Alumni Necrology

Paul Joseph O'Rourke '41

A longtime textiles industry executive, grew up in Lyndhurst, NJ, where he was born on July 2, 1920. The eldest of five sons of Hugh D., an accountant and jewelry company president, and Pauline Woods O'Rourke, he enrolled at Hamilton in 1937 from Lyndhurst High School. He joined Delta Kappa Epsilon and became active in the Newman Club and the Musical Art Society. Inspired by Professor of Music Berrian Shute, he developed a great fondness for classical music and especially opera while on the Hill, and it provided him with cultural enrichment for the rest of his life.

Following his graduation in 1941, Paul O'Rourke found employment as a fabrics buyer with Mercantile Stores Co. in New York City. It was the beginning of a highly successful 40-year career in the textiles industry, interrupted only by military service during World War II. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1942, was commissioned as an officer, and served aboard a landing craft that participated in the Sicily and Gulf of Salerno campaigns as well as the D-Day landings in Normandy.

Discharged as a lieutenant after the war's end in 1945, Paul O'Rourke gave thought to graduate study in literature, but the needs of his growing family prompted him to return instead to his job at Mercantile Stores. In 1966, he moved on to Ben Rose Fabrics and became the company's vice president. When it merged with Stafford Fabrics in 1969, he stayed on as executive vice president until 1980. He concluded his career as manager of home sewing sales for New Wave Fabrics (1980-82) and Asco Textiles (1982-85), both also in New York City.

Paul O'Rourke, long a resident of Red Bank, NJ, who loved to sail his sloop, Vagabond, on nearby Navesink River, also enjoyed extensive travel as well as reading, and his passionate devotion to opera remained unabated. He religiously attended performances at the Metropolitan Opera and also collected historical operatic recordings. In sports, he enthusiastically followed the fortunes of the New York Giants in football and the Rangers in hockey, but turned his back on baseball after the Dodgers moved to the West Coast.

Paul J. O'Rourke, an ever faithful alumnus, died on August 25, 2007, with his wife of 65 years, the former Marjorie J. McSorely, in devoted attendance. They had been married on October 22, 1942, in Rutherford, NJ. He is also survived by four daughters, Marjorie Boyle, Kathleen Long, Anne Wolfe, and Teresa O'Rourke '83; two sons, Paul F. '68 and Stephen G. O'Rourke; and 10 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and a brother. He was predeceased by his brother John P. O'Rourke '50 in 1987.
Return to Top

Robert Peter Rich '41

A mathematician and computing center director long associated with the Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory, was born on August 28, 1919, in Lowville, NY, north of Utica. His parents were Charles W. Rich, a builder, and the former Agnes C. Keegan, a teacher. Bob Rich grew up in Lowville, prepared for college at Lowville Academy, and enrolled at Hamilton in 1937. He joined the Emerson Literary Society, became active in the Newman Club, and served as editor-in-chief of the literary and humor magazine Gaboon and Continental. Elected to the journalism honorary Pi Delta Epsilon, "the Latin Bard of Emerson Hall," who was also known for "dreaming up mathematical gadgets with which to baffle the faculty," captured numerous awards for his academic accomplishments. They included the Tompkins Prize in Mathematics and the Arnold Prize Scholarship, capped off by the prestigious Root Fellowship in Science. He was graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1941, with honors in math and Latin.

Shortly after leaving the Hill and months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Bob Rich was inducted into the U.S. Army. He remained in uniform throughout World War II and landed with his unit in Normandy, soon after the Allied invasion. While in France he served as first sergeant of a signal depot company, a rank in which he took great pride of achievement. Discharged from the Army in November 1945, he took advantage of the G.I. Bill to pursue graduate studies in mathematics at Johns Hopkins. While in Baltimore, he met Audrey L. Fairley. They were married on June 27, 1949, in her hometown of Millinocket, ME.

