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
Marcy Weatherly Morris
Note: New dates for reunion are Sept. 5-7, 2020, health guidance permitting. Marcy Weatherly Morris submitted these notes before the COVID-19 pandemic reached Virginia, forcing postponement of large gatherings.
Think about it! June 2020 marks the 70th year since our graduation from dear “MARY WASHINGTON COLLEGE!!!” Dates for Reunion are May 30-31! If you are able, PLEASE come to campus for this wonderful milestone!
We will have a dinner on Friday evening, President’s reception at Brompton before dinner along with many other events which will be highlighted on your material which you will receive soon.
Our numbers are few, but think how fantastic it will be to visit and reminisce with each other, maybe for the last time!
News from Nan Riley Pointer brought news of hers and husband Joe’s Alaskan Cruise in July to celebrate their 67th Anniversary, her falling at home in November breaking her hip, and good news that she plans to be in Fredericksburg for Reunion even if she is still on her walker, YAY! Let her be your incentive to be there, too!
Carol Bailey Miller reports that she is still active in the Virginia Horse Shows Association (historian, research which she loves) and attends horse shows as an observer! She doesn’t drive at night (welcome to the club) but we have hopes that she will come stay on campus for this special occasion! Scroll down to read her full note.
Gaynelle Parrish Grizzard celebrated her 90th birthday on September 7, 2019. She is living with her husband of 68 years, Vernon, in Florida. She enjoys her children, grandchildren and 3 (soon to be 4) great grandchildren.
Juney and I had a very stressful year, he was hospitalized twice (has recovered well), several other rental property issues (resolved), so we are doing well for couple of old people! Great-grandson Lucas is on track to graduate in May (environmental science major). Still enjoying events at UMW whenever we can!
Please consider attending this 70th Reunion! We were a very special class, made many lifelong friends, and made a difference in the life of our Alma Mater! The campus is even more beautiful than 70 years ago, older dorms (Willard and Virginia) are going through renovations, Dr. and Mrs. Paino continue to be an asset to our school as President and First lady, and so many people on campus have become lifelong friends! SEE YOU AT REUNION!
Carol Bailey Miller’s note:
I am still the Historian for the Virginia Horse Shows Association. I still drive myself all over Virginia. Since the VHSA was organized in 1947 I keep busy researching information about horsemen and women and their horses that were very active years ago in horse shows all over Virginia. Many of the well known horse people and their horses have passed away so a lot of history has to be found in libraries, and periodicals saved by horse lovers. When able I still attend horse shows to watch riders and horses compete.
I am looking forward to my 90th birthday in July. What a surprise! My sister Ruth is 96 so I guess we both inherited a “long life gene”. Ruth doesn’t stay in touch except with friends and family in Naples, Florida where she lives.
The extreme heat has kept me from attending any activities at Mary Washington. Perhaps I can get there when the weather is a little cooler. I know there have been many changes to campus so I will be interested to have a tour.
My sister Ruth and I both say “Mary Washington College” since our diplomas say that.
If anyone remembers Ruth Phyllis Bailey Conroy (my sister) and would like to contact her please let me know and I will send Ruth’s adr.
I still live at 3785 Cumberland Rd., Cumberland, VA 23040. My house phone is 804-492-3548.
I receive information about UMW evening parties but they are held in Richmond, over an hour away. I don’t drive at night or drive in Richmond where the traffic is too much for me to handle.
Best wishes to all.
Carol Bailey Miller
From Rita Morgan Stone:
Peggy Sherman Capers writes that she has lived in Augusta, Georgia, for 88 years. Her husband Jack (also from Augusta) died in 2009. She now lives in an apartment in a renovated grammar school, actually living in her fifth and sixth grade classrooms, two blocks from where she grew up. She has three children, eight grandchildren and five great grands, who live “all over everywhere.”
Melita Whitcomb Vonier has lived in Naples, Florida, for the last 24 years and recently moved to a retirement home there, their Camelot. She and husband Bill, who worked for a Swedish company, traveled widely and frequently, thus explaining their 19 moves during their married life of 67 years. They have three children, eight grandchildren, and seven great-grands scattered about the country.
Betty Willard Wiltshire has a Fredericksburg address so she remains active in the community and continues to attend University programs and visit the beautiful Mary Washington campus. She has a son in Fairfax, Virginia, and a daughter in Maryland.
