Tag Archives: Class of 1961

Denis K. Berube ’61

It is with deep reverence that we announce the passing of Denis Kurt Berube, devoted husband, father, brother, and friend. Denis passed away peacefully on January 2nd, 2024, in his home surrounded by family.

Born on July 26th, 1942, in Holyoke, Massachusetts, to George and Evelyn Berube, Denis was the embodiment of curiosity, determination, and integrity. He spent his youth steeped in the delights of childhood farm life. He loved to share the stories of fly fishing in the Deerfield River, woods filled with adventure, the rewarding work of farm chores, and life among his beloved family and pets.

Denis came into the world with an incredible capacity to be both perfectly present in almost any moment and laser focused on the journey ahead. He held the innate wisdom of knowing that one must be solidly planted in the now in order to reap the fruits of the future. He always knew that he wanted to be an engineer and saw precisely how to get there. Years before he would become a teenager, he began saving money and planning how a farm boy of humble means would attend a local elite prep school. With the help of his dedicated parents and his own steadfastness he got himself into Williston Academy in Easthampton, Massachusetts where he relished life as a boarding student, tenacious athlete, and rising young man. He gave tirelessly to this institution throughout his life as he walked his two daughters through their own Williston journeys and continued to offer his time, money, and passion to help further develop the school long after he and his children had graduated.

From Williston Denis went on to study Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and to earn his Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering from Union College. He received his executive training at GE Crotenville. And so began an extraordinarily rich life that would take him places most can only dream of. He traveled to nearly every corner of the world; constantly observing, learning, and enjoying. He took little for granted and truly relished in his lived experiences. From life beneath the surface in a submarine to flying at Mach speed off an aircraft carrier he truly met life with courage and commitment at every turn.

Alongside Joanna, the love of his life, he built an empire of dreams come true. They worked tirelessly together to make an enduring and meaningful impact on the world at large through business, philanthropy, education, and development. 40 years of devout perseverance, understanding, commitment and love took them on grand adventures that will carry on beyond time and space.

Hard work was an enduring side of Denis, matched equally by his ability to play hard; a life motto that he held to his dying day. He had a lifelong affair with his ability to truly appreciate the moment and a patience for enjoyment that was unmatched. These traits made him a worthy Bridge opponent, a skilled athlete, an avid sports fan, and a voracious reader. From the black diamond ski slopes and most competitive golf courses all the way to the pickleball courts and nearly everything in between, he was a contender. He never met a sport that didn’t delight him, and he seemed to be good at them all. He loved science fiction and quantum theory, blue cheese and potato chips, ice cream, and puzzles. He also really loved naps. It was the simple pleasures among the luxury that he savored the most.

Denis spent his final 20 years building a life where he could fall easily into peace and pleasure on an Island and in a home that he adored. Eternally a masterful creator, he built his second architectural masterpiece on Kiawah Island, a seaside retreat that provided him his greatest reward – simplicity. He loved everything about the nature and ease of life in Kiawah. His day was full if he witnessed the sunrise and the waves crash. He was once an avid sailor, and the ocean always called him home.

Denis is survived and celebrated by his adoring wife, Joanna Lau, daughter Caitlin Berube ’13, daughter Blythe Berube Rowan ’92, Son-in-Law, Dr. Christopher Rowan, grandsons, Riley Rowan and Teo Rowan, brother Charles Berube, and many nieces and nephews.

Denis will be cremated, and his family will make a pilgrimage to honor his life at his most sacred places. We ask that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Kidney Cancer Foundation and in place of a public celebration of life, what a beautiful tribute it would be to do something you truly enjoy today and raise a glass to him.

Barbara Curtis Baker ’61

A Celebration of Life will be held on Monday, November 20, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. at Dennis Union Church, 713 Main Street, Dennis, Massachusetts. Reception to follow.

Barbara Curtis Baker died peacefully on June 12, 2023, surrounded by her family.

