Scheduled Services

Archive for the ‘Obituaries’ Category

PostHeaderIcon ROSA ROCO of MILLBURY, MASS, July 16, 1927 – March 5, 2014

Millbury – Rosa R. Roco, 86, passed away Wednesday, March 5th, 2014, at the Millbury Health Care Center.  

  Born July 16, 1927, in Boston, she was the only child of Clyde and Helen (Senior) Land.  Rosa leaves her daughters, Tracey Bias and her companion Gregory Gaffney of Worcester, and Amy Russo and her husband Ed of Leicester; her step-son Ted Roco and his wife Mary of Amherst; and her grandchildren Christina, Sean, Michael and Giuliana Russo, Jim White, and Melissa and Angela Roco; and her great-granddaughter Hailey Heckman.  Rosa was predeceased by her husband Theodore “Ted” Roco, her son Steven White and her grandson Jonathan Butler.  

  Raised and educated in Arlington, MA, Rosa subsequently audited courses in English Literature and Journalism at HarvardUniversity.  After living out of state, including in Kansas and Brooklyn, New York, she returned to Massachusetts where she settled in Amherst to work and raise her family.  She worked at AmherstCollege for 25 years as the Supervisor of the Offices of Administrative Services and MailingCenter. Later Rosa worked at Hospice of Hampshire County.  Rosa was an avid reader of mysteries and thrillers, and also enjoyed walking and fishing.  But her favorite pastime was visiting the seashore, especially her beloved Gloucester.  

  After retiring, Rosa moved to the Worcester area to be closer to her daughters and their families. Before her recent move to Millbury Health Care Center, she spent the last few years at Christopher Heights Assisted Living in Webster, where she enjoyed living in her lovely private apartment, and was also treated  like family by the dedicated staff.  

A calling hour will be held Monday, March 10, 2014 at 10 am at the Douglass Funeral Service, Amherst, with a short service immediately following. Burial will follow at Wildwood cemetery in Amherst. Memorial donations may be made to the American Heart Association. Obituary and memorial register at


Service details, Social networking, Memorial Guestbook and Slideshow are available here.

PostHeaderIcon KURT EVAN GRILLO of AMHERST, MA, November 17, 1965 – February 26, 2014

Kurt Evan Grillo, 48, of Amherst, MA, died Wednesday, February 26th, 2014.

He was born November 17, 1965 in New York City and attended Amherst Public Schools and Rumsey Hall School in Washington, CT where he played on the football team.

He studied music and classical piano from the age of 7. Later on he performed in recitals and entered the National Young Pianist Competition at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA. In 1978 he won a 1st place prize in a skateboard competition. He practiced Sleight of Hand and Magic for parties and Elementary Schools. He also created 8mm Animated Films and was a gifted artist. In 2002 Kurt had an exhibition of his artwork in a Northampton, MA Gallery.

Kurt was kind and considerate and also had a wonderful sense of humor and a penchant for good food. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of Blues, Rock & Roll and Jazz music.

Kurt is survived by his Mother, Nancy Roskill of Amherst, Father, John Grillo of Wellfleet, MA, Brother Jamieson Grillo and his wife Lydia along with their three children Asia, Gianna and Kira.

A private memorial service will be held at a later date. Obituary and memorial register at

Service details, Social networking, Memorial Guestbook and Slideshow are available here.

PostHeaderIcon NANCY J MCALLISTER of MASS, October 7, 1948 – February 19, 2014

Nancy J. McAllister


Oct. 7, 1948 – Feb. 19, 2014 

Amherst, Mrs. Nancy J. McAllister, 65, of Amherst, MA and Sarasota, FL passed away unexpectedly at her home in Florida with her loving husband, Robert W. McAllister of 24 years and daughter at her side on February 19, 2014.  Born in Gloversville, NY she was the daughter of Shirley (Tyrrell) and Albert W. Hoff. She is survived by her daughter Beth (Ron) Podsiadlo, their children Victoria and Amanda, her son Matthew (Colleen) Henry, their children Kyle and Logan, her step-daughter Gretchen (Rob) Archambault, their children Neris and Tighe and her step-son Robert (Mariela) McAllister and their son Robbie. She is also survived by her beloved mother, Shirley Hoff and siblings Dawn (Robert) Berry, Richard (Linda) Hoff, Cheryl (Doug) Bauman, Evelyn (Robert) Procita, Mike (Janet) Hoff, and Barbara (David) Wager, along with numerous nieces and nephews. A Memorial will be held at 10:00 AM on Saturday, March 15, 2014 at the South Congregational Church, 1066 So. East St., Amherst, MA. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Autism Speaks Foundation. Obituary and memorial register at

