We honor the amazing lives of our Nichols alumni, faculty, staff, families and friends. To notify us of a death of a classmate, colleague, or family member, please email an obituary to the Alumni Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or submit a class note.
We will continue to list names of those who pass in our alumni magazine, Toaxnoes, but here we can share notices in a more timely manner.
- Anthone, Ronald ’42 - January 10
- Brandt, Roger W. Sr. ’46 – January 14
- Kellogg, Stephen J. ‘81 - January 12
- Montgomery, Henry Ernest II ’47 – January 11
- Terplan, Peter K. ’51 – January 14
- Schiller, Jerome – January 5
- Ambrus, Julian Sr. – January 16
- Ung, Nam C. – February 10
- Biltekoff, Joshua A. - March 22
Dr. Roland Anthone, a Buffalo surgeon who with his identical twin brother, Dr. Sidney Anthone, were pioneers in kidney transplants locally, died Jan. 28 in Sarasota, Fla. He was 95.
“They were together in everything in life,” his son Dr. Kenneth D. Anthone said. “The only difference was they married different people.”
Born in Buffalo, the sons of Joseph Anthone, founder of Anthone Furniture Co. on Genesee Street, he and his brother were 1942 graduates of the Nichols School.
They interrupted their studies at Harvard College to serve together in the Army stateside during World War II, first in the infantry, then in the engineers. Both attained the rank of corporal.
Returning to Harvard, the brothers took summer courses and completed their bachelor’s degrees under an accelerated program in two years. They graduated from medical school at the University of Buffalo in 1950.
When they were surgical interns at Buffalo General Hospital, one brother often was mistaken for the other. An article in The Buffalo News in 1950 noted, “Frequently patients, not realizing that their doctor has been changed, will ask Roland about matters they have previously discussed with Sidney.”
They eventually distinguished themselves with their watchbands – Roland’s was gold, Sidney’s was silver – and with the frames of their eyeglasses. Later Sidney grew a mustache, while Roland remained clean-shaven.
The Anthone brothers helped start a kidney dialysis service at Buffalo General in 1955 and built the original dialysis machines. To find a better treatment for renal disease, the Anthones researched transplants and did the first kidney transplant operation in Western New York in 1964.
The brothers often performed surgery together and for many years did the majority of kidney transplants here.
They went on to develop comprehensive transplant programs at Buffalo General and Children’s hospitals. In 1979, they started New York State’s first dialysis service outside of a hospital, the Western New York Artificial Kidney Center.
Dr. Anthone also was a clinical assistant professor of surgery at the UB Medical School and was coordinator of the UB transplantation program.
He and his brother were authors of more than 30 scientific publications. They were both members of the Organ Procurement Agency of WNY and Upstate New York Transplant Services.
Dr. Roland Anthone was president of the surgical staff at Children’s Hospital in the 1970s. He also was president of the Buffalo Surgical Society and National Network Coordinating Council 26 for End Stage Renal Disease. In 1970, he succeeded his brother as president of the UB Medical Alumni Association.
They received many honors together, including Gift of Life Awards in 1979 from the National Kidney Foundation, its highest honor. He also was recognized as Alumnus of the Year in 1996 by the Harvard-Radcliffe Club of Western New York and received a lifetime achievement award from the UB Medical Alumni Association.
A former Eggertsville resident, he lived on Buffalo’s waterfront before moving to Sarasota after he retired in the mid-1990s.
In addition to his brother and son, survivors include his wife of 71 years, the former Betty Seidenberg; two daughters, Peggy Walker and Cathy Bern; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Roger W. Brandt Sr. (May 12, 1928 – Jan. 14, 2020), a banker active as a volunteer in many community organizations, died Tuesday at his home in Canterbury Woods, Amherst, after a short illness. He was 91.
Born in Kenmore, he was a 1946 graduate of the Nichols School and received a bachelor’s degree in history from the University at Buffalo. He then received pilot training in the Navy and served stateside during the Korean War. He later earned a graduate degree from the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University.
After working briefly for New York Telephone Co., he joined Marine Midland Bank as a teller in 1955, became a business development officer in the bank’s northwest district and was appointed a vice president in 1974.
He managed many branch offices in Buffalo and Erie County, including those in East Aurora, Eden and the Town of Tonawanda. When he retired in 1990, he headed the office in the Rand Building downtown.
An Eden resident for more than 50 years, Mr. Brandt was president of the Eden Chamber of Commerce and helped organize the first Eden Corn Festival.
He was treasurer of the Eden Red Jacket Ski Club, a member of the Eden Jaycees, a director of the Eden-North Collins Rotary Club and active in Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Eden. He helped form the Save the Roeller Hotel Task Force to restore the landmark 19th century building in Eden.
He also served as president of the Tonawanda Chamber of Commerce and the Tonawanda Jaycees and was a chairman for the United Way in Tonawanda.
He was a longtime adviser to the Eagle Board of Review for the Boy Scouts, treasurer for Erie County Meals on Wheels and president of the Buffalo Gyro Club.
He developed and led the first architectural bicycle tours in Buffalo and its waterfront in the 1980s.
Mr. Brandt also was active as a volunteer at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site, where his wife was superintendent. In reenactments of Roosevelt’s swearing in, he played the role of U.S. District Judge John R. Hazel, who administered the oath of office.
When his wife took a national post as chairwoman of the Theodore Roosevelt Foundation, they visited the White House several times and met Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush.
In 2016, he accepted the honor when his father, Carl, a runner who set national and world records in the early 1900s, was inducted into the Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.
He and his wife traveled extensively, visiting 44 nations.
Nicknamed "Chips," he was known for his ability to bring happiness to people. He entertained by playing the harmonica and spoons. In recent years, he performed in senior centers and hospitals with a group called the Harmonicoots and with a harmonica band in Naples, Fla.
“He always carried a harmonica in his pocket,” his son Roger Jr. said. “He could play any song by ear.”
He also appeared as a clown in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and was conductor of the Eden Kazoo Band. When the band appeared in parades at the Eden Corn Festival and the Erie County Fair, he drove the tractor that pulled its float.
Survivors include his wife of 64 years, the former Barbara Berryman; a daughter, Debbie Guckes; another son, Edward; eight grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
KELLOGG - Stephen, Jr., of Buffalo, at age 57. Beloved father of Stephen Kellogg, III and Lachlan C. Kellogg; loving son of Stephen and Carolyn (ne;e Karcher) Kellogg, Sr.; dear brother of Loren (Annie Griffenberg) Kellogg, Carolyn (John) Kellogg Darby and Justin (Leslie) Kellogg; also survived and loved by many nieces and nephews. Steve was bright, creative, multi-talented, quick-witted, wonderfully funny and enjoyed giving of himself to others. He was caring, thoughtful and empathetic and he greatly loved his family. If desired, memorials may be made in his name to Nichols School, 1250 Amherst St., Buffalo, NY 14216.
MONTGOMERY - Henry Ernest, II January 11, 2020. Beloved husband of The Rev. Ellen M. Montgomery (nee Maddigan); loving father of Caroline M. (Anthony L.) Adams, Robin E. Montgomery, and Nelson T. (Deanne) Montgomery; grandfather of Ian Adams, Eliza and Ramsey Tehan, and Lillian Montgomery; great-grandfather of Aila Adams; brother of the late Sarah "Sally" Montgomery.
Peter Kornel Terplan, M.D. was born on December 16th, 1933 and passed away on January 14th, 2020.
He was a 1951 graduate of Nichols School in Buffalo, New York. Peter attended Dartmouth College where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1955. He went on to receive his Doctor of Medicine from State University of New York at Buffalo in 1969.
Dr. Terplan practiced internal medicine for 25 years at Kaiser Permanente/Sunset in Los Angeles.
He is survived by his loving wife Rosemary, his brother and sister-in-law, his nephews, his stepchildren, and his grandchildren.
Jerome (Jay) Schiller P'85,'85,'88 of Naples, Florida was a generous family man with a gentle and kind spirit and was truly loved by everyone that knew him. Devoted husband of 53 years to Lois (Taylor) Schiller and loving father to Robin (Fred), Deborah (Christopher), Stephen (Robin), Marc (Gloria), and loving grandfather to Joshua, Noah, Emma, Zachary, Sydney, Anthony (Eliane), Bianca, Carina, and Fernando (Dora).
Jay was born April 28, 1938 in Buffalo, New York to the parents of Goldie and Sidney Schiller (deceased), and is preceded in death by sister Deborah and brother David. Jay died Sunday, January 5, 2020 of natural causes in his home.
Bennet High School graduate (1956) and founder of City Mattress of WNY and Florida.
Dr. Julian Ambrus Sr. died in Buffalo, NY on January 16, 2020 at the age of 95. He is survived by his children Madeline Ambrus Lillie, Peter Ambrus ('69), Linda Ambrus Broenniman, Julian Ambrus Jr. ('71), Steven Ambrus ('79), Katherine Ambrus Cheney ('81), and Charles Ambrus ('84); and 8 grandchildren including Christine Lillie ('96) and Sarah Lillie ('00). Dr. Ambrus was born in Budapest, Hungary, emigrated to the United States with his wife Clara in the 1950s, and moved to Buffalo in 1955. He was a hematologist at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and UB with a very prolific research lab, and inspired countless students on their path in medicine. Dr. Ambrus was also an avid equestrian and rehabilitator of birds of prey; he always welcomed visitors to the Ambrus farm in Boston, NY. Dr. Ambrus will be remembered for his dedication to medicine and teaching, his love for his family, and his assertion that Hungarian wines, language, etc. are superior. He will be missed by many.
UNG - Nam C. Of Kenmore, NY, February 10. 2020, at age 89. Beloved husband of Sok Lem; loving father of Huy Ung, Ly W. (Srey Lem) Ung, Ly H. Ung, Kim (Bill) Henel and the late Lee (You Tang) Ung; fond grandfather of Michael, Joseph, Peter, David and Christina. Nam was retired from the maintenance staff at Nichols School.
BILTEKOFF - Joshua A. March 22, 2020; loving son of Darcy and Robert Biltekoff '80; cherished brother of Elliot Biltekoff; grandson of Linda and Murray Yost, Gloria Doughty and Nicholas Fitzgerald; also survived by many special aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Josh was a graduate of Hamilton College, with a degree in Mathematics and Music. He found his passion in music. Private Services will be held by the family. Donations may be made in Josh's memory to The Community Music School of Buffalo, at communitymusicbuffalo.org, 415 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, NY 14222. Please share private condolences at www.mesnekoff.com. Arrangements by MESNEKOFF FUNERAL HOME.
- Ayres, Robert G. - April 30
- Baker, Russell '49
- Banta, Charles Urban '34 - May 18
- Bean, Susan R. - January 10
- Benatovich, Sheldon B. '60 – November 22
- Benedict, Matthew W. '11 - July 1
- Burner, Alison Jones - May 24
- Callahan, Patrick J. - November 13
- Cellino Sr., Ross M. - January 30
- de Perio, Jose A. '81 - October 27
- Drake, Kenneth C. - August 7
- Drenning, John B. - March 2
- Eaton, Wyndham '55 - July 18
- Hughes, Connor - July 2
- Jones, Robert E. '52 - July 18
- Keating, Brian E. - October 11
- Klepfer, Thomas '60 - July 25
- Kluckhorn, Karl F. - February 22
- Kovach, Bradley '92 - January 20
- Kulick, Kevin '68 - February 25
- Lahan, Claire Manz - January 29
- Madia II, Robert '88 - March 8
- Michel, Christopher A. ‘69 – November 14
- Munschauer, Sarah J. "Sally" - October 21
- Newman, Barbara L. - February 5
- Olmsted, C. Bushnell '44 - May 1
- Parkot, Brian L. - October 12
- Peters, Ray '65 - May 4
- Potter Sr., Rod - September 26
- Rabow, Julian "Jay" '45 - June 29
- Roberts, Myron A. ’56 – February 15
- Sessions, John M. '62 - July 8
- Smith, Donald - January 22
- Stratton, Richard G. - October 12
- Sturtevant, Peter M. '61 - May 4
- Uncapher, Willard '74 - July 15
- Vodraska, Florence Pittaway - June 22
- Waters, Henry Doubleday '48 - January 4
- Way, Lavern '49 - September 23
- Yeager, Charles L. '49 - November 3
- Zemsky, Sam - June 18
- May, James G. '62 - October 26, 2019
- McLean, Lewis F. - December 16, 2019
- Rogers, Danforth W. '55 - December 25, 2019
Robert George Ayres, musician, accomplished athlete, coach, nickname generator and lover of dogs and babies, died suddenly on Tuesday, April 30th. Rob (also known as Robin, Robbo, Fabio, Apple Rob, and Ghee) was a loving husband to Demi, proud father of his children, Ursula (Tom) Ostrom, Eliot, and Meryl (Max Wall) Ayres, and enthusiastic co-conspirator to his grandchildren, Alexandra and Julian.
He is fondly remembered by his sister Margo (Tom) Smith, brother Burgess (Cindy), mother-in-law Sally Walsh, and brothers-in-law Jack (Chris Hannan) Walsh ‘63, Michael (Debbie) Walsh ‘70, and Barney (Amy Clifton) Walsh ‘73, his beloved nieces and nephews, and their children. Rob was predeceased by his dear sister, Susan Noble, and his sister-in-law, Constance "Lucille" Walsh, with whom he shared the belief that all music should be played LOUD.
A graduate of The Choate School (1963) and Lake Forest College (1967), Rob was a true believer that every day was game day. He was a natural athlete who played two sports at the collegiate level (soccer, hockey) ultimately earning a place in the Lake Forest Athletic Hall of Fame. His love of competition (and of winning) continued throughout his life. He ran multiple Boston Marathons and was a member of the Tour of Greater Boston. He said he loved these sports because they continued to teach him "important lessons about relentless mental toughness, diligent training, and singular passion for challenge".
No stranger to hard work, Rob started his career at age 12 as a paperboy in Wallingford, CT ultimately becoming a Vice President at Digital Equipment Corporation where he was a champion of women's careers before it was fashionable. Further realizing that the future is female, Rob finished his career as the Chief Operating Officer at the all-girls Dana Hall School where he coached (soccer, golf, hockey) and advised countless young women.
Rob served his country with honor from 1967 to 1969 as a member of the United States Army 1st Battalion, 48th infantry, promptly catching a ride to Woodstock upon his honorable discharge (little known fact: he can be seen in a panoramic crowd photo published in Life Magazine -- "the only guy there growing out a crew cut").
A firm beliver in the idea that to whom much is given, much is required, Rob proudly served as a member of the Personnel Board of the Town of Concord, Moderator of Trinitarian Congregational Church, Board Member of Emerson Hospital, and President of the Concord Country Club. From ages 70-73 he rode in the Pan-Mass Challenge raising tens of thousands of dollars for cancer research.
Rob loved playing his guitar and was a member of the Dana Hall Jug Band. He could often be found at open mic nights playing songs he had written. He was in the process of recording an album of original music at the time of his death.
Age 87, July 1, 2019. Beloved husband of Ruthellen Bunis; former husband of Betty Cohen Baker; loving father of R.J. (Wade St. Germain) Baker, Joseph (Cecilia) Baker, Joshua (Megan) Unger and Abigail Unger; son of the late Louis and Helen Baker; brother of Harriet (late Oscar) Feferman and brother-in-law of Naomi Bunis; grandfather of Jaia, Ariel, Keelin, Ella and Max; uncle of Richard and Linda Feferman.
Charles Urban Banta ‘34 – regarded as the dean of Buffalo stockbrokers – died May 18 at his home in Canterbury Woods in Amherst, after a short illness. He was 102. Born in Buffalo, his father’s family was associated with the Bidwell and Banta shipyard, which built large passenger steamboats for the Great Lakes, and his maternal grandfather, George Urban Jr., was president of the George Urban Milling Co. After his father, a physician, died when he was 6, he and his mother and two sisters lived with his grandfather on the Urban family estate in Pine Ridge in Cheektowaga.
He attended upper elementary grades at Nichols School and was a 1935 graduate of the prestigious Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Conn., where his classmates included future Pennsylvania Gov. William W. Scranton. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a master’s degree in business administration from the Harvard University Graduate School of Business. He worked for Ford Motor Co. in Detroit and Curtiss-Wright in Buffalo before enlisting in the Navy during World War II. He served in the Seabees in the Pacific at Guadalcanal, the Philippines and Okinawa, attaining the rank of lieutenant. After the war, Mr. Banta worked in Boston at Rath and Strong Management Consultants, then returned to Buffalo in 1951 to take a position with the First National Bank.
In 1954, he joined what was then Hamlin and Lunt, an investment banking firm, and became a partner in 1958, when it became S. D. Lunt. He oversaw mergers and acquisitions of local companies and served on the boards of Astronics, the Buffalo Electric Co., Roblin Industries and the George Urban Milling Co. After Lunt closed in 1974, he went to the Buffalo office of Kidder, Peabody and Co., became an assistant vice president, then left with Robert J. Dwyer in 1980 to launch the Buffalo branch of Dean Witter Reynolds. He was senior vice president of investments and oversaw the expansion of the branch to more than 50 brokers before he retired, in 1999, from what then was Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.
“We didn’t know how fast it would grow,” Mr. Banta told Buffalo News financial editor Bill Flynn in 1982, when the branch outgrew its original location and moved into larger offices in the Liberty Bank Building. “In actuality, it surprised Dean Witter, too.”
