Tag Archives: Class of 1969

Charles R. Donnellan ’69

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the sudden passing of Charles Ricker Donnellan on May 5, 2024 at a care center in Sylmar, California. He was a resident at Sunrise at Sterling Canyon in the Assisted Care wing and had his own apartment for the past three years. While there, he gained the title of Jigsaw Puzzle Wizard. He was able to assemble a 1000-piece puzzle within a matter of four hours. Other residents were quite upset to find he had completed all the puzzles set up in the community room while they all slept. He did his best work at 4AM along with a cup of coffee until the puzzles were all completed. He was greeted with open arms at the breakfast table at 7:30AM.

He passed from several health complications, the most recent being liver failure.

He was flown to Hartford, Connecticut and a private internment was held on June 8, 2024 at the Union Hill Cemetery in Middle Haddam, Connecticut.

He is survived by two older siblings, Mary Ricker Leao-Martin, NSFG class of 1965 and Virginia Donnellan Eberhard, NSFG class of 1967.

Brenda Hubbard Plut ’69

December 4, 1951 – July 10, 2023

Beloved wife of Joseph Plut. Loving mother of Gordon Kee of Ottawa and grandson Kieran. Loved step-mother of Matthew Plut (Emily) of Calgary and Stephen Chelli of Tasmania. Dear sister of David Hubbard (Patricia) and Ruth Lovinsohn. Brenda will be fondly remembered by her nieces, nephews and many friends.

A celebration of Brenda’s life will be planned for a later date. If so desired memorial donations to the Alliston & District Humane Society would be appreciated.

Matthew E. Peck ’69

Matthew Edward Peck, age 72, passed away April 22, 2023 at Noble Hospital in Westfield, MA. Born in Springfield on August 31, 1950, to the late Edward C. Peck, Jr., and Ruth (Mahoney) Peck, Matthew was educated in West Springfield’s parochial and public schools; attended Williston Academy, St. Louis University, Holyoke Community College, and the University of Bridgeport; and earned an MBA degree at American International College.
A lifelong soccer player and all-around athlete, Matthew coached and played soccer in Puerto Rico and was chosen to be a part of the Puerto Rican National soccer team while living there from 1975 to 1978. Matt taught history at the Robinson School while in Puerto Rico and married Pamela J. Epler in 1975 in the Robinson School Chapel. After returning to Western Massachusetts, he and his older brother Robert published the New England Soccer News, one of the first soccer magazines in Western Mass. He also coached soccer at American International College. He taught history in the bilingual program and coached soccer at Springfield’s Commerce High School. Together, Matthew and Pamela worked with the Center for Human Development in Western Mass. and were instrumental in caring for several children in the custody of child services. Following his teaching career, Matthew shifted to a sales career, and, with business partner John Fleet, formed Fleet Business Products. After decades at Fleet Business Products, Matthew traded in the company Buick and embarked on a third career as a truck driver, fulfilling a childhood dream of driving a big rig around the country. Matthew was an avid reader of history, politics, and current events. Having hitchhiked through South and Central America in his 20’s, he loved speaking Spanish and maintained an interest in Latin American heritage and culture throughout his life. He enjoyed camping, canoeing, golfing, sailing his sunfish, and vacationing at the family beach house in Marshfield, MA.
He was an exceptionally friendly, welcoming, warm, and charismatic person and will be dearly missed by the many friends and relatives whose lives were brightened by his good cheer and happy outlook. With his former wife, Pamela Epler, now of South Hadley, MA, Matthew raised two children, Christopher J. Peck, of Springfield, MA, and Rosemary F. Peck, of Pittsburgh, PA, both of whom he loved very much. Matthew inspired a love of sports and athletics in his son Christopher, who currently holds a degree in Athletic Training and is a specialist in sports medicine equipment. Matthew encouraged a love of travel and languages in Rosemary, who also attended Williston Northampton School (’04) and St. Louis University, studying at SLU’s Madrid, Spain and Missouri campuses. More recently, Matt delighted in his new role as Grandpa to Rosemary’s now 18-month-old son, Nevin Edward Xia, of Pittsburgh, PA. For the past decade and a half, Matthew shared his life with Carolyn Charette, of West Springfield, and helped guide and mentor her son, Garrett, who has since completed a degree in dentistry at Boston University and is currently pursuing a degree in orthodontics at Georgia School of Orthodontics.
He leaves behind partner Carolyn Charette (West Springfield) and her son Garrett Charette (Atlanta, GA); son Christopher Peck (Kimberly Peck) of Springfield; daughter Rosemary Peck (Dr. Zongqi Xia) and grandson Nevin Edward Xia of Pittsburgh, PA, along with his former wife, Pamela Epler; five siblings: Robert J. Peck (Jill Lewin) of Agawam, Dr. Deborah A. Peck of Somerville, Mary Abigail Peck (Lorraine Gray) of Roslindale, John Patrick Peck (Mary Jane Peck) of Milford, and Richard A. Peck of West Springfield; five nieces and nephews: Tralice Peck Bracy (Robert Bracy), Jessie Peck, Eleanor Peck (Matthew Frey), Ryan DiLoreti (Suzanne Christie), and Skylar Peck; as well as several cousins and relatives among the Charette, Peck, Mahoney, Bucher, and Epler families.
Calling hours will be Friday, April 28, from 4-7 pm at the Toomey-O’Brien Funeral Home, 1043 Westfield Street, West Springfield. There will be a Funeral Mass Saturday, April 29 at 9:30 am at St. Thomas the Apostle Church followed by a burial at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Springfield. In lieu of flowers donations in Matthew’s memory may be made to the West Springfield Youth Sports Assn., P.O. Box 868, West Springfield, MA 01090.

