CLASS OF 1960 | 2017 | ISSUE 2

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I was deeply saddened to learn that Charlie Smith passed away in May after a long illness. Charlie was our class agent for many years, and we are indebted to him for his tireless efforts on our behalf. We will miss his kindness, unfailing optimism, hu-mor, and deep engagement with the world. He was a sociologist who specialized in social theory and economic sociology. He held several professional institutional roles, including faculty member (Queens College and The Graduate Center, CUNY), long-term editor of the Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior, department chair of sociology, and dean of social sciences (Queens College). He was also active in his synagogue. He is survived by Rita, his wife for 53 years, daughter Abigail ’92, son Jonathan ’94, four grandchildren, two sisters, and a brother. Before his passing, Charlie was informed that our class scholarship had been renamed the Charles W. Smith Class of 1960 Scholarship Fund in his honor.

The passing of Dick Huddleston in January was a significant loss to our university community. He was class secretary and agent, and a director of development at Wesleyan. The following appears in the published obituary: “Dick dedicated his life to his family and supporting nonprofit institutions which provide educational opportunities for youth and adults. His love of his children and grandchildren was expressed by his playful character and ability to think ‘outside the box.’ He successfully shared these gifts in his career helping children and adults all over the world. A passion for travel and exploration of different countries and cultures was a constant theme in his life, motivating him to study six foreign languages, live abroad, become an airplane pilot, and learn to cook excellent Italian food.” He is survived by Lindsey, his wife for 56 years, children Kathy and Michael ’90, four grandchildren, one brother, and one sister. The Richard H. Huddleston ’60 P’90 Wesleyan Scholarship has been established in his honor.

In June family and friends held a luncheon to celebrate the lives of Dick and Charlie Smith and to dedicate the Huddleston Lounge in Downey House and the adjacent Smith Patio so that they would be forever memorialized on the campus they loved so much. It’s only fitting that these two close friends and extraordinary Wesleyan fundraisers were honored together.

Rick Garcia is president of the National Academy of Economic Sciences of Bolivia. In May, he appointed internationally known Dr. Francis J. Ayala as honorary fellow because of his extraordinary contributions to a better understanding of the interconnections between evolutionary biology and economics.

Mark Lischner’s daughter, Lori, teaches special education in San Rafael, Calif. His son, Benjamin, is a physician in Norway. In 1971, Mark started a group practice in Sacramento in pulmonary and critical care medicine. The office now numbers over 30 caregivers. He plans to continue “until stopped by physical disability, dementia, or death.”

Gil Seeley is teaching a course in world music  at the Jewish Community Center in Tucson, where the new director of arts and culture is Barbara Fenig ’11.

Carl Syriala died on Nov. 12, 2016, in West Barnstable, Mass. He was an aquaculture expert and served as the treasurer of the local fire department for 15 years.

In retirement, Paul Tractenberg directs projects designed to improve educational equality. Rutgers Law School presented a major program honoring his 50 years of work in the field. Paul and Neimah enjoyed their annual New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day festivities with their four grandchildren. They went to Florida in February to share a good friend’s “special birthday,” and on a small boat cruise in May to the Mediterranean side of Italy and France.

Bob Williams wrote in: “We maintain our great Wesleyan relations with Marilyn and Mickey Levine. I am active with a flourishing Midcoast Senior College and editor of their newsletter; the layout man is Burr Taylor ’61. I also enjoy my friendship with another Russian historian, Phil Pomper, recently retired from the Wesleyan faculty, and my barbershop singing with the Uncalled Four.”

Alan Wulff wrote in: “I had a great reunion with Dave Boesel. Dave is involved in many things, most notably fervent, active work in the political arena. Dave is a black-belt martial arts expert and was elected president of the American Ju-Jitsu Association.” Alan visited Wesleyan in May and had dinner with Bing Leverich ’59.

I am happy to report that I am now back home. It is a blessing that the left ischium of my pelvis has healed well. I was at Mt. Baker Care Center from Jan. 1 through Mar. 4, where they prepared me with physical and occupational therapy for reentry into my normal surroundings. It was good to resume driving and restart activities such as yoga, contra dancing, and hiking. In addition, I visited the Wesleyan campus with my niece Liz in April and was impressed with the activities taking place on Science Saturday.

SAL RUSSO | salandjudy@hotmail.com
2700 Kentucky St., Bellingham, WA 98229