Shots from Q’s

Shots from R’s

1996

Gordon Rabeler CH '45 & '48 came through loud and clear on email (GRabele@aol.com) in response to my comments about finding those on email.  He was Paper and Coatings Technical Manager at International Paper Co. Corporate Research Center.  He now is in Rockland County NY and active with Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP).  Gordon reports that they have 950 volunteers working at 125  nonprofit worksites.  He also is an active member and Treasurer of the Ski Club of New Jersey, member of TAPPI (paper industry technical association), and a member of National Association of Investors Corporation (NAIC) and their computer group.  He recommends NAIC if you want to become more savvy about investing.  He tells me that I should "byte the bullet" and upgrade to enjoy the wealth of information on the WEB.  Some of you in New York State probably have been hearing about the many cases of Lyme's decease,  which I believe is related to tick bites.  Gordon has been battling Lyme's for many months.  Tests, spinal taps, medications and is now being monitored to make sure he has been cured.  It isn't just in New York State, so keep your guard up when you might be exposed.  Gordon spurred me on by saying he's been watching the Class Notes and thinks it is pretty good.

2000

Gordon Rebeler CHE '45-'48: Only 10% of our class using email? This is sad and pathetic!  Maybe my comments are too strong.  There should be more users.  Due to personal schedule I will not be able to make the '55 Reunion.  Gordon was Manager of Paper & Coating Technology at International Paper.

2004

Gordon Rabeler '45 sent along his new email address for anyone interested:  GERabeler@cs.com 

He will try to send along some input for the notes later.

2010

Hugh Ernest Riordan BME & MME It may seem a little strange to find a Brooklyn boy here in a remote country churchyard. Daddy was a man of sophisticated tastes, well-travelled in the world. As a boy, his mother took him every Saturday to the Metropolitan Opera. In his early years, he rode the subway every day to school. But there was always a rural thread in his life. Brooklyn was farm country in the 1920’s, and he spent his summers in Mill Rift, Pennsylvania, a small town with rushing falls and gentle mountains, and several vacations he worked on a farm.

 

I have always been proud of Daddy.  Proud of his intellect, his accomplishments, and his dignity. I have never known anyone else like him; he knew the answer to every question, he could fix anything, he remembered everything. His interests ranged from science to poetry and music. He is literally the only person I ever met who read Einstein for fun. When he was recovering from his first major illness, we knew his brain was undamaged when he commented on the Monet hanging across from his bed.

He was a brilliant engineer, whose inventions advanced technology, saved lives, and helped in the defense of his country. Above all, he was a man of impeccable integrity. That is a rare thing.

I am indebted to him not just for his love and support of me throughout some of my more wretched moments, but for the gifts he gave me. Almost everything I love in life, I learned from him. From Daddy, I learned to love music and literature, to care about reason and rational thinking, to value education and languages, to be a patriot, and to love freedom, and perhaps most important, I learned my insane passion for dogs. I guess we all did.

When Brian and I were talking this morning, he reminded me that for all Dad's affection for his Mercedes Benz--a car he cherished, coddled, and fiercely protected from the rest of the family--he drove it into a ditch and wrecked it to avoid hitting a groundhog on the road. He was not a demonstrative man, but he was tender-hearted. He loved to be hugged, and beneath his quiet mask he was extraordinarily affectionate.

Of all the places he had lived, he loved Wisconsin best. I think it was partly because the German culture seemed familiar to him, like the households of his German grandfather and uncle, and partly because he admired the simple integrity of the people here. He liked farmland and the animals, and he saw cities as places that corrupted lives and culture. For all his accomplishments and education, he had no pretense or snobbery. He was a good man who lived a simple, honest life. And it seems exactly right that he should rest here, among settlers and veterans, underneath tall trees.

