1963 Class Notes for 2015

Oh, Gold Class,

It’s time once again to catch up on what’s been happening with the Class of 1963.  This year I asked you also to share your thoughts on what issues you would like to see addressed as part of the Presidential campaign (which will thankfully be over by the time you read this).  Although only a few of you endorsed a particular candidate, many of you expressed your hopes for sensible discourse and sensible directions for our country’s future.

Ruth Ditchey Brill hopes the candidates and parties will address the economy, national security, global warming, renewable clean energy and immigration reform, in that order.  She and Walt attribute their good health to exercise, attention to nutrition, a supportive network of family and friends and good genes.  Equally significant for them is their gratitude for the presence of the Lord in their lives.

Eileen Corey Sadisiv is grateful for her excellent academic preparation and the inspiring paths to spiritual life  shown by the wonderful women who dedicated their lives to instructing and guiding us at Trinity.  She rejoices at having lived to see a woman nominated for president.  In discussing the critical issues which face our nation, she notes that it is difficult sometimes to understand the viewpoints of those who have access to the same knowledge and data that she does, yet see the world so differently.

Joan Formato Ferrante is proud of Trinity for continuing to give the world the gift of educating so many worthy women.  She hopes that the next Mr. or Mrs. President will get our country and our world on a peaceful track so that our grandchildren can grow up surrounded by love, not fear.  She counts her blessings, enjoying children, grandchildren and friends.

Ellen Malone Padden describes herself as “a willing taxpayer”, the price of continuing to enjoy the blessings of living in “a quality country”.  She also believes that we have a duty to help other countries attain the same goals.  She hopes the candidates will address day to day concerns such as keeping Social Security solvent, maintaining and improving the National Health Care Plan, reforming the immigration system and improving our infrastructure.  She continues to be busy with friends, kids, and grandkids and enjoyed a visit from old roomie, Kathy McGovern McGuire, in May, when they each had a grandchild graduating from high school in Colorado.

Lenore Papendick De Blasio sent photos of her 4 children and 7 grandkids, ranging in age from 12 to 2 months.  Lenore was sorry to miss our 50th but she and Art had booked a cruise to Bermuda for that time.  They just celebrated 51 years of marriage, despite Lenore’s father’s gloomy prognostication that the marriage wouldn’t make it to the five year mark!  Lenore has been retired from the Piscataway Township Department of Aging for nine years.  She sings with a choir, serves as a cantor and teaches Religious Ed in addition to serving as a Reading Buddy at the library.  She is afraid she would need more space than allowed to address the fiasco of the current political campaign.

This year’s prize for making the most connections with classmates goes to Carol  Lombardi Cozzolino.     Carol had a weekend visit from her roommate Alice Lyman, who stopped in North Carolina on her way to Florida in June. She enjoyed two Trinity gatherings, the first in Boston in the fall with Mary Miller Paskewicz, Joan Maffongelli Umholtz, and Anne Schaeffer Olsen.  Ceil Bicknell Chapman and Eleanor Durkin Berger joined them for lunch and Eleanor brought along Maria Masturzo Penman, the first time many of the “girls” had seen Maria since college.  A good time was had by all and Maria was inspired to bring the group back together at her home in Westport, joined this time by Amelia Alexander Lopano.  Eleanor and Paul celebrated their 50th anniversary with a trip to Portugal.  Eleanor also described the mini-reunion in Westport, noting “It felt like we were back in our college days.  You can’t put a price on that kind of friendship.”  Eleanor wonders why anyone would want to be President in this day and age, but hopes issues of income inequality, terrorism, gun violence, the opioid crisis and immigration are at the top of list. When not busy with her Trinity friends, Carol continues to enjoy good health and her life in NC, with bridge and classes at NC State.

Helen Berezoski Cadden is celebrating 17 years of retirement from the federal government.  She enjoys time with her son and 12 year old grandson and just returned from a week in London, noting “I’m going because I can still do it!” She sees Mary Miller Paskewicz at Ladies of Charity functions and they enjoy the occasional lunch or movie.  She hopes the candidates address the issues of affordable and relevant education for young people as well as promoting career opportunities, education and training for mid-career, middle-aged folks.

Pat Hickman Livingston is still writing, and giving retreats and other lectures around the country.  She is happy that husband Howard is “practically dancing around Tampa” after successful surgery.  Pat is trying to absorb the strangeness and wonder of being a great grandparent since Grayson, a grandson for class baby Kaydee, arrived in 2015.

