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Archive for the ‘Obituaries’ Category

PostHeaderIcon DAVID A. GIBSON of HADLEY, MA, December 6, 1916 – August 22, 2013


HADLEY, David Appleton Gibson, age 96, of Hadley Massachusetts, died on August 22, 2013 after a brief illness. He was the husband of the late Margaret Fay (Weishaar) Gibson, with whom he made a home in Coventry, Connecticut for 52 years.

David was born on December 6, 1916 in Evanston, Illinois, the son of the late Hamilton and Mary W. Gibson. He attended Evanston public schools, graduating from Evanston Township High School in 1936. He enrolled in Dartmouth College—where he was known as Pete—as a member of the Class of 1940, but interrupted his education to volunteer for Selective Service.

David served his country honorably throughout World War II, first as a private soldier, then as an infantry officer in the 79th Infantry Division, and finally as an intelligence officer on the staff of XV Corps, where he participated in the campaigns of the European Theater of Operations from the Normandy breakout to the Central Europe campaign. His war ended in Salzburg, Austria in May, 1945.

After completing his A.B. in government at Dartmouth in 1947, David worked as a staff reporter for the Greenfield (Mass.) Recorder through 1950, then as an award-winning journalist for the Hartford (Conn.) Times. He was business editor of the Times when it ceased publication in 1976. David spent the last five years of his professional career in corporate communications with the Travelers Corporation.

David joined the Second Congregational Church of Coventry in 1975 and remained a member all his life. He was a deacon and a choir member, and served on numerous church committees. He was a member and officer of the Coventry Lions club, a founding member of the Coventry VFW Post, a director of the Porter Library Association, and a director of the Central Cemetery Association. He also served on the Coventry Board of Education. At Dartmouth, he was a member of Alpha Delta Phi fraternity and the Sphinx Senior Society.

David loved to read and to follow business and financial news, and was an avid jazz enthusiast and fan of WFCR’s Jazz á la mode.  Although a Cubs fan from boyhood, he nonetheless became an upstanding citizen of Red Sox Nation after relocating to Hadley in 2002.

Besides his beloved “Ta” and his parents, David was predeceased by his older brothers Harold H. Gibson, Jr. and Arthur H. Gibson. He leaves his daughter Rosemary G. Ryan and son-in-law Robert M. Ryan of Hadley, Mass; and granddaughter Hannah Rose Ryan and her partner Christopher Collins of Somerville, Mass.  In addition, David leaves many grieving neighbors, extended family members, and friends, some of whom he has corresponded with for decades. The pen is silenced, but the words live on.

Following a private interment, a memorial service will be held at the Second Congregational Church of Coventry, Connecticut at 10:00 AM on Saturday, August 31st, 2013. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Second Congregational Church of Coventry (  Obituary and memorial register at

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

PostHeaderIcon JOHN RAYMOND LEE of AMHERST, MA, January 22, 1925 – August 22, 2013


 AMHERST, John Raymond Lee, 88, a lifetime Amherst resident, died peacefully at home on Aug. 22, 2013 with his family. Born in Cushman on Jan. 22, 1925, John was the son of the late Raymond and Myrtle (Hanks) Lee. Upon graduating from Amherst High School he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and served during World War II as a Ball Turret Gunner Instructor on a B17. John held the position of director of Media Servicesat UMass, retiring in 1989. Playing golf, watching the Boston Red Sox and the Patriots was his passion. As a member of the Amherst Golf Club for many years, he earned the title, Over 50 Champion in 1985. He is survived by his wife Helen of 64 years, his children: Jon Lee of Williamsburg, VA, Frank Lee of New York City, NY, Candace LeBlanc of Sandwich, MA, Lisa Kirksey of Garland, TX and William Lee of Birmingham, MI and his grandchildren: Luke, Khiarra, Zachary,  Nathaniel, Peyton, Cameron John, Addison, Anderson, Christina, Carleen and Carey. In following John’s wishes, he was cremated. The burial will be private. Calling hours are Wednesday, August 28th, from 5-7 p.m. at the Douglass Funeral Service in Amherst. Please join us for a memorial gathering on Thursday, August 29th at the Amherst Golf Club at 1:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to VNA & Hospice of Cooley Dickinson, 168 Industrial Dr., Northampton, MA 01060. Obituary and memorial register at

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

PostHeaderIcon ELAINE J. SORTINO of HADLEY, MA, October 28, 1949 – August 18, 2013

Elaine J. Sortino

1949 – 2013

HADLEY, Elaine J. Sortino, 63, of Hadley, Massachusetts, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family and loved ones on Sunday, August 18 following a courageous battle against cancer.

