1979 Class Notes for 2014

Hello classmates!

August has a way of sneaking up on me and suddenly, the summer seems to be over before it began. I’m usually in GA this time of year but we visited earlier than usual. Now I’m lucky enough to be writing this from my sister’s house (Laura Phillips ’80) in Rehoboth Beach, DE. Thanks to everyone who wrote in this year, and last.

First in was Claire Rabion Laveglia (Medford Lakes, NJ) with the news of the Famiglia Laveglia. Oldest son, Joe (31), is getting married in September 2013. He travels all over the world as a pilot for the USAF and is marrying a girl he actually went to high school with, though he didn’t meet her until three years ago. Younger brother Chris (29) will be the best man and sister Janine (27) will be a bridesmaid. Even though Claire retired from teaching autistic children last year, she found she needed something to do, and is now a part-time job coach for adults with disabilities. “It satisfies the teacher part of me and keeps me challenged and motivated to help improve the lives of some pretty wonderful people.”

She and Tony are currently planning to spend time at their home in Italy every fall and spring. It will eventually be their retirement home, if Tony ever retires! They love the village (pop. 200) and she says her Italian is not too bad and she can shop confidently. Tony can order well in restaurants, so they get by very well. Claire’s mother, Polly Gotfredson Rabion ’50, and her aunt joined her this past spring for a week of Italian country living. Needless to say, everyone had a great time.

Kathy McGowan Capelle (Homosassa, FL) wrote in with news that she and Tom had just taken their first cruise, to the eastern Caribbean. They now have five grandchildren, four girls and a boy, all under the age of 4! Work is going well for her, and she enjoys being a nephrology social worker. She’s had some success with community theater this year, appearing in Sweeney ToddThe Producers and Sex Please, We’re Sixty. She made her bucket list of being a named character, Shirley Markowitz, in the latter. Her mother is still hanging in there, but her memory is definitely diminished. If anyone is heading to the Tampa area, give her a shout.

Liza Louden von Claparede (Saginaw, MI) checked in after returning from summer travels. She and her family were at their Germany house this summer, with side trips to Berlin and then to Prague. As everyone remarks after mentioning Prague, “What a gorgeous city!” She and Wolfgang were there 16 years ago with her parents, but this time the weather was much better. Their son Chris was elected VP of the National Honor Society and will be entering ninth grade this fall, studying at Brasenose College, Oxford U for a high school advanced program in the summer of 2015. Wolfgang’s retirement allows him to go to Germany two-to-three times a year with a May departure and an August return to the US with Chris. Liza is loving the down-time and home alone status. I think all of us know that feeling, Liza.

Downsizing is definitely in the cards for our class. Trish Fusto Kanagy and husband Dave (Littleton, CO) are looking to downsize and move closer to the airport, since it seems they practically live there with all the traveling they do. They’re looking at a 55+ community (yes, you did write that, Trish) with a club house, golf course, pool, tennis and hot tub. And Dave is celebrating his 10th year at the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, and the best thing from Trish is that she gets to travel wherever he does. This past year they visited China and Switzerland, so she’s enjoying her “early retirement” very much. They’ll be spending more time in Naples, FL, where Trish just bought a condo. Dave got to see it after a trip to AK in July, and then the renovation began!

This has been the summer for family, with niece Taylor interning in Dave’s IT department and their nephew Josh visiting for week. He was followed by another niece who was coming to attend the One Direction concert with Trish. She admits its “kind of cheesy, but for some reason I just adore them.” Son Ben has worked at 24-Hour Fitness for two years and loves his job. He and a frat brother from Kent State will be moving into an apartment in Denver this summer. Other son, Andrew’s, stint in the Coast Guard is proving to be the best thing he has ever done. Living in Key West, FL, doesn’t hurt, either.

Trish has had some health issues this year and after many doctor visits, discovered she’d broken her left foot but thought the problem was in her back, knees or hips. She is in a walking boot and healing, though she can’t remember how she sustained the injury. I hear ya, Trish!

