PETER L. HILLYER, a writer, died Feb. 4, 2011, at age 81. A member of Psi Upsilon, he was the stepson of Harold Whiteley of the class of 1922. After graduation he served in the U.S. Marine Corps and then worked as a journalist until he joined IBM in 1960, where he spent more than 25 years writing executive speeches and articles. When he retired he continued to write as a freelancer and also wrote speeches for high-profile executives. Survivors include his wife, Virginia Hillyer; two sons, including Clayton Hillyer ’79; a daughter; two stepdaughters; 11 grandchildren; a sister, and his brother, Richard Whiteley ’62.
RIDGELY W. HARRISON JR., the retired president of the Minwax Company, Inc., died Aug. 25, 2006. He was 79. A member of Alpha Chi Rho, he served in the U.S. Army. His entire career was spent with the family business, Minwax, which makes wax and finishes for household floors, until he sold it 26 years ago. During the 1990s, his photograph inspired a multi-million dollar Tanqueray gin advertising campaign, which created the persona of “Mr. Jenkins.” Survivors include his current wife, Mai Hallingby Harrison, three sons, eight grandchildren, and a sister.
MARK H. HALLER ’51, a professor of history and criminal justice, died Sept. 22, 2012, at age 83. A member of Phi Sigma Kappa, he received his degree with high honors and with high distinction in English. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. After receiving his master’s degree from the University of Maryland and his PhD from the University of Wisconsin, he joined the faculty of the University of Chicago, leaving in 1968 to join the faculty of Temple University as a specialist in urban history. At Temple, he was instrumental in the establishment of the Department of Criminal Justice with a research emphasis, for the enhancement of Temple’s standing as a research institution, and for the effectiveness of faculty governance.
He was the author of numerous books and papers, and he lectured widely. His many interests included competitive tennis, travel, opera, and politics. He is survived by two brothers, several nephews, nieces, grandnephews, and a grandniece.
DANIEL S. GREGORY, 81, co-founder of the venture capital firm Greylock Partners, which helped launch companies that defined the business community in Boston and the Route 128 corridor, died Jan. 6, 2011. He was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon and received a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University after serving in the U.S. Navy. A member of the Board of the National Venture Capital Association for seven years, he spent the last two years in top leadership roles. He also served for about a year as secretary of economic affairs under Massachusetts Governor William F. Weld. Known for finding talented people with good ideas, he taught that the process involved hard work as well as focus and dedication. Among those who survive are his wife of 58 years, Madeline Lee Gregory; three children, including Daniel S. Gregory Jr. ’78; eight grandchildren; and a brother and sister.
DONALD C. FORD, an editor and academic publisher, and assistant director of admission at Wesleyan from 1954–1961, died Dec. 15, 2010. He was 80. A member of Eclectic, he received his degree with honors and served in the U.S. Army. He was the brother of the late Andrew E. Ford Jr. of the class of 1950. Before joining the administration at Wesleyan he was a research mathematician. In 1961 he moved to John Wiley and Sons, where he served as the first president of Hamilton Publishing Company, and published textbooks in mathematics, statistics, accounting, and business. An avid sailor, he was also a lifelong supporter of Wesleyan and was a member of the first class of inductees into the Wesleyan Athletics Hall of Fame. He is survived by his wife, Diana Schafer Ford, two stepchildren, three grandchildren, a brother, and a large extended family.
F. ROBERT FEKETY JR., M.D., professor emeritus of medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School and a distinguished physician, teacher, author and medical researcher in infectious diseases, died Jan. 6, 2009. He was 79. A member of Sigma Nu, he received his degree with high distinction in chemistry and was elected both to Phi Beta Kappa and to Sigma Xi. He received his medical degree from the Yale University School of Medicine. After serving in the U.S. Public Health Service and teaching at Johns Hopkins University, he established and was chief of the infectious disease division of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School, where he was on the faculty from 1967 to his retirement in 1995. He was a discoverer of the causes and treatment of Clostridium difficile colitis, which was and is a significant problem for hospitalized patients. The University of Michigan established the Fekety Lectureship in Infectious Diseases in 1992 and the Fekety Professorship in 2008, in recognition of his commitment to education, research, and patient care. He is survived by his wife, Nancy Baker Fekety, two daughters, and a sister.
ROBERT S. EASTMAN, an instrumentation engineer and physics instructor, died May 19, 2007, at age 79. He was a member of Phi Sigma Kappa and was employed by Pratt & Whitney Aircraft for more than 40 years. He is survived by his wife, Elinor Casey Eastman, a son, two grandchildren, and a brother. (For more information, see theHartford Courant, May 31, 2007.
WILLIAM H. DARR, an artist, educator, and art historian, died July 30, 2006 at age 86. He received his degree with honors and with high distinction in creative art. Elected to Phi Beta Kappa, he received an M.F.A. from Yale University. During World War II he served in the U.S. Civilian Public Service. After studying and working with Diego Rivera in Mexico, he taught at Amherst and Earlham colleges, and at Drake University, until he left in 1974 to found his own school in Florence, Italy, the Studio Arts Center International. His paintings are in private and public collections around the world. He is survived by his second wife, Lillian K. Darr; four daughters from his first marriage to Suzanne Clark Darr, who died; three stepchildren; two grandchildren; two step-grandchildren; and two brothers.
GORDON R. BRYAN JR., a retired Captain in the U.S. Navy, died Jan. 28, 2003 at age 74. A member of Sigma Nu, he received a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a master’s degree from Georgetown University. During his military career, he served on a destroyer and five submarines, two of which he commanded. After retiring from the Navy, he became a consultant for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He is survived by his wife, Judith H. Bryan, two sons, four stepchildren, and three grandchildren.
GEORGE D. BRODIGAN, an attorney who specialized in mediation and arbitration, died Sept. 14, 2010, at age 83. He was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon and received his law degree from the University of Virginia. After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II, he received his degree from Wesleyan and then re-entered the Marine Corps as an officer during the Korean War. He established his own law firm after working in the law department at the Travelers Insurance Company, and he was a Supreme Court Judge on an interim basis from 1985 to 1986. From 1991 to recent years he represented various companies in the field of mediation and arbitration. One son, Christopher C. Brodigan ’80, predeceased him, as did one brother, Francis F. Brodigan Jr. ’51. He is survived by his former wife, Shirley Walker Brodigan, two children, four grandchildren, and his brother, Charles T. Brodigan ’54.