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Archive for the ‘Obituaries’ Category

PostHeaderIcon JOHN E. BRITT of FLORENCE, MASS, September 20, 1955 – February 9, 2016





Florence, John E. Britt, 60, passed away February 9, 2016 at his home in Florence. Those who knew John will remember his epic drum playing and his love of rock music. They will remember his sharp wit, his direct, no-nonsense commentary, his hard-working, take charge attitude and in particular his absolute love for NASCAR racing. He loved his people, his family that is a collection of those both born and chosen.  If he loved you, you knew it. If he didn’t, you knew that too. We will all miss him very much. John was pre-deceased by his parents George T. Britt and Mary (LaRose) Britt, his brothers Thomas and Robert Britt, all of Amherst, MA. He is survived by his daughters, Angelique Britt and Samantha Britt,, his three grandchildren Andrew, Brandon and Rheia Thomasson, his siblings; Beverly Ross,  Richard Britt and James Britt, nephews Sean Britt and Todd Page and niece Amy (Page) Truong as well as many loving family and friends. He also leaves to keep his memory his long time love, his honey, Lynn Malo. In lieu of a wake and funeral, as was John’s request, we are holding A Celebration of John’s Life at the American Legion Post 28 in Florence on Saturday February 13, 2016 from 12pm-5pm. All who knew and loved John are welcome to join us in remembering him. Memorial register at




PostHeaderIcon BARBARA JONES of AMHERST, MASS, April 28, 1935 – February 4, 2016



Barbara K Jones, 80, of Sanibel Island, FL and formerly of Amherst, MA, passed away on Thursday, February 4, 2016 at Hospice of the Fisher Home after a courageous battle with cancer.  Born on April 28, 1935, she was the daughter of the late Helen (Lewis) Knowlton Young and the late Dana B. Knowlton of Walpole NH.  Barbara moved to Amherst at the age of 5, and attended Amherst public schools. She graduated from Amherst High School with the class of 1952.   


Barbara attended Fitchburg State Teachers College graduating in 1956 then taught second grade in both Amherst and Framingham schools.  After returning to Amherst, she received a Masters degree in Education from the University of Massachusetts in 1960. 


Barbara is survived by her husband of 56 years, Denison H. Jones, and their three children, Gerald L. Jones and his fiancé Karen Stiles Dunn and his children, Parker and Caroline; Wendy Jones Boisseau, her husband Greg, and their children Chelsea, Zoe, Morgan and Hope; and Andrew C. Jones, his wife Sheilah, and their children Griffin and Maddox. 


Barbara was Denny’s partner in DH Jones Real Estate Agency, which began as a two person operation located in their home on Amity Street.  In the late 1960s Denny, Barbara, Gordon and Beverly Neylon started the Jones-Neylon Insurance Agency. 


While living in Amherst, Barbara served in the Eastern Star, the Amherst Garden Club, the Amherst 40, and the Amherst Women’s Club.  She enjoyed volunteering at her voting precinct as well as at Wildwood Elementary School, Cub Scouts and Brownies.

In Florida, Barbara loved shelling, boating, and spending time with Denny and their many friends.  She was an active member at the Sanibel Island Historical Society, CROW (Care & Rehabilitation of Wildlife) and the Captiva Island Yacht Club.


A Memorial Celebration will be held on Tuesday, February 9, 2016 from 5-7pm at the Marriott Courtyard in Hadley.  A private burial with be held by the family. 


Our family would like to thank the phenomenal staff and volunteers at Hospice of the Fisher Home for providing Barbara with relentless kindness and compassion.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of The Fisher Home, 1165 No. Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA 01002. 





PostHeaderIcon WALTER “HANK” LEWISON of AMHERST, MASS, February 23, 1926 – January 18, 2016



Amherst, Walter Richard (Hank) Lewison, 89, a long-time resident of Amherst, died


Peacefully on Monday, January 18, 2016. Husband of the late Agnes Marie (Graves) Lewison, who predeceased him on June 14, 2015, Hank and his beloved Agnes (Aggie) would have celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary on January 16, 2016. 


Walter was also predeceased by his parents, the late Anna (Hanuszczyk) Lisiewicz and Frederick Lisiewicz, three sisters; Mary, Rose, and Catherine, and three brothers;  Peter, Michael and Stephen.  


