Tag Archives: Class of 1947

John F. Dignam ’47

John F. Dignam of Ossining, New York, passed away Nov. 6, 2017, at the beautiful age of 92 with his family by his side.
John was born in Easthampton in 1925 to Vincent and Kunigunde (Kessler) Dignam. He attended Easthampton schools through to high school and attended a postgraduate year of school at the Williston Academy, where he was a star athlete. John left Easthampton and attended the Massachusetts School of Art in Boston.
After serving our nation in the Air Force, John played for the St. Louis Cardinals minor league baseball team for a time before moving to New York. He worked many years as a vice president of the J. Walter Thompson Advertising Agency in New York City. John was a very gifted artist and was very successful with his own artwork and showings. He enjoyed drawing and painting portraits of everyday people and gave many a waiter and waitress their own portrait on the restaurant napkins.
John is survived by his loving wife, Marion (Rhinehart), and his sons Justin (Christine) of California and Peter (Lauren) of Colorado. He will be greatly missed by his grandchildren, Taylor, Chandler, Jack, Cole and Sam, and his sister, Carolyn M. Croake of Easthampton. He also leaves five nieces and nephews and three stepdaughters and their families.
John was predeceased by his brother, Arthur Dignam of Easthampton.

Caroline Thrun Adams ’47

“Chuggie,” Caroline Reed Thrun Adams, left our world to enter heaven on her beloved dancing partner’s arm on July 4, 2017, surrounded by her family and extended family. We weren’t ready for this but the Lord had other plans for Mom and we are so grateful that she didn’t suffer and is home with Jesus.
Chuggie was born on October 8, 1929 in Valparaiso, IN to Dr. Walter and Mrs. Bess (nee Russell) Thrun, on the day the stock market crashed- certainly an auspicious day to be born. She was a precocious, creative and entertaining child who seemed to start out bigger than life! She married the love of her life, Chuck-Charles William Adams, on April 14, 1950 in Tempe, AZ. They moved back home to Valpo in 1951 to join the family business of the turkey farm and Strongbow. Becoming an incredibly accomplished and inspirational businesswoman became her lifelong work. She and Chuck were an incredible team in the restaurant business. Upon purchasing Strongbow from Bess in 1968, they added the bar and banquet room. She went on to build an incomparable party business, setting a standard of excellence in banquets, parties and weddings, copied by many, equaled by none. She was happiest being at the “front of the house” running the show! She described service and serving as the highest calling and one to be “performed” as if on the Broadway stage-and you better be “walking with purpose!” Make no mistake, she was in charge– her vision and her way. Generations of servers were mentored by Chuggie and fondly remember her trainings and life lessons. She was loved and revered by so many and kept in touch with them throughout their lives. The only regret of her life was retiring. She told everyone she saw to keep working as long as they could, preferably forever! She said “do what makes you happy-if it doesn’t make you happy, do something else!” She felt incredibly blessed to have been able to do the work she absolutely loved. In 2011, she published “Dinner at Chuggies” memoir and cookbook. One of her proudest moments was the book-signing held at Strongbow.
Chuggie and Chuck didn’t have a lot of free time throughout their early years and they had one magnificent hobby they could do together-ballroom dancing! Every Tuesday they went to Gary, IN to the Arthur Murray studio for dance lessons. Not only did they teach other young couples in their home, they competed! When they went out onto the dance floor everyone else took to the edges to watch! They loved performing, giggling all the way through it. They loved all kinds of music, especially the Big Bands. She was beautiful and wanted to please everyone. Chuggie had a passion for everything she ever did, whether it was raising the kids, tending the pool, throwing New Year’s Eve parties, coffee-clutching with her friends, gardening, or running the dining room at Strongbow. Her relationships and deep friendships lasted her entire life, starting with her friend Winnie of 87 years, literally from the crib on, to her lifelong friends of 63 years in Valpo. She still wrote letters to everyone even though you couldn’t read her handwriting!
