All posts by hstauder

Cherry Copeland Gillespie ’56

Cherry Copeland Gillespie, age 82, of Greenville, Delaware passed away peacefully on the morning of May 31, 2020. Born May 19, 1938, Cherry grew up in Holland, Michigan. Sailing was a favorite pastime in her youth and something she enjoyed as an adult whenever the opportunity arose. Cherry attended Bradford Junior College in Haverhill, MA, where she made several lifelong friends. From there she studied at Katherine Gibbs Secretarial School and worked in New York City until she and her roommates were enticed to attend a dance in Connecticut hosted by some boys from Yale that were short a few dates. That night she met the love of her life William (Bill) F. Gillespie III, whom she married in 1960.
Bill’s career with DuPont brought them to Wilmington, DE at first, then on to Evanston, IL, Kansas City, MO and Lake Forest, IL before settling permanently back in Delaware in 1969.
In each city, Cherry took great pride in making her homes places of comfortable, tasteful elegance. Her knack for interior design led many friends to ask her for guidance, and she eventually got her decorator’s license working part-time in affiliation with Plain & Fancy in Centerville, DE. Her love of design extended into her gardens as well. Cultivating plants and flowers was a year-round interest. She was a long-time member of the Wilmington Garden Club and held several leadership roles over the years. Besides these activities, raising two children, and enjoying many wonderful times with the dozens of people in her circle of friends, Cherry enjoyed playing golf. She and Bill were longtime members of Bidermann and the Vicmead Hunt Club. Much of their travel in later years revolved around opportunities to play golf. This passion led Cherry and Bill to South Carolina in the early 1980’s where they became founding members of Spring Island in Okatie, SC. Many other wonderful friendships were formed there. Their legacy lives on at Spring Island through the Gillespie Nature trail. After Bill’s untimely death in 2004, Cherry continued going to Spring Island seasonally before eventually selling their home to be in Greenville DE full-time. In recent years, her life centered around playing bridge, participating in Garden Club, visiting friends and her children and grandchildren.
Cherry was preceded in death by her sister Sally Copeland Horrax, and her husband William F. Gillespie III. She is survived by her son Brook J. Gillespie (Kathy) and granddaughter MacKenzie Gillespie of Chester Springs, PA, and her daughter Sally H. Gillespie, granddaughter Emily C. Boettger and grandson William “Gunner” Boettger of Sun Valley, Idaho.
The family is planning a memorial service to be held in Delaware in the fall. Those wishing to honor her memory are encouraged to donate to The Garden Club of Wilmington – PO Box 3855 Wilmington, DE 19807 or The Spring Island Trust – 40 Mobley Oaks Lane, Okatie, SC 29909.

Steven S. Allen ’71

Steven S. Allen, age 66, passed away on Tuesday, July 28, 2020, at University Hospital and Clinics in Lafayette, LA. At the request of family, private Inurnment will follow at a later date in Oakwood Cemetery in Syracuse, NY. Steven, affectionately known as “Steve”, was born on August 17, 1953, in Syracuse, NY and was a long-time resident of Acadiana. Steve attended Cazenovia High School in Cazenovia, NY and Williston Academy in Easthampton, MA. He earned a bachelor’s degree at the State University of New York at Oneonta. Steve worked in sales and installation in the home tile-flooring industry for many years. He attended the First United Methodist Church in Lafayette. Steve was Cajun music’s biggest fan and loved to dance. He was very fond of animals, especially his pet cats. Most of all, Steve loved to spend time with his friends and family and will be very deeply missed. Steve is survived by three siblings, his two sisters, Lindy McMahon and her husband Richard, of Stowe, VT and Becky Rizzi and her husband Joseph, of West Rutland, VT and one brother, William Allen, Jr., of Killington, VT as well as numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews and dear friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, William Miller Allen and Doreen Ynez Lukeman Allen. The family wishes to thank the doctors and nurses at University Hospital and Clinics for the compassionate care given to Steve and his family. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Steve’s name to the First United Methodist Church at 703 Lee Ave., Lafayette, LA 70501.

