Lost Password

Yale menu

Daily News

Ronald James Traver

Died: March 1, 1974

Claire Keeler Beck remembers:

Ron was a charming and enthusiastic person who enjoyed almost every aspect of his Yale experience. He was a member of one of Yale’s most accomplished swim teams, coached by the highly successful Phil Moriarty. While Ron was at Yale, the team won the Eastern Championships every year. During Ron’s senior year, Yale won every one of its varsity dual meets except a hair’s breadth loss to Army, 48-47.

Ron swam the 100 and 200 yard breaststroke and the 400 medley relay. In the meet against Dartmouth he set a Dartmouth pool record in the 200 yard breaststroke. Swimming was also the venue that introduced Ron to his future wife, Claire Keeler. In those days, Coach Moriarty brought some of his varsity swimmers to St. Louis to train and to lifeguard at a local pool where Moriarty coached during the summer months. Claire swam on the local team. They met in 1965 and were married four years later. Claire’s sister, Ann, married Ron’s teammate Joe Hill ’66, the team captain.

Ron was a member of Beta Theta Pi and an American studies major. After graduation he worked in the Yale Admissions Office until he joined the Navy, attending OCS in 1968. He was a Lieutenant JG assigned to the USS Boston and completed two tours of duty in Southeast Asia. Following the Navy, he attended Harvard Business School and went to work for Cabot, Cabot and Forbes in their real estate investment Trust division.

In 1972 Ron and Claire took a bare boat charter to the British Virgin Islands with classmate David Pinkham and fellow swimmer, Dick Lawler ’67. Later that year they backpacked in Colorado with teammates Tim Kennedy ’64 and his brother Doug ’67. On the Colorado trip Ron realized something was wrong; he was diagnosed with bladder cancer some months later. He underwent several surgeries and debilitating chemotherapy treatments, which for bladder cancer were still in the very early stages of development.

Ron and Claire lived in Boston until his death. His last weeks were spent in St. Louis with Claire’s family where he was visited by many of his close Yale friends, including Pinkham, Lawler, both Kennedys, and Josh Jensen ’66, to name a few.

He died on March 1, 1974, at the age of 29.