Thomas H. Buffinton, age 99, of Plymouth, MA, formerly of Marion, died peacefully on Saturday, May 16, 2020. He was the husband of the late Sally (Waring) Buffinton for 69 years. Born November 8, 1920 in Williamstown, MA to the late Professor Arthur H. Buffinton and Mary (Edwards) Buffinton. As a young student at Williamstown High School he was a class officer, Student Council member and Captain of the football team. He graduated from Williams College in the Class of 1944 and earned his Master’s degree from Trinity College in 1955. He served in the Pacific in the Navy, as a Lt (jg) Combat Information Officer. His destroyer, the USS Sutherland, was the first US war ship to enter Tokyo Bay at the conclusion of World War II. Proud to be an educator, his first assignment was at Suffield Academy in CT. In 1952 he moved to Marion and taught at Tabor Academy where he spent the remainder of his career as a History Teacher, Coach, Athletic Director, Dean of the Tabor Summer Camp and Chairman of the History Department. He received the Trustee’s Award for Distinguished Service and was inducted into the first class of the Tabor Athletic Hall of Fame. He also received a Fellow at the John Hay Summer Institute at Williams College; served as the Assistant Director of the John Hay Summer Institute at the University of Oregon; served as President of the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC); was awarded the Rudolf Weyerhaeuser Driscoll Chair for History at Tabor and received the NEPSAC Distinguished Service Award. What was most important to him throughout his career, was his time teaching. He taught English, Math, European, Medieval & Ancient History and finally, his true passion, American History. He didn’t teach dates and places, he taught what, when, how and why. In the context of an historical event, he taught what happened, how it occurred and why it impacted life and history. Additionally, he taught his students how to write and to think critically. During retirement, his days continued to be full and he was happiest when spending time with his beloved family, sailing on Buzzards Bay, consuming history books, gardening and cheering for his favorite sports teams. He is survived by his son Thomas H. Buffinton, III and his wife Wendy of Plymouth, MA and his daughter Holly Buffinton Bove and her husband Vic of Essex, MA. Additionally, he leaves 5 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren, along with several nieces and nephews. Due to current restrictions, a private service will be held and a celebration to honor his memory will be planned at a later date. To acknowledge the incredible care he received, the family has asked that contributions be made in his memory to Cranberry Hospice, 36 Cordage Park Circle, Suite 326, Plymouth, MA 02360.
Becky Sparks passed away on May 19, 2020 in Falmouth, Maine. She was born in Kyoto, Japan, December 29, 1921 to parents Eva and Homer Grafton, who were teachers with the YMCA. Her formative years were spent at her parents’ boys’ camp in Ontario in the summers, and a series of schools in the Midwest in the winters. She graduated from Bennington College where she majored in music, then attended Julliard School of Music after the war ended, where she met her first husband, Ken Ward. They moved to Chardon, Ohio where daughter Carol and son Craig were born.
In 1954 they moved to Colorado, settling in Aspen in 1955, where she taught piano. In 1968 after a divorce Becky moved to New England, taught physical education and music at Northfield Mount Hermon schools, and then got an M.A. in early childhood education. She married John Sparks in 1972 and they spent 10 happy years together on a gentleman’s farm in Virginia and then moved to Stuart, Florida.
After Jack’s death in 1987, Becky moved to Snowmass Village to be near her son, Craig, and rekindled friendships with many Aspenites. She attended Aspen Music Festival concerts, Anderson Ranch art and photography classes, worked for Snow Cubs, volunteered for cross country ski races, was a member of PEO (an educational organization), played tennis at the Snowmass Club, downhill and cross country skied. Her artwork flourished during these years. She moved to Whitcomb Terrace in 2008 and made many friends with residents and staff. Often she would take seniors to the Maroon Bells to paint the landscapes. She snowshoed around Whitcomb Terrace into her mid-90’s.
Becky leaves behind her children, Craig Ward and Carol Ward, stepdaughters Tania Clark and Lana Leonard, their spouses, seven grandsons, and 9 great-grandchildren. Her life will be celebrated at a family gathering in Aspen/Snowmass later this summer.
