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Archive for the ‘Obituaries’ Category

PostHeaderIcon JAMES DOUGLAS, PhD of LEVERETT, MA, July 27, 1933 – February 15, 2017

LEVERETT — James Douglas, PhD, 83, passed away at home Feb 15, 2017.  In attendance was his beloved wife of 59-years, Betsy Douglas.  James was the Patriarch of Clan Douglas and is survived by his children Bob Douglas and Lynn Swain; and 5 grandchildren, Emily Douglas, Robyn Douglas, Erika Douglas, Gordon Swain and Katie Swain, and sister Jean Kirk.

James was born in Aurora Illinois on July 27, 1933, He received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Johns Hopkins University and in 1960 earned his Doctorate in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware. He worked in industry for 5 years before beginning a long and notable career in Academia.  Dr. Douglas served as a full professor at the University of Massachusetts for over 30-years.  He enjoyed teaching undergraduates and mentoring in the graduate program.  His former students work in many countries all over the globe.  While at UMass, he was active in research, published many papers, articles and text books which revolutionized some specific areas of the field.  Jim earned many honors including being elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

Jim loved good jokes, clever pranks, sailing, the sunsets in Cape Cod, dark chocolate, conservative politics, and watching the Patriots win football games. 

Burial will be private and a memorial celebration will be held in the Spring.  Contributions may be made to Cooley-Dickinson VNA and Hospice.



PostHeaderIcon SUSAN A. PANZER of AMHERST, MASS, July 6, 1932 – February 3, 2017

Amherst, Susan S. Panzer, 84, a longtime Amherst resident, died peacefully with her family at her side, Friday February 3, 2017, after enduring a long illness. She was born in Medford, MA July 6, 1932, to the late Alfred and Doris {Spellman} Squires. Susan spent her early years in Belchertown. She was a long time member of the South Amherst Congregational Church and was employed at many of the local hospitals as a LPN. Susan loved animals, especially birds, but her most enjoyment was her husband Frederick, and daughter Ellen.


She is survived by her husband Frederick, daughter Ellen and son John. She was predeceased by her son Christopher.


The family would like to offer their thanks to Cooley Dickinson VNA and Hospice and the Palliative care unit at Cooley Dickinson Hospital for their compassion and care.


Calling hours will be Wednesday February 8, from 4:00 – 6:00 PM at the Douglass Funeral Service, Amherst. A graveside service will be 10:00 AM Friday at Wildwood Cemetery, Amherst.





PostHeaderIcon JANET CLAIRE KOESTER of SHUTESBURY, MA, October 9, 1946 – January 31, 2017

          Shutesbury, On January 31st  2017, at 2 a.m., around the time she would typically fall asleep, Janet Claire Koester, 70, left behind a body that no longer served her spirits purpose. She also leaves the love of her life, her husband Robert Ball, and only daughter Amanda Marta Koester Ball. She wants all of the wonderful people in her life to know that she stayed with us as long as she could, and that she didn’t want to depart, until we learned the true power of our love, how to forgive, and that it is okay to let go.

          Janet was and will continue to be a great inspiration to those closest to her. And she does not want us to mourn the loss of her, but to rejoice in the joy of life; to breathe deeply and to live without regret! 

          We will carry her heart in our hearts! Always!

          Janet’s family will have a private service in the spring or early summer and asks that in-lieu of flowers you could send a donation to the Cooley Dickinson VNA or hospice the Fisher home.




PostHeaderIcon VIRGIL W. HAWES of HADLEY, MASS, August 9, 1930 – January 29, 2017

Hadley, Virgil William (Bill) Hawes, 86, of Hadley, passed away peacefully on January 29, 2017. He was born on August 9, 1930, in St. Ignatius, Montana to the late Hazel and Willard Hawes. Virgil was raised in Ohio and served in the Navy during the Korean War. He retired from AT&T after 30 years. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge of Belchertown, a charter member of the Amherst Jaycees, a member of Hadley American Legion and a member of First Baptist Church of Amherst.

Virgil had farming in his bones and loved to garden. He especially enjoyed his award-winning gladioli. Virgil enjoyed square dancing with his wife, Clare, and was a member of the Jumptown Twirlers (Orange). He was a devoted family man who was outnumbered by the females in his family. He spent countless hours flooding the backyard so his little girls would have a place to ice skate. In his later years he took joy in spending time with his grandchildren. He was a devoted fan of UMass softball. Virgil had a passion for music and sang in his church choir and also played the harmonica. In his final months he spread joy to the nursing home staff and guests with his singing.



Virgil is survived by his sister, Dorothy Friend, of Troy, Ohio. He leaves his wife of 63 years, Clare (Gooch) Hawes of Hadley, and his four daughters: Nancy Hawes of South Portland, Maine; Mary Allen of Bucksport, Maine; Karen Chauvin and her husband Lou of Gurnee, Illinois; and Sarah Darling and her husband Roy of Greenfield, Massachusetts. He is also survived by his grandchildren Rebecca Labonte (Zachary), Jason Chauvin, Katie Allen (Ryley), Rachel Ketchum (Eli), Kristen Chauvin, Stacy Darling, step-grandchild Cathi Hagar, and great grandchildren Kash, Dylan, Heather, and Samantha.

