Bill Coyle

Bill Coyle, Class of '70

                                                 Bill Coyle

William Coyle (June 8, 1948 – January 2, 2020) died January 2, 2020, in Alexandria, VA, at age 71 after a year-long illness.  He was born June 8, 1948, in Washington, DC, and grew up in Silver Spring, MD with five siblings.  Bill graduated from Williams College in 1970 with a degree in Political Science, and served in the Peace Corps Colombia, where he worked in agriculture on a Pacific island. Bill then worked for the Appalachian Community Mental Health Center, West Virginia. 

Bill earned a Masters degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Tennessee.  He then worked for the Economic Research Service of the US Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC, his entire career until his retirement in 2010. 
Bill was an accomplished photographer, writer, avid bicyclist, motorcyclist and gardener.  He generously contributed a number of his picture galleries for use on the Williams College Class of 1970 50th Reunion web site.  He is survived by his wife, Jean Albright, daughter Megan and son Brendan, four brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews.”

Class Notes Jan. 2020

1970 50th Reunion June 11-14

Class Notes, September, 2019

Rick Foster Rick Foster, 379 Dexter St., Denver, CO 80220; [email protected]





As our 50th draws ever closer, we’ve all had news of the recent deaths of three classmates.  In case you hadn’t heard, Debbie Strauss (B.A. Wheaton), originally from Alabama, died on May 9, 2019, Jules Vinnedge originally from Toledo, Ohio died in Florida on August 7, 2019, Jim Hewitt, born in Niagara Falls, NY, died on August 27, 2019, in Buffalo, NY.

In June, just after submitting my last class notes to the college, I heard from Jim Miller.  He sent me a nice write-up on him in the Columbia College (Columbia Mo.) Alumni Magazine.   Jim is an adjunct instructor of criminal justice at the College’s Crystal Lake and Elgin, Illinois campus, where he teaches classes in criminal law, criminal procedure, the judicial process, evidence, legal issues, organized crime, business law and terrorism.   In May 2019, he gave the commencement Address at the College.  His teaching is in addition to maintaining a private practice.

Jennifer Wolcott wrote in July, “Dan (my husband Dan Heinrichs) and I continue to move around as much as we can, although his mobility has deteriorated substantially. In fact, he’s scheduled for neck surgery—stenosis—at the end of July to take care of one of the problems. However, we still live 60% of our time in the wilds of Panama, about 30 km to the west of the canal, and the rest we are in Vancouver, Washington reminding people that this is the original Vancouver. We did the Mediterranean cruise in April from Barcelona to Rome, driving about in Portugal, and we’re planning on the Williams trip to Egypt in March 2020—anyone else from the class going? Lastly, I am organizing and leading a Clan Morrison (my grandmother) return to the old home trip after our reunion for some 100 putative cousins to the Isle of Lewis—that’s the tip top of the Outer Hebrides. No such thing as a quiet retirement.  Otherwise, not much to complain about. About two years ago we found an ugly looking glioma in my left brain, inoperable, but after two years of monitoring, it doesn’t seem to want to expand much. With luck I’ll thumb my nose at it when I have my 100th birthday. My mother—ever a Williams fan, as her father Charles Ely was class of 1914—is about to celebrate her 96th birthday.  When not dealing with all the other things in life, I continue to dig into the early history of western Massachusetts as part of writing a detailed story of the family’s genealogy. Some of that has yielded great stories of early Williams—Ephram included. Our hometown is Westfield, MA, and for a long period when Williams was seeking to relocate in the early 1800’s Westfield was a favored location. At the time, Westfield had a larger population than Springfield, Northampton, etc., and was the budding home of the Westfield Academy. Williams stayed put, the dissidents decided on Amherst, and the rest is as they say history. Actually, all of it is…   I’m only buying things in Williams purple to be sure that I have plenty to wear for the reunion…


