Category Archives: 1940s

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.

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.

David K. Conner ’48

David Knox Conner 91, of Westhampton, MA, passed away on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 at Care One of Northampton after an illness. He was born in Easthampton on September 11, 1928, the son of Alfred J. Conner and Isabel Knox Conner. He was a bright student educated at Easthampton Schools, Williston Academy, and Holyoke Community College. He was called to serve in the US Army during the Korean Conflict in 1952 and was stationed in Germany. He was honorably discharged four years later. He was a 60 year member of the American Legion.

For many years “Dave” managed and frequently drove for the former Easthampton – Springfield – Northampton Express, a family trucking business started by his father, until it ceased operation. During his later life he drove for 11 years with Highland Valley Elder services “Meals on Wheels’ Program delivering to area homebound seniors. He also held jobs at Ames Department store and Big Y Bakery in Southampton.

David was licensed as a self-employed Real Estate Agent for a period of time, and was the buyer for the gift and import shop “Suzannes” formerly located on Green Street in Northampton Ma. He and his wife Priscilla owned and operated the store for a number of years until her illness forced its closure. They had many contacts and friends within the Smith College Community. They enjoyed traveling to Maine in the summers, their books, music, an active social life, sharing their home with a number of adopted rescue dogs over the years.

David was predeceased by his beloved wife Priscilla Skinder Conner (2006). He is survived by one brother, Robert G. Conner, and three nephews: Thomas Conner and Charles Conner of Easthampton, and Richard Conner of Northampton.

At David’s request, there are no formal services. A private Celebration of Life reception will be held at Westhampton Woods Community Room in March 2020.

The burial is private, at Brookside Cemetery at the convenience of the family. Mitchell Funeral Home of Easthampton is in charge of arrangements. David donated to a number of organizations in his lifetime. Donations in David’s memory may be made to : Dakin Animal Shelter, Highland Valley Elder Services Meals on Wheels program, or the Wounded Warrior Project.

 

Stanley L. Gedney III ’48

Stanley L. Gedney III, Age 90, of Pearl River, NY passed away on January 9, 2020 in Saddle River, NJ.

Ganz (his nickname bestowed in childhood by his sisters) was born in Orange, NJ to Marion and Stanley L. Gedney, Jr. on February 12, 1929. He attended Clifford Scott High School in East Orange, NJ before graduating from Williston Academy in Massachusetts in 1948. He went on to earn a B.A. from Lehigh University and graduated in 1952. Throughout his academic career, his true love was athletics. He was a gifted athlete and a true three season standout in football, basketball and baseball. One of his most treasured memories was being a member of the 1950 undefeated Lehigh Football team. Included in this great season and the one that followed were dominating wins over Lafayette College.

After graduation, he served his country in the 101st Airborne and ultimately in the Counter-Intelligence Corps of the Army during the Korean War. After the war, he worked in sales for many years starting at Phelps Dodge Copper Corporation before finding his avocation doing estate planning at New York Life from which he retired at the age of 65. He then went on to deliver flowers for Johnston’s Florist in Dobbs Ferry, NY delighting many customers across Westchester County with his singular rendition of Happy Birthday until he was 88 and health issues caused his second retirement.

An active member and VP and President of the Hendrick Hudson (District 3) School Board for many years, his real passion was working with youth baseball. He was instrumental in forming a succession of teams that brought competitive baseball to the Town of Cortlandt for youngsters after Little League. These teams participated and excelled at the Babe Ruth, American Legion and semi-pro levels.

Memorial donations may be made to Good Samaritan Hospital, 255 Lafayette Avenue, Suffern, NY 10901 to which the family is eternally grateful for their warmth and compassion during his final days. A private funeral service was held. A celebration of his life will be held in February. Suffice it to say that this was a man who lived for his loved ones. All of us who loved him were loved back immeasurably by this very special man. As he said many times to each of us – “I love you more than you know.” We were blessed to have him in our lives and are happy and grateful that he has found peace while he lives on in our hearts and memories.

