Dr. William Joseph Romanos, Jr.,”Bill”, passed away peacefully on December 30th. Bill was born on May 6, 1940 in Barre, Vermont to the late Dr. William and Rosalie (Maloof) Romanos. He was raised in Springfield, Massachusetts and graduated from Williston Academy in Easthampton, MA. Bill earned his undergraduate degree from Colgate University, and his Medical Degree from Tufts University. After medical school, he completed his residency at the Institute of Living in Hartford, CT, and a fellowship at Yale University in Social & Community Psychiatry. Dr. Romanos moved to Palm Beach Gardens, FL in 1974 with his then wife, Jean Tabak Romanos, and had three children, William “B.J.” III, Marie and Michael. Dr. Romanos started a private practice and maintained it in Jupiter, Florida for over 40 years. While maintaining his private practice, he also served as medical director of several local area hospitals, including St. Mary’s Institute of Mental Health, Savannas Hospital, and the Psychiatric Pavilion at Humana Hospital of the Palm Beaches. Dr. Romanos was very active in our community serving as President of the Palm Beach Medical Society, and on the Board of Directors of Jupiter Hospital, Palm Beach Mental Health Association, Kiwanis Club of Martin County, Economic Council, North Palm Beach Exchange Club, and the Forum Club. He also served on the State Legislative Committee for the Florida Medical Association. Dr. Romanos was awarded the Distinguished Life Fellow from the American Psychiatric Society and the Exceptional Physician Award. In 1990, Bill married the love of his life, Geraldine “Geri” Irelan. They were happily married for 26 years. Dr. Romanos was known for the compassion he showed his patients, and for his love of life. He was an avid golfer, enjoyed singing, playing the piano, and spending time with his family and friends. Bill will be greatly missed by his wife, children, colleagues, and friends. He is survived by his wife Geri; his children, William J. Romanos, III, Marie (Preston) Sizemore, and Michael Romanos; his grandchildren Emma, Sophia, and Jacob; his step child Laura (Steve) Beluscsak; step grandchildren Charlene (Jason) Zigrand and Geriann Beluscsak; and his sister Maryann (Perry) Foster.
Lafayette “Laf” Keeney, 89, of Fenwick in Old Saybrook, husband of the late Janet (Hale) Keeney (2002), entered into eternal peace, Thursday, February 18, 2016 at Yale New Haven Hospital. Lafayette was born on December 18, 1926 in Somersville, CT and was the youngest of six children of Ralph and Julia (Allen) Keeney. He grew up in Somersville and attended Valley Forge Military Academy (not as a problem child, he really wanted to go), received his high school diploma from Norwich University and his college diploma from Nichols College. He served honorably in the United States Army as part of the force that occupied Germany at the conclusion of World War II. He married Janet Hale of Portland, CT in August 1950 and moved to Somers, CT where they raised their family of three sons. Each is married today and Lafayette proudly has eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren. He spent his entire business life at Sage-Allen & Co., a specialty department store headquartered in Hartford until his retirement as Chairman and CEO in 1990. Throughout his professional career, Lafayette served on the boards of many local companies and institutions including the Hartford Chamber of Commerce, Arthur A. Watson & Co., Fleet Bank, Hartford Hospital, St. Francis Hospital, Suffield Academy, and Nichols College. He was a sixty year Mason and a member of Composite Lodge #28 in Suffield and a member of Royal Order of Jesters, Court #141 in Hartford. He was the longest serving member and past Commodore of the Canoe Club in East Hartford. He was a member of the Westbrook Elks Lodge 1784. He was a member of the First Church of Christ in Old Saybrook. Lafayette and Janet built their dream house and moved to the Fenwick section of Old Saybrook in 1988. He was very active in the community serving many years as a member of the Board of Burgesses and elected to three terms as Warden. He had a lifelong passion for the New York Yankees and was at the Stadium when Don Larsen pitched the perfect game in the 1956 World Series. He enjoyed coffee and conversation each morning with his buddies in Old Saybrook. They spent many hours planning the annual Scum Beach Picnic. His door was always open for old friends to visit and if he wasn’t at his house, odds were you could find him on the golf course or chasing bluefish up and down the beach. Lafayette is survived by his three sons, Frank D. Keeney and his wife Beverly of Old Saybrook, CT, Ralph D. Keeney and his wife Cathy of Cortland, NY, and Jeffrey H. Keeney and his wife Caryn of Portland, OR; a sister, Julia Ann Walton and her husband Bill of Fenwick; eight grandchildren; five great grandchildren. Besides his wife Janet, Lafayette was predeceased by a granddaughter, Emily; three brothers, Norm, Bud, and Tom; and a sister, Caroline.
