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Summer 2003

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In Memoriam

Alumni

Marjorie Smith Davis ’26 of New Bern, NC, died January 17. An English major, she taught violin to help pay tuition. After graduation, she accompanied her first husband, West Point officer Clair Conzelman, for several tours of duty in the Philippines. She and her children were evacuated in 1941, when she returned to Vermont to become a civil defense volunteer and spokesperson, serving as a delegate to the National Republican Foreign Policy Convention in 1944. Six years after her husband’s death aboard a Japanese prison ship that came under Allied fire in the closing days of WW II, she married Dean Davis, then-president of National Life Insurance Company. She campaigned actively for him in his 1968 bid to become governor of Vermont and in the subsequent two terms he served. Vermont’s First Lady for more than a decade, she was a board member of the Vermont Council on World Affairs, trustee of the Wood Art Gallery for over 20 years, vice president of the Vermont Arthritis Foundation, and honorary chair of the Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women. She served Skidmore as an alumna trustee from 1962 to 1966. An accomplished artist, she was also a lifelong devotee of farming and raising horses and especially enjoyed driving her horse and buggy. She is survived by a son and daughter, a stepson and stepdaughter, eight grandchildren and 10 step-grandchildren, and many great-grandchildren.

Florence Jewell Jeffords ’27 of Saratoga Springs, NY, died April 29. A music major, she enjoyed a 30-year career teaching music for the Broadalbin School District. She also co-owned Jeffords Funeral Home with her husband, Horace, who predeceased her. She is survived by a cousin.

Mary Holden Poyntz ’28 of Eugene, OR, died July 8, 2002. An English major, she was editor of Eromdiks and the Quarterly literary magazine. A professional portrait artist, she studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, and the Carnegie Institute. She was a longtime volunteer English tutor to foreign scholars at the University of California at San Diego and served her Skidmore class as president. She is survived by two daughters and niece Serena Loudon Skiffington ’90. Her husband, Pearce, and sisters Jane Holden ’34 and Barbara Holden Wooding ’38 predeceased her.

Eleanor Towson Barney ’29 of Lexington, MA, died January 21. She was a mathematics major. She is survived by several nieces and a nephew; husband Arthur predeceased her.

Gertrude Schanck Wolcott ’29 of New Rochelle, NY, died March 7. An English major, she was an accomplished artist who studied with Edgar Whitney and Donald Pierce. She co-founded the Plateau Cirque Art Group in Bronxville, NY, in 1955 and exhibited in juried shows throughout Westchester. An active member of several regional art guilds, she has paintings included in many private collections. Also known for her love of competitive sports, Gertrude was an avid curler with the Westchester Wicks and a former woman’s club champion at St. Andrew’s Golf Club in Hastings-on-Hudson. She is survived by a son and two daughters, including Mary Heep VanRiper ’59, and several grandchildren. Her husband, Charles Wolcott, and sister Helen Schanck Fowler ’31 predeceased her.

Clara Healey Hager ’30 of Sarasota, FL, died March 14. An English major, she taught junior-high-school English and literature. She is survived by a son, five grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. Her daughter, husband Harry, and sister Eleanor Healey Merrill ’36 predeceased her.

Ruth Hilton Kennedy ’31 of West Hartford, CT, died January 29. A psychology major, she earned a master’s from Trinity College in 1937 and studied at Harvard. She worked at the Connecticut Rehabilitation Society and Trinity College and was an active volunteer for Literacy Volunteers, Easter Seals, and other community organizations. She served Skidmore as class agent, club president, and admissions correspondent. She is survived by a daughter and a grandson; husband Warren predeceased her.

Lillian Bardusch Bierwart ’34 of Mendham, NJ, died October 7 after a 25-year battle with polymyalgia rheumatica. She is survived by husband Thane, two sons, and sister Janet Bardusch Badenoch ’34.

Carol Black McVickar ’34 of Macomb, IL, died February 20. An art major, she was an accomplished artist who also studied at Yale and the National Academy of Design in NYC. She earned a master’s degree in art education from Columbia University in 1936 and taught fine arts at the University of Illinois from 1937 to 1942. She particularly enjoyed painting New England marine landscapes during her summer vacations there and often traveled overseas. She was active in her church and civic groups. She is survived by a daughter, a sister, three granddaughters, and two great-grandchildren; husband John predeceased her.

Blanche Christensen Fishel ’35 of Scotch Plains, NJ, died October 2. Graduating with honors in music, she subsequently earned a master’s in elementary education from Oswego State University. She was a longtime music teacher at Belleville Central School in Jefferson County, NY, where she founded award-winning marching and stage bands. She later taught second grade at Henderson Central until her retirement in 1979. She is survived by a grandson, a granddaughter, a sister, and two great-grandchildren. Daughter Carol and husband Raymond predeceased her.

