We have been saddened to learn of the deaths of the following members of the University Glee Club community.
John N. Romans
John Niebrugge Romans – May 23, 1942 – May 5, 2019, died peacefully with his family close at hand. Preceded in death by his parents John McDowell and Helen Niebrugge Romans, John is survived by his loving wife of 34 years, Caroline Ward Romans; his treasured sons John (Jill) and Andrew (Pavlina); six cherished grandchildren (Sarah, Jack, Betsy, James, Max, and Richard); beloved sister Lila Romans Hooper and brothers Sandy (Mary Alice) and Chip (Bobbi); and 12 nieces and nephews.
Born in Brooklyn, NY, and a native of the East Coast, John lived in San Diego, CA and Yokosuka, Japan while serving as a Lieutenant in the US Navy before moving back to the metro New York area. An alumnus of Poly Prep, Williams College, and Columbia Law School, John was internationally recognized as an aviation litigation expert with a career that included Chadbourne & Parke, Curtis Mallet-Prevost Colt & Mosley, Katten Muchin & Zavis and successful trials throughout state and federal court systems, including two separate victories at the US Supreme Court. A gifted tenor, John was happiest when singing with life-long friends and family from the Treblemakers and Ephlats of Williams College, the University Glee Club of New York City and its small group, The Crickets, The Larchmont Yacht Club, to informal sing-alongs around the fireplace. John also loved swimming, sailing, theater, and travel, which he enthusiastically shared with his family and friends; typically with a story, a song, a strum of the guitar, and a hearty laugh.
A celebration of John’s Life will take place on June 1, 2019 at 11 am at The Larchmont Yacht Club, 1 Woodbine Avenue, Larchmont, NY.
Christopher A. Martinez
The University Glee Club now has one hundred twenty-five years worth of memorable, sometimes legendary, characters across its membership. But from decade to decade, the Club – the brotherhood – is only occasionally visited by a gentleman songster who, to nearly every active member, seems to truly embody the very heart and soul of our organization. On March 12, we lost Christopher “Marty” Martinez, a gentle bear of a man who within months of beginning his nearly eighteen year tenure, had established himself as an icon of the Glee Club.
Was it his infectious laughter that first got our attention? Or his richly told stories delivered in a deep, confident bass. Perhaps the combination saxophone and voice solo performed at an Afterglow during his sophomore Glee Club semester; accompanied by his father, Anton Martinez, a self-trained jazz pianist and longtime associate member of the Club. Or his persistent presence at After-Afterglows in midtown haunts like PJ Clarkes and the Pig and Whistle, following spirited rehearsals at the New York Genealogy and Biographical Society. Certainly his shepherding of scores of incoming singers as the Club’s Dean of Freshmen. And his steady, reliable bass part in countless quartets, including two that won the coveted Hambone Cup.
Marty also made an indelible mark on the Glee Club in his role as interviewer in a series of Afterglows unofficially dubbed “Charlie Rose Nights” after the journalist and his eponymous PBS talk show. In hourlong, carefully researched sessions, Marty would interview longtime members including Sam Mann, George Nemeth, and Holcomb Noble about their personal and professional journeys.
He performed regularly in our annual Joe’s Night, including at least three turns as host. On January 27 of this year, on the day of his 47th birthday, Marty co-hosted Joe’s Night, performing in several numbers and presiding over both the dirty limericks and the reading of the names of cherished UGC brothers now gone.
It was a big deal to be away from his wife and daughters on his actual birthday, though his family has been among the Club’s most supportive in recent memory. Marty’s wife Maura has attended every concert her husband performed in since 2001. Marty’s father Anton, his sister Nicole and sister-in-law Lily are all Associate Members of the UGC. The eldest of Marty’s two daughters, Millia and Lila, had several years ago joined the Young People’s Chorus of New York City and developed a passion for singing under our own conductor Francisco Nuñez’s genius direction. After a brief period of inactivity, when work took Marty to Boston for several days out of every week, he returned as an active singer and jumped back into active membership, with a role on the nominating committee, participation in multiple quartets, and writing songs for Joe’s Night skits.
Shortly before his performance at Joe’s Night this year, Marty confided in me that he had discovered what Rich McGlynn passed down to us from the founders so many years ago was indeed true; that the more you put into the Club the more you get back. No one put more into the club than Marty; and he truly appreciated just how much he got back from all of us.
After the devastating news of Marty’s sudden passing was shared with members of the UGC board of directors, a discussion arose about how best to handle the news and shared grief at the next rehearsal. By Glee Club tradition, the loss of a member is announced during the mid-rehearsal business meeting and is followed by a collective moment of silence.