She had a deep love of music and always thought she would grow up to be a singing performer on stage. That was not to be her path but she her love of music encouraged and inspired us to be a very musical family, playing and singing together. She played the piano her entire life, as well as violin and bass. She still played and sang to Chuck in his last days.
Chuggie and Chuck enjoyed many beautiful trips around the globe, usually with Mary and Don Lewis; they also took each of their grandchild on a 10-year old trip. Chuggie loved being on the water on any kind of boat. Many people are familiar with the iconic photo of Chuggie on Don and Mary’s sailboat on Lake Michigan. She and Chuck enjoyed over 30 years spending their winters on Sanibel Island, FL.  Chuggie loved walking the beach at sunrise, collecting shells, watching the birds and dressing up for happy hour at the beach! She could host a party like no other and hated to leave a party!
On the homefront, no one loved like Chuggie. Family was everything, and if you were loved by Chuggie you knew you were loved unconditionally. She always listened, she always accepted, and took immense joy in whoever was talking. She shared whatever she had, gave until there was nothing left, relished the company of friends, and never turned anyone away.
Chuggie made education and lifelong learning a core value in our family. For 22 summers, Chuggie and Chuck gave their grandchildren the opportunity to attend Culver Academies Summer Camp. She was so proud of each child. She loved the littles, but she truly enjoyed her kids as adults. She loved drinking a bourbon with her grandkids, and never tired of hearing about their lives. Sometimes when she just couldn’t help herself something inappropriate might slip out and she’d just excuse it all by saying “Cancel that!” It’s hard to remember all of the Chuggie-isms because they were jaw-dropping hilarious! “If you’ve got something to put something in, somebody’s gonna want to put something in it!”
Chuggie spent the last three weeks of her life visiting her sister Mary in MS. We are so grateful that they had that special time together. On the day of her passing, Chuggie was looking forward to spending time on her beautiful summer porch, reconnecting with local friends, going to Martha’s Vineyard with Shellie later this month, planning for granddaughter Haley’s wedding in September in the backyard, and adding another little one to her list of loved ones. Our hearts are broken to say good-bye to her but we know she’s reunited with Chuck. “The problem is, we think we have time.”
Chuggie is survived by her four children: Shellie (Brian) Holmes, Rhinelander, WI; Char (Kevin) McGuire, Rochester Hills, Ml; Russ (Nancy) Adams, Valparaiso; Holly (Rocco) Abessinio, Grosse Point Woods, Ml. Thirteen grandchildren: Josh (Sarah) Mangerson, Jesse (Carissa) Mangerson, Jake (Polly) Mangerson, James (Ali) Mangerson; Jocelyn (Dion) Garrett, Jenny Rose (Greg) Denny, Joy (Jason) Bertram; Ashley, Courtney (John) and Matthew Adams; Austin, Haley (fiance John Doherty) and Emma Abessinio. Great­grandchildren Abigail, Ella, Ryder, Quinn, Lily, Ginny, Lucy Mangerson; Elliana, Aria and Corbin Garrett; Silas Denny; Samantha Bertram; and one little Mangerson bun in the oven. She is further survived by her sister Mary Helen Lewis of Jackson, MS; special niece and nephew Karen and RJ Reed to whom we will be forever grateful and many beloved nieces, nephews and extended family. She was preceded in death by her parents Bess and Dr. Walter Thrun; her beloved husband of 66 years, Chuck Adams; brother-in­laws Larry Adams and Don Lewis.
She was and always will be “The Queen of Everything,” She was the magnet that everyone gravitated to. There will never be another like her and she will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.

Paul V. Gabel ’47

Mr. Paul Voigt Gabel died Wednesday, May 4, 2016 in Tyler, TX, at the age of 87. He was born Monday, March 11, 1929 in Syracuse, NY.
He was an entrepreneur and a member of the N.E.T.A.S.A. American Indian Horse Trail Riding Club. He was 46 years clean and sober in the fellowship of A.A. and a member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity.
Survivors include his wife, Dorene Gabel of Quitman; goddaughter, Nichole Chiarappa of Ft. Lauderdale; children, Paul Gabel, Jr. of Florida, Mark Gabel of Florida, Haley Gabel Bitterman of New Orleans, Jon Paul Gabel of Long Island, NY, Christopher Gabel of Hartsdale, NY and Jennifer Gabel of Wilmington, NC and five grandchildren.