Barbara Merrill, 96, of Solon, Maine, died at home, surrounded by family and friends the morning of April 2, 2019. Barbara was born Aug. 21, 1922, in Northampton, Mass., to the late Dr. Frank E. and Marion (Dole) Dow. She was the youngest of four children and is predeceased by siblings, Eleanor, Richard and Harriet.
Barbara graduated from Northampton School for Girls (Williston Northampton) and earned her undergraduate degree at Tufts University, Jackson division and then went on to Andover Newton Theological School–Newton Center for her master’s degree in religious education.
In February 1948, while working as the director of the Sunday school and supervisor of the young people’s groups at the Congregational Church in Brunswick, Barbara met John Merrill, who had volunteered to substitute teach a Sunday school class for one of his Bowdoin fraternity brothers. Three weeks after their first meeting, Barbara and John became engaged, and three months later, on June 5, they married.
After living two years in Boston, while John attended law school, the couple moved to Skowhegan in 1952 to raise their family. Barbara soon thereafter opened the Pied Piper Nursery School, which she ran for ten years out of the municipal building. She then became an elementary school teacher for S.A.D. 54 for 17 years. Barbara was also active in the Women’s Club, the D.A.R., women’s republican groups and the Women’s Circle at the Federated Church, where she also sang in the choir for many years and, more recently, was a member of the Bible study group. She joined Somerset Chapter #53, O.E.S., in Skowhegan in January of 1958.
Over the years she held many offices, including chaplain and Worthy Matron; her favorite Star Point office was Martha. When Barbara and John moved year-round to South Solon in 1978, they became active in Solon’s Keystone Chapter #78, O.E.S., and, again, Barbara served as Worthy Matron and multiple terms as Martha. She remained active with the Eastern Star through 2017.
Barbara is survived by her son, William (Carrie), daughter, Harriet (Glen) and son, Frank (Nancy); as well as her grandchildren, Reagan (Mike) Hovasse, Sean (Katie) Merrill and Alaena Merrill; and five great-grandchildren: Taylor, Lyric, Cameron, Phoenix and Lux.
The family would like to thank homecare givers, Sherry Bacon, Dawn Elizabeth Bersani and Cynthia Pine for their loving care of and friendship given to their mother. They would also like to thank the staffs of the Redington-Fairview Hospital and the Northern Lights Home Care & Hospice for the amazing care and compassion they extended to Barbara and her family during the last year of Barbara’s life. The work these dedicated professionals do is a gift and blessing to those they serve.
A celebration of Barbara’s life will be held Saturday, May 4 at 11 a.m., at the Federated Church in Skowhegan.
Arrangements are entrusted to the care of Smart & Edwards Funeral Home, 183 Madison Ave., Skowhegan, Maine. Memorial contributions can be made to: Northern Light Home Care & Hospice, 50 Foden Rd., South Portland, ME 04106.
Nancy Soderberg, whose life was characterized by her devotion to her family; her commitment to service, especially to public libraries and to the Girl Scouts; and her enthusiasm for outdoor endeavors, particularly swimming, sailing, and picnicking, died on June 23, 2018 in Camden, Maine. She was 96 and had recently moved from her Camden home to the memory care unit at Quarry Hill, where she died. Nancy Traill Soderberg was born on March 16, 1922, to Mabel White Traill and Frederick Balcolm Traill in Spencer, Massachusetts, where she grew up and graduated from David Prouty High School. After a gap year at the Northampton School for Girls, she attended Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, graduating in 1944. She worked for two years at the Harvard Medical School and then joined the American Red Cross, serving that organization on the island of Okinawa (now part of Japan), South Korea and outside of Hartford, Connecticut. In 1950 she married Carl Richard (Dick) Soderberg, Jr., with whom she had five children. Her husband’s work took the family to many places, including, chronologically, Lincoln, Massachusetts; Old Greenwich, Connecticut; Houston, Texas; New Canaan, Connecticut; Lake Forest, Illinois; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Concord, Massachusetts; and Sao Paulo, Brazil. With every move, Nancy, well served by her unfailingly positive spirit and keen managerial and organizational skills, energetically established the family, connected with the community, became an active member of the local Episcopal Church, and supported the Soderberg family’s love of sailing, on oceans and lakes across the Americas. When living in Minneapolis, Nancy, always eager to learn, earned a master’s degree in children’s literature at the University of Minnesota, which informed her future involvement with libraries and bookstores (and with her grandchildren). Drawn to Maine by the opportunity for great sailing in a beautiful seaside location as well as proximity to family, they moved from Brazil to South Brooksville, Maine when Dick retired in 1988, and to Camden in 2003. In both places Nancy relished welcoming her children and their families to yet another community she called home. Her survivors include her husband of 68 years as well as their five children: Lisa Soderberg (Richard Brown) of Doylestown, Pennsylvania; Carl R. Soderberg of Simsbury, Connecticut; Leif G. Soderberg (Jill) of Lake Forest, Illinois; Inga Soderberg-King (Jeff) of Gloucester, Massachusetts; Erik T. Soderberg of Bedford, New York. Ten grandchildren and one great granddaughter also survive her. She was predeceased by her brother Frederick Balcolm Traill. The family is grateful to the cadre of loving caregivers who attended Nancy in her final years.
