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Archive for the ‘Obituaries’ Category

PostHeaderIcon VICTORIA C. PRATT of AMHERST, MASS, April 20, 1920 – November 21, 2015

AMHERST, Victoria C. Pratt, 95, life-long resident of Amherst, died Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015 at the Center for Extended Care at Amherst. Vicki was born in Amherst, daughter of the late Charles, and Blanche {Ciesluk} Ryznic. She attended Amherst Schools and for her whole life was the designated baby sitter for her entire family along with the Lashway family and any other of the local, Cushman Village people. She cherished this role in life, as much as she did her beloved Red Sox. She watched the Sox games faithfully; even when they were on the west coast she would watch them the following day on tape. She was a communicant of St. Brigid’s Church. Her husband Harold Pratt died in 1995, and also was pre-deceased by an infant daughter Linda, four brothers, and three sisters. She is survived by two daughters, Teresa Pratt of Amherst, and Ann, and her husband Robert MacDonald of Leverett. Also, four grandchildren; Michael Keyes, Jessica Lamson, Kim and Shawn MacDonald, and five great-grandsons. Funeral services will be Saturday, at 9:00AM from the Douglass Funeral Service, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 in St. Brigid’s Church. Burial follows in St. Brigid Cemetery. Calling hours will be Friday from 5:00 – 7:00 PM at The Douglass Funeral Home. Obituary and register at

PostHeaderIcon LOUISE F. PARK of AMHERST, MASS, February 24, 1922 – November 16, 2015


         Amherst, Louise F. Park, age 93, passed away peacefully at the Center for Extended Care at Amherst on Monday, November 16, 2015.


Born in York, ME on February 24, 1922 she was the daughter of Ruby R. (Bracy) and Bernard G. Freeman.


Louise served in the Woman’s Army Corps (WAC)during WWII. She married the late Andrew Park IV in 1949. Both Louise and Andrew were stationed in Japan and lived there for a few years. They also lived in NYC before making their home in Amherst, MA.


Louise had many interests which included playing golf, playing bridge and traveling. She also had a love for animals. Louise volunteered at the Cooley Dickinson Hospital in the coffee shop for many years. She also volunteered her time for the Dakin Animal Shelter.


She is predeceased by her stepdaughter Kathryn Park Benson. Survivors include her sister Alberta Johnson of CA; three grandchildren, William Benson Jr. of Bridgeport, CT, Laura Casiano of Charleston, SC and Donna Lee of Amherst, MA; five great-grandchildren; one great-great grandson and two nephews.


Private burial will be at the Wildwood Cemetery in Amherst.


In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory can be made to the Dakin Animal Shelter, 163 Montague Rd, Leverett, MA 01054.


PostHeaderIcon GERALD T. O’NEIL of LEEDS, MA, February 10, 1934 – November 20, 2015





Gerald T. O’Neil, 81, a lifelong resident of Amherst, MA, died peacefully at Linda Manor Assisted Living on November 20, 2015. He was born in 1934, to the late Eugene F. O’Neil, Jr., and Geraldine {Brodeur} in the house he lived in throughout his adult life. He graduated from Amherst High School in 1952, and received an Associate Degree from the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts in 1954.  He served in the US Army from 1955-57, and then became a police officer at UMass Amherst, retiring in 1991 after 34 years of service, as the university’s Director of Public Safety. He was an active parishioner and member of the Church Council of St. Brigid’s Church, Amherst. He was a 4th Degree Knight of Columbus in Chicopee, MA, and a member of the Amherst Council in various positions. 


He was predeceased by Lorraine Whittemore, his wife of 48 years, and his son, Eugene Harold O’Neil, and is survived by his daughter, Kathleen O’Neil Morton and husband Keith, son Dennis O’Neil and wife Donna, son William O’Neil and wife Deborah, and son Michael O’Neil. He was predeceased by his brother Edward O’Neil, and is survived by Ed’s wife Mary, his brother Jack and wife Jean, and sister, Betty Ann Koslo.  He leaves grandchildren William and Meaghann O’Neil, Brenna and Sarah Morton, and Shane and Sean O’Neil, and step great-grand-daughter, Kourtney Komosa, and many nieces, nephews and extended family.  He leaves behind his friends and the van rider gang at Linda Manor Assisted Living. 


Mr. O’Neil’s family would like to extend its deep appreciation to the residents and staff of Linda Manor Assisted Living, who welcomed him into their community this last year; and to the staff of Fresenius Medical Care and dialysis center for their constant care and friendship over the last eight years.  


