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Archive for the ‘Obituaries’ Category

PostHeaderIcon DORIS G. ALDRICH of PELHAM, MASS, June 22, 1932 – November 2, 2016



Doris G. (Lamontagne) Aldrich, 84, of 17 Jones Rd, Pelham, passed away Wednesday Nov. 02, 2016 at home. Doris was born June 22, 1932 in Easthampton MA to the late Theodore and Georgiana Lamontagne. Doris graduated from Northampton high school and was a Bookkeeper for many area companies.

 Doris was best known as a top breeder of Pugs under her kennel name Kendoric Pugs. Doris traveled internationally showing her Pugs and was very active in many local and national pug organizations. She was a founding member of both the Yankee Pug Dog Club and Patriot Pug Dog Club. She held several Officer and Board positions in both clubs. Doris was also a member of Pug Dog Club of America and in 2010 was granted Lifetime membership. She was also a member of the Classic Toy Dog Club of Western Mass and the Pioneer Valley Kennel Club for many years.  One of her greatest accomplishments was the co-founding of Pug Rescue of New England in the late 80’s with her good friend Fran Stuart. Doris was also an avid Patriots fan and enjoyed watching the games with her good friends Yvonne Mullen and Sharon Howard.

Doris is predeceased by her husband of 57 years Kenneth Aldrich who was very active in her Pug related activities. She survived by her son Robert (Rick) Aldrich and his wife Brenda of Belchertown, granddaughter Andrea Miles and her husband Charles of South Hadley, grandson Brian Aldrich and his wife Lisa of Newfields NH, great grandchildren Quinlan, Paige and Aiden Randall of South Hadley.

The family would like to extend thanks to the staff at Elaine Center of Hadley and the VNA & Hospice of Cooley Dickenson.

At Doris’s request there will be no calling hours or funeral. A private memorial service will be announced at a later date.

The family requests donations be made in Doris’s memory to either:

VNA & Hospice of Cooley Dickenson, 168 Industrial Drive, Nothampton MA 01060 or Pug Rescue of New England, PO Box 441667, West Somerville MA 02144-1667.



PostHeaderIcon MARTHA ELIZABETH BIRKMEYER of AMHERST, MASS, August 17, 1922 – October 31, 2016


Martha Elizabeth Birkmeyer (Nee Cofer) of Ft. Lauderdale Florida, passed away peacefully at her daughter’s home on October 31st, 2016, at the age of 94.  Born and raised in Atlanta Georgia, she was the youngest daughter of Thomas and Ruby Cofer.  She graduated from Commercial high school and she was a very accomplished trombonist placing 1st chair in the state orchestra her senior year.   She also performed many summers with the girls orchestra group the Georgettes.   Martha had a very successful career as an executive sectary at the department of housing and urban development for many years before moving to Cincinnati Ohio with her husband Raymond Birkmeyer where she and Ray ran complementary businesses.  After Raymond passed, she remarried Benjamin Staton from Cary North Carolina.  She was also a proud and loving grandmother, and is survived by her daughter, her son, her sister, her niece and four grandchildren.  All who knew her will dearly miss her love of life, her warmth and kindness. 


PostHeaderIcon HOWARD B. MAIN of GREENFIELD, MASS, July 14, 1927 – October 27, 2016



Greenfield, Howard B. Main of Arbors in Greenfield, MA passed away on October 27, 2016. He leaves his wife Beverly Main of 66 years, a son Jeffrey Main of Southern Pines, NC, and a daughter Debra Main of Ojai, CA. He leaves two granddaughters and several nieces and nephews. Born in July of 1927 in Amherst, he attended Amherst High School and later became a carpenter with his father and uncle. Howard took over the family business after his father passed and continued remodeling and building new homes in the Amherst and surrounding areas.


Howard enjoyed bowling, golfing and fishing. He and Beverly were members of the bowling league for several years. He enjoyed golfing at the Amherst Golf Club and was on the Board of Directors there. Later he joined Hickory Ridge Country Club in Amherst and was on the Board of Directors there also.  He was a 60 year member of the Amherst VFW Post #754 and did volunteer to help build the addition to the club and help the VFW build a cook’s cabin at Camp Chesterfield for the Boy Scout Camp. He spent many hours playing pitch and other card games at the VFW, not to mention, horse shoes and table shuffleboard. Howard was an Amherst Town Meeting Member as well as an Amherst Auxiliary Policeman. He served in the Merchant Marines in World War II and later drafted in the Army and served in the Korean War.


