Recent Passings:

Dr. Martin Nass, M&A '43

Dr. Martin Nass (M&A ’43) passed away on February 16, 2023. He was the first graduate of the NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis, a professor of Psychology at Brooklyn College and NYU, and was faculty and a training analyst at the Contemporary Freudian Society. Marty was a WWII Navy combat veteran who served on the USS Topeka (CL-67). An alumnus of the High School of Music and Art, Marty was a passionate and lifelong violinist who played in chamber quartets until a few weeks before his passing. Read his full obituary here

Viola Calabresi Proeller, M&A '50

Viola Calabresi Proeller, M&A ’50, passed away on February 12, 2023. After graduating from Queens college, she studied painting for two years in Italy before returning to the United States where she earned a master’s degree in art education from New York University. In 1961, she wed Hans Alwin Proeller and together they raised three children, John, Peter, and Marie, on Staten Island. When her children were young, Viola worked as an artist and as a potter, while also teaching art in a New York City public school program called Learning to Read Through the Arts. She later studied Risk Management and worked in the student health insurance department of New York University for ten years before retiring. Read her full obituary here.

Marianne Roney Mantell, M&A '47

Marianne Roney Mantell, M&A ’47, died on January 22, 2023 at her home in Princeton, NJ. She was 93. Ms. Mantell was a pioneer of the audiobook revolution, establishing a company called Caedmon with a former classmate from her time at Hunter College. The company recorded albums featuring giants of 20th-century literature, including T.S. Eliot, Sylvia Plath, William Faulkner, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes and Gertrude Stein, all interpreting their own works. Their first release was an album by Dylan Thomas, whose centerpiece was his short story “A Child’s Christmas in Wales,” which went on to sell more than 400,000 copies during the 1950s and to become a holiday perennial. Please read the full obituary about Ms. Mantell in the New York Times here.

Susan Forman Titone, M&A '70

It is with great sadness that we learned of the sudden passing of Susan Forman Titone, M&A 70, who died on January 30th, 2023. Susan was a special education teacher, vocal teacher, friend, wife, mother and more. We extend our condolences to Susan’s family, especially her husband Dr. Richard Titone, M&A ’69 and retired LaGuardia faculty, her friends and M&A 1970 classmates.

Donald Walley, M&A '49

Donald Walley, M&A ’49, one of the original “mad men” and an award-winning artist, passed away in New York, December 21, 2022 with his beloved wife of more than 40 years Elizabeth “Liz” Robbins Walley by his side. As a Vice President and creative director at international advertising agencies that included McCann Erickson and Saatchi & Saatchi, Don crossed the world creating campaigns for AT&T, Sony, Coca Cola, Pabst Beer and many others by shooting atop volcanoes in Hawaii, herding wild elephants in Kenya or cage-diving with sharks in Florida. He lived in Manhattan, summered at Fire Island, and was an accomplished watercolorist whose paintings can be found in corporate and private collections.

Alexander Stankus, M&A '61

We were sorry to learn of the passing of Alexander Stankus, M&A ’61, who passed away on January 6, 2022. Please read his obituary here.

Nicole Kasbar, LaG '89

A life-long Bay Ridge, Brooklyn resident, Nicole Kasbar was born on January 5, 1971. Nicole passed away on January 13, 2023. She was a beautiful, talented, kindhearted, most loving dance teacher at I.S. 98 Bay Academy. Nicole’s creativity, leadership and academic rigor made her one of the 12 winners of the The Big Apple Award in 2015, which celebrates the work of public school teachers. In addition she received The Lincoln Center Arts Teacher Award which is part of the Big Apple Awards and is bestowed upon an arts teacher for making a difference in the lives of students and for going above and beyond in their role as an arts educator.

Nicole is survived by her mother, Joyce Kasbar; her brother, Paul Kasbar; her long time partner and best friend Billy Kane and many loved ones in the Kasbar, Kadri and Kane families… and the many students past and present whom she taught and mentored.

We extend our condolences to her family, friends and LaGuardia ’89 classmates.

Lisa Harris, M&A '82

We are sorry to report the passing of Lisa Harris, M&A ’82, who died on December 13, 2022 in Wellsville, NY. She was 58. Lisa Harris worked in hospitality and in the medical records field. She was working at downtown Marriot Hotel in September, 2001. On September 11, an unusual incident at home caused her to have to call off work that day sparing her from that traumatic event. Lisa viewed this as an act of love from God. She married the love of her life in 2013, John H. Howe, who preceded her in death on March 31, 2019. We extend our condolences to her friends, family and M&A ’82 classmates.

Elizabeth Parrish, Retired Faculty

We were sorry to learn of the passing of retired teacher Elizabeth “Betsy” Parrish, who taught at the High School for Performing Arts. She was a Broadway actress and master teacher. She began studying under Stella Adler in 1947 and became a longtime teacher at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting.

Sonya Dash Friedman, M&A '43

We were sorry to learn of the passing of Sonya Dash Friedman, M&A ’43, who died on January 8, 2023 at the Greenwich Woods Nursing Home. Sonya “Sunny” Friedman studied music at M&A and was a violinist in the Queens College Orchestra. She received her MSW from Columbia University and CSW from the University of the State of NY and embarked on her 60- year career as a Psychotherapist who was loved by all her patients. After 45 years she dusted off her violin and joined the Westchester Senior Symphony Orchestra. Sonya was predeceased by her younger sister, Sylvia Dash Feldman, M&A ’45.