Service details, Social networking, Memorial Guestbook and Slideshow are available here.

PostHeaderIcon HERSCHEL G. ABBOTT of LEVERETT, MA, May 4, 1921 – March 1, 2014

LEVERETT, Herschel G. Abbott, 92, died at his home in Leverett on March 1, 2014.  He was born May 4, 1921 in WoodstockMaine, the son of George and Elva Abbott.  He continued to maintain his connection to his roots in Maine throughout his lifetime.  Herschel was predeceased by his wife of sixty years, Beth (Kennedy) Abbott.

Herschel was a junior at the University of Maine when Pearl Harbor was attacked.  He immediately enlisted in the United States Navy V7 Program.  Upon graduation in 1943 he reported for service and one day after receiving his commission he married Beth Kennedy.  He served three years of active duty and twenty-four years in the Naval Reserve. 

After his active service in the Navy he continued his education and obtained his Masters degrees in Biology and Forestry from HarvardUniversity.  He joined the faculty of the University of Massachusetts in 1953 and remained there for thirty-three years.  He was the recipient of numerous awards for his contributions to the forestry profession.  Herschel was admired by his students and pushed them hard to learn about the diverse forests that dominate the New England landscape. He was particularly fond of, as well as adept at, managing white pine stands and identifying wildflowers and unusual flora. Even during a short walk in the woods Herschel would invariably provide a wealth of knowledge to his companions.

In the late 1980’s he was instrumental in establishing and funding several scholarship funds at the University of Massachusetts including The Herschel G. Abbott Award for Forestry. Herschel also practiced what he preached.  With his friend and colleague J. Harry Rich, he acquired and managed several woodlots including the property now known as the J. Harry Rich State Forest in Groton, Massachusetts.

Herschel enjoyed antiquing with a special interest in Currier & Ives prints. He was also an avid hunter and cherished fishing for native brook trout in small New England streams.

There will be a private burial in Woodstock, Maine. Obituary and memorial register at

Service details, Social networking, Memorial Guestbook and Slideshow are available here.

PostHeaderIcon WILFRED “ROBBIE” AMES ROBINSON of AMHERST, MA, June 6, 1920 – February 27, 2014

Amherst, Wilfred “Robbie” Ames Robinson passed away peacefully on February 27 at the age of 93 after a brief stay at the Center for Extended Care in Amherst. Born in 1920 in Amherst, MA, to Harold and Fanny Blanche (Ames), Wilfred attended the Amherst High School.

Before Robbie was drafted into the war, he was a very good baseball player. He started at the age of five or six and played with 20-30 year olds at times, just for fun. He played for the high school team when he was old enough, as well as playing for multiple area teams, such as Pelham, Sunderland, Haydenville, and South Hadley. “His senior year record was 500 hits.”

Robbie was a Sergeant in the Army during WWII.  When the war was over and he was back in America, he thought he should pursue a baseball career. He tried out for the Washington Senators “but they only offered $25 which wasn’t much”. Because he had a wife at home, he decided not to take the job.    He was a true Red Sox fan and loved to play golf, fish and play cards.  Wilfred is remembered for his expertise as the Produce Manager at the former Louis Foods Supermarket which was the local grocery store in downtown Amherst for many years.

Robbie married the love of his life; Molly May (Kenzie), whom he met during his assignment in the Army as a Military Police Officer in England during the war.  Besides his wife, Molly, of 69 years,  he leaves his two daughters, Pamela (White)  and her husband Thomas of Pelham, MA, Lynn Watson and her husband Gary of Mashpee, MA, his two granddaughters, Kristin White and Megan White, a step grandson, Cliff Watson, his sister in-law, Barbara Robinson and several beloved nieces and nephews and great nieces and  nephews.

