Alumni Necrology

Robert Allison Hill ’30

A retired tax accountant, grew up in Albany, NY, where he was born to James P., also an accountant, and Anna Armington Hill, on March 28, 1908. With assurance from the principal of Albany High School that Bob Hill would be “a very desirable college man,” he was admitted to Hamilton in 1926. He joined ELS and became circulation manager of The Hamiltonian and business manager of the Charlatans.

Following his graduation in 1930, Bob Hill returned to Albany and found employment with the New York Telephone Co. On the side he took courses in accounting at New York University. In 1941, he was called to active duty by the U.S. Navy and served as a supply officer throughout World War II. His assignments took him to the European theater as well as to Stockton, CA, where he met Dorothy Lloyd Martin. They were wed in 1945, and Lt. Commander Hill adopted her two young children by a previous marriage.

Released from military service in 1946 (he would remain in the Naval Reserve and attain the rank of captain), Bob Hill soon moved with his family to California, where they made their home in the Bay Area and Bob went to work for Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Co. in San Francisco. In 1957, three years after the death of his wife, he was married to Dorothy Welsh Betts. They had met when he was president of the Lido Isle Community Association and she was its secretary. They took up residence in South Laguna and later Newport Beach in the Los Angeles area.

In the meantime, Bob Hill had left Pacific Telephone & Telegraph in 1952 to explore other ventures while working part-time as an independent accountant. However, in 1970, he and a partner formed Fiduciary Tax Service in Newport Beach, which became a highly successful accounting practice. It remained in operation until Bob’s retirement in 1984.

Bob Hill and his wife “Dorre,” both ardent bridge players, maintained an active schedule of extensive travel as well as bridge engagements. After Dorre’s death in 1992, Bob moved to Whittier and in 1999 to Long Beach to be near his family. His last residence was a retirement community in Long Beach, where he remained busy playing bridge and helping to run a convenience store.

Robert A. Hill, a loyal alumnus, died on January 24, 2006, in his 98th year. He is survived by his adopted daughter and son, Robin van Maas and Robert R. Hill, and nine grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

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Walcott Watson ’30

Who enjoyed remarkably varied employment during his long and adventurous life, was born on July 11, 1910, in Indianapolis, IN. A son of Lewis and Nancy Walcott Watson, he prepared for college at Charleston High School in South Carolina and found his way to Hamilton from Paterson, NJ, in 1926. On the Hill, “Wally” Watson joined Sigma Phi and excelled scholastically, gaining election to Phi Beta Kappa. He was graduated in 1930.

Amidst the pursuit of graduate study that led to an M.A. degree in history from Columbia University in 1935, Wally Watson worked throughout the 1930s as a forest ranger. Although not much of an athlete, he enjoyed physical challenge, and soon after leaving the Hill he applied to the National Park Service for a job as a temporary ranger. Assigned to the newly created Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, he continued to patrol the Tetons off and on until his marriage on April 29, 1939, to Shirley Kiernan in Newtown, CT. Soon thereafter, Wally and his bride decided to embark upon an extended South Seas voyage aboard a 62-foot schooner. They completed the daring journey in 1940. Sixty years later, at the age of 90, Wally Watson wrote his reminiscences of those adventurous days in the Tetons and on the Seas in High and Deep, which was published in 2002.

Wally Watson was employed at the Remington Arms plant in Bridgeport, CT, when Pearl Harbor was bombed and the U.S. entered World War II. He attempted to enlist in the Navy but was turned down because of poor eyesight. Instead, he engaged in civilian war work at a munitions plant in Salt Lake City, UT, and, beginning in 1944, in Oak Ridge, TN, the then secret “Atomic City,” created in wartime as part of the Manhattan Project.

There, Wally Watson became head of the materials department of Carbide and Carbon Chemicals Corp. In 1960, after eight years as a general insurance agent in Oak Ridge, he entered the real estate field as a broker. In addition, from 1962 until 1976, he taught history and psychology at Oak Ridge High School. Active in numerous community organizations ranging from the Kiwanis and Elks to the Oak Ridge Dance Club and Playhouse, he also served as commander of the Oak Ridge Power Squadron.

Walcott Watson retired in 1976 and later resided in Florida and in Las Vegas, NV, where he died on August 8, 2005, at the age of 95. Predeceased by his wife and by his eldest son, Richard L. Watson, he is survived by two sons, David S. and Robert K. Watson; a daughter, Patricia Waring; and four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
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Walter Ferguson Breckenridge ’32

A retired land surveyor, was born on December 1, 1908, to Clarence E., a civil engineer, and Eleanor Jayne Breckenridge, in College Point, NY. He grew up in Walton, east of Binghamton, and was graduated in 1928 from Walton High School. He entered Hamilton that year and joined ELS. However, he soon withdrew from the College and began studies in forestry at the New York State Ranger School. Employed by the U.S. Forest Service, he earned a B.S. degree from the New York State College of Forestry in 1935.

That year, Walter Breckenridge was wed to Virginia Twitchell. Two sons were born of the marriage, Walter C. and John A. Breckenridge. The family later settled in New Hampshire where Walter Breckenridge was employed by the state as well as the University of New Hampshire Extension Service. He later worked as a forester for Davis & Symonds Co. and was a self-employed land surveyor at the time of his retirement.

According to Social Security records, Walter F. Breckenridge, a resident of Newport, NH, died on May 17, 2006, in his 98th year. The College has no information on survivors.
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Robert Emery Brownlee ’33

A dedicated physician who practiced in the Boston area for almost 40 years, was born on September 16, 1911, in Holly, CO. A son of Frederick S., a real estate broker, and Edna Emery Brownlee, he grew up in Geneva, NY, and was graduated in 1929 from Geneva High School. Recommended by its principal as “in every respect a first-class boy,” Bob Brownlee was admitted to Hamilton that year. He joined Delta Kappa Epsilon as well as the Choir, and committed time away from his studies to Hamilton Life, becoming its associate editor. Elected to DT, he also had a flair for dramatics, as evidenced by his stage presence in a campus production of Hamlet. Modest and self-deprecating about his many talents, he left the Hill with his diploma in 1933, on the way to Harvard Medical School.