Walter leaves behind his children, Maureen of Seattle, WA, Eileen of Arlington, VA, Richard of Amherst, MA, Mark of West Hollywood, CA, John of Whitefish, MT, Thomas of Ware, MA, and Eric of Belchertown, MA, as well as his daughters-in-law Paulette and Kathleen, sons-in-law John and Leandro, and 7 grandchildren, Nathaniel, Maia, Charlotte, Steven, Michael, William and Tess, and many nieces and nephews. 


Born in Ludlow, Massachusetts on February 23, 1926, Hank was a 1943 graduate of Ludlow High School. He attended Tufts University and graduated from George Washington University. 


Hank’s early career was that of naval pilot until retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Commander in 1964. He then spent the next ten years as a stockbroker and commodities trader working for several brokerage firms in Los Angeles, CA, Washington, DC, and Springfield, MA.


He was also owner and operator of a Christmas tree farm in Ludlow, MA until 1987 and was a member of the Massachusetts Christmas Tree Association until that time. 


Hank was a true renaissance man; believing that change and reinvention leads to longevity and true happiness. He was a committed environmentalist and steward of the land, conserving large land tracts in both Massachusetts and Vermont. 


He will live in our hearts forever. His sage advice has given us all a sense of integrity, honesty, and the ability to change direction many times in life in order to remain interesting and interested. 


“Fly to the Stars where one day we will meet again”. 


There will be a private family memorial locally. Final interment will be together with his beloved wife Agnes in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA.


Arrangements are forthcoming. 


Questions and condolences may be directed to:







PostHeaderIcon PATRICIA L. CLARK of SHUTESBURY, MASS, August 1, 1937 – January 30, 2016





Shutesbury, Patricia {Capen} Clark, 78 of Shutesbury, passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family, January 30, 2016 at the Cooley Dickinson Hospital.




She was born August 1, 1937, in Northampton. She grew up in Amherst and attended schools there. She married her husband Charles Clark in May of 1957 and moved to Shutesbury where she raised her family. She worked for the Amherst School System and was the driving force behind the daily operation of the family business, Clark Auto Wrecking.




She loved her kids, spoiling her grandchildren, NASCAR, her birds and her animals. She loved trips to the coast of Maine, especially Booth Bay Harbor and road trips to Pennsylvania.




Patricia was predeceased by her granddaughter Chelsey Hall, her grandson Steven Clark and her son in law Peter Hall. Her parents Wallace and Louise {Pierce} Capen, her sister Nancy Atwell and her brothers Kenneth and Lawrence Capen.




She leaves behind her husband Charles Clark, sons Thomas Clark {Sara} all of Shutesbury, Bruce Clark {Karen} of Belchertown and daughter Susan Hall Hendricks {James} of Hadley. Grandchildren Stacey Myre, Stephanie Jernigan, John Clark, Charles H. Clark, Christina Gray, Cody Clark, Anthony Clark, Courtney Hall and Shelby Hall along with seven great-Grandchildren. Her brothers Wallace, George and William Capen and her sister Linda Houle and many nieces and nephews.




The family wishes to thank the nursing staff at the Center for Extended Care in Amherst and the Critical Care staff of the Cooley Dickinson Hospital, also the VNA & Hospice of Cooley Dickinson for their many acts of kindness.




Memorial donations may be made to Guardians for Hope, team Halls




The funeral service will be Friday February 5, at 10:00 am at the Douglass Funeral Service, Amherst. Burial will follow in West Cemetery, Shutesbury. Calling hours will be Thursday February 4, from 5 – 8 pm at the Douglass Funeral Service.







PostHeaderIcon CAROLE AUDREY STEPHENS of AMHERST, MA, July 24, 1939 – January 26, 2016



Carole Audrey Stephens, 76, passed away at her home in Amherst, MA on January 26, 2016, surrounded by the love of her family and friends. 

Born in 1939, Carole spent her childhood in the small town of Ipswich, in St. Elizabeth Parish in the island of Jamaica, West Indies, where her father was a landowner and political figure. Her brother remembers how meticulous she was, and how delighted he was in rumpling the sheets that she had carefully straightened of all wrinkles when they shared a bed as very small children. She graduated from the Immaculate Conception High School Class of 1957, and received her Higher School Certificates in the Principal Subjects of History and Zoology, and the Subsidiary Subjects of English and Religious Knowledge, from the University of Cambridge. 

In Jamaica Carole built her career as a banker, working for the Bank of Nova Scotia Jamaica Limited for 25 years of loyal service before immigrating to the United States and becoming a citizen. Once in the United States, Carole embarked on a second career as a Licensed Practical Nurse, receiving her training and license from the University of the State of New York Education Department in 1997. She worked at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital in Patchogue, New York until she retired and moved to Amherst to be near her granddaughter. 

