Staples Seal

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This page is dedicated to classmates we miss in their absence and now hold In Memorial


Donald Allen 1952 – 2013


Not sure if any of you knew of this already, so I am posting it here. We lost another classmate much too early. I lost a very, very close friend considering the number of hours and years we spent together on the waters of Long Island Sound and the Saugatuck River.

Don Allen, passed away on August 26, 2013. He was biking with his usual group of bikers on August 19th and suffered a hear attack. From what his wife Stephanie told me he was doing what he loved to do, riding his bicycle. He logged 12,000 miles in 2012 on his bike. Don is survived by his wife Stephanie (since 1977), his daughter Courtney and his son Blake. They all reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
- - Tom Wall

Don and I "went steady" in 7th grade at Bedford and he gave me my first kisses. I can't think of a better man. I had the pleasure of seeing him again and meeting his wonderful family at a Class of 70' Reunion (beach part). I can't imagine his family's shock and sense of loss. I wish I could say something to comfort them. Don, please rest in peace and watch over them.
- - Chou Chou Merrill

An old lost friend of mine. We rode bikes together all over town.

– – Mark Smollin



Dona Belta 1952 – 2012

WESTPORT, Conn. – Former Westport resident Donna Marie Belta died May 11 of complications from diabetes. She was 60. The daughter of Dina Belta and the late James S. Belta, she grew up on a family farm in Westport. Belta moved to Orlando, Fla., to practice as a certified health care provider. She helped both the very young and very old in her work.  Her most recent patient, Nicholas Wise, was in her care for nearly three decades. Belta was his first nurse, later becoming his guardian and "mom."  She is survived by Nicholas Wise; her mother, Dina; two brothers, James (Karen) Belta and Gregory (Mary Ann) Belta; a sister, Connie (Vinny) Von Zwehl; five nieces and a nephew



not in yearbook


Geoff Berry 1952 – 1980

My long time best bud Geoff died in 1980 at Norwalk hospital. He had just gotten it all together and some strange virus knocked him down.
– – Bruce Fernie

We went together in the years of 1975 to 1977. We lived on Beachside Ave on a 12 acre Vicks Richarson estate. Then we moved to Vermont and eventually broke up. He was a chef in different restaurants and wanted to open his own restaurant , he was a great cook!. He was hit in his VW bug by a Mac truck on a snowy night in Dorset VT. He was hospitalized for weeks and then moved in with me so I could take care of him. His spleen was removed and he broke his hip and some ribs. The thing that killed him much later in Westport in 1980 was a virus that he couldn't fight without his spleen. The hospital was negligent in their care so he died the next morning just after I left.
– – Juliana Sloane Fulbright


Lelynn Bolles


Lelynn Bolles (Baird) 1952 – ?

Mark Brickley


Mark Brickley 1952 – 2002

EULOGY FOR MARK BRICKLEY  Weds. November 27, 2002

Mark was my best friend.  I mean that in every sense of the word.  Not just that he was my best man and I was his.  From the time we were 16 our lives we intertwined.  We played sports together, applied to college together and were in business together.   We went away together, double dated and even went out with some of the same girls, just not at the same time.  Whatever was going on in either of our lives we always found time for each other.

The Mark I know is best embodied by his toast to his guests on the day he married Suzanne, “To a room full of optimists”.  Mark was an optimist. It’s a testament to him that brought us all here today, despite short notice, snowstorms and Thanksgiving being tomorrow.  Mark was as smart as a whip.  The last time he was at my house he’d finished the NY Times crossword almost before I’d finished my first cup of coffee.  Mark was one of the best card players I ever met.  When it came to sports trivia, fugetaboutit!  He was also thoughtful and considerate and had a great sense of humor.  Mark was a great guy to just hang out with.

Mark always gave to everyone in every way imaginable.  He was there at my father’s funeral back in his Union College days.  Ironically so was another great friend and classmate from the Staples High School class of 1970, Drew Lubarsky.  Mark and Drew and I were partners in the Limelight Dinner Theatre immediately after we got out of college.  Now Mark has joined Drew and Ann Craig and others from that class who left us too soon.

For those of you who lost touch with Mark after high school he was clearly one of the stars of our peer group.  By the age of 30 he was Vice President of the New York Cosmos, the team of Pele and Franz Beckenbauer and Gorgio Canalia.  When the North American Soccer Link went south Mark created Sports Link, a successful sports marketing company involved in Major League Baseball and the National Hockey league.

As a result of Mark’s thoughtfulness some of my three daughter’s earliest and best memories involve him.  My eldest, Jessica was featured in an early Cosmos television ad.

One of my middle daughter Jaclynn’s great thrills was to be the batgirl for the NY Mets.  She got to sit in the dugout and visit the locker room thanks to Mark’s thoughtfulness.  It’s not a big surprise that she is now in sports marketing herself, working for DC United the professional soccer team.  My daughters all insisted on being here today.  As my youngest, Rebecca said, “Mark was a part of the family, dad.”

When I was between relationships and careers Mark and Suzanne were there for me.  They put me up and put up with me in their home in Stamford for six months.  I would probably have stayed longer but Mark’s first child Erin was soon to come.  My wife Alicia and I are proud to be her God Parents.  Erin was joined five years later on Christmas Eve by her brother Sean.  Look at them today.  Erin got the highest grade in her school on her science test-a chip off the old block.  And Sean’s hustling quarters playing table hockey, just like the old man! 

Earlier this year Mark told me that he’d heard a rumor there was going to be a class reunion this summer.  I told him that seemed odd.  It would be a 32nd reunion.  “This is the year we all turn 50” he said.  Mark turned 50 this August.  Tragically, he won’t turn 51.  But I hope you will all do what I plan to do.  Remember the good times we all had with Mark through the years.  Tomorrow I’m going to give thanks for the great times I got to share with Mark.  To try and get our thoughts moving in that direction I’m going to leave you with Mark’s favorite song, the hauntingly beautiful “For Emily Wherever I may Find Her.”  I love you Mark.  A lot of people love you.

