It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Duncan Roy McMartin, in his 71st year, loving husband of Gwen Rich-McMartin of Harrington Sound Road, Bermuda. Duncan is also survived by his sister Marcia McMartin; sister-in-law Katherine Rich; cousins Charlie McMartin, Duncan Cameron McMartin and Bruce McMartin; godson Michael Midgett; goddaughters Alexandra McMartin and Jacquelyn Midgett. Duncan was predeceased by his father Duncan McMartin and mother Hilda (Ferguson) McMartin. A graveside service will be held Wednesday, January 26, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. at the family plot at St. John’s Church, Pembroke. In accordance with Covid-19 restrictions attendees are required to wear masks and adhere to social distancing. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to PALS www.pals.bm or Bermuda SPCA www.spca.bm.
It is with a deep sadness that I report the passing of longtime former faculty member Paul Luikart this past weekend after his long battle with cancer.
As many of you may know, Paul officially retired from Williston at the end of the 2021 academic year, following remote work during the heart of the pandemic. At last year’s year-end faculty and staff celebration, Jen Fulcher captured the breadth of his legacy, built from a career at Williston that began in 1997, teaching science in both the upper and middle schools and coaching judo for many years. As she said, “Paul’s passion for science and teaching are what got him out of bed every morning. No matter what the day before threw at him, he would make his way across campus to the Middle School. He had to be there to show those kids how amazing and fun life and science are.”
In his subject area, chemistry, Paul was encyclopedic, but his interests and life experience revealed a Renaissance scholar’s breadth of knowledge, and he was an absolutely devoted mentor to his students and advisees. A Vermonter to the core, Paul’s presence on campus was unmistakable and it did not take much to elicit his broad smile by asking him about a canoe trip or fishing expedition.
For most of the past decade, Paul taught exclusively in Whitaker-Bement, and so there are many current upper school day students who will have known him well and seen him teach despite days of obvious discomfort. As former Dean of Faculty Peter Valine stated so succinctly, “It was a privilege to know Paul and always inspiring to watch him teach.”
We will post a full obituary when one becomes available. In the meantime, I know I speak for so many of his friends, colleagues, and former students in saying that all of Williston extends our deepest sympathy and support to his daughter Bella ’16 and to Paul’s extended family.
Robert W. Hill III, P’15, ’19
Head of School
On Friday, January 7, 2022, Emily Gilman Hayden of Wilbraham, Massachusetts, passed comfortably to meet her many friends and loved ones in God’s kingdom and take her place in the alto section of the Heavenly choir, wearing Groucho Marx glasses and a fake mustache. She was surrounded by loving friends and family, and, after a mostly successful seven-year battle with lung cancer, she was ready to meet Jesus at last. Emily was predeceased by her parents, Doris (Ekstrom) and Donald Bertram Gilman, and brother, Hugh Gilman ’57, of Wellington, New Zealand. She is survived by her husband John ’62; son Peter ’88 and daughter-in-law Melissa; son Daniel ’93; grandchildren Kyra, Tyler, Giles and Ian; and siblings-in-law Peg Gilman, Priscilla Santiago and Tony Santiago, and many nieces and nephews. Emily was born on July 18th ,1943 in Elmhurst, Illinois. She spent her early years in Jackson, Mississippi before the family relocated to Warren, Massachusetts. However, she retained the ability to call up her best southern drawl on command. She attended the Northampton School for Girls, where she met John, her husband of 54 years, at a Valentine’s Day dance with the nearby boys school he attended. She was a gifted athlete (including archery and field hockey) and singer. She would go on to graduate from Skidmore College, where she was a member of the Sonneteers, with whom she toured. A life-long lover of books and knowledge, she earned her graduate degree from Springfield College, and held positions at several area bookstores, including Logos, Johnson’s, and the Christian Bookstore, before opening her own bookstore, The Last Word, in West