Vernon A. O'Rourke, for many years a resident of Dering Harbor, died on January 24, 2003 at Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania after a brief bout with pneumonia. He was 92.
Born to Thomas O'Rourke and Anna Reynaud O'Rourke on August 1, 1910, his early childhood was split between Belle Riviere, Ontario; Bakersfield, California; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Clairton, Pennsylvania until the family finally settled in Flint, Michigan. He graduated at age 15 from Flint High School, worked a year, spent a year at Flint Junior College and then entered Johns Hopkins University on a full scholarship.
Playing football for his meals, he graduated at age 21 with a Ph.D. in political science. Along the way, he published several articles on topics of the day such as "Recognition of Belligerency in the Spanish American War," "Constitution Making in a Democracy" and his thesis, "The Juristic Status of Egypt and the Sudan." The latter is still used, his son Tom wrote, albeit sparingly, in a few university classrooms.
Upon graduation, Mr. O'Rourke accepted an offer to teach at St. John's University in Brooklyn where he thrived and met his future wife, Jane Corrigan. They were married on Long Island in May 1937 and moved north that summer to Schenectady, New York where Mr. O'Rourke began teaching at Union College. During the next years, his staff work on the Ives Commission introduced him to New York politics and labor relations and led to participation in the New York Constitutional Convention in 1938. The O'Rourkes' first son, Tom, was born in 1939, followed a year and a half later by a second son, Richard.
The family moved to a teaching position at Swarthmore College in September 1941. Then came Pearl Harbor, a commission in the Navy and service as a Lieutenant aboard the USS Chester T. O'Brien in the Pacific, returning home in time for Christmas in 1945.
Back at Swarthmore, Mr. O'Rourke added several unsuccessful runs for Congress to his teaching duties before moving in 1948 to a new career in labor and industrial relations at Standard Oil of New Jersey, based in Manhattan. This was accompanied by a relocation of the family to Bellport, Long Island, another son, Terry, and, in general, "a settling down."
Mr. O'Rourke retired from Standard Oil in 1974 after 25 years in that field, complete with several pivotal assignments overseas in Venezuela and Switzerland. He and Jane moved to Shelter Island where he combined an assignment representing U.S. multinationals at the UN with some golf, sailing and a long stint as deputy mayor of Dering Harbor. His wife died in 1989 and he stayed on in the house in Dering Harbor until he moved to Philadelphia this past June.
Mr. O'Rourke is survived by two sons, Richard and Tom; their wives, Dorothy and Jody; Patty O'Rourke, widow of son Terry; seven grandchildren -- Ellin Meurer, Alison Burns, Amy O'Rourke, Elizabeth Harvey, Caroline Hovey, Conor O'Rourke, John O'Rourke -- and six great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held on Shelter Island in the spring.
Contributions in Mr. O'Rourke's memory may be made to the Shelter Island Public Library.
Alice Dickerson Tybaert
Alice Dickerson Tybaert passed away in Atlanta, Georgia on January 20, 2003 after a long battle with pulmonary disease. She was 88.
Born on Shelter Island in May of 1914, Mrs. Tybaert was the daughter of Clarence S. and Marietta Beebe Dickerson, granddaugher of Nathan P. and Louisa Simpson Dickerson and John C. and Harriet Winslow Beebe. She was a direct descendant of William Havens. Mrs. Tybaert grew up on her father's farm on what was then Dickerson Road, on South Menantic Creek. She lost her mother to tuberculosis when she was 10, survived the Great Depression and learned to drive on her father's Model-A. Her daughter Gail wrote that one of her mother's favorite stories was about how she feared she had backed over her younger brother when she had actually backed into a tree.
Alice graduated from Shelter Island High School with her class of nine in 1932. She had hoped to go to teacher's college, her daughter said, but finances on the farm were limited and so she remained at home and helped raise her younger brothers. In 1939 she married Robert Tybaert. They raised their three children "in the warmth and protection of the Island" and as wife, mother and grandmother, Mrs. Tybaert was the most supportive role model for all of her family, her daughter wrote.
