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Shelter Island Reporter obituaries: Crandall, Currie, Williams

David Jones Crandall
David Jones Crandall

David Jones Crandall
David Jones Crandall, beloved son, uncle, brother, life partner, and friend, who considered Shelter Island his home away from home, died in San Diego on March 13, 2017. He was 61.

David was born on May 15, 1955 to physicians Charles E. and Elizabeth (née Jones) Crandall of Maplewood, New Jersey. He attended Tuscan School, Maplewood Junior High School, and later Columbia High School, where he played football and lacrosse.

After graduating from Columbia in 1973, Dave attended Franklin and Marshall College, where he played football and lacrosse, and then Drew University, where he played lacrosse, receiving his undergraduate degree in 1978.

He earned his law degree at California Western School of Law in San Diego in 1985 and returned to New Jersey to pursue private practice. His family recalled that Dave used his law degree to help people, especially family and friends. Later, he worked in the private security business for several decades.

Dave especially loved Shelter Island, where his grandfather Benjamin F. Jones owned a cottage on the old Willow Walk and was one of the orginal trustees of the Methodist Meeting place, now Camp Quinipet.

Dave and his best friend, Steve Read, developed special childhood memories of their time on the Island. In 1991, Dave met Jill Gates at his cousin Penny (née Warter) Longo’s wedding on the Jersey Shore, and the two became inseparable. Dave spent as much time as possible on the Island with Jill, their friends and families.

Dave’s family recalled that his rich life was punctuated with gentleness, kindness, fierce loyalty to family and friends. He had an encyclopedic memory, a quixotic sense of humor, a passionate love of music, and an appreciation of the natural world, they said.

A talented pianist, Dave relished playing karaoke while entertaining family and friends at social events and local venues. In more recent years, he devoted himself to care-giving for his elderly parents as well as several Gates family members.

In addition his parents, of Maplewood and Shelter Island, Dave is survived by his sister, Dr. Marilyn C. Jones of San Diego; his brother, the Hon. Charles S. Crandall of San Luis Obispo, California; two nieces, Abigail E. Jones and Joanne E. Crandall; his nephew, Warren S. Crandall; his companion, Jill, who now lives in North Caldwell, New Jersey, and other family and friends.

All of them keenly feel Dave’s absence and miss him dearly, his family recalled, noting that though he parted way too early, Dave will never be forgotten by those whose lives he touched.

Mary E. Currie
Mary E. Currie

Mary E. Currie
Mary E. “Libby” Currie, who summered on Shelter Island, passed away on April 29, 2017, surrounded by her loving family.

She was born on June 21, 1936 in Fayetteville, North Carolina to Gola Willoughby of St. Pauls, North Carolina and Elias Straughn of Sampson County, North Carolina.

Libby is survived by her sons Don (Michelle) of Lake Mary, Florida and Scott of New York City; and daughter, Heather (Forrest) Currie Wegge of St. Louis . She also leaves behind her grandchildren, Lauren, Katherine and Sarah Currie, and Miranda Wegge.

Libby was raised in Fayetteville and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1958 with a Bachelors Degree in Education. After marrying Donald J. Currie in 1959, the couple started a family while living and working in New York City. Libby was a fashion model in New York in her younger years and, as children entered her life, she moved to Long Island and began her lifelong career of teaching.

She lived and worked for most of her life on Long Island and summered with her family on Shelter Island. After many years of raising her children and teaching primary and secondary schoolchildren in the Valley Stream and Hempstead Public School Districts, she earned her Masters Degree in

Reading Specialization from C. W. Post College. During her career she had untold impact on the lives of hundreds of school children with the gift of reading. At the peak of her career, she served as the Administrator of Reading and English Language Arts for Hempstead Public Schools and was an Adjunct Professor for the New York Technical Institute in the Department of Education.

Libby served as the president and trustee of the UNC Chapel Hill Alumni Association, president, secretary and trustee of the North Carolina Society of New York City and was on the advisory board of the Duke University Eye Center.

Libby was known for her boundless energy, her family said, her love of entertaining, travel, photography and giving little gifts for any occasion. She was always on the lookout for a new family moving into her neighborhood as an opportunity to bake and deliver an apple pie.

Upon her retirement, she built her dream home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, near her alma mater. As her health declined in 2012, she moved to Florida to be with her family and grandchildren where she lived out the remainder of her life. Libby was a loving mother and grandmother, and her love was abundantly returned by her children and grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in memory of Mary E. (Libby) Currie to support glaucoma research at Duke Eye Center. Checks may be written to Duke Eye Center and mailed to Duke Eye Center Development, 710 West Main Street, Suite 200,
Durham, NC 27701.

Or donate online at gifts.duke.edu/dukeeye. Please note Mrs. Currie’s name on the memo line of the check or when making an online donation.

Jennette Williams
Jennette Williams

Jennette Williams
Jennette “Jenny” Williams of New York City, a summer resident of Shelter Island for 32 years, died on April 9, 2017 after a two-year struggle with cancer. She was 64.

Jenny was born December 17, 1952 in Forest Hills to John H. and Lorraine (O’Connell) Williams, and was raised along with her brothers, Timothy and John, in East Meadow.

Jenny attended the University of New Hampshire and earned a law degree at New York Law School.

She practiced real estate law in New York City at Weil Gotshal & Manges. After the birth of her two children, Halley and Emmet, Jenny decided to pursue photography. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree at Yale University School of Art in 1991, where she was awarded the Robert A. Weir Award for Excellence in Photography.

Jenny won a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2000 to pursue a project entitled “The Bathers,” in which she photographed women in steam baths in Eastern Europe over a period of six years. Her work earned her the Honickman First Book Award from Duke University, which published the project in 2009.

Platinum prints from “The Bathers” are in numerous museum collections including The Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Yale Art Gallery. In addition to “The Bathers,” she had two other books: “Time Out” published in 2004 and “The Wet Class” published in 1998.

Remembered as a beloved teacher at The School of Visual Arts in New York City, Jenny was known to her family, her many close friends and her students for her warmth, generosity, her colorful adventurous spirit and untamed laugh. She was an inspiration to all and shared her brilliant sense of humor abundantly, her family said.

She is survived by her children, Halley Katsh-Williams of New York City and Emmet (Katie) Katsh-Williams of Cliffside Park, New Jersey; her mother, Lorraine Williams, and her brothers, Timothy (Mary) and John (Pamela) Williams; her adored nieces and nephews; and her former husband, Salem Katsh of Orient.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Guggenheim Foundation gf.org/donate. The family plans to hold a memorial on the Island on Sunday, June 25 with details to follow.