Class Notes

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Lois Loehr Brown 

Myra McCormick Cole of Temple, Texas, wrote that, at her age, physical activity is limited, but she uses her computer, crochets afghans, makes kitchen towels with crocheted hangers, walks to Wal-Mart, and does puzzles to keep her brain working. Several family members have moved to Tyler, Texas, so Myra was considering moving to an assisted living apartment there. Myra is grateful to her older daughter, who, knowing how much she still misses husband Harry after three years, had been staying with her, but she was to travel on business. Myra was in touch with Dorothy Shaw of Buffalo, N.Y.

Dorothy had to cancel plans to spend two weeks in Sussex, England, because her traveling companion was unable to go. Dorothy spent the winter at the same address she had when she was at Mary Washington and said that living is harder but nicer in the country. She planned to return in April to her cat and two Cardigan Welsh corgis. They were to be joined by the goats, and Dorothy hoped for kids in May. She finds the midwife part scary, but the moment the little goats arrive and are healthy and active, she’s happy to have them around. She is in the kennel club, goes to tai chi, plays with early music groups, and hosts a monthly “goat lovers” breakfast.

Dorothy remembered a close call I had returning from Europe years ago. My mother and I sailed from New York City on an Italian ocean liner in the summer of 1939. It was a wonderful cruise with overnight stops and tours at each port, including Boston, Spain, Gibraltar, and Italy. We traveled from our last stop, Trieste, by train to Budapest, where we stayed for most of the summer, and to Germany and Austria. At this point, my mother felt that all was not going well in Europe and, with great difficulty, was able to exchange our return tickets for an earlier sailing date on the same liner. How wise she was! No ships sailed from Europe after that date. The U.S. sent ships to rescue those stranded in Europe, and some of my friends were on one that was sunk by the Germans. I am thankful they survived.


Virginia Bennett Skillman


Lee Hall Archer


Phyllis Quimby Anderson

I appreciate getting email from classmates and think we’re still pretty active. One of my daughters and a friend made an apartment upstairs because they thought I shouldn’t live alone. There is nothing wrong with me except an aching back after long walks. I am in an exercise class, play bridge, am in a women’s fellowship, and sing in the church choir. My grandson in Germany and his pretty German fiancée work with the handicapped. My granddaughter, his sister, has CP and has benefited from his knowledge. She is wheelchair bound but drives her chair and uses a small device to read, do math, and play games. I have two great-granddaughters, born last March and December.

Libby Phillips Roe and Bill live at Cokesbury Village near Wilmington, Del. Their three children hosted a party to honor Bill’s 90th birthday; six grandchildren, ages 8 to 33, attended. Two granddaughters have doctorates, two are in college, and two are at Boys’ Latin in Baltimore. Having married Libby’s cousin, Anna Roberts Ware has lived near Libby for years. Anna hurt her right shoulder clipping greens for grave sprays during Christmas, but an injection helped tremendously. Her jonquils were blooming in January instead of March!

Elizabeth Cumby Murray moved in 2007 to a retirement facility, where she enjoys art classes, cooking, trivia, and movies. Elizabeth doesn’t travel much but did get to the Cape with her daughter to see The Artist. She plays bridge and owns Murray’s Toggery Shop, which her children, Trish and John, operate. Ruth McDaniel Potts has aches and pains, but her head is in peak condition. She plays bridge, is active in the Methodist church, crochets for Project Linus, and can’t count how many blankets she’s made! Her family was planning its annual beach week in North Carolina. Ruth is thankful for her Mary Washington experience and the friends and memories she made there.

Mary Ellen Starkey wishes for visitors to her roomy La Plata, Md., townhouse. Son Donny does well with his La Plata restaurant. His daughter and her husband had been in England for a year, and they are expecting. Mary Ellen is also in touch with stepson Greg. Isabel Hildrup Klein likes her little brick house in a retirement community in Lumberton, N.C. She has her own kitchen, likes to cook, and rarely uses the dining room. Her two grandchildren are in the medical field. Robin works at the National Institutes of Health and husband Brad is in pharmaceuticals. Sean is a lawyer and wife Katie works in rehab.

Hazel “Tommy” Strong has had knee problems. She heard from Joyce Hovey Madigan and Jane Brownley Thomas, who also enjoy living in a retirement home. Losing her husband of 68 years was a blow for Gena Loback Carswell. They had moved to an apartment overlooking the Willamette River, but now she will move to a retirement home where several friends live.

Virginia Hawley Butler lives with her daughter and son-in-law, Bonnie and Duane. Their children and families live nearby, so Virginia enjoys her great-grandchildren. Virginia’s other daughter, Sue Ellen, and husband John have three young grandchildren. Virginia is in touch with Nettie Evans Lawrey, with whom she roomed and majored in physical education, Nancy Tucker, and Fran Tracy. While at Mary Washington, Virginia became interested in Fran’s church and mission work and admires her dedication.


Frances Watts Barker


Patricia Mathewson Spring


Betty Moore Drewry Bamman

I spent a week in February with my son, Harry, and family in Haines City, Fla. On my return flight, I sat next to Jane Lee Whitehead ’79 of Florida, who was going to visit her daughter in Lynchburg, Va. It was nice to meet her. Please keep me informed about what’s going on in your life.


