B. Thayer III
Harry B. Thayer III, 81, of Exeter, N.H., died Dec. 27.
Thayer began his career at a Hampton, N.H., newspaper, after learning in a school how to repair and operate Linotype machines.
Thayer then was hired by his father to work at The Exeter (N.H.) News-Letter, where he later was editor and co-publisher. He eventually became vice president and treasurer of the family-owned Exeter News-Letter Co., which published 13 weekly newspapers in the area before it was sold to the Ottaway Newspapers Inc. chain, He was also president of Rockingham County Newspapers in New Hampshire, and later founded Thayer Printing Co. Inc. in Exeter N.H.
In the early days of his newspaper career, Thayer was a volunteer firefighter with the Exeter Fire Department. He later was vice president of the Exeter Firemen’s Relief Association, president of the Seacoast Chief Fire Officers’ Mutual Aid District, and deputy chief of the Exeter Fire Department.
Thayer also held several positions with the town of Exeter, including president of the Economic Development Commission, chairman of the Budget Recommendations Committee, a member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment, and a member of the Exeter Parks and Pool Committee.
He leaves his wife, Janice; four children, Melissa, Heather, Christopher and Amanda; seven grandchildren; three siblings.
Doris (Lapan) McKoan, 96, of Chichester, N.H., died Jan. 3 at home.
McKoan, in partnership with her husband, Thom McKoan, former city editor of the then-Claremont (N.H.) Eagle, was the owner and publisher of the Valley Times of Pittsfield, N.H.
She leaves a daughter, Denise; a son, Thomas Jr.; three grandchildren, Sean, Christopher and Samantha; six great-grandchildren; two sisters.
Walter Edward Mattson, former president and chief operating officer of The New York Times whose newspaper career began in New England, died Dec. 30 in Sarasota (Fla.) Memorial Hospital of complications from multiple myeloma. Mattson, a longtime resident of Stamford, Conn., who later moved to Longboat Key, Fla., and, in 2013, to Sarasota, was 84.
Mattson’s career in newspapers began at an early age – as a child, he delivered papers for his uncle’s weekly newspaper in Erie, Pa. While in college, he was a Linotype operator at the Portland (Maine) Press Herald and the then-Boston Herald Traveler.
He was a member of the International Typographical Union.
After college, Mattson was advertising manager of two weekly papers in the Pittsburgh area, both owned by his uncle. He later returned to the Herald Traveler as an assistant production manager.
Mattson joined the New York Times as an assistant production manager in 1960. He held several positions during his early years there, including production manager, production director, and operations director.
In 1972, Mattson was named
general manager of the Times – the first non-family member to
hold the position. He worked closely with publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger
in the following decades, eventually taking over as chief operating
officer in 1979.
He was a strong backer of the $1.1-billion purchase of The Boston Globe by the Times.
He continued to serve on the company’s board of directors after his retirement.
Mattson also held several positions at the American Newspaper Publishers Association. He was chairman of its Production Management Committee, and chairman of the Newspaper Advertising Bureau. He was also chairman of the Advertising Council.
He leaves his wife, Geraldine; three children, Stephen, William and Carol; eight grandchildren; a great-granddaughter; a sister.
David Michael Jrolf, 60, of Milton, Mass., died of cancer Dec. 26 at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Jrolf began his career as a reporter for the MetroWest Daily News of Framingham, Mass. He also was a reporter for the Marlboro (Mass.) Enterprise and city editor of the Sentinel and Enterprise of Fitchburg, Mass.
More recently, Jrolf was deputy managing editor for production at the Boston Herald and, beginning in 1994, night editor on the copy desk and then night city editor at The Boston Globe.
“Rare is the editor with David’s exceptionally refined news judgment. Rarer still is the journalist with his utter unflappability,” a note to the Globe staff from Brian McGrory, the Globe’s editor, and Jennifer Peter, senior deputy managing editor for local news, was quoted in the Globe obituary on Jrolf.
Michael Bello, deputy city editor at the Globe who had worked at the Herald with Jrolf, described him in the Globe obituary as “an intense editor who was determined to do a good job. He would not leave his post as night editor until the job was done managing raging fires, murders, hostage standoffs, and blizzards.”
He leaves three daughters, Madison, Delphine and Maeve; a son, William; his former wife, Moira; three brothers; a sister.
Raymond James Siegler, 97, died Dec. 21 after a brief illness.
Siegler had a lengthy career at the Kennebec Journal of Augusta, Maine, where he began as a reporter and retired as managing editor.
After retirement, he continued to write columns for the Kennebec Journal.
He leaves his wife, Lois; two daughters, AnneMarie and Susan; four sons, Raymond Jr., Stephen, Lawrence and Paul; 19 grandchildren; 27 great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren. 11 stepchildren, Clyde, Cynthia, Barbara, Patricia, Alan, Lois, Joel, Margaret, Beverly, Norma and Daniel; 14 step-grandchildren; and 17 step-great-grandchildren.
Marion Remah, 85, died Jan. 7.
Remah, who was retired from a career as a journalist, had been a writer and editor with the Westfield (Mass.) Evening News. She had first worked as a writer at Woman magazine in her native London.
