Tag Archives: Class of 1961

David W. Garrett ’61

David Walter Garrett, 78, of Charlotte, VT, died unexpectedly on August 17, 2021 from heart failure brought on by a breakthrough COVID infection. Though tragic, it was as he would have wanted it: over in an instant, at the end of a perfect Vermont summer day, at his home of four decades, the historic Cedar Farm, on Thompson’s Point in Charlotte.

A woodsman, artist, investment manager, entrepreneur and hotelier, he had extraordinary creativity and vision. Across all his endeavors, things that seemed impossible regularly came to be real – from a cabin deep in the Adirondacks that he built by hand, to a boutique hotel company that set new standards for ultra-luxury accommodation and historic preservation.

David was one of the most experienced developers of small, high-end hotels in the world – a credential he earned after years as a successful investment banker. His hotel career began in the 1980s, with the purchase and rejuvenation of an old Rockefeller Great Camp on Upper Saranac Lake, NY, known as The Point. The hotel became one of the most lauded luxury properties in the country, and led to the purchase of other historic hotels that commanded high room rates and delivered incomparable services to guests.

David and his wife Christie ran the properties under the banner of Garrett Hotel Group, which at one point comprised The Point and The Lake Placid Lodge in the Adirondacks, The Wilcox in Aiken, SC, and The Inn of the Five Graces in Santa Fe, NM. David was also instrumental in the creation of Twin Farms in Barnard, VT, and advised on other properties. Over the years, David served as North American president of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux hotel association and on its international board of directors.

He helped invigorate the boutique hotel movement in the U.S. and inspire a renaissance of all things Adirondack. Himself a master woodworker, he tapped into the Adirondack style of “rustic elegance” – a phrase he used often – and enlisted local craftspeople to build pieces for the hotels. He also made many pieces himself – from enormous twigged credenzas to wine cellars bedecked in branches. David’s works remain on display in his most recent hotel project, The Ivy, in Baltimore, MD; in the barn he turned into an office in Charlotte, VT; and on his website, Corkiture.com – named for his early fascination with using corks in his furniture making.

David Garrett was born in New York City on Dec. 12, 1942 and grew up with his older brother, Daniel, in Scarborough, NY. His parents, Daniel N. Garrett and Louise Benson Garrett, were transplanted Southerners, and David nurtured a lifelong fascination with the South and family genealogy, tracing Garretts and Bensons back centuries and often paying unannounced visits to distant relatives in his many travels.

As a boy, David was drawn to the woods and fascinated by the television show, Daniel Boone, impressed by the depiction of warm family life in a log cabin, with wild adventure all around.

He attended The Williston Northampton School and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A devoted Tar Heels fan, hardly anything could get between him and a Carolina basketball game. At Chapel Hill, his independent streak and passion for the woods were on full display: he skipped the dorms and lived in a log cabin.

After college, while living in New York and working at his father’s printing business, he met his wife, Christie Coursen, then a flight attendant for TWA. The two would soon have their first of three daughters while spending a year in Paris.

During this time David made two key moves that would shape the course of his life. The first was to purchase 165 acres in the Adirondacks in 1967 and begin carrying out his dream of a cabin in the woods. He built the cabin on high ground above a still pond, surrounded by ancient wooded state land. He spent the next 54 years expanding and improving the cabin, making it his sanctuary and family retreat. All important life decisions, he’d say, were made at the cabin.

The other key path David took was to begin working as an investment banker. The work suited his tolerance for risk, clear-minded decision-making, and keen sense of a good bet. He was a broker at Moseley, Hallgarten Estabrook & Weeden, and later First Albany, managing offices in Cambridge, MA and Burlington, VT. In the early 1980s, David also helped the Vermont Teddy Bear Company go from a small pushcart to a booming Bear-Gram business that continues today.

In 2008, David and Christie started Garrett Hotel Consulting, where they worked with clients on the development and management of properties around the country.

