1956 Class Notes November/December 2019
For those interested in class statistics as of June this year, there are 529 living classmates (we lost 31 since last year). We had 255 payers of class dues and 213 donors to the Yale Alumni Fund. With our 65th Reunion coming up in 2011, all are urged to pay their annual dues to the class Treasury whose funds are the major support for most reunion expenses. A healthy treasury will allow for reduced charges for attendance and an expanded venue of activities. Please consider a contribution if you have not been one of the 255 supporters.
I am completely recovered from my May hip replacement, though though not quite ready to join Jim Kern who took his six grandchildren hiking in the French Alps after weathering two hip replacements. Received a surprising number of good wishes from classmates, including an advisory from Wil Long, a retired teacher ensconced at his home in Friedrichhsdorf who let me know of a German medic who has discovered how joints can be saved without operations. According to Wil, this medic, Magnus Peters, has discovered how joints can be saved without operations by combining the usual knowledge of anatomical substance with the unusual procedure of molecular manipulation. Utilizing a healing capsule found on the German market, Wil himself has experienced the process and waxes enthusiasm for the process. Alas, I received Wil’s letter after my hip carving, but appreciated his reach out to a fellow classmate. My curiosity about joint replacements prompts me to ask how many of my classmates have completed one or more joint replacement procedures. I suspect a good number, and would appreciate a brief note such as: “Ted Robb two hips and one knee”. Surely there must be one or more of you who has had all four replaced!
I received a surprise visit from Joe Paquette just prior to the celebration of his 85th birthday. In fine fettle, Joe became the first classmate to commit to attend, despite his age, our 65th reunion in 2021. Heard from Jack McGregor who is looking for a copy of our graduation Yearbook. Please let me know if anyone has a copy to spare. Dick Eisner, who retired in 2008 after forty-four years as a managing partner of EisnerAmper, just had his book “What I learned in a lifetime” a memoir about what he learned in a lifetime of managing a professional firm and other activities. A copy has been added to our book collection for our 65th reunion and to the list in our class website which I remind you can be accessed thru www.yale-56.
I’m reporting on three more classmates who have died. William Patrick Clark Jr died November of last year. Following graduation Bill served in the U.S. Marine Corps, which became a central influence throughout his life. He was an investment banker, but also ran an ice cream company and an aviation company before forming his own corporation, which he headed until his death. Bill lived on his horse farm in Tewksbury Township for 53 years, serving the community as a member of the North Hunterdon Regional School Board. Charles Simonds died peacefully on July 2, in New Canaan CT. After graduate school he worked briefly for McKinsey and Company in New York prior to assuming a role as President and Chairman of the RAE Motor Corporation in Illinois, that, under his stewardship, advanced the technology for small motors in the use of new applications including the first electric wheelchair and the first electric pencil sharpener. Later in life, Charlie received his master’s degree in Transpersonal Psychology from the California Institute of Transpersonal Psychology and maintained a private practice for a brief time in Connecticut. Charlie leaves behind his wife Michelle and four children. Sheridan Bruce Ensley passed away on August 10 in the Washington DC area after a short, courageous battle with cancer. Bruce was a lifelong learner, crossword puzzle enthusiast and outstanding fly fisherman. He enjoyed many memorable Montana fishing trips with his children, grandchildren and friends. After working as an operations analyst for the US Navy for 39 years and serving 13 different Secretaries Of the Navy, he retired to enjoy travel ling with his wife Joan who preceded him in death.
I urge all mobile classmates to consider attending our class dinner at The Graduate Club in New Haven after the Harvard football game November 23. Good food and good fellowship are promised.
Ken Liebman reported on June class lunch at the Yale club attended by Bill Lovejoy, Bill Rees, Pete Runnette, George Litton, Jim Kingsbury, Ivan Phillips, Burt Strauss, and Don Schutz, It was my intention to attend, but my plans were thwarted by Amtrak when a power failure grounded my train in Trenton where I lunched in less splendiferous conditions with my angry fellow passengers. If Amtrak doesn’t improve its service, I may have to convince Ken to change the venue of his superb monthly class lunches.
