Remembering members of the Williston Northampton community

William Sleeper, Jr. ’35

William Hobbs Sleeper, Jr. 'Bill'William H. Sleeper (99) passed peacefully on December 17, 2014 from metastasized prostate cancer at his retirement home in Mill Creek, WA.

Bill was born in Exeter, New Hampshire on August 5, 1915 to William H. Sleeper and Florence (Clark) Sleeper. He attended Phillips Exeter Academy and Williston Academy, graduating in Physics from Harvard University.

As an electrical engineer, and radar and weapons system specialist, he worked at Foxboro Instrument, Sperry Gyroscope, Bendix Aviation, M.I.T., Caltech, General Electric, Boeing, and Raytheon, finally retiring in 1990 at age 75.

Bill joined the Navy during World War II and served as radar maintenance officer on the U.S.S. Quincy both in the Atlantic and Pacific Theatres. His ship carried President Roosevelt to and from the Yalta Conference in Malta, then traveled through the Panama Canal to support military efforts in the Pacific until the war ended. During a 3-day shore leave in NYC, he married his “child bride” Norma Jean Pribyl, had a 1-day honeymoon, then shipped out to sea for 9 more months. He and Norma were happily married for 66 years until her death in 2011.

Bill is survived by his two children, Barbara Sleeper and William H. Sleeper III, three grandchildren, Kelly (Citron) Galloway, David Citron and Josh Citron, and six great-grandchildren, Grady and Gretta Galloway and Paige, Claire, Noah and Sam Citron.

Harold Bohmer Jr. ’48

Harold Bohmer, Jr. '48Harold “Hal” Bohmer died Monday, December 29, 2014, at home in Tucson, Arizona surrounded by his loving family after a short illness.

His profession as a geologist brought him to Tucson for work during graduate school in the fifties and he later returned with his wife Cynthia to retire and bask in the beauty of the mountains.

Hal was born in Northampton, Massachusetts in 1930 and attended Williston Academy, now known as the Williston-Northampton School. He graduated from Amherst College following four years of service in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. Hal went on to complete both an M.S. Degree and a Ph.D. in geology at the University of Cincinnati where he was awarded two National Science Foundation Fellowships. Later, Hal was honored with membership in the scientific research society Sigma Xi.

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Patricia Schneider ’68

Patricia J. Schneider, 64, died Saturday, December 27, 2014 at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH after a brief battle with lung cancer.

She was born June 24, 1950 in Reading, PA the daughter of Frank W. and Lavona (DeWald) Schneider. She attended Northampton School for Girls and graduated from Cortland High School in Cortland, NY class of 1968. She attended Bay Path College and graduated from Windham College in Putney, VT class of 1974. She worked for a time at the Ski Area’s of New York and has spent the Past fifteen years at Fine Paints of Europe in Woodstock, VT.

Patsy was instrumental in the development of the Watson Upper Valley Dog Park in Hartford, and has continued to steer its direction as an active member of the Upper Valley Dog Park Supporters and presiding as its president. She also enjoyed skiing in the winter and kayaking in the summer. But what she loved the most was the time spent out with her dog.

She is predeceased by her parents.

Patsy is survived by her brother Lawrence Schneider of Killington, VT, a sister Sandy Kutkiewicz of Roxbury, NY; several nieces and nephews; and Nathan, a large black Newfoundland.

Larry Neilson (Edward Moore Lawton Jr) ’71

Larry NeilsonLarry Neilson, formerly known as, Edward Moore Lawton, died Sunday, June 15, 2014, in Shoreline.

He was born Sept. 3, 1954, in Northampton, Massachusetts.

He was predeceased by his father Edward Milne Lawton, Jr. He leaves his mother Sally Lawton of Westhampton, Massachusetts; his sister Cynthia Lawton-Singer; his brother James Lawton; and many friends in the Seattle area.

Larry graduated from The Williston Northampton School in 1971, and from Vassar College in 1975 with honors in history. He worked in advertising, web design and photography.

He grew up in Westhampton, Massachusetts, and later lived in Marblehead from 1982 to 1990 and in Seattle since 1990. There he belonged to the University Unitarian Church, the Fremont Arts Council of Seattle, and the Seattle P-Patch Community Garden. His lifelong interests included trains, sailing and battleships, jazz, history, street theater, art cars, social justice movements and gardening.

Raymond Montgomery ’54

RA MontgomeryAuthor R.A. Montgomery, co-founder of the company that first published the popular Choose Your Own Adventure interactive book series in the 1970s, died at his home in Warren, Vt., on November 9 following a brief illness. He was 78.

Montgomery was born in Connecticut in 1936. Growing up in New England, he attended Williston Academy before matriculating at Williams College, from which he graduated in 1958. Throughout his early life and education he developed a passion for finding and developing innovative teaching methods that inspired children to learn. Among his achievements in this area were his role as assistant dean of faculty at Columbia University from 1963–65 and the 1966 founding of the Waitsfield Summer School in Vermont, which featured an experiential curriculum and used gaming to teach math. Montgomery went on to develop role-playing games for the Edison Electric Institute and for training programs used in the Peace Corps.

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William Yahn ’54

Will YahnWilliam “Bill” Yahn passed away on December 14, 2014.

