Tag Archives: Northampton School for Girls

Elizabeth Lamoureux Gagnon ’54

Elizabeth A. “Betty” Lamoureux Gagnon passed away Monday, September 24, 2018,  surrounded by her family and her loving husband and partner of 62 years Francis J. Gagnon Jr. at Baystate Medical Center. She is predeceased by her parents, Mary and Clarence Lamaourex, a brother, Donald P. Lamoureux, and her son-in law, Michael P. Linnell ’73.

Elizabeth was born in Sturbridge, Massachusetts in 1936 and attended Northampton School for Girls (Williston Northampton) in Northampton. Elizabeth worked for Pepin School for 23 years as the cafeteria supervisor. She loved working with all of the children and during her summer vacation, she worked in the family marina business in Connecticut and Florida with her husband and their three sons. She loved being on boats, traveling and spending the day on the Long Island Sound with her family.

Anyone who knew Elizabeth or came in contact with her was immediately engaged in conversation. Elizabeth had an insatiable love of life and people and cherished her friends. She loved her Irish heritage and on her 50th anniversary she and her husband Francis traveled throughout the emerald island.

Elizabeth leaves her loving husband, Francis J. Gagnon Jr., 87, of Easthampton, her four children, Brenda Linnell of Westhampton, MA, Steven and Lisa Gagnon of Los Angeles, California, James and Lorna Gagnon of Easthampton, and William Gagnon and Cesar Melo of Douglass, MA. In addition to her children, she leaves seven grandchildren, Jennifer and Joe Selfrank, Matthew and Amy Linnell, Megan and Matt Still, Joe and Alysha Linnell, James Gagnon, Chloe Gagnon and Sean Gagnon, and six great grandchildren, Audrey, Lillian, Zachery, Ethan, Ashley and Lincoln.

Elizabeth lived in Easthampton for 63 years with her loving husband Francis in their family home. She will be dearly missed by her family and friends. A private memorial service will be held for the immediate family and friends at the Graham Funeral Home, 18 Adams St., Easthampton, who have honorably and proudly been entrusted with providing for Betty’s care and services.

In lieu of Flowers memorial donations may be made to the Easthampton School Department, C/O PTO, Payson Avenue, Easthampton, MA 01027.

Priscilla Parsons Finck ’43

 

Priscilla Parsons Finck, 92, died September 22, 2018 at Linda Manor Assisted Living in Leeds, MA. She was the daughter of the late Earle M. Parsons and Marguerite (Proctor) Parsons.

Born in 1926 in Northampton she was the 10th generational descendant of Cornett Joseph Parsons founder of Northampton. She attended local schools and graduated from Northampton School for Girls and Mt. Holyoke College.
Priscilla was a teacher at Leeds School after her children grew up. She is the wife of Richard W. Finck formerly of Florence. They had celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary this past June.

Survived by her husband Richard; sons Douglas and his wife Cherry, Roger and his wife JoAnne; daughter Marjorie and her husband John; four grandchildren and three great grandchildren. There will be no calling hours. A Memorial Service will be held at a later date. Czelusniak Funeral Home is in charge.

Harriet S. Heller ’54

Harriet Stone “Hatsy” Heller passed away at the age of 81 at the home of her sister, Mary Heller Smith, on Wednesday, August 22, 2018, in Elmira, NY. She was born in Elmira on October 8, 1936, the middle child of Mary Annetta Trimble and Richard Stone Heller. Harriet graduated from Northampton School for Girls in 1954, and completed her education with a BA from Elmira College in 1958. She was a longtime member of Park Church, the Junior League of Elmira, and a current Board Member and Secretary of the Friends of Woodlawn Cemetery, and Elmira College Club. Always loving sports, she worked many hours for youth tennis in Elmira. Her professional life included Director of Alumni Affairs at Elmira College, Assistant Director of Annual Giving at SUNY Brockport and Event Coordinator for E Entertainment in Hartford, CT. She is survived by her son James Richard Sophia and daughter-in-law Melanie Moran Sophia of Shaker Heights, OH; her daughter Elizabeth Stone Sophia of Marietta, GA, and predeceased by her infant son, David Heller Sophia. She leaves her grandchildren, James Trimble Sophia, Julia Stone Sophia, Michael Louis McClellan III and Sophie Caroline McClellan; her sisters and brother-in-law, Mary Annetta Trimble Heller Smith  (’52) of Elmira and Janet Whyte Heller Howell (’56) and Fred Ellwyn Howell of Amesbury, MA; along with several nieces and nephews. Those of us who loved Hatsy knew she had her first cancer operation when she was 19 years old and had 63 years, most of her lifetime, living under the menacing shadow of this illness. Despite this, Hatsy always liked to have fun, to be out and about wherever she was. Always an excellent correspondent, she kept in touch with close friends and family from all segments of her communities throughout her entire life. She was curious, energetic, generous, and sensitive to the needs of others, always did her part and was a good and thoughtful friend to many. These stellar qualities held her in good stead at the end of her life as many came to help her, to care for her, to love her through the end days.

