Obituaries from the Fall 2011 Colby Magazine
R. Mark Benbow, Oct. 18, 2011, in Baltimore, Md., at 86. He earned his Ph.D. at Yale and joined Colby in 1950 as an instructor. He retired in 1990 as a full professor of English. In addition to teaching, including his renowned Shakespeare course, he served as chair of the English Department and as a member or chair of many College committees. He was known for his wide-ranging intellect, his insistence that students could and should be challenged to go beyond their own known limits, and his unwavering belief in the value of liberal arts education. Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Ann, four children, six grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and a sister.
Wallace Meredith Haselton
Wallace Haselton, Aug. 1, 2011, in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., at 89. A pilot with the Navy Air Corps during World War II and the Korean War, he was a business consultant and a bank executive known as the “father of interstate banking.” After retirement he worked to get equipment used for non-invasive treatment for heart problems placed throughout the country. He served as a Colby trustee for two terms, 1971-77 and 1978-81.
Ruth Ramsdell Elfstrom '32
Ruth Ramsdell Elfstrom '32, June 12, 2011, in Wheaton, Ill., at 99. She taught English literature and was dean of women at Lee (Maine) Academy and was also a saleswoman in Chicago for 10 years. She studied pipe organ at the American Conservatory of Music and was an organist and choir director at two churches in Chicago. She also gave private lessons in piano and violin. Survivors include her daughters, Debra Costas and Judith De Poe, two grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Muriel Walker Dubuc '34
Muriel Walker Dubuc '34, Aug. 23, 2011, in Winter Park, Fla., at 98. She was a recruiter with the Coast Guard in the early 1940s and stayed active with the reserves, retiring as a commander. She earned a master's from the University of Chicago and, while moving around with her Army husband, taught English in military schools overseas. She also taught in Maine when they returned in 1966. During retirement in Florida, she taught tai chi, line dancing, and bridge, stayed active with the DAR and Mayflower Society, and played golf. She and her husband established a scholarship fund at Colby. She was predeceased by her mother, Eva LaCasce Walker 1911. Survivors include nieces and nephews.
Beulah Fenderson Smith '36
Beulah Fenderson Smith '36, June 29, 2011, in Kittery, Maine, at 96. Along with her husband, she owned and operated the Elmere Campground in Kennebunk, Maine. She was also a poet and wrote the column “Touchtone” for the York County Coast Star. Predeceased by her husband, Robert Smith '37, she is survived by four children, Kaaren, Susan, Daniel, and Stephen.
Norman R Dow, Jr. '37
Norman R. Dow Jr. '37, Aug. 21, 2011, in Readfield, Maine, at 97. He served with the Army during World War II as an occupational counselor and then worked for the Social Security Administration. He loved horses and worked at local racetracks, first as race secretary and then as presiding judge. Survivors include his daughter, Susan.
Mary Fairbanks Haskell '37
Mary Fairbanks Haskell '37, Oct. 21, 2011, in Scarborough, Maine, at 95. A mother and homemaker, she was also a nursery school teacher who became the first director of the Manchester, Conn., Project Head Start. She was an avid card player and a world traveler. Predeceased by her husband of 69 years, J. Robert Haskell '37, she is survived by her sons, John, David '65, Robertson '72, and Richard, three grandsons, and three great-grandsons.
Lydia Lydia Farnham Johnson '40
Muriel Lydia Farnham Johnson '40, Oct. 12, 2011, in Belgrade Lakes, Maine, at 92. A mother and homemaker, she also ran Brass Knocker Gift Shops in Belgrade Lakes and Boca Raton, Fla. The gift shop in Maine was open from 1948 to 2011. She was active with her church, professional women's clubs, the Chamber of Commerce, and the historical society. She was predeceased by her brother, Frank Farnham '40. Survivors include her children, Cary, Carol '72, and Christopher, two granddaughters, a sister, Lucille Farnham Sturtevant '49, and nephews and nieces including Dawn Farnham '67.
