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Yale 62

James Henry Brewster IV

Born: March 12, 1939
Died: October 26, 2018

James Henry Brewster IV (“Brew”) was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was a third-generation Yale graduate, the son of James Henry Brewster III (Yale 1936) and grandson of James H. Brewster (Yale 1904). Jim prepared for Yale at Hotchkiss School.

At Yale, Jim was an English major and was a member of Silliman, Fence Club, and Skull and Bones. He played on the Freshman football team and continued on to become a 3-year letter winner (major “Y”) on the Varsity. He played left guard on the great undefeated 1960 football team.

Jim served in the U.S. Army prior to entering Yale and was recalled to service again during the Berlin Crisis in his senior year at Yale.

Paul Bursiek, football captain our senior year, upon learning the news of his death, wrote: “I admired Jim’s sense of humor, openness and overall calmness. He was always a pleasure to be with — in short, a good friend. I remember his calm while riding on the back of his motorcycle in the rain on Merritt Parkway as well as his steady reaction to the military call-up when the Berlin Wall was being built. The last time I saw him was at a football reunion in California. As always, it was good to be with him.”

Bill Leckonby conveyed his best wishes to the family: “Very sorry to hear. Brew was a really good guy and teammate, and one tough football player.”

After graduating from Yale, Jim worked for PanAm and then moved to Nassau, where he was employed by a small Bahamanian air service. Eventually he and his family moved to Key Biscayne, Florida, where he started a business called The Formsman, which provided printing and marketing materials for clients in the southeast. Jim lived with his wife Susan in Key Biscayne for 51 years. He was very active in the Key Biscayne community. He helped organize and publicize events, including the annual Key Biscayne Lighthouse 10k/5k Run. He competed in a New York Marathon.

Jim died on October 26, 2018, in Key Biscayne, Florida. Jim was survived by Susan, his son Jaime, his daughter Jocelyn and his three granddaughters, Kateland, Corrine and Gwyneth, and his brother Bill, Yale Class of 1967.

His Yale roommate Roger Squire observed that, “Jim was a big red-headed football player. Impatient at times, he could appear intimidating – like having a Viking as a roommate. But he had a wonderful sense of humor and a fabulous ability to puncture pomposity wherever he saw it. He had a passion for social justice.”

Roger added this poignant memory: “For a number of years, my wife and I visited the Brewsters annually, briefly escaping northern winter. It was incredibly sad to witness Jim’s deterioration, as Alzheimer’s Disease robbed him of his mind and spirit. Those of us who have dodged the Alzheimer’s bullet should count our blessings.”

Roommate Roger Squire and teammate Paul Bursiek supplied recollections of Jim’s life. His younger brother Bill also contributed information for this essay.

— Robert G. Oliver