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PostHeaderIcon WILLIAM JAMES MELLEN of AMHERST, MASS, September 10, 1923 – June 15, 2018

Amherst, William (Bill) James Mellen, 94, of Amherst, died peacefully on June 15, 2018, at Hospice of the Fisher Home in Amherst, with his family by his side.  Born in Brattleboro, Vermont, on September 10, 1923, he was the son of the late William C. and Katherine (Denning) Mellen.  He attended public schools in Brattleboro, graduated as valedictorian in 1941, then entered Massachusetts State College, now the University of Massachusetts, in September 1942.  After one semester, he left college and enlisted in the U.S. Army.  While on furlough in August 1943, before going overseas, he married his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Jacqueline Wyman, in Guilford, Vermont.  Three days later, he started his three years’ service as an Army Air Corps ground-station radio operator and station chief, most of which took place in Bengal Province of India (now Bangladesh). 

Honorably discharged with the rank of staff sergeant, Bill returned to Massachusetts State College from 1946 to 1949 where he joined Air Force ROTC.  He subsequently served in the USAF Reserve, retiring with the rank of captain in 1960.  After graduating from college magna cum laude in the spring of 1949, Bill entered graduate school at Cornell University where he earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in Animal Physiology.  After serving five years on the faculty of the University of Delaware, he returned to UMass where, for the next 30 years, he conducted research and taught in the field of poultry physiology, mentoring many students along the way.  He also served as associate and acting dean of the College of Food and Natural Resources, acting dean of the School of Home Economics, and special assistant to the provost, retiring in 1988 as professor emeritus.   

From 1960 to 1961, Bill and Jackie and their three daughters lived in Sapporo, Japan, where Bill was an exchange professor at Hokkaido University.  For 25 years hence, he participated in exchange activities between the agricultural faculties of UMass and Hokkaido University.  He also served as co-director with Jackie for groups of UMass undergraduate students attending summer sessions at Hokkaido.  In 1989, Hokkaido University awarded him an honorary doctorate.  For more than 30 years, Bill was an active member of the Amherst Philosophical Society.  He also served as chair of the boards of the Amherst Housing Authority and Hampshire County United Way.  In all settings, Bill was known for his clear and reasonable approach to resolving issues, sense of fairness, and good humor.

Bill and his family enjoyed camping, traveling, alpine skiing, and the performing arts.  He played the violin in the Pioneer Valley Orchestra.  He had a terrific singing voice and onstage comedic talent and performed in operettas while at Massachusetts State College.  He sang in the Leverett Community Chorus at age 90.  Bill was the proud father and grandfather to a family of actors, dancers, musicians, and athletes and attended many plays, concerts, and recitals, as well as volleyball and baseball games.  He would spontaneously break into song or whistle a happy tune. 

One of Bill’s greatest pleasures in his later years was a trip with his family, in 2014, to Washington, D.C., to see the World War II Memorial. Wearing his veteran’s “China, Burma, India” cap, he was hailed and thanked by many passersby along the Mall. At first nonplussed by the overwhelming attention, Bill eventually relaxed into his apparent celebrity and warmly engaged with those who asked for photos and handshakes and had questions about his WWII experiences.

Bill was a kind, gentle man with a ready wit and lighthearted sense of humor who loved his family above all and lived his life with honesty and integrity. He is survived by his daughters: Donna L. Mellen, of Leverett, and her life partner, Donald K. Carew; Kathleen A. Mellen, of Northampton, and her husband, Dr. David E. Katz; and Carol M. Rogers, of Hadley, and her husband, James S. Rogers.  Also, five grandchildren: Gretchen E. Garnett, of Amsterdam, Netherlands, and her husband, Erik C. Garnett; Leah R. Katz, of Berlin, Germany, and her husband, Noah D. Telson; Hannah A. Katz, of Burlington, Vermont, and her husband, Ainsley W. Foley; Jennifer A. Rogers, of Charlemont, and Brett W. Rogers, of Sunderland.  He also is survived by his great-grandson, Linus Q. Garnett, and great-granddaughter, Zelda B. Garnett, members of the extended Carew family, two nieces and two nephews, and a number of cousins.  He was predeceased by his wife, Jackie, in 2013, and his sister, Carol, in 1972.  The family would like to thank the staffs at The Arbors at Amherst and Hospice of the Fisher Home for their loving care of Bill.  Bill’s remains will be interred, along with his wife, Jackie’s, in Christ Church Cemetery, Guilford, Vermont.  A celebration of Bill’s life will be scheduled for a later date. 

