Congratulations, Chris Pendergast

Congratulate to R-UTN member Chris Penderast on the upcoming publication of his book, Blink Spoken Here : Tales from the Journey to Within and the Lessons They Taught. The book chronicles his 25 year journey with ALS. It was accepted for publication by Apprentice House Press of Loyola University and will be out in late summer or fall. Visit our Member News page to read a note from Chris about his book.

Sad News

We offer our condolences to retired Language Teacher Nils Parma, whose daughter died suddenly over the past weekend. A memorial service to be scheduled at a later date.  Additional information will be posted as it is received.

Congratulations Frank Kondrich

In a post last month we announced that R-UTN member Frank Kondrich would be showing his bonsai chrysanthemums at the 65th Annual Long Island Chrysanthemum Show on October 26 and 27th. He competed in the “Open” division and was awarded five blue ribbons out of six entries. A retired English teacher, Frank shares more information about growing bonsai trees and chrysanthemums on the Member News page of this website.

Sad News

Bruce Hunt, retired Northport High School social teacher and department chair, passed away on October 9 at the age of 86. Bruce is survived by his wife Marcia, his sons Christopher and Peter, daughter Eliza Furtado and seven grandchildren. He was predeceased by his daughter Sarah.

At Northport High School Bruce was an educational innovator, designing and implementing unique classes and promoting novel teaching methods. Classes Bruce helped create are still being taught at Northport High School today.

From the early 1960’s Bruce was an active civil rights leader, serving as head of the Fair Housing Association of Huntington and chair of the Huntington Human Relations Committee. In 1965 Bruce was awarded a John Hay Fellowship at Northwestern University, which took him to Chicago for a year, during which time he traveled to Alabama to take part in the march from Selma to Montgomery with Dr. Martin Luther King. In 1970 Bruce temporarily left Northport and moved his family to Greece, teaching at the American Community School for six years

After retiring from Northport High School in 1993, Bruce and Marcia took positions at the American Embassy School in Damascus, Syria, where they lived for the next five years. In 1998 they permanently retired, moving to Skiathos, a Greek island in the northern Aegean Sea. In 2014, Bruce and Marcia returned to the U.S. and settled in Brant Rock, Massachusetts, living in Grey Gull – a cottage on the water that has been in Bruce’s family for nearly a century.

Services for Bruce were private. Gifts in his memory may be made to the American Civil Liberties Union — by mail to ACLU Gift Processing Dept., 125 Broad Street, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10004 or online at — or to a charity of your choice.

Sad News

Merle Levine, retired principal of Northport High School, passed away in her sleep on September 12 at the age of 95. Predeceased by Seymour, her husband of 63 years, she is survived by her five children, Deborah, Jeffrey, David, Steven and Robert; eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Merle and Seymour retired to Greenport, where she remained active working for the rights of women, minorities and the poor. She served as founder and president of the Community Action Southold Town and was secretary of the town’s Anti-Bias Task Force. For her lifetime of social justice advocacy, she was honored in 2016 with the Helen Wright Prince Community Award from the Southold Town Anti-Bias Task Force.

A memorial celebration of Merle’s life will be held Sunday, October 20th, 2-4 pm, at Peconic Landong, 1500 Brecknock Rd., Greenport, in the Community Center.