Claire Neiley Moss was born in Binghamton, New York in 1928. She began her education in the Endicott Public Schools, later attending Northampton School for Girls, Skidmore College, Boston State Teacher’s College, and Harvard University. A resident of Cambridge, Massachusetts for more than sixty-five years, she was active in schools, church, and community affairs. During the 1960’s, Claire was the first director of the Roxbury-Belmont Summer Program, a summer school that preceded the formal integration of the Boston and area public schools. Claire taught in Westwood and later in Belmont for thirty-one years. Upon retirement, she was a field supervisor for education students at Harvard University. Claire also worked with Amnesty International in London and with The Tuesday Meals Program at First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Harvard Square. In 1983 she married Van Wood. They traveled and enjoyed life together for many years. She loved the arts and was herself artistic. Her family, her students, and her friends will remember Claire for her kindness, her devotion to social justice, her passion for both teaching and learning, and her love of life. She met life challenges by always working toward good possibilities ahead. Claire was pre-deceased by her husband Van (2007) and by her three brothers Dick (1988), Bob (2011) and Chick (2015). She is survived by her two daughters Molly Moss (David) and Kate Moss Manski (Chuck), as well as her four grandchildren including Ben Manski (Sarah), Becca Manski, Anna Rosenbluth (Paul), and Peter Rosenbluth (Milvi), and by six great-grandchildren: Alex, Hannah, Aivi, Lev, Miku, and Isaac. If you wish to make donations in honor of Claire, please consider The Tuesday Meals Program at First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Cambridge, Amnesty International, or Planned Parenthood. Claire worked all her life for a better world. A memorial for family and close friends will be scheduled at a later time.
Monthly Archives: May 2019
Ellen von Hofen Beckman ’42
Ellen Beckman, a longtime resident of Kirkwood, Missouri, beloved wife of the late Robert Page Beckman, died in peace in Glen Carbon, Illinois, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2018.
Born Jan. 21, 1924, in Cranford, New Jersey, Ellen resided in Massachusetts most of her young adult life. She graduated from Smith College in 1947 and completed her M.A. degree in 1967 from University of Missouri. Ellen worked as assistant librarian at Kirkwood High School from 1970 to 1980.
Ellen loved to read, learn and travel. She is survived by three children, Ericka Beckman (Richard) Baim, Alan (Jenny) Beckman and Keith (Gloria) Beckman, and two granddaughters, Lindsay A. and Sarah J. Beckman.
Maria Burgee Dwight LeVesconte ’52
By day, a barefooted Mimi Dwight sang along to Joni Mitchell as she drove a station wagon full of her five children and a shedding Saint Bernard around the streets of Holyoke, Massachusetts. In the evenings, she met in back rooms to organize for social justice in her community and beyond.
Born and raised in Holyoke, she was the youngest daughter of Henry and Marcelle Burgee. Her adolescence at the Northampton School for Girls earned the comment on her report card that “Mimi is a good student, but she seems inordinately interested in boys.” They were interested back.
At Bryn Mawr College in the early 1950s, she joined her first protest march. Her zeal for social justice led her inadvertently to the field of gerontology, which became her passion and profession.
In Massachusetts she was known as Mimi Dwight. Under that name, she co-founded the Urban Ministries (a multi-faith coalition dedicated to participatory government within the inner city of Holyoke); she served on the Commission on the Status of Women, the State Welfare Commission, and the Housing Finance Agency, among others. In the early 1970s, she braved local and state politics to create the nation’s first municipal Geriatric Authority, spearheading the successful effort to turn an outdated Municipal Home into a groundbreaking geriatric rehabilitation center. The building was later named in her honor.
Propelled by her interest in the challenges she saw in the field of aging, she enrolled at Hampshire College to finish the bachelor’s degree she had postponed in favor of marriage and children. When she learned that Hampshire would not accept any credits from her two years at Bryn Mawr, she resolutely set out to complete her Hampshire degree in one year.
After graduating, she loaded her two youngest into a quirky car and drove cross-country to get a master’s degree in Gerontology from the University of Southern California. In Los Angeles she became Maria Dwight, a single mother raising two boys and beginning a career that would see her rise to become a world-renowned visionary in the field of aging.
