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Summer 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

Mildred Wolff Margles moved to a senior community in North Andover, MA, three years ago after the death of her husband, to be near her son. She finds Edgewood “wonderful” with the added bonus of having Jane Dewey Cash ’41 there. Mildred’s daughter lives in France and has a home in Surrey, ME, a welcome summer destination for Mildred.

Betsy Mack Schneider hears from Jane Griswald Mensel, who is healthy and playing tennis. Betsy is no couch potato either; she spent much of the early spring snowshoeing with her family.

Eldon Rich offers this touching tribute to wife Mary MacLachlin Rich, who died in February: “Her capacity for affectionate and loyal friendship was firm and basic. Her appreciation of art, music, and literature was lifelong and deep. She was always willing to consider new ideas but was also well able to test them with her keen, honest intelligence in the light of her life experience and common sense. That common sense, joined with her intuition and empathy, often made her a helpful source of guidance and comfort to those in need of them. She was a rare and wonderful person.

We extend condolences to Hilda Widmer Woodruff, who lost husband Bob in March.

I am still living in the country with my two springer spaniels and a Maine coon cat. Although I do have a bit of trouble with my hands, I feel blessed to have that be the only problem at my age. Best of all, I still volunteer one day a week at our local hospital. Both Miss Charlotte and I would love to hear from more of you.


Miriam Ogden Cudmore

Frances “Bumpy” Lee Fahey sounded great when I chatted with her on the phone. She’s again helping sponsor the annual Fairfield, CT, Dogwood Show.

Adele Bagg Durward has a new address in Falmouth, MA; her phone number is the same. Adele pointed out an error in the spring issue of Scope: It was her daughter Nancy and son-in-law Al who drove with Adele to Maine last year. (Al was incorrectly identified as Adele’s husband rather than Nancy’s.)

Also, Ruth Jensen McWilliams’s son Rick was erroneously described as headmaster at Millbrook School; he is a teacher there. Scope regrets both errors.


Cynthia Taft Lathrop

Ellie Sloss Schatz and husband Jim took a “triple high-school graduation tour” in June, watching two grandchildren receive their diplomas in Washington, D.C., and another in Vancouver, B.C.

California resident Nancy Jack Bell flew to Connecticut for her 65th high-school reunion, where she was joined by fellow classmate Jean Brickwood Slocum.


Mary Sinon Sayer

Iowan Helen Cochran Wearin is fully recovered from having two knee replacements and cataract surgery on both eyes in 2002.


Dorothy Roman Guenther

Best wishes to our retiring class secretary, Barbara Conlon Bulger, who has been recovering from eye surgery.

Class fund chair Elaine Baldwin Moffatt and husband Dick spent February, March, and most of April in their place in Arizona but were glad to return to the Berkshires in May. Elaine had lunch with Fran Perkins Kelsey, Ruth Lawrence McComb, and Ellen Hart Mulvey last fall.

In Norwich, VT, Anna Bessarab Turner and husband George were honored when Norwich University alumni dedicated the foyer of the college’s hockey arena to the Turners. At a home game for the national championship team, an excited Anna walked onto the rink via a red carpet, the teams thumped the ice with their sticks, and she dropped the first puck.

Peg Bugbee Fisher recently received a call from “E.” Kirk Griffin, who was visiting her daughter and family in West Springfield, MA. “She sounds great,” notes Bug, who is looking forward to rowing in the Connecticut River.

Dorothy “Bugsie” Burgess Everett is enjoying life at Kendal at Ithaca, NY. Although the lost of husband Herb last July has been difficult, her many friends at Kendal have been “wonderful and helpful.” Bugsie’s daughter and family live nearby in Syracuse, NY; her son and his family are in Eugene, OR.

Priscilla Comins Craig served as tournament chair of her golf league this year. She also plays bridge with two groups and stays active keeping her own house and yard in Phoenix, AZ, and at her summer home in Sturbridge, MA.

