic enrichment program for kids from underresourced communities. He was active in the Congregational Church and Roton Point, a swim/sailing club in Rowayton, Conn.

Do we miss Cam? Spending time with Cam was remarkable, joyous, fun and memorable. His classmates will miss him terribly. —Dave Nicholas ’81 and John Eastburn ’81

Margaret C. Lescher ’84

Margaret Lescher passed away peacefully on July 11 after an extended illness. She grew up in Manhattan and came to Amherst from St. Ann’s School in Brooklyn, N.Y. Following her time at Amherst, Margaret attended Columbia University, where she received her master of social work degree. She went on to spend more than 30 years providing therapy to children and families in a hospital-based clinic in the Bronx, before transitioning into private practice. Margaret’s work was incredibly meaningful to her, and she continued seeing patients even as her health declined.

She is survived by her daughter, Anna; her husband, Jonathan; her sisters, Katie and Susannah; and her many friends from Amherst. She will be remembered for her kindness, her generosity and, of course, her sense of humor. —Anna Samuels


Joel E. Gordon

Joel E. Gordon, the Stone Professor of Natural Science (Physics), Emeritus, died on Aug. 10, 2021, at age 91. He taught at Amherst between 1957 and 2000. Departmental colleagues describe him as “a kind and dedicated teacher who also maintained an active research program at Amherst and lively collaborations around the world for five decades in condensed-matter physics. In addition, he was a generous guide and mentor to generations of faculty, staff and students.”

He was born in Denver. His family settled in Berkeley, Calif., for his high school years. A 1952 graduate of Harvard, he continued his studies as a Rotary Scholar at Magdalene College, Cambridge (England), and received a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, all in physics.

In 1953, while attending Magdalene, he met Pamela “Pomma” Wonfor. They married three years later in Berkeley and then moved to Amherst in 1957. They loved immersing themselves in new places, spending sabbatical years in England (twice), Colombia (where he was instrumental in establishing the physics department at Universidad del Valle in Cali) and France; summers in Colombia, Long Island and Berkeley; and conferences in Mexico City, Tokyo and San Diego, to name a few. They continued their excursions in retirement, retracing the Mayan civilization in Central America and traveling the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route.

He is predeceased by Pomma and survived by their two sons, Peter Gordon of Hong Kong and Stephen Gordon of Amherst, and by their five grandsons.


Stanley Mieczkowski

Stanley Mieczkowski died on June 12, 2021, at the age of 86. He was a resident of Sunderland, Mass. He came to the College in 1985 as a carpenter and cabinet maker and worked in that profession through his retirement in 2006.