Remembering members of the Williston Northampton community

Robert L. Secundy ’56

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Robert Lewis Secundy passed away September 6, 2016. He was born on June 20, 1938 in Brooklyn, New York. He was the son of Lillian May Jorgensen Secundy Lynch and Benjamin Secundy. He attended Williston Academy in Easthampton Massachusetts. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Magna Cum Laude with a degree in electrical engineering, 1959 and received an MBA from The Wharton School in 1961. He was in the national honorary business fraternity Beta Gamma Sigma. In 1967 he moved to Reston, a planned community in Northern Virginia, to raise his two children. In the late 1960s he was one of the founders of the Reston Black Focus, an organization created to promote black culture, lifestyle and participation in Reston. Robert was on the first line for the newly established Reston chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Zeta Upsilon Lambda in 1977. He also served on the Fairfax County Civil Service Commission. Robert began his professional career as a financial analyst for Sun Oil Company. He then served as comptroller Metrotec, Inc. Metrotec was a publication development firm that catered to federal government agencies and was owned by his friend of many years, Jack Nelson. Robert set up the accounting and financial systems of the firm and maintained the records required for federal contract reporting. He also shepherded the firm through each of its arduous biennial federal audits. He was beloved by all the staff for his sense of humor and camaraderie. Later he started his own company, Humanics in Atlanta Georgia, which provided services for Head Start programs for disadvantage children. After that he started his own computer training company. During this time he meet his wife of 29 years Cynthia Barnes. In 1988, Robert joined the American Press Institute (API) as Associate Director for Finance and Administration. He was the first minority member on their executive staff. After 17 years of service, he retired from API in 2005. Robert will forever be remembered for his unequaled dedication and generosity to his family and the way he supported and encouraged loved ones to pursue their dreams. We will cherish the memories of his leadership in the black community, his technical savvy, his playful wit, and passion for tennis. He is survived by his wife Cynthia Barnes, his daughter, Susan Secundy, his son Joel Secundy, his brothers Gerald (m. Donna Boone), Benjamin, Jr. (m. Angela Hayes), and his five grandchildren: Bianca, Lauren, Robert, Lillian, and Oliver and a host of other relatives and friends.

Brian L. Cowell ’75

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Beloved father, brother, boyfriend, uncle, nephew, and friend, Brian L. Cowell of Windsor Locks passed away at Hartford Hospital at the too-young age of 59 on September 6, 2016, surrounded by many who love him. Ever since he was born on April 25, 1957 in Conway, SC, Brian, as one of his favorite aunts put it, was “a big guy with a big heart and a great smile.” He was also funny and very smart. An avid reader, history buff and sports fan, Brian was the one you wanted on your trivia team, especially for questions on the Red Sox, Giants, Patriots, Bruins, college basketball or Notre Dame football. Growing up, he was a natural athlete and always one of the first to be picked for the annual whiffle ball game at the Cowell picnic. Brian graduated from Williston Northampton School and Westfield State College. He was a hard worker and spent most of his career at United Technologies Aerospace Systems (Hamilton Sundstrand), where he served as Operations Manager, retiring in March. Brian leaves behind many heartbroken loved ones: his children, Courtney Cowell of Palmer, MA and John “Jack” E. Cowell II of Agawam, MA; his girlfriend, Ann Magleora, and her children, TJ and Raelynn Voislow of Windsor Locks; his siblings Deb Brown of Amherst, MA, Jackie Cowell of Henniker, NH, Jenny Bourgeois of Wilbraham, MA, and Tom Cross of Plano, TX; and too-many-to-name in-laws, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his parents, Margaret “Gay” (Campbell) Cross, John “Jack” E. Cowell, and Raymond R. Cross.

