Norwich University


1940 Obituaries

If you would like more information regarding a name on this list, please contact the Alumni Office at 802.485.2300 or inmemoriam@norwich.edu. 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.

Gleason W. Ayers, 11/26/2011
Milton E. Bailey, 3/6/2010
COL Russell Redding Bessom, 1/3/2011
Lt. COL William G. Borella, 1/18/2010
E. Lawrence Broggini, 10/23/2010
George W. Glynn, 9/30/2009
Arthur D. Harrington, 12/4/2007
Lt. COL Earle W. "Kel" Kelly, 10/8/2010
Howard Loring, 93, of Worcester, Mass., on September 29, 2012
Wallace Albert Martin, 4/2/2011
Hale Mason Jr., 90, of Lisbon, NH, passed away on July 16, 2008.
Edward Roland Tufts, 4/1/2010


Gleason W. Ayers

Gleason W. Ayers, 94, of Waterbury,Vt., passed away early Saturday morning, Nov. 26, 2011, at the Woodridge Nursing Home in Berlin after several weeks of declining health.

Gleason was born at the Heaton Hospital in Montpelier on Aug. 18, 1917, the son of Max G. Ayers and Amy Elizabeth (Wheeler) Ayers. He attended Waterbury schools and graduated from Waterbury High School in 1936. Like his father and uncle, he attended Norwich University in Northfield and graduated in 1940, with a degree in electrical engineering.

On Feb. 22, 1941, he married his high school sweetheart, Marion Alice Pratt, at the Congregational Church in Waterbury. They celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary a few months before her death on May 1, 2010.

He began his engineering career by working for General Electric Company in Schenectady, N.Y., and in Lynn, Mass., where he was a production line engineer for the electrical generators used on B-29 bombers. In 1947, he returned to Waterbury to work for Pilgrim Plywood Corporation, with many responsibilities including the surveying of 6,000 acres of land that was under contract to the company. Beginning in 1957, he worked for the Vermont Highway Department and the Vermont Agency of Transportation in a number of engineering capacities including taking on major responsibilities in the planning, right-of-way, and construction of Interstate 89. He retired in 1980 from the Bennington Highway District as the district highway administrator there.

Following his retirement, Gleason and Marion returned to Waterbury. Together they renovated their home at the corner of Elm and Randall streets in Waterbury. This was the home built by Gleason's grandparents, and they worked hard to restore and modernize this historical home of which they were so proud. He lived there until the night of the flood on Aug. 28, 2011. Gleason had the distinction of experiencing evacuation from both the 1927 and the 2011 flooding of Waterbury. In 1927, he was evacuated from his childhood home on Randall Street in a boat. In the 2011 flood, he was walked out from his home on Elm Street in chest high water.

Gleason was a registered professional engineer in both Massachusetts and Vermont. He was a long time member of the Vermont Society of Engineers and a charter member of the Vermont Society of Land Surveyors. He was active in promoting the Vermont Licensing Law for land surveyors and was himself a licensed surveyor.

Gleason was active in the Masonic Fraternity and received his sixty-year member pin. He was past master and then secretary of the Winooski Lodge in Waterbury for seventeen years. He was District Deputy Grand Master for District Six and Grand Junior Deacon of the Grand Lodge of Vermont. Other Masonic memberships included Barre Council R&SM, member and commander of Mt. Zion Commandry of Montpelier, a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason, and a former member of Mt. Sinai Temple of the Shrine, where he sang in the Mt. Sinai Chanters. He was also a charter member of Green Mountain York Rite College and a member of Profil York Rite College of New Hampshire. He was made Knight of the Red Cross of Constantine in 1969, and was Grand Sovereign of The Grand Imperial Council of Vermont in 1986. He was made an Honorary Grand Sovereign of the Grand Imperial Conclave of Canada in 1990 and also an Honorary Grand Sovereign of the Grand Imperial Council of Maine.

