Category Archives: 1950s

Richard I. Wrubel ’53

Richard Isaac Wrubel, 85, of Middletown, CT, passed away on December 23, 2020. Born on March 30, 1935, to Arthur M. and Mildred S. Wrubel, he lived in Middletown for 85 years. He graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 1957 and was a member of Pi Lambda Phi fraternity. A talented clarinet player, Richard led a top traveling Dixieland college band, The Quaker City Six. He then went into the US Army, finishing as a staff Sergeant. Richard joined Wrubel’s department stores-a business started by his grandfather Isaac Wrubel in 1899, and ultimately opened his own retail store in 1976, called Richard Wrubel. He retired from retail in 1992, going into the residential real estate business where he acquired a portfolio of condominiums throughout Middlesex County. Being civic-minded, he remained an active participant in the Downtown Improvement Committee for Middletown Chamber of Commerce. He was also Vice President of the Middletown Concert Association. Throughout his life Richard was an exceptional and avid musician. He generously donated his time playing for local audiences around the area. In his later years, his daily piano playing brought him and his listeners much joy. He was a true champion of Middletown, CT. Richard loved his family more than anything and was truly the family historian, recounting tales from the time his grandfather arrived here in 1898, perpetuating the Wrubel legacy. He was a die-hard Red Sox fan throughout his life and was fortunate enough to attend the 2004 World Series to see them break their nearly 100-year curse. In later years, Richard organized a bi-weekly Friday lunch gathering with his best pals, called the ROMEOs – Retired Old Men Eating Out. Richard will be remembered for his optimism and generous spirit, his infectious laugh and wonderful sense of humor. In the words of his favorite composer George Gershwin, “The fundamental things apply, as time goes by…” Richard will sadly missed and always in the hearts of his loving wife of 56 years, Marcia, his daughter Susan, his son Arthur and daughter-in-law Melanie and their children Wesley and Ava, and his older sister Constance Carrigan of New Jersey. Due to current health concerns, the family held a private graveside service at the Indian Hill Cemetery in Middletown on Sunday, December 27, 2020. The family will organize a memorial service in Richard’s honor at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Richard’s name: Amazing Grace Food Pantry, SVD Middletown, Attn: Peter, PO Box 398, Middletown, CT 06457, The Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund at Congregation Adath Israel, PO Box 337, Middletown, CT 06457, or Alzheimer’s Disease Research at the Mayo Clinic.

David E. Sirman ’56

David Elliott Sirman died Tuesday, July 19, 2022 at his home in West Simsbury, CT. David was the son of Emory Thomas Sirman and Pauline Humphrey Sirman. He was born in Springfield, Mass. on March 30, 1938. He grew up in West Hartford and graduated from Williston Academy and Colby College. He received a Master’s Degree in Education from Central Connecticut State University. Before going into business for himself, he taught at the Pleasant Valley School in Barkhamsted. In addition to his parents, David was predeceased by his two older brothers, Donald Stainthorpe Sirman and John Humphrey Sirman. He leaves his wife of 60 years, Elise Hooker Sirman; two sons, Russell Hooker Sirman of West Hartford and Thomas Hathaway Sirman of East Hartland; two grandsons, Joshua David Sirman and Emory Russell Sirman of West Hartford; a daughter-in-law, Mami Nishimune of West Hartford; his sister-in-law, Barbara Hooker Thorp of West Simsbury and a niece, Donna Sirman Ramsey of Tennessee. David’s family would like to thank the staff at McLean Hospice, and Companions and Homemakers for their help. The family especially wishes to thank the team of Juliana Arcala, David Bernadino, Greg Brown, and Shenelle Rochester for the exceptional care they gave David. They made a big difference. All arrangements are private and at the convenience of the family. Carmon Windsor Funeral Home has care of the arrangements.

