Category Archives: Former Faculty

Robert D. St. George, Former Faculty

Robert Dodge St. George, a former faculty member, died on June 4, 2024, at the age of 93 after a brief illness. He was the husband of the late Elizabeth (Simpler) Newlin St. George from 1991 until her death in 2018 and the late Joan Gustafson St. George from 1962 until her death in 1989. He is survived by his sons, David Emery St. George, WNS ‘81 (Jill) of Tustin, CA, and Robert Anderson St. George, WNS ‘82 (Lucia) of Placerville, CO, his stepdaughter, Lisa Newlin Galeano (Roman) of Montclair, NJ, and eight grandchildren.

Born in Newton, MA, on February 24, 1931, to Captain Emery St. George, US Army, and Jennie Dale St. George, he was educated in Newton and graduated from Newton High School, class of 1948. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College, class of 1952. While at Harvard, he was a member of the crew team, Hasty Pudding Club, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and Navy ROTC. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as an Ensign in 1952 and served in the Korean War aboard the USS Guadalupe (AO-32), stationed in Long Beach, CA, and Sasebo, Japan. After completing his US naval service, he worked in commercial sales for the American Brake Shoe Company (later Abex) in Philadelphia, PA, from 1954 to 1961.

Upon receiving a master’s degree in American history from the University of Pennsylvania in 1962, he joined the faculty of the Williston Northampton School, then Williston Academy, in Easthampton, MA. He served on the faculty at Williston Northampton in various teaching, coaching, and administrative positions from 1962 until his retirement in 1991 as Dean of the School. He received several honorary degrees from graduating classes at Williston Northampton, Cum Laude Society induction, and the award for Eminent Service to the school upon his retirement.

He enjoyed a lengthy retirement in Haverford and Berwyn, PA, filled with family gatherings, world travel, ski trips, and summer months spent at his home in Chatham, MA. He was also active in several Philadelphia clubs, including the Right Angle Club, British Officers’ Club, and the Society of the Sons of St. George, as well as the Harvard Club of Boston.

Alice (Palubinskas) Purington, Former Faculty

Alice Margaret (Palubinskas) Purington, 76, of Laconia, N.H., died in the care of hospice on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024 at Ledgeview in the Taylor Community in Laconia, N.H. Alice moved to the Taylor community with her late husband of 39 years, Stephen, in September 2018. Before coming to Taylor, Alice retired with Steve to The Farm in North Berwick after years on the faculty at Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass.

Alice was born in Lawrence, Mass. on Aug. 22, 1947 to the late Alice Lucille (Sewell) Daly and Felix Palubinskas. The family moved to Iowa when Alice was still quite young, for Felix and Lucille to pursue graduate studies at Iowa State University, before they returned to the East Coast and settled in Winchester, Mass. It was on Winslow Road that Alice spent most of her childhood, making friends that would carry into the fullness of her adulthood. Lucille’s mother lived with them, teaching Alice favorite recipes that would stay in regular rotation for decades to come. They spent summers at the cottage in Rockport, Mass. alongside cousins from both sides of the family that grew up alongside Alice as near-siblings. There was clamming on the beach, sun-bathing, bike-riding and so much reading and cooking! Eventually, Lucille and Felix bought property in North Berwick that would become a haven and retreat later passed down to Alice (and Steve). Alice graduated from Winchester High School in 1965, earned a B.A. in Biology at Vassar College, and a M.Ed. at Tufts University.

Always a traveler, Alice spent time after college in Europe and New Zealand, driving around in a VW bus with friends, having adventures, falling in love, serving as a travel-agent and opening a shop in New Zealand for home furnishings and local artisan crafts. Upon her return to the U.S., she briefly taught middle school before pursuing a graduate degree. After Tufts, she worked in the Admissions Office at Wellesley College, and then “jumped the desk” and went into college counseling in Massachusetts, first at Williston Northampton School and then at Phillips Academy Andover.

