CLASS OF 1955 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

Always a delight to receive a note or two from fellow Sigma Chi brothers! It looks like they will do their part to keep me from rambling on about the traditional birthday ride celebrating my 87th with riding buddies from our local club. And yes, we did ride 87, but to be explicit, because of the coronavirus we did choose to mark the distance in kilometers instead of miles! Oh well, not too bad for a bunch of senior citizens. By the way, I’d certainly enjoy receiving a note or two from classmates in addition to fraternity brothers!

From Ric Fisher and for the record, a notice that he was the youngest resident on his street in Lund, Sweden, when he moved there in 1980 and now, he’s the oldest. He says he’s in the high-risk zone: 86, he’s survived an aorta dissection (2016), and still wonders what the next handicap will be! He gives thanks to his wife, Ula, and to Vera, his dachshund, for keeping him active and surviving!

Upon our graduation, I drove from my home in New Haven to St. Louis to pick up Tom Nall to begin a driving trip throughout the states. The original destination was Seattle to meet with one of our Sigma Chi brothers. Tom recalled the many wonderful memories from St. Louis to the end at the Grand Canyon, including picking apricots in Yakima Valley, a bear invading our tent at Mt. Hood, and bathing in mountain streams as well as the beauties all the national parks offered as we toured them. One item that stood out was being laughed at for wearing short pants as no one in the West wore them at the time! Tom has survived a concussion from a fall in 2019 and several illnesses, which resulted in the decision to move into an independent-living apartment in an assisted living facility across the state line in South Fulton, Tenn. He mentioned that it was quite a change from his former house situated on two acres, but he’s settled in and doing quite well.

Marianne and I are well and, like almost everyone else living during these pandemic days, are looking for the chance to resume our former habits. Can’t come too soon.

As always, sincere good wishes to you and your loved ones in the days ahead.

34 Southport Ln. Apt. C, Boynton Beach, FL 33436

CLASS OF 1955 | 2020 | ISSUE 1

Another year and another good start for the Crucial Class as two of our classmates have responded to my quest for items of interest for all of us. And, as always, my sincere thanks to both Jim and Drew, who took the time to say “hello” to all of us.

Jim Shepard enclosed what may be the perfect response to all who may consider retirement as an option. He wrote, “I have closed down my Expert Witness Practice. I had my first job at 16 as a Howard Johnson’s cook, then I completed 70 years of work. Now, ready to party.” Can’t say the man has his priorities wrong, can we? Jim, enjoy yourself.

I received a wonderful holiday greetings letter from Drew Clemens, filled with much information and news. As mentioned previously, Drew and Julie have relocated to the retirement community of South Franklin Circle in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, near Cleveland, and are pleased and happy with their decision. Drew continues to teach psychoanalytic technique and do local and national organizational work in psychoanalysis. He still finds time to read, play tennis, take long walks, and write for the residents’ newsletter, fittingly named The Cardinal! He and Julie, as founding members, continue to sing with Choral Arts Cleveland and now are relearning bridge, which he maintains is a humbling experience. He reminds all of us that there are still ways to learn, play, and contribute to the world around us.

Even though I might sound somewhat disappointed to announce my completed bike mileage for 2019 was much less than the usual 5,000-plus miles, I can honestly state that recording 3,894 miles in spite of much unfavorable weather was still very satisfying. The challenge for this year will most like be whether we do the annual birthday ride (87) in miles or kilometers.

To all of you and your loved ones, may the new year bring you health, happiness, and peace.

34 Southport Ln. Apt. C, Boynton Beach, FL 33436

CLASS OF 1955 | 2019 | ISSUE 3

A salute to John Sheaff for expressing what I’m sure most of us wish, think, and feel at this point in our lives. I’ve copied his note, word for word, so as not to lose any of his thoughts:

“Fortunately I can say that Lois and I are still functioning as best as can be expected for old geezers like us. Who cannot be overjoyed looking out at the beautiful green and flower-laced scenes that surround us here in upstate New York. Just think, a year from now we will be able to attend our 65th Reunion at Wesleyan. Hope to see you all there.”

Sad update: In a Nov. 3 text from Lois Sheaff, John’s wife for the past 65 years, I received word of his passing on Nov. 1. Sincere condolences to the entire family. Know that I will sorely miss John’s frequent contributions to Class Notes such as the one that appears in this column as well as the many wonderful memories shared with him.

Word was received that on Aug. 16 Gail Clarke passed away at his home in Old Saybrook, Conn. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Emily Hooghkirk, and his three daughters. I’m sure I speak for all of us in offering sincere condolence to Emily.

On the home front, Marianne and I moved back to our “original homestead” at Hunters Run in Boynton Beach, Fla. As Marianne has regained strength in her arms and is able to grip a golf club once again, the move made sense and has brought much joy to both of us. An added plus is that we are once again only a five-minute walk from my sister’s residence here at the club. Another plus is the streets are usually very quiet, so when I’m not engaged in riding with my bicycle club members, I have little fear of riding solo for a 20-mile “warm up” here. Always a delight to stop into our local clubhouse for a cup of coffee and conversation midway on my journey. And speaking of cycling, this years’ total miles will only approximate around 4,000 as heat and rain have really cut into the activity. OK, one of these days I might even admit that with advancing age I might even have slowed down!

Finally, I’d be more than pleased to receive a word or two from you. By doing so I won’t have to bore you with tales of my cycling exploits! And please note a change of my e-mail address.

As always, let me extend my very best wishes to you and your loved ones for good health, much happiness and peace!

