Remembering members of the Williston Northampton community

Reginald L. Sylvester ’48

Reginald (Reg) Latimer Sylvester of Auckland, New Zealand, formerly of St. George’s, Bermuda passed away on July 7, 2017 at 87 years of age in Auckland, New Zealand.

Born in Bermuda in 1930, Reg lived and was educated in Bermuda before his family sent him overseas to the US to attend Williston Northampton School to finish the last few years of his school education. He was on the soccer, swimming and tennis teams, an active member of the Radio Club and graduated as a member of the Cum Laude Society in 1948. Reg’s time at Williston was a very special time in his life, he always talked frequently of it and he made a number of lifelong friendships and even attended a few reunions, flying in from New Zealand.

Reg was interested in pursuing a future as an aeronautical engineer and it was perhaps his greatest regret following his success at Williston that he was not able to attend university to pursue this future however, the economic situation of post war Bermuda put a serious damper on his aspirations. He returned to Bermuda to pursue a future in accounting with Esso Standard Oil in Bermuda.

In the mid 1950s Reg met his Irish wife Nancy, a nurse, recently moved to Bermuda with a number of her friends. They married and had two daughters in the 1960s. During this time he had a posting to the Caribbean area but later left ESSO because he did not enjoy the significant travel required with a young family. He then worked for the British Overseas Airways Corporation in Bermuda, which later became British Airways.

In 1970, at a time when Bermuda was undergoing significant political upheaval Reg moved his young family to New Zealand. For a Bermuda island boy this was a huge decision taking him far from his friends and family.

Reg had an interest in amateur (HAM) radio and the family recalls many nights hearing the dots and dashes as he developed his Morse Code skills and the crackle of the radio as he communicated with people all over the world. He had a room full of HAM radio equipment and it was only in the last 5 years that he took down the huge aerial in the backyard and packed away his radio equipment.

He was a very keen gardener and spent his spare time if not on the HAM radio, then in the garden. His family had an endless supply of beautiful roses, homegrown vegetables, citrus fruit, apples, plums and fejoas which he grew so much of that he bagged and delivered a great amount of his produce to the neighbors.

Regardless of the 47 years that he spent in New Zealand, Bermuda was always in his heart, and his true home. Following a service in New Zealand, his ashes were brought back to Bermuda. As he requested, a memorial service and interment of his ashes was (recently) held at the St Peter’s Church Cemetery followed by a Masonic tribute. A bagpiper played Scottish music on the hill above the grave.

Reg is survived by his wife Nancy in New Zealand and his two daughters Lee and Shauna and grandchildren Keagan and Fallon Woolley in Bermuda.

 

Edward J. Craig II ’39

Edward J. Craig II, died on July 18, 2018 in his 98th year in Newport, RI. Edward was born in New York City on August 18, 1920 and moved to Santiago, Chile as a young boy where he spent 6 years.
After he attended the Williston Academy in Easthampton, MA and the Scarborough School-on Hudson, NY, Edward attended the Musical institute of Art and then matriculated at Columbia University in 1939 and also acted in at least one Broadway production. His studies were interrupted by the start of WW2 and he joined the US Marines in 1941 as 1st Lieutenant Marine Infantry (1st Battalion) and lead one of the first platoons to land on the beaches of Guadalcanal on August 7, 1942 where he was wounded and received a Purple Heart. Edward was later promoted to Captain and became aide-de-camp for the Commanding General of the USMC in the Pacific in Melbourne, Australia until 1945 when he was decommissioned.
Edward then started working in a antiquated book and manuscript business in NYC and graduated from Columbia University in 1948. He completed graduate courses at Brown University and earned an MA degree in English and Spanish literature from URI.
He then embarked on a teaching career at the Portsmouth Priory, Brown University, the Newport Naval College in Newport, as well as a number of public schools including Thompson Junior High School in Newport. Edward taught Spanish, French, Latin and English Literature over the years in different capacities.
Edward created an antiquities business from home from 1969 – 2003 and was an avid amateur artist of painting and music.
Edward is survived by his wife, Valentine Vernon Craig and nine of his ten children Grenville, Vernon, Valentine, Guy, Diana, Gloria, Franklin, Francesca and Marion. His second son Edward J Craig III died in 1976.

