1979 Class Notes for 2018

Greetings, everyone! It’s been a while, and I’m happy to report the news that’s come in from us ’79ers. Kathleen McGowan Capelle (Homosassa, FL) was the first to get in touch, and from the year she’s had, it’s amazing she’s still with us. We share January birthdays, so I know she was being tongue-in-cheek when she began, “I decided to wring all the juiciness out of turning 60, so decided to just keep celebrating. It started a month early when Tom surprised me by throwing a birthday party. On the actual day, I wandered into a BMW dealership and drove out in a sporty hard-top convertible. I named it Mike, after my brother who passed away in 2015. I imagine that he is smiling about it.”

In March 2017, she had several health issues that resulted in three hospital stays. In April she was let go from her job. It took just the weekend to begin planning to open her own practice, Citrus Calm Mind Therapy, LLC, in June. “I wish I could say it is in the black, but slowly, I am getting more clients. Starting my own business had never, ever, been on my radar, but when the time came, it just seemed to be the thing to do,” she said.
August saw another trip to the hospital, three days before a scheduled cruise (more birthday celebrating). Her year of celebrating her 60th birthday ended with another cruise on Tom’s 67th and her 61st. She’s enjoying being alive and still being with Tom, and loves the fact that both her children and all five grandchildren live nearby. Her next theatre project is directing “The Vagina Monologues” for the local domestic violence program. She adds, “If anyone is in Tampa area, give me a holler.”

I didn’t get many responses this year, but Trish Fusto Kanagy made up for several people. Here is an edited version of her email: “After three years, we have settled into and love our 55+ golf course community in Aurora, CO. I have made some great friends and don’t miss working at all! I have joined a group of women who love to make cards and scrapbook. It’s a lot of fun for me and I have set up a craft room in my basement. Dave is celebrating his 15th year at SME as executive director/CEO. He is still enjoying it and we are still traveling domestically as well as internationally. We met Kitty Ziehm Warkala and husband Mark in Santa Barbara, CA, in July 2017 to celebrate Kit’s and my 60th birthdays. We had a great time exploring the area together, walking the pier, eating at restaurants. We all had a blast!

Dave and I spent a month in Naples, FL, at Christmas and we were lucky enough that Ben was able to fly in from CO, and Andrew and Erin drove down from the St. Petersburg, FL, area to join us and celebrate with family and friends. Ben celebrated 6 years with 24-hour Fitness and loves his job as membership manager. He is hoping to have his own club this year. Andrew graduated #2 from the Police Academy in September and is in the Coast Guard Reserves.

Eileen Sergison Vogel and Kitty were able to spend a few days with me in FL in January. Lisa Griffin (South Yarmouthport, MA) was there at the same time and we were able to get together a couple of times for dinner. I had lunch with her and her mother one day – it was great catching up and spending time together. Dave and I caught up with Kit, Mark, Eileen and Jim later in the month in NYC for Sunday brunch and then football and pizza at Kit and Mark’s new swanky place in Queens. Great views from their balcony! We have a few business trips on the calendar this year: Dubai; Pittsburgh; Moscow; Pray, MT. I am looking forward to all of them.” Happy trails, Trish!

It was a great surprise to hear from Marie Murray (Charlestown, MA), whom I last saw in September 2016 in Boston. She was home on a snow day and happened to see my letter. Great timing! She writes: “In June (2018) I will have completed 39 years in education. Not sure about the next act, as I want to have some down time. I am doing the MS Bike ride again: 150 miles to Cape Cod. It is my fifth ride and most likely my last one, as it gets a little old fundraising.”

Marie saw Kathie Madden Gerecke (Charleston, SC) last summer, and spoke with Nancy Neufeld Fallone(Arlington, VA) on her birthday in July. Marie decided to call Trinity in support of President Pat McGuire last winter. When she did, she said, “Guess who answered her phone? Pat herself.” So Marie gave to Trinity in President McGuire’s name.

In January 2017, Marie and her sister Cecile went to the March for Women in Boston, and to a rally last August after the Charlottesville riot. “Ten neo-Nazis showed up as opposed to the 30,000 of us on the other side. It was a mixed group, but I have to say grey hairs outnumbered Millennials.” She’s planning to attend the march on March 24 with Cecile in Boston.

Speaking of Kathie Madden Gerecke, my letter to her Lynn, MA, address was returned with no forwarding one. She’s always a faithful correspondent, so I’ll pass along some news she shared via her Christmas card. Her big news is that she retired from teaching English as a second language at the local community college. As of December 2017, she said, it still felt as if she was on a long semester break. She misses the students, but not all the meetings and administrative stuff.

She and Tom will be spending winters in a condo in Charleston, SC, and plan to put the Lynn house on the market this spring/summer and downsize to a condo there. They’ve been looking for about three years, but now they’re serious. Don’t try to move in July, Kathie!

Nancy Neufeld Fallone was the last classmate to check in. She and Joe are both doing fine and still living in Arlington, VA. Nancy is still working, doing marketing for a fabric designer. “Both of our children are married, live close by and we have two grandchildren we just adore. Joe and I have really gotten into hiking the last few years. We traveled overseas twice for week-long hiking trips, plus we often hike here in the states in AZ and along the East Coast. I’m hoping to see lots of our classmates for our 40th next year.”

Quick interlude, here: I had lunch with Claire Rabion Laveglia and Tony in January (thank you, Tony!), in my home state of DE. Claire retired from teaching in NJ a few years ago, and they began looking around for a place to retire. So where did they land but Wilmington, DE, and they love it. Claire said she ran into Loretta Boden Rodgers(Ashton, PA) in the local Trader Joe’s, which surprised them both. They also have a place in Italy, near the vineyard that Tony represents here in the states. Claire, Tony and Bernadette Preston (Columbia, MD) have enjoyed some time there.

I don’t have a lot of news, which is good, at this age. I’m still working at a small publishing firm in nearby Norwalk, CT. Barry is still a freelance toy designer, and that probably won’t change for another decade. We’re happy, healthy and looking forward to May 2020 when our youngest, Fiona, graduates from CUA. Then maybe we’ll relax a bit and start traveling beyond the East Coast. Our son Liam will have to stay home and take care of the cat. Cecelia escaped to Boston, where she is in her second year as a “fellow” teacher at a charter school, and is attending Lesley University for her master’s in education.

I’ll echo Nancy’s sentiment and shout out that I hope to see many more of you ’79ers next June at our 40th Reunion! That just means we’re 40, right? See you then and there!

Lisa E. Phillips