Tag Archives: Williston Northampton School

Blair Douglas McMillin ’84

It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of Blair Douglas McMillin on Tuesday, December 10, 2019. He was at home surrounded by his wife Chrissy and their children Callahan, Teegan, Delaney and Shea who collectively were the loves of his life. He is preceded in death by his parents Julia Jones and Blair Steele McMillin. Along with his wife and children he is survived by his brother and best friend James and sister Barbara Smith (Rick). Doug was born and raised in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania and summered at his family house in Chautauqua, New York. He spent a post graduate year at Williston Northampton and graduated college from Ohio Wesleyan where he was a stellar football and track star. After graduation he moved to the Roaring Fork Valley and resided in Woody Creek and Basalt for over 30 years. He made a living in construction and enjoyed his passions for photography, sailing, skiing and woodworking. Doug was a kind and gentle soul with a smile you could never forget. He had a kind word for all and if you knew him he considered you a friend. He had four rules for his children and the last one he lived by every day … Give more than you take.

Doug’s celebration of life will be held on January 25, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. 70 McCabe Ranch Road Old Snowmass 81654. All who knew and loved him are welcome. Warm attire and think about carpooling.

Susan Curry Barnett, Former Faculty

Susan Curry Barnett of Florence, Massachusetts, passed away quietly at Hospice of the Fisher Home in Amherst on October 25, 2019. She was surrounded by close friends.

Sue was born on March 27, 1945, in Boston, Massachusetts, the daughter of Rev. Robert Lewis and Elizabeth Moultan Cartwright Curry.

After graduating from the Northfield School and Tufts University, Sue built a career at the Northampton School for Girls and the Williston Northampton School between 1968 and 2011. She held many different positions as an educator: coach, dorm parent, teacher, and administrator. She most loved coaching the girls in soccer, hockey, and softball, stating, “I am still in touch with hundreds of them. I have seen them grow up, fail, pick themselves up again, succeed, and raise families. That is what I loved from start to finish.”

Sue met Roger (Gus) Barnett at Williston. They were married in Phillips Stevens Chapel at Williston in December of 1987. They celebrated their love of travel, good times with family and friends, and a willingness to work long and hard in their yard. Roger died in September of 1998.

At the age of 8, Sue started attending Fleur de Lis Camp in Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire. Her mother had been Director of the Water Front. Her grandmother had been the camp nurse. Sue was a camper, a Counselor in Training, a Counselor, and the Camp Director during 1972, 1973, and 1976.  As with her Williston students, Sue enjoyed watching the campers grow and become adults. Many girls from school and camp were friends right through the end.

Sue is predeceased by her husband Roger Barnett, her parents, and her stepson Geoffrey Barnett. She is survived by her brother David Curry and his wife Sandra, and her two nieces, Rebecca C. Aupperlee and husband Phil, and Heather Curry. Also surviving are two stepdaughters, Amy Hinton and Alexandra Erickson and her husband David, and Geoffrey’s wife Roxanne.

A memorial service will be held at Phillips Stevens Chapel, November 9, at 2 p.m., Williston Northampton School, Easthampton, Massachusetts.

It would be appreciated if no flowers were sent. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to the Fleur de Lis Camp Sue Curry Barnett Endowed Campership, 120 Howeville Road, Fitzwilliam, NH 03447, or the Williston Northampton School Sue Curry Barnett Endowment for the Girls Softball Team, 19 Payson Avenue, Easthampton, MA 01027.

Roger V. Bourdeau ’72

Roger V. Bourdeau, 64, of Thompson, CT, died peacefully on Wednesday May 29, 2019 at the UMass Memorial Healthcare. He was the loving husband of Paula (McQueen) Bourdeau. Born in Ware, MA, he was the son of the late Robert and Josephine (Lorence) Bourdeau.
Roger worked in sales for several businesses including Safety-Kleen, R. Sparrow Hicks, Loomis Real Estate, and Lundgren Honda. Roger loved listening to and playing music. He enjoyed singing, collecting records and played a variety of instruments. Roger was a truly dedicated family man who loved going on road trips and cherished spending time with his wife, his children and grandchildren.
In addition to his wife, Roger is survived by his children, Jessica Aguilar (Omar) of Anahiem, CA, Christopher Bourdeau (Lorena) of Huntington Beach, CA, and Matthew Bourdeau (Alyssa) of Boston, MA; two sisters Diane Arnesen of Hampden, MA, and Joan Callanan of Pasadena, CA; two beautiful grandchildren, Declan and Penelope. He was predeceased by his late brother Richard Bourdeau.
Relatives and friends are invited to visit with Roger’s family from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday June 5, 2019 in the Valade Funeral Home and Crematory, 23 Main St., N. Grosvenordale. A Funeral Mass will follow at 11:00 a.m. in St. Joseph Church, 18 Main St., N. Grosvenordale, CT.

