Lyle Andrew McGeoch passed away suddenly on Saturday, October 5 in his home in Amherst. He was 60 years old. He was a good man who will be remembered above all for his indomitable kindness and generosity. He lived every day of his life the way he intended.
Lyle was born July 10, 1959 in Lower Merion, Pennsylvania, to Lyle Archibald and Florence (Parker) McGeoch. He grew up in Athens, Ohio. Lyle attended Princeton University and Carnegie Melon University, where he earned his Doctorate in Computer Science. It was there that he met the love of his life, Catherine Cole. The two were married on March 19, 1983 in Lafayette, Indiana and moved to Amherst in 1987. They raised two sons, Ian and Alex, both of whom were greatly influenced by his gentle, loving leadership and his integrity. From his example, they learned to be self-sufficient and always to do the right thing.
For thirty years Lyle and Cathy worked together at Amherst College, with offices right across the hall from one another. Lyle adored being a professor and found great fulfillment in helping and caring for every one of his students. He advised hundreds over the course of his career and was class dean to the class of 2017. He served on nearly every faculty committee at the College, and was the College parliamentarian for many years. At the time of his death he was the Brian E. Boyle '69 Professor of Computer Science and chair of the Computer Science department.
Lyle was always looking for ways to help others. He was an active member of Wesley United Methodist Church, where he served as treasurer and played in the handbell choir. He donated blood as often as he could. On multiple occasions, he lead youth groups in hurricane relief efforts in and around New Orleans.
In recent years, Lyle and Cathy split their time between living in Amherst and in Vancouver, Canada, where she works. He enjoyed exploring the city on his bicycle, attending hockey games, and watching curling matches.
More than anything, he enjoyed spending time with friends and family, from large holiday gatherings to unannounced Saturday morning visits from his grandson. He loved family weddings and playing cards with close friends. He was always welcoming no matter the time of day, and always made guests feel at home.
Lyle is preceded in death by his father Lyle Archibald. He is survived by his wife Cathy, his sons Ian and Alex and their wives Alicia and Jill, his grandson Rigel, his mother Florence, his brother Peter, his sister Betsy Nurre, and nine nieces and nephews. He will be missed by his many friends.
Funeral services will be Saturday October 12, 2019, 10:00 am at the Wesley United Methodist Church in Hadley. Burial will follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Amherst. Calling hours will be Friday from 5:00 - 8:00 pm at the Douglass Funeral Service, Amherst.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the United Way of Hampshire County, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County, or any organization that helps people.
Memorial register at www.douglassfuneral.com
Published by Daily Hampshire Gazette on Oct. 8, 2019.