Hilda Basora King continues to feel that retiring 13 years ago was the best decision of her life as it gave her the opportunity to spend time with her sons and her four grandkids and to travel. Hilda and Neal visited Puerto Rico, Hilda’s first trip there in more than 50 years.  She enjoyed seeing cousins and tasting familiar foods, as well as the kayaking diving and sightseeing.  Her son, Glen, has been involved in fighting some of the forest fires that we read about, so keep Glen and all the crews in your prayers.  Hilda would like to see the candidates talk about education, fixing our crumbling infrastructure, and our security, both domestic and international.  She’d also like to hear how they plan to create jobs that will pay well.  She hopes sane minds prevail.

Pat Cliggett Vacca is glad she downsized to a continuing care retirement community, especially when she saw the staff weeding and mulching and realized she could enjoy life without the cares of home ownership.  She remains as President of a non-profit charity, Widowed Persons Service of Montgomery County and finds her work, including assisting with a support group, very rewarding. Despite attending regularly since 1999, Pat is surprised by how much she enjoys deep water exercise classes, since she doesn’t like exercise and doesn’t like getting wet.  She reminds us all to use sunscreen.

Cathy Johnson keeps in shape by volunteering at a local horse farm for therapeutic lessons for kids with disabilities, doing yard work, walking and hiking.  She and her partner provide transportation services for older neighbors to MD appointments and add on lunch outings to make it a more social occasion. She enjoyed a get together with Mary Jane Sams Bentz and Frank.  As for the election, Cathy is concerned for our country’s future as well as that of the entire world.  She found the Olympics reason to be proud of our athletes and those who support them.  One of those Olympic athletes was Mary Jane’s grandson, who was part of the Gold Medal winning swimming relay team.  I think that’s a first for our class! Mary Jane and Frank were able to attend the swimming trials in Omaha where Gunnar qualified for the team.  Congrats to Mary Jane, Gunnar and all his teammates!

Carol Stann Scott doesn’t want to vote for either candidate, but realizes she’ll have to choose one in November.  She has been enjoying travel, most recently to Spain.  Her whole family is now nearby, although Carol will miss the trips to Brazil that she enjoyed during daughter Kathy’s time there.  Grandkids are growing, with two in college and the youngest almost a teen. Carol stays active in the Church and several other organizations.

Writing in August, Martha Murphy Schwieters believed the outcome of the election seemed predictable, although she didn’t make a prediction.  She hopes the lack of suspense will help candidates to focus on policies that offer encouragement to the less fortunate here as well as abroad and the adoption of practical measures to help our threatened environment.  She continues on the board of the National Symphony Orchestra, is a docent at Historic Londontown and travels to see kids and grandkids in Hungary and Toronto. Marty enjoys having classmates Karen O’Brien Risher and Anne Conroy Bader nearby and had a chance to catch up with Sue Hurley August and Marie Caruso Stiefel, when Marie was in town to attend a conference on restoring the culture of Afghanistan, a cause to which she is dedicated. Marie describes her life as simple.  She is grateful that the blessing of good health allows her to continue to be able to the do the things she loves, including spending time with family and friends and volunteering with a local literary foundation.    As always, Sue reports that her Trinity “sisters” continue to be an important part of her life.  She had a nice visit with Elaine Webber Billingsley in May, when she came east for her grandson’s graduation from William & Mary.  Sadly, Elaine’s husband, Frank, a decorated Air force veteran, passed away in July.  Our sympathies go out to Elaine and her children and grandchildren.  Sue also got together with Mary Maroney Corman for a “frolic” in New York and recommends that we all frolic more while we can.   She keeps in phone contact with Karen Strobach and hopes to visit her in St. Louis soon.  Sue is planning a Pilgrimage to Israel with her pastor and a church group this fall.  As for the election, she is frustrated that the media focuses on the negatives and ignores anything sensible and well thought out.  She wishes the politicians and the media would accentuate how much we are alike all over the world. As to the election, Mary Jo Chapppen Dranttel wonders, “What are the people of this country thinking?  Oh, wait, I get it.  They aren’t thinking at all!”  Mary Jo and Jack are based in Florida, while their five kids and their grand kids, who range in age from 26-5, are spread from coast to coast.  Having son, Tim, fly for Delta, helps the Dranttels get together and keep in touch, with one of those events they gathered for being the wedding of granddaughter, Randy.