Daughter of Orman and Marylouise Curtis, Barbara was born on May 27, 1943, in Northampton, Massachusetts. She grew up with brothers Richard and Jeffrey in Easthampton, next to the Williston Northampton School, a proximity that would lead to a life-long relationship with the school. She attended the Northampton School for Girls, then went on to receive degrees in early childhood education from Wheelock College (BA) and Smith College (MA). During her first stint teaching in Washington, DC, she met Ellis Baker, her husband of 56 years, who was a career educator at the Williston Northampton School. After their first meeting, Ellis claims he said to a colleague, “That’s the girl I’m going to marry” — and marry her he did on August 5, 1967, in the Williston Chapel. They raised their four children, Lisa, Carrie, Ben and Adam, committing their lives to their family and the surrounding community, finding joy in supporting their children’s endeavors. Her lifelong passion educating young people, Barbara taught at Smith College’s Center for Early Childhood Education at Fort Hill for decades, shaping classroom learning experiences for three and four year olds, while mentoring student teachers. Barbara served on the Williston Northampton School’s Alumni Council and Board of Trustees before retiring to Cape Cod in Brewster, Massachusetts, where she and Ellis walked the Brewster flats, became members of the Dennis Union Church, volunteered their time at Eventide Arts, enjoyed family reunions, and traveled to care for their grandchildren. Barbara loved grandparenting as much as she loved teaching, her belief in the critical importance of an excellent early education manifested intimately. To the end of her life, Barbara shared her smile and warmth with all around her, including her caregivers, a legacy of love that lives on in her children and grandchildren.

Barbara leaves behind her husband Ellis Baker ’51 and her children, their spouses, and nine grandchildren: Lisa Baker ’89 and Tarim Chung, Malia, Thea, and Siri; Carrie Baker ’92 and Dragoş Vas, Călin and Ana; Ben and Robin Baker, Rachel (and husband Richard) and Jane; and Adam Baker and Chris Chandler, Levi and Oliver. She also leaves behind her brothers Richard ’63 and Jeffrey Curtis, and Richard’s wife Donna Curtis.

Robert A. Clapp ’61

Bob “Bumpa” Clapp, 81, a man of many passions and a friend to all, passed away peacefully at home on Monday, May 8, 2023, of Alzheimer’s related dementia. He was surrounded by his loving family. Born on April 7, 1942, in Rye, New York, Bob spent his formative years in Berlin, Connecticut, and Marstons Mills, Cape Cod. He was the son of the late Robert and Elizabeth (Zappey) Clapp.

Bob was a proud alumnus of The Williston Northampton School and Dickinson College, where he graduated with dual majors in political science and sociology. His intellectual prowess led him to serve in the US Army as a signals intelligence analyst from 1962-1964, where he held a top-secret security clearance and was commended for his work in cryptography. His talents caught the attention of the NSA, and though he declined their offer of employment, he continued to enjoy solving and creating cryptographic puzzles.

Following his military service Bob was a scout executive with the Boy Scouts of America and the director of The Upper School of the Harrisburg Academy. Bob spent 10 years working with people with intellectual disabilities on community integration activities. His passion for service extended to his volunteer work with the ARC of Franklin and Fulton Counties, where he significantly increased fundraising efforts by recruiting notable athletes like Joe Theismann and Franco Harris. Bob dedicated 30 years to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, retiring as the Coordinator of the Human Services Development Fund.

Bob was a true eccentric, a lover of orange tabby cats, and a friend to all. An Eagle Scout in his youth, he carried his love for the natural world into adulthood, sharing his interests and passions with his children and grandchildren. He was an avid follower of politics, a dedicated community volunteer, and a collector of rare butterflies, mermaid sculptures, and All American roses. He also enjoyed fly tying, hybridizing day lilies, and genealogy. His fascination with the natural world began in his youth with 14 beehives and continued throughout his life.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Gretchen Clapp Orr, his son Michael J. Richards, and granddaughters Emma Cole and Victoria Belvin. He is survived by his devoted wife, Rosemarie (Rosie); his brothers, Roger Clapp of Coronado, CA, and Peter Molchan of Queens, NY; his children, Robert Franklin (wife Staci), David Christiaan (wife Jasmine), David F. Richards (wife Marisa) Amy P. Richards-Cole, and grandchildren, Abigail, Christiaan, Colin, Jack, Jake, Jasper, Joey, John, Josh, Kara, and Mike.

A Memorial Service will be held at Saint Paul’s United Church of Christ, 626 Williams Grove Rd, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055, on Tuesday, May 16, 2023. The family will receive guests at 11 a.m., with the Memorial Service beginning at noon, followed by a light lunch. A private burial will take place at the convenience of the family at Lothrop Cemetery in Barnstable, Cape Cod.

In celebration of Bob’s life, the family encourages everyone to perform random acts of kindness. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Salvation Army, 20 E. Pomfret Street, Carlisle, PA 17013.

