A retired bank executive, past chairman of the National Association of Mutual Savings Banks, and a Rochester, NY, community leader, was born on June 17, 1919, in Rome, NY. A son of Albert W. and Reba Wood Hooke, he grew up in Rome and entered Hamilton from Rome Free Academy in 1937. Al Hooke joined Chi Psi, played on the golf team, and lettered in soccer. However, debate drew most of his extracurricular attention, and as manager of the College’s 20-man debate team in his senior year, he not only led its ambitious intercollegiate program but also arranged its presentations before numerous local clubs and organizations as well as on local radio. President of the Hamilton chapter of the honorary forensic society Delta Sigma Rho, and recipient of the Darling Prize in American history, he was graduated in 1941.
While awaiting a call to military service, Al Hooke went to work for Revere Copper & Brass in his hometown of Rome as an “executive trainee.” Within a year, however, in the wake of Pearl Harbor, he was in the U.S. Navy. Commissioned as an ensign, he served throughout World War II, including 3½ years in the South Pacific, where he served as navigator aboard the attack transport U.S.S. Leon and achieved promotion to lieutenant. On June 23, 1945, he was married to Priscilla Platt in Portland, OR.
Discharged from the Navy that year, Al Hooke enrolled in the M.B.A. program at Columbia University, specializing in banking. After receiving his degree in 1948, he decided that Rochester was the place to be, and he began his professional training there in the auditing department of Security Trust Co., a commercial bank. In 1951, he received a job offer from the Community Savings Bank of Rochester, which marked the beginning of a long and successful career with that institution. Named vice president and secretary of the bank in 1961, he became its president in 1973 and chief executive officer in 1976. As its CEO until his retirement in 1984, he led the bank through highly challenging times when rampant inflation wreaked havoc on earnings and ultimately caused the collapse of numerous thrift institutions.
Also active in state and national organizations, Al Hooke became president of the Savings Banks Association of New York State in 1976 and chairman of the National Association of Mutual Savings Banks in 1980. As a leader in the industry, he made excellent use of his public speaking skills honed at Hamilton in presiding over meetings and testifying at state and federal legislative hearings.
Throughout his busy banking career and into retirement, Al Hooke never ceased to devote his time and energy to worthy causes within the Rochester community. Long active in the Metropolitan Rochester YMCA, he served as its temporary CEO in 1991. In addition, he was a trustee and treasurer of the Rochester Museum, chaired the budget committee of the Brighton Youth Agency, and was prominent in the Chamber of Commerce and the Brighton Rotary Club as well as fund-raising activities for the United Way and other charitable organizations. In retirement, he chaired the Monroe County Office for the Aging and served on the Governor’s Advisory Board for the Aging.
Al Hooke, who took great pleasure in playing golf at the Country Club of Rochester, also “diddled” with stamp collecting and enjoyed doing crossword puzzles. He was a constant and generous supporter of the College and a former president of Hamilton’s Alumni Association (1966-67).
Briefly ill, Albert B. Hooke died on December 3, 2010, at the age of 91. In addition to his wife of 65 years, he is survived by two daughters, Helen B. Hooke and Carolyn Stockman; two sons, A. William ’75 and Richard S. Hooke; and four grandchildren.
Back to Top
Whose career took him from artistic and theatrical activities to the teaching of Latin, was born on October 10, 1920, in Albany, NY. The son of Andrew Graham Appleton, who was engaged in real estate, and the former Helen Kinnear, he grew up in Mt. Vernon, NY, where he was graduated from A.B. Davis High School, and entered Hamilton in 1938. He was preceded on the Hill by his uncle, Joseph L. Appleton ’09. He joined Theta Delta Chi and went out for track, lettering in the sport. In 1940, he briefly held the Hill record for the high jump, at 5’ 9½”. He also appeared on the stage in productions of the Charlatans, such as Petrified Forest and Charley’s Aunt, but attained greater recognition for his debating skills, winning the McKinney Prize Declamation as a freshman and the Clark Prize Oration as a senior. Elected to the honorary forensic society Delta Sigma Rho, he left the Hill with his A.B. degree in 1942.
On September 4 of that year, Dave Appleton was married to Joan H. Southworth, and four days later he was inducted into the U.S. Army Air Corps. He served as a weather observer throughout World War II until his discharge as a corporal in 1946. He then took up residence in New York City and for many years engaged in a hodgepodge of activities, including puppeteer, stage hand, and theatrical set designer. For a time he also tried his hand at sculpture and painting, and was in the late 1950s a cartographic artist for Rand McNally & Co. Reflecting years later on that period, he commented that, “if variety is the spice of life, mine may have been overseasoned.”
