Obituaries from the Winter 2007 Colby Magazine
Gwendolyn Mardin Trefethen Haynes '32
Gwendolyn Mardin Trefethen Haynes ’32, December 29, 2006, in Montgomery, Ala., at 96. She received her master’s in French from Middlebury in 1964 and taught school in several Maine towns. She traveled extensively before retiring in Florida. Survivors include her three sons, Robert, Michael, and William, a sister and a brother, and several grandchildren.
Willard C. Flynt '34
Willard C. Flynt ’34, December 25, 2006, in Plattsburgh, N.Y., at 94. He received his master’s from the University of Maine and served in the Navy in both World War II and the Korean War. He worked as a guidance counselor and English teacher before dedicating himself to SUNY Plattsburgh, where he served as dean of admissions and dean of students. Later, he was special assistant to the late Senator Ronald B. Stafford. He played the tenor sax and enjoyed a good game of golf. His children, Heather and Willard R., his sister, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren survive him.
Raymond W. Farnham '36
Raymond W. Farnham ’36, November 3, 2006, in Orono, Maine, at 95. During World War II he served as an Army interviewer and counselor. He earned his master’s in education from the University of Maine in 1951 and was a teacher, coach, and principal in Maine schools. From 1967 to 1974 he was executive secretary of the Maine Principals’ Association. He was inducted to the Maine Sports Hall of Fame in 1978 for his contributions to basketball programs. Predeceased by his brothers, Roderick ’31 and Albion ’35, and his sister-in-law, Margaret Davis Farnham ’28, he is survived by his son, Raymond Jr., and his daughters, Dian Jordan and Judy Carter, five grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews including Patricia Farnham Russell ’62, Margaret Farnham Rabeni ’66, Margaret Russell Ewalt ’92, and Alden C. Sprague Jr. ’53.
Nancy D. Libby '36
Nancy D. Libby ’36, November 25, 2006, in Hallowell, Maine, at 92. She taught high school English in Maine while working on her master’s at Columbia. During World War II she joined the Navy and traveled around the country. The GI Bill allowed her to earn her doctorate at Duke after the war. She went on to teach English literature at SUNY Fredonia for 30 years. Upon retirement, she traveled extensively, volunteered locally, and relished time with her family. Predeceased by her brother, Thomas W. Libby ’35, and her nephew, Thomas E. Libby ’59, she is survived by her niece, Nona Libby Thompson.
M. Elizabeth Oliver '38
M. Elizabeth Oliver ’38, November 26, 2006, in Columbia, Conn., at 89. A writer, teacher, and champion for freedom, she wrote for the U.S. State Department, Reader’s Digest, and Harcourt, Inc. She ran language and writing programs in New York, Taipei, and Shanghai. At 71, she joined the Peace Corps and taught in the Philippines. In 2003, she helped re-establish the Northeast Chapter of the United Nations Association. Survivors include her sister-in-law, Frances R. Oliver, a niece and two nephews, two grandnieces, and three grandnephews.
Elizabeth Bavis Decker '39
Elizabeth “Libby” Bavis Decker ’39, October 4, 2006, in Hampton, Minn., at 89. She earned her master’s in nursing from Yale in 1942 and established a career in public health nursing. She helped establish the associate degree program in nursing at Rochester (Minnesota) Community College, where she later taught. She played violin for the Rochester Symphony and chamber music groups. Her children, Margaret, David, Arthur, and Ann, four grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews survive her.
Calvin K. Hubbard '43
Calvin K. Hubbard ’43, September 22, 2006, in Prescott, Ontario, at 85. He served in World War II as a navigator and a captain in the Army Air Forces in the European theater. He returned to Colby in 1945 to complete his education, after which he became a floor manager at the C.F. Hathaway Co. in Waterville. He worked for Hathaway for 35 years, retiring in 1983 as vice president of manufacturing at the company's Prescott, Ontario, factory. He played cribbage, enjoyed curling, and excelled at baseball trivia. His wife, Merial, five children, nine grandchildren, and one great-grandchild survive him.
