Gordon Millard Hayes ’41, president for 25 years of the Hayes National Bank in Clinton, NY, and a former trustee of the College, was born on March 10, 1920, in Syracuse, NY. The younger son of Robert U. Hayes, Class of 1905, and the former Elise Millard, “Gordy” Hayes grew up in Clinton and came to College Hill in 1937 from Clinton High School. He followed his father and brother, Robert U. Hayes, Jr. ’39, in joining Delta Kappa Epsilon. Like his brother, he excelled in ice hockey and became captain of the Continentals’ team. He also played soccer and was a clarinetist in the College Band. Elected to Quadrangle and DT, he was graduated in 1941.
Gordy Hayes eagerly embarked on a business career by entering General Electric Co.’s training program in Schenectady, NY. However, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor soon occurred and brought about a sudden change of plans. Having enlisted in the Naval Reserve, he was called to active duty in 1942, and he served in the U.S. Navy throughout World War II. Commissioned as an ensign, he became a deck and gunnery officer on the submarine tender U.S.S. Sperry and subsequently on the attack transport vessel U.S.S. Mendocino in the Pacific theater.
Released from the Navy as a lieutenant commander in 1946, Gordon Hayes decided to join his father in the banking business. He started out “as a low-level clerk, one small step in prestige and pay above the janitor.” The Hayes National Bank had been operated by members of his family since 1878, when Cory D. Hayes purchased what was then called the Clinton Bank. Gordon’s father became its president in 1925. From bookkeeper, Gordon was promoted to assistant cashier and ultimately elected vice president and a bank director in 1955. He succeeded his father as president in 1960. By that time, the Hayes Bank, just off the village square, had become familiar to generations of Hamilton students as chief local repository of their often meager and occasionally overdrawn bank accounts.
During his long tenure at the helm, Gordon Hayes maintained and enhanced the bank’s reputation as conservatively managed, customer-oriented, and friendly, the epitome of a small-town bank. At the same time he contributed to its growth while assuring its continued financial stability. During his tenure, the bank’s assets grew from $6.8 to $64.6 million. Personable and approachable, Gordon Hayes was modest of demeanor, far from boisterous. An affable gentleman, he acquired the nickname “Smiley,” certainly an unusual sobriquet for a banker. His retirement in 1985 as the last Hayes to head the Hayes Bank (now the NBT Bank) after more than 100 years marked the end of an era.
Gordon Hayes, who had remained in the Naval Reserve, saw his banking career interrupted only once when, in 1951, he was recalled to active duty for 13 months during the Korean War. Meanwhile, he settled comfortably into his hometown community close by his alma mater. Besides enhancing his professional credentials by attending several banking schools, he became involved in local affairs, serving on the Clinton Central School Board, as president of the Chamber of Commerce, and on the boards of the Lutheran Home, the Clinton Cemetery Association, and the Credit Bureau of Utica. He raised funds for the Kirkland Art Center, the community’s Jack Boynton Swimming Pool, and the Kirkland Town Library. As for Hamilton, he was an ever-faithful and beneficent contributor who served as an alumni trustee from 1984 to 1988.
In addition, during the early postwar years, Gordon Hayes took an active interest in the then vibrant local hockey scene. He played on the Clinton Stars team of the Clinton Hockey Club as well as on the College’s alumni hockey squad. His other leisure-time interests encompassed grouse hunting, tennis, cross-country skiing, and gardening, especially at his summer cottage on Lake Champlain. In retirement, he took up canoeing as well as photography. On trips to the Tug Hill area and the Adirondacks, he would focus his camera on wildflowers while enjoying the beauty of nature around him. He remained physically active until his late 80s, playing tennis until he was 89.
During his last years, Gordon M. Hayes was the devoted and faithful caregiver to his wife, the former Elizabeth Smith, whom he had wed in Utica on January 10, 1948. He died while hospitalized in Utica on July 24, 2012, at the age of 92. In addition to his wife of 64 years, he is survived by two sons, Gordon M., Jr. and Nathan M. Hayes; four daughters, Cynthia L. Hayes, Christine Withers, Sarah Schindler, and Martha Smiles; and 13 grandchildren. His brother Robert predeceased him in 2007.
