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Early-bird class notes from Russ Reynolds, class secretary.
Read them here first!
600 Steamboat Road, Greenwich, Ct 06830
65th Reunion Report for the July-August issue of YAM
180 classmates and family members enjoyed a great reunion weekend at Yale May 23rd through the 25th. As the first Yale class to have the privilege of using Franklin College as its reunion headquarters, we were surrounded by shiny, new buildings, architecture, landscaping and most importantly, friends and classmates. Carl Shedd did a great job in planning the three day weekend. On Thursday night the class enjoyed cocktails and dinner in the Franklin courtyard and dining room. In Friday and Saturday, there were many interesting lectures, tours and exhibits to visit and choose from. Friday evening a beautiful served dinner was enjoyed by all in the Franklin College dining room with an upbeat talk by President Peter Salovey, who joined us with his wife Marta for cocktails and dinner, followed by a talk on the papers of Benjamin Franklin. The fabulous music was provided by Bob Hardwick’s Orchestra, one of the best dance bands in the country.
On Saturday evening, I announced that six individuals would receive a YAA Class Award plaque for outstanding contributions to Yale and to the Class of 1954. The talented recipients were David Banker, Ted Armbrecht, Bob Redpath, Dan Strickler, Jerry Grinstein, and Allan Rabinowitz.
Subsequently, we announced that the class nominating committee had made the following recommendations for new Class Officers for the next five years: Fred Frank, Secretary, Dan Strickler, Treasurer, Carl Shedd, Assistant Secretary, Allan Rabinowitz, Class Agent, Jim Monde, YAA Representative. Reynolds asked for a vote and the slate was unanimously approved by those in attendance. There were no dissenting votes. We thanked Charlie Johnson for his incredible support of Yale and for fulfilling the role of Class Treasurer, and wished the next slate well, in leading the class’ future activities.
Fred Frank, who co-chaired the class gift committee with Charlie Johnson, announced that the class had raised $164 million as a record breaking class gift to Yale for the period 2014 – 2019. Apparently this figure goes way beyond anything ever achieved by any class previously for a 65th reunion.
The weather was beautiful, and the Yale campus has never looked better. There was a panel discussion Saturday afternoon, lead by Jerry Grinstein, which consisted of Allan Rabinowitz, Charlie Johnson and Dan Strickler. There were many words of wisdom for living a long and healthy life.
One of the highlights of the weekend was the meeting Saturday afternoon in Woolsey Hall, during which President Salovey updated all the alumni on Yale’s current progress and future plans, followed by a magnificent gathering of many Yale singing groups, including Whim ‘n Rhythm, Mixed Company, the Whiffenpoofs and the Yale Alley Cats, on the stage at Woolsey Hall, culminating in the singing of “Bright College Years”.
The Whiffenpoofs of 1954, 14 strong, augmented by some ringers who were recruited in recent years, also performed brilliantly at the dinner Saturday night in the Franklin College dining room. Following dinner Saturday night, we went to the Yale University Theater, where we had the pleasure of viewing a performance of six talented cabaret singers, sponsored by the Mabel Mercer Foundation in New York, introduced and arranged by Chuck Bullock. They brought us back with their wonderful renditions of many of Irving Berlin’s most famous compositions.
108 classmates attended, with 72 guests, including spouses, or those attending with family members. Many classmates feel that there should be a 70th reunion, as people are living much longer. The class is also planning a mini-reunion in New Orleans during February of 2021. Stay well!
I have enjoyed being your Class Secretary for the last five years, getting the chance to communicate with so many of you. Please continue to share your class news with Fred Frank, who took over Class of 1954 Secretarial duties as of July 1st.
Class of 1954 Notes for May/June 2019 issue of YAM
We hope you registered for our big reunion May 23rd – 26th which Carl Shedd and his team have done a beautiful job of organizing. Many thanks to Carl!! We have a great group coming to be the first class to reunite in the gorgeous and impressive new Franklin College. We have lots of great activities planned with excellent talks, discussion groups, a top orchestra for dancing and a great cabaret evening. Do come if you’re vacillating! Everything will be made easy for you!!
Allan Rabinowitz reported that our first class luncheon at the Yale Club in New York took place on January 14th. Nick Farnham, Fred Frank, Martin Smith, Dan Strickler and Allan attended. Everyone found it enjoyable and a nice way to reconnect. With five people present, all with different backgrounds and life experiences, there was plenty to talk about. The plan is to have our class luncheon on the second Monday of each month. Please contact Allan at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend.
Allan Rabinowitz wrote again the next month the he was pleased to report on our second monthly class luncheon at the NY City Yale Club on February 11. Again there were five attendees; Michael Armstrong, David Banker, Howard Brenner, Dan Strickler and Allan. They discussed football, including the super bowl, and Yale football, admission policies among the Ivy League schools, winter lifestyles, family events, classmates that they knew in common and just how they are all getting along. It was very congenial and they all enjoyed the hour and a half spent together. Allan intends to continue to coordinate the monthly lunch as long as there is interest.
Elliot Novak told me that a health issue resulted in his moving to Israel since his older daughter, Pam (Yale 1983) moved there some years after graduating. She is the only one of his children who is married and has three children of her own. His oldest grandchild, Sarah, spent last summer in the USA on her own working as a camp counselor while living at 8,000 feet on the eastern slopes of the Continental Divide not far from Colorado Springs. After camp, she briefly visited a camp friend in Seattle followed by spending time in Portland, OR with his younger daughter, Nancy (who is an assistant professor at a community college in Washington state) and his son, David, who is a male nurse. They both live in Portland. While the distance and his health prevents him from attending the 65th Reunion of the Class of 1954, he sends his best wishes to our classmates.
Peter Grant wrote me that he and his wife are relatively well, although new skeletons for both of them would be greatly appreciated. Otherwise, they keep their orthopedic friends in business! Since retiring from the banking business he has been working with the Gates Family Stem Cell Research Center, part of University of Colorado Medical Center in East Down. He stays in touch with a number of our classmates, but travel is limited as he and his wife hobble a lot or use walkers.
Rodney D. Wood passed away on December 27th in Charlotte, NC. After Yale, Rod received a Master’s degree from Michigan State and a Ph D from Northwestern. Rod began his career as an instructor at the University of Nebraska, and he continued his career at Texas Instruments, Sherwin-Williams, and Bristol-Myers Squibb. He developed innovative solutions in areas ranging from fuel cell design to production efficiency and air quality. After retiring to Charlotte, Rod joined SCORE, the small business service organization. He created a workshop for beginning entrepreneurs in 1997 that still continues.
William J. Hickey, III passed away on January 16th. While at Yale he played baseball and hockey. He got a degree from Stamford University in 1959, and served as a 1st Lieutenant in the Air Force.
Robert “Bob” C. Busch died on February 1st in Wilmington, North Carolina. After graduation Bob served in the Field Artillery Corp. His employment included Procter & Gamble, Diamond Shamrock, and he retired as Vice President Human Resources from Lord Corporation, a privately held company with global headquarters in MacGregor Park, Cary, North Carolina. Before and into his retirement to Wilmington in 1997 Bob was active in civic, educational and charitable organizations and was Class Agent for many years.
Jerry W. Jones died on February 14th in Omaha, Nebraska.
We received the sad news that Allan Ryan passed away on March 2nd in Bridgehampton, NY. Allan spent his entire career in Municipal Finance at Smith Barney. He was a dedicated volunteer for and Trustee of The Boys Club of New York and The American Museum of Natural History, a lifelong artist and animal lover, whose precise work was shown in galleries from New York to Palm Beach to Nantucket, a tireless bodysurfer trained at Makapu’u Beach, enthusiastic backgammon player, expert bloody bull-maker, and premier pitcher for the Georgica Association summer softball games.
He was a loyal classmate and a great artist, with a happy smile for everyone!
Russ Reynolds, Secretary
Class of 1954 Notes for March/April 2019 issue of Yale Alumni Magazine
The Class Council met in New York on November 8th, and at dinner, there were 35 in attendance. We discussed the forthcoming reunion, whether we should have a 70th reunion (yes!), starting a class lunch at the Yale Club, and plans for a 1954 mini reunion in New Orleans, in February 2021. Stay tuned for further events as we move forward!
David Banker is setting up a nominating committee to consider candidates for class officers for the ensuing five years following our 65th reunion in May. Any ideas or recommendations on this subject should be forwarded to me or to Charlie Johnson. There are a great many capable classmates and we are fortunate to have so many engaged classmates at this stage of our lives.
The Class of 1954 is in the planning stages of our next mini-reunion, which will be in late March, 2021, in New Orleans. John Franciscus, whose antecedents are deeply intertwined with the early history of New Orleans, will be the chair of this once in a lifetime event. Please plan to be in New Orleans with your wives, significant others, children, grandchildren (great grandchildren?), during the week of March 25th, 2021. Details will be coming in due course. Bourbon Street is better than ever.
Sylvia and Leonard Marx, our classmate, have generously endowed the Sylvia and Leonard Marx, Jr. Class of 1954 Professorship at the music school. The income from this fund supports professorships at the Yale School of Music. Well done Len!
Allan Rabinowitz has organized monthly class luncheons at the Yale Club in New York. You do not have to be a member of the Yale Club to attend. This is a way for us to come together in a friendly, welcoming atmosphere, stay connected and enjoy each other’s company. Please contact Allan Rabinowitz at email@example.com or 212.838.8600 if you can attend.
Joseph Burnett wrote that he and his wife are in good health, living in Towson, Maryland, with a summer home in Gibson Island. Joseph is a retired Professor of Dermatology at Maryland Medical School. He and his wife made 53 research trips in 47 years, fortunately mostly as guests of his colleagues. His Yale and Harvard Medical School roommate, Peter Coggins is doing well. The Burnetts have a son, Mark, Yale ’92, who is a neurosurgeon in Austin, Texas.
Joe Grimes told me via email that he and his wife Polly have been living in Hanover, Vermont for 6 years, near the Dartmouth campus. He has formed a monthly luncheon group of 10 Yale grads.
Herbert Weil says that he was only at Yale one year. He had told NROTC that was what he wanted, then Tulane, a ten minute walk from home. He never planned to leave N.O. but his debate coach after his team won state talked him into applying to Yale and Harvard. Tulane treated him well with a Fulbright to France in 54 and a Wilson after the Navy. But more friends from Yale through the years kept in touch with him.
James Shelburne retired from cardiology in 2004. Since then he splits his time between France and Laguna Beach. James thinks we are in a very dangerous time in this country and, for that matter, in Europe as well. He says: “Our 5 year old President is testing the limits of the political infrastructure of this country. How could we possibly have done this!”
Excerpts from Dick Polich’s holiday card:
It’s time to thank all our friends who let us make their sculptures.
This year marks a change in direction for us. This year is different. We are announcing a return to the building on Route 17K in Rock Tavern.
Working there was exciting, and it was equally exciting for artists to see and approve their work in that great open, well-lit space. The move should happen in February, 2019 and then be celebrated at an open house at 17K in the spring. Stay tuned.
Andrew Spieker passed away on March 17, 2018 in Nevada.
Judy McLane, wife of Tom McLane, passed away in New Canaan in late November, and a beautiful memorial service was held at St. Mark’s church in New Canaan on December 1st. Tom’s son, Brad, a Yale graduate, gave an eloquent tribute to his wonderful mother. Among the classmates in attendance were Joel and Jean Smilow, Jim and Nancy Monde, Hugh Ravenscroft and his daughter Lael, Peter Coughlan, Debbie and Russ Reynolds, and Nancy Watson, wife of the late Charlie Watson. Ash and Madeline Gulliver and Al Atherton, new members of the Whiffenpoofs of 1954, were also in attendance.
Bob “Blaster” Bryan died on December 12th in Canada. Bob was an inspiring leader who started Quebec Labrador Foundation to minister to the needy all over Canada and beyond. He was a legendary selfless servant who piloted his own plane through thick and thin to help people who would have no idea he was coming. He recorded several “Bert and I” albums in the 1960’s and 1970’s with Marshall Dodge, featuring dry humor and images of the Maine farmer, woodsman and fisherman.
