Alumni Necrology

John Gabriel Moses, Valedictorian '34

John Gabriel Moses, Valedictorian '34, for 40 years a dedicated teacher and educational administrator in his hometown of Utica, NY, was born in nearby New York Mills on December 21, 1912. He was one of five children of Lebanese immigrant parents, Gabriel J. and Najla Chamoun Moses, who came to the United States in 1910. They settled in central New York, where they found work in the then thriving textile mills in and around Utica. Young John Moses grew up in a household where Lebanese culture and the Maronite Christian faith prevailed. Following his graduation in 1930 from Utica Free Academy as valedictorian of his class, he came up to College Hill, bringing with him his industriousness and scholarly dedication. Especially proficient in languages, both ancient and modern, he helped cover his college expenses as a library aide and by tutoring other students in the classics. The winner of the Hawley prizes in Latin and Greek, the Winchell Prize in Greek, and the Soper Latin Prize Scholarship, he was graduated Phi Beta Kappa and as valedictorian in 1934, with high honors, including honors in Latin and French.

John Moses went on to earn an M.A. degree in classics from Columbia University in 1935. However, his hopes of pursuing a Ph.D. during those Depression years were dashed for lack of finances. Instead, he returned to Utica and began his long career in high school teaching at his old alma mater, Utica Free Academy. While at Columbia, he had met Mabel Ann Koury. They were married on June 9, 1935, in Brooklyn, NY, forming a union that would endure for 71 years until her death in 2006.

John Moses taught history and foreign languages, first at Utica Free Academy and, when it opened its doors in 1936, at the new Thomas R. Proctor High School, also in Utica. He helped establish a strong Latin department at the school and continued to teach there until 1945, when he became a guidance counselor. Taking great pleasure in helping youngsters to find their niche in life, he provided college and vocational guidance to countless Proctor students, encouraging them to further their educations. Convinced from his own experience as a child of immigrants that education was the surest path to success, he coaxed and cajoled hundreds of students to go on to college. They included his own two sons, both Hamilton graduates, now retired college professors.

Appointed director of guidance for the entire Utica City School District in 1955, John Moses was named director of pupil placement services in 1966, a post he held until his retirement in 1975. In 1968-69 he had also served as interim principal of Proctor High School. In addition, he served for 15 years as a member of the graduate guidance staff at Colgate University. After his retirement he participated for a dozen years in the continuing education and ethnic studies programs at Utica College.

During those retirement years, John Moses devoted much time to research and writing, which resulted in works ranging from monographs on linguistics and vocabulary to numerous small books on Lebanon and the Lebanese in America. He was exceedingly proud of his Lebanese heritage and eager to share in print his knowledge of the contributions of the Lebanese to the world. His books included Lebanon: The Story of Western Civilization in Miniature (1979) and From Mt. Lebanon to the Mohawk Valley (1981). One of the last of his dozen or so books was his memoir: An Educator Reminisces (2004).

John Moses, a member of the editorial staff of the Utica Observer Dispatch and Daily Press during World War II and a former president of the Torch Club of Utica, was also an active member and trustee of St. Louis Gonzaga Maronite Catholic Church in Utica, whose history he wrote for its 75th anniversary. Among his favorite leisuretime activities were gardening and travel, including trips to the Middle East, and attending the opera and theatre.

John G. Moses, a devoted alumnus "who loved Hamilton with all his heart and soul," and for many years a member of the board of editors of this magazine, died on July 25, 2009, in New Hartford, NY, in his 97th year. He is survived by his sons, Gerald E. '60 and Clement J. Moses '64, and a grandson and a brother.
Return to Top

Frederick Brewer Griffin '37

Frederick Brewer Griffin '37, long a business and community leader in his native Utica, NY, was born on April 14, 1914. His parents were Wheaton I. Griffin, owner of Griffin & Hoxie, a family wholesale grocery business established in 1844, and the former Anna Brewer. He was a sixth-generation descendant of Nathaniel Griffin (1761-1836), who came to Clinton, NY, from Connecticut in 1789, built a home that still stands on what is now Bristol Road, and was among the original subscribers (donating four pounds in cash and six pounds in grain from his farm) for the establishment of the Rev. Samuel Kirkland's Hamilton-Oneida Academy, the precursor of the College.

Fred Griffin came to Hamilton from Utica Free Academy in 1933, joined Delta Kappa Epsilon, and remained on the Hill for two years. Thereafter he went to work for Griffin & Hoxie. Married to Elizabeth Williams on June 1, 1940, in Lowville, NY, he was called into the U.S. Army in 1943 and served in the European theatre during World War II. He was with the American forces that drove the Germans back in France, Belgium, and Holland, and was the recipient of the Bronze Star and four battle stars, including one for the Battle of the Bulge. The first sergeant of a combat medical detachment, he was discharged in late 1945, following the war's end.

Thereafter, Fred Griffin returned to Griffin & Hoxie, which provided wholesale food products to a large area of upstate New York stretching from Syracuse to Albany and Binghamton to Plattsburgh. He became sales manager and eventually general manager of the firm, and stayed on for a time after its purchase by another company. He subsequently continued in the wholesale grocery business as owner and president of the Griffin Sales Co. and later American Inn Foods of Utica as well as D.B. Simmons, Food Brokers. He retired in 1993.