She joined Gerontological Planning Associates as vice president in 1975 and in 1982 formed her own company, Gerontological Services Inc. GSI became a national advocate for participatory planning for services and facilities for older adults. Focusing on primary data collected directly from older people, GSI developed operational, design and marketing plans for innovative approaches for its clients, who included LGBTQ, Born Deaf, Chinese-American, Japanese American, Native American, Religious Women, expatriates in Mexico and Costa Rica, faith based long term care and housing providers, hospitals, developers, architects, cities, towns, day centers, CCRCs and moderate-income housing projects.
Among achievements too numerous to list, she served on the Board of Overseers of Brandeis University, on the Boards of Centura Health System (Denver), Stonewall Communities (Boston), Wise and Healthy Aging (Los Angeles), the Williston Northampton School and, most recently, Friends House in Santa Rosa, CA.
For 30 years, Maria taught at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design’s summer session; she presented at Harvard’s Schools of Medicine and Public Health; at MIT, UMass, Boston University School of Medicine; at California University of San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Irvine; and her alma mater, the USC School of Gerontology. She testified before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor and the United States Senate Committee on Housing and Urban Affairs.
She was a frequent speaker at international conferences including AHSA Asian Conference India, Asian Health Conference Singapore, International Association of Homes and Services for the Aging Conferences, as well as “Quo Vadis” in Berlin. Maria was appointed to the White House Conference on Aging, National Advisory Committee in 1981 and also served it as a delegate, advocating for the integration of housing and services. Her work was recognized with countless awards, culminating in the “Continuing Care Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2017.
She was an intrepid traveler who migrated with the reindeer in the Arctic and marched with the penguins in the Antarctic (as well as lots of warm and exotic places in between).
Maria’s small rented bungalow in Santa Monica was never empty. She fed and mothered a vast extended family of skate rats, actors, hard-core musicians, activists, surfers, students, co-workers, artists and writers, as well as her own brood. She was equally comfortable with Senators, Governors and CEOs as with members of the Flesh Eaters, Dream Syndicate and Sonic Youth. And she was admired and adored by them all.
Maria leaves four children: Bill Dwight (Lida Lewis) of Northampton, Lili Dwight (Byron Coley) of Deerfield, Valle Dwight (Phil O’Donoghue) of Florence, and Ryan Dwight of Huntington Beach, California, as well as eight grandchildren: Eli Dwight, Hudson and Addison Coley, Tim and Aidan O’Donoghue, and Ella, Liam and Dylan Dwight. She is also survived by her sister, Paula Gallup ’49 (John Gallup), of Longmeadow, as well as many nieces and nephews. Her husband, Edward LeVesconte; and her son, Timothy Monk Dwight, pre-deceased her.
The family is planning memorial services for later this summer; one at her home in the redwoods of Northern California, and the second in her childhood haunts of western Massachusetts.
Donations in her honor may be made to Whole Children, 41 Russell St, Hadley, MA 01035; www.wholechildren.org.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you elect a woman President in 2020.
Read more about Maria in the Spring 2016 issue of the Bulletin.
Rodney C. Farnham ’56
Rodney C. “Rod” Farnham, 82, passed away Friday, April 26, 2019, after a long illness. He leaves his wife of 59 years, Phyllis (Underwood) Farnham; his son, James T. Farnham and his wife Linda of Ipswich; his daughter, Merideth J. Farnham of Orlando, Fla.; and his son, Stuart T. Farnham and his wife Julie of Colorado Springs, Colo. He is survived by seven grandchildren, Benjamin, Nathaniel, Elizabeth, Rachel, Hannah, Cole, and John Farnham; and one great-granddaughter, Halie. He is also survived by his sister-in-law and her husband, Grace and Bob Varney; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brother, John R. Farnham. Rod was born and raised in Northampton, the son of the late F. Russell and Irene (May) Farnham. He spent his early years between Lake Dunmore, Vermont, and western Massachusetts. He attended Williston Academy and was an alumnus of the University of Massachusetts. He met his future wife, Phyllis, at UMass, marrying in 1959. They lived in Conn., Mass., and N.H., throughout their marriage, residing in Hingham for over thirty years. Rod was a retired Reinsurance Executive and was an avid golfer, gardener and cook. He and Phyllis loved to vacation in Vermont, Cape Cod, and Canada. No funeral services are currently scheduled. A private burial may occur at a later date. Donations in memory of Rod can be made to the Norwell Visiting Nurses Association and Hospice via the NVNA and Hospice Charitable Fund, 120 Longwater Drive, Norwell, MA 02061, 781-610-1409.
