1967 Class Notes for 2015

By the time all of you read this, the snow will be melted and the lovely summer breezes will be upon us. That being said, here is the news, with the caveat that I will undoubtedly get some things wrong, for which I apologize in advance. And if nothing else, the answers to my question about life-changing or favorite books makes for a pretty good list of reading suggestions. Also, the names this year’s Cape May attendees, if not otherwise identified, will be followed by the designation CM, in parentheses.

Our “news” has taken a turn toward retirement, in many cases, but not all. Helen Burke (CM) and husband Allen King are cruising the world, and many Golds are following Helen’s travels on her blog. Martha Smith Butler still works part time and is enjoying her two wonderful grandchildren. Marty says that she should not be blamed for her lack of prompt responses as her mother said her time in purgatory would be spent atoning for all her unanswered correspondence and unwritten thank-you notes! Ellen Dempsey Feeley Neches and her family had a sad loss before Thanksgiving, making for a different sort of holiday. Christmas was spent in Charlotte, NC, with family members. Ellen and Phil celebrated his daughter’s college graduation in Portland.

Gael Cavanaugh Finan (CM) recommends The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace, and wishes to express to all of you again how much she appreciates the overwhelming support she received from the Golds when her son Stephen died – it helped her tremendously. Genie Flahie, retired, sends the message, “if I don’t want to do anything, I’m not going to do anything!” Enid Galliers says she is “surprisingly well” and is greatly involved in visiting friends and seeing the world. She may hold the class record – she’s been to all seven continents! In a similar vein, Maria Alvarez-Murray writes that she recently realized that her four decades of work as a multilingual psychologist in the public schools of Boston, NYC, New Britain, CT and Gainesville has allowed her to work with children from all [inhabited, I presume] continents and 40 different countries; from urban, peri-urban and rural settings and from all SES levels. Jerry and she continue to travel to Haiti yearly to supervise the scholarship program they established for children from the village where they lived as newlyweds 43 years ago. With the help of family and friends, they sponsor 110 boys and girls in two local schools – tuition, books, uniforms and “hair ribbons, to boot!” Son Nate is back in Florida after his four-year Asian sojourn and is working on his Ph.D. in ESOL.

Gracie Hogan, just back from a Rally for Life in Columbia, sends greetings to all, while Martha Knight, who has gotten out of the peptide business, has a grant to build instruments to purify molecules. She was asked to teach a graduate course at Catholic University in biotechnology entrepreneurship – the students, she says, are mostly from other countries. Kathleen Rockwell Lawrence is well and answered my appeal from San Francisco, where she had a merry meeting with Anne McManus Parker. Kathleen has a new grandson and teaches classes at Baruch College. She much enjoys both.

Mary McGee (CM) and husband Jack both suffered from bouts of Moroccan virus upon their return from that segment of their frequent travels. She is loving grandmotherhood and hopes to see everyone in 2017 at our 50th. Mary mentions two books she read at Trinity which made huge impressions on her – The Other America and The Grapes of Wrath. For Claire McKenna McMcHugh, grandmother of two, service enhances life. She is active in her parish and volunteers three days each week. Jane Pilliod says she is “happy and well in Baltimore.” For Helen McMahonThomas, life goes well. She is anticipating her fourth grandchild who arrives in April. Judy Van Schoyck in CA, sends best wishes to the Golds. Mary Ann Datillo Gaul checked in snowed in, as did Kater Nicholson Pendergast (CM).

Janice Fisher Long wonders why it takes longer and longer to get things done now that she’s retired! She and Gary split their time between Virginia and Florida, where Janice edits the monthly newsletter for her Newcomers Club on Amelia Island. They hope to visit Chicago and the national parks in the coming year. Ann Kilcoyne McGrath reports that she is well, despite the complications she experienced when she got her new knee.

