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Winter 2002

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Genevieve Oliver Littlefield

Miss Charlotte and I have thought of all of you since the disaster of September 11. It has been a painful time for many; please know that we are concerned. I am fortunate in that my family was not directly affected. My grandson witnessed the attacks on the World Trade Center from the Empire State Building, and my granddaughter phoned from Washington, DC, to say she was safe. While driving to work, she saw the plane crash into the Pentagon! Hearing about this prompted memories of where I was when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

Betty Flatow Kaufmann says that due to arthritis, she was obliged to give up bowling this year.

Sculptress Barbara Stroock Kaufman donated a piece entitled “Blue Lady” to the new Dartmouth-Hitchcock Memorial Center in Lebanon, NH, in memory of her husband Ralph, who died of Crohn’s disease. “Ralph spent so much time in the old hospital building and received such good care,” explains Barbara, “that I wanted to give something back.” Barbara is gratified that her sculptures have been cited by several hospital patients as having a healing effect.

Jane Griswold Mensel enjoyed a Skidmore club gathering in Brewster, MA, but missed seeing local classmates there.

Barbara Smith Mettler’s entire clan—including five children, their spouses, and the grandchildren—gathered in Kali-spell, MT, last June to take part in a ceremony during which the ashes of Barbara’s late husband were scattered.

Betty Wiles held a retrospective of 60 years of her paintings in Bayville, NJ, last spring. She is delighted with greatly improved vision after cataract surgery last summer.

Betty Diment Eckel lost her brother last April and then husband Fred in June. A dearly loved and highly respected physician in Westerly, RI, Fred was described by colleagues as “the last of the gentlemen physicians…one whose manner towards patients was pastoral.”

I became a great-grandmother with the birth of a beautiful little girl, Madeleine, on October 1.

Miss Charlotte informed me of a sad note she received recently from Doug Andrews, whose wife, Barbara Hamlin Andrews, passed away on July 7. We extend our condolences to Doug.


Miriam Ogden Cudmore

I was saddened to learn of the death of Betty Kerley Brooks, with whom many of us shared such happy moments during our 60th reunion last May. Betty will be remembered always for her generosity, loyalty, and dedication to the advancement of women in professional life.


Reunion ’02!

Cynthia Taft Lathrop

Beverly Blickman Yunick wrote to inform me of the death of husband David in September. “Ours was a Union-Skidmore romance that lasted for 60 years,” she said. A distinguished business leader, David served on several influential boards and was a former college trustee.

Jean Brickwood Slocum is chair of the board of Slocum and Sons, a wine distributing company in North Haven, CT. When not involved in business, she plays bridge, volunteers, and spends time with her grandchildren.

Bobi van Lenz Chenhall says that running her Albuquerque, NM, art studio and gallery is a full-time job, made easier by husband Bob—who, in addition to framing and hanging artwork, “helps me keep my wits together.” In October, the couple welcomed a third great-granddaughter. Bobi can be contacted at bobiart@rr66.com.

Adrienne Steiner VanDyk says she was “literally stunned” upon hearing of the death of close friend Julianne Oppenheimer Lewis. “We had spoken on the phone perhaps two weeks before she died. I knew at the time that she was ill, but I did not realize how critically. I wish to express our condolences and very profound sense of loss to Julianne’s family.”

As your new class secretary I am delighted to share your news with classmates. Let me share a bit of mine. I still live in my family home in New Hampton which, as you can imagine, requires a lot of TLC. I enjoy tennis and skiing (in moderation, of course!) and my 13 grandchildren.


Mary Sinon Sayer

Dartmouth Medical School has named an endowed chair in the memory of Elizabeth French Lathem, the first woman physician to become a full professor there. The anonymous donor gave $1.5 million to fund a faculty position in pathology.


Barbara Conlon Bulger

Mary Badger Jessup, who lives in Blue Hill, ME, says she had a marvelous summer spent in the Northeast enjoying family gatherings. Writes Badge, “Lobster and fried-clam dinners, outdoor concerts, kayak rides, and fishing kept everyone happily involved.”

For the past three years, Virginia Gooch Puzak and husband Nicholas have lived in a condo on the 14th floor of a large Minneapolis building, where the vista of the city skyline and views of the Mississippi River are “truly spectacular.” The Puzaks have seven grandchildren.

Mary Meckling Jenkins lives at the Kendal retirement community in Hanover, NH, where she gets together with Nora Knox Graham, who is also in Hanover, and Libby Cone Gardner, from nearby Norwich, VT. Mary and husband Johnny continue to spend a month each fall touring Europe, stopping in Vienna, Austria, to visit younger son Robert.


Olga Massimiano Gigante

In late September, I visited the site of the horrific attack on the Pentagon and phoned to share my thoughts with Helaine Nelkin Straus, who had earlier witnessed the plume of black smoke rising from the wreckage of the World Trade Center. We agreed that both images were heartbreaking.

Artist and sculptor Carlyn Feldman Fisher was featured in the Atlanta Constitution this past fall for her work preserving and painting beautiful trees. Carolyn attended a two-week artists’ workshop in Greece last July with Susan Rabinowitz Malloy, who is also a professional artist.

Betsy Berges Perkins and family spent the summer at the Lake George cottage of close friend Jinnie Copithorne Pollin.

A number of ’45ers are moving to retirement communities this year, including Anne Linton Waite, Carolyn Dangler, and Nancy Morison Miller.

