Charles Enver Jabri, of Springfield, Massachusetts, passed away on December 15, 2022 at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton. Son of the late Marwan Jabri and Mary Lee (Sands) Jabri ’55, Charles was born April 10, 1965 on Staten Island, New York. Growing up in Longmeadow and East Longmeadow, he graduated, in 1983 from the Williston Northampton School, Easthampton, and attended the University of Massachusetts and the University of Minnesota. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Western New England College, Springfield. Charles was active in the alumni associations of WNEC and Williston Northampton School and gave of his time to the Boys and Girls Club and Shriners Hospital for Children, both in Springfield, and the Holyoke Soldiers Home. He was also a long-time supporter of the Springfield Library and Museums Association. He leaves a cousin, Walter Pinto, and his wife Pamela, of Cobalt Connecticut; cousins of the Jabri family in Aleppo, Syria, the Elchelebi family in Melbourne, Australia, and Cafazzo family in Maine and Connecticut; and dear friends the Joseph Dennis family of Enfield, Connecticut. Gracious thanks to the staff at Capuano Home Care, East Longmeadow, for their caring services the past many years and for the attentive and compassionate care of the Nurses and Doctors at Cooley Dickinson. A private burial will be held at the Founders Cemetery of Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. There are no calling hours. Byron Keenan Funeral Home of Springfield is attending to arrangements. Memorial donations may be made to the Boys and Girls Club of Springfield, 481 Carew St, Springfield, Ma 01104 or Shriners Hospital for Children, 561 Carew St, Springfield, MA 01104.
Monthly Archives: December 2022
Dalton F. McClelland, Jr. ’48
Dr. Dalton Finley McClelland, Jr. shuffled off his mortal coil on Saturday, December 3, 2022. He passed at peace and without pain, surrounded by family, just shy of his 92nd birthday.
His message: In Dalton’s final years, you may have heard him say we need to “put an end to all war” and “get on top of climate change.” All his life he was adventurous and inquisitive. Anyone who met Dalton became a friend, and he was generous to a fault. He worked and hoped for peace and to live a life of service, and to do his part to provide health care as a human right for all.
Life: He was born December 30, 1930 in Madras. India, where his father served as secretary for the International YMCA. In 1945, at age 14 he came to the United States, studied at Williston Academy in Easthampton, Massachusetts, then on to college at Oberlin and ultimately attended medical school at Case Western Reserve in Ohio. In the years between high school and medical school he served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, stationed in England. He moved to the southwest to practice medicine first at the Presbyterian Mission Hospital in Embudo, NM, then at the Eastside Community Health Center in Denver, CO. After returning to New Mexico, to Española for a brief stint in private practice, he loaded up the Volkswagen van in 1973 with wife Beth and 6 children, and took a job at the new El Rio Neighborhood Health Center. There are a multitude of stories in the intervening years-some happy, some sad, during which time he became an active member of Southside Presbyterian Church and eventually a regular at the U.S. federal building on Friday afternoons, protesting US intervention in Central America, and other wars and aggression. He was also a devoted Red Sox fan, but in all other sports he would inevitably root for the “underdog”. When he retired from El Rio in 2001, he began a life of activism and volunteering with Samaritans, Clínica Amistad, Veterans for Peace, Women in Black, and countless others.
Survivors/Legacy: Dalton is predeceased by his parents, Dalton Finley McClelland, Sr. and Maud Kelsey McClelland, and his sister and brothers Marion Cramer, Harry and William McClelland, and his beloved daughter Amy Lynn McClelland. He is survived by his nine wonderful grandchildren, and by his children Jody Elizabeth Wilkens, Andrew Christopher McClelland, Karen Denise Cameron, Margaret Kay McClelland, Deborah Jean McClelland and Lee Ann Chamberlain, and numerous dear nieces, nephews and sisters in-law. He also leaves behind a multitude of friends and admirers. In his final years he lived independently at the Fountains at La Cholla community, where many will remember him fondly.
Memorials: In person celebration of Dalton’s life will take place in the early part of 2023, at a time and place yet to be determined. In the meantime we ask that you share memories here, and go out into the world and do something that reminds you of him (a nice hike in the desert, making a new friend, sitting down to a delicious meal with loved ones, something to make you or others smile).
Gifts in his memory: In lieu of flowers please consider contributing to Clínica Amistad, Casa María, Tucson Community Food Bank, Veterans for Peace-Jon Miles Chapter, Pima County Public Library, or any organization you feel embodies the Dalton that you knew & loved.
Austen Eadie-Friedmann ’02
Austen Eadie-Friedmann, beloved husband, brother, son, and friend, died at his home in Thompson, Connecticut on December 1, 2022 after a hard-fought three-year battle with ALS. He was 39. Autumn was his favorite season, and he was happily able to experience one last colorful changing of the leaves in the home that he loved so much before his passing.