Charles Ivan Wurster, Jr. died on December 19th. Chuck was Co-Founder of Floscan Instruments and Vice President of RacerMate. The companies produced both marine and aviation fuel flow monitoring equipment (Floscan) and indoor bicycle training equipment (CompuTrainer and Velotron). Chuck said many times that one of his proudest life accomplishments was that the company could support 53 families, many of whom were recent immigrants to the U.S.
Russ Reynolds, Secretary
Class of 1954 Notes for January/February 2019 issue of YAM
Be sure to sign up for fantastic reunion in Franklin College, May 23 – 26, 2019!
Dave Murray submitted this note: Subsequent to open-heart surgery and a cardiac ablation procedure, it seemed appropriate to compete in the US Masters Swimming Spring Nationals meet held in Indianapolis. Nearly 2,400 swimmers participated in the meet including our youngest grandson, Nathan, who swam in the 2016 Olympic Trials, and is now in his 3rd year at Tennessee in the South East Conference. I managed to take home gold medals in the 85-89 age group for the 500 and 1,000 yards Freestyle events and a 4th in the 200 yards Free. Not fast times, but great fun being back in the water again.
George Spaeth says, how lucky we are to have some places we humans, and especially we men, have not yet ruined. Homo is certainly not sapiens. Our motto is Lux et Veritas. Really, needed, in the past and now. Admittedly truth is not always easy to define, or find, but the search for it has been one of our species’ finest characteristics – and many have searched, and many are still searching – Hooray! But when those with vast power not only consistently lie but don’t even believe the truth is a good thing to try for all of us who believe differently must be strong in supporting truth and those who try to live by truth.
Norm Burger submitted this note: I’m pleased there is a third generation of Burgers at Yale. My son Neil, ’85, and now Lukas, a Junior.
In the fall Tom McLane attended a wonderful celebration of Charlie Watson‘s life hosted by Nancy and their family. A number of classmates were there including Harris Ashton, Murray Buttner, John Newsome, Joel Smilow, and Chick Treadway. It was a special gathering.
William Corson Ellis passed away on August, 27th in Chicago. After graduating from Yale he received a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. He received his wings in 1955 and was assigned to Laredo Air Force Base in Texas. He became a squadron commander and continued to fly single engine jet aircraft. By the end of his Air Force career, Bill had reached the rank of Captain. In 1957, upon returning to Chicago, he married his wife Titia and began a career in business, first in manufacturing and finance, followed by investment and British merchant banking. In 1976, Bill left the business world to return to school and enrolled in the doctorate program in counseling Psychology at Northwestern University, where he and Titia received their PhDs in 1982. For the next fourteen years, Bill and Titia each had their own private clinical practice as well as a joint family practice in the Chicago area. Bill also taught at the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management 1985-1990. They moved to Santa Fe, NM in 1990. In 2001, Bill and Titia moved to Woodstock, VT, to be closer to their daughter Robin and her family. Bill continued his love of painting, leaving behind an impressive collection of beautiful oil landscapes. He often talked about his mother, who taught her sons that there was a world to see and explore, that it was never too late to learn new things, and to always follow your dreams.
Michael R. Linburn passed away September 2nd. He had retired in 2016 to travel and spend time with family, after 25 years with Morse Asset Management, where he was a Financial Advisor and Chief Compliance Officer. He served on the Vestry of The Church of the Incarnation in New York City as Treasurer and also on the Board of Health Advocates for Older People, a non-profit organization, helping seniors to stay fit and healthy so as to remain independent.
John Anthony Nevin, known as Tony, died on September 23rd of pancreatic cancer. After completing graduate studies at Columbia University, Tony held faculty positions at Swarthmore College, Columbia University, and the University of New Hampshire. In his research, he developed the concept of behavioral momentum — the tendency for ongoing, repeated action to persist in the face of disruptions or challenges — and showed that persistence depends on rewards for that action, in much the same way as the persistence of the motion of a physical object depends on its inertial mass. As a young man, he served for two years on a Coast Guard buoy tender based in Bristol, Rhode Island and fell in love with the region. He was introduced to Martha’s Vineyard by his wife 20 years later, and they built a summer home there. When they retired from academic life the Vineyard became their year-round home.
Bill Jarrett reported that his close friend John Lynn Carr passed away on October 8th in Georgia. Bill said that he met his wife Carol while attending a “Practical Christianity” seminar, in their local church, which was a program that John developed. After graduating from Yale Divinity School in 1957, John became an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church and worked in churches in Ohio and Indiana. He and his wife Adrienne developed and then published a series of church education materials, and were recruited by Candler School of Theology, where they taught adult education from 1976 to 1998. They retired to the north Georgia mountains, where they enjoyed hosting family, friends and colleagues. John was an avid fan of the Atlanta Braves.
Russ Reynolds, Secretary
Class of 1954 Notes for November/December issue of Yale Alumni Magazine
Frank Hirsch and his wife Shirley (of seven years now) still live 23 miles out of Santa Fe, NM and are enjoying life. He is now president of the SF Symphony and able to shoot under his age from the senior tees. Shirley is now on her second book. If it is published before the 65th reunion next year they may also make it a book tour!
Elliott Novak is living in Israel with his daughter. He will not be attending our 65th reunion next year due to distance and health. Back when he was head photographer for the Yale Daily News, he remembers covering a 50th Reunion where Col. Robert R. McCormick, who was a primary owner and publisher of the Chicago Tribune newspaper, was attending. In those days, his camera was a big Speed Graphic press camera complete with flash bulbs. The Colonel wore black gloves on his hands. Elliott had to take multiple photos to make sure he got at least one good one. The Colonel made sure he did it as fast as possible with that big clumsy camera and urged Elliott “to hurry up and get my pictures taken! Elliott doubts that he had much patience even in his younger days! That would have been in 1953 since Yale senior class typically passed down their responsibilities to Yale juniors whether you were talking about the Whiffs, the Senior Societies, Captain of the football team, etc. The Colonel graduated in the Class of 1903!
Elliott’s most famous assignment was taking photos of Robert Frost when he was a Visiting Fellow at Pierson College and already a world famous poet.
The existing Yale Whiffenpoofs, supplemented by some serious ringers who have been recruited in recent years, convened in Islesboro, Maine in late June. The group performed several concerts for the benefit of local charities and also sailed over to North Haven, Maine, where Jonathan Bush (1953) hosted a songfest of our group plus two others. In addition, Charlie Johnson, hosted the group in Nantucket for four days in mid-September. The group meets several times a year at various locations endeavoring to keep the tradition going as well as supporting various worthwhile causes. The wives say we have improved in the past two years! Are they kidding?!
Dick Picard passed away in Phoenix on June 18th. He earned an MBA from Harvard was a pioneer and leader in the computer industry, working at GE, IBM, Smith Barney, American Express and ATMS in Arizona. He was most remembered for his annual office Halloween parties. He and his late wife Mary were married for 62 years.
Charles Greenough Watson passed away on July 26th in Vero Beach, Florida. Following Yale, he served in the U.S. Army as an Artillery Officer in the 11th Airborne Division, in Munich, Germany. In 1996, he retired as a Managing Partner of Brundage, Story & Rose, which at the time was one of the country’s oldest investment advisory firms. He was an active Yale alumnus, as an Alumni Class Agent, former class Treasurer and former class Secretary.
Russ Reynolds, Secretary
Class of 1954 Notes for September/October issue of Yale Alumni Magazine
Four of the Whiffenpoofs of 1954, supplemented by 4 ringers, with 5 wives, totaling 13, convened at Russ Reynolds’ home in Islesboro. Maine for 5 days in late June. The group consisted of Bruce Meacham, Peter Coughlan, Hugh Ravenscroft and Russ Reynolds. Newer additions were Jim Doak, Ash Gulliver, Al Atherton, and John Burke, Director. The group sang four concerts including a benefit at the Islesboro Community House, and also sailed to North Haven, Maine for a songfest at the home of Jonathan Bush, Whiffenpoof of 1953, his quartet, and an another a capella group from Vinalhaven, Maine. It was very difficult to tell which group excelled since they were all so good!! The Islesboro group concluded with two songs at the Sunday service of Christ Church of Dark Harbor in Islesboro.
Our 65th reunion plans are jelling nicely, thanks to Carl Shedd’s Chairmanship of the reunion which will be on Memorial Day weekend, 2019, headquartered in the beautiful new Franklin College. I recently had lunch with Carl to discuss his plans. Carl has enlisted Jim Monde, Pim Epler, Carl Loucks, and Dick Bell as members of his committee, with others expected to join shortly. If anyone is interested in helping run what will be a wonderful event in New Haven, please let Carl or me know. By the way, plan your spring around attending the reunion. The reunion will be free of charge to all classmates and guests! You won’t want to miss it. Carl is already putting together an interesting program and a fantastic directory. Please let Carl know if you have any great ideas for speakers, entertainment, recreation, good food, etc. It will be fabulous.
Fred Frank has again graciously agreed to head our Class of 1954 Reunion gift for our next reunion which will hopefully once again set a world record for giving at a 65th reunion. You will be hearing more about this from Fred, but please save a big wad for this most important reunion gift. Where would we all be today if we had not gone to Yale? We have a lot to be thankful for!!!
Joel Smilow received the KIPP Foundation’s Giving Tree Award at their National Board Dinner in New York in May. Created in 2006, this annual award honors individuals and families whose generosity has been integral to KIPP’s growth and success. This was in recognition of Joel’s investment in KIPP DC three years ago. The Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) is a nationwide network of free open-enrollment college-preparatory schools in under-resourced communities throughout the United States. KIPP schools are usually established under state charter school laws, and KIPP is America’s largest network of charter schools.
Readers of the May/June YAM will have already noticed that amongst the favorite paintings selected by Jock Reynolds, retiring Art Gallery director of the Yale University Art Gallery, are two promised gifts by our classmate, William Bernhard and his wife Catherine G. Cahill:
Orchard Bordered by Cypresses by Vincent Van Gogh; and La Rue Lepic by the nineteen year old Pablo Picasso.
Chick Lanphier phoned recently and sounded in good spirits, probably because he lives in Hawaii. He recommends the climate there for all kinds of reasons, and loves to have visitors.
Bob Redpath wrote President Peter Salovey a letter outlining the process he used to produce his two volume bibliography of our classmates’ publications. President Salovey sent him the following response: Dear Mr. Redpath, thank you for your letter outlining the methodology you used for the special two volume set that was published for your sixtieth reunion. It is truly impressive that you performed statistical analysis on the lifetime publications of your class. I have shared your note with colleagues who may have an interest in this work. As you know, many reunion classes look for ideas for capstone projects such as this to mark their milestone. The Yale Alumni Association will let the reunion planning committees know of your efforts. I am grateful for all that you do for Yale and send best wishes from campus. With warm regards, Peter Salovey.
Murray S. Vernon, Jr. passed away June 26th in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. In October of 1954 he joined the US Air Force as a navigator and served until his honorable discharge. Murray was an avid golfer and squash enthusiast and won numerous championships in Connecticut and New York. He also enjoyed boating and fishing on Long Island Sound with his family. Murray was the “Fun Uncle” to many people in his life.
Sibley Towner passed away on May 23rd after a prolonged battle with Parkinson’s disease. After attending Yale Divinity School, he spent three years on the mission field teaching at Sidon School for Boys in Sidon, Lebanon. He served as Professor of Old Testament at various Presbyterian seminaries across the United States. He spent his life as an Old Testament scholar and was popular as a preacher, teacher, speaker and writer.
Russ Reynolds, Secretary
Class of 1954 Notes for July/August issue of Yale Alumni Magazine
On Friday, April 20th, some of our classmates attended the Sterling Fellows meetings at Yale, followed by a lavish reception and dinner in the ballroom of the Yale Divinity School. There were sessions on athletics, artificial intelligence, the medical school, the state of New Haven, Yale’s future, etc. It was well attended and well executed. Classmates in attendance included Fred Frank, Allan Rabinowitz, and myself.
