William C.H. Prentice

Obituary
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William C.H. Prentice SchenectadyOn Sunday July 28th, one week shy of his 98th birthday, William C.H. Prentice died in Schenectady, NY. He was born to Susan (Dimmock) and Bryant Prentice, in East Aurora, NY in 1915. The bulk of his professional career was spent at Swarthmore College, PA (1947-62) and at Wheaton College, MA (1962-75). Although the labels of scholar and academic describe, not only his professional life, but an essential part of his personality, we would be remiss not to mention the heart of the man devoted son, brother, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, friend, and, above all, smitten husband. Bill had the good fortune to have a long retirement mostly spent at his homes in Vero Beach, FL and Westport, MA. He and Elsie frequently demonstrated their warm and generous nature by sharing and hosting in these homes. As a camp counselor at the Pocono's Buck Hill Falls in 1936, he met the love of his life, Elsie Benton Doty, of Yonkers, NY. They married in 1939 and raised four children. During their 70 year marriage they remained devoted, playful, respectful and in love. Their partnership extended to the courts and links where they enjoyed countless matches of tennis and golf. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Swarthmore College in 1937. After studying as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University in England, he returned and enrolled at Harvard where he completed both his MA and PhD (1942) in psychology. Following wartime service, he taught at the University of Vermont, William and Mary and Johns Hopkins before returning to Swarthmore where he was a professor, department head and dean. He then served 13 years as the president of Wheaton College, MA. He remained active in academia as a trustee (1978-89) at both Hartwick and Swarthmore colleges and as an administrator, (director, president, and vice chairman) for Bryant & Stratton Institute. He received honorary degrees from Stonehill College, Southeastern Massachusetts University, Swarthmore College, Wheaton College, and Hartwick College. He was preceded in death by his siblings, Bryant H. Prentice, Jr. and Susan (Dunbar) Cochran, and his wife, Elsie. He is survived by his brother, Colgate Prentice of New Jersey; his children, Dorothy (Richard) Ziegler (Vermont), Susan (Richard) Brainard (New York), W.C.H. Court Prentice, Jr. (Florida), and Benton (Charissa) Prentice (Rhode Island); eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. His warmth, wisdom, and humor will be missed. He will be buried at his wife's side in Westport, MA. A private service will be held at the convenience of the family. For those inclined, donations may be made to the William and Elsie Prentice Chair at Wheaton College, Norton, MA 02766 or to a scholarship fund of their choice.

Published in The Daily Gazette Co. on Aug. 1, 2013
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