As a college counselor, Alice believed it her job to tell “the story” of a student in her recommendation letters, coining that term to keep the student at the center of her writing and inspiring her colleagues to do the same. She was a leader in her field, recognized by the College Board as one of the best, and sought out for advice and wisdom years after her retirement. To colleagues, she became known as the “dean of graciousness” as her empathy was palpable in every encounter, but also for the traditions of fun and revelry that she helped to start in the office. It was important to Alice that space felt inviting and warm. Any space she occupied exuded her spirit of care— furnishings were intentional and comfortable. The collection of people that knew and loved her grew with each chapter of her life — friends, colleagues, former students, neighbors and “puppy play group”.

It was at Williston Northampton School that she met Steve, who was also on the faculty there. They married months after finding each other, and remained very much in love ever after. Together they had so many glorious adventures and travels — Alice always made an itinerary!

The Farm became a place of retreat and a destination for family and friends, with Steve and Alice as hosts alongside their chocolate labs, Canfield and later Guinness and Moxie. Stunning gardens of flowers and vegetables, a big kitchen that was often filled with friends cooking together, nooks and crannies for serious conversations or dwelling in the exquisite beauty of place, any time of the day, any season of the year. On the back patio in the sun, or on the front porch at sunset, Alice loved listening to the crickets, talking politics, puzzling, or reading a good book, with dogs and loved ones close at hand.

Alice believed in the making and keeping of small traditions. Favorites included: lunch at Barnacle Billy’s on Fenway’s Opening Day; Derby Day Parties; strawberries and champagne for Wimbledon; pancakes for Maine Maple Sunday; celebrating the blossoming of the daffodils in April; toasting the blooming of the clivia plants; and of course, “open the bottle” night.

In her retirement years, Alice became active in the North Berwick Historical Society, helping to author a volume on the town’s history. She and Steve also served as Trustees of the Hurd Library in North Berwick.

Alice lived with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis during the last 20 years of her life. She was the grateful recipient of a single-lung transplant in 2010, which gave her and those who loved her the gift of so many more years.

Alice was predeceased by her husband, Stephen, on Dec. 12, 2023. Together, they leave behind a great extended family of siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews and “greats”, and friends as close as family, including an honorary daughter, Gina Finocchiaro of Andover, Mass.

A time to honor and remember both Steve and Alice will take place in the spring. Please send an email to to be added to the notification list once details are confirmed.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the D.A. Hurd Library, 41 High St., North Berwick, ME 03906.

Stephen D. Purington, Former Faculty

Stephen Donald Purington, 72, of Laconia, New Hampshire, died in the care of hospice Tuesday, December 12, 2023 at Ledgeview in the Taylor Community in Laconia. Steve moved to the Taylor community with his wife of 39 years, Alice, in September 2018. Before coming to Taylor, Steve retired with Alice to The Farm in North Berwick, ME, after years on the faculty at the Pike School in Andover, MA.

Steve was born in Springfield, MA on September 7, 1951 to the late Donald and Iris Elaine (Whitten) Purington. He had three younger sisters: Karen, Lisa (who predeceased him) and Susan. The family returned to Portland, ME, which was home for both Don and Elaine and their families. Living first with Don’s parents on Virginia Street, they then moved into the house that Don built for the family on Jackson Street in Portland, which was next door to Elaine’s parents. They spent summers on Little Sebago Lake enjoying water-skiing, party-boats and so many lake friends. Steve graduated from Deering High School in 1969, and then went on to study at Monmouth College (Associates Degree), University of Southern Maine (Bachelors Degree) and later at Tufts University (Masters in Education) where he was teaching assistant for Alice’s mother, Dr. “Pal”, in the psychology department.

A consummate educator and student, in and out of formal classrooms, Steve was continually learning and teaching. He had a passion for math, statistics and technology, and often was the one with the latest gadgets and up-to-date devices. He was a reliable source of tech-support at work and at home for family and friends! Steve was someone that loved non-fiction books, a long Sunday morning with multiple newspapers to read, the crossword, cable news, college football on the TV, and all the golf tournaments. He was a member of the Wicked Good Band in high school and for many years to come. He played the washtub bass and a wicked jug! He also enjoyed noodling on the guitar on his own and with his nephews, nieces and friends.