Dick Cooch has finally had enough of judging others.  He wrote:  “After 27+ years on the Delaware Superior Court, I have announced my retirement as of January 1, 2020.  I’ll really figure out retirement when I get there but it will certainly include more travel. I’ve truly enjoyed my years on the bench.  Also, earlier this year, the State of Delaware acquired our property at Cooch’s Bridge after 273 years of family ownership for use as an historical interpretive site to commemorate Delaware’s only Revolutionary War battle. If interested, google “Battle of Cooch’s Bridge” and “read all about it!”  Bill Lawson had another great summer on Lake Charlevoix in northern Michigan. “We boated to Suttons baby, Harbor Springs, Bay harbor and to the towns and restaurants on Lake Charlevoix. In October we are off to the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville, Cashiers and Highlands for a week with friends.  In March we are off to Longboat Key for 2 weeks. And in May we are taking the Royal Scotsman Belmond Train for 7 days- something we have always wanted to do.  My wife continues to manage her father’s caregiving. He has advanced Alzheimer’s. The goal is to have him live his complete life in his home but it is becoming more difficult. “Getting old isn’t for sissies.’ Can’t believe it is coming up on 50 years and therefore 54 years since some of us ran the Ephraim Williams birthday run around the quad. Glad there were not cell phones in those days LOL,”

Rod McLeod wrote just before the deadline for these notes the following news and a challenge:   “Naomi and I will be attending our 50th. Trying to find a purple cow patterned fabric to have a sport coat made for our 50th, but no luck so far. If any of our classmates have any ideas, please pass them on to me.  Am passing on a challenge to our classmates. Drinks on me to whoever comes farther than us!”  Fred Rhame is “looking forward to reunion next year.  We live in San Antonio, where I am still practicing pediatrics– 45 years. I have four kids, the last is a senior high girl.  She just visited Williams with her mom, I had to work!  I am in good health, still playing tennis.  We frequent Telluride, and love snow skiing and summer hikes.  Occasional other trips, my wife ( a district court judge), and I sent our daughter to camp this spring and spent 2 very nice weeks in France, where we caught 3 women’s world cup soccer matches.  I still stay in touch with Jennifer Wolcott and look forward to reconnecting with Walter Earle.”  Carl Whitbeck sent this succinct update:  “Sandra and I plan to attend the reunion; new grandson born  9\2\ Thomas Gifford Whitbeck/son of Corey Whitbeck (’05); 7 grandchildren now; last child (Charles) married 4/17/2019 in Eleuthra. Life is good.”

Bill Courter wrote to say that he and his wife, Priscilla, are planning on being at our 50th.  He’s only been back to the campus twice in 50 years. Bill has been doing a lot of hiking in the National Cleveland Forest and said had this to say about it: “Mountain lions / bobcats / turkey vultures / rattlesnakes – no problem. But one steep slope? I slipped and injured my hip in April. I thought it was a torn muscle, but x-rays revealed a left hip arthritis, precipitated by my fall. The hip jumped from asymptomatic to very symptomatic. No walking. No hiking. I tried insurance based physical therapy for about a month with no results. Heat / ultrasound / electric / manual manipulation / etc – no real benefit. So, I switched to an alternative non-insurance approach with a specialist who works with many pro athletes. Surprisingly, not one of his exercises matched the insurance-based exercises. He is opposed to hip replacement / knee replacement; and he believes in rebuilding your inner core muscles. Once a week I go to his gym for a new different regimen of physical therapy exercises; and for the rest of the week I do those exercises at home – every day for 60-90 minutes. After 10 sessions I am improving.  But one other point? My walking buddy, my neighbor, texted me over this past weekend, asking if I were available. I texted back, explaining that I was not yet able to hike the mountain trails. He responded: he just wanted to see if I could pick him up at one of the trail exits because he felt “done” and abruptly tired. When I picked him up and examined him, he was in A-fib, so I had to take him to the hospital. He stayed one night; and they stabilized him on some new meds.”  Bill’s reminder to all:  “you can lose your health in an instant … a wrong step … too many steps in glaring heat.” 

Before closing, I will pass on the following exhortation from Paul Miller:  “I wanted to urge everyone to make two gifts this academic year- one to our Class fund and the other the usual Alumni Fund contribution.  And if you make a 5 year pledge for each, all of it will count in the total gift from the great Class of 1970!”


