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Spring 2003

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Centennial spotlight

On campus

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Alumni affairs
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Class notes

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Genevieve Oliver Littlefield

Charlotte Stern Roubey has been transformed by taking a computer class “for grandmas” and is now eager to hear from you via e-mail at skiddy40@msn.com. In November son Robert and wife Lisa put on a gala bash in honor of Charlotte’s 85th birthday. The event took place in a New Orleans restaurant and included flowers, candles, and music—“an old-fashioned party where you sit down and get waited on,” Charlotte says. “Robert knows what mama likes!”

Virginia “Jidda” Hayes Shaul became a great-grandmother last Christmas, with the birth of Corin Bell. Jidda’s oldest grandson and family traveled from their home in London to visit her.

In December Mary Heber Mathews moved to a retirement home in Madison, CT. Sadly, her beloved dog Luv, who had been cleared to live with her, passed away a few weeks later.

Margaret Schwem Sager escaped the frigid Northeast for 19 days in January. The Holland America cruise ship took her along the coast of South America. The trip was a welcome respite for Schwemmie, who is helping care for two ailing sisters.


Miriam Ogden Cudmore

Adele Bagg Durward was accompanied by husband Al and daughter Nancy on a trip to Machias, ME, where she observed an array of “lovely birds.”

Shirley Carbon Knapp’s grandson David was married last June. Shirley is delighted that there are now “three Mrs. Knapps.”

Eleanor Colburn Zoller enjoyed beautiful scenery and side trips during a trip to France last fall with her daughter-in-law and several other friends. The group topped off their travels by spending two days in Paris. Back home, Ellie continues taking bridge lessons, rug hooking, and doing volunteer work.

Jane Dewey Cash is getting adjusted to her new home in North Andover, MA, after selling her Melrose residence. She spent the winter in Dania, FL, where she met two other Skidmore alumnae who live nearby.

Helen Evarts Banks is settling into her new home with daughter Mary in Rochester, NY. She continues to wonder, “Why do we accumulate so much stuff?”

Edith Griffiths Dawson reports that husband Larry died of Alzheimer’s disease in October. She is glad she made the move to an independent living complex three years ago, especially while recuperating from two hip replacements last year. Although she has cut back on volunteer work, she still enjoys playing bridge with her five grandchildren, ages 4 to 22.

George and Mildred Herridon Webster spent Thanksgiving with their family outside Philadelphia, PA. They have a daughter and a son in the area as well as two great-grandchildren. Mildred learned that Eleanor Baldwin Walter has moved into a nursing home in Charlton, MA.

Ruth Jensen McWilliams is delighted that eldest son Chris and wife Paula live near the Danvers, MA, assisted-living facility she moved into last spring. Chris and Paula’s eldest son, Matt, is attending American University in Washington, DC, while daughter Shannon attends Williston-Northampton School in Easthampton, MA. Ruth’s son Rick is headmaster at Milbrook School in New York, where wife Cindy is director of admissions and daughter Carly is a student; their son Trevor is a sophomore at Colby College.

This spring Peggy Jouard Gibson is moving to Greensboro, NC, to be near her eldest son.

In Boulder, CO, Barbara Ketchum Lahey is staying busy with grandchildren and volunteer work at the library. Regretful that she didn’t attend our 60th reunion, she insists that she won’t miss the 65th.

Tomi Kuwayama Tedesco had “a joyous time” with two daughters and their families visiting from the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a member of the LA Museum of Art and on the board of its Far Eastern Arts Council, and a member of the LA Fowler Museum of Culture and History. Last spring Tomi toured the Angkor Wat temples in Thailand and other sites via river boat.

Ruth Lewis Runge plays bridge at two women’s clubs and tutors fourth-graders from Newark, NJ, every week.

Bettina Towne Moore and husband John both spent a lot of time in physical therapy after undergoing knee replacements last year, and it has paid off. The couple is back in excellent croquet playing form, and John is working on his golf game (Tina’s is somewhat limited, due to scoliosis). Their youngest grandson was married in November.

Last summer Audrey Mayforth Wetzler and husband Bob traveled north to visit offspring in Virginia and Massachusetts, then went to Hawaii in September. Dree was instrumental in convincing Peggy O’Neil McNamara to winter at Pelican Pointe, Sebastian, FL, where the Wetzlers live.

