The University of Massachusetts Amherst
Alumni & Giving

In Memoriam

The UMass Amherst College of Nursing extends our deepest sympathies to family and friends of those who have passed away. Giving a gift to honor the life of a loved one also supports the future of nursing and nursing education. To submit information/obituary for the In Memoriam page, click here

Memorial Gifts

Rob Berman ’76 was looking for a fitting way to honor his wife, Kathleen Horan Berman ‘76, who passed away in 2005.

Kathleen worked at Beth Israel Hospital for 25 years, overseeing the psychiatric unit. She had a passion for education, nursing leadership, and a strong commitment to helping others. Rob remarks “We knew that we didn’t want a bench or a plaque. We wanted something that had life to it.”

Photo Collage of Horan and Berman families in memory of Kathleen Horan Berman

Rob ensured Kathleen’s light continued to shine bright and established a nursing scholarship for students who wish to follow in Kathleen’s footsteps. Her family and friends found comfort knowing they can actively continue Kathleen’s legacy and life purpose for years to come. 

In addition to annual contributions to the scholarship several members of the Berman & Horan families have included the scholarship in their wills.

Our College of Nursing would be honored to sustain the legacy and memory of your loved one. For more information about memorial giving, please contact Olivia Frazier, Director of Development, at Olivia.Frazier@umass.edu


In Memoriam

Please click here for historical obituaries from 2020 and beforehand.


Olive Amelia (LaMontagne) Santavenere MS 1973

Olive's obituary, as it appears on Doolittle Funeral Service:

Olive Amelia (LaMontagne) Santavenere, 87, wife of the late Horace Santavenere  passed away on July 17, 2021 at Pilgrim Manor in Cromwell. Born in Hatfield, MA, she was one of three daughters of the late Herman and Eva (Pothier) LaMontagne.  

Olive earned her nursing degree at St. Francis Hospital in 1951, and later went on to earn several other degrees including a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Hartford, a Master’s Degree from the University of Massachusetts, and a Doctoral Degree in 1992 from the University of Connecticut. She enjoyed teaching as much as learning and would help nursing students earn their degrees from Middlesex Hospital’s School of Nursing, St. Joseph’s College, Elms College, and Southern Connecticut State University where she retired in 2009.

Olive enjoyed traveling with her sister Phyllis and nephew, David and taking day trips to New York City to enjoy Broadway shows and shopping trips with her daughter-in-law and grandchildren. Sunday dinners were a tradition for many, many years. She had a kind heart full of endless love and will be sorely missed.

She is survived by her beloved family: her son Joseph with wife Patti; her son Gilbert with longtime partner Joseph Paparatto; her grandchildren Joseph Santavenere and wife Lauren, Alicia Luongo with husband Dan, and Derek Santavenere with wife Kelly; a sister, Phyllis Roth and her great-grandchildren, Joseph and Grace, Corry, and Caleb. Besides her husband and parents, she is predeceased by a sister, Betty Guertin.

The Santavenere family wish to thank the staff at The Village at South Farms, as well as the caring staff at Pilgrim Manor and Beacon Hospice.

Funeral services will be held from the Cromwell Funeral Home, 506 Main Street, Cromwell on Monday, July 26th at 9:00 am followed by a Mass of Christian Burial celebrated at St. John Church, 5 St. John Court, Cromwell at 10:00 am. Burial will follow in St. Sebastian Cemetery in Middlefield.

Family and friends may call at the Cromwell Funeral Home on Sunday evening from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter, 200 Executive Boulevard, Southington, CT 06489-1058. To share memories or send condolences to the family, please visit www.doolittlefuneralservice.com.


Sharon A. Wiles BS 1999

Sharon's obituary, as it appears on Berkshire Eagle:

Ms. Sharon Wiles, a resident of Great Barrington, MA, suddenly passed away on Thursday, June 24, 2021 at Mass General Hospital in Boston. She was 73. The daughter of the late Theodore and Shirley Weingrad Wiles, Sharon was born on May 14, 1948 in Denver, CO.

