Joan Sherman enriched the life of Mount Washington Valley through her co-ownership of radio station WMWV and her dedication to numerous arts and culture associations. She died from complications of Alzheimer’s Disease on Nov. 19, 2020, at Merriman House in North Conway. Joanie often said that she was drawn to New Hampshire after seeing the movie, The Devil and Daniel Webster, when she was a little girl. For her, it was a dream come true to move here. Joanie loved New Hampshire’s small towns, tight-knit communities, and rural roots. Living here both nurtured and inspired her. Born on Sept. 7, 1929, in New York City, Joanie grew up in Great Neck, Long Island, and attended Northampton School for Girls in Massachusetts. After graduating, she studied at Juilliard School of Music, Barnard College, and the Peabody Music School. In 1948, she married Lawrence (Skip) Sherman. After Skip got his journalism degree at the University of Iowa in 1955, they moved their family to New England. He worked as a reporter for The Springfield Union and The Providence Journal. Meanwhile, Joanie began a career in sales, which led to her learning the radio business at WERI in Westerly, R.I. In 1959, they moved to Conway to manage the AM radio station WBNC, which had been purchased by Joanie’s boss at WERI. A year later, they bought the station, and in 1968 they started a sister FM station, WMWV. As sales manager, Joanie immediately slashed the price of advertising, enabling any business, however big or small, to broadcast its message. She also founded the station’s long-running annual gardening contest for amateur and professional gardeners. Skip managed the news as well as the music programming, which soon displayed his signature touch: a spicy mix of jazz, country, rock and roll, and classical music. Meanwhile, the station’s doors opened to the community. Its reporters and announcers were everywhere: dog sled races, high school concerts, tennis tournaments, the Fryeburg Fair, you name it. Radio interviews introduced listeners to local historians, naturalists, musicians, and authors, and the morning weather report gave everyone a head start by rating the day up to fifty cents. “It’s a real fifty-center” became insider slang for another beautiful day in Mount Washington Valley. In 1997, Joanie and Skip sold the station and retired. Amicably divorced in 2002, they remained close friends. As a woman in broadcasting, Joanie broke new ground. One of the first women in sales, management, and ownership, she served on the board of the New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters and, in 1965, was the first woman to address the Radio Advertising Bureau in New York City. Moreover, the legacy of the station she and Skip created has endured. In addition to her work in sales and broadcasting, crafts and fine art were always central to Joanie’s life. She won awards and recognition for her embroidery and for her hooked rugs and also taught crafts to community groups. In the 1990s, she studied at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia and at the Portland School of Art in Maine, and she took workshops in creative writing. The result was an autobiographical series of paintings and short essays. In 1992, the collection, “Dreams & Memories: Paintings and Stories,” was exhibited at the Idia Center in Intervale, N.H. Selections were featured in other exhibitions, notably the New Hampshire Historical Society’s folk art exhibition, “Traditional Roots, Contemporary Expressions,” in 1994, and subsequently at the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C. The entire collection was published in 1994. An indefatigable extrovert, Joanie was devoted to her community. (As a kid, when she realized that she couldn’t meet everyone in the whole world, she burst into tears.) She served on many arts organizations including Conway’s Home Industries, the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen, the Mount Washington Valley Arts Association, and Arts Jubilee. She also helped to establish Planned Parenthood in New Hampshire and worked to bring community mental health services to Carroll County. In later life, she became a member and enthusiastic supporter of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Eastern Slopes. In 2000, Joanie and Skip were the recipients of the prestigious Bob Morrell Award, bestowed by the Mount Washington Valley Economic Council for civic entrepreneurship. Joanie faced many challenges in her life. She had dyslexia and suffered from bipolar disorder with recurring depressions. However, she always described herself as a fighter and believed that we could all make the world a better place for each other. As it is for many who struggle, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” was her personal anthem. Happily, in recent years she was able to sing that song a lot with friends and family. In addition to her former husband Skip Sherman, Joanie is survived by their two daughters, Sarah Sherman, married to Jamie Calderwood; and Carrie Sherman, married to Terry Whiting. Other survivors include Joanie’s grandson, Peter Calderwood; her sister, Gretchen Horton; and her brother, Ned Thanhouser. Joanie’s family would like to express their gratitude to Merriman House at Memorial Hospital in North Conway, where Joanie spent her last three and a half years. A celebration of Joanie’s life will be held when it’s safe for friends and family to gather.
