Stephen David Feldman ’70, a general and vascular surgeon, was born in Jersey City, NJ, on October 27, 1948. A son of Noah Feldman, also a physician, and the former Mildred Goldstein, he grew up in Short Hills, NJ, and attended Millburn High School, where he played varsity tennis and was sports editor of the yearbook. Steve Feldman came to Hamilton following his graduation in 1966 and joined Delta Upsilon. He played junior varsity tennis as well as varsity squash, and took part in the Utica Tutorial Project. Active in the Root-Jessup Public Affairs Council during his four years on the Hill, he served as its president in his senior year. Majoring in chemistry as a premedical student, he was graduated in 1970.
Steve Feldman acquired his M.D. degree from the Emory University School of Medicine in 1974. He served his internship at Jewish Hospital and his residency in general surgery at Barnes Hospital, Washington University School of Medicine, both in St. Louis, MO. In 1980, he returned to his native area in the Garden State and established his private practice. The founding surgeon of Professional Associates in Surgery in West Orange, he also began a long association with St. Barnabus Medical Center in nearby Livingston as an attending surgeon. Board-certified and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Feldman was a past president of the medical staff at St. Barnabas as well as a trustee of the medical center.
A resident of Short Hills, where he was an active member of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, Stephen D. Feldman died on June 27, 2011, after a four-year battle with lung cancer. He is survived by his wife, Arlene Torbin Feldman, whom he had married in 1976, as well as four sons, Evan N., Jed F., Russell J., and Bradley G. Feldman, and a brother. As his friends recall, Steve Feldman’s life was filled with “love, honor, and dignity,” and he will long remain in their fond memory.
Joseph Bruce Nichols, Jr. ’70, an analyst of religion and morality in foreign policy who became a caterer to museums and “the gatekeeper of everything beer in Philadelphia,” was born on August 25, 1948, in Kansas City, MO. The eldest child of Joseph B., a manager with Mobil Oil Corp., and Anne Hoffman Nichols, he found his way to College Hill following his graduation in 1966 from Kansas City’s Southwest High School. He soon impressed faculty members with his maturity of mind and intellectual ability, and fellow students with his sense of humor and thoughtful concern. A member of the Emerson Literary Society, he sang in the Choir, wrote for The Spectator, and served on a committee planning the new College library. But he particularly earned plaudits from Associate Dean Sidney Wertimer for his work as a freshman dormitory advisor during his senior year. An English literature major, he carried out a noteworthy independent study project on the poet Ezra Pound as a student at Hamilton.
After leaving the Hill with his diploma in 1970, Bruce Nichols utilized his Bristol graduate travel fellowship to spend two years in Europe. While at a Christian community and study center in Switzerland, he met Beatrice Liesch, a Swiss business school graduate, and on December 9, 1972, they were married. The couple relocated to Philadelphia, where Bruce began graduate study at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication. There he acquired an M.A. degree in 1976. By that time, his growing interest in the interplay of religion and U.S. foreign policy had led him to staff positions in research and communications at the national office of the United Church of Christ and then with Partners in Mission, a research institute focusing on the history and influence of Christian missions.
While his wife Beatrice busied herself, and very successfully, as a chef and restaurateur in Philadelphia, Bruce Nichols went on to become director of the ethics and foreign policy program of the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs in New York City. While with the Council from 1981 to 1988, he edited its quarterly journal, Ethics & International Affairs, and wrote The Uneasy Alliance: Refugee Work and U.S. Foreign Policy. Published by Oxford University Press in 1988, it has been called “the first substantive examination of church and state issues in the making of U.S. foreign policy.” He also co-edited The Moral Nation: Humanitarianism and U.S. Foreign Policy Today (University of Notre Dame Press, 1989). In addition, he served with distinction as a member of the board of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants.
By 1989, wearied of the daily commute to Manhattan, Bruce Nichols decided that year to partner with his wife in a new venture in Philadelphia by launching the Museum Catering Co. They gained an exclusive catering contract with the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, and their creative cuisine and superlative service led to additional arrangements for in-house catering of events at the Museum of American Art and the Institute of Contemporary Art. During its more than 20 years of operation, Museum Catering, with Bruce as its president, “set the standard for Philadelphia’s finest entertaining.”
