Community Mourns Loss Of Hasse Halley

October 1, 2011

in News,Woodstock

By Eric Francis
Standard Correspondent
Woodstock resident Dr. Hasse Halley was killed Saturday morning while walking with her dog when a pickup truck struck her moments after she stepped out of her driveway onto Route 4 near the Rec Center on the western edge of the village.
No one else was injured in the 8:40 a.m. accident, and Woodstock Police spent the rest of the morning conducting an extended accident investigation at the scene and interviewed the driver of the pickup truck at the police station over the noon hour.
“Hasse was the primary mover-and-shaker in the volunteer flood relief effort here in the Woodstock area working tirelessly,” her friend Jeff Kahn said Saturday morning.
“She left her home and went to cross Route 4 on the bridge that goes over the Ottauquechee River when a pickup truck hit her and she died instantaneously right there in front of her home,” Kahn explained.
“She was on her way to meet (Representative) Allison Clarkson to help run the volunteer effort at the Town Hall,” Kahn noted.
Dr. Halley had just become the head of the education program at the Killington Mountain School but for years she has been associated with Woodstock Union High School, having at one point served as the head of the English Department at WUHS.
“She has a deep and long resume of achievements in her life,” Kahn noted, “She was a bright force for volunteerism and caring for the community and educating our kids.  She was a bundle of organized energy.”
“She briefly owned the Shiretown bookstore for a year, she was trying it out but that really wasn’t her thing,” Kahn said, “Education was her passion.  She was once the head of a day school down in Rhode Island but she loved Woodstock and the Woodstock community.”
Halley was also a “tremendous force” at Pentangle Council on the Arts, where she served as the house manager, organizing all of the participants and making sure the shows went on.
A private family funeral was held this morning at Shir Shalom in West Woodstock, and a community-wide memorial service will be held at Woodstock Union High School Sunday on Sunday, Oct. 9 at 2 p.m.

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{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

Fran Liston October 16, 2011 at 8:48 pm

Steve,
I grieve deeply for you and your family…How blessed you are to be her partner in such a legacy. My memories of her and the dynamic person she was then are as present to me now as they were those years ago. (I was one of Hasse’s housemates years ago with Jan and Hasse, et al. I met you often then).
Simply know that you’re held in love and care.
Fran

Anne Lamoriello October 10, 2011 at 8:06 am

Dear Halley Family,
Our prayers and thoughts for you and your family. We never had the pleasure of meeting Hasse but knowing Ben and Amy we can only imagine the wonderful light she must have been. Please accept our heartfelt sympathy. Anne Lamoriello and Regina Downey

Erica Wolff October 9, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Dear Steve and Family,
I was so shocked and saddened to hear of Hasse’s death. From the visits she paid me in Burlington hospital when I was five years old to the recent trip she made to New York City to celebrate my wedding, Hasse was a source of great joy, warmth, wisdom, and compassion in my life– as she was in the lives of all who knew her. May you all find strength in the good memories and in the knowledge that she left such an indelible mark on this world.
Love,
Erica Wolff

Cynthia Gilmore Cerquone October 9, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Hasse Kopen ( later Halley ) was my dearest friend from kindergarten through high school.
She was loving , funny beyond words and loyal- as a child and as a teen. I last saw her at a class reunion and was thrilled to find her exactly the same as when we were young.
She is a giant among the women I know and I feel her loss very deeply.
I know that although she’s gone , her spirit is very alive in all those whose life she touched.

Mary Young October 9, 2011 at 12:07 am

Dear Hasse’s Family-
Your wife, mom and grandmom was a wonderful women that many of us knew in the community. She was interesting, inquisitive, passionate and always caring for others. What a teacher she was too! WUHS was fortunate to have her for many years as an English teacher. We will all miss her very much. Sincere condolences to all of you.
Mary Young

Jackie Sternfels October 7, 2011 at 6:29 pm

How do you say something about an individual you didn’t know very well, but were sure was a genuinely nice person? Dr. Halley didn’t know me from Adam, but took the time to return my call of inquiry about what my husband and I could do for a family that had been devastated by Hurricane Irene. She promised me that she would see our little assistance got to the family and she did exactly what she said she would do. From everything that has been written, this was nothing new for her. This was just the way she was. We could all take a page from her book.
Our hearts go out to her family. She will be missed.
Mark & Jackie Sternfels
McKinney, TX

Bob and Kathy Gordon October 7, 2011 at 2:56 pm

We are so saddened to hear of the untimely loss of Hasse.
Steve and family , you have our deepest sympathy and prayers.

