Shots from T’s

2008

Beth Henlzer, granddaughter of Dr. Robert J. Taylor ’45 wrote to inform me that he died in October 2006.

1999

Granger Thurstone BCE '45 Retired from Houdaille Industries in 1976, started a company in '79, moved to Vermont in '84, left the board and retired again in '87. He sails on beautiful 100 mile Lake Champlain, travels frequently, watches RPI hockey beat up on UVM, and has 7 grandchildren scattered in Vermont, Massachusetts, and Ohio. In his spare time he builds RC model airplanes and boats, and grows the best onions, tomatoes, and melons in the state of Vermont. He reports a golf handicap of 55 after 10PM and 18 after 7AM. He read Patrick O'Brian's 19 volumes of British Naval historical fiction set in 1790-1825. His life now is reunions, reunions, reunions - Navy, school, family, etc.

He is regularly in touch with -

Al Correll BME '45 lives in Houston, Al was in visiting Granger last Fall, doing fine, retired from Exxon, tennis is his life Bruce Kinloch BME '45 lives in Louisville, doing fine, retired from DuPont, golf is his life. Dick Molke ('45, 6 or 7) in Rumson, NJ, doing fine, sold and retired from his company, travel is his life. Irving (Bud) Norton '46, in Harwinton, CT, sadly not well but spirits strong, enjoys contact from old buddies, a wonderful hobby of old player piano restoration

 

Been back on the hill several times in recent years, and have really enjoyed catching up with the CHANGES there. It's one of the best ways I know to gauge how much "water's gone over the dam" in my lifetime. Entering Hunt One in the Fall of '41 for $450 a year is hard to believe when you walk around the campus nowadays. Right here in Middlebury today, the past Fall tuition was $31,000 a year.

2004

Granger Thurstone '45 BCE retired as Group VP of Houdaille Industries. He is into power boating, model aviation, and antique boat restoration. Marjorie drags him away for world travel adventures. He has a distant memory of tuition being $450.

2005

Granger Thurstone BCE, BMG. He & Marjorie are in Westlake, OH. They have 3 children and 7 grandchildren. He retired as Pres of Houdaille Industries , Inc. in Buffalo, NY. He is into golf, model building, antique boats, travel, water color painting, and aviation.

 

 

2000

Oliver Trechter ME '45: Carolyn and I are active with grandchildren and traveling at reunion time and wont be able to attend. Best regards to everyone.2001

Oliver E. Trechter, Jr. ME '50 (started as AE in '41) reports from Addison, TX that he and Carolyn have 3 daughters, and 1 son and they have expanded the family with 3 boys and 1 girl. Oliver retired as General Manager of the Western Area of Oilwell Division-US Steel Corp. He is a member of AIME and Society of Petroleum Engineers. Those grandchildren are high on their list these days along with travel. He mentioned an intriguing interest "Project Old S...ldier", a crop substitution Program for the northern hills tribesmen in Burma.

2010

Oliver E. Trechter BME ’50 started with the original 1941 Freshman Class at RPI in Aeronautical Engineering, but enlisted in the service November 5, 1942. He spent 3 years with the Army including 1 year overseas in the CBI Theater with O.S.S.-Detachment 101. Then he was with the American Military Government, in Kyusu, Japan for one year. He returned to RPI and graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1950.

 

In 1950 He joined the Engineering Department of American Brass Co., a subsidiary of Anaconda Mining. After a couple of years a friend told him about opportunities in the Oil Fields of New Mexico near Lovington and he went to work with Oscar Borg Drilling Co., Western Geophysical Co.. That move led him in 1955 to the Oilwell Division of United States Steel Corporation as Assistant to Area Engineer in Los Angeles, CA. He retired in 1986 as General Manager, Western Area.

 

He married his wife Carolyn in 1986 and they each have two grown children who have produced four wonderful grandchildren, ages 12 to 16 years.

 

His current avocation involves a Crop Substitution Program in Burma (Myanmar) being operated by the U.S. State Department, Texas A&M, and 101 Veterans Association. (note the great relationship between the O.S.S.-Detachment 101 and the 101 Veterans Association.)

