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Robert A. Pickett

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Robert A. Pickett "Mouldy"
Camper, U.L., councilor and Director

The Archon - Winter 1996 (Governor Dummer Acadamy)
Seward E. Pomeroy
Worcester, MA 01602

Robert A. Pickett      Robert A. Pickett, class of 1942, died September 19. He was 72. After graduating from Governor Dummer Academy, Pickett enrolled at Yale, where he lettered in football and wrestling. He received an Honorable Mention All-American as a fullback before having his education interrupted by World War II. For three years, he served in the Navy, before returning to finish his degree at Syracuse University. He graduated from Syracuse in 1950, after lettering in football and wrestling. He won an eastern title in wrestling in the 175-pound class before an injury forced him permanently out of competition. He also served as assistant freshman football coach and freshman wrestling coach at Syracuse. After earning his bachelor’s degree, Pickett accepted a position at Harvard, where he coached the wrestling team for 18 years, registering a record of 86-86-2. He also served as freshman lacrosse coach from 1951 to 1957 and assistant freshman football coach from 1957 to 1961. In the summer of 1968, Pickett began an equally long term of service as Executive Director of Harvard’s Varsity Club, working alongside his wife Betty for 14 of those years. He retired from Harvard in 1986, remaining close to wrestling through his work traveling throughout the Northeast as a referee, before settling in Leesburg, FL, where his wife still resides.

      Just as I was leaving for a weekend of meetings at GDA back in October, our postman pulled up and handed me our mail. Among the letters was one from Bob Pickett’s wife Betty telling me of his death. You’ll find details elsewhere in this issue. From the time we renewed our friendship during our 50th Reunion in 1992, Bob had been very responsive to my inquiries for news for the Class Notes. He had written on several occasions of his enthusiastic anticipation of our 55th Reunion and his desire to help out in its promotion. So I had been looking forward to seeing him again in 1997. which, of course, now will not he. While at GDA that weekend in October, I had called Art Sager to tell him, but he had left that day for Florida for the winter. I wrote, and Arthur responded with a nice note, part of which is printed here: “As you recall, Bob played football for me, and was one of the best fullbacks I ever coached. However, his best sport was wrestling, and he was undefeated during his Governor Dummer days. He was New England Prep School champion. I recall one of his most cherished victories. It was a match with Exeter, and he was to meet Exeter’s football captain, who was also an undefeated wrestler. Their match came last, as they were the heavyweight class. During the early matches there were very few spectators present, but the stands were filled by the time their final match began. Bob was ready for his biggest challenge at GDA. From the very beginning he had complete control, and within 30 seconds of the end he pinned his man with a flourish. His years at GDA produced one of our finest athletes, but more important, he was respected by both faculty and students as a strong leader of his class.” Our condolences to Bob’s entire family. He had a great life, and those with whom he had contact have the pleasure of having known a very fine man.

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