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Fall 2003

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Centennial spotlight

On campus

Faculty focus

Arts on view



Class notes

  1940 | 1941 | 1942 | 1943 | 1944 | 1945 | 1946 | 1947 | 1948 | 1949


Genevieve Oliver Littlefield


Miriam Ogden Cudmore

As of June, Adele Bagg Durward is a great-grandmother. She has been enjoying her life in assisted-living accommodations after living alone for many years.

Jeannette Partridge Harrison reports being in good health, enjoying life, and doing lots of volunteer work.

Dorothy Shaw Panning’s grandson graduated from Winter Park Tech in May; a granddaughter is a 7th-grader who was made a member of her school’s honors society.


Cynthia Taft Lathrop

Corrine Kramer Gelbard’s husband, Dave, retired from his internal medicine practice in Burbank, CA, where he was a former medical consultant to the Walt Disney Studios—or, as their children said, “Mickey Mouse’s doctor.” The couple enjoys lots of traveling, cruising, and spending time with their four adult children and their families.

Lila Baruth Pelton always enjoys reading class notes, but is still amazed that “our memories now go back 65 years! Impossible!”

Beverly Blickman Yunich spends a lot of time with twin sister Gloria Blickman Horwitz in Rochester, NY. Over the summer, she exhibited artwork in NYC and enjoyed the racing season in Saratoga Springs. Beverly is thankful for her “two very supportive sons.”

After the death of Rodney, her husband of 60 years, Alice Carroll Stambaugh is making preparations to move to Medford, OR, to be near her daughter. Her other children also reside on the West Coast. Her artwork and artist affiliations, Alice says, are “a blessing.”

In May Lois Clark McCoy received the “Golden Link” award from the Armed Forces Communications and Electronic Association for her work on the U.S. Defense Emergency Response Integration Project. She was also named one of the federal government’s top 100 contributors to her field by Federal Computer Week magazine. A member of the National Research Council’s Committee on Army Science and Technology for Homeland Security, Lois is an associate trustee of the AFCEA.

Jessie Dent Cook is a longtime resident of Arlington, VA. She enjoys spending time with her six grandchildren, ages 11 to 21, and travels extensively. She toured the West Coast by train this past summer.

Judy Helmick Settle spends the Colorado summers playing golf, visiting with her daughters and their families, playing bridge, quilting, and visiting friends. She also volunteers in a nearby hospital’s intensive care waiting room twice a week. She loves her roomy apartment on the sixth floor of a great retirement home, but insists she’s “not really retired yet.”

Helen Kindergan Higgins and husband Milton spent the summer in their Maine residence and then attended an Elderhostel in Washington, DC, before heading home to Downey, CA.

Nancy Jack Bell works as a volunteer at the local library and in the office of her church.

Elaine Lorson is adjusting to her move to a new community residence close to the medical center where she worked for many years as director of nutrition.

Connie Nathan Tupper has contended with spinal stenosis and arthritis for the past two years. She underwent surgery last December and is just beginning to return to her former interests: writing, painting, and tennis.

In Oregon Katharine Smith Macpherson is active in the mental health association. Son Gregory has followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather by becoming a member of the Oregon legislature.

Peter Steiner VanDyk’s summer gardening efforts were hampered by difficult weather. She is still golfing and spent a week in Virgin Gorda “happily being waited on hand and foot” by her daughter and family.

Flannel Chayes Lathrop phoned from Anchorage, AK, to report that she became a great-grandmother. One of her sons is a pharmacist; the other is a dentist. Flannel enjoys bridge and working out in a gym. She carries oxygen with her, making extensive travel a bit challenging.

Betty “Estey” Westbrook’s osteoarthritis and macular degeneration have forced her to give up tennis and paddle tennis. The thriving thrift shop at her church keeps her busy. She enjoyed seeing the racehorse Funny Cide in Saratoga this past summer.

I’m still up to the same old activities—skiing, tennis, and volunteer work at our marvelous local science center—just doing them a little more slowly. Working on our older home, which requires a lot of TLC, is a constant activity. We wonder how much longer we can keep at it. Fourteen grandchildren and one great-grandson keep family gatherings hopping.


