Tag Archives: Class of 1959

Brewster H. Staples ’59

Brewster Holman Staples, 81 of Pownal, ME passed away at his home on December 23, 2020 with his wife by his side.

He was born in Malden, MA, April 29, 1939 to Dr. Clark and Frances (Hall) Staples. After graduation from Williston Academy, he proudly served in the U.S. Navy from 1958-1964. He was a medical technologist during his years of study at Bryant and Stratton and Suffolk University in Boston. Brewster worked in the insurance and financial service industries; earning the LUTCF designation in 1988. He retired from Metropolitan Insurance Company and belonged to the Southern Maine Association of Life Underwriters; serving as its president and winning four National awards.

Bruce enjoyed his years of boating, camping, traveling to Nova Scotia and Key West many times with his loving wife of 51 years. He was an avid fisherman and looked forward each year to his week at Moosehead Lake in Rockwood. He was most happy at his home on the farm, always working the land and enjoying nature; talking with all who stopped by.

Brewster was a long-time member of South Freeport Church UCC, member of the Acacia Lodge #21 AF & AM in Durham, ME, Grand Organist of the State of Maine for many years and also a member of the AMVETS Post 2 in Yarmouth, ME.

Throughout his life, Brewster was recognized for his volunteer service to youth, including handicap children at the YMCA in Woburn, MA; raising rabbits for 4H in Massachusetts and Cumberland associations. Whether working seasonally at LL Bean for 15 years or participating in community activities, Brewster was respected and highly thought of by all who knew him.

He was predeceased by his parents and brothers, David and Clarke Staples. His is survived by his beloved wife and soulmate, Judith (Hayes) Staples; daughters, Deborah Staples Ferrara and husband Jim of Rangeley, Jennifer Staples LeClair and husband Robert of Key West; son Jay (John B.) Staples and wife Bonnie of Topsham; his dear sister, Anne Staples Dixon of Essex, CT and many loving grandchildren and special nieces and nephews. He is also survived by daughters, Tracie Staples Thomas and husband Dan and Kendall Staples and their families in Virginia.

A small graveside memorial will be held in June in Pownal, ME.

Richard T. Potsubay ’59

Richard T. Potsubay, age 79, of Clearwater, Florida passed away on Wednesday, February 10, 2021. Richard was born July 4, 1941 in Brooklyn, New York to Samuel F. Potsubay and Virginia Taylor. Richard lived a devoted life to his career and family. He enjoyed reading, writing, and traveling. There will be a graveside service at 2:00 pm, Saturday, March 6, 2021 at Sylvan Abbey Memorial Park.

Deborah Wickes Schwabach ’59

Deborah A. Schwabach of Gilbertsville, New York, died Thursday, July 9, 2020, following a long illness.
She was born Deborah Ann Wickes on June 23, 1942, at Albany Medical Center and grew up in Scotia.
She graduated from the Northampton School for Girls in Northampton, Massachusetts, and attended the University of Chicago. She later graduated from the SUNY Regents College and University of Kentucky.
She loved nature, birds, wildlife and exploring back roads to see where they would take her. She had an extensive knowledge of New York State history and wrote articles for Adirondack Life, Kaatskill Life, New York Alive, the Encyclopedia of New York State, as well as many newspapers and national magazines. She also had some poetry published. She drove the Alaska Highway in an old pickup truck and crossed the country many times, visiting every U.S. state except Hawaii and Alabama.
She taught writing at SUNY Oneonta, Syracuse University, SUNY Cortland, the University of Delaware, and the Marist College program at Oneonta Job Corps.
A lifelong proponent of Civil Rights, she was honored as the NAACP’s Person of the Year for her campaign to get Oneonta library cards for Job Corps students.
She is survived by her sons, Aaron (spouse, Qienyuan Zhou) of San Diego and Jon of Gilbertsville and daughter, Karen of Hammondsport; sister, Cynthia (spouse, James Vail) of North Carolina; nieces, Gabrielle and Lindsay; and grandchildren, Veronica, Jessica and Daniel.
She was predeceased by her daughter, Jennifer; nephew, Jeffrey; and brother, Robert.
A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 14, in Brookside Cemetery in Gilbertsville, with a memorial service planned for a later date after the pandemic.
The family asks that those who wish to do so please donate to the Gilbertsville Emergency Squad in her memory.

