Category Archives: Class Decades

Brewster H. Staples ’59

Brewster Holman Staples, 81 of Pownal, ME passed away at his home on December 23, 2020 with his wife by his side.

He was born in Malden, MA, April 29, 1939 to Dr. Clark and Frances (Hall) Staples. After graduation from Williston Academy, he proudly served in the U.S. Navy from 1958-1964. He was a medical technologist during his years of study at Bryant and Stratton and Suffolk University in Boston. Brewster worked in the insurance and financial service industries; earning the LUTCF designation in 1988. He retired from Metropolitan Insurance Company and belonged to the Southern Maine Association of Life Underwriters; serving as its president and winning four National awards.

Bruce enjoyed his years of boating, camping, traveling to Nova Scotia and Key West many times with his loving wife of 51 years. He was an avid fisherman and looked forward each year to his week at Moosehead Lake in Rockwood. He was most happy at his home on the farm, always working the land and enjoying nature; talking with all who stopped by.

Brewster was a long-time member of South Freeport Church UCC, member of the Acacia Lodge #21 AF & AM in Durham, ME, Grand Organist of the State of Maine for many years and also a member of the AMVETS Post 2 in Yarmouth, ME.

Throughout his life, Brewster was recognized for his volunteer service to youth, including handicap children at the YMCA in Woburn, MA; raising rabbits for 4H in Massachusetts and Cumberland associations. Whether working seasonally at LL Bean for 15 years or participating in community activities, Brewster was respected and highly thought of by all who knew him.

He was predeceased by his parents and brothers, David and Clarke Staples. His is survived by his beloved wife and soulmate, Judith (Hayes) Staples; daughters, Deborah Staples Ferrara and husband Jim of Rangeley, Jennifer Staples LeClair and husband Robert of Key West; son Jay (John B.) Staples and wife Bonnie of Topsham; his dear sister, Anne Staples Dixon of Essex, CT and many loving grandchildren and special nieces and nephews. He is also survived by daughters, Tracie Staples Thomas and husband Dan and Kendall Staples and their families in Virginia.

A small graveside memorial will be held in June in Pownal, ME.

Sally Hitchcock Pullman ’37

Sally Hitchcock Pullman passed away peacefully of natural causes on August 5, 2020 in Lafayette Hill, PA. She was 101 years old, born on April 20, 1919 in Bristol, CT to the late Arthur Cornwall and Ruth Harriet (Thayer) Hitchcock.

Mrs. Pullman lived a wonderfully long and storied life, including her service during WWll as a US Army Nurse in the south Pacific, achieving her Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree, teaching nursing for a number of years and being the wife to John S. Pullman, Jr., and the mother of their three children.

Sally married John on May 22, 1948 in Brattleboro, Vermont. Their first child John H. was born in 1952. They moved to Wyoming in 1953 where her two younger children Sally and David were born. In 1955 they returned to Connecticut where husband John received his Masters in Public Health from Yale University leading to an job with the Connecticut State Health Department. The family moved to Granby, Connecticut in 1959. The house at 10 Wells Road was her beloved home for close to 60 years until she took up residence in the Sunrise assisted living facility in Lafayette, PA.

Early on she taught pottery classes to 4Hers, ran a Brownie troop, canned and froze the bounty of her and John’s gardens, she enjoyed her horses, geology and all things having to do with earth sciences, healthcare, teaching, knitting, drawing, telling stories, and mowing her lawn at top speed on her tractor. She was an avid reader and got particular enjoyment from history books. She wrote and published a book “Letters Home” now for sale on Amazon about her experiences caring for the wounded in the hospital tents on New Guinea after the return of McArthur. After their retirement John and Sally traveled extensively making new friends from around the world.

She is survived by her daughter, Sally Pullman-Mooar, son-in-law Pekka Antero Mooar; sons: John H. Pullman, daughter-in-law Laura Elise McGhee Pullman, and David L. Pullman; grandchildren Lakin Caldwell Pullman, Jaime Marie Pullman Beaulieu, Ethan Pullman Mooar, Rebecca Hitchcock Mooar Kelleher, Sarah Kasanen Mooar and Dana McGhee Malone-White and six great-grandchildren: Sally, Netta, Lakin, David, Shea, and Ragnar, plus many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her husband of 47 years, John S. Pullman, Jr. who passed away in 1995, and brother, John Thayer Hitchcock.

Due to the distance and the Covid-19 pandemic, virtual services will be announced at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mrs. Pullman’s honor to: Yale School of Nursing, (nursing.yale.org) First Congregational Church, (firstchurchgranby.org) Vermont Land Trust, (vlt.org).