After receiving his Ph.D. degree in 1950, Bob Rich joined the technical staff of the University's Applied Physics Laboratory as an operations analyst, doing research in connection with a guided missile project. Although Dr. Rich's Ph.D. preparation was in theoretical mathematics, he would focus on a wide range of applied problems during his career at the Lab, and especially digital computing. When the Lab obtained its first computer in 1956, he took charge of its operation and served as director of the Lab's computing center until 1985. Thereafter he returned to operations research, working three days a week until his retirement at age 70 in late 1989.

Bob Rich's fascination with computation led him to write programs for music generation and to generate weaving patterns for the loom he had constructed. He also built his own word processing system, published papers on the design of early high-level programming languages, information retrieval, and mechanical proof testing, and wrote one of the first books on sorting algorithms.

Through the years, Bob Rich, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, wore what he described as "a number of other interesting hats." For many years a part-time associate professor of biomedical engineering at the Johns Hopkins Medical School, he also served from 1967 to 1979 as president of the Maryland Academy of Sciences and was assistant director of the Space Telescope Science Institute during its first year.
After his retirement, Bob Rich turned with his characteristic wholeheartedness to ballroom dancing. He not only took to the dance floor but also collected and compiled an annotated bibliography of books on social dance. The collection is now in the Fine Arts Library of the University of Texas. In addition, he found pleasure in motorcycle riding and sailing.

Robert P. Rich, a resident of Austin, TX, for the past few years, died on September 11, 2007. Predeceased by his wife in 1985, he is survived by a daughter, Elaine A. Rich; a son, David W. Rich; and two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. A scholarship fund is being established at Hamilton in Dr. Rich's name and memory.
Return to Top

Paul Clarence De Bernardis '42

An attorney once active in Syracuse, NY, public affairs, grew up in Utica, where he was born on October 12, 1920. The younger son of Paul M. and Lucia Cardarelli De Bernardis, he followed his brother, John F. '40, to College Hill from St. Francis de Sales High School in 1938. Affiliated with the Squires Club and remembered by classmates for his exuberant personality, he transferred to Cornell University after two years on the Hill. Following a year at Cornell, he went on to New York City and took courses at Fordham Law School. He was assistant manager of the Charleston Finance Co. in Charleston, WV, when, in 1942, Marjorie P. Hummel became the first of his several wives.

Later that year, in the midst of World War II, Paul De Bernardis enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He became a photo laboratory technician serving with a photo reconnaissance squadron in Italy. After his release from military service in late 1945, he entered Syracuse University's College of Law and there earned his LL.B. degree in 1948. Admitted to the bar that year, he established his practice in Syracuse and soon became involved in politics as a candidate for Onondaga County Clerk. A Democrat, he later ran, equally unsuccessfully, for a judicial seat and, as an independent candidate, for mayor of Syracuse in 1961. For a time during the early 1950s, he was regional chief of the consumer goods enforcement section of the Office of Price Stabilization in that city.

In 1964, Paul De Bernardis left Syracuse for the West Coast. After residing in San Francisco Bay area, he moved on to Honolulu, HI, and Las Vegas, NV. During those years and in those places, his interest in art collecting (he reportedly had at one time "a warehouse filled with precious art") led him to establish a chain of fine arts galleries that ultimately numbered 11. In 1982, ever restless, he moved once again, this time to Fort Lauderdale, FL, where he did some legal research and consulting in semi-retirement.

Paul De Bernardis was soon back in Northern California to take up residence in Sausalito. Aptly described in his newspaper obituary as "a very colorful and flamboyant man who enjoyed the good life," his remarkably peripatetic adventurousness came to an end in Sonoma, CA, on August 2, 2007. Last married to Nancy L. Gindhart, and predeceased by his brother John in 1993, he has no immediate survivors.
Return to Top

