Category Archives: 1940s

Walter H. Clemens ’47

Walter Clemens passed away peacefully on April 2, 2021, after a long illness; he was 92. At his passing he was surrounded by his daughters and one of his devoted caregivers. He was the only child born to Beth Keeney Clemens and Arnold Walter Clemens in New London, Connecticut on October 28, 1928. Walter graduated from Bulkeley School and Williston Academy before attending Yale University.
At Yale, Walter was a divisional major in economics and psychology, he played one year of freshman football and three years of varsity football under coach Herman Hickman, in the position of left tackle. He was selected and played on the North side of the 1950 North/South Shrine game in Miami, Florida on Christmas night. In 1950 he was also awarded The New Haven Gridiron Trophy as the outstanding player to appear in the Yale Bowl and was the first Yale football player selected to play in the Senior Bowl Game on January 6, 1951 in Mobile, Alabama.
Upon graduating Yale in 1951, Walter joined the Marines and was sent to Paris Island, South Carolina, and was later stationed in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. On Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 1951, he married Margaret (Peggy) Dwyer. Walter was devoted to Peggy and their marriage lasted 63 years until Peggy’s death in 2015. Walt was honorably discharged from the Marines in 1953.
Walter spent almost 40 years in the insurance brokerage business. He started with The Travelers and then moved on to Johnson & Higgins, at the time, the largest privately held international insurance brokerage and benefit consulting concern in the world. Walt remained at J&H for the rest of his career. He was Chairman of the California Corporation and served as one of three Executive Vice Presidents of the parent company.
While Walter enjoyed many activities in his retirement, including traveling, golf, and swimming, his greatest pleasure was to spend time with family.
Walter leaves behind, his three children: Mark William Clemens ’71 (Kimberly), Marybeth Clemens Anicich, (Greg) and Susan Clemens; three grandchildren, Kathryn Anicich Elze, (Derek) Laura Nicole Cowan, (Alvin), and Michael Gessner Boileau, (Laura); and four great grandchildren, Dakoda Addison Elze, Emma Kaye Elze, Stella Rose Cowan and Maximillian Meyers Boileau.
A celebration of life will be held at St. Perpetua’s Catholic Church on July 29, 2021, at 11 a.m. Donations can be made in Walter’s name to hospiceeastbay.org or mailed to Hospice of the East Bay, 3740 Buskirk Avenue, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523.

Susan Bray Walker ’48

Susan Bray Walker of Scarsdale, NY, died on April 2, 2020 at White Plains Hospital.

Mrs. Walker was born Jan. 21, 1930 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to Edward Emmett Bray and Margaret Mary Keane Bray. She graduated from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and worked as an advertising copywriter for McCann-Erickson Inc. in New York City before marrying her husband John and raising their family in Scarsdale.

An enthusiastic civic volunteer, Mrs. Walker served on the board of The Arc Westchester Foundation for many years, served as president of the Westchester Smith College Club, president of the Scarsdale chapter of the American Field Service, president of the Scarsdale Parent-Teacher Association, treasurer of the Town and Village Civic Club and served on several committees for the village of Scarsdale.

Her family said Mrs. Walker was an extraordinary advocate for people with disabilities, and those she worked with remember her as a woman whose quiet voice never failed to raise matters of importance. Her family remembered her as dedicated to the love and well-being of her family. They said she took great pride in the accomplishments of her children and grandchildren and loved and supported them all unconditionally.

Mrs. Walker is survived by her husband, John David Walker; her two sons, David Bray Walker and his wife Elizabeth of Greenwich, and William Alexander Walker and his wife Amy Walsh of Brooklyn; her five grandchildren: Anne, Catherine and Sarah Walker and Henry and John Walker; and her brother, David Bray, of Sag Harbor and Greenport, New York. She was predeceased by her daughter, Elizabeth Grace Walker.

Mrs. Walker will be laid to rest at Greenwood Union Cemetery in Rye. In light of the ongoing public health emergency, there will be no in-person service prior to the burial. A memorial celebration of her life will be scheduled at an appropriate time in the future.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be mailed to the Arc of Westchester, 265 Saw Mill River Road, Hawthorne, NY 10532 or online at arcwestchester.org.

