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Archive for the ‘Obituaries’ Category

PostHeaderIcon PHYLLIS F. AGARD of AMHERST, MASS, September 14, 1920 – August 5, 2016

 

 

Amherst, Phyllis Fairweather Agard, died peacefully at home on Friday August 5, 2016, she was the daughter of  Harold D. Fairweather and Maude Agard Fairweather, was born in West Hartford, CT in 1920. She graduated from West Hartford High School and received an associate degree from Pratt Institute of Design in New York City.  In 1942 she married Robert Mason Agard of Williamstown, MA. The couple spent their early married years, during WWII, in Washington, DC, where Phyllis worked for the War Department as a mapmaker. 

 

The couple raised their family in Ripon, WI; Richmond, IN; Amherst, MA; and North Bennington, VT. In 1983, after Robert Agard retired, they returned to Amherst. At that time Chamnan Koy, from Battambang, Cambodia, joined the family. Robert Agard died in 2003. Phyllis Agard continued to live in their family home, latterly with her youngest daughter and family.  

 

Phyllis and her husband were active members of Mount Toby Friends (Quaker) Meeting in Leverett, MA, serving as Clerk and participating on a number of committees.  Phyllis was active in community service, most notably mental health care, low income and accessible housing, and refugee resettlement.  

 

Phyllis is pre-deceased by her husband, three sisters and two brothers, and by granddaughter, Amber MIller. She is survived by daughters Anne Agard, Ellen Agard, Jennette Agard, Susan Agard Krause and Chamnan Koy Tan; by grandchildren Tristan, Amalia and Margaret Krause; Katherine Silgard Stewart and Emily Silgard; Tiffany, Melanie, Emily and Andrew Tan; and by great grandchildren Drake and Ewan Stewart.

Final arrangements are being handled privately by Douglass Funeral Home in Amherst. In the manner of Friends (Quakers) a Memorial Meeting will be held at a later date.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PostHeaderIcon JOHN E. SHEA of AMHERST, MASS, February 12, 1935 – July 30, 2016

 

 

Amherst – John E. Shea, or Jack as he was affectionately known, passed away on July 30, 2016, in Northampton, Ma.  He was born in Holyoke, Ma. in 1935, the son of John H. Shea and Mary Winifred Maher Shea. He was a graduate of Au Sable Forks High School, in Au Sable Forks, N.Y. and St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt. in 1956.  Upon graduation he served in the US Army for two years.  He then worked construction on the missile bases in the Adirondacks. Later he was employed at Hamilton Standard in Windsor Locks, Ct. After his retirement from Hamilton Standard he began working at the Amherst Golf Club in the Pro Shop. He was still employed there at the time of his death. 

 

He led a very full life, spending time between the Adirondacks (Au Sable Forks, N.Y.) and Amherst, Massachusetts.  Living in the Adirondacks instilled in him a love of winter sports, particularly bobsledding. He spent many weekends bobsledding at the Olympic run in Lake Placid. As a young boy living in Amherst he learned the game of golf playing with his dad at the Amherst Golf Club.  He became quite an accomplished golfer, amassing many trophies though the years.    In later years he wrote a history of the Amherst Golf Club for their centennial celebration in 2000.  As a result of this, he developed a keen interest in researching and writing about many of the activities associated with his life in the Adirondacks, including research into local bobsledders, history of the Indole Golf Club, where he had also been a member, and the Fireman’s Softball league. 

 

He is survived by his sisters, Jane Chalmers and husband Tom, of Lady Lake, Fl. and Kathleen Weatherwax and husband Don of Amherst. Also surviving are his nieces Karen Carey–Agustin and husband Lorenzo of Amherst, Shawn Durocher and her husband Richard of Princeton, Ma.  One nephew Brian Chalmers of Carlisle, Pa. Predeceasing him was his nephew Thomas Chalmers also of Amherst. In addition, he is survived by 5 great nieces and nephews, Justin Carey, Jameson Carey, Ava Carey-Agustin, Olivia Durocher and Christina Durocher. 

 

Calling hours are at the Douglass Funeral Service in Amherst from 5p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday Aug. 4. A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. on Friday Aug. 5, at the Newman Center 472 North Pleasant St. in Amherst followed by burial in the South Amherst Cemetery. 

