Shots from T’s
Beth Henlzer, granddaughter of Dr. Robert J. Taylor ’45 wrote to inform me that he died in October 2006.
BCE '45 Retired from Houdaille Industries in 1976, started a company in '79,
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
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.
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.
Granger Thurstone BCE, BMG. He & Marjorie are
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
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
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
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
wrote that he had tried to change some standing reservations with a big group
that go to
David A. Tyree Bch ’45 reports that after Midshipmen’s school “I served
aboard USS PCS 1392, then attended submarine school at
“I spent the next 25 years in the
“I next lived and worked in
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
Shots from U’s
Shots from V’s
Shots from W’s
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
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
'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
'45...Ninety days later we were commissioned Ensigns. We all applied for
stevedore training at
'46...By January I had enough points to be shipped back to the states. I
arrived back in
'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
'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
'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
'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
'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
'80-'82...A New York State District Engineer, Bernie Evans, had been
appointed Commissioner of Highways for the State of
'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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
MORRIS OJALVO: Morris and I worked together at
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
ALAN VOORHEES: Al was not directly associated with us at
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
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
Both Morris Ojalvo
'45 CE & Bill
John Thomas “Watty” Watkins of
John T. Watkins was born in NYC on January 14, 1922, the son of Carroll and
Katherine Watkins. He attended
After the war, be began his engineering career with American Bridge Company
Watty was one-time mayor of
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
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
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,
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.
A. Wilcox ’45 BEE sent along this interesting story. I graduated from high
I stayed in
school until March 1943 when the ER was called to active duty. I reported to
I am not
able to report landing in
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
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
I acquired more input about Justin P. Winkin
BME '45 from Stew and Rita. Golding. He went to the
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
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
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
Shots from X’s
Shots from Y’s
Shots from Z’s
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
A long-time resident of Rossmoor in
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
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