Category Archives: 1970s

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.

Agkarajit “Peter” Panomwon na Ayutthaya ’75

Agkarajit “Peter” Panomwon na Ayutthaya died unexpectedly on Friday morning, May 8, 2020 in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Consul Agkarajit was the Honorary Consul of the Honorary Consulate of the Republic of the Philippines to the Upper North of Thailand from 2014 to 2019.

Consul Agkarajit was a member of the Royal Family of the Kingdom of Thailand. He was a descendant of King Rama 2. Royal flames which will be used for his cremation will be flown from Bangkok.

His wake is being held at Wat Pa Phaeng in their newly built funeral viewing/prayer rooms. Cremation will be on Tuesday, May 12.

The Consul Corps of Chiang Mai paid their respects to the late Agkarajit Phanomvan Na Ayudhya, former Honorary Consul of the Republic of the Philippines, Upper Northern Thailand.

Richard P. Dec ’73


Richard Peter Dec of Hadley, MA, born January 31, 1955, passed away on March 29, 2020 at Cooley Dickinson Hospital after a long illness. Rick graduated from the Williston Northampton School where he excelled in soccer, hockey, baseball and art. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from UMass and a Master of Arts Degree from the Pratt Institute in New York City.

While studying for his Masters Degree, Rick became interested in carpentry while renovating apartment units in Brooklyn. After graduating from Pratt, he returned to the Pioneer Valley and embarked on a 30-year career that would become the Northampton Brewery. He was a big fan of all Boston sports teams, especially the Bruins and Red Sox. After 30 years of building construction, with an artist’s talent for finished work, his knees gave out, and he returned to his love of art.

Rick was predeceased by his parents Doris and Wallace Dec. He is survived by his sister Doreen Dec, brother David Dec (Mona Balicki) of South Hadley, and brother Steven Dec (Claire Largesse) of Louisville, CO.

There will be no funeral services, but a retrospective of Rick’s artwork is being planned for a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the Williston Art Department, Williston Northampton School, 19 Payson Ave., Easthampton, MA 01027.

Czelusniak Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Tara O’Brien-McNally ’78


Tara A. O’Brien-McNally, of Rockland, MA, died on February 20, 2020. Tara was born in Boston, daughter of the late Edward and Ann (Lewonis) O’Brien. She was raised and educated in Easthampton, MA graduating from the Williston Northampton School. Tara earned her Bachelor’s degree from Providence College and a Masters in Business Administration from The University College of Dublin.

A loving mother, raising three children and caring for her sick parents all in the same house. A dedicated and compassionate employee of the Commonwealth. A friend to everyone, someone who’d ask a complete stranger if they were okay. Tara had a fiery spirit and sought to spread good feeling, the intensity of which was matched only by her love for her husband, her children, and the large family of friends she had.

Tara is survived by her husband John, her three children Pearse, Saoirse, and Ronan; her three sisters and one brother; and three nieces and two nephews.

The O’Brien-McNally family welcomes friends and loved ones to celebrate Tara’s life at the Magoun-Biggins Funeral Home on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 from 5:00-8:00 p.m. A Funeral Mass will be held at The Holy Family Church in Rockland on Thursday, February 27, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. Services will be followed by cremation.