He served on the board of directors of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery for 24 years, beginning in the 1960s. He was named an honorary director of the gallery in 1991. He was active in fundraising for the American Red Cross, Hallwalls, the United Way, the Hotchkiss School and Yale. He was a past president of the Buffalo Tennis and Squash Club, an honorary member of the Country Club of Buffalo and the Mid Day Club of Buffalo, and a member of the Yale Club of New York City and the Saturn Club. He was a past president of the Yale Association of Western New York. He enjoyed tennis, squash, skiing and golf.
His wife of 64 years, the former Melissa Wickser, taught at Calasanctius, was assistant to the director of the libraries at the University at Buffalo and was co-owner of the art gallery Les Copains. She died in 2011. Survivors include a daughter, Melissa; two sons, Charles W. and Philip L.; and eight grandchildren.
Susan died peacefully at Hospice Buffalo in the presence of her family, after a brief illness. She is survived by her children, Douglas (Elisa) Bean ‘71, Philip (Kathryn) Bean ‘73, and Emelie (Mark) Ventling; six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, and extended family. Susan loved time spent with her family and traveling with her late husband, Ed, in retirement. Her volunteer activities included the Museum of Science Women's Board, the Garret Club Lecture Committee, the Westminster Energy Educational Program, and chairing a major capital campaign, with her husband, for Child and Family Services.
BENATOVICH - Sheldon B., Esq. November 22, 2019, beloved husband of Sheila (nee Bardach) Benatovich; loving father of Brian (Lauren) and Samuel Benatovich; cherished brother of Sandra (F. Steven) Berg and Dr. Howard (Lana) Benatovich; son-in-law of Judith (late Robert) Bardach; brother-in-law of Leah Bardach (Mitchell) Morcelle; also survived by loving nieces and nephews. Funeral Services will be held Tuesday at 11 AM at Temple Beth Zion, 805 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, 14209. Shiva will be announced. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Temple Beth Zion or the Amyloidosis Research Consortium, email@example.com
Cherished son of William J. and Anne M. (nee Hertlein) Benedict; loving brother of Kaitlin E. Benedict (Justin Alger), Michael F. Benedict and Elizabeth N. Benedict '12; dear grandson of Jean (late Joseph) Hertlein and the late Jack and Melanie Benedict; loving companion of Kelly Quinn; also survived by a large loving family and many dear friends. Matt served as a JV and 5/6 lacrosse coach at Nichols and remained connected with the School long after his graduation.
During his time at Nichols, Matt was a member of the Cum Laude Society and a recipient of the 2011 Alumni Cup. He was a three-sport athlete – a member of Nichols’ football, lacrosse and hockey teams. A proud Nichols alumnus, Matt was always ready and willing to serve his alma mater. Matt went on to graduate cum laude from Middlebury College in 2015 where he majored in economics, minored in political science and classical studies, and captained their DIII football program. He most recently was a law student at the University at Buffalo, and was active in the UB Law Buffalo Public Interest Law Program. As a legal intern, he worked with many local Nichols alumni, parents and friends and remained very active within our alumni network.
From the LA Times:
Beloved wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, Alison died peacefully at her childhood home in California following a courageous seven month battle with a malignant brain tumor. Typical of her selflessness, Ali chose an experimental immunotherapy regimen, rather than traditional treatment, in the hope that a way could be found to successfully combat this dreaded disease and save others.
Alison was born and raised in Pacific Palisades, attended Palisades Elementary School and graduated from Marlborough School (1982) and Wellesley College (1986) with a major in Political Science. During college years, she interned for Congressman Anthony Beilenson in Washington D.C. and for the law firm of O'Melveny and Myers. After Wellesley she worked in the education department of the Morgan Library in New York and found her calling. She then obtained a M.Ed. from Harvard University Graduate School of Education in 1990. There she met her future husband of 28 years, Chris Burner. They moved to Hudson, Ohio, where Chris accepted a position at Western Reserve Academy and Alison worked at educational non-profits, first at agencies that help underprivileged students attend college and then as a Program Officer at the Burton D. Morgan Foundation. They had planned a move this summer when Chris retired as Head of School at Western Reserve and accepted a new position as Head of Nichols School in Buffalo, New York.
A devoted, thoughtful and caring mother, Alison raised two exceptional children. Matthew is completing a Master's Degree in Chinese History at Columbia University and will enter law school at the University of Pennsylvania in August. Abigail will start her sophomore year at Gettysburg College in the fall. Both children relied on their mother for advice, guidance and support, but she also had a wicked, irreverent sense of humor that brightened their lives.Besides her husband and children, Alison is survived by her parents, Judy and Steaven Jones of Pacific Palisades, her loving sister and best friend, Lawry Meister, also of Pacific Palisades, and a number of nieces and nephews. All are devastated by her loss.
Of all the demolition projects Patrick J. Callahan handled, the one that attracted the most attention was the tearing down of Buffalo’s Memorial Auditorium in 2009.
“We had more people watching in Buffalo than when we took down Yankee Stadium,” said his brother, Kevin, who worked on the project. “The Aud was more of an icon. The only thing I can compare it to was a church. People were so emotionally attached to the Aud. There were people watching all day long.”
Mr. Callahan, president of DEMCO Inc., one of nation’s leading demolition contractors, died unexpectedly Nov. 13. He was 58.
Born in Buffalo, he grew up in Derby and was a 1979 graduate of St. Francis High School, where he played varsity football.
Prior to establishing DEMCO (Dismantlement and Environmental Management Co.) with his sister, Gayle, in 1994, Mr. Callahan had served as vice president of several other demolition firms.
One of their first big jobs was the demolition in 1996 and 1997 of Cleveland Stadium, the lakeside home of the Cleveland Browns and the Cleveland Indians.
DEMCO went on to specialize in numerous high-profile projects, including the razing of Yankee Stadium in New York City and the Orange Bowl in Miami, Fla.
Mr. Callahan salvaged an 80-foot flagpole from the Orange Bowl and installed it near the beach at his Angola home.
DEMCO also did extensive demolition work on heavy industrial properties and nuclear sites, including accelerators, reactors, weapons plants and processing plants for uranium and plutonium.
The company carried out the first demolition in the U.S. of a facility contaminated by plutonium.
It also demolished the Plutonium Production Facility Building at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Rocky Flats Plant in Colorado, considered “the most dangerous building in the free world.”
Mr. Callahan maintained a U.S. government top secret clearance for more than 10 years and was licensed by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for the handling and storage of explosives.
A member of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Farnham, he was known for his huge July 4 parties on the beach at Angola.
He enjoyed cooking and fishing, especially for marlin and sailfish in South Florida.
In addition to his brother, survivors include his wife of more than 35 years, the former Sandra Kaczkowski; his mother, Madonna; a son, Sean; two daughters, Shannon Rautenstrauch and Kelly Moser; three sisters, Bridget '77, Gayle and Brenda; and three grandchildren.
From The Buffalo News:
Ross M. Cellino Sr., founder of the law firm that became Cellino & Barnes, one of the largest personal injury firms in the nation, died in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga, after a short illness. He was 86.
He joined with Michael Likoudis in 1958 to establish Cellino & Likoudis, later Cellino, Bernstein and Dwyer. For 25 years, he maintained a small office in the Brisbane Building in downtown Buffalo. When it moved in 1990, it had a staff of four attorneys. Although Mr. Cellino handled a number of personal injury clients, his practice focused on real estate, criminal clients and trusts and estates. He retired at age 59, shortly after one of his sons, Ross Jr., and a new attorney, Stephen E. Barnes, joined the firm.
Another son, Dr. Michael Cellino, noted that his father “was always well-respected in the legal community for his sharp intellect, his quick wit and his charming personality. Having nine children at home, and a wife to support, he rarely turned down a case.” To accommodate one of his poorer clients, Dr. Cellino said, his father took a sewing machine in payment. Another time, he accepted a couple of Frank Sinatra albums.
Ross Michael Cellino Sr. was born in his parents’ home on a small farm near Dunkirk. The son of Michael D. and Rose (Millonzi) Cellino, he was one of four children and was a 1950 graduate of Dunkirk High School, where he was president of the Honor Society, the History League and the Spanish Club and had starring roles in school plays. His yearbook described him as “a born leader” and “always energetic and enthusiastic.” He had a variety of odd jobs during his school years. He worked on his father’s farm and a neighbor’s farm, had a newspaper delivery route, was a stock boy at Jayne’s dress shop in Dunkirk, set pins in a bowling alley, was a crane operator at Alco in Dunkirk and worked in the Red Wing canning factory in Fredonia. Active in sports, he was a standout third baseman in the Dunkirk City Softball League and undefeated as a wrestler in his freshman year at the University of Buffalo, although he had never wrestled in high school.
Before starting UB, he had begun dating Jean Maggio. They were married in August 1952 in a double ceremony that included his brother Nicholas and his bride, Clarice, and moved to Buffalo. With their first child on the way, Mr. Cellino took a job as a chemist at Linde Air and continued his studies at UB for another year at night. He enrolled in UB law school in 1954, attending classes by day and working at Bethlehem Steel at night, operating the big cold saw. After he graduated in 1956, he worked briefly as a collection attorney, then as a trial attorney for another firm before establishing his practice.
He also was an entrepreneur. With Larry Haxton, he bought Mel-O-Dee Pools in West Seneca in 1967, which provided work experience for several of his children. With his wife’s cousin, Al Faso, he founded Al-Ross Sports Screening in the early 1970s. Honored as Business of the Year in 2018 by the West Seneca Chamber of Commerce, it is now run by his sons, Joseph and David. His late daughter, Susan, also was active in the business.
He gave another son, Anthony, a used sewer cleaning machine, which led Anthony to establish Cellino Plumbing.
An original member of the board of directors of Ecology and Environment Corp., he continued as a board member in retirement. He also was active with the West Seneca Kiwanis Club.
He and his wife became world travelers and, in 2017, they hosted 84 members of the Cellino family for a week together at Ocean Isle, N.C. In addition to his wife, survivors include five sons, Dr. Michael, Ross Jr., Joseph, David and Anthony; three daughters, Sharon Davies, Rose Ann Cellino and Julie Bastible; two brothers, Nicholas and Richard; a sister, Josephine “Dolly” Gostomski; 32 grandchildren, including Ross Cellino III ’03, Annemarie Cellino ’05, and Brigitte Cellino ‘08; and 25 great-grandchildren.
Age 56, beloved husband of Rowena (nee Dotig) de Perio, MD; devoted father of Joseph Michael JD, Jared Martin and Rachel Alexis de Perio '16; loving son of Virginia V. (nee Villarica) de Perio, MD and the late Jose M. de Perio, Jr., MD; dear brother of Jeffrey A. (Lisa) de Perio, MD '87 and Jamie J. (Jennifer Gurske-de Perio, MD) de Perio; cherished uncle of Justin, Jordan, Jayda, Jarett, Jackson, Adrienne, Alexa, Mico and RJ; son-in-law of Rosario and the late Aurelio Dotig; brother-in-law of Ariel (Maritess) Dotig and Remelyn (Antonio) Asis; also survived by aunts, uncles, cousins and many friends.
From The Buffalo News:
Kenneth C. Drake discovered his career calling as a financial adviser. The job suited his personality, allowing him to build relationships with clients, said his daughter, Allison Drake '00. "He had everybody's best interests in mind and at heart," she said.
Mr. Drake, a Snyder resident, died of pancreatic cancer on Wednesday at Hospice Buffalo in Cheektowaga. He was 71. Mr. Drake was born in Orchard Park and graduated from high school there. He went on to graduate from Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio, and earned a master's of business administration at the University at Buffalo.
Mr. Drake was a competitive distance runner in college. "As he would tell me, he wasn't the best, but he would make other people around him the best," Allison Drake said. "That applies to everything in his life." After earning his MBA, Mr. Drake went to work at M&T Bank. It was there that he met his future wife, Shelley Cole, when she stopped by his desk one day in 1972. They married in 1976. Shelley Drake would continue her rise through M&T, and is now the bank's regional president for Western New York.
After he left M&T, Mr. Drake held management positions for several manufacturing companies. But it was the more than 20 years he spent as a financial adviser with Sagemark Group, a division of Lincoln Financial Advisors, that he found most fulfilling and rewarding. "I think it was the perfect thing for him because he loved building relationships," Allison Drake said. "People knew they could, and did, trust him. He was a confidant to a ton of people." Mr. Drake was "very analytical and process-oriented," which were good skills for the job, his daughter said.
Mr. Drake served on a number of boards, including those of the Elmwood Franklin School, Upstate New York Transplant Services, Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus, Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, the Olmsted Center for Sight and Hospice Buffalo. "He was very committed to all of them," Allison Drake said.
He was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Temple Beth Zion and the Saturn Club. In his leisure time, Mr. Drake loved running. He ran in more than 40 Turkey Trots, and enjoyed participating in races than went past lighthouses, collecting replicas as mementos of each race. He was an avid golfer — he had a hole-in-one once — and enjoyed skiing and gardening. Mr. Drake and his children also built a kayak from scratch.
Mr. Drake was diagnosed with cancer late last year, but he remained active and engaged, Allison Drake said. Most recently, he poured time and effort into renovating a newly purchased family cottage on Bertie Bay in Ontario. "It's going to mean so much to us forever," Allison Drake said. Along with his wife and daughter, Mr. Drake is survived by a son, Robert '00; two step-siblings, Lisa Horlein and Amy Loehndorf; and three grandchildren.
From the Buffalo News:
John B. Drenning, an attorney specializing in corporate law and a partner in the leading Buffalo law firms, died March 2 in his Buffalo home after a 2½-year battle with leukemia. He was 81. Born in Mount Kisco, John Brabazon Drenning was a graduate of Bedford Hills High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Buffalo in 1961 and went on to Cornell University Law School, where he won the 1963 moot court competition and received his law degree in 1964.
He was a clerk for two years in the State Supreme Court Appellate Division in Albany for two years, then moved to Buffalo. At the firm of Moot and Sprague from 1966 to 1990, he became a partner and headed the practices in labor law and banking. Mr. Drenning became a partner at Phillips, Lytle, Hitchcock, Blaine and Huber in 1990 and had been a partner at Hodgson Russ in its corporate and securities practice since 2000. In 2002, he was included in the ninth edition of “Best Lawyers in America.” He served on the boards of directors and was corporate secretary for Moog Inc., Acme Electric Corp., MOD-PAC and Astronics Corp., where at the time of his death he had been a board member for nearly 50 years. At Moog, he continued to serve as a trustee of the Supplemental Retirement Plan Trust. He also was a member of the board of directors and corporate secretary to the Western New York Technology Development Center. He was a trustee at Westminster Presbyterian Church from 1979 to 1982 and served as board president in 1982. He also served on the Buffalo State College Foundation board of directors and the Cornell Law Association executive committee.
A member of the Country Club of Buffalo, he enjoyed golf, tennis, shooting and fly fishing, along with painting and wood carving. He also helped construct boats at the Buffalo Maritime Center, where he built himself an Adirondack guide boat. He arranged for it to be donated to Paul Smith’s College. For more than 30 years, he and his wife had a vacation home in the Adirondacks at Upper Saranac Lake. An avid reader, he was a lifelong student of history and constitutional law. In recent years, he also traveled extensively.
Survivors include his wife of 53 years, the former Barbara Shields, active in many community organizations; a daughter, Elizabeth B. ‘84; a son, John B. III ‘87; and a grandson.
From The Buffalo News:
Wyndham Eaton, of Lake View, retired president of Eaton Equipment Corp. in Hamburg, died July 18 in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga, after a long illness. He was 82. Born in Buffalo, he was a hockey player at Nichols School, graduating in 1955, and earned a bachelor’s degree in business in 1959 from Brown University, where he was captain of the hockey team.
He joined Eaton Equipment, a company founded by his father and uncle that became upstate New York’s largest distributor of outdoor power lawn and garden equipment and golf course supplies. He headed the company from 1978 to 1995. He served as president of Queen City Industrial Park from 1986 until his death.
Mr. Eaton was a former member of the board of directors of First Federal Savings and Loan of Hamburg and was president of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce in 1970. He was a past president of Wanakah Country Club and a member for more than 50 years. A member of the Ellicottville Ski Club for more than 60 years, he also served as its president.
Survivors include his wife of 58 years, the former Wendy Hutton; two sons, Scott and Kevin; two daughters, Dana Garcia-Eaton and Karen Olson; a sister, Ann; and 11 grandchildren.
Connor, age 23, of North Tonawanda, passed unexpectedly on July 2, 2019. Son of Kevin and Barbara (nee Blair) Hughes; brother of Kevin (Lisa) Hughes II '09 and Sean Hughes '12 and his beloved Dixie. Connor owned and operated A-1 Home Appliances on Main Street in North Tonawanda. Memorial contributions in memory of Connor may be made to the Boy’s and Girl’s Club of the Northtowns, 325 Franklin St., Tonawanda, NY 14150.
Robert Elwell Jones passed away peacefully on July 18th at his home in Overland Park, KS. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Joyce Hall Jones, and by his three sons and their families: Michael Jones and his wife Stacy (Prairie Village, KS) and their children Trevor, Colin and Ian; Evan Jones and his wife Tara (Roswell, GA) and their children Marshall, Morgan and Matthew; Eliott Jones and his wife Kim (Menlo Park, CA) and their children Ashley, Gretchen, Eliza and Annika; his sister, Ruth Glascock (Dunwoody, GA); and his niece Jill Glascock (Dunwoody, GA) and nephew Robert Glascock (Atlanta, GA).