Beginning in the 1960s, however, Dave Appleton found joy, challenge, and permanent satisfaction in a new career, that of teaching high school Latin. He began at Dwight School in Englewood, NJ, and after earning an M.A. degree in the classics from Columbia University in 1965, he joined the faculty of the Englewood School for Boys. By the 1970s he was teaching at Kent Place School in Summit, NJ, where his pupils, both girls and boys, were being prepared for college. Altogether, he taught Latin for 25 years, retiring from Kent Place in 1989.
Dave Appleton, whose hobbies included crossword puzzles, cooking, and oil painting, also enjoyed playing bridge as well as tennis with his wife, the former Catherine Bangs, whom he had married in 1961, a year after the death of his first wife. With Catherine he in addition enjoyed travel, especially to Italy, where he fell in love with Tuscany. With his daughter from his first marriage, Brigid, suffering from schizophrenia, he and Catherine also became intensely involved in mental health concerns.
David McLean Appleton, a longtime resident of Morristown, NJ, died in Morristown on December 29, 2010, at the age of 90. Predeceased by his daughter, he is survived by his wife of 50 years.
Back to Top
Whose career began on the theatrical stage and ended in scientific publishing, was born on February 26, 1921, in Cleveland, OH. The son of William H., Sr. and Margaret de Anguera Klump, he grew up in rural Madison, near Lake Erie, and prepared for college at Western Reserve Academy. “Will” Klump, a self-described “Ohio farm boy” who had developed an interest in dramatics as a teenager and aspired to become an actor and stage director, came to Hamilton in 1939. With his distinctively resonant “basso profundo” voice, he played a wide range of roles with the Charlatans. Intellectually mature, artistically sensitive, and self-analytical, he became a leading light among the residents of Carnegie Hall. A member of Delta Upsilon, he concentrated in languages and earned his B.S. degree with honors in German in 1943.
Prior to his graduation, Will Klump had signed up for the U.S. Army. He was assigned to military intelligence in the European theater and served through the end of World War II. Discharged in 1946, he returned to Madison, where, on the Klump family farm, he co-founded and became managing director of Rabbit Run Theater, a summer stock company. He also acted with the company as well as with other groups while touring throughout much of the country and as far west as Seattle, WA. In the meantime he furthered his studies of drama by acquiring a B.F.A. degree from Wesleyan Conservatory and School of Fine Arts in 1948 and an M.A. from the University of Washington in 1950.
After managing Rabbit Run and touring as an actor for a number of years, Will Klump turned to international broadcasting. He resided during the 1960s and part of the ’70s in Germany, where he became director of the emigré relations division and a career training advisor for Radio Liberty in Munich. Back in the United States, he settled during the 1980s in Cambridge, MA, when employed as managing editor by Birkhäuser Boston Inc., a scientific publishing house affiliated with Birkhäuser Verlag in Basil, Switzerland. Following his retirement in 1986, he took up residence in Stanfordville, NY, near Poughkeepsie.
William H. Klump, who had been residing in Manhattan since 1990, died on May 5, 2010. He leaves no immediate survivors.
Back to Top
A longtime executive of a family owned business in Buffalo, NY, was born in that city on April 5, 1921. The only child of Julius E., a building contractor, and Rosina Glaser Metz, he grew up in Buffalo, where he was graduated from East High School at the age of 16. Deemed by his parents too young to go on immediately to college, he instead worked for two years as a copy boy for the Buffalo Evening News. Young Jim Metz was so beguiled by the newspaper scene that he envisioned a future career in journalism, and after entering Hamilton in 1939, he devoted most of his time and energies to student publications.
Although Jim Metz initially went out for football and track, he soon focused his attention on the student newspaper, Hamilton Life. By 1942, because of wartime paper shortages, it was combined with The Continental, the literary magazine. The result was a weekly publication called Hamiltonews. With Jim as co-editor, along with classmate Otis Bigelow, it began publication in the fall of 1942-43. By that time, large numbers of students had left for military service, and there was virtually no one to help put out the publication. He had to do most everything himself, from the reporting, writing, and editing to mocking up each issue. In the meantime, he also worked on The Hamiltonian and chaired both the Publications Board and the Press Board.
Deservedly elected to the journalism honorary Pi Delta Epsilon, Jim Metz, a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon, had truly “pounded his way through Hamilton with his typewriter,” in the words of The Hamiltonian. He left the Hill with his B.S. degree in 1943. Shortly thereafter, he was in the U.S. Army, assigned to a field artillery battalion. By 1944, he was with General George S. Patton’s Third Army in Europe, and he saw action with the 512th Field Artillery Battalion in the Battle of the Bulge. Wounded in the arm and shoulder by a sniper’s bullet during the invasion of Germany, he was awarded the Purple Heart.
