Class Notes

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Joanne Campbell Close

Karen Larsen Nelson

The tagline in a recent note from Sherry Farrington Green read “Old Broads Kick Butt.” She’s climbed Mount Everest, been a doula here and in Africa, and earned a Ph.D. She won a gold medal in women’s sabre at the World Veterans Fencing Championships in Varna, Bulgaria. Though it was her last world competition, she plans to keep fencing competitively as soon as she recovers from her second hip replacement. (Jody, Karen, and Bonnie Davis Hall were on the Mary Washington fencing team and are in awe of Sherry’s accomplishment.)

Pat Vought Grine’s family flew her to Atlanta in January for her 75th!Patty Morgan Connolly of Connecticut had a big 75th party, including a visit from her daughter from San Diego. Mona Allen Spilo of Connecticut said, “You can’t hide your age from classmates. Hair color, makeup, Spandex, and a youthful attitude can’t disguise the numbers!”

Betty Ditmars Prosser of New York broke her foot and, while grounded, organized the house. Husband David was a patient chauffeur.Iris Hall Newton lost her brother on Christmas Day. They lived in the same retirement residence. Her sister-in-law also passed away on Christmas Day, and her son-in-law passed away in February after a long illness.

Sue Smith Goodrick had a North Carolina beachside holiday with her children and grandchildren last summer, spent Christmas in Missouri with friend Jim and his extended family, and visited her son’s family in Naperville, Ill. Sue attended a Wilmington, N.C., UMW alumni function and saw many alumni from the eastern North Carolina area.

Karen Larsen Nelson had a Christmas visit with her daughter and family (10 in all, including 3-year-old twins). Including babies expected by two of their granddaughters in August, they have six great-grandchildren. Older sister Cassie, who had a kidney transplant in January at the Phoenix Mayo Clinic, was home and doing great. In March, their son visited from Florida, then visited his Marine Corps son, who’s in electronics school in Twentynine Palms, Calif.

Jody Campbell Close spent Christmas with her brother and his extended family. Her daughter gave her a leather-bound “annual” documenting family adventures throughout the year and inspired by her husband’s award-winning photography. Jody is still involved with the broader Florida community through her genealogy group outreach and with the annual Scout workshop. She edits a newsletter for genealogists, is a historical society membership chair, and is our co-class agent. She planned to attend spring Florida and Virginia genealogy conventions. She had gallbladder surgery in March.

Bonnie Davis Hall and Ross volunteered at Revels Singers performances and had a  performance at the Harvard Square subway station in December, taped for Boston TV. She and Ross sang in a January community concert. In November, they visited Bonnie’s cousin in Chicago. Bonnie planned two knee replacements this year.

We look forward to reports from you. It lets us know we’re not writing to ourselves.


Connie Booth Logothetis (A–G)

Renee Levinson Laurents (H–Q)

Lynne Williams Neave (R–Z)

Please send news to the designated class agent according to the first letter of your maiden name.

From Connie:  Sadly, Cay Whichard Lewis died in her sleep, and Sara Prosterman Brown died of pancreatic cancer in January. Our sympathies go to their families and friends.

Clara Sue Durden Ashley and Clarence took the Auto Train to Sanford, Fla., from Lorton, Va., visiting friends and family on the way home. Son Dennis’ family lives in St. Augustine, where they wanted to get to know 2-year-old Payton, the youngest of four boys, who is autistic. He brings joy and challenges, but is full of love and musically inclined, like his father. In October, they traveled to the Great Smoky Mountains, had car trouble, and received roadside help from strangers. They realized they were “down South where people still … help others.”

Dee Doran Cairns and Doug’s last overseas trip started in July in Switzerland, where they celebrated a family wedding attended by Patty Cairns Hourin and Jim. Dee and Doug’s son, Rob, and family have lived in Bella Napoli, overlooking the Mediterranean, Capri, and Mount Vesuvius, for 10 years. They parasailed there, then traveled together to their home. Grandson Nathan is a high school junior trying to decide on a U.S. college. Katye is in ninth grade. They planned to see them all this summer. Their daughter, Cathy, a cardiovascular nurse, is nearby in Montgomery. They hoped to visit oldest grandson Chris in San Francisco in fall. Patty and Jim’s son, Scott, on active duty with Marine Forces Europe, and his family moved from Hawaii to Stuttgart, Germany. Their other two sons and families live in Mississippi. Patty golfs, plays tennis, and is a junior warden at church.

Jean Ryan Farrell and Frank had a family reunion at their Lake Lanier, Ga., house in July 2013. There were 17 in their Christmas card photo, including their three married sons and several grandchildren. Carolyn Crum Pannu visited Renee in L.A. before and after her December cruise to Mexico. Pat Scott Peck planned to visit San Fran in March. She and Carolyn planned to meet Renee in Santa Barbara.

Jerri Barden Perkins visited Marseille, Paris, London, Italy, and NYC. About her January trip to India, she said, “Words are inadequate to describe the poverty, pollution, lack of infrastructure, and sanitation.” Jerri guest spoke on clinical trials for medical research at universities. She teaches alignment-based yoga and incorporated their philosophy on yoga for health into her practice.

Joan Gibson Lippold and Jim were in good health and spirits. Despite Joan’s knee replacement, they vacationed twice in Florida and planned a river cruise – their ninth – through Europe in May. Their youngest daughter and her family are building a house next to them on a cliff overlooking the Chesapeake Bay.

