Tag Archives: Northampton School for Girls

Susan McAllister Warner ’66

Susan “Susie” Warner passed away peacefully in her home on July 27, 2021 surrounded by loved ones. She is survived by her devoted husband of 49 years, Lawrence Warner of Marion, MA, her 2 loving children and 4 adoring grandchildren.

Per Susie’s request, there will not be a public service. To celebrate Susie’s life, please consider a donation to the Willoughby Wallace Memorial Library in Branford, CT.


Sylvia Mason Chisholm Evans ’55

Sylvia Mason Chisholm Evans died Wednesday, September 8, 2021. She was raised at Mass Audubon, Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary by her late parents Ed Mason, founding director and Mina Mason, founding mother. Along with her sister Patsy Mason, who died just 5 days earlier, here they formed the foundation for the rest of their lives. Sylvia was at all times at her best as a wife, mother, landscape architect, and a world traveler. She leaves behind her husband Dennis Evans, daughter COL. Lisa Chisholm US Army ret., son Chris Chisholm and his wife Kristin Chisholm, and grandchildren, Nick, Jason and Matt Chisholm. She was predeceased by her first husband Lee Chisholm, former town planner for Farmington. In lieu of flowers or gifts, hold on to somebody you love, they may not always be with you. Goodbye Sylvia, my love Dennis. Our thanks to all our new friends at Avon Health Center.

Cornelia Porter Ford ’53

Cornelia (Nina) Porter Ford of Stamford, CT, beloved wife of the late Thomas R. Ford, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at her home in Stamford. She was born in Tucson, AZ, to Rutger and Bernice (Walkley) Porter, who operated a nursery and landscaping business on land that is now the Tucson Botanical Gardens. Thus began Nina’s lifelong passion for horticulture, botany, and conservationism. After her graduation from Vassar College in 1957, she and Tom settled in West Hartford, CT, where they raised four children over many happy decades. There, Nina cultivated verdant gardens filled with diverse flowers, herbs, vegetables, and shrubs. The family spent every summer in Center Sandwich, NH, in a setting little changed by modern times. She had a love of music and encouraged it in her children. At the piano she led sing-alongs with family and guests, especially at Christmastime. In the 1970s she played banjo and sang in a folk group. Later she played electric piano in a cover band of popular music. In 1976 she bought Herbs and Whey, a natural-foods store in Avon, CT, of which she was the proprietor for four years. In 1983, She joined the Connecticut Unit of the Herb Society of America, serving as Vice-Chairman in 1989. In 1987, she graduated from Central Connecticut State College with a master’s degree in biology. In 1990, Bat Conservation International received Nina’s permission to publish her teaching unit “A Year in the Life of the Little Brown Bat” in an Educators Activity Book. Nina was a quiet feminist and a life-long spiritual seeker. During 1996-97, she was a student in the inaugural class of the Women’s Leadership Institute at the Hartford Seminary. After the passing of her husband, Nina moved to southern Connecticut to be closer to those children and grandchildren living on the East Coast. Throughout her life, Nina sought personal connection with everyone she encountered, always asking their name and taking genuine interest in their lives. Strangers were simply friends she hadn’t met yet. Nina is survived by her loving family; her children, Becky and Nick Lai of Stamford, CT, Dan and Mary Ford of Ridgefield, CT, Ted Ford and Anne Fitzgerald of Seattle, WA, and Andrew and Molly Ford of Seattle, WA; grandchildren, Sarah Ford, Roxanne and Sophie Lai, and Audrey and George Ford; brother-in-law, Richard Hill of Tucson, AZ; sister- and brother-in-law, Mimi and Christopher Stahler of Wenatchee, WA; sister-in-law, Eli Ford of Cape Cod, MA; and several nieces, nephews, cousins as well as an abundance of loving friends. Contributions in Cornelia’s memory may be made to the Tucson Botanical Gardens, Bat Conservation International, or The Miriam Therese Winter Chair in Transformative Leadership and Spirituality at The Hartford Seminary.