James A. Ubertalli ’48

James Arthur Ubertalli peacefully departed this life Thursday, May 27, 2021 at his home with his family by his side. Born in Holyoke, Massachusetts, November 4, 1928, the son of James “Jack” and Christine (Demers) Ubertalli, he attended Holyoke Public Schools and Williston Academy, and earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Entomology from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst.
While working in Atlanta as a technical advisor for Orkin Exterminating, he met his wife, Barbara. The young couple lived in Texas for a few years where they developed a life-long passion for Mexican food, music and culture. Jim and his young family returned to New England where he continued his work in entomology as a manager for Terminix Industries. He also worked as a graduate entomologist serving the Baystate Medical System Environmental Services team as educator, technician and lecturer and retiring in 2003.
The call to serve led Jim to join the U.S. Army ROTC while a student at UMass. He was a tank commander headed to Korea when the Pentagon recruited him, because of his entomological expertise, to be a technical advisor for the Army Medical Services Corps. Jim served in the Army Reserves for 28 years, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Among the many leadership positions he held, he was most proud of his role on the faculty of The United States Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, the renowned graduate military college. In recent years, he found immense pride and camaraderie with a new band of brothers at the American Legion Post 351 and served as District Historian.
His quiet affability and keen sense of humor earned him many friends. Jim was proud of his hometown, Holyoke, and was called upon and gladly served in many volunteer capacities including Sunday School teacher and deacon of the Second Congregational Church, fire commissioner, youth hockey coach and scoutmaster of Troop 670 where he mentored many Eagle Scouts. He was also a lifelong sports fan and enjoyed some glory as starting center for Holyoke High football and Williston Academy where he was part of the school’s celebrated undefeated team, the first in fifty years. In retirement, he spent time oil painting WWII aircraft and birds, reading voluminous historical accounts on the American Civil War and WWll and traveling with his family annually to Disneyworld and other far-flung destinations. Jim will be remembered by the lives he touched for his warm kindness, gentle sense of humor and keen interest in learning and sharing what he had learned.
He leaves behind his beloved wife of 65 years, Barbara, his daughter Donna Lee and son Jimmy and daughter-in-law Harriet, his grandchildren Sophia and George, his brother Don, nieces Linda and JoAnne and nephew Jack. Exceptional in his humility, passionately proud and loyal to his friends and family, he will be dearly missed.
A Funeral Home Service will be held for Jim on Friday, June 4, 2021 at 9:30am in the Barry J. Farrell Funeral Home, 2049 Northampton Street, Holyoke followed by Committal with Military Honors at 11:00am in the Chapel of the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 1390 Main Street, Agawam. Calling hours will be held on Thursday, June 3, 2021 from 4:00 to 7:00pm.
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in memory of James A. Ubertalli to support cancer research and patient care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284 or via www.jimmyfund.org/gift.

