James Wilson Mead


James Wilson Mead, age 89, passed away peacefully on July 15, 2020, with his oldest son, Chris, and grandson, Cooper, at his side at his son’s home in Orinda, California. The son of the late Harris Delroy and Eleanor (Freling) Mead, Jim was born Dec. 5, 1930, in Westfield, New York. 

He graduated from Westfield Academy and Central School in 1948 and received a bachelor’s degree in Management Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, in 1952, where he was a member of the Theta Chi fraternity and a Navy ROTC midshipman. He married his high school sweetheart, Jane Thompson, in Westfield’s First Presbyterian Church on Nov. 22, 1952. Jim was an Ensign serving in the United States Naval Reserve at the time, and Jane was a senior at Cornell University. They had been married 67 years at the time of her death on Feb. 6, 2020. 

Jim then spent two years on active duty during the Korean War as the Supply Officer on the USS Brownson (DD-868), homeported in Newport, Rhode Island. He also spent another 18 years in the Naval Reserve, retiring in 1972 at the rank of Commander. 

After his active duty in the Navy, Jim worked for three years as a plant management trainee for the National Gypsum Company in Clarence Center, New York, Baltimore, and Burlington, New Jersey. In 1957, Jim and Jane moved with their two oldest sons back to their hometown to begin the process of learning the newspaper and printing business. He worked on the staff of the Westfield Republican, the country’s first Republican newspaper and, in 1959, was named editor, only the sixth in 104 years. He served in that capacity for the next 22 years, following in the footsteps of his father-in-law and grandfather-in-law.

Jim was a tireless promoter of Westfield, both through his weekly column, “Main Street Notes,” and by acting on his belief that newspapers should emphasize local people and local events. According to the Buffalo Courier Express, he was credited with changing the image of the paper from a strictly Republican publication to one that limited its opinions to the editorial page. In 1981, the paper was sold to Ogden Newspapers, and Jim transitioned into the print brokerage business in Syracuse, until his retirement in 1996.

Jim served as member, director and, in 1976, as president, of the New York State Press Association, a statewide group representing nearly 400 weekly newspapers. He also was state chairman for the National Newspaper Association, and member and president of the Western New York Publishers Association.

A passionate believer in the power of volunteering and the obligation to contribute to the greater world, Jim spent his entire adult life in the service of others. An active member of Rotary International for more than 50 years, he was a past president of both the Westfield-Mayville and Fayetteville-Manlius Clubs in New York, as well as serving as Rotary District Governor in 1995 of District 7150, encompassing Syracuse and Utica.

Other community involvement included establishing the Westfield Counseling Service, a stint as director and treasurer of the Chautauqua County Association of the Arts, a term as president of the Westfield Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Westfield Memorial Hospital Board.  Jim also served 25 years on the Westfield Board of Public Utilities, including as chairman when the new wastewater treatment plant was built. He served six years in the Chautauqua County Legislature, including time as majority leader and chairman. He was committed to universal literacy, and served as a consultant to Laubach Literacy, which helped introduce about 150,000 Americans to reading each year and has grown to embrace 34 developing countries. 

After a 2004 trip to Kenya, Jim and Jane raised funds to help establish the Bell House Academy, a trade school providing valuable life skills to boys and girls in Kenya’s Rift Valley.

In 1972, Jim and Jane purchased a cottage on the grounds of Chautauqua Institution where they lived nearly every summer of the rest of their lives. They spent winters in their home in the Coachella Valley, California, starting in 1996 until the time of their passing.

Jane and Jim hosted many international students and visitors in the 1960s and 1970s including those from Rotary International, American Field Service and the Experiment in International Living. They visited and remained in contact with their exchange student daughters Arja Storm Van Leeuwen of Utrecht, The Netherlands, and Vicki (Creighton) Abbott of Narooma, New South Wales, Australia.

Jim was an ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA), and helped found, along with his wife, the Spirit of the Desert Presbyterian Fellowship in Palm Desert, California. He distributed food with Hidden Harvest until just months before his passing, and volunteered for the Alzheimer’s Association, and Mended Hearts, all in the Coachella Valley. 

Jim loved reading, traveling, sailing on Chautauqua Lake, and a perfectly made Manhattan. He and Jane travelled extensively throughout Europe and the Caribbean. Their last international trip was for 18 days to Japan in 2016, to visit with a former exchange student, Hidenori Endo, when Jim and Jane were 85 and 84, respectively.

For more than 70 years, Jim was inseparable from his wife, Jane, and spending time with her, their four children and their spouses, and their eight grandchildren was paramount in his retirement years. He is survived by his children: Christopher (Gail) of Orinda, Patrick (Amy) of Columbia, Maryland, and Peter (Denise) Mead, of Columbia, and Elizabeth (Stephen) Mead Fox of Sandwich, Massachusetts. He also is survived by his grandchildren Helen, Carson, Cooper, Augusta and Maura Mead, and William, Patrick and Christopher Fox, as well as several nieces and nephews. He is survived by his sister, Loretta Mead Peckham of Washington Township, Michigan, and was preceded in death by his beloved wife, and by his parents, Harris and Eleanor, and his sister Virginia (Mead) Hoyt. 