Royd Clifton Lutz, Jr. '42

A retired corporate credit manager, was born on December 7, 1919, to Royd C., a lawyer, and Esther Swanson Lutz, in Northport, NY. He grew up on Long Island and was graduated from Manhasset High School, where he quarterbacked the football team. He came to College Hill from Manhasset in 1938. According to The Hamiltonian, he led "a triple existence as a good student, expert goalie, and a house party habitué." He played varsity football as well as tennis, and became a stalwart of Albert I. Prettyman's hockey team during the final phase of his distinguished coaching career. Elected to Quadrangle and chosen to serve on the Intramural Council, Royd Lutz, a member of Chi Psi, left the Hill with a B.S. degree in 1942.
A month after his graduation, he was ordered to active duty with the U.S. Navy and assigned to naval pre-flight school. Commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps, he served as a pilot and flight trainer through the end of World War II and was discharged as a captain in 1946. That fall, he went to work in the credit department of Universal Atlas Cement Co., a division of U.S. Steel Corp., headquartered in New York City. On the side, he took courses in accounting at Columbia University and the New York Institute of Credit.

After leaving Atlas Cement in 1962 and working a couple of years for a bank in Brooklyn, Royd Lutz became credit manager for United Board & Carton Corp., a paper-board and folding-carton manufacturer, also in New York City. In 1970, he joined Plessey Consumer Products in Plainview, NY, distributors of the British-manufactured Garrard record changer for phonographs. He remained with that company until his retirement in 1981.

Royd Lutz was married to Joan Fisher Callahan in 1955, and the couple took up residence in Sea Cliff on Long Island. There he kept busy playing tennis, gardening, and doing some volunteer work in the village. He was also a fan of photography and, with his wife, enjoyed travel. He remained a faithfully supportive alumnus of the College throughout his life.

Royd C. Lutz, Jr., who had continued to reside in Sea Cliff, died on June 22, 2007, leaving his wife of almost 52 years. Also surviving are a stepdaughter, Patricia Callahan, and a niece and three nephews.
Return to Top

Claude William Butler, Jr. '45

A retired power plant operator and lifelong resident of Bainbridge, NY, was born in that town northeast of Binghamton on June 19, 1922. The son of Claude W., a purchasing agent, and Virginia Arakelian Butler, he was graduated from Bainbridge Central High School in 1941. He entered Hamilton that fall, joined Lambda Chi Alpha, and went out for football, but left the Hill after a semester. In 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served as a petty officer through the end of World War II. After the war he was employed by New York State Electric & Gas Co. and was a controller and operator at its local plant until his retirement in 1983.

An ardent baseball player during his youth and a diehard Yankees fan, "Bill" Butler also enjoyed card playing and especially bowling. In 1991, he earned induction into the Tri-County Bowling Hall of Fame.

C. William Butler, Jr. died on August 12, 2007, at his home in Bainbridge. He is survived by his wife, the former Eleanor Meek, whom he had married in 1949. Also surviving are two sons, Ralph and William Butler; two daughters, Judy Volkert and Virginia Blair; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Return to Top

Roderick John Coupe '45

A free-lance writer who resided for more than half a century in Paris, France, grew up in Utica, NY, where he was born on September 4, 1922. A son of Leo O. Coupe '10, a lawyer, and the former Helen L. FitzGerald, he was a nephew of Arthur V. '08 and Henry F. Coupe '21. Following his graduation from Utica Free Academy in 1941, "Rod" Coupe took courses at Georgetown University before transferring to Hamilton in the summer of 1942. In early 1943, in the midst of World War II, he left the College to enter the U.S. Army Air Corps. In less than a year he was back on the Hill to resume his studies. A member of Delta Kappa Epsilon, he excelled in French, was awarded the William P. Shepard Prize in that language, and was graduated with honors in French in 1945.

In 1953, after employment in publishing in New York City, he moved permanently to Paris. There he became a free-lance writer, researcher, and editor, and was for a time an art critic for the International Herald Tribune. Motivated by a keen interest in art, architecture, and history as well as literature, he traveled extensively. In Paris, he struck up acquaintances with many people who were prominent in artistic, literary, and social circles, and he was often interviewed for books about them by biographers. Although decrying the "politically correct" trends on College Hill, he remained a loyal alumnus throughout his life.