Florence Downer Guillot ’38 of Burlington, VT, died January 4, 2001, after a long illness. A music major, she had a brief career as a teacher and concert harpist. She lived in Tokyo with husband Edgar for eight years, serving on the board of the American School in Japan and as a volunteer for the Tokyo Council of Church Women. In later years she became a registered diamond gemologist and worked for Preston’s Jewelers in Burlington. The harp she used for her senior recital at Skidmore was played at her funeral. She is survived by a son, a daughter, six grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Mary Dillistin Bishop ’38 of Stuart, FL, died February 5. A business major, she led a local chapter of AAUW and was a member of the board of trustees at her church. She enjoyed golf and traveling. She is survived by her husband, Willard, two sons, daughter Alice Woodford Gillespie ’68, cousin Anne Crosse Bowman ’62, three stepsons, and five grandchildren.

Dorothy Hobbs DeLong ’39 of Mamaroneck, NY, died January 15. A business major, she was a retired recreation supervisor at the New Rochelle Department of Human Services. She is survived by two daughters and a grandson.

Mary MacLachlin Rich ’40 of Petaluma, CA, died February 8. An English major, she earned a master’s in American literature from Columbia University in 1942 and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1948. She was a former professor of English at the University of Montana. She played the recorder and was an avid gardener. She is survived by husband Eldon, a daughter, and sister Emily MacLachlin Carl ’35.

Margery Wheeler Johnson ’40 of Naples, FL, died May 1. A business major, she was a civic and alumni club volunteer. A devotee of symphony music and opera, she also enjoyed hiking in Colorado. She is survived by husband Kenneth, a son, and two grandchildren.

Carol Bellavigna Dannecker ’41 of East Haddam, CT, died November 13. She was a biology major. She is survived by a son and daughter, three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren; husband John predeceased her.

Marie-Louise Steiner Nickerson ’41 of New York, NY, died March 3 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. A business major, she earned a J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1944. A respected Nassau County attorney, she was one of several members of the Nassau Women’s Bar Association who provided free legal services for indigent youth in the 1960s, a time when such services were not available. She served as Nassau District Court judge from 1975 to 1987. Married to former Nassau County executive and federal judge Eugene Nickerson, she was an active political campaigner. She is survived by three daughters and five grandchildren.

Althea Williams Moncsko ’41 of Saratoga Springs, NY, died April 29. A business major, she taught in the Schoharie and Bellmore school districts prior to her marriage. She was a charter member of the Saratoga chapter of AAUW and was active in the local Order of the Eastern Star and Meals on Wheels program. She served the college as a reunion volunteer and class agent. She is survived by two daughters, a son, six grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Husband Julius predeceased her.

Helen Pitney ’41 of Saratoga Springs, NY, died April 30. A history major, she retired as deputy commissioner of accounts for the City of Saratoga Springs in 1986 after a 42-year career in City Hall. She is survived by five nieces, two nephews, and two sisters-in-law.

Marion Melnik Crane ’42 of Belmont, MA, died January 3. A history major, she earned a master’s in education from Boston College in 1965 and enjoyed a lengthy career as a fifth-grade teacher in Milton, MA. She is survived by husband Philip and niece Nancy Dunne Bulger ’71.

Dorothy Schanck Fehr ’42 of Allentown, PA, died April 23. She was the first person to graduate from Skidmore with a baccalaureate degree in nursing. Her lengthy career included clinical nursing at Johns Hopkins Hospital, U.S. Army hospitals, the Hartford (CT) Veteran’s Hospital, and Pottsville Hospital in Pennsylvania. She also worked as a public health nurse. Following her retirement, she remained active in her church and as a Red Cross volunteer. She is survived by a daughter and three sons. Husband John predeceased her.

Carolyn Diver Tallman ’43 of Wilmington, DE, died June 1, 1999, after a long illness. She is survived by her husband, John.

Lillian Hetrick Huber ’43 of Fairfield, CT, died January 13. An economics major, she was a former administrative assistant for 3030 Park Avenue Inter-Church Residences in Bridgeport. She was an avid bridge player and golfer and longstanding member of the Brooklawn Country Club and Black Rock Yacht Club. She is survived by two daughters, a son, three stepchildren, and three grandchildren. Husband Carl predeceased her.

Jean McNiece ’45 of Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, died June 20, 2002. A history major, she earned an M.L.S from Pratt Institute and worked for the New York Public Library for over 30 years. There are no known survivors.

Meriwyn Parker Berle ’45 of Jacksonville, FL, died December 13. She is survived by husband John.