A Kind of Dream is Kelly Cherry’s new collection of interlinked stories. She and Burke planned to attend the Associated Writers conference in Seattle. Kelly lost her “sweet and funny and feisty” younger sister, a flutist, in November. Our sympathies to you, Kelly.

At Christmastime, Eleanor Knight Jensen cruised from Fort Lauderdale to Venice via the Panama Canal, South Pacific, and Suez Canal for 134 days, and visited Australia. Sarah Leigh Kinberg and Tom saw family and friends, including granddaughter Laura, who’s in the Navy on the USS Roosevelt destroyer out of Mayport, Fla. Sarah was sick in July. Tests at Stanford showed a mass on her kidney, but experts were stumped. With the insight of her sister, Margaret, a pediatric pulmonologist, an E. coli abscess was diagnosed and Sarah started long-term antibiotics in December. Niece Sarah, 11, sent encouragement: “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” As Lynn McCarthy said, “The challenges we face only make us wiser and cause us to shift our priorities.”

Ellen Gotwalt Willing and Bill spent another winter in Naples, Fla., despite Bill falling on his back in July. He had a scalp laceration and deep hematoma, and injured his body. Their daughters and their church’s Stephen Ministry helped.Lloyd Tilton Backstrom and Art traveled to Croatia and Slovenia in September, had their ski trip in December in Vail, and spent part of January in Sun Valley. They planned to visit Art’s cousins in Florida’s Fort Myers area. They have 13-year-old Maltese Fred and a Cavalier King Charles spaniel.

Janie Riles and hubby Jim Dietz went to Mazatlan in March as guests of her brother, Tom, for a Riles family reunion, so they left Florida early and returned to their primary home in San Diego. Janie looked forward to meeting one nephew’s children and the other nephew’s fiancée. She paints outside on the Intracoastal Waterway with friends.

I (Connie) am recovering, albeit slowly, from my mild stroke, seizure, and femoral hernia surgery through physical therapy and walking. We haven’t traveled except to Duke for clinical checkups after the lung transplant, but lots of friends have visited us in Wilmington, N.C. We’d love to see any of you!

From Renee: Donna Henninger Henderson’s son, Jeff, runs their Troutville, Va., farm. His daughter, Ashley, was to graduate from high school. Donna is retired and plays bridge.

Debbie Phinney Wylie of Connecticut visited her daughter and son-in-law and their four children in Georgia, and her two sons and their families in St. Louis in October. Debbie plays tennis and bridge, and is involved with the library and local community pantry.

Judy LaRoe Hare moved to Georgia in 1969. She plays tennis and visits her three children in Louisville, Phoenix, and Portland. She planned to visit Seacrest, Fla., for their annual family vacation. She was considering attending Wimbledon and needs only the Australian Open to complete the Grand Slam. Judy’s in touch with Mouse Messier Whitmore, Bobbie Brooks Nation, Jan Murphy Reifler, and MJ Giles Stearns.

Nancy “Pepper” Jacobs Germer has sung in the church choir since childhood. She and Hank took a winter Caribbean cruise. Last year in New Zealand, Hank grabbed a suitcase off the belt, initiating a rotator cuff tear, then finished it off when he slipped during an ice storm. After surgery and therapy, he was doing great. Pepper collects mink stoles, gloves, and tea party accouterment and, in retirement, gives tea parties in their vintage home. Pepper is a greeter, receptionist, and phone girl at a jewelry store.

Bette Marchant George has lived in McLean, Va., for 33 years. She and Vern have a blended family, with three children each and 13 grandchildren. Bette was well, despite having had MS for 15 years. She still drives, gets around with a cane, and does leadership and life coaching. She has a master’s degree and works with clients from around the country and students from Georgetown University’s leadership coaching program. Bette was sorry to have missed our 50th, and we missed her! We heard about her from roomie Sue Wilson Sproul and others.

I (Renee) love being retired. I take classes at UCLA for fun. For astronomy, we get to go to Mount Wilson and Griffith observatories. I’m also taking a class in metacinema about movies within movies. I saw Sunset Boulevard and met playwright Terrence McNally at an event honoring him and “George” from Seinfeld and others at the after party.

I hope you are well. Emails have kicked back to me, so if you haven’t heard from me lately, please send your new address. We’d love to hear from you.

From Lynne: Thanks for all your input! We’re the best class ever. Sandy and I took a January Panama Canal cruise with President and Mrs. Hurley and others from UMW. Since selling our place in Florida, we enjoy life in New York and Connecticut. I’m trying to improve my bridge game by taking classes and playing duplicate, and have 12 masterpoints.

Marilyn Messier Whitmore of Simi Valley, Calif., lost husband of 51 years Bill in September to lymphoma. They have three daughters, 10 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. They were childhood sweethearts in West Orange, N.J., and had lived in California since Bill was transferred to a Burbank aerospace company in 1968. Marilyn has been a Ronald Reagan Presidential Library docent for 10 years.

Marcia Minton Keech’s husband, Bill, had his bladder removed in August 2013 and was in and out of hospitals. He seems to have beaten the odds after six years fighting cancer. They spent an afternoon with Stuart and Sylvia McJilton Woodcock and the Wetzels last fall while vacationing at Hilton Head, S.C. Stuart and Larry are Bill’s brother rats from VMI.

