Category Archives: 1940s

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/).

Melvin J. Tucker ’48

Melvin J. Tucker, of Amherst, NY, a professor emeritus at the University at Buffalo who specialized in English Tudor history, died Feb. 15, 2019 in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga. He was 87.

Born March 3, 1931 in Easthampton, Mass., he was a 1948 graduate of Williston Academy in Easthampton, which he attended on scholarship. He also received scholarships to the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history in 1953.

He completed a master’s degree in history from the University of Massachusetts in 1954, then served for two years as an Air Force lieutenant in Japan, taking courses at Sophia University in Tokyo.

He went on to receive his doctorate in history from Northwestern University in 1962, having studied with two masters in the field – Lacy Baldwin Smith at Northwestern and S.T. Bindoff, his mentor at Queens College, University of London, which he attended under a Fulbright scholarship in 1958-59.

While completing his doctorate, he taught European history at Colby College and humanities at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, then joined the UB faculty in 1963 as an assistant professor of English and European history. He became an associate professor in 1966, was director of graduate studies in the History Department from 1979 to 1985, and retired in 2005.

His landmark research into Tudor poet John Skelton, published in 1969, determined that Skelton’s most famous work, “The Garland of Laurel,” was written much earlier than previously thought – in the 1490s, not the 1520s – and as a result, the noblewomen mentioned in it had been incorrectly identified.

His first book, “The Life of Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey and Second Duke of Norfolk, 1443-1524,” published in 1964, was cited by author Richard Marius for the help it provided in writing his definitive biography of Sir Thomas More.

Dr. Tucker helped pioneer the study of childhood throughout history, teaching a popular seminar on the subject and contributing a chapter, “The Child as Beginning and End: 15th and 16th Century English Childhood,” in the 1974 book, “The History of Childhood.”

He also was an early practitioner of meditation and co-authored a book, “Centering: Your Guide to Inner Growth,” with Saunders G. Laurie in 1978.

He was the author of more than 100 book reviews, mostly for the library journal, Choice. Others appeared in the American Historical Review, Albion, Cithra, Journal of Modern History, Renaissance Quarterly and Speculum.

He received numerous academic honors, research grants and fellowships.

He was a contributing editor for History of Childhood Quarterly and The Journal of Psychohistory. He also was a council member for the Association for Bibliography of History.

His family noted that he had a passion for teaching. They said he let his students rewrite papers for better grades and was happy to discover that renowned economist and management expert Peter Drucker did so, too.

His wife of 59 years, the former N. Evelyn “Lynn” Rapalus, who worked in the Personnel Department at Buffalo Veterans Affairs Medical Center, died in 2012.

Survivors include two daughters, Ann Tucker-Jobson and Ellen Tucker-Cohen; a son, Michael; five grandchildren; and two great-granddaughters.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 22, in St. Christopher’s Catholic Church, 2660 Niagara Falls Blvd., Town of Tonawanda.