Anson T. Perley '43
Anson T. Perley ’43, January 5, 2007, in Damariscotta, Maine, at 85. He served as an Army rifleman during World War II. With his wife he operated Perley’s Greenhouse and then Perley’s Realty, both in Damariscotta. He was one of the founders of Damariscotta Bank & Trust Company and served as director. He was an avid camper, liked to hike, and split his own firewood. His wife of 65 years, Thelma, his son and daughter, three grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter survive him.
Alice Katkauskas Deming '44
Alice Katkauskas Drake Deming ’44, May 28, 2006, in Hanover, N.H., at 85. She earned a degree in medicine from Harvard and worked in the field of hematology. After raising her children and living in various locations around the country, she moved to New England in 1973, settling in New London, N.H., where she opened an art gallery in 1985. An elder at her church, she involved herself in various art enrichment programs. Her daughter, Dail Deming Mueller, her brother, and a grandson survive her.
Arthur T. Eaton '44
Arthur T. Eaton ’44, October 10, 2006, in Marietta, Ga., at 83. An Army officer during World War II, he served in India before earning his law degree from Boston University in 1950. He practiced in Waterville with his father, Harvey, then moved to Georgia where he worked at Lockheed-Martin for more than 30 years. His son, Brooks, and several nieces and nephews, including A. Raymond Rogers Jr. ’49, survive him. He was predeceased by his brothers, Harvey Jr. ’16, Fletcher ’39, and John ’41.
William E. Frazier '44
William E. Frazier ’44, September 15, 2006, in Orlando, Fla., at 84. A captain in the Army Air Corps, he flew missions over Germany during World War II. He went on to become a stockbroker with A.G. Edwards in Orlando and was active with the Masons and the Elks. His wife of 60 years, McGee, a daughter and a son, and a nephew survive him.
Martha Wheeler Zeltsman '44
Martha Wheeler Zeltsman ’44, November 2, 2006, in Whiting, N.J., at 84. She and her husband ran a portrait photography studio for 40 years. In 1974, she was the first woman to receive the Fellowship Award from the American Society of Photography. She taught photography, practiced flower arranging, and raised four children. She was predeceased by her father, Nathaniel E. Wheeler 1909, and her sisters, Grace Wheeler Marsh ’35, Mary Louise Wheeler Bruzga ’40, and Julia Wheeler Morton ’40. Survivors include her brother, Nathaniel H. Wheeler ’42.
Marjorie Merrill Melvin '45
Marjorie Merrill Melvin ’45, October 2, 2006, in Bangor, Maine, at 82. She worked in the Waterville and Bangor public libraries and for the Community Health and Counseling Center in Bangor. A dedicated mother of two, she was active in her church. Predeceased by her brother, Earle K. Merrill ’44, she is survived by her husband of 60 years, Ernest, two children, two grandchildren, and 21 nieces and nephews.
Joseph G. Ragone '45
Joseph G. Ragone ’45, September 10, 2006, in North Falmouth, Mass., at 86. A naval aviator during World War II, he served in the South Pacific and received the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service. He became a self-employed contractor and was president of two companies. An avid golfer, he was also a yachtsman. His children, Lawrence, Richard, Linda Lovell, JoAnn Devaney, Anne Donovan, and Judith Fothergill, a brother, 25 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and his companion, Maria Gleason, survive him.
Rowen Kusnitt Kessler '46
Rowen Kusnitt Kessler ’46, October 25, 2006, in Castro Valley, Calif., at 82. She worked as a medical technician, then devoted herself to raising her children. Later in life she traveled abroad, read mystery novels, enjoyed opera, and worked out at the gym. Her children, Arlen, Corby, Marla Levy, and Tracy Maguire, and three grandchildren survive her.
