Michael R. Polczwartek ’54

Michael R. Polczwartek, 87 of Williamsburg, Massachusetts, passed away at home on March 6, 2023. Mr. Polczwartek was the son of Michael and Elizabeth (Kulessa) Polczwartek of Northampton.

He served our country in the army for four years during the Korean War. He began his working career as a barber in his fathers’ barber shop in Northampton, then went on to nursing school where he received a Masters Degree in Psychiatric Nursing. He was the first male nurse to graduate from UMASS Amherst in 1971.

Mr. Polczwartek became Director of the Sloan Clinic at Baystate Medical Hospital in Springfield, Ma. and worked for many years before his retirement. He and his wife were very active in their church, Holy Name of Jesus in South Deerfield, Ma.

He was predeceased by his wife of 65 years, Pauline, in June of 2022. He leaves his younger brother Stephen Polczwartek and his wife Marie in Whittingham, Vt. along with his 2 daughters Lynn O’Connell and her husband Donald and Lori Polczwartek Cahillane, two grandsons Sean and Martin Cahillane and 2 great grandsons Orion and Wyatt Cahillane as well as many nieces and nephews.

Michael was a lifelong New York Yankees and Giants fan along with enjoying NASCAR racing.

Czelusniak funeral home is handling arrangements and a private service will take place in the future.

Robert F. Thomas ’52

Robert F. Thomas passed away on September 30, 2023 at home with his beloved wife, Patricia (Patsy) and his dog Hansel. Robert was the son of George A. Thomas and Josephine Fairbanks Thomas. He was born on March 9, 1935 in Harford, Connecticut.
To cherish his memory, he leaves behind his beloved wife of 47 years, Patricia (Patsy)Thomas and a brother-in-law Paul A. Anderson. He had 3 children from a previous marriage: Heather Edelson and her children, Michael and Katelyn; Robert F. Thomas Jr. and his daughter, Emma; Blaise Thomas and his children Sara and Jess. He was preceded in death by his infant daughter, Valerie Ann Thomas.
He graduated from Williston Academy and Amherst College and did undergraduate studies at John Hopkins and Trinity colleges. Robert was an executive with Travelers Life Insurance Company where he held various positions. Robert was Senior VP of Administration for the Copeland Companies, a subsidiary of The Travelers. He was President of Travelers Life Insurance Overseas, a company having offices in the Caribbean as well as Hong Kong, Guam and the Pacific Islands. He was also on the board for President Reagan’s Caribbean Action Plan.
Robert played numerous sports. He taught tennis at Marble Head Country Club, during the summer while in school. He was a camp counselor at Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. He played semi-pro baseball and was a gifted skier. Robert was an ardent golfer. He had his MGA Card and taught golf at Boca Raton Country Club and at Boca West.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to any animal association, St Jude Hospital or cure for Alzheimer’s disease. He will be greatly missed. His wishes were to be cremated and be buried in Fitchburg, MA, and a Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

Jamie T. Irvine IV ’58

Jamie Thompson Irvine IV, 84, passed away peacefully at his home in Vero Beach, FL on Wednesday September 27, 2023, surrounded by his family.
Born on June 10,1939 in St. Louis, MO to Jamie T. Irvine III and Kathryn (Waychoff) Irvine, Jamie spent his childhood in Old Greenwich, CT. He later settled in Darien, CT where he raised his family. He attended The Williston Northampton School where he was the President of his class. He continued his education at the University of Virginia where he was a member of St. Elmo Hall (Delta Phi Fraternity). He went on to attend business school at the Thunderbird School of Global Management. He then worked as an insurance executive in New York, holding roles at Johnson & Higgins and Carroon and Black.
An avid sailor, Jamie participated in many East Coast regattas including the Block Island Race and the Bermuda Race. One of his proudest accomplishments was racing the original maxi yacht, Stormvogel, across the Atlantic Ocean. He was a member of the New York Yacht Club and also a longtime member of the Riverside Dyer Dinghy Association. He spent most of his winter weekends frostbiting.
Jamie, better known as “Turbs” by his closest friends, was known for his contagious personality and lived a full and energetic life. At home he was often outdoors in his bountiful vegetable garden, growing tomato plants from seed over the winter which he delivered to friends in the spring. He was also an excellent cook, baking bread or making chili which was enjoyed in front of a roaring fire, watching favorite sports events with family and friends. Jamie was an avid tennis player and golfer, and played paddle tennis in the winter months; “I got it!” was a constant refrain on the courts. One of his favorite events that is a fond memory for all who participated was the “Turkey Day Paddle” tournament. Started with just four players, this annual event grew to a full forty player roster, hosted Thanksgiving Day morning for nearly twenty years. Donations from the event went to support many local organizations.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 41 years, Alicia (Cici) Irvine; and children Kathryn (Trevor) Tasker, Alicia (Michael) Pizzi, Katie (Brian) Hastreiter, and Victoria (Frederick) Klorczyk. He is also survived by his 5 grandchildren A private family service will be held in his memory.

Raymond O. Bernard ’77

Raymond O. Bernard, 65, entered Eternal Life on October 5, 2023, with his family at his side after a brief illness. He was born April 19, 1958, in Holyoke to the late Raymond O. and Rita (Guertin) Bernard. Ray (known as Rusty in his younger years due to his red hair) grew up in Chicopee and attended Williston Academy. He then earned a Bachelor of Science Business Administration Degree in Finance from Northeastern University in 1982. Ray worked for Bank of Boston, Ann & Hope and the Toyota Corporation. Always having an interest in health care, he became a registered nurse with an Associate Degree in Nursing from Springfield Technical Community College in 1993. Ray worked briefly at Baystate Medical Center before his 20-year career working as a correctional head nurse for the State of Connecticut Department of Corrections where he retired in 2013. He was awarded several Gubernatorial Citations for Preservation of Life in 1995, 2003, 2004, and 2005 and Circle of Merit in 2004 and 2005.
He was predeceased by his infant daughter Elizabeth M. Bernard in 1994 and his sister Michele R. (Bernard) Asselin in 2021. He is survived by his devoted wife of 31 years Margaret E. (Kelleher) Bernard and his loving son Nicholas R. Bernard. Also saddened by his loss are his sister’s children Mathieu R. Asselin of Somers, CT and Margaux R. Lamirande of South Hadley and his brothers-in-law Richard W. Asselin and Timothy J. Kelleher of South Hadley and Patrick J. Kelleher of Marshfield MA and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Ray was immensely proud of his family and their achievements. He was very sociable with a generous heart and had a way of making others feel special. He had wonderful memories and experiences with sports and scouting and passed on his enthusiasm and knowledge to many by his involvement with coaching youth sports and scout leadership. In his retirement Ray enjoyed travel and cruises with his family and a treasured trip to Ireland where he had hoped to return.
An uncle introduced “Rusty” to fishing as a young boy, and this developed into a passion that only grew through the years. He became an avid fisherman and enjoyed many vacations in Maine where fishing rarely disappointed. Locally he treasured Quabbin Reservoir in his retirement. Great Pond in Maine was truly his happy place and he had returned from a month at Bear Spring Camps just two weeks prior to his illness. He was proud to recently have a trophy fish (with a story to match) mounted and displayed there securing his legacy.
Calling hours will be Wednesday October 11th from 4:00 to 7:00pm at the O’Brien Family Funeral Home, 33 Lamb St., South Hadley. Funeral Mass will be Thursday October 12th at 11:00 am in St. Patrick’s Church. For more information or to make online condolences please go to obrienfamilyfh.com. In lieu of flowers Ray would be happy to have any contributions go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.