The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Historical Obituaries

Dr. Josephine "Jo" Mary Ryan MS 1973 was a beloved faculty member at the College of Nursing for 25 years and partner of longtime faculty member Dr. Christine King. Dr. Ryan received the UMass Distinguished Teaching Award and the UMass President's Office Public Service Award. Dr. Ryan passed away on July 13, 2020.

Her obituary, as it appears in the Daily Hampshire Gazette:

Josephine passed away on July 13, at age 77. She will be remembered as a loving partner, sister, mother, and grandmother, and as a fierce champion for women and nurses.

Jo was born to an Irish family in London on December 9, 1942, during a German bombing of the city. She was a late addition to three older siblings -- Fergus, Catherine, and Patrick. She spent her childhood between London and her family's home in the Thomondgate district of Limerick, Ireland, and would later recall walking to elementary school in Chelsea past houses shattered by the Blitz. As a member of the Girl Guides, she stood vigil at the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Jo was a feisty and outspoken girl. She practiced her quick-draw with a toy six-shooter behind the boarding house that her mother, Mai, ran for Irish workers living in London. Jo's father, Tim, was a steamfitter.

In March of 1956, at the age of 13, Jo boarded the RMS Queen Mary with Patrick and Mai, bound for the United States, where Catherine had emigrated three years earlier. Jo later had fond memories of the five-day voyage and reported that the food was excellent -- even in third class. They landed in Manhattan, stepping onto the pier and into the arms of aunts, uncles, and cousins who had emigrated before them.

The family moved into an apartment over a barber shop in Flatbush, Brooklyn. At P.S. 89 Jo quickly shed her accent to avoid being teased on the schoolyard. After two years, Jo and her family moved to Stamford, Conn., where Jo completed high school and was a standout on the basketball team. A bright and talented student, Jo later said she would have chosen to study marine biology if a guidance counselor hadn't steered her toward nursing school.

After three years at the Greenwich Hospital School of Nursing, Jo was recruited to a new program at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and added a B.S. to her R.N. Jo followed her love of science and learning into academia and collected further degrees: a master's from University of Massachusetts Amherst and a doctorate in nursing science from Boston University. She became a tenured associate professor in the school of nursing at UMass, where she trained future nurses for more than three decades. Admired by her students and esteemed by her colleagues, Jo was awarded the UMass Distinguished Teaching Award and the UMass President's Office Public Service Award. She taught pathophysiology and nursing theory, and she mentored doctoral students through their research. In addition to imparting knowledge and skills, Jo sought to inspire self-assurance and confidence in the young nurses in her classrooms. Jo was awarded numerous grants for research and nursing public service, published many journal articles and book chapters, and presented papers at conferences throughout the world.

Jo was partnered for many years with Bruce MacMillan, whom she met while they were students in Washington, D.C. Jo and Bruce shared a passion for books and ideas, and for peace and justice. In 1974, Jo supported Bruce's efforts to open the Broadside Bookshop in Northampton. Jo would do the window displays, selecting and arranging books to draw passersby into the new shop. With Bruce, Jo had two boys, Daniel and Thomas. She instilled in her sons a sense of compassion and social responsibility, an appreciation of the natural world and the night sky, and a love of words and wordplay.

Jo spent the last three decades of her life as the loving partner of Christine King, a fellow professor of nursing at UMass, and became stepmother to Chris's son, Benjamin. Jo and Chris shared both their lives and their work, securing research grants and authoring scholarly papers together. They published research on intimate-partner violence and training manuals to help nurses assess and assist abused women. This was pioneering work at a time when the health-care system was not seen as an area for addressing domestic violence. Jo and Chris also secured funds for a school-based health clinic in Springfield, Mass., and developed educational programs to train school nurses. Later in her career, Jo created connections between UMass and nursing programs in Puerto Rico, establishing student exchanges and distance-learning opportunities that led to the creation of a doctoral program at the University of Puerto Rico, the first such program in the Caribbean.

While she loved her house on South Street in Northampton, Jo also constantly sought out new flavors and experiences. She visited five continents, camping across Europe, painting with elephants in Thailand and riding camels in Egypt, visiting Alaska by boat and traveling many times to Ireland. She and Chris camped throughout the US National Parks with their three sons. Jo devoured detective novels and conquered crossword puzzles. She was known for her sharp mind and her dry wit. Jo never lost her love for her homeland or her lifelong pride in being an Irish immigrant.