David is survived by his wife of 53 years, Christie of Charlotte; daughter Erin Garrett-Metz and her husband Andrew Metz and three children Lydia, Daniel and Miriam of Manchester by the Sea, MA; daughter Moriah Garrett ’95 and her husband Rob Arthur and three children, Samuel, Elouise and Olive of Baltimore, MD; and daughter Caitrin Garrett of Burlington, VT.

John S. Konheim ’61

John Konheim passed away on Sunday, May 30, 2021, the day before Memorial Day, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at the age of 78. John was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Bud, and by his wife Lynne (Taylor) Konheim, and his wife Jane (Sampson) Konheim. He is survived by his partner-in-life Anne Ekstrom, his dear family-by-choice Michelle Wood and her children, his loving sisters Barbara Kolb and Jane Kasov and his loving niece and nephews and their families and by certain people he regarded as family. John was generous in his love and concern for others. Throughout his life he collected people in a loving embrace. He did everything he could to aid or befriend them, and the people who were closest to him had that quality too.

He was given a good start in life by parents he always greatly admired, learned to achieve just by being one of four children in a home that was a busy hub, and was given a fine academic and spiritual education at Williston Academy in Easthampton, Massachusetts. He explored New York City when he was on vacation from Williston, mingling with and getting to know the work of all the many people who interested him.

He began to draw quick sketches with a Rapidograph pen, in art class. Soon he could quick-sketch entire scenes such as weddings or buildings such as a Japanese temple. (Visit konheim-art.com for a gallery of sketches from all over the world and his artist autobiography.) Fifty years later he could be seen amiably and routinely sketching folks in their friendship or family groups on a local Florida beach, or, now as a tourist, sitting and sketching the street scene in Saigon where children gathered round to see him work.

For college he chose a New York school, Columbia, his father’s alma mater, and studied while pursuing a wide variety of interests or working. John often drove a cab, once in a blizzard when there were no cabs out at all, he proudly told a nephew. An activist for student social rights at Columbia, he got coverage from Gael Greene of the “Times.” In his travels abroad in the Sixties, he acted boldly in Berlin when he saw help was needed to get friends out to the West. John was not risk averse when it came to stepping in quickly to help and often achieved dramatic successes.

In 1968, a few years after graduation, he joined the Army, went through training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma and completed a tour of duty in Vietnam. Already proficient in French, he applied himself now to acquiring Vietnamese language and dialect quickly and ultimately got to interview Montagnard children and record their music near where he was stationed. He also made audiotapes of battles, (for example: YouTube – Konheim – Vietnam Battle Field Audio November 1969). He and Lynne (Taylor) announced their engagement via a joint audiotape from Vietnam and Michigan, which they sent to parents and family around the U.S.

John lived in Columbus, Ohio and worked as an insurance broker/agent for many years. It was a great job for him, involving assessing risk and helping people. For fun, he and Lynne belonged to a friendship group that took lessons in social dancing at their gatherings. They also invited people onto their houseboat on the long, narrow reservoir near their home. They were deeply connected to Lynne’s family as well as his over the years.

As volunteers in Columbus, Ohio he and his wife hosted opera singers from all over who were engaged for rehearsals and performances in Columbus. As part of their hosting foreign economic visitors to Columbus, they visited Cuba with an economic mission from Columbus. On their last day in Havana, John was detained for sketching his hotel, the Hotel Nacional de Cuba. Luckily, he found a business card in his pocket (from a finance minister he’d just met with) to show the police, and they then whisked him out of jail in time to make the plane home. Lynne and John continued to take foreign trips accepting the risks that go with it.

When John lost his first wife, he was brought low but did not give up on life. In time, he met Jane. They celebrated their wedding with a crowd of friends and family on board a ferry that picked them up from their dock, cruised the Intracoastal in Fort Lauderdale, and at the end of the evening started to catch on fire a little bit. But all was well; he and Jane had many happy years together and moved permanently to Fort Lauderdale. He embraced her family, and she embraced his wide circle of friends in Fort Lauderdale and Columbus as well as his siblings and families. Together they created art, exhibiting with art societies in Columbus and Fort Lauderdale. Jane did a fine painting of John’s beloved cat Cristal, a beautiful white cat, smart enough to learn to ride on John’s bike to the delight of onlookers as John rode daily around Fort Lauderdale.