And now this:   The third week of June 2019, found thirteen members of the Class of 1970 (along with spouses/significant others in most cases) joined together in an adventure in Oxford, England.   We made the historic Randolph Hotel our headquarters and enjoyed morning talks on such topics as the “Williams Exeter Programme at Oxford, “ “The English Civil War,”  “18th Century Women of Letters,” and “The Paradox of Winston Churchill.  These were followed by daily tours of Oxford Colleges and their private gardens, bus trips to Blenheim Castle (where Winston Churchill was born), the Cotswolds, and the City of Bath, where another classmate, Richard Wendorf, provided a tour and dinner at the American Museum for which he serves as the Museum’s Director.  Earlier in the day, upon our arrival in Bath, Richard arranged a coffee and pastries at the home of a friend in one of the wonderful residences that constitutes part of the famed Royal Crescent, that excellent example of Georgian architecture constructed in 1774.     Those in attendance  were Chip Baker and Sally Stoops, Mary and Bob Bearman, Maureen Farley and Don Berens, Usha and John Burns, Judy and John Cornwall, Fred Eames, Put and Charley Ebinger, Ken McCurdy, Andrea and Jim Rubenstein, Ann McLaughlin and Bill Wadt, Pacey White and Jon Silver, Peggy and Chris Williamson, and Julie Waggener and Rick Foster.  We all had a wonderful time, thanks in large part to Mark Robertson ’02  and Kate Hyde ’96 who, ever cheerful (at least in front of all of us), herded and guided us to our various destinations and ensured that we were mostly on time for each walk, lecture, and bus ride, and most important, for every meal.    We were all so grateful that we sang in chorus “The Mountains” at our last dinner with changed lyrics reflecting our Oxford experience.  Still within my word limit for these Notes (more or less), I take the liberty of repeating here the entire ditty, in part as a challenge to the Class of 1971 who will be given the Oxford opportunity next year:


Oh proudly came our class of nineteen se-ven-ty

To College Exeter and Oxford Dons.

We loved the rain and hills of dear old Oxfordshire

And praised our hosts for lovely British johns.


At Williams, in Oxford, the Randolph was our home

Took Tou-rs, heard lectures, amongst the garden gnomes.

The students, and Hist-ry of England we did find.

And even saw where Harry Potter Dined!


Amid the walls of Broughton did we hear the lines

Of “hist-ry” from the fourteenth cent-u-ry.

Our tour guide Noble, great, and good Lord Martin Fiennes

He told us ‘bout his family at “high” Tea.


            Blenhei-em, then Worcester, Christ Church Rich Wendorf too

            From Cotswolds to Ba-th our minds went all askew.

            Thank Heaven, for planners, they saved our butts once more

            Thanks Mark and Kate for Taking on that Chore.


            Oh Oxford, oh Oxford, we greet you with this song.

            Though aging, our voices still seem to be quite strong.

            And with them, we offer, our praise to Mark and Kate

            They worked so hard –kept us from be-ing late.


If I left anyone who wrote out of these notes, please let me know.  My apologies.




Jim Hewitt

Jim Hewitt, "Flash," playing golf at Williams, summer, 2018

Jim Hewitt, “Flash,” playing golf at Williams with ’70 classmates, summer, 2018

James P. Hewitt, III, 71, died suddenly On August 27, 2019 at Buffalo General Hospital.  Born July 29, 1948 in Niagara Falls, he was the son of the late Thomas E. Hewitt, former editor of The Niagara Falls Gazette, and the late Louise Hewitt Tuverson. Jim graduated from Lewiston Porter High School in 1966 as a three-sport athlete and attended Williams College where he was a member of the basketball and golf teams.  He graduated from Stetson Law School and was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1975. 

A Niagara County District Attorney for 35 years, Jim was a partner in the law firm of Phelps, Gray and Hewitt.  Jim was a member of the River Oaks Golf Club for 35 years and was also a member of Niagara Falls Country Club where he was a former club champion.  He is survived by his sister Linda Davis, niece Leeanne, four great nephews and nieces, nephew Christopher Hewitt, step-brother Russell Tuverson (Marianne), step-sister Anne McConnell Cinquina (Richard), and nephews Russell McConnell and Andrew McConnell.  He was pre-deceased by his brother Thomas Hewitt.  Jim loved playing golf at River Oaks and enjoyed his regular Saturday foursome and playing the horses.  His friends will all miss him dearly.  In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations to be sent in his honor to WNED-WBFO P.O. Box 1263, Buffalo, NY 14240-1263.  A memorial service will take place at a later date. Arrangements entrusted to HARDISON FUNERAL HOME INC. Lewiston, NY. Please visit for online condolences.

