Tag Archives: Class of 1953

Rex Aubrey ’53

February 4, 1935 – April 20, 2021
Detroit, Michigan

Rex was born in Parkes, Australia in February 1935. During his childhood he excelled as a multisport athlete winning 3 first & 1 second place medals in the Eastern Track & Field championships, 2 first places in the Swimming championships as well as 2 Gold medals in the Australian National High School Swimming Championships. He also won 22 New South Wales State Championship medals as well as numerous other awards. Rex moved to the United States at the age of 16 and attended Williston Academy prep school in Easthampton, MA and then Yale University as a Political Science major. While at Yale Rex became a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity and a member of the Book and Snake Society. Here Rex continued his excellence in swimming setting multiple AAU & NCAA records earning a spot on the 1952 Olympic team participating in 2 events and taking 6th place in the 100-yard freestyle. In 1954 he participated in the British Commonwealth Games where he won a Gold and a Bronze medal and in 1956 set a world record in the 100-yard freestyle. Rex was admitted into the Parkes Roll of Excellence and also had a street named after him, Rex Aubrey Place. He was recently admitted to the Williston Academy Athletic Hall of Fame. While working at the DAC he won multiple National titles as a Squash player, hobbies included tennis, scuba diving, and golf where he had 3 holes in one! Rex is survived by his wife, 3 children, 6 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. Due to the current situation with Covid the family has decided not to hold any type of memorial.

Theodore D. Kurrus ’53

Theodore Dudley Kurrus, 86, passed away on Sept. 12, 2020. Ted was born in Mt. Kisco, New York, to Doris Dudley and Theodore Hornby Kurrus.

Ted’s youth was peppered with attendance at a dozen boarding schools, including Williston-Northampton School, Massachusetts, where in 2013 he was inducted into the Williston Hall of Fame for swimming. Following high school he attended Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where he graduated with a BA in Economics and a minor in English in 1957. Continuing his swimming talents in college, Ted was recognized by his alma mater in 1997 with induction into the Kenyon Hall of Fame for his swimming and diving achievements.

After college, Ted began a worldwide photo-journalism career, which led him to 68 countries and a nomination for a Pulitzer Prize in journalism. His writings appeared in a wide variety of international publications.

In 1959, he worked for Chicago’s United Press International and later move to the Indianapolis Bureau. From there, Ted set sail for Hawaii where he joined the Honolulu Advertiser in 1961 as general assignment reporter, and later transferred to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. He worked on special assignment for United Press International while in Hawaii covering the summer Olympic team in Tokyo and winter Olympics in Innsbruck 1964. Afterward, he ran his own freelance agency in Hawaii in the famed Treehouse at International Market Place, Waikiki. His career path led him to employment in Hong Kong as Associate Editor of Asian Business and Industry Magazine.

Ted was the first member of the Western press corps to enter the Citadel Proper (near Hue) on Sept. 16, 1972, where he photographed the initial raising of the colors of the Republic of Vietnam over the Main Gate of the Citadel at Quang Tri, which was considered the Iwo Jima for the Vietnam War. The U.S. Marine Corps gave him a commendation acknowledging “personal courage, unlimited ability and noteworthy dedication to the fundamental concept of full and accurate press coverage of the event.”

After Vietnam, he joined the Dallas Morning News, where he developed a great interest of China (PRC). He began interpreting whatever events could be seen through that country’s “bamboo keyhole.” And in 1976, he had the opportunity to visit the PRC as one of only three American-based journalists invited to report on the semi-annual Kwangechow Export Commodities Fair. The six-part series attracted the attention of China watchers in the USA and overseas.

In the late ’70s, he managed worldwide communications for Rockwell International based in Dallas, Texas.

He returned to Hawaii in the early ’80s and continued his life of writing and sailing. In 1990, he and his wife, Rita Mae, semi-retired to Seaside, Oregon, where they opened Rita Mae’s Great Little Bed & Breakfast and Rita Mae’s Great Little Wine Haus & Deli Pub. In 1993, they fully retired to Green Valley, Arizona.

Ted’s passion for the sea led to a peregrination around the world. In Hawaii, he pursued his mariner passions with membership in Kaneohe Yacht Club. His boats, Harmattan II and Summer notched many cup victories. He shared his love of the sea with his family. While Ted was an aficionado of all sports, the Chicago Cubs were his favorite and their winning of the 2016 World Series was a dream come true.