Janet Riordan Sykes, daughter of Hugh Ernest Riordan BME & MME, presented those thoughts at his burial service.  Her husband Charlie sent the more formal words of Hugh’s career:  Hugh E. Riordan, an engineer who worked in the aerospace and automotive industries, and held over 130 patents, applications, and invention disclosures, died in West Bend, WI on Thursday June 12, 2008.  He was 84. A specialist in inertial guidance systems for missiles; his work included the electromechanical digital sensing system used in the SRAM missile; accelerometers and gyroscopes for artillery rockets, multiple components in use in the Navy’s Talos, Terrier, and Tartar missiles; and the world’s first production electronic antiskid systems for cars and for air-braked trucks. At Battelle Memorial Institute he did basic investigations on “Twindow” double glazed windows used in airplanes, and was issued a patent on the sealing mechanism. While Director of Research and Advanced Engineering at Kelsey-Hayes Company in Ann Arbor, Michigan, he was a recipient of the prestigious I R 100 Award for his “Kel-Stop” braking system. He had been called one of the top five research and development men in the country.

Hugh was born in Brooklyn, New York, and obtained both his  Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees (ME) from RPI.  He was a World War II navy veteran. A quiet, dignified man, he was a lifelong opera fan and music lover, a devoted amateur flutist, and had a deep affection for dogs. He retired as Director of Engineering Services from Mercury Marine, in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

Hugh created a forest of beautiful memories for his family to enjoy.

1994

Frank Robbins CHE ’45 writes:  The newsletter Memoriam list includes Bill Bouley.  Bill was my roommate freshman year.  He joined the Army with  expectation of graduating before his active duty service. He died on the Normandy beach during the invasion in June, 1944.  I didn't  know Oakley Sharp very well but I believe he also died before the fall of 1944, perhaps in the course of Army service.  His father was a CE professor who must have taught many in our class.

I was one of about 7 civilians left in the class of 1945 who graduated with the remnant of the class in the fall of 1944.  Shortly after graduation I enlisted in the Navy, went through boot camp at Sampson on Seneca Lake, was sent to radio technician's school in Chicago.  While there, I got orders to Midshipman's School at Cornell University.  Bea and I had married in December 1944, and she was then on the faculty at Cornell, so the orders were very welcome.

After working for Eastman Kodak in Rochester as a chemical engineer for a couple of years, one of their patent attorneys interested me in the patent field.  We came to Washington, with our then three children, to go through law school at George Washington University, at night, while working as an examiner in the Patent Office in the daytime.  That was followed by stints of private practice in Washington and in Rochester.

I then took a job of managing the patent effort first at Photostat Corporation ( a subsidiary of ITEK Corporation), then at Kennecott Copper, and finally at what was then Corn Products Company and is now CPC International.  In 1976, we returned to Washington to private practice and have been here ever since.

There have been contacts with other classmates, particularly with RSE fraternity brothers, over the years.  Tom Hanley ('44), Jack Flavin ('43), and Elliot Woodhull ('43) were in Rochester where we were.  Hugh E. Smith ('44) was a year ahead of me in law school, and a big help when we first came to Washington.  About 1970, Bob Thurston ('45) called to see if I could help with a fund-raiser for RPI, on the eve of my departure for several weeks in Japan.  I don't think he fully believed that excuse, but I did spend the next several weeks in Japan, one of many trips that I made there on business.  George Powell ('45) also went into law and at one time was assistant general counsel of the Carborundum Company in Niagara Falls.  I did a good bit of patent work at one time for that company, and encountered George there.  Jim Decker ('45) lives in the Washington area and has been retired for several years.  He spends his time looking after his investments and has been a generous supporter of Rensselaer.

There have also been contacts over the years with lacrosse teammate Charles Merdinger, known to all the team members as "The Lieutenant."  He came to RPI from the Pacific, with the Navy's CE program.  He eventually retired at an exalted rank, became a college president, and is now really retired at Lake Tahoe. 

None of our seven children wanted to go to RPI, to my disappointment.  None of them wanted to go to state schools either, to the disappointment of my pocketbook.  Two of the girls are lawyers and are married to lawyers; the other girl is trained in art and runs a home for the severely retarded in Montana.  One of the sons is a doctor, another a patent agent working with the same firm as Bea and I, and one is a carpenter-contractor.  The son I have not mentioned yet was our oldest.  He went to Canada during the Vietnam war, with our full support.  We lost him in 1987, and others who have lost children will not need more said than that. 

