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
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Anne Summervold LeDoux
By the time this is published we should be a few weeks away from our 50th Reunion! Hopefully, all of you will be there to celebrate this momentous occasion. It still does not seem like 50 years have passed but unfortunately it has! Our class gift to the Talley Center (at this time) is approaching our goal of $50,000.00. Thank you, thank you to all of you who contributed to this most needed cause. It is certainly a gift that should make a difference to many UMW students in the future.
A great time was had by eight of us who got together in November in Gettysburg. The group included myself, Lee Howland Hogan, Bettie Brooks Reuter, Mary Pat O’Donnell Wiegard, Susan Johnson Gillette, Deb Walker Orsi, Donna Accettullo DeNyse and Kathi O’Neill. For three days and two nights we laughed, and reminisced about the wonderful times we had together. Long time friendships really do mean so much at this time in our lives. We are all looking forward to the reunion. In December I met Genie Hamilton Roper, Class of 1971, for lunch in Ashland. She and husband Hart live in Richmond, have 3 grown children and both are retired. We had 50 years of news to catch up with each other! Kathy Thiel had a bit of a mishap while golfing in Scotland this fall and has been laid up with a very damaged elbow. However, she told me she is doing much better and is even doing some putting and chipping!
Please send news! It is so wonderful to hear from those of you who do. Here’s hoping for a Happy New Year to the Class of 1970 and hoping to see you at our rescheduled reunion, Sept. 5-7, 2020.
Sherry Rutherford Myers
Debbie Stanley Leap is spending 3 weeks in January at Conversa Language School near Santa Ana, Costa Rica for her first Spanish immersion experience. She never thought she’d be “studying abroad.” Although she studied two years of French at Mary Washington, she then went on to her love of biology and chemistry. In later life, she decided it would be great to converse with the burgeoning Spanish speaking population in her community using their native language. She began her preparation with online learning (an hour to an hour and a half 5-6 days a week) as well as a bit of face-to-face learning in the James Madison Life Long Learning program. She is excited and nervous all at the same time. This should be a fabulous learning experience that she may want to continue each January. Good luck, Debbie and enjoy the Costa Rica weather.
Gail Sherwood Cervarich wrote to say that she and her husband moved to Portland, Oregon this past August. Both their children live in this city and they wanted time with them as well as their granddaughter. They are really enjoying life in Portland and love spending time with the kids, learning the city and their new house.
Dennis and I are still loving the Roanoke area with all of the mountains. He stays active with learning about politics and the Botetourt Town and Country Women’s Club keeps me hopping. We love the people here as well as continuing to fix up our home. We have enjoyed spending time with Dave and Cheryl Prietz Childress both at their home outside of Richmond and their daughter’s in-laws’ home at Smith Mountain Lake. They had some wonderful news that another grandchild is on the way. That should give daughter Thea’s little Ellie a great playmate. Cheryl and Dave travel often to the Atlanta, Georgia area to visit. Also new in their lives are two horses which they have added to their farm. Both are enjoying getting used to riding them. Their son, Alex and his wife, Belle, reside in the Richmond area and they see those two on a regular basis.
That is about it for now but send me your news. It is always exciting to hear from former classmates.
Joyce Hines Molina
The Class of 1973 50th Reunion Scholarship needs all of our help. The goal is to award our first scholarship fall of 2022, which requires the endowment to be funded with an initial $25,000. Make your contributions through cash donations, multi-year pledges, transfers of stocks and insurance policies, or through your estate plan. All gifts must be designated Class of 1973 50th Reunion Scholarship.
From Dale Cole Carter: Thanks to my classmates for their support during my husband’s illness & passing. William B. Carter on September 8, 2019. A special thanks to Kris Overstreet Helms ’73 who flew to Annapolis to be with our family at Bill’s memorial service. It was such a comfort to have Kris there along with Bill’s classmates from USNA. I’m taking the next year as a time of travel & reflection. Italy, Ireland, Greece & New Zealand. We have a great group of UMW alumni in the Denver area. If you ever find yourself in this beautiful part of the country, give me a call.