Bob was raised in Buffalo, NY. He attended high school at the Nichols School, where he excelled in basketball and baseball. He and his sister were the first in a family of coal miners to attend college. To his great surprise, he was admitted to Harvard University where he majored in English Literature and played varsity baseball. Bob spent over 35 years with Archer Daniels Midland in the Kansas City area, where he and Joyce raised their three boys. In addition to his professional achievements in global nutrition, he was well known at home for his leadership within the Kansas City youth ice hockey community. He became an avid golfer in his later years as a member of the Shadow Glen Golf Club in Olathe, KS.
Bob will be remembered as an outgoing, kind-hearted leader and champion of the underdog. He was always ready to help those in need and to offer advice to those who came seeking his wisdom he had a special talent for making complex problems simple. Bob loved helping others to succeed but never sought credit or accolades for the lives he impacted. Most of all, Bob loved to make people laugh and to remind us not to take life too seriously. It was always a good day when he started a conversation with "Let me tell you a story.”
Brian E. Keating, retired regional president for HSBC Bank’s Western New York operations, was the man Buffalo-area business and civic leaders called to get things done.
When he headed the Catholic Charities Appeal in 1998, it set a record for first-day donations and exceeded its final goal.
When Buffalo Niagara Enterprise needed someone to lead a multimillion-dollar effort to bring new jobs to the region in 1999, he was the one they picked.
When the Business Backs the Sabres committee was formed in 2002 to sell enough season tickets to keep the team in Buffalo – after the economic collapse of owner John Rigas – he was one of the co-chairmen.
He “knows what it takes to bring new business to an area,” a Buffalo News editorial declared in 1999. “A tactician who understands how to attack a problem ... he does that by bringing people together.”
Mr. Keating died Oct. 11 in Canterbury Woods, Amherst. He was 72.
A Buffalo native, Brian Edward Keating was the son of Dr. Carroll E. Keating, chief of staff at St. Francis Hospital for 40 years.
He attended Nichols Middle School, was a 1964 graduate of Canisius College High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Canisius College in 1968.
He completed a master’s of business administration degree in finance from Babson College in Wellesley, Mass., in 1970, then spent several months as a research fellow at the London School of Economics in England.
Later he graduated from the Commercial Banking Management School at Columbia University.
He joined what was then Marine Midland Bank in 1971, as a management associate, and was working in Marine’s national department when he was promoted to assistant vice president in 1974.
He became a vice president in 1978.
The following year, the bank assigned him to London. He was director of loan syndications for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, then served as group head of the international corporate department.
Returning to Buffalo in 1983, Mr. Keating became the executive responsible for commercial banking. His position expanded in 1985 when he was appointed director of trust and investment services. In 1991, he was named western regional president, overseeing both commercial and retail operations in the Buffalo Niagara region.
In 2000, he additionally became executive vice president of retail and commercial banking for upstate New York, overseeing activities from Buffalo to Albany. He retained oversight of commercial banking when the retail and commercial divisions became separate in 2006.
When he stepped down from those posts, in 2007, he was appointed chairman of the bank’s western region advisory board and served until 2012.
In 2011, he became one of two managing directors at Dopkins Wealth Management LLC in Amherst.
He received numerous awards and honors, including induction into the Junior Achievement of Western New York’s Hall of Fame.
He served on the boards of directors of the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation, Nichols School, the Buffalo Foundation, the Buffalo Council on World Affairs, the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, the YMCA of Greater Buffalo, Western New York Public Broadcasting, Unyts, Catholic Charities and the Bishop’s Council of Laity.
He was a member of the council of the Wehle School of Business at Canisius College and was the first treasurer of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership.
He was a member of St. Mark’s Catholic Church, a life member of the Buffalo Canoe Club and an avid tennis player, skier and biker.
Throughout his life, he enjoyed memorable times on the Lake Erie shore in Canada.
“My dad’s passion for Buffalo was unmatched,” his son, Brennan, said in a eulogy. “He loved living in and being from Buffalo. He honestly didn’t understand how anyone could root for anyone other than the Bills. ... He was always up for a Sahlen’s hot dog with Weber’s mustard, then would have to remind us they were the best in the world.”
Survivors include another son, Ryan; a daughter, Katherine Maleski; his former wife, Anne; a sister, Clare Nienhaus; and five grandchildren.
From The Buffalo News:
After almost 20 years in the family business of car sales, Thomas Matthew Klepfer took a new job on the other side of the state as general manager of a waste paper packing plant in Albany. He flew out and back every week for three years, leading the firm from marginal profitability to an annual profit of more than a half-million dollars. After three years, he became a Buffalo-based account executive for the firm.
Then, in 1990, Mr. Klepfer founded TAMCO Paper Stock Inc., creating the name from his own first initial and those of his two daughters, Marjorie and Caroline. That was the place for him. "I think he was sorry that he didn't start in the paper business sooner than he did," said his wife of 50 years, Sharon Klepfer.
Although he retired in 2005, his Buffalo company remains family-owned. Mr. Klepfer died on July 25, 2019, in his Snyder home after a long illness. He was 76. He was born in Buffalo on Aug. 4, 1942, the first child of Harlan A. and Lucy L. Klepfer. He attended Nichols School, where, already 6-foot-6, he was a football star and center and captain of the basketball team in his senior year. He also participated in track, setting a local record in the discus throw that stood for some 25 years. At Nichols, Mr. Klepfer was known for his sense of humor. In his senior profile in 1960, his classmates wrote, "The only place his humor forsakes him is in study hall, where, as proctor, he keeps close rein on over-enthusiastic upperclassmen."
He attended Denison University in Granville, Ohio, where he belonged to Delta Upsilon fraternity and played on the football team. After graduating in 1964 with a bachelor's degree in sociology, he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers and went to training camp briefly. He later told his wife that despite his size and strength, he lacked what he called "the killer instinct."
From 1967 to 1979, he worked at Klepfer Brothers Buick on Main Street in Buffalo, becoming new and used car manager. Mr. Klepfer enlisted in the U.S. Army as a non-commissioned officer, serving at Fort Polk, La. He was honorably discharged in 1970 with the rank of Master Sergeant.
On New Years Eve 1968, Mr. Klepfer brought a date to a party at the home of a friend. Also attending, with her own date, was Sharon Barclift. As 1968 became 1969, they caught each other's eyes. After a whirlwind romance, they married on May 3, 1969, in Amherst Community Church in Snyder.
In 1979, Mr. Klepfer became president and CEO of his own auto sales company, Tom Klepfer Pontiac-Buick in Yorkshire, in Cattaraugus County. After six years, Mr. Klepfer became general manager at CFI/US Recycling Industries in Albany. His family remained in the home on Washington Highway in Snyder that they occupied for more than 40 years, while he commuted to Albany weekly. "He would fly down on Monday morning and fly back on Friday night," said Mrs. Klepfer.
In 1988, Mr. Klepfer became a Buffalo-based account executive for the Albany company, then, in 1990, he opened TAMCO Paper Stock Inc. He led the firm to almost a million dollars of annual revenue.
His family described him as loud, boisterous and "the life of the party," and compassionate, kind, loving and devoted to his friends and family. "Big guy, soft heart," his wife said. He also loved to "scream at the TV during football games," his wife said. "It got to the point that I absolutely hated football season, and I couldn't open the windows, because then everybody could hear," she said.
Mr. Klepfer was a member of the Torque Kings Classic Car Club who loved his red 1930 "Hi-Boy" Roadster and his red 1940 Ford coupe. He was active in the local automotive community and won many awards at classic car/hot rod shows. He loved boating, especially at Thunder Bay, Ont., where his family had a cottage for many years. He was a member of Amherst Community Church.
Besides his wife of 50 years, Sharon Barclift Klepfer, Mr. Klepfer is survived by his son, Steven Klepfer; two daughters, Marjorie Brown and Caroline Klepfer; seven grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; two brothers, James and John Klepfer; a sister, Ann Huffman; and several nieces and nephews.
Karl Kluckhorn of Williamsville, NY, beloved husband of the late Dede and the late Marilyn; loving father of Thomas (Christine), Steven (Cathi), Chuck (Carmen) and stepfather of David (Jocelyn) Laub ‘84 and Derek (Shelly) Laub ‘89; dear grandfather of Melissa, Kyle, Emily, Hannah, Karl, Wyatt, Tia, Dylan, Elle, Creighton and Tyler.
Bradley Kovach of Williamsville, NY, passed away on February 20, 2019. Loving father to his two adorable daughters Kennedy Jean and Macey Elizabeth Kovach, and their mother Carrie Kovach; cherished son of Kenneth and Tina (nee Procakiewicz) Kovach; nephew of special aunt Mary Lou (nee Procakiewicz) Zeis; also survived by uncles, cousins and many friends including the incredible loyal and loving family of Homeland Security. After graduating from the Niagara University he worked as a Firearms and Tactics Instructor, Anti-Terrorism Contraband Enforcement Officer, Counter-Terrorism Response Officer and most recently as an Entry Specialist. Brad was an imposing defenseman in hockey and a standout All-League outfielder in baseball for Nichols School in Buffalo during the late 80's and early 90's.
Dr. Kevin B. Kulick, a dermatologist in private practice and with Buffalo Medical Group for decades, was an active and dedicated leaders of local Jewish organizations. "He did a great deal as a community leader for the Jewish community here in Buffalo," said his wife of nearly 45 years, Rise Kulick. He was also a devoted husband, father, grandfather, son and brother and an avid gardener whose English-style perennial garden was a stop on the Amherst Garden Walk several times, she said.
Dr. Kulick, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in June 2017, died Feb. 25, 2019, in his Amherst home with care from Hospice Buffalo. He was 68. He was born March 21, 1950, in Buffalo, the first child of Diana Becker, an elementary school teacher, and Sanford Kulick, an attorney who became a state unemployment judge. Dr. Kulick was the brother of Tracy and Wynne Elizabeth.
He attended grade school at the Campus School on the grounds of SUNY Buffalo State, then graduated from Nichols School in the Class of 1968. He earned his bachelor's degree from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., then attended medical school at the University at Buffalo, followed by two years of residency in family practice and a three-year residence in dermatology, both at UB. In his final year of residency at UB, he worked in a research lab studying lupus erythematosus. Dr. Kulick then spent a year doing research with the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation in Oklahoma City. He returned to Buffalo and spent the next two years researching at UB as a Dr. Henry C. and Bertha H. Buswell Fellow, a program that selects early-career medical doctors who will pursue careers as physician-scientists.
In 1981, Dr. Kulick began part-time private practice as a dermatologist and in 1984, he began a full-time private practice. He maintained an office on Delaware Avenue in the Town of Tonawanda for 25 years. In 2009, he joined Buffalo Medical Group, and he had offices on Essjay Road until he stopped practicing due to his diagnosis. Dr. Kulick was certified by the American Board of Dermatology and a fellow in the American Academy of Dermatology. Between 1983 and 1986, medical journals published four studies on lupus erythematosus he co-authored. In 2007, an article he co-authored on an unusual skin disease in a patient with lymphoma was published.
Dr. Kulick was president of Kadimah Academy in the late 1980s, president of the Jewish Federation of Buffalo from 2004 to 2006, and president of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Buffalo from 2007 to 2009. He was chair of the Young Leadership Program of the Jewish Federation of Buffalo and won the organization's Young Men's Leadership Award in 1988.
He and Rise Pozarny met in 1969 at a reunion of a high school youth group in which Dr. Kulick had been active. "There was a friend who thought that we'd make a good match, so I went," said Mrs. Kulick. They married in Buffalo in 1974 and had been a couple for 50 years.
In his spare time, Dr. Kulick was "an extraordinary gardener," his wife said. His English-style perennial gardens were featured on the Amherst Garden Walk for several years. "He was a man of extraordinary intellect, curious about science, art, philosophy and life," said his wife. "He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather, and a loving son and brother."
Through their fund, the Kevin B. and Rise P. Kulick Philanthropic Fund, the couple supported educational and Jewish organizations, Mrs. Kulick said, as well as such international groups as Doctors Without Borders and the Smile Train. Besides his wife, Dr. Kulick is survived by a daughter, Abigail Gold; two sons, Benjamin and David Kulick; two sisters, Tracy Jacobowitz and Wynne Elizabeth Trinca; four grandchildren; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Claire Elizabeth Lahan, Nottingham '73, of Melbourne Florida, passed away at Viera Health and Rehabilitation Center in Veira, Florida. She was born on October 3, 1955 in Buffalo, New York to the late Victor Edward Manz and Claire Elizabeth Gavin. Claire will be deeply missed by her husband Gerald Lahan; son, Gavin Lahan; brother, David (Carolyn) Manz; niece Gina Manz and nephew Thomas Manz.
Robert Madia II, Esq. Of Grand Island, died on March 8, 2019, he was 48 years old. Rob is survived by his parents Michael Madia (Sharon) and Antoinette Oros; his grandmother, Rita Madia: his sisters, Jennifer and Cali Madia ‘05 (Daniel); and his brother, Jacob Madia. Rob lettered in 3 sports at Nichols School, was All State in hockey at Oswego and All American at Mercyhurst before playing four years in the coast hockey leagues. Rob was a graduate of The University of San Diego Law School and was admitted to practice law in New York State.
Christopher (Chris) A. Michel passed away, peacefully, Thursday morning Nov. 14, while under the compassionate care of the Chase Point Assisted Living staff and friends.
He was born Feb. 26, 1951 in New Haven, Conn. and, after moving in childhood with his family he happily lived in Buffalo, N.Y., and spent summers in South Bristol. Chris attended the Nichols School in Buffalo, Syracuse University and University of Colorado, Boulder.
Chris grew up particularly loving athletics like soccer, ice hockey and tennis in which he excelled during his teenage years. After college, while in Colorado, he worked for 10 years in the infancy and development of the health food business. He became a licensed electrician there and later moved to Florida where he worked for many years in residential and commercial construction. His Jeep was his toolbox and he was methodical at every task he undertook.
He retired to Maine and lived on the “S” Road in South Bristol. He was deeply devoted to his parents, helping them in their final years. He loved to fish and the coast of Maine was where he felt most at home, replacing the propeller on his outboard many times in the search for that new spot to fish and explore. He loved the secluded parts of Seal Cove on the Damariscotta River and was particularly appreciative when large portions of that shoreline became nature preserves. He was proudest of a sturdy dock that he built there from which his mother could swim in her later years.
Chris had a dry sense of humor and did not like arrogance in any form. He loved being in nature, smoking a cigar on his back porch and croaking with the frogs in a nearby pond. He was a quiet person and very respectful of the privacy of others. Chris was an explorer, patient and measured in his quest. His love of place was deeply felt.
He will be missed by his family, friends and the wildlife around him, all who knew that he had a good heart and wanted the best for others. We will be reminded of these sides of Chris, in the summer when his ashes are dedicated to nature and forever, when hearing a bullfrog sing.
Chris is survived by his sister, Maggie; brothers, Toby and his wife Mary, and Laurence and his wife Annie; as well as his nephew and nieces.
From The Buffalo News:
Barbara L. Newman enjoyed being outdoors, whether she was on the golf course with her husband, NOCO Energy Corp. co-founder Donald F. Newman, or building trails in the woods with their four sons. If she wasn't out on the links, Mrs. Newman could be found on the tennis court, said her son, Michael. "Golf and tennis: She stayed very active. She did like the outdoors quite a bit," he said.
Mrs. Newman, who devoted hours of her time to sitting on boards and volunteering at community organizations, died Tuesday at her home in Clarence following a lengthy illness. She was 81.
The daughter of an Army officer, the former Barbara Lutz was born in Los Angeles but lived in various cities across the United States, as well as in Germany, where she attended high school, and in Puerto Rico, where her father was stationed. "She was an Army brat. She traveled around quite a bit because her father kept getting re-stationed to different locations," Michael Newman said.
It was the Army that brought his parents together, Michael said. They met at the Watertown Arsenal in Watertown, Mass., where his mother's father, a West Point graduate and U.S. Army colonel, was Donald Newman's commanding officer. "At the time, my dad was a lieutenant," Michael Newman added.
His parents married in 1957 at the historic Old North Church in Boston, Mass., and shortly after, Barbara Newman moved with her husband to his hometown of Buffalo, where he and his brother, Reginald B. Newman II, took over their father's coal delivery company and built it into NOCO Energy Corp., the largest fuel distribution company in Western New York.
While her husband was helping to build the family business, Mrs. Newman raised their four sons — but it didn't keep her from enjoying the outdoors. "We had a place in West Valley that she used to take us out to every weekend. We'd go out there and make trails and do all kinds of outdoors stuff," Michael Newman recalled.
"When we were kids, she brought back pheasant eggs, which we incubated. They got hatched and we let them loose at West Valley. I don't know how my mom did it," Michael Newman added.
As her boys grew more independent, Mrs. Newman gravitated towards golf. "She did love to play golf. In fact, she hit five holes-in-one," said Michael Newman. "There are people that go their whole life and never hit a hole-in-one, and she had five of them."
