CLASS OF 1952 | 2017 | ISSUE 3

This is my first attempt as class secretary after the sterling job done by Hal Buckingham, Bill Wasch, and their predecessor, my DU brother, Don Sanders. Some notes are from communications to Hal and Bill that could not make publication deadlines and some are from recent news received by me.

Following up on Frank LaBella, he reports that he is alive and well, and while at Wesleyan, he was a “townie”, lived at home, had part-time jobs, and as a consequence, a very low profile on campus. He has recently published three articles, but with not enough space here to include, so go to  so go to

Don Stauffer, a brother from our DU days, wrote, with his wife Morag, to wish me well on agreeing to take over from Hal and Bill, and had no news to report since he last submitted something.

Robert Kelman is now officially the oldest person to climb Devil’s Tower National Monument in Montana. The record has been posted on the National Park Service’s Facebook page and the story posted on Climbing Magazine’s website.

That reminds me that several years ago, my son-in-law, Samuel Bender ’82, granddaughter Maddie Bender (Yale ’20), and I became the first three-generation family to complete the Maui Downhill Haleakala Summit Bike Tour, after I received a waiver for being over the age limit.

I had a pleasant telephone conversation with Jim Wolpert who reports that he retired from Loeb Partners about six months ago, and is now comfortably ensconced in a retirement community near Tampa, Fla. He has two daughters, a son, and three grandchildren. On campus, he was a member of the John Wesley Club, the Mystical Seven, and the Douglas Cannon Society. Enviably, he has no e-mail.

Richard Kellom wrote Hal that he and his wife, Lyn, had a chuckle over Hal’s statement about gathering fodder for class notes being “more important than you know’’, as Lyn wrote the faculty notes for Northfield Mount Herman School alumni magazine until last year. Dick taught chemistry and coached the ski team there, and his daughter, Kristin ’84, is working in the development office. I enjoyed his comments that “whereas learning what former colleagues are now doing is fun, the gathering of the Info is not always easy and the increasing number of obits is discouraging’’ and “I am getting a little gun-shy about asking people to pass on greetings, not knowing their state of health or if they are still living, but such is the situation we now find ourselves in too often.” Very apropos to being class secretary.

Walter Grunsteidl, one of the first Fulbrighters, wrote Hal a long e-mail last April. He was at Wesleyan for only one year, and not feeling particularly affiliated to a certain class, had random friends across the campus. That year was a very decisive period in his life. The war was but six years over and his country, Austria, was still occupied by the Allies, the scars of war had not yet healed, and they had to develop new politics and fight for freedom for the country. During the year here, he was rotated as a guest between Chi Psi, Delta Upsilon, Phi Sigma Kappa, and the John Wesley Club, thereby enjoying the spirit of the different fraternities. Both he and his wife, Elfi, also a PhD chemist, are enjoying life in his old family home in Vienna, the city being selected as number one in the world regarding quality of life for the eighth time. He enjoys many hobbies, mostly music, and actively studies issues of evolution. He has a son and daughter and, as every old-timer, has had to undergo repair and maintenance occasionally — namely, a heart valve implant, and since then, started a new life, thanks to modern medicine. He ended with a wish for us to have a nice party and many happy attendees.

Catching up on some sad news, Hal heard from Michael M. Stein ’57 that Donald J. Dalessio died on February 25. Don had a distinguished career, was a 1956 graduate of Yale Medical College, and served for many years as chairman of the Medicine Group for the Scripps Clinic in La Jolla Calif. He earned a reputation as one of the nation’s prime neurologists, researching and specializing in the treatment of severe migraine headaches. After his retirement, he was honored by his colleagues at Scripps by having the headache clinic bear his name. In addition to his practice, Don wrote innumerable scholarly reports and edited the National Headache Journal, the Scripps Clinic Personal Health newsletter, and served on the editorial board of the AMA, among others. His wife, Jane, predeceased him and he is survived by their three children, Catherine, Susan, and James, and his brother, John ’60. We offer our sincere condolences to the family. It is sad to lose yet another classmate.

Best wishes and good health to all of you and hope to hear from you.

Joseph N. Friedman  |
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