Mary Sinon Sayer

I dictated our class notes to Alice Mazuzan Pollard after breaking a wrist during a spill I took after Reunion! Would you believe we had 25 classmates plus many guests in Saratoga Springs for our 60th? What a pleasure to see so many classmates! And don’t think we weren’t talking about of all of the rest of you. The attendees came by car and plane, often with spouses or children, and made for a delightful weekend.

Helen Cochran Wearin, accompanied by daughter Elizabeth, drove from Iowa to attend her first-ever reunion.

Gloria May Sessions brought several works for display in the alumni art exhibition at the Tang Museum, where Phylis White Reinauer displayed some of her poetry and other writings.

Cynthia Camp Hoyt, who rode to Reunion from New Hampshire with Mary Folsom Crocker, reports that she has had to give up snowmobiling, which she so enjoyed.

Cynthia Camp Hoyt is in contact with Elizabeth Smith Linke, who sent the college a map of the old campus, circa 1943. The framed map now hangs in Scribner Library.


Reunion ’04!

Dorothy Roman Guenther

Mark your calendars now for our 60th reunion, June 3–6, 2004. We hope to see you there!

Edith DeMott Hutchison takes advantage of her proximity to Philadelphia, attending programs at the new Kimmel Center and the Philadelphia Museum. Edie had lunch with Sally Seelbach Narrigan and husband Richard. They also visit Ronnie Whiting Brandon quite a bit.

Genevieve Gerard Conroy, who is still a licensed realtor, hopes to sell their house in La Jolla, CA, so they can move to a retirement community. Husband Dick still works part-time at the Scripps Clinic and plays tennis for fun. Genevieve, who is very active with the Social Service League of La Jolla, which supports 52 seniors in an apartment complex, says there is “never a dull moment.” Her latest assignment is helping to manage the league’s endowment fund. The Conroys had planned to visit China this spring, but opted instead for a later trip to Cabo San Lucas. Their daughter, Abby, and her two teenage children live in Burlington, VT, where she works with the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Ann Libbey Spelman lives in Wykagyl, NY, and has “three wonderful sons and six extraordinary grandchildren.” She has fond memories of Skidmore and sends warm regards to classmates.

Doris Merz Wyckoff loves reading class notes. She lives in a community of 24 clubhouse villas in Atlantis, FL, where she is “a sort of den mother.” Doris plays a lot of duplicate bridge and enjoys driving for the Red Cross. On a recent trip to visit children in Summit, NJ, she spent time with Alex Schuyler Squire.

Gertrude “Buff” Osterhoudt Cooke and her husband moved to a retirement community in Westminster, CO, close to their daughter and her husband, who live in Boulder. They enjoy a great view of the mountains from their fourth-floor apartment. “It was hard to leave Midland, TX, after 40 years,” says Buff, “but we love our new surroundings, and the evening meals are great.”

Jane Pearce Lowe, who lives in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, reports that oldest son Jim owns Gallery 100 on Broadway in Saratoga Springs. Her other two sons also live in the Northeast. Six grandchildren are nearing adulthood; Jane reports, “I just gave my golf clubs to one of the girls–time is flying.”

In May Jane Zirinsky Haskell was given the Tribute to Women in Arts & Letters from the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh. A week earlier, she received the Citizen of the Year Award in the Arts from the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition there.

Virginia Gray McNear stays busy tending house and garden and working at four volunteer jobs.

Our sympathy to Betty Samson Beranbaum, who lost husband Samuel in May.


Olga Massimiano Gigante

Sally Bogan Jenkins had a wonderful visit in Duluth, MN, with longtime friend Toodie Sneve Starkey and Toodie’s four children, several grandchildren, and a great-grandchild.

Marjorie Hill Laughton is substitute teaching again this fall and planning on a cruise to Lisbon in November.

Ruth Peters Doyle celebrated her 80th birthday with 20 children and grandchildren. Ruth still gardens, volunteers, swims, and plays tennis.

Kay Krauskopf Brylawski is also celebrating the “big birthday year.” Her entire family gathered for a six-day Mexican cruise. In July she went to the Canadian Rockies, then traveled to England and Scotland in September. Closer to home, she enjoys playing bridge, visiting art museums, and working part-time as a travel agent.

