Category Archives: 1960s

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.

Rolf H. Bortner ’66

Rolf Hedin Bortner, 72, died Sunday evening, June 14, 2020, at his son’s home in Waymart, Pennsylvania. He was the husband of the late Catherine Ward Bortner who passed away January 25, 2012.

Born in Huntington, Long Island, he was the son of the late Robert and Siv Hedin Bortner. He was a graduate of Williston Academy where he excelled in sports, especially soccer and lacrosse. He also attended Wesleyan University. He was a proud Navy Veteran who served in the Vietnam Conflict. He was employed as a grip for the labor union Local #52 IATSE for over forty years.

Rolf enjoyed riding motorcycles and was an avid target shooter and gun collector.

Surviving are a son, Robert Bortner and his partner Brianna McAllister, and her daughter Hazel Blocker, of Waymart; a grandson, Rolf Bortner, of Waymart; a niece, Brook Bortner, of Ca.; and several other nieces and nephews on his wife’s side.

He was preceded in death by his brother, Bret Bortner ’64.

A private funeral service will be held at the convenience of the family.

Arthur E. Gramse Jr. ’63

Arthur Edward Gramse Jr. passed away on April 8th, 2020 at the age of 77 after an extended period of poor health.

Known to family and friends as “Art”, he was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1943 to Jean (Quinn) and Dr. Arthur Gramse Sr. The family settled in Massachusetts and Art grew up a proud New Englander. After graduation from Williston Academy, he went on to earn his undergraduate degree from Washington and Jefferson College and his Master’s from the University of Rhode Island. In his professional life, Art was a dedicated English teacher, sharing his love of literature and language with students in the Midwest, southeast and throughout New England during a career that spanned decades.

Art spent much of his time on Cape Cod, and it was there that he met Judy, his first wife, whom he married in 1967. During their time together, the couple had two children. Art gained two stepchildren with his second wife, Donna, and the couple ultimately settled in Donna’s home state of Vermont, where they shared many memorable years until her passing.

Art was known for having a sharp wit coupled with self-deprecating charm, a religious devotion to the Boston Bruins and Red Sox, an untameable sweet tooth and an encyclopedic knowledge of perhaps his greatest passion: the art of fishing. In his youth, he played hockey, won fishing derbies and was an accomplished archer. He was an old school Rock and Roller, bopping away to Buddy Holly, the Beatles and Blondie, until he discovered a profound connection to the work of John Prine. Art also had a deep appreciation and respect for great authors, and considered the work of Henry David Thoreau and J.D. Salinger to be foundational to his worldview. Art possessed a creative spirit in his own right and, over the course of his life, produced poetry, humorous essays and colorful memoir, stunning abstract paintings and innumerable custom handmade fishing lures, one of which was patented.

Art is survived by his children and stepchildren, Shannon Gramse and her husband Todd of Akron, OH, Joshua Gramse and his wife Camille of Sonoma, CA, Jody Billodeau and his wife Michelle of St. Albans, Tracy Billodeau and her partner Dennis Reynolds also of St. Albans, his brother Reed Gramse ’66 and his wife Patti of Cape Elizabeth, ME and their children and grandchildren, his sister Gaylin Soponis and her husband Chuck of Gainesville, FL and their children and grandchildren, his mother-in-law Barbara DeVarney of Richford and his Sister-in-law Susan Shappy, also of Richford.

His ashes will be interred with those of his wife, Donna, in Hope Cemetery in Georgia, Vermont. Because of his personal connection to the ocean, a small portion of his remains will also be committed to the sea in a private family ceremony at a later time.

Art’s children wish to express a deep gratitude to his brother Dr. Reed Gramse for overseeing their father’s health during his final years, and a special thanks to the staff of Brownway Residence and the Franklin County Rehab Center for their compassion and professionalism.

In recognition of Art’s great love of animals, memorial contributions may be made to Franklin County Animal Rescue, 30 Sunset Meadows, St. Albans, VT 05478.

Theodore B. Wiehe, Jr. ’60

On Saturday, April 11, 2020, Theodore Baird Wiehe, Jr., husband, father of two children, teacher and coach, passed away peacefully, at Judson Park in Cleveland, Ohio, at the age of 78. Baird was born on June 24, 1941, in Baltimore, Maryland to the parents of Mary House and Theodore Baird Wiehe. He was a graduate of Williston Academy. He received his undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University and earned his Master’s in Teaching from Brown University in 1964. Baird taught for 32 years at Shaker Heights High School. On August 21, 1965, he married Sarah Bell Noble. They raised two sons, Peter and Oliver. Baird had a passion for and loved teaching, coaching soccer, watching baseball and running. Baird believed it was his duty to make the world a better place. He chose a life of service and one of educating our country’s greatest resource, our children. Known for creating innovative classes like “Country Capitalism” and “Death, Dying and Old Age,” he loved the challenge of teaching analytical thinking. He started and built the first-ever Men’s and Women’s soccer teams at Shaker Heights High School and was selected to be a member of the Ohio State Soccer Hall of Fame. For many years Baird rode his red bicycle (a gift from one of his soccer teams) to work. An avid runner, he could be seen into his 70s running the streets of Shaker. Known for having a great sense of humor and being an excellent conversationalist, Baird had a way of making those he met feel welcome and included. He is survived by his wife Sarah of 54 years, his two children, Peter ’86 and Oliver ’88, his sister Betty, brother Phil ’67, and several cousins, nieces, and a nephew. A service in his memory will be held this summer. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his honor to the Judson Foundation, 2181 Ambleside Drive, Cleveland, OH 44106.