A Memorial Service will be held Thursday February 2, 2017 at 10:00 AM at the First Baptist Church of Amherst, there are no calling hours.

In lieu of flowers donations in his memory may be made to Hospice of the Fisher Home, 1165 North Pleasant St, Amherst, MA, 01002.


PostHeaderIcon MARILYN SPILLANE JUDAH of HADLEY, MASS, May 1, 1949 – January 4, 2017

Hadley, Marilyn Spillane Judah, died peacefully at home on January 4, 2017 from cancer. Born in 1949, she was raised in Staten Island by her parents Edward and Jessie Spillane.

Marilyn’s inquisitive nature launched a life-long fascination with quantum physics, math, geometry and spirituality. She was an art student, flight attendant and fashion model in NYC in her twenties. She owned a home in the foothills of the Alps in Northern Italy, and held dual citizenship between the U.S. and Ireland, the country of her heritage. As a member of the Flight Attendant Volunteer Corps, she helped transport children being adopted from Korea. She also volunteered at the Navajo Reservation in NM, teaching cultural awareness programs to Navajo children. 

Marilyn lived in Boston before her marriage and worked as a Landscape Expressionist painter throughout her life. She graduated cum laude from UMass Amherst with a double BFA in painting/studio arts and art education.  She received a Masters of Technology in Education at Lesley University. She pioneered the use of technology and the internet as a teaching tool for students and teachers at Hopkins Academy. She was the sole art teacher for over 3,000 students from 1995 until February 2016. Marilyn was twice rated Exemplary Teacher. She was a fierce champion of her beloved students. She will be remembered for two large murals that she designed and installed at Hopkins. They depict the history and beauty of Hadley, and were a true community effort. She was also one of the original co-founders of the Hadley Art Association, and twice served the Town of Hadley as a member of the Cultural Council,  Marilyn loved photography, kayaking and skiing. She cherished walks to the Connecticut River, mountaintop hikes, trips to the ocean and her family home in Glen Spey, NY. She was an avid gardener, and helped grow and deliver organic food to local survival centers.

Marilyn is survived by her daughter Jessica Judah, her grandson Deagan Michael, and ‘adopted’ son Josh, by her three older siblings, Richard Spillane of Los Angeles, Sheila Michaud of Manchester, NJ, and Regina Von Bevern, of Staten Island; as well as wonderful, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 AM on Saturday, Feb 4, 2017 at the Most Holy Redeemer Church, 120 Russell St, Hadley, MA with a church reception immediately following.

 In lieu of flowers, a scholarship fund is being set up for Marilyn’s grandson Deagan in her memory.



PostHeaderIcon DONALD E. WEATHERWAX of AMHERST, MASS, October 9, 1929 – January 26, 2017

Amherst, Donald E. Weatherwax, 87, also affectionately known as “Waxy”, died peacefully at the Center for Extended Care in Amherst on January 26, 2017.  Donald was born on October 9, 1929 in Cleveland, Ohio to the late Erle and Margaret (Davidson) Weatherwax. Donald and his wife, Kathleen, spent their married years in the Adirondack Mountains of New York and returned to Amherst upon retirement. While living in the Adirondacks, his passion for golf led Donald to work at the Craig Wood Golf Club in the summers. He worked at the 1980 Winter Olympics and spent the rest of his winters working at White Face Mountain.  Donald was a graduate of George Washington High School in Alexandria, Virginia and attended North Carolina State University. He also served in the US army.  He is survived by his loving wife, Kathleen, of Amherst, daughter Mary and grandson Riley from Indiana. He also leaves two beloved nieces, a nephew, several grand nieces and nephews, as well as his cousins. He was predeceased by his nephew Tommy Chalmers.  A private burial will be held in the spring at Wildwood Cemetery. Donations can be made to the Members’ Court at the Amherst Golf Club, 365 South Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA 01002.


PostHeaderIcon LINDA CAPEN GODAIRE FITZ of AMHERST, August 26, 1949 – January 26, 2017

Hatfield, Linda Capen Godaire Fitz died on Thursday, January 26, 2017 at the Highview of Northampton after a long illness. Linda was born in Northampton, August 26, 1949 to Leonard and Bertha {Higgins} Capen.  She grew up in Amherst and attended school in the Amherst School System. Linda was a long-time employee at UMass. She was also the owner of the Dove’s Nest restaurant, which she turned into a family restaurant by having her mother, daughter, and sister working there with her.

Linda was predeceased by her father Leonard, she leaves a daughter Jill Tucker and fiancé Stanley Symanski of Hatfield, grandson Nicholas Tucker of Stoughton, MA, a son William Godaire and wife Eileen of Munnsville, NY, and grandsons Logan Godaire of Munnsville, NY and Anthony Godaire of Aurora, CO. She is also survived by her mother, Bertha Capen and four sisters Dawn and husband Neil Desile of Easthampton, Sandy Stiles of Hadley, Bonnie and husband Steve Rowan of Southampton, and Nancy Capen of Whately, MA.

