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In Memoriam | People & projects

In Memoriam


Remember a friend

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.

Dorothy Lutjen Liebig ’34 of Lebanon, NJ, died December 5. A business major, she was an avid reader and supporter of the arts. She endowed a Skidmore scholarship in memory of her daughter, the late Linda Liebig ’62. She is survived by several cousins; her husband, Justus, predeceased her.

Evelyne Pontone ’37 of Jersey City, NJ, died December 16. A theater major, she earned a master’s in English from Columbia University. She was an executive secretary for many years. She is survived by two nephews, including James Pontone ’82, and niece Suzanne Pontone Schaaf ’85.

Elizabeth Baker Spohr ’38 of Sun City, AZ, died November 5. An art major, she completed her degree at Oberlin College. She was a textile artist, clothing designer, and jewelry maker specializing in African designs. She authored the book To Hold a Falling Star, about living with a spouse with Alzheimer’s. She was predeceased by husband Henry and is survived by two daughters and a son.

Marion Dietrick Haak ’39
of Clarks Summit, PA, died June 25. She was a business major. She is survived by a son.

Miriam Odgen Cudmore ’41 of Littleton, CO, died December 17. A phys-ed major, she taught in East Greenbush, NY, and Greenwich, CT. She was a lifelong sports enthusiast and an avid crafter and watercolorist. She served Skidmore as a longtime class secretary and reunion volunteer. She leaves two daughters, including Wendy Cudmore ’72, a son, and five grandchildren.

Dorothy Shaw Panning ’41 of Orlando, FL, died September 24. A sociology major, she was a longtime elementary school teacher. She is survived by two daughters, a son, and seven grandchildren. Her husband, Norbert, predeceased her.

Elizabeth Covell Brett ’42 of Plantsville, SC, died November 13 after a long illness. A business major, she was a civic volunteer throughout her life. She served Skidmore as a class agent and reunion volunteer. She leaves two daughters, three sons, and several grandchildren. Her husband, Warren, predeceased her.
Shirley Stockwell Wade ’42 of Toledo, OH, died November 2. A textile and costume-design major, she was an active civic volunteer and served Skidmore as a reunion volunteer. She leaves husband Stuart, a son, a stepson, six grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

Joan Molloy Beck ’43 of North Massapequa, NY, died November 15 after a long illness. A phys-ed major, she earned a master’s from the University of Minnesota. She is survived by her husband, Thomas, two daughters, and two sons.

Jane Kain Oberst ’43 of Keene, NH, died January 16, 2008. A biochemistry major, she worked as a chemist at Dupont during World War II. She leaves three sons, a daughter, 14 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Her husband, George, predeceased her.

Marjorie Lord Paine ’44 of Lombard, IL, died December 7. A business major, she helped run a family business. She supported Skidmore in many ways. Her husband, William, predeceased her. There are no known survivors.

Dorothy Sielaff Armstrong ’44 of Dover, DE, died December 6. A sociology major, she earned a master’s in social work from C. W. Post College and enjoyed a long career in human services and social work. During WWII she was a volunteer air-traffic monitor, and she continued volunteering throughout her life. Predeceased by husband James, she is survived by a sister and several nieces and nephews.

Betty Samson Beranbaum ’44 of NYC, died August 25. An English major, she earned a graduate degree in psychology and retired from a private psychotherapy practice in 1993. She is survived by three children and sister-in-law Rosalie Sey Samson ’44. Her husband, Samuel, pre­deceased her.

Betty Bonneville Stone ’44 of Slingerlands, NY, died September 27. A psychology major, she was a board member of the Albany Symphony Orchestra and the Albany Institute of Art and History, and a member of the NYS Women of the Legislature, among many volunteer commitments. For Skidmore she was a reunion volunteer and member of the Friends of the Presidents. She is survived by husband Robert; three daughters, including Carol Luckenbach ’71; five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren, including Sarah Luckenbach ’04; and a sister. She was predeceased by granddaughter Betsey Languish ’00.