Edith Bliss Hills ’61

Edith Farnham Bliss Hills, born on September 29, 1943, passed away peacefully on April 23, 2023. Edith was predeceased by her loving husband of 53 years Albert Cary Hills, her parents Marjorie Walker and Richard Ames Bliss and her siblings Amanda and Richard Jr. Edith leaves behind her four children, son Albert Cary Hills, Jr., his wife Jennifer and their children Clara and Esther; daughter Courtney Murray and her husband Peter and their children Emma, Samuel, Caleb, Hannah and Olivia; daughter Chapin Huxley and her husband John and their children John, Thomas and David; daughter Amanda Weddle and her husband Robert and their children Sofia and Hunter; brother Charles W. Bliss, and many more beloved relatives. Edith attended the Northampton School for Girls, Keuka College and earned her Masters Degree in Social Work at the University of Connecticut; specializing in addiction counseling. Edith participated in a lifetime of compassionate and caring activities, including volunteering in church, PTO, painting murals in local schools, being a host parent to Fresh Air and international youths and a foster mom to many children. She enjoyed raising animals on their small farm before retiring to Friendship, ME and then Hummelstown, PA, where she enjoyed gardening and being a grandmother. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the ASPCA or Alzheimer’s Association.

Richard C. Sheldon ’61

Richard Craig Sheldon (known to friends and family as Dick and Duke), 80, passed away on March 18, 2023 in Salisbury, North Carolina with his two sons by his side. Born in Stamford, Connecticut on December 31, 1942, he was the youngest child of the late Frank and Margaret Sheldon and was predeceased by his sisters, Lucie Sheldon and Barbara Baker.

Dick grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut and earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Bucknell University, where he was an All-American diver. After graduating from college, he served as an officer in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Heidelberg, Germany for two years. Dick’s outsized personality and ability to relate to almost anyone facilitated a long, successful career in sales. He dove headfirst into industries as diverse as consumer electronics and retail fertilizer, demonstrating inexhaustible passion for each occupation along the way.

He spent much of his adult life in Brentwood, New Hampshire where he raised four children whom he loved unconditionally: Wendy Sheldon (Michael Chun) of Rye, New York; Heather Sherman (Alex Sherman) of Littleton, Colorado; Paul Sheldon (Esther Farran Prats) of New York, New York; and Brian Sheldon of Salisbury, North Carolina. In addition to his children, he is survived by his brother Edgar (Ted) Sheldon and wife Francie Sheldon of Dexter, Michigan and six grandchildren: Megan Chun, Andrew Chun, Amaia Sherman, Zachary Sherman, Martina Sheldon-Farran and Laia Sheldon-Farran. Dick loved spending time with friends and family, most of whom were fortunate to enjoy his warm and generous hospitality and especially his barbecue meals. On weekends he was happiest at his children’s sports events or riding the lawnmower at his beloved home in Brentwood, New Hampshire. He also loved caring for and spending time with his dogs. Dick was a proud and loving father who was always funny, even in the final moments of his life. During his last year and a half, he enjoyed golfing with his son Brian at The Revival as often as possible.

There will be a celebration of life for anyone who would like to join his family in sharing stories about Dick on Saturday, April 15 at The Revival at The Crescent in Salisbury, North Carolina from 5:00-9:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to: The Fisher House Foundation (https://fisherhouse.org/) or the American Brain Foundation (https://www.americanbrainfoundation.org/).

Richard M. Furniss ’61

Richard Marsh Furniss, 81, of Burlington, CT, passed away suddenly on his birthday, January 24, 2023. He was the son of the late Dr. William E. ’31 and Doris (Ireland) Furniss.

Richard graduated from Dartmouth College and had a long career in human resources, retiring from American Savings Bank as the Vice President of Human Resources. He also volunteered on many executive boards for a variety of human service agencies.

Richard loved watching the UCONN girls basketball team, having lengthy conversations with family and friends, attending auctions and working a farm. He was more comfortable in overalls and jeans than suits and ties. Richard thoroughly enjoyed being retired. He traveled often, worked on his tan and enjoyed the sun and surf while the rest of us suffered through cold, snowy winters.

Richard is survived by his son Keith Furniss and his wife Jacquelyn of Bristol; daughter Kathryn (Katie) Beaudin and her husband Adam of TX; grandchildren Alexa, Katelynn and Jack Furniss, Kyle and Abby Beaudin; sister Diane Happy and her husband Richard of NV; brothers David Furniss ’64 of FL, Donald Furniss and his wife Jean of Plymouth and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brother Duane Furniss.

Services will be private.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to The Yale New Haven Children’s Heart Center, www.ynhh.org/childrens-hospital.

