Margaret Emily Watts


Margaret Emily (Eaton) Watts was born in Warren, Pennsylvania on March 3, 1936, and died Aug. 21, 2019, in Tampa, Florida, where she lived for 19 years. 

She graduated as valedictorian of the Class of 1954 in Warren, and from Oberlin College in 1958 with a major in music. She received a Shansi Teaching Fellowship from Oberlin to teach English in Madurai, South India for two years. She returned to Oberlin to share her experiences and then began her masters degree in teaching English in preparation for teaching in Africa, at Teachers College, Columbia University. While working as a Foreign Student Advisor in New York, she met and dated a colleague advisor from the RCA Institute, Roy Watts. She finished her masters degree at University of London, with a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, and contracted to teach English in Ghana, at a secondary school in Tema, and the Teachers Training College in Accra. 

Mr. Watts, then in Nigeria, moved to Ghana to work on newly established Ghana Television. Margaret and Roy Watts married on July 24, 1965. In 1980, Margaret and the Watts children moved to Chautauqua, New York, where her parents lived, to avoid the dangerous military situation in Ghana at the time. Roy went to prepare a home in Trinidad while Margaret taught at Jamestown Community College. The family moved to Trinidad in 1982, where Margaret taught at the University of the West Indies until 1998, when Roy passed away. She then taught at Brooklyn College for two years and moved to Tampa, Florida, in the year 2000, where she led the writing program at Springfield College. 

Margaret retired from Springfield in 2011. She was an exceptional educator with a rare capacity to genuinely see the potential in all her students. Her love of poetry ran very deep, and she documented much of her life through her poems. She began to write in high school, and continued for the rest of her life. She started students writing poetry as part of learning English in Ghana and began reporting the results in her Ph.D. thesis, professional journals and lectures, as early as 1977. She edited the first book of poems by women from Trinidad and Tobago ever published, and published three books of her own poems. Her poems were included in many books and journals as were more than 50 of her articles, papers and other writing. 

Margaret was preceded in death by her parents Charles H. and Rachel W. Eaton, her husband, Roy Watts, and Randolph and Ann Roach, who raised Roy. She is survived by the Watts children (and their partners/spouses), Roger Ekow (Michelle Higgins), David Kwesi (Natasha Reynald), and Rachel Nana Adjoa Gyasiwa Titilayo Una (Todd Jones); her brother, Charles R. Eaton (Ann Eaton); and three Watts grandchildren, Nicholas Kobena, Kyra Ekua, and Maya Ama. 

A Celebration of Life was held Oct. 19, 2019, at the St. James House of Prayer in Tampa, where donations can be made in her name.

Laura Lynn Hall Kerr


Laura Lynn Hall Kerr, 53, of Center Township, Pennsylvania, passed away Oct. 10, 2019, surrounded by her loving family. Laura believed in the strength of family and friends, and was blessed by those many dear relationships throughout her life.

Born March 15, 1966, in Bellevue, Laura is the daughter of Joseph W. and Louise M. (Majesky) Hall. She was a 1984 graduate of Hopewell High School, where she was starting center on the Viking’s varsity basketball team for three years. As an adult, she was an active member of Crestmont Alliance Church, Hopewell Township, and had a heart for serving others. Her vibrant faith and contagious enthusiasm were appreciated by many. Laura also enjoyed many hobbies, including crafting and beachcombing.

In addition to her parents, she is survived by her beloved son, William T. Kerr; brother and sister-in-law, Brian and Theresa M. Hall; nephews Joseph P. Hall and Roger M. Hall; additional beloved family; and many faithful friends, including Brooke and Michael Witterman, Joanne and Joe Herda, and LuAnn and the Rev. James Eaton. 

A service was held in October in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts in Laura’s memory may be made to Beaver County Christian School, 4001 6th Ave., Beaver Falls, PA, 15010. 

Miriam L. Coleman


Miriam L. Coleman, 85, formerly of Queens, New York, and a summer resident of Chautauqua, passed away Aug. 23, 2019, in the Good Samaritan Nursing Home in Omaha, Nebraska.

