Remembering members of the Williston Northampton community

Ann Maier Heldenbrand ’42

HeldenbrandAnne Maier Heldenbrand gently passed away on Wednesday, Sept.30, 2015 in Ocala, Fla. She was in her apartment at The Windsor of Ocala, surrounded by her family.

Anne was born April 26, 1924 in Pottstown, Penn. to John B. and Bessie C. Maier.

She is predeceased by her husband, Dr. Ladd L. Heldenbrand of South Portland, her brothers, Dr. John Maier and Dr. Paul Maier, and her sister, Jane Dreyer. She is survived by her daughter, Nan Heldenbrand Morrissette of Dunnellon, Fla. and her son-in-law, Thomas Morrissette, her son, Keith Heldenbrand of South Freeport and her daughter-in-law, Christina Heldenbrand. She is also survived by her granddaughters, Jennifer Kastelic of Portland, and Alexis Heldenbrand of South Freeport; and by her great-grandchildren, Althea, Jonah and Sophia Kastelic.

Anne attended Northampton School For Girls before graduating from Royersford (Penn.) High School, and Pierce Business School in Philadelphia Penn.

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Dr. Roger Pierce Kellogg ’40

KelloggDr. Roger Pierce Kellogg, 94, of Rockport, passed away peacefully at his home Monday, March 7, 2016, with his wife of 71 years by his side. He was the beloved husband of his high school sweetheart Norma (Fitts) Kellogg.

He was born Sept. 30, 1921, in Northampton, to Henry Clifton and Carrie (Pierce) Kellogg. Roger graduated from Northampton High School in 1939 and from Williston Academy in 1940. He received his bachlor’s degree from Wesleyan University Phi Beta Kappa. His membership in the Sigma Nu Fraternity was a source of pleasure and pride for him all his life. Roger went on to study dentistry at the University of Pennsylvania where he obtained his degree in 1952.

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Neal Lenti Howard ’62

Neal HowardNeal Lenti Howard, 72, of Southampton died Monday, Nov. 2, 2015, at home surrounded by his loving family.

He was born Oct. 15, 1943, in Springfield, the son of Eleanor M.(Brown) Lenti and the late Neal M. Lenti, who died in World War II before his son was born. Neal was adopted by George H. Howard, who also predeceased him.

Neal attended Williston Academy before graduating from Easthampton High School in 1964 and from Saunders Electronics School in Boston. He worked in the electronics field, was a former member of the Southampton Fire Department and Southampton Police Department and retired as a manager from Storage Technology in 2005. Neal was also a retired veteran from the 104th at Barnes where he worked in the avionics shop.

Neal enjoyed truck pulling and working in his shop on all kinds of projects. He also enjoyed riding his motorcycle and was a commercial hot air balloon pilot enjoying the “ups and downs” of his balloon named Gallagher.

Neal is survived by his wife of 51 years, Jane (Sudnick) Howard, his mother Eleanor Howard of Easthampton, and three daughters, Ann M. Sarafin and fiancé Tommy Bigos, Lisa J. Rice and husband Matt and Laurie A. Boudreau and husband Jim, all of Southampton. He is also survived by his two sisters, Jane B. Howard of Montana, and Susan Farland of New Hampshire. Neal will be greatly missed by his grandchildren Mike and Matt Sarafin, Vanessa and Kayla Rice, Patrick and Bryan Boudreau, and Chad and Chelsea Bigos and soon to arrive great-granddaughter Elizabeth Boudreau. He has been an inspirational role model and guiding presence in each of their lives. Neal was predeceased by his brother Attorney John B. Howard.

Frank Conant ’35

Frank ConantFrank Priest Conant, 98, of Easthampton, died Wednesday, March 2, 2016, in his home.

He was born Oct. 28, 1917, in Littleton, the son of the late Harold W. and Dorothy Priest Conant. He was a graduate of Williston Academy class of 1935 and Wesleyan University class of 1939.

He was vice president of International Operations for the United Elastic Corporation retiring in 1969, then becoming a trust officer at the First National Bank of Northampton retiring in 1977.

Frank served in the army during World War II; a Massachusetts National Guard member federalized one day after Pearl Harbor. He served for the duration of the war, five years to the day, attaining the rank of major.

He was a member of Southampton Congregational Church, UCC serving as a church leader in various capacities. He was a trustee of Williston Academy and Williston-Northampton School in Easthampton, Ferrum College in Virginia, and Childs Park in Northampton. He served on numerous Southampton school and building committees and the cemetery commission. He was also a member of the American Legion, Franklin Harvest Club and Easthampton Rotary Club. He was the author of several local historical books including “God’s Steward” a history of Williston Academy.

Frank was predeceased by wife Jessie Phillips Conant who died in 1944 and by wife Ruby Bowlin Conant who died in 2002. He is survived by two sons, Dale B. Conant of Martinsburg, West Virginia, and John W. Conant (Sally) of South Deerfield, and two daughters, Ann C. Leatherman (Stephen) of Indianapolis, Indiana, and the Rev. Mary P. Conant (Robin) of Sunol, California; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by two sisters, Elizabeth C. Cook and Lucy H. Conant.

Phyllis “Bunny” Gavin Robinson ’37

Phyllis Gasvin RobinsonPhyllis “Bunny” Gavin Robinson, a social worker, died on February 29, 2016 in Sarasota, Florida. She was 95. The cause of death was dementia.

When she was born, her grandfather, Milo Whitaker, remarked that she looked like a cute little bunny. Thus, she got her nickname, which she used all her life. Bunny attended the Northampton School For Girls, Class of 1937. Her aunt was Sarah B. Whitaker, one of the founders of Northampton School For Girls. Following graduation she went to Smith College where she graduated cum laude with a degree in economics in 1941. During World War II, Bunny volunteered for the Red Cross and served on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.

