Class Notes

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UMW Magazine – Class Notes
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Ruby Lee Norris


Lois Loehr Brown 

Alma Roller Schmalzer of Mount Gretna, Pa., spent her first years teaching in Baileys Crossroads and Annandale, Va., when that area of Fairfax County was relatively rural, but said she would get lost there now. After four years in Northern Virginia, Alma married, moved to Pennsylvania, and taught for a while. She and her husband celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in August 2010 and have three children, eight grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren, all in good health. Alma keeps up with her roommate and friend from fourth grade, who is from Vienna, Va., and now lives in South Carolina.

I received a note from Jennifer Rondon ’81, whose 30th class reunion was this year. She and husband Fernando were doing well and looking forward to visiting Peru and exploring the northern coast.


Virginia Bennett Skillman


Lee Hall Archer


Phyllis Quimby Anderson

My children seem to think I shouldn’t be alone since Hank passed away, so my daughter, Heidi, and her friend moved upstairs. Part of the bargain is that he does the cooking. They have been caring for the yard and garden and doing repairs, and Heidi has helped me tremendously with my finances. I planned to go to the annual USS New York reunion in Norfolk, Va., this year with some of the children and to a family reunion this summer. One granddaughter was married in April, another was to be married in September, and one of my grandsons and his wife had my first great-granddaughter in March. I believe there will be another wedding in Germany next year and possibly something here. I still play bridge, go to exercise class, sing in the choir, and hopefully will play hand bells again at church; it has been too long since I used them.

Ruth “Sammie” Samuel Legnini moved to the Dunwoody Village retirement community in Newtown Square, Pa., and loves it, as does my sister, Priscilla, who has been there a few years. The two hadn’t yet met. Sammie said Mary Washington was one of the great joys of her life, and she loves to keep up with college friends, so keep sending your news.

Anna Austin Ware got an email from Libby Philips Roe, and they are OK. Anna said they’d just had two inches of rain, which made the farmers happy after a dry spell. After reading No Ordinary Time, which repeatedly mentions Roosevelt’s stamp collection, Anna had been entertaining herself with her collection, which had been packed away for years. She has lots of duplicates to give a 10-year-old friend at church who just started a collection.

Elizabeth Cumby Murray’s grandson, Andrew, and his wife had her second great-grandchild, James “Jamee” Thomas Gilles Bridier, who joined his 2-year-old sister, Charlotte Elizabeth, in May. Andrew’s brother, Matthieu, married Kelly in June on Long Island in Westhampton, N.Y., then honeymooned in Italy. The two boys followed their grandfather, Philip Murray, in the clothing business. Elizabeth continues to play bridge. She has lost several close friends, which reminds her that we’re all getting older.

Mary Ellen Gardiner Starkey still lives alone in a La Plata, Md., senior village but gets help and company from her nearby children. Grandson Jac was to attend Penn State. Daughter Marianne has two sons, one in Ohio and the other in Louisiana, who also were to go to college in the fall. Other than “elderly” aches and pains, Mary Ellen said she is doing well. Isabel Hildrup Klein is doing OK but has the same sort of dates most of us have with various doctors. Granddaughter Robin works for the National Institutes of Health, and Robin’s husband works in pharmaceuticals.

I enjoyed hearing from all of you and, hopefully, it helps keep our class together. Please keep it up. Have a good 2012! Happiness to all of you, and Heidi, take care of the yard!


Frances Watts Barker


Patricia Mathewson Spring

It was a beautiful June weekend – the magnolia tree in front of Monroe Hall was in full bloom, the evening sky twinkled with stars, and the fragrance from the linden trees perfumed the air, as we trod those familiar paths we walked more than 65 years ago.

There were six of us: Elaine “Sally” Heritage Jordan came with her daughter and son-in-law; Vivian Wilkerson came with Janice Sullivan, daughter of the late Mickey Dixon Sullivan; Janice Worsley Mayberry came with her son, Paul; Ann Briesmaster Robertson and Gerleen Verlander Ferguson came with Ann’s daughter, Carol; and I came with daughter Kate. I understand that Elizabeth Stallings Sharpe had hoped to attend but couldn’t because of a foot problem. We missed you, Liz.

