Remembering members of the Williston Northampton community

Walter Burrichter ’60


Walter Burrichter, 76, of Homestead, Florida, passed away unexpectedly Sunday, May 19, 2019. The son of August and Osa Burrichter, he was born August 28, 1942. Except for the years he spent away at school, Walter was a lifelong resident of Florida. He graduated high school from Williston Academy, Easthampton, Massachusetts, and went on to Purdue University where he graduated with a degree in plant sciences. Walter is survived by his twin sister, Metta Price; older sister, Minna Cornelisse; and younger brother, August ’62. Walter started farming with his father in 1964 and continued through the mid 1980’s. He was currently employed by the Florida Department of Agriculture as a fruit and vegetable inspector. Walter’s true love was fishing and snorkeling in the Florida Keys. In addition, he fished the Big Island of Hawaii, the Bay of Islands in New Zealand, Panama and the Yucatan Peninsula. Walter’s dedication to his profession and his love of life and all it’s challenges were the foundation of his character. May he rest in peace. A celebration of life will be held at a later date for family and close friends.

Robert J. Youngs, Jr. ’89


Robert J. Youngs, Jr. — father, son, brother, friend, athlete, power-lifter, and 3 gunner, passed at his home in Boynton Beach, FL on June 5, 2019. Growing up Bob was very competitive and an amazing athlete, excelling at hockey, baseball, and football. Bob graduated from Williston Northampton School in 1989 and went on to attend Marietta College in Ohio where he discovered Westside Barbell and powerlifting. He was a record setter having lifted 700 deadlift, 810 squat, and 525 bench. Eventually, he moved to Florida and created Southside Barbell. When wear and tear got the best of his body and he was no longer able to lift, Bob discovered competitive gun shooting. He was a top 3 Gunner and was a constant source of support. Bob touched many lives within the 3-gun matches, he was everybody’s favorite range officer. Bob’s greatest accomplishment, pride and joy was his son, Christopher. Bob is survived by his amazing son, Christopher Youngs; his father, Robert J. Youngs, Sr.; his dear friend, Sarah Moss; his younger sister and her husband, Cindi and Tom McGrath; his nieces, Lilla and Samantha McGrath; many aunts, uncles, and cousins; and countless friends. He was predeceased by all of his grandparents; his mother, Donna Youngs; his uncle, Louis Vozzolo; and niece, Elisabeth Bean McGrath. A Celebration of Life will be held at World Famous Egg Rolls at 1701 Congress Avenue, Boynton Beach, FL on Sunday, July 7, 2019 from 4 to 7 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/donate.

Irwin Kelman Cohen ’53

Irwin Kelman “Kel” Cohen, M.D., died on June 9, 2019, in Richmond, Virginia, at the age of 84. He passed away peacefully at his home with his wife at his side. Kel held confidently to his belief that life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather that one ought to skid in sideways, with the body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and while screaming “Wow – what a ride!” Kel is survived by his wife, Gayle Williams; his children, David (Candace) Cohen of Madison, Wisconsin and Nancy (Mike) Kotz of Kensington, Maryland; and his grandchildren Hunter, Lowell, Anna and Hannah. He is also survived by his wife’s daughter, Alison (Carl) Meadows and their children, Clara and Libby. He was preceded in death by his parents, Morris and Ida Kelman Cohen; and his brother, William Cohen. Kel was born March 30, 1935, in Troy, New York. He grew up in Massachusetts and on the shores of Lake Winnisquam in New Hampshire, where his lifelong love for the Boston Red Sox was sparked. After graduating from Williston Academy in Massachusetts, he went on to his beloved Kenyon College and then graduated from Columbia University. He earned his M.D. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill School of Medicine. Kel continued his training at Dartmouth, The Johns Hopkins Hospital and the National Institutes of Health, after which he realized he wanted to pursue an academic career because of the influence of his mentors at Kenyon and UNC. Kel came to Richmond in 1972 to the then Medical College of Virginia, now the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System and founded the Plastic Surgery program as well as the first Wound Healing Laboratory for research in the United States. His many years at MCV were a source of great fulfillment and satisfaction. He continued to support the university and its programs in any way he could long after retirement. As an educator, Kel served on the Board of Plastic Surgery and was an editor of its journal. He founded the Wound Healing Society, served as its president and was the founding president of the Wound Healing Foundation. He lectured on wound healing and plastic surgery throughout the world, published over 125 papers and edited a definitive textbook on wound healing. His awards include Physician of the Year by the Richmond Maimonides Society and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Wound Healing Society, The Society for the Advancement of Wound Care and the World Union of Wound Healing Societies. Prior to his death, he spearheaded the organization of the Wound Healing Coalition to give wound healing its proper place in medical science and its deserved recognition with the NIH, FDA, United States Congress, CMS and the public. Kel loved the residents and students he guided and felt a deep satisfaction in the good work they did in health care, knowing that his influence made a difference. He was loved in return by them and also by his countless patients, whom he always treated with respect, kindness and genuine caring, for his hope was to make a meaningful difference in their lives. Despite the rigorous demands of his career, Kel still found time to embrace life with zest and zeal, often while enjoying a memorable meal accompanied by a fine wine. He loved music, photography and cooking, and traveling the globe. He was a lifelong learner with curiosity about everything. He was a true blue Carolina Tar Heel fan. Kel embraced a wide circle of friends from many different occupations, countries, languages and backgrounds and he enjoyed keeping in frequent touch with all of them. Still, far above his career was his family and although at times work kept him from them, he agonized when it did. The accomplishments of which he was most proud are his children and grandchildren. Kel believed strongly that life was eternal because his children and grandchildren carried his DNA and he would always live through his offspring. To Kel, his children and grandchildren made him immortal and death would never be the victor. He loved the line from the poet E.E. Cummings, “How do you like your blue-eyed boy Mister Death?” A Celebration of Life will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to a charity of one’s choice.

