Walter A. Sedelow Jr. ’47
Dr. Sedelow died on July 28, 2022, at home on Eden Isle in Heber Springs, Ark. He entered Amherst at age 15, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa junior year, was undergraduate president of Phi Beta Kappa, graduated summa cum laude and won the Woods-Travis Prize. He remembered with great pleasure gifted teachers such as Ted Baird and Laurence Packard.
His graduate studies at Harvard and early teaching career at Milton Academy and Williams College were interrupted by the Korean War. As the officer in charge of Strategic Air Command’s Electronic Counter-Measurers School and Laboratory, he became the briefing officer for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
After completing his doctoral dissertation on David Hume’s History of England, he pursued a many-faceted career. He was dean of the graduate school of library and information science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, also serving there as professor of sociology and computer and information science and in the Institute for Research in Social Science. He chaired sociology and anthropology at St. Louis University. He was founding director of the National Science Foundation’s Computer Networking-for-Science program. At the Menninger Foundation, he was the Spencer Foundation fellow in interdisciplinary studies and visiting faculty at the Topeka Institute of Psychoanalysis, while his primary work was at the University of Kansas, as professor of computer science and of sociology. He also served on the university’s committee for the program in the history and philosophy of science and the Soviet and East European student program faculty.
His list of lectures and publications would cover many pages. He was anxious to show how language and its representations work systematically to bind together the inhabitants of our universe. Up until almost the day he passed, he heard from former students, thanking him for insights and inspiration. —Sally Sedelow
George E. Hiller ’50
George passed away on Jan. 15, 2022, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. He and his family had lived in the Jacksonville area since the 1970s.
After college, George became a special agent for the Prudential Life Insurance Co. His entire career was spent in the life insurance field. At the time of his retirement in 1991, he was the southeast regional vice president for the Progressive Financial Group.
George came to Amherst from Highland Park High School in Illinois. He was an outstanding breaststroker, winning his A for three years. He doubled as an enthusiastic cheerleader, particularly at football games, and was a member of Alpha Delta Phi. George served our class well as class secretary from 2011 to 2016. When we talked, about a year ago, he continued to be a strong Amherst supporter who was outspoken with conservative views.
George is survived by five children: Pamela, Geoffrey, Chris, Holly and Corrie. Fortunately, several of them lived very near to George’s retirement home.
Our sympathy goes out to the family. —John Priesing ’50
Donald B. Mesick ’50
Complications from a fall caused the death of Donald Mesick on Nov. 26, 2022. Don lived in Williamstown, Mass., not far from his hometown of Cambridge, N.Y., where he went to Fisher and Cambridge Central High School.
At Amherst, Don was a member and treasurer of Phi Gamma Delta. In his early days after college, Don acquired lakefront property and, over time, proceeded to build a number of homes which became a thriving homeowners’ association.
Don joined General Electric and then went with Sprague Electric in Williamstown. Before he retired, Sprague was bought. The acquiring company equipped Don with all the necessary technological equipment to continue to participate in the firm’s worldwide affairs from home.
Don and I unexpectedly found ourselves sitting next to each other in Williamstown at a football game a number of years ago. During a long chat, he expressed great pride in his three children and later said they were his finest accomplishment.
Don’s wife, Jane, passed away in 2012. He is survived by his children, Leland (Kristin), Steven (Helen) and Melinda Hawkes (James), plus four grandchildren and two step-grandchildren. —John Priesing ’50
David M. Sinclair ’50
Dave Sinclair was my lifelong friend. We attended grammar school, high school and college together. At the time of his death on Dec. 15, 2022, we were co-presidents of the class of 1950.
Shortly after graduation, Dave joined the Marine Corps. He served for two years, and at the time of discharge he had become a staff sergeant. Upon discharge, he joined T.D. Helprin, Inc., marine insurance surveyors. He later became president of the firm and continued with it until retirement. He loved his job, which took him to many countries. During the early days with the Helprin firm, he found the time to earn an MBA based on foreign trade at Columbia University.
Dave had a long record of sailboat racing, much of it with his wife, Sue, who was a winner of the Adams Trophy, the USA national women’s sailing championship. His skills in large-yacht racing were in great demand. He was sailing master on the beautiful and famous schooner Nina, winner of many offshore ocean races. He was a crew member of many other large sailing yachts, including the yawl Ticonderoga when she was winner of the Marblehead/Halifax race. At the time of his passing, Dave was the second-longest-serving member of the Cruising Club of America, having joined in 1956. He served a term as commodore of the Noroton Yacht Club in his hometown of Darien, Conn.
I agree with a statement in Dave’s obituary written by his children: “He will likely be remembered mostly for his grace, his calm demeanor, his thoughtful and sound decision making and his moral courage, and for showing genuine interest in and kindness toward all those that he knew and met.”
Dave had a wonderful and productive life. —Andy Scholtz ’50
P. Kingsley Smith ’50
At 93, Kingsley succumbed to pneumonia in the Greater Baltimore Medical Center on Dec. 27, 2022. He grew up in Toronto and graduated from Taft in 1946. At Amherst, he was a member of Kappa Theta and received a degree in the classics.
In 1951, Kingsley began a life of service—Marine Corps officer, Episcopal church rector, visiting college professor and leadership on many Towson, Md., town boards. Between 1951 and 1953, he was in the Marines at San Diego, later going to Naval Chaplaincy School. When a rector, he called on more than 70 families grieving over a Vietnam loss. And he also counseled conscientious objectors.
In 1956, Kingsley graduated from the Protestant Episcopal Theological Seminary. He joined Trinity Episcopal Church in Towson as assistant rector, becoming rector in 1969. When he retired from Trinity in 2005, he had been there a total of 49 years. One communicant said, “His sermons made me think and were an appeal to the heart.” Another said, “Kingsley was a committed priest and a consummate teacher.”
Kingsley’s community involvement ranged from a professorship at Goucher College to a chaplaincy at Towson University. He was also a Towson YMCA board member, a founder of Historic Towson Inc. and president of the School Board Nominating Convention.
In retirement, Kingsley filled in at local churches, became the historian for the Episcopal Diocese and wrote essays on local church colonial racism. He spent summers on Lake Eaton in the Adirondacks.
Our sympathy is extended to his wife of 71 years, Mary Lee “Breezy”; daughters Kimberly Anne Nichols, Gwendolen Post and Bonnie Smith; son David Smith; six granddaughters; and 10 great-grandchildren. —John Priesing ’50
Philip D. Knowles ’51
Phil Knowles passed away Jan. 19, 2023, at a health care facility in Lenox, Mass., a town where he and his wife, Eileen, had lived since their wedding in 1991. Their marriage was the second for each, Phil with four grown children from his first marriage, and Eileen with four grown children from hers.
After Amherst, Phil joined the Navy for a four-year tour, starting as an ensign aboard aircraft carriers and then submarines, followed by service in the Navy Reserve for 20 years, being discharged with the rank of commander. He then worked as computer manager at the Clairol corporation, retiring in 1989.
Phil loved to sail, first as a boy with a Sunfish on the New York side of Lake Champlain, where a family cabin was located; later by purchasing a 26-foot Pearson sailboat; and, in his late 80s, by sailing as a “helper” aboard a seagoing vessel, crossing the Atlantic to Lisbon. Once in port, he climbed up rope ladders to the crow’s nest, where a gorgeous blonde waited to give him, and all others so challenged, a big kiss upon arrival. (Don’t know what else happened up there!) Eileen flew over to Lisbon but watched the crow’s nest event from ground level.
Phil organized and supervised several of our reunion Saturday night dinners in Valentine Hall. I first met Phil in the sixth grade at a private day school in Brooklyn, N.Y., which we both attended through high school graduation. Phil was a detail-oriented sort of fellow but always interested in his surroundings and creating new relationships. I suspect he’s waving to us now from a different crow’s nest! —Everett E. Clark ’51, with assistance from Eileen Knowles
John L. “Jack” Van de Vate ’51
Our classmate, Theta Delta Chi fraternity brother and good friend Jack died Nov. 29, 2022, after four months in hospice care. Jack was born and raised and graduated from high school in Rochester, N.Y.
After graduation from Amherst, he earned an MBA at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School in 1953. From 1953 to 1957, Jack was an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy. At a wedding of mutual friends, he met Ann Behrer (Mount Holyoke ’51), and they were married in 1954. At the end of his naval service, Jack started his 33-year career with Eastman Kodak, retiring in 1990 as a vice president for Tennessee Eastman (Kodak Chemical Division) in Kingsport, or, as Jack described it in his 35th reunion letter to our class, living “in the hills of Upper East Tennessee.”
Jack and Ann’s 68-year marriage nurtured four beloved children. Jack is survived and grieved by Ann, sons John and David, daughter Jennifer Busch, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Their son Peter predeceased Jack.
Jack was a leader in the Episcopal church and in vital community functions, such as chair of the Symphony of the Mountains. Ann and Jack moved from Kingsport to Marietta, Ga., a few years ago to be near their remarkable sons and their families. Daughter Jennifer is a retired social service professional still residing in Davenport, Iowa.
Jack’s remaining classmates now mourn another of the star-powered class. We remember Jack as an avid card player in college. Ann reports that Jack and his bridge-playing buddies were still playing while Jack was in hospice care. —Charles Tritschler ’51 and John Kirkpatrick ’51
John F. Canavan ’52
My father entered Amherst College at age 16 from Amherst (Mass.) High on a full scholarship. He rode his bicycle across town to his classes. High school was easy for him, but he wasn’t prepared for the workload at college; he failed one course and lost his scholarship. He worked for a year on the assembly line at Prophylactic Brush Co. to earn tuition and returned to Amherst College. He managed to get his scholarship back through good grades. He then left college again, intending to join the Air Force during the Korean War, but failed the physical and went through spinal surgery. Finally, in 1953, he returned to complete his degree in history with a minor in political science. My dad joked that he was in the classes of 1951, 1952 and 1953 and had to choose one, so he picked 1952 as the average and attended its 50th reunion with my mother.
He had no idea what type of job he would get with that degree. One day, he was walking downtown, and the junior high school principal stopped him and asked if he would like to be a substitute teacher for the rest of the year. That is how he began his commitment to secondary education as teacher, principal and district superintendent of schools. In 1999, one of his schools was honored by U.S. News and World Report in its “outstanding American high school” category, an achievement publicly noted by the Massachusetts Senate.
In retirement, he did educational consulting; served as trustee of Old Sturbridge Village, which is popular for educational field trips; traveled; played golf; enjoyed the grandchildren; and spent winters with Lucille in Boynton Beach, Fla., before he died Jan. 10, 2023. He never looked back in regret at losing his scholarship. —Mary Canavan Contompasis
Malcolm S. Druskin ’52
Mal grew up in Brooklyn, graduated from Stuyvesant High School and majored in biology at Amherst. He participated in track, contributed to the then-new campus humor magazine Sabrina and joined Phi Gamma Delta fraternity.