Carol Phillips Ailes ’67

Carol Jean Phillips Ailes, 71, passed away very peacefully March 20, 2020 at Coastal Hospice at the Lake in Salisbury, MD of advanced lung disease. The only daughter and youngest child of Pratt D. Phillips, Jr and Jean Price Phillips. Carol was educated in Salisbury until she went to the Northampton School for Girls in Northampton, MA (now the Williston Northampton School). At Northampton she excelled in athletics, winning the athletic award at graduation. She then attended Bradford College for two years and finished her education at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. Upon graduation, Carol and her best friend and college roommate, Fay Schneider Bright, who remained her most cherished friend and confidant throughout the remainder of her life, went to Munich, Germany for two and a half years to study and work. Returning to the states, Carol began her career in travel with Vacations International in Salisbury, which truly suited Carol’s personality, love of people and travel. She then met and married Robert (Bob) E. Ailes and moved to the Western Shore. Continuing in the same field, she then began her 37 year career at the Smithsonian Institution in the travel management office. Retiring in 2018, she and her husband moved back to the Eastern Shore. Carol had a real zest for life and people. She made so many friends from all over the world with whom she never lost contact. Her passions were family first always, cooking and gardening to which she devoted much of her spare time developing and maintaining a truly amazing garden. She was a member of the Bowie Crofton Garden Club, The National Capital Daylily Club and a lifetime member of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church where she was baptized, confirmed, and married. She is survived by her husband, Bob, her brothers, PD Phillips III (Jo), Norcross, GA, and John P. Phillips of Salisbury as well as three nephews, Pratt D. Phillips IV (Phil) (Sara), J. Price Phillips Jr., Salisbury, MD, Christian S. Phillips, Ocean City, MD and two very treasured nieces, Katherine and Elizabeth Phillips. She also leaves many extremely devoted cousins and friends. A Funeral Eucharist will be held on Friday, March 27, 2020 at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Salisbury, MD at 10:00 a.m. for the immediate family only. Interment will follow immediately at Parsons Cemetery. The service will be streamed at www.facebook.com/stPetersSby . A public Memorial Eucharist will be held at a later date. Contributions may be made in her memory to Coastal Hospice of the Eastern Shore of Maryland, PO Box 1733 Salisbury, MD 21802 or to the St. Celelia Guild at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 115 St. Peter’s St, Salisbury, MD 21801. Arrangements are in the care of Holloway Funeral Home, 501 Snow Hill Rd., Salisbury, MD 21804.

Howard J. Lamson ’67


Howard Jewett (Hank) Lamson passed away on March 19, 2020.  Howard was the son of the late Edward Nathan Lamson and Barbara Tunison Lamson. He is survived by his brother Edward Fay Lamson and his wife, Marsha, and their children Ted (wife Kristi) and Haley (fiancé Jimmy), his sister Susan Lamson Strickler and her husband Herb, and their children Brooks (wife Carla) and Nathan (wife Erin). He is also survived by his step-daughter Jennifer Swabowicz and her husband Edward and their children Hannah and Haleigh, also two great nephews and a great niece, Wade Strickler, Eddie Lamson and Bridget Lamson.

Hank attended Westford Academy, Williston Academy and Bentley University. Professionally, he spent his entire career with the Lowell Five Cent Savings Bank, Lowell, MA, serving in many capacities.

Hank came back to Maine, after spending summers there growing up, at the time of retirement and lived in Kennebunkport until his death. He had a passion for reading mysteries until his eyesight created problems. His love of vegetable gardening came from his father and he enjoyed giving away some of his delicious zucchinis. Golfing, cooking, photography and carpentry were also part of his life, including trips to Mulligan’s for lunch or dinner.

A celebration of Hank’s life will be held this summer.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Kennebunk Conservation Trust, P.O. Box 7004, Cape Porpoise, ME 04014 or to Maine Warden Service, 284 State Street, Augusta, ME 04330.