Discharged from the Army in 1946, after the war’s end, Technical Sergeant Metz returned to his hometown of Buffalo and found employment with the Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Co. and later the edible oils sales department of Spencer Kellogg & Sons. On May 28, 1949, while with Kellogg, he was married to Marjorie R. Betz in Buffalo. He later joined United Truck Supply, Inc., as a salesman. Named company secretary and subsequently secretary-treasurer, he retired in 1986 as vice president. A former secretary and vice president of the Truck and Bus Maintenance Association of Buffalo, he was also for many years a highly active member of Bethany United Methodist Church in Tonawanda. He chaired its board of trustees, taught its Sunday school classes for a decade, and sang in its choir.
James E. Metz, a faithful alumnus, died on May 4, 2010, at his home in the Buffalo suburb of Williamsville, in his 90th year. Survivors include his wife of 61 years, a daughter, Marilyn Pfisterer, and two grandsons.
Back to Top
A retired branch manager for the New York State Department of Labor, was born on February 6, 1922, in Utica, NY. The son of Frank and Sophia Biernat Sliwa, immigrants from Poland, he grew up in Utica, where his father was employed as a telephone lineman. He came up to College Hill in 1939, following his graduation from Utica Free Academy. In 1942, after U.S. entry into World War II, he withdrew from the College to join the Army Air Corps. He served throughout the war, and in 1946, after it had ended, he returned to the Hill, completed his course of study and receive his A.B. degree in 1947.
Married on April 10, 1948, to Helen Podzielinski in Utica, Joe Sliwa began his career as an investigator for the state’s Department of Labor. Promoted to branch manager, he retained that post for many years, retiring in 1985. An avid gardener, he was especially fond of devoting his leisure time to cultivating flowers.
Joseph Sliwa, a lifelong Utica resident, died at his home on January 8, 2011. He leaves his wife of 62 years. Also surviving are a daughter, Christine Schell; two sons, Joseph F., Jr., and Daniel Sliwa; and five grand-children and a sister.
Back to Top
James Barton Summers ’43, long a leader in the transportation manufacturing industry, grew up in Syracuse, NY, where he was born on July 22, 1921. The only child of Clarence J., a machinist, and Emma Finkbeiner Summers, he was graduated in 1939 from Eastwood High School in Syracuse and enrolled at Hamilton that fall. He joined the Emerson Literary Society and went out for tennis and golf. However, Jim Summers primarily focused on hockey, which he played during all his years on the Hill, lettering in the sport. Shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he attempted to enlist in the U.S. Navy. Initially turned down as overweight (The Hamiltonian described him as “short and squat”), he soon managed to shed a sufficient number of pounds to be accepted in January 1942.
His induction deferred until his graduation with a B.S. degree in 1943, Jim Summers obtained an officer’s commission and was assigned to the U.S.S. Hogan, a destroyer originally launched in 1919 and converted into a high-speed minesweeper during World War II. When Ensign Summers joined her crew in the fall of 1943, she had just been assigned to the Pacific fleet. With Jim aboard as a gunnery and minesweeping officer, the Hogan participated in the entire string of island campaigns, beginning with the Marshall Islands in the South Pacific and ending with the invasion of the Philippines and the assault on Iwo Jima. In all, Jim participated in six invasions during his 27 months of sea duty aboard the Hogan.
Released from active duty as a lieutenant (j.g.) in early 1946, after the war’s end, Jim Summers returned to his home area and went to work for Oneida Products Corp. in Canastota, NY, a manufacturer of school buses as well as military transport vehicles. Beginning in its cost department, he was promoted to assistant sales manager in 1951. Recruited in 1956 as sales manager for Keco Industries in Cincinnati, OH, he returned two years later to Oneida Products, only to leave again after a year to become sales manager of the newly formed Transit Coach Division of Superior Coach Corp. in Lima, OH. He was soon promoted to head of sales for both that division and the School Bus Division, and in 1965 he was named general sales manager for all sales, including funeral coaches and ambulances.
Appointed divisional vice president of sales in 1966, Jim Summers oversaw the introduction and marketing of the new all-steel Superior motor home. In 1969, when Superior was taken over by Sheller-Globe Corp. of Toledo, Jim stayed on and was promoted in 1972 to vice president of marketing for the parent company’s Transportation Division. By that time he had not only established its Motor Home Division but also built it into a leading international manufacturer of school buses, funeral cars, and ambulances. He resigned from Sheller-Globe in 1974 and the next year began with two partners a small company, NBS Inc., which specialized in the creation, manufacturing, and sale of novel household products. However, lack of capital thwarted any substantial growth, and in 1976, when asked to take the post of executive vice president of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association, the industry’s chief lobbying group, he quickly assented.