As Islander through and through and a true Harelegger, Mrs. Tybaert often regaled friends and neighbors with stories and recollections about her hometown.
She is predeceased by her husband, Robert, and two sons, Robert and Ronald Tybaert. She is survived by her daughter, Gail Bechtel; her son-in-law, Art Bechtel; daughter-in-law, Clarissa Tybaert; granddaughters, Stephanie Tybaert, Dawn Beamon, Doreen McNemar and Robin Bechtel; her grandson Ronald Tybaert Jr.; and two great-grandsons and their families.
A small, family remembrance service was held at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Georgia on January 24, 2003. A memorial service is tentatively planned for early May on Shelter Island.
The family suggests friends may want to consider making contributions to the ambulance corps, c/o the Shelter Island Chapter of the American Red Cross in her memory.
George J. Feary
George J. Feary, a resident of the Yacht and Country Club of Stuart, Florida, passed away at his home on January 20, 2003. He was 89.
A native of Pennsylvania and a graduate of Syracuse University, Mr. Feary resided in Garden City and Shelter Island prior to moving to Florida. He was a recognized jazz musician with the Les Brown Band during his college years and retired from the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company after more than 30 years in estate planning mangement.
Mr. Feary was preceded in death by his wife Marjorie B. Hester Feary. He is survived by his two sons, Richard G. and Ronald H. Feary, and four grandchildren. Mr. Feary also will be missed by his close friend, Eva Klise, and the Hester family.
Arrangments were under the direction of Aycock Funeral Home in Stuart, Florida.
Helen Clark Worm
Helen Clark Worm passed away in Melbourne, Florida on January 20, 2003 at the age of 85.
"Cissie," as she was known growing up, was the daughter of Bert and Belle Clark and was raised at Bass Creek on Shelter Island. She graduated from Shelter Island High School.
Mrs. Worm lived in Florida for many years, where her sons Harrison and Richard also live. Her third son, Thomas, lives in Colorado.
She enjoyed 10 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Two brothers, Edward and Buck Clark, and her sister, Alice Ketcham, predeceased her. She is survived by her brother Albertus "Toots" Clark of Shelter Island.
Cremation was private.
William Otis Payne
William Otis Payne, a lifelong resident of Shelter Island, passed away on January 22, 2001 at Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport. He was 85 years old.
Long active in his community, Bill was a past trustee and active member of the Shelter Island Presbyterian Church. He was a member of the Shelter Island Board of Education and a 60-year member of the Shelter Island Fire Department.
He played taps for the Memorial Day Parade with the American Legion for 62 years. He was a 60-year member of the Masons F & AM Peconic Lodge 349 in Greenport and served as patron to the Eastern Star.
Bill was a self-employed plumbing and air conditioning contractor on Shelter Island for many years.
He may have been best known for his cross-Atlantic voyage in 1974-75 in his 35-foot sailboat, BulBul.
He is survived by his wife, Beatrice Gatti Payne; daughters, Roberta Simons of Mattituck and Cynthia Labrozzi of Shelter Island; and sons, William Otis Payne III of Ft. Myers, Florida and Frederic Payne of Houston, Texas. Two grandchildren also survive him: Andrea L. Payne of Chicago and Albert Labrozzi of Shelter Island.
Interment in the Shelter Island Cemetery, under the direction of the Shelter Island Funeral Home, is for family only. A memorial service will be held at a later date. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Shelter Island Presbyterian Church.
Philip S. Reiss
Philip S. Reiss, an innovative lawyer and deal maker who was at the forefront of developments in the global advertising and communications industry, died on Saturday, January 13 at Memorial Sloan-Kettering in New York City. The cause of death was colon cancer, which was diagnosed in September, 1999. He was 69 and lived in New York City.
