YAM Notes: September/October 2023

By Alan C. Davidson, M.D.

Because our magnificent 65th reunion took over the last column, we have much catching up to do. But first, David Waterbury, class agent chair, reports 87 percent of our class contributed to the 65th reunion gift, which was $10.5 million. Steve Riker, our class treasurer, mentioned that the class has gifted in excess of $87 million to Yale since graduation.

Ken McAdams reports that his son Brit McAdams has written and directed a film, Paint, starring Owen Wilson. It will stream on AMC+ later in the year. Harvey Sloane has written an autobiography, Riding the Rails. Among other things Harvey did, he hopped freight trains, both as a means of transportation and as a hobby, sometimes even at the New Haven yards taking classmates with him. It is a quick and enjoyable read.

Larry Bensky sent me a note that Michael Schoettle just published Career Change Guide, which may be orderedon Amazon. Michael gives talks and advice on the subject. Larry himself described his being interviewed by a New York Stuyvesant High School English class about his days as editor-in-chief of their newspaper, The Spectator. Two of his answers to their queries were: “Yes, Yale was an excellent choice of college for me, and working at the Spectator taught me the skills for my later work as a writer, editor, teacher, and broadcaster.” Did we ever think 70 years ago we would be answering questions such as these?

And Jonathan Barnett is our third author of a new book, Implementing Urban Design (Green, Civic, and Community Strategies). As the title suggests, the book addresses how to bring an urban design from concept to reality from neighborhoods to business districts to suburbs to even megaregions. It, too, is available on Amazon.

Unfortunately, our class grows smaller with the relentless march of Father Time. Below are our classmates’ partial obituaries. Please see our website, yale1958.org for the full obituaries.

John Rogers Morris Jr. (November 12, 1936–October 10, 2021). After Yale, he participated in the early years of computers. His last occupation was at Salisbury (Maryland) State University, where he established one of the first remote learning computer/telecommunications systems. He was an Eagle Scout and served on the Eagle Scout Review Board. He served as a volunteer firefighter and in Milford, Connecticut, served as the captain of Company One. He was a volunteer for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief and was part of the Hurricane Katrina response teams. He was predeceased by his wife Barbara and a son, and is survived by three children, 13 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren.

Claus Wittich (November 1, 1932–October 14, 2022). Claus emigrated to the US in 1955, joining our class in 1956. He then obtained an MA from Columbia University. He spent most of his career in Geneva, Switzerland, as the UN deputy director of the economic analysis division at UNECE, mainly leading research on the former Soviet Union. He was coeditor of a definitive three-volume work on Max Weber. His first wife, whom he married in 1955 while she was getting an MA in education at Yale, died in 1991. He subsequently married his colleague, Vitalija Gaucaite Wittich, in 2000. He is survived by three children and four grandchildren.

Jeffrey Taylor Carey (June 26, 1936–January 9, 2023). After graduation, Jeffrey served two years in the army as an airborne ranger. He then moved to New York and worked for NBC. He was transferred to Los Angeles where he went into commercial real estate, retiring as VP and district manager of Grubb and Ellis. There he returned to the sea, sailing both with the Jonathan Club and the Los Angeles Yacht Club where he served as commodore in 1998. He retired to Paso Robles, California, in 2000. Jeffrey served as president of the San Luis Obispo, California, Mozart (now Mozaic) Festival and sat on the board of the San Luis Obispo Performing Arts Center. He is survived by his wife Jane Jennifer Pearce Carey, two daughters, and three grandchildren.

John H. Kolb Jr. (February 23, 1936–February 13, 2023). After Yale, John first worked for Sikorsky and then United Technologies before joining his father’s insurance and real estate agency in Seymour, Connecticut. He met his wife Sylvia in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. His family had a house in Chatham, where John subsequently built a house and where he retired. He is survived by his wife Sylvia, two sons, and five grandchildren.

William Raymond Lund Jr. (September 21, 1936–February 19, 2023). After Yale, William was commissioned in the US Navy and separated in 1967 with the rank of lieutenant. He then went on to work for AT&T for the next 30 years. In 1977, he received an MBA from St. Mary’s College of California and went on to form The Consulting Group, which worked with various private schools. He is survived by his wife Colleen, three children, and four grandchildren.

Douglas Andrew MacKinnon (September 13, 1936–February 26, 2023). After graduating from Yale, Douglas served as a lieutenant in the US Navy from 1958 through 1962. He then obtained a master’s in forestry from Yale in 1964. He went on to work with Crown-Zellerbach Corporation (1977–1985), followed by professorships in forestry management at the University of Michigan (1977–1985) and Duke University (1985–1991), and as consultant to the World Bank (1991–1994). He was predeceased by his first wife and one son. He is survived by his second wife, Susan, and one daughter, two stepdaughters, and five grandchildren.

William Grant Hellar III (July 22, 1936–April 1, 2023). After Yale, Grant joined the Navy as a lieutenant JG on the USS Hornet. Grant lived in Australia, Japan, and eventually Santa Barbara working for Bank of America. He then joined the Montecino Bank and Trust. He returned to Marin to be closer to his boys, Eric and Scott. He had an acting career as an extra in Roped and He Almost Got Away with It. He also loved golf and traveling. He is survived by his wife Eva, his two sons, and four grandchildren.

Nicholas Hugh Halton (February 25, 1936–April 17, 2023). Nicholas was born in Moulmein, Burma, as his father was a mining and metallurgical engineer. Because of WWII, the family relocated several times before moving to Tenafly, New Jersey. At Yale, he became a naturalized American citizen. Following Yale, he joined the Navy and after 21 years of service retired as a lieutenant commander. He moved to Elko, Nevada, where he returned to the engineering field with Chilton Engineering. He became active in Rotary, the VFW, the Military Officers Association, as a charter member of the Navy Memorial in Washington, DC, and the Northeastern Nevada Historical Society. He is survived by three children, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. He was preceded in death by his wife Sheila and an infant son.

Charles H. Rathbone (December 12, 1935–May 10, 2023). After Yale, he went on to obtain a Yale master of arts in teaching degree and a Harvard EdD. He had a passion for teaching and finished his career as professor of education at Oberlin College, Wheaton College (Massachusetts), and Lesley University. He contributed many years of service to the boards of Fayerweather Street School, the Cambridge Center for Adult Education, and Primary Source. He is survived by his wife Edith, two sons, and two grandsons.

Scott Gregory Sullivan (May 9, 1937–June 25, 2023), our previous class corresponding secretary, died peacefully in New Orleans with family members by his bedside. He will be fondly remembered as the genial host of our outstanding New Orleans minireunion in October 2014 and unofficial class raconteur. A lifelong Francophile, Scott became a chevalier of the French Légion d’honneur earlier this year. This capped a remarkable journalistic career, which included stints at the Baltimore Sun and Newsweek. He is predeceased by one daughter and survived by two daughters, a son, two grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. Like many, he lived by the motto “for God, for country, and for Yale”—with emphasis on the “for Yale.”