From Cynthia Howk: It’s no surprise that our class members are now in our late 60s, and that can mean medical issues, which is my first item to report. Ann C. Salter, a member of our class & long-time friend here in Rochester, had a stroke in mid-May, which resulted in hospitalization and now extended rehabilitation, which continues today. Upon experiencing symptoms, Ann was able to walk to her neighbor’s apartment & was immediately taken to Rochester General Hospital’s emergency department. After a week at the hospital, she was transferred to RGH’s rehab center at Hill Haven campus, where she has an excellent team of physical, speech & occupational therapists.
Ann has a demanding Mon–Fri rehab schedule to work on her situation, which affected her right side. This includes learning to write with her left hand, while also working on regaining more use in her right arm/hand. The same with her speech, which has aphasia – that too, has improved immensely. She communicates & knows everyone/everything that’s going on (politics, especially). Recently, a group of us took Ann out to the movies – twice: to see “Downtown Abbey” and “Judy,” as well as a birthday bash at one of our local eateries.
Coordinating Ann’s situation, however, has been a major challenge, as she is an only child, has no children or spouse & no immediate relatives in the area. So, there are 6 of us – close friends – who we’ve named “Team Salter” to coordinate Ann’s situation, including legal, financial, medical, social, transportation and more. Ann had no “Health Care Proxy” when this happened & her “Power of Attorney” form also needed updating – which has created many challenges (she now has these legal forms, in place). I’ve been telling everyone: make sure you have your Will, Power of Attorney & Health Care Proxy legal documents & they are up to date. When you don’t have one/any of these – it creates havoc, in a health care crisis. And – you never know when a “health crisis” might occur: one minute you’re working as a grant writer/consultant (such as Ann), the next, you’re on your way to a hospital emergency department with a major health crisis. The only upside of this crisis, is that Ann has now quit smoking – hasn’t had a cigarette since May (not a method for which anyone would opt).
The next step in Ann’s care plan is for her to move to an assisted living campus, which is underway, reviewing options, facilities, programs, and many additional factors. An on-going process with a lot to coordinate. Ann would love to hear from other classmates – which they can do via my email (email@example.com), as I see Ann on a regular basis & report on “doings” out in the world/among colleagues/etc. – she loves to get news & hear juicy gossip!
As for myself, Cynthia Howk, I’m still on-staff at The Landmark Society of Western New York, doing interesting historic preservation projects & planning in our 9-county region. Our big project this summer was our organization’s move in August from our Corn Hill neighborhood location of 80+ years, to a very different situation: the historic Warner Castle, an 1854 residence, located in the city of Rochester’s oldest park, Highland Park. Sorting/packing/organizing/down-sizing collections, etc. in preparation for the move were no easy tasks. No joke: moving isn’t for sissies! We’re still settling in & completing renovations to the Castle, but its setting in the park – in an arboretum of 120+-year-old trees – is wonderful & we’re looking forward to expanded programming opportunities at this beautiful site.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to this update. Send your news to me any time throughout the year.
Classmates, would love to hear from you all about all you have done since our reunion. We did hear from a classmate that could not make it to the reunion, Jill (Katherine R.) Hadden, and she writes,” Still working part-time at Macy’s in Alpharetta, GA, going on 8 years at that store. Still into board gaming 2+ times a week with local groups and enjoying the gaming conventions held here locally 3 times a year. I was recently thrilled to meet and speak with author E L James in late in May when she had a book tour that stopped here for her novel The Mister. It was only her 2nd time to Atlanta, and very hot per usual, but she seemed delighted with the fans that came out to see and hear her. Not only did she autograph copies of The Mister but also her more famous books in the Fifty Shades of Grey series. I really like her writing style and she was very gracious with everyone at the event. Hope to hear from more of you in the coming months.
