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Archive for the ‘Obituaries’ Category

PostHeaderIcon LAURA L. WASKIEWICZ of GRANBY, MASS, January 6, 1952 – June 18, 2016





Laura L. Waskiewicz
Granby, Laura L. (Stinnette) Waskiewicz, 64, wife of Joseph A. “Butch” Waskiewicz, Jr., passed peacefully at her home on Saturday, June 18, 2016. She was born in Fort Knox, Kentucky, Jan. 6, 1952, daughter of the late Richard and Della (Langford) Stinnette. She was a graduate of Classical High School and received her B.S., and M.S. degrees from Westfield State University, where she graduated with honors. Laura was employed at the Franklin County House of Corrections in Greenfield, where she had achieved the rank of Assistant Deputy Superintendent, when she retired in 2013. During her time at the jail, she was particularly proud of several programs she founded in the field of recovery and treatment. She also took pride in serving as Adjunct Professor at Westfield State, teaching several different courses. Upon marriage to the love of her life Joe, she instantly became a part of the family farm, J & J Farm in North Amherst. Laura loved to travel, enjoyed NASCAR, and held dear to her heart the special meetings with her friends and the ladies, which continued at her home, while she fought this devastating disease. Besides her husband Joe, she is survived by her brother Richard Stinnette, and his spouse Laura, and her sister Crystal Babich, and her spouse Dennis. She also leaves several nieces and nephews and grand- nieces and nephews. Services will be held Wed., June 22, at 10:00 AM at the Douglass Funeral Home in Amherst, with burial immediately following in North Amherst Cemetery. Calling hours at the funeral home will be Tuesday, from 5:00-8:00 PM. Memorial gifts in Laura’s memory may be made to The Hospice of The Fisher Home, 1165 N. Pleasant St., Amherst, MA 01002. Obituary and register at




PostHeaderIcon HELEN A. DZWONKOSKI of AMHERST, MASS, January 14, 1926 – June 16, 2016


Amherst, Helen “Alice” Dzwonkoski passed away Thursday, June 16, 2016 at the Cooley Dickinson Hospital. She was born on January 14, 1926 in North Amherst, MA to John and Ursula Bieliauskas Bielunis. Helen attended Amherst schools and was a long-time employee of the University of Massachusetts.


Helen was preceded in death by her husband, Mitchell R. Dzwonkoski, whom she married on November 16, 1957. They celebrated their 57th wedding anniversary before Mitchell died in 2014. Helen was also predeceased by her brothers John Jr., Alexander, Frank, Joseph, and Walter and her sisters Mary Sieruta and Anna Potyrala.


She is survived by her brother Adam Bielunis of Hatfield, MA. Helen leaves behind several nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, and also great, great nieces and nephews. Helen was loved and respected by all and will be missed by all.


Helen and Mitch will be remembered always for their kindness, compassion, love, and generosity.


Calling hours will be held Sunday, June 19, 2016 from 2:00-4:00PM at the Douglass Funeral Service in Amherst. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, June 20th at 10:00AM at the St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Belchertown with burial to follow at St. Brigid’s Cemetery in Hadley.



PostHeaderIcon JOHN “JACK” KERSHLIS of HADLEY, MASS, April 20, 1938 – June 7, 2016



Hadley – On Tuesday, June 7th, 2016, John (“Jack”) Kershlis joined Zora and his friends in “Corvette Heaven” after a courageous battle with carcinoid cancer. Jack was born in Amherst on April 20, 1938, the son of Joseph J. and Helen Mientka Kershlis, and was a long time resident of Hadley as well as a more recent resident of St. James City, Florida. Jack also enjoyed spending time in Vermont over the years.


In 1980, Jack married his beloved wife, Linda Selleck, with whom he took pride in restoring the old Nash property in Hadley and building their home together in Florida.


Jack is lovingly remembered and missed by several close cousins; Jim and Steve Garanin, Don Cheney, Mary Ann Sioui, Nancy Simanoski; his in-laws, Laura Selleck and John Jenkins (Toronto) and Bruce and Nancy Selleck (Hamilton, New York) and their families; as well as many friends in Florida, Massachusetts, and Vermont. His long-time friend, Paul Langbein (Pittsburgh), will continue Jack’s tradition at Carlisle.


