Among Friends

In Memorium



Book lover and venerated Choate English master, Harold L. Tinker died this past September at his home in West Tisbury, Massachusetts.

Mr.Tinker, 99, was a member of the Brown University class of 1921. While at Brown he was elected president of the senior class and president of his fraternity, Kappa Sigma. He was also elected Phi Beta Kappa.

For 39 years Mr. Tinker taught at Choate School in Connecticut where he taught students to "dispute the text". His most famous student was an indifferent young man from Boston named John F. Kennedy. Their relationship continued through Kennedy's years in Congress when the Senator would return occasionally to Choate to visit. Kennedy invited Tinker to his wedding and became concerned when his old teacher did not attend. Mr. Tinker had been in England researching Thomas Hardy and had neither received the invitation nor heard about the wedding. He would later say, "I was probably the only person in the English-speaking world who did not know he was getting married."

During his years at Brown Mr. Tinker developed a passion for books and book collecting. He haunted the antique and book shops of New England picking up first editions of 19th and 20th century American authors at 25 cents each. The collection grew into one of the nation's finest private collections.

An Honorary Director of the Friends of the Library, Mr. Tinker donated 3000 volumes from his collection to the John Hay Library - a gift described as the single most important gift of 19th and 20th century English literature ever received by Brown University in its field.

The Library was saddened by the loss of some friends who have been very generous to the Library. Selma Pilavin-Robinson who passed away last spring. Ms. Pilavin-Robinson was very generous in her gifts to the library, making significant contributions towards the purchase of books in Judaic Studies. The Albert & Selma Pilavin Fund has been established in her memory.

Walter G. Barney and Norton Hirsch also had endowments in their family names. The Barney Family Bookfund had been established in 1981. Norton and Doris Hirsch established the Hirsch Family Bookfund on the occasion of their 40th wedding anniversary.

Other Friends who died recently -


Jack Bernstein
Thomas Cashill
Morgan Cutts
Paul Dereniuk
Dorothy Spofford Kretzmann
Philip Osberg
Edwin Soforenko

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