Remembering members of the Williston Northampton community

John J. Schumacher ’59

Schumacher

John J. Schumacher, 76 years old, of Chatham, MA and Naples FL, died on Tuesday, December 27, 2016 at Cape Cod Hospital after suffering a heart attack at his home.

Born in Boston, the 2nd son of August and Mary Schumacher, John was the beloved husband of Judith Blake Schumacher for 49 years. John was also the devoted father of Michael and his wife Gayle of Sherborn, Jennifer Harper and her husband Mitch of Pembroke and David and his wife Susan of Duxbury. Dear brother of August Schumacher of Washington, DC, Ellen Schadegg of Hancock, NH and Mary Megson of Arlington, MA. Above all else, he was the adored Grandfather of Weston and Riley Schumacher, Travis and Tessa Harper and Abigail, Meghan and Dylan Schumacher.

John graduated from Cornell University in 1963. In 1967, John married Judy and founded his second love: Landscaping By Schumacher, Inc., which he owned and operated for over 30 years. During that time, Landscaping By Schumacher became New England’s largest commercial landscape firm, winning a number of both national and local awards; two of these awards landing John at the White House for presentations by First Lady Rosyln Carter and First Lady Barbara Bush.

John was also a successful fourth generation farmer, purchasing historic Lookout Farm in South Natick in 1978, and working with the Commissioner of Food and Agriculture to organize one of the early Massachusetts Agricultural Preservation Rights development restrictions with the purchase.

In his retirement, John divided his time between Chatham and Naples. He loved real estate and golf, but more than anything loved spending time with Judy on their front porch in Chatham, surrounded by his children and grandchildren, whom he adored.

Allan L. Brewer ’62

brewer

Allan L. Brewer Jr., 72, formerly of Easthampton, passed away peacefully Dec. 30, 2016, at the Farren Care Center in Turners Falls.

He was born April 8, 1944, in Northampton, the son of the late Allan and Mary (Tannett) Brewer. He was educated in the Easthampton schools and was a graduate of the Williston Academy in Easthampton.

Allan was employed for several years working in the kitchen at the Hotel Northampton. Allan had been a past member of the Easthampton Congregational Church, and he was an avid chess player enjoying a good match whenever he was able.

Allan leaves his devoted brother Michael Brewer and his wife Ricki Newman-Benzie of Hendersonville, North Carolina; his nieces Wendy B. Dellert of Colrain, and Olivia Crough of Brooklyn; and his nephew Caleb Brewer of Bolivia.

 

Helen Haase Tompkins ’58

Helen Elizabeth Tompkins, 75, of Ellenton, FL passed away on April 23, 2015. She was the widow of Thomas H. Tompkins and is survived by her sons; Thomas H. and Ronald L. (Sherry) of Florida. Also surviving are grandsons; Christopher (Abby) and Dylan as well as her precious great-granddaughter, Arya Lynn Tompkins, all of Coldwater, Michigan. Additionally, Helen leaves her sister, Mary (David) of Tampa and her brother, Bill (Nancy) of Pennsylvania as well as four nieces and nephews and their families.

Peter A. McIntyre ’62

mcintyre

Peter Albert McIntyre, of Orinda, CA,  died in his sleep on Tuesday November 17, 2015.
He leaves behind his loved and loving wife and son, Gail and Adam, his dear sister Jean Berry, niece Melissa (Pacheco) and nephew, Sean and wife Veronica Berry, and many, many friends who enriched his life in so many ways with shared laughter, rounds of golf, Giant’s games, skiing, sailing trips, motorcycle rides, good meals, more laughter and friendship. He is missed.

 

Christopher C. Bonwit ’65

bonwitChristopher Call Bonwit, 69, departed this life peacefully on January 2, 2017 surrounded by his family at his home in Dunwoody, Georgia. He is survived by his loving wife of 44 years Gracemarie (Gem) and their sons Holden with wife Meagan, and Neville with wife Erin and children Katherine, Lindsay, Natalie, Kolby and Caedmon. He is also survived by his sister Elise Bonwit Dickinson with husband D. Edward and daughters Monica and Cara, and his brother Jonathan with wife Norah and sons Erik and Cameron.

Chris was born on October 16, 1947 in Hackensack, New Jersey, son of Charlotte and John Bonwit, Jr. For high school, he attended Williston Academy in Massachusetts, after which he was awarded a fellowship from the English-speaking Union to attend Brighton College in England for a post high school year of study. Following that, he attended the University of Notre Dame, courtesy of a scholarship from the US Navy ROTC program. During one of his memorable summer Navy deployments, Chris was attached to a German Navy fast patrol boat operating in the Baltic Sea; it was on that deployment that he began his appreciation of the German language, his favorite of the 6 languages that Chris spoke fluently. He graduated cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in 1970 and then served four years in the U.S. Navy in the Mediterranean Sea and the Pacific Ocean on a variety of ships and missions, ultimately becoming Chief Engineer on the destroyer escort U.S.S. Badger.

In August of 1972, after a brief courtship, Chris joyously married Gem, who shared his passion for adventurous living.

Chris received his MBA from Wharton Business School and thereafter entered the engineering construction field with Dravo Corporation. From Pittsburgh, PA, he routinely traveled to Central and South America as a master negotiator for the company. During his time with Dravo, he lived in Mexico and Italy, often traveling to Eastern Europe and Africa for weeks at a time. The 3-year Italian experience was simply magical for the Bonwit family.

Switching careers, he joined Raychem Corporation and spent the next decade selling the telecommunications company’s breakthrough wire splicing and connector products. He greatly enjoyed the combination of outdoor work and traveling to various US and foreign locations. Of his many assignments with Raychem, his time in Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea were the most memorable.

