Thursday, September 28, 2023

The Episcopal Church Welcomes You! Join us

 Wonderful Sunday at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Cathedral Road

24 September 2023

24 September 2023 ~ Holy Eucharist at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Cathedral Road


R. Peter Nessen, 55, formerly of Middlebury


R. Peter Nessen, 55, formerly of Middlebury


HAVERILL, Mass. — The family of R. Peter Nessen mourns his passing on Aug. 31, 2023, at the age of 55. Peter leaves so many who love him fiercely and deeply and who will miss him terribly. He is mourned by his wife, Suzanne Gilligan; daughter, Grace Nessen-Gilligan; mother, Kathy Nessen; father, Richard Nessen; sisters, Pam Karlin, Annie Nessen, and Abigail Nessen Bengson; as well as his brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, and niblings, and a loving, large extended family. His many friends and colleagues from every stage of his life are also joined in sorrow at the loss of a wonderful man.

Peter graduated from Middlebury Union High School in 1986, where he cultivated lifelong friendships with both fellow students and teachers who appreciated his keen intelligence, his love of debate, his baritone voice in the chorus, and his performances in drama productions. He was part of a champion Scholars’ Bowl team and his hilarious co-hosting of basketball games showed that even guys who march to their own drummer have school spirit.

Peter followed his love of mathematics to Vassar College where he received a B.A. in 1990. There, again, he made friends for life who still fondly remember his tweed jackets, love of James Taylor, hopeless romanticism, and that he was a loyal friend you could always, always call on for support.

Peter’s love of spirited argument and deep commitment to issues won him a reputation as a lovable, caring curmudgeon. Although he considered a career in mathematics, no one who knew him was surprised when he pursued a career in law — graduating from Boston University School of Law in 1996. While his family were all delighted with his diploma, they knew the best thing about law school for Peter was meeting the love of his life, Suzanne Gilligan. Performing together in Legal Follies, the annual law student musical revue, it was clear they were made to be together. In 1997, they married by candlelight in a church darkened by an electrical storm, a dramatic start to a wonderful life. Suzanne’s multi-lingual, energetic, world-traveling, and loving heart met Peter’s faithful, stay-at-home, hilarious and just soul and they made a beautiful life together traveling, doing puzzles, taking Grace to Disney, and reading one another to sleep.

Peter started as a Law Clerk for a federal judge (D., Mass.) in Boston, and then he and Suzanne moved to Chicago. Their daughter Grace was born there in 1999, and she has been their greatest pride and joy. Soon after her birth, they came to Vermont so Peter could work in a law firm from 1999-2000.  Peter was then a Staff Attorney for the US Court of Appeals in D.C. and then spent 20 years as a Senior Attorney for the U.S. Department of Labor, where he was valued for being undefeated in OSHA and MSHA hearings and for his stellar and successful representation of the Department in a variety of cases and disputes.

Peter is remembered as a deeply loyal person whose absolute integrity occasionally made him grouchy with the world as it is and whose affectionate nature and humor always pulled him back to the lighter side. He was kind-hearted but did not suffer fools (or unfairness) in silence. He was a life-long Red Sox fan who rode the waves and ups and downs of any true BoSoxer with passion, despair, and annual hope. He liked a glass of red wine. He loved a day in a comfortable chair — but would give up his seat to a dog or a little kid. And he had plans to return to Alaska where he felt a sense of deep peace.

Peter beat Hodgkins as a young man and died after complications following treatment for another cancer diagnosed only recently. While he is mourned, there is much to celebrate about such a man. A celebration of life for Peter will be held in Middlebury at the Bridge School on Exchange Street at 12:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 28.

Cards of condolence can be sent to any of his family members at 63 Seymour Street, Middlebury, VT 05753. The family would be particularly glad to hear stories about Peter from those who knew him.