As a math teacher and coach of water polo, swim, football and lacrosse, Steve set high- expectations, but was also known for his puns and dad-like jokes, NPR in the classroom on a Friday afternoon, and his steady encouragement when a student was struggling. All was made better when his dog was at his side in the classroom and on the field. He taught at the Darrow School (NY), Williston Northampton School (MA), Phillips Academy Andover (MA) and the Pike School (MA).

Among the many loves that Steve held, his devotion to his wife, Alice, was the greatest. They met on the faculty at Williston-Northampton, and married short months after, very much in love ever after. Together they shared many adventures and travels — favorites included Cambridge Beaches in Bermuda, Caneel Bay on St. John’s, St. Andrews in Scotland, Australia and New Zealand and numerous cruises, and many boat rides. They had precious years on Notched Pond in Raymond, ME. In all of their travels there was always fabulous food and drink, exquisite music, and stunning landscapes and birds to admire with awe.

In retirement years, Steve’s role as a caregiver was front and center. He not only cared for Alice, but also for their beloved property in North Berwick, and the chocolate labs that shared it with them (Canfield, Guinness and Moxie). Steve took meticulous care of those many acres, and the dozens of friends and family who came to visit and stay with them there. There were “house- parties” and Kentucky Derby Days, Maine Maple Sundays, and Wimbledon breakfast mornings, and also a number of family and friend life-events: baptisms, a dog-wedding, a burial, bridal and baby showers, retirement and anniversary celebrations.

He is survived by his wife, Alice of Laconia, NH and leaves behind his sisters Karen White (partner Ed Getty, children James and Joseph) of Gray, ME; Susan Marean (husband Steve, children Wesley and Chase) of Windham, ME; predeceased by sister Lisa Jordan and husband Wayne (children Andrea Laskey and Kimberly Bickford). Additionally, he has numerous cousins, nephews and nieces and “greats” on Alice’s side, and friends as close as family, including an honorary daughter, Gina Finocchiaro of Andover, MA.

A memorial service will be held remotely on Friday, December 29, at 1:00pm. Please reach out to for a link to that gathering. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the D.A. Hurd Library, 41 High Street, North Berwick, ME 03906.

Richard Henchey, Former Faculty

Richard Francis (Dick) Henchey passed away this summer in Pensacola, Florida at the age of 93. He enjoyed a long and fulfilling forty-year career as an English teacher. He taught for twenty years at Williston Academy in Easthampton, Massachusetts. He later taught at private schools in New York, Colorado, and California, and ultimately retired from Dunn School in Los Olivos, California. Dick opened many young minds to the possibilities of literature and philosophy over the course of his decades in the classroom and as a leader on the campus.

Dick was born in 1929 in Northampton, Massachusetts. He graduated from St. Michael’s High School in 1946 and from American International College in 1951. He served two years in the United States Army. At UMass Amherst he was awarded both an M.A. and a Ph.D. in English.

Dick Henchey is survived by daughter Ruth ’76 and son Paul ’74, by their mother Ann, by three grandchildren (Craig ’05, Laura, and Erin), by two great-grandchildren (Audrey and James), and by several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his two older brothers – William and James. His passing will be memorialized privately by his family.

Richard R. Francis, Former Faculty

Richard Reid Francis passed away on July 8th, 2023 with his wife Marilyn by his side.

Rick was born in Middletown, Connecticut in 1934 to Paul and Ruth Francis. He graduated from Choate School in 1952 and Wesleyan College in 1958. He spent 2 years in the Army from 1955-1957. While at Wesleyan he lettered in Football, Baseball and Track and earned Little All-American in football.

Rick joined the Faculty of Williston Academy in 1958 where he became the head football coach and a math teacher. He later added Basketball Coach and Athletic Director to his titles. Rick worked at Williston for 42 years, retiring in 2000.

Rick married Marilyn Koch on September 2nd, 1961 and they remained married for almost 62 years. Rick has two children; Jeff ’81 and Todd ’83. He has 5 grandchildren; Brooks, Chase, Grant, Sam and Sasha and 3 great grandchildren; Anthony, Cody and Caden. Rick was predeceased by his parents and his bother Paul “Frosty” Francis.

