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.

Marjorie Farrell (1928–2021)

Amherst College mourns the passing of Marjorie Farrell on April 23, 2021. Farrell came to the College in 1971 as a clerk/typist in the Dean of the Faculty's Office. In 1980, she became the secretary in Financial Aid. She became the fellowship assistant in 1989 and worked in that position until her retirement in 1991. 

Please see this brief obituary for more information.

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Donald O. Martin (1926-2021)

Amherst College mourns the passing of Donald O. Martin on Jan. 8, 2021. Martin came to the College in 1966 as a research machinist in the physics department. In 1983, he became head of the Machine Shop, a position he held until his retirement in 1996.

Please see this obituary for more information.

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Jon A. Sanborn (d. 2021)

Amherst College mourns the passing of Jon A. Sanborn on March 19, 2021. Sanborn came to the College in 1994 as a lab coordinator, senior research fellow and chemical hygiene officer. In the ensuing years, he also served on several occasions as a visiting lecturer. He retired from the College in 2007.

Please see this obituary for more information.

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Lois Hill (1930-2021)

Amherst College mourns the passing of Lois Hill on March 15, 2021. Hill came to the College in 1971 as a secretary in the Registrar's office. In 1974, she was promoted to executive secretary, and in 1978 she became the administrative assistant for Institutional Research. She remained in that position until her retirement in 1992.

Please see this obituary for more information.

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David Armacost (d. 2021)

Amherst College mourns the passing of David Armacost, professor emeritus of mathematics, on March 10, 2021. He taught at Amherst between 1969 and 2012.

Upon his retirement, Armacost's department commented that he was “a gifted teacher who has inspired students in the classroom and greatly enjoyed extended conversations in his office. These conversations would touch on math but more often on larger issues of life and learning. He has always cared deeply for his students, and for many of them, that caring is one of their strongest memories of Amherst. He will be missed.”

An obituary with more information will be linked here when it becomes available.

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Robert R. May (1940-2021)

Amherst College mourns the passing of Robert R. May on Jan. 20, 2021. May came to the College in 1971 as a clinical psychologist. By 1984, he was director of the Counseling Center. He retired in 2006.

Please see this obituary for more information.

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Philip K. Barr (1947–2021)

Amherst College mourns the passing of Philip K. Barr on Jan. 15, 2021. Barr came to the College in 1987 and worked as a network and telecommunications technician until his retirement in 2013.

Please see this obituary for more information.

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Mary Catherine Bateson (1939-2021)

Amherst College mourns the passing of Mary Catherine Bateson on Jan. 2, 2021. Dean of the Faculty Catherine Epstein wrote the following about her in a Jan. 5 email to faculty and staff:

... Bateson served as dean of the faculty at Amherst from 1980 to 1983, the first woman to take on this role. Trained in linguistics and Middle Eastern studies, Dean Bateson taught at Harvard and Northeastern, as well as in the Philippines and Iran, before coming to Amherst as dean.
 
Dean Bateson wrote several compelling autobiographies, including With a Daughter's Eye: A Memoir of Margaret Mead & Gregory Bateson (1984) and Composing a Life (2001). The latter volume included some discussion of her experiences at Amherst. These were not easy times for a woman to be in administration at the college. As Bateson wrote of her experience here, "Amherst was still caught in the set of inherited attitudes that defined any woman as an outsider..."
 
Dean Bateson was professor of Anthropology at Amherst until 1987. She then served as Clarence J. Robinson Professor in Anthropology and English at George Mason University until her retirement in 2002, when she moved to New Hampshire. In recent years she published work on how men and women adapt to culture change, and about longevity and lifelong learning....
 
The podcast On Being recently re-aired Bateson's 2015 interview with host Krista Tippett about "Living as an Improvisational Art."
 
Please see this obituary, as well as this one, for more information.
 
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Ruth Thornton (1938-2020)

Amherst College mourns the passing of  Ruth Thornton on Dec. 29, 2020. Thornton came to the College in 1980 as the associate director of human resources and served in that position until her retirement in 2002. She returned and worked in several capacities after that, including serving as the College's ombudsperson from 2004 through 2009. She leaves behind many family members, including her son Peter Thornton of Dining Services. 

Please see this obituary for more information.

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David Cetto (1955-2020)

Amherst College mourns the passing of David Cetto on Oct. 21, 2020. Cetto worked as a server in Dining Services starting in 1993 and retired in 2017, but returned to work on a casual basis for two additional years. He was chosen as an honorary class member by numerous graduating Amherst classes.

Please see this obituary for more information.

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Sigrit Schütz (d. 2020)

Amherst College mourns the passing of Sigrit "Sigi" Schütz, senior lecturer of German, emerita, on Sept. 19, 2020. Schütz retired in 2012, but returned to teach for three additional semesters, until the end of 2015.

Provost and Dean of the Faculty Catherine Epstein wrote the following in a Sept. 21 email to faculty and staff:

... Sigi had been battling ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, since June.

Sigi taught German at the college for more than three decades, and her introductory German classes were legendary. She was devoted to her students and remained in close contact with many, long after graduation. An active and beloved member of our community, Sigi was known for her warm and engaging presence, which enriched our campus for many years. I always enjoyed spending time with her at college events, and I will miss her.

Sigi is survived by her husband, Jim, and their two daughters, Christina (Amherst class of 2000), and Anja. There are no plans for a funeral, and Sigi will be interred in the cemetery in her hometown in Germany. Next spring, a memorial will be held in the form of contributions to her beloved garden. The family asks that no flowers be sent....

An obituary will be linked from this page if and when it becomes available.

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Richard H. Dexter (1931-2020)

Amherst College mourns the passing of Richard Henry Dexter on Sept. 9, 2020. Dexter came to the College in 1964 as a custodian in Dining Services, and began working in 1971 as a stock clerk and driver. He retired in 1993. (He was the father of Richard H. Dexter II, who also worked in Dining Services for many years.)

See his obituary for more information.

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Sara Schmitter (1976-2020)

Amherst College mourns the passing of Sara Schmitter on Sept. 5, 2020. Schmitter worked at the College as a custodian starting in 2006.

See her obituary for more information.

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Stanley J. Dlugozima (1929-2020)

Amherst College mourns the passing of Stanley J. Dlugozima on Aug. 22, 2020. Dlugozima came to the College in 1966 as a custodian and worked in that role until his retirement in 1991.

See his obituary for more information.

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