Mark died of a heart attack. As a life long sports nut he appropriately enough had the TV clicker in his hand.
- - Scott Shearer

Marilyn Briggs Portrait 1970


Marilyn Briggs 1952 – 2009

Easter 2009 was the day Marilyn graduated from our Earthly stage. Unlike the cold assessments published in the media, tributes written by our class testify to the presence of woman who inspired us with her zest for life, warmth, and the courage to persue her own visions. I believe she truly is the most famous person from our class. In light of the talent we all possess individually, she desrves a bow in recognition for that accomplishment. Most importantly, I want McKenna to know that we regard her mother very highly.

This 1970 Yearbook image does not reveal the glow of her natural beauty, alluring smile, nor indicate how she seemed to float on her feet. She labeled herself an "entertainer," which well describes the kind of acitivites she engaged in, and the magnetic personal performances that still hold us in her absence.

For those interested donations/condolences to Marilyn's daughter
McKenna Marie Taylor
PO Box 7910 Northridge CA 91327

Marilyn's ashes are being spread on her birthday, 22 April, at Lifeguard stand number 9 Zuma beach – Malibu, CA

– – Mark Smollin


Marsha Burke 1952 – 2012


To all those who knew my dear beloved friend Marsha Burke Mangold, she has died and I am so sad. We were best friends from the age of 11. She was my first BFF when I moved to Westport from Glen Ellyn, Illinois and I shall miss her voice and her gifts terribly.
- - Kathleen M. Stuart

Patty Carusone Portrait 1970


Patty Carusone 1952 – 2008

Patty Carusone died of colon cancer. She was probably one of the most gorgeous girls in high school. She was definitely one of the nicest. Somewhere out there an oil painting of her must survive. She posed in the same position, in the same little outfit for Bittner's oil painting class day after day for weeks. Despite our collective attempts to make her laugh and lose her cool, she stayed on task. She couldn't help but giggle and blush, but she did so sitting perfectly still . I remember that none of us were able to capture the color of that pretty red hair of hers.
- - Mary Palmieri

I was friends with her at Burr Farms and Long Lots, and I truly credit her for saving my life. I was spending the night at her house and we were climbing trees. I put my hand on a branch above me and didn't see the bee that stung me. My arm swelled up to about 4x its normal size within minutes and Mr. Carusone russhed me to the hospital where they gave me epinephrine. That saved my life. To this day, I carry an Epi-Pen with me for the lesson I learned at Patty's. We lost touch later at Long Lots, but I'll never forget her gorgeous red hair and how insanely jealous I was that mine was mousy brown!
– – Marcy Anson

I remember Patty Carusone too. From Burr Farms and Long Lots too. She had a wonderful smile. And wonderful red hair. And seeing her was often enough to take the grey away from what had started out as a grey day.
– – Marc Bailin

Others have written eloquently about Patty but I want to add a note. I am shocked and saddened to know she died young and had to suffer. I have been looking for her for some time - trawling the net, LinkedIn and Facebook to no avail. We won’t ever get to catch up as adults.

Patty was my best friend around ages 16 and 17. I admired just about everything about her – she was classy, brilliant, discrete, loyal and beautiful. We worked together at First National as check-out girls, but the management quickly discovered her amazing work ethic and brains. Patty was promoted to running the office and had to “manage” her peers, a task she executed with humility, grace and good humor. Even though we were very close and spent an enormous amount of time together, there was always some mystery about Patty, a sacred space that she kept to herself. The “secret” Patty did not indulge in youthful romances despite her stunning beauty, amazon height and no lack of interest from males. There was a side of her that was profoundly serious and focused – as if she didn’t have time to waste on any shallow encounters. The Patty that was to be was a bristling presence underneath a very positive but very cool demeanor. Still, she could put anyone at ease and she smiled and laughed easily. We ended up at different colleges in New Haven, but drifted apart as you do between studies and the onslaught of new friends. I’m sure she is greatly missed by her warm and wonderful sisters as well as everyone she brought into the light of her life.

– – Diane Heck (aka Didi Reitano)

not in yearbook


Sue Case 1952 – ?

Ann Craig


Ann Craig 1952 – 1987

Ann was a loving sister and a real unique individual who made a great impression on everyone she met. As a young girl she regaled us siblings with magical stories of Mary Poppins and set up a family Olympics with the broad jump and other events chalked out on the floor in the garage to coincide with the Tokyo Olympics in 1964. As she grew, she loved to sing with my brother and I in our family music group. Ann made sure that every chore, like washing dishes, "had an element of fun" as we sang and comically acted out ShaNaNa songs while scrubbing and drying. She traveled the world and we knew someday she would have chronicled her experiences which she told to enthralled audiences of family and friends. People may recall an article that appeared in the Westport News with her picture after she returned from a extended adventure that took her from Egypt to South Africa in the early 70s. She always "kept fun in her heart" and inspired siblings, parents and the next generation of nephews and nieces to get the most out of life. Ann passed away on Sept. 4, 1987. She will always be loved and missed.