We couldn’t find anyone when we arrived from Connecticut at about 7 p.m. Friday but finally found Sally in a dining room. She was being taken care of by a group of student volunteers who were at our beck and call all weekend. We posed for a class picture at the Saturday picnic. At lunch, there was much conversation and many names mentioned and memories recalled, but we were all thinking of you, our classmates, and wishing you could be there. At the evening banquet, the Class of ’66, led by Mary Parsons Black, gave a rousing rendition of the fight song: “Let’s give a cheer for Mary Washington …”

Five percent of the money accrued from the donations of the Class of ’46 goes to a scholarship, and Sally receives a note each year from the student recipient.

Must we wait another five years? Can’t we have a reunion again next June?

The last issue of University of Mary Washington Magazine had Dorothy Adams Kiger of Santa Ana, Calif., recalling college days. She recently moved with her two dogs from her home of more than 50 years to a two-bedroom apartment. One of her two granddaughters, who married, lives in her old home. Dorothy still is active in church, Presbyterian Women, and the Philharmonic Society of Orange County. One of Dorothy’s daughters is a Presbyterian minister in St. Joseph, Mo., and the other is a teacher in Santa Ana. Dorothy said that life is good most of the time. She would like to renew some of the contacts she has lost with Mary Washington friends. “My four years at MWC were important years in my life, and memories will always bring smiles and pleasant thoughts.”


Betty Moore Drewry Bamman

My son, Mark, and I are still renovating our house. I have been seeing the renowned chiropractor Mark Gentile, who has greatly improved my stooped posture.

Julia Nell Blosser Grandle lived in Betty Lewis Hall with Joyce Drewry of Beckley, W.Va. Julia married in her sophomore year, transferred to her hometown college, now James Madison University, and taught math at Harrisonburg High School for 24 years. She has three sons, two grandchildren, and four greats. Her husband of 54 years died of cancer, and Julia now lives in a retirement community and would love to hear from others who lived in Betty Lewis. Write me for her email or physical address.

Kay Ryan Ryan of Florida read in Class Notes about Ruth Duff Dyckman ’40, a friend and neighbor from Peekskill, N.Y., and called her. Kay heard from Barbara Curtis Noll, who is in real estate in Virginia and planned to be with her sons on Cape Cod, Mass., in August to see her new great-granddaughter.

Jean Boyce Carleton and husband Fred moved to the Freedom Village assisted living community in Bradenton, Fla. Fred had been recovering from surgery and complications but was back home and having physical therapy. Jean keeps busy with exercise, yoga, and bridge. They planned a three-week vacation in July with one of their two daughters, Marcy, and her family in Nantucket, Mass. While there, Jean planned to see Elizabeth Cumby Murray ’44, and she keeps in touch with Pat Draz Glaser of Tequesta, Fla., who summered in Plymouth, Mass., where her children and grandchildren live. Pat’s sister-in-law, Jody Briggs Glaser, moved from Florida to Maryland to be near one of her daughters. Jody and Betty Warren were my roommates in Virginia Hall.

Elizabeth Savage Stevens, who retired from USA Today and moved back to Fredericksburg, has four children and eight grands. She taught at Greenwich Academy in Connecticut, was on National Public Radio, and has traveled in Greece, Italy, France, the United Kingdom, Mexico, and Hawaii. She volunteers at church and the library and for the Red Cross. Lucy Mason Anderson Bannister, who has been a widow since 2006, has four children and 10 grands. Lucy sold her house and lives in an apartment in Wilmington, Del.

Rev. John C. Adkerson wrote to say his wife, Sara Elizabeth Wagner Adkerson, passed away in April. They met when Sara was en route to join a mission team to serve in a coal-mining town in southwest Virginia. She gave him a gospel tract and shared her faith. He was convinced that he wanted to be a Christian and someday marry this special lady. They married in 1949 and had four daughters, 10 grands, and 10 greats.

Doris Lippold Burns of Palm Harbor, Fla., had been married to her husband for 62 years, when he died suddenly last year. They had traveled most continents and especially enjoyed riverboat cruises in Europe. Doris has three children and seven grandchildren. She moved into the Stratford Court independent living facility last December, and her children visit often. She keeps in touch with Harriet Davis Lathrum, Phyllis Horton Kent, and Sylvia Moore.

