All posts by hstauder

Richard P. Dec ’73


Richard Peter Dec of Hadley, MA, born January 31, 1955, passed away on March 29, 2020 at Cooley Dickinson Hospital after a long illness. Rick graduated from the Williston Northampton School where he excelled in soccer, hockey, baseball and art. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from UMass and a Master of Arts Degree from the Pratt Institute in New York City.

While studying for his Masters Degree, Rick became interested in carpentry while renovating apartment units in Brooklyn. After graduating from Pratt, he returned to the Pioneer Valley and embarked on a 30-year career that would become the Northampton Brewery. He was a big fan of all Boston sports teams, especially the Bruins and Red Sox. After 30 years of building construction, with an artist’s talent for finished work, his knees gave out, and he returned to his love of art.

Rick was predeceased by his parents Doris and Wallace Dec. He is survived by his sister Doreen Dec, brother David Dec (Mona Balicki) of South Hadley, and brother Steven Dec (Claire Largesse) of Louisville, CO.

There will be no funeral services, but a retrospective of Rick’s artwork is being planned for a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the Williston Art Department, Williston Northampton School, 19 Payson Ave., Easthampton, MA 01027.

Czelusniak Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Nana Staub ’84


Nana Staub, of Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, passed away Monday, March 9, 2020. She was born April 25, 1966 in New Orleans, Louisiana to Dr. Roy T. Staub, M.D. and Nancy Lohman Staub.

Nana was Catholic by faith. She attended Tulane University and graduated from the University of Massachusetts, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality. Nana worked in the film industry and was a very talented interior decorator. She enjoyed collecting odd and wonderful things, and she was always with her Weimaraner.

Nana was preceded in death by her father, Dr. Roy T. Staub, M.D.  She is survived by her mother, Nancy Lohman Staub; her brother, Tommy Staub; and her sisters, Liz Staub and Leslie Staub, all of New Orleans.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held in New Orleans at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alaqua Animal Refuge at https://www.alaqua.org/donate/

Ralph L. Sautter ’51


Ralph L. Sautter, of Lexington, Massachusetts and Biddeford Pool, Maine, passed away on March 28, 2020 at home.

Ralph Leonard Sautter was born and raised in Nichols, Connecticut, the son of the late Harry A. Sautter and Marine Leonard Sautter. He was the beloved husband of Carol Cacciamani, the cherished father of Janet Wendle, the loving and proud grandfather of Caroline, Tanner and Harlan Wendle, who made his eyes sparkle, and the uncle of his devoted niece and nephew, Laura and Frank Ganat.

Ralph attended Williston Academy, Easthampton, MA and Dartmouth College from which he graduated in 1955. Following graduation, Ralph served as a Captain in the U.S Marine Corps. After leaving the military, Ralph joined State Street Bank, spending his entire 40 year career with the company in corporate banking. He retired in 1999 as a Senior Vice President.

He was active in various boards and committees over the years, including as trustee and treasurer of MA Multiple Sclerosis Society, trustee and treasurer of Hale Reservation, trustee of First Parish Church and member of the board of overseers of Williston Academy. Formerly of Westwood, he served as chairman of the finance committee and a member of the school committee.

Ralph remained active with, and close to, his Dartmouth classmates, serving as class treasurer for forty years up until the time of his death.

He was well loved and he loved well.

A Celebration of his Life will be held at a later date.

Memorial donations may be made in Ralph’s honor to the Class of 1955 Wright Scholarship Fund, Dartmouth College, 6066 Development Office, Hanover, NH 03755.

