James F. Svoboda
James F. Svoboda, 83, of Florence, passed away peacefully on Monday, May 14, 2018 at the Soldiers Home in Holyoke. He was born in Northampton on February 8, 1935 to the late Joseph and Gladys (Corbett) Svoboda. He was a graduate of Northampton High School and was U.S. Army veteran serving during the Korean and Vietnam War. Jim met the love of his life; Ethel and they married on August 2, 1958 in W. Hatfield surrounded by their loving family and friends.
He had worked at Almy’s in Hadley as an assistant manager and at the Hotel Northampton as manager of the Bamboo Hut. Later in life he worked alongside his wife at the Autumn Inn.
Jim loved to tell the story of how he met Elvis Presley while in the service. An avid Red Sox and Patriots fan; he never missed a game on TV and always wore a baseball cap representing either of the teams. Jim would always have a smile on his face; and everyone he met he considered them to be his friend.
Jim enjoyed playing Bingo, painting, singing Karaoke; especially Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire”, while at the Soldiers Home. He also appreciated living there and loved all his caregivers and friends that he made.
He is survived his sister; Eileen Bates of Troy, NY, and her children, Brian Bates and his wife Liz and Cathy Snyder and her husband John, his nephews; William Symanski and his wife Suzanne of N. Hatfield, Mark Symanski and his wife Sheila, of Whately, his niece; Donna Kociela of Atlantic Hylands, NJ, also several grandnieces and grandnephews.
Besides his parents; Jim was pre-deceased by his loving wife; Ethel (Duga) Svoboda, whom passed away September 12, 2012
There will be a private service with Military Honors at the Massachusetts Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Agawam. Drozdal Funeral Home of Northampton has been entrusted with the arrangements. For more information please visit Drozdalfuneralhome.com.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jim’s name to: Soldiers Home in Holyoke, 110 Cherry St., Holyoke, MA 01040, Attn: Treasurers Office for the Recreation Department.
Nancy A. Barsh
Nancy A. Barsh, 84, of Northampton, passed away peacefully on April 11, 2018, at Charlene Manor in Greenfield. She was born September 24, 1933 in Northampton to the late Zenan and Mary (Kacibasiak) Barsh. Nancy was a graduate of Smith Academy in Hatfield and had been an Insurance Auditor for various insurance companies; included the Boston area and for Borawski Insurance in Northampton before her retirement. She was a member of the Hatfield Historical Society, enjoyed line dancing, loved all cats and was an avid fan of all things Boston.
She is survived by her devoted nephew and niece; Gerald Barsh Jr. of Hatfield, and Adele Barsh of California.
Besides her parents; she is pre-deceased by her brother Gerald Barsh Sr.
Funeral will be Friday, April 20, 2018 with a calling hour to begin at 10 AM at the Drozdal Funeral Home of Northampton. A Memorial service will begin at 11am officiated by Rev. Robert Coonan. Burial will immediately follow in Calvary Cemetery in Hatfield.
In Lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Nancy’s memory to the Dakin Humane Society, PO Box 6307, Springfield, MA 01101www.dakinhumane.org. For more information, please visit Drozdalfuneralhome.com
Francis E. Whalen
Francis “Fran” E. Whalen, 88, of Florence passed away on Monday, April 2, 2018 surrounded by his loving family at the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke. He was born in Northampton on May 5, 1929 to the late Clarence and Rosamond (Walton) Whalen.
He attended St. Michael’s School and proudly served his country in the U.S. Army, 82nd Airborne Division. He fought in the Korean War and was awarded two Bronze Stars. After the war, he worked at Stanley Home Products in Easthampton, retiring in 1985. Fran was an avid bowler, golfer, and liked playing pool. He also enjoyed gardening, walking, hunting, and fishing. But, most of all, he loved dancing with his wife, Shirley. He was very active in the Florence VFW, serving as Chaplain for over 20 years. He was a cheerful and familiar face calling bingo, attending the children’s Christmas parties, and a prominent fixture marching in the parades, and served as Northampton’s Grand Marshal in the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2015.