Mal graduated in 1956 from NYU’s medical school, where he met and married Arlene (his wife of 68 years) before internship at Philadelphia General Hospital. Then came active service in the Army with two highlights: their first child was born in a U.S. Army hospital, at a cost of $7.50 for medical services, and Elvis Presley and Mal were both with the 2nd Armored Division, with Mal treating a grateful Elvis on sick call. They remained in touch for years with late-night calls.
Mal returned to Philadelphia General to complete his residency. He moved with his family to Baltimore in 1962 to establish his lifetime practice in hematology and internal medicine. Mal served as director of hematology at Sinai Hospital and was a member of the hematology division at Johns Hopkins Medical School. He described his career as “prosaic,” but it was certainly otherwise, combining practice with teaching and laboratory supervision. His last years before his death on Jan. 4, 2023, included working full time for an HMO and then as medical consultant for the Social Security Administration.
Mal and Arlene sailed and raced most weekends for 20 years. Mal taught digital photography with a focus on ballet. They enjoyed symphony and opera. Mal’s favorite course at Amherst was American studies, because this made him a serious history buff. In his words, he “had the best of family and friends.” —Nick Evans ’52
Laurence M. Hill ’52
Laurie entered Amherst eager to test and enlarge himself. He had already developed a lasting closeness to Earth and nature through camping, 4-H Club programs and his family’s residence at Great Oak Farm, with its 400-year-old oak tree of historical significance in Ledyard, Conn. His Amherst friendships and activities encouraged him toward a lifetime of church ministry. The Christian Association had a large and active membership with strong leaders, including two of Laurie’s closest friends. Amherst’s chaplain John Coburn was a major presence in campus spiritual and sports arenas, introducing lacrosse as a club sport, which Laurie also joined. He often entered into the challenging debates of our core intellectual group, recalling argumentative sessions with Andy Hacker ’51, Howie Ziff ’52 and philosophy professor Sterling Lamprecht.
This intertwining of the natural and spiritual worlds lasted a full and rich lifetime, as expressed by Laurie for our 60th reunion, when he claimed the symbolic joy of planting and harvesting for the purpose of giving and sharing with others as his central mission.
Laurie graduated from Drew Theological School in 1956 and St. Paul School of Theology in Kansas as a doctor of ministry in 1987. His parishes in the Methodist church were located in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont during his most active years and later in Kansas, with interim pastorates to be nearer family before his death on Sept. 15, 2022.
His wife, Jean Shepard, shared all his passions: justice, gardening, mission, family, pastoral care, travel, history and music. Laurie’s notable milestones included assisting in his son’s wedding ceremony; baptizing a new grandson in Kansas City; and, in Boston, baptizing their first great-grandchild, Sophie. —Jean S. Hill and family, Nick Evans ’52
Robert W. Brown ’53
Belatedly, we have learned of the death of Robert W. Brown, who turned his love of baseball into an honored career on the staff of the Baltimore Orioles.
Bob died on Dec. 27, 2020, at a hospice in North Carolina. Jessica, Bob’s wife of 57 years, died in 2015. They had two sons and three daughters.
Bob came to Amherst from West Chester, Pa. On campus, he was a political science major; a member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity; sports editor of the school’s news bureau; the starting right fielder on the baseball team; and a member of Sphinx, the junior honor society.
Bob landed a job as the Orioles’ traveling secretary in 1957, beginning a 35-year stint with the team, most notably as the much-respected director of public relations. The Orioles press box is named in his honor.
Brooks Robinson, the Orioles great Hall of Fame third baseman, had this to say about Bob: “He was a terrific PR man. He was the right guy for the Orioles. You could talk to Bob about anything and get an answer. I miss seeing him.”
In 2000, John Steadman, sports columnist for the Baltimore Sun, pronounced Bob “far and away the best public relations / publicity director to serve any Baltimore team.” Steadman praised Bob’s professionalism, reliability and historic knowledge. He also had a story to tell: In 1984, as President Ronald Reagan was getting ready to throw out the first ball, Bob was trying to manage the Washington press corps when a TV photographer became belligerent. Steadman continued: “Mr. Brown threw a right-hand punch that connected, and the Secret Service promptly deposited the cameraman and his equipment on 33rd Street and told him not to come back.” —George Gates ’53
John L. Chamberlain III ’53
Jack Chamberlain, who led a full and varied life as a pediatrician, an Army medical doctor and a dedicated leader in the Washington, D.C., community, died Feb. 11.
Jack prepared for Amherst at Washington’s St. Albans School, which he later served as a member of the board of directors and president of the alumni association. At Amherst, Jack was an honors major in biology and a member of the Phi Alpha Psi.
In 1957, Jack earned a degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, beginning a long commitment that included membership on the school’s advisory board, the presidency of its alumni association, and service in the school’s foundation and on its admissions committee.
In his career, Jack eventually became a sole practitioner in pediatrics in Bethesda, Md., where he was physician to thousands of young children of the metropolitan area. He was closely tied to the Children’s Hospital National Medical Center, ultimately serving as chairman of the medical staff. He taught at the George Washington University School of Medicine and served as vice chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
In 1989, Jack closed his private practice and accepted a colonel’s commission in the Army Medical Corps, serving in Germany during Operation Desert Storm.
Jack’s busy retirement included two decades as a docent and staff aide at Washington National Cathedral and participation in more than 150 courses in American University’s lifelong learning program, along with membership on its board of directors.
Always seeking new experiences, Jack enjoyed piloting small aircraft, playing tennis and especially reading biographies.
Jack’s first marriage ended in divorce. He is survived by his second wife, Marietje (joined in a 46-year marriage), a brother, three children, two stepsons, a host of grandchildren and a great-grandchild. —George Gates ’53
Jonathan R. Fadiman ’53
Jon Fadiman, who followed a career in up-to-the-minute technology with a retirement edging back in time to Walden Pond, died on Jan. 3, 2023.
Jon prepared for Amherst at Friends Seminary in Manhattan. He graduated from the College as an honors major in physics and went on to complete his master of science in applied physics with distinction from Harvard in 1955.
First hired at MIT Lincoln Laboratories in 1955, Jon helped design the TX-0, the world’s first transistorized computer. In 1958, he became one of the founding engineers of Digital Equipment Corp., holding a variety of engineering roles before moving into business development and eventual responsibility for all international marketing.
In an account of his career, Jon recalled competing with IBM to sell one of the first digital minicomputers throughout Europe: “We sold mostly to universities, which wanted something small, something students could interact with easily and not be too expensive. We had the answer!”
After Digital, Jon led business development at several other technology companies before retiring in 1995 as director of international sales and marketing at CSPi of Billerica, Mass.
For a second career, Jon became involved with the Thoreau Society of Concord, Mass. For 23 years, he managed the Thoreau Society Shop at Walden Pond, offering his knowledge and enthusiasm to all who stopped by.
Jon traveled the world for both business and pleasure, setting foot in more than 75 countries.
Jon’s 61-year marriage to Mary Louise Turner ended with her death in 2018. They lived mostly in Massachusetts, primarily in Concord and Groton. After her death, Jon moved to Kennebunk, Maine, to live with their son Matthew and his family. Survivors include four children, nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. —George Gates ’53
John R. Mannheim ’53
For 30 years, John Mannheim was at the forefront of the movement that catapulted teachers from membership in mild, polite organizations into a future in full-fledged labor unions with collective bargaining rights. Beginning in 1971, John negotiated hundreds of teacher contracts and conducted many organizing campaigns for the Massachusetts Teachers Association.
In his obituary, The Boston Globe said John “was a highly skilled negotiator who had the respect of both labor and management as a man with impeccable integrity. John was an inspirational and highly motivating force who played a major role in the growth of the teacher union movement in the northeast part of Massachusetts.”
John died peacefully on Dec. 23, 2022, in the presence of his wife, Claire. Their two daughters are among his survivors. John and Claire lived in Concord, Mass., beginning in 1976.
John was an Amherst hometown guy whose family lived on East Pleasant Street. He was a graduate of Amherst High School. At the College, he majored in political science and was a member of the basketball team and the Theta Delta Chi fraternity.
In the class of 1953’s reunion book, John wrote, “Working for MTA was a great job in many ways: doing something to help people, union organizing (democracy in the workplace), negotiating collective bargaining agreements (examples of the social contract), representing teachers who have been treated unfairly, rising up in righteous indignation over perceived injustices (many real) and the simple enjoyment of working with many wonderful people.”
John was a strong and persistent advocate for world peace, justice and the environment. He took part in the Concord Peace Vigil and was an active member of several grassroots peace organizations. He was a kind man who fought for his beliefs. —George Gates ’53
Thomas H. Blackburn ’54
Tom Blackburn passed away on Feb. 16 after a brief illness. In the words of a Swarthmore College colleague, he was “a big man who took delight in the play of the body as well as the reaches of the mind.”
Tom was born in Teaneck, N.J., and graduated from Teaneck High School. The first of his family to attend college, Tom joined Psi U and lettered in football, wrestling and track; on the gridiron, he was a tackle for the undefeated Jeffs of 1953. He majored in English, graduating magna cum laude, and was elected a Rhodes Scholar. At Oxford, he found the charms of Europe to be to his taste, in particular an English rose named Ann, who became his beloved wife of 57 years. After earning a B.A. and M.A. from Oxford, he wrote his dissertation at Stanford on the English poet and historian Edmund Bolton, which remains a reference work on its subject to this day.
After finishing at Stanford in 1961, Tom joined the faculty of Swarthmore, teaching there until his retirement in 2000. That tenure included serving as dean of students from 1976 to 1981, during which he aggressively sought to improve Black student enrollment and faculty appointments and bring equity to the men’s and women’s athletic programs. Invoking Milton’s dictum that “to write badly is a sin against the gift of reason itself,” Tom founded the Swarthmore Writing Associates program, which became a model for, among others, Amherst’s own Writing Center.
“Strangers once, we came to dwell together,” the motto of the mighty ’54s, rang especially true for Tom, who cherished his Amherst friendships to his very last day. He was predeceased by Ann in 2020; he is survived by his sons, Adam ’91 and Benton, and three grandchildren. —Adam Blackburn ’91
Hereward S. Cattell ’54
Our beloved father, Herry Cattell ’54, died early in the morning on Dec. 29, 2022.
After Herry endured an itinerant youth, including an orphanage in London, fleeing the Blitz to Ellis Island and multiple foster homes in New England, Amherst was welcome solace, stability and stimulation—intellectual, athletic and creative. He thrived academically, played football and basketball, and sang in the Glee Club. Dad’s love of poetry was richly rewarded through Robert Frost’s frequent presence at Amherst. Frost on many occasions recited his poems and offered his insights at the AD house. Herry developed lifelong friendships at Amherst and took great joy in returning for his class reunions, always accompanied by his cherished wife of 63 years, Bobbie. The educational foundation he built at Amherst served him well.
He went on to become a highly skilled, respected and sought-after orthopedic surgeon, but more importantly, he cared innately for his patients’ overall well-being.