Patti Burke Przybylinski October 6, 2011 at 5:42 pm

Hasse. Hasse. Hasse. Please forgive my muddled Halle in my recent comment. Such is my sadness… mea culpa, Dr. Halley.

Patti Burke Przybylinski October 6, 2011 at 5:37 pm

News of Hasse’s passing just reached me 3 minutes ago in Austin, TX. Oh my goodness. Hasse was goodness! She was my idol during my UVM summers (75-76) working with the Extension Service and 4-H program.

My heart goes out to Steve and Hasse’s family & friends. I’m sending my thoughts to Hasse via whispers on the gulf stream. I love you forever, Hasse. Patti Burke Przybylinski, Austin Texas

Lilo Kinaman October 5, 2011 at 8:10 pm

I was shocked and extremely sorry to hear of the tragic accident that
resulted in Hasse Halley’s death. My condolences to all in her family.
Hasse had an excellent reputation as a teacher and assistant principal
at Essex Junction High School. In the late 1980′s, she was a very big
help to a group of students and parents who wanted to establish an alpine ski team. We ran into lots of walls, but Hasse was willing to listen and respected our interest, persistence, and fund-raising efforts. She “opened some doors,” helped arrange some significant meetings,
and eventually we were successful. All alpine ski team members through the years should be grateful for Hasse’s role in establishing
the team.

Mika Nash October 5, 2011 at 6:50 pm

I just learned of Hasse’s passing and once again I’m reminded that we need to let people know what they mean to us before it’s too late. Hasse was so special to me – both when I was in high school, but also as I grew up. Her words helped me through difficult times professionally (probably without even knowing it) and she made clear her genuine interest in the adult I grew into. She was a funny, kind, smart woman. I will miss knowing that she is in the physical world, doing her thing, lighting the way for others.

Abby Kelley October 5, 2011 at 9:01 am

I knew Hasse growing up in Burlington, she was always smiling and had a kind word for everyone.. my thoughts and prayers go to her family.

Alicia Sargent Ellis & Carl Ellis October 5, 2011 at 8:43 am

Hello,

I am so sorry to hear about Hasse Halley my thoughts and prayers are with he family at such a difficult time. She will be missed but will be remember in her beautiful grandsons Levi and Reno!
Love always-Carl and Alicia

Alex Zidovsky October 4, 2011 at 7:56 pm

Coming to grips with a world without Hasse is very hard. Hasse was my valued colleague, mentor, and most importantly, friend. She made people want to be better. I am better for having known her. The world is better for having had her. I send my sincere sympathy to Steve and all the family at this sad time.

Tina (Calhoun) Olsen October 4, 2011 at 7:49 pm

I was so saddend to hear of Hasse’s tragic death. I have so many fond memories of Hasse – and the entire Halley household. The doors were always open and something was always happening at the house at the bottom of the hill. I shared stories of Hasse with my children tonight as they admired the quilt she made for my husband and me as a wedding gift. It has brought us warmth for years and will for many more. May the fond memories of your time together as a family – with such a dynamic and wonderful mother – bring you comfort in the days to come.

Karen Bohmann October 4, 2011 at 7:10 pm

I am saddened by the news of Hasse’s passing. I served on the board of Vermont Council of Teachers of English while Hasse was president.
She was an amazing role model for me and helped encourage young people to be part of the organization. I am grateful for her contributions to that board, but more grateful for the positive influence she had on me as a teacher. I am so glad to have known her.

Ted Johnson October 4, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Dear Steve, I am very saddened to hear of your tragic loss. My deepest condolences and payers for your family.

Scott Friedman October 4, 2011 at 3:23 pm

I met Hasse, Steve, and their family when they opened their Burlington home to so many students, new comers, and friends for Shabbat and holiday dinners. Hasse always made sure everyone was welcome and well fed. I remember insightful conversations around their dining room table and meeting a number of great people. I’m sorry to say I lost track of their wonderful family when they moved from Burlington. I always think of them when I pass their former home on N. Prospect St. I wish my dearest of condolences to Steve and the family. While I was shocked and saddened to learn of Hasse’s passing, it was nice to read of all the great things she did. Hasse was a great role model.