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.

Margaret Ould Bell Craig ’36


Mrs. Margaret Ould Bell Craig, died April 24, 2019 in Middletown R.I. at the age of 99. She graduated from Northampton School for Girls in 1936, and from Wellesley College in 1940. After raising four daughters with her husband Frederick E. Craig in N.J. they enjoyed many happy retirement years in Rhode Island near the ocean. She is survived by four daughters, three grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren.

W. Kirkland Taylor ’53


Westervelt Kirkland (“Kirk”) Taylor passed away on May 7, 2019 at Swedish Medical Hospital in Seattle, Washington. He was 85 years old. A Seattle resident since the mid-1970’s, Kirk came to Seattle from New York to pursue his career as a civil rights and criminal defense attorney. Admitted to practice in Washington in 1977, Kirk joined the Seattle Public Defender office and soon became a senior attorney supervising and mentoring up-and-coming public defense attorneys. Thereafter, Kirk went on to practice privately handling criminal and civil rights cases as well as assignments in intellectual property, real estate and business law matters. Kirk’s nearly 50 years in the legal field began with his engineering expertise and tenure as a patent examiner in the United States Patent Office, followed by his years working at IBM in Fishkill, New York. The New York State Attica Correctional Prison riot of 1971 marked a pivotal professional turning point for Kirk who had made the decision to shift focus to civil rights and criminal defense. His activism and defense work for inmates caught up in the Attica uprising reflected his passion to combine a zest for the law and legal training with a desire to fight for the rights of individuals, including those downtrodden, marginalized or however challenged by the justice system. While sparring with adversaries, Kirk’s unassuming demeanor masked his talent for negotiating and unrelenting spirit to win. And, guided by a humanitarian ethos, his approachable style resonated with many clients who have shared accolades and heartfelt thanks for his work. Kirk earned his Juris Doctor from American University’s Washington College of Law. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Moore School of Electrical Engineering, he held a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering. Before college, Kirk graduated from The Williston Northampton School in Massachusetts. An outdoorsman, Kirk swapped leisure time spent on Martha’s Vineyard for a joyful life in the Pacific Northwest, often remarking on its beauty and sharing tales of his sailing, fishing, camping and hiking pursuits. He cherished his regular jogs along Lake Washington, workouts at the YMCA and quite a few other favorite pastimes, such as playing poker and chess with his inner circle of friends and colleagues. While his reading list was broad, Kirk was a devotee of the detective genre. And, his overseas travels to Southeast Asia, Brazil and Europe provided even more enchanting stories to tell. Forever an animal lover, Kirk always had a spirited canine companion at his side. Born in New York City on December 20, 1933, Kirk was raised in the St. Albans area of Queens, New York. His father, Westervelt A. Taylor, was a Queens County district attorney and MIT (class of 1927) and Fordham Law graduate, and mother, Zenaide Anderson Taylor, a teacher. A jazz music enthusiast, he recalled during his youth a home filled with music as Mom played piano and at times close St. Albans friends and neighbors, some of whom revered as jazz legends, would visit and join in. In a ceremony officiated by his uncle, the Reverend Jesse F. Anderson, Sr. of Philadelphia, Kirk married Dorothy H. Anderson in the spring of 1959 and is survived and will be missed greatly by their children Kevin, Karen and Todd Taylor. In 2015, Kirk married again and is survived by his wife of 4 years, Patricia Espey. Grandchildren, along with the rest of his family and friends, will remember him fondly as well.

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.