Roderick J. Coupe died in Paris on August 2, 2007. He is survived by his close friend of many years, James (Jimmy) Douglas, as well as a brother, a sister, and nieces and nephews, including James W. Coupe '71. He was predeceased by his brother, J. Leo Coupe '39, in 1995.

Schofield Duy Hutchison '45, a community leader who retired after 36 years in his family's insurance business, was born on June 13, 1922, in Harrisburg, PA. The son of Franklin S. and Josephine Duy Hutchison, he grew up in Bloomsburg, PA, was graduated from Bloomsburg High School, and prepared for college at Harrisburg Academy. S. Duy Hutchison, known as Duy, entered Hamilton in 1941. He joined Sigma Phi and went out for basketball and tennis. After two years, he left the Hill to go on active duty with the U.S. Navy and received training in its V-12 program at St. Lawrence University. Commissioned as an officer, he served for 22 months in the South Pacific during World War II. Released from the Navy as a lieutenant (j.g.) in 1946, he returned to the College that year and resumed his studies. He also sang in the Choir and became a member of the Honor Court. Elected to DT and Was Los, and head of the Sig House in his senior year, he left the Hill with his diploma in 1947.

After brief employment as a manufacturer's representative in Syracuse, NY, Duy Hutchison returned to his hometown of Bloomsburg, where he joined the staff of radio station WLTR. On September 18, 1948, in Bloomsburg, he was married to Edith E. De Mott. In 1950, he joined his father in the family business, Hutchison Insurance Agency, Inc., and subsequently became its president and owner. He also became highly active in community affairs as a director of the Bloomsburg Chamber of Commerce, the Public Library, and the local chapter of the American Red Cross, as well as president of the Rotary Club and the United Fund. In addition, he served as a trustee of St. Paul's Episcopal Church and a director of Bloomsburg Bank-Columbia Trust Co. Honored in 1956 as "Young Man of the Year" for his "remarkable leadership" in community activities by the Bloomsburg Junior Chamber of Commerce, he also received in 1969 the Boy Scout of America's Silver Beaver Award for his numerous contributions to scouting.

Remarking that his future plans included "an effort to know our grandchildren better, some travel, and all other worthwhile pursuits," Duy Hutchison retired from the insurance business in 1986. An ever faithful and supportive alumnus who assisted the College in its fund-raising activities and served as class correspondent for this magazine, he maintained his close ties to Hamilton and attended class reunions without fail.

S. Duy Hutchison, who had moved five years ago from Bloomsburg to a retirement community in Newtown Square, PA, died there on August 3, 2007. Predeceased by his wife in February 2006, he is survived by his son, the Rev. Jonathan S. Hutchison '74, and daughter-in-law, Deborah Pender Hutchison K'73, as well as two grandsons and a sister.
Return to Top

Lawrence Cleveland Libby, Jr. '46

A retired federal government employee and consultant, was born on June 6, 1924, to Lawrence C., a farmer, and Clara Wiswall Libby, in Randolph, VT. He prepared for college at Lawrence Academy in Massachusetts and enrolled at Hamilton in 1942. However, expecting soon to be drafted into military service, he withdrew from the College after a semester. Issued his Army uniform shortly thereafter, he was assigned to a specialized training program in mechanical engineering at the University of Missouri, only to conclude his World War II service as a rifleman.

Larry Libby returned to College Hill in the spring of 1946 to resume his studies. With attendance at summer sessions, he completed graduation requirements by the end of 1948 and was awarded his diploma in 1949. A member of Chi Psi, he left the Hill having earned a reputation as one who possessed a sympathetic ear and who "could always be counted on in a pinch."

After two years at the University of Maryland Law School, Larry Libby became a civilian employee of the U.S. Department of the Army, working in personnel. For 30 years until his retirement, he was engaged in various assignments as a personnel officer in Germany and France as well as in the States. He was with the Army Materiel Command when he retired in 1980. Thereafter, from his home in Arlington, VA, he continued to work part-time as a consultant in the fields of management and personnel.

