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1955

H. Lee Addison III ’55 died peacefully at his home in October. He was born in Norfolk, Va., to Harry Lee Addison Jr. and Blanche Trafton Addison in 1930. He graduated from Maury High School, where he was a tennis team member, first trombone in the band and orchestra, and a math club member. He attended the College of William & Mary and Virginia Polytechnic Institute-Norfolk before completing his degree at the University of Virginia with a bachelor’s in economics. At UVA he was a member of the Theta Chi fraternity, swim team and pep band. At UVA Law he was a member of the legal fraternity Sigma Nu Phi as well as Delta Sigma Pi.

Addison joined the U.S. Marines and trained at Twentynine Palms in California. He attended Officer Candidate School and entered the Judge Advocate General’s Corps at Camp Pendleton, Calif., where he met Barbara Jean Bauman, his wife-to-be. After marrying and returning to Norfolk to live and raise their family, he served in the Marine Corps Reserve and retired with the rank of captain.

Addison practiced law with several firms, the most prominent being Pender, Coward, Addison, and Morgan, which later became Pender and Coward. He specialized in bankruptcy, family and real estate law, along with credit union organizations law. He turned down a judgeship to continue his law practice. He represented several credit unions in the area — the biggest of which was Norfolk Naval Air FCU, now known as Chartway FCU. He was a trustee for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Addison served on several boards, including the YMCA, Friends of DePaul and the Tidewater Winds, and was involved in fundraising for all of them. He was also an active member of First Lutheran Church, where he served on the council, sang in the choir and formed lifelong friendships. His family said his hobbies included dancing, bridge, playing his trombone, swimming, tennis, pingpong and surf fishing at his Outer Banks beach cottage. He was also an avid reader of history.

Addison was preceded in death by his parents and his wife. He is survived by his two sons, John Martin Addison Sr. (Mary) and Gregory Lee Addison (Rebecca); and his daughter, Deborah Anne Addison (Julie); four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

1958

by Larry Grim, Class Secretary
[Certified: NOT by ChatGPT] 

Jim Atkin, Bob Dorsey and I were the only takers of the offer of a pen-and-ink sketch of Monticello made to our class members by Bucks County, Pa., architect Fred Diseroad. Bob, a Princeton alum, dedicated his sketch to his daughter, Alex Nordland, whose mother he wooed while he was in law school and she was at Hollins College. Bob reported he lived his first year in the Charity Pitts Rooming House with Ben Phipps and the Brokaw brothers of classes ahead of us. (Does anyone else get a foggy recollection that Lucy Moeling of our class dated or married a Brokaw? The alumni office thinks not, as her married name was Lucy Bishop.)

Sandy Gilliam, the University historian, says: “The Pitts house was home of the Preston who was rector of the University … in 1865.”

Our classmate, Walter Jerald Ford, a former judge from Hampton, writes: “All is quiet on my home front. I am still mediating, doing judicial settlements, and sitting as a substitute judge now and then. I wonder how many of us are still working. That would be good news to me, and I bet I am not alone. Just knowing you are still with us would be of interest and to how you are making out. After all, we are a select group. I am giving a talk in my church to young Boy Scouts about what happens when you turn 18 as to benefits and responsibilities. It keeps you on your toes. I help feed the homeless every month and teach Sunday school once a month. I learned how to cook when my Sallie passed away. I work three days a week and sleep like a baby. Now I know none of that is interesting, but if I heard it from my classmates, I would not think it dull, because I wonder about all of us frequently.”

Though 90 in December, Bill Griesar, is still Mr. Dependable for news: “At Jane’s insistence, we took a nice trip this fall, a tour of some lovely national parks in the Southwest — an area I had little familiarity with. This included the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park, places we had never seen before but found quite wonderful to experience. We used a tour service, of course, in this case, Tauck Tours, which we have used once before and which freed us from schlepping (you can tell I’m a New Yorker, born and bred) our bags. … We drove to Vermont at Christmas to be with children and grandkids over the holiday at the Trapp Family Lodge — a pleasant place for Christmas.”