There will be a joint monument for Jim and Jane in the Westfield Cemetery, in the Thompson family plot. A service of remembrance, celebrating both their lives, will be held at the Presbyterian House in Chautauqua Institution during the summer of 2021.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to Rotary International, Hidden Harvest of Coachella Valley, or the Mended Hearts Program of Coachella Valley.

Donna Elizabeth Kole


Donna Elizabeth Kole passed away peacefully at home on March 7, 2020, surrounded by her loving family. We will forever miss the kind, caring, adventurous spirit and brilliant music she brought to the world. 

Donna was born April 6, 1931, to Ruth and Edward Walsh in Cordova, Alaska. She grew up in the Seattle area and early on embraced her lifelong passion for music as a talented violinist. Among her many achievements, she was concertmaster of the Youth Symphony Orchestra of the Pacific Northwest, concertmaster of the Tri- State Orchestra and a scholarship recipient at Tanglewood. Donna attended college at the New England Conservatory of Music where she met and married the love of her life, Richard Kole, a handsome flute student from Chicago, Illinois. 

The newlyweds came to San Antonio to play in the San Antonio Symphony where Donna remained a member of the first violin section for 15 years. Donna and Richard raised four children in San Antonio and eventually moved to Corpus Christi as Richard became band director at Del Mar Junior College. Life on the coast brought new opportunities — Richard and son Rick enjoyed many adventures sailing on the Gulf. Donna became concertmaster of the Corpus Christi Symphony and appeared as a soloist many times. She was also concertmaster of the Victoria Symphony, the Laredo Philharmonic and the Mid Texas Symphony. Starting in 1966, summers were spent in Santa Fe where she played in the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra. 

From 1975 to 2010, Donna played every summer with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra in Western New York. Chautauqua Institution offered a unique cultural setting where the family forged many valued friendships. The Koles dearly loved the area and created a second home there that became special to everyone. 

Richard and Donna enjoyed a long and happy retirement, returning to San Antonio and traveling extensively through Europe and the Caribbean. They maintained very close ties with their children who frequently joined them in Chautauqua and at annual holiday reunions at the Hill Country Hyatt Resort. As the heart of the family, “GranDonna,” as she was fondly referred to, went to great lengths to organize these happy events for the growing group of “grands and greats.” During this time, Donna also focused on her passion for teaching and mentoring students in music. As a violin teacher she was on the faculty of Del Mar College, UTSA and the AIMS festival in Graz Austria. She taught privately for over 50 years, and many of her students went on to play professionally. In 2010 she was thrilled to receive the Phyliss Young Studio Teacher of the Year in Texas award. 

Donna was preceded in death by her parents and her brother Tom Walsh. Left to treasure her memory are husband Richard; children Kathy Ridings, Rick and Nancy Kole (Kevin), Susan Siegel (Mike), grandchildren John Ridings (Ashleigh), Lincoln Kole (Kellee), Marlon Kole, Austin and Kaitlyn Siegel; great grands Emily, John Jr., Caroline and Jackson Ridings. Special thanks to Dr. Neela Patel, Maria Elias, and a dedicated and loving team of caregivers who enabled Donna to remain at home during her illness. A memorial celebration of Donna’s life will be held at a later date to be announced. 

Mary Larsen


Mary Larsen, of Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania, passed peacefully on March 9, 2020, in the company of loved ones. 

Born in Edmonton to Jack and Anne Bowstead, Mary was a proud Canadian, but left her most profound marks on the town, community, and country she called home for most of her life. Her passions included politics, travel and her faith. 

Mary was the first female Commissioner in Mt. Lebanon and spent much of her life working to enhance the community she loved. She was a founding member of the Mt. Lebanon League of Women Voters and longtime leader on many levels of the organization. She championed women’s involvement in government and worked tirelessly to reduce the size of the Pennsylvania State Legislature. Her endless curiosity to learn took her all over the world, beginning with a life-changing trip through Europe with her father during the early days of World War II. 

She traveled extensively with Elderhostel (now Roads Scholar). She enjoyed hosting foreign visitors with the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors both to learn about other countries’ politics and cultures as well sharing all that makes Pittsburgh special with her guests. A devoted Christian Scientist, Mary was sustained by her faith and motivated by a desire to strengthen her church and share her faith. 

Prone to fits of laughter that would leave her in tears, it was her humility, zest for life and sense of humor that endeared her most to those in her presence. Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Harold and son, Peter. She is survived by her daughter Anne (Jim) Noland, grandchildren, Sarah (Micha) Atai, Jamey (Lenzie) Noland, and Tyler Noland, and great-grandchildren Declan, Evelyn, Kinley and Ben. 

Despite reaching the age of 97, she never grew old. Her spirit of love will carry on in all she touched. A celebration of Mary will be planned at a future date. In lieu of flowers, she would be honored by donations to Chautauqua Institution (The Chautauqua Foundation, PO Box 28, Chautauqua, NY, 14722), the League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh (436 Seventh Avenue, Suite 350, Pittsburgh, PA, 15219) or the Mother Church of Christian Science (PO Box 239103, Boston, MA, 02123).