Gleason served his hometown of Waterbury in many capacities. He was a long time Village Water Commissioner, and he designed and helped build the first water filtration plant for the village. He was both chairman and member of the Waterbury Zoning Board of Adjustment from its inception until he reached eighty years of age. He was the recipient of the Keith A. Wallace Memorial Community Service Award.

Also, he served as a trustee of the Waterbury Congregational Church for ten years. He enjoyed hunting and fishing, and he was an active member of the Lake Mansfield Trout Club where he was a member of the board of directors. Up until the end of this current summer season, Gleason was often seen in a rocking chair watching the members fishing and then enjoying the evening meal at the club.

He is survived by his four children: Robert (NU '64) and his wife Judy of North Hero, Richard (NU '67) and his wife Mina of Sanbornton, N.H., Betsy Shapiro of Waterbury and her partner Tom Gorton, and David (NU '74) and his wife Betsy of York, Maine. He is also survived by nine grandchildren: Bethany Goss and her husband David, Kimberly Campbell and her husband Timothy, Jeremy Ayers and his wife Georgia, Erika Nardini and her husband Brett, Benjamin Ayers, Emily Shapiro (NU '11), Christopher Shapiro, Sarah Ayers, and Halle Ayers; by seven great-grandchildren: Andrew, Tyler and Christopher Goss; and William and Laurel Campbell; Cannon Nardini; and Fletcher Ayers; by his sister Dorothy Ayers Ingalls and nephews Craig Caswell and Christopher Caswell. He was predeceased by his wife of 69 years Marion on May 1, 2010, as well as by his parents and by his son-in-law Andrew Shapiro.

The family would like to thank the directors and staff at Squier House in Waterbury for their caring and kindnesses. Also the family appreciates Fay Barden and her staff at the Evergreen Unit of the Woodridge Nursing Home for their many kindnesses and for their care and attention during Gleason's illness.

The family requests that flowers be omitted; rather, memorial gifts can be sent in Gleason's name to the Central Vermont Home Health and Hospice, 600 Granger Road, Barre, Vermont 05641 (www.cvhhh.org) or to the Waterbury Historical Society, PO Box 708, Waterbury, Vermont 05676 Attn: Paul Willard, Treasurer. To send on-line condolences please visit www.perkinsparker.com.


Milton E. Bailey

Milton E. Bailey, 92, of Seminole, died Saturday, March 6, 2010, at Seminole Nursing Pavilion. Milton graduated from Norwich University in 1940 with a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering. While at Norwich, Milton was on the football team and made the dean's list his sophomore through senior years. He is survived by a loving family.


Colonel Russell Redding Bessom

Colonel Russell Redding Bessom, USAF Retired, 92, passed away in his sleep Monday, January 3, 2011.

Russell was born on February 28, 1918 in Massachusetts. He was a graduate of Phillips Academy, and Norwich University, Class of 1940. While at Norwich, he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, the Glee Club, Civil Aeronautics Authority, and the War Whoop Staff.

Russell had a distinguished career in the Cavalry and the United States Air Force. He served in Burma during WWII, post-war he served in Japan, at the Pentagon, and Kirtland Air Force Base. He retired in 1961 and began teaching world history, aviation and junior R.O.T.C. at West Mesa High School. After retiring from teaching, he worked in the business community as the owner of Bessoms Gardens. Russell freely gave of his time to many community service organizations. He was a Mason, and a member of Sandoval Lodge #76. Russell personified duty and honor.

He is survived by six children, Clifford Bessom of NM, Steven Bessom and wife, Katie, of NM, Laura Vigil and husband, Russell, of NM, Donna Gail Klodt and husband, Brad, of IA, Valerie Bessom of NM, Melody Hooker and husband, Bryan, of VA; seven grandchildren, James Vigil, Brooke Bessom, Tommy Hooker, Arianna Hooker, Stephanie Mascarenas and husband, Nikko, Virginia Aguilar and husband, Cody, and Monica Bessom; one great-grandchild, Laura Lee Aguilar. He was preceded in death by his wife, Virginia Bessom, in 2004; son, Randy Bessom, in 2010; and brother, Phillip Bessom.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 am, Saturday, January 8, 2011 at the First Baptist Church, 3906 19th Avenue SE, Rio Rancho, NM (505)892-1323. Interment will be held at Vista Verda Memorial Park immediately following the service.


