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Alumni Necrology

Robert Eugene Hubbard ’70

Robert Eugene Hubbard ’70, most recently engaged in retail sales, was born on September 26, 1948, in Oswego, NY. The eldest son of Howard E. and Martha Davis Hubbard, he grew up in Pulaski, northeast of Oswego, and was graduated from Pulaski Academy and Central School in 1966. Bob Hubbard entered Hamilton that year, and while on the Hill he sang for four years in the Choir and trouped with the Charlatans. He majored in English and was awarded his diploma in 1970.

Bob Hubbard thereafter served for 3 1⁄2 years in the U.S. Air Force. Stationed in Korea during that Vietnam War era and employed as a linguist, he briefly worked in consumer credit following his return to civilian life. He subsequently spent a decade as a traveling portrait photographer, instructor, and supervisor for Olan Mills, the portrait studio chain. Married in June 1983 to Paula T. McFarlane, he moved the following year with his wife and infant son from Albany, NY,
to Maine.

Bob Hubbard, while working as a night auditor, substitute teacher, and radio announcer, pursued teaching credentials by taking courses at the University of Maine. After 3 1⁄2 years in the classroom, however, he moved into retail sales, first for Service Merchandise and later with Radio Shack. On the side he continued to engage in photography as a ski portraitist at the resort complex  Sugarloaf/USA.

Robert E. Hubbard, a resident of Pittsfield, ME, where he was a past president of the Kiwanis Club and board member of the Pinnacle Ski Club, died on June 21, 2006, at his home. In addition to his parents, he is survived by his son, Colin A. Hubbard, and three sisters and two brothers.
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Henry Anthony Opalka ’72

Henry Anthony Opalka ’72, a special education teacher long active in youth and community organizations, was born on May 25, 1950 in Passaic, NJ. The son of Henry J., a maintenance supervisor, and Stella Helstowski Opalka, an elementary school teacher, he came to Hamilton in 1968 from Wallington, Bergen County, NJ, as a graduate of Wallington High School. While on the Hill, Hank Opalka devoted most of his extracurricular time to the Choir. Besides lending his voice to it, he served as its general manager in his senior year. He also served as house manager of Tau Kappa Epsilon and as a member of the Student Senate’s housing committee. He majored in religion and was graduated in 1972.

Hank Opalka returned to New Jersey and his hometown of Wallington. With an interest in youth organizations dating from his involvement in church youth groups while in high school, he became head counselor for the Neighborhood Youth Corps in nearby Passaic. Subsequently employed by the County of Passaic as office manager and coordinator of the area manpower service center for the county’s Employment and Training Administration, he later became executive director of the Passaic’s Boys Club. He went on to earn a master’s degree in special education from New Jersey City University and was a special education teacher at Passaic High School at the time of his death.

Engaged in numerous community activities over the years, Hank Opalka was a past secretary-treasurer of the Passaic-Clifton Optimist Club, co-chairman of the United Way of Passaic Valley, and vice president of the Passaic Inter-Agency Council. He also served as parish council secretary of Most Holy Name of Jesus Slovak National Catholic Cathedral in Passiac. In particular, he spent many hours raising money and working on programs for the benefit of Passaic’s youth.

Henry A. Opalka was still residing in Wallington when he died on January 2, 2006. Unmarried, he is survived by his mother and a sister, Gail Szpyt, as well as a niece and nephew.
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John Taylor Arms IV ’73

John Taylor Arms IV ’73, an Episcopal priest, was born on October 15, 1951, the son of Henry Noyes Arms ’41, a Realtor, and the former Mary Jane Ward, in New York City. John Arms grew up in Connecticut, where he prepared for college at Salisbury School, and enrolled at Hamilton from Fairfield in 1969. Already well-traveled (he had spent three summers on the Classrooms Abroad program in Germany and Austria), he also brought to the Hill an affection for music and a flair for self-expression, especially in writing. A member of Delta Phi, he was graduated with honors in English in 1973.

John Arms later entered the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, where he earned his Master of Divinity degree cum laude in 1978. Ordained to the Episcopal ministry the following year, he served briefly in West Hartford, CT, before accepting a call in 1980 as associate rector of Trinity-by-the-Cove Episcopal Church in Naples, FL. Three years later, he went back to Virginia and there served parishes until 1995, including a decade as rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Lynchburg. He subsequently returned to Naples, FL, and was until 2001 an at-large Sunday supply priest to Episcopal congregations along Florida’s Gulf Coast.

The Rev. John T. Arms was still residing in Naples when he died on April 30, 2006, following a long illness. In addition to his life partner of 12 years, Richard L. Garst, Jr., he is survived by a sister, Suzanne Hawkins. He was predeceased by his father in 1994.
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Peter Wang ’75

Peter Wang ’75, an attorney, was born on July 28, 1953, in New York City. A son of Chinese immigrants David T.C., a systems analyst, and Anne Wang, a programmer, he came to Hamilton in 1971 from Fair Lawn, NJ, as a graduate of Fair Lawn High School. While on the Hill, he ran varsity track and took a leadership role in the activities of the Root-Jessup Public Affairs Council. The recipient of a Hadley S. DePuy Campus Service Award, he majored in economics and was graduated in 1975.

Peter Wang went on to the Georgetown University Law Center, where he was an editor of the Law Journal and earned his J.D. degree in 1978. He settled in New York City and began his career as an associate in the firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. There he met Yasuko Naguchi, to whom he was wed in New York City on May 23, 1981. He continued to be associated with Manhattan law firms until 1985, when he joined the legal department of Avon Products, Inc. Specializing in real estate, environmental, and complex litigation matters, he became associate general counsel of the cosmetics company.