Pat O’Connell Reach enjoyed a family reunion with 40 descendents of her mother and father from throughout the U.S. Attendees were treated to meals, a bus trip to points of interest, and a video that included family photos from the past 80 years.

Phyllis Sperans Halpern’s husband, Parker, is recovering from back fractures. They were hoping to return to Wellesley, MA, in August for an extended stay. Phyllis is active in numerous art, education, and music programs.

Isabel Sherwin Harris lives in Village on the Green, a retirement village in Longwood, FL, where she teaches painting and produces artwork.

Ruth Swarthout Stone’s husband, Douglas, died in April of an infection. Ruth writes that he “made a positive impression on everyone he met with his wonderful wit and kindness.” The couple’s three daughters, one of whom is building a home next door to Ruth, are a great help.

Professional artists and longtime friends Susan Rabinowitz Malloy and Carlyn Feldman Fisher met in Jekyll Island, GA, to draw, paint, and talk over their days as Skidmore art majors. In March, 175 people came to Susan’s studio for an art tour; in June she was a prize winner at the Westport Art Center members show.

Betty Spoerl Eckerson say she “can’t believe how busy life can be at our age.” Active with the Historical Society of Early American Decoration (www.hometown.aol.com/hseadbg) she spends a lot of time painting. Betty’s husband is a trombonist who performs with three bands. Although their family is scattered, they manage to keep in touch.

Ruth Engel Wagner and her husband have moved to a retirement community in Williamsport, MD, to be closer to their daughter.

Phyllis Friedman Levenson, a volunteer at her local hospice office, enjoys her bridge groups and music. She played recently for a show, “Tall Tales of Paul Bunyan.” Mostly she enjoys her grandchildren. The twins graduated from college this year and both have great jobs; the 13-year-old visited four European countries this summer as part of the People to People Eisenhower Program; and the youngest went to camp for the first time.

Since the death of husband Bill in February, Jan Sharp Adkins’s children and grandchildren have rallied around her.

Martha Reid Cucci is gradually adjusting to widowhood. Her husband, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, died unexpectedly after surgery following a fall at an assisted-living facility. Says Martha, “I was advised to keep busy, so I do—taking trips with seniors and to see my children, being active in AARP advocacy programs, and doing church work.”

Virginia Lintern Sneve’s granddaughter Susan graduated from UC Davis in June. Susan’s mother is Virginia Sneve Patch ’67.

Mary MacIver Crabtree attributes much of the richness of her life to the Skidmore experience and “the work of its devoted professors.”

Janet Hutton Sargent welcomed her fourth grandchild, a boy, last September in Iowa City, IA.

My husband, Jim, who underwent heart surgery last April, has fully recovered. In honor of his 80th birthday, our five daughters threw him a party, attended by the whole family. Jim treated the guests to a speech, in which he stated, “When I get out of line, the girls call me ‘his colonelship.’”


Miriam Blechman Grimes


Ruth Schleicher Kroon

Elizabeth Swartz Fisher’s two adopted greyhounds keep her going. The lovable hounds sleep most of the time, which is perfect for Swartzie, who is still trying to conquer sleep apnea.

Since retiring, Jacqueline Streeter Jones and her husband have been traveling the U.S. in their RV. They take longer trips in spring and fall, with shorter journeys in between. She is still playing tennis on her backyard court.

After many years in a condo overlooking Boston Harbor, Jerry Lehmann Moats has relocated inland to a residence in Lebanon, NH, not far from where she lived shortly after graduation. Being provided with three meals a day, starting with oatmeal, is proving “quite agreeable.”

News from fund co-chair Mary Miller Solari tells of successive surgeries for thyroid, pacemaker, and breast and lymph-node removal—all successful, but quite an ordeal. At the most, Mary writes, “one would have sufficed.” We send her our wishes for full recovery.

Eleanore Steffens Nissley is one busy lady. The President of Steffens Realty Company, Rocky serves as vice chair of the New Jersey Republican State Committee and the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission. She is a member of Interchange Bank’s Corporate Governance board and also sits on the boards of the Boy Scout Council of Northern New Jersey and the Bergen Community College Foundation. When not engaged in business, Rocky spends time with a crew of 16 grand- and great-grandchildren.