Mr. Reiss, a part-time Shelter Island resident with a home for the last 23 years on Manhanset Road, was responsible for the advertising industry's first tender offer, when WPP Group plc acquired J. Walter Thompson. As the senior partner in the law firm of Davis & Gilbert LLP, Mr. Reiss subsequently oversaw the growth of the WPP media company from the acquisitions of Ogilvy & Mather through Young and Rubicam in 2000, the deals that made WPP the world's leading communications services group.
Mr. Reiss, along with Sir Martin Sorrell, group chief executive of WPP Group plc, was at the forefront of the creation of the global communications agency industry. Working together, the two men were catalysts in recognizing the commercial potential of the advertising, marketing and communication businesses. Theirs was the first deal in which a foreign company acquired a major U.S. advertising agency. Such acquisitions were controversial at the time in the U.S. However, as the deals brokered by the two men turned into profitable ventures, globalization and recognition of the commercial value of the advertising business became key factors in the merger and acquisition wave affecting agencies over the past two decades.
Mr. Reiss was considered a powerbroker in the advertising business, bringing together advertising executives and fusing together great agencies. He was involved in creating Omnicom Group Inc. from the merger of Doyle Dane Bernbach, BBDO Worldwide and Needham Harper and Steers. What is now BCOM3's predecessor, DMB&B, resulted from the merger of Benton & Bowles and Darcy, McManus and Masius, and Backer Spielvogel Bates among others.
Following his mentor, A.M. Gilbert, one of the founding partners of Davis & Gilbert, a 96-year-old law firm, Mr. Reiss was responsible for developing the basic legal arrangements by which advertising agencies govern themselves today.
Shelly Lazarus, chairman and CEO of Ogilvy & Mather, said, "He was what David Ogilvy called a true - gentleman with brains.' We will miss his humanity, his decency and his wisdom."
"Philip Reiss was a superb lawyer, but he was an even better friend," said Charlotte Beers, chairman of J. Walter Thompson Co. "He has influenced so many decisions and events in the wide world of advertising, always with generosity, candor and wit. Truly, he was peerless."
Mr. Reiss graduated from Syracuse University in 1953 and from New York University Law School in 1958. He served as first lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. His legal career began in 1959 at Davis & Gilbert where he remained throughout his career. In 1994, Mr. Reiss was appointed mediator for the U.S. District Court, Southern District.
Mr. Reiss had a financial interest in the popular soap operas, "All My Children" and "One Life to Live," and represented their creator, Emmy award-winning writer Agnes Nixon, in connection with the creation, development, production and sale of the programs to ABC.
Mr. Reiss was born in New York City on April 27, 1931, the younger of two children. His father, Victor Reiss, was executive at Marcus Brothers Textile Corporation in New York.
Mr. Reiss was a member of Gardiner's Bay Country Club. He was a regular contributor to many Island organizations. He is survived by his second wife, the former Gloria Viseltear; one sister, Barbara Hochfelder; three daughters, Jane Reiss, Nancy Booke and Meg Reiss; two sons-in-law, Nicholas Booke and Dan Shefelman and four grandchildren, Lena and Will Shefelman and Henry and Milo Brooke.
A memorial service was held on Monday, January 22, 2001 at 10 a.m. at All Souls Unitarian Church at 1157 Lexington Avenue in New York City.
Robert J. Shields
Robert J. Shields, 88, of 105 Bella Vista Drive, Ithaca, New York and formerly of Shelter Island and Stewart Manor, New York, died Saturday, January 21, 2001 at the Cayuga Medical Center in Ithaca. Born in Brooklyn, Mr. Shields was the son of the late James and Minnie Holden Shields.
Mr. Shields retired in 1976 from the Ettco Wire Cable Corp. in Brooklyn, where he had worked for many years. He served with the United States Navy during World War II.
Mr. Shields is survived by his wife of 60 years, Elizabeth Horan Shields of Ithaca; his sons and daughters-in-law, Thomas and Janice Shields of Wellesley, Massachusetts and Jerry and Ellen Shields of Ithaca; and by his grandchildren, Matthew, Elizabeth, Lauren and Lindsey Shields. He was predeceased by his son, Robert R. Shields.