In the last decade of Jo's life, health problems began to pile up. A breast cancer diagnosis was followed by chemotherapy, then open-heart surgery, and then still more difficulties. Her visits to the hospital were never pleasant but sometimes offered chance reunions with grateful former students, now practicing nurses who were happy to care for their old professor. Even as her health declined, Jo was kind to every health-care worker who came into her hospital room, always looking to make people laugh. And she remained committed to travel, from summer weekends in the Berkshires to winters on the beach in Puerto Rico.

Jo is survived by partner Christine; son Daniel and his partner Hilary; son Thomas and his partner Carolyn and their daughter Eleanor; stepson Benjamin and his partner Kate and their children Eve and Galen; brother Patrick and sister-in-law Emelie and their children Timothy, Eileen, and Finn; nieces Moira and Cathy; and cousin Mary. She will be remembered by friends, colleagues, and former students. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Donations in Josephine's name may be given to Women for Women International or Safe Passage in Northampton.

Lucie S. Kelly received an honorary degree by the University of Massachusetts College of Nursing in 1989 and was named a "Living Legend" by the American Academy of Nursing. Dr. Kelly was also a member of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps who served in WWII. Dr. Kelly passed away on November 20, 2019. 

Her obituary, as it appears on the Hill and Wood Family Home Website:


Dr. Lucie S. Kelly of Charlottesville, Virginia died on November 20, 2019.

She was born on May 2, 1925 in Stuttgart, Germany, and immigrated to Pittsburgh, PA with her late parents Hugo and Emilie Stirm in 1929.

She was preceded in death by her first husband Jay Young and her second husband Thomas M. Kelly.

Dr. Kelly has had a distinguished career in nursing, education and health care administration. She obtained three degrees from the University of Pittsburgh; a BSN (Nursing) in 1947, an M Litt in nursing education in 1957, and a PhD in Higher Education in 1965. She also holds six honorary doctorates from the University of Rhode Island, University of Massachusetts, Georgetown University, American University, New York State University and Widener University.

Dr. Kelly has held a number of key positions in nursing and administration, including Vice President of Nursing, McKeesport Hospital, McKeesport, PA; Professor and Chair California State College, Los Angeles; and a joint appointment at Columbia University, NYC, as professor of Public Health and Nursing in the School of Nursing and professor of Public Health and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in the School of Public Health. She retired from Columbia as professor emerita in 1990. She served as president of Sigma Theta Tau, International Honor Society of Nursing, and on the boards of numerous professional, health care and governmental organizations.

Dr. Kelly was elected to the American Academy of Nursing and later named a “Living Legend”. She has also received numerous other honors, awards and appointments from nursing, other health care, community and government agencies. Dr. Kelly has over 200 publications, including 10 books, and has lectured extensively in the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa. She has also served as editor of Nursing Outlook and other peer reviewed journals.  At age 90, she was honored at the University of Pittsburgh as a Legacy Laureate and at the University of Virginia as an outstanding leader by the Beta Kappa Chapter of the nursing honor society, Sigma Theta Tau.

She is survived by her daughter, Gay Aleta Meyer and her husband Donald, two grandchildren, Kira Rosch and Christopher Meyer, three great grandchildren and two great- great- grandchildren. Funeral arrangements will be private, and a Celebration of Life for Dr. Kelly will be held at Westminster Canterbury of the Blue Ridge, Charlottesville, Va. at a date to be announced.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to your favorite charity or to the Westminster Canterbury of the Blue Ridge Foundation, 250 Pantops Mtn. Rd., Charlottesville, VA 22911.

Gellestrina “Tina” DiMaggio, a founding faculty member of the University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Nursing, passed away on December 21, 2018 at the age of 95. Tina worked at Massachusetts General Hospital for 16 years, serving as assistant director of Nursing and then as acting director of Nursing from 1982-1983 before her retirement in 1985.

Her obituary, as it appeared in The Boston Globe:

DiMAGGIO, Gellestrina "Tina" Of Boston and Arlington, December 21. Beloved daughter of the late Thomas and Mary (Garagliano) DiMaggio. Sister of Rosemary Courtney of Orange, CT and the late John DiMaggio. Aunt of Susan Vitale (of Arlington), Jacqueline Moll (of Skillman, NJ), Carolyn Norton (of Harwinton, CT), and John Courtney (of Woodbridge, CT). Also survived by 8 grand-nieces and grand-nephews. Relatives and friends are invited to visiting hours on Friday 2:00 to 5:00pm in The DeVito Funeral Home, 1145 Mass Avenue, ARLINGTON. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday at 10:30am at The Paulist Center, 5 Park St., Boston, MA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Tina's memory to: Mass General Hospital Development Office, for the Dept. of Nursing, 125 Nashua St., Boston, MA, Suite 540, 02114-1101 or UMass Amherst College of Nursing, 651 N. Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA 01003-9270. Ms. DiMaggio grew up in New London, CT. She graduated from Connecticut College in 1944. She then continued her education and graduated from the Yale School of Nursing in 1947. She worked at Yale New Haven Hospital and then received her Master's degree from Columbia University's Teacher College. Ms. DiMaggio was one of the founding faculty of the College of Nursing at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. She moved to Boston and worked at Massachusetts General Hospital, eventually becoming the Acting Director of Nursing. She retired from MGH in 1985 and became an active member of the Beacon Hill Village. She always enjoyed traveling and participating in activities with Beacon Hill Village and most recently with Brightview Senior Living in Arlington.


Published in The Boston Globe on Dec. 26, 2018 

Elaine Marieb, who earned her Master of Science degree with a specialization in gerontology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Nursing, passed away December 20th in Naples, FL at the age of 82. Dr. Marieb was known for authoring more than a dozen textbooks read by over 3 million practicing nurses and healthcare profressionals and for her philanthropic efforts. 

Her obituary, as it appeared in The Herald Tribune

Marieb, Elaine
April 5, 1936 - December 20, 2018

Time Magazine's 2016 list of the "100 Most-Read Female Writers in College Classes" included, not surprisingly, names like Mary Shelley, Virginia Woolf, Jane Austen, and Toni Morrison. Within this esteemed group, however—taking spot number seven—was the less-known but preeminent textbook author, Elaine Nicpon Marieb.

Dr. Marieb's effect on teaching and learning anatomy and physiology has been profound. Known for her desire and ability to integrate the student's perspective into her teaching, Dr. Marieb's textbooks are estimated to be read in over 3,000 classrooms worldwide, with more than three million nurses and healthcare professionals that are practicing today having likely learned about anatomy and physiology from that source. Her reach has been one of global dimensions; however, Dr. Marieb's influence has been magnified closer to home—students at both Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) and Holyoke Community College will be reminded of Dr. Marieb's intellect, her special connection with her students, and her generosity as they study in the buildings there that are named in her honor.

Dr. Elaine Nicpon Marieb, PhD, internationally-known text book author and philanthropist, had a storied writing career that spanned four decades. She authored and co-authored more than 10 best-selling textbooks and laboratory manuals in anatomy and physiology, including the undergraduate laboratory manual, "Human Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory Manual" and the textbook, "Human Anatomy & Physiology" by Marieb & Hoehn. Learning and teaching were her passions. Dr. Marieb earned a bachelor's degree from Westfield State College in Massachusetts (MA) and a Master's degree from Mount Holyoke College (MA). She began her teaching career at Springfield College and after receiving her PhD in zoology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Dr. Marieb went on to teach at Holyoke Community College. 

Always striving to better understand the relationship between the study of the human body and the clinical aspects of nursing, Dr. Marieb enrolled in Holyoke Community College's Associate Degree Nursing program—while she was teaching—and proudly earned her nursing degree. She went on to attain a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Fitchburg State College, and a Master of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (UMass Amherst), with a clinical specialization in gerontology. Dr. Marieb was also awarded an honorary doctorate from FGCU. 

Dr. Marieb liked to call herself an "accidental author," as she had authored only a few academic journal articles prior to reviewing textbook manuscripts for Addison Wesley in the 1970s. During that time, Dr. Marieb decided to write her own laboratory manual, which became the most widely-used lab manual in colleges and universities across the country soon after its publication in 1981. 

Dr. Marieb then embarked upon writing what would become her magnum opus—her human anatomy and physiology textbook. Having the dual roles of student and teacher gave Marieb special insights into the foundational knowledge that nurses needed to master. Armed with this insight and a clear talent for teaching and writing, Marieb authored Human Anatomy & Physiology. The textbook was published in 1989 and became an immediate hit with both instructors and students. As Pearson Editor-in-Chief, Serina Beauparlant, so aptly stated, "Elaine, of course, had many talents including a vision for how to teach, a talent for writing, a relentless work ethic—but I think she also had a special gift for how to connect with the student. This empathy permeated her books at a time when textbooks didn't have a lot of pedagogy or a strong author voice. Elaine's textbooks set a new standard that is still in play, today."