Having “identified with the small town family doctor who took care of us when I was growing up,” Bob Brownlee had set his sights on a career in medicine. After acquiring his M.D. from Harvard in 1937, he began his career-long association with the New England Deaconess Hospital, which became his “home away from home,” and where he would serve two terms as chief of the medical staff. However, in practicing as a primary-care physician, he never ceased to consider himself a family doctor, and this was reflected in his total commitment to the care and welfare of his patients.

In his early years as a physician, Bob Brownlee was an instructor at Harvard Medical School and taught courses at Boston City Hospital. During World War II City Hospital formed a military hospital unit, and in 1943, when it went overseas to England, Dr. Brownlee went with it as an officer in the U.S. Army Medical Corps. First assigned to a field hospital in Stockbridge, where many of his patients were military personnel suffering from combat exhaustion, he subsequently served as chief of the medical staff at a station hospital in London.

Released from the Army as a major after the war’s end in 1946, Bob Brownlee returned to the Boston area, where he would maintain offices in Brookline and Wellesley, and serve for many years on the staff of Newton-Wellesley Hospital as well as the Deaconess in Boston. With his wife, the former Mary V. Carroll, whom he had wed on December 28, 1940, in Holyoke, MA, he continued to reside in Wellesley for many years, and there they reared their three children. In 1983, three years after the death of his wife, who had long suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, he was married to Dorothy S. Hunnewell. After he retired from his practice in 1985, the couple moved to Gloucester, MA.

Known for his “quiet wisdom, wonderful sense of humor, and caring and interest in others,” Robert E. Brownlee, in retirement, was actively involved with Beyond War, a peace organization, as well as peace movement committees. Afflicted in recent years with Parkinson’s disease, he was residing in a retirement community in Exeter, NH, when he died on January 31, 2006, in his 95th year. Predeceased by his second wife, he is survived by a son, Carroll R. Brownlee; two daughters, Ellen LaHait and Maureen O’Dowd; and nine grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and a brother.
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Thomas Rockwell Miller ’34

A retired teacher and former auto parts manager, was born on March 29, 1914, to Thomas W. and Iola Record Miller, in Rome, NY. “Rocky” Miller came to College Hill from Rome Free Academy in 1930. Besides playing golf (he would become permanently addicted to the game) and helping to enliven the scene at North, “the little fellow from Rome” demonstrated a talent for biology, capturing the Renwick Prize.

Following his graduation with honors in biology in 1934, Rocky Miller did some private tutoring while employed by the Depression-era Works Project Administration. In 1936, he went to work for S.S. Kresge Co., the dime store chain. Beginning as a stockman in Rome, he became merchandise manager for various Kresge stores in New York and New Jersey. In 1945, after a brief wartime stint in employee relations at Picatinny Arsenal, the federal armaments facility in Dover, NJ, he worked for automobile dealers as a parts manager, first in Paterson, NJ, and later in Oneida, NY, near his hometown.

In 1959, Rocky Miller struck out on a new path as a junior high school teacher of science, mathematics, and French in the Rome School District. While adding to his credentials by taking courses at regional colleges, he continued to teach in Rome for 20 years until his retirement in 1979.

Thomas R. Miller died on December 14, 2005, in Rome, at the age of 91. He is survived by his wife, the former Charlotte Krotter Abbe, to whom he was married in 1964. Also surviving is a sister, Ruth Hosley, as well as nieces and nephews.
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John Walter Bicknell ’35

Emeritus professor of English at Drew University and a noted scholar of Victorian literature, was born on January 22, 1913, in Mansfield, MA. The son of the Rev. John Bicknell and the former Nellie L. Smith, he spent much of his early life in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), where his parents served as Congregationalist educational missionaries and his father was principal of Jaffna College. Young John Bicknell attended Kadai School in South India and prepared for college at Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts, where he captained the soccer team. He entered Hamilton in 1931, joined Alpha Delta Phi, went out for football, and lettered in baseball and soccer. He also participated in productions of the Charlatans, wrote for The Continental, and enthusiastically sang with Professor Fancher’s Choir. He accompanied the Choir on its travels for concerts at such unlikely places as Sing Sing penitentiary, and his voice was among those heard from coast to coast when the Choir sang on Alexander Woollcott’s radio show.

Elected to Quadrangle, DT, and the journalism honorary Pi Delta Epsilon, and awarded the Squires Prize in Philosophy, John Bicknell received his B.S. degree with honors in philosophy in 1935. However, he remained on the Hill for another year to assist in the department of public speaking and earn an M.A. in English. He then planned to return to Ceylon to be with his parents and teach, but “Cupid intervened.” He had met Evangeline N. Foster in January 1936, and they were married on June 16 of that year in Utica. Following a honeymoon in Ceylon and a year of graduate study in English at Columbia University, John Bicknell accepted appointment as an instructor at St. Lawrence University at $1,600 per annum. The Bicknells remained in New York’s North Country until 1943, when John was called to active duty by the U.S. Navy. He served as a meteorology instructor through the end of World War II and was released in 1946 as a lieutenant (j.g.).

After the war, he was for two years a free-lance writer before resuming his graduate studies at Cornell University. Awarded his Ph.D. in English literature in 1950, he stayed on at Cornell to teach until 1954, when he began his long and distinguished career at Drew University as an associate professor. Promoted to full professor in 1957, he also chaired Drew’s English department from 1957 to 1971. In addition, he was instrumental in establishing the university’s graduate program in English and served as acting dean of Drew’s graduate school in 1967-69.

A man of letters above all, John Bicknell was a widely recognized authority on the “eminent Victorian” Sir Leslie Stephen, now perhaps best remembered as the father of Virginia Woolf. Called “the doyen” of Stephen studies, Professor Bicknell found time after his retirement in 1978 to devote himself to the major project of compiling and editing the two-volume Selected Letter of Leslie Stephen, published by the Macmillan Press in 1996. In addition, he provided the entries on Stephen for standard reference works, and his scholarly articles and book reviews appeared in leading literary journals.

In 1979, the year after his retirement, John and Evangeline Bicknell moved permanently from Madison, NJ, to their longtime summer place in Little Deer Isle, ME. There, while continuing his scholarly work, John , with his passion for singing, participated in local choruses and choirs. And just two days before his final illness, he was on stage in the front row with the Cabin Fever Singers. Besides gardening and chopping wood, he also helped local schools with their English and music programs, and he was a volunteer at a local music lending library. In 1983, the Bicknells returned for the first time since their honeymoon to John’s boyhood home in Sri Lanka, where he was later elected a trustee of the Jaffna College Funds.