Carole married George Stephens in 1969, with whom she had two daughters. She is survived by her daughters, Michelle Ann Stephens of East Brunswick, NJ and Sandra Hope Stephens of New Hartford, NY and her granddaughter Alexandria Stephens Prisock. She is also survived by her brother Errol Powell Wright and sister-in-law Valerie Joy Wright of Estero, FL. Carole was predeceased by her parents Egerton and Doris Wright. 

A Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday, February 6, 2016 at 10:00 AM at St. Brigid’s Church, Amherst. Burial will follow in St. Brigid’s Cemetery, Hadley, with a reception to follow.

 The family requests that donations be made in memory of Carole Stephens to Cooley Dickinson VNA & Hospice at PO Box 329, Northampton, MA 01061-0329 ( or the Doctor Kenneth Clover Somers-Dehaney Medical Foundation at 113 Eastwood Drive, Johnson City, NY 13790 (a charity founded to help provide medical care and equipment to populations in the Caribbean and beyond).   

PostHeaderIcon JEAN L. GREEN of AMHERST, MA, December 29, 1924 – January 13, 2016


Jean L. (Lacroix) Green, 91, died January 13, 2016, at home with family, after a lengthy struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.


The daughter of the late Donald (Pop) and Edith Lacroix, Jean was born and grew up in Amherst, graduating from Amherst High School in 1942.   She attended the Northampton Commercial College and started working with her mother as a secretary at the Registrar’s Office of the Massachusetts State College in 1943.  Jean retired in 1984 as the Head Clerk in the Admissions Office of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.  She thoroughly loved her job, as it involved constant contact with students and staff from all departments. Over the years, many people told her son and daughter-in-law that Jean was very popular and considered an institution at UMass.


Jean lived in Hadley during the 1950’s and early 1960’s, when she also worked at the former Johnny Green’s Blue Eagle Inn, which was owned and operated by her father-in-law.  From 1965 to 2008, she lived in Belchertown.


Jean spent much of her retirement taking care of her late husband, John C. (Chet) Green, who was a disabled World War II veteran she married in 1949.  Chet passed away in 2010.  They loved to vacation regularly on the coast of Maine.  She also enjoyed picking up her grandson Jarrad when he was young and attending The Common School in Amherst, and transporting him to his various sports and arts activities after school.  Her vital role in helping raise Jarrad was of immeasurable assistance to his parents.


Jean leaves behind her son, Rick and daughter-in-law, Laura of Amherst, with whom she lived since 2008; her grandson, Jarrad of New York City; her sister-in-law, Elizabeth McKenney and her husband Donald of Westmoreland, New Hampshire; and their sons Peter of Cape Cod and David of Montague.  Jean was predeceased by her sister-in-law, Marion Anderson and her husband Clint, formerly of Amherst.


Jean was lovingly cared for in her declining years primarily by her daughter-in-law Laura.  The many sacrifices she made to make Jean as comfortable as possible are very much appreciated by the family.  We would also like to thank the Cooley Dickinson VNA & Hospice for the excellent services they provided Jean.


There will be no public service.  Donations in memory of Jean may be made to the Cooley Dickinson VNA & Hospice, at P.O. Box 329, Northampton, MA 01061-9935.



PostHeaderIcon LOIS KATHRYN CANNON of AMHERST, MASS, January 29, 1919 – January 21, 2016


Lois Kathryn (Hixson) Cannon, 96, a long-time resident of Hadley, passed away on January 21, 2016, at the Center for Extended Care in Amherst.  


Born in 1919, Lois was raised in Gettysburg, South Dakota, a small town on the prairie. Growing up in the Great Depression, her childhood memories included twisters, prairie fires and blizzards, as well as happy times with a loving, close-knit family. She graduated as co-valedictorian of the Gettysburg High School Class of 1936. She attended Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, SD,  receiving a B.A. with honors in 1940. Following graduation, she taught in a one-room schoolhouse in rural South Dakota.


In 1944, Lois married George W. Cannon, Ph.D., and left the Midwest, moving first to Philadelphia and, following World War II, to MA where her husband taught at the University of Massachusetts for 35 years. While raising three children, Lois volunteered with numerous organizations including the Cooley Dickinson Hospital and “Round the World Women,” and was active in the Wesley Methodist Church. She was a master weaver, an accomplished seamstress, a gardener, and grower of orchids. 


