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James R. Anderson, II

Died: April 1, 1964

Jimmy Anderson was killed sophomore year early in the morning on April 1, 1964, driving back to New Haven from a skiing vacation in Aspen. Jim Joyce, another Yale classmate, was also killed in that same accident. Jimmy was a graduate of Berkshire School, class of 1961, but deferred his acceptance to Yale and entered with our class in September of 1962. His freshman year roommates were George Musgrove and Andy Berkman. Jim’s father (also Jim) was a member of the Yale Class of 1942. Jimmy was a member of Morse College, occupying a single above the library, but he was paired with freshmen year roommates, and Sam Samford, Allen Sandler, and Don Kornblet.

Frank Samford remembers:
Jimmy was one of my two best friends at Yale. I remember him most for his sense of humor and his ironic approach to all things and people. Whenever I encounter someone or something unusual, I think about how Jimmy would have responded. He died in a car crash spring break of our sophomore year. Andy Berkman and I went to his funeral in Illinois. Having never faced such a situation, I was dreading it. I was, of course, wrong. Andy and I told his family things they had never heard about Jimmy, and they did the same for us. To my surprise, there was a lot of laughter mixed with the tears. I think what people most want when a loved one has died are stories. I never forgot the lesson and have acted on it many times over the years.

Andrew Berkman remembers:
Jimmy preceded me at Berkshire School and graduated with the class of 1961. He was young for his class and thus deferred his acceptance to Yale and joined the Class of 1966 in September of 1962. George Musgrove and I were his roommates in 1128 Bingham. Jimmy never had an unkind word to say about anyone and went about the business of acclimatization to Yale with a kind (if ironic) sense of wit and style. He often slept in through the morning and yet managed to make himself a regular part of all of our lives in that entry in Bingham. Sophomore year found six of us rooming together in Morse over the Library. Again, we managed to create an environment that was somewhat longer in the fun part than in the academic rigors of choosing a major and taking advantage of all that Yale offered. Home football games in the fall of sophomore year almost always found Jimmy and me purchasing a new garbage can, giving it a good hot shower for sanitary purposes, and then making a grain alcohol punch, stirred with one of Jimmy’s ski poles. It is those poles and Jimmy’s ski jacket that come to mind when I think of those first two years at Yale…cut short when Jimmy was killed in the middle of the night in western Nebraska on April 1, 1964 — along with Jim Joyce — returning to New Haven after a skiing vacation. So, three things: (1.) You will find Jimmy’s jacket on Sam in the picture I have posted from the Princeton game in November of 1964; (2.) I never pick up a ski pole without thinking of the ease and pleasures of those early Yale days; and (3.) I never say good-bye to a 20 year-old without cautioning him and or her not to drive through the night.