Alumni Necrology

Joseph Carl Putek II ’87

Whose life was powerfully animated by the spirit of adventure, grew up in Pennsylvania, where he was born in Philadelphia on January 15, 1965. The son of Carl and Judith Putek, his thirst for adventure was first kindled by the comic books he read as a boy. Captain of the football team and its dominant force at East Stroudsburg Area High School, Joe Putek enrolled at Hamilton following his graduation in 1983. On the Hill he majored in writing and minored in government, and earned his diploma in 1987.

Immediately thereafter, Joe Putek left for Asia. Even though he spoke no Asian language, he managed to acclimate himself rather quickly. His travels took him from Taiwan, Singapore, Laos, Thailand, and Nepal to Sumatra, Borneo, and the Philippines. Along the way, he made a living by conducting classes in English. He eventually settled in Kampong Cham, Cambodia, where he owned a restaurant called the Mekong Crossing. Described as “a cross between Cheers and a travel agency,” the restaurant became a place where Westerners sought information and advice on coping with the local scene. As a bonus, they also benefitted from “Joe’s hearty laugh and easygoing nature.”

Joseph Putek’s extraordinary life of adventure, which had included motorcycle riding through the jungle, scuba diving in exotic locations, and biking across New Zealand, ended on May 27, 2010, as verified by Social Security records. He is survived by his father as well as many aunts and uncles.
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Lysbeth Andrew Achilles ’88

Who combined a love of animals with a commitment to charitable work before devoting herself to parenting, was born on November 13, 1966, in Quonset Point, RI. The younger daughter of Martin F., an airline pilot, and Martha Ackerman Achilles, she grew up in Stony Creek, CT, where her family had moved when she was only a year or two old. She came to Hamilton in 1984 from Hopkins School in New Haven. Majoring in English, she was graduated in 1988.

Lysbeth Achilles began her working career in the nonprofit sector with Ashoka, an organization that sponsors entrepreneurs to address global social problems, in Washington, DC. In 1992, she accepted a position with the Animal Welfare League, an animal shelter in Arlington, VA, and remained with that organization until 1998. The following year, she married Cristopher D. Reed, and subsequently accompanied him on his military assignments to North Carolina and eventually back to the Washington area.

Lysbeth Achilles, who had captained a sailing crew during her high school days, enjoyed sailing as well as skiing. While bringing up her two sons in Washington’s Maryland suburbs, she also took pleasure in gardening.

Lysbeth A. Achilles was residing with her family in Indian Head, in Southern Maryland, and undergoing cancer treatments when she died on January 12, 2011. In addition to her parents and husband, she is survived by her sons, Sky and Dylan Achilles Reed, as well as her sister, Gretchen Achilles.
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