The retirements of many of my classmates leave me with mixed emotions.  I am not sure that I want to retire, but I have dreams of doing an end-to-end on the Appalachian Trail, a lot of canoeing in the Adirondacks, and more gardening at home.

Practicing intellectual property law has been fun.  The practice has permitted me to use chemistry, chemical engineering, and food technology, together with the law involved with patents, trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights, and unfair competitive practices.  There has been the opportunity to participate in some of the most important litigation of the time, and as well, with issues involving massive sums of money, important business decisions, and most interesting of all, human problems. 

I am presently the senior partner in the intellectual property group of our 250+ lawyer firm, Venable, Baetjer, Howard & Civiletti.  We all bask in the reflected glory of our firm's chairman, Ben Civiletti, a former U.S. Attorney General.  A recent addition to our firm is old friend Frank Horton, who recently retired after 30 years in the House of Representatives, representing Rochester and other parts of western New York state.

One of the fringe benefits of the Washington area is its close proximity to several schools that have excellent lacrosse teams, including Hopkins, Navy, and Maryland, among other.  At RPI in 1941, the lacrosse coach, on a volunteer basis, was Vic Starzenski.  He is a member of the lacrosse Hall of Fame and his picture and name are prominently displayed in the Hall of Fame building on the Hopkins campus. 

At some point, I believe in 1942, Ned Harkness joined us as a volunteer coach as well.  He was an inspiration and a wonderful coach.  Unfortunately, he got shot up after enlisting in the Royal Canadian Air Force, and when he came back in 1944 he was no longer able to play.  However, in 1942, when we played against Cornell in Ithaca, we were still a club sport.  We were getting badly beaten at half-time, and during the half-time break, Ned put on a suit and played against Cornell.  I took great pleasure in mentioning that many years later to Dale Corson, who was then President of Cornell, where Ned had been as big a hit as its lacrosse and hockey coach as he was at RPI. 

When I was an RPI student, the college motto was, "knowledge and thoroughness."  It is a very good motto.

2003

Frank Robbins  ChE'45 writes:  

I was one of about 7 civilians left in the class of 1945 who graduated with the remnant of the class in the fall of 1944.  Shortly after graduation I enlisted in the Navy, went through boot camp at Sampson on Seneca Lake, was sent to radio technician's school in Chicago.  While there, I got orders to Midshipman's School at Cornell University.  Bea and I had married in December 1944, and she was then on the faculty at Cornell, so the orders were very welcome.

After working for Eastman Kodak in Rochester as a chemical engineer for a couple of years, one of their patent attorneys interested me in the patent field.  We came to Washington, with our then three children, to go through law school at George Washington University, at night, while working as an examiner in the Patent Office in the daytime.  That was followed by stints of private practice in Washington and in Rochester.

I then took a job of managing the patent effort first at Photostat Corporation ( a subsidiary of ITEK Corporation), then at Kennecott Copper, and finally at what was then Corn Products Company and is now CPC International.  In 1976, we returned to Washington to private practice and have been here ever since.

There have been contacts with other classmates, particularly with RSE fraternity brothers, over the years.  Tom Hanley ('44), Jack Flavin ('43), and Elliot Woodhull ('43) were in Rochester where we were.  Hugh E. Smith ('44) was a year ahead of me in law school, and a big help when we first came to Washington.  About 1970, Bob Thurston ('45) called to see if I could help with a fund-raiser for RPI, on the eve of my departure for several weeks in Japan.  I don't think he fully believed that excuse, but I did spend the next several weeks in Japan, one of many trips that I made there on business.  George Powell ('45) also went into law and at one time was assistant general counsel of the Carborundum Company in Niagara Falls.  I did a good bit of patent work at one time for that company, and encountered George there.  Jim Decker ('45) lives in the Washington area and has been retired for several years.  He spends his time looking after his investments and has been a generous supporter of Rensselaer.