Lois is survived by three children, ten grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. Children: James Cannon (Marjorie) of Penfield, NY; Rebecca Lindsey (Edgar) of Amherst, MA; Deborah Ponce (Vincent) of Tolland, CT. Grandchildren: Heather Brown, Mark Cannon (Molly), Sarah Cannon, Benjamin Cannon, Kathryn Lindsey (Aditya Khanna), Eric Lindsey, Jennifer Lindsey, Lisa Ponce, Colin Ponce and Ryan Ponce. Great-grandchildren: Jacob Brown, Morgan Brown, Reed Cannon, Reagan Cannon, Madelyn Cannon, Oliver Stamey and Noah Stamey. She is also survived by her sister-in-law Mary Hixson of Bismarck, ND. Lois was predeceased by her husband George; parents Harry and Lisa Hixson; three brothers Robert, William and Donald Hixson; and many friends. 

The burial and memorial service will be private.



PostHeaderIcon CHARLES BESTOR of AMHERST, MASS, December 21, 1924 – January 16, 2016

Amherst, the composer and educator Charles Bestor died in his sleep at his home in Amherst, Massachusetts January16.  Born December 21, 1924 in New York City to Arthur E. and Jeanette L. Bestor, Charles spent his childhood at the Chautauqua Institution where his father was President and in New York City where he graduated from the Lincoln School.


He met his future wife, Ann Elder, at the International House in New York City and on their first date they watched Bobby Thompson hit his legendary home run.  After their marriage in 1951 at the First Congregational Church in Amherst, Massachusetts they went on to have six children who joined them on their various adventures in New York, Colorado, Oregon, Alabama and, finally, Massachusetts as Charles pursued his parallel careers in music administration and composition.


He studied with Paul Hindemith at Yale University and later with Vincent Persichetti and Peter Menin at the Juilliard School and, independently, with Vladimir Ussachevsky.  He held degrees from Swarthmore College (Phi Beta Kappa), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Doctorate from the University of Colorado at Boulder.


He began his career at the Juilliard School where, in 1958, he and Ann along with their three sons accompanied the Juilliard Orchestra on their State Department sponsored European tour, acting as manager of the Orchestra.  He then accepted a faculty position at the University of Colorado at Boulder and from there went on to become the Dean of the Music School at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon followed by appointments as Head of Music at the University of Alabama and the University of Utah.  In 1977 the family returned to the east coast and Ann’s hometown of Amherst where he became Head of Music and Dance Department at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. While Charles spent many of his hours composing and, while in Utah received commissions from the Utah Symphony and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, it was during his tenure at UMass that he was able to fully embrace his role as composer.  Through time spent at the artist colonies Yaddo, MacDowell, Ragdale, the Virginia Center for the Arts and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre (Ireland) Charles was able to write many of the compositions performed so beautifully by his colleagues at UMass and elsewhere.  At the time of his death he was working on a double CD set of his music entitled “The Summing Up”.  The CD, to be released by Albany Records in the spring of 2016, features local artists Estela Olevsky, Nigel Coxe, Paulina Stark, Lynn Klock, Eduardo Leonardo, Astrid Schween, Jon Humphries and Dana Lynne Varga.


Charles also collaborated on many installation pieces, the first of which, Pathways from the Dream Spell Series, with Sherry Healy, was installed at the Chicago International Art Expo at Navy Pier.  He went on to a long and fruitful collaboration with the visual artist Barbara Cornett and the lighting designer John Wade on the installations Cycles and Time and the River’s Flow,  both of which were commissioned by the Maier Museum of American Art.  He subsequently collaborated with Ms. Cornett and Mr. Wade on the installation Into the Labyrinth, commissioned by the Fine Arts Center of the Virginia Museum in Lynchburg and The Unfound Door, commissioned by the College Music Society.


Charles served in the Navy during World War II.


His wife, Ann, died in 1999 after 47 years of a successful and loving partnership.  Their commitment, passion and love for their family is part of their enduring legacy as parents and individuals to their children who have strived to live by their example of honesty and integrity.  Charles of Washington DC, Geoff of Washington DC, Phill of Pittsburgh, PA, Leslie Ann of Amherst, MA, Wendy of Taiwan and Simsbury, CT and Jenner of Amherst, MA join with Phill and Wendy’s spouses Janice Watkins and Lee Zalinger and Charles’ grandchildren Zachary, Gavin and Josh Zalinger, Amanda Bestor-Siegal and Cady Bestor and his companion Barbara Cornett of Lynchburg, VA.  The family will hold in a private ceremony this weekend followed by a public memorial in the Fall of 2016 to honor his life and legacy.


