1968 Class Notes for 2015
So many of you responded last timewith lots of news, it apparently left you speechless this time around. Heeding the old adage, “no news is good news”, I am hoping that most of you are doing reasonably well this year. That certainly is the case with those who sent news of family, travel, learning, and contemplation. Many also commented on Pope Francis — all positive remarks. Now let’s get to the news.
Irene Horstmann Hannan reported that her life is good and she continues her work on the Trinity Board and with Citizens Bank. As for the topic of Pope Francis, she wrote “at the moment I am less involved with the spiritual and theological impact the Pope is making and more focused on his physical impact on my hometown of Philadelphia with his visit last September. The city turned on its head. Everyone was concerned about the Pope’s safety and that of the millions in attendance
Now retired after 30 years in the Concord School District, and 15 as Superintendent of School, Chris Casey Rathcontinues to teach graduate courses as an adjunct professor for the University of New Hampshire and recently for Southern New Hampshire University. She loves the teaching, but she and her husband want to travel and visit their four grandchildren more often. Chris also plans to learn to play the violin.
Maria Isabel Parra checked in with news that for the last twelve years her home has been in Miami, where her two oldest sons and their families live close by, while the youngest lives in Washington, DC. She and husband Joe travel frequently to Puerto Rico to visit with family and friends.
Happy to be in touch again after many years, Tomassina Nania Panepinto is retired from being a clinical social worker with Rensselaer County Mental health and now volunteers in the clothing pantry of the Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless in Albany. She originally planned to volunteer in her local parish, but the parish director did not welcome ministry by laity, so she and her husband Bill left their parish after 35 years and joined a parish that encourages laity participation. She and Bill now have the opportunity to serve on a Peace and Justice Committee, something she has always considered an essential part of Catholic life. She feels that their goals seem consistent with Pope Francis’s agenda, and she considers it a blessing to have him as their leader. “He seems to be getting the church back on track,” she wrote, and is showing “the caring, accepting part of the church that was a good part of our history.” Tommie’s three grown children are doing well, but she still grieves the death of her mother three years ago. That lingering grief is something many of us can relate to.
Another classmate who reconnected is Irene Kearney Walsh. She currently lives in Fairfax, VA with her sister Kathleen Kearney (’68) and is retired from working as a paralegal for many years. She has two grown sons, one a Marine Corps Major, the other a research scientist at St. Jude’s Research Hospital for Children. She also has three grandsons whom she adores. On the down side, she has had breast cancer for five years, but is feeling good and is grateful for her wonderful doctors.
Kathy Mansfield Tassini has had a year of exciting travel. Last September she and her husband Jim took their family to Italy for two weeks, a week in Rome and a week in a villa near Todi in Umbria. While there, they had fantastic caterers make a most memorable dinner at which they celebrated four birthdays and three anniversaries. “It was an absolute dream,” she wrote. “So nice to have wonderful adult relationships with adult children.” She and Jim then continued on alone to Puglia where Jim’s grandfather came from and then met up with a high school friend who has lived in New Zealand for 45 years. Last spring they went on a fantastic three week trip to China with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. They saw “incredible gardens, the Peony Festival, and all the usual sites.” Jim is slowly retiring from his practice – down to one and a half days a week – so they plan on lots of travel while they are still able to do it. Kathy also went to her 50th HS reunion where she saw Virginia Crane.
France was a vacation destination for a couple of our classmates. Sally De Jesus Pico and Alberto had a wonderful time in Paris, Bordeaux and surrounding areas, and are already planning to return. Sally laments PR’s economic woes and says they are holding their breath to see what happens. Jane Drew Waller and Mike were in France twice in the past year, doing a trip to Normandy in the fall, then down to the Saone and the Rhone in the spring. Jane now works only a few hours a month and loves having “just a toe in the work world”. Jane is grateful that her son John weathered a 2012 tour in Afghanistan and came back “the same kid in mind, body and soul.” Amen to that.
Ann McKenna Fromm-Cotton is engaged to a wonderful man. “My first two husbands, also good men, both died,” she explains, “and I was resistant to the idea of marrying again. But I fell in love – real love! We golf, bicycle, walk my big dog, and visit far-flung families who are all very happy for us, including my two children, their spouses and children. Last September, we moved into a new condo on Pittsburgh’s Allegheny River, near where Bill and I each live now.” Last March, they had dinner in Naples, FL with Carolyn Stazeski Morris and Rick, Jane Datillo Voigt and Howard, and Jane Drew Waller and Mike.
Mary Anne Sharer Waikart sent news from Halifax, Nova Scotia where she and Guy were visiting his two sons. Mary Anne is thrilled to finally be a grandmother, but is sorry that living in Florida makes it difficult to see as much of her granddaughter as she wants. She and Guy keep busy playing tennis and petanque, biking, and volunteering for the much needed social services on Amelia Island where they live. Last year they took a barge and bike trip to Belgium. In the summer they live in western Maryland.
In Martha’s Vineyard for the summer, Mary Green Hamill went swimming every day, saw old friends and classmates, and discovered that she has many distant cousins that she never knew before. One husband of a distant cousin started delivering free clams to her. Mary joineed the grandmother ranks last January and naturally is overjoyed.
“My best news,” wrote Andreanne Temmel Rode, is that she and Maeve O’Toole have been reunited. Maeve moved out to the Bay area in the fall and Andreanne was able to visit her and Gerry Dunn-Gerardin. She is hoping Maeve has a chance to visit her in Oregon. Andreanne’s ski and mountain bike business suffered from the lack of sufficient snowfall last winter, but she is grateful to have a good mountain bike season. Several good pieces of family news: her daughter, now a labor/delivery nurse, is engaged and her boyfriend has two new hips and is able to do long bike trips with Andreanne struggling to keep up, and her best friend from PA visited her for some fun hiking, biking, and kayaking outings.
Moira Heffron has moved from her home of 25 years to an upscale apartment nearby. She is a great fan of Pope Francis, especially his recent encyclical, but reports that the Minneapolis-St.Paul Archdiocese is in bankruptcy and the Archbishop has resigned under a cloud.
A tour of Charleston, SC, was among some of the short trips Marguerite Wordell has taken. She lamented the tragedy of the racially-motivated church shooting, and said, “I ask myself what I got from my Trinity education. Then I remember studying the Book of Job in freshman English. It doesn’t help me understand why there is so much evil in the world, but it helps me feel a little better to know humans have been considering the problem for a long time.”
Health issues and loss of loved ones have led some of us to a quieter life of contemplation and appreciation of everyday joys. Joanne Mitchell continues to live with her husband Jon in Franklin, MA. She is happy that her recurrent brain tumor is now stable and that Jon recently became a new grandfather. Kathy Shaheen Sinnott has decided to move back to her hometown area in central NY “to live a small, but rich, simple life balanced, contemplative, and active.”
As for me, I’ve been thinking about a quieter, more contemplative life following my diagnosis of pulmonary fibrosis (PF), an incurable, progressive disease of unknown cause. The disease gradually turns the lungs into scar tissue, making it difficult and eventually impossible to breathe. Although life span following diagnosis ranges from 2-5 years, my mother survived 12 years. At this point, I am still feeling fairly well and remaining active. At this writing, I’m awaiting the arrival of my second grandson, so I plan to spend lots of time with him and his older brother. If my health permits, I hope to take a few more of my “bucket list” trips. Eventually, I will have to reduce my activities, and this is why I am asking for volunteers to take over the scribe job next year. Once again, I have really enjoyed being scribe and hearing from all of you. Stay well, and do as much as you can, while you can, as will I.
Noel Zallnick Mariam