In 1986 Howard and Beverly moved from their home in South Amherst to Pine Valley Plantation in Belchertown. In June of 2016 Howard and Beverly moved to the Arbors in Greenfield where Beverly still resides.


Calling hours will be Tuesday, November 1, 2016 from 4-7 pm at the Douglass Funeral Service, Amherst. Funeral services will be Wednesday, November 2 at 10:00 a.m. also at Douglass Funeral Service; burial with full military honors will follow the service at South Amherst Cemetery.


In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Belchertown Senior Center, 60 State St., Belchertown, MA 01007.








PostHeaderIcon JOSE MANUEL RODRIGUEZ of AMHERST, MASS, September 15, 1985 – October 15, 2016


Amherst, Jose Manuel Rodriguez, 31, of Amherst passed away on Oct. 15, 2016.
He was born September 15, 1985 in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, the son of Jorge Rodriguez and Nilsa Delgado.
Jose is survived by his children, brother and sister.
Jose was a loving father, loyal friend and caring brother and son. He enjoyed fishing, four wheeling, cooking, skiing and spending time outdoors.
He had a contagious laugh and you always saw him smiling. 
A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 AM on Tuesday October 25, 2016 at The Wesley United Methodist Church in Hadley.


PostHeaderIcon HOWARD BLISS LEAVITT of AMHERST, MASS, August 4, 1924 – October 13, 2016



Amherst, Howard Bliss Leavitt of Amherst, MA died peacefully at the age of 95 after a wonderful life of two marriages, children, travel, and an international career spanning almost half a century.


Born in New York City, Howard spent his early years in Beirut, Lebanon as the son of the president of International College, a prep school associated with the American University of Beirut (AUB) which had been founded by his great grandfather in 1866.  Howard came back to the US for a year at Vermont Academy and then on to Dartmouth College, from which he graduated early after the outbreak of World War II.  Just after joining the Navy, Howard married his college sweetheart Margaret Mentzer and was soon sent, as a Communications Officer, to the Pacific island of Saipan where he witnessed the flyover of B-29’s on their way to Japan.  After the War, Howard earned Masters and Doctorate degrees in Education from Columbia University, and began teaching at Northern Illinois State Teachers College (now Northern Illinois University).  Later, Howard and Margaret, along with three sons spent 2 years in Beirut where he taught at AUB, adding a fourth son for good measure. Returning to the US in the late-50’s the family moved to the Boston area where Howard taught at Boston University.  In 1962 he joined the US State Department in the Agency for International Development (USAID) where he spent a number of years in Washington and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil setting up and analyzing US sponsored educational projects around the globe.  Recognized as an expert in international education, he became the Coordinator of International Programs at Pennsylvania State University, soon followed by his return to Washington to work for the World Bank, under the leadership of Robert McNamara.  Howard completed his career as a visiting professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. 


Throughout his life Howard loved independence, intellectual accomplishment, and adventure.  Along with wife Margaret and his sons he was an avid mountain climber, camper, cave explorer, and power boater.  He wrote and published dozens of academic works and wrote and/or edited several books, including First Encounters, Native Voices on the Coming of the Europeans in 2010.  In his later years Howard became interested in creating art and over a 20 year span produced wonderful oil paintings. 


After the death of Margaret, in 1997 in Amherst, Howard met and married Joan Ibish, herself an accomplished academician.  Together they toured the world from China to the Mediterranean, spending summers at the Leavitt compound on Pine Island in Lake Winnipesaukee, NH


Howard was predeceased by wife Margaret and son Ken Leavitt (Tina).  He is survived by wife Joan, sons Hunt Leavitt (Hilary), John Leavitt (Judy Norton), and Don Leavitt (Todd Paine); grandchildren Sarah Leavitt (Kevin Postma), Ben Leavitt, Jennifer Tietjen (Garrett), Lydia Leavitt, Vivian Leavitt, and Christopher Leavitt; two great granddaughters, both named Caroline.



PostHeaderIcon JOHN G. MONER of AMHERST, MASS, September 4, 1928 – October 8, 2016

Amherst – John G. Moner, 88, of Amherst died October 8, 2016.  He was born in Bayonne, New Jersey on September 4, 1928, the son of John and Veronica (Hopko) Moner.

John graduated from Bayonne Senior High School and went on to receive his Bachelor’s degree in biology from Johns Hopkins University and then his Ph.D. from Princeton University where his focus was cell biology.  After two years of service in the army he came to the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1955 where he became a professor in the Biology Department.  During his 40 years at the University he taught courses that included anatomy and physiology and cell physiology.  He also developed the introductory biology course for majors and taught sections of that course.  His research included studies in cell wall formation, RNA synthesis and cell division.


