Category Archives: 1970s

Ellen J. Tabachnick ’71

Ellen Judith Tabachnick, 68, of San Francisco, CA, passed away from cancer on March 24, 2021 in Boston, MA. Ellen was the daughter of the late Dr. Henry and Betty (Greenberg) Tabachnick of Portland, Maine. She grew up in a large Portland house, where the family lived upstairs from her father’s practice. Her father was generous and outgoing, a congenial man. Portland notables were always in and out of the house. It was an active, lively household. In her early years Ellen attended Portland Hebrew Day School and later enrolled in Waynflete College Preparatory School, Portland and Northampton School For Girls in Northampton, Massachusetts. She completed an advanced three-year Bachelor of Arts degree at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.

Ellen’s greatest passion was the pursuit of justice. She developed an early concern for the oppressed. While in her teens Ellen volunteered at a local prison community with the goal of advancing conditions for the inmates. Later, in order to actualize her quest for an equitable society, Ellen earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Cal Western Law School, San Diego.

Ellen practiced law at Contra Costa Legal Services Foundation, in California. However, she was not your average attorney. A cross between Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Bella Abzug, Ellen was a force to be reckoned with, a woman who seized life by both lapels. She began her practice as a Reginald Heber Smith Fellow, educating low-income community groups about their legal rights and responsibilities while carrying a full caseload challenging termination of government benefits. She believed holeheartedly in civil liberties, justice and a level playing field. Ellen’s imaginative legal insights, her indefatigable passion, and pure chutzpah enabled her to win most of her cases.

In particular, Ellen championed the Hmong’s community right to communicate with government agencies in their own language. A dedicated, fierce and creative advocate, she succeeded in assisting many families retain their benefits. Ellen spent her final years as a pro bono advocate for undocumented persons, including minors threatened with deportation.

She loved music. Forever the life of the party, Ellen would pick up her guitar and play folk tunes for the children or sit at the piano, her father’s Stetson firmly atop her head, and bang out the score from “Fiddler on the Roof”. She was bighearted, generous. She never forgot a birthday, and enjoyed giving presents even when there was nothing in particular to celebrate. Giving was in her heart and one could not refuse. She was Auntie Ellen, Aunty-Godmother Ellen, Auntie Chicklet, Ms. Civil Liberties, Ellie. She was our own Auntie Mame, a woman brimming with life, a justice warrior who lived unequivocally by the concept in Judaism of tikkun olam, ‘repair the world’.

In addition to her parents, Ellen was preceded in death by her brother, Robert Tabachnick, and her nephew, Henry Tabachnick. She is survived by her sister-in-law, Aileen Tabachnick, and her nephews Jacob, Abraham, and Elijah Tabachnick. Ellen is buried at Beth El Memorial Park, Portland, Maine alongside her father, mother, and nephew.

Donations in Ellen’s memory can be sent to:
The Campaign for Justice https://caforjustice.org/

Glynis A. Douglass ’76

A sweet and kind light has gone out. It is with deep sadness that at 2:20p on Monday, April 19, 2021, we released Glynis Ann Douglass back to the ethereal universe. She was a constant caring presence to those of us who were blessed by her love. Quietly and subtly, she would leave notes and thoughtful little gifts of food and soul nourishment to ease our daily journeys. Glynis was a gifted artist with a keen intellect and spot-on moral compass. She saw and reflected our flaws and frailties in the kindest of lights. Her judgements were true, but carefully tempered for only the slightest sting. She had a razor-sharp wit, but she lived by moderation and never hit harder than necessary to reveal an alternative perspective.
Glynis was born in Manhattan on January 9, 1959, to Sharon Luley Douglass and Malcolm Welsh Douglass. On May 4, 1961, Glynis lost her only (then) four-year-old brother, Angus Fitzgerald Douglass, to the sea. Arianna and I (Jillian) were born thereafter, but the loss of Angus left a void for her, that was only filled 28 years later on September 21, 1987, with the birth of Jared Maurice Sacks, the true Light of Glynis’s Love. Glynis was a gentle, but fiercely protective, and completely devoted mother.
As a child Glynis had an extraordinary will. At the tender age of 5, she challenged my father to a race that lasted at least a mile, before my father called out to her that she had won. For the rest of his life, my father would confide in Glynis and trust her to be strong, independent and capable. She carried this lesson of mutual respect forth in everything she did.
Glynis was a sharp and curious student. She attended Williston Northampton School from 1974 to 1976, where she studied visual and performance arts. She quickly learned and applied vast amounts of information and feeling into well-organized and well-founded original works. She became a talented printer, painter and lithographer. She went on to receive a BA in Art History from UMass Amherst, graduating early in 1979. She became an Assistant Editor for Boston Arts Magazine and continued her art studies at Massachusetts College of Art. She was awarded a Guggenheim scholarship and pursued a Masters’ degree abroad, in Italy.
Glynis exhibited her greatest creativity and passion in her boundless generosity and constant capacity to share “random acts of kindness”. She enjoyed cooking and planning meals and gatherings, but her highest joy was serving & tasting delicious foods. She loved volunteering with Food4Kids at Church of the Holy Spirit in Orleans. Those of us in her care and under her protective wings (including her close friends, and especially my mother during her final years of life) were, and will always be, truly blessed.
In her final days at Tufts Medical Center, with deepest gratitude to all the doctors and staff, Glynis chose Hospice over life-extending treatments. In honor of Glynis’s gracious spirit, please give as generously as you can to Hospice, the Tibetan Nun Project, or the humanitarian charity of your choice.