One of his longtime colleagues said of Herry, “Your father was an anachronism in the most positive sense of the word. He stood for a time of the highest ethical standards and the most professional behavior in medicine. He was uncompromising in his principles, which were founded in science and facts. He was completely without guile and defined the words fair and honorable. His behavior was something that all surgeons should want to emulate, but I am afraid that era has passed. So, in that sense, he was the last of giants that walked the earth.”
Nothing more need be said, save that every time I read Robert Frost’s “Birches,” I will see Herry’s boyish smile and the loving twinkle in his eye, and feel his kind, loving and stalwart presence. —Todd Cattell
Richard N. Kaplan ’54
Richard “Dick” Kaplan passed away on Oct. 22, 2022, at the Riverwood Extended Medical Center. He lived with Parkinson’s disease during his final several years.
Dick came to Amherst from Worcester, Mass., where he prepared at Worcester Academy. There are detailed notes about his life in obituaries in the Manchester, N.H., and Portsmouth, N.H., newspapers. At Amherst, I roomed with Dick and Fred Culver ’54. Dick was a biology major, preparing for medical school. During our senior year, we were room advisers at Stearns.
After graduation, Dick and I went to Boston University’s medical school with several other Amherst classmates. Dick was a wise, gentle, compassionate person in medical school. At BU, he roomed with Dr. Moore Buckley, who later became the chief of cardiovascular surgery at Mass General and did bypasses on Dick.
On graduating from medical school, Dick married Sue Shrebnik. They had three children, Lisa ’82, Karen ’85 and Jimmy, of all of whom they were very proud.
During his years of practice, Dick became the chief of medicine at Exeter Medical Associates and achieved great acclaim for his medical acumen. —Bob Abrams ’54
Richard L. Soffer ’54
Richard Soffer came to Amherst from Fieldston School in New York City. We discovered family and professional associations as we started college.
Richard joined the Lord Jeff Club. He was a marvelous student who majored in chemistry, winning the Dow prize. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated summa cum laude.
From Amherst, he went to Harvard Medical School. Rather than following his father in patient care, he chose a path in research and academic medicine, studying enzymes. Years ago, his parents had a nearby vacation home, and when we saw them, his father always updated me on Richard’s burgeoning career. He held faculty appointments at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and a full professorship in biochemistry and medicine at Cornell Medical School, retiring in 1974. Richard was among the first to purify and characterize angiotensin-converting enzyme and develop antibodies against it. The atypical testicular variant was discovered in his laboratory. ACE inhibitors are now used by more than 40 million Americans.
Richard was a connoisseur of antiquarian ornithological books and devoted his retirement years to them; he exhibited them at our 65th, then donated the Richard L. Soffer ’54 Ornithology Collection to the College. He was preceded in death by his wife, Madeline, and daughter Abigail, then developed a longstanding relationship with Jacqueline Werner, widow of classmate Fred. For years, they lived in Washington, D.C., where they were friendly with Ray ’54 and Maria Turner. Health reasons caused them to then relocate to Bloomfield, Conn.
I last saw Richard at Bradley Airport in October 2021, when we were both flying to Ray’s memorial service, but we really had little conversation.
He died Dec. 16 and is survived by sister Lucy Blankenstein; son Philip (Samantha Cooper); grandchildren Aaron, Caroline and Josiah; and Jackie. —Richard L. Soffer ’54, Philip Soffer and Hank Tulgan ’54
William W. Wilcox ’54
The death of Bill Wilcox from complications of Lyme disease on Nov. 26, 2022, deprived Amherst of a most loyal and productive servant and our class of one of its strongest and steadiest leaders. Many of us lost a true and reliable friend. He accepted and stabilized the office of class president, and in his many years as class agent, right up to his last weeks with us, Bill and his team of associate agents took us to a number of awards for outstanding achievement in our Amherst Fund donations; a bequest in his will adds a substantial amount to the fund in this year. His meticulous record keeping and the postcards we receive on our birthdays fostered the remarkable unity our class has maintained.
Bill came to Amherst from Geneseo High School in a rural part of New York not far from Rochester. A published obituary, now in the In Memory section of our class website, details his other important focuses as biology teacher, Coast Guard reservist and dedicated family man.
Bill was predeceased by his wife, Patricia, who had been his constant companion. Their four daughters survive them, along with nine grandchildren and, to Bill’s great delight, 10 great-grandchildren. He was, I am sure, proud of the life he led in each of its dimensions, but he never seemed interested in putting himself in the limelight. He was instrumental in my entry into active participation in class governance, first as secretary and currently as co-president. I am grateful to have known him and worked with him. —Thomas Blackburn ’54
Charles S. Cooper III ’55
Charlie self-described the “best four years” of his life as an Amherst undergraduate. He really appreciated the fineness of an Amherst education. Coop said he was not prepared for the workload or some of the subject matter! He was an economics major and a member of Chi Psi, where he was the social chairman (no surprise there!). Coop played freshman baseball and was the baseball team’s manger senior year. He performed the same duties for the lacrosse team. But, more importantly, he was in the ROTC program, a life-changing activity.
Following graduation, Coop was in the Air Force from 1956 to 1960, serving as a navigator. He was assigned to the Otis AFB on Cape Cod and spent three years flying over the North Atlantic on radar constellations. In May 1960, Coop joined New York Telephone as a trainee, advancing over the next 32 years to executive director of a division in a successor company. His specialty was the management of people providing customer service.
In 1962, Coop joined the New York Air National Guard, remaining with them for 30 years. He flew as a navigator on strategic and aerial tanker missions to Southeast Asia and Europe. Coop moved to guard headquarters in 1976 and advanced up the ranks. He retired from the National Guard with the rank of major general in December 1991 after serving as commander for seven years.
After his first wife, Karen, his high school sweetheart, passed away in 1988, Coop married Ann Lewis, a longtime friend. They moved in 1992 to Dayton, Ohio, where they volunteered at the USAF Museum. They also co-authored three books on aviation. Coop was on the museum’s foundation board. In their retirement years together, Coop and Ann traveled throughout the United States and abroad. He died peacefully on Dec. 14. —Rob Sowersby ’55
J. Robert Herd ’55
Bob was an exceptionally loyal ’55er. He was a poli sci major and a member of Chi Psi. A skilled racquets player, Bob was a stalwart on the squash team and its captain. He also found time to play tennis, be president of the athletic association, work at WAMF and be our class secretary-treasurer junior year. Bob was highly respected by all.
After graduation and receiving his ROTC commission, the USAF provided another great adventure for Bob—flying jet fighters around the United States, Europe and North Africa. Among his fun times in the air, Bob flew a F-100 Super Sabre at the speed of sound, earning him membership in the Mach Buster’s Club. While Bob was stationed in England and flying high-ranking officers around Europe, his navigational aids and radio failed. Fortunately, he was able to land in Denmark after contact with a helpful Dane!
Upon discharge from the Air Force, Bob returned to his native Philadelphia and spent his career in commercial and industrial real estate. In 1971, he and another young broker set up their own firm, Zalesne & Herd, to successfully compete with the big real estate offices. He retired in 1999. During those years, Bob gave substantial time to community service and continued playing squash and tennis. He served as president of the Merion Cricket Club from 1982 to 1985.
Shortly after his military service, Bob met Sally Oldt (Vassar ’58). They were married in 1959 and spent summers on the Jersey Shore in Stone Harbor, where Bob enjoyed his classic 1950 Chris-Craft speedboat. There, Bob and Sally became avid bird-watchers. He went to Antarctica once on a cruise to see the famous penguins.
Bob died on Dec. 20, 2022, after a brief illness. He is survived by Sally, three children and their families. —Rob Sowersby ’55
Henry S. Keller ’55
Henry was part of the large Shaker Heights, Ohio, cohort that arrived at Amherst as members of the class of 1955. He was initially not going to attend, as his father had recently died, but Henry’s mother was a champion of education, and so off Henry went.
At Amherst, my dad majored in political science (hence his fondness for reading The Economist), spent time at WAMF and joined DU. Most importantly, he met the love of his life, Susan, his wife for more than 67 years. Susan was a smart, outgoing gal attending Mount Holyoke, whose family lived up the road in Pelham, Mass.
Soon after marrying young (“too dumb to know otherwise”), Henry joined the Army and, with Susan, spent a year posted in Germany. That was the beginning of their love of travel, which took them to all seven continents. Henry attended Harvard Business School, then joined Kidder, Peabody, where he spent his entire career in corporate finance until retiring in 1988. My parents raised three children—Cynthia, Steven and me—in Summit, N.J. He will remain our role model forever.
After retiring, Henry spent one-third of his time turning around companies; one-third traveling with Susan, often with his family in tow (lucky us!); and one-third volunteering. He served as board chair for Overlook Hospital and the Overlook Foundation and received the Overlook Lifetime Achievement Award.
My parents spent summers in Southport, Maine, where they entertained their friends, children and grandchildren. Henry enjoyed attending many Amherst ’55 class reunions. Over the years, we often drove through the beautiful campus on our way to my grandmother’s house. Amherst was the only school my parents took me to visit when I was looking at colleges (hint, hint). For that, and for having the best father ever, I am forever thankful. —Will Keller ’84
Theodore Dixon Long ’55
Theodore Dixon Long, born June 26, 1933, died peacefully at home in Mill Valley, Calif., on Dec. 11, 2022.
Born in Warren, Ohio, Dixon graduated from Western Reserve Academy in nearby Hudson. He graduated from Amherst in 1955 and earned a master’s in economics from Tufts University and a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University.
After service with the Army in Korea, Dixon and two college friends built a 42-foot yawl in Osaka, Japan, and sailed her across the Indian and South Atlantic Oceans to Barbados.
Dixon married his first wife, Ellen Corning, in 1962 and took a job with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. He then became a tenured political science professor at Case Western University in Cleveland, eventually becoming dean. In 1985, he retired to write fiction and care for Ellen, who had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
After Ellen’s death, Dixon moved to San Anselmo, Calif., where he met and married Ruthanne Dickerson and continued to write, ultimately producing 10 novels. He and Ruthanne collaborated on Markets of Provence, about the markets in France’s Luberon region, followed by Markets of Paris, published after Ruthanne died of cancer in 2005.
Dixon helped found the East Branch Association to protect the Chagrin Valley, was president of the Ohio Conservation Foundation and served as a trustee for the Holden Arboretum in Kirtland. In California, he joined the board of the San Francisco Botanical Gardens at Strybing Arboretum in Golden Gate Park. Dixon also supported the Trust for Public Land, the Sierra Club and Trees for the Future.
He is survived by brothers Quincy and Jeffrey; son Sam; daughter Ali; grandchildren Boden, Sloane, Quincy and Zachary; stepdaughters Anne Dickerson Lind and Julie Dickerson Byrne; and step-grandchildren Oskar, Annabel, Ronan and John Max. —Quincy Long
G. Jackson Phillips Jr. ’55
While at Friends School of Baltimore, Jack visited Amherst and fell in love with the campus. It was a life-changing experience. When Dick Baughman ’55 and Mal Brickett ’55 were informed their third roommate freshman year would be “G. Jackson Phillips Jr. from Baltimore,” they were prepared for unusual experiences, especially when Jack would rifle a lacrosse ball at the fire alarm in James.