Margaret Orr Ronaldson’s husband is doing well after hip replacement surgery.

Norwich, CT, resident Barbara Bullinger Lord visited Jean Summersgill Neiswinter at her Prairie, KS, home. Jean also stays in touch with another favorite Easterner, Ruth Jensen McWilliams.

Pat Wakeley Mara’s husband Paul is playing golf again after hip replacement surgery this past winter. The couple spent the holidays with their entire clan at daughter Judy’s home in Pennsylvania. Pat has been accompanying her oldest granddaughter, Katie—a high-school junior—as she visits colleges.

On her way to vote at the Weymouth Library last fall, Lois Walker took a face-first tumble. “So much for performing one’s civic duty,” she jokes. “Watch out for oak leaves after a rain storm, especially if you like to kick leaves!” She has fully recovered.

In April Gen Wyckoff Sewell and husband Bill were in Casey Key, FL, where they spent time with Sarasota residents Kay Diemer Chichester and husband Stanley.

Gloria Moos Hatch spent another winter in Boca Raton, FL—“a little cooler than usual, but great for golf and bridge.” In December she welcomed a second great-grandchild in Pawtucket, RI.

Our sympathy to Lolly Swift Burbank, who lost husband Bill in January. Lolly is also recovering from a pre-Christmas fall that resulted in a broken back.

Husband Ken and I are enjoying life in Lakewood, CO. For the holidays we hosted daughter Wendy Cudmore ’72, who traveled from her home in Fairfield, CT, and feel fortunate to live near our daughter Linda and her husband, and our son Paul, his wife, and their five children.


Cynthia Taft Lathrop

Helen Rickenback Scott hosted Nancy Jack Bell, Ellen Mathewson Patterson, and Jean Brickwood Slocum for lunch in October. Nancy, who had flown in from California to visit a sister in New Haven, CT, was impressed by the Northeast’s fall foliage. “Conversation was lively,” reports Helen, “especially among the two ladies comparing the pros and cons of their hearing aids.”


Reunion ’03!
Mary Sinon Sayer

Ruth Hopwood Moran retired from nursing in 1995 “after a lot of years in white shoes.” Her four adult children are all doing well. Son Chris married (for the second time) a couple of days after Thanksgiving. Son Brian’s daughter Kaela is a junior at Boston University. Hoppy’s eldest daughter, Linda, an independent film producer in NYC, attended the most recent Sundance Film Festival. Youngest daughter Wendy is a registered nurse who’s also raising three children.

Carlotta Slocum Littell and husband Joe rebuilt their California home on the same spot where a devastating fire burned it (and 42 others) to the ground last year. While waiting for their house to be completed, the Littells traveled to Hawaii and visited Joe’s sister in Oregon. They have since been refurnishing their home and are making plans for a “house-cooling party.”

Timi Choate Rill and husband Paul moved into an old Victorian home with a lovely yard. Timi hopes to attend Reunion.

Bobbie Andrews Olmsted writes, “I will see you all May 29–June 1.”

In between traveling, class prez Alice Mazuzan Pollard and husband Russ are busy making sure all of us will have a great time at Reunion. Rachel Bennett Bloomfield, Jane Savage Stohn, and Suzy Smith Austin plan to attend. This will be one of the last large gatherings of ’43ers! Don’t miss it!


Barbara Conlon Bulger

In November Edith DeMott Hutchison and her husband moved from their Bloomsburg, PA, home of many years to Dunwoody Village Retirement complex in Newtown Square.

The class sends sympathy to Marian Whiting Brandon, whose husband Frank died this past December, following an extended illness.


Olga Massimiano Gigante

Kay Krauskopf Brylawski ran into Mimi Blechman Grimes ’46 earlier this spring, resulting in an impromptu lunch. A similar scenario occurred when Kay spotted Mary Wolfe DiRenza ’46. Kay won a two-night, three-day cruise on the new Norwegian Dawn ship of Norwegian Cruise Lines and gave it an enthusiastic thumbs-up.

Last June Madeleine Schmidt Sullivan celebrated her 55th wedding anniversary. “Not bad for a blind date my sophomore year at Skidmore,” quips Terry. The Sullivans’ four children—including Kathy Sullivan ’70—and six grandchildren came east to give a party at the Sullivan house.