Albert K. Sawyer '40
Albert K. Sawyer '40, Aug. 12, 2011, in Wilton, Maine, at 92. He served in the Army during World War II, after which he earned a master's in chemistry from the University of Maine. He taught chemistry at the University of New Hampshire for 36 years, was a judge at state science fairs, and taught workshops for high school teachers. He played the piano and organ, gardened, researched genealogy, and collected books. Survivors include his children, Kathryn, Albert Jr., Tom, and Dave, one grandson, two great-grandsons, and five siblings.
Marjorie Day Weeks '40
Marjorie Day Weeks '40, July 8, 2011, in Gorham, Maine, at 94. She was a housewife and mother but also did some teaching. Active in women's organizations, she belonged to a literary union, AAUW, and the League of Women Voters. Books, music, and gardening were her passions. Survivors include four children, Marsha, Steven, Susan, and Amy, seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Ada Vinecour Mandell '41
Ada Vinecour Mandell '41, Aug. 5, 2011, in Haverhill, Mass., at 90. She earned a master's from Boston University and then taught English at Syracuse University and North Essex Community College. For her involvement in her temple, community, and numerous organizations, she received a distinguished service award and a person of the year award from B'nai B'rith and in 1992 was elected to the YMCA Academy of Women. She loved theater and was a seasoned traveler and an avid bridge player. Survivors include her husband, Stuart, four children, two grandchildren, and a sister.
Gerald A. Gilson '42
Gerald A. Gilson '42, June 28, 2011, in Pacifica, Calif., at 89. He was a health and life insurance broker who was interested in his family and friends, classical and jazz music, politics, puzzles, and sports. Survivors include his wife, Elisabeth, and a son.
Gabriel J. Hikel '44
Gabriel J. Hikel '48, Aug. 6, 2011, in Pittsfield, Maine, at 91. He left Colby in 1942 to serve in World War II, returning after the war with a Purple Heart. He received a master's from NYU and then worked for 30 years at the Irving Tanning Company. He served on the boards of SAD 53, Maine Central Institute, and Sebasticook Valley Hospital. Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Zanie, two sons, three grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and two brothers
Freda Staples Smith '44
Freda Staples Smith '44, May 22, 2011, in Waterville, Maine, at 88. She worked as a secretary at Keyes Fibre while raising her children. She began taking classes at Thomas College in 1979 and in 2008, at 85, was awarded an associate's degree. She was predeceased by her mother, Margaret Brown Staples '17. Survivors include her children, Sherry and Scott, and four grandchildren.
Dorothy Sanford McCunn '45
Dorothy Sanford McCunn '45, Sept. 7, 2011, in Canaan, Conn., at 87. She was a housewife and mother who earned her master's in education in 1971. She subsequently taught kindergarten and second grade for 20 years. In retirement she was active with her church, the historical society, and numerous civic organizations. She served as the Class of 1945 correspondent and loved to travel. Survivors include her husband, Ian, two sons, and two grandsons.
Joyce Theriault Howell '46
Joyce Theriault Howell '46, July 6, 2011, in Robbinston, Maine, at 86. She was a housewife and mother who was active in her church, the historical society, and the local chapter of the Audubon Society. Survivors include her children, Janet and Franklin, two grandchildren, a great-granddaughter, and three siblings.
Dana I. Robinson '47
Dana I. Robinson '47, Sept. 17, 2011, in Portland, Maine, at 88. He served in the Navy during World War II and the Korean War. He had a lifelong interest in bettering U.S.-China relations; his job in the defense field and electronics industry allowed him to travel and live around the world, including many years in China. He was an avid tennis player and developed a passion for golf late in life. He was predeceased by his wife of 63 years, Harriet Nourse Robinson '47. Survivors include three sons, Steven, Davis, and Timothy, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Harriet Nourse Robinson '47
Harriet Nourse Robinson '47, Aug. 15, 2011, in Concord, N.H., at 85. She was a homemaker and mother who worked retail jobs. In the mid-1990s she and her husband moved to China, where she taught English, studied Chinese, and served with the International Newcomers Network. She enjoyed knitting and cooking and was deemed a great storyteller. She was predeceased by father, Newton Nourse '19. Survivors include her husband of 63 years, Dana Robinson '47, three sons, five grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, a sister, Frances Nourse Johnston '49, and nephews and nieces, including Judith Stanley Horn '65.