John W. Bicknell, a devoted alumnus and class correspondent for this magazine, died in Little Deer Isle of heart and lung failure on January 14, 2006, a week before his 93rd birthday. Predeceased in 2001 by his wife of 65 years, and a son, Christopher N. Bicknell, in 2000, he is survived by three sons, J Anthony, Eugene W., and Jonathan Bicknell; three daughters, Martha Bicknell Goss K’71, Edith L. Bicknell, and Evangeline B. Dollemore; and 18 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
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Cornelius Marsden Vanderwaart ’36

A chemical engineer long employed by the American Cyanamid Co., was born on September 23, 1914, in Norwich, CT. A son of Peter T. Vanderwaart, a mechanical engineer, and the former Elizabeth Marsden, he grew up in Palmerton, PA, where he was graduated from Stephen S. Palmer High School in 1932 as valedictorian of his class. Marsden Vanderwaart, also known as “Van,” entered Hamilton that year and joined Theta Delta Chi. Dubbed by The Hamiltonian “the great punster of the Class of ’36,” he went out for cross-country and track. He also did excellent academic work, winning the Huntington and Root Mathematical Scholarships as well as the Huntington Mathematical Prize. He earned election to Phi Beta Kappa and honors in math and chemistry along with his B.S. degree in 1936.

Marsden Vanderwaart went on to graduate study at Cornell University, where he acquired his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1940. That year he began his employment with American Cyanamid, in whose research laboratory he had already worked during summers as a graduate student. Married on August 2, 1941, to Barbara M. Hammond in Andover, MA, he took up residence near the company’s lab in Bound Brook, NJ. There, and subsequently with the company in other locales as well, he was a participant in the tremendous wartime and post-World War II growth of the chemical industry. New fields were being explored and new products developed, and “Van” made significant patent contributions to the manufacture of sulfa drugs, aniline, melamine, and nitro benzene, among others.

While residing in New Jersey, Marsden Vanderwaart became active in community affairs, serving as a member of the Bedminster Township’s board of education and as its president for three years. He also served as a unit commander of the Boy Scouts, president of the Lions Club, and as a vestryman of St. John on the Mountain Episcopal Church in Bernardsville.
In 1969, two years after the death of his first wife, Marsden Vanderwaart was married to Helen Gitzendanner Queenan, who had also been widowed.

Following Van’s retirement from American Cyanamid in 1977, the couple moved to Punta Gorda, FL. With a home situated on a canal, and with their 30’ sailboat at the back door, they readily took to the sunshine and water. Van became active in local sailing and boat clubs, and taught basic boating for the Peace River Power Squadron for several years. He also served on Punta Gorda’s board of zoning appeals and as treasurer of the Friends of the Library. In addition, he volunteered as a “wheelchair pusher” at the Charlotte Regional Medical Center.

A man of wide, varied, and lively interests that encompassed woodworking, antique cars, and model trains and boats, he also never ceased to enjoy and appreciate the learning experience of travel. A warm and generous supporter of the College, he maintained close ties with Hamilton until the end.

In 2003, the Vanderwaarts sold their home in Punta Gorda and moved to a life care community in nearby Port Charlotte. There, on February 23, 2006, C. Marsden Vanderwaart died, at the age of 91. In addition to his wife, he is survived by a daughter and son from his first marriage, Barbara Mauer and Peter H. Vanderwaart; three stepchildren, Elizabeth Brouillette and Peter and Robert Queenan; and nine grandchildren. He was predeceased by his brother, Peter D. Vanderwaart ’40, in 2001.
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John Cook Baldwin, Jr. ’37

Who owned and operated a lumber company in California for almost 50 years, was born on August 31, 1915, in Baltimore, MD. A son of John C., Class of 1910, a physician, and Ada Case Baldwin, he prepared for college at the Friends School in Baltimore and enrolled at Hamilton in 1933. He joined Sigma Phi and became much involved with student publications, including The Hamiltonian and The Continental, which he edited in his senior year. Elected to the journalism honorary Pi Delta Epsilon as well as Quadrangle and DT, he also went out for tennis and played varsity football. A member of the Interfraternity Council, and among the student pall bearers at the funeral of Elihu Root, he left the Hill with his B.S. degree in 1937.

John Baldwin’s first employment was as assistant manager of the bond department of Maryland Casualty Co. in Los Angeles, CA. From 1943 to 1946, during World War II, he served in the U.S. Army. By 1948, he had again settled in California, where he entered the lumber business as owner of New Pacific Lumber Co. in El Segundo. With its main yard located near the Los Angeles International Airport, he operated the company until it was sold in 2000. In the meantime, he also owned a horse ranch in Atascadero, north of his home in Palos Verdes Estates, which his daughter managed.

A physically vigorous man fond of golf, tennis, skiing, and sailboat racing, John Baldwin was especially devoted to long-distance running. He participated in 15 marathons, including the New York at the age of 66 in 1981. He also enjoyed writing “mildly racy” short stories, two collections of which he published in 2003.

John C. Baldwin was still residing in Palos Verdes Estates when he died on February 12, 2006, at the age of 90. He is survived by his wife, Virginia Baldwin; a son and daughter, Steven and Cynthia Baldwin; and a granddaughter and a brother.
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John Howland Kuck ’37

An electrical engineer who helped design a weapons device that contributed to the Allied victory in World War II, was born on June 16, 1916, in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. A son of Julius A. Kuck II, a lawyer, and the former Lena W. Johnson, a hospital dietician, he grew up in Kuckville, a hamlet on the shores of Lake Ontario east of Rochester that was named for his great-great-grandfather, the Rev. George Kuck. John Kuck, salutatorian of the graduating class at Albion High School, entered the College in 1933 from Waterport, NY. He joined Lambda Chi Alpha, but having decided upon a career in engineering, left the Hill after two years to transfer to the College of the City of New York. There he earned a B.S. in electrical engineering in 1938, followed by a master’s in that field in 1940 from what is now the Illinois Institute of Technology.