Contributions in Bill’s name may be made to Hospice of the Fisher Home, 1165 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA 01002 or

PostHeaderIcon JEAN MARIE ROSS of SOUTH HADLEY, June 28, 1928 – June 14, 2018

South Hadley,  Jean Marie (Houck) Ross passed away June 14, 2018, just weeks before her 90th birthday.   Jean made her home in Johnstown, PA for more than 30 years. More recently, she lived at Loomis Village in South Hadley, MA where she had moved with her husband Paul to be closer to their daughters.

Jean was born in Youngwood, PA to Marie (Jackson) and William Houck. She met her husband Paul while attending Derry Borough High School and dated him while they were both attending Seton Hill College (Paul was one of many men who attended a women’s college when first returning from WWII). Jean and Paul were married in 1949, and Jean left college to work while Paul attended engineering school at Ohio State University.

Over the next 20 years Jean raised three children, volunteered for numerous organizations, and was determined to finish college. When she put her mind to something, Jean did it:­ in 1969 she received her college degree (the same year her oldest daughter graduated from high school). She later went on to earn 30 graduate credits and taught for nearly 20 years in the Johnstown School System before her retirement. She was a proud member of the Association of University Women. Teaching and her students were Jean’s passion, as were cooking, spending time with her family and friends, and a good book. We will all miss her cheesy potatoes, dilly bread, and fudgy chocolate cake.

Jean and husband Paul were married for 66 years before his death in 2016. They loved their summer home in Stone Harbor, NJ, and in retirement they split their time between Stone Harbor and their home in Whispering Pines, NC. Jean is survived by her daughter Deborah Whitford of South Hadley, MA; son Daniel Ross and wife Diane of Bethlehem, PA; daughter Donna Ross and husband Peter Straley of Amherst, MA; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.     Memorial gifts may be made to the Loomis Village Employee Appreciation Fund,  20 Bayon Drive, Apt. 230, South Hadley, MA


PostHeaderIcon KATHLEEN JONES of AMHERST, MASS, November 20, 1919 – June 7, 2018


Amherst, Kathleen Jones was born November 20th, 1919, in Bebbington, Cheshire (UK), in the middle of the reign of George V. It was the year after the Great War, just after women over 30 were given the vote in Great Britain. When Kathleen was three, Ireland became independent, and when she was nine, universal suffrage for women was introduced. Kathleen attended Rock Ferry Convent High School in Bebbington, and graduated at age 17, in 1936. That year the Queen Mary sailed from Southampton to New York in a record 4 days and the Spanish civil war began. Kathleen was glad she could get a job as a local librarian (she really wanted to be a journalist – but there were few opportunities for women). When she was 20 in 1939, the UK declared war on Germany. She met Robert Jones that year at a tennis club and they were married in 1940, before he was due to be shipped to Norway. Between 1940-45, during the war, Kathleen worked in Air Raid Control (the ARC) and in 1943 when she was 24, had her first child, Neil.

After the war ended, she traveled with her husband, Bob, who was training teachers, to Staffordshire, Wiltshire and Leicestershire. Her passion for drama was born at this time, and both she and Bob were active in the community center movement. At 34 in 1953, she had a second son, Stephen, born the same year that Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tensing conquered Everest. The Queen was crowned that year and Watson and Crick discovered the double helix in Cambridge, just 30 miles from where she lived.

In 1953, Kathleen moved to Harlow Newtown, and founded with her husband a new community center. Her interest in drama blossomed, and together with Bob, she established the first amateur drama group in the town in 1954. In 1958, she went to Trent Park College, and specialized in Drama. In 1962, now 43, she went with six other women to the Middle East in search of a Sheikh who had visited Harlow, and after her six month adventure, resumed her teaching career as an elementary school teacher – interspersed with a job as drama advisor in the East End of London. Among her many theater productions was The House of Bernarda Alba, Sergeant Musgrave’s Dance, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Knight of the Burning Pestle, Under Milk Wood, The Crucible, and Bernard Shaw’s St Joan.

She was an avid traveler and sailor, crossing the English Channel in a small sailing boat three times, and exploring the Mediterranean by sail.

Kathleen retired in 1979, and in 1980 her first grandson, Lawrence, was born. In 1987, came the birth of her second grandson, Ilya. She was a fabulous grandmother, always curious, loving, and imaginative. In 1996 Kathleen’s husband of 56 years died, and Kathleen came to the United States to live with her son, Stephen, daughter-in-law, Marina, and her grandchildren. She continued to be active in Amherst, attending classes, making pots, attending her grandson’s concerts in New York, traveling when she could to Europe, and making new friends. She will be sorely missed by her family, and by her neighbors and friends around the world. 