It was great to hear from Carol “Casey” Keyes (Chevy Chase, MD), who is now a volunteer docent at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, just across from Trinity’s lovely campus. She also serves at St. Matthew’s Cathedral as an altar server and an EMHC. She runs her own business, teaching piano to children, and is still working part-time at Staples in Bethesda, MD. She’s looking forward to spending part of August on Cape Cod with her brothers and sisters.

Just sayin,’ Nancy Neufeld Fallone (Arlington, VA) wrote in as she traveled the NJ Turnpike with Joe, on their way to Long Island. She was correct to assume her iPad would send the message once she reached a WiFi spot. They’ve done some traveling to other places, such as hiking in AZ and lazing on the beach in Bermuda, thanks to advice from Kathie Madden Gerecke, who spends every anniversary there in January. The big news, though, is the birth of their first grandchild, Kyra Elizabeth Fallone. She says that friends had told her being a grandparent is like nothing else, but until it happened to them, she didn’t understand how wonderful. Son Jonathan (30) and his wife Carmen live only three miles away, and her daughter Nicole is just two miles away.

It’s always good to hear from Kathie Madden Gerecke (Lynn, MA). She and Tom bought a condo in Charleston, SC, where they have been frequent visitors. It’s now furnished and they plan to spend winters there once they retire. And, now that Tom has officially retired from North Shore Community College after 38 years, that just leaves Kathie, who still teaches ESL there. They are both still active on the board of the Lynn Museum and Kathie continues to do genealogy in her spare time. She loves the sleuthing, and works with two cousins to “dig stuff up.” She even fulfills genealogy requests that come in to the museum’s library.

Mary Wolfe Sullivan (Needham, MA) has had many changes in her household this year. Son Michael and his wife Jen have three children. Daughter Jorie is working in NYC as a designer for Coach and will be married in September 2014. James is a lieutenant in the Navy, specializing in public health. He became engaged last Christmas and was married in July. Rob graduated from Fordham at Lincoln Center and left for Moscow in August to spend a year teaching English. Timmy is now attending Providence College, leaving Mary and Tim at home alone “for a while.” Mary got to see Lisa Griffin (Dennis, MA) on the Cape this summer, as well as Wendy White Haig and Alex. Mary Jo Horrigan Dever is also in touch frequently. Mary is looking forward to returning to teaching second grade in September.

Last but not least, Ann Novotnik (Norwalk, CT) popped in to say yes to my dinner invitation. We saw each other about five years ago, by my reckoning, but having teenagers really alters time for me. Ann is still teaching kindergarten in Darien, CT, although she gets the most challenging students. She got to ME for three days, but was stuck in summer school. Her parents are doing “pretty good,” as her dad is still getting in and out of his race car. Ann’s sister is moving to St. Petersburg, FL, to work for HSN as vice president of e-commerce and customer experience. Ann’s nephew Logan will be a freshman at Central CT State U. His brother Dylan is a junior at Western CT State U and other nephew Hunter is going to Thailand for the fall semester before returning to Northeastern to finish and graduate. Taylor, the oldest nephew, moved to Chicago last summer to work for Factset after graduating from Hofstra.

As for our family, we’re all well. Barry still has his freelance product design business and I’m still enjoying my career as a B2B writer/editor/digital content strategist. Liam (23) will finally get a four-year degree from SUNY Purchase College next May, after six years majoring in graphic design. He actually received a two-year associates degree and then applied to SUNY, which didn’t accept one-third of his credits. Such is life. Cecelia (20) will be a junior at The Catholic U of America (not to be confused with just any Catholic university in America, I’ve discovered). She’s majoring in elementary education and we’re all looking forward to her return there. Fiona (15) will be a sophomore at Trinity Catholic High School here in Stamford, CT. We’ll see how this year goes, as she’s in all honors courses.

Don’t forget, classmates, May 30-June 1, 2014 is our 35th Reunion! I’m planning on attending, God willing, and look forward to seeing you there!

Lisa E. Phillips