1995

Bill Tumbridge wrote that he had tried to change some standing reservations with a big group that go to Cape Cod, but nothing could be changed. He said he would try to be there for the 100th. Have a nice party Bill. At the rate things are going we'll be able to "beam everybody up" for that one.

2010

David A. Tyree Bch ’45 reports that after Midshipmen’s school “I served aboard USS PCS 1392, then attended submarine school at New London, CT. After sub school, I served aboard the USS Amberjack (SS-522) until I got out of the Navy. After leaving the Navy, I attended and graduated from The University of Virginia law school.”

 

“I spent the next 25 years in the Pittsburgh, PA area as a patent and corporate attorney and member of the Pennsylvania Bar.”

 

“I next lived and worked in Champaign, IL working for a small firm manufacturing refractory valves used by the steel industry to control the flow of molten steel. While with this firm, I setup and started a subsidiary to produce and market these specialty valves in Brazil. After retirement in about 1988, my wife and I began by spending summer time in Holland, MI and winters in Jacksonville, FL. We now spend all of our time in Florida.”

 

David went into law, but being a Patent Attorney he had plenty of opportunity to exercise his engineering talents. I haven’t confirmed this with David, but when my mother saw David’s name on one my lists of classmates years ago, (we knew he was from VA) she said “I used to sit by the pool talking to his mother while you and David were splashing around in the pool outside of Danville, VA.” I lived in Danville up through the fourth grade.

 

Shots from U’s

 

Shots from V’s

 

Shots from W’s

2003

 

Edgar Wales ME '45 brought us up-to-date recently too. He and Frances had four sons and sadly last Oct they lost Alan suddenly. Edgar extended his education with a MSME at Univ. of PA. He was owner of Tech Product Sales Co., representing several companies that produce heat transfer equipment. His interest in hardware showed up early with his undergraduate thesis on the design of a special valve for a rocket engine being developed by the Dean of Mechanical Engineering. He hasn't seen the campus since 1970's.

1994

John Thomas “Watty” Watkins: I will present this first as a chronology and then bring in some details about family and our class mates at Rensselaer.

'44...We were graduated on October 21, 1944. The Civil Engineers consisted of Bartlett, Cocke, McLellon, Thomas, (these were the commissioned Naval Officers), Cunning, Ojalvo, Ryckman, and Watkins, (these were the V-12ers ) and Alan Hill (a civilian). Wyn Bland, also a V-12er, lacked a few credits and did not graduate with us. The five V-12ers met shortly thereafter at Dave Cunning's in Medford, MA and departed the next day for Davisville, RI.

'45...Ninety days later we were commissioned Ensigns. We all applied for stevedore training at Hoboken, NJ. Morris Ojalvo was shipped elsewhere. About a month later we were given our orders for various parts of the world, and I haven't seen Dave or Wyn since. I got orders to San Francisco in late July and finally was shipped out to Pearl Harbor in August. I completed my tour by going from Pearl to Subic Bay and then Manila.

'46...By January I had enough points to be shipped back to the states. I arrived back in New York in February after a trip thru the Panama Canal. Through Prof. Kinney, I was able to get a job as a structural detailer at the Elmira Heights branch of American Bridge. We moved to Elmira in March.

'47-'48...I spent two and half years at the Bridge Co. In September '48, after contacting Prof. Kenney again I obtained a position as Instructor at RPI.

'48-'63...I taught for 15 years in the Structures Division at Rensselaer, advancing to Associate Professor in 1955. I got my Master's in Structures in 1953. I had a wonderful association with the Civil Engineering students, in general, particularly with the Navy Civil Engineering Corps Officers who came to RPI to get a Civil Engineering degree. Admiral Combs, who had been second in command of the Corps during WWII was head of our department and Prof. Joe Kinney was my immediate boss. I couldn't have worked for two better people. Joe passed away in the late '50s; the Admiral is still alive and approaching the century mark. While teaching, we lived first in Troy, then in Averill Park and finally in Valley Falls. We made some wonderful friends in that part of the country.

'63-'64...After fifteen years, I had enough of teaching and I joined a former teaching associate in his Structural Engineering firm, John T. Percy and Associates. However, paychecks were most irregular and that lasted only about a year. In the summer of '64, I took a position as a Mechanical Engineer in Research & Development with the Department of the Army at Watervliet Arsenal.