Marvin S. Joslow '48
Marvin S. Joslow ’48, November 25, 2006, in Aquinnah, Mass., at 79. He earned a master’s from Case Western Reserve University in 1950 then served with the Navy in the Pacific. Upon his discharge he taught at college preparatory schools and later was an educational consultant. He completed graduate work at Harvard in 1962. After his retirement he served as town constable, volunteer firefighter, and president of the Chilmark (Mass.) Friends of the Library. Survivors include his wife, Betty, and three children.
John W. Lord '48
John W. Lord ’48, October 4, 2006, in Vassalboro, Maine, at 84. He left Colby in 1942 to serve in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific. He returned and completed his degree, then worked as an insurance adjuster until his retirement in 1991. A talented woodsman, he constructed a log cabin from materials he harvested from the land. Predeceased by his wife, Kathleen McQuillan Lord ’46, and his father, Carl B. Lord ’15, he is survived by his daughter, Sandra Sturtevant, and his son, Jack, three grandchildren, a sister, and his companion, Phyllis Wilcox.
Louis Sutherland '48
Louis Sutherland ’48, November 26, 2006, in Sorrento, Maine, at 81. He taught chemistry and physics at both the high school and community college level. He served as Sorrento’s first selectman for more than 40 years and was also the town’s plumbing inspector. The outdoors, travel, and dancing brought him much pleasure. His wife of 51 years, Nadine “Bobbie,” two sons and a daughter, a brother and three sisters, two grandchildren, and one great-grandchild survive him.
Ruth Marriner Szopa '48
Ruth Marriner Szopa ’48, August 26, 2006, in Camden, Maine, at 79. She received her master’s in art history from Radcliffe College before taking a clerical job with the CIA. Dispatched to Tehran, she married a CIA agent and accompanied him on assignments in Europe and Africa. She returned to Alexandria, Va., in 1970 and was active in social, political, and religious groups. She was predeceased by her parents, Eleanor Creech Marriner 1910 and Ernest C. Marriner '13, her uncle, Frederick W. Marriner '17, her aunt, Etta A. Creech '12, and her sister-in-law, Prudence Piper Marriner ’41. Her son, Stephen, her brother, Ernest C. Marriner Jr. ’40, and her nephew, John P. Marriner '70, survive her.
Jeanne L. Littlefield Hammond '49
Jeanne Littlefield Hammond ’49, November 19, 2006, in Albion, Maine, at 79. She worked in Colby’s Registrar’s Office for 35 years and served as registrar for the Lancaster Course in Ophthalmology, held at Colby, for 45 years. She championed equality for women as a member of the Waterville Business and Professional Women organization and the American Association of University Women, receiving awards from both groups. Throughout, she mothered the seven children who survive her: G. Michael, Sandra, David, Marjorie FitzGerald, Alice, Marilyn Leimbach, and Heather Carey ’93. Her sister, a stepdaughter, 15 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren also survive her.
Claus F. Hinck '49
Claus Frederick Hinck III ’49, August 11, 2006, in New Harbor, Maine, at 83. A veteran of three years service with the U.S. Army, he received his degree in dentistry in 1953 from New York University. He practiced dentistry in Waldoboro and Bath, Maine.
Lois Eaton Leavitt '49
Lois Eaton Leavitt ’49, September 19, 2006, in Gorham, N.H., at 79. A lifetime resident of the Berlin-Gorham area and a devoted mother, she worked for Brown Company in the resource library department and later as a substitute teacher. Predeceased by her father, Henry A. Eaton ’16, she is survived by her husband of 54 years, Ruelle (Bud), two sons, and four grandchildren.
Barbara Becker Sullivan '49
Barbara Becker Sullivan ’49, November 7, 2006, in East Greenwich, R.I., at 78. A resident of East Greenwich for 45 years, she belonged to the Rhode Island Women’s Golf Association, where she held numerous positions, and was a 50-year member at Potowomut Golf Club. In 1991, after more than 40 years of golf, she lamented that she had yet to obtain a single-digit handicap. Her son, Carl E. “Tracy”, and her daughter, Jane, two sisters-in-law, several nieces and nephews, and her faithful dog, Toby, survive her.