Lt. Col. William G. Borella

Lt. Col. William G. Borella, USAF (Ret.), age 94, of Covington, GA, passed away on January 18, 2010.

William was born March 15, 1915 in Newport, VT to the late John B. and Mabel Hannah Borella. He graduated from Norwich in 1940 where he played football and was a member of Maroon Key. Following graduation he became a lifetime member of the Partridge Society. William had a distinguished career in the United States Air Force, serving in the European Theatre during World War II under the 9th Air Force and the 19th Tactical Air Command, which was a new wing created to support GEN Patton’s 3rd Army from the air. He retired in 1967.

William met his late wife, Ann Giddens Borella, while stationed at Turner Field in Albany, GA. He was a 50 year Master Mason, a member of Dougherty Lodge #592 and the Hasan Shrine Center in Albany.

Survivors include his children, Suzann Hagins, Jean Borella, Terry Borella, John Borella, Julie Martin, and Sally Bowen; 8 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Disabled American Veterans, Attn: Gift Processing, P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301, or to the Haitian disaster relief fund at American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013 (clearly mark your designation).


E. Lawrence Broggini

E. Lawrence Broggini, 93, passed away October 23, 2010, and was predeceased by his wife, Margaret. He was born March 5, 1917, in Barre, Vt. Larry graduated from Norwich in 1940 with a bachelor of science in electrical engineering. While at Norwich, he was a member of the Basketball and baseball teams, the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, and made the Dean's list his junior and senior years. Larry was also an 1819 Circle member.

Serving in World War II, Larry was in charge of classified communications in the European Theater of Operations and was the recipient of the Bronze Star. After his retirement from the Library of Congress as supervising engineer, Mr. and Mrs. Broggini moved to Sun City Center, Fla. In 1992 they made Freedom Plaza their home.


George W. Glynn

George W. Glynn, 92, of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, passed away Sunday, August 30, 2009.

George was a lifelong resident of Needham, Massachusetts and recently moved to Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. He graduated from Needham High School and went on to earn a bachelor of science from Norwich.  While attending Norwich he participated in Drill team, golf team, and varsity football and he was brother of Theta Chi.

Following his graduation, George served as a captain in the Air Force in World War II and was  a member of the Nehoiden Masonic Lodge & Aleppo Shrine.

George was survived by his wife, Ginny Glynn, of Wolfeboro, NH, daughters, Gail Gordon and Marcia Barker, of Tuftonboro, NH, son, Gary Glynn, of York Harbor, ME, three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.


Arthur D. Harrington

Arthur D. Harrington, 89, of Hendersonville, N.C., passed away on December 4, 2007. He was born in Natick, Mass., on July 17, 1918.

He attended Norwich University in Vermont, where he was part of the cavalry unit. Also during his time at Norwich, he was a member of the Guidon, Football Team, Yearbook Staff, Sigma Phi Epsilon, and the Glee Club. He was one of the few remaining members of his class and was proud to march with the cadets every year at Norwich.

Out of college, he entered the Army to fight in World War II. He was a bold captain of his communication unit that landed on Normandy Beach on D-Day, 1944, and spent the first two nights in a German bunker that still exists.

After the war, he brought his Icelandic bride, Haddy, home to America, where he began a long career with General Electric. After stops in New York, Ohio, and Massachusetts, he was assigned to be part of the team to open their new manufacturing plant in Hendersonville. He moved his family of four to Hendersonville in 1955, where he was active in selling outdoor lighting all over the world. Ronald Reagan was among the luminaries that he entertained at the "Crossroads of Light."