Jim Summers settled in the Washington, DC, area and soon learned the ways of the nation’s capital while engaging with members of Congress and testifying before numerous congressional committees. Ever energetic and ready to face a challenge, he led the RVDA for a decade and played a key role in its reorganization and the development of new programs and relationships that permanently strengthened it. He was also instrumental in the founding of the American Recreational Coalition. In recognition of his outstanding service to the association and the industry, the RVDA established the James B. Summers Award in 1985, with Jim as its first recipient. In 2002, Jim was inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame, located in Elkhart, IN.
Jim Summers retired from the RVDA in 1986 and moved to Charleston, SC, where he continued to pursue with a passion his interest in golf. Well into his 80s, he played the game avidly several times a week. Besides serving on the boards of the Woodlands Country Club and the Woodlands Homeowners Association, he was a council member of Trinity Lutheran Church and deeply involved in its resource development. In addition, he remained active in organizing reunions of survivors of the U.S.S. Hogan’s World War II crew as well as annual conventions of the RVDA, where for many years he personally presented the Summers Award.
James B. Summers, a staunchly dedicated Hamiltonian and class correspondent for this magazine, died in Columbia, SC, on October 3, 2010, in his 90th year. He is survived by his wife, the former Elizabeth J. Daratt, whom he had wed on October 21, 1948, in Syracuse. Also surviving are a son, James B. Summers, Jr., and three grandchildren. They, and all who were privileged to know Jim Summers, will miss “his irrepressible optimism, boundless friendliness, and gregarious spirit.”
Return to Top
A school physician and Adirondack camp proprietor who combined a love of the outdoors with a passion for photography, and who devoted much of his life to the counseling of youngsters, was born on January 16, 1922, in New York City. The son of Abel E., Jr., Class of 1913, a patent attorney, and Dorothy Bernard Blackmar, he was a grandson of Abel E. Blackmar, Class of 1874, a lawyer and jurist, and longtime trustee of the College. “Ted” Blackmar grew up in New York’s suburbs and came to Hamilton from Bronxville in 1940, following his graduation from Bronxville High School. He joined Delta Kappa Epsilon, his father’s fraternity, and, having decided upon a career in medicine, pursued premedical studies, When his commitment to a future as a physician temporarily wavered, he was encouraged by Dean Campbell Dickson and Professor Earl Butcher to stay the course, a decision he never regretted.
While engaged during the summers as a YMCA camp counselor, Ted Blackmar not only fell in love with the Adirondacks but also found counseling youngsters to be highly satisfying, and he determined to continue it as his life’s work. In his “semi-legal” 1934 Ford V-8, he would often travel on weekends and holidays from College Hill up into the mountains to the North. One of the few members of the Class of 1944 to graduate in September 1943, he entered New York Medical College under the auspices of the U.S. Navy’s V-12 program during World War II. He earned his M.D. degree in 1947.
In 1948, after a year’s internship at Grasslands Hospital in Westchester Country, Ted Blackmar opened Forestcraft, a camp for boys on Upper Saranac Lake. As its founder and director, he would continue to operate the camp every summer for almost the rest of his life. The exception was 1951-53, when he was recalled to active duty by the Navy during the Korean War. As a medical officer with the 1st Marine Division, he served for a year in Korea.
Ted Blackmar acquired the means to maintain Forestcraft by serving as the resident physician at the Peddie School (1949-51, 1953-58) and Lawrenceville School (1958-73), both in New Jersey. He enjoyed that kind of medical practice as both satisfying and fulfilling. At Forestcraft, he organized and directed a wilderness camping program that taught self-reliance and self-discipline to youngsters ages 12 to 16. Many hundreds of them over some 50 summers received his instruction in mastering the ways of coping and communing with nature. In thus helping to build youthful character in a “setting of freedom and challenge,” Ted Blackmar found his efforts deeply rewarding.
In 1973, Dr. Blackmar left his post at Lawrenceville to take up full-time residence at Forestcraft. He not only enjoyed the four Adirondack seasons but also welcomed more time for extensive travel and for photography, a favorite preoccupation since his youth. His overseas journeys included five long treks in the mountains of Nepal, where he added to his vast collection of color slides. In 2004, an impressive exhibition of his photography, depicting landscapes throughout the world, was held at Hamilton’s Emerson Gallery, coinciding with the 60th Reunion of his class.
A. Edward Blackmar, a faithful alumnus, died on September 26, 2010, at a health care center in Plattsburgh, NY. Unmarried, he is survived by a sister, Polly Ohman, as well as nieces and nephews. His close friend, Mary Brumder, whom he had met in Nepal, predeceased him in 1999. Ted Blackmar will be long and fondly remembered by the many whose lives he profoundly influenced when they were young.
