The Passing of Elinore Herne

To the Williams community,

I write to share the sad news that retired secretary Elinore Herne, who worked in the admissions office for nearly two decades, passed away on Tuesday, May 21. She was 92.

In the 17 admissions cycles during her tenure, Elinore was highly regarded for her attention to detail, her careful planning, and her exemplary work ethic. Colleagues recalled that on her last day at the office, she resisted peer pressure to leave a few minutes early. Instead, true to her nature, she stayed until the official end of the work day.

A Massachusetts native, Elinore spent her early years in Stoneham and then Springfield, where she graduated from Classical High School in 1945. A student of piano and voice, she enjoyed music throughout her life. She also had an interest in current affairs and politics and became an admirer of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as a teenager during World War II.

With her husband Ralph she had three children, James, Janet and John. The family moved to Williamstown in 1960 and stayed for 50 years. An active member of the community, she attended First Congregational Church and sang in the choir. In addition, she was a volunteer with the Council on Aging and served as the secretary to The League of Women Voters. After retiring from Williams in 1989, she managed the Williamstown Chamber of Commerce and its information booth for 20 years, which earned her a special award of recognition from then Governor Argeo Paul Cellucci in April 2000. In 2009, Elinore and Ralph moved to California where they spent their final years.

Elinore is predeceased by her husband and will be buried alongside him in the East Lawn Cemetery in Williamstown.

Our thoughts are with Elinore’s family and friends.


Maud S. Mandel
Professor of History; Program in Jewish Studies