Jack majored in chemistry-biology and joined Beta, where he was choregus. John Halsted ’55 said, “Jack loved to sing and had a good voice. He performed at most of our Beta and ’55 reunions.” Jack played varsity lacrosse for three years after it was upgraded to formal status sophomore year. He was its co-captain senior year. He also played freshman golf and was in the Glee Club.
After four years of ROTC at Amherst, Jack was headed for flight school, but acceptance to dental school deferred him. He received a D.D.S. from the University of Maryland in 1959, followed by graduate training in orthodontics. Jack spent two years as a dental officer in Georgia and then opened a private practice in 1962, which he operated for the next 40 years.
Throughout his life, Jack was constantly involved with musical groups. He performed in more than 30 shows. He enjoyed reading historical biographies, traveling and playing the piano. He claims three holes-in-ones in his many years on the golf course.
Jack and Ann were married in 1958. Their three daughters lived near them in Baltimore’s suburbs.
Jack suffered a broken leg from a fall in their condo in spring 2022. During our conversations thereafter, he had a most positive attitude about making a complete recovery. Unfortunately, that was not to be. 1955’s class choregus died following a difficult breathing episode on Jan. 24, 2023. —Rob Sowersby ’55
Frederick S. “Ted” Pope ’55
Ted grew up in South Boston and came to Amherst from Williston Academy. As an undergraduate, he joined Phi Psi and was a chemistry-biology major. He participated in cross-country, sailing, skiing and the Glee Club. In our 50th reunion book, Ted related a situation when he was studying at 10 p.m. in the biology building, feet up on a lab table, when Professor Schotte walked in, thinking someone had forgotten to turn off the lights. After a verbal explosion by Schotte, quick-thinking Ted offered to help the professor in his own laboratory! Although our required public speaking course did not fit into Ted’s major, he felt the course was the most valuable we would have at Amherst.
After graduation, Ted went to Boston University’s medical school, spent two years as a medical officer in the Navy and did a residency in anesthesiology. He spent 26 years as an attending physician for anesthesia at Framingham Union Hospital, retiring in 1993.
In 1994, Ted and wife Diana moved to Florida, where he expanded on his lifelong hobby of flying radio-controlled model airplanes. Some of these planes took as long as a year to construct. Ted said they have unknown “expiration dates,” so he did not get upset when one was “lost.” When his group’s flying field in central Florida was closed during the COVID pandemic, Ted built scenery for his son’s model railroad layout.
Diana described Ted as a “perfect gentleman,” very thoughtful of others. When Ted backed his car into the garage after flying his models, she knew proximity to the trash can was the reason after plane crashes with his models. Diana took care of Ted, at their home, by herself in the last three months of Ted’s life. He died peacefully on Oct. 23, 2022. —Rob Sowersby ’55
James W. Schumacher ’55
Jim came to Amherst from Episcopal Academy in Philadelphia. He was one of only two in our class who were in the “3-2” program, whereby a person spent three years at Amherst and two at MIT in order to earn a B.A. and a B.S. simultaneously, which Jim did in 1960. At Amherst, Jim was an economics major and a Psi U. Two of his highlights were helping Dan Bixler ’55 and friends show off Sabrina and tobogganing with lady friends from the War Memorial to the fields below. At MIT, he majored in mechanical engineering.
From 1956 to 1958, Jim served in the Army, where he was assigned to the Pentagon doing cryptography. After receiving those degrees, Jim joined IBM, for which he worked for 31 years. His first assignment was as a field rep working on Polaris submarines. He was the sole civilian on the first Pacific war patrol. He was on numerous sea and launch trials at Cape Canaveral / Kennedy. After retiring from IBM, Jim served as a consultant for a company that replaced the throughput focus of management with employee empowerment.
In our 50th reunion booklet, Jim related two stressful experiences. The first was the rescue of a nephew from the Children of God cult in Montreal in 1976. The second was, while in the Army, learning how to bayonet people and avoid death by mines!
Reflecting on his time at Amherst, Jim said the College “made us focus on not what we were but what we might become … as positive contributors to our communities.”
Jim’s son Johnathan reported that his father died on Feb. 13, 2023. He said, “Jim lived a joyful, adventurous and interesting life. He has touched all of us with his kindness, grace and understanding in one way or another.” —Rob Sowersby ’55
Steven I. Davis ’56
Steve died in Vero Beach, Fla., Jan. 15 after a prolonged hospital stay for a lengthy list of ailments and procedures. Born in Glens Falls, N.Y., Steve came to Amherst from Phillips Academy. A Chi Psi, he majored in history, graduated summa cum laude and earned a Harvard MBA. In 1960, he married Joyce Ann Hirtz (Wellesley ’59).
He worked for the Morgan Bank NYC and, in 1961, moved to Paris. In 1965, he moved his young family, which now included sons Andrew ’84 and Christopher, back to D.C. to work for AID, then Bankers Trust in NYC. Moving in 1970 to London, Steven set up and managed Bankers Trust’s new subsidiary. He eventually went solo, setting up Davis International Banking Consultants in 1975. For the next 37 years, he led a small team, traveling throughout Europe, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, advising clients seeking risk diversification and ultimately writing 18 books about international banking. He retired to Vero Beach in 2012.
An overachiever, Steve swam and played trombone at Amherst. He was an avid tennis player, experienced hiker, lover of yellow Labs and passionate world traveler. He kept fit by jogging around whichever neighborhood he found himself in, accompanied by his trusty Lab. His adventures included hiking the Milford Track in New Zealand (alone), circling Mont Blanc (alone) and almost summiting Mount Kilimanjaro. He delighted in “trophy” family vacations, including skiing in the Alps, going on African safaris, hiking the Inca Trail in Peru, exploring Egypt and taking a Grand Canyon float trip. He and Joyce owned a waterfront summer vacation home in Orleans, Mass.
Steve is survived by Joyce, his wife of 62 years; sons Andrew ’84 of Napa, Calif., and Christopher of London; daughter Stephanie of Hamilton, Ontario; and grandchildren Olivia, Arianna, Kian and Theo. —Peter Levison ’56
John A. Goldthwait ’56
Otherwise quite healthy and in good shape, in November John, tragically, slipped and fell in his kitchen, hitting his head on the countertop and suffering a severe concussion. Hospitalized, he was alert and conversant with his wife, Barbara, and daughter and son until he died on Christmas Eve of bleeding in the brain.
John was an ordained Unitarian minister since the late 1960s, with his first congregation in Augusta, Ga. He obtained a graduate degree in psychology in Southern California a few years later and combined the two professions in group and individual therapy sessions, much of the time in Berkeley, Calif. Upon retirement eight or nine years ago, he and Barbara moved to the Seattle area to be near their daughter and family.
John came to Amherst from the Belmont Hill School, pledged Phi Delta Sigma and majored in political science. He was the Amherst soccer goalie, and his strong play at that position resulted in a six-win, two-loss senior season. The losses were to Harvard and Wesleyan. His final two games were shutouts over Trinity and Williams.
This writer remembers the wonderful summer of 1955 when John and his buddy Russ Knowles ’56 came west to Lake Tahoe, where they got jobs waiting tables at the famous Tahoe Tavern for a glorious two months prior to senior year.
John is survived by Barbara and his daughter and son and their families. Sincere condolences to the entire Goldthwait family. —Peter Levison ’56
Kenneth N. Kermes ’57
Kenneth N. Kermes, of South Kingstown, R.I., died peacefully on Sept. 7, 2022. He spent his final days surrounded by his wife of 64 years, Sue; children Suki Tobin and Rob Kermes; and grandchildren Beth, Chris, RJ and Elle.
Ken was born May 21, 1935, in Lafayette, Ind., and raised in Connecticut. Along with Darien High School classmate Harry Clark ’57, he chose to attend Amherst College, and so began a lifelong love affair with his alma mater. Ken’s classmates remember him as a natural leader, loyal Beta and lightning-fast track star. Decades later, after a hip replacement and a few too many trips to the cookie jar, his grandchildren thought the idea of PopPop sprinting strained credulity. They also chuckled that the man who couldn’t unlock his iPhone endowed the school’s Kermes Technology Fellowship. But such was his deep and abiding commitment to the Fairest College. Nothing made him happier than attending his grandson RJ Kermes’ 2016 graduation.
After Amherst, Ken enlisted in the Navy, where he flew A-1 Skyraiders off the carrier Independence, successfully completing 200 takeoffs, 199 landings and one unplanned parachute ride into the Mediterranean. In 1961, He began a business career that took him across the country and around the world. He held senior leadership positions at Monsanto, Ralston Purina, Black & Decker and SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals. Eventually, Ken “retired” to Rhode Island, where he chaired the board of the local hospital, helped lead the University of Rhode Island and lent his time and talents to organizations too numerous to name.
On a warm, sunny day this fall, Ken’s friends and family gathered at his favorite beach. After an uplifting ceremony honoring a life well lived, those in attendance recessed while “A Hymn to Amherst” played. Somewhere above, Ken was humming along out of tune. —RJ Kermes ’16
John Raushenbush ’57
John Raushenbush died on Jan. 21 after a brief illness. John came from a famous family, including eminent theologian Walter Rauschenbusch and Justice Louis Brandeis. His father, Carl 1922, was a brilliant economist; his mother, Esther, was a professor and, for several years in the 1960s, president of Sarah Lawrence.
John entered the class of 1957 from the George School. He was with us for only a year but made his mark as an English scholar, money bridge player, and member of the freshman soccer and tennis teams. I was the second-rate goalie for our soccer team while John was our star center halfback, and we developed a close lifelong friendship.
John completed his education with a B.A. from the University of Michigan and an M.A. from the University of Minnesota. He went on to a distinguished career in secondary school education, capped by 17 years as headmaster of Cincinnati Country Day School, whose current headmaster says that the school “will always be indebted to John … [whose] legacy remains visible to this day.”
John was a world traveler and an essayist, photographer and raconteur par excellence. But his primary focus was always on his family. He and Marcia, his beloved wife of 63 years, had four children: Christine Saudek, of Baltimore; Robin Koval, of Crested Butte, Colo.; Lisa Pettengill, of Cincinnati; and Tom, of Denver. They have also been blessed with eight grandchildren. All those descendants had highly successful academic and athletic careers at mostly NESCAC colleges, including Williams (but not Amherst). As a capstone to their family travel adventures, John and Marcia and all 15 offspring, spouses and grandchildren went on a long African safari just a few months ago.
John had a life well lived, and we who knew him will miss him greatly. —Sandy Gadsby ’57
Anthony Dominick ’58
Tony Dominick died April 25, 2022, in Starksboro, Vt., leaving behind a body that had ailed him since a 2019 stroke. He was a determinedly independent person throughout his life.
Born in New York City, the son of Gayer Dominick and Elizabeth Spock, Tony entered Amherst from the Kingswood School and was a member of Beta Theta Pi.
