Personal Remembrances from the 45th Reunion Memorial Service
July 14, 2017 in Events, In Memoriam, Notes
Yale Class of 1972
45th Reunion Memorial Service
Friday, June 2, 2017
Saint Thomas More Chapel
Click here for service program.
(1) Bill Farley
Our classmate William “Bill” Farley passed away last year at age 66 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.
Bill was a charismatic and well-loved figure on the campus. During our sophomore year he played a major role during the excitement that spring of 1970. He was chosen by other students to lead the student strike committee, a position that he handled with grace, humility, and exceptional leadership skill. He supported and helped articulate the student and community concerns and grievances, while at the same time working with the University and the authorities to keep the entire effort peaceful and productive. The city, the University, and all of us survived that May Day weekend in large measure because of his dedication, his skill, and his humanity.
There was a public Bill Farley- someone in a leadership role at the University, in the community, and, for a time, nationally—and there was a private Bill Farley. As his roommate, along with Reggie Jones, I was privileged to know and enjoy his private side. He was naturally upbeat and positive—and just a lot of fun to be around. Most importantly, he was the kindest of human beings- to his friends and to strangers. His kindness knew no bounds.
It was a time on campuses when racial, ethnic, and political identities were extremely important, and people often seemed (or felt) rigidly bound by the labels and affinities that coursed through the University and national conversations. Like so many of us, Bill felt these pressures and did his best to find his way through the minefields of student thinking and expectations at Yale.
But in our room, Bill could relax and put those pressures aside, however briefly. He could- and did- enjoy his life and his friends immensely. It was a great pleasure and privilege to be his roommate and his friend.
Bill went on to achieve much. He was a Rhodes Scholar, a Yale law graduate, a highly regarded public official in Chicago, and a partner in several Chicago law firms. More importantly he married well, a wonderful woman named Gale, and raised two terrific sons. His family life was, as with most things in his life, a huge success.
I attended his funeral in Chicago. It was a sad and joyous affair. I will miss him terribly, but I am very happy I was lucky enough to spend time with him.
There are certain people whose death, upon hearing the news, cause you to experience an additional intake of breath. That’s how I felt on hearing the news of Bill Farley’s death. I haven’t seen or spoken to Bill in years. But I remember him well. His name, his face, his stature, his leadership represent all that was good about us in those turbulent times that some of us in short-hand, or perhaps in nostalgia, refer to as “the revolution”. His dignity and leadership helped set the moral tone for the balance of our Yale days. And even, perhaps, for how we have lived these last 47 years.
(2) Gordon Farrimond
Gord Farrimond was in Grace Hopper (aka Calhoun) College and played hockey. He was a good friend of mine at Yale and throughout the remainder of life. We were at each other’s weddings and kids’ weddings, vacationed together, etc., etc. He died quite suddenly and unexpectedly (undiagnosed-until-too-late endocarditis) in late January. His memorial was at a small church in northeastern Ontario where he’d served on the board for a decade or more. He had been a real presence in the community in Indian River. Tragic death for an otherwise vigorously healthy guy. Friends, neighbors, family, etc. were in strong attendance at the memorial.
Gord had a successful career at Johnson & Johnson, heading marketing for Canada’s Ethicon sutures division. Eventually he tired of corporate life and found success with medium-sized business, free-lancing as a business division manager in Detroit, and, recently, in pharmaceutical marketing for a veterinary products company.
He left behind three daughters, a step-daughter, a step-son, his wife, and 10 grandchildren, with number 11 on the way. They were all the apples of his eye. He had a heart as big as the great outdoors that also he loved so well.
John P. Louchheim
(3) Maurice Earl Franklin
Maurice Franklin and I were both psychology majors and both lived off campus on Lake Place when we met as Yale undergraduates. Senior year, we studied together and helped each other finish our senior theses in the rush towards graduation.
After Yale Moe and I stayed in touch while he attended Vanderbilt Law School; then as life moved on we lost contact. If then were now, we would probably still be emailing or on Facebook, although Moe doesn’t strike me as the Facebook type. He was practical, wary and street smart, quick to point out that my head was in the clouds or books most of the time. He was well suited, with his quick mind, fierce intelligence, and facility with words, for the practice of law. After Vanderbilt he became a federal prosecutor and then a lawyer in private practice.
Moe told fascinating stories about growing up in Memphis, playing football for Father Bertrand Catholic High School, and being a whiz kid on a radio quiz show. In his Yale admissions interview, a local alum asked Moe where he would be if he weren’t at the interview. Moe answered, “Playing pool” and named the place. According to Moe, the alum laughed, appreciating his honesty.
