Obituaries

Posted September 28, 2006

Patricia Francisco

Patricia (Sease) Francisco of Old Littleton Road, Harvard, died at her home on Sept. 22, after a lengthy illness, She was born in Upper Darby, Pa., on Jan. 22, 1944, daughter of Jean and Ernesta (Smith) Sease. She grew up in Drexel Hill and Jenkinstown, Pa., and attended Pennsylvania State University near Harrisburg, Pa., and the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. She was married to her husband Charles in 1978 where they had made their home in Acton. They also lived in Rye, N.Y., Moreland Hills, Ohio, and in Harvard since 1999. She worked for several years with Digital Equipment Corporation in the real estate division.

Patricia took up sewing in her early teens, and her talent expanded later in life to encompass original ladies' and children's fashions to damask draperies, valences, and fabric upholstery. She excelled in oil, pastel and water-color painting as well as the art of knitting with intricate machines, which included dyeing wool for her prize-winning creations. She and her husband summered in Martha's Vineyard where she enjoyed playing golf and sailing, Patricia was a member of the Congregational Church of Harvard, a member of The Women's Club. The Orange Arts Council in Ohio, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston

Ms. Francisco is survived by her husband of 28 years, Charles C. Francisco of Harvard; her children Christine Gohn Diffley of West Hartford. Conn., Geoffrey and his wife Lara Gohn of Old Lyme Conn., Elizabeth and her husband Glen Gordon of Groveland, and David and his wife Karen Francisco of Sandy Hook, Conn.; a brother John and his wife Audrey Sease of Diamond Springs, Calif.; and a sister Dr. Virginia Sease of Dornach, Switzerland. She is also survived by seven grandchildren, Christina, Alexandria, Ernesta, Mikayla, Lindsey, Ashley, and Karley. She was also the sister of the late Jean Richard Sease who died in 1996.

Funeral Services were held at the Evangelical Congregational Church, Still River Road, Harvard on Sept 26. Contributions in her memory may be made to: Society for PSP, Inc. Executive Plaza Ill, 11350, McCormick Road S 906, Hunt Valley, MD 21031-9942.

Edith L. Leverenz

Edith Langmuir "Teddy" Leverenz, 89, died peacefully on Aug. 24 at Hospice House of Williamsburg, Va. Born July 20, 1917, to Edith Ruggles and Charles Herbert Langmuir, she grew up in Englewood, N.J., where she attended the Dwight School. In the 1930s her parents bought property on the Vineyard, where Teddy learned to sail. After graduating from Smith College in the class of "39 Forever," Teddy married Humboldt Walter "Lefty" Leverenz and moved to Princeton, N.J., where they raised their four children. Every August they came to the East Chop home of her mother, "Sophie" Langmuir, and enjoyed picnics and overnight stays at the family's camp above Stonewall Beach in Chilmark. In Princeton, Teddy was active in the Smith College Club, the Trinity Episcopal Church altar guild, the Parent-Teachers Association, and amateur figure skating. After Lefty's retirement from RCA, the couple moved to Indies West in Naples, Fla., where they played tennis and watched sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico.

Since Lefty's death in 2003, she lived at Patriots Colony in Williamsburg, Va. In the course of their 63-year marriage, Teddy and Lefty traveled throughout the United States, to Europe, and around the world.

In addition to her husband, Teddy was predeceased by her oldest daughter Edith Leverenz Stunkel. She is survived by her children David Leverenz of Gainesville, Fla., and Eagles Mere Pa., Julie Leverenz of Williamsburg, Va., and Ellen Leverenz of Los Gatos Calif., and Chilmark, as well as numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Memorial donations may be made to Hospice House & Support Care of Williamsburg, 4445 Powhatan Parkway, Williamsburg VA 23188.

Gilford Clemons

Gilford "Gil" Clemons died on Sept. 21. He was the only child of Gilbert D. Clemons of Piqua, Ohio, and Dorothy Wright Clemons of St. Louis, Mo., and was born in Troy, Ohio on April 16, 1942. At the age of 12, he moved to Boston where his father had been stationed by the U.S. Army. There he met and married the love of his life, Jean Delores Mitchell of Melvin, Alabama and soon was delighted by the birth of his daughter, Cyndie, and his son, Robert.

