News about Bill Erskine ’39

It is with sadness that I send word of the death of my husband, William H. Erskine, Deerfield ’39 on January 21st of this year. At nearly 92, he had enjoyed quite decent health and an abiding joy in the company of family and friends up to the last few weeks when a combination of congestive heart failure and kidney failure finally took him down. Throughout an active, peripatetic life and successful business career, Bill never stopped talking about Deerfield and his love for the school, most especially for Frank and Helen Boyden.

As the only son of a widowed mother, far from home and family, Bill entered Deerfield feeling somewhat lost and defenseless. The Boydens gave him both kindness and the strong moral compass that characterized the rest of his life. Deerfield also led Bill to Amherst where he thrived along with many Deerfield friends including John Andrews, Paul Avery, Bill Babcock, Allen Boucher, Otis Cary, Ted Parkhurst and Allen Rugg,

After serving as a Lt j.g. in the amphibious forces in the South Pacific, Bill joined J. Walter Thompson Company, where he spent 25 successful years in New York, Canada, Australia and elsewhere before joining JWT client Labatt Breweries of Canada. Later he went on to own and operate International Beverages, Inc. in Boston, an importer and distributor of fine European and American craft beers. In 1998, he finally retired to a happy though still active existence on Cape Cod.

Bill is survived by his wife, Nancy, three daughters, two grandsons and a great grandson. Unfortunately, none of those has made it to Deerfield as all but one live in Canada.

We are all grateful to Deerfield for all that it meant to Bill.


Nancy Erskine

Class of 1939

Frequently Asked Questions

Upon graduating from Deerfield, alumni enter a diverse network of former Deerfield students. Deerfield alumni have ventured into almost every area of employment, and many are at the top of their respective fields. The advantages of this vast network are numerous and significant, as every member of the Deerfield family receives the following:

Alumni are also eligible for alumni awards, such as the Ashley Award, Heritage Award, and the Mimi Morsman Award.

There are no membership fees or dues for members of the Deerfield family, but Deerfield does ask for assistance in a few areas. First of all, in order for Deerfield to have the most up-to-date records possible, we encourage members to keep us apprised of their current contact info. Alumni are also urged to direct all concerns and suggestions regarding Deerfield’s operations through the Executive Committee, the governing body of the Alumni Association. The committee acts as the voice of the alumni body, and works closely with the school administration. In order to keep tuition affordable and the quality of a Deerfield education at its highest, the Academy depends upon the continuing support of alumni and their families. This support can take the form of annual or capital gifts, or time spent volunteering on behalf of Deerfield.

There are Deerfield Clubs in many major American cities. Please visit here for more information on specific clubs and their sponsored events. 

Of course! Be sure to read the latest issue of From Albany Road in your email’s in-box for current news of what is happening on campus. As we also send out periodic invitations, it’s always best to make sure we have your current physical address. And if you do plan on visiting campus, why not tell us ahead of time?

Contact the Office of Advancement

7 Boyden Lane, PO Box 306
Deerfield, MA 01342