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Obituaries February 25, 2010

Posted on 25 February 2010

Barbara F. Mather

Barbara F. Mather, originally of North Haven, Sag Harbor and later residing at Riverhead Landing in Riverhead, died on November 5, 2009 of complications of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) at Peconic Bay Medical Center. She was 77 years old.

Born on May 20, 1932 in the Bronx, New York to Harold and Mae French (nee Farrell), she grew up in Jackson Heights and attended The Mary Louis Academy. The family spent summers in Noyac, building one of the very first houses along Noyac Road. It still stands to this day. During the long, sun-drenched summers of childhood is where her lifelong love affair with Long Beach began. She graduated in 1950.

Mrs. Mather attended St. John’s University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1954. She received an assistanceship in the Speech and Drama Department at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. upon graduation; however, this was to be aborted upon the untimely passing of her mother in April 1957.

Pursuing her dreams of a life in the theatre, that spring she enrolled in an acting class in New York. It was there she met another acting student, Jackay Mather, who worked at J. Walter Thompson Advertising Agency. After a whirlwind courtship they were married at St. John’s of Lattingtown on November 9, 1957.

Their early married life was spent in New York’s East Village and Northport, L.I. Their first child, a daughter, was born in 1960. In 1963, Mr. and Mrs. Mather moved back to New York and took an apartment in Midtown. Mr. Mather took a job with Compton Advertising and the young couple bought a property in the Actor’s Colony Subdivision of North Haven in 1964. It became the family’s summer home. A second child, a son, was born to the union in 1968.

Mr. and Mrs. Mather and family moved to Copenhagen, Denmark in August 1969, where Mr. Mather had grown up as a boy and still had family. It was his dream to introduce Madison Avenue advertising savvy to Scandinavia and he opened an office there, in partnership with two others. It was a success. Mrs. Mather learned the Danish language, and after her son entered kindergarten, took a job as a child care worker in a day care center. They lived in Copenhagen until 1974. Sadly, the marriage was in decline and Mrs. Mather and her children moved back to Sag Harbor in 1974. The couple was divorced in 1996.

Locally, Mrs. Mather worked as a claims examiner in the now-defunct NYS Unemployment Agency in Bridgehampton in order to help support her family. However, she never gave up her dreams of a return to the theater or a return to graduate school. Fortunately, she lived to accomplish both. In 1987, she graduated with an MSW (with a concentration in alcohol and substance abuse) from the School of Social Welfare at Stony Brook University. She became a family and individual therapist, associated with The Seafield Center, Westhampton Beach Family Counseling and Stepping Stones. Mrs. Mather’s special gift was the ability to think outside the box when assisting others over emotional hurdles. She helped many over the years. Additionally, Mrs. Mather pursued her love of theater, garnering favorable reviews in a John Drew Theatre production of “The Octette Bridge Club,” as well as several Avram Theater productions, under the direction of Michael Disher. She was very proud of these accomplishments.

Mrs. Mather retired in 2004 and relocated to Riverhead in June 2006, where she became active in local and national politics as well as community outreach programs. In her last months she was a frequent guest of the Riverhead Senior Center in Aquebogue, taking excursions to Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods as well as attending the current revival of South Pacific at Lincoln Center. She will be remembered by her family for her charm, courage and wonderful sense of humor.

She is survived by her daughter Claude, son-in-law Sisco and grandchildren Jordan and Matthew, and her son Colin, daughter-in-law Shannon and grandchildren Jack and Joel of North Haven.

Sylvia E. Prevost

Sylvia E. Prevost, a resident of Sag Harbor for 34 years, died at the Riverhead Nursing and Care Center on February 19. She was 97 years old.

Born in the Commonwealth of Dominica, Windward Islands, W.I., on March 3, 1912, she was the daughter of James and Adyliza Prevost.

She worked as a seamstress.

Ms. Prevost is survived by her children, Vivian G. Walsh of Wainscott; Osborne M. Walsh of Queens, N.Y., and Esmeralda Walsh of London, England.

She is also survived by four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Julius P. Van Kovics

Julius P. Van Kovics, “Van,” 88, of Port Charlotte, Fla., formerly of Sag Harbor, passed away on February 20 at the Douglas Jacobsen Veteran’s Nursing Home in Port Charlotte. Mr. Van Kovics was born December 4, 1921 in Easton, Conn. Together with his wife Jane and son Jack he was the proprietor of Harbor Heights Service Station in Sag Harbor.

Mr. Van Kovics served in World War II as a member of General Patton’s Third Army as they drove across France in 1944.

He was a lifetime member of the Sag Harbor Volunteer Fire Department, serving the village until his retirement to Florida in 1995.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Jane, son Jack (Sue) of Sag Harbor, Jim (Sarah) of Bountiful, Utah and grandson Chris of Oyster Bay, N.Y. A memorial service in Sag Harbor will be held at a later date.

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