The first persons I encountered on Friday of our 65th Reunion on the lawn of the president’s house were Marilyn and Atwood “Woody” Dunham from Maine and Bill Teachout from Santa Ana, Calif. After greeting President Michael Roth ’78 we shared past and recent events. Woody’s daughter and my son, Thomasjohn, joined us for dinner in Usdan. Crossing High Street to Downey House I joined a reception for ’53 and ’58, when Sandy Millar and his companion, Fran Hitchcock, from Wellfleet, Mass., and Honolulu’s Phil Olsen, appeared in the crowd of ’58ers. Phil will visit his great uncles’ fishing village, north of the Arctic Circle in Norway.
Early Saturday morning, some of our classmates listened to Professor Logan Dancey discuss the changes in political party demographics over the past decade. I listened to a discussion on identification of medications to eliminate the effect of genetic abnormalities, while others found interest in “Wesleyan and the Great War.” Lining up for the alumni parade behind North College were Judith and Mel Katz from Greenwich, Conn., Joan and Bob Lavin from Duxbury, Mass., and Warren Eastman with his son, Richard ’81. Warren relocated from Florida to Connecticut to be near family after the passing of his wife. Joining the short parade around College Row to the chapel was Shirley Muirhead Jenkins, wife of two Eclectic men. The class banner was carried by Woody and Sandy. Class members and guests occupied two tables for the post-50th Reunion lunch to enjoy a talk by Mike Whalen ’83, Wesleyan athletic director, on recent events.
Our class reception and dinner featured a table of Eclectic alumni and their companions, including Ann Teachout, Shirley, Gunilla and George James ’52, and a table of Phil, Mel and Judith Katz, John Miller and his son, and two representatives of the university. Reminisces flourished!
Pre-Reunion messages: Herb Kelleher was restricted from travel as a result of a recent illness and sent greetings. Earl Forman telephoned to state doubtful attendance, as he has good/bad days from cancer. Milton “Snuffy” Smith travels with an electric scooter around his retirement village while his wife has taken over driving. Ed Lifset wished a successful weekend from California. Jim Griffis lives in a great senior retirement apartment facility in The Woodlands, Texas, with 4 p.m. happy hour and penny poker three times weekly. His son, Jim, born April 1952 while dad cooked breakfast at the Deke house, lives nearby, as do two grandchildren. His motor scooter gets him out.
Post-Reunion messages: Two missed their first Reunion since graduation, Harold “Oggie” Locke, my freshman roommate and fellow chemistry major, and Jerry Zackin, who scheduled a Dubai-Rome cruise long before Reunion. Steve Friedland attended a granddaughter’s graduation in Washington and looks forward to our 70th. Bill Rack is looking forward to enjoying tennis and golf with Bill Teachout, who is moving to Santa Barbara.
Our fundraising goal of $30,000 has been exceeded.
Attendees asked how many were in our class and how many are living; 167 graduated and about 120 graduates and nongraduates are deceased. The last two Wesleyan issues identified four additional passings, and one since Reunion. John S. Brownson, 85, died on Feb. 26, in Watertown, Mass. Born in Asheville, N.C., a Sigma Nu, an economics major with a master’s from Columbia and PhD from Boston University. Survived by his wife, Sonja. Private burial services were in Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne, Mass. He was Korean veteran.
My second freshman roommate, Raymond Drakoff, 87, born in NYC, died on Aug. 13, 2017. John Wesley Club, a chemistry major, a retiree of Lever Brothers Research Center, and active in art appraising and collecting. He was living in Bal Harbour, Fla.
Sargent Bradlee Jr., 87, born in Boston, died on July 15, 2017. A Chi Psi, he left at end of sophomore year to earn a BA from Harvard. He was a consultant to ISS Corporation and lived in Hanover, N.H.
Charles “Charlie” A. Hoyt, 85, born in Middletown, Conn., died on June 19, 2017 in Millbrook, N.Y. A Delta Tau Delta, an English major, Mystical Seven, he earned a master’s and PhD from Columbia. Best known as manager-star (from Olla Pod) of the High Street Five, a professor of English literature at Marist College, professional jazz musician, and freelance writer. He specialized in the romantic movement and Shakespeare and authored a textbook on the history of witchcraft. He is survived by five children and eight grandchildren. His jazz band was featured at several Reunions.
John M. Williamson, 85, born in Rochester, N.Y., died on July 31, 2016. A Gamma Psi, a psychology major, active in the theater, he retired as a packaging engineer at Eastman Kodak in 1991, and was a U.S. Army veteran. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Joanne, three children, and seven grandchildren.
Condolences to the families of these classmates.
JOHN W. MILLER | Jwalmiller@aol.com
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