In Memoriam

We have been saddened to learn of the deaths of the following members of the University Glee Club community.

2020

Don Shea

UGC member, Don Shea passed away earlier this week. Don was a 1964 graduate of NYU and joined the UGC in 1994. A former management consultant turned fiction writer, editor, and teacher, his stories have appeared in numerous literary reviews and anthologies. Don was a gifted storyteller, singer, and dancer, and will be greatly missed by all.  We will share information about a memorial service once available.

 

 

Roger Englander

UGC member and Past President, Roger Englander passed away peacefully in his sleep on May 30th at the age of 85.  His loving family was by his side, and I believe his extended singing family was with him too, at least in spirit.

A graduate of Yale, Roger joined the UGC in 1962 and sang actively for well over 50 years before moving to retired active status.  His accomplishments were many during his time as an active member, both as a leader and as a singer.  He spent many years on the UGC Board of Directors, serving as the club’s President from 1997 to 1999.  He managed the UGC with an unwavering focus on the future, believing that the next generation of young leaders were critical to the continued health and vitality of the club.  Most of all, Roger was an incredibly gifted first tenor, with a beautiful, clear solo-quality voice that pierced through the hearts of our audiences.  He is probably best known for his brilliant tenor solo in Franz Schubert’s Nachthelle, which you can hear on the UGC’s recording, Thursday Night Out.

While Roger was an outstanding soloist, small group singing was his passion.  He participated in many UGC quartet competitions over the years and was a perennial favorite.  In fact, he won his very first time out as a freshman with the Y-D’s, consisting of Alan Welty, Sr., Alan Jr. and brother Dick Welty.  The Y-D’s went on to win the next two years, and with three quick victories under his belt, Roger was off to the races.  He competed and won with a number of cleverly named quartets including The Volkswagens, Maltese Scallion, Central Nervous System, and John Bulls II.  It became clear that any group involving Roger Englander had a strong chance of winning the contest.  Over a span of 46 years from 1963 to 2008, Roger won the Hambone Cub a total of 18 times – the first 17 as a first tenor, and the last as a baritone.

Roger’s quartet experience led to the founding of The Ten in 1978 when three prize-winning quartets banded together to perform as an ensemble at benefits and other events.   This brought Roger back to his small-group singing roots, having performed at Yale with the Spizzwinks.  Years later, Roger’s sons Bob and John also sang with the Spizzwinks, which was a source of family pride.

On a personal note, Roger’s passing will leave a major void in my life, as I’m sure it will in the lives of many others.  I’ve known the Englander family since I was a boy, and all because of friendships that first developed through the UGC.  Roger joined the club about the same time as my father when both were still in their twenties.  The bonds between these two men quickly took hold and soon spread to their families, fully blossoming into unbreakable lifelong ties.  I’ve idolized Roger for many years, not only because of his undeniably extraordinary singing talents, but also because of his incredible qualities as a human being.  He was kind, generous and compassionate.  Never has a man cared more for his family, and for his friends, and his feelings of affection were obvious to everyone around him.  Roger and his wonderful wife, Simone, have enriched the lives of many.  We will remember Roger always, and we extend our sincerest condolences to the entire Englander family.

Henry “Buzz” Merritt

UGC member, Henry “Buzz” Merritt of Redding, CT passed away on May 12th at the age of 92. Born July 21, 1927 to Henry C. Merritt and Catherine (Fuller) Merritt in New York City, he spent his early years in Bedford/Katonah, NY during the height of the Great Depression and the tail end of Prohibition. He fondly remembered how he and his younger sister Catherine (Merritt) Stokes would sneak out of bed to watch their parents and neighbors “roll up the rugs.” They danced to Victrola music in the living room while enjoying cocktails made from booze dropped off by the local sheriff. It was here that Buzz was also first exposed to fishing by his father; what would become an enduring passion leading to some of his many global experiences.

The family, hit by the trials of the Depression, returned to NYC where Buzz attended St. Bernard’s School.  Often crediting this British style of academic training with his excellent memory, he became lifelong friends with classmates such as George Plimpton, James Symington, Charlie Kinsolving, Arthur “Punch” Sulzberger, and many other future greats.