William R. Powell ’61

William R. Powell of Horseheads, NY passed away suddenly of natural causes on January 30, 2023 at the age of 79. Bill was born to Wilkins R. and Anna Powell on October 23, 1943 in Mount Holley, NJ and raised in Worcester, MA.
After graduating from Williston Northampton School in Easthampton, MA, Bill spent an additional academic year of study in England prior to enrolling at Brown University. While earning his BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering there, he also nurtured his love of the outdoors by hiking and camping across New England. He took that passion to new heights on the West Coast while working towards his PhD (awarded in 1971) in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from Stanford University. After that, Bill spent a year as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Zurich.
Living on the West Coast at a very interesting time in history, Bill developed a passion for ’60s Rock that he kept throughout his life. He saw many of the greats at the Fillmore West, and had a memorable day at the infamous Altamont Speedway Free Festival in December, 1969 where he saw Jefferson Airplane, The Rolling Stones, Santana, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, among others. A true Deadhead, he also saw the Grateful Dead many times. He regretted never having seen Janis Joplin perform live, but he did get to see Ozzy.
In 1972, Dr. Powell joined the Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics faculty of West Virginia University. It was in Morgantown, WV that Bill met the love of his life, Barbara Ann Nelson. They married in 1977 and Bill embraced his new role as a father to Barbara’s son Brandon Wayne Sodomick. The birth of their son Jef in 1979 completed their family of four. In 1981, Bill joined Corning Incorporated and the family to moved to Big Flats, NY. Bill played a variety of roles at Corning, officially retiring as a Senior Engineering Associate in 2002 but continuing his relationship with the company as an Engineering Consultant until 2017. In addition to authoring almost 100 publications both within and outside of Corning Incorporated, Bill was the holder of 11 U.S. patents.
As accomplished as Bill was in his career, he was a humble man who believed that his contributions to the community were equally as valuable as to his profession. He was an Elder in Big Flats Presbyterian Church, a member and past president of the Big Flats Lions Club, and a volunteer for and board member of the Food Bank of the Southern Tier. With a group of other retired citizens, he applied his engineering skills and built accessibility ramps for homes. He spent hours every summer basting chicken on the grates for the Lions Club’s chicken barbecues, collected donated eyeglasses for the Club, and otherwise extended a hand to help others in his community where needed.
Bill and Barbara also found time to travel throughout the USA and the larger world. Their travel experiences included many destinations in Europe, Russia, Egypt, and a most memorable East African safari.
Bill is predeceased by his parents, Wilkins R. and Anna Powell, brother-in-law Joe Beard, and in-laws Dora and Ralph Nelson. He is survived by his wife, Barbara, sons Brandon and Jef, sisters Nancy Hatfield and Marjorie Powell, brother Richard Powell (Kathy), sisters-in-law Gayle Nelson (Tom Schmid), and Connie Nelson Elder (John), and many nieces and nephews.
There will be calling hours Saturday, February 11th 10:30 – 12:00 at the Big Flats Presbyterian Church, 95 Main Street, followed by a memorial service at noon. A luncheon will be served after the service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Food Bank of the Southern Tier (388 Upper Oakwood Avenue, Elmira, NY 14903), Big Flats Presbyterian Church (P.O. 454, Big Flats, NY 14814), or any charity of your choice.

Richard G. Montville ’61

Richard Gunnar Montville, 80, of Middlebury, CT, died November 20, 2022 at Middlebury Convalescent Home. Rich was the husband of Ellen (Reifschneider) Montville. Rich was born August 6, 1942 in Waterbury, son of the late Walter G. and Lois (Truelove) Montville. A lifelong resident of Middlebury, he cherished his years on Lake Quassapaug. He was a member of the Middlebury Congregational Church. Rich was a graduate from the Williston Academy and Nichols College. At a young age, he served in the Army branch of the National Guard. A well-known insurance broker, he had a long career in Woodbury at the W.J. Burton Insurance Agency. Rich volunteered at the Waterbury Hospital and served as the head of the Child Guidance Clinic in Waterbury. He was an avid tennis player and enjoyed reading and re-learning to play the piano. He appreciated fine art and music. Ever gregarious, Rich had many friends and acquaintances. When he began traveling on Ellen’s airline passes, it seems he always knew or befriended someone on the plane or in the destination city. He adored dachshunds Lily and Addie. Besides his wife, he is survived by his son Samuel H. Montville, sister Karen Albini, and brother Jeffrey Montville. He leaves behind grandchildren Donovan and Molly Montville and Mary Kate and Shannon Fitzsimmons-Montville. At Rich’s request there will be no funeral services. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Lake Quassapaug Association, P.O. Box 285 Middlebury CT 06762 or Lakequassapaugassociation.org

