John Hartwell Stearns Jr. ’56 died on May 15, 2009, in Glastonbury, Connecticut.
He was born on June 4, 1934, in Hartford, Conn., and prepared for college at William Hall High School. After Bowdoin, where he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, he joined the actuarial program at The Travelers Insurance Co. and became an associate of the American Society of Actuaries. He worked at the Canadian home office in Toronto from 1964 to 1966, then returned to Connecticut, where he continued to work for Travelers until his retirement as senior vice president in 1993. He served to private in the Army and staff sergeant in the Army Reserves. He was an avid outdoorsman who skied, backpacked and canoed, and became a proud member of the Appalachian Mountain Club’s “4000 Footer Club” after he climbed all 48 of the highest peaks in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. He served as treasurer of the Glastonbury Exchange Club for 20 years, and president of Glastonbury Little League for 10 years. Later, he served as board chairman of the Easter Seals Greater Hartford Rehabilitation Center and on the finance committee of Community Health Charities of New England. He also served as board chairman of the Catamount Trail Association, and in February 2003, at the age of 69, he skied the 300-mile trail from end-to-end. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Judith Phinney Stearns; two brothers, David Stearns and James Standish; a sister, Janice Standish; three sons, John “Jay” Stearns, Robert Stearns, and James Stearns; and five grandchildren.