Bruce Nicholson VanLeer ’41

Bruce VanLeer, a longtime resident of Warwick, NY, passed peacefully away on May 2, 2020 at Park Manor Rehabilitation Center, Middletown. She was 96 years old.
Born in Hingham, MA, she was the daughter of the late Grace (Catton) and Roger Nicholson.
Bruce was a Licensed Practical Nurse with the Visiting Nurse Services of Long Island, NY.
Bruce was an avid birdwatcher and gardener. She also enjoyed art.
Married to the late William VanLeer, she is survived by her daughters, Sally Woglom and her husband, Thom of Warwick, NY, Anne Ekberg of Holden, MA, and Allison Millstein and her husband, Jeffrey of Milford, PA; six grandchildren: David Woglom, Abigail Meigh, Bonnie Woglom, Kate Laramee, Anna Millstein and Katherine Everson; and five great-grandchildren. She was also predeceased by son-in-law, William Ekberg.
The family would like to thank all of those who cared for Bruce at Park Manor during her final days.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Warwick Community Ambulance Service Inc., P.O. Box 315, Warwick, NY.
Private arrangements have been made by Lazear-Smith & Vander Plaat Memorial Home, 17 Oakland Avenue, Warwick, NY.

Richard T. Potsubay ’59

Richard T. Potsubay, age 79, of Clearwater, Florida passed away on Wednesday, February 10, 2021. Richard was born July 4, 1941 in Brooklyn, New York to Samuel F. Potsubay and Virginia Taylor. Richard lived a devoted life to his career and family. He enjoyed reading, writing, and traveling. There will be a graveside service at 2:00 pm, Saturday, March 6, 2021 at Sylvan Abbey Memorial Park.

Stephan M. Heider ’58

Stephan Moore Heider was born in Northampton, Massachusetts on March 24, 1940, and was raised in Lawrence, Kansas. His parents, Fritz and Grace Heider, taught psychology at the University of Kansas for many years. The family also included oldest brother Karl, middle brother John, and the English Springer Spaniel Tony.

Steve was always fascinated with electricity, and according to his mother, explored the electrical plugs at an early age. At Pinkney grammar school he built an intercom and then a lighting board for the high school theatre. As he grew up, he bought World War II surplus parts and built his own radios and other devices. He got his Ham radio license (WØLUB) when was he was 12. (In later years, he was very proud to be a member of the Quarter Century Wireless Association.)

After high school, Steve selected physics as career path, and did his undergraduate work both domestically and abroad, in Durham, England. Along with his course work, he continued his independent exploration of applied technology, and at the University of Minnesota, he worked at the same radio station as Garrison Keillor.

Steve first came to Buffalo when he was accepted to the University at Buffalo (UB) doctorate program in physics in 1966. He dreamed of having computer analytics when memory was 4 kilowords in a Data General early computer. Building his equipment from scratch took time but resulted in several papers in atomic physics. After graduating in 1976, he left to go to Pittsburgh to work on computerizing mass spectrometers.

When Steve returned to Buffalo in 1978, he worked at the UB Physics Department and then choose to be an Independent consultant. He helped a number of businesses, including General Electric, computerize their equipment for data analytics. Steve felt strongly about keeping people employed using technology and not taking jobs away through automation.

Steve met future wife Arvela at the UB Flint loop bus stop in 1979. After getting their marriage license in Niagara Falls, they went to a Chinese restaurant and fortunately found out their zodiac signs were compatible. Steve married Arvela on May 7, 1983. They bought a “fixer upper” house in 1984 and enjoyed working on making it into a wonderful home.

Steve and Arvela’s 37-year marriage was a joyful partnership founded on intellectual curiosity and exploration. They built a business, Holark Systems—a collaboration from the name to the work itself. Their life together was also filled with many trips to science museums in the US, England, Europe, and even Australia. At home, their bookcases were lined with books on all subjects, and Steve remarked how he would read the titles and the books would reach out and grab him. Breakfasts were often delayed by a delightful read.

He was much beloved by his nieces and nephews. They (and their children) also brought great joy into his life. At almost two, the very youngest great-niece shows a desire to explore the world around her much the way Steve did all of his life.

Steve loved parties and we are planning on bringing family and friends together in the summer to share memories.

Janet Babcock Carlson ’55

Janet Alta Carlson, age 81 years, of Holland Township, NJ, passed away on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019 at her home, surrounded by her family.
Born in Boston, Mass., on June 13, 1937, she was the daughter of the late Wilmot and Eula Lyman Babcock. She had resided in Hunterdon County, N.J., since 1974.
A graduate of Hood College, Janet was a retired nurse.
Mrs. Carlson was a member of Calvary Episcopal Church, Flemington, N.J., where she loved singing in the choir. Her beautiful voice and love of music led her to participate in many choral groups over her lifetime.
Surviving are three daughters and sons-in-law, Cheryl and Raymond Johns of Watchung, N.J.; Karen and Scott Holmes of Ringoes, N.J., and Debra and Darren Dalley of Milford, N.J.; a son and daughter-in-law, David and Amy Carlson of Malvern, Pa.; her sister, Patricia Babcock ’58, of Storrs, Conn.; 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Funeral services and interment in Calvary Episcopal Church Memorial Garden will be held Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 10 a.m. under the direction of the Holcombe-Fisher Funeral Home, 147 Main St., Flemington, N.J.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to Hunterdon Healthcare Foundation, 9100 Wescott Drive, Suite 202, Flemington, N.J., 08822 to benefit Briteside Adult Day Center.