Judith Balise Stein ’45
Judith Balise Stein peacefully passed away on the morning of May 6, 2019 at home surrounded by her loving family. She was born in Northampton in 1928 and attended The Northampton School for Girls followed by graduation from Smith College. She worked on a fellowship at Harvard School of Public Health for a year during which time she married Richard Stein, professor of Chemistry at the University of Massachusetts. She further earned a graduate degree of education from UMass and resided in Amherst. She choose to play a supporting role in her husband’s career and raised four daughters before venturing into her interest in real estate and established a successful rental property business.
Judy traveled the world with her husband to numerous countries including Japan, China, Russia, United Arab Emirates, India, Sweden, England, France, Germany and Italy. Judy would love to experience the local culture and would leave behind a bit of her American way of thinking.
Summers were spent at their Lake Wyola cottage which always had an open door welcoming extended family and friends. Anyone she met was always invited and encouraged to come to the lake for a swim and a meal. There was always a spare bathing suit available and a freezer full of ice cream.
Judy was a member of the Amherst Women’s Club where she was honored with a life time membership after 50 continuous years as a member, a member of the International Wives Club where she took joy helping new arrivals acclimate to life in Amherst, a member of The League of Women Voters and a member of the Appalachian Mountain Club, always enjoying an adventurous hike.
Throughout her life Judy always was thinking of others first, never wanting the focus on herself. Her later years were spent lovingly being cared for by her husband, children, grandchildren and her most recent caregivers Cynthia, Becky, Sharon and Sarah. A special thank you to the Hospice of the Fisher Home team for their support and guidance.
She is survived by her husband Richard Stein, her children Anne Stein and husband Monty Kroopkin of San Diego, Carol Avonti and husband Steve of West Springfield, Lisa Lesure and husband Walter of Amherst and son-in-law Darrel Rost of Pittsfield, six grandchildren: Faith Stein, Kay Parsons, Rick Avonti, Mariah Lesure, Kayla Lesure and Taylor Lesure, 4 great grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, and her beloved sister-in law Lucy Townsend who became a true sister and friend. She joins her late brothers Peter Balise, John Balise and David Balise and her late daughter Linda Rost.
Her remains have been donated to the University of Massachusetts Medical School. A memorial service will occur this summer. Gifts in her memory may be donated to Hospice of the Fisher Home in Amherst.
Jack D. Hathaway ’55
With sad but peaceful hearts we announce the death of Jack Dalton Hathaway. Jack passed away peacefully at home in Woodstown, New Jersey, early Tuesday morning, May 14, 2019 at age 83. Born January 11, 1936 to Harry and Edith Clark Dalton in Ware, Massachusetts, Jack’s biological father died at an early age and Jack was subsequently adopted by his stepfather Holland Marsh Hathaway, whom he always considered his father. Jack is survived by his wife of 59 years, Gertrude “Trudi” Huber Hathaway and their two sons, John Clark Hathaway (Judy) and Douglas Huber Hathaway (Nan) and their five grandchildren, Evan, Clark, Caroline, Elizabeth and Hillary. He is also survived by his brother Clark P. Hathaway (Linda). Jack grew up in Nahant, Massachusetts and Barrington, Rhode Island. He attended Barrington High School and Williston Academy, a boarding preparatory school in Easthampton, Massachusetts, where he lettered in soccer and basketball. In 1959 he graduated from Gettysburg College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and History. He earned a Master’s in Education from Shippensburg University in 1968. His athletic career in soccer and basketball followed him to Gettysburg College and in 2008, Jack was inducted into the Gettysburg College Hall of Athletic Honor. At Gettysburg Jack was a member of Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity. After college, Jack served in the Army and married his college sweetheart. He began his teaching and coaching careers in 1962 at Waynesboro High School in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. In 1968 his family moved to South Jersey where he accepted a position as teacher and head basketball coach at Pennsville Memorial High