Class Notes (pre-published)

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Early-bird class notes
Read them here first!

Daniel Strickler,Jr., Secretary
Beachtree Capital Partners, Inc.
41 East 57th St.
New York, NY 10022

Class Notes October-November 2023

I just finished reading a tremendous book about the atomic bombs we dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in early August of 1945 and the final days that culminated inJapan’s surrender about ten days later. The book is titled Road to Surrender, written by Evan Thomas. There was a third bomb that was planned that would have targeted the suburbs of Tokyo, avoiding the city itself. We didn’t want to destroy the imperial palace or the seat of government, otherwise there would have been no one left with whom we could negotiate a peace. Before we dropped the first bomb at Hiroshima, there was some discussion that we might just explode a demonstration bomb at a remote location and send the photographic evidence to Tokyo to encourage surrender. At Hiroshima
there were 70,000 immediate deaths and another 70,000 from radiation. At Nagasaki, where much of the city was protected by intervening hills, the initial deaths were 35,000.  When the first bomb, known as “Little Boy”, was dropped on Hiroshima, President
Truman was aware that additional atomic bombs might be required. What he did not

know, because he was not told, was that a B-29 carrying a second bomb, known as “FatBoy”, was gearing up for a flight to Japan.  Our persistent  conventional bombing, led by the 21 st Bomber Command, that preceded the two atomic bombs was equally devastating. On a single night in March, incendiary bombing of Tokyo resulted in 85,000 deaths. On August 14, when word of Japan’s surrender was received through diplomatic channels, the 21 st Bomber Command already had in the air a vast armada of 1,000 planes, largely B 29s, heading to Japan to
annihilate two more Japanese cities. Our destruction from the air was built on the convenient fiction that we were bombing only military and industrial targets. In fact, the targeting embraced major population centers. Prior to Hiroshima, we had been planning an initial assault on the mainland of Japan scheduled for early November, to be led by General MacArthur. Our casualties from such an invasion would have been massive, in the face of a fanatical defense by the Japanese, but virtually impossible to predict with any degree of accuracy. Because of these anticipated c asualties our Airforce favored deferring a land invasion and that we just continue, and intensify, our saturation bombing until the Japanese succumbed from starvation.
Jim Magidson reports on some life experiences. At Yale his Silliman roommate was Dick Norton, now deceased, who became an architect and had sailing adventures in the Caribbean. Jim left Yale after his third year to attend the University of Chicago Medical School. After medical school he interned at Mt Sinai Hospital where he met Pauline, his wife for 65 years. He trained in pathology at Columbia P&S and in
hematology at Montefiore Hospital. There was a stint at New York Hospital before he moved to Long Island where he taught medical students and pathology residents for over 50 years. Jim has eased up on saltwater fishing, but still gardens and reads a lot of mysteries and historical fiction. At his 25th Yale reunion he and some friends
paraphrased Mozart’s Zauberflote regarding feelings they shared: “Es ist das Hochsteder Gefuhl” (It’s the most profound emotion).
Richard Hiers has written a new book. The title is Nature and Creation: Biblical Perspectives on Life Here on Planet Earth. The book studies hundreds of biblical texts relating to nature. It argues that these texts mandate humans should care for the earth, land, trees and other living things. It also covers studies by biblical scholars suggesting ancient biblical beliefs provide a foundation for the environmental crises we face today and even encourage acting before it’s too late.
Richard sent one of his previous books to a Harvard friend who responded, “I enjoyed your last book.” Well, it wasn’t his last book. It was his latest book. As for this most  recent book, maybe it will be his last.
Dick Murphy reports on the move he and his wife, Luda, made last October to Foxhill Club and Senior Residences in Bethesda, MD. There are lots of activities including numerous trips to Washington for cultural events. A weekly current affairs group is likea graduate school seminar. They have gotten to know almost 150 residents, including five Yale graduates. I think I mentioned before that one of the Yale residents was
former Senator James Buckley, recently deceased. Dick continues a  telephone caucus with our classmate, Bill Day. It’s a weekly event covering Old Eli, current affairs and other weighty matters.
Sad to report that Harold Page Starr, age 91, died on August 23, 2023 at Cathedral Village in Philadelphia, thirteen years after having been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Harold’s wife, Emily, died in 2022. They had been married for 62 years.  Harold and Emily had five children and lived for fifty years in the house his grandmother built in Wyndmoor, PA. The premature death of their son, Isaac, at the age of 28 cast a
shadow.  Harold was born in Philadelphia and grew up in nearby Wyndmoor, PA. He graduated from Episcopal Academy. At Yale, he majored in Phy sics and was a scholar of the second rank during 1952-53. He resided in Branford where he was on the squash team
and the soccer team. He was in the Apollo Glee Club and received numerals as a member of the Freshman Squash Team.
After college Harold served in the Navy and then graduated from Harvard Law School.  He joined Pepper, Hamilton & Scheetz, a well-regarded Philadelphia law firm, where he practiced business law for twenty years. Then he was a sole practitioner for another
twenty years. He took pleasure in representing clients who were individuals.  Harold was engaged in many community activities. He was Chair of the Springfield Township Bicentennial Committee, served on the Chestnut Hill Historical Society and was President of the Chestnut Hill Community Association. He had an impressivecollection of modern art and served on committees at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.  With his large family Harold vacationed in Nova Scotia nearly every summer. There, for
twenty-five years, he oversaw the upkeep of his family property. He was an avid gardener filling the house with roses and providing fresh vegetables. In winter he heated the house with wood that he had chopped himself.  In retirement Harold and Emily traveled the world visiting over forty countries.  Uzbekistan and China were particular favorites. Inspired by the children they met along the way, they supported international organizations providing food, education and
opportunity to those in need.
Erratum: Correcting a previous obituary, at Yale Joe Albanese majored in Economics.

Class Notes July-August2023

In the role of a surrogate grandparent, I recently spent a morning at a boys’ school, sitting in on the six grade classes. Lots of fun. In one of the classes the teacher asked “what is the oldest major league baseball park still in use?” Answer, Fenway Park with its Green Monster. The teacher then put up an image of the outfield bleachers. All the seats were painted green – except for one seat. It was painted red. Why is that?
That’s the seat where the longest homerun in Fenway history landed, 502 ft from thebatter. And who hit that home run? Ted Williams, of course. Ted had a .344 lifetime batting average and once had a .400 season.
We have exciting news in the medical discovery field. Richard Novick continues to be engaged in research at NYU Medical Center, developing an antibacterial drone system for the treatment of infections. It could replace antibiotics with their worrisome history of developing resistances. Richard recently received an NIH development grant. He has patented his discovery and is in discussions with biotech companies for its commercialization.
Lucius Hill writes in that he has been retired for 25 years, having practiced surgery for33 years in Exeter, NH. He was also Medical Director for Seacoast Hospice, for 20years. Married in 1956, he lost his wife, Nancy, in 2013. He has four children scattered about, two of whom are Yale graduates. The family of Benjamin Chapman writes he
continues to live at home in Grosse Point Farms, MI. He is under the care of his four children and wonderful caregivers.

More on Richard Polich. Dick Hiers notes “He was
a major figure in the middle of the Yale football line up, like a block  of concrete: he had little trouble dealing with Harvard’s then Monster Man.” Dick greatly admires Polich’s large cast dinosaur outside of Peabody Museum and his large memorial at Montauk Point, a tribute to those who went out to sea but never returned.

Dr. Edwin D. Joy, Jr., DDS, died at his home in Augusta, GA on April 18, 2023, at the age of 89. He had a distinguished career in the field of oral and maxillofacial surgery. He also had a long career in the U.S. Navy and the Naval Reserves, retiring from theNaval Reserves in 1983 with the rank of Commander. His active-duty sea service was on the heavy cruiser USS Newport News.  Ed was born in Bridgeport, CT and graduated from Milford High School. At Yale he majored in psychology and resided in Pierson. In 1953 he married Beverly Edwards.  They were together until her death in recent years. They raised two sons.  Ed graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Dental School in 1958. His residency
in oral surgery was at the Medical College of Virginia. After private practice in Norfolk, VA, he became professor of oral surgery at the Medical College of Virginia. In 1975 he was appointed Professor and Chairman of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the Medical College of Georgia. It was a position he held for 20 years. He
received many awards for excellence in teaching, surgery, research, and leadership.  Returning to private practice, he finally retired in 2009.
Sailing was a life-long passion for Ed. He particularly enjoyed competitive sailing. He was an active member of the Augusta Sailing Club where he served for a time as Commodore. He was a USCG licensed captain. He also enjoyed barbershop singing.  After joining the Garden City Barbershop Chorus of Augusta, he became its President.

Arthur L. Armitage passed away at his home in Sarasota, FL on March 5, 2023, at the age of 90. He was a native New Yorker, and it is where he pursued an active business career. Initially, he worked for The Bank of New York. Then he moved to White Weld where he became First Vice President, before moving to Ward Hallowell in the executive recruiting field. Art was very active in the not-for-profit arena focusingprimarily on educational and religious causes. At one point alone he was on five boards and three executive committees.Art prepped at Groton. At Yale he majored in History, lived in Pierson and was a member of St Elmo.
With his first wife, Meredyth Rubidge, Art raised three children. They were then living inRumson, NJ. In 1984, following a divorce, he married Ca therine Seyler. They moved to Sarasota in 2006. Throughout his life Art loved all things nautical. He was a member of the New York Yacht Club, the Cruising Club of America and the Seabright Beach Club.
He and Catherine spent ten years cruising the New England coast in their yacht, Koloa.  They also enjoyed traveling, visiting many countries, developed and undeveloped.  Art’s charitable engagement included the vestry of St. Bartholomew’s Church, The Seaman’s Church Institute, Squadron A, and, in Sarasota, the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium. Our condolences to Art’s extensive family.

John W. Roberts died at his home in Greenwich, CT on March 3, 2023, at the age o90. He had a professional life as an attorney. This culminated in   a 5-man general practice law firm he established located in Stamford,CT. John had deep religious convictions and was actively involved with a number of churches.  John was born and raised in Stamford, CT and graduated from Andover. At Yale, he majored in American Studies and lived in Branford. He was a member of Chi Phi. He got a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he was on the
Board of Editors of the Law Review.  John started his legal career as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice and then served as a law clerk for a U.S. District Court judge. Next, he was an attorney for
Barnum, O’Hara and Nickerson. In 1973, he started his own firm, continuing to practice until 2022. John was also engaged in community service, including serving as  Chairman of the Greenwich Housing Authority.In Greenwich, where he lived, John was an active member of Stanwich Congregational Church, serving as Senior Deacon and Chairman of Trustees. He was a member of St. Michael’s Parish, and St. Catherine’s of Siena and St. Agnes Parish. He embraced Bible studies and other church activities. In 2011, he proudly converted to Catholicism.   Martha’s Vineyard was an important part of life for John, his wife, Betty, and their fourdaughters – gathering clams, sailing, socializing, etc. It was here, in 1976, they built a home.  John’s family reports, “He loved learning and was endlessly curious about the history of places and things.” He liked reading the great books and genealogy, particularly the
history of his family who settled in Connecticut in 1600’s. John’s surviving family includes 12 grandchildren.

Dr. Joseph W. Burnett of Baltimore and Gibson Island, MD died on March 2, 2023, just shy of 90. He was born in Oil City, PA and raised in Lancaster, Pa. The son of a doctor, Joe graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1958, having been elected permanent class president. He completed two residencies, one in internal medicine at John
Hopkins and another in dermatology at Harvard’s Mass General Hospital. He founded the University of Maryland’s Dermatology Department and served as Department Chair from 1977 – 2003. The Joseph W. Burnett Professorship in Dermatology wasestablished honoring Joe and endowed by his former patients. He continued a busy
private dermatology practice well into his eighth decade.
Swimming was a defining force in Joe’s life. He attended the St. Georges School having been recruited by the swimming coach. He became a member of the school’s Sports Hall of Fame and was class valedictorian. At Yale, Joe was an All-American swimmer and a member of the 1953 NCAA Championship team. An illness prevented him from  joining the Olympic Swimming Trials. He majored in anthropology and resided in
Silliman where he was President of its council.  As I have heard the story, ever the swimmer, Joe was engaged in one of his daily long-
distance swims in the Chesapeake Bay when he was badly stung by a jellyfish. This sparked a lifetime interest in the actions of marine venom on the body. His research on jellyfish stings and venoms lead to many worldwide travels. He became one of the world’s leading experts on jellyfish toxins, authoring over 300 papers on the subject. In
Australia, Joe’s work led to the now commonplace practice of stocking the cardiac drugVerapamil at every lifeguard station as an antidote to the lethal sting of the Australian sea  wasp. Joe’s interest in virology also led him to the discovery of an antiviral herpes therapy and a herpes vaccine. He was the longtime Editor-In-Chief of the dermatology
journal, Cutis.  Joe met his wife, Kathleen “Kitsie” Scarlett, an artist and art teacher, at a beach party in Delaware. They were married in 1960. They had three sons raised at their winter home in Baltimore and, during the summer, at a home on Chesapeake Bay’s Gibson Island.  Two of these offspring are now doctors. Joe is survived by Kitsie, his sons and a large

Hugh H. Hoffman died on March 2, 2023, at the age of 90. He was born in Cincinnati, OH and it was here that he spent most of his life. He had a long career as an investment advisor.  Hugh graduated from the Cheshire Academy in Connecticut. At Yale he majored in Sociology and lived in Saybrook. He was a member of Chi Psi.  After college Hugh took a job with the Howard Paper Mill in Dayton, OH. He then moved to Cincinnati and became an investment advisor at W. E. Hutton and Thomson
McKinnon.  Hugh loved the University of Cincinnati and his hometown sports teams. He served on the Boards of the Cincinnati Garden Center and Cincinnati Nature Center. He was a ceaseless and enthusiastic traveler, visiting over 75 countries. He had a “kind nature and wonderful sense of humor.”

