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Shelter Island Reporter obituaries: Clark, Larsen, Laspia, Peters, Reeves


Mary Arden Clark
Mary Arden Clark, 80, formerly of Shelter Island, died peacefully at home in Rockland, Maine surrounded by her family on Monday, September 11, 2017.

Mary Arden Clark

Born June 2, 1937, in Greenport, she was the daughter of Reginald and Una Larson Webb. A graduate of Greenport High School class of 1955, she earned her L.P.N. from University of the State of New York in 1962.

On July 16, 1960, she married John F. Clark and the couple settled on Shelter Island.

As a young girl, Mary was taught to play the piano and organ by her mother. She developed a great love of music that, her family said, glorified God, and used her talent as pianist and organist in churches she attended.

Mary was well known for her hospitality and industry, her family remembered. She raised three children and opened her home to many others, preserved her own food and sewed for her family, as well as caring for her aging parents and housekeeping in other homes and businesses on the Island.

Mary and John moved to Maine following his retirement from South Ferry in 1998. Continuing to use her gift of hospitality, they opened a bed and breakfast in Camden and faithfully attended the Cornerstone Baptist Church there.

She took great interest in her grandchildren and was involved in their lives. Her pastor commented: “She was a strong woman with a vibrant faith whose focus and desire was that her children succeed in whatever the Lord would have them to do.”

Mary will be sadly missed by her family, church, and community. Family said that because of her trust in Jesus Christ, and not her own good deeds for salvation, they are “assured by God’s Word she is in heaven with the Lord.”

Predeceased by her husband in 2000, her daughter, Laurie Morin, in 2012 and her sister, Margot Clark, in 2016, Mary is survived by her sonsJohn (Judith) Clark of South Thomaston, Maine and Todd (Charlotte) Clark of Warren, Maine; eight grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; and many nieces, nephews, and extended family members

A memorial service was held in Camden on September 20, 2017 at Cornerstone Baptist Church, where gifts in her memory may be made to the church’s mission ministries by mail to 164 Cobb Road, Camden, Maine 04843.

Private interment was at Mountain View Cemetery in Camden.

Doris Thelma Clegg Larsen
Doris Thelma Clegg Larsen 96, died peacefully on October 2, 2017 at her home on Shelter Island.

Doris was born July 30, 1921 to John Howard Clegg and his wife Marian (Robe) in Glen Ridge, New Jersey. The oldest of three children, she grew up in Montclair, New Jersey and later moved to Verona, New Jersey where she graduated from high school. She majored in mathematics at New Jersey College for Women (now Douglass College) at Rutgers University.

Following graduation during World War II, she was recruited by Curtiss-Wright Aeronautical Engineering where she worked on engine testing, in the propeller division and on development of jet engines.

In 1955,she married Paul F. Larsen at Central Presbyterian Church in Montclair. They settled in Upper Montclair where they raised three daughters.

Doris was an active life member of the Girl Scouts, serving as leader for over 25 years. She was a life-long member and participant in the life and mission of Central Presbyterian Church in Montclair. She was an avid nature enthusiast, artist and crafts person with many creative interests and talents.

Paul introduced Doris to Shelter Island where his family had owned a vacation home on Menantic Creek since the 1940s. In 1963, they purchased their home on Menantic Creek next door to the Larsen family home.

For years they split summers between Shelter Island and Cape Cod where Doris’ parents had built a vacation home. Many happy years were spent boating around and on the beaches of the Island. In 1990, they retired to Venice Florida and the Island. In 2015, they moved permanently to the Island to be closer to their daughters and their families.

Doris is survived by her husband of 62 years; daughters Alice Deupree (Marvin) of Montclair and Shelter Island; Linda McCarthy (Peter) of Shelter Island; Suzan Newcomb (Mark) of Chatham, Massachusetts; four grandchildren; her brother Donald Clegg of Chatham; her cousin Jane Clegg Cook of Saxtons River, Vermont and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held on the Island (date to be determined) and interment will be in Caldwell, New Jersey.

Donations in her memory may be made to Central Presbyterian Church, 46 Park Street, Montclair, New Jersey 07042, East End Hospice, P.O. Box 1048, Westhampton Beach, New York NY 11978 or the Shelter Island Ambulance Foundation, P.O. Box 547, Shelter Island  New York 11964.

Lorna Jeanette Drilling Laspia
Lorna Jeanette Drilling Laspia, 95, died peacefully in her sleep on September 21, 2017 at her home on Shelter Island.

Lorna Jeanette Drilling Laspia

Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Lorna was an avid tennis player during high school and college, garnering many trophies in tournaments throughout the state. Her family said her proudest moment was when she and her brother, Morris, won the Michigan State doubles championship. She remained a lifelong follower of tennis and a sports enthusiast, especially loving baseball, boating, horse racing and croquet.

Lorna was well known for her bridge playing and was a much sought after partner.

After college graduation, Lorna enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving during World War II and becoming a leader of her platoon. She was a flight instructor, operating a link trainer (an early flight simulator) and taught U.S. servicemen how to fly relying solely on their instruments. While there, she met and taught her future husband, Blaise Laspia, a Navy pilot.