John had a lifelong love of music particularly classical, big band, Broadway, songs of the 1930’s and 1940’s and occasionally rock and roll.  He kept up with writing, current world events and scientific news.  He was a passionate New York Yankees fan and most of all he treasured his loving family.


Surviving John are his wife Meriel, his son Christopher and his wife Kim, his son Curtis, his daughter Marianne, his daughter Emily, his first wife Barbara, a grandson John, a granddaughter Jensena, a nephew Lou and his family and a niece Lynn and her family.


A memorial service will be held at 10am, October 24, 2016 at Grace Episcopal Church in Amherst.  A private family burial will take place at Wildwood Cemetery.


In lieu of flowers remembrances in honor of John may be made to Princeton University. Checks should be made payable to Trustees of Princeton University (memo line: in memory of John G. Moner, 1953) and mailed to Princeton University, Alumni and Donor Records, Helen Hardy, P.O. Box 5357, Princeton, NJ 08543-5357.  Or remembrances can be made to Johns Hopkins University. Checks should be made payable to Johns Hopkins University (memo line: in memory of John G. Moner, 1949) and mailed to Johns Hopkins University, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Office of External Affairs, 3400 N. Charles Street, Wyman 500W, Baltimore, MD 21218.


From both universities John was grateful and proud to receive his higher education.



PostHeaderIcon LILLIAN GNATEK of AMHERST, MASS, November 17, 1925 – October 12, 2016


Amherst – Lillian Gnatek, 90, passed away October 12, 2016 after a long and fulfilled life. She was born November 17, 1925 to John and Anna Bartus in Leverett, MA. Lillian was educated in the Amherst schools and was a lifelong resident of Amherst.

Her husband, Frank, predeceased her. She leaves behind her sons, Ronald of Shutesbury, Donald of South Hadley, and James of Belchertown, her grandchildren, James Jr of Virginia, Melissa and her husband Joseph of Hopkinton, and Erika and her husband Phil of Florida, her great grandchildren, Zachery, Jacob, Andrew, and Alex, her sister, Linda, and many nieces and nephews.

A private ceremony will be held at St. Brigids church in Amherst. Donations may be made to the Amherst Survival Center.




PostHeaderIcon LOUISE HELEN PALMER of AMHERST, MASS, December 17, 1932 – September 29, 2016



 Louise Helen (Alberty) Palmer, beloved by all who knew her, passed on to the next phase of her journey on September 29, 2016 at the Center for Extended Care (CECA) in Amherst.


Born in Framingham, MA, Louise grew up in Westboro, MA with her late parents, Richard D. and Helen L. Alberty, and her late brother, Richard Alberty.  She graduated with Westboro High’s class of 1950 and remained good friends with a number of her classmates through the years.


Her good nature and enthusiasm for order, family togetherness, and sparkling-clean environments came in handy for her long career as proprietor, along with her late husband, Ellis L. (Bud) Palmer, of Anchor Cottages in East Sandwich, Mass.  For nearly 50 years they welcomed families to vacation at their beach-front spot on Cape Cod Bay, and many of their guests became lifelong friends.


Louise (“Mumsie” / “Nana”) will be sorely missed by her three daughters and their husbands, Deborah Palmer and Dave Zarozinski of Hadley, MA; Bonnie and Charles Slockett of Teaneck, NJ; and Sharon Palmer and Richard Costa of Brimfield, MA; as well as 7 grandchildren and their spouses: Sarah and Mark Evans, Emily Harrington, Katherine and Michael Wong, Samantha and Michael Cioffi, Eric and Leigh-Anne Costa, Stephen Costa, Sylvia Costa, 4 great-grandchildren, and many other extended family members, dear friends and appreciative acquaintances.  


The family extends many deeply-felt thanks to the caring staff at CECA’s Dharma Unit, Cooley-Dickinson VNA & Hospice, and the many friends who kept in touch and wished her well over the years.  


A memorial gathering will be held in the spring of 2017 in East Sandwich.

Those wishing to honor Louise’s memory are invited to make a donation to Cooley-Dickinson VNA & Hospice or The Alzheimer’s Association, and to offer at least one smile each day to someone who could use a little cheer.  