Susan (Franz) Siegel October 4, 2011 at 10:20 am

I was shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Hasse. I have so many wonderful memories of her and her wonderful family. She was a huge role model for me during my high school years. My heart goes out to Steve, Craig, Adam, Elizabeth, David, and Ben as I remember you all so fondly as your babysitter many years ago. Hasse left and undeniable presence here on this planet, and she and her many good deeds, caring , compassion, energy, and spirit, will never be forgotten.

Jim Manchester October 3, 2011 at 10:04 pm

What an amazing woman! Hasse was a friend and colleague at Essex High School for years. She always lit up the room with her energy and her stories about her family adventures. Things were never dull around Hasse and she had a positive impact upon all of us who knew her. She certainly led a full life. I will miss her. My best to Steve and family. Jim Manchester

Carol Rubman October 3, 2011 at 9:06 pm

The passing of Hasse is a tragedy not only for the entire Woodstock community but also her Burlington friends. I have fond memories of our group Bat Mitzvah in 1982. She was a warm and wonderful woman and my heartfelt sympathy goes out to Steve and the entire Halley family.

Joanne Calhoun October 3, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Steve and Kids, My heart and prayers go out to you. I sit here tonight and think of all of the things she did for my family and for so many others. She was instrumental in my applying for the job at EJHS; she forced me into writing; she hired my son-in-law, Brett,from Oklahoma and so gave me several years with my daughter and her family in Vermont; she inspired so many students, and everyone who knew her. You could never be still with her around – she always challenged, always dared. Everyone who knew her was the better for it.

Bob Pasco October 3, 2011 at 7:45 pm

So maybe tennis partners Sue (Pasco) and Hasse are out there somewhere dressing up for white glove Wimbleton finals party or some other fun and crazy scheme. What an impact Hasse had on those who where part of her world. So typical that she was part of the floor relief right to the last inning. The world is better because of educators like Hasse Halley.

karen grace October 3, 2011 at 3:38 pm

To Steve and family (Adam, Ben, Craig, David, and Elisabeth and your extended families), Hasse has touched many hearts over the years through her generous spirit and infectious energy. Our family’s (Sarah, Martha and Eric) lives were enriched by our connection with her and with all of you. May your love for each other support each of you during this time of awesome loss. With love.

Teri Austin October 3, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Dr. Halley so many stories and wonderful memories will keep her in our hearts forever.

Linda Freitas October 3, 2011 at 1:29 pm

I also had the pleasure of working with Hasse in Providence, RI, and think of her often. This is a loss that words cannot express. My thoughts and prayers are with Steve and the family at this time. Faith and love to all of you.

Melanie Henderson Livingston October 3, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Hassie was the most wonderful force behind the fine education my sons got at WUHS, not to mention how the Woodstock community benefitted from her energy. She was a Powerhouse and will be missed, so sad. My sincere condolences to her family….All our love.

Matt DePrizio October 3, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Hasse was, and will always be an inspiration to those that knew her. She had a truly generous spirit. I’ll never forgot her contribution to our town after hurricane Irene. My deepest sympathy to the Halley family…

Sundar Ramaswamy October 3, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Dear Liza and Family

What a terrible loss!! Our heartfelt condolences to all of you!

Our thoughts and prayers are with you to give you enough strength to bear this unbearable loss!

Sundar, Bhuvana

shallom and Carroll Lewin October 3, 2011 at 11:57 am

This is for you Steve,
We are shocked by the tragedy. You will need all your strength to deal with it. And deal you will.
Hasse has left a legacy in the hearts of many.
When you are lonely, my heart and house are open to you.

Geri Wlliamsi October 3, 2011 at 10:18 am

Steve and family,
I first met Hasse at the Vermont Writing Project. What wonderful times we had there as we shared our writing and ourselves. We continued to keep in touch over the years. Hasse gave her all to everyone and everything she was involved in. . Her energy, her belief in others and her everyready smile will remain with ous alwasys. What wonderful memories she left with us. My heartfelt sympathy is with you all. Geri Williams

Gershon Levine and Rabbi Andrea Gouze October 3, 2011 at 10:11 am

We were very sad to hear this news. Our sympathy goes out to her family and to the Woodstock community

Gary Margolis October 3, 2011 at 9:59 am

When I was a student at UVM, Hasse and Steve opened their home to me and so many other Jewish students. I spent many, many weekends and high holidays with them. She was a wonderful mother-figure and a good person. Her loss profound for so many of us, on so many levels.