Richard M. Bowers '50
Richard M. Bowers ’50, November 18, 2006, in Ridgewood, N.J., at 77. He served in the Army JAG Corps during the Korean War. He earned his law degree from Columbia University then practiced law privately. He helped protect natural areas in Connecticut. Survivors include his wife, Betty; two children; 19 grandchildren; his sister, Gloria Bowers Gill ’63; his brother and sister-in-law, George N. Bowers Jr. ’50 and Myra Hemenway Bowers ’51; a niece, Barbara Bowers Palten ’76; and a grand-niece, Elizabeth H. Palten ’06
Frederick C. Freeman '50
Frederick C. Freeman ’50, December 9, 2006, in East Falmouth, Mass., at 81. He joined the Navy at age 18 and served in Africa and France. After Colby, he worked for 35 years as an executive for Raytheon. He and his wife founded the neighborhood watch program “Are U OK” in Fisherman’s Cove, Mass. He was active in Habitat for Humanity and loved sailing and golf. His wife of 56 years, Caroline, six children, and 14 grandchildren survive him.
Robert L. Lindquist '50
Robert L. Lindquist ’50, September 24, 2006, in Quantico, Md., at 81. He served as a gunnery instructor during World War II before earning his Colby degree. He worked as a diplomat in Brazil for the U.S. Information Agency until 1973, when he developed and headed an ESL program in North Bethesda, Md. He taught ESL until 2005, enjoyed crabbing, and grew more than 65 varieties of roses. His wife of 57 years, Doris Koshina Lindquist ’49, four children, and three grandchildren survive him.
Shirley Raynor Ingraham '51
Shirley Raynor Ingraham ’51, September 5, 2006, in Wilton, N.H., at 76. She earned her master’s in education from American International College and taught third grade in Agawam, Mass. She moved to Florida, where she remained active in educational organizations while working to improve nursing care for senior citizens. Her son, Robert ’76, and daughter, Cynthia Lord, a sister, two grandchildren, and her former spouse, Robert A. Ingraham ’51, survive her.
Joanna D. Johnston '51
Joanna D. Johnston ’51, November 9, 2006, in Keene, N.H., at 76. She worked for 30 years in human resources with Unisys in California and Washington, D.C., before settling in Keene. She knitted, did jigsaw puzzles, and played bridge. Survivors include her brothers, Robert and Edward, and six nieces and nephews.
Natalie How Hermandorfer '52
Natalie How Hermandorfer ’52, October 18, 2006, in Easton, Conn., at 78. She graduated from the University of Connecticut and remained an avid UConn sports fan. Her marriage, family, and friends were her focus throughout her life as were Easton’s Congregational Church, library, and historical society. Her children, Wayne, Gale, and Lee Underschultz, her brother, and three grandsons survive her.
Edwin W. Martens '52
Edwin W. Martens ’52, October 29, 2006, in Chatham, Mass., at 76. He served as lieutenant in the Air Force as a radar intercept and intelligence officer. He founded Dustex Service, Inc., and was managing director and treasurer from 1956 until the business sold in 1981. After retirement he lived aboard his boat Wutz News for a decade. His wife, Nancy, his son and two daughters, his brother, and six grandchildren survive him.
Barbara S. Weiss Alpert '53
Barbara Weiss Alpert ’53, October 17, 2006, in New Bedford, Mass., at 76. She took master’s level classes at Barnard College then became a permanent substitute English teacher at New Bedford High School for 20 years. Active in the Scholarship Program of the Council for Jewish Women, she assisted many high school students with their college choices. Predeceased by her father, Fred M. Weiss ’24, she is survived by her husband of 51 years, Hershel ’53, four children, a brother, Robert B. Weiss ’56, and seven grandchildren.