Christopher R. Lowell ’60

Christopher Richard Lowell, beloved husband, daddy, step-dad, teacher, student, historian, mentor, adviser, friend, linguist, drummer, chef, Francophile, ham, mensch, actor, director, and international performer took his final bow on Bastille Day, July 14, 2020.

Born October 11, 1942 in New York City to parents Richard and Norma, he studied French and theatre, earning degrees from Dickinson College and Colgate University. Lifelong scholar, teacher, and actor, Chris mentored countless students and actors.

In his last fifteen years, he brought the life, philosophy, wit, and accomplishments of Benjamin Franklin to audiences across the United States and France. Chris’ interwoven passions for France, theatre, history, and language arose from a deep affection, a fascination, for people. While his passions drove him to pursue excellence in every undertaking, his deeply humanist side was what made him a generous actor-director, careful and insightful historian, and beloved teacher and mentor, well beyond the collective forty-two years he spent on faculty at Cazenovia High School (Cazenovia, NY), Chestnut Hill Academy (Philadelphia, PA), Fountain Valley School of Colorado (Colorado Springs, CO), Lycee Amiral Ronac’h (Brest, France), Williston Northampton (Easthampton, MA), and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (Colorado Springs, CO).

He will be remembered for his quick wit, easy laugh, embrace of all things cultural, the quality of his relationships, and the intense personal presence he devoted to everyone, years after professional responsibility dictated. For those in his life, he forever offered his heart and house. Chris’ family will treasure the boundless love, inspiration, encouragement, support, and culinary delights he provided.

He will be greatly missed by all, especially by his surviving wife, Sue; his kids, Laura, Barbi, and Jennifer; his step-kids, Burton and Clara; and his nine grandkids.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date when an in-person gathering can offer more joy than risk.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Chris’ memory may be made to the UCCS Theatreworks, Fountain Valley School of Colorado, or Pikes Peak Hospice Foundation.

Robert A. Alden ’50

Robert A. Alden, a Washington Post news and layout editor for 48 years who helped design the inside pages of the newspaper’s first section, died June 7, 2020 at his home in McLean, Va. He was 87.

The cause was complication from Alzheimer’s disease, his wife, Diane Alden, said.

Mr. Alden retired from The Post in 2000. His career included the design and layout of newspaper pages containing stories, photographs and headlines about happenings that ranged from routine procedures of local governing boards to airplane crashes, natural disasters and historic events including the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 and the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon in 1974.

On busy nights, the page designs and layouts had to be changed several times to keep up with fast-breaking events.

Mr. Alden was also president of the National Press Club in 1976, and he was a co-founder of the National Press Foundation, which supports educational programs for journalists. He was among the early advocates of the admission of women to press-club membership, which came about in the 1970s.

Mr. Alden had lived in McLean since 1953 and saw it evolve from a rural community of dairy cows and farms into a bustling suburb of shops and expensive houses. He was a longtime civic activist who helped plan McLean’s downtown, including a park and community center. The 386-seat community theater is named in his honor.

Robert Ames Alden was born in Washington on Feb. 5, 1933, and he spent part of his childhood in Rocky River, Ohio. As a high school student, he worked part-time at the Cleveland Press from 1947 to 1951 as a writer and reporter.

Returning to Washington after high school, he was a statistician at the Office of Price Stabilization before joining The Post news staff in 1952.

While working at the paper, he attended George Washington University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in 1965 and a master’s degree in history in 1968.

