CLASS OF 1965 | 2019 | ISSUE 2

Thank you very much for your responses (edited due to space limitations) to my recent request for news.

Hugh Wilson and Fran are planning to attend our 55th Reunion in 2020.

Art Rhodes: “Still seeing patients at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, mostly melanoma related, teaching medical Strand residents. Leslie and I have nine grandchildren between us, with one on the way. Spending vacation time in New Orleans as well as Chicago, with trips in U.S. and abroad, as time permits.”

Ralph Jacobs: “Holly and I are happily retired and enjoying RV trips. Have visited nearly every national park west of the Rocky Mountains. Hiked three miles up to the Delicate Arch in Arches National Park in Utah. Daughter Jennifer has earned her doctoral degree in education from Long Beach State University. Keep in touch with Phil Russell and Bob MacLean. Bob will be joining us this summer at the Laguna Seca Raceway near Monterrey, Calif., where I took Holly in 1971. I figured if she liked the sound of these high-powered race cars, then she could be the girl for me. The rest is history.”

Bob Thorndike: “Elva and I have gotten into cruise ships. Recent trips include Spitzbergen and the Norway coast, transatlantic to the Normandy beaches and the Baltic, and, this year, to Iceland, the Faroes and Shetlands. We hope to do a circumnavigation in the near future. We have added a beach-front condo to our western Washington lifestyle. Retirement, with copious golf (winters in Phoenix), is good.”

Charlie Bassos: “In May, Zoe and I celebrated our 39th anniversary. Two kids, two grandkids, and one more on the way. Still golfing, though every shot hurts either my body or my ego. Great satisfaction from volunteering each week, teaching English to seventh graders from several Central American countries six hours a week, reading and discussing with fourth graders once a week, and consulting in a program for vets transitioning out of the service.”

Fred Nachman: “Six grandchildren. Still playing tennis and hiking. Celebrating 50th wedding anniversary with Linda on a Baltic cruise to St. Petersburg this summer.”

Rob Abel: “Involved in, a charitable organization that provides free eye exams and glasses to underprivileged children. We have contributed 200,000 pairs of glasses nationally over four years. Presented a keynote lecture at the American Psychiatric Association’s annual meeting discussing what psychiatrists should know about vision.”

Rick Borger: “In 2004, retired after teaching for 39 years, 34 of them at The Hill School in Pottstown, Pa. Judy and I then moved to Illinois for 10 years before returning to Pennsylvania, where we have enjoyed living at a continuing care retirement community since 2014. We are active members of our Presbyterian church providing 30 hours of volunteer time each month to church and community programs. In the summer, we spend our time traveling and at our summer cottage in Massachusetts enjoying our grandchildren.”

Tom Elliman: “I had a rough winter, health wise with vertigo, osteoarthritis, and two carpal tunnel operations. But a month in Key West strengthened the healing process, which continues in Maine and our condo in Guilford, Conn., near the grandkids.”

Bob Block: “Was inducted into the Tulsa Historical Society Hall of Fame. Fully retired as emeritus professor and chair of pediatrics at OU-Tulsa, as I became president of the American Academy of Pediatrics. I continue to have fond memories of our experiences at Wesleyan, especially the brotherhood at Deke and friends from all parts of our campus.”

Phil Russell: “Diana and I are in Vienna on a boat-bike tour of four Danube countries. At home in Los Altos Hills, Calif., we volunteer for an organization that works to bring conservatives and liberals together to act on climate change. This can be all-consuming, but we make sure to reserve time for golf, four grandkids, and other fun.”

Steve Rhinesmith: “Kathe (wife of 54 years) and I are heading north from Naples to our home in Stowe, Vt. We divide our time between Naples and Stowe. In Naples we see Bob Quigley and Lee Mitchell, both of whom are here in the winter. John Hickey stopped by for lunch this season in Naples, which seems to be a good gathering place for Wesleyan alumni. Kathe and I would be happy to see anyone here in Naples or in Stowe.”

Carl Hoppe: “After 46 years relocated my Beverly Hills psychology office closer to my home in Marina Del Rey. Meanwhile, devoting more time to tennis. Have three daughters: A full professor of earth sciences; a senior editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; and a graduate student of oceanography at USC.”

Chuck Hearey (retired Kaiser Permanente pediatrician in California) and I have fulfilled a 40-year-old promise to play in age 75 doubles tennis tournaments in honor of the real ’65 tennis players, Mike Burton and Fred Millett.

Dear Classmates: After space limitations were met, I received news from Messrs. Babin, Cohn, Halliwell, Melillo, Brooks, Beers, Gay, Siegert, and Moise. Their news will appear (edited for space) in the fall issue. In the meantime, read the full text below:  

Jim Stewart: “Last year I celebrated 50 years of practice of trusts and estates law with my firm, Pullman & Comley, LLC, in Bridgeport, Conn.; two eldest granddaughters just turned 8 and identical twin grands turned 5 earlier in the year; still enjoy working and no plans to retire; taking up pickleball with racquetball….two daughters both Connecticut trust and estate attorneys (one Wes grad in ’00 and the other Trinity in ’03).