Dottie Davis Craig has always enjoyed city life, especially the Charlottesville environs. Her bridge friends are glad she is there.
Jo Bidgood Dunbar lives in Patton, Missouri, and has four kids scattered around.
Barbara Gowler Childs writes from Olympia, Washington, where she has moved to a senior community after selling her home on Hartstene Island. She and Richard were married 65 years before his death three years ago.
Selma Friedman Fink wrote that one of her strongest memories while attending Mary Washington was with Dr. Martin, a psychology professor, who organized a meeting and picnic in a park with black citizens of Fredericksburg to promote better understanding of one another. The local white churches and temple were afraid to invite us in their houses of worship. He was teaching us a very important lesson in humanity and social justice. Selma has been a sculptor for over 60 years, a special part of her life that has kept her grounded and offered endless challenges. She works directly in stone and wood and rarely uses electric tools. Art is ageless so at the Art League, where she works, there are students and professionals working in the same studios. Two years ago Selma had a show in Chelsea, New York. Her subjects are usually animals but occasionally she will sculpt an abstraction. She tries to find stone or wood that inspires her because the hours for each piece is unlimited. Certainly her art has made her life more meaningful and exciting.
Lois Andrews Jordan lives in Fairfax, Virginia.
Jean Amis Hill is recuperating from a broken hip in Martinsville, Virginia. She and Clyde have two children and four grandchildren.
Phyllis Farmer Shaffer lives in a retirement community in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, with a son and grandchildren nearby. After graduation, “Butch” worked at the Charleston YWCA, teaching swimming, dance and creating the Golden Age Club. She married a Charleston local who had a shrimp business. The loss of a five-year-old daughter lead to an appointment to the American Cancer Society Board and her subsequent involvement in cancer research fundraising.
Peggy Burton Routh lives in Wytheville, Virginia, and had a career in teaching. She has four children, 12 grandchildren and five great-grands.
Catherine Jones Shepherd, on a cruise after college, met her future husband, a commercial Realtor who established the Brookwood Village mall in Birmingham, Alabama. One of Catherine’s daughters, Barbara, gave a rave review of her mother’s accomplishments – an art teacher who still paints and holder of two master’s degrees.
Betty Kilgore, who is retired from Loudoun County School System, enjoys condo-living in Leesburg, Virginia. She says the best part of retirement life is sleeping late and shopping at non-busy hours.
Patsy Russell Steewart lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in a retirement community. Three of her daughters were Wellesley grads, and another is a Smith alum. Four grandsons and six granddaughters claim allegiance to Dartmouth, Yale and Harvard. Patsy is a proud parent and grandparent.
Jackie Epes Lauck is preparing to sell her home in Lexington, Virginia, and looking forward to downsizing. Her son-in-law is building an addition to their home, which will allow Jackie to remain independent. She has three children and six grandchildren. Jackie stays busy delivering meals to shut-ins and is in her 20th year of teaching Bible study to ladies in the local jail.
Joyce Long Moore has lived with her partner for the last 48 years, much of the time in the Williamsburg, Virginia, area. Now retired from a career in education, she spends time with her daughter, two grandchildren, and four great-grands. She has had hip replacement and back surgery but enjoys life without a cane or walker. She enjoyed attending one of our reunions and would like to hear from some of her BSU friends.
Eleanor Michelet Mulbry lives in Charleston, South Carolina, at an Episcopal retirement community. Having lost her husband in 2010, she feels blessed and lucky to live near her son and family. She enjoys her independence, her book group, and nitting friends and maintains that Charleston has the nicest folk in the world, despite the weather.
Anne Hart Martin remembers her days in Virginia and D.C. fondly. She now lives in Dwight, Illinois, in the country. Her children are scattered in Albuquerque, New Mexico; New Zealand; and Kansas, all interesting places to visit. She sadly lost her husband in 2017.
Ruth Williams Webb writes that since leaving Mary Washington, she has lived in Norway, England, and India. She is now settled in Boonton Township, New Jersey.
Barbara “Bobbie” Burgess Goldsten’s daughter, Elizabeth, kindly returned my call with the sad news that Bobbie had died November 30th.
Carl Bonner responded to my email with the sad news that his mother, Mildred “Millie” Jones Bonner, passed away in September.
It has been fun for me, Rita Morgan Stone, to speak and email with my classmates. Thank you for your time and our special conversations.
