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Joanne Campbell Close

Karen Larsen Nelson

Greetings to one and all. Several classmates were affected by Superstorm Sandy. We heard from Nancy Deiss of Washington, D.C., Sue Whidden Frisch and Mona Allen Spilo of Connecticut, and Jo Lister Jacobs of Virginia, who had heavy rain, some flood damage, and short power outages.

Sandy Poole of Maryland wrote that the Lower Eastern Shore fared well except for the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay. The quaint town of Crisfield, Md., was severely flooded, but it just seemed like a tropical storm where Sandy lives. One of the earlier East Coast storms blew out power and air conditioning at Jean Eubanks Holland’s home in the Washington, D.C., area. Jean had an extended visit with her daughter’s family at Bethany Beach, Del., last summer.

Gray Shafer Dodson took her work to art shows and summer displays and routinely participated in plein-air workshops in New England and the Virginia mountains. She travels from her mountain home to show regularly in Virginia Beach, her old stomping grounds. Joyce Neill Krost went to Spain in September to paint and to visit her sister, and she visited her son and his family in Germany.

Iris Hall Newton reported the death of her son, Conley, known as Tip, from a fast-acting cancer. His passing caught everyone by surprise. Iris still quilts, making crib quilts, bibs, and other baby items for her daughters and granddaughters to give their friends. Iris stays in contact with Billie Bushong Boyd.

In this summer’s USA Fencing National Championships, Sherry Farrington Green’s four-fencer team, Sordid Ladies, took a bronze. Sherry took a bronze in individual sabre, earning her a place on the USA Fencing Veterans World Team, and went to Krems, Austria, in October to compete in the Veteran World Championships.

Natalie Robins Lehmann-Haupt, husband Chris, and son Noah planned to spend most of the summer at their daughter’s in California, getting to know their grandson and nephew, who was born in July. Carolyn Rolston Rourke of Maine moved to a smaller home in the same town. Liz Hill Heaney and hubby were selling their North Carolina home to be closer to their children and thinking of moving to New Jersey. Sue Smith Goodrick took her dream cruise to the Mediterranean, touring Barcelona, Rome, Monte Carlo, Monaco, and the Greek isles.

Betsy Hopkins Hays’ husband of 52 years, Rusty, passed away in August, following a struggle with Alzheimer’s. With help from friends, they moved from Fort Myers, Fla., to South Carolina, while he was still able. Rusty joined their son, Mark, who died in 2007. Their daughter, Elizabeth, and four grandkids, who live in England, were able to be with him before he passed.

Penny Engle Burkhardt and husband Brad traveled to California, visiting Sausalito, the Marin Headlands, and Amoeba Music in Haight-Ashbury. They drove through the Napa Valley, toured a winery, and headed up the Pacific Coast Highway to Mendocino and Fort Bragg, where they climbed the 145 steps to the top of Point Arena Lighthouse. They drove through the Avenue of the Giants and the town of Ferndale, and ended up in Arcata, where their son lives.

Gaye Roberts Olson’s mother, who lived in Texas, passed away after a six-year struggle with Alzheimer’s. Gaye arranged to transport her ashes from Texas to be buried in Boise, Idaho.

Syd Collson Chichester walks a couple of miles several times a week and does water aerobics. In Fredericksburg, she helped an ex-student of hers start a business aiding folks moving to retirement and assisted living quarters. She planned to return for the winter/spring season to Vero Beach, Fla., where Gay Hall Sullivan lives just three houses away and Nancy Cleaves Blades and her husband winter. Joan Scarritt Reynolds traveled to Cape Cod and Connecticut in August and to Spain and Prague in the fall.

Pat Donnell Voelker traveled to the Boston area and planned a road trip to rendezvous with family and friends in Florida. Pat is involved in her local Delphians Beta Chapter, sponsoring seminars for public education. Members do research and present papers, a fantastic way to use the skills we learned at Mary Washington and keep our retro-brains alert.

Bonnie Davis Hall bounced around last summer among their homes in Cape Cod, in the White Mountains, and outside Boston. In July, they went to Farmington, Maine, to attend Debbie Mallett Cressall’s pre-planned 75th birthday celebration posthumously. Bonnie said it was good closure. Bonnie’s husband, Ross, a conductor on the Cape Cod Central Railroad, worked on two fall scenic excursions. They’re members of The Revels, a singing group that recently cut its second CD. Bonnie is vice president of the Cape Cod Highland Light Scottish Society and sings in her church choir. She talked to Carlota Muse Rokita of Vienna, Austria, who planned to come to the U.S. in April.

Susan Cramer Drouin of Tustin, Calif.; Jan Latven Allnutt; Betty Bruce Shepard; and Joey Van Tol Goetz were unable to make their annual get-together this year. Susan sees Sue Stanley Sokil when she visits her son and his family in San Diego. Beth Gill Daniel reports ongoing pulmonary problems but loves staying in touch with classmates. She travels a lot these days, as do many of us – to and from the doctor. Peggy Bloxom Verville of Virginia Beach goes on cruises and was recovering from babysitting her daughter’s three children while she went to school to update her teaching certification. Nancy Deiss celebrated her birthday in Middleburg, Va., with family and had a second party in Alexandria with friends.

My (Jody Campbell Close) eldest is still in Afghanistan, but I hope he’ll soon be home or transferred to another assignment. I had an exciting fall – not the season – stumbling while walking the dog. I fell on my face, got my first shiner, and broke my nose. I’m fine now, but my hopes for the other type of “early fall trip” (pun intended) were put on hold. I plan to have attended two genealogy conferences and taken more trips by the time you read this.

I (Karen Larsen Nelson) relaxed at our summer resort in the mountains. We took a September trip to Colorado to celebrate our 52nd anniversary with friends who summer near Durango. We drove through the mountains and camped in several national parks before returning to Mesa, Ariz., for the winter and our daily dancing. We planned to visit our daughter, two granddaughters, new grandson-in-law, and twin 2-year-old great-grandbabies in Las Vegas for Christmas. We plan a trip to Florida in May for the high school graduation of our youngest grandson, who joined the Marines and will leave for boot camp. Our son, who now has an “empty nest,” with his two daughters in college, is pursuing a degree to be a high school history teacher.

If you have an email address you haven’t shared with Jody or me, and you’d like to hear from us more than three times a year, let us know so we can add you to our monthly emails. Send your birthdate, and we’ll send you a birthday ecard, too.