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in memoriam

Alexander M. Taft | 1944

Kenneth Vance Watson | 1970

Alexander “Zandy” Taft, 85, died at RiverMead on March 29, 2012. Mr. Taft was born in Greenville, New Hampshire, on May 19, 1926, the son of Mary (McKaig) and Chamberlin Taft. He attended Greenville Public Schools and Vermont Academy, graduating in 1944; and Dartmouth College with the class of 1949. He served in the Army and was discharged to take over the family businesses, the Greenville Electric Lighting Company and New Hampshire Electric Equipment Company. He was a director of Wilton National Bank; chairman of the Greenville School Board for 17 years; a member and chairman of the Mascenic Regional School Board; and past president of the New Hampshire School Board Association, serving two terms. He was also the northeast director of the National School Boards Association. He was a member of the New Hampshire Legislature from 1959 to 1966, and was the majority floor leader from 1965 to 1966. He served on the staff of Gov. Walter Peterson for four years as coordinator of federal funds and director of state planning. He was also a member of Gov. Peterson’s military staff. Later he was a vice president of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of New Hampshire; in addition to other administrative duties, he served as its legislative liaison for 21 years before his retirement in 1995. Zandy enjoyed spending time with his family, skiing, golfing, fishing, and traveling. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Eileen (Carroll) Taft; his son, William Chamberlin; his daughters, Mary McKaig Taft of Hooksett and Kimberley Carroll Taft Layman, of Nantucket, MA; his grandchildren, Hannah, Kyler, and Lili of Medford, OR; and his brother, Robert Taft, of Peterborough, NH. Memorial gifts may be made to the American Cancer Society or to the National MS Society.

Dr. Kenneth Vance Watson died of heart failure at his home in Hattiesbury, Mississippi, on January 18, 2013. A professor of nineteenth-century British literature, Watson joined the University of Southern Mississippi English faculty in 1986. Born October 4, 1952, in Bellows Falls, Vermont, Watson attended Deerfield Academy and Vermont Academy and took an A.B. at Kenyon College. He earned his master's degree at the University of Vermont, and his doctorate in English at Duke University. Ken is survived by his son, Caleb Watson; by his mother, Priscilla Watson; as well as his sister, Virginia Watson.

Robert F. Ley | 1950 Robert F. Ley was born May 10, 1932. He died January 15, 2013, at Overlook Medical Center, Summit, NJ. Bob attended Vermont Academy, class of ’50. He received his BA from Colgate University, class of ’54, and his MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, class of ’57. During his lifetime, Bob was privileged to live and/or work in many parts of the world. He spent time in the Philippines, Mexico, Brazil, the West Indies, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Australia and New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Bob was married to Monica Alleyne, May 10, 1963, in Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies. Their son, Richard, was born in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. In accordance with Bob’s wish to do something for humanity, his body was donated to the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, in the pursuit of science.

John B. Tompkins Jr. | 1956 John B. Tompkins Jr., 74, of Fort Myers, Florida, died on February 10, 2013. He was born in Waltham, Massachusetts, on September 30, 1938. He graduated from Vermont Academy and attended St. Lawrence University. His education was interrupted by his two years in the Navy aboard the USS Ft. Snelling. Subsequently he graduated from American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts. Upon completion of college he moved to Albany, New York, to work at Montgomery Ward and then started a long career as an underwriter and in personal lines insurance systems development as an assistant director in the home office of the Travelers Insurance Company in Hartford, Connecticut. Upon retirement in 1990, he moved to Fort Myers, where he continued his interest in antiques, firearms, and books. He is survived by his sister Elizabeth. Memorial donations in his name may be made to the Guilford Historical Society, 236 School Road, Guilford, VT 05301.


summer 2013

Mr. Terry Ridley | 1974 Terry Ridley, second of six sons of Fay Hope (Hampton) and the late Moses Ridley, was born on November 26, 1956, and entered into eternal rest on November 22, 2012. Terry attended Lincoln High for two years and received a scholarship from A Better Chance, Inc., to attend Vermont Academy. After graduating from VA, he attended the University of Vermont, where in 1979 he received a bachelor of science degree in history/secondary education. He then received a scholarship to Virginia Commonwealth University, where he earned a master’s degree in urban and regional planning in 1981. Returning to New Jersey, he attended Rutgers Law School as a parttime evening student while working as a law clerk for the firm of Ashley & Charles. Upon admission to the New Jersey Bar following his graduation, he was employed as an assistant prosecutor in the Office of the Hudson County Prosecutor. After three years with the prosecutor’s office, Terry returned to Ashley & Charles as an associate. In October 1991, he took a senior associate position with the Housing Authority of the City of Newark. He was a member of the American Bar Association, the New Jersey State Bar Association, among others. He loved to read, write, travel, and watch sports. Terry is survived by his wife, Sekina Rodgers; daughters Monique Nicole and Lauren Marie; mother Fay Ridley; five brothers, Moses Jr. (Stephanie), Michael, Bruce, Derrick, and Troy (Tama).

Mr. Paul J. Galok Jr. | 2003 Paul Joseph Galok Jr., 28, of Amherst, MA, died March 24, 2013, at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA, after suffering an apparent heart attack. Born in Pittsfield, MA, on September 16, 1984, a son of Paul J. Galok Sr. and Laurie J. Campbell Galok, he was educated in Lanesborough schools and attended Mount Greylock Junior and Senior High School, where in eighth grade he played varsity hockey. He was a 2003 graduate of Vermont Academy, where he lettered in three sports, hockey, baseball, and football. He also attended Paul Smith College in Paul Smith, NY, and Berkshire Community College. At the time of his passing, Paul was employed by Olde Hadleigh Hearth and Patio in South Hadley, MA. An avid hockey player, he started with the Pittsfield Boy’s Club Youth Hockey program and went on to play at Vermont Academy and in men’s leagues in West Springfield and with Team U-Mass and the MassConn Braves. He was a Boston Bruins and New England Patriots fan. He enjoyed water skiing, snow skiing, and snowboarding. He loved dogs and cats, music, and especially being with his family and friends, and fishing with his grandfather.

VA Life Summer 2013  

Vermont Academy's alumni magazine

VA Life Summer 2013  

Vermont Academy's alumni magazine