Bruce Nichols, known as a brilliant conversationalist who had a rare ability to bring people together through his magnetic personality, took Museum Catering into event production in 1991 by inaugurating an annual dinner featuring beer tasting. In 2008 it led to Philly Beer Week, “the largest beer celebration of its kind in the country.” With Bruce as co-founder and chairing the 10-day extravaganza, and lending it his infectious enthusiasm and creative leadership, it became “one of the city’s most distinctive public festivals.”
J. Bruce Nichols, who opened a new craft-beer bar and restaurant, the Headhouse, in 2010, soon left the business, saying he was tired and ready to retire. Diagnosed with leukemia last fall, he died of its complications shortly thereafter, on November 30, 2010. At the time of his death, he was channeling his passionate interest in opera into preparing a libretto for one based on the life and career of Hamilton’s founder, the missionary Samuel Kirkland. An ardently faithful alumnus, he is survived by his wife of 38 years, as well as two sisters and a brother. His “powerful and persuasive union of personal charm, intellect, and riotous good humor” will be missed.
Lauren Enos Emery K’72, a therapist specializing in hand injuries and surgeries, and an ardent animal welfare activist, grew up in Buffalo, NY, where she was born on October 14, 1950. A daughter of Nancy and George D. Enos, president of Enos & Sanderson, a wholesale industrial supplies company, she prepared for college at Buffalo Seminary and became a member of Kirkland College’s charter class in 1968. While on the Hill, Lauren Enos concentrated in art and particularly ceramics with Professor Robert Palusky. As a senior she taught adult ceramics classes at the Kirkland Art Center in Clinton. She was graduated in 1972.
After a year on Nantucket Island, where she engaged in volunteer work doing costumes for theater groups, and where paying jobs were scarce, Lauren Enos decided to go back to school. Desiring to work with children or the emotionally disturbed through the medium of art, she returned to her hometown and applied for graduate study in occupational therapy at the State University of New York at Buffalo. In supporting her application, Kirkland’s President Samuel F. Babbitt spoke of her as combining strong motivation with “practical compassion.” After acquiring her M.S. degree in 1976, she moved to Montreal, Canada, to work for a couple of years in occupational therapy at the Royal Victoria Hospital.
Lauren Enos continued in occupational therapy, primarily treating hand injuries and surgeries, for virtually the rest of her life. By the late 1970s she had settled permanently in Maine, where she was employed in acute care and rehabilitation at Maine Medical Center in Portland and the Plastic & Hand Surgical Center in South Portland. Affiliated with Central Maine Orthopedics in Auburn since 1998, she became one of the first certified hand therapists in the state. She derived great satisfaction from helping patients regain their hand functioning, and “her skill and caring were valued by doctors and patients alike.” For her contributions to the profession, she was the recipient of the President’s Award from the Maine Occupational Therapy Association.
Lauren Enos Emery, who retained fond memories of the Kirkland and Root Glens from her days on the Hill, had a particular appreciation for natural beauty, from the face of flowers to the shape of clouds in the sky. She resided on 48 acres of woodland with trails and rock gardens in North Yarmouth, where she took pleasure in flower gardening as well as cross-country skiing. Also greatly fond of dogs, she became much involved in rescuing and finding good homes for retired racing greyhounds. In 1993, allied with other animal welfare advocates, she helped defeat an attempt to establish a greyhound racetrack at Old Orchard Beach, and she aided in passing the first law in the country that banned greyhound racing. President of and a longtime volunteer for the Greyhound Placement Service of Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, she also served on the board of directors and did much volunteer work for the Animal Refugee League of Westbrook. In addition, she gave support to numerous Dalmatian dog rescue groups throughout the country.
Lauren Enos Emery, whose striking red hair made her readily recognizable, was widely known for her “offbeat” sense of humor. During the last 2½ years of her life, she lived determinedly and courageously while combating appendiceal cancer. She died of that rare disease on April 8, 2011. Surviving is her husband, Daniel Emory, whom she first met in kindergarten and whom she met again when he was recovering from hand surgery. They were married in 1984. Also surviving are nieces and a nephew, and her “children,” her beloved Dalmatian dogs Kit Kat and Remy.