Lawrence C. Libby, a faithful alumnus, was still residing in Arlington when he died on May 6, 2007. He is survived by his wife, the former Nicole Guionnet, whom he had married in 1965, and their daughter, Corinne. Also surviving are three children, Susan, Lawrence C. III, and Jennifer, born of his previous marriage, to Nancy Houghton in 1947.
Return to Top

Walter Nelson Van Popering '49

A Reformed Church in America pastor whose ministry extended through 38 years, was born on July 3, 1928, in Bay Shore, NY. The only son of Walter D., a carpenter and building contractor, and Cornelia De Graff Van Popering, a dressmaker, he grew up on Long Island, where he was graduated in 1945 from Sayville High School. Walt Van Popering, also known as "Van," arrived on College Hill for the 1945 summer session and was present on the memorable occasion when students rang the Chapel bell incessantly in celebration of V-J Day and World War II's end. Years later he confessed to also having been present as one of the two culprits who, nude in the middle of the night, plopped the Burma Shave sign in the College fountain. Exceedingly likable and witty, "the towering court jester of Soper Commons" was already drawn at that time to a religious vocation and was active in the Student Christian Association.

Following his graduation with honors in 1949, Walt Van Popering entered New Brunswick Theological Seminary. While pursuing his studies, he assisted Reformed ministries in New Jersey. He received his B.D. (later M.Div.) degree and was ordained in 1953. That year, he began his own ministry at the Wallkill Reformed Church in Wallkill, NY, where he would serve as pastor until 1972. Called to the First Reformed Church in New Hyde Park, NY, in 1973, he remained its pastor until 1978. In 1980, after a year as interim pastor at Fort Washington Collegiate Church in New York City, he became pastor of the First Reformed Church in Piermont, NY. His last ministry, from 1988 until his retirement in 1991, was at the Reformed Church of Prince's Bay on Staten Island.

Through the years, Walter Van Popering served the Reformed Church in America in various capacities, including two terms as a member of its Board of Pensions and two as a representative to its General Program Council. He also served on its committees in the planning and programming of youth work and the supervision of students preparing for the ministry.

An ardent bridge player, an addiction he acquired while engaged in all-night sessions in South Dorm at Hamilton (he once remarked that it was the only thing he did better than classmate and future famed actor Peter Falk), Walt Van Popering found great pleasure in contract bridge tournaments. Exceptionally skilled at the game, he became a Bronze Life Master in the American Contract Bridge League in 1991 and a Silver Life Master in 2003. In addition to spending time at bridge tables, he indulged his desire to see as much of the world as possible, and his travels encompassed all 50 of the United States as well as Canadian provinces, much of Europe, and many other places as well.

The Rev. Walter Van Popering, ever a devoted alumnus, resided in a home for retired Reformed Church clergy in Bedminster, NJ, until last year, when he moved to a health care center in Bridge­water, NJ. He died there on April 26, 2007. Unmarried and predeceased by his two sisters, he is survived by three nephews.
Return to Top

Dwight Newton Lindley '42

Who for 34 years contributed greatly to sustaining the excellence of Hamilton's English department, was born on the 4th of July, 1920, in Glen Ridge, NJ. A son of Theodore J., a stock broker, and Evelyn Cruikshank Lindley, he grew up in the Garden State and prepared for college at Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts. "Newt" entered Hamilton from Upper Montclair, NJ, in 1938, following his brother, Bryant P. Lindley '35. He joined his brother's fraternity, Alpha Delta Phi, and went out for track as well as soccer, in which he earned a letter. He also contributed his extracurricular time to Hamilton Life as fraternity editor. When a junior, he earned recognition, and envy, as the first of his class to receive faculty permission to keep an automobile "legally" on campus. It was in recognition of his out­standing academic record, culminating in his election to Phi Beta Kappa.