Cornelius S. Van Rees, 91, of Mystic, CT, fondly known as Neal, died peacefully at Avalon Health Care Center on February 15, 2021, after a courageous battle with cancer. Son of the late Cornelius R. and Beatrice (Shreve) Van Rees, he was born in Brooklyn, NY on May 29, 1929 and raised in Freeport, Long Island. Neal graduated from Williston Academy in 1947, and then attended college at Denison University in Granville, OH, graduating in 1951. Finally he attended Columbia University School of Law in New York City, earning his LLB as a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar in 1954. Neal later served as President of the Columbia University Alumni Association, where he established the Columbia Alumni Travel Program. From 1954 to 1956, Neal proudly served in the US Army as an intelligence analyst in Fort Bragg, NC. Upon his return home, he passed the New York and Federal Bars and joined the NYC Wall Street law firm of Thacher Proffitt and Wood (TPW), where he became a Senior Partner and worked very hard for 38 years. After a distinguished legal career in maritime shipping and corporate law, Neal retired from the law in 1994. He continued serving as a board member at Graham Manufacturing Corp., owned by a dear friend from Williston Academy, until 2012. Neal and his beloved wife of 36 years, Alix, moved from NYC to live full time in Stonington, CT in 1994 after Neal retired from TPW. There he took up sailing as a new favorite pastime. He bought his first sailboat, the Nealix, a 25′ Pierson in 1987, and learned to sail at the Stevens-Colgate Sailing School on City Island. Neal’s interests included skiing, singing, sailing, traveling, ballroom dancing, and public speaking. He skied annually with his children, grandchildren and friends until the age of 88. He sang continuously throughout his life, including with the University Glee Club of NYC, the Calvary Church Choir and the Stoneridge Senior Living Glee Club. For many years, Neal and Alix attended the Calvary Church in Stonington, CT. Neal is predeceased by his parents and his sister, Lorraine S. (Van Rees) Backer and his brother-in-law, William L. Backer. He is survived by his loving wife, Alix (McIvor) Van Rees of Mystic, CT; his daughter Pamela M. (Van Rees) Lundquist and her husband Thomas of Georgetown, MA; his daughter Claire K. Van Rees and her husband James T. Horney of East Northport, NY; grandchildren Jeffrey T. Lundquist of Fort Worth, TX; Scott C. Lundquist and Michael J. Lundquist of Georgetown, MA; Katherine M. Van Horn of East Northport, NY; and step-granddaughter Olivia L. Zuill of Melbourne, Australia. He also leaves his step-sons John C. Zuill and his wife Rachael of Melbourne, Australia; Robert S. Zuill of Hamilton, Bermuda; and David C. Zuill and his wife, Linda, of Smith’s Parish, Bermuda. Mystic Funeral Home is assisting the family with private memorial service arrangements. In lieu of flowers, donations in Cornelius’s memory may be made to the American Cancer Society https://www.cancer.org , which would be very much appreciated by the family.