– – Rich Craig (72)


William Deegan 1952 – 2012

Sadly, my brother Bill Deegan passed away suddenly and quietly in his sleep on April 26 2012. Bill was a wonderful brother and family man and will be missed by all who were lucky enough to know him.
- - Sharon Deegan Pelletier

Billy and his brothers were baseball lovers and part of the Compo contingent. They had round faces and ears that branded them like Americans in a Norman Rockwell painting. We would be out on the mall playing basketball, football, or baseball as weather permitted. I always considered him the best athlete of the neighborhood during the glory days of our youth. I figured his father must have taught the boys lots about sports, where my dad had no such interest. I was jealous. - - Mark Smollin

I went to Assumption with Bill, hung out on Murvon Court during those days, after school. Played baseball with him on Schaefers, played baseball with him at Staples. While not the most gregarious person, he was a loyal team mate and friend. Later played softball with Bill!! Always had a smile!! Always asked how you were doing!! To Jim, Bob & Tom Deegan, I am very sorry for your loss. Please accept my deepest sympathies and condolences. Billy Loved to play the game, whether it was baseball or basketball or touch football or softball, He Loved to play the game! I'll miss #10!! - - Tom Wall

I remember Bill very well. We were great friends all through Assumption. Played little league and basketball for years. Will miss him. RIP - - Peter Morris

I remember Bill from classes - the thing I recall is that he was pleasant and always seemed sincere. Sorry to hear this news. - - William Kemmis Adler

not in yearbook


Susan Demaris 1952 – ?


Paul Emmett 1952-2015

From The Sun Sentinel:
Paul Emmett, president and owner of Duffy's Sports Grill, died Tuesday,11 February 2014 of complications from cancer. He was 62.

He died surrounded by family at his home in Palm Beach. Emmett moved to South Florida in 1999 from New York after 25 years as president of Restaurant Associates' sports and entertainment division and as president of its Charlie Brown's Steakhouse chain. In Florida, he led Duffy's expansion to nearly 30 restaurants with a vibrant sports environment and customer focus. He represented the company on TV ads and was a presence among employees and customers. Although a staunch supporter of the sports bar concept, Emmett wasn't even a sports fan. "The word is "clueless,' " he said in a 2007 interview. "When someone says, 'How 'bout those Jets?' I have to ask if it's baseball or football."

Stephen Cournoyer founded Duffy's near Lake Park in 1985, and Emmett joined the chain as his partner in 2001. Cournoyer later sold most of his stake, and Emmett assumed control of the company. (Cournoyer rejoined the company in summer 2014 as director of real estate and new store development.) Under Emmett's leadership, the once small chain expanded aggressively throughout South Florida, becoming known in the industry for succeeding in locations where other restaurants had failed. Emmett created a hugely popular dining card that rewarded customers for their repeat business. He also started offering a 40 percent discount during the traditionally slow weekday period of 2 to 4 p.m. "People said, 'You're just going to delay customers from coming in at noon,' but he proved them wrong," said Richard Lackey, a Palm Beach Gardens restaurant consultant who brokered real estate deals for Duffy's. Emmett targeted local residents rather than tourists and made fast decisions about where to open restaurants, Lackey said. "It was total brilliance in restaurant operations and marketing," he said. Emmett served on the board of directors for the Palm Beach County Economics Council and the Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Duffy's supports and partners with the Special Olympics of South Florida, Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida and Honor Flight of South Florida.

He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Geri Emmett; his three children, Heather, Jason and Alexander; his father, Jay Emmett; and two brothers, Steven and Andrew. A public celebration of Emmett's life will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Christ Fellowship, 5343 Northlake Boulevard in Palm Beach Gardens. In lieu of flowers, his family requests donations be made in Mr. Emmett's name to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.


Ronette Evershed 1952 – 2006

On 14 September 2006, Ronette Evershed Stoddard passed away after a courageous fight with lung cancer at the age of 54.  Apparently she had been ill for several months. The lung cancer she had was rare and is termed a "non to light smokers cancer".  The cancer was deemed terminal, and was caught too late for conventional medicine . A precious few have won the battle of bronchio alveolar carcinoma.  She was misdiagnosed 5 times with pneumonia over the winter into the spring- she passed away 8 weeks after her initial diagnosis, surrounded by her family.

Ronette is survived by her husband, Dan Stoddard of Kennebunk ME, and children Mareike Every Muszynski (&husband Josh) of Waltham MA, Morgan Chisholm and Robin Stoddard, both of Kennebunk ME.  Mareike is also the daughter of David Every, from our class.  

Funeral services were held on September 20, 2006 in Kennebunk.  Ronette's family is planning a Celebration of Life Service in the near future.  Anyone wishing to attend, please contact me...and I will let you know the date as soon as I hear from the family.

Ronette was a beautiful, sweet, unique and spiritual person, and I know many of us will miss her.

- - John Kyle

not in yearbook


Virginia "Ginny" Eyes 1952 – 2008

Ms. Virginia Coleman Eyes, 55, died Tuesday evening at her home surrounded by her children, parents, brothers and two cousins, Anna and John Coleman, after a courageous battle with cancer. Mrs. Eyes was born in Stamford, CT, the daughter of Anne Coleman Eyes and Raymond Eyes, both of Redding, CT, formerly of Westport, CT. She graduated from Staples High School in 1970 in Westport, CT. She moved to Chapel Hill in 1988, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UNC in 1999. Ms. Eyes was a devoted member of the Baha'i faith and a former member of the board of directors of Cornucopia, a cancer support Center for families and individuals with cancer. She worked at Rho, Inc. as a web designer. In addition to her parents, Ms. Eyes is survived by daughters, Aimee Phelps of Brooklyn, NY and Jessica Phelps of Chapel Hill; son, Trevor Phelps of Chapel Hill; and brothers, Peter Eyes of Westport, CT, David Eyes of Santa Cruz, CA and Ted Eyes of Fairfield, CT. The family will hold a private service. A memorial service will be held Saturday, November 8, 2008 at the Durham Baha'i Center, 5103 Revere Road, Durham, NC 27713. There is no visitation planned. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Cornucopia House, 111 Cloister Ct., Overlook Building, Suite 220, Chapel Hill, NC 27514. The family is being assisted in Durham by Clements Funeral Service, Inc.

