Remembering members of the Williston Northampton community

Christopher Maher ’76

Chris MaherChris Maher, 55 years, passed suddenly Sunday of respiratory failure at home.

He was born in Holyoke, MA and attended schools on the east coast. He graduated from Williston-Northampton School in Easthampton, MA. He also attended Amherst College in Amherst, MA. He graduated from Yale University in New Haven, CT. It was then he made his home in California. He gained his Masters Degree from Mills College in Oakland, CA.

A lifelong learner, Chris had many talents in languages, music, and the arts. After his post graduate experiences, he worked for a hotel as a translator in San Francisco for a number of years. He relocated to Los Angeles and has made him home there for the last 20 plus years. He has been active in the arts.

Chris was predeceased by his mother, Mary T. Maher in 1997. His father, Richard J,. Maher died in 2004. He leaves his sisters, Maureen Cotter (Mike), Eileen Maher (Mark LaFrancis), and brother, Richard F. Maher (Liza). He also leaves five nieces: Laura O’Brien, Elizabeth Barsalou, Carolyn Cotter, Grace Maher, and Mary LaFrancis) and three nephews (Christopher Cotter, Dylan Maher, and Mark LaFrancis), and two grandnieces Abby and Caitlin O’Brien), whom he loved very much, to remember him. He has two dear friends in Los Angeles, David Douglas and Stephen Rau who have cared for him. Chris also leaves Nick Jordan who remembers him respectfully.

Margaret Bunker Curtis Gowans ’36

BunkerMargaret “Bunkie” Curtis Gowans, 94, formerly of Marblehead, MA, died peacefully on January 15, 2014 in her home at Evergreen Woods, North Branford, CT.

Bunkie was born in Detroit, Michigan on April 30, 1919, the daughter of John W. M. Bunker and Helen Crawshaw Bunker.

After attending Northampton School for Girls and Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, she graduated from the Nursery Training School of Boston (now Eliot-Pearson) and taught at the Perkins School for the Blind.

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John Joseph Bergen III ’69

John BergenJohn Joseph Bergen III passed away March 26, 2014.

A man of generosity, integrity, precision. Dedicating his mathematical and scientific aptitude to a career in Aerospace Engineering, earning three honorary Phd’s. No brag here, nor for his creative and artistic brilliance, developing graphics software and interactive entertainment before its time. Well done, John.

But his steaks, keep ’em rare, artichokes tender. Foodie, palate pleaser, environmentalist at heart, east coast to west, rock climbing to riflery, wingtips or white tennies, his character always true. Another round, drinks and ammo, another drag, cigarette and Boss 302.

We will watch Cosmos.XO Rhonda, John IV, Jacqueline, Wendy, Mimi, and friends.

Dr. William David Michael, Jr. ’39

Williams David MichelDr. William David Michael Jr. passed away Saturday, May 3, in Weymouth. He was 95 years old.

Dave was born in Quincy, in 1919, to William David Michael Sr. and Mary (Alexander) Michael. He graduated from Thayer and Williston Academies and received his Doctor of Optometric Degree from Pennsylvania State College of Optometry.

After serving in the Navy during World War II, he joined his father’s Optometric practice in Quincy.

He married Marion Ross Scudder, his childhood sweetheart, in 1942. They settled in Weymouth and later moved to Hingham. Dave continued his Optometric practice in Quincy until retirement, when he and Marion moved to Hilton Head, S.C., in 1978. In retirement, they pursued their love of travel and Daves dream of golfing year round.

Dr. Michael was predeceased by his wife of 65 years Marion, his parents, a daughter, Marion Leslie Michael, and a grandson, David Monroe. He is survived by his three daughters, Joan Monroe of Weymouth, Wendy Mauch of Lochmere, N.H., and Meredith Schubach of Tucson, Ariz. Dave is also survived by six grandchildren and three great-grandsons.

William Wenk ’50

Williams WenkWilliam Bible Wenk, 83, passed away on Tuesday, April 29, in Springfield.

Born in Springfield, MA, loving son of the late William J. and Helen (Bible) Wenk, he was a lifetime resident of the Springfield area. William graduated from Springfield Technical High School 1948, Williston Academy 1950, University of Connecticut 1952.

