As many of you know, Lloyd Buzzell died last August. Your scribe for more than 40 years, Lloyd was one of the first recipients of a Wesleyan University Service Award in 1988. We extend our sincere condolences to his wife, Judith, their son, Joshua (Emma), grandson Ben, and friends.
Several of you sent in tributes to Lloyd. Phil Calhoun ’62 wrote:
“Lloyd developed his competitive rowing skills at Kent School at age 13, then, in 1964, brought those considerable skills to Wesleyan, where he was instrumental to the establishment of a Wesleyan rowing program. Lloyd ended his rowing career by competing in Boston’s Head of the Charles Regatta on his 63rd birthday. Fifty years of devotion to rowing is a testament to his indomitable spirit.
“Lloyd was an integral part of our family’s early life. He babysat our two daughters on numerous occasions, dined with us often, and most especially was a dear friend.
“Lloyd, using his wry sense of humor and exceptional writing skills, served as 1968’s class secretary for 40 years, with his final entry weeks before his death in August 2023.
Intellectually, he wrote many letters to the editor of his local New Haven newspaper, challenging causes he felt unworthy and supporting humanitarian efforts that lifted up those less fortunate than himself. He spent years teaching writing skills as a means of engaging incarcerated prisoners and providing them with insights into their lives, as well as hope for their futures.
“Lloyd’s special and endearing spirit, along with his infectious laugh, will be missed by the many folks who had the privilege of knowing him.”
From Bob Reisfeld:
A Tribute and Thanks to Lloyd Buzzell
“Dear fellow members of the Wesleyan Class of ’68:
“Just a brief but hopefully meaningful comment about our classmate, friend, and longtime class secretary, Lloyd Buzzell. Of course, each of us have our own memories and personal experiences of Lloyd. Some of us never knew him personally, and some of us had closer ties to him over the years. I was one who didn’t know him well at all during our years at Wesleyan but got to know and appreciate him through his class notes and unflagging attendance at our class reunions. If anything or anyone kept our class connected in any way after we left the campus, it was Lloyd. He was kind, thoughtful, loving, playful, deep, fun, and accepting of us all. He found a way for us to share information with and about each other, based only on what we wrote to him, no matter our similarities or differences. He was nonjudgmental in his reports of us and allowed us to stay connected in some ethereal and uncritical way. For that, I think that we are all grateful to him. I know I am.”
And from Sandy See:
“I had been in touch with Lloyd and was aware of his declining health. He dealt with it openly and with acceptance. No woe-is-me for him, just lots of gratitude for the life he had been given. He kept an eye on Wesleyan, calling out praise and criticism as he saw it. He felt and expressed appreciation and love for us all, casting a glow over his time with us at Wes as we proceeded from boys to men. And he was never going to let us forget his stalwart rowing crewmates who made us so proud of their achievements in major races over the years.
“Thank you for your friendship and service, Lloyd. We were fortunate to know you.”
Neil Rossman wrote in for the first time. He said, “I never sent any news to class notes over the years because . . . well, just because. However, after reading the archived notes which were sent today and being saddened by reading for the first time of the deaths of many classmates and friends, I thought I ought to send something before I, too, appear as an obit. Back in the day, I handled 480 Dalkon Shield IUD cases and was a director of the Claimant’s Committee in the A. H. Robins Bankruptcy. I tried and won the last case which preceded the bankruptcy filing and testified as an ‘expert witness’ before the court on the nature of settlements. I also changed the entire fire apparatus industry in this country when I tried and won the Tynan v. Pirsch case in the U.S. District Court in Boston in late 1985. It resulted in all fire trucks having to have four doors with individual seating and seat belts for all members of the crew. It was, and I believe still is, the largest verdict (as opposed to a settlement) for an injured firefighter in the country. I also tried another firefighter case in Waterbury, which was ultimately overturned by the Connecticut Supreme Court, but which forced additional safety standards regarding the securing of all tools and equipment in the cabin to be secured, lest they fly about in a crash or rollover. I was asked to serve on the NFPA so-called “1500 Committee,” which wrote all of the safety and health standards for the fire service including fire ground incident command, safety officer, etc. I also was asked to speak to fire service groups around the country and Canada, at last count 55 times. I’m in my 51st year of practice and hoping to retire (sometime?). I don’t golf or sail anymore, but I do run a 37-foot commercial lobster boat out of Marblehead and fish 180 traps from May to Thanksgiving. Best, Neil”
Bill Heckman sent in his first update in over 50 years!:
“Hi from the Wild West! . . . . I’m a proud survivor of ‘Norwines Revenge’ Class of ’68, and happy to send you this update. Good to read about so many ex-classmates, but sad so many have crossed over . . . may they all find peace.
