Winter 2012 Undergraduate Class Notes
Carolyn "Connie" Schmidt reminisces: "I was fortunate to have had kindergarten classes all of my teaching years - 1937 to 1978. In the mid-'40s our salaries began to improve a bit and world travel became a very happy and important part of my life - Europe, Asia, China, the Arctic, Antarctic, and on and on up to the present." Katherine Douglas Smith was "surprised and pleased" to hear recently from Edith Porter Murray, who lives in Canada. "We lived in Calais, ME, in the 1950s when we met one evening in the five-and-ten-cent store. Then we moved to Connecticut. Now we are once more in touch."
Submitted by Stevie Roberts Thomas:
"I am blessed to have so many friends," Betty Crooks Morris writes. "It keeps me young!" She is happy to report good health but says she's "slowing down at 91 years old." She lives with her daughter and son-in-law in a lovely community in North Fort Myers, FL, where she enjoys playing bridge, doing jigsaw puzzles, and going out to dinner and to church. Betty loves to visit her other daughter and son-in-law in the Adirondack Mountains of New York in the summers. Betty ("aka Ginga") Volk Paris and Lou also feel they have been very blessed. "We are still 'trucking' but not too fast," she writes. After 35 years of teaching kindergarten in Norwood, MA, she has now had 25 years of retirement - and says her years at Wheelock have served her well.
Gene DeMaranville Shafer's daughter Cherilyn sent an update about her: Gene taught in Barnstable, MA; in her hometown of Hanover, MA; and in the Orange County, CA, School District. "Many GIs, after discovering the wonderful climate, decided to stay in California after the war, and schools were bursting at the seams," Cherilyn explains. After teaching kindergarten there for a few years, Gene was recommended for a newly made remedial reading specialist position, so she took classes at Long Beach State College to prepare for that and then spent the majority of her career in that capacity. Shortly after retiring in 1982, she moved to Tucson, AZ, where she enjoyed meeting up with several Wheelock alumni. In May 2011, to be nearer her daughter, Gene moved to Aston Gardens at Pelican Marsh in Naples, FL, where she is still active at age 90. "She always speaks highly of her years at Wheelock College," Cherilyn writes, "and remembers hearing Lucy Wheelock when she came to speak with the students."
2011 was a wonderfully full year for me ("Stevie"). I was at the New Jersey shore last summer for two weeks with two cottages of family and friends. Just once I body surfed the waves and felt 10 years younger. In the fall, my daughter and I went to the Missouri Ozarks, where my son has a farm - to be with him and his new wife and her four daughters and families. We had fish fries, barbecues, and biscuits with cream gravy - all authentic Ozark goodies. Most of my time, however, has been spent in writing and rewriting a book - now close to the finish. It's my memoirs of growing up in the China of long, long ago - In the Valley of the Yangtze: Stories of a China Childhood.
Having lost a bit of spring in my step, I'm now asking Lori Ann in the Alumni Office to take over as scribe for our class ('42-'43). It has been a real joy to hear from so many and to stay in touch with Wheelock, too. I shall miss it a lot and do hope that we'll continue to have Notes from as many as possible for as long as we can. My warmest thanks to so many who have been diligent about writing each year.
Submitted by Mary Hemphill Haring:
A wonderful story comes from Daphne Tait Cooper: "I am learning to do things on my own, though my son lives but 15 miles away, since Morgan died in May 2010. But it takes doing, and though, after all this time, I think I'm doing OK, an incident comes along that tells me I still have a way to go. For instance: My little British white cat, which I rescued from the snow last winter, did not come to my room to get me up. I didn't think too much about that, but when I walked to the door, she was all crouched down and peering under the big bookcase. At first I thought she wasn't feeling well, but soon I realized there was something under the double bookcase - perhaps a bug? An ugly bug? And then, with a scratch, the creature ran under the sofa and off under the desk - a mouse ... a mouse in the house! What do I do? Whom should I call? Neighbor? Not home! Philip? Gone to work. I suddenly said to myself and the 'trying to be helpful cat,' 'I've got to do this myself. I'll get a trap!' So I did and set it, and in a few hours the stout little mouse's tail was hanging out of the trap!" (Way to go, Daphne!) She also shared that she has closed her Scandinavian greeting card business.
We were so sorry to learn of the passing of Mary Segoine Davis' husband, Skip, in December.