 

In lieu of flowers, donations in his name can be made to St. Michael’s College, Office of Institutional Advancement, 1 Winooski Park Colchester, Vt. 05439 or Amherst Golf Club, C/O Members’ Court, 365 So. Pleasant St. Amherst, Ma. 01002

PostHeaderIcon FREDERICK A. SMITH of AMHERST, MASS, September 20, 1938 – July 14, 2016

Northampton, Fred A. Smith, 77, died peacefully Thursday July 14, at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. He was born September 20, 1938 in Bristol, Vt. to the late Maurice and Mabel {Norton} Smith.
Fred was a graduate of the University of Vermont with a BA in Economics.  He received is Masters in Foodservice Administration from New York University.
Fred’s career spanned many Universities and Corporations. First as Manager, Director, HR Director, HR Vice President, Group VP, Organizational Development Specialist, T&D Director for the Saga Corporation, for 30 years. He was regional HR Director, VP of HR at the Marriott Corporation, for 3 years. Fred was a Lecturer and an Acting Dept. Head at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, for 6 years.
Fred also held a role as Adjunct Professor for the following Colleges and Universities; University of New Hampshire, Newberry College, Univ. of Nevada at Las Vegas,       Holyoke Comm. College, UMASS at Amherst, New York Univ., California Polytechnic Univ., and the Univ. of Delaware.
 
His last job was working for Rochester Institute of Technology in their foreign studies program in Dubrovnik, Croatia where he enjoyed teaching and interacting with the international students.
 
He was a member of the Amherst Chamber of Commerce, and enjoyed working on the committee for the annual Golf Tournament.
Fred had a special love for Lambda Iota Society, the oldest local collegiate fraternity in the US, founded in 1836 at the University of Vermont.  Commonly known on campus as The Owl House, Fred became a brother in 1957 and remained active throughout his lifetime as a benefactor, archivist, and participant in the governance and social functions.  Over the years Fred also became well-known for his massive collection of Owls replicated in every form, Owl artwork, and a wide assortment of other Owl memorabilia. 
Fred was proud to be a member of the Black Rum Golf Association and enjoyed their semi-annual golf trips.
He was also a member of Mill Valley Golf Links where he participated in the Monday Night Golf League.
 
 
Fred is survived by his wife, Diane J. “Decker” Smith, his son Stephen and wife Susan, his step-daughter Alison Schnabel and husband Brian, his step-son Keith Piorkowski and wife Christina. Fred is also survived by his three grandchildren Casey Smith, Beckett Piorkowski and Tyler Thomas and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sister Linda Leong.
 
Calling hours will be held Thursday July 21, 2016 from 2 – 5 PM at the Douglass Funeral Service, Amherst.
 
In lieu of flowers Donations in his name can be made to the Minervan Educational Foundation. Minervan Educational Foundation C/O Alumni Records Office Lambda Iota Society P O Box 876 Ithaca, NY  14851-0876
 

PostHeaderIcon CAROL M. KENT of GRANBY, MASS, December 29, 1923 – July 2, 2016

 

 

Granby, Carol M. (Croke) Kent of Granby, Ma died July 2nd .  She was the wife of the late Charles W. Kent to whom she was married for 62 years.  She was the daughter of the late J. Sydney and Laurel (Boynton) Croke.  She was the mother of Charles H. Kent who predeceased her in 1983.  She leaves a daughter Betsy of Hillsboro, NH, sons; Thomas of Lyme, NH, John (Sandra) of Southampton, Michael (Kara) of Granby & Billerica, and Steven (Nancy) of Granby.

 

Born in Holyoke, she grew up in South Hadley first on Hadley Street then the family farm on Amherst Road.  She graduated from South Hadley High School in 1940 and then enrolled at the former Northfield School for Girls for one year before attending   Mt. Holyoke College.   She graduated in 1945 with a degree in English Language and Literature.   She later received her Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology with a concentration in learning disabilities from American International College in 1973.