Susan B. Martula ’58

Susan Barbara Martula, 80, retired principal clarinetist with the Albany Symphony, died on June 28, 2021 at her home in Troy, New York.

Susan, the daughter of the late John and Helen Martula, grew up in Hadley, Massachusetts. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Smith College in 1962, and afterwards studied at the Paris Conservatory and worked for Nadia Boulanger. Upon her return to the States, she studied clarinet with Leon Russianoff at Manhattan School of Music, receiving a Master of Fine Arts in 1964. As a professional clarinetist Susan continued to study throughout her career and was a student of Larry Combs and, in later years, Steve Hartman. In addition to her work with the Albany Symphony she was principal clarinetist of the Berkshire Symphony. She also played with the American Symphony Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski, the Colorado Philharmonic, Lake George Opera, and others. She has recorded with Albany Records, New World, and Nonesuch.

Susan served on the faculties of Skidmore College and Williams College, where she was artist associate, led the Williams Clarinet Choir and performed with the Williams College Chamber Players. She was adjunct instructor in music at Emma Willard School and was the founding conductor of the orchestra.

Throughout her distinguished career, Susan taught and nurtured scores of young musicians. Her home was fondly referred to as “Camp Martula” by artists who traveled to the Capital Region to perform with the Albany Symphony. She took great delight in hosting her visiting colleagues, and regaled them with legendary dinners precisely timed to get the group to the concert hall on schedule.

Susan was fun to be around. She was charming, gracious, and had a keen wit. People enjoyed her elegant sense of fashion and great smile. She displayed these same qualities during her recent years of treatment for her illness and the pandemic. She stayed as active as possible, even swimming long distances in the ocean which was a lifelong passion, and continuing her Pilates, another passion. Most importantly, she planned and did joyful things like getting ice cream with those she loved. Susan knew how to enjoy every moment that was given to her.

She was predeceased by her husband of 29 years, David A. Perry, M.D. She is survived by brothers Dick (Ann) Martula and David (Tanyss) Martula, nephew Stefan and niece Rose (David), grandniece Brooke, stepdaughter Noelle and stepson Nathan (Amy), goddaughter Deslyn (Alex), and eight grandchildren: Kage, Kevin, Cameron, Mia, MacKenzie, Isabelle, Penda and Charlotte.

Thank you to the Community Hospice of Rensselaer County and all the health care workers, especially Bibi, Jennifer, Dee, and Wendy, who assisted Susan during her illness. Special thanks also to Susan’s circle of deeply devoted friends, especially Ellen, Victor, and Mitsuko.

Burial will be private and a memorial service is planned for later this year.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in memory of Susan B. Martula to the Albany Symphony Orchestra Inc., 19 Clinton Avenue, Albany, NY 12207, or to the Berkshire Symphony, Bernhard Music Center, 54 Chapin Hall Drive, Williamstown, MA 01267.

Christine A. Pratt ’68

Christine Anne Pratt, 71, a thirty-year resident of Belchertown in Western MA, passed away on March 27, 2021 in Northampton, surrounded by close friends. Christine’s life was devoted to the service of mankind through work for social justice and racial amity and her lifetime commitment to spiritual development. Most of all, Christine wanted to touch people’s hearts, to inspire, and transform. She touched many hearts.

Christine was the daughter of Lyndon E. and Ann (neé Gray) Pratt and grew up in Norwell, MA. She graduated from Northampton School for Girls (now Williston Northampton School) and New England College, 1972, majoring in Education.

Throughout her school years, Christine was active in athletics, theater and the creative and literary arts. She acted in stage plays in Massachusetts and Connecticut. For over twenty years, Christine worked as a teacher and administrator in early childhood education. Both of her parents instilled in Christine a deep love and appreciation of literature. For the last two decades of her life, Christine developed her craft in writing and was lauded as a gifted poet. Her poems are published in many literary journals and anthologies.

Christine joined the Baha’i Faith after college. She served on Baha’i Institutions in many capacities and positions. Behind all of Christine’s pursuits was the ideal of a unified and diverse world standing on the pillars of justice and love. She brought a spiritual perspective to community building. Her commitment to social and racial justice was reflected in her membership in the NAACP and long-standing involvement in Citizens for Racial Amity Now in Amherst, MA. Christine was also an avid student of native indigenous teaching.

