The editor received an email from Bick Keister in late December '16 informing him of the passing of Pete Blank. Bick sent the same message to a number of classmates, which elicited the below responses.

 

28 Dec from Bick:

Dear classmates and Sis,

My dear friend, Pete, has passed. My last visit to his home was in January 2015 and this year's Christmas card prompted the letter below( Ed note-letter from lawyer handling Peter's estate stating that Pete had passed), even though there was no response in 2015. In addition to the letter, I have attached the last picture I took of him that January with my wife, Betsy. (The picture was taken about 50 feet from his backyard) I leave it to our editor, Ken Martin, to add this information to the Wheatley site.
Paul (Bick) Keister

 

John Moncure wrote:
Folks--this is so sad on many levels.
• First, it was over a year ago--and we didn't know he died

• Second, an attorney is his executor--which usually happens when someone doesn't have anyone close to name in their will. I try to have clients name a family member--or close friend as executor. I agree to be executor only if there is no-one to assist (ethical issues for attorneys named in will).

• Third, he didn't keep, or try to keep, in touch--unless Bick was in contact.

Petey--left guard on our line--tough as nails--wrestler--quiet (as I remember him) but always wanting to be in on the fun and always there for the laughs with teammates. He went into the Peace Corps and came back a different person--or, perhaps, came back his true self. I don't think I ever had contact with him after his return so I don't know.

RIP Pete Blank--Wheatley, 1960
Monk

(Ed Note-Monk also added a New Year's greeting to folks and submitted a family photo as well)

 

I wanted to take advantage of Bick's great e-mail list to wish you all, my dear old friends, a happy and healthy New Year--(I'm the old guy with my beautiful family)-Monk

From Eileen Murphy:

What a shock to learn that Pete died over a year ago and no one knew. Strange.

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy new year.

Eileen and Norman

From Lucy Mullman:

How terribly sad. While I did not know Pete, I remember his handsome face and the few times that we spoke. He died too young and I hope not alone.

Gang, we need to stick together!

Just underwent foot surgery and right now am feeling my age!

Love to you all and John you have a lovely family. We have been seeing a lot of dixie's family- wonderful family ties

Love,
Lucy

From Margot Shotter:

So,so sad and a real up front reminder that most of us are entering our 75th year this 2017. Yikes!
Good health and much love to all of you my very first friends.

Margot

From Linda Sue Beattie:
Such sad news. Remembering happy times so long ago with Pete and his family. My sister June was a close friend of Pete 's sister Barbara and unfortunately has lost touch with her. Warm wishes to all of you and hope to see you in 2017!

From Paul Hennessy:

Bick and friends,

Received your sad and surprising news about our old pal & classmate Pete while traveling in the SF Bay area, not far from the Bolinas,CA coastside "farm" where he lived.

We visited him there two decades ago when living in the San Jose area. Will never forget that meeting with Pete--still strong, hard-working and organized like the Lafayette-educated engineer he was--wearing a black baret and proud of the charts in his cabin that displayed PRECISELY where he was growing each of the "herbs" on his 10 acre plot.

Bolinas is a very funky small town, still living in the 60's, whose residents routinely remove the highway signs directing travelers there. I thought of him often when visiting Orient Point/Greenport on Long Island's North Fork as the ferry docks in front of the Blank/Latham compound where (you may recall) we camped out and had memorable beach parties back in our carefree youth. The Blanks and Lathams are well-known and visible there, with farm stands still bearing their name.

We once visited Pete's Dad & Mom in their home there and talked about the changes in young Pete's life since his Peace Corps African experience and his farming on the distant "other" coast. Pete, Sr. seemed to view his son's unexpected path with a combination of bewilderment and perhaps pride that--although it wasn't engineering-- he was still working hard and making a good, independent living.

More to come on memories of Pete in high school and college, but in sum, he was a fine, tough, fun-loving guy, humble and quiet despite his handsome looks, and powerful body. James Dean would have liked him and vice versa.

All the best to you, amigos. Hope the season finds you well and enjoying life. Attached is shot of my clan in Carmel--Clint Eastwood territory--as a final salute to Pete. (Clint would also have been a soul bro' of his).

Paul H.

 

From Dixie Howell:

Hello everyone,

I was stunned and saddened to hear that Pete had passed away. I had always hoped to visit with him; sorry that we never did. I hope I have learned that lesson.

Good memories of Pete from HS and college days - we got along very easily together - saw eye to eye. One summer we traveled by car across the country together and then down into Mexico. Remember our anticipation about getting to the west coast and seeing the Pacific for the first time. We talked of going in to take a dip as soon as we got to the Pacific. We were approaching through some very hilly place in Oregon and as we got closer the fog and cold air made themselves known in a very real way - after we stumbled our way down a steep embankment we decided to just get our feet wet instead -shocked that it wasn't the same as the Atlantic.

Best wishes to you all for good health and happiness (as for wealth, if we don't have enough dough at our age the lottery is one of the few chances - good luck!) Hope to see you all.

Dix/George

From Bick to Monk

Monk,

You are right about an attorney being the executor, but he trusted Jack Siedman and I am sure his sister, Barbara, did not want to handle the sale of his house on a bluff looking over the Pacific Ocean AND Bolinas Bay and his 175 acre fruit farm in the middle oof the State. When Peter Blank, Jr and his wife Marla(?) died, Pete and Barbara inherited and part of it was the summer house on the ocean at Orient Point which was a joy to visit. Pete said he was never coming back east so it went to Barbara.

I loved Pete and has parents. His mom was a sweetheart and Mr. Blank always treated me well, but was the strong/silent type. At Orient Point one night, I walked from the main house to Pete's cabin in the woods after getting back from the movies in town. The movie was Psycho and I cannot tell you the fear that overtook me walking in those woods. Pete was ahead of me and I hope he did not hear me sniveling (or was I crying?)

I hope everyone is well.
Bick

From Eileen

Hi Again

I play Words with Friends on line with Donna Maxwell Chimera. I told her we had Just learned of Pete's passing.

Strangely she hadn't seen him in 50 years. He was ill for quite a while. He wouldn't fly; which explains his reluctance to attend any reunions.

He had a few long term girl friends over the years and she said there was one taking care of him at the end. I was glad to hear that.

Just a bit more to add to the mystique of our former classmate.

Eileen

From Bick:

I met the last two lady friends and they were both very nice. As to sick for a long time, Barbara may mean mentally due to his tendency to be standoffish and quiet. He also was very orderly with everything in its place. You and Bev and I talked to him by phone at one of the reunions as we called in the evening. He did not answer the phone in the daytime unless he recognized the number as he avoided sales calls. He stayed thin the last 40 years as he was primarily a vegetarian, but he smoked so it was probably cancer in the end.

Sad story so let's concentrate on all of us turning 75 and having some fun.
Bick

From Pat Birckhead:

I think 75 is a big deal and we should all try to get together to celebrate. Who knows what the future will bring? Let's be merry while we can. Happy New Year to you all! Let's start planning!
Pat

From Linda Sue Beattie:

I agree Pat! Let's celebrate us!!!

From Marty Corbett:

Sounds good. Happy new year to all. Sorry to hear about Peter.
Marty

From Lucy:

Pat, yes, goes without saying!
Celebrate for sure. I'll help with the planning.
A very happy Christmas and New Years to all as I'm in bed with foot up after foot surgery. Ugh!
Love to everyone,
Lucy

 

From Ken Martin:

I really canít recall the last time I saw Pete. It was obviously in the early Ď60ís, making it well over 50 years ago. My take is this: he was a hardy and introspective individual. He kept to himself in those days, a trait which manifested itself more and more throughout his lifeís journey. Pete Blank made a very clear statement on who he was and really did not care what others thought of him. This fierce and true independent streak reminded me much of another classmate whom I admired, and for the same reason, namely Steve (Bucky) Buchalter. They both, in their own way, raged against the machine, if you will, until the end.

And from a purely historical perspective, I believe Peteís family had deep roots in the community. Perhaps some of you long time East Williston residents could help me, but did not his father have a hardware store in the area? I also believe that his father was a WW II veteran or so, I believe, a small monument in the little village park states. The below photo is Peteís graduation photo that was copied from Pat Birckheadís yearbook. It was scanned from our website. Below the photo is what Pete wrote to Pat so very, very long ago....

 

 

A little less than a week ago I received the sad news of Phil Gaynor’s passing from Peter D Wolf. He emailed me:

It is with great sadness that I inform you that Phil Gaynor passed away this afternoon from the effects of mesothelioma.

A memorial service will be held at Riverside Chapel (76th St. & Amsterdam Ave.) this Wednesday October 28th at Noon.

FYI, Phil had spotted me in the downtown of bucolic Hastings a little over a year ago, shortly after he retired from the practice of law; we became friendly as he only lived about 15 minutes away - Phil was the 5th member of our dinner quartet & also joined my weekly poker game a few times before his unfortunate rapid descent over the past couple of months.

We shall miss him.

Best,

Peter

To which a number of classmates quickly replied.

Joanne Festa: So sorry to learn about Phil's death. Prayers for his family/friends. Sincerely, Joanne

Marty Corbett: Sorry about Phil. He was a sweet guy. Thanks for letting us know.

Robin Rogers: That's very sad. I spent some fun time with Phil at the mini-reunion in Mass a year or so ago. He looked so healthy!!! Life is so short.

Art Diamond: Ken, Phil Gaynor attended our 50th and was his usual exuberant self. I am glad I got to spend some time with him at that time.
May he rest in peace.
Arthur

John Moncure:

What a shock! Paul and I spent a good deal of time talking about Phil last weekend at Zimmy's. Hoping to see him at some future reunion. Phil and I grew up together in Albertson-he, Ken Goddard and I (along with others) rode the school bus every day-He was Argyle and I was Amherst-we three would go trick or treating on Halloween. His Dad was one of my favorite people in the neighborhood and I think they had TV before we did so I spent a lot of time there. Phil had an easy laugh and was fun loving. What a sad event-and what a strange affliction.

Paul-thanks for making the effort-I really can't make it but I want to pay my respects somehow.

I will be thinking of Phil-and of our very happy times together tomorrow.John/Mon
k

Carl Stewart:

It is a week since we heard the terrible news of Phil's death and I still am having trouble processing the information. I don't know what to say because, frankly, this is just too shitty for words. We are all getting older and the truth is that we are much closer to the end than the beginning, but that doesn't make this news any easier to take.