Peter Wang, a highly supportive alumnus who assisted Hamilton with its fund-raising activities, died on June 4, 2006, of liver cancer. Survivors include, in addition to his parents, a daughter, Emi Naguchi Wang, to whom he was devoted, and a brother, Jonathan Wang.
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Douglas Clarke Johnston ’78

Douglas Clarke Johnston ’78, a lawyer who contributed significantly to the promotion of jazz in central New York, was born on June 28, 1956, in Geneva, NY. The only child of Clarke A., a systems analyst, and Geraldine Helmbold Johnston, he grew up in Pittsford, near Rochester, and came to Hamilton in 1974 as a graduate of Pittsford-Mendon High School. Doug Johnston joined Chi Psi and later became treasurer and secretary of the Chi Psi Lodge. Devoted to both music and sports, he kept up with his flute playing and also engaged in a variety of intramural athletics. Besides serving on the Freshman Council and as a campus tour guide, he wrote the “Events of the Week on College Hill.” With a double major in government and English, he was graduated in 1978.

After earning his J.D. degree in 1981 from the State University of New York at Buffalo, Doug Johnston joined the law firm of Mackenzie, Smith, Lewis, Michell & Hughes in Syracuse. Named a partner in the firm in 1989, he concentrated his practice in the field of corporate, banking, and financial law. In addition, he became actively engaged in numerous community and professional organizations.

As an ordained elder of the Park Central Presbyterian Church in Syracuse, Doug Johnston served on its governing board and numerous committees, and in general as a spiritual leader and mentor to young people within the church community. He also found great fulfillment in his work with the Central New York Jazz Arts Foundation, which he incorporated as a legal entity and on whose board he served from its inception a decade ago. Called its “board member extraordinaire,” he diligently worked behind the scenes as the Foundation’s secretary, executive vice president, and, most recently, acting president, to promote Jazz Central, a center for jazz performance, and the summertime Jazz in the Square festival. His efforts reflected his personal passion for jazz and his commitment to music education, as well as “his dynamic and far-reaching cultural vision,” for which the Cultural Resources Council named him a recipient of its 2006 Horizon Award.

Vigorous physically as well as in mind, Doug Johnston remained dedicated to athletics, both as a participant and as a spectator, and it was said that, “Whatever the season, [he] had a sport to play or a team to follow.” With his wife, the former Nancy F. Caple, whom he had wed in Pittsford on May 4, 1985, he also enjoyed traveling and spending summers in the Thousand Islands region of New York. Through the years he maintained friendships with many of his college friends, and especially his Chi Psi brothers.

Douglas C. Johnston, a resident of the Syracuse suburb of DeWitt, had struggled valiantly with pancreatic and liver cancer for almost 15 months before the battle’s end came on May 16, 2006, in Syracuse. Survived by his wife and his mother, he will be forever fondly remembered by his many friends.
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Chandler Frederick Stimmel ’78

Chandler Frederick Stimmel ’78, an investment manager, was born on August 19, 1955, in Albany, NY. The son of Frederick C., a lawyer, and Dianne Knight Stimmel, he grew up in the Albany area and prepared for college at Albany Academy, where he was a cadet major, captained the football team, and also lettered in baseball and basketball. He came to College Hill in 1974 and joined Alpha Delta Phi, later becoming its rushing chairman. He also continued his athletic activities playing varsity football and j.v. lacrosse as well as a variety of intramural sports. Having majored in economics, he left the Hill with his diploma in 1978.

Chandler Stimmel began his work in the financial field as a management trainee with Key Bank in Albany. He was an investment officer for the First Agricultural Bank in Pittsfield, MA, when, in 1987, he and Catherine Walbridge Tulis were married. He later served as an investment officer for the Glens Falls National Bank & Trust Co., and was subsequently for over 12 years a vice president of investment management for Fleet Investment Advisors (Columbia Asset Management) in Albany.

Over the years, Chandler Stimmel remained dedicated to Albany Academy, participating in its activities and serving on the board of its alumni association. He also remained a warm supporter of Camp Dudley in Westport, NY, which he had attended as a boy and where he had spent several summers as a counselor. Throughout his life he continued to be active athletically in an impressive variety of sports ranging from skiing and sailing, kayaking and rollerblading, to badminton and beach volleyball.

Chandler F. Stimmel was residing in Lafayette, CA, when he died unexpectedly on January 30, 2006, of an aneurysm. He is survived by his beloved, Melinda Wilson, as well as his daughter, Jacqueline Stimmel. Also surviving are two sisters. Chandler Stimmel will be well remembered by his friends for his generosity of spirit and good humor.
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Debra Ellen Levere ’79

Debra Ellen Levere ’79, a talent agent and writer, was born on December 24, 1957, to Arthur H., a physician, and Bunny Levere, a guidance counselor. She grew up in the New York City area and entered Kirkland College from Suffern, NY, in 1975, following her graduation from Ramapo High School. Interested in music, she enjoyed composing songs as well as writing poetry and especially reading. While on College Hill she concentrated in creative writing and participated in Antioch College’s Centre for British Studies abroad during her junior year. She received the Wallace Bradley Johnson Prize for her one-act play.

After her graduation from Hamilton in 1979, Debra Levere settled on the West Coast, where she earned an M.F.A. degree in screenwriting from the University of Southern California in 1981. Living in Los Angeles, she soon became involved in the local literary and film scene. Besides writing short stories and working on screenplays, she helped direct films. Employed for some years as a talent agent, she also wrote astrology columns for newspapers and magazines, and was the author of Astrology Rules!, “a totally personal guide to the stars” for teenagers, published in 2001.

Debra E. Levere died on September 3, 2006, in Los Angeles, following a courageous battle with cancer. In addition to her mother, she is survived by a sister, Andrea Mazerov, and a brother, Steven Levere.
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