Obituaries from the Summer 2009 Colby Magazine
Lucile Blanchard French McMullen '32
Lucile Blanchard French McMullen '32, March 6, 2009, in Waterville, Maine, at 97. She lived in Waterville her entire life, working for the Morning Sentinel, at a nursery school, and as clerk of courts. She belonged to the Waterville's Women's Club, Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Mayflower Society. Predeceased by her brother Webster C. Blanchard '38, she is survived by her daughters, Margaret and Faith.
Marjorie Hooper Lawler '32
Marjorie Hooper Lawler '32, May 11, 2009, in Amesbury, Mass., at 98. She was an elementary school teacher in Attleboro, Mass. for 25 years, an organist for the Water Village Church, and a member of the historical society. She did cross-stitch and at 90 won a blue ribbon at the Topsfield Fair for a cross-stitch entry. Survivors include her children, Nancy Lewis and Richard Elwell, a stepdaughter, eight grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren.
Christo T. Nasse '32
Christo T. Nasse '32, April 5, 2009, in Ormond Beach, Fla., at 102. He worked as a foreman with American Optical Company for 20 years, after which he earned his master's in education from Worcester State College in 1961. He taught high school in Massachusetts until 1976. He played shuffleboard and bowled in a league. Predeceased by his brother, John T. Nasse '29, M.D., he is survived by his children, Francis and Sharon, one granddaughter, and one great-granddaughter.
George T. Pugsley '34
George T. Pugsley '34, March 28, 2009, in Peabody, Mass., at 97. He served with the Navy during World War II, retiring as a lieutenant colonel in 1972. He held management positions at A.C. Lawrence Leathers, was a member of the Danvers Historical Society, and belonged to the congregational church. Predeceased by his father, John B. Pugsley 1905, he is survived by daughters Gerri Hill and Marcia Pugsley, two grandchildren, and one great-grandson.
Frederick A. Schreiber '34
Frederick A. Schreiber '34, Jan. 10, 2009, in Beverly Hills, Calif., at 95. He worked for the Federation of Jewish Welfare Organizations and then enlisted with the Army during World War II. He was a government employee and was named the 1970 Outstanding Defense Supply Agency Employee. He was a Colby overseer from 1980 to 1989, played golf, and was interested in East Asian studies. He and his wife, Eve, raised two children
Arthur W. Stetson, Jr. '34
Arthur W. Stetson Jr. '34, Nov. 8, 2008, in Mechanicsburg, Pa., at 97. He earned an LL.B. in 1937 and a J.D. in 1987, both from Boston University. He served with the Army in World War II, practiced law, and then worked as a consultant with the Veteran's Administration. Predeceased by his father, Arthur W. Stetson 1907, he is survived by two children, Arthur W. Stetson II and Nancy Starling, seven grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.
Howard C. Pritham '36
Howard C. Pritham '36, April 30, 2009, in Orono, Maine, at 94. He earned his M.D. from Tufts in 1940 and then served as a physician in World War II, where he earned a Purple Heart. He practiced medicine in Maine and then in the Panama Canal Zone for 26 years. In retirement he fished, hunted, and made canoe paddles, pack baskets, and seven cedar canoes. Survivors include his first wife, Dorothy Van Arsdale, seven children, 10 grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.
Margaret Libbey Darlow '37
Margaret Libbey Darlow '37, April 17, 2009, in Westborough, Mass., at 93. A homemaker and mother, she loved to read, feed the birds, and travel. Predeceased by her grandfather, William Libbey 1871, she is survived by four children, Ruth Hrenko, Richard Darlow, Peter Darlow, and Paul Darlow, eight grandchildren, three grandchildren, and cousins, including Martha S. Fleming '73.
Robert H. Neumer '38
Robert H. Neumer '38, April 25, 2009, in St. Louis Park, Minn., at 91. He served with the 10th Mountain Division ski troops during World War II. He was a founding partner of Dundee Landscaping Company, where he worked into his 80s. Survivors include his daughter, Joann Armstrong, and a grandson.
Brewster A. Branz '40
Brewster A. Branz '40, April 5, 2009, in Portland, Maine, at 90. He served with the Army during World War II. He was president of Guardian Finance Corporation and was a director and president of the Credit Bureau of Greater Portland. He served the Jewish community, taught ESL, and volunteered with the visually disabled. He traveled, learned languages, and played golf, tennis, and bridge. Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Muriel, three sons, and seven grandchildren, including Naomi Branz '07.
