Remembering members of the Williston Northampton community

Stephen Cook ’50

Stephen Cook '50Stephen B. Cook, 80, of New Bedford died June 27, 2013 at St. Luke’s Hospital after a brief illness.
He was the husband of Gertrude S. (Shea) Cook.

Born in Springfield, MA, the son of the late Lauren W. and Marion M. (Moran) Cook, he was raised in New York City, attended Williston Academy, and lived in Provincetown, MA before moving to New Bedford 35 years ago.

Steve was a commercial artist, commercial fisherman, and realtor who enjoyed painting boats and seascapes. He displayed his art in many local galleries and at the Maritime Museum in Mystic, CT. He was a member of Gallery X, the Bierstadt Society, and the Beachcombers Club in Provincetown.

Steve had a good sense of humor and enjoyed the company of his family, friends, cats and dogs.

Survivors include his wife; a son, Lauren Cook and his companion Pam Zimmerman of Philadelphia, PA; a daughter, Stephanie Barrett and her husband Michael of Dartmouth; 3 grandchildren, Patrick Barrett, Timothy Barrett and Samuel Cook; and 2 great-grandchildren, Gage and Andreia.

Frederick Moore ’49

Frederick E. Moore 'Fred' '49Frederick Moore passed away on January 21, 2015.

He was a resident of La Puebla, NM since 1981. He was born in Pittsfield, MA in 1931 to parents, Harwood and Lauretta Moore, now deceased. He lived in Williamstown, MA until he moved to New Mexico. He graduated from Williston Academy, Easthampton, MA in 1949. He attended Nichols Junior College in Dudley, MA until he joined the 103rd Fighter Wing of the Ct. Air National Guard at Bradley Field in 1951.

He became disabled while in the service and was discharged in 1952. He returned to Williamstown, MA and started his own excavating company and later added heating oil delivery to it.

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Michael Linnell ’73

Michael Linnell '73Michael Philip Linnell, 59, of Easthampton, passed away suddenly Monday, Jan. 19, 2015. He was the beloved husband of 38 years to Brenda Ann Linnell.

Michael was born in Northampton, and was the son of Alice Linnell and of the late Philip Linnell. He attended Williston Northampton School and went on to become a hard working business owner of A&B Auto for many years up through his passing.

He was a true “”family man”” and loved nothing more than spending time with his loving wife and large, loving family. He especially loved dancing around like a kid to music with his five grandchildren.

He strived for perfection in everything he did. He was a passionate wood worker, loved spending time researching his family ancestry and enjoyed sharing his never-ending knowledge with everyone in his family.

In addition to his loving wife, he leaves behind his daughter Jennifer (Linnell) Saalfrank and her husband Joey of Westfield; daughter Meghan (Linnell) Still and her husband Matthew of Easthampton; son Matthew Linnell and his wife Amy of Easthampton; and son Joseph Linnell and his wife Alysha of Easthampton. He also leaves behind his five grandchildren, Audrey, Lillian, Zachery, Ethan and Ashley. Additionally, he leaves his sister Patricia Wilson and her husband James of Haydenville; father and mother-in-law Francis and Elizabeth Gagnon; three brothers-in-law; and several nieces and nephews.

Paul Basamania ’65

Paul Basamania '65Paul Basamania, 67, of Bridge Road, Florence, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015, at his home, after a brief illness.

Paul was born Oct. 18, 1947, in Northampton, the son of the late Dr. Walter and Frances (Niksa) Basamania. He attended local schools, graduating from Williston Academy and later American International College with a bachelor’s degree in biology. He lived in Boston briefly after college before returning to Northampton where he has resided ever since.

He leaves behind his sister Gail Trudeau and her husband Roger of Whately, and four nephews, Lance Wade of Florence, Nathan Wade of Bernardston, David Trudeau of Sharon, and Jonathan Trudeau of Chicopee. He also leaves three great-nieces and a great nephew.

William Sleeper, Jr. ’35

William Hobbs Sleeper, Jr. 'Bill'William H. Sleeper (99) passed peacefully on December 17, 2014 from metastasized prostate cancer at his retirement home in Mill Creek, WA.

Bill was born in Exeter, New Hampshire on August 5, 1915 to William H. Sleeper and Florence (Clark) Sleeper. He attended Phillips Exeter Academy and Williston Academy, graduating in Physics from Harvard University.

As an electrical engineer, and radar and weapons system specialist, he worked at Foxboro Instrument, Sperry Gyroscope, Bendix Aviation, M.I.T., Caltech, General Electric, Boeing, and Raytheon, finally retiring in 1990 at age 75.