Visitation will be at the Douglass Funeral Service, Amherst, on Tuesday, November 24th, 5-8pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be at St. Brigid’s Church, Amherst, Wednesday, November 25th at 10am. Burial will follow in the parish cemetery, Rocky Hill Rd., Hadley. Reception to follow.  In keeping with Mr. O’Neil’s wishes, the family asks that donations be made to St. Brigid’s Parish in lieu of flowers.









PostHeaderIcon WINFIELD FIRMAN of AMHERST, MA, September 15, 1919 – November 17, 2015

Amherst, Winfield Firman died peacefully at his home on November 17, 2015. Win was born in Oak Park, Illinois in 1919. Among the many elements of his full and rich life was his scouting, as an Eagle Scout and Scoutmaster. He also worked with and supported young people in little league, as president of the Child Development Research (Great Neck, NY), and as the president of the School Board in Port Washington, NY, where he and his growing family spent many years. 


Win was deeply involved in every community he lived in, participating in theater groups, becoming a Senior Warden of his church, serving on the board of Goodwill and serving as both the president of both the Landings Association in Savannah and the Amherst Woods Association.   


Win graduated from Amherst College in 1941 and later earned an MA in psychology. He married Julie Fisher in June of 1941 and went to war as a bomb disposal officer in the Pacific Theater, where he received the Bronze Star. (In his 90’s he wrote a small book about his Bomb Disposal experience.) He worked as a personnel executive, for many years with Sears Roebuck and in his later professional years as Senior Vice President of Mullin Associates, LTD.  


On retirement, Win took his business skills into volunteer work with the International Executive Service Corps where he volunteered his time in both Brazil and Indonesia. Julie, his beloved wife of 71 years, predeceased him in 2012.  


Win leaves three children, eight grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. He was a fine and honorable person, a good father, loving husband, and steadfast friend. He will be deeply missed.







PostHeaderIcon DANA PAUL EUGENE SNYDER of AMHERST, MA, April 29, 1922 – November 18, 2015


Dana Paul Eugene Snyder, an Amherst farmer who made his career as a professor of zoology at the University of Massachusetts, died peacefully in his sleep on November 18, 2015 surrounded by his loving family.

He was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada on April 29, 1922, the son of Golda Tie Crum and Mark Eugene Snyder, and was raised in Modesto, Illinois. He earned his Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois and went on to earn his PhD in Zoology from the University of Michigan. He did his dissertation on the field study of small mammals, his favorite of which was the eastern chipmunk.

In his freshman year of college, he was called to service in the United States Army, where he served from 1942 to 1946. He subsequently returned to his studies.

Dana married Mary Elizabeth Sumner in Brushton, Pennsylvania in June, 1952. They both worked at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, she for ten years and he for two, before moving to Amherst, where they settled and raised their four children.

He was a professor of zoology at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst from 1955 until his retirement in 1985. One of his greatest loves was working on his farmland. For many years, into his nineties, Dana could be seen at all hours of the day riding his tractor, haying, wielding his chainsaw, or just walking with Mary on the land. In later years, he and Mary leased their farmland to Brookfield Farms, a local CSA farm.

Dana took great pride in restoring his and Mary’s 1760s-eras old saltbox house and barns on Bay Road. He was meticulously careful to maintain the historic integrity of the house as it was restored.

He served on many local committees, including the Amherst Farm Committee and as an Amherst Town Meeting member. He was a lifelong proponent of preserving open space, farmland and protecting water sheds. In the 1970s, he was the co-leader of the Amherst Growth Study Committee, an effort to restrict overdevelopment in Amherst. Dana and Mary’s sixty-acre Amherst farm was among the first to be part of the Agricultural Preservation Program.

He leaves his wife of 62 years, Mary Snyder; his four children, Mark Snyder and his wife Denise of Geneva, Illinois, Amy Snyder and her husband Gordon Gieg of Charlotte, Vermont, Tod Snyder and his wife Deborah of Mansfield, Massachusetts, Ellen Snyder and her husband Srini Srinivasan of Newmarket, New Hampshire, and seven grandchildren, Reid Snyder, Brynn Hanson, William Snyder, Robert Snyder, Jason Snyder, Lia Gieg and Rosie Gieg.

Those who wish to call on the family may do so on Friday, November 27, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm at their home in Amherst. An outdoor memorial service will be held in spring of 2016.