Private committal services will be held at The Lutheran All Saints Cemetery in Brooklyn in the spring. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the charity of one's choice. Arrangements are by the Bangs Funeral Home in Ithaca.
Lois A. Taplin
Lois A. Taplin, 67, of Dover, New Jersey and formerly of Shelter Island, died Tuesday, January 16, 2001 at the Saint Clare's Hospital Dover Campus.
Born in Mount Vernon, New York, she had resided in Dover, New Jersey for many years.
The daughter of the late Harold and Ethel (Sullivan) Whittle, she had worked for many years as a nurse in the Morris County area prior to her retirement.
Survivors include her four sons, Bruce of Shelter Island, George of Herndon, Virginia, Mark of Dover, New Jersey and Scott of Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts; her three daughters, Lynn Taplin of St. Paul, Minnesota, Terry Gramkowski of Edgartown, Massachusetts and Jill Peterson of Mt. Arlington, New Jersey; one brother, Thomas Whittle of Mahwah, New Jersey; and one sister, Ethel Walsh, of San Diego, California. She is also survived by seven grandchildren, one great grandson and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral arrangements were under the direction of the Smith-Taylor-Ruggiero Funeral Home in Dover, New Jersey.
Richard F. Walsh III
Richard F. Walsh III passed away in his sleep due to heart failure on November 22, 2001 at his family's home in Garden City, New York. He was 26 years old.
Richard was born in Garden City Park, New York on November 8, 1975 and grew up there, as well as spending summers since he was young on Shelter Island.
Richard graduated from Garden City High School in 1994, where he played on the varsity football team. He also grew up playing lacrosse in Garden City and was an avid skier and an outstanding golfer. Living and growing up in Garden City, Richard made many life-long friendships that he cherished dearly, his sister said.
After graduation from Garden City, he went on to attend Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts. At Curry, Richard majored in communications and played on both the Curry College football and lacrosse teams. In 1998 Richard broke the Curry College lacrosse team record for most goals scored in a game. He enjoyed his time at Curry, and made many wonderful friendships. He graduated in 1998.
Richard also spent three summers on Nantucket, Massachusetts during college, where he became a fixture in the community and will be missed, his family said.
After college, Richard remained in Massachusetts and settled in Boston. He lived in Boston for the past four years and many of his friends and family had nicknamed him "The Mayor" due to the large number of people he knew and the friendships he made.
Richard was a salesman by trade, which seemed to match his charismatic personality exactly, his family said. He began his sales career with RCN Corporation and was employed with MCI WorldCom out of Waltham, Massachusetts. He was a very successful young man who was making a name and a future for himself in the world of sales.
Richard's passions included his family, his loving girlfriend Carol Ann Costello, his best friend Dennis Kelly, as well as the rest of his devoted friends. His sister said that he enjoyed social gatherings, loved to hunt and fish and was in heaven on his father's boat, Colleen, on the waters surrounding Shelter Island, listening to Jimmy Buffett on a beautiful summer day.
Richard was predeceased by his mother, Donna in 1993. He is survived by his father and namesake Richard F. Walsh Jr. and his stepmother Frances; his four sisters, Deborah Nagle, Maureen, Suzanne and Janet Walsh; his two stepbrothers, Gaetano and Keith Bavaro; and his girlfriend, Carol Ann Costello.
The Walsh family received friends and family at the New Hyde Park Funeral Home, New Hyde Park, New York and Richard was buried on November 26, 2001 at Holy Rood Cemetery in Westbury, New York. The Walsh family would like to thank all of those people who have sent their well wishes and support to them during this difficult time.
Those wishing to remember Richard in a special way can make donations to the Colleen Walsh Rainbow Fund, c/o Richard Walsh, 4 Third Street, Garden City Park, New York 11040. Colleen Walsh was Richard's young cousin who predeceased him after losing her fight with leukemia.