'64-'65...This did not work out too well either. Frankly, we just sat around for ten months and did next to nothing. Through a good friend, Bob Sammataro, one of my former students, I obtained a position as a Research Specialist at Electric Boat in Groton, CN. I was working alone on a Navy sponsored project for about nine months.

'66-'71...The money ran out and I was appointed head of Maintenance and Reliability for Research and Development. I was a "floating apex" since this was a new division and I was told to hire staff. However, no one who was qualified, would accept the salary offered. I still had my house in Valley Falls and decided to return to the Troy area. I was lucky enough to find a position as Executive Assistant with a contracting firm in Troy, Duncan & Cahill, the owner being an RPI alumnus. Suddenly, everything came together. A distinguished RPI alumnus, Bertram D. Tallam, had recently opened a Highway Design firm in Washington, D.C.. I had some previous contact with him and he offered me a great opportunity as his Chief Structural Engineer. Simultaneously, we got an offer on our house in Valley Falls which had been on the market for more than two years attracting very little interest from buyers. So we packed up and left for the Capitol District.

'71-'75...I worked with Tallamy Associates until '71. At this point, three of us decided to start our own engineering firm, Kamber, Watkins, and Kessler. Our firm did both basic civil and structural engineering. In '75 I opened a branch office in Annapolis, MD.

'75-'76...In the spring of '75, we offered to share some of our Annapolis office space with a Civil Engineering firm from Babylon, NY, Greenman, Pedersen, P.A. Shortly thereafter, they made me an offer I couldn't refuse and I became a Vice President in charge of Structural Design for Greenman, Pedersen.

'76-'79...I guess once you have been in business for yourself, you're bitten, because in 1976 one of the other VPs in GPA and myself decided to go on our own. Thus Watkins and Vitale was born. We practiced Civil/Structural Engineering.

'79-'80...In the late '70s, engineering was booming and many of the larger firms were buying out smaller firms just to get a foothold in new geographical territory. Watkins and Vitale was merged in this fashion into Engineering Science, a large firm whose main office was in Arcadia, CA. It turned out that Engineering Science was not too interested in Structural Engineering.

'80-'82...A New York State District Engineer, Bernie Evans, had been appointed Commissioner of Highways for the State of Maryland in the mid '70s. He had resigned from the position and opened his own Bridge Engineering firm in the late '70s. He was looking for a Chief Engineer and since he and I had been acquainted when he took some courses at RPI, he asked me if I was interested. So I joined Blunt and Evans. My son, Stephen, had graduated from the University of Maryland as a Civil Engineer in '77 majoring in Structures. He had preceded me into Blunt and Evans. In '82 he passed his exams and got his professional license. You can guess the next step.

'82-Present...In 1982, Steve and myself formed The Watkins Partnership. We have been designing all types of structures since. We presently have an eight person firm and have our own condominium offices. Our staff was as large as thirteen at one time, but things slowed down last year and they have just recently began to pick up again. I took advantage of that slow period to go into 80% retirement.

NOW ABOUT MY FAMILY.....Helen and I have been married for 47 years. We reside in Bowie, MD which is located midway between Washington, D.C. and Annapolis. We have six children and thirteen grandchildren as follows:

JOHN, JR. ('47) married to Margaret in '73, has a Business Degree, is a CPA working for US Army Audit. They have four boys ranging from 18 to 11. They live in Bowie.

JAMES (45) is married to Somaya since '82. They have two girls ages 9 and 6. Jim is an Environmental Engineer working for American Cyanamide. They live in Montville, NJ.

SUSAN (44) married Paul Leiss in '72. They have a boy, 18 and a girl, 15. Sue has a degree in Home Economics. She was smart enough to marry an Electrical Engineer. Paul works for a computer firm in Fredericksburg, VA where they reside.

STEPHEN (39) married Mary Ann in '82. They have a boy, 2. Steve has a Civil Engineering Degree with a major in Structures. He is a registered professional engineer. Steve is the managing partner of The Watkins Partnership, which I described above. Steve and his family live in Bowie.

