March - April 2023


1961 Class Notes Editor – Paul Capra
4106 Stonehaven Ln SE
Olympia, WA 98501

Webmaster – Lou Allyn –

Co-Chairs – Class Council
Jamie McLane E-mail:
Henry Kuehn E-mail:

Vince Teti, our class delegate to last Fall’s YAA Assembly and Convocation reports: the program started with a tour of the new Schwarzman Center. Our beloved Commons is now a dazzling campus magnet for food service, small study groups and student gatherings. On day two, President Salovey addressed the Assembly and followed up with an interview of Jim Levinsohn, inaugural dean of Yale’s newest professional school. The Yale Jackson School of Global Affairs heralds a quantum leap into the future of global geopolitics, environment, health, and law. Three Yale Corporation Trustees ended the day with a panel discussion. The icing on the cake for the weekend was a nail-biting football win over Princeton!

Webmaster Lou Allyn maintains a treasure trove of past, present and future information regarding members of the class and class activities. Several classmates have asked for help getting “on – line”. Please contact either Lou or me at our e-mails above if you want to learn more. You can access the website at Yale Alumni Magazine Notes like this are limited in space and are published only every two months. You can drill down for more extensive information and often stay ahead of coming class events more efficiently by using the website.

James R. Massengale sent an announcement that he was named “Knight of the Royal Order of the Polar Star, first class, according to King Carl Gustaf of Sweden. The Royal Order recognizes devotion to duty, for science, literary, learned and useful works. James went directly from Yale to Scandinavia on an old steamer, the Stavangerfjord, and spent a fourth of his time thereafter (for many years summers and sabbaticals from UCLA), “in search of musical and poetic beauty”. James noted that awardees are not allowed to melt down, pawn or give away the medals, and they must be returned to the King upon death. How to comply with that order will occupy his remaining days.

Bryson Thompson takes us back to 1966 by way of a Tom Wolfe short story The Truest Sport: Jousting with Sam and Charlie. The short story is about classmate John Dowd flying missions over North Vietnam. John and Bryson were Navy fighter pilots together on the Constellation, but this short story is slightly later aboard the Coral Sea. The story can be found in Wolfe’s Mauve Gloves & Madmen.

George F. Grillo, Jr writes: I was delighted to attend the last New Haven reunion thanks to arrangements made by Ed Cantor. My wife and I are now living in the long term care center at the Masonic Health Center in Wallingford.

J. Scott Merritt, Jr. writes from Manhattan KS to let us know that he is getting better from a stroke and reminisces about playing trumpet back in his undergraduate days.

Mark D. Lebow writes: last October, my wife Patricia and I became grandparents for the first time. Happy to report, Rex is flourishing.

By the time you read these notes, we will have enjoyed another monthly Class Zoom (thanks to Andy Block) this one by Amor Towles. A shout- out goes to Terry Shockey who prepped us with his own reviews of two of Towles best-selling works: A Gentleman in Moscow and The Lincoln Highway.

Michael Partington of Cleveland Heights, OH passed away on April 21, 2022. A life-long athlete (10 marathons) he was a career academic librarian and a proud supporter of the theater arts program at Case Western Reserve.

John Hansman reports that fellow Fox Hill resident John Anderson died on December 10, 2022. He is survived by his wife Cissy who continues to live at The Fox Hill Senior community in Bethesda MD.

Robert T. Gardner passed November 8, 2022 in St Paul MN. He was a graduate of Saint Paul Academy and Yale University where he served as President of Chi Psi. Chi Psi honored Bob’s lifelong commitment to service by awarding him the Distinguished Service Award which is their highest honor. He owned several companies before his retirement. Afterwards, his interests centered on golf and travel (particularly if the destination had 18 holes).

William K. Dial succumbed to AML on January 5, 2023 in Santa Barbara. He was an army brat who lived everywhere. After Andover and Yale, Bill commanded a transportation battalion with the 8th Infantry Division in Germany. Having finished a law degree from Berkely he worked with several law firms in Los Angeles, finishing his legal career “of counsel” with Chevron. He volunteered for AVP (Alternatives to Violence Project) at San Luis Obispo Men’s Colony; and later he introduced the AVP program at the Lompoc Federal Prison. Bill is survived by his life partner, Maureen Murdock. They loved dancing, travel and golf especially at the Cosmopolitan Club and formed many lasting friendships on and off the course.
Anyone wishing to add a personal note to Bill’s or other recent obituaries posted on the class website can do so with a simple note to Lou Allyn.