Issue: or Class Year:

Elizabeth Archer Ricca '42

May 18, 2011, in Clawson, Mich., at 91.

J. Kenneth Shepard '43

Nov. 26, 2011, in Naples, Fla., at 94.

Sherwood J. Tarlow '45

Feb. 26, 2012, in Palm Desert, Calif., at 87. He earned his J.D. from Boston University in 1947, was appointed judge of probate for Dukes County, Mass., in 1964, and launched successful business ventures in broadcasting and banking. Philanthropic contributions included an endowed chair at BU Medical Center, scholarships at BU and Colby, and support of medical charities. Survivors include his wife of 47 years, Helen Rene, two sons, Douglas and Edward, a daughter, Nancy Carden, six grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. 

Clarence W. Barry '46

Mar. 24, 2012, in Brentwood, N.H., at 86. A master builder of pipe organs and harpsichords, he was a church organist and choir director and wrote many articles about musical instruments. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Louise Verheyden, two daughters, three sons, 12 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his brother, George ’54, and his son, Robert ’75.

Shirley Kydd Bastien '49

Feb. 15, 2012, in Skowhegan, Maine, at 84. She worked at hospitals in clinical nursing and nursing/health education, and was a representative to the New England Hospital Association and American Hospital Association. She earned a master’s in adult education at the University of Southern Maine. She was predeceased by her husband, Wilbur Bastien ’49. She is survived by her daughter, Melissa Bastien, her son, Peter, and two grandchildren.

Martha Ann Bennett Headley '49

March 23, 2012, in Windham, N.H., at 84. She taught high school English prior to marriage and raising her family, co-owned Lake and Stream Realty for many years, and was a New Hampshire State Library trustee. Predeceased by her husband, Richard, and sons Charles and Bruce, she is survived by sons Robert and Gordon, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. 

John A. Appleton '49

Jan. 16, 2012, in East Winthrop, Maine, at 83. He spent 38 years with the Maine Department of Transportation, retiring in 1990 as director of the Right of Way Division. He was an avid sports fan, and he spent the last 18 winters with his wife in Dunedin, Fla. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Gail, and by his daughter, Terry Appleton ’86, a sister, and two nieces.

Jean Beauchamp Johnsrud '49

Feb. 7, 2012, in Bridgewater, N.J., at 84. A fifth-grade teacher before her marriage, her interests included reading, playing bridge, knitting, and traveling by RV and cruise ship. Predeceased by her husband, Alfred Johnsrud, she is survived by her two sons, Charles and David, her daughter, Alison Linton, and 13 grandchildren.

Thomas G. Blake '50

April 2, 2012, in Guilford, Maine, at 86. He attended Boston University School of Law and associated with W.G. Blake’s Insurance Agency until his retirement. He is survived by his wife, Barbara Moulton, three daughters, eight grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and his brother, Frederick.

Robert S. Lee '51

March 7, 2012, in Beverly, Mass., at 84. Previous president and owner of Hotwatt Inc., he served three terms as a Colby trustee. His interests included tennis, music, sailing, hang-gliding, windsurfing, fishing, and travel. He was predeceased by his wife of 51 years, Jean. He is survived by son Peter Lee ’80, daughters Cindy Lee and Sally Lee ’84, daughter-in-law Lynne Seeley ’80, nephew Roger Lee ’77, and grandchildren Spencer and Travis.

Robert Shapiro '52

Jan. 6, 2012, in Chestnut Hill, Mass., at 81. A long-time trustee of Brandeis University, he earned a master’s in education at Boston University in 1970 and a degree family therapy in 1992. He served as dean at Franklin Pierce College and became a certified chaplain in 2007. In the 1980s he was vice president of Sporto Corp., which manufactured footwear. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Valya, two sons, Bram and Stephen, and five grandchildren.