Since his retirement from GE, he remained active in civic affairs, eventually serving four years as mayor of Laurel Park. In addition he was president of Opportunity House, a member of the Henderson County Planning Board, president of the Golden K Kiwanis Club and on the Boards of the IAM and the First Congregational Church. He also was a longtime member of the Hendersonville Country Club.

After his wife Haddy died in 2000, he married his present wife, Dee, in a relationship that delighted everyone who knew them. These two have been an inspiration to all who know what love is.

He is survived by his brother, Norman, and sister, Barbara Dillon; a son, Thomas, and daughter, Nancy, in California, a son, Dudley, of Charlotte, a son, Bruce, of Hendersonville, along with their families; and eight grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

The family asks that any memorials be given to the church or to Carolina Village, Inc., 600 Carolina Village Road, Hendersonville, N.C. 28792.


Lieutenant Colonel Earle W. "Kel" Kelly

Lieutenant Colonel Earle W. "Kel" Kelly, 92, passed away peacefully at his home on Friday, 8 October, 2010.

Lt Col. Kelly was born in Malone, NY on November 18, 1917, the son of Ernest and Marion Kelly. He completed high school at Franklin Academy in Malone and entered Norwich University in 1936. During his senior year at Norwich, he was captain of the football team and was named Vermont All-State end; He was also a proud member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. On June 10,1940, he received a bachelor of arts degree in English from Norwich and was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant Cavalry.

Lt. Col. Kelly's first active duty assignment was as troop officer (Horse Cavalry) with the 3rd US Cavalry at Ft. Ethan Allan, Vt. and Ft. Meyer, Va. His first command position was at Ft. Oglethorpe, Ga., where he was Medium Tank Company commander with the 3rd Armored Regiment, 10th Armored Division.

In September 1942, he was assigned to his alma mater as assistant professor of military science and tactics. While at Norwich, he served as an ROTC instructor for the junior and senior classes. He was also the stable officer for 120 horses and was responsible for conducting mounted drill and riding classes to the cadets.

He entered pilot training in July 1943 and graduated as a B-24 Liberator Bomber pilot in January of 1944. He flew his plane and crew to Manduria, Italy and began his flying career as a combat pilot with the 723rd Sqdn, 450 Bomb Group (H), 15th Air Force. On 10 September 1944, while flying his 13th mission to Vienna, Austria, he was shot down. After parachuting to the ground, he was imprisoned in Budapest, Hungry, and later was transported to Stalag Luft III., Sagan, Germany. On January 25, 1945, he made a week-long forced march in sub-zero conditions to Spremburg, Germany, then by rail and boxcar to Stalag Luft VII A in Mooseburg, Germany. He served as compound adjutant until being liberated by Patton's 14th Armored Division on April 29, 1945.

After the war, Lt. Col. Kelly continued his Air Force career, flying over 5000 hours in 14 different types of aircraft. His assignments included: Air Command and General Staff School at Maxwell Field, Al.; Base Flight Squadron Commander, Randolph Field, TX; Commander 1727 Air Transport Squadron (Special Air Evac) Warner-Robins AFB, Macon, GA; Air OPS Officer for the 1603rd Air Transport Wing, MATS, Atlantic Division in Tripoli, Libya; Commander, 3rd Transport Group (Heavy) at Brookley AFB, Mobile, AL flying the C-124 Globemaster. He also served as Air OPNS Officer, J3 Division HQ, United Nations Command in Seoul, Korea.

Lt. Col. Kelly concluded his distinguished Air Force career at Stewart AFB, NY with the Air Defense Command Plans and Operations. He retired from active duty in August, 1966.

His awards and decorations include: Purple Heart, Air Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Distinguished Unit Citation w/ oak leaf cluster, Prisoner of War Medal, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, Europe-Africa-Middle East Medal w/ 3 bronze stars, Victory Medal WWII, National Defense Service Medal w/ 1 bronze star, Korean Defense Service Medal, and Air Force Longevity Service Award w/ 5 bronze oak leaf clusters.