Ruth Levensalor Crowley '40
Ruth Levensalor Crowley '40, March 22, 2009, in Farmingdale, Maine, at 91. In 1990 she received an honorary A.B. from Colby as she had left after two years to attend Boston University School of Law. She practiced law from 1941 to 1966, when she was appointed Maine's first woman assistant attorney general, a post she held until 1978. She was a past worthy grand matron of the Maine Order of Eastern Star. She traveled extensively and volunteered in hospices in Maine and Florida. Survivors include her son, William, a granddaughter, and two great-granddaughters.
Roger M. Stebbins '40
Roger M. Stebbins '40, May 22, 2009, in Sequim, Wash., at 91. He served as captain in the Army during World War II and then worked as a buyer for Sears, Roebuck and Co. for 35 years. He was active with civic boards, Kiwanis, and the Episcopal church. He golfed, painted with oil, grew roses, and traveled extensively. He was predeceased by his sister, Ruth Stebbins Cadwell '41, and brother, Seabury T. Stebbins '48. Survivors include his wife of 68 years, Ruth Gould Stebbins '40, a son, three grandchildren, and sisters-in-law Marjorie Murphy Shuman '37 and Dorothy Gould Rhoades '36.
Barbara Partridge Dyer '41
Barbara Partridge Dyer '41, March 15, 2009, in Yarmouth, Maine, at 89. She was a secretary and bookkeeper until 1954, when she devoted herself to her family and home. She played bridge, read, and enjoyed needlepoint. Survivors include her husband of 56 years, Vernelle W. “Cappy” Dyer Jr. '40, three children, Dee Lynne, Bruce '77, and Donna, and five grandchildren.
Claire Tilley Henderson '41
Claire Tilley Henderson '41, March 24, 2009, in Beverly Hills, Fla., at 89. While raising her children and keeping her home, she was a substitute teacher in New Jersey and Connecticut. She was proficient in quilting, making braided rugs, knitting, and crocheting. Survivors include her daughters, Anne and Mary Claire, three grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
Helen Henry Merritt '42
Helen Henry Merritt '42, May 12, 2009, in DeKalb, Ill., at 88. She earned a master's in art, a master's in fine arts, and was a scholar of Japanese prints. She taught school at all levels and received the 1990 Distinguished Teaching Award at Northern Illinois University. She preserved historic houses, donated 40 acres of original prairie to DeKalb County, and endowed an art scholarship and lecture series at NIU. Survivors include her husband, Jim, a daughter, two grandchildren, and a brother.
Jean C. Lesaar '43
Jean C. Lesaar '43, March 15, 2009, in Winter Springs, Fla., at 87. He was a counterintelligence officer for the Army during World War II. He worked for an advertising agency, but his passion was stamp collecting. He owned three retail stamp stores in Chicago and he volunteered for Habitat for Humanity and Audubon Birds of Prey sorting and selling donated stamps. Survivors include his wife, Susan, three sons, six grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
Elias R. Nawfel '44
Elias R. Nawfel '44, March 31, 2009, in Waterville, Maine, at 86. He earned a D.M.D. from Tufts Dental School in 1946 and then served in the Army Dental Corps. He practiced dentistry in the Waterville area for 60 years, retiring in 2008. He enjoyed the violin, sports, and reading. Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Jamila, his children, RoseMarie Nawfel Stamboulides '80, Richard D. Nawfel '82, and Elias J. Nawfel '84, five sisters, and three grandchildren.
Lottie Wanagel Roy '44
Lottie Wanagel Roy '44, March 29, 2009, in Manchester, Conn., at 86. She received her master's from the University of Connecticut and then taught school in Connecticut for more than 30 years. Survivors include her husband, George, two daughters, two granddaughters, and a brother.
Elizabeth Lohnes Grudin '45
Elizabeth Lohnes Grudin '45, April 9, 2009, in State College, Pa., at 87. She earned a master's in early childhood education at Columbia University and then taught kindergarten in Granville, Ohio, where she also coached the high school chess club. She was active in the Democratic party, worked to preserve the environment, and served 20 years on a local board to end poverty. Survivors include her sons, Jonathan and Thaddeus, four grandchildren, and a brother.
Elizabeth Richmond Anthony '47
Elizabeth Richmond Anthony '47, Jan. 12, 2009, in Houston, Texas, at 83. She taught English in Maine, Massachusetts, and Texas and at the American Academy for Girls in Uskudar, Turkey. She was active in her hospital auxiliary, her church, and the P.E.O. sisterhood. Survivors include her daughters, Judith Anthony and Susan Munson, a brother, and two grandsons.
Beverly Bailey Beaulieu '48
Beverly Bailey Beaulieu '48, April 23, 2008, in Lewiston, Maine, at 82. She was a bookkeeper and a secretary in Livermore Falls, Maine. She quilted, painted with watercolors, and belonged to the Livermore Falls Historical Society. Predeceased by her father, Carleton M. Bailey '18, she is survived by her children, Brian, Jay, Roberta Simoneau, and Nancy Dalessandro, 12 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and cousins including Philip Bailey '51.