Richard Conz Aquadro, born to Virginia Conz and Mario Aquadro on July 17, 1926 in Northampton, MA, passed away peacefully on December 30th, 2019 surrounded by his loving family sharing great stories in a time of sadness. Richard, better known as “Dick”, grew up in Northampton, MA and graduated from Northampton High School in 1944. He entered the NAVY in December 1944, serving in World War II until 1945. Richard went to Williston Academy after the NAVY for a post graduate year then enrolled in Norwich University. He finished his education at MIT graduating in 1952 with a degree in Civil Engineering. Richard then married the love of his life, Marie Lawler and started not only his professional career with Perini Inc., but also his family with his first three daughters being born in Boston. He returned to Northampton in 1954 joining his father and brother in the family construction business, Aquadro & Cerruti, Inc, and rounded out his family with a son and daughter. Today as you drive through Northampton and the surrounding communities you will see some of their work from Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Smith College, Amherst College, Hampshire College, various elementary and high schools, municipality buildings, and projects on the UMASS-Amherst campus. Richard was well-respected throughout the industry and considered fair and honorable by everyone from the tradespeople, to the vendors, to the subcontractors to the engineers, to the architects and to various owners of the many buildings he helped to construct. Richard’s strong bond for his community was strengthened during his tenure serving on the Board of the Northampton Co-Operative Bank, currently known as Greenfield/Northampton Co-Operative Bank. He joined the Board in 1972 becoming the Chairman in 1976 and retired from the Board in 2007.
Richard enjoyed skiing with family and friends regularly at Berkshire Snow Basin, and those around him fondly remember him for his beloved ski vacations across the globe. When his family was young, they spent many summers on the shores of Cape Cod with friends. He loved to travel with Marie and bring anyone along that wanted to go. During his later years, he cherished his time in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, where he developed new friendships and opened his house to many visitors. He was an avid reader, especially enjoying historical biographies of political figures. His love of learning never stopped, and he kept up on with the latest technology and was always aware of current affairs, especially pertaining to financial markets. Not to mention, he evolved with the social media era, and his accidental Instagram posts will be greatly missed.
He had intimate bonds with each of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren that each will take with them ahead into life. He was genuinely proud of each one of them and kept up with their lives and education, supporting them always.
He is survived by his wife of 68 blissful years, Marie Lawler Aquadro ’45, and his five children Elizabeth Kouri ’70 and husband Kevin of Naples, FLA, Alison Gleason and husband Daniel of Leeds, MA, Kimberly Sapienza and husband Thomas of Chelmsford, MA, Richard D. Aquadro and wife Sabra of Northampton, MA, Jennifer Egan and husband James of Walpole, MA. He has thirteen grandchildren: Kevin, Daniel, Kristen, Bryan, Aileen, Christine, Timothy, Courtney ’11, Andrew, Anthony ’15, Ania, Natalie ’17 and John. Seven great-grandchildren: Sapphire, Theodore, Declan, Parker, Genevieve, Elizabeth and Marie. He is also survived by his brother Robert Aquadro of Florence, MA. The two brothers worked side by side creating one of the top General Contracting companies in Western MA. He was predeceased by his brother, Francis Aquadro and sister, Gladys Aquadro Stiles.
A funeral will be held at Our Lady of the Hills Parish, 173 Main Street, Haydenville, MA on Monday, January 6 at 10:00 am followed by a burial at Assumption Cemetery, Route 9/Haydenville Road, Leeds. Calling hours will be held from 1:00 – 5:00, Sunday, January 5, at CZELUSNIAK FUNERAL HOME, 173 North Street, Northampton, MA.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Our Lady of the Hills Parish, PO Box 277, Haydenville, MA 01039-9703, Our Lady of the Elms College, 291 Springfield Street, Chicopee, MA 01013 or to Northampton High School Virginia Aquadro Scholarship Fund (checks made out to the City of Northampton), c/o Northampton High School, 380 Elm Street, Northampton, MA 01060.
Guy V. Dyer, Jr., 91, passed away peacefully at home on April 18, 2018 in Bloomfield, CT. Born in Hartford on July 9, 1926, he was the son of Guy and Ruth Dyer. He is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Harriot (Fuller). He is also survived by his two daughters Julia Dyer of Unionville, Helen Hastings and husband Kenneth Manthey of Haddam, and son John Dyer of Lady Lake, Florida. He leaves 3 grandsons, Benjamin Hastings, William Hastings, and Matthew Dyer Walsh. He was predeceased by his sisters, Lois Pascal and Ellen Burt.