Nancy Morison Miller and husband Peter enjoy life in their adult community near West Chester, PA. Their children live in Maryland, Massachusetts, and Paris, France—now a favorite destination for them. The Millers visited Marge Fayen Boyd and husband Bob in California.

In November Jean Kalter Maguire and her granddaughter swam with dolphins at Discovery Cove in Sea World Orlando. Jean inquired if she could e-mail her news to me. My answer was no—in our never-ending quest to remain low-tech, Jim and I have not traveled the information superhighway. But you can always e-mail your news directly from Scope’s Web site: www.skidmore.edu/scope.

Susan Rabinowitz Malloy says the best news of 2002 was that her 41-year-old son “finally got married” to a woman he had known for 15 years. Her worst news: the Democrats lost Congress. Otherwise, she says, things go on “pretty much as usual.”

Bernie Barclay Straitiff spent seven days in London over New Year’s with a tour sponsored by theater groups from all over the U.S. Of the four plays she saw, her favorites were Bombay Dreams and Anything Goes.


Miriam Blechman Grimes

Nancy Bailey Allchin pulled up stakes and moved to Cockeysville, MD, late last year. She welcomes e-mail at nballch@aol.com.

I received a note from Holly Christensen, daughter of Barbara “Starky” Starkweather Christensen, who died in October 2001. Holly writes, “She will always be remembered for her quick wit, creativity, and adventuresome spirit. Her 33 years in Japan with my father, John B. Christensen, characterized her remarkable life.”


Ruth Schleicher Kroon

Winter on Cape Cod was much ado about frigid weather—even the seagulls seemed nonplussed. Memories of my October trip to France, including a delightful river cruise on the Seine, faded as the cold settled in.

Nettie Ruland West enjoys her Italian classes and yoga. She adds, “A memorable holiday experience was playing violin in a string trio inside the Green Haven Correctional Facility with an amazing inmate violinist.”

Jean Ann Stirling Horton welcomed “housefuls of children and grandchildren”—including five granddaughters, two sons, and two daughters-in-law—for holiday festivities.

Barbara “Cam” Cameron Forbes had most of her six children and four grandchildren on hand for the holidays.

Do Dunkel Jerman “cooked up a storm” for her Malibu family, after which she headed for Tucson, AZ, to visit Mary Miller Solari and Virginia Miller Krueger, driving the 487-mile distance each way alone. She and the twins attended a Skidmore Club of Tucson lunch at which art professor Regis Brodie was guest speaker.

Phyllis Hoffman Clark is a board member of the Syracuse Zoo and a home for the elderly. She teaches courses on wildlife and rainforest conservation, plays in a bell choir, and travels.

Cilla Wheeler Vickery and husband Donald traveled east across Florida to enjoy Christmas dinner prepared by someone else. About learning experiences, Cilla observes, “They’re all in the past, but maybe they help me do the daily crossword puzzle.”

During a trip to Rhode Island, the trawler that Pat Chapman Zilliox and husband Bill had chartered lost an engine the first day out in Narragansett Bay. They later journeyed to Memphis, TN, visiting the battlefield at Shiloh, and then made their way to western Texas, where they viewed the universe through a 105-inch telescope at the observatory near Fort Davis.

Jane Ray Merrick’s husband, George, sends word that Janie is now confined to a wheelchair and requires round-the-clock care. “Her mind and spirits are fine,” he reports, “and she sends her best to all classmates.”

Another Texan, Leona Kaplan Killgore, enjoyed a “marvelous” 19-day trip to France with daughter Lynne that included an Elderhostel tour of French royal residences. Le has been asked by the state representative from her district to write for him as she did for his predecessor. Her weekly one-hour public-affairs radio show continues, and she still enjoys bridge, knitting, and grandchildren.

In December Dorothy Dutton Donahue and children, with friends and family, gave husband Doug an 80th birthday party enhanced by a video of his life—“a gift to cherish.”

Barbara Fitch Beckett and I enjoyed lunch and conversation at the Cape Cod Skidmore Club in January.

I’m interested in hearing from you intrepid golfers out here. Which golf course is your favorite and why? I expect a deluge of replies!