Marc L. Goldstein ’69

Marc L. Goldstein, 72, of Delray Beach, FL, passed away peacefully on Jan. 1st, 2023 in the arms of his loving wife and best friend Janine Goldstein. Marc was the son of the late Selden Goldstein and Iris Krintzman. He was born and raised in Longmeadow, MA and attended Williston Academy and the University of Vermont. He had a successful career in the water purification industry before retiring to Florida. Marc is also survived by his sister Marjorie (Barry) Berg, nephews Zachary (Michelle) Berg, Jeremy (Rachel) Berg, grandnephews Joseph Berg and Jesse Berg and grandnieces Leslie Berg and Blake Berg. Marc was predeceased by his step-father Edward Krintzman, his brother Steven Goldstein, and his brother-in-law Gary Geoffroy. He is also survived by his brother-in-law Glenn (Jennifer) Geoffroy and nieces Danielle, Rachel, Nicole and Alexa. He will be missed by his faithful companion Bandit. A funeral service will be held at 11:00 AM on Sunday January 8th at the Ascher-Zimmerman Funeral Home in Springfield, MA with burial in Beth El Cemetery. Shiva will be observed at the family home in Delray Beach, FL on Tuesday January 10th from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. The family requests donations in Marc’s memory be made to the Janine, Marc, and Steven Goldstein Scholarship Fund, c/o National Council of Jewish Women, 1160 Dickinson St., Springfield, MA 01108.

Duncan R. McMartin ’69

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Duncan Roy McMartin, in his 71st year, loving husband of Gwen Rich-McMartin of Harrington Sound Road, Bermuda. Duncan is also survived by his sister Marcia McMartin; sister-in-law Katherine Rich; cousins Charlie McMartin, Duncan Cameron McMartin and Bruce McMartin; godson Michael Midgett; goddaughters Alexandra McMartin and Jacquelyn Midgett. Duncan was predeceased by his father Duncan McMartin and mother Hilda (Ferguson) McMartin. A graveside service will be held Wednesday, January 26, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. at the family plot at St. John’s Church, Pembroke. In accordance with Covid-19 restrictions attendees are required to wear masks and adhere to social distancing. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to PALS www.pals.bm or Bermuda SPCA www.spca.bm.

Thomas J. Garstka ’69

Thomas J. Garstka , 69, of Southampton, MA, died on January 16, 2021 after a short illness. He was born July 3, 1951 in Northampton to Max and Dorothy Garstka. He attended Williston Academy graduating in 1969. Tom was a home builder with his father and brother Dave as Max T. Garstka & Sons for many years. He was a Deputy Tree Warden for the Town of Southampton for 40 years and in his younger years Tom was a member of the Southampton Volunteer Fire Department. He married Donna Syriac on September 7,1975 in the Williston Academy Chapel. In 2003 Tom and Donna started raising pastured poultry and sold their eggs to local stores under the name Cold Spring Chicken Ranch. He also sold firewood for a time as AX Man Firewood.

Tom loved gardening, country music and wearing western hats and boots. He will be remembered for his laughter, many stories about his dad in WWII, and love of the outdoors. He was a member of the Philadelphia Church of God. He served by giving opening and closing prayers. Tom is survived by his loving wife Donna, sons Randy and Paul, brother David and his wife Mary Ann and niece Jillian and sister Susan in Denver, CO. Donations may be made in Tom’s name to Philadelphia Church of God, P.O.Box 3700, Edmond,OK 73083.