Dwight Bartholomew passed away on February 8, 2023 at his home in Port Angeles, WA at age 90. A boundless spirit, Dwight was frequently bursti ng with accordion music and song. He was a descendent of five Connecticut Governors. He was born in the NYC’s Hospital for Women, founded by his family. His mother was the former Adela Sloane Griswold, whose family founded the W and J Sloane retailer and the Griswold
Iron Works. Dwight loved song, music and hockey. His casket was draped with the flag of the Montreal Canadians. In his early, adult years he was a “wanderer in the wasteland,” until he abandoned an unrewarding career in business, moved west and took up teaching grade school in southern California.  Early years were spent in the family’s brownstone on lower Fifth Avenue with summers at their compound at Old Lyme, CT. He was educated in Montreal and at St. Paul’s School. At Yale he excelled at enduring friendships, hockey, the swing of an oar, and solo bike rides as far as his muscular thighs could take him. He excelled at music. He
loved to sing. His deep baritone filled rooms with joy. He sang in the Glee Club, joined Scroll and Key and competed in intramural crew and hockey.
Dwight joined the U.S. Army as a chaplain’s assistant, private first class serving in Stuttgart. In 1957, he married Elizabeth Hill, at a 400-guest ceremony in Montreal.  They had four children but were subsequently divorced. He worked for the First National City Bank in Brazil and later, for Alcan Aluminum. At age 38, he began a 20-year career teaching at many elementary schools in southern California. When he retired, he
moved to Port Angeles, WA where he met Mary Ellen Olson. They were married in 2004.“  He picked up an accordion when he was eight and never put it down. At age 60, he learned the base trombone, with his favorite Dixieland jazz, and 25 years later, the ukulele. A lifelong seeker who loved hymns such as “How Sweet Thou Art.” Dwightpracticed Christian Science, briefly attended Calvary Chapel in the 70’s, then found solace in the Quackers’ Society. He practiced yoga at dawn. He was a longtime member of AA. He loved to regale family and friends with stories.”

Charles S. Isherwood died at his home, located in San Jose, CA on March 1, 2023, at the age of 89. He was a transplanted easterner who moved to California to pursue a business career in the technology field. He worked for several semiconductor companies as a senior executive. In 1960, he met Patricia McInerney, a Stanford graduate from Los Angeles. They married three months later. It was a bond that continued until her death in 2020.  Charlie was born in Fall River MA. There, he attended Durfee High School. At Yale he majored in mechanical engineering and lived in Timothy Dwight. He got an MBA degree from Harvard Business School. He served in the Marine Corps, stationed in Japan.  His business career capitalized on his engineering background. Charlie first worked for
Fairchild Semiconductor. Then, he joined American Microsystems, a chip manufacturer.  Here, he rose to be Senior Vice President of the Corporate Services Group. When the company was acquired by another enterprise, he moved to International Microelectronics. He retired from business in1997.  Charlie and Pat embraced the life of the Bay Area. They were foodies before the term was invented and enjoyed the lush climate where they lived. They were die-hard 49ers season ticket holders. Together, they enjoyed travel. Charlie liked reading: Melville,
Conrad and every single book written about World War II. Our condolences to Charlie’s three children and their families.

William M. Crozier, Jr. passed away at his Wellesley, MA home on February 21, 2023.  He was 90 years old. From 1974-1996, he was the CEO of BayBanks, which was headquartered in Boston. During his tenure of over twenty years, it became one of New England’s most significant consumer banks.  Bill was born in Brooklyn, NY. He was an Andover graduate. At Yale, he was an economics major and a member of Saybrook.  Bill’s first job was with the Hanover Bank in New York. Then he served two years in theU.S. Army Counter Intelligence Corps. He got an MBA degree from Harvard BusinessSchool, graduating with Distinction. He took a job with Baystate bank, rising to become
its Chairman and CEO. Under his guidance the bank’s name was changed to BayBank to facilitate the introduction of the BayBank Card. Other measures were taken to strengthen its consumer franchise. In 1996,  Bill’s long banking career was finaly coming to an end when BayBank was merged with Bank of Boston. Bill was involved in a great many civic, educational and other philanthropic activities. In 1989, he led Governor Michael Dukakis’s Governor’s Management Task Force. Bill was a past President of the Union Club of Boston and the Commercial Club of Boston. He served on the vestry and as Treasurer of Boston’s Trinity Church. He was a member of the Society of the Cincinnati, the Society of the Colonial Wars, and the General Society of Mayflower Descendants.
At the personal level, Bill is survived by his wife of 59 years, Prudence Slitor Crozier.  They met at a Wellesley College mixer. There are three children, all of whom are Yale graduates. Summer vacations were spent on Nantucket.

David R. Widrow, age 90, of Olympia WA passed away on November 15, 2022.  David was born in Norwich, CT. He attended school at Norwich Free Academy. At Yale, he majored in mathematics and lived in Saybrook. He was a member of the Political Union and the Mathematics Club. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa.  David was a physician who practiced in Stamford, CT.

John Boyer passed away on February 4, 2023 in Southbury, CT at the age of 90. He was born in Philadelphia, where both his parents were school teachers. As a youth during summers on the south Jersey shore, he worked as a lifeguard, sold Good Humor ice cream on the beach. He developed a passion for sailing which eventually blossomed into hobbies that included racing aged cat boats on Barnegat Bay and ice boating.
Jack graduated from Penn Charter School and then went on to Yale where he majored in political and economic institutions. He got a JD from Columbia Law School. After a stint in the New York Army National Guard (the induction ceremony for which he claimed was largely focused on protecting New York from NewJersey) Jack joined the
New York law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham and Taft. He specialized in antitrust litigation, becoming a partner in 1967. He argued several cases before the U.S.Supreme Court.  As the years passed, Jack and his wife, Jane, began shifting their family focus from apartment living in New York to a rural setting in Washington, CT. where, in the late1970s, they built a home. Upon retirement, Jack kept physically and mentally fit.He played golf and tennis. There was lots of travel to exotic destinations, including
sailing along the coast of Turkey and in French Polynesia. As for community service, Jack was Chair of Trustees for Washington’s First Congregational Church. He was active on the Town’s Democratic Town Committee and was crucial to the founding of the Washington Community Housing Trust, serving as its first President. He also served as a member of the Town’s Board of Finance.  Jack’s surviving family includes Jane, four children, and seven grandchildren.

Class Notes May-June 2023

When I reached my 90th birthday late last year, I received a present from my son, Tom.  It was a pleasant surprise. Removing the wrapping paper, there was a book written byThe Rt. Honorable Winston S. Churchill, titled Thoughts and Adventures. It was anoriginal edition published in 1932, the yar so many in our Class were born. Are there
sonorous Churchillian quotes? Definitely:

“Let us reconcile ourselves to the mysterious rhythm of our destinies,
such as they must be in this world of space and time.
Let us treasure our joys but not bewail our sorrows.
The glory of light cannot exist without its shadows.
The journey has been enjoyable and well worth taking – once”.

Lucius (Luke) Hill writes in from Exeter, NH where he spent 35 years as a surgeon and another 20 years as a hospice physician. He’s doing well, except for “failing vision”.Dick Murphy reports he is now living at Fox Hill, a senior condominium In Bethesda,MD. It’s a town he had previouslylived in for 38 years. Dick recently lunched with
former U.S. Senator Jim Buckley, a fellow condo resident. They talked about the old days in the Senate and how times have changed. The Senator is Class Secretary of Yale 1943 and its only living member! Bill Hopewell reports there will be a memorialservice for our deceased classmate Dick Polich on Sunday, June 11, 2023 from 1-4P.M. It will be held at UAP/Urban Art Projects 453 NY-17K, Rock Tavern, NY. RSVP to
Cathy Kuttner at 973-477-1804. Joseph Albanese, who lived in Chappaqua, NY where he raised his family, died on January 8, 2023, at the age of 90. Joe was born in Bay Shore, NY. He attended Bay Shore High School and Mercersburg Academy. At Yale he majored in English, lived in Silliman and was a member of St. Elmo. He was a star middle distance runner on Yale’s track team and ran on its cross-country team as well. After Yale, Joe served in the Marine Corps, stationed in Japan. Professionally, Joe had a stint as an advertising executive in NYC. As regards community service, he served as a Councilman for a town near Chappaqua and was active on a number of local committees. Together with his wife, Jean, he owned two sporting goods stores, located in Chappaqua and Mt. Kisco.  There came a time when Joe and Jean moved to Mount Pleasant, SC. There he owned a swim shop. He also lived in Trent Woods, NC. These were retirement years with Joe volunteering at the local Sheriff’s office, teaching English as a second language to Burmese students and participating in Marine Corps League activities. Joe’s recreational interests ranged from upland bird shooting and duck hunting to resuming competitive distance running. Our sympathies to Jean, Joe’s three children and their families. David Harvey Cohen, age 89, of Naples, FL passed away on December 27, 2022. For over 30 years he ran a successful clothing manufacturing business featuring both men’s and women’s clothing, sold under the names ”Mister Coats” and “Mr. Coats for Her”. It was located at Dorchester, MA. David and Pat, his wife for 44 years, traveled extensively after David’s retirement in 1997.
David was born in Boston, MA. He attended Brookline High School and Brooks. At Yale he was an Economics Major and lived in Branford where he competed on several of its athletics teams. David was a member of Hillel Foundation. He received an MBA degree from the Wharton Business School .David and Pat loved cruising to exotic lands. They made worldwide friends. He was also a powerboat enthusiast. David was an  avid sports fan dedicated to his favorite Boston teams: the Red Socks, the Celtics, the Bruins and the Patriots. He was a talented bridge player, golfer and ice  cream eater. He had a sharp wit, a dry sense of humor and enjoyed telling jokes. There was a winning smile. David fostered a large
family: six children, fourteen grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren. What an achievement. He took pride in providing an  education for family members. Our sympathies to Pat and this many descendants. John Hayes, age 91, of Redding Ridge, CT, died at his long time residence, on December 22, 2022. He was born in Waterbury, CT. Before Yale, he attended Fairfield College Prep and St. Mary’s College, for a year. At Yale, he majored in industrial administration and resided in Timothy Dwight. He was in the Glee Club and was a member of St. Thomas More. Following graduation, he returned to Yale for its Graduate Program in City Planning. This became his life-long passion. He made
significant contributions to the planning undertaken by many of Connecticut’s small towns. Early in his career, John was the Planning Staff Director for an architectural firm located in New Canaan, Ct. Here, he prepared the first town plans for the towns of Southbury, Newtown and Bethel. Later he was the Planning and Zoning Director for Darien. Then John founded City, Town and Regional Planning Associates. It was a consulting firm that for many years served the state’s small towns, particularly Bethany, Easton, Weston and Redding. He was always interested in historic preservation, the landscape and its natural resources and  preserving the essence of small towns.  As for other activities, John was a lifelong member of Redding’s St. Patrick Church. He was instrumental in a plan to preserve the original church structure, known as Marcy Hall. John did take time out to travel, to Europe or our national parks, for example.. He enjoyed restoring the 200 year old farmhouse where he resided. At this moment of sadness, our best wishes to John’s long-standing wife, Florence, to their children and to other family members.

