Wheatley Alumni Monthly Newsletter

Number 3:  August 20, 2016

Dear Wildcats and Wildcat Supporters,

Welcome to the Third Wheatley School Alumni Association Monthly (more or less) Newsletter, featuring a word from Walter Wathey, Wheatley’s revered Principal for most of the 1960s and 1970s; an update on The Wheatley School 60th Anniversary Celebration (hint, hint); and some sad news about alumni and related passings.

A Word From Walter Wathey, Wheatley Principal from the Early 1960s to the Late 1970s

“I'm proud and happy to let you know that I have a published author in my family. My youngest son, Drew, just penned his first novel, ‘A Season With Hope,’ and it’s available on www.amazon.com (see the link below) and other sites. A portion of the book's proceeds will be donated to the fight against cancer. My daughter-in-law, Drew's wife Dede, passed away from pancreatic cancer in December, 2010.” A Season With Hope

The 60th Anniversary Celebration Is Near

“The End” may not be near (current politics aside), but the 60th is; it’s less than two months away. More people are registering daily. The complete list (over 400 folks, soon to be updated) and all relevant information are easily accessible at www.wheatleyalumni.org One 1964 graduate and his girlfriend are flying in from Germany for this special event! I’ll bet you’re closer than that. So please, either register, or RSVP (reply to me)……now!

Note that in addition to The Main Event, on Saturday, 10/15, at Wheatley, 3:00 PM (doors open at 1:00), the Classes of 1961, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1971, 1972, and 1975 are having their own events that weekend. Detailed Event Calendar.


Class of 1960 – Philip Gaynor, died on October 26, 2015. He graduated from Rutgers College and Brooklyn Law School and spent many years as an Assistant District Attorney and many more years as a criminal defense lawyer. He leaves behind his brother, Richard, Wheatley 1964 (currently MIA), his wife Helene, and his sons Ben and Josh. Classmate Paul Hennessy writes as follows: Phil's life path crossed mine in high school at Wheatley, college at Rutgers, and army service as lieutenants in Germany. His sudden passing is a shock to me and all who knew him as smart, honest, fun-loving, a great compadre and loyal amigo. His spirit will live forever in our memories. [Editor’s note – Phil and I occasionally ran into each other outside of The Tombs, Manhattan’s iconic criminal courthouse. Approximately two years ago, representing a defendant in a criminal case, he appeared in front of me as I was doing a “weekend arraignment” stint. Of course, we disclosed the relationship to the district attorney, who made no issue of it. Phil seemed “healthy as a horse” at the time, so his passing a few months or so later took me completely by surprise.]

Class of 1967 - Beth Jacoby Deitch, died on May 3, 2016. She leaves behind her husband Ronald Deitch; her mother Doris; her son Jonathan; her sister Amy (and her husband Armond) Budish (Wheatley 1970); and her brother Jeremy (and his wife Sheri) ArbitalJacoby (Wheatley 1974). Her father, Harold Jacoby, predeceased her. Contributions can be made to the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, www.jrc-evanston.org and/or The University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation, 5841 S. Maryland Ave., MC1140, Chicago, IL 60637. [Editor’s note - Beth had a sunny disposition and bubbly personality, as befit a Wildcat Cheerleader. She was active in the Alumni Association, and she spoke about her writing and acting, at a Career Panel at Wheatley’s 50th.. For many years, until her health intervened, she was the Association’s 1967 Class Correspondent. I miss her personally.]

Class of 1991 – Joseph E. Butler died on March 12, 2014. At age 40. Leaves behind parents Edward and Eleanor, brother Christopher (Wheatley 1986), sister-in-law Christine. He attended C.W. Post College and worked for Robb Peck McCooey and LaBranche, on the N.Y.S.E. floor for 15 years. Donations can be made to St. Hugh Project HOPE, 21 East 9th Street, Huntington Station, NY 11746.

Class of 1991 – Joseph V. Latham died on February 25, 2012. Joseph is survived by his wife Mary, son Manus, father David Latham, mother Arleen Whyte, brother Daniel (Wheatley 1993), sister Christine (Wheatley 1998), and grandparents George R. Latham Jr and Kathleen L. Latham. Lived in Millbrook, NY.

Parent - Sydell Newman, mother of Barbara Newman, Class of 1958 (Wheatley’s first!), passed away on May 10th, 2016, at the age of one hundred. Barbara writes: “My classmates may remember her and might be interested in this sad news.” [Editor’s Note – Barbara is one of four known Wheatley Wildcat judges in New York City, the others being Neil Firetog, 1965; myself; and Alex Tisch, 1989.]


Alison Bernstein - The source for the statement that Alison Rickie Bernstein, Class of 1965, and the subject of a recent obituary in these pages, was a niece of the famous composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein, has recanted. If you knew Alison you know that she did not need nepotism (or a famous name) to accomplish all the amazing things she did.

Janie Brannin - Janie did a lot with horses (and gardens), but she did not breed them. I felt confident that I read that somewhere, but as I cannot locate the source, I will have to blame myself. An on-line obituary [lightly edited] follows:

Janie A. (Brannin) Jennings died in her Longmont home on July 7, 2016. She was 65. Janie was born May 4, 1951, in East Williston, New York to her parents, Henrietta (Bobbie) and Richard S. Brannin. She graduated from The Wheatley School and, later, the University of Colorado, with a degree in Psychology. Janie married Rick Jennings in 2002. She spent 16 years working for Micro Motion and retired in 2015. She had an incredible sense of humor, and was able to keep her health care providers laughing while hospitalized during her final four months. Janie was a Colorado Master Gardener and spent many hours beautifying the gardens at her home. She was passionate about plants, designing gardens, and working to make her portion of the world more beautiful. She always was willing and happy to share her knowledge with others. Janie spent many Saturdays at local farmers' markets advising customers and selling herbs and plants for Blue Ribbon Farms.

Janie was an avid horseperson who for many years was very active in the Boulder Hunter Jumper Club, serving a term as president in the 1970s. She also judged and helped promote many local equestrian events during that time. She loved dogs, and since moving to Colorado, always had an Australian Shepard as a companion. Janie is survived by her husband Rick Jennings; her sister M-A Salisbury of Sarasota, FL; her brother and his wife Stan and Ellen Brannin of Rochester, NY, and their son Ed, his wife Jennifer, and their daughter Bridget, all of Rochester. Her parents predeceased her. Janie requested cremation and that there be no formal funeral; however, a celebration of her life will be held at a future date and place to be determined. Janie asked that any donations in her name be made to the Longmont Humane Society and can be sent to Ahlberg Funeral Chapel. Share condolences at www.ahlbergfuneralchapel.com

Concluding Remarks

The popular “Alumni Spotlight” feature will reappear next issue (although finding a subject to rival Michael Lorenzo, 1969, for inherent interest will be tough).

Submissions, suggestions, and corrections welcome.