These are the unedited class notes as submitted by class agents and other alumni. Edited notes appear in the print edition.
If you prefer to submit Class Notes by mail, send to:UMW Magazine – Class Notes
1301 College Ave.
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Gaye Roberts Olsen, who was hospitalized in May with blood clots in her lungs, reported that as of October, her lungs were clear and she was off the meds. An amazing recovery!
Gray Schaefer Dodson wrote that her work was featured in an autumn art exhibit at Sweet Briar College, a prestigious honor.
Liz Hill Heaney has completely healed from her summer bout with shingles contracted in spite of having received the vaccine. Nothing stops her and she continued her water aerobics and other activities throughout. Way to go Liz!
Sue Smith Goodrick sold her house in Wilmington N.C. and has purchased a home in Naperville, IL to be able to live nearer her son. They traded homes for a bit, his family used her new house while his own was being finished and she stayed in Missouri with friends for a lovely interlude before making the final leap to her new nest around the first of the year.
Karen Larsen Nelson and Darrell’s great-grandbaby #8 arrived in September, while we were on an RV trip thru Wyoming and Colorado enjoying autumn leaves and fall weather. We planned a visit to Las Vegas in December to meet her and to visit with other family members there. In Mesa, we enjoyed the winter season, participating in and supporting several activities of our church, which is embedded in an assisted living community with a memory care unit; also taking some round dance workshops and enjoying several short RV camping trips.
Jody Campbell Close is closing in on actually finishing the first section of her family history. She admits to having changed the date on the introductory message annually since 2012, having begun her compilation for this project in 2010. She has had to rewrite the opening “letter” to her grandchildren several times because they kept growing up. Section 1 will introduce them to their heritage as it introduces the earliest immigrants in 12 core families, tracing them in overview for 400 years across 11 states and sets the stage for upcoming sections presenting individual in depth studies on each family line. At least the dog looks attentive when she reads it to him, but young adults with busy lives? That is a different audience. In November she was elected President of the local genealogical society for a 2 year term.
Connie Booth Logothetis (A–G)
Renee Levinson Laurents (H–Q)
Lynne Williams Neave (R–Z)
Please send news to the designated Class Agent according to the first letter of your maiden name.
From Connie Booth Logothetis: Not much news this time, but many thanks to you who answered the call. First a correction from the Fall issue of the UMW Magazine, Pepper Jacobs Germer and Hank live in Arkansas, not Arizona! I guess those postal codes are not well known! Sadly, we have lost two classmates this year: Marian DeMaio Danco on January 19 and Elizabeth B. Prince on August 10. We send our deepest sympathy to their families.
Kelly Cherry wrote: “I am so sorry to hear that Prince (that was what we called her) is gone. My news: New book of poems forthcoming from LSU Press in February. And Burke and I recently had a week in NYC. Burke had to push me around in our travel-wheelchair, but we got where we needed to go. I’m happy to say I can still walk a bit. Just not those ten-mile blocks in NYC. Also, I received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. My best to everyone.” Congratulations on the Lifetime award!!
Jerri Barden Perkins: “This year was memorable for many reasons but I wish to highlight three. My Papal visit where I had the honor and privilege of being presented to Pope Francis. Volunteerism has been an important part of my life since MW. I have begun to volunteer at the Free Clinic here on the Island (Hilton Head) known as VIM and a model for a number of Free Clinics in the US. It makes me feel good about what I am able to do for others. Finally, I am delighted that I have connected with Marcia Minton Keech and Connie from MW. It gives me tremendous pleasure to call them and share some of these life events both from and with them. Best wishes for health and the Holidays.”
Georgeau “Georgie” Rahnias lost her husband George last year after 53 years. (George and my husband Andy were HS classmates in Greece! CBL) “My youngest daughter and family moved to Reston for work and I followed this August and settled in Gainesville, Va. It’s a great place to be. I have a lot of support here, the people are great. Was at UMW graduation this year to see my granddaughter receive her degree. It was very emotional to be back there.” Come back for our next reunion! [13550 Heathcote Blvd., Suite 339, Gainesville, VA , 732-673-2761]
From Carolyn Crum Pannu: “Just returned from Napa, CA, with daughter, Kara, in Wine Country where Embassy Suites had activities, food, and libations for all ages and stages.
Will spend Christmas with son, Raj and family (grandson Alex is 12 and ever so much fun). All of us there delight in solving word games and watching sports events; Alex excels in soccer and baseball. Well, that’s all, folks. I wish you all health and peace in the coming year.”
News from Patty Cairns Hourin & Jim: “We continue to live in Diamondhead, MS in the house we built in 1978. Our son Bill (also Diamondhead resident & Delta pilot) married Valentina Pavalesque this summer and they are expecting our 7th grandchild this Spring. His daughters (19 & 23) will have a baby sister! Son Michael & Katrina will be living in Hong Kong for 2 yrs while he flies for FedEx. Grandson Jim is working in Saigon, Vietnam. Looks like we’ll be taking a trip! Granddaugher Caroline works in the music world of Nashville. Son Scott & family continue to enjoy life in Fredericksburg, VA. We enjoyed seeing lots of classmates at the 55th and hope to see more at the 60th!”
Clara Sue Durden Ashley wrote: “In June Clarence and I were in Charleston, SC to witness the marriage of his nephew. The wedding was held outdoors on the grounds of the Magnolia Plantation on the Ashley River. From there we were able to motor down to St. Augustine where we visited our son Dennis and family for a couple of days. Late August found us in Beaver Creek, Ohio, the home of our son Park and his large family with seven children. His wife is so organized! In October our oldest grandchild, Christopher, was married! Maybe I will live to become a great grandmother! I am still working in The Quilt Shop of McLean where I do quilt repair. The dog chews can be particularly challenging.”
Heard from Joan Gibson Lippold: I really don’t have much news to share. Jim and I stay busy traveling, being with family and friends, and enjoying our house overlooking the Chesapeake Bay. Jim and I love cruises, but at our age we find European river cruises are more our speed. We have cruised all the rivers of Europe, plus rivers in Russia and China. Also, we have done many Princess cruises, but no longer care for the giant ships. Grand Circle Tours caters to seniors and offers a slower pace, lots of free time, low-key kind of trip. It’s more casual than Viking cruises and only Americans are on board. We have loved all 11 of our Grand Circle trips.
We did a tour of England, Wales and Scotland this summer which was delightful. In October we spent a week with our daughter and family in Texas to celebrate our granddaughter’s 17th birthday. These years are passing so quickly!! The week before Christmas we are going to spend in Disney World with our kids and grandkids…..along with a billion other people! I realize this will come out after Christmas, but I would like to wish everyone a healthy and prosperous New Year.
And, Bev Carlson Shea says she doesn’t have much to share, but she enjoys getting together with son Dan and family which includes granddaughter Katherine and grandson Jack who live in northern NJ. The family enjoyed a Christmas dinner at the NYC Harvard Club; Dan works in NYC and has an MBA from Harvard. Bev and Jim live in Bethlehem, PA.