Betty Fulk Strider of Charlottesville married her high school sweetheart, David, in June 1948, and he served several surgical residencies. He also served in WWII and was called back into the Navy in 1952 to serve in the Korean War. She and David raised three sons, and he had his own surgical practice in Charlottesville for 33 years but was forced to close it after being diagnosed with throat cancer. He died in 2004 on his 78th birthday. Betty is active in a garden club and enjoys being with her children and grandchildren, who visit often.

Pat Geyer retired from Montclair, N.J., to a townhouse in Wilmington, N.C., where she has done the things she never had time for during her career. She spent many years in merchandising for a sportswear chain owned by W.R. Grace. A major part of her stock came from U.S. ski lines. She got ideas from sportswear shops throughout Europe and had items made in Hong Kong and China. She also scouted for manufacturing sites in Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines. After retiring, she traveled the then Soviet Union, and she was the only Caucasian woman on the Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Beijing. She traveled across Turkey twice. She camped with a group of geologists in Alaska, from Anchorage to Prudhoe Bay and back. Pat has taken cruises, but mostly she has traveled on container ships. She’s been through the Panama Canal several times, and she’s been around Africa and South America and through the Mediterranean on Suez Canal freighter trips. Now, she is really retired, takes yoga classes, and enjoys hearing about the adventures of her grandson, who is in the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., and her granddaughter, who was to begin studies at Princeton.

Keep the letters coming!


The Class of 1948 currently has no class agent. If you would like to volunteer for this role, please contact the alumni office at


Anna Dulany Lyons

June Davis McCormick

The famed line often attributed to Mark Twain seems to cover the deep snows of the past winter, devastating storms of spring, and excessive heat of summer: “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” Wherever you live, you probably were affected.

Three of our classmates in Virginia came back to campus in early April for the annual Scholarship Donor Appreciation Luncheon. Elizabeth “Betty” Fischer Gore of Fairfax, Dolores “Dee” Ross of Kilmarnock, and Erma Whitaker Bockoven and husband Fred of Hampton visited with their respective scholarship recipients. Dee visited Colonial Downs horse races with a friend, has taken several trips abroad with her tour group, and planned to join a bank tour to Paris in November and board a riverboat for a scenic cruise to Prague. After a relatively quiet summer, Betty anticipated traveling to Turkey and Greece in October with a group from Vienna Presbyterian Church and visiting places where St. Paul preached on his travels. Both countries should provide Betty with ample inspiration for future artworks. Betty’s BFF, Mary Elwang Sharpley, was delighted to have her granddaughter spend Easter with her at the Colonnades in Charlottesville. Mary sent word that Barbara Westerman Newlon lost her brother in May. We reported the sad news of the passing of Barbara’s sister, Rosemary Westerman Butterworth ’48, last September, and again offer our sympathy to Barbara and her family. Mary also kindly forwards various news items from the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star concerning our alma mater’s plans, about which you can read elsewhere in this issue.

Marion “Wendy” Selfe Kelly and husband George made their annual trip to New York City in June. They boarded the train in Lynchburg, Va., sat in the “quiet car” (no kids or cell phones), and arrived in NYC six hours later. It’s Marion’s favorite place to visit, and George, a native New Yorker, is a splendid tour guide. Marion reported the arrival of another Mary Washington alumna at their Westminster Canterbury retirement abode, making a total of four to date. Sue Quelch Bass ’54 joined Wendy and Esther Reece McVeigh this year, followed by the newest addition, Norvell Millner Thomson ’48.

Anna “Andi” Dulany Lyons, Elizabeth “Liz” Krebbs ’47, and Margaret Ruth Harrell Youngblood ’48 all live at The Summit. When Andi goes to Lexington for dental checkups by son Clay, she and Betty Bond Heller Nichols get together for lengthy luncheons and catch up on news. Betty was to join the others in Lynchburg for a summer luncheon and mini-reunion. If their number keeps growing, they said they may need to reserve a stadium!

