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In Memoriam | CTW Profiles

In Memoriam


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.

Dorothy Day Lappen ’27 of Simsbury, CT, died August 1. A sociology major, she ran a gift and candy shop. She volunteered for hospice and the public library and was named Connecticut’s Outstanding Friend of the Library in 2003. She is survived by a daughter, a stepdaughter, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her husband, John, predeceased her.

Mae Huntley Eagleson ’28 of Hanover, NH, died September 7. A French-Spanish major, she earned a master’s in teaching from Rutgers University and enjoyed a long career in teaching in New York and New Jersey high schools and at the Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn. She was a lifelong civic volunteer and served Skidmore as fund chair, Reunion volunteer, and class president, a role she was fulfilling at the time of her death. She is survived by two daughters.

Marian McCutcheon Rauschenbach ’32 of Peterson, NH, died November 12.
A music education major, she earned a master’s in public school administration from Columbia University Teachers Col­lege and taught high school music in Paterson, NJ, before becoming president of the school board. She then forged a career in public service, serving as New Jersey commissioner of aging and director of human resources for the City of Paterson. Instrumental in its adoption of a council form of government, she later became city council president. She was a lead volunteer in several public health organizations and in retirement was appointed to the National Council on Health Planning and Development. She leaves three sons, a daughter, a sister, 11 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

Elise Foulder Norvig ’33 of Southbury, CT, died September 29. An art ma­jor, she was a former sketcher for Vogue Patterns. She loved gardening, landscaping, and interior design. She is survived by a son and niece Karen Norvig Berry ’65.

Harriet Eastman Albee ’34 of Tryon, NC, died March 3. A music major, she earned a master’s in music education from Columbia University and taught for many years. She is survived by a daughter; husband Clark predeceased her.

Ruth Beatty Schwenger ’34 of San Francisco, CA, died December 27, 2005. An art major, she worked in real estate. She is survived by two daughters and niece Anne Costales Foy ’60. Her husband, Karl, predeceased her.

Frances Stiles Scribner ’36 of Haverford, PA, died July 13. An art major, she also attended the Prince School of Re­tailing in Boston. She was head buyer for John Wanamaker stores in Philadelphia before opening her own gift shop. She is survived by three nephews and several grandnieces and grandnephews.

Anne Christensen Clark ’36 of Hudson, NY, died July 7. An English major, she was a lab secretary for the New York State Department of Health and Human Services. She leaves daughter Deborah Mayer ’68, a son and foster daughter, four stepdaughters, 12 step-grandchildren, and three step-great-grandchildren. Her husbands, Howard Smith and John Clark, predeceased her.

Ellen Graney Carson ’36 of Farmington, CT, died June 16. A sociology major, she enjoyed a long career as a kindergarten teacher. An active volunteer, she cofounded the Tunix Life Long Learning Association and assisted in creating the Union School Library. She was the first female member of the Farmington zoning board of appeals. She is survived by two daughters, two sons, 11 grandchildren, and 18 great-grandchildren. Her husband, John, predeceased her.

Phyllis Munn Martien ’36 of Bellaire, MI, died June 3. A psychology major, she earned a master’s in early childhood education from Case Western Reserve University. She was active in several civic organizations in the Cleveland, OH, area and was a class volunteer for Skidmore. She is survived by a daughter, a son, a daughter-in-law, and six grandchildren.

Gretchen Glover Motter ’38 of Honolulu, HI, died August 24. In addition to Skidmore she attended Ohio State University and was a sales representative for
a travel agency. Predeceased by husband Robert, she leaves a daughter.

Pauline Breitbart Ross ’38 of New York, NY, died March 31. She was a liberal arts major. She is survived by a daughter; husband Herbert predeceased her.

Anne Simpson Curtis ’39 of Exeter, NH, died October 5. A phys-ed major, she was an accomplished horsewoman and swimmer who trained for the 1936 US Olympic swim team. She taught phys-ed prior to her marriage and was an active volunteer. She is survived by husband Albert, four sons, a daughter, eight grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

Ellen Isenberg Reiner ’39 of Franklin, NJ, died June 5. A health and phys-ed major, she earned a certificate at Yale School of Alcohol Studies and a master’s in health and phys ed from Columbia. She served Skidmore as a class and Reunion volunteer. Her husband, Milton, predeceased her, and there are no known survivors.

Elisabeth Hull Lewis ’40 of Bloomfield, CT, died December 17, 2007. She was a business major. She is survived by husband Earl, a son, and four grandchildren.

