CLASS OF 1956 | 2018 | ISSUE 3

We’ve just received the sad news that Glenn Boynton died quietly at Porter Hospital in Middlebury, Vt., on May 28. He was 83.

Last June Marge and Gary Miller attended their younger granddaughter’s graduation from the Art University of Bournemouth, U.K., where she majored in costume design. She was also a finalist in an all-U.K. student competition. She is a costuming apprentice at Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Theater and appears to be poised for a fascinating career.

Writing in September, Gary said he was “biting my nails, watching hurricane Florence bear down on Wilmington, N.C., where we have our winter home. We’re warm, dry, and comfy here in Maine, and I’d hate to have to dump things in the car and haul it down to North Carolina to pick up the pieces! Time will tell. Oh, and Sept. 15 is our 62nd anniversary, and we’ve planned a great lobster dinner to celebrate. Another reason to hope for a high-pressure ridge to save us.”

Julius Kaplan: “The big news is that my book, Secrets and Suspense, came out several months ago. Google it and share with me my delight in the great reviews it has been getting. It is essentially a memoir of my career as an international lawyer, presented in the form of stories arising out of matters I worked on as a lawyer, but presented for the lawyer and non-lawyer.

“I enjoyed writing the book so much that I am now in the process of writing another one! This one deals exclusively with the world of art and my participation in it over the past 50 years.”

Bob Bretscher writes: “My piloting days are over. I’m selling my Cherokee Dakota, tail #N86FE. Every flight was a joy. My next project is an effort to write my memoirs up to when I retired 1996. After the first year as a widower I appreciate my family and friends more than I could have ever imagined.”

Walt Ebmeyer reports: “I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease a year ago, thus again joining my old pal Muhammad Ali. Class of ’56 athletic types will remember my similarities to ‘The Greatest.’ Anyway, I’m too old to worry about it and kind of enjoy my children and grandchildren waiting on me.”

And Tom Plimpton: “My last e-mail to you stated that I would report on my trip to the state of Washington in September. Well, my health, which has been very good, took a turn for the worse. I wound up in the hospital in late July for five days. My health has since been precarious, and I did not go on vacation and have no news for you. Now I’m taking life one day at a time. Keep up the good work. Peace and joy!” Get well, Tom.

Writes Larry Fung: “Nothing much to report except I am getting older.” Larry: I’m not sure that qualifies as news!

Jack Shuman sent this tribute to his Wesleyan roommate, Ron Benson, who died on March 29. Ron, remember, was cocaptain of the ’55 football team that won the Little-Three Championship. Jack wanted us to know some things about Ron that he left out of his communique in the last issue.

“After school and the Navy, Ron worked in advertising, but in midlife he tired of big company life and formed his own consulting company. He also took up his favorite cause, helping business persons to further Christian morals and ethics in the business world.

“When his wife Polly was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Ron dedicated his life to her, refusing over 10 years to have her institutionalized even in her last ugly days. But as a result of this he joined a support group at his church, where he met his second wife-to-be Shirley, who had just gone through the same process with her spouse. They hit it off and eventually enjoyed a winter romance that culminated in their marriage last September. But that also was the culmination of Ron’s other life problem.

“In his early 40s Ron was on his daily jog when he suddenly collapsed. Luckily, he was almost at the feet of a well-trained emergency technician who recognized that his heart had stopped and immediately went into life-saving maneuvers. For the next 40-plus years Ron wore a defibrillator, which restarted his heart at least three times. But worse, Ron had another heart attack in September, just before the marriage. He insisted on going through with it. He and Shirley tried greatly to rehab his heart during the next six months, but he succumbed in March.

“Ron leaves behind his wife, Shirley, two daughters, Beth and Sarah, and a stepson, Stephen. He was my lifelong friend and I’ll miss him!”

And so will we.

George Chien |