Charles P. Gleason, Jr. ’46

Charles P. Gleason, Jr., (Jupe), a lifelong resident of Northampton, MA, passed away on December 21, 2018, at the age of 90. He was born July 23, 1928, to the late Charles P. and Francis (Rupprecht) Gleason. Jupe graduated from Northampton High School in 1945. He served as the Senior Class President and earned varsity letters in Football, Baseball and Basketball (Captain). Jupe later attended Williston Academy and Saint Anselms College, (President Sophomore Class) and went on to earn his business degree from The University of Massachusetts. He served in The United States Marine Corps. Working at the Montgomery Rose Garden in Hadley during high school enabled him to be assigned as the General’s gardener making his rose garden a sight of beauty. After graduating, Jupe worked at ProBrush. This prepared him for his future career in sales at the former Eastern Container Corporation. Traveling across the state, he made many lasting friendships. He was very active in the community and was presented with a sports recognition award for outstanding community service. He coached Little League baseball for 13 years and YMCA basketball for 11 years.  He was a life member of the Northampton ELKS Lodge, a member of the Florence Civic and Business Association, Friends of Cooley Dickinson Hospital (50+ years), President of Holy Name Society at Annunciation Parish, and President of the PTA at Florence Grammar School. He was elected and served 4 years on the school committee. He also served on the Ryan Road Building Addition Committee. Jupe married Marguerite (Midge) Douyard in 1950. They had a marriage made in heaven. They raised five children in Florence – Charles (Amy) of Holyoke, MA; Meg (Jack) Salvadore of San Antonio, TX; Colleen (Bill) Pohl of Cincinnati, OH; Kevin (Mary) of Altamont, NY; and Michael (Debbie) of Ocala, FL. He was a wonderful role model for his children, a caring and supportive grandfather of 11 (Aimee, Kristen, Kerry, Kevin, Billy, Dan, Meghan, Shelby, Brian, Mikey and Jamey; and proud great-grandfather of 21. Jupe had many interests. Reading was one. His favorites were political and historical novels. Golfing and belonging to the Northampton Country Club were a very important part of his social life. He especially enjoyed his morning matches with his friends and golfing with his boys in various tournaments. Going to Florida to his timeshare on a golf course in the winter was special. His greatest joy was having his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren join him at the resort. Having the family carry on the tradition pleased him very much. He played bridge and poker and enjoyed Wednesday luncheons at the Blue Bonnet. All of these activities done with old time friends. In 1970, Jupe and Midge went on their first airplane trip to Paris and that was the beginning of their desire to travel to different locations annually. They lived an idyllic life. Calling hours are Thursday, December 27th at Czelusniak Funeral Home in Northampton from 2 PM-5PM. The funeral will be Friday, December 28th at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seaton’s Annunciation Chapel on Beacon St in Florence at 10 AM. Memorial Contributions can be made to the Charles P. Gleason Jr. Scholarship, C/O Dollars for Scholars and mailed to PO Box 60382, Florence, MA 01062-0382 in Jupe’s name.

Juanita de Olloqui Kenney ’42

Juanita Elena de Olloqui Kenney of Rexton, New Brunswick, passed away at the Moncton City Hospital on Nov 28, 2018 at the age of 94.

Born in Holyoke, Massachusetts on March 3rd, 1924 to the late Alfonso Legorio de Olloqui and Vera Marcella Cahill. She grew up in Holyoke and attended Lovering School, Northampton School for Girls and Brown University. As a teenager she was licensed to fly Piper Cub airplanes and she developed a lifelong passion for painting. It was common to see Juanita painting into the evening hours at home or wherever her travels took her. In her later years, she often painted large format 4’x 8’ Christmas themes. Juanita always had an exceptional interest in wildlife and animals.

Juanita was a member of the Moncton City Council of Women and an early adopter of anything audio visual. She also enjoyed many outdoor activities including sailing boats, winter sports and showing horses. Juanita did not hesitate to share her skill and knowledge of painting and photography with all of her children and grandchildren and her legacy of artistic appreciation lives on in them.

Juanita was married to Dr. Francis William Kenney (MD) of Rexton, NB for 52 years . She is survived by six children : Dr. Alan Kenney (Angela) of Texas, Vera Wood ’67 (Bruce) Utah, Elena Kenney Ike-Duninowski (Karol) Richibucto Cape, Valerie Horsman (Hazen) Rexton, Dr. Mark Kenney (Rexton), Dwight Kenney (Dr. Angela Dobson) St. Margaret’s Bay, NS.

Grandchildren: Samantha Zecopoulos, Jefferey Wood, Ryan Wood, Matthew Horsman, Veronica Goodfellow, Jacob Kenney and Kyra Kenney. Great grandchildren: Kylie Wood, Luke Wood, Oscar Wood and Audrey Zecopoulos and one niece, Mrs. Donna Bross Campagna of Maryland. Juanita was predeceased by a daughter Patricia and two grandchildren Stefan Kenney and Rebecca Horsman.

Visitation will be held at Thompson’s Funeral Home, Richiboucto, on Sunday from 2-4 & 7-9 pm, Monday 12:00 pm until time of the funeral. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Monday, December 3, 2018 at 2:00 pm, Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, Rexton. In addition to flowers, donations may be made to Friends of the Moncton City Hospital or to the Immaculate Conception Church in Rexton, NB. Arrangements are in care of Thompson’s Funeral Home, Richibucto (523-4252).

