These are the unedited class notes as submitted by class agents and other alumni. Edited notes appear in the print edition.
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We are sorry to report that Edna Tucker Purdue passed away May 22, 2017, at age 94. Her obituary mentions her many civic and social activities in the Crewe, Virginia, area; her work as a bookkeeper; and her long marriage to the late Z.T. Perdue Jr. Survivors include son Zack T. Perdue III, a daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren.
Phyllis Quimby Anderson
ELIZABETH CUMBY MURRAY uses a cane as most of us do and a walker in the apartment. She still drives and plays Bridge four days a week and plays Mexican Dominoes with four friends. She went to a Women’s concert which she said brought back memories of her playing the piano for the Victory Chorus. I was lucky to be in it.
PHYLLIS QUIMBY ANDERSON also uses a cane and a walker. I also play Bridge once a week and do a column for our Church newsletter. MY son is living with me so I do have an advantage for traveling. We did go to Williamsburg and recently had a full weekend with Grandson’s wedding, family reunion and my birthday in N.J. which was tiring but fun. Also I just found out that I have another Great GreatGrandDaughter who lives in Germany.
Marjorie Storms “Jerse” Reddoch saying hello after 72 years! I married my Marine, 1st Lt. Ruskin Reddoch, from Troy, AL. on June 4, 1945, graduation day, in the Baptist church. Dr. Robert Caverlee performed the ceremony at 4 p.m. Levin Houston and Dr. Ritter were ushers. Bridesmaids were: Lillie Macheras, Janice Seay, Betty Cook, and Betty Cochrane. Hilda Parks played the organ. We went on to Camp Lejeune N.C., for nine months. The Rev. Robert Caverlee performed the ceremony, and Levin Houston and Charles Ritter were ushers. Bridesmaids included Lillie Macheras Babalas, Betty Cook Schlichting, Betty Jones Cockrell, and Jenise Seay Williams ’46, all of whom have passed away. Hildy Parks Cohen, also now deceased, played the organ.
At 93 and 98, we are both enjoying assisted living at the lovely “Allegro” in Tarpon Springs, FL, where we have lived for one year and a half. Our careers were teaching and coaching at Tarpon Springs High School since 1953 for Rusty. He has a Little League ballpark named after him. I opened my Reddoch School of the Art in 1953 until 1983 and exhibited and sold my art work. I studied at UMW with a major in art and science. My mural class with Emil Schnellock as teacher and Dr. Hugo Iltis were my guiding lights. My mural oil painting of the N.J. state seal was viewed still on the walls in James Monroe Hall. Earning an A made me proud of my garden state and its two Grecian maidens holding the cornucopias.
Our joys today, at these ripe ages, are our three daughters, three sons in law, seven grandchildren, six spouses, and 18 great-grandchildren. A New Jersey girl and an Alabama boy met on a train in ’43!
I love your magazine!
Betty Moore Drewry Bamman
Carolyn Johnson Lingenfelser stays in touch with her roommate of four years at Mary Washington, Ellie Hunter Adams, and Aileen Robbins Heflin, her suitemate their senior year. She walks two miles a day, still swims and is now the proud great-grandmom to six month old Ella Catherine Cutler of Toano, Va. Ella’s mother, Megan, is a nurse practitioner in Williamsburg.
Carolyn recently took her older granddaughter, Lynsi Matthews, on a cruise to Bermuda to celebrate Lynsi’ s receiving her CPA certification. Carolyn’s grandson, Brandon Lingenfelser, is an architect in San Diego, CA. and his younger brother, Jordan, is at Va. Tech.
Carolyn just returned from a trip to London and Paris. She will not be attending our 70th reunion but has fond memories of the 65th.
My son Mark is marrying Kelley Cromwell on July 8. This is his first marriage at 56. I will gain a daughter-in-law, two grandsons, and lots of extended family. I am delighted with his choice of Kelley! They met at church.
June Davis McCormick
As another new year approaches, many of us are privileged to still be here; too manywere not. Five more classmates are known to have died this year.