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John Murray Hastings III ’44
John Murray Hastings III ’44, a longtime lawyer in his native Syracuse, NY, and an exceptionally dedicated alumnus, was born on July 12, 1922. A son of J. Murray Hastings, Jr., Class of 1910, an insurance broker, and the former Marion Shove, he attended Pebble Hill School in the Syracuse suburb of DeWitt and prepared for college at Governor Dummer Academy in Massachusetts. In 1940, “Jack” Hastings, along with his brother David, followed numerous members of the Hastings family, beginning with his great-grandfather, George Hastings, Class of 1826, to Hamilton. Jack and his brother joined the family’s fraternity, Sigma Phi, and Jack went out for football, lettering in the sport. In January 1943, after two and a half years on the Hill, he withdrew from the College to go on active duty with the U.S. Army. He served in the Signal Corps during World War II and was stationed in the Pacific theater, including New Guinea, the Philippines, and, finally, occupied Japan.
Discharged with the rank of sergeant after the war’s end in 1945, Jack Hastings returned to College Hill the following spring to complete his studies and acquire his A.B. degree in June 1946. Thereafter, the “house party bartender par excellence” at the Sig house returned to his hometown, where he enrolled in Syracuse University’s College of Law. While in law school he worked during summers at the Hancock & Estabrook firm in Syracuse, earning $15 a week. He joined the firm as an associate after obtaining his LL. B. degree in 1949. Specializing in estate and tax law and retirement plans, he later became a partner in that leading local law firm, and remained with it until his retirement.
Married on September 6, 1958, to Margaret Jane “Peggy” Frey in Syracuse, Jack Hastings took up residence with his bride in suburban Fayetteville. By that time he had already become involved in Syracuse community activities, serving as president of the Lighthouse, an organization dedicated to aiding the blind. In time he also served as president of the Syracuse Boys Club and the Visiting Nurse Association. A director of the Community Church and Planned Parenthood Association as well, he was in addition a member of the board of Manlius-Pebble Hill School and the vestry of St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral.
A former president of the Syracuse Alumni Association and active in planning and attending reunions of his class, Jack Hastings was an exceedingly loyal and generous supporter of the College. He was especially supportive of the scholarship established by his family in memory of his brother, David Shove Hastings ’44, an Army Air Corps pilot who lost his life in a bombing mission over Germany in 1945, during World War II.
John M. Hastings III was still residing in Fayetteville when he died on May 12, 2012, while hospitalized in Syracuse, in his 90th year. Besides his wife of 53 years, he is survived by a daughter, Katherine Cooper Hastings ’82, a former alumni trustee of the College; a son, John M. Hastings IV; and two granddaughters.
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Charles Goodrich Brink ’46, who enjoyed success in three careers, broadcasting, business, and education, was born on April 11, 1924, in Port Dickinson, NY, just outside of Binghamton, where he grew up and would spend most of his life. The son of Victor H., a business manager, and Ruth Goodrich Brink, he entered Hamilton in 1942 from Binghamton’s North High School. “Chuck” Brink joined Chi Psi and soon became involved in the recently established campus radio station WHC, serving as its manager. From “the nether regions” of Root Hall, his “pear-shaped tones” could be heard on the Hill, if not beyond, given the station’s limited transmission range. The winner of the McKinney Prize Declamation and elected to DT, he withdrew from the College after his freshman year to enlist in the U.S. Navy.
After training in the Navy’s V-12 program at Colgate University and Midshipmen’s School at Columbia University, he was commissioned as an officer and assigned to study Russian at the University of Colorado. On October 28, 1944, Ensign Brink and Nancy E. McEwan, whom he had first met one summer when they were both 15, were married in Binghamton. Discharged from the Navy in 1946, after World War II’s end, Chuck Brink returned to Hamilton that summer to take up residence with his bride in Carnegie Hall. He again became involved with WHC, then newly revived, and also became “the deep-voiced backbone of the Choir’s bass section,” in the words of The Hamiltonian. With credits earned in military service, he was awarded his A.B. degree in 1947.
