Berklee Today

Final Cadence

Michelle Houde '78 of Geddes, NY, died on June 25 at her mother's home. She was 48. Houde earned her bachelor of music degree from Berklee and was a piano principal. Houde had also earned a master's degree from the University of South Carolina and was an elementary music teacher. She leaves her son Daniel.

Tana Anne Martyn '78 of Westford, MA, died at her home on June 25 after a long battle with ovarian cancer. She was 49. Martyn had received degrees from Boston State University and Wheelock College, and had studied at Brigham Young University and Boston University. She was working on her doctorate at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell and the University of Galway, Ireland. She had been an elementary school teacher for 25 years in Chelmsford, MA.

On April 9, Philip Stamper '81 of Cleveland, TN, died of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. He was 49. Stamper was a drummer and had earned his diploma in professional music from Berklee.

Mark Proia '82 of Upton, MA, died unexpectedly at home. He was 42. While he was not employed as a musician, he was an avid composer and had written a large body of music. Proia founded and operated a company called Professional Installation Associates in Framingham, MA. In addition to his wife Susan, he leaves his parents and three brothers, including his twin.

Kenneth Barbato '85 of Burrillville, RI, drowned on August 14 after a boating accident. He was 44. Barbato was a professional musician and the leader of the band The Clique that played steadily in the Providence, RI, area. He leaves his wife Joann, son Derrick, daughter Amber, and two grandchildren.

Stephen Rakaseder '91 of Portsmouth, NH, died July 24 after a heroic fight with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. He was 34. Rakaseder had earned his degree in Film Scoring and played guitar. He cofounded Wünderkind Studios, a new-media design, development, and communications firm, in Portsmouth. He leaves his wife Lisa and two children, Maximillan and Eliza.

Francis O'Brien '96 of West Roxbury, MA, died on July 28 in Charlestown. He was 50. A guitarist, O'Brien was known to the local blues community as Alabama Frank. He had performed extensively with the Honking Mallards and the Hot Cottage Band. In addition to his wife Dorothy, O'Brien leaves his mother, a brother, and two sisters.

On July 13, 2001, Meghan Aherne of Somerville, MA, passed away suddenly during a visit to her mother's home in New Hampshire. She was 23. Aherne had served as the administrative assistant to Berklee's Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students, Lawrence E. Bethune for about one year. She had many friends in the Berklee community and is sorely missed. A gifted vocalist, Aherne graduated from Holy Cross with a bachelor's degree in music in May 2000. She is survived by her mother and two younger sisters, all of whom live in Windham, NH.

Donald McDonough of Woburn passed away at his home on August 10. He was 77. McDonough was a music educator for his entire career and was a former member of the Berklee faculty. He is survived by his wife Cecelia, nine children, and a number of grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Since the last issue of Berklee Today came out, word has reached us that Richard Barthlow '72 of Chelsea, MA, and August Bianculli of Lyndhurst, NJ, have passed away.