Cristina Mercedes Moran Rios ’59


Cristina Mercedes Moran Rios, 77, of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, passed away March 9, 2019.  Cristina was born on March 3, 1942.  A memorial service was held on Friday, March 15, 2019 at Buxeda Funeral Home.

Cristina Mercedes Moran Rios, 77, de Guaynabo, Puerto Rico falleció el marzo 9, 2019. Cristina nació en el mes de marzo 3, 1942. Un(a) servicio memorial con restos cremados para Cristina se llevará a cabo el viernes, marzo 15, 2019 desde la(s) 7:00 p. m. hasta la(s) 9:00 p. m. en Funeraria Buxeda.

Roland C. McEldowney ’59


Roland ‘Mac’ McEldowney died at the age of 78 on Sunday, February 3, 2019 surrounded by his family. He loved his family and friends dearly. Many in the Evergreen community will remember Mac for his long-time membership and work with Blue Spruce Kiwanis, his support of the Evergreen Center for the Arts, and his stunning photography of African peoples, animals, and landscapes.

Mac was born in Newton, Massachusetts on November 14, 1940. His love of the natural world led him to a career as an exploration geologist. He began his lifelong adventures in Africa by traveling to Ghana, W. Africa with the 1963 class of the U.S Peace Corps. He spent 2 years mapping ore deposits for the Ghanaian government, drilling the bauxite deposits by hand. Mac summited Mt. Kilimanjaro during his Peace Corps experience and considered that a major life accomplishment. On the way back to the U.S. he met his future wife, Barbara McEldowney, in Paris. Never one to waste time, within a few days he had proposed to Barbara. They spent the next 53 years happily exploring the world and raising a family together.

Mac was an adventurer, an eternal optimist, and risk-taker. Coming back from Africa with his young wife, he started a Master’s thesis working in northern Baja, Mexico. While there he made a discovery of marine fossils, proving that the Baja peninsula was once under the Pacific Ocean and had been uplifted. Mac started several mineral exploration companies, designed and minted coins, built a cabin, re-developed a gold ore deposit outside of Bibiani, Ghana and retired at the age of 55 after being charged by an elephant in Burkino Faso. In retirement Mac reinvented himself and began his second career as a professional photographer. His love of people and the natural world is evident in his subject matter; specializing in images of African tribes, southwestern Native American tribes, African wildlife, and African and western U.S. landscapes.

Mac is survived by his wife Barbara; children Richard (Phoebe), Scott (Lisa), and Katie (Shawn); sister Marcia (Jim); grandchildren Kailien (Sean), Ramsay (Justine), Saylor, Cameron, and Ritter; and a great-granddaughter Skaia. His family and friends will miss him.

A celebration of life for Mac will be held at 1pm on Sunday, February 10th at Wind Crest Retirement Community in the Red Rocks, High Line Overlook building, 2975 Summer Wind Lane, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129.

