Edwin Charles Hoffman ’40, a retired advertising executive who early advocated the use of premiums in merchandising, was born on August 28, 1918, in Queens, NY. A son of Herman H. Hoffman, a business executive, and the former Elsie E. Wallrapp, Ed Hoffman grew up on Long Island and in Utica, NY, where he was graduated from Utica Free Academy. He came up to College Hill in 1936 and joined the Emerson Literary Society. During his three years on the Hill, he majored in English literature as well as languages, hoping to become a teacher. Soon after leaving the College in 1939, he enlisted in the New York National Guard.
When his Guard unit was federalized in 1940, Ed Hoffman went on active duty as a private with the U.S. Army. Commissioned as an infantry officer in 1942, he served throughout the Second World War. Assigned to the 89th Infantry Division of the 3rd Army in the European theater, he participated in the Battle of the Bulge, was cited for bravery under fire, and was awarded the Bronze Star with two oak leaf clusters.
Discharged from the Army with the rank of major in early 1946, Ed Hoffman returned to Utica. Awaiting him were his wife and two children. The former Gwladys Jones, whom he had married on August 6, 1942, at Fort Benning, GA, while he was stationed there, had been his childhood sweetheart. Finding employment with Utica Cutlery Co. as an assistant to the sales manager, Ed was soon transferred to New York City as a sales representative. He subsequently began his career in the marketing of consumer products as a partner in Funke & Hoffman, a sales agency. Its clients came to include a dozen manufacturers offering their products with sales incentives such as premiums. He was president of the New York Premium Merchandising Club and a director (later vice president) of the Premium Advertising Association of America when his booklet, Merchandising Thru Premiums, the first work to treat that subject, was published in 1959.
By the 1970s, Ed Hoffman, also an associate editor and writer for several trade magazines, had become founder and president of Hoffman & Edgette, Inc., sales promotion consultants. Specializing in premium advertising, it was based in White Plains, NY. He later founded a second company, Jones, Ames & Associates, also engaged in sales incentive programs. He was chairman of Hoffman & Edgette’s board when he retired in 1985.
Ed Hoffman, a yachtsman and onetime commodore of the Orienta Beach and Yacht Club as well as vice commodore of Horseshoe Harbor Yacht Club, had long resided in a “golf course” condominium in Southbury, CT. There he enjoyed golf in addition to crafting period furniture as an amateur cabinetmaker and “fiddling around” with making more than a dozen violins and cellos before his eyesight became impaired by macular degeneration. However, he continued to teach violin making, play the cello, and do some painting. He also engaged in genealogical research, tracing his family back to early 16th-century Germany.
Edwin C. Hoffman, a faithful alumnus, died on July 28, 2011, in Bridgeport, CT, in his 93rd year. Predeceased by his wife of 67 years, he is survived by three sons, Christopher R., Edwin C., Jr., and Peter G. Hoffman; two daughters, Pamela Ann Hoffman and Jennifer Ann Lugus; and five grandchildren and a brother.
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Eldred Lockwood Ross ’40, whose career as a teacher of science extended over 60 years, was born on October 10, 1918, in Newburgh, NY. His parents were David J., a merchant, and Susie Mae Lockwood Ross. “El” Ross came to College Hill in 1936 from Newburgh Free Academy and joined the Squires Club. Focusing his extracurricular activities primarily on music, he played in the College Band for four years and was active in the Musical Art Society. Described by The Hamiltonian as the band’s “Scotch drummer,” he earned his B.S. degree in 1940.
Intent upon a career as an educator, El Ross spent a year teaching at Green School, a private boarding school in Dutchess County, NY, before joining the faculty of Walden High School (later part of Valley Central High School), not far from his hometown of Newburgh. There he would continue to teach general science, but especially biology, for 40 years, and chair the science department from 1950 until his retirement in 1981. With his credentials strengthened by an M.A. in science education from Columbia University’s Teachers College in 1944, he gained recognition as an exceptionally talented teacher, and was one of three finalists in the year that he retired as Outstanding Biology Teacher in New York State.
For 57 years as a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Montgomery, NY, El Ross served it as an elder, deacon, and longtime organist. Its “minister of music,” he also continued his lifelong interest in music as director of local church choirs and a member of choruses and glee clubs. He led a life full of activity, which continued throughout his retirement years. Besides serving for some two decades into his 80s as a part-time adjunct professor at Orange County Community College, teaching anatomy and physiology, he traveled extensively in the U.S. and abroad. He was accompanied by his wife, the former Isabelle M. Farr, also a teacher, whom he had wed on August 10, 1945, in Newburgh. El Ross’s travels regularly took him back to College Hill for reunions. Proud of his Scottish heritage, he customarily wore a kilt on those occasions, making him a distinctive presence on campus. President of his class and a faithful supporter of the College, he was recognized for his services to his alma mater with the Bell Ringer Award in 2011, the year before his death.
Eldred L. Ross died on March 8, 2012, at his home in Walden, in his 94th year. Predeceased by his wife in 1989, he is survived by three daughters, Cheryl Shaskan, Heather Benedict, and Holly Noble, wife of Robert A. Noble III '78. Also surviving are four grandchildren.
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John Lewis Matt ’41, a longtime funeral director in his hometown of Utica, NY, was born on April 9, 1921, to Anthony F. and Lena Ida Viscosi Matt, in Boston, MA. John Matt, a nephew of Paul Matt ’22 and cousin of Louis C. Matt ’42, grew up in Utica and came to College Hill at the age of 16 from Utica Free Academy. He joined the Squires Club and continued to take courses on the Hill for years. He left the College in 1940 at his father’s behest to prepare for joining the family business, the Matt Funeral Home, which had been founded by his father in 1914. He began his training at the Renouard School for Embalming in New York City, and on October 5, 1941, while employed in the City as an apprentice embalmer and undertaker, he was married to Grace G. Massaro.
