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Archive for the ‘Obituaries’ Category

PostHeaderIcon PAUL FRANKLIN ROSS of SOUTH HADLEY, MA, April 2, 1926 – April 1, 2016

 

 

Paul Franklin Ross passed away April 1, 2016 at the Soldier’s Home in Holyoke, MA just a few hours shy of his 90th birthday.   Paul made his home in Johnstown, Pennsylvania for more than 30 years and most recently in South Hadley, MA where he and his wife, Jean, moved to be closer to their daughters.  Paul was born in Bradenville, Pennsylvania on April 2, 1926. At age 18, Paul joined the Army Air Corps where he was stationed in Europe as an aerial photographer taking reconnaissance photographs.  After his 1951 graduation from Ohio State University with a degree in ceramic engineering, Paul joined the Bethlehem Steel management training program.  He was initially assigned to the Research Department in Bethlehem, PA and in 1955 was transferred to the Blast Furnace Department in Johnstown, where he spent most of his career as a Superintendent.  Paul and his loving wife of 66 years, Jean Marie (Houck) Ross, loved their summer home in Stone Harbor, New Jersey and when Paul and Jean retired in the mid-80’s they split their time between homes in Stone Harbor and Whispering Pines, NC.  Paul was an avid golfer and fisherman, he had a green thumb and took pride in his vegetable gardens and he loved feeding the birds and creating bird woodcarvings. He was an engineer at heart and there was nothing he couldn’t “fix”.  He loved being a husband and dad but spending time with his grandchildren gave him exceptional joy, particularly taking them fishing.  Paul is survived by his wife Jean Marie (Houck) Ross, Loomis Village, South Hadley, MA, his daughter Deborah Whitford and her husband Dan of South Hadley, MA, his son Daniel Ross and wife Diane of Bethlehem, PA, his daughter Donna Ross and husband Peter Straley of Amherst, MA, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. A private family remembrance is planned. In lieu of flowers please send donations to Loomis Village, South Hadley, MA.

 

 

PostHeaderIcon MARY ALMA SCARCLIFF of SHUTESBURY, MASS, February 22, 1937 – March 26, 2016

 

 

Amherst, Mary Alma Scarcliff (Mary Boudreau), formerly of 700 Franklin Street, Belchertown, MA, died on March 26, 2016 at Hospice of the Fisher Home in Amherst of complications from ALS.  She was the daughter of the late William Frederick and Mildred (Kersh) Scarcliff of Jackson, Mississippi. Mary was born at Baptist Hospital in Jackson in February of 1937. But it was coming to Amherst Massachusetts in 1957 that she first felt at home. But Massachusetts wasn’t her first love. 

 

In September of 1953, Mary, then 16, spied a handsome new teacher on the first day of school in her Junior year. Stopping to find out his name and what he taught, she proceeded to the guidance counselor’s office and asked to be moved into Mr. Boudreau’s sixth period English class. “Why, Mary Alma?” was the obvious question. “Because I’m going to marry that man!” was Mary’s response. Perhaps more surprising was the counselor’s reply: “More power to ya.” And schedules forever more were changed. 

 

Mary relished telling the stories of how she “stalked” that teacher. What few listeners could imagine was how she also managed to get accepted – having only finished her third year of high school – to the University of Wisconsin, Madison so that she could be in college where Hal was moving on to graduate school. That sheer, relentless determination was one of her defining characteristics.

 

Exceptionally bright and equally diligent, Mary earned her Bachelor’s degree along with two Master’s and her Ph.D. — but never a high school diploma.  More importantly, in 1955 she did marry that man.

 

Hal took a faculty position at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where they moved in 1957. In the 1960s Mary taught Spanish at the Mary A. Burnham School for Girls, and later at Smith College.  

 

Mary’s determination also came to bear in her desire to have a child. Following a string of difficult pregnancies that would have deterred most, Hal and Mary welcomed their only child, Timothy Douglas Boudreau, in 1968. The counseling she received during that time piqued her interest in clinical psychology, and in the 1970s she returned to school at UMass to get her Ph.D. in psychology.  In addition to her academic and professional pursuits, Mary was a skilled painter, poet, house designer (blueprints and all), founder of a local Montessori school, and even a passable carpenter.

 

Following an amicable divorce in 1980, she built a career practicing and teaching psychology, first at Baystate in Springfield, followed by the Devereaux Institute in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In 1985 she took a job teaching and developing the adolescent treatment program at UMass Medical School in Worcester, MA, where she would spend the remainder of her career, retiring in 2001.

 

In 2002, she bought a house in Belchertown, MA to be nearer to Hal and to Amherst, and spent her time on friends, family, reading a novel a day, and socializing a feral cat that she rescued and was resolved to domesticate. In 2015 she moved into assisted living at The Arbors at Amherst.