The Class of 1948 currently has no class agent. If you would like to volunteer for this role, please contact the alumni office at


Anna Dulany Lyons

June Davis McCormick

Betty Bond Heller Nichols said her knees are not so cooperative, but facile fingers still work and she was scheduled to play piano for three big Christmas sing-a-longs. That’s our B.B.! Jane Yeatman Spangler and daughter Janet planned to drive from Concord, N.C., to Denver for Jan’s granddaughter’s fifth birthday and be home before Christmas. Jane expected daughter Nancy to join them for the holidays. They have a potluck dinner on Christmas Day for friends who are alone. Jane and Jan anticipated a May trip to Italy.

Charlotte “Chot” Baylis Rexon and husband Fred of New Jersey enjoy their children, grandchildren, and great- grandchildren. Chot enjoys bridge, mahjong, women’s club, and AAUW. She oil paints in Florida in winter, and enjoys their Ocean City, Md., beach house in summer. Though she has made new friends, she said nothing matches the strong ties made in those four Mary Washington years, especially between the BFFs – Betty Bond, Jane, Chot, and Dorothy “Dotty” Booker Pinkham!

Dolores “Dee” Ross took a river cruise from Paris through Germany. Her Christmas cards pictured a holiday-attired dog, Joe, from her kennel in Delaware. Frances “Blackie” Horn Nygood sent her greeting with an original poem, a message from her basset hounds, and a photo of puppies in a Christmas box. Elizabeth “Betty” Fischer Gore’s card included a photo of her latest gingerbread house with gingerbread people and trees.

Gwen Brubaker Connell and husband Jack of Florida followed the Major League Baseball playoffs and rooted for the Cardinals to win in the World Series. Katherine “Kate” Mayo Schmidt followed the games from her Texas home and planned to spend the holidays with son Bill Jr. and wife Terri. Elva Tate Hasher of Mechanicsville, Va., anticipated going to daughter Anne’s house for the holidays. Dorothy “Dottie” Desmond Helfrich observed her 84th birthday in Richmond. With health issues, she said, “It ain’t much fun!” She’s grateful she still can drive to the grocery store and doctors’ offices.

Lucy Vance Gilmer recapped day trips to North Carolina for Thanksgiving with the Gilmers, Historical Society conferences in Tennessee, and Bristol Historical Association meetings. She worked relentlessly to guarantee the great success of her Sullins College weekend reunion in September. As the eldest alumna present, Lucy gave a brief history of Sullins, which closed in 1976, with records transferred to King College. Lucy planned to have her brother and family in for Christmas.

Anna “Andi” Dulany Lyons visited her four sons and their families during the holidays. Andi keeps busy at The Summit and around Lynchburg, Va., and she gets together with Marion “Wendy” Selfe Kelly. No longer traveling, Corinne “Conni” Conley Stuart and husband Bonar stayed in Toronto for the holidays. They had enjoyed summertime visits with both sons and their families, and they frequently Skype. We heard that Anne McCaskill Libis and Claude are fine and that they spent the holidays with their children.

Jean “Murph” Murphy Baptist still drives and stays in her home with some help. Despite arthritis, she knits, plays bridge, and works crossword puzzles. She included corrections for two names in recent Class Notes. Nancy Morris’ first husband was Tommy Childress, the surname we used in reporting her husband’s passing, she said. However, they were divorced and Nancy later married John Ullman, and it was he who died last year. Sorry, Nancy, that our records weren’t updated. Murph also said that Virginia “Jinny” Merrill MacLeod’s husband, born Oliver Nelson MacLeod, so disliked his given name that he changed Oliver to John years ago. Mea culpa, Jinny!

In mid-January, Betty Bond Heller Nichols had knee surgery. Still in the hospital, the next morning she had a pulmonary embolism, was raced to ICU, then remained hospitalized until Jan. 31. On Feb. 10, she was rushed by ambulance to a Roanoke, Va., hospital for a ruptured appendix! B.B. finally returned home in mid- February and was trying to make sense of the events and doing her best to feel better.

June Davis McCormick heard B.B.’s story the day before seeing an orthopedic surgeon about severe knee pain. With the added trepidation triggered by Betty Bond’s life-threatening experience, June underwent arthroscopic surgery and seemed to be recovering nicely. Before Christmas, she’d had her second cataract surgery.

Elva Tate Hasher sent an article about the UMW Dahlgren campus in King George County. Thinking of Elva’s family home in King George reminded me of her parents. Elva’s mother and father were named Truman and Dewey, respectively. In the fall of 1948, the two candidates, Harry S. Truman and Thomas E. Dewey, were running an extremely close race. As you may recall, an early morning edition of the Chicago Tribune headlined “Dewey Wins!” Leaving our first class in Chandler that November morning, we still can see Kathryn Ann Carter racing across campus from Madison, after hearing the latest radio reports, shouting, “Truman won!” And he did. Thanks to those who helped us compile the Fabulous Forty-Niners’ class notes. Now, if you would really like to make us smile, tell us your news.


