Tag Archives: Williston Academy

Jarrell D. Ritter ’49


Jarrell David “Perry” Ritter, 84, died Friday, December 12, 2014. He was born June 14, 1930 in Amsterdam, New York, the son of Richard Wallace Ritter and Beatrice Shuttleworth Ritter, was a graduate of Worcester Academy and attended Babson Institute before enlisting in the Navy. He served in the Navy for four years. He is survived by his wife of sixty years, Emma Lou Thomas Ritter; one son, Jarrell David (Katherine) Ritter Jr.; one daughter, Mary Louise Ritter Bader; and five grandchildren, Jarrell David Ritter III, Dane Edward Ritter, Sarah Evelyn Ritter, Edward Michael Skanes, and Emily Louise Skanes. He was preceded in death by one brother, Richard Wallace Ritter Jr.; and two sisters, Mabeth Shuttleworth Quiri and Elizabeth Anne Ritter Clay.

Conrad M. Schirokauer ’46


Conrad Schirokauer died in Cleveland, Ohio on September 19, 2018 at the age of 89. Conrad was born in Leipzig, Germany. When he was six years old, his family left Germany and the rising Nazi regime for Italy, where they spent three good years before moving to Memphis, Tennessee in 1938. With few resources but abundant tenacity, the family found its way in a new country that welcomed them and became Conrad’s life-long home. The family’s time in Memphis was followed by multiple relocations until they eventually settled in Baltimore, Maryland. Soon after, Conrad left to attend Williston Academy. He completed middle and high school there, graduating as valedictorian in 1946.

Following high school, Conrad enrolled at Yale College, where he became fascinated with China and, in particular Chinese intellectual history. Against the advice of family and friends, he chose to pursue an academic career as a scholar of China, intent on exploring what was at the time a largely undeveloped field, and deeply committed to a belief in the value of learning about a culture and society different than one’s own. After graduating from Yale in 1950, Conrad continued his intellectual pursuits as a graduate student at Stanford University. In 1955, his studies were interrupted by obligatory military service.

The military stationed Conrad in Paris. For his first Christmas back in Europe, he accepted an invitation to Cambridge, England, to visit the Striches, a German expatriate family whom Conrad’s family had known well during their time in Italy. Conrad and Lore Strich (who remembered each other from childhood) were married not long afterwards, in November of 1956.

Conrad and Lore enjoyed the first two years of married life in Paris, after which they moved to Palo Alto, California so Conrad could complete his dissertation on 12th century Chinese political thought at Stanford. There, Conrad and Lore welcomed the arrival of their first son, David, who was born in 1959. Oliver would follow in 1962. Conrad considered becoming a father “an unprecedented act of faith, and trust of life.”

Conrad’s first academic position was at Swarthmore College. In 1962, he joined the faculty of the City College of the City University of New York, retiring in 1991 as Professor of History. Of great importance to Conrad and his family were three years of academic leave, taken early in his career (1967-69, 1971-72), which were spent traveling in Asia and living in Kyoto, Japan. The time spent exploring new lands nurtured a passion for travel in Conrad and Lore that was a defining feature of the next fifty years of their life together.

Conrad was deeply committed to his role as an educator and over the course of his career, he authored not only scholarly articles but also multiple textbooks on East Asian history. He especially loved to teach and after retiring from City College, continued to do so at Columbia University as a Senior Scholar in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, only stopping at the age of 89 when he fell ill.

Conrad passed away peacefully with his family at his side. He will be remembered for his kindness, concern for the well-being of others, gentle playfulness, and lively sense of humor and irony. Conrad is survived by his wife of 62 years, Lore, his son David and wife Dawn Adams, his son Oliver and partner Monica Gerrek, his grandchildren Leo, Somiya, and Sierra, and his brother-in-law John Goodell. He was preceded in death by his mother Erna, his father, Arno, his sister Annette, his granddaughter Kestra, and his sister-in-law Sabina Strich.