After serving in the Navy with the U.S. “Hurricane Hunters,” satisfying a fascination with weather, he taught for 18 years in Connecticut and Vermont public and private schools. He ended up chairing the language arts department of Mount Abraham Union High School in Bristol, Vt.
Tony and his (former) wife, Marcia (Dunbar), moved in 1971 to Starksboro, a place he loved and would never leave. He became the Starksboro town moderator for many years, later serving as representative in the Vermont House and, finally, on the Vermont Commission on Higher Education Funding. He was proud to vote consistently with his beliefs about what was best for his constituents, never shying from giving party leaders “a piece of his mind” when pressured to vote along party lines. Initially a moderate Democrat, he went on to win re-election as an Independent.
Tony loved skiing at Mad River, sailing and being outdoors with his dogs. He played the piano each night. He loved jazz, Sunday morning classical music, NPR and deep conversation. For years he read The New York Times each morning and watched Baywatch (on mute) each evening. He loved his acreage in Starksboro, his vegetable gardens and making
cider with his family. His children and grandchildren were the sources of his greatest pride.
He leaves son Tim Dominick (Janine), daughter Alison Sauter (Wolfgang) and two grandchildren. —Allen Clark ’58
Peter Pineo Jenkins Jr. ’58
Peter Pineo Jenkins Jr., who died Nov. 26, 2022, was part of the tenth of 12 generations of the Jenkins family, who settled on Cape Cod in 1639.
At Amherst, Peter majored in history and pledged Theta Delt Chi. He played rugby and won freshman 1958 numerals and varsity A letters in football and basketball. While he was a gifted athlete, Peter was also very well-read and enjoyed discussing current philosophy and politics. While serving as a Naval officer in the Pacific, Peter met Laurel Morris, whom he married in 1961. They went on to have four children and six grandchildren.
After a career in sales and marketing of precious metals, which for a time took them to Ireland, Peter and Laurel purchased a Sylvan Learning Center and settled near where my wife, Anne, and I and our four children lived in Simsbury, Conn. The Jenkins home abutted the country club, whose skating rink, tennis and paddleball courts and golf course were the scenes of many games, cookouts and family gatherings. Our families grew very close. Laurel and my wife would pile the eight children and themselves into the car and head for New Hampshire or the Cape to gather seafood or “mess around in boats.” Our sons enjoyed Indian Guides and other scouting organizations, where the dads took the boys to the woods to enjoy nature. Great fun. —Glenn Dorr ’58
Fred M. Newmann ’59
Renowned educator Fred M. Newmann , emeritus professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, died peacefully on Feb. 10, 2023.
After Amherst, Fred taught high school history and social studies for several years, later earning his Ph.D. in education at Harvard, where he was instrumental in producing “Case Studies in U.S. History” that challenged high school students to develop reasoned arguments on public controversies.
At UW, Fred’s research focused on reforms that foster critical thinking and civic engagement. He directed national organizations aimed at
restructuring secondary education and authored many research publications and books.
Fred was a lifelong outdoorsman, with fly-fishing, skiing and backpacking as core activities on family vacations with his first wife, Joy, and their children. An avid bluegrass fiddler, he teamed with his second wife, Carolyn, a banjo player, to form and manage a bluegrass band. Fred was a devoted volunteer with Habitat for Humanity of Dane County and was passionate in efforts to elect progressive Democratic candidates.
Until shortly before his death, Fred shepherded monthly Zoom sessions with two groups of Amherst classmates, most of whom had not kept up with Fred over the years. These “don’t-miss” events, which continue to this day, expand and deepen our friendships; educate us through a rich, varied group expertise; and include anecdotes, typically funny ones.
Getting to know and love Fred this way, 60-plus years after Amherst, made us wish that we had connected with him much earlier. He was remarkably caring and truly inspiring. —Lee Talner ’59
Joseph S. Tulchin ’59
Joseph Samuel Tulchin was born in the Bronx, N.Y., Jan. 13, 1939, to Leon and Fannie (Hyman) Tulchin and died of pancreatic cancer in Brookline, Mass., on Feb. 7, 2023. Joe graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kapa from Amherst College in 1959 and received his Ph.D. in history from Harvard University in 1965, where he met his first wife, Judith (Brown) Tulchin. His academic focus was inter-American relations and Argentina.
He taught first at Yale, then at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In the ’90s, he led the D.C. Latin American Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. During that time, he wed Kate Heery (of blessed memory).
Joseph is survived by his brother Herb ’55; his loving companion, SallyAnn Wekstein; his four children and their spouses; and five grandchildren. —Ben Tulchin ’95
John R. Gillis ’60
John Gillis died after a long illness, at home in Berkeley, Calif., in December 2021. A history major at Amherst, John was a member of Phi Delt and ran cross-country for all four years. After graduation and marriage to Tina Marsden Gillis (Mount Holyoke ’60), he completed his Ph.D. in history at Stanford. His subsequent teaching career began at Princeton and continued for more than three decades at Rutgers. Never content to remain in one field of interest, John was the author and editor of 10 books ranging through topics in political, social, cultural and environmental history. Evolving from years as a summer resident on Gotts Island, Maine, he was recognized by the National Endowment for the Humanities for his work as a founder of the field of “blue humanities,” the interdisciplinary study of islands, coasts and oceans. Nevertheless, his love of teaching, inspired by Amherst, remained his preeminent focus.
John’s ashes were buried by his family at Gotts Island, in the small cemetery overlooking the sea. He is survived by wife Tina, son Christopher Gillis and two grandchildren.
Bob Madgic ’60 added, “When my wife, Diane, and I traveled to Stanford in 1961, John and his wife, Tina, were there to welcome us. They graciously allowed us to stay in their place for a week. We became good friends and enjoyed wonderful outings together. Four years ago, we had a brief reunion at their home in Berkeley. I remember John for his measured judgment, kindness and quick wit. To know what happened across their lives, read John’s masterpiece on changing seacoasts, The Human Shore, as well as Tina’s Where Edges Don’t Hold, a tale of life on Gotts Island for three months each summer. I can think of no more admirable and wholesome individuals than John and Tina.” —Tina Gillis and Bob Madgic ’60
Stephen B. Hulley ’60
Steve and I knew each other casually until we pledged Phi Gam and became fast friends. When we became roommates junior and senior years, I recognized that Steve was brilliant but down-to-earth, with an infectious sense of humor. We were hard studiers but enjoyed late-night breaks to play ping-pong and pool, where we were well matched.
Steve invited me to Hyannis, Mass., for Thanksgivings and other occasions. His home was full of intellect, energy and good spirit. His diplomatic-corps father and English mother were gracious hosts, sharing Steve’s sense of humor. Other interesting guests joined in days of sailing and touch football and evenings of competitive parlor and card games.
Conflicted about his future, Steve applied to Harvard Medical School at the last minute and was immediately accepted. After Amherst and med school, our geographical and professional paths diverged—mine to Salt Lake City and a clinical focus, and Steve’s to an academic research/administrative path in epidemiology lasting more than 30 years at UC San Francisco. Steve’s professional accomplishments were prodigious and meaningful and are well documented in a beautiful UCSF eulogy.
Thereafter we communicated and met sporadically. About 2000, Berthe and I visited Steve in Mill Valley, Calif., and met his delightful wife, Linn. Later, we all spent an evening at Reuben ’60 and Jennifer Clay’s home. Steve and Reuben (ob-gyn) had a spirited, evenly matched debate regarding Steve’s research on hormone replacement therapy. In 2012, we visited Steve and Linn at their retirement home on Orcas Island, Wash. On Steve’s prized pool table, we rekindled our youthful competition, ending tied as usual.
Steve will be sorely missed by the international medical community and especially by his Amherst friends, including me. I’ll never get to play that final rubber match of eight ball. —Thomas B. Keith ’60
Hugh R. Jones Jr. ’60
Hugh Jones, Bob Madgic ’60’s four-year roommate at Amherst, excelled in academics and athletics, principally through his unyielding determination. A football teammate said that giving 100 percent in practice was necessary because Hugh always pushed himself harder. Cut from freshmen tennis, Hugh was crushed. Bob encouraged him to try lacrosse. Four years later, Hugh earned All-American honors in this sport.
Hugh won the First Citizen Award “for the graduate pre-eminent in scholarship, leadership, athletics and character” and a Phi Beta Kappa key. That commitment to excellence persisted throughout his life.
Phil Pochoda ’60 added, “Only family surpassed Hugh’s occupational dedication. After Harvard Law School, he joined the Hale and Dorr law firm, remaining there for his 44-year career. He practiced law as a bulwark against injustice, political bullying and brutality and performed pro bono work for worthy causes. Hugh’s professional achievements led to his being selected as president of the Boston Bar Association and trustee of its foundation.”
Bob’s most cherished memory of Hugh was his deep, supportive friendship. They were like brothers, and mutual reinforcement defined their relationship. Bob and wife Diane savored reunions with Hugh and his beloved spouse, Sara. When she contracted ALS, Hugh became her primary caregiver. Bob marveled at Hugh’s steadfastness during this excruciating time for him and his family. In tragedy as elsewhere, Hugh gave maximum effort.
Hugh and Bob kept close by phone, their humorous exchanges and expressions of support as important as ever. In their last call, Hugh was watching his grandson play lacrosse. When Bob asked how he was doing, Hugh predictably said, “Great!” A few weeks later, Bob was stunned and inconsolable when Hugh’s son reported that he was dying.
As Bob told Diane upon Hugh’s passing, “A big chunk of my life was now gone.” —Bob Madgic ’60 and Phil Pochoda ’60
Stephen D. Weinroth ’60
Steve Weinroth joined DKE at Amherst but left the College during sophomore year and subsequently attended Columbia University. Dick Weisfelder ’60 remembers him as “a fun-loving and ebullient personality regularly engaged in second-floor Morrow mischief.” His career in finance at Loeb, Rhoades & Co., Drexel Burnham Lambert and Core Laboratories demonstrated his leadership and entrepreneurial skills. But his whimsical side persisted in his love of and support for dance, and his caring nature through his contributions to theater, the arts and scholarships for business education. Steve died on Oct. 29, 2022, after a brief illness.
Paul Strohm ’60 recollected, “We were a funny mismatch as freshman roommates, I from a largish public high school in Western Springs, Ill., and Steve a total Manhattan guy, from a sophisticated prep experience at Horace Mann. But Steve generously bridged the gap by inviting me to his family’s Park Avenue apartment for Thanksgiving vacation, my first New York venture. He took me to the Metropolitan Museum to see the Etruscan warrior, walked me around Central Park, brought me to a cocktail party where everybody but me wore a charcoal suit, and arranged a date for me at a sophisticated cocktail lounge, introducing me to ‘his’ New York. As those who remember him from his brief Amherst encounter likely know, Steve had a lot of ‘edge,’ backed up with a notably quick mind and a large measure of not-yet-focused ambition.