Chris worked briefly with two other telecommunications companies, Dura-Line and Thomas & Betts, before ultimately landing his dream position as a Regional Director with the University of Notre Dame. Gem was especially pleased about this career switch as Chris was finally finished with international travel and was able to spend more time at home. Chris strongly believed in the mission of the University of Notre Dame and enjoyed doing his part to strengthen the many endeavors essential to the success of the University and its students. The close friendships that he formed with colleagues and benefactors of the University provided him with immeasurable joy.

He will be dearly missed by his devoted family, friends and colleagues.

Jo Milton Williams ’52

williamsJo Milton Williams, 83, of Shelburne Falls, MA and Pinehurst, NC, passed away unexpectedly November 28, 2016 at Baystate Franklin Medical Center, Springfield, MA. She was the daughter of George Thurlow Milton and Grace Kelley Milton of Boston, MA and was graduated from Northampton School for Girls. After attending Connecticut College and later receiving a degree from N C State University, she was employed as a counselor for Alcoholism Treatment Center, Raleigh, NC. Surviving kin are three daughters: Susan Perkins Stark of Shelburne Falls, MA, Karen Kelley Perkins of Pacific Palisades, CA, Elizabeth Perkins Macat of Shelburne Falls, MA and Sherman Oaks, CA, and husband Carl Rush Williams, Pinehurst, NC, and eight grandchildren. Jo was a devoted and effective counselor in North Carolina. Once retired she love summering in New England where she vacationed as a youngster and traveling, particularly motoring across the states and to Canada and Alaska. Preeminent also in her retirement was the nurture and happiness of her grandchildren. They adored her.

Mary Louise Hogan Holmes ’55

holmesMary Louise “Mary Lou” Hogan Holmes, 79, of Tinton Falls, N.J., died peacefully at home with her loving family at her bedside on Dec. 21, after a lengthy illness.

The daughter of Harold Hogan and Louise Callahan Hogan, Marylou was born in Northampton, Mass. She was raised in Florence, and lived in Manalapan and Farmingdale, N.J., for many years before moving to Seabrook Village in Tinton Falls in 2013.

She was a registered nurse practitioner by profession, and worked for the State of New Jersey Division of Mental Health Services for 30 years, primarily as assistant director of nursing at the former Marlboro State Hospital and later at Ann Klein Forensic Center in Ewing, N.J., before retiring in 2000. She also was a clinical instructor of nursing for Ocean County College for many years.

A graduate of the Williston Northampton School and the Providence Hospital School of Nursing in Holyoke, Mary Lou earned her bachelor’s degree from Trenton State College (now the College of New Jersey), and her master’s degree in psychiatric nursing from the University of Pennsylvania.

Mary Lou was a passionate volunteer as well. In addition to prominent positions on many committees for the New Jersey State Nurses Association, she also served as a peer counselor at CentraState Medical Center in Freehold Township, coming to the aid of nursing colleagues who struggled with substance abuse issues. She was also a member of many professional nursing associations, including the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. She also served as a volunteer catechism instructor at St. Catherine of Siena Roman Catholic Church in Farmingdale, where she was a longtime communicant.

Surpassing her deep feelings for her work, faith and personal interests was the love she felt for her family. Surviving are her husband of 57 years, Joel F. Holmes Jr.; her daughter and son-in- law, Theresa Holmes-Stenson and Eric Stenson of Farmingdale, N.J.; her son and daughter-in- law, Joel F. Holmes III and Beth Cannon Holmes of London, United Kingdom; her brother and sister-in-law, Jack and Peggy Hogan of Easthampton, Mass.; and grandchildren Shane and Arianna Stenson, Cooper and Cole Holmes.

Bruce Alexander Hamilton ’66

hamiltonBruce Alexander “Alex” Alex Hamilton, 67, of West Newbury, MA, devoted husband and loving father, passed away on Christmas morning at home, with his family by his side, to join his beloved, Meher Baba following a seven month battle with lung cancer. Alex graduated from South Hadley High in 1966, having previously attended Williston Academy, the Franklin Institute, and from UMass Amherst in 1980 with a summa cum laude degree in landscape architecture. After a successful career as a Realtor in Lexington, and real estate office manager in Andover and Beverly, he was named vice-president of DeWolfe New England, where he helped in growing that company during the 1990’s. He then retired to raise his children, tend his grounds, and manage investment real estate on Plum Island. An avid plantsman, he created a landscaped paradise around his West Newbury home. He built and helped maintain many miles of trails in the Newburys, especially the West Newbury Riverbend and Mill Pond trails, as well as the Newburyport Little River Nature Trail, sawing, weed-whacking and leaf-blowing them clear for pedestrian and equine use. He also served as Scout Master of Boy Scout Troop 26 for a number of years. Alex was a faithful follower of Avatar Meher Baba for 50 years, and was an avid researcher into the lives of many of the Westerners who met Baba in the 1930’s. He enjoyed visits with fellow Baba lovers in Cambridge, at the Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach and visited and supported other Baba sites in America and England. The “Garden of the Beloved” at Beloved Archives in Hamilton, NJ was his creation as well. Spending time visiting Baba’s home and tomb in Meherabad, India in February 2016, was a dream fulfilled. He was devoted to his wife and best friend, Deborah R of West Newbury, and to his children, Alexander “Zander” R, of Denver, CO, and Eliza “Liza” M. of Ashland, OR. He leaves his brothers David and wife Carolyn of Lake Whatcom, WA, Kirby and wife Melinda of Santa Fe, NM, and sister Kris Kapp of Orange County, CA, 6 nieces and nephews and 2 grand-nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Laurence K and Guelda P., and brother Laurence G. Hamilton of Cottonwood Mansion, in Ontario, Canada.

 

Remembering members of the Williston Northampton community