Reunion ’03!
Esther Anderson Lacey

During a trip to Europe last year, Kay Smith Parkhurst’s focus was purely on the historical. She traced the Pilgrims’ footsteps from the Netherlands to England prior to leaving for the New World. Unlike the Pilgrims, Kay headed for the many attractions of London and its theater district before entering the Chunnel for Paris and more adventure. Four of her grandchildren are college graduates, and one is in medical school. One of Kay’s sons lives in Westport, CT, and is the father of three little girls.

Jean Elton Moran trekked to Churchill, Manitoba, with her 13-year-old granddaughter to observe polar bears earlier this year. When not traveling, Jean volunteers at a local elementary school.

Patricia Carson Anderson hosted her son, daughter-in-law, and their two dogs while the family’s home renovation dragged on into the holidays. The last workman wrapped up at 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Kit observes, “I’m now certain that I am too old to have a puppy in the house.” Kit spent the rest of the holiday with her daughter in Virginia.

Yvonne Scott Waples and husband Jack helped Scottie’s brother bring her new 60-foot boat up the Intracoastal Waterway north, experiencing “a few scary moments.” She is looking forward to Reunion.

Jill Burnside Zeno, who works more than 350 hours annually at the Art Institute of Chicago, walks there five days a week, weather permitting. When not at work, she travels with her sons to locales like Grand Cayman and Puerto Rico in the winter and Nantucket, Newport, Savannah, and Charleston in the summer.

Jeanne Herrup Elman and husband Marshall took their children and grandchildren on a northern European cruise to celebrate Marshall’s birthday. They returned to attend their oldest grandson’s wedding.

Jeanne passed along the sad news that two classmates lost their husbands last year. Our sympathy goes out to Diane Feder Pinsley and Muriel Grossman Kaufer and their families.

Tibby VanNess Reid took a “delightful” three-week trip to Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. Her most memorable part of the trip was visiting Auschwitz, and the most amazing sight was the Wieliczka Salt Mines, an underground salt city filled with sculptures, chandeliers, a stage, and a beer hall. Tibby and Dotsie Slosson Erskine are in full gear, getting ready for our 55th reunion.

Dotsie Erskine had her hands full at a Christmas Eve pageant at her church in Florida. Charged with keeping track of Mary, Joseph, the donkey, and the angel Gabriel, she had to convince the 11-year-old playing Mary that she “couldn’t back out at the last minute because her teacher wasn’t there.” Dotsie is helping to form a Skidmore Club in Vero Beach.

Judy Weiss Warren and husband Bill wintered in Boca Grande, FL. Judy is looking forward to Reunion.

Verna Dick Stassevitch is proud of her 21-year-old grandson, who is majoring in Mandarin at UC-Davis and spending his junior year at Chinese University in Hong Kong. She is equally proud of her 13-year-old granddaughter, who presented the story of her great-grandfather, born in Simferopol, Crimea, in 1895 as the subject of a school cultural fair project. The research resulted in Verna’s daughter making contact with a current Simferopol resident with links to her grandfather’s ancestry. “I am looking forward to renewing old friendships of my own at Reunion!” notes Verna.

Marjorie West Bahlke enjoyed Thanksgiving with two of her daughters, both of whom live in the Boston area. She too is looking forward to Reunion.

Art major Marion Crouze Chase held a one-person show at the Moore County Artists Association Gallery in Whispering Pines, NC, last year. Beasts, Birds, and Bugs showcased her paintings of animals, birds, and butterflies. Shorty and Phil took a river cruise through Switzerland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium, highlights of which included vineyards, wine, and a Medieval feast. A second cruise began at Honfleur, France, and continued to Paris. Shorty was impressed by the art contained in the Musée d’Orsay, a gallery in a huge old train station.

In December Charlotte Metz Wilder completed her term as president of the auxiliary at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. Charlotte is recovering from hip surgery and enjoys reading everyone’s news.


Edith Armend Holtermann

Marge Fee Neff and Charlie are still working, going to the fitness center weekly, and traveling. They spent time in Coral Gables, FL, with Margie’s sister and a week in Edisto Island with other family members. The Neffs’ oldest grandchild, Alan, is a junior at American University in DC; Braxton is a 6'10" computer whiz who attends community college in Texas; and Brigette just won a bout with cancer and is back into sports, just like her siblings.