Irene Larson Glatfelter ’46 of Edgewood, FL, died January 29. A nursing major, she was director of nurses at Wallingford Convalescent Home in Connecticut from 1966 to 1986, having worked previously at Yale New Haven Hospital and Gaylord Hospital in Wallingford. She was an active member of her church and involved in wildlife preservation efforts in Florida. She is survived by husband Jack, three daughters, a son, two brothers, two grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Isabel Shaw Osburn ’46 of Old Lyme, CT, died February 26. A business major, she was a volunteer for Planned Parenthood, the PTA, and other community organizations. She served Skidmore as a reunion and club volunteer, class agent, and class secretary. She is survived by husband Cordon, two sons, and two grandchildren.

June Hiller Carr ’46 of Rochester, MA, died March 16 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. An economics major, she most recently owned and operated East Over Cranberry Farm; prior to that, she owned two retail computer franchises in North Dartmouth and Centerville. She was active in the Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, and American Red Cross while raising her five children. She is survived by husband Richard; two daughters, including Deborah Carr Clark ’73; three sons; and several grandchildren.

Phyllis Geipel Mordas ’47 of Medford Lakes, NJ, died November 8. A nutrition major, she earned an M.L.S. from Drexel University in 1967. She retired after many years as librarian for the Edison Township Public Schools. An owner of thoroughbred racehorses, she was a frequent summer guest at the Saratoga Race Course and active in regional alumni club events. She is survived by a son, a daughter, and seven grandchildren.

Jane Ray Merrick ’47 of Hilton Head, SC, died February 18 after a long illness. A theater major, she was a dedicated volunteer for the children’s unit of the Kings Park Psychiatric Hospital and the Women’s Coalition on Long Island. She sang in a choir and taught Sunday school for many years. An avid boater, she was a past member of the Centerport, NY, Yacht Club. She is survived by husband George, two sons, daughter Elizabeth Merrick Munsey ’74, and eight grandchildren.

Marie Zampano Arpaia ’48 of Cheshire, CT, died August 12, 2002. A sociology major, she was a volunteer for the Girl Scouts and several charitable organizations. She is survived by husband Nicholas, a son, and a daughter.

Leola Ah Nin Woo ’48 of Kaneohe, HI, died March 31. A sociology major, she was a retired director of the Progressive Neighborhood Program. She is survived by two sons, three daughters, 18 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, three brothers, and a sister. Her husband, Peter, predeceased her.

Jane Ferguson Wingate ’50 of Bow, NH, died March 24. Her husband, Earl, predeceased her; there are no known survivors.

Laura Richardson Gilbert ’51 of West Newton, MA, died August 24, 2001. A history major, she earned a master’s in art from the University of Chicago and was a medical illustrator for the Argonne Cancer Research Hospital in Chicago. She also exhibited and sold her paintings in area galleries. She is survived by two daughters and a cousin; husband John predeceased her.

Mary McCartney Carrillo ’52 of San Diego, CA, died October 20 after a brief illness. A sociology major, she was a dedicated civic volunteer who served in local hospitals and the board of elections, once opening her home as a polling place for her Mira Mesa neighborhood. She worked for the City of San Diego public library system during the early 1980s and spearheaded efforts to lobby the city to improve several branches. She served Skidmore as a Wide Horizons campaign volunteer. She is survived by two daughters, two sons, and a sister; husband Manuel predeceased her.

Albert Massaro ’52 of Ballston Lake, NY, died March 24 after a brief illness. A chemistry major, he earned his degree after serving in World War II. He went on to complete a doctorate in dental science from New York University in 1956 and practiced in Schenectady, NY, for more than 30 years. After retiring in 1989, he became an avid world traveler, an astute photographer, and a crossword-puzzle enthusiast. He is survived by three brothers, a sister, and several nieces and nephews.

Nancy Hennen ’54 of Norwalk, CT, died December 12. A government major, she was research project coordinator for Greenwich Associates, an advertising firm. She was a member of several professional societies and an avid golfer, sailor, and gardener. She especially enjoyed participating in church activities. There are no known survivors.

Denise Aktipis Sansiveri ’55 of Cedar Grove, NJ, died November 27. A business major, she was a former high-school business teacher. She is survived by husband Anthony, a son, daughter, her mother, two sisters, and three grandchildren.

Marilyn Himmelfarb Swartz ’55 of Cherry Hill, NJ, died March 15 after a brief bout with bone-marrow cancer. A music education major, she went on to earn a master’s in education from Columbia University and a master’s in family therapy from Hahnemann Medical College. She was a licensed couples and family therapist. A dedicated alumna, she served the college as class fund chair and class agent. She is survived by husband Charles, three sons, and two brothers.