 

To help with the war effort she moved to Washington DC and became a Cryptography Clerk with the Army Signal Corps.   In 1947, she married her husband Charlie in New York City and started her family eventually settling in Granby. Instrumental in forming the Granby Co-Operative  Kindergarten in 1953, she served as the vice-president until Granby Public Schools instituted public kindergarten.     She was the director and head teacher of the Westover Preschool Cooperative from 1960 to 1961.  She became an English teacher at Hopkins Academy in 1962.  She enjoyed her time in the classroom for 10 years. The Hadley School Department then granted her a sabbatical leave to study at A.I.C.  She became an educational psychologist with a certification as a school psychologist and returned to the Hadley schools for 15 more years in that capacity.     She also consulted in special education with the South Hadley School system and Wilbraham Monson Academy.

 

She volunteered at the VA Library in Leeds and was a longtime volunteer and trustee for the Granby Public Library. 

 

She enjoyed 20 winters in Florida during her retirement and traveled extensively with her husband across the U.S. and Europe.  In addition to her children, she leaves her sister Judith Strzempko, brother David “Butch” Croke, sisters in law Nancy Croke and Muriel Graham. Grandchildren Rose, Michael, Hazel, Carl, Kimberly, David, Jeffrey, Christina, Jack, Timothy, and Elizabeth.  She also leaves 3 great grandchildren, Amos, Safford and Alivia.  She was predeceased by her brother John S. Croke Jr. and daughter in law Janet Kent.

 

A private graveside service will be held at the Evergreen Cemetery in South Hadley.  In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Massachusetts National Cemetery Gift Fund, Connery Ave., Bourne, MA 02532

 

 

PostHeaderIcon PETER P. LAURENZA of HADLEY, MASS, June 25, 1951 – July 9, 2016

 

 

Hadley, Peter P. Laurenza, loving father, husband, brother and friend, passed away Saturday at 65 years young after a life packed with love, laughter and friendships.

 

Pete grew up in Methuen, MA where he roamed through his childhood fishing and hunting, spending great amounts of time in the woods of Vermont and New Hampshire and on the waters around Plum Island. Pete graduated in 1969 from Methuen High School and his love of all creatures led him to major in Wildlife Biology at UMass Amherst, graduating in 1973. He worked at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service before beginning his career for the U.S. Department of Agriculture with the Farmer’s Home Administration and later Rural Housing. He retired in 2009 after serving the needs of  families and businesses in the rural communities of Western Massachusetts for 33 years, a job he loved for the assistance he could offer those in need.   

 

Pete found great satisfaction working and playing hard. He loved the outdoors and was an avid sportsman in the best sense of that word. His knowledge of birds, animals, insects and fish was legendary; he was a man almost of another era who lived in tune to nature and the rhythms of the earth. He was never happier than when biking, fishing in the Quabbin, hunting, boating on the Connecticut River, playing softball, umpiring, playing cards with the guys, or happily gardening in his big vegetable garden. His home was always the family gathering place with Pete on the grill, cooking and making everyone welcome. Pete loved life in the Connecticut Valley in all of its seasons and he loved the community of Hadley.

 

No one was a better father to his daughters than Pete who was amazed by his four beautiful children. They were the love of his life and he gave them all his best throughout their lives. He was a steady, guiding force, the rock of the family and never was a man more loved and admired for his years of devotion and service to them. Pete is survived by his wife Mary Lou, his lifelong best friend and partner, daughters Carolynn and her husband Jason Schweid, Amy, Marie and her fiancée Briana Cahn, and Christy and her husband Jeff Touma. Also surviving Pete are his brothers Robert, James and his wife JoAnne, Paul and his wife Ann Maria, his seven Londergan in-laws and their spouses, and dozens of nieces and nephews and their children who all love their Uncle Pete. Pete is also survived by his blood brother Steve Hickey who was the best friend a man could ever have.

 

Calling hours will be on Thursday July 14 from 4:00-7:00 pm at Douglass Funeral Service in Amherst, MA. A Celebration of Life for Peter will be held at the Hadley Farms Meeting House, 41 Russell Street, Hadley on Friday July 15 at 11:00 am followed by luncheon at noon, all are welcome to join to celebrate and remember Pete. Contributions in lieu of flowers may be made to the charity of your choice.

 

 

PostHeaderIcon STANLEY “STAN” ZIOMEK of AMHERST, MASS, June 26, 1924 – July 6, 2016

  

 

Amherst, Stanley Peter Ziomek, 92, a life-long resident of Amherst passed away peacefully at his home on July 6, 2016, surrounded by his family. 