Phil and I were friendly in high school but our real friendship started much later. I had left the city for a place in northwestern Connecticut, the small town of Salisbury, just a few miles south of Berkshire County in Massachusetts. One Saturday, I was shopping at Shagroy, the much-loved food shop in Salisbury and I heard my name mentioned. I looked up from the plums and nectarines and I recognized the voice but could not immediately place the person but very shortly did. We chatted; I learned that Phil and his family had a weekend house in Falls Village, just minutes away from my place. We arranged to see each other and I got to see his lovely cottage on a pristine pond. We discovered that we were both tennis players and there began nearly 20 years of tennis, dinners, and hanging out, although as the Gaynor boys got older, Phil and Helene spent less and less time in the country and we saw each other less and less frequently. Tennis remained a strong bond, however, and for a number of years Phil and I and 3 other people who Phil brought into the mix, met weekly at the Columbia Indoor Tennis place in way-upper Manhattan.

Because our meetings became more sporadic, it was so nice to renew our friendship when 20 or so of us gathered at my place in the Berkshires a few years ago. A group of us played tennis at the outstanding tennis facility at the Hotchkiss School in nearby Lakeville and except for some minor changes in appearance and fairly frequent cries of "oy veh"...or substitute Hennessey's Irish version...time seemed to have stood still.

Life will go on, as it must, but this will be a poorer place without Phil. There will, I hope, be some solace for his family in knowing how loved and admired Phil was.



I called Paul Hennessy as Paul not only went to TWS with Phil but Rutgers University as well. They also were Army officers together in Germany. The reason for the phone call is that the memorial service was to be held quickly after Phil’s death and I knew that Paul, who lives in Boston, would probably make the trip. Paul wrote:

This is shocking news as Phil seemed in the peak of health when we last saw him at Carl's reunion.

I recall we'd stayed up til wee hours drinking wine (more than he'd consumed since our times at Rutgers and several nights in Germany, he said) and played very hung-over tennis the next morning.

One other thought, Ken, is that Art Engoron probably knew Phil well from NYC legal circles so might be good to advise him. I'll CC him with this.

Thanks for conveying the sad and surprising news.

Pablo


Art Engoron replied:

Hey All,

Sorry to hear the sad news. Phil appeared in front of me a few times on minor criminal matters. I also met him out on the street once or twice and enjoyed talking to him. I had no idea that he was ill (BTW, how does a NYC lawyer get mesothelioma?).

We’ll add him to In Memoriam.


Arthur Engoron

Paul Hennessy then emailed Peter Wolf:

Hi Peter,

Thanks for passing along the very sad news of Phil Gaynor's passing.

It was shocking to those of us who knew him for many years and had no clue he was struggling with cancer. Last time we saw him was at a reunion two years ago at Carl Stewart's in the Berkshires where we played tennis and had lunch at his handsome house in that area (Hastings?)

Ironically, your notice of his demise came a day after some of us had gathered at Charlie Zimmerman's St. Simon's Island for yet another reunion.

While Phil and I hadn't communicated in the last year, I felt a special bond with "Froggy" (as we called him probably too often for his liking) since we attended the same schools (Northside,Wheatley and Rutgers) and both served as lieutenants in Germany 1964-'66 after ROTC at RU. We made it a point to meet in several German cities and I have fond memories of our times together there and before.

I didn't want to bother you with a phone call, but the short notice of the Wednesday memorial service makes it difficult for me (and others) to attend and leaves me with a couple of questions:

1) Do you know if the service is mostly for his family? Do you know of others attending? Is any subsequent memorial service planned?

2) Do you know how long ago he was diagnosed with mesothelioma? I worked for a decade at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and know the somewhat rare cancer is often associated with asbestos in the lungs (e.g. one of our favorite.actors Steve McQueen died in 1980, attributed to his car racing or Marine service) Any hint asbestos was the source of Phil's cancer?

Any info you have would be appreciated by e-mail or my home phone, 617-244-7790. Hope all's well with you and yours. Best regards,

Paul Hennessy
Newton Centre, MA

Peter responded:

Four of us (David Silvers, Gerry Litwin, Harvey Dobrow, and I) have remained close over the years, and have had dinner in NYC together every 4-6 weeks for about 20 years – we occasionally have guests…Lucy Mullman a few years ago, Mimi Golub a few months ago, and Phil, who started as a guest, but became a ‘regular’ over the past year.

The house you were alluding to is his weekend place, which I believe is in or around Cornwall CT; his home was in Scarsdale, NY, which is about 15 minutes from Hastings-on-Hudson, where I live and work.

Phil believed that he contracted Mesothelioma, while in the Service in Germany during the de-commissioning of bases there – he didn’t talk much about his illness at the outset, but clearly something untoward began happening late summer, and his condition deteriorated quite rapidly – I last talked to Phil when he called me from Sloan-Kettering last week and mentioned my concern to David Silvers, who subsequently spoke with Phil – we all knew that that this was not good from the outset, as David and Harvey are MDs, and I have given expert witness testimony in a mesothelioma case.

David and I, probably Harvey, possibly Mimi, will be going to service tomorrow (Gerry is abroad) – I don’t know who else is going.

Phil’s wife had called me Saturday evening to prepare me and I was requested to notify others by his son late yesterday afternoon, so I promptly contacted Ken.

I do not know whether there will be any subsequent remembrance.

You or anyone else copied in should feel free to e-mail or call me..

Best Wishes to all on this sad occasion,
Peter D. Wolf

Paul wrote back:

Thanks for filling me in, Peter. I'm cancelling some appointments for tomorrow and will try to get to Phil's service as I'd probably be the only one attending who served with him in Germany.

Phil and I were commissioned through the same Rutgers ROTC program and were coincidentally both assigned to "defend the frontier" , as we put it, in Germany. The decommissioning theory is the first I've heard of that, but anything is possible and mesothelioma is a rare cancer usually associated with asbestos, as you know.

Hope to see you tomorrow,

Paul

Peter wrote of the memorial service:

It was great to see Paul on this otherwise very sad occasion (Paul really hasn’t aged at all).

FYI, in addition to Paul, Mimi Golub, David Silvers, Harvey Dobrow and I attended a really moving service, primarily composed of talks about Phil by his two sons. It was interesting to hear that Phil took his career, child-raising, and many other aspects of his adult life so seriously…quite different from the Phil I remember from high school, and even different from when we got together over this past year.

I went to the shiva at Phil’s home this evening; it is particularly sad to see the family and realize that Phil and his wife worked very hard and had retired to finally enjoy life, and now this is gone (they did get one trip to Tuscany together before the mesothelioma hit).

By the way, one of the stories Phil loved to tell about Albertson was that old man Levitt constructed really wonderful homes, but that probably his greatest motivation was that he put his mistress in one of them. There were some other stories Phil told, which you guys probably knew at the time, but I didn’t.

Phil’s passing is such a shame. Especially after talking to Phil’s wife, it kinda reminds me of what Satchel Paige said: ‘Don’t look back…you never know what’s gainin’ on you’).

Best,
Pete
r

John Moncure added:

Folks-I'm having a really hard time coming to grips with this. It was so great that Paul attended the service-an Irishman, he is a costumed to attending funerals-sort of a National pastime for the Irish.

Would someone send me his obituary? I want to pay my respects-I had no idea his mother was still alive-she, too, (along with Her husband) was a favorite of all the Kids in Albertson-it will be hard addressing my note to Argyle road.
I wish I knew he was ill so that I could have talked to him--
Thinking of Phil, Ken Goddard, Lorraine Altenberg, Robin Rogers, Judy Schuh, (does she know?) and the other kiddos at the bus stop--Damn

Carpe Diem

Paul Hennessy, after attending the service, wrote:

Monk &Friends,

Phil had a small-type obit in the Wednesday 10/28 NYT and there's a guestbook that you can comment on in the Riverside Memorial Chapel website. (Riversidememorialchapel.com/obituaries))

Don't know about Monk's stereotype on the Irish attending funerals as a national pastime as I don't enjoy the experience except as it brings closure to a life well lived. Those I met among his family and friends--4 of whom were our classmates and closer friends of his later in life--were amazed how our lives (Phil's & mine) took the same roads from 7th grade through high school, Rutgers, and the army in Germany. I couldn't imagine not going for personal reasons and to convey condolences from all those who knew him well in earlier days.

Aside from the impressive turnout (about 300) at his memorial service, the most moving expressions were those of his sons, Josh,a CNN producer on crime news in DC, and Ben, a chef in NY. Both described Phil as an "old school" dad who was a major influence and role model in their lives. His character, dedication to whatever the task before him, and the lessons he left. ("There's always an easy way & a right way."; "When you leave our house, you represent our family." And, when they screwed up, the dreaded, "What were you thinking?")

"He lived life with honor, class and integrity," said Ben. Josh, who described his dad as "a serious man, and the best role model we could have had", said the comment he resembles his dad and reminds some of him as "the best compliment he can get. I only hope I can make him proud."

Phil's career as an assistant DA in NYC involved prosecuting some of "the most violent criminals" earned him a distinguished reputation, but he was able to shift to being a defense attorney for his own firm in later years.

Many expressed sadness that a lifetime of work ended with sudden appearance of the aggressive mesothelioma that didn't allow Phil and Helene, his wife of 40 years, to enjoy their hard-earned & beloved Connecticut second home and travel planned in their autumn years.

Phil fought his cancer bravely and privately. (e.g. Peter Wolf & the other NY classmates never saw him ailing.) His sons noticed only recently that he was slowing down and said that would have happened faster if he hadn't been so strong. "The fight is over now, Dad," said Ben in his eulogy.

There's more to say. I've thought of writing a personal remembrance with the working title "Froggy's gone", but had second thoughts when Josh told me he'd never heard his Dad's nickname. ("Did he like that?" Josh asked. "Probably not, " I replied, "or he'd have told you.") Josh also asked how the nickname was born and I don't know. Do you Know, Monk? Was it your creation?

For now, that's my summary of Phil's much too early passing and the legacy he left. I'll be interested in seeing your comments on the class website. Be well, L'Chayim,

Paul

Peter added:

I have read Paul’s recent reply, and would like to add the following: Phil
did keep a stiff upper lip until about two months ago when he stopped
accepting my invitations (even tho I offered to pick him up and drop him
back home) - Phil was a proud man, and I think that he didn’t want us to
know what he was going through. He would say to me that he is trying a new
medication and is having a reaction to it, but maybe next time he would be
able to join in.

He also called me from Sloan Kettering a few days before he passed away when
he probably realized, but would never say, that he would not come home again
- unfortunately he is probably in a better place now than at that point.
Mesothelioma is a pernicious disease, and once it takes hold, it is quite
painful. From talking to David Silvers and Phil’s wife, shortly after I
spoke to Phil the hospital probably started upping the pain relief
medication to try to ease Phil’s plight. Saturday evening Phil’s wife
called ‘to prepare’ me for what I heard Monday from one of Phil’s sons…
Phil’s passing.