Alice Harkless Cecil ’41 of Columbus, NC, died September 27. She completed
a journalism degree at the University of Missouri and was a reporter and children’s book editor. Founder of the Winnetka (IL) Children’s Fair, she volunteered with Planned Parenthood and the Junior League. She is survived by husband Charles, a son, and a daughter.

Yolanda Campoli Cancilla ’41 of Pittsfield, MA, died June 6. A nursing major, she joined the US Navy Nurse Corps and was head nurse at Pittsfield General Hos­pital. She is survived by a brother and a daughter; husband Vincent predeceased her.

Mariette Corriveau Moher ’44 died May 1. She was a French major. She leaves husband William.

Dolores Shields Mooney ’45 of Ballston Lake, NY, died September 23. She was an avid horsewoman, winning the International Arabian Horse Association’s Legion of Merit Award with her show horse. She is survived by a daughter, two sons, seven grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren. Husband Walter predeceased her.

Jean Jones Callen ’45 of Leavenworth, WA, died January 20, 2009, of cancer. In addition to Skidmore, she studied at Katherine Gibbs secretarial school. A longtime producer and director for the Richland Light Opera Company, she was an antique collector and store owner. She also volunteered for the Tri-Cities Cancer Center and arts organizations. She was an avid traveler. She leaves two daughters, a son, a sister, and two grandchildren. Husband Alfred predeceased her.

Phoebe Darling Harper ’46 of Hamilton, MT, died June 5. An art major, she took postgraduate courses at California State University at Northridge. A watercolor artist and ceramist, she also studied and taught tai chi. She leaves a son and a daughter.

Marguerite Farrington Burns ’46 of Burlington, NC, died July 26, 2008. A phys-ed major, she taught in that field for many years before serving as director of the Senior Citizens Center in Babylon, NY. She is survived by her husband, Carroll, and three children.

Eleanor Goetz August ’47 of Charlotte, NC, died July 17. A sociology major, she was a volunteer for the National Council of Jewish Women, Volunteers for Israel, and Habitat for Humanity. She is survived by two sons, two daughters, and several grandchildren.

Phyllis Karp Krystel ’47 of Stamford, CT, died May 11. An English major, she helped run a family business. Predeceased by husband Mel, she is survived by a daughter and a son.

Sylvia Watkins Allen ’47 of Barre, VT, died March 12. A music major, she was a longtime director of her church choir and music ministry. She was active in numerous community organizations, including the Central Vermont Hospital Auxilliary and area hospice. An avid painter, she belonged to the Barre Paletteers and won several awards for her work. For Skidmore she was a Reunion volunteer and class agent. She leaves husband Robert, five sons, 17 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and a sister.

Elizabeth Swartz Fisher ’47 of Laguna Beach, CA, died August 2, 2008. A textiles major, she was a buyer for several department stores prior to her marriage. She is survived by two sons and a daughter; husband William predeceased her.

Jean Campbell Tugman ’48 of Christ­church, New Zealand, died June 19. After Skidmore she earned a master’s in phys ed from Smith College and was a riding instructor at Skidmore and Russell Sage College. After moving to Hawaii she taught and judged riding for Olympic and World Equestrian competitions. She founded the Hawaii Combined Training Association and the Hawaii Horse Show Association. She is survived by husband Jack, a son, a daughter, and three grandchildren.

Lillian Shelton White ’49 of Fairfield, CT, died October 26. An art major, she was involved in the state Audubon Society and bringing the arts to local school classrooms. She leaves husband Charles, three daughters, a son, two sisters, a brother, and seven grandchildren.

Rita Robenstein Vandergrift ’49 of Pittsfield, MA, died March 27. A business major with a minor in music, she was a longtime secretary at Berkshire Community College. She is survived by husband Wayne, two sons, two daughters, and several grandchildren.

Edward LaPann ’50 of Almonesson, NJ, died October 2. An English major, the WWII Navy veteran worked in the insurance industry for over 25 years before serving as mailroom supervisor at Underwood Memorial Hospital until his retirement. He was past president of the Woodbury Heights Board of Education and a member of Gateway Regional High School Board of Education. He is survived by his wife,

Joan Weller LaPann ’50, three sons, a daughter, and four grandchildren.

Virginia Carlson Rupert ’50 of Lake­wood, OH, died September 12 of brain cancer. She was a psychology major. An active volunteer, she was president of the children’s board of Lakewood Hospital and a member of its foundation; she also sat on boards of organizations that produced local music events. For Skidmore she was a club president, Wide Horizons campaign volunteer, and admissions contact. She was also an avid gardener. She leaves husband John, two daughters, and a son.

