Tag Archives: Northampton School for Girls

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.

Joan Thanhouser Sherman ’47

Joan Sherman enriched the life of Mount Washington Valley through her co-ownership of radio station WMWV and her dedication to numerous arts and culture associations. She died from complications of Alzheimer’s Disease on Nov. 19, 2020, at Merriman House in North Conway. Joanie often said that she was drawn to New Hampshire after seeing the movie, The Devil and Daniel Webster, when she was a little girl. For her, it was a dream come true to move here. Joanie loved New Hampshire’s small towns, tight-knit communities, and rural roots. Living here both nurtured and inspired her. Born on Sept. 7, 1929, in New York City, Joanie grew up in Great Neck, Long Island, and attended Northampton School for Girls in Massachusetts. After graduating, she studied at Juilliard School of Music, Barnard College, and the Peabody Music School. In 1948, she married Lawrence (Skip) Sherman. After Skip got his journalism degree at the University of Iowa in 1955, they moved their family to New England. He worked as a reporter for The Springfield Union and The Providence Journal. Meanwhile, Joanie began a career in sales, which led to her learning the radio business at WERI in Westerly, R.I. In 1959, they moved to Conway to manage the AM radio station WBNC, which had been purchased by Joanie’s boss at WERI. A year later, they bought the station, and in 1968 they started a sister FM station, WMWV. As sales manager, Joanie immediately slashed the price of advertising, enabling any business, however big or small, to broadcast its message. She also founded the station’s long-running annual gardening contest for amateur and professional gardeners. Skip managed the news as well as the music programming, which soon displayed his signature touch: a spicy mix of jazz, country, rock and roll, and classical music. Meanwhile, the station’s doors opened to the community. Its reporters and announcers were everywhere: dog sled races, high school concerts, tennis tournaments, the Fryeburg Fair, you name it. Radio interviews introduced listeners to local historians, naturalists, musicians, and authors, and the morning weather report gave everyone a head start by rating the day up to fifty cents. “It’s a real fifty-center” became insider slang for another beautiful day in Mount Washington Valley. In 1997, Joanie and Skip sold the station and retired. Amicably divorced in 2002, they remained close friends. As a woman in broadcasting, Joanie broke new ground. One of the first women in sales, management, and ownership, she served on the board of the New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters and, in 1965, was the first woman to address the Radio Advertising Bureau in New York City. Moreover, the legacy of the station she and Skip created has endured. In addition to her work in sales and broadcasting, crafts and fine art were always central to Joanie’s life. She won awards and recognition for her embroidery and for her hooked rugs and also taught crafts to community groups. In the 1990s, she studied at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia and at the Portland School of Art in Maine, and she took workshops in creative writing. The result was an autobiographical series of paintings and short essays. In 1992, the collection, “Dreams & Memories: Paintings and Stories,” was exhibited at the Idia Center in Intervale, N.H. Selections were featured in other exhibitions, notably the New Hampshire Historical Society’s folk art exhibition, “Traditional Roots, Contemporary Expressions,” in 1994, and subsequently at the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C. The entire collection was published in 1994. An indefatigable extrovert, Joanie was devoted to her community. (As a kid, when she realized that she couldn’t meet everyone in the whole world, she burst into tears.) She served on many arts organizations including Conway’s Home Industries, the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen, the Mount Washington Valley Arts Association, and Arts Jubilee. She also helped to establish Planned Parenthood in New Hampshire and worked to bring community mental health services to Carroll County. In later life, she became a member and enthusiastic supporter of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Eastern Slopes. In 2000, Joanie and Skip were the recipients of the prestigious Bob Morrell Award, bestowed by the Mount Washington Valley Economic Council for civic entrepreneurship. Joanie faced many challenges in her life. She had dyslexia and suffered from bipolar disorder with recurring depressions. However, she always described herself as a fighter and believed that we could all make the world a better place for each other. As it is for many who struggle, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” was her personal anthem. Happily, in recent years she was able to sing that song a lot with friends and family. In addition to her former husband Skip Sherman, Joanie is survived by their two daughters, Sarah Sherman, married to Jamie Calderwood; and Carrie Sherman, married to Terry Whiting. Other survivors include Joanie’s grandson, Peter Calderwood; her sister, Gretchen Horton; and her brother, Ned Thanhouser. Joanie’s family would like to express their gratitude to Merriman House at Memorial Hospital in North Conway, where Joanie spent her last three and a half years. A celebration of Joanie’s life will be held when it’s safe for friends and family to gather.