Bruce Alexander and Peter Salovey noted that the State of Connecticut is not in great shape financially. They wonder whether Yale can be constructive in working with various officials around the state in getting Connecticut back on the right track (a much bigger job than just dealing with New Haven!). All in all it was an excellent event with a good feeling.
Jay Greer reports that he and Ellie have been busy with dentists, doctors and whatever. “We aren’t unwell but seem to need a lot of maintenance – rather like old cars.” Of late he’s been much caught up in the hullabaloo that followed the latest school shooting in Florida. Although he is a life-long shooter, this was really distressing, especially the pusillanimous responses from the politicians and the usual “more guns would have prevented this” nonsense from the NRA. The President wasn’t very helpful either. He was moved to write another letter to the Editor of the New York Times. Much to his surprise, this one got printed – a first for him. Here’s a link to it: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/24/opinion/sunday/gun-control.html. He is not sure it will move anyone who counts, but it helps clarify his own thinking and is cheaper and more effective than psychotherapy. Maybe the outpouring from a lot of the country’s youth and some moderately robust action by some larger corporations will have a beneficial effect. He certainly hopes so.
Richard Murphy reports that he and Bill Day get together for lunch periodically. Reeking with nostalgia, they regale each other with memories about their illustrious classmates and about their past relationships with members of the Senate and House of Representatives in the good old days when comity and collegiality prevailed in Congress. Both of them are in good health for octogenarians.
Leonard Marx wrote me to let me know that his wife Sylvia is attending a retirement luncheon in New Haven for Joan Panetti. Their daughter Nancy (’84) is often in New Haven since Sarah Better (their granddaughter) is a junior and Nancy is the newly elected Chairman of the Yale University Library Council. Their thought is to let Nancy work with Dean Blocker to select the new recipient for the class chair.
Don’t forget that our Class Council will meet in New York at the Links Club on Thursday, November 8th at 4:00 pm, followed by dinner, which includes spouses and dates. Official notices will be sent out. Classmates who are interested in joining the Class Council are encouraged to put their hand up, so please don’t be bashful about letting me know if you would like to join this august group. We will have our Class of 1954 Skybox fully equipped with all kinds of tempting beverages and food at the Yale / Princeton game on Saturday, November 10th. Following the game, we will once again convene at the Smilow Field House for a post game celebration and reception.
As you all know, Bob Redpath has done an incredible job in compiling an impressive list of all of the major books and publications created by our classmates over the past 60 plus years. We have sent a courtesy set to President Salovey, as well as to the Sterling Memorial Library. Many classmates have ordered copies of the summary. Thanks again Bob, for an incredible job.
Carl Shedd is heading our reunion committee for our 65th reunion, which will be in May, 2019. Please get in touch with Carl if you have any favorite foods, songs, or any great ideas for entertainment. We already have some good ideas but can use more. The good news is that we will be based in Yale’s most beautiful college, Franklin, which will be used by our class for the first time as a reunion headquarters.
Thomas Briggs died March 20th after a very brief and sudden illness. He received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. He researched and taught in the medical, nursing and pharmacy schools for almost thirty years. His son Thomas (’79) reported that upon retiring as a biochemistry professor at the University of Oklahoma Medical School, he took up a new “career” as a dedicated runner. He completed marathons in all fifty states and all seven continents, and was a podium finisher in his age group at Boston. He was proud of his class and he enjoyed attending reunions over the years.
Russ Reynolds, Secretary
Class of 1954 Notes for May/June issue of Yale Alumni Magazine
Blair LeRoy reported that he and Linda celebrated their 25th anniversary with a trip to London, Paris and southern France, part with “Roads Scholars” and part in a rental car for a week. A family trip to Hawaii solved his travel bug for a while. He retired 16 years ago from group practice but continues to volunteer medical care at Community Volunteers in Medicine. He and Linda play various sports to keep active. He was fortunate to register at second place in the national 85 and over clay court tennis double at Pinehurst in 2016. Now he plays for fun.
George Spaeth shared that he has recently joined the ranks of those of us who are great grandfathers. His grandson made a “Living Memoir” for him – a 20 minute video that he is thrilled to be able to pass on to his descendants and also to others. He recommends the idea!
Allan Rabinowitz attended the mini-reunion in London in October with his wife Leah, after spending 11 days in France to see Le Corbusier’s architecture.
Joel Smilow fell at his home in Connecticut in February and had to have a partial hip replacement as a result. His recovery is going well. It’s hard to keep a good man down!
David McBrayer reported that his beloved wife, Mary Helen, who gave up so much by moving so often, but enthusiastically travelled with him around the world during his career, passed away last October. in addition to her faithful responsibilities as a mother she was a volunteer in many activities including the Young Life ministry in California, Georgia, and Maryland, helped with horseback riding for the handicapped and as a third-grade art teacher in a school in Ohio, editor of an American Women’s Club update of its “Welcome to Karachi” guidebook, and, according to many wonderful notes from friends upon learning of her passing, was a true source of inspiration and enjoyment. He misses her cheerful, always interested and involved disposition, as do many good friends scattered among the places they lived and visited over the years, but he has absolute confidence she is now rejoicing with God! He has decided to move to a retirement community in Houston, a few miles from their home for the last 19 years in Katy, Texas.
Murray Buttner phoned in recently to say that he had spoken to Paul Pesek’s wife, who says Paul is in an assisted living facility. Paul is of course interested in staying in touch with us, and can be reached at the Trails of Orono, 875 Wayzata Boulevard, Wayzata, MN 55391. We all wish Paul the very best.
Tom McLane informed me that Alfred Lewis died on January 26th at Westchester Medical Center. While at Yale, he joined the ROTC. Upon graduation he served on active duty with the U.S. Army for two years and in the standby reserve until he was honorably discharged as a 1st Lieutenant in 1962. He was married to Claire Campbell Davidson of Montreal, Canada in 1959. The couple lived in Tuxedo Park, New York where he was active in civic circles. In 1984 he married Corinna (Nina) Sanford Ashley and the couple made their home in Warwick. Among his recreational passions were golf, pheasant hunting, skiing, tennis, sailing and backgammon. He was an opera buff and sports car enthusiast. Summers he enjoyed puffing on his pipe while mowing woodland trails and driving farm fields on his lawn tractor.
Jim Killam died on February 3, 2018 in Massachusetts. After Yale, Jim enlisted in the Army and achieved the rank of Captain. He was an artillery instructor at Fort Sill in Oklahoma. Jim graduated from Boston University Law School in 1959. He joined his father’s legal practice in Melrose, MA and they founded the Law Offices of Killam and Killam. He served on several boards in Massachusetts and worked for Governor John Volpe. He served as a Judge in the Malden District Court and as a visiting justice in courts throughout eastern Massachusetts and retired after 20 years of service in 1992. His son David asked that we mention how happy he was to have been able to reconnect with so many classmates at The Game last fall. “The Judge” will be sorely missed but he had a great run and certainly was proud to be a member of the glorious Class of ’54.
Keep us posted!
Russ Reynolds, Secretary
Class Notes March-April 2018
The Class Council met at the Links in New York in November, and there were 38 for dinner. The newest member of the Class Council is Frank Smith. Two years ago he ventured out of the quiet life in the Midwest to attend his first Yale-Harvard football game since 1958 with Murray and Carole Buttner. To his good fortune they invited Sukey Wagner, widow of Rodney Wagner, to join them. Yale lost, but that weekend started a wonderful new adventure.
In the last two years Frank and Sukey have traveled a lot and have been fortunate to get together with many classmates and spouses along the way: The Buttners, Chick Treadway, Ike and Trudy Russell, Pete and CC Coggins, Stan Meacham, Bob and Cecily Redpath, Jim Anthony, Mark Mello, Dan Strickler, Bill and Jane Hopewell and Shelby and Estie Pruett.
The Yale Harvard game climaxed his year – a thoroughly convincing Yale victory. Terrific to share it with teammates Harris Ashton, Mike Armstrong, and Jim Killam. And good to be there with Joel Smilow and Irving Jensen, who have given so much to Yale football.
Charlie Johnson received the Yale Medal. He is the fifth member of our class to do so. The Whiffenpoofs of 1954 performed in the Smilow Field House following the game. Our reception included former President Rick Levin, President Peter Salovey, and wives, Tom Beckett, the retiring Athletic Director, Coach Tony Reno and the captain of this year’s triumphant team.
I sent a copy of Bob Redpath’s Published Contributions of the Class of 1954 to President Peter Salovey, and he responded with this note: Thank you for your letter on behalf of the Class of 1954 and for the two volumes of published contributions from your class. It is remarkable what you and the members of your class have accomplished over the last 63 years. I will proudly display these volumes in my library at home.”
So far we have a had good response for orders of the Published Contributions of the Yale Class of 1954, a 1954 Class Council Project, Volumes I and II. Copies are still available. Please send your address and a check for $65 made out to Lexington Graphics to BuQuet Glynn, Lexington Graphics, 76 Bedford Street, Lexington, MA 02420.
Carl Shedd, who has been one of the most industrious, creative and hard-working of our illustrious classmates, manages our Class of 1954 website, published directories, and has agreed to chair our 65th reunion in the spring of 2019. This may not be the last reunion. Joel Smilow has volunteered to chair our 75th! Please stay in touch with great ideas. The sky’s the limit!
Murray Buttner phoned in recently to say that he had spoken to Paul Pesek’s wife, who says Paul is in an assisted living facility. Paul is of course interested in staying in touch with us, and can be reached at The Trails of Orono, 875 Wayzata Boulevard, Wayzata, MN 55391. We all wish Paul the very best.
Russell Voisin and Jeanne spend half the year in their winter home on Dauphin Island, AL,. They enjoy extensive overseas travel following his retirement from Rand McNally in 2000.
Rod Wood let me know that his health is good, and he hopes to make the reunion in 2019.
Joseph Gromults, Jr. manages yard work, household chores, lots of reading, some travel, hobbies, and of course, doctor visits!
Bob Martin was treated for cancer of the tongue early in the year, which went well until he fell and broke his left arm in three places!
James “Buddy” Thompson sent me an article about his family’s bourbon business and how they are releasing a 45-year-old bourbon in March, with 90% of the proceeds going to the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation and 10% going to the Frazier History Museum. The article can be found here: http://www.gobourbon.com/finalreservethompsonbrother/
I was informed that Sydney Scull Souter died on June 22nd, 2015 in Charleston, SC.
Thomas V. Sawtell died on March 27th in Branford.
James McNeely died in Maine on July 27th. He was a prominent Boston architect, noted for his historic renovation of Beacon Hill townhouses. He served in the U.S. Army in Japan before getting his masters from Yale in 1960. He began his career as the protégé of the late Paul Rudolph, head of the Yale School of Architecture, before opening his own practice in 1974. He renovated over 150 19th century homes during his career, in addition to institutions and businesses on Beacon Hill and Back Bay.
Frank Mallory died on November 7th. He was a National Science Foundation pre-doctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology, where he received his Ph.D. in 1958. Frank went to Bryn Mawr College as Assistant Professor of Chemistry in 1957, became Associate Professor in 1963 and Professor in 1969. Frank was the longest-serving member of the faculty in the history of Bryn Mawr. He taught courses on organic chemistry, at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.
David Cohen informed me that Burton Peck passed away in Palm Beach Gardens on November 8th. Burton served in the Air Force before starting his 35 year career at IBM. He suffered a severe case of Guillian Barre Syndrome which left him confined to a wheelchair but he continued to rise through the ranks at IBM after his illness and spearheaded IBM’s efforts to train and employ workers with disabilities.
David Harned died on November 10th. He received his Ph.D. from Yale and his B.D. from Yale Divinity School. David was ordained into the Lutheran Church in 1961. He taught at Yale, Williams College, Smith College and UVA, for 13 years until 1980.
