Remembering members of the Williston Northampton community

Peter A. McIntyre ’62

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Peter Albert McIntyre, of Orinda, CA,  died in his sleep on Tuesday November 17, 2015.
He leaves behind his loved and loving wife and son, Gail and Adam, his dear sister Jean Berry, niece Melissa (Pacheco) and nephew, Sean and wife Veronica Berry, and many, many friends who enriched his life in so many ways with shared laughter, rounds of golf, Giant’s games, skiing, sailing trips, motorcycle rides, good meals, more laughter and friendship. He is missed.

 

Christopher C. Bonwit ’65

bonwitChristopher Call Bonwit, 69, departed this life peacefully on January 2, 2017 surrounded by his family at his home in Dunwoody, Georgia. He is survived by his loving wife of 44 years Gracemarie (Gem) and their sons Holden with wife Meagan, and Neville with wife Erin and children Katherine, Lindsay, Natalie, Kolby and Caedmon. He is also survived by his sister Elise Bonwit Dickinson with husband D. Edward and daughters Monica and Cara, and his brother Jonathan with wife Norah and sons Erik and Cameron.

Chris was born on October 16, 1947 in Hackensack, New Jersey, son of Charlotte and John Bonwit, Jr. For high school, he attended Williston Academy in Massachusetts, after which he was awarded a fellowship from the English-speaking Union to attend Brighton College in England for a post high school year of study. Following that, he attended the University of Notre Dame, courtesy of a scholarship from the US Navy ROTC program. During one of his memorable summer Navy deployments, Chris was attached to a German Navy fast patrol boat operating in the Baltic Sea; it was on that deployment that he began his appreciation of the German language, his favorite of the 6 languages that Chris spoke fluently. He graduated cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in 1970 and then served four years in the U.S. Navy in the Mediterranean Sea and the Pacific Ocean on a variety of ships and missions, ultimately becoming Chief Engineer on the destroyer escort U.S.S. Badger.

In August of 1972, after a brief courtship, Chris joyously married Gem, who shared his passion for adventurous living.

Chris received his MBA from Wharton Business School and thereafter entered the engineering construction field with Dravo Corporation. From Pittsburgh, PA, he routinely traveled to Central and South America as a master negotiator for the company. During his time with Dravo, he lived in Mexico and Italy, often traveling to Eastern Europe and Africa for weeks at a time. The 3-year Italian experience was simply magical for the Bonwit family.

Switching careers, he joined Raychem Corporation and spent the next decade selling the telecommunications company’s breakthrough wire splicing and connector products. He greatly enjoyed the combination of outdoor work and traveling to various US and foreign locations. Of his many assignments with Raychem, his time in Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea were the most memorable.

Chris worked briefly with two other telecommunications companies, Dura-Line and Thomas & Betts, before ultimately landing his dream position as a Regional Director with the University of Notre Dame. Gem was especially pleased about this career switch as Chris was finally finished with international travel and was able to spend more time at home. Chris strongly believed in the mission of the University of Notre Dame and enjoyed doing his part to strengthen the many endeavors essential to the success of the University and its students. The close friendships that he formed with colleagues and benefactors of the University provided him with immeasurable joy.

He will be dearly missed by his devoted family, friends and colleagues.

Jo Milton Williams ’52

williamsJo Milton Williams, 83, of Shelburne Falls, MA and Pinehurst, NC, passed away unexpectedly November 28, 2016 at Baystate Franklin Medical Center, Springfield, MA. She was the daughter of George Thurlow Milton and Grace Kelley Milton of Boston, MA and was graduated from Northampton School for Girls. After attending Connecticut College and later receiving a degree from N C State University, she was employed as a counselor for Alcoholism Treatment Center, Raleigh, NC. Surviving kin are three daughters: Susan Perkins Stark of Shelburne Falls, MA, Karen Kelley Perkins of Pacific Palisades, CA, Elizabeth Perkins Macat of Shelburne Falls, MA and Sherman Oaks, CA, and husband Carl Rush Williams, Pinehurst, NC, and eight grandchildren. Jo was a devoted and effective counselor in North Carolina. Once retired she love summering in New England where she vacationed as a youngster and traveling, particularly motoring across the states and to Canada and Alaska. Preeminent also in her retirement was the nurture and happiness of her grandchildren. They adored her.