In 1958, he married Diane Heidkamp. In addition to his wife, of McLean, survivors include four children, William Alden of Princeton, N.J., Thomas Alden of Manchester, Vt., Jennifer Alden of Chesterfield, Va., and Martha Alden of Reston, Va.; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

A. Michael Saaf ’58

Allen Michael Saaf, age 80, passed away peacefully on June 1, 2020 at Hospice of Dayton located in Ohio. He was the son of the late Allen E. Saaf and Marguerite K. Saaf, of New Canaan. Known to most as Mike, he was raised and lived in New Canaan for the first 60 years of his life. Mike attended New Canaan schools, Williston Northampton School and Hobart College. He spent many years working in New York for J. Walter Thompson, American Home Products, Uniroyal Tires, and Manoff Advertising. Mike then shifted to Real Estate by taking over the family business, Saaf Realtors, located in New Canaan. He was as an active member in various groups including Roton Point Beach Club, Ox Ridge Hunt Club (Polo Captain and New England Champion), Rombout Hunt Club, Lions Club, Men’s Club, New Canaan Bridle Path Association, YMCA Health Club, and New Canaan Indoor Tennis Club. He was a longtime supporter of the local Town Players and in 1952 took the stage himself in the show “Life with Father.” An equestrian enthusiast, Mike could be found riding in local and regional horse shows, as well as an avid participant in various fox hunts. Mike’s love of the outdoors was apparent from his passion for sailing, swimming, bike riding, and skiing. In early 2000, he moved to Fort Lauderdale and joined a local real estate brokerage while spending his days swimming in the ocean or riding his bike. He is survived by his former wife Barbara Bonham also of New Canaan with whom he had three children: Shelly Saaf and husband John Talk of Southern Pines, North Carolina and their 5 children, Jason and wife Denise Saaf of Portland, Maine and their 1 child, and Jennifer and husband Chris Hudson of Yellow Springs, Ohio with 2 adult children; as well as 1 great-grandchild. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hospice of Dayton and the Greene County ASPCA.

Barbara MacNeil Fuller ’48

Barbara Jane Fuller, née MacNeil, departed this world peacefully on June 17, 2020 at her home in Marion, Massachusetts after a brief illness, surrounded by her five daughters and numerous grandchildren. She was 89 years old.

“Bobby” was born on September 2, 1930 in Newton, Massachusetts, the daughter of Ruah and John MacNeil and sister to Jean, Margery, John, Janice, and Marcia ’49. She attended the Northampton School for Girls and Elmira College, where she sang in the choir and earned a BA in education. In 1955, she married William Fuller and together they raised five girls on Beach Drive in Darien, Connecticut. In 1999, they moved to Marion where they renovated the Elizabeth Taber House on Cottage St.

Bobby will be remembered for her loving and generous spirit, her humor and wise counsel, and her dedication to family and community. She was an avid reader who loved history, and she was an ardent tennis player and fan. She was Past President of the Marion Garden Group, and during her life she held positions with the Darien PTA, the Girl Scouts, the Houston Amigos, Post 53 Emergency Medical Services in Darien, and she volunteered at numerous charities. In her younger years, she was a well loved school teacher.

She is survived by her children, Frances Fuller Baldwin of Mystic, CT; Faith Elizabeth Fuller of Oakland, CA; Abigail Fuller (Neil Wollman) of Portland, ME; Ruah Seidel (Erik) of Las Vegas, NV; Jean Fuller Gest of Marion, MA; and grandchildren Jack Madigan, Elian Seidel, Ali Madigan, Jamesin Seidel, William Baldwin, Leonore Fuller, Barbara Nell Gest, Jack Fuller, and Beau Fuller. She was preceded in death by her precious granddaughter Josephine “Scout” Fuller and her husband of 56 years, Bill Fuller.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Marion Garden Group in memory of Bobby Fuller, PO Box 403, Marion, MA 02738