She graduated from Fallsburg Central High School, NY. She went on to earn a bachelor's degree in sociology from The College of Emporia, KS; a master's in sociology from Ball State University, IN; and a bachelor's in nursing from UMASS Amherst, MA. She received numerous academic honors, certificates, and merits. She worked as a nurse (BSN, RN) for multiple skilled facilities in New England.

Sharon lived in Europe and Israel as well and enjoyed taking her daughters to Europe on summer vacation. She enjoyed gardening, water aerobics, traveling, volunteering, camping, Cape Cod, and local cultural events. She was involved with Hadassah, Hevreh, Chabad, Eisner Camp of The Berkshires, and the Berkshire South Community Center. She volunteered with the Mahaiwe theater, Hancock Shaker Village, Habitat for Humanity, and Sheffield American Legion.

Sharon Wiles is survived by her daughter, Odessa Bates, of Great Barrington, MA; her daughter, Natasha and son-in-law Ryan Anderson, of Northampton, MA; her son, Samuel Bates, of Grand Rapids, MI; former husband, Lawrence Bates, of Turners Falls, MA; grandchildren Lucas and Ziva; and nephew, Joseph Wiles, of Missoula, MT.

She is preceded in death by her father, Theodore Wiles; her mother, Shirley Weingrad; and her brother, Mark Wiles.

A graveside service will be held on Sunday, June 27, 2021 at 1:00pm at the Hebrew Congregation of Mountaindale Synagogue Cemetery, Marsh Road in Glen Wild, NY, with Rabbi Nacchum Nathan officiating.

The family wishes to extend their gratitude to Fairview Hospital, Berkshire Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Garlick Funeral Home of Monticello, NY.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Sharon's name may be made to the Berkshire South Community Center scholarship fund or the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires.

To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.

Published by The Berkshire Eagle on Jun. 26, 2021.


Karen C. (Cotter) Hoffman BS 1977

Karen's obituary, as it appears on Boston Globe:

HOFFMAN, Karen C. (Cotter) In Golden, Colorado, formerly of Revere & Swampscott, April 18th, 2021, following a lengthy illness in the loving presence of her God & family. Beloved wife of Jeffrey Hoffman. Cherished mother of Drew & Jessa of Denver, CO. Dear sister of Trisha C. Nagle, Dr. Janis M. Cotter, both of Swampscott & Philip J. Cotter & his wife Alice of Revere & the late Susan E. Coughlin & her surviving husband, Robert H. Coughlin of Wilmington. Devoted daughter to the late Philip M. "The Chief" & the late Patricia "Nana" (Hennebery) Cotter. Also lovingly survived by numerous nieces & nephews. Karen was born in Revere to Phil "The Chief" & Pat C. "Nana" Cotter. She attended the infamous Mt. St. Joseph Academy before earning her Nursing degree at UMass Amherst. Putting that degree to use, she worked in Boston & then moved to Steamboat, CO to pursue skiing & nursing. It was there she met her husband & lifelong ski partner, Jeff with whom she had two adoring children, Drew & Jessa. She continued her education earning her Master's in Nursing Administration at the University of Colorado & then worked as the Director of Nursing in Steamboat. Karen's nursing career touched many people & forged many friendships that she held dear over these last few years. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the family in most sincere regard to the welfare of the anticipated large group of mourners had private services including interment in Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Colorado. A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, October 10th, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. at The Vista at Applewood Golf Course in Golden, CO. We invite anyone who was touched by Karen's love to join us on this date. In lieu of flowers, please consider a remembrance to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation or the Denver Harlequins Wheelchair Rugby Team harlequins.wedid.it


Barbara A. (Zych) Allen BS 1971 MS 1973

Barbara's obituary, as it appears on Washington Post:

Barbara Allen (Age 76)  
Barbara Allen "Bobbie" passed away at home Saturday, April 11. She was born in Ludlow Massachusetts, April 24, 1944. Her parents were Joseph and Stella Zych. Joe a Polish immigrant instilled a love of this country in his daughter. Barbara had a diverse life. First, as a registered nurse and then earning her master's degree in nursing from the University of Massachusetts. She married Donald in August 1972. In the mid 70's after they moved to Northern Virginia Barbara worked as a nursing instructor at George Mason University. With the birth of her first son, followed shortly by the birth of the second son, Barbara became a stay-at-home mom. In the late 80's she obtained her teaching certificate. Barbara taught 3rd grade at Timberlane Elementary School in Falls Church, VA for several years. Barbara retired in 2003. She then went on to become a Fairfax County Master Gardener. Her joy in life was that of a devoted grandmother to her three granddaughters. She is survived by her husband Donald, a marriage of 48 years; two Sons, Brian and Benjamin, their wives Jen and Chrissy; and three granddaughters Sarah, Grace, and Meret. Memorial Service to be held on April 16 at 2 p.m., Centreville United Methodist Church, 6400 Old Centreville Rd., Centreville, VA 20121.


Erik M. Lawrence BS 2008

Erik's obituary, as it appears on BarryJFarrellFuneralHome.com:

Erik M. Lawrence, age 50, of Holyoke, MA died suddenly on Sunday, April 4, 2021. He was born in Gardner, MA on August 2, 1970, son of the late Neil P. and Margaret M. Lawrence. He lived most of his life in Holyoke. He attended Holyoke Public Schools and was a graduate of Holyoke High, Holyoke Community School of Nursing, and The University of Massachusetts School of Nursing where he earned his Bachelors of Science in Nursing. Erik worked for many years at Baystate Medical Center. He began his work there as a kitchen worker and ultimately became a Nursing Supervisor. Most recently he was employed as a Nursing Supervisor at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. He was a strong advocate for his patients and his nursing colleagues. Erik was an enthusiastic skier and was a member of the ski patrol at Mt. Tom and Butternut ski areas. He had a passion for all music and was an avid Grateful Dead fan. He greatly enjoyed spending time surrounded by family and friends camping, at the beach, and attending concerts. Besides his parents, Erik was predeceased by his brother, Neil P. Lawrence. He is survived by his four children: Madysen H. Lawrence and his spouse Adara North of Burlington, VT, Kassidy J. Lawrence, Ella G. Lawrence, and Lily F. Lawrence and their mother Tamara (Motyl) Lawrence. He also leaves behind three sisters: Eileen Regan and her husband Gene Regan, Mary Lawrence and her husband Jeff Francis, and Amy Lawrence and her husband Mark Fitzgerald, all of Holyoke. Erik also leaves behind several nieces and nephews, several grand nieces and nephews, a loving extended family, and many, many friends. Relatives and friends are invited to meet for a Mass of Christian Burial for Erik on Wednesday, April 14th at 11:30 am at Blessed Sacrament Church, 1945 Northampton Street. Burial will be private. A Walkthrough Visitation will be held on Tuesday, April 13th from 4 to 7 pm at the Barry J. Farrell Funeral Home, 2049 Northampton Street. Please note that masks and social distancing are required for all services. Those choosing not to send flowers may consider donations in Erik’s memory to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), 199 Water Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10038, or to Autism Speaks, 1060 State Road, Second Floor, Princeton, NJ 08540.


Theresa Ann Lucci BS 1985

Theresa's obituary, as it appears on Newburyport News:

Amesbury - Theresa Ann Lucci, 58, of Amesbury, passed away unexpectedly on March 5th, 2021.
She was born on October 20th, 1962 in Boston, Ma and adopted by the late Ernie and Betty Lucci of Stoneham, Ma. Terry graduated from Stoneham High School in 1981 and received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from The University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1985.
She is survived by her husband of 28 years, Frank Fiorella, son Nicholas Fiorella, sister Tammy Gooney and brother, Tom Lucci, Sr. and many nieces, nephews and cousins. She is also survived by her beloved dogs and cats.
Terry dedicated her entire nursing career to caring for cardiac surgical patients, both in the ICU and the Stepdown, at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. There she was known by her patients and colleagues as a dedicated, compassionate nurse who always went the extra mile to help her patients in their recovery from heart surgery. Terry's colleagues will always remember her for her quiet humor and willingness to lend a helping hand to all. Her biggest and proudest accomplishment was raising her only son. She instilled within him a love for nature and compassion for all. Nick and Frank remember her as an intelligent and dedicated mother and wife who encouraged them to pursue their goals and passions. They both loved her dearly.
She was a humble individual who had unconditional love for all animals. She was an avid dog enthusiast with a passion for training, breeding, showing, and rescuing. Terry used her expertise to help dogs find their forever homes. Her other passions were gardening and restoring her rustic farmhouse.
Please join us in celebrating her life on March 27th from 1 to 2:30 p.m.. at Paul C. Rogers Family Funeral Home, 2 Hillside Avenue, Amesbury. Due to restrictions of COVID-19, services will be private for the family. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to help establish a memorial scholarship in her name at https://gofund.me/96f048aa.


Therese (Phaneuf) Mullen MS 1970

Therese's obituary, as it appears on MassLive:

Therese Mullen, 91, of Wilbraham (formerly of Palmer, MA) passed away on Monday, March 1, 2021. Terry was residing at Orchard Valley of Wilbraham. Terry was born to the late Albert and Sheila (Grummel) Phaneuf on June 30, 1929 in Detroit, Michigan. She grew up in Ludlow, MA, attended local schools and graduated in 1948 as Valedictorian of her Cathedral High School class. She went on to earn her RN in 1951 from the Springfield School of Nursing (now Baystate Hospital). A voracious learner, Terry continued her education and graduated from Springfield College with a BS in 1967. In 1970, she earned an MS in Nursing Education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, returning a few years later to earn a Nurse Practitioner Certification. Terry worked as a nurse, a supervisor and Director of Nursing at Monson Developmental Center for a total of almost forty years. She made lasting friends from nursing school, college and from the community of Palmer as well as from many who both lived and worked at Monson Developmental Center. Terry was a loving and well loved, wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin and friend, but her favorite ”hat” was her Nurses Cap and Pin and her favorite title was Nurse! She simply loved being a nurse and helping people. There was a time if a friend or family member was hospitalized, Terry would put on that hat and pin a go to the hospital to “special” them. Terry remained close friends to the end with several women who graduated from Nursing School with her. She was an active member of the Massachusetts Nurses Association, serving for one term as President. She valued education dearly and never stopped learning. Terry was a creative soul who, over the years, sewed many of her own and her children’s clothes. She quilted, she hooked beautiful rugs, embroidered and wove baskets. She was a member of the Rosary Sodality, she taught Catechism, and she served as a lector at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Palmer for many years. Throughout the years, when her family was young, she worked full time at Monson Developmental Center, but would always find the time to cook a special Sunday dinner every week for the entire family, including both grandparents! After her retirement, she participated as a member of the Palmer Rotary Club and for eighteen years she volunteered with Top Floor Learning. Terry knew the value of family and friends, of education, the importance of personal generosity, of volunteering, as well as for working hard for what you want. Throughout her life, she exemplified these virtues. One of her many remarkable and selfless contributions was to the Nurses’ Health Study and Brain Donation Initiative to which she continued to contribute information until her passing. Terry married Kenneth H. Mullen in 1952 and Palmer has been her home for over 60 years. She is survived by her three children: Susan Boucher (Frank) of Monson, MA, Jane Sutphin (Jim) of Enfield, CT and Janet Mullen (Steven) of East Brunswick, NJ. She is also survived by six, much loved grandchildren: Jared and Ryan Boucher, Cameron and Conor Sutphin, Alexandra and Jamison Brill, three sweet great-grandchildren; her sister Yvonne (Judy) Pedersen, her sister-in-law Phyllis Phaneuf as well as cousins, nieces and nephews. Terry was predeceased by her husband Kenneth, her brothers, Raymond and Leodore Phaneuf, here sisters-in-law, Janet Miller, Wynell (Joy) Phaneuf and Marie Mullen, her brothers-in-law, Robert Mullen and Wilbur (Bing) Miller as well as her nephew, Russell Miller & niece, Terie Miller Jacobus.
Calling hours will be Thursday, March 11, 2021 at Beers & Story Palmer Funeral Home, 1475 N Main St. beginning at 9am followed by procession to St. Thomas the Apostle Church for Therese’s funeral mass at 11am. Burial will be in the spring at St. Thomas Cemetery, Palmer. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that people consider making donations to Top Floor Learning, 1455 North Main St. Palmer, MA 01068, The Alzheimer’s Association, 225 N Michigan Ave. Fl 17, IL 60601 (act.alz.org), The ALS Association, 4 Oxford Road, Unit E4, Milford, CT 06460 or to the charity of your choice. To leave a memory, please visit www.beersandstory.com