She was born Aug. 15, 1934, in Jamestown, New York, the daughter of the late Ernest H. and Evelyn Lawson Coleman.

Miriam graduated from Columbia University with two master’s degrees in education. She was a classroom teacher in New York State for 20 years. From 1967 until 1971, she taught at the American School in Warsaw; from 1971 until 1973 at the American School in London; from 1974 until 1976 at the Nagoya International School in Japan; and from 1980 until 1987, Miriam was a reading specialist in New York City. Following that, she worked at the diagnostic reading clinic for children at Hofstra University. 

She was a member of the First Covenant Church in Jamestown and the 5th Avenue Presbyterian Church in Manhattan.

Miriam is survived by her sisters, Johanna Goering of Port Townsend, Washington, and Christine (Craig) Johnson of Omaha; niece Elizabeth (Joel) Piotrowski; nephew Matthew (Michelle) Johnson; great-niece Sofia Piotrowski; great-nephews Harrision and Tegegn Piotrowski and Merrett Johnson.

She was preceded in death by her father in 1982, her mother in 1987, and several aunts and uncles. 

A memorial service was held Oct. 11, 2019, in Jamestown. Memorials may be sent to Chautauqua Institution; North Park University in Chicago; or UNICEF.

Alton B. Klinger


Alton B. Klinger, 68, of Sherman, New York, passed away with his family by his side on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.

He was born March 15, 1951, in Corry, Pennsylvania, the son of Richard B. and Laura Hope (Chamberlain) Klinger.

Alton attended Chautauqua Central School in Chautauqua, New York. On Nov. 4, 1969, he joined the U.S. Army and was awarded the National Defense Service Medal.

Alton is preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his five children: Rhonda Dailey and husband, Ronald of Dewittville, New York; Vonnie Smith of Outer Banks, North Carolina; Shalyn Klinger of Jamestown, New York; Justin Eck and wife, Crystal, of Sherman; and Richard Klinger of Syracuse, New York. He has 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He is also survived by seven siblings: Keith, Mark and Douglas of Sherman; Paul and wife, Cathy, of Ripley, New York; Diana Ferguson of Stow, New York; Pam Vettenburg and partner, Becky Engel of Smyrna, Tennessee; and Tina Phelps and partner, Mike McKoon, of Jamestown; along with many nieces and nephews.

Alton was loved by all. His favorite pastime was hanging out at his cabin in the woods. He enjoyed country music and loved his family.

The family wishes to thank the doctors, nurses and staff on the 12th floor ICU at AGH for their wonderful care and support.

A visitation, memorial service, and luncheon were held Feb. 22, 2020.

In Memoriam


Every summer, at the first Sunday Service of Worship and Sermon of the season, the Department of Religion publishes the names of those in Chautauqua’s community who have passed since our last gathering. In the absence of such a printed program for virtual worship in the CHQ Assembly, it is the Daily’s honor to provide that service instead. Here, we publish the annual “In Memoriam” — the names of our departed — as it would have appeared in the first Department of Religion program of the season.


Spiro Malas

Karen Brown Johnson

William “Bill” Gallagher  

Sam Zemsky

Imogene Savko

Marilyn Eichenlaub

Virginia Lee “Ginger” Heinz Leslie

Hillert Vitt

Mary Agnes Grant

Robert G. Greene

Gordon L. Koscher

Shirley Sheer

Linda Follansbee Polcyn

Ruth Callicott

Harold William “Bill” Berg, Jr.  

Suzanne Nolan Bonstein

Barbara Burkhart 

Catherine “Rosy” Drews 

William “Bill” Cunningham

Albert J. “Al” Turbessi 

Gail Wickersham

William “Bill” Duty Jr.