After looking through her Wheelock yearbook recently, Carol Sisson Freeman says: "[T]he world was a different place in 1947. It is hard to believe all the changes there have been in the past 65 years. The war was over, but much of our high school and college years were during the war. My time at Wheelock was full of good friends and fun times at Kent House, and I am still in touch with [many from] Colchester House. I did use the wonderful education I received at Wheelock teaching for 29 years. I also managed to be a stay-at-home mother for 17 years." Carol and Bill, who will celebrate their 65th anniversary this July, live in upper New York state in the 1000 Island area on the St. Lawrence River. They both go to the gym three times a week, they see their grandchildren often, and Carol still sings with Sweet Adelines.
My (Mary's) church activities are keeping me busy, and lunch afterward with the "girls" is always fun. Gardening and reading are still my favorite hobbies - although planting tulips is tough using a cane! My family is now spread across the country, but last year's celebration at Thanksgiving included my new great-grandson! Memories of Wheelock days remind me of gathering round the piano while Jane Rindge played the latest tunes; a bridge game in the corner; trying to get a tan, in March, on the porch roof; and walking to classes through the park on a snowy winter day. And, of course, all the wonderful friends we made! My favorite professor was Dr. Harvey. He was such a fine gentleman and made English come alive. Hooray for Wheelock! Love to all.
Submitted by Ann Sibley Conway:
"I'm retired and enjoying life in Maine," writes Kitty Hodgdon Brown. "My life is a mix of spring and fall classes at University of Maine Senior College, volunteering, working for the Nobleboro Democratic Committee, and attending soccer games and cross-country track meets to admire local grandchildren." Hers is a scattered family, but they all visit a lot. Kitty sees Martha Brown McGandy '52/'70MS from time to time, and last year she went to the Cape to check in on Jean Ingalls Perkins. "Good fun!" she writes.
Anne Schreiber Collins and Rich have had seven addresses since they were married in 1955 - but they never moved more than 15 minutes away from the previous home! "Sand in our shoes, I guess," she explains. Both retired, they are now in a three-bedroom apartment at Normandy Farms Estates, a full retirement life community about 45 minutes from Philadelphia. Sorry to have had to give up golf and tennis, they are happy to report a new hobby: "We have recently joined Ye Old Spokes, a group of bicycle enthusiasts." Anne is also very involved in duplicate bridge and enjoys yoga and pilates. Joan Fortescue Covici is still working for prison reform in Texas. Elaine Barnes Downing celebrated her 83rd birthday last Aug. 28 with a lovely party of friends and relatives, and son Kent joined her for Thanksgiving from New Zealand. She is still living in her very active retirement health center in Bakersfield, CA, and sends "special Happy Reunion messages to all!" Nancy Walker Driscoll is now living back in New England at an assisted-living facility in Bangor, ME - just 10 minutes from her daughter and son-in-law. I (Ann) hear she is teaching all her new friends bridge and cribbage. Nan has always loved her cards!
Twice a year, Cathy Gaffey Everett '52/'92MS drives back and forth between her wonderful condo in Florida and her home in New Hampshire to visit her grown children and her Wheelock friends along the way. Patty Davis Ferguson has moved. She and Alan have a lovely home in Ormond Beach, FL, away from the snow and cold in New Hampshire.
We were sorry to learn from Connie Hutt of the passing of Patricia Christopher Germain in July 2010. Some of Pat's favorite memories of her Wheelock days were acting in Arsenic and Old Lace and the Class of 1952's "winning the May Day festivities all four years."
"New Hampshire is a beautiful state and most interesting as the presidential elections grow near," M. Natalie Manningham Hamilton wrote back in October. She and husband Ron are having a very nice retirement and enjoy both of their homes (their second is in North Carolina) and many friends in both areas. They still travel a bit. Their first great-grandchild arrived last August.
Cornelia "Connie" Krull Hutt emailed reminiscing about her years since graduation. Her first job, when she and Earl were living in Winchester, MA, was as a nursery school teacher at Belmont-Watertown Jewish Community Center. Five years and two babies later, they moved back to Westborough, MA, their hometown, and had two more children. In the years that followed, she took on a series of volunteer jobs. She went on to be the personal extra caregiver for Earl's mother and later for both of her own parents. She has had fun making greeting cards with computer programs and being a gardener, a knitter, and a watercolorist. Connie and Earl have had the privilege of travel in this country and beyond with professional tours and on their own. She always found it a joy to return to the Wheelock campus. When the grandchildren were small, she regularly took them to the Wheelock Family Theatre, where she always enjoyed the spring show. It was difficult to say who had more fun.
"How the years fly by!" Janet Ferry Jenney writes. Most of the members of the church choir in which she and Dave still sing have graying hair, she says, but "the group still does very well indeed!" Their three children and their families are ever so busy. Margot Herring Kuniholm sends greetings from Chadds Ford, PA. She and John are beginning to look at retirement homes in their area. Margot writes, "Our granddaughter Nina is a freshman at Wheelock. I am so pleased to have a granddaughter following in her grandmother's footsteps!" Their 12 grandchildren all keep them busy.
