Diane Linda (Warner) Wojtowicz passed away peacefully in her sleep on August 28, 2020. Born June 29, 1934 in New York, the daughter of the late James Warner and Mary (Zywar) Warner, as a child she grew up in the Bronx, NY and Easthampton, MA. She attended St. Michael’s High School and the Northampton School for Girls. She had a lifelong love of dancing and met her soulmate, Clarky Wojtowicz, at a Chicopee dance in 1954. They married in 1955 and together owned and operated multiple businesses in Chicopee over the next 30 years, including Clarky’s, Market Square and The Kendall. In 1984, they purchased Wyckoff Country Club in Holyoke, which they and their family owned and operated for 36 years. Those close to her will miss her love of children and animals, her unexpectedly bursting into song, and especially her laugh. She famously “never let the truth get in the way of a good story” and would happily regale anyone with many tales about her and her husband’s lives in the service industry or her childhood. The last years of her life were spent in well earned retirement in Marco Island cared for by her daughter Tami. She is predeceased by her parents, stepfather (Francis “Frannie” Wodicka), and her husband Clarence “Clarky” Wojtowicz. She is survived by her four children: Lynn Stebbins and her husband Kenneth of Belchertown, Clark Wojtowicz of Chicopee, Tami Kelley and husband Tony of Marco Island, FL; and Jay Wojtowicz and his wife Caroline of Easthampton. She also leaves 9 grandchildren (Amy, Mark, Kris, Grant, Brooke, Paige, Kyle, Hunter, Lucas), 4 great-grandchildren (Graham, Thaddeus, Grayson, and Kimber), many former employees who became family (Linda), and cousins with whom she kept in close touch. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. A celebration of life will take place at a future date.
By day, a barefooted Mimi Dwight sang along to Joni Mitchell as she drove a station wagon full of her five children and a shedding Saint Bernard around the streets of Holyoke, Massachusetts. In the evenings, she met in back rooms to organize for social justice in her community and beyond.
Born and raised in Holyoke, she was the youngest daughter of Henry and Marcelle Burgee. Her adolescence at the Northampton School for Girls earned the comment on her report card that “Mimi is a good student, but she seems inordinately interested in boys.” They were interested back.
At Bryn Mawr College in the early 1950s, she joined her first protest march. Her zeal for social justice led her inadvertently to the field of gerontology, which became her passion and profession.
In Massachusetts she was known as Mimi Dwight. Under that name, she co-founded the Urban Ministries (a multi-faith coalition dedicated to participatory government within the inner city of Holyoke); she served on the Commission on the Status of Women, the State Welfare Commission, and the Housing Finance Agency, among others. In the early 1970s, she braved local and state politics to create the nation’s first municipal Geriatric Authority, spearheading the successful effort to turn an outdated Municipal Home into a groundbreaking geriatric rehabilitation center. The building was later named in her honor.
Propelled by her interest in the challenges she saw in the field of aging, she enrolled at Hampshire College to finish the bachelor’s degree she had postponed in favor of marriage and children. When she learned that Hampshire would not accept any credits from her two years at Bryn Mawr, she resolutely set out to complete her Hampshire degree in one year.
After graduating, she loaded her two youngest into a quirky car and drove cross-country to get a master’s degree in Gerontology from the University of Southern California. In Los Angeles she became Maria Dwight, a single mother raising two boys and beginning a career that would see her rise to become a world-renowned visionary in the field of aging.
She joined Gerontological Planning Associates as vice president in 1975 and in 1982 formed her own company, Gerontological Services Inc. GSI became a national advocate for participatory planning for services and facilities for older adults. Focusing on primary data collected directly from older people, GSI developed operational, design and marketing plans for innovative approaches for its clients, who included LGBTQ, Born Deaf, Chinese-American, Japanese American, Native American, Religious Women, expatriates in Mexico and Costa Rica, faith based long term care and housing providers, hospitals, developers, architects, cities, towns, day centers, CCRCs and moderate-income housing projects.
Among achievements too numerous to list, she served on the Board of Overseers of Brandeis University, on the Boards of Centura Health System (Denver), Stonewall Communities (Boston), Wise and Healthy Aging (Los Angeles), the Williston Northampton School and, most recently, Friends House in Santa Rosa, CA.
For 30 years, Maria taught at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design’s summer session; she presented at Harvard’s Schools of Medicine and Public Health; at MIT, UMass, Boston University School of Medicine; at California University of San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Irvine; and her alma mater, the USC School of Gerontology. She testified before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor and the United States Senate Committee on Housing and Urban Affairs.
