Lisina M. Hoch, 89, Adventurer and Philanthropist
Lisina M. Hoch, an adventurer and philanthropist, died peacefully at her home in Irvington on February 15. She was 89.
Born in Switzerland, she was the eldest of three daughters. Her father, Fritz von Schulthess, was the founder of the Swiss import/export firm DESCO. Her mother, Monica (Page), was the granddaughter of George H. Page, an American who brought condensed milk technology to Switzerland in 1866. She went to school in the UK and then to New York to study interior design. There, she met Frank W. Hoch on a blind date organized by mutual Swiss friends, and they married in 1951.
Lisina exuded charisma and adventure. She organized many trips for her family and friends, from hiking in the Rockies to Christmas in the Galapagos and treks in the Himalayas and became a member of the Explorers Club. One of her classmates in England was a Bhutanese woman who, after returning to Bhutan, married the Crown Prince and became Queen. When Lisina and Frank first visited her in the 1950s, a life-long love of, and relationship with, Bhutan and its people began. At that time, almost no one had heard of the landlocked kingdom, and reaching the capital of Thimphu required a grueling six-day trek over Himalayan passes. The 8mm films and photographs of their early trips now serve as historic documents of a land which, in just 60 years, has transitioned from a medieval Buddhist kingdom to a vibrant nation whose king coined the development term “Gross National Happiness.” Lisina visited Bhutan numerous times over 60 years and hosted Bhutanese visitors at her homes in Irvington and Martha’s Vineyard. The friendship with the Bhutanese people remains active and now encompasses four generations of the family.
Well known for her leadership in philanthropy, Lisina gave her time, energy and passion to the causes to which she was devoted. She served on numerous boards and as a volunteer for local, national and international organizations, and her leadership in responsible and unselfish generosity has inspired many to be philanthropic. Her strategy was to give seed money to early stage projects, so they could leverage into grants from large donors or foundations. One example is Exodus Transitional Community, which helps formerly incarcerated individuals transition back to normal life, including reintegrating with families, job training and counseling.
Lisina was a life trustee of the Bhutan Foundation, a life trustee of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Director Emerita of Scenic Hudson, and an honorary life trustee of The Asia Society. In 2010, she was honored as Philanthropist of the Year by the Westchester Association of Development Officers, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of fundraising and philanthropy in the Hudson Valley.
Locally, Lisina was an active member of the Thursday Club, the Garden Club of Irvington, Pocantico Society of Historic Hudson Valley, and the Irvington Presbyterian Church. Together with her late husband Frank, she was a long-time supporter of Phelps Memorial Hospital in Sleepy Hollow, supporting emergency services and training. Lisina’s connection with Phelps began when she worked as a volunteer shortly after the hospital opened in 1955, and she has continued to be actively involved, most recently as a member of the Development Committee. The Hochs participated in the funding of numerous projects at the hospital, including the Hoch Center for Emergency Education, which serves communities in the Hudson Valley and throughout the Northeast. The Hoch Center provides life support programs and emergency preparedness training for emergency medical service providers, medical and nursing staff, businesses, organizations and community members. Thanks to Mrs. Hoch’s role with the Bhutan Foundation, the Hoch Center began its international reputation in 2009 by training a team of six medical personnel from Bhutan, who then in turn trained hundreds of Bhutanese citizens after returning home. The Hochs were also major supporters of the new Emergency Department at Phelps.
Lisina spent her summers on Martha’s Vineyard. Her concern for conservation on the island fueled her support of the Vineyard Conservation Society and the Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation. She was a close friend of Polly and Julian Hill and one of the earliest supporters of the Polly Hill Arboretum, helping to launch its evolution into a renowned center of botanical research and education. She was a member of the Edgartown Yacht Club.
Survivors include her four children, Steven, Alix, Daphne and Roland, their spouses and 11 grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, March 22, at 4 p.m. at the Irvington Presbyterian Church. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to The Bhutan Foundation (www.bhutanfound.org) and Exodus Transitional Community (www.etcny.org).
Mark Perrier, 89
Mark Perrier, a resident of Manhattan, East Hampton and, most recently, Scarborough, died on January 23 at Phelps Hospital in Sleepy Hollow. He was 89.
He was born on February 6, 1929 in St. Paul Minnesota to Hector Perrier and Catherine Bates. He is predeceased by his younger brother Joel, who died in 1983.
He attended Randolph Macon Academy and then enlisted in the U.S. Marines from 1946 to 1948, serving in Guam and China during the period between WWII and the Korean War. With support from the GI Bill after his discharge he attended Rutgers University for two years where he met his future wife Lois Lockwood. He then transferred to Cornell and studied with Vladimir Nabokov among others, graduating in 1952 with a BA in Writing, which remained his lifelong passion.
Mark and Lois married in 1952 and moved to Toledo, Ohio where he worked in sales and marketing for Owens Corning Fiberglass. Returning to New York he joined the advertising firm Muller, Jordan and Herrick as a writer and producer, and it was here he met his future partner and lifelong friend Lewis Zacks.
With Mark writing the words and Lew making the images the two founded Zacks and Perrier in 1967. For 24 years their firm was a leading producer of large format films, sound environments, multimedia installations, videos, live stage productions, museum exhibits and interactive live theater performances for conventions and meetings of major corporations, and for museums, World’s Fair pavilions and national history sites.
Their production highlights included the Washington State Pavilion at the 1986 World’s Fair in Vancouver BC, the U.S. exhibit at the Paris Air show in 1980, and the film “The Boy From Mars” for NASA’s spaceport in Florida. In Manhattan Zacks and Perrier produced a multi-screen film for BMW featuring Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg making original paintings on automobiles, as well as “The Intrepid,” a film about the aircraft carrier that was screened on the vessel when it opened to tourists in New York. During the height of their success they were known in the industry as the fathers of multimedia.
After the closure of Zacks and Perrier in 1991 Mark continued to work on projects until 2009, first for the Carabiner Group and later for Partnership Works where he created and produced public and corporate installations for museums.
Mr. Perrier was an avid tennis player, jazz aficionado, literature enthusiast and bon vivant whose sharp and inquisitive mind remained fascinated with both historical and new cultural developments throughout his life. A gathering to celebrate his life will be held on June 1, with the location to be announced in the near future.
Margaret Baird, 93
Margaret T. Baird, a resident of Irvington, died peacefully on February 3. She was 93.
Born in Tarrytown, after graduation from Irvington High School she went to work for Eastern Aircraft from 1944 to 1945. She then began a very long career at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery starting in 1945 and spanning more than 50 years. After serving in various positions in the office, she went on to serve as Secretary to the Board of Directors for many years.
She was a parishioner of Irvington Presbyterian Church and a member of the Irvington Seniors. She was also inducted into the Westchester County Senior Hall of Fame.
Maxine Bagg, 99
Maxine M. Kiernan Bagg, a longtime resident of Dows Lane in Irvington, died February 1 at her home in Ocean Reef, Florida. She was 99.
She was a potent competitor on the golf course, skeet range and in life. She was a former “Miss Atlanta” in 1940.
Mary Minella, 75
Mary Minella, a lifelong resident of Sleepy Hollow, died February 22. She was 75.
Born in North Tarrytown on November 21, 1943, she was a graduate of North Tarrytown High School. She worked for many years as a cook at General Motors. She loved to bowl and had been on the General Motors Bowling Team. She also loved her cats. She will be remembered for her love of her family and her devotion to them.