Remembering members of the Williston Northampton community

Peter Russell Fletcher ’67

FletcherPeter Russell Fletcher, 67, of Casco, passed away at home on Jan. 31, 2016 after a courageous fight with Parkinson’s Disease.

Peter was born June 21, 1948 in Hartford, Conn. and grew up in Berlin, Conn. Peter graduated from Williston Academy and continued on to the University of Vermont.

He served in the Connecticut National Guard and was active in Connecticut Explorer Scouts and Kiwanis Club Berlin chapter for many years and served one term as president.

At the age of 15, Peter started working for Leonard Abrahamson Home Construction. He founded Fletcher Woodworking & also worked for Arnold Carlson Construction before moving to Maine. Peter was a master artisan with wood and his workshop was a special place where he created beautiful pieces of woodwork. He passed on these skills to his son, Peter, and many others just like his father had.

Peter & his wife Cathy, whom he married in 1974, dreamed of building a home in Maine, which he did in 1998 and lived there until 2013 when they moved to an ADA house. Peter loved his family, golden retrievers, fishing, boats, sailing, camping, hiking, and enjoying nature, including embarking on an Alaskan expedition in 1969. Peter was a past member of the Kensington Congregational Church of Connecticut. He was an active member of Windham Hill UCC in Maine, and was on the board of trustees for 15 years then as a consultant and a multiple committee member.

Peter is predeceased by his parents, Russell and Natalie Fletcher. Peter is survived by his loving wife, Cathy and their three children, Cammy and Jeff Haydar of Ontario, Canada; Peter and Sarah Fletcher of Boston, and Alison Fletcher of Casco; grandchildren Cooper and Madison Haydar; siblings, Susan F. and Steven Buckley of Londonderry, N.H. and Betsy F. and Wells Peck of San Diego, Calif.; as well as many cousins, nieces, nephews, family & friends.

David Brakey ’76

BrakeyDavid S. Brakey, 44, of Natick, died unexpectedly Sunday, April 27, 2003, at his home.

He was the husband of Ellen (Rosenfeld) Brakey. Born in Holyoke, he was the son of Gladys (Pryor) Brakey of Easthampton and the late Walter Brakey. He was a resident of Natick for the past 11 years.
He was employed as a chemist at Abbott Bioresearch and formerly was employed by DuPont and New England Nuclear Laboratories.

An avid outdoorsman, he enjoyed camping, hiking, backpacking and skiing. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts and received his master’s degree from Northeastern University.

Besides his wife and mother, he leaves two children, Jesse and Danielle Brakey, both of Natick; a brother, Glenn Brakey of South Hadley; a sister, Laurie LaPointe of Greenwich, Conn.; and his mother-in-law and father-in-law, Robert and Ida Rosenfeld of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

Priscilla Walker ’76

Priscilla WalkerPriscilla Elaine Walker was born in Mt. Kisco, New York on November 22, 1958 to the late Reverend John Wesley and Alice Suzanne Walker.
She was called home to be with the Lord on October 28, 2011.

Priscilla leaves three lovely children, Kyle Francis (Kate) of California; Daeveon Alyce and Adriene Sylar both of Beacon. Also two sisters Sharon T. Allen-Ladson and Barbara A. Walker-Brickhouse both of Beacon. Three nephews James Laroy Reddrick(wife Mary),Palmer Lamont Allen(wife Beatriz) and Turone Wesley Walker;two nieces, Ashley Dawn-Suzanne Walker and Janai BreeAnnie Brickhouse all of Beacon. Two greatnieces Alaetra Lyn and Grace Teresa and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

Virginia Stiles Shepardson ’63

StilesVirginia Ruth (Stiles) Shepardson, 70, of Parsons Street, passed away Monday, Jan. 25, 2016, at her home.

She was born in Northampton, and is the daughter of Gladys (Aquadro) Stiles of Easthampton and the late Howard D. Stiles.

Virginia graduated from the former Northampton School for Girls and received a bachelors degree from American International College in Springfield. She earned her master’s in education from Westfield State College plus 60 additional graduate credits.

Virginia was a longtime educator in the Westfield Public Schools, retiring in 2009 after 18 years at Juniper Park School. She was a devoted teacher who was known for her great sense of humor and an ability to connect with students. She was passionate about teaching and inspired a love of learning beyond the classroom, to her six grandchildren, who she adored.

Besides her mother, she leaves two daughters, Jennifer Brenes and her husband Brent of Easthampton, and Kathryn Carpenter and her husband John of Florence. She also leaves a sister Elizabeth and brother-in-law Wolfgang Neumann of Switzerland; her grandchildren Megan and Ryan Morissette, Amberlie and Kyle Brenes, and Jack and Grace Carpenter; nieces Juliana, Alexandra, Nathalie Neumann and Sarah Stiles; and nephew Ben Stiles.