My news: Andy and I had a nice summer and fall – a week near Yorktown, VA with my sister Linkey Booth Green ’63 and hubby David; my August birthday lunch with Mary Hatcher; a quick weekend in DE where we had dinner with Barbie Upson Welch and Charlie; an aborted (due to high water) paddlewheel riverboat cruise in October (missed Matthew!) from St. Louis north to Red Wing, MN which we and another couple changed to a road trip, stopping at the places the boat would have stopped, and more. Next year in Feb we are going on a cruise to Cuba for a week. My health is holding up and I celebrated the 4th anniversary of my lung transplant in Dec! Keep in touch with me and others in our wonderful class of 1961.
From Renee Levinson Laurents: Sandy Phillips Conklyn and Dan met their new month-old twin grandsons in San Francisco just before Thanksgiving. River and Kai are Sandy’s son’s second set of twins! “What a joy at almost 77 to hold new babies again.” The older ones are Ellyse and Ryan, 17, from his first marriage. The oldest grandchild, Bridget, is in her second year of law school at U. of Ore. On a less happy note, two months ago, Sandy and Dan had to euthanize their “…beloved Tibetan Mastiff, Ketu. He was almost 10, but we were not ready to lose him. I guess we are getting too old to have wonderful big dogs again, but eventually, we will look for a rescue dog to rescue us from the loneliness and quiet! My best to everyone at this special time of year.”
Congrats on the twins, Sandy. And so sorry to hear about your wonderful dog. Yes, a rescue is in order. It helps. I lost my Golden and rescued a Bichon Frise mix, who did rescue me!
Mary Hatcher’s renovations to the bathroom are done, and next comes the kitchen. Honestly, it’s worse than moving! Mary and Bill have set out for Phoenix and then back to Williamsburg, VA after Christmas. They survived Hurricane Matthew in October with minimal damage and not even a power outage (in Wilmington, NC)! The weather gods smiled on you two!
Sylvia McJilton Woodcock and Stuart went to France in October and spent five days in Paris at a B&B in the Marais District…just a ten minute walk to Notre Dame. Next, they spent a week in the Burgundy Region on a well appointed barge that held 12, but there were 10 of them. They traveled “…the canals and locks through the most beautiful scenery ever. Most days we had a walk in the morning and the afternoon. One day, I walked eleven and a half miles…and lived to tell about it. [WOW…good for you!] Stuart did some walking and a then rode a bike on the paved roads that paralleled the canals. We had a crew of seven with three FULL meals a day, a different red and white wine and three regional cheeses for lunch and dinner each day. It’s a good thing we walked a lot!” Twenty family members gathered for Thanksgiving in their daughter’s new home on their 90 acre farm. Eleven spent the night. Added joy was to hold their new three month old grandson from Charleston, S.C. Congrats on him! And what a wonderful trip you had to France.
Marcia Minton Keech and Bill also survived Matthew in Savannah. After traveling to western Georgia for five days, they returned to a big cleanup job, but were lucky. Jerri Barden Perkins on Hilton Head was hit harder, so during cleanup, she went on a wonderful trip to Italy. I hope she will tell you all about it because it was very special.
I would like to have heard about that adventure from Jerri! After my fabulous trip to Australia and New Zealand, I taught a class on the Constitution at UCLA Extension during the summer quarter. It was a lot of work, and I’ve become proficient in “bum” since I retired. I attend classes there too and love them. Astronomy and Cosmology, Current Events, and Shakespeare! Fun…and no homework!
So, get busy, my dear classmates, and start writing something to send to me for the next installment. I’m sure our classmates are as eager as I am to hear from you. Stay well, everyone. And have a wonderful, happy, and healthy Christmas and all good things in the New Year.
From Lynne Williams Neave: I thank the very few of you who responded with a little news this time. We’re always busy this time of year preparing for the holidays and families. I have a little news about Sandy’s and my activities. We took a marvelous trip to Canada in October with friends, beginning in Montreal where we boarded the Seabourn Quest and cruised through Quebec, visiting marvelous places including Quebec City, Prince Edward Island, and Halifax, NS. In early November, we visited Art and Lloyd Tilton Backstrom for a few days before going to Fredericksburg for the UMWF meeting. Lloyd describes her life as “not very exciting”, but I think it is extremely exciting!! They spent Thanksgiving at Kiawah followed by ski trip to Vail, and plan to go to Sun Valley in January (for what she describes as their “body tune-ups”). To add to their “excitement,” Art fought and caught a 26lb. red fish, called a drum!!
Sue Wilson Sproul and Dave are another extremely active couple. They spent Thanksgiving in Albuquerque visiting relatives of Dave’s. They have just completed a year in Tucson, Arizona, and love all of the music, art and dining venues the town offers. They have met interesting people at their gated 50+ community, but they do miss being around younger generations. Sue describes their big event in 2016 as a trip to France (inspired by Peter Mayle’s “A Year in Provence”), visiting Avignon, Arles, and taking a canal barge through the Canal du Midi, with stops in the Camargue National Park and the medieval city of Aigues-Mortes. From the village of Sete, a bus carried them through the countryside to ancient abbeys, wineries, and the cities of Narbonne and Toulouse. They flew from Toulouse to Paris and spent another wonderful week enjoying the sights and tastes.
Jim and Janie Riles continue to shuttle back and forth between Ft. Lauderdale and San Diego, having difficulty deciding which place they prefer. When in San Diego, Janie teaches weekly watercolor classes in her home studio, and when in Ft. Lauderdale, she paints with some great snowbird artists. She looks forward to taking a workshop at the Goldcoast Watercolor Society in January. In addition, they took an interesting cruise around Scandinavia and the Baltic region in June.
Graham Walker Burns wrote that sadly, Sarah Leigh Kinberg’s husband, Tom, died recently. He became ill in May, thus preventing him from attending our reunion.
Joan Akers Rothgeb
Kathleen Sprenkle Lisagor
Jane Walshe McCracken
From Kathleen Sprenkle Lisagor: Dear Classmates: Happy 2017 for good health and good will. As I write it is icy cold and a whirl this Santa season. Many thanks to those who are sending news as our 55th reunion is just around the corner. Please reserve the first weekend in June. Feel free to stay in touch as I am still in Fredericksburg where I moved to be near my oldest daughter when Barry died.
Our hearts will always be with retiring President Rick Hurley and his wife, Rose.
It has been exciting to welcome new President Dr. Troy Paino and his charming wife, Kelly. They are gaining widespread respect from the students and the community. You will also truly enjoy seeing the magnificent new campus center building on College Ave. and the ever extraordinary campus!
Emily Lewis has called about the success of our class of ’62 scholarship projects.
This is continuing to have a powerful impact on special UMW students.
It sounds as if many of us are downsizing. Diana Copple Smith doesn’t want to leave anything to chance as she is investigating numerous retirement communities along I40 corridor near Greensboro, yet near her daughter in Wilmington. She rarely gets to Richmond since her father’s passing at age 100!
From Kentucky Louise Couch Girvin and husband John ventured to Wilmington, Delaware to visit Peggy Downs Gerber and husband John. Their Christmas photos are “cool” of this reunion. The Gerbers are also celebrating the recent birth of son Pete’s first child, a son. How to stay active and young!