Upon graduation he joined his father William Joseph Wenk, at Wenks Florist in Springfield, MA. He attended the Naval School of Mine Warfare in York Town, Virginia, where he studied underwater mine ordinances, served aboard the aircraft carrier Essex during the Korean Campaign and returned home to manage and later own Wenks Florist.

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Mary Sessions Morier ’48

Mary SessionsMary Sessions Morier of East Hartford, formerly of Glastonbury passed away at Middlesex Hospice in Middletown on April 13, 2014 at the age of 84. Mary was born in Bristol, CT on March 20, 1930 to Grace McCall and Paul Beach Sessions. Mary graduated from Northampton School for Girls in 1948. She went on to earn a B.A. in Fine Arts from Connecticut College in 1952.

She married Robert Morier in 1952 and eventually settled in Glastonbury where she raised her family. In 1980, Mary opened her own florist shop, Woodford,s Flowers. She enjoyed spending time with family and friends at the cottage at Grove Beach Point in Westbrook. She loved mystery novels, the daily crossword puzzle and watching her birds at the feeder. An avid sports fan, she supported UConn Women,s basketball, the PGA tour and she adored her Red Sox. She loved to wager the occasional bet or two and enjoyed trips to the casino.

Mary is survived by her six children: Ann Morier of East Hartford; Jim Morier and his wife Shirley of Rockville; Robin Fagan and her husband Paul of Camden, Maine; Peter Morier of Vancouver, Washington; Jenifer Morier and her husband Neal Harley of Guilford, Vermont and David Morier and his wife Meghan of Ionia, New York; and her seven grandchildren: Lily and Sam Lyons, Mary, Ann and Michael Fagan and Tobias and Roland Morier. Mary was predeceased by her brother, James Sessions and her sister, Janet Beach.

Richard M. Austin ’47

Richard AustinRichard M. Austin , 86, of Keene, NH peacefully passed away April 17, 2014 at Maplewood Nursing Home after a period of declining health.

He was born in Worcester, MA April 13, 1928, the son of James and Clara (Marsh) Austin. Mr. Austin spent his childhood years growing up in Dudley, MA, a neighbor to his “love of his life” and future wife, Lucille Bates. He attended Bartlett High School; Webster, MA and subsequently graduated from Williston Academy; East Hampton, MA in 1947 and Clark University; Worcester, MA in 1952 with a degree in business administration. During his high school and college years, he played basketball and football, however his true passion was baseball which he excelled at. Post college, he pitched on several semi-pro teams and was even invited to try out for his beloved Boston Red Sox.

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Joseph Bury, Jr. ’54

Joseph L. Bury, Jr., 79, of Rockville, also known to his close relatives and friends as “Junior” went to eternal rest on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at Hartford Hospital.

He was born August 23, 1934, son of the late Joseph L. and Pauline (Sadlak) Bury, Sr.  He was raised in Rockville, attending local schools.

Joseph was a faithful communicant of St. Joseph Church. He was a veteran and served in the U.S. Army. Joseph was co-owner with his brother, Robert S. Bury, of various real estate ventures and DeLuxe Amusements, established by their parents.

He is survived by a special cousin Marion Connor of Rockville, his additional close cousins that we are aware of, Marie Munson, Irene Gates, Stanley Sadlak, Anthony Sadlak, and Alita. He also leaves his former dedicated secretary, Joan Berman of Ellington and many caring relatives and friends.

Natalie Vogel Lawton ’42

Vogel LawtonNatalie V. (Vogel) Lawton, 90, of State Street, Westerly, passed away on Wednesday morning, April 2, 2014, at the Apple Rehab Watch Hill.

She was pre-deceased by her husband, Arthur Newman Lawton, on January 25, 1995, whom she met while vacationing at Watch Hill. After they married in 1954, she moved to Westerly. She is survived by her son, Allen D. Lawton of Westerly, her sister-in-law, Mary Lawton of Westerly and several cousins, nieces and nephews.

Mrs. Lawton was born in New Bedford, MA, on June 30, 1923, the daughter of the late Ellery and Sarah (Lewis) Vogel. She spent her early years in Northampton and Longmeadow, MA. She was a graduate of the Northampton School for Girls (now known as Williston- Northampton Academy), Lasell Junior College (now known as Lasell College) in Newton, MA, and Tobe’ Coburn School in New York City. She majored in merchandising in college.

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Remembering members of the Williston Northampton community