He leaves behind his beloved wife Shirley (Ouimet) of 61 years, his stepson; David Laurin and his wife Karen, of Williamsburg, his son; Mark and his wife Susan, of Tennessee, his two daughters; Cheryl Whalen-Fappiano her wife Sylvia of Florence, and Laurie Tanguay and her husband Bruce of Winchendon, 11 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild, his sisters; Patricia Greig of Michigan, Mary Ferguson of S. Carolina, several nieces, nephews and dear friends.
Besides his parents; he was pre-deceased by his sister; Marjorie Makala.
The family would like to thank the Staff of 1 North at the Soldier’s Home in Holyoke for their most compassionate and professional care.
Calling Hours will be Sunday April 8, 2018 from 2-4 PM at the Drozdal Funeral Home of Northampton. Funeral will be Monday April 9, 2018 at 11:30 AM at the funeral home, followed by a Liturgy of Christian Burial at Blessed Sacrament Church, 354 Elm St., Northampton at 1 PM, Burial with Military Honors will immediately follow at the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Agawam.
Donations may be made in Frans name to the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, 110 Cherry St., Holyoke, MA 01040.
Pauline M. Barcomb
Pauline M. Barcomb, 78, of Holyoke, passed away on Sunday March 25, 2018 at Baystate Medical Center surrounded by her loving family. She was born in Adams, MA on December 14, 1939, to the late William and Mary (Sikop) Schultzki. Pauline had attended Easthampton schools and was a CNA for several years working at Wingate of S. Hadley before her retirement. She also had a love for all animals.
She is survived by her daughters; Barbara Szwajkowski, and Teresa Rytuba, her sons; Alton, Peter, and Stanley Barcomb all of Holyoke, her grandchildren; April and Joshua Szwajkowski, Sarah Morin, Charlie, Kerene, and Alex Rytuba, Jacob and Melissa Barcomb, her sisters; Helen Krawcynski of FL, and Anna Rice of Hiestand, PA, and several nieces and nephews.
Besides her parents, she was pre-deceased by her brother Henry Schultzki.
Calling hours will be Tuesday April 3, 2018 from 9AM – 10:30AM at the Drozdal Funeral Home of Northampton followed by a Liturgy of Christian Burial at 11AM at Our Lady of Grace Parish, 11 School St. Hatfield. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery, Hatfield.
Stephen P. Diemand
1955 – 2018
Stephen Diemand, 62, of Northampton, MA sadly passed away on February 25, 2018 while being treated for a lung condition at Mass General in Boston. Stephen was born and raised in Northampton to the late Ernest and Louise (Duffy) Diemand. He was an avid farmer throughout his life. When he married his former wife, Eileen, they settled in New Hampshire to manage a dairy farm for a few years before returning to Northampton to manage Sunnyside Farm, most known for their strawberries. Stephen was an active part of growing and selling the farm’s crops, as well as helping his daughters, Elise and Regina, manage their own horses and flock of sheep respectively. He worked for the UMass Agricultural department for a time helping manage the farm there as well as for a trucking and plowing company in the off-season. Stephen was a vibrant, funny, caring person. All who knew him truly felt his charisma, particularly when he would tell a few (frequently lewd) jokes; his laughter was always infectious, even during times of personal struggle, and he almost always carried a smile.
Stephen joins his sister Kathleen (Diemand) Mello, father Ernest A. Diemand, mother Louise (Duffy) Diemand, and former wife Eileen (LaValle) Diemand, among many other loved ones in Heaven.
He is survived by his daughters Elise Diemand and her husband Tyler West and Regina Diemand, brother Ernest W. Diemand, and sister Colleen Diemand who were able to bless him as he departed. Stephen will be greatly missed.
We invite everyone who wish to pay their respects to join us for a Memorial service at Drozdal Funeral Home, 120 Damon Rd., Northampton, MA on Saturday, April 7 at 11:30 AM officiated by Rev. Robert Coonan, calling hours will be from 10 AM until time of service.