We extend our deep sympathy to our dear Joan Akers Rothgeb whose husband Eddie Rothgeb passed away in Oct. with cancer. At his Nelson County services stories were told of Eddie’s special contributions as an educator, patriot, loving husband, father and Grandpop. It was so good to see among attendance Bettie Stewart Kienast, Gale Taylor Drew and husband Lewis.
In May I plan to celebrate three of my eight grandchildren’s college graduations.
Kelly, my oldest, is teaching in Manassas and working for her masters at George Mason.
I am still teaching piano and playing at church with my daughter, Amy. My family enjoys makin’ music and jammin’ at family gatherings. I tell my children college at “MWC” made the dearest and most faithful friends! Hopefully we can meet again for our 55th…And continue to make special memories!
From Linkey Booth Green: I had a lovely Christmas letter from Linda Gulnac Steelman. She and husband Bill are still enjoying life on Nantucket where she is an historical interpreter at the Nantucket Whaling Museum. Linda also sings in her church choir and a Community Chorus that sings more challenging music. Bill has had some ups and downs with his health but is doing well enough that they are able to travel periodically. He also is an assistant minister of the First Congregational Church.
My freshman roomie, Mary A. Settle Johnson keeps busy with family and church activities including visits to veterans. She still lives in Panama City, FL.
Janice Coleman is still anxious to get out the information about the Coleman Family Farm Scholarship she has established at Mary Washington. If anyone would like more information about this before you contact MW, please feel welcome to contact Janice via email: email@example.com.
Barbara Moore Wheeler wrote that her husband of 54 years, Jim Wheeler, passed away in April, following a long illness. Our deepest sympathy to you Barbara.
And from Nancy Maynard: “I have remained quite busy, especially, with the continuation of work activities. As mentioned in my last note, I moved to Florida where I am a Visiting Scientist at my other alumna school, University of Miami, in the Cooperative Institute for Marine & Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS) and the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science (RSMAS) in Miami. I am continuing research on climate change, and in particular on a 3-year project with Indigenous Norwegian researchers and reindeer herders at Sami University College and the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry. Together with these colleagues, with whom we have worked for over 10 years, we are focusing on both challenges and opportunities for sustainable reindeer husbandry using both scientific and Indigenous knowledge in these current times of rapid climate change in the Arctic. I am also serving on the National Research Council (NRC/NAS) Polar Research Board, am a member of the Advisory Board for the Florida International University School of Environment, Arts, and Society (SEAS). and am especially pleased to be grandma to a wonderful 2.5 year old grandson.”
As for me, last March I took my granddaughter to visit Mary Washington. It was a beautiful spring day and while she was taking the tour, I sat on the patio of Ann Carter Lee. I thought of the wonderful 4 years I spent on that campus and how it shaped my life and many thoughts. I was also fascinated to compare the changes since I was there 53 years ago (student population, dress codes, facilities, etc.) and yet the place still has the Honor System, the beautiful colonial style buildings and a welcoming and friendly atmosphere.
Please keep Betsy and me posted on what you are doing. We love sharing news but need to hear from you in order to do that. Write, call or email!
From Betsy Lydle Smith: In the last UMC News Notes I asked if anyone remembered the words to the song, “Standing in the Doorway.” I received the words from Noel Sipple and Carol Shiflet Hansen ’62. They also included words for “That’s the Way the Wind Blows.” Hopefully you remember the tune and are singing along with fond memories of your time at MWC! Thank you, Noel and Carol, for your generosity!
Classmates, remember to send your news to Linkey and me!
Standing in the Doorway
Standing in the doorway, telling me good-bye,
You whispered “I adore you; I’ll love you til I die.”
Then you turned away and walked right out of my life
That da – a – ay, O – o- o – oh.
You were telling me good-bye, remember?
Then you asked me not to cry, remember?
Our love was true and strong,
But it didn’t last for long.
That good-bye was for-ever more. Forever more.
That’s the Way the Wind Blows
I saw you as you passed by, love.
A fleeting smile and I found my love.
I lost my heart, and now I’ve lost you too.
Well, that’s the way the wind blows;
That’s the way the wind blows.
And one who’s been in love knows it’s true
That no matter how the wind blows
I know the way my heart goes,
And that’s the way the wind blows for me.
No Class Agent
From Elizabeth Jennings Peterson: In September Betty and her daughter Kerstin traveled to Denmark and Sweden. Kerstin had work in Copenhagen, and then we visited Swedish cousins of Betty’s late husband, Mel. Good to see the relatives in Stockholm and Southern Sweden.
Phyllis Cavedo Weisser
Over the last 15 years, almost 100 classmates who were on my original mailing list are no longer there. Most of the deletions are a result of their retiring from their jobs and not sending me an updated email address. If you are not getting periodic emails from me requesting news, you are one of them! Please send me your correct email address and your news so that I can share it with our classmates. It seems the older we get, the more we want to check in on those who had such an impact on our lives. Life in Atlanta continues to be good! I love having my daughter and her family just 20 minutes away so that I can see her adorable boys (ages 6 and 4) frequently. My son and his family are in Pensacola for the next year and it’s so much easier (and cheaper) getting to them than when they were in Europe. I’m living in a wonderful small community where we get together weekly for wine, snacks, and conversation. We often over-indulge, but there’s no driving, so we’re extra happy.
Kathryn Burruss Stapleton writes that she and Dan are enjoying living in their log house on Bull Run Mountain near Manassas. Last spring they went with their church group to Turkey and Greece, then joined some other friends on a Danube River cruise, followed by a car trip through Transylvania. They were out of the country for nearly five weeks but really enjoyed it and it seemed a good way to celebrate fifty-three years of marriage. They also visited her former MWC roommate, Irene Bouroudjian and her husband, Nishan in Raleigh, NC.
Susan Ford Irons is enjoying life in Yorba Linda, California. She and husband Jim are both retired, he is busy with golf and she still “dabbles” in teaching as a substitute at her former high school. They enjoy traveling – their last trip was to Alaska. They also are thrilled with their granddaughter, their first, born to their son and his wife in September. They live in Southern California, so they have the good fortune to see her and love her often.
Suzanne Mason Haff writes that their daughter and two grandchildren, ages 4 years and 6 months stayed with them July and August. She said it was so much fun and, although it was exhausting, it brought such joy. Her daughter and her husband are both biologists and on the faculty of Australian National University. Suzanne was in Canberra in March for a month. Her cataract surgery was a great success and she finds the world look brighter! Their son and his girlfriend of 13 years moved from LA to NYC in September. She saw Mary New Gill Berryman (new husband), Cheryle Comstock Martin as well as Rochelle Liefer, Judy Hawley and several other MWC classmates at their Newport News 55th high school reunion in October . She is keeping up with others from MWC on Facebook. Her county, Orange County, NC, won the AARP national award being an age friendly community. With many others, she has been involved in the planning process and is proud of the work the Department on Aging staff have done to make this such an easy and pleasant place to live for not just the young folks, but those in their 80s and 90s as well.
Agnes (Missy) Bush Shives from Salisbury, NC, and her sister, Hannah Bush (MW class of 1968) from Staunton, VA, visited Zion, Bryce, and Grand Canyons in September. The weather was perfect for hiking during the 7-day Road Scholar trip, which took place as the National Park Service is celebrating its 100th anniversary.