Madeline Ricker Swain ’50

 

swain Madeline Barbara Ricker Swain, also known as “Dutch” peacefully passed away Friday, September 9, 2016 in Charlton, MA at the age of 84. Her husband of 56 years, Jonathan FolgerSwain, “Bing,” predeceased her. She is survived by two daughters; Jennifer of Los Altos, CA and Suzanne of Winchester, MA, three grandchildren, Mark, Lexie and Juliana all of Winchester, MA, and ten nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by two brothers, Earl William and and John Marshall. Born April 12, 1932 the daughter of Earl Malcolm Ricker and Edla Marie Lindholm Ricker, Dutch was raised in Walpole and summered in Nantucket, where she would meet her husband, Bing. She was a graduate of Northampton School for Girls and received a B.A. degree from Wheaton College. She resided in Sudbury, MA for 44 years with her husband, where they raised their two daughters. Dutch was a wonderfully loving and caring full time mother, wife and volunteer member serving many schools, organizations, local food pantries and her church, Sudbury United Methodist Church. She enjoyed tennis, baking brownies, Red Sox games, reading, cooking up her top secret clam chowder recipe, spending time with a circle of her close friends who called themselves The Fat Farm and the island of Nantucket.

Mary Lee Sands Jabri ’55

jabriMary Lee Sands Jabri, 80, of Springfield, MA, died on August 20, 2016 at the Mercy Medical Center in Springfield. Born in Westerly, RI on May 30, 1936, she was the daughter of the late Dr.Harold Collender Sands and Elizabeth (Haynes) Sands Colbath and step daughter of the late Elbridge Percy Colbath of Coventry, CT. She was also the widow of Marwan Anwar Jabri of New York and East Longmeadow, MA. Mr. Jabri had been a Business Editor for the Springfield Republican. Growing up in Northampton, MA, she graduated, in 1955, from the Northampton School for Girls. She attended Rollins College in Winter Park, FL and graduated from the Katherine Gibbs School in Boston, MA in 1958.She spent the next ten years in New York City working in several engineering and stock brokerage firms and became active in the Oratorio Society of New York. Upon settling in Longmeadow in 1970, and eventually East Longmeadow, she became a Worthy Matron, from 1974-75, of the Carona Chapter of East Longmeadow, Order of the Eastern Star. From 1973-76, she was Regent of the Mercy Warren Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution in Springfield. A charter member and Past President of the Lady Arbella Chapter of the Pioneer Valley, Colonial Dames XVII Century, she later became a member of the Sir Richard Saltonstall Chapter of Great Barrington and Edmund Rice Chapter of Dedham, becoming State President, from 1997-99, of the Mass. State Society. She was active in the Alumnae Association of the Williston Northampton School of Easthampton, MA; and gave of her time to the Boys and Girls Club and Shriners Hospital for Children, both of Springfield and the Holyoke Soldiers Home. She was also a longtime supporter of the Springfield Library and Museums Association. She leaves her son, Charles Enver Jabri of Springfield. She is predeceased by members of the Jabri family of Aleppo, Syria, the Elchelebi family of Melbourne, Australia, a cousin Walter Pinto and his wife Pamela of Cobalt, CT, cousins of the Cafazzo family in Maine, Enfield, CT and Coventry, CT and dear family friends, Joseph and Sylvia Dennis of Enfield CT.

Claude Miquelle ’42

MiqeulleEarly in the morning of August fifth Claude Miquelle passed away at Tobey Hospital in Wareham, MA. On July fourth Claude had just celebrated his ninety first birthday surrounded by family and friends at home in Rochester, MA. Claude succumbed to the complications from having lived a long rich life.

Claude was born on July 4, 1925 to mother Renee Longy and father Georges Miquelle in Boston, MA. Both parents were successful professional classical musicians. When he was about eighteen months old Claude went to live with his maternal grandparents in Mareuil-Colbert in northern France. It was there on a country road just outside of town that Claude, when walking with his grandfather, witnessed his grandfather’s fatal heart attack. In 1930 at the age of five Claude returned to the states to live with his mother and entered school not knowing a word of English. Claude was enrolled in Williston Academy for fifth grade and graduated high school from that private boarding school in 1942.

In 1943 the winds of war took Claude into the Navy where he completed ROTC at Tufts and went on to officer training school. In 1945 Claude skippered a one hundred and forty five foot converted Tuna Clipper, now a supply ship, across the Pacific.

Discharged in 1946 Claude quickly married, had three children, built a new home for his new family, and embarked on what would become a long and outstanding career as a residential architect. Beginning his career with Royal Barry Wills Claude quickly parlayed his experience into his own design firm where he could delve into the work he loved above all else, creative design. His career was marked by many award winning projects, his sense of design one step ahead and sophisticated by his spatial genius.