Moe shared a telling story about his trip to New Haven at the start of his freshman year. There were several firsts: first in his family to go to college, first time flying, first time seeing Yale. As Moe was about to board the plane, so full of possibility and uncertainty, his grandmother handed him a frozen ham, a touch of home and family that she must have thought would nurture him as he entered his new world. Loyal and loving, Moe carried the ham with him on the plane, the ride to New Haven, and right described his mortification as the frozen ham steadily, remorselessly, thawed in his hands, having become a dripping mess as it accompanied him from Memphis to New Haven and the Old Campus.
If Maurice Franklin were with us today, he would be telling this story himself, a more captivating rendition to be sure, while laughing and cringing at the memory.
(4) John Rouse
I had the great pleasure of rooming with John for three years at Yale; the fourth year, we lived in single rooms next door to one another. Although I liked him immediately, it took me about three and a half of those years to figure him out. I think that was because although every person is unique, John might be called “uniquely unique” in that I have never met anyone else like him.
Even as a freshman, John displayed certain qualities which remained trademarks throughout his life: a fierce intelligence (and a capacity to absorb huge amounts of information quickly, as I observed during last-minute cramming sessions before exams), an natural appreciation of aesthetics (although if you put this man in a room with a box of Hostess Twinkies, you could not trust him), a gentlemanly deportment, basic kindness, and an outstanding musical talent. He seemed to be a man with no major character flaws except for a curious inability to get anywhere on time. These qualities were evident from the moment he walked into Bingham Hall. John, I have come to believe, was one of those rare people who knew, at a young age, not only what he wanted to do with his life (which was to be a doctor, and a singer) but more important, who he was. In short, he was raised right.
You know the rest: the Yale Glee Club, the Spizzwinks, the Whiffenpoofs; and later on, professor of psychiatry at San Francisco General Hospital, a successful and varied singing and acting career, and many long-term friendships, from Yale and everywhere else. He never stopped evolving: from a baritone to a tenor, from a soloist with the Yale Alumni Chorus to a tour producer. Among his friends, his accomplishments as a chef were legendary. Among his co-workers at San Francisco General Hospital, he was regarded as The Mentor.
It was my extraordinary privilege to assist in looking after John at his home in San Francisco during the last two weeks of his life. In April of 2017, after several months of illness, he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia known as CMML, and given only a short time to live. The caring efforts of his theatre group during his hospice care, and the steady stream of visitors who stopped by, testified to the affection he inspired in his community. I am happy to report that most of those two weeks were good times, filled with friends and great food and genuine humor, and that when the end came, it was swift and, as far as we could know, painless.
John was blessed with great natural talents: as a doctor, as a musical artist, and as an individual. He returned those gifts to his community, earning the high regard of his friends, co-workers, family, fellow artists – all, it seemed, who crossed his path. Although he left us too soon, John’s was a life brilliantly lived. We should all be so lucky.
John’s death was a terrible shock since I had had no idea that he was ill. He had kept working on the Yale Alumni Chorus Spirit of Song Tour that several of us were organizing, to take place in Toronto this August. As co-producer, he initiated and answered group emails, so we were in touch often. He was here in Toronto just last October, to check out venues and to confer with us locals about the tour. I thought we would welcome him back here this summer. And then suddenly he was gone.
I honestly can’t imagine the world without John. He was part of every single one of my Yale Glee Club and YAC experiences, from the 1970 European tour to the 155th Reunion, as well as being at all my Class of 1972 reunions. At the last one I went to, five years ago, Paula Greenman and I greatly enjoyed listening to him and the other Whiffenpoofs from our class sing in the Branford dining hall on the Saturday night. John was also a dear, generous, fun friend who loved to share intellectual jokes (like “Jabberwocky” translated into multiple languages and Double Dactyl poems) and fine food and wine. My family always enjoyed our time with him when we visited San Francisco.
Jere Johnston, President of YAC, has posted a beautiful memorial album of pictures of John from all the YAC tours, accompanied by YAC singing “Red River Valley” and “Ride the Chariot”. It was poignant to hear John’s signature tenor solo. Who will sing it now? He will be deeply missed. But I take some comfort in knowing that John lived a full, adventurous life, always taking advantage of opportunities to learn, travel and make music with friends.
(5) Richard Schwartz
One of my favorite memories of Richard Schwartz is how, when we met or spoke on the phone, we would always begin by greeting each other with “Bonjour,” remembering the time we met as freshmen in an advanced French literature class. Indeed, for 47 years we never failed to speak a few words of French to each other, which we always laughed about it since neither of us had more than a few words of the language to offer after that.
Besides having a great sense of humor, Richard was extremely smart and generous. In particular, he supported Yale and served our class in many capacities, most recently as a member of our Class Council. He always did what he could when called upon to help Yale and the Class of ‘72. I sincerely regret that I did not see more of Richard over the years – we would run into each other from time to time at Yale-related events – and I will miss him very much. I understand from his family that Richard was extraordinarily courageous in coping with his health issues and express to them my deepest condolences as well as our appreciation for his service to Yale and our class. Au revoir, mon cher ami Richard.
