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Obituaries from the Winter 2012 Colby Magazine

Leonette Warburton Wishard '23

Leonette Warburton Wishard ’23, Dec. 2, 2011, in Bridgeport, Conn., at 109. Colby’s oldest living graduate until her death, she attended a campaign celebration in 2008. She earned a master’s of religious education at Andover Theological School and worked with young women around the world as a Baptist missionary. She established the Leonette Warburton Wishard Financial Aid Fund to support women planning on religious or other community-related work. She was predeceased by her husband, Glenn Porter Wishard, and sisters Josephine Warburton Wilkinson ’25 and Arleen Warburton Russell ’28.

Dorsa Rattenbury O'Dell '32

Dorsa Rattenbury O’Dell ’32, Jan. 9, 2008, in Julian, Calif., at 96. She transferred from Smith to Colby and worked in the public relations office at the College for two years after graduating. She lived at Stoneapple Farm in southern California and traveled the world with her husband, author of the Newbury Award-winning Island of the Blue Dolphins Scott O’Dell, who predeceased her.

Muriel McLellan (Flagg) DeShon '43

Muriel McLellan (Flagg) DeShon ’43, Dec. 6, 2011, in Perry, Maine, at 90. She earned a master’s degree in education at UMaine and taught English, French, and Latin in Eastport and Calais, Maine, for 37 years. She was active in historical, literary, and educational organizations that spanned the Maine-New Brunswick border. Predeceased by two husbands, Philip Flagg and Howard DeShon, she is survived by nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Eliot B. "Huck" Kraft '43

Eliot B. “Huck” Kraft ’43, Oct. 28, 2011, in Canton, Mass., at 91. He learned Russian and served with the Army Quartermaster Corps in the European and Pacific theaters in World War II. He took over his family’s business in Boston and retired to Florida. Predeceased by his wife, the late Barbara Wax Kraft, and a daughter, he is survived by his longtime companion, Barbara Levy, and by three children and six grandchildren.

Elizabeth Wood Reed '44

Muriel McLellan (Flagg) DeShon ’43, Dec. 6, 2011, in Perry, Maine, at 90. She earned a master’s degree in education at UMaine and taught English, French, and Latin in Eastport and Calais, Maine, for 37 years. She was active in historical, literary, and educational organizations that spanned the Maine-New Brunswick border. Predeceased by two husbands, Philip Flagg and Howard DeShon, she is survived by nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Beverly F. Booth '45

Muriel McLellan (Flagg) DeShon ’43, Dec. 6, 2011, in Perry, Maine, at 90. She earned a master’s degree in education at UMaine and taught English, French, and Latin in Eastport and Calais, Maine, for 37 years. She was active in historical, literary, and educational organizations that spanned the Maine-New Brunswick border. Predeceased by two husbands, Philip Flagg and Howard DeShon, she is survived by nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Pasquale V. Rufo '46

Pasquale V. Rufo ’46, Dec. 14, 2011, in Concord, N.H., at 89. He served as a Marine in World War II and afterward built up Rufo’s Greenhouse, started by his mother. He was a four-term state representative, a member of civic and fraternal organizations, and a founding member of New Hampshire Plant Growers. Predeceased by his wife, Katharine, and two sons, he is survived by two daughters, a son, and a granddaughter.

Mary Louise Young '46

Mary Louise Young ’46, Nov. 6, 2011, in Charleston, Maine, at 88. She had a career teaching Latin and French in public schools and was a member of the Dover-Foxcroft Congregational Church. In later years she volunteered and had a raspberry business. She is survived by her sister, Roberta Young ’47. She was predeceased by her longtime companion, Marilyn Farrar, by her parents, Andrew Young 1913 and Claramae Harvey Young 1919, and by a brother.

Eleanor "Lee" Clayton '48

Eleanor “Lee” Clayton ’48, Nov. 29, 2011, in San Francisco, Calif. at 85. After Colby she moved west with her cat and every paperback mystery she had ever laid eyes on. In California she worked in finance and was one of the first employees of Rosenberg Capital Management. She was active in the Financial Women’s Club and loved bridge and football. She is survived by her long-time partner, Beverly Cramer, and by a niece and a nephew.

Jane George Daniels '48

Jane George Daniels ’48, Nov. 22, 2011, in Belmont, Calif., at 85. A psychology and sociology double major, she married and moved to California, where she was a social worker. She is survived by sister Priscilla George McNally ’42, two daughters, a son, and three granddaughters.

Richard Fisch '49

Richard Fisch ’49, Oct. 23, 2011, in Redwood City, Calif., at 84. He served as a U.S. Navy medic before graduating, then earned his M.D. at New York Medical College. Known internationally as a psychiatrist, he pioneered Brief Therapy, a short-term approach to many problems. He wrote a number of books on Brief Therapy and trained thousands of practitioners around the world. An instrument-rated pilot, he loved flying and Woody Allen films. He is survived by four children, one grandson, and two former wives.