Paul F. Cox ’78


Paul F. Cox, age 58, of Decatur, Georgia, passed away March 12, 2019.  A Celebration of Life service was held  March 22, 2019 at West Hunter Street Baptist Church in Atlanta with interment at Fairview Memorial Gardens in Stockbridge. Memories of Mr. Cox will be cherished by his loving family and friends. In lieu of flowers, please donate to West Hunter Street Childrens ministries. Gregory B. Levett & Sons Funeral Home.

Robert J. Youngs, Jr. ’89


Robert J. Youngs, Jr. — father, son, brother, friend, athlete, power-lifter, and 3 gunner, passed at his home in Boynton Beach, FL on June 5, 2019. Growing up Bob was very competitive and an amazing athlete, excelling at hockey, baseball, and football. Bob graduated from Williston Northampton School in 1989 and went on to attend Marietta College in Ohio where he discovered Westside Barbell and powerlifting. He was a record setter having lifted 700 deadlift, 810 squat, and 525 bench. Eventually, he moved to Florida and created Southside Barbell. When wear and tear got the best of his body and he was no longer able to lift, Bob discovered competitive gun shooting. He was a top 3 Gunner and was a constant source of support. Bob touched many lives within the 3-gun matches, he was everybody’s favorite range officer. Bob’s greatest accomplishment, pride and joy was his son, Christopher. Bob is survived by his amazing son, Christopher Youngs; his father, Robert J. Youngs, Sr.; his dear friend, Sarah Moss; his younger sister and her husband, Cindi and Tom McGrath; his nieces, Lilla and Samantha McGrath; many aunts, uncles, and cousins; and countless friends. He was predeceased by all of his grandparents; his mother, Donna Youngs; his uncle, Louis Vozzolo; and niece, Elisabeth Bean McGrath. A Celebration of Life will be held at World Famous Egg Rolls at 1701 Congress Avenue, Boynton Beach, FL on Sunday, July 7, 2019 from 4 to 7 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/donate.

