Matthew E. Peck ’69

Matthew Edward Peck, age 72, passed away April 22, 2023 at Noble Hospital in Westfield, MA. Born in Springfield on August 31, 1950, to the late Edward C. Peck, Jr., and Ruth (Mahoney) Peck, Matthew was educated in West Springfield’s parochial and public schools; attended Williston Academy, St. Louis University, Holyoke Community College, and the University of Bridgeport; and earned an MBA degree at American International College.
A lifelong soccer player and all-around athlete, Matthew coached and played soccer in Puerto Rico and was chosen to be a part of the Puerto Rican National soccer team while living there from 1975 to 1978. Matt taught history at the Robinson School while in Puerto Rico and married Pamela J. Epler in 1975 in the Robinson School Chapel. After returning to Western Massachusetts, he and his older brother Robert published the New England Soccer News, one of the first soccer magazines in Western Mass. He also coached soccer at American International College. He taught history in the bilingual program and coached soccer at Springfield’s Commerce High School. Together, Matthew and Pamela worked with the Center for Human Development in Western Mass. and were instrumental in caring for several children in the custody of child services. Following his teaching career, Matthew shifted to a sales career, and, with business partner John Fleet, formed Fleet Business Products. After decades at Fleet Business Products, Matthew traded in the company Buick and embarked on a third career as a truck driver, fulfilling a childhood dream of driving a big rig around the country. Matthew was an avid reader of history, politics, and current events. Having hitchhiked through South and Central America in his 20’s, he loved speaking Spanish and maintained an interest in Latin American heritage and culture throughout his life. He enjoyed camping, canoeing, golfing, sailing his sunfish, and vacationing at the family beach house in Marshfield, MA.
He was an exceptionally friendly, welcoming, warm, and charismatic person and will be dearly missed by the many friends and relatives whose lives were brightened by his good cheer and happy outlook. With his former wife, Pamela Epler, now of South Hadley, MA, Matthew raised two children, Christopher J. Peck, of Springfield, MA, and Rosemary F. Peck, of Pittsburgh, PA, both of whom he loved very much. Matthew inspired a love of sports and athletics in his son Christopher, who currently holds a degree in Athletic Training and is a specialist in sports medicine equipment. Matthew encouraged a love of travel and languages in Rosemary, who also attended Williston Northampton School (’04) and St. Louis University, studying at SLU’s Madrid, Spain and Missouri campuses. More recently, Matt delighted in his new role as Grandpa to Rosemary’s now 18-month-old son, Nevin Edward Xia, of Pittsburgh, PA. For the past decade and a half, Matthew shared his life with Carolyn Charette, of West Springfield, and helped guide and mentor her son, Garrett, who has since completed a degree in dentistry at Boston University and is currently pursuing a degree in orthodontics at Georgia School of Orthodontics.
He leaves behind partner Carolyn Charette (West Springfield) and her son Garrett Charette (Atlanta, GA); son Christopher Peck (Kimberly Peck) of Springfield; daughter Rosemary Peck (Dr. Zongqi Xia) and grandson Nevin Edward Xia of Pittsburgh, PA, along with his former wife, Pamela Epler; five siblings: Robert J. Peck (Jill Lewin) of Agawam, Dr. Deborah A. Peck of Somerville, Mary Abigail Peck (Lorraine Gray) of Roslindale, John Patrick Peck (Mary Jane Peck) of Milford, and Richard A. Peck of West Springfield; five nieces and nephews: Tralice Peck Bracy (Robert Bracy), Jessie Peck, Eleanor Peck (Matthew Frey), Ryan DiLoreti (Suzanne Christie), and Skylar Peck; as well as several cousins and relatives among the Charette, Peck, Mahoney, Bucher, and Epler families.
Calling hours will be Friday, April 28, from 4-7 pm at the Toomey-O’Brien Funeral Home, 1043 Westfield Street, West Springfield. There will be a Funeral Mass Saturday, April 29 at 9:30 am at St. Thomas the Apostle Church followed by a burial at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Springfield. In lieu of flowers donations in Matthew’s memory may be made to the West Springfield Youth Sports Assn., P.O. Box 868, West Springfield, MA 01090.