Lynne Neave was “flattered and excited” to be elected to the UMW Foundation Board of Directors. Sylvia and Lloyd will enjoy having her on board. Sylvia and Stuart planned a May trip to Italy and to attend their son’s June wedding at Keswick Hall, near Charlottesville. Judy Youngman Wigton planned to attend London’s Chelsea Flower Show in May. Carolyn Spell Robertson lives in north Florida. Oldest grandchild Katie is at FSU. Cameron is a high school senior.

After October surgery, Marcy Trembath Pitkin suffered infections requiring hospitalization and emergency surgery. Her children and their spouses were with her and took over Christmas meals and household management. After high doses of antibiotics, Marcy felt better than she had in years. She lost her appetite, is three sizes smaller, and has a new easy-to-maintain hairstyle.

Aggie Welsh Eyster is busy with her art in San Antonio and sees Jill Cusack Clay occasionally. Unfortunately, I’m not able to see them on my trip to Houston (for the rodeo) and New Orleans.

Sue Wilson Sproul and Dave of Colorado Springs spent five of the past six winters in Tucson, Ariz. Last year they traveled to Sue’s ancestors’ homeland. (They visited Dave’s in Bavaria in 2012.) In October, they went to London, Sussex, and Jersey. Sue’s Poindexter immigrant ancestors came to Virginia from Jersey in the 1600s, and they toured with a group of U.S. descendants. Instead of spending Christmas with family, they visited Chimayo and Taos, N.M., watching the Taos Indian pueblo dances. They planned to travel to UNC for the May “hooding” of Dave’s son, Chris, who earned a doctorate in toxicology, spend time in Virginia in June, and hang near home until September.


Joan Akers Rothgeb

Kathleen Sprenkle Lisagor

Jane Walshe McCracken

(The following news from Joan Akers Rothgeb was inadvertently omitted from the fall/winter issue of University of Mary Washington Magazine. Sincere apologies to Joan.)

Jane Brungart of Alexandria retired after 38 years with the government printing office. She’s a volunteer English teacher, plays piano at church, and is on a retirement center vestry team. Jane’s in touch with Julia Shumaker Bailess. Mary Douglas Christian Townsend of Fairfax, Va., and her husband were working on her New Kent County family place, built in the late 1700s. Her three children live in Vermont, New York, and Fairfax.

Elaine Clements Gardner of Chester, Va., a military wife working on genealogy dating to 1640, plans to write a story about her family. A granddaughter is a UMW historic preservation major. Elaine’s two children live in Elizabeth City, N.C., and Albany, Ga. Lynn Gourley Farrell has lived in Virginia Beach for 40 years. Her husband has a home building company. Mary Jane Howard Pattisal took a river cruise in France with her husband when he retired as a judge in the Roanoke, Va., area. They have four children. One of their granddaughters was on an internship in Russia.

Patricia Darneille Tennyson of Arlington, Va., retired from the D.C. State Board of Education and sells real estate. Her husband, retired from the Air Force, has a computer business. Adrienne Ames of Nashville held a faculty position in Vanderbilt’s nursing school in the clinical area and administration. A former family nurse practitioner, she is a senior nurse consultant for Vanderbilt’s Executive Nursing Administration.

Retired speech pathologist Nancy O’Neil Robinson of California, on the East Coast last summer, visited Ann Tench Huml at Emerald Isle, N.C. Jeanne Craig Gough and Joan Akers Rothgeb met in Albuquerque last spring. Jeanne shared pictures from a winter dig near the Dead Sea. She reported the death of Carolyn Dunaway ’63, who participated in Tall el-Hammam digs. Biblical Archaeological Review said of Carolyn, “With all the violence and madness in the world today, it is a shame to lose a representative of the best that mankind has to offer.”

In August 2013, Jane Walsh McCracken, on her annual trip to Virginia to visit a relative, planned to meet Emily Lewis and Joan Akers Rothgeb for lunch. Jane’s granddaughter was to play on the University of Maryland’s nationally ranked lacrosse team. Sue Grandy Farrar, director of the Christiansburg, Va., historical museum, arranged for Rosalie Alico Turner to speak at the library there last spring. After promoting her last book, March With Me, on the East Coast, Rosalie returned to Angel Fire, N.M., with husband Frank for summer. The Turners met Joan Akers Rothgeb for lunch when they were in Virginia. Gale Taylor Drew and husband Louis have two children and visit Wintergreen.

From Kathleen: Greetings, ladies! As I wrote our news, another snowstorm was coming and trees were falling here and at our Lewisetta family cottage.

Myrtle Lee Dean France of Montross, Va., retired from Dahlgren, keeps up with Northern Neck friends. She and Billy have two children and two grandchildren in King George. Lillian Ann Dix Smith and Vanelia Oakley Gallagher, who transferred to U.Va.’s nursing school junior year, live in Warsaw. Garnette Lewis Doggette of Yorktown, a retired teacher, told Myrtle that Lorraine Huffman Firestone died of cancer. Our sympathy goes to her family.

Suzy Booth Thurber of Alabama has two boys and seven grandchildren, and teaches continuing education classes. Her husband runs a business mentoring small companies. Suzy said Emily Riker Seaver lives in Colorado with her ski instructor husband, quilts, and has three children and one grandchild.

Bonnie Booker Kinzer lives in Southport, N.C., where my brother, JT Sprenkle, and his wife were moving. Husband Joe retired from the Army, and Bonnie volunteers using nursing skills earned at U.Va. They traveled to Israel with Joe and their Baptist minister, who’s fluent in Hebrew and Greek. Bonnie said Barrie Ruth Jones Tydings, with the nursing group that transferred to U.Va., passed away. Our condolences go to Ron and their family.