John Kuck was employed for a year by Sunbeam Electric Manufacturing Co., the maker of Cold Spot refrigerators for Sears, in Evansville, IN. He worked on “how to make their refrigerators less noisy.” In 1942, after the U.S. had entered World War II, he began his long and fruitful association with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Silver Spring, MD. During the war he was assigned to a top secret project, designing the radio proximity fuze, which was intended to automatically detonate an explosive when close enough to a target to destroy it.
Originally designed for use against airborne missiles, the fuze increased the effectiveness of such weaponry as anti-aircraft guns. Defense officials, according to The Washington Post in its obituary of John Kuck, “credited the radio proximity fuze with neutralizing the German V-1 bomb attacks over London, with defending against low-flying Japanese suicide bombers in the Pacific and in land warfare against the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge.” For his work in designing the electrical circuits for the fuze, which was also used in the first atomic bombs, Mr. Kuck received the Army-Navy Certificate of Appreciation.

After the war, John Kuck stayed on at the Applied Physics Laboratory and worked on other defense electronics projects, especially radar guidance systems for missiles. He acquired 25 patents in electronics, and by 1970 he had more patents than any of his colleagues at the Laboratory. He retired in early 1984, after 42 years with the lab.

Over the years, Mr. Kuck also did experimental work on aids for the visually impaired. He was himself visually impaired because of a childhood accident that destroyed his sight in one eye, and a subsequent illness that affected the other eye, eventually leaving him legally blind. As an aid for himself and others similarly afflicted, he developed a closed-circuit TV reader that allowed more comfortable reading than did the use of optical magnifiers or strong reading glasses. He built the prototype of the device, which later became available commercially, in his home basement, using various items he had on hand or picked up from a local hardware store. In addition, he developed an audio filing system for the blind.

John H. Kuck, a faithful alumnus and for more than 45 years a resident of Silver Spring, died on May 28, 2006, at a retirement community in Chestertown, MD, in his 90th year. He is survived by his wife, the former Phoebe Hargy, whom he had wed in 1943. Also surviving are a son, George Anson Kuck; a daughter, Sharon Natoli; and four grandchildren. An uncle of John H. Kuck ’54 and great-uncle of Thomas A. Kuck ’88, he was predeceased by his brother, Julius Anson Kuck III ’28, in 1997.
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Daniel Joseph Nicholas ’37

An accountant and cost and budget control specialist long employed by the General Electric Co., was born on March 4, 1914, in Maynard, MA. A son of Joseph M. and Julia Hettie Nicholas, he was reared by his mother in Utica, NY, after the death of his father, a barber. Dan Nicholas, who worked to assist his family financially while attending Utica Free Academy and after his graduation in 1931, came up the Hill from East Utica in 1933. He excelled academically, especially in Greek and philos¬ophy, and was awarded the Winchell Prize in Greek. A member of the debate team, he also won the McKinney Prize Declamation. Elected to Phi Beta Kappa, he was graduated with honors in 1937.

That year, Dan Nicholas began his 41-year career with GE in Schenectady, NY. Married on June 26, 1938, to Tessie Abraham in his hometown of Utica, he continued to reside in Schenectady with his wife until her death in 2002, and subsequently until his own death. While with GE, he served for many years beginning in 1963 as administrator of cost and budget control at Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory, a government-owned facility operated by GE. During his tenure there, he watched the Laboratory grow into one of the world’s foremost developers of nuclear propulsion power for naval submarines and surface ships under the watchful eye of Admiral Hyman Rickover.

Dan Nicholas, who retired from GE in 1979, found much enjoyment over the years in participating in local youth athletic programs. He became involved when his son, a sports enthusiast, was growing up, and it led to a long-term commitment that extended through the school years of his grandchildren. Besides serving as an organizer and president of the Bellevue Little League, he became president of the Schenectady Parks and Recreation Baseball League. In retirement, he also contributed much time to assist his church, Immaculate Conception, with its administrative work, preparing church and school payrolls as well as reports.

Long ill, Daniel J. Nicholas, a faithful alumnus, died on February 6, 2006, at his home in Schenectady, in his 92nd year. He is survived by a son, Daniel J. Nicholas, Jr.; a daughter, Kathleen A. Ferrucci; and five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
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Herbert Thomas Slade ’37

A lawyer and pioneer in providing legal services to the indigent, was born on August 10, 1915, in Syracuse, NY. A son of Herbert F., district traffic superintendent for the New York Telephone Co., and Marie Madigan Slade, he grew up in Utica and entered the College in 1933 from Utica Free Academy. “Bert” Slade joined Lambda Chi Alpha and went out for cross-country and track, lettering in both. He also lent his efforts to student publications, becoming business manager of The Hamiltonian and the freshman handbook, and an editor of Hamilton Life. “A born debater,” credited with using “his hands correctly,” he was chosen for membership in the forensic honorary Delta Sigma Rho as well as the journalism honorary Pi Delta Epsilon. President of the Political Science Club, he was graduated in 1937.

After acquiring his LL.B. degree in 1940 from the Syracuse University College of Law, Bert Slade began his career as a claims adjuster with the Utica Mutual Insurance Co. His career, however, was soon interrupted by enlistment in the U.S. Army in 1942. As a noncommissioned officer in military intelligence, he served through the end of the Second World War. Discharged in early 1946, he became associated with the law firm of Smith, Sovik, Levine & Richardson in Syracuse. On May 20, 1950, in that city, he was married to B. Viola Sullivan.

The previous fall, Bert Slade had left his law firm to incorporate, organize, and direct the Frank H. Hiscock Legal Aid Society in Syracuse. Named after a former chief judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, it was a pioneer local effort to assist those who otherwise could not afford legal representation. Beginning with a staff of two, Bert himself and a secretary, the Legal Aid Society rapidly expanded into an enterprise that, by the 1990s, involved some 20 lawyers handling many thousands of cases, both civil and criminal, annually. Although Bert Slade remained as executive attorney of the Society for only a half-dozen years after its successful launching, he had traveled extensively around the state, helping to set up similar legal aid organizations in other communities. It was his hope that all would reflect his own genuine liking and concern for people, and willingness to lend a sympathetic ear to their legal problems.

