Tag Archives: Class of 1956

Amos K. Hobby ’56


The following is a personal reflection from Dr. Michael B. Conant ’56 on the passing of his Williston roommate and close friend of over 60 years,  Amos K. Hobby, Jr., PhD.

Dr. Amos K. Hobby, Jr. died on August 18, 2016, just four days after his birthday. Both of us became psychologists in private practice, lived near each other, and had very close ties. His girlfriend told me that a day before his death, she started to read to him from The New Age book. Amos stated, “I don’t want anyone cramming that stuff down my throat.” She said to me, “That was Amos.” Absolutely. I’ll miss him a great deal.

Robert L. Secundy ’56

Robert Lewis Secundy passed away September 6, 2016. He was born on June 20, 1938 in Brooklyn, New York. He was the son of Lillian May Jorgensen Secundy Lynch and Benjamin Secundy. He attended Williston Academy in Easthampton Massachusetts. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Magna Cum Laude with a degree in electrical engineering, 1959 and received an MBA from The Wharton School in 1961. He was in the national honorary business fraternity Beta Gamma Sigma. In 1967 he moved to Reston, a planned community in Northern Virginia, to raise his two children. In the late 1960s he was one of the founders of the Reston Black Focus, an organization created to promote black culture, lifestyle and participation in Reston. Robert was on the first line for the newly established Reston chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Zeta Upsilon Lambda in 1977. He also served on the Fairfax County Civil Service Commission. Robert began his professional career as a financial analyst for Sun Oil Company. He then served as comptroller Metrotec, Inc. Metrotec was a publication development firm that catered to federal government agencies and was owned by his friend of many years, Jack Nelson. Robert set up the accounting and financial systems of the firm and maintained the records required for federal contract reporting. He also shepherded the firm through each of its arduous biennial federal audits. He was beloved by all the staff for his sense of humor and camaraderie. Later he started his own company, Humanics in Atlanta Georgia, which provided services for Head Start programs for disadvantage children. After that he started his own computer training company. During this time he meet his wife of 29 years Cynthia Barnes. In 1988, Robert joined the American Press Institute (API) as Associate Director for Finance and Administration. He was the first minority member on their executive staff. After 17 years of service, he retired from API in 2005. Robert will forever be remembered for his unequaled dedication and generosity to his family and the way he supported and encouraged loved ones to pursue their dreams. We will cherish the memories of his leadership in the black community, his technical savvy, his playful wit, and passion for tennis. He is survived by his wife Cynthia Barnes, his daughter, Susan Secundy, his son Joel Secundy, his brothers Gerald (m. Donna Boone), Benjamin, Jr. (m. Angela Hayes), and his five grandchildren: Bianca, Lauren, Robert, Lillian, and Oliver and a host of other relatives and friends.

Richard O’Brien ’56

Richard O'brienRichard J. O’Brien, 77, of Northampton, devoted son and uncle, passed peacefully Thursday, April 7, 2016, at the Palmer House, Palmer, with his niece Tara (his god-daughter) and close family and friends by his side.

Son of the late Cornelius and Kathryn (Croke) O’Brien, Richard graduated from Chicopee High School in 1955, then attended Williston Academy for a postgraduate year. He was proudly a College of the Holy Cross Crusader, class of 1960.

A natural educator, he taught social studies in the Chicopee school system upon his graduation. Both his identical twin, William, and Richard were very gifted athletes, as highlighted recently with their induction into the Chicopee High School Hall of Fame. No small feat, Richard was also the starting quarterback as an underclassman for the heyday of College of the Holy Cross Football until a game injury left him permanently on the sidelines.

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Margaret Elizabeth Crooks Burke ’56

crooksMargaret Elizabeth Crooks Burke, passed away on Thursday, May 7, 2015.

Born December 24, 1938. Long time resident of Marblehead. Born to William D.K. Crooks and Helen Martin Crooks both of Marblehead.

Peg, as she was known, attended the Northampton School For Girls in Northampton, Massachusetts and the Brimmer & May School in Newton. She attended college at Marymount in Tarrytown, NY. She was married to Paul Burke of Littles Point Swampscott, for fifty five years who predeceased her in July 2014.

In addition to raising two children, Peg was also very active in charitable fundraising and political pursuits; some to include Boys and Girls Club, Catholic Charities and various political fund raisers throughout the 60’s and 70’s. She was also a member of the Junior Aide Society, the Ace of Clubs, Salem Country Club and Corinthian Yacht Club. Peg enjoyed gardening, flower arranging, cooking, reading, entertaining, her pets, others pets and her grandchildren.

Surviving her are her son and daughter, H. Victoria Burke of Salem and Paul A. Burke of Salem and Palm Beach, Florida; two grandsons, Burke A. Oppenheim and Tucker A. Oppenheim both of Salem, a son in law Jeffrey J. Oppleheim of Hamilton, two sisters in law Betty Burke of MA and Penny Crooks of Florida, numerous nieces and nephews on the Burke and Crooks side the Honorable Joseph L. Tauro Family, Judge Joseph L. Tauro and Anne LeFavour Jones Tauro, Beth Tauro and Christopher M. Tauro all of Marblehead and Joseph L. Tauro, Jr of Florida.

Peter Clapp ’56

ClappPeter Dudley Clapp died at his home on Monday, November 10, 2014, at the age of 78.

Peter was born in Framingham, MA. He graduated from Williston Academy in Easthampton, MA, attended Dennison University in Ohio, Clark University in Worcester, MA and served in the United States Army.

He was President and CEO of Stafford Iron Works in Worcester, MA.

After retiring in 1996, he and his wife, Brenda moved to Marco Island. Peter loved music and had been involved with many choral groups, both in New England and the Marco Island area. He was a former vice-president of the Marco’s Men’s Club, a member of the Marco Island Historical Society, and past member and instructor of the Marco Island Sail and Power Squadron. He was an active member of the Wesley United Methodist Church where he served as a choir member, soloist, and hymn leader.

Peter is survived by his wife, Brenda ( Booth) Clapp; their daughter, Hilary (Derek) Kreitenstein; three grandchildren, Jonathan, Alexandra, and Samantha, as well as his brother Gerald; and sister, Janet (Clapp) Mortenson.

He was preceded in death by his son, Jonathan Welles Clapp.

Thomas Woodmansee Taylor ’56

Thomas Woodmansee Taylor ’56 died June 16, 2012 at the age of 75.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Tallulah, daughters, Mary Branham of Centreville, MD, Ann Jones of Atlanta and
son Thomas Jr. of St. Petersburg ,and 3 grandchildren, Cate and Grace Jones and
Annabelle Branham.

Tom attended the University of Pennsylvania and was graduated with a BA in journalism. His career was in advertising and marketing in New York City, Chapel Hill, NC and St. Petersburg. He was an avid cook and sports enthusiast he played tennis and was frustrated by golf. After retirement, Tom enjoyed travelling.