“I saw Steve for lunch in NYC during summer 2022. He was slightly subdued, for Steve, but basically content with his life, happy in his second marriage and proud of what he had accomplished, including contribution to an internship program for young subcontinent-of-India investment people. With a dash of typical Steve style, he had a limo waiting outside for him, double-parked, while we dined.” —Paul Strohm ’60 and Dick Weisfelder ’60
Jens N.F. “Nick” Touborg ’61
Nick arrived “completely unaware he’d be competing with so many who were so much brighter.” His clue was a D-plus on Bucky Salmon’s first hour test. As part of a Morrow committee making an effigy for the Bowdoin rally, he was in the infirmary with mononucleosis before he could finish. Three weeks later he was hopelessly behind. Dean Esty advised him to drop out and return the next fall. He wrote, “Unwilling to accept failure but paralyzed by hopelessness, I fell further behind, sleeping fitfully at night, waking with the birds at 4 a.m. Academically, sophomore year was better, and the formation of good friendships helped greatly.”
Rushing was eye-opening: “Never had I seen anyone exposed so openly to social rejection by his peers.” Classmates sobbing uncontrollably made a strong impression. As HMC chairman, he found only three houses willing to accept responsibility for 100 percent rushing. The Student ran the headline “Touborg Calls 100% Rushing a Hoax.” Nick took pride in exposing a long-standing hypocrisy and contributing, “in a small way, to the eventual demise of an anachronism ….”
He graduated, “ditching” his thesis and taking pre-med courses his last semester. Then began a 14-month “hegira” to meet the prerequisites for medical school. He graduated from Boston University School of Medicine, interned there and did a three-year residency and a cardiology fellowship. Then came private practice.
Despite “four wonderful children,” Nick and his first wife divorced in 1984. In 1989, “the best thing that ever happened to me,” he met Merry. She predeceased him after 32 years of marriage.
He wrote, “I have never regretted my decision to pursue a medical career. My liberal arts education at Amherst contributed far more to my success in caring for people than all the medical school courses that I have largely forgotten.” —Nick Touborg ’61 and Paul Bracciotti ’61
Herbert B. Lindsley ’62
Bart Lindsley died on July 18, 2022.
All of us who knew him retain in lively memory his broad grin and infectious laugh. Bart had never lived outside Kansas when he arrived at Amherst, but he brought his Kansas openness to campus and embraced all of us. Bart planned to be a science major; then he encountered sophomore physics. As he said, “I barely managed to pass the course!”
Junior year, Bart turned to history. Still, he hankered for science, so he squeezed in organic chemistry senior year. He followed through, using his characteristic self-discipline and stick-to-itiveness.
Bart also knew how to relax and enjoy. He joined Phi Alpha Psi fraternity. He set up the blind date on which we met freshman year and became a constant in our college lives. We shared many meals at old Valentine; later he was a groomsman in our wedding.
Bart garnered an early acceptance at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. There he met Carol Betlack, who became his wife of 56 years. Bart and Carol raised two sons, Erik and Greg.
After Bart’s residency in Seattle and his time with the U.S. Army Medical Corps at Walter Reed, he and Carol returned to the University of Kansas as rheumatologists, Bart in the department of allergy and rheumatology. Bart remained in academic medicine throughout his career, becoming professor of internal medicine. A pioneer in rheumatology, he received the American College of Rheumatology’s Master Award.
Bart enjoyed photography and travel, visiting more than 100 countries. He worked as a physician until age 79.
Though we are saddened by Bart’s loss, we will always have his smile, laugh, good humor and energy in our hearts. —Mary Ellen “Melyn” and Mike Ellsworth ’62
John P. Moorhouse Jr. ’62
My dear friend, roommate, DU fraternity brother and groomsman, John Moorhouse, passed away on Jan. 29, 2023, after a long and valiant struggle with an inherited kidney-related illness. He dealt with this illness with the same class and dignity with which he handled other things in his full and active life.
John was born in Abington, Pa. His early schooling was in a one-room schoolhouse in Prospectville, Pa., where he was active in 4-H competitions, the debate team and varsity football. After graduating from Hatboro-Horsham High, he arrived at Amherst, where he rowed for the crew team and graduated with a degree in economics. After college, he began his long career in property and casualty insurance.
In 1964, John married Kathy MacDonald in Baltimore. They had two children and moved to Amherst, N.H., in 1971. John served on the church vestry. He was a captain in the fire department and an EMT, as well as being a trustee of the library. Sadly, Kathy passed away suddenly due to heart disease in 1986.
In 1990, John married Ginger Cowenhoven, also a library trustee, and in 1993, the family moved to Bakersfield, Calif. There they split their time between John’s insurance work, Ginger’s guidance of her family’s newspaper, their passion for the outdoors—hiking, bicycling, riding horses—and farm chores.
DU assigned animal names to its members. In John’s case, “Mouse” was a natural. However, just as naturally, he was addressed as “Nicely-Nicely.” Throughout his life, John stood out as a gracious and fine person, known for his gentleness, kindness and honesty.
To Ginger, Mollie and the rest of the family who enjoyed John’s presence and received his guidance, we offer our sincerest condolences. Truly, he was one of a kind. —William N. “Nick” Prigge ’62
James W. Clauson Jr. ’63
James Clauson Jr.—“Jamie” to his friends and classmates—was admired and respected as a curious, independent lifelong learner. He was an athlete during his undergraduate years, on the rugby team for all four years and a ferocious and effective blocker on the Beta fraternity flag football team. He was an economics major and a member of the International Association of Students in Economics and Management, becoming president of the local chapter.
He passed away on Dec. 2, 2022, after a recent diagnosis of epilepsy, subsequent steep physical and neurological decline, and a brief time in home hospice care.
Jamie and his wife had most recently lived at Loomis Village in South Hadley, Mass., where he was an active part of the Loomis community. He is survived by his wife, Pat Clauson, of South Hadley; his sister, Judy Holmes, of Hartline, Vt.; his daughters, Lisa Clauson and Laura Clauson Ferree; his son, Peter Clauson; and his wonderful grandchildren.
Jamie spent decades teaching world history at Bronxville High School while living in Greenburgh, N.Y., and spent several years in Johnstown, N.Y., running a U-Pick-It strawberry farm with his brother, Andy Clauson, while teaching at a local county jail. Jamie and his family spent one memorable year in rural Kenya, experiencing life in one the places he had taught about.
After retiring, he started volunteering as a court-appointed special advocate (CASA) for children removed from their homes due to allegations of neglect or abuse. —Peter Barnett ’63
Alan L. Danzis ’63
Alan Lee Danzis passed away Dec. 29, 2022, in White Plains, N.Y. He was born in Elizabeth, N.J., to Leon “Leo” Danzis and Ruth (Wright) Danzis and was an only child. Alan grew up in Elizabeth and was a graduate of the Pingry School, which he attended with Michael Taranto and Jerry Dempsey, his lifelong best friends. He attained a perfect score on his math SATs and received his bachelor’s from Amherst College, where he majored in mathematics and joined Phi Psi. He earned his master’s from MIT. He was married to Hope Wislosky Danzis for 47 years.
Alan is survived by his wife, Hope; sons Brian Lee (and his wife, Stacie) and Alan Michael (and his wife, Amy); granddaughters Taylor, Emerson, Addison and Margaret; grandson Luke; and his dog, Levi. Besides a love for his family, Alan had a lifelong passion for classical music and was active with the New Jersey Symphony, eventually serving on the board. He was enormously proud of his more than 30-year career with IBM. He was also president of Danzis Associates. —Peter Barnett ’63
David A. Soskis ’64
David Aaron Soskis, one of two class of 1964 summas, passed away on Oct. 29, surrounded by family at his home in Bala Cynwyd, Pa. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., David demonstrated at Amherst the excellence, scholarship, engagement and breadth of interests that were lifelong characteristics. He won the Taylor prize in his major, American studies. He was awarded the Psi Upsilon prize for the graduating senior “preeminent in scholarship, leadership, athletics and character.” He was Theta Xi rushing chairman, played in the band and the Smith-Amherst Orchestra, and worked on The Amherst Student. He headed the Northampton State Hospital project, recruiting student volunteers to give aid and comfort to the inmates of that grim psychiatric institution.
After medical school at Yale as a lieutenant commander, USN, David served at the Philadelphia Naval Hospital from 1972 to 1974. He taught psychiatry and psychotherapy at several hospitals in Philadelphia and at The Ohio State University. He authored books on self-hypnosis and on the victims of terrorism and worked with the FBI to form its first psychological services program.
David was a man of many interests: a clown and skilled magician who frequently performed at charity events (and formed a group, the Magic Men, with his two sons); a collector of old watches, pens and cameras; a published poet many times over; a champion breeder of birds; a fly-fisherman and certified scuba diver; and a nature photographer. He loved the idea of wombats, Drake’s Cakes for breakfast, Stalag 17 and Jewish humor. He took service to his community seriously but didn’t take himself too seriously. He was a good person and lived a wonderful life.
He is survived by his wife, Carole; his sons, Benjamin and Michael; his daughters-in-law, Rebecca and Alyssa; his granddaughters, Mira, Daphna and Clara; and his cat, Max. —Bob Knox ’64
Richard M. Caley ’66
We razzed him about his four names—he took it with a chuckle. We mostly knew him as “Goose.”
Dick Caley had Connecticut in his bones, through and through. Born in West Hartford as the youngest of four, his early education—through high school—was at the Kingswood School, only 2½ miles from his boyhood home. At Kingswood, Dick was both a top scholar and an extraordinary athlete—quarterback in football, center on the basketball team, and team captain and ace pitcher in baseball—later inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame. At Amherst, Dick was a tall, lithe, good-natured Alpha Delt brother, with a perpetual wry grin, readily giving way to an uproarious laugh. He was a “real” Amherst athlete—top pitcher and senior captain of baseball on Coach Bill Thurston’s very first team.
Back in Connecticut after college, Dick received a master’s degree from UConn and met Carol Bishop, the love of his life. They married in 1969 and settled in Granby, 15 miles from Kingswood (later renamed Kingswood Oxford), where Dick—later joined by Carol—spent the rest of his 37-year professional career as a teacher, science department chairperson and beloved stalwart of the community. Their two children, Josh and Jess, both were K-O graduates and joined the family legacy.
Dick and Carol Caley retired in 2007, and Dick devoted his retirement years to caring for Carol, who had a slowly progressive chronic illness. Along with his children, Dick became an active advocate and fundraiser for volunteer organizations supporting patients with Alzheimer’s disease and their families and research aimed at prevention and cure.
Richard Caley passed away unexpectedly on Dec. 17, 2022. He leaves brother David, wife Carol, children Josh and Jess, three grandchildren, and the Amherst family who loved and admired him. —David Greenblatt ’66
Jonathan C. Huberth ’66
Jon died Nov. 27, 2022, after a courageous struggle with pancreatic cancer. He’s survived by wife Betsy and daughters Eliza and Madeline.