Kathleen Ference 1970
Kathleen E Ference 1952 – 2009

Kathleen Ference (Lincoln) passed away at her home the 13th of April 2009 in the company of family and friends. Kathleen, 57 years old, fought breast cancer valiantly for ten years. A native of Connecticut, Kathleen worked in program development for Family Services Woodfield, a private, non-profit social services agency. Kathleen moved to New Orleans in 2001 to become Program Director for the HIV Outpatient Program (HOP) at the Medical Center of Louisiana. At HOP, Kathleen received many awards, among them a Chief Medical Officer Award from LSU Healthcare Services Division in 2007, a 25th Anniversary Honor Award from NOAIDS Taskforce. Most recently, Kathleen was awarded the Terri Estrada Memorial Award by AIDSLAW of Louisiana for her dedication and service to those affected by HIV/AIDS in the greater New Orleans community. Kathleen received her BS from the University of Puget Sound and her MS from Western Connecticut State University. She served her country as a Public Information Officer in the Air Force Reserve. Kathleen is survived by her husband, Daniel Lincoln, daughters, Olivia Lincoln, Martha (Lincoln) Welch, Bartlett (Lincoln) Gowen, and son Dodge Lincoln. She is also survived by her father, John P. Ference, her brothers, Thomas and Donald, and her sister Eileen (Ference) Boer. She was blessed with three grandchildren, Michael Gabriel, Evelyn Rose, and Jane Elizabeth. Her closest, dearest friend, Dr. Mary Murphy, also survives. Funeral services will be private. MOTHE FUNERAL HOME in charge of arrangements. Memorial Services will be held in several locations at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, donations in Kathleen's name may be made to St. Joseph's Hospice of New Orleans or to the Elizabethtown Library Association, Elizabethtown, New York.

Christopher Fremont 1970


Christopher Fremont 1952 – 2006

Our class mate Chris Fremont died on Saturday July 29, 2006 in Stillwater Oklahoma. Even though he dodged every class reunion, he kept in touch with Frank Barrow, Jerry Stone, Tim Esser and me. He claimed I was his best friend to his friends and I was asked by his family to be his "best man" at the funeral and give the eulogy. It was an honor to be Chris's best.

He leaves two young children Ali (14) and Cameron (12), and three ex wives, and lots of girl friends. He remained a lovable rogue and a man’s man, just like in high school. And judging by the crowd at his funeral, he was admired for his traits.

--Bob Kelly

Pam Gangel 1970
Pam Gangel 1952 – 2006

Pam died of lung problems
– – Gail Latimer

So very sad to hear this news about Pam. We were, indeed, friends, and she was even more beautiful on the inside - funny, sweet and utterly unaffected. Along with the cello came depth to match her beauty. She was indeed a mission worthy of Eric's irresistible flattery, Peter's wit and eloquence and the gentlemanly scholarship of Jeff, at the very least!
– – Margaret Nelson

Christopher Fremont 1970
Sherry Gonzalez 1952 – 2008

Sherry passed away from complications due to pneumonia in 2008. She was a great lady. My husband and I were very fond of her. Sherry's dad was a Spanish teacher at Staples.
– – Mary Palmieri Gai

I was saddened to learn that our friend and classmate, Sherry Gonzalez passed away more than a year ago. Sherry was a true friend and a beautiful person. We had been close friends since elementary school, when she moved to Weston from Oklahoma. Those of us who knew Sherry will remember her as a kind and caring person with a great sense of humor. Even though it’s more than 50 years since we first became friends, I’ll never forget what a special person she was. She truly enriched the lives of those close to her with encouragement and love, and she will be missed.
– – Doris Mundschenk Fanesi

not in yearbook


Rich Guidera 1952 – ?

Ed Gustafson Portrait


Edward Gustafson 1952 – 2007

Is there a nicer more energetic person? Like some of us, Ed went all the way through the Westport school system. His family initially lived on Guyer Road and we met him at Saugatuck Elementary. During the 2005 Reunion Ed took the Most Youthful award hands down among all the guys.

Beverly HIcks 1970


Beverly Hicks 1952 – 2008

Beverly J. Lloyd (nee Hicks), 56, passed away peacefully Dec. 27, 2008, at home in Farragut, Tenn. after a courageous, 18-year battle against breast cancer. Beverly was born Aug. 24, 1952, in Stamford to Carl and Josephine Hicks of Westport. She graduated Staples High School in 1970, Bradford College, and the University of New Hampshire.

In 1976, she married TV writer/producer Rob Lloyd and settled in Los Angeles where she worked as an administrator with The Structured Settlements Company. A daughter, Gabriella, was born in 1990 and was the great joy of Beverly’s life.

Beverly was preceded in death by her father. She is survived by her daughter, husband, mother, sister Barbara, brother Richard, and an extended family in grief. Beverly was taken from us too young, but we will always be grateful for the beautiful time we had together, and the years of her love, strength, and genuine goodness that brightened the lives of friends and family.

Beverly will be remembered at a family ceremony at St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal

not in yearbook


Curtis Hicks 1951 – ? (69)

Susan Hill


Susan Hill 1952 – 1994

Sue Hill lived in Westport her entire life.  She had a great laugh and a wonderful smile. She died at age 42 (1994) from a heart attack as she awakedened from her sleep one day. Her two kids were everything to her.

not in yearbook


Steven Knox 1952 – ?

I remember Steve's smile most of all. He had a hearty laugh, appreciated a good joke and told a few himself. He always seemed to have a secret he wanted to tell but never did. He was a really strong guy who liked to rough house. He was known for his athleticism, especially in football, and was a star athlete in his entire school career.  He played guitar like nobody's business. I think he resisted adulthood like most of us.  When we saw each other in later years, it was usually beeping at each other, he'd give me that familiar sweet smile and looked like the same boy I knew in elementary school.
- - Mary Palmieri Gai

Scott Kuckachek


Scott Kuckachek 1952 – ?