There have also been contacts over the years with lacrosse teammate Charles Merdinger, known to all the team members as "The Lieutenant."  He came to RPI from the Pacific, with the Navy's CE program.  He eventually retired at an exalted rank, became a college president, and is now really retired at Lake Tahoe. 

 The retirements of many of my classmates leave me with mixed emotions.  I am not sure that I want to retire, but I have dreams of doing an end-to-end on the Appalachian Trail, a lot of canoeing in the Adirondacks, and more gardening at home.

Practicing intellectual property law has been fun.  The practice has permitted me to use chemistry, chemical engineering, and food technology, together with the law involved with patents, trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights, and unfair competitive practices.  There has been the opportunity to participate in some of the most important litigation of the time, and as well, with issues involving massive sums of money, important business decisions, and most interesting of all, human problems. 

I am presently the senior partner in the intellectual property group of our 250+ lawyer firm, Venable, Baetjer, Howard & Civiletti.  We all bask in the reflected glory of our firm's chairman, Ben Civiletti, a former U.S. Attorney General.  A recent addition to our firm is old friend Frank Horton, who recently retired after 30 years in the House of Representatives, representing Rochester and other parts of western New York state.

One of the fringe benefits of the Washington area is its close proximity to several schools that have excellent lacrosse teams, including Hopkins, Navy, and Maryland, among other.  At RPI in 1941, the lacrosse coach, on a volunteer basis, was Vic Starzenski.  He is a member of the lacrosse Hall of Fame and his picture and name are prominently displayed in the Hall of Fame building on the Hopkins campus. 

At some point, I believe in 1942, Ned Harkness joined us as a volunteer coach as well.  He was an inspiration and a wonderful coach.  Unfortunately, he got shot up after enlisting in the Royal Canadian Air Force, and when he came back in 1944 he was no longer able to play.  However, in 1942, when we played against Cornell in Ithaca, we were still a club sport.  We were getting badly beaten at half-time, and during the half-time break, Ned put on a suit and played against Cornell.  I took great pleasure in mentioning that many years later to Dale Corson, who was then President of Cornell, where Ned had been as big a hit as its lacrosse and hockey coach as he was at RPI. 

When I was an RPI student, the college motto was, "knowledge and thoroughness."  It is a very good motto.

2004

D.W. Rick Ryckman '45 CE sent along the following summary for us:                        GRATITUDE: To the V-12 program and the Navy for the opportunity of attending and graduating from RPI, for the lasting friendships made there, for the G.I. Bill for further education, for the officer’s training and assignment to the 121st NCB, for the practical and traveling experience in the Navy Seabees and for the great reputation of each of the items mentioned above.                 RPI FRIENDS: There are many. Their accomplishments of all successfully pursuing worthy objectives is pleasing. Some of these include: Alan Voorhees, John Watkins, Mal Graham (’46), Wynston Bland, Morris Ojalvo, Dave Cummings, Justin Winkin, et al. Wynston, Watty, and Justin are now deceased.                                MEMORIAL MOMENTS: A few of these include: Serving in Tinian and Saipan in the Seabees, being “high jacked” into teaching at MI. State University after the WW II because of the few with a B.S. degree and experience, awarded a sabbatical with the help of the G.I. bill to receive a Sc.D. from MIT, chosen by Washington University in St. Louis to develop a Graduate and Research Program in Environmental Engineering, developing an Environmental Engineering Business, participating in community activities through Rotary, the Mayor’s Work Force Investment Board, Regional Community and Growth Association, Webster Groves First Congregational Church and several professional organization including American Academy of Environmental Engineers. Water Environment Federation, ASCE et al.                                             The most important was 55 !/2 years ago, meeting Betty Rendall in the Dean of Woman’s Office at MI. State University. She is God’s perfect masterpiece! We were married 6 months later and celebrated our 55th wedding anniversary last May. We have 3 children, all married and 7 grandchildren. All healthy with worthy objectives. CONTACT: We reside in Ballwin,(Near St. Louis), Missouri. Our address is 339 Alverston Court, Ballwin, Missouri, 63021. Telephone: 636 256 4839, FAX 314 678 1398, and E-Mail: rick_ryckman@msn.com. (note underscore between rick_ryckman). D.W.(Rick) Ryckman, Sc.D., P.E., DEE 