Drawing upon his training in public speaking from Professor Willard B. “Swampy” Marsh, together with his campus radio experience, Chuck Brink began a seven-year career in broadcasting in Rochester, NY. He was a radio and later a television announcer for station WHAM until 1954, when he returned to his hometown to join his father in the business he had founded, Binghamton Industrial Supply Co., wholesale distributors. Chuck became general manager of the company and ultimately its owner and president. He operated the business until 1987, when he sold it, although he continued to work part-time for the new owner for a number of years.
Soon after selling his business, Chuck Brink embarked on his third and final career as an adjunct faculty member in the School of Management’s graduate program at Binghamton University. He found challenges as well as enormous satisfaction in working with graduate students. He chaired the University’s Harpur Forum and was a member of the Binghamton University Foundation. In 1992, he was presented with the Distinguished Service Award by Binghamton’s Alumni Association.
In addition, Chuck Brink was intimately involved in his community. He served for 22 years as a director of the Binghamton Savings Bank, chaired the Broome County Industrial Development Agency, the United Way campaign, and public radio and TV station WSKG, and was president of the Fenton Free Library. He was also president of the Binghamton Rotary Club, an elder and trustee of the First Presbyterian Church, and a member of numerous boards, including that of the Broome County Urban League. As a passionately dedicated Hamiltonian, he was generously supportive of the College, and his benefactions included the Brink Family Scholarship, which he and his wife established.
Charles G. Brink was residing in Danbury, CT, when he died there on July 27, 2012, following a stroke and surgery. In addition to his wife of 67 years, he is survived by two daughters, Barbara Myers and Jennifer Schorr, and three grandchildren, a sister, and nieces and nephews, including E. Allen Mellen, Jr. ’58.
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Francis Chanatry ’46, a surgeon who achieved great prominence in the medical community of his native Utica, NY, and far beyond, was born on October 25, 1923. A son of Syrian-born parents, Raymond and Margaret Ghariba Chanatry, he grew up in Utica, where his father operated Chanatry’s Supermarket, a grocery store that pioneered in self-service in Central New York. “Frank” Chanatry was graduated from Thomas R. Proctor High School in 1941 and came up the Hill to Hamilton a year later, his matriculation delayed by the need for him to help out in the family store. Strongly determined on his future career, he pursued premedical studies in an accelerated program because of World War II. A member of the Squires Club, he withdrew from the College in June 1944 when called to active duty with the U.S. Army. Under military auspices, he soon entered Albany Medical School, where he earned his M.D. degree in 1948. Two years later, following completion of three liberal arts courses at George Washington University to satisfy Hamilton’s graduation requirements, he was granted his A.B. degree.
Dr. Chanatry interned with the U.S. Public Health Service from 1948 to 1950, and became a senior assistant surgeon. He served his surgical residency at the State University of New York’s Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, and was chief resident and instructor in surgery when he returned to Utica after five years in 1955 to establish his private practice of general surgery, a practice he maintained for more than 40 years.
Francis Chanatry became an attending surgeon at all three of the city’s hospitals and chief of surgery at two of them, St. Luke’s Memorial and St. Elizabeth. At St. Luke’s he was also a trustee and president of the medical staff. In addition, he was director of the Oneida County Tumor Clinic. Highly active in medical organizations, he served as president of both the Oneida County Medical Society and the Central New York Surgical Society. Elected a governor of the American College of Surgeons in 1988, he had previously served as president of its Upstate New York chapter.
Dr. Chanatry, a diplomate of both the American Board of Surgery and the National Board of Medical Examiners, was not only a skilled surgeon but highly dedicated to elevating the standards of surgery and the competency of those who practiced it. Among his many contributions to the advancement of the profession was chairing the New York credentials committee of the American College of Surgeons. Beyond his professional activities, he enjoyed travel, which he did extensively, in Asia, South America, and elsewhere.