George B. Benz ’59


Born on January 14, 1940, to George W. and Louise Bremer Benz, in St. Paul, Minnesota, passed away on February 1, 2019 in St. Paul. He was a descendant of the Hamm’s Brewing, the Jacob Schmidt Brewing and Bremer Bank families. George was a graduate of The St. Paul Academy and Summit School in 1958, Williston Academy in 1959, University of Munich and Goethe Institute (Germany) in 1961, Colgate University in 1963, and The University of Minnesota Aeronautical Engineering and Business Law in 1965. George married Karen Bassett of Mora, MN in September, 1972. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Josephine Benz Carpenter. George is survived by his sons, George and Theodore (Derek); daughters-in-law Stephanie and Elizabeth and 2 grandchildren, Theodore (Finn) and Hendry as well as a sister, Louise Benz Plank of Buffalo, WY. George was the Chairman of the Board of American National Bank and Trust and Co-Chairman and CEO of American Bancorporation, Director of Commercial State Bank, Lake City State Bank, and American Bank and Trust of Moorhead. He was also CEO of George Benz and Sons and Owner of Oak Grove Dairy, and President and Director Jacob Schmidt Company. Along with his professional career, he cared deeply for many local associations serving as Vice President and Director Indianhead Council- Boy Scouts of America, Vice President and Director Minnesota Club, Vice President and Director Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, Trustee Children’s Hospital of St. Paul, Treasurer and Director Ramsey County Lung association, Treasurer and Director Minnesota Society for Crippled Children and Adults, Trustee of the Courage Center Foundation, Director Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest, Director Optimist Club of St. Paul, and Founding Financial Advisor Mounds Park Academy. He also served on the boards of the United Arts Fund, the United Way Fund, Norwesco, Horton Manufacturing, Bellanca Aircraft Corporation, Quintero, White Bear Yacht Club, and Desert Mountain golf clubs. George’s love of flying began at age sixteen when he earned his single engine pilot’s license. While attending Colgate he furthered his flying dreams by attaining his Commercial, Certified Flight instructor, air land and sea, multi engine and instrument ratings. He was Vice President and Director of Aqua Float Corporation, Vice President and Director of the Cessna dealership, Wings Inc. and then worked his way up to Vice President at Cessna Aircraft Company where he met the love of his life and co-pilot, Karen. Together they dedicated their lives to various philanthropic endeavors and traveled the seven continents. He shared his love of golf, winning the White Bear Yacht Club Invitational Championship as well as a Mr. and Mrs. Championship; his love of skiing by producing the film “Alta Man”; sailing, hunting, boating, fishing and hockey with his family. Mass of Christian Burial will be on April 26, 2019 at 11:00 a.m., at St. Mary of the Lake, White Bear Lake, MN. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in memoriam to Children’s Hospital Neuroscience Center of Minnesota.

M. Richard Fish ’59


Matthew Richard “Dick” Fish, who was born in 1941, died December 20, 2018.

He leaves his wife Sheila Sharac Fish, his son Kenneth A. Fish, his granddaughters Jessica, Cherokee Rain, Jacqueline, and Ryan Lynn, and his great-grandson Aiden; also, his friend and associate Eric Parham, and dear friends Griselle Cruz and her family. He was predeceased by his son William James (Billy) in 1988, and by daughter-in-law Candace K. Hall in 2018.

Dick was a photographer in Northampton for many years: for the Daily Hampshire Gazette; for his studio “dickfish inc”; and later for the Smith College Imaging Center. For many years, he enjoyed and participated wholeheartedly in the community of St. John’s Episcopal in Northampton. Each summer, he left this community for a while for wonderful summer retreats in Pemaquid, Maine. Dick will be remembered for his warmth, his enthusiastic involvement in our local community, and his great hugs.

A Celebration of Life service will be held Friday, June 14, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 48 Elm Street, Northampton. If you are so moved, feel free to donate to the charity of your choice in Dick’s name, or to any of the following: MANNA; Safe Passage; St. John’s Episcopal Church.

 