Being the family man that he was, nothing brought Gilford more joy than his five wonderful grandchildren: Robbie, Sharise, Jesse, Franklin, and Morgan. His love and devotion to his wife and children was truly evident in the manner he provided for his family. While a loyal employee at GE for 38 years, Gilford opened the Ace Cleaning Service and Children's Gallery Toy manufacturing Co. in Boston with his wife Jean. Showing his compassion for those less fortunate than he, Gilford employed many of the city's homeless and low-income population and even provided transportation to and from the work sites for his employees. Gilford's appetite for maintaining a busy schedule has been in the making his entire life. So, of course, when he retired from GE in 1997 and moved to Martha's Vineyard to live a relaxing life with his wife and family that meant finding another place of employment- Martha's Vineyard Regional High School.

Although Gilford had only lived on Martha's Vineyard for a few years, he made friends quickly with his easy manner and great sense of humor, and he was known for his kind spirit and generous heart. Many times Gilford expressed "besides your family, the only thing of value you have is your word." Gilford was always a man of his word; however, he did not only speak of kindness, his actions were that of a genuinely kind man.

Gilford was pre-deceased by his parents, but he leaves many to cherish his memory. He leaves his loving wife, children, five grandchildren as well as his uncle Maurice Clemons of Piqua, Ohio; his sisters and brothers-in-law Alice Odom of Mobile, Ala.; John and Barbara Davis of Gilbertown, Ala.; Otho and Johnnie Thurmond of Detroit, Mich.; cousins Leroy Clemons, Carol Clemons, Craig and Jeannie Clemons, Anita Basil, Paul and Courtney Medley; his god-daughter, Linda Pearson Montero; a host of cousins, nieces and nephews as well as loving family friends Linda Griffith, Steven Morgan, Jesse Jeter and Robert Gorham.

Donation in Gilford's memory may be made to the YMCA of Martha's Vineyard, P.O. Box 881, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568 or to any Martha's Vineyard youth sports organization. Visit www.ccgfuneralhome.com for online guest book and information.

Anne H. Nichols

Anne Hoffman Nichols, 86, formerly of Sengekontacket, Kansas City, Mo., and Columbus, Neb., died Sept. 22 at her home in Chatham after a brief illness. She was 86, and lived a life full of service, friendship, and care for others, which continued until the day she died.

She was born on Feb. 22, 1920, in Seguin, Texas to parents whose lives were marked by the changes that took place in turn of the century America. Her father, George B. Hoffman, met Theodore Roosevelt during a hunting trip to Wyoming and became a Rough Rider; her mother, when she met George, was the law librarian in Wyoming Territory. In 1923 her parents separated and she returned with her mother to her mother's hometown of Columbus, Neb., where she was raised by aunts while her mother traveled throughout the upper Midwest selling law books.

While her mother traveled, and her aunts spent the Depression tracing the family genealogy back to the Mayflower, all of them surviving largely on grapefruit mailed periodically from relatives in Texas, Anne Hoffman flowered into a beautiful, intelligent young woman full of fun with a knack for friendship that she retained to the end.

She attended the University of Nebraska and pledged Kappa Kappa Gamma, beginning a deep lifelong attachment to the sorority, its members and its charities. When the war began, she moved in search of work to Kansas City, Missouri, where she took a job at the Pratt and Whitney defense plant. She moved to Socony Vacuum Oil Company, a predecessor of Mobil, where she met her husband, Joseph Bruce Nichols, a lifelong Kansas Citian and Mobil executive, who predeceased her in 1995. They were married in 1942 and honeymooned in New Orleans.

Beginning in 1948, four children arrived, and her life revolved around children, church, her friends, entertaining, and her volunteer activities. Anne Nichols generally rose to the top of any organization to which she was committed. In Kansas City in the 1960s and 70s, she served as president of the boards of the Kappa Kappa Gamma Alumnae Association, the American Red Cross, and the Visiting Nurse Association, as well as on the vestry of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church.

In 1972, one of her daughters arranged for the family to rent a house on Chappaquiddick. Looking back, this was a life-changing event in Anne Nichols's life. She fell in love with the Vineyard, and the family began returning for three or four weeks every September, renting the FOCUS camp on Uncle Seth's Pond. She was determined to make the Vineyard her home, and in 1985 she and her husband fulfilled a dream by building their retirement home in Sengekontacket.

