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Alumni Necrology

Henry Curry Estabrook '37

Henry Curry Estabrook '37, a retired attorney and business executive, and a former trustee of the College, was born on ­October 1, 1914, in Syracuse, NY. The younger son of Charles S., also an attorney, and Laura Curry Estabrook, he prepared for college at the Berkshire School in Massachusetts and entered Hamilton in 1933 from the Syracuse suburb of Fayetteville. He joined Chi Psi and quickly gained recognition for his qualities of leadership as well as his athletic ability. He lettered in football and track, served as president of the student Executive Council, and chaired the Honor Court. Elected to all four class honoraries, Quadrangle, DT, Was Los, and Pentagon (of which he served as governor), he left the Hill with his diploma in 1937, on his way to Cornell University Law School.

Henry Estabrook obtained his LL.B. degree in 1940, and on September 14 of that year, he and Janet Ash were married in Fulton, NY. The couple settled down in the Syracuse area, where Henry went to work in his father's law office, Estabrook, Estabrook & Harding. He continued to practice law until drafted into military service in 1944, toward the end of World War II. Commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Navy, he worked in connection with defense plant contracting as the war was winding down.

After his release from the Navy in 1946, Henry Estabrook was invited to join the Sealright-Oswego Falls Corp., a paper and plastic container manufacturer in Fulton, in which his wife's family had a substantial interest. Named secretary of the company, he was promoted to executive vice president in 1954 and succeeded his father-in-law, Frank C. Ash, as Sealright's president in 1960. He contributed in no small measure to the company's success in becoming a leading national manufacturer of paper and plastic packaging products. In 1964, Sealright was sold to Phillips Petroleum, and three years later he decided to retire from the company and return to the practice of law.

Early and long active in Hamilton alumni affairs, Henry Estabrook served as president of the Syracuse Alumni Association as well as vice president of the Society of Alumni. In 1959, he was elected to the College's Board of Trustees, and he continued to serve on the board for 12 years. In addition, he was a regional chairman of the Alumni Fund and an Annual Fund class agent for many years.

Besides his contributions to Hamilton, Henry Estabrook was active in community organizations. He served as a trustee of the Fulton Savings Bank, a director of the Marine Midland Trust Co. of Central New York, and president of the Fulton Chamber of Commerce and the YMCA. He was also a senior warden of All Saints Episcopal Church and ­commodore of the Fair Haven Yacht Club.

In 1972, Henry Estabrook retired from his law practice, and he and Janet left central New York winters behind to move to Hilton Head, SC. While there, he took up tennis, until two hip replacements caused him to forego that sport. However, he continued to find exercise in golf, swimming, and bicycling. The Estabrooks also enjoyed travel, especially boat cruises.

Later, with Hilton Head becoming overcrowded, Henry and Janet Estabrook relocated to Clemson, SC. Not long after Janet's death in 1995, Henry moved to Evans in the Augusta, GA, area to be near his youngest daughter. An exceedingly devoted and ­generously supportive alumnus, his interest in Hamilton, and especially in its athletic programs, never waned.

Henry C. Estabrook died on December 31, 2008, at his home in Evans, at the age of 94. He is survived by three daughters, Susan A. Estabrook, Carolyn Frye, and Ellen Ganey, as well as seven grandchildren and a great-grandchild. His brother, Charles S. Estabrook '32, predeceased him in 1998.

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Robert Post Worden '37

Robert Post Worden '37, a highly regarded surgeon who practiced in his hometown of Auburn, NY, for 30 years, was born there on June 30, 1915. The younger son of Frederic E., president and chairman of the board of the National Bank of Auburn, and Bessie Post Worden, he grew up on the shore of Owasco Lake, on land that his mother's family, the Posts, had settled in 1796. Bob Worden followed his brother, Frederic E., Jr. '35, to Hamilton from Auburn Senior High School in 1933 and joined his fraternity, Delta Upsilon. He played interclass football and went out for fencing, but concentrated primarily on his studies, especially chemistry and English. Years later he cited Professor of English George L. Nesbitt as having had "the greatest influence on my attitude toward life and literature."

Bob Worden, credited by The Hamiltonian with the capability of "harmonizing a ribald ballad" on occasion, left College Hill with his B.S. degree in 1937. That year, he entered Cornell University's Medical College, which awarded him his M.D. in 1941. Having accepted a reserve commission as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, he was called to active duty following a year's internship and after the country had entered World War II.

Assigned to the 155th Infantry, 31st Division, as a field surgeon in the Pacific theater, Bob Worden saw combat on New Guinea and in the Philippines. In May 1945, while going to the aid of a wounded infantryman on Mindanao, he received a spinal wound from a sniper's bullet that left him temporarily paralyzed. He spent the rest of that year in and out of military hospitals, including Rhodes General Hospital in Utica, NY, and added the Purple Heart to the Bronze Star he had earned earlier.

Released from the Army as a major in 1946, after the war's end, Dr. Worden returned to New York City and resumed his surgical training at Lenox Hill Hospital. One of the young interns assigned to his service was, somewhat to his dismay, a woman. A newly minted M.D. from New York University, Florentine J. (Flo) Reilly turned out to be not only an excellent intern but his soon-to-be bride. They were married in Manhattan on June 23, 1950, the year that Bob Worden completed his ­surgical residency.

The newlyweds settled in Bob's hometown of Auburn, where they both established their practice. Dr. Robert Worden, the Auburn area's first board-certified surgeon and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, became a physician for the ­General Electric Co. in Auburn. He also served at various times as chief of surgery at both Mercy and Auburn Memorial Hospitals. He found his practice "absorbing, challenging, satisfying, and, after 30 years, exhausting," and he, along with his wife, retired in 1980.

Before and after retirement, the Wordens traveled and took particular pleasure in outdoor activities such as wilderness trail hiking, salmon fishing, and horseback riding. They also enjoyed golf, tennis, and swimming. And Bob, who had shared with his ­fraternity brothers "small, tough portions" of a cock pheasant he had shot during college days on the Hill, continued to enjoy hunting as well, and he had many fine hunting dogs to aid him over the years.

Robert P. Worden, an ever faithful alumnus, died on October 22, 2008, at his home on Owasco Lake near Auburn, at the age of 93. In addition to his wife of 58 years, he is survived by two sons, Mark F. and Robert P. Worden, Jr. '76, and four grandchildren. He was predeceased by a daughter, Joan P. Worden, in 1984, and by his brother, Fred, that same year.

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