Shots from S’s

1998

Robert Sageman BEE '45 MEE (communications & electronics) was with AT&T for 38 years, retired as President of AT&T International.  After Navy service he remembers some good years while teaching at RPI when he was working on his graduate degree.  Among his highlights of his career was "Member of RPI Board of Trustees"; Chair of Monterey Institute of International Studies, Monterey CA; and Chair of Board of Trustees the Medical Center in Salinas, CA.  He has a daughter and two sons.

2003

You may have noticed as you've  read these notes that some of our classmates really have had an influence on our lives.  Robert (Bob) E. Sageman BEE '45, after a couple of years with the Navy, went back and obtained his MEE at RPI, then joined AT&T for his full career.  Along the way Bob and Jean were married and had a daughter and two sons.  He started as a communications technician on overseas radio telephone then for 20 years held management positions involving the first computer system, TelStar the first communication satellite, and being Chief Engineer in Washington DC and San Francisco.  He then moved to the VP level in NY with engineering responsibility  for  nationwide long distance, then to DC with Federal Regulatory matters, on to Chief Operating Officer of AT&T Long Distance Network.  In 1980 he moved up to President & CEO AT&T International. Somewhere in all that he worked through the breakup of the Bell System. He retired in 1985. "While he was resting," he was on the Board of 11 organizations, most notable of course was the RPI Board of Directors.  In addition he was associated with 12 organizations ranging from the Boy Scouts to the World Trade Club.  Now living in Carmel Valley, CA (a beautiful area) he has been Founding Member, President, Chairman, Director, and member of golf clubs, Medical Center Foundations, Universities, Symphonies, and such boards, groups, or committees (13 different organizations) considering who to select for President, how to use Ft. Ord, and directing the County Sheriff's Emergency Assistance Team.  Somewhere in there he manages to play golf, enjoy photography, garden, read, and take part in public affairs.  He uses his own definition of retirement.

2005

Robert E. Sageman BEE. He is retired in Carmel Valley, CA.  He & Jean(dec.) have a daughter & two sons with 5 grandchildren. He also received his MEE at RPI after returning from the Navy.  You will recall a longer story in an earlier Class Notes.

1994

I received a great letter from George "Bud" W. Schadd X'45 now '48 who you will notice is the Class Correspondent for the Class of '48.  Bud painted a very clear picture of what happened on the campus in those early years of the war.  The draft was, of course, a concern to all, but then the Reserves came and signed up everybody to make sure there would be engineers available too.  That was followed by everyone being called up a few months later.  The Army formed the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP) and the Navy the V-12 Program.  NROTC continued as part of the Navy Reserves plan.  The Army discovered that they needed Infantry more than engineers, so the ASTP provided them.  This same picture was duplicated on every campus in the US.

Those that survived Europe and/or the Pacific and returned to finish, became part of another Class.  George, you and all the other ASTP are "Welcome Back ToThe Class of '45".  We want to see you in June too!

1995

George "Bud" Schaad CE wrote that those that got separated from '45 really appreciated that they were invited to "their" 50th too.  Bud was very active in getting the word out to encourage all that came.

1994

Eli Silverman BEE ‘45 writes that he is a survivor of the enlisted reserve corps.  He was sent to MIT by the Army, returned to RPI after the war and repeated his junior year, graduated,  and is now listed as part of the Class of '48.  He married a Russell Sage girl and they have three sons, one receiving a Bachelors and Masters from  RPI, now running his own business in Miami (recovering from Andrew), the second is in the jewelry business, and the third an occupational therapist.  Eli started with Long Island Lighting Co., moved on to a defense contractor, then into his own consulting business. Dan Spiegel '45 convinced him to go to work for Tishman Construction Corp over eight years ago, which put into projects like the restoration of Carnegie Hall and the Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Center, plus others.  He is also working with another RPI graduate, Harvey Brickman.  Welcome back to the Class of '45 Eli.

