Issue: or Class Year:

Obituaries from the Winter 2011 Colby Magazine

Charles W. Bassett

Charles W. Bassett, Oct. 19, 2010, in Waterville, Maine, at 78. He earned Ph.D. in English from the University of Kansas and in 1969 came to Colby. He played a pivotal role in establishing Colby's American Studies Program and served as its director for 25 years. He chaired Colby's English Department in the 1980s, was named a Dana Professor in 1983, and was appointed Lee Family Professor of English and American Studies in 1994. In 1994 he won the first Mary C. Turpie Award from the American Studies Association. He was the first recipient of Colby's Senior Class Teaching Award, later named for him, and won the first Alumni Association award for service to alumni. Survivors include his children, David and Elizabeth, and three grandchildren.

Robert G. Doel

Robert G. Doel, Nov. 21, 2010, in Waterville, Maine, at 79. Educated at Heidelberg College, Kent State, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, he came to Colby in 1965 and taught sociology for 20 years. In retirement he sailed the coast of Maine and Canada and hiked and fished in the Pacific Northwest and in Argentina. Survivors include his wife, Priscilla Doel, professor emerita of Portuguese and Spanish, and a daughter

Robert E.L. Strider II

Robert E.L. Strider II, M.A. '57. Litt.D. '79, Nov. 28, 2010, in Boston, Mass., at 93. President of Colby from 1960 to 1979, he came to the College as dean of faculty in 1957 and was a life trustee as president emeritus. He earned a B.A. and a Ph.D. at Harvard and held honorary degrees from Colby and 10 other colleges. Predeceased by his wife, Helen Bell Strider, he is survived by his children, Mary Bruenn, Robert, William, and Elizabeth Dain, three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren, a sister, Barbara Kuehn, and brother David Strider.

Nancy Nivison Hamilton '33

Nancy Nivison Hamilton '33, Nov. 13, 2010, in Deer Isle, Maine, at 98. She was an accomplished pianist and organist and was a founding member of the Pioneer Valley (Mass.) Symphony. She worked as a home decorator with Hamilton Interiors, a family-owned business. Survivors include her children, Douglas, Margaret Smith, and Barbara Martin, seven grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

Annabelle White Messer Jameson '36

Annabelle White Messer Jameson '36, Oct. 12, 2010, in Rockport, Maine, at 94. She taught high school in Maine for 23 years while also raising her children. Active with the historical society, her church, and Delta Kappa Gamma sorority, she loved to garden, read, and fish. She was widowed twice but is survived by her daughters, Nancy Howard, Lorna Pyzynski, Diane Jerome, and Lorraine Tames, seven grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren.

Marion Libby Warren '36

Marion Libby Warren '36, Nov. 3, 2010, in Brunswick, Maine, at 97. She earned a teaching degree from Presque Isle Normal School and was a homemaker most of her life. She was a den mother for Cub Scouts, a member of the Baptist Church, and delivered Meals on Wheels. Survivors include her children, Paul, Vernon, Cathy Blackstone, and Mary Sharp, seven grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren.

Pearl Hoyt Coffin '37

Pearl Hoyt Coffin '37, Nov. 28, 2010, in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, at 95. She was a homemaker and mother who belonged to the Baptist church. Survivors include her daughters, Elaine, Donna, and Norma, 10 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren.

Katherine Coffin Mills '39

Katherine Coffin Mills '39, Oct. 4, 2010, in Farmington, Maine, at 93. She taught high school English for 35 years, retiring in 1991 as head of the English department at Mount Blue High School. She earned a master's in English in 1972 and was mentor and public speaking coach to many. She traveled widely, volunteered with numerous organizations, and was active with civic organizations. She was predeceased by her former husband, S. Peter Mills '34. Survivors include her children, Peter, David, Janet '69, Paul, and Dora Anne, five grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and two siblings.

Edwin F. Savage '39

Edwin F. Savage '39, Nov. 29, 2010, in Benton, Maine, at 92. He graduated from Kansas City University Dental School and then served in the Navy. He established a dental practice in Fairfield, Maine, and served on the Fairfield town council and in other municipal offices. He was married twice and had five children.

