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Spring 2003

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Centennial spotlight

On campus

Faculty focus

Arts on view



Alumni affairs
and development

Class notes


In Memoriam

Faculty & Staff


Esther Collins Mennell ’25 of Schenectady, NY, died October 21. A business major, she was editor of Eromdiks. Following graduation, she worked as a secretary to the American Consulate General in Montreal, Canada, and later as a librarian. She is survived by a daughter and son. Her husband, Wilfred, predeceased her.

Helen Bogart Fish ’27 of Wilmington, NC, died November 7. A home economics major, she was president of her class and a member of student government. Besides teaching home economics in the Emerson, NJ, school system for many years, Helen was a skilled artisan, an art instructor, and a member of the Historical Society of Early American Decoration. She served Skidmore as class secretary, class president, and club officer. She is survived by a son, 5 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren. Her husband, William, and daughter Barbara predeceased her.

Esther Harby Cook ’27 of Greenville, NY, died October 17. An art major, she enjoyed a career as registrar for SUNY Albany, from which she retired in 1973. She was a member of the American Association of College Registrars and Admissions Officers and a board member of the Albany Association for the Blind. Esther particularly enjoyed playing golf. An active alumna, she served as class secretary for many years. She is survived by two sons, a daughter, a sister, a brother, 11 grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren. Her husband, David, predeceased her.

Jean Sherman Brokaw ’28 of Sarasota, FL, died December 14. An art major, she was active in her church and enjoyed sewing and knitting. She is survived by two daughters and two grandsons. Her husband, Donald, predeceased her.

Charlotte Reinhard Burnett ’32 of Lancaster, PA, died August 2. She is survived by husband Carlos, daughters Charlotte and Bonnie, and niece Helen Illingworth Challenger ’61; her sister Helen Reinhard Illingworth ’32 died in December.

Helen Reinhard Illingworth ’32 of East Harwich, MA, died December 8. An art major, she was a volunteer nurse’s aide at Orange Memorial Hospital in New Jersey and worked with mentally disturbed children. In retirement she often published articles in local newspapers and enjoyed entertaining neighborhood children. She is survived by daughter Helen Illingworth Challenger ’61, two sons, seven grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. Her husband, Frank, and her twin sister, Charlotte Reinhard Burnett ’32, predeceased her.

Jane Stubley Brock ’33 of Wilmette, IL, died July 23. A history major, she earned a master’s in public law and comparative jurisprudence at Columbia University in 1936. A teacher at Newburgh Free Academy in New York for more than a decade, she subsequently taught U.S. history at Madison High School in New Jersey for 20 years. In Newburgh she was past president of AAUW, a board member of the YWCA, and chairperson of the town meeting; she was VP, chair, and legislative chair of the Madison, NJ, Teachers Association. She is survived by a son; husband R.C. predeceased her.

Roseclaire Ludvigh Duff ’33 of Chapel Hill, NC, died September 12. She was a sociology major. Her antique and jewelry shop, The Silver Fox, was a testament to her love of collecting and design. She is survived by a son; husband Gordon predeceased her.

Elizabeth Easton Kleinhans ’34 of Darien, CT, died October 4. A biology-chemistry major, she stayed on at Skidmore as a biology instructor for a year following graduation. In Darien she was a member of the historical society, Community Association, and Republican Town Committee; she also belonged to several yacht and country clubs. Elizabeth founded the Fairfield, CT, Skidmore Club in 1947. She is survived by a son, two grandchildren, two nieces, and a nephew. She was predeceased by first husband Edward Cosden; second husband Richard Kleinhans; and a brother.

Anita Farrington Earl ’35 of Palos Verdes Estates, CA, died May 12. A fine arts major, she was an accomplished athlete who designed her own clothing. She founded and ran a highly successful, well-known wedding coordination business for 16 years. An expert gardener and cook, and a ceramic artist, she was especially fond of throwing elegant parties. She enjoyed golf and tennis. She is survived by two sons; her husband, Philip, predeceased her.