Charles Francis Lyons, 77, of North Elm Street, passed away Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, at Cooley Dickinson Hospital.
Born Nov. 17, 1939, at the same hospital, he was the son of the late Francis and Nora (Crane) Lyons. He graduated from Williston School and Columbia University, where he became president of the Sigma Chi fraternity and a member of the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps. Charlie would meet the love of his life, Susette DuPuy, while working as head waiter in the dining room of Columbia’s graduate dormitory.
After graduation, Charlie served in the Navy as a Lieutenant JG on the USS Bellatrix. Upon completing his naval service, he married his beloved Susette in 1964, and the newlyweds returned to Charlie’s hometown where he worked as a chartered life underwriter at the family-owned Francis P. Lyons Insurance Agency on King Street. He later sold the agency in the early 1980’s and became a commercial real estate developer in both Northampton and Springfield. Charlie transformed several buildings in the area into vibrant places for business and veteran’s services, including the Todd’s Department Store building on Main Street.
Charlie was an active figure in Northampton’s civic and business communities. He was instrumental in creating the Northampton Recycling Center on Locust Street, served as president of the Northampton Rotary Club, was an active member of the Elks Lodge, and served on the boards of numerous local institutions, including the Chamber of Commerce. His last project was helping to donate a new boat launch for the Northampton Rowing Club in honor of his late brother Thomas.
He leaves his wife Susette; sons Matthew of New York City, and Michael of Peoria, Arizona; grandchildren Isabel, Jake and Chloe; nephew Marc of Ludlow; and niece, Margot of Isle de Capri, Florida.
After a short illness, Bill Nichols passed peacefully from this life the evening of Sept. 28, 2016. He had just had his 80th birthday. Following a diagnosis of cancer in June, 2016, treatment began with partial success. Hospice care began September 19 at Alexander Cohen Hospice House.Bill Was born September 15, 1936 in Adams, Massachusetts to parents Edward and Esther (Perkins) Nichols. In his early years he lived with his family, including older sister Janet in Yonkers, NY. Frequent family visits to relatives in MA were enjoyed by all. Bill graduated from UMass, Amherst, in 1958 with a BS in Landscape Architecture. In 1962, he received his Master’s in City and Regional Planning at Yale University. His interest in the western US had him sending job applications to several cities. Interview appointments came from Fort Worth, TX, San Diego and Modesto, CA and Seattle, WA. Bill wanted to work for a city with a City Manager form of government. Bill spent 1962-1966 in the Modesto City Planning Department. He enjoyed working in a central city with growth challenges and in charge of its own destiny. Population in 1962 was 38,000. During this time he met and married Betty Okerman, in 1964. Their unusual first home was the basement apartment of the McHenry Mansion. Daughter Karen arrived in 1965. Again, wanting to experience life in another area of the US, the family moved to Madison, WI where Bill was employed until late 1969. Son John had joined the family in April, 1969. The position of Planning Director in Modesto had become open in 1969 and Bill applied and was accepted to fill it. The family returned to Modesto, now with 60,000 population.
Bill retired in 1998 having long served as Modesto’s Director of Planning and Community Development, completing a public service career that in total spanned 36 years. He believed the physical environment was an important factor in our quality of life. Bill led efforts to control the proliferation of signs, to maintain residential privacy while increasing overall residential density and to direct urban development to cities and in so doing support our agricultural base. Much of this work culminated with the City’s adoption of the village neighborhood planning concept in the late 1990’s. Bill worked tirelessly with the building industry and environmental organizations to sanction a neighborhood design all could support. All new residential development for over 20 years has been based on this concept. 1998 population, approx 180,000.
