A Life Remembered

The first Monday of every month we tell the story of a community member who has passed away, celebrating individuals whose lives made an impact on their family and neighbors.

If you have suggestions about community members who should be highlighted in this series, send an email to our station mailbox.

For archives of A Life Remembered, including episodes dating from before October 2012, go to the A Life Remembered Archives

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A Life Remembered
8:30 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Helen Lewis: The Perfect Ending to a Wonderful Life

Helen Lewis, of Falmouth, made friends wherever she went as she traveled the world. She died at age 94.
Credit Courtesy photo from family

Helen Jean Lewis already was in her 90s when she moved to the Royal Nursing Center in Falmouth, three years ago, and it was a long life’s journey that brought her here  — 94 years that she filled with travel and music, prayer and food.

The following is an excerpt of the Life Remembered featuring Helen Jean Lewis. To hear the full story, click the LISTEN button above.

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A Life Remembered
11:19 am
Mon February 3, 2014

A Life Remembered: "She never gave up," preserving Falmouth history

Mary Lou Smith
Credit Paul Smith

In the second half of her life, Mary Lou Smith became known for being the person who knew the most about Falmouth history, and perhaps, the person who cared the most about saving it.

After raising four daughters in Woods Hole with her husband, Paul Smith, she turned to historic preservation starting in her early sixties. Among her most enduring accomplishments was editing "The Book of Falmouth," a volume of photographs, memories, and history that has become an important historical reference. It was published to coincide with Falmouth's 300th anniversary in 1986.

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A Life Remembered
2:24 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

A Life Remembered: Peter Gonnella, Committed to Coaching

Beloved coach Peter Gonnella of Harwich, shown here with his wife, Kerry, and their four children, died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 48.
Credit Courtesy photo from family

This May will mark two years since her husband Peter died, and Kerry Gonnella's greatest fear is that he will be forgotten.

"I don't want his memory to fade," she said. "That's what happens. People die, people move on. Which is fine. That's life. But I want people to remember him."

Peter Gonnella was the father of three children. He also was a coach and a teacher. His student-athletes describe him as a charismatic person who inspired them. They say that he cared about them. And that's not something people forget.

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A Life Remembered
7:30 am
Mon November 4, 2013

Remembering Marston Daley, "The Little Imp of Cape Cod"

Marston Daley built more than 300 homes in the Eastham, Orleans, Brewster area, in addition to his work with Habitat for Humanity.
Credit Courtesy photo from family

In his retirement, Marston Daley wrote an autobiography called, "The Little Imp of Cape Cod." In it, he said his mom gave him the name Marston because she thought it couldn't be made into a nickname. She was wrong. Marston had lots of nicknames. His mom called him the Little Imp. And he writes that over the years people called him Marst, Jim, Tim, even Bud. His wife Jean, who everyone calls Birdie, said that many people have another name for Marston.

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A Life Remembered
7:00 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Remembering Al Lawson: A 'born counselor'

Al Lawson, the first school counselor at the new Barnstable High School in 1957, died earlier this year. He was 88.
Credit Courtesy photo from family

Osterville resident Al Lawson has been called a "born counselor." He was the first guidance counselor at the new Barnstable High School when it opened in 1957, and it was a job that fit him perfectly.

Today, there are stacks of letters and cards in the Lawson house in Centerville. They're piled neatly on tables and footstools and on the brick hearth. They're addressed to Al Lawson's wife Adrienne, and his two sons, Carl and Kurt. Most all of them include a story or two about Lawson's kindness and compassion.

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A Life Remembered
3:38 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Life on Her Own Terms: Remembering Pearl Hardaway Reese

Future South Yarmouth resident Pearl Hardaway Reese in 1939.
Credit Courtesy photo from family

Pearl Hardaway Reese defied stereotypes, loss,  addiction -- pretty much everything, including a world that changed dramatically in her lifetime.  In each of the areas of Reese’s life that defined her – whether it was her  expansive spiritual life, her art and poetry, or the way she faced trials and change – Reese lived on her own terms.

Full audio story posted above

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A Life Remembered
11:54 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Jack Dowman: Helping Others, No Credit Necessary

After 10 years of organizing the annual Eastham Windmill Weekend Parade, last year Dowman was named the parade's Grand Marshall.
Credit Courtesy photo from family

Jack Dowman, 84, was a mostly behind-the-scene volunteer. He was involved with government and service groups. He supported the school music programs, and for 10 years he organized the annual Eastham Windmill Weekend Parade. And he did it all just so he could help. 

"He was that kind of a guy who would do anything he could to help anybody," said his friend and fellow Rotary Club member, Dick Morello. "That's what we loved about him."

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A Life Remembered
7:30 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Wesley Ko: On Silent Wings of Courage

World War II veteran Wesley Ko at his Falmouth home.
Credit Photo Courtesy of The Cape Cod Times

Welsey Ko probably could have avoided going to war. But as friends from his Philadelphia neighborhood were drafted and joined the fight, Ko decided to go too. He ended his service as a hero. For A Life Remembered, Sean Corcoran profiles Ko, who was 93 when he died.

Five years ago, a WCAI reporter visited Wesley Ko home to interview him about his service in the Second World War.

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A Life Remembered
9:22 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Harry Bowen, the Heather King of Cape Cod

Harry Bowen

  Harry Bowen was known by many names. But, just maybe, his favorite name might have been, "The Heather King."

"He was the Heather King of Cape Cod," said Roberta Clark of the Barnstable County Cooperative Extension, where Harry Bowen volunteered and shared his love for the low-growing heather plant and its blooms.

"He learned about Heather probably 40 to 50 years ago," she said. "He propagated them for over 35 years, and many of the heather beds on the Cape came from Harry."

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A Life Remembered
11:18 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Sarah Rosenberg, an advocate for children and lover of music

Sarah Rosenberg of Wellfleet, died on Dec. 31, 2012. She was 88 years old.

Maybe lots of people know there are three verses to the Happy Birthday song. Sarah Rosenberg knew. She knew all three verses, as well as the words to hundreds, perhaps thousands of other songs.

Her family says she probably spent half of her days singing. As a student in New York City, Dan Rosenberg says his mother would study lyric sheets as she road the subway from Washington Heights to Brooklyn College. Broadway musicals and Big Band standards were her favorites.

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