She was born October 28, 1949, in Yonkers, New York, the daughter of Mary Sortino and the late Peter Sortino.  A 1971 graduate of Oneonta State (N.Y.) University, she earned her master’s degree from the University of Bridgeport in 1973.  Sortino began her collegiate coaching career at Yale University before moving to the University of Massachusetts in 1979. At UMass, she coached Volleyball for 8 seasons and Softball for 34 seasons.

Sortino, one of the all-time great coaches in collegiate softball, compiled a record of 1,185-508-6 while leading the UMass program to 23 Atlantic 10 regular season titles, 21 conference tournament championships, 21 NCAA tournament appearances and 3 trips to the Women’s College World Series. Her 1,185 wins places her eighth in NCAA history and seventh all-time among Division I rankings.

Sortino also served as Associate Athletic Director and Senior Women’s Administrator at UMass with direct oversight over several sports and numerous other Athletic Department program areas. She has also collaborated on numerous conference and national committees throughout her career.

Elaine loved life and was an avid woodworker, cook and decorator. She loved spending time on the Cape and also was a regular communicant and served as a lector at Most Holy Redeemer Church in Hadley.

Sortino affected so many during her life both on and off the playing field and was an inspiration to numerous student-athletes, coaches and administrators throughout her career. Although she will be deeply missed, her legacy will carry on and continue for years to come.

She is survived by her mother Mary Sortino of Yonkers, NY, brother Peter and his wife Leslie of St. Louis, MO and sister Paula Celona of Yonkers, NY. She is also survived by her nephew Christopher Celona of Berkeley, CA, niece Brittney Celona of Yonkers, NY and nephew Philip Sortino of St. Louis, MO.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Brigid’s Church 122 North Pleasant Street Amherst, MA  01002 on Friday August 23, 2013 at 10:00am with burial following in Holy Rosary Cemetery, Hadley. Visitation will be on Thursday August 22, 2013 from 4:00-8:00PM at the Douglass Funeral Service 87 North Pleasant Street Amherst, MA  01002.

Thanks to the outstanding medical team at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute for their unconditional help and support during Elaine’s courageous battle. 

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Elaine Sortino Softball Enhancement Fund C/O UMass Athletic Department Development Office 308 Mullins Center the University of Massachusetts Amherst, MA 01003. Obituary and memorial register at

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

PostHeaderIcon ELAINE J. SORTINO of HADLEY, MA, November 30, 1999 – August 18, 2013


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

PostHeaderIcon WALTER KAMYS of SUNDERLAND, MA, June 8, 1917 – August 10, 2013


SUNDERLAND, Walter Kamys died on Saturday, August 10, 2013 at the Elaine Center in Hadley, MA just months after celebrating his 96th birthday with family and friends at his home in Sunderland, MA.

Walter was born in Chicago on June 8, 1917 a son of Ludwick and Nora Kamys who emigrated from Poland in 1913. He attended local schools, ultimately enrolling in The Art Institute of Chicago, where his education was interrupted by tuberculosis, a disease that would later kill his sister, Stephanie. He received his degree from the Art Institute in 1943 and traveled to Mexico on a James Nelson Raymond Traveling Fellowship. For the next year and a half he studied painting with the surrealist, Gordon Onslow-Ford.