It is interesting that guys from our poker game, which Phil only attended a
few times, sent me condolence messages. It is significant that so many
people came to Phil’s memorial service. It is a tribute to him and the way
he lived his life, and the impression that he left upon all of us.

Best,

Peter

Paul Hennessy attended the funeral and wrote the below and had a picture taken of classmates attending the service:

I just returned from Phil Gaynor's memorial service in Gotham where I met our fellow wildcats--Peter Wolf, David Silver, Harvey Dobrow & Mimi Golub.
Also talked to Phil's younger brother Richard, who remembers you all with awe & fondness, his over 90 mom, Betty, who still lives in Argyle Rd. Albertson house!, wife Helene, & sons Josh & Ben , who delivered touching eulogies to their "old school" strong role model dad.
Service at Riverside Chapel was attended by about 300--a fitting tribute to Phil's spirit, accomplishments & legacy left to family & friends.

The class of 1960

Phil Gaynor-rest in peace.

 

 

REMEMBERING HUGH DRUMMOND – Mike Harvey September 5, 2011

In the summer of 1955, my best buddy Marty Mahler and I went off to Boy Scout camp at Camp Wauwepex in Wading River on the North Shore of Suffolk County. Hugh “Bobby” Drummond was also there. One day our camp counselor, Eagle Scout Frank Rudes, huddled us all together in the middle of the camp. He took roll and discovered that Bobby Drummond was missing. We all looked over towards Bobby’s tent at the far end of the camp. There he stood, his forearms and one leg wrapped around the tent entrance pole. Buck naked. He stood there… still as can be…staring at us. What made it even funnier was that he never cracked a smile. Very surreal, which made it all the more hilarious.

Bobby had loved science at Willets Road School, and together with his buddy, John Baer, led our class with science-type projects. One time he built a small rocket ship and we all watched as he launched it in the parking lot of the school. It was a semi-successful launch and, in his seriousness, he somehow made us all laugh. I think he was basically a shy fellow who would do interesting things that somehow would make us laugh. Kind of like the understated comedian, Tim Conway, on the Carol Burnett Show. Later on, he was known as ‘Bulldog” and during our last two years at Wheatley he would sometimes defy caution and take reckless chances that would end up with people laughing. I remember feeling a little concerned for him, but caught up in some of the wildness myself, I did little to express it to him. And as we all seemed to spread out after our ’61 graduation, making new lives and friends and swiftly losing touch with each other, I lost touch with Bulldog…..until one night in late 1969 I received a call from Walt Brunner informing me that Bulldog had perished while flying his small aircraft, crashing in bad weather in the mountains of Virginia.

Recently I read a paean to Wheatley beautifully written by my good friend, Ken Martin (“Martino” –Wheatley Class of ‘60). In it he poignantly relates how shortly before the crash he and Bulldog had reunited in San Diego. Bulldog was an Air Force Officer stationed in the L.A. area and Martino had been a Lt. Colonel in the Marine Corps and they got together at a Marine Corps Officers Club, where Bulldog met a girl named Carol. As Martino tells it, “Bulldog fell in love with her. He would fly or drive down from L.A. every weekend….He told me one night, perhaps a month before he was to transfer, that he was in love with Carol and had never been happier in his life.” Martino concludes “I thought his friends reading this would appreciate how happy and content he was in his last days.” Thank you, Martino. Though he was lost tragically, it is uplifting to learn that when our classmate and friend, Hugh Drummond, slipped the earth….he slipped it happily bloomed in love.

REMEMBERING STEFFI PALL – Mike Harvey September 5 2011

We had a lot of smart girls in our class of ‘61, so I can’t really say that Steffi was the smartest. But she acted like the smartest girl in the class. She got perfect grades and could answer any question asked by any teacher. One time, in one of Mr. McCormick’s Geometry classes, someone had given the correct answer to how high the side of a building was given the factors involved. Mr. McCormick accepted the answer, and then Steffi raised her hand to say that the answer given was off by a silly millimeter or such. Mr. McCormick, who seemed always on the verge of exasperation with her, sighed deeply, and responded. “I really don’t care how high the building is, Steffi, as long as it doesn’t fall on me while I’m walking by it.” I remembered this because I wrote this scene into the ’61 senior skit that Bruce Witkin and I wrote.

I never knew if all her manifest pride in being “smart” was her way of getting attention or not. The fact remains that Steffi was smart. And I say, “Good for you, Steffi.” And, yes, you did get our attention…..Smart is a good thing…..and we remember you for it.

 

REMEMBERING TOMMY BRESCIA – Mike Harvey September 5, 2011

Tommy Brescia was the most focused man I ever knew. During football practice, just when I thought I had cleared the line and could see clear skies ahead…..Woooosht…. like Sylvester the Cat, there was Tommy magically in front of me to cut my flight. And he was tougher in practice than any opponent I can remember in a real game. He bruised…..some in the locker room called him “animal.” But the next morning he would sit like a choirboy in the Wheatley orchestra … blowing soft, classical notes on his trumpet, a band-aid ridged across his bloodied nose.

Tom was a gentleman who never had an unkind word or thought towards any one, whatever their behavior. In the Spring of Senior Year, Jerry Mintz brazenly challenged him to an after-school boxing match, which I refereed outside of the boys’ gym on the lawn. The match only went about 3 rounds, and though there was no clear winner, I had a feeling that, in spite of the fact that Jerry was a real battler, Tommy might have pulled his punches a little. Years later he still would never, of course, acknowledge that. He always spoke admiringly and with respect for Jerry as a praiseworthy opponent. And hey…who can doubt the cajones of our Jerry Mintz, a quiet, bespecled violin player, to enter the ring with the fiercest guy in our class?

Tommy was genuine. He knew who he was and would be unlikely to drift off base. He was solid. I think back on Sundays when I was invited to real Italian dinners at the Brescia home. His father treated me like a long-lost friend (hey-ey, Mike, how are ya?) and his Mom, Jeanine, was (and is) lively and intelligent like Tommy. This is where Tommy was grounded, where his feet were planted firmly in the ground. He could never, even had he tried, permit his Wheatley accomplishments, his good looks nor his subsequent prowess as a medical doctor stand before the much taller, inner man that he was. And he would never, in his heart, want anyone to mourn him. Well…no matter that some of us have not ceased to mourn him, one thing is certain…..none of us will ever forget him.

Remembering Diane (Bland) Brauer –Mike Harvey August 2011

I felt a special tug in my heart when, at the Wheatley 50th birthday reunion in October ‘06, I learned that Diane had passed on. In my memory there was always a slow, sweetness about Diane, a contained quietness that was palpable even to my baseball-muddled young mind. Silent, chemistry-laden mutual glances in the halls of Wheatley…Diane was undeniably sexy. She had, as Billy Joel wrote in song, a way about her.



Don Cleban Class of '58

From Bruce Richardson, Class of '58 we read:

July 24, 2014

It is with great sadness that I am reporting the death of Don “Bomber” Kleban. He was one of my best friends all thru high school. He certainly deserves the “Greatest Turnaround” award. After graduating near the bottom of our class, and then three years in the Navy, he had an outstanding college career at Alfred University, and then on to NYU Law and a successful law career.

Paul Hennessy comments:

Another sad demise of legendary Don "Bomber" Kleban, a guy from a lovely EW home who seemed to take the hard road early and wanted to leave Wheatley for the U.S. Navy-- convinced to stay for his undefeated senior year by none other than Coach Jack Davis (Source--'58 website.)

I remember him as one of those admirable (if not loveable) swaggering rogues--escaped from BB Jungle @ Mineola High-- among our role models at Wheatley's founding. I recall him crushing me several times at football practices and may be able to trace some of my current quirks to such collisions of unequals (approx. 210 vs 135)

His story in the '58 website was certainly among the most fascinating and well written as he realized his considerable talents later in life and became very successful in NYC legal circles, I expect Monk will Google to verify, but agree with my neighbor, Bruce R., that Bomber's story was the "greatest turn-around" I've seen among our alums.

I've copied our "ancestors" who I hope will keep us posted on their classmates. What an extraordinary group of pioneers they were! (are?) Cheers,

And Don Kleban's obituary from the NY Times:

KLEBAN--Donald M. On July 23, 2014 after a valiant battle with lung cancer. Survived by children Daniel and Matthew, daughters-in-law Janet and Rosa; grandchildren David, Abigail, Lillian, Esme and Aaron, and cherished love Deborah Wecker. A graduate of Alfred University and NYU School of Law, Don's career spanned 40 years as a corporate attorney and investment banker in New York City. In retirement, his passions turned to his Florida home, golf and poker. He will be missed every day by his loving family and devoted friends, and he will always be remembered for his larger than life spirit, generosity, and wit. Memorial service Friday, July 25, 2014, 1:15pm at "The Riverside," 76th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. Contributions may be made to the Closer to Free Fund, specifically earmarked for Thoracic Medical Oncology-Dr. Herbst (which supports Yale Cancer Center) and mailed to P.O. Box 7611, New Haven, CT 06519-0611.

Published in The New York Times on July 24, 2014

 



Mike Stapleton Class of '58

Michael R. Stapleton SHANDAKEN- Michael R. Stapleton, 72, of Ruthenbeck Rd. and formerly of Smiths Landing died Thursday, April 4, 2013 at the Albany Medical Center. Born July 18, 1940 in Mineola, he was the son of the late James and Margaret Stapleton. A Veteran of the Vietnam War he served proudly in the U.S. Marine Corps where he was awarded the Purple Heart, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, the National Defense Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, and the Navy Commendation Medal. Upon his discharge he was employed by the N.Y.S. Troopers and later as a Corrections Officer for the Ulster County Sheriff's Dept. He was a member of the Shokan American Legion Post, the Rondout Lodge #343 F&AM and a former member of the Olive Fire Department. Survivors include his daughter, Megan Stapleton. His Funeral Service will be held 10 a.m. Monday at the Seamon-Wilsey Funeral Home, Inc., corner of John and Lafayette St. Friends will be received Sunday 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m., followed by services on Monday at 10 a.m. Family suggests donations in his memory be made to the Ulster County SPCA. Expressions of sympathy may be shared with the family on Michael's Memory page at www.SeamonWilseyFuneral Home.com

Published in the Daily Freeman on Apr. 9, 2013




Diane Rubin


I am so sorry and sad to inform you that Diane lost her brief, but brave battle with anaplastic thyroid cancer. I am blessed to have known my best friend since age 12 and we have enjoyed over 46 married years together.

