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The following obituaries have been received for alumni, faculty, and students whose deaths were announced in the last issue, or will appear in the next issue, of UMass Magazine. (The list as it appeared in print may be linked at right.) To inquire after a particular name published in this or other"In Memoriam" listings, please use the search link.




1920s | 1930s

Leighton G. Cleaves '25, 94, died Tuesday (4/13/99) of heart failure at the home of his daughter and son-in-law, Roxana and Roy Terwilliger of Harwich, with whom he lived since the death of his wife of 58 years, Anita, in 1993. Born in Gardner, Mr. Cleaves graduated from Gardner High School and received a bachelor's degree in economics at the Massachusetts Agricultural School, the forerunner of the University of Massachusetts. He also received a commission as second lieutenant in the U.S. Cavalry Reserve. Mr. Cleaves pursued a career in agriculture and industry. He was assistant head farmer at the Gardner State Colony, farmer at the Medfield State Hospital and secretary and treasurer of the Taunton Production Credit Association. During the Depression, he moved back to Gardner to work at the Florence Stove Co. as production expediter and sub-foreman of welding, and two years at the General Electric Co. Turbine factory in Fitchburg as production follower. In 1944, he moved to Norwich, CT, to be county supervisor of the three Eastern counties for the Farm Security Administration, then Soil Conservationist for New London County. He spent the next several years selling farm equipment and irrigation systems to farmers and golf courses.

Mr. Cleaves worked the last 13 years of his career as a quality engineer in the X-ray department of Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Co. in East Hartford, CT, until retiring in 1969. Mr. Cleaves came to the Cape in 1986 from Epsom, NH. He belonged to the Cape Cod Chapter of the SPEBSQSA Inc., a national barbershop quartet singing organization, of which he was a member since 1945. For four years, he coordinated a course in gardening at the Academy for Lifelong Learning at Cape Cod Community College. In 1998, he was awarded the Senior Citizen Award of Excellence by the Cape Cod Journal. He recently completed his autobiography. A lover of baseball, he was an avid Red Sox fan. He played football in high school and was a member of the freshman team at college. Besides his daughter, he is survived by a son, Jeffrey Leighton Cleaves of New Britain, CT; three grandsons; two granddaughters; two great-grandsons; five nephews and three nieces; and 21 grandnephews and grandnieces.

Chatham Cape Cod Chronicle 4/22/99

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Frances C. France, '28, 93, died Saturday (8/14/99) at Mercy Hospital. She was manager of the Jeffrey Amherst Book Store for eight years, retiring in 1952. Born in St. Louis, MO, she lived in Santa Cruz, CA; Amherst; Karachi, Pakistan; and Venice, FL, before moving here (Springfield). She graduated from Amherst High School in 1923, attended Kansas State Agricultural College and graduated from the former Massachusetts Agricultural College in 1928. She was past president and active in the Garden Club of Amherst and co-editor of "Trees of Amherst," which was published in 1959. Her husband, Ralph L., died in 1981. She leaves behind two daughters, Barbara Devine of Scituate and Joan Jasinski of Springfield; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Springfield Union News 8/16/99

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J. Harper Gale, '29,
89, a lifelong resident of Tewksbury, died on Monday(2/1/99) at the Lahey-Hitchcock Medical Center in Burlington. He was the husband of Gladys E. (Hardy) Gale, with whom he celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary in April 1998. Born in Tewksbury, he was the son of the late John T. and Edna (Harper) Gale. He attended Tewksbury schools and graduated from Lowell High School and the Stockbridge School of Agriculture. Prior to his retirement, he was a partner in the firm of John T. Gale Sons, Wholesale Florists, of Tewksbury, which was founded by his late father. Mr. Gale served on the Tewksbury School Committee, a position he held for more than 12 years. In addition, he was the chairman of the Tewksbury Cemetery Commission at the time of his death. He was a member and past master of the Wamesit Masonic Lodge A.F. & A.M. of Tewksbury. In 1963, he was elevated to the 33rd degree in Masonry. He was also active in the American Carnation Society; Lowell Lodge of Perfection; the Princes of Jerusalem, where he was past sovereign prince; Mount Calvary Chapter of Rose Croix; the Massachusetts Consistory Guard; the Aleppo Temple Shriners; and the Dracut Square and Compass Club. In addition to his wife, he is survived by two daughters, Joan Meadows of Athens, Texas and Judith Yarbrough of Tewksbury; a son, John H. Gale Jr. of Hampton, NH; six grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and his brother, Richmond T. Gale of Tewksbury. He was the brother of the late Edna E. Berg, formerly of California and Thelma G. Green, formerly of Tewksbury.