FRANCIS (37) married Lynne in '80. They have two girls, 9 and 7. Frank is an Architect with a Master's in Urban Design. Lynne also is an Architect, but does not presently practice. Frank is the principal partner in a thirty person Architectural firm in Annapolis, MD. He and his family live in Silver Spring, MD.

TIMOTHY (32) married Susan in '88. They have a girl, 4 and a boy, 2. Tim has a Business Degree. Presently, he is a partner (and about to become the sole proprietor) for a firm that produces advertising material for the cable television industry. Tim and family live in Burtonsville, MD.

About My Classmates:

 

DAVE CUNNING: After 48 years I finally heard from Dave. Thanks to your contact with him. He wrote a letter to Morris Ojalvo outlining his life and he sent me a copy. I subsequently sent him a ten page "outline" of my past 48 years.

WYN BLAND: I have had no direct contact with Wyn. Ryk Ryckman has told me bits and pieces about Wyn. Apparently he is a very successful building contractor in Chattanooga, as I recall.

MORRIS OJALVO: Morris and I worked together at American Bridge in Elmira Heights during the late '40s. After I went to RPI to teach, Morris joined me for a few years. Then he went on to Princeton and earned his Doctorate, I believe. After that, he taught at Ohio State and probably retired within the last ten years. I had contact with him about twenty years ago, when he was at the Bureau of Standards, during the summer off-months from teaching. We got together a couple of times for picnics, etc. About five or six years ago, I contacted him on the phone. Morris had patented a method of stiffening a steel beam and I was considering using it and I wanted to get his permission. Then during the past year he sent me a copy of a text book that he had just written and we exchanged a few letters. Morris and I were both transfers from City College of N.Y. when we went to RPI as part of the V-12 program. Although all five of us V-12ers were good friends at RPI, I always considered Morris to be my best friend in the group.

D. W. RYCKMAN: I have had more contact with Ryk than any of my other classmates. We have been seeing each other at least every other year for the past twenty years. Ryk gets to Washington, D.C. fairly often and sometimes he gives me a call and we get together. If the time gets too long between visual appearances, we generally will call each other.

ALAN VOORHEES: Al was not directly associated with us at Rensselaer. He was NROTC rather than V-12. But Ryk and Al have always been good friends and I have gotten to know Al thru Ryk. Al lives in Alexandria, VA I believe. He is a director in a local firm in which I am a stockholder. I see him every year at the annual meeting.

JIM BARTLETT: Bartlett was one of the four Naval Officers who graduated with us. I saw him about 1969. He was then an Admiral and was the featured speaker at a function that I attended. We spoke briefly, but I think he still thought I was an Apprentice Seaman.

WALDRON MCLELLAN: Another of the Naval Officers. I saw McLellan probably in the early '50s

when I was teaching at RPI. He was back at the Institute getting an advanced engineering degree.

TOMMY COCKE: Another of the Naval Officers. I saw Cocke about twenty years ago. He had been the Director of Engineering for Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD. When I met he had retired. He was offering consulting services to the hospital regarding their maintenance requirements.

BOB THOMAS: Another of the Naval Officers, but I have no word on him. (see info from McLellon)

ALAN C. HILL: Hill was the lone civilian who graduated with us. I best remember him for his dedication to the Model Railroad that filled the basement of the Pittsburgh Building in '43-'44. When I fist came to the Washington area in '66 I ran across Alan. He was civilian employee of the Coast Guard. Our families got together a few times. Somehow, we broke off and it's been over twenty years since I have heard from him. He still lives within ten miles of me.

 

2004

Both Morris Ojalvo '45 CE & Bill Dort, another close friend, sent along the following on John Watkins '45 CE. John's wife Helen supplied the biography.

John Thomas “Watty” Watkins of Bowie died following a stroke June 10 at Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park. He was 82.

John T. Watkins was born in NYC on January 14, 1922, the son of Carroll and Katherine Watkins. He attended Cathedral Boys High School and then entered City College of New York. He enlisted in the US Navy, and they sent him on his way to the V-12 program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy New York where he completed his degree in Civil Engineering. As an Ensign in the Navy he served in the Seabees in the Philippines. There is an undocumented rumor that the Japanese surrendered shortly after learning that Ensign Watkins was on his way to the Pacific Theater.