Drafted into the U.S. Army in 1942, John Matt served for 27 months overseas, primarily in North Africa and Italy, during World War II. He was assigned to graves registration and also acted as an Italian and French interpreter. Discharged as a staff sergeant at the end of the war, he returned to Utica, where he soon took over direction of the Matt Funeral Home, following his father’s death in 1947. A year later, it was renamed Matt Funeral Service, Inc. He operated the business until his retirement and move to Boca Raton, FL, in 1975.
John L. Matt, a past president of the Oneida-Herkimer-Madison Counties Funeral Directors Association, died on December 10, 2011, while hospitalized in New Hartford, NY, in his 91st year. In addition to his wife of 70 years, he is survived by four daughters, Maria Elena Zegarelli, Christine Bucheli, Elissa Rose Pratt, and Jeanine Kawryga; two sons, Anthony F. II, who now operates the family business, and John L. Matt, Jr; and nine grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and a sister.
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Richard Stephen White ’41, who practiced law in Seattle, WA, for more than a half-century, was born on May 5, 1920, to Paul M. and Margaret Connick White, in New York City. He entered Hamilton from Phillips Academy Andover in 1937 and joined Alpha Delta Phi, later becoming its house president. In addition to playing varsity soccer and managing the golf team, and being active in the Newman Club, “Rich” White assiduously labored for four years on the staff of Hamilton Life. He served as its editor-in-chief in his senior year. Secretary of the Publications Board, he was elected to the honorary journalism society Pi Delta Epsilon. Upon his departure with a B.S. degree in 1941, The Hamiltonian commented that “with him goes much of the wit from the Hill.”
That fall, Rich White enrolled in Yale Law School. Soon, however, with the U.S. entry into World War II, he joined the Marine Corps. He studied Japanese under U.S. Navy auspices at the University of Colorado in Boulder, and became a combat intelligence officer with the 28th Marine Regiment in the Pacific theater. He was “lucky enough to survive” combat on Iwo Jima, where his interpretation of a captured Japanese map disclosing details of the defense of Mount Suribachi was credited with having “materially aided the successful conclusion” of the monumental battle for that island. In addition, for his efforts to coax Japanese soldiers out of their caves to surrender, he was awarded the Bronze Star.
After the war’s end, Rich White was stationed as a captain with occupation forces in Japan. He returned to civilian life and Yale Law School in 1946, served on the editorial board of the Yale Law Journal, and earned his LL.B. degree in 1947. On July 26 of that year, he and Kathrin Pool, whom he had met when she was an undergraduate at Colorado, were married in Evanston, IL. The Whites promptly departed for Seattle, where Rich established his law practice and he and “Kaki” brought up their six “red-headed” children.
Rich White, who never regretted leaving the East “for the wilds of the Pacific Northwest,” joined the firm that eventually became known as Helsell Fetterman. It was the beginning of his long and distinguished career as a partner and commercial litigator with the firm, which continued until virtually the end of his life. Specializing in construction, utilities, and antitrust work, he defended trade regulation cases and represented the City of Seattle as special counsel for the construction of Gorge Dam and in contractor claims for City Light involving powerhouse and dam construction. He also obtained Federal Power Commission licenses for the Boundary and High Ross dams. From his residence on Bainbridge Island in Puget Sound, he commuted to his office by ferry.
Known by his colleagues and clients for his hard work, integrity, and vigorous advocacy, Richard White was also admired for his good humor and personal warmth. Active in community organizations and civic affairs, and a onetime Junior Chamber of Commerce “Man of the Year,” he also served Hamilton as president of the Pacific Northwest Alumni Association and a member of the Alumni Council. For relaxation he enjoyed tennis and skiing with his grandchildren.
Richard S. White died on January 17, 2012, at the age of 91. Predeceased by his wife Kaki in 1975, and by his second wife, the former Susan G. Pettersen, whom he had married in 1978, he is survived by four daughters, Sarah, Christine, Margaret, and Mary; a son, Samuel B. White; and two stepchildren and four grandchildren. He was predeceased by his daughter Ann.
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Robert Thomas Collins ’42, who retired as senior vice president and regional manager after almost 40 years with Rochester Midland Corp., was born on August 30, 1919, in Buffalo, NY. A son of William K. Collins, Class of 1902, a New York Telephone Co. division manager, and the former Sarah A. Morgan, Bob Collins grew up in Albany, NY, where he prepared for college at Vincentian Institute and became an Eagle Scout. He entered Hamilton in 1938, following his father and brother, William K. Collins, Jr. ’39. He joined Psi Upsilon and was elected president of the freshman class. Soon known for his “constant and friendly interest in everything and everybody on the Hill,” he went out for track, sang in the Choir for four years, and became a member of the executive board of the Musical Art Society. Active in the Newman Club and president of Psi U in his senior year, he also served as president of the Interfraternity Council.
Prior to his graduation in 1942, Bob Collins had enlisted as a naval air cadet. Ordered to active duty with his diploma fresh in hand, he was trained as a naval aviator and commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. He served as a B-25 pilot in the Pacific theater during World War II and saw combat action in the battle for Saipan in the Mariana Islands, earning the Air Medal. On June 23, 1945, soon after his return to the States, he was married to Dorothy J. Kelley, sister of Thomas B. Kelley ’38, in Syracuse, NY.