Katharine Foster Thompson ’48 of Hockessin, DE, died January 10 of cancer. She was a Delaware officer of the Society of Mayflower Descendants and the National Society of Colonial Dames. She leaves husband Wallace, two sons, and three grandchildren.

Marion Crouze Chase ’48 of Whispering Pines, NC, died January 7. An art major, she went on to earn an MFA from the University of Colorado at Denver. She was a professional artist and gallery owner. She served Skidmore as a class agent. She is survived by husband Philip, a son, a daughter, and several grandchildren.

Helen Scott Whitnall ’49 of Bradenton, FL, died November 9. A home-economics major, she was a longtime volunteer for Cerebral Palsy of Bergen County, NJ. She served Skidmore as a class agent and reunion volunteer. She leaves husband Minard, two sons, a daughter, and four grandchildren.

Judith O’Connell Mongeluzzi ’49
of Huntington, NY, died October 30. An English major, she completed her bachelor’s at Utica College and earned a master’s from C. W. Post University. She taught English at Huntington High School. She was a board member of the Visiting Nurse Service and Hospice of Suffolk County. She is survived by her husband, Fred, five sons, two daughters, and 11 grandchildren.

Patricia Walters Shaw ’52
of Bluffton, SC, died October 24. An English-literature major, she was a former administrative assistant for the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and the Hoover Institute at Stanford University. She leaves husband Donald and two sons.

Nancy Owings ’52 of Southbury, CT, died May 5. She was a political science major. There are no known survivors.

Carol Theobald Schafer ’53 of Kerrville, TX, died December 28 of heart failure. A home-economics major, she retired after a long career as director of dining services at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She served Skidmore as a reunion and class volunteer. She is survived by sister Joan Theobald Mitchell ’48, two daughters, and a son.

Judith Bennett ’53 of Staten Island, NYC, died September 6. She was a theater major. There are no known survivors.

Marian Birnberg Mintzer ’54 of Fort Lauderdale, FL, died November 17. An art major, she worked as a textile designer. Predeceased by husband Stuart, she leaves a daughter, a son, and five grandchildren.

Lynn Baum Mandelbaum ’55
of Brooklyn, NY, died March 22, 2008. An English major, she earned a master’s in education from Columbia University Teachers College and a master’s in psychology from the New School of Social Research. She had a private psychotherapy practice. She is survived by two daughters, including Cathy Mandelbaum ’84, and a son. Her husband, Harold, predeceased her.

Anne Hovell Dew ’59 of St. Petersburg, FL, died March 29, 2008, of cancer. An art major, she completed her BA from Eckerd College and earned a master’s in psychology from Nova University. She was a licensed mental-health counselor and authored the book Emotional Transformation. She was also an accomplished watercolorist and photographer. She served Skidmore as a campaign volunteer. She is survived by husband John, three sons, three daughters, and 17 grandchildren.

Toni Schneider Sortor ’61 of Pearl River, NY, died January 25. A government major, she was a freelance author and editor. She leaves husband William, two sons, daughter Laura Sortor Mazzella ’87, and three grandchildren.

Nancy Wald ’62 of Chicago, IL, died December 29 of cancer. A writer, she worked in television and arts-related marketing. She was a governing member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Art Institute of Chicago. She was also a benefactor of Doctors Without Borders, Northwestern University, and Skidmore. She is survived by a brother.

Diane Duke Whitfield ’63 of Fairfax Station, VA, died January 11 of cancer. An education major, she completed her degree at the University of Denver and earned a master’s in secondary education from the University of Southern California. She was a real-estate broker. She is survived by her husband, Jim, and two sons.

Luanne Beisch Schwanewede ’63 of Ridgewood, NJ, died November 13 of cancer. A nursing major, she worked at Englewood and Holy Name Hospitals. She is survived by three sons and six grandchildren. Husband William predeceased her.

Marilyn Filbrick Kelly ’63 of Basalt, CO, died September 22 after a short illness. A business major, she was a programmer-analyst for Roswell Park Cancer Hospital and an accomplished artist. An environmental and political activist, she also served Skidmore as a class and reunion volunteer. She leaves her friend Bob Disney, and several nieces and nephews.

