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Member news

March-April, 2017 Newsletter

View DMA-Newsletter-March-April-2017.pdf PDF File

John Ross Hamilton
passes away

John Ross Hamilton, 92, a resident of Darien, CT passed away February 15, 2017 after a short illness in Bennington, Vermont.

Born October 3, 1924 in Winchendon, MA, John was the youngest child of May Davina Ross Hamilton and The Reverend Rollo Albert Hamilton. An active member of Boy Scout Troop One in Flushing, NY, founded in 1910 by Daniel Beard and the Rev. Hamilton, John earned the rank of Eagle Scout and attended college with the support of an Eagle Scout Scholarship. His enthusiasm for scouting never abated and in later life he was both a Cub and Boy Scout Troop leader in Darien, CT.

He earned his BS in Physics in 1946 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Princeton University and graduated as an Ensign from Columbia Midshipman’s School serving in Guam during World War II. After the war, he completed his MBA at Harvard University.

John pursued a career in corporate finance, joining Procter and Gamble in 1949. He subsequently worked for Colgate Palmolive, Lever Brothers, The Bulova Watch Company, Crowell & Collier MacMillan and US Industries.

Leaving the corporate world in 1974, John pursued a PhD in Accounting at Boston University while teaching accounting and business finance at the collegiate level. He began his academic career at the University of Hartford, later joining the faculty at Western Connecticut State University, and retiring as an Associate Professor of Accounting from Fordham University in 1988.

His community interests included serving as a member of the Board of Finance for the town of Darien, Connecticut and a member of the Board of Directors of the Darien Nature Center in the 1980s.

He is survived by his companion, Harriette C. Thorne of Darien; his children, Heather C. Hamilton, and husband, Edd G. Lyon, MD, of Bennington, VT; John Ross Hamilton, Jr. and wife, Cynthia J. Babler, of Chicago, IL; Robert A. Hamilton and wife, Jackie Chu, of New Haven, CT; Hilary B. Hamilton and husband, D. Maurice Kreis of Hartland, VT; his granddaughters Anyata May and Isabel Helen Hamilton, 5 nieces and nephews, 13 great nieces and nephews and 14 great great nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his first wife, Roberta L. Hamilton, his second wife Barbara T. Hamilton, and his siblings, Dr. Donald Ross Hamilton, Elizabeth Hamilton Firehock, and Gordon Ross Hamilton.

A memorial service will be announced at a later time.

John had a great love of nature and the outdoors. Gifts in his memory may be sent to either;
The Darien Nature Center, 120 Brookside Road, Darien, CT 06820 or Bearsville‐Fairview Cemetery, Inc., C/O Joe Thomas, 188 Cabin Run Rd., Middlebourne, WV 26149

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Hanson Walbridge & Shea Funeral Home in Bennington, VT. To send personal condolences, visit
— by the Family

Paul Steven Larson
passes away

Celebration of Paul’s life, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Saturday, January 28, 2:30 p.m.

Paul Steven Larson of Norwalk and former longtime Darien resident, died on January 24, 2017 at home, surrounded by his devoted family, after a courageous cancer battle. Paul took on his disease as he took on everything in life, with tenacity and grace.

Paul was born May 22, 1943 in Bristol, CT to Arnold Lee Larson and Lou Manchester Larson. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 1965 where he captained the track and cross country team and was a member of Kappa Nu Kappa fraternity. He obtained his M.B.A. from the University of Rochester in 1967. He proudly served his country in the United States Naval Reserve as a supply officer aboard the U.S.S. Caloosahatchee, and retired as a Lieutenant Commander.

Paul began his career as a securities analyst at Chase Investors Corp., was then an assistant vice president at the General Electric Pension Fund, and finally an equity analyst/portfolio manager with General Reinsurance.

Paul will be remembered for his compassion for others, his kindness, his spirit, and his generosity. His unconditional love for his family was always his first priority. He was quick-witted and always had a joke at-the-ready. He believed laughter was the remedy for all. He truly loved his country, Christmas, and the 4th of July, as well as boating and beach vacations in Maine. He also was a diehard Red Sox fan. He was a friend of Bill’s for 15 years, which brought him serenity and peace.