Ellen Hasenack Smith ’38 of Deerfield Beach, FL, died March 23, 2002. An English major, she was active in AAUW and Daughters of the American Revolution. She enjoyed serving as a reader for her church. She is survived by two daughters; her husband, Charles, predeceased her.

Barbara Cook MacCallum ’40 of Sun City West, AZ, died last summer. She was a home-ecnomics major. She is survived by niece Judith Archer ’65; sister Mary Cook Archer ’41 predeceased her.

Elsie Archer ’41 of Royal Oak, MI, died July 15. A phys-ed major, she earned a graduate degree in education from Wayne State University and taught in Washington, DC-area schools. In 1967, while pursuing studies in psychotherapy at the Merrill Palmer Institute in Detroit, she founded and ran the Tim-Ro-Nan-Go School for emotionally disturbed children. There are no known survivors.

Jane Wagar Dapolito ’42 of La Mesa, CA, died May 27. She is survived by husband John.

Doris Sands Eisner ’43 of San Diego, CA, died December 16. An art major, she also studied at the Cleveland Institute of Art. She was active in Brandeis University’s National Women’s Committee, which named her its Woman of the Year in 2000. She is survived by husband Max, four daughters, two sons, and several grandchildren.

Mary “Kitty” Guinther Brown ’45 of Montpelier, VT, died June 27. A theater major, she pursued graduate work at Columbia University prior to establishing careers in advertising, radio, and theater in the Akron, OH, area. She wrote advertising copy for the American Cheese Council, Diebold, and BF Goodrich. Elected to the Radio Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1985, she was awarded the American Advertising Federation’s Silver Medal in 1996. Involved in Akron’s Weathervane Community Playhouse for 61 years, she was still performing there in 2000. She is survived by a daughter and son.

Jocelyn Sandburg Yates ’45 of Rockland, ME, died October 18. An art major, she pursued graduate work in design at Smith College and ran a children’s museum art program. She served on the boards of the Springfield Art League and area Junior League. She is survived by her husband, William, and a son.

Marjory Dickey Baumgardt ’45 of Kansas City, MO, died December 6. A French major, she also studied at the University of Kansas. She was active in the Junior League and her church. She is survived by husband William, a son, two daughters, and five grandchildren.

Barbara Starkweather Christensen ’46 of Redwood City, CA, died October 15, 2001 of natural causes. An English major, she lived in Japan for 30 years with her husband, an international lawyer. An accomplished student of Japanese language and culture, she taught English in Japanese at the University of Tokyo’s Tsuda College. Also in Tokyo she was president of the American Club, a member of College Women’s Club, and a volunteer with the Junior League Hospital. After moving to Hawaii in 1987, she became active in the Outrigger Canoe Club and the Kaneoke Yacht Club near her home in Honolulu. She is survived by a daughter and a granddaughter.

Priscilla Biggs ’46 of Santa Fe, NM, died October 8. A government major, she earned a master’s in government from the University of New Mexico in 1960 and worked as an analyst. There are no known survivors.

Evelyn Mitchell Blackhall ’49 of Niskayuna, NY, died November 29 of cancer. An English major, she was a member of Eromdiks and chorus. She earned an M.Ed. from SUNY Oneonta and enjoyed a 27-year career as a third-grade teacher for the Niskayuna school system. A member of many professional organizations, she was active in the Edison Club and the Schenectady Curling Club, where she was president of the women curlers until they became full-voting members. Secretary of the Grand National Curling Club, she edited the organization’s weekly newsletter, T Line. For Skidmore, Evie served as class secretary, class agent, Schenectady Club president, reunion-giving leader, alumni board member, and chair of her 50th reunion. She was presented with a 1999 outstanding service award from the alumni association. She is survived by three daughters; two sisters, including Eileen Mitchell Roberts ’41; and two grandsons; husband John predeceased her.