LeGrande R. Howell, Former Faculty

LeGrande (Sam) Ridgeway Howell, born August 5, 1926, passed away at the age of 92 on November 6, 2018 at his home in Eliot, Maine. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Jane Lemmon Howell, his son, Thomas L. Howell along with his wife, Lori A. Howell, of Eliot, and his daughter, Ruth H. Sutton along with her husband, D. James Sutton, of Buskirk, NY. Sam and Jane’s oldest child, Ridgeway T. Howell, predeceased his parents in 2008 . Sam also is survived by 8 grandchildren, Hannalea Howell and Pierce W. Howell, both of Eliot, ME ; James R. Sutton of Washington, DC; Stephen E. Sutton, of San Diego, CA; Caitlin L . Sutton, of San Diego, CA; Taylor P. Sutton, of Denver, CO; Connor A. Sutton, of Hoosick Falls, NY; and Summer J. Sutton, of Philadelphia, PA . He is also survived by his adoring dog, LuLu. Originally from East Moriches, NY, Sam was one of three children and was the only son of Ruth Learie Howell and Ridgeway Taylor Howell. He graduated from Center Moriches High School in 1943 at the age of 16 and wanted to serve in the US Navy immediately after high school, but his parents would not consent to his joining the military as a minor. He was granted a scholarship to Union College, Schenectady, NY, and attended for several semesters until he was accepted into the V-12 Program, the precursor of today’s ROTC. In 1944 he entered the Navy as a midshipman and later rose to the rank of a commissioned officer. Two weeks after the war was officially over, he boarded the USS Alabama as it entered Tokyo Bay and his ship anchored adjacent to USS Missouri when the Armistice was signed, officially ending WWII. Upon his honorable discharge from the Navy in 1946, Sam briefly worked in construction until he was able to return to Union College to complete his bachelor’s degree and pursue graduate coursework at the University of Wisconsin. After his military service, Sam taught chemistry at Monson Academy, Wilbraham, MA, and later math, chemistry, and physics at Williston Academy, Easthampton, MA, where he also coached track and field. He took particular pride when, after coaching for four years, the team won the New England Championship. Following his teaching experiences, Sam made his career in sales and executive management at several companies: Lemmon Pharmaceuticals in Sellersville, PA; Tilden Yates/Chemway in Worcester, MA; Cooper Laboratories; and Diamond Shamrock in Cleveland, OH . Over his career he and his young family lived in five states and abroad in Quebec, Canada and Mexico City, Mexico. In 1983, Sam and Jane moved to Eliot, Maine, to start an innovative aquaculture business, Spinney Creek Shellfish, with their son, Tom. The business continues to provide restaurants and retailers with the finest shellfish today. Sam was a member of the Seacoast Wind Ensemble, served on the Eliot Board of Appeals, and was a volunteer at York Hospital for 13 years. Sam was known as a crusty “old salt” who loved fishing, boating, and gardening. In his retirement he became a bee keeper. He lived on the Maine coast longer than any other location and marveled at all the area had to offer. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Cocheco Valley Humane Society, 262 County Farm Road, Dover, NH 03820. Online condolences may be made by visiting ww.jspelkeyfuneralhome.com

William I. Atwood ’44


William Irving Atwood was born June 21, 1926, in Waterbury, Connecticut, and died October 17, 2018, in Bloomfield, Connecticut. Bill graduated from Williston Academy in 1944, Wesleyan University in 1950, and received an MA in Educational Studies from Trinity College in 1961. He served in the U.S. Navy on Okinawa during WWII. He enjoyed a long, dedicated career as a middle and high school teacher in Hartford, West Hartford and Coventry, where he touched many lives with his love of literature, art, architecture, music, travel, the environment and theater. He loved gardening and attending theater in New York City, and devoted many hours to his work with the Hartford Stage Company, the Auerbach Library of the Wadsworth Atheneum, and the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington. A spirited and animated man, Bill had a sense of humor that was recently described by a friend as “sometimes wicked but never unkind.” He is survived by his wife Margaret, his son Jeffrey Atwood and son-in-law Stephen Vamvakas, his daughter Jillian Martin and son-in-law Richard Martin, his grandchildren, Christina Martin and Alessandra Martin, and his sisters Pollyann Merriman and Cynthia Couch. Funeral arrangements will be private. Donations in his memory may be made to the Farmington River Watershed Association, 749 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury CT 06070.

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.