Tag Archives: Williston Academy

Bruce L. Thomas ’49


Bruce Lorrey Thomas, 88, a columnist for the Warren (Ohio) Tribune Chronicle, died Oct. 9, 2018, of natural causes at his home at Shepherd of the Valley in Howland. He was born in Boston, Mass., on April 4, 1930, the son of the late Louise Lorrey Thomas and Frank Bryan Thomas.
He graduated from Williston Academy in Northampton, Mass., in 1949. He received his B.A. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1953 and his Master’s in Social Work from the University of Connecticut in 1957. He served as a Sergeant in the United States Army during the Korean conflict stationed in the Panama Canal Zone, from 1953 to 1955. Bruce delighted in learning, especially about people’s lives, some of whom he profiled in his popular column. He discovered his talent for journalism in retirement and was ever on the look-out for a good story, which he found in parking lots, at church and outings in the community. He conducted his last interview days before his passing with the help of his wife of 57 years, Sally, who marveled at watching him work: “He knew how to ask the question, and he always had questions.” He began his career as a social worker in Pittsburgh, Pa., at Family and Children’s Service and the Veteran’s Neuropsychiatric Hospital and later served as executive director of the Western Pennsylvania Multiple Sclerosis Society. He moved with his young family to Washington, Pa., in 1967 to serve as Executive Director of the United Way. He was a charter member of the National Association of Social Workers and served on the boards of many social welfare and community service organizations, both in Washington County, Pa., and Trumbull County, Ohio. He was a member of Rotary International and the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors. Bruce was an avid reader of history and student of geology and, in retirement, volunteered in the Paleobotany Department of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, where he educated visitors about fossils and was named Volunteer of the Year. He was a docent at the Butler Institute of American of Art and a member of the Sutliff Museum, where his wife served as Curator. He loved gardening, spending time with his family and feeding the horses at his son’s farm in Johnston, Ohio.
He is survived by his wife, Sara Alice “Sally” Folger Thomas; his son, Richard Folger (Michelle) Thomas of Johnston, Ohio; his daughter Alice Thomas (Richard) Cervantes of Philadelphia, Pa.; grandchildren Alex, 29, of Howland and Marco, 9, Philadelphia; and step-grandchildren Brett Shipley, Keith Shipley and Courtney Collins.
A celebration of his life will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Warren on Saturday, Nov. 3, at 11 a.m., where the family will receive visitors at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers his family suggests contributions be made in his memory to the Shepherd of The Valley, in Howland, Ohio or the First Presbyterian Church of Warren.
Arrangements are entrusted to McFarland-Barbee Family Funeral Home, 271 N. Park Ave., Warren, Ohio 44481, 330-393-9621. Please visit www.mcfarlandbarbeecares.com to view this send condolences.
Donations may be made to: First Presbyterian Church 256 Mahoning Ave, Warren OH 44481 Shepherd of the Valley Foundation 4100 North River Rd., NE, Warren OH 44484

George N. Bissell ’41


George N. Bissell, age 96, of Bridgeport, CT, a WWII veteran and self-employed business man, passed away on Monday, April 30, 2018. He was born in Bridgeport and was a lifelong resident.
He is survived by his wife, Marilyn Bissell; his four children, Jay Bissell, Rebecca Rothenbulher, Elizabeth Ibos and Dr. Andrew Ziller; his daughter-in-law, Mary Ziller and his nine grandchildren. He was predeceased by his son, David Ziller.

William M. Ferguson ’55

William MacKay Ferguson of Pembroke Parish, Bermuda, beloved husband of Marlene, passed away in his 83rd year. A funeral service celebrating his life will be held at Christ Church Warwick, The Church of Scotland, Middle Road, Warwick Parish on Saturday, October 6, 2018 at 3 p.m. Interment will follow the service in Wesley Methodist Cemetery, Cemetery Road, Pembroke. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Agape House, Friends of Hospice at Suite 124, 48 Par-la-Ville Road, Hamilton HM 11 or online to www.friendsofhospice.bm.