Elizabeth “Liz” Barnes Hornsby of Harborton. Va. suffered another severe stroke and passed away in January at the Hermitage, surrounded by her loving family. She was predeceased by her husband, Beverly Hornsby, daughter, Susan, brother, James and a great-grandson. Liz came to MWC from Accomac on the Eastern Shore of Va. and made many close friends during her four years. An art major, Liz taught school in both Norfolk and Richmond and retired from Acccomac County Public Schools after many years. Liz was the first pharmacy school wife at the Medical College of Virginia to be elected president of the Dames Club; a member of the board of the Eastern Shore Community College; a member of Harborton United Methodist Church and longtime member of the Eastern Shore Yacht and Country Club.
An avid golfer, Liz finally made the coveted “hole in one” playing at a club in Maryland. She was a formidable bridge opponent and enjoyed her tri-weekly games with her many bridge buddies. Liz loved sports, playing during her school days and later watching many games on TV, especially college basketball, and passionately rooting for both the Orioles and Redskins. Over the years, Liz and Bev spent many low tides clamming along the beds of the Bay, a source of fresh seafood enjoyed on both the Eastern and Western Shores. After Bev’s demise, Liz proudly learned to mow their seven acres each summer on her trusty tractor.
A few years ago, Liz was suddenly immobilized by a devastating stroke which left her unable to communicate. Her devoted daughter Jane, a nurse, and son-in-law Clay took on her immediate care, moving her to their home in Maryland, where she also began therapy. With retirement at hand, they made the decision to return to Harborton and care for Liz in her beloved home and familiar surroundings. With ongoing therapy, Liz slowly began to make progress.
Last fall when her lifelong friend Harriet Scott Brockenbrough was visiting her nearby hometown, she paid a visit to Liz and was delighted to receive an audible greeting. Liz regained enough of her verbal ability to play an occasional bridge game with her good friends. Unhappily, her recovery was short-lived when the second stroke occurred. But Liz had achieved her primary goal. Left to cherish her memory are her daughter Jane and husband Clay, son-in-law Steve, six grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, a sister, a brother and many nieces and nephews. Dear friends brought great joy to Liz’ lifetime, as she did for many of us.
The Alumni Office was notified that Anne Eakle Ralston Keith had passed away in March. Anne, from Harrisonburg, Va., was only with us for freshman and sophomore years. She married Donald Keith and lived for a time in Maine, worked with the Castine Scientific Society and also was president of the Wilson Museum. After the death of her husband of 63 years, she relocated to Richmond to be near her daughter there. Sadly, Betty suffered at length from Alzheimer’s and spent the last two years of her life in a memory care facility. She is survived by her daughter, Katherine Keith Baird of Richmond, her daughter Elizabeth Keith of San Diego and a grandson, Randolph Baird, currently of Ft. Gordon, Ga. Her family thanked the Care Team at Sunrise of Richmond for their patience and compassionate care during the last two years of her life.
We are further diminished by the loss of three more classmates also reported to the Alumni Office. First on the list was Frances “Blackie” Horn Nygood, who died in May. While she didn’t “walk” with us at G. W., she kept in touch over these many years, returned for a few Reunions and was always a fun participant and witty correspondent. Her third husband, Howard, was a professional dog show handler and Blackie became active in their kennel in Georgetown, Delaware, where they specialized in breeding, raising and showing dachshunds and beagles. Participating in the annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Shows in New York gained them both prestige and winners. After Howard passed away, Blackie ran the kennel and acted as an AKC judge up and down the East Coast. As a staff writer on The Bullet during sophomore year, she later wrote professionally for various show dog publications. Married three times, she had two sons. When her boys were small, she was active in PTA, served as Cub Scout den mother, participated in the League of Women Voters, as well as various civic and environmental organizations. After taking a special course, she also taught reading and writing to adult illiterates. She was predeceased by her husband, Howard, and by both sons. Blackie was unique and she will be missed.
The second name on the list was Margaret Markwood McClench who died in June at her home in Blacksburg, Va. Earning her BA at MWC, she taught math in the Fairfax County Public Schools and Oliver Wendell Holmes Schools in Alexandria. She married William McClench, II and retired from teaching after 30 years. In her retirement years, she was active in the Blacksburg United Methodist Church, with volunteer work in the community, monthly book club meetings and spending time with her grandchildren.
She was predeceased by her husband, a son, three brothers and a sister. Surviving are a daughter, a granddaughter and grandson, two great-grandsons and two sisters. The family thanked the nurses and hospice caregivers for their assistance and compassion.