When the war ended, Lorna and Blaise moved to Shelter Island and eventually started the Shelter Island Nursery on St. Mary’s Road. Lorna was an active community volunteer — hosting scout jamborees, helping at the Shelter Island Historical Society and Garden Club, teaching math at the school and working with the PTA — while holding down full-time jobs.

She was a bookkeeper for the Peconic Lodge, the Mashomack Club and her family’s nursery.

When Lorna and Blaise retired for the winter months in Sarasota, Florida, she remained active volunteering for area organizations. She worked tirelessly at Spanish Point, a historic site near her home there.

Her family remembers her unquenchable thirst in the pursuit of knowledge, studying a wide range of topics to keep her mind active and alert. Cooking was a lifelong passion and she was well known for her culinary expertise and enjoyed preparing a variety of cuisines.

Lorna joined a local wood carving association in Sarasota and became an accomplished carver well into her 90s, winning several ribbons and supplying her family with many fine examples of her craft. She also studied religions, gardening and knitting, and was always looking for something new and challenging, her family recalled.

Lorna will be remembered for her quick wit, bold frankness, sharp memory and mental acumen.

She is survived by her sons James Michael and Maury and her daughter, Donna Kilb, all of Shelter Island; grandchildren Erica and Jamie Laspia, Novella Yeaman, Jon and Nick Kilb; and three great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband, and eldest son, John “Randy” Laspia.

A memorial service will be held at the American Legion hall on Sunday, October 22 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations would be appreciated to the American Legion Mitchell Post 281, PO Box 2021, Shelter Island, New York 11964.

Philip Peters
Philip Peters, whose family remembers him as a kind, considerate man known for his deep loyalty to family and friends and a wry sense of humor all his own, passed away peacefully in Englewood, Colorado on September 20, 2017 after a full and rewarding life.

Philip Peters

Phil was born in Newark, New Jersey on October 25, 1918 to Fred Peters and Honora McHugh Peters. After he lost his mother at age 6, his stepmother Margaret Travers Peters joined his family.

Phil was a retired superintendent of schools of the first supervisory school district in Suffolk County and the executive director of the Board of Cooperative Educational Services of that school district.

He received a bachelor’s degree from Panzer College of the University of Montclair, where he excelled on the track team, and a master’s degree from Seton Hall University.

He served in World War II with the U.S. Army in Australia and New Guinea.

After the war he taught school in Milltown, New Jersey and on Shelter Island where he also coached baseball and basketball. Throughout his career his wry wit and way with words made him a highly sought speaker, his family said.

Phil married Doris Zabel in 1944, and they raised their children, Phyllis, Nancy and Jake, on the Island and in Southold. A sports enthusiast, Phil was also a lifelong bridge player. After he retired in 1979, the couple moved to Gainesville, Florida, where Phil played golf daily, twice hitting a hole in one.

After Doris passed away, Phil moved in 2011 to a senior retirement community in Englewood, Colorado, where he coordinated the bridge club and entertained all with a new-found passion for writing stories about his life.

Phil is survived by his daughter Nancy Peters of Englewood and son Jake (Patty Olson) Peters of Superior, Wisconsin; three nieces, Louise (Mike) Sheyker of Fontana, Wisconsin, Sister Ann-Joyce Peters of Santiago, Chile, and Debbie Nicholson of Crofton, Maryland; six grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

He was predeceased by his daughter Phyllis Linn, two brothers, Fred Peters and John Peters, and one sister, Frances Huff. Cremation was conducted by the Cremation Society of Colorado.

In lieu of flowers, family and friends are invited to donate to the charity of their choice.

Barbara Reeves
Barbara Reeves passed away on August 28, 2017 in Venice, Florida, surrounded by her family, shortly after receiving a brain cancer diagnosis. She was 67 years old.

Born on June 1, 1950 in Brooklyn, Barbara moved to Shelter Island when she was 5 years old. She met her future husband, James “ Zippy” Reeves, when she was 15. They were engaged in 1968, the night she graduated from Shelter Island High School, and they married in 1969.

Barbara was a resident of Shelter Island for over 60 years. She worked at the Shelter Island High School cafeteria. She went on to work for the Town of Shelter Island as the confidential secretary to the supervisor, working for six different supervisors, retiring in 2009.

After her retirement, she decided to go back to work part-time and worked in the North Ferry office.

Barbara and Zippy wintered in Florida for many years, before they decided to make the move permanent, relocating in May 2016 to North Port, Florida.
Barbara is survived by her husband of 48 years; her daughters Robin (Gary) Goetz of Venice, Florida and Vicki (Rich) Russ of Southold; son, Jimmy (Karyn) Reeves of Gainesville, Georgia; eight grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her mother, Harriet Case and a brother, Robert Hopkins.

A service was held in Northport at the McKee Funeral Home on August 31. A memorial service will be held on October 21 at the Shelter Island Heights firehouse.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Barbara’s name to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, P.O. Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38148-0142.