Dr. Ellen NicKenzie Lawson MAT ’69 passed away on January 26, 2022. A full obituary can be found here.
Robert H. Conkling ’69, P’05 passed away on April 4, 2022. A full obituary can be found here.
Rick Pedolsky brought sad news. “Diamond Dave Driscoll died in February, the result of an earlier stroke. We hoped he would return to his jolly, grumpy, hopeful, cynical old self, but it didn’t happen.” Condolences came from Bruce Williams ’70, Eric Greene, Paul Dickman, Jim Drummond, and Bill Eaton.
Rick and Cecilia still live in Stockholm. “No retirement. Our company provides an online, interactive publishing platform for scientific, medical, and scholarly research organizations and educational institutions. Business boomed during the pandemic because this is information that has to be shared.”
Steve Knox wrote, “Roommate Eric Esterhay died this spring after years of declining health. He was talented and generous. I will miss him.”
Mark Hodgson and I met for breakfast in Old Saybrook. He lives north of Boston, along the coast. We share a love for kayaking and environmental protection. I had lunch with Phil Dundas ’70 at his Westbrook beach cottage. Swordfish, corn on the cob, salad, tempura asparagus, sugar free peppermint patties, and sparkling water. I felt virtuous. The view of Long Island Sound was mind blowing. Phil had a front row seat when Steve Bannon was removed from the Chinese tycoon’s yacht.
Rick McGauley lives on Cape Cod, “two granddaughters nearby.”
Jimmy Dreyfus mentioned some Beta ’70 names—“Steve Talbot, Dave Davis, Jeremy Serwer, Bruce Williams, and Tim Greaney.”
From Charlie Morgan, “Old age catching up. Broke toe, healed, re-injured. Doctors are puzzled.”
Carl Culler said, “Kathy and I are semi-retired on Lake Norman in North Carolina. Bought a pontoon boat.”
From Peter Arenella: “About half of the US lives in an alternative universe where facts and science do not matter. We sold our California home and now live in Mexico. Miss kids but are happy in a serene mountain village.”
Tom Goodman spent the pandemic photographing Philly, his home for the last four decades. Check tomgoodman.com for the panoramas.
John Wilson is “vaccinated and healthy.”
Peter Cunningham “attended a retreat with Zen Peacemakers and spiritual leaders of Lakota Sioux in Medicine Wheel, Wyoming.”
Ron Reisner has “a whole new life.”
Jim Drummond “makes the world safe for Texas criminals, guilty or not. My friend Jeff Richards does great work for the Actor’s Fund.”
Doug Bell is “safe, happy, still standing at 74.”
Rip Hoffman has sold his Westport townhouse and has moved to a life-care facility in Redding, Connecticut. “Will keep our social network. I do some retirement work for local pastors.
“Part of moving into Meadow Ridge is providing them with a brief biography. I discovered that this biography was then posted on a public space for all to see. The critical factor in this story is that the bio included that fact that I went to Wesleyan. We were here about a week, having dinner in the Bistro, and a gentleman came up to our table and said he wanted to talk to a fellow Wesleyan grad. His name is Bob Wiley and he is from the class of 1950! He is 99 years old. We talk a little bit. He said he’d be back in touch. Bob called us earlier this week and asked Mouse and I to join him and his wife for dinner. It turns out Bob had invited another Wesleyan grad, Bob Runk, class of 1967. I soon discover that Bob was part of Uranus and the Five Moons. I heard his group play numerous times at various house parties. We shared a lot of memories of the late 1960s.”
Ken Elliott “is in re-inventing mode. Attentive to the garden and woods. Studying Japanese. Finding ways to participate in my community. It’s all good.”
Ed Hayes “keeps brain cells active with classes, guitar and Spanish lessons. Waiting for the ‘Aha moment.’”
Ken Kawasaki’s “What a Piece of Work is Man” is on brelief.com.
Stuart Blackburn’s new novel is set in rural Rhode Island.
John de Miranda writes, “All is well. Son and partner awaiting Peace Corps deployment to Ecuador. Carol-Ann gardens and cooks. I teach at the University of California, San Diego.”
Jack Elias has a new book: The Outrageous Guide to Being Fully Alive: Defeat Your Inner Trolls and Reclaim Your Sense of Humor.
Rameshwar Das does virtual book tours promoting his mentor’s memoir, Being Ram Dass.
Mike Fairchild “sends virtual hugs until we can all meet and greet again in the old-fashioned way.”
Pete Pfeiffer says, “Maine’s spring and summer are always a big help for us older folks.”
Bob Dombroski “recalled great Wes performances—Sun Ra, Norman Mailer, Janis Joplin, and transcending all—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”
John Mihalec shares his midnight pasta recipe—spaghetti, olive oil, garlic, anchovies, capers, Parmesan, and parsley.
