1979 Class Notes for 2019

Gold Class of 1979

Happy 40th, Gold Classmates! I used to say that as we began to turn 40 years of age. Now it’s different. I received a single response to the letter that was mailed (thank you, Lisa Griffin!) and sent out a call on FB at the last minute. The response was terrific!

Lisa Griffin (left) met up with classmates (left to right.) Kitty Ziehm Warkala, Trish Fusto
Kanagy and Eileen Sergison Vogel for lunch in Florida

Let’s begin with Lisa Griffin (South Yarmouthport, MA), who responded even before the deadline. It’s been a while since she wrote, so she had a lot of news. Five years ago, after her father died, she moved into a townhouse condo next door to her mother.  Sadly, her mother has developed dementia and is no longer mobile. She has full-time help and Lisa is still right next door. On the career front, Lisa was invited to join Sotheby’s International Realty and says it was the best decision she’s ever made—no small part because she had her best year in real estate in her 28-year career.


The gang’s all here! (Left to right) Lisa Griffin, Mary Wolfe Sullivan, Wendy White Haig
and Mary Jo Horrigan Dever got together for Mary’s surprise birthday party.

Last winter she met up with some TC classmates. She sees Mary Wolfe Sullivan a few times, as well as Wendy White Haig and Alex, and Mary Jo Horrigan Dever at Mary’s surprise birthday party last year.


Lisa’s daughter Betsy (35 this summer) is an attorney, but not practicing. She works as a Director for the national trade association of MLS associations and gets to work from home, traveling about six times a year to speak at national conferences. Her son Tim (34) lives in Boston and was recently diagnosed with an “obscure auto-immune disease” that is similar to multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, etc. He’d suffered from a lot of symptoms for a long time, she says, and now they are glad for a diagnosis and a care plan.

Although she says her life is “boring,” she’s glad that things are quiet now. Like many of us, she was saddened to hear of Liza Louden von Clapereade’s death last year. We were all shocked and this is the first year I haven’t received an email from her, almost immediately after I send out the scribe letters.

Kathie Madden Gerecke (various) wrote that “Tom and I are in Charleston SC.  We became official snowbirds last year now that I am retired.

We put our house in Lynn [MA] on the market last spring and bought a condo in neighboring Peabody. While having two condos is convenient and less stressful, we both really miss the house and our neighbors.

Fast-forward to mid-January when we drove to beautiful Charleston SC. We’ve been enjoying our time here and keeping just as busy but on our own schedule.  Trees and flowers are already blooming and I’m always delighted to see the spring colors. The only battle I have is with the pollen!  We plan to be here until mid-June although we are getting pressure from our southern neighbors here to stay full-time.  I don’t think I could stand the summertime heat and humidity here, though!”

Elaine McDermott Carey (Cape Cod) heeded my call for news and wrote to say she keeps in touch with Laureen McDermott Coyne, Catherine Foley (Hartnett), Mary Donnellan Main and Patty Moore Andersen.  She and Dave retired to Cape Cod in 2017. Her kids and siblings have homes there so life is active and happy. Their daughter Alecia and her husband are expecting their first grandchild on May 30th so she will not be able to attend Reunion. “I expect to be raising a glass of bubbly that weekend so I will be sure to think of my Trinity sisters. Blessings of good health to all.”

Still, in the Boston/Cape Cod area, Marie Murray (Charlestown, MA) touched base to say she retired at the end of June 2018 and “its great having time.” She and I had a couple of dinners together when I was in Boston on business or visiting my daughter Cecelia (25), and I can add that Marie is an avid cyclist, riding in charity events and just events. She hopes to see us all at Reunion.

Ruth Baker (formerly of Kennebunkport, ME) wrote in from her home with husband Barry Maddix in Boerne, Texas, 16 miles outside San Antonio. They retired there from Maine several years ago. They’d just returned from daughter Sarah’s wedding in San Francisco and besides the event enjoyed a great week exploring the city and hiking the surrounding area. Kids flew in from everywhere: Nathaniel from Cambodia, Keith from Maine, Ethan from A&M, Emily from San Antonio. Emily got married in June 2017 in Cape Neddick, Maine.

Ruth is pursuing her passion, buying and rehabbing homes and just completed her Realtor class. She was probably inspired after she bought a house on the water up in Hancock, Maine several years ago. If you want to see it, check out DIY Network, Maine Cabin Masters (Season 1, Episode 3). It’s gorgeous and I can see why Ruth calls it “my haven.”

Back in Texas, she says, “San Antonio is quite pleasant. We live in a small community called Fair Oaks Ranch, in the beginning of the Hill Country. Most people here are transplants from other places (large USAA contingent) so it is easy to make friends and as a consequence we have a busy social life, the likes of which we never had before. Of course, the kids are grown so we actually have time to socialize so I guess that is a large part too.”