Bill joined the Navy during World War II and served as radar maintenance officer on the U.S.S. Quincy both in the Atlantic and Pacific Theatres. His ship carried President Roosevelt to and from the Yalta Conference in Malta, then traveled through the Panama Canal to support military efforts in the Pacific until the war ended. During a 3-day shore leave in NYC, he married his “child bride” Norma Jean Pribyl, had a 1-day honeymoon, then shipped out to sea for 9 more months. He and Norma were happily married for 66 years until her death in 2011.

Bill is survived by his two children, Barbara Sleeper and William H. Sleeper III, three grandchildren, Kelly (Citron) Galloway, David Citron and Josh Citron, and six great-grandchildren, Grady and Gretta Galloway and Paige, Claire, Noah and Sam Citron.

Harold Bohmer Jr. ’48

Harold Bohmer, Jr. '48Harold “Hal” Bohmer died Monday, December 29, 2014, at home in Tucson, Arizona surrounded by his loving family after a short illness.

His profession as a geologist brought him to Tucson for work during graduate school in the fifties and he later returned with his wife Cynthia to retire and bask in the beauty of the mountains.

Hal was born in Northampton, Massachusetts in 1930 and attended Williston Academy, now known as the Williston-Northampton School. He graduated from Amherst College following four years of service in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. Hal went on to complete both an M.S. Degree and a Ph.D. in geology at the University of Cincinnati where he was awarded two National Science Foundation Fellowships. Later, Hal was honored with membership in the scientific research society Sigma Xi.

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Patricia Schneider ’68

Patricia J. Schneider, 64, died Saturday, December 27, 2014 at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH after a brief battle with lung cancer.

She was born June 24, 1950 in Reading, PA the daughter of Frank W. and Lavona (DeWald) Schneider. She attended Northampton School for Girls and graduated from Cortland High School in Cortland, NY class of 1968. She attended Bay Path College and graduated from Windham College in Putney, VT class of 1974. She worked for a time at the Ski Area’s of New York and has spent the Past fifteen years at Fine Paints of Europe in Woodstock, VT.

Patsy was instrumental in the development of the Watson Upper Valley Dog Park in Hartford, and has continued to steer its direction as an active member of the Upper Valley Dog Park Supporters and presiding as its president. She also enjoyed skiing in the winter and kayaking in the summer. But what she loved the most was the time spent out with her dog.

She is predeceased by her parents.

Patsy is survived by her brother Lawrence Schneider of Killington, VT, a sister Sandy Kutkiewicz of Roxbury, NY; several nieces and nephews; and Nathan, a large black Newfoundland.

Larry Neilson (Edward Moore Lawton Jr) ’71

Larry NeilsonLarry Neilson, formerly known as, Edward Moore Lawton, died Sunday, June 15, 2014, in Shoreline.

He was born Sept. 3, 1954, in Northampton, Massachusetts.

He was predeceased by his father Edward Milne Lawton, Jr. He leaves his mother Sally Lawton of Westhampton, Massachusetts; his sister Cynthia Lawton-Singer; his brother James Lawton; and many friends in the Seattle area.

Larry graduated from The Williston Northampton School in 1971, and from Vassar College in 1975 with honors in history. He worked in advertising, web design and photography.

He grew up in Westhampton, Massachusetts, and later lived in Marblehead from 1982 to 1990 and in Seattle since 1990. There he belonged to the University Unitarian Church, the Fremont Arts Council of Seattle, and the Seattle P-Patch Community Garden. His lifelong interests included trains, sailing and battleships, jazz, history, street theater, art cars, social justice movements and gardening.

Raymond Montgomery ’54

RA MontgomeryAuthor R.A. Montgomery, co-founder of the company that first published the popular Choose Your Own Adventure interactive book series in the 1970s, died at his home in Warren, Vt., on November 9 following a brief illness. He was 78.

Montgomery was born in Connecticut in 1936. Growing up in New England, he attended Williston Academy before matriculating at Williams College, from which he graduated in 1958. Throughout his early life and education he developed a passion for finding and developing innovative teaching methods that inspired children to learn. Among his achievements in this area were his role as assistant dean of faculty at Columbia University from 1963–65 and the 1966 founding of the Waitsfield Summer School in Vermont, which featured an experiential curriculum and used gaming to teach math. Montgomery went on to develop role-playing games for the Edison Electric Institute and for training programs used in the Peace Corps.

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Remembering members of the Williston Northampton community