June 2023


Thomas Seaman writes that he does most of the cooking in his home in Jefferson, NC where he and his wife, Carole, are enjoying beautiful scenery, sunny days, mountain views, and visits with their kids.

Photographer Frances Denn Gallogy and her husband took their grandson on a trip in June to the Katmai National Park in Alaska to photograph bears!

Mary Davis Deignan is engaged in gardening, remodeling, and endless unpacking in her new home near Nashville, TN.

Dale Benedict is keeping busy with part-time consulting for forging companies on the design of forged bevel gears and the tooling to make them.

Lori Krieger Yellen writes that since moving from Buffalo to Manhattan several years ago, she loves exploring her new city. Her favorite store is Sweet Pickle Books, a used bookstore on Orchard Street where a donation of books or records gets you a free jar of pickles!

Jean Kitts Cadwallader of Homer, NY keeps busy with traveling, volunteering for charities through the Rotary, and her thriving family that includes three children, 10 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren!

Kudos to Health, TX resident John Curtis who, after 35 years in Rotary including several terms as service chair and two club presidencies, will be the ’23-’24 District Governor in District 5810, which is comprised of 62 clubs in Dallas and the many cities in its Metro area.

Sandy Stevenson, also a Rotarian, lives in Hertford, NC where he is president of the Perquimans County Restoration Association which maintains the Newbold-White House (circa 1730/National Register).

Michael Ernstoff writes from Los Angeles: “Often it is said, everything old is new again, supposedly a quote for writer Jonathan Swift. In my case, the relatively recent 2020 marriage of my daughter, Elena brought back memories of a graduation requirement for the EE Class of ’62…Professor Osborn’s AC/DC electrical machine courses. My son-in-law, Dr. Ian Brown, is a professor of Electrical Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology with a specialty in … you guessed it…AC/DC motors.

“At the time I was a Cornell EE, most of my classmates and I thought power electronics was old school; semi-conductors were the future. Here it is 60 years later, and electrical motors have become a key part of the USA’s efforts to go green. That is not to say that semi-conductors are not important. The motors of my plug-in-hybrid can’t turn without commands from the on-board computer.

“Bottom line, thanks to my Cornell studies, I can understand my son-in-law’s research projects, and when walking through his laboratory, the sound of whirling motors brings backs lots of memories of a long-gone lab in Phillips Hall.”

Houston Stokes has retired after teaching economics for 50 years at the U. of Illinois (Chicago).

After practicing orthodontics for 50 years, Robert M. Rosenberg is enjoying retirement in Rockport, ME, where his activities include ballroom dancing and biking.

Jacqueline Browne Bugnion and her husband Jean-Robert live in La Conversion, Switzerland, where they have established the Fondation de Mire-Mont, which is devoted to promoting education and the environment in poor countries. “Our biggest project,” she writes, “is reforestation in the Sahel region of Burkina Faso in collaboration with an agricultural school there.”

David Hill, a Basking Ridge, NJ resident, writes that he sings in his church choir and in a German chorus, rehearsing once a week for their Christmas and Spring concerts. His favorite Cornell memory, he writes, is when he and other freshman would gather in the dorms to lean and sing Cornell songs.

Hal Sieling was honored with testimonials (and a slide show) for his 50 years of service by the NY Alpha Chapter of SAE at this year’s Cornell reunion. Hal is a stalwart member of our Class Council, as well, starting with his stint as Class Vice President (1974-77). Through the years, he has spear-headed several enduring class-funded projects including the Class of 1962 Photography Fund at the Johnson Museum of Art and the Class of 1962 Baseball Scoreboard at Hoy Field.

Empty nesters at last, Gary Caplan and wife Susan (Schapiro) ’79 celebrated her 65th birthday and retirement with a cruise to Greece, Cyprus, and Israel on which they were joined by their last fledgling.

After a career as a home builder/real estate developer, Marc Gerber and his wife, retired and moved from Mt. Kisco, NY to Naples, FL in 2009. “I had thought that I would retire to life on a tennis court and golf course and perhaps build a house or two a year just for ‘fun.’ Quickly dismissed the home building idea. I was nuts to even consider such an idea!

