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Obituaries: Hicks, Hopler, Larsen, McBrian

Mary Louise Yoder Hicks
Mary Louise Yoder Hicks

Mary Hicks

Mary Louise Yoder Hicks, 90, died August 4, 2014 in Newton, Massachusetts, where she resided at an assisted living community.

From 1987 to 2013, Mary Louise lived in Williamsburg, Virginia with her husband of 50 years, Harry L. Hicks Jr., who predeceased her in 2013. They lived in Kingsmill and at the Williamsburg Landing.

Prior to that, Mary Lou and Harry lived on Shelter Island and in Manhasset.

Born November 14, 1923 in Mt. Airy, Pennsylvania, to Lesse Blosser and Joseph D. Yoder, Mary Lou had an Amish and Mennonite heritage. Her family moved to Larchmont, New York where she attended Mamaroneck High School. She majored in piano performance at Syracuse University, graduating in 1945.

In 1949, she earned a master’s degree in music from the Yale School of Music.

Before she married in 1961, Mary Louise taught piano at the Moravian Seminary for Women in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and at Central Missouri State College in Warrensburg, Missouri. She lived in New York City during the 1950s where she worked for the Congregational Church, Good Housekeeping, Columbia Artists Management and Tiffany & Co. During that time, she also spent a year living in Florence, Italy, and traveling in Europe and then South Africa.

Mary Louise was known as a talented pianist and piano teacher. She taught both children and adults in Manhasset and on Shelter Island. She shared her love of music with friends and family, who often enjoyed impromptu performances in her home. Mary Lou organized and led the Shelter Island Presbyterian Church’s first hand-bell choir. With others, she co-founded the Shelter Island Friends of Music, which continues to bring classical musicians to the Island. She enjoyed singing with the Williamsburg Women’s Chorus and playing with the Sanctuary Ringers of the Williamsburg Presbyterian Church, where she was a member. She was a board member of the Williamsburg Chamber Music Society, as well as a frequent accompanist at church and community events.

Wherever she lived, Mary Louise was an active volunteer and community member. She served as Deacon and on various church committees on Shelter Island and in Williamsburg. She was a literacy tutor for many years and a regular volunteer for Meals-on-Wheels.

With her family, Mary Lou enjoyed golf, boating and travel. In 1976, she and Harry took their children across the country in a motor home. They later navigated the inland waterway from New York to Florida in their boat, Gulliver, and traveled to Africa, Europe, Antarctica and China. For her grandchildren, Mary Lou planned family reunions at the Outer Banks, North Carolina, where everyone could enjoy time together by the ocean.

Mary Louise was devoted to her immediate and extended family. She is survived by three children and their spouses: Lisa Hicks and Elliot Swan of Wellesley, Massachusetts; Tom Hicks and his wife Susan of Port Washington, New York; Jon Hicks and his wife Julie of Chicago; and by step-daughter Andrea Sato and her husband Thomas of Wilton, Connecticut. She had nine grandchildren: Eli and Peilin Swan, Benjamin, Phoebe, Harrison, Ian and Medjenski Hicks, and Lucia and Alex Sato. Mary Louise was pre-deceased by her parents and her brothers Joseph D. Yoder Jr. and John B. Yoder.

A memorial service celebrating Mary Lou’s life will be held on September 13, 2014 on the Island. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her name may be made to the Shelter Island Friends of Music, P.O. Box 193, Shelter Island, NY 11964.

Lorraine Hopler

Lorraine Ann Sheehan Hopler passed away on July 27, 2014 at home, with her daughters by her side.
Lorraine was born September 10, 1930 in College Point, Queens, to Mabel Familton Sheehan and James W. Sheehan. She was the youngest of three children. At the age of 17, Lorraine graduated with honors from Flushing High School and began her first job in New York City for Equitable Life Insurance Company.

On Thanksgiving Day in 1949, she married Raymond Hopler of Rockaway, New Jersey. They lived there for a short time, then purchased their first home in Levittownin 1952, and moved there with their daughter, Amy.