Paul firmly believed in giving back to one’s community. He served as a Darien youth sports coach, Holmes School PTA co-chair, and Darien Boat Club officer. Paul served on the Darien RTM and the Board of Education. He was a member of Darien Kiwanis Club, Darien Men’s Association, the Country Club of Darien, and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. After moving to Norwalk in 2004, Paul became an officer with the Norwalk Association of Silvermine Homeowners, a volunteer at the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, and a member of the Norwalk Community Chorale.

He is survived by his wife and best friend, Molly Schumann Larson whom he married July 20, 1968; his daughters Katherine Larson Farnham (Barrett) of Chester Springs, PA, and Anne Larson Brakeman (Robert) of Monroe, CT; his son, Steven Hamilton Larson (Jessica) of San Francisco, CA; his brother, Lee Larson (Kathy) of Lyme, NH; two sisters, Sally Carignan and Mary Larson of Brunswick, ME, and several nieces and nephews. Four grandchildren also survive him: William and Elizabeth Brakeman and Helen and Marshall Farnham. His beloved standard poodles, Phineas and Atticus, also survive him.

Calling hours are from 4-7pm on Friday, January 27, 2017 at Edward Lawrence Funeral Home, 2119 Post Road Darien. A Celebration of Paul’s life will be held at 2:30pm on Saturday, January 28, 2017 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 1864 Post Road, Darien.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions in Paul’s memory to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Rare Cancer Research, 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065,, or the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, 1111 Stewart Ave., Bethpage, NY 11714,

January-February 2017 Newsletter

View January-February 2017 DMA Newsletter PDF File.

President’s 2016 Year-end Message

It has been a great beginning to the 2016-2017 season of the DMA. Our focus this year is on increasing member participation in our activities, and you, our members, have answered the call. We have inaugurated a new activity, pickleball, which has enjoyed an enthusiastic reception. Our last hike had 18 people in attendance—a record—and an earlier hike had 14 participants, exceeded only by our initial hike in 2013. Our November trip to the Yale Center for British Art sold out bus capacity two weeks in advance. Undaunted, four persons drove to New Haven on their own to join the group.

The Book Club has grown and now is our most popular activity. Two members have stepped forward and are planning to introduce a new activity, about which you will hear later. Our hope was that greater member activity would lead to growth in membership, and this has been the case. You have brought a large number of guests to our meetings, and 19 have elected to join the ranks of new members in the first four months of this season. This compares with 26 in all of 2015-2016. In addition, existing members have renewed their membership earlier and in greater numbers than last year.

Attendance at our weekly meetings is up, as the Program Speaker Committee continues to attract excellent speakers. The directors and officers of the DMA wish to express their appreciation for all you do to make our club more successful. We hope you had a happy and safe holiday season, and we wish you a healthy and successful new year.

Scott Hutchason, president

Officers & Directors
2016 — 2017

2016-17 Officers and Directors

2016-17 Officers and Directors


President Scott Hutchason
First Vice President Thomas Lom Program Committee
Second Vice President John Wolcott Program Committee
Secretary James Tulacro
Asst. Secretary Sunil Saksena
Treasurer Roy Marcantonio
Asst. Treasurer Bert von Stuelpnagel

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Robert Crane
passes away

Obituary: Robert Birney Crane, Darien High Class of ‘36, life-time competitive sailor
By Darien Times on December 6, 2016

Robert Birney Crane of Darien, CT crossed the bar on Wednesday November 30th, 2016. Born to Albert Eli Crane and Florence Luray Overton Crane on February the 8th 1920 in Plainfield, N.J. , Bob thoroughly enjoyed life for over 96 years. He moved to Darien with his family at the age of 8. Bob attended Miss. Thomas’s School and Saint Luke’s Academy before graduating from the Darien High School in 1936. Following his graduation Bob attended Middlebury College and New York University graduating with a BS Degree in Engineering in 1942.

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November-December 2016 Newsletter

View  November-December 2016 DMA Newsletter  PDF file.

