I wanted to let you know that Tony Olcott passed away after a sudden illness last week. His passing is such a shock and source of sadness to me and to anyone who has worked with him here. He had a great zest for life and an amazing range of talents, whether as a linguist or novelist or analyst of everything from intelligence issues to Soviet detective fiction. He made a great contribution to our students during his years at Madison, teaching MC 201 each year since his arrival, as well as elective courses on the Cold War and on intelligence. Before coming to Madison, he was a faculty member in Russian studies for many years at Colgate University and then served as a senior associate at the Center for the Study of Intelligence. He wrote a number of both fiction and non-fiction books. I could say a number of things about him and Martha as friends and colleagues in Washington and on the road, but I will note only my gratitude for these moments and the moments here.
The funeral will take place this week in his home state of Montana. We will do a remembrance in JMC in the fall. In lieu of flowers, the family has graciously set up a fund in his memory at Madison College to support students pursuing their interests in Russian affairs, the Anthony Olcott Russian Studies Scholarship Fund at James Madison College of Michigan State University. Please contact Rocky Beckett if you want to contribute.
I know I speak for the whole community in offering Martha, his children, Alison, Andrew, and Hillary, and his granddaughters our deepest condolences and support. - Sherman Garnett