CLASS OF 1963 | 2021–2022 | WINTER ISSUE

Fritz Henn proudly notes that his granddaughter is now at Wesleyan. That makes three generations: her parents both also went to Wesleyan. He writes, “She took a gap year working helping a family in France in order to get French down. At the end of her time there we met so I could introduce her to German relatives she never met. Ella ’24 did get to Heidelberg, where I lived for nearly 20 years, when we had our 50th wedding anniversary; in the interval my wife, Suella, passed away and I was anxious to get back to my old haunts one more time. We toured Munich, Dresden, and Berlin and went to Hamburg where the virus caught us. We got the last planes back to Washington, D.C., and San Francisco; in fact, she was on the NBC Nightly News, just interviewed catching the last flight to SFO.

“I sold my house and joined with my daughter’s family to buy a very large house in D.C., where I have my own apartment but eat with my daughter’s family (much better cooks and as an infectious disease doctor, Sarah is good to be around currently). I still have one last research project going, hoping it will cure depression (but beginning to doubt it).”

     Scott Wilson reports, “What a difference a year-and-a-half makes! Lucy and I had returned from a three-week mind-expanding tour of Egypt and Jordan, and then attended a Maya symposium at Tulane University in New Orleans, continuing our pre-Columbian studies. But those were the end of normal ‘exterior’ life events. Since then we have turned to ‘interior’ events, keeping our heads down from the virus and the political maelstrom, but the ‘interior’ events hold benefits, too: An expanded and productive vegetable garden is one; Zoom provides access to an array of lectures far beyond our own pre-Columbian Society of D.C. events, and my pastel painting and drawing continue, with some frameable efforts. I’m compiling all of our travel for the past 50 years, vivifying memories that had lain dormant.

“One product of my college teaching was a co-authored, community organizing text published in 1994 by Columbia University Press. It has continued to sell well for more than 25 years.”

     Hank Zackin turned 80 in August. “We have three grandchildren: Sam 16, Isabella almost 14, and Lola 12.  I am retired, but looking for something productive to do.  I read a lot, mostly fiction, and am grateful to our local library, especially during COVID.  Both my wife and I are fully vaccinated, remaining fairly healthy and as active as possible, but no travel as yet.”

     Fred Taylor says that his family’s three children married and he now has 10 grandchildren. “No wonder we are worn out at 80. I am still working part time at Evercore, which helps keep the mind stimulated. Carole celebrated her class of 1965 reunion at Connecticut College.  We had our 54th anniversary!

“It’s terrific to be able to be very happily married to the same person for all these years. I enjoy staying in touch with Wesleyan with the Emeritus Trustee Annual meetings. It continues to be an active, engaged campus. I stay in touch with Lew Whitney regularly and we enjoy trading our latest book suggestions.”

“A few years ago I retired from Columbia Business School after 50-plus years, 10,000 students, and 100 endless faculty meetings,” Don Sexton began. “I am now learning how to be retired. Fortunately, I minored in art at Wesleyan and have been a professional painter for more than 30 years, and now I have time to put a little more effort into that career. Had to reschedule a few 2020 solo shows due to COVID, but have been doing commissions and have six solo shows in the New York and Connecticut area scheduled for 2021–22. I have also been participating in courses in improv and in standup comedy to keep alert during these later years and have some fun during open mike nights.

“My wife Laura is still working for the New York City Education Department as a parent coordinator and has been working from home. Our daughter is a mechanical engineer and senior manager in the defense industry. She and her husband have two terrific children. Our two sons are developing careers in the restaurant business and in the film industry. Usually we live in Tribeca in New York but during the pandemic we were staying in our country home in northwest Connecticut. If you’re near or visiting New York, my next solo show in Manhattan will be during August–December at the East 67th Street Library. Information on my shows is on my website: www.sextonart.com or email me: don@sextonart.com.”

“I delayed responding to your request, Jan, hoping that the muse would strike, but there is not a lot going on that is exciting,” wrote Harvey Bagg.  “Anyway, since the onslaught of COVID, Martha and I have been pretty much hunkered down in Chatham, New York. She is actively practicing law from our makeshift office. I, being completely retired, keep more or less busy with catching up on my reading and various projects around the house.  I note, however, that my current tastes in literature are not the great books, but mysteries. On a ‘me’ note, I was recently awarded the Vietnam Veterans of America Achievement Medal for my work with veterans. I hasten to add that I did not serve in Vietnam, but there is no Dominican Republic Veterans of America organization. I hope that this provides a little grist for the class notes mill. Best to all, Harvey.”

     Len Edwards is busy as ever:  “We have now moved to the Sierra Nevada mountains for the summer. Our house is in Truckee, a railroad town near where the first continental railroad ran through and still does.