He is also survived by his sister-in-law: Jeanne Fothergill; nieces: Kristy Angeli, Lisa Lacey (Stuart); great-nieces: Francesca Angeli, Gemma Angeli; great-nephews: Etham and Max Lacey; first cousins: Dianne Wilkie (Bruce), Rod Ferguson (Martha), Jeanette MacDonald (Ian), Kerrylou Bell (Lee), Joan Wurst, Grant Briggs and Joe Briggs; other relatives, and many friends. Colours may be worn.

Gary Higginbottom ’67

Gary Higginbottom, of Bend, Oregon, formally of Portland and Hallowell, Maine passed away of complications from pneumonia, on May 17th, 2018 after four courageous years fighting multiple myeloma cancer. Gary was born on June 18th, 1949 to Marguerite (Striebel) and James Higginbottom in Worcester, MA. He graduated from Williston Acadamy, Middlebury College and earned his Masters Degree from the University of Victoria.

Gary’s passion for the environment, geography and mapping was reflected in his work for the Maine State Planning office, Kork Industries and most recently in his advocacy for alternative energy. Gary was in his element when outdoors where he was often found biking for miles or kayaking rivers, lakes and bays. Always ready for an adventure, Gary traveled many places for work and vacation including Japan, several countries in Europe, Egypt, the Virgin Islands, Abu Dhabi and all across the US and Canada. Gary prided himself on his talent for bringing people of similar interests together to build something larger. He worked tirelessly, most often freely volunteering his time, across political circles and technology landscapes to drive the changes he felt would better the world we live in.

Gary is sorely missed by his son, Jacob Higginbottom of Boston MA, his daughter Rebecca Higginbottom and granddaughter Morgan Dahlman of Painted Post, NY, his sister Christie Higginbottom of Rochdale, MA and by countless nieces, nephews, friends and relatives.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to two wonderful organizations that helped Gary fight his illness: the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation on line at themmrf.org or the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society at www.LLS.org. Checks can also be sent to LLS, 70 Walnut St. Suite 301, Wellesley, MA 02481.

William D. Williams ’45

William D. “Bill”/”Opa” Williams was born January 14, 1928 and passed away August 27, 2018 in Hingham, MA at the age of 90.

William was the son of Dora Louise Williams of East Hampton, MA and William Oppenheim of Orange, NJ. Bill was predeceased by his wife and soulmate of 49 years, Gertrud (Gerdi) August 8, 2016. Bill was valedictorian of Williston Academy (1945) in Easthampton, MA where he was raised by his grandparents, Dr. Edward and Bertha Williams. He served as a Corporal in the Army WWII, honorably discharged in October 1947. Bill then attended and graduated from Harvard, class valedictorian, 1950. He went on to get his MBA at Harvard Business School and worked may successful years as a chemical analyst for major firms in Boston and New York. Bill/Opa will be greatly missed by all that knew him, especially his two daughters Alexandra (Shura) Williams and Dr. Hilary (Nina) Williams, her husband Gary Culkins and their children Daisy and Wells.

Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend the visiting hours Saturday, October 6, 2018 from 12-1 PM at the Pyne Keohane Funeral Home, 21 Emerald St. (off Central St.), Hingham, followed by a memorial service from 1-2 PM. Burial at Hingham Cemetery to follow.