Gordy Fain ’70 remembered a beloved mentor for both of us, Marjorie Daltry Rosenbaum, and life at MoCon. “The cooking and food prep skills I learned there I use every day here at home. Also, I’m enjoying the return of fan-friendly baseball.”
From Fred Coleman: “I’m still working full time. Telehealth is amazing and a royal pain. I work more hours, though hardly leaving the chair. Don’t mind cutting the car commute. We cancelled an Alaska cruise, so drove 4,500 miles to see family. All kids and their spouses and grandkids were with us for the Fourth. Truly, family is so important.”
We spent the Fourth with Maurice Hakim ’70 and his wife Carol. They live on a beautiful street off the Boston Post Road that ends at Clinton’s town beach. Hot dogs, cheeseburgers, baked beans, potato salad, pickles, brownie sundaes. The long isolation of the pandemic eased.
Love to all,
Michael D. Terry ’69 passed away on October 30, 2021. A full obituary can be found here.
Kurt C. Kemper ’69 passed away on June 12, 2021. A full obituary can be found here.
W. Eric Esterhay ’69 passed away on May 13, 2021. A full obituary can be found here.
Jay W. Edelberg ’69, P’91 passed away on October 13, 2021. A full obituary can be found here.
David J. Driscoll ’69 passed away on March 1, 2021. A full obituary can be found here.
John F. Fitzgerald ’69 passed away on November 13, 2020. A full obituary can be found here.
Rameshwar Das co-authored Being Ram Dass, a memoir by his late teacher, “who bridged psychology and mysticism. A neurotic professor, he evolved into a transcendent yogi espousing unconditional love.”
From Ric Peace: “No Pease, please, just Peace.” Lloyd Buzzell ’68 said, “Be smart/safe/well.” Bob Watson wrote, “saw our grandson, Matthias, in Cartagena. My book about sports and psychoanalysis is well reviewed. We enjoy our daughter’s presence as she Zooms her Seattle patients.”
Denny Marron channeled Billy Joel, “The good old days weren’t always good and tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems.”
From Bryn Hammarstrom, “Don’t know when we’ll have to give up these 100 acres, but the time is coming. Climbing hills was hard. Diagnosis—aortic valve stenosis and aortic aneurysm. To the Cleveland Clinic November 16. So far so good. Back to a four-day week at Temple University Hospital in time of COVID-19.”
Review Stu Blackburn’s novels on Amazon or Goodreads. The latest is The Boy from Shenkottai, Revolutionary, Murderer, Hero. He wrote, “Locked down on England’s South Coast and mourning Don Russell’s death.”
Tom Kelly ’68 said, “Jack Fitzgerald died of heart failure last fall. A good fellow, serious, reflective, blessed with a deep and subtle sense of humor.”
Jim Drummond wrote, “My senior thesis was on James Joyce’s Ulysses, Ihab Hassan the advisor. He once came to the lectern, paused, and walked out, no words. I have frequent contact with Jeff Richards, whose virtual productions are amazing. My novel in progress is Thank You for Death.”
The “Four Dharma Summaries” are guideposts at Ken Kawasaki’s brelief.org.
Bill Currier said, “Stay well. Eat well; get decent exercise; stay social, read, write, think. Nature is just doing what comes naturally. Adapt to Nature, and that goes for global warming.”
Frank Putnam is “a professor of psychiatry at UNC-Chapel Hill, writing a memoir about child abuse, trauma, and medical interventions.”
Pete Arenella and his wife “flew round-trip Mexico to Los Angeles for COVID-19 shots. Death’s shroud is over my loved ones. Best faculty friend died within 24 hours of diagnosis. First great love has cancer. Several pets died suddenly.”
“Archaeological work recovering material culture from the mud flats of Wellfleet Village has long interested me,” said Steve Broker. “On loan, I’m archiving shipping forms, invoices, correspondence, 1860–1880, the period just before the first documented North Atlantic fisheries collapse.”
Bernie Freamon wrote, “Members of ’70, led by S. Jacob Scherr ’70, Zoom every Tuesday at 6 pm. Very pleasant and self-esteem boosting sessions. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Charlie Morgan is “quarantining in Bonita Springs. I play tennis daily. Get some expert witness work—entertaining and lucrative. Grandchildren, largely in New Jersey, are growing up too fast.”
Nick Browning and wife Rebecca Ramsey ’75 have “mostly closed our psychiatry practice and live in Woodstock, Vermont. We have a beautiful home. I write essays and short stories. Rebecca paints and plays cello. We get grandparenting joy from the grown kids. Peter Pfeiffer and I correspond. Add Walt Abrams and Peter Cunningham to the mix.”