She was a frequent speaker at international conferences including AHSA Asian Conference India, Asian Health Conference Singapore, International Association of Homes and Services for the Aging Conferences, as well as “Quo Vadis” in Berlin. Maria was appointed to the White House Conference on Aging, National Advisory Committee in 1981 and also served it as a delegate, advocating for the integration of housing and services. Her work was recognized with countless awards, culminating in the “Continuing Care Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2017.
She was an intrepid traveler who migrated with the reindeer in the Arctic and marched with the penguins in the Antarctic (as well as lots of warm and exotic places in between).
Maria’s small rented bungalow in Santa Monica was never empty. She fed and mothered a vast extended family of skate rats, actors, hard-core musicians, activists, surfers, students, co-workers, artists and writers, as well as her own brood. She was equally comfortable with Senators, Governors and CEOs as with members of the Flesh Eaters, Dream Syndicate and Sonic Youth. And she was admired and adored by them all.
Maria leaves four children: Bill Dwight (Lida Lewis) of Northampton, Lili Dwight (Byron Coley) of Deerfield, Valle Dwight (Phil O’Donoghue) of Florence, and Ryan Dwight of Huntington Beach, California, as well as eight grandchildren: Eli Dwight, Hudson and Addison Coley, Tim and Aidan O’Donoghue, and Ella, Liam and Dylan Dwight. She is also survived by her sister, Paula Gallup ’49 (John Gallup), of Longmeadow, as well as many nieces and nephews. Her husband, Edward LeVesconte; and her son, Timothy Monk Dwight, pre-deceased her.
The family is planning memorial services for later this summer; one at her home in the redwoods of Northern California, and the second in her childhood haunts of western Massachusetts.
Donations in her honor may be made to Whole Children, 41 Russell St, Hadley, MA 01035; www.wholechildren.org.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you elect a woman President in 2020.
Read more about Maria in the Spring 2016 issue of the Bulletin.
Malcolm Edward “Bud” Tumey, of Bradenton, Florida passed away Tuesday December 4th, 2018 at the age of 84; he was born June 10, 1934 in Greenfield Massachusetts. Malcolm is a graduate of Williston Academy and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and his MBA from Western New England University. Malcolm served in the United States Air Force from 1958 to 1962. He completed a tour of duty in France and provided exemplary service to his country during the Berlin Crisis of 1961. After his service, Malcolm returned to the Kollmorgen Corporation in Northampton, MA to develop periscopes and other optical equipment for the United States Navy. He left the corporate world in 1970 to pursue his vocation teaching Physics, Mathematics, Electronics, and Industrial Arts at Easthampton High School in Easthampton MA. Malcolm was an enthusiastic amateur radio operator (callsign: W1VSX) and had a lifelong interest in radio and electronics. He is survived by his loving Wife Carol Ann Allaire Tumey, brother Lincoln E. Tumey ’53 (Mary Lee), children: David M. Tumey (Danielle) and Diana L. Tumey, grandchildren: Derek Lockhart (Megan), Chad Lockhart (Elizabeth), Jonathan Tumey, Jacob Tumey, Ian Tumey and Ellie He, and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents Edward & Annette Farwell Tumey.
Charles E. “Joe” Galanie, 85, passed away Jan. 25, 2019, with his family by his side.
Joe was born in Natick, Mass., on May 21, 1933. After graduating from Boston English High School and Williston Academy in Massachusetts, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in Korea. After serving, Joe attended Northeast University in Boston where he earned a degree in Civil Engineering. While at Northeastern, Joe was a cheerleader, active in drama, choir and intramural ice hockey. More importantly, there he met the love of his life and wife of 61 years, Marcella Trueheart.
Upon graduating from college, Joe began his 35-year career with PPG Industries. His time with PPG took him and his family from Barberton, Ohio, Sierra Leone Africa, and finally to Lake Charles, La., in 1976, where he spent the remainder of his life. After retiring in 1996, Joe and Marcella travelled extensively visiting all 50 states and other locales from Canada to Antarctica. During their travels, they attended minor and major league baseball games in many ball parks across the country as well as competed in bridge tournaments in nearly all of the 50 states. Joe was an avid bowler, bridge player, and enjoyed his weekly poker game with old friends. Above all this, Joe took great pleasure in spending time with his grandchildren and watching them develop into beautiful children and successful young adults.
Joe will be forever remembered and missed by his wife, Marcella; sons Jim (Sheila Baldwin) of California, Md., and John (Rici Johannessen) of Cincinnati, Ohio; daughter Valerie Johnson (Don) of Lake Charles; his grandchildren Stephanie, Katherine, David, Laura, Matthew, Ryan, Allison, Jason and Callie; and his brother and sister-in-law and travelling companions, Bill and Betty Trueheart.
Visitation and a memorial service will be Jan. 29 at Johnson Funeral Home, 4321 Lake St., Lake Charles, LA 70605. Visitation from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., with the memorial service beginning at 1 p.m.
