Published in The Day of New London, Feb. 10, 2007. A campus memorial service was held March 3 at Harkness Chapel.
View tribute by Professor Perry Susskind.
Walter F. Brady Jr., associate professor emeritus of Connecticut College, died Jan. 23, 2007, in Cambridge, Mass., following a courageous battle with brain cancer. He was 73. Born in Larchmont, N.Y., on Oct. 16, 1933, he was the eldest son of Walter and Helen Brady.
Mr. Brady attended Murray Avenue School, St. Augustine's, and Iona Prep. He graduated from Holy Cross in 1955 and then attended Harvard University, where he received a master's degree in mathematics. He went on to earn a doctorate in mathematics from Indiana University, teaching briefly at the University of Connecticut while completing his degree. Mr. Brady served in the U.S. Navy from 1955 to 1958. He held the rank of Lieutenant J.G.
He joined the Connecticut College faculty as an assistant professor of mathematics in 1967 and for the next 34 years was a devoted instructor, making the college his home. He became a professor emeritus in 2001.
Mr. Brady served on many committees during his tenure and even into retirement. Notably, he served as the college parliamentarian and was president of the Connecticut State Conference of AAUP (American Association of University Professors), an organization committed to the principle of shared governance, of which he was a staunch supporter. He often found himself in leadership positions, not because he put himself out front, but because it was natural for him to lead. In 1998 and 1999, Mr. Brady acted as a consultant to the U.S. Census Monitoring Board, called upon for his expertise in statistical analysis.
Along with his partner of 23 years, Gail Shulman, he leaves behind his sisters, Helen Crowley and her husband, Richard, of New Canaan, Margaret Corkery of Larchmont, N.Y., and Virginia O'Brien and her husband, Joseph, of Lincoln, Mass.; his brothers, W. Berte Brady of Larchmont, N.Y., and Edward Brady and his wife, Laurie, of Larchmont, N.Y.; 14 nieces and nephews; and 16 grand nieces and nephews.
Mr. Brady treasured family and rarely missed an important family event. He was a central figure in his family, an admired and respected brother and uncle, and one whom others turned to for wisdom and guidance. He could not be pigeonholed: a traditionalist, who cherished the past and eschewed the trendy, and, at the same time, a free spirit, whose humor ran the gamut from sophisticated wordplay to hilarious comedic riffs.
Mr. Brady never missed a Connecticut College reunion and took great pleasure in catching up with alums and former students. He had a rare capacity to make and keep friends. To his former classmates at Iona Prep and alums at Holy Cross, he was a lifelong friend. In their remembrances, friends recall his keen intellect and wry sense of humor. Indeed, he had an exceptional and unfailing wit that endured even in the face of grave illness.
A dedicated runner, Mr. Brady completed hundreds of races and dozens of marathons, often finishing with the leaders in his age group. Among his most memorable races were the famed London-to-Brighton 54-mile ultramarathon, which he ran in 1980, the 100th Boston Marathon, and the 1986 Cape Cod Marathon, in which he placed 3rd for his age group.
Mr. Brady traveled extensively, rarely turning down the opportunity for a trip. His journeys took him to the far corners of the globe, yet he also took delight in having visited all 50 states. He was an avid sailor and member of the Thames Yacht Club in New London. During summers on Cape Cod, he could often be found at the tiller of his sailboat, ferrying family members or enjoying a solitary sail.
Mr. Brady shared his partner Gail's passion for music and was an able pianist, practicing Bach, Mozart, and Debussy in earnest in his retirement. And in the last months of his life, he found solace at the piano.
He has gone, but we will always feel his spirit and remember his lessons.
Funeral services were held at St. John the Evangelist Church, Cambridge, Mass., on Jan. 26, 2007. Connecticut College Chaplain Father Larry LaPointe was the co-officiant. Burial followed at Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, N.Y.
A memorial service will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 3, 2007, at Connecticut College, New London, at the Harkness Chapel. All are welcome.
Donations in Mr. Brady's memory may be made to the Brain Tumor Society, 174 Watertown St., Suite 3H, Watertown MA 02472.