Ross Arthur Peters ’72, an attorney-at-law who practiced in his hometown of Salamanca, NY, was born there on January 11, 1950. A son of Wayne L., a plumbing and heating contractor, and Kathryn Iman Peters, he came to College Hill in 1968 from Salamanca Central High School, where he had lettered in four sports, baseball, football, track, and wrestling, and was president of his class. Ross Peters joined Delta Upsilon and became a stalwart of the Continentals’ football team. In later years he fondly remembered contributing to Union’s defeat in the final game of the 1970 and 1971 seasons, as well as helping to paint “Beat Alfred” on the roof of the Sage Rink. Elected to D.T. and president for two years of the D.U. house, he earned the high regard of his fraternity brothers and made many lifelong friends while on the Hill. Having majored in history, he was graduated in 1972.
With the “strong endorsement” of Dean Winton Tolles as “a young man in whom I have great confidence,” and one who “does well whatever he undertakes,” Ross Peters went on to Albany Law School. After obtaining his J.D. degree in 1975, he became a law clerk to a state Supreme Court justice, Edmund L. Shea. In 1977, he returned to his home area in southwestern New York and began his private practice. Soon an associate partner with the firm of Eldridge, Brady & Peters in Ellicottville, he later formed a partnership with Ronald Ploetz, with offices in Ellicottville and Salamanca. He engaged in a general practice with emphases on real estate law, contracts, and municipal law, and was a partner in the firm of Peters & Ploetz until his death.
Residing in his native Salamanca, Ross Peters served off and on as its city attorney, beginning in 1992. Also representing the Salamanca Indian Lease Authority, he was intimately involved in the city’s lease negotiations with the Seneca Nation, which owns the land upon which Salamanca is built. Within the community he also served on various boards, including the Salamanca YMCA’s, and was a trustee of the Salamanca Rail Museum as well as a past president of the Elkdale Country Club. In addition, he coached junior-level basketball, soccer, and softball as part of Salamanca’s youth activities program. He was an avid golfer and follower of sports in general, but particularly the Buffalo Bills and Sabres, and the Boston Red Sox.
Ross Peters, a past president of the Cattaraugus County Bar Association, earned not only the admiration and respect of his professional colleagues but also that of his town’s citizens as a friend, advisor, and confidant. That was evident at his funeral mass held at Our Lady of Peace Parish, which was attended by virtually everyone in Salamanca, including its tearful mayor, who said he could not imagine making future decisions without Ross to consult.
Ross A. Peters died on May 21, 2011, while hospitalized in Olean, NY. He is survived by his wife, Judith Smith Peters, whom he had married on July 28, 1979. Also surviving are a son, Ryan J., and a daughter, Jessica M. Peters, as well as a sister.
Mary Kilby Hickox Whitney K’74, who found fulfillment and success as an innkeeper, was born on September 7, 1952, to Charles R. and Edith Porter Hickox, in Washington, DC. Kilby Hickox grew up in Dallas, TX, and prepared for college at Miss Porter’s School in Connecticut. She entered Kirkland College in 1970 and, majoring in music, remained on the Hill for two years. She subsequently enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned a B.A. degree in Russian language studies in 1976. Along the way she also attended Middlebury College as well as the Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris.
Kilby Hickox, who took up residence in Washington, DC, and became a foreign intelligence analyst, was on a skiing trip in Colorado when she met Cliff Whitney. They were married in Washington in 1982. The couple moved in 1995 to historic Vicksburg, MS, where Kilby later found employment with Applied Research Associates as a security management specialist and technical editor. Meanwhile, she and her husband had become owners and managers of a bed and breakfast inn, and, having purchased Bryn Rose, an estate built in 1925 and considered “one of the finest examples of Tudor architecture in Mississippi,” they turned it into their second bed and breakfast inn in 2007. Utilizing her talent as a cook and her fondness for entertaining guests, Kilby earned rave reviews for the Bryn Rose Inn as an excellent hostelry, not only for overnight stays but also for special events such as weddings.