 

She died surrounded by family and friends, who read her the letters she wrote to Hal that summer of 1954 before they wed. She is survived by her former husband, Harold L. Boudreau, of Belchertown, MA; son Timothy D. Boudreau of Shutesbury, MA, his wife Christy, and grandson Jack Finnegan Boudreau, born last summer, whom she delighted in during her final months; her oldest friend Carol Broun Wansong of Washington, D.C.; her eldest friend Marilyn Greenfield of Medfield, MA; and closest friends Lisa McCune LeDuc and Steven McDonald of Belchertown, MA and Kurt Barbuscio of South Kingston, RI.

 

 

PostHeaderIcon LOIS M. LASALLE of GLASTONBURY, CONN, September 27, 1926 – February 24, 2016

Lois M. LaSalle, 89, of Glastonbury, CT and North Hadley, MA passed away on Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at Hartford Hospital. She was born in Northampton, MA on September 27, 1926. She was the daughter of the late Arthur and Bessie (Hillman) LaSalle. Lois grew up in North Hadley, MA and graduated with the class of 1945 at Hopkins Academy and the Class of 1949 at The University of Massachusetts. She was employed by Travelers Insurance her entire career in Hartford, CT living in Glastonbury, CT where she was an active member of First Church of Christ Congregational. She enjoyed her home, was an active gardener and enjoyed traveling with friends. No longer able to care for herself, she lived out her remaining years at Mountain Laurel Assisted Living in Glastonbury. Lois is survived by her nephew David LaSalle and his partner Wayne Johnson of Provincetown, MA. She was predeceased by her brothers Edwin LaSalle, Charles LaSalle and a niece Linda LaSalle Schumacher. A graveside service will be held at the North Hadley Cemetery in North Hadley, MA on Monday, April 4, 2016 at 11:00AM. Memorial donations may be made to The First Church of Christ, Congregational, 2183 Main St., Glastonbury, CT 06033.

PostHeaderIcon DEBORAH L. PICKERING of WESTBOROUGH, MASS, June 6, 1958 – March 9, 2016

 

 

Westborough, MA, Deborah L. Pickering, 57, died peacefully Wednesday March 9, 2016 at her home in Westborough. She was born June 6, 1958 in Northampton, MA, and was the daughter of Arthur and Louise {Puffer} Pickering, of Amherst. In her later years of her life she lived with the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. Besides her parents, she is also survived by her brother William Pickering of Las Vegas, her niece Sarah Liles and her 4 nephews Jeffrey, Timothy, Stephen and Bradley Pickering. She was predeceased by her brother Christopher in 2006. The family will observe private funeral services in Amherst. Memorial donations in her name may be made to Metro Residential Services 465 Waverly Oak Rd. Suite # 120 Waltham, MA 02452 C/O Maureen Delaney.

 

 

 

PostHeaderIcon CHRISTOPHER F. GRAY of GRANBY, MASS, December 2, 1958 – March 1, 2016

 

 

 

 

Christopher F. Gray (1958-2016)

Granby, MA, Christopher died of natural causes at his home in Granby, Massachusetts. The son of Annette G. Gray of Delray Beach, Florida, and the late Robert L. Gray, Chris was a beloved father, grandfather, brother, and uncle.

Christopher is survived by his daughter Christen Carter and granddaughters Brianna Albert, age 11, and Patience Carter, age 5, also of Granby. Siblings Molly Gray of Northampton, Susanne Gray Stankowski of Deerfield, Don Gray of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Jen Gray of Northampton, Jonathan Gray of Palm Springs, California, and Katie Gray of Holyoke, as well as their spouses, partners, and many nieces and nephews, survive Chris as well.

An Amherst Regional High School Class of 1976 graduate, Christopher was a varsity ice hockey goalie during school. He continued to play as goalie after graduation in a semi-professional league. Christopher was well-known as a professional bartender in the Valley, warm and friendly, always ready to listen to or tell a good story.

A man of many creative interests, Chris was an accomplished woodworker, painter, and home cook. Chris very much enjoyed the outdoors, particularly mountain biking and fishing. Many of Chris’s paintings depict the beauty of the Western Massachusetts landscape.

Memorial donations in Christopher F. Gray’s honor may be made to Baystate Children’s Hospital or the charity of your choice.

Christopher’s family welcomes friends to attend a memorial on April 8 at the Douglass Funeral Home in Amherst, with calling hours from 4-5:30pm followed by a service from 5:30-6pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PostHeaderIcon CRISTOPHER F. GRAY of GRANBY, MASS, December 2, 1958 – March 1, 2016

 

 

Christopher F. Gray (1958-2016)

 

Granby, MA, Christopher died of natural causes at his home in Granby, Massachusetts. The son of Annette G. Gray of Delray Beach, Florida, and the late Robert L. Gray, Chris was a beloved father, grandfather, brother, and uncle.

