Tag Archives: Class of 1959

Roland C. McEldowney ’59


Roland ‘Mac’ McEldowney died at the age of 78 on Sunday, February 3, 2019 surrounded by his family. He loved his family and friends dearly. Many in the Evergreen community will remember Mac for his long-time membership and work with Blue Spruce Kiwanis, his support of the Evergreen Center for the Arts, and his stunning photography of African peoples, animals, and landscapes.

Mac was born in Newton, Massachusetts on November 14, 1940. His love of the natural world led him to a career as an exploration geologist. He began his lifelong adventures in Africa by traveling to Ghana, W. Africa with the 1963 class of the U.S Peace Corps. He spent 2 years mapping ore deposits for the Ghanaian government, drilling the bauxite deposits by hand. Mac summited Mt. Kilimanjaro during his Peace Corps experience and considered that a major life accomplishment. On the way back to the U.S. he met his future wife, Barbara McEldowney, in Paris. Never one to waste time, within a few days he had proposed to Barbara. They spent the next 53 years happily exploring the world and raising a family together.

Mac was an adventurer, an eternal optimist, and risk-taker. Coming back from Africa with his young wife, he started a Master’s thesis working in northern Baja, Mexico. While there he made a discovery of marine fossils, proving that the Baja peninsula was once under the Pacific Ocean and had been uplifted. Mac started several mineral exploration companies, designed and minted coins, built a cabin, re-developed a gold ore deposit outside of Bibiani, Ghana and retired at the age of 55 after being charged by an elephant in Burkino Faso. In retirement Mac reinvented himself and began his second career as a professional photographer. His love of people and the natural world is evident in his subject matter; specializing in images of African tribes, southwestern Native American tribes, African wildlife, and African and western U.S. landscapes.

Mac is survived by his wife Barbara; children Richard (Phoebe), Scott (Lisa), and Katie (Shawn); sister Marcia (Jim); grandchildren Kailien (Sean), Ramsay (Justine), Saylor, Cameron, and Ritter; and a great-granddaughter Skaia. His family and friends will miss him.

A celebration of life for Mac will be held at 1pm on Sunday, February 10th at Wind Crest Retirement Community in the Red Rocks, High Line Overlook building, 2975 Summer Wind Lane, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129.

George B. Benz ’59


Born on January 14, 1940, to George W. and Louise Bremer Benz, in St. Paul, Minnesota, passed away on February 1, 2019 in St. Paul. He was a descendant of the Hamm’s Brewing, the Jacob Schmidt Brewing and Bremer Bank families. George was a graduate of The St. Paul Academy and Summit School in 1958, Williston Academy in 1959, University of Munich and Goethe Institute (Germany) in 1961, Colgate University in 1963, and The University of Minnesota Aeronautical Engineering and Business Law in 1965. George married Karen Bassett of Mora, MN in September, 1972. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Josephine Benz Carpenter. George is survived by his sons, George and Theodore (Derek); daughters-in-law Stephanie and Elizabeth and 2 grandchildren, Theodore (Finn) and Hendry as well as a sister, Louise Benz Plank of Buffalo, WY. George was the Chairman of the Board of American National Bank and Trust and Co-Chairman and CEO of American Bancorporation, Director of Commercial State Bank, Lake City State Bank, and American Bank and Trust of Moorhead. He was also CEO of George Benz and Sons and Owner of Oak Grove Dairy, and President and Director Jacob Schmidt Company. Along with his professional career, he cared deeply for many local associations serving as Vice President and Director Indianhead Council- Boy Scouts of America, Vice President and Director Minnesota Club, Vice President and Director Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, Trustee Children’s Hospital of St. Paul, Treasurer and Director Ramsey County Lung association, Treasurer and Director Minnesota Society for Crippled Children and Adults, Trustee of the Courage Center Foundation, Director Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest, Director Optimist Club of St. Paul, and Founding Financial Advisor Mounds Park Academy. He also served on the boards of the United Arts Fund, the United Way Fund, Norwesco, Horton Manufacturing, Bellanca Aircraft Corporation, Quintero, White Bear Yacht Club, and Desert Mountain golf clubs. George’s love of flying began at age sixteen when he earned his single engine pilot’s license. While attending Colgate he furthered his flying dreams by attaining his Commercial, Certified Flight instructor, air land and sea, multi engine and instrument ratings. He was Vice President and Director of Aqua Float Corporation, Vice President and Director of the Cessna dealership, Wings Inc. and then worked his way up to Vice President at Cessna Aircraft Company where he met the love of his life and co-pilot, Karen. Together they dedicated their lives to various philanthropic endeavors and traveled the seven continents. He shared his love of golf, winning the White Bear Yacht Club Invitational Championship as well as a Mr. and Mrs. Championship; his love of skiing by producing the film “Alta Man”; sailing, hunting, boating, fishing and hockey with his family. Mass of Christian Burial will be on April 26, 2019 at 11:00 a.m., at St. Mary of the Lake, White Bear Lake, MN. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in memoriam to Children’s Hospital Neuroscience Center of Minnesota.