The oldest of my eight grandchildren, Kelly Burcher, was to graduate from JMU on the president’s list in May. She gave a piano recital and was student teaching at Waynesboro High School and traveling with them to perform in Puerto Rico. We’ve earned the right to brag, so catch me in Fredericksburg and share news.


Linkey Booth Green

Betsy Lydle Smith

I think our 50th reunion awakened the desire to reconnect. I have news from several people we hadn’t heard from in a while.

Kathy Friedman Levinson and husband Sandy winter in Florida, but she returns to Connecticut to meet clients. Susan Rutan Joehnk wants to stay in touch with everyone. Since reunion, Lois Smith McDaniel, Kitty Hearne Shannon, Bev Sangston, and Diane Lovewell Melton have lunched together. In July, Betsy Loving Robbins and husband George spent time in Florida with the McDaniels. Lois and Howie spent a day in the Villages with Bev Sangston and her sister. Betsy and Lois planned to meet again this summer.

Marna Harlow Mayo said Carolyn Grantham moved to Maidens, Va., after storms continually ravaged her waterfront home on the North River off Mobjack Bay. Marna and Carolyn majored in math and worked at NASA Langley Research Center.

Pat Garrison Lindholm and David attended a Lindholm family reunion in Cocoa Beach; took a Baltic cruise, visiting St. Petersburg, Helsinki, and Stockholm; and traveled to Williamsburg for a relative’s 100th birthday, Albuquerque for the International Balloon Fiesta, and Homecoming Weekend at the University of the South (Sewanee).

Janice Coleman, partially responsible for executing Wendy Shadwell’s bequests to UMW’s art history and English departments, goes to Fredericksburg for activities related to Wendy’s endowment and to her own scholarship. She was donating her family’s Campbell, Va., farm for Mary Washington to sell for a financial boost to the Coleman Family Farm Scholarship at UMW, and she has included the scholarship in her will for further funding. Janice plans to rent an apartment in Fredericksburg as a second home when she leaves NYC.

Karen Gustafson of Weston, Conn., lived and worked in Manhattan for 40 years. Karen studied art history at MWC and theater at George Washington University. She was an interior designer, then worked at Arena Stage in D.C., where she met her first husband. After having daughter Amy and moving to NYC, she became a preschool Montessori teacher. She divorced, took Amy to Italy for a year, and studied Montessori teacher training. Karen made friends in Italy and has returned many times. She planned to be in Sicily in May and Bergamo, where she studied, in September. After eight years teaching and becoming a headmistress, she left to edit interior design and architecture magazines and write design books. Later she started a design public relations firm and worked 25 years for architects, interior designers, and furniture manufacturers. She retired two years ago but planned to do creative writing, possibly for children. Karen still studies Italian and visits Amy, her husband, and two grandchildren in nearby Greenwich. In 30 years together, Karen and her second husband, NYC lawyer Marty Munitz, have been to Nepal, Bhutan, India, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, China and Japan. They’ve traveled in Africa, Europe, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Karen’s in touch with former suitemate Carol Paige Phillips Spruill of Midlothian, Va. Carol had two knee replacements, but she and Karen planned to meet and tour the Mary Washington campus.

Since Sally Tarrant Bernert couldn’t attend the reunion, roommate Mary Saunders Latimer and suitemates Nancy Gibbs, Russell Hatcher Haggerty, and Beth Lisle Turner visited her in  Richmond. Betsy Chamberlain Hartz arrived as they were leaving and had a picture of the group from Sally’s daughter’s wedding. Mary and Sally’s daughters roomed together in college, live in Richmond, and are still close – as their mothers have been for more than 50 years.

From Linkey: My freshman roomie, Mary A. Settle Johnson of Florida, cruised to Greece, Turkey, Ukraine, Romania, and Bulgaria. My sophomore roomie, Jeanne Chabot Wallis, enjoys grandchildren and winters in Florida.

David and I are busy as ever. I discovered that Anne Howell Wood ’70 lives across the Yellow Breeches Creek from me. We met during the spring garden tour and take the Strong Women Stay Young fitness class. I’m involved in AAUW, volunteer at the library, train dogs, and am in book groups. Thanks to all who sent news; please keep it coming.

Judy Ross Flora married U.Va. love Ben Flora, who earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry, taught at Old Dominion University for a year, then engaged in research and development with a research lab. They’ve lived in Burlington, N.C., since 1976. When the children were secure in school, Judy started a 32-year real estate career. She and Ben retired and have three grandchildren. Recently, they traveled with Becky Ryan Dunkenberger and husband Tom, and planned a March trip to St. John.

Ginger Logie Carr and Calvin spent March in Hilton Head, S.C., and visited Eileen Hildebrand Andrews and Ray, who have a Naples, Fla., golf-course condo. While there, they had dinner with Carol Van Ness and Dick Clapp. Ginger and Carol lived together in Boston after college, and they all remain close. Carol didn’t realize Bev Sangston played golf at Carol’s club until Bev left for Marco Island. In Naples, they visited the botanical gardens and took a boat trip through the Everglades mangrove.

Susan Marshall Mayes and Bill married after graduation and had sons Rusty and Tommy. Tommy passed away in 2010. Rusty graduated from Duke, married a girl he met while getting his doctorate at U.Va., and has sons ages 12 and 14. Susan earned an MSW from VCU. She did foster care and in-home counseling, retiring in 2005 as a court service unit director at the City of Richmond’s juvenile court. She later was a program director and intensive counselor for in-home social service agencies. She and her husband travel, golf, and fly fish. Susan and MWC roommate Barbara Yancey Williamson remain friends.