Jarrell D. Ritter ’49


Jarrell David “Perry” Ritter, 84, died Friday, December 12, 2014. He was born June 14, 1930 in Amsterdam, New York, the son of Richard Wallace Ritter and Beatrice Shuttleworth Ritter, was a graduate of Worcester Academy and attended Babson Institute before enlisting in the Navy. He served in the Navy for four years. He is survived by his wife of sixty years, Emma Lou Thomas Ritter; one son, Jarrell David (Katherine) Ritter Jr.; one daughter, Mary Louise Ritter Bader; and five grandchildren, Jarrell David Ritter III, Dane Edward Ritter, Sarah Evelyn Ritter, Edward Michael Skanes, and Emily Louise Skanes. He was preceded in death by one brother, Richard Wallace Ritter Jr.; and two sisters, Mabeth Shuttleworth Quiri and Elizabeth Anne Ritter Clay.

Conrad M. Schirokauer ’46


Conrad Schirokauer died in Cleveland, Ohio on September 19, 2018 at the age of 89. Conrad was born in Leipzig, Germany. When he was six years old, his family left Germany and the rising Nazi regime for Italy, where they spent three good years before moving to Memphis, Tennessee in 1938. With few resources but abundant tenacity, the family found its way in a new country that welcomed them and became Conrad’s life-long home. The family’s time in Memphis was followed by multiple relocations until they eventually settled in Baltimore, Maryland. Soon after, Conrad left to attend Williston Academy. He completed middle and high school there, graduating as valedictorian in 1946.

Following high school, Conrad enrolled at Yale College, where he became fascinated with China and, in particular Chinese intellectual history. Against the advice of family and friends, he chose to pursue an academic career as a scholar of China, intent on exploring what was at the time a largely undeveloped field, and deeply committed to a belief in the value of learning about a culture and society different than one’s own. After graduating from Yale in 1950, Conrad continued his intellectual pursuits as a graduate student at Stanford University. In 1955, his studies were interrupted by obligatory military service.

The military stationed Conrad in Paris. For his first Christmas back in Europe, he accepted an invitation to Cambridge, England, to visit the Striches, a German expatriate family whom Conrad’s family had known well during their time in Italy. Conrad and Lore Strich (who remembered each other from childhood) were married not long afterwards, in November of 1956.

Conrad and Lore enjoyed the first two years of married life in Paris, after which they moved to Palo Alto, California so Conrad could complete his dissertation on 12th century Chinese political thought at Stanford. There, Conrad and Lore welcomed the arrival of their first son, David, who was born in 1959. Oliver would follow in 1962. Conrad considered becoming a father “an unprecedented act of faith, and trust of life.”

Conrad’s first academic position was at Swarthmore College. In 1962, he joined the faculty of the City College of the City University of New York, retiring in 1991 as Professor of History. Of great importance to Conrad and his family were three years of academic leave, taken early in his career (1967-69, 1971-72), which were spent traveling in Asia and living in Kyoto, Japan. The time spent exploring new lands nurtured a passion for travel in Conrad and Lore that was a defining feature of the next fifty years of their life together.

Conrad was deeply committed to his role as an educator and over the course of his career, he authored not only scholarly articles but also multiple textbooks on East Asian history. He especially loved to teach and after retiring from City College, continued to do so at Columbia University as a Senior Scholar in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, only stopping at the age of 89 when he fell ill.

Conrad passed away peacefully with his family at his side. He will be remembered for his kindness, concern for the well-being of others, gentle playfulness, and lively sense of humor and irony. Conrad is survived by his wife of 62 years, Lore, his son David and wife Dawn Adams, his son Oliver and partner Monica Gerrek, his grandchildren Leo, Somiya, and Sierra, and his brother-in-law John Goodell. He was preceded in death by his mother Erna, his father, Arno, his sister Annette, his granddaughter Kestra, and his sister-in-law Sabina Strich.