On Jan. 19, Norman Brent Higginbotham, died at his home of over three decades at Lake Anna, Va. Born Aug. 1, 1933, an only child, Brent graduated from Fairfax (Va.) High School in 1950 and was a member of the National Honor Society. He received an undergraduate degree from UVA in 1955 and a law degree in 1958 (each with your secretary). He joined the U.S. Naval Reserve as a legal specialist (now known as a judge advocate officer). He was assigned duties in Charleston, S.C., where he met and married Doris Lynn Gay. After his military service, he returned to Fairfax, where he practiced general law for 30 years.

In 1972, he purchased a large parcel of land on the planned Lake Anna Reservoir. At the suggestion of a local merchant, he opened Brent’s Landing, the first public boat launching site on Lake Anna and, in 1987, he and Doris decided to build their retirement home there.

He and Doris enjoyed attending UVA football games with friends and fellow alumni, and having friends, family and classmates visit and enjoy the Lake Anna property. (In corresponding with him, he enthusiastically invited our 1958 classmates to visit the lake.)

He is survived by Doris, his wife of 61 years; sons, Thomas Brent Higginbotham (Maura) of Richmond and Forrest Stephen Higginbotham (Ginger) of Fairfax; daughter, Katherine Higginbotham Brown (Patrick) of Fredericksburg; grandchildren, Julia Higginbotham (Brian), Sarah Higginbotham, Grant Higginbotham (Brittany), Grace Higginbotham, Andrew Brown and Nathan Brown; and great-granddaughter, Finley Higginbotham.

Alas, Gordon Hobbs died Aug. 12. His widow, Barbara Hobbs, wrote me this touching note:

“Thank you so much for reaching out. We are definitely a UVA family. It gives me so much comfort to sit in his study to do paperwork and pay bills with his ‘V’ lamp, Law School tankard with all his pencils and pens, UVA pictures on the walls and his favorite UVA baseball cap on the back of the sofa. It was also on top of his casket along with the casket spray of blue and orange flowers and a blue UVA ribbon. He was buried in his khakis, button-down blue shirt, navy blazer and UVA tie. I have a little memorial in our closet with another blazer with UVA buttons and his collection of UVA ties and belts. We have always had a UVA garden flag in the landscaping around our front door and there is a rack of his favorite caps in the garage.

“Gordon joined the Army out of high school and went to Butler University and UVA Law on the GI Bill. His father was an Army officer, so Gordon lived on a lot of Army bases. When he graduated from the Law School (along with his older brother who received his Ph.D. [from the College] in physics) he decided to do a ‘payback’ and work for the Army. He had a great career in the Washington, D.C.-area with the last 20-plus years at the Pentagon. He enjoyed it all, traveled a lot and met some nice people along the way. His last job was as an assistant for real estate in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations and Logistics. He retired in January 1991.

“I was born and raised in Alexandria, Va., and we lived in Northern Virginia until our move to North Carolina to be near our younger daughter, Amy, who lives in Charlotte. Our older daughter, Bonnie, went to UVA, graduated from Washington & Lee University Law School and works in California. Living in Northern Virginia and being history lovers, we made many trips to Charlottesville and Monticello for day trips and lunch. Loved it all and I miss it.

“When we moved to North Carolina, we were looking for a church and settled on one with a young pastor who was raised in Northern Virginia and turned out to be a UVA fan. Our first friend there was Tony Ketron ’98 and it was almost always a contest on who had on the most UVA gear after a football or basketball win.

“Gordon should be remembered for being a devout student of the Bible and a man who truly walked with his Lord daily and shared the gospel with people he met. … Your email came at a time when I needed to share these memories and unless you attended UVA no one really understands how when you meet a WAHOO, you are family.”