Following his retirement, Fred Griffin continued his active role in the community. A member of the board of the Rescue Mission of Utica for more than 40 years, and its president from 1988 to 1996, he contributed significantly to that charity's substantial growth, and his long dedication to its mission of helping those in need immensely benefited his community. In addition, he served as treasurer and board member of the Faxton Street Home for the aged and as a deacon and elder of the First Presbyterian Church. A former chairman of the board of the Utica Fire Insurance Co., he also found time as a devoted alumnus to serve Hamilton as president of the Mohawk Valley Alumni Association and fundraiser for the College as well as chairing reunion committees.

Fred Griffin, a genial, thoughtful man with a lively sense of humor, enjoyed socializing at Utica's venerable Fort Schuyler Club, golfing at the Sadaquada Golf Club, and skiing at Snow Ridge. Predeceased by his wife in 1996, he continued to reside in Utica until his death there on July 5, 2009, at the age of 95. Also predeceased, in 1995, by his son, Frederick B. Griffin, Jr. '71, he is survived by his elder son, Wheaton I. II, and a daughter, Elizabeth A. Griffin, as well as two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Return to Top

Thomas Richard Dedell '38

Thomas Richard Dedell '38, an industrial chemist who retired as a division supervisor after 34 years with Eastman Kodak Co., was born on July 2, 1917, in Utica, NY. A son of Lawrence W., a postal clerk, and Anna Albicker Dedell, he grew up in nearby Yorkville and was graduated in 1934 from Whitestown High School. Called "the man with the scientific mind" by The Hamiltonian, Tom Dedell excelled academically, capturing the Oren Root and the Huntington prize scholarships, and the Tompkins Prize, all in mathematics, as well as the Norton and Underwood prizes in chemistry. An assistant in the chemistry laboratory for two years, he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and received his B.S. degree in 1938 with honors in chemistry as well as mathematics.

Tom Dedell went on to Yale University, where he earned his Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 1941. That year, he went to work "tracking down substitute material for pigments" as a research chemist for Imperial Paper & Color Corp in Glens Falls, NY. In 1943, in response to Hamilton's urgent need for instructors to teach in the military programs established at the College during World War II, he returned to the Hill to join the faculty of the U.S. Army Air Corps' pre-meteorology program. With his cheerful good humor, he was credited by his uniformed students in physics courses with making "the dull work interesting and the interesting work easy."

Wed to Irene Mary Petit on December 30, 1944, in Whitesboro, NY, Tom Dedell left the Hill that year to teach physics as an instructor at New York University. However, he soon returned to upstate New York and began his long career with Eastman Kodak in Rochester in 1945. His research and development work initially focused on methods of improving the quality of the transparent base of photographic films. He continued to be engaged in research in connection with the manufacture of photographic papers as well as films, and became supervisor of Eastman Kodak's film emulsion division. He retired in 1979.

The Dedells later moved from Rochester to West Palm Beach, FL, where Tom continued to play golf and enjoy a variety of hobbies, especially photography. A talented photographer who made good use of his technical knowledge in that field, he was particularly adept at making prints from 35mm Kodacolor film. With a keen interest in the history of photography, he also enjoyed collecting vintage Kodak cameras.

Thomas L. Dedell, a devoted alumnus, died on June 1, 2009, in West Palm Beach, in his 92nd year. In addition to his wife of 64 years, he is survived by a son, Richard L. Dedell.
Return to Top

DeLancey Floyd-Jones Jones '38

DeLancey Floyd-Jones Jones '38, a retired Realtor and former telephone company manager, was born in New York City on April 9, 1916, and grew up in Bronxville. A son of Russell C. Jones, a mechanical engineer, and the former Isabel Floyd-Jones, he prepared for college at the Gunnery School in Connecticut and enrolled at Hamilton in 1934. DeLancey Jones, known as "Pudge," joined Alpha Delta Phi and participated in football, track, and hockey. He did cheerleading for the Continentals in his senior year. He also trouped with the Charlatans, served as business manager of the Royal Gaboon, and honed his writing skills as "Carpe Diem" columnist for Hamilton Life. Elected to the journalism honorary Pi Delta Epsilon, the easy-going Pudge, who made many lifelong friends on College Hill, departed with his B.S. degree in 1938.

Hoping to carve out a career in journalism, DeLancey Jones went on to Columbia University, where he obtained an M.S. in that field in 1939. He became a reporter for the Bridgeport, CT, Post-Telegram, but two years of working nights perilously close to the poverty level prompted him to abandon journalism and switch to public relations with American Telephone & Telegraph Co. His new affluence enabled him to marry Barbara Cauldwell Parsons on August 2, 1941, in Clinton.