Class Notes March-April  2023

Our Class Notes this month are dedicated to classmates who have passed away.
Gaddis Smith, renowned teacher of history and modernizing force at Yale, died on December 2, 2022, at his home in New Haven, CT. He was 89. The cause of death was a brain disorder. Gaddis spent most of his adult life working at Yale, where he was engaged in an impressive array of scholarly and administrative roles over an extended career. He was a third generation Yale graduate. Gaddis was born in Newark, NJ and raised in nearby Summit. He attended the Pingry School in Elizabeth, NJ. At Yale, he majored in English. He was Chairman of the Yale Daily News and a member of Berzelius. Other campus activities included the
Elizabethan Club. At the end of his freshman year, he married Beatrice Barclay Manierre. It was the start of a life-long partnership until she died in 2019. Gaddis was a non-resident member of Pierson, Gaddis got a Ph.D in history at Yale. Then he taught at Duke for three years.
Returning to Yale in 1961 to join the Yale History Department, he never left. He was one of the few professors whose classes were considered a must by undergraduates, regardless of major. Shy in small groups, he blossomed in front of the hundreds of students who packed his lectures. He taught both George Bush and John Kerry. Gaddis authored well-known books on American foreign policy, including The Diplomatic History of World War II and American Diplomacy in the Carter Years. He
was regarded as a soft realist who avoided hard-core political ideology.
Gaddis also took on many Yale administrative assignments. In the 1960s during the turbulent years of Kingman Brewster’s administration, Gaddis was chosen as Master of Pierson College. He became a bridge between a staunchly conservative alumni and an increasingly progressive faculty and student body. His own sympathies were on the
liberal side. In the 1980s, when Benno Schmidt was elected Yale President, Gaddis was rumored to be one of the finalists. He became Director of what is now known as Yale’s MacMillan Center, focusing on international affairs. It was an undertaking that moved Yale onto the stage of global scholarship. Gaddis’s final Yale contribution was
writing a history of Yale, itself. This vast effort stretched over a great many years with publication now scheduled for 2023.

On the personal side, Gaddis and Barclay raised two sons who pursued artistic careers. Barclay was dedicated to New Haven where she served on the boards of many civic organizations. In the earlier years, Gaddis was very involved in ocean sailing. He then turned to running “completing a bunch of marathons – slowly”. Extensive world travel
often involved alumni trips where he lectured. Our greatest sympathies to the family of this most accomplished classmate.

John C. Morley passed away at his Cleveland Heigghts home on November 30, 2022. He was 91. He is survived by his six sons. Sally, his wife of sixty years predeceased him in 2014. John had a long and impressive business career with Exxon that took him up the ladder to the top as President of Exxon Chemical and CEO of Reliance Electric,
a business leveraged buy-out of the business and then took Reliance public in 1992. John was a generous philanthropist. He supported many charities in the Cleveland community as well as two schools he had attended: The University of Michigan Ross School of Business and Middlesex School where he was a Trustee and major benefactor for many years. John was born in Saginaw, Michigan. He prepped at Middlesex School. At Yale he resided in Calhoun and majored in history. He was a member of DKE fraternity. He and Sally married in 1954. There was a 2-year stint  as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, serving on USS Mount Baker. He then attended the Michigan Ross school of Business graduating with an MBA degree. In 1958, John started his long career with Exxon as a financial analyst in the Treasury Department in New York. It was a bold move as the culture at Exxon favored those with
engineering backgrounds. After another domestic assignment, John was given a position managing the treasury department of an Exxon business in Lima, Peru. He came to realize there were more opportunities for increased responsibility at Exxon if he pursued an international path. He managed Exxon Chemical’s operations in Latin America and then Greece. Ultimately, he was President of Exxon Chemical U.S.A. and
Senior Vice President of Exxon U.S.A. In addition to those noted above, John served on many non-profit boards, including University Hospitals of Cleveland, the Cleveland Orchestra, and Case Western Reserve
University. His charitable focus was education, healthcare, and the arts. In the corporate arena, he was a director of a number of companies, including Cleveland Cliffs, AMP, Ferro, Key and Lamson & Sessions.
As regards John’s personal realm, he had countless friends from the many aspects of his life. He nurtured these relationships. There was lots of time with his family: “conversation, laughter, smiling and singing”. He was an active member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights. In the outdoors there was sailing, tennis, skiing, golf and hunting. Summer vacations were spent at Higgins Lake, MI, while winter breaks were at Ft. Lauderdale. We extent our sympathy to John’s six sons and their families.

Michael Pertschuk died at his home in Santa Fe, NM on November 16, 2022. He was 89. His death was due to complications of pneumonia. Working as a legal staffer in the Senate and as Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission under President Carter, Mike was one of our nation’s leading consumer advocates. Perhaps more than any other individual, he was responsible for the warning labels on cigarettes, for banning
tobacco advertising on television and radio and for requiring seatbelts in cars. He was the force behind many other consumer protection laws covering: drinking water, toxic substances, consumer products and railroad safety. On many of these issues, he worked closely with Ralph Nader who called him “a brilliant strategist, organizer and human relations genius”. Mike played a major role creating important federal agencies, such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration which has arguably saved millions of lives. Mike was born in London to a Jewish family who had sold furs in Europe for generations, but fled Nazi Germany in 1937. His father opened a fur store in Manhattan. Mike graduated from Woodmere Academy on Long Island. At Yale, he
majored in English and resided in Silliman. He was a member of the Elizabethan Club and the Political Union. Following a stint as 1 st Lt in the U.S. Army, he got a degree from Yale Law School. After clerking for the chief judge of the U.S. District Court in Oregon, Mike headed east
to Washington, DC. which was his home for the next 40 years. He started out as chief legislative assistant to the Senator from Oregon. Later, he became chief counsel of the Senate Commerce Committee  He was the Senate’s leading expert on consumer protection, particularly the tobacco and auto industries. The Washington Post wrote he was among “the top stratum of an invisible network of staff power and influence in the Senate, with impact on the life of every citizen of the United States”. When the legislation passed restricting the tobacco industry, Mike was suddenly famous, a crusader fighting powerful business interests. He was sometimes referred to as “the 101 st Senator”. In 1977, Mike became Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission and was regarded
by many as its most aggressive leader. When Reagan was elected President, Mike stepped down as Chairman, but remained on the Commission until 1984. By then, the consumer protection movement had cooled. After retiring from government service, he co-founded the Advocacy Institute. Its mission was training social justice adherents in
the United States and in emerging democracies. Promoting consumer protection, he lectured at many institutions such as the Brooking Institution, the Sloan School of Management and MIT. After a first marriage which ended in divorce, Mike marred Anna Sofaer, an artist. Upon his retirement they moved to Santa Fe where Anna, as a scientist and artist, became immersed in the historical native culture of New Mexico. Archeological discovery was part of this experience. There was a cover article in Science Magazine and there were two documentaries narrated by Robert Redford. Mike was an enthusiastic partner in
this new life where they made many new friends. At this time of sadness our best wishes to Anna and to Mike’s children and their families.

Richard F. Polich died in hospice on November 13, 2022. He was 90. His adult life, for over 50 years, was dedicated to building a specialized foundry business located in New York’s Hudson Valley. It served a great many of the world’s leading sculptural artists. It was a business that involved a close collaboration between the artist and the foundry. Ancient techniques and cutting-edge technologies were both required. Dick’s art foundries became the most important in the nation, making an enormous contribution to art, design and architecture. Dick was born in Lyons, IL and attended the Morton High School in Cicero, IL. At Yale
Frank Stella, collaborating on Stella’s 30-ton stainless steel abstract sculpture Amabel. Jeff Koons stainless steel Rabbit was cast and mirror finished on the foundry floor. The gold-plated Oscar statuettes are foundry products. Dick’s commitment to the art foundry world came with a certain amount of pain. During recessions there were hard times. The foundry moved on several occasions, ending up at Beacon, NY. Dick lost control of his company. He then established a new foundry
which gained strength. Ultimately, the two foundries merged, securing his position as the preeminent art foundryman of his generation. He had become famous with articles in The New York Times and interviews on National Public Radio. The business was sold in 2019.  Dick supported the communities in which his foundries were located and made a special
effort to nurture the skills of his creative work force. In 2014, he married his long-time partner, Cathy Kuttner. Several previous marriages ended in divorce. In addition to Cathy, he is survived by several children and other relatives. We admire this most accomplished classmate and extend sympathy to Cathy and his family.

Ernest B. Tracy Jr. died peacefully at his home in Old Lyme, CT on November 7, 2022. He was surrounded by his five children. He was 89. His wife of 62 years, the late Hazel Bryan Tracy, predeceased him a year earlier in 2021. One of Hazel’s brothers was our classmate, Bob Bryan. Ernie was a considerate person from a bygone era who always thought well of others. It was a striking accomplishment that at least seven guys he knew, mostly Yale graduates, if asked, would have said: yes, Ernie was my best friend. Ernie was born in New York, NY where he largely spent his childhood years. He graduated from the Groton School where he made close friendships that extended throughout his life. At Yale he majored in economics and resided in Jonathan Edwards. A summer canoe trip in the remote Canadian wilderness was a formative experience. Following Yale, he served as a 1 st Lt. in the U.S. Army. After artillery training at Fort Sill, OK, he was stationed in Germany as an aide to an Army General. Returning to New York, Ernie then embarked on a Wall Street investment banking career. He joined Dillon Read where he specialized in municipal finance, one of the firm’s important franchises. He was a highly regarded professional whose clients were located in a number of states and municipalities. After many years at Dillon Read, Ernie worked at several other well-known firms, one of which was Salomon Brothers. Family life was a very important part of Ernie’s life. He and Hazel raised five children in a New York apartment. Summers were spent at an attractive home on the CT shore, at Black Point. There was also a lake-side cottage at Tunk Lake, Maine. Once Ernie had
retired, he moved his primary residence to a cottage at South Londonderry, VT. Ceding his Black Point residence to his children, he bought a near-by summer residence at Old Lyme, CT. Ernie was a most pleasant person, with an inquiring mind and a keen intellect. He had a
stunning memory and took pleasure from recalling the details of events and people’s lives. His attention span was one of the longest. He was knowledgeable about wines, which set the stage for socializing with others. He was addicted to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. The military was always important to Ernie’s thinking,
perhaps stimulated by one of his ancestors who was a renowned U.S. Navy admiral. Ernie enjoyed history, particularly the military history of World War I and World War II. He was also a gun collector who focused on old rifles from our frontier past. He and Hazel enjoyed outdoor life immensely, embracing nature. They skied in New England and took many bike and walking tours both in the United States and abroad. In later years they shifted their skiing from down-hill to cross-country and took up snowshoeing. There was always canoeing during the summer at their place in Tunk Lake, and elsewhere. Ernie’s favorite chore was probably chopping a winter’s supply of firewood for their home in Vermont. It was a clean and enduring life where the focus was family. Our sympathy to Ernie’s five children and their many offspring.

Walter M. Stuhr passed away, on October 23, 2022, in Philadelphia, PA where he had moved in 2019 to be near his daughter. He was 90. He was a minister of the Lutheran faith who followed in the footsteps of his father, also a Lutheran pastor. Wally spent most of his life in the ministry in California, living first in Sacramento and then in Richmond. He rose to be President, of the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (PLTS) located in Berkeley.  Wally was born in Minneapolis, MN, but graduated from Alhambra High School in California. At Yale, during his junior year he married Bobbie, his wife for 60 years before she died. He majored in American Studies, was a non-resident of Berkeley and received the TenEyck prize for oratory. After graduation, Wally returned to California
where he received his ordination from PLTS. Following five years as minister of a Lutheran Church in Sacramento, he continued his education at the University of Chicago graduating with a PhD in social ethics.
Returning to California, Wally was hired to teach at PLTS. He served there as Professor of Ethics and Dean, as well as President. Wally became actively involved in social issues that were facing a conservative Lutheran Church. He helped promote the ordination of women, visiting many California churches to discuss the issue. He was also an active member of a committee that approved LBGTQ candidates for ordination
in opposition to church policy. He trained prospective clergy to lead congregations of minority cultures. There was a conservative side as well. Wally took the gospel’s teachings seriously and literally. Upon his retirement he continued to be actively involved in teaching and in community affairs.  Wally enjoyed traveling and once visited all the California missions. He was a big sports fan, classical music enthusiast and appreciated good food. He is survived by his two daughters and an extended family. At this moment of mourning, our sympathies to them.

Robert M. Dubow, who lived in White Plains NY, died on February 13, 2022 at the age of 89. He had a 50-year legal career practicing corporate and securities law in Manhattan. Bob was born in Brooklyn, NY and prepped at Woodmere High School (NY) and Lawrenceville. At Yale, he majored in English and resided in Berkeley. He was a member of the Political Union. He had a love of learning and went on to Columbia
University where he received a Masters of Art degree. Then, at Columbia Law School, he received a law degree. Early in his career, he joined the SEC staff where he was branch chief of the New York Regional Office. Returning to private practice, he spent most of his career at Danziger,
Bangser, etc. Eventually he formed his own firm; Samson, Fink and Dubow. Bob married his wife, Marcie, in 1965 and together they raised a family of two girls in Edgemont, NY, where they lived for over 40 years. They then moved to White Plains, NY. Bob was an avid reader, a lover of Mozart and had a keen interest in European history. Our sympathies to Marcie and their family.