Elmore Amerhein “Jack” Kindel, Jr., died on November 22nd. Jack was a 4th generation Cincinnati physician. Jack had many interests, including amateur magic, fine arts and sports.
Leigh Quinn reported that Owen Haydn Owens, Jr. died on December 29th in Stuart, Florida. He lived in Connecticut before moving to Stuart 24 years ago. He played hockey all four years at Yale.
Keep us posted!
Russ Reynolds, Secretary
Notes for January -February 2018 YAM
23 members of the Class of 1954, including spouses, two enthusiastic widows and one elegant daughter, convened in London on October 22nd for a week which ended on Friday the 27th. Organized by our hardworking classmate Ted Armbrecht, the group consisted of Ted and Calvert Armbrecht, Rita Cleary and her daughter Sharon, Charlie and Ann Johnson, Bob and Joanna Martin, Peter and Polly Millard, Peter and Naomi Rosenblatt, Russ and Debbie Reynolds, Alan and Leah Rabinowitz, Sallye Stevenson, Dan and Ellen Strickler, and Bob and Cecily Redpath. The group made the beautiful Goring hotel headquarters for six days. We enjoyed tours of Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, the Museum of the Tudor ship Mary Rose and HMS Victory at Portsmouth Naval Base, the Churchill War Rooms, the Imperial War Museum, and a number of other interesting attractions. We had dinners at a couple of noisy pubs, a beautiful club, and at the Goring Hotel. Everyone felt the trip was fun, well organized and managed at a reasonable price. Thanks again to Ted Armbrecht and his team for putting all this together so well.
Myron Conovitz’s granddaughter, Liliane M. Lindsay ’18, spent her first two college summers abroad, first studying environmental issues and large animal management in Tanzania, and then working at a biofuel start-up in Tel Aviv during the summer of 2016. Lily is an enthusiastic member of the Saybrook community, following in her grandfather’s footsteps in that regard, and has enjoyed the marvelous Yale support network abroad on two continents, as well as here in the U.S. She approaches senior year with a sense of accomplishment and has treasured her time on campus, now tinged with the natural sadness derived from knowing that her Yale College experience will end in June.
Debbie and I attended the dedication ceremony of the new Franklin and Murray colleges on October 6th. Charlie Johnson made the incredible commitment of $250 million to spearhead this effort. Supported also by other lead donors, it has resulted in two of the most beautifully designed and well functioning buildings in the world of education. President Peter Salovey gave a fine talk dedicating the buildings, accompanied by comments from Robert Stern, the architect, Ed Bass, another lead donor, and the heads of the new colleges. Among our classmates who I saw with wives were Harris Ashton, Murray Buttner, and Howard Brenner. Yale is in a much stronger position now that these gorgeous new residential colleges have been completed. They fit into the campus perfectly and look like they’ve always been there. Another milestone for our class, thanks to Charlie’s foresight, and generosity!
Bob Redpath has done a tremendous job compiling a huge survey of the published works of 267 classmates. Publications are listed by profession and the publication patterns between professions are compared. There are also sections devoted to publications about family history, second careers and hobbies, and Yale. This comprehensive two volume project supported by the Class Council will be placed in the Sterling Memorial Library. Interested classmates may purchase it for $49. Mail check made out to Lexington Graphics to Kim Lambertson, RSR partners, 600 Steamboat Rd., Greenwich, CT 06830-7181. Bob’s informative commentary is available on line at Y54.org. Purchase details will also be mailed to classmates and widows shortly.
Dick Thornburgh told me that he recently celebrated his 85th Birthday at PNC Park with his beloved Pittsburgh Pirates, with his entire family in attendance, along with several Yale alumni. A thrill for everyone was a reading of a Birthday greeting from his old boss, President George H.W. Bush who said “Take it from this 93 year old – 85 is spring chicken age”.
Joel Smilow is funding a program in Palm Desert, CA, which will provide 40 annual scholarships, 20 to high school grads belonging to the Coachella Valley Boys & Girls Club, and 20 to employees or employees’ children at the two clubs he belongs to.
Mike Armstrong sadly had to drop out of the London mini-reunion trip due to some health issues but he sounds fine and reports that he is getting good care and we all hope that he will be fine very soon.
Obie Clifford’s third memorial service was held at the Dutch Reform Church in Bronxville, New York on September 22nd. In attendance were a number of our classmates, including Joel Smilow, Charlie Johnson, Howard Brenner, Alan Rabinowitz, Mike Armstrong, Harris Ashton, Hugh Ravenscroft, Peter Coughlan, Bruce Meacham, Tom McLane, Jim Monde, myself and others. Ten members of the Whiffenpoofs of 1954 (augmented slightly from neighboring classes) sang at the reception.
Kendall B. Smith died on his 84th birthday, June 4th, 2016. An avid outdoorsman, he enjoyed skiing, sailing, hiking and mountain climbing. During his time at Yale he fell in love with the woman he would live with until her death in 2012 and after returning from Korea he fell in love with San Francisco. In 2014 he remarried to his sweetheart from when he was a freshman at Yale. During his life and career as an architect he worked on some notable civic works.
Dr. Joseph “Buzz” Wierzbinski died on September 1st. Following Yale Medical School, he served as a Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Army Medical Service 43rd M*A*S*H* unit in Korea and during the Vietnam war in South Korea. He was also an assistant surgical consultant to the Surgeon General in Washington, and served in the Connecticut Army National Guard. He and his wife Jeannine lived in Madison and experienced numerous adventures during their world travels.
Clark Bridgman died on September 9th in Rhode Island. He worked in engineering and research related fields for Aerojet General and the Grumman Corporation, where he was a member of the launch team for all of the Apollo manned missions to the moon. Following his retirement from Grumman he designed and built the family home in Red Hook, NY, and moved to Wakefield, Rhode Island in 2006.
Edward L. Norton, III died on September 28th. He lived most of his life in Greenwich, Connecticut, but in later years moved to Park City, Utah. He was an All-American swimmer on Yale’s undefeated swimming team at the time. He served his country in the United States Army and worked at Pepsi Bottling Company for over 20 years.
Russ Reynolds, Secretary
Class of 1954 Notes for November/December 2017
Dick Polich’s foundry, Polich Tallix, moved four miles to Walden, NY in September, after 21 years in Rock Tavern. The new location has 70,000 square feet of production space on 32 acres of land… Plenty of room for expansion and a sculpture garden!
Elliott Novak informed me that he recently moved from Concord, MA to Israel, where his older daughter Pam (Yale class of ’83) has lived for many years. He reports that the climate there is much like northern Arizona – i.e. very hot and very dry the year round –not at all like New England where he used to sail mainly in Marblehead, MA and hike the Whites in the summer and ski in the winter mostly in northern NH on weekends and holidays.
Kinvin Wroth reports that he has been appointed Professor of Law Emeritus at Vermont Law School effective July 1, 2017. Kinvin joined the Vermont faculty on July 1, 1996, serving as Dean and then President and Dean until June 30, 2004, and continuing as Professor of Law until his retirement on June 30, 2017. Previously, He had been a faculty member at the Dickinson School of Law, a Research Associate at the Harvard Law School, a Research Fellow at Harvard’s Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, and a faculty member at the University of Maine School of Law, where he served as Dean from 1980 until 1990. Kinvin and his wife, Dee, live in Sharon, Vermont.
Bill Coke was diagnosed with Parkinson’s several years ago but it is fairly benign – no shaking hands or head. He is just a little unsteady on his feet and it precludes him from traveling, which Fletch and he did extensively. He is glad they went when they could. Since retirement, he has been busy with civic things in and around Nashville is still active at Christ Church Cathedral which is the Cathedral for the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee.
Charlie Johnson will receive the Yale Medal in November. Presented by the AYA, the Yale Medal recognizes and honors outstanding individual service to the university. A great honor for our class! He is an active and loyal alumnus whose extraordinary devotion has transformed the physical campus, shaped academic programs in international relations, enhanced athletic experiences, and inspired class engagement. With a commitment to expanding access to Yale College, his landmark gift in 2013 enabled the construction of two new residential colleges, a momentous milestone in the university’s history. In establishing the Johnson Center for the Study of American Diplomacy in 2011 as part of Yale’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, the alumnus provided a home both for the Kissinger Archives as well as for advanced teaching and scholarship in diplomatic history. The center’s work is complemented by his support of the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy, which promotes effective leadership in a complex and globalized world. Johnson has also supported renovations of the Yale Bowl and the creation of Yale’s first all-season outdoor athletics field while serving many years on his Class Council and Reunion Gift Committees, and currently as Class Treasurer.
Donald “Obie” Clifford died on August 8th in Mount Kisco, NY. He got his MBA from Harvard Business School, and later joined McKinsey in New York, where he worked as a management consultant for 25 years. At McKinsey he coined the term “threshold companies.” He co-authored a best-selling book about midsize companies with Richard Cavanaugh: The Winning Performance: How America’s High-Growth Midsize Companies Succeed. After retiring from McKinsey in 1984, Obie spent his remaining years consulting for threshold companies and giving generously of his time and resources as a board member for many institutions, most notably The American Museum of Natural History and the Quebec Labrador Foundation. In enumerating the crowning achievements of his life, Obie always began with the fact that he won the hand of Mary Lawrence, whom he loved with complete abandon from the age of fourteen. Without question, his second most valued achievement was overseeing the creation of The Wild Center, a nationally renowned natural history museum that he co-founded with Elizabeth Lowe in 1998. The Wild Center hosted a Free Day for local residents on August 25th, which would have been his 85th Birthday. He and his family would be grateful for tributes in his honor to go to The Wild Center in Tupper Lake, N.Y.
We hope to see you at the Harvard game on November 18th. Please send all your news, and remember, Be Positive, Be Grateful, and Be of Service!
Russ Reynolds, Secretary
Class of 1954 Notes for September/October 2017
As you all know, we are having a mini-reunion of the Class of 1954 in London October 22nd – 27th. The brief itinerary is as follows:
Sunday, October 22nd – Arrivals, Welcome Dinner
Monday, October 23rd – Private guided tour of the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey
Tuesday, October 24th – Option 1 – clipper boat ride to Greenwich – Royal Astrological Observatory, Naval Museum, Art Museum and the Cutty Sark ship, Option 2 – coach transportation to Portsmouth to visit the Mary Rose and Mary Rose Museum, along with HMS Victory.
Wednesday, October 25th – Guided tours of the Imperial War Room and Churchill War Rooms
Thursday, October 26th – day at leisure, farewell dinner
Friday, October 27th – Departure
A number of classmates and spouses, as well as widows have registered. We hope you are joining the group for five days of sightseeing and general camaraderie in a great setting in one of the world’s most exciting cities. We hope to see you in London! It is not too late to register. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ted Armbrecht at email@example.com to register.
Dan Swisher was kind enough to point out to me that in a previous edition of the class notes I referred to his wife with the wrong name. Dan is still married to Senta and they are great. Sorry for the error, Senta!
Mason Willrich has been researching and writing a book, Modernizing America’s Electricity Infrastructure, that will be released in September and is available for advance purchase from Amazon. The book develops a comprehensive strategy for modernizing our aging electric infrastructure end-to-end, while ensuring affordable, reliable, secure, and environmentally sustainable electricity services.
Leonard Marx reported that he and his wife decided to buy a condo in downtown Greenwich in order to “simplify their lives”, but after they bought it and got serious about moving, decided not to, and stayed where they had been, figuring that the move might further complicate their lives! Smart people! Len and Sylvia have traveled extensively on “Silver Whisper”, and also enjoyed various trips in the Caribbean.
George Langworthy reported that he traveled to Germany for his son George Jr.’s wedding, as the bride’s home town is a small town in Bavaria. The church where they wedding took place was constructed in 1593, and the reception was held at Castle Neuburg on the Kammel, a 15th century castle.
Please pass on your news, no matter how big or small, for the Class Notes. Everyone is interested in what we are all doing.