Laura Kathryn Arnold Herzog


Laura Kathryn “Kitty” Arnold Herzog, 97, passed away March 9, 2020 peacefully in her daughter’s residence at Wilderness Country Club in Naples, Florida.

She was born Sept. 20, 1922, in Groveland, Florida. She was attended for many years by her daughters K. Ann Probst and Emogene (Gena) Bedrosian, loyal aides and caregivers, Avow Hospice team, Private Nurse Manager Anne Lashenka, Dr. Ronald Garry and faithful church friends and visitors.

Kitty and Don had the blessings of a caring family, and the best possible care, prayers of others, physical and emotional support and comfort in their later years, enabling them to live in their home setting as they wished. Kitty was predeceased by her loving husband of 63 years, Donald M. Herzog, daughter Frances Lucille Herzog, siblings Jefferson Ray Arnold, Charles Arnold, Frances Arnold Cole, Lucille Arnold Shultz, and Julian Arnold.

Kitty is survived by two daughters, Gena (Gary) and K. Ann (Andrew), grandsons Gregory Bedrosian (Tracy), Geoffrey Bedrosian (Ashley), Gary E. Bedrosian (Haley), Thomas Probst, Robert Probst, and granddaughter, Kathy Herzog and seven great-grandchildren.

To know Kitty, Don, and their history, was to realize that they were truly members of the “greatest generation.” Kitty was the last surviving of six children of Jefferson Ray and Eva Dowling Arnold. Kitty graduated as valedictorian of Groveland High School while being class president and participating in girls’ basketball. Kitty’s father, J. Ray, owned extensive land and the largest pine sawmill in the Southeast U.S. in the 1920s. During the Great Depression, J. Ray minted his own aluminum “loomies” coins to pay his workers so that they could continue to purchase food and necessities for their families at the local mercantile.

Her father’s business and community interests were pivotal to the development of Groveland as an ideal thriving small Florida town. Her family built a Southern Baptist Church, a school, recruited and housed teachers, and worked to develop an excellent school system. Her mother devoutly studied her Bible and served the community in many ways, including assuring that the school children had lunchtime food by creating a sandwich brigade. Many Arnold relatives and cousins lived nearby. Annually, the extended family would travel to their summer estate in Hendersonville, North Carolina, to escape the Florida summers (prior to air conditioning) and recreate together. Kitty had many fond memories of her summers there.

As adults, Kitty’s brothers and cousins served our country during World War II. Kitty recalled pinning her brother’s pilot wings on when he completed pilot’s training. He went on to fly 23 missions as the lead bombardier in a B-29 called “Slim” and “Slim 2” (half of two surviving portions of planes put together) over Japan.

The Groveland Historical Society has detailed displays about the Arnold family contributions through business and community, and local military contributions.

Kitty began college at Brenau College and completed her teaching degree at Florida College for Women. Her masters was completed at the University of Florida. Prior to marriage, she taught elementary school in Winter Park, Florida. 

Friends introduced her to Don on a blind date. Don was a successful mechanical engineer with Carrier Corporation in North Florida, specializing in developing home and commercial air conditioning businesses at a time when air-conditioning was quite new. They married on April 8, 1950, and honeymooned in Cuba and the Dominican Republic. They relocated to Don’s hometown of Smethport, Pennsylvania, for Don to join the family toy manufacturing company, Smethport Specialty Company. Don, his brother Jim, and their father Ralph, worked tirelessly as a team for many years, successfully increasing their family toy business to international prominence.

Among their toys (many magnetic), their most iconic toy, “Wooly Willy,” consisted of a cartoon face where metal filings could be moved about to create features using a red magnetic wand. Woolly Willy is known to most baby boomers from their childhood years. The Toy Industry Association added Wooly Willy to its “Century of Toys List,” a roll call of the most memorable and creative toys of the 20th century.

Kitty and Don raised three daughters. The family enjoyed many outdoor activities including boating, skiing, biking, and hiking. Upon retirement they spent summers with grandchildren at Chautauqua Institution and winters in Naples. The couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2000 with a private family tour of Israel. Three grandsons were baptized in the Jordan River.

Kitty enjoyed Bible study, Arnold genealogy research, WWII military history (especially relating to her brother’s service records), antiques, decorating, shopping and deep intellectual discussions of topics of her interests. Kitty was a strong supporter of the McKean County

Historical Society in Pennsylvania and Groveland Historical Society in Florida. Kitty and Don faithfully attended the Methodist Church in Smethport and First Baptist Church in Naples, where she shared her love of Jesus with many sisters in Christ. Kitty self-published books on the Arnolds of Groveland and Conversations I Wished I Had. She wanted to share her family heritage and Christian faith both with those close by and future generations. It was her fondest wish for her great-grandchildren and grandchildren and those around her to come to know Christ as Savior.

A memorial service may be planned locally for a later date when extended family may also convene. A Christian memorial service with joint interment of both Kitty and Don’s ashes will be held at Greenwood Cemetery in Orlando, at a future date. Family and friends are welcome to attend both memorials when announced.

Donations may be sent in Kitty’s memory to the Groveland Historical Society, 243 South Lake Avenue, Groveland, FL, 34736.