Christopher is survived by his daughter Christen Carter and granddaughters Brianna Albert, age 11, and Patience Carter, age 5, also of Granby. Siblings Molly Gray of Northampton, Susanne Gray Stankowski of Deerfield, Don Gray of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Jen Gray of Northampton, Jonathan Gray of Palm Springs, California, and Katie Gray of Holyoke, as well as their spouses, partners, and many nieces and nephews, survive Chris as well.

An Amherst Regional High School Class of 1976 graduate, Christopher was a varsity ice hockey goalie during school. He continued to play as goalie after graduation in a semi-professional league. Christopher was well-known as a professional bartender in the Valley, warm and friendly, always ready to listen to or tell a good story.

A man of many creative interests, Chris was an accomplished woodworker, painter, and home cook. Chris very much enjoyed the outdoors, particularly mountain biking and fishing. Many of Chris’s paintings depict the beauty of the Western Massachusetts landscape.

Memorial donations in Christopher F. Gray’s honor may be made to Baystate Children’s Hospital or the charity of your choice.

Christopher’s family welcomes friends to attend a memorial on April 8 at the Douglass Funeral Home in Amherst, with calling hours from 4-5:30pm followed by a service from 5:30-6pm.

 

 

 

 

PostHeaderIcon MARJORIE E. COWLES of AMHERST, MASS, June 27, 1923 – March 7, 2016

Amherst, Marjorie (Midge) Cowles (92) of South Amherst passed away peacefully in her sleep Monday night, March 7, 2016.  She was born in 1923, the last surviving child of Winfred and Jennie (Kentfield) Cowles, of South Amherst.  She is pre-deceased by her brother Homer of South Amherst, Doris of Vancouver, Canada and Rachel (Monty) of Seekonk, Massachusetts and her nephew Tim Cowles of South Amherst.

 

A graduate of Amherst High School in 1940, she attended and graduated from Massachusetts State College in Amherst in 1944 with a degree in Home Economics.  Upon graduation she held a series of supervisory positions in the food service departments at Dartmouth College, Colby College, the University of Chicago and Yale University.  In 1958 accepted a position with the Massachusetts Department of Education, Bureau of Education and School Food Services eventually working in the Western District of Massachusetts in the School Lunch program for 28 years until her retirement in 1985.

 

Midge, while she had no children of her own, was a very special Aunt for her many nieces and nephews and she will be sorely missed by them.  She provided many opportunities for learning and fun that would not have been possible otherwise.  She leaves behind her sister-in-law Shirley Cowles of South Amherst, nieces; Sue (Cowles) Crutch and her husband Donald of South Amherst, Nancy (Cowles) Kopec of Shelburne, Mass., and Debbie (Cowles) Zonca and husband Wayne of Highland Park, Illinois, and, nephews; Mike Cowles and his wife Nancy of Belchertown, Bob Cowles of Derby, Vermont (recently of Deerfield, Mass.), Dan Cowles of Cape Coral, Florida,  Andy Cowles and his wife Jacqui of South Amherst and Teddy Monty and his wife Sandy of Cranston, RI. and many great nieces and nephews.

 

A private burial service will be held at the South Amherst Cemetery during the summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PostHeaderIcon ANN ELIZABETH KEARNS of AMHERST, MASS, April 5, 1939 – March 2, 2016

 

 

Amherst, Ann Elizabeth Cleary Kearns, 76, of Amherst, died of pneumonia at Cooley Dickinson Hospital on March 2, 2016.  Born in Jacksonville, Illinois, she held a BA from Stanford University, completed the choral conducting program at Juilliard School of Music, and earned an M.M. in Music History from the University of Wisconsin.  From 1976 to 2000 she was professor of music and choral director at Hampshire College.  As one of the first female choral directors in the Pioneer Valley, she led the way for other women to enter the field.  From 1972 to 1979 she led Da Camera Singers (an early music choral group) which continues to this day.  The composer of many published choral works she had distinguished commissions and performances by the Blanche Moyse Chorale, Alice Parker and others.  She also received several grants and awards. 

 

Ann was an avid birder, extraordinary musician, political activist, member of the Amherst environmental community and loving grandmother.  She was an active volunteer and member of the Kestrel Land Trust Advisory council where she organized walks and talks once or twice a month to bring people out on the land.  She died overlooking the beloved Mount Holyoke Range which the Kestrel Land Trust continues to preserve. 

 

She is survived by her longtime partner, Mary Hocken of Amherst, her former husband Thomas R. Kearns of Shutesbury, her daughter Julia Abbott and her husband Bob, of Wellesley, Massachusetts, her son Matthew and his wife Lucia of Falmouth, Maine and her cherished grandchildren Emily, Benjamin, and Matthew Abbott, and Peter and Jonathan Kearns.