Claude married Sarah Brown in 1989 and they lived happily together in their lovely home in Rochester that they designed and built together. In that home, surrounded by the beauty of his own design, Claude spent his last days.

Claude is survived by his wife Sarah Miquelle, daughter Debra Prudden and husband Peter Prudden (’66) of Andover MA., son Dale Miquelle (’72) and wife Marina Miquelle of Tierney Russia, son Dana Miquelle (’69) of Bozeman, MT, step-daughter Sandy Panek and husband Jeff Panek of Wickford, RI, step-son Chris Brown of Goshen, NY, twelve grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

Sterling J. Wiedemann ’10

Sterling Wiedemann ObituarySterling Joseph Wiedemann was born on April 22, 1991 in Dallas Texas. He died on July 27, 2016 in Dallas.

Sterling was the third born son of Harden and Cynthia Wiedemann and the youngest brother of Hardy and Neth Wiedemann and the grandson of Frederic and Dr. Flo Wiedemann and Jean Robinson Gulley. He was the nephew of adoring aunts, uncles and cousins to many

Sterling (known as Sterl) attended Meadowbrook pre-school, Highland Park Presbyterian Day School grades K-4 , Parish Episcopal 5-8, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing Arts 9,10, 12 grades and his junior year at boarding school Williston Northampton in Massachusetts. Sterl attended Texas Tech University for his Freshman Year and transferred to the University of San Francisco where he was a second semester Senior at the time of his death.

Sterling, at 25 years old, gave new dimensions to the word eclectic. His interests and passions were far ranging and multitudinous. They spanned the latest Japanese electronica music to neuropharmacology and everything in between. He was a champion of social justice and believed strongly reforming the criminal justice and prison systems. Sterling was a lover, too. He felt deeply and while struggling with depression and addiction, he was capable of being truly joyful over the smallest things – a day in the park, a Miyazawa movie, voraciously reading and learning about a new interest, spending time with family and friends. Since he was a very small boy Sterling was cut from a different bolt of cloth and it showed through in some delightful and unexpected ways. He loved words and was an exceptional writer. He avidly listened to and composed music producing pieces on the piano like “ice caves.” He had an impressive list of aliases including “King Lalula.”

Everyone agreed from an early age on he was wise way beyond his years and if you were lucky, you would catch him in a moment where he would open a window and let you see. It was staggering. People attributed it to his being smart or highly intelligent, but really, it was a deep love and ancient wisdom.

Daniel T. Griffin III, ’62

griffin On July 31, 2016, Daniel Thomas Griffin III died peacefully and of natural causes. He was born on October 26, 1943, the son of Daniel T. and Eileen Griffin of Holyoke. He was raised on Morgan Street and went to St. Jerome School. At Williston Academy in Easthampton, MA, he played football, hockey and lacrosse. After graduating, he attended Boston University and played hockey and then transferred to American International College. After college, he joined the U.S. Army and served two tours of duty in Vietnam, attaining the rank of Sergeant. He worked in the family business, Central Package Store on Dwight St. in Holyoke and then at Commercial Distributing in Westfield, MA. He married Margaret Ballard and lived in South Hadley. For many years, he owned and operated Pink Swan Antiques on Cherry St. in Holyoke. After recovering from a serious illness in 2004, he moved to Cape Cod; and then in 2010 to Jay, OK to be close to his daughter and grandchildren. He was predeceased by his sister, Mary Maginnis. He is survived by his daughter, Lee Griffin of Aston, OK; grandchildren Ellen, Ethan, and Elise; his former wife Margaret; his brother Robert, and his nephew and niece, Frank and Eileen Maginnis.

Edward Spence Wilcox ’62

Spence Wilcox, 70Edward Spence Wilcox of Griggstown died on September 15, 2015 at University Medical Center of Princeton after a four-year battle with prostate cancer. Born in Passaic in 1944, Spence was raised in Rutherford and spent summers in Sparta, NJ. A graduate of Newark Academy ’63 and Middlebury College ’67 (English), he took classes at Boston Architectural Center in 1973 while heading a contracting business in Boston and Cambridge. In the 1980s he studied computer science and became a technical writer, first at Bell Labs, then at UNIX System Labs and HP. In retirement he was a relentless gardener & nurseryman, a passionate music lover (Bill Evans, James Booker, Alfred Brendel, Aretha, Townes Van Zandt, Eva Cassidy, Altan, Youssou N’Dour, Buena Vista Social Club), a grinning contradancer, a world-class hunter-gatherer (craigslist), a thoughtful poker player, and an enthusiastic member of the Princeton Country Dancers governing committee. He is survived by his wife, Kathy Wilcox; son, Matthew Wilcox Tenny (Manon Tenny) of Milton, VT; daughter, Emma Wilcox (Evonne Davis) of Newark; brother, Donald Wilcox of Denville; and grandsons, Addison and Damion Tenny, of Milton, VT.