Arlene Drescher Wilson graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design, spent 17 years in Providence, and moved to Nashville, Tenn., eight years ago. She produced fine and wearable art and church textiles for two decades and now paints. Arlene volunteers as a Centering Prayer facilitator for her church and rehabbed a historic thrift shop exterior, benefitting a community house for needy families. She planned to meet childhood friend Betty Chilton Finkle of Los Gatos, Calif., this summer at their beach house on the Rappahannock, as she’s done periodically since grade school. Arlene’s show at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith featured kimonos as art pieces she made after visiting Japan.

Pat Branstetter Revere is still in remission from ovarian cancer. She and Jim took the family on a river cruise in July through Germany, Austria, and Hungary. In November, they traveled to Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia, and cruised on the Mekong River. They looked forward to a rescheduled family trip in August to the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador. Pat was resuming community volunteer work and serving on the UMW Foundation Board.

A visit from a son-in-law and grandson kept Amanda Whichard Cebrowski from the 50th reunion. She and John, married 50 years in April, met when he was in OCS at Quantico. They’ve lived in New Hampshire nearly 10 years, after many moves in the East and Midwest. They have four daughters – in Lake Forest, Ill., Pittsburgh, and San Antonio – and 11 grandchildren. One daughter is with the Nashville Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia and teaches in Woodbridge, Va. Amanda retired as a physician’s office manager when they left Virginia in 2004. John is in his third term as a New Hampshire state representative. Amanda’s sister, Cay Whichard Lewis ’61, died suddenly in January. She will be greatly missed.

Diane Lovewell Melton majored in sociology but had to take typing and shorthand to enter the business world. She’s been a meeting planner for 30 years. Diane plans fun times with Lois Smith McDaniel, Kitty Hearne Shannon, and Bev Sangston. Kathy Levinson Friedman is in much better health, and they hope to have their own spring reunion.

Betty Caudle Marshall and Tom (“Precious Tom”) of Raleigh, N.C., renewed their vows for their 50th. Youngest son Robert, an Episcopal priest, officiated. Their other three children and eight grandchildren participated in the ceremony. Afterward, they visited the Maritime provinces of Canada. Betty is retired and involved with Delta Kappa Gamma, having served as state president. Tom retired early from Barton College, went to Union Theological (Presbyterian) Seminary in Richmond, then served a church in Sanford.

Kay Barret Bilisoly’s sociology/psychology degree and art history courses served her well. She worked for the Fairfax, Va., juvenile court system, stayed home to care for their two children, then became a meeting planner for the Future Homemakers of America headquarters in Reston and an administrative assistant to the South Lakes High School principal. When husband of 50 years Win became self-employed and the kids left 23 years ago, they moved to Wilmington, N.C. There, Kay was administrative assistant to the Cape Fear Academy upper school principal. After retiring, she attended art classes locally and in the American Southwest and Italy. Her work, shown in local galleries, wins the occasional ribbon.

Kay kept in touch with MWC roommate Jo Lynn Howell Savery until she passed away last summer from COPD, complicated by an early Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Kay has visited Barbara Brown Sherrill of San Diego, who left our class to become a nurse, and saw her at their high school reunion. Through Facebook, Kay connected with Violet Olsen Gassman, whose work has appeared in The Artist’s Magazine.

Anne Rasmussen Lyles retired after 32 years teaching but still subs. She’s on the Historic Salisbury Foundation board and, with her two sons and a friend, has restored nine homes in recent years. She had 900 people through her house when it was on an October home show fundraiser.

To see photos on Shutterfly from our 50th reunion, send Linkey your email address. If you have photos of classmates or yourself to share, please put them on our Shutterfly site, “UMW Class of ’63.”

Pete and I (Betsy) still love life on Bainbridge Island, Wash. Karen Vandevanter Chapman took the ferry from Whidbey Island, I took the ferry from “my” island, and we met for lunch at a town in the middle. Let me know if you’re in the Seattle area! It’s wonderful to hear from so many classmates! Keep the cards, letters, and emails coming.


Victoria Taylor Allen

News from our 50th reunion in May/June will appear in the fall/winter issue of UMW Magazine.

If there were prizes for emails sent the longest distance, one would go to Susan Orebaugh Nicholson, who was on an extended tour of Vietnam with her husband when she emailed from the Saigon airport.

Be Davison Herrera was to be in Virginia in May, holding workshops and poetry readings at the Westmoreland County church where her parents were married and she was baptized. Be was invited to do a labyrinth workshop for the Westmoreland County Historical Society and poetry readings around the state. Thanks to our newsletter, several alumnae contacted her to plan dates for readings. Be also plans work in the Richmond-Henrico area, was commissioned to create labyrinths in places as varied as Taos, N.M., Sacramento, Calif., and Virginia Beach, and hoped to stage a photo exhibit of her work.

Jayne Gosnell Helm attended Mary Washington for two years, singing with “The Grace Notes.” She earned a nursing degree at U.Va., worked in NYC, and returned to U.Va. to teach. She earned a master’s degree in nursing from Emory and raised two children in Hawaii, Chester, Va., and Columbia, S.C., with her late first husband. She then taught at USC, where she earned a J.D., and practiced law in Columbia and Charleston, where she became a probate court associate judge in 2002. Jayne suffered a severe stroke in 2010 and moved with her second husband to Raleigh, N.C., near children and grandchildren.

