Remembering members of the Williston Northampton community

Harding “Hardy” Reemsnyder ’43

ReemsnyderHarding E. Reemsnyder, longtime Guilford resident, passed away peacefully at CT Hospice in Branford on Mon. September 14, 2015.

Hardy was predeceased by his wife, Florence (Misbach), and parents C. Victor and Edith (Carr) Reemsnyder.

He is a graduate of Williston Academy and Yale University and was owner of Victor Advertising Service, which was established by his father in 1938.

He was most proud of his Naval military career which began in 1943, retiring as a Commander overseeing Fort Hale, New Haven in 1972. His love of the sea was evident in his lifelong pursuit of boating in Long Island Sound, the Thimble Islands, and a favorite destination, Block Island.

He is survived by his first wife, Gloria (Dickerson) Reemsnyder of Madison, his companion, Jan Jette of Killingworth, his children, Laurie E. Reemsnyder of Mill Valley, CA; Robert (Bonnie) Reemsnyder of Old Lyme; David (Tracey) Reemsnyder of Clinton; Debra (John) Fetherston of Madison; Susan (Derek) Cummings of Durham; and step children, Michael (Kim) Denison of Guilford; Bruce Denison of Guilford; Laura Fellows of Arlington, TX. He was also blessed with 20 grandchildren and step-grandchildren.

Joseph Dzialo ’80

DzialoJoseph Francis Dzialo, husband of Martine Dzialo of Longmeadow, and son of Dr. Frederick and predeceased Helen (Partyka) Dzialo of Hatfield, passed into eternal life Friday, Sept. 18, 2015, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Joseph was born Jan. 19, 1962, in Troy, New York, and was the second eldest of five children. Joseph grew up in Hatfield, where he loved to fish, play the guitar, go on bike rides with his brothers and sisters and spend time in nature. He graduated from the Williston Northampton School where he developed his passion and talent for fine arts under renowned illustrator Barry Moser.  Joseph attended Syracuse University and holds a bachelor of fine arts in painting and graphic design from Parsons School of Design in New York. He later went on to pursue an MBA from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Joseph also studied in Paris at the Ecole de Beaux-Arts.

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Eugene Berman ’46

BermanNoted bankruptcy lawyer and civic leader Eugene B. Berman of Enfield and Woodmont, CT died peacefully at home on September 14 after a long and productive life.

He was born in Holyoke, MA on June 1, 1928, the son of Gustave and Lillian Berman.

Berman was a graduate of Williston Academy, the University of Nebraska and Boston University School of Law, and a member of the Hampden County, MA and American Bar Associations, the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and several U.S. District Courts.

He authored the 1972 book “How to Collect a Debt” and served as President of the Commercial Law League of America in 1980. In 2009 the Massachusetts Bar Association and Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly honored him for his work for the victims of the foreclosure crisis and to bring judicial foreclosure to Massachusetts.

Berman is survived by his loving partner Patricia Kozaczka and her granddaughter Taylor, by his son, E. Bruce Berman, Jr. and his wife Patricia, by his daughter Caren Berman Nemtzow, her husband Andy and their sons Zachary and Alexander, and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. Eugene Berman left the world a better place for his having lived, achieving immortality in the hearts and minds of those who survive him, especially the many descendants of Chonan and Khasia Berman.

Dr. William Joule ’50

jouleDr. William Walter Joule quietly passed away Tuesday, May 19, 2015, having led a full and accomplished life.

A proud veteran that served as a medical officer with the United States Army during the Korean War.

Dr. Joule went on to have a long and successful career as a Louisville radiologist, eventually retiring from practice while affiliated with the VA Medical Center.  Dr. Joule was an avid reader, and believed strongly in the power of education to better the human condition. He was beloved by all that knew him. 

He is survived by his devoted wife JoAnn, sister Betty Frances Joule, his step-son Stephen Carson, daughter Kristina Suttles and sons Tom and David Joule. He was also a proud grandfather and great-grandfather.

William Opsahl ’54

OpsahlWilliam Gerald Opsahl,  age 79, of Minneapolis, passed away Sept 1, 2015.

Preceded in death by parents Morris and Eileen, Bill attended Duluth East High School, graduating from Williston Academy and Yale University (’58). He sang with the Yale Glee Club, Bakers’ Dozen and Whiffenpoofs.

His lifelong involvement with the arts included president of the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, performances with the Minnesota Chorale, and Basilica Choir. He was an appointee to the Minnesota State Arts Board, served on the Board of the Minnesota Parks and Trails Council and Duluth Zoo, advocated for passage of Minnesota’s 2008 Arts and Cultural Heritage Legacy Amendment, and was active in Minnesota’s Republican party.

He was Minnesota representative for the Yale Alumni Association and trustee emeritus of The Williston School. He was the Executive Vice President of Superwood Corporation and later engaged in venture capital and consulting.

He is survived by his wife, Karen Voss; his children Lee Stubenvoll (John), Laura Bordelon (Brett) and Michael Opsahl (Lisa); grandchildren Megan Knetsch (Jonathan), Michael Stubenvoll, Ari Opsahl (Harley), Matthew and Thomas Opsahl, and Maxwell Bordelon; and great granddaughter Ella Knetsch.