John Kyle


John Kyle 1952 – 2008

John Ryan Kyle died today, February 12, 2008, from Cirrhosis of the liver.  He had a very peaceful passing surrounded with family and friends at Norwalk hospital hospice. Born May 4th,1952, John lived on Steep Hill Road in Weston and graduated Staples in 1970.  John had requested that before he died, his friends and relatives have a party and party we did, this past Saturday. After being on a liquid diet for weeks, he enjoyed, with gusto, a catered Italian feast from Mario's of Westport that was capped off with Cheesecake and Chocolate. Friends flew in from California, drove up from the Carolinas and down from New England to give John his last wish. At the lounge in the Hospice wing, with a backdrop of 60s and 70s music and a web cam hookup with those who couldn't attend,  the party went on for hours and the hospital staff joined in on the fun. We shared photos of John and memories of simpler times; of friendships, road trips, parties, long telephone and IM chats. Later that night he slipped into a coma and never regained consciousness.  He's survived by his mom and his brother David who lives in Oregon. He is also survived by fellow classmate, Jill Rayburn Schnake Roeder, who John told me was as close to him as any sister could ever be. Not only was John an integral part of our reunion committee, helping to plan and contacting classmates far and wide, he was a great, friendly, fun-loving man. Until recent years John was a security operations manager for a major securities firm. A memorial celebration of life will be held at St. Pauls Episcopal Church in Norwalk on February 23, 2008: 10:30 am.

I have known John since 1965.  He was one class behind me.  By the time we went to Staples we were close friends.  We had been through a lot together as kids who lived in homes with an alcoholic and/or abusive parent.  There was a group of us who shared the same pain that bonded us together as close friends who 'understood'.  We were a safety net for each other.  We rescued one other when things got really bad at home.  John was a gentle soul.  He was a good friend.  In high school we both became close friends with Timmy Mastrilillo - who was infamous around Staples and Westport as the guy dressed in black with dark shades.  Some kids feared him.  But, we knew him as a sweet, kind hearted guy who was a good friend - although he did not want that to get around.  We would all go out and race our cars on the CT Through Way, go to the Savaran Inns off the turnpike or International House of Pancakes to drink coffee and talk for hours.  I remember when John and I decided to see how many people we could cram into my Corvair and drive home after school.  It was hysterical with hands, feet and heads all over the place.  I think we got about 10 or 12 people in that little car.  I remember it was so overloaded it bottomed out as we left the driveway from Staples.  Good memories. We kept in touch once we found each other again in California.  we saw each other several times and he was at our wedding in 2001.  But, after he sold his home in San Diego and moved to North Carolina to live with Jill Rayburn and her husband until he got settled he did not write nor call so often.  Last time I heard from him he told me he had purchased a house in Florida and was all excited to move there.  He told me that he was going to have his mother come live with him so he could take care of her.  I knew he had a drinking problem for quite a long time, but I had no idea he was so sick.  I wish he had told me.  I guess he did not want me to know. I do not know how many of you knew John or even remember him, but I thought I would send this information on to share it with you.  We all went to the same schools, Weston Jr. High and Staples, for many years.  I will miss him.

– – Wendy Ahrensdorf Powers

Joseph Lagana


Joseph Lagana 1952 – 1999

My brother, passed on Nov. 30, 1999. Joe was a wonderful brother. He enjoyed sports and many of you will remember him as a sports writer as well. He graduated from Southern Connecticut and worked for the state of Connecticut in the dept. of children and family. He was a great uncle to my son, Jonathan. He was diagnosed with lupus in his twenties, but continued to live life to its fullest. While he had this diagnosis he continued to play tennis, golf and go to the Mets games. He would come to visit me in Florida to spend time with his only nephew. We still miss him and loved him dearly.

– Rita Lagana

Joseph Lagana


Thomas Lee Lomas 1952 – 2011

I received a call last evening from William (Bill) Lomas of the news that Tom had been killed in an tree clearing accident in Old Lyme, Connecticut on Tuesday morning March 22, 2011. The services are on Sunday the 26th at 2-4 and 6-8 at Fulton-Theroux Funeral Home, 13 Beckwith Lane, Old Lyme. And on Monday March 27 at St. Ann's Episcopal Church, 82 Shore Road, Old Lyme, at 1 pm.

This is a real shock to all. Tom and I grew up together in Westport. We lived just over the stone wall from each other on Morningside Lane and West Ambler Road. We hunted, fished, trapped and were best friends. He was my best man at our wedding in 1973. He had his own tree surgery business in Old Lyme for over 30 years. He was 58 years old at the time of the accident. He was the last of the outdoorsmen, I also said he was born a century to early, that the age of the market hunter and big game hunter had passed him by decades before. He made trips all over the world in search of the next trout stream to fly fish or hunting challenge to come his way. He owned a hunting camp in Alaska. He even owned, flew and was the mechanic float plane, a canvas and wood framed Beavertail from 1947. He was a marksman with bow, rifle and shotgun an a scratch golfer too. He was a husband to Betsey and a father to two boys, Corey and Henry. He leaves two brothers, Robert (Bob) and William (Bill) and extended family.