For much of her life Lorraine was a homemaker and avid volunteer. She worked tirelessly at her parish of St. Bernard’s in Levittown. She developed and managed a busing system that picked up hundreds of children for weekly religious education classes. She was a member of the Rosary Altar Society, Catholic Daughters of America and a counselor for Jr. Catholic Daughters.

In 1956, Ray and Lorraine, who had spent part of their honeymoon at Peconic Lodge, bought their summer home on Shelter Island. Lorraine enjoyed summer afternoons spent on Louis Beach with many other moms who became lifelong friends while their children attended Red Cross swimming lessons.

Having wanted more children, Lorraine felt extremely blessed when their second daughter, Carrie, was born in 1970.

In 1987 they sold their Levittown home, closed Ray’s business and retired to their beloved Island.

Lorraine worked for several years as a member of the retreat team at St. Gabriel’s Spiritual Center for Youth, affectionately called “Grandma” by hundreds of young people whom she counseled there. She also volunteered for events at St. Gabriel’s and was privileged to serve her parish of Our Lady of the Isle as a Eucharistic Minister, religious education teacher, reader, server and in many other roles, until the end of her life.

Lorraine is remembered for her warm smile. She was an avid reader and gardener. She and Ray loved traveling with family, first in their station wagon and then in an RV, camping at historic sites and parks and visiting their way across the U.S. They enjoyed spending winters in Sarasota, Florida for more than 20 years and frequented Disney World as often as she could convince a group of family and friends to make the trip. In recent years, she enjoyed the fellowship and food at the Dinner Bell program for seniors.

And most of all, she loved spending time with her grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her parents; brother James Sheehan and sister Ruth Langdon; and her loving husband Raymond (Rusty) of 59 years. She is survived by her daughters, Amy Martin and partner Ian of Greenport; Carrie Wood and husband Craig of Shelter Island; grandchildren Greg Martin, Samantha Martin Idle and husband Charles, Audrey and Owen Wood; and great-grandchildren Jessica, Cody and Joshua Idle, as well as many nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated at our Lady of the Isle on Friday, August 1, 2014, with Father Peter DeSanctis officiating.

Memorial donations may be made to Our Lady of the Isle Parish Outreach, P.O. Box 3027, Shelter Island Heights 11965 or the Shelter Island Ambulance Foundation, P.O. Box 547, Shelter Island 11964.

Carol Stroll Larsen

Carol Stroll Larsen passed away quietly at home in Manhasset on July 30, 2014 after a brief illness.

She was 78.

She is survived by her husband, Leslie H. Larsen Jr. of Manhasset; her daughter, Kari Larsen Pedone; grandchildren, Maddie and Ellie; and her aunt, Gloria Hegeman of Vero Beach, Florida. She was the daughter of the late Dr. George and Helen Stroll of Shelter Island.

Carol Larsen graduated from St. Mary’s in Garden City in 1954 and RolRollins College in Winter Park, Florida in 1958. She was director of publicity for Peck & Peck and served as president of Les Paniers (The Baskets). She was a member of the Nassau Country Club and listed in the 1968-69 edition of “Who’s Who of American Women.”

A service was held at the Shelter Island Presbyterian Church on August 4, 2014 with interment in the Emily French Memorial Cemetery. Donations may be made to the Rollins College Fund, Winter Park, Florida.

Frances J. McBrian

Frances J. McBrian of Meredith, New Hampshire passed away at the age of 93 on July 20, 2014.
Frances was born in Washington, D.C. in 1920.

She was predeceased by her husband John E. McBrian in February 2000. John was the son of Ingrid McBrian and a previous resident of Montclair Colony and Silver Beach.

Frances is survived by her son Wayne McBrian and his wife Susan of Meredith; her daughter Donna Landi and her husband Vincent of Wyckoff, New Jersey; and her niece Dale MacCutcheon of Boca Raton, Florida.

Frances was a proud grandmother of four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Frances will be buried in Shelter Island Cemetery with her husband and other McBrian family members on September 20, 2014.