Returning to the United States he married Eleanor Hanson of Minneapolis, MN and the newlyweds moved to Vermont in 1945 where Walter accepted his first appointment as an art teacher at The Putney School. In 1946 Walter and Eleanor bought and renovated a colonial house in North Leverett, MA, where they raised two sons. In 1947 Walter was offered a position on the teaching staff of the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum in Springfield, MA. He left the museum in 1960 and accepted a temporary position with the Art Department at the University of Massachusetts in 1962…a position which quickly became permanent. Walter Kamys was awarded tenure and a full Professorship by the end of the decade. During his years at the University, Walter founded and directed the “Art Acquisition Program” which focused on works on paper and grew to over 600 pieces before he retired in 1987. Walter’s passion for painting and drawing informed his approach to art education. He not only taught art, he also did art…bringing the excitement he experienced in his studio with him into the classroom.

Walter Kamys lived a full and productive life on his own terms, touching the lives of thousands of students, friends and colleagues. He will be remembered and missed by many.

He leaves behind his brother, Chester, of Niles, Illinois; his two sons: Kristofer of Porter, Maine and Timothy of Whately, MA, and his granddaughter, Meghan, also of Whately, MA. A private memorial will be held in the fall. In lieu of flowers, those inclined are encouraged to contribute to VNA & Hospice of Cooley Dickinson, 168 Industrial Dr., Northampton, MA 01060, whose good work contributed significantly to the quality of Walter’s last months. Obituary and memorial register at

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

PostHeaderIcon ELINOR J. GRACYK of AMHERST, MA, March 12, 1941 – August 7, 2013


AMHERST, Elinor J. Gracyk, 72, died Aug. 7, at the Center for Extended Care at Amherst. Born on March 12, 1941 in Pittsfield, MA, she was the daughter of the late William H. and Virginia (Haywood) Gracyk. Elinor was educated in Pittsfield schools and graduated from St. Margaret’s Hospital in Albany, NY, for nursing where she received an annual award given by board members for her unfailing cooperation, her persistent and inspiring cheerfulness and ever-present industry. Upon her graduation she was employed at St. Luke’s Hospital in Pittsfield. Elinor had a heart of gold and was very dedicated to her nursing profession. She is survived by her brother William M. Gracyk of Pittsfield, her aunt, Coleen Gracyk Wooten of Alpharetta, GA and several cousins. In following Elinor’s wishes, she was cremated and the burial will be private. There is no service or calling hours. Obituary and memorial register at

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

PostHeaderIcon VICTORIA E. STOLARSKI of AMHERST, MASS, February 11, 1918 – August 3, 2013

Victoria E. Stolarski

1918 – 2013


Amherst, Victoria E. {Wysocki} Stolarski, 95, a life long Amherst resident, died at home on Saturday August 3, 2013. Victoria was born in her home on Feb. 11, 1918, to the late Joseph and Antonio {Dembski} Wysocki. She was a 1935 graduate of Amherst High School. She was a long time employee of the former Beauty Bar in Amherst and a life long communicant of Most Holy Redeemer Church, Hadley. Victoria enjoyed going on cruises and trips to Hampton Beach, and the many “Porch parties” with her family and friends. She worked on the family farm for many years and enjoyed gardening, especially her flowers. Victoria is survived by her son Thomas and wife Jeanne, of Hadley, her daughter Jean Ames and husband Joseph, of Amherst her grandchildren, Danielle Pratt, Holly Caron, Jason Stolarski, Robert and Brian Fay and 5 Great-Grandchildren. She was pre-deceased by her husband Matthew, two brothers and four sisters. Funeral services will be Tuesday, Aug. 6, 11:00AM from the Douglass Funeral Service, Amherst, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 12:30PM at Most Holy Redeemer Church, Hadley, burial will follow in Holy Rosary Cemetery, Hadley. Calling hours will be Monday Aug. 5, from 6-8PM at the Douglass Funeral Service. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to VNA and Hospice of Cooley Dickinson, 168 Industrial Dr. Northampton, MA 01060. Obituary and memorial register at



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

PostHeaderIcon EDWARD H. PERRON of AMHERST, MA, May 18, 1925 – July 29, 2013

Edward H. Perron


1925 – 2013


AMHERST, Edward H. Perron, 88, of Amherst died peacefully Monday July 29, 2013 in Baystate Medical Center surrounded by his family.  Ed was born on May 18, 1925 in Springfield, MA to the late Herman E. and Maud E. (LaPlante) Perron.  Ed lived his first few years of his life in Springfield, Massachusetts and in 1930, his family moved back to his mother’s family farm in the Cushman section of Amherst.  Growing up in the depression era shaped Ed to be a member of the “Greatest Generation”.  Living in rural America in the 1930’s, Ed was taught by his family and friends to be self-sufficient, help a neighbor, do without or develop the ability to make something from nothing which Ed became very good at.  Ed had great mechanical talents, an abundance of common sense and the work ethic to get any job done. 


