Norwich University

1962 Obituaries

If you would like more information regarding a name on this list, please contact the Alumni Office at (802) 485-2100 or Please note that we do not have a detailed obituary for all names listed, but those we do are clickable links to the full obituary below. Obituaries that appear below were provided by the family or friends of the deceased to inform the Norwich community.

Lee M. Abbott, 2/16/2014
Philip M. Ackerman, 3/11/2000
Robert B. Appleby, 5/20/1999
Charles Azarian, 6/9/1995
David R. Caliendo, 10/19/2005
Paul Carney
Lawrence Craig, 2/13/1996
Joseph R. Ezbianski, 5/1/1982
LTC Robert M. Faxon USA (Ret), 12/13/2002
Joseph H. Felter Jr., 9/13/1999
Barbara G. Gordon (Vermont College)
John C. Harty, 9/18/1995
COL George C. Hollwedel Jr., USA (Ret), 12/15/2002
Barry S. Kelliher, 4/23/2008
Richard D. Kroeger Jr., 8/11/2002
Don E. Krueger, 3/19/2004
Russell J. Laubenheimer, 5/16/2010
Lola Mather (Vermont College), 12/27/1998
William A. Minnick, 6/24/2011
Allen A. Mott, 1/26/2001
Robert "Bob" W. Orr, 2/4/2012
Carl E. Ransden, 12/26/2013
Master Sgt. Russell E. Sands (Ret.), 8/12/2005
Murray Shulman, 4/16/2013
LTC George A. Sirois, USA (Ret.), 7/16/2011
Richard R. Starrett, 12/7/1985
Raymond H. Strople, 8/25/2006
Philip W. Sweeney, Jr., 5/22/2014
Carl H. Weed, 9/15/1986
Vincent F. Weinman, 9/1/1970
Ronald L. Wider, 11/13/2011

Lee M. Abbott

Lee Marion Abbott was born in Bath, NY to Lee and Marian Abbott. He graduated in 1958 from Haverling High School. He attended Norwich University, the Military College of Vt. He graduated with class of 1962. He served in the US Army for 10 years and was discharged honorably with the rank of Captain. He served in Vietnam, earning the Bronze Star Medal. He relocated to Sarasota, FL and then later to Pensacola, FL in 1972 where he started his business, "Lafayette Electronics". Years later he closed his business and held several management positions with Scotty's and Albertsons. He began his last job with Department of Children and Families, (then HRS) and worked there 13 years until his retirement in 2004. He served as the local President of the state union, AFSCME, Local 2673. Lee was an avid collector of miniature trains, miniature cars and Walt Disney/Warner Brothers and duck collectibles. He loved watching Western movies and television shows. He was a past member of Holy Cross Episcopal Church.

Russell J. Laubenheimer

Russell J. Laubenheimer, 70, of Upper Saddle River, NJ, passed away on May 16, 2010.

Born in Jersey City, Russ was a 1962 graduate of Norwich where he was a member of Skull and Swords, Outing Club, Varsity Club, Honor Committee and Junior Weekend Committee. He also played on the football and hockey teams, and was a brother in Alpha Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Pi.

Russ was assistant patrol leader for the National Ski Patrol and played semi pro hockey for the Barre Blackhawks and the Rangers farm team. He was a 2nd lieutenant in the Army in the 7th Infantry division 73rd Armor, and served in the DMZ during the Korean War.

Russ is survived by his loving wife of 44 years, Barbara VC'62; his daughters, Dawn M. Tracy and Sherri A. Laubenheimer; his brothers, Robert Lauben '60, Rev. Richard Laubenheimer, and Bruce Lauben; seven nieces and nephews; and all of the loving staff at the Plaza Regency Nursing Home Park Ridge who cared for him these past three years.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Russ's memory to the Upper Saddle River Ambulance Corps., 378 West Saddle River Road, Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458, the Tri Boro Ambulance Corps of Park Ridge, PO Box 204, Park Ridge, NJ 07656, or the U.S.O. by clicking this link.

William A. Minnick

William A. Minnick, a resident of Cupertino, passed away on June 24, 2011 from complications of esophageal cancer at the age of 70. Bill was born July 26, 1940 in Brattleboro, Vermont, earned a BSEE at Norwich University (1962) and enjoyed a long career with Applied Technology, Litton, Production Automation and Schlumberger, earning several patents and designing the camera equipment used on NASA voyages to Mars and Jupiter. A 40-year resident of Cupertino, Bill had one foot in the past and the other in the future, with equal passions for science, genealogy, antiques and technology. Bill and his late wife JoAnn loved to travel, vacationing regularly in Hawaii and Delaware. He dedicated his last years to cancer education and promoting better health through diet. Bill is survived by two sisters, one brother, two daughters, five grandchildren and a large extended family across the country. A Memorial Service will be held at Union Church in Cupertino, CA on Saturday, July 30th at 2:00pm. Donations can be sent to Norwich University (158 Harmon Dr., Northfield, VT 05663 or online at

Robert "Bob" W. Orr

Robert "Bob" W. Orr, 72, died on February 4, 2012, at his home in Ocala, Fla.

