Grace (Leighton) Fisher
Joanna Grace (Leighton) Fisher, 77, of Orange, Mass., died Nov. 10, in the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Mass.
Grace was the editor and founder of the now-defunct Orange Oracle.
She leaves two sons, Larry and Richard; two daughters, Kathleen and Lucinda; her previous husband, Robert J. Fisher; four stepchildren, Janice, Thomas, Kathleen and Donald; five step-grandchildren; 10 step-great-grandchildren; two step-great-great-grandchildren; six grandchildren; two great-granddaughters; a brother.
Kathryn “Kay” Frazer Brooks, 82, of Westport, Conn., died Nov. 7 in her home after a lengthy illness.
She was vice president of Brooks Community Newspapers, founded and published by her husband, B.V. Dexter Brooks, and a now-defunct newspaper company that had distributed newspapers throughout Fairfield County in Connecticut. She retired in 1995.
She leaves a daughter, Lori; a son, Marc; two granddaughters, Kaila and Kathryn.
Margaret F. “Meg” (Perham) Johnson, 91, of Holden, Mass., died Nov. 15 at the home of one of her daughters in Holden.
After attending college, Johnson wrote for what is now the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester, Mass., then was editor of its women's section. She met her husband, Paul, there. He was a sports columnist and later became sports editor of the then-Worcester Telegram.
Johnson leaves four children, Gary, Paula, Stephen and Elizabeth; 12 grandchildren; six-great grandchildren; a sister.
Edward G. Robinson, 78, of the Feeding Hills section of Agawam, Mass., died Nov. 20 at his home.
Robinson was a circulation supervisor at The Republican of Springfield, Mass., until he retired.
Robinson leaves his wife, Dianna; four children, James, Lori, Sue Ellen and Tina; three stepchildren, JoAnn, Donna and Christina; four grandchildren; a sister.
Mason DeWees, 86, of Stowe, Vt., died Nov. 12 in her home.
Gwen Ifill, 61, of Washington, D.C., whose news career began at a Boston newspaper and grew into national prominence on television, died Nov. 14 from complications of uterine cancer at a Washington hospice.
Early in her career, Ifill was an intern and then a reporter for the Boston Herald American. She wrote about food and covered education there.
She was an active journalist up to her death, as moderator and managing editor for “Washington Week” on the Public Broadcasting System and as co-anchor and co-managing editor for “PBS NewsHour.”
She previously covered local politics for the Baltimore Evening Sun, and her first presidential campaign for The Washington Post, where she was a reporter from 1984 to 1991. She then joined The New York Times, where she was a White House correspondent. She also covered Capitol Hill for NBC.
Ifill was the moderator for vice presidential debates in 2004 and 2008 and co-moderator for one of the 2016 Democratic presidential primary debates.
She was the author of “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.”
She received the George Foster Peabody Award and the National Press Club's Fourth Estate Award. The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism planned to present her with the John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism recently. She was added to the National Association of Black Journalists’ Hall of Fame in 2012.
Ifill leaves two brothers, Roberto and Earle, and a sister, Maria.
Pamela Bullard, 68, of Philadelphia and formerly of Norwood, Mass., died Nov. 4 at her home.
Bullard was a reporter at the Boston Herald from 1971 to 1974, where she reported on court-ordered forced busing in Boston.
Later, she became a correspondent, editor, anchorwoman, and national documentary producer for multiple television stations, including WGBH in Boston, the Public Broadcasting Service, and WCVB, Channel 5, of Boston. Her award-winning TV programs focused on topics ranging from medical and health issues to life in Appalachia.
Bullard was an author and co-author whose work included ”The Hardest Lesson, Personal Accounts of a School Desegregation Crisis,” for which she received the Christopher Medal for Nonfiction; “Keepers of the Dream: The Triumph of Effective Schools”; “Making School Reform Happen”; and two novels, “More than Dreams” and “Powerfall.”
She was an assistant professor at Boston University’s then-School of Public Communication and taught at Emerson College from 1977 to 1980.
She leaves a brother, Roland; a sister, Nancy; several nieces and nephews.
Joseph L. Sheehan, 90, of Wells, Maine, and formerly of Cambridge, Mass., died Nov. 13 at home after a lengthy illness.
He moved to Wells in 1993 and became a reporter for the York County Coast Star in Kennebunk, Maine, and covered Wells and Ogunquit, Maine. He later became a columnist for the Coast Star, writing the Shenanigans column, which commented on local newsmakers, people and events.
He leaves his wife, Margaret; two sons, Mark and Andrew; his first wife and mother of his children, Barbara; seven grandchildren; a great-grandchild.
Frank Westby Gibson,
Jr., 89, died Nov. 6.
He leaves a wife, Diane; a son, Duncan; a daughter, Nancy.
Mary Fay Mahoney, 93, of Framingham, Mass., and formerly of Wellesley, Mass., died Nov. 17.
Mahoney was a journalist for The Pilot, the newspaper of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston.
She leaves four sons, John, James, The Rev. Thomas, and Daniel; four daughters, Mary, Jane, Nancy and Cate; 18 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; two sisters; a brother.
Richard Therrien, 80, formerly of Maynard, Mass., died Oct. 17 in Honolulu after a brief illness.
Therrien spent most of his life setting type for many newspapers, including the former Boston Record American and The Sun of Lowell, Mass.
Therrien leaves four children: Sherry, Richard, Shelia and Raymond; eight grandchildren; four great-grandchildren.
James “Jim” Grogan, 74, of East Hartford, Conn., died Nov. 9 in his home.
Grogan was employed in the printing department of the former Hartford (Conn.) Times.
He leaves a brother, William; three sisters, Helen, Dorothy and Mary; many nieces, nephews, friends, and other family members.
Reid ‘May’ Anderson
Shelley D. Valentine, 58, of Chicopee, Mass., died unexpectedly Nov. 10 at home.
Valentine was a clerical assistant for The Republican of Springfield, Mass. Before that, she was a copy editor for The Wall Street Journal.
She leaves a son, Joshua; a daughter, Jessica; her mother, Janet; her father, Paul; a sister.
The obituaries were written, at least in part, from published reports by Bulletin correspondents Ashleane Alabre, Sophie Cannon, Jenna Ciccotelli, Nico Hall, Joshua Leaston, Georgeanne Oliver, Julia Preszler and Thomas Ward, undergraduate students at Northeastern University.
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