P. Douglas Watkins ’70

Paul Douglas Watkins, 70, of Marmora, NJ was taken from his loved ones unexpectedly on 4/21/2021. Doug was a loving and supportive husband to his soulmate and late wife, Suzanne, of 45 years. Doug was born in Coatesville, PA, grew up in Centerport, NY and graduated from The Williston Northampton School in MA. Doug was a proud Bucknell University alum as well as having many degrees from many other universities. He is dedicated to, and survived by, his two children Doug and Christine. His true meaning in life, however, was to be a grandfather. He was survived by four grandchildren: Breanna, Leah, Patrick and Carley, who he loved with his entire heart. He is survived by his sister, Lynn and preceded by his parents Paul and Nancy. Doug worked as a paramedic, firefighter, lifeguard, engineer, and just recently started as a substitute teacher. He believed in saving many lives before his own, a true hero. Doug had a big heart with a love language that consisted of giving everything he could to those he loved. He loved his days tanning on the OCNJ beach, taking his boat out, lifeguarding on Surf Road, and spending his time on many different tropical islands where he truly belonged. Living by the shore was his true calling, and it is where he met his very special loved one, Roisin Keough. His love for the beach and the ocean will comfort his loved ones, where we know he will be spending the rest of his eternity. His legacy will live on with all of his family and friends, whom he loved dearly. A memorial will be scheduled for a later date. Donations in his name can be made to the American Cancer Association, which are truly appreciated.

Deborah E. Koffman ’74

Deb Koffman, artist, teacher, loving friend, daughter, aunt, sister, and polka dot aficionado passed away February 10, 2021. We’ll miss her love, her laugh, her genius, her generosity and her presence. These are her words about her life:

I do what I do because I got tired of doing what I was supposed to do – you know, supposed to cry at funerals, laugh at weddings, be hungry at mealtime, sleepy at bedtime. But sometimes I felt like laughing at funerals and crying at weddings…And sometimes I wasn’t hungry for days…And sometimes I wanted to sleep forever…

I spent the first 31 years of my life living by someone else’s standard of what was “right:” my parents, my boyfriends, schools, professional environments -that didn’t work.

I needed some perspective, I needed to know what was right for me. So, I became an “artist” being dedicated to, and inspired by, discovering what is inherently true for me.

I describe to myself how I feel about the world…so when I forget what I’ve learned I can look at a table I’ve painted or an image I’ve drawn or words I’ve written and it reminds me of what I know, of what is true about the world for me.

When I see what I’ve created it touches my heart. It comes from my heart and miraculously it always touches me again. So, my truth is, I do this for me…Because it makes me feel good…lt is my gift to myself. When you see what I’ve done, and your heart is touched…Then we have exchanged presence…

And there is no greater gift to receive. Thank you for your presence.

Mary T. Hilliard ’72

Mary Temperance Hilliard died peacefully at home on Friday the 22nd of January 2021, in Galveston Texas surrounded by family and friends.

She was born Monday, June 14, 1954 in Houston, Texas. She was the daughter of Henry Townsend (“Bill”) and Lydia Caffery Hilliard. She attended Vanderbilt and Stephen F. Austin Universities and graduated in 1978. Following graduation, Mary moved to the “Wilds” of New Mexico to become a Wild Horse Wrangler. She lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico until 1995 when she became Manager of Southwest Shipyard and moved to the family home on the West end of Galveston Island.

Mary was a lover of animals, and owned many dogs over the years including Blue, Sandy, Dune, Frank Lee, Annie, and Abby as well as a few cats. She was a strong patron and benefactor of the Houston SPCA and the Veterinarian Medical Center. She also supported pet rescue and adoption.

She loved to spend time with friends and entertain at her home. She will be remembered for her kindness, her humor and her loving heart.