Martha Hanks Cooper visited former roommate Connie Marsh Pollard last fall in Brookline, Mass., enjoying a Greek fish market and a tour of Boston. Connie’s husband, JK, restored their 100-year-old house.

Patti Jones Schacht and Richard’s friend from Germany, the interpreter when they explored Richard’s ancestral roots near the Baltic Sea, visited them early this year. Patti and Richard visited Hawaii with friends and planned a summer trip to Northern Ireland. Patti does ministry at nursing homes and for at-risk youths, and hosts international exchange students working locally.

Sally Crenshaw Witt and I continue to email and looked forward to seeing each other during our 50th.

Thinking about all that’s happened in our world and lives in 50 years is mind-boggling. May we continue to work as agents for peace and happiness in this troubled but beautiful world!


Phyllis Cavedo Weisser

Life is good in Atlanta, except my children are so far away. My son and his family are in Oberammergau, Germany, for the next two-plus years on assignment with NATO. My daughter’s family is in San Jose, Calif. I spent Christmas in Germany, visiting monasteries and castles, and hiking the countryside with grandchildren, ages 6, 4, and 1. In February, I visited grandsons, ages 3 and 1, in California, returning in time for a tennis weekend in Big Canoe. I’m still playing lots of tennis (my knee injury sophomore year slows me down a bit), and I’m in three book clubs. Remember to send me your email addresses as they change.

Patty Boyette Taavoste’s sons were in New Jersey for summer. She was in Alaska in June with her cousin, as she turned 70, and cruised with her brother in Anchorage. She stayed at Marriott’s Sea View in September with husband Heino. In October, she went wine tasting with her Alaska brother and cousins in California, and attended a wedding, with more family, in Miami. Karen Marsteller Nash’s children threw a party for her 70th on a Newport harbor cruise vessel.

Caroline Smith Parkinson and husband Jim live in Richmond. She’s a part-time priest associate at Richmond’s St. James’ Episcopal Church, consulting for parish search committees and vestries, and serving on the Virginia Theological Seminary and John Marshall Foundation boards of trustees. She visits children and grandchildren. The whole family celebrated her 70th with a long weekend in Williamsburg.

Barbara Wohlfeil Weatherall traveled to Europe in September, visiting Zillertal in Austria, taking the train across Switzerland, and stopping in the Dordogne region of France. Louise Stevens Robbins took a food, art, and music tour of Tuscany in fall. She’s a volunteer consultant with the Red Cliff Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa as they work toward a library and immersion school, and as an editor with the Simpson Street Free Press, a Madison, Wis., afterschool program. She celebrated her 70th in January with son Greg and his family, including grandchildren Cole, 14, and Harper, 12; her Madison son Patrick; and a host of friends. Penelope Partridge Booth had been helping with grandsons ages 11 and 13 in Needham, Mass., and grandsons ages 6 and 10 and a granddaughter, 7, in Apex, N.C. She planned a river cruise between Paris and Prague in May with her retired sister.

Janice Helvey Robinson and Rob of the Atlanta area get together with children and grandchildren Katie, 14, a high school freshman; Abby, 6; Samantha, 4; and Will, almost 2. They took a western Mediterranean cruise, rented a southern Italy condo, and visited Jackson Hole and Vail. They planned to spend time in Annapolis, Md., for Rob’s 50th Naval Academy reunion. They visited Janice’s sister and her family in New Market, Va., and traveled to Yorktown, Jamestown, Williamsburg, Mount Vernon, and Montpelier last year. They enjoy church, choir, movies, golf, puzzles, and bridge.

Diane Copty Fadely’s husband, Milt, passed away unexpectedly in February.


Katharine Rogers Lavery

Barbara Bishop Mann and Robert visited Roger and Ryan Stewart Davis in the Canadian Rockies in fall. In June, they went to St. Petersburg, Helsinki, and Stockholm. In fall, they cruised around Italy and visited Greek islands and Dubrovnik, Croatia. They spent Thanksgiving with Bobbi’s niece’s family near Atlanta. At Christmastime, Bobbi and Jana Privette Usry had a long overdue lunch. In January, Robert and Bobbi celebrated the 100th anniversary of the construction of the Panama Canal by traveling through it on their way to Costa Rica. Imagine Bobbi’s surprise to find Mary Grace Wright Day on the same excursion!

Jana Privette Usry planned an April trip, her first overseas, with her sister, Pamela, to visit their nephew, Scott, in Prague for her great-niece’s fourth birthday. When Jana turned 70 in October, she staged a party at the country club to thank everyone who supported her through her long bout with cancer. There was a silent auction, a DJ, dancing, and awards for her “care team.” Family members came from as far away as Albuquerque, N.M., and they raised nearly $4,000 for the American Cancer Society. Jana sings with Richmond’s One Voice Chorus and resumed her mediation services. Her Shih Tzu, Willie Wonka, turned 1 in December.

Joan Cuccias Patton visited the Big Island in Hawaii, Tampa, Fla., the Outer Banks and Black Mountain, N.C., Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head, S.C., and Dauphine Island, Ala. She traveled with friends to Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and England, and cruised to Turkey and Greece. Joan substitute teaches high school math, was in her community’s little theater spring production, and joined an 18-hole golf league. Her youngest grandchild is in kindergarten; the eldest is in middle school.