Dorothy Held Gawley

Rosemary Miller of Michigan still plays in the symphony orchestra and sings in – and sometimes directs – the church choir. Barbara Lloyd Hiller and Jim of State College, Pa., stay close to home but attended the annual family crab-eating Thanksgiving celebration in Ocean City, Md. She still provides her newsletter service for the Women’s Club. A second great- granddaughter arrived in December. Granddaughter Stacy is a freshman at Lock Haven University.

Clelia Boushee Bullard’s grandson Ray, 26, received his wings in December to fly F-18s and is stationed at Oceana in Virginia Beach. Beverly Youngs Robinson lives in a Newport News, Va., retirement home. She frequently visits her son and his family – including five grandchildren – in Scotland and took a side trip to Barcelona. She reads, knits, and plays bridge, which her mother said she majored in at Mary Washington. Garland “Dorsey” Estes McCarthy stays busy as garden club president and hoped to walk the beach in Galveston, Texas, on Christmas.

Patti Head Ferguson is recovering after being in NYC hospitals and nursing homes most of 2011 due to back problems. She advanced to a walker, was to spend time in Jamaica for sun and swimming before Christmas, and planned to spend the holiday in Washington, D.C., and Maryland with all the family – a rare treat. Virginia Hardy Vance was recuperating from a fall and cataract surgeries. Betty Gavett Breeden still mends library books and sings in two choirs. She was church organist/choir director for three months and is the church secretary’s proofreader.

Billie Mitchell Hanes and Dick love their three-story home on the dune in Virginia Beach, but it was built when they were young and strong, and they planned to move across the street to a one-story home. Billie had extensive back surgery in the spring followed by fractured ribs and then an arterial blockage near her heart. Four of their eight grandchildren had finished college, three were in college, and one was finishing high school.

Juney Morris was hospitalized for a bleeding ulcer and Marcy Weatherly Morris had two cataract surgeries. They have 11 great-grandchildren. Marcy and Juney attended the UMW presidential inauguration of Richard V. Hurley and said the ceremony and the ball were impressive.

Gerry Boswell Griffin and daughter Judy took a nostalgic May trip to their old home in Arlington, Va. The family who now lives there showed them through the house and gave them a bouquet of peonies (descendants of those Gerry’s dad planted years ago). Gerry placed them at her parents’ gravesite in Arlington National Cemetery. They later visited the Mary Washington campus. Gerry hadn’t been back since our 30th reunion and was impressed by the new buildings.

Nan Riley Pointer and Joe took a river cruise from Amsterdam to Vienna last summer. Nan is vice president/ spiritual life director for the ecumenical Christian service organization International Order of the King’s Daughters and Sons.

Barbara Cable Field passed away in January. She taught high school French in Gloucester, Va.; led student trips to France, Belgium, Switzerland, and England; and loved Paris and French culture.

Sadly, two other classmates passed away. Barbara Birkenmeyer Mader had pulmonary fibrosis for two years, but her death was a shock. Gracia Plyley Kather suffered from a neurological disease. I had a nice chat with husband Rudy, who commented on Gracia’s love of Mary Washington. Our sympathy goes to the families.


Roselyn Bell Morris

Frances Chesson Lacamera of St. Petersburg, Fla., and husband Frank, who is retired, have been married 57 years. Their three sons live nearby on Florida’s west coast. Their daughter lives near Manchester, England, but gets home yearly. They have seven grandchildren.

Lois Bellamy Martin Strode of Norfolk, Va., was widowed, remarried, and lives with Hil Strode in a retirement community. She is active at church, volunteers as a literacy tutor, and is on the community library committee. She enjoys her three children and their spouses and children. Two of her grandchildren live in San Francisco and New Zealand. Lois wondered about Brooke Woods, Patricia Doorly, and Jane Millar.

Peggy Walsh lives in the Sun Rose senior living facility in Glen Cove, N.Y. Ruth DeMiller Hill has two great-granddaughters in Wyoming. Her oldest granddaughter in Ohio is engaged and planned to marry after Thanksgiving. Ruth’s son, Bill, has taught at Eastside High School for 34 years and sponsors its Indiana- state-award-winning chess club.

Ruth said that Betsy Fletcher Adams reported the death of Vicky Wallace Blitz ’52, who roomed with Winnie Horton Brock sophomore year. Sherrie Brock, Winnie’s youngest daughter, whom many met at our 50th reunion, married a fellow missionary in February. Nancy Gass ’52, who ate at Ruth’s table in Seacobeck, is well and was beginning a busy season of tax preparation. Cynthia Medley England is well in Naples, Fla. Ruth heard from Virginia Orkney Philbrick ’52 and Nancy Stump Motley ’52 and reunited with Pam Roberts Cassel ’54 of Martha’s Vineyard, whose husband recently died.

Lorraine Frantz Foulds couldn’t be at our June 2011 reunion but was doing well when I talked to her afterward. Recently, though, her number was disconnected and a card was returned. If anyone has information, please let me know.

Take care of yourselves and enjoy life. My best to all of you.


Corley Gibson Friesen