Carl J. Samuelson '49

Carl J. Samuelson ’49, Nov. 19, 2011, in Forestburg, Tex., at 92. He served in World War II, including at Guadalcanal, until mid-1944, when he was assigned to the White House. He attended Colby and Boston University, and he was passionate about family, church, hymns, opera, big band music, and his pets. He is survived by two daughters, a son, a stepson, and five grandchildren.

Robert R. Laliberte '51

Robert R. Laliberte ’51, Nov. 28, 2011, in Lakewood, N.J., at 82. An All-New England hockey player for three years at Colby, he worked as an accountant for Pratt & Whitney, owned hotels in Florida and New Jersey, and operated the Red Bank Bus Terminal for 15 years. Survived by two sons, two grandchildren, and nephew Douglas Laliberte ’03, he was predeceased by brothers Alton ’42, Bernard ’52, sister-in-law Anita ’42, and nephew Scott Laliberte ’01.

Nancy Weare Merriman '52

Nancy Weare Merriman ’52, Oct. 25, 2011, in Exeter, N.H., at 80. She lived in Westbury, N.Y., most of her life before retiring to Rye, N.H. An avid bridge and tennis player, she also played violin in the Hicksville, N.Y., community orchestra. Survived by four daughters and seven grandchildren, she was predeceased by her husband, Robert Merriman ’50.

Priscilla Buck Peard '52

Priscilla Buck Peard ’52, Oct. 25, 2011, in Frederick, Md., at 81. After raising her children she returned to work and volunteered at her churches and in her community. She loved gardening, reading, Bible study, friends, and family. Survived by her husband of 57 years, Peter, four children, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren, she was predeceased by her mother, Doris Buck ’27, and aunt, Muriel Armstrong ’29.

George Fred "Tim" Terry III '52

George Fred “Tim” Terry III ’52, Nov. 21, 2011, in Augusta, Maine, at 82. He grew up in Waterville and was proud to be in the class that started downtown and graduated on Mayflower Hill. He served in the Navy during the Korean War before joining the family insurance business. He was active in Rotary and in the Sugarloaf community. He is survived by his wife, Natalie, daughter Sarah Carlson, a sister, two grandsons, granddaughters Rachel Terry ’07 and Emma Carlson ’08, and niece Rosemary Perkins ’09.

Edith M. Costello '54

Edith M. Costello ’54, Dec. 13, 2011, in McLean, Va., at 78. She earned an M.A. in psychology at American University and retired as a career officer in the Central Intelligence Agency. She was predeceased by her longtime companion, Joseph L. Giraudo.

Alvan P. Field '54

Alvan P. Field ’54, Nov. 15, 2011, in Toms River, N.J., at 79. Field earned his D.D.S. at Temple and practiced for 50 years at Beachwood Dental Arts in Beachwood, N.J. He loved family, cars, motorboats, football, tennis, horseracing, blackjack, and food. He developed medical buildings in Toms River and restored Tuckerton’s Main Street. He is survived by his wife, Carol, six children, nine grandchildren, and cousins Robert Rosenthal ’50 and Arlyne Sacks ’54.

Lee Gropper '54

Lee Gropper ’54, Nov. 5, 2011, in Pasadena, Calif., at 79. After serving in the Army he had a career at Beckman Instruments (now Beckman Coulter) in Silicon Valley, where he helped develop a commercial centrifuge and was credited with more than a half dozen patents. A bicycle accident in 1984 left him unable to read, write, or speak intelligibly. He is survived by a brother, one of his two sons, and three grandchildren.

Konrad Gesner '55

Konrad Gesner ’55, Dec. 7, 2011, in Kingston, Mass., at 79. Drafted for the Korean War, he graduated from Babson on the GI Bill. An avid bird hunter and fisherman, he had detailed knowledge of Duxbury Bay and marshes. He was a life trustee of Ducks Unlimited. Predeceased by wife Nancy Lang Gesner, he is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, a son, a daughter, three stepchildren, and five step-stepchildren.

Richard E. McKeage '55

Richard E. McKeage ’55, Nov. 1, 2011, in North Port, Fla., at 77. He earned an M.D. at Tufts, served two years in the Air Force, was certified by the American Board of Pediatrics, and practiced in Salem, Mass., and the Bahamas. He married Joanne Kershaw McKeage ’57 and had two sons, including Jeffrey ’79.