That will not work, came the unanimous decision. Rehearsal would open with the moment of silence, followed by members’ words of remembrance to last as long as needed. Many shared touching and funny stories. I told the club about first meeting Marty in college in 1991 and our many shared adventures over a nearly thirty year friendship. John Hastings described watching Marty grow up during the fifteen year period he was a next door neighbor to the Martinez family in Pelham, NY. Johnny Rabe, our Director of Music, described how Marty helped him get his first job outside of chorale music, working for the tech giant, Oracle. Jason Corrigan reminded all of Marty’s tremendous generosity of spirt and love of life. When we were at last ready to sing, the music took on an almost medicinal quality.
On the stage at the Players Club this January, dressed in a black tuxedo and with one hand behind his back, Marty’s co-host David Vining announced to the audience of UGC men that Marty’s wife had agreed to let Marty spend his 47th birthday away from his family on the condition that he receive a proper celebration. David presented Marty with a remarkably oversize cupcake and direction that it was to be completely consumed in the time it took the rest of us to sing ‘Happy Birthday’. The membership hadn’t sung more than a few measures when Marty peeled back the paper wrapper and popped the entire confection into his mouth. A fine metaphor for how he led his life; heartily devouring it all, smile on his face, to the delight of all around him.
Peter Dix Devers
Peter Dix Devers of New York City and Southampton passed away on November 14, 2018. He was born in The Chelsea Hospital in New York City on March 13, 1938. He was the Colonel at Xavier High School ‘56 and went on to Holy Cross ‘61, graduating magna cum laude. Peter was a Root Tilden scholar at NYU Law School graduating in 1964. He practiced business law at Shearman & Sterling and finished his career at the Equitable Life Assurance Company. In his retirement, he occupied himself with scholarly pursuits building a personal library and was involved in concerts and trips, as a first tenor, with the University Glee Club of New York City. He also worked pro bono in setting up a local soccer club and establishing an historical designation to protect a residential area from commercial expansion.
Paul L. Loewenwarter
Paul Loewenwarter died on December 19, 2018 at age 89 from complications of Alzheimer’s. A Lehigh University grad from the Class of 1950 and a Baritone in the UGC Class of 1977, Paul loyally served the club in a number of capacities until his retirement from active singing a few years ago. Paul was a career newsman, and spent 35 years with CBS, producing some 90 pieces for 60 Minutes. He became well-known in Westchester when he delivered editorials for News12 Cablevision from 2000-2002. He is survived by his wife Maggie, sister Ellen Livingston, son, David (Maureen), daughter Andrea (James Gillespie) and three incredible grandchildren.
Holcomb B. (“Hoc”) Noble
Hoc Noble, Amherst Class of 1955 and UGC Class of 1978, died on November 26th, 2017 after a sudden illness. He had been living at a senior care facility near his son in Massachusetts, and his family was with him in hospital when he passed away.
A native of East Hartford, Connecticut, Hoc attended Amherst College and upon graduation began a long and distinguished career in journalism, starting as a reporter with the Worcester (Mass.) Telegram. He then joined the Associated Press in 1960 and went on to become day supervising editor of the AP’s general news report. Part of his responsibilities included directing coverage of the Apollo 12, 13, and 14 moon missions from the AP bureau at the Houston Space Center.
Hoc then joined the New York Times where he had a remarkably varied and outstanding career, first as acquisitions editor and rewrite person at the Sunday magazine, then as science section editor, metropolitan news editor, business editor and finally as an investigative editor, during which time he led teams in two year-long investigations which won back-to-back Pulitzer Prizes, the first in 1986 for articles on President Reagan’s anti-missile “Star Wars” initiative, and the second in 1987 for coverage of the aftermath of the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle. Hoc was also the author of two books, “Next: The Coming Era in Science” in 1988, and “Cheney’s War Crimes: The Reign of a De-Facto President” in 2013. (His political orientation requires no further elucidation.)
Hoc made many valued contributions to the University Glee Club as a singer, pianist and raconteur. In addition to his front-row perch in the 2nd tenor section, Hoc wrote a chapter on the UGC’s Hambone Cup traditions (and other contributions) for the Centennial history, and also wrote a touching article about the Club for the New York Times Magazine (linked below). His most influential contribution was his introduction and sponsorship of Francisco Nunez as a UGC member. Hoc was generally an early champion of Francisco, encouraging him to start the Young Peoples Chorus, and recruiting fellow members George Nemeth and Phil Olick to join him the YPC board, on which Hoc served continuously from its founding until about three years ago.
Hoc is survived by two children, Jon Holcomb (“JH”) and Carolyn, several grandchildren, and two former wives. I have no further information about funeral or memorial service arrangements, but will share them when available.