Ginny Bell Libhart has moved from Seal Cove to Bar Harbor and is enjoying the area. Jean Ingalls Perkins lives at Longwood at Oakmont, a retirement home about 15 minutes across the Allegheny River from Fox Chapel, PA, where she lived for 50 years. Two of her five children still live there. Jean reminisced about her years volunteering in an inner-city school and how much she loved working with those children. She also remembers fondly her dear friend Daisy, who worked as a maid for her mother-in-law, and the seven or eight years she spent writing about Daisy's life. Janine Cauhape Santoro and her physician husband are living on Cape Cod. They are both retired and enjoying a place in New England where the winters are not as cold. Last year, Joanna Smith Virden was chair of Cape Art Blooms at the Cape Cod Museum of Art (patterned after the famous Art in Bloom at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Joanna says). "It was a beautiful three-day event with garden clubs and professional designers creating vibrant floral displays interpreting art from our permanent collection and current exhibitions," she writes. "It was a very successful first Cape Art Blooms!" Another highlight of 2011 for Joanna was a wonderful 80th birthday weekend in February.
Marjorie George Widegren has retired from her job in the home health field. She and her husband had three girls and two boys. Elizabeth Wood still lives in the "pretty seaside town of Manchester [MA]" in her old (1730) house in the historic district. She drives infrequently, just to take people to medical appointments, on errands, etc. She writes, "My health, to date, is better than normal as compared to many other people I know in my age bracket. I don't wander far from home - I'm very content to just stay put and indulge in my favorite pastime: reading."
Rosemary Fettinger Worth finds it hard to believe we are coming up to our 60th Reunion. "I am in Saco, ME, where I used to live, enjoying 'Maine - The way life should be' [state slogan]," she writes. "I am in a retirement area and enjoying good friends and neighbors. And I spend time with old friends who have moved back to Maine. I am two miles from the beach and love walking there."
Shouldn't rub it in, but I (Ann, writing on Nov. 1) am sitting on the porch at 75 degrees and clear blue skies with no clouds, and I am off to walk the dogs. I did love Boston, but you can have your cold and snow! We have moved again but are still in Tucson. We gave up the older home where we first moved for a new contemporary home in the Tucson Mountain Reserve. It sits on the side of a mountain with views all around. It has many picture windows showing the high hills and Tucson below us.
Cotter, our son, has opened his own law office in Reno, NV, and is doing well. He has a charming wife and two children. Our daughter, Carolyn Cathleen, lives here with us in Tucson and is enjoying it as much as Carle and I do. Carle and I are doing well - white-haired, slower, but still active. Carle still loves his sports cars. They are stuffed in the garage (and I mean stuffed, but he is looking at more). Five in a three-car garage! We still have two poodles and a 12-year-old cat. All think they are people!
Submitted by Joan Patterson Brown:
Sallie Farrel Brown had a tough 2011, with two surgeries and radiation for oral cancer and the death of one of her dogs. "I just kept putting one foot in front of another and got through," she wrote in October. "My mouth has final healed enough so I can eat real food orally instead of through a tube in my stomach. Luckily I have a very supportive family and neighbors who are second to none. I am looking forward to getting back into local activities and just having some fun. I have my joie de vivre back and am raring to go." Sallie lives about 10 minutes from where
Sue Terry Covell stays for the winter (Casa Grande, AZ), so she was hoping they could get together. Sure enough, Sue wrote in, too, mentioning her and husband Tom's exciting, imminent move within Casa Grande. She said Sallie had been in touch and they had plans to get together. "It really is such a 'small world after all'!" Sue wrote. She also talked about her and Tom's having become "overnight parents" to three of their grandsons when their 40-year-old son-in-law in Colorado became ill last year. "We made it through with SO much help from friends and neighbors, which is what community is all about," she wrote. We hope to hear soon that their prayers will be answered and their son-in-law is getting better. Virginia Plumer Crook reports having had some successful minor eye surgery. She enjoys hearing about the "athletic feats" of her grandsons and attends as many of their games as possible.
Still in Stowe, VT, in the summer and Atlantis, FL, in the winter, Judy Stock Farmer and John continue to enjoy taking trips in their motor home with their two toy poodles. They feel lucky that their son, a pilot, and their daughter, a speech and language specialist, have jobs when so many do not these days. "John and I love having guests and look forward to visits from any of you that might be in the area," Judy writes. Jan Wright Freelove continues to keep busy with subbing (two or three times a week) and her six grandchildren. She has also been fortunate to travel the past few years, in both the U.S. and Europe. Jan is looking forward to seeing old friends at the 55th.