Lois Weaver Neil-Sambar '56

Lois Weaver Neil-Sambar '56, Oct. 11, 2011, in La Cañada Flintridge, Calif., at 76. She taught high school, became a vice principal, and was principal at Rosemont Middle School. She earned a master's in education and a doctorate in educational management. Later in life she taught and advised programs at Chapman University, University of La Verne, and Occidental College and was active with civic organizations. The Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce named her 2001 Woman of the Year. Survivors include her second husband, Chuck Sambar, two sons, and two granddaughters.

Roy Ericson Norcross '56

Roy Ericson Norcross ’56, Dec. 1, 2011, in Hartford, Conn., at 82. He served in the Korean War and earned a master’s degree at the University of Stockholm. He taught English at the Kingswood Oxford School in West Hartford for 38 years, holding administrative positions there as well. He was a deacon in the Congregational church, an avid gardener and cook, and maintained a residence in Sweden. He is survived by his wife, Gunvor, a daughter, a son, and five grandchildren.

Chester H. "Chet" Lopez, Jr. '58

Chester H. “Chet” Lopez Jr. ’58, Dec. 15, 2011, in Nashua, N.H., at 75. He earned a J.D. at University of Chicago Law School and practiced law for 50 years with Hamblett, Kerrigan, LaTourette, and Lopez. Active in the local, state, and regional bar associations, he recently received the Nashua Bar Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He was president of Rotary, Memorial Hospital, and the Grand National Curling Club. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Mary Jordan Lopez, three children including Susan Lopez ’91, and three grandchildren.

Elizabeth Harper Hopler '61

Elizabeth Harper Hopler ’61, Nov. 10, 2011, in Lewes, Del., at 72. A lifelong writer and editor, she most recently worked for the Cape Gazette in Lewes. She loved bird watching, nature, and cooking with her grandchildren. She is survived by a sister, four children, and 11 grandchildren.

Judith Parker Millen '61

Judith Parker Millen ’61, Nov. 9, 2011, in Burlington, Vt., at 71. After finishing her degree at Plymouth State, she taught for 25 years in Littleton and Bethlehem (N.H.) elementary schools. She loved travel, genealogy, family, friends, and serving her community. She is survived by her husband, Richard Millen, a son, a daughter, and three brothers.

Diane Hilton O'Connor '62

Diane Hilton O’Connor ’62, Nov. 24, 2011, in Bremen, Maine, at 70. In Washington, D.C., she worked in public affairs for the U.S. Forest Service, where she won the USDA’s Distinguished Service Award. She traveled extensively in the Americas and started her own trip agency in retirement. Returning to her hometown, Bremen, Maine, in 1996, she was engaged on many civic boards and commissions. She is survived by her husband, Leo O’Connor, a brother, and two sisters including Mary Hilton Weeks ’66.

Lael Swinney Stegall '62

Lael Swinney Stegall ’62, Oct. 25, 2011, in Deer Isle, Maine, at 70. An advocate for human rights and empowerment of women worldwide, she earned an M.S.W. at University of Chicago. As a student she heard John F. Kennedy propose the Peace Corps at a rally and committed to join. She helped found the National Women’s Political Caucus, served as development director until 1979, and was rumored to be the model for Doonesbury’s Joanie Caucus. She worked for the Carter administration, advised the Clinton administration, and introduced candidate Barack Obama in Bangor in 2008—an experience she rated second only to being Ms. December in the 2004 Maine Lobster Women’s calendar. A former Colby overseer, she married Ron Stegall and is survived by a daughter, Shana Cousins, and a son, Skyler.

Roberta "Bobbi" Loveland Vest '62

Roberta “Bobbi” Loveland Vest ’62, June 23, 2011, in Reston, Va., at 70. She earned a master’s degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and taught in Maryland, Okinawa, and Virginia, retiring as a reading specialist from the Fairfax (Va.) County School System. She was the wife of William Vest, mother of Amy and W. Bradley (Kristin) Vest, and she had two grandchildren.

Michael A. Halsey '76

Michael A. Halsey ’76, Aug. 20, 2011, in Santa Fe, N.M., at 58. He earned an M.B.A., summa cum laude, at University of Chicago and moved to New Mexico, where he was a financial consultant in urban development projects. His passions were surfing, flying his airplane, and gardening, which earned him the nickname “Tomato Man.” He is survived by his wife, Caroline Monaco.

Karin Judkins Hogan '90

Karin Judkins Hogan ’90, Nov. 22, 2011, in Oakland, Calif., at 45. She earned a B.S degree in physics with honors at Cal State-Hayward and was a computer scientist and test engineer in nanotechnology. With her husband she started a business designing and marketing components for the biotech industry. She is survived by her husband, Michael, her parents, Fred and Judy Judkins, a sister, a brother, other relatives, and her dog, Layla.