In 1955, Bert Slade began his long employment with the Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. as a regional claims attorney, heading its legal department in Syracuse. He became a chartered property casualty underwriter and remained with the company for almost 30 years until his retirement at the end of 1984. In the meantime, he remained active in professional organizations, chairing committees and sections of the New York State Bar Association, including its committee on legal aid. A former first vice president of the Onondaga County Bar Association, he was also an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association as well as an arbitrator and past president of the local chapter of the Defense Research Institute. In addition, he continued to be active in the legal aid field as a lifetime director of the Hiscock Legal Aid Society.

Bert Slade, long a resident of the Syracuse suburb of Camillus, continued for a few years to practice law privately after his retirement from Nationwide. At leisure he enjoyed a wide range of outdoor activities, including golf, cross-country and downhill skiing, hiking, and mountain climbing. At age 68 he climbed Mt. Marcy, the highest mountain in New York State, and followed that a year later with a climb of four more peaks nearly as high. A man of good humor, confessedly addicted to “puns and banter,” he also enjoyed travel as well as writing and photography.

Herbert T. Slade, a devoted alumnus and onetime president of the Central New York Alumni Association, died on April 14, 2006, in Syracuse, at the age of 90. He is survived by his wife of 55 years. Also surviving are a daughter, Susan J. Edmonds; three sons, Herbert B. ’76, William E., and Christopher A. Slade; and five grandchildren, a sister, and a brother.
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William Mannering Woods ’37

A retired publishing company executive, was born on May 5, 1915, to Roger H. and Marian Jennings Woods in Mt. Vernon, NY. He came to College Hill in 1933 from Greenwich, CT, as a graduate of Greenwich High School, and joined Delta Kappa Epsilon. Known for his lively repartee and quickness with a comeback, he went out for baseball and managed the fencing team.

Following his graduation as an English literature major in 1937, Bill Woods was employed in New York City by the Hazeltine Corp., an electronics firm engaged in the development of television. He also clerked in a law office while attending law school at night. In 1941, his reserve unit, the old New York 7th Regiment, was federalized and called to active duty, and he would remain in uniform throughout World War II. Commissioned as an officer in the Coast Artillery and assigned to an anti-aircraft battalion, he served two years in the European theater. In 1943, before Lt. Woods went overseas, he and Anne E. Chilson were married in Chicago, IL.

Discharged in early 1946 as a captain, Bill Woods settled in Chicago, where he went to work for Time Inc. as a member of the editorial production staff of Time and Life magazines. Because Time’s branch office in Chicago provided little opportunity for advancement, he left it in 1948 to join a small local firm that published three business magazines. Engaged primarily in marketing, he eventually became administrative vice president and a part owner of Medalist Publications, Inc. After it was sold to Cahners Publishing Co. in 1966, he stayed on as vice president until his retire¬ment in 1985. For two years longer as a consultant, he worked on special marketing projects for the company.

Bill Woods, a resident of suburban Wilmette, enjoyed spending time at a second home on a lake in southern Wisconsin. There he found pleasure in sailing and fishing, as well as swimming and water-skiing. With his second wife, the former Marian Buerkle, he also enjoyed travel ranging from Europe to Alaska and Hawaii, and including an African safari.

William M. Woods, a devoted alumnus, was residing in Bradenton, FL, when he died on June 12, 2006, at the age of 91. In addition to his wife, he is survived by two stepchildren, Bruce A. Johnston and Janice J. Hooker, and two step-grandchildren.
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Frank Joseph DeVito ’38

A retired high school French teacher, master wood carver, and long a leader in scouting, was a lifelong resident of his native Utica, NY. Born there on January 10, 1914, a son of Raffaele and Olympia Cicchelli DeVito, he first became involved in scouting at age 13 as a bugler at Camp Russell in the Adirondacks. There he was also introduced to wood carving, which became not only his hobby but more of an enduring passion. Frank DeVito, who was graduated from Utica Free Academy, enrolled at Hamilton two years later in 1934, after working for the Depression-born Civilian Conservation Corps. A commuting student and member of the Squires Club, he focused his studies on modern languages and earned his B.S. degree in 1939.

Following his graduation, Frank DeVito worked briefly as a freight handler for the New York Central Railroad and as a substitute languages teacher before joining the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1943. He served in the Pacific theater through the end of World War II and, as a technical sergeant in communications, participated in the invasion of Okinawa. Released from the Army early in 1946, he spent the summer studying French at Middlebury College under the G.I. Bill, and then sailed to France to continue his studies and acquire a diploma at the Sorbonne in Paris. In 1950, he earned an M.A. degree in French at Columbia University Teachers College, and the following year began teaching at Utica Free Academy, his old high school. He retired 25 years later, in 1976, as chairman of its language department.

Active in scouting since adolescence and an Eagle Scout, Frank DeVito spent his summer months as a counselor at Camp Russell on White Lake. For more than 40 years a scoutmaster, as well as a former camp director and longtime program director at Camp Russell, he taught pioneering and woodcraft there for some 62 years. His numerous contributions in the service of the Boy Scouts of America were recognized with virtually every award in scouting, including the Silver Beaver Award and the George Meany National Scouting Award.

Frank DeVito, who learned to carve as a kid at Camp Russell, developed what he termed “a certain reverence for wood.” Despite lack of formal training as a wood carver, he undertook ambitious projects over the years, including every totem pole at Camp Russell. His crowning achievement was a 65-foot high pole covered with brightly painted symbols, some patriotic and some whimsical, and completed in 1993 when he was 82. At the time it was reported to be the tallest totem pole east of the Mississippi. In addition, he enjoyed carving official seals. Among them were the Seal of the City of Utica and the Great Seal of the United States, which were on permanent display in the Council Room of Utica’s City Hall. And, in 1986 he carved and presented to Governor Mario Cuomo the Seal of New York State, which was placed on view in the Governor’s Mansion in Albany.

In 1983, Frank DeVito ended 69 years of bachelorhood by marrying Frances Moretti. They took up residence in his old family home, at one time DeVito’s bakery, on Jay Street in East Utica. He continued active in scouting and as a carver until overcome by Alzheimer’s disease in his 80s.

