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People & projects | UWW | In Memoriam
Jean Mills Ford ’28 of Brooklyn, CT, died September 14, 1998. A psychology major, she retired after a career in sales. She is survived by a daughter; her husband, Joseph, predeceased her.
Mary Pearson Trinkaus ’31 of Fremont, CA, died March 19, 2004. A home-economics major, she taught high school for several years prior to her marriage. She was active in Girl Scouts and volunteered as a school librarian. She is survived by a daughter; husband John predeceased her.
Jeannette Thomson Hemenway ’31 of West Hartford, CT, died February 1, 2004. An art major, she taught art at Sedwick Junior High School in West Hartford until 1940 and then was a substitute teacher. An active community volunteer, she served Skidmore as a club officer. She is survived by a daughter and a son; husband Everett predeceased her.
Clarissa Brown Floyd ’32 of Woodbridge, VA, died November 2. A biology major, she earned a master’s in education from Columbia University. She was a member of the Kansas City Junior League and a docent at the Nelson Gallery of Art. She is survived by a son and two daughters, seven grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. Her husband, Carl, predeceased her.
Mary Loughran Hilton ’33 of Kingston, NY, died January 17, 2002. An art major, she was former director of a multiservice treatment center for troubled children and their families. She was a former president and program chair for the Old Dutch Church Women’s Guild and Museum, and president of the Newburgh AAUW and Junior League. She is survived by a son. Her husband, William, predeceased her.
Clara Blanchard Howes ’34 of Tuckahoe, NY, died May 13. A home-economics major, she had been a kindergarten teacher in NYC. She is survived by husband William and two sons.
Isabel Needham Bliss ’35 of Chelsea, MI, died June 24 of cancer. A nursing major, she earned a master’s in social work from the former Shauffler College in Cleveland, OH, in 1938. A longtime peace activist with the American Friends Service Committee, she served as director of a Spanish children’s refugee colony in Marseilles, France, from 1940 to 1942 and subsequently worked in Ecuador for the Rockefeller Foundation. While there, she helped establish the first nursing school in Quito. Her overseas work with refugees continued in Egypt and Yugoslavia until 1946, when she married. In the US Isabel was a key figure in antiwar and anti-segregation efforts during the 1950s and 1960s. She was arrested in 1968 for civil disobedience on behalf of the Poor People’s Campaign in Washington, DC. She continued working as a nurse in the Cleveland area, and served the Quakers on a national level. In 2002 she was honored with a Michigan Lifetime Achievement Award for her volunteer efforts. She is survived by husband William, two daughters, a son, and two grandchildren.
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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.
Marion Green Kruesi ’36 of Signal Mountain, TN, died January 1, 2003. An English major, she was involved in Freshman Glee Club, the Sophomore Guard of Honor, the May Court, and baseball. After college she was active in the PTA, American Red Cross, and Junior League. She was an avid world traveler and especially enjoyed her dogs. Marion leaves a son, a daughter, and sister Alice Green Schryver ’31. Her husband, John, predeceased her.
Peggy Miller McCullough ’36 of Orlando, FL, died June 4. An art major, she was an interior designer prior to marrying a US Army colonel and traveling throughout Europe and Japan while raising her family. She was fond of animals, especially horses and dogs. She is survived by husband J. Robert, three daughters, and a sister.
Agnes Dunn Mackenzie ’37 of Cranford, NJ, died August 7. A history major, she attended Columbia Teachers College and worked in the insurance field. An avid civic volunteer, she served the historical societies in the Cranford area and played a key role in the establishment of a medical education program addressing drug abuse among the elderly. She served Skidmore as class president for 15 years and was class secretary for 12 years. In 1987 she received the alumni association’s Outstanding Service Award for her volunteer efforts. She is survived by a son and a daughter; husband Malcolm predeceased her.
Lois Struebing Jennings ’37 of North Tonawanda, NY, died in January 2004. An education major, she was a former co-director and head teacher at two nursery schools in the Buffalo, NY, area. She was active in the Girl Scouts, PTA, and her church. She served Skidmore as secretary and president of the Western New York club. She is survived by a daughter; husband Burt predeceased her.