Calling hours will be Monday January 30, from 5:00 – 7:00 PM at the Douglass Funeral Service, Amherst. Funeral services will be Tuesday January 31, 10:00 AM at the funeral home, with burial following in North Amherst Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Hatfield Council on Aging, 59 Main St, Hatfield, MA 01038 or Dakin Humane Society, 163 Montague Rd, Leverett, MA 01054.

The family would like to offer a special thank you to the Highview of Northampton and Cooley Dickinson Hospice.

PostHeaderIcon MARGARET E. SEAVER of MASS, November 21, 1924 – January 9, 2017

Amherst, Margaret E. Seaver, 92, died peacefully January 9, 2017. Margaret was born December 11, 1924 in Amherst, to the late John and Harriet {Martin} Joy. Margaret was a lifelong resident of Amherst, and was employed by the University of Massachusetts. She and her husband Miles were lifelong members of St. Brigid’s Parish, Amherst.


Margaret is survived by her son Jay Seaver. She will be buried alongside her husband Miles and son Michael in Wildwood Cemetery, Amherst.





PostHeaderIcon MARGARET E. SEAVER of MASS, December 11, 1924 – January 9, 2017

Amherst, Margaret E. Seaver, 92, died peacefully January 9, 2017. Margaret was born December 11, 1924 in Amherst, to the late John and Harriet {Martin} Joy. Margaret was a lifelong resident of Amherst, and was employed by the University of Massachusetts. She and her husband Miles were lifelong members of St. Brigid’s Parish, Amherst.

Margaret is survived by her son Jay Seaver. She will be buried alongside her husband Miles and son Michael in Wildwood Cemetery, Amherst.



PostHeaderIcon LAURIE MARY JACQUE of MASS, May 1, 1925 – January 20, 2017

Amherst, Laurie M. Jacque, 91, of Amherst, passed away Friday, January 20, 2017, at the Center for Extended Care in Amherst with her loved ones close by.

Born in Holyoke, MA on May 1, 1925, Laurie was the daughter of Antoinette (Dietrich) and Adrien Monchamp. Growing up in Willimansett, Laurie worked many hours preparing for special events, celebrations and holidays in her family-owned greenhouses. She shared many memories of flower cuttings and floral work recalling the family effort it took to run the business. Her experiences in the greenhouses cultivated her love of flower varieties, her talent in floral arrangement, and her joy in the changing of the seasons.

Upon Laurie meeting and marrying Charles W. Jacque, she moved to the Jacque family dairy farm in Amherst. She did the bookkeeping for the farm. She and Charlie were very active members of the Massachusetts Jersey Cattle Club. Laurie raised their three children, Roger and twins Raymond and Ronald. She spent her days cooking great meals, baking everyone’s favorite treat, canning and freezing food from her garden, sewing, and helping with the daily farm chores. Laurie’s role provided essential components necessary to running the farm.

The farm itself provided the vital hub for her family. Within her quintessential, inviting farmhouse Laurie offered her grandchildren life skills and lessons that only a grandmother can!  Whether baking a special cake for your birthday or simply offering a reassurance, Grandma made her grandchildren feel warm, loved, and special.   

Laurie held a distinctive place in her heart for her great-grandchildren. She shared many years with her two great-granddaughters, Toni Ann and Taryn Elizabeth. She spent time teaching them to cook, enjoyed having them paint her nails, and offered them both a special ear to listen to their every need. Little Navarro celebrated her 90th birthday by giving her a box with hand painted flowers knowing her love of them. His highlight of visiting her, as with all friends and family, was to see Laurie’s beautiful, endearing smile.

As the family matriarch, Laurie held an exceptional ability to foster and preserve the togetherness of the family. We will all certainly miss her charisma as the rock and heart of our lives.

Laurie is lovingly remembered by her two sons, Raymond Jacque of Sunderland, Ronald Jacque and wife Deborah of Amherst; her sister Cecile Guertin of Ludlow; grandchildren Eric Jacque and wife Julie of Sunderland, Anette Millington and husband Kenneth of Brooklyn, NY, Edward Jacque of Hatfield, Berri Jacque and wife Asha Strazzero-Wild of Shutesbury, Erin Jacque and husband Matthew Waldrip of Sandwich; great-grandchildren Toni and Taryn Jacque of Sunderland, Navarro Millington of Brooklyn, NY; and many nieces and nephews.

Laurie is predeceased by her loving husband, Charles, son Roger, brother William Monchamp, and sister Lillian Jacque.

Please join the family in a celebration of Laurie’s life. Calling hours will be held on Wednesday, January 25, 2017, at the Douglass Funeral Home, Amherst from 4:00 – 7:00 PM. The following morning, Thursday, January 26, 2017, 10:00 AM, a service will be held at the Douglass Funeral Home with a graveside burial following at the South Amherst cemetery.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to a Hospice organization of your choice.




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

JOHN N. DAVIS of AMHERST, MA died on January 3, 2018


DR. JAMES RALPH of AMHERST, MASS died on December 21, 2017