In Memoriam Stephen Merrifield ’41 passed away on June 11, 2018, in Wolfeboro, N.H. He cherished his time at Lawrence Academy, especially football, lacrosse, swimming, and track. He served in the Army Air Corps during WWII and successfully founded and ran a nursing home in Melrose, Mass, before retiring with his wife Jean to the lakes region of New Hampshire. He continued to ski, swim, hike, and skate into his 80s. He is survived by three children, nine grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. James Baker ’44 died peacefully early on Nov. 1, 2016, after a valiant run with a slowmoving cancer. He was 89. After graduation from LA, Jim joined the United States Naval Air Corps, serving from 1944 to 1946. Upon his return from the service, he attended St. Lawrence University and graduated from Canton College with a degree in applied science. During that time, he met and married his wife of 64 years, Anna Louise Landres. They moved to North Syracuse, N.Y., where he worked as a sales engineer, eventually starting his own business, J.R. Baker Associates, Inc. He was both a manufacturers’ representative and a designer and seller of HVAC systems, work that he loved. To all who knew him, Jim was simply a really good guy: a big-hearted, affectionate teaser who was always willing to lend a hand. He was an avid coin collector, loved birds, had lots of bird feeders behind their home, and was always figuring out ways to discourage the squirrels. He was a big fan of Syracuse University sports, holding season tickets for football and basketball for many years. While he raised his children, there were camping and hiking trips to the Adirondacks as well as trips to Maine to visit his own parents in Cape Elizabeth. Other hobbies included bridge, cribbage, and golf. ralph Bianchi ’47 passed away on Jan. 22, 2018, after battling cancer for several months. He was 89. Born on Nov. 11, 1928, in Medford, Mass., he earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont and an M.S. in mechanical engineering from Harvard University. Ralph began his career at 7 4 LAWRENCE ACADEMY FALL 2018
Arthur D. Little and went on to found three companies, including JBF Scientific, which developed the preeminent technology for oil spill recovery at sea. He was also a partner at House of Bianchi, a prestigious Boston-based wedding gown company started by his mother, Columba Bianchi. Ralph retired to golfing, political commentary, and continuing the family wine-making tradition still carried on by his children. He enjoyed his last football game watching the New England Patriots beat the Jacksonville Jaguars for the AFC Championship. Ralph loved life, food, and family, and those who knew him never needed to mention his last name. Ralph is survived by his wife of 65 years, Irma; four children, raimond ’71, robert ’73, Leslie, and Richard; eight grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter. He will be missed at the LA alumni reunions he attended faithfully for many years. Irwin Bruce Sanborn ’50 passed away on Oct. 31, 2017, at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Graduating from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., he received his doctorate from the Institute of Paper Chemistry in Appleton, Wis. He and his wife Carlene settled in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., where he worked for Consolidated Papers. He is survived by his wife, eight children, 19 grandchildren, and eight greatgrandchildren. Mr. Sanborn was a cousin of generations of Woodins at LA: Charles, Sr. ’47, richard ’48, Thomas ’50, David ’73, Charles Jr. ’78, and Danielle Woodin Sheffer ’06. George T. Hirai ’56 passed away peacefully at his home in Upper Montclair, N.J., on May 22, 2017. A graduate of Hofstra University and Pace University, he was a successful commodities trader, spending his career working in New York City, Tokyo, and London. George served as a deacon at the Union Congregational Church in Montclair, N.J., and was a member of St. James Episcopal Church in Port St. Joe, Fla. He enjoyed skiing, horseback riding, traveling with Elizabeth, his wife of 53 years, good food, and, most of all, spending time with his
friends and family. In addition to his wife, George is survived by a son, Douglas, a daughter, Anna Cranmer, and six grandchildren. Kent Damon ’61 died on Dec. 14, 2017, following a five-year struggle with leukemia. At Lawrence, Kent was a starter in basketball and baseball; he went on to Syracuse University, where he played baseball and was a member of Psi Upsilon fraternity. He went to work for Bethlehem Steel in Detroit after graduation, but soon changed careers and enjoyed a long and successful career in finance. Kent loved sports and outdoor activities. His love of baseball permeated his life, and he was an avid Boston Red Sox fan. Running became a daily activity; Kent ran the Boston Marathon four times. Sailing and golf were strong interests as well. Kent coached baseball at Newton North High School for seven years. He leaves behind his wife, Celeste; two sons, Kent, Jr. and actor Matt; as well as several grandchildren. John rowse ’61 died of cancer on March 29, 2018, at the age of 74. After graduating from Lawrence, he earned bachelor’s degrees in architecture and business from Syracuse University. He also did graduate work at Wheelock College, and taught for a while in Boston’s elementary schools before founding the Boston Building Materials Co-op in 1978, which helped residents keep their homes and preserve their neighborhoods. He co-founded the nonprofit Reuse Center in 1993, and went on to start a third organization, Community Boat Building, in the last decade of his life. The organization gives pupils in the Boston Public Schools opportunities to work on boats and learn maritime history. John had a passion for sharing his knowledge with other homeowners, especially those with fewer financial resources, so that they could take good care of their homes. In a 1990 Boston Herald article about the Co-op, he stated that “the ultimate goal is not profit, but helping people solve their housing problems.” “The older and lower-income
Lawrence Academy's annual alumni magazine.