Sally Hitchcock Pullman ’37

Sally Hitchcock Pullman passed away peacefully of natural causes on August 5, 2020 in Lafayette Hill, PA. She was 101 years old, born on April 20, 1919 in Bristol, CT to the late Arthur Cornwall and Ruth Harriet (Thayer) Hitchcock.

Mrs. Pullman lived a wonderfully long and storied life, including her service during WWll as a US Army Nurse in the south Pacific, achieving her Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree, teaching nursing for a number of years and being the wife to John S. Pullman, Jr., and the mother of their three children.

Sally married John on May 22, 1948 in Brattleboro, Vermont. Their first child John H. was born in 1952. They moved to Wyoming in 1953 where her two younger children Sally and David were born. In 1955 they returned to Connecticut where husband John received his Masters in Public Health from Yale University leading to an job with the Connecticut State Health Department. The family moved to Granby, Connecticut in 1959. The house at 10 Wells Road was her beloved home for close to 60 years until she took up residence in the Sunrise assisted living facility in Lafayette, PA.

Early on she taught pottery classes to 4Hers, ran a Brownie troop, canned and froze the bounty of her and John’s gardens, she enjoyed her horses, geology and all things having to do with earth sciences, healthcare, teaching, knitting, drawing, telling stories, and mowing her lawn at top speed on her tractor. She was an avid reader and got particular enjoyment from history books. She wrote and published a book “Letters Home” now for sale on Amazon about her experiences caring for the wounded in the hospital tents on New Guinea after the return of McArthur. After their retirement John and Sally traveled extensively making new friends from around the world.

She is survived by her daughter, Sally Pullman-Mooar, son-in-law Pekka Antero Mooar; sons: John H. Pullman, daughter-in-law Laura Elise McGhee Pullman, and David L. Pullman; grandchildren Lakin Caldwell Pullman, Jaime Marie Pullman Beaulieu, Ethan Pullman Mooar, Rebecca Hitchcock Mooar Kelleher, Sarah Kasanen Mooar and Dana McGhee Malone-White and six great-grandchildren: Sally, Netta, Lakin, David, Shea, and Ragnar, plus many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her husband of 47 years, John S. Pullman, Jr. who passed away in 1995, and brother, John Thayer Hitchcock.

Due to the distance and the Covid-19 pandemic, virtual services will be announced at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mrs. Pullman’s honor to: Yale School of Nursing, (nursing.yale.org) First Congregational Church, (firstchurchgranby.org) Vermont Land Trust, (vlt.org).

Bruce Nicholson VanLeer ’41

Bruce VanLeer, a longtime resident of Warwick, NY, passed peacefully away on May 2, 2020 at Park Manor Rehabilitation Center, Middletown. She was 96 years old.
Born in Hingham, MA, she was the daughter of the late Grace (Catton) and Roger Nicholson.
Bruce was a Licensed Practical Nurse with the Visiting Nurse Services of Long Island, NY.
Bruce was an avid birdwatcher and gardener. She also enjoyed art.
Married to the late William VanLeer, she is survived by her daughters, Sally Woglom and her husband, Thom of Warwick, NY, Anne Ekberg of Holden, MA, and Allison Millstein and her husband, Jeffrey of Milford, PA; six grandchildren: David Woglom, Abigail Meigh, Bonnie Woglom, Kate Laramee, Anna Millstein and Katherine Everson; and five great-grandchildren. She was also predeceased by son-in-law, William Ekberg.
The family would like to thank all of those who cared for Bruce at Park Manor during her final days.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Warwick Community Ambulance Service Inc., P.O. Box 315, Warwick, NY.
Private arrangements have been made by Lazear-Smith & Vander Plaat Memorial Home, 17 Oakland Avenue, Warwick, NY.