Bill was the son of Earl Edwin and Martha Blodgett Yahn of Fairfield, CT and Santa Barbara, CA. Bill is survived by his loving wife of 47 years, Nancy; sister Meredith Grenier of Palos Verdes, CA; devoted daughter and son-in-law Betsy and Chris Gillon; and 4 adoring grandchildren.

Bill was born in Detroit, MI on March 20, 1937. After graduating Trinity College (CT) in 1959, he served in the U.S. Navy as Lieutenant (J.G.), then earning an M.B.A. at the Wharton School of Business. His early life was spent in Fairfield, CT, but he and his family moved to Maryland, Mississippi and then Austin in 1981. He was a partner at Harrison-Pearson and Associates from 1991 until his retirement in January 2014.

Bill was a member of the Austin Rotary Club throughout his professional life, and a member of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, singing in its choir for many years. He was a passionate fisherman and enjoyed training his two dogs, Bart (deceased) and Sam.

Donald Cook ’33

Donald CookDonald Bowker Cook, 97, of Spring Run, PA, formerly of Hockessin, DE, passed away July 16, 2014 at home, surrounded by his loving family.

Born January 14, 1917 in Easthampton, MA, he was the son of Melvin Jesse and May Bowker Cook. He was predeceased by his beloved wife of 52 years, Elizabeth Conant Cook on March 18, 1996 and by a son, Peter Bennett Cook, on August 19, 1986.

He was a member of the Menallen Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Biglerville, PA, and the Wilmington (DE) Monthly Meeting. He attended Baltimore Friends School, graduating from the Williston Academy, now the Williston Northampton School in Easthampton, MA. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Physics from Princeton University (1938), going on to earn an M.A. from Columbia University (1939). From 1939 to 1942 he held a three year fellowship in Langmuir Film Research from the Texas Company. From 1942 – 1946 he a was a research physicist employed by the Columbia University Division of Government Aided Research in development work for the Manhattan Project. During that time he headed a research group in charge of a pilot plant for the isotope separation plant at Oak Ridge, TN. From 1946 – 1950 he researched Niobium superconductivity for a PhD in Physics at Columbia University in 1950. That year he accepted a position as a research physicist for the DuPont Company in Wilmington, DE, specializing in nylon product development (hosiery and carpet fibers). In 1986, he retired to Spring Run, PA.

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Charles Alling ’42

AllingCharles T. Alling, 91, who resided at Beatrice Hover Assisted Living in Longmont, died November 22, 2014 at Balfour Skilled Nursing in Louisville. Charles was born on August 29, 1923 in New Haven, CT to Truman and Mildred (Kohler) Alling.

Charles graduated from Williston Academy in Easthampton, MA in 1942 and later attended Paul Smith’s College in Paul Smiths, NY from 1949-1950. Charles served with the United States Navy.

Charles married Louise Holmsten in 1950 in Paul Smiths, NY. Charles moved to Boulder in October of 1991 from Paul Smiths, NY.

Charles was a draftsman and project manager in non-residential construction, retiring in 1986.

Charles was a volunteer for Boulder County Parks and Open Spaces and was a volunteer ambassador at Denver International Airport.

Charles is preceded in death by his parents, wife Louise and son David Alling.

Charles is survived by his son Steven Alling of Ridgewood, NJ, daughters Susan Alling of Longmont, CO, Karen Waters of Boulder, CO and Maria LeMaire of West Hampton Beach, NY and daughter-in-law Cindy Alling of Longmont, CO along with his grandchildren.

Alice Williamson Sweeney ’44

WilliamsonAlice Williamson Sweeney, 87, a resident of Annapolis since 1970, died at home on November 25 after suffering a stroke.

An Army brat, she was born in Washington, DC, and was an alumna of the Northampton School for Girls and Smith College.

She was the widow of retired Army Colonel Robert L. Sweeney, Jr., to whom she was married for 54 years prior to his death in 2005.

She was a lifelong volunteer to military, medical, and scouting causes. Her other interests included bridge, puzzles, and shopping.

In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her sisters Marianne Cleary and Louise Bassett. She is survived by children Anne Sweeney, Robert (Cindy) Sweeney III, Barbara Sweeney, and Susan Sweeney, all of Annapolis; Mary (John) Koger of Dedham, MA; and Laura (Geoff) Stricker of Falls Church, VA; 10 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.

Peter Clapp ’56

ClappPeter Dudley Clapp died at his home on Monday, November 10, 2014, at the age of 78.

Peter was born in Framingham, MA. He graduated from Williston Academy in Easthampton, MA, attended Dennison University in Ohio, Clark University in Worcester, MA and served in the United States Army.

He was President and CEO of Stafford Iron Works in Worcester, MA.

After retiring in 1996, he and his wife, Brenda moved to Marco Island. Peter loved music and had been involved with many choral groups, both in New England and the Marco Island area. He was a former vice-president of the Marco’s Men’s Club, a member of the Marco Island Historical Society, and past member and instructor of the Marco Island Sail and Power Squadron. He was an active member of the Wesley United Methodist Church where he served as a choir member, soloist, and hymn leader.

Peter is survived by his wife, Brenda ( Booth) Clapp; their daughter, Hilary (Derek) Kreitenstein; three grandchildren, Jonathan, Alexandra, and Samantha, as well as his brother Gerald; and sister, Janet (Clapp) Mortenson.

He was preceded in death by his son, Jonathan Welles Clapp.

Remembering members of the Williston Northampton community