To send flowers to the family of James Hewitt III, please visit Tribute Store

Published at

Class Notes May 2019

Rick Foster, 379 Dexter St., Denver, CO 80220; [email protected]

            As many of you know by now, Mark Cummins passed on Oct. 31, 2018, in the arms of his wife, Susan Hun Cummins, at their home in Saint Bruno-de Montarville, a suburb of Quebec City, Canada. After graduating from Williams with a degree in psychology, Mark obtained his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and went on to teach at McGill University. You can read Mark’s published obituary at:

            By the time you read this, we’ll be only a couple of weeks away from our class sojourn to Oxford University. Among those who were signed up in January were: Patience White and Alexandra Breed and their spouses. Patience and Alexandra were among the first participants in the Vassar/Williams exchange program. John Burns and wife Usha will be attending, as will Barbara and Fred Eames andmany more. Richard Wendorf decided to get a head start on the rest of us and, as of January 2019, is happily ensconced at Exeter College in Oxford for the winter planning for our arrival there in June and the side excursion to Bath, where he’ll be arranging a tour for us of the American Museum.

            John Burns also reports that he and wife Usha are planning to attend our 50th reunion. Their news: “Our son, Josh Burns ’02, and his family of five have moved in with us in our lower unit (we have a two-unit townhouse in SF). Having bought a new house in the suburbs that needed remodeling, they needed temporary housing, which we were happy to accommodate. Things are a bit crowded with all the bodies, but we are enjoying all the activity with our three grandchildren.” Others indicating that they will be at the 50th: John Black and his wife Linda, Don Berens and wife Maureen. Fred Eames also will be attending. He has been working with Don Berens and others, trying to round up classmates (for Fred, especially from Prospect House), to attend as well. Fred is nearly retired, continuing to do neuroradiology five to six days per month and sees Don frequently in their Mendelssohn Club men’s chorus. In January, Fred had a nice visit and dinner with Judy and Paul Willis ’71 in Williamstown, and more recently, hiked up the Mount Prospect trail in Williamstown for a splendid view of the campus.

            John Boyd wrote from Anchorage, “After almost 45 years of practice hanging up my stethoscope and calling it quits in September.”

            Gerry Stolz writes, “Helen andHalley Moriyama, along with their dog Sam, visited us in Savannah on their way down to Vero Beach. In addition, the team of Debbie and Ted May and Carri and Gerry Stolz recently won the husband-wife member-guest tournament at the Mays’ club in Palm Coast, Fla. I regularly see Dick Lamb and Paul Lieberman (both Class of ’71) because we all live at the Landings on Skidaway Island, Ga.” Bob Lee has had conversations on a variety of topics with Bill Wadt, Tom Sweeney and Bob Groban. He described them thus: “The ostensible topic in each case was the 50th, but my discussion with Bill veered off onto the charms of Santa Fe, the one with Tom drifted into politics, and the one with Bob wandered off into the vagaries of immigration law.”

            Bran Potter sent this personal reminder about the toll nearly five decades can take on our physical prowess: “As I was finishing my first mile in the Williams cross country team’s ‘Aluminum Bowl’ race in October, the undergraduate leaders were finishing their second. Grateful to still be moving and to see my former teammate, Pete Farwell ’73, as a venerable and much-loved coach. I’m back to teaching geology after a fall sabbatical.” It’s clear that Bill Lawson spends more time on the water than on land. He writes: “We had a wonderful summer at our lake house on Lake Charlevoix in northern Michigan. In November for my 70th birthday and our 40th wedding anniversary, we splurged for eight nights at the St. Regis in Manhattan. We saw seven plays—Harry Potter parts one and two, Come from Away, The Band’s Visit, American Son, Frozen and Dear Evan Hansen. Our favorites were Come from Away and the Potters. Excellent restaurants were Peasant in lower Manhattan and Estatorio Milos in midtown. We toured the 9/11 memorial, which is a must visit. We just returned from a two-week winter stay in Charlevoix and will soon be off to St. Barthelemy for two weeks. Then off to Longboat Key for 10 days in March and Southern California in April. We recently said goodbye to our dog Sammy, a Boykin spaniel, that was with us for over 15 years. A sad time for us. We wish all our our Purple Cow friends a healthy and happy 2019!”