George Alan (Al) Shaler, Former Faculty

George Alan (Al) Shaler, of Easthampton, MA and Warrensburg, NY passed away on his 84th birthday. Al was born April 4th, 1935 in Freeport, NY to George Wiltse and Mary Sue (Gillaspy) Shaler. An only child, Al grew up on Long Island, becoming an accomplished pianist and organist, excelling in academics and in running. During his youth, he spent many vacations on his maternal grandparents’ farm in Benton, PA doing farm chores and developing a profound appreciation for the outdoors. As a teen, his parents sent him Forest Lake Camp (FLC) in Warrensburg, NY, a transformative event in his young life. While at FLC, Al was exposed to outdoor adventures the likes of which he had never encountered on Long Island. He returned for several summers, becoming a counselor and head counselor at the Camp, and more importantly growing to love the Adirondacks of northern NY. After graduating from Freeport High School in 1953, Al matriculated at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY in the fall of 1953. While at Hamilton, Al once again shined in the classroom and on various cross-country courses throughout upstate NY. In his sophomore year, Al won the cross-country New York state championship. Al found great pleasure in playing the organ at Hamilton and developed a lifelong love for the instrument. Upon graduation, he headed off to the University of Wisconsin at Madison to pursue a graduate degree in English, While in Madison, he met Janet Ann James, an undergraduate from nearby Berlin, WI. They would start dating in Al’s second year, became engaged shortly thereafter and were married in 1960. Al received his Masters in 1959 and after a short job search landed a job at then Williston Academy in Easthampton. He would end up teaching at Williston Academy, later the Williston Northampton School (WNS), from 1959 through 1999. While at WNS he taught many courses in literature, including a course he created, Dissident Voices, which focused on African-American writers such as Richard Wright and James Baldwin, the first class of its kind at WNS. A passionate amateur chef, he also taught cooking classes which were enthusiastically attended. Similar to other WNS teachers, Al was also a coach for the school’s athletic program. He started out coaching football and track, and by the early 1960s had started the cross-country program. Al coached many aspiring runners and put them through many a rigorous workout. He would often show up in the middle of woods and exhort his runners, telling them to pick up the pace, and lending some timely, and sometimes off color encouragement. In the fall of 1980, his team won the New England championships. The WNS community meant a lot to Al, most importantly, after his wife died in 1973. Despite this tremendous loss, he pushed on raising his three young children, enjoying a great high school teaching career at Williston, touching the lives of thousands of young people in the classroom and on the playing fields during his 40 year teaching career (the only job he ever had), and making countless friends. His children, George, Jim and Elizabeth graduated from WNS in 1980, 1981, and 1984 respectively. Al loved playing the organ at the Williston Chapel. He often played the organ during ecumenical services and was in great demand for religious services, holiday musical programs and weddings, at Williston and all over the Pioneer Valley. Al was active in local theatre. He had starring roles in productions staged at WNS and by the Easthampton Community Theatre Association. These productions allowed Al to show off his big personality, his comedic skills and musical gifts. Later in his WNS career, he was granted the school’s first sabbatical which enabled him to live and work abroad. He used the opportunity to teach for a half year in some of Great Britain’s finest secondary schools. The experience of living abroad spurred his growing interest in foreign travel, a passion which was to continue well into his retirement years. WNS was not the only thing that defined him. He was active in local politics, serving as the Easthampton Town Moderator for several years and later as a city councilor after the city changed its charter. One of his proudest achievements as councilor was being part of the Council efforts to build the current Public Safety Complex. He never grew tired of saying how proud he was of that building. Al was also appointed a trustee of the University of Massachusetts during the mid-1970s by then Governor Francis Sargent, an undertaking he took very seriously. During the mid-1960s, Al bought some property on Kelm Lake near Forest Lake Camp and built a rustic A-Frame cabin that at the time was only reachable by rowing across the Lake. For the first ten years Al owned the cabin, the place did not have electricity. He would listen to his beloved Red Sox on a battery operated radio, sometimes not sure if they had won when the reception cut out. This rustic lifestyle suited him. He would cook the family dinners over a wood fire, using certain hard woods for various cuts of meat for added flavor. Rain or shine, Al would spend his summers by his wood fire, carefully attending to his culinary creations. He and his beloved neighbor and friend Bob Murray, another school teacher from Long Island, would swap many a good story, some not suited for print, sharing martinis, while Al smoked his ever present pipe. He enjoyed a 20 year retirement traveling all over the world, sometimes in some unusual ways, once taking a month long ocean freighter ride around the coast of South America. Al was fond of many places, but relished a chance to visit Morocco, Spain, Kenya and Britain.

However, what he enjoyed most was spending time at his cabin in the Adirondacks of northern NY. This was his hermitage where he would go for six to seven months each year during his retirement, accompanied by his dog – always a beagle. When he felt a need to leave his cabin, which was not often, sometimes he would venture down to Saratoga to watch the horse races.

Early in his retirement, he threw his energies into cultivating day lilies. He became fascinated with hybridizing day lilies. He transformed his yard into a nursery of sorts. He became a part-time licensed nursery man and sold his hybrids in various hemerocallis publications. People drove from near and far to purchase his plants.

Al is survived by his son George and spouse Jill Rosenthal of Portland, ME, son James and spouse Ann of Tampa FL, and daughter Elizabeth of New York, NY; grandchildren Cole, Griffith, and Wallace Shaler, and Jonna and Shay Rosenthal.

A celebration of life will be held on May 4, 2019 at the Williston-Northampton Chapel in Easthampton at 1:30. More details will be posted on the Mitchell Funeral Home web site in the coming week.

In lieu of flowers and donations, please direct any contributions to the Williston-Northampton School in Al’s name.

Katherine Nicholson ’89


Katherine “Kate” Nicholson, of Hightstown, NJ, died of metastatic breast cancer on November 29, 2018. She is survived by her husband Brad and their children, Elizabeth, David, and Abigail.

Peter A. Quinn, headmaster at the Peddie School, shared this statement with his community:

We learned this morning that Mrs. Katherine Nicholson — beloved math teacher, swim coach, and advisor– died early this morning at her home in Hightstown. As you may know, Kate has been on medical leave since the end of the fall term because her cancer had progressed and treatment required all her strength. Unhappily, no program was able to save her life, but in her battle she was supported and loved by her family and a strong circle of friends both at Peddie and in the community of faith and friends beyond campus.

Kate Nicholson was a gifted and patient teacher with a matter-of-fact demeanor, a wry sense of a humor, and a deep, passionate commitment to the welfare of her students in whatever setting she met them. Whether in class, on the pool deck, or in the many less formal settings in which she did exceptional work as an advisor, Kate was a principled, forthright, and tireless advocate for her students. Her contributions to our school have been great and her passing is a great loss to many students, alumni, and colleagues as well as beyond Peddie.