My last few emails to Stu (Blue Jay) Jay bounced, and phone calls and messages were not answered. Good news: When I Googled, he was mentioned as alive and active in the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels — who are appointed by the sitting governor and serve on the nonprofit organization promoting the commonwealth and its citizens. The nonprofit has served 3.9 million people with grants totaling $3.1 million. Members include Mario Andretti, Princess Anne, Muhammed Ali, Arthur Ashe, Fred Astaire, Pope Benedict XVI, both Presidents Bush, etc. …

Fred Landess has a daughter, Liza, who writes: “Dad is doing well ... . He had a stroke in November 2021 and we moved him to Charlotte in February 2022. … Although my mom is no longer with us, he does have a lovely lady companion. His 90th birthday is Jan. 27 and I will send you a recap and some fun photos for you to share the good news with the crew at that time … .”

Doug Mackal, always the Virginia Gentleman and perfect host, invited those of us who can make it to our 65th reunion this spring to his Farmington home for cocktails. He was a wonderful host at our 60th. He will want to know if there is a chance you’ll attend, so please RSVP. (As of this writing, I hope to appear, but I have a brilliant grandson graduating that weekend from Davidson College and I must appear there, too.)

My close friend from rooms on the Lawn in college and after, and our class newlywed Ben Phipps died, too soon. Here is a life well-lived:

Benjamin Kimball Phipps Jr., a former U.S. Army artillery captain and a tax attorney, died Dec. 30. His noted law career spanned six decades. He was a splendid man.

Ben was born in Boston to Benjamin Kimball Phipps and Bertha Elizabeth Forsyth on Jan. 16, 1933. The family relocated to Tallahassee, Fla., when he was 4 years old and his formative years were spent in the woods of Ivanhoe Plantation, where they settled. His father died shortly thereafter, leaving his mother to raise him alone. His love of nature and plants grew naturally from his time spent at home and on the shores of Lake Hall, and he was an Eagle Scout at age 14. He grew up listening to the stories of the pilots training at Mabry Field during World War II.

For a time, he was educated at Sewanee Academy in Nashville, Tenn., then moved to the prestigious Tabor Academy in Marion, Mass., for the remainder of his preparatory schooling. Although accepted at Princeton University, after being taken in by the beauty and history of UVA, he chose to enroll there. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in commerce before advancing to the Law School, graduating with honors. He was the managing editor of the Virginia Law Weekly. A member of the Jefferson Circle and the Lawn Society, he was also active in fraternal organizations and athletics.

After graduation, Ben enlisted in the U.S. Army Officer Training School. He served as a lieutenant in the E Special Troops section, being jump qualified. He advanced to the rank of captain, serving in Korea from 1962-63 in the First Cavalry Division artillery. He also served as an officer for the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Ben wrote for the Pacific Division of the Stars and Stripes newspaper, drafting the obituary for John F. Kennedy. He always recalled his days as an officer with fondness. Some 60 years removed from military service, he could perform the manual at arms with an M1 Garand or calculate the firing solution for any type of battery — rocket or cannon — that he had commanded.

Ben was married to Phyllis Jarrett Anderson in 1962. Two years after the birth of their first daughter, Jarrett, Ben left the Army to be a husband and father and moved his young family back to Tallahassee. In 1965, their second child, Christina, was born. He was always extremely proud and supportive of his daughters. He eventually cleared land on Lake Hall and built the home where the girls were raised, naming it Jubilee. As many can attest, he was a gracious host who loved to entertain friends there.

Ben was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1964 and practiced law, specializing in state and federal taxation. He had a reputation as a vigorous and successful litigator, and insightful consultant. He was counsel to the House Tax Committee of the Florida Legislature for four years and counsel to the speaker for an additional two years. During that time, he wrote most of the present statutory language on ad valorem taxes. He later represented the Florida Bar as their lobbyist on local and state tax matters for eight years and held many offices in the bar’s tax section. He also served on the state and local tax committees of the American Bar Association. He held the rare CMI designation in property tax from the Institute of Professionals in Taxation. Ben practiced at every level of state and federal court in Florida.

In civic life, Ben was a champion of historic conservation, serving on the board of the Tallahassee Trust for Historic Preservation and the Florida Heritage Foundation. He was one of the leading citizens of the city and state who fought to preserve the old state capitol building. He was a charter member of the Tallahassee St. Andrews Society, the Capital Tiger Bay Club, the Florida Economic Club and the Governor’s Club. He also served as a member of the Maclay School board of trustees, on the Exchange Club of Tallahassee and for the Florida Bar News/Journal (chairman in 1979-80). He was twice recognized by the Tallahassee Trust for individual achievement in, and contributions to, historic preservation (1999, 2022). He served on the board of the Jefferson Grounds Initiative at the University of Virginia and chaired the governance committee that established its bylaws.

