Class Notes

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UMW Magazine – Class Notes
1301 College Ave.
Fredericksburg, VA 22401



Lois Loehr Brown 


Virginia Bennett Skillman


The Class of 1943 currently has no class agent. If you would like to volunteer for this role, please contact the alumni office at


Phyllis Quimby Anderson

Few responded this time. I hope all is well.

One of my sons came from Utah to stay with me for a while. He’s interested in buying my house so he keeps it in good shape. One of my daughters and her fiancé have an apartment upstairs but plan to marry in October and move out. We had a summer family reunion in Ocean Grove, N.J. My grandson, who’s been living in Germany, married a lovely German girl in December and couldn’t make the reunion but came at Christmas. I welcomed great-grandson Gabriel in December; I now have two girls and a boy. I play bridge, am in the choir, and do volunteer work. I still drive during the day but not at night. My back is my only physical problem. I don’t walk as much and use a cane in ice or snow, but I feel fortunate to take only vitamins.

Anna Austin Ware commented on how we’re all turning 90! Not driving nights, she misses the library; she enjoyed MWC’s Browsing Room. She’s been reading her abundance of Colonial Homes magazines and has visited many of the homes in them, so it’s like armchair traveling. Anna planned to start her garden. Daughter Arraminta was busy with tax season.

Nancy Gravatt wrote to Anna that one of her grandchildren was on a cargo ship in the Pacific on its way from Japan with a load of toys. Another grandchild was to train with the diplomatic corps. Others hold various jobs, and at least one graduated from Virginia Tech. Nancy is doing OK but, like many of us, relies on a little help.

Mary Ellen Starkey still lives in the same place, and someone helps her during the week. They go out for lunch every day at her son’s Waldorf, Md., restaurant. Stepson Greg and wife Anne are in the Air Force in Colorado. Donny and his wife planned to visit their 4-year-old granddaughter in England.

I hope those who didn’t contact me with news will keep in touch. Have a great rest of the year.


No Class Agent

Mary Powell Lewis found no news from our class in the last issue of UMW Magazine, so she decided to start the ball rolling. Mary graduated with us but was also already enrolled in medical school at the University of Tennessee. A day student living in Fredericksburg, she never really got to know her classmates. She credits her MCAT scores, which were high enough to get her into medical school, to the excellent teaching of biology professor Hugo Iltis. Psychology professor Raleigh Drake also made a lasting impression on her.

Mary married Australian Stuart Lewis, now deceased, in 1954. They both specialized in orthopedic surgery in the Newtown Square, Pa., area. One of their four girls, Caroline Bradley, lives in Spotsylvania, Va., and Mary has four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. She had the pleasure of addressing a Mary Washington class several years ago when they received their rings, courtesy of Isabel Gordon Swift ’42 of Fredericksburg, former director of the MWC Placement Bureau.

Mary sends congratulations on the excellent alumni publication, and is always amazed and gratified by the changes and plans.


Patricia Mathewson Spring


Betty Moore Drewry Bamman

Dawn Machonis ’77 contacted me in search of classmates’ personal recollections of her late mother, Jean Crotty, who helped write the alma mater. Dawn has attended several class reunions, where she’s met some of her mother’s classmates. Email memories to Dawn at

Ladies, send me your news.


Anna Dulany Lyons

June Davis McCormick

Fewer holiday greetings last year means less news from classmates, but we’re grateful for what we have to report.

Elva Tate Hasher of Mechanicsville, Va., still does for herself and sent an obituary for Virginia Ann Mathews Pope, who died in November at her Courtland, Va., home. Virginia was born in Tappahannock, moved with her family to Front Royal, and came to Mary Washington to major in psychology. She was predeceased by her husband, Harvey Grover Pope, along with a sister, brother, and granddaughter. Survivors include a daughter, two sons, and eight grandchildren. It was reported that she experienced life to the fullest and touched family and friends in positive ways. Our sympathies go to all who loved her.

Jane Yeatman Spangler of North Carolina didn’t need surgery last year and keeps going like the Energizer Bunny, only with somewhat less energy. Jane continues with her bridge group, book club, and church activities. She’s on the library board and enjoys having daughter Jan at home. One of Jane’s BFFs, Charlotte “Chot” Baylis Rexon, has had her painting limited by arthritis, and husband Fred’s mobility has decreased, but they still pursue their interests, including two great-grandchildren. Chot believes that our class was special and that friendships formed forged a tight bond, akin to being given a gracious gift.

A strong part of that bond is our treasured Betty Bond Heller Nichols of Lexington, Va. B.B. loves living in a town with two major colleges and plenty of concerts, sports, and lectures. She performs in occasional music programs and said her fingers still work, even if her knees don’t! Her four grandchildren live just blocks away and are active in music and sports.

