Timothy “Tim” Donohue

Timothy “Tim” Donohue, 64, died peacefully at his home in Sagamore Beach on Wednesday, June 20, 2018. Tim was born on July 4, 1953 in New Bedford to the late George Donohue and Catherine (Lowney) Donohue. He attended Holy Family High School in New Bedford and graduated from Bridgewater State University.

Empowering others, young and old, in optimizing their own health and well-being was Tim’s primary impetus and passion in life. Tim was the founder and director of Yoga Kids Inc., through which he provided yoga, mindfulness and life-skills training to at-risk children for 18 years in New Bedford. His work was supported by the Marion Institute and several generous individual donors. He was intensely passionate about teaching coping skills to children and teens, with the goal that they feel empowered to make positive choices in their lives. Letters from his hundreds of appreciative students and teachers demonstrate the transformative impacts of his visits to classrooms in New Bedford Public School, Old Rochester Regional School District and Riverview School (Sandwich) classrooms. This was his life’s work. Tim also worked for many years with seniors at Bristol Elder Services, empowering them with his straightforward, fun, and enthusiastic teaching of mindfulness and yoga. Another of his most fulfilling efforts was working with at-risk youth in New Bedford, guiding them to discover their own inner resources for coping.

Tim was deeply devoted to his entire family, especially his sister Meg, who has Cerebral Palsy, and with whom he completed the March for Babies fundraising walk to support the March of Dimes forty years in a row. In his personal life, Tim practiced what he preached meditating every morning to cultivate a sense of heartfelt gratitude. His love of wellness and fitness took off early on, when he had the opportunity to lead the tiny Holy Family High School to a win in the state basketball championship at Boston Garden in 1969. Tim was captain of that team as a sophomore. After hitting two jump shots at a critical juncture at the end of the game he was nicknamed the ‘Cool Stab’ at the time by the future hall of fame broadcaster Gil Santos who was doing the play by play at the Boston Garden for the championship game. Tim was famous among his friends and family for his fun-loving attitude, delicious cooking, love of the outdoors, infectious sense of humor, and wonderful shoulder massages.

Tim is survived by two adored and adoring children, Kelsey Donohue of Philadelphia, PA, and Daniel Donohue of Los Angeles, CA. He is also survived by his beloved partner, Vicki Summers, and three cherished sisters, Meg Donohue, Sharon Donohue, and Maureen Fischer and brothers- in-law Paul Caruso and Bill Fischer. He was tragically predeceased by his brother John Donohue in 1988, who died at the age of 36. Tim’s extended family and friends will miss him tremendously as well. Tim’s positive presence in the lives he touched so deeply will be his lasting legacy.

On Wednesday, June 27th a celebration of Tim’s life will take place at the Saunders-Dwyer Home for Funerals, 495 Park St., New Bedford. Family welcomes visitors between 12pm and 4:00pm, with a memorial service honoring Tim at 2 pm. Vicki, Tim’s life partner, invites you to wear fun, colorful clothing to reflect Tim’s joy of living.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Tim may be made to All Hands and Hearts, a non-profit in Mattapoisett, MA (website: https://www.allhandsandhearts.org/). For directions and condolence book, please visit www.saundersdwyer.com.

The Colors of Katherine Lee Bates

As we approach July 4th and all it means to those of us who call this place “home,” it seems fitting to talk about how the country has been depicted in verse, especially America the Beautiful. One can miss something very important when merely singing the lyrics: one can miss the colors, the energy, and the history. All of that tone and texture came shining through on June 13 when educator and author Melinda Ponder spoke at the Mattapoisett Public Library.

Ponder was there to discuss her latest book on another educator and author, Katherine Lee Bates, famous for penning the poem that has become the beloved America the Beautiful.

But before we discuss Ms. Bates, let’s get back to her historic poem. The colors are there, gleaming amber, gold, and purple. And if you listen, she’ll transport you with words like spacious, fruited, shining, liberating, and undimmed.

Ponder tells us that, through travel, a rather novel activity for a woman to experience alone in the 1800s, Bates found the inspiration to write words to the song some often say should be our national anthem.

Ponder’s book, Sea to Shining Sea, follows Bates through her years of study and teaching at Wellesley Collage to travels that took her to exotic ports of call. And while her friends and female associates were doing what most women of that era were expected to do, marry, Bates delved into her studies and dreamed of faraway places.