Leila Shapiro ’52

ShapiroLeila P. Shapiro, 80, of Springfield, MA passed away peacefully on May 27, 2015.

Daughter of Faye and Benjamin Shapiro, she is survived by her four sons Eric, Brian, Steven and Robert Zeller; daughters-in-law Allie Belser and Mela Zeller and her four grandchildren Rebecca Zeller, Benjamin Zeller, Madison Zeller and Dania Zeller.

She was an advocate for children and the disadvantaged. She was politically active and served as President of the Springfield Chapter of the League of Women Voters in the 1970’s. She was proud of her Jewish heritage and was a former member of Sinai Temple. Her passions included music, art, and cooking. She leaves behind extended family and friends too numerous to be named and will be greatly missed.

Frank Schwelb ’49

schwelbFrank E. Schwelb, a onetime Justice Department civil rights lawyer who became a D.C. judge for more than three decades, known for his sometimes floridly written judicial decisions, died Aug. 13, 2015 at a Washington hospital. He was 82. He had Parkinson’s disease and complications from cardiopulmonary ailments, said his wife, Taffy Schwelb.

After fleeing his native Czechoslovakia with his family on the eve of World War II, Judge Schwelb grew up in England before coming to the United States in his teens. He served as an attorney with the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division from 1962 to 1979, when he was appointed to the D.C. Superior Court. Judge Schwelb quickly became known for his lengthy and sometimes verbally inventive writings from the bench. He turned to Shakespeare to brighten a decision on juvenile justice, John Keats in a case about trash collecting and composers Gilbert and Sullivan in a landlord ­tenant dispute. Quoting from the operetta “The Mikado,” Judge Schwelb wrote, “My object all sublime / I shall achieve in time / To let the punishment fit the crime / The punishment fit the crime.”

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Alan Hall, Former Faculty

HallAlan Neidlinger Hall, of Bath, Maine, formerly of Hopkinton, N.H., for many years a teacher and administrator at St. Paul’s School, died peacefully on Saturday, August 22 at the age of 89.

He was born on June 10, 1926, in Orange, N.J., the son of Helen Isabel Neidlinger Hall and Edwin Martin Hall. His early education was in the East Orange, N.J, public schools and later at Willington School in Putney, England, where he lived from 1936 to 1939. He graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School, Washington, D.C., in 1942, where he was Class Poet, and from Deerfield (Mass.) Academy in 1943. He matriculated at Dartmouth College in June 1943 with the Class of 1947; during the accelerated war-year 1943-1944 he co-managed the varsity soccer team, sang in the Glee Club, played varsity lacrosse, worked at the Baker Library reserve desk and as a Cohen Scholar of the Dartmouth Dining Association, and was elected to Cabin and Trail of the Dartmouth Outing Club.

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Marion Montague, former staff

montagueMarion W. Montague, 88, of Westhampton, died Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, at her home.

She was born Oct. 18, 1926, in Williamsburg, the daughter of George V. and Hazel M. (Damon) Warner. She was educated in local schools and graduated from Helen E. James (Williamsburg) High School in 1944. Mrs. Montague was a member of Westhampton Congregational Church for more than 50 years.

Mrs. Montague worked for William Fiske at Outlook Farm and later worked in the Dean’s Office at Williston Academy, Easthampton, for many years. Following her time at Williston Mrs. Montague worked in the admissions office at Smith College before retiring in 1992. Mrs. Montague also served on the Westhampton School Board and as secretary to the selectmen and to the board of assessors.

After her retirement she took great pleasure in creating many lovely and lasting hand-knitted sweaters, afghans, socks and other knitted wear for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She made intricate and fine baskets and braided many rugs for her home and family.

Mrs. Montague is predeceased by her husband of 53 years, Frank B. Montague, an infant daughter Faye-Ann, a sister Jean Norris of Westhampton, and a brother George Warner of Pelham. She leaves a son, Peter Montague of Westhampton, and three daughters, Sandra Sluman of Lake Worth, Florida, Deborah Montague of Gilford, New Hampshire, and Sylvia Montague of Westhampton; a daughter-in-law Mary Montague of Westhampton; and a son-in-law D. Randolph Lawton of Gilford, New Hampshire; two brothers, Marshall Warner of Southampton, and Russell Warner of Williamsburg; a sister Evelyn Arnold of Goshen; five grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

Joyce Stedfast Taylor ’47

Joyce StedfastJoyce Stedfast Taylor, 86 of LaConner, passed away Monday July 27, 2015 at Island Hospital with her loving husband, Ted at her side.

She was born in Winthrop, Massachusetts to Albert M. and Marion T. (Tabor) Stedfast.

Joyce grew up in the Boston area, attended Northampton School for Girls and then went on to Mt Holyoke College, graduating in 1951 with a B.A. in Economics.

A desire for new horizons took her to Southern California, where she worked for Douglas Aircraft and the Rand Corporation.

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Remembering members of the Williston Northampton community