Joan Speer Bateman ’55 of Somerville, NJ, died March 28. A nursing major, she founded the North Branch Reformed Church Senior Home, Kirkside, in Bridgewater, NJ. A member of the New Jersey Sports and Exhibition Authority, she helped her husband, State Senator Raymond Bateman, launch his gubernatorial bid in 1977. In addition to Raymond, she is survived by two daughters, two sons, a sister, and eight grandchildren.

Joan Reed Cundill ’56 of Aspen, CO, died January 14 of pancreatic cancer. An English major, she was a dedicated community volunteer in Vancouver, Canada, and Aspen. She especially enjoyed traveling with family and friends. She is survived by husband Peter, a son, a daughter, and a grandson.

Carolyn Geismar Kaplan ’57 of Upper Montclair, NJ, died April 22. An art major, she was founder and president of Creative Consultants, an interior design firm. She is survived by husband Edgar, a daughter and son, a brother, and three grandchildren.

Ann Morgan Heartt ’58 of Bremen, ME, died May 3 of cancer. An art major, she was a management consultant at her husband’s accounting firm, Stephen Heartt and Associates in Boston. She was an active member of the Junior League of Boston, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, and the Family Service Society of the North Shore, which she served as president during the mid 1970s. She also was a former board member of Children’s Hospital. Traveling around the world with family and friends was a favorite pastime. In addition to husband Stephen, she leaves a daughter.

Sandy Carlson Tarlow ’65 of New York, NY, died March 23 of lung cancer. An art major, she was co-founder, executive vice president and creative director of Kurtz & Tarlow Advertising Agency, which created and defined the Polo campaign for Ralph Lauren. Later managing the Lauren account almost exclusively through her own firm, Carlson & Partners, she helped Lauren create one of the most successful and visible American companies of the last quarter-century. She also promoted skin-care products for Neutrogena and Johnson & Johnson. A Skidmore Alumni Association Distinguished Achievement Award nominee in 1987 and 1989, she was featured in a January 1978 Harper’s Bazaar article entitled “Beauty Strategies for Success” and was the recipient of numerous industry honors and accolades. She is survived by husband Dick, a son, a sister, two brothers, and her mother.

Mary Nicholls Feddersen ’66 of Elkhart, IN, died October 17. An art major, she attended the Parsons School of Design and was an accomplished photographer. She is survived by husband Lee, a son, and a daughter.

Sherryl Cagnoli ’71 of Alexandria, VA, died February 1 of breast cancer. A history major, she earned a J.D. from George Washington University and built a 28-year career as a labor attorney for the U.S. Postal Service, including service as assistant postmaster general for labor relations and director of equal opportunity employment. At the time she became ill, she was managing counsel of corporate law. She is survived by husband Richard Lake, her parents, a brother, and seven grandchildren.

Wayne Cohen ’77 of Redondo Beach, CA, died January 16. A business major, he was editor of the Skidmore News and financial vice president for SGA. A former vice president of Cohen Brothers Dress Corporation in NYC, he graduated from Harvard Business School’s executive management program in 1985 and was active in the school’s alumni club of greater New York. Moving to Los Angeles in the late 1980s, Wayne became vice president of marketing for a packaging firm based there. He is survived by his parents, two brothers, and a niece.

Margery Flieger ’78 of Deer Park, NY, died July 3, 2002 of cancer. An art major, she was an account executive for a direct-mail marketing and financial services firm. There are no known survivors.

Catherine Crawford Luckenbach ’83 of Bethlehem, PA, died May 21 after a long battle with cancer. She majored in sociology. Dedicated to helping others similarly afflicted with particularly aggressive forms of cancer, she was an active member of the organization Support for People with Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer. A devoted mother to son Daniel, 10, she was a Cub Scout leader, a volunteer for Hanover Township Elementary School, and an avid soccer mom up until her death. She was also active in her church. In addition to her husband, Leonard, and her son, she leaves her parents, three sisters, and two brothers.

Bruce Merola ’84 of Irvine, CA, died November 7, 1994. He majored in business. He is survived by his mother.

Richard Hiller ’92 of Amawalk, NY, died May 1. A business major and member of Skidmore’s ice hockey team, he owned and operated a Blockbuster Video store in Terrington, CT. He is survived by his wife, Jennifer Rebeck Hiller ’93, two daughters, his parents, and two sisters.

Ronald Reisner, UWW ’79, of Ballston Spa, NY, died January 23. He was a business consultant with General Business Services and a former agent with the FBI. An active member of the Rotary Club of Ballston Spa, he was an accomplished golfer who belonged to the U.S. Golfing Association and the PGA Tour Partners Club. He is survived by a daughter, three sons, his mother, a brother, and two grandchildren.

Be 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.


 


© 2003 Skidmore College