            Dick Ginman, submitting perhaps for the first time ever, sent little information about himself but sent a picture of his 2-year-old granddaughter and the details of her Williams lineage: “I can’t remember the last time I sent something for the class notes, perhaps never, but couldn’t resist sending the attached picture of my granddaughter, Taylor Reager Ginman, riding a purple cow on her second birthday. She’s the daughter of Alex Ginman ’07 and Ellen (Wilk) Ginman ’07,the granddaughter of Art Wilk ’77 and me, and the great-great-granddaughter of Richard Taylor, Class of 1914. Both Art and I, along with our wives, were in Boston for the celebration.”

            Ray Kimball took time out from his January vacation and celebration of his birthday in Kauai, Hawaii, to write (complete with Emoji wearing sunglasses): “Had lunch with Paul Miller, Charlie Ebinger and Sheila Mason of the Williams Alumni Fund, in DC in December. Other than that, have a lot of post-holiday web stuff to catch up on when I get back. Really wish more folks who’ve committed to reunion would send me recent pics so we know what you look like now. Send to me or you can upload to your profile page at I’m going to look for an app that will take the 1970 Gul pic of those committed to the 50th reunion who haven’t sent me pics, and project what we think they look like now. Then when they send me a pic we can sub the real thing for the projection and compare. Should be fun!” Jeff Krull reported: “We have been making regular visits to Florida to see our son and his family. The grandkids are, of course, growing up awfully fast. Whenever we’re down there we try to connect with Shirley and Jack Maitland and Jenny and Lee Owen. Janelle and Sluggo Stearns are on the gulf side, so we don’t see them as much down there. I’ve been working with Mark Messing and Pat Bassett on our 50th reunion book. We will be asking classmates to submit bios, as we did for the 25th reunion book. So start thinking about what you want to say about your life in 250 words or less!

            Jim Deutsch, whose name hasn’t graced these notes in a while, wrote: “I’m continuing to work as a curator for the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage—even through the recent federal government shutdown, because I am not a federal employee, and our offices are not in a federal facility. One of my colleagues, Logan Clark, who is the executive assistant at Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and an ethnomusicologist with a PhD from UCLA, was giving her parents a tour of our offices several months ago. As they were walking past my door, her father saw my name outside and said, ‘Hey, I went to college with this guy.’ Sure enough, Logan’s parents are Ron Clark and Lane Hammond ’71. A very nice coincidence.”

            Finally, in late January, Chris Williamson, Bob Bearman, Tom Michaels and I (Rick Foster) got together for Saturday afternoon drinks in Denver at the Arts Hotel, where Jim was staying for a Williams Alumni Fund event in Denver. Befitting our age, health-mindedness and regrets over college excesses, each of us ordered and consumed a full glass of ice water, nothing more! A good time was had by all.

Who’s Attending 50th Reunion?


Who’s Attending the 50th Reunion, June 11-14, 2020?

By end of November, approximately 130 have committed for the 50th!

And one hundred of you (100) have sent in photos!  See below. Thank you, thank you.  Your WebMaster, Ray Kimball

There are three (3) ways to see who’s attending:

New through August 31, 2019:  John Hitchins


50th Reunion With Pictures! Back to Top ( If you don’t see your picture below, please send a recent picture to, or contact, Ray Kimball at [email protected]. If we’ve missed you and you plan to attend, please email Don Berens) Links are to Classmate Profile Pages and House pages
John Bare
Classmate 6
Bill Carney
Doug Curtiss
Dan James
Classmate 6
Classmate 3
Craig Smith Portrait

Craig Smith         Gladden


Steve Taylor

Classmate 3
Classmate 5
Classmate 6
Who’s Attending Reunion? Alphabetical list Back to Top
A – Kit ArmstrongKevin Austin
B – Chip Baker, John Bare, Tom Barr, Pat Bassett, Bob Bearman, Gary Bensen, Don Berens, Liz Berens, John Black, Dave Blackford, Matt Bowman, Alexandra Breed, Chris Bryan, Lou Buck, John Burns
C – Bruce Camp, Bob Campbell, Bill Carney, Jerry Christensen, Dick Cooch, John Cornwall, Kelly Corr, Tom Crowley, Doug Curtiss