Michael Newman said golf was a pastime for both of his parents, which seemed to strengthen their bond. "My dad and her were very close," Michael Newman said. "She played pretty regularly with my dad. That's something they always did together. Like, a lot of guys have their guys group, whereas my mom and my dad would always play together."
Michael Newman said his mother had a competitive spirit. Never one to allow the men in her home to overshadow her, she often reminded them, especially her husband, of her numerous holes-in-one on the golf course.
Mrs. Newman served on boards and community organizations, including Artpark, the Buffalo Zoo, the Junior League and the Bristol Home. She was active over the years with the annual WNED-TV Auction and the Boys and Girls Club of the Northtowns.
She was predeceased by her husband, who died in 2015. She is survived by four sons, Robert L., Thomas B. '77, James D. '79 and Michael F.; two sisters, Susan Lutz and Margaret Lutz; and seven grandchildren, who enjoyed visiting her at her winter home in Jupiter, Fla.
Clarence Bushnell Bush Olmsted was born November 26, 1926 in Buffalo, NY. Bush served the Welfare Federation of Cleveland, OH and its successor, United Way of Cleveland, from 1955 until his retirement in 1991. In the 1960s, he professionalized promotion processes, opening advancement paths for women and minorities and worked with industry executives in Greater Cleveland to establish pay equity and leadership mentors for leaders in not-for-profit organizations. Bush grew up in Buffalo, NY, and attended Nichols School, The Hotchkiss School, and Yale.
His experiences working with displaced people in Europe after World War II led him into a career in social service. He earned a Master of Social Work at the University of Michigan and an MBA at Western Reserve University. He met the love of his life, Levona Williams Olmsted, MD, on a volunteer project of the Lisle Fellowship, an organization committed to a more just social order in which persons of all cultures, social classes, religious affiliations, nationalities and political persuasions are full participants. They married in 1952 and celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary before she passed. They lived their last decade at Kendal at Oberlin, where their love is legendary. They raised their children, Bob, Sue, Don, Elizabeth, and Marilyn, in Cleveland in the Ludlow community in the Shaker Heights school district. In the 1960s, Ludlow was a nationally renowned demonstration of successful racial integration. Levona and Bush made tremendous volunteer contributions to the Ludlow Community Association and hosted a community caroling event every Christmas.
Bush loved animals and had pets and tropical fish all his life. After retirement, he spent many years volunteering in the Wildlife program at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History where he maintained a large salt water aquarium and cared for young or injured animals. Bush and Levona had 15 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. He will be remembered for his wonderful singing and word play, love of animals, games of ping pong, croquet, bridge, chess, and backgammon, teaching kids to fish, play frisbee, fly kites, and ski, as well as his enthusiastic enjoyment of Levona's accomplishments. Bush passed peacefully on May 1, 2019 surrounded by his children.
From The Buffalo News:
Brian L. Parkot stepped down last March after 33 years as a fire commissioner with the Snyder Fire District, but he still kept the emergency fire radio at his bedside.
“I always said he had two loves – me and the fire department,” his wife, Debra, said.
Mr. Parkot already was a volunteer firefighter, taking classes for an associate degree in fire protection technology at Erie Community College, when he met the former Debra Ryan in 1973, while she was working at Jimmy’s Restaurant at Harlem Road and Kensington Avenue. She became a nurse before they were married in 1978.
He had joined the Snyder Fire Department in its Torchboy program when he was still in high school. After he turned 18, he became a full-fledged volunteer.
He went on to serve as a lieutenant and captain before he was appointed a commissioner in 1986.
He died Saturday, the day after his 66th birthday, in his Snyder home after a lengthy illness.
Born in Buffalo, the youngest of three boys, he was a lifelong Snyder resident and graduated from Amherst High School in 1971.
Mr. Parkot had been a security guard in high school and found a job in security at the General Motors Powertrain plant in the Town of Tonawanda, where he had a 32-year career. He branched into health and safety programs at the plant and headed its volunteer fire brigade.
With the Snyder Fire Department, he was active with the fire prevention program and gave presentations at schools.
As commissioner, he helped oversee construction of the new fire headquarters on Main Street.
To his family’s consternation, he fought one blaze single-handedly in front of his house on the morning of his daughter Kelly’s wedding in 2008.
An arsonist who set a string of car fires overnight in his neighborhood ignited his nephew’s Jeep and Jet Ski. Mr. Parkot, in jeans and a T-shirt, responded with a garden hose.
On three occasions, he performed the Heimlich maneuver to save people who were choking. For this, he received a Lifesaving Award.
He was presented with the Snyder Fire Department’s President and Chiefs Award in April.
A longtime parishioner at Christ the King Catholic Church, he was a member of the Holy Name Society.
He was a former Connie Mack softball coach and volunteered in the Amherst town hockey program.
“He couldn’t skate,” his wife said, “but he would work the clocks and the doors and tie skates.”
Survivors also include a son, Brian E.; two daughters, Kelly Kacalski and Shannon Friend; two brothers, Sean and Paul; and four grandchildren.
Ray Peters died May 4 in Dallas, Texas. He was known for his extraordinary pitching career from Little League all the way through his graduation from Nichols school. Ray was a 3 sport athlete at Nichols and was elected to the inaugural Nichols Athletic Hall of Fame in 1992. Ray then went to Harvard, where he led the team to the 1968 College World Series. He went on to a professional baseball career, including a stint with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1970. After baseball, he went into finance where he built a long career in real estate lending. Ray worked for financial institutions in Arizona, Rhode Island and Texas, retiring at 61 as a senior officer for a national corporation. All through his adult life, Ray used his curiosity and intelligence to great effect. Be it trivia, book collecting, corresponding with authors, or making new friends wherever he went, Ray lived his life with gusto. He leaves his wife, Janis, two sons, RJ and Brad, and four grandchildren, Lily, Becca, Ben and Allie.
Julian “Jay” Marshall Rabow was born July 27, 1927 in Buffalo, New York, and passed away in Sarasota, Florida on June 29, 2019. He was 91 years old. Jay was pre-deceased by his parents Ann (Tate) Rabow and Aaron Rabow, brother Bruce Rabow, and Jay’s loving wife of 56 years, Margery “Midge” Rabow.
Jay graduated from The Nichols School of Buffalo and then enlisted in the Navy at the age of 18. Upon discharge, he attended the University of Miami, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, which was later applied to a very successful career as a business owner.
In 1950, he married Claire Cantor, mother of his two sons, Stephen D. Rabow of Sarasota and Andrew H. Rabow of Middletown, New York. After their divorce, in 1959 he married the love of his life, Margery Jane Ehrenreich and became the stepfather to her three children: Stephen L. Becker (Dennyse Stanford), Barbara L. Becker, both of northern California, and Laurie R. Becker of Arizona.
Jay was president and owner of Cello-Pack Corp of Buffalo prior to his retirement in 1978. He and Midge came to Florida aboard their 41-foot sailboat “Euphoria” that same year to find a new home, and settled in Sarasota, where they purchased a condo on the water. For the next 19 years, they sailed the Bahamas every year from January through May, where they cruised, snorkeled, played tennis, and built enduring friendships with other “sunbirds” in the boating community.
“Jay particularly loved the outdoors and was an accomplished horseman, hunter, fisherman, trap and skeet marksman, racing sailor and avid tennis player.”
Jay particularly loved the outdoors and was an accomplished horseman, hunter, fisherman, trap and skeet marksman, racing sailor and avid tennis player. He was named Yachtsman of the Year for Lake Ontario in 1975, and later served as Commodore of the Youngstown Yacht Club in Youngstown, New York. Jay also achieved successes in photography, sculpting and painting, and was knowledgeable about antiques and antique firearms. He had a tireless spirit and excelled at whatever interest he took up. A free-spirited and unconventional man in many ways, he was first and foremost a family man, and was unflaggingly devoted to his beloved Midge for the many long years of her illness. His wit, humor, steadfast ways and wise counsel will be missed by many.
Jay is survived by all of his five children along with six grandchildren: Katherine L. Hiner, Hannah E. McGrath, Eric Becker, Megan Louise Langhoff, Aaron V. Rabow and Josh Rabow, one great-grandson, three nieces: Susan Rabow Sims, Lisa Rabow, Gretchen Rabow Atkins, and their children, grandchildren and numerous cousins.
The family would like to extend special acknowledgement to Janet Leon, Jay’s loving companion in the last few years of his life. We owe her an immeasurable debt of gratitude for bringing love and laughter back into his life. We also extend heartfelt thanks to Carol “Chris” Bell for the superb care she extended to Jay at the end of his life and throughout the many years of Midge’s illness.
Beloved husband of Judith, to whom he was married for 56 years. Loving father of three daughers: Claire (Francis) Arato, Karen (John) Sullivan and Cindy (Chip) Bartlett. Cherished grandfather of six granddaughters: Emily, Kathryn, Sarah, Isabella, Sofia and Grace. Dear brother of Susan Oberkircher and Donald '59 (Heather) Roberts. Myron was retired from the Internal Revenue Service; he and his family had moved from Kenmore, NY to Long Island in 1962. Myron truly enjoyed his time at Nichols and as an alumnus.
July 8, 2019 of pancreatic cancer while under hospice care in Greenville, Maine. He was 75. Born in Rochester, NY to Millard and Elinor Sessions, he grew up in East Aurora. He was a 1962 graduate of the Nichols School in Buffalo. After completing a bachelor's degree at Amherst College, he earned a Ph.D. in French Literature at the University of Rochester, where his research focused on nineteenth-century French theater. He taught at Eisenhower College in Seneca Falls and then joined the Nichols School faculty in 1974. He taught French language and literature before returning to school to pursue an M.A. in History at the University of Buffalo, writing a thesis about a noted seventeenth-century French religious dissident and writer. The last years of his career were devoted to teaching European history and art history, but he remained a champion of foreign languages and international student exchange programs, which he had helped to pioneer at Nichols.
Dr. Sessions was a loving father and grandfather, as well as a lifelong traveler, accomplished photographer, avid canoeist and outdoorsman, and much-beleaguered fan of Buffalo sports teams and the Boston Red Sox. He is survived by his beloved wife of fifty-three years, Ann, his sister Anne Sessions Barber, his daughters Jennifer Sessions and Catherine Kersey, his son-in-law, Christopher Kersey, grandchildren, Ryan and Elinor Kersey, and granddog Hannah. A celebration of life will be held in Buffalo in the fall. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Charles A. Dean Memorial Hospital Foundation (Charles A. Dean Memorial Hospital, PO Box 601, Greenville, ME 04441-0601, northernlighthealth.org/Locations/Foundation/Donation-Opportunities/CA-Dean-Foundation-Donation) or the Nichols School to support student scholarships (Development Office, Nichols School, 1250 Amherst Street, Buffalo, NY 14216, www.nicholsschool.org/giving).
From The Buffalo News:
Beloved husband of 52 years to Kathryn (nee Bradford); devoted father of Donald (Laura) Smith, Jr. ‘97 and Sandra Smith ’93; cherished grandfather of Vivian and Theodore; loving brother of Anne Page and the late Alex and Carol; cherished brother-in-law of Barbara and Nick Custodi; also survived by nieces and nephews.
One of the high points of Donald J. Smith's career as Niagara County Commissioner of Public Works happened in 1987, when he was part of a 45-member American delegation to a transportation conference in Beijing. The three-week trip, for which he paid his own way, took place when China was poised to triple its highway network from just 11,000 miles. Roads were still dominated by pedestrians, bicycles and animal-drawn carts. "I remember how pivotal that was for him," said his daughter, Sandy Smith ‘93. "It gave a really important sense of perspective to him in his work. And when he came back and was talking about all the infrastructure work that had to be done, it was kind of overwhelming."
Mr. Smith, who was Niagara County Commissioner of Public Works from 1977 to 1997, died in Terrace View Long Term Care at Erie County Medical Center, where he had lived since being impaired by a stroke in August 2014. He was 82. Mr. Smith was "such an unbelievably good sport for the last four years," said his daughter. He focused on "working hard at therapy, going to concerts and Bills and Sabres games with us, and being kind to everyone." In fact, said his daughter, on the day he died, his room "was a revolving door of people from Terrace View, from facilities and maintenance employees to administrators" who came to say goodbye. One worker thanked Mr. Smith for being his friend, Sandy said.
Mr. Smith was born in Buffalo on June 17, 1936, the first child of Alexander W. and Emily E. (Kuczkowski) Smith, and brother of Alexander, Carol and Ann. His father, an immigrant from South Africa, was an electrician on a Great Lakes freighter; his mother was a seamstress. Mr. Smith graduated from Kenmore Senior High School and then from Clarkson College of Technology in 1957 with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. He was commissioned in the Army through ROTC at Clarkson in 1957, completed the Signal Corps Officer Basic Course in 1958 and served in the Engineer unit in the Reserve, which was activated during the Berlin Crisis.
In his Army career, Mr. Smith served as Staff Officer and then the Commander of the 300th Ordnance Battalion, and in several roles with the 969th Engineer Battalion, both in Tonawanda. He was formally trained at the U.S. Army Reserve General Command and Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. In 1980, Mr. Smith retired from the Army with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, remaining an active member of the Reserves. He began working for the State Department of Transportation in 1957, holding several jobs.
In 1967, Mr. Smith married Kathryn Bradford. In 1974, they moved to Cayuga Island, Niagara Falls, where they raised their daughter and a son, Donald Jr. From 1974 to 1977, Mr. Smith worked as Director of Public Works for the City of Niagara Falls. He was Niagara County Commissioner of Public Works from 1977 to 1997. In 1998, he became interim head of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Committee for a year; from 1998 to 2011, he was vice president of Urban Engineers in Buffalo.
Mr. Smith was chairman of the Erie and Niagara Counties Regional Planning Board in 1985, and belonged to the New York State Association of Highway Engineers. The Smiths were avid skiers, serving as members of the National Ski Patrol, which named him a senior patrolman in 1971. In 1973, the National Ski Patrol recognized him for an innovative procedure for chair lift evacuations.
The Smiths were also active in sailing with the Snipe Class International Racing Association and the Olcott Yacht Club. Their backyard was a skating rink in the winter, and Mr. Smith spent many hours coaching and supporting Donald Jr., who went on to play hockey at Clarkson University, and his friends.
Mr. Smith was a supporter of Nichols athletics and a season ticket-holder to the Bills and Sabres since they began. Described by his daughter as a Renaissance man, Mr. Smith loved music and the arts, particularly the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, performances at Shea's, Artpark and the Burchfield Penney. Later in life, he discovered a passion for woodworking and refinishing items from auctions. He also helped run the cooperative at the Sanborn General Store. He was devoted to his grandson and granddaughter.
From The Buffalo News:
Richard G. Stratton taught English at Nichols School for more than 40 years, but his contributions to the school and its students went well beyond his classroom. He was adviser to the yearbook, the Leviathan. An actor in college, he directed student plays and was in the front row for every student performance. In class, he organized students into the Stratton Roving Players.
“When they were reading a play, he assigned roles on the spot,” said his Nichols colleague and caregiver Ben Gerhardt. “They acted out the play in the middle of class and he acted with them."
He was in charge of the school’s famous Lucy and Sherman Maisel '35 General Information Test, which is given to Upper School students every year to test their general knowledge and has appeared in The Buffalo News. Nichols math professor Amanda Simmons noted that when she joined the faculty in the 1990s, “within a week I knew who Mr. Stratton was, by legend.”
He died Oct. 12 in Beechwood Continuing Care in Getzville after a lengthy illness. He was 83. Born in Portland, Maine, Richard George Stratton had an affinity for reading at an early age. His sister, Ann Stratton Castle, said he “could read before he started school by asking about the letters on the cereal boxes and milk bottles. His love of reading lasted his entire life, with Shakespeare at the top of his list.”
He was a Brown Scholar at Portland High School, where he was a member of the state champion swimming team. Awarded full academic scholarships by several colleges, he chose Colby College in Waterville, Maine, and graduated with honors in 1957. From 1960 to 1973, he was an English and history professor at Hebron Academy in Hebron, Maine, where he also coached swimming and football.
Gerhardt said that his shining moment at Hebron came when his swimming team defeated the one led by his former coach at Portland. During that time, he earned a master's degree in liberal studies in 1970 from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn.
Mr. Stratton came to Nichols School in 1973 and served twice as chairman of the English Department, from 1982 to 1991 and from 1998 to 2003. He was president of the school’s Cum Laude Society from 1982 to 1988.
His mind was at its quickest when writing letters of recommendation for his students’ college applications. “He was a master of providing solid evidence/anecdotes to support his evaluations of students,” said former Nichols faculty member Anne Thomas, “fleshing out Nichols’ applicants in a way that would distinguish them from those with whom they were competing. So effective and admired were his recommendations that the head of Princeton admissions once wrote to the headmaster of Nichols to praise and thank Dick for the quality of his letters.” He even was revered for his treatment of homework.
At a retirement tribute to him in 2015, former student Patrick Long, a 1985 graduate, said, “There is simply no one else who devotes such care to every single paper. Night after night, in that armchair, with the plank of wood across his lap, Dick immerses himself in his students’ writing, wrestling with their grammar, fixing their spelling, and most important, engaging their thoughts. ... Submitting a paper to (Mr.) Stratton is to engage in the life of the mind.”