Released from active duty as a captain in early 1946, Bob Collins took up residence with his bride in her hometown of Syracuse. There, assisted by his college classmate and roommate, Roderick A. McLean, then a young physician, their daughter Robin was born. In the meantime, Bob Collins had found employment as a sales representative in central New York for Rochester Germicide Co. (later Rochester Midland Corp.), manufacturers of disinfectants and other sanitary chemical products, headquarted in Rochester, NY.
Transferred to the Detroit, MI, area in 1954, Bob Collins was assigned the task as district manager of directing the development of the Great Lakes region for the company. For the next 30 years he oversaw sales and marketing through its branch offices and sales organizations in some nine states. Named senior vice president and a member of the company’s board, he retired in 1984.
Known among his business associates and colleagues for his imagination and drive, and family and friends for the twinkle in his eye, Bob Collins devoted copious amounts of energy to his alma mater. An ardent and exceedingly generous supporter of the College, he served as president of both the Syracuse and the Lower Michigan Alumni Associations, and also assisted Hamilton with its fund-raising activities.
In 1978, two years after the death of his wife Dorothy, Bob Collins was married to Martha Frey Wattles. After Bob’s retirement, the couple enjoyed quite a bit of travel and “lots of good reading, golf, skiing, concerts and family life.” In 2001, they moved from Bloomfield Hills, the Detroit suburb where they had long resided, to a house they had built on a bluff above Lake Michigan in Mears.
Robert T. Collins was still residing in Mears when he died in Grand Rapids, MI, on February 19, 2012, at the age of 92. In addition to his wife of 33 years, he is survived by a daughter, Robin Vermylen, from his first marriage, as well as three stepchildren, eight grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.
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Thomas Johnson Adams ’43, a retired advertising executive and television producer, was born on August 20, 1921, in Brooklyn, NY. The son of Alexander Lyons Adams, a salesman, and the former Etta Johnson, he grew up in Ridgewood, NJ, where he was graduated in 1939 from Ridgewood High School. Tom Adams came to College Hill that fall, joined Chi Psi, and went out for a variety of activities, from sports to music and drama. For four years he sang in the Choir, acted as a lead with the Charlatans, and played soccer, becoming team captain in his senior year. He was also one of the first to lend his voice to the early broadcasts of campus radio station WHC. He left the Hill with his B.S. degree in 1943.
Soon commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Navy, Ensign Tom Adams was married on November 3, 1943, to Dorothy “Dot” Easton in Upper Ridgewood, NJ. Assigned to the Pacific theater, he participated in the invasion of Saipan during World War II. He served in the Pacific for 14 months and attained the rank of lieutenant. In early 1946, after the war’s end, he was released from active duty, only to be recalled by the Navy for one more year during the Korean War (1952-53).
Tom Adams briefly tried his hand at acting before joining the production staff of the American Broadcasting Co. In 1947, he became manager of literary rights in the script department of the National Broadcasting Co. He left NBC-TV in 1951 to begin a career in advertising with the Young & Rubicam agency in New York City. He became a group supervisor for the agency’s TV and radio department, and in 1970 he was named vice president. Subsequently, as vice president of production at Compton Advertising, also in New York City, he was in charge of three well-known daytime TV soap operas, As the World Turns, Guiding Light, and Search for Tomorrow.
While residing in Glen Rock, NJ, Tom Adams served as an elder and Sunday School superintendant of the Upper Ridgewood Community Church. He was also a member of the board of the Ridgewood YMCA and Nursing Service, Inc. In retirement, he maintained a summer home in Godeffroy, NY, while wintering in Sarasota, FL. There he was active in the First Congregational Church. Never having lost his love of the theater, he directed numerous plays for the church as well as local drama groups. He also had a lifelong fondness for fishing and sailing, and with great success raced meter-long, remote-control yachts at the Sunnyside Yacht Club.
Thomas J. Adams, an ever faithful and generous supporter of the College, was residing in Sarasota when he died on May 8, 2012. In addition to his wife of 68 years, he is survived by three sons, Peter T., Robb E, and Douglas M. Adams, and 14 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by a daughter, Deborah.
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Richard Danforth Eberle ’43, a highly regarded physician and surgeon, and a past president of the Medical Society of the State of New York, was born on February 19, 1922, in East Orange, NJ. The elder son of William C. and Georgia Danforth Eberle, he grew up in Skaneateles, NY, and prepared for college at Pebble Hill School in the Syracuse suburb of DeWitt. Richard Eberle, known as “Buz,” entered Hamilton in 1939, joined Theta Delta Chi, and became a member of the Choir. A versatile athlete, he ran track and lettered in football and hockey. He was a halfback, playing with classmate “Mercury Milt” Jannone on Coach Forest Evashevski’s 1941 gridiron team, and was elected to DT and Was Los. Already when in high school, “Buz” Eberle had determined upon doing “something of importance or something beneficial” in the medical field, and he engaged in premedical studies while on the Hill. In 1942, still in his junior year, he had the opportunity, because of wartime contingencies, to enroll in the College of Medicine at Syracuse University without having acquired an A.B. degree. It was belatedly awarded to him by Hamilton upon petition in 1963, 20 years after he was originally scheduled to receive it.
On September 23, 1944, while in medical school, Richard Eberle was married in Syracuse to Sarah Jane Greeley. (The marriage would end in divorce in 1977.) After receiving his M.D. degree in 1945 and a year’s internship at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse, he went on active duty with the U.S. Army Medical Corps. He served in Veterans Administration hospitals for two years until 1948 and attained the rank of captain. Thereafter he returned to Syracuse and a four-year surgical residency at the University Medical Center.