Bates’ early life would certainly shape her intellect. Her mother was an educated woman who attended Wellesley, married a clergyman, and became a widow one month after Katherine was born. The next decade or more would find the family frequently moving to make ends meet. Spending the Civil War years in Falmouth, Ponder explained, exposed Bates to not only the adventures of sea travel as ships arrived and departed from the harbor, but also the impact of war as troops marched down Main Street headed south for battle.

Ponder said that the assassination of Lincoln, although occurring when Bates was a young girl, left a deep impression on the child. “The nation’s sorrow was her own…”

During those years, Bates would see widows struggling to support their families, working hard, and managing it all with creative imagination and brawn. “She was learning that women had to be capable,” Ponder believes.

In adulthood, Bates’ studies and her desire to travel the world would be the gateway by which she could explore, but moreover, inject into her written works a deeper insight into the human condition.

From her travels throughout America, Bates observed the vast open spaces, the plains, mountains, and the seas. Ponder said Bates traveled far and wide throughout the country and relished all that she saw firsthand. Bates also witnessed the darker side of a country growing through industrialization, observing with her own eyes the evils of sweatshops and over-crowded tenement buildings.

Bates was a prolific writer throughout her lifetime. From publishing a magazine geared towards youth, to a groundbreaking book on American literature, to writing for The New York Times, she was a Renaissance woman.

Bates’ most famous poem, one could easily argue is, America the Beautiful. Many of us know it by heart.

The poem, on closer examination, tells us about her travels across a country that was just beginning to march towards its esteemed position in the world. Through her eyes, we see the endless plains, the mountaintops, and the seas. We breathe in the rarified air of Pike’s Peak and we glimpse the Pacific for the first time. We also visualize the Founding Fathers penning The Constitution, soldiers fighting for freedom and the unity of the country, as well as divine providence guiding the way. We see Bates’ America, possibly an America we are still striving to create.

Ponder has researched Bates for many years with this latest book being her third biography on a woman whose footsteps she has followed. Ponder has traveled across the globe to find Bates waiting, and she has poured through boxes of documents and Bates’ personal papers to understand more fully a woman of great intellectual depth.

“I found her diaries,” said Ponder. “I could hear her voice!”

Ponder is also a scholar of Nathaniel Hawthorne and has written extensively about an author that Bates herself knew in life.

To learn more about Melinda Ponder you may visit www.melindaponder.com.

By Marilou Newell


ORR T.U.R.F. Project Scaled Down

Rochester Town Administrator Suzanne Szyndlar briefly told the Rochester Board of Selectmen on June 18 that a recent Old Rochester Regional T.U.R.F. (Tri-Town Unified Recreational Facilities) meeting had committee members considering a more scaled-down project for ORRHS with a revised estimated cost of $2.6 million as opposed to the original project that had costs totaling north of $5 million.

This scaled-down turf plan would cover the track rehab, the turf on the field, and the necessary equipment to maintain the turf, mentioned Szyndlar.

According to Szyndlar, funding will provide only the most pertinent pieces of the project and there will be debt schedule estimates for each of the three towns in the near future.

Also during the meeting, Selectman Paul Ciaburri prompted Szyndlar to briefly recount the plans for delinquent taxes. Szyndlar explained that the treasurer prepares and monitors a list of those who haven’t paid taxes on a residence and handles all delinquent taxes. She explained that as long as people are making a good faith effort, the Town would not begin foreclosure proceedings, as it’s been a very long time since the Town has seized any properties.

In other matters, the selectmen heeded the Rochester Conservation Commission’s recommendation not to exercise their rights of 61A, the Right of First Refusal, on the Maksy property. They soon made a motion to approve the signing off of the property, which lies on Map 6, Lot 11 E and is being sold as a single-family housing lot with just over 2 acres.

The board also held a “recognition event” to acknowledge six students from Rochester Memorial School who marked perfect attendance over the course of the previous school year. Euan Fredricks, Allison Winters, Alia Cusolito, Anna Pereira, Olivia DeSousa, and Ethan Furtado stepped up to the board of selectmen to shake hands and happily receive their award certificates, followed by a round of applause.

The next meeting of the Rochester Board of Selectmen is scheduled for July 10 at 6:30 pm at the Rochester Town Hall.

Rochester Board of Selectmen

By Caleb Jagoda


Seek out local birds with the BBC

Join the Buzzards Bay Coalition in partnership with the Wildlands Trust and Wareham Land Trust to look and listen for songbirds, shorebirds, and raptors on Saturday, June 23at 8:00 am at Marks Cove in Wareham. This free morning walk will traverse through pine forest to the marshes that line the edge of these woods and look out on Buzzards Bay.