Vance Boyd, 85, of Fredericksburg, VA, passed away on Monday, September 17, 2018. Born in Springfield, MA on March 30, 1933, Vance was the son of Samuel and Mary Boyd. A graduate of Williston Academy in Easthampton, Vance attended Babson College in Wellesley and received his B.S. in Business.
He served in the U.S. Army from 1956-1958 as Specialist Third Class in the Quartermaster division. He was owner/manager of the Bailey Wagner chain of furniture stores in the greater Springfield area, which his father Samuel Boyd founded. He went on to develop the Best Rental furniture rental company.
His passion/hobby included horse training, racing and showing – both Tennessee Walkers and Standardbreds/trotters. He enjoyed trying to learn new musical instruments and was proud of his steel guitar – he was a student of Billy Cooper of Orange, VA and loved his lessons. His other love included billiards and he was an avid Patriots’ fan. He founded the Billiards Club of Falls Run upon his retirement to that community.
The wake will be on Friday, September 21, from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at Gormley Funeral Home, 2055 Centre St., West Roxbury, MA. Funeral Mass on Saturday, September 22, at 11 a.m. at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 97 South Street, Jamaica Plain. Prayers shall precede Mass at 10:00 a.m. at the funeral home. Internment will be private and at a later date.
Anthony (Tony) C. Berg, of Williamsburg, VA, passed away at age 83 on June 24, 2018. He was predeceased by his wife, Camille and his parents, Renie and Marcus Berg. Tony was born in Halifax, England and grew up in Stuyvesant Falls, NY and Easthampton, MA. Tony graduated as Valedictorian from Williston Academy in Easthampton. He then attended and graduated from WPI. After graduating from WPI, Tony was hired by Raytheon. In 1958, he took a leave of absence from Raytheon to serve his country in the Army where he achieved the rank of First Lieutenant. Upon honorable discharge in 1960, he and Camille moved to Massachusetts where Tony resumed working for Raytheon until his retirement in 1997. After retirement in 1997, he and his wife moved to James City County. Having enjoyed golfing throughout New England, he and his wife joined Williamsburg Country Club. Shortly after moving to Ford’s Colony Tony began building and maintaining blue bird boxes. Through his effort Ford’s Colony became a bird sanctuary. Tony also enjoyed ten pin bowling and joined a bowling league in Williamsburg. Tony had a love of antique cars and would frequent local car shows. In recent years, he enjoyed studying the stock market and trying different investment strategies. Tony’s favorite pastime, however, was his Ham Radio. He enjoyed making contacts and friends all around the word. He was an active member of FOC and ARRL. Now W1OT will join the ranks of the “Silent Keys”. Left to remember Tony are daughters, Gretchen Queeney and Karen (Jack) Primiano; grandchildren, Sean and Mia Primiano, Nicole Floria and Kellen Queeney; cousin, Sandra Garner; and nieces, Georgia (Steve) Schumacher, Elizabeth (Cal Thomas) Stoehr, and Pamela (Winston) Cavin.
Bob was a graduate of Williston Academy and attended Boston University. He served in the United States Army and then went on to attend Employers Insurance School in Boston. He worked for Paul Peters Insurance Agency for over 40 years.
Bob was a charter member of the Elks and was on the board of directors for the Falmouth Co-operative Bank for over 20 years. He also was one of the founding fathers of Falmouth Youth Hockey, and a lover of the ocean and the Mountains, his favorite pastime was boating.
Bob leaves behind his 4 sons: Bobby and Linda Moore of Sandwich, David and Cathy Moore, Paul and Laura Moore, and Tom and Trish Moore, all of Falmouth; his 8 grandchildren: Marissa and Nicole Moore, Brandon, Jordan and Rachel Moore, Brittney, P.J. and Marianna Moore; and his siblings, Steven and Rick Moore. He also leaves his first wife, Sally Peters, and his second wife, Janet Moore and her children, Brad and Kristen Fish. He was predeceased by his sister, Sheila.
Barton David Kagan of Randolph, MA, on September 10, 2017. Beloved husband of 62 years to his dear wife Barbara (Block) Kagan of Randolph. Cherished father of Phyllis Kagan Clayman and her husband Larry Clayman of Massachusetts, Rory Kagan and her husband Rafael Garces of Virginia, and Anita Kagan of Massachusetts. Devoted grandfather of Gregory Clayman of California, Julie Clayman of Massachusetts, Raquel Garces of Virginia and Renee Garces of Virginia. Adored brother of Richard G. Kagan ’60 and his wife Celia of Massachusetts and Florida. Treasured brother-in-law of Nelson E. Block and his wife Rhonda of Massachusetts. Revered son of the late Sidney J. and Mildred B. Kagan of Malden. Also survived by many nephews, nieces and cousins. Bart was a cum laude graduate of Williston Academy where he was a member of the Chess Club, Debate Club, the school newspaper and the school yearbook, as well as holding a state record in Track. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Yale University and his Juris Doctorate from The New England School of Law, where he was his class valedictorian. He had many interests, most notably anything to do with New England sports teams, which he followed with a zealous passion. There wasn’t a math problem he couldn’t solve, and a dog he didn’t love. He was a true family man and derived his greatest pleasure from his wife, children and grandchildren.
