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Robert Whiteman, who lived a long and truly accomplished life as a concert violinist, inventor, and expert in licensing intellectual property and marketing died peacefully on September 10, 2017. The longtime resident of Rye was 91.

Born November 1, 1925 in Savannah, Georgia, he was the son of Arthur and Rosebud Whiteman. Bob, as he was called, was a child prodigy who at the age of 10 was invited to play the violin for President Franklin Roosevelt at the White House. Seven years later he moved to New York to attend the Julliard School of Musical Art and later was a founding member of the New York String Quartet, playing Carnegie Hall and touring nationally.

While still in his twenties, he co-produced Broadway shows, invented board games, candy bars, and food products. During this period, he met and became a protégé of Robert Ripley, who was intrigued with Bob’s marketing ideas for Ripley’s Believe It or Not. This led to a fifty-year relationship during which Bob was the primary licensing agent for the Ripley organization, including the production of three television series that are still being broadcast around the world.

Simultaneously, he was the owner and CEO of Liberty Library Corporation, the holder of the copyrights for Liberty Magazine, which was published from 1925 through 1950. Over 120 major motion pictures have been produced based on stories that appeared in Liberty. Through his management and curating of the Liberty Library, Mr. Whiteman helped establish landmark copyright case law that still governs the licensing of intellectual property.

Retirement was not part of his vocabulary and his office was open until the day he died.

According to many of his friends, Bob’s other “business interest” was gin rummy and he was a formidable competitor whose win-loss record could not be explained by good luck. He loved to share his card-playing skills with his children and grandchildren, and they will carry on this family tradition.

In addition to Bettye, his loving wife of nearly 70 years, Mr. Whiteman is survived by his daughters, Dale Pinto and her husband James and Caren Kline and her husband Peter; his eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. His son Robert and his wife Cindy passed away in 2014.

“Everyone in the family is truly grateful for the wonderful team of staff and caregivers whose loyalty and support have been truly extraordinary over the years. The kindness and compassion shown by Paulo, Simone, Soraia, Living, Eros, Mariangelas, and Norma is appreciated beyond words.”

A Celebration of Life service for Mr. Whiteman was held September 14 at Rye Presbyterian Church.

Martha W. Shaw, a 52-year resident of Rye, N.Y., died peacefully August 29, 2017, at Greenwich Hospital.

Born September 15, 1928, in York, Pa., she was the daughter of Hollis and Charlotte Ware. She graduated from high school in Alton, Ill. In 1949, she completed the nursing program at Massachusetts General Hospital School of Nursing in Boston, and met her future husband, Horton R. Shaw. They were married in March of 1950 and moved to Queens, N.Y., where Mrs. Shaw had two sons Edward (1955) and Stuart (1958). She was the president of the PTA for PS 199, and volunteered as a Cub Scout den mother.

In 1965, the family moved to Rye. Mrs. Shaw welcomed foreign exchange students to her home through the AFS and underprivileged New York City youth through the Fresh Air Fund. She returned to nursing, working at United Hospital in Port Chester, from 1972 to 2000. She volunteered at the Rye Nature Center, where she greatly enjoyed taking her grandchildren.

The Shaws were married for 55 years. Mr. Shaw died in 2005.

Mrs. Shaw moved to the Osborn Retirement Community, where she enjoyed painting and knitting. Several of her watercolors were displayed at the Rye Free Reading Room. As a prolific knitter/sewer, she took pride in knitting blankets, sweaters, and caps for Project Linus, which serves children in need and My Sister’s Place, which assists victims of domestic violence. She also knitted skullcaps for U.S. soldiers overseas and did needlepoint for church pew kneelers. Her blankets were particularly known for their intricacies and bold colors.

She is survived by her son, Edward and daughter-in-law Cathy of North Andover, Mass., granddaughters Amanda of Charlestown, Mass., and Catie of Houston, and her son Stuart and daughter-in-law Stephanie, and grandson Ian of New York, N.Y.

A celebration of Martha Shaw’s life will be held Saturday, September 30 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Formal Dining Room at The Osborn on Theall Road in Rye.

Donations in Martha W. Shaw’s memory may be made to The Rye Nature Center, 873 Post Road, Rye, NY 10580.

 

Richard Fraser, world-renowned neurosurgeon, died peacefully, surrounded by his devoted family, on September 14, 2017 after a long illness. A longtime Rye resident, he was 79.

 

A native of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, he earned both his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of British Columbia. Following medical school, he was a medical resident in neurology and neurosurgery at Vancouver General Hospital, Stanford University Medical School, Columbia University Neurological Institute, where he also held an instructorship position, and The National Institutes of Health. He was Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and Senior Neurosurgeon at Tufts-New England Medical Center before becoming an Attending Neurosurgeon and Professor of Neurosurgery at New York Hospital-Weill Medical College, where he practiced for twenty-eight years. Before his unexpected retirement because of illness, he became Chief of the Division of Neurosurgery. 

 

In addition to his practice at New York Hospital, Dr. Fraser held neurosurgical positions at Memorial Hospital, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Burke Rehabilitation Center, Hospital for Special Surgery, and United Hospital Medical Center. A licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada, an American board-certified neurosurgeon, a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, and a member of twenty-two scientific and medical societies, Dr. Fraser published over fifty influential and frequently cited research papers. 

 

Dr. Fraser did pioneering research in cerebral and micro vascular surgery, and developed new microsurgical techniques for treating genetic brain disorders and conditions once thought inoperable. 

 

In 1986, he received an honorary degree at Drew University for “his willingness to take on complicated cases on short notice, to provide nurturing counsel under stress, to use to the fullest his skill of hand and eye and mind, and to champion the finest traditions of the medical professions [to bring] comfort, healing, and prolonged life to hundreds of children and adults.”