1994

Valery Siniapkin writes: In response to your recent letter received on 9/24/93 here in Albany, be advised as follows: I originally enrolled in the class of '45.  There came a time when we were told by RPI that if we enrolled in the reserves, chances were good that we would be able to finish a BS at RPI.  This did not happen, however, and we were soon after called up into active service.  As a result, I missed a whole year of school, but was lucky enough to come back and graduate with the Class of '46 as a BME.

1998

The RPI Alum list also brought a note from Dave Small (CHE) (email: drspoppi@juno.com) He says: "Personally I am extremely interested to hear about and reestablish contact with any of the old (now REALLY old) gang with whom I shared such important life years."  Dave was an original '45, but ended up listed with '48 so some of his story has been in recent Alumni bulletins.  They were on their way out the door for a trip to France to celebrate their 50th.

1999

David R. Small BCH '45 reports from Baton Rouge, La: I'm amazed to discover how many fellow alums have found there way down to Louisiana.  I am doing technical writing these days in the form of rewriting a major business software manual to put it into language understandable even by dummies like me!  Fun!  Active as a SCORE counselor locally and having a great time counseling on-line in  the SCORE Cyber chapter as well.  Doris and I  both are active in an LSU sponsored "learning in retirement" program called "Lagniappe" Studies.  She is teaching a Creative Writing Course and we both enroll in a couple of interesting classes each semester.  Might be of interest to some of the New England area alums that we are planning a visit at the end of April to attend the new Waterbury, CT production of the musical comedy "The IT Girl" for which our son Michael, the writer, wrote the book.  It is a really pleasant up-beat show that has hopes (and maybe possibilities) of making it to Broadway one day.  Otherwise, it is beautiful Spring here in Baton Rouge.  Everything is in gorgeous bloom!

2000 

David Small CHE '45: The call of the family has won out.  They don't want us so far away, so Doris & I have just sold our pretty little garden home in Baton Rouge and in June will be moving into a new "Active Adult" community called Oak Point in Middleboro, MA.  It is a unique development of modest single homes designed exclusively for the 55 and older set, located in the rolling, wooded country, about 20 minutes drive inland from Plymouth.  We will be right in the middle of moving during the reunion time, but we are looking forward to reconnecting with former acquaintances that live within driving range.  I'll be at the reunion in spirit this time!!  Can it really be 55 years????!!! Wow!

2000

David Small  BChE '45 and his wife Doris updated their move information back to MA  in his email: "After  almost 11 years  of  self-imposed exile here in the deep South, we are leaving to return to our roots starting June 13th.  Family says we can no longer justify our remaining so far away and we agree.  We have found a new community of modest  individual homes dedicated to "Active Adults 55 and Over" still  in process of being developed in Middleboro, MA and expect to move into a house there, for which we have only seen a model, on June 19th, our 52nd wedding anniversary .....pretty exciting!  Our new address will be 4606 Oak Point Drive, Middleboro, MA 02346 and  once we are settled in, we'd love to hear from any of our friends who might be somewhere in the vicinity.  Told you we had news!"

They have four children in the New England  area, so you can understand the "pull" to return "home".

2000

David Small CHE'45 sent his message from their new home in the northeast: As I am sure I told you already, we have relocated from the hot, very deep South, back to our beloved New England and are thrilled to be here again.  Doris and I are getting nicely settled into our new home in the "Active Adults--55 and Over" community "Oak Point" in the far North very rural section of Middleboro, Massachusetts.  We

are finding it to be a really attractive community in which to live. Oak Point is going to take as much as five more years to complete into a very large spread carved out of these rolling wooded hills--almost a village of its own.  It is happening before our eyes and as each new phase is completed, the heavy construction equipment moves on to the next one.