Carol Phillips Ailes ’67

Carol Jean Phillips Ailes, 71, passed away very peacefully March 20, 2020 at Coastal Hospice at the Lake in Salisbury, MD of advanced lung disease. The only daughter and youngest child of Pratt D. Phillips, Jr and Jean Price Phillips. Carol was educated in Salisbury until she went to the Northampton School for Girls in Northampton, MA (now the Williston Northampton School). At Northampton she excelled in athletics, winning the athletic award at graduation. She then attended Bradford College for two years and finished her education at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. Upon graduation, Carol and her best friend and college roommate, Fay Schneider Bright, who remained her most cherished friend and confidant throughout the remainder of her life, went to Munich, Germany for two and a half years to study and work. Returning to the states, Carol began her career in travel with Vacations International in Salisbury, which truly suited Carol’s personality, love of people and travel. She then met and married Robert (Bob) E. Ailes and moved to the Western Shore. Continuing in the same field, she then began her 37 year career at the Smithsonian Institution in the travel management office. Retiring in 2018, she and her husband moved back to the Eastern Shore. Carol had a real zest for life and people. She made so many friends from all over the world with whom she never lost contact. Her passions were family first always, cooking and gardening to which she devoted much of her spare time developing and maintaining a truly amazing garden. She was a member of the Bowie Crofton Garden Club, The National Capital Daylily Club and a lifetime member of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church where she was baptized, confirmed, and married. She is survived by her husband, Bob, her brothers, PD Phillips III (Jo), Norcross, GA, and John P. Phillips of Salisbury as well as three nephews, Pratt D. Phillips IV (Phil) (Sara), J. Price Phillips Jr., Salisbury, MD, Christian S. Phillips, Ocean City, MD and two very treasured nieces, Katherine and Elizabeth Phillips. She also leaves many extremely devoted cousins and friends. A Funeral Eucharist will be held on Friday, March 27, 2020 at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Salisbury, MD at 10:00 a.m. for the immediate family only. Interment will follow immediately at Parsons Cemetery. The service will be streamed at www.facebook.com/stPetersSby . A public Memorial Eucharist will be held at a later date. Contributions may be made in her memory to Coastal Hospice of the Eastern Shore of Maryland, PO Box 1733 Salisbury, MD 21802 or to the St. Celelia Guild at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 115 St. Peter’s St, Salisbury, MD 21801. Arrangements are in the care of Holloway Funeral Home, 501 Snow Hill Rd., Salisbury, MD 21804.

Howard J. Lamson ’67


Howard Jewett (Hank) Lamson passed away on March 19, 2020.  Howard was the son of the late Edward Nathan Lamson and Barbara Tunison Lamson. He is survived by his brother Edward Fay Lamson and his wife, Marsha, and their children Ted (wife Kristi) and Haley (fiancé Jimmy), his sister Susan Lamson Strickler and her husband Herb, and their children Brooks (wife Carla) and Nathan (wife Erin). He is also survived by his step-daughter Jennifer Swabowicz and her husband Edward and their children Hannah and Haleigh, also two great nephews and a great niece, Wade Strickler, Eddie Lamson and Bridget Lamson.

Hank attended Westford Academy, Williston Academy and Bentley University. Professionally, he spent his entire career with the Lowell Five Cent Savings Bank, Lowell, MA, serving in many capacities.

Hank came back to Maine, after spending summers there growing up, at the time of retirement and lived in Kennebunkport until his death. He had a passion for reading mysteries until his eyesight created problems. His love of vegetable gardening came from his father and he enjoyed giving away some of his delicious zucchinis. Golfing, cooking, photography and carpentry were also part of his life, including trips to Mulligan’s for lunch or dinner.

A celebration of Hank’s life will be held this summer.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Kennebunk Conservation Trust, P.O. Box 7004, Cape Porpoise, ME 04014 or to Maine Warden Service, 284 State Street, Augusta, ME 04330.

Brenda Minisci, Former Faculty


Brenda Minisci, 80, of North Hatfield, MA, passed away in her home, of natural causes on March 2, 2020. She was born June 15, 1939, the second daughter of Vincent L. and Anne (Webster) Minisci. She is pre-deceased by her life-partner, Vincent Fasolino, also of North Hatfield. She is survived by her two sisters: Sandra Minisci and Diana Minisci Appleton, both of Windsor, CT., and her niece, Saarin Appleton of Bloomfield, CT. She is also survived by numerous cousins and second cousins. Brenda lived in North Hatfield from 1968 until the time of her death in 2020.

After graduating as an honor student from Wachusett Regional High School, she attended Rhode Island School of Design and participated in RISD’s first European Honors Program in Rome, Italy, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Ceramics. She later attended Cranbrook Academy of Fine Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, earning an MFA Degree, and was also active in The American Craft Council. Her work is in the permanent collections of several museums and institutions.

Brenda’s teaching career began at the Worcester Craft Center. She then taught for a short time in Worcester Public Schools, followed by teaching positions at UMass in Amherst and then Williston Northampton School in Easthampton, where she taught ceramics and sculpture for many years.

Brenda was a fiercely independent woman who greatly enjoyed her North Hatfield property and home /studio, and the special friends she grew to know and love, there. She loved all aspects of nature, especially watching her plants and trees grow and the animals who constantly challenged her for ownership of her property! Whales and birds were ongoing motifs in her later sculptural work. She loved kayaking and built several kayaks. She also loved seeing her former students, many of whom expressed appreciation for what they learned as a result of her inspirational teaching.

A private gathering in celebration of Brenda’s life will be held at a later date. Her family requests that an act of kindness be done in her honor, or a donation be made in her honor to the charity of your choice. Arrangements were entrusted to Forastiere Funeral & Cremation, East Longmeadow, Massachusetts.