– Mark Mellor

Tom was one of my favorite people growing up. – Charles McArthur

Drew Lubarsky


Drew Lubarsky 1952 – 1985

Founder/director Dinner Theatre. Drew was a member of the screen actor's guild and was a gifted performer. He was a very active member of the Staples Players. He was a very kind man and was loved by a lot of people at Staples and in his adult life. He was one of three boys. His parents were Westport fixtures and were good friends of mine. I was working with his mom, Thelma,  when Drew was ill.  Drew was one of the first victims of AIDS in the early 80s  at the height of the hysteria when doctors didn't know if it could be passed by casual contact. Everyone in town knew his dad, Jerry. He was a Staples Booster and was part of the Staples sports scene for decades. Jerry and Thelma were very proud of Drew and suffered greatly when he died, I don't think Drew was even 30 yet when he died, and his life and talents held such promise. We were all sure he would have been a famous actor someday. There's a great scholarship in his name given to a gifted graduating Staples senior who wants to pursue performing arts.

Frank Mayor


Frank Mayor 1952 – ?


Thomas McGannon 1952 – 2012

Thomas H. McGannon, 62 Thomas Houghton McGannon of Wilmington, N.C., a former Westport resident, died Jan. 10 of leukemia. He was 62. He was born in Connecticut on Sept. 15, 1952, and graduated from Staples High School in Westport and Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. In 1982, he married Janet Caldwell Noakes in Cairo, Egypt. He had an outstanding career with Chemtex International, initially in New York City and then in Wilmington. He started with the company after college as a summer farmhand and retired as the president and chief executive officer in 2007. He is survived by his wife, Janet Caldwell Noakes McGannon, and his two daughters, Margaret Noakes McGannon and Molly Caldwell McGannon. He is also survived by his mother, Mrs. James V. Dunleavy, and his sister, Susan Emery McGannon.

not in yearbook


Kevin McLaughlin 1952 – ?

Kay Nachman Portrait


Kay Nachman 1952 – 12/1977

Kay died in an automobile accident while she was working on the business side of Fairpress Newspaper, formerly in Westport.

not in yearbook


Debby O’Dell 1951– ? (69)


Jonathan Alan Pressler 1952 - 4 August 2005

52 of Boston on August 4 2005 husband of Laura Knecht of Rush NY; son of Beatrice (Luber) Pressler of Sarasota FL; brother of David Pressler and wife Judy of Shelton CT and Ronald Pressler and wife Paula of Amesbury MA; uncle of Matthew and Lauren Pressler and Maxine Paul and Aviva Teller. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Arrangements are by Paul C. Rogers & Sons Family Funeral Home 2 Hillside Avenue AMESBURY MA. Donations in his memory may be made to The Nature Conservancy 205 Portland Street Suite 400 Boston MA 02114-1708 or to ACLU Foundation 125 Broad St 18th Floor New York NY 10004 or to Amnesty International N. E. Regional Office 58 Day St Davis Sq Somerville MA 02144.
- - Published in the Boston Globe on 8/9/2005.

My best and oldest friend (since Burr Farms School days), Jon Pressler died suddenly Thursday. He took a bad fall on a flight of stairs and struck his head.
- - Dan Milberg

Jonathan was a wonderful guy. Very sweet and caring and very bright. We had homeroom together all the way through HS. We heard the tragic news on the day of our 35th class reunion for Staples High School in Westport class of 70. Jonathan's death reminds us that life is precious and we are to live each day to the fullest and enjoy each other. Thank You Jonathan for giving us that special message, you were definitely with us in spirit and you will be missed by all.
- - Mary Palmieri Gai

Jon Pressler and I were friends in high school. At least I thought we were friends –he apparently thought we were more than that. We stayed in pretty close touch through college, and when I majored in philosophy, he majored in philosophy too. When we graduated from college in '74, he spent the summer with me on my parents newly acquired farm in Lithfield county, cleaning up the mess. It was only then that he admitted to me that we used to hang out in Wilton together because Coach Lane had threatened to throw anyone who dated me off all of his sports teams! I have no idea what Coach Lane had against me – I recall myself as something of a goody-goody in those days – but apparently I was off limits to jocks and Jon wanted to play soccer. When Jon and I went to clean up an old silo on my parents new farm, he went in with the soured corn and passed out from the fumes within seconds. I pulled him out by the feet. It was only when he came to that we figured out he had gotten DRUNK from inhaling sourmash fumes in a confined space.

After college, Jon went to graduate school in the philosophy department at MIT, where I had played in the orchestra as an undergraduate. I went to graduate school in philosophy in Ann Arbor. Unfortunately for Jon, the philosophy department at MIT merged with the linguistics department while he was studying philosophy of language there, but he met his wife in the linguistics department. They went to Turkey together to further her studies. She went on to work at Eastman Kodak in Rochester, while subsidizing Jon's career as a furniture craftsman. We did not remain in close touch – his wife was not fond of me – but he would show up at my place in New York City now and then and we would have a few laughs about old times.

I recently went to a wild game dinner with some hunting buddies from the Rochester area and tried to look him up to no avail. Now I know why. Jon, I didn't take you very seriously in life, but you were one of my biggest fans, and were always kind and generous to me. May you rest in peace…
– – Emily Plishner


Charlene Raum 1952 – 2014

Chou's Facebook Page

not in yearbook


Claudia Ridington 1952 – 1991

Claudia died on November 13, 1991 as the result of a car accident on the Post Road in Milford, Connecticut. - - Jill (Rayburn) Schnake-Roeder

Scott Robinson 1970


Scott Robinson 1952 – 1999
Scott Robinson died on March 11, 1999
There is a memorial brick for Scott Robinson at Northfield Church in Weston. It is about 3 feet from my Dad's who died in 2001. Scott's memorial was already there. – – Jeffrey Nunn

Clay Rubensal


Clayton Rubensaal 1952 – 2005

Clayton Frederick Ruebensaal Jr., a retired Foreign Service officer, died Oct. 19 2005 of heart failure at his home in Bethesda.