Dedicated donations to honor his memory may be made to the Bridge School Math Program at 1469 Exchange Street in Middlebury, Vt. Peter personally worked with school founder Kathy Nessen to make (and even develop) many of the original math materials and games used there. Or, The ACLU, The Innocence Project, or the Southern Poverty Law Center in acknowledgement of Peter’s abiding dedication to the abolishment of the death penalty.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

A General Thanksgiving


A General Thanksgiving

Accept, O Lord, 
our thanks and praise for all that you have done for us. 
We thank you for the splendor of the whole creation,
for the beauty of this world, 
for the wonder of life,
and for the mystery of love.

We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, 
and for the loving care 
which surrounds us on every side.

We thank you for setting us at tasks 
which demand our best efforts, 
and for leading us to accomplishments
which satisfy and delight us.

We thank you also
for those disappointments and failures
that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone.

Above all, we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ; 
for the truth of his Word 
and the example of his life; 
for his steadfast obedience, 
by which he overcame temptation; 
for his dying, 
through which he overcame death;
and for his rising to life again, 
in which we are raised to the life of your kingdom.

Grant us the gift of your Spirit, 
that we may know him and make him known; 
and through him, at all times and in all places,
may give thanks to you in all things. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Richard F. Harrold November 22, 1954 - August 28, 2023


Richard F. Harrold 

November 22, 1954 - August 28, 2023

Richard F. Harrold passed away on August 28, 2023 at the age of 68. He is the husband of Karen Harrold (nee Graham). Son of the late Richard J. and Irene Harrold. Brother of Michael Harrold. Also survived by his niece, Michelle Harrold.

Relatives and friends are invited to his Viewing on Saturday beginning at 10 AM at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, 630 E. Cathedral Rd. A Funeral Service will follow at 11 AM. Interment in Whitemarsh Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Wounded Warrior Project.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory, Harold Starr


Harold P. Starr

d. August 23, 2023


Obituary for Harold Starr

Harold Page Starr (age 91) died peacefully on August 23, 2023, at Cathedral Village in Philadelphia, thirteen years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The son of Isaac and Edith Page Starr, he grew up in Wyndmoor, PA, and graduated from Episcopal Academy, Yale College and Harvard Law School. Between Yale and Harvard he served in the Navy. In 1960 he married Emily Woodward Churchman. They had five children and lived for fifty years in the house his grandmother built in Wyndmoor, PA. He is survived by his children Elizabeth Starr Masoudnia and her husband, Shahram Masoudnia; Edith Starr and her husband, Mark Feighn; Page Starr and his wife, Helen Starr; and Alice Starr Wagg and her husband, Geoffrey Wagg. He is also survived by his grandchildren: Sholeh Masoudnia, Milan Masoudnia, Coco Starr, Harold Starr, Nicholas Wagg, Emily Wagg and Henry Wagg. Emily, his wife of 62 years, died in 2022, and their son, Isaac, died of natural causes in 2000 at the age of 28. 

After law school, Harold specialized in business law at Pepper, Hamilton & Scheetz for twenty years and was a solo practitioner for twenty more years. He acquired an impressive collection of modern art and served on committees at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. An active community member, Harold was chair of the Springfield Township Bicentennial Committee, served on the Chestnut Hill Historical Society, and was President of the Chestnut Hill Community Association. Harold vacationed in Nova Scotia with extended family nearly every summer of his life and oversaw the upkeep of the family property there for twenty-five years. An avid gardener, he filled the house with roses and fed the family with delicious vegetables from his bountiful garden. In the winter he heated the house using wood he enthusiastically chopped himself.

In retirement, Harold and Emily enjoyed traveling to Mali, India, China, and over forty other countries. Inspired by the children they met along the way, they supported international organizations providing food, education, and opportunity to those in need. They were also devoted supporters of many of Philadelphia’s cultural, educational, and service organizations.

The funeral service will be held at St. Paul’s Church, 22 E. Chestnut Hill Avenue, Philadelphia, on September 2 at 2:00 pm, with a reception to follow at the church. The service will also be live-streamed (