Dr. Eberle established his general and vascular surgery practice in Syracuse in 1952 and became an attending surgeon at several local hospitals, including Community General, where he was elected president of the medical staff. In addition, he served as a clinical professor of surgery at the State University of New York’s Upstate Medical Center. During his many years of practice he was a tireless advocate for quality assurance and medical review, reflecting his genuine and profound concern for the welfare of his patients, who would fondly remember him for his “compassion, warm manner and skill.”
Beyond his practice, Dr. Eberle became highly active in professional organizations. He was elected president of the Onondaga County Medical Society and also served on of the Professional Standards Review Council of New York State as well as the hospital advisory committee to the New York State Senate. In addition, he chaired the New York State delegation to the American Medical Association’s annual convention. In 1982, he assumed the presidency of the Medical Society of New York State, which had a membership of some 27,000 physicians.
Richard Eberle, who retired after 38 years of medical practice in 1990, continued active for several more years as medical director of managed care for HMOs. With his third wife, Patricia Boltwood Eberle, he had settled down in Camillus, NY, near Syracuse, where they had a small farm and horse barn, breeding and training thoroughbreds for racing. “Buz” Eberle enjoyed the outdoor life, gardening and occasional goose and deer hunting when not tending to the horses and mucking out the stable. He also enjoyed travel, especially with family members to one of his favorite places, Ballston Beach on Cape Cod.
Richard B. Eberle died in his 90th year on November 11, 2011, at a son’s home in Otisco, NY. In addition to his wife, he is survived by three sons and a daughter from his first marriage: William C. ’67, Deya ud-Deen (Richard D., Jr.) ’76, and John G. Eberle, and Sarah Elizabeth Mudama. Also surviving are a stepdaughter, Jennifer L. Boltwood, and 20 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Dr. Eberle’s second marriage, in 1977, was to Aileen M. Ryan.
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Milton Preston Kayle ’43, an attorney, former trustee of the College, and one of the last surviving members of the Truman White House staff, was born on July 17, 1922, in Utica, NY. His parents were Harry S. Kowalsky, an insurance agent, and the former Emma Wineburgh. “Milt” Kayle grew up in Utica and was graduated in 1939 from Utica Free Academy. He came up to Hamilton that fall and soon gained recognition for his oratorical skills in those days when public speaking was greatly emphasized, and prized, on the Hill. A leading member of the Debate Team for four years and winner of the McKinney Prize Debate, he gained election to the forensic honorary Delta Sigma Rho. President of the Squires Club, he also served on the Interfraternity Council and the Student Council in his senior year. In addition, he found time to manage the basketball team. Outstanding academically, he acquired a Phi Beta Kappa key in his junior year and was graduated in January 1943 with honors in Latin, political science, and public speaking. On June 13 of that year, he and Dorothy P. “Dottie” Slater were married in Utica.
Described by The Hamiltonian as “The boy wonder [who] delved into so many activities in College that any job elsewhere is sure to be a snap for him,” Milt Kayle went to Washington, DC, after leaving the Hill to begin an internship at the National Institute of Public Affairs. By the fall of 1943, however, he had joined the flood of young men into the U.S. Army in the midst of World War II. He saw combat as an infantryman in the European theater, and was a provost marshal in occupied Germany when he was discharged as a sergeant in 1946.
His interest in the law having been kindled by his earlier experience in Washington, Milt Kayle entered Harvard Law School, where he earned his LL.B degree in 1948. He promptly returned to Washington and joined the Bureau of the Budget as a legislative analyst. Named assistant general counsel for the Office of Defense Mobilization in 1951, and a special assistant on the White House staff a few months later, he focused on matters concerning organized labor and had a hand in drafting legal documents such as executive orders and memoranda of opinion, including those that led to the famous confrontation with U.S. Steel in 1952. Also having assisted in the preparation of the President’s major speeches, he came away from his White House experience with an exceptionally high regard for Harry S. Truman as “a man of courage and conviction.”
Milt Kayle left Washington in early 1953 when the Eisenhower administration took office. He moved to New York City, where he embarked on a successful corporate legal career specializing in entertainment and sports law. Among those he represented were such television and sports personalities as Jackie Gleason, Merv Griffin, and Jackie Robinson. He also negotiated TV production and syndication contracts for programs including The Howdy Doody Show and Lassie. He later became a pioneer in merchandise licensing with clients ranging from the 1946 New York World’s Fair and Expo ’67 in Montreal to the Major League Players Association and the Picasso estate. For many years, beginning in 1969, he was counsel to the firm of Gilbert, Segall & Young. He was semi-retired by the early 1990s.
Invited to serve on the Truman Centennial Committee in 1984, Mitt Kayle became a trustee of the Harry S. Truman Library Institute in Independence, MO, in 1993, and later served as secretary and treasurer of its board. He was also a member of the Judson Welliver Society, made up of former presidential speechwriters. In addition, he took a lively interest in community and cultural affairs, and served on the boards of Temple Israel in New Rochelle, NY, where he and Dottie had long resided, and the advisory council of the Arts Guild of Old Forge, NY, where they maintained a summer home.
Through the years, Milt Kayle sustained a warm affection for Hamilton, which was tangibly demonstrated in multiple ways. Besides serving on the Alumni Council and assisting with fund-raising campaigns, he chaired the first planned giving committee in the early 1970s and contributed greatly to the development of that vital program. The Kayle Cup, awarded to the class that records the highest percentage increase in planned gifts, is named for him. In addition, he served as an alumni trustee from 1978 to 1982, and the Kayles generously benefited Hamilton’s students by establishing financial aid funds. They include the H. Samuel Slater Prize in Romance Languages, in memory of Milt’s father-in-law, the Edith Hale Harkness Scholarship, with preference for students in the performing arts, and the Owen A. Roberts Scholarship, named for Owen Roberts ’25, one of Milt’s teachers at Utica Free Academy. In 1993, Milt Kayle delivered the Class of 1943’s Half-Century Annalist’s Letter, which was well laced with his keen insight, rare perspective, and gentle humor. In 2006, for his many contribution to the College, he was presented with the Bell Ringer Award.