Stephen A. Trudel ’69

Stephen Allard Trudel, age 69, passed away peacefully on August 6, 2019.

He was born on May 1, 1950 in North Adams. He grew up in Williamstown, MA and Glens Falls, NY and attended Glens Falls High School, Williston Academy and the University of Massachusetts.

Steve was beloved by so many people because he was a man of enormous compassion, kindness, humor and wisdom. Everyone with whom he was a friend felt his caring and his love energy. Early in his career he shared his love with young children as a day care provider.

Steve was among the first men to recognize working with men acting abusively was essential to curb domestic violence. In the early 1980s he went to San Francisco to learn how the Men Overcoming Violence (MOVE) program ran its batterer intervention groups. He brought back a vision of believing men could change. In addition to conducting the initial interviews with many of the men entering the program, Steve worked in virtually every court hearing domestic abuse cases in western Mass., and was the first point of contact for men mandated to attend a 40- week batterer intervention group. Steve led groups continuously for nearly 30 years. It is estimated he worked with more than a thousand men and held nearly every position in the Men’s Resource Center’s batterer’s program, Moving Forward.

Near the end of his career, Steve served as the liaison for the female partners or ex-partners of men in the program, a position heretofore exclusively held by a woman. That these women had no issue with a man being their contact speaks volumes about Steve’s capacity to gain these women’s trust. He set the standard for men as allies to women survivors.

When there was something that Steve cared about he invested himself fully in its cultivation. This was literally true about one of his most fervent passions – his extraordinarily diverse and exquisite garden in which Steve spent so many hours and delighted in giving tours to friends.

He became a plant expert through his endless pursuit of making the garden ever more inviting. The same passion was evident in his eclectic love for music, which flowed dependably throughout his home. He especially loved to sing and was part of not one but two a cappella groups where his beautiful voice and enormous repertoire of songs were most appreciated.

Cooking was another endeavor that absorbed and gratified Steve. Many of his signature dishes enriched holiday dinners at the homes of his chosen families. His scones were the stuff of legends and he could be counted on to bring a memorable dish to any potluck.

Steve recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of his graduation from Williston where he sang in the Caterwaulers, performed in plays and ran cross country. He was on the reunion committee and was very pleased to see friends from his class for whom he was both an inspiration and a driving force through the years. Steve loved looking good and he had an impeccable eye for clothing. Men and women consulted him about their outfits, because his taste was so dependably on the money. His style was uniquely his own and fit every occasion. Folks looked forward to how Steve would dress at many events.

But notwithstanding all of these loves, Steve reserved the greatest part of his enormous heart for his friendships, which were the centerpiece of his life. He nurtured each one with the same tenderness, devotion and integrity with which he bestowed his caring upon every plant in his garden. Not only did he forge deep and abiding connections to so many women and men, but he invariably reached out to the children of his friends and they became his friends as well. The outpouring of love, of the litany of ways in which Steve touched so many of his chosen families is remarkable on so many levels. The outpouring of loving emails he received while in the hospital are yet one more testimony to the essential role he played in his many friendships.

One of the most consistent and outstanding relationships Steve helped to sustain is his men’s group, which will celebrate its 41 st year offering support to one another this fall. Steve was a major driving force in having the group be so significant and long-lasting. His contributions to our celebrative monthly dinners, his belief in honesty and the trust he gave and received were hallmarks of the group throughout its tenure.

Steve will be missed beyond the power of words to express by his family of origin and all of his chosen families. His gifts of unwavering caring, concern and devotion will long be remembered by generations of people whose lives he touched and for whom he had an indelible impact. He leaves behind his siblings, Lyn Trudel of Palm Coast, Florida, Sam Trudel and his partner Liz Winn of Middlebury, Vermont, Susan Marton of Martinsville, New Jersey and David Trudel of Glens Falls, NY. He also is survived by his cousin, Rachel Branch, of N. Adams, MA. He was beloved by his nieces and nephews including, Jason, Joseph and Alexis Cenami, Alyssa and Ryan Trudel, Jeremy, Emily, Samuel and Philip Marton, and Timothy Trudel and Larra Wallace. In addition there are a great many friends who will miss him forever.

There will be a CELEBRATION OF LIFE on Saturday, September 21 st .

Mark G. Weidhaas ’69

July 10, 1951 – Dec. 12, 2018

Mark George Weidhaas was born in Northampton, MA on July 10, 1951 to George B. Weidhaas and Eleanor Lucy Marciniak Weidhaas. Mark attended Williston Academy in Easthampton, MA. Throughout high school, Mark showcased his musical talent, inherited from his dad, in a band that performed throughout the area. Mark passed on that musical gift to his grandchildren.

