Jane Russo Sheehan
600 S. Main St.
Mansfield, MA 02048
Greetings from your new class correspondent. I only hope I can keep up with you as well as Pat did! Many thanks to Pat Layne Winks and Joanne Holbrook Patton for their help in compiling these notes.
Our 60th reunion (gasp!) was a blast. I was happy to see that so many of us are still active and engaged in our interests. The weekend was beautiful, but went by much too quickly. Joanie and I flew to Washington where we met up with Nancy Morrow Lovett and drove down together to SBC. A lot of catching up went on in that ride. Joanie had a total hip replacement and was in process of negotiating with the Town of Hamilton to gift the Patton estate to the town. (It has since been accepted unanimously by the town meeting.) She is about to move into a new, smaller house down the street, 135 Asbury St., Topsfield, MA 01930. Nancy is extremely active with DAR, traveling, dancing—it goes on. Of course we all compared kids and grandkids. Present at Reunion, besides the Three Musketeers, were: Grace Wallace Brown, Nancy Hamel Clark, Grace DeLong Einsel, Grace Jones Fishel with husband Harry, Mary Barcus Hunter, Sue Judd Silcox with husband Jack, Patricia Beech Thompson with husband Calvin and daughter Jennifer, and Pat Layne Winks with partner Henry. There were dinners, luncheons, breakfasts, all sorts of campus activities to take part in. Pat Beech Thompson impressed all of us, and the rest of the Reunion Classes with her one-woman show, “Women Thru the Ages.” Beginning with women in antiquity, Pat brought to life the contributions of famous women, including SBC’s founder, Indiana Fletcher Williams. We were all impressed with SBC’s new president, Jo Ellen Parker, who addressed the “Over 50s” on Sunday morning detailing the state of the college and answering many questions. I think we have a lot to be proud of in SBC’s efforts to preserve the best and keep up with the times to prepare young women for a rapidly evolving world. Our 60th Reunion Class Gift, with a participation rate of 65%, was $55,683! $11.280.19 of that was from a fund from income earned by the note cards and shirts with folk art scenes of life at SBC provided by Grace Wallace Brown and sold at the bookstore. Sunday morning we ended Reunion with a Memorial Service in the chapel. Our classmates who passed away this past year were remembered, along with alumnae from other classes. Those commemorated at Reunion were: Winifred Collins Brister, Edith Marsh Fonda, Mary Gesler Hanson, Suzanne Bassewitz Mentzinger, and Catherine Coxe Page. Shortly after Reunion, we heard the sad news that Donna Reese Godwin had died in Jackson, Miss., on 6/08.
Other news of the Class of 1952: Kate Shaw Minton has moved from her home of 54 years to 122 Palmers Hill Rd., Stamford, CT 06902. Joanie Patton and Ginger Dreyfus Karren were fortunately able to meet for lunch in N.Y.C. with Suzanne Bassewitz Mentzinger a few months before her death. Nell Dumas Herff regretted missing reunion, but her grandson was being married on their ranch. Martha Legg Kates and Bill cited health issues holding them down, but said they’re taking care of each other. They were able to get to Fla. with family (15 of them in all) to see sister Sallie (SBC ’49) shortly before she died. Lillian Thu Pham sent regrets, but had a granddaughter graduating from law school. Nancy Morrow Lovell visited her after Reunion in Washington, D.C. Kier Henley Donaldson also had a granddaughter graduating from college. She’s still active with the Pawling, N.Y. Concert Series. She selects artists and does promotions. She has two sons, two granddaughters, works out, reads and plays bridge. Ann Hoagland Plumb Kelsey went on a cruise through the Panama Canal, then flew to Boulder, Colo. for Jack’s grandson’s graduation from U. Colo. Granddaughter Sarah Plumb graduated from Dartmouth and was named the best lacrosse player on the northeast college circuit. Polly Plumb deButts had surgery this year, which kept her down. Benita Phinizy Johnson spent Christmas in N.C. with her sons. Mary Lois Miller’s husband High has been having health problems. They thought of relocating to be closer to children in the Va./Md. area from Fla., but found the prospect daunting. Carroll Morgan Legge has moved to Blakehurst Community, 1055 Joppa Rd. apt.#206, Towson, MD 21204.She has three married daughters and eight grandchildren, four boys, four girls. She still plays golf (slowly), bridge, takes art, writing and other courses—no big travels lately. She tells us that Louise Warfield Stump hasn’t been well. She also is in touch with Marianne Vorys Minister, who has sold her decorator business and moved to a retirement community in Columbus. She is doing well. I also heard that Peggy Nelson Harding lost her dear husband Nort and that she had been ill since then. We all hope that the rest of 2012 is better for you, Peg.
Pat Layne Winks and Henry had a wonderful trip to Paris that she told us all about. I see Betsy Wilder Cady from time to time. She takes me to museums, and I take her to ride a horse! Betsy just told me that she saw a film about Harvey Milk in which our classmate Sally Gearhart plays a big part. Coincidentally, I just learned that one of Sally’s former drama students in Texas in 1963, Carla Blumberg, has endowed $1.2 million to U. Ore. for the Sally Miller Gearhart Chair of Lesbian Studies. Sally had already donated her papers there, where the Department of Women and Gender Studies has a national reputation. Carla said, “I wanted to honor Sally because she is one of the bravest women with the most integrity of anyone I have ever met.” Betsy remarked to me how proud she feels to have known Sally, a feeling that I echo. Her accomplishments as a teacher, author, and activist are truly impressive.
I had a nice long telephone conversation with my old roommate Nancy Laemmel Hartmann. She and Bruce are still enjoying life in Nashville, and the grandchildren, of course.
Dick and I are rattling around in this old farmhouse, which seems so big until the holidays, when the kids and grandkids descend, and then we’re glad we have the room. We will stay here until circumstances force us to do otherwise. I still ride almost daily, but have given up my dressage judging, as the travel began to get tedious. I had a nice trip in early June to Dallas to my granddaughter Julia’s Bat Mitzvah. Diana and Ethan, Julia and Emmett were here several times over the summer when Dallas was just too hot! The rest of the family are within an hour or two driving time. Oh, and I’ve discovered Pilates. It’s great for old bodies!
Joanne mentioned that her Reunion Report to Marion “Shug” Graves was returned from her last Lexington, Ky. address. Do any of you know about her? The Alumnae Office has quite a list of our classmates classified as “lost” or “no mail.” Any help in locating those folks would be welcome. Please send me your news for the next issue. Christmas cards, notes, email—all will do. I wish I had known all of you better when we were students, but I am trying to make up for it now!