After the war, be began his engineering career with American Bridge Company in Elmira Heights, NY. Shortly thereafter, he joined the faculty at his alma mater, RPI, where he taught Structural Engineering until 1963. He earned his Master's degree in Structural Engineering. Following his teaching career, he worked for Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics and at the Watervliet Arsenal before moving to Maryland in 1966 where he joined the firm of Bertram D. Tallamy Associates in Washington DC. In 1971, he began a private consulting practice as Kamber, Watkins, and Kessler. Subsequently, he was a principal in the firms of Greenman, Pederson, and Watkins, Vitale. In 1982, he started another engineering consulting practice the Watkins Partnership, with his son Stephen. He finally retired in 1992 at the age of 70.

Watty was one-time mayor of Valley Falls, N.Y. He was president of the PTA, and a Boy Scout leader. He was a member of Sacred Heart Church, the American Society of Civil Engineers, American Concrete Institute and American Welding Society.

While he was an accomplished engineer, his real legacy is his family. With his wife Helen, of 59 years, he raised five sons and a daughter. He is the beloved grandfather of fifteen grandchildren and three (probably four by now) great grandchildren.

He was an avid reader and history buff, in addition to being something of a math wizard. He never ceased to amaze people with his ability to make complicated and difficult calculations in his head!(he no doubt stored his virtual slide rule there) He loved to read and actually kept a record of all the books he read. While he developed a passion for the history of the Civil War, he also read books on religion, current events and politics. He loved to engage in debates on almost anything and would arm himself with information by reading and researching the topic of discussion.

He also had a passion for classical and Irish music and his feline friends. For a time he actually bred cats! He loved baseball, rooting for his beloved Giants (there is another unsubstantiated rumor that he actually played for the NY Giants) and the Baltimore Orioles. He was something of an astronomy geek and could point out all the constellations. At one point, he made his own wine...fermenting it in the dreaded (and haunted) storeroom.

But what really defined Witty, was his family and faith. He was a devout Roman Catholic and did not just practice his religion, but lived it. While he had a strong faith, he also studied his religion and knew and understood it. His faith in God guided his life and helped him raise his kids.

Bill Dort ’45 CE wrote that Morris Mojave '45 CE made sure I got the information above on Witty. He added that he met John in '43 when he arrived at RPI in the Navy V-12 program. John, Rick Rickman, Dave Cunning, Wynn Bland (now deceased) and he were a close group. John was the one that kept us in contact over the years.

John was my oldest and dearest friend. We often corresponded by phone and letter. I think it is safe to say we agreed on this: "Engineers would be doing a better job today if they relied on canned programs less, and used their heads more."

John talked me into taking a draftsman job with American Bridge in 1946, after which I followed an academic path with positions at the City Univ. of NY, RPI, Princeton, Lehigh, Ohio State Univ., and then visiting at the Univ. of Texas for one year (82-83). I spent my retirement years learning what I should have known when teaching and writing the book I can not give away-though it solves a conundrum that baffled experts since 1929. His granddaughter Isabel O. just finished her freshman year at RPI!

 

 

2005

Jack H. Westbrook Bête '45, after his Navy service he obtained his Mamet-Eng. from RPI in '47 and a ScD degree from MIT in '49. He joined General Electric in '49 at their R&D Center, where he was affiliated successively with the General Physics Lab., Metallurgy and Ceramics Lab., Program Planning Operation, and Physical Chemistry Lab. In '71 he was named Manager, Materials Information Services. He completed his GE career as Consultant, Technical Management Programs, Corporate Engineering and Manufacturing, and retired in '85. He established a consulting firm, Sci-Tech Knowledge Systems, Inc., specializing in studies of numeric database organization and computer-based knowledge systems for industry, education, and government that flourished for six years.