Francis Chanatry died in Utica on June 3, 2012. Unmarried, he is survived by a brother, Alfred B. Chanatry, and a sister, Yvonne (Doris) Hutchinson, as well as nephews and nieces, including Julie A. Chanatry ’83. Dr. Chanatry was a cousin of Joseph G. Chanatry ’48 and the late Anthony G. Chanatry ’39.
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William Rexford Gilliland ’47, a lifelong resident of the Utica, NY, area, was born in that city on April 14, 1926. A son of Robert M. and Mildred Foster Gilliland, he prepared for college at Lakemont (NY) Academy and enrolled at Hamilton in 1943. After three semesters in residence, “Rex” Gilliland left the Hill to enlist in the U.S. Army Air Corps. Following his discharge from military service after World War II’s end in 1945, he entered Syracuse University, where he earned a degree in business administration in 1948. On September 4th of that year, he and Mary Eileen Dupree were wed in Syracuse.
During the ensuing years until he retired in 1998, Rex Gilliland was employed by various businesses and organizations in the Utica area. He also became engaged in Republican Party politics, serving as an alderman for South Utica and later as a councilman. He was a Board of Water Supply commissioner in 1962-63. In addition, he was an active member of the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, where he served as a lector and Eucharistic minister.
W. Rexford Gilliland, a resident of the Utica suburb of New Hartford, died while hospitalized in Utica on July 19, 2012. In addition to his wife of 63 years, he is survived by two sons, three daughters, and 14 grandchildren.
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Bruce Whitney Huston ’47, a longtime production supervisor with Eastman Kodak Co., was born in Rochester, NY, on October 9, 1925. His parents were Gail W., a structural engineer, and Edna Whitney Huston. He entered Hamilton during the summer of 1943 from Dansville, NY, and remained on the Hill for only that summer term. He left to join the U.S. Navy, in which he served for two years through the end of World War II.
Bruce Huston subsequently earned a B.S. degree from St. Lawrence University and a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In 1949, he went to work for Eastman Kodak in Rochester and became an engineering and maintenance supervisor. Later promoted to production supervisor, he retired after 37 years with the company in 1986. He was an avid sailor who once sailed his 37' boat Invictus all the way to the Virgin Islands.
Bruce W. Huston, long a resident of the Rochester suburb of Webster, died on April 22, 2009, as recently verified by the College. He was survived by his wife, the former Helen Von Guilder, whom he had married in 1953. Also surviving were three daughters, Deborah Amering, Gail E. Huston, and Sarah J. Hestley; a son, Van W. Huston; and eight grandchildren and a sister.
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Robert Donald Slentz ’47, who taught high school science, primarily chemistry, for almost a half-century, was born into a farm family on May 30, 1927, in Norwich, NY. The eldest of eight children of Walter W. and Bertha Davis Slentz, he was graduated ninth in his class of 110 from Norwich High School in 1943. Self-described as “a naïve 16-year-old farm boy from Chenango County,” he arrived on College Hill that fall. Public speaking petrified him and his first declamation in the Chapel was an ordeal. He survived it, leading to ease of confidence that paved the way for his long and highly successful classroom career.
“Bob” Slentz, among the few civilian students on campus during those days of World War II, joined Lambda Chi Alpha. He remained on the Hill for two years until 1945, when his draft board beckoned. However, his time in the U.S. Navy lasted only a year because the war ended while he was still in boot camp. He promptly returned to College Hill to resume his studies with a future in teaching already in mind. Married on June 21, 1947, to Prudence “Prue” Holdridge in Norwich, he took up residence with his bride in an apartment in Clinton during his last year at Hamilton.
Following Bob Slentz’s graduation with honors in biology in 1948, he headed to Yale University to take up a graduate assistantship in zoology. With the birth of the first of Bob and Prue’s eight children, however, financial exigencies compelled him to look for a better paying job. In 1949, he was offered an opportunity to teach at Stamford (NY) High School, and he was soon “hooked on the classroom.” In 1952, he moved on to DeRuyter (NY) High School, where he remained until 1957. That year he joined the faculty of Wheatland-Chili High School in Scottsville, NY, where he became chairman of the science department. While in Scottsville, near Rochester, NY, he served as councilman of the Town of Wheatland, an elder of the Union Presbyterian Church, and a member of the Monroe County Democratic Committee.