He was awarded the Austin Fox endowed faculty chair when it was established in 1997. “If there was an award at Nichols, he got it,” Gerhardt said. “The yearbook was dedicated to him three times. In spite of being an incredibly tough grader, the students really got what he brought to the table.”
Nichols Head of School Christopher Burner said, "His teaching was the embodiment of Nichols’ mission of preparing students’ minds, bodies and hearts for the work of life. He dedicated his life to education, and he taught generations of students how to write exceptionally well. His yearly readings of the poem 'Casey at the Bat' to the school were legendary.”
He was so renowned for his annual recitation of “Casey at the Bat,” which he delivered in a booming voice on the opening day of baseball season, that donors to the school arranged to place a scoreboard in his name near right field on the baseball diamond. He also marked the occasion of the first serious winter snowfall each year by reciting “The Cremation of Sam McGee.” “He knew it by heart,” Gerhardt said.
A reception to celebrate his life will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Jan. 4 at Nichols School, 1250 Amherst St.
Of Los Angeles, CA, formerly of Buffalo, age 63, died July 15, 2019 after a long battle with brain cancer. He was the son of Joan Willard Gruen, Buffalo, and the late Mark E. Uncapher, Jr. He graduated from Nichols School, Columbia University, Annenberg School of Communications, the University of Pennsylvania and received his doctorate at the University of Texas, Austin. His teaching career was primarily at University of Colorado, Boulder, CO. He was predeceased by his wife Lisa Becker and his stepfather David H. Gruen. Besides his mother, he is survived by his daughter Hannah; his son Isadore; and his brother Mark (Robin) Uncapher; as well as his step brothers, David, Stephen, Edward and William Gruen; stepsister Cathryn Forrest; a nephew and a niece.
Florence Pittaway Late of Grand Island, NY, and Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON, a teacher in private schools in Buffalo, NY, died June 22nd, 2019, at home in New Hampshire. She was 84. The only child of Charles L. Pittaway, M.M., and his wife Maud Corlett, Florence Elizabeth Pittaway was formed by World War II, when her family's home and the city of her birth, Barrow-in-Furness in northwest England, were hit by German bombs, and equally by the poetry and rural beauty of the Lake District near the Furness Peninsula.
She graduated in 1953 from the County Grammar School for Girls in Barrow and earned in 1956 a Bachelor of Arts in Special Studies in German in the University of Leeds. She took a Diploma in Business Administration from St. Godric's College in Hampstead, and in the University of Manchester completed its program for the education of the deaf. She was employed by UNESCO as administrative assistant to successive Secretaries of the International Sociological Association in London (England) and Louvain (Belgium). In 1964 she came with her husband to Buffalo, NY; there, after dedicating herself to their children, she taught German and French at the Calasanctius School (1976-91) and then French at Canisius College, Nichols School, and St. Andrew's Country Day School.
She was prompt to travel, to be outdoors, to seek antiques, and to invent games for her children and her students. Humble and generous, lively and loving she was faithful to her family and to her friends and, although international in her outlook, remained quietly but firmly British. Predeceased by her parents. Survivors Include Stanley Vodraska, her husband of 55 years; a son Adam (Katharine Fierro); two daughters Sarah (Thomas Berrian) and Rebeccah (Eric Sensenbrenner); and five grandchildren, Andrew Berrian, Rowan Berrian, Zoe Sensenbrenner, C. Augustus Sensenbrenner, and Rayna Teresa Vodraska.
From The Buffalo News:
Five years after graduating from Dartmouth College in 1952, Henry D. Waters became president of the local franchise of the Automatic Canteen Co., a vending and catering business that provided meals and snacks to thousands of workers. Then the stress of the demanding job began to affect his health, said his son, Henry D. "Jay" Waters Jr. ’73. In 1965, "his doctor told him to do one of two things," said Jay Waters. The doctor said, "If you are going to continue to run the business, buy a lot of life insurance, so your family is taken care of. Or you have to cut back."
Mr. Waters took stock of his life and decided he would be happier at his alma mater, Nichols School, where he had been a stellar student and athlete and was already coaching hockey. Nichols School hired him to teach middle school English in 1965, the start of a 25-year career in which he taught, inspired and guided thousands of students as a teacher, soccer, baseball and hockey coach and lower school dean. "He did something that a lot of people won't do," said Jay Waters. "He gave up a business to do something he really loved."
Mr. Waters died after a short illness in a hospice facility near his home in Naples, Fla., where he had lived for the last 20 years. He was 88. Nichols Head of School Bill Clough said, "Henry Waters '48 was many things to Nichols School: an alumnus, alumni parent and grandparent, distinguished member of our faculty, admired dean, adviser and coach. Beyond being a genuinely kind person, he clearly loved his time at Nichols. We will miss him."
Mr. Waters was born in Buffalo, the third child and only son of John M. and Grace (Siegfried) Waters. His father operated a retail candy machine business and the family lived on Nottingham Terrace. In 1948, his senior year at Nichols, Mr. Waters, an honors student, won the Williams Cup, an award given to a senior with a high academic average and a varsity letter. As a senior he was voted most valuable player on the varsity hockey team. At Dartmouth College, he played varsity hockey for four years and graduated in 1952. In December of 1951, when he was a student at Dartmouth, he married his high school sweetheart, Sibyl Dann, who had just graduated from Buffalo Seminary. They raised their two sons and daughter on Middlesex Road.
At Nichols, Mr. Waters coached varsity hockey from 1966 to 1982 and ran the hockey portion of the Nichols summer day camp for about a decade, his son said. His lessons about sportsmanship were as important as any tactical advice he gave players, Jay Waters said. When he met former students, they "would say that they still use many of the things he taught them in the classroom or on the athletic fields back when he was at Nichols, and they are better for it today, which always put a smile on his face," Jay Waters said. Nichols named Mr. Waters a Distinguished Alumnus in 1986.
In 1991, Nichols created an award in his name for fifth- and sixth-grade students that honors students who display the qualities he valued: "a willingness to participate in all activities to the best of their ability; fair-mindedness; good sportsmanship; honesty; empathy; citizenship; and a positive sense of humor." In 1995, Mr. Waters was given the William Nichols Award, honoring a faculty member who makes a lasting contribution to the school. He was inducted into the Nichols Athletic Hall of Fame as an athlete and coach in 2003.
Mr. Waters served on the Elmwood-Franklin School board from 1962 to 1974, including a year as vice president, and as a class representative for the Dartmouth Class of 1952. Mr. Waters was a member of the Country Club of Buffalo and the Buffalo Tennis & Squash Club, where he was the city’s Class B squash champion. He also was a deacon at Westminster Presbyterian Church, a board member of its Early Childhood Program, an original Buffalo Bills season-ticket holder and an avid gardener.
For many years, Henry and Sibyl Waters wintered in Naples, Fla., and Mr. Waters moved to Naples a few years after his wife of 46 years died in 1994. He shared his life for the past 23 years with Ann Merrick. , Mr. Waters is survived by two sons, Jay Waters ‘73 and John Waters ’70, a daughter, Sibyl Taylor; two sisters, Mary "Molly" Anderson and Joan Keesling; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Son of the late Orson and Dorothy Yeager; survived by many loving friends. Charles was a retired insurance executive with Yeager and Durant Insurance. He attended Nichols School, was a 1953 graduate of Yale, and member of Yale's Wolf Head Society. He was also a member of the Cherry Hill Golf Club and Buffalo Tennis and Squash Club.
From the Buffalo News:
Sam Zemsky never owned a home in Buffalo. But his 1969 purchase of a meat processing plant on Perry Street, later Russer Foods, changed the face of the city.
That purchase "was a very gutsy move," said his son Howard Zemsky, the chairman and former CEO of Empire State Development Corp. "He had no real experience in the processing business, this was all new, and it was a very big investment for the company."
Mr. Zemsky, 93, died June 18 in his home in Stuart, Fla., after a period of declining health.
Three decades after Mr. Zemsky started "the Buffalo shuffle," traveling to his Buffalo plant for the work week and home every weekend, his son started the redevelopment of the Larkin Historic District, known as Larkinville, a few blocks north of the former Russer plant.
"That was not a coincidence," said Howard Zemsky, who recalled looking at the Larkin at Exchange building for years from his office at Russer Foods.
Mr. Zemsky was born in Brooklyn, the third child of Eastern European immigrants Harry Zemsky and Clara Feigenbaum Zemsky. He graduated from high school in Brooklyn while working with his father in "H. Zemsky and Sons," a distributor of dairy products.
He served as a U.S. Navy radar instructor during World War II.
After being honorably discharged, Mr. Zemsky returned to the company, working with his sisters, Sylvia and Ruth. "The family business was in need of the next generation," said Howard Zemsky. Mr. Zemsky's formal education ended there, but he was well read, his son said.
Mr. Zemsky married Shirley Kushner in Brooklyn on Feb. 19, 1949.
As Zee Best Brand, the company moved into meat distribution. But Mr. Zemsky realized that he had to own a processing plant if he wanted to control product quality, his son said.
The search for a meat processing company led him to Buffalo, where Mr. Zemsky's Zemco Industries bought the Perry Street plant in 1969 from Swift Packing. In 1970, he acquired the Russer name from Russer Meats in Rochester.
"In business, he had a very clear philosophical North Star," said Howard Zemsky. "This business was going to be based on producing premium quality products and providing premium quality service with fabulous relationships with his customers and his associates, period. There was never any interest in cutting corners or compromising."
Russer Foods grew steadily, employing about 500 people by the end of the 1990s. In 1999, the plant was purchased by IBP Corp., which continued operations for some 15 years.
Mr. Zemsky was a devoted father, avidly supporting his children's interests. Howard Zemsky chuckled when he recalled that his father installed and equipped a large laboratory in their basement to encourage his brother's interest in chemistry.
When Howard Zemsky began to play tennis, his father built a court in the backyard of their modest home. And he was overjoyed when his son finally beat him. He "took the greatest satisfaction" in the success of his children, said Howard Zemsky.
His father was "very understated in his way, a private person, but he could be very social," said Howard Zemsky. "He wasn't big on small talk, but he was a quick study of people."
Mr. and Mrs. Zemsky were active sponsors of the "Great TV Auction" in support of WNED-TV. They also supported Temple Beth Zion, the Weinberg Campus, Elmwood Franklin School, the Chautauqua Institution, Roswell Park and the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies.
In 1998, Mr. and Mrs. Zemsky received the Community Leadership Award from the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies in Buffalo.
"They were charitable by instinct," said Howard Zemsky's wife, Leslie. "They had a natural philanthropic bent, but they also were very appreciative of what the employees at Russer and that business had done for our family. They were also proud of the fact that Howard and our family had such deep roots in Buffalo, to the point that they have chosen to be buried at Forest Lawn."
"He was the best," Howard Zemsky said. "He made all the difference to me and for me."
The Zemskys owned a condo at Chautauqua Institution for about a decade before Mrs. Zemsky died on May 8, 2011, after 62 years of marriage.
Besides his son Howard, survivors include another son, Michael Zemsky; a daughter, Randi Zemsky; and four grandchildren.
James G. G. , Sr. Of Hypoluxo, FL, formerly of Buffalo, NY. Passed away on October, 26, 2019 at age 75; beloved husband of 46 years to the late Michele (nee Georger) May; loving father of Michele "Mimi" (Thomas Jr.) May Weidemeyer and James "Jamie" G.G. May, Jr.; dearest brother of Henry (Joan) May IV.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Jamie's memory to The Nichols School, 1250 Amherst Street, Buffalo, NY 14216. Mr. May was a United States Navy Veteran.
Danforth William Rogers, born Buffalo, NY on May 13,1937, died December 25, 2019 after an ongoing illness. He is survived by his companion (partner), Gretchen Wilson, 2 children, Danforth W.S. and Ninon, 3 grandchildren, Cannon, Violet Truman and Arthur Truman, and a sister, Grace Smith of Nicasio, California. He is predeceased by his wife of 44 years, Carol, and his brother, Jonathan Trumbull. He was educated at Nichols School in Buffalo, Yale University (1959) and Cornell Law School (1962). He practiced law in New York City for more than 40 years. He was an avid bridge player, achieving Life Master status, opera lover, sailor, and tennis player and a member, serially, of the Buffalo Canoe Club, the Larchmont Yacht Club and the Shinnocock Yacht Club. He was also Commodore and Chief Education Officer of the North River Power Squadron and a life member of the national Power Squadron. He was a life member of the New York Chapter of The Sons of the Revolution.
In accordance with Dan’s wishes a celebration of his life will be held at a later date in New York City.
Anyone wishing to make an honorary donation may make it to the Nichols School, 1250 Amherst St, Buffalo, NY 14216, Yale University, 157 Church Street, New Haven, CT 06510-2100 or Cornell Law School, 130 E. Seneca Street, Suite 400, Ithaca, NY 14850. A debt of gratitude to Sue Stuckless of Living Well Rochester for her compassion and humor during these last few months; and to the staff at Glenmere Assisted Living and the skilled nursing facility, The Friendly Home, for their care and comfort.
- Blonski, Edward - August 17
- Bradley, Don '57 - June 20
- Butsch, Caty - July 21
- Buyers, Bruce M. '65 - November 28
- Cole, Daniel "Dutch" '43 - August 30
- Carney, Terence '54 - January 31
- Dandes, Marcy - March 8
- Dann, Elizabeth "Delight" - August 27
- Dates, Richard "Dick" '44 - January 16
- Donohue, Edwin - February 4
- Dudley, Wes '51 - July 25
- Falls, Naill - February 9
- Fatin, Neil '75 - March 15
- Flickinger, Pheobe "Penny" - February 5
- Flynn, Phyllis - April 26
- Fromen Sr., John - May 25
- Gartner, Rod '47 - July 20
- Gaughan Jr., Vincent - January 11
- Golebiewski, Norbert - May 8
- Gooderham, Edward "Ted" '54 - December 16
- Gray, Sandra "Sandie" Kausner - December 11
- Hamlen, Charles - August 1
- Hamlin, Ward '64 - June 30
- Hedstrom, Eloise - May 6
- Johnson, Wolcott "Skip" H. '48 - February 22
- Kaminski, Lou - January 12
- Kern, Jean '50 - August 10
- Kluckhorn, Diane - October 22
- Lewis, Pheobe Ann Clark - May 5
- LoBocchario, Lawrence - June 17
- Magavern, Linda - August 29
- Marlette, Rosemary - July 13
- May, Michele Georger - December 15
- Meyer, Karin - June 30
- Nilson, Robert "Bob" Martin '54 - September 18
- Miller Sr., Robert L. '45 - April 15
- Osgood, Lawrence '46 - December 13
- Prentice, Ted "Beep" '39 - September 6
- Przykuta, Eric '93 - May 13
- Reilly, Helen - November 13
- Remington, Frances - July 23
- Schneckenberger, Alice Howes Stephens - December 17
- Utley, Charles "Chuck" '44 - August 14
- Wakefield, Bernard "Dick" '49 - January 1
- Walsh, Holly - June 3
- Ward IV, Hamilton "Ham" '49 - December 25
- Weiksnar, Paul - June 13
- Williams, Naidine - July 22
- Zacher-Schmidt, Wendy '79 - March 10
- Wadsworth, Linda - September 1
Donald D. Bradley of Williamsville, New York, entered into rest June 20, 2018. Beloved husband of Julie (nee Bishop); loving father of Donald (Megan) Bradley III, Michael Bradley, Allison (fiance Sam Anderson), Tracy (Tracy) Straw, Christopher (Jessica) Pearson and Kelly (Michael) Hanes; cherished grandfather of Cassandra, Claire, Bradley, Samantha, Elizabeth, Jessica, Kieran, Torin and Ashlin; brother of William (Nelly) Bradley and Susan (the late John) Russ. Also survived by several nieces and nephews.
Bruce McKelvey Buyers, 71, of Snyder, died Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. Mr. Buyers was born on May 9, 1947, to Marjorie and Jack Buyers. He attended Nichols School and Babson College where he graduated with a degree in business in 1969. After college, he toured Europe before working in California. After returning to Western New York, he spent 46 years growing and cultivating the County Line Stone Co. In 1983, he joined forces with many contractors and suppliers around the area and helped form the Fair Apportionment of Infrastructure Revenue Committee. Mr. Buyers was an avid supporter of the Associated General Contractors of New York. He was a member of the Country Club of Buffalo, Holimont Ski Area and several other local organizations.
Mr. Buyers is survived by two children, Betsy Lawrence and Brad Buyers; six grandchildren; and three siblings, John Buyers, Margot Hampleman and Wendy Griffin.
