1968 Class Notes for 2018
Thanks to all my classmates who answered my call for news. Many of you are planning to attend our 50th Reunion. I hope that many of those who did not send news will be there as well. As I expected, most of you are now retired and filling your lives with grandchildren, travel, hobbies, and volunteering. Some are still working part- or full-time and planning to retire soon. The downside of getting older, as we all know, is increasing loss of health, vitality and loved ones. The upside is finding great joy in cherished memories and the daily pleasures of the present.
Kathy Shaheen Sinnott deeply appreciates her daily pleasures. After her husband died a few years ago, she moved back to her home town in the Mohawk Valley, and to her surprise has found a life “rich in silence, reading, contemplation, putting life’s puzzle pieces together and moving them around, giving me ah-ha moments, ramified understanding and compassion.” She volunteers at a refugee center, regrets having to give up tennis and skiing but enjoys walks and remains reasonably healthy. She tries to “speak the truth respectfully and listen well to others.”
From MN where she has lived for 38 years, Jean Salgot Bierly still loves the glorious winters of sun dogs and clear frosty days. Currently, she is occupied with post-surgical knee replacement infection and subsequent revision. She remains in touch with Joan Wagman Laffey and sees her occasionally when she visits her daughter in NJ. She writes, “Only now am I realizing what a significant year 1968 remains for our lives. I am ever grateful to have been at Trinity. The SNDs are tremendous educators and faith-full women. We are all blessed through them.”
Pamela Meyer Zuckerman, who shared memories of being a “day-hop” at Trinity and having dorm girls spend weekends at her house where “we didn’t have to abide by curfew or other rules,” is one of the few classmates still working full-time. She has been a pediatrician for 46 years and, along with her pediatrician husband Barry, has had the good fortune to travel all over the world where he has spoken about child development and literacy initiatives. They have also found it “surprising and sobering to see the real increase in autism, ADHD, anxiety and depression disorders in children.” As much as she loves her patients and their families, Pam plans to retire at the end of this year to devote more time to her own family and her hobbies of painting, reading, writing, western riding and exploring underwater life. Pam’s daughter finally gave birth to the first grandchild last summer, but Pam is concerned that her son – at 42, an eligible, industrious, handsome restaurateur – has never married.
Bernadette Bonanno Kingham-Bez is another classmate who continues working. She is executive director of St. Vincent’s Hospital in Westchester, which provides treatment, mobile services and housing in Westchester and New York City. “It is fascinating,” she says, “to be in this intense period of change and opportunity for behavioral health.” She and Steve now have eight grandchildren, who keep them beautifully grounded in a challenging world. She is also blessed to be living near Allison Burns Larkin and Kate O’Neil Glennon, her links to TC in her daily life.Perhaps now is a perfect time to report that our classmate Caryle Murphy got married for the first time last October to her long-time love, Herb Howe. After the Jesuit-officiated ceremony at Holy Trinity in DC, they celebrated with family and friends at River Farm in Alexandria. Herb is a retired Georgetown professor of African politics and Caryle retired last year after being diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, a progressive lung disease (I also have PF; she and I will have much to discuss at Reunion). In 2016 Caryle and Herb took trips to Costa Rica and the Grand Canyon. She remains in good spirits with medical care and the support of her fabulous husband. I must also mention a post on her Facebook page last October: “Love’s a tenacious huntress who can capture you at any time.” So, Pam (and anyone else who is wishing a child would marry), don’t despair. Love is out there a-hunting.
After more than two years of partial retirement from superintendent of schools in Concord, NH, Chris Casey Rath returned to “active duty” this year as the interim superintendent of schools for Exeter, NH, school district when the former superintendent, a friend, passed away suddenly last June. Although finding it an interesting experience, Chris is looking forward to returning to a more retired status in July. She continues to serve as adjunct faculty in the educational leadership program for the University of NH, teaching graduate courses and supervising students completing internships for certification as district leaders. She enjoyed visiting Virginia Beach last fall with a group of Trinity ʼ68-ers and looks forward to attending our Reunion in June.
Celebrating her 10th year of life after corporate America, Katherine (Kitty) Lorenz is a docent for the Chicago Architecture Foundation, sharing with visitors from around the world the history and amazing architecture of Chicago, and at the same time getting great exercise on each two-mile tour of city streets. She also relishes her international walking/hiking trips, in 2017 to Wales, London, and our own Seattle/Olympic National Park, and in 2018, to Southeast England and the Channel Islands. She plans to catch up on the DC museum scene when she attends our Reunion.Robin Collins Vermylen and Paul celebrated Christmas with their four children and their spouses, nine grandchildren, and Daisy – the best dog ever. Robin is still volunteering weekly in east Harlem, bringing an art project for a parent-child development program. She and Paul enjoy their time in NY and summers in Southwest Harbor, ME. They are having fun traveling and trying to play golf.
