Archive for the ‘Obituaries’ Category
SHUTESBURY – Charles Davis Read, 16, of Old Orchard Road passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at home on August 15, 2016. He had spent the last weeks of his life happily connected with extended family on Cape Cod and with his friends and family at home.
Charlie was born in Northampton on May 31, 2000 and has been loved and cherished by his family, by his Old Orchard Road neighbors, and by his community of Shutesbury. He was educated at Shutesbury Elementary School and at Amherst Regional Middle and High Schools.
Charlie loved sports and began playing hockey with the Amherst Hockey Association and baseball with Amherst Baseball. He eventually enjoyed playing both sports for his high school teams as well. He aspired to become a counselor at the Morse Hill Outdoor Education Center.
Charlie was a great friend, a sensitive spirit, had a wonderful sense of humor and a smile that could light up a room, and above all had an unflagging perseverance. Throughout his life, Charlie’s family, his devoted teams of teachers, his coaches, his friends, teammates, camp and his youth group have been essential in shaping his extraordinary character.
Besides his parents Clifton and Arleen and his sister Susan, he is survived by his paternal grandmother Charlotte Brooks Read of Concord, his aunt Martha Read of Belmont, his aunt Susan and uncle Ken Read-Brown of Hingham, his uncle Roger and aunt Lynn Peterson Read of Belmont, his aunt Kathy Wall of Wilson NC, his uncle Tom and aunt Kathy Wall of Frenchtown NJ, his aunt Bonnie and uncle Burt Logan of Bexley OH, his aunt Jeannette Wall of North Plainfield NJ, his beloved cousins Sandra Begley with her husband Neil and their son Lowell; Adam Read-Brown and his wife Daniella Schmidt, Eliza Read-Brown, Willis Read-Button, Colin Read, Hannah Read, Mark Logan and his daughter Corrin, Garrett Logan, and Sean Logan, and his dear friends Luke, Eric, Anna and Piper. We have all been blessed to have had him in our lives. He is predeceased by his paternal grandfather Charles Rodes Read, and his maternal grandparents Thomas and Anne (Marcinkiewicz) Wall.
A celebration of Charlie’s life will be held at a date to be announced later. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Amherst Baseball (PO Box 3501 Amherst 01004), the Epilepsy Foundation (www.epilepsy.com), or the Charlie Read Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Morse Hill Outdoor Education Center, 65 Wentworth Manor Dr. Amherst, MA 01002 Attn. Victoria Shaw.
Hadley, Virginia MacMillan Kendall died of ovarian cancer at her home in Hadley on Tuesday, August 16, 2016.
Ginny was born on December 26, 1929 in Framingham MA to Ruth and Murray MacMillan. She grew up in New York State and worked for a time in NYC, where she met her husband of 61 years, Ralph “Nick” Kendall.
Although she had several jobs, her favorite career – and that of which she was most proud – was being “a mother of two amazing, spectacular daughters,” Susie and Cyn who were, in her words, “my gift to the world.”
After working for six years as Assistant Director of Admissions at Hampshire College, Ginny spent her time volunteering first as a breast cancer advocate and then, following 9/11, with Red Cross Disaster Relief, traveling across the country to assist those in need following natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina.
Some of her many other interests and volunteer experiences include the Hospice Shop in Northampton, Habitat for Humanity, Opportunities for Communities, Not for Bread Alone, as well as countless volunteer excursions with her daughter, Cyn. She was active as a Hospice volunteer, participated in Relay for Life, and was passionate about the environment and politics.
Ginny loved traveling to Cape Cod as well as different continents. She felt privileged to be able to travel to different parts of the world such as Africa, Thailand, New Zealand, and Australia. There were summer trips to the Cape with Nick, Susie, Cyn and her sister’s family during the 1960s and 1970s; following the purchase of a cottage on MacCallum’s Point on Prince Edward Island, summer vacations shifted north across the Canadian border.
A staunch supporter of those in need and a fierce friend, Ginny left her indelible mark on the world. She was an active member of the Travelers’ Tea, her book group, and Caring Companions through First Congregational Church. She lived her entire life with grace, dignity, and integrity; she loved deeply and with unequivocal commitment.
