Dyer Seymour Wadsworth: Who I've Been

January 15, 2021

Dyer Seymour Wadsworth, a B.A. graduate of the Yale Class of 1959, died on ________________ in ________________. He was born in June 1936 in New York City to Phoebe A. (Helmer) and Seymour Wadsworth. He prepared for Yale at St. Paul’s School, Concord, NH. After Yale, he attended Harvard Law School, graduating in 1962 with an LLB degree. In 1968, he was invited to trade that degree for a J.D. degree, which he did. The law school had been chastised by its graduates because other law schools were awarding J.D. degrees after similar three-year courses of study and their degree-holders were getting higher pay grades in government service jobs. (At least one of his law school classmates held on to his original LLB degree, perhaps strategizing that, within his white-shoe Wall Street law firm, the LLB degree would convey more gravitas, especially to his law firm seniors from the best old schools.)

This was a long way from his days as the boy scientist who made nitroglycerin and other explosives in his parents’ cellar. He had also served as an 18-year old deckhand on an 11-man fishing boat expedition that made magnetic and seismic observations at the North Magnetic Pole in the Canadian Arctic, beginning a lifetime of travels to much of the world.
At boarding school in New Hampshire for five years (repeating Eighth Grade), he was captain of the cross country team, top gun of the rifle team and winner of the science prize. At Yale, in addition to being a member of the Yale Record humor and literary magazine, he was on the freshman cross country and track teams, and the decisive player on Yale’s winning, five-man Junior Varsity squash match against Princeton (its sole match, of which this is the sole record). At Harvard Law School, he was the president of the Bull & Bear Club.

After formal schooling (later including about half the requirements for an M.B.A. at New York University, where he studied with Peter Drucker), he worked at Humes, Andrews & Botzow, a small law firm near Wall Street, for two years. The girls in the steno pool, regarding his vanishing red hair, chose for his secret nickname “The Flame”. (The other two associates were “The Weasel” and “The Pig”.) He next joined The International Nickel Company of Canada, Limited, then headquartered on Wall Street and one of the 30 issues listed in the Dow Jones Index of industrial companies. He remained with Inco for over three decades, retiring in 1996 as president and chief suit of the holding corporation for its extensive United States operations.

His major success was marrying Beverley A. Dunn Barringer in 1963, an arranged match orchestrated by her mother and his aunt. She survives him at their homes in Florida and Maine, as do their children, Sophia Barringer Wadsworth (Massachusetts) and Jennifer Seymour Wadsworth (California), and Sophie’s son, Hugh Wadsworth Morgan and Sophie’s partner, Bruce Morgan, and Jennie’s sons, William Wadsworth Browning and James River Browning, and Jennie’s husband, Andrew Browning.

Dyer retained a small law practice in New York, where he was counsel to Baseline Financial Services and to The Sailors’ Snug Harbor in the City of New York, among others, including Beverley. In 1968, she sued her employer, the biggest bank in New York, for sex discrimination in employment. Dyer’s own employer was then negotiating with that bank to arrange a large financing of a new nickel mine in Indonesia. His boss, no doubt under orders, came to him and asked whether he would sue if Inco discharged him for causing trouble. He said that he would rather not fight on two fronts, but he would sue if they did that. He continued to be gingerly employed by Inco.

He was a long-serving trustee of the non-profit Home for Old Men and Aged Couples, which split into the Isaac Tuttle Fund and the Amsterdam Nursing Home. He was chairman of the board of the 400-bed nursing home for the last 14 years of his service, and, in 1995, was named Trustee of the Year by the state nursing homes’ association.

He and Beverley were also active in her grandfather’s two business corporations, The Barringer Crater Company (Flagstaff, Arizona; over 200,000 visitors each year) of which he was Chairman of the Board for the last 20 of his 50 years of service, and Cass County Iron Company, a holder of oil and gas properties in East Texas, of which he was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for the most recent quarter century. Further details may be found in back issues of The Social Register and Marquis’ Who’s Who in the World.

Internment of his mortal remains, at the family’s farm in Sullivan, Maine, will be scheduled at a later date.

1 comment on Dyer Seymour Wadsworth: Who I’ve Been

  • Dyer Wadsworth

    Just so you know, this is a draft that escaped. I’m still around.

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