D – Kim Dawson, Jim Deutsch, Gibb Drury,
E – Fred Eames, Walter Earle, Charlie Ebinger
F – Vais Favrot, Rick Foster, Nathan Fox, Deitz Fry
G – Phil Geier, Andy Gero, Dick Ginman, Reed Gramse, Randy Greason, Phil Greenland, Bob Groban
H – Bill Hamilton, Alex Hansen, Hill Hastings, Gates Hawn, Carolyn Hendrie , Rob Hershey, Jim Hewitt, John Hitchins, Bob Hixon, Rick Hole. Larry Hollar, Tom Hudspeth,
I – J –  Dan James, Tom Jamison
K –   Bob Katt, Kim Kelton, Ray Kimball, Alexandra Kimberly-Bryant (Plip), Jim Kirkland, Whit Knapp, Charlie Knox, Neil Kramer,   Jeff Krull, Kurli Kurlinski
L – Bob LeeHarvey Levin, John Love

M –  Russ MacDonnell, Jack Maitland, John Margraf, Ted May, Ken McCurdy, McCurdy, Joe, Jay McKenna, Rod McLeod, Jay McKenna, Mark Messing, Tom Michaels, Paul Miller, Bob Miller, Halley Moriyama, Jack Murray
N – Tim Napier, Jay Nelson, Brook Newcomb, Dave Norris
O –  Bob O’Connell, Peter Ogilvie, Lee Owen
P –  Bob Pasco, Bran Potter
Q R –  Andy Rahl, Sully Read, Suzanne Reed, Fred Rhame, Cliff Robinson, Bill Romaine, Jim Rubenstein
S –  George Sawaya, Charlie Sawyer, Peter Schulman, Joe Sensenbrenner, Joel Sklar, Jim Slade, Craig Smith, Dick SpiegelmanSluggo Stearns, Gerry Stoltz, Rob Stone, Kevin Sulllivan, Tom Sweeney
T –  Roger Taft, Peter Thorp, Rod Titcomb, Dick Travers, Al Twaits
U V –  Dick Vosburg
W – Bill WadtBob Ware, Larry Wellington, Giffy Whitbeck, Chris Williamson, Jennifer Wolcott
Exchange Women – Kit Armstrong, Liz Berens, Alexandra Breed, Carolyn Hendrie , Alexandra Kimberly-Bryant (Plip), Suzanne Reed
House Attending Classmates Sorted by House: See these House links: Back to Top Bascom  Berkshire  Brooks  Bryant  Carter  Fort Daniels  Garfield Gladden  Hopkins  Perry  Prospect Spencer  Tyler  Wood Exchange Students Back to Top

Did We “Drop the Watch?”

Williams Chapel

Williams Chapel Bell Tower

I just learned that Williams has an old tradition, “continuous” since 1917, of dropping a heavy pocket watch  from the chapel bell tower on Class Day to see if it will break. 

If it does, the Class is assured of 50+ years of “good luck.”
See, e.g.,

See also the actual dropping of the watch, 2018, of course, on a Twitter video,

The heavy pocket watch apparently comes from Williams’ pre-WWI “dress code” where male students traditionally would wear a pocket watch in their side pocket in their top hat and tails outfit.  The watch was attached to a chain….

Since the tradition started in 1917, and American entered WWI in 1918 indirectly after the sinking of the Lusitania ( “Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania) some could say the first “watch dropping” was followed by “bad luck.”  What do you think?

Instead of “dropping the watch,” I think Jeff Krull wrote our Class poem, “The Ivy,“which brought us all good luck.

I’ve never heard of”dropping the watch.”


  1. Did we “Drop the watch” from the chapel bell tower?
  2. If so, who “dropped the watch?”
  3. If the watch was dropped, did it break
  4. What kind of watch was it?  Was it the heavy pocket watch from “tradition?” If so, who bought or “supplied” the old-timey pocket watch?
  5. If it broke, did we get 50 years of Good Luck?
  6. If we got 50 years of Good Luck, when does that 50 years start?