Dan “Dutch” Cole, a retired sales executive and sailing enthusiast, died Aug. 30 in Buffalo General Medical Center after a period of declining health. He was 93. Born in Buffalo, he was the son of the automotive editor at the Courier-Express and the grandson of a tailor who pioneered ready-to-wear men’s suits. He attended School 54 and Nichols, then enlisted in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He became an officer, trained as a pilot, then served as an engineer stateside. Returning from service, he attended the University of Pittsburgh, then returned to Buffalo and began a career in sales at Franklin-Cowan Paper Co., later Seneca Paper Co. He retired as executive vice president of sales in 1990. He was 8 years old when he acquired his first sailboat, a gift from his grandmother, and he went on to sail and race throughout the Great Lakes. “It was about winning,” his daughter Cynthia said, “But it was more about being on the water. His raison d’etre in life was to be on a boat. It was what he loved more than anything.” For years, he cruised and raced a Knarr sailboat, then switched to a Lyman boat in the 1980s. He continued boating until a few years ago. He was a member of the Buffalo Yacht Club, the Buffalo Canoe Club and the Bertie Bay Yacht Club. He was a founder and commodore of the Royal Vicars Yacht Club. He also enjoyed fishing, skiing and golf. He was a member of the Cherry Hill Golf Club, the Cambria Hunt Club and the Concord Ski Club. He served on the board of the Pythonga Fish and Game Club in Quebec, where he spent many summers. He also was a board member at the Park School and Beaver Meadow Audubon Center. He was a youth hockey coach, coaching teams at the Park School, and served as a volunteer reader in the Buffalo Schools. He acquired his nickname, Dutch, as a boy after his parents vacationed in Holland and brought home a pair of wooden shoes, which he then wore while playing with his friends. A longtime Grand Island and Buffalo resident, in recent years he spent summers in Abino Hills, Ontario, and winters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. He was married in 1948 to the former Jane Reed, a dedicated naturalist who had been board president at Beaver Meadow. She died in 2001. He was remarried in 2003 to the former Ruth “Dufie” Knight. In addition to his daughter, survivors include a son, John; two stepdaughters, Barbara Evans and Susan Blair; a stepson, Barton Schneider; a sister, Marion “Polly” Clancey; 10 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
From his children: “[Our father, Terry Carney] passed away [on the morning of Jan. 31]. [His son] Sean was with him on his final day, and in the end, he passed quickly and in minimal discomfort. [Terry] was 81 years old, born and raised in Buffalo, New York, was an all-star athlete at Nichols School, and after living all around the South for 10 years, lived much of his adult life in Southern California. He is survived by his son, Sean Carney, and his daughter, Shannon Carney, and her partner, David Pschirer. He is also survived by his sister, Joan Andersen, and all of his nieces and nephews. [Terry] requested that there not be a formal memorial. But rather, in true Irish fashion, when you next are enjoying your favorite beverage (his were chocolate milkshakes from Keedy's Diner and vodka tonics made by his dear friend Steve at his local watering hole), make a toast and share a memory with the friend or family member you are with. Thank you to the Andersen family for helping in various ways these past few months, especially his sister, Joan. And if anyone wishes to make a donation in his honor, please pick a charity of your choice, and if none comes to mind, then perhaps to Music is Art, a Buffalo-based nonprofit that brings instruments and music to youth. [Terry’s] great-nephew Ryan Casullo, who died in a motorcycle accident in 2015, was heavily involved in this great cause. Faced with multiple health challenges, Terry was very well cared for by Family Care Hospice and his nurse, Dan, and a great staff at Absolute Desert Care in Rancho Mirage, California, run by a lovely man named Walter Lowry. Together they created a space where [Terry] spent the last three months in comfort. Also, [Terry] received weekly visits from a Eucharist minister from his church, Sacred Heart, which [included Terry] in its Mass [following his death]. We thank everyone for the time and service to our father!”
Wesley Coleman Dudley, age 85, of Williamsburg, Virginia, and Bar Harbor, Maine, died July 25, 2018, in Williamsburg. He was born in Buffalo on Dec. 15, 1932, the son of Donald and Annette Dudley. He attended Nichols and graduated from St. Paul's School, Concord, New Hampshire, before receiving his bachelor's degree from Yale University. A two-year stint with the U.S. Navy in Hawaii followed before he returned to Buffalo in 1958, and Worthington Pump Company. Six years later, he became an entrepreneur, managing Auto Wheel Coaster Company in North Tonawanda, New York, before joining his family's management office. Four decades ago, he began spending winters in Williamsburg and summers in Bar Harbor, which allowed him to explore his two dominant passions – pipe organs and boating. His interest in pipe organs began at St. Paul's, deepened during his years at Yale and flourished thereafter. He cared deeply about organ music and about those who play that complicated and compelling instrument. A quiet philanthropist, he supported many projects anonymously, but there was one exception: the public radio program "Pipe Dreams." He allowed his name to be used on-air in order to encourage others to support both the program and public radio stations throughout the country. Over half a century, he owned a succession of boats, each named "Donald Duck." He took his family cruising on the Great Lakes, the Intracoastal Waterway and along the East Coast of the United States. Wes, boat, family and smiles – especially his, made for pleasant excursions around the Maine coast. Wes was preceded in death by his parents and his daughter, Katherine Mary Dudley. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Lucinda Nash Dudley; his children, Nanette Schoeder (David) and Donald M. Dudley (Janet); three grandchildren, Nicholas Schoeder, Katherine Dudley and MacLaren Dudley; their mother, Meg Dudley; and two step-grandchildren, Grace and Madeleine Waters.
Open-heart surgery was not only a lifesaver for Neal Fatin, it was a career changer. “From that experience, he got involved in the medical world from a business basis,” his wife, Peggy, said. “That was his passion.” It prompted Neil to leave a position he held for 10 years as president and chief executive officer of TR Services, the telecommunications equipment company that installed the phone system in what is now the KeyBank Center, and become CEO of the medical group whose doctors performed his surgery in 2001, Buffalo Cardiology and Pulmonary Associates. “It’s almost like that old Remington razor commercial,” he told The Buffalo News in 2002, “where the guy was so impressed with the product that he bought the company.” He oversaw an expansion of Buffalo Cardiology and a move into new offices in Amherst. He went on to become chairman of the board of managers at Erie County Medical Center in 2003 after serving on the board’s operations and cardiac care committees. Later that year, he was appointed to the full-time post of executive director of strategic planning. Then, in the late 2000s, he served for several years as executive director of external operations for BryLin Hospital. He died March 15 in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga, after battling cancer for almost a year. He was 61. Born in Buffalo, Neal Vincent Fatin III was a 1975 graduate of Nichols School, where he played on the hockey team. He interrupted his studies at Hobart College when his father died, returned home to support his mother and younger sister and resumed taking classes at the University at Buffalo. He began his career as a banker with M&T Bank in the early 1980s, then went to Marine Midland Bank in 1983. He became vice president for sales and marketing in the bank’s investment services division in 1989, then was made vice president and team leader for the regional corporate banking division. He left in 1991 to become head of TR Services. Later he established a financial services company, AP&T Inc., and served as president and CEO. In Bay Beach, Ontario, where he built a summer home, he and a partner formed RN West Shore Limited, which developed properties. He was president of Abino Dune Association. He served on the boards of directors of the Jewett Refrigeration Co., Russlander and Sons Inc. and IPLogic Inc. He also was a member of the advisory board of Dopkins & Co. He was a board member of Child & Family Services, a sustaining board member of the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation, vice chairman of the Millard Fillmore Health Foundation and Research Foundation and a member of the Millard Fillmore Hospitals Finance Committee. He served as president of the Nichols School Alumni Board and was a member of the board of deacons at Westminster Presbyterian Church. He was a section leader for the United Way and a committee member for Kids Escaping Drugs. In 1995, he was co-chairman of the World Veterans Games in Buffalo. He was a longtime member of the Buffalo Canoe Club and the Saturn Club, where he served on numerous committees. He also was a board member at the Cherry Hill Club and a member of the Bertie Boating Club. Since he was in his 20s, he coached in the Old Shamrock Hockey Association and the Buffalo Bisons Hockey Association. “He coached his sons and all of their friends,” his wife said. He also enjoyed golfing, boating, squash, chess, water skiing, photography and walking his dogs on the beach. He was a member of the inaugural group of Buffalo Business First’s 40 Under 40 honorees in 1992. In addition to his wife of 29 years, the former Margaret “Peggy” Hughes, survivors include two sons, Neal V. IV and Geoffrey L.; and a sister, Deborah Fatin Burke.
Rod Gartner, age 88, was a beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He died of natural causes on July 20, 2018, at Heritage Valley Hospital in Beaver, Pennsylvania. He was born Nov. 19, 1929, in Buffalo, the son of Dr. Albert A. Gartner and Edna (Clark) Gartner. He lived in Western Pennsylvania for almost 50 years, most recently at the Masonic Village at Sewickley. Prior to that, he lived in Moon Township, Pennsylvania; Lima, Ohio; and Buffalo, New York. He was vice president of engineering product development at the technical center of the H.H. Robertson Co. in Ambridge. Rod graduated from Nichols and received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Union College, Schenectady, New York, and a master’s degree in engineering from Harvard University. He became a lieutenant in the Civil Engineering Corps of the U.S. Navy during the Korean conflict before beginning his career as a civil engineer for the Fenestra Corporation in Buffalo. He was active in many community organizations, having served on boards of the Coraopolis and Western Area YMCAs, and the Valley Care Association; as president of the Moon Area School Board, secretary of the Service Core of Retired Executives (SCORE) and as a commissioner on the Aleppo Township Board of Commissioners (2010-2015). He was also an elder at Sharon Community Presbyterian Church, a founding member of the Moon Area Excellence in Education Fund, a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association and an auditor of Moon Township. More recently, Rod was a member of the Sewickley Presbyterian Church, a committeeman for the Republican Party of Allegheny County, a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and a member of the SENIOR Men's Club. In his spare time, he enjoyed tennis, sailing, genealogy, his home workshop and spending time with his four children, 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Elinor O. Gartner (Lannie), whom he married Aug. 3, 1957, at Holloway Memorial Chapel, Fort Erie, Ontario; daughters Margaret Clark Gartner and Ellen Osborn Kerr (Jim), both of New York state, and Virginia Gartner Lamison (Mark) of Pennsylvania; and a son, Bruce Warren Gartner of Maryland. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Ryan (Debbie) and Kyle (Alexandria) Pixton; Colin and Haylee Kerr; Owen, Emmett and Elias Gartner; Krista, Riley and Connor Lamison; and great-grandchildren Sarah and Theo Pixton.
Ted died peacefully at his farm in Mono with his devoted wife Judy by his side. Ted was adored and loved by Judy for over 60 years; never apart. He was a loving and dedicated father to Cindy (Bernie), Becky, and John (Margaret). He will always have a precious space in the hearts of his grandchildren, Phillip, Nadine and Georgia. Ted is predeceased by his beloved, Mother CC; his father, Edward Hargraft Gooderham (Jean Gooderham); step-father, Eric Hedstrom; as well as his dear aunts, Doris "DoDo" (Captain Eric) Phillips, and Maude "J" (John Angus) McDougald; and his close cousins, Osborne Colson, James (Lucille) Colson and Cecil Fennell. Ted had many friends growing up. He was a true and loyal friend and kept in touch with many of his classmates. He attended several different schools: Upper Canada College in Toronto, Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, NJ and then graduated from Nichols School in Buffalo, NY. Ted went on to achieve a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Toronto. Ted was loved dearly by all who knew him. He had a fabulous sense of humor and was a gifted storyteller.
From The New York Times:
“Charles Hamlen, who co-founded one of classical music’s leading management agencies, helped build the careers of young stars, including the violinist Joshua Bell, and then left the business to raise money to help people with AIDS, died on August 1 at his home in Manhattan. He was 75. Mr. Hamlen’s rise to the zenith of the classical music world — as a co-founder of IMG Artists, which represented many of the biggest stars in the field — was improbable, as he was the first to admit. He taught French [at Nichols], playing piano on the side when he moved to New York in 1977 to try to make it as an artists’ manager. He founded a small firm with Edna Landau and began building a roster of musicians and winning the respect of the industry — even as he and Ms. Landau struggled, often having to borrow, to make ends meet. ‘It was seat of my pants, 11th-hour crises,’ Mr. Hamlen recalled years later, on a panel at Oberlin College. ‘Somehow, magically, something would always happen.’ He developed a reputation as a talent spotter who could forge good, open relationships with both artists and presenters. Mr. Bell recalled that soon after he made his debut, at 14, with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Mr. Hamlen visited and persuaded him — and his parents — to sign with his firm, which was still quite small in those days. ‘He kind of assured them that he wasn’t a money-hungry manager trying to exploit a young person,’ Mr. Bell said in a telephone interview. He said that early on Mr. Hamlen had taken pains not to push him to play too much too soon, and would sometimes encourage him to take less lucrative chamber music gigs — with smaller fees, and smaller commissions — because he believed they would help him develop. ‘The fact that I’m still in the business now, after many years, without having burned out — I think a lot of that has to do with him,’ Mr. Bell said. But with a small, not-very-well-known roster, the firm never seemed to have enough money to grow, Ms. Landau said in an interview. It began looking for investors. Lightning struck in 1984, when the firm was acquired by the International Management Group, a sports agency behemoth looking to expand into the performing arts. It was the classical music equivalent of a small start-up being bought by Google. (Over a round of golf, the soprano Kiri Te Kanawa had schooled the sports group’s president, Mark McCormack, in the rarefied ways of high culture: ‘The first thing you have to know is it’s intermission, not halftime.’) The firm was renamed IMG Artists, and the company was ultimately able to get out of debt, open offices around the world and attract an ever-starrier roster. They were soon going toe to toe with the biggest agencies of the day, including Columbia Artists Management and ICM Artists Ltd. IMG made headlines in 1986 when the violinist Itzhak Perlman left ICM to join it. Later, Mr. Hamlen flew to Moscow to meet the dazzling young pianist Evgeny Kissin, signed him on and arranged his New York Philharmonic and Carnegie Hall debuts in 1990; both became major events. Over the years Mr. Hamlen personally managed — or ‘looked after,’ in the genteel phrase preferred by the industry — the flutist James Galway; the pianists Stephen Hough, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and André Watts, in addition to Mr. Kissin; and, besides Mr. Bell, violinists like Leila Josefowicz. More stars flocked to IMG as it grew. But within a few years a personal tragedy, the death of his partner, Carlos Flor, from AIDS in 1988, set him on a new path. As many of his friends became sick in those years, he reassessed his life. ‘I remember thinking then that, as well as I do artist management, others do it as well and better,’ Mr. Hamlen told The New York Times. ‘But I was the only one who could be there for my friends. How this might connect to my professional life in music I didn’t see at first.’ He soon found a way. In 1993 he left IMG, which was then booming, and founded Classical Action: Performing Arts Against AIDS, a charity that went on to stage benefit concerts that raised millions for AIDS groups. He put his Rolodex to work. Dozens of gala-worthy headliners lent their talents, starting with the artists he had personally managed and growing to include Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, Cecilia Bartoli, Van Cliburn and Renée Fleming. Charles Ewing Hamlen was born on July 9, 1943, in Schenectady, N.Y., the youngest of four children. His father, Richard, worked at General Electric and his mother, Caroline, was a librarian. He studied piano and cello as a child, graduated from Harvard College, where he majored in French language and literature, in 1965, and started out as a high school French teacher. A marriage in 1969 ended in divorce; he said it was later he understood that he was gay. Music was never far from his life, even when he was teaching French. In summers he coached piano and chamber music at Kinhaven in Weston, Vt., and at one point started a chamber music series. In the 1970s he was the piano accompanist for the mezzo-soprano Hilda Harris. He is survived by two sisters, Ann Goldsmith, a poet, and Katherine Reed, as well as nieces and nephews. Mr. Hamlen led Classical Action for 16 years, sometimes raising money with intimate concerts in private homes with some of classical music’s biggest stars. He cut overhead costs by merging with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, his original inspiration for the group. Then Mr. Hamlen started a new act in music in 2009, when he returned to IMG Artists to try to right the ship after Barrett Wissman, a businessman who had bought a controlling interest in the firm in 2003, pleaded guilty to securities fraud in an investigation into corruption at the New York State pension fund. Mr. Hamlen stayed for three years. When he left, he became artistic adviser to the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in New York. While he took great pride in the money he had raised to address the AIDS crisis, Mr. Hamlen recalled that it had not been easy to walk away from the successful business he had helped build. ‘I remember grappling with the possibility of changing my life and taking this on,’ he said. ‘One moment you think, What a great thing; the next you think, You are out of your mind.’”
Ward Hamlin, an attorney for more than 40 years, kept two large files of index cards. The bigger one was called “Ward Law,” which he used as a reference for legal matters. “He was called upon by his colleagues for his vast knowledge of the law,” his daughter, Emma ’06, said. The other one compiled information on his lifelong passion – music and choral singing. “The choral societies called upon him,” Emma said, “for his vast knowledge of music and music history.” Ward, a senior partner in the Buffalo law firm of Brown and Kelly LLP, retired in 2016. He continued performing until two weeks before his death, his daughter said, when he sang at a wedding. He died June 30 in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst, after a short illness. He was 71. Born in Buffalo, Ward was a 1964 graduate of Nichols, where he joined the glee club. He continued singing at Hamilton College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1968, was manager of the men’s ensemble singing group and was a member of Chi Phi fraternity. He began taking voice lessons at Hamilton and continued them while he attended Albany Law School, where he completed his juris doctor degree in 1971. Beginning his legal career in the Albany area, he also managed the Troy Music Hall. “He once got a brief private performance from Yo-Yo Ma,” his daughter said. “He also liked to tell about putting Kathleen Battle’s performance gown in the trunk of my mother’s Mazda.” Returning to Buffalo, Ward was a defense attorney for the St. Paul Travelers Cos. for 35 years and was a managing attorney in field litigation, overseeing cases across the state. He joined Brown and Kelly in 2007. He frequently served as an arbitrator for alternative dispute resolutions and gave presentations on legal matters for insurance carriers, agents and corporate and municipal clients. He was a member of the New York State Bar Association and the Erie County Bar Association, where he was chairman of the Practice and Procedures Committee. He also was a member of the Western New York Trial Lawyers Association and the Defense Trial Lawyers Association of Western New York. He was a tenor soloist with the Trinity Choir at Trinity Episcopal Church for many years. From 2004 until about two years ago, he was a member of the Gentlemen of St. Paul’s Cathedral Choir and performed with the choir in England, France and Sweden. He served as a lay clerk with the choir and a warden with the church. He also was a board member of the former Friends of Music at St. Paul’s. At St. Paul’s, he met James Burritt, the founder and director of the Vocalis Chamber Choir, and joined the elite a cappella ensemble. He traveled with Vocalis for its 2014 tour of England, which included an appearance at the Cambridge Summer Music Festival. A former Hamburg resident, he lived in Colden since 1997. Survivors include his wife of 31 years, the former Emlynn Samter; another daughter, Grace; a son, Steven; a sister, Susan; and two grandchildren.