Class Notes January-February 2023

With the holiday season in mind, I’ve been thinking about Twas the Night before Christmas, first published anonymously in 1823.  It has been quoted more than any other poem in America’s history and had a tremendous impact on popular culture in the United States and around the world that persists to this day. The poem popularized the exchanging of gifts at Christmas time, a practice not engaged in previously during our colonial past or the American Revolution.  It made Santa Claus and the Christmas tree symbols of joy.  And it brought the reindeer into our holiday mix.

In 1837 Clement Moore, who lived on an inherited rural estate in the Chelsea section of Manhattan, claimed authorship of the poem.  He was a writer and professor of Oriental and Greek literature.  He probably was the author, but the subject has been hotly debated as historians have put forward a number of other claimants.  Some years ago, I got to know Chips Moore, a descendent of the famous poet.

Hugh M. Ravenscroft, age 90, died peacefully on October 11, 2022.  He had been living in Wayne, PA. which I believe was his home for much of his adult life.  He will be known for his work in human relations counseling, his life-long love of singing – he had a sonorous bass voice – and his commitment to family life.

Hugh was born in Philadelphia.  He attended the Haverford School.  At Yale, he lived in Branford and majored in English.  Singing was his dominant interest as he was a member of the Whiffenpoofs, the Apollo Glee Club, the Yale Glee Club and the Society of Orpheus and Bacchus.

After Yale, Hugh had a tour of duty with the U.S. Army Counter-Intelligence Corp.  He took a job at CIGNA, and then a position with Smith Kline Beckman, where he spent most of his professional life. He was in their Marketing Research, Media and Product Management Division as well as in Corporate Planning.  There was a change in direction in 1989 when he got a graduate MA degree from Villanova in Human Relations Counseling.  Retiring from the corporate world, he focused on individual counseling of young children, group therapy, crisis intervention and family therapy.

At a personal level, Hugh was devoted to his wife, Lael, who predeceased him, and his two daughters.  When they were growing up, he rarely missed a game or a school program.  It was family first.  He coached countless softball teams.  He fostered being a team player and wore a t-shirt that said “It’s Only a Game”.  As for singing, after Yale he continued on with the Whiffenpoofs. He was a member of his Church Choir and Oratorio Group.  Our sympathies to Hugh’s daughters, Lael and Annie, and their families.

James D. Robins, surrounded by family, died on September 25, 2022 while hospitalized in New London, CT.  He was 92.  His career had been in the manufacturing field where he owned Amplate Corporation, a light manufacturing company in Riverside, CT.  It was engaged in innovative work using photosensitive aluminum.  He was an avid, seriously accomplished ocean sailor.

Jim was born in Morristown, NJ. After attending Episcopal Academy, he started college at Trinity, but in 1950, before graduating, he was called to active duty with the 5th Marine Division which fought some desperate battles during the Korean War.  Jim received a battlefield promotion to 2nd Lieutenant.  After completing his tour, he enrolled at Yale.

After Yale, Jim embarked on a sales career with Yale and Towne Manufacturing. Then he was Vice President of Abbott Coin Counter Company before his involvement with Amplate Corporation.

Jim first leaned to sail at the age of six.  As an adult, he was the fleet captain of the Riverside Yacht Club, He was a member of the Cruising Club of America where he joined ocean sailors making adventurous use of the seas.  He sailed his Erickson-35 sloop in races throughout the northeastern U.S.  He sailed crossed the Atlantic and was in many Newport-Bermuda races.  Jim was also devoted to old houses, particularly “Hinkley Hill” in Stonington, CT, where he lived for many years with his wife Ann.  He was a gifted woodworker who took pride in restoring his sturdy 18th century home.  It was a home where he enjoyed entertaining.  We extend sympathy to Ann and their family.

David A. Oestreich (Ost), died at his home in Rye, NY on August 25, 2022 at the age of 89.  He spent over 60 years managing an investment firm founded by his father.  He supported, and was deeply engaged in, many philanthropies, particularly Jewish causes and those benefiting U.S. Navy personnel. Often, he was Chairman or held another executive or board position with these organizations.  Just a few examples were his involvement in building a Jewish Chapel at Annapolis and the creation of the Judaic Studies Department at Yale.  He was President of the Temple Israel Center in White Plains.  His engagement embraced the fields of religion, education, healthcare, culture and the Navy.

Ost was born in Great Neck, NY and attended the Lawrenceville School.  At Yale he lived in Pierson and majored in History.  He was a member of the Political Union, Yale Corinthian Club and Hillel Foundation.  Graduating with an ROTC commission, he served in the Navy as a gunnery officer on the USS Randolph.  His Naval experience impacted his later life in important ways.

Married in 1957 to Brenda Mintz, the couple moved to Scarsdale, NY where they raised three daughters.  His business career started with the Lander cosmetics company as marketing director. Switching to public service, he was Associate Director of the Job Corps within the Office of Economic Opportunity in Washington, D.C., during the Johnson administration.  In 1969 he began his long career managing his family investment business.

Ost was active on many fronts.  He was an avid sailor, skier, golfer, photographer, historian and traveler.  Pursuing a passion, he taught a course in military history at Westchester Community College.  Family life was important.  Our sincerest sympathy to Brenda, their daughters and to a large family.

James E. McGrath, MD of Newtown Square, PA died of heart failure on August 24, 2022.  He was 90 years old.  He was a radiologist who had an extensive medical career with the Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden, NJ.  From 1978 till 1996 he was Director of its Radiology Department.

Jim was born in Bryn Mawr, PA.  He graduated from Lower Merion High School.  At Yale he lived in Branford where he was active on its sports teams.  He majored in History. Jim  recalls “washing dishes at Freshman Commons, basketball on the fifth floor and meeting lots of great people”.  After Yale he got his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College and then interned at Bryn Mawr Hospital.  From 1959-1961 he was a physician in the U.S. Army stationed in Germany.

On a personal level, Jim had a love of the outdoors, fishing and hunting.  During the summer months he relished fishing on his boats at Cape May, NJ and at Belgrade Lakes, Maine where he had a vacation home.  He had a sense of adventure and enjoyed traveling, fly fishing and scuba-diving, around the world.  He was a big fan of the Philadelphia Eagles.  Jim is survived by Margaret, his wife of 65 years, four children and nine grandchildren.  Our condolences to them all.

Robert A. Lemire, a long-time resident of Lincoln, Massachusetts, died on June 8, 2022 after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.  He was 89.  He was the founder of Lexia Learning Systems, a computer software business that teaches literary skills and is now serving more than 5.5 million students across more than 3,000 school districts.  It was a business that came about as a result of watching his dyslexic son struggle learning to read.  Bob was also an early and committed environmentalist, focused on land conservation.

Bob was raised in Lowell, MA where he attended Lowell High School.  At Yale he resided in Berkely and majored in politics and economics.  He was on the varsity football team, He was a member of DKE, the Political Union and St. Thomas More.  Then he served two years in the Navy as a junior officer on the heavy cruiser USS Baltimore.  In 1958 he graduated with an MBA degree from Harvard Business School.

Launching a business career, Bob wrote case studies for a Boston consulting firm and then worked in corporate finance for Paine Webber.  During this time, he sponsored a nightly radio show called Spotlight on Business.  In the mid -1970s he started his own one-man investment advisory firm, a business he pursued for the next four decades.

As an environmentalist, for fifteen years Bob was Chair of the Lincoln Conservation Committee which was successful in placing 1,400 acres of town property under permanent conservation.  He traveled the country teaching communities how to cluster Oinstitutions including The Rhode Island School of Design and The Harvard Graduate School of Design.  At the state-wide level, Bob served on the Massachusetts Agricultural Preservation Commission and on the Citizens Water Supply Committee where for several years he was a member of the Executive Committee.  He also consulted for the Land Conservancy and other organizations.

Bob was an avid rugby player and one of the founders of the Boston Rugby Club.  He liked fishing, camping and hiking.  He had a sense of humor with jokes on hand in both French and English.  He embraced spiritual insights about life.  “Some say time is linear, the future consumes the past.  Some say time is circular, the future repeats the themes of the past.  I’ve come to think time is cumulative, that all that was, is.”  Our deepest sympathies to Bob’s wife, Virginia, and their family.

Ronald G. Busch passed away peacefully at his retirement community residence in Ft. Myers, FL on December 29, 2021.  He was 89.  He had a long, 36-year career with General Motors that defined his adult life.

Ron was born in Dayton, OH where he attended Wilber Wright High School. At Yale he resided in Berkeley, where he was active in its athletics programs including football and baseball, in each case as team Captain.  He majored in mathematics.  After Yale, Ron served for two years in the U.S. Armed Forces.  During his General Motors career, he worked in Ohio and Michigan with Delco Products, Fisher Body and Buick Oldsmobile Cadillac.  He said, “I enjoyed every minute of it”.  In 1970 he earned an MBA degree from Xavier University.

In 1959, Ron married Gail Cunningham of Meriden, CT.  He was widowed after 38 years of marriage. He is survived by his second wife, Gloria Osborn, who was also a widow.  They were married in 2002.  Ron fostered a large family of children and step-children.   His retirement was spent in Florida.  Yes, there was some golf and country club life.  Visiting family was an important activity.  Our condolences to Gloria and their extended clan.

Class  Notes for November-December 2022

Queen Elizabeth’s death took me back to 1955 when I listened to one of her earliest Christmas speeches, directed to the English Commonwealth of nations, but listened to by many other millions of people world-wide.  It was broadcast by BBC, and I listened to it on a portable radio from my barracks at Erlangen, Germany, not too many miles from Czechoslovakia where Russian troops manned the boarder.  It was the height of the Cold War, and I was a Lieutenant in a 155-howitzer battalion supporting our first line of defense within Germany.  The short days were grey, and the long nights were dark, and the tension was palpable with a potential Russian attack on one’s mind.  I remember the Queen’s voice came through, clear and youthful. She quoted the Poet Laureate: “Though you have conquered Earth and chartered Sea and planned the courses of all Stars that be, Adventure on, more wonders are in Thee.”  I thought her speech was a great comfort as it reinforced the common bond of our western democracies during perilous times.

Frank Hirsh writes from Santa Fe where he recently retired as President of the Santa Fe Symphony.  Of importance, he just shot his age (90) from the senior tees. At Yale, where he lived in Davenport, he had the unusual achievement of graduating with two undergraduate degrees.  He spent two years in the Air Force and then headed to Chicago where he ran a family manufacturing business from 1960 to 2001.  In the charitable arena he was president or vice president of five 501c3’s.  And for many years he was a trustee of Northfield, IL, his suburban community.   After his retirement from business, he moved to New Mexico and is now happily married to Shirley Melis, a Vassar graduate.

Jim Gage of Ellington, CT writes he is active on the boards of three conservation organizations and serves on his town’s Conservation Commission.  His wife, Ann, is in an assisted living facility in Massachusetts near their three children.

David L. Banker, age 89, died in New York City on August 8, 2022.  He had been hospitalized with pneumonia.  He was predeceased by Pamela Sullivan, his wife of 47 years, who headed a prominent interior design firm.  David’s deceased brothers are Bindy Banker and Peter Banker, David’s twin, both members of the Yale Class of ’54.  David’s brother, Douglas Banker, is a Yale ’59 graduate.  David was the consummate gentleman throughout his adult life and had many social friends.  He conveyed a sense of charm, enhanced by a warm humor, never speaking ill of others.

David grew up in Rye, NY and Greenwich, CT.  He graduated from the Taft School. At Yale, he majored in history and was a Davenport resident. He was in its Debate Club and on its squash team.  In his senior year he was in Berzelius. After college, he served in the Air force as a First Lieutenant, stationed in Japan.  Taking a job with Citibank, he returned to Japan for a three-year stint.  He felt those years in Asia, where he was immersed in the culture, were fantastic years.  Returning to New York in the early nineteen sixties, he embarked on a career in investment banking becoming a Partner and President of R. W. Pressprich.  He served for many years on the board of the Cold Spring Laboratory.  

As a Yale alumnus, David had a keen interest in the activities of our Class.  It was an important commitment.  As for recreation, he was an avid bridge and tennis player and did a great deal of skiing, mostly at Vail.  He was a student of history.  David was an active member of Yew York’s Knickerbocker Club.  It was almost a second home in his final years.  David is survived by his daughter, Leslie Banker Mullins, and her family.  Our heartfelt sympathy to them on the passing of this wonderful classmate who was a good friend of mine.      