Back to Top
An obstetrician and gynecologist who practiced in Worcester, MA, for more than 40 years, was born on January 9, 1923, in Philadelphia, PA. The elder son of Albert R., a salesman, and Sarah Dorothy Clarke Jones, he grew up in Philadelphia, where he was graduated in 1940 from Simon Gratz High School. Already determined while in high school to become a physician, he arrived on College Hill that fall and pursued premedical studies. A member of the Emerson Literary Society, he was awarded his A.B. degree in September 1943.
Albert Jones thereafter returned to his hometown of Philadelphia, where he enrolled at Jefferson Medical College. He obtained his M.D. degree in 1947 and served his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Baltimore City Hospital and Walter Reed Army Hospital in Maryland. From 1949 to 1953, he was on active duty as an officer in the U.S. Army Medical Corps. Following his discharge with the rank of captain, he established his medical practice in Worcester.
Greatly concerned with furthering women’s and infants’ health care in the Worcester area, Dr. Jones was a driving force in the development of the neonatal intensive care unit and the high risk maternity unit at Memorial Hospital (now the University of Massachusetts Memorial Health Center). And as a member of Memorial’s medical staff, he chaired its Division of Reproductive Medicine from 1976 to 1988. A founder in 1969 of Worcester Ob-Gyn Associates, Inc., the city’s first large-group practice in obstetrics and gynecology, he also served as a clinical professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Jones was a member of numerous medical associations, including the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and was in addition a director of the Worcester County Institution for Savings.
Albert R. Jones, Jr. was still residing in retirement in Worcester when he died on October 30, 2010. He is survived by a daughter and a son, Patricia J. Whiting and Albert Richard Jones III, born of his first marriage, on October 31, 1942, to Jean H. Laubenstein, who pre-deceased him in September 1986. Also surviving are five grandchildren. Dr. Jones’ second wife, Carolyn M. Dolan Shea, whom he had wed in December 1990, predeceased him in March 2010.
Back to Top
John Buttrick Root ’44, a retired oil company executive who faithfully continued his family’s long tradition of distinguished service to the College, was born on September 2, 1922, in New York City. He was the son of Edward Wales Root, Class of 1905, the noted art connoisseur who introduced the teaching of art appreciation to College Hill, and the former Grace Cogswell, who oversaw and maintained the Root Glen for many years. His grandfather was the eminent statesman Elihu Root, Class of 1864, and his great-grandfather was Oren Root, Class of 1833, professor of mathematics and creator of the Root Glen. John Root grew up in what was the Root Homestead (now the Anderson-Connell Alumni Center), across the street from Hamilton’s campus, and where his parents played a prominent role in the social and cultural life of the Hill.
John Root entered the College in 1940 from Brooks School in Massachusetts. He joined his family’s fraternity, Sigma Phi, took an active part in student government, and made his athletic presence felt on the gridiron. He served on the Honor Court, lettered in football, and was tapped for Quadrangle, DT, and Pentagon. In 1943, following his accelerated graduation, he heeded a call to the colors in the midst of World War II by joining the U.S. Navy. Three years later, after gaining an acquaintance with naval receiving stations on assorted Pacific islands, Lt. (j.g.) Root concluded his military service as maintenance and damage control officer aboard the destroyer tender U.S.S. Piedmont, on which he sailed back to California and civilian life in 1946.
In 1948, John Root acquired an M.A. degree from the School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC, and soon joined the U.S. Foreign Service. As a third secretary and vice consul, he was stationed principally in Jerusalem, and spent his time shuttling between the Israeli and Jordanian sections of what had been Palestine. On August 21, 1953, he and Nanda Bourouni, a native of Greece, were married in Washington. That year, John Root left the Foreign Service to begin his long career in the petroleum industry by joining Esso (Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey, later Exxon Corp.).
Beginning in petroleum marketing with an Esso affiliate in Cairo, John Root spent the next two decades as a manager with other marketing affiliates in such locations as Cyprus, Libya, Morocco, and Lebanon, as well as Geneva, Switzerland, where he was deputy manager of Esso Supply Co. During the 1970s he was primarily headquartered in London as a vice president of Esso Africa, responsible for marketing activities in various countries in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. After 27 years with Esso, he retired in 1980 to become general manager of TOTAL (Suisse), a petroleum marketing company in Geneva.
In 1982, after briefly serving as a consultant, John Root retired for good and settled in New York City. Throughout his many years of residence and travel abroad, he remained close to the College, if not geographically, at least in ardent loyalty. After his retirement, he readily volunteered to serve Hamilton and his class in numerous capacities, but most particularly in carrying on his father’s legacy by fostering the visual arts on College Hill. As a charter member of Hamilton’s Committee for the Visual Arts and its chairman for many years, he provided generous assistance and sage advice in furthering the aims of the Emerson Gallery.
