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George Henry Weiler, III

Died: May 29, 2013

George came to Yale in September 1962, the son of a distinguished alumnus, George Henry Weiler, Jr, ’38S, and having prepared for Yale at Upper Darby High School (near Philadelphia, and Ridgewood High School in Ridgewood, New Jersey. George was a history major, and engaged in multiple intramural activities while in Ezra Stiles. He was also a member of the Yale Political Union, but his principal extra-curricular endeavor while at Yale was singing: in the Freshman Glee Club, the Apollo Glee Club, and the Yale Glee Club; and, following our graduation, George made it an article of faith that he would continue with the Alumni Glee Club and the Russian Chorus, and he traveled with both groups several times following graduation.

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Mary Ann Weiler Remembers:

On May 29, 2013, my husband, George Henry Weiler, III. passed away after a sudden and massive heart attack while playing tennis at our club.

His memorial service in Bronxville, NY was attended by over 400 people. Our church on the hill was filled to capacity. I arrived at the church on that quiet rainy morning with our two children, Winston, age 15 and Christina, age 13. As I looked out to the street, I saw a steady stream of black umbrellas making their way to the church from the train station. So many people from Manhattan came to say good-bye to George. So many entered the church looking bewildered as they tried to explain to one another that they had just seen George’s smiling face the other day. Outside of the church, the Bronxville taxi drivers came to show their respect. George knew each one by name, knew about their families, and knew their favorite sports teams.

At the service, Cary Koplin gave a remembrance on behalf of your class. “For God, for Country and for Yale,” Cary said was what George was all about, except that George would add “for family.”

Wendy Weiler Chappell, George’s sister, remembered him: “He wanted to experience everything life had to offer, family, friends, religion, people, nature, beauty, music, food…every little morsel of life.”

Ken Ruge, the senior minister of our church also gave a remembrance “His legacy is that he taught us that a virtuous and generous life can also be a fun, happy, quirky life with multi-colored ties, with interesting hats, with witty conversation; and you could still be a virtuous, generous, open hearted person. This is a life well lived.”

Both of George’s sons, Blair and Winston, spoke at the service, as did our daughter, Christina. George’s daughter Katie cradled George’s first grandchild, Phillip, in her arms.

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George was very proud of his 25+ year tenure at UBS. He loved his job as Senior Vice President in Private Wealth Management. And UBS honored him in an unprecedented way by placing a plaque by itself on the pristine wall of the Swiss bank office. It read “George H. Weiler, III. He touched many lives and will be greatly missed. From his family at UBS.” What is so remarkable is that with all of George’s many noted accomplishments and gains in the “bottom line” corporate world, they chose to remember the man George was.

All along George’s life journey, he made connections and friends; from his days in school (Yale, Harvard and University of Pennsylvania), to his career switch (from civil rights law to corporate law to finance) to his business life (investment deals with a variety of breakthrough companies and wealth management for heads of industry).

George had so many interests, but he was most passionate about the people he met through exploring those interests. Because he loved politics, he would get deeply involved in campaigns, often asked to help with strategy, which resulted in more connections and more friends. (I received a hand written note of condolence from Mitt Romney). George appreciated tradition too. I remember one bright September afternoon in 2008 when George brought his father (Yale ’38 and Yale Medal Recipient ’94) to the last game at the old Yankee Stadium. He had arranged to have his father honored on the marquee because his father had attended the first game ever played at that stadium.

George had a wonderful life because he saw his life as wonderful. And we are all the better for sharing it with him — better because we knew him, loved him and learned from him.

In his own words, from your 25th Reunion Class Book, George advised, “…Yale Reunions are a meaningful ritual where you can have lots of fun meeting old friends, making new acquaintances, evaluating the past, assessing the future, and counting your blessings, one of which we all share, a Yale education and the Yale experience which goes with it… As Yale graduates, we will always be linked by that common bond.”

Here’s to you, Yale class of 1966. I wish you all a wonderful 50th reunion, and perhaps you might raise a glass to your classmate and friend, George. He would like that.

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Cary Koplin’s Memorial Address for George

I’m Cary Koplin, a friend and classmate of George’s from Yale. I’m co-class secretary and perpetual reunion chair and it’s a privilege and honor to be able to speak about and celebrate the life of a good man, George Henry Weiler III. When I spoke on Saturday with George’s sister, Wendy, and wife, Mary Ann, both said, “Cary, keep it light. Let’s don’t be sad, let’s don’t make this a downer,” but in reality, it is sad and though we are here to celebrate, we are sitting together in disbelief. Every one of us can picture George, that infectious smile, a twinkle in his eye, a firm handshake with a “Hey man, how’s it going? How’s the family;” or what about that stinker of a football game? Gosh, will Yale ever beat Harvard?” Or, Can you believe those folks down in Washington?” Or, “What do you think about this market?”