Joan Thanhouser Sherman ’47

Joan Sherman enriched the life of Mount Washington Valley through her co-ownership of radio station WMWV and her dedication to numerous arts and culture associations. She died from complications of Alzheimer’s Disease on Nov. 19, 2020, at Merriman House in North Conway. Joanie often said that she was drawn to New Hampshire after seeing the movie, The Devil and Daniel Webster, when she was a little girl. For her, it was a dream come true to move here. Joanie loved New Hampshire’s small towns, tight-knit communities, and rural roots. Living here both nurtured and inspired her. Born on Sept. 7, 1929, in New York City, Joanie grew up in Great Neck, Long Island, and attended Northampton School for Girls in Massachusetts. After graduating, she studied at Juilliard School of Music, Barnard College, and the Peabody Music School. In 1948, she married Lawrence (Skip) Sherman. After Skip got his journalism degree at the University of Iowa in 1955, they moved their family to New England. He worked as a reporter for The Springfield Union and The Providence Journal. Meanwhile, Joanie began a career in sales, which led to her learning the radio business at WERI in Westerly, R.I. In 1959, they moved to Conway to manage the AM radio station WBNC, which had been purchased by Joanie’s boss at WERI. A year later, they bought the station, and in 1968 they started a sister FM station, WMWV. As sales manager, Joanie immediately slashed the price of advertising, enabling any business, however big or small, to broadcast its message. She also founded the station’s long-running annual gardening contest for amateur and professional gardeners. Skip managed the news as well as the music programming, which soon displayed his signature touch: a spicy mix of jazz, country, rock and roll, and classical music. Meanwhile, the station’s doors opened to the community. Its reporters and announcers were everywhere: dog sled races, high school concerts, tennis tournaments, the Fryeburg Fair, you name it. Radio interviews introduced listeners to local historians, naturalists, musicians, and authors, and the morning weather report gave everyone a head start by rating the day up to fifty cents. “It’s a real fifty-center” became insider slang for another beautiful day in Mount Washington Valley. In 1997, Joanie and Skip sold the station and retired. Amicably divorced in 2002, they remained close friends. As a woman in broadcasting, Joanie broke new ground. One of the first women in sales, management, and ownership, she served on the board of the New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters and, in 1965, was the first woman to address the Radio Advertising Bureau in New York City. Moreover, the legacy of the station she and Skip created has endured. In addition to her work in sales and broadcasting, crafts and fine art were always central to Joanie’s life. She won awards and recognition for her embroidery and for her hooked rugs and also taught crafts to community groups. In the 1990s, she studied at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia and at the Portland School of Art in Maine, and she took workshops in creative writing. The result was an autobiographical series of paintings and short essays. In 1992, the collection, “Dreams & Memories: Paintings and Stories,” was exhibited at the Idia Center in Intervale, N.H. Selections were featured in other exhibitions, notably the New Hampshire Historical Society’s folk art exhibition, “Traditional Roots, Contemporary Expressions,” in 1994, and subsequently at the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C. The entire collection was published in 1994. An indefatigable extrovert, Joanie was devoted to her community. (As a kid, when she realized that she couldn’t meet everyone in the whole world, she burst into tears.) She served on many arts organizations including Conway’s Home Industries, the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen, the Mount Washington Valley Arts Association, and Arts Jubilee. She also helped to establish Planned Parenthood in New Hampshire and worked to bring community mental health services to Carroll County. In later life, she became a member and enthusiastic supporter of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Eastern Slopes. In 2000, Joanie and Skip were the recipients of the prestigious Bob Morrell Award, bestowed by the Mount Washington Valley Economic Council for civic entrepreneurship. Joanie faced many challenges in her life. She had dyslexia and suffered from bipolar disorder with recurring depressions. However, she always described herself as a fighter and believed that we could all make the world a better place for each other. As it is for many who struggle, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” was her personal anthem. Happily, in recent years she was able to sing that song a lot with friends and family. In addition to her former husband Skip Sherman, Joanie is survived by their two daughters, Sarah Sherman, married to Jamie Calderwood; and Carrie Sherman, married to Terry Whiting. Other survivors include Joanie’s grandson, Peter Calderwood; her sister, Gretchen Horton; and her brother, Ned Thanhouser. Joanie’s family would like to express their gratitude to Merriman House at Memorial Hospital in North Conway, where Joanie spent her last three and a half years. A celebration of Joanie’s life will be held when it’s safe for friends and family to gather.

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.

Ralph A. Steiger II ’45

Ralph A. Steiger ll, 94, died Sunday February 21, 2021 at his home in Naples, Florida, following a brief illness. His wife Fern Tyler Steiger survives him. He was formerly of Wilbraham, MA and Groton Long Point, CT.

He leaves a daughter, Linda Steiger of Naples and a son, Eric.

He was pre-deceased by his beloved daughter, Kimberly Steiger Rohrer and his third wife, Jean Anne Jackson and his brothers, Albert Steiger ll and Robert K. Steiger. He leaves 7 step children, Donald G. Webster, Nanci E. Condron and Kathryn L. Roy from his fourth marriage and John W. Davis, Stephen P. Davis, Thomas K. Davis and Susan D. Moran from his third.

Born in Springfield, MA in 1927 to Albert Edward Steiger and Mabel Knight Steiger, he attended Classical High School and Williston Academy where he was captain of the lacrosse and football teams. At this time he worked as a stock boy on the receiving docks at Steiger’s Department Store.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army at age 19 and served as a 2nd Lieutenant as one of the youngest officers in the Army Air Corps assigned to occupied Berlin, Germany.

