In a recent PAW, the Class of 1941 chronicler announced the death of its last surviving member. Thus closes the book of this wonderful class of 505 graduates. My dearly departed father, Dr. Louis A. Pyle, Jr. ’41 (1920-2002), was one of them. 

My first visit to Princeton was in 1963 at 11 years old, with Dad at his 22nd reunion. Fond of mind, the next fall I sheathed all my sixth-grade schoolbooks with shiny “Princeton” book covers. And I’ll never forget Dad’s 25th in 1966 at Holder. The members of ’41 traded up from their orange baseball-suit reunion costumes to smart blue blazers, white pants, and boaters. (But not the irrepressible Thacher Longstreth, class president of epic personality and lanky Lincolnesque frame, who still wore his baseball suit.) 

 Dad outfitted me in a black Princeton T-shirt with orange neck tab which for a long time I never took off. A live band called Randy Hobler (’68) and the Nightwatch played all the current AM radio favorites, which the old timers seemed to enjoy. And the P-rade! Our marching throng shunted through 1879 Arch and spilled onto Prospect Street crowded with clapping townfolk cheering us all the way to Roper Lane, where we turned to the baseball field to watch Princeton beat Yale.

By 1971, I found my own way to Princeton — as again did my father, when he came to be a physician at McCosh Infirmary. I frequently passed by his McCosh office enroute to Terrace and spent many nights together at home when school was out. What a joy it was to hear his tales of classmates Malcolm Forbes, Bob Livesey, Win Short, Russ Train, Lyn Tipson, John Dorrance, Jim Green, Sterling Hutchinson, and the rest, even the later notorious Dr. Harvey Lothringer.

Graduating in 1976, like Dad before me I embarked on my own Princeton March of Time. There were many good times at his 1941 tent. Dad was always so fond of his distinguished classmates, as I was to share his Princetonian bliss. In later years, my P-rade always began with them at FitzRandolph Gate. I’d march with these Greatest Generation giants until arriving at my own class’s staging place, 35 classes down the line. Even after Dad died in 2002, I always checked in with his surviving pals, now hunched, humbled, and hewn by Father Time, yet still proud and convivial. To this day I still wear their unique class pin on my own class jacket. 

And now they are all gone. Truly I am a Princeton orphan now, enriched by such fond memories yet fitful about this lamentable milestone, a foreboding of my own shortening temporality. God bless us all, especially the great Princeton Class of 1941.

Thomas H. Pyle ’76
Princeton, N.J.