Walter G. Russell ’65

Walter Gardner Russell, age 73, of Biloxi, Miss., passed away on Friday, March 26, 2021. Walter was born on April 7, 1947, in Springfield, Mass. He obtained a bachelor degree from UMass Amherst. He was Chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals for Peru, N.Y., and was a member of the Knight of Columbus. He was the Regional Director of the United Cerebral Palsy of the North Country. He was also the Director of Training at TW Express. He served in the U.S. Air Force as an Instructor Pilot, Squadron Commander and retired as Major. While serving in the Air Force he was awarded with Air Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Combat Readiness Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, Air Force Training Ribbon, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal and Meritorious Service Medal. Walter was an avid dog lover. He enjoyed golfing, swimming and loved the NY Giants. He attended Williston Academy in Easthampton, Mass., where he was a first-round inductee into their sports hall of fame for being a team member of the undefeated boy’s football team in 1963. He is preceded in death by his parents, Aldea Russell and Leo Russell. Survivors include his spouse, Janet Russell; daughter, Noelle Russell Sanger; son-in-law, Luke Sanger; grandchildren, Felicity and Morgan Sanger; and pet, Mr. Puggers. Funeral service will be held on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, at Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home, Howard Avenue in Biloxi at 1:30 p.m. Friends may visit from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. The funeral service will be livestreamed on Facebook under Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home at 1:30 p.m. Interment will follow at Biloxi National Cemetery at 2:30 p.m.

Sydney W. Russell ’54

Sydney W. “Syd” Russell, 84, a resident of Pine Circle, Bennington, VT, died Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation following a lengthy illness.

Syd was born on July 16, 1936 and raised in Easthampton, MA where he graduated from Williston Academy before going on to Boston where he graduated from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy.

Syd married the former Marilyn Simkins on November 25, 1967 in Dekalb, Illinois.

Syd began his long career as a pharmacist at Hillcrest Hospital in Pittsfield, MA before moving on to Putnam Memorial Hospital in Bennington where he served as Chief Pharmacist for 20 years. Syd served another 20 years as a friendly and recognizable face at The Pharmacy on North Street where he remained until his retirement.

Syd was a long time member of the Second Congregational Church in Bennington where he also served as a trustee. He was a former member of the Bennington Lions Club and also a member of both the Rattlesnakes and Gezzers coffee clubs. His passion was cheering for the Boston Red Sox and going to the races at Saratoga every August.

The family would especially like to thank the many members of the Second Congregational Church for their numerous acts of kindness during Syd’s long illness. They would also like to thank the staff at CLR, especially Brooke, and the caregivers who assisted him while he was living at home.

Survivors include his wife, Marilyn Russell of Bennington; three sons, Andrew Russell of Montclair, NJ, Todd Russell and his wife Jennifer of North Brookfield, MA and Eric Russell and his wife Leigh of Bennington; four grandchildren, Haley, Natalie, Lilly and Jacob Russell; his step-grandson, Jonathon Russell; a sister, Mary Russell of West Concord, MA and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Graveside committal services will be held on Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 12 noon at the family lot in Park Lawn Cemetery in Bennington .

Should friends desire memorial contributions in Sydney Russell’s memory may be made to either the Second Congregational Church or the Parkinson’s Foundation through the office of the Mahar & Son Funeral Home, 628 Main Street, Bennington, VT 05201.

John L. Julian ’65

In Wallingford, John Leslie Julian “Jack”, age 73, passed away on March 21, 2021. He was born in Bristol, CT., the eldest son of Pearl and Leslie Julian. He leaves his wife, Susan and his siblings, Pamela Gleason (Bruce), Mark Julian, and Leslie Julian (Noreen), as well as several nieces and a nephew. He was a graduate of Williston Academy and Clark University before serving in the US Army in Vietnam. Until his retirement, he owned and operated Julian’s Custom Painting and Wallpapering for many years.

Arrangements are private. His own wish was that, in lieu of flowers or contributions, we should all find some goodness in every day. Be at peace, Jack.

James C. Carlson ’67

James C. Carlson, 72, of Hyannis, MA and formerly of Harwich, passed away after a brief illness at Cape Cod Hospital on Friday, February 26, 2021. Born in Hartford, Connecticut, he was the son of the late Barbara (Cahoon) and Paul E. Carlson. James was a 1967 graduate of Williston Academy in Easthampton, MA and attended American University in Washington, D.C.
Known by his friends as “Jim” he was an avid amateur astronomer. He was the past Director of the Cape Cod Astronomical Society and helped to build and establish the Werner Schmidt Observatory at Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School in South Yarmouth, MA. His involvement included hosting star parties at various locations across the Cape and conducting classroom outreach in Cape school systems. Jim was an observer for The American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) and regularly contributed data and technical information to that organization. He was recognized by AAVSO at their 1999 and 2011 Annual Meetings for his significant work in recording sunspot activity.
James is survived by his siblings, Joel Carlson of Holliston and Janet Newton and her husband, John of Carlsbad, CA. He also leaves behind many nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his twin brother, Jon Carlson. Private family arrangements are being held and are under the care of the Chesmore Funeral Home of Holliston.