Category Archives: 1940s

Barbara Seabury Engel ’48

Barbara “Bobi” Seabury Engel, age 89, passed away April 12, 2019 in Naples, Florida. Bobi was born on February 9, 1930 in Springfield, MA. She was the daughter of Raymond M. Seabury of Longmeadow, MA and Laura Barker of Newport, RI. Bobi was predeceased by her sister Margaret (Seabury) Lyman, her brother Raymond Seabury, Jr., her daughter Cynthia Engel and her grandson, Joshua Sasen. Bobi is survived by her husband, Dr. N. Eugene “Gene” Engel. She is also survived by her sons Phillip Johnson of Salem, MA, David Engel of Easley, South Carolina, Donald Engel and his wife Donna of Naples, FL; her daughters Laura Lovell and her husband Ross of East Haddam, CT, Christine Sasen of Springfield, Carolyn Brennan and her husband Thomas of Wilbraham and Zandra Engel of Agawam, MA; ten grandchildren, and several great-grandchildren. Bobi grew up in Longmeadow. She was a resident of Wilbraham and Brewster before moving to Naples, FL in 1995. Bobi attended the Northampton School for Girls and the House in the Pines Junior College majoring in Art History. Bobi was a former member of the Junior League of Springfield, the Dennis Yacht Club of E. Dennis and the League Club of Naples. Bobi served as the Director of Youth Programs for both the Wilbraham United Church and the Dennis Yacht Club. Bobi was a proud member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was an avid bridge player, loved to dance, athlete, painter, craft lady, dramatist and had her most fun as a puppeteer. Bobi and her husband Gene were blessed to travel throughout the world after retirement. A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on June 20th at Bethlehem Church, 123 Allen St., Hampden, MA. There will be a private burial service. Memorial donations in Bobi’s name may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601 or at www.alz.org

Margaret Moore Eckman ’45


Margaret Moore Eckman, 91, died on January 18, 2018 at her home in Bremen, Maine. She was born in Chester, Connecticut on January 1, 1927, the last of five children to Ernst D. and Elsie (Warner) Moore. She is survived by her husband of 65 years, Roland Eckman; two sons, Andrew and John; five grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. There will be no service, and burial will be private.

Claire Neiley Moss ’46

Claire Neiley Moss was born in Binghamton, New York in 1928. She began her education in the Endicott Public Schools, later attending Northampton School for Girls, Skidmore College, Boston State Teacher’s College, and Harvard University. A resident of Cambridge, Massachusetts for more than sixty-five years, she was active in schools, church, and community affairs. During the 1960’s, Claire was the first director of the Roxbury-Belmont Summer Program, a summer school that preceded the formal integration of the Boston and area public schools. Claire taught in Westwood and later in Belmont for thirty-one years. Upon retirement, she was a field supervisor for education students at Harvard University. Claire also worked with Amnesty International in London and with The Tuesday Meals Program at First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Harvard Square. In 1983 she married Van Wood. They traveled and enjoyed life together for many years. She loved the arts and was herself artistic. Her family, her students, and her friends will remember Claire for her kindness, her devotion to social justice, her passion for both teaching and learning, and her love of life. She met life challenges by always working toward good possibilities ahead. Claire was pre-deceased by her husband Van (2007) and by her three brothers Dick (1988), Bob (2011) and Chick (2015). She is survived by her two daughters Molly Moss (David) and Kate Moss Manski (Chuck), as well as her four grandchildren including Ben Manski (Sarah), Becca Manski, Anna Rosenbluth (Paul), and Peter Rosenbluth (Milvi), and by six great-grandchildren: Alex, Hannah, Aivi, Lev, Miku, and Isaac. If you wish to make donations in honor of Claire, please consider The Tuesday Meals Program at First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Cambridge, Amnesty International, or Planned Parenthood. Claire worked all her life for a better world. A memorial for family and close friends will be scheduled at a later time.