Ted lived life large. Artist, cartoonist, poet, golfer, Life Master bridge player, were a few of the hats he wore. He filled his life with the talent he was given to the fullest.

Ted is survived by his wife of 38 years, Rita Mae; son David Kurrus; daughter Kimberly Kurrus (grandchildren Jamie and Aaron); son Alexander (wife Stephanie) Kurrus (grandchildren Matthew, Steven, Chase, Alexis, Austin); daughter Kristina (husband Chris) Pagnotta (grandchildren Zachary and Nicholas); stepson Christopher (wife Maria) Spelleri (grandchildren Robert and Anna).

Preceded in death by two brothers, Jack “Butch” Jenkins and Thomas Kurrus. Survived by his brother, Theo (wife Susan) Kurrus, New Smyrna Beach, Florida; and sister, Jo Ann Kurrus-Emory, Houston, Texas.

A private Mass will be held at Our Lady of the Valley in Green Valley. Donations in Ted’s memory may be made to St. Jude’s Hospital, Hawaii Special Olympics or Green Valley Fire District.

William D. Clark Jr. ’53

William “Bill” Clark Jr. of South Windsor, CT, formerly of Enfield and East Windsor, died on September 5, 2020 at Saint Francis Hospital. Bill was born in New Haven on December 18, 1934, to the late William Clark Sr. and Gertrude (Stocking) Clark. Most of his youth was spent in Windsor. He went to junior and senior high at Williston Academy (now known as the Williston Northampton School) and graduated in 1953. He graduated from Bates College in 1957 and then served in the Army Reserves. Bill was an English teacher at East Windsor High School for 23 years and then ran a computer lab there for 12 years. He retired from the school system in 1994. After a few months, he joined the IT department at the Dexter Company (now known as Ahlstrom) in Windsor Locks. He retired from Ahlstrom in 2005.
Bill was kind, gentle and generous. His brother-in-law, Dick Kowalsky, wrote a beautiful reflection of Bill’s life which says a great deal about him: “Bill could be a quiet sort of guy. I noticed that he used his ears more than his mouth. I’d say, a good example for us all. One of his passions was minerals, especially those which were rare or had a gem-like quality. Besides being a rockhound, Bill was a hound for life. He was interested in many things but spent a great amount of energy as a family man and high school teacher where he spent much of his professional life. Bill had a special gift for relating to young people and had a positive impact on many of them. Many times, as I walked in town with him, we would encounter someone who knew him, several were former students. I was always amazed at how well-known Bill was in the community. Bill’s love for minerals led him to learn how to make fine jewelry and he and Evelyn had a jewelry business for several years. His creative eye also was expressed in photography. His photos exhibited fine composition and were exhibited throughout his home. He had a zest for food and when he was not in his craft shop, he could be found in the kitchen making wonderful daily meals for his family and guests. His son, Billy, is carrying on the culinary talent. Bill could turn prose into poetry. When I read some of his work, I experienced many emotions, a sign of his gift to see the world in ways unseen by others yet touching senses I could identify with. Beyond his personal interests, Bill had an abiding passion for social justice. Along with Evelyn, he was quick to become involved with local and international issues. Once when they were visiting my family in North Carolina, we told them about a local protest regarding a job-related issue associated with the father of a friend. They immediately said, ‘Let’s go support that.’ Bill’s focus on the needs and concerns of others was a good example for everyone. Bill made the best of life as a son, husband, father, grandfather, and friend to many people. He loved everyone and left the world a better place because he lived in it. God speed Bill. It was great to know you.”
Bill was compiling his writing into a book when he became ill. His daughter, Marie will complete it for him. Bill is survived by his wife of almost 62 years, Evelyn (Vezina) Clark of South Windsor; daughter, Marie Clark of South Windsor; son, William Clark III of Hamburg, New Jersey; granddaughters, Leidi Clark and Flor Clark of South Windsor. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Saint Patrick – Saint Anthony Church, 285 Church St., Hartford, on Saturday, September 19, at 10:30 a.m. Please observe Covid 19 precautions. The funeral mass will also be live-streamed. You may use the following link: https://venue.streamspot.com/event/MjMzJDAyMQ
Burial will be private. Ample free parking is available in the Saints’ Lot across the street from the church. Memorial donations may be made to Doctors Without Borders, P.O. Box 5030, Hagerstown, MD 21741, or online: donate.doctorswithoutborders.org.; or Franciscan Center for Urban Ministry, 285 Church St., Hartford, CT.