Ruth Schwem Johnson ’38 of Coatesville, PA, died October 30, 2003. A music major, she earned a master’s in music education from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. She retired after a long career teaching music at public schools in Long Island and Upstate New York. She was a member of the Bay Shore Garden Club and several choirs. Ruth served the college as a class agent and reunion volunteer. She leaves three sons, sisters Margaret Schwem Sager ’40 and Janet Schwem ’36, and nieces Anneke Sager ’75 and Margaret Sager Tobin ’73. Her husband, Harvey, predeceased her.
Helen Sachs Levy ’38 of Louisville, KY, died June 21, 1996. An art major, she was a former interior designer in NYC. She was active in B’nai B’rith, PTA, the National Jewish Hospital of Denver, and the United Jewish Appeal. She is survived by a daughter and cousin Linda Covich Olstein ’64. Her husband, Leon, predeceased her.
Elinor McCarthy Lee ’39 of Walnut Grove, CA, died November 12, 1999. An English major, she was a kindergarten teacher for the Long Beach School District. She was active in the Long Beach chapter of AAUW. She is survived by two sons and four daughters; husband Harry predeceased her.
Mildred Meilun Kelsey ’40 of Schenectady, NY, died September 29. An art major, she worked as a draftsman for General Electric from 1940 to 1946. She subsequently earned a master’s in education from SUNY-Albany and taught elementary-school art. A longtime docent at the Schenectady Museum, she was also an active member of the West Hill Garden Club. She is survived by husband Harry, two daughters, two sons, two brothers, and four grandchildren.
Genevieve Oliver Littlefield ’40 of Bristol, ME, died August 31 of cancer. A nursing major, she did graduate work in education at Montclair State College in New Jersey and enjoyed a lengthy career as a school nurse and educator in Montclair public schools, retiring as nurse director. She was also active at Miles Memorial Hospital, with People to People in Damariscotta, and with the American Red Cross and was a member of numerous professional organizations. She was class secretary for many years and also served Skidmore as a career counselor and Wide Horizon Campaign volunteer. She is survived by a daughter and two sons. Husband Donald predeceased her.
Dorothy Goldberg Berger ’40 of Falls Church, VA, died in April. She was a business major. Active in the League of Women Voters, she also served the Leukemia and Cerebral Palsy Societies, the Democratic Party, and the United Jewish Appeal in leadership positions. A devoted alumna, she was a former member of the alumni association’s board of directors and president of the Washington, DC, Skidmore club. She is survived by a niece; husband Milton predeceased her.
Ann Wolff Donaldson ’41 of Bethesda, MD, died July 30 from complications from Alzheimer’s Disease. An English major, she volunteered with the Army Air Force as a plane spotter during World War II. A longtime community volunteer, she worked with the Girl Scouts, PTA, the Florence Crittenden Home, and the National Cathedral Gift Shop. For Skidmore she was a reunion volunteer. She is survived by three daughters, two grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
Norma Siegelman Sverdlik ’41 of Fort Myers, FL, died January 20, 2003. A sociology major, she had been a volunteer at New York University Hospital and a member of the National Council of Jewish Women. She leaves husband Samuel, a daughter, two sons, sister Rhoda Siegelman Kittay ’50, and cousins Norma Marrus Perilstein ’45 and Phoebe Fern Greenfield ’43.
Mary Betty Zabriskie Bull ’42 of Erie, PA, died October 10. A home-economics major, she worked at the Sperry gyroscope plant in Garden City, LI, before being commissioned as an ensign in the US Navy Reserve in 1943. She was active in Girl Scouts, Junior League, PTA, Erie Infants Home, and the White Swan Civic Center. She is survived by two daughters, including Barbara Bull Riester ’71, and two sons. Her husband, Dewitt, predeceased her.
Janice Hackenburg Flath ’42 of Osprey, FL, died in June. She was a music major. She is survived by two sons and grandson John Flath ’02.
Caryl Jones Morck ’42 of Arlington Heights, IL, died May 21. A music major, she earned a master’s in music from the University of Chicago in 1943. She is survived by two sons; husband Lars predeceased her.
Jane Austin Smith ’43 of Kensington, NH, died October 12. A business major, she retired as export manager for Moduform Corporation in Leominster, MA. A volunteer for Exeter Hospital for more than a decade, she served Skidmore as a club president in Fairfield, CT. She is survived by husband Anthony, a daughter, three grandchildren, and a brother.
Anna Louise Campbell Rudner ’43 of Darien, CT, died August 29 of Parkinson’s Disease. A business major, she worked in human resources for Macy’s and Compton Advertising. A board member of the Monmouth Museum, she was chair of the Monmouth County Mental Health Board and VP of the Monmouth County Junior League. She was also a member of Skidmore’s alumni board of directors. She is survived by a son.
