Alumni Notes: May/June 2015

Following a good deal of research and effort by Sandy Wiener, the Class Council has voted to approve an important addition to our class website, which as most of you know can be reached simply by Googling “Yale Class of 1959.” To some extent, the addition will be patterned after a site launched some years ago by the class of 1964. Among many other bells and whistles, the 1964 site has a nice little section that posts links to newspapers, magazines or, indeed, any linkable source with anything written about (or by) a member of the class. But a key feature, and one that particularly appeals to Sandy, is what amounts to a chat room in which class members can exchange ideas and interests. This is a fine idea that will allow classmates to keep in touch in a way that they cannot do now. It’s not going to put either the existing website or these notes out of business, so keep the cards and letters and emails coming. There will be a link to the new site on the existing site, when the new one is up and running, so keep your eye peeled.

Ben Gertz reports near-record attendance at his monthly Yale Club lunch in February, bolstered by three couples — Tom and Anne Maxey, Rowland and Carla Stebbins, and Bob and Eleanor Ittner — and three widows, Caroline Friedman, Helen Morrell and Louise Arias. Other classmates Charles Griffith, Rick Templeton, Ed Brown and Bob Burn, as well as Kristin Mendez, one of our Calhoun fellows who is starting a Goldman Sachs training course this summer.

It is rare and rewarding for this column to be able to report that it has scooped my very own newspaper, but it has. More than once over the last few years, we have reported on Bill Putnam’s amazing collection of antique cars and rare bottles of single-malt Scotch — a curious combo, by any stretch — which are all on display at the Simmons Homestead Inn in Hyannis Port, on Cape Cod. Bill has owned the place for years; inside are 621 different brands of single-malt Scotch, and outside, in the back parking lot, are 45 sports cars, most of them British. Bill also collects cats, no fewer than 20 orange ones. The Times, where I am still employed, wrote a great feature about Bill and his obsessions (sorry: hobbies! ) in the Business/Financial section on Friday, Jan. 30. It is a delight to read, as is its subject. One new thing I learned is that Bill calls his assembly of cars “The Toad Hall Classic Sports Car Collection,” after :The Wind in the Willows,” which featured the fast-driving and somewhat reckless Mr. Toad.

By way of catch up, an unusually long drum roll this month:

Sig Euland reports that Sam Rogers passed away in December following complications from a stroke. Sam grew up in Minneapolis and went to Blake School with Steve Adams, Skip Burke, Fred Meyer, John Neumeier and Sig. Yale married Karen in 1960 and served three years in the Navy as an officer, later moving to Scottsdale where he spent most of his career as a wealth portfolio manager at Norwest bank, now part of Wells ls Fargo. He remained an active member of the community after retirement. He loved Yale and attended as many reunions and mini-reunions as possible. Karen and four sons survive him.

Alki Scopelitis reports that he received an email from Marcia Hunt about the passing of her husband, Dick Hunt, in n October. Alki knew Dick at Culver and roomed with him freshman year. ick married Marcia in 1985 and together they enjoyed five children from previous marriages Dick practiced law in Miami for 33 years and held many important civic posts in Dade County. Those who knew him knew him at his happiest when he was singing and playing , felicitously, banjo and guitar.

An obituary in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune in December carried news of the death of Peter Vaughan, who was listed in our 45th Reunion directory under “missing classmates, ” which usually suggests that they had lost contact with Yale. In any case, Peter seems to have had a robust career as a reporter and theater critic at the paper. After retirement, he moved to France with his wife, , Dana Wood, buying a country house in Saint-Senoch, where he was able to indulge his taste for good wine and food. His is survived as well by two sons from a first marriage.

Bill Brereton died of cancer in Erie, Pa., in November. After Yale, he received an M.D. degree from Cornell, served in the Army, interned at Bellevue in New York City, did his residency at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland. Beginning in 1971, he practiced for just over three decades in Erie. He was a cancer specialist, and also active in a host of professional societies and local charities. Constance, his wife of 50 years, survives him, as do four children.

George Flinn, II, who graduated from Hotchkiss in 1951 and came late to our class after serving in the Marines, died at 82 at home in Locust, N.J. in October. George was quite a figure; after his senior year, he opened a private sport parachuting school in Massachusetts. His business career was largely spent in the plastics industry, with Celanese and Nylon Products. According to the Asbury Park Press, George was (among other things) a licensed pilot, a black belt in Judo, an experienced horseman and champion skeet shooter, a skier, squash player and motorcyclist who kept riding until weeks before his death. He also canoed and rafted many of the white water rivers in America, owned a guest ranch in Colorado and was a genial presence at nearly every tennis and beach club in Rumson, as well as a local conservationist. He is survived by his wife, Genie Lord Flinn, three children from his first marriage and two stepchildren.