Cheryl D. Smith MS 1997

Cheryl's obituary, as it appears on Hoffmanfh.com:

Cheryl D. Smith (Wilson), a resident of Conway, Massachusetts, died unexpectedly on February 22, 2021 at the age of 69, due to a heart attack precipitated by symptoms of a recurrent cancer.

Cheryl was born in Ligonier PA as the first among five children to Gerald and Eleanor Smith, longtime residents of Newville PA. She was predeceased by her father, her brother James Smith, and sister Susan George. She is survived by her beloved husband John Wilson of Conway MA, her mother Eleanor Smith, her sister Patricia George and husband Dale, and her brother William Smith and wife Judy, all of Carlisle PA. She is further survived by brother-in-law Thomas George and wife Cecelia of West Bolyston MA, sister-in-law Brenda Smith of Mt. Holly Springs PA, and a considerable flock of nieces and nephews, their spouses, and their children.

Cheryl graduated from Uxbridge High School in Uxbridge MA, received her LPN degree at the David D. Fanning School, and worked as a floor nurse for nearly 2 decades at Hahnemann Hospital in Worcester MA, where she also assisted in design of their diabetes education program. Following a brief side-trip into software design, Cheryl returned to her professional love, earning an RN from Franklin County Community College and FNP from UMass, Amherst. When still pursuing her RN and FNP degrees Cheryl developed and directed the first Diabetes Educational Support Group for Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, MA. In addition to lively Q & A discussions focused on self-care through diet and exercise, Cheryl’s programs also incorporated educational lectures by physicians and other specialists on wide –ranging topics in diabetes management. The tangible success of that program resulted in nomination for the New York Times Nursing Award. Following achievement of her FNP Cheryl next developed, and for many years directed, the Nursing Center program for the Council on Aging in Amherst MA.

Despite being diagnosed with Type I Diabetes at age 5, Cheryl managed through diligent self-management to avoid nearly all the medical complications that affect people with diabetes. In teaching practice she used her vast personal and professional knowledge of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes to inform and enrich the lives of patients she met and cared for throughout her career.

In the year 2000 Cheryl’s advocacy for better health care in general, and for diabetics in particular, took a political turn when she volunteered testimony to the U.S. Congress regarding the proposed abandonment of non-synthetic insulins by the American pharmaceutical industry. Her testimony outlined the history of that decision, its clinical ramifications, and recounted personal experience in discovering that she was strongly allergic to all newly marketed and supposedly “improved” synthetic insulins. Despite strong opposition from industry lobbyists, Congress soon directed the FDA to allow personal importation of non-synthetic insulins by any citizen who, for one reason or another, cannot maintain life and health if denied access to non-synthetic insulin. That exception still stands, having saved many lives that might have otherwise been cut short, improving quality of life for others, and without doubt extending Cheryl’s own life and good health by more than two decades.

