News & Publications
The College Magazine - Fall 2008
James W. Stone, Class of 1955
Jim Stone of Arlington, Va., a retired linguist and active St. John's alumnus, died in a boating accident on the Chesapeake Bay on July 27 when his 16-foot catamaran sailboat capsized in a brisk wind.
Jim earned a doctorate in linguistics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1971. His career as a linguist spanned more than 40 years, nearly 25 of which he spent as a supervising linguist and language training specialist at the U.S. Department of State's Foreign Service Institute in Washington, D.C. There, he oversaw training in various languages including Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Nepali, Amharic, and Persian. After retiring from the State Department, Jim was Director of Translation Services at the Center for Applied Linguistics for 11 years.
Sailing and music were lifelong passions. Jim began sailing at age 15 when he was a Sea Scout, and he later sailed as a member of the St. John's Boat Club. He loved choral music and other vocal music in the classical tradition, and for 30 years he sang as a member of the Cathedral Choral Society in Washington. Classmate Dorothy Olim, who attended some of his choral performances, recalls "seeing the joy on his face as he sang."
Jim traveled extensively for work and pleasure in the U.S. and abroad. He and his wife of 39 years, Crawford "Corky" Feagin Stone, had been planning a trip to Yellowstone National Park to celebrate his 75th birthday, which would have been on August 10.
Jim maintained close ties with classmates and other members of the St. John's community. He enjoyed being part of a Washington area St. John's alumni reading group and, in 2005, served as the class of 1955 reunion leader.
Classmate Jane Gerber Denison remembers Jim as someone who was gracious and "the quintessential gentleman." Others, like Sam Kutler, recall his quiet intellect. Jim is also remembered for his unassuming ways. His great-niece, Allison Dietz (A10), recalls the way he introduced her to St. John's without saying a word—when she was still in elementary school, Jim gave her a St. John's sweatshirt.
Among the St. John's friends who attended Jim's funeral service July 31 were Dorothy Olim (Class of 1955), Jane Gerber Denison (Class of 1955), Emily (Class of 1955) and Sam (Class of 1954) Kutler, Diana Cartier (Class of 1956), Sandy and Joe (Class of 1956) Cohen, Nancy Eagle Lindley (Class of 1958), Mark Lindley (Class of 1967), and Paula DelPlain Binder (Class of 1959).
Marcus Hunt (SF95)
Marcus Hunt, businessman and philanthropist from in El Paso, Texas, died on June 24, 2008, in La Jolla, Calif. A fourth--generation in the Hunt family businesses, he served as the financial manager for investments of Hunt Companies, Inc., and affiliate companies, as well as the Managing Partner for Hunt Holdings, L.P.
He was president of the Hunt Family Foundation, a charitable trust set up to serve nonprofit organizations in the El Paso region. He had recently been named chairman of REDCO, the Regional Economic Development Corporation of El Paso, Las Cruces, and Ciudad Juarez.
Mr. Hunt was actively involved in economic development in the El Paso area, having served as a board member of the El Paso/Juarez World Trade Center and the Camino Real Angels, and as a member of the Paso del Norte Group. He was on the boards of the New Mexico Nature Conservancy, the El Paso County Historical Society, Project Arriba, the Trans-Pecos Regional Center for Innovation and Commercialization, and the Lydia Patterson Institute.
After graduating from St. John's, Mr. Hunt studied law at Golden Gate University in San Francisco. He is survived by his wife, Stacey, and their two daughters, and had been eagerly anticipating the birth of a son in August.
Memorial contributions can be made to Texas Tech School of Medicine-Department for Mental Health Research, 4800 Alberta Avenue, El Paso, Texas 79905; or The Nature Conservancy of New Mexico, 212 E. Marcy St. Suite 200, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501-2049.
Marcel Fremont (SF01)
by Kee Zublin (SF01)
There's a story by Gabriel Garcia Márquez entitled "The Handsomest Drowned Sailor in the World" that I never understood until the morning I read Veronica Fremont's account of her son Marcel's burial.
Marcel David Fremont (SF01) died on June 25, 2008, when his motorcycle collided with a truck in Montana. He was traveling around the country to visit family and friends before he was to begin his doctoral studies in neuroscience at Washington University in St. Louis.