Gordon T. Miller '48
Gordon T. Miller '48, March 9, 2009, in Briarwood, Mass., at 86. He served with the Army's Medical Services Corps during World War II, earned an M.B.A. from Harvard, and worked in business for more than 30 years. He served on numerous professional and community boards and was president of Colby's Worcester (Mass.) Alumni Association. He attended Elderhostels, was active in his church for more than 70 years, and attained life membership at the Worcester Country Club. Survivors include three children, Donna Barsotti, Elfreda Skidmore, and William Miller, a brother, and four grandchildren.
Gilbert Y. Taverner '48
Gilbert Y. Taverner '48, April 22, 2009, in Concord, Mass., at 88. He received a master of divinity degree from Boston University and an honorary doctor of divinity from Simpson College. He was an ordained Methodist minister, and from 1948 to 1982 he served churches in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He delivered sermons without notes and rewrote familiar hymns using contemporary words. From 1982 to 2002 he served St. George's School as assistant chaplain, professor, and historian. Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Elizabeth, a stepdaughter, two grandsons, and twin great-granddaughters.
William G. Hurley '49
William G. Hurley '49, Oct. 19, 2008, in Spring, Texas, at 84. He served with the Air Force and then worked as a regional supervisor for Shell Oil Company.
Dorothy Goodridge Donovan '50
Dorothy Goodridge Donovan '50, Jan. 14, 2009, in Vienna, Va., at 79. She worked for GTE (now Verizon) and was a homemaker. Survivors include a cousin, a sister-in-law, and two nephews.
Margaret Brown Christie '52
Margaret Brown Christie '52, March 18, 2009, in Hartford, Conn., at 78. She worked as a technician in hospital labs before opting to be a stay-at-home mom. Later in life she worked for Shaklee Corporation out of her home. She was involved with the League of Women Voters and the Sierra Club and enjoyed travel. Survivors include her husband, Douglas, her children, Anne Christie, Jean Christie Mejia '83, and James Christie, a grandson, and a sister.
Jeanne Strickland Larcher '53
Jeanne Strickland Larcher '53, May 1, 2009, in Perdido, Fla., at 77. She earned two bachelor's degrees, in nursing and in psychology, and two master's degrees, in nursing and in counseling. Her 50-year nursing career included teaching, mental health counseling, and surgical nursing. She was a voracious reader and enjoyed sailing, fishing, and cooking. Survivors include her partner, Richard Hanks, five children, and two grandchildren.
Richard H. Berns '54
Richard H. Berns '54, March 17, 2009, in Hilton Head, S.C., at 76. He served in the Air Force during the Korean War and then returned to Colby to finish his degree in 1956. He held various positions in sales and marketing, most recently with the Marriott Corporation. Survivors include his wife, Joan, three sons, six grandchildren, and two brothers.
Joel Farbish '54
Joel Farbish '54, Dec. 18, 2008, in Worthington, Ohio, at 75. He served in the U.S. Army and then earned an M.B.A. from New York University in 1958. He was a controller in the Food Division of Borden Food Corp. for 30 years. Survivors include his wife, Phyllis, two daughters, and six grandchildren.
Constance Rhodenizer Knight '54
Constance Rhodenizer Knight '54, Dec. 30, 2008, in Laconia, N.H., at 76. A mother and homemaker, she was a reader, gardener, and Red Sox fan. Predeceased by her sister Jean Rhodenizer Fontaine '46 and her brother Harold Rhodenizer '42, she is survived by her husband, Alexis, six children, a sister, a brother, and six grandchildren.
Donald F. Miller '55
Donald F. Miller '55, April 11, 2009, in Pompano Beach, Fla., at 76. He was an executive for Merriam-Webster, Inc., and he loved animals. Survivors include his sister-in-law, Edna Miller, two nephews, and his beagle, Lulu.
Robert R. Russo '57
Robert R. Russo '57, April 9, 2009, in Pensacola, Fla., at 74. He worked as a manager for Warner Cable (now Cox Communications) and was active with the Methodist church. Survivors include his wife, Edie, six children, 15 grandchildren, and two sisters.
John W. Parkes '64
John W. Parkes '64, March 29, 2009, in Clifton Park, N.Y., at 86. He served in the military from 1941 to 1966 and earned a World War II Victory Medal and a Bronze Star for service in Vietnam. He earned his Colby degree while stationed as part of the ROTC staff from 1960 to 1965. His second career was as a budget analyst for the New York Department of Labor. Survivors include his wife, Pauline, a daughter, two grandchildren, and a sister.