George Amos Poole, Jr. (Mickey) passed away on June 21, 2022 just short of his 91st birthday.  He was a resident of California, probably Carmel.  Mickey was raised in Lake Forest, IL and graduated from Lake Forest Academy.  At Yale he was a history major and a resident of Silliman where he was on its golf team. After college he served his country as a trainer pilot.  He got a degree from Stanford Law School and went on to practice law, first in Illinois and then California, where he worked for a time at Bank of America.  He kept in touch with many of his Yale classmates.  “Mickey loved playing golf, good conversation, traveling and a slow shaggy dog story with a good belly laugh.”  As for his golf, for some years Cypress Point was a ritual, three or four times a week.  There was a time when he spent about three months a year traveling, mostly golf tournaments around the U.S. and in Scotland.  Mickey is survived by his wife, Carol, and a large family.  They have our deepest condolences.

Leonard M. Marx, Jr. died on May 31,2022 at his home in Greenwich, CT.  He was 89, just shy of his 90th birthday.  He was born in Manhattan and raised in Scarsdale, NY, graduating from Scarsdale High School.  At Yale, he majored in political science and resided in Saybrook where he was on its Debate Club and participated in swimming, soccer and golf.  He was a Harvard Business School graduate (1956).  Following military service and a successful career as a Wall Street stock analyst, Len joined Marx Realty and Improvement Company, a developer and manager of commercial real estate throughout the U.S. Its properties include shopping centers and office buildings.  He later served as Chairman and CEO of Merchants National Properties, a publicly traded affiliated company

Len was a passionate and skilled sailor, who brought a keen analytical mind to bear on racecourse tactics.  He was also a talented bridge player who studied strategy and enjoyed competitive matches.  Len shared both interests with his wife of 64 years, Sylvia.  She, in turn, has been a performing classical pianist who served on the advisory board of the Yale School of Music.  In recent years they took long sea cruises, allowing them to see the world while engaging in their favorite pursuits.  There were winter ski trips as well.  

Len was a dedicated philanthropist, who helped lead a family foundation that has supported education, healthcare, the arts, the environment, and human services.  Three generations of his family have been involved in these activities.  Len had a deep engagement with the Yale community as four generations of his family are Yale graduates, including his children and grandchildren. His daughter, Nancy Better, is a Yale Medal recipient.  Len was a very generous supporter of Yale stretching over a long period.  He is survived by Sylvia and their descendants.  Our profound sympathy to the Marx family.   

Class Notes for September-October 2022

Phil Mickelson has certainly cut a nice deal, $200 million for signing on with Saudi backed LIV Golf International Tour.  This is on top of his $95 million of previous tour earnings, the second highest number behind Tiger Woods. The PGA is going crazy with Phil and 16 other renegades now suspended.  Phil had a great golf year in 2021 with a stirring run to win the PGA Championship title, and at 50 he was the oldest player to win a Major.  Golf is a humbling game for all who venture out onto a tee. Phil has just now bombed out, failing to make the cut at the U.S. Open.  He was eleven over for the 36 qualifying holes.  It’s those ups and downs of life.

Frank Smith reports on a spring visit he had to the Pacific Northwest when he visited old friends in our class: Dwight Bartholomew and Norm Wessells. Dwight and his wife Mary Ellen live in a comfortable retirement home at the base of the Olympic Mountains overlooking Puget Sound.  He still delights in making music, sometimes with an accordion, and entertained with a little barber shop harmony. Dwight grew up in Montreal where he was a fan of the Canadiens, and he is still a hockey nut.  He did a reprise of his Canadiens Quebec French announcer routine.  “He shoots, he scores.” 

Frank had not seen Norm since graduation.  Norm and his wife Catherine, live on their quiet farm near Eugene, Oregon.  Every winter he heads to New Zealand for fly fishing with friends from the academic world.  At Yale, his mentor was J.P. Trinkaus (‘Trink”) a great embryologist, Master of Branford and a friend to many in our class.  Norm has had a remarkable career: Professor of Biology and Dean of Humanities at Stanford and Vice President and Provost at the University of Oregon.  He became the “Trink” of a next generation, training thousands of pre-med and PhD students over the years.  Frank says “It was terrific to see him after all these years”.

David Baillie III died peacefully at his home in Guilford, CT on March 31, 2022.  He was was 89.  Priscilla, his wife for 65 years, was at his side.  David was born in Brooklyn, NY where he attended Erasmus High School.  At Yale, he resided in Timothy Dwight and sang in The Glee Club.  He graduated with a BA degree and then served in the United States Air Force.  He and Priscilla moved to Guilford in 1977.  His lifelong interests were art, music and literature.  

David was a graphic artist, specializing in monotype etching, lithography and drawing.  This included portraits, the human figure and landscapes.  He did post-graduate work at the Hartford Art School and learned print making at the Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven.  His work won numerous awards from a number of Connecticut museums and galleries.  For over 30 years he was also engaged, together with Priscilla, in an environmental consulting business.  They gathered data on lakes, ponds and other aquatic systems.  David’s recreational interests included trail walking, birding and 18th century classical music.  Priscilla remembers a kind heart, a brilliant mind, a sharp wit and a good conversationalist.  Our deepest sympathy to Priscilla.

Elliot D. Novak passed away in Ma’aleh Adumim, Israel on March 3, 2022.  He was 89 and died from a stroke.  Elliot grew up in Bridgeport, CT, attending Central High School.  At Yale, he majored in chemical engineering.  As photographic editor of the Yale Daily News, a highpoint was photographing Robert Frost when Frost spoke at Yale.  He lived in Trumbull where he was on the basketball team.  After college, he got an MBA degree from Harvard.  Elliot’s career was in management consulting where he specialized in plastics and packaging.  He spent 17 years at Arthur D. Little in Cambridge, MA.  His work involved extensive international travel.  Then he launched his own consulting business focused on photography, his life passion.  He was an early expert on digital cameras.

On the recreational front, Elliott enjoyed alpine skiing and ski racing, sailboat racing and backpacking.  He was a Boy Scout leader.  In his mid-eighties he moved to Israel to be near his daughter, Pam, also a Yale graduate.  He became an Israeli citizen.  Elliot is survived by three children and three grandchildren.  Our sympathies to his family.   

George A. Jacoby, Jr. died in Exeter, NH on February 14, 2022.  Born in Bronxville, NY, he grew up in Michigan.  College prep was at Andover.  At Yale he lived in Branford where he roomed with George Spaeth.  He majored in psychology. You might say he was a genius, as he graduated Summa Cum Laude, reportedly with a score of 100, the highest possible.  He was President of Phi Beta Kappa and a member of the Aurelian Honor Society.  George was on the Yale fencing team, the All-American fencing team and the Olympic fencing squad.  Our classmate Richard Hiers remembers, around the Branford dining table, his wise and penetrating insights.  

Following Yale, George got a medical degree from Harvard Medical School.  He then trained in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and in biochemistry at the National Institute of Health.  This launched his career as an infectious disease clinician and microbial geneticist.  For 25 years, he was a consultant in infectious diseases at Mass General.  He then moved to the Lahey Clinic to head their Infectious Diseases Department.  For 40 years he taught students at Harvard Medical where he was Associate Professor of Medicine.  He served on the editorial board of the New England Journal of Medicine and was editor-in-chief of a journal on antimicrobial agents.

George is remembered for his gentle, kind personality and passion for scientific advancement.  His survivors include ten grandchildren.  In this moment of sadness, our best wishes.

Richard Owen Carey, a 43-year resident of Washington, CT, died peacefully at his home on January 19, 2022.  He was 89.  He had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease.  Dick is perhaps best known for his commitment to his local community.  He was extensively involved in local governance, community service, historic preservation and land and water preservation.  He was active in planning and zoning and at one point served as a Town Selectman.  He enjoyed the out-of-doors and always had a Labrador or Golden at his side.  As for his profession, he was involved in real estate.

Dick was born in Waterbury, CT.  He was a Gunnery School graduate.  At Yale he majored in English.  He lived in Saybrook.  Under Bob Kipith, he was a varsity member of Yale’s swimming team.  After graduation he traveled through Europe and the United States returning to Connecticut in his thirties. Marriage and children then turned him into a family man who rarely missed an offspring’s sporting or school event.  A great athlete, Dick loved the water in the summer and skiing at Bromley in the winter.  He was a student of history, took pride in maintaining his historic home and property and had a passion for German engineered cars and tractors.  Our heartfelt sympathy to Barbara, his wife of nearly 55 years, and to their family. 

Carl W. Olsson (Walt) died on January 10, 2022 in Las Vegas, NV his home for22 years.  Walt served as a pilot in the Air force for 23 years, flying almost everything the Air Force had to offer.  During two tours of duty in Vietnam, he flew the “Jolly Green Giant” rescue helicopter.  He retired as a Lt. Colonel.  

While in the Air Force, Walt earned an MBA from Ohio State University. This helped launch his second career at the University of Colorado, where he was Deputy Director of the Economics Institute.  He taught Finance and Marketing to foreign graduate students, preparing them for education at U.S. graduate schools.  His teaching assignments took him on extended tours to the Far East – Indonesia and South Korea.

Walt was born in Manchester, CT where he attended Manchester High School.  At Yale he majored in sociology, lived in Davenport and received the AFROTC Distinguished Military Student Award.  His recreational interests were broad: lots of tennis and golf, skiing, bridge, classical music, and singing in church choirs.  He is survived by Linda, his wife of 62 years, and by a large family.  He served our country with distinction.  Our deepest sympathy to his family.                

Class Notes for July-August 2022

My mind is a turmoil of doubt and concern when I think of the Ukraine and of Russian dynastic policies that now threaten the world order.  The unknown path of Covid, the disruption of high inflation, an anticipated economic slowdown, that some say could bring on a recession, and a faltering stock market are added burdens of concern.  But, when I walk down Park Avenue on a sunny April morning, passing the Kwanzan cherry trees, all in stunning bloom, block after block, my mind is happy indeed.  “If you can look into the seeds of time, and say which grain will grow and which will not, speak then to me” (Shakespeare, Macbeth).

Bill Day and Dick Murphy report they are still running on all four cylinders.  Recalling Dick’s five years as Senator Hugh Scott’s (Republican/Pennsylvania) legislative assistant and Bill and Dick’s occupations as lobbyists, they hold weekly caucuses on Google Duo.  Occasionally, they invite their wives to an expanded caucus at a restaurant in Potomac Village, MD.  They discuss a wide range of issues, but seldom resolve them.  Dick recently moved to Fox Hill, a continuing care community in Bethesda, MD.  Luda will join Dick when she feels she can no longer live alone at Leisure World.

Dick Hiers, a former president of the American Academy of Religion (SE Section), has recently written a new book, titled “A Nation of Immigrants”.  It’s about biblical Israelites, who were themselves immigrants and refugees, and their impact on biblical laws.  A friend of Dick noted about an earlier work “We hope to see your last book”.  Dick says, he probably meant “latest”.  Dick has an illustrious academic background with an RBA, BD and PhD from Yale and a JD from the University of Florida.  He is professor of religion emeritus and emeritus affiliate professor of law at the University of Florida.

Russ Reynolds reports he is still Chairman of RSR Partners, his second executive search firm, which concentrates on hiring Corporate Directors and CEOs.  Russ notes, it now seems harder than ever to find good people.  An augmented Whiffenpoofs will be singing in Nantucket in early August.  Let Russ know if you are around.

Correction.  I goofed, interpreting hand-written script for a previous Note.  Joe Gromults writes “I do not read the Sunday NY Times.  I do the Sunday NY Times crossword puzzles.  (a local weekly paper, the Coastal Observer, prints the Sunday Times crosswords).  Next, I do not solicit donations.  I collect quotations”. Here are two of the quotations Joe sent me with his corrections.  “I was part of the class that made the top half possible.” (Zig Ziglar)  And, “If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?” (George Carlin)

Lee R. Powell a retired USAF Colonel, passed away on April 18, 2022 in Dayton, Ohio, at the age of 89.  After graduating from Yale with a BA degree in Industrial Administration/Engineering, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, embarking on an Air Force career of over 30 years.  His eleven assignments included tours in Plattsburg, NY as a Missile Launch Officer, and in Vietnam, during 1967-68, where he was an advisor to the Vietnamese Air Force.  He received an MBA degree at Indiana University.  His later career involved contract administration. Stationed in Milwaukee, he was involved with the Apollo program as chief of R&D Contracts for weapons development.  At Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, he was chief of the Contracts Division purchasing jet engines for the Air Force, for other military branches, and for foreign countries.  During his career, Lee was awarded the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, and the Meritorious Service medal, as well as a number of other Commendation Medals.