John found himself bereft when Jane passed away suddenly. His ability to move forward and reclaim life was never more striking than in these years. With time, he went out and about. He served as president of his co-op organization, worked at his insurance business innovating a way to do health insurance economically for the buyer. He joined Single Sailors and met Anne Ekstrom, who served as Vice Commodore of the sailing association. She was an inspiration to him. John and she found new happiness together. They traveled to Italy; they went on a cruise to Colombia. John bought a sailboat and daringly sailed it up from Miami running aground along the way. After that he worked on it till both he (the captain) and the boat’s auxiliary electric motor were shaped up and ready to go out through the Intracoastal and into the ocean, and, of course, guests could come aboard.

As John grew older, he found a way to connect with his much older brother Bud: He called him every day to talk. Bud said at lunch with a cousin a few years ago that he found John’s loyalty remarkable and moving. For John there were no tests to meet when it came to love. There was only love. As his sister Barbara said of him, John made the world a better place because he lived in it.

Charles C. Savage, Jr. ’61

Charles (Cam) Campbell Savage, Jr. died of heart failure at home in Burlington, VT, January 11, 2021. He was born January 28, 1942 in Schenectady, NY. He moved with his family to Stowe in the early 1940s and remained there for the better part of his life. Cam graduated summa cum laude from Williston Academy in Easthampton, Mass., and from Dartmouth College and Pratt Institute with a degree in architecture. He took time off before graduating from Dartmouth and headed to Hollywood to try his luck at stardom. After a few bit parts in “Gunsmoke” and “The Beverly Hillbillies,” and a brief stint modeling, he decided a college degree was the better choice. Cam designed, built and renovated commercial buildings and private homes throughout his career. He was a creative soul and expressed himself through a variety of mediums. Cam was a lone wolf and took great pleasure in cruising the back roads of Vermont on his various motorcycles. In his youth he played football, hockey and was a wild and crazy skier. The companionship of his dogs and cats over the years gave him solace. In spite of his physical discomfort and challenges, he maintained his sense of humor, avid curiosity and sobriety until the end. He leaves his son, Noah Greer, his sisters Janet and Paige Savage, and his nieces, their husbands and children. Thank you to Cam’s kind neighbors for their help thoughout the last year. In lieu of flowers and cards we ask that you double up on treats for your pets today.

Arnold J. Gelfman ’61

Arnold J. Gelfman, 75 of Ocean, NJ, passed away peacefully July 23, 2019 at Monmouth Medical Center.

Born in Northampton, MA, Arnie attained his undergraduate degree at University of Massachusetts, his master’s degree from Western Michigan University and began his doctorate at American University. Arnie has resided in Ocean for 43 years where he served on the Planning & Zoning Board and was president of the Kepwell Park Homeowners Association. He was president of the Jewish Federation, Monmouth County in 1990-1992, a board member of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Monmouth County, a former board member of both Congregation Brothers of Israel and Temple Beth El, now Congregation Torat El and B’nai B’rith, Ocean. Arnie is a member of both Congregation Brothers of Israel and Congregation Torat El.

In 2016, after 43 years, Arnie retired as Executive Director of Planning, Assessment & Research at Brookdale Community College. There is was the co-founder of Brookdale Community College Career Clinic and Testing Center. Arnie was also President and Owner of Career Choice Institute of NJ, a consulting firm, working with insurance companies and attorneys throughout NJ as a vocational expert.

Arnie will be remembered as a kind and giving person who was honored with many community and professional awards. He enjoyed sports, especially the NY Yankees. Family was most important to Arnie.

Arnie was predeceased by his parents Harold and Lena (August) Gelfman and his niece, Victoria Gelfman. Surviving is his wife of 43 years, Margo, his son Austin Gelfman, Sherman Oaks, CA, his brother & sister-in-law Richard & Lenore Gelfman, Columbia, MD; his nieces Hillary Gelfman, Chicago, IL & Dr. Joanna Gelfman, Ellicott City, MD and Leela.