Donations can also be made in his honor to Shriners Hospitals for Children, Attn: Office of Development, 2900 N. Rocky Point Dr., Tampa, FL 33607. www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org. For more information please visit Drozdalfuneralhome.com.
Joseph J. Monska Sr.
Joseph J. Monska Sr., 91, of Southampton, passed away peacefully on Thursday March 15, 2018 at Cooley Dickinson Hospital with his loving family by his side. He was born in Northampton on January 14, 1927 to the late Martin and Anna (Karakula) Monska.
He was a US Army Veteran, serving during WWII. Joseph and Anita had met while he was stationed in Italy, from there they fell in love and were parted by the war and reunited many years later. They were married for 44 years and together they raised their children. Joe was a heavy equipment operator for P. Allen & Sons for many years before his retirement. He enjoyed gardening and spending time with his family.
Joseph is survived by his loving wife of 44 years; Anita (Uanetti) Monska of Southampton, his daughter; Maria Taylor and her husband Douglas of West Brookfield, his sons; Armando and his wife Vivian of Erving, John and his wife Jean of Florence, Joseph Jr. of Templeton, Justin and his wife Sherry of Orange, 12 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.
Beside his parents; Joseph was predeceased by his brothers Chester, John, Stanley and his sisters; Anna Smith, Katherine Franzus, Sophie Anton, and Mary Nevers.
Calling hours will be the morning of the funeral on Tuesday March 20, 2018 at the Drozdal Funeral Home of Northampton from 10AM-12PM, with a religious service to begin at 12PM, officiated by Rev. Richard Bondi from Our Lady of the Hills Church, Haydenville. Burial will immediately follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Haydenville.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Empty Arms Bereavement Support, 140 Pine Street, Room B2, Florence, MA 01062 www.emptyarmsbereavement.org
Joanne “Jo” M. Ringer
Joanne “Jo” Ringer was just 39 years old when she went missing last March. Her remains were found on February 27th, 2018 in Hatfield, MA. Jo was a beautiful person with an infectious smile that could light up any room. She was a mother, a daughter, a sister and a friend to all, and now, she will forever be at peace.
She was born in Northampton on January 15, 1978 to the late Robert J. Ringer Sr. and Joan (Pelkey) Ringer. She had attended Easthampton schools and had worked several various jobs, most recently being a model representing Haymond Law Firm at motorcycle and car events.
Jo was a motorcycle enthusiast and enjoyed riding hers. She claimed she would never ride on the back of one, because she had to be the driver. Jo could do just about anything; even repairing her dune buggy. She enjoyed scanning different antique shops and shows trying to find that one special treasure. She absolutely loved scrapbooking, and thoroughly enjoyed putting the books together with pictures of friends and family. Jo enjoyed the beach on a warm summer day with her toes in the sand but would never step foot in the ocean. But, most of all, which she held close to her heart was the time she spent with her friends and family. In everybody’s heart she will always stay loved and remembered every day.
She is survived by her loving and devoted daughter; Savanah Ringer, her mother; Joan, her brothers; Robert Jr. and Joseph, all of Easthampton. Her cherished dogs; Blu and Fuko, and several Uncles, Aunts, cousins, and friends.
Besides her father; Robert Sr., she was also predeceased by her infant daughter; Skylar.
The family appreciates your thoughts, prayers and condolences as they are comforting at this very difficult time.
Calling hours will be Saturday March 17th, 2018 from 11 AM to 2 PM at the Drozdal Funeral Home, 120 Damon Rd., Northampton, MA.
In lieu of flowers; donations may be made in Jo’s memory to: Safe Passage, 43 Center Street Suite 304, Northampton, MA 01060, www.safepass.org, Dakin Humane Society, PO Box 6307, Springfield, MA 01101, www.dakinhumane.org., or Berkshire Mountain Search and Rescue, C/o Michael Comeau, 16 Newark St Adams, MA 01220. www.bmsar.org