As you know, the thyroid cancer she's been living with under good control for 9 years very recently transformed into a much more aggressive and must less controllable form, causing her incredibly rapid, painful decline. We were able to largely control the pain over the past 3 months since the transformation occurred, but not the disease.

Each of you has had a special relationship with Diane. Whether of long or short duration, I know you, like I, have experienced her warmth, love, positive outlook, wit, charm and quirkiness. I hope you'll keep her in your thoughts and prayers, and remember her as a special person.

If you wish, in lieu of flowers, etc., consider honoring Diane by sending a contribution to the International Thyroid Oncology Group (itog.org) to: ITOG,, c/o Dwight Vicks, Treasurer, PO Box 270, Yorkville, NY 13495.

Please stay in touch with me in whatever manner you choose. You were important to Diane, and still are to me.

With warm regards,
John Haas

The below photo is of Diane sent in by Susan Borger:



Susan writes:

The photo is Diane Rubin, from the Reunion.


She was my best and dearest friend since childhood. We didn't see each other since the reunion before this last one. But we were in touch by email, and the silly, funny, or beautiful things people send you over the internet. I didn't know she was sick. I have never forgotten her birthday, August 12th, and I still use, every day, the lucite make up box she gave me for my birthday when we were in high school.

Hope you are well.
Warm regards,

Susan Borger Budge
near San Francisco, CA




Stephen Buchalter
 

Thanks for passing along the sad news about Bucky's passing, Ken and Carl. Too bad he couldn't have survived for one last round-up this summer.

Our friendship went back to my arrival at Northside school in 7th grade where he was one of my first friends. He was quite a contrast to anyone I'd ever met and our relationship was at first competition on basketball and tennis courts, and later political debates (one even resulting in a wrestling match in the Willets Road 8th Grade hallway that somehow went unnoticed by any teachers, despite drawing a large circle of cheering classmates.)

Ah, the crazy old days! He was always full of spirit, opinions, and joyful dissent, and opened up to me another kind of life in NYC, especially Greenwich Village that he frequented more than most of our suburban friends. We were at times rivals, debate and ping pong opponents, combatants, but always shared a lot of laughs and enjoyment of our very different perspectives. My dad, in particular, always got a huge kick out of talking to Bucky who was not shy about expressing his views to anyone, even a friend's father.

I was glad to talk to him from your home at New Smyrna Beach, and hoped I'd hear from him again after he'd had a chance to view the class DVD I sent him. I was disappointed he didn't get back in touch, but--knowing of his aversion to technology--was never sure he actually saw it.

RIP, Bucky, always a passionate and feisty advocate for global peace, who struggled valiantly to find peace with himself.

Paul Hennessy

_______________

Stephen and I have been close friends since the "merger" of the Willets Road School and Northside in 1956. (I think I have that date correctly.). We spoke and visited frequently over those 56 years. In fact, we had lunch less than a week before he died.

Bucky was, among many things, a one-off. Up until the end, he was passionate about his eclectic range of interests....politics, books, sports, movies, and most prominently, the theater. My guess is that few of you know that following his graduation from the University of Wisconsin, Bucky embarked on a career in acting. Although the breakthrough part never came his way, he was very good at his craft and always interesting to watch. Of course, there have always been about as many out-of-work actors in NYC as there have been cockroaches so Bucky ultimately went to law school and got to put his acting skills to work in the courtroom.

Because he would not have wanted a funeral, there wasn't one...he was cremated and his ashes will be scattered this summer.

I know that Stephen's wife would be very pleased to receive a note from any of his Wheatley classmates. The contact information is: Janet Rosdil, 62 MacGhee Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603-4345

The thoughts and remembrances of Bucky from any of you would be welcome. I will greatly miss our long and loving friendship

Regards

Carl Stewart

 

 

 Memories of Post Avenue pals by Paul Hennessy

 

“A long time ago, we knew each other for a short time”

                        Nick, “The Big Chill”

     With the deadline of our gathering this week , I’m finally writing this recollection of Jack Langlois and three class of ’61 “Boys of Summer”--Walt Brunner, Chuck Shaffer and Tom Kull-- who often hung out with him at my East Williston home.

     They were as different and distinct as they were special and their far too early passing in the past two years leaves both a hole in my heart and gratitude I had such friends. 

     At a February memorial gathering for Walt in Greenwich Village, I recalled some memories of my VERY BIG ”little brother” and was somewhat surprised to realize my association with him--in sports, politics, and social life--gave me a unique perspective on BOTH who he was  and what he later became.

     In a JV football team photo in the 1960 yearbook, Walt, Jack and I are lined up next to each other, Chuck is in the backfield and on the page opposite is Tom Kull along with his good buddy  Bulldog Drummond. All, except me, athletes who died young.

     I’ll begin my recall with the center in that photo-- as he was in our class--our class president:

 

  Jack

At Wheatley:  Calm, self-possessed, quietly confident, steady, intelligent as he was modest,  with a dry, quick wit,  it was apparent early on that Jack was our classmate most deserving of the description “a gentleman and a scholar.”

     He was so self-deprecating, even shy,  it was at times easy to underestimate him. But NOT if you were running against him in the half-mile or mile, or trying to get past him on the line of scrimmage. He was quietly tough--no trash talk from him, unlike the rest of us---and looking back his later success in highly competitive global business is not surprising.

     Jack signed my yearbook saying “Maybe we’ll see each other, Rutgers is pretty near Princeton.” Indeed we did, mainly on weekends in that nation’s oldest football rivalry when he’d introduce me and my RU roughnecks to Princeton elegance.

And Beyond: Our paths diverged after college and the next time I saw Jack was at Bowdoin College where he chaired the history department. I got together with Monk and him to play some tennis and for the first time met his charming wife, Hsin-I (aka “Shinny”) She’d once been his student and they were married for 43 years when he passed away in August 2010.

     We stayed in touch from time to time after that by e-mail when they were moving from one exotic Asian location to another--from Bejing to Tokyo, for example.

     He was clearly a RARE American who, as his New York Times obituary said, “spoke Chinese and Japanese with elegance, precision, and wit, informed by years of classical study and practical negotiation.”

     And while his obit also said “he passed between the worlds  of academia and finance as smoothly as he traveled between Asia and the United States,” it was typical of Jack that in private e-mails he expressed amazement that a former college professor  was recruited so avidly by the world’s top investment banks, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley.  

     He held senior positions (managing director of JPM, China and chair of MS properties, China) and was one of very few foreigners to serve on the boards of several Chinese banks.

     He did extraordinarily well, but that doesn’t mean it was a “day at the beach.” I got insight into that when he contacted me about a 2004 Wall Street Journal  front- page feature on his work. It covered, as the headline said, Morgan Stanley “chipping away at a mountain of bad, overdue debt.”

     Jack asked my journalistic/PR opinion as he was concerned the story’s description of him as “grim-faced” and being forced to play economic-political hardball was too negative.

     I tried to assure him the context was completely understandable and, if nothing else, showing his competitive edge might lead to another career chapter--collecting debts for the Irish mafia in Boston or similar Cosa Nostra odd jobs in Brooklyn, for example.

     The feature concluded with a weary-sounding Jack battling a labor dispute and saying, “Sometimes I wonder why I’m not retired in Colorado.”

     Jack and Shinny seemed headed that way if the reappearance of a life-threatening cancer that surfaced five years earlier hadn’t intervened.  They owned a beautiful home in rural Colorado, but unfortunately the long-distance runner came to the end of his race--calmly and courageously--at Lennox Hill Hospital in NYC three months after our 50th reunion.

     Despite the years and miles, he remained much loved and respected by his Wheatley classmates and their visits and communications so touched Shinny that she generously funded this gathering in his memory.

     The breadth of his accomplishment isn’t easy to summarize, but whenever I read about U.S.-Chinese relations I long to talk with Jack about the East-West dialogue shaping the future.

     I know we wouldn’t have agreed on all political and economic issues, but that would have been the joy of resuming our conversation.

    My personal gap--and those all of you feel--is mirrored in Bejing and Washington where his wise counsel was valued. We’ve lost an amazing friend and--as was said about Apple founder Steve Jobs when he recently died of the same pancreatic cancer--“He was the best we had.”

     Whew!   For a low-key guy, Jack is someone whose life certainly requires a long narrative to do it justice.

 

  The length of his story demands--for reasons of both shrinking time and time span for reading--I summarize in bullet points  Jack’s  companions in my living room , whose antics he oversaw with wry amusement. Ask if you want to know more about them.

Walt

At Wheatley:

Ø ’61 class president

Ø “Baby Huey” blonde gentle giant, 6’4”, 240 (football, wrestling ,shot put)

Ø Crooner, bus choirmaster(“Oom Pah Pahs”), Bobby Darin of WHS--“Mack the Knife”-- no encouragement needed

Ø Natural promoter, impresario, political campaign manager, kingmaker

Ø Entrepreneur, selling fried eggs in locker rooms at wrestling tournaments

Ø Kindly intimidator, wing man, body guard--Herrick’s “toughs” backing down at B-ball game

Ø Mega-laugh even when on the lam from dad, Col. Hans Brunner, US Army retired--but not retiring

And beyond:

Ø VMI honor roll plebe to Yale on Navy ROTC scholarship (future Adm. Brunner in the making?)

Ø Unexpected detour--Yale to NYC nightlife (host/owner of Goose & Gherkin, infamous Britania Mews Adventurer’s Society Pub Ltd.--his GV living room)

Ø On to BVI--St Croix & St Thomas --under the influence of lovely Donna who met tragic fate there

Ø Three decades of BVI hosting (Guthrie’s, Rumors, etc. with Dixie, Mrs. Howell, Stoney, other Wheatley-ites)

Ø Big man on small islands--tv reporting, media consulting, BVI “Olympic” wrestling team, arts promotion, tourism

Ø Sports entrepreneur, athlete’s rep (Doug Flutie call to me at BC), news junkie, intense debater.

Ø Return to Greenwich Village roots--hobbled by diabetes, spin-meister/wheeler-dealer to his end, wrote his own glorious obit read by sister Carol.

Ø Most outgoing personality becomes reclusive

Chuck

At Wheatley:

Ø Handsome, spirited minister’s son--haunted by the mythical “clergy wagon” and others’ lust  for his “silky thighs”

Ø Talented athlete (football, basketball, baseball)

Ø Blonde, blue-eyed “kooky” heart-throb, Mr. Popularity

And Beyond:

Ø Ohio Wesleyan athlete

Ø  Peace Corps volunteer in Africa--living/sharing with tribal chief changed his dance style and world view

Ø Return to western civ-- notorious motorcycle ride through Mannheim,  leaving my Deutsche contacts in shock/awe

Ø Conscientious objector becomes Pvt. Shaffer in Germany again.

