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Susan Crytzer Marchant

Sad news for our fellow classmate, Roberta Rouse, who suffered two significant losses in 2018. Roberta’s father passed away in July and her husband recently passed away in mid October. Sending prayers to Roberta and hoping friends and family nearby in AZ have been able to provide comfort.

On a lighter note, I received news from Rebecca Fox.  She and husband, Michael, now live in Ashland, VA.  Rebecca has been working at Chesterfield Co. Public Schools for 17 years and has 2 grown children.  Her son, Matthew, graduated from VA Tech and is an engineer in Norfolk working on ships.  Her daughter, Jordan, is graduating in May ’19 from The University of Maryland.  Jordan is in Army ROTC and is a Distinguished Military Graduate in the top 10% in the nation; she will branch Aviation when she graduates.  Rebecca and Michael are proud parents!

From Joseph “Jay” Comfort ’90:
Hello to Class of ’90.

Hi all!  After the last ten years, keeping a foot both in Ashland and Northern, VA, my family and I have relocated permanently to Arlington, VA!  My wife Lara and I travelled to Thailand in February to attend one of Lara’s great friend Andrew’s wedding in Phuket and to visit with her sister in Bangkok who is DOJ Attache for East Asia to the US Embassy there.  For Lara, returning to East Asia meant that we met up with many friends and colleagues from her tenure in Hong Kong w/Star TV and BBC.  Both Lara and I have celebrated “that” birthday and have done so in grand style with great parties, surrounded by friends and family.  We travelled to New Orleans in July to celebrate Lara’s big day and I travelled to New Mexico to (successfully) hunt elk last Fall.  Lara will travel to Argentina with her mom in March ‘19 (Campana is Lara’s mom’s childhood home) in her family tradition of a Mom/Daughter trip to anywhere for the “big” birthday.  In September of this year, IRON HORSE staged a gala fundraiser for the Ashland Theatre Foundation that raised over $70,000 for the benefit of the restoration and re-opening of the historic Ashland Theatre which is set to reopen in early 2019.  The IRON HORSE restaurant, which I have owned for the last 11 years and operated remotely for 7, continues to thrive under our tenured management and a great sales/service team.  You are invited to join us in the “Center of the Universe” anytime for a bite and a pint.  We are just steps from Randolph Macon College in Ashland’s “old town”.  in September, after 10 years managing operations for the Lebanese Taverna Group, I joined Jamie Leeds’ Restaurant Group in Washington, DC as Vice President of Operations.  JLRG operates six properties (Hank’s Oyster Bars, Pasta Bar and Cocktail Bar) in Washington and Virginia.  The restaurant business NEVER gets boring and I say that looking over the top of my glasses, grinning.   Lara and I live with our daughter Zoë (7) and son Grayson (14) just two miles from the homes where we spend our school age years.  Our kids play in the same parks we did and we all ride the WO&D trail on the weekends.  Life is good.

Re Nicola Mason ’90 from her husband:

I’m writing to brag on a UMW alumna who would never do so herself—my spouse, Nicola Mason (class of 1990). Since graduation, Nicola has made a career as a fiction writer (she’s been the recipient of an NEA Individual Artist Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, and inclusion in the annual New Stories from the South prize anthology, among other distinctions), a visual artist (with paintings, mixed-media work, and ceramic sculpture exhibited widely), and an editor. After several years at The Southern Review and LSU Press (where she edited the late, great Claudia Emerson, among many others), she moved to Cincinnati in 2002 and in fourteen years as managing editor led the fledgling Cincinnati Review, less than a year old when she took over,to its current status as one of the most prominent literary magazines in the country. Last year she moved on to start a new venture, Acre Books—a book-publishing offshoot of the magazine—and this month the very first book she acquired for Acre was named to the short list for PEN America’s prize for best debut.

From the Marchant household, my oldest son, Adam, took his SAT and we have begun the search for the right college; at a recent college fair he downselected to four VA state schools…and Mary Wash was one of them!  No pressure, but we shall see what happens.