Gilbert Parker ’48

Gilbert Parker ’48, a retired literary agent who represented many of the country’s most influential playwrights over the span of nearly half a century, died Oct. 29, 2019. He was 92 and had served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. The first theater major at Wesleyan, he earned his degree with honors and distinction. Beginning his career at Liebling-Wood, Inc., as the assistant to Audrey Wood, the renowned agent who represented Tennessee Williams and other significant playwrights, Parker later joined the William Morris Agency, retiring in 2000. Parker was noted as an adviser and mentor to many young and aspiring Wesleyan theater majors, and in his honor, Thomas Kail ’99 and Claire Labine (a former client of Parker’s and creator/head writer of Ryan’s Hope) created a Wesleyan scholarship in Parker’s name in 2012. In a note to those gathered in New York City to celebrate the Gilbert Parker Endowed Scholarship, President Michael S. Roth ’78 had observed, “During your sparkling 50-year career as an agent, the Wesleyan community took pride in your reflected glory. You made this relationship with our alma mater deeper and more personal, then and following your retirement, by closely mentoring Wesleyan graduates in the theater world like Thomas Kail ’99, Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02, John Buffalo Mailer ’00, and Bill Sherman ’02, among others. It’s wonderful that a group of your friends and protégés initiated this scholarship fund (and typical of your generosity, Gilbert, that you have contributed to it).”  A memorial service is planned for Parker on Feb. 3, 2020, in New York City. Those who would like more information, or would like to make a gift to the Gilbert Parker Endowed Scholarship Fund at Wesleyan University in celebration of his life, please contact Marcy Herlihy at mherlihy@wesleyan.edu; 860/685-2523; Wesleyan University Office of Advancement, 291 Main Street, Middletown, CT 06457.

RICHARD T. WALSH ’48

RICHARD T. WALSH, 90, a group insurance and employee benefits executive, died July 5, 2014. A member of the John Wesley Club, he served in the U.S. Army Air Forces as a navigator, and was aboard one of the lead aircraft sent to liberate France early on D-Day, 1944. After working for several corporations as an executive, he joined INSILCO Corp. as director of personnel, from which he retired in 1986. A collector of fine art and antique automobiles, he was also an accomplished inventor. His first wife, Ruth Morris Walsh, predeceased him, as did a son. Among those who survive are his wife, Betsy Olmsted Walsh, four children, six grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, his brother, and a large extended family.

CHARLES S. STONE JR. ’48

CHARLES S. STONE JR., a prominent and pioneering American journalist, university professor, former Wesleyan trustee, and a founder of the National Association of Black Journalists, died Apr. 6, 2014. He was 89. During World War II he served in the U.S. Army Air Forces as a member of the Tuskegee Airmen. He received a master’s degree from the University of Chicago. During the height of the civil rights era, he worked as a reporter and editor at several influential black newspapers, including The New York Age and The Chicago Defender. From 1960 to 1963, he was editor and White House correspondent for The Washington Afro-American. In 1972 he was hired as the first black columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News, where he was also a senior editor and reported extensively about police brutality and the criminal justice system. During this time, more than 75 criminal suspects asked him to escort them into police custody to avoid becoming victims of police brutality. In 1981, he was asked to help negotiate a deal between law enforcement officials and six prisoners who had taken 38 inmates and employees hostage at a Pennsylvania state prison. Four years later he began teaching journalism at the University of Delaware and then went to the University of North Carolina in 1991, where he taught for 14 years. He received six honorary doctoral degrees and numerous honors, including the University of North Carolina’s Thomas Jefferson Award, the Helen Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Free Spirit Award from the Freedom Forum, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Black Journalists. From 1972 to 1975 he served as a Wesleyan trustee. Beyond teaching and writing newspaper columns, he also wrote a number of books. These included Tell It Like It Is, a compilation of his columns, and Black Political Power in America, a college textbook; a novel called King Strut, which was based on a fictionalized account of the rise and fall of Congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr., for whom Stone worked as a special assistant; and a children’s book, Squizzy, The Black Squirrel. He and his wife, Louise Davis Stone, divorced after decades of marriage, and she predeceased him. Survivors include three children, one grandchild, and two sisters. He was the cousin of Alan K. Dockerey ’08.

ARTHUR H. COTINS ’48

ARTHUR H. COTINS, the manager of international operations for the Eaton Corporation, died July 28, 2011, at age 84. A member of Psi Upsilon, he received his degree with high honors and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He was also the manager of the undefeated football teams of 1945-1948. He received a master’s degree from Columbia University after serving in the U.S. Maritime Service during World War II. An avid traveler and gardener, he worked tirelessly on his and his wife’s 1719 home, which is slated to become a museum. Among those who survive are his wife, Carroll Cusick Cotins; one son; two daughters, including Catherine A. Cotins ’86; and eight grandchildren.

CLASS OF 1948 | 2014 | ISSUE 2

Catherine Cotins ’86 writes: “Arthur Cotins died peacefully surrounded by his family on July 28, 2011, at the age of 84. He was known as Jim by many of his friends and at Wesleyan his friends called him Tex. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Carroll Cusick Cotins, son Arthur James Cotins, daughters Catherine Agnes Cotins ’86, and Elizabeth Cotins Low, and eight grandchildren. He had a truly wonderful life and his kind heart will be missed by all who knew him more than words can say. At Wes he was a proud member of Psi U fraternity and manager of the undefeated football team. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa.”

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