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Winter 2004

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Alumni | Faculty & Staff | Friends

In Memoriam



Elizabeth Honness McKaughan ’26 of Upper Montclair, NJ, died August 12. An English major, she was a former managing editor of American Girl magazine and author of a series of mystery novels for children—many of which were set in the Catskills of New York State. In later years, she wrote children’s bible stories. Her last book, an adult mystery novel titled The Spy at Tory Hole, was published in 1975. She was an avid international traveler whose trips often inspired her writing. An associate Skidmore trustee from 1937 to 1944, she also served as class secretary, club volunteer, and class agent. In 1987 she received the alumni association’s Distinguished Achievement Award. She is survived by a daughter and a granddaughter; her husband, Jesse, predeceased her.

Doris Hoag Bringsjord ’32 of Sykesville, MD, died June 26 of a heart attack. A business major, she was active in student government, several sports clubs, Eromdiks, and Skidmore News. She taught secondary school in Margaretville, NY, and Baldwin, Long Island, for a decade after graduation. She was a former president of the Long Island Skidmore club. She is survived by a daughter, a son, and a granddaughter.

Adelaide Burgess Herbold ’34 of Lakewood, NJ, died August 21. A business major, she graduated with honors and worked for Bendix Aviation prior to her marriage. There are no known survivors. Husband William predeceased her.

Jean McKinley Waaland ’36 of Greenville, NC, died August 29. A nursing major, she worked as a visiting nurse for the NYC Health Department prior to moving to Corning, NY. A civic volunteer, she worked on behalf of the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, Corning Hospital, the Blind Association, and Meals on Wheels. An accomplished musician, she opened her home to many students from around the world. She is survived by her husband, Thomas, three daughters, four grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

Ruth Miller Penner ’36
of Narragansett, RI, died June 10. A business major, she was assistant director at Katherine Gibbs Schools and later assistant dean at Finch College and Ogontz Junior College. In the early 1960s she and husband Roy acquired the Newport School for Girls, which they operated as resident directors, adding a school for the performing arts in 1965. She is survived by a son and two daughters.

Brenda Baxter Merkel ’36 of Columbus, NC, died January 6, 2003. A fine arts major, she was active with several team sports and served on the staff of Eromdiks and Skidmore News. She was a member of Junior League, Daughters of the American Revolution, Planned Parenthood, and the AAUW. An accomplished golfer, she was also an instructor for a local women’s golf association. For Skidmore she was a club officer and admissions correspondent. She is survived by her husband, David, sister Lucy Baxter Bauer ’41, two sons, a daughter, and seven grandchildren.

Harriet Chase Baldwin ’38
of Longmeadow, MA, died June 15. A sociology and economics major, she earned a degree in nursing at the Children’s Hospital School of Nursing in Boston. She is survived by husband Willard, two sons, two daughters—including Sallie Baldwin ’65—and granddaughter Kristin Andrade ’89.

Ruth Deady Laubach ’39 of Pikesville, MD, died August 19 of heart failure. An English major, she earned a master’s in social work from the University of Pennsylvania in 1948 and was a social worker for Baltimore public schools for over four decades. A staunch advocate for wildlife, she was well known locally for caring for injured animals. She served the college as a reunion and club volunteer. She is survived by a son, a brother, and sister Lucille Deady Muller ’42. Husband Charles and sister Margaret Deady Rylee ’38 predeceased her.

Phyllis Newman Byan ’44 of Centerville, MA, died September 10. A psychology major, she was interlibrary loan librarian at Sarah Lawrence College from 1969 to 1983, and subsequently worked for the Centerville Library for several years. She is survived by her husband, Leonard, a son, and a daughter.

Priscilla Spencer King ’45 of Bellows Falls, VT, died July 20. A phys-ed major, she earned a master’s in education from NYU and taught at Skidmore from 1945 to 1949. A gifted and versatile athlete, she played on the US Women’s Field Hockey and Lacrosse teams and once bowled a perfect 300. She was active in church leadership and served on the Rockingham School Board for two decades. She is survived by husband Theodore, three daughters, and four grandchildren.

Marjory Becher Staub ’46
of Niantic, CT, died August 23. A business major, she was corporate secretary and treasurer of Bailey and Staub Inc., a family-held firm. She was active in the East Lyme Historical Society and Lion’s Club, and a lifetime member of the Old Lyme Country Club and the Niantic Bay Yacht Club. She was also a charter member of the East Lyme Garden Club and a volunteer for her church. She served Skidmore as a class agent and reunion volunteer. She is survived by husband Nicholas, daughter Bailey Staub Johnson ’73, two sons, and five grandchildren.

Marcia Morse Neiley ’46 of Vero Beach, FL, died June 19. A phys-ed major, she was active in student government and several sports clubs. She earned a master’s in guidance and counseling from the University of Pennsylvania in 1949. She was a phys-ed instructor at Wheaton College and Danbury Junior High School in Connecticut, a phys-ed director for Stuart, FL, schools, and a placement director at Lasell Junior College in Auburndale, MA. She was also director of the synchronized swimming program at the Danbury YMCA. She is survived by three sons, a daughter, sister Katherine Morse Pincus ’49, niece Gillian Morse King ’81, and grandson Alex Arcovio ’07. Her husband, Richard, predeceased her.