Which classmate do you think has the motto "When somebody says, 'Do you want to ... ?' say YES"? That would be Barbara Stagis Kelliher. "By the time we meet again in June, I will have participated in a Road Scholar program to Cuba [in February]," she writes. "This is very exciting because of the destination and because it is going to be sunny and hot." She finds that life continues to speed along, thanks to her many relatives, friends, and "people [she's] yet to meet" who keep her busy. Sara Sibley Lenhart can't believe five years have gone by since the last Reunion. During that time, she and Mark celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with all of their children and grandchildren. "Aside from a few health issues," she writes, "we are well and looking forward to being in Boston in June."
Mary Lavery Lyman enjoyed having lunch in Concord, NH, last fall with Maureen Rolfe Kelly, Barbara Stagis Kelliher, and Anita Stulgis Chouinard. Mary and Anita also keep in contact with Claire Lewis Currier of Braintree, MA. Claire was a Wheelock commuter during 1953-1954 and then graduated from Lesley and taught kindergarten for many years.
Submitted by Roberta Weiss Goorno:
Carol Tarr Bolter has been retired for about 20 years from working at the Marin County (CA) Civic Center in the Parks and Recreation Department, primarily the theater. "This complex was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright," she writes, "and some of the wonderful entertainers I had the privilege of meeting as they performed here include Ella Fitzgerald and Dolly Parton." Carol sees Susan Bromfield Barber, Toni Bisbee McPheeters (when she's in California visiting), and Bonnie Beck Ladd. She is looking forward to the 50th!
Since Penny Petrell English retired from her job as an administrator in the Development Office at St. Albans School, she's been dividing her time between her home in Washington, D.C., and her farm in Hancock, NH. While in D.C., she attends lectures and takes adult education classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. She also volunteers at Iona Senior Services and the Montgomery County chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. In New Hampshire, she is actively involved in Hancock community activities during the summer. Penny writes, "Last summer, the Hancock Historical Society and I published a book based on essays written by Sen. Robert English, my husband's father, [who] served as a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives and became dean of the New Hampshire State Senate. The publication is dedicated in memory of my late husband, Joseph Grew English, who had a long career as the administrator of the National Gallery of Art in Washington. Joe kept his lifelong connection with Hancock, and we returned there every summer during our time together."
Sally Bradley Foshay writes: "After my husband retired, we moved from Wilton, CT, to Sun City West, AZ. For many years I tutored children in the primary grades in reading and writing. Presently, because the need is so great in this economy, I volunteer two days a week and raise money for the Valley View Food Bank. For fun, I participate in quilt shows, enjoy the arts, and travel to be with my grandchildren."
Retired from teaching elementary school for six years now, Sabra Brown Johnston still has her "finger in the 'education pie'" through her membership in Assistance League. Through that, she coordinates puppet shows for second-graders about important issues, reads to classes and contributes to their classroom libraries, and co-chairs a retail shopping program that helps low-income children buy clothes for school. In addition, she is on the deacon board of her church and helps put on luncheons and programs for senior adults. Last year Sabra went to Jordan, Egypt, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Russia, and then to Boston, Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod, and Nantucket. She planned to go to Maui, HI, in January. And she hopes to attend our 55th in June!
Judy Bohnen Levitt "jumped into community activities" after retiring from her several careers - teaching kindergarten, teaching ESL, working in a public relations company, and serving as librarian in the inner city. She lives in Providence, RI, and volunteers weekly in the oncology/hematology unit of Miriam Hospital, where she is on many committees and has served on the board of trustees. She is also on the Ethics Committee of Hospice Care of RI. In Judy's spare time, she plays golf with husband Mayer and reads. Judy Rominger Lutkus writes: "Ted and I were married two days after I graduated from Wheelock, and it was the best thing I have ever done. We have enjoyed 50 years of marriage, and through Ted's career we have traveled the world. Our two children have grown to be wonderful, productive people, and our four grandchildren are a delight and a source of joy. We have retired to a small sailing village on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and live 100 feet from the Chesapeake Bay. It has been a great journey!"
Among Judith Reed Neibarger's "blessings galore," she lists "family, friends, neighborhood, community, church, activities, work." The fields in which her children are working include education, labor, manufacturing, and communications. Mary Jo Ginty Neish has trouble believing she's been retired for 16 years. "The teaching years were a conglomerate of substitute (inclusive of boys P.E.) and contract teaching, extended day care, preschool, and day care," she writes. "I have some wonderful memories of lively group times, and two of my co-workers are still very good friends. In retirement I have won no awards and done nothing on a grand scale. I don't have a computer or know how to use one. I do have three children, two grandchildren, and a dog that loves me. I am fortunate indeed."