Marty Spigel Sedoff and husband Bob visited NYC in March with the Edina High School thespians; South Carolina with family; Boston for Bob’s college friend’s birthday; Vermont, completing Marty’s visit to all 50 states; and Costa Rica in December. Bob designed a set for Fiddler on the Roof, which was selected to be performed at the June International Thespian Festival. Bob and Marty planned to travel with the group as chaperones. Bob lost more than 90 pounds and 15 inches on his waist. He race sails in summer. Marty, a substitute paraprofessional, works with K-12 special needs students, served as a standardized math test scorer for Questar last spring, volunteers with the Cowles dance theater, plays bridge, takes tap and water aerobics classes, and golfs.

Kathleen Goddard Moss welcomed former Turkish exchange student Selay in December for an extended visit. Selay and her trilingual children, Kuzey, 6, and Zeynep, 2, traveled from China to the U.S. and accompanied Kathleen and Tom to Ohio to visit son Dave, Lanita, Cheryl, and Quentin. Kathy welcomed great-nephew Peter, her sister Eileen Goddard Albrigo’s 11th grandchild. Kathy and Tom work part time but might move to a retirement facility in 2016.

Cherie Wells Brumfield and husband Joe sold their Port Orange, Fla., house and moved temporarily to an Orlando apartment. Their partly disabled daughter and only grandson are nearby. Cherie and Joe visited their older daughter in Washington, D.C., in February, traveled to New Orleans in March, and took a Thanksgiving cruise through the Panama Canal.

Anne Meade Clagett’s husband, John, had an angioplasty in spring and four stents placed in his right leg. In fall, Anne had a hip replacement and physical therapy. They’ve resumed normal activities. Anne’s active with “Republican stuff” in and around Fauquier County, Va. They had to put their dear cat, Night, to rest in spring.

Pam Kearney Patrick’s husband, TaB, retired from his second career. Peggy Beeler Burns of Florida was to visit them while in Virginia to see her two grandchildren. Carol Bingley Wiley and Pam Hughes Ward were also to join them while Carol visited Pam on the Northern Neck. Pam was accepted into the Potomac Valley Watercolorists and received a monetary award last August for best watercolor.

Lois Rucker Scott attended an Asheville, N.C., knitting and quilting retreat in January for the sixth consecutive year. It gives her a break from managing her family of six. Husband Sam had many medical complications last year, after a 2012 triple bypass surgery and three additional surgeries, yet still works full time. Lois called Kathy Pollard Wood of Indianapolis on her birthday in January. Kathy’s four children organized a surprise birthday party for her.

Susan Hanes Chaney accompanied husband Bill to Washington, D.C., in April to see the WWII Memorial. After living in Northern Virginia, they enjoy the slow pace and peaceful scenery of Deltaville, where they fish, garden, and take riverside walks. In August, they stayed in Michigan’s Mackinac Island Grand Hotel. They stopped at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn on their way to visit cousins in Ohio, where Bill was feted for his 90th birthday. As the only WWII veteran at his ship’s September reunion in Mobile, he had the honor of placing the memorial wreath for service aboard the USS Alabama.

Mary Kathryn Rowell Horner and husband Charlie golfed in Fort Myers, Fla., in winter, returning to Alexandria for Mary Kathryn’s annual March duty with Nellie’s Needlers in the Woodlawn Plantation tearoom. Katharine Rogers Lavery suggested the Mary Washington Lunch Bunch meet there while Mary Kathryn tended bar. Sandra Hutchison Schanné and Clara Middleton Leigh ’64 drove with her, expecting to meet Pam Kearney Patrick, Lois Rucker Scott, Kathleen Goddard Moss, Eileen Goddard Albrigo, Joan Cuccias Patton, Anne Kales Lindblom, and other classmates there.

Last spring Ryan Stewart Davis and Roger celebrated their niece’s graduate work in Bologna and visited Roger’s Italian relatives. They caught up with Carl and Mary Ann Pyne White during their November visit and spent family time at Christmas in Albuquerque, N.M., on a hot air balloon ride piloted by Ryan’s sister-in-law. They planned a March trip to Maui with Ginny Bateman Brinkley and her family.

Dee Dee Nottingham Ward of San Diego sold her CPA firm in 2010 but still works nearly full time. Her son has MS but is well and skis at Mammoth Mountain with his two girls. Dee Dee is active in the MS Society. She and Nat were sorting stamps and albums, Nat’s hobby. They spend time in their mountain home. Dee Dee was sorry to miss a January UMW alumni happy hour.

Betsy Chappelear Tryon of Redondo Beach, Calif., has a four-female family, including Sophie Cat. Granddaughter Maddy, 12, has made Betsy the shortest family member! A retired teacher, she meets and greets travelers at LAX.

Katharine Rogers Lavery and husband Hank succumbed to pressure from peers – Hank’s Long Island, N.Y., grammar school classmates – and took a March cruise to St. Thomas. As we turn 70, they’re already 80 and figured it was now or never. Katharine and Hank visited family and friends on the way to Florida. At an Irish Tenors holiday concert, Katharine noticed the trumpeter was Justin Nurin, son of Susan Roth Nurin!

Kitty Downs Gregg and Don survived the Denver winter but dream of moving to Florida, perhaps the Naples area. They’d been downsizing and updating to prepare the house for sale. Daughter Cindy and husband Tom of Denver work for Accenture. Son Chris of Arlington, Va., works for the U.S. Treasury Department and is pursuing a second master’s degree.