George J. Dargati ’52

George J. Dargati, 90, of Tolland, CT, devoted husband to his college sweetheart, the late Elizabeth “Betty” (Hannon), passed away with his family by his side on July 20, 2022. Born in the “Greek Village” section of North Grosvenor Dale, CT on June 12, 1932, the son of the late Dimitri “James” and Andronica (Fatsi) Dargati. George was an enthusiastic and engaging individual who excelled as an educator, coach, mentor, leader and family man. His credo was faith, family and friends. He loved to tell stories and had a wonderful sense of humor. He loved everyone he met along life’s journey and connected in a very deep and personal way with the people he touched. George lived life with passion and purpose. He had a great competitive spirit, an infectious personality and a big heart that drew people in wherever he went. His deep friendships knew no bounds. He was genuinely interested in all people as he asked questions, listened with an open mind and heart, and offered a hand to help. He’d often engage a stranger, introduce himself, and ask about their life. Inevitably he’d discover someone in common, and soon he’d have a new friend. “The Jet’ was a basketball, baseball, and track star at Tourtellotte Memorial High School, earning 12 varsity letters. Playing basketball for the legendary Jim Canty, he led the Tigers to back-to-back state championships. During his senior season, Tourtleotte recorded a perfect 28-0 record with George leading the state in scoring and winning All-State and State Tournament MVP honors. After a year of prep school at Williston Academy he turned down a professional baseball contract offer with the New York Giants organization to accept a basketball scholarship to the University of Connecticut. After a successful freshman season at UConn, he joined the US Army and proudly served his country during the Korean War. While stationed in Germany, he excelled playing basketball and baseball all across Europe and received All-Armed Forces honors. After being honorably discharged, he enrolled at Willimantic State Teachers College where he went on to a Hall of Fame basketball and baseball career. He was a prolific left-handed hitter as a baseball player and one of the top scorers in the country during his basketball career and set multiple school scoring records that still stand today, including single-season average (25.8) and career scoring average (24.5), while leading the Warriors to the first ever post-season tournament title. He was elected as a charter member of the Tourtellotte High School Hall of Fame, Eastern Connecticut State University Hall of Fame and the New England Basketball Hall of Fame. One of the most memorable highlights of his athletic career occurred when he was selected to play in the 25th Annual Maurice Stokes NBA All-Star Game at Kutcher’s Country Club in New York. He played alongside the likes of Bob Cousy, Oscar Roberson and Wilt Chamberlain and shared game-high scoring honors with Jack Twyman. Of all his accomplishments, he would tell you the greatest was landing his adoring wife of 53 years, Betty. George’s intensity was grounded by Betty’s genuine sweetness. Together they were a perfect blend, raising a close-knit family of three children and seven grandchildren. George leaves behind his son James Dargati and his wife Tori of South Windsor, his daughter Kaileen Colgan and her husband James of Boston, MA, and his daughter Jennifer Wood and her husband Kevin of Tolland. He also leaves seven grandchildren, who were his pride and joy: Ryan, Allie and Michael Colgan, Kaitlyn and Mackenzie Wood and JP and Drew Dargati. He was predeceased by his two sisters, Ida and her late husband Don Menzone, and Viola Dargati; and brother-in-law Dave Hannon. Surviving are his sister-in-law Mary Hannon, brother-in-law Dave Shea and wife Dottie, brother-in-law Bill Hannon and wife Shirley, and sister-in-law Nancy Hannon. George leaves behind many nieces, nephews, and wonderful friends. George was a man of faith and was an active parishioner at St. Matthew Church as well as a member of the Rockville Elks, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. He taught for 35 years as a science teacher within the Vernon School System and had the pleasure of working with a wonderful group of life-long friends at VCMS. He was a mentor and a role model and over the course of his career in education he made a positive impact on the young lives of countless students and athletes. Upon his retirement from teaching, George became active in fund raising projects for charitable organizations such as St. Jude’s, Day Kimball Hospital, and the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist. He also traveled with friends and greatly enjoyed yearly trips to Fenway Park, the Frozen Four and Florida to visit Ted Williams. George’s star perhaps shined brightest when he began his last career; that of a doting and loving grandfather. “Poppy” as he was affectionately called by his seven grandchildren, was a constant presence in their lives and provided them with his support, wisdom, humor, and love. Annual family vacations on Cape Cod with all of his grandchildren were the highlight of every summer. He will always be their “Poppy,” from whom they learned unforgettable life lessons. The Dargati family would like to thank George’s caring neighbors and the entire staff at Vernon Manor for their outstanding and compassionate care. There will be no calling hours. Funeral services will be held at 10 AM on Saturday, July 30th at St. Matthew Church, 111 Tolland Green, Tolland. He will be laid to rest in St. Bernard Cemetery, Rockville. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in George’s memory to the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, 405 Allen Avenue, Meriden, CT 06451. Samsel & Carmon Funeral Home has care of the arrangements.