Mary Louise Hogan Holmes ’55

holmesMary Louise “Mary Lou” Hogan Holmes, 79, of Tinton Falls, N.J., died peacefully at home with her loving family at her bedside on Dec. 21, after a lengthy illness.

The daughter of Harold Hogan and Louise Callahan Hogan, Marylou was born in Northampton, Mass. She was raised in Florence, and lived in Manalapan and Farmingdale, N.J., for many years before moving to Seabrook Village in Tinton Falls in 2013.

She was a registered nurse practitioner by profession, and worked for the State of New Jersey Division of Mental Health Services for 30 years, primarily as assistant director of nursing at the former Marlboro State Hospital and later at Ann Klein Forensic Center in Ewing, N.J., before retiring in 2000. She also was a clinical instructor of nursing for Ocean County College for many years.

A graduate of the Williston Northampton School and the Providence Hospital School of Nursing in Holyoke, Mary Lou earned her bachelor’s degree from Trenton State College (now the College of New Jersey), and her master’s degree in psychiatric nursing from the University of Pennsylvania.

Mary Lou was a passionate volunteer as well. In addition to prominent positions on many committees for the New Jersey State Nurses Association, she also served as a peer counselor at CentraState Medical Center in Freehold Township, coming to the aid of nursing colleagues who struggled with substance abuse issues. She was also a member of many professional nursing associations, including the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. She also served as a volunteer catechism instructor at St. Catherine of Siena Roman Catholic Church in Farmingdale, where she was a longtime communicant.

Surpassing her deep feelings for her work, faith and personal interests was the love she felt for her family. Surviving are her husband of 57 years, Joel F. Holmes Jr.; her daughter and son-in- law, Theresa Holmes-Stenson and Eric Stenson of Farmingdale, N.J.; her son and daughter-in- law, Joel F. Holmes III and Beth Cannon Holmes of London, United Kingdom; her brother and sister-in-law, Jack and Peggy Hogan of Easthampton, Mass.; and grandchildren Shane and Arianna Stenson, Cooper and Cole Holmes.

Bruce Alexander Hamilton ’66

hamiltonBruce Alexander “Alex” Alex Hamilton, 67, of West Newbury, MA, devoted husband and loving father, passed away on Christmas morning at home, with his family by his side, to join his beloved, Meher Baba following a seven month battle with lung cancer. Alex graduated from South Hadley High in 1966, having previously attended Williston Academy, the Franklin Institute, and from UMass Amherst in 1980 with a summa cum laude degree in landscape architecture. After a successful career as a Realtor in Lexington, and real estate office manager in Andover and Beverly, he was named vice-president of DeWolfe New England, where he helped in growing that company during the 1990’s. He then retired to raise his children, tend his grounds, and manage investment real estate on Plum Island. An avid plantsman, he created a landscaped paradise around his West Newbury home. He built and helped maintain many miles of trails in the Newburys, especially the West Newbury Riverbend and Mill Pond trails, as well as the Newburyport Little River Nature Trail, sawing, weed-whacking and leaf-blowing them clear for pedestrian and equine use. He also served as Scout Master of Boy Scout Troop 26 for a number of years. Alex was a faithful follower of Avatar Meher Baba for 50 years, and was an avid researcher into the lives of many of the Westerners who met Baba in the 1930’s. He enjoyed visits with fellow Baba lovers in Cambridge, at the Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach and visited and supported other Baba sites in America and England. The “Garden of the Beloved” at Beloved Archives in Hamilton, NJ was his creation as well. Spending time visiting Baba’s home and tomb in Meherabad, India in February 2016, was a dream fulfilled. He was devoted to his wife and best friend, Deborah R of West Newbury, and to his children, Alexander “Zander” R, of Denver, CO, and Eliza “Liza” M. of Ashland, OR. He leaves his brothers David and wife Carolyn of Lake Whatcom, WA, Kirby and wife Melinda of Santa Fe, NM, and sister Kris Kapp of Orange County, CA, 6 nieces and nephews and 2 grand-nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Laurence K and Guelda P., and brother Laurence G. Hamilton of Cottonwood Mansion, in Ontario, Canada.

 

William J. Romanos, Jr. ’57

romanosDr. 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 Keeney ’45

keeneyLafayette “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 F. Lyons ’58

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.

William S. Nichols ’54

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.

Remembering members of the Williston Northampton community