Springfield, which she operated for years in person and later online. Above all, she was a homemaker, wife, mother and grandmother. In her later years, she was nearly always adorned with some item from one of her grandchildren’s colleges, and for whose school football teams she cheered raucously each fall weekend. She was also a caretaker of a several cats, who were her constant companions. In her later years, Emily devoted her time, passion, and creative energy to service in the Orchard Covenant Church and to the Community Survival Center of Indian Orchard. She was grateful to be welcomed into the community of Kenyan and Congolese families that have settled in our area. Through her many travels around the country and abroad, perhaps her most satisfying visit was to the village of Muhudu, in Kenya, where she was able to meet and share in the love of her adopted family. She faced her illness with characteristic frankness and toughness, but also with the reassurance that her journey would bring her home to the Lord. She was very grateful for the excellent care and support she received from doctors Michael Rosen and Philip Glynn; Lisa, Bonnie, and the nursing staff at the Sister Caritas Cancer Center, and the staff at Mercy Hospital. She could not have continued without the enduring support of her loving husband John, who was constantly by her side. She passed on at home, cared for by friends and family, and was welcomed in Heaven at last with love. A Celebration of Life Service will be held at a later date. Wilbraham Funeral Home, 2551 Boston Rd., Wilbraham, MA 01095 is in charge of the arrangements. The family requests those who wish to to consider a donation to Community Survival Center of Indian Orchard, 240 Main St., Indian Orchard MA 01151, https://communitysurvivalcenter.org. or Orchard Covenant Church, 95 Berkshire St. Indian Orchard, MA 01151, https://www.orchardcovenant.org.
Clayton Thomas Hardon of Fox Chapel, PA, died peacefully surrounded by his family on January 11th, 2022, at the age of 91. He is survived by his wife, Sally Flannery Hardon and son, Clay Jr. ’78 (Claire ’79), daughter, Meg, daughter, Kelly O’Leary (Frank), son, Chris ’81, son, Tony (Michele) and daughter, Sara Aros (Steve), plus his eight grandchildren, including Tommy (Donna), Michael (Ida), Kelley, William, Margot, Jack, Callie, and Addie. He was raised in Longmeadow, Massachusetts by his mother, Elizabeth Coulter Hardon, an immigrant from Scotland. He attended Williston Academy in Easthampton, MA, and graduated from Duke University with a degree in mechanical engineering. He served as a navigator bombardier in the Strategic Air Command of the United States Air Force. Following his service in the Air Force, he came to Pittsburgh to start his career at Westinghouse Electric as an engineer in their nuclear division. It was in Pittsburgh that he met his beloved wife, Sally, and where they raised their six children. His entrepreneurial ventures started with a steel fabrication business that served the steel and electronics industries, followed by a commercial signage business. He was an active member of his many communities including Judge of Elections in Fox Chapel, Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church, Foxwall Emergency Medical Services, Fox Chapel Hackers golf group, and the Pittsburgh Field Club. As a lifelong athlete and competitor, Clay played ice hockey, football, squash, paddle tennis and had a lifetime enjoyment of golf. He passed his love of paddle and golf on to his kids and grandkids who enjoyed competing with him on the course and the court. Cover-to-cover reader of The New Yorker, faithful completer of the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle and jazz aficionado, he appreciated creativity, philosophy, and the arts. Clay approached life with an easy-going and unpretentious warmth. He will be remembered with love and fondness by his family and friends for his natty dress, dry wit, and grateful spirit. Friends will be received on Thursday, January 20, 2022, from 1:00 to 1:45 p.m. in the Atrium of Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church followed by a Funeral Service at 2 p.m. in the Main Sanctuary. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made in memory of Clayton Hardon to Foxwall Emergency Medical Services, 749 Hemlock Hollow Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15238.