 

In addition to his passion for practicing medicine, he was an avid history buff. His article, “How Did Lincoln Die?” published in the February-March 1995 edition of American Heritage, provided a fresh and hotly debated perspective on Lincoln’s death.

 

He was also an ardent and skilled tennis and squash player, skier, sailor, and pilot. 

 

“Dick was happiest and most alive when he could put his medical genius, his healing gifts, and his compassionate heart to work,” said his wife, Anne Fraser. “Always calm, strong, and eager to serve in a crisis, he aided and consoled untold numbers of people in their distress. Well-known for making house calls at a moment’s notice to anyone who called out to him and for personally driving his patients home from the hospital after his surgical wonders, Dick was cherished by those whom he served. When complimented for his brilliance and artistry as a surgeon, Dick would always respond, ‘I’m just an instrument,’ and, indeed, he truly was.”

 

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his four daughters, Cynthia (Rob) Attwell, Heather (James) Dungate), Eliza (Ned) Swain, and Emily Fraser; and his two grandsons, Alexander and Carter Dungate. 

 

 

A funeral service will be held at Christ’s Church Rye on Saturday, September 23 at 11 a.m.  Donations in his memory may be made to Christ’s Church Outreach, 2 Rectory Street, Rye, NY 10580.

Mildred Ann Labella, who lived in Rye for nearly all of her 90 years, passed away on August 16, 2017 in Lititz Pa.

Millie, as she was called, was born on April 26, 1927, in Port Chester, N.Y. to Vito and Josephine Labella. After graduating from Rye High School in 1945, she went on to earn a certificate in electrolysis. For many years, she worked as a medical assistant for several dermatologists, including Dr. Mann and Dr. Davis. 

She enjoyed spending time with her family and friends, cooking, gardening, swimming, quilting, and exercise classes. A devoted animal lover, she cared for many beloved cats over her lifetime. She was a member of Church of the Resurrection, The Cardinal Newman’s Society, and Rye Seniors. 

At a neighborhood block party in 2016, Ms. Labella, who’d lived in the same home for 88 years, was given a proclamation by State Senator George Latimer, and was toasted by lifelong friends, neighbors, and family. 

The family wishes to thank Traditions of Hersey, Luther Acres and Masonic Village Hospice for their compassionate care. 

Ms. Labella is survived by her brother and sister-in-law, Vincent and Eleanor Labella of Lititz, Pa.; her brother-in-law, Joseph Hannigan of Stony Point, N.Y.; and many nephews and nieces. Her sister, Ida Hannigan, predeceased her. 

A Mass of Christian Burial was held September 9 at The Church of the Resurrection. Burial followed at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Rye Brook. 

Donations in Millie Labella’s memory may be made to Humane Society of Westchester, 70 Portman Road, New Rochelle, NY 10801. 

Faith Harvie died peacefully on the evening of September 13, 2017, at her residence at The Osborn in Rye. She would have celebrated her 94th birthday on October 2. Born Faith Griswold Hall in 1923, she was the daughter of Eleanor (Fickeisen) and Frank Griswold Hall of New York City and Fairlee, Vermont. In her youth, Faith was an accomplished equestrienne. She attended Spence School in Manhattan and graduated from Ethel Walker School in Simsbury, Connecticut, and later from Vassar College, in the accelerated wartime class of 1945-1944. On graduation from college she served as a researcher and assistant to noted economist Eliot Janeway in New York. After her marriage to U.S. Navy veteran James Beverly Harvie Jr. in 1947, the couple moved to Upper Nyack, N.Y., where they raised a family. For more than twenty-five years, the family summered in Chatham, Massachusetts. Mrs. Harvie was an avid tennis player, occasional bridge player, and devoted volunteer. She gave generously to numerous worthy causes and institutions, especially Grace Church in Nyack, St. Christopher’s Church in Chatham, and Christ’s Church in Rye. Mrs. Harvie is predeceased by her husband. She is survived by her three children, James B. Harvie III, Eleanor Harvie Gustafson, and Scott Chamberlayne Harvie, along with five grandchildren, and one great-grandson. A memorial service in celebration of her life will be held in the chapel at The Osborn on October 2 at 2 p.m.; burial will take place at a later date, in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia, next to her loving husband. Donations in her honor may be made to the Fresh Air Fund.

Born in Chicago, she was the daughter of Charles and Loretto Lederer. She and her twin sister Anne were born on their mother’s birthday (but refuse to state the year). They grew up in Greenwich and were both graduates of Our Lady of Good Council in White Plains and Marymount College (now Marymount University).

In 1961, Charlotte made what she considered to be the best decision of her life, by marrying Bob Flinn. They had a wonderful 46 years together filled with love, fun, and adventure.

In addition to raising four children, Mrs. Flinn was a designer of note, a skilled decorative painter and the owner of an eponymous art gallery in Vero Beach, Fla.

A convivial host, Mrs. Flinn loved to throw a good party or have friends for the weekend. In her travels, she visited dozens of countries on four continents. She and her husband collected art, antiques, and country clubs. 

She helped nurse her husband through his final days. The last years of her life rendered her unable to communicate, but she was able to spend precious time with her devoted children, Doug Flinn, Evan Flinn, Colin (and Susie) Flinn, and Leslie Flinn, and her beloved grandsons, Jack Saucedo and Grady Flinn. She is also survived by her sister, Anne Turco of Rye.

Her family asks that you raise a glass (preferably an Old-Fashioned or a vodka with a slice of orange) in honor of Charlotte, Choosh, Mom, Gaga, Char. Cheers to a life well lived and well loved.

Donations in Charlotte Flinn’s memory may be made to the National Association of Rare Disorders: Primary Lateral Sclerosis Fund at rarediseases.org