Jerry Mellilo: “2019 is a year of celebration and change for Lalise and me. We celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary in July. After more than four decades as a scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, I am on a “glide path” to retirement. I am looking forward to traveling with Lalise to visit family and friends across the country and the world and doing all sorts of building and art projects with our 6-year-old grandson Simon, who lives in the Amherst area – his dad, our son Ted, is a history professor at Amherst College. I also plan to spend more time in our garden during the spring and summer and in my wood shop during the cold months. Professor Risley introduced me to the joys of wood sculpting in his studio class during our sophomore year, and I am forever grateful to him for opening a new world for me. On the science side of things, I will continue to volunteer for committee work at the National Academy of Sciences, and I will teach and mentor student projects in MBL’s fall Semester in Environmental Science for undergraduates from liberal arts colleges including Wesleyan.”

Peter Babin: “Life is good for my wife, Barbara, and me as well as our three daughters and their families. Barb and I are Hawaii residents, living on the Kohala coast of the Big Island, but we spend several months on the mainland visiting our kids in Las Vegas, Boulder, CO, and Clancy, MT. Our health is generally good, although we battle the usual arthritis that afflicts the elderly, and I contend with monthly eye injections for macular degeneration. We stay active, and I continue to focus on residential and commercial property development which I consider my career in retirement. I admire your multi-decade commitment to class news and hope life is treating you well in all other respects. For you and all other alums who might travel west, our doors in MT and HI are open. We would love to play host!”

Amertat (formerly Fredrick) Cohn notes that he has I never contributed to the notes, but does read them and appreciates the updates. He adds: “My year has been very busy as I keep myself occupied with many projects. In February I was recognized by Herbalife Nutrition (the company I work with as an independent distributor for 30 years) at their annual recognition meeting in Singapore as a ‘30K Chairman’s Club Member,’ one of the top 50 distributors worldwide.

“I continue my basketball playing and participated last November in a “Veteran” international basketball tournament in Hong Kong in the 60 and older division, representing Malaysia where I live 2/3 of the year. The rest of the time I live in NY or traveling. I have started an NGO basketball club in Malaysia to teach skills with coaching in the schools because their sports programs are not well developed.

“On a creative side, I recently had a gallery exhibition of my photographs as part of a group show in the Montserrat Gallery in New York City. Now I am finishing a feature documentary film, SunSeed, The Awakening, which will be released in 2019.

“I completed in March the Climate Reality Leadership Training with Al Gore and am now doing presentations and other actions to help raise awareness about climate change and Global warming.

“On the family front, I father seven children and five grandchildren. My two oldest granddaughters graduated this month. Kelsey from high school in Camden Ohio as the Valedictorian. Her older sister, Melanie graduated cum laude from Heidelberg University in environmental science and received full tuition and acceptance in the Ph.D. program at UNC. My Daughter, Shekinah, works for Clorox in London and was selected for a fellowship with the Aspen Institute on Loop (circular packaging). My son, Jeremiah, is a senior sales manager for a Polish gaming company that produces one of the top games today, The Witcher. Abraham my eldest, is a Ph.D. scientist and manager at Phillips producing CT-scan machines. And Vienna is choreographing dances recently performed at Hunter College NYC.

“Malaysia is a lovely country. Life has been very good to me, and my health is a blessing. If anyone comes this way let me know. My wife Julia and I would be happy to host you here.

“On another note, I met earlier this year with Swami Chaitanya Brahmachari, (Bill Winans), who is now a major public advocate for better adoption of the Cannabis laws in California He himself is a grower and has his own brand: Swami Selects.”

Steve Halliwell: ”My wife Anne and I are still in Irvington, N.Y., where we raised our two kids. We’ve been involved in two fine art investment funds over the past ten years. We buy museum-quality works and rotate them to the homes of investors over the life of the fund. We’re currently introducing a way to give fine art a safe, permanent identity by placing a chip on the work. We spent a lot of time in Russia, and I write occasionally on Russian money laundering for Reuters and other outlets.

“I am in regular email contact on a wide range of subjects with Robert “Woody” Sayre in Paris, who taught literature at the University of Paris and continues to publish in his field, and Bill Hunt, who is professor emeritus at St. Lawrence University and writing on George Orwell and Catalan politics. Anne and I see Bill Blakemore at meetings on current politics organized by Anne’s graduate mentor, psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton in NYC. At a Peter Kelman birthday party, we saw Jim Frost, who teaches astrophysics here in NY. And from time to time, we see Ted Dreyfus, who is teaching at The New School. One last note: Tony Schuman, Dean of the NJ Institute of Technology, is featured currently on a YouTube video announcing a major donation to the school. (Phil, maybe you can track down some of these folks and get them to tell you in their own words what they’re up to.)”

Hugh Wilson: “Greetings to all. Fran and I are definitely planning to attend our 55th Reunion in May 2020. Hope to see many of you there.”