The son of Michael and Anna (Szymanski) Ziomek, Stan was born on June 26, 1924, and raised on the family farm with his brothers Joseph, Henry, and Casmir, and his sisters Sophie, and Polly, all of whom predeceased him. He graduated from Amherst High School in 1942 and attended the Stockbridge School, where he pursued coursework in dairy farming and a goal of entering the ice cream manufacturing business.  While his career eventually took him in other directions, he never lost his love of ice cream, particularly more than one scoop and especially when accompanied by apple pie. 

In 1957, he married the former Beverly Giles of Sudbury, who survives him, and together they raised six sons: Peter, Mark, David, Dan, Andrew and John, who, in time, married their respective spouses Megin, Gary, Maria, Emily, Sherri, and Jen.  A son, Christopher, predeceased him.  A firm believer that you should always give to your community more than you expect in return, Stan was proud of each of his sons as they chose their career paths and devoted many hours to their own communities, coached or supported youth sports teams and outdoor recreation, or pursued careers in public service.  Stan was also the proud grandfather of the next generation of Ziomeks, ten grandchildren, and he enjoyed hearing about or watching their achievements in and outside of the classroom.

After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II, Stan was employed by the Town of Amherst for over forty years before his retirement in 1992; at various times serving as Supervisor of Recreation and Park Maintenance, Superintendent of Highways and for most of his career as Superintendent of Public Works and Tree Warden.  He also served as Assistant and Acting Town Manager.  A strong advocate for the construction of the town’s two swimming pools and several recreation areas, he also served on several school-building committees in Amherst.  For many years, Stan was a regular participant in Amherst town meeting and as a supporter of that form of government, followed each session closely as recently as May of this year.  

He was a longtime member and in some cases past president of a variety of professional organizations, including the Tri-County Highway Association, the American Public Works Association, the Massachusetts Highway Association, the New England Water Works Association, and the New England Park Association. 

Stan devoted more than sixty years to amateur sports in Amherst. He was one of the original organizers of the Amherst Legion Baseball Program, formed in 1948.  In 1952, he helped organize the Amherst Little League, and the following year did the same for the Amherst Babe Ruth League.  He was for many years, ending in 2012, the President of the Amherst Baseball League, and was the first in Western Massachusetts to make the leagues coed in the 1950s.  He had an extraordinary recall for the names of players, coaches, teams, and scores extending back to the early years of the league and in the course of his career, he was a positive influence on thousands of Amherst boys and girls.  He served as the Massachusetts State Director of the Babe Ruth League, directed the New England Regional for seven years during the 1960s, and was a member of that League’s Board of Directors for fifteen years.  He served as President of Babe Ruth League Baseball in 1968 and 1969, and in 2011, he was inducted into the Babe Ruth League Hall of Fame.  Even in his later years, Stan was a regular presence at youth baseball games in Amherst and Western Massachusetts, particularly seated in a lawn chair behind the backstop at games on the field that now bears his name.  It goes without saying that Stan was a lifelong Red Sox fan and that he was relieved to see “The Curse” broken in his lifetime.  

In addition to his involvement with baseball, Stan was a charter member of the Hampshire-Franklin Boards of Basketball Officials and Baseball Umpires and was a basketball official for over 25 years at the high school and college levels.  For many years, he was a familiar figure at the scoring table at the University of Massachusetts men’s basketball games.  

Stan was a dedicated member of the Rotary Club of Amherst where he served on a number of fund-raising committees and activities, including the annual community fair.  Among Rotary members, Stan was legendary in his role as Sergeant-at-Arms, where he utilized his office to raise additional funds from members through the levying of fines for tardiness or missed meetings, mentions in the news, and other minor misdemeanors.  His dedication to the town and community service in general resulted in numerous awards and recognition, and he was particularly proud of an award from the Amherst Recreation Commission that recognized his “long perseverance in pursuit of a vision of excellence in recreational opportunities for all of our citizens—past, present, and future.” 

In one of his last interviews, Stan said that he wanted to be remembered as a “hard working Amherst townie who had the town’s best interests in mind.”   

A Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:00 am Monday, July 11, 2016 at St. Brigid’s Church, Amherst. Burial will follow in North Amherst Cemetery. Calling hours will be Sunday July 10, from 4:00 – 8:00 pm at the Douglass Funeral Service, Amherst.  


In lieu of flowers, anyone wishing to remember Stan may do so through a charitable contribution in his name to the Amherst Baseball Leagues (PO Box 3501 Amherst, Massachusetts 01004) or the Rotary Club of Amherst (PO Box 542 Amherst, MA 01004)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PostHeaderIcon TERESA (CONNELLY) FITTS of SOUTH HADLEY, MASS, November 12, 1959 – July 2, 2016

 

 

Dr. Teresa Connelly Fitts, died on July 2 after a living a full and vibrant life. Teresa was diagnosed with thymic carcinoma in 2013 when she was training for the Boston Marathon as a member of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team.

In addition to being a passionate advocate for physical activity and exercise, Teresa was a cherished member of the Suzuki Violin Community, appreciating every small success that is achieved and nurtured with love.  Teresa was also a daily communicant, committed Roman Catholic, and member of the Newman Catholic Center in Amherst.

Teresa was born November 12, 1959, in Brighton, Massachusetts, and lived with her family in Belmont until graduation from Belmont High School in 1977.  In 1978, Teresa joined St. Scholastica Priory in Still River and later Petersham, MA, taking the name Sr. Teresita Maria. Teresa loved the Rule of St. Benedict and learned to love the manual labor intrinsic in the lifestyle of a contemplative nun. Teresa contributed to the success of the Priory Bakery which supported the work of the nuns until 1990. In 1989, Teresa left the community and moved to Amherst, MA. In 1990, she met Jim Fitts, whom she married in 1997. Teresa felt blessed to be welcomed into the Fitts clan with such genuine kindness. In 1998, Teresa graduated from Springfield College with a Masters in Sport Management, and in 1999 with a Doctorate in Sport Psychology. The Humanics philosophy of Springfield College remained an important part of Teresa’s life. In 1999, Teresa was hired full-time at Westfield State University to teach Exercise Science, which she did with great dedication until her illness in 2013.  Teresa became a Fellow in the American College of Sports Medicine in 2011. Dr. Fitts loved teaching, and loved the Westfield State students, and was deeply moved by their unwavering support during her cancer journey.

 

Above anything else, however, Teresa was a mother. Teresa’s most meaningful moments were with her family. Her twin daughters, Mary and Sarah, were her greatest joy. Teresa was predeceased by her father Thomas J. Connelly of Belmont, and is survived by her mother Ann Maureen Connelly, also of Belmont. In addition to Jim, Mary, and Sarah Fitts of South Hadley, she leaves six loving siblings, Rear Admiral Thomas J. Connelly and his wife Darlene of Fairfax, VA, Mary C. Connelly of Natick, MA, Rev. Fr. Peter Connelly OSB and Abbot Xavier Connelly OSB of Still River MA, Joan Conway and her husband Robert of Belmont, MA, and Bernardine Connelly Clark and her husband Mark of Fairfax.VA. Teresa was also sister-in-law to Jim’s seven sisters, their husbands, and wonderful families. She was the beloved aunt of Kate Connelly Wade and her husband Ken of Weston, Massachusetts, Julianna Stockton and her husband Adam of Westport, CT, Marie Connelly of Somerville, MA, Annie Conway of Nashua, NH, and  Jack, Tess, Peter, and Antonia Clark of Fairfax, VA.  She was the great aunt of Emily and Thomas Wade of Weston, MA and Arthur and Eleanor Stockton of Westport, CT.  Teresa also leaves a Village of dear and irreplaceable friends who walked (and ran) with her through her life.

 

Visiting hours will take place at Douglass Funeral Home, 87 North Pleasant St., Amherst, MA 01002 on Wednesday, July 6, from 4-7pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at the Newman Catholic Center, 472 North Pleasant St., Amherst, MA at 10am on Thursday, July 7. A reception at the Newman Catholic Center will follow the burial in North Cemetery, 900 East Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA. A Memorial Mass will be offered at Saint Joseph Church, 130 Common Street in Belmont, MA on Tuesday, August 2, 2016 at 10 am.