Maria Burgee Dwight LeVesconte ’52

By day, a barefooted Mimi Dwight sang along to Joni Mitchell as she drove a station wagon full of her five children and a shedding Saint Bernard around the streets of Holyoke, Massachusetts. In the evenings, she met in back rooms to organize for social justice in her community and beyond.

Born and raised in Holyoke, she was the youngest daughter of Henry and Marcelle Burgee. Her adolescence at the Northampton School for Girls earned the comment on her report card that “Mimi is a good student, but she seems inordinately interested in boys.” They were interested back.

At Bryn Mawr College in the early 1950s, she joined her first protest march. Her zeal for social justice led her inadvertently to the field of gerontology, which became her passion and profession.

In Massachusetts she was known as Mimi Dwight. Under that name, she co-founded the Urban Ministries (a multi-faith coalition dedicated to participatory government within the inner city of Holyoke); she served on the Commission on the Status of Women, the State Welfare Commission, and the Housing Finance Agency, among others. In the early 1970s, she braved local and state politics to create the nation’s first municipal Geriatric Authority, spearheading the successful effort to turn an outdated Municipal Home into a groundbreaking geriatric rehabilitation center. The building was later named in her honor.

Propelled by her interest in the challenges she saw in the field of aging, she enrolled at Hampshire College to finish the bachelor’s degree she had postponed in favor of marriage and children. When she learned that Hampshire would not accept any credits from her two years at Bryn Mawr, she resolutely set out to complete her Hampshire degree in one year.

After graduating, she loaded her two youngest into a quirky car and drove cross-country to get a master’s degree in Gerontology from the University of Southern California. In Los Angeles she became Maria Dwight, a single mother raising two boys and beginning a career that would see her rise to become a world-renowned visionary in the field of aging.

She joined Gerontological Planning Associates as vice president in 1975 and in 1982 formed her own company, Gerontological Services Inc. GSI became a national advocate for participatory planning for services and facilities for older adults. Focusing on primary data collected directly from older people, GSI developed operational, design and marketing plans for innovative approaches for its clients, who included LGBTQ, Born Deaf, Chinese-American, Japanese American, Native American, Religious Women, expatriates in Mexico and Costa Rica, faith based long term care and housing providers, hospitals, developers, architects, cities, towns, day centers, CCRCs and moderate-income housing projects.

Among achievements too numerous to list, she served on the Board of Overseers of Brandeis University, on the Boards of Centura Health System (Denver), Stonewall Communities (Boston), Wise and Healthy Aging (Los Angeles), the Williston Northampton School and, most recently, Friends House in Santa Rosa, CA.

For 30 years, Maria taught at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design’s summer session; she presented at Harvard’s Schools of Medicine and Public Health; at MIT, UMass, Boston University School of Medicine; at California University of San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Irvine; and her alma mater, the USC School of Gerontology. She testified before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor and the United States Senate Committee on Housing and Urban Affairs.

She was a frequent speaker at international conferences including AHSA Asian Conference India, Asian Health Conference Singapore, International Association of Homes and Services for the Aging Conferences, as well as “Quo Vadis” in Berlin. Maria was appointed to the White House Conference on Aging, National Advisory Committee in 1981 and also served it as a delegate, advocating for the integration of housing and services. Her work was recognized with countless awards, culminating in the “Continuing Care Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2017.

She was an intrepid traveler who migrated with the reindeer in the Arctic and marched with the penguins in the Antarctic (as well as lots of warm and exotic places in between).

Maria’s small rented bungalow in Santa Monica was never empty. She fed and mothered a vast extended family of skate rats, actors, hard-core musicians, activists, surfers, students, co-workers, artists and writers, as well as her own brood. She was equally comfortable with Senators, Governors and CEOs as with members of the Flesh Eaters, Dream Syndicate and Sonic Youth. And she was admired and adored by them all.

Maria leaves four children: Bill Dwight (Lida Lewis) of Northampton, Lili Dwight (Byron Coley) of Deerfield, Valle Dwight (Phil O’Donoghue) of Florence, and Ryan Dwight of Huntington Beach, California, as well as eight grandchildren: Eli Dwight, Hudson and Addison Coley, Tim and Aidan O’Donoghue, and Ella, Liam and Dylan Dwight. She is also survived by her sister, Paula Gallup ’49 (John Gallup), of Longmeadow, as well as many nieces and nephews. Her husband, Edward LeVesconte; and her son, Timothy Monk Dwight, pre-deceased her.

The family is planning memorial services for later this summer; one at her home in the redwoods of Northern California, and the second in her childhood haunts of western Massachusetts.

Donations in her honor may be made to Whole Children, 41 Russell St, Hadley, MA 01035; www.wholechildren.org.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you elect a woman President in 2020.

Read more about Maria in the Spring 2016 issue of the Bulletin.

Remembering members of the Williston Northampton community