David Osgood: “Still plugging along in Nolensville, Tenn. I never thought much about retirement while I was working, but retirement is clearly a life-changing, paradigm shift. I’m serving on the Executive Board of the local mosque and working on a volunteer basis with organizations on interfaith activities. I’m in regular email touch with Bill Turner and George Adams and also Larry Carver and David Griffith – the latter two from the class of ’66. I try to limit my areas of stress to the inability (last three years) of the St. Louis Cardinals for making the playoffs and their 2019 struggles.”

William Brooks is co-editor of a collection of essays about music and World War I—Over Here, Over There: Transatlantic Conversations on the Music of World War I,  to be published this autumn by the University of Illinois Press.

Clyde Beers: “It has been not quite 10 years since I retired, and I must admit I’ve had no impetus or desire to go back to work being an actuary. Now work has been replaced by family, gardening, and painting (pictures, not walls and windows).

“Last year our daughter started her own garden (she lives 15 minutes away), but with fewer plants and more plant variety than my previous efforts. So … this year I followed her example and planted the following new munchies: Bok Choi, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cantaloupe, Cauliflower, Kale, Kohlrabi, Rhubarb, Sweet Potatoes, and three varieties of actual potato. There’s always something to learn anew. Our salads now have more zing to them. The bigger stuff will arrive later this summer.

“Following something old, I just reread (this time in English) Voltaire’s Candide. It remains hilarious, irreverent, and the main reason that I reread it was my memory of the closing advice: ‘tend your garden.’

“We’ve slowed down our travels to far and exotic places, and now have a second home on Grand Cayman Island. Now February and March have temps in the low 80’s which is two to three times what we experience near Philly in those months.

“If anyone else is getting bitten by the gardening bug, I’d love to hear of your experiences. It is amazing how much there is to learn, and there is nothing like learning from others’ successes and failures. One thing is for sure: if it works, go there; if not, try something new. It is almost as intellectually stimulating as actuarial work, and it certainly tastes much better.”

Dutch Seigert: “Retirement?? What does that mean? I have two full-time jobs . . . a lawyer in New York City for 45 years and a professional poker player at the Borgata Hotel in Atlantic City on weekends. My law practice is still booming and the income from my second job is considerable. My wife is ‘okay’ with the poker player, so long as I return home on Sunday in time for Evangelical Presbyterian church services at 10:00 a.m. By the way, the 175th anniversary of Delta Kappa Epsilon is being held next month in New York City and I see that Irv Richter ’66 will be attending. So will I and I hope to seek other Dekes there.”

Major Moise: “After two years in Washington, D.C., Lexy and I decided to move back to California. Our move East was to be near the kids and grandkids who all live in the DC area. While that was absolutely great, the high humidity and difficult winter proved to be too much for my health (didn’t bother me when I was younger). We have been back in CA for about two months now, and the milder (drier) weather does make a difference.

“I am (sort of) retired. Lexy works ~30 hours a week and my company has a two-year contract with NIH to develop a smartphone app to assess ‘ChemoBrain’ in cancer patients. It’s very interesting work and hopefully will produce a useful tool. In addition, my son has started a web business that acts as a marketplace for products that are made from reused materials. I am helping with the website, but progress is slow as he and I both have ‘day jobs.’

“It was wonderful to be able to reconnect with classmates and roommates over the past 2 years. I plan to be at homecoming this year and hope to be part of planning the next class of ’65 Reunion. Looking forward to seeing many of you at Homecoming.”

Rod Gay: ”A quick update of my endeavors for the past few years. Spent 25 years living in Vermont teaching at a private high school and later on working for a Swiss electrical engineering company in the Northeast Kingdom. After this, I ended up in Reno, Nev., for five years where I both worked and skied. But somehow I’ve ended up right back where I started this whole journey, in Winchester, Mass. How did this happen? Partly by helping out my parents who both reached their mid-90s and needed increasing assistance.

“Since arriving back in town, I’ve been elected to the Winchester Housing Association which oversees the housing needs of our local senior citizens who choose to remain here rather than emigrate to Florida or Arizona. But I do relax occasionally between equal doses of tennis and golf. Fortunately for me, my sister and her family managed to retire to Silverthorne, Colo., so I am constantly knocking on their doors once the snow starts flying.

“I literally ran into Dave Lott at the Denver airport several years ago. I was using one of the electric moving floors when I hear a great deal of commotion right behind me. Somebody carrying skis, boots, and a bag was running down the this moving conveyance. When he reached me, his skis hooked my knapsack I had slung on my shoulder. He did a spectacular forward roll onto the moving floor and came up looking backward at me. His first response was…‘I know you, you’re Rod Gay.’ He was correct in his assessment, and we ran together and chatted for a hundred yards or so much to the annoyance of other travelers. Dave was on his way to Aspen via a private jet…I was headed in the same direction but in a grossly overloaded Enterprise rental car.”

Philip L. Rockwell |