She also had been public relations director for Western Massachusetts Hospital for many years.
She leaves two sons, Marc
and Thomas; a daughter, Kate; two granddaughters, Brooke and Brittany;
four great-grandchildren; two sisters.
Gerald E. “Jerry” Watson, 78, of Bennington, Vt., died Jan. 4 in Albany (N.Y.) Medical Center Hospital after a brief illness.
Watson was production manager at the Eagle Publishing Group in Bennington, which published the Bennington Banner.
He leaves three children, Bruce, Kimberley and Christine; five grandchildren, Angela, Jeremy, Samantha, Tre and Alex; great-grandchildren.
Virginia M. (Rossi) Lucier of Framingham, Mass., died Dec. 24.
In 1946, while still in high school, she began a career with what is now the MetroWest Daily News of Framingham, where she remained for 50 years until her retirement.
Lucier covered a variety of hard-news topics, including murders, robberies, prison riots, drownings and fires. She also authored two weekly columns discussing major social events in the Boston area. A lifelong fan of film, theater and ballet, Lucier became the News’ first film-theater critic, covering openings around Massachusetts and in New York.
Lucier also wrote freelance stories for the former Boston Record American, The Boston Globe, and American Business Magazine. She also was a correspondent for the United Press International.
With the establishment of the Boston Globe’s Globe West section, she became one of its first correspondents and wrote weekly social columns and features about area residents.
She leaves a daughter, Deborah; three granddaughters, Briana, Brooke and Brittany; two great-granddaughters.
Grace Helm, 92, previously of Milford, Conn., died Dec. 7 at the Elim Park Baptist Home in Cheshire, Conn. She had lived in Cheshire since 2010.
Helm was a journalist for more than 30 years, including as a copy editor at the former Bridgeport (Conn.) Telegram and at its sister newspaper, the Connecticut Post of Bridgeport. She wrote a column about local history for the Milford Citizen.
Michael D. Harmon, 71, died Dec. 28 at his home in Sanford, Maine.
After obtaining a master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, Harmon began as a journalist with the Portland (Maine) Press Herald, where he remained for 41 years until his retirement in 2011.
Harmon leaves his wife, Margaret; three children, Dacy, Amber and Karl; seven grandchildren.
Rachel Halmesmaki Lahti, 74, of Lancaster, Mass., died Dec. 6 at home of a heart attack.
She was for many years a staff reporter at the Sentinel and Enterprise of Fitchburg, Mass., the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester, Mass., and The Item of Clinton, Mass.
Rachel was a member of Trinity Church, Congregational in Bolton, Mass., where she wrote stories about church events for the local newspaper.
She leaves two brothers, Benjamin and Edwin; a sister-in-law, Judy; several nieces and nephews and their children.
Marilyn C. Childs, 93, of Chelsea, Vt., died Dec. 16 at Woodstock (Vt.) Terrace.
Childs was a reporter for the then-Springfield (Mass.) Union, beginning in 1940.
She was also associate editor of the American Horseman, and managing editor of Popular Horsemen in Harrisburg, Pa., in 1947.
Childs wrote for various publications, including the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, The Christian Science Monitor, based in Boston, and Vermont Life.
She was the author
of five books: “Riding Show Horses,” “Mandate for
a Morgan Horse,” “Training Your Colt to Ride and Drive,”
“The Men Behind the Morgan Horse” and “The Training
Meggan Clifford Clark, 37, of Bristol, Conn., and formerly of Westminster West, Vt., died Jan. 5.
For 10 years, Clark was a reporter at the Brattleboro (Vt.) Reformer; The Eagle Times of Claremont, N.H.; the Rutland (Vt.) Herald; the New Haven (Conn.) Register; and the Press of Atlantic City, N.J.
She leaves her father, David; her mother, Susan; her wife, Andrea; two children, Marley and Cash; her ex-husband, Matt DeRienzo; three brothers.
Thomas M. Reilly, 61, died Jan. 3 in his home in Millbury, Mass.
Reilly was a reporter for the Millbury-Sutton (Mass.) Chronicle, where he wrote a weekly column titled Just A Thought Or Two.
He leaves his wife, Judith; two daughters, Sarah and Diana; a granddaughter; six siblings.
Audrey Long Grasso, 80, of Newtown, Conn, died Dec. 28 at Masonicare in Newtown.
For many years, Grasso was a journalist at The Newtown Bee and the Voices of Southbury, Conn.
Grasso leaves her husband, Joseph; four children, Joseph Jr, Mark, Michael and Amy; five grandchildren.
Bernice Arlene (Bates) Rabideau, 91, formerly of Blandford, Mass. died Dec. 30 at Wingate Residences in Needham, Mass.
She was a reporter for The Country Journal of Blandford.
She leaves three daughters, Donna, Sandi and Nancy; three grandchildren, Laura, Lisa and Benjamin; three step-grandchildren, Tami, Marla and Lisa; six great-grandchildren; six step-great-grandchildren; a step-great-great-granddaughter; a brother.
Christopher Robert Harding, 68, of Dorchester, Mass., died Dec. 22 of a malignant brain tumor.