Ben and Phyllis lived their days at Jubilee in great solace, commenting that there were few places as nice on Earth. He loved German shepherds and orange cats, and kept both regularly. He loved the camellias that he grew. He enjoyed swimming, canoeing and rowing his scull across Lake Hall. Ben suffered tremendously when his daughter, Christina, died in 2010, and when Phyllis died in 2013. Ever stalwart, however, he remained active and engaged in professional and civic life.

Ben met JJ Weston in 2019 and the two were married in 2021 at the Church of the Advent. They traveled to Mexico, tried new foods and drinks, and engaged in the long, deep talks that he loved.

Ben loved to learn. He was an intellectual of the first order and always a gentleman in word and deed, even — and sometimes especially — when engaged in vigorous debate. Brilliant, gregarious, engaging and a voracious reader, he could retain any legal, literary or scientific work he had reviewed. He was adroit in synthesizing knowledge, formulating precise and enlightening positions that he loved to have challenged. He was fond of history and biography, with a keen interest in military history and great statesmen such as Winston Churchill and Teddy Roosevelt. In 2021, Ben finally fulfilled a lifelong desire. Inspired by those childhood memories of Mabry Field, he took flying lessons and earned his pilot’s license.

Ben is survived by JJ; his daughter, Jarrett; and his two sons-in-law, Lt. Cmdr. Gregory L. Crum (Christina Caroline) and Harry Roark James (Lisa Jarrett).

I close with a tale from Henry William’s widow, Barbara: “Henry loved his Porsches, never let anyone else drive them. And in the first months of our time together, he had a dark cherry 911 with a sunroof and leather interior. One evening he came to pick me up for dinner with a look of mischief about him. We were driving to the Old Lyme Inn, some 15 miles north. As we were leaving my condo, he made me an offer. If I could start the Porsche in two tries and drive it out of the parking lot without stalling it, he would let me drive to dinner. I was astonished.

“We got in, but before he handed me the keys, he told me with great gentleness not to be upset if I couldn’t start it, never mind drive through the parking lot. It was ‘a difficult car to drive,’ he assured me. ‘It required considerable skill and experience, plus sometimes you had to get the feel of a sports car before you could drive it well.’

“I tried to keep my face straight. There was one thing he hadn’t taken into account and that was my mother. She believed a good driver could drive any vehicle under any circumstances. She especially believed one must drive manual transmissions. Her driving lessons were brutal: through Bethlehem Steel Company shift-change traffic. We had a mammoth Chevy wagon with a manual shift on the steering column. Stall that out at a traffic light and thousands of hot, cranky steelworkers laid on their horns. But once I’d learned, I drove farm tractors, pickups, a TR-4, a 17-geared dump truck, an uncle’s pristine classic Morgan with a double-clutch, and many others.

“Henry handed me the keys. I accepted them with the appropriate show of awe and humility. I got the feel of the pedals, and, clutch in, I ran through the shift pattern with the stick. While he was explaining the clutch, I simply depressed it, gave a little touch of gas and started the car.

“I turned and smiled at him. He was stunned.

“‘Lyme Inn?’ I said. ‘Drive a time or two around the parking lot first’ he said. He had a good grip on the overhead handle on the passenger side. So around we went, stopping for someone pulling out of a parking place and starting up again without stalling.

“‘Lyme Inn?’ I said again.

“Later, Henry would admit it was among the worst 20 minutes of his life. I was cheeky, the car drove like a dream, but Henry drove from the passenger seat. ‘Too close to the edge over here! Too close to the center line! Did I tell you to shift? You’re going too fast! (Hilarious, coming from him.) See the stop sign? Slow down!’