Esther Winn Krebs ’38

KrebsGREENFIELD – Esther Winn Krebs, born August 2, 1920, died peacefully at home on July 3, 2016, just one month shy of her 96th birthday. She was born in Karuizawa, Japan, the daughter of Presbyterian missionaries Rowena (Hudson) Winn and Merle Winn.
Esther lived in Kanazawa, Japan until she was seven and then returned to the United States when her father became ill. Upon his death, her mother settled with Esther and her two brothers, Hudson and Peter, in Northampton, MA. Esther graduated from Northampton School for Girls (now Williston – Northampton) and then went on to Smith College, graduating in 1942 with a degree in economics.
On August 8, 1942 in Carmel, CA she married her true love, Max Vance Krebs. He was a Princeton University honors graduate, whom she met during her freshman year of college while visiting her mother in Cincinnati, OH. During World War II, the couple lived in Oakland, CA where Max was stationed with the army.
After the war in 1947, Max was accepted into the U.S. Foreign Service and for the next 29 years Max and Esther served as a “”diplomatic team””, living and working in 9 different countries. Their first post was Montevideo, Uruguay where their daughter Marlynn was born just 3 months after they arrived. From there they went to Bogota, Colombia and Antwerp, Belgium. In 1955, they moved to Bethesda, MD for a “”home duty”” stint at the Dept. of State. This was where their son Timothy was born in 1957. Their home duty was extended due to Max’s assignment as special assistant to Secretary of State Christian Herter.
In 1961, they returned to their diplomatic life abroad, moving to Manila, Philippine Islands, then Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, followed by Guatemala City, Guatemala, then the Panama Canal Zone, Panama and Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 1973, Max was appointed Ambassador to Guyana where they lived in the capital city of Georgetown. This post was the culmination of their distinguished career. In 1976, Max and Esther retired from the Foreign Service and settled in the quiet golf community of Foxfire Village, NC, located near Pinehurst, NC.
Esther was deeply invested in her life as a diplomat’s wife. She and Max strongly believed that they were equal partners in this career, a dedicated and interdependent team. This was the Foreign Service ethos in those days and Esther had all the qualities that made her a successful example of what the diplomat’s wife could contribute. Esther took on the many challenges of this life with her characteristic gusto, strong sense of humor and positive, take-charge attitude. She saw any challenges as adventure. She once said about this Foreign Service life, “”I made up my mind I would enjoy it, and I did!””
She was skilled at gracefully adapting to the nuances of a new culture, finding a new home, settling her family and setting up a household, all while learning a new language, which she did with almost every new post. She was an accomplished hostess, conversationalist, event planner and cook. Entertaining was a primary way that diplomats established relationships with important people in the country. Esther planned events for over 500 people, often teaching the cook how to prepare special dishes. She was accomplished at putting people at ease and her conversations with dignitaries showed her knowledge of the country, the culture and current events. She was known for her honest and intelligent interactions that showed care and respect for other values and cultural backgrounds. Esther was also an excellent leader, organizing and running many large charity events that benefited the infrastructure and those most in need in the country where she was posted. Her leadership style was to empower the people she worked with and build their skills and competence.
In her retirement years, Esther continued her life of service. As part of the Woodrow Wilson Fellow program, Esther and Max visited 9 small liberal arts colleges for a week at a time, talking with students about the pleasures and perils of living and working overseas. She loved the arts and served on the board of The Arts Council of Moore County in Southern Pines, NC for more than 10 years. She also served as its president for several years. She was instrumental in supporting the start of her local North Carolina chapter of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and was its president for several years.
Esther was a multi-talented woman with many interests that filled her life. She was an accomplished singer and performer. She was a member of the Smith College Glee Club, sang with her church choir wherever she was, performed for charity events abroad and at home, and organized female barbershop quartets whenever she could. She was an excellent seamstress and knitter and made many clothes for herself and her family through the years. She loved the game of tennis and played it most every day in retirement. She was an avid and dangerous bridge player as many can attest. She loved to cook and when she retired she was thrilled to be able to finally grow her own garden! In spite of 29 years of travel, Esther and Max continued to have wanderlust and toured many of the parts of Europe and the Middle East that they had never visited. Through Esther’s love of art and her years of travel abroad, she was able to collect beautiful and interesting artifacts, art and furniture. Her home was like a museum.
In 1998, Esther and Max moved to Belle Meade Retirement Community in Southern Pines, NC. In 2006, Max, her husband of 63 years, died after suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease for 9 years. During those very difficult years Esther was devoted to caring for him. In 2010, Esther moved back to Massachusetts to be with her daughter and son. She was very fond of saying that after traveling the world, she had now come full circle, returning to the home where she began as a young girl.
Esther was an elegant woman who lived a rich and full life yet remained unpretentious and generous. She so often thought of others first. She was loved and admired by all those whose lives she touched, and she touched many. Once in reflecting on her life she said, “”It was exciting and rewarding while full of hard work, but as the Bible says ‘everything I have given, I have received a thousand times.'”” That was Esther Winn Krebs.
Esther leaves her daughter, Marlynn K. Clayton and her husband Garry Krinsky of Greenfield; her son, Timothy Krebs of Greenfield; her grandson, Sasha Clayton of Washington, DC; and her favorite adoring grandpuppy, Frankie. In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by her two brothers and their wives, Hudson and Nancy Winn of Slingerlands, NY and Peter and Sylvia Winn of Cambridge, MA.
Her family would like to thank Hospice of Franklin County and especially Debbie Piela for their care and support in these last months; the Eventide Singers for bringing Esther the peace and joy of music; and her wonderful caregivers from the Arbors, her devoted private care team, Linda Clarke, Shirley Underwood, and especially, Nancy Wheeler who took care of her with great love for 6+ years.

