Cornelius John Dwyer, Jr.

Cornelius John Dwyer, Jr.

Died May 7, 2005

Casey came to Yale from the Phillips Academy and the College Notre Dame de Jambour in Beirut. He majored in political science and spent his junior year at the Institute d’Etudes Politique at the University of Paris. After graduation he received his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1968.

Living in Manhattan and Germantown, a small village in the Hudson River Valley, Casey became associated with the international law firm of Shearman & Sterling and was elevated to partner in 1976. Casey had more than his share of complex international business transactions at Shearman & Sterling and counted running the firm’s office in Algiers as one of the more interesting.

He retired from the practice of law in 2003, turning to work as a volunteer in the New York City public schools.

In the Class Directory for our 40th reunion in 2005, Casey observed, “I have been lucky enough to have run a pretty good race, reasonably honorably as the world measures such things, and I am looking forward to being useful for a few more years yet.” That was not to be – Casey died while tending his garden in Germantown on May 7, 2005.

Cornelius John Dwyer, Jr. is survived by his wife, June Sonnenkalb Dwyer, now Professor Emerita of English at Manhattan College, and sons Quetzal and Colin. Quetzal runs Parque Reptilandia, a reptile zoo and breeding facility in Dominical, Costa Rica, and Colin is the Shelter Veterinarian at the ASPCA in NYC.

David Roscoe remembers: Everyone in our group at Berkeley knew Casey was the guy you never wanted to debate, because he was so damn smart, and he had a knack for getting the other guy twisted up in his own thoughts. He seemed to get an especially big kick out of sparring with Dick Hoyt, defending his liberal views to Dick with a degree of extremism, and with a twinkle in his eye and a wry smile, that endeared him to Dick while driving him crazy.
One Spring break, a group of us stopped at Casey’s house in DC on our way south. His mother entertained us with a lunch at the Dwyer dining room table, and I have a vivid recollection of the vigorous debate that she orchestrated, leaving no doubt where Casey got his debating talents. And of course once Casey met June, we all knew she was “the one”; June had both the brains and the moxie to stand up to Casey, and, boy, did he love that.

John Iskrant remembers: I didn’t know Casey in college, but he and I were brothers-in-law (our wives are sisters). His wide-ranging knowledge was always startling, and he was a terrifically interesting and enjoyable person to be with.

RIP Robert Leich remembers: Casey was part of a rooming group with which we frequently associated and so we spent a good deal of time together on those fun-filled party week-ends. I recall when we met freshman year thinking how different we were in our backgrounds – me from a small midwestern city and he having lived in Beruit, when that city was known as, “the Paris of the Middle East.” When he started dating June, who later became his bride, I remember that I would tease her by calling her by the name of the current month, March, April, etc., (even though of course I knew her name). I hope to see June at the upcoming reunion, and share a picture or two of Casey from those happy younger days.

Allin Seward remembers: Casey Dwyer and I got to know each other during our Junior Year, as we both participated in the Sweet Brian Junior Year in France program (as did Bill McGurn). Casey was a very bright, dynamic guy, very outgoing. He had a brilliant legal career at Shearman & Sterling. He also worked extensively with disadvantaged children and youth (mainly high school kids, I think, to get them motivated about their studies) after retirement. I was very saddened to learn of his passing through a colleague here in Paris.

John Leo remembers: With a Berkeley group, at a slightly seedy, 60s-style video bar near the train station, Casey would feed many – many– quarters to the video and waft away while a gallic “coquette” sang “Tous les garcons et tous les filles . . “ I’m sure his blue eyes were as blue as the Adriatic and watering with transports back to Beirut (he “prepared” there at a lycee he treasured)

Duncan Bremer remembers: CJ Dwyer was a companion from Andover who spent his senior year in Beirut before joining me, Stuart Wrede and Jonathan Hall as roommates Freshman year. Brought up Catholic, he told me how “clean” he felt after going to confession. He was smart, lively, rebellious. He was on the verge of getting thrown out for failing to attend mandatory posture classes or something when he came down sick. I told him he should report to the class anyway. Fortunately instead he went to the hospital where he was treated for appendicitis. His wit was cutting and yet he was never unkind. I found it ironic that he eventually became a New York establishment lawyer.