Donations in Dana’s memory may be made to the Kestrel Land Trust, P.O. Box 1016, Amherst, MA 01002.

PostHeaderIcon GILBERT L. TERRELL of AMHERST, MA, January 26, 1944 – November 15, 2015

  Amherst, Gilbert L. Terrell died November 15, 2015 at his home. He was born in Winfield, Alabama in 1944. In the 1950s he moved to Holyoke with his family where he attended Holyoke schools and graduated in 1961. While attending Holyoke schools, he was a part of the Holyoke Boys & Girls Club and attained Golden Gloves Champion. He also marched in a Holyoke parade with John F. Kennedy.


Gilbert moved to Detroit and worked as a truck driver for Oriental Provision for 16 years during the 1960s and 1970s. While truck driving by day, he would deliver Chinese food to customers by night. Some customers were the likes of the Reverend and Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, Maceo Parker, James Brown, and a host of other big named stars of the day.


Gilbert moved back to Massachusetts to the Holyoke and Springfield areas in the late 1970s. He came to the Amherst area in the late 1980s and made his life working as a gas attendant, doing auto repair, and detailing cars. He also worked at a local laundromat and enjoyed the camaraderie of his customers.


Gilbert is survived by his sons Isaiah Terrell and Darrick Wilson and his longtime partner Leslie Burke, he is also survived by his brothers Robert, Bill, Benard, William and Duke Stewart; his sisters Elaine, Hazel, Gloria and Dorothy Stewart. He was predeceased by his brother Sean Stewart.


Calling hours will be held Thursday, November 19, 2015 from 4:00-6:00PM at the Douglass Funeral Service in Amherst. Burial will be private.






PostHeaderIcon JOHANNA M. PLAUT of AMHERST, MA, October 6, 1936 – November 16, 2015


Amherst, Johanna Mautner Plaut died in Amherst on November 16, 2015.  Johanna was born in Vienna in 1936, and fled to the United States with her parents to escape the Nazis in 1938. After beginning a career as a professor of French literature, she later found her true vocation as a social worker. She and her beloved husband, Tom, lived in New York City and Appalachia, and finally put down roots in Amherst in 1977. 




In Amherst, Johanna became a stalwart member of many local causes. For years she worked as a quiet volunteer behind the scenes with the League of Women Voters, the Resource Center and on the boards of Amherst A Better Chance and the Rosenberg Fund for Children. She surprised many people (including herself) when she ran for Town Meeting around 1980 and won the most votes in her precinct.  She served in Town Meeting for 18 years.  Emboldened by her local electoral success, Johanna took on larger political projects later in her life.  She was also a founding member of Social Workers for Peace and Justice in Hampshire County and, after retirement, an active speaker and organizer on behalf of single payer health care. 


In her 20-year career as a social worker in Greenfield she worked with low-income clients. Her practice included individual clients, starting groups for incest survivors and people with eating disorders and treating inmates in the Franklin County jail.  She also helped her colleagues to form a union and was an active member of the Service Employees international Union. Her example inspired both of her children to devote their professional lives to public service. 


Johanna led by example. She was cherished for her compassionate, principled approach and her willingness to take on unglamorous tasks. Friends and family would turn to her for generous and incisive perspective. 


From her parents she learned an appreciation of precise language and art. Later in life she became more irreverent and outspoken, assisting war tax resisters, enjoying bawdy humor and laughing with friends. She was lovingly supportive of her children, backing them to follow their own path, even when she did not understand their choices. 




After fleeing Europe, Johanna grew up in Ohio and was raised going to church. Her parents did not share their Jewish heritage with their children, so Johanna had no knowledge of her Jewish background until she was eleven years old. After marrying Tom in 1963, she learned more about Jewish tradition, but it was only in Amherst that she fully embraced Jewish life. The Jewish Community of Amherst enabled Johanna to study and learn about her heritage. Johanna had a bat mitzvah with a group of other adults in 2003 and served for many years as co-chair on the JCA’s Social Action Committee. 


Johanna was an avid swimmer and hiker and once climbed a 12,000-foot glacier in France, using crampons and roped together with her fellow climbers. She enjoyed music, theater and the museums in the area and played in a recorder quartet for many years. She earned a B.A., cum laude, from Swarthmore College, a PhD in French Literature and a Masters in Social Work from Columbia University. 