Rebecca Tebbs Nunn was crowned Ms. Virginia Senior America in 2016 and competed in the Ms. Senior America Pageant in Atlantic City in October. She was happy that it was judged on talent, interview, evening gown, and philosophy of life and that there was no bathing suit competition. She has been traveling around the state representing the Commonwealth and senior ladies. She feels it’s an honor to speak for senior citizens and remind people that age is just a number.
Lynn Bard Jones lives about 4 miles from Becky and Kacky Hudson Fox is only 45 minutes from her.
Jackie Ward Fulcher, Janet Poland Stein, Mary Alyce Johnson Roberts and Donna Kakalec Jensen had a mini-reunion in 2000 at Becky’s home in Raleigh. She and her husband Spike have been married 52 years and moved to her hometown of Kilmarnock in 2006. She is now serving her third term on the town council and is Vice-Mayor.
Katharine Rogers Lavery
Barbara Bishop Mann and husband Robert took an 8-day trip in July to Nashville, TN, Hattiesburg, MS, and Greensboro, NC, initially for the DKG Society International Convention in Nashville. Robert visited his college roommate and Bobbi browsed through Hattiesburg to find genealogical information about her great grandmother, then stopped in Greensboro to visit her brother. The Bishop clan gathered in Boone, NC, for Thanksgiving and the Mann family spent Christmas together in Huntsville, AL. Bobbi reported that Ambler Carter had moved to Philadelphia early in December and was scrambling to get settled before Christmas. Ambler sold her home of many years and moved to a condo close to daughter Margaret and her husband. Bobbi also shared news from her freshman roommate, Christine Brooks Young, that their friend, Charnell Williams Blair, had recently lost her husband, George. Charnell and George had known each other since 8th grade, shared a long, devoted life together, and are both
well-known and revered in Suffolk, VA.
Carolyn Eldred generously donated a family heirloom mirror to UMW to hang in Brompton, the president’s home. The top of the mirror depicts the wedding of John Rolfe and Pocahontas, a significant event in Virginia history. It has been in the Eldred family for generations. When Carolyn downsized and moved to Fredericksburg she decided that the mirror
would benefit Mary Washington and worked with Jan Clarke (planned giving) and Mark Thaden ’02 (alumni affairs) to have the mirror properly conserved by Rusty Bernardo in Ashland before displaying it. In November Carolyn, Jan and Rusty visited Brompton to see the mirror in its new location. Kelly Paino welcomed them and mentioned that the students
were all familiar with the Pocahontas story because of Disney! The history of the mirror itself is a mystery even to the conservators at the museum in Yorktown because its gilt-covered casted lead form is unique. It is a fitting addition to the historic home of the president of Mary Washington. Carolyn also mentioned that she is enjoying sessions of MW ElderStudy at
the nearby Stafford campus.
Nancy Shackelford Jones attended husband Jeff’s 50th Yale class reunion in New Haven CT in June. She and Jeff also watched their daughter Ali Jones Thorpe’s graduation from Harvard Business School in Cambridge. Nancy and Ali then flew to Cuba to see the colonial architecture plus Hemingway’s charming home and famous boat. Later they spent a week sailing the North Channel, Lake Huron, with dear friends and a New York Yacht Club fleet.
Jana Privette Usry spent much of the summer recovering from a total left knee replacement. Her energy level reached a peak in time for fall yard work and holiday decorations. Jana continues to sing with One Voice Chorus plus its Ensemble and enjoys the musical performances, especially the holiday ones at Westminster Canterbury Retirement Home and “The Messiah” with the Petersburg Symphony. Jana attended a reception in Richmond honoring UMW’s new president, Troy Paino, and his wife Kelly, and vouches for their charm and authenticity. Jana also still serves as a court mediator, though she has cut her workload from seven courts back to five. She recently resigned from serving as the Schools’ chair for the UVA
Richmond Club and is using the extra free time to attend more UVA football and basketball games. She spent Thanksgiving in Richmond with cousins; Christmas with her sister in Indiana, PA, and hopes to do more traveling in 2017.
Katie Green toured two weeks in Wales visiting her son and family in Cardiff for Thanksgiving. Because of her infant granddaughter they limited themselves to day trips and cooked a “typical Southern USA” Thanksgiving dinner. Katie’s favorite spots were St. David’s Cathedral, Pembrokeshire, first built in 1181, and Caerphilly Castle, the largest one in Wales. One last stop was Tintern Abbey, a very impressive spot despite the wind and the cold.
Ann Kales Lindblom, husband Steve and pup Dewar enjoyed a three-week 6500-mile November road trip from VA to CA and back. The fall scenery, cool temperatures, low-volume traffic and delightful visits with family and friends made the trip especially appealing. They spent time in AZ with their USMC son and his wife, then toured the Harry S Truman and the George W Bush libraries and museums, visited ancient American Indian ruins in NM. In Birmingham, AL, they were moved by the sights of the early civil rights demonstrations, then returned home to Alexandria for the holidays with more family and friends.
Susan Roth Nurin writes that her retirement days in New York City are filled with meaningful volunteer activities. Her love of languages is satisfied by being a multilingual tour guide in midtown Manhattan squiring foreign tourists around sites such as the iconic New York City library, Grand Central Terminal, Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Plaza
Hotel, Central Park and Trump Tower. Susan also enjoys working with senior citizens, helping with paperwork if their eyesight is bad, keeping them company when needed, offering a steadying hand while walking. Susan is an unofficial usher on final rehearsal days at the Metropolitan Opera when hundreds of school children are invited to attend. She acts as a liason between school and opera by sitting with assigned classes while watching some magnificent opera performances. Soon Susan will become an aide to Holocaust survivors, to interact with them socially to alleviate their loneliness and painful memories “which none of us can come close to imagining.”
Joan Cuccias Patton traveled to California after our reunion for her annual family reunion in Newport Beach, then remained quiet until a December trip to NYC. She visited the 9/11 museum, kicked around Manhattan, attended “Fiddler on the Roof” and the Radio City Music Christmas show. She finished with a tour of the botanical gardens and dinner with friends
before returning to Virginia for the holidays with her family.
Emily Cosby Dieter has been enjoying the activities of her five grandchildren, two in high school, three in middle school. She is “back in school, too” volunteering in the middle school and her daughter’s primary center. Emily hosted her brother and friends in November for the Notre
Dame-Virginia Tech football game and had a wonderful time. Then she took to her “winter hibernation work” of researching family history, concentrating this winter on a rewarding project: tracing the history and family of husband Tom’s mother, who was a young orphan in New York City.
Marty Spigel Sedoff went to NYC to see “Hamilton” and raved about it. After her September mid-foot fusion surgery she spent three months using a knee scooter, then finally replaced the cast with a removable boot and graduated to a walker for a few more months. (That ended her tap dancing activities!) In October Marty chaired the AAUW “Humor Focus Day”
featuring a Pulitzer-prize-winning newspaper cartoonist; an educator, writer and stand-up comedienne; and an author. It was a wonderful day filled with laughter and joy. During her convalescence Marty planned her local high school theater’s student trip to NYC for spring break. This year 50 students and chaperones will attend four Broadway shows and tour the
city in March. Marty and husband Bob enjoyed having their sons, Jim and John, home for the holidays.