Peter P. Gerquest ’51

Peter Prior Gerquest, of South Freeport, ME,  passed away June 1, 2018. Peter was an impassioned sailor, hobby lobsterman, and a career shipbroker; the sea was his garden. For the last 20 years of his life, Peter watched the sea every day from his home in South Freeport, overlooking Casco Bay. Peter was brought into the world by poet, family friend, and physician William Carlos Williams, in Passaic, N.J., on March 3, 1932. He was the son of Llewellyn Prior Gerquest, a painter and sculptor, and Arthur Stevens Gerquest, an engineer and potter. Peter and his sister, Sonja, grew up among a community of creatives who influenced his lifelong appreciation for art and music. Peter attended Williston Academy, Hamilton College, and graduated from Columbia University, with an interim stretch serving in the Korean War. As an avid sailor, Peter raced on such famous yachts as The Weatherly and The Ticonderoga. He lived with his wife Mabel in Riverside, CT for 35 years. There, they raised their children, Heidi and Chris, while Peter ran his own shipping company Sea Quest, later renamed Sea Reef Chartering and Beaufort Navigation. Peter traveled the world in both personal and professional capacities throughout his life. In 1995, Peter and Mabel moved to Freeport, where they lived down the street from their daughter, Heidi and granddaughter, Fiona. He was deeply involved in his community both by land and sea. Peter devoted his time to the Harraseeket Yacht Club, the Freeport Historical Society, served as the president of the South Freeport Congregational Church, and as a board member of the Maine Maritime Museum. For those lucky enough to have received a knowing smile from Peter, his charm and wit were an understated but ever-present way of connecting with friends, family, and strangers alike. He will be greatly missed by many. Peter was predeceased by his sister, Sonja, and his much-beloved dog, Phoebe. Surviving members of the family include his wife, Mabel Gerquest; his daughter, Heidi Gerquest and her partner, Johnny Walker; his son and daughter-in-law, Chris and Heather Gerquest, and his adored grandchild, Fiona Prior Harbert.

“But the sea, which no one tends, is also a garden” -William Carlos Williams.

William L. Wright ’59

William L. Wright, age 76, of Ogdensburg, NY, passed away with complications from lung cancer on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at Claxton Hepburn Medical Center with his wife by his side.

Bill was born on March 15, 1942 in Ogdensburg, NY, a son of the late Archie & Leona (Prosser) Wright. He graduated from Heuvelton Central School in 1960, and later enlisted in the US Army from 1964 – 1966 as a paratrooper medic, serving with the 173rd Airborne Brigade. After receiving his honorable discharge, Bill earned his RN at Canton College and worked in geriatrics at veterans’ hospitals. He also worked at United Helpers Nursing Home as a nurse for a few years. In 1973 he attended the NYS Ranger School in Wanakena NY, graduating in the Class of 1974. After working for Finch Pruyn Paper Company as a logging supervisor, he returned to Ogdensburg. He found his life’s work at Mater Dei College in Ogdensburg, where he earned a degree in alcohol treatment. In 1986 he began his career at the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center Alcohol Treatment Center where he worked until his retirement in 1997.

Bill was a member of Friends of The Ogdensburg Public Library, the Society of American Foresters, the National Rifle Association, the American Chestnut Foundation and the Planetary Society. He enjoyed being in the woods, hunting, reading, gardening and being with friends & family.

Surviving is his wife Karen; two sons Noah Wright of Lake Hill, N.Y. and Thomas Wright of Boulder, CO; daughter Ellen Wright & her fiancée Joshua Baublitz of Henrietta, N.Y.; brother Timothy Wright of Ogdensburg; mother-in-law Dorothy Lauber of Heuvelton and brother-in-law Brian Lauber & his wife Cheryl of Virginia, along with many cousins.

A sister Dr. Nanette Gordon, sister-in-law Bonnie Wright, and brother-in-law Robert Lauber predeceased him.

 

Julian F. Greeley II ’72

The family of Julian Greeley II announces with great sadness his sudden passing on Monday, July 9, 2018, at the age of 64.