John G. Sheehan Jr. ’58

John Gordon Sheehan Jr. of 1140 Florence Road, Florence, MA, died July 11, 2022 at the age of 84. He was born in New Brunswick, Canada, March 22, 1938. At the age of two he came and lived the rest of his life at the family farm house. John took great pride and sharing stories of the 162-year-old property giving everyone the true history of Florence from early farming days to what it has become today. He attended Williston Academy in his early years and was well known as a lifeguard and good swimmer. He then attended Smith Vocational High School where he learned another one of his great passions of automotive training. John worked for Labbee Chevrolet for many years and then eventually became a 32-year employee of the VA medical center in Leeds, MA, working in the motor pool and grounds facility. You could ask John anything about a Farmall tractor and he could tell you style, year and model and it showed with all the many he owned through the years at the farm. Same could be said for race cars; he didn’t own any but he could share tons of stories about all the races he attended at Riverside Speedway. He leaves behind his wife and special person Margaret Powers Sheehan of Florence, MA. Together they would attend many country western bands and dance the night away. He also leaves behind his stepson Dean Powers and wife Kristin Powers and his two step-grandchildren Opal Powers & Jarred Powers. Some people would say step but John would always say my son and grandchildren. Preceded in death by his brother Gordon (Sandy) Sheehan. A private memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers donations can be made American Cancer Society. John loved life and people; he never met a stranger. A lesson John leaves behind and how he lived his life every day is “the most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love and let it come in.”

Stephen J. Britt ’55

Stephen J. Britt passed away on December 31, 2021, in Stuarts Draft, VA at the age of 86. Mr. Britt was born on July 13, 1935, in Hartford, Connecticut to Paul E. and Emma Britt. He is survived by his sisters, Jean Derby and Sheelah Britt. Steve grew up in East Hartford, Connecticut and it was there that he met his wife, Ann Margaret Papineau. Married on December 28, 1958, the couple had three children, James E., Catherine Marie, and Karen Anne. Steve and Ann were married for 58 years and had 4 grandchildren, Sean & Catherine Britt and Sarah & Peter Favinger. Ann passed away on June 19, 2016.
After serving in the Marine Corps, Steve began a long and successful business career. He worked for Mobil Oil, Dewalt, Black and Decker, Arcata Graphics, Intersource Technologies, and Anchor Continental. During his 23 years at Black and Decker, Steve achieved national recognition as the “Father of the Dustbuster” from numerous publications, including Time Magazine and New York Magazine. After retiring, Steve was a member of the First State Antique Tractor Club for several years and was a member of the scholarship committee.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, January 10, 2022, at Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, 1210 S. Washington Street, Easton, MD. The family will receive visitors at the church from 10:30-11:00 a.m. and the service will begin at 11:00 a.m. Masks will be required in the church.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, PO Box 5014, Hagerstown, Md 21741-5014 or online at michaeljfox.org/donate.

Robert A. Sweet ’52

Robert Alvin Sweet of Ripon, California, passed away on May 7, 2022.
Born in Holyoke, Massachusetts on September 14, 1934, to Mary Grace (nee) Pierce and James Howard Sweet, Bob lived and embraced his childhood to the fullest. During this rich period, he was nurtured and taught the principles of hard work, diligence, honesty, fairness, and mercy that wove themselves into the fabric of his life.
Bob completed his studies in Engineering from Yale University, served two years in the National Guard and achieved an MBA from Xavier University.
Shortly after his discharge he married Dorothy Thomas (nee) Sheller, and nine months later welcomed the apple of his eye, Mark Thomas. Eleven months later came his “favorite daughter”, Lorelei Jane and bringing up the rear, eleven months later, Benjamin Pierce. Bob was an “all in” Dad. His sacrificial teaching, leading, inspiring, disciplining, and loving model left a legacy of three born again Christian children.
As his father before him, Bob had an incredible work ethic. His career as a computer engineer began at B&O Railroad in Baltimore and continued through many adventures – NCR in Dayton, Polaroid in Boston, Bechtel in San Francisco, Safeway in Walnut Creek, and for the last 30 years at Sweet Properties in Modesto.
He was preceded in death by his love and best friend, Tommie. He leaves behind his children, Mark (Ann), Lorelei (John), Ben (Jill), his beloved grandchildren Ryan (Jaci), Josiah (Reanne), Megan (Ben), Jahred, Joel, Aaron, Marcella (Jon) and his great grandchildren Colton, Savannah, Charlotte, Deilianna, Ciercina, and Ellie. Also, his sister Barbara (Allen) and dear nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 1 PM on Friday, May 27th, at Calvary Chapel, 4300 American Ave. Modesto CA 95356. Family and friends are welcome to a gathering with refreshments immediately after the service. In lieu of flowers, the family invites you to make a donation in honor.