Beyond medical career: Cheryl and her loving husband John enjoyed traveling on vacations through eastern Canada and the U.S, attending folk music and ‘60s concerts, and watching comedy and mysteries on PBS. Cheryl was also an exceptional artist, avid photographer, and enthusiastic gardener. She especially loved visiting her parents and large extended family back in Pennsylvania. Though they had no children together, she and John served as “mom and dad” to a lively and affectionate succession of Jersey Wooly and lop- eared rabbits. Cheryl’s boundless affection for “our bunnies” was perfect reflection of her kind and generous heart. She will be forever missed by her sorrowing husband John, all their other family members, and many friends in New England, Pennsylvania, and places beyond.
Private burial will take place at a later date at the Cumberland Valley Memorial Gardens in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Hoffman Funeral Home and Crematory at 2020 W. Trindle Road, Carlisle, PA 17013 (www.hoffmanfh.com/) and Drozdal Funeral Home at 120 Damon Road, Northampton MA 01060 (www.drozdalfuneralhome.com/) are assisting the family.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation in Cheryl’s name to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (www2.jdrf.org/), and/or the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (www.dana-farber.org).


Janet W. Knight BS 1976

Janet's obituary, as it appears on Athol Daily News:

Janet W. Knight PhD, passed in peace on her 89th birthday, January 30, 2021. Born in Cumberland, Maryland, she lived most of her life in Orange. She is survived by her four children: Robin (Michael) Aronson of Waterville Valley, N.H., Heather Holster, Scot (Karla) Knight, and Douglas Knight, all residing in Swampscott. She had eight grandchildren: Rob, Shana, Christal, Alex, Andrew, Katie, Jack and Tess, six great-grandchildren: Cooper, Aaron, Lily, Alison, Jason, and Aidia. She was preceded in death by her daughter Lisa Knight of North Hollywood, CA, and former husband Robert G. Knight, M.D of Athol.

A true academic, Janet graduated with high honors from Allegheny High School in Maryland in 1950. She completed a program in nursing from the Lucy Webb Hayes Nursing School and Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C. She earned a Bachelor of Science Nursing Degree from Boston College. She later attended Boston University where she accomplished a Masters Degree in Nursing in 1979. Janet went back to school in her 50s and would defend her dissertation on Healthcare for the Homeless; she received her Doctoral Degree in Medical Sociology at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Her printed work for the Robert Wood Foundation with Dr. Clarke Roofe was published in 1980; the article was a culmination of her tireless work surrounding the healthcare plight of the homeless population in Worcester and across the country.

Dr. Knight had a most impressive working career. During high school years she was an accomplished pianist who toured with Jazz Bands throughout Maryland. While completing her studies at UMass she would work the streets of Worcester and Springfield helping organizations provide food, clothing, and medications to the homeless. She would move on to succeed in her profession as a nurse educator as Clinical Director of Nursing Students at Hahnemann Hospital in Worcester. She was a Professor of Sociology at Boston University, and next worked ten years for the Department of Corrections in Massachusetts as Director of Research as a Research Scientist under Governor Weld. She worked as a floor nurse at the Quabbin Valley Health Care facility in Athol.

An active member of the community of Orange, Janet served on the Board of Health and the Mahar School Committee. She belonged to the town Rotary club. Her love of reading prompted her to participate in the Great Books Club; she sang in the choir at both St. Mary's Church, and the 1794 Meetinghouse in New Salem. She attended St. Mary's Parish in Orange, and later the Athol/Orange Baptist church in Athol. She grew strong in faith and love for her Savior. Above all community service, it was the love Janet had for her town and townspeople that will be remembered. Everyone was invited into the family home on South Main Street; neighborhood friends of her children would come by just to see her as she was welcoming and hospitable.