Lee was an avid genealogy enthusiast, publishing four family genealogy books. He enjoyed traveling to new places.   Lee had close ties with two sons and a stepdaughter and their families. He is survived by his wife Jane., first wife Joy, son and daughter-in-law Lance and Emily, grandson Mitchell (Yale class of 2016), son and daughter-in-law Gregg and Donna, and stepdaughter and son-in-law Rae and Terry Metz.

She and his family have our deepest sympathy.  Lee’s distinguished military career is an inspiration for all of us.

After a brief illness, D . Richard Smith  died on April 13,2022 at his home in Nashua, NH, at age 89.  He had a varied career as a financial executive in the manufacturing field and loved choral singing.  He had a diehard optimism and curiosity that influenced his life.  Dick was born and raised in Radnor, PA.   After graduation from Radnor High School he was admitted to Yale with full scholarship.  Following college, he served in U.S. Army Intelligence, stationed in Stuttgart.

Starting a career in corporate finance, Dick joined J&L Steel’s executive program in Pittsburgh, which included MBA studies at Case Western in Cleveland.  In 1962, he moved to Connecticut to take on a job as Treasurer of Malleable Iron Fittings, He soon settled in Madison, CT where he and his first wife, Lois, raised four children.  He then took a job with C.N. Flagg in nearby Meriden, rising to a 20-year stint as its CFO.  In 1986, Dick and his second wife, Marilyn, moved back to Pittsburg where he was CFO of Hoechstetter Printing.  Retiring in 2000, he moved to Venice, FL.

Dick’s passion for choral singing extended throughout his life. It was a joy shared by his wife, Marilyn.  Dick’s baritone voice contributed to many renowned choruses, including the Yale Glee Club, where he sang in Woolsey Hall at age 85, the Yale Alumni Chorus and the New Haven Chorale.  He was a member of the Mendelsohn Choir of the Pittsburg Symphony.  His voice graced many other local and church choirs.  He and Marilyn enjoyed touring in choir, performing in many countries throughout Europe.  Dick had other interests as well: photography, calligraphy and woodcut printing.  He enjoyed studying and debating politics.  Dick lived longer than Marilyn. Our sympathies to his many children, grandchildren and other relatives.

John F. Wilson died on February 28, 2022 in Boulder City, NV.  He was 89.  A member of the Mensa society, his electrical engineering skills drove his professional life.  Our sympathy to his wife, Gale, and to his 6 children, 21 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

Jack was born in Akron, OH where he was raised by his mother while his father was on active duty as a Lt. Colonel during World War II.  High school was at Western Reserve Academy.  At Yale, Jack earned a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering.

Jack’s first job was with Hughes Aircraft where he developed the target lock-on technology for the Lockheed F-104.  Subsequently, he worked for many other companies.  At one point he was President of Frederick Electronics, a subsidiary of Plantronics.  His accomplishments included making the first successful computer-controlled Telex switching systems.  These systems were installed in 126 countries and dominated their field for the next decade.  Later, he became Director of International Communications for EDS and GM.

On retirement in 1994, Jack moved to Nevada where he got involved with the Power and Sail Squadron at Lake Mead.  He instructed classes on boat safety, piloting and weather.  He became a pilot and took-up scuba diving.  After his wife, Jo’s, passing he married Gale Westphall.  She reports he had a love of crosswords, maps and football. He had a gift for rewriting the lyrics to songs and could train cats.  He was always quick with a helping hand or a side-splitting quip.

Class Notes for May-June  2022 issue YAM

Composing these Notes, it’s hard to drag my mind away from the Ukraine. Right now,  Russian forces have seized a swath of land in the south and entered the Black Sea port  city of Kherson. What is the end for this alarming, brutal Russian invasion of its  neighbor Ukraine – a democratic society with 44 million people, with their own language  and their own culture? Will Russia install a puppet government? Will there be a  demoralizing military occupation? Will there be a grueling guerrilla war mimicking  Afghanistan? Dangerous times.

Once again, one of our classmates who played a leading role in our country’s national affairs, has passed away. John D. Hawke, Jr. was known as the “Dean” of banking  lawyers and served as Comptroller of Currency for six years. He died, age 88, at his  Washington home. The cause was cancer.

Jerry Hawke spent his 60-year professional career at the famed Washington law firm,  Arnold and Porter, and was Chairman of the firm for many years. Early on, he  organized he Firm’s Financial Institutions practice which was soon representing many of  our nation’s largest banks and financial institutions in their dealings with the Federal  government. He argued an important banking case before the Supreme Court and  secured an 8-0 victory. He authored a treatise on banking regulation and taught  banking law at Georgetown Law School. His government service included serving as  Under Secretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance during the Clinton Administration,  before taking on the role of Comptroller of the Currency. His banking philosophy was to  support free markets and a procompetitive environment.

Jerry was raised in Rockville Centre on Long Island. He was an eagle scout and a  bugler at summer camp. He attended South Side High School. At Yale, he majored in  English and was a member of the Elihu senior society. After a stint as an Air Force  second Lieutenant, he attended Columbia Law School, graduating first in his class. He  was also editor-in-chief of the Columbia Law Review. He then clerked for U.S. Court of  Appeals Judge E. Barrett Prettyman.

As for his personal life, Jerry loved opera, Italian Renaissance painting, photography,  writing poetry and collecting pottery. Summers were spent in Vineyard Haven,  Massachusetts with family and friends. He was an avid fisherman, trawling the waters  for bluefish off Martha’s Vineyard. He developed a secret sauce for the blues before  they were smoked and once won a blue ribbon for his smoked blues at the local
agricultural fair. Jerry was known for his dry wit and sense of humor. He is survived by  four children, three grandchildren and his longtime companion Beverly Baker. Our  classmate Walter Pincus was one of his oldest friends. They grew up together.

I hear Jerry Grinstein is heading down to Patagonia this March – fly fishing, I’m guessing.  Classmates Frank Smith and Leigh Quinn have been wintering in Sarasota, Florida,  where they have joined forces out on the golf links. I have had some recent contacts  with Len Marx, Jr. a long-standing resident of Greenwich, CT. He He is a committed  Yale Blue as his father is a Yale graduate as well as his two children. His daughter,  Nancy Better, is a recipient of the Yale Medal. Len has been a generous contributor to  Yale over many years. He and his wife, Sylvia, have downsized to a coop apartment  with great views of the Greenwich waterfront. In his earlier years, Len built up quite a  successful commercial real estate business – think shopping centers.

Alvin A. Lucier, Jr. age 90, died during November, 2021 at his home Middletown, CT.  He was a composer of experimental music rooted in the physics of sound, rather than  melody or harmony. A finished work could sound like howling feedback, electronic  crackling or a distorted spoken text.

Al was raised in Nashua, NH where he had a musical upbringing, although  unconventional in approach. At Yale, he studied musical composition and theory. This  was followed by a master’s degree at Brandeis University. On a two-year stay in Rome  as a Fulbright Scholar he had a musical awakening, casting aside conventional musical theory. He began using a brain wave amplifier, where the brain wave sounds were  amplified through loudspeakers. Subsequent compositions relied on other gadgetry, such as pulse oscillators for the blind. A memorable piece adapted the Beatles  “Strawberry Fields Forever” by playing a somewhat distorted version the sound back  through a small speaker inside a teapot. Al was a member of the Wesleyan University  faculty form 1968 through 2011, teaching musical composition. Al is survived by his  wife, Wendy Stokes, and a daughter.

James B. Laughlin, a long-time resident of Darien, CT, died on January 25, 2022. He  was 89. Jim was raised in Manhasset, NY and Aiken, South Carolina. He attended the  Brooks School. At Yale he was a member of the varsity squash team and President of  Chi Psi Fraternity. After serving in the Marines, he embarked on an extended career in           banking, insurance and investments. This culminated in his founding    Laughlin  Investment Counselors, located in Stamford, CT.

Jim had a passion for golf. He loved competing in any golf tournament, and he loved the camaraderie that came with a round of golf. He was a student of the game and its  history, sharing it with anyone who would listen. Summers were spent with his family at  Fishers Island where the golf course was close at hand. Jim is survived by Susie – his  wife of 65 years – five children and seven grandchildren. His obituary notes: “Jim was a  kind and generous man, a caring father, and a reserved and humble citizen. He always  encouraged good education, the pursuit of sport and keeping a sense of humor”.

Dan Strickler

1954 Class notes for Nov/Dec issue:

We begin our sad news with a report that our class secretary, Fred Frank, died on September 11, a result of complications from heart surgery he underwent last June. In a letter to the class council, class treasurer Dan Strickler wrote, “Fred was totally dedicated to Yale and his beloved Class of ’54. He gave to Yale generously—with his energy, with his time, with his resources. I felt last year’s class council Zoom meeting that he organized and led, with President Peter Salovey’s participation, was just outstanding. Our deepest sympathies to Mary and Fred’s family.”

That same letter from Strickler also included: “There is more sad news. On September 10, Tom McLane died. He was another strong and faithful Yale supporter. Not the least, he was a dedicated member of the Whiffenpoofs. And I doubt he ever missed a Skybox Yale game with Harvard or Princeton. Our heartfelt sympathies to his family.”

The family of Joel Smilow sadly announced that Mr. Smilow passed away on Sunday, October 3rd at Yale-New Haven Washington, DC and spent his early years growing up in Chevy Chase, MD.  Joel graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1950 and then became a very proud and active member of the Yale Class of 1954. For the rest of his life, he was an active participant in almost anything Yale. In 1993 he was awarded the Yale Medal for outstanding service. At graduation, he was commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy, and served on destroyers based in Norfolk, VA. He held the rank of Lieutenant J.G. at the time of his discharge. Joel then attended Harvard Business School, and graduated as a Baker Scholar in 1958. Mr. Smilow’s business career started at Procter and Gamble as an Assistant Brand Manager. In 1965, he left Procter to work for Glendinning Associates, a small marketing consulting company in Westport, CT. In 1970 he was “plucked” away to soon become the CEO of International Playtex. He very successfully guided that company until he retired in 1995. Joel’s interest in philanthropy had already begun, but after retirement from the business world, philanthropy became a major focus. He was involved with many diverse institutions. He gave of himself and his generosity helped countless numbers of people, in large and small ways for the betterment of society. He left a very big mark on this world and he will be missed by many. He was a member of The Blind Brook Club, Birchwood Country Club, and The Reserve and Eldorado Country Clubs in California. In his younger days, he enjoyed playing tennis and golf and continued to enjoy poker and bridge. Above all, he was a huge football fan, with the Yale Bulldogs being his most favorite teaml He belonged to the Young President’s Organization (YPO) and Chief Executives Organization (CEO) and enjoyed the many friendships that he had formed. He was a longtime friend and partner of Chef Daniel Boulud. He is survived by Joan, his loving wife of 67 years; his children Rick (Debi), Bill (Kathy), and Susan; his grandchildren Charlotte, Anna, Griffin and Lexi and his brother Michael (Barbara) Smilow. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Marlene Lipman and many nieces and nephews. In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, please consider making a donation to:
Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven Health:
Joel E. Smilow Heart Institute at Bridgeport Hospital:
Smilow Intensive Care Unit at Norwalk Hospital:
Smilow Heart Center at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California:

Published by New York Times on Oct. 9, 2021.

Bindy Banker passed away at his home this past July. He was the loving husband of Beverly for 44 years. A graduate of Yale and a proud first lieutenant in the US Marine Corps, Bindy spent most of his working career on Wall Street, including 43 years at Alex Brown & Sons. He loved music, laughter, golf, and dancing. The twinkle in his bright blue eyes will be remembered by all who knew him.

Dr. Philip Robert Fazzone passed away peacefully at home in June. He grew up farming with his father and brothers in Cheshire, Connecticut. He spent summers working on the family farm through college. After graduating from Yale, Philip attended Yale School of Medicine, where he was the president of the student body. He chose to go into the field of cardiology. Philip and his wife, Adele, spent time in California then Virginia before moving back to Connecticut to raise their family. He practiced cardiology for many years and was an associate clinical professor at Yale School of Medicine. He would later become the director of St. Raphael’s Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory from 1970 until 1999. The Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory Suite would eventually be named after Philip R. Fazzone. He will be missed by all who knew him.

George Spaeth has written an informative and very readable new book, Glaucoma: What you need to know to preserve and enhance your health. The book is available for download or buy yourself a copy.

An essay by Bruce Meacham has been posted on the website called “A New Song for Old Yale—The Re-Formed Yale Whiffenpoofs of 1954.” Visit to read it.