(6) Bob Wilensky
Robert Wilensky (Peg Skorpinski photo)
Bob Wilensky’s nickname was Wombat.
While visiting with me in Washington, looking at old photos of our Yale days, Bill Shields was reminded of that nickname but could not remember who gave his roommate Bob the nickname Wombat. I emailed another of their roommates, Jeff Stuart, who recollected that it may have been Pasha Anwar, their fourth roommate, who bestowed that name on Bob. In any case, Bob was so named because when he was stoned or tripping, he had this wide-eyed stare, like a wombat. The name was established sophomore year. Bob, Jeff, Bill, and Pasha were roommates for sophomore and junior years.
When Bob died, his obituary said he did not like people who used any name other than Robert! We all nearly choked reading that. It must have happened in California, because in New Haven during college and years after, he was Bob. Bob and I worked at Yale, Jeff also worked in Connecticut, and Pasha was still around for a while, all living together in Hamden, just over the city line at the end of Winchester Avenue. Bob was never, ever, Robert, until that obit that made its way to the class notes. He was called Wombat by his three roommates and some other friends in Silliman.
Pasha Anwar, Bill Shields, Jeff Stuart, and Sarah Shapiro
Along with the anecdote from our psychedelic moment detailed above, here is something much more substantive from U.C. Berkeley about Bob and his career.
Berkeley News – Artificial intelligence expert Robert Wilensky dies at 61
By Sarah Yang, Media relations | March 25, 2013
Robert Wilensky, professor emeritus of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley, and one of the campus’s first faculty members in artificial intelligence when the field was just taking off, has died at age 61.
Robert Wilensky (Peg Skorpinski photo)
He died at the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland on Friday, March 15, of a bacterial infection.
Wilensky’s career at UC Berkeley spanned nearly 30 years, beginning in 1978 when he joined the faculty in computer science. He later was appointed a professor at the School of Information and Management Sciences (now the School of Information, or I School), which he helped form.
His many research interests included the role of memory processes in natural language processing, language analysis and production and artificial intelligence in programming languages.
One of Wilensky’s most notable contributions to the university was the UC Berkeley Digital Library Project, launched in the early years of the World Wide Web to develop techniques to make books and research materials from any library available online. The project also linked technical material together so that different layers of information can be selectively displayed and linked to other documents. This has become commonplace on the Web and in tools like Google Earth.
“The system allowed scholars and researchers to add material, and it enabled general users to easily find and retrieve information, including environmental reports, historic photos, video files, maps, databases of California flora and more,” said David Culler, professor and chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. “These are conveniences we now take for granted.”
The UC Berkeley Digital Library was launched in 1994 with a $4 million grant from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and NASA. Two years later, the project got a big boost when IBM donated a 6 terabyte data-storage system valued at nearly $750,000.
During Wilensky’s tenure at UC Berkeley, he served as chair of the Computer Science Division, director of the Berkeley Cognitive Science Program, director of the Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research Project, and board member of the International Computer Science Institute.
“When he joined our department, he began building up a program in artificial intelligence at UC Berkeley, and he succeeded wonderfully,” said longtime colleague Richard Fateman, UC Berkeley professor emeritus of computer science and co-investigator on the Digital Library project. “He was extraordinarily successful in conceiving and executing ideas that led to infrastructure improvement for all his colleagues and contributed to the advancement of technology in programs that are widely used in document processing and Web access. He really was exceptional.”
Wilensky was also instrumental in establishing UC Berkeley’s Cognitive Science Program, helping organizing the diverse campus faculty and leading competitive grants at a time when the research field was in its infancy.
Wilensky was born March 26, 1951, in Brooklyn, New York. He received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and his Ph.D. in computer science in 1972 and 1978, respectively, from Yale University. After graduating from Yale, Wilensky moved to California to join UC Berkeley.
He authored and co-authored many scholarly articles, conference papers, books and technical reports on artificial intelligence, planning and knowledge representation, natural language processing, and information dissemination.
Among the interesting problems he tackled was how to compute accurate reliability ratings of sellers on eBay, even in the face of possibly untruthful ratings by anonymous users. One of the last papers Wilensky co-authored presented techniques to flag users who are gaming the ratings systems, including sellers who form cliques in which they praise each other, or those who rack up high ratings for inexpensive merchandise before putting big-ticket items up for sale.