An appreciation
of the United States
by DMA member Sunil Saksena

I recently celebrated a personal milestone which I feel compelled to share … September 23, 2016 marked the 50th anniversary of my arrival in the United States. It was cause not only for celebration but also for reflection and thanks.

Fifty years ago, in September 1966, a young man from India boarded a Pan Am flight from New Delhi, India bound for San Francisco, Cal. I was coming to the University of California at Berkeley to pursue a graduate degree in engineering. My plan was to obtain the degree, work for two or three years and then head back home. Little did I know…

Within weeks of my arrival in Berkeley, I had inhaled the fresh air of freedom and, this being Berkeley in the sixties, it wasn’t just freedom, it was freedom plus. At that time India wasn’t the rollicking democracy it is today. It was run on socialist lines where the government controlled all major sectors of the economy, and personal freedoms, while enshrined in the country’s constitution, were, in practice, hugely circumscribed. So for me to taste this freedom in Berkeley, was a heady experience: it was intoxicating, it was liberating and it became addictive. It felt like a new birth, in fact, “a new birth of freedom,” to quote that immortal phrase from Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Once having tasted this freedom, it was hard to untaste it; once the mind has been unshackled, it is hard to allow it to be shackled again. I decided to abandon my plan to return to India and to make America my new home.

Now, 50 years later, the fact that I am a resident of the prosperous town of Darien is not so much a testament to anything special that I accomplished. Rather, it is a testament to this country that it can take a young man of perhaps modest ability and intelligence, and mold and motivate him to be the best that he can be. This is the true genius of America and that’s what makes this country great.

As I reflected, I realized that I, an immigrant, have lived in this country longer than three-quarters of native born Americans living today, because they are less than 50 years old. Just think about that. It is truly astonishing and could happen in no other country. And that, too, is what makes America great.

And so I say to America: Thank you for a great 50 years!

Sunil Saksena

Jim Rusiackas
Passes Away

Jim RusiackasSo many things would bring a warm smile to Jim’s face — particularly his family and friends; and, that smile would grow even larger when a big slice of apple pie with ice cream or a pizza from Post Corner was part of celebrating life with those whom he loved.

Jim’s passion for life permeated everything he undertook: the many successes he had across a full and productive career at IBM; his service to our Country as a Naval Officer; the impact his role as Elder had on the community he was part of at Noroton Presbyterian Church; the joy he experienced being with friends at the Tokeneke Club playing tennis or enjoying a good meal; his volunteer work at Habitat for Humanity; and, the tranquility that sailing brought to him on the open waters. Jim was an avid opera enthusiast, tennis player, student of photography, an avid reader, especially in the areas of the Civil War and international relations, history, contemporary world issues, scripture and religion; and an enthusiastic fan and follower of tennis, football and NCAA woman’s basketball. As an aftermath of being a varsity lacrosse player at the University of Massachusetts, Jim was a lifelong follower of NCAA lacrosse.
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Jim Manning
Passes Away

Jim ManningJames Forrest Manning III, a retired executive of the IBM Corporation and resident of South Norwalk, CT, died Saturday, July 23rd after a happy, generous, and dynamic life. He was 86 years old.

Born in Washington D.C., and raised in Harrison, New York, Jim was the son of Marguerite Wise Manning, the daughter of dairy farmers, and James F. Manning, Jr., whose family’s stone company supplied the Colorado marble for the Lincoln Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknowns in Washington. A graduate of Deerfield Academy and Williams College, Jim served three years in the US Air Force, following the example of his father, a WWI fighter pilot who earned the Distinguished Service Cross after shooting down seven German fighter planes over Doulçon, France.
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Ed Clarke
Passes Away

Ed ClarkeEdward (Ed) Perry Clarke of Darien, CT, died peacefully of natural causes June 1, 2016, at Atria Senior Living in Darien, where he had lived since 2003. He was 94.

Mr. Clarke was born in Mount Vernon, New York, on May 7, 1922, the son of the late Gilmore David Clarke and Emma Vought Clarke. His father was a landscape architect, who was instrumental in planning many of the parkways in the New York area and who served as chair of the National Commission of Fine Arts from 1937-1950. He grew up in New Rochelle and Pelham, NY, and graduated from Pelham Memorial High School in 1939.
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