September – October 2020 Issue for Class of 1954

 A quote from David W. Blight, Sterling Professor of American History, Director, the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, at the MacMillian Center at Yale University. On the passing of our good friend, Dick Gilder.  “At Yale, Dick’s mark of generosity is almost immeasurable, from the rowing teams’ boat house, to the drama school, to science programs, to the Class of 1954 endowed chairs, to the beloved and beautiful nave of Sterling Library.  Dick’s impact with philanthropy has left indelible marks beyond Yale, as well.”

How very apt his assessment of the enduring Impact Dick’s legacy will be.

On a very personal note, Dick and I became friends in 1959 when we started a Sunday morning touch football game in Central Park.  Some eight of us made this a regular, must attend, Sunday event for many years. With wives and children on the sidelines cheering for one side or the other it was an incredibly bonding part of our busy lives. Yes, Dick will be greatly missed but never forgotten!

Richard Gilder, Jr.  passed away on May 12, 2020.

William James Tate III, MD of Princeton, NJ died on May 31, 2020 after a short battle with cancer. He was born in Hartford, CT and grew up in Deep Water, CT where he developed a lifelong love of sailing. He earned his Yale degree in Art History. Following graduation, he spent two years in the Army where he was stationed in Stuttgart, Germany. After the Army he followed his father’s footsteps and became a doctor. He graduated from Boston University School of Medicine in 1961, moved to New Haven for his internship and residency, where he met his future wife Constance Klein, a nurse. They lived in Pittsburgh, PA and Morgantown, WV as Bill pursued an academic career in infectious disease research. Later he decided to return to private practice and he joined the Princeton Medical Group where he practiced for the next 32 years.

In retirement he was an active sailor. He also audited courses at Princeton. He volunteered for many for various causes, was in the Choir of Trinity Church in Princeton and he sang with the Yale Alumni Chorus. Bill is survived by his wife, Connie, his son, Bill and his wife, Anne Christine Tate; his daughter Abigail. And her husband, and his six grandchildren.

William Murray Buttner, a member of our Class Council, passed away on March 19th. He will be greatly missed by his wife Carole, four children, Lindsey, Murray, Craig and Jenny their spouses and seven grandchildren.  After graduation and serving two years in the Air Force he earned an MBA at Stanford University.

Murray worked in venture capital in Palo Alto before moving to Wilmington to join Laird and Co where he was manager of the Corporate Finance Department. After the Company was acquired, he became engaged in various entrepreneurial activities. In 1990 he joined Caithness, a financial enterprise engaged in the development of renewable power projects until his retirement in January 2020.  One personal note, he was an avid sailor and he participated in 16 Newport to Bermuda races. No mean fete!

A note from Marty Lamb reports that his father Karl A. Lamb died on May 17th. As he states, “I know that Dad was somewhat active within the alumni organization until recent years. Dad’s health declined fairly rapidly in the last few years, but I know he had fond memories from his time at Yale and enjoyed keeping in touch with classmates when he was able.”

Born in Worland, Wyoming he grew up in Pueblo.  Colorado. After graduating from Yale he earned his Doctorate in Philosophy from Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He was in the Yale ROTC and became a Captain in the Army Reserves.  Karl began his academic career as an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz. In 1985 he left UCSC to become the Academic Dean of The United States Naval Academy. After serving as Dean from 1985-1989 he remained at the Academy teaching until his retirement in 1999. Following retirement, while a Professor Emeritus at USNA he became a full time writer. Having previously authored seven non-fiction political science texts and two dozen political science articles, he pursued his lifelong dream of writing a novel based on his father’s life in the 1920’s in Colorado. He was preceded in death by his wife Sally Ann. He is survived by his two sons and daughter, six grandsons and one granddaughter.

Michael Burt died on June 15th after five successful years of recovery from open heart surgery. He was preceded in death by his wife, Ann Birt and his son and daughter.

He received his B.E. at the Sheffield School of Engineering. After graduation he enlisted in the army and served two years as a Corporal in Okinawa, Japan. After the army he attend MIT graduating with an M.S. in Industrial Management. He joined 3M where he worked for over 34 years. He began a second career as a Consultant with E.M. Birt Enterprises where he worked full time for the next twenty years. In 2020 he completed a strategic planning for a new investment in VR Technologies designed to be used in nursing homes and healthcare facilities. As an art lover he founded The Asian Arts Council, helped found the the Decorative Arts Council and served as co-chairman of the Antique Show of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. He also served as the President of the Midwest Chapter of The MIT Alumni Association.

William S. Gilbreath III  Bill, a long time-time resident of on New Canaan, Connecticut passed away on  April 18th. He was a member of the Book and Snake Club. Post graduation he served in Air Force during the Korean Conflict. While he was not deployed in combat he survived what he called “The Battle of Phoenix Arizona.” He began his business career with Burroughs Corporation. He then joined Morgan Stanley serving in both New York and Paris. He then joined Europartners in New York. Following that he launched Woodman Kirkpatrick and Galbreath in San Francisco. After a merger with Hambrecht & Quist he returned to New York and continued his career at First of Michigan.  His personal life was devoted to family, music and sports, including playing golf and listening to MET Opera. Bill is preceded in death by his wife of fifty-two years, Anne Tyson Gilbreath. He is
survived by three children as well as seven grandchildren.

Whitmarsh Jackson Letts passed away on May 18th.  Jack grew up in Short Hills, New Jersey where he excelled in sports. At Yale he earned a BS Degree in engineering.  As a member of the Yale ROTC post-graduation he served in Korea as a Second Lieutenant. He began his business career at Fairbanks Morse Pump. After nine years there he retired in 1994. He then devoted much of his time to community service and philanthropic endeavors. He served for many years on the United Ways Board of the South Central Region of Dallas, Texas. He went on to serve on The United Way’s Board of Governors. His dedication was recognized by the United Way of Greater Kansas City when he given the honor of Olympic Torch Bearer during the cross-country Olympic Torch Relay prior to the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.  He was an enthusiastic world traveler along with his wife Joyce.. He was an avid skier and won a Silver Medal at the Nastar Nationals in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.  Jack is survived by his wife of 58 years, Joyce, his two sons his sister and many nieces and nephews.

July – August 2020 Issue for Class of 1954

     The incidence and worldwide rise of the coronavirus has captured the attention, quite rightly, of healthcare organizations and governments around the globe. The number of individuals affected, the number of lives lost and the monumental impact on the US economy is horrendous. The World Health Organization in February 2018 presented the following “key facts:

-Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security  today.

-Antibody resistance can affect anyone, of any age, in any country.

-Antibody resistance occurs naturally, but misuse of antibiotics in treating diseases is accelerating the   rocess.

-A growing number of infections-such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, and  salmonella-are becoming harder to treat and antibiotics to treat them become less effective.

-Antibiotic resistance leads to longer hospital stays, higher medical costs and increased mortality.

Therefore, while our attention and national focus is on the incidence and heart rendering impact of coronavirus, we must not lose sight of other health challenges we face.

Charles A. Ferrari passed away in April of 2020 after a long hard-fought battle with Parkinson’s disease.  Charlie worked as an architect with the firms Douglas Orr, de Cossy, Windor & Associates and Pelli Clarke.  He loved travel, family and sports.  Italy was his favorite destination.  He was a devoted follower of the Yale football team and a long time season ticket holder.

George Mihalich passed away in August of 2019.  He earned an engineering degree from Yale and for many years he worked as a loss prevention engineer at Factory Mutual.  He enjoyed skeet shooting, building model airplanes and he loved cars.

 Nicholas Peay passed away in April of 2020.  Nick was a private investor who discovered his love for investing in his early 40s and never stopped.  He was a leader of the performing arts in northeastern Ohio.  He had a love of singing and was a member of the Augmented Seven at Yale ’54 and after graduation he was recruited to the Yale Whiffenpoofs because they needed his “star” tenor abilities.  He joined the Cleveland Opera Chorus and eventually became the Chairman.

 Richard C. Strain passed away in Poughkeepsie, NY in April 2020.  A graduate of Philips Exeter Academy and then Yale University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He worked for his father at C.B. Strain & Son and eventually took over as President and then CEO and remained until the sale of the business in 2012.  He was an accomplished tennis player and an avid fisherman.  Dick was a supporter of the City of Poughkeepsie and he gave back to the City in many way.

Peter Mighels Webster passed away in York, Maine on March 18, 2020, four months shy of his 88th birthday. Peter came from a long line of Yalies. He joined the National Security Agency in Washington, DC, and from there went into the Foreign Service where he was liaison to the Turkish Ministry of Education in Ankara, Turkey for two years.

However, his calling was in Academia and he returned to the US to live and teach at the Hill School in Pottstown, PA. In 1968 he was appointed Headmaster of Staten Island Academy in New York where he spent eight years before taking the helm at Tabor Academy in Marion, Massachusetts.  His successful implementation of the daunting task of reintroducing coeducation is arguably the most significant of his achievements.

May – June  2020 Issue for Class of 1954

Allan Rabinowitz hosted another Class lunch at The Yale Club. It is a terrific opportunity to catch up with Classmates and voice opinions on many topical subjects. And I must say there is rarely unanimity on any subject someone brings up.

The following note was sent to me regarding the passing of Brian Ameche ‘66.  “He was a true gentleman, in the old school sense of the word”.  He “found football to be a dazzling display of ballet, weightlifting and chess”…he believed in big things, big love, big life.”  Ivy League champion and son of Heisman Trophy royalty (Brian’s dad was 1954 Heisman Trophy winner Alan Ameche, who scored the winning touchdown in overtime of the 1958 NFL Championship game, known as the NFL’s “greatest game.”  Brian remained always humble, thoughtful, soft spoken, interested and interesting.

Dan Strickler sent me a note summarizing an extraordinary trip that he and his family took in February.
As regards my own recent adventure, a family group of eight of us from two generations visited Luxembourg in mid-December to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge. My father, a Lt. Colonel at the time, fought in this battle as a combat commander with the 110th Regiment, part of Pennsylvania’s 28th Division. The Regiment was on the front lines when the battle started at 6:00 A.M. on December 16.  If fought a delaying action against the overwhelming German onslaught which had a force superiority of 7 to 1. The Regiment’s heroic resistance during the first days of the battle gave the 101st Airborne Division time to occupy Bastogne, setting the stage for the ultimate Allied victory.  A plaque honoring my father was unveiled at Consthum, Luxembourg.  Among many other activities, we saw General Patton’s grave at the Luxembourg Military Cemetery, where 5,000 American soldiers are buried. Very moving, a field of white marble crosses against a “bleak wintry sky. The “Bulge” was the largest and with 89,000 American casualties the bloodiest conflict the U.S. caught during World War II.

Sadly I report the deaths of several classmates:
William F. (Bill) Downey passed away on 12/29/2019.  As our classmate Joe Albanese wrote “Bill was a quiet, unassuming but much accomplished personification of the “old school scholar/athlete.” He was our wrestling captain, won academic awards, played on the football team, was a member (as it was then known) “Saint A’s,” did his “Cold War hitch” in the Army as an enlisted company clerk and then shared a Greenwich Village hovel and a robustly raucous beach-house on Fire Island, NY with several of us.  He was also a graduate of the Harvard Business School ) ’56 and New York University Law School. His marriage of 40 years to Jean Olekshy ended with her death in 2009.

Carleton Loucks died on January 12, 2020. Born in New Haven where he lived in the area his entire life. He was a graduate of Choate and Yale Class of ’54.  He worked in radio and advertising for many years, and was the owner/operator of CT Direct Mail before his retirement. He was very active in the New Haven arts and cultural community.  He was an avid lover of railroads and is survived by his wife of 65 years, Barbara Dunphy.

John Walter Drake passed away in early February 2020.  John graduated from Yale in ’54 and got a doctorate from California Institute of Technology.  He was a Fullbright Fellow at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.  He was the editor of GENETICS from 1982 to 1996.  He loved scientific research.  He loved hiking, chamber music, and his family.

John Emmett Brennan III  passed away in January 2020.  He began his undergrad studies at Yale and ultimately graduated from Merrimack College and was a structural engineer for over 50 years.  He spent 10 years on assignment located on the boarder of Saudi Arabia and Iraq as a Program Manager at King Khalid Military City.  He owned a small vineyard in Braintree.  He was a delegate at the Massachusetts Democratic Convention and he taught himself several musical instruments.  He was married to Antoinette for 37 years.

Gerry Sperling  died this past February.  After Yale Gerry went on to Harvard Law ’57 and worked for years at the American Stock Exchange.  He loved tennis, opera, and his family most of all.