Ruth Blake Thompson '40

Ruth Blake Thompson '40, Nov. 5, 2010, in Montpelier, Vt., at 91. A mother and homemaker, she volunteered and taught Sunday school and sewing classes. Survivors include her sister, Mary Louise Endicott, three children, four grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Elmer L. Baxter '41

Elmer L. Baxter '41, Nov. 21, 2010, in Bar Harbor, Maine, at 91. He served as an Air Force meteorologist in World War II and the Korean War, stationed in Greenland and Newfoundland. He worked in insurance, was active with his church, and was a scoutmaster. He spoke Russian and Esperanto, which he taught to seniors, and he loved railroads and volunteered as a conductor for the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad. He was predeceased by his wife, Elizabeth (Sweetser '41). Survivors include his sons, Ledyard '67, David '70, and Benjamin, four grandchildren, and a great-grandchild.

M. Eleanore King Clark '41

M. Eleanore King Clark '41, Nov. 28, 2010, in Kennebunkport, Maine, at 91. She ran a hotel in Kennebunkport with her husband for nearly 25 years while also raising her children, leading a Girl Scout troop, and substitute teaching. She later worked as a teaching assistant in Portland, where she volunteered for Meals on Wheels and Laudholm Trust. She studied birds and wildflowers, painted watercolors, and knitted. Survivors include her children, Cissy, Robin, and Peter, and six grandchildren, including Jamie Enos '08.

Mildred Van Valkenburg Demartini '41

Mildred Van Valkenburg Demartini '41, Sept. 22, 2010, in Vero Beach, Fla., at 89. A homemaker and mother, she belonged to AAUW and played duplicate bridge. Survivors include her husband of 66 year, Felix, three children, nine grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Virginia Moore Fremon '41

Virginia Moore Fremon '41, Nov. 29, 2010, in Hackettstown, N.J., at 92. She earned her B.S. at Columbia Presbyterian School of Nursing and then worked as an R.N. at the hospital there. She was active with her church and sang in the choir. She was also an equestrian. Survivors include her husband, Richard, four children, seven grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and a sister.

Priscilla Hathorn White '42

Priscilla Hathorn White '42, Dec. 15, 2010, in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, at 89. She was a Maine high school teacher for 49 years, retiring from Foxcroft Academy in 1991. She was active with local and state teachers associations and other community organizations, including Daughters of the American Revolution. Survivors include her sons, Robert and Jere, six grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

Leonard G. Cohen '43

Leonard G. Cohen '43, Nov. 30, 2010, in Longboat Key, Fla., at 88. He served in World War II, earned his dental degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1946, and then served in the dental corps during the Korean War. He practiced dentistry after the war for 40 years in New Bedford, Mass., where he was also active with his synagogue. Survivors include his wife of nearly 66 years, Florence, two daughters, and a grandson.

Ruth Howes Mistark '43

Ruth Howes Mistark '43, Oct. 10, 2010, in Scarborough, Maine, at 89. She earned a master's in occupational therapy from Tufts in 1946, and then was a welder and shipfitter with Fore River Shipyard during World War II. She later worked in OT in Worcester, Mass. She retired and moved to Cliff Island, Maine, and was a caterer for 20 years. She also enjoyed reading, needle crafts, and cooking. She was predeceased by father, Seth Howes Class of 1914, and her sister, Katherine Howes Brooks ’44. Survivors include her son, James.

Katherine Howes Brooks '44

Katherine Howes Brooks '44, Dec. 5, 2010, in Portland, Maine. She traveled and lived around the world while her husband was in the foreign service. She taught English at foreign colleges, managed a commissary, and wrote poetry. She was predeceased by her father, Seth Howes Class of 1914, her husband, Wendall Brooks '42, and her sister, Ruth Howes Mistark '43. Survivors include her daughters, Wendie Geiger and Katherine Brooks, two grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter.

Harold L. Vigue '44

Harold L. Vigue '44, Oct. 17, 2010, in Waterville, Maine, at 88. He left Colby to serve with the Army Air Corps during World War II and received the Soldier's Medal for noncombat valor. He returned to Colby and then worked in sales for Maine broadcasting companies, eventually becoming president of Capital Communications Corp. In 1988 he was Maine Broadcaster of the Year. He served on many professional, civic, and sports boards in central Maine. Survivors include his children, James '72, John '76, Jeffrey, and Julie '83, and four grandchildren.