Thomas H. Buffinton ’40

Thomas H. Buffinton, age 99, of Plymouth, MA, formerly of Marion, died peacefully on Saturday, May 16, 2020. He was the husband of the late Sally (Waring) Buffinton for 69 years. Born November 8, 1920 in Williamstown, MA to the late Professor Arthur H. Buffinton and Mary (Edwards) Buffinton. As a young student at Williamstown High School he was a class officer, Student Council member and Captain of the football team. He graduated from Williams College in the Class of 1944 and earned his Master’s degree from Trinity College in 1955. He served in the Pacific in the Navy, as a Lt (jg) Combat Information Officer. His destroyer, the USS Sutherland, was the first US war ship to enter Tokyo Bay at the conclusion of World War II. Proud to be an educator, his first assignment was at Suffield Academy in CT. In 1952 he moved to Marion and taught at Tabor Academy where he spent the remainder of his career as a History Teacher, Coach, Athletic Director, Dean of the Tabor Summer Camp and Chairman of the History Department. He received the Trustee’s Award for Distinguished Service and was inducted into the first class of the Tabor Athletic Hall of Fame. He also received a Fellow at the John Hay Summer Institute at Williams College; served as the Assistant Director of the John Hay Summer Institute at the University of Oregon; served as President of the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC); was awarded the Rudolf Weyerhaeuser Driscoll Chair for History at Tabor and received the NEPSAC Distinguished Service Award. What was most important to him throughout his career, was his time teaching. He taught English, Math, European, Medieval & Ancient History and finally, his true passion, American History. He didn’t teach dates and places, he taught what, when, how and why. In the context of an historical event, he taught what happened, how it occurred and why it impacted life and history. Additionally, he taught his students how to write and to think critically. During retirement, his days continued to be full and he was happiest when spending time with his beloved family, sailing on Buzzards Bay, consuming history books, gardening and cheering for his favorite sports teams. He is survived by his son Thomas H. Buffinton, III and his wife Wendy of Plymouth, MA and his daughter Holly Buffinton Bove and her husband Vic of Essex, MA. Additionally, he leaves 5 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren, along with several nieces and nephews. Due to current restrictions, a private service will be held and a celebration to honor his memory will be planned at a later date. To acknowledge the incredible care he received, the family has asked that contributions be made in his memory to Cranberry Hospice, 36 Cordage Park Circle, Suite 326, Plymouth, MA 02360.

Rebecca Grafton Ward Sparks ’40

Becky Sparks passed away on May 19, 2020 in Falmouth, Maine. She was born in Kyoto, Japan, December 29, 1921 to parents Eva and Homer Grafton, who were teachers with the YMCA. Her formative years were spent at her parents’ boys’ camp in Ontario in the summers, and a series of schools in the Midwest in the winters. She graduated from Bennington College where she majored in music, then attended Julliard School of Music after the war ended, where she met her first husband, Ken Ward. They moved to Chardon, Ohio where daughter Carol and son Craig were born.

In 1954 they moved to Colorado, settling in Aspen in 1955, where she taught piano. In 1968 after a divorce Becky moved to New England, taught physical education and music at Northfield Mount Hermon schools, and then got an M.A. in early childhood education. She married John Sparks in 1972 and they spent 10 happy years together on a gentleman’s farm in Virginia and then moved to Stuart, Florida.

After Jack’s death in 1987, Becky moved to Snowmass Village to be near her son, Craig, and rekindled friendships with many Aspenites. She attended Aspen Music Festival concerts, Anderson Ranch art and photography classes, worked for Snow Cubs, volunteered for cross country ski races, was a member of PEO (an educational organization), played tennis at the Snowmass Club, downhill and cross country skied. Her artwork flourished during these years. She moved to Whitcomb Terrace in 2008 and made many friends with residents and staff. Often she would take seniors to the Maroon Bells to paint the landscapes. She snowshoed around Whitcomb Terrace into her mid-90’s.

Becky leaves behind her children, Craig Ward and Carol Ward, stepdaughters Tania Clark and Lana Leonard, their spouses, seven grandsons, and 9 great-grandchildren. Her life will be celebrated at a family gathering in Aspen/Snowmass later this summer.