Despite several setbacks, “like falls and things like that,” Jeanne Farrington Leslie and Mike are still fairly active in their St. George Village retirement community near Atlanta. Jeanne said they feel fortunate to live where the people are nice and friendly, adding it reminds her of our college days. Jeanne and Mike have 15 grandchildren and five great-grands who give them much joy. Judy Stone Johnstone’s news is mostly about their seven grandchildren. None of them is married, but two are engaged and another is almost ready to propose to his sweetheart. Judy and Bob’s oldest granddaughter graduated from law school in May and was busy studying for the New York and Massachusetts bar exams. The other three, ages 12, 16, and 21, still are in school. When the economy turns around, Judy hopes to sell their farm at Melfa on the Eastern Shore and move into a retirement facility.

Harriet Scott Brockenbrough remains delighted with the Covenant Woods retirement community in Mechanicsville, Va., where she has lived for more than four years. She stays busy with her two supper groups and her church, the trips she helps plan for Covenant Woods residents, and their daily happy hour. She maintains that even exercise classes are fun there. They traveled to Canada and to Richmond’s Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and planned a September trip to Annapolis, Md. In July, she spent eight days in Seattle with son Scott and his wife. Harriet drives to the Eastern Shore to visit her bachelor son at Onancock. Last year’s big snowstorm prevented his traveling to be with her for Christmas. Harriet especially enjoys getting together with five high school friends twice a year for a “good old slumber party.” As actively outgoing as she is, we wonder how much “slumber” is involved in a group of six octogenarians!

Frances “Frannie” Houston Layton relayed the news of Margaret “Peggy” Elliott Sweeney’s move to a retirement center in Fort Washington, Pa., near one of her daughters. Two of Frannie’s great-granddaughters from Kentucky, ages 5 and 6, were with her for a week in June to attend a morning dance camp. After lunch each day, Frannie took them swimming at a state forest pool, brought them home for a quick supper, and then drove them to her church’s vacation Bible school. Frannie said once they were tucked in bed, it didn’t take long for them to fall asleep! The girls want to come back soon, and the proud great-grandmother hopes they can. “I miss them,” she said.

From her country home and kennel in Georgetown, Del., Frances “Blackie” Horn Nygood reports she is healthy and happy at 83. She has six basset hounds, still shows her AKC Grand Champion, Calvin, and just started showing his and Bunny’s daughter, CJ. They both win, but she said it’s mostly just plain fun. Blackie judges at various shows and is president of her local kennel club, for which she is an AKC delegate. With all her acreage, her spare time mostly is spent cutting grass on her trusty tractor.

Katherine “Kate” Mayo Schmidt is busy with her house, farm, and activities – such as her bridge groups – in Palestine, Texas. She planned to visit her sister in Alabama for two weeks in July. Good friends in her longtime home of Houston were to pick her up in Palestine, host her for a few days in Houston, then take her to her plane.

Corinne “Conni” Conley Stuart and Bonar of Toronto celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in April. She loves Skyping on the computer with their sons, Tony in Los Angeles and Curtis in St. Louis, as she gets to see them while they chat. But, she admits, she is never ready for a close-up without a make-up person standing by – shades of Norma Desmond and Cecil B. DeMille! Curtis and family planned to spend part of August with them in Toronto. The two grandchildren loved their former lakeside cottage but, now that they are teenagers, Conni thought they might enjoy summer in the city, especially the cooler climate. Conni had a glorious trip to Nova Scotia in June, driving around beautifully maintained historic fishing villages. She was there to be in an episode of Haven, a Canadian TV series based on a Stephen King novel. In July, she was to play an eccentric old lady in Against the Wall, a new NBC cop series being shot in Toronto.

Since Bonar can’t travel, he and Conni won’t be joining Betsy Thorne Bultman and Phelps in New Hampshire this year, which is a disappointment for the MWC suitemates who have enjoyed many fun reunions through the years. Norah Pitts Byrnes and “Doc” came to the same conclusion in Georgia, saying driving that distance is not feasible and flying today is strictly for the birds!

Gwen Brubaker Connell and Jack observed their 65th wedding anniversary in October and welcomed three new great-grandchildren. Their joy was doubled when the newborns included twin girls, Ava and Phoebe. That gives the Connells a total of 14 great-grands, which possibly earns Gwen the “Classmate with the Most Great- Grands Award.” Can anyone top that? Gwen and Jack planned an August trip to Tennessee and the Washington, D.C., area to see family and to get acquainted with the newest additions to their extended family.

