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 predeceased by her husband, Donald Phinney, a son, and a sister, Madelyn Higins Stanley ’34. She is survived by several nieces and nephews.
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, N.H., in retirement.
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 practiced urology, first in New York City and then for many years in Omaha. His wife of 66 years died less than a week after his death. They are survived by a daughter, a son, four grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
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 20 years. Predeceased by her sister Ruth Pullen ’33, she is survived by a daughter, a son, four grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
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 canoeist, he loved to be outdoors. He took the name “Jeremy” midway through life and began writing poetry and music. He is survived by his wife, Marian, four children, two stepchildren, 11 grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. His sister, Jean Burr Smith ’39 died before him.
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., while raising four children, all of whom survive her. She is also survived by seven grandchildren and niece Marjeanne Banks Vacco ’62.
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 rights, equal pay for women, and affordable housing were among many other causes she championed into her 80s. She is survived by her partner, James Brooks, and four children.
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 an extensive collection of unusual hats, all of which she made. Predeceased by her husband of 47 years, she is survived a sister, a brother, nieces, and nephews.
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 North Attleboro. His wife of 50 years, Betty, died in 1998. He is survived by his daughter, Elizabeth, and a sister.
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 golfer, gardener, and sports fan. He is survived by two daughters, six grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.
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 she displayed and sold her artwork. Predeceased by her husband, she is survived by five children, 14 grandchildren, three step-grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren, two step-great-grandchildren, and nieces Laura Cline ’70 and Mary Ellen Parsons ’72.
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 River by boat and taught at Kampala Teachers College in Uganda. She is survived by two sisters and 10 nieces and nephews.
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.
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.
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 Alex Painting Studio at Colby. Survivors include his wife, Nida Brinkis Alex, seven children including daughter Rebecca Alex ’79, 11 grandchildren, nephews Joseph Alex ’75 and Stuart Alex ’78, and niece Jessica Keenan ’01.
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 survived by his wife of 59 years, Virginia, a son, two daughters, and 10 grandchildren.
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 by two daughters and three 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 Allen ’16, and his aunt Lucy M. Allen ’17. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Constance, a son, two daughters, 11 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
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, two sons, two daughters, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his first wife of 32 years, Helen, and a son.
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.
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.
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, and the Episcopal Church. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Diane Stowell Duce ’54, two daughters including Elizabeth Duce Sedlins ’80, a son, and six 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 wife, Margaret, he is survived by two sons, one daughter, and three granddaughters.
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 Lou Rowe Libbey, a son, a daughter, a stepson, a stepdaughter, and four grandchildren. He was predeceased by his first wife, Martha Soto Libbey, and an aunt, Elizabeth Crawford ’29.
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.
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 and travel. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Dot, three daughters, a son, nine grandchildren, and one great grandchild.
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 wife of 28 years, Pat, his brother, Mark ’51, sister-in-law, Edna Miller ’52, two sons, a stepson, a stepdaughter, a niece, Carol Myers ’80, and three grandchildren.
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 Conservation Club, where he started a program using weevils to combat milfoil. He is survived by his wife, Charlene A. Rigabar Paragon, three stepchildren, eight step-grandchildren, and three step-great-grandchildren.
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, created community treasure hunts, and had an irrepressible love of dogs. At 60 he became a poet. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Ann Schmidt Nye ’64, a son, a daughter, and six grandchildren.
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. He enjoyed ceramics, woodworking, and cooking, but none of those things as much as working with students. He is survived by his wife, Susan Teel Brown, two sons, six grandchildren, and a brother-in-law, Norcross Teel ’61.
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 ’37 and the late Mary Fairbanks Haskell ’37, he is survived by three brothers.
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 Deborah, two sons, and two grandchildren.
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, Julie Ann, he was predeceased by his mother, Dorothy Kesaris ’40.
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 more than 25 years, and saw the results included in books about Martha’s Vineyard gardens. He enjoyed travel and games, and he founded a ping-pong group. He is survived by his wife, Susanne Chlastawa, and a son.
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, two sons, a daughter, his parents, and brothers and sisters.
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.