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In Memoriam


Alice Welsh Ashby ’29 of Castleton, NY, died March 15. She was an English major. She is survived by two sons, a daughter, six grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren; husband George predeceased her.

Ruth Jones Fisher ’30 of Sante Fe, NM, died December 7. An English major, she was an accomplished pianist and cellist. A board member of Friendly House, a nonprofit serving disadvantaged youth, she later founded Camp Pagotce, a camp on the Mississippi River now operated by the YMCA. In her 40s, she earned her pilot’s license to serve as a backup for husband Bob during WWII. In 1953 they flew from their home in Keokuk, IL, to London, to attend the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Ruth flew her own Cessna 140 into her later years. An accomplished fisherman, she championed the tag-and-release program in Baja, CA, and once landed a marlin that was later tracked in Japan. She was an avid golfer and lover of all water sports. She leaves a daughter and five grandchildren.

Ruth Smith Cooney ’32 of Saratoga Springs, NY, died May 31, 2006. A nursing major, she earned a master’s in nursing education from Teachers College at Columbia University. She is survived by two sons.

Josephine Champlin English ’36 of Essex, CT, died March 15. An economics major, she was an avid naturalist and birder. She is survived by two sons, a daughter, seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Pearl Peterson Franzen ’36 of Erie, PA, died September 17, 2005. A psychology major, she was trained as a US Navy WAVE during WWII. She was a member of her church, the Junior League, and the Kahkwa and Erie Yacht Clubs. She leaves a daughter, three sons, and five grandchildren.

Claire Desidoro Bowie ’38 of New York, NY, died June 17, 2006. A romance-language major, she earned a master’s from Harvard University and an MLS from Columbia University. She retired as a professor of library science and was honored for her exemplary work with the Presidents Medal. She was a supporter of the arts and education in New York City. She is survived by a niece.

Roberta Hotaling Watson ’40 of East Dennis, MA, died October 15. A physical-education major, she retired after a career in teaching. She enjoyed skiing and other outdoor sports. She is survived by four daughters, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her husband, Everett, predeceased her.

Marva Rood Blais ’41 of Cedar, MI, died March 25. She was an athlete and advocate for animal rights. She is survived by five children, two sisters, and 10 grandchildren. Her husband, Robert, predeceased her.

Marjorie Hall Halliday ’42 of New Smyrna Beach, FL, died January 6. An art major, she earned a master’s in education from the University of New Hampshire and was a teacher for 40 years. She was a board member of Habitat for Humanity and a member of the AAUW. Predeceased by husband William, she leaves a daughter.

Betty Brett Hungerford ’42 of Fort Myers, FL, died February 21. An economics major, she was a former travel agent. She served Skidmore as a class agent. She is survived by daughter Mary Anne Hungerford McLaughlin ’69, two sons, 11 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

Marcia Dorwin Forsberg ’43 of Tucson, AZ, died in December. She was a psychology major. She is survived by two daughters.

Barbara Bearse Rowland ’46 of Boston, MA, died January 3, 2006. A biology major, she was a civic volunteer who hosted an annual tennis tournament in New Castle, NH. She is survived by two sons, five stepchildren, 20 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren. Her husband, Allen, predeceased her.

Ellen Hinds McGrath ’46 of Nelson, NH, died March 21. She was a physical education major. She is survived by a daughter and two sons.

Jean Colby Shields ’48 of Salem, SC, died April 10. A business major, she was a longtime executive secretary to the president of Connecticut Mutual Life. She was active in the Junior League and was an honorary member of the Dartmouth Class of 1952. She served Skidmore as a club president. Predeceased by husband Reed, she leaves a stepdaughter.

Shirley Thayer Steidel ’48 of Largo, FL, died October 4. A nursing major, she earned a master’s in public health from Yale University. She is survived by a companion. Her husband, Carl, predeceased her.

