Yale University

In Memoriam

Henry Donais

Henry Donais
1964 graduation

Henry Donais was a graduate of the Williston Northampton School, Easthampton MA, and after graduating from Yale served at Williston as a member of the French Department from 1966 until 1969, when he died in an automobile accident.

At Williston there is an annual Henry E. Donais, Jr. French Prize given "in memory of Henry E. Donais, Jr., '59 and former member of the French Department at Williston, 1966—1969, for best fluency in French."

There is also a Henry E. Donais, Jr. '59 Award "for a senior who has manifested a love of the natural world."

From The Williston Bulletin, Autumn 1969

HENRY E. DONAIS, JR., ‘59, on August 16, 1969 in Rutland VT, in an automobile accident. At Williston he was a member of the Y Cabinet and the varsity hockey team, and won two letters each on the varsity soccer and tennis teams. He graduated as a member of the Cum Laude Society.

While at Yale University, from which he graduated with his AB in English in 1964, he was a member of the Yale University Fishing Team which won the Annual International Game Fish Seminar and Fishing Match at Wedgeport, Nova Scotia, in the summer of 1961.

He received his MBA from the University of Massachusetts Business School in 1966.

A highly respected and admired teacher of French at Williston for three years, 1966-1969, he also was coach of the varsity ski team for two years and assistant coach of soccer and tennis.

At the time of his death, he was employed by Pratt and Whitney Aircraft Division of United Aircraft Corporation in East Hartford CT as a computer programmer.

The Willistonian included this statement in his obituary:

"Those of us who were fortunate enough to have had Mr. Donais in class will remember him as an extremely conscientious and concerned person who gave freely of his time and his talents. But his influence extended far beyond the classroom, and the entire Williston Community will remember Mr. Donais as a long-time and devoted friend of the School."

His funeral was held in the Williston Chapel on August 19, 1969 with the Rev. Roger A. Barnett, Williston chaplain, officiating. Williston faculty, administrative staff, and their families attended. The Chapel was filled with Williston alumni, parents, and friends of Henry, his father, Dr. Henry E. Williston '27, his mother, family and other relatives. Members of the Class of 1959 who attended were Charles Camp, Charles DeRose, Frederick Johnson, Richard Palmer, Robert Ulm, and Richard Watson.

Besides his parents, who live at 23 Park Street, Easthampton MA, he is survived by a brother, Paul, at home; a sister, Mrs. John Tatro of Easthampton; his uncle, Joseph N. Donais of the Williston Class of 1921; his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Camille Robitaille of South Hadley; and several aunts and uncles.

His Class of 1959 has established the Henry E. Donais ‘59 Memorial Scholarship Fund. Anyone wishing to contribute to this fund may make a check payable to that Fund and mail it to Headmaster Phillips Stevens at Williston Academy. The Class Agent for the Class of 1959, Richard A. Palmer, wrote:

"It is with a profound sense of loss that I enclose a contribution to the Memorial Scholarship Fund established in memory of Hank Donais ‘59. Hank and I were classmates from the seventh grade at Williston through graduation from Yale. Hank was widely admired and respected by all his classmates, not only for his outstanding academic ability but also for his warm personality and depth of character. We shall all remember him with the warmest of memories. Williston and the Class of ‘59 have lost a truly outstanding graduate in Hank Donais."

Soon after his death, an anonymous donor presented to the Williston Library in his memory two volumes of Treasures of the Louvre, a book beautifully portraying the riches of the Louvre.