CHARLES B. SULLIVAN, the co–founder of the law firm of Cheever & Sullivan in Wilton, N.H., died Feb. 19, 2010, at age 88. A member of Sigma Chi, he served in the U.S. Army during World War II, after which he received his bachelor’s and law degrees from Yale University. In addition to his law practice, he was the judge of the Municipal District Court for many decades, the chairman of the New Hampshire State Republican Party, and served on the boards of several banks. He established the Luther Gregg Sullivan Post–doctoral Fellowship at Wesleyan in memory of his late son, who graduated in 1973. He is survived by his wife, Jean Wilson Sullivan; three sons, including David B. Sullivan ’69; five grandchildren, including Danforth B. Sullivan ’06; and two great–grandchildren.


MERWIN B. SMITH, 84, the retired owner of the Smith and Chester Insurance Agency, Inc., died Sept. 25, 2005. A member of Psi Upsilon, he served in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II. He was involved in civic and professional organizations and was a past president of the Wesleyan Alumni Association of Cleveland. Survivors include his wife, Shirley Cass Smith, two daughters, and three grandchildren.


WILLIAM A. PURTELL JR., beloved husband of Mary Jane (Alexander) Purtell, passed on to eternal life after a brief illness April 6, 2004. He was born in Hartford on March 21, 1922, to the late Senator William A. Purtell and Katherine (Cassidy). A graduate of William H. Hall School and Wesleyan University, he went on to serve in the 103rd lnfantry Division, Company G, based at Camp Houze in Texas. His World War II experience included serving in Germany and Austria, and he was most proud to be a veteran.

An accomplished model airplane builder, Bill began his hobby while in his teens and went on to win numerous competitions, beginning in 1939 with The Senior Hartford Open. He enjoyed the challenge of creating model flying machines of his own designs but more important the camaraderie of the fellow model airplane builders. He and his family traveled extensively over the years while he competed and placed in numerous national competitions.

Bill owned and operated ESICO (Electric Soldering Iron Company) in Deep River from 1962, until his retirement in 1987. He was a hands-on boss who always treated his employees fairly and was concerned for their well being and success. During his ESICO years, he remained active in the Middlesex County Manufacturers Association, serving as president for a period of time.

After living in Otter Cove in Old Saybrook for 40 years, he and Jane relocated to Laurel Gardens in Glastonbury in 2003, where he enjoyed many wonderful times with his fellow residents– “a really nice group of people,” he would often say. Bill’s family is very grateful to the wonderful staff at Laurel Gardens for all of their efforts on his behalf.

Bill is survived by “his two girls” as he always called them, his beloved wife, Jane; his cherished daughter, Robin Purtell Bell and his son-in-law, Walter Bell, for whom he had the deepest love and respect and whom he fondly called “The Big Guy.” In addition, he leaves several brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Robert Alexander of Hartford, Bruce and Chris Alexander of New Haven, and Douglas and Mary Kay Alexander of West Hartford, all of whom were a constant source of love and support to him and his family; a sister, Margaret Poehnert of Old Saybrook; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and his granddog, Tinkerbell, whom he cared for over the years.

Funeral service and burial were private. Jane, Robin and Walter would especially like to thank Dr. Mark Daily of the Helen and Harry Gray Canter Center for his perseverance, encouragement and support as Bill fought the battle of his life against non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; Dr. Richard Graniero for his on-going assistance; Kathleen McGuire of the Glastonbury Visiting Nurses who brightened his day and provided much needed support, and Kathie Ransford and all her associates of Glastonbury Health Care for the meticulous care and concern during his final weeks.

Memorial donations in Bill’s honor may be made to the Glastonbury Visiting Nurses, 969 Hebron Avenue, Glastonbury, CT 06033 or The American Cancer Society. The Sheehan-Hilborn-Breen Funeral Home, 1084 New Britain Ave., West Hartford, is assisting the Purtell family with arrangements.


