Yale '62 - Obituaries - Frederick A. Guilford

Frederick A. Guilford

Born: April 26, 1940
Died: December 24, 2001

Al Guilford was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and prepared for Yale at Westport High School. He was a member of Jonathan Edwards, president of the Gilbert and Sullivan Society, on Spider's Web board (editor 1961-62) and a member of the Jesters. An English Honors major, Al had a four year scholarship.

Following graduation, Al worked as an editor for Oxford University Press in New York and then spent 6 years in California pursuing studies in Philosophy at Berkeley and editing technical reports and journals. In 1971 he returned to New Haven and obtained his Master's Degree in a combined theater and teaching program in 1972.

Subsequently, Al taught in St. Louis public schools and edited a community newspaper in Kansas City. In 1976 he relocated to Colorado where he pursued a variety of endeavors including operating a restaurant, directing a community service non-profit, and working with community newspapers in suburban Denver.

In the early 1990's Al settled in Aztec, New Mexico. At the time of his death, Al was working at Bloomfield, New Mexico, schools, assisting the Music Director. He had recently completed his first novel. He printed out the complete and edited version of Ephraim's Lot on December 20, 2001. The following day he had a heart attack in Phoenix, Arizona, and never regained consciousness. He died three days later on Christmas Eve. Ephraim's Lot was to be the first book of a trilogy, which started from an idea in 1976 for the Colorado Centennial. He wrote a play Tabernash's Shield, about the Utes, and the Meeker Massacre which took place in Northwest Colorado in the mid-1870's. He also wrote poems and short stories. He read extensively and had a copy of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon with him when he died.

Al touched many people in his life. He was president of the Aztec Public Library Advisory Board during much of his life in New Mexico. He was very instrumental in encouraging the City of Aztec to build a new library and worked with the Friends of the Aztec Public Library on many fundraising events including the initial Aztec UFO Symposium in 1998. He was instrumental in forming the Aztec Consortium in 1998, a partnership of the Library with the Aztec Public Schools resulting in the installation of a fiberoptic network loop through the city. It was suggested at his memorial service that the new library the City of Aztec plans to build should be named after Al. Contributions were solicited for Friends of Aztec Public Library as a memorial to him.

In a eulogy Al was described as "a man full of laughter and life emanating from him, a man who had come to terms with himself and declared to the world - like it or not - so be it!"