Everett B. Dowe, Jr. '48
Everett B. Dowe Jr. '48, July 4, 2011, in Windsor, Conn., at 85. He joined the Navy in 1943, served for a year before college, and then rejoined during the Korean War. He earned a master's in education from Trinity College and taught high school physics and chemistry for almost 30 years. For his work on the town council and conservation commission, and for serving as mayor, he was named Windsor's citizen of the year. He enjoyed reading, bowling, and playing cards. Survivors include his six children, 12 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Lesleigh Amlaw Perry '49
Lesleigh Amlaw Perry '49, Aug. 31, 2011, in White River Junction, Vt., at 84. She worked as a postal clerk in Hancock, Vt., for more than 25 years and was involved with her church, historical society, and senior center. She also served as trustee for the Hancock Public Library. Survivors include her daughters, Jean Middleton and Anne Perry, and three grandchildren.
John P. Harriman '50
John P. Harriman '50, Sept. 15, 2011, in San Diego, Calif., at 85. He worked at Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Company for 40 years. Survivors include his children, Eileen Miller, John Harriman, and Marty Harriman, and five grandchildren.
Robert E. Merriman '50
Robert E. Merriman '50, June 19, 2011, Exeter, N.H., at 82. He served in the Army during the Korean War and then worked in insurance, retiring as president and CEO of Acord Corporation in Pearl River, N.Y. Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Nancy Weare Merriman '52, four daughters, siblings Ruth Merriman '52 and Richard Merriman '57, and cousins, including John Edes '58.
Ruth Stetson Pittman '50
Ruth Stetson Pittman '50, July 19, 2011, in Wilton, N.H., at 82. A champion of the arts, she taught all ages at High Mowing School in Wilton and at Well School in Peterborough. She adored her students, supported performance arts, and loved ancient Chinese painting, Native American art, and everything Italian. Survivors include her daughters, Susan and Liz, and five grandchildren.
John R. Ely '51
John R. Ely '51, Aug. 3, 2011, in Naples, Fla., at 82. He served in the Army during the Korean War. He bought a taxi business in Westwood, N.J., and later also became a school bus contractor. In retirement he pursued his love of golf. Survivors include his wife, Eleanor, three children, and five grandchildren.
Duane A. Hurd '51
Duane A. Hurd '51, Aug. 16, 2011, in Waterville, Maine, at 86. He enlisted in the Navy at 17 to serve in World War II. After Colby he worked in insurance, played golf and tennis, and rooted for the Patriots. Survivors include his second wife, Marjorie, three children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Charles H. Whitelaw, Jr. '51
Charles H. Whitelaw Jr. '51, July 4, 2011, in Bingham Farms, Mich., at 82. He worked as an insurance agent for more than 40 years, retiring as partner in Steinhoff, Maas and Whitelaw Insurance Agency. He enjoyed golf and travel. Survivors include his wife, Anne, three children, nine grandchildren, and two sisters.
Norman B. Crook '52
Norman B. Crook '52, Oct. 4, 2011, in Marlow, Ala., at 81. He served in the Navy during the Korean War and then earned a master's of divinity from Hartford Seminary Foundation. He was ordained with the United Church of Christ, and while in the ministry he also worked with Bethany Homes. He traveled in an RV during retirement and worked at dog shows. He and his wife, Josette, raised four children.
Raymond C. Evans, Jr. '52
Raymond C. Evans Jr. '52, Aug. 22, 2011, in Aguanga, Calif., at 81. He served two years in the Navy during the Korean War and then earned a master's in history from Harvard. He taught high school for a few years before becoming a budget analyst for McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing). He was an avid proponent of education and enjoyed sailing. Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Marilyn (Crane '52), three children, and six grandchildren.
Robert T. Morton '52
Robert T. Morton '52, May 6, 2011, in Weston, Mass., at 81. In the mid-1950s he was a special agent with the Army and took graduate classes at the University of Maine. He became a management consultant and was president of his own company. Along with his wife, Nancy, he raised two children, including Heather Morton Tahan '85.
Joseph S. Bryant '53
Joseph S. Bryant '53, Sept. 18, 2011, in Brunswick, Maine, at 80. He served two years in the Navy in the Pacific. An educator, he worked as a high school English teacher, a guidance counselor, head of the guidance department, and eventually principal at Brunswick High School. He loved music and organized family jam sessions and faculty variety shows. Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Evelyn, two sons, and four granddaughters.