Ellen von Hofen Beckman ’42


Ellen Beckman, a longtime resident of Kirkwood, Missouri, beloved wife of the late Robert Page Beckman, died in peace in Glen Carbon, Illinois, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2018.

Born Jan. 21, 1924, in Cranford, New Jersey, Ellen resided in Massachusetts most of her young adult life. She graduated from Smith College in 1947 and completed her M.A. degree in 1967 from University of Missouri. Ellen worked as assistant librarian at Kirkwood High School from 1970 to 1980.

Ellen loved to read, learn and travel. She is survived by three children, Ericka Beckman (Richard) Baim, Alan (Jenny) Beckman and Keith (Gloria) Beckman, and two granddaughters, Lindsay A. and Sarah J. Beckman.

Judith Balise Stein ’45

Judith Balise Stein peacefully passed away on the morning of May 6, 2019 at home surrounded by her loving family. She was born in Northampton in 1928 and attended The Northampton School for Girls followed by graduation from Smith College. She worked on a fellowship at Harvard School of Public Health for a year during which time she married Richard Stein, professor of Chemistry at the University of Massachusetts. She further earned a graduate degree of education from UMass and resided in Amherst. She choose to play a supporting role in her husband’s career and raised four daughters before venturing into her interest in real estate and established a successful rental property business.

Judy traveled the world with her husband to numerous countries including Japan, China, Russia, United Arab Emirates, India, Sweden, England, France, Germany and Italy. Judy would love to experience the local culture and would leave behind a bit of her American way of thinking.

Summers were spent at their Lake Wyola cottage which always had an open door welcoming extended family and friends. Anyone she met was always invited and encouraged to come to the lake for a swim and a meal. There was always a spare bathing suit available and a freezer full of ice cream.

Judy was a member of the Amherst Women’s Club where she was honored with a life time membership after 50 continuous years as a member, a member of the International Wives Club where she took joy helping new arrivals acclimate to life in Amherst, a member of The League of Women Voters and a member of the Appalachian Mountain Club, always enjoying an adventurous hike.

Throughout her life Judy always was thinking of others first, never wanting the focus on herself. Her later years were spent lovingly being cared for by her husband, children, grandchildren and her most recent caregivers Cynthia, Becky, Sharon and Sarah. A special thank you to the Hospice of the Fisher Home team for their support and guidance.

She is survived by her husband Richard Stein, her children Anne Stein and husband Monty Kroopkin of San Diego, Carol Avonti and husband Steve of West Springfield, Lisa Lesure and husband Walter of Amherst and son-in-law Darrel Rost of Pittsfield, six grandchildren: Faith Stein, Kay Parsons, Rick Avonti, Mariah Lesure, Kayla Lesure and Taylor Lesure, 4 great grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, and her beloved sister-in law Lucy Townsend who became a true sister and friend. She joins her late brothers Peter Balise, John Balise and David Balise and her late daughter Linda Rost.

Her remains have been donated to the University of Massachusetts Medical School. A memorial service will occur this summer. Gifts in her memory may be donated to Hospice of the Fisher Home in Amherst.

Janice R. Brown ’43


Janice Rae Brown, 92, died on May 13, 2019, at Day Brook Village in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

Janice was born in Northampton on May 31, 1926, to the late Lorimer Hamilton and Pearle (Farnham) Brown. She was the sister of Roger Hamilton Brown, U.S.N. Lt. Com., and Frances Joy Brown, R.N., both deceased.

Janice Brown graduated from the former Northampton School for Girls, and later from Smith College earning both a B.A. and later with an M.Ed.

Her teaching years included positions in West Hartford, CT, and Northampton. She was a member of the former First Baptist Church.

All services will be private with burial in the Farnham family lot at Lakeview Cemetery in Shoreham, VT.

Barbara Dow Merrill ’40

Barbara Merrill, 96, of Solon, Maine, died at home, surrounded by family and friends the morning of April 2, 2019. Barbara was born Aug. 21, 1922, in Northampton, Mass., to the late Dr. Frank E. and Marion (Dole) Dow. She was the youngest of four children and is predeceased by siblings, Eleanor, Richard and Harriet.

