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Leidich, Harriette  
Harriette Baughman Lerrigo Leidich 1912 - 2015 NORTH BENNINGTON, VT Harriette Baughman Lerrigo Leidich died peacefully in her sleep at home on February 24, 2015, 54 days shy of her 103rd birthday. She was one of the nation's oldest working newspaper columnists, author of three books, and honoree of the Vermont Legislature for her "life centered around journalism and the written word." She had been a resident of North Bennington, Vermont since 1995. She loved to travel, and made homes in 14 different places. In her later years, she became a world traveler. Harriette's love for meeting people, hearing and later sharing their stories and lives informed her writing, and resulted in friendships which lasted for decades. One of her favorite pleasures was to welcome both old and new visitors to her house and table. When she was 90 years old and beginning to slow down a bit, she would watch the trees outside her little house mark the seasons of life. And in her memoir It's a Slower Waltz, Harriette Leidich reflected: "After the trees have shaken or given up their leaves they look neglected, but they stand proudly showing their skeletons. They have not lost life or dignity. They are only waiting for that next season of growth." Born in Griswold, Iowa on April 19, 1912, Harriette was the last surviving of eight children of Austin Baughman and Etta Burrough Baughman. Her father was a local printer and newspaper editor in Nebraska and Kansas. From an early age, she worked in his print shop, and at age 14 began writing her own column about local happenings which she gathered by walking around town. While unable to attend college, Harriette was self-educated through her reading and keen observations of the world around her. In 1936, she married her first husband George A. Lerrigo. They were parents of two sons, Charles and George. Together she and her husband edited and published the weekly Overbrook (Kansas) Citizen and produced three other local weeklies. She was the youngest charter member of the Kansas Press Women's Association, serving as its first vice president. During World War II, she was founding editor of the War Training News at Kansas State College in Manhattan, Kansas. The family later moved to towns in the Midwest and South, when Mr. Lerrigo went into hospital work. In 1958, they moved to North Adams, Mass. where Mr. Lerrigo was administrator of the North Adams Regional Hospital until his death in 1978. In North Adams, Harriette was a charter member of the League of Women Voters, and editor of an award winning League publication. She also edited the newsletter of the North Adams Hospital Auxiliary, which won first honors for two years as the best auxiliary publication in New England. She joined the Daughters of the American Revolution becoming a 50-year member in 2011. She was also active in church and community work and ran a small mimeograph service. When her 38-year marriage to Mr. Lerrigo ended in divorce, Harriette began working for Haney Associates (a fund raising company), and covered assignments in Colorado, Missouri, Illinois, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. On one of her Pennsylvania assignments she met and later married Edwin B. Leidich, a former faculty member at Lafayette College in Easton, Penn. and an employee of AT&T where he was part of the team that developed the first transistor. The Leidichs lived for 15 years in Wilmington, Del. where they were active members of St. Mark's Lutheran Church, noted for their chicken corn chowder suppers and Harriette's column, The Church Mouse. They reached out to make many friends from all generations and backgrounds in the church and in their housing complex. The couple then moved to Hooksett, N.H. to be nearer to Ed's daughter and her family of whom Harriette had developed close ties. When Ed died in 1993, Harriette moved to Vermont to live close to her son George and his family. As was true throughout her life, Harriette continued to write for local groups with which she was involved. As a member of Second Congregational Church in Bennington, she authored more than 100 member profiles. In 1995, after doing some occasional reporting for the Bennington Banner, she began writing a regular column, "Senior Moments," offering reflections on earlier years and present day culture. She continued to write the column even after her 100th birthday, making her this country's oldest working columnist. "Senior Moments" became the basis for two books, Awful Green Stuff and the Nakedness of Trees and It's a Slower Waltz: Memorable Days from a Long Life. With her two sons she wrote a third book, Our Family Miracle: An Encounter with Cancer. This last book told the story of Charles' successful struggle against leukemia and of the family's involvement with his bone marrow transplant from his brother. The book is sometimes used in cancer wards of hospitals and care centers to assist families. As she aged, Harriette reflected on her own process, and in one of her columns, wrote these words: "I'm trying to not let the world pass me by as I count the years.The spots on the hands do not dismay me too much, as I know they are a badge of age, not a scourge. Crows' feet are not age lines to me they are laugh lines...Life for me now is a slower dance, but I'm still waltzing and enjoying every step." Harriette is survived by her two sons, the Rev. Charles Lerrigo of Oakland, Calif., a retired United Methodist minister and journalist and his wife, Pat Bruce-Lerrigo; and George E. Lerrigo II, of North Bennington, a retired French teacher from Mt. Anthony Union High School and his wife, Janice. She is also survived by a step-daughter, Edith Torrisi of Bedford, N.H.; a stepson, Harry Leidich and wife Dorothy of Roanoke, Va.; by one granddaughter, Ellen Bishop and her husband, Todd, of Auburn, N.Y.; a great-granddaughter, Emma Bishop; three step-grandchildren, Cori Poirier of North Andover, Mass., and Dale and David Leidich of Va.; and one step-great-grandson, Will Poirier. She was predeceased by a great-grandson, Will Torrisi. A celebration of Harriettte's life will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, March 7, 2015, at the Second Congregational Church, Hillside Street in Bennington. The family will receive friends at the church following the service. There will be no calling hours with burial in the spring in Catasauqua, Penn. where her ashes will be scattered on her husband Ed Leidich's grave. Donations in her memory may be made to the Second Congregational Church or the Bennington Museum in care of the HANSON-WALBRIDGE SHEA FUNERAL HOME, P.O. Box 957 Bennington, VT 05201.