Dr. Marieb's love of teaching and learning lives on through her philanthropy. Her $15 million gift to FGCU, pledged between 2012 and 2017, resulted in naming the health building, Marieb Hall, and subsequently, the Marieb College of Health & Human Services, which provides degree programs in nursing, athletic training, occupational therapy, physical therapy, exercise science, physician assistant studies, clinical mental health counseling, health administration and social work, among others. True to her passion to help others, the endowments benefit both students and teachers. 

Dr. Marieb has also generously funded programs at Holyoke Community College, Mount Holyoke College, and UMass Amherst. The science building at Holyoke Community College bears her name. The New Directions New Careers programs at Holyoke Community College provides funding to a staffed drop-in center, as well as to scholarships for women who are either returning to or starting college. Additionally, at the school, the Elaine Marieb Faculty Chair for Teaching Excellence is awarded each year to a faculty member who is recognized for outstanding classroom teaching. An endowed fund provides the recipient with a stipend that can be used to further his or her professional skills. At Mount Holyoke College, Dr. Marieb has helped advance research by undergraduate science majors through the E.N. Marieb Science Research Awards, and has helped finance the renovation and updating of one of the school's biology labs. UMass Amherst has benefited from Dr. Marieb's generosity, as well. There, she funded the reconstruction and instrumentation of a state-of-the-art cytology research lab, and also underwrote the university's Nursing Scholars of the Future Grant Program, in light of the severe shortage of nursing faculty.

In 1994, the National Council for Resource Development, American Association of Community Colleges, presented Dr. Marieb with the Benefactor Award, recognizing her ongoing sponsorship of student scholarships, faculty teaching awards, and other academic contributions to Holyoke Community College.
Dr. Marieb's philanthropy extended to other personal interests. An herbarium and laboratory will be named in her honor at Sarasota's Marie Selby Botanical Garden. Not as well-known were Dr. Marieb's philanthropic endeavors to help strengthen early childhood education by funding the Children First organization in Sarasota, Florida. One of their locations, the Dr. Elaine Marieb Early Learning Center, bears her name. 

Dr. Marieb was an active member of the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society (HAPS) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She was also a consultant for the Benjamin Cummings Interactive Physiology® series. 

Dr. Marieb's comments to FGCU 360 Magazine in 2017 summed up the important role that education played in her life, as well as her reason for inspiring others: 
"Education gave me the faith and confidence I have in myself, and I would love to help instill that faith in students pursuing careers in health professions. Be diligent in your studies because only when you are, can you gain the sense of accomplishment that brings confidence in yourself. With confidence and education, you can change your life." 

Born on April 5, 1936 in Northampton, MA to Evelyn Rose (Pelkey) Nicpon and Francis Joseph Nicpon, Dr. Marieb grew up on her family's farm there. As a teen, she sang the blues at a local cafe and attended Smith College. Dr. Marieb died on December 20th in Naples, FL at the age of 82. She was predeceased by her husbands Joseph Marieb and Harvey Howell, as well as her daughter, Pamela Marieb. Dr. Marieb is survived by her grandchildren, Shanna Torres and Joseph Mosler, and three sisters, Rose Marie Weibel (Charles), and Marilyn Ann Gawle (Paul), both of Easthampton, MA and Susan Ellen Koldis (William) of Northfield, MA. Dr. Marieb is also survived by many nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews. 

A woman of conviction and action, Dr. Elaine Nicpon Marieb will continue to shape lives through her legacy as an educator and philanthropist through the Elaine Nicpon Marieb Foundation. For more information on that organization, please contact

Published in Herald Tribune from Jan. 4 to Jan. 6, 2019

It is with great sadness that we share with you that Michael Grasso, a graduating Clinical Nurse Leader student, has passed away unexpectedly just before his graduation from our master's degree program. His compassion and dedication were evident in his work here at the College of Nursing and around the world.

He was an amazing and dedicated nurse leader who had served in Iraq with the Army Reserves and helped to rebuild after the Hurricanes in Haiti. He most recently served as the Nurse Care Coordinator at Massachusetts General Hospital and had worked for the hospital for over 15 years. Currently, he was working in telehealth with the Visiting Nurse and Sustainable Health Care for the Future Initiative.

There will be a card at Scholarship Day tomorrow for those who wish to send messages to his family.