Kilby Hickox Whitney, remembered as always “with a warm smile and story to tell,” died at her home in Vicksburg on February 12, 2011, following a two-year battle with cancer. In addition to her father, she is survived by her husband Cliff; her sons, Nick, Reed, and Cole Whitney; and two brothers.
Paula Cummings Leon Roberts K’75, an organic farmer and dedicated environmentalist who raised and marketed grass-fed sheep and cattle, was born on April 6, 1953, in New York City. A daughter of Gonzalo S., an engineering consultant, and Holly F. Leon, she prepared for college at the Putney School in Vermont and came to Kirkland College as a sophomore from Sudbury, MA, after transferring from Boston University. While on the Hill she sang in the Choir, took part in musicals with the Alexander Hamilton Players, and served on the staff of The Spectator. One of her fondest Kirkland memories was of President Samuel Fisher Babbitt teaching her how to fox trot.
Paula Leon concentrated in studio art and was graduated in 1975. For two years thereafter, she lived in New York City, working part of the time at the Bronx Zoo. She then moved to New Hampshire and entered the graduate program in environmental education at Antioch University, New England, where she received her M.S. degree in 1981. She taught at the middle-school level for several years before moving to Maine in 1986 with her husband, Sumner Roberts.
While continuing to work in various schools as an aide or substitute teacher, Paula, along with Sumner, operated Meadowsweet Farm, comprising 120 acres in Swanville, ME, near Belfast. With her affection for plants and animals, Paula readily took to country life and supervising a menagerie that included sheep and beef cattle as well as chickens, geese, and horses, to say nothing of cats and a dog. She and her husband were early practitioners of intensive rotational grazing. They believed that raising livestock on grass was better not only for the animals and consumers but also for the environment, and they direct-marketed their grass-fed lamb and beef primarily to local customers. As a consequence, they gained a wide circle of friends at farmers’ markets throughout the area.
Paula Roberts was instrumental in the creation of the Maine Grassfarmers Network and served on the board of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. Besides maintaining a large organic flower and vegetable garden, she also found time to indulge her fondness for singing as a member of choral groups. She helped found the choir at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Belfast and served for eight years as its director. In addition, she chaired the Church’s council and membership committee.
Paula Leon Roberts died on May 29, 2011, at her home in Swanville, after an eight-year battle with breast cancer. In addition to her parents and her husband of 25 years, she is survived by brothers and sisters.
Gail Ellen Weinstein K’77, a professor at San Francisco State University and a linguist who helped transform the teaching of English as a second language, was born on November 15, 1955. The daughter of Beatrice and Gene Weinstein, her mother was a psychiatrist and her father a business owner and manager. Gail Weinstein grew up in Roslyn Heights on Long Island and was graduated from Roslyn High School. She enrolled at Kirkland College in 1973 and spent her junior year in Guatemala, studying rural development. Her work with peasant farmers there kindled a lifelong interest in literacy and a passionate commitment to promoting it. Her life’s work was presaged during her time in Guatemala when a devastating earthquake destroyed the town in which she and fellow students were staying. Explaining to her frantic mother why she didn’t immediately board the next plane home, she wrote: “I can only heal myself by helping others.”
Gail Weinstein, who majored in anthropology, left College Hill with her B.A. degree in 1977. She went to Philadelphia, PA, to look for employment, and there became a VISTA volunteer and designed a language and literacy program for refugees from the Vietnam conflict who were arriving in the city. Besides teaching English as a volunteer, she pursued graduate studies in applied linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania. She also set up an intergenerational program to train retired elders to tutor refugee children in English. She earned her M.S. degree in teaching English as a second language in 1982 and her Ph.D. in educational linguistics in 1986.
Appointed as an assistant professor at Temple University, Dr. Weinstein not only trained teachers of English as a second language but also continued her work with refugees by directing Students Helping in the Naturalization of Elders (SHINE), a program she had also originated. While at Temple, she wrote a textbook for immigrant instruction, Stories to Tell Our Children, and became a national consultant on adult and family literacy. The methods she developed and advocated received wide adoption in the training of teachers of English as a second language.