She leaves behind Tom, her devoted husband of 52 years, her children and their partners, Rebecca and Emiliano of Brookline and David and Tanya, of Davis, California, three grandchildren, Max, Sarah and Reiko, and her sister-in-law, Susan Hester of Washington D.C. Her sister Mary-Helen predeceased her.




Contributions to honor Johanna’s life may be made to Mass-Care, the single-payer health care advocacy group, at 9B Hamilton Place, Suite 2, Boston, MA 02108.




Services will be held on Wednesday, November 18th at 11:00 am at the Jewish Community of Amherst, 742 Main Street, Amherst.




PostHeaderIcon GENEVIEVE MAE BURNETT of NORTHAMPTON, MASS, July 9, 1945 – November 5, 2015

Northampton, Genevieve Mae Burnett, 70, of Northampton, died Thursday November 5, 2015 at Care One at Northampton. She was born in Northampton July 9, 1945 to the late Charles and Catharine {Johnson} Burnett.

Genny grew up in Amherst and lived in Northampton, Brattleboro and Greenfield. She was largely self-educated.

She struggled with and suffered from mental illness all her life, but was able to express her feelings and thoughts very powerfully through her art. She was recognized early on as especially talented and became accomplished and recognized in several art circles around the country for her oil paintings which expressed her unique perspective.

She busied herself with art, reading educational books and inspirational magazines, journaling her thoughts and making craft gifts right up to the week she died. She has composed a multi-hundred page autobiography which her best artist friend and agent, Michael Tillyer, of the Anchor House of Artists in Northampton, is finishing. In many ways she identified her life and struggles with those of Vincent Van Gogh.

She took solace in her pursuit of and assurance in Christian Truth. When able, she attended College Church in Northampton.

She found comfort in giving a good home to several cats over the years, especially Mike, of whom she painted many artworks.

She is survived by her brothers Robert Burnett and his wife Tawnya, of Southampton, Tad Burnett and his partner Marie Frazier of Mt. Holly, VT., and her former sister in-law Marilyn Schupp. She is also survived by several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Burial will take place Saturday, November 14, 2015 at 9:30AM at Wildwood Cemetery in Amherst. A memorial service will be held the same day, Saturday, at 1:30 pm at College Church in Northampton.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Genevieve Burnett Fund C/O Anchor House of Artists 518 Pleasant St. Northampton, MA 01060.



PostHeaderIcon WALTER SCOTT ALDRICH of SUNDERLAND, MA, April 16, 1924 – November 1, 2015


Walter Scott Aldrich died Sunday, November 1, 2015 at the Center for Extended Care in Amherst. He was born April 16, 1924 to Walter Scott Sr. and Doris (Campbell) Aldrich in Pelham. He was raised in Pelham and attended Amherst regional schools and left high school to enlist in the US Navy. He proudly served aboard the submarine USS Sea Fox. In 1942, Walter married Rosetta Jacque. He and his brother Ray founded Aldrich Auto Supply in Amherst in 1959. He held many positions including second class engineer at UMass Amherst and chief engineer at Holyoke Soldiers Home. He was also a member of the Pelham Church, US Submarine Veterans, US American Legion, US Holland Club, and the Variety Club of New England.


Walter is predeceased by his wife Rosetta in 2006, his son James Aldrich in 1998, and his brother Raymond Aldrich in 2015. He is survived by his son Jeffrey Aldrich and his wife Lorraine of North Myrtle Beach, SC, his two daughters Donna Boston of Chicopee, MA and Janet Keegan and her husband Kim of Sunderland, MA, his brother Donald Aldrich and his wife Shirley of Port Charlotte, FL, his sister Joan Yorke of York, ME, nine grandchildren, seven great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.


Calling hours will be Thursday, November 5, 2015 from 9-11AM at the Douglass Funeral Service in Amherst. A graveside service with military honors will follow at the Pelham Valley Cemetery in Pelham, MA.


Donations may be made to Shriners Hospital for Children, 516 Carew St. Springfield, MA 01104.


PostHeaderIcon ARTHUR ROBERT QUINTON of AMHERST, MASS, July 1, 1924 – October 26, 2015

Amherst, MA. Arthur Robert Quinton, Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Massachusetts, passed away early Monday, October 26, at his home on Red Gate Lane, surrounded by his family. His final day was the only time when he was not completely independent, including tending his wood stove.  He left this world entirely on his own terms, speaking with grandchildren, telling them of his pride in them, solving the New York Times crossword puzzle, and singing “My Way.” 