Tewksbury Tewksbury Advertiser 2/11/99

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1930s


Earle B. Mosher, '30,
88, of Wellesley and North Miami Beach, FL, died April 27, 1999. Born in Worcester, he was the son of Benjamin Franklin Mosher and Lena C. Mosher. He graduated in 1930 from the Stockbridge School of Agriculture in Amherst. Mr. Mosher was a resident of Wellesley for 59 years. At the time of his death, he was president of Earle B. Mosher, Inc. Creative Landscaping, a nationally recognized company that he formed in 1930. In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson's wife, Lady Bird, presented Mr. Mosher with the 16th Annual Landscape Award of the American Nurseryman Association. Mr. Mosher was a member and honorary lifetime deacon of both the First Baptist Church of Natick and the Church by the Sea in Bal Harbour, FL. He is survived by his wife, Helen Bondeson Mosher; two daughters, Sally Mosher Holmgren of North Miami and Nancy Mosher Whitney and her husband William N. Whitney of Naples, FL; a daughter-in-law, Gayle A. Mosher of Natick; a stepdaughter, Linda Rodgers of Chicago; six grandchildren, Michael Holmgren, William N. Whitney III, Robert E. Whitney, Christopher A. Mosher, Katherine F. Mosher, Kyle Rodgers; and five great-grandchildren, Michelle L. Holmgren, Ashley L. Whitney, Elizabeth J. Whitney, Nicholas R. Whitney and Cassandra M. Whitney. He was preceded in death by his wife, Gertrude Fulton Mosher, and his son, David Fulton Mosher.

Wellesley Wellesley Townsman 5/6/99

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D. Craig Wilson, '30,
89, of Pepperell, died Friday (2/5/99) at Apple Valley Care and Rehabilitation Center in Ayer. He was born in New York City on October 30, 1909, a son of the late James A. and Sarah (Carson) Wilson. He graduated from Massachusetts School of Agriculture. Mr. Wilson was an orchardist, working in most New England states for many years. He had formerly lived in Groton and Leicester. Survivors include a sister, Elizabeth Kihl of Kent, CT; a brother, Gordon Wilson of Leicester; several nephews and nieces; and dear friends Richard and Linda Aubin, with whom he lived.

Lowell Sunday Sun 2/7/99

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John C. Barter, '33,
89, died on Friday in University of Massachusetts Hospital, Worcester, after an illness. He leaves two godsons, John D. Sohlstrom of Barre, Vt., and Matthew T. Sohlstrom of Bloomington, Ind.; a goddaughter, Erica Varnell of Houston. He as born in Worcester, son of Thomas S. and Betsy Ann (Chafer) Barter. He graduated from North High School in Worcester, attended Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and graduated from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. He moved to Shrewsbury several years ago. He was a clerical supervisor in the diamond products division of Norton Co. for 30 years, retiring in 1965. He was an avid gardener.

Worcester Telegram and Gazette 4/13/99

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Cloyes Gleason, '33,
88, of Sun City Center, FL, and formerly of Penacook, died Friday (2/26/99) at Brandon Hospital, Brandon, FL. He was born in Hanover, MA, and educated in its schools. He received a bachelor's degree from the then Massachusetts State College, now the University of Massachusetts. He was employed by the Huntley Tree Service of Hanover. While in Hanover, he was active in the affairs of the First Congregational Church. Upon leaving Hanover, he began a career in the U.S. Department of Agriculture in a rural development agency in the Farm Security Administration. He is survived by his wife, Esther Gleason of Sun City Center; two daughters, Ann Bolan of Oak Park, Ill., and Mary Elder of New York City; a granddaughter, Kristin Arnold of Oak Park, Illinois; a brother, Charles Gleason Jr. of Vero Beach, FL; and several nieces and nephews.