Mabel Justice Beer ’50 of Rochester, NY, died September 10. She was a nursing major. She leaves three daughters, two sons, a sister, a brother, and six grand­children.

Norman Heins ’50 of Albany, NY, died October 2, 2008. A history major, he also studied with University of Maryland’s overseas program. His distinguished military career started in the US Army during WWII, and he served in military intelligence units around the world. He is survived by his wife, Raymonde, a stepdaughter, and two sisters.

Joyce Hansel Housman ’51 of Vero Beach, FL, died August 22. A psychology major, she completed a bachelor’s in education from New Paltz State Teacher’s College and earned a master’s from Adelphi University. She was a second-grade teacher in Garden City, NY. She leaves husband Russell, a daughter, three sons, a brother, and seven grandchildren.

Anne Levy Wexler ’51 of Washington, DC, died August 7 of cancer. A history major, she launched her career in public service as assistant to President Jimmy Carter, deputy undersecretary to the secretary of commerce, chair of the President’s Task Force on Women Business Owners. She was senior advisor to Geraldine Ferraro during her vice-presidential bid, managed the anti-Vietnam-war senatorial campaign of her husband, Joe Duffey, and served as senior advisor to Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign. She continued advising President Clinton throughout his terms. In 1981 she founded Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associations and became one of the most influential career lobbyists in Washington. She was a board member of several corporations and won numerous awards. She was granted an honorary doctor of law degree from Skidmore in 1979 and was honored by the alumni association with a Distinguished Achievement Award in 1984. In addition to husband Joe, she leaves four sons and several grandchildren.

Patricia Jane Smith Simpkin ’52 of Mill Valley, CA, died September 17. She completed her degree at the University of Colorado at Boulder. A clothing designer, buyer, and wholesaler, she was also active with Easter Seals, the Children’s Brain Disease Foundation, Mill Valley Little League, and the Red Cross. She especially enjoyed mentoring young people. She leaves husband Roy, a son, a daughter, a son-in-law, two grandchildren, and two sisters.

Janet Cowles Kirschman-Palau ’52 of Hadley, NY, died July 28. An art major, she was an accomplished portrait painter. She is survived by her husband, Joseph, four sons, and two daughters.

Joan Wright Kovacs ’52 of Essex Falls, NJ, died April 30. She is survived by three sons and five grandchildren. Her husband, Robert, predeceased her.

James F. Tracy ’52 of Orlando, FL, died March 10. A biology major, he also attended Plattsburgh State Teachers College. He was a longtime employee of General Electric. He is survived by his wife, Caroline.
Joan Knickerbocker Cleveland Dupre ’53 of North Palm Beach, FL, died October 5. A textiles and design major, she created and operated several manufacturing and retail clothing businesses. After retirement, she volunteered as a docent at the Norton Museum. She served Skidmore as a class agent, campaign volunteer, and alumni admissions contact. She leaves her husband, ReJean, and niece Barbara Cleveland ’71.

Doris Kilpatrick Frey ’55 of West Caldwell, NJ, died March 30. She completed a degree in sociology from William Paterson College. She volunteered for several civic organizations and was an avid gardener and tennis player. She leaves husband Jack, two daughters, two step-daughters, a brother, and several grandchildren.

Carol Gibson Wayland-Smith ’56 of Webster, NY, died June 17 of breast cancer. A business major, she was former co-owner of En Santa Paz, a business specializing in custom-made lampshades, and later was employed by the Lincoln Public Library in Libby, MT. She is survived by two daughters, a son, five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. Her husband, Gerard, predeceased her.

Barbara Bigelow Roy ’57 of Saratoga Springs, NY, died November 10. A history and American studies major, she earned a master’s in elementary education from Russell Sage College and taught kindergarten in Fort Edward, NY, for 23 years. She was an active participant in many sports, including riding, skiing, and tennis, and was a ski instructor at Willard Mountain. She served Skidmore as a Re­union volunteer and tended the Alumni Memorial Garden. She is survived by two sons, three daughters, her sister Nancy Bigelow Bird ’53, and 12 grandchildren.

Elizabeth Zoller Kneen ’58 of Bloomfield Hills, MI, died July 11. A business major, she volunteered with many local organizations, including Cranbrook House and local nursing homes. She was also an accomplished gardener. She leaves husband Phillip, two daughters, three grandchildren, and a brother.
Carol Johnson Fiske ’59 of Portland, ME, died September 9. A psychology major, she studied voice at Boston University and received a master’s in education from Lesley College. She was director of performing arts at the Gould Academy. She is survived by partner Christopher Thache, two sons, and a daughter.