Julian will be lovingly remembered by his wife, Colleen O’Brien; three children, Kevin, Molly and Colin Greeley; and grandson, Brayden.

Julian was preceded in death by his mother, Jean Williams Greeley; father, William Greeley; mother- in-law, Jean O’Brien; and brother in-law, Patrick O’Brien. Julian’s sisters, Michelle Greeley, Gretchen (Greeley) Walters; sister-in-law, Lynn O’Brien; brother-in-law, Timothy O’Brien; father in-law, Ronald O’Brien, along with many friends and co-workers, will fondly remember Julian.

Julian was born in 1953 in Milton, Massachusetts. He attended Tabor Boarding School in Boston, later graduating from Williston Academy in Easthampton, Massachusetts. He was recruited from high school to play hockey for the University of Vermont. Julian was passionate about sports both in his youth and as an adult. He participated in football, lacrosse, hockey, baseball, wrestling, and boxing. After college, Julian spent several years in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, working and windsurfing. When his mother passed, Julian moved to New Hampshire to be with his father.

He met his wife, Colleen, in Massachusetts. They later moved to Everett, Washington to begin their family. Living in Marysville, Washington, Julian never forgot his New England roots, with an avid allegiance to the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox and the Boston Bruins. Although Julian’s best times were spent home with his family, he enjoyed attending sporting events, maintaining his car, bike riding and talking with friends and family near and far.

Julian began his career as a union laborer in 1992 and spent most of his career working in Seattle.

Thornton M. Henry ’62

Thornton Montagu Henry, 75, of West Palm Beach, Florida went to be with his Loving Father, on Saturday, July 7, 2018. He was surrounded by his family and supported by the prayers of his community. “Tim” was born in Bermuda to Otis and Barbara Henry. He attended Washington and Lee University for his A.B and J.D. as well as Georgetown University for his LL.M. He worked at Jones, Foster, Johnston and Stubbs as a trust and estate attorney. He also was a published author and participated in over 30 mission trips. He was actively involved in numerous philanthropic endeavors, The Order of St. John, A Place of Hope and Urban Youth Impact were just some of the ones that he held dear. He adored travel, gardening and most of all spending time with family. He is survived by his wife of 46, Ann, his daughter Ruth Keyes, his sons, Brad and John Henry as well as their spouses, Chris, Ashley and Monica, 12 grandchildren and his brother Gordon Henry ’66.

Pauline (Polly) Eskenasy McGilvra ’65

Pauline (Polly) Eskenasy McGilvra, 70, died June 21, 2018.

Born in Holyoke, MA, Polly was a proud graduate of the Northampton School for Girls and Harvard University. She earned her Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Culture from Harvard and was a dedicated scholar, educator, and life coach. She taught at Blue Ridge Community College in Hendersonville, NC, for many years, and became a pastoral counselor in Hendersonville and in Atlanta.

Polly’s productive life was interrupted by early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. She retained her sweet personality, good humor, and love of family and chocolate throughout her debilitating illness.

She leaves her son Jonathan McGilvra and his wife Heather, granddaughter Alaina of Apex, NC, her mother Edith Eskenasy, sister, Diane, and her husband, Tim Aldrich, all of Hendersonville, NC, and many loving cousins and friends.

She was predeceased by her father Isaac Eskenasy, maternal grandparents, Jacob and Adeline Barowsky, and paternal grandparents Max and Pauline Eskenasy.

A memorial service will be held at Agudas Israel Congregation in Hendersonville, NC at 2 p.m. on October 12, 2018.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Southern Poverty Law Center, 400 Washington Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36104 (splcenter.org), to MANNA FoodBank, 627 Swannanoa River Road, Asheville, NC 28805 (mannafoodbank.org) or to a charity of your choice.

A note from Polly’s sister, Diane Eskenasy Aldrich ’70

Polly loved NSFG and WNS and would have participated in every event and reunion had she been able. She loved her classmates and teachers, and spoke of them often throughout the years (especially Mrs. Cantarella). We cheerily sang the first part of the NSFG alma mater together many, many times as that was so important and deeply ingrained in her memory. Her obituary suggests memorial contributions to other organizations, but the family would,  of course, be thrilled and honored if anyone wished to make a donation to Williston Northampton School in her memory.