Besides her father, she is predeceased by her brother Mark Stiles.

Rebecca Sowers Peapples ’58

sowersRebecca Dean Sowers Peapples, age 72, died Thursday, April 18, 2013 at Arbor Hospice from Pancreatic Cancer.

Becky was a wonderfully creative, gentle, and intellectual woman with many varied interests including a great love of literature which she inherited from her mother, and a passion for cooking instilled by her father.

Becky was born in Benton Harbor, a town on the southern shores of Lake Michigan, in 1940 to Lucinda Murray Clark and Bouton Franklin Sowers. She attended the Northampton School for Girls in Northampton, MA for high school. Her post-secondary education was at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, from which she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Romance Languages. She then earned a Master of Arts in Italian from the U of M.

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George “Tom” Moore ’49

MooreGeorge Thomson Moore “Tom”, 85, died Friday, October 2, 2015 at Tryon Estates in Columbus, NC.

He was born in East Orange, NJ, on May 14, 1930, the son of George Thomson Moore and Esther Haynes Lane Moore. He attended Williston Academy for two years before he graduated from Tryon High School in 1949 and from North Carolina State University in 1953. He served as a First Lieutenant in the U. S. Army in Korea.

He is survived by his daughter Caroline (Austin) Chapman, his grandson Thomson Flynn Moore Chapman, and his sister Priscilla Tapley. He is also survived by his step children Pamela McDougald, Scott (Brenda) McDougald, Dorothy (Rick) Maynard, Janet Howell, Marguerite Kerhulas; numerous step grandchildren and step great grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his wife Mary Flynn Moore, his son Brian Thomson Moore and his second wife Sylvia Smith Dodge.

Phoebe Ferris McCoy ’37

ferrisPhoebe Ferris McCoy died peacefully on November 4th in Greenbrae, California. She was 96.

Phoebe’s keen intelligence, enthusiasm and joy were the foundation of her life. Whether she was Mother Nature at her grandson’s school, or hosting the Dalai Lama at the Sacred Art of Tibet Exhibit at the Asian Art Museum, or running her own winery, she brought a gracious zest to whatever she undertook. Notable for limericks, poetry and obscure songs from the 1930s she maintained her sense of humor and many friendships until the end.

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Gordon Prochnow ’48

Gordon ProchnowGordon Russell Prochnow, Sr. age 85, of Freehold Township passed peacefully in his sleep at home on January 4, 2016.

Born in Boston, MA and raised in East Hampton, MA he attended Williston Academy and became a volunteer firefighter at age 14. After moving to New Jersey in 1967, he was active in the local community serving the Freehold Township Independent Fire Company No. 1 for almost 50 years as a member, serving as Chief in 1980, Fire Commissioner District No. 1 and Fire Bureau member. He was an instructor at the Monmouth County Fire Academy assisting many volunteers start their careers with proper training and always a good story to tell.

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Bruce Brown ’52

Bruce BrownIt is with acute sadness that I tell you my beloved husband Dr. Bruce Scott Brown (class of 1952) died in my arms on October 18, 2015.  He’d had a cancerous kidney removed exactly one year earlier, and I thought we were home free, though probably he knew otherwise.  That accursed disease lurks.  Four months later other smaller cancers showed up on X-ray, and Bruce began chemotherapy.  But in the end, it was pulmonary fibrosis that took his life.  To have the one person you love most in the world die in your arms in his hospital bed is sad beyond the telling.

Bruce and I were married when we were but twenty-one years old.  Our wedding pictures show two young people, madly in love, clutching each other’s hand as we, beaming, emerged from the Church.  We were eighteen when we met.  It was love at first sight.  We loved each other so much for so long.  Well, he was a wonderful guy.

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Mark Hannabury ’71

Mark HannaburyMark David Hannabury, 63, passed away on December 19th, 2015 after a 4-month battle with pancreatic cancer.

He was predeceased by his parents, Herbert and Ruth Flaherty Hannabury and step father Leo Flaherty.

He leaves sisters Susan Hannabury Sheridan and Tracy Hannabury and nephew Marcus Sheridan, aunts, uncles, cousins and a loving circle of friends including Eric and Liz Barklund and family.

A successful attorney Mark also enjoyed reading, art, music, running, photography, cartooning and he just recently obtained his parachuting certification. He was possessed of an endless curiosity, amazing wit and profound intelligence.

Remembering members of the Williston Northampton community