Carole S. Glowe


Carole S. Glowe, 82, passed away March 5, 2020. She was born on May 12, 1937, in Lincoln, Nebraska, daughter of the late Herbert N. and Miriam Culton Swezey.

She was a graduate of Andover High School in Ohio and continued her education at Ohio University where she was a member of Phi Mu Sorority and became a licensed teacher of English.

She was very involved in P.E.O. Sisterhood and the Fortnightly Study Club. She enjoyed playing Bridge and played many times a week. She was a member of Covered Bridge Chapter #591, Order of the Eastern Star, and formerly the Women’s Auxiliary of Trumbull Memorial Hospital. As a member of Howland Community Church, she served on many committees, including Diaconate.

Carole was dedicated to life-long learning and the arts, and Chautauqua Institution in New York provided her with many paths to fulfill that passion. She was a Life Member of the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle (Class of 1992), the Bird, Tree & Garden Club, and the Chautauqua Women’s Club.

She is survived by her daughter, Karen Willcox of Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania; son and daughter-in-law Douglas and Susan Glowe of Warren, Ohio; grandchildren, Dennis (Megan) Glowe of Brunswick, Ohio, Peter Glowe of Lakewood, Ohio, and Miriam Willcox of Havertown, Pennsylvania; sisters, Rosalind Moulder of Ashtabula and Cynthia (William) Robinson of Ashtabula. Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her sister Jeanne Bodine.

A reception was held March 15. Carole asked that any donations be made to the P.E.O. Foundation, 3700 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA, 50312.

Robert James Erickson


Robert “Bob” James Erickson, 85, of Sherman, New York, passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020, at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania, with family at his side.

He was born March 16, 1934, in Dunkirk, New York, the son of the late Robert and Alice Richmond Erickson.

Bob had been an elementary teacher at Chautauqua Central School for 33 years, where he was loved and respected by both his students and colleagues. He was always there for his friends to lend a hand doing various jobs with his Kubota.

He was a member of the Peacock Lodge #696 F&AM Masonic Lodge in Mayville, a lifetime member of the Chautauqua Fire Department where he gave over 60 years of service, and a member of the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club.

Bob was a star basketball player at his alma maters — Dunkirk High School and Fredonia State University — where his nickname was “Ace.” Bob had fond memories of his time coaching JV and Varsity basketball at CCS. He was a talented artist. He enjoyed being in the woods, fishing, hunting deer and turkey, wood working, riding in his golf cart, wood burning, and most of all, time with family.

Bob was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He was a kind and thoughtful man to everyone. Bob had many wonderful friends and was always known to have a good joke.

He is survived by his loving wife, Donna Webber Erickson, whom he married Jan. 21, 1978, in Ripley, New York; two daughters, Janet “John” (Dale) Weatherlow and Susan “George” (Mark) Graziano; seven grandchildren: Ryan (Morgan) McChesney, Zach Weatherlow, Travis Fisher, Nick (Jen) Fisher, Rachel Fisher, Dylan and Dustin Graziano; two great-grandchildren: Blake and Sophia McChesney; one godchild; Kimberly Neal; many nieces, nephews, and cousins; a very special friend and neighbor, Dan Kelsey; and his faithful canine companion, Lewey.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents; a stepson, Don Martin; a grandson, Joshua McChesney; and four sisters: Marilyn Mahany, Jean Mekus, Marge Delcamp, and Barbara Jane Erickson.

A Celebration of Life was held on May 3. Memorial donations can be made to the Chautauqua Fire department (PO Box F, Chautauqua, NY, 14722) or the Chautauqua Humane Society (2825 Strunk Road, Jamestown, NY, 14701).

Eleanor Merle Westberg Johnson


Eleanor Merle Westberg (Tench) Johnson, of Sewickley, Pennsylvania, lost her battle with dementia on April 4, 2020, just two days before her 85th birthday, surrounded by the love of her family and friends. 

Eleanor was born at home in Irvington, New Jersey, on April 6, 1935, to Lillian K. (Hardy) and Merl O. Tench. She received her B.S. in nursing from Upsala College in New Jersey where she met and married Charles E. Westberg (d. 2012). She was mother to Kathleen Barge (Steve) of Sewickley, and Charles Westberg, Jr. (Kimberly) of Aldie, Virginia, grandmother (“Nannie,” her favorite role of all) to Aaren Barge (Sreemoyee), Cameron Barge, Genevieve Barge and Conner Westberg, sister to Jane Laustsen of Santa Barbara, California, (who survives her) and aunt to four nieces and two nephews. 

Eleanor was athletic as a young woman, garnering many track and field medals. She also enjoyed tennis and water skiing. Eleanor devoted her life to the service of others. Professionally, she worked in labor and delivery nursing before having her own children and later worked in school nursing and elder care nursing. Having spent her married life in Fairfield County, Connecticut, she moved to Sewickley in 1994 to help with her grandchildren and continued her service work for many years, volunteering at the Sewickley Valley Hospital Gift Shop, as well as serving as a volunteer receptionist at Sweetwater Center for the Arts and The Presbyterian Church, Sewickley, where she was a member. 