Following the war, she married John Parker Robinson, whom she had known since childhood. As a US Embassy spouse she lived in Paris and Madrid during the reconstruction of Europe under the Marshall Plan. She also lived in Santiago, Chile, before returning to Washington, D.C. where they were divorced in 1965. She then redefined herself by getting a master’s degree in social work at the University of Maryland and subsequently worked in social services around Washington, D.C. and later in Montpelier, Vermont. In 1989, she moved to Siesta Key in Sarasota, Florida. She enjoyed painting and traveling. She has always been known for her keen sense of humor and directness.

She is survived by three sons, Philip Gavin Robinson ‘66, John Preble Robinson ’68, and his wife Aya, and James Milo Robinson ’74 and his wife JoAnn, and one sister Caroline Preble Arnold ’47. Bunny also had four grandchildren, Margaret, Bridget, John and Patrick, as well three great grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made in Bunny’s memory to Sarah B. Whitaker Memorial Scholarship Fund at Williston Northampton School at 19 Payson Avenue, Easthampton, Massachusetts 01027. She will be interred in Norton, Massachusetts at a later date.

Bill McClelland ’41

McClellanDr. William K. McClelland, 92, of Colrain Road died Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at home.

He was born in Chicago, IL on May 19, 1923, the son of Dalton and Maud (Kelsey) McClelland. He grew up in India and at the age of sixteen came to the United States, to attend Williston Academy and graduated in the Class of 1941. He continued his education at Yale University obtaining a Bachelors Degree in 1944, and went on to graduate from Yale Medical School Class of 1947. He did Post Graduate training in Surgery at Hartford Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Pondville Cancer Hospital. During his time at Yale, he was a member of the United States Navy V12 program. He was a Captain in the United States Army Medical Corp during the Korean War.

He had a General Surgery practice in Greenfield for 35 years, working at the Franklin Medical Center (now Baystate Franklin Medical Center) before his retirement in 1991.

His passion was classical music, playing bassoon in the Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra, Windham Orchestra, and the Four Seasons Ensemble. He played tennis and squash with a devoted group several times a week. He also enjoyed hiking on the Long Trail in Vermont. He was especially passionate about the Cleveland Indians and was anticipating a comeback to the World Series any year. He was a devoted dog lover and bird watcher.

Among his survivors, William leaves his beloved wife of 67 years, Betty Jean (Weake) McClelland; three children, Alan McClelland and his wife Patricia of Montague, MA, Jean McGowan and her husband Ed and James McClelland and his wife Terry, all of Greenfield; a brother, Dalton McClelland of Tucson, AZ; thirteen grandchildren and four great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Also considered as part of his family was Soni Oyekan, an exchange student from Nigeria.

William was predeceased by a brother, Harry McClelland of California,and a sister, Marion Cramer of Ohio.

Sarah Wallis Stevens

sarah-wallis-stevens-1961-ab197242f1ef905cSarah Wallis Stevens, who for two decades served as “First Lady” of Williston Academy, died peacefully in her sleep Feb. 9 of natural causes at her assisted living home in Middletown, Connecticut, according to her family.

Sarah Stevens was the wife of Phillips Stevens, headmaster of the Easthampton-based academy from 1949 to 1972. The school, founded in 1841 as Williston Seminary, merged with the Northampton School for Girls in 1971 to form the coed Williston Northampton School, which now attracts students from around the world.

Described as a woman of “extraordinary warmth and empathy,” Stevens provided care and guidance to thousands of Williston Academy students, said her daughter Ruth P. Stevens, who lives in New York City.

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Gary Mysorski ’69

MysorskiGary James Mysorski, 64, passed away at his home in Rockport, TX February 23, 2016. He was born in Northampton, MA August 18,1951 to Benjamin and Marjorie Mysorski. Gary graduated from Williston Academy in 1969.

Gary spent nearly 30 years with the YMCA, both domestically and abroad, getting the most enjoyment from his involvement with youth and aquatic programs. Gary met the love of his life while working at day camp in San Antonio. His tenure with the Y eventuality led him to Rockport, where “every day felt like a vacation.” Gary enjoyed the sights, activities, and most of all the people of this community, where both his children graduated high school. Gary was very active in Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Kiwanis, the Art Center, and volunteered in various activities within the community. In 2001, Gary found his calling developing and directing programs with Port Aransas Parks and Recreation – all the enjoyment of the work he had grown to love. After 13 years, he retired to spend his time with Genie travelling, visiting friends, and enjoying the outdoors, the atmosphere, and the lifestyle that this community provides.

Gary is preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his loving wife of 38 years Genie Mysorski; sons, Geoff Mysorski and his wife Laura, Matt Mysorski and his wife Katie; sister, Jill Morrill and her husband Jim; grandchildren, Milo and Sebastian, and many dear friends and relatives.

Robert Jackson ’44

JacksonRobert Blake Jackson, 89, died peacefully Friday, February 12, 2016, at his Woodbury home. He was the husband of Marcella “Marcy” Jackson.

Mr. Jackson was born November 11, 1926, in Hartford, the son of Blake Smith and Freda Wilhelmina Welz. He graduated from Williston Academy in 1944 and was drafted into the U.S. Army from the freshman class of Amherst College. An infantry sergent, he sailed the Atlantic in a troop ship and crossed France in a boxcar to serve with the Armed Forces Network in Frankfurt, where he hosted a radio program from 1944 to 1946 before returning to complete his studies on the G.I. Bill for a degree in psychology. A member of Phi Delta Theta, he graduated from Amherst in 1950.

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Remembering members of the Williston Northampton community