William W. Worthen ’42

Our Dad, a member of the Greatest Generation, climbed one more time into the cockpit of a B-17 and departed the surly bonds of earth for his final mission Thursday, February 27, 2020. Daughter Gail, son Bradford and son-in-law Chris were there to see him on his way…. off to the heavens.

At the young age of 20, Bill enlisted in the Army Air Force. With the rank of 1st Lieutenant, 8th Air Force he earned the right to the co-pilot seat in a new B-17 Flying Fortress headed to Europe to assist the Allies in defeating Adolf Hitler.

Stationed in Knettishall, England, Dad’s initial commitment was to fly 25 bombing missions. He volunteered for 10 additional missions. Returning from his 35th and final bombing run on Christmas Eve 1944, Dad’s B-17 was badly damaged by enemy flack injuring his Captain, the pilot. Three of the aircraft’s four engines had been hit and failed. Dad took control of the plane, crash landing in a field in Belgium. All were rescued by Allied Forces. All survived.

Bill and his wife Rae traveled annually to the Mighty 388th Bomb Group reunions held around the United States and England to reminisce and rejoice with lifelong B-17 veterans and their families.

Perhaps one of Dad’s most famous missions was not a bombing run at all but a highly top secret flight. His crew was selected to escort Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. on what was an ill-fated attempt to deliver a lethal blow to the enemy. Dad’s crew was to provide escort coverage for Kennedy. Positioned 500 feet off the right wing of Kennedy’s plane when it blew up, Dad’s B-17 became inverted due the violent explosion. He and his pilot had all they could do to control their Flying Fortress.

Soon after the war, Dad was in Hyannis, Massachusetts for a weekend getaway. John and Bobby Kennedy heard Dad was nearby and met up with him on the beach near the Kennedy Compound thanking Dad for his bravery and to learn more of the fate of their oldest brother.

William W. Worthen was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, December 20, 1922, the son of Ernest N. and Emma L. (Merrill) Worthen. His mother nicknamed him Birdie as he was always happily singing and whistling. A quality he shared throughout his life.

Bill spent his younger years traveling to the family farm in Worthington, MA as well as summers on Chebeague Island, Maine. The family cottage on Chebeague was one of his favorite places to be. Dad was a highly proficient gardener growing an amazing variety of vegetables and could dig a bushel of clams as fast as any native islander.

Dad was always comfortable in the kitchen cooking and baking. A confidence inherited by Gail and Brad.

Bill was a natural outdoorsman. He spent summers in his formative years exploring wildlife on the family farm and traveled by train to the Rangeley Lake Region of Maine for boys camp. He attended Williston Academy and graduated in 1950 from the UVM College of Agriculture. Dad enjoyed immensely his life-long friendship with his Delta Psi Fraternity brother, hunting buddy, and best man John Kubin and his wife Sally.

Dad was a graceful fly fisherman casting the headwaters of the Lamoille River. He canoed regularly on the Winooski River and Waterbury Reservoir often during hunting season looking for the unsuspecting buck stopping by waters edge.

At UVM Dad was a member of the Varsity Nordic Ski Team, specializing in ski jumping. Dad continued to ski his entire life. Whether it was skinning up Camels Hump mid winter or tele skiing Stowe’s Front Four, Dad always enjoyed the Vermont winters. He took his final runs at the age of 90.

Bill is survived by his daughter Gail Worthen and her partner Rick Hale, his granddaughters Emma Rae Todd and Addie F. Todd, his son Bradford J. Worthen and son-in-law Christopher Copley. He leaves behind nephews Willie, Stevie, Scott and Billy; nieces Susan, Mary Ellen, Nancy, Mary Beth and Helen Rae and great niece Christiane. He also leaves behind family friends Linda Doane, Andrew Todd, Trudy Stanley, and Christopher LaCroix.

Bill was predeceased by his loving and devoted wife of 65 years Rae M. Worthen, his parents Ernest and Emma, and his siblings Merrill, Katherine, Judith and niece Judith Maud. Dad resided the past 2 ½ years at Gazebo North Assisted Living in South Burlington. His apartment looked back at Elsom Parkway where he and Rae lived for 63 years. Gail and Bradford praise the incredible team at the Gazebo. They all loved Dad and he loved them too. The care he received was beyond expectations…right to Dad’s final moments. In addition, he had excellent care and guidance provided by Doctors Jennifer Gilwee and Zail Berry as well as the Visiting Nurse Association. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.

A celebration of Bill’s life will be held Saturday, May 16, 2020, 11:00 a.m. at the Riverview Cemetery, Richmond VT. Arrangements by Gifford Funeral Services, Richmond VT.

