D. Gordon Halstead ’35

HalsteadD. Gordon Halstead, of North Branford and formerly of Guilford Connecticut, died Sunday, April 12 at the age of 96 at Yale New Haven Hospital.

He was the devoted husband of Virginia Carpenter Halstead. Ginnie and Gordon were married for over 68 years. Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts on August 30, 1918 to Vera and Paul Halstead, Gordon grew up in New Canaan, Connecticut. He attended Williston Academy and then graduated from Phillips Exeter in 1936. Gordon was a member of the class of 1940 at Harvard College, where he captained the varsity lacrosse team and was a member of the varsity soccer team. He also was a member of the Pi Eta Club, and starred in many of their theatrical and musical productions.

Right after he began work in New York, he was drafted into the infantry in August, 1941 and in 1942 entered officer training and was assigned to the newly formed 91st Army Division. He then transferred to the Army Air Corps for pilot training. In 1944 he first trained on a Stearman bi-plane in California, then basic pilot training with the BT-13 which was a single engine 2 person plane. He graduated as a pilot in August, 1944, and was airborne flying a C-46 over the Pacific to participate in the invasion of Japan when the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Gordon was stationed in Occupied Japan until his discharge in 1946, earning the rank of captain.

Gordon spent his career in sales in the textile industry and then as a business owner in the food service industry, living in Stamford, Connecticut for nearly 40 years.

After retiring, Gordon and Ginnie moved to Guilford, where they spent over 25 very happy years. Traveling all over Europe and the U.S gave them great delight, and many trips to England, Wales, and Scotland through the National Trust were of special significance to them. Gordon played tennis into his 90’s, was a keen birdwatcher, and was an avid member of the Keyarts Klamberers, a local men’s hiking group where he made so many close friends.

In 2008, the Halstead’s moved to Evergreen Woods in North Branford and Gordon became active in many activities, from forming singing groups, organizing weekly Wii games, volunteering in the country store and serving on the resident council. He recently took up bridge again after a gap of 75 years, and was known to play a game or two of poker every week. Gordon also continued to play croquet weekly on the Guilford Green from spring through fall with a particularly dedicated group of friends. When he could no longer read the New York Times crossword puzzle, he took up sudoku and kenken. The annual talent show at Evergreen Woods was a highlight for him, as he took such pleasure in singing, never losing his remarkable tenor voice.

In addition to his wife, Ginnie, Gordon is survived by their children, Peter Gordon Halstead of Chatsworth, California and Janet Halstead Franklin of Concord, Massachusetts. Also surviving him are his son-in-law, Churchill G. Franklin, and grandson Churchill H. Franklin and his wife Hannah and their children Eliza, Lee, Pippa and new twins Jeb and Mae, and granddaughters Katherine D. Franklin and Lindsey W. Franklin. His family was the source of his greatest joys.

One thought on “D. Gordon Halstead ’35”

  1. How tragic to loose Debbie in a car crash. I remember her fondly for NSFG, A good friend and fun to be with, I send you all my deepest sympathies. May Bigelow

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