A Tribute to Members of the NSFG Class of 1952 Who have Passed

Eleanor Gamarsh ’52 sent a beautiful letter to the school, including some notes of appreciation and remembrance about the eight members of the Class of 1952 who have passed away. “Today I am writing to you for remembering our classmates who are gone from our family,” she wrote. “I have made a memorial list of the girls and included some of the notes about them from our yearbook. Maybe this will bring back a few of your memories long forgotten.” We are sharing this tribute here with her permission.

Elizabeth “Betsy” Baxter King, July 18, 2013
Green Team, Dance Pagent… “Pooh-isms” on Saturday mornings…half day-hop, half boarder…Gil Dodds of the soccer field… “and so forth and so on.”

Ingrid Solveig Hylbom Hetfield, October 20, 2001
White Team… Music Club… “H.M.S. Pinafore”…one finger typist…Cyrano in France “in Colorado Springs” … “Don’t painc!”

Ethel Valberg Johansen Owings, May 3, 2001
Green Team…Music Club…Knitting champ…never a dusty mailbox…Burl Ives of Hathaway… “Having trouble?”

Marilyn Ann Lyman Hendsey, July 14, 2004
White Team…Theater Chorus and Art…Always laughing…powerful soccer kick…the suit to dinner

Anne Keenan Mahoney Makin, November 4, 2010
White Team…Music Club and lots of Theater…Efficiency plus… N.S.F.G. cookbooks…food from home…watch out for the “Shrimp Boats”

Joan Ellen Oestreich Kend, April 11, 2016
Green Team…French Club… “Shubert Alley”…Lu-Lu…hilarious remarks… “and the eyes fell out”…singing in the bathroom…mad for Florida sun-Schine

Leila Phyllis Shapiro, May 27, 2015
Green Team…Art Club…Breezy, yet sincere…those theory classes…friendly laugh

Sally Ellen “Smitty” Smith LaPointe, May 7, 2007
Green Team…President of Athletic Association…Dance Pageant…Helps everyone with everything…third floor’s supervisor of ‘lights out’…practical jokes…”Thay now.”

Please see this post for more remembrances from Eleanor Gamarsh ’52 about life at the Northampton School for Girls.

Remembering members of the Williston Northampton community