MARK M. ROSENTHAL, an attorney and partner at Jeffer Mangels Butler & Marmaro in Los Angeles, where he chaired the National Sports Law Group, died Feb. 3, 2010, at age 61. He was a member of Gamma Psi and received his law degree cum laude from the University of Michigan. A litigation specialist, he represented sports teams in arbitration and negotiations for more than 20 years. He also chaired his firm’s recruiting department for many years. He is survived by his wife, Julie Veneklase Rosenthal; two sons, including William Rosenthal ’06; his mother; and his sister.
Sybil B. Paton, Library Trustee and Arts Activist
Sybil B. Paton died June 5th at Wadsworth Glen in Middletown, Conn, at the age of 84. A Middletown resident for more than 50 years, Mrs. Paton was notable for her leadership in many community organizations, including the Russell Library, the Connecticut State Library, the Wesleyan Potters, the Middletown Commission on the Arts, and Middletown’s Bicentennial celebration. Her efforts created a large number of innovations that took on a life of their own, and continue to enrich the life of the community.
She served as a member of the Russell Library Board of Trustees for more than three decades, from 1966 until 2007, serving twice as the President of the Board. She also served on the Board of Trustees for the Connecticut State Library in Hartford from 1976 to 1981. She was named Friend of the Year by the Friends of Connecticut Libraries in 2002, and Outstanding Library Trustee of 2004 by the Association of Connecticut Library Boards.
Mrs. Paton delighted in the inclusiveness of the library. She championed the expansion of children’s programs at Russell Library and chaired the building committees during two major library renovations that gracefully merged a former bank building with the library’s existing building, a former church. She chaired the search committee that brought the current Director of the Library, Arthur Meyers, to Middletown in 1997. She helped establish the Friends of the Russell Library and founded the John W. Paton Storytelling Contest in memory of her husband. Since 1997, the contest has showcased the writing of unpublished adult writers in the community.
Mrs. Paton was also notable for longstanding contributions to arts in the community. She was appointed in 1972 as one of the founding members of the Middletown Commission on the Arts and served on the commission until 1975. In that role, she worked to expand awareness of local art resources by helping to create a series of music and theater performances, an annual Showcase of the Arts, and a monthly arts calendar for the city. She also helped launch the city art collection and establish the grants programs which supported the start of The Oddfellows Playhouse and many other arts programs. Mayor Sebastian Guiliano declared March 12, 2007, Arts Advocacy Day in Middletown, in honor of “the standard for advocacy and volunteerism” she set for the city.
Her passion for the arts included active involvement in pottery, photography and Bonsai cultivation. She was a charter member of the Wesleyan Potters. She taught pottery classes, was active in the development of the Wesleyan Potters teaching facility, organized the first of many annual sales and won numerous awards in statewide exhibitions. She was a longtime member of the Castle Craig Photography Club in Middletown and the Bonsai Society of Greater Hartford.
Mrs. Paton took on many special challenges for the city of Middletown and community organizations. During the racial tensions of the late 1960s, she served as a Board Member in the TOPS (Teens Organized to Protect Society) organization, working with African-American teenagers to solve community problems. From 1975 to 1977, Mrs. Paton was the Bicentennial Coordinator for the City of Middletown and then from 1977 to 1979 she was Coordinator of Special Events. In both of these roles, she helped showcase Middletown’s rich multi-cultural heritage. She served from 1979 to 1988 as Coordinator of the Building Program for the Idella W. Howell Child Development Center on William Street, and as Coordinator of the Renovation Program for the Green Street School.
Before coming to Middletown, Mrs. Paton was employed as a secretary for the National Council of the YMCA in New York City and from 1950 to 1952, served as coordinator for one of the nation’s first pollution control campaigns to protect the Raritan River in New Jersey.
She first came to Middletown when her husband enrolled as a student at Wesleyan University in January 1946. She moved to Middletown permanently with her family in 1952. While raising three children, Mrs. Paton volunteered for a wide range of community activities. She served as a Brownie and Girl Scout Leader from 1958 to 1963. She was also a founding member of the Wesleyan University Monday Club, a group of faculty wives who originated many ideas for local improvements to the City of Middletown.
Mrs. Paton graduated from The Katherine Gibbs School in New York in 1943, and earned a Bachelor of Arts at Wesleyan University in 1970, in the first graduating class that included women. She later earned a Masters of Arts degree in Anthropology from Wesleyan.
She was married to the late John W. (Jack) Paton for 50 years. She is survived by three children: Laura P. Arnold of Middletown, Bruce Paton of Sunnyvale, CA, and Douglas Paton of Piedmont, CA, as well as five grandchildren. She was born Sybil Lorraine Busch in Yonkers, New York. A private memorial service will be held later this year. Contributions in her memory may be made to the Russell Library, 123 Broad Street Middletown, CT 06457.