School. In 1980 Jack established the boys’ varsity soccer program at Pennsville High School and coached for many years. Jack truly loved teaching and coaching and made a difference in the lives of many of his students as evidenced by letters he often received years after they graduated. In 1984 he was named New Jersey Social Studies Teacher of the Year and in 1990 he was an exchange teacher to Russia with a program called “Hands Across the Water”. Community volunteerism was always a significant part of Jack’s life. When he moved to South Jersey, he became involved immediately with the Salem County YMCA, which allowed him to work with the youth in the Woodstown area. After his retirement in 1993 from public education he took on numerous volunteer positions. He was a board member of the American Red Cross for NJ – PA and for 18 years he coordinated the Woodstown Red Cross Blood Drive. He was a Salem County Habitat Board member and was President from 1999 – 2002; past chairperson of the Woodstown Historic Preservation Commission; a founding member of the Woodstown Beautification Committee and worked endlessly to secure funding for lampposts and flags in the Borough of Woodstown. Jack was a valued mentor in the Interfaith Council Tutoring Program for 18 years and was a dedicated volunteer for Meals on Wheels. In 2017 he was recognized for his decades of volunteer leadership by receiving the Woodstown Outstanding Citizen Award. Although he served on several boards and committees within the Woodstown Presbyterian Church, he always felt that his time as a Deacon was the most important. He went on three Mission Trips to Romania to help build a Christian Orphanage and numerous mission trips within the U.S. Jack loved spending time in Cape May with his family and friends. One of his favorite pastimes was gathering twice a month with his Hearts group always with a goal of “shooting the moon”. An extra special pastime of Jack’s was playing team sports with the Salem County Civic Softball League and the Pennsville Basketball Rec League. Jack and Trudi along with friends loved exploring far away destinations, the Scandinavian countries were Jack’s favorites. But his greatest joy was sitting and talking with his children and five grandchildren. A Memorial Service will take place at the Woodstown Presbyterian Church, 46 Auburn Street, Woodstown, NJ on May 31, 2019 at 11:00 am with a light lunch and visitation time following the service. Burial will take place in the church Memorial Garden at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Woodstown Beautification Committee c/o Lester Robeson, 160 East Avenue, Woodstown, NJ 08098 or the Woodstown Presbyterian Church, 46 Auburn Street, Woodstown, NJ 08098.
Janice R. Brown ’43
Janice Rae Brown, 92, died on May 13, 2019, at Day Brook Village in Holyoke, Massachusetts.
Janice was born in Northampton on May 31, 1926, to the late Lorimer Hamilton and Pearle (Farnham) Brown. She was the sister of Roger Hamilton Brown, U.S.N. Lt. Com., and Frances Joy Brown, R.N., both deceased.
Janice Brown graduated from the former Northampton School for Girls, and later from Smith College earning both a B.A. and later with an M.Ed.
Her teaching years included positions in West Hartford, CT, and Northampton. She was a member of the former First Baptist Church.
All services will be private with burial in the Farnham family lot at Lakeview Cemetery in Shoreham, VT.
Pamella Storr Conrad ’45
Pamella Storr Conrad died December 13, 2017, at age ninety, in Fort Meyers, Florida. She is survived by her daughter, Candace C. Stafford, and son, Donald Edward Conrad. Her husband, Thomas E. Conrad, and a second daughter, Pamela, predeceased her. She is also survived by seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
James N. Perkins ’51
Jim Perkins, entrepreneur, writer, sportsman, conservationist and patriot, died April 16, 2019. He was 85.
Born in Littleton, NH, a hardscrabble town near the Canadian border, he was the son of Nick and Lucia Perkins, who emigrated from Greek Macedonia. His parents built a life in Littleton opening a popular restaurant, The White Mountain Café, where Jim learned to wash dishes, bake pies and make friends. The family later opened the Perkins Motel, the first Florida style resort motel in the state.
Jim grew up hiking, hunting, fishing and skiing, fostering a lifelong love of the mountains and respect for the environment. The beneficiary of his parents’ reverence for education, Jim graduated from Williston Academy and Dartmouth College.
