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YAM Notes: November/December 2011

By Gregory A. Weiss

Mike Parry’s stepson, Navy SEAL Brian Robert Bill, was one of the 22 SEALs killed in the tragic helicopter crash in Afghanistan on August 6. Mike and his wife, Pat (Brian’s mother), raised Brian together from the time that Brian was eight. Brian was just 31 when he died. He joined the Navy immediately following his graduation from Norwich University in 2001 and proceeded rapidly to complete the notoriously difficult SEAL training where he appears to have thrived. The list of his medals and awards, including three Bronze Stars with Valor, is long and impressive. He was honored at a memorial service for all of the fallen SEALs in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on August 25, after which his remains were interred at Arlington National Cemetery.

Chris Walker died on August 31 at his home in Middleburg, Virginia, from multiple myeloma. His obituary in the Washington Post recounted that he was a Washington-area commercial real estate developer who climbed many of the world’s tallest mountains, including Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro and the Matterhorn in Switzerland, and once paddled a kayak through the Grand Canyon. He began working in commercial real estate in the early 1980s. He built an office building near Dupont Circle before becoming one of the first developers to start commercial projects in Reston, Virginia. In all, Chris’s 13 multimillion-dollar developments spanned more than 1 million square feet. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1969 and received an MBA from Harvard in 1971. An inveterate tinkerer, Chris designed his own exercise machine and helped found a computerized dating service when he was at Yale. (The service was called Operation Match, and Erno Bonebakker reflects that his 45-year marriage to his wife, Victoria, was initiated through Operation Match and could be said to be a part of Chris’s legacy.) As a child, Chris harbored a fascination with astronomy and gazed at stars through a telescope. As an adult, he became an opponent of light pollution and was a board member of the International Dark-Sky Association, which helps communities address problems with outdoor lighting to reduce glare and make the night sky more easily visible. Chris is survived by his wife of 40 years, Helen, and two children, Ellen and Evan.

Turning to a (much) lighter side, the following was submitted by Tim Wollaeger in the form of “breaking news” on ESPN: “On a beautiful Sunday afternoon of lovely sunshine, warm temperatures, and calm and warm waters, Tim Wollaeger successfully completed his 32nd consecutive La Jolla Rough Water 1-Mile Swim. However, unable to overcome an onslaught of new 65-year-olds to the age group 65–69, he slipped to 11th place, breaking his string of three top-ten finishes. Although hoping to keep his string alive, Tim was quoted as saying, ‘What a great day, and I hope to keep coming back for many more years.’ A total of 403 men swam in the 50-and-over heat.”

We recently received a nice note from Harvey Bundy’s wife, Blakely, attaching a photo of Doug and Noriko Palmer, Dan and Helen Barbiero, and Harvey and Blakely, on board the Corinthian II. (The photo is now on the class website (Yale66.org), and we encourage you all to send in more.) “We were on a Yale-sponsored trip to the Black Sea in August 2011. We and the Barbieros planned to go on the trip together and were pleasantly surprised to find the Palmers on the trip as well. It was a terrific trip with fascinating professors discussing both the ancient and modern history of the region on a small, 110-passenger ship. We plan to take another Yale-sponsored trip in the future and encourage others to consider it as well.” Subsequent e-mails caught us up on what Harvey has been doing: “We continue to live in Winnetka, Illinois. Same house for close to 40 years! Still working, still at William Blair running small- and mid-cap pension money. How dull. Only interesting part of life is a flourishing poker hobby; play in several World Series of Poker events each year. Went deep this year in ‘seniors’ event (over 50): 41st out of 3,800. Only problem with this is that now I show up in Google searches as a poker player, not just John Kerry’s roommate! We have nine grandkids and are lucky enough to have eight of the nine live within five miles! Probably has a lot to do with why we still are in the same house.”