Margery Dodge Radomski '46

Margery Dodge Radomski '46, Nov. 11, 2010, in South Miami, Fla., at 85. After raising her four children she worked as a secretary, bookkeeper, and respiratory therapist. Survivors include her niece Ann Dodge '77.

Janet M. DeWitt '48

Janet M. DeWitt '48, Sept. 23, 2010, in Syracuse, N.Y., at 84. She was a biochemist at the Syracuse University College for Medicine for more than 30 years. She bowled and was an active volunteer. Survivors include several cousins and her beloved cat, Muffin.

David C. Roberts '48

David C. Roberts '48, Nov. 8, 2010, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., at 87. He left Colby to serve with the Air Force during World War II. After an honorable discharge, he graduated from Colby and then began a 40-year career with the John Hancock Life Insurance Company. He served on the Cumberland County Civic Center board and was appointed to the Maine Agent's Ethics Committee for Life and Health Insurance. He sang in the church choir and belonged to the Lions Club. Survivors include his wife, Ruth, two daughters, four grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and a sister.

Beverley Hayward Teague '49

Beverley Hayward Teague '49, Oct. 18, 2010, in Fairfield, Maine, at 82. A dedicated mother and housewife, she belonged to the Methodist church, the women's club, and the Maine Children's Home for Little Wanderers. In 1976 Maine Governor Longley appointed her to the Governor's Committee on Children and Youth. Survivors include her children, Jennifer Morrisseau and Jack Teague, and four grandchildren.

Henry F. Poirier '50

Henry F. Poirier '50, Sept. 21, 2010, in Waterville, Maine, at 85. Following high school he served in the Navy during World War II. After Colby he earned a D.D.S. from the University of Montreal. He practiced dentistry in Waterville for more than 40 years and belonged to the Maine Dental Association. He was a member of the Lions Club, enjoyed tennis and golf, and was an energetic skier who raced in the first Sugarloaf Schuss. Survivors include his twin sister, Henrietta St. Onge, three children, and two grandchildren.

Geoffrey S. Lyford '51

Geoffrey S. Lyford '51, Oct. 10, 2010, in Edmonton, Alberta, at 84. He worked as a systems designer in upstate New York until he emigrated during the Vietnam War. He worked in systems with the University of Calgary, studied urban design, and then worked with Canada's federal government designing municipalities within parks, such as Banff and Jasper. Survivors include his wife, Florence (Roshanna) McDonell '51, three sons, four grandchildren, and three siblings.

Robert M. Roth '51

Robert M. Roth '51, Oct. 18, 2010, in West Hartford, Conn., at 80. He served as a first lieutenant in the Korean War. He worked as a stockbroker, and in 1967 he started Mark Securities. He umpired Little League, coached midget football, and started a girls' softball league. He served on the board of education, supported local charities, and loved to golf. Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Helen (Palen '51), three children, and seven grandchildren.

Joan Acheson Bridge '52

Joan Acheson Bridge '52, Nov. 14, 2010, in Augusta, Maine, at 79. She earned a master's from the University of Maine. She taught elementary school in New Hampshire and then French and Spanish at Cony High School in Maine. She was known as a humorous storyteller and she loved dogs. Survivors include her children, Allyn Bridge and Allison Pederson, two grandsons, and four brothers.

Henry L. Malloy '52

Henry L. Malloy '52, Oct. 22, 2010, in Waccabuc, N.Y., at 79. He earned his bachelor's from Villanova and then served in the Navy. He worked in advertising and insurance, retiring as vice president of Republic Hogg Robinson, now Wells Fargo. Survivors include his wife, Vivien, five children, eight grandchildren, and a brother.

Jean Paula Whitcomb Thornton '52

Jean Paula Whitcomb Thornton '52, Oct. 29, 2010, in Randolph, Vt., at 80. She was a proud homemaker and mother of nine who supported her children's activities. She loved to knit and was known for giving anyone a ride in her little yellow car. Survivors include nine children, 23 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Hershel L. Alpert '53

Hershel L. Alpert '53, Nov. 26, 2010, in New Bedford, Mass., at 78. After serving in the Army, he worked in the family business, eventually becoming president of Alperts Furniture as well as its subsidiaries. He was named retailer of the year by numerous organizations, chaired home furnishing associations, and worked as a consultant. He also served on the boards of community organizations. He was predeceased by his wife, Barbara (Weiss '53). Survivors include his children, Beth, Bruce, Peter, and Scott, seven grandchildren, a sister, and a brother-in-law, Robert Weiss '56.

