GS Class of 1957
Robert W. Thrasher ’57 ScM, of Springfield, Mass.; Sept. 1. He attended St. John’s Seminary in Brighton from 1957 to 1962, was ordained to the priesthood on Jan. 27, 1962, and served his first mass at Holy Trinity Church in Greenfield, Mass. Before retiring on June 1, 2005, Father Thrasher served as an assistant at St. Mary Parish in Orange from February to May of 1962, after which he served on the faculty at Cathedral High School teaching physics for three years from 1962 to 1965. He served as curate at the former St. Patrick Church in Chicopee from 1965 to 1970; at the former St. Mary Church in Springfield from 1970 to 1974; at Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Sheffield from June to September of 1974 and again from June to August of 1975. He was appointed a notary in the Tribunal of the Springfield Diocese in 1973. He studied at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., from 1974 to 1978, earning a canon law degree. He served as an assistant pastor at St. Michael’s Cathedral for a year and was pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Shelburne Falls from 1979 to 1982. He was appointed vice chancellor of the diocese in 1981, diocesan consultor from 1982 to 1983 and again from 1984 to 1989, and pro-synodal judge from 1983 to 1993. He was a member of the first presbyteral council and served three three-year terms from 1985 to 1994. He also was on the St. Michael’s Residence board of directors. He served as administrator of the former St. Bartholomew Parish in Bondsville and as pastor of the former Holy Name Parish in Holyoke from 1995 to 2005. He is survived by two sisters; a cousin; and nieces and nephews.
Francis Jackson Jr. ’57 ScM, ’60 PhD, of Winchester, Mass.; Sept. 21. In 1960 he joined the Cambridge research and development company Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc., participating in projects involved with acoustic and anti-submarine warfare programs for the U.S. Navy. He also founded the company’s Washington office in 1967 before returning to Cambridge in 1981 to assume responsibility for the company’s physical science programs. He retired in 1998 as senior vice president. He authored numerous papers and participated in at-sea sonar trials aboard both nuclear and conventional submarines. He was a fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and chairman of the Winchester Town Finance Committee. He is survived by his wife, Nancy; a daughter and son-in-law; and four grandchildren.
Nicholas Pappas ’57 PhD, of Wilmington, Del.; July 6. He began his career at the DuPont Company as a research chemist at the Experimental Station Laboratory in Wilmington. After a series of management positions in research and development, industrial sales, market development, and corporate planning, he was named vice president and general manager of the DuPont fabrics and finishes department in 1978. He transferred to the polymer products department as vice president in 1983, leading a period of expansive growth for this business. He served as chairman of the Executive Board of the Council for Solid Waste Solutions and was instrumental in DuPont polymer products taking a leadership role in plastics recycling and environmental protection. In 1988, he was promoted and appointed to the DuPont executive committee, where he served until his retirement in 1990. He served as chairman of the United Way of Delaware Campaign and Board of Directors 1985-86. He served on numerous Delaware boards and was committed to advancing the cause of workplace diversity as the chairman of the DuPont Affirmative Action Committee. After his retirement from DuPont, he was appointed president and COO of Rollins Environmental Services from 1991-96. He also served on numerous boards of directors related to industrial materials, including ChemFab Corporation, Witco Corporation, Nova Chemicals, and EnviroKare LRM Industries. He was a member of the Greek Orthodox Church and served on parish council boards for church communities in Wilmington. He is survived by his wife Dorothy; four children and their spouses; nine grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.
Harry Agahigian ’57 PhD, of Milford, Conn.; Aug. 6. He worked for decades as a chemist, founding Baron Consulting Company in Milford in 1967, from which he retired in 2020. He was an avid golfer and is survived by his wife, Connie; a daughter and son-in-law; a son and daughter-in-law; five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and a sister.
David P. Rein ’57 AM, of Webster, N.Y.; June 1. His teaching career began at West Morris High School (N.J.). In subsequent years he taught at the University of Liberia on a one-year Fulbright-Hays grant, at Bucknell University, Bloomsburg State College, the School for International Training, and Capital Community College. He taught students from more than 50 countries. As a freelancer, he wrote and edited ESL and English for professionals materials for Oxford University Press and Regents Publishing Company. He was a lifelong learner, accomplished classical pianist, and international traveler. He is survived by his sister and brother-in-law and several nieces and nephews.
Paul A. Tessier ’57 ScM, of Mechanic Falls, Me.; Mar. 26. He served in the U.S. Navy and later transferred to the U.S. Air Force and was a flight surgeon. He operated his own urology office and taught biology. He was a member and treasurer of the Lewiston-Auburn Kennel Club. He is survived by his wife, Karen.
John W. Schultz ’57 PhD, of Centreville, Md.; Nov. 24. He was a professor of chemistry and taught at the U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., for more than 40 years. In 1996 he was named professor emeritus. He was a member of the American Chemical Society and the American Physical Society. He was a volunteer for Special Olympics and an active member in his local church. He is survived by his wife, Helen; four sons; and 16 grandchildren.
Leland Cratty ’57 PhD, of Clinton, N.Y.; May 27, from heart failure. He had a 38-year career as a chemistry professor at Hamilton College. During summer breaks, he would perform research at other universities around the country and his family would join him on the adventure. They enjoyed camping and visiting national parks. Leland also enjoyed attending operas in New York City, painting, writing poetry, and reading the daily funnies. He is survived by seven children and 12 grandchildren.
Charles E. O’Rourke ’57 ScM, of Brookline, Mass., formerly of New Canaan, Conn.; Apr. 17. He had been a longtime employee of Union Carbide Corp. and Carbtrol, Inc. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and is survived by his wife, Marilyn; five sons; a daughter-in-law; and two grandchildren.
Karl P. Banach ’57 AM, of Osprey, Fla., formerly of Cheshire, Conn.; Mar. 5. He joined the Southern New England Telephone Co. after graduation and retired in 1987, after a successful career in management. After retiring, he became a financial consultant. Music was a passion and he played trumpet in marching bands while in school and later professionally. He enjoyed traveling the world. Phi Beta Kappa. He is survived by a daughter, Karla Banach ’84; a son; and a grandson.