Alumni Notes: May/June 2024

These are the last notes I will write before our 65th in May, so as to conserve energy for that hallelujah moment I’ll be briefer than usual. Meantime, a few news items and some additions to the roll call.

A lively exchange between old friends Larry Krakoff and Alan Morrison, forwarded to me, reveals that Alan is still working full time at George Washington Law School, where he is now in his 15th year, teaching classes of over 100 students in civil procedure and constitutional law. He commutes to work on an electric bike, plays bad golf, lives happily with wife Anne, Smith ’63, in an apartment in DC and has no plans to retire “until they catch me drooling in class.” For his part, Larry, who graduated from Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1963, retired a few years after long stints on the faculty at Mount Sinai in NYC and Englewood Hospital and Medical Center. A singer with the Duke’s Men and Glee Club at Yale, he has also been a reliable member of the Yale Alumni Chorus. Married to Roberta, also Smith, class of ’59.

Mike Mitchell writes from Evansville, IN, where has practiced law for a half-century, that he is vertical and active in the local Boys Club, Rotary, and Evansville Bar Foundation. He served in the Marines, stayed active in the Reserve and retired as a Colonel.

From Larry Climo, who wrote the longest single essay in our 50th Reunion book, comes this concise update: “Hi Bob. I think this is the only time I’ve sent a piece to you for the Yale Alumni Notes. I’m retired now and living with my wife, Diane, in Lincoln, Mass., attending to a garden, birds, family, our health, walking, reading, listening to music, playing Soduko and writing occasional articles for the Lincoln Squirrel. My recent book that came out last month (December, 2023) is, in its own way, my only real Silent Generation cry-out — “From Toxic Civil Discourse to Saving a World: A Midrash-guided Memoir of a Vietnam Vet.” Larry’s book was published by Urim Publications, a Jerusalem-based distributor of classic and modern Jewish books. Larrry graduated from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and, as a Captain, was awarded a Bronze Star in Vietnam. He practiced psychiatry for most of his professional life. As the book’s title makes clear, Larry became increasingly frustrated by what he saw as the growing polarization of American society and decided to offer some thoughts and possible remedies. I found the book on Google.

Herewith the latest roll call:

Henry Allison died last year, unreported by us at the time, after a long and distinguished career as professor of philosophy at Boston University. BU’s announcement described him as one of the most influential scholars of Immanuel Kant in the last half century. He wrote books on Kant, David Hume and Spinoza, earning membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a high honor.

We are a year late with this one, too. Mike Cherry, a charming and civilized man and good friend in Fence Club back in the day, died at home in Palm Desert, CA., last March. MIke was born in Fall River and prepped at Taft. He had great affection for Yale, for golf ( which he played at a high level) and for music of all kinds — classical, opera, and jazz, nurtured at the old Newport Jazz Festival. A peripatetic though largely successful career in finance transported him to Boston, New York, Cincinnati, Chicago, — where he was a managing director of Smith, Barney — Providence, and ultimately California, where he co-founded an advisory firm. In Providence, Mike met and married his second wife, Sharon, who survives him, along with three children from his first marriage and two from hers.

Rolf Henel passed away in New Jersey in December. Of German ancestry, he was born in Ontario and became U.S. citizen 1953. After NYU, he embarked on a successful business career, mainly with Pfizer and American Cyanamid that took him to a half dozen countries across Europe and the Persian Gulf, and left him fluent in French, German, Italian, Russian (his major at Yale) and Spanish. He continued as a healthcare advisor in retirement, and is survived by his wife of 30 years, Emilia, and four children from a previous marriage.

Ed Curran never really left Connecticut, and it suited him just fine despite the Nutmeg State’s reputation as a rather staid place whose motto, we kid you not, is The Land of Steady Habits. Ed, who died in December in Bloomfield, was born in Bridgeport, ventured as far afield as Yale and Yale Law School, and, when confronted with what he called the “Darwinian life of a young associate in a New York law firm,” chose instead a Hartford firm where he rose to full partner and managing partner. Storyteller, historian and singer of rebel Irish songs, Ed was active in Bloomfield politics and served several terms as Deputy Mayor. He was predeceased by his high school sweetheart and wife of 57 years, Patricia, and is survived by their three children.

Bill Lee was a hometown boy who made good. Born in Fort Wayne in 1938 and educated at local schools before Yale and the University of Chicago law school, Bill returned to Fort Wayne and a law career that spanned half a century. He served variously as a prosecutor, a trial judge and a U.S. Attorney, and in 1981 was nominated by President Reagan to be U,S. District Court Judge for the Northeast District of Indiana. “I guess you can say I’m very pleased, ” Bill told the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette at the time. “This community has meant a lot to me and has been good for me.” As he had for it. Bill married Judith, a Fort Wayne girl, right after Yale. She died in 2019. Three children survive him.