Quabbin Reservoir in Belchertown, with its wildness and expanses of water, was a place of spiritual connection for Christine. As a child and as an adult, she found inspiration and peace through her long walks in the woods. Nature was her companion and teacher.

The spirit of Christine lives on in her poetry and in her dedicated life of service. Christine leaves four brothers, three nieces, and six great nieces and nephews as well as many close friends.

Judith Schwartz Berg ’56

Judith Berg died on December 10, 2020 at the age of 82. Judy was born in Fall River, MA, daughter of the late Joseph Schwartz and the late Lillian (Baskin) Schwartz, both of Fall River; and sister of the late E. Robert Schwartz. She leaves behind her daughter, Paula Berg and granddaughter, Lila Berg, of Wayland, MA, and her son and daughter-in-law, Steven Berg and Cynthia Scuderi, of Portsmouth, NH. As a child, Judy loved singing, art and social events. She received her teaching degree from Bridgewater State College when her youngest child was four, beginning a thirty -two year career as an elementary special education teacher in the Fall River Public Schools. She was beloved by her many students and will be remembered as a patient, dedicated and stable presence. Judy volunteered for many years for the Samaritans, where she worked the suicide prevention hotline. She was a loving and present daughter, mother and grandmother. After she raised her children, Judy enjoyed sharing many great years as a foster mother to one of her former students. Judy was fun-loving, carefree and loved to travel. She was a caring friend and trusted confidante to many, enjoying many deep and lifelong friendships. Judy lived in the moment and embraced every day. Judy was most happy with the time she spent with her granddaughter, Lila, whom she loved with her whole heart and soul. A Graveside Service will be held at 12noon in Temple Beth El Cemetery, 4620 N. Main Street, Fall River, on December 11, 2020, all are welcome. A celebration of Judy’s life will be held when it is safe to gather in person.

Susan Bray Walker ’48

Susan Bray Walker of Scarsdale, NY, died on April 2, 2020 at White Plains Hospital.

Mrs. Walker was born Jan. 21, 1930 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to Edward Emmett Bray and Margaret Mary Keane Bray. She graduated from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and worked as an advertising copywriter for McCann-Erickson Inc. in New York City before marrying her husband John and raising their family in Scarsdale.

An enthusiastic civic volunteer, Mrs. Walker served on the board of The Arc Westchester Foundation for many years, served as president of the Westchester Smith College Club, president of the Scarsdale chapter of the American Field Service, president of the Scarsdale Parent-Teacher Association, treasurer of the Town and Village Civic Club and served on several committees for the village of Scarsdale.

Her family said Mrs. Walker was an extraordinary advocate for people with disabilities, and those she worked with remember her as a woman whose quiet voice never failed to raise matters of importance. Her family remembered her as dedicated to the love and well-being of her family. They said she took great pride in the accomplishments of her children and grandchildren and loved and supported them all unconditionally.

Mrs. Walker is survived by her husband, John David Walker; her two sons, David Bray Walker and his wife Elizabeth of Greenwich, and William Alexander Walker and his wife Amy Walsh of Brooklyn; her five grandchildren: Anne, Catherine and Sarah Walker and Henry and John Walker; and her brother, David Bray, of Sag Harbor and Greenport, New York. She was predeceased by her daughter, Elizabeth Grace Walker.

Mrs. Walker will be laid to rest at Greenwood Union Cemetery in Rye. In light of the ongoing public health emergency, there will be no in-person service prior to the burial. A memorial celebration of her life will be scheduled at an appropriate time in the future.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be mailed to the Arc of Westchester, 265 Saw Mill River Road, Hawthorne, NY 10532 or online at arcwestchester.org.