He was 53 Born in New Haven, Conn., Mr. Ruebensaal -- known as Rick -- graduated from Staples High School in Westport, Conn., in 1970. He graduated from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in 1974 and completed two years of graduate work there.

After becoming a Foreign Service officer with the Department of State in 1975, Mr. Ruebensaal administered relief and resettlement operations on the border of Cambodia and Thailand that served more than 500,000 Indochinese displaced by the Vietnam War. In 1982, he was involved in negotiations with Israeli authorities on food shipment procedures needed to continue feeding programs for 100,000 Palestinians.

Mr. Ruebensaal played a lead role as senior economic adviser in designing and negotiating a 20-year economic support program for the Federated States of Micronesia and was actively involved in negotiations to resolve missing-in-action and prisoner-of-war issues with Iraq after the Persian Gulf War.

His career with the Department of State included assignments to Bermuda, Israel, Thailand and Switzerland.

After his retirement in 2000, Mr. Ruebensaal continued to work as a senior foreign affairs officer in the Department of State's Office of Conventional Weapons Threat Reduction in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation.

 Within the office, Mr. Ruebensaal had the lead in drafting and coordinating the interagency review of conventional arms-sanctions recommendations.

His family said Mr. Ruebensaal believed deeply in what he did and in the ability of individuals to make a difference in the world through their own actions.

Mr. Ruebensaal is survived by his wife, Blanca Alejandra Luisi Ruebensaal of Bethesda; a son, Clayton Frederick Ruebensaal III of New York City; two daughters, Virginia Alejandra Ruebensaal and Katherine Erika Ruebensaal of Bethesda; two sisters, Virginia Latrobe Humphreys of Lancaster, Pa., and Elizabeth Latrobe Place of Kent, Conn.; and his mother, Virginia Latrobe Ruebensaal of Greens Farms, Conn.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Red Cross, 36 Church Ave., Westport, Conn. 06880.

- - Washington Times

not in yearbook


Kay Rovins 1952 – ?

Kay Rovins died from falling off of a ladder in her home and she was survived by her son and her dad.


Elizabeth "Betsy" Sandercock 1952 - September 2004

Notice sent by Edward Wynn Plaut - August 2005

not in yearbook


Thomas Skinner 1952 – ?

John Terrell


John Terrell 1952 – 1976

I was friends with John at Staples and the two of us had a friendly competition as to who could score highest on Mrs. Zimmerman’s US History exams. In the end, John defeated me handily. He was a very witty, bright young man with a brilliant smile and sparkling eyes. From Staples he went on to Johns Hopkins University in Maryland. He also was romantically involved with Ronette Evershed during some of their time at Staples. Even though she later married me, the three of us remained good friends and we visited him at Johns Hopkins where he gave us a thorough tour of the school. John wanted to be a doctor and was working at the school in one of the labs.

This is the story of how he perished. Many may not know this, but John had a problem with alcohol. While Ronette and I were living in Kennebunk, ME, John called and he sounded like he was in trouble, maybe thinking about killing himself. We were inexperienced with that kind of talk and maybe could have handled it better but we told him he should come up to Maine and live with us for a while until he could get his head back together. He said he would seriously think about it. About a week later, we got the call from one of John’s friends at the school that John was dead. He said that John had been drinking himself into oblivion every day and that he had become concerned about him. Apparently, John had gotten totally drunk and passed out on his bed. The friend came over to check on him and knocked on the door. John was very slow to come to so the friend pounded on the door and shouted asking John if he was OK. John finally staggered out to his door, opened up and invited the friend in. Going into the kitchen, John asked his friend if he would like something to drink which the friend declined. John went to the refrigerator, opened the door, took out a non-descript bottle and took a big swig which he immediately spat out into the sink. “That tastes awful,” he said, staggered into the bathroom where he retched and died nearly instantly. It turns out he had been keeping a bottle of potassium cyanide in his refrigerator and in his stupor had taken a swig from that bottle instead of a beer. And so was lost one of the brilliant minds and charismatic individuals of the class of 1970. That must have been in the fall of 1976. I don’t know what arrangements were made and don’t remember anything else after that. His loss was the first of a close friend in our young lives and it was a stunning loss especially thinking that we might have had an opportunity to help him and had somehow blown our chance.

I have since learned that no one else can be held responsible for the fate of an alcoholic but the alcoholic him/herself. My hope is that anyone reading this, if you know someone who has a problem with alcohol, please refer them to Alcoholics Anonymous and I heartily recommend that you go to Alanon for your own spiritual growth as alcoholism is a family disease and everyone surrounding the alcoholic is seriously affected by it.

– – David V. Every

Robert Swanson


Robert Swanson 1952 – 2009

Bob died on February 10, 2009 from lung cancer. After 14 years together, these words fit: A simple man of tremendous complexity, an angel, a scrapper, a man of intellect, of nature, music, history and of deep love. A Giants Fan, and true blue, he was Jimmy Stewart, Gary Cooper, and John Wayne wrapped into one. An old fashioned hero with a brave, stout heart. There were those too, who sought to control or manipulate him, but I would rather set him free from much of the pain his life had known. So often he would say "I always have my Heidi." He treated his friends exquisitely, for his friendship was true. Those who knew him best, knew this and knew why. They will understand this: we now bless heaven with this "Sainted Rascal". He will be missed by the love of his life, Heidi Royal of Connecticut, Heidi's family in Arizona, and his best friend and fellow classmate Dave Gordon of North Carolina.

– – Heidi Royal

Steven Tippitt


Steven Tippitt 1951 – 8 December 1980

Steve and I were kind of 'Stand by Me' friends for a critical couple of elementary school years. I was pathologically shy but for some reason clicked with this family. His father was a Cartoonist and I was always thrilled to find a 'Jack Tippit' in some magazine or other. In the age of 1957 split entries, the Tippits lived in an old house, seemingly carved out of the woods and about as funky-chic as could be. I still visit (the memory) of that house while relaxing/meditating.