Once here, she again gave willingly of herself to Vineyard causes and organizations, including the Extension Greenhouse, the Vineyard Food Pantry, and St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Edgartown, where she served on the vestry. An amateur gardener, she loved being a member of the Martha's Vineyard Garden Club. A cover-to-cover reader of the Gazette, the Times, the New York Times, and the Boston Globe, she always had recommendations about the latest art openings, book signings, concerts and whatever was happening on the Vineyard. An avid sports fan, she and her husband particularly loved the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School football games. They were regular participants in duplicate bridge.

Anne Nichols loved to cook and entertain. Every milestone deserved a party; guests were always given the best, even if, through her innate frugality, the family ate margarine; she was rarely happier than in the midst of a party. She was still experimenting with new recipes last month.

In 1999, concerned about healthcare and taxes, she left the Vineyard and moved to Chatham, as close as she could get without actually being there. Even after turning 80 she continued to volunteer for the Senior Center Library and the consignment shop at St. Christopher's Episcopal Church, and was an active and vocal participant in her condominium association.

After learning she was terminally ill a month ago, she took the news calmly and with great dignity. As her family drew near to her at the end, she organized her affairs one last time, took her children to several restaurants she had been wanting to try, and requested home cooked meals she had enjoyed for decades. She died peacefully at home with her family at her side.

She is survived by her children Bruce of Philadelphia; Jane of Wheatridge, Colorado; David, of Chatham; and Carol Fiocco of Gilbert, Ariz. A memorial service will be held at 11 am Saturday, Sept. 30, at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, N. Summer Street, Edgartown, Massachusetts; interment will be private. The family requests donations to any of the following in her memory: Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation, P.O. Box 38, Columbus, OH 43215; The Island Food Pantry, P.O. Box 1874, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568; The Visiting Nurse Association of Cape Cod Hospice, 434 Rt. 134, South Dennis, MA; or the charity of your choice.

William H.Y. Stevens, Sr.

There will be a celebration of the life of William H.Y. Stevens, Sr., on Saturday, Oct. 7, 10 am to 12 noon, at Featherstone Center for the Arts, Barnes Road, Oak Bluffs. Mr. Stevens died on June 22.

Alice R. Murphy

A memorial mass for Alice Rose (Hagearty) Murphy of West Tisbury, who died on August 30, will be celebrated in St. Augustine's Church, Vineyard Haven on Saturday, Sept. 30, at 11 am. Donations may be made in her memory to Early Childhood Programs of Martha's Vineyard Community Services, 111 Edgartown Road, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568 or Hospice of Martha's Vineyard, P.O. Box 2549, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557. Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, Oak Bluffs. Visit www.ccgfuneralhome.com for online guest book and information.

Becky Farwell

Becky Farwell of Sommerville, formerly of Lexington, died suddenly on Sept. 17. She was the daughter of Martha and Robert Farwell of Edgartown; sister of Nancy Farwell and Richard vanHaagen of Seattle, Wash., and Sally Farwell and Jeffrey Cohen of Solon, Ohio. She is also survived by nieces and nephew Jennifer and Joshua Cohen and Saba Farwell; and aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Becky was a graduate of American International College in 1979 and she was a dedicated volunteer for UNICEF.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, Sept. 29, at 2 pm at the First Parish Unitarian Church, 7 Harrington Road, Lexington. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be donated in Becky's memory to First Parish Church Living Memorial Fund, 7 Harrington Road, Lexington, MA 02421; or the Epilepsy Foundation of Massachusetts, 540 Gallivan Blvd., 2/F, Boston, MA 02124.

Leslie J. Freeman

Leslie J. Freeman of Edgartown died on Sept. 21 at his home. He was 64. Les moved to the Island of Martha's Vineyard in 1970 where he assumed the management of the MSPCA Shelter in Edgartown and remained in that position for 12 years. Les served on the Edgartown Board of Health for approximately 10 years. In 1984, he opened Animal Health Care, a full-service veterinary and boarding facility, at the Martha's Vineyard Airport.

Les loved Martha's Vineyard from the moment he moved here and he never imagined living anywhere else. For the 36 years he lived on the Island he devoted himself to the care and welfare of all animals.

Les is survived by his wife Joyce; his son Geoffrey; his daughter-in-law Jennifer; and his granddaughter Kaitlyn all of Edgartown.

His funeral Mass was held on Sept. 25 at St. Elizabeth's Church in Edgartown. Donations in Leslie's memory may be made to the Edgartown Fireman's Association, P.O. Box 737, Edgartown, MA 02539. For information and the online guest book, visit www.ccgfuneralhome.com. A full obituary will appear in next week's Times.