Thanks to the variety of habitat within this conservation area, Marks Cove hosts a great diversity of birds, and we’ll try to identify those that we see. Whether you are a fledgling or an expert flyer, all are welcome — just bring your binoculars and your listening ears!

Pre-registration is required for this free program. To RSVP or to get more information, visit http://www.savebuzzardsbay.org/events/bird-walk-at-marks-cove-jun-23-2018/ or contact the Buzzards Bay Coalition at (508) 999-6363 ext. 219 or bayadventures@savebuzzardsbay.org.

This event is part of Discover Buzzards Bay, an initiative to help people across the Buzzards Bay region find unique and exciting ways to explore the outdoors, get some exercise, and connect with nature. Local residents can use Discover Buzzards Bay to get outside and discover woods, wetlands, and waterways from Fall River to Falmouth. To learn more, visit savebuzzardsbay.org/discover.

Marion Bookstall

Goodbye to The Bookstall – thank you Doris and Jack Ludes;

            After more than 60 years, The Bookstall in the center of Marion village is closing its doors.  The Sippican Historical Society would like to thank Doris and Jack Ludes for owning and running The Bookstall for the past 8 years.  We are not the only ones who will miss this historical Marion institution, and we want to thank the Ludeses for all that they have done for the Town of Marion.

            Cecilia Plumb started the Bookstall in 1960 in a small building at 134 Front Street.   She ran it at that location for three years, then sold the business to Patricia Converse McDonald, who moved it to its present location at 151 Front Street. McDonald owned the Bookstall from 1963 – 1978.  According to her son, Peter McDonald, his mother used to review galleys for publishers to give her opinion before a book was published.  One of the galleys she reviewed favorably was the 1977 best-selling novel, The Thorn Birds,by Australian writer Colleen McCullough.

            The next owner of the Bookstall was Lorna Eames, who owned it from 1978 – 1983.  She sold it to Michael and Carol Cudahy, who ran it for the next three years.  In 1986, Joyce and Bruce West bought The Bookstall and owned it for six years, before selling it to Sally Hunsdorfer in 1992.  Hunsdorfer ran The Bookstall for 13 years and added a coffee café in the side room.  In 2005, Mimi Putnam bought the Bookstall and ran it for five years before selling it to Doris and Jack Ludes in 2010.  As many of you know, the book business has changed drastically during the age of Amazon and Kindles.

            I frequently purchase out-of-print Marion historical books on a website called American Book Exchange.  Recently, I purchased a used copy of The School and the Sea:  A History of Tabor Academyby Joseph J. Smart written in 1964.  It arrived from a used bookseller in Indiana, and when I opened the front page, there was a small sticker in the bottom left-hand corner that read “The Bookstall, Marion, Massachusetts.”

Judy Rosbe, Sippican Historical Society

            The views expressed in the “Letters to the Editor” column are not necessarily those of The Wanderer, its staff, or advertisers. The Wandererwill gladly accept any and all correspondence relating to timely and pertinent issues in the greater Marion, Mattapoisett, and Rochester area, provided they include the author’s name, address, and phone number for verification. We cannot publish anonymous, unsigned, or unconfirmed submissions. The Wandererreserves the right to edit, condense, and/or otherwise alter submissions for purposes of clarity and/or spacing considerations. The Wanderermay choose to not run letters that thank businesses and The Wandererhas the right to edit letters to omit business names. The Wandereralso reserves the right to deny publication of any submitted correspondence.


William J. Johnson

William J. Johnson, 68, of Mattapoisett died June 10, 2018 unexpectedly at home.

Born in New Bedford, the son of the late Owen L. and Lillian (Normandin) Johnson, he grew up in Fairhaven, but lived in Mattapoisett most of his life.

Although he spent time as a photographer in Detroit, the majority of his life was spent as a commercial fisherman. Working mostly as a dragger, he spent over 30 years sailing from New Bedford harbor. He loved being at sea from his days as a child on the waters off Sconticut Neck, his years serving the Navy during Vietnam, to being on any one of his own boats from Buzzards Bay to Key West. Sailing last on his cutter ketch “The Rights of Man,” he truly loved being on the ocean. He loved having fun. He loved his friends, but mostly he loved his family. He was a truly unique man and will be terribly missed.

Survivors include his son Nils Johnson and his wife Jennifer Johnson, his step sons Mark Kroninger and his wife Erin Kroninger, Kurt Kroninger and his wife Wendy Kroninger. Five grandsons Kai Johnson, Jax Johnson, Wes Kroninger, Cole Kroninger, Kurt Kroninger Jr., granddaughter Katelyn Kroninger and his companion Connie Root.