Every time I visitedthe Tippitts, I went home with a little personalized cartoon and can not believe I did not cherish them. But I remember sharing innocent little adventures in a more innocent time with Steve. I guess we were more like kind of 'Leave it to Beaver' friends.

– – Jim Casperson

Steve was my first love in the summer and fall of 1966. We mat at Compo and hung out with Wendy Lysoby The Ladani's and some others I can't remember. I know he died the same day as John Lennon. Because when I was reading the news about John in the Norwalk Hour, it went to the obit page and the news of the shooting in Texas of Steve was on that page. So we just have to look up the date of John's death. His mother came to our 20th reunion to see his friends and we had a long talk. Steve was close to his Mom and told her of our exploits everyday. unlike me! He was taken from his motorcycle shop and robbed and shot and left in the desert. He was a very sweet and good looking guy and his sister Terry is still around somewhere. I think she was in the class of '71.

– – Juliana Sloane Fulbright

Steve Tippit was born August 16, 1951 ( public records, Texas Birth and Death records 1901- 2000) in Lubbock, TX to Jack Dempsey Tippit and Christina Elter Tippit, and died December 6, 1980 (SSDI, Texas State Death Records 1901 to 2000) in Travis, TX. He was married to Jeri A. Tippit on July 1, 1972 and they divorced on August 18, 1978, both in Travis, TX and they had no children. Jack Tippit and my mom were friends from the Saturday Evening Post where he often submitted cartoons and my mother was the humor editor until 1962.

– – Marcy Anson Fralick

not in yearbook


Margaret Fogel 1952 – ?

Margaret Fogel Ellsworth died January 13, 2014, at St. Vincent's Hospital in Bridgeport, Connecticut, after a long and courageous battle with breast cancer and leukemia. She was 61 and had lived with her husband of 22 years, Michael Ellsworth, in the North End of Bridgeport for the past eight years. Maggie, as she was known to her legions of friends, was born in New York City on April 28, 1952, to Benjamin and Helen Fogel, and raised in Westport. She graduated from Staples High School and attended Syracuse University and the University of Arizona, where she studied nursing and child development. A talented chef, she worked in a number of French restaurants, including the Palace, a five-star restaurant in Manhattan; the Homestead in Greenwich; and Chez Pierre in Westport. Before moving to Bridgeport, she and her husband lived for many years in Wilton. Much of Maggie's time in recent years was spent volunteering with the Red Cross and as a tutor in the computer lab at Mercy Learning Center. Mercy was near and dear to Maggie. She went back to volunteer briefly as late as this past November and over the last several months raised significant funds for the Center. Maggie was also a long-time friend of Bill Wilson's, through which she served as a sponsor and an inspiration to many area women. She loved her family, her friends, her dogs and her God. In addition to her husband, she is survived by her mother; a brother, Donald, of Houston, Texas, and his wife, Jacquie, and their children, Michael, Annie and Madeline; two sisters, Jane Fogel of Stamford and Celia Strong of Charleston, South Carolina, and her husband, Dale; three children from her husband's previous marriage, to whom she was a devoted mother: Adam Ellsworth of New Haven, Ethan Ellsworth of San Diego, California, and Grace Ellsworth of Juneau, Alaska; and a grandson, Lucas Ellsworth of San Diego. She was predeceased by her father. Friends may call from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 16, at Spear Miller Funeral Home, 39 South Benson Road, Fairfield. Services will be held on Friday, 10 a.m., at First Presbyterian Church, 2475 Easton Turnpike, Fairfield. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in Maggie's name be sent to Mercy Learning Center, 637 Park Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06604 - - Connecticut Post

not in yearbook


Brian Wanat 1952 – ?

(Some of) What I think of when I remember Brian: his handsome chiseled face; his yellow mustang, love of cars and driving fast; his good friend Jim Berlin; his Old Road home and the mornings, afternoons and evenings we spent there; his father who raised three sons and a daughter after their mother died – too young; his sister Gail (who designed and sewed my prom dress) and his brothers David and Michael; Port Chester, Sunday Vista runs, Chinatown and Hong Fat; his face at my door on Friday nights picking me up to take me out to dinner; #3 in the draft lottery; his homemade spaghetti sauce; his proud demeanor; his gorgeous, sexy smile and strong hands; his swagger; his temper; his gentle, gentle soul. Rest in peace.

– – Polly Preyer


David R Ward 1952 – 2006

From what I can piece together, David Ward died in 2006, in Southington, Connecticut. After high school, he was station manager at the UConn radio station, WHUS, and later was a salesman for the Nimbus waterbed company. He was an enthusiastic amateur "ham" radio operator." His wife of 32 years died recently also. I stumbled upon his yearbook at a house sale, and was amazed at the inscriptions therein. From the evidence of this, he was a strong Christian and inspired many people through his good example. I wish I knew him better.

– – John Motavalli


Linea Wikoff 1952 – ?

Nea as we all knew her, was a Westonite. Known for her friendliness, her great spirit and love of horses, Nea passed away about 15 years ago from Melanoma. Her diagnosis was shortly before her death. She was married and had children.

Chris (Ellen) Whittnebert


Chris (Ellen) Wittnebert 1951– 6/18/1972

One of our first classmates to die. She died at age 19 or 20 as the result of a motorcycle accident. She walked away from it but then died from a brain hemmorage shortly afterward. She was a very nice girl, so friendly and sweet. Everyone seemed to like her. She was also known as Chris and Tina… I think Christine was her middle name.


If you have first-hand information about our missing mates, please send an email to the committee so we might make a worthy tribute.

- - Staples Reunion Committee 1/1/08