Margaret “Peggy” Walton Mason has lived in her Bethesda, Md., home since 1957 and credits her good health to being active. She volunteers, exercises, plays bridge, and is in the altar guild and a woman’s club. She spends time in Scottsdale, Ariz., in March and Duck, N.C., in summer. Two of her children are nearby; one is in Richmond.

Elizabeth “Betty” Fischer Gore’s Christmas card featured another of her gingerbread creations – a country store, including a frosting sign advertising bread at the long-ago price of 15 cents! Betty does oil painting and pool exercises at her Fairfax, Va., condo.

The holiday card from Frances “Blackie” Horn Nygood and her four basset hounds at her Georgetown, Del., kennel included another original poem. After 50 years attending the annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Blackie stayed home in February but continues to be an AKC judge for other area shows.

A card from Dolores “Dee” Ross featured her dog, Joe, in a Christmas setting. Dee returned from European riverboat cruises in November and spent a pre-Christmas weekend at the Greenbrier in West Virginia with her bank group. In March, the group planned to visit the MacArthur Memorial and see Jersey Boys in Norfolk, Va.

Frances Houston Layton spent Christmas week with her sister’s family on Deer Creek Lake in the mountains of western Maryland. Fran lives alone with her two dogs, still works for the Humane Society, and plays cello in her chamber music group and at her church. In the new year, she made her annual visit to Florida’s St. George Island, walked with her dogs on the white sand beaches, and watched eagles and dolphins. She returned home to a big West Virginia snowstorm.

Fran said that Mike, the husband of her sophomore roommate, Jeanne Farrington Leslie, suffered a major stroke last September. He’s in a wheelchair and unable to speak but hasn’t lost his sense of humor. Even with the difficult months, Jeanne feels they’ve received many blessings. Keep Mike and Jeanne in your thoughts and prayers.

Gwen Brubaker Connell’s husband, Jack, had ongoing health issues last summer and fall, and three hospital stays negated the possibility of summer plans. They’ve been enjoying family members’ frequent visits to their Florida home. The Connells have 16 great-grandchildren; the 17th was due in May. Their grandchildren planned a Thanksgiving family reunion, where Gwen hoped to realize her dream of seeing all their great-grandchildren together.

Anna “Andi” Dulany Lyons enjoys life at The Summit in Lynchburg, Va. Her children and grandchildren are progressing with their careers. Son Clay and wife Martha hosted a party for the extended Devening family at Christmas, and Andi was overjoyed that everyone came. She and Marion “Wendy” Selfe Kelly lunch and exchange news. Marion and husband George live at Westminster Canterbury, which is fast becoming an MWC alumni chapter. Also living there are Norvell Milner Thomson ’48, Sue Bass ’54, Kitty Wright Davenport ’55, Nancy Brinkley Glenn ’57, and Esther Reece McVeigh, who’s now in assisted living.

Katherine “Kate” Mayo Schmidt spent the holidays with son Bill Jr. and wife Terri in Albuquerque, N.M. Terri planned to teach jewelry-making in Nice, France, while Bill stayed on the job at home, instead of making their usual April visit to Kate in Texas. Kate’s sister in Alabama was scheduled for back surgery, so Kate anticipated a quiet spring. She does activities in town, tends to matters at the farm, and is grateful for many blessings.

Corinne “Conni” Conley Stuart and husband Bonar live in Toronto. Conni and Bonar expected a May visit from son Tony, a Los Angeles lawyer, and wife Karen, executive director of the Association of Talent Agents. Son Curtis and wife Heidi are tenured teachers in the St. Louis school system. Their daughter, Conni’s namesake, is at Mizzou (University of Missouri at Columbia). Son Francis is in high school, fills in on the baseball team, and hopes to get a soccer scholarship. Conni said he’s 6 feet 2 inches and looks like a young Robert Redford. Conni did some recent dubbing for the film Cas & Dylan with Richard Dreyfuss. She isn’t working as much as she had, but living in Toronto makes her feel she’s still part of the entertainment industry.

Conni sent an update on her roommate and suitemates. Primm Turner ffrench maintains her homes in Stockbridge, Mass., in winter and Galway, Ireland, in summer. After losing husband John, she relies on her children to help but doesn’t let limited mobility interfere with her life. The family still produces an internationally sold silkscreen calendar. Primm’s artwork is featured, but her grandchildren inherited artistic talent, as well. Betsy Thorne Bultman and husband Phelps took their annual trek from Columbia, S.C., to their New Hampshire summer home, and daughter Meredith helped with the long drive. The Bultmans get together with Conni’s roommate, Norah Pitts Byrnes and physician husband Bill of Atlanta. The Byrneses’ son, Topher, a high school principal, is nearby; their other two sons are not in Atlanta.

We are grateful for those who responded to pleas for news. Others sent holiday greetings with no news. Do you realize that the Fabulous Forty-Niners’ 65th reunion will be next year? Impossible, but true! As ever, our love to all of you from both of us.