Berklee Today

Final Cadence

Chesley Curtis '46 of Lynn, Massachusetts, died suddenly on January 29. He was 95. Curtis was a pianist and organist and had studied at Juilliard as well as Berklee. He had played in local bands in the 1930s and formed a large band known throughout New England as the Allen Curtis Orchestra. He later became organist and choir director of the Holy Name Church in Swampscott, Massachusetts, and First Baptist Church and St. Peter's Church, both in Salem, MA. He leaves two sons, Clayton and James Curtis, a daughter, Anne Broome, four grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.

George Lea '48 of Worcester, MA, died on January 2 at Fairlawn Rehabilitation Hospital in Worcester. He was 84. Lea was a veteran of WWII and was former bandleader of the Wes-Lea Orchestra during the 1940s and 50s. He leaves a stepson, Floyd Champagne, and two stepdaughters, Cheryl Hammer and Dianne Zickell.

Gustone Fatello '52 of Beverly, MA, died on February 7 after an extended illness. He was 75. He was a U.S. Navy veteran and had served in the Aleutian Islands and South Pacific campaigns. For years, he led the Gus Fatello Dance Band in the Boston area. He leaves three sons, Ralph, John, and David Fatello, and three daughters, Donna Baldassari, Gale Mazzella, and Evamarie Urban. He also leaves eight grandchildren.

Wilbur Todd '54 of Cambridge, MA, died on January 5. He was 72. Todd had studied music at the University of Massachusetts as well as Berklee, and had played alto saxophone and clarinet professionally with area groups.

Robert Murphy '58 of Holbrook, MA, died on December 8, 1999, at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, Massachusetts, after a short illness. Murphy was 62. He had served in the U.S. Air Force and was a veteran of the Korean War and was a member of the U.S. Air Force Drum and Bugle Corps. He was also a member of the Elite Group of Princemen, and other musical groups. In May 1999, Murphy had retired from Braintree Electric Light Department, where he had been a line foreman. He is survived by his daughters Marie Murphy and Kelly MacDonald, and by his sons Robert Jr., Michael, and Kevin Murphy.

Jackie Michael Busook '71 of Malden, MA, died on February 16. He was 47. Until his passing, Busook was owner and proprietor of Sleep City, a mattress and bedding store in Quincy. He had played drums as a student at Berklee and played professionally with many local groups around New England. He leaves his wife Sandra, his daughter Erica, and his son Michael.

Peter Flynn '84 of Groveland, FL, died on April 2. He was 37. He leaves his wife Nicki, a daughter Tess, and a son Dylan. Flynn was originally from Portland, Maine, and was a lifelong singer, songwriter, and poet. Most recently, he was performing with a traditional Irish group called Paddy's Lament. Flynn had traveled extensively, playing in Ireland and Poland, and throughout the United States.

Lewis "Skip" Norcott III '85 of Wernersville, PA, died on December 22, 1999, of natural causes at his home. He was 57. Norcott was coconductor of the Reading Pops Orchestra and music director of the Reading Civic Opera Society. He had also played trombone with a number of ensembles. Norcott was a composer and arranger whose music was performed by groups ranging from the Boston Symphony Orchestra to college and high school marching bands. He was a music teacher and Music Department chair at Governor Mifflin High School in Wernersville for 30 years, and had just retired in June 1999.

Word has reached us that Norman Feather '52 of East Otis, MA, Hyman Sampson '54 of Coral Springs, FL, and Michael Sachs '82 of Miami, FL, have also passed away.