March – April  2020 Issue for Class of 1954

A thriller (not in Manila) but in the Yale Class of 1954 Yale Bowl.  About twenty of our classmates suffered through three quarters, on  a very cold day, while Harvard was winning and Yale’s chance to claim the Ivy co- title was in serious jeopardy.  The never say die spirit of the team pulled off a miraculous late fourth quarter win in a truly thrilling  50-43 victory!

Allan Rabinowitz hosted another lunch at the Yale Club.  There were nine members of our class in attendance.  Hopefully many more of you will be able to join Allen for the next lunch.

Last June, Ken McDonald, as a former Ernest J. King Professor of Maritime History at the Naval War College, joined two later King Professors in a “Three Kings” panel that discussed the Turner Revolution 1972-1974.  At the panel’s conclusion the Naval War College displayed a new plaque honoring all the Kings Chairs since the first, Thomas C. Mendenhall of Yale, in 1951-1952.

Family Man, Richard Hiers, was married to Martha Banks on October 2019.

Charles Workman said he continues to enjoy excellent health- mostly due to good genetics!  He’s still playing reasonably competitive tennis in Carmel.

Sadly, a few members of our class passed away since the last edition of the Yale Alumni Magazine:

Richard Ralph Dillenbeck passed away peacefully Nov. 1, 2019.  He was awarded a full scholarship to Yale and graduated Magna Cum Laude.  Dick attended Harvard Law School and was briefly an officer in the United States Air Force.  He received a Fullbright to work in Brazil and Argentina which launched his career in international corporate law.  Dick and his wife, Heather, retired together to Old Lyme.  He was an avid collector of stamps, pe-Columbian South American pottery.  He loved tinkering with his small but carefully curated collection of classic cars.  He was an active member of the Aston Martins Owner’s Club of America.

 Robert Everett Zimmermann of South Haven passed away in Nov. 2019.  Bob chose to donate his body to Western Michigan University Medical School.  His cause of death was lymphoma.  After graduating Yale in 1954 Bob married and joined Babcock & Wilcox in the Power Generation Group in Ohio.  The family moved around a bit but Bob eventually retired with B&W.  Bob then became a park manager at Palisades Park CC in Covert, a job he loved.  He was a lifelong learner and devoured books.  After the passing of his first wife Betsy, Bob was fortunate to find love again with Darrollene.  They enjoyed splitting time between South Haven and Naples, Florida.

 January-February 2020 Issue for Class of 1954

Dear Classmates:  the Yale Harvard football game this year will be at the Yale Class of 1954 Bowl.  It is newly renovated and now sporting artificial turf. The team is now 6-1 overall and 3-1 in Ivy competition. We have a very good contingent of Class members who have said they are coming to the game. Hope to see many more of you there.

Peter Shears wrote to say he’s keeping active with governing board activity on 2 charter schools.  He missed everyone at the Class Reunion but has had a successful surgery and is almost back to normal.

 It is sad to report that several classmates have passed away:

 Michael Armstrong passed away in October of this year.  He was chief counsel to the Knapp Commission in the early 70’s and credited with fighting corruption among the NYC Police Dept.  He was a tenacious prosecutor and proud member of the ACLU.  Most recently he was of counsel to McLaughlin & Stern.  The NYTimes did a wonderful write-up of his career.

Rodney Wood of Charlotte, NC., passed away at age 86. Rod majored in Chemical Engineering and received a Master’s Degree from Michigan State and a Ph.D from Northwestern. He was a National Science Foundation Fellow, and a member of the honorary societies Sigma Xi and Pi Tau Sigma. Rod began his career as an instructor at the University of Nebraska. He continued his career at Texas Instruments, Sherwin Williams and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Willis C. Arndt, died peacefully at home in August 2019.   From very early days he was nicknamed “Wiz.” After Yale he served in the NROTC program and received a two year commission in the Navy. He joined the International Basic Economy Corporation (IBEC) founded by Nelson Rockefeller to start businesses overseas. He and his family spent years in Puerto Rico and Venezuela where he was instrumental in forming a partnership with Arbor Farms. Beginning in 2013 he wrote and published a book, Wizdom’  Memos: Thoughts, Observations, Bits of Advice on Life.”

Howard Robert Hoffman’s daughter, Judi, informed us that he passed away in July 2019.  She said her Dad was extremely proud to be a Yalie and even travelled all the way from Israel , where he had been residing since 1972, to be at the 50th reunion.

Norman E. Hurwitz passed away at the end of July 2019. Post Yale College he attended Yale Law School and practiced law in New Haven for many years. He is survived by a son and daughter and four grandchildren.

Avrum Novitch died in Sept 2019.  A physician and retired executive he worked for the US Dept of Health and later the Food and Drug Administration.  Avrum worked for many years in the private sector and later as an Adjunct Professor of Health Care Sciences at George Washington University. He devoted his working career to public service.

Cyril ‘Paul’ Pesek, Jr. passed away in September 2019.  After Yale Paul served in the U.S. Army Artillery. Paul earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. Paul founded and led several electronics firms including PEMCO, Moniterm Corporation, and Aurora Technology. For many years he helped build new homes working with Habitat for Humanity. He was a trustee for both Minneapolis College of Art and Design and the United Theological Seminary.  He served for many years on our Yale 1954 Class Council and for five years as our class alumni secretary.

“Pete” Cecil Coggins passed away in September 19, 2019. Pete graduated from the Harvard Medical School in 1958. He taught internal medicine and nephrology at Mass General then Beacon Hill Practice, and taught at Harvard Medical School from 1965 to 2015.  Peter loved the outdoors and his family.

Dr. Allan Lawrence Toole passed away in September 2019.  After Yale he received his Doctorate of Medicine from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1958. His professional internship, fellowship, and residency was spent at Yale University Medical Center. He devoted 35 years of work at Yale-New Haven Hospital. He also served as chief resident of surgery at the Veterans Administration Hospital in West Haven, Conn.

Norman Hurwitz passed away in July 2019.  He was a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School and practiced law in New Haven for many years.  He was well respected and beloved by his peers and his clients.

Class Notes November-December 2019

Dear Classmate, Russ has graciously passed the baton to me for being the Class Secretary. We all owe Russ a great thank you for the splendid job he did for the last five years as our Class Secretary! The football season will soon be underway. Those who follow Ivy League football with great intensity pick Yale to be the league champions this year. With that in mind the final game of the season, will be as always, the Yale-Harvard game. This year at home in the Class of 1954 Stadium. After the game all are invited to the Smilow Field House.

John Dorian Curtin, Jr., “Jack”, passed away in May of this year. A member of the Class of ’54 after graduation he went straight to the Harvard Business School. Upon graduation, Jack became a landman for Arco in Casper, Wyoming. His Tulsa draft board quickly caught up to him, so he spent his first time in Texas as an Army clerk at Fort Sam Houston. Jack never took to Army life, but it did afford him the time to write “The Story of the Farthest Star,” a touching story about life’s mission, God, and the birth of the Child. Jack and his wife Nancy started in Wyoming and moved back to Tulsa where he began his climb through the management ranks through several companies and several states and finally landed in Boston, MA working as the chief financial officer of Cabot Corporation,  Jack continued giving to his community after retirement by serving on many corporate boards, being an active venture investor and advisor, and, most importantly, by founding or serving several important non-profit organizations.

Robert Martin passed away this July in Menlo Park, CA.  He was a member of the Class of ’54 and a proud member of the Yale Daily News.  After graduation, Robert was stationed in Germany with the US Army.  He later attended law school at Penn.  In 1959, Bob arrived in Washington DC to begin an exciting, rewarding 35-year career as a Foreign Service Officer working principally on arms control and other national security issues at the Department of State.  Returning to Washington in 1971, he met and married Joanna Woods Witzel, a fellow diplomat. Bob was of the generation for whom being a member of the Foreign Service was an unquestioned dedicated, lifetime commitment to service.  Retirement to California in the late 1990’s enhanced Bob’s opportunity for travel abroad—many trips visiting old friends and new countries.

Edward J. Tracey passed away peacefully at home on June 25th. He graduated from Yale University Class of 1954.  Ed then followed in the path of his grandfather and father by pursuing a career in medicine. He attended New York Medical College graduating in 1958. Dr. Tracey was in the USNR from 1953-1965. He was a Lt. Cdr. Active Duty aboard the U.S.S. Saratoga CVA 60 1963-1964, US Naval Hospital in Newport, RI 1964-1965 and 6th Marine Exped. Unit Dominican Rep. 1965.  He and his family settled in his hometown of Norwalk after retiring from the Navy and he began his long career at Norwalk Hospital being the 3rd generation “Doc Tracey” to roam the halls.  Ed met Ann Schenk when they were 16 and never looked back. They married in 1957 and celebrated 60 years of marriage in 2017. Ed and Ann loved spending time on various boats as long time members at Shore and Country Club. Sailing to Block Island, Bermuda or the Caribbean was where Ed was happiest.

Paul Clemens Randau passed peacefully in April of this year.  Paul began his studies at Yale University and eventually graduated from Stanford in ’55. After a stint in the Army Paul went to Stanford Medical School.  He practiced Emergency Medicine for the next 35 years.  Throughout his career he was an avid outdoorsman and marathon runner, heli-skier and hiker.

Class of 1954 Notes for the September-October,2019 issue of YAM

Dear Classmate, Russ has graciously passed the baton to me for being the Class Secretary. We all owe Russ a great thank you for the splendid job he did for the last five years as our Class Secretary! The football season will soon be underway. Those who follow Ivy League football with great intensity pick Yale to be the league champions this year. With that in mind the final game of the season, will be as always, the Yale-Harvard game. This year at home in the Class of 1954 Stadium. After the game all are invited to the Smilow Field House.

John Dorian Curtin, Jr., “Jack”, passed away in May of this year. A member of the Class of ’54 after graduation he went straight to the Harvard Business School. Upon graduation, Jack became a landman for Arco in Casper, Wyoming. His Tulsa draft board quickly caught up to him, so he spent his first time in Texas as an Army clerk at Fort Sam Houston. Jack never took to Army life, but it did afford him the time to write “The Story of the Farthest Star,” a touching story about life’s mission, God, and the birth of the Child. Jack and his wife Nancy started in Wyoming and moved back to Tulsa where he began his climb through the management ranks through several companies and several states and finally landed in Boston, MA working as the chief financial officer of Cabot Corporation,  Jack continued giving to his community after retirement by serving on many corporate boards, being an active venture investor and advisor, and, most importantly, by founding or serving several important non-profit organizations.

Robert Martin passed away this July in Menlo Park, CA.  He was a member of the Class of ’54 and a proud member of the Yale Daily News.  After graduation, Robert was stationed in Germany with the US Army.  He later attended law school at Penn.  In 1959, Bob arrived in Washington DC to begin an exciting, rewarding 35-year career as a Foreign Service Officer working principally on arms control and other national security issues at the Department of State.  Returning to Washington in 1971, he met and married Joanna Woods Witzel, a fellow diplomat. Bob was of the generation for whom being a member of the Foreign Service was an unquestioned dedicated, lifetime commitment to service.  Retirement to California in the late 1990’s enhanced Bob’s opportunity for travel abroad—many trips visiting old friends and new countries.

Edward J. Tracey passed away peacefully at home on June 25th. He graduated from Yale University Class of 1954.  Ed then followed in the path of his grandfather and father by pursuing a career in medicine. He attended New York Medical College graduating in 1958. Dr. Tracey was in the USNR from 1953-1965. He was a Lt. Cdr. Active Duty aboard the U.S.S. Saratoga CVA 60 1963-1964, US Naval Hospital in Newport, RI 1964-1965 and 6th Marine Exped. Unit Dominican Rep. 1965.  He and his family settled in his hometown of Norwalk after retiring from the Navy and he began his long career at Norwalk Hospital being the 3rd generation “Doc Tracey” to roam the halls.  Ed met Ann Schenk when they were 16 and never looked back. They married in 1957 and celebrated 60 years of marriage in 2017. Ed and Ann loved spending time on various boats as long time members at Shore and Country Club. Sailing to Block Island, Bermuda or the Caribbean was where Ed was happiest.

Paul Clemens Randau passed peacefully in April of this year.  Paul began his studies at Yale University and eventually graduated from Stanford in ’55. After a stint in the Army Paul went to Stanford Medical School.  He practiced Emergency Medicine for the next 35 years.  Throughout his career he was an avid outdoorsman and marathon runner, heli-skier and hiker.

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.

Russ Reynolds

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 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 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: 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:

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

London Mini-Reunion

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 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 or Ted Armbrecht at 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

Dear Classmates,

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 or me at

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 31stTom 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 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

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 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

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

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.
Pauli xox

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

Dear Duyen,
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.
Best regards,

, Duyen Nguyen wrote:
Dear Charlotte:
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

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.

Russ Reynolds


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