Yale University

In Memoriam

Roy Bernt

Roy Bernt
Yale Class Book photo

A Yale Daily News article on Sep. 19, 1962, states:

"Roy B. Bernt, 1964, was killed August 25 in an automobile accident in Missouri. Bernt was a member of the Russian Club. He lived in Upper Montclair, N.J. and was a member of Timothy Dwight. He graduated from College High School."

Below is a contemporaneous newspaper article, followed by a later remembrance written by Steve Bingham '64.

Crash in County Takes Two Lives

Springfield (Missouri) Leader-Press
August 22, 1962

A grinding crash snuffed out two more lives yesterday in Greene County as the traffic death toll rose to 22 for the year — nine more than at this time last year.

Dead as a result of the auto-truck crash are Roy Bernt, 20, Upper Montclair, NJ, and Viola Reed, 58, Beverly Hills, CA.

Troopers said Miss Reed was at the wheel of a 1962 Pontiac station wagon traveling west on U.S. 166 about 6½ miles west of Republic when the vehicle swerved over the center line of the highway about 2:50 p.m.

A 1961 Mack tractor-trailer unit, driven by Lewis Dean Lyons, 33, Waverly, IL, roared into the Pontiac, stopping its forward velocity and causing the rear end to skid around. The vehicle slammed into the side of the truck and was torn in half. Both Bernt and Miss Reed were hurled from the car.

Miss Reed was a maid employed by Mrs. Katherine Clark, who with her son, Warner B. Clark, 20, was in the process of moving from Manhasset, NY, to Beverly Hills. The Clarks were in a car traveling ahead of the station wagon.

Bernt, a close friend of young Clark, was a student at Yale University and was planning to visit the Clarks at their new home.

The driver of the truck, Lyons, escaped injury in the crash.

Remembrance by Steve Bingham '64

May 21, 2016

Roy was my roommate freshman year. Remembering after so many decades is hard but what I remember most about Roy was his gentleness and friendliness.  He was a Christian Scientist, and I recall some of the best philosophical discussions I had at Yale were with Roy about Christian Science. I remember attending a holiday party in Montclair our freshman year and then dating one of his classmates for a short while.

I came back from a National Student Association convention in Indiana to attend his funeral. It was the saddest moment of my life up til then. I didn’t feel such pain again until losing my daughter Sylvia in 2009.

Roy had a wonderful family, Norwegian in origin I believe. I later advised his brother who was in the Army about conscientious-objector status and he stayed at my place in Berkeley CA for a while when he was AWOL. His CO status was eventually approved.  Sadly, he died a number of years ago.