There will be no calling hours. Cremation and burial will be at the discretion of the family. A memorial gathering to celebrate his life will be held at a later date.


Douglass Funeral Service will be entrusted with his arrangements.


In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that you donate in Jack’s honor to the Mass General Cancer Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital or to Dr. Kulke at the Carcinoid Program in Neuroendocrine and Carcinoid Tumors at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA 02215.



PostHeaderIcon ETHEL CATHERINE NOLAN of AMHERST, MA, March 13, 1921 – May 28, 2016


Ethel Nolan, 95, of Hopewell passed away May 28th, 2016 at Elaine Center of Hadley MA after a brief illness. Mrs. Nolan was born March 13, 1921 in Hallidaysburg. She married William Nolan in 1943. He died October 1980.


               She is survived by a son William and wife Mary Helen, of Altoona, PA, a daughter Linda Nolan-Labbe and husband Ron, of Amherst MA; 5 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her brothers Elvin and Russell Detwiler.


               She graduated from Altoona High School, worked in a photographic studio, served as a Girl Scout leader, and worked in her daughter’s research laboratory (1987-92) as an assistant. A memorial celebration of her life and love of family will be held at a later date.



PostHeaderIcon JOHN M. GALLAGHER JR. of AMHERST, MASS, March 10, 1933 – May 20, 2016



Amherst, John M. Gallagher, Jr., 83, of Amherst, MA, passed away peacefully on Friday, May 20, 2016 surrounded by his loving family. He was born march 10, 1933 in Lowell Massachusetts to John and Anne Isabelle Gallagher.
He attended Holyoke high school class of 1951 and UMass Amherst class of 1955 with a bachelor’s degree in English and a Masters +30 in education. While attending the University of Massachusetts, he lettered as a goalie for the men’s hockey team. John proudly served his country in the US Army from 1955 to 1957. He married his “one and only forever love of his life”, his high school sweetheart, Lucy J Gomez, on September 8, 1956.
John leaves behind his son John M Gallagher III and his wife Jane P Gallagher and their two sons Patrick and Sean of Orange Connecticut. His daughters Kelley M. Wolejko and her husband Victor of Brewster Massachusetts and Anne and Ron Loftus and their son, Colton, of Belchertown Massachusetts.
John is also survived by his sister Katherine and her husband Ken Mormon of Nashua New Hampshire and their son, Neal. Brother, James Edward Gallagher and wife Terry of Osterville Massachusetts and their sons Tom, Matthew and Brendan.
He was predeceased by his brother Patrick Joseph.
John began his teaching career in Hatfield Massachusetts as a math and English teacher. He continued a 38 year teaching career within the Amherst school system including junior high English as well as guidance counseling. He was known by many as “The silver haired mentor”
John shared his love for athletics by coaching junior high school basketball and went on to coach for many years division one and two hockey for Amherst high school. In 1972 he celebrated a Division II state finalist runner up at the Boston Garden.
First and foremost John was a devoted family man, enjoying many vacations on the beaches of Cape Cod. He loved watching and supporting his children and grandchildren in their particular interests. He was a fan of all of the Boston teams and a “true champion for the underdog”. John loved golfing, too.


Funeral services will be 9:00 AM Tuesday May 24, from the Douglass funeral Service, Amherst. A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:00 AM at St. Brigid’s Church, Amherst, with burial following in Evergreen Cemetery, S. Hadley. Calling hours will be Monday May 23, from 4 – 7 PM at the Douglass Funeral Service, Amherst. In Lieu of flowers, donations may be made to his courageous nephew, Tom Gallagher c / o The Tom Gallagher Fund , 191 Beach Road , Unit D, # 211, Salisbury , MA 01952.





PostHeaderIcon KENNETH “KENNY” COOK of HADLEY, MASS, January 24, 1989 – May 16, 2016


Hadley, Kenneth Dale Cook, 27, passed away unexpectedly on May 16, 2016 after a short illness at Cooley Dickinson Hospital.


Kenny, as he was known to all, was born in Randolph, Vermont on January 24, 1989 to Richard and Myrna Cook. He attended schools in Royalton, Vermont before moving back to Hadley where all his relatives resided. He then attended various schools around Hadley before he found his favorite place of learning which turned out to be Riverside Industries in Easthampton. He eagerly went there and touched many people’s lives.