Mark W. Sullivan ’71

Mark W. Sullivan, a former executive at General Motors , died on March 14, 2023 of complications from diabetes. Mr. Sullivan was born in 1953 in Naples, Italy, where his father was stationed as a U. S. diplomat. After living in Italy and the Netherlands, he spent some time in the United States before joining his family in Vientiane, Laos. He was educated at Williston Academy in Easthampton, MA, and Occidental College. He then spent a period working for USAID in the Philippines before obtaining an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management in 1979. Mr. Sullivan spent 28 years at General Motors, taking positions of increasing responsibility as a manager in benchmarking and strategic analysis; his final role was as Manager of Strategic Analysis, responsible for analyzing industry trends in the automotive industry, and providing advice on financial and corporate strategy. After he left General Motors, Mr. Sullivan built on his experience to provide independent consulting services in the automotive industry. He is survived by two sisters, Anne Sullivan and Margaret Sullivan, and six nephews and nieces, Brian Wallach, Thomas Wallach, Peter Wallach, Mercedes Plessmann, Sarah Ross, and Maximiliano Plessmann. A memorial service will be held shortly. For details, please contact Pixley Funeral Home, Rochester MI at 248-651-9641. Donations in his memory may be made to I Am ALS,

Edward Payson Call ’46

Distinguished stage director Edward Payson Call died at his home in Seattle on February 1, 2023. Ed had a long and prominent career in the theatre starting in New York in the late 1950’s where he stage managed on Broadway. In 1963 Ed was part of the inaugural artistic staff of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, working with famed director Dr. Tyrone Guthrie. After directing at the Guthrie and other regional theatres, Ed was hired as the founding Artistic Director of the Denver Center Theatre Company which opened in 1980. He led that company for five years.

In the 1990’s, he settled in Seattle but continued freelance directing and teaching in cities and universities across the country. He was passionate about introducing young people to Shakespeare, which led him to start the Young Shakespeare Workshop here in 1992. Ed created a free summer course for teens to study and perform sonnets, speeches and scenes.

Ed was brilliant, gifted, demanding, and loved the written word. His amazing productions on stages across the country thrilled thousands of audience members. Hundreds of actors, directors, theatre technicians and administrative staff have stories—some funny, some touching, all memorable— about Ed Call, the BFAD. Above all, he helped so many young people in our community kindle their own passion for the words and works of Shakespeare.

There will be a celebration of Ed’s life at his home on Saturday, February 11 at 2:00 pm. Memorials or donations may be made to the Stage Directors and Choreographers Emergency Assistance Fund.

“When he shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars, and he will make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will be in love with night.” William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

Howard ‘Marshall’ Benjamin ’58

April 19, 1939 – February 20, 2023

Marshall was born at the Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital in Los Angeles, California – growing to a tall, blonde, handsome man with a heck of a sense of humor. A “Valley” boy, he attended Birmingham High where he lettered in football and baseball, then spent two years at Williston Academy in Massachusetts, lettering in the same sports. In the third grade he met his life-long buddy, Pat Connelly, and a year later, Skip Townsend. It was the 1950s – a great time for kids to grow up in the San Fernando Valley. After two years in the Army National Guard, Marshall started classes at USC joining Phi Kappa Psi fraternity for a lot of fun, and a few beers at the “901 Club”. Then on April 1, 1977, Marshall met Judy Lusk at Casey’s Bar in Downtown Los Angeles. They married a year later. Marshall and Judy traveled a lot – all the states and many European countries, finally settling down in Carmel Valley, California. Here at Garland Park, Marshall walked his dogs on the trails, in the hills and along the river. But the best time of all for the Benjamins? …fall and football and USC! Marshall and Judy did not miss watching one USC game in almost 46 years. “Who’s calling those stinkin’ plays?” was heard every season. And so … Marshall leaves behind his wife, Judy; his son, Erik; sister, Susan Stone; Beezee; his pals at Hertz; old-friend, Tim Townsend, and oldest-friend, Pat Connelly. Marshall has “run the race.” He is in the Heavenly realm with Jesus Christ his Lord and Savior. We’ll meet again, Marshall. We love you. We miss you. FIGHT ON!

David J. Moriarty ’55

David J. Moriarty, age 86, of Holyoke, MA, passed away on Wednesday, March 29, 2023 at Day Brook Village. He was born in Holyoke, son of the late HFD Captain William A. Moriarty and Mary K. (Manning) Moriarty. He graduated from Holyoke High School Class of 1954, Williston Academy, Tufts University, and did graduate study at Babson College. David was employed at Mass Mutual and Confederated Insurance Companies, and also for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He served in the Massachusetts Air National Guard, and was activated by the United States Air Force from 1961-1962, serving in Germany. He lived in the Boston area when he was married to his former wife, Ruth Ann (Kirk) Moriarty, and returned to Western Mass, living most recently at Day Brook Village Assisted Living. He is survived by one son, Peter and his wife Cindy, and their two sons, Patrick and Michael of Rockland MA. David will be missed by his sisters, Eleanor Cress of Longmeadow and Marian Sullivan of Stamford CT, as well as his beloved friend Joan DiCarlo of Holyoke. He was predeceased by his brother William Moriarty. A private family funeral will take place at a later date, and David will be buried with his parents at Saint Jerome Cemetery in Holyoke. The Moriarty family would like to publicly thank the staff of Day Brook Village and Holyoke Medical Center for the care they offered to David during these last few years. The family asks you to please omit flowers.