34 Southport Ln. Apt. C, Boynton Beach, FL 33436

CLASS OF 1955 | 2019 | ISSUE 2

Always pleased to hear from classmates who are willing to share their words with us and this time around is no exception. As I’ve mentioned before, nothing beats “material” submitted to your secretary. So please, let me begin by asking all of you to consider sending a word or two this way in time for the next edition of the magazine!

A grand philosophical thought from Stu Rapp examined the term “Crucial Class” that we, the Class of ’55 called ourselves. He doubts anyone else has thought of us that way and wrote that we were the “crucial class” just like every class before and after has been and will be. He stated that this is what this quixotic quest called “higher education” is all about, doing its best to help us face Henley’s “fell clutch of circumstance,” and wrest from it its lessons from the past, and implications for the future. Stu believes that this is still a live issue for him even though, in his 86th year, one would probably never know it! The late Charlie Hume and the still lively Bob Pooley were precious friends over those intervening 64 years. He says his friendship with the late Jim Wright was equally precious in its own way. “Here in the brave new world, the somewhat overripe sentiments of the old college songs don’t apply much anymore, unless—like some of us—you keep moving on into older age, and discover their relevance once more. Then, “the alter fires our (forbears) lit shall still more brightly glow.”

John Ineson questioned whether his note to me was “front page” material but then exclaimed he didn’t want to start talking politics! So wise. He says he finally has realized that he does need help with his ALS and that spinal and hip issues have caught up with him, and with the death of his wife, Lori, last summer he found living alone in their home to be depressing. So, he’s moved into a two-bedroom apartment in an assisted-living facility in Williamsburg Landing. He appreciates the fact that he now has people to talk to and eat with, as well as staff to provide assistance as required. John states that Williamsburg remains an easily accessible place to live with lots of activities if one is so inclined, which he states he fortunately is. “Folks used to say that getting older in not for sissies, but they sure are making it easier,” he concludes!

Word of the death of Ted Stein on March 25 was received. Ted enjoyed a successful professional life with Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company (now Mass Mutual) as an underwriter before being named assistant vice president of marketing in 1970. He was a pioneer in the use of personal computers for the company’s agents and worked on some of the earliest network applications. In 1985, Ted started TELIC Inc., an early independent software implementation and training consultancy, which he ran until his retirement in 2011. Sincere condolences are offered to his family from his classmates.

On the home front, Marianne and I have moved once more, returning to our original Florida location at Hunters Run Golf and Country Club in Boynton Beach. Being able to once again grip a golf club after a suspected bout with early Parkinson, we feel blessed that Marianne can begin to resume an activity she loves. And the fact that the location is a few miles farther and a 10 minute longer drive from the start of two of our weekly bike rides doesn’t bother me at all! Now, if the weather cooperates and the heat and rain treat us kindly, we will truly feel we are in “paradise.”

As always, to you and your loved ones, sincere best wishes for good health and happiness in the days ahead.

34 Southport Ln. Apt. C, Boynton Beach, FL 33436

CLASS OF 1955 | 2019 | ISSUE 1

It’s been more than 50 years that I’ve had the privilege of putting together our class notes and I can honestly report for the most part, it has been a joy. The spirit of the Crucial Class has always been evident through the notes and memos sent my way. And, I must confess that editing this edition has probably been the most difficult as the messages conveyed are those of deep sadness; the passing of my freshman roommate and the loss of a lifetime partner of a friend.

First, let me quote the words of John Ineson. “In the fall of 1955 I was at Cornell in Ithaca, just starting on studies for my MBA. One of the sororities on campus, Chi Omega, had a ‘get acquainted’ open house and the combined prospect of free food and meeting coeds was too much for me to resist. One of the coeds I met that day, Lori, became my wife two years later. She died suddenly this past July. She had been receiving long term care for dementia, but it was cancer that ultimately caused her death. I have lost my best friend of 62 years, not long after our son died in a gruesome accident. It has left a big hole in my life. Fortunately, the rest of my family, some close friends, and my church have stepped in to at least partially fill the gap and I am starting to look ahead again. I will let you know how things progress.”

John, I know I speak for all of us in extending deepest sympathies and condolences.

Thanks to Jay Shapiro for sending notification of the passing of Ben Di Iorio on Oct. 9. As many will remember, Ben was an outstanding athlete who lettered in six sports, including football, baseball, basketball, track, and swimming, and won a state championship in handball while in high school. At Wesleyan, his track team was undefeated during his four years and the entire track and field team were inducted into Wesleyan’s Sports Hall of Fame. He was probably best known for his talents as a skeet shooter and, starting at the age of 14, he was a 10-time “All American” during the 13 years he shot professionally. In 1972 he was inducted into the skeet and trap shooting hall of fame. He is survived by his children Ben III, Gregory, Bradford, Tessa, and Jamie, and their families. I’m sure Drew Clemens, like me, still has memories of Ben telling us about the role his father played in the development of skeet shooting, as well as examining the rifles Ben used in the sport.

The fact that heat, humidity, and rain throughout most of the past six months of Florida weather prevented me from reaching the yearly 5,000-mile annual biking goal doesn’t seem to be such an important item at this point. I am thankful to say I did record a hair less than 3,900 miles and more importantly, Marianne and I remain in good health and we are very happy. We did relocate to a larger condo in our development and are pleased with the additional living space while keeping our dear friends!

As always, to you and your loved ones, sincere best wishes for good health and happiness in the year ahead.

14790 Bonaire Blvd., Apt. 210, Delray Beach, FL 33446