PostHeaderIcon JANE ELIZABETH BACON of AMHERST, MASS, October 8, 1931 – June 5, 2018


Amherst, Jane Elizabeth Cowles Bacon, 86, born in 1931 to Anna Swords Cowles and Walter E. Cowles in Springfield, MA, Jane was the second of 7 children — five sisters and one brother.  She Worked at the Holy Name Rectory while attending Cathedral High School and later at the Phone Company.

After graduating from the Elms College (majors in education and math) Jane worked for Pratt & Whitney. She met Carl Rogers (Roger) Bacon of Amherst at a dance at Mt. Tom and they married in 1953. With Roger she raised 4 children. Jane taught math at St. Michael’s School in Northampton for four years. After teaching, Jane learned computer programming and worked at the University of Massachusetts as a programmer for the Health Services, the Campus Police Department and Cooperative Extension Service.

Jane was a dedicated parishioner at St Brigid’s Church.  She taught CCD classes for many years and later became a Eucharistic minister making nursing home visits to offer communion to residents.

A warm and spiritual woman, Jane devoted herself to her family. Content in her life, she enjoyed family vacations in Maine and long car trips with Roger through new England and Canada.  She will be remembered for her ready smile and many kindnesses, pies and fruitcake, frequent check-in calls to family and friends, and for offering her prayers and unconditional love always.

Jane was predeceased by loving husband Carl (Roger) and by her parents and siblings Mary Ann, Carol, Diane, Peter and Margaret. Jane is survived by her sister Kathleen and sister-in-law Jean Cowles, and by many nieces, nephews, and cousins Margaret Swords, Christina and Chip Hedeen.

She is also survived by her children, Mary Jane Bacon, David Bacon and his wife Linda, Earl Bacon, and Roger Bacon and his wife Barbara Schaffer Bacon and grandchildren Amy Bacon Goldberg and husband Jonathan Goldberg, and Aaron Bacon and by her great granddaughter Elliotte Jane Goldberg who arrived in time to meet her Great Grandma Jane.

Funeral services will be Friday June 8, 2018, 9:00 am from the Douglass Funeral Service, Amherst, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 am at St. Brigid’s Church. Burial will follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Amherst. There are no calling hours.

PostHeaderIcon PATRICIA ANN CARPENTER of HADLEY. MASS, July 20, 1939 – May 26, 2018

Hadley, MA – Patricia Ann Carpenter, who lived in Massachusetts for most of her life, died on Saturday, May 26th, 2018 in Cooley Dickenson Hospital.  The cause of death was respiratory arrest as a result of infection and pneumonia. 

Patricia was born in Worcester, Massachusetts on July 20th, 1939, the daughter of Homer and Teresa St. Onge.  Patricia was raised in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts where she graduated and went on to attend Becker College in Worcester.  Patricia eventually met her 1st love, Herbert Gordon in Harvard, Massachusetts and went on to establish the largest amateur radio business in New England.  Following the death of her husband she eventually met and married Phillip Carpenter where she continued to partake in amateur radio.

Patricia went on and worked as an accountant for most of her life at Hamilton Newell Printing in Amherst, Massachusetts as an accountant maintaining all the business accounts for the entire business.  Always a supporter of higher education, and especially the education of children she went on and started attending the University of Massachusetts, Amherst to obtain her degree in teaching.  Although only a few credits shy of her degree prior to her passing she spent many years as an assistant teacher at the Renaissance School in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Patricia loved traveling and was able to visit many places in the United States as well as in Europe.  An aficionado of reading, you would always find her reading a book or magazine if she was not teaching.  Above all, Patricia was proud of raising her two successful children and passing on the importance of education and living life.

Patricia is survived by her sons Steven Gordon of Las Vegas, NV and Neil Carpenter of Silver Springs, MD, their wives Svetlana Gordon and Siobhan Gorman Carpenter as well as 4 grandchildren David Gordon, Nicholas Gordon, Amanda Gordon and Alexis Carpenter.

A graveside service will be held on Friday, June 15th, 2018 11:00 AM at Wildwood Cemetery in Amherst, Massachusetts.


PostHeaderIcon PAUL DUBIN of NORTHAMPTON, MASS, April 17, 1941 – May 23, 2018

Northampton, Paul Dubin, 77, died May 23, 2018 in Cooley Dickinson Hospital, after living well with inoperable pancreatic cancer for more than three years. He was born in New York City to Carolyn and George Dubin. He graduated from the Bronx High School of Science, City College of New York, and received his Phd at Rutgers University in New Jersey, where he met his wife, Nancy. He worked as a chemistry professor, first at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis and more recently at the University of Massachusetts.