Pam Kearney Patrick continues to exhibit her award-winning water color miniatures in places such as Strathmore in Bethesda, MD. She enjoyed a November visit in her Virginia home from Carol Wiley Bingley when she was en route to seeing Pam Hughes Ward‘s family. Pam and TaB were directing a long-distance renovation of the kitchen and master bath in their Cape May, NJ, home with hopes of staying there for Christmas. TaB teaches financial literacy in middle and secondary schools in Fairfax Co., VA. It’s a volunteer program contracted by each faculty and has proved to be very worthwhile. Pam’s summer plans are this: Beach!
Katharine Rogers Lavery and husband Hank welcomed their first great-grandchild in September, plus three grand nieces before Thanksgiving. Now that most of the grandkids are in their 20’s they seem to come in pairs, swelling the number at their Thanksgiving family-only gathering to 35! Early in November Katharine and Hank made their first trip to Cancun, Mexico, for a grandson’s destination wedding at a magnificent resort. It was shocking to leave palm trees and a Caribbean beach to return to cold winds and falling leaves! After a winter of activities with the family, work, church, two senior bowling leagues, senior fitness classes and the rigors of
home ownership, Katharine and Hank plan to return to the Outer Banks of NC for a relaxing beach vacation.
Sandra Hutchison Schanné enjoyed a stay-at-home Christmas this year. Daughter Amy traveled from Denver; son Brandon came from Texas; son Ricky came from the next county and they brought spouses and all nine grandchildren. Sandra and Richard’s fears that the cousins would be absorbed in electronic devices were unfounded – they had a wonderful time playing and being together! Added joy came when their other grandfather, aunts and uncles came to visit, carrying on a well-established family tradition of all gathering together.
Lois Rucker Scott excitedly reported that her younger daughter, Holly, became engaged to Tim Sullivan of Detroit and has moved from California back to Virginia. Now the whole Scott family lives close and Lois and Sam enjoy having their daughters and three grandchildren nearby. In June they all attended Lois’ family reunion in southern Virginia, the first occasion in
many years that all four siblings were present and could meet the grandkids. Holly and Tim brought too many pets with them, so Lois and Sam adopted their large, black cat, who now loves being the “only pet” in quiet surroundings. Since both Lois and Sam are fully retired they enjoy
watching their grandkids’ numerous sports events.
Terry Caruthers created a clever, imaginative page of “Memory Ornaments” as her holiday letter, complete with a rhyming commentary. There was a picture ornament for each grandchild and various memorable events of the passing year. Husband Don traveled to China while Terry
nursed her ailing-heart health and spent a weekend at our 50th reunion, where she displayed her fabulous collection of slides of all our classmates, past and present. Terry keeps very involved with the Golden Girls Club and its activities; Don enjoys his boat, meditation and playing in the community band.
Anne Powell Young wrote that our reunion was a high point in her year. She and Betty Birkhead Vickers drove together from Tennesee and cemented a close friendship. Anne reported that Betty’s family survived the Gatlinburg wildfires without any lasting damage, but that five of their employees lost everything. Betty is active with Rotary Club projects plus
frequent visits with her seven grandchildren. Anne mentioned that she helped with a huge holiday party for disabled children, whom she calls her “little people” since many of them are in wheel chairs. Their Christmas pageant focused on “kneeling Santa.” Anne’s husband continues to do much contracting work in Mexico but was able to join her in a Virginia holiday visit with their grandchildren.
Cathe Cantwell Luria is now “la señora mexicana” because she and Eric sold their northern Pacific home and relocated in Ajijic, Mexico., about 45 minutes from Guadalajara. Since their daughter remains in Portland and there are direct flights back and forth Cathe and Eric are not completely distant from their grandchildren. They are both very active in a traveling choral group, a community chorus, teaching English country dancing plus taking lessons in voice and Spanish. Cathe, a noted nurse practitioner, started a sewing group called “Days for Girls” to make reusable, washable feminine hygeine products for distribution to middle and high school students. More than 700 kits have been issued locally this year and coordinators are seeking young women who are not attending school to include them in the program., which is active in over 80 countries, including the U.S. (www.daysforgirls.org) Cathe also became a pioneer in a group trying to start a hospice, using her nursing expertise to best advantage. Eric enjoys kayaking on Lake Chapala, playing pickle ball, and membership in a ukelele men’s group. Their house includes a casita, guest quarters, which Cathe invites any of you to come try out.
Eileen Goddard Albrigo announced the arrival of their 13th grandchild in November, the 7th child of son Todd and wife Carrie. Now it’s imperative that they buy a bigger van for their family! In September Eileen spent a nice time in their beach home in Hilton Head SC, luckily before hurricane Matthew hit. Eileen, her sister and brother-in-law, revisited in December to assess the damage and select new flooring since the skylight was blown out and rain and debris came in. Their Thanksgiving “feast” was frozen Bertolli pasta and a lot of gratitude. Eileen rushed back to Virginia to see sister Kathleen Goddard Moss and husband Tom depart for Florida, the next leg of their journey west.
Kathy and Tom sold their house in May and Kathy declared herself “homeless” at our reunion. Then she and Tom spent two months in Spain with daughter Ellen’s family, including several days at the beach in Galicia. Next they spent two months driving through New England,
Canada and the upper Midwest, sightseeing, visiting friends and family, especially son David in Cleveland, daughter Cheryl and grandson Quentin in Dayton. The World Series was an added bonus! After a short visit with their Virginia relatives Kathy and Tom set out for Florida, stopped in southern Texas to visit a 97-year-old uncle, allowing at least three months to tour the U.S before landing in a retirement community in Oakland, CA, near their son’s family. Somewhere along their journey they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary a bit late (it was in June) and while waiting for their apartment application to be finalized, Kathy and Tom planned excursions through Oregon, Washington, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Nevada. (See Facebook for details!)
Condolences to Charnell Williams Blair on the loss of her husband, George.
Nancy McDonald Legat
Elizabeth “Beth” Moses Mathes says she would like to make this a first-person remembrance of someone who was her freshman English professor – a person who was her teacher for just two college semesters, only nine months in her life – but whose influence has been lifelong: “I am speaking of Dr. Nancy Mitchell, whose obituary was in the most recent issue of our University of Mary Washington magazine. When I entered my freshman English class, taught by Dr. Mitchell, I certainly needed to learn structure in writing. I think that mine was a bit haphazard . . . kind of creatively (I think in retrospect!) “all over the place.” She sought to instill order in my thinking and writing – and I believe that, after almost nine months, it did happen. There are several things about my interactions with her that I will always remember. First, she told me in her notes about one of my papers that there is no such thing as “very unique.” Unique means one of a kind. The second is that I learned that she and her husband, as a side occupation, had started a sheep farm. This was pretty innovative in the early 1960s. And, finally, I have this unique (yes, Dr. Mitchell, unique) memory of the day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Dr. Mitchell and I were scheduled to have a meeting that afternoon – to discuss how I might improve my writing — in the building that housed our English classroom. I had learned, less than an hour earlier, that the president had been shot. I didn’t know what to do. Should I go to the meeting or not go? There was no precedent for this. So I went. It was a bit eerie. The halls of that building were totally silent – except for the sound of radios broadcasting the most recent news updates, a sound that echoed from floor to floor. Dr. Mitchell was there, at the appointed place. We did not discuss the assassination attempt (which at that point had not led to an official announcement of the president’s death). I believe that this was not in any way disrespectful of the president. We simply did not know what else to do other than conduct our meeting as planned. The early 1960s were a more formal time. And, as I have previously said, there was simply no precedent for this. I will always remember Dr. Mitchell for her intelligence, her quiet kindness and her scholarliness. I think that, when we are young, we usually don’t understand what a profound impact our teachers will have on us. I do now. Thank you Dr. Mitchell.”
