Obituaries from the Spring 2008 Colby Magazine
Myron M. Hilton '32
Myron M. Hilton ’32, December 24, 2007, in Cumberland Center, Maine, at 99. He was one of the first executives of Union Mutual Insurance Company (now Unum) and worked there until 1971. He became a real estate appraiser and was on Maine’s board of appeals for real estate appraisals. He golfed and bowled into his nineties, lived independently, and exhibited great patience. He was predeceased by a son, Richard L. Hilton ’60. Survivors include his children, David, Brad, and Brian Hilton, Anne Hilton-Sawyer, and Linda Deetjen, a sister, nine grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and nieces and nephews including Warren R. Kinsman ’57.
Richard H. Packert '32
Richard H. Packert ’32, December 11, 2007, in Machiasport, Maine, at 96. He earned an M.B.A. from Harvard in 1934 and worked in various businesses throughout his life. He was an avid fisherman who loved the state of Maine. Survivors include his son, Richard Jr., three grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
Ruth Pullen '33
Ruth Pullen ’33, December 4, 2007, in Camden, Maine, at 98. Devoted to improving the lives of women and children, she taught school and was a child welfare worker. An administrator for 20 years at the Maine State Women’s Reformatory in Skowhegan, she retired in 1961 as superintendent. She earned a J.D. in 1964 and became the first woman to practice law in Franklin County, Maine, retiring in 1979. Through her involvement with AAUW and BPW she helped Margaret Chase Smith get elected to the U.S. Senate. In 1961 Colby awarded her an honorary master’s degree. She was predeceased by a sister, Hope Pullen Gillmor ’31, and a brother, John J. Pullen ’35. Survivors include her sister Olive Pullen Palmer ’40 and several nieces and nephews including John P. Gillmor ’65.
Robert E. Rosenberg '33
Robert E. Rosenberg ’33, April 26, 2007, in El Paso, Texas, at 95. He earned a law degree from Harvard and in his practice specialized in family law. He served as a captain in the Army during the 1950s. He and his wife raised two children.
Cedric G. Porter '35
Cedric G. Porter ’35, December 29, 2007, in Newburyport, Mass., at 94. He worked for 42 years as a produce inspector for the U.S. and the Maine departments of agriculture. He served on the Caribou, Maine, Library Board, was a Mason, and loved to sail and fish. Survivors include his son, Daniel C. Porter ’72, his daughter, Faith C.P. Prior, and two grandchildren.
Muriel Scribner Gould '37
Muriel Scribner Gould ’37, January 12, 2008, in Hershey, Pa., at 91. She taught school for awhile and later held civil service jobs with the federal government. She was a devoted wife and mother who enjoyed traveling and reading. Survivors include her children, Lewis, Lawrence, and Burton Gould and Margaret Daily, six grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her mother, Josephine Clark Scribner 1908.
Elliot H. Drisko '39
Elliott H. Drisko ’39, January 8, 2008, in Yonkers, N.Y., at 90. He was a technical sergeant during World War II and earned an M.S.W. from Boston University and a doctorate from Columbia. As executive director for 33 years at Family Service Society of Yonkers, he became nationally known for his expertise in family life education programs. Active in civic affairs, he was awarded the Jenkins Memorial Award from the Yonkers Council of PTAs. He was an avid photographer, active with the Boy Scouts, and had a passion for genealogy. Survivors include his sons, Elliott Jr. and James, four grandchildren, and his cousin Jeanette Drisko Rideout ’39.
Frank L. Jewell '40
Frank L. Jewell ’40, January 11, 2008, in Laconia, N.H., at 88. He served in the U.S. Air Force during World War II. He then worked as an accountant, first for Central Maine Power then for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, retiring in 1971 as head accountant. He was active in his church, serving as treasurer and deacon and singing in the choir. He is survived by his wife, Lois, two stepsons, a brother, and a niece
Constance L. Tilley '40
Constance L. Tilley ’40, January 10, 2008, in Gaithersburg. Md., at 89. A policewoman for 30 years for the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C., she was assigned to the women’s bureau and worked with battered and neglected children. She retired in 1973 as a lieutenant. She was predeceased by her mother, Rose Carver Tilley ’11, a brother, Roger B. Tilley ’37, and an aunt, Louise Tilley ’23. Several cousins survive her, including Claire Tilley Henderson ’41.