His Memorial Service will be held on Friday, June 29th at 4 pm at the Seamen’s Bethel, 15 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford. A reception will immediately follow at Reservation golf course, 10 Reservation Road, Mattapoisett. Arrangements are with the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home for Funerals, 50 County Rd., Route 6, Mattapoisett. For online guestbook, please visit www.saundersdwyer.com.

Beatrice W. Taber

Beatrice W. Taber, 98, of Rochester died Monday, June 4, 2018 at Country Gardens Health & Rehabilitation, Swansea. Born in Acushnet, daughter of the late Carl E. and Edith E. (Carey) Taber. She lived many years in New Bedford before settling in Rochester in 1951. Miss Taber served in the United States Marine Corps during WWII, stationed in Arlington, VA. She was a charter member of the Women in Military Service for America (WIMSA) Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery, a charter member of the WWII Memorial Society in Washington, DC and a campaign member of the Marine Corps National Museum in Quantico, VA. She retired from NBG&EL Company (now Eversource) after 33 years of employment. She was a member of the Acushnet-Wesley United Methodist Church. She thanks the Rochester Senior Center Director and Staff for many helpful services and friendships.

She was sister of the late Evalyn Muggleton and Richard Taber.

In accordance with her wishes, all arrangements and burial at Acushnet Cemetery were private.

It’s a Go for ‘Gaga’

During his third appearance before the Marion Conservation Commission on June 13, aspiring Eagle Scout Jackson St. Don got the ‘go-ahead’ for his Gaga ball pit, his chosen project for his completion of his Eagle Scout requirements.

St. Don’s Gaga ball pit is planned for Silvershell Beach and now that the Board of Selectmen, the Recreation Department, and the Department of Public Works have all signed off to either approve or assume responsibility of removing the ball pit before serious storm events, the Marion Conservation gave its final approval.

Gaga ball is a game any age and any number of people can enjoy at the same time. It is dubbed the “kinder, gentler version of dodge ball” by The Gaga Center in New York, and the game involves a group inside an octagonal ring trying to hit other players with a soft foam ball below the knees. It is a quick, high action game that can be enjoyed by anyone, said Jackson, which is why he chose the Gaga ball pit as his gift to the community.

The pit will be a 22-foot diameter octagon with a sand floor and 30-inch high sides made of pressure-treated wood. After two prior meetings, the commission had no further questions on the details of the project.

“I appreciate you going through this somewhat arduous process,” said Commission Member Shaun Walsh. “And hopefully it’s been a good experience for you coming before a number of boards as part of your Scout project and presenting it to folks that need to sign off on it, and I appreciate the [gift] you’ve given us … I think it would be a great addition to the beach and to all the kids that play down there, so I’m looking forward to seeing it.”

Chairman Cynthia Trinidad wished St. Don good luck, saying he did a good job, given the unexpected surprise of having to file a Request for Determination of Applicability.

“It is what it is,” said Trinidad. “It’s government – so now you can get extra credit from your social studies teacher. I’ll write you a letter.”

St. Don expects to complete the project immediately.

In other matters, Kevin Cuzzi was given a Negative Determination (no Notice of Intent required) for his Request for Determination of Applicability to install a 100-gallon propane tank on a concrete pad between the house and shed at 35 East Avenue.

The commission approved the Dexter Beach Association’s request for a three-year extension of a permit to eradicate phragmites from two areas and re-seed them with native grasses. There was a concern as to whom specifically would be applying the herbicide, and the president of the association told the commission that the same association member has applied it since 1998 when the original permit was issued. The commission urged the association to hire a professional to eradicate the invasive reeds once and for all, since the eradication has been ongoing for 20 years and the area is still choking on phragmites.

Timothy Eilertsen was approved and given an Oder of Conditions for his Notice of Intent to build a 26-foot by 38-foot house with a 16-foot by 24-foot attached garage. Engineer Doug Schneider said the plan calls for a row of boulders on the west side of the property to mark the 15-foot ‘no-touch’ zone.

Samuel Barrington of 37 Holmes Street was given a Negative Determination for his RDA for a 576 square-foot in-ground swimming pool with a cement deck 8 feet wide at the east entrance of the pool and 3 inches on the sides and opposite end.

Carmine Martignetti received a Negative Determination for his RDA to demolish an existing house and establish a lawn (loam and seed) within the former footprint of the demolished house at 75 Moorings Road.