Tersh Boasberg reported that he, along with Jordan Cohen, Lee Wolf, and John Rindlaub made up more than 20% of the “scholars” who attended the lively and fascinating Yale for Life Seminar the week of June 16-22nd in New Haven on “The New Birth of Freedom: How the Civil War Era Made a New America”. They enjoyed five days of spirited discussion, led by Yale Law and College professors on the topics of emancipation, reconstruction, and the transformative Civil War era including the 13th,14th and 15th Constitutional Amendments. According to Tersh nothing could be more relevant today; but at least the Red and Blue states are not killing each other as the Blue and Grey did 150 years ago. The seminar also included specially curated Civil War Period treasures from the Beinecke, Yale Law School Rare Book Room, Yale Art Gallery, and Yale Center for British Art. Look out for this and other Yale for Life Seminars in your own communities and in New Haven. Special kudos to Marv Berenblum who was a conceptual Leader of the Yale for Life program.
I received a welcome email from Raleigh (Mouse) Coffin reacting to the death of his Yale roommate Hugh Magee on which I reported in the most recent Yale Notes. “Over the years Hugh and I had several conversations about the existence of God, reincarnation and the nature of sin, which of course Hugh had the upper hand. Hugh was amazingly sensitive, yet held firm beliefs about his church and religion. His loving wife Yvonne was a very able support for Hugh and his ministry as he both challenged and embraced the teachings of the Anglican Church and attempted to bring it up to today’s realities with both humor and incisive intellect. As his late brother John wrote in his emotional poem “High Flight”, Hugh has “reached out to touch the face of God”
Three more classmates have died. Jim Malaro passed away April 22 in Centreville Maryland. Armed with his degree in chemical engineering, Jim spent 30 years working on health and safety issues related to nuclear energy, first at the Naval Research Lab and then the Atomic Energy Commission. Jim’s real passion was photography. It was here that the scientist and artist combined. When he retired in 1995 he became a vigorous part of his community, active in arts through his
photography, displaying at galleries throughout the area, and through teaching at Chesapeake College. He was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Marjorie. He is survived by son James, daughter Amy, and Lamont his standard poodle. The published obit ended “in lieu of Flowers, do something nice for someone”. Stan Phelps died at home In Greenwich June 6. Stan was chairman of the board of S.N. Phelps & Co and Clear Springs Land Company. His earlier career in the bond business included stints with Citibank, F.S.Smithers and Drexel Burnham Lambert where he started their high-yield bond department. Stan was a generous supporter of many educational and Christian organizations, including Hartwick College where he received an honorary Doctor of Laws, Harvard Business School, Keck Graduate Institute, The Madeira School, Navy Seal Foundation, Polk State College, and Yale Peabody Museum where he served on the Peabody Leadership Council. He is survived by His wife Elizabeth, two children and three grandchildren.
To all classmates with fake hips and knees, your reporter just underwent hip replacement surgery and now is operating on two replaced hips and one replaced knee. I’d appreciate hearing from those of you who have had similar surgeries, and would like to compile a list of all survivors. Remember to access our class website at WWW.YALE-56 to catch up on all the interesting information compiled by our Webmaster Bill Rees.
Messrs Rindlaub, Boasberg and Selig have reported their Davenport Fellowship Committees in New York, Washington and Boston have determined three winners of $5,000 each after having received almost a record twenty-two applications. Junior Max Graham will make a visit to The Arctic Refuge, a place so remote, considered one of the hardest places to visit in the U.S, yet so central to our country’s political and historical development. Serena Shapard, a seamstress of some skill will spend the summer designing and creating dresses inspired by five of her peers in Davenport College to honor her grandmother and create her first fashion collection. Arya Sundaram, an aspiring journalist will collect the narrative of undocumented Asian immigrants living in and around Los Angeles, CA determining the unique problems they face, and how they negotiate the vicissitudes of the model minority myth. All three winners will relate their experiences to class members who attend our class dinner following the Harvard football game November 23rd. Don’t miss the fun.
Don Chatfield checked in with an email describing a January Whiffenpoof concert at his church in Claremont CA. “They did a wonderful job. The close harmonies were great (“A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square” made my mouth water), the presentation was impeccable. AND, after Yale being co-ed for what, half a century?—it was stunning to see the Whiffs with their first woman singer mirabledictu! Sounded like they still sang “Gentlemen Songsters”, though. You don’t want to rush this stuff”. Hugh Magee checked in to inform me of the publication of his new book “Required to Love”. From the Foreword in the book: “Hugh had congregates who adored him because he told the truth; but there were also those who were ready to burn him at the stake!”