He graduated from Amherst High School in 1943 and immediately entered WWII.  Ed’s mechanical aptitude placed him in to the Army’s 140th Ordinance Division as a heavy vehicle mechanic.  As a veteran of WWII, he served in the U.S. Army in the European Theater of Operations during the Rhineland and Central Germany Campaigns.  After V-E, his unit was redeployed to the Philippines and later performed occupation duty in Japan.  Ed was very proud of his service to his country and always willing to share his war time experience with other veterans. 


After returning from the service, Ed worked at various local businesses including Rowe’s Garage, Gibson Chevrolet, Puffer Construction, and J.W. Parson’s Farm Equipment.  In 1956, Ed partnered with Ted Boyden and established Boyden & Perron Garage as a gasoline station and general automotive repair shop.  Staying true to his upbringing, he would fix anything and everything that came along.  Ed and Ted quickly earned the reputation in town as the “go to” place for repairs.  In their early years in business, they also provided wrecker service and portable welding services.  In the 1960’s, they saw the need to include repairing and selling outdoor power equipment.  One of the weekly highlights for Ed at the business was the Saturday morning coffee social in the back room …everyone was welcome. Even until Ed’s last day, he was still a fixture at the business, always enjoying talking with his long time customers and friends and watching the guys work.


Ed valued spending time with his family and friends.  He will be dearly missed by all.  He enjoyed working on his farm, baling hay in the summer and cutting wood in the fall.  His hobbies included woodworking, feeding his backyard birds and restoring and using antique farm tractors.  For the past 30 years, he would look forward to spending winters with his wife at their home in Florida.


He was a member of the Building Committee and lifetime member of the Amherst VFW Post 754.  He had served on the board of the Amherst History Museum.


He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Helen (Wysocki); his two sons Don and his wife Maggie of Amherst, Tom and his fiancée Alison Penza of Amherst, daughter Sandy and her husband Bob Majowicz of South Deerfield; one grandson Nicholas Perron of Amherst; and his beloved dog, Dixie.  He was predeceased by his daughter-in-law, Susan (Killam) Perron.


A Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday, August 3, at 10:00 a.m. in St. Brigid’s Church, Amherst, with burial following in North Amherst Cemetery. Calling hours will be Friday, August 2, from 4 – 8 p.m. at the Douglass Funeral Service, Amherst.


In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to The Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, 110 Cherry St., Holyoke, MA 01040. Obituary and memorial register at

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

PostHeaderIcon THEODORE GILBERT of AMHERST, MA, July 10, 1914 – July 22, 2013


AMHERST, Theodore Gilbert, of Baltimore and more recently, Amherst MA, died July 22 in Amherst with his family at his side.  Just 12 days earlier, he had been the life of the party as family and friends celebrated his 99th birthday.

Ted was born in 1914 in Ithaca, NY, to Celia and Isaac Ginsberg.  He grew up mostly in Washington, DC, with a few years’ interlude when his father worked in Key West, Florida. His stories from that time revolved around never-ending battles against snakes and mosquitoes. 

A pharmacist who worked in several drugstores over the years and retired from the University of Maryland Hospital Pharmacy in Baltimore, he was a lifelong hobbyist whose interests knew no bounds.  In the 1950s he built a car engine from scratch that he installed in a rattletrap Studebaker body.  The “Teddybaker” got plenty of odd looks but easily transported the family from Baltimore to the Mexican border and back.

Ted was an avid gardener and at various times took up painting, mandolin, and guitar.  He built clocks, radios, and a prized stereo system from kits.  His passion for woodworking resulted in countless tables, chairs, shelves, lamps, trays, and knickknacks now gracing the homes of family members.