Retta Boden Rogers (Aston, PA) says life is going well for her and Larry. They have four grandchildren, Kiera (6), Karlie (3), Kelsey (22 months) and Kaden (10 months). Her youngest daughter Lisa is expecting a baby girl in June. “I’m still writing for two newspapers, mostly on a part-time basis. Larry and I spend a lot of time with our grandchildren. He drives the two oldest to and from school and they live close by.” She hopes to make it to reunion, but there’s another grandchild on the way. We’ll toast you and Elaine together, Retta!

Tony Laveglia wrote in for his wife, Claire Rabion Laveglia (Wilmington, DE). She retired six years ago and does volunteer work with the Jewish Community Centers in Cherry Hill, NJ and in Wilmington. “We love it here in our neighborhood (in Wilmington) as opposed to living in the woods (Medford Lakes, NJ) for 30 years.” Claire, Tony and I have met for lunch when I’ve driven through my old hometown, on the way to pick up or drop off one of my daughters at CUA. Claire and Bernadette Preston (Columbia, MD) have spent a lot of time together, and we’re hoping to have a small reunion in Rehoboth Beach, DE with Kim Lamontovich Kazanis (Severna Park, MD) after Labor Day. He and Claire have traveled to Tennessee to help with the grandchildren if their son Joe is piloting a long FedEx or military trip. They plan to visit their villa in Italy three times this year and plan to visit Great Britain, too.

Moving to the DC area, Nancy Neufeld Fallone (Arlington, VA) and Joe aren’t retired yet, but are busy. “Joe and I are so fortunate that both of our children live close by and we spend a lot of time together. Grandchildren Kyra (6) and Liam, almost four, just bring such joy to our lives.  Some will remember at the last reunion I’d suffered a broken collarbone in the weeks before from a bike accident. When that took forever to heal, Joe and I took up hiking and we went from a passion for cycling to one for hiking.  Since then we’ve done a lot of hiking here in the mid-Atlantic, Arizona and in Europe. We’ve done weeklong trips overseas and have another around Mt. Blanc this summer.”

Pat Reid (DC) didn’t make the last reunion, but hopes to be there this year. She lost her job of 24 years in 2014 when the Corcoran folded, but eventually found one at the Smithsonian. “I work for the library that is for the American Art and National Portrait Gallery.  I will have been there for three years in June and I love it.  I feel really blessed to be there.” Unfortunately, her health has been an issue. Anyone who’s experienced sciatica knows.

Mary Jo Cronin Boehner (Lynchburg, VA) posted a note on FB to say that last May she retired from teaching after 36 years and is now enjoying retirement. Her fourth grandchild was born in October and her daughter was married in early November. It’s been a busy year for her family.


In Florida, Kathy McGowan Capelle (Homasassa, FL) sends regrets that she will not be able to attend our Reunion, but will be celebrating her 40th wedding anniversary with Tom in June. She is still working on her practice and will be adding life coaching as a component this year. She sends her love to everyone.

At the last minute, Nancy McGovern Dries (Morristown, NJ) wrote in. “Wow, 40 years! It just does not seem possible! I had planned to share a few of the fun times I had this year with classmates, starting with a fun brunch in NYC early in the year with Lisa Phillips, Trish Fusto Kanagy, Kitty Ziehm Warkala and Eileeen Sergison Vogel. Or the crafty day I had with Mary Doyle Kenkel and Cecily Roberts at the Baltimore Craft Festival. Or enjoying the Lunar New Year festival at the Metropolitan Museum with Kitty and Eileen, whose daughter was lead drummer.

But, this past week almost changed my life. Bob experienced the classic symptoms of heart disease; chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, and pain radiating into his neck and arms. A cardiac catheterization revealed he had a 95% blockage of the left main trunk artery. A stent was not possible and he was well on his way to a heart attack. On March 22 he had bypass surgery and was incredibly lucky that he picked up the symptoms early.

The reality is we almost lost him, and we are so blessed that he is on the mend, and the doctors say he will be better than ever. I want to thank everyone for their love, prayers and support. It makes a big difference! All the more reason I hope that everyone in the great TC Class of ’79 will come to our 40th reunion. Life is short. We have lost some of our own. Let’s come together to remember them, and share our traditions, our past and our future. Drink ‘em down! Can’t wait to see you all!

Guess what? This is only my 30th year as Class Scribe, and thanks, Kathie Madden Gerecke, for doing it for the first 10! My life is “boring,” too, except for the trip to Rome and Florence in February. Barry’s business as a model maker for Fisher Price/Mattel and other toy inventers took a hit last year when Toys ‘R’ Us folded. His business contacts have scattered to other companies but are slowly getting back in touch. Liam (28), Cecelia (25) and Fiona (21) are all doing well and thriving in their own rights. I’ve been to several conferences since returning from Rome and now the work has piled up and I have to get moving!

Addendum: It was great to see everyone at Reunion, the lunch and the party! See you ALL in 2024!



Lisa E. Phillips