Maryann Reynolds, March 2020: Mrs. Maryann Reynolds taught art at The Gilbert School from 1972 to 1994. She was a beloved faculty member, enthusiastic and devoted teacher, and influential mentor to countless students.
From the Family of Maryann Reynolds: “With great sadness we report the death of Gilbert’s much admired and respected Art Teacher, Maryann Reynolds. She left the Gilbert Family unexpectedly due to undetected pancreatic cancer. Interestingly, prior to her untimely death Maryann had been receiving letters from ex-students from around the country remembering not only the solid background in art fundamentals that she provided students but also her compassionate, nurturing, and sincere disposition in and out of the classroom. Many will remember the outstanding projects she and her students created that decorated the halls and rooms of Gilbert School for Homecoming, Graduation, and school concerts and events. Together with her husband Jack, a former member of the Gilbert English Department, Maryann took students on many cultural adventures which included major museums and Broadway plays in New York City, music concerts, as well as schooner sailing adventures off the coast of Maine. During retirement Maryann became an accomplished baker selling her goods regionally in Maine, whose quality was praised by baking instructors at King Arthur Flour. She is survived by husband Jack, daughter Maria, son Alex, four grandchildren - William, Max, Dominic, Una, and sister Rose. She is missed and will be remembered.”
To reach out to Jack and family: 189 Meeting House Rd., Solon, ME 04979
Upon the occasion of her retirement, Dr. Robert F. Gazda, Former Headmaster of The Gilbert School had this to say about her: “Mrs. Reynolds taught at The Gilbert School for twenty-two years. I had the pleasure of working with her the two years prior to her retirement in June, 1994, and during that time, she accented herself as a dedicated, committed, and extremely capable educator. Her ability to establish and maintain a positive rapport with the wide variety of students she served helped create a classroom environment which was productive and fun! Mrs. Reynolds’ projection of a sincere and infectious enthusiasm for both art and for education in general was key to her success. Outside of class, she was always willing to extend herself to young people. Mrs. Reynolds was always first to volunteer for any duty and assignment. She interacted extremely well with the faculty and staff and often shared her astute and valuable perspectives with the administration.”
Gerri Griswold, Class of 1975 perhaps said it best: “Sad news from Maine where our beloved Gilbert School art teacher, Maryann Reynolds passed away from cancer. She was the most gentle creature, a whisper of a woman, an inspiration, a cheering squad, and a den mother to the humble, brilliant, and talented misfits that made up my posse – Steve Gauthier, Bill Heath, David Lasko and David Cuatt. She made the torture of high school less painful and a hell of a lot of fun. RIP . . . you may now spread your special kindness to those in another dimension . . . Those lucky souls.”
Thank you for your love and dedication to your colleagues and students. Rest in Peace, Mrs. Reynolds.
Former long-time faculty member of The Gilbert School, Edward F. Keeley, passed away on February 24, 2021. Mr. Keeley directed The Gilbert School band program as instrumental teacher and conductor of bands from 1964 – 1988. Mr. Keeley organized the Laurel City Summer Band with concerts in the park, created The Gilbert School Summer Music Program for students, and conducted The Pleasant Valley Players musical theater orchestra for many years.
Mr. Keeley contributed much to the growth of generations of students. With his ability to motivate and inspire he impacted many lives as a musician and educator. He leaves a lasting legacy at The Gilbert School.
Mr. Keeley’s retirement from Gilbert allowed him to pursue his many and varied interests in cooking, gardening, travel, and golf, and to enjoy UCONN Women’s Basketball, Hartford Symphony concerts and his greatest passion – his family.
After his passing, many of Mr. Keeley’s former students and former colleagues expressed their thoughts on what a caring, inspirational, and talented teacher he was, as well as a vivacious, humorous, warm and generous man.
This is awful news, but somehow appropriate that he be remembered during the month where we celebrate music education. Ed was a force of nature, and his students thought so highly of him. There are stories of him needing a tuba player and walking down to the cafe during lunch and finding the tallest student he could find and saying, "Hello, I would like you to play tuba in the band". The student didn't know what to do, so he just agreed! Ed will be sorely missed but his impact on music and Gilbert certainly lives on. – Scott Minnerly, Band Director, Music Teacher - The Gilbert School
Just got the news that my amazing high school band director, Edward Keeley, passed away a few days ago. To know The Gilbert School in the 60’s, 70’s and ‘80’s was to know Mr. Keeley. I always marveled at the fact that in a school of less than 500 students, over 100 found their way to first period lunch and then band. My first trips to Florida, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Boston were because of this man and his wonderful wife. And for four years of band practice, private practice, concerts, parades, and sporting events, we got zero credit on our report cards, but what we received in personal growth was immeasurable. Thank you, Mr. Keeley from the bottom of my heart. May you rest peacefully and bring your beautiful music to the heavens and beyond. – Paul Gallo, 1985
The world has become decidedly less exceptional. Mr. Edward Keeley directed the Gilbert School Jazz Band, Concert Band, and Marching Band, all of which I was a part. He challenged us with the most remarkable arrangements; let me tell you, UCONN Concert Band was dim compared to the light we lit! We played those challenging arrangements and we played them well because of Mr. Keeley! Exchange concerts were creative and fun. Summer band brightened Wednesday evenings in the park. Being part of band got me through high school. I loved every minute. Thank you, Mr. Keeley! --Jane Stoltze Loftus, 1982
I’ve dreaded this day for so long …. What a blessing it was to have been able to connect and converse with Mr. Keeley on Facebook. He was my mentor throughout High School, and taught me to excel, achieve, and triumph. (E.A.T.) I love him for everything he stood for and a good part of him will always move forward with me through life, giving back to the ones I teach. My condolences to your whole family and to us, The gilbert School Family, Thank you Ed. – Joseph Smith, 1987
He was an inspiration and mentor to so many over his decades of wondrous achievement at Gilbert. Parents and students all adored his good nature and humor. He took what Ma Sonier and others who were involved in the music program at Gilbert started to an extraordinary level. RIP my friend – Jim Cormier, 1984
When I first saw him on Facebook a few year ago, he asked how my trumpet was . . . I was amazed that he would remember me and what I played. He had a good mix of pushing you to do better, praising you when you did well, being serious when he needed to and letting off some steam when he needed to also. My band time was among my favorite time in high school – Ron Mele, 1978
Mr. Keeley taught us more than the love and appreciation of music. He gave us a safe place to be different and to see parts of our world some of us would never have had the chance to see. More than anything for me, he taught respect -- for him, for others, and for myself. To see the gifts of others and to show us what could be achieved through hard work and dedication. -- Joyce Ann Gallo, 1987
Losing a beloved teacher is tough, but this is especially tough because Mr. Keeley affected all of us, even those not in band. He set the standard for the music department and encouraged everyone to rise to it and give their best. Oh yes, and learn from his example. -- Lynn Schnier, 1975
A music department memorial find has been set up by the W. L. Gilbert Trust in Mr. Keeley’s memory. Anyone wishing to make a donation may send a check to the W. L. Gilbert Trust Corporation, with the memo line marked Edward Keeley Memorial Fund, and mail to The Gilbert School, 200 Williams Avenue, Winsted, CT 06098. Donations may also be made via The Gilbert School website by clicking on the link and listing the Edward Keeley Memorial Fund in the special instructions.
All donations will benefit The Gilbert School Music Department.
This list is not complete and will be revised on a regular basis.