Ida May Adler Mahler ’59 of New York, NY, died June 17. A psychology major, she earned a master’s in psychology from Columbia University and worked for the Institute for Developmental Studies at New York Medical College. She is survived by her husband, Richard, a son and daughter, a sister and brother, and three grandchildren.

Lenore Cleminshaw Lekki ’60 of Nokomis, FL, died March 17 of breast cancer. She was a home economics major. She leaves husband Walter, two daughters, a son, two sisters, and six grandchildren.

Margot Folsom O’Neal ’61 of Irvine, CA, died July 1 of cancer. A math major, she was a substitute teacher and real estate agent. She is survived by husband James, two sons, and several grandchildren.

Susan Abrahams Hauser ’62 of Vero Beach, FL, died June 29. She was a sociology major. A member of the John’s Island Club, Red Stick Golf Club, and Quail Valley Golf Club, she served Skidmore as a Reunion and campaign volunteer and member of the Friends of the Presidents Committee. She is survived by husband Ted, son Edward ’90, a daughter, a brother, and a sister.

Susan Scott Buchmayr ’64 of Amesbury, MA, died June 11 after an extended illness. An American studies major, she was a partner in Buchmayr Associates, a publishers’ representative firm, for 30 years. She was an avid gardener and a member of several Darien, CT, civic associations. For Skidmore she volunteered for class, Reunion, and campaign activities. She leaves a son, a daughter, four grandchildren, a sister, and a brother. Her husband, Norbert, predeceased her.

Robin King Kedzo ’66 of Houston, TX, died July 2, 2008, of pancreatic cancer.
A nursing major, she earned an MSN from Wayne State University and was a clinical nurse specialist in gerontology at Harper Hospital in Detroit, MI. She is survived by sister Laurel King Conway ’69 and two children.

Janice Ross Cullings ’67 of Accord, MA, died October 4 of breast cancer. She was a government major and served Skidmore as an alumni admissions contact. She leaves husband Mark, two daughters, her mother, and a sister.

Franne Levine Alter ’67 of Fort Lauder­dale, FL, died August 25. A nursing major, she was a nursing instructor at Incarnate Word College in San Antonio, TX, and a clinical specialist at the West Roxbury VA Hospital in Boston. She was also a longtime Red Cross volunteer school nurse. She is survived by husband Barry, a daughter, and two grandchildren.

Deryl Fleming ’69 of Kearsarge, NH, died August 21 of cancer. She was a phys-ed major. A longtime high school field hockey coach, she led her teams to statewide honors and was a former president of the Maine Field Hockey Association. She is survived by two daughters.

Corinne Hurlbut ’70 of Tonganoxie, KS, died February 11, 2009. An English major, she earned a master’s in international population studies from Cornell University. She leaves two sisters and three nieces.

Karen Hathaway ’74 of Altadena, CA, died September 5 of cancer. A nursing major, she went on to earn a master’s in nursing supervision from Teachers College at Columbia University and was a nursing care coordinator at Columbia’s St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital. She is survived by a sister and a brother.

Beverley Robichaud Gauthier, UWW ’74, of Lake George, NY, died August 15. A sociology major and one of Skidmore’s first University Without Walls graduates, she was a social worker in Washington County, where she established the area’s Head Start program. She is survived by two sons, a daughter, eight grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. Her husband, Lewis, predeceased her.

Olivia Monjo Mahoney ’75 of New York, NY, died May 11, 2008. She was a psychology major. She is survived by husband Dennis, her mother, a daughter, and three sons.

Tracy Richards Dingmon ’88 of Whi­tinsville, MA, died June 30 of lung cancer. A business major and competitive swimmer, she earned a master’s in taxation from Northeastern University and was a certified public accountant. She was a religious education teacher at her church and a spokesperson for Lungevity Inc., an an­nual walk for lung cancer in Boston. She served Skidmore as class secretary and Reunion volunteer. She leaves husband Charles, a son, two daughters, her parents, two brothers, a grandmother, and an aunt.

, Staff. Trustees

Myles Cane of New York City died April 2. A longtime member of the board of trustees, he was the father of Susan ’81 and stepfather of Joan Fioravanti ’75 and Kimberly Skeen-Jones ’82. He joined Skidmore’s board in 1978 and served on every committee and in all major fundraising campaigns. He was a member of the 1986 presidential search committee that brought in David Porter, and in 1992 he became the board’s chair. 