Ellen J. Tabachnick ’71

Ellen Judith Tabachnick, 68, of San Francisco, CA, passed away from cancer on March 24, 2021 in Boston, MA. Ellen was the daughter of the late Dr. Henry and Betty (Greenberg) Tabachnick of Portland, Maine. She grew up in a large Portland house, where the family lived upstairs from her father’s practice. Her father was generous and outgoing, a congenial man. Portland notables were always in and out of the house. It was an active, lively household. In her early years Ellen attended Portland Hebrew Day School and later enrolled in Waynflete College Preparatory School, Portland and Northampton School For Girls in Northampton, Massachusetts. She completed an advanced three-year Bachelor of Arts degree at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.

Ellen’s greatest passion was the pursuit of justice. She developed an early concern for the oppressed. While in her teens Ellen volunteered at a local prison community with the goal of advancing conditions for the inmates. Later, in order to actualize her quest for an equitable society, Ellen earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Cal Western Law School, San Diego.

Ellen practiced law at Contra Costa Legal Services Foundation, in California. However, she was not your average attorney. A cross between Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Bella Abzug, Ellen was a force to be reckoned with, a woman who seized life by both lapels. She began her practice as a Reginald Heber Smith Fellow, educating low-income community groups about their legal rights and responsibilities while carrying a full caseload challenging termination of government benefits. She believed holeheartedly in civil liberties, justice and a level playing field. Ellen’s imaginative legal insights, her indefatigable passion, and pure chutzpah enabled her to win most of her cases.

In particular, Ellen championed the Hmong’s community right to communicate with government agencies in their own language. A dedicated, fierce and creative advocate, she succeeded in assisting many families retain their benefits. Ellen spent her final years as a pro bono advocate for undocumented persons, including minors threatened with deportation.

She loved music. Forever the life of the party, Ellen would pick up her guitar and play folk tunes for the children or sit at the piano, her father’s Stetson firmly atop her head, and bang out the score from “Fiddler on the Roof”. She was bighearted, generous. She never forgot a birthday, and enjoyed giving presents even when there was nothing in particular to celebrate. Giving was in her heart and one could not refuse. She was Auntie Ellen, Aunty-Godmother Ellen, Auntie Chicklet, Ms. Civil Liberties, Ellie. She was our own Auntie Mame, a woman brimming with life, a justice warrior who lived unequivocally by the concept in Judaism of tikkun olam, ‘repair the world’.

In addition to her parents, Ellen was preceded in death by her brother, Robert Tabachnick, and her nephew, Henry Tabachnick. She is survived by her sister-in-law, Aileen Tabachnick, and her nephews Jacob, Abraham, and Elijah Tabachnick. Ellen is buried at Beth El Memorial Park, Portland, Maine alongside her father, mother, and nephew.

Donations in Ellen’s memory can be sent to:
The Campaign for Justice https://caforjustice.org/

Emily Webster Williams ’56

Emily Webster Williams died peacefully at home in Essex, CT on May 8th, 2021. She was born in New York City on January 4th, 1939 – daughter of Emily Johnston deForest and Dr. Leslie Tillotson Webster. Emily was the proud mother of Amy, David, Matthew and Andrew Snyder, who were raised in Glastonbury. A graduate of the Smith College School for Social Work and an exceptional therapist, she was a champion of acceptance and empowerment for her family, her clients, and the LGBTQ community. She spearheaded the effort at First Congregational Church of Essex to become an open and affirming congregation, a designation they officially adopted in 2010. She retired from private practice in Old Saybrook in 2014. Emily moved to Essex Meadows – Essex, CT – in 2014. There she met and married Robert Butler, and enjoyed her last years in his loving company. She is survived by her husband, Bob; her brother, John Webster of New London; as well as her children: Amy Colo, David Snyder and Andrew Snyder ’84. Andrew resides in Old Lyme. Her six grandchildren, and her many nieces and nephews will also miss her dearly. Summers in the Adirondacks will not be the same without her. A Memorial Service will be held at the First Congregational Church of Essex on Saturday, May 22, 2021 at 3:00pm. Contributions can be made in her memory to Adirondack Trail Improvement Society PO Box 565 Keene Valley, NY 12943 (518) 576-9157 atis@atistrail.org.

