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Eric L. Almquist
January 12, 1948 ~ September 16, 2023 (age 75) 75 Years Old
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Eric L. Almquist died on September 16, 2023, surrounded by his family at Massachusetts General Hospital. The cause was complications from heart disease, caused by radiation treatment he received for Hodgkin’s lymphoma over forty years ago.
He was born on January 12, 1948 in Columbus, Nebraska to Adrian “Bud” L. Almquist and Ola Anna Kavan Almquist – the children of Swedish and Czech immigrants, respectively. He and his brother grew up in Valentine, NE, a small town of 2,700 on the Niobrara River where his father practiced dentistry. His parents prized education, both college graduates themselves, and at fourteen he joined his older brother at Phillips Academy Andover in Massachusetts. There he developed a love for photography and mountain climbing, both of which became lifelong passions.
In 1966 he moved to Palo Alto, CA to attend Stanford University; there he met his future bride, Nancy “Nanny” C. Osborne, a Massachusetts native. Upon graduating, they moved to Cambridge, MA and married in 1971. He enrolled in the graduate studies program at Boston University, and went on to receive an MA and a PhD in anthropology, writing his thesis on the economic history of proto-industrialization in western Ireland in the 1840’s. His research took him and Nanny to London, England and Dublin, Ireland, where their first son was born; it also introduced him to statistical analysis, which he would continue to employ for the rest of his career.
He worked briefly for Boston University after completing his studies, but was soon hired as a statistician by a division of Temple, Barker & Sloan, a management consulting firm. He remained there for the next twenty-nine years, as it evolved into Mercer Management Consulting. In 2008 he moved to Bain & Company, where he spent the rest of his career, becoming a Partner and Head of Customer Insights. At Bain he drew on his academic background by developing and publishing the “Elements of Value”, an analysis of consumer values based on Maslow's hierarchy of needs. In 2020 he transitioned to part-time Advisor, but never retired.
Though his work demanded a taxing schedule of business travel for much of his career, he devoted his free time to his growing family and his three great pastimes – photography, mountains, and rock & roll. Over a lifetime he shot thousands of photos, many on a 4×5 camera, which he developed and printed himself in a basement darkroom. He supported the photographers he loved by collecting their work. He organized family vacations to mountain towns from the Grand Tetons to the French Alps. And he spent countless hours listening for the “hook” of his next favorite album.
He leaves behind his wife Nanny; his three sons, Adam Lars (Jennifer Marie Almquist and their sons, Julian and Shepherd), Adrian Charles (Dalila Madison Almquist), Nicholas Osborne (Clementine Jang); his brother Adrian K. Almquist (Sally Almquist); two nieces, Julka and Kristin (and her children, Willa and Lucien); and his much beloved dog, Cassie.
Memorial Service: 10am, Friday, Oct. 13 at The First Church in Belmont, 404 Concord Ave.
Charitable donations: Addison Gallery of American Art, 3 Chapel Ave, Andover, MA 01810.