Anneliese Meyer informed me that her husband, John W. Meader, Jr. passed away on July 26, 2016, in Illinois, after 36 years of marriage.
Irving Jensen phoned me to say that his beloved wife Carolyn “Tigger” passed away on June 12th after a very long illness, in Sioux City, Iowa. Tigger, given her nickname for her energetic nature as a child, lived up to her moniker as an active member of her community, serving as president of the Clark Elementary School PTA, president of PEO Chapter LD, president of Portfolio Book Club, and president of Questers Antique Study Club. Tigger also was on the board of the Sioux City Art Center, Girl Scouts, was part of the Peace Project to beautify Sioux City by planting trees, an active member of the Junior League, and was instrumental in bringing the Freedom Train to Sioux City. She was a longtime member of the Okoboji Yacht Club and a champion Y class sailor. Tigger had been a longtime member of Our Saviors Lutheran Church and was currently a member of First Presbyterian Church. For her dedication to her community, Tigger was awarded an honorary doctorate from Morningside College in Sioux City in May 2011.
George Ervin Lamb died in Seattle on April 3, 2017. He attended Yale University on a four-year scholarship and upon graduation went to work for the California Division of Highways as a civil engineer. He was drafted in 1955 and served 21 months in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, teaching at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia and then serving as an Engineering Intelligence Research Specialist for the Army Map Service in Washington D.C. George worked as a soils engineer for Brown & Root Overseas in Guatemala for 2.5 years, then for the Foundation Test Service in Washington, D.C. and then at a succession of engineering and soils firms in the Seattle area where he built a reputation for high character, deep expertise and honesty. He eventually owned and managed Cascade Geotechnical, a soils engineering outfit in Totem Lake that employed several dozen. The smoothness of countless local highways serves as quiet attestation to his work ethic and high standards.
After retiring, he continued to work as a consultant and expert witness all over the western states. He played a major role in tunnel construction for the Metro Red Line in Los Angeles in the 1990’s and worked on the upgrade of the Panama Canal. His car was easy to locate in a parking lot, due to the Canal Zone hardhat he always kept ready on the parcel shelf under the back window.
S. Lee Miller passed away in Barrington, Rhode Island on May 29th. He pursued a career in trust banking, in Florida, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and was an active member of the Barrington Congregational Church for over 45 years, working on many committees.
George Rowland Wislar died in Georgia on May 30, 2017. George served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps, achieving the rank of Captain, and completed his MBA at Harvard Business School. George worked at Kidder Peabody in New York, then the Robinson Humphrey Company in Atlanta. He co-founded the National Data Corporation, and spent thirty years in the corporate and private sectors, implementing his leadership skills, spearheading new companies and boosting performance of long established firms. George played on the Varsity Golf team at Yale, was a member of the Marine Corps Golf Team and was a member of Peachtree Golf Club in Atlanta for thirty years. He became a member of Augusta National Golf Club in 1971, where he served for over forty years as Chairman of the Practice Tee Committee for the Masters Tournament.
Willis Carl Bill Kellogg died on May 31st in Concord, Massachusetts. He was awarded a doctorate in Applied Physics in 1966 by Harvard University. He worked as an engineer at MITRE, Lincoln Laboratory, Raytheon, Teledyne Brown Engineering, and SenCom Engineering, as well as on the consulting side for NASA and various small engineering companies. During a two year assignment on Kwajalein, Marshall Islands, he commuted by plane every day to the island of Roi Numur, working on the TRADEX radar, which tracked test missile reentry vehicles launched from California. He was later part of the team at Raytheon that designed and tested the communications systems for the Precision Acquisition Vehicle Entry Phased Array Warning System and Ballistic Missile Early Warning System radars on Cape Cod, in Greenland and Yorkshire.
John A. Creatura died on June 3rd in Westport. John was a graduate of Fairfield Prep, of Yale College and of the Yale School of Medicine. He served in the United States Army from 1967 to 1969, achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He spent his medical career with Bridgeport Radiology Associates and retired as Chief of Nuclear Medicine at Bridgeport Hospital.
Robert Michael Kliment died on June 3rd in New York. Born in Prague in 1933, Robert was one of several hundred children whom the humanitarian Sir Nicholas Winton brought to safety in England during the Second World War. After serving with the U.S. Army in Europe, he returned to Yale to complete his M.Arch in 1959, and upon graduation won a Fulbright Fellowship to study the history and evolution of urban spaces in Italy. He joined Mitchell/Giurgola in 1960 as the firm’s first full-time staff member, and later opened their New York office. In 1972 he founded Kliment Halsband Architects with his wife Frances.
Prominent works on which he was the principal designer include the computer science buildings at Princeton and Columbia, the renovation of the Yale Divinity School, and federal courthouses in Brooklyn, New York, and Gulfport, Mississippi.
In addition to his practice as an architect, Robert was a member of the faculty at Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania, and was a visiting professor at Harvard, MIT, North Carolina State University, Rice, and the University of Virginia.
Class of 1954 Notes for July/August 2017 issue of YAM
May 9, 2017
I hope everyone is aware of the fact that the Class of 1954 will have a mini-reunion in London from October 22nd through 27th this year. We will be headquartered at the beautiful Goring Hotel, which is terrific, yet not overpriced, with interesting lunches, trips and dinners planned throughout the week. Ted Armbrecht has been very busy putting together an outstanding program, all or parts of which everyone will find of interest. I hope you will make every effort to join us in this once in a lifetime experience. It should be great. By now you should have received our letter with the details. If you need more information, please contact Ted Armbrecht at firstname.lastname@example.org or me at email@example.com.
The Class Council will meet in New York at the Links Club on Thursday, November 16th at 4:00 pm, followed by dinner with spouses and significant others. Lunch will also be served in the Class of 1954 Skybox, followed by a reception at the Smilow Field House following the Harvard – Yale game on Saturday, November 18th. Please plan to attend.
Here is the sad part of our notes, about some great classmates who had great lives!
Bobo Dean died on February 16th in Washington, D.C. Bobo graduated from Yale Law School in 1961 and attended Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. Bobo Dean practiced law in Washington, DC since 1965. His practice was primarily in the representation of Indian tribal governments. In 1982 he was a founding partner of the firm Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Wilder (now Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker). Over a legal career of over 50 years, Bobo represented Native American tribes including the Miccosukee, Seminoles, Navajo, Mohicans, Oglala Sioux and Mississippi Band of Choctaw as well as various tribes and tribal organizations in Alaska including the Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation and the Norton Sound Health Corporation. Bobo was particularly proud of the close to 50 years he spent advising the Metlakatla Indian Community in Southeast Alaska, including the advocacy he provided that ensured that the Tribe retained its full sovereign authority when the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act was enacted.
John Derby Adams died on March 8th in Suffield after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He graduated from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 1959. Except for several years when he served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut beginning in 1963, he was engaged in the private practice of law, first in solo practice and since 1983 partnered with his daughter at Adams & Eliason. John served as the Town Attorney for the Town of Enfield from 1967 to 1977, and in 1977 was appointed by Governor Ella Grasso as a Hearing Officer for the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. John was an avid fan of the Pirates, Steelers, Patriots, Whalers and UConn men and women’s basketball teams, loved to travel and take photographs, and sang with the Enfield Community Chorus, the Notarians and the Beethoven Chorus.
Charles Marshall Reagle, Jr. died in Duluth on March 13th. He served in the U.S. Army in France during the Korean War, and later earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. He spent his professional career in the advertising and marketing field, retiring on 1990 as Director of Marketing, Planning and Research for Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis, Missouri. He enjoyed his retirement in the mountains of North Carolina and on the shores of Lake Superior in Duluth.
Paul Pesek reported that Dick Harris died on March 15th. Dick had a great passion for golf and jazz, and always enjoyed a good martini. He loved painting and writing, authoring four books. He spent many years in the family business, B.W. Harris Mfg. Upon retiring he created a golf catalogue of unique gift items. He served on numerous boards; USGA Museum Committee, Pres. MN Golf Assoc., Outward Bound and rotary member. His only regret was he never had a hole in one!
Major General William Reed Usher died on March 28th in Arlington, VA. During his distinguished 31-year military career, General Usher served in a broad range of Air Force, Joint Staff, and command positions. He flew over 100 combat missions in the F4-C aircraft with the 12th Tactical Fighter Wing in Vietnam, earning two Distinguished Flying Crosses and the Air Medal. He served as aide to the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force and to two Secretaries of the Air Force. In later assignments, he was Chief USAF Mission to the Republic of Turkey, and Commander, USAF Technical Training Center at Lowry AB, Denver CO. He earned an MBA at Harvard Business School in 1960, was a member of the Cosmos Club, the Chevy Chase Club, and the Royal Air Force Club, London. He was an avid traveler, skier, and cook and he had a life-long fascination with trains of all types.
General Usher had a successful career in business following his retirement from the military in 1985. He was a senior executive with the Lockheed Martin Corp. and was Chairman of the Board and CEO of Core Software Technology. In his later years, he was a consultant to senior leadership in the Pentagon and US Intelligence Community on national security matters.
Robert Sabath Katz died in March in Illinois. He was the former President and Co-Owner of Superior Tanning Company, a family owned business, and former Managing Partner of Summit Associates.
Philip Aldrich Drinker died on April 10th in New Hampshire. He earned a PhD from MIT in 1961 and set up the Division of Biomedical Engineering at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in 1965, where his research focused on artificial organs, in particular the heart/lung machine. He served as Chief of the department from 1975 until his retirement in 1990. After retirement he worked at Hood Labs for several years, studying airway morphology using acoustics. His hobbies included woodworking, playing the French horn, ski patrolling, disking behind his lobster boat, summers on Somes Sound in Maine, and playing guitar.
John Allen Richmond died in Florida on April 11, 2017. He worked for Remington Arms before joining General American Transportation in New York, and later oversaw the company’s operation in Cleveland, Ohio. While in Cleveland, he was approached and joined the firm of Heidrick & Struggles, an executive search firm, until retiring in 1995. John moved to Amelia Island, Florida, after retirement where he enjoyed sailing and racing Tartan 10 sailboats as well as golf. He was also a licensed fix wing aircraft pilot.
Kindly contact your class Secretary at any time with news to report about yourself, your family, friends in our class, etc. We have many great classmates, all of whom love to keep in contact with each other, so please communicate!
Russ Reynolds, Secretary
Class of 1954 Notes for May/June 2017 Issue
March 10, 2017
Bill Bernhard reports that he goes to Palm Beach from time to time and gets together with the Johnsons, Bullocks and other classmates. Palm Beach is becoming a mecca for so many of us, especially if you live in Connecticut! Bill reports that he and his cousins recently published a beautiful book called Lots of Lehmans, about their family. Unfortunately it is privately printed, but if you’re nice to Bill he might show you a copy of it.
For those of you who prefer a drier climate, there is always Palm Desert and environs in the California desert! This year, at least three classmates were detected in the area, including Joel and Joan Smilow, Dan and Kitya Swisher, and Russ and Debbie Reynolds. The area is filled with interesting attractions, starting with golf, but adding World-Class museums, theaters, concerts, hiking etc.”
Peter N. Smith of Old Lyme died December 30th in Farmington. He was a friend of Carl Loucks and a fellow member of the Madison Lawn Bowling Club with him. Peter served in the U.S. Army in Frankfurt, Germany from 1957-1957. He had a long career in the finance industry as an analyst and portfolio manager beginning at White Weld & Company in New York in 1957 and retired from Anchor Capital Advisors in Boston in 1998 as a senior vice president, portfolio manager. He resided in Greenwich from 1969-1990 and then Boston from 1990 to 2008. Peter became a summer resident of Old Lyme in 1998, and continued to spend a month each summer in Madison with his family until recently.