His obituary is listed below:

GRASSO, Michael V. Of Dorchester, passed away on May 3, 2018. Son of Ronald and Sylvia (Hodge) Grasso. Beloved husband of Hedwidge (Brisson) Grasso. Loving father of Zachary M. Grasso. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in Saint Gregory Church on Saturday, May 12 at 10am. Visiting hours will be held at the Dolan Funeral Home, 1140 Washington St., DORCHESTER LOWER MILLS, on Friday from 4-8pm. Interment at Cedar Grove Cemetery. Relatives and friends invited. For information and online guestbook

Lillian Rachel Goodman, 94 of Shrewsbury, a visionary leader in the field of nursing education and practice, passed away peacefully Wednesday, January 24th 2018, after a period of declining health. 

Lillian was born in Hanover, New Hampshire on May 20th 1923, the eighth child of thirteen children born to the late Benjamin "Bennie" and Anna Goodman. She graduated from Lebanon High School and attended the University of Michigan. Lillian then earned her nursing diploma from Peter Bent Brigham Hospital School of Nursing, and subsequently her Bachelor of Science, Masters of Science and Doctorate of Education from Boston University. She began her career with the State of Massachusetts Department of Mental Health Central Office as Assistant Chief of psychiatric nurses. Lillian also served as Interim Dean for the University Of Massachusetts School Of Nursing in Amherst. In 1973, Lillian was approached and accepted the challenge to create the Worcester State College School of Nursing Department, currently known as the Lillian R. Goodman Department of Nursing. While serving as Professor and Department Chair at Worcester State, she also consulted both nationally and internationally and authored several publications in the field of nursing. In 1991, Lillian then assumed the position of Dean and Professor of the University of Massachusetts Medical School Graduate School of Nursing serving in this position until 1999 when she retired. During her tenure the school began offering a Collaborative Ph.D program with the Umass Campus in Amherst. Lillian received two honorary doctorates, one from Umass Worcester in 1991, and another from Worcester State College in 1999. After retirement, Lillian continued to perform community service in the areas of health and education. 

She is survived by her lifetime companion of 45 years, Mary K. Alexander of Shrewsbury; her brother, Joseph Goodman and his wife Patricia of Nashua, NH; several nieces, nephews, extended families and many friends and colleagues. In addition to her parents, Lillian was predeceased by her brothers Samuel, George, Robert, Harry, Harvey, Louis and Richard Goodman; her sisters, Grace Smith, Mary Pearlstein, Elizabeth Fleischman and Helen Budd. 

Lillian loved reading, and enjoyed playing Golf and skiing. She also found great enjoyment travelling nationally and internationally, but always enjoyed her summers in Maine and during retirement looked forward to spending winters at her home in Florida. Lillian spent many enjoyable hours with her pets, her sheltie dog Gwenie and three Siamese cats. 

Memorial services will be held at a later date. Burial will be in Sharon Memorial Park in Sharon, MA. In lieu of flowers contributions in Lillian's name can be made to the Worcester State Foundation, 486 Chandler Street Worcester, 01602. Please note in memo portion of check; Dr. Lillian R. Goodman Fund for Nursing Excellence. Gifts in memory may also be directed to the Greater Worcester Community Foundation (for the Lillian R. Goodman/Mary K. Alexander Fund for Nursing Education and Research), 370 Main Street, suite #650, Worcester, MA 01608. The MERCADANTE FUNERAL HOME & CHAPEL, 370 Plantation St is honored to assist the family with arrangements


Judith Gagne Levreault ('62) of South Hadley, MA, died on February 12, 2017.  She had been dealing with Alzheimer's disease for several years, and had recently been diagnosed with lymphoma. Read her obituary here