Ginny is survived by her husband, Ralph (Nick); her daughters, Susie Carlisle and her husband Mark, and Cyn Kendall and her husband Jim Barbaro; her “adopted” son Paul Greenfield, from Australia; her sister, Janice; her grandchildren Heather, Meredith and her husband Jarrod Colicchie, Andrew and his wife Meg, Chaeli, and Noah; and her great-granddaughter Piper.
A memorial service in celebration of Ginny’s life will be held on Saturday, August 27 at 1 pm at First Congregational Church in Amherst (colorful clothing, please!). In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Amherst Survival Center (138 Sunderland Rd., North Amherst, MA) or Opportunities for Communities (260 Lincoln Avenue, Amherst MA).
Amherst, Violet Louise (Gavin) Robinson, of Amherst, MA and previously of Regent Street Roxbury, MA , passed away peacefully at Care One Nursing facility on Thursday, August 11th.Violet was born in Manchester Jamaica WI, on March 26th, 1927 to William and Calvie Gavin, moving first to London England in the 1950’s and then to Boston in 1974. Violet’s husband, Wilton Wilcutt Robinson died in January, 1999. In addition to raising six children, Violet worked in nursing, first in the UK, and then at Boston City Hospital; later she worked at the Long Island Shelter until her retirement at age 78. Violet’s compassionate and tireless work at the shelter, earned her special commendations from former Mayors Ray Flynn and Thomas Menino. Violet was a devout Catholic, who lived to serve others and took pleasure in travel to holy destinations. Her travels to see the Pope brought her great joy. Violet is survived by her six children: Glenroy Robinson of Toronto Canada; Sandra Ramswell of Beckshill-on-Sea, England; Orinthia Ashley of Brooklyn NY; Jasmine Robinson of Amherst MA; Audley Robinson of Amherst MA; and Helen Robinson of London England. Violet is survived by four of seven siblings: Margaret Nelson of New York; Dulce Saunders of London UK; Guionne Lozanne of North Carolina; and Daisy Ferris of Dallas Texas. Violet’s large family includes sixteen grandchildren, sixteen great-grandchildren, many nephews and nieces, and countless others who called her Mum.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday August 19, 10:30 AM at the Newman Catholic Center, Amherst, with a graveside burial at Fairview Cemetery in Hyde Park, Boston at 10am on Saturday, August 20th, followed by a celebration of her life at Saint Patrick’s Church in Roxbury, Saturday at 11am.
Leverette, Lynette S. Rife, 66, died from leukemia on August 10 after a hard fought battle of 20 months which she bore with incredible strength and courage. She was born in Santa Monica, California on July 22, 1950 to the late Ray B. Sorensen and Betty E. Sorensen. She had a wonderful marriage of 45 years to her husband Frank, of Leverett, Massachusetts, and leaves behind her son Jason, of Santa Monica, California, her daughter Nicole and her husband David and their daughter Zhen of Santa Monica, California, her son Jared and his wife Rachel and their children Jackson, Madison, Emerson and Ellison, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and her son Jeremy and his wife Paige of South Jordan, Utah.
Lynette worked at National Evaluation Systems and later Pearson for many years but her greatest joy was being a wife, a Mother and to helping others. Her personality attracted so many to her and she had a knack of bringing out the best in other people and made many true friends in the process. She spent much of her time serving in various callings at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as she was a life-long member. Her genuine love for others makes it no surprise that neighbors and friends still maintained a strong contact with her over the years even after they moved away.
Lynette and her husband also spent time traveling to places in Europe, Central America, and Thailand. She loved talking about those experiences and sharing pictures of their travels. Her home was filled with items from her travels.
She will be fondly remembered for her energy, her humor and a smile that made everyone feel comfortable when she was around.
Calling hours will be Friday, August 12, from 4–7 p.m. and the funeral service will be on Saturday, August 13 at 10:00 a.m., at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at 23 Brigham Lane in Amherst. Burial will follow in East Leverette Cemetery. Please send all flower arrangements to Douglass Funeral Service, Amherst.
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.
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
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
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.
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)