Dr. Anthony Ernest Stefanelli, 84, passed away on January 12, 2017 in Broward County, Florida. He attended Yale on a football scholarship and continued his studies at Downstate College of Medicine, where he completed his medical degree in 1958. Dr. Stefanelli held a private office for his practice of orthopedics in Bloomfield, N.J. for 40 years, from 1962 until 2002. He held certification with The Board of Orthopedic Surgeons throughout his career and held various leadership positions at the several hospitals in New Jersey. He was a full-time resident of New Jersey until 1986, when he became a resident of Broward County, Florida.
Christopher Forster died on January 31st. Tom McLane noted that Chris was a distant cousin of his through his mother’s Hamilton Fish side, and, growing up in Garrison would often tease Tom that he spent more time in Lenia, his grandmother’s summer place, than Tom did. Chris spent his entire professional career as an insurance broker and Managing Director with Marsh & McLennan Companies. For his unwavering dedication and involvement in Yale and the Class of 1954, he was awarded the Yale Medal in 2004. He was a loyal member and former president of The Yale Club of New York City and The Phelps Association. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the Christopher A. Forster Yale College Class of 1954 Scholarship Fund, c/o Yale University.
Ricardo Arias Calderon died on February 13th. He was Vice President of Panama under President Guillermo Endara after Manuel Noriega left office.
Robert Eells Nettleton died on February 14th at home in Clinton, CT. He received his MBA from Northwestern University and worked as a mortgage banker at Lomas & Nettleton Co. in New Haven. He taught Real Estate and Property Management, and was on the President’s Advisory Council for the Small Business Administration. Robert lived in Cheshire for many years before moving to Clinton, and was active in several choral groups.
Hugo E. “Ted” Braun died on February 8th in Saginaw, Michigan. A lifelong resident of Saginaw, he attended the University of Michigan Law School and practiced law for 57 years at Braun Kendrick. He was active in many civic and charitable organizations, was a Director on a number of corporate boards and received numerous awards, including an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Saginaw Valley State University.
Jane Hiers, wife of Dick Hiers for 63 years, passed away on December 1, 2016. Jane was an alumna of Maury High School in Norfolk and Bucknell University. In the 1950s, she worked in Washington, D.C. for the American Psychological Association, and the CIO, and later in New Haven, Connecticut as a research assistant to Professor Roland Bainton at Yale Divinity School, and as a social worker in New Haven public housing.
From Dick: Jane and I were married nearly 63 wonderful years. The wedding was in Battell Chapel, January 30, 1954, performed by Sidney Lovett (Uncle Sid) and Professor Robert Calhoun (with whom Jane had connected when he visited Bucknell). Luther Noss, University Organist, with whose choir I had sung, contributed marvelous hymns and anthems. Bill Brown was my “best man” and several other classmates participated in the proceedings, including Dick Gregory, Roland Smith, Johnny Richmond, John Carr and the “two Georges” (Jacoby and Spaeth).
The wedding took place under somewhat unusual circumstances: In order to punish Yale students appropriately for what he deemed the outrageous snowball riot that took place along Elm Street near the end of the fall semester, President Griswold decreed that no women guests were to be allowed on the camps for several weeks — which period included the date of our wedding, which necessarily involved the presence of many women guests. Mr. Griswold then went incommunicado (probably in Bermuda). To the rescue, came Dean Buck, who was both Branford College Master (if that title may still be mentioned), and also University Provost. Cutting the story short, he assured us that the interdict would not apply to our guests, and all went well. So I completed senior year, and began married life with Jane in a third floor attic apartment at 14 Lincoln Street, just two half blocks from the Lincoln Theater.
Russ Reynolds, Secretary
Class of 1954 Notes for March/April 2017 issue
Peter Millard and Polly Espy were married at St. James Church, New York City, November 19th, 2016. Hugh Millard, ’87, is Peter’s son.
Our creative and highly intelligent classmate Wiz Arndt recently wrote a wonderful book called “Wizdom” Memos: Thoughts Observations, Bits of Advice on Life. It is well organized, well printed, and attractively put together. I think it is a must read for any of us who need to give good advice to friends, family or others. The book can be purchased easily on Amazon.com by searching for “Wizdom” memos. It’s 228 pages and only $14.95. I suggest getting several copies to have on hand to give as the occasions arise!
Jim Shelburne writes that he is retired, wobbly, playing doubles tennis, is sickened by the political morass, but healthy enough. He travels to Paris for 4-5 months a year and loves it. He goes to Italy for language lessons each year in the fall while in Paris. Replacement parts get the attention of the airport detectors. His wife of 55 years, Jaqueline, is healthy and helps him up when he falls. He is no fan of Hillary Clinton but dislikes Trump.
Peter Shears, Jr. writes that his major outside interest keeping him “young” is being Board of Trustees President for two schools of 700 and 525 pupils.
Joe Gromults asked me to share the following note: “I am not a frequent letter writer or complainer. To understand the reasons for my current stance you have to have walked in my shoes going back to my youth, circumstances, family situation, and geographics. No silver spoon background. Depression-era industrial community. Poverty. Then admission to Yale (a dream come true). Scholarship aid. A genuine chance to improve my status and my future. I appreciated Yale for the opportunity they were providing. Then Medical School, post-graduate training at a major hospital, voluntary military service, and finally private practice in a great community. I owe all this to the doors Yale opened for me. I do not see this grateful attitude reflected in the recent Yale situations. Nor is there any sense of character exemplified. That bothers me… a lot.”
Berel Lang reported that he has just had a book published, Genocide: The Act as Idea, (University of Pennsylvania Press).
I received a letter from Cynthia Mariani, Recording Secretary of Yale, reporting that the Class of 1954 President’s Discretionary Fund is helping Yale improve the world through outstanding research, scholarship, education, preservation and practice. As of June 30, 2016, the market value of the fund was $4,530,423, and spendable income was $206,155. New gifts since June 30th total $127,500.
We were recently notified that Nat Spear of New York, passed away on May 22, 2013, at his home in Manhattan. He was 82. Nat earned an M.A. from Columbia University in 1966. An art lover and collector of antiques, Nat had a great love of languages and word games, and he was an avid reader. A world traveler since a very young age, he continued going on lengthy road trips around Europe with his wife, and they visited Paris at least twice a year.
Bill Jarrett was kind enough to send me the obituary of Kirk Rodgers, which was previously reported. Bill and Kirk were classmates at Gilman before going to Yale. They reconnected at our 50th reunion after a long hiatus and became close friends after that. That’s one of the reasons we have reunions!
James Michael Burt died on October 17th in Alabama. He was proud to be a founding member of Beaux Arts Krewe and Chairman of Birmingham Civic Ballet while living in Birmingham. He resided in San Francisco, Birmingham, Palm Beach, New York and London, all the while in each place he listened to his beloved team, Auburn.
Tom McLane informed me that Jim McClellan died on November 15th in Hilton Head after a long illness. An avid and accomplished tennis and squash player, he was a terrific guy who, after Yale spent a couple of years in the army in Germany, worked at Citibank and Continental Can, and, since 1984, he was very active in real estate in Hilton Head.
John B. Friauf died on November 16th in Bakersfield, California. He served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1954 to 1957 and worked in manufacturing management positions in several states, Singapore and England. He was a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church wherever he lived and sang in the choir at every church he attended. He married his high school sweetheart in 1999 after meeting her again at their 50th high school reunion.
Malcolm Richard “Dick” Specht died on December 14th in Flat Rock, North Carolina. He worked as a research physicist at Eastman Kodak for more than 30 years and was instrumental in the development of many imaging technologies. He also served in the Navy in both active duty and reserve service, and retired with the rank of Captain. Malcom was active in his church, was a Boy Scout Troop Master for several years, and volunteered many hours at the St. Andrews Food Pantry in Rochester.
Leigh Quinn informed me that Thruston Ballard Morton died in Louisville, Kentucky, on January 3rd after an illness. He was a Sterling Fellow and a member of DKE and Skull and Bones. He served in the U.S. Army and spent 16 months in Korea. Ballard was a partner of J.J.B. Hilliard & Son, and subsequently President and CEO of Orion Broadcasting, former owner of WAVE TV in Louisville. After Orion was sold, he became the Executive in Residence at the College of Business at the University of Louisville where he created a course in leadership that he taught to MBA students for 18 years.
Russ Reynolds, Secretary
Class of 1954 Notes for January/February 2017
The Class Council met in New York on September 26th. Those present were Jay Greer, Dick Gilder, Allan Rabinowitz, Peter Millard, Michael Armstrong, Fred Frank, Murray Buttner, Howard Brenner, Bob Quinlan and myself. Those who dialed in to the entire meeting included Tom McLane, Carl Shedd, Buddy Thompson, Bob Martin, Steve Kumble, Obie Clifford, Bruce Meacham, Joel Smilow, Bob Blankfein, and Wiz Arndt. We had an almost two hour discussion of the current situation at Yale.
Fred Frank reported that his son (yes, not grandson!) Frederick graduated from Yale this June with the class of 2016. No more tuition, until he goes to business school, hopefully the Yale School of Management. He is working at Barclays Bank in their Investment Banking Group.
Richard Murphy reported that he and Luda traveled to Iceland (awesome!) and Switzerland (spectacular!) and thoroughly enjoyed a cruise on the Rhine River from Basel to Amsterdam with a group of alumni of various colleges and universities including Yale and Johns Hopkins (our graduate school alma mater) last July. As always, they spent the month of March in beautiful Longboat Key, Florida. All things considered, they are in decent health. Life is good!
Joanna and Bob Martin passed through London on the way to a Met Tour in early June. It included Hamburg, Hannover, The Hague, Amsterdam, and Delft. Great art, including five Vermeers, Rembrandt, van Gogh, and a galaxy from the Dutch Golden Age. In late July they again launched in London before joining a Yale Tour, Educated England, providing a fascinating immersion in Cambridge and Oxford, with a visit to Bletchley Park in between. They followed with a Crystal cruise from London to Lisbon.
Joel Smilow has made a gift to The Open Door Shelter in Norwalk to support the transformation of a historic factory building in South Norwalk into a multipurpose center. The project will include sixteen efficiency apartments, a health center, a job training program and GED and college entrance classes. Jeannette Archer-Simons, Executive Director of The Open Door Shelter, stated “We are honored to receive this funding to support this project and as a result name the building the Smilow SoNo Life Center. We are deeply touched by Mr. Smilow’s belief in our efforts. His vision for building stronger communities through education and healthcare has benefited people nationwide. We hope this gift inspires others to support this transformative project as we finalize funding for this campaign.”
William Foerster recently moved from a large home in Nichols Hill to a smaller garden home in Muirfield Village. Since retirement in 2010 he has continued to work daily at his antique store in Oklahoma City, which he owns with his wife Barbara and another couple, which is lots of fun. They have won several awards. His book about Yale, Memoirs of a Yale Man: Class of 1954, fell into oblivion but he sent copies to several classmates several years ago. If anyone wants a copy he has many available.
John Franciscus is selling Haitian paintings, 350 pocket watches and 1,000 personal paintings online. He established a music prize at Union Church to encourage talent to play at each Sunday service.
Allan Rabinowitz and his wife Leah just returned from 10 days in Burgundy and Paris. Great place to visit but he is always happy to return home to New York City.
Thomas Briggs reported that in the last year and a half he’s had three falls, three fractures (one serious), and spent a total of four months in hospital and rehab. Now he is home and on his feet again, though no longer running, unfortunately. To stay busy he took up beekeeping.
Bob Redpath reports that we are nearing almost 100% response to the request for lists of publications, including responses from widows of classmates who have expressed their gratitude about the project.
However, there are still some classmates who have promised to submit lists but haven’t done so, despite Bob’s impassioned urgings via letters and emails. To them, please contact Bob with your lists. This is a very exciting project and it will be enhanced if we can reach 100 % response. Please note that Bob’s new email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
On October 15th, Buddy Thompson phoned me to say that Ballard Morton, who has been suffering from cancer for some time, is having a tough time. Ballard wants to hear from classmates any time.