Charles F. Fisher '53
Charles F. Fisher ’53, November 13, 2006, in Kensington, Va., at 75. He served in the U.S. Army in Germany then earned his master’s from the University of Pennsylvania. He taught English at the university level and worked with students on film projects. An authority on jazz and blues, he traveled the length of the Mississippi tracing the roots of that music. His children, Eden Fisher Durbin and Jake Fisher, and four grandchildren survive him.
Cecelia Lasbury Johnson '53
Cecelia Lasbury Johnson ’53, December 15, 2006, in Camden, Maine, at 75. She attended Rhode Island School of Design, was a watercolorist, and served as a board member at the Cornell Fine Art Museum in Winter Park, Fla. She gardened, played tennis, and was an antiques enthusiast. She leaves three children, Dan, Joshua, and Neall; five grandchildren; a sister and two brothers, including R. Chase Lasbury ’53 and his wife, Nan Murray Lasbury ’53; and 10 nieces and nephews.
Charles J. Windhorst '54
Charles J. Windhorst ’54, December 25, 2006, in Stamford, Conn., at 75. He served in the Army, then built a career in the communications world, becoming a founding partner of Communispond. He was instrumental in establishing the Joe and Kay Peters Memorial Scholarship at Colby in honor of the couple who ran Peters’ Big Little Store in Waterville. His wife, Mary, a son, James C. Windhorst ’87, two daughters, Karen Breault and Jane Windhorse, two sisters, and six grandchildren survive him.
Frank A. Lathe '55
Frank A. Lathe Jr. ’55, September 1, 2006, in Hallowell, Maine, at 73. He served in the U.S. Army before working in his family business, Lathe Fuel Company in Hallowell, where he eventually became general manager. He retired in 1987, moved to Florida, and created a landscaping business. A volunteer fireman and lover of the outdoors, he had a memorable grin and a willingness to help others. His wife, Joan, his mother, a daughter and two sons, two brothers and a sister, six grandchildren, and one great-grandchild survive him.
Harriette Glass Siegel '55
Harriette Glass Siegel ’55, December 16, 2006, in Marblehead, Mass., at 73. She worked for the Marblehead Parks and Recreation Department for 30 years. Survivors include her husband of 52 years, Carlton, three children, a brother, two grandchildren, and a niece.
Philip E. Guiles '58
Philip E. Guiles ’58, November 24, 2006, in New Gloucester, Mass., at 74. After three years in the Army, he enrolled at Colby, where he married. The father of four children, he was a businessman and devoted father. He remarried in 1988 and became a supporter of Opportunity Farm in New Gloucester. A bass singer, he also collected and restored vintage cars, planes, and motorcycles. He is survived by his wife, Catharine, his four children, including Ethan ’82, two sisters and a brother, and 12 nephews and nieces, including Emilie L. Van Eeghen ’74.
Davida Kovey Newman '58
Davida Kovey Newman ’58, September 20, 2006, in Sharon, Mass., at 69. A homemaker and mother, she was an active member in her synagogue. Her husband, Walter, a son and a daughter, two sisters and a brother, and two grandsons survive her.
Carlyle A. Smith '58
Rev. Carlyle A. Smith ’58, October 3, 2006, in Columbus, Ohio, at 85. During World War II he served as chief pharmacist’s mate in the Pacific for the U.S. Navy. He became an ordained minister and served in Congregational and Baptist churches in five states. His wife, Helen, a daughter, three sons, a stepson, and six grandchildren survive him.
Herbert F. Cluthe '60
Herbert F. Cluthe ’60, September 30, 2006, in Red Bank, N.J., at 68. He founded the Cluthe Service Corporation in Red Bank in 1985 and belonged to the Fox Hollow Golf Club. A member of the Elks Lodge, he also became a gourmet cook who loved to grill for his family. Survivors include his daughter, Kirsten, and his son, Frederick, a sister, and several nieces and nephews.