“We pulled into the parking lot. Henry got out, shaken but safe, then put out his hand for the keys. ‘I could drive us back again?’ I said. He hurried on well ahead of me, which was odd. As I entered the inn, he was speaking to the hostess, who turned away, then promptly returned. With a double scotch on a tray.

“The hostess and I watched him down half of it. Peculiar behavior for Henry. I let her in on the secret. ‘He just let me drive his Porsche for the first time.’

“‘Oh, I’m so sorry,’ she told Henry, ‘did she have a wreck?’ Emptying it, he put his glass on her tray.

“‘No, she drove beautifully,’ Henry said, mournfully. ‘I nearly had a heart attack.’ I kissed his cheek. ‘So, I can drive it again?’

“‘Yes, but by yourself. Only by yourself.’ He kissed me. ‘You’re a wonderful driver,’ he whispered. ‘But sometimes you scare me.’”

(Barbara taught creative writing at Dartmouth, where alumni were invited to return for a weeklong “refresher.” Henry returned, refreshed and remarried to her, his “professor.”

 — LARRY GRIM, Secretary

(215) 896-1120

 

Alumni with Dean Risa Goluboff in Florida

Class secretary Larry Grim ’58 writes: On Feb. 7, Dean Risa Goluboff gave a joyously enthusiastic and scintillating report on the extremely great health of UVA Law at an alumni cocktail and dinner party at Club Pelican Bay, Naples, Fla. Joining about 26 UVA Law alumni and friends were your secretary, Larry Grim, and his suite-mate from the law dorms opposite Clark Hall, John Shroyer ’57, and their ladies, Kathy O’Dea and Patricia Schultz. (John, just married for the first time, and Patty, are the Class of ’57 newlyweds.) John told Dean Goluboff about the time her mother proudly introduced herself to John as the “dean’s mother” at a Class of 1957 luncheon in New York City. Fortuitously, the Shroyers were our guests that weekend at our Pelican Bay condo, which overlooks the two sixth greens. George S. Thomas ’67 was the gracious luncheon host.

1961

Robert Montague wrote that his grandson, Andrew Jackson Montague, is a second-year student in the College at UVA. He’s planning to major in history.

Germain D. “Gerry” Newton '61Germain D. “Gerry” Newton of Nantucket, Mass., died Dec. 28, at age 91, surrounded by family. He was the son of the late Russell H. and Virginia D. Newton of West Hartford, Conn. A native and longtime resident of West Hartford, he attended local schools, graduating from William H. Hall High School in 1949. He also graduated from Trinity College and the Law School.

Newton was a combat veteran of the Korean War, where he was a tank commander in the 73rd Tank Battalion of the 7th Infantry Division.

His entire professional career was in personal trust administration and estate planning, beginning with Hartford National Bank and Trust in 1961, and retiring as vice president of Shawmut Bank in 1993. He was a member of the Connecticut Bar Association and the Hartford County Bar Association, and a charter member of the Estate and Business Planning Council of Hartford. He was a past director of the Greater Hartford Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Hartford Conservatory of Music and a former vestryman of St. James’s Episcopal Church of West Hartford.

Newton was an avid tennis player, and a former member of several athletic clubs and the Old Guard of West Hartford. His retirement years were divided between his hometown and his summer home on Nantucket, where he enjoyed boating, fishing, scalloping and annual family reunions, and where he and his wife, Patricia, became permanent residents in 2009. Besides his wife of 64 years, he is survived by his two sons and daughters-in-law, Ted and Ronni Newton, Chip and Anne Newton, and four grandchildren.

He never lost his wit or his intellect, his ability to finish The New York Times Crossword or difficult Sudoku, or his winning ways at bingo, according to his family.

1963

Thad Long published the third in a trilogy of legal courtroom dramas/thrillers featuring fictitious attorney Ted Born. “The Jury Has a Verdict!” is a prequel to the first two: “The Impossible Mock Orange Trial” and “The Vow: Ted Born’s Last Trial.” All the books narrate the struggles of an ethical lawyer trying to achieve his conception of justice for his clients, often in the face of heavy odds. The latest book focuses on Born’s interactions with judges and juries, exploring several different experiences as he strives to achieve justice for his clients. Ultimately, the reader must ponder the question, “What is justice?” — as the narratives lay out the competing ways of viewing the facts and jury verdicts in high-stakes litigation.