Barbara graduated from Northampton School for Girls (Williston Northampton) and earned her undergraduate degree at Tufts University, Jackson division and then went on to Andover Newton Theological School–Newton Center for her master’s degree in religious education.

In February 1948, while working as the director of the Sunday school and supervisor of the young people’s groups at the Congregational Church in Brunswick, Barbara met John Merrill, who had volunteered to substitute teach a Sunday school class for one of his Bowdoin fraternity brothers. Three weeks after their first meeting, Barbara and John became engaged, and three months later, on June 5, they married.

After living two years in Boston, while John attended law school, the couple moved to Skowhegan in 1952 to raise their family. Barbara soon thereafter opened the Pied Piper Nursery School, which she ran for ten years out of the municipal building. She then became an elementary school teacher for S.A.D. 54 for 17 years. Barbara was also active in the Women’s Club, the D.A.R., women’s republican groups and the Women’s Circle at the Federated Church, where she also sang in the choir for many years and, more recently, was a member of the Bible study group. She joined Somerset Chapter #53, O.E.S., in Skowhegan in January of 1958.

Over the years she held many offices, including chaplain and Worthy Matron; her favorite Star Point office was Martha. When Barbara and John moved year-round to South Solon in 1978, they became active in Solon’s Keystone Chapter #78, O.E.S., and, again, Barbara served as Worthy Matron and multiple terms as Martha. She remained active with the Eastern Star through 2017.

Barbara is survived by her son, William (Carrie), daughter, Harriet (Glen) and son, Frank (Nancy); as well as her grandchildren, Reagan (Mike) Hovasse, Sean (Katie) Merrill and Alaena Merrill; and five great-grandchildren: Taylor, Lyric, Cameron, Phoenix and Lux.

The family would like to thank homecare givers, Sherry Bacon, Dawn Elizabeth Bersani and Cynthia Pine for their loving care of and friendship given to their mother. They would also like to thank the staffs of the Redington-Fairview Hospital and the Northern Lights Home Care & Hospice for the amazing care and compassion they extended to Barbara and her family during the last year of Barbara’s life. The work these dedicated professionals do is a gift and blessing to those they serve.

A celebration of Barbara’s life will be held Saturday, May 4 at 11 a.m., at the Federated Church in Skowhegan.

Arrangements are entrusted to the care of Smart & Edwards Funeral Home, 183 Madison Ave., Skowhegan, Maine.  Memorial contributions can be made to: Northern Light Home Care & Hospice, 50 Foden Rd., South Portland, ME 04106.