 

 

Vance E. Boyd ’52

Vance Boyd, 85, of Fredericksburg, VA, passed away on Monday, September 17, 2018.  Born in Springfield, MA on March 30, 1933, Vance was the son of Samuel and Mary Boyd. A graduate of Williston Academy in Easthampton, Vance attended Babson College in Wellesley and received his B.S. in Business.
He served in the U.S. Army from 1956-1958 as Specialist Third Class in the Quartermaster division.  He was owner/manager of the Bailey Wagner chain of furniture stores in the greater Springfield area, which his father Samuel Boyd founded. He went on to develop the Best Rental furniture rental company.
His passion/hobby included horse training, racing and showing – both Tennessee Walkers and Standardbreds/trotters.  He enjoyed trying to learn new musical instruments and was proud of his steel guitar – he was a student of Billy Cooper of Orange, VA and loved his lessons.  His other love included billiards and he was an avid Patriots’ fan. He founded the Billiards Club of Falls Run upon his retirement to that community.
The wake will be on Friday, September 21, from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at Gormley Funeral Home, 2055 Centre St., West Roxbury, MA. Funeral Mass on Saturday, September 22, at 11 a.m. at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 97 South Street, Jamaica Plain. Prayers shall precede Mass at 10:00 a.m. at the funeral home. Internment will be private and at a later date.

Kenneth M. Coleburn ’46

Kenneth Meeker Coleburn died on August 19, 2018, in Redding, Connecticut. He was born in Norwalk, Connecticut, on June 22, 1928, the youngest of three children of Kenneth Meeker Coleburn, Sr. and Emily Eleanor Coley Coleburn.

Ken grew up in Norwalk. He attended Williston Academy in Easthampton, Massachusetts. He graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont in 1950.

At Middlebury, Ken met Carolyn Sackett; they married in 1952. They raised their family in Rye, New York, where they lived for 46 years. Ken was a partner and sales manager at Stiles Business Products, selling and maintaining business equipment in Westchester, Putnam, and Dutchess counties. Ken would say that he drove a car for a living. He knew every mile of those counties, and was appreciated by his customers for his strong handshake and extensive knowledge of his adding machines, calculators, and mailing equipment. Instead of business cards, Ken gave his customers seven-inch rulers printed with his contact information.

Ken and Carolyn moved to Ridgefield, Connecticut, in 2000 and then to Meadow Ridge in Redding, Connecticut in 2015.

Some of his favorite hours, from childhood into his seventies, were spent playing tennis with family and friends. While captain of the Middlebury tennis team, and at public courts, Shenorock Shore Club, and Thompson’s Point, Charlotte, Vermont, Ken was well known for both his powerful forehand and his lack of fashion sense on the court. Ken’s talents with a racquet in his hand extended into his 80s. He was still playing, and winning, at ping-pong at 89.

Ken volunteered with Meals on Wheels in both Rye and Ridgefield. He enjoyed bringing good food and good cheer to people who could not shop or prepare food for themselves. He liked to think of his bringing meals to his elderly clients as extending the time they could stay in their own homes by six months. He also volunteered with the Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association. He so enjoyed making people happy that after moving to Ridgefield he got a part-time job delivering flowers.

Ken was a devoted and loving husband, father, and grandfather. He will be remembered by family and friends for his sunny disposition and genuine gratitude for what is good in life.

Ken is survived by his children, William, Jacqueline, Robert, and Carolyn; their spouses, Mary Lou Coleburn, Robert McDonough, Robin Coleburn, and Harry Philbrick; and his four grandchildren, Andrew, Cameron, Kara, and Charlie.

 