Jean Begnal Wogman ’48 of Saratoga Springs, NY, died September 21. A nursing major, she was a public health nurse in NYC, where she later worked at NYU with a rheumatic-fever research group and subsequently became supervisor of nurses. After moving to Coral Gables, FL, with her husband in the early 1960s, she was director of in-service education at Doctor’s Hospital. Returning to NYC several years later, she worked at the VA Hospital in Manhattan, retiring in 1988. She was an avid international traveler. A member of the Saratoga Golf and Polo Clubs, she regularly attended the Palamountain Polo Benefit, and also served Skidmore as a class agent and member of the Friends of the Presidents Society. She is survived by a brother and several nieces and nephews. Her husband, Morris, predeceased her.

Patricia Constantikes Mason ’52 of Gouverneur, NY, died of cancer August 26. A music major, she was the former director of vocal music at several public schools and chaired regional music festivals before entering real estate sales in the early 1980s. A past president of the local library and hospital auxiliary boards, she made a bid for town supervisor in 1975. Active in a number of area choral groups, she was also choir director of St. James Church. For Skidmore she was a class agent. She is survived by her husband, James, and two sons.

Cornelia Cogswell Rossi ’54 of New Haven, CT, died June 7. A history major, she was a board member of the Jackson Laboratory and the Mt. Desert Island Hospital Development Committee in Bar Harbor, ME. A member of several area swim clubs, she was also active in the Cosmopolitan Club of NYC and the Lawn Club of New Haven. She is survived by a brother. Her husband, Joseph, predeceased her.

Jane Holzman Klein ’59 of Stamford, CT, died July 3. She is survived by husband Louis.

Paula Simon Wachtel ’59 of Martinsville, NJ, died September 30. An English major, she earned an MA in education from Columbia University. She was a career educator who taught elementary school and English as a second language, and served as director of the Rutgers University Learning Center and senior consultant for an executive training corporation in Mendham. She especially enjoyed lecturing on Japanese flower arrangement and earned an international diploma in the subject from the School of Ikebana in Yokohama, Japan. She is survived by husband Daniel, two daughters, and three grandsons.

Kathryn Areson ’68 of Wellesley, MA, died suddenly on July 28. An American studies major, she earned a master’s in guidance and counseling from Tufts University in 1971 and a doctorate in behavioral science from the University of the Pacific in 1975. She was a management and training consultant and founder of Training Program Associates in Wellesley. She is survived by a daughter.

Sherri Cunningham Peter ’79 of Auburn, NY, died August 24 after a long illness. A government major, she was a principal financial consultant with Pinnacle Investments of Dewitt. She had previously been employed at First Albany Corp. and Smith Barney. A board member of Hospice of the Finger Lakes, she was a member of the Zonta Club, Finger Lakes Ski Club, and Highland Golf Club. She is survived by husband Frederick, her parents, three sisters—including Marki Cunningham Cool ’81—a brother, and three stepchildren.

Faculty & Staff

Joan Harmon of Saratoga Springs died October 23; she was 61. Harmon began working at Skidmore in 1960 as secretary to Dean of the Faculty Edwin M. Moseley. Several years later she left the area with husband Jack, who was in the Navy. In 1980 Joan returned to Skidmore as secretary of the business department. Former department chair Betty Balevic recalls Harmon’s strong work ethic, sense of community, and effectiveness in tending to “the many details” of a busy department. Harmon also handled secretarial duties for the Affirmative Action Office, then headed by Balevic. She retired from Skidmore in 1997. Outside the college, she was involved with the Elks Club, scouting, and parent-teacher groups. She is survived by her husband, Jack, a daughter, son, and grandchildren.

Margaret Hays of Saratoga Springs died October 29; she was 88. A college employee for 50 years, she began as an assistant in the Skidmore Shop in 1934. She became assistant store manager in 1969, on the new campus, and worked there until retiring in 1984. Skidmore Shop director Barbara Heron says Hays “devoted her life to the faculty and students of Skidmore.” Hays was also known as an excellent cook who loved plants and flowers. She is survived by numerous nephews, nieces, grandnephews, and grandnieces.

Richard Kelleher of Glens Falls, NY, died October 28, following a long illness. He was 61. Kelleher worked in facilities services for 18 years. A former military policeman with the US Army in Germany, he began at Skidmore in 1985 as a custodian. He became a maintenance mechanic in 1989, and five years later became a boiler operator—a position he held until his retirement last summer. He served as vice president of Local 200 (SEIU) and was the union’s on-campus chair for 15 years. Described by his Skidmore colleagues as a “real family man,” Kelleher was also a skilled handyman who enjoyed remodeling his home and other properties. Survivors include wife Barbara, four sons, and eight grandchildren.


Laurence Tisch of New York City died November 15; he was 80. Known widely for his philanthropy in education, the arts, and humanitarian causes, he was married for 55 years to trustee Wilma Stein Tisch ’48, with whom he played a major role in the advancement of Skidmore College. In honor of the couple’s generosity and leadership, the Tisch name abounds on campus, including the Tisch Learning Center, dedicated in 1994; the Tisch Chair in Arts and Sciences, held by Prof. Robert Boyers; and the Tisch Endowed Scholarship Fund. In 1994 Skidmore awarded Tisch an honorary doctor of laws degree on the occasion of his serving as the F. William Harder Lecturer in Business Administration.

Beginning in the 1960s, Tisch and his brother Bob co-chaired the Loews Corporation, building it into a conglomerate of hotels, insurance, cigarette manufacturing, movie theaters, oil tankers, and watchmaking. From 1986 to 1995, he was CEO of CBS.

Survivors includes wife Billie, four sons, brother Bob, 15 grandchildren, and grandniece Emily Sussman ’04.

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.


© 2004 Skidmore College