Lois Schubach Meyers ’53

Lois Meyers, 82, passed away Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019 at Avalon Heath Care Center at StoneRidge in Mystic, Connecticut.

She was predeceased by her husband of 54 years, Theodore Meyers, in 2012. Lois is survived by her daughter, Toby Flanagan and her husband, Kevin Flanagan; three grandchildren, Patrick Flanagan and his wife, Kerri Flanagan, of Waterford, Timothy Flanagan of Key West Fla., and Katelyn Livingston and her husband, Grant Livingston of Waterford. She also leaves two great-grandchildren, Thomas and Trey Flanagan of Waterford.

Born in Northampton, Mass. Nov. 11, 1936, Lois was the daughter of the late Julia and George Schubach of Easthampton, Mass. Lois graduated from Northampton School for Girls, Westfield State College, and then went on to earn a master’s degree from Springfield College. She taught music in Agawam, Northampton, and Boylston, Mass. She then relocated to Connecticut, where she taught in Waterford and Ledyard, and was named Teacher of the Year in 1989. Her full-time teaching career spanned 37 years. Lois was also an adjunct professor at Sacred Heart University where she developed a Multicultural and Human Diversity curriculum.

After retiring to Key West, Fla., she continued to teach music at Mary Immaculate Star of the Sea and at Wesley House Early Childhood Center. Lois was also the choir director of Metropolitan Community Church and was an active member of Literacy Volunteers of America in Monroe County, Fla. where she served as board president for many years.

Since moving back to Conn. in 2016, Lois continued with her love for music and teaching and started a Chimes Choir in which many residents of StoneRidge participated.

Throughout her life, Lois enjoyed entertaining friends and family, was an avid traveler, and a lifelong learner.

The family wishes to thank the entire StoneRidge Community and staff, including Top Sail and Avalon Health Care Center for their support and kindness over the past few years.

A Celebration of Life for family and friends will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 14 in the Chart Room at StoneRidge at 186 Jerry Browne Rd, Mystic, CT.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Lois’ memory to the StoneRidge Scholarship Fund, 186 Jerry Browne Rd. Mystic, CT 06355.

Thomas H. LaBelle ’53

Thomas H. LaBelle, 95, of Easthampton passed away peacefully surrounded by his family July 2, 2019 at the Elaine Manor in Hadley. He was born in Holyoke, April 2, 1924, the son of the late Henry and Marie (Tagliolato) LaBelle. Tom was educated in the Easthampton schools and was a graduate of the Williston Academy. He was a WWII US Army Air Corp Veteran serving as Radio Operator. Tom owned and operated The Camera Shop as well as Jessie’s Taxi Co., both in Easthampton, for many years. Additionally, he was a self-employed freelance photographer working independently and contributing to the Daily Hampshire Gazette. He was a member of the Easthampton Lions Club, the Easthampton Chamber of Commerce and sang with a local Barber Shop Quartet. Thomas was a scratch golfer belonging to many local country clubs and had eight holes-in-one to his credit. Tom’s beloved wife for 54 years June (Ladnier) LaBelle passed away in 1999. He leaves his daughters, Sandy M. Colpack (Jim) and June “Jill” Prosciak, both of Easthampton, and Barbara “Bonnie” Johnson (Cliff) of Southampton, his 6 Grandsons Thomas, Jarrett, Heath, Michael, Kyle, and Chris, his 8 Great Grandchildren, his sister Shirley Slavas of Belchertown, and his many nieces and nephews. Tom was predeceased by his daughter Janice LaBelle and his son-in-law John Prosciak. Funeral services will be private, the O’Brien Funeral Home has been entrusted with all arrangements. Memorial gifts can be made to Riverside Industry 1 Cottage St. Easthampton, MA 01027 or to the Hospice of the Fisher Home 1165 North Pleasant St. Amherst, MA 01002.