Nancy McDonald Legat and her husband continue to enjoy their family and their time together in Lexington, SC. They have 3 daughters and sons-in-laws, seven grandchildren, one grandson-in-law, and 3 great grandchildren, all of whom live nearby. Dan and Nancy enjoy traveling to the beach.
From Christine Brooks: I enjoy taking classes at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at George Mason University in Fairfax. I usually take literature classes. My favorite was reading “War and Peace” with a small group of other people who loved every word. In addition, I volunteer at a second hand shop run by my church and take an exercise class twice a week. Last but not least, I spend quality time with my cat in the sunroom while reading the paper and watching birds at the feeder.
Meg Livingston Asensio
Happy spring, classmates! It’s hard to believe that in just one year, we will be dusting off our tiaras for our 50th reunion. Here are some Class of 1968 updates:
Susan Hensley has been a local artist in Blacksburg, VA, for about ten years; last year she was asked to become an International Fashion Designer for the non-profit VIDA. The organization supports Literacy for Life, and helps women in third world countries start and own businesses. Learn more about her work at: http://shopvida.com/collections/voices/susan-hensley
Susan Wight Blosser and her husband left Virginia in mid-December for a three-month adventure driving across the country. Their plans included spending the holidays with old friends in California, golf in Pebble Beach and Oceanside, and a month of skiing in Park City, Utah.
Mary James Wright and Charlotte Shelton, MWC roommates for all four years, remain close friends in the Charlottesville area. Charlotte and her family have a very successful orchard and cidery (see what she’s up to at www.albemarleciderworks.com), and Mary and her husband, Sims, helped out at her annual Apple Harvest Festival in November. Charlotte is still a VP in the Investment Branch of Wells Fargo, and working two demanding jobs keeps her on the run. Mary and Sims are both retired (Mary from Time-Life Education and Children’s Publishing, and Sims from the Department of the Navy). Both are busier as retirees than they ever were as employees—church missions and ministries, disaster relief and Red Cross, community work, and keeping up with their two grown sons (Christopher was UMW Class of ’93) and three granddaughters.
Bobbi Jarrett Gehr wrote that her husband, David, retired for the second time last year, but is still doing a little part time work. They sold their house in Leesburg and downsized to a retirement community in Williamsburg, where they love it and find it easy to stay busy, including taking classes through the Christopher Wren society. Their children and grandchildren are in Idaho and Oregon.
Carol Simmons van der Kieft lives in the Wilmington NC area, and reported that Sheila Spivey Hume moved there last fall and was able to spend Thanksgiving with them. Unfortunately, since her last happy update, Carol’s family has been devastated by the loss of their son, Mike Jr., who died of carbon monoxide poisoning in January 2016 due to a faulty furnace repair. Their family had just had a wonderful Christmas with him and their other son, Todd, who lives in Philadelphia with his wife and two kids. Carol wrote, “He was a good man; he lived a good life, and he was well loved. Not all parents are so fortunate.” It is hard to report such sad news—please keep the family in your thoughts and prayers.
Nancy Porter Atakan had just returned from an amazing trip to the Antarctic when she wrote in December. She continues to live in Istanbul with her husband, two sons, two daughters-in-law, and two granddaughters, but comes to the USA every six months. She runs the Istanbul art space, 5533 that she co-founded ten years ago. 2016 was an exciting year for her professionally, as she had a solo exhibition of her work in February at Pi Artworks Gallery in London, accompanied by an English monograph, Passing On, published by Kehrer Verlag Hamburg, Germany, and available on Amazon. She expects to have an exhibition in Stockholm this year.
The family of Pam Tompkins Huggins had a busy 2016. Her oldest granddaughter graduated from high school and is now in college. The California-based kids spent a lot of time in Staunton last summer, and youngest daughter, Jamie, and her family have moved back there. Husband Jim is retired and busy as a Hospice Patient Volunteer and pursuing hobbies now that he is no longer tethered to his beeper. Pam continues to work for various community and church causes. They are planning a trip to Normandy in May, including a river cruise.
Leneice Wu has been retired since 2002 from the Congressional Research Service (Library of Congress), and has stayed in the DC area, which has always been her home. She lost her husband, Royce Wolf, to cancer in 2005, but in 2013 remarried John Thomas, a widower whose wife had been in her book club, and whose two boys were on swim and soccer teams with her children as they grew up. John’s older son lives in the area with his wife and their daughters, ages 5 and 2. Leneice’s son Paul lives in Vermont and had his first child, Lucas Royce Wolf, in March 2016. Her daughter Emily works as a stage manager for live theater in Silicon Valley. Leneice enjoys traveling to visit family, volunteering for Lab Rescue of LRCP and her church, and exercise classes; she also stays busy cooking, gardening, reading, and downhill skiing.
Leia “Pat” Francisco is a Board Certified Coach specializing in transitions, author of Writing Through Transitions, and Founder of The Center for Transition Coaching and Writing. After many rewarding years of working and living in the Washington, DC, area, she and her husband moved to the Hill Country of Texas in 2004. Their son lives in the Denver area, where he works in intelligence.
Jill Robinson Burkert is still in Alaska working with special education teachers in remote Alaska Native villages. She flies to villages in a small plane and helps new teachers learn how to work with children with disabilities. She was appointed to the Governor’s Council for Disabilities, which gives her an opportunity to be involved in statewide policymaking and advocacy initiatives. Grandson Casey is attending the University of Alaska Southeast (where Jill teaches) and is in the Outdoor Studies and Environmental Science program. She reports that everyone in her family is well, and zigzagging along their “paths”.
Georgia Carroll Sherlock is already tiara shopping and looking forward to the 50th reunion, although she still remains confused about the identity of the ranking May Queen! Her husband of forty years died early in 2009. In July 2013, she became Mrs. James Sherlock. Jim went to UVA with her late husband, John Dinsmore, and was widowed about the same time she was. She wrote that, given the fact that she and Jim argued about politics for years, it is somewhat amazing that they married, but that it has been a joyful second act. Like most of us, they enjoy traveling and keeping up with children and grandchildren. Georgia reported that the third floor Madison suite is alive and well, continuing to laugh and occasionally have drinks together: Fran Rodgers Bryant, Mary Ellen Ashelford, and Linda Hall Palmer. She also sees Barbara Moore McKinnon, who attended MWC from 1964-66.