 

Memorial donations in memory of Teresa may be made to Saint Benedict Abbey, P.O.Box 67,Still River, MA 01467 (www.abbey.org); Saint Scholastica Priory, 271 N. Main St., Petersham, MA 01366 (www.stscholasticapriory.org); or Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168 Boston, MA 02284-9168. (www.dana-farber.org)

 

 

 

PostHeaderIcon BERNARD F. WILKES, JR. of SUNAPEE, NH, July 8, 1941 – June 22, 2016

 

 

Bernard F. “Bud” Wilkes, Jr. passed away June 22, 2016. Bud was born on July 8, 1941, to Bernard F. Wilkes, Sr., and Clara K. (Kielbasa) Wilkes in Hatfield, Massachusetts.

 

He graduated from Smith Academy in 1959 and attended Norwich University, Class of 1963, earning a degree in business administration. While attending Norwich University he was a member of the Governor of Vermont’s Honor Guard for the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy. Upon graduation, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army eventually serving 31 years both active and reserve duty retiring with the rank of Colonel in 1993. He earned a Master in Business Administration from Western New England College in 1993. He was mobilized by the Army Reserve, as the Commander of the 484th Military Intelligence Detachment, for a posting at the Pentagon, for Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1990-1991.

 

He is survived by his wife, Angelina H. Wilkes; his uncle, Stanley Kielbasa and his wife Lu of Amherst, Massachusetts; his brother Martin Wilkes and his wife Ann of Australia; his children: Bernard F. Wilkes III, of Belchertown, Massachusetts, Marcus M. Wilkes and his wife Debbie of Falls Church, Virginia; Daniel J. Wilkes and his wife Mel of Orlando, Florida; Timothy P. Halpin of Martinsville Virginia, Patricia A. Halpin and her husband Tim Fleury of Sunapee NH, Mary B. Halpin and her husband Brendan Price of West Roxbury Massachusetts and Jeffrey D. Halpin of Brooklyn NY. Also numerous grandchildren, nieces, nephews, grand nieces, and grand nephews.

 

He was a member of American Legion Post 344, Hatfield, Massachusetts.

 

He was a member of the Guild of New Hampshire Woodworkers and the League of New Hampshire Craftsman.

 

Bud was the founder, owner, and sole luthier of White Eagle Guitars, Sunapee, New Hampshire.

 

He was a former President of the Pioneer Valley Association (Massachusetts) from 1980 – 1985; member of the Governor’s Tourism Council from 1980 – 1985; the former Vice-Chairman. Board of Selectmen for the Town of Belchertown from1976 – 1978; former Police Commissioner for the Town of Belchertown, 1976 – 1978.

 

Former Commandant of the First Army Reserve Forces School – Intelligence, Fort Devens, Massachusetts.

 

In 1999, upon retirement, he realized his dreams when he retired to Lake Sunapee, NH.

 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Norwich University in Bud’s name.

 

Calling hours will be held Tuesday, June 28, 2016 from 5:00-7:00PM at the Douglass Funeral Service in Amherst. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Wednesday, June 29, at 10:00AM at St. Brigid’s Church in Amherst, burial with military honors will follow at Holy Rosary Cemetery in Hadley.

 

 

 

 
 

PostHeaderIcon BERNARD F WILKES, JR. of SUNAPEE, NH, July 8, 1941 – June 22, 2016

 

 

Bernard F. “Bud” Wilkes, Jr. passed away June 22, 2016. Bud was born on July 8, 1941, to Bernard F. Wilkes, Sr., and Clara K. (Kielbasa) Wilkes in Hatfield, Massachusetts.

He graduated from Smith Academy in 1959 and attended Norwich University, Class of 1963, earning a degree in business administration. While attending Norwich University he was a member of the Governor of Vermont’s Honor Guard for the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy. Upon graduation, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army eventually serving 31 years both active and reserve duty retiring with the rank of Colonel in 1993. He earned a Master in Business Administration from Western New England College in 1993. He was mobilized by the Army Reserve, as the Commander of the 484th Military Intelligence Detachment, for a posting at the Pentagon, for Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1900-1991.

