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George Douglas McReynolds (Joe)

Died: April 14, 1966

Joe was killed in an automobile accident returning from a mid-week trip to Smith in his VW bug in April of our senior year. The other guy crossed the center line and nailed Joe’s car in a head-on. Joe did not go to Smith to see anyone in particular, but just needed to take a mid-week trip in the fog in the midst of preparations for comprehensives.

There were rumors that Joe was thinking about joining the Air Force after graduation, but no firm commitments had been made. He also had thought about graduate school. He was not enthusiastic about the possibility of joining his father’s successful insurance agency back in Evanston. As was the case for many of us, his future plans were very much up in the air. There was no post-Yale chapter to be written.

Joe loved music, especially opera, and he regularly shared his love of opera with his roommates and neighbors at high volume. He also liked to share his love of literature, singing, and rock n’ roll with friends in Davenport over good beer, or any beer. His rich booming voice, audible up and down the entryways, was missed sorely as graduation approached.

For many of us, Joe’s death was the first among our close friends and so is remembered with a sense of anger for the waste of a life just beginning. Joe, however, is remembered with joy for his zest for life, his unresolved quest for significance, and his rich wit and biting sense of humor.