Rick was elected to the New England Prep School Football Coaches Hall of Fame, New England Basketball Hall of Fame and the Williston Northampton School Hall of Fame. Rick served as the President of both the Western Mass Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame and the New England Prep School Athletic Council.

Rick began attending Camp Monomoy (Cape Cod Sea Camps) in 1945 as a camper. He remained there as a camper and a counselor and eventually became the Program Director. This is where he met Marilyn, as her father Grant Koch, was the Director of Camp Monomoy. Rick retired from “Camp” in 2012.

Rick (and Marilyn) were avid sports spectators watching as many of their sons’ and grandchildren’s games as they possibly could. In their retirement, Rick and Marilyn moved to Cape Cod and travelled the world extensively for as long as they could.

There will be a Celebration of Life at Williston Northampton School on September 30th, 2023 at 1:00 PM. Donations in Rick’s name may be made to the Rick and Marilyn Francis Appreciation Fund at Williston Northampton School.

Richard C. Gregory, Former Faculty

A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, June 13th at 1:00pm at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Easthampton (128 Main Street). All are welcome to attend a reception in the Dodge Room of the Reed Campus Center at the Williston Northampton School immediately following.  

To livestream the memorial service, please visit:

Richard C. Gregory, age 90, passed away on May 31, 2023, at Fisher House Hospice Care in Amherst, Massachusetts. Richard was born on August 5, 1932, in Providence, Rhode Island, to George E. Gregory and Catherine B. Gregory.

Mr. Gregory graduated from what was then known as Choate Academy in Wallingford, Connecticut, before matriculating to Yale, where he graduated in 1954 with a degree in English. While at Yale, Mr. Gregory was the pitch pipe for the famous male a cappella group, The Whiffenpoofs. The Whiffenpoofs continued to perform and tour well into the 21st century. Mr. Gregory also attended the Yale School of Drama from 1955-56.

After Yale, Mr. Gregory joined the United States Navy, where he was commissioned as a First Lieutenant, serving in Guam and Washington, D.C. Mr. Gregory’s service in Guam inspired some of his musical creations, most notably his arrangement “Christmas Soup,” a hilarious rendition of the “Twelve Days of Christmas” that has been played around the world.

After graduation, Mr. Gregory took a position at what was then Williston Academy in 1961, where he served through the transition to Williston Northampton School and until his retirement in 2004. While at Williston, Mr. Gregory taught fine arts, English, humanities and music. He also served as the Assistant Director of Admission; Founder and Head of Arts and Humanities Department; Head of Fine Arts Department; Director of Band; Advisor of Drama Club/Williston Theatre; Founder and Director of Caterwaulers; Founder and Director of the Widdigers; Housemaster of Ford Hall; and Director of Music.

Not content to rest on the above laurels, Mr. Gregory endowed the George E. and Catherine B. Gregory Instructorship, in memory of his parents, in 2007. Williston Northampton also has an endowed chair in his honor—the Richard C. Gregory Faculty Chair.

In addition to serving on numerous committees while at Williston, Mr. Gregory was particularly fond of—and noted for—being the longest Master of Ford Hall, the notable senior boys dormitory where numerous pranks, hijinks and general young boy behavior was to be found. Mr. Gregory could always be called on to assist with any musical production, and was noted for playing the piano to old silent movies.

Mr. Gregory was most proud of establishing the male a capella group the Caterwaulers while at Williston, a group that traveled around the world to sing to gatherings of various Williston alumni. He was also the Director and Founder of the female concert group, the Widdigers. Mr. Gregory wrote many of the tunes which the Caterwaulers delighted audiences with. The Caterwaulers fondly referred to Mr. Gregory as “Stump.”

While at Williston, Mr. Gregory, in conjunction with Ellis Baker, raised the level of the theater program to one on par with any other local professional theater. Mr. Gregory oversaw and drew the sets for countless numbers of plays, in addition to designing all of the costumes—the drawings of which are art masterpieces in and of themselves. He directed many plays both for the Williston Theater, the Valley Light Opera, and the Commonwealth Opera.

With Ellis Baker, Mr. Gregory was the founding director of the Easthampton Community Theatre Association, later known as the Hampton Players, which regaled the Easthampton Community from 1972 to 1983.