Milton W. Hamilt '42
Milton W. Hamilt ’42, January 11, 2007, in Kennett Square, Pa., at 84. He served as an Army staff sergeant during World War II, then earned a master’s in public health from Yale. He worked as a hospital administrator until 1968, when he started teaching at Temple University. Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Beulah.
Eleanor Cornish Martin '42
Eleanor Cornish Martin ’42, October 17, 2007, in Woonsocket, R.I., at 86. She was a social worker for the state of Maine for 12 years before becoming a mother and homemaker. She was active in her church, belonged to the Pemaquid, Maine, Historical Association, and was a member of the Pemaquid Chapter of the DAR. Predeceased by her cousin Nathaniel E. Wheeler 1909, she is survived by her children, Susan Martin, George L. Martin Jr. ’79, and Anna Sprague, and six grandchildren.
Charles F. Pearce Pearce '43
Charles Fred Pearce Jr. ’43, January 29, 2008, in Gloucester, Mass., at 87. He served in the Army during World War II, first in the infantry and then as sailing master in Italy. He was a management consultant for IBM until he retired in 1975. Active in his community, he was president of the Village Hall Association and an incorporator of the Cape Ann Savings Bank. An avid sailor, he belonged to the Annisquam (Mass.) Yacht Club. Survivors include his wife of 64 years, Carolyn, two sons, four grandchildren, including Whitney Pearce Fitts ’02, and a great-granddaughter.
Roslyn E. Kramer '45
Roslyn E. Kramer ’45, October 7, 2007, in Newton, Mass., at 83. She served with the U.S. Navy WAVES as an aerographer. A chemist, she worked for hospitals and then established a career working in a U.S. Army lab researching and developing food and clothing. A devoted volunteer to the College, she was award a Colby Brick in 1995. She was active with various organizations, including the League of Women Voters. She was predeceased by a brother, Charles Kramer ’48.
Richard W. Billings '48
Richard W. Billings ’48, November 15, 2007, in Montville, Maine, at 83. Before Colby he served as a navigator in the Army Air Corps, rising to the rank of first lieutenant. He earned a master’s from Springfield College and a Ph.D. from LaSalle University, then worked for 20 years as an executive for the YMCA in New York state. Returning to Maine, he worked in insurance, created the Informed Notaries of Maine, and started his own publishing company. Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Norma Taraldsen Billings ’46, three daughters and a son, two brothers, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Mildred Schnebbe Riordan '48
Mildred Schnebbe Riordan ’48, December 20, 2007, in Somers, N.Y., at 82. A self-employed bookkeeper, she worked for Riordan Business Services in Somers. Generous and independent, she loved to cook, play bridge, and be with her grandchildren. Survivors include her children, Lawrence Riordan, Linda Riordan, and Gail Ashley, two grandchildren, and a sister.
Charlene Bickford Bartlett '49
Charlene Bickford Bartlett ’49, November 20, 2007, in Auburn, Maine, at 80. She left Colby, married, and raised five children. She later earned her bachelor’s and her master’s from the University of Maine and taught first grade for 21 years in Topsham, Maine. Passionate about genealogy and history, she cofounded the Bowdoin [Maine] Historical Society and wrote a book about the town of Bowdoin’s cemeteries. An avid reader, she followed politics and current issues. Predeceased by her brother Kenneth R. Bickford ’38, she is survived by her husband, Charles, four children, two grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
Miriam Dickinson Hammond '49
Miriam Dickinson Hammond ’49, November 2, 2007, in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., at 81. She worked for a few years as a medical technologist in California, then devoted herself to her children and home. She is survived by her husband, Dick, a son and a daughter, and a granddaughter.