William L. Olds, Jr. ’59

William Lee Olds Jr., a fourth generation San Franciscan who was a long-time resident of San Francisco died peacefully, July 25, 2018 at the age of 77. William attended Williston Academy before graduating from University of San Francisco.
He is survived by his three children, William Lee Olds III, Helene Hanneken, and Michelle Sauger as well as his son in-law James Sauger, eight grandchildren and his sister Jane Olds Bogart.
He was the President of the William G. Irwin Charity Foundation, a founding Board member of University High School, long time Board member of the San Francisco Humane Society and sat on numerous other non-profit boards. William was also a member of The Olympic Club for 58 years and The Bohemian Club for 48 years, where he was very active in their productions.
He was old school, regal, and selfless in his generosity; never expecting anything in return. William literally lived by the phrase “belt and suspenders,” which is commonly used in finance to describe cautious bankers, or for having redundant safety procedures in place to eliminate risk.
He was prepared, systematic and preserving of the resources he was a steward of, while also known to sport a belt and suspenders in his day to day. He was a voracious reader and a world traveler. He loved to travel on boats and had a passion for the Antarctic after his visit there. He was a true gentleman and will be sorely missed.

William L. Wright ’59

William L. Wright, age 76, of Ogdensburg, NY, passed away with complications from lung cancer on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at Claxton Hepburn Medical Center with his wife by his side.

Bill was born on March 15, 1942 in Ogdensburg, NY, a son of the late Archie & Leona (Prosser) Wright. He graduated from Heuvelton Central School in 1960, and later enlisted in the US Army from 1964 – 1966 as a paratrooper medic, serving with the 173rd Airborne Brigade. After receiving his honorable discharge, Bill earned his RN at Canton College and worked in geriatrics at veterans’ hospitals. He also worked at United Helpers Nursing Home as a nurse for a few years. In 1973 he attended the NYS Ranger School in Wanakena NY, graduating in the Class of 1974. After working for Finch Pruyn Paper Company as a logging supervisor, he returned to Ogdensburg. He found his life’s work at Mater Dei College in Ogdensburg, where he earned a degree in alcohol treatment. In 1986 he began his career at the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center Alcohol Treatment Center where he worked until his retirement in 1997.

Bill was a member of Friends of The Ogdensburg Public Library, the Society of American Foresters, the National Rifle Association, the American Chestnut Foundation and the Planetary Society. He enjoyed being in the woods, hunting, reading, gardening and being with friends & family.

Surviving is his wife Karen; two sons Noah Wright of Lake Hill, N.Y. and Thomas Wright of Boulder, CO; daughter Ellen Wright & her fiancée Joshua Baublitz of Henrietta, N.Y.; brother Timothy Wright of Ogdensburg; mother-in-law Dorothy Lauber of Heuvelton and brother-in-law Brian Lauber & his wife Cheryl of Virginia, along with many cousins.

A sister Dr. Nanette Gordon, sister-in-law Bonnie Wright, and brother-in-law Robert Lauber predeceased him.