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Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Feb. 26, 2015
LeVardi, James  
James Charles LeVardi 1949 - 2015 DALTON James Charles LeVardi, 65 died suddenly Wednesday Feb. 25, at Berkshire Medical Center. Born in Pittsfield on April 26, 1949 a son of Clara Seddon LeVardi and the late James Vincent LeVardi. He attended schools in Pittsfield and was a graduate of Berkshire Community College where he received his bachelors degree in business. He was a Vietnam War Veteran having served with the US Marines. Mr. LeVardi was last employed for the Massachusetts State Highway Department for 35 years retiring in 1997 as district supervisor. He was a member of the American Legion and the Vietnam Veterans. He enjoyed camping, traveling, gardening and going to the casinos. Above all he enjoyed his grandchildren and family. Besides his mother of Pittsfield, he leaves his wife, the former MaryAnne DeSantis, whom he married Jan. 15, 1970 at the former Notre Dame Church; three daughters, Stacey Sears and her husband, Dennis, of Liverpool, N.Y., Jennifer Kauvil of Dalton, and Nicole LeVardi of Dalton; a brother, John LeVardi and his companion, Lori Coury, of Pittsfield; a sister, Karen Ryan and her companion, Jack Castagna, of Pittsfield; grandchildren, Elizabeth, Alexander, Jacob, Biagio, Natalya, Zia, Solomon, Lucy, Myles, and Hannah; great-granddaughter, Daniella; nieces and nephews, J.D., Alicia, Angie, Josh, Amanda, Meg, Amy and Lisa; his best friend, his dog Zoey. He was predeceased by two sons James, and Daniel LeVardi; and by a sister, Cindy Casey. FUNERAL NOTICE: Funeral services will be held Monday, Mar. 2, at 9:15 a.m. from the DERY FUNERAL HOME, 54 Bradford St. Pittsfield, Mass. followed by a Liturgy of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. at Saint Charles Church, celebrated by the Rev. Peter A. Gregory, pastor. Burial will follow in the family plot at Ashuelot Cemetery, Dalton, Mass. Calling hours at Dery Funeral Home IN Pittsfield, will be Sunday from 4 - 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers memorials in his memory may be made to Soldier On in care of the funeral home. Following the calling hours John LeVardi his brother will receive relatives and friends at his home at 109 Hancock Road in Pittsfield as well following the funeral service on Monday.
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Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Feb. 27, 2015
Lichtman, Robert  
Robert W. Lichtman 1929 - 2015 Robert W. (Bob) Lichtman passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on Feb. 20, 2015 in San Diego CA, after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease. He was born in New Jersey in 1929, the son of Fred and CeleLichtman. Bob grew up in South Orange NJ, and graduated with honors from Lehigh University with a B.S. degree in Chemistry. He was a Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, nearDayton Ohio. After leaving the service, Bob joined the family tannery business, J. Lichtman and Sons, headquartered in Newark, NJ. He and his wife Vivien moved to Pittsfield, MA where the company had opened a newleather tanning plant. In 1963, Bob accepted a job with Union Carbide's synthetic leather group in NewYork City and resettled his family in Stamford, CT. Bob eventually became Vice President, and managed UnionCarbide's Agricultural Chemicals division, forming many life-long friendships. After leaving Union Carbide, Bob went into property development with his close friend, architect Alvan Lampke. They formed the LOL Corporation and built award-winning condominiums and homes in Stamford and Greenwich, CT. Bob also continued a respected consulting business with A.E. Getzler & Co. in New York City, helping to turn around distressedcompanies. In 2003, Bob and Vivien retired to San Diego CA to be closer to their daughter and her family. Bob inherited his father's attention to detail and his mother's unbridled optimism and perseverance. He was a very generousman who contributed to a number of philanthropic causes and helping in a quiet way many people in difficult situations, including the family of his close college fraternity-mate, Dr. Y. Nayudamma. He traveledextensively, and was particularly moved by wildlife safaris in Kenya and Tanzania. He loved the symphony and the opera, and was an avid gardener. Bob enjoyed sailing, skiing, tennis and photography. He repeatedlybounced back from a series of medical challenges, including spinal surgery and open heart surgery. Quick with a laugh, Bob also loved playing practical jokes on his friends and family. He is survived by Vivien, his wife of62 years, children; Rob and Susan, son-in-law, Ed, grandson, Dillon, and extended family throughout New England, including his brother, Julian, who lives in Pittsfield. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that if you wish to honor Bob's life, please consider making a donation to either: Scripps Health Foundation, P.O. Box 2669, La Jolla, CA 92038, 1-800-326-3776, http://www.scripps.org/about-us__giving__how-to-give__memorial-tribute-gifts Or: AmeriCares, 88 Hamilton Avenue Stamford, CT 06902, 1-203-658-9500, https://secure.americares.org/site/Donation2?df_id=18841&18841.donation=form1
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Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Mar. 1, 2015
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