Kathleen Courtney has had many delightful Gold encounters during the year. She lunched with Susan Numrich and Regina McGranery (both CM) while in DC for a Trinity Alumnae Board meeting, and dined with Kather and Ed and Keating Vogel and husband Palmer when she and John went east for his reunion. Keats continues to be a runner. In May she visited Mary Connelly Labarre and husband Jerry to whom Kathleen introduced Mary during the Trinity years! Speaking of Susan Numrich, she is, as I write in process of dealing with new knees #1 and #2, and the rehab necessary to get back her mobility. Fromm’s Art of Loving and Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning have had profound effects on her, but she grew up on Bullfinch, The Bold Heroes of Hungry Hill and the Blue Fairy Book. Chris Cating, still a worker bee, has no big news, but much, she says, to be thankful for. Ann Donnelly Malinowski(CM) continues her work at the local food pantry and volunteering at Newark’s Cristo Rey High School. She and most of the Donnelly clan and families took a fabulous European river cruise in the fall.

Henrietta Carriere Hight (CM), who has attempted retirement several times, is now phasing into it, working three days a week, taking an art class and volunteering in her free time. She joined the group in Cape May, and she had lunch with Sue Numrich when Sue was in Florida on business. Michelle Malone Byrnes likes her work and has no plans to retire soon. She visits her daughters in Mill Valley and Santa Barbara, delighting in the company and the beauty of both locations.

BeeBee Brinkman Mangraviti recommends The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and Mastering the Art of French Eating, the latter a collection of anecdotes and tasty treats by Ann Mah. BeeBee tries to make every day a “sunshine day.” Joanita Gonsalves Birkmeyer, who recommends Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese, welcomed a granddaughter this year, a little rahnee to join the little rajah. Jo and I had lunch in Chicago when I visited my cousins last spring.

Muggsy Ernst Mason found herself overwhelmed by my book question, saying that if she stacked all the books she’d read, “the pile would probably stretch to Saturn.” Her husband Peter’s condition is about the same, with mobility problems that make trips outside his facility difficult. Muggsy recommends Mastering the Art of French Cooking (see BeeBee, above, for results) and The Green Tapestry by Beth Chalto, about the art of gardening. Kate Claire Friedland’s eldest daughter got married in September, and Muggsy was invaluable in providing support, both emotional and practical. “Muggsy,” Kate tells us, “can do great things with Mason jars (no pun intended)” and Kate has crossed fingers that Muggsy will be back for the next wedding this coming August. Kate recommends All the Light you Cannot See and Boys in the Boat. Jane Herlihy Dee also recommends All the Light You Cannot See, along with Stones in the River. Daughter Alicia has returned to the US from London, so the family is all stateside, and Jane and Frank are expecting a first grandchild any moment now.

Linda Suit Thompson (CM) has travelled to Little Rock, Bath, NY, to meet her husband’s Canadian cousins “half way,” and to Fresno/Las Vegas. Coming back from Las Vegas, she was on the plane with Mike Tyson! Charli Miller Sugihara (CM) can’t believe she ever had time to work. She traveled to Puerto Rico for a family reunion in July, came to Cape May in September, and remains dedicated to her nonprofit organizations. Carol Dwyer Simmonssays she is retired, living in Baltimore and traveling – the Balkans, St. Petersburg and Moscow, and an “enjoyable week in Tuscany.” She and Mary McGee and spouses (spice?) got together for dinner when Mary was in Baltimore visiting family. As for Trish Clark Seifert (CM), she shared a road trip with our class baby Kristina to pick up her grandson in central Georgia. On the way, they stopped a “nice hotel in South Carolina and had eggs Benedict for breakfast. Trish encourages everyone to “make a road trip and have eggs Benedict for uninterrupted talk time with beloved family members.” She is enjoying the Sr. Fidelma series by Peter Tremayne, about the role of Irish women in the 7th century, and was a happy part of the Cape May crowd.

Right after her husband’s retirement after 40 years of orthopedic practice, Sue Walson Stolzer stepped onto a Princess ship for a 35-day cruise around South America. Since then, they’ve cruised the Caribbean and through the Panama Canal, and driven around the south visiting baseball parks! Sue loves travel, having laundry and housework taken care of for her!