“My wife, Margie, and I married 12 years ago after both of our spouses died of cancer. With her nine grandchildren and my three we are busy with birthdays, graduations, and demands that we appear at holiday celebrations. We are both in our 80s but just barely, and our health is holding up. I, however, have flunked retirement. I still work as a consultant, teaching judges and attorneys around the country on juvenile law issues. I also am on the state ethics committee and am working on a project to reduce the impact of the opioid crisis on Californians.

“One sad note:  I am particularly grieving the loss of Peter Whiteley (’65) who was a close friend through grammar and high school and who then attended Wesleyan. Sadly, he passed away recently.”

     Stan Lewis, bound to be a lifelong artist, did pause to comment on his life. “Karen and I are living in Leeds, Massachusetts, a part of Northampton. Basically all I do is paint and visit grandchildren. Our oldest grandchild, Zoe, daughter of John Lewis (’64), just took a guided tour of Wesleyan. She was very impressed.

“I am getting tired and wearing out, but Karen has, over the years, made me do these 22-minute exercises every day (Miranda Esmonde–White’s Classical Stretch). I seem to be able to do a lot.

“I’ve got a method of painting that is so impossible that I continually fail. If I keep going, something good happens in about a year or even in 10 years. My classes in Kierkegaard, at Wes with Professor Crites, was a big influence as I developed this method. We have a large yard, and I decided years ago to use that as my subject matter since I am a landscape painter. In the winter, if it is really cold, I draw views out the windows. Right now I have a winter-spring painting based on my yard that I have been working on for 12 years. It must be finished for a show I will have in 2022 at the Betty Cuningham Gallery in NYC.

“The worst thing for me (besides the ongoing problem of not really knowing how things will turn out in my painting) is the news. We watch a lot of it on TV and can see our daughter-in-law Alisyn Camerota, an anchor on CNN. I slowly read books on my iPhone.”

CLASS OF 1963 | 2021 | ISSUE 1

After graduation and acceptance at Columbia Law School, Julius Kaplan “realized that I had made a mistake. Instead, I stayed at Columbia and pursued a PhD in art history, during which I spent two years doing research in Paris on Fulbright grants. Upon return, I began teaching at UCLA and received my PhD two years later.

     “I married Robin Reiser, the first professional librarian at the Getty Museum, and spent most of my career at California State University, San Bernardino, where I was chair of the Art Department and then dean of graduate studies and research. I was active in the Council of Graduate Schools and on the advisory board for the Graduate Record Exam and the Test of English as a Foreign Language, but never stopped teaching and ended my career as an emeritus professor.

     “Robin and I are both opera fans and retired to New Mexico, the home of the Santa Fe Opera. We live in Albuquerque. I am a longtime member of the Board of Opera Southwest, Robin revived its Friends group, and we are both on the Board of Chamber Music Albuquerque.  Most important, we recently celebrated our 50th anniversary.”

     Lew Whitney wrote: “Not much has changed since our 50th Reunion. I remain chairman (not CEO) of Armstrong/Pike Garden Centers. Being chairman is ideal at this stage of life, allowing a balance between retirement time and work involvement.

     “My wife and I still operate our 43-foot sailboat in local waters during the summer months, and I still paddleboard, surf, and garden. Zoom provides all kinds of communication; wish I had bought the stock. I feel blessed to have lived when and where destiny placed me, the Wesleyan adventure being a significant part.”

     “2020 was a horrible year for me,” wrote Bill Owens. “Both dogs died in March (one fell into the pool at night and drowned, the other had cancer). In June, my wife of 37 years died of heart problems. In October, we rented a boat and scattered her ashes in the Gulf off of Destin, Florida, where she grew up. I’m now trying to find a new lifestyle safe from the virus.”

     Bo Grimes reports, “My wife, Sabra, and I moved three years ago from Baltimore to a very nice Mennonite retirement community, Tel Hai, in the midst of Amish farm country. For several months the pandemic ruled all. Nearly everything here was shut down, with meals, mail, and grocery orders delivered to our door while residents were pretty much restricted from leaving campus.  Restrictions have eased and some activities resumed but only with masks and social distancing. Our church reopened and we can go to grocery stores and doctor appointments. However, we mostly stay in our cottage, with brief forays for exercise or walking our 13-year-old miniature dachshunds! Otherwise, we watch a lot of TV, movies, and concerts provided to keep us safe at home.

     “For great reading try Gerald Durrell’s Corfu Trilogy, The Unexpected Professor by John Carey, and The Riddle of the Labyrinth, by Margalit Fox. Also, Fighting Pollution and Climate Change, by my high school classmate, Richard W. Emory, a retired muckamuck at the EPA. Don’t miss Why We Are Polarized, by Ezra Klein. Louise Penny’s sixteenth Chief Inspector Gamache novel, All the Devils Are Here, is superb.”