Funeral service Friday, July 26th 1:00 PM at the Woolley-Boglioli Funeral Home, 10 Morrell Street, Long Branch. Burial to follow in Brothers of Israel Cemetery, West Long Branch.

Donations may be made in memory of Arnie to Monmouth Medical Center Foundation, Department of Oncology, 300 Second Avenue, Long Branch, NJ 07740.

Charles M. Cohn ’61

Charles M. Cohn, 75, a long-time resident of Shelburne, MA, died of lung cancer Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018, in Northampton.

He was born in Allentown, Philadelphia, in 1943, to Beatrice Julian Cohn and Charles R. Cohn. He graduated from St. Lawrence University in 1965 where he made life-long friends. After graduation, he was a stockbroker in New York on Wall Street for about 10 years. In 1978 he moved to Shelburne.

For several years he worked for his uncle, Simon Cohn, as a realtor. In 1980 he opened his own business, Cohn Financial Services, to provide conservative and reliable advice for the specific investment needs of every client, no matter the amount of their financial resources. As a financial adviser, Charlie was committed to the welfare of every client. The business was more than a job to him. It was his passion. He said that he considered every client’s “nest egg” as valuable as his own. His clients appreciated his knowledge and honesty.

He was an avid fly fisherman and skier. He loved the beauty of Shelburne and the people of the community. He was a long time board member of the Franklin Land Trust, devoted to the goals of preserving the land. After becoming paralyzed 15 years ago, he demonstrated mental fortitude and physical endurance in the face of great challenges. Through it all he remained a devoted father and husband, a loyal friend and a productive member of the hill town community.

He is survived by his wife Catherine Smith, and his son Charles A. Cohn. Family came first to him, especially his cousins Robert Cohn of Greenfield, Susan Cohn Dorn of West Hartford, Connecticut, Marcus Cohn of Wayland, William Julian of Davis, California, Anne Julian Lennon of Indianapolis, Indiana, Jon Julian of Williamsville, Vermont, and William Rednor of Yardley, Pennsylvania, as well as their spouses and children.

Michael Bernique ’61

BerniqueMichael R. Bernique, 72, passed peacefully in his sleep on Thursday, March 18th at 3:06 AM at UCSD Thornton Hospital in La Jolla CA.

Michael was born on December 26, 1943 in Fall River, MA the only child of Therese and George Bernique. Michael spent some of his early years in New Bedford, MA with his grandparents Elise and Lucien Bernique. Because of this, his first language was French and a life-long love of France and all things French ensued. Michael lived in a number of cities during his childhood including Karlsruhe, Germany, and Washington D.C. After attending several prep schools, in June 1961, he graduated from Williston Academy (now Williston Northampton School).

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Jacqueline Bemis Burns ’61

Jacqueline BemisJacqueline Bemis Burns of Falls Church, Virginia died on Monday, September 29, 2014.

“Jackie” was born on August 23, 1943 and grew up in Manhasset, New York before settling in the Washington, DC area in the 1960’s.

She was passionate about natural health and her work with essential oils. A lifelong animal lover, she was devoted to her pets, and showed her Basenji dogs to championships. Music, dancing, laughter and sharing great meals filled her joyful spirit.

She is the loving mother of Laura Wilson Burns Macone (husband Gian) and James Andrew Bemis Burns; sister of Harold Nyall Bemis; and grandmother of David Tanner Burns and Audrey Mary Wilson Macone.

James “Jim” Hamilton ’61

HamiltonJames Warren “Jim” Hamilton died Saturday, February 1, 2014 at his home in Cohasset following a brief battle with bladder cancer. He was 71.

Jim was born in Plymouth, Massachusetts, the son of Marjorie and Harold Hamilton. He attended Williston Northampton School and Dartmouth College and received a masters degree in graphic arts under the tutelage of Alex Nesbitt at Southern Massachusetts University.

Jim had a long and productive career as a printing salesman for Nimrod Press, which later became part of Universal Printing. Well known in the printing industry of New England, he was a longtime member of the Society of Printers from whom he received the Benjamin Franklin Award for distinguished service in 1996. He was a member for many years of PINE, Printing Industries of New England, and chaired their scholarship program.

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