From Steve Mathews, “Nashville endured a tough 2020. No tourists. $3.5 billion impact. It is still a great city. Picasso is showing at the museum. That’s creating an early buzz.”
Alex Knopp “no longer teaches at Yale but is still involved with public libraries, NAACP, the Connecticut Law Tribune, and the Connecticut Retirement Security Board. Bette’s first book, The Better Angels, is a time travel novel for seniors. Don’t let your guard down.”
Mike Fink “got COVID-19 and almost died. While I was hospitalized, my family battled it at home. I stared Death in the face and whipped its ass.”
John Fenner “practices law in Weston, Florida.”
Neil Jensen and “wife Peggy are retired and live on a small lake in southern Maine. We volunteer and do environmental work. Children Kristin and Erik are academics, PhDs, world travelers, terrific cooks, and great entertainment. I’ve heard from Doug Coombs and Ken Quattlander ’68.”
Ron Reisner “wonders why Williams and Amherst poll at 1 and 2. I continue to help a local state senator because there’s always another election.”
Dave Siegel wrote, “As a part-time doctor, I’ve learned a lot of virology but look forward to resumption of activities. Hope others have weathered this difficult time.”
Jack and Claudia Meier are “happily ensconced in Bluffton, South Carolina.”
Bob Palumbo “spends blessed daily hours between stone carving and whale watching.”
John Bach “will die happy if I can climb one more 14,000′ Colorado peak.”
Tony Mohr’s “next gig will be the Advanced Leadership Institute at Harvard.”
Peter Cunningham is “hibernating in Lincoln, Massachusetts, having completed a short film about life in pre-virus New York City.”
Pete Pfeiffer wrote, “All us old Maine folks are vaccinated.”
Jeff Powell wrote, “am fully retired and spend summers sailing coastal Maine.”
Robert “Rip” Hoffman writes: “Looking back at 2020, we drove our cars much less so we saved money on gas. We couldn’t go anywhere so we saved money on travel. We couldn’t go out to eat, so we saved money on food. Our kids moved closer, so we were able to see them much more frequently. My wife and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. I’d have so say 2020 was pretty good!”
John Mihalec says: “Joined Steve Pfeiffer, Darcy LeClair, and about 20 other ex-Wes footballers for a Zoom session with our coach from back then, Don Russell, logging in from Texas. It was great fun and well-timed, as Don died shortly afterward in January.”
Peter Cunningham: I fled Bleecker Street 11 months ago and am hibernating in Lincoln, MA with my mate, arafitgerald.com who has a more advanced degree from Wesleyan than I ever dreamed of earning. My latest effort is this short film about vibrant life in pre-virus New York, it’s called This was Our Life. The music is by Zoe FitzGerald Carter (zoecartermusic.com), mother of two Wesleyan Graduates, Anna Guth ’14 and Mira Guth ’18.
Neil (Nick) Jensen writes: “My wife Peggy and I are retired and living on a small lake in southern Maine. In recent years we’ve managed a volunteer lake stewardship organization and a volunteer-run invasive species eradication program. And we do trail work at Acadia National Park. We celebrated our 50th anniversary alone during the COVID-19 lockdown. We have two academically-oriented children: Kristin, a project manager in the UVA library system; and Erik, professor of ancient Mediterranean history at Salem State. Both of them PhD’s, world travelers, terrific cooks, and the best entertainment a fella could have (when I can catch up with them!) I occasionally hear from Doug Coombs, and Ken Quattlander ’68, fellow refugees from the great EQV fire.”
Jeffrey Powell is “now fully retired since June 2020 having worked for New London Hospital IT department since my retirement from my clinical practice of Internal Medicine at the New London Medical Center at the end of 2012. My wife, Cheryl, and I celebrated our 5lst anniversary August 2020. We are still living in New London, NH but spend our summer months for the most part sailing the coast of Maine in our 35 foot Island Packet cutter between Portland and Bar Harbor. We have three granddaughters ages 17, 14, and 8 yrs living in Green Bay Wisconsin and Columbia South Carolina.”
John Hickey says, “No visits to report during the pandemic, but I did revisit two books by our classmate Jamie Kalven. A Worthy Tradition a book that Jamie’s father (a law professor) started on the First Amendment, was completed by Jamie when his father died. In this time of constitutional focus, it’s a great read. Jamie’s autobiographical sketch Working With Available Light was also a great read.
In spite of the political “goings on” with the arrival of the vaccines a possible end to the pandemic does appear to be possible. I remember hoping for an end to the War in Vietnam during our era at Wesleyan.”
John Wilson and I concur, “Hope all are well.”