Frank J. DeVito died on March 15, 2006, in Utica, at the age of 92. In addition to his wife, he is survived by a sister, Lucy Alberico, as well as nieces and nephews.
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George Rhodes Waddington ’38

An educator whose 40-year career encompassed both high school and college teaching, was born on June 5, 1917, in Clark Mills, NY, not far from College Hill. The son of Samuel L.R. Waddington and the former Annie Bailey, immigrants from Yorkshire, England, he grew up in Clark Mills, where his father was employed as a club steward. In 1934, following his graduation from Clinton Central High School, George Waddington, also known as “Waddy,” commuted up the Hill to Hamilton. He played some intramural basketball but his sport of choice was tennis, in which he would have a lifetime involvement.

After receiving his B.S. degree in 1938, George Waddington went to what is now the State University of New York at Albany, where he earned an M.A. in social studies education in 1939. His teaching career began at the Hoosac School, a private boarding school in Hoosick, NY, near the Vermont border. In 1942, however, after the U.S. had entered World War II, he left the classroom to enlist in the Navy under its V-7 program. Most of his time in uniform was spent as a navigation instructor.

Released from the Navy as a lieutenant in 1946, George Waddington moved to Oneonta, NY, when he obtained appointment as a social studies teacher at Oneonta High School. He grew very fond of the city, where he would raise his family and continue to live for the rest of his life. Besides teaching and serving as director of adult education in the Oneonta Public Schools, he chaired the city’s Public Service Commission for three years and was vice president of the Family Service Association. He later served for two years in Oneonta’s Common Council, having been the first Democrat to be elected from his ward.

A great admirer of Hamilton history professor Edgar B. “Digger” Graves, whose teaching he aspired to emulate, George Waddington remained at Oneonta High School until 1964, when he undertook the training of teachers in social studies as an associate professor of education at the State University College at Oneonta. Promoted to professor, he continued to find teaching both challenging and satisfying, and even after his retirement in 1983 he kept his hand in by teaching a current issues course.

Soon after his arrival in Oneonta in 1946, George Waddington organized a summer youth program that included free tennis lessons at the city’s Wilber Park. The program continues today, and in 1999 the city dedicated the tennis courts in Wilber Park, a place he treasured, in his name. Besides playing tennis almost weekly (he was still on the courts in his 80s), he coached the Oneonta High School tennis team for a decade beginning in 1954. His teams compiled a 90% win record, including two State championships.

A firm believer in the educational value of travel, George Waddington began his own global perambulations in 1963, thanks to a Fulbright award for summer study in Brazil. With his wife, the former Frances Sabalskis, whom he wed on July 29, 1944, in New York City, he subsequently toured virtually every continent as well as almost all the countries of Europe. They were often accompanied by their children, for George considered his family the “centerpiece” of his life.

George R. Waddington, a faithful alumnus, died at his home in Oneonta on May 3, 2006. Predeceased by his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Margot L. Vagliardo; a son, George R. Waddington, Jr.; and five grandchildren. Memorial services were held at St. James Episcopal Church in Oneonta, where he had been for many years an usher.
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Paul Beecher Conley ’39

A retired farmer and rural mail carrier who once ran for the presidency of the United States, was born on March 28, 1917, in Jamaica, Queens, NY. The second son of Walter J., an electrical engineer, and Zena Sikes Conley, he grew up in Cranford, NJ, and was graduated in 1935 from Cranford High School. That year he entered Hamilton and covered part of his expenses as a chapel bell ringer, but left the Hill after two years.

Paul Conley held a series of jobs, including clerk, chemical salesman, and junior executive, until 1941, when he was drafted into the U.S. Army. Initially assigned to the original unit of the Airborne Infantry at Ft. Benning, GA, he was commissioned as an officer in 1942. With the Army’s 4th Infantry Division, he landed on the beaches of Normandy on the third day of the Allied invasion in June 1944. He was subsequently in charge of the first unit to pierce the German lines through the hedgerows west of St. Lo, which helped clear the path for the final Allied push to Paris. Twice wounded, once severely, by shrapnel, and awarded the Purple Heart, Lt. Conley spent a year convalescing in a hospital in England. He was released from military service in 1946, after World War II’s end.

Paul Conley soon took up residence on a farm he had purchased in Schenevus, NY, northeast of Oneonta. On June 25, 1949, he was married to (Alma) Irene Kinney. They reared seven children on the farm, where Paul, despite an inability to do heavy work because of his wartime injuries, raised beef cattle. In addition, he obtained appointment as a rural mail carrier, a position he would hold for almost 20 years until his retirement in 1973.

In the meantime, Paul Conley, a staunch conservative, had developed a lively interest in politics. He unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate in the Republican primary in 1958. Thirty years later, he gained a modicum of nationwide attention at the age of 70 by offering his candidacy in the Republican presidential primaries in New Hampshire and West Virginia. He was out to prove that “average people should be able to run.” Despite a miniscule budget for his campaign, he managed to travel to New Hampshire, but did not have enough money for a West Virginia trip. In the New Hampshire primary, which was won by the first President Bush, Paul Conley garnered 102 votes, somewhat more than was expected.

Paul B. Conley, a faithful alumnus, died on May 24, 2006, at his home in Schenevus, of kidney failure. He is survived by his wife of 56 years. Also surviving are two daughters, Charlene Perron and Paula May; five sons, Davis B., Gavin S., Blair J., Todd S., and Lansen P. Conley; and numerous grandchildren and a brother. Another brother, Meredith S. Conley ’36, father of David H. Conley ‘62, predeceased him in 1981.
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William Sumner Fancher ’39

Who practiced law in Walton, NY, for more than a half-century, was born in that Catskill community on November 3, 1916. The son of Samuel H., also a lawyer, and Veronica Odenkirchen Fancher, he entered Hamilton in 1935 as a graduate of Walton High School. Bill Fancher joined ELS and went out for the Band. He also participated for four years in varsity track as a “general weight man” and in football as a linesman, lettering in both sports. The recipient of the Darling Prize in American History, he was awarded his diploma in 1940.

By that time, Bill Fancher had already begun his studies at Cornell University Law School, where he acquired his LL.B. degree in 1942. Soon after his admission to the New York State Bar that year, he entered the U.S. Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet. Trained as a navigator and commissioned as an officer, he was wed on September 3, 1943, to Elizabeth M. Hawley in Lincoln, NE. (Two children were born of the marriage, William S. and Barbara.)