Robert Rodgers

Bonnie Rosenthal

Toni Morrison 

Evelyn Aurand

Bernice Gourley

James Miller

Virginia Miller

Francois Bombardier

Maria Elena Diaz 

Stan Benulis 

Ed Danford 

Julie Danford

Walt Laude

Sue Kimble

Gaylord Kimble

Patty Penwell

Richard Penwell

Viola Ansted

Rev. O.B. Ansted

Sally Nelson Metzgar

Harry Stoll

  1. Bruce Tuttle

Ethel V.E. Tuttle

Betty G. Herman

Ruth Moses

Bertha McLelland

Harold McLelland

Annabelle Poag Munday

Nancy Bryan Munday

Rev. Thomas Kerns

Jean Say

Beth Textor

Charles L. Christian

Jean Bailey Gaede

Jane Herchenroether Kirsch

Luella M. Jones

Mary Kemp Clarke

Jared C. Jacobsen  

Janet Lynne “Jan” Winters Kuzmic 

Walter Carlisle “Corky” Shaw III

John Ireland

Jean C. Cheney

Robert Brodows

Matthew J. Trusso Sr.

Gloria Lapidus

Mary Kemp Clarke

Laura Nowosielski

Gwen Shell Read

Zetta Fredin

Mary Jean Irion

Calvin R. Gilbert

Maurice E. Roach

Margaret Emily Eaton Watts

Miriam L. Coleman

Laura Lynn Hall Kerr

Robert Matthew “Bob” Evans

Thomas Henry “Tom” Rowe  

William B. “Bill” Hoff  

Joan Kekst 

Isabel “Ish” Braham Pedersen  

Virginia Flanders Patchen 

Doug McMillin                                      

Judy Womeldorf

Mary E. Grizanti

Lynnette W. James

Corenia Franklin

Anne Watson Downs

Stella Anne Elizabeth Spoelker 

Joan Lee Keogh

Patricia “Pat” Klingensmith

Terry L. Stinson

Dr. Gerald “Jerry” Wahl

Shakeeb Joseph “Joe” Nassif 

Elinor J. Friedman

William Saum

Elizabeth “Betty” Womack

James Parks Morton

Robert L. Luke

Charles “Chuck” Hancox 

Jim Lehrer

Jean Reycroft Summerville  

Dent Williamson

Raficq Abdulla

Catherine Sara “Katy” McClure Benefield

Rev. Kathleen Buckley

Scott Hess

Jane Adelle Thompson Mead

Rosalyn Mitchell

Pauline G. “Boots” Higie 

Edward Lober “Ed” Paul

Burt Rozner

Eugene “Gene” Rutkowski

Beverly Jean Fowler-Conner

Mary Jean Hedberg

Alton B. Klinger

Robert J. “Bob” Erickson

Lenore Thomas Adams

Amory Houghton Jr.

Laura Kathryn “Kitty” Arnold Herzog

Suzanne Ziegel Gilbert  

Mary B. Larsen

Edna Brown

Evelyn Caruso

Robert “Bob” Weatherlow

Philip “Phil” Safford

Kenny Rogers

Ellis Marsalis

Carole Swezey Glowe

Adele S. Gandal

Donna Kole                                

Eleanor M. W. Johnson

Misty Johnson

David Eddleman

Stephen Earle Benson 

David Katz

Joan Katz

Lee Chaverin White

Joan “Jody” Kissner

Bruce D. Burr

Rev. Richardson “Dick” Armstrong Libby Jr.

Renée Sue Lipson

Mary Poole

Nancy Mahood Weiss

Thomas H. “Tom” Metzger

Margaret Bachus

Joanne Gifford Allen 

Robert Abell

Marian Winchester

Albert “Al” Cala

Mary Lou Trusso  

Arch K. Wood II

Evelyn M. Musselman 

Seymour Baywich

Rev. William “Bill” McDermet III

Rev. William “Bill” Spangler       

Eva Rosenberg      

Ada Mae “Maizie” Abuza

Kelly Bennett 

Frank Robinson

Mary Ann Toth

Anthony R. “Tony” Frosini

Gloria Morris

Marjorie Trapasso  

Cynthia Lee White 

Harvey Biskin

Barbara Keyser

Harold F. Reed Jr.

David H. Weis   

Audre Bunis

Eric Berg

Glenn Bucher

Jim Webb

Marjorie June Turney

John W. “Jack” Knable

Helen Sachse

Joanne G. Allen

Louis Pozarny

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