Annette Maddra Horner travels from Elizabeth City, N.C., to Charlotte and to Alexandria, Va., to see her granddaughter and three grandsons, all under 5. Annette was on the committee for nominating a new Episcopal Diocese of East Carolina bishop. She was relatively new to the area, and the yearlong project helped her learn about the region and use her professional skills in retirement. Last August she and her husband traveled to Norway, from Oslo to Bergen, up the coast, above the Arctic Circle to the northernmost human habitations, and just short of the Russian border. Highlights were the fjords and the cities of Trondheim and Tromso. In Amsterdam, they revisited renovated museums they’d seen more than 20 years ago when Annette was a frequent business traveler to the Netherlands and Belgium. She recommends Amsterdam: A History of the World’s Most Liberal City by Russell Shorto. 

Diana Hamilton Cowell is retired and moved with her husband in 2009 from Huntington, W.Va., to South Bethany, Del. Dennis and Mary Morris Bishop visited after our 45th class reunion. Diana was working to facilitate the sister city relationship between Bethany Beach and Periers, France, in the Normandy region. She had close ties with Periers after visiting often with her father, who was there during WWII. Diana and Dan, avid bikers and boaters, volunteer with the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company and other groups. After heading the South Bethany Neighborhood Watch program, Dan turned it over to Diana, who also participates in the South Bethany Women’s Club, McCabe’s Babes (named after the deli where they meet), and the Inland Bays spring horseshoe crab and summer fish count. The Cowells enjoy the Rehoboth Beach Film Society’s year-round films and live Metropolitan Opera broadcasts. Still a lap swimmer, Diana plunged into a 45-degree Atlantic Ocean on New Year’s Day during the Leo Brady Exercise Like the Eskimos Plunge! Their children live in Ocean Beach, Calif.; Spring Grove, Pa.; Clayton, Del. (with two grandchildren); and Huntington.


Nancy McDonald Legat

Terry Clement Mouser of Louisville, Ky., is retired and has five grandchildren, ages 11 to 16, and 6-year-old Maltese Snowball.

Elizabeth “Beth” Moses Mathes is starting a business writing books about personal and family histories. Her first book was Homeward Bound: A Boy’s Life in World War II Era England, a story of Englishman Peter Ritchie. Beth was learning to produce books, deal with copyright issues and ISBNs, and find the right graphic designer and printer. She moved back to her hometown, Ashland, Va., three years ago, and bets that stirs up Randolph-Macon memories for many of you! She asks classmates to write in to UMW Magazine.

Donna Sinclair Seward, Catherine Wilson, and Claudia Bischoff Vroman traveled to China last year to celebrate 50 years of friendship. Highlights include Shanghai, a Yangtze River cruise in the Three Gorges Dam area, the Terracotta Army, climbing the Great Wall, and visiting the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Their journey ended in Hong Kong. Catherine and Donna get together with Sandi Lawhorne Green. Catherine visits Robin Williams Blair in Northern Virginia, where they all live. And they visit Claudia in Virginia Beach.

Patsy Monahan Holden is retired but works part time at a counseling agency. She and husband Mike visited friends and family in the Carolinas early this year. They planned a river cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam in September for their 46th anniversary. Last year they went to Italy. They travel from their home near Houston to visit their triplets and their families, who all live in Austin. Patsy hears from Florence Bishop at Christmas.

Nancy McDonald Legat and husband Dan of Lexington, S.C., were to celebrate 47 years of marriage in June. They have three daughters, three sons-in-law, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandson, all in the Columbia, S.C., area. Nancy and Dan travel, like movies from the ’40s, walk, read, and babysit their “grand dogs.”

Laurie Newman DiPadova-Stocks’daughter’s son, Max, 7, was on Jimmy Kimmel Live early this year. Max has brain cancer and has undergone five brain surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation since age 4. The suit Jimmy Kimmel wore on the show was auctioned on eBay with proceeds donated to the MaxLove Project. “How Max is doing is how I am doing,” Laurie said. “As long as he is doing OK, I am doing OK!”


Meg Livingston Asensio


Linda Marett Disosway

Iris Harrell and partner Ann went to Kenya in February for a safari, seeing elephants, zebras, giraffes, and Cape Horn buffaloes. Iris hopes to golf and see more of the world after she retires in June from her remodeling company, to be 100 percent employee-owned by then.

Phyllis Newby Thompson visited daughter Lauren, a VH1 producer, in Tribeca Manhattan in February and son Seth in Yountville, Calif., in Napa Valley, where he planned an August wedding. Phyllis and Suzanne McCarthy Van Ness meet for coffee, movies, and lectures. They lived within a mile of each other in northern California for more than 30 years before reconnecting.

Jeanine Zavrel Fearns spent time at her family’s mountain cabin near Berkeley Springs, W.Va., in winter. She planned a June trip to Alaska’s Denali National Park and a cruise down the coast to Vancouver. Jane Jackson Woerner took an Eastern Caribbean cruise with family members last March, then checked on her mother, 92, who’s in a Bristol, Va., assisted living facility.

Since husband Paul’s 96-year-old mother moved in with them, Nancy Yeager Allard doesn’t travel as much. She goes to the theater, is involved in church activities and literary advocacy, and is co-president of Friends of the George Mason Library.

When President Hurley couldn’t attend the March inauguration of the new Winthrop University president in Rock Hill, S.C., Linda Gattis Shull was delighted to be asked to fill in for him.

By now, our 45th reunion is over. I hope many of you reconnected with classmates. We’ll have a full report of the weekend in the next UMW Magazine.