The commission approved an extension permit for an Order of Conditions for utility service relocation on Moorings Road for applicant Moorings QPRT with minimal discussion. The permit was extended until September 10, 2021, at the applicant’s request.

The next meeting of the Marion Conservation Commission is scheduled for June 27 at 7:00 pm at the Marion Town House.

Marion Conservation Commission

By Jean Perry

‘Survival’ Still Teaches What Tech Cannot

Any Old Rochester 7th-grader who’s lived in the Tri-Town since the early 1970s knows what it’s like to experience Survival. Some of those very first ORR Junior High School students to experience a Survival excursion, which is the annual end-of-the-year trudge into a classroom like no other — the wilderness — are now pushing 60. But during a time when teenagers are likely more adept at creating computer programs and coding and less skilled at tasks like starting a fire in the wild or pitching a tent, Survival may just be more relevant today than it was decades ago.

What started out as a one-day trek into the woods of the much less-developed Rochester of yore is now a week-long immersion in the woods of western Massachusetts, and a deeply embedded Tri-Town tradition that has survived three generations of Tri-Townies, enduring as a common right of passage for its youth year after year after year.

Early this Sunday morning, Tri-Town’s current 7th-graders became the next line of students to stare down that “shared road to a stronger self,” converging in front of the junior high with those who chose that shared road as Survival guides. Long lines of backpacks waited in crooked rows across the lawn while the 7th-graders, older students who’ve already done Survival, and their adult leaders mingled in small groups and mentally prepared for the challenging week ahead. They’ve already physically prepared for the experience, having been assigned a list of required gear and physical training activities, but how would they cope emotionally, away from their parents, pets, comfy beds, and electronic devices?

Kevin “KT” Thompson knew exactly what the kids were feeling that bright and breezy morning, having experienced Survival himself as a 7th-grader in 1988 and every year since, with his involvement, now in its 30th year. “Cautiously excited” is one of those prevailing ambiguous sentiments, Thompson said.

“They’re probably thinking they’re half excited and half ‘what am I gonna do without my PlayStation or my cell phone?” said Thompson. And there are no Dunkin’ Donuts out there, either, he said. But the sacrifice is worth it, added Thompson, because Survival gives the kids more than the caffeine jolt of an iced coffee ever could– it gives them confidence, self-reliance, and a life-changing experience.

The environment is controlled, said Thompson, and it’s safe. But it’s unknown and unpredictable, “And they just know that it’s gonna be hard,” Thompson said.

“They’ll be learning to do things they never imagined they’d be able to do,” he said. “Surviving a week in the woods without technology, especially in a society that’s so dependent on technology – going completely old school.”

Thompson, a Scout in his boyhood and now a Scout leader in Rochester, knows all about what old school entails.

“This is my bread and butter and it enables me to bring those kinds of skills to them,” said Thompson. “And most of them don’t really know what it does for them, what it teaches them – to be independent, but working with others. Right now, they’re too young to know what it means.”

As part of the challenge, students are required to make their own shelters out of the natural materials they find in the woods, said Thompson. “They make it, they live in it, it’s their responsibility.”

And the community has been overwhelmingly supportive of the annual endeavor, Thompson added.

“It’s a 45-year program that’s got more community support than anything I’ve ever seen,” he said. The towns provide some funding, and local police and fire, Survival graduates, and a host of other members of the community either donate to the program or attend in in some capacity as leaders, guides, and assistants. “It’s massive,” said Thompson.

As the busses pulled up, it was last call for iced coffee and a quick assessment of the required gear: rollup sleeping mat, check. Water bottle, check. Tartan kilt, check — but only if you’re KT.

The boys with their baseball caps and the girls with their carefully tightened braids to keep camp hair away loaded their packs, gave one last goodbye hug to their mom, and boarded the busses. Next stop for the excited students: Northfield, Massachusetts for Survival 2018. As for the moms, they wiped their tears and retreated home to their child’s room to smell their pillow until the return of their beloved survivors – who, according to Thompson, will be back smelling less sweet, and more like survival.

By Jean Perry


134th Summer Season at St. Philip’s

St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, next to the Town Beach in Mattapoisett, continues their long tradition of visiting clergy from Massachusetts and beyond.

Services using the 1928 Book of Common Prayer are conducted at 8:00am and 10:00am each Sunday through Labor Day weekend.

The Reverend Alan B. Warren, Rector of The Church of the Advent, Boston, will officiate the services on Sunday, June 24.

Come visit our historic chapel by the sea in Mattapoisett! All are welcome.