The Kayles left New Rochelle after 51 years in 2004 and moved to Glenview, IL. Milton P. Kayle died in Glenview on February 19, 2012, in his 90th year. Besides his wife of 68 years, he is survived by two daughters, Jennifer Posner and Hilary Crist, and three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Milt Kayle will long be remembered for his generous nature and public spirit, and for his ardent and wholehearted dedication to the things in which he believed.
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William McKinley Ringle, Jr. ’44, a veteran journalist and exemplary reporter who concluded his highly distinguished career as dean of correspondents for the Gannett News Service, was born on January 7, 1923, in Gloversville, NY. The son of William M., an insurance agent, and Martha Vorhees Dowling Ringle, he grew up in Gloversville and prepared for college at Worcester Academy in Massachusetts, where he served on the staff of the student newspaper. In his application to Hamilton, “Bill” Ringle expressed his intention to “become a journalist, if possible,” and indicated that his primary purpose in applying was “to gain the liberal educational background which is required of a successful journalist.” Few alumni of the College have so clearly fixed upon their future goal so early and realized their ambitions so impressively.
Bill Ringle entered Hamilton in 1940 and joined Alpha Delta Phi. Focusing on English literature and French, he joined several other members of the Class of 1944 in the accelerated program during World War II, leading to their early graduation in September 1943. Not many days later he had donned a U.S. Navy uniform and was soon commissioned as an ensign. Attached to the amphibious forces of the 7th Fleet in the Southwest Pacific, he served as executive officer and later skipper aboard an infantry landing craft (LCI). His last Navy assignment was navigating an LCI all the way from Shanghai, China, to Mobile, AL. Released as a lieutenant (j.g.) in 1946, a year after the war’s end, he promptly went to sea again, this time with the Merchant Marine, as a third mate on an Atlantic freighter.
His taste for the high seas satisfied by 1948, Bill Ringle returned to dry land and began his career in journalism as a reporter for the Rome (NY) Daily Sentinel. Wed in Gloversville on October 16, 1948, to Marie Mahoney, whom he had known since childhood, he moved on to Rochester, NY, in 1951 as a reporter for the Times Union, owned by the Gannett Co. With his intense curiosity and keen eye for detail, he delighted in tackling hometown stories, no matter how “small.” He soon became known as the ablest reporter in town. In 1959, he moved on to cover state government at Gannett’s Albany bureau and stayed until 1965, the year he was chosen president of the Legislative Correspondents Association. After a year’s stint as managing editor of The Saratogan in Saratoga Springs, NY, he was assigned to Gannett’s Washington bureau. He remained there as its chief correspondent until his retirement in 1988.
During his 40-year career, Bill Ringle traveled extensively and covered a remarkably wide range of events. He was on hand for the fighting in Lebanon, in Cuba after the Castro revolution, and attended arms-control summits in Moscow as well as Washington. He also covered President Nixon’s historic trip to China. Closer to home, his beat included the Defense and State departments, the Supreme Court, and the Watergate hearings. His thoughtful and incisive commentaries appeared in Gannett’s chain of newspapers from coast to coast. Elected a member of the Gridiron Club, he was recognized for his many journalistic accomplishments upon his retirement with Gannett’s Outstanding Career Achievement Award.
Credited with “setting the gold standard for professional excellence,” Bill Ringle was deeply admired by his colleagues. His fellow veteran journalist Jack Germond called him “one of the finest reporters I ever knew.” Those fortunate enough to share his personal friendship came to appreciate his ever-inquisitive mind and insatiable quest for knowledge, combined with a genial manner and a genuine interest in and concern for people. The soul of courtesy and generosity, and never one to toot his own horn, he will long be remembered for his gentle humor and twinkling eye.
Following his retirement from Gannett, Bill Ringle gave no thought to putting his unquenchable curiosity to rest. Instead, he taught reporting at the China School of Journalism in Beijing while also keenly observing everyday life in the People’s Republic. He would subsequently return several times to the Far East, including Mongolia, to teach and lecture, and always observe. From his home in McLean, VA, he and Marie would venture back to their native area each summer, to their vacation home in the Adirondacks. There, Bill would indulge his lifelong love of canoeing (he once paddled a canoe on the Barge Canal from the Niagara all the way to the Hudson).
Diagnosed with colon cancer in 2003, Bill Ringle was given six months to two years to live. But he valiantly fought the disease for eight more years while continuing with his freelance writing. Ever full of ideas for stories, his mind remained active and engaged to the end. He also remained devoted to his alma mater, and his affectionate tribute to Hamilton and Hamiltonians is encapsulated in his Half-Century Annalist’s Letter, delivered in 1994.
William M. Ringle, Jr., died on September 5, 2011, in Davidson, NC, where he and Marie had moved in 2008 to be closer to their son and his family. In addition to his wife and son, William M. Ringle III, he is survived by two daughters, Sarah E.V. Ringle and Christine Day; four grandchildren, including John William Day ’02; two great-grandchildren; and a sister, Rosemary Buggeln.
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John Briggs De Garmo ’45, a retired mechanical engineer, was born on April 4, 1924, in Evanston, IL. The son of Kenneth W., an accountant, and Margaret Briggs De Garmo, he grew up in Evanston and was graduated in 1941 from Evanston Township High School. “Jack” De Garmo entered Hamilton that fall and joined Delta Kappa Epsilon. However, he left the Hill after only a year and transferred to Northwestern University, located in his hometown, to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering.