While at Dartmouth he was mentored by Corey Ford, a prolific humor and nature writer. While still in college, Jim was published in The Saturday Evening Post and Field and Stream and co-wrote a screenplay for John Wayne’s independent film company, Batjac Productions.
Jim described his rich and varied career as “moving words and pictures in various ways.” His early achievements included executive positions with Curtis Publishing, Doubleday & Co., Playboy Press and The Times Mirror Company, where he initiated successful book projects such as the Outdoor Bible Series and the Audubon Nature Encyclopedia, which sold millions of copies.
Following his corporate publishing career Jim started his own marketing agency. He went on to originate The Home Shopping Show, a half-hour program delivered by satellite on which national advertisers such as Revlon, Pillsbury and Chevrolet demonstrated their products. Advertising Age called Jim a “new media visionary and one of the original cable idea men.” He joined with the Hearst Corporation and ABC Television to head a venture specializing in cable programming and is credited with creating the original Lifetime and ARTS networks. Next, he followed the developing technology, creating communication projects for a joint venture between Citibank, Nynex and RCA called CNR Partners.
Conservation was a continuing thread in Jim’s life. As an Air Force lieutenant he worked in the Office of Public Information. He became a captain and as one of the most junior officers in the Pentagon, Jim developed a program to designate Air Force bases as conservation areas. His concept was accepted and it is credited with protecting some 30 million acres and hundreds of endangered species of plants and animals on military bases around the world. For this big idea Jim received The U.S. Commendation Medal, the nation’s second highest peacetime award. More recently he was honored again by the Department of Defense for “One Good Idea.”
After moving to Litchfield County, Connecticut, Jim became a trustee of the Sunny Valley Association, protecting 2,500 acres. He originated and chaired The New Milford Inland Wetlands Commission and was president of The Housatonic Valley Association. He received an official citation from the Connecticut General Assembly for helping to protect thousands of acres in Kent from projected casino development.
An avid athlete, Jim loved cruising on his trawler The Chimera, and was still skiing in his 80s in Colorado and Montana. He also loved golf, heading up the Northwest Seniors League, and was a 28-year member of The Lake Waramaug Country Club.
Fearless, intelligent, hardworking, stylish, curious, generous and fun, he was known as “a guy who makes things happen.” Beloved husband, father, brother and patriarch, Jim is survived by Judy, his wife of 40 years, and daughters Susan (an MBA, CFA, attorney and skydiver), Karen (a PhD in molecular biology, educator and triathlon competitor) and Elizabeth (a stage, film and television actor). His survivors also include his sister Pamela Perkins; brothers-in-law Bruce Berger and James Holb; sons-in-law Julio Macat and Jon Stark; his aunt Catherine Tegu; eight grandchildren; and many talented cousins, nieces and nephews, all of whom Jim loved and respected as individuals. He was preceded in death by his sister Nitsa Perkins Bailey.
Jim’s autobiography By Way of Luck – How Chance Shaped a Storied Life, chronicles his ever evolving adventures.
Services will be held June 8, 2019 at St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Kent, where Jim was a member of The Vestry. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Kent Memorial Library, The Kent Volunteer Fire Department or the Kent Land Trust.
Those who cannot attend may wish to send a note with a memory of Jim to email@example.com.
Glenn F. Swanson ’64
Glenn Frank “Swanee” Swanson passed away on April 26, 2019 at his home in Easthampton, MA at the age of 73. He had just finished chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer and the cause of death was sudden and unexpected, but he did not suffer and his family is thankful for that. He will be remembered as a dedicated teacher, loving father, and supportive friend. Swanee was born in 1946 in Brockton, MA to Frank and Maida (Grinnell) Swanson. He graduated from the Williston Northampton School in Easthampton, MA, where he served as both proctor and captain of the soccer team and also played basketball and baseball. He attended Haverford College, graduating in 1968 with a degree in history, after which he returned to Williston as a teacher of history, and philosophy. He also earned a Masters in history from UMass Amherst. During his 46 years at Williston, he also coached many sports, and served as the Dean of Students for 17 years.
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