Ø Susie’s husband for 40+ years, “great dad” for two sons, mental health administrator, landscaper

Ø Great visits with him and family in Narragansett, RI and Charlottesville, VA

Ø Difficult final decade of early Alzheimers in Staunton,VA before passing this year. Nicknamed “Chuckles” by his nurses for his continual good humor despite multiple challenges.

Tom

At Wheatley:

Ø Class of ‘61’s Sean Connery---Irish-Catholic philosopher--the agony & ecstasy of being Tom

Ø Passionate intensity, creativity, raucous laughter, howling at the moon imagination with pals

Ø Athlete (football, wrestling, track), fantasy-maker who bought the myth of “Bill Swoboda” to our endless delight

Ø Contrast to future Jesuit brother Doug ‘58, straight-arrow Student Council President, “Audie Murphy,” 17-years as priest in Philippine rebel country, now managing Center Club, largest agency for homeless and people with psychiatric disabilities in Boston

And Beyond:

Ø Husband of Jack’s sister, Jeanne, for 40+ years; devoted father to daughter Kathleen (a nurse who attended our 50th with her mom and Jack), and artist son Chris, getting married this weekend.

Ø Built home in Richmond, VA from scratch, counseled addicts in agencies, using his own experience without a college degree.

Ø Kathleen, who has his luminous Irish eyes,  commented: “Dad always had my back. I felt safe with him.”

Ø  Minimal contact in recent years with old pals  he perceived as more accomplished.

Ø Oncology RN Jeanne cared for him during several difficult years struggle with pancreatic cancer (similar to brother Jack). Both deaths occurred within a year between 2009 & 2010.

 

 

Final Reflections:

     We’ve known each other longer than the time ahead. Or, as Simon & Garfunkle sang (yes, prematurely for us) “Isn’t it strange to be 70?”

     Insurance stats say average retirees should get to enjoy “6,000 sunrises” (17 years) and let’s drink to as many of us achieving at least that in reasonable health and happiness.

     Our four friends--linked forever in my memory because they were “my brothers” back then-- were sadly shortchanged.

     I feel fortunate to have known them well in simpler, more carefree times (Was there ever a better era to be teenagers than ours?)

     But though we lost close connections in later years, those relationships set a standard for comradeship that has lived with me for a lifetime of associations at work and play. It has been the basis of camaraderie, esprit de corps, and, as the Gaels say, Craic (meaning spirited bonding and fun).

     In every place I’ve traveled and lived since then, close friendships and relationships have been a high priority. I know many of you also treasure such gifts fostered in those formative years.

     As one writer expressed this notion, “Everyone carries within themselves a world made up of all they’ve seen and loved; it is to this world that they return, incessantly.”

     Faulkner made a similar observation when he said, “The past is never dead; It isn’t even past.”

     And so, thanks to Shinny’s magnanimous contribution, we gather on Ken’s shore, to celebrate Jack, our friends living and deceased, and life in general. 

Gertrude Stein captured some of our motivations when she wrote “We, living now, are always to ourselves, young men and women.”

     As we know, “They are not long the days of wine and roses” so gathering our respective rosebuds while we may is pretty sound advice for the rest of our lives.

     My final wish to you all is good health, much enjoyment of life’s pleasures and, in the words of an old Irish blessing hanging at the entrance to my home:

     “Give me a few friends who love me for what I am and teach me to be thankful for life and time’s olden memories that are good and sweet, and may the evening’s twilight find me gentle still.”

     And a last upbeat tip from this chronic late-comer:  When you reach the Inn of Doom, be sure to arrive after closing time.

    
 

 

  

 

 

 

Chuck Shaffer – a Life of Unpretentious Dignity and Greatness

 

Even without counting the highly structured Military services at Arlington Cemetery and the Naval Academy, and some number of forgettable burials at sea, I expect that I have attended as many funerals as any other guilt-ridden Italian Catholic boy from Long Island.  However, I had never attended a “celebration of life”.  That is, until yesterday. 

 

The event started with a chance for family and friends to meet at a campsite near Lofton Lake, a compact but scenic Virginia reservoir near Chuck’s home outside Staunton.  That was followed by moving and sometimes tearful reminiscences from the family; a brief but refined religious service followed, complete with vocalist, and then dinner.  Chuck’s wife Susie was in charge, along with their two sons, John and Daniel.  Chuck’s brothers, Howard and John, were there, along with their sister, Elizabeth, and three generations of an unbelievably loving and closely-knit family. You could see Chuck in faces and attitude of the two proud sons. Paula (Ross) Gladieux was there from our class, as were Paul “Bick” Keister from the Class of 1960 and his wife, Betsey.  It was great to see them, too.

 

To summarize Chuck’s life after Wheatley in a few lines and bullets ill-serves our old friend, but I don’t think he would have wanted too many words anyway.

 

Guided by the faith of his father as he had been all the years before, the second son of the Reverend Howard Shaffer, Jr. went to Ohio Wesleyan University, graduating with a degree in Economics. Later, he joined the Peace Corps, working for several years in Africa. A tour with the U.S. Army in Europe followed, along with some graduate studies at the University of Edinburgh.   In Spain, he and Susie began a life together that would last for 42 years.

 

When you hear about such globetrotting, you normally think of someone “trying to find himself” or “running away from something.” Not so with Chuck. He had no need to find himself – he knew exactly where he was.  Those of us living in the different worlds in which he traveled were blessed to have found him. And we are the better for it.

 

 

 

Back in the States by the 70’s, Chuck and Susie settled in rural Virginia and raised their two boys.  Chuck became a social worker, specializing in family counseling. The family values and core principles that he had learned and practiced in his life made him more qualified than most for such an essential calling.  He also became a general contractor.  Weekends and vacations were for the family and were characterized by family reunions and vigorous outdoor activity. It’s likely that Chuck fixed many broken homes and broken houses in the years that followed; and loved it.

 

Chuck’s “running back’s” body remained lean and strong well into his fifties – longer than most of ours, I’ll bet; likewise his boyish good looks and ready smile, until the ravages of Alzheimer’s eventually took their toll. Chuck and the family fought the disease for over ten years before he finally went home to The Lord this past July.

 

The celebration of Chuck’s life was not only tasteful, but had an understated elegance, and buoyancy that says “I know I that I have done my best and that everything will be fine”. In short, it embodied the Chuck Shaffer I remember as he would walk home from the school bus in the afternoon.  That confident step and self-assured, shoulders back, head up, stride is what I remember best about Chuck, despite all my memory taxing since word of his death.  I’ll leave it to others to wax nostalgic about beach parties, or to add more yeast to the legend of Wheatley’s prowess on the football field.  That’s not all that there was to Chuck – only short footnotes in a rich essay.

 

Chuck had a life of quiet success and unpretentious dignity. Greatness by any standard, Chuck embodies the words of evangelist and author Dr. Robert H. Schuller: “He came to the end of his life with pride behind him, hope ahead of him, and love all around him; who could ask for anything more?” Rest in Peace.   

 

Gene Razzetti

Wheatley, Class of 1961

 

 

Chuck Shaffer, Class of 1961

 

Reverend Howard Shaffer moved his family to East Williston in 1956 and took up residence at the Community Church manse on Hillside Avenue. The family made a quick and indelible imprint on the community and certainly in the memories of so many Wheatley School graduates.

Mr. Shaffer, a skilled and caring minister, invigorated his congregation and fostered an active youth group enjoyed by many classmates (hayrides anyone?). And not only did he tend to his flock, but both Howard and his wife were active members of the community at large. I can’t remember not seeing him at one of our football games-home or away. But this was the late 1950’s when America and the North Shore of Long Island were blessed by peace and prosperity; and football, pompoms, laughter, and hope filled the air and our consciences, and the Shaffer family became but another piece of this long-ago Disney dreamscape.

Chuck Shaffer was the second son. Howard, his older brother, was a member of our first graduating class and started on the great, undefeated football team of 1957. And football is how I first remember Chuck, and so many others, as we practiced long and hard, played, enjoyed a few fleeting moments of glory, took off sweaty uniforms in the locker room, showered, caroused and continually chided one another-creating rites of passages that produced bonds essential to our youth and that remain, fortunately, with some of us yet.

I met Chuck when I was in 10th grade, he in 9th. We were quite close and spent many times together in high school and subsequent summers through college. What struck me most about Chuck? The characteristic most vivid in my mind is this-he possessed an innocent, yet sophisticated naïveté, which fit him like a glove. We always use to kid him, or to use the vernacular, bust his b--ls, and he would look at you with a coy bewilderment and say,” Nah-you don’t mean it, go-on,” or words to that affect, and with his effervescent grin, slip into a moment of temporary, self-imposed disbelief saying, “I can’t believe you are doing this!” And we were, and he knew it, and we knew it, and we all were howling, he more than us, with his twinkling blue eyes and that smile for the ages and his “aw shucks” humility, all of which ultimately, totally, disarmed you.

Such times! One summer four of us decided to trek to Lake George up in the Adirondacks. Paul Hennessy, Chuck and I all piled into Mike Harvey’s beat up and old, but reliable car, aptly nicknamed “The Arena,” and set off with a few sleeping bags and a ton of beer without a clear-cut destination nor itinerary. We eventually found a lean to in a state park and made that our headquarters.

There was a monstrous bar in the area that catered to college kids so off we went. The place was packed and rocking with a live band and a whole bunch of girls. We ordered some beer and the four of us, like all the other assembled males, just stood there, idly gawking at the pretty girls, too timid to make any reasonable attempt at getting to meet them . Chuck suddenly and resolutely put down his beer and went to a table of gals and proceeded to ask probably the best-looking girl in the entire building to dance. It was a fast number and not many people were on the floor-but there was Chuck dancing and smiling, oblivious to the entire crowd, which was now focused on the two of them. Chuck Shaffer, oh blithe spirit and most happy fellow, you dance yet in a far-away recess of my memory and soul.

And then on yet another weekend a bunch of us went out East-Sag Harbor, where both George Howell and Bob Merritt’s parents had summer homes. The parents were not there and approximately 10 of us had a weekend of merrymaking in mind. And that we did. Saturday night a number of us ended up at the Millstone, a mostly gay bar that had good music and a fun atmosphere. There Chuck, Paul Hennessy and I met three straight girls who were also out East for the weekend. They were attractive looking secretaries from Queens. After a bit they said they were going back to the place they were staying at in East Hampton. OK-where, we asked? They said they were staying at a very old, beat-up boarding house. Oh really, we responded, and asked if there were other rooms available and they said yes. At which time we inquired if we could drive over with them so we could get rooms as well. They said it was all right with them, so the six of us squeezed into their car and drove over to the rooming house.