Wilfred was pre-deceased by his brothers Everett, Earl, Sanford, Larry, Sterling and his sister Dorothy.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, March 6, at 11:00 a.m. at the Douglass Funeral Service, Amherst, with burial following in North Amherst Cemetery. A calling hour will precede the service from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.

The family would like to thank the staff at The Arbors of Amherst, the staff from Life Choice Hospice and the staff at The Center for Extended Care for all of their love and care during this very difficult time.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to Life Choice Hospice, 15 Midstate Drive, Suite 215, Auburn, MA  01501. Obituary and memorial service at

Service details, Social networking, Memorial Guestbook and Slideshow are available here.

PostHeaderIcon RONALD A. STEELE of AMHERST, MA, January 8, 1934 – February 25, 2014

AMHERST, Ronald Steele, Professor Emeritus of Music at the University of Massachusetts passed away at the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke on February 25th following a long illness. He was 80 years old. Born in Montclair, New Jersey, he was the son of Arthur Steele of Sweden and Anna (Ahlquist) of Lanse, PA.

At the age of nine, Mr. Steele began the two artistic pursuits that would exist side by side throughout his life when he picked up a violin and a camera for the first time. After 20 lessons he gave his first public performance on the violin, and conducted his first orchestra at the age of eleven. As a teen, he performed extensively in New Jersey and New York, and was a winner on the Original Ted Mack Amateur Hour. At the same time he worked in a commercial darkroom, photographed weddings for one of the premier portrait studios in the metropolitan area, and photographed for the Montclair Times.

He spent many summers attending the National Music Camp at Interlochen, Michigan where he studied violin with Ottokar Chadek and while studying conducting with Clyde Roller and Orien Dalley, he became the youngest conductor of the Michigan Youth Symphony. While at Interlochen, he also worked as a staff photographer. After obtaining his Bachelor’s degree in music, Mr. Steele spent four years playing with the Air Force Symphony Orchestra and the Strolling Strings in Washington D.C. Following his military service, he became a teaching fellow at the University of Michigan where he studied violin with Gilbert Ross, earning a graduate degree in violin performance, and studied conducting pedagogy with Elizabeth Greene. He was brought to the University by Doric Alviani in 1963, where he founded the University Symphony Orchestra. He studied conducting with Max Rudolf at Tanglewood, and conducted many orchestras during the 1960′s, including District and All-State Orchestras, and professional orchestras in Kansas, Michigan, and New York.

During the 1970′s, at the request of former student Tom Parker, Mr. Steele turned his popular introductory music course into a nationally-syndicated radio show, The Listening Room, which won FM radio’s highest prize, the Armstrong Award. Subsequently, he founded the Five College Chamber Soloists, which went on to perform in Carnegie Recital Hall in New York. He returned to playing violin and viola, playing string quartets and served as concertmaster for many local groups including Valley Light Opera, the Keene Chorale, and the Natick Choral Society. He also served as Choir Director at churches in Washington D.C., Long Island, and locally at the First Baptist Church and Grace Episcopal Church in Amherst.

In 1978, while still teaching at the University, he rekindled his early interest in portraiture and wedding photography with the opening of the award-winning Ron Steele Photography Studio. After his retirement in 1998, he had numerous exhibitions of his work, including showings of his elegant black and white portraits of artists and musicians, and later his digital works specializing in macrophotography in nature.

He leaves his wife of 38 years, Marilyn Dyer Steele, a son Gordon of Reston, VA, and two grandchildren.

Calling hours will be held on Tuesday, March 4th from 4:00 to 6:00 P.M. at the Douglass Funeral Service, Amherst with a short service immediately following. Burial will be private at the convenience of the family. Memorial contributions may be made to the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke earmarked for the music program, or the Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society in Leverett. Obituary and memorial register at

Service details, Social networking, Memorial Guestbook and Slideshow are available here.