Helen "Bonnie" Beck (Ladd) Noble lives in Gilroy, CA, and manages an RV resort there. Her two shih tzu dogs are the light of her life. She misses her husband, who passed away three years ago, a lot, but she keeps very busy and has lots of friends and family around. Her daughter lives in Scottsdale, AZ, and they visit each other when they can. Bonnie sees Carol Tarr Bolter and Susan Bromfield Barber in San Francisco, and Susan has visited her at the resort. She is also in touch with Toni Bisbee McPheeters, who lives back in the Washington, D.C., area, and Judy Parks Anderson, who lives in Concord, MA. Bonnie would love to come back for Reunion but won't be able to make it.
Jean Barclay Rook has been married for 50 years, has two daughters and grandchildren ages 4, 6, and 8. She and her husband "travel from pole to pole" and both love "cycling, hiking, alpine skiing, and lazing around."
Anne Wheeler Rowthorn writes, "By the time of our Reunion, my new book, The Wisdom of John Muir: 100+ Selections from the Letters, Journals, and Essays of the Great Naturalist, will be published by Wilderness Press." Brenda Richmond Verduin Dean and Herb have been married for seven years. He is still working part time as a physician, but they manage to divide their leisure time between New York and Worcester, MA. "I still remember with fondness my two years at Wheelock [1958 to 1960]," Brenda writes.
I (Roberta) am looking forward to the 50th Reunion. My eldest grandchild has joined the Israeli Army, so my "job" of traveling the world will be concentrated in the Middle East for the next few years. Her assignment is to teach the new recruits - 18-year-olds who have probably spent the last 12 years playing video games and eating kosher Doritos - strength and stamina. She will learn to train them to run up mountains or through the desert in full gear with a 90-pound backpack. In preparation for this (!), we are going to a spa and the beach together in Israel for a week early in December.
Submitted by Betsy Simmonds Pollock:
Greetings from your Class of 1967 scribe, Betsy Pollock. An update from my part of the world includes major flooding, mice in our storage trailer, and six months living out of our home. In late May, as a response to record levels of mountain snow pack and rains, the Army Corps of Engineers announced it would be releasing more water than usual out of the Oahe Dam into the lower Missouri River system. We live a half mile from the river, and other areas of town have houses closer. They were inundated by Missouri River water daily for four months, as were we by ground water. Hastily built levees saved some people and some infrastructure from destruction. Our basement had to be completely gutted because of daily water damage. The trailer in which we stored many of our newer household items to save them from the water was infested with mice, so we had to throw away a lot of it anyway! As of Veterans Day, we were back in our house and still settling into half of the space we were used to. We learned many lessons from this experience and hope not to have to do it again next spring!
Judith Lambert Foster retired from teaching (kindergarten, in Plymouth, MA) four years ago and is as busy as ever! "I am enjoying doing some substitute teaching and have discovered that I can teach older elementary students after a long career in early childhood education," she writes. "Substituting allows me to work with students and keep in touch with former colleagues, without all the work that goes into a full-time teaching job." This year Judy is also working part time assisting the director of the Plymouth Children's Chorus with paperwork and communications, and she loves to read and to do scrapbooking. She and husband Larry enjoy traveling, often to spend time with their children and four grandchildren in Virginia and Maine. "We love Plymouth and have chosen to be 'semi-retired' here, for now!" Judy says.
Virginia Stout Burau sends "Greetings from Venice, FL." She has been enjoying retirement. She plays golf and bridge at the Venice Golf and Country Club. Ginny had been teaching a Sarasota County adult ESOL class until the program was cut last spring. Now she works with the Literacy Volunteers of South County. Ingrid Hasskarl Chalufour retired from the Education Development Center in June 2010 but continues to do some consulting around early childhood science. She and her husband have moved to Brunswick, ME, where they live near Margaret Leitch Copeland, and will divide their time between Brunswick and their house "down east" in Addison.
"The most wonderful thing that happened to us this year was that our first grandchild was born!" writes Susan Mitchell Cronk. "Talan James arrived in September, and we are having such fun with him." Ellie Jacobs Garrett reports: "Gus and I are happily retired and enjoying being the grandparents to four toddlers and one expected in May. We are currently beginning the task of moving out of our home of 33 years in Midland, MI, and are preparing to relocate to St. Louis, MO, where we will be nearer to our daughter's family. We will keep our home at the lake in northern Michigan. We are looking forward to this next chapter!"