Now we had no intention of renting a room because for one, we were broke, and for another, we were hoping to stay with the girls, all of who had separate rooms. Carnal thoughts ruled.

Upon entering, the manager of the rooming house, a rather gruff fellow with a heavy German accent, asked if we needed a room. We said we would like to see one and went upstairs, looked over the room, and then sought out the girls. The manager came looking for us, and we told him we hadn’t made up our mind. There followed other encounters with him, which were always met with stalling tactics on our part. Our attempts at “scoring” with the gals once again, as virtually always in those days, ran into a brick wall-the guys immediate, lascivious intentions beaten by gals thinking long term-you know, love, commitment, wedding bells. The twain again denied.

We met back in the room we were “thinking” of renting, had a few beers and shot the breeze, and guffawed until it was approximately 5:00 AM and the sun was rising. In fact, I heard a rooster crowing. Our plan was to sneak quietly downstairs and then bolt. Chuck did a small recon and came back and said-can you believe the guy is still wide awake and standing at the desk, which was right next to the only door out of the place. So we looked out our second story window and saw that there was a one-story shed attached to our building.

We climbed out of the window, held onto the ledge, and then dropped the two feet to the shed. Scurrying across the roof the three of us came to the end and saw maybe an eight-foot drop into the sand. Having no choice, we became airborne and landed safely in the soft sand. We then heard a door opening and someone started yelling at us. We took off running in the sand. And we were a laughing and a frolicking and a tripping over one another in the sand on a hell-bent dash to the coast highway-Butch Cassidys and the Sun Dance Kid (The young Chuck Shaffer –a tad of Redford- yes?).

And we got to the highway and quickly caught a ride hitchhiking back to our pals on a Sunday morning so long ago. It became another event in an endless summer. Indeed, yes, it was an endless summer. It was.

Ken Martin

________________________________________

 

 

 

 

Chuck Shaffer, Class of 1961

by Mike Harvey July 15, 2011

By now you most likely know that Chuck Shaffer has made his transition. It’s very sad and we can pray that the beautiful family he and Suzanne created will, at long last, experience some relief from their long, difficult sojourn now that God has come to gather one of his jewels…our sweet pal, Chuck. We were classmates and teammates. We played backfield football in tandem on those crisp, clear, sunny Autumn Saturdays…and sat on the bench together waiting at-bat on Jack Davis’ “Boys of Spring” baseball team. He was a terrific athlete, clean and steady. Chuck took a lot of chiding over being “the minister’s son,’ and nonetheless made it apparent on numerous occasions –Jones Beach blow-outs and rounding town – that he could party con brio with the rest of us fools. Modest at heart, he had a great sense of humor; I can remember clearly how often he would laugh convulsively at Hugh “Bulldog” Drummond’s fabulously comical antics.

I last saw Chuck when he visited with me for a few days in Manhattan in the late 60’s. He had just returned from a tour with the Peace Corps and sat there, on the seat of a big motorcycle parked on the sidewalk in front of my 4-story Lexington Avenue apartment building. He looked like he owned the world. That was the last time I saw Chuck. He never attended any of the Class of ’61 reunions and it’s easy to regret never having had the opportunity to know this good man as an adult. Rest in Peace, our good fellow, Chuck – you take a piece of each of our collective hearts with you.

______________________________________

Walter Brunner, Class of 1961

Thoughts of Walter

by Patty Kirk Hefferan

 

Walter and I lived across the street from each other on Sumter Avenue. We used to have a ball fighting with each other about the Dodgers and the Yankees. I was a Dodger fan. He was a Yankee fan. The Dodgers left long ago and now Walter has left us as well. I heard snippets of news about Walter along the years and he led a peripatetic lifestyle. He was always outside the pale. Remember when he ran for Class President and everyone voted for him because we thought it was a joke? He won and became a first class, diligent president. Sometimes Walter was a just a funny, quirky guy and at other times he could be quite a serious undertaking. He will always be in my memory with nothing but loving thoughts.

As to the other losses - Alzheimer's is the plague of our generation. As a nurse I have worked with mild to severe Alzheimer patients. It took all I had to care for them and the experiences near broke my heart. I pray for a peaceful end for those who are afflicted. I also pray that we find a cure. This is a terrible disease.

May God bless and sustain all of us. Patty Kirk Hefferan

The editor asked Ptty permission to share her thoughts on these pages to which she replied:

I forgot to say - yes, print my little piece about Walter. I wish I had the chance to see him again but life wafted him in many different directions. He may not have known this in life, but he knows it now. He is missed. And since the Dodgers moved, I'll grant him victory. Patty Kirk

____________________________________________


Walter Brunner, Class of 1961

A Remembrance Of  My Friend, Walter

by Mike Harvey   February 26, 2011
 
I once visited Walter at his sister Carol’s house south of Boston in 1978. Walt was in his familiar position – stretched out on the floor, his arm angled so that his head cradled in the palm of his large hand. He and I noted that it had been 17 years since we graduated high school. I remember him commenting, “God,” (he always pronounced GOD  like Tommy Kull would pronounce it  –  low, drawn out and under his breath-like, with the recognition  of some foreboding doom), “God, if the next 17 years go as quickly as the past 17 years, we’re all in trouble…..I mean (as he raised his voice while staring at me to make absolutely certain I was receiving the full import of it all) think about it! …..I mean… GOOD GOD!”  


Nearly two more 17 year round-trips have flown by and he has gone, sadly after a fall that left him alone for 2 days. Back when he was at Yale and I was at Rutgers, he would often quote to me, with great dramatic flair, John Milton’s line from Paradise Lost: “Down from Gehenna  or up to the throne; he travels fastest who travels alone.” I would quote movie lines and we would both quote Shakespeare. And so, I’ve been lately recalling Horatio, gazing bravely through his grief at the slain Hamlet: “Now cracks a noble heart. Good night sweet prince: And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!”  


May the sometimes unquiet, but most times uplifting, large soul of our friend, Walter Guthrie Brunner, rest in peace. And may he and Tom Kull be sipping a whiskey together in heaven….now that’s  a  thought to make us all smile, eh?

_______________________________________

Jeff Stone

 

Jeff was a special person to me, and to many others, in that when we were together he totally related to what I was saying or doing.  He was also a very affectionate person and wasn’t afraid to express it.

 

Jeff married and had a child with his wife, Toni.   By that time I had left the east coast where Jeff was living but when we talked on the phone one thing that was clear was that he was so glad to have his relationship with his son, Gion – his son meant a lot to him.

 

Unfortunately Jeff and his wife couldn’t come to terms on their disagreements and separated.

 

Jeff had a real problem with drinking alcohol and with making an effort to stay in good health.  I tried to encourage him to take care of himself but I don’t think he really cared as time went on.  I’m afraid that those things were the cause of his death.

 

We lost a good person when Jeff died.  I miss him.

 

George Howell 

_____________________________________

Ed Kritzler, Class of 1958

(The below is an email from Helen Kritzler)

 

here are two videos people may enjoy first ed and me having fun on streets of new york

soon after he found out about the cancer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2Zpvy3tz_g

 

and a video of him and jeff philipson talking about stealing cars in highschool

while waiting for chemo

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlbTkMV5yfE&feature=related

 

eddie continued to have fun every moment of the day even while facing death

at one point he said it was his best  year.

his heart opened more and he became very gentle and sweet.

though never changing his honest sarcastic humour!!

 

here's the last email he sent out\

 

Saturday night, 9/11/10

Dear Friends,

 

Win Some Lose Some:

 

On one hand, a year ago October, I found out I had cancer; on the other hand, since then my book has made the L.A. Times bestseller list a dozen times...and this Sunday it is #5 for non-fiction paperbacks ... Hmmm? Is that how life goes?

Anyhow, after seven months of ugh chemo and successful surgery at Sloan Kettering, I could pass for a scarecrow. But I am cancer free. Now, I gotta get back to my handsome self so that I can again wow audiences with here-to-fore unknown tales of New World Jewish adventurers who through sechel & chutzpa secured the freedoms Jews in the West enjoy today.

 

Other Book News: The Hebrew edition of Jewish Pirates by Kinnerett will be out this month and a French edition the following month. Also a documentary on the book will be produced by DCL Productions of Israel and directed by James Rosenthal whose credits include the History of the Jews narrated by Abba Eban.

 

So... Although it's been an up & down year, I am muy happy. Indeed, just in case I would kick, the Jamaica government -- three days before I underwent surgery -- held an award luncheon in my honor in NY at which I received the 2010 Marcella Martinez award for my ongoing contribution to the island's travel industry.

 

So, amigos, aside from resembling the image on a pirate flag, all in all it's been a great year. I'm now living in a Kingston apt. with new wife Marsha and little Regina who bonded so wonderfully with her new "sista", Eliza. I am not out of the woods yet as I have some complication from the operation that will require minor surgery back in NY, but hey, it just means I can catch up on the latest movies and have a pastrami on rye at Katz's.

 

Shana Tovah

Skeleton Ed

 

 

Ed Kritzler, Class of 1958:

 

Ed Kritzler

 

(The following is an email written to Helen Kritzler, Ed's sister, by Paul Hennessy)

 

 

Dear Helen,


My heartfelt condolences on Eddie's passing. The news came as a shock because he continued in his writings to convey his special lively spirit that made me think he was still in life's catbird seat, especially with the publication of his book. about Jewish pirates (perfect subject for him, I thought).


Beyond what I wrote, I can only say I watched him closely in that oddly symbiotic ways sophs observe seniors, especially charismatic ones like your brother. I have memories of him crowing on the team bus and in the locker room after football victories in that first undefeated season, his wise-cracking way that reminded me of a James Dean-type cowboy, and--most of all--the stature of "Perlin and Kritzler, Kritzler & Perlin" the two lions, survivors of Mineola High's blackboard jungle, friends, but always rivals vying for who was the toughest top dog.


I've always compared their fearless, macho style to Israeli commandos who I met later in my life. Ed was a special spirit who will always live in our memories.

 

We share your loss. Hope you're well.

 

Best,


Paul Hennessy

Jack Langlois :

 

JL1

JL2

JL3

Classmates,

My thoughts about our beloved Jack.

I got re-acquainted with Jack before the reunion at a dinner and after
during the course of his illness. My memories of these times are
conflated with those so long ago the echo of which washes over me with
warmth and understanding.