Bob Slentz, who earned an M.S. degree in chemistry from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1968, remained at the Wheatland-Chili school for 27 years until 1984, when he returned to the Syracuse area as chemistry teacher and science department chairman at Manlius Pebble Hill School. He continued to teach there, the last few years part-time, until his retirement in 1997. During his long career, he also took time off to teach for several years at the American School in The Hague, Netherlands, and at the American International School in Antwerp, Belgium.
The recipient of many awards, including the University of Rochester’s first annual award for Excellence in Secondary School Teaching in 1984 and recognition as Outstanding Science Teacher by the Syracuse University chapter of the science honor society Sigma Xi in 1988, Bob Slentz was credited with having a highly positive influence on the lives of many hundreds of students, many of whom he motivated to pursue science as a career.
Bob Slentz, who enjoyed travel, especially to visit his far-flung family as far away as Australia, with his wife Prue, once put 7,000 miles on their pickup truck touring the West to see children and grandchildren. Tremendously fond of traditional jazz, he served on the board of the Jazz Appreciation Society of Syracuse. In addition, he enjoyed “dabbling” in black and white photography.
Robert D. Slentz, a loyally devoted alumnus, died in Syracuse on August 19, 2012. Besides his wife of 65 years, he is survived by four daughters, Kristine L., Nancy J., Gail M., and Janet M. Slentz; four sons, Kurt R., Eric D., Karl M., and Andrew P. Slentz ’83; and 22 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, and two sisters and a brother.
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John Habib Hobika ’49, an anesthesiologist who practiced in his hometown of Utica, NY, for more than 30 years, was born in that city on July 27, 1926. The eldest son of Habib H., who had a shoe repair business, and Lucia Nassar Hobika, his family was of Lebanese heritage. John Hobika came up to Hamilton in the summer of 1944 from Thomas R. Proctor High School in Utica, but remained at the College only through the fall semester, when he was called into military service during World War II. He entered the U.S. Navy and, as a pharmacist’s mate, served through the war’s end until the summer of 1946.
That fall, John Hobika returned to College Hill to resume his studies, looking ahead to a future career in medicine. A member of the Squires Club and active in the Newman Club, he was graduated in 1949. He soon entered New York University School of Medicine, where he acquired his M.D. degree in 1954. Following an internship at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse and a residency in anesthesiology at New England Center Hospital in Boston, MA, he joined the teaching staff of Tufts University School of Medicine in 1957.
In 1961, Dr. Hobika returned to Utica, where he practiced as staff anesthesiologist for more than three decades at St. Elizabeth Hospital and chaired its department of anesthesiology for 25 years. He also served as president of its medical staff. In addition, he was director of medical services for the Utica City School District for 20 years. A past president of the Oneida County Medical Society, he retired from his anesthesiology practice in 1992 and from the school district in 1995.
Known as an ardently dedicated physician who combined professional skill with caring concern for his patients, Dr. Hobika was also utterly devoted to his family. He was married to Anna Marie Hadity in Utica on December 29, 1962, and four children were born of their happy union, which ended with Anna Marie’s death in 1992. In 2003, another happy union began when Dr. Hobika was wed to Mary George.
In retirement, John Hobika continued to reside in Utica and lately in nearby New Hartford while spending winters in Florida. He was a passionate golfer as well as a card player, in which he engaged with friends both in Florida and at home.
John H. Hobika, a faithfully supportive alumnus, died at his home in New Hartford on June 9, 2012, after a brief, valiant battle with cancer. In addition to his wife Mary, he is survived by three daughters, Andrea Petrone, Melissa Evolo, and Michelle Jackson; a son, John H. Hobika, Jr.; and 11 grandchildren, a brother, and nieces and nephews, including Joseph N. Hobika, Jr. ’82 and John F. Hadity ’83.
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