“It’s hard to think about Robert without breaking into a smile,” said John Canny, UC Berkeley professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences. “He started out as a street-smart kid in Brooklyn, he was a math whiz and he managed to be the second kid from his school to get into an Ivy League college. He also had a genuine warmth for people and got along with everyone, except people who kept calling him ‘Bob’.”
Among the honors bestowed upon Wilensky was being named Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) in recognition for his research contributions to the areas of natural language processing and digital libraries, as well as for his outstanding leadership in computer science. In addition, he is an honorary member of the Golden Key National Honor Society, and a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence. He has also served as an ACM National Lecturer.
In 2005, Wilensky went on medical leave, but remained quite active during that time and worked to complete a new book on advanced programming techniques. Wilensky suffered a debilitating cardiac arrest in October 2006, and he retired shortly thereafter. He remained substantially disabled until his death.
He is survived by his wife of 17 years, Ann Danforth of Berkeley; his daughter Mia, 15, and son Eli, 12; his mother, Neesa Wilinsky of Brooklyn, NY; and his sister, Sandra W. Cohen of Memphis, Tenn.
(7) Richard Baron
Our classmate Carol Lee sent this email about her friend and professional colleague: Our classmate, Richard Baron, passed away suddenly this past Friday. He was originally in the class of 1971 but took a year off and graduated with us.
Yale Alumni Records has Rich listed with the Class of 1971, but we include this obituary for those who remember him as a member of our class of 1972.
University of Chicago — Published on May 16, 2017
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Professor and former Chairman of the Department, Dr. Richard Baron. A memorial service for Dr. Baron will be held on Wednesday, May 31, at the University of Chicago’s Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, 5850 S. Woodlawn Ave. The service will begin at 11:00 a.m.
We share Dean Dr. Kenneth Polonsky’s remarks,
“I am deeply saddened to tell you that Richard L. Baron, MD, FACR, a professor and former Chairman of the Department of Radiology at the University of Chicago, died suddenly while playing tennis on Thursday evening. He was 68 years old. The presumed cause of death was a heart attack.
Rich, a leading authority on diagnostic imaging of liver disease, enjoyed an extremely distinguished career in research, education and medicine. He served as Chair of the Department of Radiology at the University from 2002 to 2011 and Dean for Clinical Practice and head of our Faculty Practice Plan from 2011 to 2013.
Prior to that, Rich was Chairman of radiology at the University of Pittsburgh and founding President and CEO of the University of Pittsburgh Physicians. He served on the board of the Radiological Society of North America from 2008 to 2016 and was president of the board for 2016. He was serving on the American College of Radiology Board of Chancellors at the time of his death.
Richard Baron was born March 11, 1949, in Springfield, Massachusetts. He graduated cum laude from Yale University in 1972 and earned his medical degree and election to Alpha Omega Alpha at the Washington University School of Medicine in 1976. His internship in internal medicine at Yale University was followed by a residency in radiology and an abdominal radiology fellowship at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University. Later in his career, faced with increasing administrative duties, he pursued further education in the MBA program at the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh.
Rich authored or co-authored more than 150 peer-reviewed scientific articles. He was a co-editor of the textbook Multislice-CT of the Abdomen. He authored 53 book chapters and review articles, and organized numerous scientific and educational exhibits.
A popular speaker, he presented hundreds of invited lectures throughout the world. He served as a reviewer for multiple journals, including Radiology, The American Journal of Roentgenology, The Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography, Liver Transplantation, Gastroenterology, and European Radiology, and was an associate editor of Radiology from 1991 to 1996 and of Liver Transplantation from 2004 to 2009.
In addition to his long service to the RSNA, Dr. Baron was active in the American College of Radiology and the American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS). He was a past president of the Society of Gastrointestinal Radiology, as well as the Society of Computed Body Tomography and Magnetic Resonance. He provided expertise in the realm of quality and safety on national and international levels, serving on the Joint Commission Professional Technical Advisory Committee from 2007 to 2011 and providing guidance to the International Atomic Energy Commission and the World Health Organization.
Dr. Baron earned international honors from numerous radiology societies, primarily for his work on diagnostic imaging of liver disease. He was a Fellow of the ACR and the SGR and received honorary fellowships and awards from multiple international societies and associations, including the European Society of Gastrointestinal and Abdominal Radiology, the Asian Oceanic Society of Radiology, the French, Spanish and Italian Radiological Societies, and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
Just as important as his many accomplishments, is the lasting and valued personal relationships that Rich enjoyed with so many of us. He treated everyone with respect and was the consummate professional. We benefitted from his thoughtful guidance and his ability and eagerness to mentor younger colleagues. He was a master educator and lifelong learner – a role model for trainees and clinical peers alike.
Dr. Baron is survived by his wife Shirley Baron; their son, Tim Baron, a Chicago filmmaker, and daughter, Christine Turner; and Dr. Baron’s brother John.”
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