Once he retired, Ted had more time to indulge his social and political interests.  He was an ardent union man and could be found at meetings and marches in the pursuit of peace and social justice.  He was a devoted fan of limericks, Robert Burns, “Hamlet,” Mozart’s clarinet concerto, “The Three Penny Opera,” Woody Guthrie, and Pete Seeger.  If Ted were to serve as an example, anyone seeking longevity would do well to feast on a steady diet of donuts, potato chips, and chocolate.

Ted was predeceased by his parents, his sister Vita Schach, and his first wife Anita Kanner Gilbert.  He will be deeply missed and remembered with great love by his wife Magda Gilbert of Baltimore; his daughter and son-in-law Lynn and Leonard Lempel of Daytona Beach; his son and daughter-in-law Mark and Nancy Gilbert of Amherst, with whom he lived for the last six years; stepson Louis Shillman of Austin TX; stepdaughter Ilona Shillman of Los Angeles; granddaughter Erica (Scott) Fisher of Belchertown MA; grandson Tom Gilbert of Las Vegas; grandson Brian (Diana) Lempel of Cambridge MA; step-grandson Grant Garson of New York City; and the lights of his life for the past four years, great-grandsons Charlie and Leo Fisher. In addition Ted will be missed by extended family Wayne Guider and his wife Daryl Ann Hornyak, many cousins, and special friends Carlos and Mary Santiago, Jane Kristal and Don Towsley, Pearl-Anne and Nathan Margalit, and Andrea Cutrumbes.  A special thank you is extended to Ted’s special caregivers through the past 5 years Margie and Karen, and also to the staff at the Center for Extended Care at Amherst who lovingly cared for Ted during the past 2 months.

Donations may be made in Ted’s memory to La Paz Centro Nicaragua Sister City Committee c/o Kathleen Mullin, Treasurer, 39 Mill Lane, Amherst, MA 01002

A celebration of his life is planned for the fall. Obituary and memorial register at

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

PostHeaderIcon ALICE P. WYSOCKI of EXETER, NH, February 23, 1926 – July 23, 2013

Alice P. Wysocki

EXETER, NH – Alice P. Wysocki, 87, of Exeter NH, died Tuesday, July 23, 2013 in Exeter Hospital, after a sudden illness.

She was born on February 23, 1926 in Amherst MA, the daughter of the late Alexander J. Wysocki and Anna Silvonic Wysocki.  She attended Amherst schools.  Alice graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1948, with a BS in Chemistry.  She spent her working career as a research chemist, working for a short time in Easthampton MA, with the balance of her career in Boston MA.  She retired to Exeter NH in 2007.

Alice enjoyed reading, traveling, and spending time with her family.

She was predeceased by her two sisters, Sophie T. Sadoski of South Deerfield MA, and Anne W. Rogers of Amherst MA.

She leaves two nephews, Peter Sadoski of Logan Utah and James Rogers of Hadley MA, and one niece, Nancy Singleton of Stratham NH, as well as their families.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, July 29, at 10:00 a.m. in St. Brigid’s Church, Amherst with burial following in St. Brigid’s Cemetery, Hadley. A Calling Hour will precede Mass from 8:45 – 9:45 a.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
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MARTINA CARROLL of SHUTESBURY, MA died on July 12, 2014

LOUIS FACTO of NORTHAMPTON, MA died on August 16, 2014

DOROTHY A. IVES of AMHERST, MA died on August 19, 2014

ANN D. LASALLE of AMHERST, MA died on August 23, 2014

PENNIE H. MARCUS of HADLEY, MA died on July 29, 2014

Gale S. McClung of Amherst, MA died on July 30, 2014

BLANCHE (DOLEVA) ORRELL of AMHERST, MA died on August 17, 2014


LINDA M. RAMIREZ of AMHERST, MA died on August 11, 2014

ERNESTINE "TINI" SAWICKI of AMHERST, MA died on August 12, 2014

JOSEPH VASSALLO of HADLEY, MASS died on August 21, 2014