Mr. Gregory was a long-time member of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church of Easthampton, Massachusetts, where he served on many committees; sang, wrote music for, and directed the Choir; and filled in as organist.

Mr. Gregory was a renaissance man: composer, director, and designer. He was a superb pianist and played violin, baritone, and tuba. Like Mozart, his preferred instrument was the viola. Upon his retirement, Mr. Gregory continued to write music for many organizations and particularly just for himself. His enormous talent will be greatly missed.

Richard is survived by his brother, George M. Gregory Sr.; his nephews Stephen P. Gregory and George M. Gregory; and his niece, Catherine Gregory Boyle. Richard lived a long and interesting life and will be missed by many, especially all those thousands of students who benefitted from his wisdom, humor, and musical genius.

A gracious thank you is extended to Elder Care Access, LLC, and particularly Sheryl Fappiano and Brenda Gendron for their kind and attentive care of Mr. Gregory in his declining years.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Dick Gregory can be made to the Richard C. Gregory Faculty Chair at the Williston Northampton School.

Catherine McGraw, Former Faculty

A memorial service will be held on Monday, April 24th at 11:00 a.m. at Grace Episcopal Church in Amherst (14 Boltwood Avenue). All are welcome to attend a reception at the Inn on Boltwood immediately following.

Catherine Brooke McGraw, adored mother, educator, and mentor to countless students, died of cancer in Amherst, Massachusetts on March 2, 2023. She was 55 years old.

Until last year, Catherine was the Director of College Counseling at the Williston Northampton School in Easthampton, Massachusetts, where she had worked since 2015. Before that, she had worked at Mount Holyoke College from 2008, where she held positions including Associate Dean of Admissions. She was the Associate Dean of Students at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia from 1999-2004, and the coordinator of Student Development at Carnegie Mellon from 1996-1999. She spent two years at the Mayan School, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. There, she taught 300 students in ten sections when she was just 23 years old.

Catherine had a passion for education and heartily committed herself to school communities. She valued working with international students and finding them a way forward that they might not have been able to imagine. She helped students understand they were not stuck, but could always make changes, adjust, and recalibrate. She saw working at a boarding school as a lifestyle choice, not merely a job.

Catherine enjoyed creating traditions and participating in established ones. She loved her garden and making her surroundings beautiful. Maryland remained home, even as she lived elsewhere. She loved spending time at Bethany Beach, and outdoor activities such as walking her dogs and hiking. (She drew the line at camping.) Catherine’s open manner and grace drew people to her. She liked to have fun and brought everyone around her along.

Above all, Catherine’s greatest love was her three children, who were the joy and light of her life. As she said, “The most important career of all my careers is being a mom.”

Catherine is survived by her children Jack ’19, George ’21, and Catie Spence ’24; her parents John and Barbara McGraw; and her brother Adam (Eliza) McGraw as well as a devoted extended family and many loving friends.

A celebration of life will be held in Amherst at a later time. In lieu of flowers, donations in Catherine’s name can be made to the Catherine Brooke McGraw Scholarship Fund at the Williston Northampton School.

Stan Samuelson, Former Faculty

Stan Samuelson passed away on April 21, 2020.

Stan began his illustrious career at Williston in 1982 and only retired in 2014, an expansive tenure in which he was beloved by so many members of the current and former Williston faculty, as well as legions of students. In addition to teaching math, Stan was the quintessential engaged faculty member who modeled volunteerism and active support of everyone in our community. He played an integral part in the Community Service Club, was a leader and supporter for the Gay-Straight Alliance and Diversity Committee, and was also a strong figure in the campus Jewish community, hosting a beloved Passover seder in Whitaker-Bement each year. During his tenure, Stan was a dorm parent in both Ford Hall and Clare House and active, engaged coach for many teams, including Boys Squash, Cross Country, Tennis, and Soccer. His presence in the greater community, moreover, was extensive, given his limitless energy and unbounded spirit to help others. All of us who knew him remember his deep and resonant voice and his wonderful laughter.

We invite alumni to share their remembrances, and we will post a full obituary when one becomes available.

You may also visit Bartlett Funeral Home to share a message with Stan’s family.