Nancy Traill Soderberg ’40

Nancy Soderberg, whose life was characterized by her devotion to her family; her commitment to service, especially to public libraries and to the Girl Scouts; and her enthusiasm for outdoor endeavors, particularly swimming, sailing, and picnicking, died on June 23, 2018 in Camden, Maine. She was 96 and had recently moved from her Camden home to the memory care unit at Quarry Hill, where she died. Nancy Traill Soderberg was born on March 16, 1922, to Mabel White Traill and Frederick Balcolm Traill in Spencer, Massachusetts, where she grew up and graduated from David Prouty High School. After a gap year at the Northampton School for Girls, she attended Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, graduating in 1944. She worked for two years at the Harvard Medical School and then joined the American Red Cross, serving that organization on the island of Okinawa (now part of Japan), South Korea and outside of Hartford, Connecticut. In 1950 she married Carl Richard (Dick) Soderberg, Jr., with whom she had five children. Her husband’s work took the family to many places, including, chronologically, Lincoln, Massachusetts; Old Greenwich, Connecticut; Houston, Texas; New Canaan, Connecticut; Lake Forest, Illinois; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Concord, Massachusetts; and Sao Paulo, Brazil. With every move, Nancy, well served by her unfailingly positive spirit and keen managerial and organizational skills, energetically established the family, connected with the community, became an active member of the local Episcopal Church, and supported the Soderberg family’s love of sailing, on oceans and lakes across the Americas. When living in Minneapolis, Nancy, always eager to learn, earned a master’s degree in children’s literature at the University of Minnesota, which informed her future involvement with libraries and bookstores (and with her grandchildren). Drawn to Maine by the opportunity for great sailing in a beautiful seaside location as well as proximity to family, they moved from Brazil to South Brooksville, Maine when Dick retired in 1988, and to Camden in 2003. In both places Nancy relished welcoming her children and their families to yet another community she called home. Her survivors include her husband of 68 years as well as their five children: Lisa Soderberg (Richard Brown) of Doylestown, Pennsylvania; Carl R. Soderberg of Simsbury, Connecticut; Leif G. Soderberg (Jill) of Lake Forest, Illinois; Inga Soderberg-King (Jeff) of Gloucester, Massachusetts; Erik T. Soderberg of Bedford, New York. Ten grandchildren and one great granddaughter also survive her. She was predeceased by her brother Frederick Balcolm Traill. The family is grateful to the cadre of loving caregivers who attended Nancy in her final years.

Susan Reeves Whalen ’60

Susan Reeves Whalen passed away Monday, August 13, 2018 at her home in Arlington, MA after a long illness. Daughter of Helen Manley Reeves and Dr. Edgar Earl Reeves, she was born May 14, 1942 at the House of Mercy in Pittsfield.