We are happy to be close to our Boston area family and friends once more and are very busily taking advantage of that closeness.  Love to hear from old RPI alum friends either here at drspoppi@mediaone.net  or by phone or mail to 508 946-8029 or 4604 Oak Point Drive, Middleboro, MA 02346.  Perhaps we'll even get to see some of them again and wouldn't that be swell!!

1995

Wallace E. Smith BMet ’45 worked at Bethlehem Steel in Buffalo.  George was best man at their wedding.  Wally was killed in an auto accident in 1955.  His wife Ann still lives in Buffalo.  George Meyer BMet ’45 filled in the information on Wally.

2008

Inspired by his grandson Chris, Don Spraragen ’45.BAE  Just out of college I did my stint in the Navy after which I was with Boeing in Seattle for 5 years, applying my education in  aeronautical engineering.
I then returned to Schenectady to work in the family business, Schenectady Hardware and Electric Co.  I was president of the company  for 20 years, overseeing the electrical phase of commercial and industrial constructions such as SPAC, Albany Medical Center, Schenectady Public Library.
We have 6 children, 11 grandchildren and 6 greats, although, sadly to say, my eldest son, Larry, who took over the business when I retired, died suddenly just this past January.  His son, Chris, has now taken the reins.
My wife, Nancy, and I are in good health and have been permanent residents of Tequesta, Florida, for the past 15 years. We live on a golf course which should explain where my pastime interests lie.  If there is anything else you would like to know about, just let me know.  I'm looking forward to hearing about my classmates too. 

2006 Dec

Richard Bull Southwell (RPI Class ’45) Navy Academy ‘4 7, Commander Richard B. Southwell, USNR (Ret.), died from complications after surgery on 7 May 2006. He was 82 years old. Dick Southwell, a native of Middletown, NY, graduated from Middletown High School and attended Ohio Wesleyan University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute prior to receiving a congres­sional appointment to the Naval Academy from New York. He graduated with the Class of 1947 in June of 1946, a member of the 15th Company. He served first in Pacific Fleet destroyers HAMNER (DD-718) and OZBOURN (DD-846), then in LINNET (AMS-24). He gradu­ated from Naval Mine Warfare School before resigning from active duty in 1949. Recalled in 1951, he was XO of SCOUT (AM-296) and CO of MILLEDGEVILLE (PC-1263), school ship of the ASW School at Key West, FL. After graduating from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1954, he served in the Office of the CNO at the Pentagon until returning to civilian life in 1956. He joined the General Electric Company and served GE for over 30 years in various aerospace electronics marketing posi­tions. He actively maintained his Naval Reserve status to eventual retirement. Dick was a life member of the Naval Academy Alumni Association, of the US. Naval Institute, and of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. He was a member of the Navy League of the United States, of Rotary International, the American Society of Naval Engineers and the National Security Industrial Association. He served over 20 years as a board member and treasurer of the Child Guidance Clinic of Southeast Connecticut, and for three years was president of the Bishop's Cove Condominium Association of Mystic, CT.

His first wife, Ann Herbert Southwell, died in 1992.  He is survived by his wife, the former Patricia Johnson of Venice, FL and Jamesville, NY; his daughter, Dr. Marcia Dean of Princeton, MA, sons, Dr. Richard of Laramie, WY, John of Alton, NH, and William of Manlius, NY; stepsons, Bruce Johnson of Romulus, NY, and Ron Johnson of Jacksonville, FL; stepdaughter, Ann Krawczyk of Tampa, FL; and 11 grandchildren and step-grandchildren.

You can reach Patricia at 682 Ironwood Circle, Venice, FL 34292-2237.

Dick was obviously part of the V-12 program at RPI until his appointment to the Naval Academy.