William I. Atwood ’44


William Irving Atwood was born June 21, 1926, in Waterbury, Connecticut, and died October 17, 2018, in Bloomfield, Connecticut. Bill graduated from Williston Academy in 1944, Wesleyan University in 1950, and received an MA in Educational Studies from Trinity College in 1961. He served in the U.S. Navy on Okinawa during WWII. He enjoyed a long, dedicated career as a middle and high school teacher in Hartford, West Hartford and Coventry, where he touched many lives with his love of literature, art, architecture, music, travel, the environment and theater. He loved gardening and attending theater in New York City, and devoted many hours to his work with the Hartford Stage Company, the Auerbach Library of the Wadsworth Atheneum, and the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington. A spirited and animated man, Bill had a sense of humor that was recently described by a friend as “sometimes wicked but never unkind.” He is survived by his wife Margaret, his son Jeffrey Atwood and son-in-law Stephen Vamvakas, his daughter Jillian Martin and son-in-law Richard Martin, his grandchildren, Christina Martin and Alessandra Martin, and his sisters Pollyann Merriman and Cynthia Couch. Funeral arrangements will be private. Donations in his memory may be made to the Farmington River Watershed Association, 749 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury CT 06070.

Bruce L. Thomas ’49


Bruce Lorrey Thomas, 88, a columnist for the Warren (Ohio) Tribune Chronicle, died Oct. 9, 2018, of natural causes at his home at Shepherd of the Valley in Howland. He was born in Boston, Mass., on April 4, 1930, the son of the late Louise Lorrey Thomas and Frank Bryan Thomas.
He graduated from Williston Academy in Northampton, Mass., in 1949. He received his B.A. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1953 and his Master’s in Social Work from the University of Connecticut in 1957. He served as a Sergeant in the United States Army during the Korean conflict stationed in the Panama Canal Zone, from 1953 to 1955. Bruce delighted in learning, especially about people’s lives, some of whom he profiled in his popular column. He discovered his talent for journalism in retirement and was ever on the look-out for a good story, which he found in parking lots, at church and outings in the community. He conducted his last interview days before his passing with the help of his wife of 57 years, Sally, who marveled at watching him work: “He knew how to ask the question, and he always had questions.” He began his career as a social worker in Pittsburgh, Pa., at Family and Children’s Service and the Veteran’s Neuropsychiatric Hospital and later served as executive director of the Western Pennsylvania Multiple Sclerosis Society. He moved with his young family to Washington, Pa., in 1967 to serve as Executive Director of the United Way. He was a charter member of the National Association of Social Workers and served on the boards of many social welfare and community service organizations, both in Washington County, Pa., and Trumbull County, Ohio. He was a member of Rotary International and the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors. Bruce was an avid reader of history and student of geology and, in retirement, volunteered in the Paleobotany Department of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, where he educated visitors about fossils and was named Volunteer of the Year. He was a docent at the Butler Institute of American of Art and a member of the Sutliff Museum, where his wife served as Curator. He loved gardening, spending time with his family and feeding the horses at his son’s farm in Johnston, Ohio.
He is survived by his wife, Sara Alice “Sally” Folger Thomas; his son, Richard Folger (Michelle) Thomas of Johnston, Ohio; his daughter Alice Thomas (Richard) Cervantes of Philadelphia, Pa.; grandchildren Alex, 29, of Howland and Marco, 9, Philadelphia; and step-grandchildren Brett Shipley, Keith Shipley and Courtney Collins.
A celebration of his life will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Warren on Saturday, Nov. 3, at 11 a.m., where the family will receive visitors at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers his family suggests contributions be made in his memory to the Shepherd of The Valley, in Howland, Ohio or the First Presbyterian Church of Warren.
Arrangements are entrusted to McFarland-Barbee Family Funeral Home, 271 N. Park Ave., Warren, Ohio 44481, 330-393-9621. Please visit www.mcfarlandbarbeecares.com to view this send condolences.
Donations may be made to: First Presbyterian Church 256 Mahoning Ave, Warren OH 44481 Shepherd of the Valley Foundation 4100 North River Rd., NE, Warren OH 44484