The family’s service for Kate will be private. Her husband Brad and their children are aware of the great regard for Kate, but request privacy at this time. In lieu of flowers, the family would like contributions to be made in her honor to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (www.bcrf.org).

Steven E. Thurber ’74

Steven E. Thurber passed away on November 9, 2018.  His father, Ernest R. Thurber, passed away on November 18, 2018.  Their obituary:

Ernest R. Thurber was born on January 30, 1927 to parents, Julia and Edward Thurber in Chelmsford, MA and entered into eternal rest on November 18, 2018. Ernest was born on January 30, 1927 to parents, Julia and Edward Thurber in Chelmsford, MA and entered into eternal rest on November 18, 2018. Ernest graduated from Chelmsford HS in 1944 where he was the valedictorian and received a degree in meteorology from Penn State in 1962. His first love was flying and he saw himself as very fortunate to be a career Air Force pilot and then to work for the Federal Aviation Administration. He was a veteran of WWII, the Korean War and Vietnam. Ernest is remembered for his love of God, family and country. His faith saw him through difficult times and was so very important to him until the end.

He is preceded in death by his wives Harriet Kearney Thurber and Martha Thurber as well as his brother, Edward Thurber. He is survived by his three daughters, Suzanna Thurber, Christine Johnson (Eric) and Robin Chamberlain (John), four grandchildren, Patrick, Ryan, Kathryn and Cale and four great grandchildren as well as his sister, Theresa Maguire.

Tragically Ernest’s only son, and apple of his eye, Steven E. Thurber passed away on November 9, 2018. Steven was a natural athlete in several sports from swimming and baseball to golf. He was a 1974 Honor graduate from Williston Academy in Massachusetts. Steven loved the open road and pursued both career and leisure time behind the wheel.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Kathy Thurber and his grandson, Blaine Mincey. Steven is survived by two children, Kathryn Mincey (Austin) and Cale Thurber (Taylor) and four beautiful granddaughters.

Services to celebrate both their lives will be at the Parish of the Resurrection in Nashua, NH on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 at 11:00. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the American Heart Association.

Joseph P. Deane ’14

Joe Deane, 23, of Madison, CT was killed on December 7th in New Haven, CT and declared on December 9, 2018.
Born Joseph Peter Deane at Yale New Haven Hospital, our family received a gift from God.
He attended Daniel Hand High School in Madison CT, leaving at the end of his junior year for Williston-Northampton where he played football, hockey, and lacrosse, leading the colonial league in tackles for football and dominating the field in lacrosse.
From Williston, Joe attended Bridgton Academy where he excelled in Lacrosse, wearing #34 for the Wolverines. He graduated in 2014 and went on to play one season of Lacrosse at Springfield College. After one year Joe decided it was time to go to work and immediately started with his father and brother at Dichello Distributors before landing a position on Wall Street as a broker for Premium Merchant Funding in Manhattan.
Joe leaves behind his beloved parents Peter and Lisa Deane of Madison, along with his Irish twin brother Michael.
Adoring Aunts and Uncles, Dina and Tim LaMotte, PJ and Miriam Cambo of Wilbraham MA, Philip and Kathy Cambo of Sturbridge MA, Ned and Teresa Deane of Boston MA, and Deb and Jeff Jankot of Ipswich MA.
Joe’s heartbroken and loving grandparents are Tess and Paul Cambo of Wilbraham, MA.
Joe grew up close to his several cousins, who became like loving brothers and sisters in life, as he was always happiest in their company. They are Neddie Deane of New York NY; Cam, Jake and Avery LaMotte of Wilbraham MA, and Mckenna Cambo also of Wilbraham MA.
He was pre-deceased by his uncle Michael Lindsay Deane. Michael served our country honorably in Vietnam with 101st Airborne and was killed in action. His paternal loving grandparents were Lee and Edward Deane.
Joe was an organ donor. Shortly following his death his donations were all successfully transplanted, saving the lives of four people.
A Funeral Service will be held on Saturday, December 15, 2018 at 12 Noon at St Cecilia’s Church 42 Main Street Wilbraham, MA 01095. There are no Calling Hours. Burial is private.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Stavros foundation at info@stavros.org. Helping to improve the quality of life of our disabled veterans.
The Deane family will be forever grateful to the staff at Yale New Haven hospital MICU. Their care and respect for Joe was extraordinary. A very special thank you and an abundance of love to Ana, Jenn, Toni, Patrice, Jen, Catherine, Paula and Bow.