Following his enlistment, he attended Williams College before embarking on a 48 year career with the Albert Steiger Co., which remained in business for 101 years. In 1991, after 35 years as Vice President of Merchandising, he became the President and Chief Executive Officer. During his tenure, the family firm grew from 3 to 10 stores before the chain and properties were sold to the May Company and other developers in 1995.

Ralph had a deep fondness for all the employees of Steiger’s and was a strong advocate for women in business. The Steiger family has always had a deep appreciation for the many wonderful customers they served over the years and always insisted that the customer come first. Mr. Steiger also served on the board of the Springfield YMCA and several businesses in the Springfield area.

Ralph was an avid golfer who hit a hole in one at age 90. Together with his beloved wife Fern, he cruised all over the world and they have both enjoyed whole-heartedly their so many wonderful friends and relatives. He will long be remembered as a terrific friend and as a kind, compassionate husband and father.

Cornelius S. Van Rees ’47

Cornelius S. Van Rees, 91, of Mystic, CT, fondly known as Neal, died peacefully at Avalon Health Care Center on February 15, 2021, after a courageous battle with cancer. Son of the late Cornelius R. and Beatrice (Shreve) Van Rees, he was born in Brooklyn, NY on May 29, 1929 and raised in Freeport, Long Island. Neal graduated from Williston Academy in 1947, and then attended college at Denison University in Granville, OH, graduating in 1951. Finally he attended Columbia University School of Law in New York City, earning his LLB as a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar in 1954. Neal later served as President of the Columbia University Alumni Association, where he established the Columbia Alumni Travel Program. From 1954 to 1956, Neal proudly served in the US Army as an intelligence analyst in Fort Bragg, NC. Upon his return home, he passed the New York and Federal Bars and joined the NYC Wall Street law firm of Thacher Proffitt and Wood (TPW), where he became a Senior Partner and worked very hard for 38 years. After a distinguished legal career in maritime shipping and corporate law, Neal retired from the law in 1994. He continued serving as a board member at Graham Manufacturing Corp., owned by a dear friend from Williston Academy, until 2012. Neal and his beloved wife of 36 years, Alix, moved from NYC to live full time in Stonington, CT in 1994 after Neal retired from TPW. There he took up sailing as a new favorite pastime. He bought his first sailboat, the Nealix, a 25′ Pierson in 1987, and learned to sail at the Stevens-Colgate Sailing School on City Island. Neal’s interests included skiing, singing, sailing, traveling, ballroom dancing, and public speaking. He skied annually with his children, grandchildren and friends until the age of 88. He sang continuously throughout his life, including with the University Glee Club of NYC, the Calvary Church Choir and the Stoneridge Senior Living Glee Club. For many years, Neal and Alix attended the Calvary Church in Stonington, CT. Neal is predeceased by his parents and his sister, Lorraine S. (Van Rees) Backer and his brother-in-law, William L. Backer. He is survived by his loving wife, Alix (McIvor) Van Rees of Mystic, CT; his daughter Pamela M. (Van Rees) Lundquist and her husband Thomas of Georgetown, MA; his daughter Claire K. Van Rees and her husband James T. Horney of East Northport, NY; grandchildren Jeffrey T. Lundquist of Fort Worth, TX; Scott C. Lundquist and Michael J. Lundquist of Georgetown, MA; Katherine M. Van Horn of East Northport, NY; and step-granddaughter Olivia L. Zuill of Melbourne, Australia. He also leaves his step-sons John C. Zuill and his wife Rachael of Melbourne, Australia; Robert S. Zuill of Hamilton, Bermuda; and David C. Zuill and his wife, Linda, of Smith’s Parish, Bermuda. Mystic Funeral Home is assisting the family with private memorial service arrangements. In lieu of flowers, donations in Cornelius’s memory may be made to the American Cancer Society https://www.cancer.org , which would be very much appreciated by the family.