Joan Abbott Otto ’53 of Orange City, FL, died January 8. She earned a bachelor of science degree in biology. She is survived by husband William, two sons, and daughter Katharine Otto O’Donnell ’79. Her mother, Elizabeth Ford Fisher ’26, predeceased her.

Nancy Dreyer Burroughs ’55 of Ft. Pierce, FL, died January 29. A history major, she was a member of student government, a dorm officer, and president of Pegasus, the English club. She taught in El Paso, TX, public schools and was an editorial assistant for the New Yorker magazine, among other jobs. In Rye, NY, she was a board member of the public library, publicity chair of a 900-member hospital auxiliary organization, and chair of the Rye Handicapped Fair. After moving to Florida, she was employed as financial manager at the Sailorman’s Marine Supply and was active in the Ft. Pierce Yacht Club. She is survived by husband William, a son, a daughter, a sister, and four grandchildren.

Linda Wasserman Ruchman ’58 of Dayton, OH, died November 17. A theater major, she was a docent at the Dayton Art Institute. She was a past board member of Hadassah and president of the Temple Israel Sisterhood in Fort Wayne, IN. She is survived by husband Marshall, two sons, and a daughter.

Ellen Flaum ’62 of Chicago, IL, died November 11 of ovarian cancer. A government major, she earned a master’s from SUNY Albany. After serving as director of former Governor Daniel Walker’s Commission on Individual Liberty and Personal Privacy, she completed a J.D. at Northwestern University School of Law in 1978 and served as assistant district attorney for the State of Illinois. For the last 17 years Ellen was house counsel at Grant Thorton, an accounting and business advising firm, and she frequently lectured at Chicago-Kent College of Law. She is survived by a sister-in-law, a niece, and a nephew.

Louise Hibbert Brown ’64 of Brawley, CA, died November 9, 2001. A nursing major, she was coordinator of a crisis intervention team for Imperial County Mental Health in rural California. Her previous professional life included work as a missionary nurse in Liberia, a childbirth educator, and a school consultant. Louise was active in New York City public health education, the Urban League, Head Start, and the Negro Action Group. She enjoyed playing guitar and singing. She is survived by husband Lyle and six children.

Sue Gerding Ricards ’68 of Ventura, CA, died October 28. An art major, she earned a B.F.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. The recipient of numerous awards for her paintings and collages, she held solo exhibitions throughout California; she also owned and operated a gallery in Santa Paula, CA, for several years. She is survived by husband Will and a son.

The maiden name of Deborah Foulke Waldbillig ’86 was inadvertently omitted in the winter ’03 Scope. The daughter of emeritus professor Robert “Bud” Foulke and wife Patty, she was known as Deborah Foulke during her many years as a member of the Skidmore faculty family and as a Skidmore student.

Friends of deceased alumni may wish to make contributions in their memories to the Yellow Rose Memorial Fund, Skidmore College, 815 North Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. Please include the name of the person being memorialized and, if appropriate, include the name and address of a relative to whom the college can send an acknowledgment.

Faculty & Staff

Patricia Weller died December 22 at her home in Saratoga Springs. She began working as a reference assistant at Lucy Scribner Library in 1978 and served as acquisitions supervisor from 1988 until mid-December 2002. Of Weller’s efforts there, College Librarian Ruth Copans says, “She played an important role and paid attention to everyone. She would bend over backwards to get what people needed—the books and materials for their courses.” Her thoughtfulness was well known to all who worked with her, Copans adds. “There was nobody more generous and kind. She was always offering, bringing, baking, and giving.” Weller’s graciousness and cordiality extended beyond the workplace. Along with husband Eric—a retired associate professor of philosophy and religion who also served as Skidmore’s dean of the faculty—she often hosted receptions for new faculty and academic staff as well as parties for graduating department majors and their families. In addition to Eric, Patti is survived by three daughters, a son, and seven grandchildren.

The winter ’03 Scope neglected to include mention of Edward Reagen’s daughter Margaret ’72, who survives him, as does his wife, Lillian.


© 2003 Skidmore College