I was working in Boston two weeks before graduation on a job generated by my senior thesis that started my life-long career in communications law and new technology.  So, probably I wasn’t on campus for “Class Day.”

I’ve never heard any mention of “Dropping the Watch” by anyone in our class, so must, in ignorance, deny it happened, and that the Class of ’70, in its focus on the Cambodia Bombing Student Strike and preparing for finals, had other things on its mind….

If you “Dropped the Watch,” witnessed it, and know that we “Jumped the Shark,” please include your comments in the Post Reply box below.



Jules Vinnedge

Jules Vinnedge driving motorboat, waving

Jules Vinnedge August, 2019

Please note:  Sunday Morning, June 14, 2020, Remembrance Service at 50th Reunion.

We will honor departed members of the Class of 1970 at a Remembrance Service on Sunday morning, June 14, 2020, during our 50th Reunion. The service will be led by led by our classmate Rev. Chris Bryan. We hope you will plan to attend.

Jules Lamson Vinnedge, 71, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, August 7, 2019, at Advent Health, New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

Jules was born in Toledo, Ohio, on December 30, 1947, to the late Jules Lamson Vinnedge, Sr. and Nancy Johnson. Jules graduated from Williams College in 1969 and received his MBA from Harvard University in 1972. He joined Owens-Corning Fiberglass (OCF) in Toledo soon after graduate school, rose through the ranks, serving as the Vice President of Strategic Planning later in his career. He retired from OCF in 2001. During his tenure at OCF, Jules traveled extensively, and lived in Hong Kong, and Saudi Arabia. He returned to Toledo, Ohio after his international stints, and stayed there until his retirement.
In his retirement, Jules spent time between St. Croix, USVI, and Florida, and for the last 6 years, in New Smyrna Beach, FL. Jules loved to travel internationally. One of his favorite regions to travel to was Southeast Asia, and Indonesia was one of his favorite countries to visit. He was an avid water-skier and loved to spend time on the Maumee river in the summertime.

While in Toledo, he was very involved in the Alumni Association at Maumee Valley Country Day School and was the Endowment Chair for a few years during the 90s. Jules was also active with the Toledo Museum of Art in various capacities. He was also a long-time member of the Toledo Country Club. Jules was an avid reader, and especially enjoyed the New York Times. He loved Classical Music and was a strong supporter of The Toledo Symphony Orchestra. Jules easily made friends and was well loved by many who have befriended him. He was a great mentor to many in the younger generations, most of whom have gone on to be successful members of society. He had touched many lives in various capacities, in life and in death.

Jules was preceded in death by his parents, Jules Sr. and Nancy. He is survived by his sister, Martha Lee Taylor; and his adopted family, Chee, Ed, and Joe.

A small private ceremony to celebrate Jules’ life will be held in New Smyrna Beach, FL.


Published in The Toledo Blade from Aug. 17 to Aug. 19, 2019, and on

Deborah Kayser-Strauss

Debbie Kayser Strauss

Please note:  Sunday Morning, June 14, 2020, Remembrance Service at 50th Reunion.

We will honor departed members of the Class of 1970 at a Remembrance Service on Sunday morning, June 14, 2020, during our 50th Reunion. The service will be led by led by our classmate Rev. Chris Bryan. We hope you will plan to attend.

Debbie (Kayser) Strauss of Birmingham, AL, passed away on Sunday, May 12, 2019, at age 71, following a brave battle with cancer. Debbie attended The Bunny Hole School and Mountain Brook Elementary School, and graduated from Brook Hill High School, all in Birmingham, Alabama. Debbie received a Bachelor of Arts in English at Wheaton College, Mass., and a Master’s Degree in English Literature at the University of Virginia with a dissertation on the works of Chaucer. She also attended Williams as an exchange student.  After graduate school, she worked as a speech writer both at the White House for Julie and Tricia Nixon and on Capitol Hill for Representative Jim Jeffords of Vermont. Debbie married Gordon McGregor Strauss of Cincinnati in 1976. Their marriage ended in divorce. Debbie spent most summers of her youth and early adulthood on Martha’s Vineyard, where she earned the nickname “Alabama,” and continued to enjoy summers on the Vineyard with her son, parents, brother, cousins, and a plethora of friends. Debbie was an avid equestrian since her early childhood. In her later years, she enjoyed riding her horse, Pink Floyd (“Pink”), with a group of riding friends at Pink’s stable in Leeds. She also doted on several cats over the years, who appeared keenly aware that they had the most fantastic and loving owner imaginable. Debbie was predeceased by her beloved parents, Leo Kayser, Jr. and Simmie Goldberg Kayser. She is survived by her son, Gordon Kayser Strauss (Williams ’00) and his wife, Keiko Fujimoto Strauss, her grandchildren, Ayleen Kayser Strauss and Oren Simmie Strauss, her brother, Leo Kayser, III, all of New York, NY, her cousins Sandy (David) Berler and Emmy (Bruce) Davidson, and their respective children and grandchildren. (The Birmingham News, May 26, 2019 and