Edward J. O’Brien ’46

Edward (Skitzie) O’Brien, 89, of Keene, NH passed away at the Cheshire Medical Center Saturday January 14, 2017 after a period of failing health. He was born Oct. 09, 1927 in Keene to parents Edward O’Brien and Ann (Chardon) O’Brien. He was a lifelong resident of Keene attending local schools graduating from Keene High in 1945. After graduation he served his country by joining the US Navy. Upon leaving the service he achieved his undergraduate and law degrees from Boston University. He returned to Keene upon graduation joining the law firm of Homer Bradley and Dick Fernald until establishing his own private practice. At one time he served as the Keene City Attorney becoming involved in creating and planning Keene’s first subdivision. In 1964 he became Cheshire County attorney, a position he held for almost 30 years. Initially it was a part time job he balanced along with his private practice. In the 1980’s the influx of court cases increased to a point where the position became full time and later expanded to include two full time assistants. Upon leaving the position of County Attorney he returned to private practice retiring at the age of 76. During his career he held many professional and city wide volunteer positions. In the 1960’s he served as a member of the Keene School board and was co-chairman for several years. He also took part in the School Planning Board during a period of time of increasing school enrollment. He was active in the local Lions Club and a member of the American Legion. He was an accomplished trumpet player and one of his greatest pleasures was playing in the American Legion Band and the taking part in the Lions Club annual performances. He enjoyed being around his fellow band members playing at concerts and performing in parades in Keene and other locations throughout the country. Golf was another favorite pastime of his and you could often see him on the course two or three times a week. Skiing was another. He and his late wife, Patricia, loved spending time at their Spofford lake house when not at their Keene residence. Ed enjoyed telling stories about growing up in Keene in the 30’s and 40’s and what life was like back then with the people he knew and the activities that they did. His ability to talk, help and get along with anybody was a great quality of his. To those that knew him he was a loving father and a compassionate friend. Ed is survived by his daughter Lauren Berube and husband Bob of Lewiston ME., son Matthew O’Brien and wife Gail of Keene, son Nathan and wife Lesley of West Chesterfield, a daughter in law Christina O’Brien of Keene, stepson Michael Bomba and wife Sarah of Hinsdale and stepdaughter Lisa Bomba of Hinsdale. He is also survived by his first wife and good friend Jane O’Brien, several grandchildren and great grandchildren, a niece Cheryl Soones and nephew Steven Oliver both of Summerland Key FL. He was predeceased by his wife Patricia, his son Mark and granddaughter Stephanie Little. Friends and family are invited to call on Friday January 20, 2017 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Foley Funeral Home located at 49 Court Street, Keene. A private graveside service will be held in the spring. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the National Kidney Foundation with the following web address information https://www.kidney.org/support.

Mary Elizabeth Ockenden Loweth ’46

December 6, 1928 – September 27, 2018

Elizabeth died peacefully, surrounded by love, in her 90th year. Born in Massachusetts to the Rev. Albion and Kathrine Ockenden, Elizabeth was the third of five children. She graduated from Smith College in 1950 and in 1955 married the Rev. Gerald Loweth. They moved to Hilo, Hawaii in 1956, where she served as the only woman on the Charter Commission for the County of Hawaii, moving toward legal charter for statehood, and as the Founding President of the League of Women Voters in Hilo. During the eight years they lived on the Islands, they welcomed their four children. The family moved to Toronto in 1964. Elizabeth enjoyed a long and varied career in mental health, human rights, and social justice. Her last position before retirement was Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Ethics and Corporate Policy. She was also an active volunteer, particularly with the Anglican Church, and in recognition was given the Anglican Award of Merit in 2010. This is the highest honour given to lay people who have contributed to the life and work of the church at national and international levels.

But more than career and awards, Elizabeth was devoted to her family. She survived her husband and best friend of 61 years, and will be deeply missed by their four children: Doug (Maureen Loweth), Kitty (Jim Danks), Maile (Mark Reeves) and Jennifer. Elizabeth was so proud of her eight grandchildren, who gave her so much joy: Tenney and Aidan, Bradley and Alexandra, Bridget and Connor, and Clara and Charlotte. Elizabeth is also survived by a sister, Kitty Ockenden (’49) of New York, and seven nephews and nieces, all of whom gave love and support. She was predeceased by her parents and siblings: Johanna Sencak, Edward Ockenden, and Albion Ockenden.

Heartfelt thanks to Elizabeth’s medical team, including Dr. Christine Elser, Dr. Bernard Cummings, Dr. Daniela Costantini, Dr. Martin Strauss, Dr. Bruce Horten, Elena Aviva and Chris Bell for their care. They would also like to thank the wonderful staff at Oak Ridges Retirement Residence where Elizabeth lived for the last month of her life.

Visitation will be held at Marshall Funeral Home, located at 10366 Yonge Street in Richmond Hill, on Thursday, October 4th from 2:00 to 4:00 and 6:00 to 8:00. The service will be held at St. Mary’s Anglican Church, located at 10030 Yonge Street in Richmond Hill, on Saturday, October 6th at 2:00.

In Elizabeth’s memory, her family would appreciate donations to the International Anglican Women’s Network, c/o the Canadian Compass Rose Society, or the Yellow Brick House (www.yellowbrickhouse.org/).