Carl S. Forsythe III

Carl S. Forsythe III

Died July 12, 2009

Carl Forsythe, known to his friends as Mouse, started out in the Class of ’64, took a year off and graduated in 1965. He then earned an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School and a law degree from Columbia Law School.

In 1968 he married Charlotte Miller (Briarcliffe ’64) and, by 1970, was the lead partner in the Park Avenue law firm of Forsythe, McGovern, Parson & Nash. Over the years, the names on the masthead would change but Carl remained the lead partner.

He was a lifelong resident of Greenwich, CT, where he served as a member of the board of the Historical Society of the Town of Greenwich, chairing several of its committees. As chairman of the Host Committee for the Society’s 75th anniversary, Carl helped raise more than $1.6 million to expand the Society’s museum and education programs. He also served on the boards of the Bruce Museum of Arts and Sciences and the Yale Alumni Association. Carl was also a trustee of a number of New York charitable organizations, including The Sarah deCoizart Charitable Trust and the Versailles Foundation, and frequently attended charitable events in the city.

Carl was also a nationally ranked tennis player who won the championships at Greenwich Country Club and the Belle Haven Club more times than any other man. He was elected to the board of directors of the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2004. Carl died on July 12, 2009 after a brief illness brought on by a brain tumor. He is survived by his wife, Sabrina, daughters Lindsay and Robin, step-daughters Courtney and Nicole and grandsons Silas and Elias. Shortly after his death, the New York Social Diary ran an appreciation of his life which said, in part, “Carl was one of those individuals graced with enjoying a lot of things in his life.”

Robert Dunlop remembers: I was 12 years old and I had reached the final of the 13 and under Greenwich Town Championships. On the other side of the net was a 13 year old who I did not know, but whose tennis was the talk of the town. I can’t remember the score, but I did not make much of a dent. This started a rivalry and a friendship which lasted over 50 years. In our teenage and college years we played many, many times on the courts of Belle Haven and the Greenwich Country Club. It was only during a brief period in college that I pulled ahead of Mouse. After college, he always seemed to be ahead of me and in our annual matches he almost always was the victor.

But it was off the tennis courts that I remember particularly. From the deb parties that we crashed to the “blow-outs” on Martha’s Vineyard in the summer of ’63 to the parties at Fence Club and Zete, and in Branford and Pierson, to the road trips to Bennett and Briarcliff, we had quite a time at Yale. Was there ever an event we could not get into?

But it was not just fun. Mouse had a serious side that he worked very hard to conceal. He would lead you to believe that he never cracked a book. But at the end of each term, there was no one working harder than Mouse. He had an ability to concentrate that was beyond belief. He would lock himself in a library at Yale and do the work of a semester in a week. I learned from that although I was never quite so bold in letting the work pile up. And the results showed, he did very well academically at Yale and ended up at Columbia Law and Business.

After Yale it was 6 year stints in the Coast Guard and Army Reserve – how does anyone get into the Coast Guard Reserve? That was pure Mouse! My summer camp was on some dusty base in west Texas and he was boating around Long Island Sound.
Then it was marriage and kids. Mouse off to a career in law and me in international finance.

And when my marriage did not work out, I spent a couple of wonderful summers in Greenwich and Mouse and his family were a big support.

Over the years we kept in touch and saw each other frequently at national senior tennis tournaments. But we never faced each other competitively until the National Public Parks in Stamford, and who should win, and no less on a fast hard court.

Although he was only 18 months older, Mouse was always a bit like my older brother that I was trying to catch up to. He was truly blessed with a keen mind, exceptional coordination, and a charm and charisma that attracted many friends. I am missing you, dear friend. I had never thought there was a ball you could not return.