On Nov. 13, 2021, Jon told us a CAT scan revealed that cancer had spread to his liver. On Jan. 21, Jon related, “My chemotherapy sessions are mostly boring. I’m immunocompromised, so with COVID out there, I don’t think we can do lunch until spring when it’s warm. We could eat outside and I could be a good a distance away, as you probably prefer me.” Spring arrived. Our ’66 lunch bunch—Klein, Rosiny, Lyster, Huberth and Sawyer— convened at La Vera Cucina in Monroe, N.Y. Lots of laughs. Jon picked up the check.
On June 29, Jon emailed, “Continuing to successfully beat back pancreatic cancer, so we’re off for a Viking Cruise of the eastern Mediterranean.”
July 28: “Had mostly positive, and some ambivalent feelings about Biddy. She tried to serve the College at a moment in time. Her letter … couldn’t finish … maybe the fatigue of my condition … only thing I know for sure, we should all have lunch.” On Sept. 4, we did, unaware it was to be our last, at the newly renovated Limoncello in Goshen, N.Y.
Nov. 9: “The new chemo regime doesn’t seem effective. Next few weeks we’ll make a decision, but things are not going in the more positive direction.”
Rosiny and I never got the chance to heckle Jon running a Monroe-Woodbury school board meeting, but catching him in a few performances at his local community theater will suffice. He was a wonderful chronicler of ’66; his films illuminate our class webpages. The arc of his extraordinary life is best told in his own acerbic, ironic voice in his “auto-obituary,” preserved for posterity on our In Memory page. —Peter Sawyer ’66
Jidlaph G. Kamoche ’67
Jid was the founding director of the University of Oklahoma’s African and African American Studies program, which became a full-fledged department only after his death in October 2013. He single-handedly ran that program for years with few resources. Today it is the thriving Clara Luper Department of African and African American Studies, named after an Oklahoma icon in the civil rights movement.
At Jid’s funeral here in Norman, Okla., person after person and family after family spoke at the service, all with stories about how Jid and his wife, Njambi, supported them as Africans coming to Oklahoma to go to school. It seems that any African student—from any part of the continent—who came as a foreign student to virtually any institution of higher learning in Oklahoma (not just OU) was helped by Jid. He would often pick them up at the airport and have them stay at his home until they could get settled in their own housing. Sometimes they were flying into Tulsa instead of nearby Oklahoma City, but it didn’t matter. He would drive the two hours each way to Tulsa to pick them up and get them where they needed to be. He offered advice on how to navigate America, Oklahoma and whatever degree program they were entering. And he remained someone they could call on throughout their time in Oklahoma. Jid apparently did all this, which must have amounted to nearly a full-time job, without any compensation, while teaching full time at OU and without advertising to his colleagues that he was doing it.
The chapel at his memorial service was standing room only, and I don’t think I’ve ever been to a service more moving. The number of people he helped and whose lives he had changed was huge. —Elyssa Faison, chair, University of Oklahoma History Department
Ronald Gary Rubin ’67
This is a late tribute to one of the most subtly remarkable people I knew at Amherst. On the basis of taking introductory German with him and performing together in a student musical at Smith, my sense of Ron Rubin was that he went through Amherst doing little to attract attention. In German class, he seemed like an average student, which he wasn’t at all; he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and wrote a Ph.D. thesis on Locke. Onstage, he was sparklingly funny, but this was far away from the buzz at Kirby Theater. When we drove to Northampton and back for rehearsals, he was excellent company, conspicuously not serious about much of anything but certainly witty.
Ron died on Oct. 22, 2014, in Claremont, Calif., after a long battle with cancer. The tributes that poured in show how Ron inspired a large, warm and wonderful assortment of family, students, martial artists and scholars through a career as professor of history of ideas at Pitzer College and an extracurricular career with his wife, Susan Perry, as aikido practitioners and editors/publishers of the magazine Aikido Today.
One of those tributes, from his high school classmate Roger Lewin, sums up Ron’s persona and his original intellect splendidly: “Ron had a gift for mock pomposity that was hilarious and put pomp in its proper place. He was fascinated with logic and the structure of argument. He had a beautiful, deep, resonant voice and a slight detachment from whatever he was saying that conveyed that he was paying critical attention to himself while he argued with someone else. Philosophy and aikido made perfect sense. He was a kind, decent, gifted person.”
He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Susan Perry; his son, John Schleis II; and grandchildren Erika and Tyler Schleis. —John Stifler ’68
James A. Senefelder ’67
Born in 1940 in Buffalo, N.Y., Jim Senefelder transferred into the class of 1967 after service in the Coast Guard on the international ice patrol and in meteorology school, followed by work at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. At Amherst, Jim majored in Russian history and was active in Alpha Theta Xi. Simultaneously with his life as a student, he also was an Amherst police officer, and occasionally he attended classes and fraternity meetings in uniform. From the perspective of senior citizens, the age difference between Jim and his classmates seems a trifling thing now, but it was a rather big deal then. Five years our elder, and with streetwise experiences none of us shared, Jim enjoyed a special status among us as a worldly big-brother figure and a valued mentor. He served those roles comfortably and well, but he always made it plain that he particularly enjoyed his time with us as one of the guys. He had a great sense of humor and was well liked by all.
After Amherst, Jim briefly attended law school but then moved on to other challenges. He had a successful career with the Mobil Chemical Co., retiring after 35 years of service. He married Linda Harter and is survived by two children, Allan and Carrie. Jim was an active volunteer in his community of West Clarksville, N.Y., with the Olean (N.Y.) Kennel Club, the Great Pyrenees Club of America and the Pines Wildlife Sanctuary. He was also active in the Clarksville Volunteer Fire Co. and the Clarksville ambulance service. Jim died at home, after a brief battle with cancer, on Dec. 16, 2012, at the end of a long and caring life, well remembered by all who knew him. —Ken Ingram ’67, David Collins ’67 and John Stifler ’68
Steven R. Koch ’68
Steven Ross Koch was born in Baltimore on Dec. 21, 1946. When his family first saw him, their consensus was that he looked like a little monkey. From then on, he was always known as Monk. Obviously, members of the Koch family didn’t take themselves too seriously. As it turned out, neither did Monk.
At Amherst, Monk was a two-time All-American lacrosse goalie for the Lord Jeffs and captain of the undefeated 1968 team. On the field, Monk was a fierce competitor. Off the field, he took life in stride and was greatly admired by his Beta brothers for his quick quips in dicey situations. “Well, Scully, it looks like I’ll be late again tomorrow,” and “Drive out, the tables have turned,” were two of his best, but it’s safe to say that anybody who ever spent any time with Monk has a story.
After Amherst, Monk went to the Wharton School of Business and eventually ended up as the head of currency exchange for Texaco. In 1975, he and his wife, Bee, moved to Rye, N.Y., which was close to Texaco’s offices in Harrison, and, in large part due to Monk’s expert coaching of Little League and lacrosse teams, the couple soon became highly respected members of the community.
On Dec. 17, 2022, Monk retired from a 17-year battle with Parkinson’s disease. He is survived by Bee, six grandchildren and three sons: Andy, who was captain of BC lacrosse; Mike, who was captain of Lafayette lacrosse; and Brian, who was captain of Dartmouth lacrosse. Yes, the lacrosse gene runs strong in the Koch family. What also runs strong is the determination to win, and there is no question Monk was a winner. And, boy, we sure will miss him. —Monk’s Beta brothers
Robert Sinclair Strong ’68
Writing in our 25th reunion book, Bob Strong described himself at Amherst as someone “more intent on getting where we were going than on the times.” He then added, “Am I the only one who feels this way?” He surely wasn’t, but in any case, classmates remember Bob not for particular college anecdotes or political attitudes but for his focus as a pre-med student. A member of Chi Phi, at mealtimes in Valentine he was likely to ignore the cluster-seating favored by fraternities, sitting instead where he could converse with his fellow future doctors. He was also a swimmer, a tennis and squash player and, back home on Long Island, a competitive sailor.
Bob went to med school at the University of Virginia, where he met Susan Majors Brown while playing tennis. They married in 1970. After a stint in the Navy, they settled on a horse farm in idyllic Franklin County, Va., where Bob spent 44 years in family practice. They had a son, Peter, who was lost in childhood to trisomy 13, and then another son, Bryan.
Bob was active on church community boards and medical boards in Roanoke and served for 12 years as board president for the Phoebe Needles Center, a camp and conference center in the Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia. The website describes the center as offering “programs that nurture and challenge in a setting that is safe spiritually, emotionally, and physically.” Bob was at home in such an environment.
Bob continued to enjoy riding, playing tennis with Susan and tending to the farm until the family moved to The Glebe Retirement Community in Daleville, Va. He died of Alzheimer’s disease on Dec. 6, 2022, survived by Susan and Bryan. —John Stifler ’68
David Boyd Edie ’69
Our kind, idealistic classmate Dave Edie died of pancreatic cancer Jan. 17, 2023, with family by his side. He leaves his beloved wife, Diane; three children (Jake, Rachel and Nora); eight grandchildren; four siblings; and a large hole in the hearts of all who knew him. Dave was a caring, exuberant, compassionate man who lived a fulfilling life.
Life changed for him senior year when his roommate, Joe Garton ’69, introduced Dave to Joe’s cousin Diane (Smith ’72). Dave and Diane fell in love, married in 1970 and celebrated 53 happy years together.
At Amherst, Dave’s lifelong passion for choral music flourished. He sang in the Glee Club and performed on global tours. His talent and creativity erupted one memorable evening, when he provided a spontaneous concert over the Frost Library PA system, following “the library will be closing in 15 minutes.”
While Diane completed her degree at Smith, Dave taught in the Teacher Corps and completed a master’s degree at Springfield College to prepare for a long and productive career in education and child care administration and policy. The couple moved to Bloomington, Ind., where Diane pursued a graduate degree in theater and Dave launched a new child care center. Their final move was to Madison, Wis., where Dave became a senior state government leader, administering one of the country’s largest and most successful child care networks, while Diane worked in theater and opera (ofty.org).
Upon Dave’s retirement, Secretary Tommy Thompson, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, wrote to him, “Your work has demonstrated to the nation that it is possible to design child care policy that results in quality and affordability for low-income families.”
Dave was a uniquely accepting, caring, fun-loving and hardworking individual with deep love of family. He will truly be missed. —James Dick ’69 and Kent Peterson ’69
Thomas Dawes Hibbard ’69
Tom Hibbard died Dec. 15, 2022. His death was sudden. A native of Hartland, Wis., Tom was an English major at Amherst. He was funny and smart. He was a managing editor of the Student in 1968.
After Amherst, Tom worked for a while as a reporter for the Madison, Wis., Capital Times but soon left journalism to write poetry, which he did for the rest of his life. He lived and worked in New York—where he published his first set of poems, Delancey Street—and also in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Wichita, Kan.
Tom moved back to the family home in Hartland in the early 2000s to take care of his mother and continued to work as a poet, critic, essayist, reviewer and translator. Published collections of his works include Ghotki Crater and Place of Uncertainty. His writings appeared in a wide variety of avant-garde books and magazines. He enthusiastically took part in poetry meetings and readings from one end of Wisconsin to the other. One poet eulogized Tom as a “Wisconsin poetry elder.”