Irwin Kelman Cohen ’53

Irwin Kelman “Kel” Cohen, M.D., died on June 9, 2019, in Richmond, Virginia, at the age of 84. He passed away peacefully at his home with his wife at his side. Kel held confidently to his belief that life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather that one ought to skid in sideways, with the body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and while screaming “Wow – what a ride!” Kel is survived by his wife, Gayle Williams; his children, David (Candace) Cohen of Madison, Wisconsin and Nancy (Mike) Kotz of Kensington, Maryland; and his grandchildren Hunter, Lowell, Anna and Hannah. He is also survived by his wife’s daughter, Alison (Carl) Meadows and their children, Clara and Libby. He was preceded in death by his parents, Morris and Ida Kelman Cohen; and his brother, William Cohen. Kel was born March 30, 1935, in Troy, New York. He grew up in Massachusetts and on the shores of Lake Winnisquam in New Hampshire, where his lifelong love for the Boston Red Sox was sparked. After graduating from Williston Academy in Massachusetts, he went on to his beloved Kenyon College and then graduated from Columbia University. He earned his M.D. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill School of Medicine. Kel continued his training at Dartmouth, The Johns Hopkins Hospital and the National Institutes of Health, after which he realized he wanted to pursue an academic career because of the influence of his mentors at Kenyon and UNC. Kel came to Richmond in 1972 to the then Medical College of Virginia, now the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System and founded the Plastic Surgery program as well as the first Wound Healing Laboratory for research in the United States. His many years at MCV were a source of great fulfillment and satisfaction. He continued to support the university and its programs in any way he could long after retirement. As an educator, Kel served on the Board of Plastic Surgery and was an editor of its journal. He founded the Wound Healing Society, served as its president and was the founding president of the Wound Healing Foundation. He lectured on wound healing and plastic surgery throughout the world, published over 125 papers and edited a definitive textbook on wound healing. His awards include Physician of the Year by the Richmond Maimonides Society and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Wound Healing Society, The Society for the Advancement of Wound Care and the World Union of Wound Healing Societies. Prior to his death, he spearheaded the organization of the Wound Healing Coalition to give wound healing its proper place in medical science and its deserved recognition with the NIH, FDA, United States Congress, CMS and the public. Kel loved the residents and students he guided and felt a deep satisfaction in the good work they did in health care, knowing that his influence made a difference. He was loved in return by them and also by his countless patients, whom he always treated with respect, kindness and genuine caring, for his hope was to make a meaningful difference in their lives. Despite the rigorous demands of his career, Kel still found time to embrace life with zest and zeal, often while enjoying a memorable meal accompanied by a fine wine. He loved music, photography and cooking, and traveling the globe. He was a lifelong learner with curiosity about everything. He was a true blue Carolina Tar Heel fan. Kel embraced a wide circle of friends from many different occupations, countries, languages and backgrounds and he enjoyed keeping in frequent touch with all of them. Still, far above his career was his family and although at times work kept him from them, he agonized when it did. The accomplishments of which he was most proud are his children and grandchildren. Kel believed strongly that life was eternal because his children and grandchildren carried his DNA and he would always live through his offspring. To Kel, his children and grandchildren made him immortal and death would never be the victor. He loved the line from the poet E.E. Cummings, “How do you like your blue-eyed boy Mister Death?” A Celebration of Life will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to a charity of one’s choice.

W. Kirkland Taylor ’53


Westervelt Kirkland (“Kirk”) Taylor passed away on May 7, 2019 at Swedish Medical Hospital in Seattle, Washington. He was 85 years old. A Seattle resident since the mid-1970’s, Kirk came to Seattle from New York to pursue his career as a civil rights and criminal defense attorney. Admitted to practice in Washington in 1977, Kirk joined the Seattle Public Defender office and soon became a senior attorney supervising and mentoring up-and-coming public defense attorneys. Thereafter, Kirk went on to practice privately handling criminal and civil rights cases as well as assignments in intellectual property, real estate and business law matters. Kirk’s nearly 50 years in the legal field began with his engineering expertise and tenure as a patent examiner in the United States Patent Office, followed by his years working at IBM in Fishkill, New York. The New York State Attica Correctional Prison riot of 1971 marked a pivotal professional turning point for Kirk who had made the decision to shift focus to civil rights and criminal defense. His activism and defense work for inmates caught up in the Attica uprising reflected his passion to combine a zest for the law and legal training with a desire to fight for the rights of individuals, including those downtrodden, marginalized or however challenged by the justice system. While sparring with adversaries, Kirk’s unassuming demeanor masked his talent for negotiating and unrelenting spirit to win. And, guided by a humanitarian ethos, his approachable style resonated with many clients who have shared accolades and heartfelt thanks for his work. Kirk earned his Juris Doctor from American University’s Washington College of Law. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Moore School of Electrical Engineering, he held a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering. Before college, Kirk graduated from The Williston Northampton School in Massachusetts. An outdoorsman, Kirk swapped leisure time spent on Martha’s Vineyard for a joyful life in the Pacific Northwest, often remarking on its beauty and sharing tales of his sailing, fishing, camping and hiking pursuits. He cherished his regular jogs along Lake Washington, workouts at the YMCA and quite a few other favorite pastimes, such as playing poker and chess with his inner circle of friends and colleagues. While his reading list was broad, Kirk was a devotee of the detective genre. And, his overseas travels to Southeast Asia, Brazil and Europe provided even more enchanting stories to tell. Forever an animal lover, Kirk always had a spirited canine companion at his side. Born in New York City on December 20, 1933, Kirk was raised in the St. Albans area of Queens, New York. His father, Westervelt A. Taylor, was a Queens County district attorney and MIT (class of 1927) and Fordham Law graduate, and mother, Zenaide Anderson Taylor, a teacher. A jazz music enthusiast, he recalled during his youth a home filled with music as Mom played piano and at times close St. Albans friends and neighbors, some of whom revered as jazz legends, would visit and join in. In a ceremony officiated by his uncle, the Reverend Jesse F. Anderson, Sr. of Philadelphia, Kirk married Dorothy H. Anderson in the spring of 1959 and is survived and will be missed greatly by their children Kevin, Karen and Todd Taylor. In 2015, Kirk married again and is survived by his wife of 4 years, Patricia Espey. Grandchildren, along with the rest of his family and friends, will remember him fondly as well.