The third name was that of Virginia Woodley Chapman, of Norfolk, Va. who also passed away in June. Our senior year book lists her hometown as Creswell, NC. She majored in sociology, earning a BA in ‘49 and a M.Ed in ’67 from the College of William and Mary. She served as employment counselor and job placement coordinator for the Norfolk Public Schools, when her married name was Asby. Her name became Chapman when she remarried and retired from teaching. She was predeceased by both Gilbert Asby and Hugh Chapman. She is survived by two sons, a daughter, a stepson, five grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Sad to note, as we are either late-stage octogenarians or rising-nonagenarians, there will be further losses reported, so be prepared. Let us hope they are few and far between!
Turning to happier news, Barbara Trimm Wright in South Hill, Va. recently reconnected with her former junior year suitemates in Ball. Barbara, Gladys Riddle and Helen “Bebe” Lowe were roommates that year, with Alice Durham and Claire Braun as their suitemates. As you may recall, Gladys’ mother took her home to South Carolina in an attempt to break up her romance with a man she deemed unsuitable, so she did not graduate with us. Gladys did marry Les Whitesides and had a happy marriage of more than 50 years, until his demise.
Bebe, Alice and Claire all graduated in ’48 (Class of 1948 please note.) Barbara had kept in touch with her roommates, Helen “Bebe” Lowe Eliason and Gladys Riddle Whitesides, who died last year, but lost touch with Alice and Claire. Barbara had visited Alice in Chicago and had been in her wedding when she became Alice Durham Serapin, but they lost contact in later years. She had not heard from Claire since she graduated, but heard she was married and had twins. Recently, Bebe told Barbara she’d had a phone call from Claire. With Claire’s address then in hand, Barbara wrote to her in Lincraft, NJ and received her reply. Now Claire Braun Burrows, she wrote that she is 92, widowed, lives alone, with some help, and her children see to her needs. Barbara noted Claire’s handwriting was beautiful…and legible, too! In closing her newsy report, Barbara said things were fairly quiet in South Hill, that she is well and keeping “as busy as she wants to be.”
Speaking of Ball, Margaret “Peggy” Walton Mason, of Bethesda, Md. attached a picture to her email in which she reported having been in Fredericksburg in the spring and returned to Marye’s Hilltop for a nostalgic visit. The picture showed her standing on the steps of our beloved Ball, where her husband had officially proposed. Unfortunately, she was there on a drizzly day, which curtailed her intended walking tour, but not the happy memory of that momentous event in her life.
For still another year, Elizabeth “Betty” Fischer Gore returned to campus for the annual Scholarship Donors Luncheon in April, accompanied by her daughter Carolyn. For the second year, Betty served as sole representative for all Class of 1949 donors, meeting and talking with each recipient as well as her own. Posing for individual pictures with each one, Betty was a lovely representative of us all. For the first time, a video was made of the entire program, including the songs presented by a special recipient. Inadvertently, the piano was not wired for sound and the performer seemed to be singing a capella. The entire program was included in one of Jan Clarke’s mailings, with a link, so perhaps you viewed/heard it.
Betty planned to make some summer trips with a group from her Woodland Retirement Center in Fairfax. One was for three days in New York to attend three musicals, including a new Hello, Dolly! Supposedly an easy walking trip, Betty said she hoped to survive the journey as her knees aren’t what they used to be (whose are?) Next on her list was a September cruise with four other residents, up the coast of New England and into Canada, and she was looking forward to a relaxing journey. Betty said she has decided she will keep on going places until she has no energy left. Keep on keeping on, Betty!
Another who exhibits that same spirit is our perennial Betty Bond Heller Nichols, whose lifetime has been spent in continuously giving of her talents. From early on in her hometown of Bedford, Betty Bond always was involved in providing music and her innate capabilities whenever needed. That generosity continued at MWC where she was accompanist for every production and senior recital, and joyfully led and played for the after-dinner songfests. Returning to Bedford after graduation, rather than pursuing an invitation to use her language skills as an interpreter in Washington, Betty continued giving of her musical skills and assumed programming duties for her husband at the town’s radio station, while rearing their three children. She gave her time and talent to productions by a group of aspiring actors who put on annual shows under her guidance. Fast-forward, the marriage ended and, by chance, Betty Bond was invited to perform with a group in Lexington. During one performance, she caught the eye of a certain professor at VMI, Colonel Lee Nichols. That was the beginning of her joyful second life. This brief recap is well known to many of her classmates, especially her BFFs. However, newfound friends in Lexington only knew that she was a unique and gifted personality and wondered how she had evolved.