Joanna Ewing Jones ’55

Joanna Freeman (Ewing) Jones 1937 – 2022

Joanna Freeman Ewing was born in Keene, N.H., June 9, 1937, to Anna Kraatz Ewing and Donald Freeman Ewing. In 1947 the family, now including a younger brother, was transferred by the State Department to Sofia, Bulgaria, where her father was assigned as a Vice Consul to the American Legation. After returning to the U.S., her parents separated, and Joanna and her brother were raised by their mother, a teacher. Joanna attended the Northampton School for Girls, in Northampton, Mass., where she received the award as the outstanding graduating senior in 1955. She attended Smith College, Northampton, Mass. graduating in 1959. Remarkably, this made her the sixth consecutive generation of women in her family to attain a bachelor’s degree. After Smith, Joanna lived in Boston and worked at Union Mutual insurance (a forerunner of Unum). Of this job, Joanna recalled that gender discrimination was the norm at the time: Her director told her unapologetically that he couldn’t pay her as much as her male peers because she was “already the highest paid woman in the company”. In the early ’60s Joanna met her husband, Griffith Jones “Griff”, an Electrical Engineer at MIT Lincoln labs. The couple met at The Sevens pub on Beacon Hill, a place they frequented with a circle of friends that they remained close to for the rest of their lives. The couple married, settled in Marblehead, Mass., and started a family. There they enjoyed skiing, sailing, and socializing at Maddie’s Sail Loft. The family moved to Leominster, Mass. for a few years and started an auto parts store in 1973 before heading to Bath, Maine in 1977. Their second auto parts store, Bath Automotive Supply, was a fixture in downtown Bath for nearly 30 years. Always into fitness, Joanna attended jazzercise classes for almost as long. In 2006, Joanna and Griff sold their store and retired. Joanna enjoyed traveling with longtime friends, visiting with family, and spending time at their place on Saddleback Mountain. She enjoyed working out with her YMCA friends, dining out, gardening, cooking, and being a part of the Holly Street Gang. Joanna was predeceased by her husband, Griff in 2020. She is survived by her brother, David, of Portsmouth, N.H.; her three sons, Darrick and Melissa Jones of Southbury, Conn., Channing Jones and Amy Leonard of Bath, Chris and Sue Jones of Wadmalaw Island, S.C.; and eight grandchildren, Trevor, Ethan, Justin, Emelia, Evan, Porter, Cameron, and Benjamin. The family would like to express their gratitude to the wonderful people of Thornton Hall and CHANS Hospice. A date for her Celebration of life for will be announced soon. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to a charity of your choice.

David W. Colton, Jr. ’50

David Winthrop Colton, Jr., age 90, longtime resident of Boerne, TX, passed away peacefully at home on March 29, 2022, with his wife and daughters by his side.

Dave was born in Sunbury, PA on November 18, 1931, to David Winthrop and May Belle (Smith) Colton. He grew up in the northeast and graduated from Williston Academy in Northhampton, MA. He attained his Business Degree from University of Omaha. Dave served as an Air Force Officer from 1952-1972. His deployments included multiple reconnaissance missions as a Master Navigator against North Korea and Vietnam. He was stationed overseas with his family at Ashiya, Japan, Tachikawa, Japan and Yokota, Japan. He participated in special operations missions from Kelly AFB, San Antonio. He also taught ROTC at Drake University for four years. After retiring from the Air Force, Dave began a new entrepreneurial career. He owned a peach orchard in Fredericksburg and a Baskin-Robbins franchise in Alamo Heights. Dave also ran three Texaco gas station franchises. He bought and sold real estate and managed his own investments.

He met the love of his life, Ina Claire “Dee” (nee Dixon), in San Antonio in February 1955. She was Miss Kelly AFB during Fiesta San Antonio in 1955. After a whirlwind courtship, they were married in Seguin on May 7, 1955. They have two daughters, Lynn Colton Hyvonen born in San Antonio, and Darleen Colton Carstarphen, born in Tokyo, Japan. Dave and Dee would have celebrated their 67th anniversary next month. Dave had a heart as big as Texas and was also very generous and giving. He was a long-time member of the Alamo Heights Optimist Club, a CASA volunteer, did taxes for the elderly, and delivered Meals on Wheels in San Antonio and Boerne, all reflective of his sincere wish to help the under privileged and underserved people and children of his community. First and foremost, he adored his wife and children and his example will live on in the hearts of those who follow.