Anne Whitehouse Miller '49
Anne Whitehouse Miller ’49, November 26, 2007, in Tenants Harbor, Maine, at 80. She taught for 14 years at Kennebunkport (Maine) Consolidated School while raising her nine children. She earned a master’s in education in 1967. After moving to Tenants Harbor, she owned and operated the Cod End Fish Market for 33 years. Hard-working and independent, she loved her pets, the outdoors, knitting, and reading. Survivors include her husband of 60 years, Carlton D. Miller ’50, nine children including Susan Miller ’76, 14 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, and four step-grandchildren.
Donald E. Wentworth '50
Donald E. Wentworth ’50, January 6, 2008, in Kennebunk, Maine, at 80. He earned a master’s in education and an advanced diploma in secondary school education. He was a teacher and principal of the Dolan Middle School in Stamford, Conn., and a consultant to the Stamford Board of Education. A founding member of the Middlesex Genealogical Society, he also founded two men’s clubs in Stamford. The nephew of Colby Jack Coombs 1906, he was an avid baseball fan and enjoyed other sports as well. Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Theresa, and two brothers.
Barbara French Brandt '51
Barbara French Brandt ’51, December 30, 2007, in Westford, Mass., at 79. She was a housewife and dedicated mother who also parented troubled foster children. She traveled in Europe, New Zealand, and Asia and summered in the Adirondacks. Survivors include her husband, Roger, three children, and four grandchildren.
Richard P. Yeager '51
Richard P. Yeager ’51, June 17, 2007, in Waynesville, N.C., at 77. He served in the U.S. Naval Reserves from 1951 to 1953. He worked in retail, selling men’s apparel, was a Chicago Cubs fan, and enjoyed fishing. Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Lois, two daughters, five granddaughters, and a brother.
Donald Silverman Cameron '52
Donald Silverman Cameron ’52, September 9, 2007, in Snyder, N.Y., at 78. He received a master’s and a doctorate from New York University while building a career in banking. He became senior vice president for Chase Manhattan Bank, working for several years in London. Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Sally Shaw Cameron ’52, four children, and eight grandchildren.
Diane Sargent Larsen '52
Diane Sargent Larsen ’52, November 27, 2007, in Jacksonville, Fla., at 76. She was a housewife and raised the four children who survive her: Ric and Scott Larsen, Donna Evenson, and Kathi Simmons.
Sandra Thompson Cyr '53
Sandra Thompson Cyr ’53, December 29, 2007, in Bangor, Maine, at 75. A schoolteacher for 20 years in northern Maine, she retired in 1983 after suffering injuries from a car accident. She played the organ at the Limestone (Maine) United Methodist Church, was a reader, and loved to travel. Survivors include her husband of 51 years, Thomas, three sons and a daughter, two grandchildren, a sister, and several cousins including John H. Irwin III ’76 and Carla M. Thompson ’85.
William J. Yskamp '53
William J. Yskamp ’53, November 18, 2007, in Oakland, Calif., at 77. He was an editor for science textbooks and raised three children with his wife, Claire.
Ernest W. Flick '55
Ernest W. Flick ’55, December 15, 2007, in Newburyport, Mass., at 73. He served in the Army National Guard until 1960. He put his passion for chemistry to use as a literature scientist and technical writer for chemical companies and later as a freelance writer. He wrote formula information for more than 600 products, edited operating manuals, and wrote technical books. He is survived by his stepdaughter, Suzanne Leasenfeld, cousins, and friends.
Mark F. Sawyer '55
Mark F. Sawyer ’55, January 23, 2008, in Gothenburg, Neb., at 75. He worked for the meatpacking company IBP, Inc., in Nebraska doing construction and special projects within the plant. Survivors include his children, Toni Finn, Mona Price, Ruth White, and Steve Sawyer, a stepdaughter, two grandchildren, a brother, and two sisters, including Mary Sawyer Bartlett ’61.