He is survived by his wife, Angelina H. Wilkes; his uncle, Stanley Kielbasa of Amherst, Massachusetts; his brother Martin Wilkes of Australia; his three children: Bernard F. Wilkes III, of Belchertown, Massachusetts, Marcus M. Wilkes of Falls Church, Virginia; and Daniel J. Wilkes of Orlando, Florida; numerous grandchildren, nieces, nephews, grand nieces, grand nephews, step children and step grandchildren.

He was a member of American Legion Post 344, Hatfield, Massachusetts.

He was a member of the Guild of New Hampshire Woodworkers and the League of New Hampshire Craftsman.

Bud was the founder, owner, and sole luthier of White Eagle Guitars, Sunapee, New Hampshire.

He was a former President of the Pioneer Valley Association (Massachusetts) from 1980 – 1985; member of the Governor’s Tourism Council from 1980 – 1985; the former Vice-Chairman. Board of Selectmen for the Town of Belchertown from1976 – 1978; former Police Commissioner for the Town of Belchertown, 1976 – 1978.

Former Commandant of the First Army Reserve Forces School – Intelligence, Fort Devens, Massachusetts.

In 1999, upon retirement, he realized his dreams when he retired to Lake Sunapee, NH.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Norwich University in Bud’s name.

Calling hours will be held Tuesday, June 28, 2016 from 5:00-7:00PM at the Douglass Funeral Service in Amherst. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Wednesday, June 29, at 10:00AM at St. Brigid’s Church in Amherst, burial with military honors will follow at Holy Rosary Cemetery in Hadley.

 

 

PostHeaderIcon HOWARD “HOWIE” WAGNER, JR. of AMHERST, MASS, November 8, 1941 – June 20, 2016

 

 

Amherst, MA – On June 20th 2016 Howard Stanley Wagner, Jr., “Howie”, at the age of 74, passed away peacefully with his family by his side.  Despite being a man of few words, Howie was full of surprises and defying assumptions set by those around him, especially when it came to doctors who would try to diagnose him (some may label it as suborn).  An outsider may look at him and think he was a simple farmer who rarely spoke or showed emotion, a hard read, which is the furthest from the truth.  He spent that time listening and retaining information… if you were one of the lucky ones he’d take the time to share his thoughts or throw a dig at you, after all that’s how a Wagner shows affection.  He was famous for his “Oh well!” saying – he realized life’s too short to dwell on the things you can’t change.  Not to mention there’s plenty of negatives in the world already, why add more?  Instead he would motivate you to think outside the box, and work around the obstacles.   

 

Howie’s life in Amherst began shortly after his parents, “Big Howie” and “Tiny”, were displaced out of the Quabbin.  They eventually purchased the farm on North East Street in Amherst where Howie grew up and proceeded to be an influential part of the operations which exist today.  As a young man Howie balanced his time with milking dairy cows, riding horses, logging in the woods with honest man power, horse power and a tractor.  As his children grew so did the farm.  Many have seen the Wagner Wood trucks on the streets of Massachusetts, more than likely you would have also seen Howie as the co-pilot.  He understood he wasn’t able to work like he did in his younger years, but he could share his knowledge with the youngsters.  Many bonds were created during those hours on the road – you weren’t just an employee of Wagner Wood, you became family. 

 

Howie leaves behind his brothers Gene and Joie Wagner, sister Carol Mae Wagner, daughter Andrea Wagner Trudeau, sons Joseph (Hank) and James (Buzzy) Wagner, grandchildren Kaitiee, Conor, Kendal, Jake, Justin, and Julia.  In addition to numerous cousins, nieces, and chosen family members.  In lieu of donations, or flowers, Howie would want you to spend those extra moments with your family, whomever you choose to include in that definition, two legged or four.  He would also ask for you to remember money comes and goes, it’s not a necessity for true happiness – honesty, love, forgiveness, and humor are.  He may have never carried a black American express card, but he had his black Dunkin Donut VIP card!      

 

Per Howie’s request, no formalized services will occur.  A memorial BBQ will take place at a later date. Memorial register at

 

 

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

JAMES WILLIAM CANAVAN of HOLYOKE, MASS died on December 7, 2016

JOHN PEMBERTON III of PELHAM, MASS died on November 30, 2016

MICHAEL JONAS WOLFF of AMHERST, MASS died on November 5, 2016