Heather Mary McMahon, RN, 30, passed away peacefully on January 2, 2017 surrounded by her loving family and friends. Heather was born in Holyoke, MA on April 15, 1986, the daughter of James W. McMahon and Kathleen (Baush) McMahon. Heather was an avid swimmer from a young age, competing for the Holyoke YMCA Vikings for 15 years as well as USS swimming. Heather was a 2004 graduate of Holyoke High School, where she was a member of the swimming, track and field hockey teams, as well as the Holyoke High School Band. She went on to earn her Bachelor of Science Degree from Springfield College where she was a member of the swim team and was selected team captain her senior year. Heather then earned a second Bachelor's Degree in nursing from New York University and was enrolled in a doctorate program at UMass, Amherst to become a Nurse Practitioner. Heather was employed as a Clinical Nurse Supervisor at Holyoke Medical Center. She was an incredibly kind and positive person with a passion for life and her community. Heather was an active member of the Holyoke St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee as well as the Holyoke Elks. She truly enjoyed her involvement in the many Parade Committee events including the Road Race and Parade. She also enjoyed the two years she spent coaching the Holyoke High Swim Team. In addition to her parents, Heather is survived by her brothers Joseph McMahon and his wife Nora and Ryan McMahon and his wife Brooke. Heather recently became a proud aunt to her niece Connie McMahon with whom she adored spending time. She is also survived by her best friend and love of her life Kyle Mardeuse and their two cats Martin and Elliot. Heather will be missed by her many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Heather showed tremendous courage and strength in fighting an aggressive brain tumor. She maintained her positive attitude and love of life until the end. Special thanks to those who provided Heather and her family with guidance and support during her fight, especially Dr. Zubeena Mateen and Erin Hurlburt, RN, Brooke McMahon and to the staffs at the Weldon Rehabilitation Hospital, the D'Amour Center for Cancer Care, and the Holyoke VNA. The Funeral Mass for Heather will be held Monday at 10:00am in Our Lady of the Cross Parish Church. Burial will follow in Forestdale Cemetery West, Rock Valley Road. Calling hours will be held Sunday from 2:00 to 6:00pm at the Barry J. Farrell Funeral Home, 2049 Northampton Street. Given Heather's passion for finding a cure for Glioblastoma, in lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Heather's name to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Glioblastoma Research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284 or at

Karen Plotkin, 59, of South Deerfield, Massachusetts, passed away at home on Monday, Dec. 26, 2016 after a brief battle with cancer.

Karen was born in Leominster on Jan. 21, 1957, to Louis "Pin" Cannavino and Marge (Crespin) Cannavino. She was a graduate of Fitchburg State College and the Leominster School of Nursing. After graduation, she began her lifelong nursing career as a visiting nurse in the Fitchburg area. Upon moving to South Deerfield, she worked several nursing jobs. Her career then took her to the University of Massachusetts, where she became a professor in the College of Nursing for 17 years. While at UMass, she earned her master's degree and went on to complete her Ph.D.

In 2000, Karen received the College of Nursing's Outstanding Teacher award. She did extensive research on adolescent endometriosis, publishing her study, "Stolen Adolescence: The Experience of Adolescent Girls with Endometriosis" in 2004. She was also a member of several nursing associations and received a board certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a clinical nurse specialist in home health nursing in 2006.

Karen loved her students, and her students loved her. She received letters and thank-you cards from students every year, many of whom said they aspired to be like her.

Every Sunday for years, she would meet a group of friends at Schetzen Verein in Gill to walk their dogs along the Connecticut River. She also loved traveling with her family.

She is survived by her husband, John, and her children, Andrew of Worcester and Matthew of South Deerfield. She is also survived by her mother, Marge, her sister, Jane Kennedy of Leominster and Jane's longtime companion, Dennis Wills of Gardner, as well as her beloved 15-year-old Golden Retriever, Shelby Lynn.

Karen is predeceased by her father, who passed away in 2014.

A memorial service will be held Jan. 7, 2017 at 11 a.m. at Wrisley Funeral Home in South Deerfield. A calling hour will be held the morning of Jan. 7th from 10:00AM until the time of the service. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to UMass College of Nursing Scholarships at: Records and Gift Processing, Memorial Hall, UMass, Amherst, MA 01003. Online donations can be made at: Click here to read Karen's obituary.

Valerie George, clinical instructor, passed away September 7, 2015.

Elizabeth Ann Clark, 87, of Brewster, a former assistant professor in the College of Nursing, died Aug. 9, 2015. She was an instructor in nursing from 1957-61 and served as an assistant professor, medical-surgical nursing, from 1964-76.  Born in 1928, she was a graduate of Mt. Holyoke College and earned masters degrees from Columbia Teachers College and Yale University School of Nursing. She also taught nursing at the University of Maine and the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, and was a head nurse at Yale New Haven Hospital.

Nancy Fisk, retired associate professor of nursing, passed away July 17, 2015. Nancy made her career as a nurse and academic earning her bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut at Storrs and her master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She spent most of her professional life as a professor of nursing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Earlier in her career, Nancy taught nursing at Greenwich Hospital in Greenwich, Connecticut, and Holyoke Community College. She also founded the first halfway house for recovering alcoholic women in Springfield.  Nancy enjoyed years of involvement in barbershop music in the Sweet Adelines organization as a member of choruses in Connecticut and Massachusetts as well as director of one which she founded, The Belles of Amherst