Noel J. Belcourt, Jr. ’53

Noel John Belcourt, Jr., 83, of Sarasota, Florida passed away Wednesday morning June 28, 2018.
Born in Hartford, Ct., he was a son of the late Noel J. Belcourt and the late Frances Llewellyn Belcourt. In addition to his parents Noel was preceded in death by his son, David Belcourt.
Noel attended schools in Wethersfield, Ct. and graduated from Williston Academy in 1953. He then attended Boston University and graduated in 1957 and was a graduate of Stonier School of Banking at Rutgers University. Noel served his country in The United States Air Force from 1958 to 1961. He was a past President of the Manchester, Ct. Rotary Club. Noel retired after 32 years in banking with Connecticut Bank and Trust Company. He was a property a manager for several home owners associations. He also served on the board at Bent Tree and served as treasurer at Laurel Lakes. Noel volunteered at Habitat for Humanity for a number of years.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Mary Lee Gowdy Belcourt; three sons, Kenneth Belcourt and his wife, Stephanie, Richard Belcourt and his wife, Joanne and Douglas Belcourt; his brother, Llewellyn N. Belcourt; granddaughter, Angelica Mack and daughter in law, Leibia Willis.

C. Lawrence Reece ’53

 

Christopher Lawrence “Larry” Reece III 81, of Sun City Center, FL, passed away April 28, 2017 in South Bay Hospital. He is survived by his wife, Mary; his two children, Alison and Jennifer; grandchildren, Nicole, Echo, and Delta. Larry and his wife Mary were longtime residents of Longmeadow, MA. Once retired, they moved to Sun City Center where Larry was an active association member.

Robert D. Bates ’53

Robert Duane Bates passed away March 18, 2015.  He was born on April 24, 1934, in the Catskill-mountain town of Walton, New York. Son of Dr. Floyd R. and Mrs. Mildred (nee Churchill) Bates, Bob grew up spending hours outdoors in the mountain air, camping, fishing, and hunting with his parents and beloved dog, Bonnie. Back indoors, Bob thoroughly enjoyed studying music, and, after mastering the piano, he went on to teach himself the guitar, banjo, mandolin, and harmonica; later in life, he liked to say that he also “fiddled around with the fiddle.”

In the late 1960’s, Bob moved to central New York State, where he soon met his future wife, Marilou (nee Matuszak) Bates of Elmira, New York. Bob and Marilou were married in 1970 and welcomed into the world their own children – a son and twin daughters.

After 45 years of marriage, Bob is survived by his wife, Marilou, of Cortland, New York; by his two children: son John Francis Bates, also of Cortland; and daughter Margaret Aileen Koch of Wenatchee, WA; as well as by many loving in-laws, nieces, and nephews. He was predeceased by his devoted parents and by his infant daughter, Kathleen, who went to be with the Lord in 1973.

Bob will further be missed by his oldest grandson, John Francis Smith-Bates of Ithaca, New York, and by his son-in-law Robert James, grandson Joshua Michael, and granddaughter Caitlin Elizabeth Koch, all of Wenatchee, WA.