We lost three more classmates. Thanks to reporting from Pete Allee, we were informed that Nick Steiner died January 21 at Hackensack University Medical Cente after a decades long battle with cancer. In addition to his laudable career in medicine, he was a published author, a noted linguist, and an accomplished photographer. One of the truly nice guys of the class, Nick struggled for years with health problems and a brave outlook that defied any sorrow laden expressions of concern from classmates or friends. He is survived by his wife Jennifer Stern and his children Mark and Nadine Steiner. A special thanks to Mark for helping collect insightful information on Nick’s life. John William Packard passed on December 22 In Englewood New Jersey. He founded the Yale Aviation Society and organized the first intercollegiate air meet competition in the US in 1952. He was a movie and Broadway show producer, and a wine expert running Packard’s Fine Wine and Spirits shops throughout New Jersey and the famed Vendome Liquor Inc in Manhattan. John McGuerty of Guilford CT passed away peacefully at CT Hospice in Branford. He began as a model builder while at Yale, graduated from Yale School of Architecture and became New Haven City Planner. His heart was in New Haven, and he fought vigorously to make it a wonderful place to live and work. He is survived by his former wife Nancy and his devoted and loving friend of 40 years Melinda Daniels.
Here is a thank you note from Abigail Hopkins, the recipient of this year’s Memorial Scholarship. “It has been an honor to accept this scholarship from you. Thank you so much. Being at Yale has been such an integral aspect of my life and development, and I can’t imagine what life would be without it. I’m a junior in Saybrook College majoring in Psychology. I’m hoping to pursue a career in public health after college, but for now, I’m enjoying singing a cappella with The New Blue and volunteering to teach Community Health Educators workshops at local high schools.”
Closing with a reminder to access our web site At www.yale-56.org. Bill Rees has added a section for eulogies where there are already 9 on file. Any classmate who has given a eulogy for another classmate is urged to share it with Bill or me. Bill’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Class pride is the bellwether of the new year. First we received the announcement of the yearly award of The Class of 1956 Memorial Scholarship Fund. For the ninth straight year the scholarship was awarded to a descendant of the class, and for the second straight year to Abigail Hopkins the great niece of deceased classmate James Moore. As a junior, Abigail has declared for a major in psychology. Her goal is to enroll In the combined B.S./M.H.P. program at the Yale School Of Public Health, which will enable her to earn her Master’s Degree by staying on campus an additional year. To gain hands on experience in the field, she is currently conducting a study in the Social Perception & Communication Laboratory, which examines the psychology of navigating social and cultural diversity. She also performs with the all-women a cappella group the New Blue of Yale. Abigail’s’ note to the class: “Thank you. You have allowed me to be in a place that gives me so much happiness. At Yale, I am forever challenged and motivated by my peers, professors, and mentors, and I am happy to continue my time here.” As of June 2018, our scholarship fund had a market value of $301,359 and the yearly scholarship amount is $13,134. A special thanks to those who continue to support continued presence of a class of 1956 scholar on campus. It is a fitting tribute to deceased classmates.
The second pride sharing event came with the news that our own Bill Poorvu along with his wife Lia, daughter Alison and son Jonathan have created a permanent endowment for The Center of Teaching and Learning sustaining the activities of the pioneering center in perpetuity. It has now been renamed The Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning, providing a permanent source of support for the center’s core activities, which impact faculty and students in New Haven and learners around the world. Through a new partnership with the Yale College Dean’s Office, The Center will also help first year students transition to college life. The First Generation Low-Income Yale (FGLI) offers social, Institutional and academic support for students who identify as the first of their families to go to college as well as students from low income communities. Our collective caps are off to honor Bill and his family. Sad to report five more classmates who have died. In a delayed notification, I received word that Robinson Callendar passed away In May 2017. I searched for his obit without success. If anyone can shed more light, please let me know. Jacques Gansler, a Stalwart at The University of Maryland, died in December. Whileworking at the Pentagon as the third-ranking civilian from 1997 to 2001, Jack was responsible for all research and development, acquisition reform, logistics, advance technology and environmental security. He was also an accomplished author. He wrote “Defense Conversion: Transforming the Arsenal of Democracy,” MIT Press 1995, Affording Defense” MIT Press, 1989; “The Defense Industry”, MIT Press, and “Ballistic Missile Defense: Past and Future,” National Defense University Press, 2010. An active supporter of the class, Jack participated in the Washington Selection Committee of the Davenport Fellowship and twice addressed our Class Reunions on foreign and defense policies. From his widow Martha, I received word that Jim Cook had passed away peacefully after a two decade struggle with Parkinson’s disease on May 20, 2018 at Tavares Hospice House. After receiving a Master’s Degree of Public Administration. Jim served as a city manager in many locations Including the port city of Yanbu in Saudi Arabia. After retirement he traveled extensively with his wife, provided consulting services to many, particularly young women who had been denied opportunities In the male dominated field of city government. James Edgar Taylor II died in Burlington, NC November 22. After receiving an MBA from Wharton, Jim began a career in accounting with Ernst and Ernst. Jim later owned and managed Discharge Machining, Inc in Euclid Ohio. He is survived by his wife of 52 years Teri, three children and eight grandchildren. Bill Bourke thoughtfully shared with me the news of Roger Hollander’s death November 15 in Minneapolis. Roger began working at Hollander Publishing, a small family business serving the automotiverecycling industry which he developed over the years into a modern information services company. After retiring in 1992, he relocated to Cody Wyoming and focused more intently on his diverse interests inworld cultures, architecture, music and art. During this period, he became an internationally recognized collector of antique Indian and Chinese textiles.
