Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Eric Tompkins 1951 - 2015

Eric Tompkins
I learned this week from Ed Grosvenor - Eric's roommate senior year in Hitchcock - that Eric had passed away in April. I might have suspected something was amiss when Eric cancelled his reservation for the 45th Reunion at the last minute for what I was told was an operation. At the time, however, he wrote Participation Chair Lacey and me in his typically upbeat fashion, "Looking forward to seeing you guys again at another further meeting at Deerfield!" Eric may be gone but he will not forgotten at our 50th.

Eric enrolled as a freshman in 1965, a year ahead of his brother Clay, and was on the editorial board of both The Scroll and PocumtuckWhile not an athlete at Deerfield, Eric developed a passion for competitive rowing and was a member of the San Diego Rowing Club. As recently as February 2014 he competed in the world indoor rowing championships in Boston and finished 18th in his age and weight class.

For the last twenty years Eric advised healthcare clients in strategic planning, medical office building management and leasing, development services, and financing and sales transactions nationally for CBRE (f/k/a CB Richard Ellis), one of the foremost commercial real estate and investment firms in the world. 

Although he lived on the West Coast, Eric remained involved with Deerfield on a local level and returned for the 40th Reunion. You will see him in the first photo of the 40th Reunion pictures standing next to Ed and a group of rather suspect characters on the first night. 

His obituary is reprinted below:

TOMPKINS--Frederic F.

Frederic F. "Eric" Tompkins, died on April 21, 2015 in San Diego, California. He was the son of Mrs. Frederic P. Tompkins, Rumson, New Jersey and the late Mr. Tompkins. He is survived by his wife, Rosemary Hamilton, their two children, Catherine S. and Frederic H. Tompkins. He is also survived by two sisters, Caroline T. Garrity (Mrs. Jonathan) and Evelyn W. Tompkins, two brothers, R. Clayton (Karen) Tompkins and Christopher P. (Cade) Tompkins and seven nieces and nephews. He was a Vice President in the Healthcare Services Group of CBRE. Eric was a graduate of Rumson Country Day School, Deerfield Academy, with distinction from University of Virginia and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He was a member of the Racquet Club of Philadelphia. In lieu of flowers, donations to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center would be appreciated.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Emmett D. Marx

Emmett Marx
Tee Johnson emailed me last week with the news that Emmett had passed away in Taos, NM on August 9th. Emmett was one of nine children of Louis Marx, who sold his eponymous toy company to Quaker Oats three years after we graduated. Several of his brothers (Spencer '67, Bradley '70 and Curtis '72) were contemporaries of ours at Deerfield. As was his habit with his sons, Mr. Marx named Emmett Dwight after military figures he knew, in his case Emmett O'Donnell and Dwight D. Eisenhower. It is my understanding that President Eisenhower, with whom Mr. Marx had a long association, was Emmett's godfather.

Emmett entered Deerfield as a freshman, and it appears that he never looked back after he graduated as evidenced by the fact that his name is nowhere to be found in the Deerfield Alumni Directory App. What is known is that Emmett was an early practitioner of "classical five-element" acupuncture in the Bay Area and later in New Mexico. A former colleague of many years paid tribute on his website to Emmett's "quick wit and humor, his great skill, as well as his deep concern, care and compassion for his patients". If you have recollections of Emmett that you would like to share privately with classmates, you can post them on the "In Memoriam" page on our Google site, Albany Road Redux.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Spring Term Report Card - 2015

To the Great Class of 1969

School let out for the underclassmen last Friday, five days following the departure of the now Great Class of 2015.

News of the Academy

As has been true the past few years, the online version of The Scroll unfortunately no longer includes a listing of where the members of the graduating class plan to attend college. Those who are interested in such statistics will simply have to wait. Since my last posting, however, there was an interesting article on Deerfield's Master Plan which includes, most immediately, a renovation of the Boyden Library. The renovation, which will make the Library home to more classrooms, group study rooms and upgraded technology, seems generally consistent with the changing nature of libraries. Work is expected to be completed by the end of 2015.

For reasons that are not readily apparent from a distance, Boys Varsity Lacrosse suffered seven losses this spring which equaled the total for the last seven years during which time the team won 104 games. Not surprisingly, the team's national ranking slipped from 8th to 109th according to LaxPower which tracks the sport. Lacrosse has been the crown jewel in Deerfield's athletic program, and we will need to wait another year to see whether this season will prove to have been an anomaly or the end of an era.

Notwithstanding the less than dominant record of Deerfield's hockey teams in recent years, this will be the second time in recent years that a Deerfield alum will play in the Stanley Cup finals according to our son Nick '09. To my considerable distress, it was the goal by Alex Killorn '08 in game 7 of the Eastern Conference series last Friday that sealed the Rangers' fate.

News of the Class

Since his retirement in 2014 from where he had been a product manager, Tim Truby has been traveling and pursuing his interest in photography. You can see some of his work at his smugmug site. Of more immediate note is the publication of Tim's eBook Photographing the American Southwest which covers some of the best locations and times to take photos in a handful of national parks. Outdoor Photography Magazine is going to feature the book in its August issue. As an important aside, if you shop on Amazon, you can benefit not only Tim but also Deerfield at no additional cost to you by designating Deerfield for all your purchases as your charity of choice in Amazon's Smile Program.

For the past ten years Christopher Beach has been the president and artistic director of the La Jolla Music Society. In May the LJMS announced that Christopher would become artistic director emeritus on October 1 and become a consultant for the next two years focused exclusively on building the organization's new performing arts center. Christopher was instrumental in raising the necessary funds.

Steve Esthimer (or "Dr. E" as he is known to his students) marched at the head of the faculty line as Marshall on May 17th in this year's graduation ceremony. As mentioned in my last post, Steve is retiring this summer after 36 years at Saint Mary's School.

Maybe because I rarely visit Facebook, I receive regular notifications that "a lot has happened" since I last logged on. Whether I should care about this is unclear but, having looked at a few of these notifications, one thought that has occurred to me is that John Lacey and Steve Bisbee probably could do a credible reprise of CNN's Crossfire at our next Reunion if they're still on speaking terms. "Now boys, keep it on a high level" also comes to mind.

Imagine Deerfield, Deerfield's capital campaign, ends on June 30th. As I mentioned in my Winter Term Report Card, gifts and pledges received before then will count towards both the campaign and our 50th Reunion which officially began July 1, 2014. "Finish up strong" and "pay what you can" are two thoughts that come to mind this month.

Best wishes for the summer. Time to fire up the BBQ.