Cynthia Fok Lee ’51 of San Jose, CA, died February 24. A sociology major, she earned a master’s in education from Columbia University. With her husband she owned and ran the China House restaurant in Cupertino, CA, for 20 years. She was active in the Lingnan University alumni association, Quota International, the Chinese Historical and Cultural Project, and the Cupertino Historical Society. She is survived by two daughters, two sons, and two grandchildren. Her husband, Hai Chow, predeceased her.

Winifred Todd Dolliver ’51 of Nashua, NH, died February 13. An art major, she earned a master’s in education. She was a first-grade teacher in Westwood, MA. She is survived by her husband and two sons.

Gretchen Rasch Denk ’53 of Lewiston, NY, died March 2. A business major, she was a retired social worker. A former board member and president of the YMCA of the Tonawandas and past board president of DeGraff and Niagara Falls Memorial Hospitals, she was a volunteer for the United Way and the American Cancer Society. She served Skidmore as a club president. She leaves a daughter and several nieces and nephews.

Lynn Shoals MacDuffie ’53 of Palm Harbor, FL, died December 3. An art major, she owned several restaurant franchises. She is survived by two sons, three daughters, and 11 grandchildren. Her husband, Richard, predeceased her.

Abigail Adams Seymour ’56 of Rochester, NY, died November 29. She was an English major. She leaves husband Albert, daughter Katherine Seymour Guider ’83, a son, and several grandchildren.

Henrietta Lebowitz ’72 of Glens Falls, NY, died February 28 after a long illness. She returned to college at the age of 49 and earned her degree in English. She is survived by three sons, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Her husband, Charles, predeceased her.

Yvonne Osterhout Harnish ’72 of Fort Johnson, NY, died February 11, 2006. A nursing major, she was former director of patient services at Montgomery County Nursing Service. She authored the Manual of Public Health Nursing, which is used as a college textbook and by professional agencies. She is survived by husband John, a son, and a daughter.

Amy King Horne ’72 of Verbank, NY, died February 16 after a brief illness. A sociology major, she also attended Brown University. She was a licensed realtor specializing in new home sales. She is survived by a son.

Bryant Wood ’76 of Somerville, MA, died November 3. An art major, he was a commercial artist. He leaves his wife, Alison.

Stephen Kraft, UWW ’80, of Greenwich, NY, died April 11. He was a working artist who published two books of digitized artwork. He is survived by a son, his parents, three brothers, and five sisters.

Patricia Anne Madzy, UWW ’84, of Pittsfield, MA, died February 23. A dance major, she was a teacher at the Terspichore Dance Company. She leaves husband Leonard, a son, a daughter, her mother, a sister, and a grandson.

Evangeline Westmore ’97 of Warren, RI, died of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma on March 18. A fine arts major, she earned an MFA from the Glasgow School of Art, and was the first public-art coordinator for the city of Inverness, Scotland. According to city officials, “she was a breath of fresh air.” She led the commissioning and management of artists on projects including the City Centre Streetscape, Centre for Health Science, and Ness Island enhancement programs. Working with top artists in the country, she provided advice to the National Trust of Scotland and other civic associations. She leaves her parents and a sister.


James McCabe of Stuart, FL, died May 25; he was 90. A former executive with Merck & Co., McCabe was Skidmore’s VP for business affairs and treasurer for eight years, during the transition to the Jonsson Campus. Over the course of his tenure the college worked to balance its budget while constructing Case Center, Palamountain Hall, the Saisselin Art Building, Ladd Hall, and Scribner Village. McCabe served as a Skidmore trustee from 1980 to 1989, chairing the search committee that brought President David Porter to Skidmore in 1987. While on the board, McCabe encouraged the planning of athletic facilities and increasing admissions activity—especially larger enrollments of male students. In 1991 the college presented him with an honorary doctor of laws degree.
McCabe is survived by his wife of 64 years, Elisabeth, a daughter, two sons, six grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.


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.