She loved to travel internationally (which she did extensively with her sister), spend summers on Tyler Lake with her extended family and friends, go to garage sales, cook, and was famous for her “drive-by fruitings.” Her later years were plagued by a series of unfortunate surgeries that ultimately left her with some paralysis, but she enjoyed many years of independent living at Masonic Village Sewickley and spent her final years in the Masonic Village Sewickley nursing home. The family wishes to express its gratitude to the caregivers at Masonic Village Sewickley nursing home and to her personal companion, Tanja, for their care and support during the final years of Eleanor’s life. In light of current world events, no visitation or memorial service is currently planned. 

Eleanor loved spending time at Chautauqua with her grandchildren. If desired, the family suggests memorial donations be sent to Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua NY ,14722 in memory of Eleanor W. Johnson.

Lenore Thomas Adams


Lenore Thomas Adams died peacefully, surrounded by family, on March 2, 2020. She was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on Feb. 7, 1929, the only child of Nellie Elizabeth (Barns) and Gordon Frederick Thomas. After a childhood in Erie, Pennsylvania, she attended Flora Stone Mather College for Women of Western Reserve University. There she majored in Spanish, Psychology, and a young man named Robert Adams. They were both in their freshman years (he at Case Institute of Technology) when they met. They were married four years later on Sept. 9, 1950. Lenore and Bob had three children. 

Lenore was an active member of First Unitarian Church of Cleveland, now the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Cleveland, on Shaker Boulevard. She was an avid supporter of reproductive rights. She and Bob volunteered for Meals on Wheels for many years. She also was part of several church social and discussion groups, most notably, and recently, a perfect group for Lenore: a laughter group. She was known for her smiles and joyful laughter.

Lenore’s favorite place on Earth was her family cottage within Chautauqua Institution, where she spent part of, if not all of, every summer of her 91 years. The family had a tree planted by the Institution in her honor in a beautiful setting on the Chautauqua grounds last summer. 

She was pleased to be able to serve in various volunteer positions for the UU Fellowship of Chautauqua for many years. Lenore spent both July and August at her lovely cottage. The porch on Bowman Avenue will not be the same without her.

Her major self-described occupation was as “domestic goddess,” attending to her husband, family and many good friends. She liked gathering people together, loved to organize social events, and had the gift of being able to start conversations and get people talking.

Lenore and Bob spent 15 years wintering in Tucson, Arizona, followed by many more winters in the San Francisco, California, area where their sons Tom and Jim resided. But their permanent home remained in Chagrin Falls for 64 years.

Lenore was preceded in death by her son, Thomas Brewster Adams, in 2016. She is survived by her husband Robert, daughter Alison Wohler and son James Adams, grandchildren James Wohler (Federica Proietti Cesaretti), Elizabeth Wohler (Julian Halliday) and Cody Adams, and great-grandchildren Doria and Ricky Wohler.

A memorial service was held on May 2 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Cleveland. There will also be a gathering of Chautauqua friends this summer on a date to be announced.

Memorial gifts may be made to Planned Parenthood (, the UU Congregation of Cleveland (21600 Shaker Boulevard, Cleveland, OH, 44122) or the UU Fellowship of Chautauqua (PO Box 622, Chautauqua, NY, 14722).

Stephen Earle Benson


Stephen Earle Benson passed away at home on April 18, 2020, surrounded by his wife, Edith, and his family. He passed peacefully in his sleep after living with prostate cancer for 26 years.

Stephen was born to Earle Gustaf and Ruth Yount Benson in Hyde Park, Chicago, Illinois, on Sept. 3, 1939, the same day that Britain declared war on Germany. His father left the hospital to the sound of the newsboys’ cries heralding the start of the war.

Stephen grew up in Flossmoor, Illinois, with his older siblings, David and Nancy, and his buddies of Benson’s Pool Hall, who would remain lifelong friends. After graduating from Bloom Township High School, Stephen attended Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, a family tradition started by his grandfather. He was a member of the Omicron Sigma Omicron Fraternity, and maintained close ties with his fraternity brothers, known dearly to him as the Ozos, throughout his life. Stephen was introduced to his wife Edith by his dear friend and Ozo Norm Freedlund. The two married at the Bethany Lutheran Church in Batavia, Illinois, on July 17, 1965. After graduating from Augustana, Stephen earned a Master’s in Business Administration at the University of Illinois.

Stephen had a long and varied professional career. He first joined International Harvester Company, where his assignments would move him and his family around the world. He worked as foreman on the assembly line in Fort Wayne, Indiana, as an analyst in the company headquarters on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, and assistant to the plant manager in Hamilton, Ontario, in Canada. At age 30, he was named Harvester’s youngest plant manager, and posted to Durban, South Africa, where he ran an assembly plant and supervised the construction and opening of the first IH factory built in Southern Africa since the 1920s. He then joined IH Europe in Paris, a small group that connected the French, German, and English manufacturing divisions. 

In 1974, he left International Harvester and moved to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to join his brother, David, and brother-in-law, Pat Ross, in the fast food business. In his five years as a Wendy’s franchisee, Steve opened the first Wendy’s in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey. In 1979, he moved with his family to Charlotte, North Carolina, where he resided for the remainder of his life. In 1981, he founded Morningstar Storage, opening his first property on Monroe Road in Matthews, North Carolina. An early pioneer in the storage industry, he eventually grew Morningstar to be the 10th largest storage company in the country.