Family life through the years included camping trips, sports, music, church participation, YMCA activities, vacation travel, and assorted pets. Bill had been active in Toastmaster’s International since 1962 and continued into July of this year.Following retirement there was more time for longer European travels, Bill and Betty both enjoyed MICL opportunities, Masterworks Chorus at MJC, Modesto Symphony Chorus, and ushering at the Gallo Center of the Arts.Bill is survived by Betty, his wife of 52 years, daughter Karen Nichols, sister Janet Derouin of Bridgton, Maine, nephew Chadbourne Derouin of Oklahoma City, OK, nephew Montgomery Derouin of Bridgton, ME, and several cousins. He was predeceased by his parents Edward and Esther Nichols and son John Nichols.
Nancy was predeceased by her son, Ross Jencks. She is survived by her children, Randy Jencks (Nancy) of Bristol, Peter (Mary Ann) of Newport, Andrew of Barrington, fifth “son,” John Palmer of Marblehead, MA, grandchildren, Rosey Jencks of Albany, CA, Marey Jencks of New York, NY, Peter Leopold of Oakland, CA, Molly Jencks of Newport, Ben Jencks of New Orleans, LA, and great grandchildren, Miyah and Isaiah, and Sally and Walt. The five other teenagers who lived under her wing in her house will also miss her. For a very good reason, Nancy was affectionately known by many as, “Ma Jencks.”
Nancy’s family offers special thanks to the staff at Silver Creek Manor for their many years of care.
Dr. James Gladney Rogers succumbed to heart failure, complicated by advanced Alzheimer’s Disease, at Loma Linda Hospital, California, on October 5, 2016, his daughter Becky’s birthday. He died as he lived – gently, with dignity, and accompanied by loving family.
Jim was born in Stamford, Connecticut to James Thomas Rogers and Miriam Pomeroy Rogers on November 20, 1927. He was their only child and was adored by them both. As a young child, he moved with his parents to Texas, where his father founded a miniature, duck pin bowling alley, followed by a tract of homes in Ft. Worth. When a freak hail storm blew all the roofs off of the homes before any of them had been sold, his father had to declare bankruptcy and move the family to Chicago where they lived briefly with his father’s sister, Lillian, her husband, Jack Agar, their daughter, Joyce, and their son, Jack. Jim’s father began work at the Agar Meat Packing Company. After several years the family moved suddenly to Southern California in order to save the health of both Jim and his father, who had both contracted Rheumatic Fever.
In California, they settled in Sun Valley, where his father set up a fruit stand near a local park, then advanced to a partnership in a hardware store in Tujunga, where the family then moved. It was here that Jim’s father suffered his first, devastating, stroke that paralyzed the left side of his body. After a year of hospitalization at the Veterans Hospital in Santa Monica, the family left California to be near his mother’s family in Connecticut. They traveled across country in a new ’37 Dodge. His father died from another stroke seven years after his first one. Jim was 16 years old.
Jim and his mother moved back to Southern California where she, with her Bachelor’s degree from Connecticut Women’s College, was able to contribute to, and eventually support, the family. She wrote regular articles for the Fuller Brush Newsletter, the Bristler. She also contributed articles and interviews with Hollywood celebrities, to several popular movie magazines. Due to her work, she enjoyed complimentary tickets to the Academy Awards every year.
