In Memoriam

The In Memoriam page is where Amherst College posts notices of the deaths of any current faculty members, staff members, students or trustees, as well as faculty or staff who have retired from the College. Scroll down on this page to see the most recent notices.

Members of the Amherst community are invited to log in and leave comments on each notice, to share memories and honor the deceased.

Mavis C. Campbell (1939-2019)

Amherst College mourns the passing of Mavis C. Campbell, professor emerita of black studies and history, in November 2019. Campbell taught at Amherst from 1977 through 2006. She was the author of Black Women of Amherst College (1999), among other books.

An obituary with more information will be linked from this page when it becomes available.

We invite members of the Amherst College community to leave notes and remembrances by logging in and clicking “Add comment” below.

Lyle A. McGeoch (1959-2019)

Lyle McGeoch, Professor of Mathematics
Amherst College mourns the passing of Lyle A. McGeoch, the Brian E. Boyle '69 Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science and chair of the Department of Computer Science, on Oct. 5, 2019.

On Oct. 6, President Biddy Martin and Provost and Dean of the Faculty Catherine Epstein sent the following email to the campus community:

Dear Fellow Members of the Amherst Community,

It is with the greatest sorrow that we write to tell you of the passing of beloved Professor Lyle McGeoch, who died suddenly and unexpectedly at home yesterday of a heart attack. We wish we had a more personal way of sharing the news of this loss, which will be so deeply felt and personal for so many of us.  

We have spoken with Cathy McGeoch, Lyle’s wife and our colleague and friend, and have expressed our sympathies and tremendous sadness, on behalf of the entire Amherst community. Lyle was an extraordinary scholar, teacher, and mentor; the most generous of college citizens; and a kind, modest, and gentle man. As a class dean [most recently for the class of 2017], he earned a reputation for the care and compassion that he brought to his work with students, including the lengths to which he went to help those who struggled the most. He was also a cherished husband, father, and grandfather, who treasured his immediate and extended family—including the Amherst community, of which he was such an integral and admired member for more than thirty years.  

We will talk with Lyle’s colleagues, friends, and family about the most meaningful ways to celebrate his life and memory in the days and weeks ahead. In the meantime, we encourage you to let us know how we can be most helpful to you, as we mourn. We hope you will take comfort in one another during this very difficult time. The college will make support available, and we urge you to take advantage of it. [...]

It is impossible to convey in words how dearly and deeply Lyle will be missed.

Biddy and Catherine

The funeral service will take place on Oct. 12 at 10 a.m. at Wesley United Methodist Church in Hadley. Calling hours will be on Oct. 11 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Douglass Funeral Service in Amherst. An on-campus memorial event is being planned for December. Please see Professor McGeoch's obituary for more information. 

We invite members of the Amherst College community to leave notes and remembrances by logging in and clicking “Add comment” below.

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James Q. Denton (1929-2019)

Amherst College mourns the passing of Professor Emeritus of Mathematics James Q. Denton on July 14, 2019. He began teaching at Amherst in 1964.

Upon his retirement in 2005, College President Anthony W. Marx paid tribute to Professor Denton at Commencement, noting his academic and intellectual accomplishments; his "passions for music, engineering and philosophy"; and his skill as an educator in asking challenging questions and encouraging "students to be active participants in their own learning."

"As Amherst’s first statistician and first African-American faculty member," said Marx, "Jim Denton was a pioneer."

See Professor Denton's obituary for more information.

We invite members of the Amherst College community to leave notes and remembrances by logging in and clicking “Add comment” below.

William F. Kieras (d. 2019)

Amherst College mourns the passing of William F. Kieras in July 2019. Kieras came to the College in 1987 as a custodian and worked here for 32 years, retiring in March 2019.

See his obituary for more information.

We invite members of the Amherst College community to leave notes and remembrances by logging in and clicking “Add comment” below.

Edward S. Belt (1933-2019)

Amherst College notes the passing of Edward S. Belt, the Samuel A. Hitchcock Professor in Mineralogy and Geology, Emeritus, in March 2019. Belt came to the College in July 1966 as an assistant professor in geology. He became an associate professor in 1970 and a full professor in 1978. In 1995, he took on directorship of the Pratt  Museum of Natural History. He remained in that position until his retirement in 2002. 

A wake and viewing will be held on Thursday, March 28, from 3 to 7 p.m. in the home of Belt's relatives at 116 Alpine Drive in Amherst.
 
A funeral Mass will take place on Friday, March 29, at 10 a.m. at St. Bridgid’s Catholic Church, 122 North Pleasant Street in Amherst.
 
See Professor Belt's obituary for more informaiton.

We invite members of the Amherst College community to leave notes and remembrances by logging in and clicking “Add comment” below.

Robert C. Follette Jr. (1925-2019)

Amherst College notes the passing of Robert C. Follette Jr. on Feb. 12, 2019. Follette came to the College in 1964 as a clerk in Dining Services. He continued to work in Valentine, becoming assistant manager in 1971 and dining hall manager in 1990, the year he retired from the College.

Please see his obituary for more information. 

We invite members of the Amherst College community to leave notes and remembrances by logging in and clicking “Add comment” below.

Scott H. Willson (d. 2019)

Amherst College notes the passing of Scott H. Willson on Feb. 12, 2019. Willson came to the College in 1989 as the senior major gifts officer in the development office and worked in that position until his retirement in 2006.

Please see his obituary for more information. 

We invite members of the Amherst College community to leave notes and remembrances by logging in and clicking “Add comment” below.

William McCall Vickery (d. 2019)

Amherst College notes the passing of William McCall Vickery '57 on Feb. 4, 2019. On Feb. 6, President Biddy Martin sent the following email to faculty and staff, describing Vickery's many roles within and contributions to the College community:

Bernard Aldrich (1927-2019)

Amherst College notes the passing of Bernard Aldrich on Jan. 13, 2019. Aldrich came to the College in 1946, working in grounds and in the custodial department. In 1949, he became an apprentice electrician and was licensed in 1954. Aldrich continued to work as an electrician at the College and in 1973 became supervisor of electrical systems. He worked in that position until his retirement in 1989.

Please see his obituary for more information. 

We invite members of the Amherst College community to leave notes and remembrances by logging in and clicking “Add comment” below.