Stephen lived life to the fullest. His interests were many and varied. He was a voracious reader and an avid researcher of his Swedish heritage and his early American family roots. He loved his terriers and all his grand-dogs, too. Stephen was instrumental in the planning and building of the columbarium at Christ Lutheran Church on Providence Road. He was a devoted member of the church, serving on the Council, and singing in the choir for 26 years. His love for anything automotive and his passion for collecting resulted in a magnificent collection of old cars, wooden boats, fire engines, trucks, motorcycles and all the accompanying paraphernalia. He was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, the Charlotte Country Day School Board of Visitors, the Quail Hollow Club and the Viking Club of Jamestown, New York. He was particularly known for his munificence to others, and throughout his life he helped and befriended many.

Stephen is survived by his wife of 55 years, Edith, his sons David and Matthew, David’s wife, Lauren and their children, Ryan Elisabeth, Stephen Gustaf, and Calvin Michael, and Matthew’s wife Barrie and their children, William Hillery and Katherine Barrick. He is also survived by his brother-in-law J. Patrick Ross, sister-in-law Carri Benson, in-laws Susan and Howard Meyers and Fred Michael and Gwen Spuhler, and his nieces and nephews Sarah Ross Eagleson, Benson Ross, Blake Ross, Paul Benson, Earle Benson, Katherine Mazucca, Allison Meyers and Olivia Meyers, and his grand-nieces and nephews Lauren Ross, Katarina Benson, Sofie Benson and Patrick Ross. He was preceded in death by his parents, his aunt Katherine Benson, his in-laws Fred and Annette Spuhler, his sister Nancy Ross, and his brother David.

Stephen was devoted to Christ Lutheran Church, the Charlotte Country Day School, and Chautauqua Institution where he and his beloved family summered since 1975. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to any of these three organizations. A memorial service will be held once the shelter is lifted.

Pauline G. Higie


Pauline G. “Boots” Higie, 93, of Gibsonia, Pennsylvania, formerly of Bradford, passed away on Feb. 14, 2020, at the St. Barnabas Nursing Home in Gibsonia.

She was born on Feb. 11, 1927, in Bradford, the daughter of the late William and Margaret McDermott Gorman. On June 20, 1953, in the St. Bernard Catholic Church, she married William F. “Bill” Higie; who preceded her in death on Oct. 29, 2018.

She was a 1945 graduate of the Bradford Area High School and a 1949 graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Speech Pathology and Communications. She later earned her Master’s degree in Education from the University of Pittsburgh.

She worked for more than 30 years as a speech and hearing pathologist in the Bradford Area school system until her retirement in 1987. In retirement, she was extremely active in numerous community organizations including serving on the Boards of the Bradford YMCA, the Bradford Area Library and the Bradford chapter of the American Association of University Women. In addition, she volunteered with the Bradford Hospital Surgical Liaison Program, Future’s Rehabilitation Center, Inc., Friendship Table, the ELF Fund, Special Olympics, the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle, the Chautauqua Catholic Community, The Chautauqua Fund, and served as a high school swimming official. She was an avid swimmer, skier, golfer, reader, gardener, quilter, bridge player and traveler.

She was a member of the St. Bernard Catholic Church, the Bradford Club and the Pennhills Club.

She is survived by four children, William (Anne) Higie, Jr. of Punxsutawney, David (Gigi) Higie of Pittsburgh, Ellen (Jeffrey) Bauman of Gibsonia and Jonathan (Lisa) Higie of Bridgeville; eight grandchildren, Sarah (Eric) Mazurek, Mary Elizabeth (Mathias) Schmotzer, Kathleen (Paul) Manners, Alexander Higie, Matthew Bauman, Margaret Bauman, Kyleigh Higie and Benjamin Higie; six great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents and husband she was also preceded in death by one brother, William Gorman.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held in the St. Bernard Catholic Church. In lieu of flowers the family has asked that memorial contributions in her memory be donated to the Bradford Area Library, 67 West Washington St., Bradford, PA, 16701 or Futures Rehabilitation Center, Inc., 1 Futures Way, Bradford, PA, 16701.

Beverly Jean Fowler-Conner


Beverly Jean Fowler-Conner, 90, died Jan. 28, 2020, at Bethany Village in Lower Allen Township, where she had resided for some years. 

Born Jan. 19, 1930, in Guilford County, North Carolina, Mrs. Fowler-Conner was the daughter of the late Robert Wade and Alyce Coble Utley. She attended Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1951. She met her first husband, Robert H. Fowler, in 1948 at Guilford College. They were married for 52 years. In her lifetime, she was a school teacher, a newspaper columnist, and book review programmer for the New Cumberland Public Library. She served 12 years on the board of Bethany Village.