Donald D. Gerry '56
Donald D. Gerry ’56, November 19, 2007, in Bourne, Mass., at 73. He served in the Navy for nine years, spending time on the salvage vessel USS Preserver and the destroyer USS Davis. In 1968 he became proprietor of the Little Fan Gift Shop in Mashpee, Mass., which he ran until he became ill. Survivors include his wife, Rita, a son and two daughters, and seven grandchildren.
Russell A. Nahigian '56
Russell A. Nahigian ’56, January 31, 2008, in Arlington, Mass., at 73. He served in the U.S. Air Force before earning a master’s in engineering management at Northeastern. He was a computer specialist and worked for 15 years as a mathematician for the Department of Transportation. Survivors include his wife, Carol, three children, three grandchildren, and a sister.
Jean Haurand Furman '57
Jean Haurand Furman ’57, December 14, 2007, in Bridgewater, N.J., at 71. She was a chemist and earned a master’s in library information science from Pratt Institute. She worked as a technical information specialist for several companies including American Cyanamid and Exxon Biomedical Sciences and was honored by Sigma Xi, the scientific research society. An accomplished nature photographer and avid alpine gardener, she had photographs published and gave lectures on gardening and photography. Survivors include her husband, Frank, two sons, a brother, and three grandchildren.
Dana F. Danforth '66
Dana F. Danforth ’66, December 21, 2007, in Belfast, Maine, at 63. He earned an M.A.T. in French from the University of Maine and taught French for 36 years at Mt. Greylock Regional High School in Williamstown, Mass. From 1981 to 2004 he and his wife served as resident directors of the Williamstown chapter of A Better Chance, helping underrepresented youth. He was predeceased by his great-aunt, Ninetta M. Runnals 1908. Survivors include his wife, Judith, two sons, two brothers including Stephen C. Danforth ’63, two sisters, two granddaughters, and two great-grandchildren.
Frederick H. Burr '71
Frederick H. Burr III ’71, January 13, 2008, in Manhattan Beach, Calif., at 58. He lived in Steamboat Springs, Colo., for many years and was co-owner of the Coral Grille Seafood Restaurant. In California, he owned the Action Smog Center. Sports, the outdoors, skiing, and coaching his sons’ teams were his passions. Survivors include his wife, Lynn, two sons, and a sister.
Richard J. Gleason '75
Richard J. Gleason ’75, February 13, 2008, in Mansfield, Mass., at 53. He earned a master’s in geology from Dartmouth and established a career in environmental restoration and hazardous waste remediation. Survivors include his wife, Ellen, a son and a daughter, a grandson, a brother, and his parents.
Ellen C. Ross '78
Ellen C. Ross ’78, July 3, 2007, in Basking Ridge, N.J., at 50. She earned a doctorate in physical therapy from New York University. She taught at Columbia University and at the University of Medicine and Dentistry, New Jersey. An avid gardener, she also enjoyed the ocean, hiking, and bicycling. Survivors include her husband, Bob, two children, her parents, and two sisters.
John A. Lancaster '79
John A. Lancaster ’79, December 2, 2007, in Caribou, Maine, at 51. He graduated from the New England Institute of Mortuary Science and became a funeral director and co-owner of Lancaster-Morgan Funeral Home in Caribou. He was a competitive chess player, worked on and rode motorcycles, and played bass guitar. Survivors include his sons, Tyler and Casey, and his mother.
W. Jeff Dropo '80
W. Jeff Dropo ’80, January 17, 2008, in Sandwich, Mass., at 50. He was a business executive for TNT Fireworks, headquartered in Alabama, but made time for lobster fishing off Cape Cod. A triathlete and avid swimmer, he was a volunteer swim coach at the YMCA-Cape Cod, and had as his motto “Never Give In.” Survivors include his wife, Susan, three children, and two sisters.
Andrew Peff '11
Andrew M. Peff ’11, January 19, 2008, in Carrabassett Valley, Maine, at 19. He died in a snowboarding accident at Sugarloaf. A first-year student, he had arrived on campus two weeks earlier, following a semester at the Colby in Dijon program. Originally from Jenkintown, Pa., he is survived by his parents, Thomas and Ann, and three siblings.