She was a graduate of the Northampton School for Girls and majored in social work at Simmons College in Boston. She nurtured a lifelong passion for caring for the disadvantaged, serving as an outspoken advocate, both professionally and personally, for the rights of children with special needs. Among the many causes and accomplishments of her life, Susan founded and directed the Conway, NH School for People with Special Needs as well as the Conway Regional Day Camp, and she was appointed to the first Board of Directors for Hospice of Berkshire County. She contributed as an editor to the Compassionate Friends Newsletter, a nonprofit organization for the bereaved, and was a recipient of the “Foster Parent of the Year” by Specialized Home Care. She volunteered at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Baystate Medical Center, where she learned to care for medically compromised infants. In the course of her work and in raising the family that meant so much to her, Susan’s life touched many people, and her deep commitment to be ever mindful of the needs of others will endure as a legacy to those who knew and loved her.

Susan was the beloved wife of the late Kearons J. Whalen, III, whom she married in Pittsfield in 1973. They lovingly raised twelve children on Snow Goose Farm in Lanesborough, where she instilled in her family a love and respect for nature and the care of animals. Later in life, she was rarely seen without the companionship of her pets, especially her devoted dog Maggie. An avid reader and writer, she contributed articles to the Berkshire Eagle Sampler and was the author of a novel, Murder on Houseboat Row, inspired by her second home of Key West, where she was active in the arts and marine conservation.

She is survived by eleven children – Geoffrey (Hilary) of Wayne, PA; Eliza (Marco) and Richard, both of Holyoke, MA; Joshua (Leann) of Ballston Lake, NY; Rachel of Oakland, CA; Oliver (Ellen) of Houston, TX; Kearons (Barrie) of Arlington, MA; Reeves (Jenni) of Castle Rock, CO; Jessie of Pittsfield, MA; Ben, and Prudence, both of Arlington, MA. She was predeceased by a son, Joseph, and her sister Marsha Reeves Snyder of Pittsfield, MA. She leaves two sisters, Sally Reeves Edmonds of Cambridge, MA and Robin Reeves Colt (’57) (Sam) of Walnut Creek, CA, as well as fourteen grandchildren.

Elisabeth Ward Gilroy ’46

Elisabeth Ward Gilroy of Marco Island, Florida, and Bedford, New Hampshire passed away at her home in Bedford on July 31, 2018, after a lengthy illness. She was born in Brooklyn, New York on October 14, 1929, the daughter of Henry C. Ward and Marion (Nicholson) Ward. She attended the Northampton School for Girls and graduated from Wellesley College, class of 1950. She married Gordon, her husband of 65 years, in 1953. Gordon and Liz originally lived in New York and moved to New Hampshire in 1976. She was devoted to her friends and family, raising three children. Liz participated in many volunteer roles. She served as president of the Wellesley Club of Naples for many years. She was an avid bridge player and a devoted crossword fanatic. She was famous in the family for completing the New York Times Sunday puzzle in ink in less than an hour. She was predeceased by two children, Gordon “Chip” Gilroy and Elisabeth van Duren. She is survived by her husband, Gordon C. Gilroy, her son Scott N. Gilroy and nine grandchildren and two granddaughters-in-law.

Pamela Arnold Meadows ’63

Pamela Meadows of Amherst, MA, passed away on July 28, 2018, at the age of 72, surrounded by her loving family, after a brave battle with Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia.
She was truly loving to all: daughter of the former Dr. Gordon Arnold and registered nurse Florence Arnold; the passionate and devoted wife to Craig Meadows; the nurturing and attentive mother of Sarah Morton of Amherst, Willow Love of Long Beach, California, Gordon Meadows of Northampton and Lily Meadows of Amherst; grammie to Nikki Love, Casey Morton, Cole Morton, Jaxon Love, Jack Driscoll and Finn Driscoll; sister of Bruce Arnold (deceased), Mark Arnold of Worthington, Marcia Arnold of Orting, Washington, and Bonnie Arnold Vossbrink of Killingworth, Connecticut; as well as mother-in-law to Alan Love and Jay Driscoll; and dear friend to many more.
Pam was a master gardener who loved her flowers, crocheting, baking with her kids and grandkids, the ocean, and the sunshine. Though she has now passed on, she will live forever in our hearts and in those she touched, in the beautiful flowers and sweet smells of summer, the soft whisper and gentle touch of the ocean breeze and the loving embrace of the sun’s joyful warmth.
She was born on Feb. 10, 1946, in New York City, and grew up in Northampton, where she attended Bridge Street School, the Northampton Junior High School and Northampton School for Girls. She earned a Bachelor of Science in health education and a Master of Education with a concentration in counseling from the University of Massachusetts. Pam devoted her life to helping others as a teacher and a counselor. She worked at UMass in the Peer Sexuality Program, Planned Parenthood and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, where she helped women and their children to develop self-confidence and find safety from abusive relationships. Most recently, she worked as a teaching assistant at Crocker Farm preschool, where her work will live on in the lives of the children whom she loved so dearly.