1964

John R. Normile Jr. retired four years ago, after practicing for 54 years. He and his wife, Janet, live in Eco Village in Ithaca, N.Y., a multigenerational community. The couple engages in a multitude of volunteer activities aimed at sustaining “an environmentally sound world.”

1965

Barry E. Hawk published “Monopoly in America” with Juris Publishing in late 2022. The book explores the American anti-monopoly tradition, from the early 1600s to the present day. Hawk is the former director of the Fordham Competition Law Institute and a former partner with Skadden Arps in New York and Brussels. He is the former vice chair of the American Bar Association’s Antitrust Section and former chair of the New York State Bar Association Antitrust Section, in addition to serving as an adjunct professor at Fordham Law School.

1968

Ralph Bresler '68Ralph Bresler and Barbara Drake Bresler were married in 1968 and served in Belgium, Chad, Ivory Coast, Kuwait and Congo over a 31-year State Department career. Bresler’s last position before his 1999 retirement was director of the economic policy staff of the Bureau of African Affairs. He wrote to remind us, “A foreign service career can have unexpected rewards!”

“My wife, Barbara, our daughters, and I were fortunate to work closely with Dr. Jane Goodall during our 1987-91 tour with the American Embassy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. After many years of groundbreaking chimpanzee research in Tanzania, Goodall decided to try to save chimps living in the wild. The largest chimpanzee population was in the DRC, and my economic section organized her visits.”

Bresler accompanied Goodall and served as her interpreter as she urged the government to enact stronger legislation banning the sale of chimps and to enforce existing laws. “Meanwhile, our embassy doctor and his wife took a keen interest in Jane and her work. The chimps at the zoo lived in poor conditions and Dr. Dumont was able to convince the director to give him an infant that was barely holding on. We and the Dumonts then took care of Chris in our homes. A second chimp, Calamity Jane, joined Chris. Caring for these infants was a learning experience much like human babies, including diapers and bottles.

“We enjoyed lazy Sunday afternoons on our veranda overlooking the Congo River with the Dumonts and the chimps. The bond between the two chimps was apparent; they clutched each other with an eagerness that reminded us they were living in an alien world.

“During Jane’s several visits to Kinshasa, our daughters, Jennifer and Jessica, became activists. Jennifer started a club at the American School of Kinshasa supporting chimpanzee awareness and raising money to feed chimps at the local zoo. Both helped with Chris’ care, as he often needed to be held, and he loved to play with them.

“After we returned to Washington, D.C., the security situation deteriorated rapidly and most of the embassy staff was evacuated. Fortunately, Dr. Dumont was able to arrange the transfer of the chimps to a Conoco Oil-financed sanctuary.”

The Breslers stayed in contact with Goodall for years after their Congo experience. She was their houseguest in Arlington, Va., and spoke at Jessica’s high school and Jennifer’s college, William & Mary. Jennifer, a science teacher in Greenwich, Conn., started a Jane Goodall Roots and Shoots Club, a humanitarian and environmental initiative that has left a lasting impression on her students.

The principal author of the Virginia Stock Corporation Act, Allen C. Goolsby, authored the seventh edition of “Goolsby and Haas on Virginia Corporations,” with Steven M. Haas ’04. This edition includes definitions, fees and forms while exploring in detail the state statutes and related case law on all aspects of the Act. Goolsby is special counsel with Hunton Andrews Kurth in Richmond, Va.

Stuart Fisk Johnson is in his 51st year of working as a criminal defense public defender in the D.C. Superior Court in Washington, D.C.

William Norman is working full time on what he described as “an interesting jury trial.” The trial deals with fiduciary issues and the “star witness” is the grandson of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

W. Robert Pearson is a fellow at Duke University’s Rethinking Diplomacy Project. The project’s mission is to anticipate major global issues more effectively, partner more closely with science and technology developments, and use multilateral diplomacy earlier and more frequently.

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