Donations in his honor may be made in his honor to the Ann Elder Bestor Memorial Scholarship in Music, c/o Jessica Usher, College of Humanities and Fine Arts, 104 Dickinson Hall, 155 Hicks Way, Amherst, MA 01002. 



PostHeaderIcon MARIAN L. FRAZIER of HOLYOKE, MASS, February 11, 1925 – January 20, 2016

Holyoke, Marian (nee Looney) Frazier, 90, peacefully left this world on January 20, surrounded by love, both from her family and the extended community of the Mont Marie Health Care Center. 


She was born in Cambridge MA in 1925 to Irish immigrants. Her father educated her in the Irish struggle for freedom while her mother taught her the importance of caring for the poor and forgotten.  


She was the eldest daughter among four children who grew to adulthood during the Great Depression. She met and married flyer ace and war hero Gerald R. Frazier. They were blessed with eight children. 


Marian was introduced to the civil rights movement after moving to the deep South as a young bride. It was here where her lifelong commitment to social justice began.


She worked with Dorothy Day of the Catholic Worker Movement, anti-war priests, Phil and Dan Berrigan, and the international peace group, Pax Christi. Marian was a friend of Bill W. which led her to a prison ministry in local jails. She was politically active in the Democratic Party, serving as a local coordinator in John F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign.


Her spiritual life was deeply influenced by the Christian monastic, Thomas Merton.  Marian was a faithful parishioner at St. Mary’s of Longmeadow, St. Brigid’s and the Newman Center of Amherst.


She was predeceased by her husband, Gerald and her two sisters, Marjorie Ray Hayes and Patricia Campbell.  She is survived by her brother Richard J. Looney.


She leaves behind her children and their spouses, Michael and Susan of Hadley, Maureen of Longmeadow, Kevin and Angela of York ME, Eileen of Scarborough ME, Gerry and Lisa of Scarborough ME, Daniel of Amherst, John of Amherst and Kathleen and Mark Blakeman of Longmeadow.


She also leaves behind her grandchildren, Sarah, Kathleen, Teresa, Dylan, Grace, John Paul, Trent, Christian Frazier, Mary Kate, Patrick and Meghan Blakeman, and Caitlin Casali.  She leaves two great-grandchildren, Kaiden and Mackenzie.  


Calling hours will be Monday January 25, 2016, from 5-8pm at the Douglass Funeral Service, Amherst.  A liturgy of Christian burial will be held at Monte Marie, in Holyoke, Tuesday at 11am. Burial will follow at 1:00pm at St. Brigid’s Cemetery, Hadley.


In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to: 


Sisters of Saint Joseph Retirement Fund, 577 Carew St. Springfield, MA 01104, Doctors Without Borders or The Catholic Worker Movement.





PostHeaderIcon ADAM GAMBLE of AMHERST, MASS, September 7, 1983 – January 12, 2016



AMHERST, Adam Gamble, 32, died suddenly, Tuesday January, 12, 2016. He was the son of Mary Lou Madigan and Henry Gamble.  Originally from Amherst, he attended Amherst Public Schools at a young age, later graduating from Belchertown High School.


Adam leaves behind 14 brothers and sisters Todd Palmisano and his wife Ansley Palmisano, Brandi Gamble-Lucas, Brandon Gamble, Danny Rodriguez,  Mandi Hawkins, Valerie Gamble, Daryl Gamble, Keith Gamble,  Kim Gamble, Kevin Gamble and his wife Linda Gamble, Ava Ward and her husband Jim Ward, Shelda Lavalle, Kim Burell and Sherri Oconnor. He is also survived by his special nieces and nephews, Sierra, Madison, Tawreak and Deshean Gamble and Savannah DeChristopher.  He was predeceased by his brother Ryan Gamble in 2013.


A graveside service will be Monday January 18, 2016 at 12:30 PM at St. Brigid’s Cemetery, Hadley, where Adam will be laid to rest beside his beloved brother and best friend, Ryan. Calling hours will preceded the service on Monday at the Douglass Funeral Service, Amherst from 10 – 12:15 PM.








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

HOWARD "HOWIE" WAGNER, JR. of AMHERST, MASS died on June 20, 2016

LAURA L. WASKIEWICZ of GRANBY, MASS died on June 18, 2016

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BERNARD F. WILKES, JR. of SUNAPEE, NH died on June 22, 2016