In recognition of his many contributions, John Root was given the Alumni Association’s Bell Ringer Award in 1998. In 2007, to honor his commitment to the visual arts, the John B. Root ’44 Exhibition Fund was established by family and friends to provide support of exhibitions and programming at the Emerson Gallery as well as for the College’s future museum.
In 2007, John B. Root moved to Los Angeles, CA, to be near his daughter, Melina Root-Stevens. He died in that city on July 9, 2010. Predeceased by his wife in 2001, his is survived by his daughter and two grandchildren, Sophia and Guy. Interment was in the College Cemetery, near the resting place of the many other Root Family members so intimately associated with Hamilton through the years.
Return to Top
Who spent virtually his entire career in food service sales, was born on June 11, 1923, in Paterson, NJ. The elder son of the Rev. Albert G. Butzer, D.D. (Hon.) ’45, a Presbyterian minister and pioneer in the ecumenical movement, and the former Katharine Coe, he moved to Buffalo, NY, with his family at the age of nine, when his father was named minister of Westminister Presbyterian Church. Young Albert, known as “Bert,” grew up in Buffalo, where he attended Nichols School. He prepared for college at Hill School in Pottstown, PA, and entered Hamilton in 1941. He went out for basketball and soccer. In 1943, after three semesters on the Hill, he left to go on active duty with the U.S. Army Air Corps.
Commissioned as an officer after earning his wings as a flying cadet, Bert Butzer piloted a B-17 bomber with the Eighth Air Force during World War II and flew missions over German-occupied France and Holland. Released as a second lieutenant at the war’s end in 1945, he returned to College Hill that fall and resumed his athletic activities, becoming captain of the soccer team. He also sang in the Choir. A member of Sigma Phi, he was graduated in 1947.
Thereafter, Bert Butzer returned to Buffalo and soon entered the field of food service sales. In 1953, he began a long association with Acme Markets, becoming head grocery buyer for its stores in the Buffalo area. After more than a dozen years with Acme, he joined G.R. Bennett, a food brokerage company, for another dozen years as supervisor of retail sales. He concluded his career with the Wegman grocery chain, retiring in 1982.
Bert Butzer, a former president of Hamilton’s Western New York Alumni Association, also served as a deacon and elder of Westminister Presbyterian Church, where his father had earlier occupied the pulpit. Except for a brief period during the 1980s when he and his son Tim operated a restaurant, The River’s Edge, in Saxtons River, VT, he continued to reside in Buffalo. He enjoyed golf, tennis, and sailing, as well as traveling and camping.
Albert G. Butzer, Jr., most recently a resident of Norfolk, VA, died in Norfolk on September 27, 2010. Predeceased in 2003 by his wife, the former Dorothy Jean Avery, whom he had married in 1950, he is survived by two sons, Albert G. III and Timothy A. Butzer, as well as four grand-children and his brother, Clayton C. Butzer.
Back to Top
A longtime supervisor with the Western Electric Co., was born on August 29, 1924, to William J. and Mattie Sutherland McWilliams, in Indianapolis, IN. He prepared for college at Park School in Indianapolis and entered Hamilton from Scarsdale, NY, in 1942. However, “Bill” McWilliams left the Hill after a semester to serve in the U.S. Army during World War II. Assigned to the Signal Corps, he remained in uniform until 1946, after the war’s end.
Married to Doris W. Daley on September 26, 1946, in Indianapolis, Bill McWilliams returned to College Hill with his bride to resume his studies. Described by The Hamiltonian as “transplanted Hoosiers,” he and Doris soon became a familiar sight on campus, tooling around in their jeep. While pursuing his own studies, Bill, a member of Psi Upsilon, tutored house freshmen in math and chemistry, and was credited with exercising “a steadying influence on his fraternity brothers.”
Following his graduation in 1948, Bill McWilliams worked for three years with a lumber company in Oxford, MS. He subsequently returned to Indianapolis and began his long employment with Western Electric, becoming a computer systems planner and supervisor. Later assigned by Western Electric to other locations, including Shreveport, LA, he retired as assistant computer and safety manager.
William G. McWilliams, who returned to the College after many years to attend the 60th Reunion of his Class in 2006, resided in retirement in Avinger, northeast Texas. He died in Long-view, TX, on November 29, 2009. In addition to his wife of 63 years, he is survived by three daughters, Mary McWilliams, Marjorie Britt, and Lucy Sanders.