William A. Hamilton III ’61

William Alvin Hamilton III died peacefully on October 31, 2022. Billy was born June 6, 1943, to Elizabeth Mahin Hamilton and W. Alvin Hamilton Jr while Alvin was stationed at Norfolk Naval Base in Virginia. The family returned to Jacksonville where Billy made lifelong friends at Ortega Elementary, Lakeshore Jr. High, and Williston Academy in Easthampton, MA. He excelled at football, lacrosse, and wrestling, and he continued an SEC championship wrestling career while studying at The University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee. In 1967 he earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Florida School of Law in Gainesville and practiced law for 50 years in Orange Park and Jacksonville. Billy married Jane Fulkerson Harvey on March 6, 1993.

Whatever the season and throughout his life, Billy could be found enjoying the outdoors with Janie and his many friends. A consummate sportsman, he loved to fish, hunt, dive, ski, and sail; he was both fun and fiercely competitive. His support of the Florida Gators and Jacksonville Jaguars was unflagging. Billy and Janie thoroughly loved traveling and their frequent adventures took them to the Caribbean Islands, Europe, Central America, Australia and New Zealand.

Billy is survived by his beloved wife of 30 years, Janie Hamilton, his son William A. Hamilton IV (Kathryn) of Charlottesville, VA and his daughter Elizabeth Hamilton Miles of Ponte Vedra, FL, and two grandchildren, Chandler E. Hamilton and Susan L. Miles. He is also survived by his two sisters, Patricia H. Donahoo of Jacksonville and Nancy H. Zimmerman (Jeffrey) of Tumwater, WA.

A funeral service will be held at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church at 4129 Oxford Ave, Jacksonville, FL on November 16th, 2022 at 2:00 pm.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Alzheimer’s Association, Community Hospice, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, or a charity of your choice.

Victor H. Fazio Jr. ’61

Vic Fazio, a moderate California Democrat who became an influential party leader in the U.S. House of Representatives during his two decades on Capitol Hill, died March 16, 2022 at his home in Arlington, Va. He was 79. The cause was melanoma, said his wife, Kathy Sawyer, a retired Washington Post journalist.
A self-described institutionalist, Mr. Fazio represented the Sacramento area from 1979 to 1999 and was a member of the House Appropriations and Armed Services committees. He supported ethics reforms as well as environmental and water-reclamation programs. He provided government funding for projects in his area, including a vast wetland and wildlife preserve between Davis and Sacramento that is known as the Vic Fazio Yolo Wildlife Area. It was dedicated by President Bill Clinton in 1997. Mr. Fazio was chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 1994 when Republicans won control of the House for the first time in 40 years. Nevertheless, as a measure of his standing and ability to work across the aisle, he was chosen the next year as chairman of the House Democratic caucus and served for four years.
Victor Herbert Fazio Jr. was born in Winchester, Mass., on Oct. 11, 1942, and grew up partly in Madison, N.J. His father was an insurance salesman, and his mother was a homemaker and dress shop manager. He graduated in 1961 from the private Williston Academy in Easthampton, Mass., (now the Williston Northampton School) and received a bachelor’s degree in history in 1965 from Union College in Schenectady, N.Y.
He came to California on a Caro Foundation fellowship in public affairs and worked as a legislative consultant. He also was a co-founder, in 1970, of the now-defunct California Journal magazine, which covered state government and politics. He served in the California State Assembly before winning a U.S. House seat in 1978. After leaving Congress — he did not seek reelection in 1998 — he spent more than two decades as a lobbyist, first with the firm of Clark & Weinstock and then with Akin Gump. Over the years, his clients included Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the industry’s premier trade association. At his death, he was board chairman of the National Parks Conservation Association and served on the board of the Prevent Cancer Foundation.
His first marriage, to the former Joella Mason, ended in divorce. His second wife, Judy Neidhardt Kern, whom he married in 1983, died in 2015. A daughter from his first marriage, Anne Fazio, died in 1995 of complications from leukemia. In 2017, he married Sawyer. In addition to his wife, of Arlington, survivors include a daughter from his first marriage, Dana Lawrie of Granite Bay, Calif.; two stepchildren, Kevin Kern of Fair Oaks, Calif., and Kristie Kern of Portland, Ore.; and four granddaughters.