He leaves his parents of Hadley, his brother Kevin and wife Sara of Lebanon Township, New Jersey, and his nieces and nephews Bryce, Paige, and Quinn. Kenny also leaves many aunts, uncles, and cousins in the surrounding area.


Kenny enjoyed listening to music, watching videos, swimming in his pool, and attending UMass sporting events. He also had a strong liking of Atkins apple squares and a fondness for pepperoni pizza, and he was never shy about wishing everyone a “Happy Birthday.”


Calling hours will be Friday, May 20, 2016 from 5-7:30PM at the Douglass Funeral Service in Amherst. Private funeral services will follow.


In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Riverside Industries, 1 Cottage St, Easthampton or Whole Children, 41 Russell St, Hadley.





PostHeaderIcon SHIRLEY MENTIN of HADLEY, MASS, February 4, 1923 – May 11, 2016



Hadley, Shirley Mentin, 93, passed away on May 11, 2016 peacefully in her sleep.  She was born to Lena and Nathan Ecker in Newark, New Jersey on February 4, 1923.  They moved to the Bronx, in New York City when she was 6 years old.  She graduated from Morris High School and went on to Hunter College.


She met the love of her life, David Mentin when they both were employed in a greeting card store. She then worked for the Department of Labor in New York City as a statistician.


They wed in 1944 when Dave was on furlough from the army.  They raised their two children, Howard and Nina in Bayside, Queens, New York.  Shirley worked as a bookkeeper for King Karol Records in New York City for 30 years.  She was an active volunteer in the Mended Hearts Organization in Nassau County, New York.  They moved To Amherst, Massachusetts in October 2000 to be close to their children and grandchildren.  While in Amherst, they both did volunteer work for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County.  Her beloved Dave passed away in 2002 after 59 years of wedded bliss.


Shirley will be missed by all who knew her and a special thanks to the extraordinary care she received at Genesis Sunbridge of Hadley.


Shirley is survived by her son Howard and wife Ellen Mentin.  Daughter and husband – Nina Mentin and Steven Palatt. Her four grandchildren- Jesse Hofrichter, Emily and husband Dwayne Mentin Chamble, Isaac and wife Kristen Palatt, Brooke and her husband Ruwan Karunanande.  Shirley also leaves behind her 3 precious great grandchildren, Zion, Nolan and Rosie.  Shirley is survived by her sister Florence Spotkov and several nieces and nephews.





PostHeaderIcon ROBERT “BOB” WELLMAN of AMHERST, MASS, January 18, 1933 – May 8, 2016


AMHERST – Robert “Bob” Wellman, 83, died peacefully at his home on May 8, 2016 with his family by his side.

 Born January 18, 1933 in Lima, Ohio, he was the son of the late Howard and Mary (Ireland) Wellman.  He grew up in Lima and Brooklyn, Ohio with his beloved grandmother Grace always by his side.  He graduated valedictorian from Brooklyn High School and received a scholarship to Dartmouth College where he began his great adventure.


At Dartmouth Bob’s goal was to be a zookeeper and in 1954, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Zoology.  Drafted into the Army during the Korean War he developed his lifelong passion for philosophy and learning reading Plato, Aristotle, Socrates and Dewey.  This inspired him to pursue an alternative road. He went to London, earned a Master’s Degree in Science Teaching, History of Science at the University of London and fell in love with England.  He also fell in love with his beloved wife Avril.  Returning to the USA with baby on board he became serious about a career and earned his Ph.D. in “Philosophy of Education and History of Science” from Ohio State University in 1962.  Shortly thereafter he became a professor at the University of Massachusetts and brought his young family to Amherst. 

During his tenure at UMass, Bob held numerous academic and administrative positions including University Ombudsman, Professor and Director of Educational Philosophy, Secretary of the Faculty Senate, where he wrote the Wellman Document defining University governance, and Director of the Adult and Higher Educational Leadership Program.  He was a visiting professor at the Universities of Washington, Illinois and Wisconsin, and most notably he received a Fulbright to the University of Tehran, Iran where he fell in love with the culture and made many dear lifelong friends. 