Kirk Rodgers died on October 13th in Falls, Church, Virginia. Following jobs with the U.S. Forest Service, the Baltimore County Planning Commission, and a three-year tour of duty as a naval air intelligence officer, Rodgers joined the Organization of American States (OAS) in 1960 and in 1965 was named Chief of the Natural Resources Unit. In 1971 he became the Director of the Department of Regional Development and Environment, and in 1996 he was appointed Director of the Unit for Sustainable Development and Environment. He retired from the OAS in 1998 and continued for several years as a consultant to international organizations, including the Commission of Environmental Cooperation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In 2004 he received a Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies for his lifetime achievements.
Please keep me posted on your news, thanks!
Class of 1954 Notes for November/December 2016 issue
I hope everyone has had a great summer and that you are gearing up for an interesting and healthy autumn. The Class Council will meet at 4:00 pm at the Links Club in New York on Thursday, November 10th, for a couple of hours, followed by dinner with spouses. Any classmates who are in the area who would like to attend are welcome to do so if you let me know in advance. Any ideas, suggestions or complaints regarding our class’ activities should be forwarded to me and they will be respectfully aired!
As everyone knows, Yale has recently been going through a period of self-examination regarding its posturing towards minorities, changing the names of buildings, and discussing various issues regarding freedom of speech. Obviously it is complicated and there are few simple answers but feel free to let me know of any thoughts you have on the subject. The Class Council held an informal discussion on this subject on September 29th, and I will report on it in the next edition of the Class Notes.
The Whiffenpoofs of 1954 are still going strong! Obie Clifford is kindly hosting our group for a fall gathering at his beautiful camp at Big Wolf Lake near Tupper Lake in the Adirondacks. We will sing a benefit concert at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake, an impressive museum for natural history, which has had unparalleled success. Clifford is the Chairman and the guiding light behind it. We will also sing a couple of performances at retirement homes. In the group will be Bruce Meacham, Jim Doak, Oak Thorne, Chuck Bullock, Obie Clifford, Peter Coughlan, Hugh Ravenscroft, Tom McLane, Dick Hiers, John Franciscus, Jim Monde, Ash Gulliver, John Burke and Russ Reynolds.
The group will also be performing at our annual cocktail reception following the Yale-Princeton game in the Smilow Field House on November 12th. Please plan to attend. Details will be forthcoming.
Bob Redpath is making great progress on his work compiling the list of class publications. Please note that his e-mail address recently changed to email@example.com if you need to contact him regarding the project. Thank you Bob for taking on a mammoth project and making it work!
George Spaeth has stopped seeing patients and plans to pull back on teaching commitments next year. He enjoys the intellectual and emotional challenge and reward.
How many classmates are still working on their dream field of endeavor or still working?
We recently were informed that Bill Laffer passed away on December 6, 2013 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Donald A. Gray, Jr. passed away on July 9th in Branford, CT. He was a U.S. Navy Korean Conflict Veteran and a retired President and General Counsel for the Western Connecticut Industrial Counsel, Inc., an exclusive association of manufacturers, retiring with over 30 years of service. Tom McLane noted that Don was an avid Yale football fan, and had a droll sense of humor and dry wit. Don raced Star Boats and Frostbite Dinghies as a member of the Milford Yacht Club. Bob Blankfein, Don’s classmate at Hotchkiss, recalled his wonderful sense of humor and that he was a daring and competitive athlete; he was a great ski jumper and avid sprinter on the track team.
David Weltman passed away on April 4, 2016 in Massachusetts.
Robert C. Johnson died in New London on July 1st. He enlisted in the cadet program of the Army Air Corps in 1944, with the war ending before he could commence pilot training. After service with the headquarters squadron, 13th Air Force in the Philippines, he entered Yale. Robert worked for Olin Corporation, then United Nuclear until 1977, when he joined Windsor Manufacturing, where he worked until his retirement in 1991. He later served on the boards of Twin Manufacturing and Clearwater Systems corporations.
Newton L. Bowers died on September 1st in Iowa. He received his Doctorate from the University of Minnesota in 1965. He began his teaching career at the University if Michigan and moved to Des Moines in 1969 to work at Drake University, where he was a professor in the Actuarial Science Department for over 25 years until his retirement.
Please keep us informed of your activities and thoughts!
Class of 1954 Notes for September/October 2016 issue
Dan Swisher and Senta sold their place near Puerto Vallarta and moved back to the US a few months ago and are now busily engaged in finding a house to buy in the Palm Springs area of southern California. They thoroughly enjoyed their twelve years in Mexico but decided it was time to come home and sought out a warm climate in the desert.
Dick Gilder and his wife Lois Chiles were honored at a beautiful luncheon at the New York Historical Society on Flag Day, June 14th. The Gilders donated a magnificent painting of American flags to the museum, The Fourth of July, 1916, by Childe Hassam, and also have assisted the New York Historical Society in numerous other ways. Dick has also been a large supporter of the American Museum of Natural History, so naturally the street between the Historical Society and the Museum of Natural History is named Gilder Way. A number of our classmates and wives were at the lunch, including Obie Clifford, David Banker, Howard Brenner, Bill Bernhard, and yours truly. These great New York institutions have been lucky beneficiaries of the Gilder magic touch!
David Banker called me to say that Catherine Bernhard, Bill Bernhard’s wife, died on June 1st after a long illness. Catherine and Bill graciously hosted a wonderful cocktail reception at the Chesterfield Hotel at our mini reunion in Palm Beach last January. She will be greatly missed.
David L. Weltman, Esq. of Cohasset and Venice, FL, died on Monday, April 8, 2016. Remembrances in David’s memory may be made to the Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut, Hill, MA.
Thomas Sheafe Walker died on April 30, 2016 in Danvers, MA. He went to Exeter and Yale School of Engineering. He worked at the United Shoe Machinery Corp. in Beverly, then enlisted in the Coast Guard. Tom then worked with Northeast Engineering. Tom’s life-long and first love was the sea. He liked nothing more than “messing about in boats.” He even sailed across the “pond” to Plymouth, England aboard Shearwater, a 41′ sloop. Contributions in his memory may be made to the Manchester Sailing Association, P.O. Box 172, Manchester, MA 01944 and to the Manchester-Essex Conservation Trust, P.O. Box 1486, Manchester, MA 01944.
Robert G. Kleckner, Jr., died June 14th, 2016 at his home in Manhattan. Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, he was husband of Carol for over 60 years. After Yale and ROTC service in Korea for two years, he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He pursued his career at Sullivan & Cromwell, Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Higgins, and Marsh & McLennan, while maintaining an active interest in Russian history, language and culture. He was a former member of the University Club, Edgartown Yacht Club, the Union Club, and the Mill Reef Club. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory can be made to an animal shelter or animal rescue organization of your choice.
Class of 1954 Notes for July/August 2016 issue
Your Class Council will meet once again on Thursday, November 10th at the Links Club to create more exciting events in the spirit of the class of 1954. Let me know if you have anything to add to the agenda. The next mini reunion will be one of our top agenda items.
We also plan to have the usual gatherings before and after the Yale-Princeton game, on the following Saturday, November 12th.
Shelby Pruett reports that he is now retired, and enrolled in a fine arts program for advanced painting at St. Louis Community College. What a great way to express yourself in our developed years! Shelby, please send us some samples of your work!
George Spaeth was recently recognized by The Opthalmologist on its 2016 Power List. He was number 1 on their list of the top 100 most influential people in the world of ophthalmology!
Bob Redpath continues to do an amazing job in compiling a serious list of all of our classmates’ publications, including books and significant articles. The end result with be two bound volumes presented to the Sterling Library, summarizing all of the publications our classmates have produced in our lifetimes. The list so far is impressive. If you’ve not already done so, please send Bob your list of any publications that you are proud of. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please continue to send me any news you can about what you are doing.
Robert Sanderson Craig died on February 17th in Maine. He spent four years in the United States Marine Corps after Yale. He managed a bank trust department at HM Payson and Co. and taught at the Williams College School of Banking until he retired. Rob and his wife Nancy loved to travel, and many of their vacations were centered on outdoors activities, from trout fishing to camping.
John Daniel Meader passed away on February 18th. Jack received a professional certificate from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Management Engineering and received his J.D. from Cornell University Law School in in 1962. He was Assistant Attorney General of New York State from 1965 to 1968, worked as Corporation Counsel for GE in Schenectady, General Counsel for Glidden in Cleveland, Ohio, President and Chairman of the Board of the Applied Power Technology Company and President of Applied Energy, Inc. in Ballston Spa, NY. He was a Lt. Colonel in the United States Army Reserve and was Deputy Staff Judge Advocate in the 3rd US Army JAG Corp – US Central Command.
Charles Emerson McKenney, age 84, passed away on March 1, 2016, in Florida. He had lived in Darien, Connecticut for more than three decades, from the 1960s through the 1990s. He raised his family in Noroton and Tokeneke and they were parishioners at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. Charles got his law degree from the University of Virginia. After serving in the Navy, he practiced patent law as a partner with Pennie & Edmonds in New York City his entire career.
Bill Carpenter reported that Lauren J. Keist died on March 6, 2016 in Quincy, Illinois.
Dr. Edward Cooper Saltzstein died on March 9th in Texas. He received his M.D. from Northwestern University Medical School. While working in Milwaukee early in his career, he performed one of the first kidney transplants in the United States. From 1977 to 2002 he was the Regional Chair of Surgery at Texas Tech University Hospital Sciences Center in El Paso. From its inception in 1994 until his retirement in January, 2016, he served as the Medical Director for the Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso Breast Care Center.
Family and Friends are Welcome to join in Celebrating the life of Donald Fay Burrill at the Bedford Center Cemetery in Bedford, New Hampshire on Saturday, May 28th. Call Barbara Burrill Moulton with questions at 603.875.5651.
Russ Reynolds, Secretary
A fitting tribute to Sandy Muir
DEAREST FRIENDS AND FAMILY,
This e-mail just came in today, from Charlotte Cowden, who is coordinating the ceremony for giving two new undergraduate seniors, the William K. “Sandy” Muir Leadership award for the third year. Thought you might like to read one of the latest letters that came in about Sandy from one of his students.
I would be honored if you posted my tribute to Professor Muir on the website. I still get teary-eyed knowing he has passed on.
You may use whatever I wrote below or I would be happy to refine what I wrote to make it more appropriate for the webpage.
Additionally, the night I found out last November – in the most random way –that Professor Muir had passed, from a mutual classmate, I posted the below message to my facebook, which I’ve copied. It came from the heart. Feel free to use any portion of that too.
“In a weekend filled with festivities, I found out in the most unexpected way that my beloved political science professor at UC Berkeley, William “Sandy” Muir passed away in February of this year. In my life, I have been blessed with many teachers who have cared for me and shepherd me through life, but no one had more indelible impact.
Professor Muir was one of the best human beings I knew; and he did not suffer fools gladly. He was also humble, eloquent, and had class. He was wheelchair bound because he contracted polio (six months before they found the vaccine). I will always remember stumbling upon him as he was downhill bound as I was uphill bound to another class and he pointedly asked how I was coming along on my thesis; when the same thing happened the next day, I knew the encounters were no coincident for he knew I was slacking and that was his gentle yet effective nudging. I remember him, when 500 students were crammed in a hall with half-desks upon which to write their final exams, wheeling down the aisle just one row from where I sat and how I immediately became encouraged and zipped through with flying colors. I will always remember him posing the question in class, whether it is better to do that which is wrong and benefit a great number of people or do that which is right and benefit little to none – an inherent struggle in politics. I took nearly all my political science classes with him; his classes were amongst the most difficult and yet most accessible of all the classes I took at Cal. He also chose the best books and the best T.A.’s.
The year I graduated from Berkeley, he also retired. I will always remember his parting words to my class at commencement: “If you ever experience a war, an illness, a bankruptcy, or a divorce, take a look at the sun, the moon, the stars, the turn of a stream, and realize you are not alone in this wild, wild world.” I know there is always a beginning and an end to things, but to have it happen to someone who is greater than humanity is such a loss. I hope that wherever he is, he can use his legs again.:
Let me know if there’s anything else I can do for Professor Muir. I want his memory to live on. I am the person I am today because of mentors like him.