Guy resided in West Hartford for most of his life. He attended Hall High School and Williston Academy. Guy graduated from Nichols College after serving in the US Navy during WWII on the Intrepid Destroyer Pacific, USS Black (1944-1947). He was a member of the Wyllis 99, St. John’s Masonic Lodge of CT. Guy loved to sing and he sang in the University Glee Club. He was a former member of the Hartford Barbershop Group and later sang with the West Hartford Squires. Guy was employed by Shawmut National Bank and after retirement, worked for Imagineers Property Management Company in Hartford for many years. He was a member of Immanuel Congregational Church.
Guy will be remembered for his wonderful sense of humor and devotion to family and friends. He was an avid sports enthusiast who loved to golf, ski, play tennis, and sail. Guy was a big Yankees’ and UCONN Women’s Basketball fan. He enjoyed travelling and especially loved spending winters at their home in Florida.
John F. Dignam of Ossining, New York, passed away Nov. 6, 2017, at the beautiful age of 92 with his family by his side.
John was born in Easthampton in 1925 to Vincent and Kunigunde (Kessler) Dignam. He attended Easthampton schools through to high school and attended a postgraduate year of school at the Williston Academy, where he was a star athlete. John left Easthampton and attended the Massachusetts School of Art in Boston.
After serving our nation in the Air Force, John played for the St. Louis Cardinals minor league baseball team for a time before moving to New York. He worked many years as a vice president of the J. Walter Thompson Advertising Agency in New York City. John was a very gifted artist and was very successful with his own artwork and showings. He enjoyed drawing and painting portraits of everyday people and gave many a waiter and waitress their own portrait on the restaurant napkins.
John is survived by his loving wife, Marion (Rhinehart), and his sons Justin (Christine) of California and Peter (Lauren) of Colorado. He will be greatly missed by his grandchildren, Taylor, Chandler, Jack, Cole and Sam, and his sister, Carolyn M. Croake of Easthampton. He also leaves five nieces and nephews and three stepdaughters and their families.
John was predeceased by his brother, Arthur Dignam of Easthampton.
“Chuggie,” Caroline Reed Thrun Adams, left our world to enter heaven on her beloved dancing partner’s arm on July 4, 2017, surrounded by her family and extended family. We weren’t ready for this but the Lord had other plans for Mom and we are so grateful that she didn’t suffer and is home with Jesus.
Chuggie was born on October 8, 1929 in Valparaiso, IN to Dr. Walter and Mrs. Bess (nee Russell) Thrun, on the day the stock market crashed- certainly an auspicious day to be born. She was a precocious, creative and entertaining child who seemed to start out bigger than life! She married the love of her life, Chuck-Charles William Adams, on April 14, 1950 in Tempe, AZ. They moved back home to Valpo in 1951 to join the family business of the turkey farm and Strongbow. Becoming an incredibly accomplished and inspirational businesswoman became her lifelong work. She and Chuck were an incredible team in the restaurant business. Upon purchasing Strongbow from Bess in 1968, they added the bar and banquet room. She went on to build an incomparable party business, setting a standard of excellence in banquets, parties and weddings, copied by many, equaled by none. She was happiest being at the “front of the house” running the show! She described service and serving as the highest calling and one to be “performed” as if on the Broadway stage-and you better be “walking with purpose!” Make no mistake, she was in charge– her vision and her way. Generations of servers were mentored by Chuggie and fondly remember her trainings and life lessons. She was loved and revered by so many and kept in touch with them throughout their lives. The only regret of her life was retiring. She told everyone she saw to keep working as long as they could, preferably forever! She said “do what makes you happy-if it doesn’t make you happy, do something else!” She felt incredibly blessed to have been able to do the work she absolutely loved. In 2011, she published “Dinner at Chuggies” memoir and cookbook. One of her proudest moments was the book-signing held at Strongbow.