After high school, Mark went on to The University of Massachusetts Amherst and architecture schools at Montana State University, The University of Idaho and Boston Architectural Center. He completed his apprenticeship in Portsmouth, NH. His education led him to a career in insurance, real estate, home design and building. In his 48 years in business, Mark designed and built hundreds of homes in Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island and Montana. With a smile, he would say, “I made a lot of people happy.”

Mark’s love of woodworking began as a young boy working with his dad in his shop. Throughout his life he continued to hone his woodworking skills becoming a true artisan. His dad also instilled in Mark a love of the outdoors. Mark was an avid and accomplished sportsman. He enjoyed hunting and fishing and shared his interest with others. A proficient freshwater fly fisherman since childhood, Mark snow-birded to Florida for eight years in order to expand his love of fishing to saltwater. In 2011 Mark moved from Bozeman, MT to Southwest Florida to further pursue his fishing passion.

Mark’s tenets of life were, “Try to treat others as you would like to be treated”, “If you do something, do it right” and “Persevere, never give up”. Diagnosed with cancer in 2015, Mark returned to Montana to be closer to family.

He is survived by his daughter, Sara (Tim) Gram; grandchildren, Will and Georgia Gram of Bozeman, MT; his son, Karl (Jennifer) Weidhaas; granddaughter, Elizabeth Weidhaas of Salt Lake City, UT; his brother, Allen (Caroline) Weidhaas, nephew, Clinton Weidhaas, of Stuart VA; childhood friend, Gail Fisher of Canaan, VT, who supported Mark throughout the final months of his journey; and a wealth of extended family and friends in New England, Florida and Montana. He will be missed by all those privileged to know him.

No services are planned at this time. Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service.

Robert T. Onkey ’69

Robert Theodore Onkey age 67, of Norwalk, CT, passed away on February 5, 2018 at his home. Robert was born in Bridgeport, CT on September 28, 1950. He was predeceased by his parents Robert Lee and Gladys Mary (Kost) Onkey as well as his brother, Peter Thomas Onkey.
Robert spent his earlier life on both sides of the U.S. / Canadian border. Robert attended Williston Academy in Easthampton, MA and then completed his undergraduate studies at the University Of Western Ontario. He became a magazine journalist in Toronto, Canada and later went on to combining his passion for SCUBA diving with his career to form his own company offering Commercial Diving services. Bob, as he was known to most, loved the water and was happiest whether he was in it, on it or under it. Robert was a kind, loving, compassionate person who loved animals as much as he did people. His cat Sammy was his final companion. Despite life’s challenges, he never lost sight of the people that were most important in his life. Robert was as unique an individual as a person can be and he will be greatly missed by the many, many people whose lives crossed paths with his.
Survivors include his step-mother, Janet Onkey, and numerous cousins.

Mark R. Berman ’69


Mark R. Berman, a fixture of the local business community who enjoyed a second career as a college administrator, died at his home in Williamsburg, MA on Friday, May 5, 2017, after a brief illness. He was 65.

Berman graduated from Williston Academy in 1969. He earned his undergraduate degree from Syracuse University in 1973, where he lettered in men’s swimming. He obtained an MBA and law degree from Syracuse in 1976. In 1977, Berman joined the management of Yale Genton, the venerable West Springfield clothier started by his grandfather. He served as general manager, vice president and eventually president of Yale Genton. In 2008, Berman followed his passion for education and joined the administration of American International College in Springfield as associate vice president for educational enterprise. He later became executive vice president for administration. During his tenure at AIC, Berman was instrumental in a number of major initiatives, including significant capital improvements on campus.

Throughout his business career, Berman devoted his time and talents to a host of local institutions, including as a board member at the Clarke School for the Deaf, the UMass Fine Arts Center, the Springfield Library and Museums, and Baystate Health Systems. He was a past director of the West Springfield Chamber of Commerce and a corporator at the Springfield Institute for Savings. His colleagues and associates will remember him as a leader and mentor who was wholeheartedly devoted to the institutions of which he was a part. He was a man of great personal dignity, and afforded that same dignity to everyone he met.

Berman is survived by his loving wife, Martha G. Baker; his stepchildren, Michael C. Moran and Jennifer E. Norris, and their spouses, Melissa M. Moran and William J. Norris; and his grandchildren, Claire, Ryan, Liam, and Henry. With Martha, Mark joyfully left the office behind, traveled the world, improved his golf game, read voraciously, mastered the grill, perfected the gimlet, relaxed on the beach in his beloved Westport, welcomed the arrival of four grandchildren, and relished in his new role as their “Papa.”