Tag Archives: Williston Academy

George E. Bria ’34

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George E. Bria died March 18, 2017.  He was 101.

He is survived by his second wife, Arlette Philippous Brauer, son John Bria of Pound Ridge, NY, daughter Judy Storey of Columbia, MD, two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

To read about George’s life and his career as an Associated Press newsman, please visit:

https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2017/03/18/us/ap-us-obit-bria.html

 

 

 

 

Murray S. Silin ’40

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Murray S. Silin, 94, of Acton, MA, formerly of Brookline and Newton, on Sunday, March 5, 2017. For 65 years, the devoted husband of Brenda (Ginsburg) Silin. Loving father of Diane Krasnick and her husband Marty, Joe Silin of Portland, OR, and Amy Silin Freas and her husband, Chris Freas of Seattle, WA. Cherished grandfather of Aaron and Benjamin Krasnick and Toby and Maile Silin Freas. Dear brother of Phyllis Sisson and the late Esther Levenson and Bernice Silin.

Theodore B. Patchen, Jr. ’42

patchenTheodore B. Patchen, Jr., 94, passed away on February 19, 2017. He leaves his wife of 70 years, Connie (Butwell) Patchen; daughters Laine Roundy of Woodbury CT, and Corinne Martin of Peru, MA; three grandchildren, Marguerite McNaughten of Chesterfield, VA; Russell Martin of Windham, NH; and Pam Martin of Dublin, PA; and two great-grandchildren. He was born in New Haven, CT, and raised in Torrington; son of Theodore Patchen Sr. and Maude (Lasher) Patchen of Waterbury, CT. He attended Torrington High School, then Williston Academy, graduating in 1942. Afterwards, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps, where he served as a Captain and navigator on a B-24 bomber during World War II. They flew 26 sorties, and were shot down on April 8, 1945 while targeting a railroad bridge at Vipitano, in northern Italy. He and the surviving crew members were captured and then walked to Moosburg prison camp, south of Munich. He was a POW until liberated by American soldiers at the end of the war. Ted Patchen returned home, married, graduated from Wesleyan University in 1949, and raised a family. He worked for the Traveler’s Insurance Company for over 30 years in Philadelphia, Manchester, NH, and in Hartford, CT. He built a summer cottage at Lake Wallenpaupack in PA, and the family spent summers there for over 30 years. He loved sailing, music and enjoyed nature immensely.

James D. Whitney ’49

James Douglas Whitney 83, died at home June 10, 2014 with Nancy, his wife of 59 years, at his side. He is survived by their sons, Douglas Carter Whitney, Keith John Whitney and James Apel Whitney; their wives, Jeanne Benda Whitney, Jeanne Aulgur Whitney and Laura Scheerer Whitney and five grandchildren, Eva Aulgur Whitney, Sophie Jane Whitney, August William Whitney, Christopher Douglas Whitney and Conrad George Whitney. He is also survived by his younger brother, Dr. Peter Julius Whitney and his wife, Sally Wheeler Whitney. His unique sense of humor and magnanimous disposition will be missed by all who knew him. He was a loving and devoted husband, a caring father, and doting grandfather. He leaves behind a lifetime of happy memories and a caring spirit that he passed on to those who loved him. He was born June 30, 1930 and attended Bucknell University where he met his wife Nancy. He served briefly in the Army and married shortly thereafter. He attended the University of Buffalo Law School and passed both the Arizona and New York State bar. He moved to Arizona where he worked in the Cochise County Attorneys’ Office in Bisbee, Arizona and private practice before joining the United States Attorneys’ Office in Tucson, where he did the work that he loved the most. Although he left the United States Attorneys’ Office for a few years, he was able to return and finish his career there. In the course of his legal career, he presented oral arguments before the United States Supreme Court and the other Federal Appellate Courts. He loved reading, the occasional round of golf, practicing his trombone, and enjoying the beauty of his ranch in Southern Arizona. He will be deeply missed.

John H. Spencer, Jr. ’55

spencerOn Sunday, February 19, 2017, John Haines Spencer, Jr. passed away. And the world will never be the same. Born September 15, 1936 to John Haines Spencer and Pauline Simmons Spencer, Jack was raised in Adams, Massachusetts. After graduating from Williston Prep School and Amherst College, he received a Masters in Education from Purdue University. While teaching at Williams High School in Stockbridge, he had the good fortune to meet and fall in love with Social Studies teacher Judith Leahey. On February 20, 1965, he had the good sense to marry her and continue a love affair that spanned more than fifty years. Mr. Spencer was an educator for 47 years. He taught Social Studies at Williams High School and Monument Mountain Regional High School and was Principal of Searles Middle School. He encouraged students to be conscious seekers and doers, to be disturbers of the universe. He was chair of the Monument Social Studies department from its inception in 1967. The department created the first Holocaust curriculum for high school students in the country. Jack and Roselle Chartock coedited the anthology that came out of that curriculum. Jack had a love of Stockbridge and its citizens, community activism and participation in government. He served on numerous committees and boards, including the Stockbridge Planning Board (chairman) and Zone of Appeals, The Stockbridge Library (president and member of the Board of Trustees), The Fund for Excellence and School Center, Inc. He was instrumental in writing the zoning bylaws for Stockbridge. Jack is survived by daughters Ann Marie (Scott) Miller, Kathy (Fred) Erickson, sisters Judy Burbank and Cyndie Spencer (Denny Lund), Pat and Buz Hanley, Mike and Sally Leahey, Fred Wigge an exchange student who became part of the family, grandchildren Eric, Kristen and Amanda Miller and Emily Erickson, many close cousins, nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews, the lucky 13 and generations of well-educated students, an astounding number of loving friends and a grateful community. He is predeceased by his parents Haines, Pauline and Louise Spencer, his wonderful wife Judy, and his step-mother Pat Swann.