Kathryn Weinland Lordan is a nanny after school for 9- and 11-year-olds. In addition, she writes: "This past Oct. 9, I co-produced and sang in a benefit concert for the El Salvadoran charity ASAPROSAR at the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport [MA]. Khalil and Margie Moss Shekarchi '68 and Keena Dunn Clifford '68 came, which was wonderful. The three of us have been getting together periodically with Faith Schultz Perkins '68. This year we honor our [friend] Nancy Collins '68, who passed on." Kathy also maintains her friendship with Priscilla Hamlin West. Heather Kateley Pettengill is teaching first grade in the Groton (CT) Public Schools and serves as a district union representative. "I am a member of ADK and a lapsed member of the DAR, both of which I plan to enjoy more when I retire," she adds. "I read a lot and like to think about exercising." They have a son in Arizona; a daughter in Connecticut; and four grandchildren with another on the way.
Thanks for your contributions, all, and have a great 2012. See you at our 45th Reunion!
Submitted by Bonnie Paulsen Michael:
The Class of '72 is busy, active, and up to a variety of activities and jobs. It's been fun to receive Class Notes news and catch up on everyone's news.
Anne Bridge has gone back to the world of independent school fundraising. She's the Development Office manager at Stoneleigh-Burnham School in Greenfield, MA. She and her husband highly recommend living close to grandchildren! Speaking of grandchildren, Sue Whiting Finan and husband Jerry Skype between visits with her new granddaughter, Lily, who was born last June. Cat Austin Franks and Sarah Otis both live in St. Croix, where they meet on Friday afternoons to watch the sun go down and discuss the possibility of a Wheelock award for teachers who continue to offer excellence in the classroom while dealing with the red tape of teaching, testing, and performance evaluations.
Wendy Flink Levey continues to run her school, Epiphany Community Nursery School. For her tireless work, she received an award for Outstanding Director of a Nursery School from The Blackboard Awards through Family Media. Congratulations, Wendy! She, her husband, and their son live in NYC while their daughter, a recent graduate of GW, is looking for gainful employment. Liz Hile Lindsay and husband Durwood have been enjoying the freedom of semiretirement by traveling to the Virgin Islands and Maui. When they're home in Maine, they love to hike and ski through the Maine woods. Sarah McGann Stoll moved through an incredibly difficult time when her husband, David, died after a critical illness in 2009. With support from their two grown children, she's managed to keep busy, do some traveling, and continue to work, supervising student teachers for a local college.
Nancy McClement Waage has also struggled to deal with the death of her son, Loren, who died at the age of 31 after he suffered complications from an undetected heart problem. Her friends - including Carol Carriuolo, Kim Cross Reichert, Crigen McFadden Richards, Kathy Thompson McCurdy, and Sharon Lyon Emmanuel - have been there to help her through the hard times. Nancy is now retired and enjoying tutoring, sailing, traveling, and the company of her daughter and Loren's fiancée. Kathy Worrell Newton had quite a year in 2011. Between two surgeries, she managed to squeeze in a trip to Australia and Tasmania. This year she reconnected with Leslie Simon Haduch '74 in Providence, RI.
Mary Dickerson Pierson and husband Peter love their lives in Grafton, NY, and Mary still teaches at the Pine Cobble School in Williamstown, MA. Peter works at the Cathedral in Albany, and the two of them relish family times together with their granddaughters, Isa (12) and Lena (3). Pamela Goering Pierson has just published her second book called The Pocket Guide to Senior Housing. In her spare time, she loves to travel, and she has recently had a trip to Turkey, Greece, Italy, Monaco, and Spain.
By the time we celebrate our 40th, Kim Cross Reichert will be celebrating 40 years at the Kew-Forest School! She's currently teaching third grade and going strong. She loves visiting with Nancy McClement Waage, Crigen McFadden Richards, Carol Carriuolo, and Kathy Thompson McCurdy.
I (Bonnie) am weighing in from West Chester, PA, where I teach fourth grade at Westtown School, a Quaker pre-K through grade 12 school set on 600 acres of beautiful Pennsylvania farmland. Terry's mother, Pat, moved in with us last summer, and we're all enjoying welcoming new babies to our family. Tina (18 months) taught us how lovely it is to be grandparents, and now our other three children are adding a baby to the mix. We were at home for the holidays with everyone, including 10-week-old Leo, and 8-week-old Caleb. One more baby will be arriving sometime in February! Don't you love it?
Submitted by Margaret Smith Lee and Lisa Brookover Moore
From Boulder, CO, Hollis Brooks writes: "I'm in my sixth year as an event planner for a global firm whose clients include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Adobe, and Time magazine.