“Finally retired five years ago and living six and six in Arizona, between Scottsdale winters and Flagstaff summers, at 6,600 feet—for perfect year-round happiness. Three kids, four grands, [and] one great-granddaughter; much world travel (over 60 countries) . . . a grand life!
“Although I’ve done well as a retail executive for half of my career and as a marketing rep for the rest, every place I worked no longer exists. Entire industries have vanished and I worry for the coming generations adapting to new realities.
“Sending big HELLO to any who might remember me and especially to Dave Cain, Jeff Camp ’70, Warren Williams, Rick Hammer ’69, Cami Billmyer ’67, John Phillips ’69, and Dave Webb. Hope all are well!
“Best wishes for happiness, good health, and much enjoyment in our twilight years!”
Kenneth Schweller said he continues“to work on developing 3D video games for bonobos, chimpanzees, rhesus monkeys, and baboons. The goal of our team is to study their spatial navigation abilities and their cooperation and competition strategies. Our latest work is with 30 baboons at the Southwest National Primate Center where we will be doing a long-term study of the cognitive deficits that characterize Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Thirty baboons will be tested (noninvasively) over their life span to assess their navigation abilities as they search for hidden food in a virtual touch-screen environment, a task that places a high demand on memory and problem-solving. We hope to discover which of our tasks might be predictive of later impairment with the goal of developing similar diagnostic tools for humans.”
Bob Svensk sent in this headline: Bill Gerber ’86 won the first selectman race in Fairfield, Connecticut, last fall, beating the incumbent by 42 votes.
Henry St. Maurice said he was “sorry to learn about Lloyd’s passing. He was indeed an exemplary class secretary. My note is as follows:
“I am semiretired from higher education, doing what I chose when granted emeritus status at the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point in 2009. I serve on doctoral committees for that institution and for Edgewood College, supervise student teachers, and do freelance editing for researchers submitting manuscripts for peer reviews. I also serve on the Columbia County Board of Supervisors, Frank Lloyd Wright in Wisconsin Incorporated, and the Aldo Leopold Foundation. Anyone who’d like to visit our local points of interest would be welcome to be our guest in the home that Wright designed for Mary’s parents in 1954.
“A high point of the past year was presenting her bachelor’s diploma to our daughter Emma, who is now a teacher in a nearby middle school. Her brother, our firstborn, is a contract specialist for Uncle Sam in Washington State.
“Best wishes to all my fellow Wesleyan alums, especially those who roomed with me in Casa Pandolfo at 124 Main Street. —Henry”
Mark J. Estren shared: “From one of my last communications with Lloyd: ‘I have been working with people in ALFs (and hospice) for years and know you have had a significant adjustment on many levels. Also, my girlfriend, a CNA, is a trained expert at assisting people with ADLs (activities of daily living). Expectations modest (but not gone altogether) is one of the keys. You are in the right headspace for this.’ Lloyd then suggested I sum up my own current life in 100 words. I wrote exactly that number for him to include in our class notes. He did not get the chance, but here they are:
“I, your youngest classmate, just turned 75. Uh-oh. Still writing on investments, health care, and more—latest book, One Toke to God, explores spiritual properties of cannabis. Also consult as psychotherapist at nonprofit Christian life-care community, Shell Point, and post weekly at www.infodad.com about kids’ books and classical music—thousands of my reviews online. Hobby: herpetology rescues—currently six turtles and a bearded dragon. Significant other, Bev, works in pediatric ICU at Golisano Children’s Hospital. Daughter, Meredith (Duke engineering undergraduate/London Business School MBA), is CEO of travel concierge firm Albertine, and a Kensington Symphony violist. Life in 100 words!”
From Larry Tondel: “I happily retired from my law practice involving complex securities and structured derivatives transactions through big law in NYC (Sidley Austin LLP) when I turned 70 and now split my time with my wife of almost 50 years between our lake house in New Hampshire and our homestead of 45 years in Cresskill, New Jersey. I serve as trustee of several organizations and enjoy my leisure time and lots of travel. The knees have finally given out after too many injuries, so I am relegated to kayaking and scuba. Days of 1968 are a different world from 2023 . . . I cherish my memories of Wesleyan ’68 and Michigan ’71 (where I went for law school).”
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