Alumni Notes: July/August 2016

This is probably the last issue before the mini-Reunion as well as the opening of tailgating season at the Yale Bowl, so herewith reminders on both:

The mini-Reunion is scheduled for Sept. 14-17, in Seattle, and if there are any of you out there who have belatedly decided to go and have not yet sent in your materials , I suggest a frantic email to or or a quick trip to our class website at

Saturday of that weekend, Sept. 17, also marks the opening of the Yale football season, against Colgate at the Bowl. The usual suspects will be on hand, unless they’re in Seattle, including Herb and Barbara Hallas, your truly and Lisa, Al and Peggy Atherton, and Charles and Bobbi Griffith, whose tailgate offerings have gotten better every year. Yale had a terrific winter and spring athletically, with an undefeated crew and appearances in the NCAA championships by both the hockey and lacrosse teams, and nearly another one by the Yale baseball team, were it not for the ugliest 9th inning meltdown in the entire history of the game. The Yale athletic website has all the subsequent football games, with Lehigh, Dartmouth, Penn and Princeton all at home.

Victor Dial, a longtime banker and investor in Europe, and one of more prominent and successful ex-pats, sends a touching letter in which he reveals that his son has opened a door that Victor himself had kept shut all these years — the death of his father in the Pacific theater under horrific circumstances after being captured by the Japanese. Victor’s son Minter (Yale ’87) knew no such constraints, dug deeply into all aspects of his grandfather’s short life, and has now produced a book scheduled for publication this fall (“The Last Ring Home”) as well as a 26-minute documentary that PBS plans to air this fall. Working with his son has proved a catharsis for Victor, enabling him “better to come to grips with the mindless cruelty of the Japanese, the suffering of my father and his fellow prisoners, and the horrors of war in general.” Minter has posted relevant information about the project at I urge you to look it up.

This month’s drum roll:

Martin “Skip” Burke died at home in Minneapolis in January. Born in Green Bay, and educated at the Blake School and, after Yale, the University of Chicago Law School, Skip returned to the upper midwest, where he practiced law with great distinction until moving in retirement to Telluride, Co. almost 20 years ago. It took him only a year to flunk retirement, at which point he returned Minneapolis, the law, and multiple outdoor activities, including skiing, running marathons, and sailing. For the last 10 years of his life he battled Parkinson’s. Skip is survived by his wife Susan (and remembered fondly by three former wives), two sons and a daughter.

Dennis Maher died with his wife and daughter by his bedside on the Jersey shore, to which he had moved after a long and varied career as a research scientist. Dennis earned a B,S. in Metallurgy from Yale, and a doctorate in Materials Science from Cal, worked for two decades for Bell Labs and taught at the University of North Carolina, where he served as Professor Emeritus from 2003 until his death. He also taught or held various posts at Cal Tech, the University of Illinois, Ohio State, and Cambridge and the University of Liverpool. He is survived by his wife, Kathy O’Leary, and two children Christina and John.

Tom Bywaters died in his sleep after a long struggle with heart disease in Dallas. Raised in Dallas, he spent the better part of his career after Yale working in television as a producer and director, won an Emmy or two, and later in life served as an associate professor in film and fine arts at The University of Texas (Dallas) and Southern Methodist University. He was revered by his students and devoted to his cats and Lambda AA.

Fred Dupuy attended Yale with us for three years before transferring to the University of Texas, in Austin, where he received his B.A. After medical school, he completed his residency at Parkland Hospital in Dallas and thereafter practiced gynecology for a quarter-century in Austin. He retired in 2000 to a ranch on the San Marcos River before health problems forced his return to Austin. Fred died in Austin in February. He is survived by his wife, Nina, and four children.