ROBERT R. BLAKE, 66, a development economist with the World Bank, died Feb. 9, 2013. He received his degree cum laude and with honors in economics. After receiving his PhD in economics from the University of Michigan, he worked in Washington, D.C., for the U.S. Treasury in various international affairs departments for 15 years before taking a job as a development economist at The World Bank. He concentrated on Africa, and following postings in Cameroon, Uganda, and Madagascar, he retired in 2009. Among those who survive are his wife, Claudia Kobles Blake, two children, two grandchildren, and his sister.
Jeff Talmadge has done something quite remarkable: after working in very responsible positions in a humongous computer company that managed to go belly-up, he created a job for himself with a website—weneedavacation.com—which gets folks vacation rentals on the Cape and the Islands. Well, Jeff’s cottage industry has been going and growing since 1997 and, at this point, Jeff is easing himself out and passing the business on to the next generation. Jeff’s daughter, Becky, and stepson, Jimmy, are taking the lead, and a grandson is afoot at work some days. Jeff and Joan have renovated their East Orleans summer home for living there full time. And a holiday letter gave me the distinct impression that there is not a golf course Jeff does not like.
Though Amby Burfoot has retired as the editor of Runner’s World and moved to Mystic, he continues writing about running-related issues. He was 7/10 of a mile from the finish-line when the bombs went off in Boston. Unbelievably, it has been 25 years since Dave Pryor died from Agent Orange. Bill Nicholson fondly remembers rooming with Dave before Dave concluded that “this arrangement was not going to lead to anything but weekend mischief and mediocre grades.”
Jeff Bell traveled to Russia where he saw the places to which Professors Greene and Pomper had introduced him. So much for the enduring value of a liberal arts education. Wig Sherman’s youngest son, Jonathan, was a lacrosse captain and an economics major at UConn. His post-graduate plans are to secure gainful employment. In August, Paul Spitzer gave Judy and me a fascinating tour of the Connecticut River’s estuary, and we also visited Dave Losee’s exquisite cottage in Isleboro, Maine.
Dave Gruol, Jacques LeGette, Steve Horvat, Ray Solomon, Craig Dodd, Ted Ahern and Pete Hardin got together for their annual golf retreat, which took place this year in Madison, Conn. Dick Emerson was also there, but a back injury limited him to lively conversation and walking the round of golf they played at the Yale golf course, helping to keep up the spirits of those who struggle at this frustrating game.
As my regular readers know, the crew has stayed in touch and active but there has been one notable exception—Joe Kelly Hughes ’67—who until recently was unaccounted for. It turns out, he was drafted out of law school, ended up a Navy SEAL officer and qualified for underwater demolition team training. After two combat tours, he spent three years as a naval adviser to Bolivia. (“I can’t tell you how radically all that affected my mindset.”) Leaving the military in 1975, he moved to the Mexican Caribbean and was involved in many recovery projects. For some years, Joe has been Atlanta-based, developing industrial automation equipment and watching our country move from an industrial to a service economy. A FEMA responder, he spent many long days in New York after 9-11 and Sandy, and in Mississippi after Katrina. “My wife of 15 years and I travel, and I read to expand my knowledge of art and history which began in the COL. I hike with my dog through the Appalachian mountain trails, build and restore ship models, and am a director of a museum of underwater history in Mexico that I helped establish.” His son, a well-known hunting and fishing guide, lives in Bozeman, Mont., with his wife and son.
As the crew has stayed so close over the years, sorrow over the passing of Sib Reppert ’67 in August (of the same kind of liver cancer that Steve Jobs had) was tempered only by the realization that he had lived such an extraordinarily full life. Study at Oxford, service aboard a nuclear submarine and Harvard Law were followed by a Boston-based career as a litigator involved in patent-related and other complex cases including the national asbestos property damage litigation, breast implant cases, and professional malpractice cases. While a life-long competitive oarsman who competed in hundreds of regattas, sailing was Sib’s passion and he was never happier than at sea. Indeed, in 1995, Sib and his family sailed through the Panama Canal to New Zealand aboard their 37-foot sloop. And, in 2001, he and his daughters sailed from Cape Town to the Windward Islands aboard their 42-foot catamaran. In October, several of us celebrated Sib’s life with his wife, Christine Veztinski, and daughter, Victoria ’04, in an event beautifully orchestrated by Will Macoy ’67. Victoria reflected that he had gone quickly—he had been rowing just weeks before his death – and “at the top of his game,” so we needn’t feel bad. Though as Davy Crockett ’69 noted, we all thought he’d be the last man standing and do.
Finally, in July, we lost Alan Nichols to a brain tumor. His regimen of daily exercise strengthened his physical and mental well-being, which his doctors said enabled him to sustain his fight against the tumor as long as he did. A Bethesda-based golf nut, Al wrote for an urban daily and on the environment before focusing his journalism on travel and golf-related subjects for a number of major outlets. A low-handicap player, he was also an occasional amateur tournament participant and a life-coach whose teaching was designed to have an impact on more than your game. Al was especially close to John Carty, who remembers his presence and kindness at some of life’s bigger junctures – like the present he gave John’s first-born. If you put “Alan B. Nichols” into You Tube, you will find some wonderful videos of Alan puffing on a cigar and reflecting wryly on his life and the world. And that is probably how we should remember him.
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RICHARD E. DONLEY, the founder of Mountain High Alfalfa, which markets hay for farmers to dairymen and horse breeders throughout the U.S., died Aug. 4, 2006. He was 59. A member of Esse Quam Videre, he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. After receiving his degree magna cum laude and with high honors from the College of Social Studies, he received an M.B.A. from Harvard. While an undergraduate, his research into the psychological motivation of presidential speeches received national attention and was published in Time magazine. Active in human rights organizations in Colorado, he also published two books. Among those who survive are his partner, Ron Mahka; his second mother, Jean Donley; a brother; and a nephew.
GEORGE W. DAVISON-ACKLEY, 61, who had been a vice president of Lehman Management Company, died Sept. 30, 2007. A member of Psi Upsilon, he received his law degree as well as a master’s degree in business administration from Columbia University. He was the grandnephew of George W. Davison of the class of 1892 and the grandson of Emory H. Westlake of the class of 1900. He is survived by his partner, John Robert Massie; his father; two brothers, including Emory W. Ackley ’65; and his niece, Annie W. Ackley ’98.
WILLIAM T. BROMAGE, whose 40-year career in banking began at Hartford National Bank and culminated as President and Chief Operating Officer at Webster Bank, died Sept. 14, 2009. He was 63. A member of Delta Kappa Epsilon, he served in community leadership roles, particularly with Junior Achievement and Connecticut Public Broadcasting. Among those who survive are his wife, Kathleen Leary Bromage, three sons, four grandchildren, and a large extended family, including cousins Edward S. Bromage ’59 and Sally Van Dusen Bromage Suhr ’84. Other cousins include the late Arthur W. Bromage of the class of 1925, and the late Willard G. Bromage of the class of 1935.