Born in New York, Austen spent his formative years in New Jersey, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Massachusetts, where he attended the Williston Northampton School. In 2006, he received a degree in history from Tufts University and worked for law firm Proskauer Rose before receiving a Master’s in Human Resource Management from Rutgers (2012). Most of his subsequent career was in human resources for the pharmaceutical industry, at Bristol Myers Squibb in New Jersey and London and Alexion in Boston, with a brief foray into luxury fashion at Chanel in New York.
It was at Tufts where he met and fell in love with his partner of 17 years, William (Billy) DeGregorio, 36, a fashion historian. The two formed a civil union in 2012, and married in 2017.
His peripatetic childhood laid the groundwork for a passion for travel and history that he would nurture for the rest of his life. As a teenager, he did charity work in Honduras and studied abroad in Spain (where he picked up a stomach flu and a lifelong antipathy for manchego). He saw all but two of the United States and 12 countries, including the UK, Belgium, Latvia, Poland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Italy, France, Turkey, Egypt. Some of his happiest moments were vacations spent with Billy on Cape Cod.
Diagnosed with ALS two days before his 36th birthday, Austen’s ability to travel and ardent professional ambition came to a sudden end, as the disease quickly robbed him of mobility. The disease cheated him out of the long career he had envisioned, but he chose to transition to patient experience at Alexion, bringing the clarity and compassion defined his professional demeanor to patient and caregiver advocacy. Towards the end of his life, when daily remote work became impossible, he volunteered his expertise to nonprofits organizations like I Am ALS and EverythingALS, where he served as an industry consultant.
Austen was a man of contrasts: decorous but irreverent; haughty and formal, but with a dark and often dirty sense of humor that delighted his friends. Human resources executives are not often the most popular members of an organization, but Austen’s mixture of clarity, calm, and compassion made him so. He was often the go-to man for the dreaded task of firing, not because he enjoyed it, but because he communicated with kindness and honesty. Afterwards, those on the other side of the desk would often thank him. He deeply regretted that at precisely the moment where he was entering his stride professionally, he was obliged to shut down his hopes of a more illustrious career.
It was his prosaic determination in the face of ALS that disarmed those accustomed to a more Pollyannaish attitude towards terminal illness. He often said that he did not consider his life a tragedy, though his loved ones may have felt differently. While he knew that ALS was a cruel and unfair fate, his mantra was “It is what it is,” a characteristically matter-of-fact perspective that helped him navigate the emotional rollercoaster of the disease. He even asked that one of his favorite songs, drag queen Alaska’s “It Is What It Is,” be played at his memorial service to remind those in attendance that his life was neither a catastrophe nor a triumph; it simply was what it was: full of love, laughter, and a heaping dose of cynicism.
One of Austen’s most fervent personal dreams was to own a house. In 2020, after a long search, he and Billy purchased the historic Alpheus Russell house (built ca. 1795) in remote Thompson. In the following two and a half years, they enlarged their collection of art and antiques, of which Austen thoroughly enjoyed directing the arrangement, even as he lost bodily function. His eye for the placement of pictures and objects was always spot on, and it gave him enormous pleasure to create a home for Billy and the couple’s beloved cat, Lily, whom the two had adopted in 2008.
Never a religious man, Austen instead worshipped the pantheon of great divas of the twentieth century. He appreciated the melodrama of Dinah Washington, Nina Simone, and Diana Ross, and the sheer raunchiness of Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, and drag queens like Alaska and Willam. (He and Billy never missed a season of RuPaul’s Drag Race.) Late in life he developed an abiding passion for Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, much to his husband’s delight. He particularly enjoyed the latter’s “Someday” and “Prisoner,” while a video of Houston performing “How Will I Know” live in 1986 became a sort of mood enhancing drug, watched periodically in order to make him smile.
His love of strong female characters extended to films and television as well. Kirsten Scott Thomas and Maggie Smith in Gosford Park (his favorite film); Rosalind Russell and Coral Browne in Auntie Mame; Bette Davis in All About Eve, Anjelica Huston in The Witches: these performances were near and dear to him always. He loved quoting lines from Russell in particular: “Does this make me look like a Scarsdale midge?” “The problem of labor in India is gargantuan,” and “Agnes, I wonder…”
Austen loved the finer things in life, particularly fine dining and wine. While the pandemic put a sudden halt to the former, he could enjoy wine until quite recently. When he was no longer able to eat or drink, much of his will to live quietly dissipated.
Austen is survived by his husband Billy; father Craig Friedmann ’71 of Reston, VA, mother Alexandra Eadie-Friedmann of Waterford, CT; sister Anna Friedmann of New York; and kittens Mariah and Whitney. Lily predeceased him in May of 2022. A private memorial is planned for the spring. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the organizations Austen championed most: Compassionate Care ALS, Death with Dignity, and the Nature Conservancy.
It is what it is, but it will never be the same.