Suzanne Rykken Medlicott ’45

Suzanne Lee (Rykken) Medlicott, of Piermont, NH,  died peacefully on February 1, 2020 at the Grafton County Nursing Home after a long illness.

She was born in Bellingham, WA in 1927 to Dr. Felix C. Rykken and Agnes Lee Rykken. She graduated from the Northampton School for Girls and from Smith College in 1949 as a music major. She married Alexander “Joe” Medlicott in 1950 and the couple moved to East Longmeadow, MA where their three children were born. She embraced child rearing and home management with a loving dedication.

Years later, as a resident of Seattle, WA, Storrs, CT, Deerfield, MA and Piermont, NH, she rekindled her passion for music, performed in chamber groups, and taught her granddaughters the violin and cello. She also pursued her love of horses and kept several at her home where she took dressage lessons and rode a highly-trained stallion until she was in her 80’s.

Suzanne was an avid gardener, a lover of animals and the natural world, a voracious reader, and an excellent cook.

She leaves her husband of 70 years, Alexander “Joe” Medlicott, three children, Alex Medlicott and his wife, Kristi Medill of Piermont, NH, Peter Medlicott of Frankfurt, Germany and Susan Medlicott and her partner, Jan Stenson of Whatley, MA, two granddaughters, Allethaire Renninger and her husband, Eric of Granby, CT, and four great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her parents, a brother, and a sister.

A family memorial is planned for the spring. In memory of the holiday meals she lovingly prepared for so many, her family encourages donations in her memory be made to Barbara’s Red Stocking, in care of Susan Taylor, Treasurer, 118 Indian Pond Road, Orford, NH 03777.   Hale Funeral Home of Bradford, VT is handling arrangements.

Tara O’Brien-McNally ’78


Tara A. O’Brien-McNally, of Rockland, MA, died on February 20, 2020. Tara was born in Boston, daughter of the late Edward and Ann (Lewonis) O’Brien. She was raised and educated in Easthampton, MA graduating from the Williston Northampton School. Tara earned her Bachelor’s degree from Providence College and a Masters in Business Administration from The University College of Dublin.

A loving mother, raising three children and caring for her sick parents all in the same house. A dedicated and compassionate employee of the Commonwealth. A friend to everyone, someone who’d ask a complete stranger if they were okay. Tara had a fiery spirit and sought to spread good feeling, the intensity of which was matched only by her love for her husband, her children, and the large family of friends she had.

Tara is survived by her husband John, her three children Pearse, Saoirse, and Ronan; her three sisters and one brother; and three nieces and two nephews.

The O’Brien-McNally family welcomes friends and loved ones to celebrate Tara’s life at the Magoun-Biggins Funeral Home on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 from 5:00-8:00 p.m. A Funeral Mass will be held at The Holy Family Church in Rockland on Thursday, February 27, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. Services will be followed by cremation.

Anne A. Jones Johnson ’44

Anne Augustus (Jones) Johnson, 93, of Paris, Illinois, passed away at 5:25 p.m. Sunday, February 9, 2020, at Horizon Health Paris Community Hospital. She was retired after many years as the owner and operator of the former Carriage House Gift Shop of Paris. She was born October 16, 1926, in Paris, the daughter of the late Henry A. and Laura (Skinner) Jones, Sr. She married Frederick Johnson, Jr., on August 31, 1951, in Paris. He preceded her in death March 15, 1995. Survivors include four children, Henry M. (Angela) Johnson of Old Hickory, Tennessee, Laura “Deede” Johnson of Paris, Mark (Mary Jane) Johnson of Palm City, Florida, and Peter (Barbara) Johnson of Paris; five grandchildren, Adam, Matthew, and Ryan, Johnson, Kathryn Sutton, and Jacob Johnson; and four great-grandchildren, Lachlan Cole, Eli and Samuel Sutton, and Selah Mae Johnson. She was preceded in death by a brother, Henry A. “Hank” Jones, Jr. Mrs. Johnson attended the Northampton School for Girls in Northampton, Massachusetts. She was a graduate of the Ferry Hall School for Girls in Lake Forest, Illinois, Bennett Junior College of Millbrook, New York, and also attended Parson’s School of Design in New York City. Anne was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church where she was a member of the Altar Society. She was previously a member of the former St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church where she had been active in both the local parish as well as the Diocese, serving as a past president of the Episcopal Women of the Diocese of Springfield. She was a devoted supporter and past chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Link Art of Paris. She was a talented artist working in oil painting and needlework and was a member of the Embroiderers Guild of America. For those who wish, the family suggests that memorials be made to the Link Art Gallery.  Arrangements are pending at Templeton Funeral Home in Paris.