Robert R. Farnum ’59

Robert Riggs Farnum, 78, a longtime resident of East Street in Great Barrington, MA, died November 18, 2018 at Fairview Commons in Great Barrington. Born October 24, 1940 in Norristown, PA he was the son of the late James M. Farnum and Amy Riggs Loungway.  Robert attended the Williston Academy (1957 – 1959), Wentworth Institute (1959 – 1961) and Fitchburg State Teachers College (1962 – 1965) where he received a BS in Education. Robert married his wife Susan Elizabeth Guppy on June 12, 1965 in Danvers, MA.  Soon after they were married they moved to Great Barrington where their two children, Hilary and Stephen were born. He was an active member of the First Congregational Church in Great Barrington where he sang in the church choir.  He was also a member of The Berkshire Hillsmen, a Barbershop Chorus as well as a life member of the Girl Scouts USA. In 1986 Mr. Farnum retired from Becton-Dickinson Medical Supplies in Canaan, CT where he had worked as an architectural draftsman for 18 years. Robert is survived by his wife of 53 years, Susan G. Farnum, along with their children, Hilary Jewett Farnum and Stephen Return Riggs Farnum.  He also leaves his granddaughter, Maple Wynne Farnum, his daughter-in-law Cathy Brooks and her children, Mara, John and Ethan, his brother, Alexander D. Farnum and wife Joan, sister Anne Farnum Fix and husband Gary as well as their children, Samuel Fix and Sarah C. Eiseman.
A memorial service for Robert R. Farnum will be held on Saturday, May 18th at 1:00 p.m. at the First Congregational Church in Great Barrington, MA with a reception to follow in the parish room. Donations in Robert’s memory may be made to the Mason Library Children’s Room Native American Stories or Western Stories through Finnerty & Stevens Funeral Home, 426 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230.  To send remembrances to his family please go to www.finnertyandstevens.com

William L. Olds, Jr. ’59

William Lee Olds Jr., a fourth generation San Franciscan who was a long-time resident of San Francisco died peacefully, July 25, 2018 at the age of 77. William attended Williston Academy before graduating from University of San Francisco.
He is survived by his three children, William Lee Olds III, Helene Hanneken, and Michelle Sauger as well as his son in-law James Sauger, eight grandchildren and his sister Jane Olds Bogart.
He was the President of the William G. Irwin Charity Foundation, a founding Board member of University High School, long time Board member of the San Francisco Humane Society and sat on numerous other non-profit boards. William was also a member of The Olympic Club for 58 years and The Bohemian Club for 48 years, where he was very active in their productions.
He was old school, regal, and selfless in his generosity; never expecting anything in return. William literally lived by the phrase “belt and suspenders,” which is commonly used in finance to describe cautious bankers, or for having redundant safety procedures in place to eliminate risk.
He was prepared, systematic and preserving of the resources he was a steward of, while also known to sport a belt and suspenders in his day to day. He was a voracious reader and a world traveler. He loved to travel on boats and had a passion for the Antarctic after his visit there. He was a true gentleman and will be sorely missed.

William L. Wright ’59

William L. Wright, age 76, of Ogdensburg, NY, passed away with complications from lung cancer on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at Claxton Hepburn Medical Center with his wife by his side.

Bill was born on March 15, 1942 in Ogdensburg, NY, a son of the late Archie & Leona (Prosser) Wright. He graduated from Heuvelton Central School in 1960, and later enlisted in the US Army from 1964 – 1966 as a paratrooper medic, serving with the 173rd Airborne Brigade. After receiving his honorable discharge, Bill earned his RN at Canton College and worked in geriatrics at veterans’ hospitals. He also worked at United Helpers Nursing Home as a nurse for a few years. In 1973 he attended the NYS Ranger School in Wanakena NY, graduating in the Class of 1974. After working for Finch Pruyn Paper Company as a logging supervisor, he returned to Ogdensburg. He found his life’s work at Mater Dei College in Ogdensburg, where he earned a degree in alcohol treatment. In 1986 he began his career at the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center Alcohol Treatment Center where he worked until his retirement in 1997.

Bill was a member of Friends of The Ogdensburg Public Library, the Society of American Foresters, the National Rifle Association, the American Chestnut Foundation and the Planetary Society. He enjoyed being in the woods, hunting, reading, gardening and being with friends & family.

Surviving is his wife Karen; two sons Noah Wright of Lake Hill, N.Y. and Thomas Wright of Boulder, CO; daughter Ellen Wright & her fiancée Joshua Baublitz of Henrietta, N.Y.; brother Timothy Wright of Ogdensburg; mother-in-law Dorothy Lauber of Heuvelton and brother-in-law Brian Lauber & his wife Cheryl of Virginia, along with many cousins.

A sister Dr. Nanette Gordon, sister-in-law Bonnie Wright, and brother-in-law Robert Lauber predeceased him.