Buzz remembered with great fondness watching parades from the family’s apartment, walking the Miracle Mile during the Christmas season, roller skating along 5th Ave, and attending baseball games at a time when the Giants still played at the Polo Grounds.  He and George Plimpton were often found chasing down major league baseball players by subway, by mail, or in dugouts for autographs.

Buzz also spoke of family Sunday drives and roadside picnics on the Merritt Parkway, named after his Great Uncle Schuyler Merritt. As Congressman for Southwestern CT for most of 1917-1937, he championed the funding and the construction of the Parkway. The family remains proud of this unique public works project, naming their son, Schuyler, after Great Uncle Schuyler.

Buzz attended Philips Exeter Academy, graduating in 1944. On scholarship, he was a student waiter and delivered the morning Boston Herald. He played J.V. and Varsity baseball and All-club football and hockey. Buzz was a member of the cast of 1944’s Spring Musical “Out of Bounds.” He even played the cymbals in the Academy Band. Buzz became a member of the Glee Club and Phillips Church Choir after accidentally attending auditions while waiting for a friend to “try-out” so they could go play football. From this, singing would also become a persistent passion.

A week after Exeter Graduation, Buzz entered Princeton. With WWII still underway, he joined the Navy in his Sophomore year and went to “boot” camp at Sampson, NY. He then went to Quartermaster/ Signalman School at Gulfport, MS; thence to San Diego’s West Coast Sound School. He served on two submarine chasers, PCS 1400 and PCS 1423. One of his proudest accomplishments, he had TDY (temporary duty) aboard the decorated submarine USS Redfish, running training missions in the Pacific.

Discharged in late 1946 as a Quartermaster 3/c, Buzz returned to Princeton. He played Varsity baseball as a catcher for five seasons – delaying his graduation to play for one more season. During these games, Buzz became competitive lifetime friends with a young Yale pitcher, George H. W. Bush.  This included hands-on support years later at the local and national level for “Poppy” Bush’s presidential campaigns.

Drawing on his Exeter musical and theatrical experience, Buzz appeared as a Cancan Chorus “Girl” in Princeton’s 1949 Triangle Club Show “All in Favor.”  He joined Cottage Club and was a member of the 21 Club. Buzz graduated cum laude in Economics and Social Institutions in the Class of 1948 and attended almost every reunion for some 70 years.

After graduating, Buzz spent time on North Haven Island in Maine, assisting the Parsons family and their young children with a variety of summer activities. He brought his baseball skills with him, joining the local team comprised of craftsmen, lobstermen, and beyond. He was also exposed to sailing, enjoying dinghy races and traveling up and down the Eggemoggin Reach. Yet again, sailing in many forms became another lifelong passion. This included crewing in several offshore yacht races in the 1950s and 1960s to include the Halifax, Annapolis to Newport, and Bermuda races.

Buzz joined the credit training program of the Central Hanover Bank and Trust Company in NYC in the early 1950s. He progressed though credit work at the bank’s 34th St and Madison Ave branch and for the bank’s Southwestern Regional Division. He traveled extensively for the bank, calling on correspondent banks in Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. This was during the rise of the Civil Rights Movement, leaving a lasting impression as much of the conflict was in his rural territory.

In the late 1950s, Buzz, as an avid skier, was one of the founders of Sugarbush ski resort in Warren, VT where he was an active member of the mountain’s Ski Patrol. Around this same time, he also earned his private pilot license, eventually holding commercial pilot single-engine land and seaplane, glider, and instrument flight qualifications. Most of his flight time was in his Cessna 182-A “George” which he owned for over 40 years with various partners. In the mid-1970s, Buzz was appointed for several years to the Citizens’ Advisory Committee of the Federal Aviation Administration.

At night, Buzz obtained his MBA at New York University. His thesis on financing small oil and gas exploration companies led in 1957 to an opportunity to join the Loomis family business, investing in private oil and gas exploration ventures. In 1968, he joined New York investment bank Laird Inc. for which he created and managed several oil and gas investment partnerships.

Buzz negotiated with the Thai Army for petroleum exploration concession in northern Thailand. He then was a consultant to a Norwegian ship owner, advising him and partners on the operation of, and contracting for, a semi-submersible offshore drilling rig they owned in the North Sea. He also brokered the sale of an Indonesian oil concession in the Java Sea. In 1980, financed by two Dutch families, he established five oil and gas exploration companies active in the US Gulf Coast. He semi-retired in 1995, continuing as a petroleum investment consultant until his death.

In 1970, in Bangkok, Thailand, Buzz married Jane Hamilton, PhD, Vietnam war correspondent, investigative journalist, university professor, author, human rights activist for the Hmong people, twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and later llama farmer and advocate.

By 1971, Buzz and Jane decided to find a suburban area in which to live that was close enough for Buzz to commute to Wall Street. Always organized, he drew a circle around NYC to estimate the feasible commuting distance. Buzz then took to the skies in “George” to investigate New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to find attractive “green” areas from the air. Later following up with onsite visits. They left NYC for Redding, CT, where – with their son Schuyler, born 1986 – they have lived ever since.

Buzz frequented the Angler’s Club of New York lunch table, having become a member in 1956. He served on various committees and often lauded the fact that members of all backgrounds were equal in their shared interest in fishing. On January 25, 1975, Buzz was there having lunch when FALN (Puerto Rican National Liberation) terrorists bombed Fraunces Tavern which housed the Angler’s Club on the second floor. Four people died immediately, and more than 40 others were hospitalized with serious injuries. Buzz received limited injuries and made it home late that night; bandaged and in his tattered, dusty, and blood-stained suit.

His love of music ever strong, Buzz was an active member of the University Glee Club of New York, participating in several European concert tours, and his UGC barbershop quartet group, the “Manhatters,” won a Manhattan City Championship. In the mid-1980s, Buzz became a dedicated volunteer and supporter for some 25 years of the Great Connecticut Traditional Jazz Festival. His son Schuyler also participated for some 15 years; becoming a Jazz Fest Board Member. Buzz continued singing through the 2010s as one of the few tenors with the Ridgefield Chorale.

Buzz was a past Chairman of the Redding Ethics Commission, an active member of the Westport, CT branch of the Submarine Veterans organization, and a Board member of the Friends and Neighbors of Putnam Memorial State Park, a local Revolutionary War site known as “Connecticut’s Valley Forge.”

Buzz was a longtime Trustee of the Redding Land Trust, routinely attending numerous town commission meetings to support the conservation of open spaces.  He also endorsed considered defenses against overdevelopment of the town. He was often called on – and just as often volunteered – to take to the skies, with son Schuyler hanging out of his plane’s window, photographing land conservation properties in support of the Redding Land Trust. He also flew aerial surveys at the request of Redding town officials.

Buzz delighted in mentoring young people, including students from Kenya and Botswana, with his principled and considered words. He hoped to instill in all a sense of history and a need to be an active community participant. To that end, he remained active with the Redding Land Trust up to the time of his death, helping provide the institutional memory of the mission and goals of the organization.

Buzz’s lifetime collection of interests included fly fishing, upland and waterfowl bird hunting, skiing, offshore yacht racing, choral and barbershop quartet singing, flying, and land preservation. In addition to the various aforementioned groups he was also a member of the Amateur Ski Club of New York, the National Ski Patrol, and the New York Yacht Club. He was a longtime supporter of the Quebec Labrador Foundation, the Atlantic Salmon Federation, Trout Unlimited, and Ducks Unlimited.

He traveled extensively, with Jane and Schuyler as well as professionally, to Southeast Asia, China, Japan, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, East Africa, Egypt, Scandinavia, Western and Eastern Europe, and Canada.

Buzz authored many articles and two books: “Chronicles of the Old Fort River” which documented his involvement in discovering the feasibility of salmon fishing on a little know river in Quebec and “Deep Driller” a historical fiction novel about North Sea oil rig trials and tribulations during the late 1970s.

Buzz is survived by his wife, Jane Hamilton-Merritt, son, Schuyler (Elizabeth) Merritt, and three nephews, Edward, Michael (Janet), and Peter (Patti) Stokes and their children. He was predeceased by his sister Catherine Stokes in April 2016 and his father Henry C Merritt and Catherine Fuller Merritt.

A limited service and family burial will take place in late May with a larger celebration of his life to be announced during the summer. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Henry F. Merritt’s name to the Merritt Parkway Conservancy (www.merrittparkway.org/donate), the FANS of Putnam Park (putnampark.org/become-a-member-or-donate-to-fans), or the Redding Land Trust (reddingctlandtrust.org/giving).

John Austin Ruvane

John Austin Ruvane, 84, of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, left this world on March 1, 2020, surrounded by his wife of 62 years, Anne Beebe Ruvane and his six children, Anne Julie Ruvane (Wil Reitsma) of Ponte Vedra Beach, Kearney Ruvane Vrabel (Ron) of Bernardsville, NJ, Molly Kamensky (Michael) of Dunedin, FL, John Austin Ruvane, Jr. (Sharon) of Jersey City, NJ, Alice Ruvane (Steve Mortimer) of Portland, ME, and Susan D’Avanzo (Rob) of Skillman, NJ. He was blessed with twelve grandchildren, Christopher (Tayvia) Ruvane and Brian Kamensky, Anna, Andrew (Lauren), and Alex Vrabel, Joseph and John D’Avanzo, Caleigh (Justin McDonald) and Ian Reitsma, and Patrick, Katie and Bridget Ruvane. Born in Jersey City, NJ to Dr. Joseph Jerome Ruvane and Anna Agnes Sullivan Ruvane, John was a proud graduate of The Delbarton School and Princeton University (1957).

All who knew John can attest to his incredible musical talent. He could play anything on the piano in any key, no music necessary. While at Princeton, he accompanied the Nassau Jazz Band on a tour of Europe. John and Anne never missed a major Princeton reunion and were blessed to travel with Princeton classmates and their wives to numerous “mini reunions” around the world. For many years John was a regular at “Jazz at Noon,” in Manhattan, playing with some of the most talented amateurs in the city as well as a few great professionals, including Dave Brubeck, Buddy Guy, and Warren Chiasson. He pursued his passion for jazz piano and composition taking numerous courses later in life at The Mannes School in Manhattan as well as the University of North Florida. He volunteered his piano talent every Wednesday at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL.  John also volunteered his time and talents with the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Mission House, BEAM, and Lend an Ear in Jacksonville Beach.

He was a member of The University Glee Club of New York, the Heritage Singers of Jacksonville, and the Jacksonville Symphony Chorus. All of his children and grandchildren inherited his love of music and musical gifts. He and the family were welcome guests at many a party where they could be enticed to perform in four part harmony. In fact, his family sent him off to Heaven in song with the “Irish Blessing.” He was also an accomplished painter of water colors, creating gorgeous memories on paper of his beloved time with Anne and dear friends both in Barbados and Buck Hill Falls, PA.

As a young man, John got his start in pharmaceutical sales, eventually settling into pharmaceutical advertising and marketing. He later founded his own agencies, J.R. Druid Associates, Ruvane-Leverte and JAR-COM, Inc., all in New York City.  He secured a trademark on a single sponsor medical publication, “Point Counterpoint.”  He served as Program Manager and then President of the Pharmaceutical Advertising Council of New York City.

John was an avid golfer and enjoyed memberships at Essex County Country Club and Canoe Brook Country Club in NJ, Buck Hill Golf Club in PA, as well as Sawgrass Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. John was proud of his Irish heritage, tracking down the Ruane cousins and the family farm in County Mayo, Ireland. There were few books he had not read; he took great pleasure in sharing his knowledge and opinions on just about everything with anyone whose ear he was able to commandeer. He wore his beautiful smile everywhere he went. He was immensely proud of all of his children and grandchildren.  He was a devout Roman Catholic, a member of Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Ponte Vedra Beach where he regularly treated the congregation to his jazzy piano meditations.  He is survived by his wife, Anne, his children and grandchildren, his sister, Anne Julie McKelvey of Melbourne, FL and many nieces and nephews and his dog, Barley. His brother, Joseph Jerome Ruvane, Jr., predeceased him.