2002

Elwin W. Stevens Arch '45 called recently to provide a sketch of his career in architecture for us.   First, Elwin is one that is still in Troy at 228 Brunswick Rd.  After graduation he stayed on campus and taught courses in the Architecture until '52.  When the State University of New York (SUNY) started expanding, he joined them as the University Architect.  At the time SUNY was developing new campuses all over the State.  He had the responsibility of finding those sites and developing the plans for each campus. Being in the Troy area he is in contact with Bob Peck BMgmt '45, Dr. Marty Davis BS '45, J.T. Crowell Arch '45 and Clint Moissan(sp).Arch ('45?).

I was in Troy in September and had the fun of stopping to see Elwin Stevens Arch '45.  He is just off the road to Eagle Mills and has several "Steven's" creations to live in, including a unique guest house and an architect's home.  His experience with SUNY during all of it's growth in New York State certainly was an opportunity that doesn't come to every architect.  It also included some "nightmares" too, but we all clock those up as "experience", right.  Stop to see Elwin when you are in Troy.  He still stays busy with various architectural projects.

1996

I opened my email a few weeks ago and found a new correspondent, our old friend Bob Summers AE.    You can reach him too on rasummers@aol.com.  You may have seen a FAX from him at the 50th Reunion that he and his wife were in Moscow on business.  Dr. Robert A. Summers is known by many in Washington  as the founder and  Chief of the Defense  Conversion Division, Bureau of Strategic and Eurasian Affairs.  He has been heavily involved now with defense conversion programs in the former Soviet Union and China.   He has had an interesting series of management positions with ACDA, Navy, Dept. of Energy, NASA, and the Institute of Defense Analysis.  In the private sector he was one of the founding Vice Presidents of System Planning Corporation.  He now is Managing Director of Technology & Systems International.   These positions have made him a world wide participant and leader in the use of technology, i.e., energy sources, environmental technologies, and international applications of multispectral imagery (LANDSAT).  His opportunities are sure keeping it interesting for him.

1997

Speaking of talent, Bob Summers, AE45, reported in on email to bring us up-to-date.  His consulting business is going great.  One of the "defense conversion" projects with the Russian nuclear weapons labs is to get their outstanding software and bomb code developers into the bio-molecular modeling business.  They have one project going and hope to start a second.  One of his colleagues aptly put it: "from bomb design to drug design".  He also is involved in setting up a Solar Electric Car Workshop in Beijing, China, an Eastern European communication satellite system, and the commercialization of some unique Russian gas and oil technology. We were also comparing notes on the upkeep on Russian buildings and the state of their medical capabilities.

1999

Some news tidbits from Bob Summers BAE '45

1. Continuing as Managing Director of Technology & Systems, Inc. specializing in commercialization of Russian technologies in the West, US and Canada.  Applications to the oil and gas business and electric power generation.

2. Just completed  one year as President of the MIT Club of Washington, DC.

3. Named to the Public Policy Committee of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).  (Associate Fellow of the AIAA)

Focusing on  international policy issues, especially Russia and China.

4. Successful Grandfather: five year old grandson.

5.  Our three children are doing fine: two girls in the Washington area and son in Portland, Maine.

PS: Delighted with appointment of Shirley Jackson as new President of RPI.  Many "famous firsts" here!

2004

Robert A. Summers, Sc.D., P.E., ’45, AeroEng., reported on an emerging environmental technology breakthrough. As a Principal and VP, Engineering, for Advanced Oxidation Systems, Inc. (AOS) , Gaithersburg, MD, he reports that AOS has just been awarded a Maryland Industrial Partnership (MIPS) grant for R&D at the University of Maryland for the AOS proprietary electron-beam-based technology for the destruction of toxic contaminants in the waste streams of pharmaceutical and chemical plants. The process is particularly applicable to the destruction of volatile organic compounds in aqueous waste streams. It should also have application to the destruction of many other organic contaminants such as MTBE and chemical warfare agents.
The electron beam, interacting with the waste stream in the proprietary reaction chamber, destroys the molecular bonds of the toxic contaminants, producing only clean water and nontoxic substances, some of which may have commercial value. The AOS technology has the potential to be the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly approach to this pervasive environmental problem.