His research work on intermetallic compounds, grain boundaries, and surface effects in solids, won him numerous national and international awards, including the Turner Award (Ekes), Saver Award (ASM); Campbell Lecture (ASM), Jeffries Lecture (ASM), Geyser Award (ASM), Templin Award (ASTM), New England Regional Conference Award (AIME), Hofmann Prize (Lead Development Association), and a National Academy of Sciences traveling fellowship to the former USSR. He is a member of the

National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of ASM. AAAS, AIC, Imp (UK), and AmCer.Soc.). He is the author or coauthor of>170 technical papers has edited 24 books, published >90 book

reviews, translated a German thermodynamics book, and holds six patents on materials and materials processing.

In the information field, Dr. Westbrook is Past-Chairman of TCSU-CODATA's Commission on

Industrial Data; Past-Chairman of the U.S. National CODATA Committee; former member of the International CODATA Executive Committee; Member of ASTM Committee E49 on Computerization of Materials Data; a former Trustee of Engineering Information, Inc.; a former Director of Materials Property Databases, Inc.; Past-Chairman, Materials Information Committee of the Federation of Materials Societies; and a consultant to the Materials Property Council, NSF, and NIST on computerized

materials data systems.

In his community he has been Chairman, Red Cross Fund Drive; President of: Saratoga County Historical Society, Rotary Club, Board of Education, & the Investment Club.

At the present time he is owner and principal consultant with Brookline Technologies, established by him in '91. He is an active student of the history of science and technology and has published extensively in this area. He has five adult children with Elizabeth Kirkland (now deceased) and is presently married to Jeanette (Sylvain) Hughson.

2006 Dec

Francis A. Wilcox ’45 BEE sent along this interesting story. I graduated from high school in Utica in June 1941, and thus started at Rensselaer in the summer of 1941, taking shop in an old building on Eighth St. right next to the approach. This is where I first met my classmates in the second half of the Freshman class of Electrical Engineering. The two people I remember from the shop class were Charles Silver and C.B. Smith. As you know the Pearl Harbor attack was in December of 1941. I was told to remain in school and to join the Enlisted Reserve (ER) so that my local draft board would not call me.

I stayed in school until March 1943 when the ER was called to active duty. I reported to Fort Niagara near Niagara Falls; then to Camp Upton, LI, Keesler Field, MS, State College, MS, and Camp Crowder, MO, where I became a member of the Signal Corp. I went to India and was on my way to China when the War plan was changed. That is what I think today; the plan to send an Army to China was changed to attack Japan directly. I remained in India north of New Delhi near Dehra Dun until the bomb was dropped. After the war ended I helped close the Signal Corp Warehouse near New Delhi and thus was not able to get back to school until Sept of 1946 and thus was then in the Class of 1948. The records were later changed to put me back into my original Class of 1945. After my graduation at RPI, I obtained a Master’s Degree from Cornell and worked for RCA in Camden, NJ and later moved to GE in Utica from which I retired in 1984.

I am not able to report landing in Normandy on “D” Day nor was I in the Battle of the Bulge; but I can report that I just missed the “Invasion of China”.

I am now a volunteer at the Oneida County Historical Society helping them with answers to requests for genealogical information and local history in the Utica area.

2003

My letter to Justin Winkin ME '45 brought the sad news from his friends Stewart & Rita Golding that Justin died October 12, 2002. Justin is listed in the Directory as a consultant for Foster Wheeler Equipment Group.and was living in Annandale, NJ. He was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha, and received his MBA from NYU. Stewart & Rita may be able to send along additional information for our next issue.

I acquired more input about Justin P. Winkin BME '45 from Stew and Rita. Golding. He went to the Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD and became commanding officer of the destroyer escort "Thornhill", which saw service in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Pacific oceans during World War II. Justin extended his education at NYU with an MBA from NYU. Justin had a distinguished career with Foster Wheeler, serving as President of Foster Wheeler in St. Catherine's, Canada and as Vice-President of the company in Clinton, NJ. In that kind of position he was an extensive traveler negotiating contracts in China, Spain, and Ireland. He was also recognized in "Who's Who Directory of Business." He was an avid hiker, sailing enthusiast, swimmer, golfer, and traveler. He was active in the RPI Alumni and the Radburn Players, as well as civic groups in New Jersey and Washington, DC. His wife Jean and son Justin died earlier, but his daughter Susan and son John are living in New Jersey. I reported Justin's death October 12, 2002 in the June issue of these notes.