Arthur was born July 1st, 1924 in Lowestoft, Suffolk, England, the youngest of six children in a family of fishermen and dressmakers. He attended Queen Mary College, London University during WW2, which had been moved to Cambridge to avoid the Blitz. After graduation he became a radar operator and Sub-Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. At the end of the war he was stationed in Cornwall, where he attended a charity ball and met a bright eyed, dark haired, local girl. Arthur and Rose Maud Trebilcock were married November 11, 1946.  In 1949, the couple emigrated to Canada where Arthur earned a MS from the University of Western Ontario. 


In 1951, Arthur and Rose moved to New Haven, Connecticut, where Arthur earned a Ph.D. in Physics at Yale, and met lifelong friends Barbara and Bill Doyle, Joan and Hal Shapiro, and many others. After stints at the University of Florida, Dartmouth College, and visiting professorships at Australian National University, the Quintons settled in Amherst, where Arthur taught generations of physics students, retiring in 1994. 


Arthur was a talented cricket player in his young days, an award winning slow bowler. After he became a US citizen in 1960 and settled in Amherst, he became an avid follower of UMass and Boston sports teams. He helped coach the UMass men’s soccer team for a few years, and started the Amherst recreational soccer program in the early 1970’s. He retained encyclopedic knowledge of the details of players and games and eagerly shared his enjoyment with many. On his final day, he was glad to hear about the game as the Patriots pulled out the win over the Jets.


Arthur was an active member of the Amherst community; he was a member of Town Meeting for 12 years, a Trustee of the Jones Library, member and past president of Amherst Rotary, and docent at the Renaissance Center. For years he tended multiple plots at the Amherst Community Garden, overwhelming friends and foes alike with his garden bounty of zucchini, tomatoes, and basil.  He was an avid tennis player, playing in a variety of masters’ tournaments with his sneaky spins and drop shots. After Rose died, Arthur became quite a cook, serving family and friends feasts that included roast lamb and potatoes, and keeping the Red Gate Lane house alive as a center of warmth and love. 


Arthur had a great love of poetry and music and took great joy in rallying any group for a sing a-long.  Every year he recited “In Flanders Field” from memory, and took great pride in joining with his fellow WW2 veterans to commemorate their shared service. He was a terrific American patriot, and worked at the polls for many elections. Despite watching a fair amount of Fox News after Rose died, to his children’s great relief he recently announced that he planned to vote for Bernie in the primaries. 


Arthur found his calling in teaching; he was renowned for his creative and exciting physics demonstrations that transfixed students and colleagues, from his bed of nails to shooting falling stuffed animals with a cannon from across the classroom. For many years he taught in the UMass Summer Science Enrichment Program. In retirement, Arthur tutored local middle school students in math, and enjoyed discovering new, elegant proofs. He often included mathematical equations in his birthday cards to his grandchildren. Arthur was always interested in, and in sync with, the younger generation.  


Arthur leaves 3 children and 8 grandchildren: Hebe Quinton and David Avery (Christian and Meade) of Lyme, NH; Keith Quinton and Barbara Fildes (Sean, Casey, Jared, and Nina) of Hanover, NH; Tracy Farnham and Paul Martin (Jack and Grace) of Belchertown, MA.  He also leaves many nieces, nephews, and cousins across the globe. He was a man of great dignity, integrity, and kindness and is sorely missed.  


The family would like to express their deep appreciation to Dr. Mariana Marguglio for her dedicated care to both Rose and Arthur.  


The South Amherst Congregational Church was a supportive community for Arthur and Rose. A memorial service for the community will be held there on November 28th at 3 PM, the community is invited. There will be singing and tea. In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer donations to the Quinton Physics Award at UMass Amherst, 134 Hicks Way, Amherst, MA  01003. The award rewards excellence in graduate student teaching.











Current Obituaries
To view full obituary details and/or sign the Memorial Guestbook click desired individual below.

WINFIELD FIRMAN of AMHERST, MA died on November 17, 2015

GERALD T. O'NEIL of LEEDS, MA died on November 20, 2015

LOUISE F. PARK of AMHERST, MASS died on November 16, 2015

JOHANNA M. PLAUT of AMHERST, MA died on November 16, 2015

VICTORIA C. PRATT of AMHERST, MASS died on November 21, 2015

ARTHUR ROBERT QUINTON of AMHERST, MASS died on October 26, 2015

DANA PAUL EUGENE SNYDER of AMHERST, MA died on November 18, 2015

GILBERT L. TERRELL of AMHERST, MA died on November 15, 2015