She is predeceased by her parents, Bill and Lydia. She is survived by brothers Hank and John ’72, sister Susan, and nephews, Hank, Townsend, and Scott Hilliard and several great nieces and nephews.

An intimate graveside burial service for family and close friends is to be conducted on Saturday, January 30th 2021 at Forest Park Lawndale in Houston, Texas. A memorial service for Mary will be held at a future date to be determined in the summer of 2021 at Galveston Country Club pending developments with the Covid pandemic.

The family is extremely grateful of the help of many of Mary’s close friends including Dianna Kinsey, Brenda Larkins, Hope Williams, Barbara Fenner, Nurse from the Hospice Team, and the caregivers from Right at Home including Betty, Haley, Jarnae, Jennifer and Tennille.

Bruce L. McHugh ’78

GySgt. Bruce Luke McHugh, USMC Ret., 60, of Sneads Ferry, NC, died Thursday, November 5, 2020 at Lower Cape Fear LifeCareCenter in Wilmington.

Bruce was preceded in death by his father, Dr. Edward McHugh ’50. He is survived by his wife, Lisa McHugh; his mother, Janice McHugh; and two brothers, Edward ’77 and Michael ’79.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, November 20, 2020 at Jones Funeral Home, Holly Ridge Chapel, with Rev. Alan Sasser officiating. Burial, with full military honors, will follow at Coastal Carolina State Veterans Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society through www.cancer.org.

Richard A. White ’75

On Saturday, October 24, 2020, Richard Allen White passed away at age 63.

Rich was born on July 6, 1957, in Hadley, MA to George and Ann Catherine White (Aubrey). He was a proud alumnus of The Williston Northampton School, Amherst College, and the School of Law at St. John’s University. On July 14, 1979, he married Noreen Fucci. They raised two children, Alicia and Brendan.

He had a passion for art, food, and underloved technologies, from film to reel-to-reel tapes to 8-track. He was also an avid musician and music lover—a collector of instruments, records, and tube-based amplifiers. He built a recording studio and darkroom in the basement of his home and nurtured in both his children an enduring love of the arts. During his children’s hockey careers, and in particular his daughter’s collegiate career at Wesleyan University, he was a model “hockey dad” who cumulatively drove hundreds of thousands of miles up and down the east coast for games, practices, and tournaments.

Upon corporate retirement in 2019 he dedicated himself full-time to painting and was an enthusiastic member of the studio community at the Manufacturers Village in East Orange, NJ. His paintings were heavily indebted to abstract expressionism and showed in galleries in Yonkers, Brooklyn, and Jersey City. His ready wit, cooking prowess, and jovial spirit will be sorely missed. “Work hard, have fun, learn something.”

Rich was preceded in death by his father George Sr., his mother Ann Catherine, and his brother George Jr. He is survived by his wife Noreen; his two children, Brendan and Alicia; his brother Stephen ’77; and many beloved cousins, nieces, and nephews. A virtual memorial service will be held at a later date.

To honor two of Rich’s passions, the family requests in lieu of flowers that contributions in Rich’s memory be made to Wesleyan University, in support of Women’s Hockey student-athletes (www.givecampus.com/campaigns/16960/donations/new) or to the Chicago Film Society (www.chicagofilmsociety.org).

Douglas E. Gehlmeyer ’77

Douglas Edgerton Gehlmeyer, 61, passed away on Wednesday, July 8, 2020 with his loved ones by his side after a brave battle with cancer. Born in Glen Cove, NY, he was the son of the late Robert and Beverly (Church) Gehlmeyer. He was the husband of Elizabeth (Rogers) Gehlmeyer, with whom he raised his family in East Greenwich, RI.

Doug received his undergraduate degree from Drew University, where he met and fell in love with his wife Elizabeth. He later earned his Master’s degree in Accounting from Long Island University, where he was recognized as a member of the Delta Mu Delta International Honors Society and went on to have a 30-year career as a Certified Public Accountant. His proudest achievement, though, was his role as a loving father of four.

Doug loved fishing and boating, working on cars, building and fixing things with craftsman-like attention to detail, learning about history and spending time with his adoring family and pets.

Besides his wife Elizabeth, he is survived by his four children, Amanda, Victoria, Jessie and Andrew, his brother, Robert Gehlmeyer Jr., and sister Marguerite (Gehlmeyer) Tierney. He will be profoundly missed.

Services will be open to family only. A celebration of his life will be scheduled at a later date. Should they wish, friends may make a donation in his honor to: secure.go2foundation.org, www.preventcancer.org, www.stjude.org or www.guidingeyes.org.

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.