When Margaret Fiero Stone’s husband Chip set out to plan a surprise 80th birthday party for her last October, he asked one of Peg’s friends to secretly contact the golfers she has played with over the years. “It was on our 18-hole ladies’ play day,” Peg recalls, “and an absolute tear-jerking surprise when 64 ladies converged to wish me a happy birthday!”

Harriet Hebden Avery and her husband love wintering in Ft. Myers, FL, but were anxious to return to their Pocono Mountains home in May to see their children and grandchildren. Hebbie scored twice in a golf tournament recently, earning a prize for finishing second and another for being closest to the line.

Charlotte Hilgert Troubetzkoy wrote, “It is hard to recognize the world we live in. In 1944 our soldiers were landing in Normandy. Now they are at the gates of Baghdad!” Charlotte enjoys Florida, where, she says, “my orchids are in full bloom at Christmastime, and I can enjoy my pool all year round.”

Janet Morse Westcott and husband Dana enjoy residences in Saratoga Springs, Lake George, and Florida. Their children, Claudia and Dana Jr., are both retired and a great help.

Sue Liss has been at a continuing-care retirement community in Bucks County, PA, for four years. She enjoys lectures, concerts, and art exhibits there.

Doris Grumbacher ReMine held a one-woman gallery exhibit of her paintings this spring. She says her tennis is slowing but her enthusiasm for the game is not. She enjoyed a reunion with three of her four boys earlier this year.

Martha Larkin Noonan hopes to attend our 60th reunion next year.

Ginny Gooch Puzak was proud to represent Skidmore as a delegate to the inauguration of the new Carleton College president, Robert Oden, last October. Says Ginny, “It was the first time I had worn a cap and gown since June 1944!”

As for me, I retired this spring after 25 years with H&R Block as a senior tax advisor. At our annual banquet, I was presented with a gold watch and a lovely letter from Henry Bloch. Now that tax season is over, I can get to work as your class secretary and help with preparations for our 60th reunion. I hope you’ll all be there!


Olga Massimiano Gigante

Bernie Barclay Straitiff spent seven days taking in plays in London earlier this year on an excursion organized by theater groups from across the U.S.

We extend condolences to Janice Sharp Adkins, whose husband, former Maryland Court of Appeals Judge William Adkins II, died in February. Over the course of their 57-year marriage, Bill was a familiar and warm presence at many class functions and reunions.


Miriam Blechman Grimes

Gladys Benfield Watkinson reports that “everything is status quo on the farm.” Benny monitored a mare that was two weeks overdue this spring; her nursing background gives her a helping perspective for even animal pregnancy. “Up every morning, one foot in front of the other, muddling through the day’s activities takes a little longer and requires a little more sleep,” she says.

Marge Boutilier has had a difficult year. In November her brother learned he had pancreatic cancer, and she went back and forth between Maine and her home in Connecticut until his death in February. Marge reports that this year’s recipients of the Class of 1946 Scholarship were Thomas Burke ’03 and Tessa Clark ’05.

Betty Bryan Rosenbaum has “really learned to enjoy living where someone else does the cooking and cleaning.” A longtime gardener, she is trying to figure out how to transition to planting greenery on the very small patio of her home within a retirement community.

Faith Hope Barnard had a neat week in Virgin Gorda (British Virgin Islands) with her three kids—sans spouses. She finds it “difficult, under the present national circumstances (Iraq), to concentrate on substance having lost so many friends in WWII.”

Joan Mahoney Hicks reports that her beloved husband, Ed, tragically died last July while trying to save her from drowning when an unusually strong current swept her too far out in the ocean. Her daughter, Christina, would like Joan to move to the Maryland shore, where she and Joan’s two grandchildren live, but Joan prefers to stay in her own home and familiar surroundings. She is in touch with Connie Clarke Greene and Audrey Adamson Benson. She attended the funeral of June Hiller Carr in April. On a happier note, she is looking forward to a trip to Portugal in October. Joan would welcome hearing from classmates.

Ruth Pflanz Frank still loves St. John (U.S. Virgin Islands), where she runs the St. John School of the Arts, despite soaring land values, traffic jams, and other by-products of being discovered as a prime tourist destination. Sis says the school, which has served over 400 children and adults, keeps her young, adding “Miss Pease would be proud of me!”

Since moving to New England, Fran Schermerhorn Sherley and husband Warren have explored the area and parts of Canada. So far, they have spent a week at the Mt. Washington Hotel, taken a trip to Quebec City, and spent a week last December at a charming inn in Canada, where “the food was epicurean, and all the rooms had working fireplaces.” When not traveling, Fran sits on three boards, exercises at a health club, and plays tennis.

Sara Siegfried Hampson’s husband, Bob, died in 1999 after 52 years of marriage. Before and since, Sally has kept busy volunteering in two museums, for her church, on several boards, and visiting children in Texas and Massachusetts. Her oldest granddaughter, Emily, was married in Dallas last May.

Connie Wallace Caldwell has finally taken a tentative step into the computer world—a gift from their kids, who like to send e-mail. Oldest grandson Nicholas graduated from Kenyon in May. Connie added a jet-black, yellow-eyed, three-year-old kitty to the family and finds it a challenge to win his trust since he is very shy and hides. Connie says she is “greatly disturbed and angry about war in Iraq; I feel it never should have happened.”

What a surprise I had Thanksgiving weekend! En route with my son and his family to visit friends in Connecticut, I was washing my hands at a rest stop when I happened to glance sideways and saw a woman who looked somewhat familiar. Tentatively I queried, “Joy?” She looked at me and screamed “Mimi!” It was Joy Miller Brown returning home to Connecticut after enjoying the holiday with her son in Pennsylvania.

In April Jean Alvord Donohue and husband Dick came East to visit friends. They also worked in a trip to the Winterthur Museum in Delaware, spent a few days at Cape May on the Jersey shore, and explored Pennsylvania Dutch country, all before arriving at my home. We had a day of intense sightseeing, including a tour of Cliveden, a historic house in Germantown. They also visited a granddaughter at Lehigh University and later drove to New Hope, an artsy town in Bucks County.

I took my first Elderhostel trip last fall and look forward to others. In January I traveled to Florida with my sister and her husband, who have lived on a kibbutz in Israel’s Golan Heights for over 50 years. I spent a night with Rita Figarsky Feigenbaum in her beautiful apartment enriched with her paintings and sculpture. I enjoy going to theater, dance, and opera events with friends, take an antiques class, and am grandmother to six children, ages 2 to 14. I also have nightmares over the prospect of moving from my house to an apartment, when I find one. Any hints on how to accomplish downsizing and disposal of years’ worth of accumulations from being an ardent packrat and flea-market collector are most welcome.


Ruth Schleicher Kroon

Now in Waterford, PA, Sally Sutton Mead shares property with her son and daughter, and their daughters Sarah and Mallory—albeit “in my own space,” she says.

Jane Geibel Morton welcomed her first great-grandchild in April. Janie escaped some of our horrible winter with 12 days of perfect weather in Florida. If you’d like a signed (or unsigned) copy of her latest cookbook, Farmstand Vegetables, for yourself or to use as a summer hostess gift, send her a check for $11.46 (includes postage and a $2.00 donation to Skidmore).

Jane Pollard Kelley, who is serving her sixth term on the Labor Committee in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, sent a detailed report of all her missing body parts. I am pleased to report she hasn’t lost an iota of her wit or sense of humor! Polly writes, “Barbara Cameron Forbes and I have decided that we’ll go to Moscow, Lisbon, China, Paris, etc. (all towns in Maine) to keep up with the trips our classmates are taking all the time. We will not be left behind!”

A phone call from Georgene Mulliner Klim and her husband brought news of a month spent in Pacific Palisades, CA, and an exploration of the California desert. On their return to the frigid east, a week on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with son John and his family completed their winter break.

Dottie Dutton Donahue still plays tennis at the YMCA, “no matter what the weather.”

Priscilla Wheeler Vickery and husband Donald had three granddaughters graduating—one from high school, one from college, and one from a master’s program. Cilla was planning a big June party to celebrate all three scholars. The college graduate won the Outstanding Dietetics Student Award given by the Massachusetts Dietetic Association. How about that, fellow home ec’ers!”

Betty Noyes McMath, our longtime class president, represented Skidmore at inauguration ceremonies for the new president of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Her companion, Gil Harlow—who had arranged to represent his alma mater, Union College—stood at the front of the inauguration line because “Union is one of the nation’s oldest schools,” notes Betty. “Skidmore was the youngest college in the parade, which meant I was last, but certainly not least.”

Do Dunkel Jerman sent a snapshot taken following her March lunch in Del Mar, CA, with Jean Ann Stirling Horton. I had dinner and spent the night with Jean Ann just the week before as I was returning home from my first Elderhostel—a wonderful program on art, architecture, and flowers in Philadelphia. Prof. Alice Moshier had mentioned the Barnes Foundation in a 1945 art history class, and getting there at last brought back many good memories of Skidmore’s art faculty. Another snapshot received from Do shows her with twins Virginia Miller Krueger and Mary Miller Solari and Skidmore’s planned-giving director Don Blunk after a February lunch in Arizona.

News of Jane Ray Merrick’s death in February came too late to be included in the spring Scope. My memories of Janie go back to freshman year and the delightful discovery of a fellow Long Islander in Wilmarth. She played an active role in our class and will be missed.


Esther Anderson Lacey

In North Carolina Joan Theobald Mitchell and husband Bill experienced severe ice storms last winter. They were without electricity for a time and watched tons of trees limbs and debris being hauled away. The Mitchells were glad to spend a month at their condo in Hilton Head.

Helen Wigand Bolton stopped to see Marge West Bahlke in Fort Lauderdale, FL, en route to a Caribbean cruise aboard the QE2; it was her sixth trip on the ship. Despite falling victim to the infamous stomach virus during the last trip, intrepid Helen has already made plans for another—this time to the Mediterranean. Our condolences to Helen, whose son Richard died of lung cancer in 2001.

Suzy Menzel Snyder and husband Bryan are enjoying their new life together and hope to do some genealogy research on several members of Bryan’s family who lived in New York State.

Patricia Roach Maley and husband Dick have traveled extensively in the northwestern part of the U.S. since marrying in 1997. They spend their summers in northern Vermont, taking annual trips to the Northwest for sightseeing and visiting family.


Edith Armend Holtermann

Sue Storms Johnson was pleasantly surprised when a limo picked her up for what she thought was a 75th birthday party at her daughter’s home. Instead, Sue ended up boarding a plane bound for Paris, France, accompanied by both daughters.

Martha Dunkel Chilcot, Mary Lou Woodruff Thompson, Ann Lilley Smith, Phyllis Harder Reininger, Betsy Bell Condron, and I met at Skidmore in April to plan our 55th reunion next May. Be sure to keep June 36, 2004, reserved on your calendars!

Carolyn “Candy” Cain Willen and husband Neal hosted Betsy Bell Condron and husband Joe, Mary Mitchell Durland, and Bette Detrick Williams and husband Don in their Bonita Springs, FL, home in February.

Ann Lilley Smith traveled to Alaska in June with daughter Susan Smith Horvitz ’74. One granddaughter attends the University of Chicago Law School; another is a regional champion in horseback riding. Ann and Susan are part of a Skidmore legacy family that goes back to Ann’s mother, Josephine Freeman Lilley ’25, and her sister Abbie Freeman Pelequin ’17.

Mary Lou Thompson went on a Caribbean cruise. She and granddaughter Alison Beth Flower ’03 claim their own Skidmore legacy: Mary Lou’s sister is Nancy Woodruff Morganstern ’53.

In Arizona Martha Dunkel Chilcott’s dog, Esther, was bitten by a rattlesnake that wandered into Dunk’s office while she was on the computer.

Margery Buehler English lost husband Tim to cancer on October 1, 2002, just six months after the death of their son, H.D.


© 2003 Skidmore College