In 1992, Gail Weinstein joined the department of English at San Francisco State. There she continued her commitment to educating immigrants and refugees through SHINE, and among the new programs she established was the Bay Area Immigrant Literacy Initiative. Despite being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2005, she persevered with her work for five more years until the end of her life. In 2008, she co-founded San Francisco State’s Center for Immigrant and Refugee Community Literacy Education, whose mission is to strengthen immigrant families and communities. In 2010, the University recognized her achievements with its Distinguished Faculty Award for Excellence in Service.
Gail Weinstein’s dedicated and highly productive efforts in helping others ended on December 9, 2010, when she died at her home in San Francisco, of cancer, at the age of 55. In addition to her parents and her brother, Bruce Weinstein, she is survived by a daughter Hannah Rebecca Shr, born of her 15-year marriage to a Chinese national, Ziqiang Shr, which had ended in divorce.
Stephen Ackroyd Woodward ’78, most recently a tax preparer for H&R Block & Co. in Cambridge, MA, was born on September 11, 1955. He was a son of Louis L., Jr. ’51, a business executive, and Ann Dunham Woodward. He came to College Hill from Wellesley, MA, in 1973, following his graduation from Wellesley High School, where he had lettered in track and swimming, and chaired the Student Advisory Board. While at Hamilton, Steve “Woody” Woodward went out for intramural football and swimming. He majored in biology and, his graduation delayed by a year’s leave of absence (1975-76), received his diploma with the Class of 1978.
After leaving the Hill, Steve Woodward found employment with various law and financial institutions. Known as an avid reader who possessed a large collection of books on wide-ranging subjects but especially historical records, charts, and tradesmen’s manuals, he often astonished his family and friends “with his breadth of knowledge and passion for learning.” He was also firmly dedicated to historical preservation, and his proudest achievement was restoring a 41-foot wooden boat, Heart’s Desire, which he took pleasure in sailing in and around Boston Harbor.
Stephen A. Woodward was residing in Chelsea, MA, when he died on May 1, 2011, the result of an accidental fall. Predeceased by his mother in 1982 and his father in 2003, he is survived by two sisters, Ellen Reinhard and Laura Cavers, and a brother, Thomas A. Woodward.
Christine Walker Forward Finnegan ’79, a health care administrator, was born on August 14, 1957, in Cleveland, OH. The daughter of Dewey E., a funeral director, and Lunetta Walker Forward, she grew up in suburban Shaker Heights and attended Hathaway Brown, a preparatory school in that city. An ardent swimmer during her teenage years, and especially fond of synchronized swimming, Chris Forward competed in meets as a member of several swimming teams. She came to Kirkland College in 1975. With her goals centered on “self-expression and creativity,” she concentrated in psychology and excelled academically, gaining membership in Phi Beta Kappa. Elected to the psychology honorary society Psi Chi, she was graduated magna cum laude from Hamilton and with honors in psychology in 1979. Years later she recalled not her classroom experiences but “the occasional pool games at the Rok,” which she remembered with particular fondness.
Chris Forward returned to Shaker Heights and went to work as a systems analyst for General Electric Co. in Cleveland. Soon promoted to project leader, she had responsibility for installing minicomputers in some 30 of the company’s distribution centers. In 1983, she was named supervisor of employee benefits. Married for 17 years to John Finnegan beginning in 1984, she left G.E. and became a part-time consultant on health care benefits to Cleveland area businesses while also rearing her children and taking business administration courses at Cleveland State University. She acquired her M.B.A. degree in health care administration in 1992. Two years later, she became vice president for managed care at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Alton, IL, and subsequently returned to the Cleveland area to serve as vice president of Health Design Plans in Hudson from 1997 to 2007.
Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005, Christine Finnegan underwent surgery as well as chemotherapy and radiation treatments. In 2007, she moved to Chicago, IL, to become director of national accounts for Coventry Health Care. With the recurrence of her cancer, she returned to Ohio for further extensive and debilitating treatments. She nonetheless found time and the energy to devote to community service, especially on behalf of children.
Christine Forward Finnegan, who was residing in Chagrin Falls, OH, near Cleveland, lost her long and valiant battle with cancer on January 5, 2010. She is survived by a daughter and two sons, Sarah N., Sean F., and Brendan W. Finnegan, as well as two stepsons, David and Matt Brooks, and two brothers.