A. Rodney Warren '53

Oct. 5, 2011, in Mims, Fla., at 80. After a career running Warren’s Country Kitchen and The Hungry Mate restaurants in Pocasset, Mass., he moved to Florida and took up the rope and chandelling business. He was predeceased by his companion of many years, Nancy Schoch, and is survived by his former wife, three children, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Robert H. Harris '53

Jan. 17, 2012, in Yarmouth, Maine, at 80. He served in the Air Force, winning a Good Conduct Medal and a National Defense Service Medal. He earned a B.S. from Emerson College in Boston. He retired in 2009 following an almost 50-year career in the insurance industry. He loved to travel and remained active. He is survived by two daughters, a son, two stepdaughters, a sister, and five grandchildren. 

Alan R. Lindsay '54

Jan. 21, 2012, in Middleboro, Mass., at 79.  He retired in 1995 after a 35-year career in education, including 27 years as a junior high school principal. He is survived by his wife, Yvonne, a daughter, Jill Palenstijn, and two grandchildren.

Robert V. Blacker Jr. '54

Jan. 11, 2012, in Watertown, Conn., at 81. He served in the Korean conflict in the Air Force. A graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy, he owned Rielly and Burns Pharmacy and Apothecary in Waterbury. He was an avid golfer and a member of the Elks Club. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Elaine, and by three daughters, a sister, and four grandchildren.

John B. Jacobs '55

Jan. 22, 2012, in Edmonds, Wash., at 78. He spent most of his career as a service and sales engineer for Albany International. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Thresa, two brothers, Donald ’51 and Robert ’54, two daughters, Suzanne Versnel and Frannie Galley, two sons, Donald and John, nieces Marguerite Holden Leiman ’82 and Elizabeth Eddy Griffin ’85, nephew, John Holden ’85, and five grandchildren. 

James D. Carr '55

Jan. 30, 2012, in Worcester, Mass., at 79. He was president and treasurer of the Acme Roofing Company, where he worked for over 50 years. He was a long-time Rotary member. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Barbara, two sons, James and Jeffrey, three brothers, five grandchildren, and a great-grandson.

Priscilla Boyden Johnston '56

A homemaker, she enjoyed traveling, nature, and painting. She is survived by a sister, two sons, Jim and Andy, a daughter, Robin Johnston, and three grandchildren. 

Larry E. De Forge '57

Dec. 15, 2010, in Loveland, Colo., at 76. 

Johnston de Forest "Jay" Whitman '59

Feb. 17, 2012, in Syosset, N.Y., at 75. He spent almost four decades with Deutsche Bank, taught financial analysis and financing techniques, and sang tenor in choral groups including his church choir. He is survived by his wife, Christina Rand Whitman ’59, daughter, Susan Whitman-Mazzuckelli, son Johnston Jr., and grandson Johnston III.

Herbert S. Bolin '63

Dec. 12, 2012, in Raleigh, N.C., at 70. He earned a master’s degree at Florida State in 1970 and became president of Distinctive Theme Props and served as the director of state parks museums with the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Angie, three daughters, Allison Williams, Chrissy Rand, and Faith Hacker, and 11 grandchildren.

David L. Cox Jr. '63

Aug. 27, 2011, in Bonita Springs, Fla., at 71. He served in the Air Force, rising to the rank of captain, then worked as a farmer and raised a family in Fort Collins, Colo. He enjoyed his dogs, playing hockey, woodworking, painting, and ice cream. He is survived by his wife, Cherri Lynn, three children, two stepchildren, six grandchildren, and his ex-wife.

Alta Maher Haldar '63

Jan. 23, 2009, in New Delhi, India, at 68.

Gordon W. Bowie '65

Jan. 5, 2012, in Arlington, Va., at 67. His career in music included playing in ensembles and orchestras and conducting community bands in Maryland and Maine. Among other works he composed “USS Maine” for the christening of a Trident submarine. He was a copyright examiner in the Performing Arts Division of the U.S. Copyright Office. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Maine in 1993. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Mary Stimson Bowie ’64, his mother, Gail, and a son, Gavin.