We’ll think back and remember the last time we were with George. For me, it was May 14, our regular second Tuesday of the month Class Lunch in the Tap Room…George, as usual, arrived a little late having rushed across Vanderbilt Avenue after finishing a client conference call. He circled the table smiling, said “hello” to each classmate present, looked them straight in the eye and shook their hand. Then religiously, he ordered the full Tap Room buffet (soup to sushi) as the spring/summer selection was now in order. In the fall and wintertime, it was always the hot, open roast turkey sandwich with fries, not mashed. And as sure as the sun rises in the east and then sets in the west…every lunch, summer or winter, he’d order a side of steamed spinach. All the waiters knew Mr. Weiler and knew that spinach was expected to be delivered. Steamed spinach is probably why George had such a firm handshake. On April 30th, the date of this year’s annual Class Dinner at the Yale Club. George was in rare form. This year, there was no lecture or predictably dull, often mis-themed topic about Yale today, rather, we featured singing at Yale. And boy, did George love to sing. Our old Whiffs serenaded the eighty-plus who attended and George knew every word of every song. His handkerchief was the first at the ready for the end of “Bright College Years” “…For God, for Country, and for Yale!” Those seven words might almost describe George Weiler…

For God: George was a spiritual person. Divinity School at Harvard after Yale on a Rockefeller Fellowship (I think I remember that Rockefeller was a Republican). George helped save St. Bartholomew’s Church from being razed by developers in New York. (He did get a special dividend there as he met Mary Ann and that chapter is well-known). George’s ethics and life’s path have been defined by the principles of service to God and respect for mankind. The NY Times obituary, so perfectly scribed by the family said “…he lived the best part of a Christian life…”.

For Country: (And I quote George’s own words from our 25th Reunion Class Book) “…Public interest law in Washington as a civil rights lawyer for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission litigating employment discrimination cases in federal and appellate courts around the country. It was good to return something back to society after having been given such a unique educational experience at Yale, Harvard, and Penn.” George always voted via the lever on the voting machine and the power of his checkbook to support every candidate who could make the world a better place. Let it be known that while George’s proclivity was for Republicans, he even supported a Yale ’66 classmate who happened to be a Democrat and is now our Secretary of State.

For Yale: George Henry Weiler Jr. Yale class of 1938. (Recipient of the Yale Medal in 1994)…a model for our George, young George Weiler. Our George Weiler loved most things Yale…maybe 99 percent. I can’t say our George embraced all the policies and directions taken since we left Mother Yale in 1966. He, and others (including yours truly) would have liked a better record on the playing fields against Harvard (Was that the coaches or the admissions policy?). But George’s affection for the tradition and what Yale did for him and for society forever tinted his blood Yale Blue. George has been a devoted member of the Class Council, the Reunion Committee, and the Alumni Fund for the Class of 1966. He was on the Alumni Schools Committee interviewing freshman candidates who were applying to Yale. But, at heart, George was a Yale songster. The Apollo Glee Club, the Yale Glee Club, and the Yale Alumni Chorus have all benefited from George’s mellifluous tones for nearly fifty years. Travels around the world in 1965 with the Yale Glee Club and in 2011 with the Yale Alumni Chorus provided fitting bookends for George’s gusto-filled participation singing at, and for, Yale.

For God, for Country, and for Yale… as I said a few minutes ago, that might almost describe George Weiler. To complete the portrait, however, one must add “For Family.” George Weiler was first and foremost for family. His dedication to his parents, his six siblings, but most importantly, to Mary Ann, Blair, Kate, Winston, and Tina, are what really defines this good man. You (have just heard or will soon hear) from George’s sister Wendy about the Weiler family, our George’s family and what this entity…the family…meant to George. I cannot add anything further to Wendy’s words other than to say (echo…if Wendy speaks before me) that George loved his family and was not shy, when prodded, in professing how lucky he was.

We are all here this morning as a family. Be we colleagues, classmates, friends, or Weilers or in-laws or just folks from a passing connection to George, from Ridgewood or Sutton Place, we have been drawn together to celebrate a genuinely good man who has left us too soon. We are indelibly impacted and saddened by his passing. But, so too are we blessed for having traveled part of life’s road with this beloved man.

Edmund Howe remembers:

Each reunion I went to I was, underneath everything else this involved, always looking forward to what to me was my gem: seeing George Weiler, who was in our class. I had actually a double joy. George was in my Jr. High School class. Thus I saw him and met his family (wife and children) once too at reunions there. George was so easy to talk to, so much fun, and I was always aware that others sought him out too because talking with him was such a joy. Singular. No reunion at Yale or Jr. High School without him can ever be the same for me. I hope someone can get this note to his wife and children so they can read it.

Andrew Berkman remembers:

George died over Memorial Day weekend in 2013, after suffering a heart attack while playing tennis….and that was indicative of George’s modus operandi…live life at full tilt, a smile on his face, a good and kind word for everyone he met. I knew George only slightly while we were at Yale, but came to embrace his infectious good humor on display at our monthly Yale Club lunches — where he would breeze in after everyone was seated, and we would all be treated to his commentary on the market, life of the nation in politics, life at Yale from his (and his father’s before him) perspective. George was a constant presence during the years following our 25th Reunion, as we collaborated on his reunion entries in our Class Book. The collaboration always followed a similar pattern. George would gear up for the work, discussing with us all what seemed to be important at that point in our lives, and then write an opus. The stage then shifted to me, as I was required to pare down what he had written. This led to some vigorous back and forth about the essence of what George wanted to say….and we both came away from those sessions well satisfied with the final product.