After acquiring his B.S. in 1946, Jack De Garmo spent most of his working life employed by Mobile Oil Corp. as an industrial engineer in marketing. In 1967, he settled in California while still with Mobile Oil as an engineering consultant. After his retirement he headed his own investment management firm for a time.
Long a resident of Orinda, CA, and active in the Episcopal Church as a lay reader and Eucharistic visitor, John B. De Garmo was also devoted to music and particularly barbershop singing. He continued to cherish the memory of his year at Hamilton and was a faithfully supportive alumnus. In 2006, he moved to Walnut Creek, CA, where he died on January 17, 2012. He is survived by his wife, the former (Emily) Ann Coane, whom he had wed in 1954. Also surviving are a daughter, Lori Ann Prince; two sons, William B. and Robert C. De Garmo; and four grandchildren.
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Allan James Parker ’45, Valedictorian ’47, an attorney-at-law, musician, and church leader, was born on December 20, 1923, in Brooklyn, NY. A son of James C., Class of 1912, an insurance agent, and Eleanor Lecour Parker, a teacher, he grew up in Ridgewood, NJ, his family having moved there when he was 6 years old. Devoted to music since his youth and a cello player, he became a charter member of the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra when he was still a high school student. He entered Hamilton in 1941, along with his twin brother David, following their graduation from Ridgewood High School. The brothers joined their father’s fraternity, Delta Upsilon, and Allan promptly plunged into the musical life of the campus and beyond, playing in the College Band as well as in the Utica Civic Orchestra, founded and directed by Hamilton Professor Berrian Shute.
In early 1943, after three semesters, Allan Parker withdrew from the College to enlist in the U.S. Army Air Corps. However, he remained on the Hill a year longer for pre-meteorology training before assignment to the Air Forces’ Weather Service. He was stationed in England and Norway during World War II. Discharged as a corporal in 1946, he returned to Hamilton that summer to complete his studies. He also resumed his musical interests, singing in the Choir and becoming manager of the Band as well serving as cello soloist for choir concerts and playing the organ. In addition, he went out for swimming and was active in the Student Christian Association and as a member of the Church Session.
Allan Parker, who had won the Fayerweather Prize Scholarship as a freshman, continued to excel academically. Elected to Phi Beta Kappa, he was graduated with honors in history and as class valedictorian in 1947. By that time he was already a married man, having wed Rosalie V. Deans, his college girlfriend and house-party date, on March 29, 1947, in Ridgewood. By that fall, he was enrolled at Columbia Law School, where he served as an editor of the Law Review.
After receiving his LL.B. degree in 1949, Allan Parker became an associate with the firm of Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett in New York City. He soon began to specialize in tax law, his credentials strengthened in 1952 by an LL.M. in taxation from New York University’s School of Law. Later a member of the task force charged with revising individual income tax laws for the New York State Tax Commission, he was for 28 years a tax attorney and partner in the firm of Shea & Gould, also in New York City, which he joined in 1966. In addition, he was tax editor of the Banking Law Journal and a longtime volunteer lecturer to fellow lawyers on tax and estate planning matters for the Practicing Law Institute. He remained a partner in the Shea & Gould firm until it was dissolved in 1994.
Allan Parker, who took up permanent residence in Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ, in 1954, became affiliated with the Community Church of Ho-Ho-Kus. He served as a deacon and elder of the church and taught in its Sunday School for more than 50 years. Within the community he continued his lifelong involvement with music. In addition to playing with local groups, he rejoined the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra, in which he had played as a youth. A violinist in the orchestra was his second wife, the former Constance Tabor Meeker, whom he had married in 1974, the year after his first wife’s death. Additionally, he found time for Hamilton. He was a devoted alumnus who almost never missed a class reunion.
Allan J. Parker’s remarkably full and productive life ended with heart failure at his home in Ho-Ho-Kus on February 11, 2012. In addition to his wife “Connie,” he is survived by six children from his first marriage: sons Douglas D., Randall M., Daniel W., and Clyde D. Parker, and daughters Heather McCarty and Jennifer O’Ferrell. He is also survived by his stepdaughter, Constance Parker Fotakis, six grandchildren, and his brother, David L. Parker ’45, father of Julie F. Parker ’83, Kathryn Parker-Burgard ’84, and Valerie G. Parker ’89.
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William Alfred Roston ’45, founder and longtime president of Prochimie International, Inc., a wholesale importer of specialized chemicals, was born on February 9, 1923, in New York City. A son of Raphael L., a chemical company executive, and Belle Furman Roston, he grew up in Far Rockaway, Queens, and was graduated in 1941 from Far Rockaway High School. Bill Roston, along with his twin brother, Robert, entered Hamilton that fall, only to leave the Hill after three semesters. He soon joined the U.S. Army and took part in campaigns in Italy during World War II. First a rifleman and subsequently a field medic, he ultimately became a code breaker, engaged in military intelligence efforts to determine the German army’s field positions.
After three years in the Army, and following the war’s end, Bill Roston enrolled at Middlebury College, where he acquired his B.A. degree, majoring in chemistry, in 1948. In 1950, he obtained an M.B.A. degree from Columbia University and thereafter entered the chemical field. He became the first international salesman for Dow Chemical Co. and had a leading role in the development of the post-war international trade in chemicals. He was associated with the French chemicals producer Progil before establishing has own company Prochimie, in partnership with his wife, Mary Ann Sanders Roston, in 1975. The company, with a dozen employees, imported chemicals from major producers in Europe and Asia, and supplied them to U.S. manufacturers such as DuPont, Merck, and Kodak. Originally headquartered in New York City, it was relocated to Connecticut in 1998. Long its president, Bill Roston became chairman emeritus of Prochimie upon his retirement.