Ilse Wilson Shumway ’74

Ilse Wilson Shumway, of Amherst, MA, born Jan. 3, 1956, passed away at Massachusetts General Hospital on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017, after enduring her battle with cancer.

Ilse was the beloved wife of Philip E. Shumway (’42) and cherished mother to Philip, Spencer, Jennifer, Clarissa and the late Geoffrey Shumway. She also leaves behind grandson Jackson Shumway and dear siblings John, Peter, and Harold Wilson, Holly Jenne and the late Eric Wilson as well as many nieces, nephews and family members whom she cherished greatly.

For Ilse, family was everything. Throughout her life she continuously placed the needs and desires of others before her own; the ultimate example of this can be seen through the manner in which she loved and cared for her family. Ilse reached beyond the walls of her home as well to be of service and advocate for many she came in contact with. From a very early age, her genuine care for others shown through as a volunteer worker at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. Professionally, Ilse was an accomplished Certified Public Accountant who carried out her own practice and touched the lives of many of her clients.

 

Noel J. Belcourt, Jr. ’53

Noel John Belcourt, Jr., 83, of Sarasota, Florida passed away Wednesday morning June 28, 2018.
Born in Hartford, Ct., he was a son of the late Noel J. Belcourt and the late Frances Llewellyn Belcourt. In addition to his parents Noel was preceded in death by his son, David Belcourt.
Noel attended schools in Wethersfield, Ct. and graduated from Williston Academy in 1953. He then attended Boston University and graduated in 1957 and was a graduate of Stonier School of Banking at Rutgers University. Noel served his country in The United States Air Force from 1958 to 1961. He was a past President of the Manchester, Ct. Rotary Club. Noel retired after 32 years in banking with Connecticut Bank and Trust Company. He was a property a manager for several home owners associations. He also served on the board at Bent Tree and served as treasurer at Laurel Lakes. Noel volunteered at Habitat for Humanity for a number of years.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Mary Lee Gowdy Belcourt; three sons, Kenneth Belcourt and his wife, Stephanie, Richard Belcourt and his wife, Joanne and Douglas Belcourt; his brother, Llewellyn N. Belcourt; granddaughter, Angelica Mack and daughter in law, Leibia Willis.

Anthony C. Berg ’52

Anthony (Tony) C. Berg, of Williamsburg, VA,  passed away at age 83 on June 24, 2018. He was predeceased by his wife, Camille and his parents, Renie and Marcus Berg. Tony was born in Halifax, England and grew up in Stuyvesant Falls, NY and Easthampton, MA. Tony graduated as Valedictorian from Williston Academy in Easthampton. He then attended and graduated from WPI. After graduating from WPI, Tony was hired by Raytheon. In 1958, he took a leave of absence from Raytheon to serve his country in the Army where he achieved the rank of First Lieutenant. Upon honorable discharge in 1960, he and Camille moved to Massachusetts where Tony resumed working for Raytheon until his retirement in 1997. After retirement in 1997, he and his wife moved to James City County. Having enjoyed golfing throughout New England, he and his wife joined Williamsburg Country Club. Shortly after moving to Ford’s Colony Tony began building and maintaining blue bird boxes. Through his effort Ford’s Colony became a bird sanctuary. Tony also enjoyed ten pin bowling and joined a bowling league in Williamsburg. Tony had a love of antique cars and would frequent local car shows. In recent years, he enjoyed studying the stock market and trying different investment strategies. Tony’s favorite pastime, however, was his Ham Radio. He enjoyed making contacts and friends all around the word. He was an active member of FOC and ARRL. Now W1OT will join the ranks of the “Silent Keys”. Left to remember Tony are daughters, Gretchen Queeney and Karen (Jack) Primiano; grandchildren, Sean and Mia Primiano, Nicole Floria and Kellen Queeney; cousin, Sandra Garner; and nieces, Georgia (Steve) Schumacher, Elizabeth (Cal Thomas) Stoehr, and Pamela (Winston) Cavin.

Remembering members of the Williston Northampton community