Susan McCrory Braaten and husband, Tom, settled in New Bern, NC, when he retired from the Marine Corps in 2001 after 36+ years. He became CEO of the local Twin Rivers YMCA and is now the Director of Coastal Carolina Regional Airport. After spending time writing Internet content for military families for NavyWifeline and Military1Source, Susan became the Technology Coordinator and Trainer at Keller Williams Realty in New Bern. After 36 years and 18 moves from coast to coast in the USA, Panama, and England, they’ve now been in one place longer than at any time in their lives. Their daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter live in Raleigh, NC, so they see them often. Susan also sees two MWC grads occasionally in New Bern—Nicole Brooks (graduated in the 70’s), who coordinates events at Tryon Palace Historic Sites & Gardens and the NC History Center, and Christie Wineholt (’69).
Jean Eley Thompson became a grandmother for the first time at the young age of 70! Bennett Bradley Thompson was born on July 13, and she wrote that now she knows how all you who have been grandmas for years feel. After looking at her friends’ grandbaby pictures for 20+ years, it is her turn to drive her friends crazy. Luckily, he and his parents only live 28 miles away.
In November I went on a weeklong cruise in Tahiti with my three sisters—we were born five years apart so all celebrated “BIG” birthdays in the fall of 2016. Son Todd, wife Rebecca, Maya (9) and Flynn (6) visited in September from their home in Melbourne, Australia, where he is an assistant principal. Daughter Anne has returned to school and will become a nurse in June 2017. She lives in Denver with husband Jason and son Spencer (16). Their daughter Madison (18) graduated from high school in June and spent her first college semester at the American University in Paris; she is now attending the University of Denver. Ash and I are looking forward to lots of trips in our Airstream in 2017, including seeing the Northwest this summer.
From Donna Sheehan Gladis: Judy Henley Beck and her husband enjoyed a trip to Nashville, TN, to visit Donna Harrison Lile in her new home there. While on a trip to Richmond, Judy was surprised by a visit from Barbara Price Wallach, a professor at Missouri. They were joined by Judy Jackson Jones who lives in Richmond and enjoys traveling with her husband. In fall 2016, Judy Henley Beck was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is undergoing treatment and very hopeful about joining the ‘sorority’ of breast cancer survivors.
Susan Wagner Buelow moved to Rhode Island in 2012 to be closer to two of her three daughters (the youngest one lives in Iowa) and five of her nine grandchildren. She lived first in a condo and now is in an older home she’s renovating. Lots of sweat equity involved. Her most recent travels took her to Tuscany, which she loved. Susan teaches a few classes at a community college and volunteers in a hospital emergency room. Susan’s MWC roommate, Exa Mote Grubb, lives in Marietta, Georgia, and is a retired minister.
Lawson Stillman Greenwood married her high school sweetheart four days after our graduation. After his military service in Vietnam, her husband worked for the Secret Service, Lawson did medical research at various hospitals, and they moved 15 times! Lawson stopped working to raise three boys, later becoming a chemistry teacher (inspired by her great MWC chemistry professor) for 26 years, a career she found very rewarding.
Susan Blosser Wight celebrated her 70th birthday in a BIG way with a party for 200 people in Virginia Beach. Most likely there was some serious dancing involved. Susan and Richard spend much of their time skiing, golfing and traveling.
Remember that our FIFTIETH (yes, 50th) reunion is next year. It’s June 1-3, 2018, to be exact. Please reserve the dates and make plans to come!
From Georgia Carroll Sherlock: I will be tiara shopping before 2018. Meanwhile much has happened in the last several years. My husband of forty years died early in 2009. In July of 2013 I became Mrs. James Sherlock. Jim went to UVA with my late husband, John Dinsmore, and was widowed about the same time I was. Given the fact that Jim and I argued about politics for years it is somewhat amazing that we married. This has been a joyful second act.
Our third floor Madison suite is alive and well: all of us continue to laugh and occasionally consume the odd glass of spirits together: Fran Rodgers Bryant, Mary Ellen Ashelford, Linda Hall Palmer. Barbara Moore McKinnon who attended MWC from 1964-1966 occasionally visits.
Jim and I (like most of the Class of ’68) enjoy traveling and keeping up with children and grandchildren. I look forward to the 50th reunion. Now who is the ranking May Queen again?
From Carol Simmons van der Kieft: The last time I sent news to you all was well and happy. To the best of my knowledge, the info did not appear in your column. Actually, I tried to send news one time a number of years ago and the same thing seemed to have happened.
I wish those happy days had been shared last year. MWC (or rather UMW) has been reaching out to those of us in the coastal Wilmington NC area for the past few years, and it is always my hope to find someone I know who has moved here. In fact, Sheila Spivey Hume has made the move to Wilmington just a few weeks ago. Nancy Porter Atakan, who you probably know lives in Turkey and has raised a family there, gave me a heads up about her move, and we were able to include her in Thanksgiving plans just a couple days after her arrival.
Having been placed in an upperclassmen dorm freshman year I don’t have the close ties formed by dorm mates freshman year. My close friends are one and two years ahead of me. But there were many people I knew and enjoyed, and I do have some regrets at class reunions that I am a bit out of the loop.
However, since my last “update” we have been devastated by the loss of our son, Mike Jr., who died from carbon monoxide poisoning in early January from a shoddy gas furnace repair at his home in Nashua, NH. The state Fire Marshall’s office has been conducting an investigation for months, and only very recently there have been arrest warrants on the company owner and the technician. We had just had a wonderful family Christmas with Mike and our other son, Todd, who lives in Philadelphia with his wife and two kids. We have much to be thankful for: Mike had played golf with his dad in October in our annual Member-Guest golf tournament. They did well and had a great time. We had Thanksgiving together and then Christmas. He had a girlfriend of a year who was the love of his life, and I think he had just had the happiest year of his life. He was a good man; he lived a good life, and he was well loved. Not all parents are so fortunate.
So that’s my news this time. It’s difficult being asked to send news when the news is so monstrous, and as I said earlier, there is no context for what a good life it had been before this happened. Do with it, or not, as you wish.
I heard from lots of you all this time! Awesome things going on with our classmates.
Ann R. Smith & Tom had a trip to Maine and en route planned a visit with 2 of her UMW roommates…Stephanie Boone in New Hampshire and stopped in Vermont to stay with Nancy Andrews & husband Jay.
They stayed at their home in Waitsfield, Vermont & then went to their Lake Champlain “camp” on North Hero Island….beautiful, but cold!
Ann and Tom are planning a land and sea cruise in 2017 with Cathy Ann Hughes & husband Michael and Nancy Gleason & husband Gary.
Ann is looking forward to our 50th reunion in 2019.
Barbara Poppleton was in Pasadena, California for Thanksgiving visiting her youngest son, wife & two girls. They went to the USC/Notre Dame game together. They joined their other son’s family on Cancun for New Years. They then went St. Augustine in January to be with her daughter’s family (her kids are really spread out!). Barbara moved to a smaller home in the World Golf Village, and bought a second home on the Jersey Shore.
