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YAM Notes: September/October 2020

By Gregory Weiss

First we must acknowledge an error in the Class website which, fortunately, has been corrected. Even more fortunately, at least for Robert E. (“Sully”) Sullivan, it is good news. The error resulted from some confusion with Classmate Robert Welles Sullivan. We are sad to report that RWS died on September 26, 2017. (See below) Unfortunately, the indication of his passing ended up on the Class website on the page for the other Robert.

The mistake was flagged by the newly resurrected Sully, who, bless his steadily beating heart, is handling the whole episode quite well: “It recently was brought to my attention that in the Yale Alumni records I was listed as deceased on Sept 26, 2017, which is false. Just to set the record straight I did not die on that day, or any day since – so far. I wasn’t even sick then, or this old. I am grateful to report that I’m not only still living but feeling pretty well while going about it. I feel lucky every day anyway, but this brush with the Reaper allows me to relish my time and situation ever so much more, so thank you for that.”

The sad part of the story is the 2017 passing of Robert Welles Sullivan. We are usually quite prompt in reporting Classmate deaths, but his somehow slipped between the cracks. RWS was a long-time resident of New Britain, CT. After Yale he earned a law degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law and practiced for many years with the Murtha Cullina law firm in Connecticut. Robert was predeceased by his wife of 33 years, the late Dorothy Sullivan. His only child, Sarah, succeeds him with three grandchildren.

You will recall that way back in the fall we held a Class event to see Ted Shen’s new off-Broadway play Broadbend, Arkansas. Thanks to Ted‘s wife, Mary Jo, we have learned that the play has received several important award nominations: “As you know, Ted is the last person who would wish to call attention to himself, but I want to be sure that you are aware that BROADBEND, ARKANSAS has received three important nominations for the inaugural Antonio Awards. This new award, sponsored by Broadway Black, is the black theater equivalent to a combined Tony and Obie Award, as it encompasses both Broadway and Off-Broadway shows. It is one in which we do take great pride, as Ted’s original purpose of expanding the one-act monologue was to bring attention to the collateral damage to family structures over multiple generations caused by racially profiled police killings and unprovoked brutality.

Finally, we lost Bill Greiner of Stony Brook, NY, who passed away on June 17. After Yale Bill earned a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and an MBA from Rutgers. He spent tons of time with his family in Stone Harbor, NJ, where he loved to body surf with his two grandsons. Among his other survivors is his high school sweetheart and wife of 54 years, Susan.