Brenda Minisci, Former Faculty

Brenda Minisci, 80, of North Hatfield, MA, passed away in her home, of natural causes on March 2, 2020. She was born June 15, 1939, the second daughter of Vincent L. and Anne (Webster) Minisci. She is pre-deceased by her life-partner, Vincent Fasolino, also of North Hatfield. She is survived by her two sisters: Sandra Minisci and Diana Minisci Appleton, both of Windsor, CT., and her niece, Saarin Appleton of Bloomfield, CT. She is also survived by numerous cousins and second cousins. Brenda lived in North Hatfield from 1968 until the time of her death in 2020.

After graduating as an honor student from Wachusett Regional High School, she attended Rhode Island School of Design and participated in RISD’s first European Honors Program in Rome, Italy, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Ceramics. She later attended Cranbrook Academy of Fine Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, earning an MFA Degree, and was also active in The American Craft Council. Her work is in the permanent collections of several museums and institutions.

Brenda’s teaching career began at the Worcester Craft Center. She then taught for a short time in Worcester Public Schools, followed by teaching positions at UMass in Amherst and then Williston Northampton School in Easthampton, where she taught ceramics and sculpture for many years.

Brenda was a fiercely independent woman who greatly enjoyed her North Hatfield property and home /studio, and the special friends she grew to know and love, there. She loved all aspects of nature, especially watching her plants and trees grow and the animals who constantly challenged her for ownership of her property! Whales and birds were ongoing motifs in her later sculptural work. She loved kayaking and built several kayaks. She also loved seeing her former students, many of whom expressed appreciation for what they learned as a result of her inspirational teaching.

A private gathering in celebration of Brenda’s life will be held at a later date. Her family requests that an act of kindness be done in her honor, or a donation be made in her honor to the charity of your choice. Arrangements were entrusted to Forastiere Funeral & Cremation, East Longmeadow, Massachusetts.

Susan Curry Barnett, Former Faculty

Susan Curry Barnett of Florence, Massachusetts, passed away quietly at Hospice of the Fisher Home in Amherst on October 25, 2019. She was surrounded by close friends.

Sue was born on March 27, 1945, in Boston, Massachusetts, the daughter of Rev. Robert Lewis and Elizabeth Moultan Cartwright Curry.

After graduating from the Northfield School and Tufts University, Sue built a career at the Northampton School for Girls and the Williston Northampton School between 1968 and 2011. She held many different positions as an educator: coach, dorm parent, teacher, and administrator. She most loved coaching the girls in soccer, hockey, and softball, stating, “I am still in touch with hundreds of them. I have seen them grow up, fail, pick themselves up again, succeed, and raise families. That is what I loved from start to finish.”

Sue met Roger (Gus) Barnett at Williston. They were married in Phillips Stevens Chapel at Williston in December of 1987. They celebrated their love of travel, good times with family and friends, and a willingness to work long and hard in their yard. Roger died in September of 1998.

At the age of 8, Sue started attending Fleur de Lis Camp in Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire. Her mother had been Director of the Water Front. Her grandmother had been the camp nurse. Sue was a camper, a Counselor in Training, a Counselor, and the Camp Director during 1972, 1973, and 1976.  As with her Williston students, Sue enjoyed watching the campers grow and become adults. Many girls from school and camp were friends right through the end.

Sue is predeceased by her husband Roger Barnett, her parents, and her stepson Geoffrey Barnett. She is survived by her brother David Curry and his wife Sandra, and her two nieces, Rebecca C. Aupperlee and husband Phil, and Heather Curry. Also surviving are two stepdaughters, Amy Hinton and Alexandra Erickson and her husband David, and Geoffrey’s wife Roxanne.

A memorial service will be held at Phillips Stevens Chapel, November 9, at 2 p.m., Williston Northampton School, Easthampton, Massachusetts.

It would be appreciated if no flowers were sent. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to the Fleur de Lis Camp Sue Curry Barnett Endowed Campership, 120 Howeville Road, Fitzwilliam, NH 03447, or the Williston Northampton School Sue Curry Barnett Endowment for the Girls Softball Team, 19 Payson Avenue, Easthampton, MA 01027.