Amos K. Hobby ’56

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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.

Donald J. Siclari ’65

siclariDonald J. Siclari CPA, 68, of West Haven, CT passed away peacefully on June 11th, 2015 surrounded by his loving family. He was born in New Haven, February 9, 1947, son of the late Pasquale Siclari and Helen (Conti) Siclari. He leaves behind his devoted wife Phyllis (Lombardi) Siclari and 5 children, Donald Jr, Stephanie, Christina, Patricia and Dean Fradiani Jr. He is also survived by his brother Dr. Michael (and Lynn) Siclari of Providence, RI. Donald owned and operated his own accounting firm for 45 years and was involved in local politics and charitable organizations. He was frequently recognized for his outstanding community service. Donald was a passionate fan of the Boston Bruins, Boston Red Sox and Yale hockey and also coached youth sports.

John L. Peakes ’52

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“He was a man, take him for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again.” Hamlet

A very bright light in the regional theater world went out on January 26, 2017, when John Peakes slipped peacefully away at his home in Merchantville, NJ, surrounded by people who loved him, an undramatic ending to a wonderfully entertaining life.

John grew up in Weston, MA, son of the late Herman Lawrence Peakes and Marion Jenny Chinn Peakes, and rascally younger brother of Doris (Kendall). He graduated from Williston Academy in 1952 and from Wesleyan University in 1956 where he joined Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. ROTC in college led him to service in the US Navy and colorful travels and adventures while serving his country. On a leave in NYC, he attended a couple of plays and realized that theater without a doubt was what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. So he did it. After his discharge as a Lieutenant JG, John attended the Boston Conservatory while teaching at Plymouth Academy commuting in a car so tiny, his students were able to pick it up and leave it on a porch roof. He moved to NYC where he worked in a couple of off-off Broadway shows but returned east to get his MFA from Tufts University performing and directing in many productions there before moving again to Iowa City to work on getting a doctorate in theater at the University of Iowa. Along the way he acquired his first wife Connie and their two sons, Jonathan in 1967 and Ian in 1969, three Siamese cats and a beagle named Irma la Dog. In Iowa they met Richard and Barbara Thomsen and decided to hell with those PhDs and moved to Michigan in 1966 to run the old barn summer theatre, The Ledges Playhouse in Grand Ledge. In 1970, the somewhat foolhardy decision was made to go year round first in a small church in Grand Ledge and finally in 1976 to the newly built BoarsHead Theater in the Center for the Arts in downtown Lansing, MI. Somehow, miraculously, it all worked. Over 300 productions later, many in which John either performed or directed, the little theater-that-could had earned strong community support and was a well-respected star in regional theater. Thomsen left for NY in the early 80s and in 1987, John’s second wife Judith became the BoarsHead’s indomitable Managing Director leaving John free to be Artistic Director and avid golfer. The pair won many awards including the Detroit Free Press Award for Life Time Achievement and the Michigan Governor’s Award for Art and Culture. They retired from their BoarsHead roles in 2003 and moved to Merchantville NJ just across the bridge from Philadelphia where John continued performing in several Philly theaters. His final performance however was back in Chelsea, Michigan at Jeff Bridge’s Purple Rose Theater where he played the old curmudgeon Norman in On Golden Pond with grace, humor, and great distinction. John himself was a strong and confident man and he brought to vivid life hundreds of unforgettable characters including Shakespeare’s Falstaff, Prospero, Hamlet, and King Lear, Dylan Thomas’s Captain Cat, and leading roles in Death of a Salesman, Waiting for Godot, The Lion in Winter, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and many, many more.

John was predeceased by cherished son, Jonathan, who died in 1984.

He is survived by Judith, his loving wife of over twenty years, Connie; his former wife of over twenty years; his son, Ian Merrill Peakes, an extraordinary actor in his own right; Ian’s equally talented wife, Karen (Krastel); grandsons, Owen Peakes and Carson Hunn; stepchildren, Amanda Hunn and Matt Gentry; sister, Doris Kendall; and a passel of charming nieces and nephews.

Carl D. Oblinger ’63

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Carl D. Oblinger, Ph.D., 72, of Springfield, IL, died at 9:46 p.m. on Sunday, January 22, 2017 at his home as a result of Lewy Body Dementia.
Carl was born on August 3, 1944 in Springfield, the son of Walter and Josephine Oblinger. He attended Springfield High School and graduated from Williston Academy, Easthampton, MA. Carl obtained a Bachelor of Arts Cum Laude from Franklin & Marshall College, a master’s degree in American History from John Hopkins University, and a doctorate in history from Lehigh University. He was an assistant professor at Pennsylvania State University and Benedictine University. Carl served as Mayor of Chatham from 1989-1993; and Clerk of the Court, Seventh Judicial District, Sangamon County from 1992 to 1996. He also served as a trustee of Lincoln Land Community College and the Village of Chatham, and was a member of the Springfield Planning & Zoning Commission. Carl previously worked for the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and the Department of Children and Family Services as a labor relations specialist. He was a brilliant man and an accomplished author and historian who loved reading, politics, spending time at Boundary Waters, teaching, and basketball. In spite of his challenges, Carl always maintained his sense of humor and love for his wife. His outgoing nature will be missed by all.
Carl was preceded in death by his parents; and his beloved dog, Wally.
He is survived by his wife, Robin Brinkmeier-Oblinger of Springfield and her sons, Zack Brinkmeier of VA and Dane Brinkmeier of Springfield; one son, Erik Oblinger of NJ; one daughter, Jennifer Maulfair of VA; and four granddaughters.