Barbara E. (Mitchell-Frieswick) Scilipoti, 87, passed away peacefully with family by her side on December 27, 2021. She was predeceased by her loving husband and companion, Sergio. She was the daughter of the late Edward L. and Mildred M. Mitchell of Mendon, MA. She was born in Milford, MA and raised her family in Milford and Upton, moving to Framingham, Marlborough and her final residence at Atria Draper Place in Hopedale. She is survived by her children, William Frieswick and his wife Kathleen of Haverhill, Nancy Phipps and her husband Wayne of Mendon, Renata Parsons and her husband Douglas of North Carolina, Robert Frieswick of Douglas and Daniel Frieswick of Dudley. She was predeceased by her daughter, Barbara of Parker, CO and brother Edward B. Mitchell. She was a loving aunt, nana and great-grandmother. Barbara graduated from Northampton School for Girls in 1951 and attended Michigan State College before returning home to marry William Frieswick of Milford and starting her family. Barbara loved serving the public and was President of the Upton PTA, Director of the Upton District Nurse’s Association and First Vice President of the Milford Hospital Ladies Aide. She also owned and operated the Upton Shuttle Service. Over her life she worked as an Employment Interviewer and Acting Personnel Director at the Milford Hospital, Commonwealth of MA Department of Public Health in Boston, Monster Board and Whitney Place in Natick. You often heard Barbara state that she loved being a mom and was blessed with 5 children by the age of 28. She enjoyed cooking, sewing and loved tap dancing as a child. She loved helping at her parents restaurant, Milly Mitchell’s where she handled the take out and hamburger/ hot dog window. When not working, she loved swimming in Lake Nipmuc. She was a woman of style, elegance and grace with a happy heart, delightful sense of humor and a warm and kind smile that made everyone that met her smile too. She will be deeply missed. Calling hours will be held on Friday, December 31, 2021 from 9:30-11AM in the Buma-Sargeant Funeral Home, 42 Congress St., Milford, MA followed by a funeral service at 11AM in the funeral home. Interment will follow at the Pine Grove Cemetery in Milford. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in memory of Barbara Scilipoti to the Fisher House Inc., 7323 West Highway 90, Suite 107, San Antonio, TX 78227. These donations will be made to the Lackland Air Force Base Chapter. The Fisher House provided housing/food for family during her daughter’s medical treatments. www.bumafuneralhome.com
We lost a kind, sensitive, wonderful friend when John K. Koerner passed away on August 20, 2021. He was born in Flint, Michigan, on April 24, 1945, into an incredibly loving family. His father, Carl, worked for General Motor, and climbed the executive ladder in the foundry division. The family was moved throughout the Midwest, ultimately landing in the corporate headquarters in Saginaw, Michigan. John also had an incredible mother, Madelon, and leaves behind brother Jim and sister Martha. Oldest son John grew up mostly in Saginaw and attended Arthur Hill High School where he swam competitively and had a wonderful group of friends. He played the guitar, had a wonderful voice, and sang with a bunch of his buddies. And they had fun.
John was aspiring to attend medical school, and thinking prep school might improve his options, he spent his last two years of high school at Williston. He attended Colgate University where he majored in English and then entered the VISTA program. They had him providing counselling for the underserved in Portland, Oregon. He explored being an electrician and then achieved a degree in programming; but, along the way, he was developing a deepening attraction to serving people, especially in a spiritual way.
John moved to Los Angeles and took a job at the University of Southern California as a Benefits Manager, assisting employees. While in Los Angeles John became increasingly more involved in spirituality and multiple religions; he traveled and spent time in the Middle East and Egypt.
When he returned home, he moved into an apartment in Marina Del Rey, retiring and focusing on spirituality. He made a life of going to the beach, visiting the Whole Earth café, being with friends and meditating. We miss his incredible smile and how easy it was to “catch up” with John and laugh all the way through it. John revered his family and friends, and let it be known that he loved us all and hoped that we would always know that. We do.
Donna Alice Loughran Bordes-Barrera, of Juno Beach, Florida, passed away July 11, 2021.