Ann Burger Noonan '53
Ann Burger Noonan '53, July 29, 2011, in Colorado Springs, Colo., at 79. A homemaker and mother, she was engaged with her church and AAUW, loved to travel, and played bridge and Scrabble. She was predeceased by her husband, Richard '54. Survivors include six children, 10 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and three brothers.
Roger C. Olson '53
Roger C. Olson '53, July 19, 2011, in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., at 80. He served in the Navy during the Korean War and then worked as a controller for Trans World Airlines. Along with his surviving wife, Dorothy (Forster '54), he raised three children. Survivors also include a brother, Clifford '64, and nephew John Olson '92.
Joanne Terrill Petersen '53
Joanne Terrill Petersen '53, June 20, 2011, in Bend, Ore., at 79. She worked briefly for the CIA and then married and raised her family. She was active with the Girl Scouts, ran a hardware store with her husband, and, later in life, earned her teaching certificate and master's degree. She taught high school for eight years before retiring. She was predeceased by her mother, Winifred Shaw Terrill '18, and is survived by her husband, Marven, three children, nine grandchildren, and a brother.
Laurence G. Taber '53
Laurence B. Taber '53, Aug. 18, 2011, in Morristown, N.J., at 80. He earned a master's from Stevens Institute of Technology and then served two years in the Army. He worked as a computer consultant for Union Carbide for 30 years. He was active with his church and the Shade Tree Authority and was borough historian for Madison, N.J. He gardened, collected antiques, and raised Scottish terriers. Survivors include his brother and numerous friends.
Robert B. Cross '54
Robert B. Cross '54, Aug. 3, 2011, in Suffield, Conn., at 79. He served in the Army during the Korean War and then earned an M.B.A. from Babson. He was a property manager and then a telecommunications manager for Konica. He earned life master status for duplicate bridge, enjoyed sports, and loved history. Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Helen Chambers Cross '55, two children, two granddaughters, and a sister.
Melvin D. Phillips '54
Melvin D. Phillips '54, Sept. 12, 2011, in Orlando, Fla., at 79. He served in the Army during the Korean War and before working for New York Telephone, where he became an office manager for what grew into AT&T. A reader, golfer, and history buff, he was a longtime member of the Masons and Rotary and served in leadership roles for the United Way and other civic organizations. Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Helen, three children, and three grandchildren.
Steven L. Dougherty '57
Steven L. Dougherty '57, Aug. 27, 2011, in Scarborough, Maine, at 75. He established a career in the beverage industry and in the 1970s became owner of Cumberland and York Distributors. He was involved with local politics and served on planning and zoning boards. He loved to sail and typically had a dog by his side. Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Mary Jane, three children, and seven grandchildren.
Charles B. Twigg '57
Charles B. Twigg '57, Oct. 21, 2011 in Wellesley, Mass., at 76. He was a lieutenant in the Navy until 1960, when he started working in sales. He subsequently owned two businesses and worked in commercial real estate. Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Julia Belzer Twigg '58, three daughters, including Charmaine Twigg Hartnett '87, 10 grandchildren, and a brother.
James S. Ventra '57
Jerome S. Ventra '57, Dec. 31, 2010, in Valley Stream, N.Y., at 74. He earned two law degrees-LL.B. and J.D.-from St. John's University and then was a judge advocate and an attorney in New York. He was active with the Lions Club, Knights of Columbus, and the Catholic Lawyer's Guild. Survivors include his children, Frank and Suzanne, and a sister.
Anthony E. Moore '59
Anthony E. Moore '59, May 17, 2011, in Danvers, Mass., at 74. He worked in the fishing industry in Maine, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. Beyond work he enjoyed fishing, reading, and watching science-fiction movies. Survivors include his wife, Christine, two children, including David Moore '91, and two grandsons.
Peter N. McFarlane '60
Peter N. McFarlane '60, June 29, 2011, in Evergreen, Colo., at 72. A Colby ROTC graduate, he joined the Air Force and served for 30 years, retiring as colonel. In 1974 he earned a master's in human relations from the University of Oklahoma. With his first wife, Helen (Johnson '61), he raised three children.