My main client is Apple. In my 'spare' time, I coordinate private parties for local clients, and I write restaurant reviews for Edible Front Range magazine. I remain connected to education and young children via my participation as a board member at the YWCA of Boulder. And no matter where I am in the world, I still enjoy a daily phone call with NYC-based Cathy Aliapoulios Kraut '78!" Marcy Peterson Merzigian is a district HR manager for The Home Depot, overseeing eight stores in the Boston area. She writes: "After teaching kindergarten for 17 years in a private school, I wanted a change but was unsure of my new direction. I landed in an HR position because they listed 'training' in the job description, and I have loved every minute of it. When I explain to others that HR is very similar to teaching kindergarten, they laugh. However, when I explain that I am teaching and training, delivering performance feedback, and quite often having difficult conversations with others, they get it!"
Continuing to work in Austin, TX, as the associate director of the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented, Tracy Weinberg advocates for gifted and advanced learners by planning conferences for educators and parents, developing online information, overseeing scholarship programs, and lobbying the Legislature. Outside of work, his passion is songwriting and performing, and he recently completed his first CD ("only 40 years in the making," he says), titled Mountains of Dreams. Last summer, Tracy had the pleasure of a personal Wheelock reunion in New York with Peter Rawitsch, Joe Richards '75, Nora Ray Richards '76/'91MS, and Cathie Brown '75. Francesca Wright, who went by Mary Frances Wright at Wheelock but "reclaimed [her] Italian lineage" by using the name Francesca for the past 25 years, writes: "While at Wheelock, I was instrumental in the collection, analysis, and publication of student course feedback. I am still providing evaluation services, most notably to California First 5 Commissions for programs that serve young children and their families." Lita Kochakian Zuchero will be celebrating her and Glen's 25th anniversary along with her Wheelock 35th Reunion this year. She has been teaching at the local middle school for the past six years and is now working in a language-based classroom. She also continues to tutor privately after school. Lita and Glen enjoy their quality time at their beach house in North Salisbury, MA. Her favorite thing about connecting with Wheelock friends at Reunions? "[How] we always just pick up where we left off, no matter how much time has gone by in between," she writes.
I (Margaret) lost my home of 30 years due to massive flooding in Minot, ND, last year. We had to live at our lake home and with friends for five months. We were able to purchase a new home and have now moved into it. It was a difficult summer for the 11,000 people who were affected by the flooding. Many of the people had to live in FEMA trailers, and many of my preschool students were living in alternative housing. The residents of Minot are working hard to put their lives back together.
Submitted by Barbara Madison Ripps:
"I'm 52 and still searching for myself," Phoebe Robinson Foley writes. "I moved to the area to go to Wheelock, met my husband of 26 years, and never left." Now she and Steve live in Newton, MA, and are parents to two wonderful grown daughters who make them proud. Phoebe works at Newton North High School with the students, toddlers, and preschoolers. She attended Wheelock's 2011 Fall Alumni Symposium - "an amazing experience!" Phoebe had just been thinking of Susan Stormes around the time she wrote, and she said that she and Cathy Barry Smith '81 are godmothers to each other's children. Fran Strohm "loops," teaching first and second grade, in Acton, MA. She has a 19-year-old son whom she adopted from Russia.
I (Barbara) continue to sit on the Early Childhood Advisory Board for the Capital Region Board of Cooperative Educational Services. I have taken their high school students into my classroom and have taught them how to teach children, for more than 10 years. After teaching first grade for 28 years, I still love it! Retirement in a couple of years, however, looks wonderful. Both of our children are in Boston - one working and one attending Bentley University. Rick and I continue to enjoy traveling to Aruba, Las Vegas, and Florida to visit family and the company trips from Arbonne International. Our daughter and I were able to go to the Bahamas, courtesy of Arbonne. I would love to have any one of my Wheelock "sisters" on my team. It is a fabulous business to be able to teach adults about health and wellness. Please consider attending the Reunion!
Submitted by Kathleen Hurley DeVarennes:
"I've been teaching yoga for the last five years or so and enjoy it quite a bit," Beth Kaminow Lawrence writes from Washington, D.C. She also is a busy wife and mother and volunteers at her kids' school and for the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind. Wendy MacPhetres Hermance is in her 23rd year teaching first grade and still loves the daily challenges. Jamie Adam VanCampen will be unable to attend Reunion since her oldest child, Allyse, will graduate from high school on June 1. "It is hard to believe that 25 years has flown by so fast and I will be at a graduation for one of my own!" she writes. Son Alexander is in the seventh grade. A stay-at-home mom in Smithfield, VA, where she really likes "the easy pace of the South," Jamie stopped working eight years ago for health reasons and really misses not teaching. She and her second husband, Shaun, have been married for about nine years. Libby Hubbard VanDerMaelen still loves teaching first grade and had the wonderful experience of having her niece, Kristin, a senior at Wheelock, help out in her class last spring. Libby and Steve will be married 20 years in October. Daughter Emily and son Erik enjoy living on their small farm, where they have raised cows, goats, chickens, and other animals for 13 years. Libby is looking forward to going back to Wheelock in May for Kristin's graduation and then again in June for Reunion!