Nelson J. Denny '68

April 5, 2012, in Lyme, Conn., at 65. After earning his degree in philosophy at Colby he attended Yale School of Architecture and became an architect. He designed and built many homes on the Connecticut shoreline in and around Branford. He is survived by his sister, Joyce Hausmann, and by nephews and cousins.

Kathryn Simpson Stuart '68

March 10, 2012, in Worcester, Mass., at 65. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Salem State College and worked for the last 22 years at the University of New Hampshire library. A resident of Dover, N.H., she enjoyed summer evenings at the beach, walking, meditation, and yoga. She is survived by two daughters and four grandchildren.

Priscilla J. Davis '72

Jan. 31, 2012, in Oxford, N.Y., at 61. She worked as a medical writer and editor, and her work was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. She was particularly fond of animals and adopted 25 pets from her local SPCA. She is survived by her husband, James G. Jared, a stepdaughter, a sister, Patricia Davis Murphy ’68, a nephew, Michael Murphy ’95, and a niece. 

Nancy A. Curtis '75

Feb. 16, 2012, in Barstow, Calif., at 59. She became a civilian supply specialist and worked for the Army, the Navy, and the Defense Logistics Agency. She is survived by her husband, Allen Curtis, her mother, Olive, and her sister, Jean Mary Feeney.

Paul P. Bither '76

Feb. 1, 2012, in Indianapolis, Ind., at 57. He was a member of the clinical faculty at the Indiana University School of Optometry before starting a private practice in 1988. In 2011 he was named Outstanding Professional of the Year by the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired. He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Carol, and two children, Brian and Amy. He was predeceased by his uncle, Professor Philip S. Bither ’30, and his aunt, Professor Marjorie Bither Smith.

David J. Friedrich '78

Feb. 29, 2012, in Carson City, Nev., at 56. An avid skier and pilot, he was past president of Advantage Payroll Services in Auburn, Maine, and more recently owner of the Hampton Inn & Suites in Carson City. He is survived by his son, Andrew, his mother, his former wife, three brothers, and one sister. 

Carol Neidig White '79

Feb. 13, 2012, in Fort Myers, Fla., at 54. After serving as a National Park chaplain in St. John, U.S.V.I., she worked as a substance abuse counselor and a family therapist. She is survived by her husband, Rev. Phil White, her sons, Parker and Jordan, her parents, Bill and Marion Neidig, and a sister.

Marie S. Willey '85

Feb. 2, 2012, in Waterville, Maine, at 96. She graduated from Colby with honors three days before her 70th birthday. She was an accomplished painter in her later years and completed more than 100 paintings. She is survived by three children, six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband, Paul Willey ’42.

Dana Professor Emeritus Donaldson Koons, 1917-2012

Photo BY Mark Tardif
Photo by Mark Tardif

E. Donaldson Koons, chair of Colby’s Geology Department for 41 years and Maine’s first commissioner of the Department of Conservation, died April 9 in Waterville at 94. Hired as chair of the department, he arrived at Colby in January 1947 and retired as Dana Professor in 1982. He continued to teach Jan Plans another six years, and regularly attended Geology Department events until last fall.

Koons was advisor to the Outing Club and helped restore the Mountain Farm Ski Area as the Colby Ski Slope in the late 1940s. He chaired Maine’s Water and Air Environmental Improvement Commission from 1969 to 1972 and was appointed to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection board in 1972. He was named commissioner of the Department of Conservation and chair of the Land Use Regulation Commission and served 1973-74. He chaired the boards of Coburn Classical Institute, Oak-Grove Coburn, and Unity College, and at age 82 he served as interim president of Unity.

Born in Korea in 1917, he attended Wooster College and transferred to Columbia, where he earned bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. He served in military intelligence in East Asia during World War II. An expert on the geology of the Grand Canyon area, he rafted the Colorado River through the canyon at age 90 with family and friends. 

Predeceased by his wife, Elizabeth Ortquist Koons, he is survived by four children, Robert ’68, John ’72, Peter, and Linnea Koons Mathews ’79, and five grandchildren. A memorial service is planned at 2 p.m. July 29 in Lorimer Chapel.