“He was a man, take him for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again.” Hamlet
A very bright light in the regional theater world went out on January 26, 2017, when John Peakes slipped peacefully away at his home in Merchantville, NJ, surrounded by people who loved him, an undramatic ending to a wonderfully entertaining life.
John grew up in Weston, MA, son of the late Herman Lawrence Peakes and Marion Jenny Chinn Peakes, and rascally younger brother of Doris (Kendall). He graduated from Williston Academy in 1952 and from Wesleyan University in 1956 where he joined Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. ROTC in college led him to service in the US Navy and colorful travels and adventures while serving his country. On a leave in NYC, he attended a couple of plays and realized that theater without a doubt was what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. So he did it. After his discharge as a Lieutenant JG, John attended the Boston Conservatory while teaching at Plymouth Academy commuting in a car so tiny, his students were able to pick it up and leave it on a porch roof. He moved to NYC where he worked in a couple of off-off Broadway shows but returned east to get his MFA from Tufts University performing and directing in many productions there before moving again to Iowa City to work on getting a doctorate in theater at the University of Iowa. Along the way he acquired his first wife Connie and their two sons, Jonathan in 1967 and Ian in 1969, three Siamese cats and a beagle named Irma la Dog. In Iowa they met Richard and Barbara Thomsen and decided to hell with those PhDs and moved to Michigan in 1966 to run the old barn summer theatre, The Ledges Playhouse in Grand Ledge. In 1970, the somewhat foolhardy decision was made to go year round first in a small church in Grand Ledge and finally in 1976 to the newly built BoarsHead Theater in the Center for the Arts in downtown Lansing, MI. Somehow, miraculously, it all worked. Over 300 productions later, many in which John either performed or directed, the little theater-that-could had earned strong community support and was a well-respected star in regional theater. Thomsen left for NY in the early 80s and in 1987, John’s second wife Judith became the BoarsHead’s indomitable Managing Director leaving John free to be Artistic Director and avid golfer. The pair won many awards including the Detroit Free Press Award for Life Time Achievement and the Michigan Governor’s Award for Art and Culture. They retired from their BoarsHead roles in 2003 and moved to Merchantville NJ just across the bridge from Philadelphia where John continued performing in several Philly theaters. His final performance however was back in Chelsea, Michigan at Jeff Bridge’s Purple Rose Theater where he played the old curmudgeon Norman in On Golden Pond with grace, humor, and great distinction. John himself was a strong and confident man and he brought to vivid life hundreds of unforgettable characters including Shakespeare’s Falstaff, Prospero, Hamlet, and King Lear, Dylan Thomas’s Captain Cat, and leading roles in Death of a Salesman, Waiting for Godot, The Lion in Winter, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and many, many more.
John was predeceased by cherished son, Jonathan, who died in 1984.
He is survived by Judith, his loving wife of over twenty years, Connie; his former wife of over twenty years; his son, Ian Merrill Peakes, an extraordinary actor in his own right; Ian’s equally talented wife, Karen (Krastel); grandsons, Owen Peakes and Carson Hunn; stepchildren, Amanda Hunn and Matt Gentry; sister, Doris Kendall; and a passel of charming nieces and nephews.
Jo Milton Williams, 83, of Shelburne Falls, MA and Pinehurst, NC, passed away unexpectedly November 28, 2016 at Baystate Franklin Medical Center, Springfield, MA. She was the daughter of George Thurlow Milton and Grace Kelley Milton of Boston, MA and was graduated from Northampton School for Girls. After attending Connecticut College and later receiving a degree from N C State University, she was employed as a counselor for Alcoholism Treatment Center, Raleigh, NC. Surviving kin are three daughters: Susan Perkins Stark of Shelburne Falls, MA, Karen Kelley Perkins of Pacific Palisades, CA, Elizabeth Perkins Macat of Shelburne Falls, MA and Sherman Oaks, CA, and husband Carl Rush Williams, Pinehurst, NC, and eight grandchildren. Jo was a devoted and effective counselor in North Carolina. Once retired she love summering in New England where she vacationed as a youngster and traveling, particularly motoring across the states and to Canada and Alaska. Preeminent also in her retirement was the nurture and happiness of her grandchildren. They adored her.