Tom became active in the Wisconsin and Waukesha County Democratic Party organizations, twice running unsuccessfully for the assembly in an overwhelmingly Republican district. He firmly opposed what he called “the aimless expansion of commercial development” in rural areas. For many years, he took part in the New Year’s Day polar bear plunge into Lake Michigan. One year was so cold, he told me, his swimsuit froze before he could get his pants back on.
Tom posted often on Facebook, usually a few poetic lines and a photo. Just before he died, Tom posted a photo of a neighbor’s Christmas lights. “supposedly getting some more [snow] this week,” he wrote. “winter is a Surrealist metaphor for life.” —David L. Michelmore ’69
Paul Howland ’69
Paul Howland died peacefully Feb. 16, 2023, in Grand Rapids, Mich., from a prolonged illness. His wife, Amna, and his family were at his side. Paul was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, to Juliet (née Gaudin) and John Howland ’33. Paul and I lived in Pratt together. Within 48 hours of arriving on campus, we obtained some Narragansett and popcorn, climbed onto Noah Webster’s lap and enjoyed our snack. Captured on film, we appeared on page 1, below the fold, of The Student. Paul was most proud of his role as manager for the soccer team, under Coach Peter Gooding.
Although he tried to keep a gruff and stoic façade, anyone lucky enough to know Paul well experienced his dry wit and thoughtful gestures. Paul was an avid student of history and a repository of seemingly endless knowledge. From cooking to WWII battleships to the 17th-century French royal court to Cleveland baseball to opera, his interests were varied. He amazed us with the depth of his intelligence.
Paul had a long, robust career with the State of Michigan, calling his boss to officially resign on the day before he died. Paul was a groomsman at our wedding, and I was one at his. He was godfather to our older daughter, Becca. Before he married, he paid frequent visits to us in Burlington, Vt., to share Thanksgiving and spend special time with his goddaughter.
He maintained a regular presence in France, preserving a strong connection with his French family.
At Paul’s funeral, Amna told us how devoted he was to family, and how, as he was a true 17th-century Francophile, his family affectionately called him their own Roi Soleil—very appropriate for a student of the Terras Irradient college. —Bob Jones ’69
P. Anthony di Sant’Agnese ’71
Paul Anthony “Tony” di Sant’Agnese, M.D., passed away on Oct. 28, 2022, with his devoted wife at his side.
Tony graduated from Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1975. He was a surgical pathologist and teacher, researcher and department head who practiced at the University of Rochester / Strong Memorial Hospital for 39 years. A giant in the field of prostate research, he was the first author on neuroendocrine differentiation in carcinoma of the prostate (July 1992) and the first person to identify the neuroendocrine prostate cell under a microscope. This discovery of a mutation of common prostate cancer cells allowed for the possibility of prostate cancer cells deviating and displaying different markers, calling for alternative treatment protocols.
Tony retired in 2014 and moved to Naples, Fla., and Lake Norman, N.C., where he and his wife, Anita, spent many happy years enjoying the beach; swimming in the lake with their golden retriever, Wrigley; and watching fireworks and sunsets from their dock or balcony.
He was a one-of-a-kind gentle man, a brilliant and curious caretaker of humankind, and an insatiable learner. Tony is survived by wife Anita, three children and a sister. —Anita di Sant’Agnese
Robert S. Sparks ’71
Bob Sparks died Jan.12, 2023, seven years after contracting thyroid cancer. His personal honesty, optimism and modesty made him a favorite with many in the class.
Bob came to Amherst from St. Louis, Mo. The Glee Club was a profound experience for him, giving him experience in exacting music performance and travel around the world. I remember how easily Bob befriended people in each country, and how genuinely enthusiastically he greeted all the people we met. His transparent enjoyment of others would have made him a most successful American diplomat.
Bob spent his junior year at Vassar, where he realized that Amherst’s all-male social and educational environment did not suit him. He advocated for coeducation at Amherst.
After Amherst, he earned an M.A.T. from Brown University and went on to teach history in the same community where the family of Zelda, his wife of almost 48 years, lived.
The couple moved two years later to St. Louis, where Bob soon took over management of the family business, Lumberyard Supply Co.
Bob delighted in the various roles he was asked to play. He and Zelda were extraordinarily dedicated to each other, especially through their serious illnesses; they took pleasure in raising their son and daughter; and Bob was especially popular as playmate to his grandchildren. He derived great satisfaction from engagement with his synagogue community, where he served on the board. Bob believed that you need to “show up”; indeed, he did, at college reunions, weddings, family milestones and celebrations with friends.
In his 50th anniversary book, Bob wrote of his Amherst thesis adviser as “a good man in every sense of the word.” How fitting as a description of Bob Sparks himself. —Jeff Cartwright-Smith ’71
John Martin Fox ’73
The class of 1973 mourns the death of John Martin Fox, who passed away in January 2022.
When Jack arrived on campus in 1969, he knew just what he wanted to do to take advantage of Amherst’s rich academic and cultural environment. He immediately auditioned for the Glee Club. This became a focus and grounding for his Amherst years, with the highlight being the 1972 summer tour to Africa and the Near East.
His strong interests in the physical world as well as business led him to major in physics and economics, both serious disciplines with excellent departments at Amherst. For his honors thesis in physics, he built and studied a 1-meter Foucault pendulum, a device that could sense the Earth’s rotation even from inside a room with no windows. While he spent much of his time studying, he made time for a balanced social life, his primary enthusiasm being his girlfriend and future wife, Janet Thistle Fox (Mount Holyoke ’74).
After graduating, Jack attended the MIT Sloan School of Management and earned an M.S. degree in 1975. His career in Houston was in information technology for several large firms, including Pennzoil, Duke Energy and AIM Investments.
Jack was known for his quiet virtues of humility, competence, perseverance, service, loyalty and generosity. Family and faith were central to Jack’s life. He was an active participant at Houston’s St. Philip Presbyterian Church. Everyone he encountered would quickly recognize Jack’s enthusiasm, sense of humor, genuine smile, lack of pretentions, sincere caring and conscientious attitude.
Jack was loyal to Amherst throughout his life. He was proud of his son, Jeffery, and daughter, Julia Fox ’07. He was a class agent for more than 20 years and a lifelong supporter of Amherst. Jack will be missed by all who knew him. —Richard Sailor ’73
William C. Mackey ’73
Mac died unexpectedly on Jan. 31, 2023, of an aortic dissection. He was a brilliant vascular surgeon, a patient teacher and mentor, and a towering leader, and his death has left a void in the lives of all who knew him. As his friend and Amherst roommate Mark Beckwith ’73 said shortly after his death, “The world has shaken.”
Mac was a religion major, graduating magna cum laude, and was co-captain of the men’s varsity swim and dive team. He met the love of his life, Cynthia Greenwood (Smith ’73), over a keg during interterm in January 1971, and they were married in July 1974.
He graduated from Duke University School of Medicine in 1977 and completed his general surgery residency at the New York Hospital Cornell Medical Center and a vascular surgery fellowship at Tufts Medical Center, where he remained for the rest of his career. He was chairman of surgery at Tufts Medical Center and surgeon-in-chief at Tufts University School of Medicine from 2001 until his semi-retirement in 2019.
In his far-too-short retirement, he spent his days mentoring medical students and surgical residents; traveling and hiking the world with Cindy; and devoting every Friday to his two grandchildren, Charlie and Penelope.
His connection to Amherst deepened after two of his three children graduated in 2010 and 2016, and he had more reasons to visit. In recent years, he and his brother David ’79 made an annual winter pilgrimage, with other former Amherst swimmers, to Pratt Pool to cheer on the swim and dive teams. He cherished these friendships and was looking forward to celebrating his 50th reunion this summer.
While the shock of our enormous loss has eased, we miss him and his wisdom every day. —Emily Mackey ’10 and Christopher Mackey ’16
Lisa S. Garson ’84
Lisa Garson died in New York City on Oct. 31, 2022, after a four-year battle with lung cancer. For most of that time her treatment was successful, and she lived life fully; in her final months, spending quality time with family and closest friends, she lived with courage, selflessness and grace.
Lisa was raised in Cleveland. She worked in New York the summer after our junior year, and there met Ray DiPrinzio; they became the love of each other’s lives, married and raised two wonderful sons, Harry and Charlie, on the Upper West Side, her home of 39 years.
Lisa had a successful career in the operations management side of the fashion industry, working at Ann Taylor, Polo Ralph Lauren and Jones Apparel Group, among other places. For the past few years, she was busy as an independent consultant in this industry.
Lisa and Ray bought a home near Shrewsbury, Vt., early in their marriage and spent much of their leisure time there. As a board member, Lisa was actively committed to the Vermont Farmers Food Center. They featured a memorial to Lisa on their website, writing, “Lisa loved to garden. She loved farmers markets and all things local food. Lisa and her family embody the definition of bringing people together around food; always sharing their exceptional culinary abilities and using foods sourced with deep reverence for the interconnectedness of our earth and one another.”
Lisa had countless friends from every walk of life. She touched us all in her quiet and unassuming way. We will forever miss her sharp mind, her compassionate heart, her joyful hospitality, her dry sense of humor, and her characteristic smile and laugh.
She is survived by Ray, Harry and Charlie; her mother, Louise; her sister, Jennifer; and her half-sister, Alex. —Laura MacLennan ’84 and Diane Saltoun ’84
Jonathan G. Powers Jr. ’87
I met Jonathan Powers on the first day of swim practice in 1983. By then, he already had his nickname. One day during water polo practice, he’d put his cap on inside out, making the ear covers stick up. Someone shouted “Yogi!,” and the name stuck.
Yogi was a man of immense kindness. We spent countless hours together, and I can’t recall a thing he ever did that troubled anyone—people simply loved him. They gravitated to him, drawn in by this teddy bear of a guy who listened to others and responded thoughtfully and gently.
But Yogi was much more than a quiet observer. He was hilarious, saying and doing so many entertaining things that I cannot repeat here. His swim team antics, his brilliant senior thesis and his love for his friends all added to the life of this incredible man.
Yogi Bear was clever and silly, every now and then saying something unexpectedly deep. He was also lovable. And when Jonathan Powers put that water polo cap on inside out, he earned the perfect nickname. A group of us reconnected over Zoom to talk and laugh and cry about Yogi, and we realized that he had drawn people together in a wonderful way, just as he always had.
Yogi went on to teach economics and coach water polo and swimming at Knox College, where he became known as “J-Pow.” The respect that faculty and students there shared upon his death (knox.edu/news/in-memoriam-jonathan-g-powers) shows how special he remained over the years. Likewise, J-Pow’s Facebook memorial (facebook.com/jonathan.powers.336) overflows with grief and love for this amazing man.
Jonathan Powers passed away too young, on June 15, 2022. He is survived by his parents, brothers David ‘89 and Andrew, and five nieces and nephews. The world is a lesser place without him. —Mike Hall ’87