The life of Janet Knight cannot be fully captured in her resume. Hers is a story of overcoming adversity. Her Scottish family roots are planted in the hills of West Virginia, a state with a history of impoverishment and disadvantage; her family worked the coal mines and dairy farms to make ends meet. Overall, the measurement of her true accomplishments can be found in the love she had for her home and her children. High School football games and parades were made special because all five of her children were in the band or on the field. Her camp on Lake Mattawa was an oasis to her family and countless friends who could always find Janet sunning on the deck, playing guitar, voraciously reading her books, or sailing on the water - just a few of her many passions.

Wherever our mother was, that was our home- we had no home but her. She is with us always, first in her lifetime, then forever in our memories. She is not physically here anymore but her light and love live on forever. For now, mother, you are gone from our sight; but joyfully, and always you are now Coram Deo ... in the Face of God.

When it is safe to do so, we will honor our mother with an in-person Memorial Service. Information will be forthcoming.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, if you so desire, to direct charitable donations to Camp del Corazon, 11615 Hesby St., North Hollywood, CA 90601 (http://www.campdelcorazon.org)


Dvora Cohen BS 2012

Dvora's obituary, as it appears on GazetteNet:

Dvora Cohen, 67, of Wendell died Jan. 11, 2021 at home from pancreatic cancer. She was born in the Bronx, New York on Oct. 7, 1953. The daughter of Herbert and Bessie (Axelrod) Cohen, Dvora attended the High School of Performing Arts in N.Y.C. and Mount Vernon High School, where her father was a woodshop teacher.

At Performing Arts, Dvora was introduced to costume making which began a lifelong love of fabric and clothing making. This led to a career as a handweaver and craftsperson, selling her work locally as well as in Boston, New York City, and Baltimore. Initially a self-taught weaver, she began selling her work in the early 70's. In 1984, Dvora obtained the recognition of Master Weaver at Hill Institute in Florence MA. Dvora was a weaver, spinner of yarn, a knitter, and became a teacher of those subjects. She wrote a knitting column for the West County News.

Dvora was passionate about gardening, saving seeds, canning and freezing vegetables from her homestead garden. She sold herbs and perennials at the Williamsburg, Shelburne Falls, and Greenfield farmers markets. For almost a decade she helped create English cottage gardens around the Pioneer Valley with Nina Newington, who brought her skills here from England. Dvora offered seed saving workshops, sharing her love of seeds and plants and the growing world.

Seeking a more regular income, Dvora enrolled in the nursing program at GCC and graduated with an associates degree in 2002 at the age of 49. She worked at Mercy Hospital and then became a hospice nurse. She helped found Hospice of Franklin County. In 2012, Dvora received her BS in nursing from Umass, and worked for the last five years of her career as a school nurse at Whately Elementary School.

Dvora always tried to make the world a little bit better. She served as a Brownie leader, sat on the board of the Valley Community Land Trust and Friends of the Wendell Library. She volunteered her time with the Center for New Americans. She was a member of the Wendell Council on Aging and Wendell Conservation Commission. Most recently she put her sewing skills to use in an effort to help provide masks to everyone in Wendell.

Dvora leaves her best friend and husband, Stephen Broll; a son Micah Surprenant and wife Kelly, daughter Willow (Cohen) Sirum and husband Ben; step-daughter Audrey Broll and partner Justin Garofano. She also leaves grandchildren Kona Surprenant and Lillian "Lily" Sirum. Her extended family includes Mary Louise Broll and wife Sharon Povinelli and their two sons Samuel and Benjamin Hastings, David Broll and wife Sharon and their daughter Tess, and Dvora's cousin Susan Axelrod.

Dvora is predeceased by her parents, a brother Jeffery, and Ginger, the best dog in the world.

Due to the pandemic, a Celebration of Life will be held at a future date. Dvora and Stephen would like to cast a wide net of thanks to all of our family and friends who supported us with their gestures of love, big and small. A special thanks to the group of our Wendell friends who provided meals for over 2 years. Donations may be made in Dvora's memory to the Leverett Village Co-op, 180 Rattlesnake Gutter Rd., Leverett, MA 01054.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Smith-Kelleher Funeral Home.