Richard C. Aquadro ’47

Richard Conz Aquadro, born to Virginia Conz and Mario Aquadro on July 17, 1926 in Northampton, MA, passed away peacefully on December 30th, 2019 surrounded by his loving family sharing great stories in a time of sadness. Richard, better known as “Dick”, grew up in Northampton, MA and graduated from Northampton High School in 1944. He entered the NAVY in December 1944, serving in World War II until 1945. Richard went to Williston Academy after the NAVY for a post graduate year then enrolled in Norwich University. He finished his education at MIT graduating in 1952 with a degree in Civil Engineering. Richard then married the love of his life, Marie Lawler and started not only his professional career with Perini Inc., but also his family with his first three daughters being born in Boston. He returned to Northampton in 1954 joining his father and brother in the family construction business, Aquadro & Cerruti, Inc, and rounded out his family with a son and daughter. Today as you drive through Northampton and the surrounding communities you will see some of their work from Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Smith College, Amherst College, Hampshire College, various elementary and high schools, municipality buildings, and projects on the UMASS-Amherst campus. Richard was well-respected throughout the industry and considered fair and honorable by everyone from the tradespeople, to the vendors, to the subcontractors to the engineers, to the architects and to various owners of the many buildings he helped to construct. Richard’s strong bond for his community was strengthened during his tenure serving on the Board of the Northampton Co-Operative Bank, currently known as Greenfield/Northampton Co-Operative Bank. He joined the Board in 1972 becoming the Chairman in 1976 and retired from the Board in 2007.

Richard enjoyed skiing with family and friends regularly at Berkshire Snow Basin, and those around him fondly remember him for his beloved ski vacations across the globe. When his family was young, they spent many summers on the shores of Cape Cod with friends. He loved to travel with Marie and bring anyone along that wanted to go. During his later years, he cherished his time in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, where he developed new friendships and opened his house to many visitors. He was an avid reader, especially enjoying historical biographies of political figures. His love of learning never stopped, and he kept up on with the latest technology and was always aware of current affairs, especially pertaining to financial markets. Not to mention, he evolved with the social media era, and his accidental Instagram posts will be greatly missed.

He had intimate bonds with each of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren that each will take with them ahead into life. He was genuinely proud of each one of them and kept up with their lives and education, supporting them always.

He is survived by his wife of 68 blissful years, Marie Lawler Aquadro ’45, and his five children Elizabeth Kouri ’70 and husband Kevin of Naples, FLA, Alison Gleason and husband Daniel of Leeds, MA, Kimberly Sapienza and husband Thomas of Chelmsford, MA, Richard D. Aquadro and wife Sabra of Northampton, MA, Jennifer Egan and husband James of Walpole, MA. He has thirteen grandchildren: Kevin, Daniel, Kristen, Bryan, Aileen, Christine, Timothy, Courtney ’11, Andrew, Anthony ’15, Ania, Natalie ’17 and John. Seven great-grandchildren: Sapphire, Theodore, Declan, Parker, Genevieve, Elizabeth and Marie. He is also survived by his brother Robert Aquadro of Florence, MA. The two brothers worked side by side creating one of the top General Contracting companies in Western MA. He was predeceased by his brother, Francis Aquadro and sister, Gladys Aquadro Stiles.

A funeral will be held at Our Lady of the Hills Parish, 173 Main Street, Haydenville, MA on Monday, January 6 at 10:00 am followed by a burial at Assumption Cemetery, Route 9/Haydenville Road, Leeds. Calling hours will be held from 1:00 – 5:00, Sunday, January 5, at CZELUSNIAK FUNERAL HOME, 173 North Street, Northampton, MA.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Our Lady of the Hills Parish, PO Box 277, Haydenville, MA 01039-9703, Our Lady of the Elms College, 291 Springfield Street, Chicopee, MA 01013 or to Northampton High School Virginia Aquadro Scholarship Fund (checks made out to the City of Northampton), c/o Northampton High School, 380 Elm Street, Northampton, MA 01060.

