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YAM Notes: January/February 2011

By Gregory A. Weiss

A dermatologist in Peoria, Illinois, Harry Stone brings us up to date on his doings: ’I have been retired since July 1, 2009. I will soon complete 12 years of service on the board of trustees of the Illinois chapter of the Nature Conservancy and will then become an emeritus trustee. My wife, Sally, and one son, Andrew, and I serve as trustees of the John C. Porter Endowment here in Peoria, a charity that supports a retirement home for approximately 200 people. My wife is also a board member of the Peoria Riverfront Museum, which is starting construction to replace the Lakeview Museum that we have supported for over 30 years. I also spend a lot of time restoring hillside prairies and woodlands on my property, which are in a conservation easement. We have three grandchildren who are children of my son, Andrew. They live in Kenilworth, Illinois. He is an attorney with McDermott, Will and Emery. We also have a daughter, Maggie, in Washington, DC, who works for the Smithsonian.”

The Pennsylvania Insurance Department issued a press release last August announcing the promotion of one of our own: ’Governor Edward G. Rendell has named Robert L. Pratter to serve as acting insurance commissioner for the Pennsylvania Insurance Department. Pratter has served as the executive deputy general counsel for litigation with the state’s Office of General Counsel since 2008. During his extensive legal career, Pratter has specialized in regulatory, corporate, and judicial proceedings affecting the insurance industry.” Bruce Reynolds, professor of economics at UVA, is ’spending a sabbatical year as visiting scholar at George Washington University’s Elliott School, working on the U.S.-China economic relationship and living with our two grandkids (and their parents!). I’d love to connect with classmates in the DC area.”

Russ Crawford died of a heart attack on September 14, 2010, in Minnesota. We are fortunate to have a complete and lively account of the memorial services from Grif Okie: ’Ted Elliot and I flew into Fargo on Sunday evening and drove 80 minutes due north—not one turn or hill or dip once we were on the highway—to Grand Forks, where Donna [Crawford, Russ’s wife] had reserved rooms for the travelers. After enjoying a fine pasta supper and two martinis, we were lucky to get back to the Holiday Inn at about 10:30 p.m. Charlie, Kathy, and Donna were in the lobby, and after our condolences were accepted, we ended up having one of many rip-roaring, laugh-till-our-sides-hurt reminiscing nights. We got to bed at 12:30! On Monday, there was an open-casket ceremony at the funeral home—many friends and family coming through the doors to show their love for Russ and Donna. At the end of the event, the Catholic priest invited comments. Brooke, Donna’s super-daughter, gave a ‘daughter’s’ version of what Russ meant to her. An amazing, young, incredibly energetic, and smart lady, who gave a lot of credit for her success to Russ and his wonderful step-parenting. After a steak house dinner, we ended at the inn—again up until 12:30! Tuesday dawned with some sun shining through the mostly gray skies, and we donned our suits to carry Russ on one of his last portages—up too many steps into Grand Forks’ largest Catholic church. Russ had been an altar boy here, and although he and Donna were not ‘practicing’ church-goers, the officials allowed, and even seemed honored to help, Russ on his way to his resting place. After a formal Catholic service and another ‘portage’ down the steps, an honor guard folded the draped U.S. flag and presented it to Donna. Dick and Bennett Swingle left to fly to Bermuda, and we had another meal together and yet another late night of memories! Getting to Grand Forks is not easy, but it sure goes up toward the top of my list of memorable events. Donna is a superstar in my book, and her family is right there too! A wonderfully orchestrated tribute to Fat Dad.”

By now you should have received all sorts of information about the reunion, June 2–5.Don’t miss it! It will be your only 45th college reunion! And, even if you can’t make it to New Haven, don’t forget to go to the class website, yale66.org, to complete your information for the class book and the class