Wolcott “Skip” H. Johnson, 87, of Brunswick, Maine, died peacefully from complications of a stroke while in the care of the Gosnell Memorial Hospice House of Scarborough, Maine, on Feb. 12, 2018. Skip was born in Buffalo, New York, on May 19, 1930, to Isabelle and George F.B. Johnson. Skip attended Nichols and then Saint Mark’s boarding school in Southborough, Massachusetts. In 1953, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Skip took great care in nurturing the relationships formed while attending the Nichols School, Saint Mark’s and Harvard. He developed a lifelong interest in and talent for athletics, starting with tennis, which he learned during summers at his family’s Canadian home and later ice hockey, which he played while at Nichols, St. Mark’s and Harvard. Skip’s passion and unmatched commitment to sports continued with competitive squash and road races, including completion of several New York City marathons until he met some physical limitations in his late 60s. Never one for giving in, Skip redirected his energies to expand his other curiosities and talents, including the outdoors, photography, travel and sailing. While living in Brunswick, he was active as an incorporator with Rotary International and as a volunteer at the Mid Coast Hospital. Skip’s presence was a warm and welcome addition to the classrooms of nearby Bowdoin College, as he audited college classes well into his 80s. He focused his professional life in sales and marketing, which led him into the aluminum, publishing and real estate investment industries. His final years of work were spent as a partner in a business development and marketing firm headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut. Skip’s work took him to several residences to include: Louisville, Kentucky; Richmond, Virginia; Lake Forest, Illinois; Summit, New Jersey; and New Canaan, Connecticut; before he and his wife, Joan, moved to Brunswick in 2003. In 1959, Skip married Ellen Reeves in Lake Forest. They had one daughter, Louise (Lucy) Wightman. In 1980 they divorced, and in 1984, he married Joan Armstrong Whetstone in New Canaan. She passed away in 2011. Skip was preceded in death by his mother and father, Isabelle and George F.B. Johnson; his granddaughter, Victoria “Torri” Wightman; his brother, George F.B. Johnson; and several beloved canine companions. Along with his daughter, Lucy, Skip leaves two sisters, Georgia Pooley of Buffalo, and Jermain Anderson of Princeton, New Jersey; many special godchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins; and his springer spaniel and loyal friend, Maggie. Those who knew Skip will remember his mischievous, warm smile, infectious laugh and bright blue eyes. We will cherish his never-ending optimism, original wit and zest for life. Skip never gave up on anything or anyone (to include a late-night game of backgammon). He made a profound and positive difference in our lives.
Jean Georges Kern, a former executive with Marine Midland Bank in Buffalo, passed away at his home in Annapolis, Maryland, with his loving family at his side. Jean was born on Aug. 10, 1931, in New York, New York, to Jean Georges Kern and Amy Dunder Kern. He was a 1950 graduate of Nichols and a 1954 graduate of Middlebury College. He later attended the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin. Upon graduating from Middlebury, he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1954 and was stationed in France until 1956. He then returned to Buffalo as an inactive member of the U.S. Army Reserves. He began work with Marine Midland Bank in Buffalo (later HSBC) in 1962 and was a vice president at the time of his retirement in 1990. Jean was a past president of the Buffalo Scalp and Blade. He was also an active member of the Orchard Park Rotary and the Orchard Park Lions clubs. He enjoyed playing tennis at the Hickory Hill Swim and Tennis Club and playing golf as a member of the Brierwood Country Club for many years. He was an original Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres season ticket holder. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his wife of 35 years, Felicia Grenda Kern; and his brother, Jacques Daniel Kern (Judy). Jean is survived by his wife of 14 years, Margaret Kern; daughter Renee of Cleveland; and son David (Susan) of Chicago. Survivors include his stepchildren, Dr. Paul Berger (Julie), Anne Denicoff (Drew), Peter Berger (Suzanne) and Kathryn Berger; nine step-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
Diane "Dede" Kluckhorn, of Williamsville and Venice, FL passed on October 22, 2018 at age 75. Beloved wife of Karl F. Kluckhohn; dear mother of David (Jos) Laub '84, Derek (Shelly) Laub '89, Tom (Christine) Kluckhohn, Steve (Cathi) Kluckhohn and Carl (Carmen) Kluckhohn; loving grandmother of eleven grandchildren; sister of Hollis "Ted" (Leslie) Webster. If desired, memorials may be made in Diane's memory to Hospice Buffalo, Inc. 225 Como Park Blvd. Cheektowaga, NY 14227.
Michele Georger May of Hypoluxo, FL and formerly of Buffalo, NY passed away on December 15, 2018 from cancer. She is survived by James G.G. May, Sr., her husband of 46 years and two children; Michele "Mimi" Goldsborough May Weidemeyer '92 and James "Jamie" G.G. May, Jr '94. In 1962, immediately after graduating from St. Mary's Seminary in Buffalo, Michele joined Ice Follies and toured with them, Ice Capades and Holiday on Ice until the late 60's. She later became an assistant coach with the first girls ice hockey team in Western New York, the Buffalo Bisons. She is also a past president of the Nichols School Parent Council.
Bob, 82, passed away peacefully in New London, N.H. Bob is survived by his wife of 58 years, Nancy; mother, Hazel; 4 children: Sarah (Joe Cox), Robert Jr (Holley), Elizabeth (David Pennino), and Matthew, and 10 grandchildren, Jacob, Brendan, Caroline, Samantha (Cox), Lauryn, Ben (Nilson), Madeline, Annabelle, Emma, and Lila (Pennino).
Bob lived by the tenet that honesty, respect for others, hard work and setting personal goals were the keys to success in life. He loved his family, spending time with friends and volunteering in local organizations and his church. Bob would describe himself as introverted and quiet, however, those who knew him through various work or church efforts, who played golf or tennis with him, who skied with him or learned to ski from him would probably tell a different story.
He was born March 18, 1936, in Buffalo, N.Y., to Herbert and Hazel Nilson, both hardworking school teachers. He was an excellent student and was awarded a full scholarship to attend The Nichols School for college-bound men starting in 8th grade, graduating Cum Laude. After Nichols, he attended Princeton University (‘58), graduating with honors and a degree in Chemical Engineering. In 1960, he married his wife, Nancy, and they moved to Charleston, West Virginia, where he was employed by Union Carbide and received his Masters Degree from West Virginia University. Union Carbide was a good match professionally, and the young married couple moved to Arlington Heights, Ill., in the Chicago area. Moving through and up the corporate ladder, Bob was with Union Carbide for more than 25 years in production, sales, management and operations, eventually relocating to Ridgefield, Conn., with his wife and three young children.
After 17 years in Connecticut, work opportunities brought Bob, Nancy and the youngest child who was born shortly after arriving in Conn., to New London, N.H., in 1991. It is after this time that health challenges began to intrude upon an otherwise active and by traditional definition, productive live. Beginning in 1992, he survived a massive benign brain tumor, knee replacement, serious heart issues and arthritis challenges. This was the beginning of the opportunity for him to challenge himself as he re-learned to enjoy life with a positive spirit and defy medical expectations.
In his retirement years, he enjoyed several sports, including skiing, tennis and golf, and explored new employment opportunities to keep busy and involved. Exercise of his mind was ongoing, and he loved taking Adventures in learning courses through Colby-Sawyer College. Always an active church member and participant, he attended and served at Kearsarge Presbyterian Church as an usher, and annual Yard Sale helper. While in Connecticut he was equally active at the First Congregational Church of Ridgefield. A long time passport holder, he and Nancy took several cruises with friends to see other parts of the world, or traveled to participate in the growth and milestones of their grandchildren. During quiet times at home, he was an avid reader and watcher of golf.
Bob will be remembered by many as a fun loving, smiling, trooper of life, and will be greatly missed by all.
Robert Lang Miller Sr. was his father’s choice to carry on the family’s financial interests. Robert, like his father, had become an executive with Liberty National Bank. In 1969, he and Paul Gesko, who came from M&T Bank, took over the office in the Liberty Building that his father had opened to manage the family’s business affairs. When Liberty National Bank became a subsidiary of a new bank holding company in January 1972, he resigned from the bank to devote full time to what became Miller, Gesko and Co. The firm now manages investments and financial matters for dozens of families across the nation. Robert served as chairman until five years ago. “He would still call us up and tell us what we should be doing,” said his son, Robert L. Jr., a partner in the firm. “He would always come up with something that the rest of us would miss.” He died April 15 at home in Canterbury Woods, Amherst, after a short illness. He was 90. Born in Buffalo, the fourth of six children, he was a descendant of Gerhard Lang, owner of the city’s largest brewery before Prohibition, and Edwin G. S. Miller, president of the bank that became Liberty Bank. His maternal grandfather, Daniel Mahony, was captain of Buffalo’s fireboat, the William S. Grattan, now called the Edward M. Cotter. He attended Nichols, enlisted in the Navy at the close of World War II, serving stateside, then earned a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College. Robert began his career at Liberty Bank in 1950, the same year that he and Evelyn R. Gurney, the sister of playwright A.R. Gurney, were married. At the bank, he went on to become a vice president, senior lending officer and head of the national division. He also served as an officer or director for numerous civic, charitable, educational and cultural organizations. “He was very active,” his son said, “He felt it was important to be a good citizen.” He helped lead the Buffalo and Erie County Planning Association, the Greater Buffalo Development Foundation, the Niagara Frontier Vocational Rehabilitation Center, Buffalo General Hospital and the Buffalo General Foundation. He also was active with the National Council for Community and Justice, the International Institute, the Canisius College Board of Regents, Daemen College, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and the Burchfield Penney Art Center. He twice was chairman of the Erie County Department of Mental Health and was a leader in the community divisions of the United Jewish Appeal and the United Negro College Fund. He also was vice president of the Buffalo chapter of the New York State Society of Security Analysts. He was a former dean of the Saturn Club and former president of the Mid-Day Club, the Pack Club and the Buffalo Tennis & Squash Club. He also was a member of the Buffalo Canoe Club, the Buffalo Yacht Club and the Thursday Club. An avid skier, sailor and tennis player, he sailed his 35-foot sloop, Algarve, on lakes Erie and Ontario. He also enjoyed traveling and classical music. In addition to his wife and son, survivors include two daughters, Marion M. Matson and Elizabeth M. McClellan; a sister, Claire M. McGowan; six grandchildren; and a great-grandson.
Lawrence Osgood died at age 89 in Rhinebeck NY. Born in Buffalo to Ellen and Dr. Howard Osgood, Larry attended Nichols School and Harvard University. Lawrence was pre-deceased by his brother John; he will be missed by his nieces Ellen Bush and Connie Petersen and their families. He was a novelist, playwright, essayist, director, great story-teller, Arctic traveler who lived and worked with the Canadian Inuit; and a lover of music, literature, dogs, and great friends.
From The Buffalo News:
“Eric D. Przykuta texted his sister-in-law on [May12] to see what he could bring to the family dinner on Mother's Day. He planned on fishing [that] night with some friends and Przykuta wanted to make sure his family had everything it needed for dinner. ‘He had it all ready – Mother's Day cards, flowers,’ recalled Jennifer Przykuta. ‘That's just the way he was. You could always count on Eric to get things done.’ Mr. Przykuta, a science teacher at Lancaster Middle School, died late Saturday in a boating accident while fishing with friends near the Small Boat Harbor in Buffalo. He was 43. On Sunday morning, the Przykuta family gathered at the Small Boat Harbor to await word on the search for him. ‘We were at the water waiting, hoping he would swim up,’ said Jennifer Przykuta. ‘He was a strong man who came from a family of boaters,’ said his father Dennis Przykuta. ‘He was 6-foot-2 and weighed 235 pounds. He loved the water. We went fishing together so many times.’ Mr. Przykuta made many friends working as a schoolteacher, lacrosse coach and president of the Lancaster Central Teachers Association. He was an avid outdoorsman and vocal supporter of the town and its school district. He spent his summers as a child with his family at their cottage near Georgian Bay. The days were filled fishing for salmon and trout. Nights brought a meal built around fresh salmon steaks cut 1-inch thick, grilled and immediately devoured, said Dennis Przykuta. Mr. Przykuta continued the summer vacations at the cottage with his wife Lori, son Landyn, daughter Emersyn and their chocolate Labrador retriever Forrest. He attended Court Street Elementary School in Lancaster, Lancaster Middle School and Nichols School, where he played goalie for the Nichols Vikings ice hockey team. He graduated in 1993, and was drafted by the former Beauport Harfangs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He opted to attend SUNY Fredonia, where he played for the Blue Devils ice hockey team that competed in the NCAA Final Four, said Aaron Przykuta, his brother. As a science teacher for 20 years, Mr. Przykuta injected fun into his lesson plan with classroom science experiments where his students played active roles. A video tweet posted by Lancaster Central School District in 2014 showed Mr. Przykuta in action surrounded by students and fellow teachers. The experiment allowed the students to ‘walk on water’ using a mixture of corn flour, blue food dye and water.
“He received the Leadership Award from New York State United Teachers. Sean Bruso, 27, was in Mr. Przykuta's eighth-grade science class in 2002-03. ‘He's a teacher you remember because he cared about you,’ said Bruso. ‘Everybody wanted to be around him. He was easy to talk to, and at that age, you needed to know someone was in your corner.’ Mr. Przykuta coached modified lacrosse at the middle school. Twins Andrew and Alexander Reimer, who now are on the Lancaster High School boys' varsity lacrosse team, were among those coached by him. Andrew recalled how Mr. Przykuta would talk to the team from the front of the bus on rides back to middle school after a team loss. He was always optimistic, Andrew said. ‘He told us how good we played and that if we practiced hard we could beat the team we just lost to. He was motivating.’ The high school lacrosse players are honoring Mr. Przykuta by putting stickers of his initials, ‘EP,’ on their helmets and dedicating the rest of the season to his memory, said Andrew. Mr. Przykuta's classroom has been decorated with flowers and other memorials placed by students, parents and colleagues. The Lancaster Central Teachers Association has established a benefit fund for the Przykuta family. Information can be found on the association's Facebook page. Besides his wife and children, Mr. Przykuta is survived by his parents, Dennis and Diana; a brother Aaron; and two nieces.”
Alice, 98, of Sherman, CT, died at her home surrounded by loving family and friends. Born on July 31, 1920 to D. Mallory and Grace Hine Stephens, Alice grew up in Patterson and Brewster, New York. She was predeceased by her husband Philip M. Schneckenburger ’32. Alice and the Schneckenburger family created the Schneckenburger Scholarship Fund at Nichols in 2009, in Philip’s memory. The scholarship is awarded annually to a student who qualifies for financial need and who shows a special interest in, propensity for and demonstrate talent in music with a specific interest in pursuing engagement in the Nichols School music program. Alice is survived by daughter Grace S. Parker of Richmond, VA, brothers Willis H. Stephens of Brewster, NY, and Dr. Mallory Stephens (Delores) of Wolfboro, NH. She was loved as "Oma" by Stephen, Kaitlen, and Gretchen Parker.
Chuck was born September 1, 1926 in Buffalo, NY and was the devoted husband and best friend of Cornelia van der Voort, who he affectionately called "Neil". He is survived by sons, Robert B. Utley, and his wife Elisabeth of Sydney, Australia, Nelson V. Utley, and his wife Barbara of Cupertino, CA, and Charles A. Utley, and his wife Teresa of Campbell, CA. He also leaves behind much-loved grandsons, Nicholas and Lucas and precious granddaughter, Emily. Chuck was the son of Charles Bach Utley and Kate (Phelps) Utley. As an only child, he grew up in Buffalo, NY until enlisting in the U.S. Navy during WWII and serving as a signalman on landing crafts in the South Pacific. He graduated from Williams College, Willamstown, MA in 1949. Chuck began his marketing career in Buffalo at Sattlers, a pioneering discount department store, moving later to building products manufacturer National Gypsum Company. He then joined Whitney Seed Company, maker of lawn and garden products, where he was responsible for marketing and advertising. He met his future wife at the wedding of a mutual friend in 1950 and they were married three years later at Neil's family home in Fredonia, NY and then settling in East Aurora, NY. In 1963 he moved his sales and marketing experience from Buffalo to Rumrill-Hoyt Advertising in Rochester, NY, where he became an account supervisor and vice president. Feeling the need for change in 1970, Chuck joined Robert Ebey Company Advertising in Menlo Park, CA but not before the family made a memorable cross-country automobile trip to their new home in Los Altos. He spent the next 20 years helping guide what became Ebey, Utley & Company through the economic ups and downs of Silicon Valley and assisted in the marketing successes of many of the area's important commercial, financial and technology companies. Throughout his life, Chuck enjoyed travel, barbershop quartet singing, skiing, musical theater, reading, cheering on the '49ers and attempting to master the banjo. He was a consummate handy-man, ready to take on anything around the house. Above all, Chuck loved his wife, his sons and their families, and admired the character, accomplishments and joys they continually gave him. He will be forever remembered as a caring husband, extraordinary dad/granddad and passionate community volunteer who lived life to the fullest.
