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David Hathaway

Died: July 11,2018

David lived across the hall from me freshman year in Bingham and roomed with Doug Yates, Caesar Stair and Watts Humphrey. What a group – all from Hotchkiss, all athletes or class leaders, and all good guys.

All of us became good friends and my friendship with David endured for the balance of our lives. At some point, maybe thirty years ago, David, Biff Folberth and I started the April birthday celebration in New York for the Class of 1966, which itself endured for a long while and grew from about 6 guys to a pack of 30 or more until either retirement, illness or death took their toll.

David was nothing if not enthusiastic about all his pursuits. As a sportsman, he joined in our annual ski trip and was equally devoted to his equestrian skills and abilities – a few falls from a horse never prevented him from hopping back onto the saddle and continuing to ride.

After Yale, he pursued a career in finance, beginning as an analyst for Morgan Guaranty. He eventually dedicated his efforts to venture capital and became a managing general partner of Venrock Associates, where he led investments in a variety of information technology companies over the course of a long and successful career. David married Nancy Needham in June 1973. They had two sons (both Yalies) and after many years left Manhattan for Millbrook, where they have lived for the last thirty years. He also enjoyed a winter home in Aiken, SC. David was an avid golfer, skier, and rider. He particularly enjoyed the thrill and beauty of fox hunting, serving as Master of the Millbrook Hunt, and loved going for long walks on the farm with his golden retrievers.

As a celebrated resident of Millbrook, David served as an advisor to the Bank of Millbrook – involved in its commercial lending portfolio.

It was not unusual in the 70’s and 80’s for the two of us to show up around 7 pm on the same Madison Avenue bus, and we would catch up either there, or at our breakfasts, lunches and class dinners at the Yale Club. His deep involvement in the world around his business and social activities always gave rise to insightful comments around one of our tables and they would always be laced with insight, empathy, and warmth and affection.

David was deeply involved for many years with and ultimately chaired the Hotchkiss board of trustees. One signal and self-revealing comment was made by David himself in our 50th Reunion book. He wrote in 2016: “Many of my deep and long-lived friendships come from those I met in New Haven.” Shortly thereafter David began to suffer some cognitive impairment but his outward demeanor hardly varied – a warm and ready smile and an ability to draw people into his orbit.

As a testament to the thought that many of his closest friends were our classmates, two of us, Caesar Stair and Josh Jensen, both made memorable comments at the memorial service held by Nancy for David after his death. That memorial service was a clarifying moment. Family members, people who knew David from business, from Millbrook, and many members of the Class of 1966 gave testimony to a singular individual – a welcoming, warm and thoroughly engaged individual.

Andrew Berkman