Veronica described how at Marcel's burial the mourners gathered around the grave site to toss in a few mementos: a $2 bill, a sprouting potato. Then, as the attendants began to lower the pine box, one whispered, "It doesn't fit." Attendants and foreman cranked the coffin back to the surface, and friends and family began stripping off pieces. The bereaved removed poles, bolts and blocks as they tried three times to consign Marcel's mortal remains to the earth.
One of those present commented, "He wasn't ready to go." Marcel's father, Rick Fremont, countered that Marcel was a "connoisseur of awkward situations" and that he knew his friends and family "weren't ready to let him go."
Although I was not in that group, as I read Veronica's account I could picture why Marcel's coffin wouldn't fit: He was simply too big for any hole in the ground. Everything about Marcel was too big to go easily into the ground: his shoulders were too broad, his legs too long, his heart and brain too oversized.
And suddenly, I understood Marquez's story: A drowned man washes to the shore of a tiny island village. The man is large, so large that the children who find him at first think he's a ship or a whale. When they lay him in one of the village homes, there is barely enough room on the floor. Even when they merely look at the man, there is "no room for him in their imagination."
The villagers grow to love the man, whom they name Esteban, and so they hold "the most splendid funeral they could conceive of for an abandoned drowned man." And, as they carry him to the sea, they become "aware for the first time of the desolation of their streets, the dryness of their courtyards, the narrowness of their dreams as they face the splendor and beauty of their drowned man."
They did not need to look at one another to realize that they were no longer all present, that they never would be. But they also knew that everything would be different from then on, that their houses would have wider doors, higher ceilings, and stronger floors so that Esteban's memory could go everywhere without bumping into beams...and they were going to break their backs digging for springs among stones and planting flowers on the cliffs...
My friend Marcel's life was too brief. But in 29 years, he knew and loved many people, and it is indeed true that where he has been we look around and realize that we are no longer all present and never will be. It is also true that we can fill the big empty space he left behind with something beautiful.
To make room for Marcel's memory, we can build wider doors and higher ceilings, live less confined lives, think bigger thoughts. And we can honor our friend by emulating his insatiable curiosity and creativity, searching in unlikely places for water to bring forth flowers. Marcel could always see the hidden potential of little things.
He was big that way.
In Marcel's memory, parents Veronica and Rick, and brother Nathan, have established "The Marcel Fremont Fund," administered by the Oak Park, River Forest Community Foundation (www.oprf.org). The fund will make small donations for causes related to education, arts, sciences, recreation, and the environment. For more information, e-mail Veronica at email@example.com, or visit Marcel's memorial website at www.marcelfremont.com/wp.
Anjali Pai's sister Tanya receives Anjali's diploma from President Michael Peters at Commencement last May.
Anjali Pai (SFGI08)
Last spring, the Santa Fe college community lost one of its Graduate Institute alumnae, Anjali Pai, who died March 30 from injuries suffered in a car accident the previous day. Anjali completed the Liberal Arts program in December 2007, and those who knew her remember her bright personality and love for education. Born in Ottawa, Canada, she earned a bachelor's degree at Lake Forest College and a master's from the University of Toronto, where she focused on the study of music. While in Santa Fe, Anjali worked as a tutor for at-risk Santa Fe teens as part of the Advancement Via Individual Determination program, tutored at Santa Fe Community College, taught as a substitute at Santa Fe Prep, and worked as a freelance editor. She described herself as "proudly Canadian, 100% (East) Indian, surrogate Scottish, and over-identified with the underdog."
Anjali wrote a novel at age 13, rode horses, was an accomplished singer and musician (violin and piano), and directed musicals when she was in high school. She had read the complete works of Shakespeare long before enrolling in St. John's, and published more than 150 short stories on her website. She had more than 1,000 friends worldwide with whom she kept in touch.
The Pai Memorial Fund has been established to provide annual funding to a graduate student who plans to become an educator and hopes to make a difference in the lives of children from disadvantaged backgrounds. The fund's first recipient will be a fall 2008 graduate student. To contribute to the Anjali Pai Memorial Fund, please contact Penelope Bielagus at 505-984-6113 or firstname.lastname@example.org.