Janet Babcock Carlson ’55

Janet Alta Carlson, age 81 years, of Holland Township, NJ, passed away on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019 at her home, surrounded by her family.
Born in Boston, Mass., on June 13, 1937, she was the daughter of the late Wilmot and Eula Lyman Babcock. She had resided in Hunterdon County, N.J., since 1974.
A graduate of Hood College, Janet was a retired nurse.
Mrs. Carlson was a member of Calvary Episcopal Church, Flemington, N.J., where she loved singing in the choir. Her beautiful voice and love of music led her to participate in many choral groups over her lifetime.
Surviving are three daughters and sons-in-law, Cheryl and Raymond Johns of Watchung, N.J.; Karen and Scott Holmes of Ringoes, N.J., and Debra and Darren Dalley of Milford, N.J.; a son and daughter-in-law, David and Amy Carlson of Malvern, Pa.; her sister, Patricia Babcock ’58, of Storrs, Conn.; 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Funeral services and interment in Calvary Episcopal Church Memorial Garden will be held Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 10 a.m. under the direction of the Holcombe-Fisher Funeral Home, 147 Main St., Flemington, N.J.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to Hunterdon Healthcare Foundation, 9100 Wescott Drive, Suite 202, Flemington, N.J., 08822 to benefit Briteside Adult Day Center.

Alison Damon Zeigler ’57

Alison Damon Zeigler, a long-time resident of Montclair, NJ, died March 14, 2021. She was 81.

Born in 1940, in Lowell, Massachusetts, Alison attended the Northampton School for Girls before embarking on her college career at Elmira College in Elmira, NY, where she graduated in 1961 with a degree in Speech and Theatre. A talented actress, Alison spent four seasons performing Summer Stock with the Peterborough Players in New Hampshire, where she worked with her future husband, Joe. From there, she joined a 12-month road tour with The Bishop’s Company, traveling across the country, performing in a variety of plays.

Alison starred in an off-Broadway production of The Boy with the Cart, graced the television screen in “The Mother” on Station WSYE, and was a contestant on the game show, Password. With more than 60 roles under her talented belt, some of her favorites included Regina in The Little Foxes, Phedre in Phedre, Maggie in The Man Who Came to Dinner, and Mrs. Gibbs in Our Town.

Joe and Alison married in 1964 and celebrated with a reception at her parent’s home in Lisbon, CT. They spent the first year of their marriage living and working in San Francisco, before returning to the East Coast where they lived in Ithaca, NY before eventually setting up an apartment in New York City. There, Joe and Alison would welcome their first son, Damon, in 1968 and their second son, Bram, in 1971.

In 1973, the Zeiglers moved to Montclair, New Jersey, where they would spend the next 28 years. Alison began a longstanding career as a self-employed bookkeeper, working for such clients as the T. Schreiber Studio, fragrancier Ann Gottlieb, and the Checkerboard Foundation. The family traveled into the city every Sunday for services at West End Collegiate Church, where they developed a decades-long relationship with the congregation, and a dear friendship with the Reverends Ken and Judy Gorsuch and their family.

Alison loved her family, particularly spending time with her three siblings, Cot, Niv, and Faith ’59, and her extended family on her beloved Heron Island, off the coast of Maine. There, she donned her turquoise bathing suit and regularly braved the frigid waters of the Atlantic, enjoyed a chilled vodka with a slice of lemon (or two!) on the porch of her family’s cottage, expertly boiled lobsters in saltwater, and spent hours walking the paths and rocky coastline with her cherished grandchildren, Emily, Rachel, Campbell, and Brodie.

In the late-1990s, Alison, like many other women, had her colors done and, according to the color wheel, was determined to be a “winter.” From that day forward, she donned herself in silver jewelry, and a consistent palette of blues and purples. Those who knew her, though, would say her spirit was anything but wintery. She was warm and inviting and bright and beautiful; a summer’s day on Heron Island at heart.

Alison is survived by her son Damon Wesley (Amy) and her granddaughters, Emily and Rachel, and her son Abraham “Bram” Ives (Katie), and her grandsons, Campbell and Brodie. A private remembrance will take place later this year. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to Peterborough Players. www.peterboroughplayers.org.