Timothy Davis Lanham


Died May 29, 1964

Tim Lanham was the proverbial square peg in the round hole. Yale in the late 1950’s didn’t fit him at all and he didn’t make it through four years. He was in the room next to me at Wright Hall in our freshman year so we got to know one another fairly well. He had completed a turn in the navy, just as I had done the same in the army, and so we were part of the illustrious class of 1961, two ex-servicemen who had saved the U.S. from the Red Menace during those years of the Cold War.

When it came time to start the jumble of assembling a team of roommates for sophomore year, we joined with Guy Butterworth and George Russell and all landed together in Berkeley College. But Yale was not sitting well with Tim. His father, an ex-Yalie, insisted on his continuing when he wanted no part of the family tradiition that went back generations. And so Tim walked away from Yale and Berkeley College (and Guy and George and George) about two months into that first semester. He’d had it. And so we missed him — for a while.

I heard nothing from Tim after that, until I was a new graduate of Yale living in NYC and learning all about banking. He had somehow made himself into an airline reservation clerk also living in NYC, and we met a few times to catch up. But some internal medical problem, the nature of which I’ve forgotten (probably a weak heart), caught up with Tim and so he died, way too young. I was notified by his family and attended the memorial service for Tim at one of the Park Avenue churches (which he would have hated).

And so, one member of the class of 1961, if only a year or so. Tim was a fine person who enjoyed his life once it was free of Yale. There are others whose lives he touched who could add much more to this. I wish I could locate them and get their comments. My recollections are too sparse.

— George Dowling