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John W.D. Stallcup

Died: June 29, 1981

John Stallcup was born in Jacksonville, Florida on January 18, 1944. He prepared for Yale at Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia. He was affiliated with Saybrook College, but left Yale early. He married July 1965 in Duval, Florida and died June 29, 1981 in Wakulla, Florida.

Dandridge McDonald remembers:

My freshman roommate, John Stallcup, was one of those ultra-bright students who didn’t have to study to master the academic stuff. His high school yearbook entry noted “he succeeded in appearing on the High List consistently while taking five subjects during his junior and senior years,” and “John was amazed to discover how much was to be learned from the book when he read his first daily physics assignment late second term.”

Coming from a fairly strict boarding school, John was a legendary “can’t handle the freedom” student. We roomed together freshman year, and he and his equally smart and reckless friends used to stay up all night in our Old Campus suite smoking, drinking, goofing off, making noise, and generally making his roommates’ lives miserable. John was an iconoclast, didn’t care much for rules or the future. He fancied himself another Ferlinghetti, Ginsberg, or maybe Hemingway, determined to experience all he could of life, but not producing much in return.

After a year or so, John left Yale, and I never heard much from him after that. A few years down the road, I heard he was in the federal narcotics hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, and later learned that he had died. Today, we might note in an obituary that the deceased was addicted to opiates. Because we were immortal in those days, we didn’t worry about addiction, but should have. John’s great promise was derailed by self-destructive demons. Even if he knew it, I never thought he cared.