Bill Roston, an enthusiastic athlete and outdoorsman, played tennis competitively, swam and sailed, and continued to ski until late in life. He treasured music, books, and poetry, had an inventive turn of mind, and is remembered as “a natural adventurer who lived with gusto, wit, and passion.”
William H. Roston, who recalled his time at Hamilton with affection and took a great interest in the College’s welfare, was residing in New Marlborough, MA, when he died on November 5, 2011. Besides his wife and partner of more than 60 years, he is survived by three daughters, Alice, Caroline, and Anne, as well as grandchildren. His twin brother Robert died as a result of an automobile accident in 1980.
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James Kent, Jr. ’46, who retired after many years as a property and casualty insurance agent, was born on December 29, 1924, in Norwich, NY. The son of James and Mary Verplanck Kent, he grew up in Norwich and was graduated in 1941 from Norwich High School. After a year of preparation at Loomis School in Connecticut, Jim Kent entered the College for the summer session of 1942. Encouraged by Hamilton’s first swimming coach, Mark Randall, he not only swam in the new gymnasium pool but also competed as a member of the College’s first intercollegiate team. After the fall semester, however, he withdrew to enter the U.S. Army and remained on active duty until the end of World War II. He was with the 104th Infantry Division when it crossed the Rhine.
Discharged as a corporal, Jim Kent returned to College Hill in the fall of 1945 to resume his studies. He also resumed his swimming as “a competent breast-stroker” and lettered in the sport. A member of Psi Upsilon, he served on the Honor Court and the Student Council, and managed the track team in his senior year.
Jim Kent returned to his hometown of Norwich following his graduation in 1949. There he went to work in purchasing and field sales for Bennett-Ireland, Inc., manufacturers of fireplace furnishings. Married on July 22, 1950, to Katharine R. Kennedy in Glens Falls, NY, he remained with Bennett-Ireland as sales manager for its midwestern division until 1960, when he settled permanently in the Rochester, NY, area and began his 30-year career in the insurance field. Self-employed for many years, he was later a partner in the Brighton-Pittsford Agency and served as its vice president.
In the 1970s, Jim Kent resumed swimming as a regular activity, which he continued until virtually the end of his life. In 1983, he competed in the masters class at the Empire State Games, and won gold medals in the 100-meter butterfly and 200-meter individual medley. Besides swimming, his passions included reading, politics, and college football, hockey, and lacrosse. He was also passionate about Hamilton. A former president of the Rochester Alumni Association, class president, and reunion chairman, he chaired the Annual Fund in 1968. He frequently visited the campus, and not only for reunions, and was an extraordinarily generous contributor to the College.
James Kent, Jr. was still residing in Rochester when he died on November 18, 2011. A divorcé, he is survived by a son, James Kent III, and a granddaughter, Alexandra.
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Theodore Henry Miller Crampton ’47, Valedictorian ’49, a career U.S. Army officer, mathematician, and atomic weapons specialist, was born on April 4, 1926, in Patchogue, NY. His parents were Theodore H. M. Crampton, a mining engineer, and the former Dora Frieman, a teacher. Young “Ted” Crampton came to College Hill in the summer of 1943 from Bayport on Long Island as a graduate of Bayport High School, where he was first in his class of 22. On the Hill he joined the tiny Class of ’47, all huddled together in the Alpha Delta Phi House, most undergraduates having departed for military service during World War II. He remained at the College through the spring of 1944, when he left to be inducted into the Army. He thought it would be for just the duration of the war, but instead it turned into 42 unbroken years of military service, active and reserve.
Among the last to be commissioned as an officer in the Cavalry, in 1945, at age 19, Ted Crampton was assigned to occupation duty in Germany before his release and return to the Hill in early 1947. A member of Chi Psi, he compiled an impressive academic record, winning the Oren Root Prize Scholarship in Mathematics, the Duell German Scholarship, and the Captain Gerald Fitzgerald Dale Senior Scholarship. Elected to Phi Beta Kappa and awarded the Root Fellowship for graduate study, he departed the Hill as valedictorian of the Class of 1949.
Ted Crampton took his Root Fellowship to the Johns Hopkins University to pursue the study of mathematics. However, after a year, he transferred to Indiana University, where he acquired an M.A. in math in 1954 and a Ph.D. in 1955. On June 14 of that year, he was married in Indianapolis, IN, to Janet Kay West, an Indiana University graduate and teacher. That same year, he joined the faculty of Mount Holyoke College as an instructor in math. Promoted to assistant professor in 1957, he left Mount Holyoke the following year, lured back into military service by the offer of a Regular Army commission being extended to scientists and engineers.
In the ensuing years, most of Ted Crampton’s assignments had to do with nuclear weapons, beginning with his appointment as instructor at the U.S. Army Engineering School in Virginia (1958-61) and mathematician at the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (1961-64). After serving as an instructor and later assistant professor of mathematics at the U.S. Military Academy (1964-69), he was assigned to the Joint Strategic Target Planning Staff (1969-72). A military analyst with the Atomic Energy Commission’s Division of International Security Affairs (1972-77), he thereafter served as senior research fellow at the National Defense University (1977-81). Colonel Crampton concluded his military career as chief of the Arms Control and Policy Office of the Defense Nuclear Agency in Washington, DC (1981-87).