Barbara Fitch Beckett and husband George were among the crowd at the second annual performance of the Hyannis Sound at the Cape Cod alumni club event in late July. At least one member of this year’s group hailed from Skidmore’s Bandersnatchers.

Do Dunkel Jerman has “returned to earth” after taking an opulent (and free) two-week cruise on Crystal Serenity’s maiden voyage from Southampton to Germany, Denmark, Norway, Scotland, and Ireland.

In mid-May, my husband entered a nursing home and I started to adjust to not being a constant caregiver. Later that month, I spent two nights on campus sharing quarters with the Class of ’48 as they celebrated their 55th reunion. I found the alumni art exhibition at the Tang Museum quite compelling and also enjoyed two art lectures. Saturday night’s fireworks were spectacular, even in the rain.

Although Cape Cod’s weather didn’t quite live up to expectations this summer, nothing quelled the spirits of our seasonal residents and visitors. Ongoing research to identify the best chowder and lobster roll continued to a point where I wasn’t sure I’d ever want another taste of either. My colleagues in this endeavor were summer visitors Cilla Wheeler Vickery, who lives in Sarasota, FL, and was as determined as I was; and Longmeadow, MA, resident Barbara Sidd Behan and Ridgeway, NJ, resident Eleanore “Rocky” Steffens Nissley, both of whom weren’t far behind!


Ruth Bloch Baltimore

Suzanne Strauss Kraus

Reunion was a time for wine and roses, a time for reuniting old friendships and uniting new ones, a time to remember those who are no longer with us, and a time to experience the new. We were touched by the thoughtful and personal remarks of Susan Kress, professor of English and holder of ’48’s endowed faculty chair. Clad in yellow and white with matching umbrellas, we marched to strains of bagpipes. It was wonderful.

We offer thanks to our reunion planners and leaders, Dotsie Slosson Erskine, Tibby VanNess Reid, Leggie D’Wolf (also our fund chair), and Barbara Belz Reeves; to our outgoing class secretary, Esther Lacey Anderson; and to our FOP chair, Jessica Weis Warren. Our new class officers include co-presidents Leggie D’Wolf and Barbara Belz Reeves, fund chairs Joan Theobald Mitchell and June Baker Bremer, and co-secretaries Ruth Bloch Baltimore and me.

Yvonne Scott Waples’s favorite reunion memory is “sharing laughs, shedding tears, and realizing that, after 55 years, the class of 1948 continues to be a close, loyal group of gals.”

Susanne Lutz Dean, who was sorry she missed our 55th, spent the summer in Quague, Long Island. She would love to hear from classmates.

Suzy Menzel Snyder especially enjoyed a guided tour of the Saratoga National Historical Park by Skidmore staff member Ronnie Greenwood (which delighted her husband, Bryan, a descendent of Revolutionary War hero General Phillip Schuyler), and Professor Emeritus James Kettlewell’s architectural tour of Saratoga Springs, which brought back “beautiful memories of my Skidmore days.”

In March Maryanne Meyer Kaemmerlen met Bernice Williams, Jean Shields, and Sally Sloat for lunch in Sarasota, FL. She and husband Phil also visited daughter Susan’s mountaintop home in Colorado, where she raises Missouri fox-trotter horses. In October Maryanne and Phil joined Marion “Shorty” Crouze Chase and husband Phil for a riverboat trip through Switzerland, France, Germany, Holland, and Belgium.


Reunion ’04!

Edith Armend Holtermann

Betti Detrick Williams has settled in her new residence in New Hampshire, close to children there and in Maine and Connecticut. Represented by several galleries in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, Bette paints about 30 hours a week, plays bridge, and attends garden clubs.

After surgery to replace both knees and a hip, Littleton, CO, resident Edith Lange Smith considers herself a member of the “bionic women’s club.” She has ten grandsons (two are married), a granddaughter, and two great-grandchildren. The clan is spread throughout Colorado, Texas, and Utah.

In retirement Adelaide Hodgman Marx and hubby have toured Western Europe (England, Scotland, Wales, and France) four times. Closer to home, she enjoys spending time in her Berkshire Mountains cabin and is making plans to attend Reunion 2004.