Speaking of trips, Barbara Hauck Crowe (CM) travelled to Italy in the fall. Her life-changing book is the text for Calculus 101, from Trinity. “I went to study the first chapter and realized ‘I don’t get this. I’m supposed to be great at math.’”

Ann Chuhran Long, a devotee of escapist fiction, continues to work full-time on a NASA 14-year project involving launch formation of four scientific satellites. She can’t, she says, retire until the project is “safely in orbit.”

Deirdre Ryan Menoyo continues her involvement with environmental causes, chairing the native plant society and vice chairing a land trust with which her late husband was also involved. A wedding on Martha’s Vineyard provided the opportunity for a great family get-together.

As for Gloria Guard, professional and family health setbacks pervaded the year, but in September, she and her partner Wicky “got hitched,” making for a joyous occasion. In December, Gloria welcomed her first grand-girl!

As many of you already know, Sue Doherty Russell (CM) and her partner of 34 years Melinda Schwartz got married in Florida at midnight of the first day of legality. Susan enjoys volunteering at a local homeless shelter and “putters around the golf course.” Susan recommends The Boys in the Boat; she and Melinda have never met a cruise they didn’t like! Congratulations and much happiness to Gloria, Wicky, Susan and Melinda!

Karen McLinden Hickmen recommends Unbroken, with its “never give up” message which applies to so many situations. Unbroken’s author Laura Hillenbrand managed to complete the book in spite of a health condition which keeps her mainly housebound! Kathy Seubert Heberg also recommends Unbroken, along with Transatlantic, another story of endurance. Kathy has shared with me a very special volume, Simple Abundance – A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach. Husband Ed is doing well on the road to recovery.

From Mary Hucksam Conroy, who says she doesn’t have much news, comes word of her New Zealand and Australia cruise last year, and a plan to visit South Africa in spring, which will include several safaris.  Sandy Pierson (CM) drove around Ireland in August, and joined the group in Cape May in September, She recommends The Iris Fan, a historical novel of the Edo period. Sandy is involved with several organizations and clubs in her parish. The Little Prince is Gracie Fama Hodge’s favorite. Gracie had always heard that Joyce’s Ulysses was the world’s greatest book, but didn’t understand it. So she took a course in it, and now celebrates Bloomsday every June! Ann Horstman Rafferty, another Little Prince fan, is on the RCIA team for her parish, and enjoys very much caring for her grandchildren.

A Year By the Sea – Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman comes highly recommend by Sharon Volovski Sullivan who delights in spoiling the canine she refers to as her “four-footed dependent.” Another Gold cites a work about a woman – as an 8-year-old, Katharine Ivers Zatkowsky read Nobody’s Girl by Hector Malot, a story set in 1893 which has served as a life-long inspiration through its messages of determination, ingenuity, loyalty and compassion.

Maggie McAloon (CM) greatly enjoyed a river cruise in Germany and Switzerland. She is still working full-time, but plans to cut back come July. Maggie writes that her daughter Becky has become “a beautiful young woman, both inside and outside.” All the Light You Cannot See comes up again – Laurie Casey Alkidas highly recommends it, along with Annie’s Ghosts, her non-fiction choice. Laurie is in touch with Ginny Allen and Kathleen Brennan Kelly, with whom she hopes to meet up in May. As for Carole Gallagher Steen, she completed a half-marathon in California “just to be sure I could still set a challenging goal and accomplish it.” She continued, “one, and done!” Carole spent a weekend with Nancy Viano Brown who was west on a business trip and detoured to Houston – they called Lauren Cook Opie and had a laugh fest. Speaking of marathons, Mariannaa Lawe Merritt and her son finished the Navy/Air Force half-marathon together and is planning two more half-marathons. She takes care of her grandson, savoring the “sweet day-to-day moments as a stay-at-home gram.” Marianna is an ESL citizenship coach, and recommends Rare Bird as a special work.