Jane K. Thompson, accomplished genealogist, beloved mother and grandmother, age 92, of Norwell, MA, passed away on December 14, 2021, in Providence, RI. Born Jane Gerrit Kremers on May 28, 1929, in Niagara Falls, NY, she was the daughter of Margaret Grace (Burling) and Ernest Kremers. As a child, she lived in Lewiston Heights, NY, where she recalled “jumping around in the hay and playing make-believe games.” She attended the three-room schoolhouse in Lewiston Heights and eventually attended Northampton School for Girls (MA) for one year in preparation to enter Smith College, where her mother had registered her at birth. In 1950, she graduated from Smith and married Jack Monroe Thompson. She raised four children while earning a Master of Social Work at Boston College and starting a career as a licensed clinical social worker. In the 70’s while working at Brown University, she became a trailblazer for equal pay – winning a lawsuit against the University for sex discrimination in salary. Once retired from social work, she devoted herself to genealogical research, publishing the award-winning “The Burling Books: Ancestors and Descendants of Edward and Grace Burling, Quakers (1600-2000).” Jane married Henry Irvin (Hank) Stahr, Jr., in 1986. They shared a love of family, reading, games, competitive croquet, Scrabble, sailing and travel. She and Hank lived on First Cliff, Scituate, for 28 years. Jane was predeceased by her husband Hank, in 2014; and her elder sisters Martha Burling (Kremers) Whitmore and Ann Lee (Kremers) Currie. She is survived by her children Andrew Thompson (Loren Brigham) of Providence, RI, Christopher Thompson (Deborah Waters Thompson) of Smithfield, RI, Mary Thompson (Joan Connors) of Moose Pass, AK and Geneva, Switzerland, James Thompson (Pamela Storey) of Jamestown, RI; and stepchildren John Stahr (Jennifer Jonas Stahr) of Hingham, MA, Carol Stahr Savage (James Savage) of Winchester, MA, and Tricia Stahr (Mark Cwetna) of Nederland, CO. She is also survived by seven Thompson grandchildren: Jessica Rohrbaugh (and daughter Mia), Adrian (Caroline Wheeler), Garrett (fiancée Sara Plotkin), Benjamin, Julia (Fletcher Bonin), Lily and Aimei Thompson; as well as six Stahr grandchildren: Stephen, David and Alexandra Stahr and Laura, Elizabeth (fiancé John Hibbard) and Emily Savage. Donations can be made in Jane’s name to Hope Health Hospice, 1085 N Main St., Providence, RI 02904, or to your local food pantry.
Frances Abbott Reynolds, 92, of Leicester, MA, died peacefully Tuesday, December 28, 2021, in her home.
Her husband, Thomas H. Reynolds ’44, died in 2007 in Wayland at the home where they raised their children. She leaves two sons; William Reynolds and his wife Diane of Agawam and Thomas Reynolds and his wife Susan of Plymouth, three daughters; Anne Leake and her husband David of Kaneohe, HI, Frances Nolan and her husband Daniel of Naples, FL and Susan Olivo and her husband John of Leicester with whom she lived, 13 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.
Frances was born in Springfield, the only child of Edwin K. and Frances Krause Abbott and was close friends with her cousin Edward Hobbie of Deerfield. Fran graduated from the Williston Northampton School and Wellesley College class of 1950. She was active in the Trinitarian Congregational Church in Wayland and volunteered with the Girls Scouts, as well as, serving in various leadership positions in
the Sudbury Wayside Inn Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution for many years. She became a member of the First Congregational Church upon moving to Leicester. During her life she enjoyed bible studies, going to church, listening to hymns and praying, reading, camping, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends.
Burial was in Olde Hadley Cemetery, Hadley, MA, on January 4, 2022. There will be a memorial service at the First Congregational Church of Leicester on May 28, 2022 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the First Congregational Church of Leicester Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 122, Leicester, MA 01524.