Barry S. Potter '60
Barry S. Potter ’60, September 25, 2006, in Chamberlain, Maine, at 67. He served in the U.S. Army and Army Reserves before venturing into the business world. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to start several manufacturing businesses in Maine and he oversaw plants in Europe. A world traveler, he enjoyed skiing, tennis, and working outside on this tractor. He was a member of Colby’s Alumni Council and served as chair of its Nominating Committee. His wife, Bonnie Brown Potter ’63, two sons, and two sisters survive him.
William C. Swormstedt '61
William C. Swormstedt Jr. ’61, December 29, 2006, in Nashua, N.H., at 67. An Army veteran, he was stationed in Germany and trained as a Polish interpreter. He worked in business for 40 years and in his spare time enjoyed cribbage. His wife, Frauke, a son and a daughter, and numerous cousins survive him.
Joan Phillips Boes '62
Joan Phillips Boes ’62, October 28, 2006, in Ft. Collins, Colo., at 66. While raising her family, she volunteered with the League of Women Voters and remained active playing tennis and horseback riding. Her husband, Duane, three daughters, three sisters, and two grandchildren survive her.
Robert Mandell '65
Robert Mandell ’65, May 25, 2006, in Littleton, Colo., at 64. He earned his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin and became an English professor at Colorado Women’s College. His wife, Karen Willis, and a son survive him.
Ann S. Williams Widmann '65
Ann Starr Williams Widmann ’65, November 17, 2006, in Freeport, Maine, at 62. A marketing and advertising entrepreneur, she published a marine book, Boating Digest, and worked for WoodenBoat magazine and Small Boat Journal. She established a dog care service called Pet Sit Pals. Her husband, Tony, a daughter and a son, her brother, David E. Williams ’63, two grandchildren, a niece, and a nephew survive her.
Mary W. Weller Rideout '69
Mary Weller Rideout ’69, October 15, 2006, in Wellesley, Mass., at 59. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and her master’s from Framingham State College. She and her husband served as missionary high school teachers in Nigeria from 1970 to 1987. Upon their return to the U.S., she worked in several schools, then founded Westgate Christian Academy in 1995 and was its headmistress for eight years. Her husband, George Rideout Jr. ’68, four children, 14 grandchildren, two sisters, and her stepmother survive her.
Deborah A. Rose '69
Deborah A. Rose ’69, September 4, 2006, in Somerville, Mass., at 59. A licensed acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist, she received her master’s in acupuncture and spearheaded lobbying efforts to make acupuncture an accessible health-care option. An avid traveler, she led trips to prehistoric sacred sites in France, Sicily, and Malta. She is survived by her sister, Roberta Rose Benjamin, and two nephews, including Robert A. Benjamin ’82.
Robert J. Kessler '71
Robert J. Kessler ’71, September 13, 2006, in Jamaica Plain, Mass., at 57. An elementary school teacher for more than 30 years in Andover, Mass., he earned his master’s in education from Lesley University in 1994. He loved to travel and was well known for making others laugh. His children, Kaitlin and Stephen, and his brother survive him.
Gregory R. Billington '78
Gregory R. Billington ’78, October 5, 2006, in Cambridge, Mass., at 50. He worked as an account officer for MIT and was an avid golfer and runner. His parents, Priscilla Eaton ’53 and Raymond J. Billington ’54, his sister, Dianne Billington Stronach ’75, a brother, three nephews, one niece, and his partner, Sarah Winkley, survive him.
Jill E. Snowman '85
Jill E. Snowman ’85, August 27, 2006, in Birmingham, Ala., at 43. She received an MSW from the University of New England and worked as a job trainer and a social worker. She was also active in her church. Her mother, Gilberte Michaud Snowman, three sisters and three brothers, and several nieces and nephews survive her.