Armecia Spivey Medlock
The following update was submitted for Bob Barron (’75) by his husband, Fred Blanton. Bob retired from a distinguished 20-year career with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, including 10 years as their last internal publisher of Preservation Magazine. To prepare for the next exciting phase in their lives, Bob and Fred purchased an empty lot with an adjoining historic carriage house in one of the historic districts in Staunton VA, where they recently completed building a home that is sympathetic to both the carriage house and the historic neighborhood. Bob and Fred subsequently won the occasional “Best Infill Development” award from the local Historic Staunton Foundation, for which Bob is currently serving as the newest President. Bob also frequently promotes the Historic Preservation major at UMW. Bob offers his fellow graduates three “historic keys” to a fun and continuing educational retirement: Bob holds lifetime memberships in both the Historic Hotels of America and the US National Parks, and Fred maintains a membership in the Rail Passengers Association, so they travel extensively across America, enjoying historic hotels, lodges and sites, and travel by train whenever possible.
Allan Jenkins (“AJ”) (’75) wrote that his wife Lezle and he are still living near Lenoir City, TN, just west of Knoxville. They are empty nesters with 2 birds pursuing careers, with one in a PhD program at Emory University in Atlanta (the only one nearby). Allan works about half-time as a hydrogeologist performing mostly groundwater modeling for environmental remediation sites across the US, and Lezle is retired from the school system. We seem to never have enough hours in the day to keep up with part-time vocations, like yard work, home maintenance and DIY on our 100-yr old home, play music, ride our motorcycles, and use our camper. Allan still communicates and visits regularly with close friends and former MWC graduates Glen Markwith, Steve Jones, Richie Hasty and Chip Schwab, and regularly gets together with a great group of graduates, mostly from the classes of ‘75 and ’76. This past October, several of them met in Fredericksburg and visited with Dr. Marsh Bowen, our favorite professor and basketball guru/coach at MWC.
On my news home front, our daughter, Taylor, was married in Kansas City, MO on April 27th, to Dr. Rafael Torosyan, and Taylor expects to complete her 2-year Nursing Practitioner program in August 2020. Our son, Ian, and his wife, Vickie, gave birth to our third granddaughter, Finley, on June 16th. In the fall 2019, our oldest granddaughter, Presley, started Spanish-immersion 1st grade and our middle granddaughter, Lucy, who turned 4 this past June, began her last year of pre-school.
Reminder: The 2020 Class Reunion Weekend dates are set, so make sure to mark your calendars for attending our 45th Class Reunion on May 29th – 31st, 2020! We’d love to see you there!
Patricia Barnhardt writes: I retired 5 years ago and moved to Charlottesville, and I love it! I have time to spend with 2 of my grandchildren nearby and get to travel to Oregon to see my third—all girls! I serve on the board of trustees at the school where I worked for 38 years. I’ve gotten involved with a climate lobbying group and plan to help get out the vote in 2020. My husband of nearly 40 years and I have had the good fortune to take some wonderful trips in recent years from the Pacific NW, to Sicily, Cornwall and Brittany, and this past summer we were on a small boat that cruised the Baltic Sea touching down in Stockholm, St. Petersburg, Gdansk, Poland, Estonia and Latvia. All is well. I’d love to hear from others.
Janis Biermann (A-M)
Debra Smith Reeder (N-Z)
Please send news to the designated class agent according to the first letter of your last name.
Former class agent Madelin Jones Barratt finished chemotherapy in October 2019 and is asking God to use it to bring about a miraculous cure of her cancer. She considers every day a blessing. She directed the children’s choir at her church on Christmas Eve, which gave her a lot of joy. She and husband Henry are enjoying having all three of their children, their spouses, and four grandchildren living close by. They are expecting two more grandchildren to arrive in March.
Two 1976 classmates have volunteered to succeed Madelin in the class agent role. Janis Biermann will handle class news for classmates whose names start with A through M, and Debra Smith Reeder will do the same for classmates whose names begin with N through Z.
From Debra: Greetings and Happy 2020! I look forward to sharing news of friends and classmates with all of you. Please email me highlights of your life events and I will make sure they appear in the next issue. I’ll go first: My husband of 43 years, Bill, and I are enjoying retirement. We continue to travel the world; however, are always anxious to return home to our English cream retriever, Cashel. We love to spend time with our children and two granddaughters, who live nearby. Life is good!