The Joneses had scarcely settled down in their $50-a-month walkup garden apartment on Manhattan's East Side when World War II intervened. Commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Navy in early 1942, DeLancey was a communications officer in Newport, RI, before being sent overseas in 1943. He served in the Mediterranean as a lieutenant aboard Admiral H. Kent Hewitt's flagship during the invasion of Sicily and landings at Salerno and in southern France. He was also present as a communications officer at the Yalta Conference and concluded his four-year military service at the war's end as a lieutenant commander, stationed at Pearl Harbor.

DeLancey Jones thereafter returned to AT&T in New York City, where he remained until his transfer in 1950 to Ohio Bell Telephone Co. in Cleveland. There he held various positions, including general advertising manager, general commercial personnel supervisor, and division commercial manager. He retired after 36 years with "Ma Bell" in 1977, moved to Washington, CT, and entered the real estate field. A couple of years later, he and Barbara relocated to Williamstown, MA, where he continued to engage in real estate with the Alton & Westfall Agency until his second retirement more than a decade later.

DeLancey and Barbara Jones, who customarily spent their winters on Siesta Key, FL, also traveled to Europe annually. In addition, they enjoyed golf, tennis, and the cultural opportunities that Williamstown provided. An ever faithful and generously supportive Hamiltonian, Pudge remained close to the College, with which he had many family connections. He served as president of the Northern Ohio Alumni Association and regional chairman for the Alumni Fund. In 1988, on behalf of his 50th Reunion class, he spoke of his affection for the College in a delightfully witty Half-Century Annalist's Letter.

In 1997, a year after the death of his wife Barbara, DeLancey was married to her lifelong friend, Catherine (Candy) Burt Materne. They moved to Richmond, VA, that year. DeLancey F.-J. Jones was still residing in Richmond when he died on August 25, 2009, at the age of 93. Predeceased by Catherine, he is survived by his daughter, Deborah Walter, and three stepchildren as well as grandchildren, great-grandchildren, a sister, and a brother. He was predeceased by his brother, Griffith Jones '37, and his brothers-in-law, Vincent S. Jones '28 and William Materne '38.
Return to Top

Addison Farwell Wardwell II '38

Addison Farwell Wardwell II '38, whose varied career encompassed insurance underwriting, high school teaching, and community office-holding, was born on June 24, 1916, in Watertown, NY. A son of Samuel B., president and general manager of a paper mill and later in the dairy business, and Eunice Remington Wardwell, he came to College Hill in 1934 from Sackets Harbor, near Watertown, following his graduation from Watertown High School. "Ad" Wardwell joined Alpha Delta Phi and went out for football and track as well as the College Band. "With whirling blade and flashing teeth," according to The Hamiltonian, he also fenced for four years and lettered in the sport.

After leaving the Hill with his diploma in 1938, Ad Wardwell was employed by Carthage Machine Co., near his hometown. In 1941, he went to work for the West End Paper Co. and was placed in charge of running its logging camp on James Bay in northwest Quebec. Called to active duty with the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1943, he entered the aviation cadet training program, hoping to become a pilot. After his hopes were dashed by the results of an eye examination, he "endured" a series of training schools, ultimately ending up at the conclusion of World War II as a sergeant in the medical department and mess steward at a military hospital in Hawaii. On March 3, 1944, while on a day pass, he was married to Paula Van Valkenburgh in Madison, WI.

Discharged from the Army in 1946, Ad Wardwell found employment in Watertown with the Agricultural Insurance Co. After acquiring an M.B.A. degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1950, he worked in New York City as a casualty underwriter with Zurich Insurance Co. When the Agricultural Insurance Co. entered the casualty field, he rejoined it in 1954 as its director of education in charge of agent training. By 1959, the company had encountered problems in its new line of business, and he turned to a new career as a teacher by joining the faculty of the Sackets Harbor Central School District. He would teach a variety of courses in its high school science department until his retirement from Hounsfield Central School in 1977.

While residing in Sackets Harbor, Ad Wardwell served two terms each as a village trustee and Town of Hounsfield clerk, and was for 10 months interim mayor of the Village of Sackets Harbor. His community service included membership on the board of the Jefferson County Red Cross and the Town of Hounsfield Central Board of Education as well as treasurer of the fund-raising campaign for the new Hay Memorial Library building. Without fanfare and generally unknown to the public, he also did much in his community as a Good Samaritan, lending a helping hand to those in need.

A tennis devotee who continued to play the game until just days before his death, Ad Wardwell, also known to family and friends as "Bab," enjoyed bridge playing as well as gardening and "projects no one else would tackle," including the construction of an experimental ultra-light airplane. As a devoted Hamilton alumnus and past president of the Watertown Alumni Association, he was for many years his area's representative on the Alumni Council. In addition, he visited the Hill frequently as an alumni trustee of his fraternity, Alpha Delta Phi.

Addison F. Wardwell II, a genial man who fondly looked forward to "one glass of good bourbon at the end of the day," died on August 8, 2009, at the age of 93. In addition to his wife of 65 years, he is survived by two sons, Addison F. III and Andrew R. Wardwell; a daughter, Elizabeth B. Burdick; eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren; and two brothers and a sister. He was a great-uncle of Katharine E. Wardwell '03.
Return to Top

Contact Information

Stacey Himmelberger

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