Porter, a close friend, says, “Myles… was as sophisticated and cosmopolitan a man as one would ever meet, a brilliant lawyer, and a tough-minded businessman and leader. But he also had great warmth, compassion, and humanity, and was a wonderful listener. He instinctively understood and appreciated the qualities that made Skidmore unique, and in his quiet but forceful way, and with his instinctive understanding of his listener, he was a powerful advocate for the College.”
Cane was a partner in Cane and Firstenberg and a venture-capital investor. He also developed a distinguished record of philanthropy in health and education. He helped Skidmore meet challenge grants, gave to the Parents Fund, built scholarship funds, and supported the summer residencies of the Boys Choir of Harlem. He also was instrumental in securing foundation funding for Skidmore’s collaborative-research program, the Early Childhood Education Center, and other initiatives. When Cane stepped down as board chair in 1998, Skidmore gave him an honorary doctorate of laws degree at Commencement. In 2004 the board gave him its Kemball-Cook Award, citing “his quiet wisdom, committed leadership, and absolute belief in Skidmore.” In addition to Susan, Joan, and Kimberly, he leaves his wife, Marilyn, son Jeffrey, and stepdaughter Cynthia.

Marie Costanzo of Saratoga Springs, NY, died May 21; she was 76. The mother of three Skidmore graduates, she was secretary in the music department from 1971 to 1993. Professor emerita Isabelle Williams, who chaired the department from 1979 to 1985, remembers, “When the College launched the Filene Music Competition, and there were so many details and deadlines surrounding that new initiative, Marie handled them all so capably. She had traditional secretarial responsibilities as well as extras like the concert box office, and she was so efficient. It was wonderful to have her as a colleague.” Professor Charles M. Joseph, who also chaired the department, recalls Costanzo’s friendly manner and willingness to assist. “She was often one step ahead of me. I cannot remember how many times I would start a sentence, ‘Marie, did you…’ and she would place a file folder in my hands. I found that indispensable.” He adds, “At every turn she was direct and professional. She knew the students and had a near-encyclopedic knowledge of the faculty and curriculum.” Predeceased by husband Anthony in 2008, she leaves daughters Paula, Christina ’83, Anita ’84, and Andrea ’86, a sister, and two sons-in-law.

Anne Ross Fairbanks of Troy, NY, died June 18; she was 85. Aquatics coach at Skidmore from 1967 to 1985, Fairbanks was the US national springboard diving champion from 1941 to 1944, earning acclaim for her grace and athleticism and winning nine Amateur Athletic Union titles. Also on the US team for the 1944 Olympics (canceled because of World War II), she was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1984.

When she began at Skidmore, having taught at several other universities, “we were eager to have that level of expertise—an Olympian and a full-fledged educator!” recalls former phys-ed department chair Bev Becker. “Anne was a master teacher in all phases of aquatics. She always looked first at what was right and best for the students.” Fairbanks was inducted into Skidmore’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007. She was a Red Cross volunteer and was active in her church, traveling frequently as part of its Haiti Mission. Her service caught the attention of President George H. W. Bush’s White House, which named her one of the country’s “Thousand Points of Light” in 1984. Predeceased by husband Andrew, she leaves daughter Mary, partner Lise, a granddaughter, stepdaughter Berthaida, a step-granddaughter, and a brother and sister-in-law.

Robert Alan McGill, associate professor emeritus of English and a scholar of Native American literature, died June 14 in Gainesville, FL. He was 84. Ralph Ciancio, professor emeritus of English, was McGill’s neighbor in the department’s office on the old Scribner Campus. Ciancio recalls, “Alan had an unusual poetic sensibility and a keen eye and ear for finding poetry in unsuspected places—in discursive writings as well as short stories and novels. But first among Alan’s academic priorities was effective teaching. He was a strong advocate of student evaluations long before they became a policy at Skidmore. Many students praised especially his innovative pedagogy, and alumni from that era continue to remember his courses with great appreciation.” Don McCormack, former government professor and then dean of special programs, remembers lively discussions about African-American and other ethnic studies during the 1970s and says, “Alan’s interest in Native American studies was way before its time.”
McGill, who came to Skidmore in 1959, retired in 1984 and relocated to Florida, where he and his wife of 62 years, Mary, were active in civic and Unitarian choirs. They were also members of the American Recorder Society and the Adirondack Baroque Consort when they lived in Sar­toga Springs. In addition to Mary, McGill leaves daughter Kathryn, son Douglas, two grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.