Joan Fredericks Whetstone relates a sailing adventure undertaken last year with husband Stanley that began in Ft. Lauderdale and continued through the Caribbean and down the coast of South America, with stops at several Brazilian cities. Unfortunately, they both contracted a severe flu—which, for Joan, developed into pneumonia. The couple disembarked at Patagonia and flew home. Their first Whetstone grandchild was born in 2002. Joan and Stanley visited Yosemite on an Elderhostel and toured Colorado and Utah, visiting her daughters and grandchildren. In November they visited daughter Karen, husband Steven, and newest grandchild Kirsten —“a relief after six boys in a row.”

Marion Wambold Shaw’s son Allyn earned a doctorate last May and teaches part-time at Michigan State. Marion visits her only grandchild, Katie, daughter of son Bill, as often as she can.

Tired of maintaining two residences, Helen Buch Thorpe has decided to renovate her summer home in Ocean Grove, NJ, and make it her permanent residence. Still very active in her church, she travels often to visit grandchildren in Virginia and Colorado. Her oldest grandchild will graduate from the University of Virginia in May and is considering a job in NYC. Helen is particularly fond of playing with her one-year-old grandson, child of son Phil.

Carolyn Cain Iliff-Willen’s husband, Neal, has chronic myeloid leukemia. He is on a new drug and is doing well. Carolyn has known Neal for 44 years, and married him nine years after losing her first husband, Bob. She stays in touch with Naples, FL, resident Mary Mitchell Durland and Betsy Bell Condron, who lives in Kingston, PA. Carolyn lives in East Orleans, MA, and winters in Bonita Springs, FL.

Phyllis Harder Reininger and husband Dick overcame several challenges last year. After suffering a small stroke, Dick had a pacemaker installed. The couple later lost their beloved search dog, Trippe, to cancer. As a special gift for Dick’s birthday, Phyl arranged for him to receive a golden retriever puppy to train for a handicapped person.

Mary Lou Woodruff Thompson cruised from Charleston, SC, to the western Caribbean in February. Granddaughter Alison Flowers ’03 returned from London after studying and traveling for five months. Mary Lou has three great-grandchildren.

Joan Hull and her husband enjoyed an inland-passage Alaskan cruise last year. Having sold their motor home, they now travel from San Rafael, CA, to their place in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in an SUV. They are seeking suitable land to build a residence in Marin County, CA. Joan welcomes e-mail at kellyhull@aol.com and encourages classmates traveling to Puerto Vallarta to contact her.

Betti Detrick Williams and Don are reversing the typical snowbird move. They have given up their Naples, FL, residence and moved to back to New England, where all of their children and grandchildren live.

After selling her home, Joan Paxton Jameson traveled west to visit son Tom and his family in Seattle, then stopped by to see daughter Susan and her family in Los Angeles, and finally arrived in Pinehurst, NC, where son John and his two oldest children live and she will now make her home. John is the new head of the Family Care Center of First Health Hospital there. Joan’s other son, Thomas, is executive officer of the 14th Combat Engineers Battalion at Fort Lewis in Washington State.

Joyce Watkins Bates welcomed her seventh grandchild, a boy, in November. In December she and husband Herman made their annual 15-day excursion to Mexico, returning home to La Conner, WA, via Palm Springs, FL. The couple visited their son and daughter and their families in the San Francisco Bay Area. Joyce is a Garden Club president and an art museum docent. During a recent docent field trip she crossed paths with Phyl Harder Reininger.

Edith Celley is “having a lot of fun” securing grants to fund restoration of historic abandoned public buildings in the National Register village of Haverhill, NH.

We are saddened by the passing of Evelyn Mitchell Blackhall. She was our leader since our college days. Her lively spirit will be greatly missed.

Thanks to all who sent condolences to me after the death of my husband, Al, last May. My whole family, with the exception of the Californians, came to my house for Thanksgiving and Christmas. 2002 brought new granddaughters Abby, Julia, and Ava; of my 14 grandchildren, these are the first group who are nearly the same age. In January I went on two Elderhostel trips.


© 2003 Skidmore College