I visited Jack at Lenox Hill about weekly. Although he was dying, it was
always an uplifting experience to talk with him and Shinny. We talked
about many things. The economic disaster, books he had been given, his
new Kindle, and the classmates that meant so much to him. He was
amazingly achieved and yet ever so modest. Seeing himself as just a
man who made the best out of his life.

Jack was emotional--you saw it in in his eyes and in his bearing. So
grateful for the visits; he was not afraid to receive love. In fact, he would always mention
how much he appreciated our responses.

I visited Jack the day before he died; he was barely there and yet for
that brief moment that same grin and smile appeared with a hello and a
good-bye.


Does there need to be anymore said of the measure of this man.

The Captain of our Cheerleaders

 

____________________________________

 

Visit to Jack

 

On a late Saturday morning, August 6th, I visit Jack Langlois at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan. The hospital is located in an upscale section of the city at 77th and Park-numerous poodles are being walked and uniformed doormen stand in doorways.

 

The main entrance is on 77th where many on call ambulances are parked. As I walk into the hospital, the first thing I see is a new baby being wheeled out, followed by a smiling family entourage, all Hispanic, and I think that as my friend dies inside, a newborn sees the sunshine for the first time. So it goes.

 

  Access to Jack’s room is easy. A security guard, at a high lectern, greets me and asks whom do I need to see? I tell him and he directs me to Jack’s room. After ridding the elevator, I go to the nurse’s station, inquire of Jack, and walk down a long corridor where my normal uncomfortable hospital feelings descend upon me. I detest hospitals.    However, duty often requires it and this time is different as I am visiting a friend from 50 years ago, one I had lost touch with in 1960 and who now is on his deathbed.

 

I walk into room 773, Jack’s room, and meet his wife, sister and another woman. Jack, lying in bed, sees me, smiles and surprised says, “Hi Ken! We are having a meeting. Please wait outside because I want to see you.” I say, “Certainly,” and step back into the hallway. Within a minute Jack’s sister, Jeannie, comes out. She confirms what many of us have assumed-that Jack is not well and does not have many more days with us. The other woman is an administrator with a hospice organization and is going over the arrangements between the parties.

 

A few moments later Jack’s niece, Jeanne’s daughter Kathy, appears. I had met both Jeanne and Kathy at our 50th reunion dinner at the Wheatley Hills Golf Club but unfortunately did not have much time to speak with them. As many know, Jeanne Langlois had married the late Tom Kull, class of 61, and a dear friend to many of us. His fierce independence and oft-reckless appetite for life was infectious to a rich number of friends. Tom passed away less than a year ago from the same pancreatic cancer afflicting Jack.

 

I comment to both mother and daughter how much Kathy looks like Tom. She has Tom’s eyes and I’m surprised and not prepared to have sudden and vivid memories of Tom Kull, but then rarely does one visit friends of yesteryear in their last days.

 

Gazing out the window looking down upon Park Avenue I again see many dog walkers and bicyclists and think back when at Wheatley Kull was chased on his bike by a big German Sheppard, pedaling for his life, an event that contributed to his fear of dogs. I turn from the window, pause and see in a dream-like reverie Tommy standing next to me. He looks at me and me at him-“Martino?”-“Yeah.” Tommy?”-“Yeah.” And our collective souls arise from our very precious past and yell in unison- “Lets get the fuck out of here,” and we run pell-mell down the crowded corridor, knocking over gurneys and nurses scurry and shriek and IV stands fly and we hit the outside street a running and I hear once again that precious, guttural, inimitable laugh of Kull’s and we find the nearest bar and put in a bunch of quarters in the juke box and listen to tunes and find a pin-ball bowling machine and slide the disc down the waxed board and  breath a sigh of relief that we got out of the suffocating death box of Lenox Hill Hospital.

 

My trance is interrupted by voices coming from Jack’s room. Most of the talking is coming from the hospice administrator. Trying to avoid the role of an eavesdropper, I nevertheless hear a lot of money talk. I think-how expensive to live and even more so to die. Not wanting to be party to any more confidential matters, I go downstairs for a break.

 

I return to the room just as the hospice lady is leaving. Jack’s wife, sister and niece go with her and Jack and I are alone. Jack says, “Sit down Martino,” and I do, next to his bed. On one count Jack has the look of death upon him-jaundiced, thin, little hair, and oh so frail. I hold his hand and his fingers feel like balsam wood, and I’m afraid to put any pressure on my grip. On the other hand, he exudes a resolute countenance, and I realize that he has made his separate peace and is ready for the end.

 

We talk of many things. At one point I mention that when coming down the New York Thruway for the May 50th reunion I passed two school busses from Clarkstown Public Schools. I ask if he remembers that game back in September of 1959 and he replies, while slowly nodding his head, of course, of course. To me it was the best football game we played as seniors, and I so state. Jack agrees. I mention to him that it was remarkable that he played center weighing only 140 pounds, and in that understating manner of his, full of quiet confidence and insight, he nods and says he weighed far less than 140 pounds.

 

I tell Jack that I never met his wife. He tells me how he met her. He was a visiting professor in Taiwan and Shinny was his student. They subsequently dated and married. I do not want to ask him too much about his personal life. The way Jack talks I assume he is very much in love, and me, I feel it best to be that way as one leaves our world.

 

Being in the room is both emotional and remarkable for me. I have not seen Jack in 50 years prior to this past May. We lost contact in our college days, never saw one another over summer breaks, and had not attended the same past reunions. In short, he lies before me as a stranger. But being in the room with him I feel that those 50 years didn’t exist. We speak, or so I sense, as if it is still 1959. Nothing has changed, nor has taken place in the intervening years, and Jack now lies sick and I want him to be better because you see he is once again my very close friend, I know him well and we have many memories to make….

 

Robin Rogers emailed me a letter that she wanted Jack to read. Jack can’t use his computer as much as he needs, so I read Robin’s letter to him. Robin and Jack’s parents were close in those years and the letter mentions some events they shared. As I read, Jack fluctuates between smiles and tears, as I do. I think to myself-how nice of Robin to do this and how much it means to Jack.

 

Jack continues to speak of the past. His memory is lucid. I am overwhelmed at how grateful he is for classmates who have been showing concern for his condition and he again swells up with emotion. And he shows no bitterness to me over his condition and fate.

 

We briefly discuss politics and current events. I give a quick take on how I see things. Jack nods, offers a few brief comments and somehow I feel, like I often did in the past, that he is above such topics, that he knows how things are, that he is indeed a very wise man. This, even as he lies before me emaciated and facing his last days.

 

Throughout our conversation, Jack continually reaches out to touch me and hold my hand. I am deeply moved but see that Jack is tiring and therefore get up from my chair. He motions to me to come closer. I bend over and his arms, thin as rails, come up and we hug. I arise slowly and then render him a salute and say “Semper Fidelis,” and ask if he knows what that means. He smiles and says, “Yes,” and I leave him.

 

Saturday afternoon traffic in New York City is relatively light during summer months. I slowly drive around the city and eventually park on a side street near Sutton place and find a quaint little park overlooking the East River. I eat half a sandwich and drink coffee and think of my visit with Jack. His stoicism and bravery impresses me, so much so that I find myself rethinking my own options at the end. The plan always was, should terminal cancer be my fate, to put my affairs in order, go into the woods and have an appointment with Dr. 45 caliber.  Jack casts doubt on that course of action. His grace and demeanor, while under such duress, and choosing to fight until his last breath, impresses me. Jack’s choice, like his character, remains noble.

 

I look at the river moving by and think of the past. At our 50th reunion we listened to many oldies that classmates had emailed in as their favorites. Jack, fighting his illness, did not submit a song, but for some reason I find myself thinking now of Buddy Holly, a rock and roll icon who died young while we were juniors at Wheatley. Obviously not knowing him, I always found Holly to be delicate and sensitive and somehow on this Saturday afternoon, as my friend Jack is dying, I see a common thread between the two, and glancing again at the river and its swale, as it meanders between the skyscrapers of Brooklyn and Manhattan, I know it does as well.  

 

Ken Martin

___________________________________

The below is the New York Time's obituary of John D. Langlois:

 

JOHN D. LANGLOIS |

LANGLOIS--John D. China scholar, historian and banker John D. Langlois died in New York City early on August 19th, surrounded by family and friends, after a courageous battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Hsin I and other family members. Known as Jack to his many friends, he passed between the worlds of academia and finance as smoothly as he traveled between Asia and the United States. He took equal pleasure in unraveling the intricacies of Chinese history and the complexities of international finance. Jack spoke Chinese and Japanese with elegance, precision and wit, informed by years of classical study and practical negotiation. A Ming specialist and talented Chinese linguist with a PhD from Princeton, where he studied under the legendary Fritz Mote, Jack was Professor and Chairman of the History Department at Bowdoin College before embarking on a successful career as an investment banker. Jack held several senior positions with J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley in Asia, including Managing Director of J.P. Morgan (China) and Chairman of Morgan Stanley Properties (China). Combining his experience in finance and fluency in Mandarin, Jack served on the board of Directors of China's CITIC Bank, Shenzhen Development Bank, Bank of Nanjing, Bank of Shanghai, and the Agricultural Bank of China - one of the first and very few foreigners to do so. His discreet advice was valued by finance and treasury officials in both Beijing and Washington. He most recently served as Vice Chairman of Global Strategic Associates in New York. Jack continued work as a scholar during his finance career, contributing his deep knowledge of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) to the Cambridge History of China, presenting academic papers, and teaching a course at Princeton University. His gracious and subtle scholarship appealed to his colleagues and students, while his gentle humor and quiet integrity endeared him to his many friends on both sides of the Pacific. Funeral Services are private. There will however, be a celebration of Jack's life at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please send all memorial donations in Jack's name to The Pulmonary Education Fund, Lennox Hill Hospital, 100 East 77th Street, New York, NY 10075. For further details please send emails to drJDL123@gmail.com or mail c/o Ms. Kano Mitchell, Global Strategic Associates, LLC, 445 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10022.

