The following e-mail was sent to members of the class of 2004 from College Chaplain Rick Spalding with details about the recent service for Bob Quay ’04 and plans for the memorial service in Amherst, NH.

Dear members of the Williams community,

Though several weeks have passed since the tragic news of the death of Bob Quay ’04 in a bicycle accident on June 25, for many the shock and sorrow will not subside for a long time to come. Some thirty of us who are in Williamstown this summer gathered on the lawn one afternoon last week to remember Bob, to offer consolation to one another, and to marvel at so many beautiful facets of his life. And the memorial gathering continued, in a spirit we think Bob would have enjoyed, with a hike up Pine Cobble. We were joined by his family – his parents Jim and Phyllis and his brother Dave – whose remarkable presence helped to free us all to feel deep grief and deep gratitude.

Many have inquired about the plans for a memorial service in Bob’s home town of Amherst, N.H. The Quays have asked us to forward to you the following information and invitation:

On Saturday, August 14 at 11 a.m., there will be a brief, informal memorial service at the Amherst Congregational Church in Amherst, N.H., our hometown. After the service, there will be an outdoor picnic and celebration of life, including an open mike for music and memories, and a gathering time for Bob’s friends and family. If it rains, the celebration will be in the church fellowship rooms. All are welcome.

The simple picnic lunch will be catered by the boy scouts and the women of the church. Black is optional, and any casual clothing, including jeans and shorts would be fine for both the service and the celebration.

We want you to know that Bob did not suffer; he was instantly unconscious. The medical examiner said, ‘Bob did everything right. Even his helmet was still on his head.’ The cause of the accident is unknown.

As you know, Bob would want us to look forward, not back. Bob loved Williams and all of his friends there, so we have designated Williams College (Bob Quay memorial fund) to receive donations. Some of Bob’s other favorite nonprofits were the Society for the Protection of NH Forests, the National Wildlife Federation, the Appalachian Mountain Club, and the Williamstown Boy Scout troop.

– The Quays

Many of us have been deeply moved by Bob’s family’s loving courage during these painful days; we’re grateful to them for including the Williams community in their plans for this August service, and express to them our heartfelt condolances. (For any who would like to write, the address is: P. O. Box 729, Amherst, NH 03031.) The Williams Outing Club and the Chaplains’ Office are collaborating to organize transportation from Williamstown for those who would like to attend the August 14 service in New Hampshire. Please contact Nancy Luczynski in our office (597-2483, Nancy.Luczynski at by Monday, August 9 if you would like to take advantage of shared transportation.

The obituary that appeared in the Berkshire Eagle on July 2, written by his classmate Ashley Kindergan, bears eloquent witness to Bob’s short but splendid life. I hope that the recollection of so many ways in which Bob touched us will offer consolation and strength in weeks to come.


Rick Spalding, Chaplain to the College

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