Hoc was a delightful, talented and sometimes provocative man, a loyal Lord Jeff (or Mammoth?), and a good friend to many. He will certainly be missed. RIP
— John F. H. Ong
Hoc’s New York Times UGC article:
Hoc’s Obituary in The Pelhams – PLUS:
The University Glee Club of New York City mourns the passing of Retired Active Ernest Sciutto on November 9th, 2017.
David C. Logan
David Charles Logan of Pelham Manor passed away at his home on Tuesday, June 27th, after a courageous and heroic battle with cancer. He was 79 years old. Born in Manitowoc, Wisconsin to Charlotte and Joseph Logan, David began singing at a young age in the local conservatories, high school musicals and church events that provided plenty of singing opportunities.
David graduated in 1958 from the University of Wisconsin where he studied voice and Business Administration while performing in a series of musicals, most popular being “Oklahoma”.
After graduating, David joined the United States Army where entertaining troops became his assignment and was selected THE SOLDIER OF THE CYCLE in his company. After the military, Dave moved to New York where he began a long and prosperous career in Advertising. Then in 1966 at one of his many parties in the Hamptons, David would meet Cynthia, who would become his wife of 49 years. In 1967 the two were married in Weston, CT. and went on to raise their 3 children in his beloved home in Pelham Manor, where he resided until his death.
David’s career in Advertising began at Grey Advertising which eventually led to a successful career in Network Radio. David worked for the ABC Radio Network during its heyday contributing to the success of the first national radio network. He went on to develop new successful networks for Concert Music and the Hispanic Radio Network.
Outside of work, David was a loyal, witty and beloved member of the NYC University Glee Club where he had many opportunities to sing and solo at such venues as Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher and The White House as well as abroad, most memorably, Ireland. David didn’t just leave an imprint on the club, he left a trench. “The go-to man for many of the club’s traditions over the years.” He produced a production of George M. Cohen’s music featuring local talent and participated in the Huguenot Cabaret as recently as last month, where he received a standing ovation after performing Old Man River, it would be his last performance. David was also a proud 53 year member of The University Club in Manhattan, his home away from home.
David was a loyal patriot who loved his country dearly and would hang his flag proudly on national holidays and was a member of American Legion Post 50. David was about as well read as they come and on any given day could outsmart the most esteemed professors with his vast knowledge of World History and Politics.
All the while, David continued to be the life of the party. He loved to fill a church with his voice and rarely missed a Service. But anyone who knew Dave knew that above all else, his heart belonged in his home, where he would host legendary parties full of music, song and laughter. A familiar scene at Christmas would be Dave standing behind the grand piano in his living room while conducting a large house of guests signing their way through The 12 Days of Christmas. Dave loved to welcome friends and family into his home where there was always a seat at the table.
David has joined his beloved wife in Heaven and is survived by their three children: David Charles, Jr. (Jessica), Clark Bush (Joanna), and Katherine Hennessey (Jack) and his sister, Mary Scheutze of Wisconsin. He will be lovingly remembered by his seven grandchildren, Dahlia, Declan, Clark, Jerry, Ewan, Peter and John.
A viewing will take place at the Pelham Funeral Home, 64 Lincoln Avenue, Pelham, NY, on Friday, July 14th from 4:00 to 8:00 PM. A Mass will be held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church 575 Fowler Avenue, Pelham Manor New York on Saturday, July 15th at 11:00 AM. He will be laid to rest with his wife at Oak Hill Cemetery. For more information or to leave a message of condolence please visit www.pelhamfuneral.com.
James H. Scott, Jr.
James (Jim) Scott passed away on Sunday, April 2, at his home in Tenafly, NJ with his wife Kathy and two children, Andrew and Betsy, by his side. His economic research helped bridge the gap between scholars and investors. Jim Scott was the Founding CEO of Quantitative Management Associates and Chairman of the Board for the Institute for Quantitative Research in Finance, better known as “The Q-Group.” He also served as a Senior Managing Director for GM Asset Management. Jim‘s research on capital structure and bankruptcy (1976) helped value corporate assets in an uncertain world. He developed quantitative investment techniques that are commonly used today. Born in Dallas, TX on January 28, 1945, Jim earned his BA from Rice University and his PhD in Economics from Carnegie Mellon University. He met Kathy Bilderback while working as a research fellow for the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, OH. The couple lived in Milwaukee, WI and Stanford, CA before moving to the East Coast, where Jim became a professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business and led the Finance Department. He was an enthusiastic member ofthe University Glee Club of New York City and a dedicated volunteer at the Church of the Atonement.
A memorial service will be held at the Church of Atonement on Saturday, April 22, at 10am.