PostHeaderIcon WILLIAM RAPOSA of PORTSMOUTH, RI & PORT ST. LUCIE, FL, February 27, 1925 – February 16, 2014

William Raposa, 88, of Portsmouth, RI and Port St. Lucie, FL, died on Sunday February 16, 2014.  He was the husband of the late Edith (Goncalo) Raposa and the son of the late Manuel and Angelina (Santos) Raposa. He is survived by 3 daughters: Elizabeth Brown of Hadley, MA, Patricia Raposa of Kissimmee, FL and Judith Aufiero of Hampstead, NH, and several nieces and nephews.  He was the brother of the late Mary, Lena, Manuel & Angie Raposa, Beatrice Silveira and Sarah Sebastiao. He retired from the US Postal Service and was co-owner of Somerset’s Kopper Kettle Restaurant.  William served in the US Army during World War II and was awarded the Purple Heart.  He was active in St. John of God Church, Somerset, where he served as president of the Holy Name Society and was a Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus. He was involved in the administration of St. Elizabeth’s Federal Credit Union and volunteered with the St. Lucie Medical Center Auxiliary. His funeral Mass will take place at Holy Ghost Church, Tiverton on May 28, 2014 at 10:00 AM.  There will be no calling hours. A private interment ceremony with full military honors will be held at the Massachusetts Veteran’s Cemetery at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to VNA & Hospice of Cooley Dickinson, 168 Industrial Drive, Northampton, MA 01060. Obituary and memorial register at

Service details, Social networking, Memorial Guestbook and Slideshow are available here.

PostHeaderIcon BARBARA FROST of PELHAM, MASS, November 21, 1934 – February 20, 2014

Pelham – Barbara Jean (Hunt) Frost 79, passed away on February 20, 2014, at home surrounded by her loving family. Born in Ware, MA, she was the daughter of the late John and Charlotte (Lannon) Hunt. Barbara spent her early years growing up in the Quabbin in the Town of Enfield and moved to Pelham in 1938 when the state flooded the Swift River Valley. She was married  January 15, 1960 and continued to live and raise her family there. Barbara graduated from Amherst High School in 1952 and shortly thereafter began working at the Boiler Equipment Trust in Pelham for a short time. Barbara then worked for A.W. Hastings Co./V.P. Winter Co in Northampton then Hatfield for 281/2 years. Her career continued at the University of Massachusetts in the Registrars Office for another 20 years retiring in 1997. In post retirement she worked at the former Sunbridge of  Hadley from 1997 to 2010. Barbara enjoyed arranging family gatherings, traveling with her family, knitting, and cooking. She was very involved in the former United Church of Pelham as a member, its financial secretary, a Deacon, and head of fellowship for over 25 years. Barbara was also a member of the Pelham Council on Aging. In addition she volunteered for the Pelham Historical Society and for Not Bread Alone for many years. Barbara was a loving wife, and caring mother, grandmother, and sister. She leaves her husband of 54 years, Howard Frost; her two daughters, Laura Hall and her husband Richard of Pelham; Brenda Frost of Pelham; two grandsons, Jason and Stephen Hall of Pelham; and her sister Margaret Carney of Amherst. In addition she also leaves many nieces, nephews, and friends. The family would like to thank the Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice of Cooley Dickinson Hospital for all their love and caring during this very difficult time. Funeral services will be Wednesday February 26, 2014, 11:00 AM at The Douglass Funeral Service, Amherst. A calling hour will be from 10:00 AM until the time of the service. Burial will be in Quabbin Park Cemetery, Ware in the spring. In Lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to VNA Hospice of Cooley Dickinson, 168 Industrial Dr. Northampton, MA 01060 or The Pelham Historical Society 351 Amherst Rd. Pelham, MA 01002. Obituary and memorial register at


Service details, Social networking, Memorial Guestbook and Slideshow are available here.