William T. Murphy, Jr. ’65

William Thomas Murphy, Jr., 72, of New Canaan, CT passed away peacefully on January 26, 2020 after a year-long battle with cancer, his loving family by his side. Bill was born in Providence, RI to the late William Thomas and Martha Otto Murphy. He was a loyal friend to many and devoted husband of Nancy E. Edmonds. He possessed an enthusiasm for life, a gentleness of spirit, and a deep love of family.
Bill attended Lake Forest Academy where he developed his love for springboard diving and graduated from Williston Academy in 1965.
He was a graduate of Harvard College, Class of 1969. While at Harvard, he was considered by his coach to be one of the best divers the team had ever had. He received an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1972. Bill enjoyed a long and varied career in advertising, sales, and marketing, ending his career selling real estate in New Canaan.
Bill was an all-around athlete who both loved and excelled at any sport he tried, whether it was in the pool, on the courts with a racquet in hand for paddle, tennis, or squash he was known for his enthusiasm and sportsmanship. But his true passion was the game of golf. A former member of The Country Club (Brookline, MA), Pine Valley Golf Club, Woodway Country Club (Darien, CT), and a current member of The Kittansett Club (Marion, MA) his knowledge of the game was encyclopedic and his respect for the rules and integrity of the game was unwavering. He was a formidable opponent, a supportive partner, and an astute coach. He loved everything about the game, the architecture, the history, the lore and the crazy colorful clothes!
In addition to his wife Nancy, he is survived by his children Alison L. Murphy of New York, NY, Lindsay (Justin) Murphy Barr of Highlands Ranch, CO and William (Catharine) Thomas Murphy, III, of Atlanta, GA, and three grandchildren Sloane and Berkeley Barr and William T Murphy, IV. He is also survived by his former wife Cynthia Wilkinson. He was predeceased by his brother Peter Otto Murphy.
A Memorial Service to celebrate Bill’s life will be held February 15, 2020 at the Congregational Church in New Canaan CT, 23 Park Street, at 11:00 followed by a reception at Woodway Country Club.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Bill’s memory can be made to Lake Forest Academy Advancement Office, 1500 W. Kennedy Rd., Lake Forest, IL 60045. www.lfanet.org/give. Please indicate your gift is in memory of Bill Murphy ’65.

Gerald P. Ryan ’64

Gerald “Jerry” Paul Ryan, of Branford, CT, died peacefully at his home on March 31, 2019 after a courageous battle with ALS. He was 72. Jerry was born on September 27, 1946 in Bristol, CT to his parents, Philip and Helen (Papa) Ryan. Jerry was the loving husband of Janet (Suhre) Ryan for over 42 years. He is survived by his son, Michael Ryan (Brianna) of Austin, TX, and daughter, Paige Shank (Jonathan) of Hingham, MA. He is also survived by his brothers, Philip William Ryan (Jill) of Branford, CT and John Ryan (Karen) of Philadelphia, PA. Jerry is also survived by grandsons Dylan and Benjamin Shank and Luke and Crosby Ryan as well as many nieces and nephews.

Jerry graduated from Tufts College and Suffolk Law School. Prior to his retirement, Jerry was an attorney in New Haven and most recently Branford practicing real estate law for over 40 years. Jerry was a fanatic sports fan rooting the Yankees, Giants, Celtics, Bruins, UConn Huskies and Yale Bulldogs traveling the country to cheer on his teams and having attended over 30 Super Bowls throughout his life. But his greatest love was his wife, children and grandchildren whom he adored. Jerry will also be missed immensely by the large number of friends he collected throughout his life.

Visiting hours will be on Thursday evening, April 4, 2019 from 4-7 p.m. at the Clancy-Palumbo Funeral Home (Clancy Funeral Home), 43 Kirkham Ave., East Haven. Family and friends are invited to meet and attend a Celebration of Life on Friday, April 5 at 10 a.m. in the Branford Congregational Church on the green at 1009 Main Street, Branford. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the ALS Therapy Development Institute (300 Technology Sq., Suite 400, Cambridge, MA 02139) or the Guilford VNA Community Healthcare and Hospice (753 Boston Post Rd., Suite 200, Guilford, CT 06437).

Constance Barowsky Rathbun ’65


Constance “Tancey” B. Rathbun, 69, of Stonington, Conn., passed away on Monday, Jan. 23, 2017. Born April 4, 1947 in Holyoke, Mass., she was the daughter of the late Alfred and Constance Louise (Koegel) Barowsky.

Tancey graduated from Sullens receiving her Associate’s Degree and enjoyed her work as a secretary for Payne Camera. She was an avid reader and cherished her privacy. Most importantly, she was a loving mother and will be missed by those who knew her.

She leaves her son, Joshua L. Rathbun and his wife, Desiree; her granddaughters, Makenna H. and Morgan R. Rathbun; her brother, Frederick K. Barowsky and his wife, Georgette B., of Holyoke, Mass. and their daughter, Candace, of Holyoke, Mass.; along with several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held on Monday, Jan. 30, at 11 a.m. at the Buckler-Johnston Funeral Home, 121 Main St., Westerly, R.I. Calling hours will be held from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the funeral home before the service. Burial will immediately follow the service at River Bend Cemetery in Westerly. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice.