Obituaries

Fall 2012

Mina Higgins Phinney '30

Mina Higgins Phinney ’30, Sept. 5, 2012, in Machias, Maine, at 103. Most of her career she taught at Dennysville (Maine) High School, which she had attended. Later she taught at Washington Academy and was school librarian there. She was a longtime member of the Dennysville Congregational Church, where she was church organist. She was […]

Gladys Averill Heubach '33

Gladys Averill Heubach ’33, Sept. 17, 2012, in Newton, Mass., at age 101. She worked in Waltham, Mass., as a supervisor for the Social Services Department of the State of Massachusetts for more than 25 years. Predeceased by her husband, Alfred, and son, Rodman, she is survived by a daughter, four grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Richard S. Sawyer '35

Richard S. Sawyer ’35, Aug. 3, 2012, in Wayland, Mass., at 98. He was a manager for W.T. Grant Co. for many years and managed stores in several states. He was married for 68 years to Janet Goodridge Sawyer ’37, who died in 2006. The couple had a daughter, and they lived in New London, […]

Henry Kammandel '38

Henry Kammandel ’38, July 1, 2012, in Omaha, Neb., at 96. He emigrated from Germany at age 11, graduated from Colby, and earned his M.D. degree at Tufts and joined the Army in 1942. He was an Army surgeon in New Guinea when he met his wife, Mary, a registered nurse in the Army. He […]

Horace F. “Jeremy” Burr '40

Horace F. “Jeremy” Burr, ’40, May 22, 2012, in Ashland, Ohio, at 92. He served in the Navy and Naval Reserves during World War II and the Korean War, retiring as a captain. He worked for Scoville Manufacturing and General Motors and returned to government employment following retirement from GM. An avid climber, skier, and […]

Olive Pullen Palmer '40

Olive Pullen Palmer ’40, July 26, 2012, in Augusta, Maine, at 95. Among the first to join the Navy WAVES in 1943, she served as a cartographer in the Navy’s Hydrographic Office in Washington, D.C., and was invited to the White House for tea with Eleanor Roosevelt. She taught school in Maine for more than […]

Thelma Brann Morsillo '44

Thelma Brann Morsillo ’44, July 23, 2012, in Manchester, Vt., at 88. She met her husband, Nicholas Morsillo, when he was training as a bomber pilot and she was working in Waterville to raise money for her studies. After Colby she was a social worker and then managed her husband’s law office in Schenectady, N.Y., […]

Jean Hayes Wassell '44

Jean Hayes Wassell ’44, Aug. 6, 2012, in Boston, Mass., at 90. She earned a teaching degree at Springfield College and a master’s at Goddard College. As a social worker and case manager, she turned to what would be a lifelong passion for activism. She protested the Vietnam War and joined a women’s collective. Abortion […]

Charlene Blance Ray '46

Charlene Blance Ray ’46, Sept. 30, 2012, in Bangor, Maine, at 87. She taught in high schools throughout Maine and married Colby Chemistry Professor Wendell Ray, whom she assisted in his private laboratories doing contract work for the Office of Strategic Services. She enjoyed boating and motorcycling and was skilled at many handicrafts. She had […]

Austin Ryder '46

Austin Ryder ’46, Oct. 6, 2012, in North Attleboro, Mass., at 88. He left Colby to serve in the U.S. Army infantry in Europe during World War II, earning numerous honors including two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star. He was a salesman at Paye & Baker Manufacturing, then manager of Riley Brothers Lumber in […]

Allan P. Currier '47

Allan P. Currier ’47, Sept. 9, 2012, in Haverhill, Mass., at 90. He taught at Governor Dummer and Kents Hill academies and coached football, hockey, and tennis. The last 30 years of his career he taught history at Haverhill High School. With his mother and brother, he operated Currier’s Riverside Dairy. He was an avid […]

Virginia Brewer Folino '48

Virginia Brewer Folino ’48, Sept. 1, 2012, in Middlebury, Vt., at 85. As a child, “Bobo” contracted polio and, overcoming weakness in one leg, became an All-New England cheerleader at Waterville High School. She married Francis “Buddy” Folino before graduation and they moved to Vermont, where she taught art. They moved to Stonington, Maine, where […]

Merle Inez Lathrop '48

Merle Inez Lathrop ’48, Oct. 16, 2012 in Brooklyn, Conn., at 86. She earned two master’s degrees at Smith College and embarked on a career teaching high school science and biology. She taught in Alaska, Uganda, California, and Connecticut, including teaching hearing-impaired students at the Mystic Oral School. She traveled the length of the Yukon […]

Nydda Barker Lowery '49

Nydda Barker Lowery ’49, July 16, 2012, in Bangor, Maine, at 84. She enjoyed sewing, quilting, and gardening, and she sang in church choirs and the women’s barbershop organization the Sweet Adelines. She is survived by her husband of 62 years, Leland Lowery ’51, three sons, two daughters, eight grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Carrie Bartlett Wedge '49

Carrie Bartlett Wedge ’49, Aug. 23, 2012, in Manchester, Maine, at 85. She earned a teaching degree and taught high school science in Massachusetts and New York. Prior to retirement, she returned to Maine and worked for the Augusta Mental Health Institute. She is survived by two daughters, seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Fred E. Allan '50

Fred E. Allen ’50, July 29, 2012, in Calais, Maine, at 86. He served in World War II, and was a teacher, principal, and schools superintendent in Maine. He earned his master’s degree from the University of Maine at Orono. He enjoyed golf, hunting, and fishing. He was predeceased by a son, his father, Alden […]

John M. “Jack” Alex '50

John M. “Jack” Alex ’50, July 21, 2012, in Los Angeles, Calif., at 83. He earned his law degree at the University of Chicago and went on to a career as a defense attorney, district attorney, and judge in Los Angeles County. He was a candidate for Congress in 1964. His support made possible the […]

Stewart B. Craven '50

Stewart B. Craven ’50, July 24, 2012, in Enfield, Conn., at 85. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II, and retired after 51 years at Johnson Packings & Industrial Products, starting on the loading docks and ending as president. He was an active volunteer coaching sports and teaching Sunday school. He is […]

Susan McPherson Tompkins '50

Susan McPherson Tompkins ’50, Sept. 30, 2012, in Spring, Texas, at 84. She grew up on a farm in Presque Isle, Maine, and taught school in Patten, Maine, after graduation and before becoming a full-time homemaker in Pearl River, N.Y. Predeceased by her husband of 54 years, Robert D. “Tom” Tompkins ’51, she is survived […]

John H. Butler '51

John H. Butler ’51, Aug. 21, 2012, in Myrtle Beach, S.C., at 84. He completed all coursework for a Ph.D. in chemistry from Brooklyn Polytech, was active in organic and polymer research, and retired as a technical patent liaison for American Cyanamid in New Jersey. He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Dolores, […]

Harriet Boyer Frost '51

Harriet Boyer Frost ’51, July 15, 2012, in Titusville, Fla., at 83. She had lived in Titusville for more than 20 years, enjoying birding, bridge, quilting, and Bible study. She is survived her husband, F. Warren Frost, two daughters, two sons, and 10 grandchildren.

Sylvia Rice Bechtel '52

Sylvia Rice Bechtel ’52, Sept. 13, 2012, in Aptos, Calif., at 82. A lifelong learner, her interests included reading, painting, travel, writing, and old movies. Predeceased by her husband of 28 years, Laverne “Beach” Bechtel, she is survived by her two sons, Donald Carman Jr. and Russ Carman, and by members of her husband’s family.

Benjamin R. Duce '54

Benjamin R. Duce ’54, Aug. 14, 2012, in Westborough, Mass., at 79. A veteran of the U.S. Army, he worked more than 20 years at Astra Pharmaceutical and later at Serono Pharmaceutical as a research scientist and registered three patents. He was active as a volunteer, in theater, in patriotic organizations, in Colby’s Alumni College, […]

Natalie Harris Spina '54

Natalie Harris Spina ’54, Aug. 1, 2012, in Plymouth, Mass., at 80. She earned her bachelor’s degree in economics from Tufts University, worked in the Plimoth Plantation gift shop, and painted New England scenes. Predeceased by her husband, Joseph, she is survived by two daughters, a son, seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Donald K. Martin '55

Donald K. Martin ’55, Sept. 1, 2012, in North Andover, Mass., at 78. He served in the Army prior to 35 years at the former Western Electric, where he retired in 1990 as department chief. He served the Merrimack Valley Federal Credit Union, the Riverside Memorial Church, and the Riverside-Bradford Little League. Predeceased by his […]

Maurice C. Libbey '56

Maurice C. Libbey ’56, July 23, 2012, in Neoga, Ill., at 83. He earned his master of science degree from Columbia and a certificate of advanced study from the University of Illinois. He worked at Booth Library at Eastern Illinois University for 28 years. His interests included biking and photography. Survivors include his wife, Donna […]

Malcolm E. “Mac” Blanchard '57

Malcolm E. “Mac” Blanchard ’57, Aug. 11, 2012, at Sebec Lake, Maine, at 77. He worked for Oakhurst Dairy, ran a dairy operation in Newcastle, Maine, then became a branch manager for Bath Savings Institution. Later he worked in real estate, building houses and professional buildings and as an appraiser. He loved the Maine outdoors […]

Joan Durant Gass '57

Joan Durant Gass ’57, Oct. 6, 2012, in Port Chester, N.Y., at 78. She earned a master’s in nursing at Columbia University and was a registered geriatric nurse practitioner. She is survived by a daughter, a son, three grandchildren, and a brother.

Thomas F. Roy '58

Thomas F. Roy ’58, Oct. 23, 2012, in Simsbury, Conn., at 78. A veteran of the U.S. Army, he was employed in the insurance industry. Prior to his retirement he was a director of The Hartford Insurance Group. He is survived by five children and 13 grandchildren.

Patricia Ruker McNally '59

Patricia Ruker McNally ’59, Oct. 11, 2012, in Chicago, Ill., at 75. She worked as a nurse in Chicago.

Donald D. Mordecai '60

Donald D. Mordecai ’60, July 23, 2012, in Scarborough, Maine, at 73. He earned a master’s in English literature at Cornell and an M.B.A. at Babson. He served in the U.S. Navy before working in his family’s food business and at independent schools. He enjoyed sailing, photography, woodworking, and art. He is survived by his […]

Kenneth P. Nye '64

Kenneth P. Nye ’64, Oct. 19. 2012 in Freeport, Maine, at 70. He earned his master’s and Ph.D. at Northwestern and served as a high school principal in Rumford and Yarmouth, Maine, before spending 11 years in the department of educational leadership at University of Southern Maine. He acted and sang in community theater productions, […]

Robert C. Johnston '64

Robert C. Johnston ’64, Sept. 13, 2012, in Lake Bonaparte, N.Y., at 70. He earned a master’s degree from St. Lawrence University and was a school psychologist for New York public schools for nearly 40 years. He published many professional articles and a collection of short stories. He was an officer of the Lake Bonaparte […]

Christopher C. Brown '65

Christopher C. Brown ’65, Sept. 13, 2012, in Kittery Point, Maine, at 70. He earned masters’ degrees from the University of Wisconsin and Massachusetts College of Art. A lifelong educator, he taught art at Hingham (Mass.) High School and later headed the art department and was assistant to the superintendent for Weymouth (Mass.) Public Schools. […]

P. Robertson Haskell '72

P. Robertson Haskell ’72, Sept. 10, 2012, in Alameda, Calif., at 61. An Eagle Scout, an avid skier, and a talented singer, he was also a math whiz and spent most of his career in advanced computer work. He was active in the outdoors and with his church group. The son of the late John […]

Robert H. Noyes '73

Robert H. Noyes ’73, June 22, 2012 in Raritan Township, N.J., at 61. He was a consultant with Scouler & Co. in New York, worked in credit for Fortune 500 companies, and was vice president of credit for BMG Music. He enjoyed reading and spending time with his dogs. He is survived by his wife […]

Jayne P. London '78

Jayne P. London ’78, Aug. 21, 2012, in Ann Arbor, Mich., at 55. She worked at the University of Michigan for almost 15 years, and was a coach and a consultant for Academic Ladder. She is survived by a son and a daughter.

George P. Kesaris '78

George P. Kesaris ’78, July 13, 2012, in Mt. Desert, Maine, at 55. He earned his law degree at New England College of Law, worked for the office of the Massachusetts attorney general, and went into private practice, first in Ellsworth, Maine, and then in solo practice in Bar Harbor, Maine. Survived by his wife, […]

Michael L. Faraca '78

Michael L. Faraca ’78, Aug. 28, 2012, in West Tisbury, Mass., at 56. He was a captain in the charter sailboat trade in the before settling on Martha’s Vineyard, where he was a painting contractor and ran a gardening business, the Avant Gardener. He favored the English formal garden style, worked on some properties for […]

Mark A. Labdon '82

Mark A. Labdon ’82, Aug. 7, 2012, in Marysville, Wash., at 52. He earned a master’s in library science from the University of Arizona and was an award-winning poet and lover of movies. He died following a long battle with multiple sclerosis.

Robert E. Cusack '82

Robert E. Cusack ’82, Oct. 7, 2012, in Barrington, N.H., at 51. He worked for the Sherwin-Williams Company for 35 years, finally as protective and marine coating representative servicing all of New England. He loved music, singing and playing guitar, and his children’s sporting events. He is survived by his wife  of 23 years, Susan, […]