After leaving the Air Force, Lt. Col. Kelly returned to the school he loved,Norwich University, where he served as assistant registrar and director of freshman guidance. In 1967, he became the director of alumni affairs.

After retiring to the Myrtle Beach area in 1984, Lt. Col Kelly kept active through his involvement in various community activities and organizations, including: Chicora Rotary of Myrtle Beach (he was past president of Northfield, VT Rotary), Elliot White Springs Flight 77 Chapter of Daedalians.

He was a life member of the following organizations: American Legion Post 0503, Calabash, NC, VFW Post 10420, Murrells Inlet, SC; American Ex-Prisoners of War, Military Order of Purple Heart and the Fifteenth Air Force Association. He was also a member of the Retired Military Officers Association, Low Country Warbirds Association, 33 Degree Mason, and an Honorary Member of Arnold Air Society.

In addition, Lt. Col. Kelly shared many of his POW experiences as a public speaker at area grade schools, high schools, and civic organizations.

Preceding him in death in Aug 1994, was his loving wife of 53 years, Mary Adel Gamble.

In 2007, he married Barbara Lovatt Craig, of Carolina Shores, N.C. He continued to actively support the University and remained close to Norwich throughout his life; often hosting "mini" reunions in the Myrtle Beach area.

Survivors include his wife, Barbara Craig Kelly of Cary, NC; a son, John Kelly of Myrtle Beach, SC, and Paula Weingarten Kelly, of Surfside Beach, SC, A son-in law, Thomas L. Craig Jr., and his wife, Georgia of Cary, NC. Grandchildren include Amanda and David Kelly of Surfside Beach, and Casey and Courtney Craig of Cary.

A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 2 pm at Goldfinch Beach Chapel, Murrells Inlet, SC. Visitation will be from 1-2 pm.

Kel will be greatly missed by friends and family. In lieu of flowers, contributions my be sent in memory of Earle W. Kelly to: Friends of the Norwich University Library, 158 Harmon Drive, Northfield VT, 05663.


Wallace Albert Martin

Wallace Albert Martin, 92, of Rochester, Vt., died Saturday, April 2, 2011, at Gifford Medical Center in Randolph. He was born December 3, 1918 in Montpelier, the son of George N. and Merle (Plastridge) Martin. He attended Montpelier schools and graduated from Montpelier High School.

Wally entered Norwich University, and graduated cum laude in 1940. While at Norwich, he was a member of Theta Chi and the Golf Team. He also played clarinet in the band, while mounted on horseback, as Norwich was home to the last horse cavalry unit in the Army. Wally and a friend once "borrowed" a pair of horses and rode hell-bent through a neighboring town yelling, "the British are coming!" at the tops of their lungs.

After graduation, Wally began a teaching career at Waitsfield High School. World War II loomed on the horizon, however, and he was called to active duty by the Army in September of 1941. Shortly before, he married the love of his life, Eleanor DeFreest of Warren. Wally served in Africa with the Eighth Army, under General Montgomery, as an air operations officer. Through battles in Africa, Sardinia, Sicily and Italy, he acquired a case of malaria and a profound dislike for flying. He came home shortly after VE Day and began work on a master's in education at UVM.

Teaching principal posts followed in Newport Center and North Troy, Vt., where he and Eleanor made many lifelong friends. After earning his master's, Wally accepted the position of superintendent of schools for the Windsor Northwest Supervisory Union, which at that time included about 26 schools in Rochester, Bethel, Granville, Warren, Hancock, Stockbridge, Pittsfield and Sherburne. Many schools had but one or two rooms, and one in Lympus could only be reached on foot in mud season. In the 25 years he held the position there were many changes; new schools were built, the old one or two room buildings were closed as districts consolidated. Things which never changed were Wally's love for the students, his ability to listen to multiple viewpoints and his negotiating skills.