David A. Stewart ’50

David Andrew Stewart passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on August 5, 2018. He was 87. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, he was raised on the Gulf Coast in Pass Christian, Mississippi where he was an avid sailor, a passion he held for his entire life. Dave was the youngest child of the late J. Norton Stewart, a commercial illustrator and the late Elizabeth Stewart (Lockett), a writer. After World War II, Dave’s family relocated from Pass Christian to Pelham Manor, New York. David attended Williston Academy in Easthampton, MA and Lehigh University. In 1951, he joined the U.S. Navy and served aboard the USS Point Cruz as quartermaster and signalman during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged in 1953. Dave pursued his love of sailing and went to work for his good friend Bill Luders as an assistant at the Luders Marine Construction Co. in Stanford, Connecticut. David met and married his wife, Flora MacPherson Church from Montreal, Canada in 1962. They settled in Barrington, Rhode Island and David began a long career as the head of his own business, Systematics, Inc. where he designed and built instrumentation systems for the jewelry plating industry. In 1970 Dave was hired as the coordinator for the 12 meter “Intrepid” America’s Cup campaign in Newport, Rhode Island. He was instrumental in Intrepid’s skipper Bill “Ficker is quicker” Ficker’s victory over Gretel II to retain the America’s Cup David was a lifelong member of the New York Yacht Club and a former member of the Barrington Yacht Club. David was predeceased by his older brother, J. Norton Stewart, Jr., a merchant marine who was lost at sea during World War II, and his older sister, Anne (Nancy) Stewart Dana, who passed away earlier this year. He is survived by his wife, Flora, his children, Mary Stewart Gibbs, of Barrington and Sarah Stewart of Brooklyn, CT and grandchildren Flora Gibbs of Walla Walla, WA and Daniel Gibbs of Barrington. David was loved dearly and will be missed by all who knew him.

Edward D. McHugh ’50

Edward D. McHugh, M.D. of Holyoke, MA, passed away on Friday, August 10, 2018 at Baystate Medical Center. Edward was born in Holyoke, son of the late Catherine “Kay” (Delaney) McHugh and the late Edward J. McHugh, M.D. He was a 1950 graduate of Williston Academy, a 1954 graduate of Dartmouth College, and a 1958 graduate of Georgetown Medical School. Dr. McHugh served in the United States Air Force prior to starting his private practice, which began with a surgical fellowship in New York City. He subsequently worked at Holyoke Hospital, Providence Hospital, where he was Chief of Surgery and Chief of Staff, and his own private practice. He was a former communicant of Holy Cross Parish for many years. Dr. McHugh is survived by his wife, Janice C. (Carey) McHugh; three sons: Edward McHugh (’77) of Holyoke, Bruce McHugh (’78) of Snead’s Ferry, N.C., and Michael McHugh (’79) of Littleton, MA; and a brother, David McHugh of Connecticut. He was predeceased by a brother, John McHugh, M.D. in 2010.

James A. Openshaw, Jr. ’51

James Arnold Openshaw, Jr., 84, of Edinburgh, IN, formerly of Ellicott City, MD, died on Saturday, July 28, 2018 at his home after a long illness.

Born November 14, 1933 in Newport, RI, he was the son of Dorothy Harvest and James Arnold Openshaw. The family moved to Southampton, MA, where he spent his boyhood years. Jim attended the Williston Northampton School, Class of 1951 and was captain of the ski team. He matriculated with the Class of 1955 at Virginia Military Institute and graduated with distinction in civil engineering.

He received a commission in the US Army and was assigned to the 1st Engineer Battalion (Combat), with duty at Ft. Belvoir, Ft. Benning, Ft. Riley and Verdun, France. He was honorably discharged in 1959 and returned to the DC area with his young family to begin a civilian career in the construction industry.

After several years managing federal building construction projects for the Arthur Venneri Construction Co., he joined Cherry Hill Sand & Gravel Co., Inc. as General Manager and later as President, establishing it as a civil construction business with headquarters in Jessup, MD. He purchased the company in 1978 and changed its name to Cherry Hill Construction, Inc. Under his ownership and leadership, the company flourished and grew to become a major highway and heavy construction contractor in the mid-Atlantic region.

Jim is survived by his wife, Pamela Openshaw, his first wife Barbara Falge Openshaw, his two sisters, Mrs. Walter Findeisen (NSFG ’50) of Killington, VT and Mrs. Benjamin Naylor (NSFG ’56) of Calais, VT, his three sons, James A. Openshaw, III of Norfolk, VA, David B. Openshaw of Annapolis, MD and Mark F. Openshaw of Jacksonville, FL, and his daughter, Ann O. DeLawder of Bel Air, MD. He had 14 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.