Harding was an arts and entertainment reporter for Dorchester newspapers, including the Dorchester Reporter, and for Neighborhood Network News in Boston.
Harding also did editing on “Wingspan: Journal of the Male Spirit” and the anthology “Wingspan: Inside the Men’s Movement.” Harding’s other books include “A Cop's Cop” and “Yale Trivia.”
Harding leaves four brothers, Peter, The Rev. Nicholas, Luke and Mark; many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews and cousins.
Elaine Priscilla (Alden) Kennedy, 71, of Lancaster, Mass., died Dec. 31 in the Life Care Center Nursing Home after illnesses related to 20 years of battling cancer.
Kennedy was a reporter for The Item of Clinton, Mass., for several years and won a United Press International award in 1989.
She leaves her husband, Norman; two children, Rick and Shelley; two stepchildren, Dr. Andrew and Debra; her father, Vincent; her friend and former husband, Gerald Price; five grandchildren; five step-grandchildren; eight sisters; a brother.
Paul Surette, 87, of Falmouth, Mass., and formerly of Malden, Mass., died Jan. 2 in Falmouth.
He had been a pressman for 50 years at the former Boston Herald Traveler and The Boston Globe.
He leaves his wife, Jeanne; three sons, Stephen, David and John; a daughter, Paula; eight grandchildren.
Raymond F. Messier, 99, of Lowell, Mass., died Dec. 19.
Messier was a printer at the Fairhaven (Mass.) Star, the Olympia (Wash.) News, the Dartmouth News of Hanover, N.H., the former Reynolds Printing of New Bedford, Mass., Tearsy Printing of Fall River, Mass., and the Courier Citizen of Lowell, from which he retired after 36 years. After that, he was also affiliated with Thurman Printing of Lowell.
For 11 years, Messier was secretary-treasurer for Pressman Union 360.
Messier leaves two daughters, Katherine and Elizabeth; three grandchildren, Hilary, Peter and Molly; seven great-grandchildren.
Arnold Field, 100, of Bloomfield, Conn., died Jan. 4 at his home.
Field was a writer for the former Jewish Argus of Bridgeport, Conn.
He leaves two sons, Gerald and Dr. Barry; two grandchildren, Aaron and Jessica; five great-grandchildren.
Sarah Higginson Begley, 88, of Stockbridge, Mass., died in her sleep Jan. 2 in her home.
Begley was a critic and sometime-columnist for The Berkshire Eagle of Pittsfield, Mass.
She leaves three children, Peter, Adam and Amey; four grandchildren; a brother.
John David Ober, 78, of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, died Dec. 13 of a stroke.
He was a music critic and restaurant critic for several Boston newspapers, and was the first to spot the talents of major chefs such as Lydia Shire and Jasper White.
Ober leaves a brother, Robert; a sister-in-law, Ky; a nephew and niece, Ben and Julia; two great-nephews; a great-niece.
Daniel D. Price III, 58, of Madison, Conn., died Dec. 12 at home.
He was a printer for several local newspapers.
Daniel leaves four aunts, Pearl, Barbara, Teddy and Rosalie; an uncle, Edgar; three cousins.
Herbert H. Palmer, 88, of Williamstown, Mass., died Dec. 9 at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Mass.
After serving his country in the Korean War, he was a proofreader for a newspaper in the Greenfield, Mass., area.
Theresa H. (Eringi) Mazzelli, 99, of Fitchburg, Mass., died Dec. 25 at home.
Mazzelli was an inserter at the then-Fitchburg Sentinel for 25 years. She retired in 1992.
She leaves a grandson, Thomas; a great-granddaughter, Laura; a son-in-law, David; several step-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews.
Karen Bienvenue, 65, of Allenstown, N.H., died unexpectedly Jan. 4 in her home.
Bienvenue was a
newspaper carrier for many years for the New Hampshire Union Leader
Joseph S. “Papa” Tomczyk, 95, of South Braintree, Mass., died Jan. 2 at Alliance Healthcare Center of Braintree, Mass.
Tomczyk was an employee for
many years at The Boston Globe.
John M. "Jack" Radigan, 70, of Campbell, Calif., died Dec. 20 after a brief illness.
After military service, he was employed at The Boston Globe.
In 1981, he moved to San Jose, Calif., and was employed at many local newspapers, including the San Jose Mercury News. He retired from there in 1991.
Radigan leaves his wife, Pamela; a stepdaughter, Jennifer; a stepson, Jason; six grandchildren; a half-brother; a half-sister.
Josephine Alice (Manganello) Deary, 93, died Dec. 29 at Crestfield Nursing Home in Manchester, Conn.
Deary was employed at the former Hartford Times and Manchester Herald, both of Connecticut.
She leaves two daughters,
Helena and Andrea, and a granddaughter, Kristin.
The obituaries were written, at least in part, from published reports by Bulletin correspondents Ashleane Alabre, Sophie Cannon, Jenna Ciccotelli, Nico Hall, Bailey Knecht, Joshua Leaston, Hope Oje, and Julia Preszler, undergraduate students at Northeastern University.
© Copyright 1998-2017 New England Newspaper and Press Association. All rights reserved.