In those 25 years, Wally only had a written contract for the last three, as a handshake and a smile were sufficient. After retirement, Wally worked as a janitor at Whitcomb High School. A school board member teased him about it after leaving a board meeting, until Wally pointed out that when he went home at night, he fell asleep with no worries. Retirement also included a term as state representative, during which he had significant input on education funding. A request to run for state senate was turned down because it would have meant too much time away from Eleanor. After all, as superintendent he'd spent eight full years worth of nights at meetings, including the night his younger daughter was born.

For the rest of their lives, Wally and Eleanor lived the outdoor life they loved. Spring found them trout fishing, or beginning their summer garden. Summer was hiking the Green Mountains, most of the 4,000 footers in the Whites, or biking various 50 mile loops all over Vermont, or down to Brattleboro and Hinsdale, N.H., to see their daughter and grandchildren. They even climbed Mt. Washington on their 50th anniversary. To keep an eye on grandkids, they made car trips to Texas and California. They also played golf. Wally was for years a "scratch" or zero handicap golfer, and shot a hole-in-one on the Middlebury course at the age of 78. They also played courses on Prince Edward Island, Myrtle Beach, Randolph, Northfield, Brandon and Sugarbush. Wally loved to cross country ski. He and Eleanor skied an average of 450 miles a year, primarily in the National Forest and the Rikert Ski Touring Center, but also at Breton Woods in New Hampshire. Their daughter Jackie, following them there on one occasion, idly wondered what idiots had skied across a nearly thawed beaver pond. This remark was met with a gale of laughter. As Wally learned, and the rest of us will, "old age ain't for sissies."

The past three years, Eleanor's health began to fail, arthritis slowed and finally stopped her outdoor pursuits. She died January 9th of this year. Without the love of his life, Wally found it hard to soldier on alone. He gave it a try, learning to use such infernal machines as microwaves and washing machines, paying bills in his illegible script, and waiting for baseball to start. He watched several innings of the Yankees Detroit opener with his daughter, but it was not enough. He went to the hospital that evening, and died peacefully two days later, on Saturday, with his daughter Jackie and granddaughters Ellen Reeves and Judy Kucera by his side.

Besides his daughter, Jackie Williams of Dover, N.H., and granddaughters, Ellen of Rochester, N.H., and Judy of Durham, N.H., he is survived his granddaughter, Emily Williams of Sebastapol, Calif.; grandson, Benjamin Williams, a veteran of two tours in Iraq, now a student at UNH; one sister-in-law, Marlene DeFreest of Warren; and 26 nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his daughter, Joan; and his sister, Elizabeth.

In keeping with Wally and Eleanor's wishes, no formal services took place. Those who wish may make contributions to the Green Mountain Club, Rochester Public Library, or to a charity of your choice.


Edward Roland Tufts

Edward Roland Tufts, 91, of Salem, MA, passed away on April 1, 2010, at the North Shore Medical Center.

Edward was the husband of the late June (Hadley) Tufts and the son of the late Clarence and Elcena (Kiley) Tufts. From the age of eight years old he had been raised by Roger and Marion Nichols who had a great influence on his life.

Edward came to Norwich with the Class of 1940 where he was a member of the football and hockey teams. Following his time at Norwich he developed a fondness for the University and remained involved through various clubs, including Blue Line Club, Touchdown Club, and the Golden Goal Club. He was also a Lifetime member of the Partridge Society and had served on the Norwich Alumni Association Board.

Edward is survived by two children, Dale E. Yale and her husband, Glenn, and Dana E. Tufts and his wife, Merry; five grandchildren; two great grandchildren; sister-in-law, Barbara (Haymes) Tufts; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a brother, Robert "Bob" Tufts.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Hospice of the North Shore, 75 Sylvan Street, Suite B102, Danvers, MA 01923, or to the Friends of Marblehead Hockey, PO Box 1273, Marblehead, MA 01945. For the online guestbook please visit www.MurphyFuneralHome.com.


   

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