“After about a year as a mediocre (a ‘kind’ adjective) athlete, someone learned I was a former trumpet player and invited me to a ‘jam session.’ As I drove the 30 minutes to get there, I convinced myself that, not having played in 18 years, I would be embarrassed. But, like riding a bike, the notes came right back. I was thrilled to relive my passion for playing the horn. The participants at the jam session were excellent musicians and very welcoming.

“Looking back, I remember wanting a good engineering school with a superb marching band. Cornell fit the bill. Now, within a few years, I was a member of a half dozen bands playing 8 to 10 times a week. My retirement life became the dream life that I never imagined. I’m still at it and never wish that I am on a golf course when I am on a bandstand.

“Last spring, I played a gig at the Ivy Fest here in Naples where Cornell had more participants than any other school.  Liz Spicka was at the event, and we chatted a bit. Playing the Cornell Alma Mater still raises the hair on the back of my neck as it did 60+ years ago as a member of ‘The Only Marching Band in the Ivy League.’

“Now music consumes my life. Not only as a musician but also as Vice President and Treasurer of the Naples Jazz Society, one of the bands of which I am a member.

“Two grandchildren attended Cornell: Jake CEE ‘20 MBA ‘22 and Jessica ‘23. As Jan and I approach our 60th wedding anniversary, it seems clear that our marriage will last.”

Kudos to Judith Shulman Weiss whose nomination of The New York-New Jersey harbor estuary resulted in it being named one of 151 “hope spots” around the world by Mission Blue, an environmental group non-profit dedicated to inspiring action to explore and protect the ocean. Mission Blue also extolled Judith, a professor emerita at Rutgers University and former president of the American Institute of Biological Sciences, as a “champion of hope” in recognition of her work to connect her “community of urbanites with the natural world around them through campaigning for continued improvement in water quality, habitat restoration, and community engagement programs.”

Dave Nisbet, a coach of the Let’s Row Middle School Program and Crew League, was honored last spring by Community Rowing Inc.(CRI), a Boston area group that brings rowing on the Charles River to all, with an emphasis on disadvantaged youth.

“I’m fully retired now and settled here in Boston with my wife Regina who I met while serving as an Army paratrooper in Germany. I retired after a long career in Hi Tech with several firms here in the Boston area where most recently I specialized in international business development sourcing software and seeking acquisitions in Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific regions.

“I rowed at Cornell and started sculling at CRI 5 years ago. Unfortunately, I suffered a severe broken leg two years ago and became depressed after learning my rowing days were over. Then I heard about coaching opportunities—CRI hired me and gave me the opportunity to use my knowledge of rowing and ‘be back on the water.’ This has given me a new outlook and something I now look forward to. I’ve never lost my love for rowing! I’m enjoying my ‘new job’ teaching rowing on the Charles River. Thank you, CRI.”

Dave and his Cornell crew mates were on the cover of Sports Illustrated Magazine, June 18, in 1962.

Sports Illustrated cover June 18 1962

l-r: John Beeman ’63, cox; Bill Stowe ’62, stroke; Mike McGuirk ’63, #7; Dick Thackaberry ’63, #6; John Abele ’62, #5; Vic Ericson ’62, #4; Don Light ’64, #3, Dave Nisbet ’62, #2; Gary Brayshaw ’62, bow

Another rowing story. When Cornell Men’s Lightweight Rowing earned gold at a major eastern sprint competition this spring, it did so in a shell with the late James Dupcak’s name on it. In his day, Dupcak (who died in 1994) served as stroke (the most important position in the boat) and was a very generous alum, endowing a new boat every five years. In 2017, rowing a new shell dedicated and christened by his wife Delma (Spellman) ’58, that year’s crew was undefeated, winning all their championship races. This year’s Men’s Lightweight Rowing was victorious in that same boat!

The 2023 Men’s Rowing – Lightweight winning crew with their female cox!

Unless otherwise instructed, your submissions to Classmate News are also submitted to the Class Notes section of Cornellians where, due to a word limit, entries are used in order of receipt and edited to fit the space. As that column comes out every few months, the entries that have been held over are sometimes very dated by the time they are published.

Here, on our website, we have no such problems. We are delighted to hear from you and to be able to post your news in a timely fashion. So, please, keep sending news of your current, past, and future life to Judy Prenske Rich

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