Chuggie and Chuck didn’t have a lot of free time throughout their early years and they had one magnificent hobby they could do together-ballroom dancing! Every Tuesday they went to Gary, IN to the Arthur Murray studio for dance lessons. Not only did they teach other young couples in their home, they competed! When they went out onto the dance floor everyone else took to the edges to watch! They loved performing, giggling all the way through it. They loved all kinds of music, especially the Big Bands. She was beautiful and wanted to please everyone. Chuggie had a passion for everything she ever did, whether it was raising the kids, tending the pool, throwing New Year’s Eve parties, coffee-clutching with her friends, gardening, or running the dining room at Strongbow. Her relationships and deep friendships lasted her entire life, starting with her friend Winnie of 87 years, literally from the crib on, to her lifelong friends of 63 years in Valpo. She still wrote letters to everyone even though you couldn’t read her handwriting!
She had a deep love of music and always thought she would grow up to be a singing performer on stage. That was not to be her path but she her love of music encouraged and inspired us to be a very musical family, playing and singing together. She played the piano her entire life, as well as violin and bass. She still played and sang to Chuck in his last days.
Chuggie and Chuck enjoyed many beautiful trips around the globe, usually with Mary and Don Lewis; they also took each of their grandchild on a 10-year old trip. Chuggie loved being on the water on any kind of boat. Many people are familiar with the iconic photo of Chuggie on Don and Mary’s sailboat on Lake Michigan. She and Chuck enjoyed over 30 years spending their winters on Sanibel Island, FL. Chuggie loved walking the beach at sunrise, collecting shells, watching the birds and dressing up for happy hour at the beach! She could host a party like no other and hated to leave a party!
On the homefront, no one loved like Chuggie. Family was everything, and if you were loved by Chuggie you knew you were loved unconditionally. She always listened, she always accepted, and took immense joy in whoever was talking. She shared whatever she had, gave until there was nothing left, relished the company of friends, and never turned anyone away.
Chuggie made education and lifelong learning a core value in our family. For 22 summers, Chuggie and Chuck gave their grandchildren the opportunity to attend Culver Academies Summer Camp. She was so proud of each child. She loved the littles, but she truly enjoyed her kids as adults. She loved drinking a bourbon with her grandkids, and never tired of hearing about their lives. Sometimes when she just couldn’t help herself something inappropriate might slip out and she’d just excuse it all by saying “Cancel that!” It’s hard to remember all of the Chuggie-isms because they were jaw-dropping hilarious! “If you’ve got something to put something in, somebody’s gonna want to put something in it!”
Chuggie spent the last three weeks of her life visiting her sister Mary in MS. We are so grateful that they had that special time together. On the day of her passing, Chuggie was looking forward to spending time on her beautiful summer porch, reconnecting with local friends, going to Martha’s Vineyard with Shellie later this month, planning for granddaughter Haley’s wedding in September in the backyard, and adding another little one to her list of loved ones. Our hearts are broken to say good-bye to her but we know she’s reunited with Chuck. “The problem is, we think we have time.”
Chuggie is survived by her four children: Shellie (Brian) Holmes, Rhinelander, WI; Char (Kevin) McGuire, Rochester Hills, Ml; Russ (Nancy) Adams, Valparaiso; Holly (Rocco) Abessinio, Grosse Point Woods, Ml. Thirteen grandchildren: Josh (Sarah) Mangerson, Jesse (Carissa) Mangerson, Jake (Polly) Mangerson, James (Ali) Mangerson; Jocelyn (Dion) Garrett, Jenny Rose (Greg) Denny, Joy (Jason) Bertram; Ashley, Courtney (John) and Matthew Adams; Austin, Haley (fiance John Doherty) and Emma Abessinio. Greatgrandchildren Abigail, Ella, Ryder, Quinn, Lily, Ginny, Lucy Mangerson; Elliana, Aria and Corbin Garrett; Silas Denny; Samantha Bertram; and one little Mangerson bun in the oven. She is further survived by her sister Mary Helen Lewis of Jackson, MS; special niece and nephew Karen and RJ Reed to whom we will be forever grateful and many beloved nieces, nephews and extended family. She was preceded in death by her parents Bess and Dr. Walter Thrun; her beloved husband of 66 years, Chuck Adams; brother-inlaws Larry Adams and Don Lewis.