Elria Giamatti Ewing ’58

Elena Maria Giamatti Ewing died at home with family in Portsmouth, NH, on April 15, 2021, of complications from dementia. She was born in Boston on June 14, 1940, to Valentine Giamatti, son of Italian immigrants, and Mary Walton, daughter of the Yankee establishment. Her two-year-old brother promptly and permanently re-christened her Elria. She grew up an American original, with a personality as unique as her name, vibrant, independent, and strong-willed.
Elria was raised in South Hadley, Mass., where her father was on the faculty of Mount Holyoke College. When the family moved to postwar Rome for her father’s sabbatical year, her uninhibited personality was found disruptive in first grade at the Swiss-German School. So she stayed home and learned Italian from maids and neighbors, including Mussolini’s daughter, Edda, then recently released from prison. She also met Pope Pius XII when the family received a private audience. Italian became her fluent second language then and during her father’s later sabbatical in Rome, and her college junior year in Florence.
Her skirmishes with organized education continued through South Hadley public schools, the American Overseas School of Rome, the Northampton School for Girls in Northampton, MA, Wells College in Aurora, NY, and the School of General Studies at Columbia University, where she earned a BS degree in Romance languages in 1963.
She was a natural athlete, good at horseback riding, tennis, and skiing.
Elria got to know David Ewing over many summers at camp in New Hampshire. They were married in 1963. Their first year of married life was in Sierra Leone, West Africa, where both taught secondary school. Their first son was born there by unplanned caesarian section in a rural Catholic mission hospital. The young family grew by three in the next four years after they returned to the States.
Elria repeatedly created secure and nurturing homes for the family as David’s work took them to four countries of Asia and Europe, as well as Virginia, Washington, D.C., and New York City. She was ever a formidable advocate for them with the inevitable bureaucracies of life and education, bruising a few egos in the process.
Fortunately, she had a restless nature; she counted 19 moves in her life. When she wasn’t moving, she was traveling. Her children remember, not always fondly, a rail tour of Europe when they were ages 10 to 14 under the Spartan guidance of Europe on $10 a Day. She avoided flying but counted 25 ocean sailings starting in 1947, including two Pacific crossings. She and David took the Queen Mary II to Europe in its inaugural year and five roundtrips thereafter.
Elria also counted at least 15 jobs, including stints in local newspaper advertising and real estate. She was a natural teacher. She taught English to Japanese schoolgirls and to adult groups including the Taipei City Council and Japanese housewives. She coordinated a program to find summer jobs for American teens in Tokyo. She related particularly well to young people, and is fondly remembered by alumni of the American School in Japan, where she worked in the library, and American University in Washington, D.C, where she was an academic counselor.
Retirement years took the couple to East Dover, Vermont, where she raised llamas and opened an antique shop, and finally to Portsmouth, where they have lived for 19 years. She liked New York City, Lord &Taylor and Italian opera. She joined choral singing groups in Vermont and New Hampshire.
Wherever she went, Elria made friends and was known for her cooking and entertaining, with an international accent. She was active in community organizations, often making sure people were well fed. In Portsmouth she organized the first lobster bake and the first holiday caroling for the South End neighborhood association, both of which became annual events. She was a member of the Academy of Senior Professionals at Eckerd College (Fla.) and the New Hampshire chapter of The Colonial Dames of America at Portsmouth’s Moffatt-Ladd House.
Elria’s family is deeply grateful to the exceptional caregivers who made it possible for her to remain at home in comfort during her last years.
She is survived by her husband; son Jeffrey Ewing and wife Daphne of Conshohocken, Pa.; son Dino Ewing and wife Janine of Eastchester, N.Y.; daughter Valentina Leonard and husband Edward of Acton, Mass.; son Nathaniel Ewing and wife Emily of Nottingham, N.H.; ten grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; and a brother Dino Giamatti and wife Barbara of Scarborough, Maine. She was predeceased by her parents and an older brother, A. Bartlett Giamatti.
She will be remembered at private observances. Memorial contributions to the Alzheimer’s Association are suggested.