Never did I think that The Scarlet Letter would make this list, but Mary Haggerty Korey (CM) read it in high school and it began a life-long love affair with historical fiction. Mary is busy with family and various volunteer projects. June O’Brien Hurtgen is loving having a granddaughter after three sons. She’s a docent at a seal rescue and rehab facility and enjoys her bridge lessons and sessions. A reader of mysteries, June delights in The New York Times crossword puzzles.

From grandmother-of-five Rosemary Scotti Foster comes news that her two hearing aids do not allow her to ignore people any more. Scotti and Perry enjoy cruises and are hoping to journey to Asia and Australia. Scotti credits the Bible with allowing her to look at things differently and she “tries to make her actions reflect that.” Marie Calcara Murphy recommends Judith Viorst’s Necessary Losses for finding the beauty of continual growth. Mary Ann Hoeper Benavides is truly settled in to her retirement community and offers Secret of the Heart by Jean Marie Howe and The Luminaries for a class reading list.

Along with All the Light You Cannot See, Yvonne Godoy-Ramos finds inspiration in The Woman’s Room and “anything by Thomas Merton.” Yvonne is in the beginning of the process of returning to LA, specifically Baton Rouge, from KS. She will be nearer to family there, and farther from winter cold. As for Carol Moss Ryan, (CM) her daughter Mary lent her with The Lifechanging Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. It’s a challenge. The Ryan family will celebrate daughter Kate’s wedding in April. Carol travelled to Italy in the fall.

As you know by now, Golds gathered at Trinity to fete the honorable Liana Fiol-Matta, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico. Diane LeRoux Arnold, Regina McGranery, Genie Flahie, Sr. Marie Romejko, newly-joined Gold Yolanda Piedra Ruisanchez (graduated in December of ’67 after 3 ½ years as a Green) and I listened raptly as Liana wowed an audience of young women who couldn’t wait to have photos taken with her and to meet her and honor her. At the luncheon following, Golds sat with Liana and her husband, and Sr. Margaret Claydon. I must quote myself on looking around that table, “Yeah! Sure could have anticipated this 50 years ago!” Liana also spoke at New Jersey City University, where her sister is employed. Ann Donnelly Malinowski and her brother Peter, a former dean at NJCU, attended and were blown away by the Chief Justice.

Credit Nancy Cunningham with an interesting volunteer experience. She is spending a month in Cambodia, volunteering at a school in Phnom Penh. Nancy loves her job teaching pre-GED skills and ESL. Kathy Lamb O’Hara, between trips around the country visiting family and friends, enjoyed the second “Grand Tour of Ireland by the O’Haras,” with fourteen of her closest family members. Kathy shares a generational story – on their way to Cub Camp, [grandson] Sam said, “My mom said you are going to wash our shirts, Grandma.” “I did. I washed and ironed your shirts, Sam.” “What’s ironed?”

Three of our Cape Mayettes send greetings to all: Paula Peppler Nawn, Anne Maher Teddlie, and our newly-returned Gold Terry Davis Perl each and all were integral parts of a happy, if damp, gathering in that lovely South Jersey town.

Kathleen Flood Renton is enjoying life with a ninth grandchild on the way. She traveled a bit this year touring Turkey with her daughter last spring, and took a cruise on Douro River in Portugal with husband Dave in autumn with an extension through Bordeaux and the Dordogne in France to Paris on their own. She sends her wish, “may the good times continue to roll!” to all of ’67.

I am a book worm, as many of you know. But the one which has made the most difference to me is T.H. White’s The Once and Future King. Literally and philosophically, its effect on my life continues to be positive and profound. Pete and I are well, and enjoying our good fortune in being so. Plans have begun for 1967’s Golden Jubilee in 2017, with hopes that attendance will be record-breaking. We have a gift and sharing it in person will be wonderful. That’s it for this year. In the words of my beloved Kipling, “let those who have read to the end pardon a thousand blemishes.” Oh, and I guess I’d better read All the Light You Cannot See!

Boodie Christian Clark (CM)