In addition to his wife Dee, Dave is survived by his daughters, Lynn (Chris) Hyvonen of Boerne, and Darleen (Ed) Carstarphen of Houston. His grandchildren are Cole (Amber) Hyvonen, Alec (Casey) Hyvonen, Lucy Carstarphen (Mike) McCart, and Desi (Jeroen) Djikema. He also proudly has five great-grandchildren, all of whom he met and spent time with before his passing. They range in age from 14 years to 9 months: Ananya Brinton, Harper Hyvonen, Catherine McCart, Colton Hyvonen, and Danica Hyvonen. Dave is also survived by his sister, Betty Jane Wislar of Austell, GA; his sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Darleen and Bill Welty of Greensboro, GA; along with eight nieces and their families. His beloved golden retriever, Tessa, also survives him to watch over Dee and keep her company until she joins him in heaven. A special thank you to Lillia Almaguer who has become part of the family as helper, companion, and caregiver.

A memorial service will be held in his honor at the Ebensberger-Fisher Funeral Home on April 22, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers please make memorials to the charity of your choice.

Wayne S. Jostrand ’56

Wayne S. Jostrand, 83, of Vero Beach, FL died peacefully on March 28, 2022.

Born September 26, 1938 in Springfield, MA, Wayne attended Williston Northampton School before graduating from Yale University in 1960. He subsequently earned a doctorate degree in engineering from Yale’s graduate school. In 1965, he married Emily Henry in Riverside, CT where they raised their family and lived for over 30 years. After a long successful career at IBM, Wayne continued working with several smaller technologies companies. Upon retirement, they moved to Chatham, MA where they lived for 21 years before moving full time to Vero Beach, FL. Always active in his community, Wayne generously gave his time to the First Congregational Church in Old Greenwich CT, The Atwood House Historical Museum in Chatham, MA, and the Community Church of Vero Beach, FL He was an avid sports enthusiast and lifelong fan of the NY Giants and Boston Red Sox. He enjoyed sailing, tennis, running, and skiing. Wayne will always be remembered for his brilliant mind, quick wit and great sense of humor.

He is predeceased by his parents Alphild and Emil Jostrand, and by his son, William Henry Jostrand. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, their children Sten Jostrand (Kay) and Katherine Angell (Jake) and five grandchildren.

A memorial will be held for the family in Old Greenwich, CT in July.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in his name to Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery, 57 West 57th Street, Suite 904, New York, NY 10019.

Stephen K. Oberbeck ’56


Stephen Kitt Oberbeck ’56, of Sanibel, FL, passed away January 26, 2022. After receiving his diploma at Williston Academy, Steve attended Brown University and was awarded a fellowship at the Iowa Writers Workshop. From there he began a career of writing which included a decade as cultural editor at Newsweek where he wrote book, theater, art, music and film reviews.
He edited the Book & Arts page for the St Louis Post-Dispatch and wrote frequently on cultural subjects for the many publications including The New York Times, New York Post, Newsweek, Newsweek International, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and the Paris Herald Tribune. He published numerous poems, short stories and creative commentary in various national and international periodicals. In 1968 he was awarded an Alicia Patterson Foundation grant to live and travel in Europe and report on the intersection of art and technology.
As a marketing writer, coach and business analyst, he worked with many global companies including Fidelity Investments, Nomura Group, Saab, Chrysler, Exxon Mobil, PepsiCo, Price Waterhouse and Philip Morris, writing speeches for top-tier corporate executives, producing major marketing materials and conducting media & marketing seminars.
After moving to Sanibel Island, FL, Steve continued to share his craft by leading writing workshops on memoir, short story, and Great Themes film. There, he mentored many burgeoning Island authors to put in writing their first personal memoirs and works of creative fiction. Steve was a vigorous and passionate participant in weekly current events discussions at BIG Arts Center, a docent at The Shell Museum, and a regular at the Sanibel Recreation Complex where he enjoyed swimming countless laps in the pool.
Steve is survived by his daughter Sally, three grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and grandnephews.