May her name be a blessing for her friends and family.

Ruby MacIntyre October 3, 2011 at 8:06 am

Among Hasse’s many contributions was the sharing of her energy, spirit, and skills with the Essex High School English Department. Many of us who worked with her at that time will remember her with great respect and fondness. My deepest sympathy goes out to her family. Ruby MacIntyre

Eileen Ellis October 3, 2011 at 6:57 am

I had the privilege of working closely with Hasse for the brief time she worked in Rhode Island. She was a bundle of energy and always welcomed everyone with that big, wide grin. This news is horrible. Sincere condolences to Steve and the family.

Betty & Larry Kelly October 2, 2011 at 5:10 pm

So saddened to hear about Hassee. We both had worked many years with Hassee at Essex High School. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.

Pat Cushing October 2, 2011 at 4:12 pm

So sorry to here the news…Dr. Halley was such an asset to the community and school… She made an impact on every child she touched.

Ellen Krikstone October 2, 2011 at 4:03 pm

My deepest regrets to Steve and their children. I knew the family when our kids were small. Ben Israel & my David were in the same bar mitzvah class. The other kids helped w/ our catering business. I have very fond memories of Hasse and always admired her wisdom, strength, spirituality and strong convictions. She was a beautiful soul & has left her mark in many people’s lives. She will continue to do her good deeds from above. RIP Hasse
–Ellen Krikstone, Raleigh, NC

Ron & Susan Goldberg October 2, 2011 at 4:03 pm

We are very sorry for your loss. Our prayers are with you and the family.

Lou Young October 2, 2011 at 3:32 pm

I can’t believe it. What terrible news. Hasse is one of the finest teachers that I have ever worked with and I agree with E.J that I am comforted to know that she and Zach are in a place where I can feel there kindlyWoodstock gaze on all of us. I feel it now.

Lou Young

Susan Howard and Jacob Benesch and Gertrude Kantrowitz October 2, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Liza and family

Our deepest sympathy to all of you. Our prayers are with you now and always.

Francie Kahn October 2, 2011 at 10:36 am

Steve,
My thoughts are with you and your family as you deal with this sudden terrible loss. Although we were not in touch often, I have fond memories of times spent with you and Hasse at happy family events over the years.
Fondly,
Francie

jennifer page October 2, 2011 at 10:32 am

Hassie was our assistant director in the Sound of Music last fall. She was dedicated, energetic, kind, fun and the list could go on and on. Every night before I went out to sing my first song, she would give me a warm hug, a hand squeeze or an encouraging smile. The news of her passing was shocking and devastating.
My family extends our heartfelt sympathy to her family during this difficult time. She will be heartily missed.

Brittany Garmon October 2, 2011 at 9:23 am

Dr. Hailey was this amazing woman who never gave up and always kept her students pushing no matter what. She was always there from start to finish with us and she always made time for her students. She was an amazing woman and we will miss her so much.

Paul Formal October 2, 2011 at 5:13 am

Hasse Halley was a brilliant and beautiful friend to our family in Providence, RI. Our deepest sympathies to Steve and her family.

Paul, Debbie, Stacey and Maxie Formal

E. J. Willis October 1, 2011 at 8:41 pm

I’m thinking Zack needed a friend and he got the best Woodstock could give

Scott Bigelow October 1, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Dr. Halley was a great lady. She will be missed.

katharine and michael pepper October 1, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Katharine and I were stunned to learn of Hasse’s accident.
We are saddened that this giving woman was taken so soon and before she had time to complete her vast list of projects.
Our thoughts are with and your family

Jason Anderson October 1, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Hasse was a dear lady and a gem in the crown of Woodstock. I have no doubt that she is, and will continue to be, missed terribly by those who knew her. Her dedication to her family, friends, students and community will live on as her legacy. I will miss her terribly.

Debbie MacAulay October 1, 2011 at 12:11 pm

The death of Dr. Halley is a shock! She contributed so much to this community and beyond. My prayers are with her family.

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