A man of many interests, Paul loved to travel, and had many former students, friends, and research associates all over the world. He had a special love of Japan, and was honored there with a chemistry symposium in 2015. With a strong spiritual nature, he became a Buddhist many years ago, meditated at least once a day, and participated in the Mangala Shri Bhuti community. He played the guitar and loved the traditional music of many cultures. Very concerned with staying fit, he enjoyed hiking, kayaking, cycling, tennis, and squash, the latter of which he played until very shortly before his death. He also earned a brown belt in Karate, studied Kyudo (Japanese archery), and was a devoted practitioner of Tai chi. Paul was especially concerned with nuclear disarmament, and was a leader in the nuclear weapons freeze movement.

Paul is survived by his beloved wife Nancy of almost 48 years, son Jeff and daughter-in-law Charlene, brother-in-law Gene Brown and his partner Harilyn Rousso, and also by his cousin Beverly Chethik and her extended family. He was predeceased by his brother Richard.

Memorial arrangements will be private. Donations in Paul’s honor may be made to the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Squash and Education Alliance, or Mangala Shri Bhuti.


PostHeaderIcon FREDERICK JIMMY CORTES of WILBRAHAM, MASS, August 9, 1946 – May 26, 2018


Amherst, Frederick Jimmy Cortes, known as Freddy to his family, died on May 26, 2018 at Baystate Hospital after a brief illness. Born on August 9, 1946 at Brooklyn Hospital, he was the eagerly awaited third child and only son of Esther Mercado and Federico Cortes. Freddy was the beloved brother of Lydia Cortes of New York City and Sonia Nieto (his guardian for the past 30 years) and brother-in-law Angel Nieto of Amherst. He is survived by many nieces and nephews in Massachusetts, as well as cousins in Puerto Rico, New York, Florida, and other places around the country. Always a sweet and loving man, Freddy had a special skill in solving jigsaw puzzles. He loved easily and enjoyed music and every kind of Puerto Rican food. Freddy was unable to attend public school as he was raised before education and other support services were available to the developmentally disabled. He remained in his parents’ home until his mid-thirties after his father died. In 1979, 3 years after Massachusetts passed Chapter 766 providing services to children and adults with special needs, Sonia and Angel were finally able to convince Esther to move to Amherst, something she only agreed to when she was persuaded that Freddy would be placed in a loving home. Freddy was subsequently placed in one of the first community settings for adults with autism, Down’s Syndrome, and other conditions, the last of which was a beautiful home in Wilbraham where Sonia and Angel were able to visit and spend time with him. The family is forever grateful to the loving care he received from all his caregivers at these homes. Calling hours will be on Thursday, May 31 from 5-7 pm at the Douglass Funeral Home, 87 No. Pleasant Street in Amherst. In lieu of flowers, please support one of the following organizations that provide help, education, and other services to developmentally disabled children and adults: The May Institute:; Autism Connections:; Whole Children:

PostHeaderIcon CAROL O’BRIEN of AMHERST, MASS, May 8, 1956 – May 24, 2018

Amherst, Carol Ann O’Brien, of North Amherst MA, ended her battle with multiple illnesses on May 24, 2018.  Carol was born in Northampton on May 8, 1956, daughter of Weymouth “Bud” and Joy Heath. Carol has resided in Amherst with her significant other, Bill Pearson, for the past thirteen years.  Carol leaves her four siblings, Les Heath, Richard Heath, Donna Heath Smith, and John Heath, as well as, her three children, Stephen O’Brien Jr., Matthew O’Brien, and Kelly Swiatlowski all of Belchertown.  Carol’s greatest joy was spending time with her five grandchildren. She also loved visiting the seashore, and studying family history. For the past decade Carol has worked devotedly at the Arbors of Greenfield, where she made many lasting friendships and wonderful memories. Calling hours will be at Douglass Funeral Home in Amherst MA on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 from 5-7 p.m. Burial will be at Wildwood Cemetery in Amherst on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 1 p.m.


PostHeaderIcon CRAIG STEPHEN HARBISON of HADLEY, MASS, April 19, 1944 – May 17, 2018

Hadley, Craig Stephen Harbison age 74, died unexpectedly on Thursday May 17, 2018 in his home in Hadley. The cause of death was cardiac arrest.