Pauline (Polly) Eskenasy McGilvra ’65

Pauline (Polly) Eskenasy McGilvra, 70, died June 21, 2018.

Born in Holyoke, MA, Polly was a proud graduate of the Northampton School for Girls and Harvard University. She earned her Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Culture from Harvard and was a dedicated scholar, educator, and life coach. She taught at Blue Ridge Community College in Hendersonville, NC, for many years, and became a pastoral counselor in Hendersonville and in Atlanta.

Polly’s productive life was interrupted by early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. She retained her sweet personality, good humor, and love of family and chocolate throughout her debilitating illness.

She leaves her son Jonathan McGilvra and his wife Heather, granddaughter Alaina of Apex, NC, her mother Edith Eskenasy, sister, Diane, and her husband, Tim Aldrich, all of Hendersonville, NC, and many loving cousins and friends.

She was predeceased by her father Isaac Eskenasy, maternal grandparents, Jacob and Adeline Barowsky, and paternal grandparents Max and Pauline Eskenasy.

A memorial service will be held at Agudas Israel Congregation in Hendersonville, NC at 2 p.m. on October 12, 2018.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Southern Poverty Law Center, 400 Washington Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36104 (splcenter.org), to MANNA FoodBank, 627 Swannanoa River Road, Asheville, NC 28805 (mannafoodbank.org) or to a charity of your choice.

A note from Polly’s sister, Diane Eskenasy Aldrich ’70

Polly loved NSFG and WNS and would have participated in every event and reunion had she been able. She loved her classmates and teachers, and spoke of them often throughout the years (especially Mrs. Cantarella). We cheerily sang the first part of the NSFG alma mater together many, many times as that was so important and deeply ingrained in her memory. Her obituary suggests memorial contributions to other organizations, but the family would,  of course, be thrilled and honored if anyone wished to make a donation to Williston Northampton School in her memory.

Martha Peck Burgess ’48

Martha (Mardy) Burgess, age 86, of Annapolis, MD, passed away peacefully at home on Thursday, May 10, 2018, surrounded by family and loved ones.

Mardy was born May 24,1931 to George Francis Peck and Edith Gertrude Peck in Scranton, PA. She married Newton A. Burgess in 1952, and from that union she was blessed with her beloved children Cynthia and Kenneth.

Dr. Burgess received her PhD and Masters degrees in Education from the Union Institute in 1993 and BA from Middlebury College in 1952.

In 1976 she met Albert Brown, the love of her life. Initially, they resided in Bethesda, MD, and then moved to Baywoods of Annapolis. They shared many interests and traveled extensively throughout their lives together.

She used her interests in the environment, conflict resolution, science, and spirituality to make the world a better place. She was a dynamic member of Annapolis Friends Meeting and an active member of her Baywoods community.

Mardy is survived by her devoted life partner Albert Brown, her daughter Cynthia Cosbey (Steve); son Kenneth Burgess, stepsons Geoffrey Brown (Patria) and Michael Brown, six grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Sarah Sessions Chapin ’49

Sarah Sessions Chapin, born in Massachusetts in 1931, who lived most of her life in Concord, died peacefully on December 6th, 2017. She was raised on the family farm in Hadley, Mass. and earned a B.A. from Smith College and later in life an M.Ed. from Harvard. Sarah was a music teacher, educator and the author of several books, which include a history of Concord. Sarah had many pursuits and interests including art, botany, social work, support and work at the Concord Library. She leaves a son, grandson, sister, niece, many cousins, and dear friends. Her wit, humor and fierce spirit will be greatly missed.