Gilda Calleja Ameijide reports from Leon, Spain, that she and her family are all fine. “Three sons have given us five grandsons (no girls here) and we are a happy couple of old shoes trying to travel as much as possible.” She goes to the European Chapter Reunion every year, spends much time in Madrid, and plans a trip to Edinburgh in April.
Marguerite Wordell sends greetings from KY and says that she is still loving retirement but had no recent changes in her life. Allyson Cook Gall and Marty will celebrate their 50th anniversary with a big party to include families of kids, siblings, cousins – “a real huge family reunion.” Her time is spent volunteering for synagogue and Sierra Club, taking care of four grandkids, kayaking, practicing yoga, bird watching and traveling – this year to Cuba for bird watching, to Yosemite for hiking, and possibly to Israel for the eighth time.
Judy Smith Pastusek and Bob have been in TX since May, but traveling a lot. This year was Bob’s 50th reunion from the Air Force Academy so they were in Colorado Springs for that in October. In August, they went to NC for Bob to get his annual flight training and detoured through St. Louis to see the eclipse.
After her first husband died at the age of 42, Carole Manella Cotter Acebal focused on motherhood and a career in health information technology, then married Ed about 10 years ago and is now retired and living in St. Augustine, FL. She regrets that she cannot attend our Reunion due to her nephew’s wedding on the same weekend, but she wants to send some shout-outs to classmates. Every Thanksgiving she bakes pumpkin bread using Marg Moster’s recipe from their first year in San Francisco. She still makes the chicken dish with cream of mushroom and sherry that she learned from Ginny Riley. Every Christmas she displays green apples in the crystal bowl Gerri Troisi Torres gave her as a wedding present. And she is thankful that Maureen Matus Grosheider re-introduced her 15 years ago to nine lovely and fun classmates who get together every year. She will be sorry to miss “all of you who were so special 50 years ago and I am sure are better than ever now!”
Leah O’Leary retired from working 47 years as a social worker in child and family services, the last 17 years operating a nonprofit adoption agency helping couples adopt children internationally and domestically, and helping immigrant families adopt their orphaned siblings, nieces and nephews and bring them to the USA. Now, she is a FEMA reservist and was called to Austin, TX, in September to work with victims of Harvey. Her three kids are all doing well and her first grandson was born last year in Denver, prompting Leah to muse about a move from MA to CO to be closer to him. (All of us grandmothers can relate to that sentiment). She remains in touch with Ellie Hamill and Fran Tietjen Wiener. Juggling plans for shoulder surgery, and attending a Red Cross volunteer reunion, Leah is uncertain about attending our class Reunion, but writes, “The four years at Trinity were pretty important in helping me become the person I am today. … I think of the Reunion as an occasion to celebrate the girls we were with the women we have become.”
“In many ways my life runs the same as it did a decade ago,” writes Lila O’Brien Sullivan. She still enjoys volunteer tutoring, playing golf and bridge with good friends, traveling a bit and reading NY Times bestsellers. The big change in the last 10 years has been the arrival of six (soon to be eight) grandchildren, who are her husband Brendan’s and her greatest joy and occupy a great deal of their free time. Since Brendan is still practicing law, they have no exotic travel plans in sight, “but in the meantime heading to the playground with a couple of toddlers suits us just fine.”
Joan Savarese retired as a psychologist from an HMO last year and filled her free time writing a book about her sister Helene Gibbons, who passed away in 2007. The book is titled “Out-Dancing the Devil: A Story of Faith, Laughter and Healing.” “Helene was very funny and very spiritual, and the book contains our conversations during the last year of her life. Our brother Joe provided whimsical illustrations. A family collaboration!” The book is not out yet, but will be available soon. (Joan, please do let me know when and how I can get a copy. I still work part-time as a hospice nurse, so I have a professional as well as personal interest).
En route to VT last summer, Pat Griffith Hollis and Nick visited Joanne Lucey Ainsworth and John at their hideaway in upstate NY. Their son, Nate, joined them for a week on Prince Edward Island, and they later met him at Glacier National Park in MT. Along the way they had a fun weekend with Chris Taylor Power and David in MN, including dinner with Carolyn Stazeski Morris and Rick. After recovering from their “road warrior” journey, Pat shared a delightful evening with Kate Woods and Mike Drew in VT before returning to DC in October. Since then, Pat has been working overtime with our 50th Reunion Committee.