LEROY O. MOORE, who spent more than three decades smoothing the pathway for more minority students to succeed in college, died Jan. 18, 2010. He was 62. A member of Delta Tau Delta, he also received a degree from the College of William and Mary, where he was associate dean of students. In 1980 he joined the University of Tennessee in his native Memphis, and held several positions until his most recent one as assistant vice chancellor in the Center of Health Sciences, where he oversaw the Office of Health Career Programs. Survivors include his wife, his mother, three children, one grandson, his uncle, and a large extended family.
PETER B. MARTIN, 57, a psychologist who specialized in educational assessment, died Apr. 8, 2005. The son of the late Lewis B. Martin ’41, he was a member of Kappa Nu Kappa and received both master’s and doctoral degrees in counseling psychology from Boston College. He had a private practice as a licensed psychologist and was the founder of Psychological Services of Northfield (Mass.), where he focused on the assessment and support of children and adolescents with learning disabilities. More recently, he trained other professionals in educational assessment. Survivors include his wife, Molly Scherm, a daughter, two sons, and two brothers.
John D. Ketcham ’70 passed away May 11, 2006, Kinnelon, N.J., from the effects of cancer of the pancreas. He was raised in Westfield, N.J. His father, Frank, was a Wesleyan graduate, Class of 1936 and captain of the football team. John had four siblings, iincluding another Wesleyan graduate, his brother Mike ’67, who was captain of the swim. Team.
John graduated from Westfield High School in 1966, an All-American High School Swimmer in a number of events; Eastern Interscholastic Swimming Champion in multiple events; and at the millennium was voted onto the 1960’s decade team of best swimmers in New Jersey.
While at Wesleyan, he majored in economics and was a member and treasurer of Delta Tau Delta. He earned his varsity swimming letter in his sophomore, junior and senior years, and was team captain senior year. He held numerous team and pool records, many of which stood for years after his graduation. He won New England titles in multiple events and excelled in the backstroke, winning the small college nationals (now Division III) three years running and placing second in the Division I nationals in his junior year. He was named New England Swimmer of the Year in March 1970.
After graduation John went to Hong Kong to work in a YMCA camp, returning to the States to get his MBA from The Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth. After a stint with Price Waterhouse, he joined his father’s accounting practice in Westfield, N.J.
John raised his four children in Kinnelon, N.J. Three of these were with his first wife, whom he had met in Hong Kong, and his youngest child was from his second marriage, to Jody Davis, who is also from Westfield, N.J.
Throughout his life, John stayed very active with the YMCA, having grown up swimming at the Westfield YMCA (particularly Frost Valley YMCA). Additionally he served on a number of boards and volunteered in programs throughout his community.
He built his father’s business into a thriving tax/accounting practice in northern New Jersey, which his one son, Steve, has joined in the past several years. John also became very accomplished in home construction, through his renovation and addition projects over the years.
John stayed a self-effacing, honest, straight forward and loyal friend to the end?always more concerned about others than himself. Over the final months, his many Wesleyan friends came back together, culminating in an overflow crowd at his memorial service on May 20, 2006, at which John would have been quite uncomfortable being the center of attention.
He is survived by his wife, Jody, four children, five grandchildren and four siblings.
DANA B. JOHNSON, who was the chief economist and senior vice president of Comerica Inc., died Apr. 29, 2012, at age 64. He was a member of Beta Theta Pi and received a Ph.D. in economics from Northwestern University. After beginning his career in economics at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington, D.C., he joined the First National Bank of Chicago (eventually Bank One), where he was managing director and head of research for Bank One Capital Markets. He joined Comerica in 2005. Survivors include his wife, Susan Hering, his son and daughter, his father, two granddaughters, and his sister.
JONATHAN GRAY, a mortgage and finance analyst for the investment firm of AllianceBernstein, died Oct. 29, 2007. He was 59. After receiving an MBA from New York University, he joined Sanford C. Bernstein and Co. (later AllianceBernstein) as a securities analyst following the savings and loan industry. He stayed with the firm his entire career, expanding his coverage to include other enterprises as well as the mortgage industry, and was frequently called to testify before Congress on pending finance regulation. Among those who survive are his wife, Bonnie Ellin Gray, two sons, his mother, and a sister.
WARD T. DEWITT, who retired as second-in-command of the New York State prison system and who went on to be the executive director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Institute for Nonviolence, died June 12, 2010, at age 62. A member of Eclectic, he began his career as counselor and then became a criminal justice adviser to the New York State Governor. He served on the Albany, N.Y., school board for five years, including as chair, and he helped to lead the board of the New Covenant Charter School, Albany’s first charter school. Survivors include his wife, Mary Ferguson DeWitt, four children, two grandchildren, three sisters, and a large extended family.