Ronald S. Duncan ’49

Ronald “Ron” Stuart Duncan, 91, a lifelong resident of Granby and Simsbury, CT, passed away peacefully on January 30, 2021. Son of the late Stuart and Jessica (Weiant) Duncan, he is survived by his beloved wife of 20 years Janet S. Duncan; two sons, Mark (Diane) and John Duncan; his grandchildren, Jacob, Michael, Matthew and Kyle Duncan; daughters by marriage, Pamela and Joanne; granddaughters, Heather and Marcy; and great grandchildren, Maddie, Blake Jr., and Anna. Having graduated from Williston Academy, he served in the United States Air Force for 4 years. He then attended the University of Vermont and Central Connecticut State University to earn his Master’s Degree in Education. Ron retired after teaching Industrial Arts for 31 years at King Philip Middle School in West Hartford. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Placeda Hall and her three girls, Susan, Kelly, and Kerry, brother-in-law Britt Hall (Daisy), and nephew Shawn. He was predeceased by his sister Charlotte, wife Nancy (Hall) Duncan, brother-in-law Dr. Francis Hall, and niece Traci. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Donations in Ron’s memory may be made to Farmington Canal Heritage Trail or Granby Ambulance Association, 1 Pegville Rd., Granby, CT 06035. Hayes-Huling & Carmon Funeral Home of Granby has care of the arrangements.

Allen P. Doe ’49

Allen Peirce Doe, of Holden, MA, passed away unexpectedly at home on Friday, January 29, 2021. He was born in Springfield, the oldest son of Chester and Lillian (Peirce) Doe and was raised in West Boylston.

He attended West Boylston schools through the 9th grade then transferred to Williston Academy in Easthampton, graduating in 1949. He attended Clark University for two years before he transferred to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, graduating in 1954. After college, Allen proudly served his country with the US Army Combat Engineers in Germany for three years. After being honorably discharged from the service, he worked briefly for Riley Stoker Corp in Worcester and then the New England Forestry Foundation in Vermont. In 1961, he joined the Upjohn Pharmaceutical Company as a sales representative retiring in 1990 after twenty-nine years of service. He was a former trustee of High Plains Cemetery in Oakdale for many years. Allen also spent many summers with his family at his camp on Queen Lake in Phillipston where he enjoyed boating, swimming and water skiing. He also enjoyed gardening and working in his yard and was a regular at Donut Kitchen in Holden for many years.

He is survived by his three sons, Paul C. Doe and his wife, Susan of Derry, NH, Robert A. Doe of Boulder, CO and Steven W. Doe of Macedon, NY; his daughter, Adrienne L. Lawrence and her husband, Garrett of Mill Valley, CA; his brother, Kingsley W. Doe and his wife, Janet of South Dartmouth; his sister, Meredith A. Smith of Spencer; his five grandchildren, Garret, Eric and Scott Doe and Devon and Ethan Lawrence; his niece, Deborah Milliard of Charlton; his nephews, James, Andrew, Bryan, Curtis, Jeffrey and Kenneth Doe and Earle Smith. He was predeceased by his first wife, Nancy A. Clark of Worcester and is survived by his second wife, Nancy P. Skillin of Holden and Portland, ME. He was predeceased by his brothers, Ralph ’53 and Gordon Doe.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend calling hours from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 13th in the Miles Funeral Home, 1158 Main Street, Holden. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, appropriate social distancing and wearing of a mask will be required. Burial will be held at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Mechanics Hall, 321 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01608, or the White Oak Land Conservation Society, P.O. Box 346, Holden, MA 01520.

Albert C. Bosworth ’44

Albert (Bud) Calvin Bosworth, 91, of Dartmouth, MA passed away peacefully at home with his family by his side on Friday morning, September 21, 2018.
Mr. Bosworth was the owner of Bosworth Insurance Agency, Inc. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War.
He is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Hazel, and their children, James Bosworth and his wife Donna of Dartmouth, Martha (Bosworth) Thomas and her husband Keith of Newfane, VT, and Thomas Bosworth and his wife Julie of Dartmouth; his son-in-law, Ed Giardina of Hingham; 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He was the father of the late Claudia Giardina.
At his request, there will be no funeral services. However if you wish to remember Bud there will be a memorial fund at the Southworth Library, 732 Dartmouth St., Dartmouth, MA 02748.