Herbert E. Riedel ’45

Herbert E. Riedel, 91, of Glens Falls, NY, passed away peacefully at Glens Falls Hospital on September 16, 2019. He was the third son of Marjorie and Wallace Riedel of Easthampton, Massachusetts. He leaves behind, his wife, Marilyn of 66 years; two daughters, Sally Bromfield (Walt), Julie Fingeret (Rick); five grandchildren, Corinne Bromfield, Stuart Bromfield, Martha Goodwin (Devin), Benjamin Fingeret, Joshua Fingeret; and two great grandchildren, Jack and Paige Goodwin.

Herbert graduated from Williston Academy and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a degree in chemical engineering. He served in the army at the Army Chemical Center. He worked for International Paper in several locations, including, North Tonawanda, New York, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, South Glens Falls, New York City, and Corinth. After he retired, he and Marilyn visited 25 foreign countries plus Alaska and Hawaii. When not traveling he volunteered as President of the Glens Falls Senior Center, President of the Board of the Meikleknox Presbyterian Home in Cambridge, drove for Meals on Wheels, served on the Town Emergency Planning Board and the President of Golden Kiwanis. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Glens Falls, serving as trustee and usher. He donated his body to the Anatomical Gift Program at The Albany Medical College.

A Memorial Service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church at the convenience of the family.

Cornelius A. Moylan ’46

Cornelius Anthony Moylan, 90, of West Hartford, Connecticut, passed away peacefully on Saturday, October 26, 2019 at St. Mary’s Home in West Hartford. He is predeceased by his devoted and loving wife of 57 years, Maria (“Millie”) Lopez Moylan who passed away on January 3, 2009, his brother Robert Francis Moylan who passed away on September 10, 2014, and his brother Gerald Edwin Moylan, who passed away on February 10, 2017. He was born on December 9, 1928 in Hartford, Connecticut, the son of the late Honorable Cornelius A. Moylan and Anne (Durkin) Moylan. Neal briefly attended Buckley High School, then attended and graduated from Williston Academy in Massachusetts. He attended Yale University, graduating in 1950 with honors. Neal then obtained his Master’s Degree in history from Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut. After a stint in the U.S. Naval Reserves, Neal went into his true calling of teaching. He taught for over a decade at Bulkeley High School in Hartford, Connecticut, followed by a long and distinguished career as Chairman of the History Department at Greater Hartford Community College in Hartford, Connecticut. He also taught history classes at Central Connecticut State College. Neal met and married the woman of his dreams, Maria “Millie” Lopez Moylan in 1952 in Washington D.C. They loved spending time with their three children and various dogs especially at West Hill Lake in Winsted, Connecticut. Additionally, they loved the opera and classical music which they listened to almost every night. He loved reading historical tomes and novels which he shared with his many friends and family. He spoke often of wonderful childhood memories spent at Old Lyme Shores, Connecticut. Neal is survived by his son, Cornelius A. Moylan III (Patricia) of North Conway, New Hampshire, son, Christopher T. Moylan (Amy) of Wethersfield, Connecticut and grandchildren, Justine, AJ and Christopher, son, Gerald M. Moylan of Loudon, New Hampshire, his brother, Richard D. Moylan (Martha) of Georgetown, Massachusetts, his sister, Muriel (Moylan) Nevens of Delmar, New York, and his sister-in-law, Carol (Neumeister) Moylan (Robert) of West Hartford, Connecticut and by many nieces and nephews. He is also survived by the many students whose lives he touched including Joseph Hourihan, former student and family attorney whom he considered family. The family wishes to thank the staff at St. Mary’s Home in West Hartford, Connecticut for their care and compassion in his final days with us. Neal now reunites with the love of his life Maria Moylan throughout eternity, while most assuredly keeping an eye on his family from above. Calling hours are Friday, November 1st from 4:00 to 7:00 PM at Sheehan-Hilborn-Breen Funeral Home,1084 New Britain Ave., West Hartford, with a mass to be held on Saturday, November 2nd at 10:30 AM at Saint Lawrence O’Toole on 494 New Britain Avenue in Hartford., Connecticut.