Speaking of the Reunion Committee, I was happy to be able to have lunch in January with Pat Hollis, Mary Pat Kelley Graefe, Lory Manning, Chris Tully McLaughlin, Liz Murphy Ward, Nan Shaver Whalen and Terry Brooks. The conversation was full and lively. We reminisced about teachers and classmates, including those now deceased. Liz Ward expressed how much she missed Robin Murphy, who died a few years ago. We also caught up on our own news, but, to my chagrin, I did not take notes. I do recall that Mary Pat attempted retirement from teaching but missed the classroom and decided to go back part time. Lory is retired from a successful career in the Navy. Terry recently sold her VA home and moved to DC. And it was Nan’s efforts that secured the venue for our Reunion dinner. Chris McLaughlin followed up with a note that she now has seven grandchildren ranging in age from 11 months to 21 years, and she remains involved in work, church, community, family and friends.
Irene Horstmann Hannan, one of the committee chairs, was not at lunch with us, but emailed that her big and best news is the birth of her first grandchild born to her youngest daughter in October. She is still enjoying her work with Trinity as a member of the Board emerita. Irene also shared a special memory of Robin Murphy and our freshman year adventures. “A group of us,” Irene wrote, “crashed the Inaugural Ball when Johnson was president-elect. Robin had a strong resemblance to Lucy Johnson and the secret service at the Shoreham thought Robin was Lucy and escorted us to the Presidential box. When the real Lucy and family showed up the gig was over. The Washington Post got wind of the ruse and sent a photographer and reporter to campus the next day and they ran a story in the Post. I don’t think Sister Margaret was amused.” Irene’s note prompted others on the committee (me, too) to confess that we likewise had crashed an inaugural ball, although no one else made it into the newspaper. “To think of doing that today is unbelievable,” Irene commented. “No doubt we would have been arrested and then to jail!” True, but what a hilarious memory it is – and we all matured into law-abiding citizens!
As usual, my “Oxford sisters” have kept in touch by email (and sometimes in person) over the past year. Ann McKenna Fromm has had a busy year. She co-authored a book, “Fly by Wire,” a thriller about a hacked plane, with Captain Rick Payne, an American Airlines pilot. She also helped her daughter through a health ordeal. Last September, Ann held a fundraiser dinner in Pittsburgh for the Rett Syndrome Research Trust on behalf of her granddaughter Lily, a sweet, happy little girl. Jane Dattilo Voigt donated one of her paintings (appropriately, of a lily) to the fundraiser and Ann loved it so much that she was the highest bidder for that item. Ann was thrilled that the dinner raised more than $87,000 for this important research. Ann and her fiancé Bill Payne then spent five months in CA, closer to Lily and her parents and Bill’s relatives, and commenced planning their wedding to take place on March 24 in Santa Monica. Jane Voigt and Howard and Jane Drew Waller and Mike are planning to be in CA to celebrate with Ann and Bill. We hope to see a lovely picture of them (and Lily) on their happy day in next year’s column.
Mary Hamill still loves living in Charleston, SC, especially now that her son and grandson have moved there, close enough for Mary to enjoy more grandmother time. Mary Anne Sharer and Guy continue to split their year between Fernandina Beach, FL, and their lake house in the MD mountains. Mary Anne’s chief regret is not being able to visit her granddaughter as often as she’d like (Ah, those grandchildren. How they rule our lives).
Anne McGrath Thomas also lives in Fernandina Beach and is loving her retirement. Jane Voigt and Carolyn Morris, living at least part of the year on the other side of FL in Naples, were grateful that last fall’s hurricane damage was not as great as feared. Sally deJesus Pico could not say the same from Puerto Rico. She wrote that the island “has been destroyed by Irma and then the truly ferocious Maria. My family is one of the lucky ones. Aside from the hours of howling winds and deluge that shook the building where we live, our shutters and windows withstood the hurricane. Aftermath very difficult. No communications, roads blocked by debris, terrible gas lines, and diesel was like liquid gold, water supply and electricity off.” Sally and her husband had already made travel plans for Barcelona, Seville and Granada and they went ahead with their vacation when the airport reopened, but later returned to PR where power, schools and hospitals were still not functioning. “Life is going back to normal slowly,” she says.
As for me, Noel Zallnick Mariam, in my column last year I announced that I had pulmonary fibrosis, and since it is impossible to predict how quickly this disease will progress, at that time I was concerned I might not be able to continue as scribe. My news this year is much better. I have been taking a relatively new drug which, though not a cure, has stabilized my condition, allowing me to remain active, play weekly mahjong, canasta, and pinochle with friends, continue working part time as a hospice nurse, enjoy weekly playtime with my two young grandsons, and travel to a bunch of “bucket list” destinations in the last two years (AK, HI, Canadian Rockies, China, Galápagos Islands). Now, like many of you, I am looking forward to celebrating our 50th Reunion in June. Thanks for all your news. I love hearing it and sharing it.