From Janis: Thanks again to Madelin for representing us for so many years. Since I am now retired, I have some time to be a class agent. Looking forward to hearing from you!
Margaret Nichols Honeycutt writes: “I closed my pediatrics practice in Warrenton and moved to Richlands, Va where I am working full time for Clinch Valley Physicians Associates and Lifepoint Hospitals. Since my husband, Don, passed in August 2017, I have begun work with hospice and with our church ministry to those in Celebrate Recovery, a Christian recovery education and support group. In a major move outside my comfort zone, I did a medical mission in Costa Rica this summer and will return to Central America this June. My health is good but I am getting my first hearing aid for the left ear and may need an augmented stethoscope soon. The holidays are extra special this year with the arrival of a new grandson, Logan, and my son and daughter-in-law celebrating their fifth anniversary and first Christmas in a home of their own. I bought a 1952 Cape Cod in a sweet neighborhood at the end of the street near the Clinch River, where I maintain a quiet corner with two rowdy dogs. I am teaching a Bible study on Galatians in January for our largely geriatric group of folks who combine good food, chatter and study weekly, and I am struggling through a 550 page book for Book Club, which is a mixture of ages, involves wine and cheese, and pithy opinions from the well-read academics in the group. Life as a widow has blossomed with a great deal of “leaning into life” and letting go of fear. I am looking forward to our next reunion and hope to see many familiar faces.”
Teri Miles received the 2019 Woman of Achievement Award from the Metropolitan Richmond Women’s Bar Association for her contributions to the legal profession and the community. Teri had a “reunion” with Debbie Jordan Lewis in Nairobi, Kenya this year. “We met up as I was getting ready to leave and as she and Ben were arriving. We had a good time catching up and I was able to share my adventure as she was doing a lot of the same safari travels I just completed.”
Leslie Rigby Cash writes
Morgan and I moved to Fredericksburg (College Heights) 5 years ago and love living where we can walk everywhere! I retired from Loudoun County Public Schools (2013) but accepted a position as an Adjunct at UMW last January! I supervise interns (student teachers) on the elementary level. How exciting to be back at Mary Wash ! Morgan still works part time at his soil consulting and we have a small Christmas tree farm in King George. Our boys Robert(32) and Taylor(30) are in Denver and Southport NC working and happy!
Susan Tart Morosko class of ’78 writes:
” I am happily retired from a long career in Special Education. I’m enjoying my time with family and babysitting my 7 grandchildren, with # 8 due on New Year’s Day ! Sadly, I lost my mom and my stepson recently. I’ve taken up painting and bowling to be creative and get exercise. I recently reconnected with my roommate Janet Shultz McKenna 🙂 “
Barbara Goliash Emerson
Anne F. Hayes sent news that she has been living in western Henrico County near Richmond since graduation. She spent most of her career working for a large law firm in Richmond, but for the past three and half years has worked for the James River Insurance Company. Over the years, she has done quite a bit of family history research and found new branches of her family tree through Ancestry DNA. About 10 years ago, she and a cousin from England visited Ireland to meet with cousins in County Tipperary and County Clare. She added that her mother passed away in May 2019 at age 90½. Fortunately, Anne, her brother and sister lived nearby so were able to visit frequently.
Mark Fortney wrote succinctly, and I quote, “I’m retired, fat, happy, and living the dream.” Amen, Mark!
I also heard from Leslie Freeman Belcher that she and her husband, Walter, moved after almost 40 years from Northern Virginia to Texas where their youngest daughter, Jessica lives and it’s closer to other family who have moved there in recent years. In November 2018, their other daughter, Marcy, was married in Indiana. With their new home completed in 2019, Leslie added that they are now ready to travel.
Speaking of travel, other Class of ‘79ers have been roaming the globe. Sue Moore Davis took a cruise around Australia and kept us entertained with her many wonderful photos on Facebook. Betsy Larson Kyker and her husband, Bill, spent time in Germany at the Christmas markets as did Carol Middlebrook and her husband, John Feldman. Hoping to hear from more of you in the coming year.