Murray S. Silin, 94, of Acton, MA, formerly of Brookline and Newton, on Sunday, March 5, 2017. For 65 years, the devoted husband of Brenda (Ginsburg) Silin. Loving father of Diane Krasnick and her husband Marty, Joe Silin of Portland, OR, and Amy Silin Freas and her husband, Chris Freas of Seattle, WA. Cherished grandfather of Aaron and Benjamin Krasnick and Toby and Maile Silin Freas. Dear brother of Phyllis Sisson and the late Esther Levenson and Bernice Silin.
Dr. Roger Pierce Kellogg, 94, of Rockport, passed away peacefully at his home Monday, March 7, 2016, with his wife of 71 years by his side. He was the beloved husband of his high school sweetheart Norma (Fitts) Kellogg.
He was born Sept. 30, 1921, in Northampton, to Henry Clifton and Carrie (Pierce) Kellogg. Roger graduated from Northampton High School in 1939 and from Williston Academy in 1940. He received his bachlor’s degree from Wesleyan University Phi Beta Kappa. His membership in the Sigma Nu Fraternity was a source of pleasure and pride for him all his life. Roger went on to study dentistry at the University of Pennsylvania where he obtained his degree in 1952.
Sarah Showalter Hubbard, 93, of Stuart, FL, formerly of Northampton, MA, passed away February 12, 2016. Sarah was born in Newton, MA and grew up in Northampton where she was graduated from the former Northampton School for Girls in 1940. She attended Syracuse University and was graduated from the Katharine Gibbs School in Boston.
In 1946 she married Edwin B. Hubbard, formerly of New Hampshire, who pre-deceased her after 53 years of marriage. Her children are Edwin B. and wife Lynn of Naples, FL, Elizabeth D. Hubbard of Hobe Sound, FL and Ann H. Buscemi and husband Peter of Longmeadow, MA. There are five grandchildren, including Natalie Buscemi ’08, and four great grandchildren.
A loving mother and daughter first, Sarah- fondly known as Sally- volunteered generously in the Northampton community. Later on she assumed the position of Coordinator for an International Conference on Deaf Education, followed by 15 years with the Alumnae Association of Smith College, her last position there as Associate Director.
Sarah joined her husband in retirement in Eastham, MA before moving to Stuart where she continued in giving back to this community through the Council on Aging and St. Mary’s Episcopal Church.
Stephen was born in NYC 08/14/1921 to James Alfred and Anne Clarke.
Steve served in the Navy during WWII in the South Pacific as a plane commander (LtCmdr) flying the wounded from the islands back to the states.
Married in 1946 to Lillian Winifred Cole. They moved to Dalton, Ma in 1947 and had 3 sons Brian, James and David.
Devoted mother of Richard & Hilary Glovsky, Robert & Sue Glovsky, Charles & Eileen Glovsky. Loving grandmother of Sarah Glovsky; Abby Glovsky & Judson Thumm; David, Michael, Caroline and Andy Glovsky; Scott Glovsky & his fiancee Kaitlyn McNamee; Jordan Glovsky; Will & Sue Korman; Benjamin & Abigail Korman; Scott & Joanne Katz; Jordan Katz & Joanna Katz. Great grandmother of six. Dear sister of the late Janice Rittenberg and William August. Longtime close friend of Jeannie Garfinkle.