Ted Crampton observed, after he “stacked arms” in 1987, that his was “a long, if not meteoric career, almost half (18 years) in the grade of Colonel,” adding that “my lot was to educate and otherwise help generals, not be one.” For his contributions he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal as well as the Legion of Merit. In retirement, he pursued his interest in travel and photography.
Theodore H.M. Crampton, long a resident of Rockville, MD, and an exceedingly faithful and generous supporter of the College, died on February 3, 2012, of complications following a stroke. He is survived by his wife of 57 years.
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James Haskell Benjamin ’49, for 25 years a research analyst for the National Security Agency, U.S. Department of Defense, was born on August 10, 1925, in Grand Island, NE. His parents were James W., a physiologist and medical educator, and Peggy Haskell Benjamin, a writer. The family came East where his father joined the faculty of New York Medical College, and “Jim” Benjamin grew up in Mount Vernon, NY. He entered the U.S. Army following his graduation from Davis High School in Mount Vernon in 1943 and served in the Infantry through the end of World War II. Awarded the Bronze Star for combat engagements in the European theater, he was discharged as a sergeant in 1946.
Jim Benjamin arrived on College Hill that summer and joined Chi Psi. He took part in numerous campus activities, singing in the newly organized Glee Club, serving on the Chapel Board, and co-founding the convivial Thursday Club. He also lettered in track and managed the hockey team for three years while helping to referee hockey scrimmages and “freezing my feet in Sage.” However, he may best be remembered as the first chief of Hamilton’s very own “42-horsepower” fire-fighting force, the Student Volunteer Fire Department, formed in 1948. Already interested in a future in government service, he majored in history and political science, and departed the Hill with his diploma in 1949.
Initially employed for two years as a college textbook salesman by Charles Scribner’s Sons, Jim Benjamin was married to Helen M. Beebe, sister of Richard M. Beebe ’56, in Kew Gardens, NY, on June 23, 1951. In 1954, after a year with radio station WREL in Lexington, VA, followed by another as public relations director for the University of North Carolina Press, he began his long career in the federal civil service as a military communications research analyst for the Defense Department. Except for the period 1966-69, when he was assigned to the United Kingdom, he carried on his work as a cryptologic staff officer primarily at Ft. Meade, MD, interrupted by travels to and from southern Europe.
Following his retirement from government service in 1979, Jim Benjamin entered the real estate field, becoming a partner and resident agent for Taneytown Realty Co. in Taneytown, MD. Earlier, while residing in Laurel, MD, he chaired that city’s Board of Appeals and served as president of the local Rotary Club. While engaged in real estate sales, he also became deeply involved with the Association for Retarded Citizens (ARC), serving on its board of directors and as president of its local chapter. Because his younger son had been born with Down syndrome, he was particularly committed to furthering ARC’s work.
Jim Benjamin lost his wife to cancer in 1982. He remained a widower for 10 years until 1992, when he was married to Elizabeth (Libby) Repp. In their free time, they enjoyed travel, while Jim found pleasure and relaxation in golf and furniture restoration.
James H. Benjamin, a faithful alumnus, was still residing in Taneytown when he died on November 16, 2011. In addition to his wife, he is survived by a daughter and two sons from his first marriage, Nancy M., J. Christopher, and Andrew M. Benjamin, as well as three grandchildren and a stepson.
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Robert Burrows Lewis ’49, a veteran insurance underwriter, grew up in Syracuse, NY, where he was born on September 10, 1926. His parents were Arthur F., general agent for the Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Co., and Genevieve Doyle Lewis. Bob Lewis (known in his early years as “Tuffy” and later in his life as “RB”) entered the College for the summer session of 1945 from the Pebble Hill School, in the Syracuse suburb of DeWitt. He joined Sigma Phi and soon took an active role in music on the Hill as a member of the Choir and Chapel organist. He also demonstrated his talent for public speaking by winning the prestigious Clark Prize Oration in his senior year. Elected to membership in the forensic honor society Delta Sigma Rho, and credited by The Hamiltonian with “earnestness of purpose” and for spending “more time in the library than any other living undergraduate,” he was graduated in 1949.
After staying on the Hill for an additional year as an instructor in public speaking, Bob Lewis enrolled in the Harvard Business School, where he earned his M.B.A. degree in 1952. He thereafter returned to Syracuse to join his father and uncle in the insurance business as an agent for Mutual Benefit Life. He was later associated with Berkshire Life Insurance Co. in a career that would span more than 60 years. Chartered as a life underwriter (CLU) in 1964, he attained prominence in insurance circles not only in Syracuse but beyond. President of the CLU chapter of Central New York and of the Syracuse Association of Life Underwriters, he also became regional vice president of the New York State Association of Life Underwriters. In addition, he was a co-founder of the Estate Planning Council of Central New York.
Active in his church and community as well, Bob Lewis served on the vestry of St. Paul’s (Episcopal) Cathedral and was a member of the boards of the Pebble Hill School, the Lighthouse, and the regional Red Cross chapter. A dedicated Hamiltonian, he was also highly active in local alumni affairs for many years and served as president of the Syracuse Alumni Association.
For relaxation, “RB” Lewis particularly enjoyed the many summers he spent at his cottage on Tully Lake, south of Syracuse, where he pleasurably swam, boated, and fished with his sons. He was also fond of travel, music, and reading, but his family, above all, engendered his greatest devotion.
Robert B. Lewis was still residing in Syracuse when he died on April 15, 2012. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, the former Gelene A. Terpening, whom he had married on June 27, 1959, in Syracuse. Also surviving is a son, Charles A. Lewis ’83. He was predeceased by three sons, Robert B., Jr., and twins Philip E. and Andrew F. Lewis.
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