Published in The New York Times on August 22, 2010

_______________________________

Also in the Times that day was a guest book, essentially a blog written by Jack's friends and associates. You will see that our memories of Jack and his personality from over 50 years ago at Wheatley were confirmed in the recollections of so many he touched through the years. Two of our classmates signed the guest book. Some of these comments follow:

December 20, 2010
Jack was a client of mine circa 1991/92 when he spent some time in London. I provided him with a Mercedes Benz as part of his relocation to London with JPM. Jack was a true gentleman.. may he rest in peace...
~ Joe Sweeney, London


November 20, 2010
I had honor working for Mr.Langlois at Morgan Stanley and Countywide in Tokyo. He was the greatest person and the best boss i respect the most forever.
~ Jun Hong Ma, Tokyo, Japan


October 17, 2010
Jack was a JPMorgan colleague for many years; in particular, we overlapped in Tokyo Office 1989-1991.
In 1999, we worked together on a project in China, where I recall a great week with him first in Shanghai, and then later in Beijing where we were joined by Hsin-I Informative and gracious hosts, they walked the Great Wall with me, and also took me to visit the ancient tombs.
I especially remember a unique dining experience at the "Li Jia Cai Guan" family restaurant with them and Chris & Freda Murck.
More recently, Jack and I met last year at the Mandarin in Hong Kong, where as always he was most generous with his time and introductions.
But my greatest memory will always be his half-smile and twinkling sense of humour.
My condolences and very best wishes to Hsin-I and all Jack's relatives and may friends.
~ Tom Bain, Hong Kong


October 12, 2010
A gentlemen and a distinguished colleague, great to know you from Countrywide in Tokyo and Hong Kong, Jack. God Bless.
~ Newton Yeo, Tokyo, Japan


October 10, 2010
Jack’s passing comes as immeasurable loss to me and my family. I honestly could not believe it when I heard this last week.

When I sent birthday greetings to Jack last week, his wonderful nephew, Jeff Sung informed me of Jack's passing.

Jack came to our home in Beijing on Sunday, March 21 for lunch to visit us and to celebrate the upcoming birth of our second daughter, Timea who was born on Easter Sunday, April 4 of this year.

Our older daughter, Aniko, who is 4 1/2 years old, immediately became close to Jack senseing Jack's wonderful person and called him “Jack bacsi”, the Hungarian form for “Uncle Jack”. We had an absolutely wonderful Sunday afternoon at our home in Mapo, Shunyi District in Beijing. The memory of that Sunday afternoon is permanently etched in my heart and mind.

I have known Jack since/through our common mentor and teacher, Prof. Fritz Mote when I entered Princeton as a Freshman in September 1975. We got together from time to time in Tokyo and Beijing,where I have been working and residing since 1987.

Jack, we miss you enormously! You have always been an older brother to me.

Jack is in our prayers. We ask the Good Lord to keep Jack with Him in peace and love.

My wife, Na Yan-hong (Baranski) and I extend our deepest condolences to Hsin I.

August 25, 2010
Jack was a good friend from grade school through high school. So serious yet so mischievous. I'll smile forever thinking of him. Godspeed.
Margot Realmuto, Smith Montain Lake, Virginia


August 25, 2010
Mr. Langlois was the Freshman year English teacher for both of us. We remembered him as a very gentle person. He took us out from the classroom and sat on the lawn in front of the Luce Chapel, sang different American Folk songs and Christmas carols. He added the very romantic atmosphere to the Freshman little fools. Tunghai four years of college life were full of wonderful memories, Mr Langlois certainly was one of the best memories that we had. I still remember him playing 'Tsui Ying Ying' with his 'Big' feet, that was such a wonderful performance.

Hueh Jie Hsin I, we are so happy that you two had 43 years of wonderful marriage, our prayers going out to you and your family, may the beautiful memories with you always, we are so proud of him to be such a successful man later in his life.

Fu-ching Peng & Chih-chi Chang(class 12), Los Angeles, CA
~ Fu-ching Peng, Los Angeles, California


August 25, 2010
We will miss you in the summer, fall, winter and spring. We welcomed your smile,wit,and sharp intellect and keen observation.
~ HL & Max


August 25, 2010
Jack was a classmate at Wheatley High School. He was a fine person - a gentleman - even at that young age. We will miss him.
~ Dr. Paul Mann, Louisville, Kentucky

August 24, 2010


Jack and Aunt Hsin I are the most adorable couple I ever met. He might show to others he is a successful banker and professor. He is also a romantic husband and humorous guy. We will always remember you.

_______________________________

Mel Miller:

Mel lived his life, when I knew him, like he was going to die young, which he did. He was one of the first of us to have a car and he had, as I recollect, two of them. They were both Pontiacs-one was a white sedan and the other a bronze convertible, and they were both very fast and Mel drove them even faster. I went to Jones Beach with him on numerous occasions with the top down, the wind in our hair, forever young. It is how I have always remembered him and always will.

Ken Martin

__________________________________

Kevin Liebreich

When I moved to the Wheatley District in 8th grade, the first friend I had was Kevin Liebreich. I would ride my bike to his house in Roslyn Heights. I believe he lived within a few blocks of I U Willets. We would play board games and his mom always made us a nice lunch. He was a very kind person. Over the years we chose different paths and our friendship, although still there, waned. Looking back over the years, I am sorry that happened. I have heard from his sister that he led a happy and full life. That was good to hear.

Ken Martin

KL

Kevin and his wife Patsy

____________________________________

Anthony J Ibanez


Anthony had two daughters, Michelle and Kimberly, both of whom are married. He had a career as a professional airline pilot for private corporations and he traveled traveled the world. He moved from Long Island in 1979 and resided in Mahopac in Putnam County, NY. His hobbies included fixing up cars, skiing and golf.

Best regards,
Michelle Ibanez Fusco

 

AI

Anthony Ibanez, 1999

_________________________________

Mary Gettier and John Votano:

The last time I saw them was when they hosted a planning party for our 20th Wheatley reunion. Mary always possessed a delicate beauty with a fragile, distinct kindness. She was special. And John-so virile-both a ladies man and a man’s man and someone you always wanted on your flank. They lived in a funky, mid-town, Westside Manhattan apartment, were extremely happy, and their love for one another was so very obvious to all. John and Mary had a teenage daughter whose name was Gabrielle. Gabrielle had the great misfortune of losing both parents when she was so young. She has an exceptional lineage, and I hope that she has found happiness and meaning in her life.   

Ken Martin

_______________

John Votano/Mary Gettier

     “Johnny” Votano  ’59  was one of the most unforgettable people I knew back in the day. I compared him to “DeNiro” in my bio as he was Wheatley’s  fiercely competitive “Raging Bull,” who personified swagger and charisma, but with a sharp tongue and  lively sense of fun. He and his fellow “paisan Matt Sanzone dominated the sports they played--football, track,  and wrestling.

     Who could forget Johnny  playing safety in a crucial game with a cast due to a broken collar bone simply because he was the best we had even with one arm? As coach Jack Davis later commented, no one --no matter what size--was willing to take him on.

     Married to our charming classmate Mary Gettier, they lived in Manhattan,  had a daughter, Gabrielle, and he parlayed his savvy and daring into becoming a successful real estate investor. We saw them at them at their cozy  apartment for a 20th reunion planning session, and I’m glad to have found a photo of him at the reunion  for the website, chatting with Gary Zebrowski, the quarterback who’d handed off to him on so many electrifying runs.

     Their charmed life started to become Greek tragedy when Mary died of cancer in 1983 at age 41.  Her funeral  in Williston Park was the last  time I saw John, one of the toughest men I’ve ever known,  openly shedding tears  for the woman he’d  loved so deeply.

      Four years later came another shock hearing that John, the lion-heart, had a massive heart attack that felled him at age 46. (Also shocking was subsequent news about a family friend/attorney , who spoke at his funeral , swindling orphaned daughter Gabrielle out of a significant inheritance. The lawyer was convicted of embezzlement and served a lengthy prison sentence at Sing Sing.)

     John will always live in my memory as a unique and iconic individual.  I can picture him strolling, with that distinctly bowl-legged strut, Mary at his side, ruling his heavenly kingdom as  surely he did  Wheatley’s halls and playing fields.

                                                               Paul Hennessy

JV

Teamates-John Votano and Gary Ze

The below is a list of teachers who have passed away. Below that are classmates who too have left our midst.

May they rest in peace and their families and friends be comforted, and may we perhaps meet them again.

 

 

Teachers:

Brightman, Fred

Goldwasser,   Joseph

Davis,  John

Devlin, John

Doig,  Stewart

Erickson,  Audrey

Feindler, Joan

Fradkin, Joseph

Frisone, Enrico

Irvine,   Kit

Lawson,  William

Loring, Warren

Mullen, Fred

Ouchi,  Edward

Porcino,   Santi

Tierney,   Martin

WheelerHerbert

WillsGodfrey


 

_____________________________________________________________

Classmates:

 

Last

Married

First

Class

Becker

 

Barbara

1958

Cohen

 

Melvin

1958

Discount

 

Deanna

1958

Kramer

Sirota

Barbara

1958

Kritzler   Ed 1958

Leslie

 

Carole

1958

Oldoni

 

Robert

1958

Perlin

 

Stephen

1958

Peticolas

 

Barry

1958

Simon

 

Eliot

1958

Bodenstab

 

Barbara

1959

Carmody

 

Robert

1959

Douglas

 

Kenneth

1959

Erbentraut

 

Terry

1959

Fasulo

 

Anthony

1959

Kerstein

 

Judith

1959

Manson

 

John

1959

Rosenbaum

 

Richard

1959

Roth

 

Glenn

1959

Thommes

 

Paul

1959

Votano

 

John

1959

Yokell

 

Mark

1959

Warfield

 

Nadine

1959

Andrews

Dowdell

Nancy

1960

Belmonte

 

Joseph

1960

Byrne

 

Sandra  

1960

Caterino

 

Anthony

1960

Gettier

 

Mary

1960

Hershfield

 

Anthony

1960

Holzweiss

 

Susan

1960

Ibanez

Lamparter

 

Anthony

Neil

1960

1960

Langlois   Jack 1960

Liebreich

 

Kevin 

1960

Meisenhelder

Peterson

Linda

1960

Miller

 

Melvyn

1960

Pugh

 

Susan

1960

Schmid

Calderwood

Susan

1960

Seidenberg

 

Rebecca

1960

Singdahlsen

Stone

 

Barbara

Jeffrey

1960

1960

Wasserstrom

 

Roslyn

1960

Bernstein

 

Larry

1961

Bland

Brauer

Diane

1961

Boland

 

Pamela

1961

Brescia

 

Thomas 

1961

Brunner   Walter 1961

Burch

 

Bonnie

1961

Cohen

 

David

1961

Drummond

 

Hugh

1961

Gettinger

 

Amy

1961

Herman

 

Patricia

1961

Kull

 

Thomas Kevin

1961

McGovern

 

Jane

1961

Ober

 

Fred  

1961

Pall

 

Stephanie

1961

Price

 

Arthur

1961

Saletan

Henry

Richard

1961

Shaffer   Chuck 1961

Shire

Cross

Wendy

1961