No notes this time.
Roberta Linn Miller
Had a nice phone visit with Sally Wysong Puckett who lives and mows grass on ten acres in Maryland. A former phys ed. Teacher, who was Carolyn “Susy” Miller’s roommate, Sally also showed horses and dogs. Sadly, she lost her husband in 2011 and her daughter in a car accident in 1981.
Doris Sterling Kucera up in Steuben, Maine is a writer of children and adult books. She has two children and four grandchildren and has been a widow for seven years.
Anne Bradbury Lee returned my call and we had a great time talking. She actually lives in Stafford County but with a Fredericksburg address. Three of her four children live within six miles of her and one lives in Blacksburg. Anne lived I Laredo, Texas when her first husband, who was an Air Force pilot, died in a plane crash. Anne didn’t work outside the home until she was forty five and then became a social worker and retired seventeen and a half years later. Her second husband was a retired Marine, the last World War One veteran in the area and second most decorated Marine who passed away twenty one years ago at the age of ninety eight. Anne is active in her church and volunteers one day at Mary Washington Hospital.
Gretchen Shultze Mulligan called me from down in Luray. They have lived there for nineteen year, formerly in Alexandria. They have two children one of each who live in Front Royal and Fairfax, and seven grandchildren. Gretchen has been a flower show judge for twenty six years and a Master Judge for nineteen of them. She has taken lots of classes to be an accredited judge and can judge any show in the United States. I have never known anyone who is so capable and has such an interesting job.
Carolyn Curtis Seay was my dance partner in one of Mrs. Reed’s classes. She lives in Spotsylvania near Fredericksburg and has been married for sixty four years. She taught for thirty years and has been retired for thirty years. She and Calvin, who is recovering from cancer, traveled a lot and have had a wonderful retirement. They have two boys, both retired, and four grandchildren. Three are in college and one has graduated. All except one are at Va. Tech. One girl is at James Madison and will get her masters next year and wants to be a teacher. What a wonderful family.
Joan Farrell Shaw lives at Cumberland Crossing, a retirement community in Carlisle, Pennsylvania just about sixteen miles from me here in New Bloomfield. Her husband came to the Army War College there in 1972. Joan has three sons, four grandchildren and two great granddaughters in Alabama. She has been a widow for eighteen years. I didn’t know that anyone in the class lived this close to me.
Anne Grubbs Blitchington called and told me that her husband, an engineer with ATT, transferred from Greensboro, North Carolina to Midlothian forty six years ago. The live in the same neighborhood as two daughters and their families. They also have a son, eight grandchildren and six great grands. One granddaughter, Marjory Blanton, graduated from MWC in 2013 and is a Volunteer Coordinator at VCV (MCV) at the Medical Center in Richmond. Ann taught for two years in an elementary school. How nice to hear all her news.
Eileen West Grenfell in Warrenton, Virginia lost her husband seven years ago. She has three children, a son and twin girls, nine grandchildren and eight great grand children. What a wonderful Christmas that must have been with one of the twins doing most of the cooking. Eileen plays a lot of bridge, reads a great deal and is doing some writing about family members who have moved on. This is what many of us should be doing.
Jean Byrd Steelman down in Accomac, Virginia on the eastern shore, has run a preschool for forty six years. She taught second grade and then first for ten years. She was teaching in a private academy and then started the preschool. Her husband is 89 and has suffered a stroke. They have three children, eight grandchildren, and about (Jean’s word) 9 great grandchildren. I remember when Jean got married during our senior year.
Barbara Smith Holdeman has lived in Ashland, Ohio since 1974 and keeps in touch with Mary Papstein Carter and Carol Cooper. She has been married for sixty three years, has three children, seven granddaughters and nine great grandchildren, seven boys and two girls. She taught school in Illinois then went into real estate. Her father was in the service so she went to high school in Germany in 1947. I didn’t live in Ohio but I taught in a high school there when I lived in Wheeling, West Virginia.
Patricia Poulson Plymell has lived in the same house in Colorado Springs for sixty years. She and her husband, who she lost in 2018, built their mountain home and then added on to it. Patricia was a first grade teacher for thirty years. She has a son, daughter, six grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
Had a cute note from Joan Kleinknecht in Fairfield, Connecticut (for some reason I think of her as Joanie). She has quite a social life with bingo, pilates class, Texas poker lessons, weekly art classes, geneology, gardening, monthly serving breakfast at a charity food kitchen, Bible studies and church programs and more. She loves to drive the back roads and see the beauty. I bet that is great in the fall. Joan mentioned raising her brother’s children, are they grown up now?