Back to Top
A retired consulting engineer, was born on August 6, 1922, in Nutley, NJ. A son of Archibald H. and Bessie Crane Sharp, he came to College Hill in 1940 as a graduate of Nutley High School. Dick Sharp joined Sigma Phi and became circulation manager for Hamilton Life. He remained on the Hill until the end of his junior year in 1943, when he entered the U.S. Navy as an enlistee in the midst of World War II. Commissioned as an ensign, he served in the Pacific theater, commanding an LCI (landing craft, infantry) as a lieutenant (j.g.). Released from the Navy in 1946, he returned to the College to finish his course of study. Described by The Hamiltonian as “ever the good-humored and unprepossessing man-about-campus,” he was graduated in 1947.
Having decided upon a career in engineering, Dick Sharp went on to Cornell University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1949. While employed by Morrell Vrooman, a consulting engineering firm in Gloversville, NY, he met Mildred “Mickey” Clarke, and they were married in Gloversville on June 3, 1950. The couple settled in Connecticut in 1952, where Dick joined the firm of Dorr-Oliver in Stanford. In 1958, he acquired a master’s degree in sanitary engineering from New York University and, while continuing to reside in Stanford, worked for a few years in that field with firms in New York City.
In 1962, Dick Sharp was appointed as Stanford’s assistant city engineer. Three years later, he and a friend formed their own consulting engineering firm, Albertson, Sharp & Associates (later Albertson Sharp Ewing, Inc.) in Norwalk, CT. As a principal in the firm, he at last had a job “from which no one could fire me,” as he later commented, and he continued to be busily engaged in solving engineering problems until his retirement in 1987.
Dick Sharp, a former chapter president of the Connecticut Society of Professional Engineers and an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association, was long active in the Stanford Rotary Club as well as the First Presbyterian Church of Stanford as a trustee, elder, and deacon. A steadfast alumnus of the College, he served Hamilton and his classmates in numerous capacities, in fund-raising, chairing reunions, and as president of his class. For recreation he enjoyed skiing, sailing, and hiking, as well as swimming, biking, and yard work for exercise. In addition, he and Mickey were fond of spending summers on the coast of Maine and the winter ski season in the White Mountains of New Hampshire along with their children and grandchildren.
Richard C. Sharp, a resident of Woodbury, CT, for the past 12 years, died at his home there on December 17, 2010. He is survived by his wife of 60 years. Also surviving are a son, Robert A. Sharp; a daughter, Kathryn Scruggs; and five grandchildren, a brother, and a sister.
Back to Top
A lawyer and toy and game designer who never permitted physical handicap to impede him in his pursuit of a successful career, was born on March 29, 1926, in Buffalo, NY. He was a son of Alexander D. MacLeod, a factory foreman, and the former Loraine Shea. Afflicted with polio at the age of 5, “Gordie” MacLeod began walking with braces on both legs at age 6 and later relied on a cane and eventually a wheelchair. At Bennett High School in Buffalo he became class president and was graduated as academically first in his class.
Gordie MacLeod arrived on College Hill in 1944 as one of the small band of freshmen in that war year. Although unable to participate in sports, he soon plunged into a variety of campus activities, including the Charlatans and service on the Honor Court. He also played drums on weekends with a local dance band. After World War II had ended and student activities were revived, he participated in debate, sang in the Choir, and became a disc jockey for campus radio station WHC. As its chief announcer in his senior year, he combined a “golden voice” with “unbeatable patter,” in the works of The Hamiltonian. Known for his mode of transportation, a motor scooter that would start up even on the coldest mornings, he also gained attention and appreciation for his wit, as exemplified by his comedy routines with Chuck Lewis ’49.
Gordon MacLeod, a member of Alpha Delta Phi who helped supplement his scholarship support by operating the College’s switchboard on Saturday afternoons, excelled academically, was awarded the Arnold Prize Scholarship, and achieved election to Phi Beta Kappa. Following his graduation with honors, including honors in psychology and public speaking, in 1948, he entered Harvard Law School. While in Cambridge, he met Loraine King, and they were married in Groveton, NH, on July 7, 1951, the year he received his LL.B. degree.
Gordon MacLeod returned with his bride to his hometown of Buffalo, where he joined the law firm of Hodgson, Russ, Andrews, Woods & Goodyear. Specializing in trusts, estates, and taxation, he remained with the firm for 42 years until his retirement in 1993. He became a partner in the firm, the largest in Buffalo, and chaired its trusts and estates department. Recognized as an expert in his legal field, he habitually received listing in The Best Lawyers in America. During his years of practice he also wrote numerous articles on his specialty for law journals and lectured widely to professional groups. Benefiting from his College Hill training, he enjoyed public speaking, “an endeavor in which my disability is of no consequence.”
