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During Hurricane Sandy, we feared for the safety of family, friends, and classmates along the Eastern Seaboard.
Mary Elwang Sharpley, whose two granddaughters were to spend Thanksgiving with her, relayed news of the passing of Barbara Westerman Newlon’s husband, Howard. Born and reared in Virginia, Howard received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from U.Va. He had a 33-year career with the Virginia Transportation Research Council and was a lecturer in U.Va.’s schools of engineering and architecture for more than 30 years. The graduate students in his last class painted “Thanks for the schoolin’, Professor Newlon” on the Beta Bridge. A few years ago the Newlons moved into the Colonnades in Charlottesville, where residents appreciated Howard’s sense of humor and delightful delivery of memorable events. Barbara and Mary attended Cavaliers basketball games, which Howard always enjoyed. In addition to Barbara, Howard is survived by two daughters from a prior marriage and five grandchildren. Our heartfelt sympathy is extended to Barbara and her family.
Elizabeth “Betty” Fischer Gore enjoyed a Thanksgiving dinner with many Gore children and grandchildren. Lucille “Tudie” Pope Midyette said Ashland, Va., got off lightly during Sandy, but the beaches took a beating. On the Eastern Shore, Judy Stone Johnstone reported mild effects. From Delaware, Frances “Blackie” Horn Nygood sent pictures of huge waves pounding the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk.
Frances “Frannie” Houston Layton of Lewisburg, W.Va., would have a hard time leaving her beloved mountains but, after four days in Kentucky on holiday with her children, grandchildren, and great-grands, wished she lived closer to family.
Betty Bond Heller Nichols of Lexington, Va., concerned for her BFFs in other states, said all was well with Jane Yeatman Spangler in North Carolina and Dorothy “Dottie” Booker Pinkham in Vermont. The Haddonfield, N.J., home of Charlotte “Chot” Baylis Rexon and Fred remained intact, but their two Ocean City, N.C., summer beach cottages became “boats and sailed away.” Remembering the tragic loss of Elizabeth “Betty” Forsyth Somers and husband Lewis in the aftermath of last year’s Hurricane Irene, we consider the Fabulous Forty-Niners truly blessed.
Corinne “Conni” Conley Stuart of Toronto, where Sandy produced torrential rains, canceled plans to attend an evening play. We enjoyed the article and beautiful picture of Conni in the summer issue of UMW Magazine, though we think Conni has accomplished much more. Her ongoing performance in diverse roles makes us octogenarians doubly proud. Jean “Murph” Murphy Baptist enjoyed watching Conni in the 1996 TV movie Her Desperate Choice, in which she played the mother of star Faith Ford’s character. Conni worked in August on the film Cas & Dylan with Richard Dreyfuss, a Civil War buff who’s writing a book about battles and was fascinated to learn that Conni went to school in Fredericksburg. Conni had a recent role in The Listener, a Canadian TV series that might be shown in the U.S., and was doing voice-overs for animated children’s shows. She walks, takes weekly yoga classes, and swims in a saltwater pool in their condo. Conni and Bonar’s two sons planned to visit after Christmas to keep them up to speed on technology. Conni calls Skype a godsend for speaking to and seeing children and grandchildren.
Marion “Wendy” Selfe Kelly and Anna “Andi” Dulany Lyons of Lynchburg, Va., lunch monthly. Marion and husband George, who live in Westminster Canterbury, now find distant travels too difficult but continue to spend a week each year in New York, thanks to a convenient train trip to Penn Station and a short walk across the street to the New Yorker, where they feel at home. They drive down to Abingdon/ Bristol, which they still think of as their Camelot, and went there in November to celebrate George’s 95th, having dinner out with old friends. Marion said Esther Reece McVeigh left her independent-living apartment for assisted living after a lengthy illness.
A lifelong Bristol resident and faithful correspondent, Lucy Vance Gilmer still plays hostess to her Virginia Intermont College daughters and alumnae from the former Sullins College. She’s devoted to her church and is an active historian/archivist. Lucy planned to spend Thanksgiving at her brother’s Kingsport, Tenn., home and attend a November wedding.
Katherine “Kate” Mayo Schmidt spent an October week in Alabama with her sister and returned to her Texas home to prepare for the arrival of son Bill Jr. and daughter-in-law Terri for a week at the Schmidt farm over Thanksgiving. They were joined by Kate’s niece, Ann Mayo, who is from Hampden Sydney but attends school in Texas. Kate planned to spend Christmas at Bill and Terri’s Albuquerque home and, after all that excitement, stay put for the winter with her kitty and bridge friends. She said, “I’m getting too old and tired for all that gallivanting!” Many classmates might share that feeling.
Thanks to those who responded to our plea for news. While news items may be as scarce as the proverbial hen’s teeth, we like the recent reference to gathering them as “like herding cats.” As ever, love to all of you from both of us.