Obituaries 7-20-12

0:00 Byron T. Hawkins Byron T. Hawkins, a resident of Rye for 55 years, died June 30 after a brief illness. He was 88.   […]

Published August 22, 2012 8:25 PM
5 min read


Byron T. Hawkins

OBITHAWKINSByron T. Hawkins, a resident of Rye for 55 years, died June 30 after a brief illness. He was 88.


Born May 12, 1924, in Topeka, Kansas, he was the second son of Floyd and Madge Hawkins, who moved the family several years after his birth to Bellwood, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. He grew up in a brick bungalow with a flower-lined alley in back, where he cultivated a serious pitch and a love of baseball that would last for the rest of his life. Bellwood was also where, at the age of 6, he met 4-year-old Arlene DeAno, whom he wed in June 1945 and remained devoted to throughout 56 years of marriage. She died in September 2001.


Mr. Hawkins enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II and attended the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and Oberlin College on the G.I. bill. As a 2nd Lieutenant, he was sent to serve in occupied Japan in August 1945, surviving a plane crash in the Pacific just short of Iwo Jima.


After his military service, he attended the University of Chicago Law School, an experience he described as exhilarating and unforgettable. He received his law degree in 1950.


In 1957, Mr. Hawkins moved his family to Rye. He first served as labor relations counsel for the Glass Container Manufacturers Institute in New York and later held the position of Director of Labor Relations for Standard Brands, Inc. (now Kraft Foods) during many years of expansion and growth, including its acquisition of both Planters and the Curtis Candy Company in the 1960s.


Within the Rye community, he served as a deacon of the Rye Presbyterian Church from 1962 to 1965 and as a Trustee from 1966 to 1969.


Although he eventually retired from the practice of law, By Hawkins never stopped working. Until the age of 82, he applied his near-photographic memory and penchant for detail to gathering and compiling data for the U.S. Census Bureau. He assisted voters at the polls on election days for more than forty years, most frequently as the captain of District 2 at The Osborn Home location in Rye. He also served as treasurer of the Visiting Nurses Association of Rye up until his death.


Mr. Hawkins is survived by his three children: Christine H. Schmidt (Eugene) of St. Charles, Ill., Janet T. Hawkins of Rye, and Lauren D. Hawkins (Aubrey Shepherd) of Fayetteville, Ark.; four grandchildren: Karen Schmidt of Dallas, Tex., Peter Schmidt (Alicia) of Denver, Colo., Katie Johnson (James) of Denver, Colo., and Jonathan Schmidt of St. Charles, Ill.; and one great-grandchild.

His wishes to forgo funeral services and to have his remains donated to the Albert Einstein School of Medicine were respectfully and lovingly honored.


Donations in Mr. Hawkins’s memory may be made to the Rye Historical Society, 1 Purchase Street, Rye, NY 10580, or to The Visiting Nurses Association of Rye, c/o Lauren Miscamarra, 9 George Langeloh Court, Rye, NY 10580.

Beatrice Newman

OBITNEWMANBeatrice Newman died at her home at The Osborn July 10. Born in Mannheim, Germany October 16, 1923, she was the daughter of Herbert and Maria Nosbisch Tannenbaum.


She was married to Thomas G. Newman, whom she met in Holland. They were married for 28 years and then they divorced.


Her children said, “Our mother was devoted to her family.”


Mrs. Newman spent many happy years working and volunteering at Wainwright House and was actively involved at Rye Presbyterian Church.


In her spare time, she loved to read.


She is survived by three children: Mona Phillips of Hartsdale, Barbara Gangemi of West Roxbury, Mass., and Dennis Newman of Phuket, Thailand; three grandchildren: Alexa Gangemi of New York City, Gregory Gangemi of Venice, Calif., and Jeffrey Gangemi of Burlington, Vt.; and one great-grandson, Rainer Gangemi. 


A memorial service was held at Rye Presbyterian Church July 14. Donations in Mrs. Newman’s memory may be made to Cancer Support Team, 2900 Westchester Ave., Suite 103, Purchase, NY 10577 or Rye Presbyterian Church, 882 Boston Post Road, Rye, NY 10580.

Elizabeth Kohlasch

OBITKOHLASCHElizabeth A. Kohlasch passed away peacefully July 8. She was 88.


A longtime resident of Rye, Mrs. Kohlasch raised eight children here. She lived on New Street and Soundview Avenue before spending her final years at Rye Manor and Greenwich Woods. 


Mrs. Kohlasch was the matriarch of a large family, numbering over 35. “She was the core and the cornerstone,” said her family. “She exuded beauty, strength, and wisdom.” Her smile and fiesty personality earned her the nickname of “Betty Boop” in her later years. 


She was predeceased by a son, Billy, who for many years was a teacher and coach in Rye. Mrs. Kohlasch is survived by seven children: Kathy Dreves (Jim), Barbara de Garmo (Sherb), Bobby Kohlasch (Linda), Trish Kohlasch, Peter Kohlasch, David Kohlasch (Denise), and Jimmy Kohlasch (Victoria), She is also survived by her daughter-in-law, Cathy (McQueen) Kohlasch; 14 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.


A memorial service was held July 11 at Graham Funeral Home. Donations in Mrs. Kohlasch’s name may be made to the charity of your choice.







Richard Smith

OBITSMITHRichard E. Smith died June 18 after a long illness. He was 64.


He was born in Schenectady to William and Joyce Smith. The family moved to Rye in 1956, and he attended Milton School and graduated from Rye High School in 1966. At Rye High, he was a member of the National Honor Society, captain of the wrestling and cross-country teams, achieved all county and all state honors in wrestling, and was awarded the best athlete award in his high school class.


Mr. Smith, who was known as Rick, graduated from Stanford University in 1970, and earned a J.D. from UC Berkeley School of Law.


He retired in 2010 after working for 22 years at the Tsongas Industrial History Center-University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he was in charge of the education programs. His specialty was the history of the Industrial Revolution in the U.S., especially the rise and decline of the water-powered textile mills in New England, with special emphasis on the changing treatment of the workers, primarily the “mill girls”.


In his spare time, Mr. Smith enjoyed hiking and he was an avid baseball fan.


He is survived by his wife, Martha Barrett-Smith of Pelham; his son, Nicholas W. Smith of Boston; three stepchildren, John E. Barrett of Falls Church, Va., Dr. Mary M. Barrett of Albany, and Kathleen V. Barrett of Boston. He is also survived by his brothers, Christopher W. Smith and his wife Nancy Kelly Smith of Wilton, Conn. and Theodore G. Smith and his wife Amanda Hawes of San Jose, Calif.


Donations in Mr. Smith’s memory may be made to the Saints Cancer Center at Saints Medical Center, One Hospital Drive, Lowell, MA 01852.


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