One friend asked if she’d consider doing a program at her home since she’d received a lot of questions about Betty Bond’s past before arriving in Lexington. B.B. wondered why anyone would be interested in her “past” but agreed to put together a musical program for a group of nearly 100 invited guests. The friend and her husband also are very interested in music and have built a music room for special occasions. So, on a lovely spring day in May, Betty Bond performed a program reflecting a variety of styles through the years, prefacing each example with a brief introduction and typical humor. Starting with her first recital piece (at 6 years of age), progressing from classical to operettas, show tunes, movie themes, ragtime, patriotic favorites, ballads, up-tempos, Latin rhythms, slow blues, and popular songs , B.B. performed for nearly an hour and a half. An audio engineer from W&L University, who also teaches music there, was on hand to capture the session. He recorded her words and music in a video on YouTube, also making a few DVDs for “posterity”, family and close friends. He applauded the manner in which she had woven so many different styles together and described B.B.’s performance as “a powerful display of a musical life well spent.” All those who have benefited for her generous gift of music over these many years would agree. Well done, B.B. As her classmates know, she always has been and remains a Fabulous Forty-Niner!
From Lansdale, Pa., Joyce Hamilton Eisler sent news that she and Joe planned to attend the annual meeting of LeadingAge, PA in June at Hershey, Pa., explaining that LeadingAge is an association of not-for-profit senior services. The Eislers were to attend for only one day, working with two corporate members from ACTS on a program of how corporate members now are interacting with residents in ACTS retirement communities to provide quality services by representing members through cooperative action. Earlier, Joe and their two sons went to Rocky Mount, NC to visit Joe’s brother, Art, after his triple heart bypass. All went well and Art was having therapy. It was an opportunity also for the boys to visit all their NC relatives. Joyce said they now have been at their Brittany Point residence for ten years. She said she keeps in touch with Peggy Mason and they both feel blessed to be in good health.
Harriet Scott Brockenbrough forwarded a newspaper article and picture of herself and one of her original high school group of BFFs, captioned “Lifelong Pals.” Harriet and Estelle Tankford, part poet/farmer and former educator, met for a fun visit in Hallerford, on the Eastern Shore. Harriet drove to Hallerford from her home in Mechanicsville with a treasured bag of fresh “buttah beans” to prepare and enjoy together, complete with “buttah, salt and peppah.” The two grew up on the Eastern Shore where their mothers were friends and members of the same church. They were born only 4 days apart and were to celebrate their 89th birthdays in August. Two of the original high school BFFs, they have kept in close touch over these many years. It’s a great picture of Harriet, who looks much younger than her years.
In April, her son Scott came for a visit and they both spent eight days with Harriet’s youngest son Tom in Onancock. Scott had spent the worst winter weather in Kirkland, WA. so he wanted to be outside every minute in Virginia’s springtime. As a result, they traversed the entire Virginia peninsula from the state park at Kiptopeake to Assateague Island. They also managed a trip to Assateague Island. Md., which can’t be accessed from the Virginia shore. Harriet left the boys on the last day to meet her high school BFFs for lunch in Cape Charles. She noted there are now only 5 of the original group, with 3 on the Eastern Shore and 2 on the Western side of the Bay. She said the best day by far for her was the kayak trip on a nearby creek to “our” creek and her beloved Chatham Farm where she grew up, now a popular winery. They walked up through Chatham yard to the winery where they enjoyed a tasting, then on to the main house to see the owner. She was turning the main house (1 of 3 on the farm) into an Air B&B and joined them for a tour. They now have quite a few weddings in the vineyard, so the house will be great for brides. Harriet said she should have known better than to try to keep up with her two sons. Scott returned to Richmond with her and they had dinner with her other two sons and their wives. The next day, she took Scott to the airport and she spent the following 3 days recuperating! She was to leave for Kirkland in July for a week with Scott and his wife and was looking forward to another great visit. That’s the first six months of this year, now approaching 2018, so Happy New Year to us all!
As ever, love to each of you.
Virginia Woodley Chapman ’49
Elizabeth Barnes Hornsby ’49
Ann Ralston Keith ’49
Margaret Markwood McClench ’49
Frances Horn Nygood ’49