Jane Merklee Glynn ’66 of Truckee, CA, died December 9, 2007. A government major, she was VP of a Lowe Associates loan company. There are no known survivors.

MB McDonald ’71 of Stowe, VT, died January 2. A business-administration ma­jor, she earned an MBA from the Whar­ton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She also studied at Georgetown University. An accountant in resort management and health care, she later worked for American Management Systems all over the country for 20 years. She retired in 2004. She served Skidmore as class secretary, class agent, and reunion volunteer. She is survived by a brother, two nephews, and several aunts and uncles.

Sean Jackson Patrick ’73 of Carbondale, CO, died January 21 of cancer. A fine arts major, she was awarded an art fellowship to study in Florence, Italy, after graduation. She founded Impact Group, a strategic marketing and design firm based in Colorado. A member of several cancer-related boards and organizations, Sean was founder and executive director of HERA, an organization that taught rock climbing to women with ovarian cancer. She received Climbing magazine’s Gold Piton award in 2005 for outstanding community service. She is survived by her partner, Scott Paramski.

Jeffrey Armstrong ’76 of Delmar, NY, died suddenly on February 4. A history and government major, he earned a JD and an LLM, summa cum laude, both from Albany Law School. He was a partner with Whiteman, Osterman & Hanna LLP, specializing in intellectual property, sponsored research, and technology transfer. He served as external counsel to RPI and general counsel to other colleges and universities. He was also a reunion volunteer for Skidmore. He is survived by his wife, Pam, two sons, his mother, and a sister.

Susan Latimer Gibson ’77 of Stuart, FL, died in November. A biology and psychology major, she earned a nursing degree from Towson State University School of Nursing. She was a medical surgical nurse at Martin Memorial Hospital. She served Skidmore as a campaign volunteer and class agent. She is survived by husband Nicholas, a daughter, a brother, a grandson, and her parents.

Susan Schaffer ’82 of Creve Coeur, MO, died suddenly on December 17. A psychology major, she was a dancer and then opened an exercise studio, Spiral Power. She leaves three children, a brother, and her parents.

Beth O’Leary ’82 of Ann Arbor, MI, died September 13. A music major, she was an editor for Peterson’s Guides and published Philadelphia Dance Alliance: A Resource Guide. She is survived by her husband, David Sirkin.


Frederick Spear of Portsmouth, NH, died December 31; he was 85. A professor emeritus of French, he joined the faculty in 1961. Throughout his career, Spear had a passion for researching and writing bibliographies on two of his favorite French philosophers, Voltaire and Diderot. He had a keen interest in 18th-century studies and was an active member of the American Friends of Lafayette. Lynne Gelber, professor emerita of French, referred to Spear as “the ultimate bibliographer” and says he was “a well-liked, kindly teacher.” Colleague Anthony Nazzaro (who was occasionally mistaken for Spear because both wore berets and bow ties) remembers that Spear was at a conference once when a Russian woman “rushed up to him and threw her arms around him and thanked him for his work.” Spear and his wife of 61 years, Phyllis, spent their latter years in Barrington, NH, and Salisbury, MA. He was a member of his church and found great joy in dog-sitting. In addition to his wife, he leaves a daughter and son. Donations in his memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, Northeastern New York Chapter, 85 Watervliet Ave., Albany, NY 12206, or to the charitable organization of one’s choice.


Carol H. Fowler, 61, of Gansevoort, NY, died December 13. A Ballston Spa native, she joined Skidmore in 1981 and served as secretary to Donald Richards, director of planned giving, who called her a “tre­mendously talented” colleague. In 1986 she was named executive secretary to Business Manager Stephen Harran, who said she was not only competent but “pleasant, skillful, and diplomatic.” In 1997 she moved to the academic side, serving as the business department secretary until she retired in 2002.
Fowler’s friend Pat Poirier, Skidmore’s alumni records coordinator, says, “Carol had two cats that traveled with her and her husband, Ken, in their motor home, which she just loved.” Fowler is survived by Ken, a son, three stepchildren, and several grandchildren.