Dr. Bernard Dick Wakefield, a retired internist and company physician, died unexpectedly Jan. 1, 2018, while visiting family in Hartford, Connecticut. He was 86. Born in Buffalo, he grew up in Kenmore, the son of an oral surgeon for whom the University at Buffalo Oral Surgery Clinic is named. He was a 1949 graduate of Nichols School and earned a bachelor’s degree from Amherst College in 1953. He completed UB Medical School in 1957 and served his internship and residency at Millard Fillmore Hospital. Dick began a private practice in Amherst, which he maintained for 18 years. At the same time, he was an adjunct professor at the UB Medical School, served at UB’s University Health Services clinic from 1962 to 1972 and was co-director of outpatient services at Millard Fillmore Hospital from 1970 to 1976. He went on to serve as assistant director of the family practice residency program at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. At Millard Fillmore Hospital, he helped open the skilled nursing facility in 1983 and served as its medical director. He also was a consultant for Arcata Graphics, corporate medical director for Carborundum Corp. and plant medical director for Occidental Chemical Corp. He retired in 1997 after working for several years in the health care regulations division of the State Office of Health System Management.
Known to everyone by his middle name, he volunteered to help build and renovate houses for Habitat for Humanity for 15 years. He also assisted in painting and other restoration efforts at Shea’s Performing Arts Center for 16 years. A resident of Niagara Falls and Grand Island before moving to the Town of Tonawanda seven years ago, he and his longtime partner, Cecelia M. Kohlmeier, toured New Zealand, the Alps and the Western United States and Canada by motorcycle. Survivors also include two sons, Brian and Keith; two daughters, Tracy Cross and Shelly; and three grandchildren.
From The Buffalo News:
Ham Ward, a veteran attorney who also was an accomplished marathon runner and outdoorsman, died in Buffalo General Medical Center from complications of a stroke. He was 87. A Buffalo native, Mr. Ward graduated from Nichols School in 1949 and Hobart College in 1953. He later earned his law degree at the University at Buffalo Law School, while clerking in the Buffalo office of the Ward, Gorman and Marx firm. He was admitted to the New York bar in 1960. After several years in private practice, Mr. Ward was appointed an assistant attorney general in 1963 by Attorney General Louis J. Lefkowitz. He then began a long stint as trial lawyer for the Department of Claims and Litigation, trying and settling suits against the state in the Court of Claims in Buffalo and Rochester. Later, he continued in the Court of Claims as clerk to John H. Cooke, presiding judge in Western New York. He continued under Judge Thomas P. McMahon until retiring in 1983. Mr. Ward then partnered with Robert H. Kutzuba in private practice in Arcade, and was recognized by the Erie County Bar Association for his 50 years of membership. Mr. Ward will also be remembered as an accomplished runner, competing in 26 marathons (including four Boston Marathons), and many triathalons throughout the eastern U.S. – including running or cycling alongside his son and daughter during several events. Mr. Ward enjoyed skiing, hunting and fishing, especially his annual expeditions to Piscotossing, Ont. His wife, Ann, whom he married in 1985, died in 2016. During retirement they traveled throughout the country and world, including a 1990 trip to Germany to visit relatives. Besides his brother, Mr. Ward is survived by a son, Hamilton V, and a daughter, Susan Ward-Freeman.
Of Buffalo, New York, and Palm Beach, Florida. Born July 25, 1961, in Buffalo to Judy L. and the late William H. Zacher. Wendy was a graduate of Nichols, Hobart William Smith College and The New England School of Law, where she received her juris doctor degree. She was a former member of the Saturn Club, Country Club of Buffalo, the Buffalo Club and the Beach Club in Palm Beach. She leaves behind her beloved husband, Alex W. Schmidt; her son, Alexander William Hugo Schmidt; her sister, Laura Otterbein; and nephews Tyler, Austin and Spencer Otterbein.
- Amigone, Madeline - November 9
- Auffinger, Frances - November 5
- Bannon, Timothy John - June 5
- Brown, James - November 20
- Castiglia, Jerry - September 19
- Cooke, Fulton '44 - August 19
- Damerau, Albert - December 8
- Doyle, Richard C. '51 - March 14
- Fors, Richard - December 7
- Fox, Linda - July 23
- Gorski, Charlotte - February 13
- Gosney, Joe '68 - October 18
- Harder, William '55 - November 9
- Holzman, Donald - August 17
- Ladds Jr., Herbert - October 17
- Laettner, Bonnie - November 26
- Lenahan, Helen - May 19
- Leous, Alfred '40 - December 7
- Lombardo Sr., Thomas - October 10
- McCormick, Eleanore - July 21
- Millard, Charles '50 - December 11
- Neureuter, Roy '52 - September 25
- Passafiume, Philip - June 28
- Phillips, Nick '50 - May 18
- Poth, Mary Ann Eichelburger - December 12
- Taheri, Syde - July 5
- Toohey, Eileen '97 - October 17
- Wolfsohn, Robert '39 - September 26
- Wright, Lois - September 27
Timothy John Bannon, a retired Nichols School teacher and administrator, died June 5, 2017, in Kensington, Maryland, after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 74. Born in Boston, Timothy attended high school in Tupper Lake and graduated in 1964 with a concentration in biology from Harvard University, where he was a resident of Leverett House. He became a science teacher in 1964 at North Shore Country Day School in Chicago and later served as head of the lower and middle schools. In 1974, he took a position as head of the lower school at Charlotte Country Day School in Charlotte, North Carolina. He became head of the lower campus (middle school) at Nichols School in 1978. Earning a master’s degree in earth science from Buffalo State College in 1992, he returned to the classroom as a science teacher. Students dedicated the school yearbook to him in 1997. He retired in 2004. A former resident of East Amherst and North Buffalo, he moved to Maryland in 2013. Survivors include a son, Ned; a daughter, Katie; a brother, William; a sister, Sharon; his ex-wife, the former Elizabeth Lyons; a close friend, Nancy Stanton; and six grandchildren.
Former Nichols School Board of Trustees president; father of Greg Castiglia ’84 and Wendy Castiglia Amato ’86; grandfather of Olivia ’20, Bradley ’18, Nina ’16, Alex ’15 and Jeremy ’12. Jerry was chair of the Nicholsfuture.org capital campaign, and he and his wife, Barbara, were incredibly supportive of Nichols. Well-known for his philanthropy and service to Nichols and Western New York, Jerry is greatly missed.
Joseph R. Gosney Jr., age 67, of Newark, Ohio, passed away Oct. 18, 2017. Joe was born on Jan. 26, 1950, to the late Joseph Sr. and Olga (Hacola) Gosney in Buffalo, New York. After growing up in Buffalo, Joe attended Ohio Northern University and earned a bachelor's degree in engineering in 1972. In 1973, he went on to the University of Florida to earn a master's degree and begin a lifelong obsession with the Gators. Joe married Carolyn (Lienert) Gosney on April 2, 1977. They moved to Newark in 1981 and stayed there for the rest of their lives, raising their children and becoming active in the community. Joe loved sports and volunteered to coach both of his children in just about anything as they grew up. The three shared a lifelong love of baseball. He enjoyed traveling, especially family road trips, and loved to vacation at any beach, where he would happily bob in the ocean for hours on end. As his children grew up, Joe would travel the country with his daughter in search of colleges and graduate schools, and take countless road trips to watch his son umpire professional baseball games. When his children married, he welcomed his son- and daughter-in-law to the family with open arms and considered them his kids, too. In recent years, he spent much of his free time visiting his children and grandson in Seattle and Lakeland, Florida. He found a sense of joy in his later years and could often be found participating in Masonic Lodge events, attending concerts, taking long walks with his dog and spending time with friends. Joe is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Jessica and Timothy Borrelli; his son, daughter-in-law and grandson, Jeffrey, Melissa and Carter Gosney; and his faithful cocker spaniel, Shadow. He is preceded in death by his parents and his wife.
William (Bill) Hartman Harder Jr. of Rancho Mirage, California, passed away at his home on Nov. 9, 2017, his 80th birthday. Bill was born in Buffalo on Nov. 9, 1937, to the late William Hartman and Jane (Torrence) Harder. He graduated from Nichols in 1955. After attending Rochester Institute of Technology for a year, he served in the U.S. Army from 1956 to 1960. After his army service, he had a long career in the materials handling industry as a salesman, engineer and business owner. Bill had a wonderful sense of humor and loved people. He was happiest when he was helping others. He was a member of the Masonic Service Association of North America and the Al Malaikah Shriners. He was an avid amateur ham radio operator and for many years, offered radio communications support to the Tournament of Roses Parade, Special Olympics, Tour de Palm Springs Bike Ride and other events where ham radio communications were requested. He was a longtime board member of Mountain View Villas Homeowners Association, a life member of the Good Sam's Radio Hams RV Club, a longtime member of the Elks Lodge and a member of the Palm Springs Air Museum. He loved and was an enthusiastic supporter of Dixieland Jazz and numerous festivals. In his later years, he loved RV'ing and traveling with his companion, Sharon. He is survived by daughter Emily (Thomas) Garrity, son William (Diana) Hartman Harder III, daughter Liesl (James) Kielp, his loving friend Sharon Hestdalen, brother Torrence Harder, and sisters Luella Johnson and Sarah Harder, as well as five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Alfred T. "Oppy" Leous passed away peacefully on Dec. 7, 2017, at age 97, with his wife of 68 years, Marguerite E. (Schlau), at his side. Father of Paul (Peggi), Mark (Glenna) and John (Jane) Leous; grandfather of Rose Leous and Jane (Eric) Busillo; brother of his twin sister, Olive Jean Willett, Richard (Mary) and the late Roger (late Tess) Leous.
Charles Millard, respected museum director and leading expert in 19th century French sculpture, died in late 2017 at the age of 84. His 1976 book, "The Sculpture of Edgar Degas," remains the definitive work on the subject. As a graceful and wide-ranging essayist, and a curator with expertise in photography, ceramics and sculpture, Charles leaves a legacy of elegant, restless intellectual exploration. His clarion prose is underwritten by impeccable citizenship and personal generosity. Charles’ modesty masked a deep wit and a true gift for friendship. If his home collection embraced everything from color-field painting to Chinese antiquities to North Carolina folk pottery, his circle of acquaintances showed just such strength in variety. Over the years he revisited the studios of many artists usually wary of art historians. Those trusting friends included artistic pioneers like Helen Frankenthaler, Carl Chiarenza, Anthony Caro, George Nick, Jules Olitski, Kenneth Noland and Mark Hewitt. Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, on Dec. 20, 1932, Charles graduated magna cum laude from Princeton in 1954. From 1956-1959 he served in the U.S. Navy as a staff member at the headquarters of the Atlantic Fleet and the Sixth Fleet. Harvard awarded him a Ph.D. in fine arts in 1971. He worked as curator of 19th century art at the Los Angeles County Museum (1971-197474) before becoming chief curator of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (1973-1986). From 1986-1993 he made a memorable director of the Ackland Art Museum at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. (In 2015, the university awarded him an honorary doctorate of fine arts.) Charles securely tied the Ackland's mission to university teaching. He invited students to museum events and began a steady public outreach that included local children. Charles described the seven years heading the Ackland as his happiest. If his quiet service intended to go unnoticed, his benefactions could not be hidden. While living in Los Angeles, Charles bought for himself a misattributed sculpture, the life-sized bust of a wildly grimacing man. The piece cost just $200, and for decades, it served as a front-hall hatrack. Of course, Charles had recognized it as the carving of a German eccentric, Franz Xaver Messerschmidt (1739-1783). When a similar bust by the artist sold for millions in 2010, Charles concocted The Tyche Foundation. He named it not for himself, but in honor of the Roman goddess of good fortune and lucky finds. With the sale's windfall, Charles at once set about strengthening the Ackland's considerable art holdings. Whatever thinness he had found in the collection, Charles could now buttress from within. A year later, the one carved gargoyle had funded 51 works – in all forms and from most centuries. The exhibit of donated works was titled "Fortune Smiles," and it filled the entire Ackland Museum. The Tyche collection, being self-generated and hand-shaped, is a gift both loving and personal. And only incidentally, almost by accident, it leaves the most perfect portrait of its donor.
Roy R. Neureuter, active in the financial sector and the community for over 50 years, died Sept. 25, 2017. Born in Buffalo, Roy was a native of this area throughout his life, with the exception of his college and military years. He graduated from Nichols in 1952 and from Lehigh University in 1956 with a degree in business. Afterward, he served two years in the U.S. Army. In 1957, Roy joined the training program of Manufacturers & Traders Trust Company. There he rose through the ranks from assistant investment officer to vice president, heading the investment department. He subsequently was promoted to administrative vice president in charge of the newly formed trust/investment group in 1977. Roy joined Roosevelt & Cross in 1983, where he served as vice president until his retirement. In 1992, he was appointed arbitration panel member for the National Association of Securities Dealers. Roy was past chairman of the New York State Bankers Association Trust Division as well as active in the Independent Bankers Association. Early in his career, Roy served as president of Financiers Toastmasters Club and as an officer of the Bond Club. A well-respected leader of community organizations, he was twice elected president of the Protestant Home for Children and thrice elected chapter chairman of the American Red Cross. He was a long-time member of the American Lung Association board as well as the Bristol Home board. Also, Roy served the council of the Richard J. Wehle School of Business at Canisius College. As a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Roy served three years as a deacon and as stewardship chairman. The Rotary Club of Buffalo honored Roy in 1999 by inducting him as a Phil Harris Fellow, Rotary's highest honor for dedication. Other memberships included: the Buffalo Canoe Club, the Buffalo Club, the Country Club of Buffalo, Lehigh University Alumni Association and the board of Cradle Beach Camp. Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Judith R.; his children, John R. Neureuter (Petrina) of Clarence Center, Jed J. Neureuter (Maureen) of Mansfield, Massachusetts, and Jeanne Neureuter Weppner of Williamsville; and six grandchildren, Jamie, Abbey and Jack Neureuter, and Cole, Tucker and Gunar Weppner.
George F. "Nick" Phillips Jr., a distinguished investment manager for more than six decades, died May 18 at Buffalo General Hospital after a short illness. He was 85. Born in Buffalo, Nick was the namesake son of George F. Phillips Sr., an early partner in Phillips Lytle LLP, and Mary Weston Phillips. He was a graduate of Nichols and Groton School, and graduated from Bowdoin College in 1954, the same year he entered the U.S. Army. Nick left the military in 1956, having achieved the rank of first lieutenantin the Army Transportation Corps. He then began his long career as an investment manager, working well into his ninth decade. Nick was a past president and secretary of DeGraff Memorial Hospital's board of directors, a past president, vice president and treasurer of the Buffalo Museum of Science board, a former finance chairman of the local SPCA and a former chairman of the United Way of the Tonawandas. He also served on the boards of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Shaw Festival and the Saturn Club of Buffalo, of which he was a former dean. His roles in the community reflected his interest in the arts and history. He also enjoyed skiing, hiking, photography and travel, and he grew orchids. Nick and the former Carin Wyckoff were married in June 1982. In addition to his wife, he is survived by stepsons Robert, Stephen and Carter Kohlmeyer; his sister, Lydia Laub; one brother, Westy Phillips; and five grandchildren.
Eileen J. Toohey, age 38, of Orchard Park, New York, passed away on Oct. 17, 2017, after a long and courageous battle with Huntington's disease. Eileen is survived by her parents, Lyle and Philip Toohey of Orchard Park; her brother, Brian, of Los Angeles; her aunt, Eileen (Ronald) Reed of Houston; her uncle, John (Marybeth) Toohey of Huntington Station, New York; her uncle, Douglas (Sarah Doolittle) Geary of New York City; and many cousins. Eileen was a graduate of the Nichols School and Hamilton College.
Dr. Robert S. Wolfsohn, a periodontist and third-generation Buffalonian, died in September 2017 in southwest Florida. He was a graduate of Nichols and soon after, of the University at Buffalo Dental School. He served in World War II as a regimental dental surgeon in the 23rd Infantry, second division (Indian Head). He was present at the German breakthrough in Belgium and earned a combat medical badge, three battle stars and a Bronze Star. Upon discharge from the Army, he practiced dentistry in Buffalo for over 50 years with his father and brother. He married Inez Laws in 1957, who predeceased him in 2012. They had been full-time residents of Naples, Florida, for almost 25 years. Robert had been a past president of the Erie County Dental Society, the Eighth District Dental Society and the Upper New York State Society of Periodontists. He was a life member of the American Academy of Periodontology, the American Dental Association and a fellow of the American College of Dentists. He proudly served on the board of directors for the AAA of Western New York for many years. He is survived by his son, Robert Laws (Theresa Fuller); and granddaughter, Jennifer Laws (John Minderman).