 

 

2006 Dec

Ronald Wishart ’45..’48 BCH sent in his “Notes” to bring us up to date. Thanks for the invitation to add to the '45 notes! I matriculated in Feb '43, left to join the American Field Service with the Indian Army in Burma in '44 and 45, returned to RPI in Sept 45, was graduated in Jan 48. So what class does that make me? (if he was a freshman in ’43 then he probably is a diverted ’47, but we welcome him here too)

2000

Roland C. Wittenberg EE '45 writes: It seems that all the RPI guys I kept in touch with (Bill Vergara'46, Bill Turner '44, Charlie Damm '46, Marvin Silver '46, et al) are all now up in that great alumni club in the sky.

In March '96, I became a "snowbird" after I sold my house in New York, purchased a home in Spring Hill, Florida and rented a small apartment in Williston Park, NY. (That's why I still get some of my mail through a P.O. box in Williston Park.) We (my wife Ann and I) got rid of our apartment last year and are now full time Floridians.

After I left RPI and the Navy, I received an MSEE and an MBA, worked in a number of defense and hi-fi companies as everything from a junior engineer to President. During the 70s and 80s, I was also an adjunct professor at SUNY and Hofstra Universities in their Business & Management depts. However, in March 1984 I had a weak moment and became an editor for E.E. Times and later editor-in-chief for VLSI Systems Design. I was surprised to find out that I really enjoyed it, but in 1990 I started cutting back and I wrote my last column for EET in 1996. I still do a little writing, but I play (???) a lot more golf. (you can reach Roland at RoWitt100@aol.com or at 7408 Harvard Hills Place, Spring Hill, FL 34606, (352)666-4015

 

Shots from X’s

 

Shots from Y’s

 

Shots from Z’s

2008

In response to my letter to Henry Zack ’45 BCH MS, his daughter, Lauren, wrote that Henry died comfortably at home on Hospice care from congestive heart failure on August 26, 2006; he was 82. He was the second of three children born to Jewish immigrant parents Esther and Morris Zack of Boston, Massachusetts. Henry served as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy during WWII and was honorably discharged as a Lieutenant from the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1958. Henry married Glenna Pearl Slater in 1951 and their first child was born 1 year later. In 1954 Henry and family moved west, where he lived for over 50 years as "almost a native Californian", as he liked to say.
A long-time resident of Rossmoor in Orange County, Henry was involved in local politics, serving as member and then President of the Los Alamitos Elementary School Board from 1961-64. He was known for his strong stance for education and intellectual freedom; in particular, he was instrumental in preventing the banning of books from public school libraries. In recognition of his work on behalf of education, Henry was named the first Man of the Year by the Rossmoor B'nai Brith in 1965. He also served as member and rotating President of the Orange County Water District in Los Alamitos from 1979-92.
Henry's passion for education extended to his private life. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering in 1944, then his Master of Science degree in Chemistry in 1947, both from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In 1977, Henry obtained a second Master of Science degree, this time in Business Administration from California State University, Long Beach, "just for fun".

Henry was a voracious reader, often reading his favorite mystery "who-dunnit" books several times. He enjoyed collecting American, Israeli, and Chinese stamps and coins; a particular interest of his involved collecting memorabilia regarding the U.S and Soviet space programs. Henry also had a "green thumb" and his favorite weekend past-time was tending to the numerous trees, shrubs, and potted plants in his yard; he prided himself on having planted every one of them himself, and on using only hand-tools and a push mower.
Henry retired at age 56 after 30 years as an industrial research chemist. A one-time employee of Borden, he helped develop Elmer's Glue in the 1940's. After retirement, Henry and Glenna enjoyed taking vacations to visit family as well as numerous overseas trips, including Israel and the former Soviet Union. When not traveling, Henry assisted Glenna in their book store of 26 years, The Book Stack in Los Alamitos, until Glenna's death in August 2001. Henry and Glenna were married for 50 years. Henry and Glenna had three children: Barry (Linda) Zack, Lauren Zack, Sandra (Stuart) Litwin; and seven grandchildren: