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Class of 1969: 45th Reunion

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2014 - Spring


The Class of 1969 was pleased to return to New Haven, as many reflected on very pleasant memories of Yale. The female members of the class made an impressive showing, as four of eight (Rowena Lichtenstein Korobkin, Ellen Block Milstone, Debbie Putnam, and Jonelle Carey Rowe) made it to New Haven.

At the mid–afternoon gathering, there was much discussion about our memorable professors including Averill Liebow, Edmund Crelin, Alvin Feinstein, Ross Barnett, Howard Spiro, Gerald Klatskin, and others. The group suggested that we put together some biological sketches of these eminent professors for the 50th reunion in 2019.

The gathering at the Quinnipiac Club was warm and hospitable. Many fond memories of the late sixties in New Haven were exchanged. As is our tradition, class members reported on their experiences and life changes since leaving New Haven.

Rowena Korobkin reported on her career as a pediatric neurologist, and brought a wonderful CD of her daughter's opera performances for our pleasure. Jonelle Rowe described her varied career in neonatology at the University of Connecticut as well as her role in the offices of Woman's Health in Washington, D.C. A good part of her discussion, however, reflected on her present role as a caring grandmother. Debbie Putnam told of a very busy but enjoyable career as an emergency room physician in Hawaii, but did make us a bit jealous as she discussed her multiple voyages, including a recent bike touring trip in France. Ellen Block Milstone reported that she is still quite active in the practice of dermatology and has a very active role as a clinician, mother, and grandmother. Her geographical and professional connections to Yale allow her to keep in close touch with the school, and serve as an organizer of class events.

Chuck Angell noted that he is finally retired from cardiology practice and the faculty at Johns Hopkins, and spending more time with his grandchildren, who fortunately live fairly close by. He reflected on the excellent preparation that Yale gave him for his Johns Hopkins career. Joe Cleary reported that he had a very rewarding career as a clinician educator at Norwalk Hospital in Connecticut and he continues to work 50 percent of the time in educational and administrative tasks. I can report that Joe's morning report at Norwalk was one of the best I have ever attended. Ralph Falkenstein reflected on his important role as a fundraiser for the class. He celebrated with us his 49th wedding anniversary, the joy of his children and seven grandchildren, and his semi–retirement from his ophthalmology practice. Royal Gay reported that he is still working forty hours a week in his office in Albany Cardiology, but has stepped back from emergency activities. He has built a summer house in Branford, Conn., and gets the opportunity to visit the New Haven area frequently. Sandy Genser reflected on his somewhat peripatetic career which brought him through psychiatry, a career in the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and now medical director of the Montgomery County Addiction Psychiatry Program in Maryland.

Lee Jampol told us that he had stepped down as chair of ophthalmology at Northwestern University, but continues to have a very active research and teaching career. We were impressed with his description of his travels to oversee a major diabetic eye disease program for the National Eye Institute. Paul Markey reported that he is still in active practice in orthopaedic surgery in Norwalk, Conn., and enjoys active sports and travel. His 12 year old son, Connor, joined us at the reunion dinner. Arnie Mazur informed us of his continued role in the University Health Services Department at Boston College. Arnie has also had an active role in the Army Reserve, traveling around the world and taking an active clinical and administrative role during operation Desert Storm.

Lionel Nelson has been one of the most loyal members of the Class of '69. His smile and good humor have graced all of our reunions. He is still in the active practice of otolaryngology in San Jose, Calif., as well as actively consulting with several medical device companies. Lutz Schlicke reflected on the enjoyment he had throughout his career in orthopaedic surgery, from the tutelage of Wayne Southwick at Yale to the faculty at the University of South Florida in Tampa to private practice for a while with David Schulak. Stephen Webb noted that he had recently retired after 40 years of pediatrics in Rochester, N.Y. He reflected on his enjoyment of sailing and the accomplishments of his children and grandchildren. C.E. Long commented on the joys of orthopaedic surgery and his career at Kaiser–Permanente. Reflecting his ever–present cowboy boots, C.E. also talked about his role as a rancher and wilderness guide in northern California. Gary Wright told us of his various careers in pediatrics, college health, and emergency care. His achievements include a Ph.D. in philosophy and the authorship of several books. He also commented on the warm friendships and pleasant memories he had of his years in the medical school.

We mourned the loss of Bob Gordon, who passed on in February. His wife Toni thoughtfully sent us a copy of his obituary. Charles Dinarello was in Holland all winter and missed the call for the class book. He was back in Europe this week, and thus sent us a report on his illustrious career, including his isolation and cloning of Interleukin–1.

The class felt that the exercise of sending in reports for the class book was a very positive one. We ended up with 46 submissions out of a class of 78, a strong reflection of our positive experiences at Yale. We left New Haven with warm feelings about our Yale years and with ambitious plans for the 50th in 2019.

‒Ellen and Leo Milstone

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