Category Archives: 1980s

Joseph Dzialo ’80

DzialoJoseph Francis Dzialo, husband of Martine Dzialo of Longmeadow, and son of Dr. Frederick and predeceased Helen (Partyka) Dzialo of Hatfield, passed into eternal life Friday, Sept. 18, 2015, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Joseph was born Jan. 19, 1962, in Troy, New York, and was the second eldest of five children. Joseph grew up in Hatfield, where he loved to fish, play the guitar, go on bike rides with his brothers and sisters and spend time in nature. He graduated from the Williston Northampton School where he developed his passion and talent for fine arts under renowned illustrator Barry Moser.  Joseph attended Syracuse University and holds a bachelor of fine arts in painting and graphic design from Parsons School of Design in New York. He later went on to pursue an MBA from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Joseph also studied in Paris at the Ecole de Beaux-Arts.

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Lydia Gillespie ’81

lydiaLydia May Gillespie, 52, died unexpectedly Friday, June 19, 2015, in her apartment on Pleasant Street. The cause of death involved gastro-intestinal bleeding which may have resulted in asphyxiation and/or cardiac failure. Lydia was a woman in long-term recovery who continued to take many medications over a long period of time, which her family believes caused damage to her body and may have contributed to her untimely death.

Lydia leaves behind a brother Vincent Gillespie, presently of Greenfield, a number of other relatives, and many dear friends including Peter Hadley of Greenfield, and her longtime friend Lori Baeumler of Boston.

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Margaret Ross ’82

Margaret Ross '82Margaret Ellen Ross, Esq. 50, of Somerville, CT died after a brief illness on April 9th, 2015.

Born in Princeton, NJ, she attended Woodstock Elementary School and The Rectory School in Pomfret, CT, and was a graduate of the Williston Northampton School, Union College, and the Suffolk University Law School.

She was a practicing attorney in Boston, MA, a dedicated family court advocate for youth and others in state custody and was well-respected by her peers. Passionate about human rights, Margaret was an active member of Massachusetts Citizens Against the Death Penalty. Earlier in her career, she was a Program Coordinator at the Harvard School of Public Health.

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Jahmal Nelson ’89

nelsonJahmal N. Nelson, 41, of Pelham Hill Road, passed away Dec. 26, 2012, of complications due to a long term illness.

Born Oct. 10, 1971, in Garberville, Calif., Jahmal was the son of Donald and Suzanne (Breen) Nelson. He was educated in local schools and lived most of his life in the Amherst area.

Jahmal worked in the maintenance department at the University of Massachusetts for many years. He was also a house painter in the Amherst area. Jahmal enjoyed cooking and the arts.

He will be remembered by many for his smile and hugs.

Besides his parents, Donald and Suzanne of Cambria, Calif., Jahmal is survived by his brothers, Paul Nelson and T.J. Nelson of Cambria, Calif.; his sister, Alanna Nelson of Baltimore, Md. and several cousins.

The family requests that donations in Jahmal’s memory be in the form of any act of kindness to others.

Bill Morrison, Jr. ’89

bill

William P. “”Bill”” Morrison Jr., 42, of Wilmington, Del., formerly of Painesville, died Tuesday, April 23, 2013.

He was born Dec. 27, 1970, in the Bronx, N.Y.

Bill was the managing director for the business development and strategic operations at Global Debt Registry, LLC. Before that, he was a senior director in marketing for Sallie Mae, SVP – national sales execution executive and west division mortgage executive for Bank of America, chief executive officer for MBNA Spain and senior vice president for MBNA USA and Canada.

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Cynthia L. Brandts ’80

WARE – Cynthia Lynn Brandts, 51, took her leave Jan. 14, 2013.

She is survived by her daughter Elisha; her father and step-mother, John and Linda; her mother Susan; her sisters, Debbie Bettag (WNS ’79) and Melanie Murphy; and her brothers, Mike, Bob and Brad.

Cindy partially negotiated the Amherst school system, attended Williston Academy and after a brief stint at Emory College in Atlanta, earned first her bachelor’s degree, then her master’s degree in business administration at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Math and analysis, be it business, inventory, marketing or whatever, was her forte.

Calling the Pioneer Valley home, she worked for Microcal, Inc., R. R. Donnelley, and James River Graphics.

By any measure, Cindy was a trip. Life, as filtered through her presence, was impossibly full. While some might have seen her embracing of extremes as disturbingly untenable, others found her rush toward experience to be alchemic; she transformed darkness to light, despair to hope, anguish to laughter.

She collected antiques, loved to fish, was a stalwart adventurer and in her words, had always been “an outdoors gal, at heart.”

In the final months of her life, she discovered the writings of Eckhart Tolle and stepped into a world of which she’d been catching glimpses since early childhood. In awareness, and with intention, she focused the wisdom she’d earned through trials and traumas, and came to extend also to herself the infinite generosity she had always extended to others.

A private funeral was held at Douglass Funeral Home, in Amherst, on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013.

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