John R. Faulkner '53

John R. Faulkner '53, Dec. 6, 2010, in Houlton, Maine, at 79. He built a 30-year career in the newspaper business, including stints as manager and editor of the Houlton Pioneer Times and then business manager and eventually executive editor at Northeast Publishing Company. In 2004 he was inducted into the Maine Press Association Hall of Fame. He was a fly-fisherman and a hunter as well as a master gardener. Survivors include his wife, Esther, three sons, and a grandson.

Elizabeth Winkler Laffey '53

Elizabeth Winkler Laffey '53, Oct. 3, 2010, in Vero Beach, Fla., at 79. She was a mother and a housewife who also ran a girls' summer camp in Massachusetts with her husband. Survivors include her husband of 57 years, George '53, two children, and four grandchildren.

Frank D. Kirby '63

Frank D. Kirby '63, Nov. 23, 2010, in Rocky Hill, Conn., at 69. He earned his law degree from New York University and then practiced as a bankruptcy attorney for 43 years in Boston and Worcester, Mass. He was a lifelong rugby player, an avid skier, and a golfer. Survivors include his wife, Jacqueline, two children, a grandson, two siblings, and his mother.

John E. Dahlfred '66

John E. Dahlfred '66, Oct. 1, 2010, in Boston, Mass., at 66. He joined the Army and served in Vietnam. He worked in the technology industry before starting his own business as a sales rep. He was also an antiques dealer who enjoyed antiques preservation and travel. Survivors include his wife, Sandra, two sons, Karl '98 and James, two stepdaughters, two grandchildren, and six step-grandchildren.

Anne Paul Schmidt '67

Anne Paul Schmidt '67, Nov. 14, 2010, in New London, Conn., at 65. She earned two master's degrees from Syracuse University. She was director of major gifts in Connecticut for the American Cancer Society and also served as executive director for the New London office. She volunteered with the garden club, New London Main Street, and the Rotary Club. Survivors include her husband, William, four children, and five grandchildren.

James R. Vaughan '67

James R. Vaughan '67, Oct. 15, 2010, in Middletown, Conn., at 64. He worked in personnel and ran his own recruiting agency for more than 20 years. He coached and umpired Little League, was a music aficionado, a food critic, and a collector of baseball cards and tin soldiers. Survivors include his wife, Linda (Allen '67), three children, four grandchildren, two siblings, and nieces and nephews, including Rebecca Allen '98.

Priscilla C. Austin '68

Priscilla C. Austin '68, Dec. 7, 2010, in Holden, Mass., at 63. She earned an M.B.A. from Simmons School of Management and worked as an administrative assistant and a paralegal. She sang in the Boston choral music community and performed with various ensembles. Survivors include her husband, Murray Kohn, and a brother.

Bruce D. McClellan '78

Bruce D. McClellan '78, Oct. 5, 2010, in Springfield, Mass., at 55. He worked a variety of jobs, most recently in the computer industry, and was an engaged husband and father. He died after a brief illness. Survivors include his wife, Kathleen, three children, his parents, and three siblings.

Sean S. Smith '79

Sean S. Smith '79, Oct. 18, 2010, in Littleton, Colo., at 52. He worked for 25 years as a teacher, advisor, coach, academic dean, and middle school principal at Colorado Academy, where he started a summer program for underprivileged children. He pursued graduate work at the University of St. Andrews (Scotland) from 1988 to 1990 and was head class agent at Colby. He loved to fish, ski, and backpack. He died from brain cancer. Survivors include his wife, Debra Perkins-Smith '77, and two children.

Kevin J. Farley '86

Kevin J. Farley '86, Sept. 28, 2010, in Santa Cruz, Calif., at 46. He worked in the computer technology industry, most recently with iControl Networks in Palo Alto. He was an outdoor enthusiast who championed the environment and animals. He died from melanoma. Survivors include his siblings, Pam, Rick, Kathy Thomas, Maureen Scott, and Jean D'Olimpio