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Shelter Island Reporter obituaries: French, Kramek, Morse

Allison Taylor French
Allison Taylor French, 84, a former resident of Shelter Island, died peacefully on Saturday, November 5, 2016 at Meridian Nursing & Rehabilitation in Shrewsbury, New Jersey, surrounded by his loving family.

Al was preceded in death by his son Allison “Ty” in 1991 and his wife of 57 years, Beverly Wunderley French in 2011. He is survived by his sons, Randall (Carol) of Eatontown, New Jersey and Kendall (Kathy) Gainsville, Florida; his daughter Lucinda Murphy (Sean); and his grandchildren, Taylor, Renny and Rorey, all of East Hampton.

Al was born in Orlando, Florida and later moved and grew up in West Palm Beach and attended Tulane University in New Orleans. He worked for the family business, Carson Groves, in Frostproof, Florida; Management Research Institute in Orlando; the Florida Farm Bureau in Gainesville; and retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Gainesville and Washington, D.C.

After retirement, Al and Bevy moved to the Island to be nearer their grandchildren.

He was active in politics and current events and was a champion of conservative causes, his family said, able to speak publicly with ease and clarity and also tell a good story to friends. An avid reader, he read two newspapers front-to-back every day. Al was interested in many things, his family said, and had many hobbies throughout his life including auto racing, sailing, hunting/shooting, model airplanes and fishing and desired to excel at whatever he did.

He was an enthusiastic Florida Gator and Washington Redskins fan.

Al loved and cared for his family — he will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Al’s memory may be made online to Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation, rls.org.

Admiral Robert E. (Bob) Kramek
Admiral Robert E. (Bob) Kramek

Robert E. Kramek
Admiral Robert E. (Bob) Kramek, U. S. Coast Guard (Ret.) passed away on October 20, 2016.

Admiral Kramek was born on December 15, 1939 and raised in New York. He graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1961 with a B.S. in engineering. He also attended the University of Michigan, John Hopkins University, the University of Alaska and the U.S. Naval War College, graduating with highest distinction. He earned Masters of Science degrees in Naval Architecture, Marine Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Engineering Management.

He had a distinguished military career that culminated in his service as the Coast Guard’s 20th Commandant (1994-1998).

Before that, his assignments included Coast Guard Chief of Staff and Commander of the Thirteenth and Seventh Districts. He served concurrently as the Regional Drug Interdiction Coordinator and principal of a migration task force as commander of the Seventh District. Other major commands included Governors Island, New York —  the then-largest base in the Coast Guard — and the Coast Guard Cutter 378 Midgett in San Francisco.

After retiring from the Coast Guard, Adm. Kramek joined the American Bureau of Shipping (“ABS”) as president, Americas Division (1998-2004) and then became President and COO of ABS (2004-2006). He served on various ABS Boards during and after his retirement from ABS, as well as, among others, for First Command Financial Services, John F. Lehman Co. and Rowan.

He was also President of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.

Admiral Kramek is pre-deceased by his mother and father, Mary and Edward Kramek of Shelter Island. He is survived by his wife, Patricia, and their children, Tracy, Joseph, Suzanne, Nancy, their spouses and eight grandchildren. Admiral Kramek is also survived by his sister, Virginia McManus, and his brother William, and their families.

Admiral Kramek will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Family members have asked in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Coast Guard Foundation’s Admiral Robert E. Kramek Scholarship Fund, Coast Guard Foundation, 394 Taugwonk Road, Stonington, CT 06378; or by calling (860) 535-0786.

His family and friends wish him fair winds and following seas.

May Morse
May Morse

May Morse
May Morse, 94, died November 5, peaceably at home at Peconic Landing in Greenport after a one-year battle with lung cancer. May and her late husband, Ed, lived for many years in their Shelter Island home on Bayshore Drive.

Ms. Morse was a founding board member of Greenport’s Peconic Landing; a trustee of Greenport’s Brecknock Hall Foundation; a past president of the Silver Beach Association; a former trustee of Mashomack Preserve; past president of the Friends of the Shelter Island Public Library; past president of the Seraphic Society; and a long-time executive assistant to John T. Sargent, president and chairman of Doubleday & Company.

Ms. Morse joined the accounting department of Doubleday in 1941 after attending Queens College working directly for Mr. Sargent, Nelson Doubleday’s brother-in-law, at the firm’s Manhattan office. Mr. Sargent led the company through a “golden age” of publishing, working with writers including President Dwight Eisenhower, Stephen King, Isaac Asimov, Michael Jackson, William F. Buckley Jr., Barbara Bush, and Leon Uris, becoming the largest publisher in the world by 1977.

Ms. Morse retired in 1986 from Doubleday following their acquisition by Bertelsmann, the largest media company in the world.

Her family recalled that Bertelsmann’s merger team was surprised to discover that Ms. Morse, as a woman, managed all the corporate insurance policies for a $500 million international company.

In 1966, she was invited to join the Seraphic Society, a closely managed group of executive assistants linking the boardrooms of many Fortune 500 firms.

She married her husband, Ed Morse, in 1949. In 1961, the Morses purchased a house on West Neck Creek, after many years spending summers in Montauk. The Morses spent as much time as possible abroad, sailing in the Caribbean or skiing in the Alps. Ms. Morse was a former member of the Shelter Island Yacht Club and a long-time member of Gardiner’s Bay Country Club, sponsored by Douglas M. Black, past Doubleday chairman and Ram Island resident.

In addition to her sister, JoMarie Colby (née Boylston), also of Peconic Landing, Mrs. Morse is survived by her nephew, John T. Colby Jr. and his wife, Betsy, of Shelter Island; niece Jacqueline Colby and her husband, Mark Muntzner, of New Jersey; a grand-nephew, John T. Colby III (Cole); and two grand-nieces, Kaitlyn Muntzner and Marnie Colby.

The family plans a private service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to East End Hospice, eeh.org.