Mary Loram Stephenson ’43 of Virginia Beach, VA, died August 14. She was an English major. She is survived by a daughter, two sons, and two granddaughters. Husband Gordon predeceased her.
Barbara Wadsworth Meyer ’44 of Wilmington, DE, died July 23. A sociology major, she worked for the American Red Cross for three years after graduation. She was an active community volunteer, serving the Brandywine Hundred Republican Committee, Medical Center of Delaware, Colonial Dames of America, and her church. A docent at the Winterthur Museum for decades, she also served for two years as chair of the Delaware Antique Show. She served Skidmore as class agent, reunion chair, and member of the alumni board of directors. She is survived by husband Kenneth and three daughters.
Elisabeth Boyd Hyde ’45 of Tolland, CT, died August 26 after a long illness. A business major, she became a medical secretary. She was a longtime civic volunteer and held leadership roles in Easter Seals, Connecticut Society for Crippled Children and Adults, American Red Cross, PTA, and Girl Scouts. For Skidmore she was a reunion volunteer and class agent. She is survived by two daughters, a son, and sister Janet Boyd Azinger ’48. Her husband, John, predeceased her.
Joan Sheaff Bradley ’48 of Reno, NV, died August 24. A music and history major, she was an assistant to US Senator Patrick McCarran in Washington, DC, prior to her marriage. She was a member of Reno Assistance League and the Nevada Women’s Fund. As founding chair of KNPB Channel 5, she helped bring public television to northern Nevada and remained a longtime supporter of the station. She was a board member of the Reno Philharmonic Association, Desert Research Institute, and United Way, and founding chair of Reno-Sparks. She served Skidmore as an alumna trustee from 1992 to 1996 and was a longtime class agent. An accomplished concert pianist, Joan was especially proud of her appointment to the advisory board of the Kennedy Center. In later years, she established and ran an antiques and imports business. She is survived by husband William, two sons, and a daughter.
Kathryn Hambel Keen ’50 of Binghamton, NY, died August 1. An art and English major, she was an interior decorating consultant. She belonged to the Monday Afternoon Club and the Junior League. She is survived by husband Paul, a son, a daughter, and a grandson.
Susan Duffie Bevan ’51 of Bandera, TX, died February 14, 2004. A music education major, she was a former vocal music teacher in New York and Vermont public schools, retiring in 1993. A member of several professional organizations, she was a former trustee of the Cornish, NH, public library and coordinator of the Solo and Ensemble Festival for the New England Music Festival Association. She is survived by husband David and three daughters.
John O’Rourke ’52 of Elizabeth, NJ, died September 27. A Navy minesweeper during World War II, he returned home to Saratoga Springs and entered Skidmore College. He became a stock analyst for the Anchor Corporation and a commercial real-estate specialist for R.J. Glacken Associates. He is survived by a brother, niece Donna O’Rourke Martin ’79, and sister-in-law Joan Pohlman O’Rourke ’52.
Joanna Davenport ’54 of Marblehead, MA, died October 16. A phys-ed major, she went on to earn a master’s from Smith College and a PhD from Ohio State University. She was a professor of sports history at Auburn University for 20 years, becoming the first full-time women’s sports administrator there in 1976 and helping develop the university’s women’s athletics program until 1987. An associate professor at Ohio State, Colorado State, the University of Vermont, and Mount Holyoke College, she was also a visiting professor at the US Military Academy at West Point. She served on the US Olympic Committee’s Education Council from 1977 to 1985. She published widely in her field, was a member of numerous professional and academic societies, and was an avid tennis player. Her professional honors include Auburn’s College of Education Undergraduate Teaching Award in 1997, the year she retired. For Skidmore, she served as class agent, secretary, and historian, admissions correspondent, and reunion volunteer. She was also a vice president of the alumni board from 1986 to 1989 and received an award for outstanding service. She is survived by two brothers, two nephews, and a niece.
Ann Gordon Bodwell ’54 of Alton, NH, died August 12. An art major, she was a homemaker who won numerous awards for needlework and knitting. She was a member of the Alton and Manchester Historical Societies and the Manchester Garden Club. She is survived by husband Warren, a son, two daughters, and two grandchildren.