Jim was a true intellectual. He was notoriously well-read and could quote poetry and prose appropriately in almost any situation–including poems by his mother, Miriam, who was a beautiful poet. He graduated from Williston Academy in Easthampton, Massachusetts in 1945. He studied music as an undergrad at Yale, where he also explored other interests, from ethnomusicology and singing to languages and physics. He graduated in 1949. His first job after moving back to Southern California was at Eastman Kodak, then as an optical engineer at Technicolor Motion Picture Corporation (1950-1956). He eventually became a Human Factors Engineer at Hughes Aircraft, first in Culver City, then in Fullerton, California, which led him to work on top-secret projects that the family still doesn’t know much about. During this period he went back to graduate school at UCLA, earning his Masters in Engineering in 1962 and another Masters in Psychology in 1970. He received his Doctorate in Psychology from UCLA in 1973, eventually becoming a psychology professor at San Bernardino State University. His granddaughter Katherine writes, “Much of my earliest interest in psychology came from Gramps, inspired by his stories of the Stanley Milgram shock experiments and by my own perusal of the (now outdated) psychoanalytic theory books at my grandparents’ house in Crestline, California. Every Christmas, when Nana and Gramps came to visit, I enjoyed telling Gramps about whatever I was learning in school at the time. He was enthusiastic and seemed to legitimately enjoy these things as much as I did.”
Jim was a lifelong musician. He performed regularly as a tenor soloist in community productions of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, Bach Oratorios, Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, and annually at performances of Handel’s Messiah. He was the Choir Director for 35 years at St Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Fullerton, California. He composed anthems, descants, antiphons, and responses, many of which were published.
Jim’s family life was interconnected with his music skills. He met his wife, Nancy Odelle Bejach Rogers, in the choir at All Saints Episcopal Church in Beverly Hills. They married on May 18, 1951, and celebrated their first anniversary at the Good Samaritan Hospital in downtown Los Angeles, where their daughter, Deborah Anne was born. Four years later came Rebecca Katherine and the family was complete. The family has many fond memories of singing rounds and four-part harmony on their way to camping in Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. All of “Jim’s Girls” also sang in his choirs. Nancy and Jim celebrated 65 years of marriage this last May.
Jim leaves behind his wife, Nancy Rogers, in Crestline, California; his daughter, the Rev. Deborah Magdalene, in Wappingers Falls, New York; his daughter, Dr. Rebecca Lyman, in Rexburg, Idaho; eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, with one on the way.
Ethel Ham “Peggy” Palmer died peacefully at home on September 21, 2016 at the age of 100. Born to Charles and Ethel Ham in Flatbush, Brooklyn, she had two brothers, Charles and Ralph, who both predeceased her. Her husband, Dwight O. Palmer, Jr., predeceased her in 1987. She is survived by her nieces, Susan and Carolyn. Peggy graduated from Jamaica High School in 1933. A 1937 graduate of Smith College with a degree in Sociology, Peggy then attended the Katherine Gibbs Secretarial School. As a legal secretary at Western Union, she met her late husband, a public relations executive, and married in 1951. They first resided in Ridgewood, NJ, and then moved to Wyckoff, NJ, in 1954. Peggy was a member of the West Side Presbyterian Church, the Wyckoff Women’s Club, the Valley Hospital Auxiliary and volunteered for The Seeing Eye, training eight puppies. Peggy loved playing bridge with her friends and UpWords with her nieces.
Raymond L. (Larry) Mason Jr., 87, died peacefully on Thursday, September 22, 2016, at the Blaire House Nursing Home in Milford, after a long illness. He is survived by his son, Scott R. Mason and daughter- in-law Margaret Mason of Trenton NJ, daughter Lisa Maxfield of Raleigh NC, grandson Greg Mason of Ewing NJ, granddaughter Allison Carmichael of Queens NY, cousins Thomas and Steven Gilbert and longtime companion Patricia Broderick of Medway. He was born in Boston on October 31, 1928 and was the son of the late Raymond L Mason Sr. and Dorothy Harris, longtime residents of Randolph, both very active in civic and community affairs. He grew up on Union St. and had been a member of the First Congregational Church of Randolph. He attended the old Stetson High School 1943-1946 and remained actively connected to its alumni associations and helped restore the roof back in the 1990’s. After Stetson High, he attended Williston Academy in Northampton before entering The University of Maine. His time there was interrupted by the Korean War where he served in army intelligence. Upon completion of his service he returned to Maine and graduated in 1956 with a BS in Business Administration. He then began his career in the New York financial district as a stock banker. He raised his family in New Jersey and after many years he went to work for the NJ Department of Banking. He retired in 1999 and moved back to his beloved Massachusetts, settling in Carver.