When still a young law firm associate, Gordon MacLeod began designing toys and creating board games as a hobby. Over the years he succeeded in licensing many of his creations to prominent toy and game manufacturers such as Hasbro and Milton Bradley, and several of his games have been marketed nationally. In his spare time he was also a percussionist for the Amherst (NY) Male Glee Club, and was known to visit local casinos on occasion as an avid blackjack player. Despite confinement to a wheelchair, he carried on, with good cheer, an impressive variety of activities. A devoted Hamilton alumnus, but one who never hesitated to voice an opinion, he was particularly persistent in urging his alma mater to improve handicap access to its campus buildings.
Gordon A. MacLeod, a resident of the Buffalo suburb of Williamsville, died on December 8, 2010, while hospitalized in nearby Amherst. Predeceased by his wife in 2000, he is survived by a son, Bruce K. MacLeod; a daughter, Heather Lea Adams; and three grandchildren.
Back to Top
Whose engineering career took him to assignments throughout the country as well as abroad, was born on August 19, 1926, in Mussoorie, U.P., India. The son of the Rev. George J. and Cordia Lee Thompson Murdoch, Presbyterian missionaries there at the time, he grew up in Port Henry, NY, on Lake Champlain, near the Vermont border, and came to Hamilton from Port Henry High School in 1944. One of the few “civilian” students on the Hill as a freshman in those World War II days, he later joined the Squires Club and “emitted bassoon-like tones in the Chapel” as a member of the Choir. He also became active in the religious life of the campus during the early post-war years as moderator of the College Church Session and a founding member of the Student Christian Association. In addition, he “dabbled in darkroom procedures” as a photography buff.
Boyd Murdoch, following his graduation in 1948, returned to his birthplace in India, where for three years he taught subjects ranging from science and math to industrial arts and scouting at the Woodstock School, then as now, one of India’s leading boarding schools. After returning to this country, he pursued studies in mechanical and civil engineering, earning a B.S. degree from the University of Toledo in 1955. On May 4, 1957, in Cleveland, OH, he was wed to Mari Angela Romeo.
Through the years, Boyd Murdoch was employed as a field or project engineer by various engineering and construction companies in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, and even the Philippines. During the 1960s, while affiliated with Arthur G. McKee & Co., of Cleveland, he was assigned as engineer in charge of construction for it subsidiary company in Argentina. He was located in Utah at the time of his retirement.
Throughout his life, Boyd Murdoch remained devoted to his Christian faith. Wherever he resided , he became an active elder in the local Presbyterian church. Much of his free time was spent in Bible study and church service, and in communities where the church was small and had no regular pastor, he often took on a teaching role.
C. Boyd Murdoch died on October 6, 2010, at his home in Tucson, AZ. He is survived by a son, Jorge Scott Murdoch; three daughters, Moira Lee Richards, Rani Rose Zappa, and Dana Elizabeth Murdoch; and eight grandchildren.
Back to Top
Who practiced law in St. Johnsville, NY, east of Utica, for 52 years, was born in Utica on October 19, 1923. His parents were James W. Conboy, an electrician, and the former Ruth. L. Stell, a legal secretary. “Jim” Conboy was graduated in 1939 from New Hartford High School and studied chemical engineering at Cornell University before enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He served through most of World War II and was stationed in the Pacific theater.
Discharged as a sergeant in 1946, Jim Conboy enrolled after the war at the newly established Utica College of Syracuse University. There he met its dean, Winton Tolles ’28 (subsequently dean at Hamilton), who suggested that Jim continue his studies on College Hill. He transferred to Hamilton as a junior in 1947, joined Delta Phi, and became a member of the ski team, lettering in the sport. He also excelled academically, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and received his diploma with honors, including honors in economics, in 1949.
Jim Conboy, who once jokingly listed “bon vivant” among his college activities, went on to Cornell Law School, where he acquired his LL.B. degree in 1952. After three years of practicing law with the firm of Coupe, Coupe & Matt in Utica, he established his practice in St. Johnsville. He became attorney for the St. Johnsville school board as well as St. Johnsville village and town attorney, and served as an assistant district attorney for Montgomery County during the 1970s. He went later into partnership with his son, James E. “Jed” Conboy ’76, forming the firm of Conboy & Conboy. Known to many of his clients as “Gentleman Jim,” he continued to serve them “with dignity, compassion, and integrity” until his retirement in his 84th year in 2007.
James W. Conboy, a former deacon and elder of St. Johnsville Reformed Church and onetime president of the St. Johnsville Rotary Club, had long resided in nearby Fort Plain. A faithfully supportive alumnus, he died on December 7, 2010, at Little Falls Hospital, which he had served as a trustee. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, the former Joan L. Savarese, whom he had married on October 11, 1952, in New York City. Also surviving, in addition to his son Jed, are two younger sons, David A. and Dana S. Conboy; a daughter, Tracy A. Conboy ’84; and three grandchildren.