William W. Bassett '62
William W. Bassett '62, Sept. 10, 2011, in Tiverton, R.I., at 72. A businessman, he owned an automobile dealership, an antiques center, and a sporting goods retail and mail-order company. He served on the board of local organizations, loved sailing, and played chess. Survivors include his wife, Sharon, six children, and four grandchildren.
Richard M. Bonalewicz '63
Richard M. Bonalewicz '63, June 3, 2011, in North East, Pa., at 70. He served as an Air Force navigator during the Vietnam War and stayed active until 1991 as a liaison officer. He earned a master's at Sacramento State and a doctorate at University of Oregon, taught science and exercise courses at colleges in New York and Pennsylvania, and coached baseball. A father and mentor to more than 20 AFS students around the world, he was an ardent traveler, visiting more than 160 countries. Survivors include his wife, Marcia, three daughters, and five siblings.
Kenneth Federman Willinger '64
Kenneth Federman Willinger '64, Dec. 25, 2010, in Sagle, Idaho, at 68. He earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. He worked for Hawaii's Department of Health, consulted with the U.S. Navy's Alcohol Assessment Program, and taught in the University of Hawaii's departments of anthropology and counseling psychology-all while maintaining a private clinical psychology practice. In retirement in Idaho, he was a grief counselor and learned to sculpt and paint. Survivors include his wife, Wanita, his mother, a sister, and four cats.
Kennon W. Bryan '65
Kennon W. Bryan '65, April 13, 2011, in McLean, Va., at 67. He earned a law degree from the University of Virginia and then practiced law, becoming a partner, in Fairfax, Va. He was predeceased by his father, Herbert Bryan '33, and is survived by his wife, Sally Thompson Bryan '65, two daughters, five grandchildren, and a brother.
Jane Michener Riddell '66
Jane Michener Riddell '66, June 30, 2011, in Asheville, N.C., at 66. She was a homemaker and mother who later in life worked at Asheville Eye Associates. She directed her church choir, sang with the Sweet Adelines, and volunteered at a historical museum. She knitted slippers and afghans for troops overseas. Survivors include her husband, Matt '65, two sons, three siblings, and five grandchildren.
Curtis L. Smith III '71
Curtis L. Smith III '71, June 25, 2011, in Minnesota at 61. A master gardener, he had his own garden design business. He also loved reading, music, and dance and was a fly-fisherman and skier. Survivors include his wife, Kaye Denny, a son, his father, and four siblings. He died suddenly of a heart attack.
Linda A. Day '74
Linda A. Day '74, Aug. 2, 2011, in San Pedro, Calif., at 59. An artist and professor, she earned an M.F.A. from Pratt Institute. Her work was exhibited in galleries nationwide and is in private and museum collections. She won grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and several residency fellowships. She earned tenure at California State Long Beach but also taught at UCLA and USC. She died from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Survivors include her husband, David Scardino, her mother, and two sisters.
Deanne K. Herman '76
Deanne K. Herman '76, July 20, 2011, in Augusta, Maine, at 58. An advocate for locally grown Maine food, she was a founding member of the Fedco Warehouse that distributed food to Maine co-ops. For 23 years she worked for the state of Maine, where she initiated the Maine FarmShare for Seniors program and helped create the “Get Real, Get Maine” motto. She was a photographer, a lover of water sports, and a tennis player. She died from ovarian cancer. Survivors include her mother, Anita, a sister, a niece, and a network of friends.
James C. Windhorst '87
James C. Windhorst '87, Aug. 12, 2011, in Maine, at 46. He worked in the financial industry and was vice president at Fidelity Investments at the time of his death from lung cancer. He enjoyed boating, fishing, and good-natured competition. He was predeceased by his father, Charles J. Windhorst '54, and is survived by his wife, Terry Graves, and three children.
Isis Mendez Lopez '99
Isis Mendez Lopez '99, May 5, 2011, in Cochabamba, Bolivia, at 34. She studied engineering at Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar and worked at Colegio Tiquipaya. The cause of death is unknown. Survivors include her husband, Freddy, a son, her parents, and two sisters.