DANIEL H. POLLITT, 88, the Graham Kenan Professor of Law, emeritus, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law, who was known for his progressive social and political views, died Mar. 5, 2010. He was a member of Delta Upsilon and served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II. After receiving his law degree from Cornell University, he clerked for a judge and later worked at a law firm, where he began a lifetime of defending civil rights and civil liberties, and fighting injustices in local, state, and national arenas. In 1957 he moved to Chapel Hill, where he joined the law school faculty as a constitutional and labor law professor. Active in numerous organizations, he had been president of the faculty for four years and won many honors and awards, including the Order of the Long–Leaf Pine, awarded by the Governor of North Carolina for extraordinary service to the state. His first wife, Jean Ann Rutledge Pollitt, died in 2006. Among those who survive are his wife, Eleanor Kinnaird; three children, including Daniel R. Pollitt ’74; five grandsons; three stepchildren; and a large extended family, including Laura Kenney ’82 and Sophie Pollitt–Cohen ’09.


EDWARD OLSON JR., an attorney, died Oct. 23, 2007. He was 86. A member of Delta Tau Delta, he received his degree with honors and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. After serving in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II, he received his law degree from Harvard University. Predeceased by his first wife, Jean Werdelin Olson, survivors include his wife, Muriel Carl Olson, two sons, three stepdaughters, and several grandchildren.


HAROLD A. MOORE JR., a retired real estate appraiser, died Mar. 16, 2004. He was 82. A member of Delta Tau Delta, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II. Predeceased by two sons, he is survived by his wife, Ina R. Moore, two sons, five grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and a sister.


DONALD C. McCANDLESS, a longtime real estate consultant and appraiser in the Washington, D.C., area, died Jun. 6, 2009, at age 87. A member of Delta Upsilon, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps during WWII. He was a well–known real estate appraiser and had been an adjunct professor at American University, as well as a consultant to the U.S. government and to many corporations. His wife, Margaret Baker McCandless, and one son predeceased him. Survivors include two children, four stepchildren, seven grandchildren, and one great–grandchild.


DONALD G. MACDONALD, a top administrator of the Agency for International Development who directed the AID mission in Vietnam during the peak years of the Vietnam War, died of esophageal cancer Jan. 12, 2004, at age 82. He was a member of Chi Psi and received a master’s degree from Princeton University. During World War II he served in the U.S. Navy, after which he began his civilian federal career with a position at the Atomic Energy Commission. He then joined the Mutual Security Agency, a predecessor agency to AID and, before going to Vietnam, directed AID missions in Pakistan and Nigeria. Earlier, he had served in Turkey. He spent 1966 to 1970 in Vietnam and was injured during the Tet Offensive of early 1968, but returned to Vietnam after treatment in the U.S. In Vietnam he presided over a massive assistance program, as well as the building of schools, the establishment of health clinics, and the start-up of industries. He also served as assistant AID administrator for Asia. Less than a year after retiring, he was called back into service after the fall of Saigon in 1975 to direct the resettlement of almost 50,000 Vietnamese refugees at Fort Chaffee, Ark., whom he helped locate to various places across the U.S. in less than eight months. His first wife, Barbara McCloskey MacDonald, died. Survivors include his wife, Marcia A. Wiss; three children from his first marriage; two children from his second marriage; and seven grandchildren.


RICHARD L. LYONS, a Washington Post reporter for almost 35 years, who covered the House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment hearings of President Richard M. Nixon, died Jan. 23, 2011. He was 88. A member of Beta Theta Pi, he received his degree with distinction in history. During World War II he served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the Pacific as an artillery officer. In 1947 he received a master’s degree from Harvard University and then joined the Washington Post staff, where he covered the 1957 racial integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., as well as the Supreme Court, the House of Representatives, and the 1960 Democratic National Convention. His first marriage, to the former Mildred Damron, ended in divorce. Among those who survive are his wife, Shirley Elder, two children, six grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, two brothers, a sister, and a stepsister.


EDGAR H. KNAPP, who retired as a faculty member at Pennsylvania State University after teaching in public and private secondary schools, died Oct. 29, 2012, at age 90. A member of Chi Psi, he received a master’s degree from Boston University and an EdD from Teachers College, Columbia University. During World War II he served in the U.S. Navy. After teaching English and coaching athletics in public and private schools, he joined the faculty at Pennsylvania State University, where he taught literature, writing, educational methods, humanities, American Studies, and literary criticism, in addition to counseling future English teachers. By his own admission an independent thinker, at times unconventional, he wrote his autobiography, several essays, a memoir, and his obituary. His first wife, Susan Kenney Knapp, died, as did one grandson. Among those who survive are his wife, Sally Tuthill Knapp, eight children, three step-children, 12 grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.