Another very welcome note was from Ann Strickler Doumas in Fredericksburg. She mentioned their December 2018 family trip to Greece to the town of Trikala which was Bill’s father’s hometown. Mr. Doumas ran the Mayflower Restaurant which some may remember. Ann and Bill also enjoyed a cruise of the Great Lakes from Toronto to Chicago. How wonderful. Good to hear from you Ann and Joan.
My news is the addition of an English Springer Spaniel puppy, what was I thinking? He will be a year old in July and my Texas son says that things will get better then. I can only hope.
Thanks to everyone to talking to me and telling me all the news. I appreciate all of it. Hope to hear from more the next time.
One more for 1955
In December, Phyllis “Bee” Melillo Shanahan and son John made the trip from Connecticut to Deerfield Beach, Florida. It was a 30-hour drive, with two motel overnights, thanks to rain and stop-and-go traffic.
Daughter Betsy, a pottery teacher, broker her right elbow but was doing fine.
Bee is looking for a companion to travel anywhere, but she especially wants to visit Alaska.
Ann Chilton Power
Betty Marshall Whitlock and husband Bennett are enjoying an active life at Green Springs, a continuing care retirement community, They spent a month last fall on Florida’s panhandle.They have three great grandchildren. Their daughter in law, Gayle Greenwood, is an MWC alumna, class of 1986. Betty’s husband served on the board of visitors for eight years and as Rector for two.
Dixie Moore Kirby has moved to Raleigh to be closer to her daughter, Walker. Another daughter is an artist in San Francisco and a third daughter lives in Sweden and runs a translation business there. Dixie’s three granddaughters are far flung too, one in San Francisco, one in Raleigh and one is a barrister in London.
Suzanne Borke Grasberger and Tom moved to Senior Living at Imperial Plaza, Richmond two years ago. Tom passed away in December 2018. They had been married 61 years. Suzanne has two sons, two daughters, nine grandchildren and one great grandchild with twin great grandchildren on the way.
Hermie Gross Fox wrote she and her sister were flying to Australia in December to join a Viking Cruise including New Zealand. In October they visited The Magic House of St. Louis, a children’s museum housed in what was once their grandparents home 1922-1954. Last year they flew to Vancouver and took the Rocky Mountaineer train through British Columbia and Alberta. Hermie attended her grandson’s graduation with honors from Pace University The ceremony was held in Radio City Music Hall. Hermie has children and grandchildren in California, New Mexico and Texas. She spent Thanksgiving with her son John and family in Irvine, CA.
My youngest son Stephen and family are planning a move to Dallas this summer. He has a son 14 and a five year old daughter. Eldest son, Ted, has a daughter at the University of Missouri and another at Iowa State and a son in high school in Des Moines. I am living at The Virginian in Fairfax, a continuing care retirement community. My son Tom is an attorney living and working in Washington and visits often.
Thanks, class of ’57, for sharing your news.
Helen Grantz Fortner and husband Luther have enjoyed living in Westminster at Lake Ridge, VA for five years. Her late brother Walter and his wife Barbara Kraft Grantz were frequent visitors. Following Walter’s passing, Barbara decided to move to the facility. This summer she visited family “out west”, prepared for sale her home in Virginia Beach, and is now settling into her apartment at Westminster.
Jean Durham Busboso enjoyed the class on World War I given at Oxford University in September by the Roads Scholars.
In November Mary Montague Hudson Sikes and husband Olen visited Sedona, Arizona where she took an acrylics workshop in the Sedona Art Center. During October she and her family toured portions of Virginia’s Eastern Shore.
Sikes taught an oil/cold wax workshop in Hilton Head, SC in September, and she will teach another oil/cold wax workshop in West Point, VA in January. Her acrylic painting, “Point of Entry”, won third place in the Metropolitan Richmond Artist Association’s annual judged show at Crossroads Art Center in Richmond in November.
A new edition of her novel, Hearts Across Forever, was released by High Tide Publications in April 2019. Artful Angels, a hardcover book that she wrote and illustrated, was scheduled for release by High Tide in late 2019.