     The retired but still distinguished Judge Len Edwards has found much to keep him busy.  As he tells it, “We are hunkered down at home, reading, writing, doing puzzles, and gardening. Tomorrow, January 16, I will get my first vaccine shot.  I don’t think that changes anything until the second shot, but we’ve made it this far without joining the thousands of Californians who have the virus.

     “Fortunately, I have lots to do. I’m on three state-wide committees dealing with opioid suppression, juvenile law, and judicial ethics.  The most compelling book I’ve read is Caste by Isabel Wilkerson. I’m praying that Biden can pull our country out of the mess we are in.”

     Sad news from Bob Gallamore: “Our beloved Suellen has passed away. Sue’s diagnosis was idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), after our ill-fated trip to Italy (Tuscany and Rome) in February. After landing we went straight to Johns Hopkins Hospital and spent five days there. Sue was hospitalized at our local Beebe Health Care again in July, December, and this January, becoming more dependent on external oxygen and adding a diagnosis of pneumonia, but she really wanted to be at home for her final days. She passed away peacefully and comfortably early in the morning of January 26, 2021. Her sons Scott and Greg and daughter-in-law Beth were here at the end—and, as she requested, her dog Will was still lying on her lap. You can read about Sue’s remarkable life accomplishments at Gallamore.com.

CLASS OF 1963 | 2020 | ISSUE 3

Rob Siegle writes: “Before the lockdown Rita and I had a wonderful week on the north shore of the Dominican Republic with classmate and fellow radiologist Dan Hottenstein and his wife, Pat. Back in the U.S. we’re doing well. Our kids are employed, our grandkids are in college and beyond, and I work almost full-time as a pediatric radiologist at St. Christopher’s Hospital in Philadelphia. I still enjoy teaching/pontificating to the residents and med students even if it’s by Zoom.”

Jack Jarzavek reports: “Norman, my partner/husband of nearly 56 years, and I have been reading up a storm. As a COL member, literature has always been a high intellectual priority, and I began 40 years of academic life teaching French, then English and finally as chair of the English Department and founder of the Art History program. Recently, I spent over two months studying W.H. Auden’s poetry and his intellectual development. Norman is reading Gogol in the original and practicing on both our harpsichord and piano for at least an hour and a half each day. Usually we spend half a year at our apartment in Arezzo, Italy, but not for a year. It is a great base from which to travel all around Italy. We both also love to cook, so great meals emerge after martinis every evening. We have a double apartment here in Boston with balconies on which to read and relax. I see Colby and Alice Andrus from time to time. They too are adopted Bostonians.

“There is sadness, however. I have lost my two closest Wesleyan classmates. Bob Sloat, my fraternity brother at Gamma Psi, died two years ago. We still see Caroline for lunch and dinners. Bob Martin died in 2012. He was my freshman roommate and fraternity brother. The three of us had many adventures over the years. I miss them dearly.”

From Allen Tucker in Maine: “Meg and I are keeping well­—she’s a quilter and I’m a software developer and still playing some golf. I also host a monthly Zoom meet-up with my HS class of ’59, which is a lot of fun.

“I just finished reading Eddie Glaude’s new book Begin Again, a narrative about James Baldwin’s struggles with racism in the ’60s and ’70s and its implications for the world today. It’s a powerful book.”

“Since I have been on the West Coast for the last 30 years, I am a little out of touch with my former classmates,” writes George Tapley. “Here’s my news. My wife Jan and I are healthy and weathering the pandemic well. I spend a lot of time doing drawings, photos, and oil sketches of the local scenery; the hills behind Fullerton provide endless visual stimulation. (c.f. georgetapleyart.com). I paint, Jan plays ukulele with various groups on Zoom. We both joined OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) for their mystery book club. Best of all, our two children and four granddaughters are doing well.

I am now reading Zachary Carter’s The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and The Life of John Maynard Keynes (different sort of book for me but I like the Bloomsbury artists and am curious about Keynes and his monetary theory and then and now).”

Walt Pilcher, too, has news. “First, my second novel, The Accidental Spurrt, a Mark Fairley Mystery, was released in late 2019. It’s hilarious (if I do say so myself), a fish-out-of-water story available on Amazon. You’ll be sorry if you miss it.

“Second, Carol and I have moved into a continuing care retirement community in High Point, North Carolina, next door to Greensboro, our home for 30 years. It has about 700 residents and a 9-hole golf course. We love it so far. I’ve always wanted a Jeep Wrangler, but we now have a personal golf cart we named “Happy,” and so that itch has been scratched.”

Bill Roberts and Melissa still live in Middletown, two blocks south of the campus. “I ride my bike on the campus several days a week, and the grounds have been just beautiful since late March as spring 

unfolded and almost all of the students are gone. 