Edith Upson Moll ’56 of Farmers Branch, TX, died October 30 from lung cancer. A phys-ed major, she was a substitute teacher for the Good Shepherd Day School in Dallas. She was also a former Skidmore club president. Edith is survived by husband William and two daughters.
Nancy Frost Klofas ’57 of Cranberry Township, PA, died April 12. A music major, she taught for over 45 years in western Massachusetts schools. In 1988 she helped establish the Study Hall at Emmaus House, a music program for underserved inner-city children in Atlanta, GA. She returned to Massachusetts in 1993, teaching at the Powder Hill Middle School in Southwick, where she expanded the school’s choral and drama programs. She continued choral coaching and piano instruction after her retirement. She is survived by a son, a daughter, a sister, a brother, and two grandchildren. Her husband, Alexander, predeceased her.
Shari Jacobus Rossomondo ’59 of Sugar Hill, CA, died August 18 after a six-year battle with cancer. A sociology major, she helped operate her husband’s drapery and window blind business. She had been a school volunteer, serving as a girls’ soccer and softball coach and as a tutor. She is survived by husband David and two daughters.
Lynn Griem Maischoss ’61 of Malibu, CA, died April 8. A biology major, she served the college as a club officer, admissions contact, and member of the Wide Horizons Campaign committee. She is survived by husband Walter, two sons, and a daughter.
Kathleen Conwell ’63 died of cancer on September 18, 1988. A philosophy and religion major, she earned a master’s and PhD in French literature and cinema at Middlebury Graduate School in France. A groundbreaking writer and filmmaker who used the professional name Kathleen Collins, she was the first African-American woman to release a feature film, when she wrote and directed Losing Ground in 1982. Directorial credits include The Cruz Brothers and Miss Malloy in 1980 and Gouldtown: A Mulatto Settlement in 1986. Highly regarded within the industry for writing sophisticated dialogue, she was considered an instinctive actor’s director. Ayoka Chenzira’s 1994 film Alma’s Rainbow was dedicated to Conwell. She is survived by a daughter and son.
Christine Kaufmann ’67 of New York, NY, died November 18 of breast cancer. An art history major, she was a freelance meeting planner until 1995, when she was diagnosed with cancer. An avid international traveler, she studied alternative treatments in Europe and was able to enjoy bicycling, skiing, and tennis for several years, despite her illness. She is survived by a brother and sister-in-law.
Michele McGann Steege ’68 of Philadelphia, PA, died August 18 of breast cancer. An art history major, she was co-founder of Steege/Thomson Communications firm, which specialized in representing nonprofit organizations, including the City of Philadelphia. The firm publicized the architectural designs for the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Michele was active with the parents’ association of Brehm Preparatory School and co-chaired a fundraising campaign for Stratford Friends School in Havertown. An avid traveler and skier, she skied her favorite slope at Mad River Glen in Vermont while undergoing chemotherapy last winter. She is survived by her husband, Paul, and two children.
Kristie Ley ’69 of Winchester, MA, died October 16. A government major, she went on to earn an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania in 1974. She received a certificate in museum studies from Tufts University in 2000 and was curator for historic homes for the Mary Baker Eddy Library of Boston. She served Skidmore as a reunion volunteer. She is survived by a brother and several nieces and nephews.
Judith Doonan O’Kane ’69 of Naples, FL, died September 13 of colon cancer. A history major focused on the Renaissance, she founded a successful real-estate business in Naples. She is survived by a son, her mother, a brother, and a stepbrother and stepsister.
Elyse Kalfus Bell ’73 of Flossmoor, IL, died of cancer on July 26. An English major, she was a substitute teacher and program director at the Flossmoor Jewish Community Center and was a member of the National Council of Jewish Women. Elyse was also an accomplished golfer. She is survived by husband Joel, a son, a daughter, and a brother.
Kevin Barry ’87 of Boston, MA, died unexpectedly on May 28. A star high-school basketball player, he became, as a Skidmore Thoroughbred, one of the nation’s top rebounders at the NCAA Division III level. A business major, he earned a JD from Western New England College. He was an attorney for the City of Boston and a financial planner. He is survived by his parents.
Faculty and Staff
Mildred Dean of Saratoga Springs, NY, died October 13. A lifelong resident of the area, she joined the Skidmore Shop staff in 1956 and retired in 1981. Predeceased by husband Elbert and son Elbert Jr., she is survived by son Phillip, seven grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.