Phyl Dye Turner received a Bravo for the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award from the Indiana Arts Council for her work on behalf of local community theater and the Terre Haute Swope Museum, where she is docent, board president, and exhibition and program chair. In September she and husband Ned traveled to Alaska with daughter Marjorie and husband Bob, who live in Albuquerque, NM.

Margery Heilbronner Becker’s mother celebrated her 100th birthday with a fun-filled family dinner courtesy of creative grandchildren who filled the evening with songs, poems, and speeches. More festivities ensued three weeks later, when daughter Joan was married.

Joyce Watkins Bates has a seventh grandchild, thanks to son Rick and wife Wendy. A docent at the Northwest Art Museum, Joyce is also president of the La Carmen Civic Garden club. She reports that her eighth year of remission “makes life great.”

Sandra Worley Brown enters her 15th year of a program that involves taking her dog, Cadbury, to nursing homes and children’s schools. A board member of the Pasco (FL) Kennel Club, Sandra often spends up to eight hours judging AKC tracking tests. She also enjoys playing mixed-doubles tennis, which “is not so strenuous.”

Nancy Hosking Junkins and husband Alan rented a cottage in Scotland last spring. They met interesting people, explored castles and abbeys, and located Alan’s family’s ancestral home from 1667—a structure that retained some of the original homestead. Nancy visited with Judy Sturtevant Harris in May and plans to attend Reunion next June.

Leah Cunningham Wood won two gold medals at Senior Sports Day at the Boca Raton, FL, community where she and her husband live. Handily capturing first place in the grapefruit toss, she also beat out all male competitors in the football throw.

To celebrate their 50th anniversary, Lee Horsefall Pihlcrantz and husband spent three nights at the Fontainebleau hotel in Miami.

Despite health challenges, Kay Christie Shaw enjoyed a top year for gallery sales. Her eighth grandchild arrived from China and joined an older sister, also born in China. Kay, who has two nieces from Holland, feels “very international.” Her traveling has covered New Jersey, Maine, Vermont, and the British Virgin Islands. She recommends that classmates who are singers find the Zulu song Siyahamba, which Kay claims “will bring the house down.” She hopes to attend Reunion.

Siggie Sletteland Behring spent her 20th winter in Hawaii, where she hosted Georganne Hinchliff Eggers and hubby Gordon. The Behrings’ son, Ed, recently purchased a seed company in Chico, CA.

Mary Lou Woodruff Thompson took a Western Caribbean cruise, visiting Nassau, Belize, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Key West, FL.

In April Phyl Harder Reininger and husband Dick joined Leah Cunningham Wood and husband Chuck and Doris Higgons Popenoe and husband Pete for a “Skidmore-Colgate mini-reunion.” Chuck and Pete are Colgate graduates.

Cary Bruner Dean and husband Hank summered at their St. Lawrence River cottage in Ontario, Canada, where they hosted three of their four children and their families in July. Daughter Leslie and family drove from Houston, TX, providing 16-year-old son Casey an opportunity to get some experience behind the wheel. The Deans also housed the second-eldest of their ten grandchildren, Jared, and his family—including Cary’s three great-grandchildren—over the summer. Cary and Hank stay active in their church and golf outings.

Ellie Rao Witthoefft has become a “tennis addict,” thanks to her membership at the Whippoorwill Club in Sarasota, FL. A regular attendee at Skidmore’s Sarasota club events, she particularly enjoyed a performance by the Bandersnatchers earlier this year. Ellie stays trim and happy building sand castles with her three grandchildren.

Joyce Watkins Bates loves living at Shelter Bay in La Conner, WA, where she and her husband have access to a yacht club, golf, tennis, pools, and a beach. They enjoy sharing with their four children and seven grandchildren. Joyce, who is president of the local garden club and a museum docent, says, “I’m in good health and love to travel.”

Madeline Flood Peel had a wonderful visit with Lou and Murray Bailey Schulze and chatted recently with Marge Campbell Armstrong, Sandy Worley Brown, and Jane Holmes Klammer.

Elizabeth Wersen Schlossberg’s brother William, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Air Corps, was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery in May. Betty attended a Carnegie Hall performance of Carmina Burana, at which soprano Ana Rojas, a family friend, made her debut.

Our sympathy goes out to Beverly Cox Smith, whose husband, Charles, died suddenly of a heart attack in February 2002.


© 2003 Skidmore College