I should acknowledge two communiques bringing news from Morocco and England. The peripatetic Jim Kern decide to test two new hips by Hiking in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco. He describes the range as stunning, 1000 miles in length setting a north limit to the Sahara desert. He did his Christmas shopping at the famous Casbah in Marrakesh. The Reverend Hugh Magee included in his Christmas report that he has yet another book about to be published taking the form of a ‘spiritual Autobiography’ and hyping our interest by saying there are some bits about his Yale experience that might be of interest to some.
I close with a year end statistical look at the class. According to Yale, Our “Annual Activity Summary” is as follows:
# of living Class members 560
# 0f living widows 181
# of Class Dues payers 260
The level of support for our class dues is much appreciated. The declining number of classmates is not. Remember to keep up with the news posted on our class website at www.Yale56-org. I also have also found an extensive link list including useful website links that will help you remain informed, engaged and involved in Yale activities. Email me and I’ll send you a copy.
I know that many of you were surprised to receive your September/October edition of the Alumni Magazine without Class Notes. Frankly, I was similarly perturbed until I was informed that the magazine produces two by- monthly editions (one that omits Class notes for graduate student reading) and that’s the edition we all received. Don Chatfield wrote that he didn’t know how much he enjoyed my column until it vanished. According to Don, the only upside was that the skinnier YAM was much easier to lift up and hold when reading for those of us whose biceps have been weakened by desuetude. I’m assuming you all received the special mailing that was limited to the missing Class Notes. Received a nice note from David Linett, regretting to have been out of touch for a time. He and his wife Penny have moved to Cape Cod after retiring from the practice of law in New Jersey. He now keeps busy leading a Rotary International Leadership Development Program, and is also now serving as Vice President of the Yale Club of Cape Cod. Our class impresario George Litton basked in the glow of the 65th Anniversary Concert presented by The Yale Russian Chorus and the Alumni Of The Yale Russian Chorus presented at Woolsey Hall in October.
It was George, as President of the Yale Russian Club who invited Denis Mickiewicz, a Yale Music School student, to teach members of the Chorus a few traditional Russian folk songs. That led to the founding of the Yale Russian Chorus in 1953, to be hailed as “Diplomats of Song” by the Wall Street Journal after they completed 16 tours of the Soviet Union, and Eastern and Western Europe, winning international choral competitions and releasing 18 recordings. Today it is the oldest continuously performing Russian singing group in the Americas.
The Class of 1956 joins President Salovey in congratulating the Chorus as emissaries of good will while demonstrating the power of music to forge bonds of understanding around the world.
We lost more three classmates recently. Judah “Jud” Kaplan passed away October 1 in Savannah Georgia. He was a member of the American Stock Exchange and Managing partner of M.L. Weiss and Company for over 50 years, and coach for the American Stock Exchange basketball team for many years. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Judie, two children and two grandchildren.
In Louisville Kentucky, John “Jack” Hafner died in Baptist
Hospital Palliative Care April 28. Jack served as a captain and flight surgeon in the US Air Force. He was in private practice for 45 years, the last few years in conjunction with Kentucky Eye Care. He was associated with many Kentucky medical associations particularly those associated with ophthalmology and in particular one association not connected with his practice the American Motorcycle Association. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Joan, a son and four grandchildren.
Jason Bacon II died at the log cabin home he built, loved and lived in with his wife Nina. He was with Kidder Peabody for over 27 years, later retiring to Vermont where he served as President of the Vermont Historical Society. He is Survived by his wife Pauline, three children and seven grandchildren.
May all my surviving classmates have an enjoyable and safe 2019.