Oxford, England, 2019

Oxford Group Picture.  Exeter College, Oxford, England
(Also See Picture Gallery, Below!)

Exeter College w/ Williams Students: Chris Williamson, Bob Bearman, Chip Baker, John Burns, Maureen Berens, Don Berens, Mark Robertson. Middle Row: Ann McLaughlin, Bill Wadt, Judy Cornwall, John Cornwall, Put Ebinger, Charlie Ebinger, Fred Eames, Ken McCurdy. Sitting: Usha Burns, Sally Stoops, Peggy Williamson, Judy Waggener

Exeter College w/ Williams Students: Chris Williamson, Bob Bearman, Chip Baker, John Burns, Maureen Berens, Don Berens, Mark Robertson. Middle Row: Ann McLaughlin, Bill Wadt, Judy Cornwall, John Cornwall, Put Ebinger, Charlie Ebinger, Fred Eames, Ken McCurdy. Sitting: Usha Burns, Sally Stoops, Peggy Williamson, Judy Waggener. Rick Foster. Front: Williams students. (I’ve missed a few, so please email me, [email protected].)


Oxford Picture Gallery

Group-Pic, Exeter College, Oxford England, with Williams students

Picture 1 of 37

Williams ’70 in Oxford

A Great Trip!  Oxford, Bath, Royal Crescent, American Museum in Bath, special hosting by Classmate Rich Wendorf, ’70. 

Many thanks to Usha Burns, Ken McCurdy, Pacey White, Chip Baker, Chris Williamson and Mark Robertson who have shared pictures. 

You can add your  memories and pictures to this Post.  See the Insert box below.

Please send a copy of any pictures you post to me at [email protected] so I can add them to the Oxford gallery.

Hope more of our Oxfordites will contribute memories and pictures of  people, monumental buildings, castles, and landscape shots as you meander back into the country.

(Some of you took extended side trips.  We’d like to hear about them, too.)

Enjoy the Gallery!


Johnson, Karl

Karl E. Johnson, Jr. deceased June 3, 2019

Karl E. Johnson June 3, 2019

Please note:  Sunday Morning, June 14, 2020 Remembrance Service at 50th Reunion.

We will honor departed members of the Class of 1970 at a Remembrance Service on Sunday morning, June 14, 2020, during our 50th Reunion. The service will be led by led by our classmate Rev. Chris Bryan. We hope you will plan to attend.

Karl Johnson passed away suddenly in Albuquerque, New Mexico on June 3, 2019 of “complications from lung cancer.” 

Karl attended Williams his freshman year on a National Merit scholarship.  He earned a BA in philosophy from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK, 1970.  He then earned his JD in 1979 from the University of Oregon in Eugene, where he graduated first in his law school class. Karl specialized in Native American law until he retired in 2017.

On June 24, 2019, an interesting piece discussing Karl and Liz Warren’s high school debating partnership appeared in the New York Times and Boston Globe.  See How Elizabeth Warren Learned to Fight.  

Karl was Liz Herren (Warren’s) debate partner in high school.  Karl and Ms. Herren won the state debating championship in Oklahoma their senior year, 1966 .  The article includes a very nice high school picture of Karl with Liz Herren, as she was known at the time.

This article was published in the New York Times and Boston Globe on June 24, 2019, just days before Ms. Warren’s first Presidential Debate in Miami, FL on June 27, 2019.

To read Karl’s full obituary, with his long history of public service in law, see