Craig was born in Baltimore, Maryland on April 19, 1944, the son of the late Dale and Lucile Meeks Harbison.  He grew up in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.  He received his Bachelors degree in Art History in 1966 from Oberlin College, where he studied under Wolfgang Stechow, and his PhD from Princeton University in 1971, where he studied with Erwin Panofsky, specializing in 15th and 16th-century Dutch and Flemish painting. In 1966 he married Sherrill Rood of Burlington, Vermont.  They were divorced in 2003.

Craig’s teaching career began at the University of California, Davis, in 1970. Then from 1972-74 he taught at Oberlin College, his alma mater, before moving to Amherst in 1974. He taught in the Art History Department at the University of Massachusetts until he retired in 2003. Craig was a gifted and popular teacher of art history.  His books include Jan van Eyck, The Play of Realism (1991) and The Mirror of the Artist: Northern Renaissance Art in its Historical Context (1995).

After his retirement he came out as a gay man and spent the next 15 years growing into himself.  He had a deep life-long passion for and encyclopedic knowledge of live and recorded opera.  He was a chef, an artist and photographer, and an avid reader.  He had a unique and discerning aesthetic eye and curated his home as one would a museum.  He had a passion for beauty and a love of nature.  He was a generous and thoughtful friend, an unconditionally loving father and proud grandfather. 

He is survived by his brother, Robert Harbison of London, England, his former wife, Sherrill Rood Harbison of Amherst, MA, his two children, Hanne Harbison of Philadelphia, PA and Colin Harbison of Fairfax, VA, and his three grandsons, Amon Harbison Koopman and Aidan and Nathan Harbison.

Memorial gifts can be sent to the Human Rights Campaign, the Matthew Shepard Foundation or the New England Peace Pagoda. A memorial service will be held at the New England Peace Pagoda in Leverett, MA on June 30th, 2018 at 1:00 PM.



PostHeaderIcon DR. PETER L. PELLETT of AMHERST, MASS, April 14, 1928 – May 10, 2018

Amherst, Dr. Peter L. Pellett, age 90, died on May 10, 2018 in his home in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Peter was born in London, England. A child survivor of World War II, he later went on to join the British Armed Forces where he defused bombs. After his military service he went on to receive his education at Borough Polytechnic in London, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and later obtained his post doctorate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA. After several years of research in London, the American University in Beirut, Lebanon, and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Peter was invited to be a professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1971 and later became head of the Nutrition Department. Peter was granted emeritus status after his retirement from the University of Massachusetts in 2000 but remained active into his early 80s.

Peter was an active board member on the International Nutrition Foundation (INF). Throughout his career he consulted regularly with the World Health Organization (WHO), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). During these consultancies, he frequently traveled to many different developing countries leading humanitarian missions that focused on resolving the child malnutrition crisis. This became the primary focus of his life’s work; combating infant and child malnutrition in developing countries and putting an end to world hunger.

Peter authored the second edition of Food Composition, Tables for use in the Middle East in 1970. He co-authored Nutritional Evaluation of Protein Foods: Report of a Working Group Sponsored by the International Union of Nutritional Science and the United Nations in 1983. Additionally, he has 67 other publications and 1438 citations.

In addition to his numerous academic achievements Peter was also an accomplished jazz pianist. He played the piano all his life, including an appearance on stage at his own 80th birthday party where he joined the band for one song.

Peter is survived by his wife, Amira Pellett, and three children; Charles Pellett, Rupert Pellett, and Zena Bauman. Grandchildren; Sally Manning, Joey Pellett, Tommy Pellett, Jake Pellett, Ashton Bauman, and Inara Bauman. Great grandchildren; Josephine Manning, Tetton Pellett, and Maxwell Manning.

A gathering to honor his life and achievements will be held on Sunday, June 3, 2018, 10 am – 1 pm in the Dickinson Ballroom of the Lord Jeffery Inn Amherst, MA, 01002. Former colleagues, students, coworkers, friends, and family are all welcome.

In lieu of any flowers or cards please consider donating to the Peter L. Pellett Scholarship Fund. This scholarship is awarded annually to a graduate student whose focus of study is related to food security and international nutrition. Donation link: If you prefer to send a check: 1) Make your check payable to the University of Massachusetts Amherst. 2) Note in the memo line of your check that you would like to designate your gift to the: ‘Peter L. Pellett Scholarship.’ 3) Mail your gift to Records and Gift Processing, Memorial Hall, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 134 Hicks Way, Amherst, MA 01003. 4) Or donate via phone at: 866-450-8627.

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