She is survived by four children and their spouses, Wade Utley Fowler (Sharon) of New Cumberland, Pennsylvania; Alyce Mundy McKenzie (Murry) of Allen, Texas; Robert H. Fowler Jr. (Sally) of Wallingford, Pennsylvania; and Susanna Jean Weil (Rob) of Hummelstown, Pennsylvania. Other survivors include: eight grandchildren, Melissa McKenzie of Fredericksburg, Texas; Sarah DeBrunner of Camp Hill, Pennsylvania; Rebecca Gingles of Dallas; Zachary Fowler of Silver Spring, Maryland; Matthew McKenzie of Broomfield, Colorado; Laura Fisher of New Cumberland; Ava Fowler of Wallingford; and Robert H. Fowler III of Wallingford. She is also survived by six great grandchildren, Cecelia, Reid and Eloise DeBrunner of Camp Hill; Dean Fowler of Silver Spring; and Graham and Silas Gingles of Dallas.

Mrs. Fowler-Conner was the widow of Robert Howard Fowler and of D. Bruce Conner, an educator who served as superintendent of the Capital Area Intermediate Unit. She was a lifelong United Methodist; a columnist for The News-Sun, Perry County Times, and Duncannon Record and a contributor to Guideposts magazine.

Through personal giving and through the Robert H. and Beverly U. Fowler Foundation, which she founded with her late first husband, she supported the arts and good causes in central Pennsylvania and beyond. WITF, the Harrisburg Symphony, New Cumberland Public Library, the Care Assurance Program at Bethany Village, and the Harrisburg Arts Association were among those who benefited from her generosity.

Mrs. Fowler-Conner enjoyed reading and writing and instilled that love in her children and grandchildren. She and her first husband traveled extensively in this country and to England, Europe, and Australia both on their own and on tours arranged by Historical Times Inc. a company they co-founded in the late 1950s. Historical Times Inc. published a variety of special interest magazines including Civil War Times Illustrated, American History Illustrated, Early American Life, British History Illustrated, Fly-Fisherman, and Bowhunter.

When she and her husband sold Historical Times, Inc. to Cowles Media Group in the 1980s, they turned to newspaper publishing, acquiring the Duncannon Record and Perry County Times from their longtime friend, Richard A. Swank. Thus began Swank-Fowler Publications Inc. a group of weekly newspapers that grew to include The News-Sun of Newport and the Juniata Sentinel of Mifflintown. She retired from the publishing business in 2001 when Swank-Fowler Publishing Inc. was sold to Advance Publications of Perry and Juniata Counties Inc. She also was the former owner of Perry Printing in New Bloomfield, Pennsylvania.

One of her life’s passions was the Chautauqua Institution in New York. She often summered there with family and friends and reveled in the music, lectures and intellectual atmosphere of that arts community. Throughout her life she maintained the carriage of a southern lady in speech and in manner. She was a gracious hostess, with a gift for making and keeping friends, a beloved mother, and an affectionate grandmother. Toward the end of her life, dementia robbed her of the ability to speak, but it did nothing to conceal the good woman who abided therein.

The staff in the Alzheimer’s unit at the Oaks at Bethany Village loved their encounters with the southern lady they called Miss Beverly. Her family is grateful for the care she received there. Memorial contributions may be made to WITF, the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, Chautauqua Institution, the Care Assurance Fund at Bethany Village, or the New Cumberland Public Library.

Jean Reycroft Summerville


Jean Reycroft Summerville, 94, of St. Louis, Missouri, and Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua, New York, died peacefully on Jan. 22, 2020, in the home of her daughter, Mary “Del” Newquist in Rochester, New York. Additional survivors include her son, the Rev. Jay Summerville of St. Louis, her daughter, Rebecca (Jon) Barlow of Missoula, Montana, three grandchildren: Katharine (Dave) Snyder, Matthew Newquist and Jay Barlow; and many loving friends, nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her younger son, Robert (“Rob”) Summerville.

Mrs. Summerville was born on May 13, 1925, the daughter of Arthur G. Reycroft and Helen McMillan Reycroft in Monessen, Pennsylvania. She was predeceased by her four siblings: Dr. Dorothy (Dr. William) Hollingsworth, Robert Reycroft (who died in childhood), Mary Ellen (Arch) Moran, and Barbara Sellers.

Mrs. Summerville graduated from Monessen High School in 1942, received her B.S. degree, Phi Beta Kappa, from West Virginia University in 1945, and her M.S. degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh in 1947 while working as a Teaching Assistant.

Having spent summers at Chautauqua Institution from earliest childhood, Mrs. Summerville raised her family in nearby Corry, Pennsylvania. In Corry, she also worked outside the home as a regular substitute teacher at Corry Area High School and was active in the First Presbyterian Church and numerous volunteer organizations. In 1971, Mrs. Summerville moved to Punta Gorda, Florida, where she was a biology teacher at Charlotte High School and was also an adjunct instructor in biology at Edison Community College until her retirement. At Charlotte High, Mrs. Summerville was the faculty adviser for the student STEP club that worked to promote environmental responsibility. Following “retirement,” Mrs. Summerville worked for an additional 10 years as a regular substitute teacher at the Charlotte Harbor School serving children with developmental disabilities.

In 1985, during a sabbatical from teaching, Mrs. Summerville studied at the Flathead Lake Bio Station of the University of Montana and then worked as a volunteer at the San Diego Zoo on a project to hatch Condor eggs and prepare the fledglings for release into the wild.