Dwight Lindley, who first heard the radio bulletin about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor while in his room at the Alpha Delt house, enlisted in the U.S. Army shortly after his graduation with honors in English literature in 1942. He had initially tried to enter the Navy, only to be rejected when he was found to be color blind. After serving in the military police and the infantry, he became a master sergeant in the 1263rd Combat Engineer Battalion and accompanied it on the final mad dash by American forces through Germany to the Elbe in the final European phase of World War II. By that time he was a married man, having wed Jane E. (Janie) Morrison, a fellow sergeant (she in the Marine Corps Women's Reserve) in Essex Falls, NJ, on September 2, 1944.

Inspired to enter teaching by the example and "particular brand of magic" of Professor George L. Nesbitt, his mentor at Hamilton, Dwight Lindley enrolled in Columbia University's department of English following his discharge from the Army in 1946. He earned his M.A. degree in 1947, and while pursuing his Ph.D., began his teaching career as an instructor at Bowdoin College. In 1952, after two years at Bowdoin, he returned to Hamilton as an assistant professor and young colleague of Professor Nesbitt's, from whom he once said he had learned all he knew about teaching.

During his early years on the faculty, he primarily taught medieval English literature as well as expository writing, a program he helped develop. Faithfully adhering to the department's high standards and rigorous grading system, he required 12 to 14 papers in his freshman English course during the semester, at least two of which had to be "yes" papers, meaning that they contained no significant grammatical or stylistic errors, in order to pass the course. With patience and understanding combined with acerbic humor and limited tolerance for laziness or sloppy work, he motivated and challenged students to take a firm grip on the English language. He was whole­heartedly committed to good writing derived from sound thinking, and those who survived their experience with him acquired a new confidence in their writing abilities that benefited them throughout their later lives.

After George Nesbitt's retirement in 1973, Dwight Lindley, who in 1958 had received his Ph.D. from Columbia in 19th-century literature (his favorite novel was George Eliot's Middlemarch), took over his Romantic and Victorian literature courses. He also chaired the English department from 1968 to 1974 and served as acting dean of the College in 1974-75. Appointed to a full professorship in 1965 and as the Hamilton B. Tompkins Professor of English Literature, succeeding George Nesbitt, in 1973, he retired from that chair in 1986. However, as professor emeritus, he continued to teach a course a year for several years.

Dwight Lindley's high standards and passion for literature left an indelible imprint on generations of Hamilton students. Although their first impression of him may have been as a "crusty" character, those who were fortunate in becoming better acquainted with him saw the kindness and consideration underneath. Among his colleagues he was known for his wry and frequently biting wit, but also for his thoughtfulness and preference for the succinct. Within the department he readily took on unpleasant duties after customarily remarking, "If nobody objects, I'll take care of this myself." "Like the Victorian figures he admired," as his colleague, Professor of English John H. O'Neill recalls, "he had a strong sense of duty and of responsibility for others."

Although primarily devoted to teaching, Dwight Lindley also wrote articles and edited Adventures in English Literature, a high school text book. But he took particular pride in his most significant scholarly achievement, The Later Letters of John Stuart Mill, 1849-1873, which he edited with Francis E. Mineka '29, and which was published in four volumes by the University of Toronto Press in 1973.

In 1996, Janie and Dwight Lindley left their home on College Hill to reside in a retirement community in Walpole, MA. There, Dwight took loving care of Janie, who had been in ill health for many years. She died in 2001. Up to the end of his own life, he continued to take a lively interest in Hamilton and its well-being. His devotion to the College remained unabated, and was most affectionately expressed in his Half-Century Annalist's Letter, "A Candle in One's Heart," at Reunions 1992.

Dwight N. Lindley died on July 18, 2007, while hospitalized in Norwood, MA. He is survived by a son, David M. Lindley; two daughters, Marguerite (Peggy) Almanas, wife of Robert C. Almanas '75, and Ann Aranguren; and six grandchildren, as well as nephews including Peter M. Lindley '63. Memorial services were held at St. James Episcopal Church in Clinton, where Professor Lindley had been a vestryman and lay reader. Interment was in the College Cemetery.
Return to Top

Contact Information

Stacey Himmelberger

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