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Death Notice / Obituary


Death Notice - Virginia M. Doersam

DOERSAM -  Virginia M, age 67 of Newton, CT passed away on August 28, 2015. Cherished mother of Kim (Robert) Tassinari, Dana, Renee and Cara (Frank) DiVito. Loving Grandmother of five. Funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Patrick’s R. C. Church, Smithtown, NY. Interment followed at Pinelawn Memorial Park Cemetery. Arrangements entrusted to the professional care of Branch Funeral Home of Smithtown and Vigliante family. Online guest book at


Death Notice -Carol R. Blair

BLAIR - Carol R. age 70 of Islip, NY passed away on September 1, 2015. She was the beloved wife of Joel. Cherished mother of Barbara Reid and Pamela (Tony) Schaller. Loving Grandmother of Anthony, Morgan, Brandon, Brittany, T.J. and Corey. Adored sister of Judy Coyle. She is survived by many other family members and friends. Religious Service was celebrated by Rabbi David Altman. Interment followed at Calverton National Cemetery. Arrangements entrusted to the professional care of Branch Funeral Home of Smithtown and Vigliante family. Online guest book at



Death Notice - Joan M. Ferrara

FERRARA -  Joan M. age 79 of passed away on August 30, 2015. She was the beloved wife of the late Anthony. Cherished mother of Marian (Ron) Hurst, James (Terry) Ferrara and Catherine (Peter) Velez. Loving Grandmother of eight. Adored sister of Ann Mc Donagh. She is survived by many other family members and friends. Funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Patrick’s R.C. Church, Smithtown, NY. Interment followed at Gate of Heaven, Hawthorne, NY.Arrangements entrusted to the professional care of Branch Funeral Home of Smithtown and Vigliante family. Online guest book at


Obituary - Joel S. Lawson Jr. - Great Grandson Of Richard (Bull) Smith

Joel S. Lawson Jr., 91, Senior Scientist with the US Navy

Joel S. LawsonJoel S. Lawson Jr., one of the top scientists for the US Navy between 1965 and 1984, passed away on August 31, 2015 at the Kahala Nui Retirement Community in Honolulu, Hawaii.

As a result of his many contributions in areas such as C3I (Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence) and Electronic Warfare, the Navy awarded Dr. Lawson both the Meritorious Service Award and, in 1967, the Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Award, the highest award that the Secretary of the Navy can confer on a civilian employee.

Dr. Lawson was born July 3, 1924 and grew up in the Smithtown area of Long Island, where his family’s roots go back to the 1640s. He was the 6th Great Grandson of Smithtown’s founder Richard (Bull) Smith. He left college in 1943 to join the US Navy as a pilot during the Second World War.  After completing training, Dr. Lawson was stationed at the Great Lakes Naval Air Station.

He was honorably discharged in 1945 and married the former Grace C. Rumbough on January 6, 1946 in New York City.  They were married for over 44 years.  After Mrs. Lawson died in 1990, Dr. Lawson married Ann Libby, who died in 2013 after 21 years of marriage.

Dr. Lawson lived in Williamstown, Massachusetts in 1946 and 1947 while he completed his undergraduate degree in Physics from Williams College.  Dr. Lawson then earned his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Illinois in 1953 and continued at the University until 1958, teaching and working on Defense Department related projects in the University’s Control Systems Laboratory, including working with the University’s Betatron electron particle accelerator.

“I remember asking Dad why he decided on Illinois”, said his son, Joel Lawson III. “His reply was exactly the impish one I would have expected from him – he said ‘I wanted to go where I would get to make lots of really tiny things go really, really fast.’”

In 1958, he moved to Belmont, Massachusetts to join Scientific Engineering Institute, where he focused on radar technology and some of the earliest defense applications of computer technology.

In 1965, Dr. Lawson moved to the Washington, D.C. area to join the Navy Department as Special Assistant (Electronics) to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for R&D.  At the request of the Commander-in-Chief, U. S. Pacific Command, in 1967 Dr. Lawson moved to Hawaii for one year to serve as Chief Scientific Advisor to the Admiral.

In 1968, back in Washington, Dr. Lawson became Director of Naval Laboratories, and later, Technical Director of the Navy Electronics Systems Command.  He retired in 1984 and moved to Hawaii.

In addition to receiving the Meritorious Service Award and the Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Award, Dr. Lawson was elected both a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an Active Member of the New York Academy of Sciences.

He was a long time member of the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C., and the Pacific Club and Outrigger Canoe Club in Honolulu.

Dr. Lawson is survived by his four children, Joel S. Lawson III, Grace L. Hutchinson, William H. Lawson, and David R. Lawson, plus 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Dr. Lawson’s burial service will be on Friday, October 2 at the St. James Episcopal Church.


Obituary - Captain Robert A. Moore

Captain Robert A. Moore - March 16, 1948 - August 15, 2015 Resident of St. George, Staten Island and Winter Springs, FL. Born in Brooklyn, NY. Grew up in North Merrick, NY. Calhoun HS Class of 1965. Long Time (35 years) Resident of Smithtown (Hauppauge), NY. Passed peacefully at home surrounded by his adoring family

Devoted husband to his high school sweetheart and wife of 48 years, Cheryl; proud and beloved father of Kerry (Moore-Kelly), Thomas and their spouses Paul and Debbie; cherished brother to Bella (Jerome) Sadowski; Betty (Ray) Clark; Frank (Patty) Moore; forever loving Poppy to his 3 granddaughters (‘beauties’) Anna, Alexa & Vanessa; and loving son to his parents Frank and Guillermina Moore who welcomed him through heaven’s gate with open arms.

Captain Moore worked within the Port of NY/NJ for 48 years.  He was well-respected by his peers for his talent, skills and knowledge in piloting ships and appreciated by all for his wit and wisdom.  Captain Moore was described as a beloved, legendary presence within the working waterfront community.  He was regarded as an unparalleled shiphandler and an absolute gentleman by his coworkers and by ship captains calling on the Port of New York/New Jersey from around the world.  He was also a true New Yorker who loved the city, and whose knowledge of its harbor and history was likely unmatched. When informed of Captain Moore’s passing, his employer McAllister Towing Company lowered its vessels’ flags to half staff in his honor; his colleagues were deeply saddened when informed of his passing.

When Captain Moore wasn’t moving some of the world’s largest vessels within the Port of NY/NJ, he enjoyed life’s simple pleasures such as an early morning walk at Sunken Meadow park with his love Cheryl; a delicious meal and a glass of wine (or two) at his favorite restaurant with family and friends; spirited conversations about politics, history and topics his knowledge of which never failed to amaze; riding his ‘Indian’ motorcycle along Ocean Parkway; or watching one of his favorite movies like ‘On the Waterfront’.  Captain Moore’s most treasured way to spend his free time was with his beloved granddaughters. He was their adored ‘Poppy’ and time spent playing make-believe together and chatting about life was always the best part of their days.  On the day of his passing, Captain Moore was to have set sail with his beauties on a Disney cruise; but, instead he set sail on his own.

His loss is a profound one to all that knew him and loved him. We love you Poppy, forever and more. Please join us for Captain Moore’s memorial on Wednesday, September 16th from 4pm – 8pm. St. James Funeral Home 829 Middle Country Road (Route 25), St. James, NY 11780 -

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to a foundation close to Captain Moore’s heart: St. Baldrick’s Foundation ( or Ronald McDonald House (