Jean Polk Hanky proudly reports her 19 year old grandson, Townley Haas, sophomore at University of Texas was the youngest member of the US Olympic swim team. He won a gold medal in the men’s 4×200 freestyle relay posting the fastest time of all 32 swimmers (8 countries, 4 swimmers each). His teammates included the famous Michael Phelps.
Jean takes none of the credit for his achievement, as despite Miss Arnold’s best efforts at UMW, she still can’t swim! She had two turkey dinners on Thanksgiving, reporting one can never have too much turkey! Jean is downsizing like many of us and are selling their home on Carter Creek in Northern Neck, Va.
Betsy Crewes Neilson reports that her only child, Anne ( who is 45) recently gave birth to a little girl. So she has her first and only grandchild. Betsy lives in Harrisburg, PA and her daughter lives in our old haunt, Charlottesville and sees them once a month. Betsy is very active in her church choir and still plays bridge. (Did she learn to play bridge at UMW when she should have been studying? Hmmm)
Anne Kilpatrick and roomies Jeanine Zavrel, Suzi Bender Winterble and Toni Turner Bruseth spent a week together at Jeanine’s son’s cabin in West Virginia. Food was provided by Jeanine’s daughter. (First class camping!) These girls get together every year.
Barbara Black reports she has been traveling a lot. She attended a Queer as Folk convention in Toronto and got to meet tv star, Sharon Gless from the Cagney & Lacey show. She flew to San Francisco on our left coast to see a friend be emcee in the show, Cabaret. After a brief rest at home in Luray, Va. She also went to Waldorf, Md. for a Sparta Con III event, dedicated to the series about Spartacus, the slave who led a huge rebellion against Rome…many movie stars reported on site. She went to Spain twice to visit Bilbao and for another Queer as Folk convention. She has also been to Barcelona, Morocco & the Canary Islands recently.
(Her passport looks very used!)
Carole Phipps, who lives in Los Gatos, California enjoyed a trip to China last March. She is planning a riverboat cruise from Basil, Switzerland to Amsterdam in Spring, 2017. In May she will be gathering in Colorado to meet 7 UMW friends who were freshmen when she was a junior counselor in Virginia in 1967. She has not seen most of them for 50 years!
Jane Jackson Woerner reports she is planning to make a donation to our UMW class of ’69 scholarship next quarter. She is grateful for the education and opportunities her UMW degree has afforded her. She is currently juggling 3 houses…her mom’s townhouse in Bristol, Va.( her mom passed Dec. 5, 2014), a new home in Urbanna, Va. where they are moving to downsize & be close to 6 younger cousins, and selling their 5 acre property in Florida. To put it mildly, Jane is in transition! (Jane has always been fond of eastern Tidewater Virginia since having Connie Hinson as UMW roommate all through college who is from there.) She feels like they need to be closer to kin, as she saw how hard it was for her to be caring for her mom in Virginia while she lived in Florida. She does not want that distance to be an issue when she needs family help in later years. While it is difficult for her to leave her Florida friends and home of 37 years, she thinks she & her husband will purchase a trawler of some sort to use on the coast of Florida as a winter landing spot.
She loves her new location in Urbana and attended the Urbanna Oyster Festival the first weekend of November…50k people show up for that! She visited Jean Polk Hanky in August and she often visits roomie, Connie Hinson in Heathsville, Va.
My UMW roomies and suitemates are really spread out…Carol Hewitt Guida lives in Australia, Lyn Gray Howell lives in Africa, and Bev Holt lives in Cary, NC….and I am in Santa Rosa, California. I am hoping all four of us will be together again at the 50th reunion in 2019.
Linda Eadie Hood flew to New Zealand from Vancouver right after the major earthquake that happened there in Christ Church, NZ. She did not see much damage, but she did not go to the epicenter, which was Christ Church, which is huge. They enjoyed beautiful mountain roads on the south island and actually have considered moving there since the results of the American Presidential election.
Suzanne McCarthy Van Ness gets the award for seeing the most UMW alums in the last six months! She writes how easy & fun it has been to spend time with Phyllis Newby Thompson (when she can drag her out of her magnificent treasured garden) and myself. All three of us lived within 5 miles of each other until I had the nerve to move 2 hours north in Santa Rosa. The three of us still managed to get together to take Phyllis out to lunch for her December birthday.
Suzanne also saw Phyllis Baresford Williamson who lives in Glenside, PA., enjoys time at their Jersey Shore vacation home with their grandchildren. Phyllis & husband Terry are very involved in Philadelphia Veterans associations. Phyllis’ roommate, Diane Pugh Gay & husband Bill retired to Bethany Beach, Delaware. Bill works tirelessly for the Wounded Warrior program.
Suzanne visits with her son Jeff & family on Bethesda, Md. but tries to see UMW friends in the DC area when she goes east. She has visited Murry Holland Franklin ’68 who lives in Centreville, Va. with her husband Steve. She saw Maureen Murphy McCart ’68 and then Donna Sheehan Gladis ’68 over lunch at Tyson’s. Donna does a lot of alumni work for UMW. Suzanne managed to get to Blacksburg in April to see Mary Margaret Marston Monroe and husband Richard, who is an active VA. tech alum. Suzanne stayed overnight in Richmond, Va with Judy Jones Jackson ’68 and her husband, Kip who is a psychiatrist.
Suzanne also visited Sue Farnham Piatt ’68 when she flew out from Cleveland to see her California son. Barbara Macon Sachon flew to Ca. From Winter Park, Florida so the 3 of them had Wine country weekend to together including a “Motown the Musical” show.
Suzanne also went to Texas (without her pearls, alas) to surprise her junior year roommate, Georgia Wahl ’68 for her birthday. Suzanne stayed with Sandra Wolfe Rapuzzi ’68 in Dallas. Suzanne also visited Peggy Lou Murphy Paradise ’70 while in Dallas. They had not seen each other for 30 years. Peggy’s husband Bob and Suzanne’s husband Sam (deceased) were best friends in Basic military training.
With all her traveling this year, Suzanne visited her two daughters & families often who live only 20 minutes away from her home in Atherton, Ca. Suzanne is active in the local garden garden guild, is active in UMW local alumni events and volunteers in the San Francisco Marine’s Memorial Club. This woman gets around!
Betty Wade Miles Perry enjoyed a trip to Chicago with daughter Suzanne Perry Wallis ’03 in October for a wedding. She fell in love with the city and enjoyed many attractions, including the architectural boat tour, a ride on the big Ferris wheel, a play, the Art Institute – impressionist exhibit, and of course Lou Malnati’s Chicago style pizza. She says Chicago tops New York in her book!
My update is we will have moved into our remodeled home here in Santa Rosa by the time this news is posted. While our home a 2 story on a hillside, it will be fully accessible with an elevator, curbless showers and a guest suite space big enough to house future caretakers for us as we age. Hopefully our Tesla will be updated to be fully self driving by then (“Take us to the grocery store, Tess!”) Ann and I played in a local Bob Dylan tribute concert recently…Dylan might not have the best singing voice, but he definitely deserves the Nobel Prize for literature as a songwriter. And if you look at his lyrics from 50 years ago, you will think he just wrote them right after this presidential election we just endured.
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