In 1943, Lt. Fancher was deployed to England as a B-17 navigator with the 711th Bombardment Squadron, 447th Bomb Group, of the 8th Air Force. During the height of World War II he flew 20 combat missions over enemy territory in Europe, earning citations for “courage, coolness, and skill.” On his 21st mission in April 1944, his Flying Fortress was badly damaged by German flak, with three of its four engines out of commission and all of its officers wounded. Thanks to a heroic pilot and Bill’s navigation, despite his suffering pain and loss of blood from a severe leg wound, the plane managed to limp back to the English coast. There the remaining engine caught fire and the crew, including Bill, had to bail out before it crashed. Awarded the Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters as well as the Purple Heart, he was discharged as a first lieutenant after the war’s end in 1945, following recuperation in England.

Bill Fancher returned to his hometown east of Binghamton and went into law partnership with his father. After his father’s death in 1948, he continued in solo practice while also taking an active part in Walton community affairs. Beside serving as attorney for the Town of Tompkins and tax agent for the New York, Ontario & Western Railway, he became a trustee of the William B. Ogden Free Library and treasurer of Christ Church (Episcopal) of Walton. He also chaired the village’s civic improvement committee and its zoning appeals board, and was commander of the local American Legion post. In addition, he was a member for 40 years of the Walton Fire Department.

Bill Fancher, who retired in 2002 at the age of 86, took to outdoor adventures in his younger years, including camping, canoeing, biking and mountain climbing. His travels took him from the highlands of Scotland to Fiji. In later years he still enjoyed snowshoeing on Walton’s local mountain.

William S. Fancher died at his home in Walton on June 10, 2006, in his 90th year. His survivors include two sons and a daughter, Samuel W. and Lincoln B. Fancher ’81, and Sarah Carder, born of his second marriage in 1954 to Lorna McCook, and eight grandchildren and a great-grandchild. He predeceased by 10 weeks his third wife, Aaltje (Ali) Berends Fancher, whom he had married in 1977.
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Martin Foster Hilfinger, Jr. ’39

A pathologist and medical educator, former county medical examiner, and a onetime trustee of the College, grew up in Syracuse, NY, where he was born on August 3, 1918. The eldest son of Martin F., a shoe company executive, and Rose Newcomb Hilfinger, he entered Hamilton in 1935, following his graduation from Nottingham High School. “Marty” Hilfinger soon drew attention as an athlete and student leader. He played varsity baseball and football, lettering in both sports, and was co-captain of the football team in his senior year. Elected to membership in all four class honoraries, Quadrangle, DT, Was Los, and Pentagon, he also served as president of the Executive Council and of the Interfraternity Council as a member of Psi Upsilon. In addition, his academic work in demanding premedical studies earned him election to Phi Beta Kappa. Highly popular with his fellow students and the recipient of the prestigious James Soper Merrill Prize, he left the College with his B.S. degree in 1939.

Marty Hilfinger thereafter went back to his hometown to enter the Syracuse University College of Medicine. After U.S. entry into World War II, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Medical Corps Reserve. On December 19, 1942, while still a medical student, he was wed to Nancy Taylor in Syracuse. Upon receiving his M.D. degree summa cum laude in 1943 and completing an internship in Cleveland, OH, he went on active duty and was assigned to various military hospitals in the States and in France and Germany. Discharged as a captain in 1946, he returned to Syracuse’s medical college (which became the State University of New York Upstate Medical Center) and joined its pathology department. He would spend the next 17 years in teaching, doing research, and serving as attending pathologist at community hospitals.

In 1963, when the office of medical examiner was established in Onondaga County, Dr. Hilfinger left the Medical Center, where he was an associate professor of pathology, to become the county’s first full-time medical examiner. It was a post he would hold with great distinction for two decades until his retirement in 1983. With his attention to detail and dedication to his work, along with his gentle compassion in a “sometimes grizzly business,” he earned high professional respect as a forensic scientist.

A specialist in the pathology of cancer, Dr. Hilfinger conducted research in that field, which was recognized by the New York State division of the American Cancer Society with its annual award in 1956. He was also a member of the division’s board of directors and chaired its medical services and advisory committee. Among his community activities were leadership roles in the Boy Scouts of America and the Syracuse Boys Club as well as serving as a church deacon, trustee, and lay preacher. A deeply religious man, he was, especially in his later years, profoundly devoted to his evangelical Christian faith.

In addition, Dr. Hilfinger was for many years a highly active alumnus. He co-chaired the Friends of Hamilton Fund during the late 1940s and served as vice president of the Society of Alumni. In 1963, he was elected as an alumni trustee and served a six-year term on the College’s board.

Martin F. Hilfinger, Jr., a lifelong resident of the Syracuse area, died in Syracuse on February 2, 2006. In addition to his wife of 63 years, he is survived by a son, Martin F. Hilfinger III ’66; two daughters, Sarah Tomb and Johanna (Heidi) Wilson; seven grandchildren, including Martin F. IV ’95; and four great-grandchildren and a brother, Robert N. Hilfinger ’50. Dr. Hilfinger was predeceased by his brother Donald E. ’50 in 2005.
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William Allenby Jones, Salutatorian ’39,

A retired systems analyst and an exceedingly devoted alumnus, was born on May 21, 1918, the younger son of Thomas G., a linotype operator, and Grace Brady Jones, in Utica, NY. Allenby Jones came up the Hill from Utica Free Academy in 1935 and soon acquired recognition for both his academic achievements and his debating prowess. He captured first prize in the McKinney Debate and the McKinney Declamation, and was elected to the forensic honorary Delta Sigma Rho. An early member of the Squires Club, on whose executive committee he served, he also joined the Charlatans and managed the soccer team in his senior year. Having earned honors in economics, political science, and public speaking, as well as a Phi Beta Kappa key, he left the Hill after delivering his salutatory address in Latin, as was then still customary.

Allenby Jones then headed to Cambridge, MA, and Harvard Law School, where he quickly decided that a legal career no longer appealed to him. During World War II he volunteered for military service but failed the physical examination. He then moved to Detroit, MI, where he found work with General Motors and subsequently with R. P. Scherer Corp. as an auditor. In his spare time he took up golf as well as bridge, of which he became a life master. In addition, inspired by Professor Berrian Shute while at Hamilton to appreciate music, he took to concert-going.