Bob was born March 8, 1939, in Littleton, N.H., to Wheeler and Doris Orr. He was a graduate of Saint Johnsbury Academy in St. Johnsbury, Vt., where he acted as the student council president and played football, basketball, and track. Bob graduated from Norwich University with a bachelor of science degree in business in 1962. While at Norwich, he was a member of Mountain Cold Weather, the Outing Club, the track team, Alpha Kappa Psi, and Lambda Chi Alpha.

He served in the Unites States Army as a tank commander and spent time overseas in Korea. After retiring from the military, Bob worked in sales and distribution of laboratory and medical supplies with Scientific Products, Curtin Matheson, and Fisher Scientific, ultimately starting his own company. He lived most of his life in the New England area, and was active in his church and served as Deacon at the Bedford Presbyterian Church in Bedford, N.H. He moved to Florida in 2001 and had been active in the local VFW Post #4781 and the local Moose Lodge. Bob had a great passion for the New England Patriots.

Bob is survived by his sister, Barbara Young; sons Scott Orr and Timothy Orr; and grandchildren Daniel, Katie, Jonathan, and Alison. Condolences may be sent to Scott Orr at 4321 Plumosa Dr., Yorba Linda, CA 92886. Donations in his memory can be made to the Children's Cancer Society, VFW Post 4781, or Odessey Hospice.

Services were held at the National Military Cemetery at Bushnell, Fla., on February 23, 2012.

Carl E. Ransden

Carl E. Ransden, 73, of 44 Grandview Dr. Williamstown died Thursday, December 26, 2013 at the North Adams Regional Hospital. He was born in North Adams on May 28, 1940, son of the late John E. and Vera (Bramble) Ransden. Carl graduated from Williamstown High School (’58). He graduated from Norwich University (’62) with a BS in Biology and a commission as a Lieutenant in the Army Reserve. He also pursued graduate studies at the University of Illinois. A Vietnam War veteran, he served 13 years as a captain in the United States Army Medical Service Corp and was decorated with the Bronze Star and two Army Commendation Medals. After his military career he was employed as an administrator and manager in the hospital and nursing home industry. Upon his return to this area in 1984, he was a sales representative for MetLife until his retirement in 2004. Carl was a communicant of St's Patrick and Raphael Parish in Williamstown where he served as a lector. He was an avid reader, historian, hunter, fisherman and bicyclist. Survivors include his cherished wife Margaret (Heischmidt) Ransden whom he married September 14, 1963. Great pride and love for his children, one daughter Jo Ellen Iskowitz and her husband Reuben of Bennington, VT and two sons Ed Ransden of St. Louis, MO and Jeffrey Ransden and his wife Susan of Fairfield, CT. Three grandchildren Katherine, Mitchell and Emmett Ransden. A Liturgy of Christian Burial will be celebrated Tuesday at 11:00 A.M. at St. Patrick's Church in Williamstown, MA. Burial with military honors will follow in Eastlawn Cemetery. Calling Hours at the Flynn & Dagnoli-Montagna Home for Funerals, WEST CHAPELS, 521 West Main St. North Adams, MA are Monday from 5-7 P.M. Memorial donations are suggested for the St. Patrick & Raphael Meals Ministry Program or Norwich University’s Norwich Fund through the funeral home.

Master Sgt. Russell E. Sands (Ret.)

Master Sgt. Russell E. Sands (Ret.), 88, of Abilene, died Friday, August 12, 2005, at the VA Hospital in Big Spring, Texas.

Born July 3, 1917 in Alvarado, Minn., he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1938 at Ft. Snelling, Minn., where he joined the 3rd Battalion, 66 Armored Regiment, 2nd Armored Division. Russell received the Purple Heart while serving his country in WWII under General Patton in Africa, Sicily, England, Germany, and Italy. Following the war he was stationed at Ft. Hood, Texas, where he met and married Pauline (Polly) Sledge in 1950.

After retiring from the Army in 1961, he taught high school history and was an athletic trainer. In 1965 he joined the civil service and accepted a job at Dyess AFB where he worked as a safety instructor. He retired as chief of ground safety in 1987 ending a 39-year military career. After retirement, Russell was active in church and community life, substitute teaching and raising Appaloosa horses on the Sands Ranch. He was an elder at Brook Hollow Christian Church where he faithfully served the Lord.

Preceding him in death were his parents, Lewis and Hannah Sands, and his wife Polly Sands of Abilene. Survivors include one son, Michael, of San Diego, Calif.; two daughters, Rhonda Sands of San Diego, and Paula Christiansen and her husband, Curt, of Abilene; and one sister, Melba Williamson, and her husband, Harold, of St. Paul, Minn. He also leaves behind five grandchildren, Paul Sands, Tifanie Clark, Lindsey Hufstedler, Evan Hufstedler, and Jack Johnson; two great-grandsons; and four nieces and nephews.

He was interred at Elmwood Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Brook Hollow Christian Church, 2310 S. Willis, Abilene, TX 79605, or West Texas Rehabilitation Center, 4601 Hartford, Abilene, TX 79601.