Bob retired Professor Emeritus from UMass in 1994, but he was far from done.  He turned his energies and passion for teaching and learning towards K-12 education and worked tirelessly with many teachers in Chicopee and other schools in Western Massachusetts through Framingham State College. 

Bob was a staple in the Amherst Community serving as a town meeting member, a Rao’s coffee regular and the whistler at Atkins.  Sunday mornings won’t be the same for his dear friends. 

Bob is survived by the love of his life Avril, daughter Beth and her husband Mark, son Alex and wife Jen, and the pride of his life, his three grandchildren, Michelle, Sam and Vic.

A memorial Service celebrating his life will be held 3:00pm, Sunday, July 10, at the South Congregational Church in South Amherst.

In lieu of flowers, donations made be made in Bob’s name to a charity of your choice.

PostHeaderIcon HARRY OLDHAM BROOKS of NORTHAMPTON, MASS, August 11, 1933 – May 7, 2016


Northampton, Dr. Harry Oldham Brooks passed away peacefully on Saturday May 7th, 2016 at Care One Nursing Center in Northampton, MA. His daughters and daughter-in-law were at his side. He was 82 years old.


He is survived by his daughters, Jerusha Brooks and Samantha Brooks, his daughter-in-law, Aimee Ballard and his granddaughter, Ashley Smith, who all reside in Southwest Virginia. His beloved wife, Paulette Henderson Brooks, passed away in 2014.


Dr. Brooks was born in Camden, NJ in 1933. He received his PhD in Educational Policy, Research, and Administration from the University of Massachusetts and his M.S. and B.S in Electrical Engineering from the University of Vermont. He served as an Amherst Town Meeting representative for 22 years, a Select Board member for the town of Amherst for one term and was a long time member of Sugarloaf Mountain Athletic Club, serving as president for several years. He served on numerous other boards and committees during his residencies in both Amherst, MA and Burlington, VT.


He was an avid runner and completed dozens of marathons across the country including Boston, New York, San Francisco and Houston. He was an Officiant for USA Track and Field and Western Massachusetts Track and Field and served as Vice President for USA Track and Field- New England. He was a local torch bearer for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.


His Town Meeting colleagues are planning a memorial service for Dr. Brooks during the Memorial Day weekend. His daughters are planning a celebration of life ceremony which will take place later this summer. More details on both events will be released in the future.



PostHeaderIcon MARIETTA R. IANTOSCA of AMHERST, MASS, March 6, 1911 – May 8, 2016



Amherst, Marietta R. Iantosca, 105, of Amherst, MA passed away peacefully, Sunday May 8, 2016 at the Center for Extended Care at Amherst.


She was the loving and devoted wife of the late Angelo Iantosca, who passed away in 1989 after 51 years of marriage. She will be truly missed by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, whom she was fondly known to as “Mama Mae.”


Born March 6, 1911 in Manhattan, NY to Anthony and Rose {Guadagno} Lovetere, she was the sixth of nine children. When she was eight years old she moved to East Boston, MA where she resided until her marriage. She then moved to Amherst where she was a resident for the past 66 years.


She is survived by her daughters Barbara Cooney and her husband Richard of Kensington, CT and Frances Iantosca of Amherst and her three grandsons and their wives, Mark and Lisa Cooney of Northford, CT., Michael and Gina Cooney of Shrewsbury, MA., and Kyle and Tracy Cooney of Kensington, CT. She is also survived by her seven great-grandchildren, Lauren, Andrew, Griffin, Kasey, Emily, Jenna and Aiden, her sister V. Grayce Driscoll of CT., and sister- in-law Helen Iantosca of MA., and several nieces and nephews.


She was predeceased by her four brothers, Anthony, Angelo, Dominic and John and her three sisters, Rose, Josephine and Mary. She was also predeceased by her great-granddaughter Lynsey Rose Cooney.


She was a recipient of the Golden Cane from the town of Amherst when she was 103 years old.


A special thanks to Dr. Andrew Hall, Fr. John Smegal at St. Brigid’s Church, the care givers at the Center for Extended Care at Amherst and her many special friends.


Calling hour will be Thursday May 12, 2016 from 9:30 -10:30 at the Douglass Funeral Service, Amherst, with a Mass of Christian burial at 11:00 am at St. Brigid’s Church, Amherst. Burial will follow in St. Brigid’s Cemetery, Hadley.



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