She was and always will be “The Queen of Everything,” She was the magnet that everyone gravitated to. There will never be another like her and she will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.
Mr. Paul Voigt Gabel died Wednesday, May 4, 2016 in Tyler, TX, at the age of 87. He was born Monday, March 11, 1929 in Syracuse, NY.
He was an entrepreneur and a member of the N.E.T.A.S.A. American Indian Horse Trail Riding Club. He was 46 years clean and sober in the fellowship of A.A. and a member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity.
Survivors include his wife, Dorene Gabel of Quitman; goddaughter, Nichole Chiarappa of Ft. Lauderdale; children, Paul Gabel, Jr. of Florida, Mark Gabel of Florida, Haley Gabel Bitterman of New Orleans, Jon Paul Gabel of Long Island, NY, Christopher Gabel of Hartsdale, NY and Jennifer Gabel of Wilmington, NC and five grandchildren.
Edward “Ted” Duncan, 88, husband of Ann (Kennedy) Duncan, of New Britain, passed away Saturday (September 2, 2017) at Jerome Home in New Britain, CT. A lifelong New Britain resident, he was born on June 13, 1929, the son of the late A. Stanley Duncan and Catherine W. Duncan. Edward attended New Britain schools and then graduated High School from Williston Academy. He then went on to become a graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. After graduation from college he joined the U.S. Navy in 1952. Accepted in the “S” class of Officers Candidate School at Newport R.I., upon graduation commissioned as an Ensign, and received orders to report to the USS Hailey, a destroyer based in Newport. During his three years aboard the Hailey the ship made a 7 month “around the world cruise” leaving Newport September of 1952 , returning in April 1953 that included three month duty in Korean waters during the Korean war. After being discharged from the Navy in 1955, he married his love, Ann Kennedy in 1956. Edward was employed by Tectonic Industries in Berlin CT for 27 years, retiring as VP of Sales in 1996. A very active member in the church life at the First Church of Christ in New Britain, he served as a deacon, chairman of the Visitation Ministry and as a member of the church council. After retirement he volunteered at the Hospital for Special Care, in New Britain, with the Equipment Exchange Program. He enjoyed playing golf and being with his friends on the golf course. Edward was a member of the Shuttle Meadow Country Club and the Connecticut State Seniors Golf Association. Besides his beloved wife of 61 years, Ann, he is survived by a son Michael Duncan and his wife AnneMarie of Kensington; a daughter Carolyn Anderson and her husband Stephen of Killingworth; four granddaughters, Sarah Duncan and her fiancé Joel Park of New York City, Alison Duncan of New York City, as well as Elizabeth Anderson and Cailey Anderson both of Killingworth; and two nephews William and Chris Lumm. He was predeceased by his sister, Grace Lumm and brother-in-law, Charles Lumm. Ted’s family expresses sincere thanks to all the staff at Jerome Home for their loving care shown during the past year.
Anne Reuther Harris, 88, of Rowayton, CT and New York City died at home on February 2, 2017. Born in Buffalo, NY to Bernard Oscar Reuther and Edna Steele Reuther and graduated from Smith College. Active supporter of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, former Co-Chair of the Winter Antiques Show benefiting the East Side House Settlement and former President of the Colony Club. She was predeceased by her husband of 57 years, James Hoban Harris, and is survived by her three sons, Duncan (Beth), Gordon and Andrew (Christine) and grandchildren Jennifer, Amanda, Andrew, Christopher, Katherine and Michael.