In 1957, motivated in part by the opportunity to golf year-around, Allenby Jones decided to join his sister in California. He moved to Los Angeles, where he found employment in the systems department of Richfield Oil Corp. (later Atlantic Richfield). The use of computers in the corporate world was then in its beginning stages, and he became involved with the practical application of the new and challenging technology. Promoted to budget analyst, he took early retirement from the oil company in 1976 as supervisor of systems and procedures, having decided to become “a full-time golfer.” He and his sister moved to Mission Viejo, where they shared a house, and where Allenby had the opportunity to play rounds of golf virtually every day of the week.

Besides earthquakes and varied golf courses, California introduced Allenby Jones to wine. He became a dedicated oenophile who could be depended upon to generously share his latest vintage find with any visitor to his home. In later years, when a knee problem somewhat limited his golf outings, he found welcome solace in literature and music. A cultured man of wide and remarkably varied interests, and a stimulating conversationalist, he was not only well read but also well versed in world affairs.

Allenby Jones, a onetime president of the Lower Michigan Alumni Association and Alumni Council member, remained ever grateful to the College for the love of literature and music that it had instilled in him. A lifelong bachelor who lived modestly and invested wisely, he expressed his gratitude to Hamilton by generous means.

W. Allenby Jones died on January 17, 2006, of coronary artery disease. Predeceased by his sister, Grace Dee, in 1999, and his brother, Thomas G. Jones ’32, in 1973, he is survived by a nephew, Leslie Jones.
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Harry Evenden Judson ’39

An ophthalmic surgeon long prominent in his field in western Massachusetts, was born on December 20, 1916, to David H., a civil engineer, and Helen Evenden Judson, a musician, in Rome, NY. Harry Judson, known as “Juddy,” grew up in nearby Syracuse and attended Syracuse Central High School, where he became president of the student body, and entered Hamilton following his graduation in 1935. He joined Alpha Delta Phi and served as its house president in his senior year. He also sang for four years in the Choir and lettered in baseball, hockey, and soccer. An elder of the College Church, he was elected to Quadrangle, DT, and Was Los.

In 1939, with his diploma in hand, Harry Judson went on to the Syracuse University College of Medicine. He obtained his M.D. degree in 1943, and on April 24 of that year, was married to Barbara B. Hopkins in Syracuse. After having interned at Syracuse Medical Center hospitals, Dr. Judson served a three-year ophthalmology residency at Manhattan Eye and Ear Hospital in New York City.

In 1946, Harry Judson established his private practice as an ophthalmic surgeon in Pittsfield, MA. During his more than 30 years of practice he served as chief of the ophthalmology and otolaryngology divisions of the Berkshire Medical Center, Hillcrest Hospital, and St. Luke’s Hospital, as well as a member of the executive board of each. A diplomate of the National Board of Medical Examiners and elected president of the Eastern New York Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Association, he also served on the teaching staff of the Albany and Berkshire medical centers. Credited with performing the first successful corneal transplant in western Massachusetts, he concluded his distinguished medical career with retirement following a serious boating accident in 1977.

Outside of his practice, Harry Judson pursued a great variety of athletic interests, including hockey, skiing, sailing, golf, and tennis. He was an active member of the National Ski Patrol and medical director of its New England district. In addition, he was a past president of the Pittsfield Rotary Club and head deacon and executive committee member of the First Congregational Church in Pittsfield.

After his retirement, Harry and Barbara Judson spent most of the year in Bonita Springs on the west coast of Florida. They subsequently sold their house in Pittsfield and moved 12 miles away to Canaan, NY, where they resided during the summer months. Year-around, whenever he and Barbara were not playing tennis or bridge, gardening, or traveling extensively, Juddy boated and fished. While in Florida, never idle, he also did volunteer work as a tax counselor and coordinator for the AARP Tax Counseling Service and served as president of the Bonita Beach Home Owners Association.

Highly active for many years in alumni affairs, Harry Judson organized and procured the charter for the Southwest Florida Alumni Association and became its first president. He was also a former vice president of the Alumni Council and regularly attended reunions as president of his class.
Harry E. Judson died on February 9, 2006, in Bonita Springs, of complications from Parkinson’s disease and pancreatic cancer. In addition to his wife of 62 years, he is survived by two daughters, Lynn E. Judson and Deborah Judson-Ebbets; a son, Peter H. Judson; and eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
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Camillo Frederick Petri ’39

A retired insurance company administrator, was born on May 13, 1916, in Boston, MA. A son of G. Hector and Gertrude Bement Petri, he entered Hamilton in 1935 from Brookline, after preparation at the Belmont Hill School in Belmont, MA, and Wassookeag School in Dexter, ME. Adept on skis since boyhood, “Cam” Petri, also known as “Pete,” joined the College’s ski team and became treasurer of the Ski Club. A member of Sigma Phi and elected to Quadrangle, he was also active in the Camera Club and served as art editor of The Hamiltonian.

Soon after receiving his B.S. degree in 1939, Cam Petri entered the insurance field. He was employed by a life insurance company in Michigan when, on June 20, 1942, he was married to Barbara Grinnell in New Bedford, MA. He subsequently began his long employment with the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co. in Boston, first in claims and later in administration. He retired for reasons of health in 1979.

In 1986, Cam Petri moved from Weston, MA, to Castine, on Penobscot Bay in Maine, where he became an active member of the community’s Historical Society, Golf Club, and Episcopal Church. In Castine he continued skiing, gardened, and did watercolor painting to his heart’s content, often recording on canvas scenes along the coast and the flowers from his garden. He was an accomplished painter and his works were exhibited in many shows in Boston as well as locally.

Surrounded by his family, Camillo F. Petri died on May 20, 2006, a week after his 90th birthday. He was a loyal alumnus and onetime president of the Eastern New England Alumni Association. Predeceased by his wife in 1989, he is survived by three sons, Mark S., Frederick G. ’68, and Matthew D. Petri; a daughter, Daphne B. Petri K’72; and 11 grandchildren and a brother.
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Contact Information

Stacey Himmelberger

Editor, Hamilton Alumni Review
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
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