Gwen passed along word that Jane Yateman Spangler had a knee replacement in June. Jane’s daughter, Janet, said she was doing really well in rehab and expected to return home in mid-July. Keep up the good work, Jane. We’ve lost track of the many knee and hip replacements among our classmates but think it’s wonderful that today’s medical technology includes spare parts!

Gwen has kept in touch with Virginia Wilson Woods since they were roommates during Virginia’s two years at Mary Washington. She finished her degree in Iowa, where she still lives. Virginia visited Atlanta in May and enjoyed the symphony and botanical garden. After the Atlanta traffic, she was glad to get back to a slower pace in Iowa. Virginia has four children who are out of state. She lives for visits from her grandchildren, two of whom are 30 miles away in Iowa City and are around to watch over her. Virginia takes their advice seriously and listens politely, she said … then does her own thing!

At the end of the fiscal year in June, our Class of 1949 Scholarship endowment balance was $54,437.45, with no new donations received during 2010- 11. Our scholarship recipient, Jennifer Gibbons ’12, received $2,500 for 2010-11 and was awarded our scholarship again for her senior year, 2011-12. Jennifer, a historic preservation major from Roanoke, Va., is a member of the Historic Preservation Club, is president of the Civil War Reenactors Club, and aspires to be a curator or university history professor. We all should be proud of our ongoing endeavor to assist deserving students get an excellent education at an excellent school. It is likely that this year’s program of underwriting a seat in the new William M. Anderson Center caused the redirection of some Fabulous Forty-Niner funds. Several classmates planned to attend the August dedication of that beautiful building honoring former President Anderson. This fiscal year, may we keep in mind our purpose in funding the class scholarship as our lasting legacy.

Once again, our heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed the preceding news. As ever, love to all of you from both of us.


Dorothy Held Gawley

I am sorry to say that I do not have much news this time, but I do not like to see an empty space in the 1950 column, so here goes. My latest trip was a great Tauck tour of the Canadian Maritimes. I had been to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick quite a few years ago, but I had never been to Prince Edward Island.

Carmen Zeppenfeldt Catoni’s granddaughter graduated from the University of West Virginia, and her younger sister is to graduate from Mary Washington in 2012. There is only one more grandson to go to college, and he wants to be a doctor. Carol Bailey Miller hoped to travel some with her sister, Ruth, who lives in Naples, Fla. Carol was to visit her on Thanksgiving, then go with her to Key West. Being on Virginia’s Cumberland County Planning Commission and in charge of publicity for the county’s garden club and chapter of the Red Hat Society keeps Carol busy. Mim Sollows Wieland’s son, Tom, came across an old slide of Mim and her family at a garden party at Brompton, probably taken during our freshman year. Mim was in a fancy dress, holding on to her wide-brimmed white hat. Her mother and sister wore similar hats and gloves that matched their dresses. Do you remember those days?

I am sorry to read in the “In Memoriam” column the names of so many of our classmates. We can only look back and remember them fondly during those happy times on campus. Please contact me with news so the next column will be longer.


Roselyn Bell Morris

Ruth DeMiller Hill became a great-grandmother with the birth of Lilli, who lives in Wyoming with her parents. After 12 years, Ruth recently returned to her hometown of Mobile, Ala., 900 miles south of where she now lives in Angola, Ind. Her daughter, Ruth Alice Smith, drove her, and they visited relatives and friends, one of whom was Catherine Burns Foster, who attended Mary Washington in 1948-49. Catherine has seven children and 14 grandchildren, and her youngest daughter was expecting again. Catherine lived on the third floor of Willard Hall.

Ruth made the trip to gather genealogical information and to see about arranging her funeral and selling cemetery lots. “Anyone want to be buried in the sunny South?” Ruth asked. Funeral costs made her decide to die a Yankee, having been one for 54 years. At least the genealogy search was successful. They located the graves of Ruth’s great-great-grandmother and great-half-uncle. Ruth had searched for more than 30 years for information about the death of her great-grandfather, Alf DeMiller, who was killed in 1862 at the Battle of Corinth in Mississippi. In a Mobile museum, the two Ruths located a diary written on the battlefield by the great-half-uncle that stated that Alf had been killed.

In October, Ruth talked to Betsy Fletcher Adams, who was getting ready to leave for Rome with her daughter. Husband Bill continues to recover from injuries suffered in a spring auto accident.