PostHeaderIcon WILLIAM A. HUTCHINSON of AMHERST, MA, September 21, 1929 – February 19, 2014

Amherst, Dr. William “Bill” Hutchinson passed away on Feb. 19 at the age of 84 after bravely battling cancer for the past 10 months. Born in 1929 in Worcester, MA, to Warren and Ita (Gabbett) Hutchinson, Bill attended South High School, and received his associate’s degree from The Stockbridge School of Agriculture, his B.A. in biology and master’s in microbiology from Clark University, and his Ph.D. in botany from University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Bill was a founder of the Amherst Orchid Society and served as the Dean of Sciences at Holyoke Community College, positions in which his vast knowledge of horticulture played an integral role. He was an active member of the community and a district deputy in the Knights of Columbus.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Eleanor (Riley); son William (Michelle); daughter Ellen Feld (Michael); grandchildren William Hutchinson, Sarah Hutchinson, Holly Feld, and Nicholas Feld; and many loving friends and members of his extended family.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday February 22, 2014, at 10:00 AM in Most Holy Redeemer Church, Hadley. Burial will with full military honors follow in Holy Rosary Cemetery, Hadley. Calling Hours will be Friday February 21, 2014 from 4 – 7 PM at The Douglass Funeral Service, Amherst. Obituary and memorial register at

Service details, Social networking, Memorial Guestbook and Slideshow are available here.

PostHeaderIcon ROBERT CHARLTON HANNUM, SR. of PALM HARBOR, FL, May 17, 1928 – February 10, 2014

PALM HARBOR, FL, Robert Charlton Hannum, Sr., born on May 17, 1928 in Upland, Pennsylvania, passed away February 10, 2014 in Palm Harbor, Florida. Bob retired from Sun Oil Company where he worked as a purchasing agent. He and the love of his life, Stella Hedwig Smagala, were married for 64 years and had three children: Diane Regina Hannum Stoyer of Payson, Arizona, Dr. Robert Charlton Hannum, Jr., of Irvine, California, and Professor Thomas Patrick Hannum of Hadley, Massachusetts. They have four grandchildren: Robert Charlton III, Andrew Thomas, Gregory James, and William Joseph.

Bob was a proud U.S. Navy veteran, having served aboard the USS Krishna from 1946 to 1948, and then in the Naval Reserve until 1953.

Bob was active in sports all his life, beginning with sandlot baseball and as a pole vaulter at Eddystone High School, Eddystone, Pennsylvania. Later he played basketball in the Sun Oil Company Athletic Association League, and softball on the Greenhalgh-Calderoni championship team, winning 8 straight league pennants, 7 playoff titles and the Pennsylvania State Championship in 1966. The team was the most dominant team in Delaware County history. When his playing days were over, Bob began officiating high school football in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA). He also officiated semi-pro games in the Atlantic Coast Football League (ACFL), traveling the East Coast and Midwest. In 1985, Bob was inducted into the Delaware County Old Timers Athletes Association under the category Official and in 1978, the Association awarded him the Andrew W. MacMurtrie Award for sportsman of the year. The Chester Chapter of PIAA Football Officials awarded Bob the Joe Barrett Memorial Award in recognition of his enthusiasm toward the Chapter and his fellow officials. Bob also officiated basketball and girls’ high school volleyball and was a longtime coach in the Suburban Little League and Teener Baseball Leagues.

Bob loved parades, drum and bugle corps and marching bands, especially the University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band. He was co-founder and assistant director of the Brookhaven Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps, which later became the Keystone Regiment, and eventually became part of the nationally renowned Crossmen Drum & Bugle Corps which are still active today having relocated their home base to San Antonio, Texas. Mr. Hannum’s dedication to the activities of young people inspired others to follow his example and created an impact on those who were fortunate to experience his incredible enthusiasm and honest leadership.

Bob’s energetic spirit and ever-present sense of humor will be missed by his wife and family and many, many lifelong friends.

A graveside service will be held on Saturday, Feb. 15, at 10:00 a.m. in Holy Rosary Cemetery, Hadley. Calling hours will be Friday, Feb. 14, from 4-7 p.m. at the Douglass Funeral Service, Amherst. Obituary and memorial register at

Service details, Social networking, Memorial Guestbook and Slideshow are available here.

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

HARRY S. BEALL JR. of AMHERST, MASS died on April 11, 2015

HARRY A. CHICK DELANO of AMHERST, MASS died on April 16, 2015

GEORGE R. RICHASON, JR. of AMHERST died on April 14, 2015