PostHeaderIcon ELIZABETH STERN of SHUTESBURY, MASS, June 8, 1923 – September 25, 2016


Shutesbury, MA – Elizabeth Stern, 93, passed away peacefully and comfortably at her son’s home on September 25, 2016. Elizabeth “Betty” May Alexander was born June 8, 1923, in Middletown, CT, to Mary M. {Shoneck} and Robert R. Alexander and is the oldest of her siblings. She was married three times; Roger E. Butler, Fred Ellis Rowan and Douglas N. Stern. She was employed as an accountant but finished her career as an executive secretary with Van Epps Construction Company, of Old Saybrook, CT., before her retirement in 1974. She was a master at sewing and had a passion for weaving, knitting and cooking. She enjoyed flower and vegetable gardening and loved to share her cooking and canning secrets with her family and friends. She was involved with several churches including her most recent congregation, the Wesley United Methodist Church of Hadley. She also worked with the local Hospice Shop and Amherst Survival Center. Elizabeth touched so many people with humor, kindness of heart, and her honest and most deliberate straightforwardness. Those that knew her would remark that she was never afraid to try new things. Elizabeth is survived by her brother and his wife, Richard and Roberta Alexander of Gasetts, VT, her sisters, Grace Stalsburg of Deep River, CT, Gloria Burdick of Ivoryton, CT, Roberta Ziobron of Deep River, CT, and Paulette Grisky of Ivoryton, CT. Her sister Mary Hubert of FL predeceased her. She is also survived by her son and his wife, John and Yvette Rowan. Her son, William A. Rowan III predeceased her, as well as her late Husbands, Fred Ellis Rowan and Douglas N. Stern. A private memorial will be arranged sometime in the future. In lieu of flowers, a charitable donation may be made to the Dakin Humane Society ( or VNA Hospice at Cooley Dickinson Hospital.


PostHeaderIcon SARAH A. HOUCK of AMHERST, MASS, April 6, 1937 – September 20, 2016


Sarah “Sally” Ann Bailey Houck, 79, died Tuesday, September 20 after a sudden illness. She demonstrated per characteristic resilience and love for life and family throughout her final days, and she was blessed to be surrounded by her closest family during her final days and moments.


Sally was born to Irma and Richard Bailey in New Haven, Connecticut on April 6, 1937. After her days at the Day School in New Haven, she eventually became a proud Seahawk, graduating from Wagner College with a degree in sociology in 1959. In 1962, while attending a community theater party, she met Fred Honnold Houck who would become her dedicated and loving husband on April 27, 1963. Together, they raised their three children, first in Marblehead, MA and Hamden, CT, and then later in Amherst, MA where they settled and built a farmhouse in the woods. Through it all, she was a devoted teacher, sharing her love of water as a swim instructor for young children in the community. 


For over 25 years, Sally and her family spent parts of their summers enjoying the quiet coves, islands and loons of Squam Lake. Despite years of physical challenges, Sally always maintained a positive and resilient attitude on life, and she cherished her time at Squam while also traveling extensively with Fred, exploring the mountains, national parks, railways, and roads of every corner of the United States and many of those in Canada as well. When she wasn’t raising her children, traveling the country, or listening to loon-song on quiet summer nights, Sally lost herself in an endless stream of books and stories, and she frequently dreamed about and recalled her youthful days at her family’s cottage on the shore in Mansfield Grove, CT. She enjoyed sharing all of these memories and more with her closest friends during her regular visits to Kelly’s Restaurant.


More than anything, Sally loved her family. A devoted wife, mother, and grandmother to five, not to mention a daughter, sister, and aunt, Sally found no greater joy than celebrating holidays, reveling in music, and hearing about the diverse lives and adventures of her loved ones. Even through her hard times, her family, old and young, provided her with purpose, strength, energy, and happiness, and she ended her life surrounded by those who loved her most.


Sally is survived by her husband of 53 years, Fred Honnold Houck; sister, Brooks McDermott; daughter Charlotte Mullen, her husband Robert Mullen, and grandchildren Robert and Sarah; son David Houck, his children Enders and Katherine, and their mother Mary-Kate Johnson; son Brent Freedland, his wife Abby Perkiss, and their daughter Zoe; niece and nephews Megan, Matthew, and Michael; and many more family members and friends from Connecticut to Georgia and from Washington D.C. to California.


Family and friends are invited to attend and share stories celebrating Sally’s life at a ceremony of remembrance to be held on September 24 at Douglass Funeral Service, 87 North Pleasant Street, Amherst MA, 01002. The ceremony will begin at 10:00 AM, and the family asks that you arrive shortly before. Private burial will immediately follow the service.


In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to VNA Hospice at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, 30 Locust St, Northampton, 01060.




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

DONALD A. GIROUX of WESTFIELD, MASS died on January 15, 2017

LINDA ANN GRAVES of SOUTH DEERFIELD, MASS died on January 19, 2017

LAURIE MARY JACQUE of MASS died on January 20, 2017

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