Dolores Goryska Springer reports all is well in the sunny, hot and humid South.  Retirement was turning Ron into a couch potato so he has gone back to part –time work, while Dolores is doing some private ESL tutoring and working out at the Y.  Their six grandkids are involved in sports, but fortunately they all live nearby so travel time to games is kept down a bit.  As a former economics major, Dolores would like to see a focus on the economy as she knows people who have dropped out of the labor force after years of trying to find work.  Security at home and abroad is a close second.

Bonnie Doherty Delay finally bit the bullet and retired, enjoying three wonderful retirement parties.  Although she started volunteering to help a math teacher at an inner city school and enrolled in a course in art history at BC, Bonnie still found that she missed the feeling of having contributed something at the end of the day.  Fortunately, her director called and Bonnie will be heading back to BC part-time in the fall.  She is part of a wonderful welcoming faith community at a small monastery in Hingham, and frequently sees Linda McCoy Lesko there.   Daughter Katie remains in Denver, where she added another Super Bowl ring to her collection.  Kids are doing well and “grands are fun, fun, fun!”

Janice Nocera Fournier bumped into Sydney Galloway Woomer at a lecture at Yale and followed up with a lunch date and “good conversation.”  Janice babysits for grandson, William, and describes watching him grow as one of the great joys of her life.  She’ll be taking on more babysitting for her older grandchildren, Ryan 9 and Isabel 7, as daughter Liz is now working full time. Janice has just begun tutoring the children of a Syrian refugee family, sponsored by her parish.  She also continues to volunteer as a Eucharistic minister and lector and audited a class on Women Mystics at her second alma mater, Yale Divinity School.  Book club and Long Wharf Theatre remain sources of great pleasure. She is thrilled that a woman has been nominated and hopes the issues of income and racial inequality will be a priority.

Maureen Sullivan Koseff would like to hear from the candidates how they intend to bring about real change for the middle class. She and Alan are planning a second honeymoon in Hawaii for their 50th anniversary, but this time they are bringing the kids and grandkids along.

Nancy Leyendeker Kaye is a dual citizen and will be able to vote absentee, but she acknowledges getting inquiries from American friends who want to know if they can move to Canada if Trump wins. She came down to Washington to attend the Memorial Service for Nancy Brown, who was beloved by her English majors and all those who took her courses.  Our Nancy stayed in the home of Eniko Molnar (1962), sister of our late classmate Emese Molnar Bagley, along with Tessa Merdler Mehalek (1962) and they enjoyed time together and conversations in which they were able to solve the problems of the world.  After the service, there was a dinner party with Mrs. Brown’s nephew and Marianne Novi (1964) who is now a Professor at Univ. of Pittsburgh.  Ironically, Mrs. Brown’s other nephew was barred from entering the country by Homeland Security because he had taken part in a charitable project in the Sudan.

Dottie Tanck de Estrada and Fernando moved from their home in an old colonial part of Mexico City to be nearer to their daughters on the outskirts of the city.  She is still working part-time at El Colegio of Mexico, teaching a course every other year and continuing her research.  Last year Dottie went to Spain where she gave several conferences and, more importantly, could be with her daughter Dophy for the birth of her daughter, Elena.  Dottie and Fernando have five grandchildren.

Marion Dee Rogers is a Facebook friend, so I have followed her adjustment to creating a home for herself after Larry’s death as well as a joyous trip she took to Ireland, Scotland, and England with her family.  The trip was mainly for fun, but also continued Marion’s quest to understand her roots.  Her search for her birth family and her integration into that family has been very meaningful to Marion.

As for me, I’m still working full-time, toying with the idea of retirement, although the combination of patient care and teaching remains enjoyable on many levels.   In 2015, I shared with several classmates the sad occasion of the memorial service for Barby Donohoe Newton, my friend from earliest childhood.  Barby’s husband, Bill, passed away a few months ago. They will both be missed.  I traveled with friends to the Galapagos and to Patagonia and look forward to time at the beach in New Hampshire with my sons and grandsonsI’ve bought a house there for retirement, when that happens, and spending more time there now allows me to be a part-time choir member.  I sit beside my 84 year old cousin in the choir loft, sharing our sheet music, something I find very meaningful.  Nancy Roach usually visits me in New York in the spring and fall for a busy whirl of catching up with friends, museums, and theatre and spends the rest of her year on her beloved Cape Cod, with an occasional side trip to Florida. She continues her studies of things literary and Irish.

Thanks as always for your kind words and your contributions, both thoughtful and financial. As always, I am touched by the women you were and the women you’ve become, thoughtful, caring, giving to each other, your families, your communities.  Trinity, our lives are living you.

Is mise,

Mary Alice O’Dowd