97 Highwood Ave., Tenafly, NJ 07670. Services handled by Barrett Funeral Home, Tenafly, NJ.
It is with sadness we announce the passing of Jim Scott, a spirited UGC voice for many years. Below is a note received from a former NJ choir mate:
For quite a few years, I have had the pleasure of singing in my church choir next to Jim Scott. I was delighted to find out that he was a member of UGC, as my Dad had been an Associate Member for many years, and growing up, I’d been to quite a few concerts and parties back in the John Baldwin years.
Over the past year, we at Church of the Atonement in Tenafly, NJ were distressed to see Jim‘s increasing difficulty with breathing, but we all didn’t expect his disease to progress so quickly.
A private funeral service is planned. Our church will also be holding a Memorial Service Saturday April 22nd 10:00 AM Church of the Atonement, 97 Highwood Avenue,Tenafly, NJ 07670.
Any of Jim‘s UGC friends who would like to come to this service are welcome.
Robert Doughty Weeks, Jr.
Robert Doughty Weeks, Jr., of Pelham, NY passed away on Tuesday, May 10th after a long battle with prostate cancer. He was 82 years old.
Born in Manhattan to the late Robert Doughty and Marjorie Klehr Weeks, he was raised in Babylon, Long Island. He graduated from the Taft School and Duke University and served in the US Navy Pacific and Atlantic fleets retiring as Captain in the active reserves.
Robert was a Senior Vice President at the Chase Manhattan Bank and later helped direct the opening of the New York offices for Credit Agricole, Sumitomo Bank, and Banque Arab et International d’Investissement, Paris. Mr. Weeks assisted the World Bank and US AID in the economic reconstruction of numerous former communist countries including Romania and Bosnia where he and his wife resided for many years.
He was an avid traveler, sailor, skier, and choral singer. Robert leaves behind his beloved wife, Sarabeth, his cherished children Cynthia M. Lawlor and Robert D. Weeks III, Cynthia’s husband William, Robert’s wife, Susan, and his four dear grandchildren.
Services will be held at Christ Church, 1415 Pelhamdale Ave., Pelham Manor, NY on Saturday, May 14th at 10:30am. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Christ Church or Calvary Hospice, Bronx, NY.
Devoted husband, father, grandfather, retired treasurer, avid golfer, Yankees and Giants fan, Phillips Babcock, 88, of Denville, N.J., passed away on Aug. 20, 2016. A memorial service will be held at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 215 Boulevard, Mountain Lakes, N.J., on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. Arrangements are entrusted to the Codey & Mackey Funeral Home, Boonton, N.J.
Born in Plainfield, N.J., on July 25, 1928, to Juan A. and Dorothy (nee Wickes) Babcock, Phillips graduated from Lincoln High School in Jersey City, N.J., in 1946, and then Amherst College in 1950, where he was a member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity.
After college, Mr. Babcock served as a first lieutenant in the Army during the Korean War. After being honorably discharged, he went to work for the NJ Bell Telephone Company, serving as its treasurer from 1978 to 1980; he then was the assistant treasurer and director of banking relations for AT&T until 1984; and finally for Callan Associates, Inc., as their executive vice-president, retiring in 1996.
An avid golfer, Phillips was a member of the Rockaway River Country Club, and the treasurer and a trustee of the New Jersey State Golf Association.
He was also a member of the University Glee Club of New York City, the Mountain Lakes Squadron, a trustee of the Lakeland YMCA and treasurer of the Morristown Neighborhood House.
Phillips was also a big fan of the New York Yankees and Giants, and enjoyed traveling, especially to Scotland.
Mr. Babcock was the husband of the late Anne O’Brien Babcock; loving father of John P. Babcock and his wife, Donna, Elizabeth A. Busch and her husband, Stephen, and Richard P. Babcock; dear grandfather of Matthew, Kate and Annie Busch, Tara Gerity-Babcock and Cory and Tyler Babcock; and brother of Richard W. Babcock and wife Lorraine.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Phillips’ memory may be made to the New Jersey State Golf Association Caddy Scholarship Foundation, 3 Golf Dr., Suite 206, Kenilworth, NJ 07033, www.njsga.org.
Joan (Horton) Soons of Stonington Connecticut, died peacefully at home Monday, July 4, 2016. Joan was the wife of longtime UGC member and past president, William R. Soons. She led an active life preceding her brief illness, splitting her time between Stonington CT and Naples FL. She was a master gardener, expert bridge player and avid golfer and sailor.
Joan and Bill spent many happy years together prior to Bill’s death in 2011, each bringing tremendous vitality and joy into the lives of all who knew them. They brought the perfect mix of elegance and fun to every event, including many UGC concerts, afterglows and singing retreats. They were generous and welcoming hosts, and they cared deeply for their singing family.
Joan and Bill created countless contributions to our collective “memory bank” over their long and productive lives, which as Bill would often say, always accepts deposits but can never be overdrawn. We’ll remember them always.
— Jack Dorer