 

William E. Gwatkin ’59

William “Bill” Gwatkin, 76, died Sunday, April 2, 2017 at Orlando Regional Medical Center. Bill was born in New Haven, Connecticut. He and his wife Nancy have been “snowbirds” between Cape Cod and Titusville and traveled the country visiting family and friends for over 20 years. Bill owned a Food Distributorship in Cape Cod. He was an avid golfer and loved traveling in his RV.

Bill is survived by his wife Nancy; his children Kristen Reed and her husband Ed of Colorado Springs, CO; Wesley Gwatkin of Massachusetts; David Gwatkin and his wife Betty Ann of Vermont; his grandchildren Emma, Tyler and Cambell; and his stepsons Jon and Greg Whyman.

 

John J. Schumacher ’59

Schumacher

John J. Schumacher, 76 years old, of Chatham, MA and Naples FL, died on Tuesday, December 27, 2016 at Cape Cod Hospital after suffering a heart attack at his home.

Born in Boston, the 2nd son of August and Mary Schumacher, John was the beloved husband of Judith Blake Schumacher for 49 years. John was also the devoted father of Michael and his wife Gayle of Sherborn, Jennifer Harper and her husband Mitch of Pembroke and David and his wife Susan of Duxbury. Dear brother of August Schumacher of Washington, DC, Ellen Schadegg of Hancock, NH and Mary Megson of Arlington, MA. Above all else, he was the adored Grandfather of Weston and Riley Schumacher, Travis and Tessa Harper and Abigail, Meghan and Dylan Schumacher.

John graduated from Cornell University in 1963. In 1967, John married Judy and founded his second love: Landscaping By Schumacher, Inc., which he owned and operated for over 30 years. During that time, Landscaping By Schumacher became New England’s largest commercial landscape firm, winning a number of both national and local awards; two of these awards landing John at the White House for presentations by First Lady Rosyln Carter and First Lady Barbara Bush.

John was also a successful fourth generation farmer, purchasing historic Lookout Farm in South Natick in 1978, and working with the Commissioner of Food and Agriculture to organize one of the early Massachusetts Agricultural Preservation Rights development restrictions with the purchase.

In his retirement, John divided his time between Chatham and Naples. He loved real estate and golf, but more than anything loved spending time with Judy on their front porch in Chatham, surrounded by his children and grandchildren, whom he adored.

Gilbert Knier ’59

Knier, Gil '59Gil Knier, 75, of Signal Mountain, Tennessee, died on Monday, May 2, 2016.

Gil was a member of First Presbyterian Church and was involved with many other churches and Ministries, especially the Men’s Ministry Network. He served his country in the United States Air Force from 1963-1984 including service in the Viet Nam War.

Gil was preceded in death by his wife, Norma Knier.

Gil is survived by his daughters, Stephanie (Earl, Jr.) Smith of Enid, Ok., Melanie Knier of Gatlinburg, and Katrina (Francis, Jr.) Maughan of Enid, Ok.; son, Steven (Kathryn) Johnson, of Lancaster, Pa.; two step-sons, Thad ( Janice) Narramore of Soddy Daisy, and Phillip (Christy) Narramore, of Signal Mountain; one sister, Melinda Wallis, of Kirkland, Wa., and one brother, Frederick (Paula) Knier, of Vero Beach, Fl.; several grandchildren, great-grandchildren and many Wallis cousins.

Interment will be at a later date in Chattanooga National Cemetery.

Linda A. DeBarbieri ’59

Linda A. DeBarbieriLinda A. DeBarbieri, 74, of Easthampton, passed away suddenly Monday, April 25, 2016, at her home in Easthampton.

She was born March 10, 1942, in Holyoke, daughter of the late Edward and Sophie (Ezyk) DeBarbieri. She was educated in Northampton schools and was a graduate of the Northampton School for Girls, and Baypath College in Springfield.

Linda was a lifelong communicant of the former Immaculate Conception Church now the Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Easthampton.

Linda leaves her beloved sister Mary Ellen Kozuch of Huntsville, Alabama; her nephew Joseph Kozuch and his wife Jennifer of Huntsville, Alabama; two grandnephews; and a grandniece.