“For two weeks in October 2019, I spent my noon hours in the Usdan Student Center, registering students to vote in the Middletown mayoral election. I was happily astounded by two things­­—the incredible diversity in the student body, and the number of women among them. It is always a very pleasant surprise to see the students return to campus.”

Russ Richey’s latest book is A Church’s Broken Heart: Mason-Dixon Methodism and will appear in the New Room Book series. The book is his 25th as author, co-author, or editor. Russ is now working with Columbia University Press on yet another book project, on several editorial boards and continues teaching at Duke University Divinity School.

JAN VAN METER | bensfamily@aol.com; 212/427-2062

CLASS OF 1963 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

Some of you may remember me; most probably do not. I’m Jan Van Meter of the Class of 1963, your new class secretary. However, I’m not replacing Byron Miller in the role. I’m following him and hoping to do the job as well as he.

I’d like to help increase our sense of community as the Class of ’63. What are you doing these days, with whom, and where? How are you coping with what seems to be a world without…everything? What does Wesleyan and the Class of ’63 mean to you now?

Of one thing you may be sure: I’ll be in touch…and I look forward to it.

JAN VAN METER | bensfamily@aol.com; 212/427-2062

Ed.’s note: Robert “Jib” Fowles passed away on March 7. Jib was a College of Letters major at Wesleyan. After graduation, he spent a Fulbright fellowship year in India. He later moved to New York City, where he earned his M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University, and his PhD at New York University. He taught at NYU from 1967 to 1974. In 1974, he went to work at the University of Houston-Clear Lake as a charter faculty member where he taught for the rest of his career.

Jib was a committed scholar in media studies, publishing seven books and some 70 articles. His articles appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, TV Guide, Advertising Age, and many academic journals. His books include Television Viewers vs. Media Snobs (Stein & Day, 1982), Starstruck: Celebrity Performers and the American Public (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992), and The Case for Television Violence (Sage, 1999).

In retirement, Jib served as commissioner of the Wiscasset’s Historic Preservation Commission, a docent for the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, and a member of the First Congregational Church of Wiscasset. At the time of his death, he was completing a book on the social history of photographic imagery.

Jib leaves behind his wife, Joy, daughter Celeste Fowles Nguyen ’01, son Nathan, and many others.

CLASS OF 1963 | 2019 | ISSUE 3

We will be seeing less and less of James Ferguson now, as he is successfully losing weight—over 40 pounds! Perhaps some remember that Jim was a football player back in the day. But now he is a serious fan of soccer, having turned most of his seven grandchildren into soccer players. He did this simply by telling them how dangerous football was even for young players. In the case of one small grandson he pointed out that his size would matter far less on the soccer field, which the boy has found out to be true and is now happily playing soccer. Jim likes to “write stuff.” Following a request from one of his two granddaughters, he wrote a short story. He’s also written two screenplays.

As we both served in the Army as well as in Special Forces in South Vietnam, we talked a lot about that. Jim said he generally did not feel comfortable in groups but that the most comfortable he’d ever felt in a group was with his Special Forces A-Team in Vietnam. “I may or may not have liked every single man, but I knew if something happened to me, someone would come to help.”

Jim Miller closed the Armstrong Department store in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1990. Founded in 1890, his family, had owned and run it for 100 years. For several years thereafter Jim had an Island Inkjet franchise, eventually quitting after writing out his 10,000th work order. He is now involved in various service clubs and is treasurer of his local homeowners’ association. He gardens a lot and, while still in high school, he got very interested in his own sound system and has more or less been upgrading it as ever improving equipment comes on the market. He and Marlene, his wife, enjoy the local performing arts (ballet, theater, and opera) and see lots of performances at their excellent community theater of both local performers as well as groups passing through. They have three children—two daughters, 55 and 52, and a son, 50­—and five grandchildren, ages 8 to 25.

After WesU, Tom Buxton went to Carnegie Mellon Business School and came out determined to “play with the big boys,” i.e. get a job with a seriously large company, which he did. Twenty years ago, after 32 years with Boeing, Tom retired. While there, he was part of the team that developed both the 767 and 777. Tom’s wife, Terra Anderson, also worked at Boeing. She worked internally coaching and training executives. While both are retired (he in 2000 she in 2004), both were very, very upset and embarrassed at the news of the serious problems in the 737. Tom recalled reading People of Plenty by David Potter in a humanities class at WESU. He feels it is right on now and that we are endangering the earth’s future and may well run out of vital resources. For that reason, he is developing his large farm on Whidbey Island to grow all the basic varieties of food resources Tom and his wife have two children, 45 and 42, and two grandchildren, 5 and 7.

Byron S. Miller | tigr10@optonline.net
5 Clapboard Hill Rd., Westport, CT 06880