Duyen Nguyen, Attorney-At-Law
From: Charlotte Cowden To: Duyen Nguyen
Subject: Re: Prof Muir
This is such a beautiful and moving message and a real testament to Professor Muir. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with me.
Would you mind if I put part of your message, below, on the webpage for Professor Muir’s award? It is such a lovely tribute and I know that others feel the same. Of course, I understand either way.
Thank you again for reaching out.
, Duyen Nguyen wrote:
Thanks so much for the info. I will write to Professor Muir’s widow. His death anniversary is coming up and I wanted to pay my respects.
Professor Muir was the highlight of my experience at Cal. He retired the year I graduated. I think about him often and owe a great deal to him for all that he taught me, both inside and outside the classroom. He was the best example of humanity and no doubt inspired legions of students to be public interest minded. He was classy, eloquent and sharp. His classes were the most academically challenging and yet accessible to students like me who came from disadvantaged backgrounds. I took nearly all of his polisci classes.
Thank you for creating an award in his honor so that he will not be forgotten.
Duyen Nguyen, Attorney-At-Law
May-June 2016 Class of 1954 Notes
Charles Workman writes that he is enjoying good health. He still plays tennis daily. He is ranked #1 in NorCal doubles! He visited New Zealand last November – he says it is a lovely country and people – much like the USA of the 1950’s.
Jerry Cunningham wrote with an update that he and his wife downsized to a town house in Mendham, NJ almost eight years ago and are pleased with their community, even after 26″ inches of snow recently. They are well and enjoying life and family.
Once again, over 100 classmates, spouses and widows attended our mini-reunion in Palm Beach from January 18th – 20th, and everyone agreed it was another great success. Thanks to Charlie Johnson, Harris Ashton, Bill Bernhard, Howard Brenner, Chuck Bullock, Pim Epler, Jack Kindel, Buddy Thompson, Grant Beadle and Leigh Quinn, we were extremely well organized and not lacking for interesting activities, which included a tour of the Society of the Four Arts, the Flagler Museum, the Norton Museum, and beautiful dinners at Club Collette, the Everglades Club, and the Johnsons’ home, all of which were fantastic. Bill Bernhard hosted a wonderful cocktail party at the atmospheric Chesterfield Hotel bar, which was enjoyed by all.
Among those attending were the following: Armstrong, Ashton, Atherton, Beadle, Bernhard, Blankfein, Brenner, Burke, Buttner, Carpenter, Clifford, Coughlan, Creatura, Dempsey, Dickinson, Doak, Dodd, Epler, Forster, Franciscus, Glowacki, Grinstein, Head, Jacoby, Jarrett, Johnson, Katz, Kindel, Kumble, Langworthy, Martin, McDonald, McLane, McNeely, Meacham, Millard, Monde, Morton, Newsome, Norton, Oestreich, Peay, Polk, Prentiss, Rabinowitz, Ravenscroft, Reynolds, Richey, Shedd, Smith, Stanley, Strain, Strickler, Thompson, Thorne, Toohey, and Treadway.
Thanks again to our illustrious committee, and particularly to Charlie and Ann Johnson, Harris and Angela Ashton, and Bill Bernhard!
We have had a good response to our request for submissions to the “class publications” project, which is being orchestrated by Bob Redpath. Bob would like everyone to know that musical recordings should be included. Please continue to e-mail your bibliographies to email@example.com.
Charles Hurd, Jr. died December 8th in New Jersey. He began his career at the Prudential in Newark, ran a successful payroll services company in the 1970’s and finished his career in real estate.
John Donald Taylor died at his home in Rhode Island on December 22nd. He served in the Navy during the Korean War on the USS Bennington, and was a member of the Rhode Island Society of Colonial Wars. His career started in engineering and shifted to technology sales, while living in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Tom Dee’s law partner sent in a very nice obituary for Tom, who died of pneumonia on December 23rd. After Yale and Harvard Law School, Tom joined Rosenman, Colin, Freund, Lewis & Cohen, where he began his lifelong career as a real estate attorney, representing major financial institutions and developers. Tom was one of the first lawyers to utilize the concept of a non-recourse lease, where a letter of credit or cash security deposit became the sole collateral for the tenant’s lease obligation.
Hendon Chubb died suddenly on January 3rd. He was a director and CFO of the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, an artist, writer, psychologist, dog-lover, rug designer, honorary Girl Scout, gardener, officer of the American Cycad Society, vintner, army veteran, civil rights election monitor, and an early programmer, among other things.
Dr. Bill McEachen died on January 7th, 2016 in Kansas. He attended Yale for one year, completed his undergraduate and medical degrees at the University of Kansas, then served in the Air Force. Dr. McEachen practiced pediatric medicine in the Kansas City area for over 35 years.
Ronald Anthony Schulman died peacefully in Reno, Nevada on January 7th, in his eighty-fourth year. Survived by wife Diane, children Lisa, Seth and Tony. Member of the Trumbull Beer and Bike Race Maidenform Five. At Princeton and MIT after Yale, he settled in Brookline, MA enjoying success as a commercial printer until retiring to Reno. A well-known local expert on the benefits of composting, the garden brought him much pleasure, as did his eight grandchildren, ranging in age from 15 to 34.
S. Joseph Fortunato died in New Jersey on January 8th. After playing football for all four years at Yale, as team captain senior year, Joe earned his LLB at Harvard Law School in 1957 and joined the law firm of Pitney Hardin and Kipp (now Day Pitney) in 1958, becoming partner in 1963, specializing in labor and employment law, ending his career there as a managing partner in 2002. His son Steve noted that he had many lifelong friends from his Yale activities and had commented that he learned the most about life from Yale football.
Warren A. Ransom, Jr. died on January 8th in Mount Pleasant, SC. After graduating Yale, he served three years in Germany with the Army Air Corps, had a 16 year career with The Bank of New York, then became a real estate broker before retiring to South Carolina. Warren participated in the Norway Olympics in 1967 where he raced an International One Design sailboat. He was a ranked squash player and an avid tennis player.
C. William Berger died in West Palm Beach, Florida in early January. He and his brother Daniel attended Yale Law School and served on the Yale Law Review, later becoming partners with their father, Morris Berger, who established the Berger Law Firm in Pittsburgh in the late 1950’s. Later he moved to Florida and practiced law there.
Donald Fay Burill died on January 10th in New Hampshire. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1955 and was stationed at Fort Ord, in Monterey, California. Don received his Ph.D. from Cornell University and was a professor of statistics and education research at the University of Toronto, from 1976 until his retirement in 1996. He then returned to New Hampshire and was an adjunct professor at Plymouth State and St. Anselm Colleges.
Thomas Byrne Swartz passed away on January 18th in San Francisco. Tom’s service in the Navy took him to Japan, Korea and Hong Kong as a navigator, and he served as a battalion commander at the Naval Training Center in San Diego. After his Navy service, Tom attended law school at UC Berkeley. Tom joined the San Francisco firm of Bronson, Bronson & McKinnon, where he was a partner for over 20 years before entering the real estate trust business. In 1980 he founded Sierra Capital, a REIT advisory firm, and later Capital Alliance, Inc.
William Maxwell Chick died on February 12th in Ohio. After Yale he received a degree from the University of Chicago and spent his entire career in the precision metal castings industry, beginning with Alcoa and culminating with his own manufacturers’ representative agency (William Chick Co.) for almost 40 years. He was an officer of Yale Clubs and spent decades interviewing students as a member of the Yale Alumni Schools Committee.
March-April 2016 Notes
The Class of 1954 had a Class Council meeting at the Links Club in New York on Thursday, November 19th, followed by dinner, with about 30 council members plus 15 wives for dinner. We discussed the mini reunion coming up in January, and expect about 100 classmates, spouses and widows to attend. We also had a conference call with Bob Redpath in London, and refined the class publications project. A letter will be sent out on that subject shortly. We discussed the importance of planned giving, which Fred Frank is spearheading, and student unrest at Yale, which we feel has turned the corner favorably. We heard a report on the AYA and Charlie Johnson reported that the class treasury has a very positive balance and a great prognosis for the future.
The Yale-Harvard game on the following Saturday, although disappointing in its results, was exciting because of its broadcast on NBC Sports. The lighting at the Yale Bowl seemed to work well and Peter Salovey and his wife Marta Moret were nice enough to join us at the Smilow Field House after the game for an upbeat talk about what’s going on at Yale in general and in specifics. It was a great event and the Whiffenpoofs of 1954 also performed at the Field House before lunch, following a concert they gave at St. Andrew’s Church in Northford the night before.
All in all it was a great weekend, and we are sure that next year’s football team will put on an even better performance. We are also giving thoughts to the venue, the scenario, and activities of the class events in the future, which will stress quality over quantity and congeniality over obsession with activities!
In May, 2015 George Spaeth started on the first “leg” of several trips which will take him around the world visiting, teaching and learning from his Ex-fellows. The first – pilot – trip was to Monterrey and Mexico City and was a huge success; In June to Newport, Boston, Liverpool, York, Dundee, and London, then in July to Berlin, Warsaw, Munich and FrauenCheimsee, in November to Charleston WV, Dallas and Texas, and in 2016 to New Zealand, Hong Kong, 5 places in India and then China, and later 5 places in Brazil, two in Argentina, Santiago, Bogota, and then putting it all together into a report, and perhaps a book! He is trying promote his methods of examining the eye, but more importantly, a whole new concept of what constitutes health or disease, not based on statistical surrogates – such as mean blood pressure or mean eye pressure –but on ranges of clinically relevant findings and symptoms, such as ability to function or quality of life. He usually stay with one of his Ex-fellows and has a truly thrilling time.
Irv Jensen called from Sioux City recently and we had a nice chat. He said he would be at the Harvard-Yale game with a substantial portion of his family, including a granddaughter who is at the Yale School of Management. Irv reports that of their 13 grandchildren, two are married and a third is engaged. Irv commented that his father had insisted that he go east to Yale to college, which opened his eyes about the world as a whole. When he returned to Sioux City he was very grateful for the experience, as are his brothers.
Richard W. Murphy sent me an update. He follows a rigorous series of exercises almost daily to slow the progress of his peripheral neuropathy. He and Luda are looking forward to spending the month of March 2016 in Florida and hope to take a Rhine River cruise next summer.
Howard Robert Hoffman sent in a note that he is slowing down, (who isn’t?), and that he attended the weddings of two grandchildren recently. He now has 31 and 8/9 persons in his family.
Dr. James E. Pruett passed away on October 24th in Atlanta. James attended Yale for three years and left early to attend the Medical College of Georgia. After serving his residency in Atlanta and New Orleans, James joined the U.S. Army Medical Corps and took a position as the Assistant Chief of Otolaryngology at Beaumont Army Hospital in El Paso, until 1964, when he and his family returned to Atlanta, where he took up private practice as an ear, nose and throat doctor. He was also Chief of Otolaryngology at Decatur Hospital and Northside Hospital. James was an avid tennis player, was an accomplished piano player and enjoyed collecting and working on antique clocks.
Charles I. Lieberman, M.D. died on October 18th at his Kansas home. His parents noticed his musicality at a young age and Chuck began piano lessons at four years of age. He was somewhat of a child prodigy, became the pianist in his high school orchestra and was a percussionist who played the base drum in the Yale marching band. Dr. Lieberman was a Board Certified Anesthesiologist who joined the Anesthesia Department at Beverly Hospital in 1963. He practiced there until 1982, when he was diagnosed with a pheochromocytoma, a rare tumor of the adrenal gland. The subsequent traumatic surgery left him with chronic disabling pain that forced his early retirement from medicine.
Allan Rabinowitz informed me that Thomas J. Dee passed away on December 23rd in New York. He had two children and three grandchildren.
Russ Reynolds, Secretary