 

Donations, in lieu of flowers, can be made to Kestrel Land Trust of Amherst Massachusetts at www.kestreltrust.org or PO Box 1016 Amherst MA 01004. 

 

Services will be on April 9, 2016 at Grace Episcopal Church in Amherst, Massachusetts, at 3 pm, followed by a gathering in the Parish Hall.  The celebration of Ann’s life will continue at 5:30 pm at Lewis-Sebring, Valentine Hall, Amherst College.

 

 

 

 

PostHeaderIcon STANLEY J. PELIS of HADLEY, MASS, August 28, 1920 – March 2, 2016

 

 

Hadley, Stanley J. Pelis, 95, a long time Amherst and Florence resident, died Wednesday March 2, 2016 at the Elaine Center at Hadley. Stanley was born August 28, 1920 in Montague to the late Joseph and Helen {Staniavak} Pelis.

 

Stanley graduated from the Amherst High School and then entered into the Army Air Corps during WWII. Upon his discharge he began working in the Amherst area for many years doing many different jobs, from bartending, painting, welding and finally becoming a union carpenter. He spent the next 40 plus years of his life working for himself, as a self-employed local carpenter.

 

Stanley had many interests including his love of carpentry, backyard picnics with family and friends, gardening, polka dancing, golfing Cape Cod beaches and winters in Florida.

 

Stanley is survived by his son, George and Anita, of Leverett and his daughter Carol Xinidakis, of Las Vegas. Stanley is also survived by six grandchildren, Laurie Pelis, Rebecca Leahy, Mark, Tim, Dave and Paul Xinidakis, and two great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his beloved wife of more than 65 years Sophie {Kiselewski} Pelis, and four brothers, Joseph, Chester, Edward and Alexander and his sister Sophie.

 

The family would like to thank the Elaine Center at Hadley, The Cooley Dickinson Hospital, and Compassus for their care giving and support.

 

Funeral services will be Tuesday March 8, 2016 at 10:00 am at the Douglass Funeral Service, Amherst, with burial following in St. Brigid’s Cemetery, Hadley. Calling hours will be Monday from 5 – 7 pm at the Douglass Funeral Service.

 

In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to: The Cooley Dickinson Hospital Critical Care Unit P.O. Box 329 Northampton, MA 01061 or Dakin Humane Society 163 Montague Rd. Leverett, MA 01054.

 

 

 

 

PostHeaderIcon CLAIRE KURTZ of PELHAM, MASS, July 2, 1946 – February 27, 2016

 

 

Amherst, Claire Kurtz died February 27 from bile duct cancer, after a nearly 4 year journey.  She was surrounded by close friends, a loving family and wonderful health care providers. 

 

Claire was born in Washington, DC and graduated from University of Wisconsin, Madison (BA-Anthropology) and U-Mass, Amherst (M.Ed). She met Steve, her gentle soulmate and the love of her life, in Brazil and they married in 1968. He filled her life with music and natural beauty and was her constant companion and caregiver through her illness. They made their home in Pelham, MA and co-founded and worked at the Holyoke Street School, an alternative school for high school dropouts. 

 

Claire dedicated her professional life to working with families in the Early Intervention field. This included 21 years with the Reach Early Intervention Program as a developmental educator and team leader, and 13 years for Hampshire Educational Collaborative as an early childhood consultant. 

 

Claire and Steve had their radiant, intrepid daughter Corey in 1979, followed by feisty and jubilant Michael in 1981. She will be deeply missed by Steve and the children, including son-in-law, Uri, and beautiful and sweet grandson Daniel, and by her sister and brother-in-law, Paula and William Lecky, her brother and sister-in-law, Alan Kurtz and April Stein, and their families, and by long-time friends and former colleagues. 

 

Claire was extremely grateful for the support of her circle without whom she couldn’t have possibly sustained hope and health for so long. 

 

The family welcomes visitors to a celebration of Claire’s life on Sunday, April 3 at 11:00am at the Jewish Community of Amherst, 742 Main St., Amherst, MA 01002. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to Abortion Rights Fund of Western Mass, PO Box 2162, Amherst MA 01004-2162 or Cancer Connection, 41 Locust St., Northampton MA 01060. Memorial register at www.douglassfuneral.com

 

  

 

 

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

ROBERT "BOBBY DON" COLBERT of AMHERST, MASS died on August 12, 2016

VIRGINIA MACMILLAN KENDALL of HADLEY, MASS died on August 16, 2016

CHARLES DAVIS READ of SHUTESBURY, MASS died on August 15, 2016

VIOLET L. ROBINSON of NORTHAMPTON, MASS died on August 11, 2016

YOUNG KIM WESTORT of AMHERST, MASS died on August 18, 2016