Jay H. Greener

UGC member, Jay Henry Greener passed away on January 18th, on his 74th birthday. Beloved husband of Lynn Marie Greener (nee Kegler) for almost 50 years. Loving father of Liann (James), Robyn (John), and Jared (Dan) and devoted grandfather to Catherine, Rachel, Daniel, Matthew, and Robert. Dear brother of Ann, Betty, Margot, and the late Alan. Born in Brooklyn, Jay was dedicated to God, country, and family. Jay graduated from Grinnell College with a BA in 1967 and remained active as class reunion chair. He was a longtime member of the University Glee Club of New York, continuing his lifelong love of song that started in the Breton Woods Boys Choir and continued throughout his life in his church choir at Messiah Lutheran Church. He was an active member of American Legion Post 417, following his service in Vietnam as a Combat Engineer in the 70th Combat Battalion. A Memorial Service will be celebrated at Messiah Lutheran Church, 465 Pond Pass, Setauket, NY on February 22nd at 1:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, inmemoriams to The American Legion Post 417 or Messiah Lutheran Church are deeply appreciated. Inurnment at Calverton National Cemetery.

Fred Berman

Longtime UGC member, Judge Fred Berman, passed away on January 19th at the age of 92 after an extended fight with Parkinson’s Disease.  An alumnus of Columbia University and lifelong New Yorker, Fred spent many years singing with the club, building lasting friendships with countless UGC singers and their families.  He was an engaged and highly successful member of society with a long and distinguished career.  We will miss him.

According to an obituary in the New York Times, Fred was a sitting judge for over 30 years, appointed by four New York City mayors (Lindsay, Beame, Koch and Giuliani).  He also served as the NYC Housing and Rent Commissioner and as a New York State Senator.  He was a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, and a law professor for 40 years.  Fred officiated at the marriages of many couples on Valentine’s Day atop the Empire State Building and the World Trade Center, a function he truly loved.  He was also a radio host on WNYC and a Columbia University varsity sports reporter.  He leaves his wife Barbara Cohn, two sons, and three grandchildren.

J. Warren Tapscott

UGC member and Past President, J. Warren (Jo) Tapscott passed away peacefully in his sleep on January 12th at the age of 89. A graduate of Carleton College, Jo joined the UGC in the fall of 1961, John Baldwin’s first semester, along with Charlie Alexander, Bob Bushnell, Bud Dimmitt and my father, John Dorer.  Jo was a close friend to many UGC members and their families, including mine.

Jo Tapscott was a UGC legend, known for being an incredible musician, funny, extremely intelligent and a true gentleman.  He had a pure and beautiful baritone voice, and he sang solos for the UGC, including one for which he will always be remembered, “I Arise From Dreams of Thee,” a poem by Shelley.  He was also an accomplished jazz pianist and would occasionally play while lying on his back on the piano bench with his head under the keyboard and his hands crossed.  I witnessed this party trick on at least one occasion as a boy, and needless to say, I was duly impressed.

Jo and his wife Ellie moved from their family home in Tenafly to Fort Meyers, Florida in the spring of 1992 and then again to Sun City Arizona in 1997.  During their retirement years, Jo and Ellie remained active singers, both in church choirs and with the West Valley Chorale, a group of about 70 experienced singers drawing from the greater Sun City area.  Their son, Joe, said that his father continued his wonderful piano playing until very recently when he no longer had the strength to work the pedals.

For those of us lucky enough to know Jo Tapscott, we will remember him always.

2019

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.

2018

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.

2017

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:  ​

http://www.nytimes.com/1987/12/27/magazine/about-men-a-joyful-noise.html

Hoc’s Obituary in The Pelhams – PLUS:
http://www.pelhamplus.com/obituaries/article_7e6fd378-def8-11e7-9ec8-1b826aaad801.html

Ernest Sciutto

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.

http://pelhamfuneral.tributes.com/obituary/show/David-Logan-104928074

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.

Regards,
Jeff Pieper  

201-469-7616 

2016

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.

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/nytimes/obituary.aspx?pid=179961848

Phillips Babcock

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.

http://obits.nj.com/obituaries/starledger/obituary.aspx?n=phillips-babcock&pid=181139834&

Joan Soons

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