Concord Sunday Monitor 2/28/99

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Gwendolyn Myers, '33,
86, a member of several Taunton organizations, died Thursday (4/29/99) at the Cape Cod Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Bourne, after an illness. She was the wife of the late Russell B. Meyers. Born, raised and educated in Taunton, Mrs. Meyers was a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Stockbridge. Although she lived most of her life in Taunton, in 1985 she moved to Buzzards Bay to be closer to her family. She was a devoted grandmother and was particularly close to her grandson, Bruce Myers, who lives in Plymouth and is employed in Hyannis. Mrs. Meyers was a member of several organizations for many years, including the Taunton Quota Club, the Taunton Republican City Committee, Morton Hospital Auxiliary, Taunton Visiting Nursing Association, and Hodges Class. She was also a member of the Winthrop Street Baptist Church. Surviving are two sons, Russell Meyers of Raynham and Walter Myers of Buzzards Bay; a daughter, Marlynn Walsh of Cohasset; a brother, Howard Davis of Buzzards Bay; eight grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

Hyannis Cape Cod Times 5/1/99

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Michael E. Benben, '35,
84, of Port Richey, formerly of North Hadley, died February 15 at home. Born July 4, 1914, in North Hadley, he was the son of the late Edward and Agnes Benben. He was a graduate of Hopkins Academy, and of the former Stockbridge School of Agriculture in Amherst. Mr. Benben had been a vice president of the Atlantic Commission Co., a subsidiary of A&P, until his retirement. He leaves his wife, Christine (Peetom) Benben; two sisters, Mary P. Wiesztort, and Ann I. Rauch, both of Ashfield; a brother, peter M. Benben of Newburg, NY; a daughter, Phyllis of Michigan; two sons, Michael Benben Jr. of Wisconsin, and Robert Benben of California; seven grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. A sister, Josephine Conklin, died earlier.

Gazette 6/15/99

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William A. Scott, '35,
86, Bloomfield, passed away at Hartford Hospital on Thursday (6/3/99). He was the husband of Daisy (Eckery) Scott formerly of Cromwell. Born in Hartford son of the late James and Eva (Cook) Scott, he lived most of his life in Bloomfield. He earned his degree in landscape from UMass, and was the former owner of Scott's Nurseries in Bloomfield for 50 years. Mr. Scott was a Veteran of the U.S. Navy, serving during World War II as a Lieutenant, and was a member of the Hiram Lodge #98 of Bloomfield. Mr. Scott was Master of the lodge in 1955, he was a member of Old St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Bloomfield for 40 years and sang in the choir for most of that time. Along with his wife Daisy he leaves his sister, Elizabeth Jensen of Rocky Hill; three nephews; three nieces; 11 grandnieces and grandnephews.

Submitted by Sanford Macomber

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Warren H. Southworth, '35,
87, died quietly at Meriter Hospital on June 11, 1999. His wife and partner of nearly 62 years, Ruth Redman Southworth, was at his side. Severely handicapped in later life, he will be remembered as a handsome actor who always played the male lead, a fatter who could build or fix anything, a pianist, opera lover, long-time professor of health and preventive medicine at UW-Madison, and a man who liked nothing better than a good story or joke, the veracity of many of which was often questioned by his wife. He was born on February 10, 1912 and raised in the Boston area. He earned degrees from the University of Massachusetts, Boston University , and MIT. Over his long professional career, he taught hundreds of undergrads, guided many grad students through thesis and dissertation, was an active member and officer on a number of national, international, state and local public health organizations and published more than 150 chapters, articles and books. He was honored by many of his associations, including the award he prized the most, the William A. Howe Award from the American School Health Association. He loved music, the theatre, flowers, working with wood and watching his two grandsons become young men. He is survived by his wife, Ruth Redman Southworth of Madison; his son, Joy (Charlene) Southworth of North Prairie; his daughter, Evey (Jim) Fleming of Madison; those two much-loved grandsons, Benjamin Fleming and Charles Southworth; a nephew, Stephen Anable of Massachusetts; and cousin, Natalie Thompson of Florida.

Submitted by member of deceased's family

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