In 2011, Mrs. Summerville moved from Florida to Independent Living at Aberdeen Heights, a Presbyterian Senior Living Community in St. Louis. She was a member of Second Presbyterian Church of St. Louis.

A lifelong voracious reader, Mrs. Summerville also enjoyed boating, kayaking, shell and specimen gathering, fishing, scuba diving, bird watching, counted cross stitch, watching St. Louis Cardinals baseball games, buying and selling antiques and collectibles and riding her classic Schwinn bicycle well into her 90s. Known for her sociability, Mrs. Summerville easily made and kept friends of all ages who were attracted to her cheerful and optimistic zest for life and to her empathetic, kind and generous interest in other people.

As a Chautauquan from early childhood, Mrs. Summerville often said that one of the life accomplishments of which she was most proud was being elected captain of the Blue team of the Cherokees, the middle age group of the three Chautauqua Girls’ Club groups in the mid-1930s. Each summer until she was 93, she could be spotted most days riding her Schwinn bike to the Chautauqua Post Office or library, stopping often along the way for porch chats.

A service of interment of Mrs. Summerville’s ashes in Chautauqua Cemetery, Chautauqua, NY, and a reception will be held at a time convenient to friends and family. 

Although memorial donations are not requested, those who nevertheless would like to make such might consider the Presbyterian Mission Agency, Presbyterian Church (USA), 100 Witherspoon Street, Louisville, KY, 40202, an agency to which Mrs. Summerville made annual donations to honor her children and grandchildren.

Dent Williamson


“The legacy of flute playing that you passed on to so many of us continues on and is a priceless

gift that you gave to us.” — Former flute student.

Dent Williamson, born Jan. 13, 1931, passed on Jan. 18, 2020. A born and raised New Englander, Dent Williamson, “our pilgrim,” was a talented musician, a dedicated teacher, a loving husband to his wife of 52 years, a doting father to his two children, and a proud veteran of the United States Air Force.

Dent earned his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees at the New England Conservatory in Boston and his Doctorate degree in Music Education at Combs College of Music in Philadelphia. He met the love of his life, Joan, in New York City in 1966 while they were on tour with the Martha Graham Dance Company orchestra.

For 32 years, Dent taught flute at The College of New Jersey (formerly Trenton State College.) For 35 summers, he served as the second flutist with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra in Chautauqua, New York, where he also worked as the Orchestra Librarian. Previously, he played with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the San Antonio Symphony, and the Trenton Symphony Orchestra.

Dent had the patience of a saint and an uncanny memory. He was a walking encyclopedia of baseball trivia and was a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan. He was a creative and open-minded thinker and treated everyone — regardless of their station in life — with respect and kindness. Dent was an avid student of American history, traveled extensively in his retirement, and never met a chocolate chip cookie he didn’t like.

Dent moved to Willow Valley in 2007. He is survived by his wife, Joan, his children Andrew and Lesley, and his beloved dog Sardi and cat Buddy.

Rosalyn Mitchell


Rosalyn Mitchell passed away on Feb. 11, 2020, in Palm City, Florida, at the age of 97. She was predeceased by her husband, Robert R. Mitchell, and is survived by her children, Steve Mitchell (Mary), Albert Mitchell (Rachelle), and Jennifer Kaufenberg (Gary), eight grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. 

Rosalyn loved spending time in Chautauqua, where she enjoyed being with her family and friends. She frequently played tennis, and enjoyed the Opera and the Amp events.

Memorial donations can be made to the Chautauqua Opera Guild, or to the Jeffrey Simpson Fund for the Literary Arts, both through the Chautauqua Foundation, or to the Everett Jewish Life Center of Chautauqua.

Edward Lober Paul


It is always difficult saying goodbye to someone we love and cherish. Family and friends must say goodbye to their beloved Edward Lober Paul (Manasquan, New Jersey), who passed away at the age of 89, on Jan. 21, 2020. Family and friends can send flowers and/or light a candle as a loving gesture for their loved one. A memorial service was held on Feb. 29, 2020, at St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church in Spring Lake, New Jersey.

Gerald S. Wahl


Gerald S. Wahl, D.D.S., age 88, of Strongsville, Ohio, and Chautauqua, New York, passed away peacefully on Nov. 24, 2019. Beloved husband for 60 years of Phyllis (nee Lally); dearest father of Roberta Wahl (Nenad Barackov), Monica Shaffer (John), William Wahl (Shari), Melanie Petras (Michael), Amy Stark, and Jim Wahl (Stefanie); cherished grandpa to: Stella Barackov; Claire and Matthew Shaffer; Natalie & Andy Wahl; Michael Anthony, Christina and Andrew Petras; William and Robert Stark; and Ava Wahl. 

“Dr. Jerry” received his Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Dental Surgery degrees from Western Reserve University. He served in combat in the United States Army in Korea. His first dental practice was in Shelby, Ohio, but after four years he opened an office in Strongsville, where he practiced for 31 years. Jerry enjoyed skiing, sailing, tennis, and playing Hearts, especially with his grandchildren. 

Visitation and a Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Joseph Church in Strongsville. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a contribution to a charity of your choice.

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