Ann Drinker Retherford '66
Ann Drinker Retherford '66, May 21, 2009, in Mystic, Conn., at 65. She earned a master's in education from Leslie College and was an elementary school teacher. Survivors include her husband, Earl, two children, six grandchildren, her mother, and a brother.
Jonathan B. Welch '68
Jonathan B. Welch '68, March 16, 2009, in Boston, Mass., at 66. He earned a master's from the University of New Hampshire and a doctorate from the University of Connecticut. He taught for 32 years at Northeastern University, where he chaired the finance department and was associate dean of the graduate school of business. He was a consultant for utility, financial services, and technology companies and taught in France, Ecuador, Ireland, and Spain. He sailed the New England coast and was active in his church. Survivors include his wife, SueEllen, three daughters, and three grandchildren.
Peter G. Gilfoy '70
Peter G. Gilfoy '70, April 3, 2009, in Sherborn, Mass., at 61. He was the third generation to run the family business, Gilfoy Distributing Company. He played tennis, golfed, and summered on Nantucket. He was predeceased by his father and mother, Donald A. '40 and Helen Brown Gilfoy '40. Survivors include his wife, Margaret Wiehl Gilfoy '71, two sons, and two sisters.
Christine Schopp Kennedy '73
Christine Schopp Kennedy '73, March 21, 2009, in Naples, Fla., at 57. She worked in publishing doing translations and later worked as a design assistant. Survivors include her husband, David.
Meredith Jewett Libby '73
Meredith Jewett Libby '73, March 30, 2009, in Buxton, Maine, at 59. She taught elementary school in Maine, enjoyed nature, and logged wood in the forests of southern Maine. Survivors include her husband, Eugene, a son, her parents, and a brother.
Susan Reilly Szum '78
Susan Reilly Szum '78, May 30, 2009, in East Walpole, Mass., at 52. She worked as an audit manager for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, retiring in 2002. She died of cancer. Survivors include her husband, John, three children, her parents, a sister, Kathryn Reilly Bolduc '81, two brothers, and cousins Karen Reilly Quirk '88 and Matthew Quinlan '10.
Michael F. Romano '81
Michael F. Romano '81, March 18, 2009, in West Hartford, Conn., at 49. He was an insurance executive for 10 years and founded the Center School for Martial Arts. An accomplished athlete, he was also an avid supporter of his children's sports teams. He died of cancer. Survivors include his mother, Ann, his wife, Leslie, four children, and a sister.
Arthur C. Nagle '87
Arthur C. Nagle '87, April 16, 2009, in Los Angeles, Calif., at 44. He earned a master's in education administration and then taught English, coached basketball, and was an administrator in private schools in five states. He ran the Long Beach Marathon in 2005 and completed the Los Angeles Triathlon in 2008. He died of cancer. He was predeceased by his great-grandmother, Molly Pearce Putnam 1908, his grandmother, Cordelia Putnam Inman '33, and cousin Hannah Putnam Burbank '41. Survivors include his parents, Robert and Molly, his wife, three children, a brother, and two sisters.
Robert J. Garland '89
Robert J. Garland '89, April 25, 2009, in Los Angeles, Calif., at 42. He earned an M.B.A. from Monterey Institute of International Studies and then worked at ING Advisors Network and at Capital Group, Inc. He had a passion for experiencing other cultures, coached youth sports, and savored time with his family. He died of cancer. Survivors include his wife, Hillary, three children, his parents, his grandmothers, a brother, and a sister.
Jon A. Robinson '89
Jon A. Robinson '89, Feb. 24, 2009, in Urbana, Ill., at 41. He was a building services foreman at the University of Illinois who golfed, read, and traveled. He was an avid Red Sox and New England Patriots supporter. He died of cancer. Survivors include his wife, Julie, his parents, a son, and a brother.
W. Corbett Bishop '93
W. Corbett Bishop '93, May 1, 2009, in Arusha, Tanzania, at 38. A climbing guide, first in the Pacific Northwest, he guided in Tanzania and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro more than 100 times. In 1996 he started Corbett Bishop Safaris, which he ran until his death of an apparent heart attack. Fluent in Swahili, he founded Ol Tukai Conservancy in Tanzania, wrote articles and lectured about conservation, and produced programs for the Discovery Channel. He was a musician, birder, and a truth seeker who respected the land. Survivors include his children, Luca and Ella, his parents, his stepfather, the mother of his children, and his grandmothers.
Shareen Abbasy '05
Shareen Abbasy '05, March 17, 2009, in New York, N.Y., at 26. She worked as a paralegal and most recently at the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Described as a strong and courageous spirit, she died of cancer. Survivors include her mother, Diana Abbasy, her brother, and her maternal grandparents.