Julie DeWitt Williams Davis sent a great update: "Following graduation, I returned to my home state of Indiana to run a small business, teach, and be an administrator at a university-run child care center. I returned to New England in 2007 to pursue a master's degree in Holistic Counseling and a certificate of advanced graduate study in Holistic Leadership at Salve Regina University in Newport, RI. After graduating in 2009, I stayed to work at Salve Regina, got married in August 2010 to Peter Davis, and finally became a mom in May 2011. Alden Marie 'Poppy' is a delightful, inquisitive baby and makes every day fun!" Robyne Newman Hockett has opened her own social service agency in Palm Beach County, FL - All About U Support Services Inc. "We provide supports and services to the developmentally disabled population being served through the Medicaid Waiver program," she writes. "I started with myself as the only M.S.W. and now have four other social workers in my office as well."
"We have various stages of development going on in the Jackson household!" Carla Grevatt Jackson writes about her 15-, 13-, and 8-year-olds. "I am so thankful for my educational experience while at Wheelock. The benefits as a parent have been more than I could have ever imagined!" Carla works with Alzheimer's residents at an assisted-living facility in Kingston, MA, substitute teaches in the Bridgewater-Raynham and Middleboro school districts, and is taking coursework to update her professional teaching license. Cammie Mitchell Jones continues to teach fourth grade in DeWitt, MI. She writes, "I am working hard to incorporate more place-based education experiences for my students by writing plenty of grants to fund trips like a weeklong immersion research trip at our local zoo, and water-testing and macro-invertebrate studies on an inland lake, on Lake Michigan, and in the Looking Glass River." She spends lots of time on the shores of Lake Michigan and at the Jones family cottage in northern Wisconsin with her husband and two young sons during their summer break.
Leigh Barnes received a master's degree in Educational Administration from the University of New England in June and would like to become a school librarian supervisor/director.
Shauna Fish Diller is still living in Seattle keeping herself busy serving on the board of directors at her sons' (Jack, 5, and Anderson, 3) preschool. "We hope to be back east at some point over the summer," Shauna wrote in early January, "but it seems unlikely that I will be able to coordinate our trip with the Reunion - but I haven't completely ruled it out." Moriah Doak Tyrrell and her family - including William (7), Caroline (4), and Lucy (2) - have been back from St. Croix for two years and are now living in Arlington, MA. "While we miss the warm weather and sandy beaches," she writes, "it has been a lot of fun to reconnect with old Wheelock friends."
Debbie Martin will be married to Richard Moffitt on April 21. Chryssa Barrett Mitchell and husband Christian are expecting a busy spring with their daughters, but Chryssa hopes to come to at least some of the Reunion events.
These days April Brown-Lebron '07/'07MS spends a lot of time taking care of her family. She is married with two "amazing and talented" children, Eduardo and Vaishali. April loves volunteering at her children's school in Bradford, MA, and traveling whenever possible. Michelle Herbert Brunetti moved back to her hometown of Harwinton, CT, after Wheelock and is currently working as a third-grade teacher at Vogel-Wetmore School in Torrington. In December 2010 she graduated from Central Connecticut State University with a master's degree in Educational Leadership, and in July 2011 she married "the love of [her] life," Evan Brunetti, at the Simsbury Inn. Emily Coffey Daniel celebrated her one-year wedding anniversary in October. She and husband Jeffrey were married in Huntington Beach, CA. Meghan Wilson and Melissa Killian '07/'09MSW served as two of the six bridesmaids. Marcia Doiron '90MS was also in attendance.
Daniel Gonzalez got engaged late last year and will marry Brian Davis in a ceremony that will be held "in between the Reunion Weekend events on Saturday, June 2." Congratulations, Daniel and Brian! Daniel, a movie director who started Gonzalez Shodan Productions in 2008, is currently working on a Web series about "two people who meet on a dating site after watching all of their friends on Facebook get married and have children." The series will premiere on blip.tv this summer. The magazine Alwayz Therro printed an interview with Daniel in its February 2012 issue. See http://www.alwayztherro.com. Gardenia Pratt is still in the early childhood education field but is taking classes online for a bachelor's degree in Business Administration. She now lives in Texas and is afraid it'll be too hard to get back to Boston for Reunion, but she is trying.