Jan Sharp Adkins had lunch with Gladys Bradshaw Dainko on Skidmore’s campus last summer. Gladys was attending an adult education program, while Jan had come to tour the Tang Museum. Jan and Bill worked in a side trip to Mt. Snow, VT, to visit Barbara Mirsky Baker and husband Barnie, who summer there.

Carol Weyand Yorston attended her granddaughter’s wedding in Boulder, CO. The bride completed graduate school in London, married an Englishman, and now lives in London.

Bernie Barclay Straitiff was “extremely pleased” with President Studley’s letter detailing the College’s response to the September 11 tragedy.

Rita Gagnier Buffinton has established the Rita Gagnier Buffinton Endowment Scholarship for Skidmore music majors. She can be contacted at 210 Imperial Drive, Bloomington, IL 61701-2029.

Kitty Guinther Brown lends her writing skills to a community theater in Akron, OH. In addition to editing the company’s playbills and newsletters, she occasionally does some acting. “It would be delightful to do more,” quips Kitty, “but this business of aging seems to take up a lot of time!”

Sue Kadison Richman’s husband, Justin, passed away last May, and her brother died in September. Sue feels very fortunate that she and Justin were able to take two “wonderful” trips together before he died.

Thank you for your cards and letters this past fall. I think the national tragedy brought home to many of us the realization that friendships can sustain us in difficult times.


Miriam Blechman Grimes


Reunion ’02!

Jane Geibel Morton

Cilla Wheeler Vickery, Ruth Schleicher Kroon, and Bobby Fitch Beckett got together on Cape Cod recently. Bobby, who suffered a fractured shoulder after a fall last year, has made a slow recovery and sports a steel rod in her arm.

Jerry Lebmann Moats continues to work for the IRS in Boston.

Bobby Sidd Behan took an enjoyable trip to Niagara Falls with a senior group—her first solo outing since the loss of husband Bud several years ago.

Class president Betty Noyes McMath met with Sybil Kirby, Loraine Friberg Granai, and Syliva Watkins Allen in Manchester, VT, to fine-tune plans for our 55th reunion in May. Betty welcomes your suggestions for interesting activities. She can be reached at 248-338-2269.

Joan Schimpf Root, Mary Jane Ullman Getty, and Jean Ann Stirling Horton are planning the class dinner at reunion. Starbuck patio on campus was chosen as the setting, but the committee is still in search of a lively after-dinner program.

Here on Long Island we are surrounded by grieving families who lost loved ones in the World Trade Center. Having attended many events on the 107th floor, I clearly recall its magnificent view of the city. I am sad for everything the WTC buildings represented; but I still love New York.


Esther Anderson Lacey

On October 24, 16 classmates and several spouses attended a mini-reunion on the Skidmore campus. We were treated to a marvelous dinner at the Surrey Williamson Inn, followed by a lecture by Susan Kress, Class of 1948 Professor for Excellence in Teaching, who spoke eloquently of her life as a teacher at Skidmore. Those attending were Ruth Bloch Baltimore, June Baker Bremer, Hannah Bernstein Casden, Jean Domin Knapp, Barbara Belz Reeves, Tibby VanNess Reid, Katherine Hoopes Schmidt, Billie Stein Tisch, Yvonne Scott Waples, Kathryn Geyer Winant, and I. We were housed in the Union Gables Bed and Breakfast (formerly Skidmore’s Furness House), whose proprietress is alumni board member Jody Witkop ’01. We also enjoyed a tour of the Tang Museum and a lecture from Regis Brodie on ceramics used in the Japanese tea ceremony.

What a year for Suzy Menzel Lindeman: In May, Harvard Observatory held a symposium to honor the 100th birthday of her father, renowned astronomer and former director Donald H. Menzel. Suzy’s family, including her parents’ 6 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, were present for a special tribute and dinner. In October, Suzy married longtime friend Bryan Snyder III. After a honeymoon in the Caribbean, they are residing in Texas when not traveling between Boston, DC, and Naples, FL. A professional filmmaker, Suzy is working on a documentary about the International Hospitality Council, a group chartered in 1960 to help host and orient foreign dignitaries and students visiting the U.S.

Gretchen Eisner Rachlin’s son Mark and his family have moved to Midland, MI, but Gretchen has yet to see the family’s new digs due to a knee replacement that became infected and kept her immobile for months. Slowly on the mend, she continues physical therapy. Gretchen’s daughter Jill has moved nearby in South Orange, NJ, with her husband and three-year-old son.

Bobby Green Brooks and her friend joined Bob and me for our annual summer lunch, followed by a drive to Milford, PA, to tour the summer home of former governor Gifford Pinchot.

For our generation, the realization that the events of September 11 happened on our soil is difficult to handle. I remember walking in London in 1948, when they were still cleaning up rubble of WWII, and how difficult it was then to comprehend the magnitude of the destruction. I send my best wishes to one and all for a better New Year.


Edith Armend Holtermann

Ferne Hessberg Weiner and husband Howard traveled to Antarctica, India, Cuba, and Yucatán in 2001.

Betsy Bell Condron remembers when a group of classmates set out for Europe after graduation. On a canal trip through Holland last spring, Betsy reconnected with a Dutch friend she made 50 years ago. Betsy and her daughter traveled to Spain in July. She and husband Joe visited Candy Cain Willen and husband Neal in their Cape Cod home later in the year. Says Betsy, “Since September 11, staying close to family and friends seems much more important.”

Marion Wambold Shaw and husband were staying at a beachfront hotel in Spain when news of the World Trade Center attacks reached them. Fellow travelers—German, English, French, and Spanish—struggled to console them.

Al and I had dinner with Dottie Schaap Adler and husband Herb.


© 2001 Skidmore College