Murray Shulman

Murray Shulman, 74, of West Springfield, Mass., died April 16, 2013, at Mercy Medical Center. He was born and raised in Philadelphia, Penn., and had lived in West Springfield since 1985. Murray graduated from Norwich University in 1962 with a Bachelor of Arts in government. While at Norwich, he was a member of the Basketball Team, the Football team, the Guidon staff, Maroon Key, the Junior Weekend and Winter Carnival committees, and the War Whoop staff. In 1969, Murray received his Jurist Doctorate from Suffolk University. He practiced law in Springfield and West Springfield. He was a lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

Murray is survived by his wife, Jane M. (Augusti) Shulman; a daughter, Theresa Rivers, and her husband, John; and a granddaughter, Haley Rivers. A private service was held.

LTC George A. Sirois, USA (Ret.)

LTC George A. Sirois, USA (Ret.), 73, of Peachtree City, Ga., passed away on July 16, 2011. He was born in Lawrence, Mass. to the late Major General and Mrs. Edward D. Sirois. He graduated from Norwich University in 1962 with a bachelor of science in business administration. While at Norwich, George was a member of the Drill Team, Newman Club, Outing Club, Varsity Club, and soccer team. After graduating, he proudly served in the U.S. Army for 34 years, including two tours in the Vietnam War, a member of National Guard and the VFW.

He is survived by his loving wife, Kathleen G. Sirois; his children, Susan M. Watson and Daniel G. Sirois; and his grandchildren. He will be remembered as a man who loved his family and his country.

A Funeral Service was held Thursday, July 21, 2011 Carl J. Mowell & Son in Peachtree City, Ga. Condolences may be left online at:

Philip W. Sweeney, Jr.

Philip W. Sweeney, Jr., 75, passed away on May 22, 2014 at Kaplan House following a brief illness. He was the husband of Marcia (Callahan) Sweeney with whom he shared 52 years of marriage. Born in Lynn, the son of Philip W. Sweeney, Sr. and Cyrenne (Monahan) Sweeney, he had resided in Marblehead for 45 years.

He was a member of the Lynn English High School Class of 1957 and was a member of back-to-back State Hockey Championship teams in 1956 and 1957. He was also a member of the Class of 1962 at Norwich University.

He was the Chairman of The Abbot Public Library Board of Trustees and Chairman of the Marblehead Municipal Light Department Commission. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Mass. Municipal Wholesale Electricity Company and on the Policy Makers' Council of the American Public Power Association. Active in the local and State Democratic Party, he was a Life Member of the Marblehead Democratic Committee and had served as Chairman for many years.

He had several careers over his life, ranging from welding to teaching to technical writing. But, he found his true love in the hospitality business. A founder of The Black Rose in Boston, he built it into an internationally known place to celebrate Irish music. He then opened Sweeney's Retreat in Marblehead and prided himself on serving good food and good conversation.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Sweeney is survived by his three sons, Philip Sweeney, III; Marblehead Police Lt. Sean Sweeney, both of Marblehead and Scott Sweeney and his wife Tammy of California; five grandchildren, Conor Sweeney of Maine; Sean Sweeney, Jr. and Charles Sweeney both of Marblehead; Rebekah McCalmont and her husband, Mack and their son Booker John of Washington; and Samantha Sweeney and her daughter, Riley of California; two step-grandsons, Michael Meyers and his wife Tara and their daughter Emma; and Jordan Sweeney and his wife Kate and their children Jack, Faith, Oliver and Sally all of California. He also leaves two sisters, Marilyn Waldrip of Newburyport; Sara O'Connor of Ipswich; two brothers, John Sweeney and his wife Gayle of Peabody and James Sweeney and his wife Barbara of Lynn; as well as many nieces and nephews.

Visiting hours will be held at the Eustis and Cornell Funeral Home, 142 Elm Street, Marblehead on Friday, May 30 from 4:00 - 8:00 PM. A memorial service will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead, 28 Mugford Street, Marblehead on Saturday, May 31 at 9:00 a.m. followed by a reception in celebration of his life at the Gerry 5, 210 Beacon Street, Marblehead. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Philip W. Sweeney, Jr. Scholarship Fund sponsored by the Marblehead Democratic Town Committee, Walter Horan, Treas., 17 Haley Road, Marblehead, MA 01945.

Ronald L. Wider

Ronald L. Wider, 71, passed away unexpectedly on November 13, 2011. He graduated from Norwich University with a bachelor of science degree in business. While at Norwich, he was a member of the Drill Team, Rifle Club, Outing Club, Newman Club, Mountain Cold Weather, and Lambda Chi Alpha.

Ronald is survived by his wife of 49 years, Jean Wider; three children: Ronald L. Wider, Jr. (NU '85), Lisa Noble, and Eric Wider; six grandchildren: Kali Wider (NU '09), Gregory Wider (NU '13), David Wider, Jeffrey Wider, Clayton Trosin, and Emily Noble.

Ronald was buried with military honors at the Vermont Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Randolph Center, Vt.


Norwich University · Alumni Office · 158 Harmon Drive, Northfield VT 05663
802.485.2100 · toll-free 877.485.2019 ·
Copyright © 2015 Norwich University.