Edward S. Duncan ’47

Edward “Ted” Duncan, 88, husband of Ann (Kennedy) Duncan, of New Britain, passed away Saturday (September 2, 2017) at Jerome Home in New Britain, CT. A lifelong New Britain resident, he was born on June 13, 1929, the son of the late A. Stanley Duncan and Catherine W. Duncan. Edward attended New Britain schools and then graduated High School from Williston Academy. He then went on to become a graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. After graduation from college he joined the U.S. Navy in 1952. Accepted in the “S” class of Officers Candidate School at Newport R.I., upon graduation commissioned as an Ensign, and received orders to report to the USS Hailey, a destroyer based in Newport. During his three years aboard the Hailey the ship made a 7 month “around the world cruise” leaving Newport September of 1952 , returning in April 1953 that included three month duty in Korean waters during the Korean war. After being discharged from the Navy in 1955, he married his love, Ann Kennedy in 1956. Edward was employed by Tectonic Industries in Berlin CT for 27 years, retiring as VP of Sales in 1996. A very active member in the church life at the First Church of Christ in New Britain, he served as a deacon, chairman of the Visitation Ministry and as a member of the church council. After retirement he volunteered at the Hospital for Special Care, in New Britain, with the Equipment Exchange Program. He enjoyed playing golf and being with his friends on the golf course. Edward was a member of the Shuttle Meadow Country Club and the Connecticut State Seniors Golf Association. Besides his beloved wife of 61 years, Ann, he is survived by a son Michael Duncan and his wife AnneMarie of Kensington; a daughter Carolyn Anderson and her husband Stephen of Killingworth; four granddaughters, Sarah Duncan and her fiancé Joel Park of New York City, Alison Duncan of New York City, as well as Elizabeth Anderson and Cailey Anderson both of Killingworth; and two nephews William and Chris Lumm. He was predeceased by his sister, Grace Lumm and brother-in-law, Charles Lumm. Ted’s family expresses sincere thanks to all the staff at Jerome Home for their loving care shown during the past year.

Anne Reuther Harris ’47

harrisAnne Reuther Harris, 88, of Rowayton, CT and New York City died at home on February 2, 2017. Born in Buffalo, NY to Bernard Oscar Reuther and Edna Steele Reuther and graduated from Smith College. Active supporter of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, former Co-Chair of the Winter Antiques Show benefiting the East Side House Settlement and former President of the Colony Club. She was predeceased by her husband of 57 years, James Hoban Harris, and is survived by her three sons, Duncan (Beth), Gordon and Andrew (Christine) and grandchildren Jennifer, Amanda, Andrew, Christopher, Katherine and Michael.

Charlotte Heavens Bruins ’47

bruins

Charlotte Heavens Bruins, of Port Saint Lucie, FL, passed away November 9, 2016. Charlotte served on the Board of Trustees from 1980 to 1985 and was a member of the Alumni Council. She was a tireless advocate for keeping the legacy of Northampton School for Girls alive within Williston Northampton culture. Her daughters, Amy Bruins and Faith Bruins ’81, and her son John Bruins ’80, and their families, as well as her brother R. Bardwell Heavens ’51, survive her.

Dr. John G. Daley ’47

daleyJohn G. “Jack” Daley, MD, passed away Sunday, March 29, 2015 in Georgia.

From 1977 to 1993 he served as Assistant Director of the UNC OB/GYN residency program affiliated with New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

He was born in Easthampton, Massachusetts in 1926 into a working class family. He used his GI Bill from service as an Army clerk at the end of World War II to become the first in his family to attend college. He continued to Yale Medical School, graduating in 1955, and completed his residency at Yale Hospital in 1960. Before coming to Wilmington, he served 22 years active duty in the U.S. Air Force.

In 2007 he lost his beloved wife Pat and son Stephen, and moved to Alpharetta, Georgia to be close to remaining family. He is survived by his son John, daughter-in-law Marta, grandchildren Kevin and Laura, of Milton Georgia, and sister Mary Pat Daley of Kennebunk, Maine.

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.

Continue reading

John F. Murphy, Jr. ’47

MurphyJohn F. Murphy, Jr., 87, of Milton, formerly of Northampton, died Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, at the Colonial Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Weymouth.

Born March 16, 1927, in Northampton, he was the son of the late John Francis Murphy and Margaret Mary (Hayes) Murphy. He graduated from Northampton High School in 1945 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy the same year. He was honorably discharged as a Seaman First Class and received the World War II Victory, American Area and Asiatic Pacific Area medals. He attended Williston Academy and St. Michael’s College from 1947 to 1949. He graduated from Boston College Law School in 1952.

Continue reading