My husband Clifton and I enjoyed another visit to Alaska in August. Unlike the cruises we had enjoyed, we decided to travel the state by car, and with another couple we visited more museums and cultural centers in depth. Hoping to see the “northern lights” we spent several hours at a park in Fairbanks one night, but the expected event did not “show up” until three in the morning, some time, after we had returned to the hotel. It was a memorable trip which we were glad to have taken.
In the fall we were absorbed in Clifton’s recovery and rehab following spinal surgery. Expecting more improvement, we are looking to yet another cruise, this time to the warmer parts of the world.
It has been a pleasure being your class agent, and at this time I wish to be replaced by another classmate. Make your request to the editors of this magazine right away. It’s great fun getting the notes.
Mary Ruth (Ruthie) Griggs Ridge wrote to let Susannah Godlove and classmates know that she attended the 60th Anniversary in 2018 where she saw a few former classmates and reminisced about her time at MWC. Ruthie transferred in to MWC in 1956 and attended summer school while living in Ball. Summer was when the Marines visited. She lived in Curtis her senior year and had a wonderful experience. She studied history and secondary education and began her teaching career in 1964. She keeps in touch with several of her classmates and is grateful for her excellent education from MWC! She enjoyed attending reunion of the now University of Mary Washington and enjoys the publications that are sent!
The following notes are from Susannah:
Patricia “Pat” Dillon found a card about contacting me and she called me. She has moved from North Carolina to Asbury Methodist Retirement in Gaithersburg, Maryland, to live closer to her three daughters. She is settled and enjoys returning to Fredericksburg to attend seminars at Mary Washington. She has had contact with Virginia Brett Garland as they have been friends for years.
I finally had to have surgery for my right hop. After three days in the hospital I went to Westminster Canterbury for rehabfor 20 days, then follow-up at home, and then discharged Jan. 17, 2020. And finally permission to drive again, had to be careful with right leg.
Elizabeth “Betty” Gould Storms and Bob have six great-grandchildren. This son was born Thanksgiving Day 2019. All are doing well.
Sherrill Massie Judd, husband and daughter enjoy living in the old family home in the country.
Joyce Butler Allen shared memories at our John Hanley High 1954 class reunion. The class is planning to have frequent reunions because we are all getting more mature.
Note to class: Please send me a note, card, etc. for our class notes.
Edna Gooch Trudeau
Sad note from Lois Gaylord Allen. She lost her husband, Howard, in February from Parkinson’s disease. Our deepest sympathies. He was buried in the National Cemetery overlooking the Delaware River. Gay stays busy continues to volunteer for the Humane Society. Writes all her children and grandchildren are doing fine.
Spoke with Carol Hickman Bowman. She was moving from her house in Richmond to a condo and couldn’t attend our 55th. Her sons are fine – the oldest still in N.C. and the youngest in Richmond. Carol lost her husband, Ned, to dementia in July. Our hearts go out to you – she’s doing alright and feels she is in good health.
From the grapevine Emily Babb Carpenter’s husband, Tom, has moved to a different apartment in Richmond. Marcia Phipps Ireland has four grandchildren.
Letter from Irene Piscopo Rodgers. She has had lots of visitors this summer. Her cousin in England is visiting in Oct. Irene is taking a Viking River cruise. She plans to spend Christmas in Kansas with Don’s niece.
Our dear Kay Rowe Hayes lost her niece, Amanda, her brother’s child. Sadly she left behind a four-year-old daughter. Our deep condolences, Kay.
“Dodie” Reeder Hruby got a few of us together in Williamsburg in August. Dianna Trischman Lee, Carol Kowalski Reidy, Dodie and I had a lovely luncheon and great conversation. Dianna is living close to her son and has moved to an assisted living apartment. Dodie has taken up a new interest, portrait painting of members of her family. How lovely. She now has four great-grandchildren and Dianna has two. Carol stays busy. She enjoys teaching a remedial reading class through William and Mary.
Guess we are slowing down as we live our eighties. We have lost 80 girls from our graduating class. It breaks my heart when you lose those you love whether family or friends. And I know you are experiencing this. I lost my beautiful, sweet sister in June. She was the love of my life, my best friend, my supporter, my fun companion. She was diagnosed with severe early onset dementia. It destroyed her. My heart is broken – we were very close.
Our next contact will be 2020. Unbelievable – I wish you happiness and good health in this unpredictable world in which we exist.