Jordan R. Dann ’44

Dr. Jordan Robert (Bob) Dann, who practiced veterinary medicine in Ridgefield Connecticut for over 65 years, passed away on July 10, 2022, 96 years to the day of his birth on July 10, 1926.

Bob was born in Pelham, New York to Albert Dann and Rosalind Dann. He left this world as he lived in it, peacefully, steadily, on his own terms, and with his dignity fully intact. He was married to the late Judith Leserer Dann and together they contributed to the Connecticut community they loved for more than fifty years. He is survived by his son, Curtis Dann of Danbury Connecticut, his son Jeoffrey Dann of Riggins, Idaho, and three grandchildren: Adam Dann of Washington D.C, Ashley Dann of Plympton, Massachusetts, and Elizabeth Dann of Burlington Vermont. He also leaves behind three great granddaughters, Cathleen, Molly and Maggie.

Beyond his immediate family, Bob Dann was father, friend, brother, and mentor to many others whose lives he touched and enriched beyond measure. There are too many to name here but of particular note are Dr. Sally Knowles of West Hartford, Connecticut and her sons David and Scott, Zion Banda and her daughter Zoe of Southbury, Connecticut, Dr. Delfino Hernandez Agula of Carr Jocotepec-Chapala, Mexico, his Godson, Andrew Jordan Zarro of Portland, Maine, Dr. Ian Smith of Chicago, IL Dana Smith of California and his friend Frank Zarro of Saratoga Springs, New York. Bob Dann had many other spiritual sons and daughters who will understand that the omission of their names here by no means diminishes how important they were to him, and he was to them.

This was no ordinary man. During his medical career, Dr. Dann was a member of both the Connecticut Board of Veterinary Medicine and Harvard Schools Committee for Fairfield County, Connecticut for two decades and served as Chairman of the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association Committee on Ethics for many years. Additionally, he provided leadership as the president of the Fairfield County Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Dann’s community service also includes his role as a member of the Danbury Hospital Development Fund Board of Directors. Bob Dann also had an entrepreneurial side and toward the end of his career initiated several significant privately funded public benefit programs addressing environmental remediation, workforce development for underserved communities, veterans’ rights, and affordable housing, which will benefit numerous individuals, families, and communities.

Jordan Dann served as a member of the U.S. Army Combat Engineers and was stationed in Germany from 1944-1946. Bob enlisted at the age of eighteen and quickly rose to the rank of Sergeant. At the age of nineteen he led a squad of men. He then entered officer training school and earned the rank of Second Lieutenant Combat Engineer. After the war Bob was admitted to Harvard University where he was awarded his undergraduate degree. Dr. Dann then went on to earn his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine with distinction from Colorado University.

Bob Dann spent his life serving others and caring for creation. His love and tenderness for all animals and his devotion to their comfort and wellness were matched only by his love of people. As tender and loving as this man was, he was also strong and resolute. His devotion to the people and causes he loved was unshakeable and it was sometimes difficult to comprehend how anyone so kind and loving could be so strong. His life was a continuous testament to the enduring and indestructible power of love. Bob was a man who lived simply and acted justly, always with the right combination of old-school Connecticut formality and Harvard self-confidence, solidly underpinned by genuine humility and a true sense of self. An “I love you” to Bob Dann was often met with this reserved but heartfelt reply: “you know that’s reciprocal.” We all at some point have occasion to say that this world has lost a great woman or man. In Bob Dann’s case, these words take on additional meaning. Bob Dann’s voice, as he assessed the world and proffered his assurance that it would all turn out well in the end was centering, stabilizing, and inspiring. The loss of his voice, especially in these difficult times, is unsettling. But we can be comforted by the knowledge that Bob Dann’s legacy lives on, exponentially, in the lives he touched, the places he made better, the work he did, and the way he loved. Those of us who had the good fortune and the privilege of knowing Bob have a special duty, to share what he gave to us, to honor his legacy, and to carry on with what his life was all about, “..To make gentle, the life of the world.” Love you, Bob. We know. It’s reciprocal.

A Memorial Service will take place in the Fall at a date and time to be announced. Contributions in Dr. Dann’s memory may be made to ROAR (Ridgefield Operation for Animal Rescue) or DAWS (Danbury Animal Welfare Society). Kane Funeral Home, Ridgefield is in care of arrangements.