1954

Bruce Watts Krucke
7352 Toogoodoo Rd.
Yonges Island, SC 29449
bwkrucke@gmail.com

Unfortunately, we have to start with sympathies and condolences to the families of more classmates who have passed away since our last notes. We can be proud of the wonderful lives of service these women had. Here is the nice obituary for our May Queen, Fran Reese Peale, who died last March. “Frances Leigh Reese passed away on 3/4/12. Frances was born in Richmond, Va., to Anabel Hays and George Hannah Reese on 6/14/32. She graduated from Sweet Briar College with a major in zoology and a minor in psychology. Frances and her husband of 57 years, Franklin Vail Peale, raised three children in Brighton and moved to Pittsford in 1994. She is survived by her husband, Franklin; three children, Martha Vail Peale, Franklin Vail Peale Jr. and David Reese Peale; granddaughters, Anne Estelle Peale and Emma Reese Peale; and twin sister, Anabel Hays Reese of Louisville, Ky. An avid and accomplished equestrian, she loved the hunt country of the Genesee Valley. She also enjoyed her years as a member of the Chatterbox Club; her bridge friends; her years with her reading group; and tennis, skiing, golf, canoeing and gardening. She served on the vestry at St. Paul’s Church and the board of the Episcopal Church Home and deeply appreciated the grace of Christ Episcopal Church Pittsford. Frances is remembered by her close friends—as well as by those who knew her only in passing—as a true lady; she was lovely, gracious, independent and forthright to the end.”

And here is the obituary for Nancy Maury Miller, who died in July. “Anne ‘Nancy’ Fontaine Maury, 79, of Boynton Beach, loving wife and devoted mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, passed on to heaven on 7/28/12. Born in Bryn Mawr, Pa., she grew up in Delray Beach and Annapolis, Md. Locally, she attended the Gulf Stream School, Delray Elementary School and Delray High School (now Old School Square Cultural Arts Center) and was a graduate of the Graham-Eckes School in Palm Beach. At Sweet Briar College in Va., where she graduated in 1954, she majored in sociology and wrote articles for the Sweet Briar News. After college, she was a reporter for the Delray Beach News, that later merged to become the Delray Beach News-Journal, then moved to Annapolis, where she was a social worker for the Anne Arundel County Board of Public Welfare. For many years, Mrs. Miller was a freelance writer for newspapers and magazines. From 1973 to 1983, she was Lifestyle Editor of the Delray Beach News-Journal, and from 1983 until her retirement in Sept. 1994, she was a feature writer and columnist for the Boca Raton News/The News of Delray Beach. During her journalism career, she won numerous awards for her feature articles and photography. She also was the author of ‘Rooted in Faith, A history of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Delray Beach,’ focusing on 1975 through 1998. Her book was a sequel to ‘From Sapling to Sturdy Oak’ written by Cecil and Margoann Farrar. In 2000, she again became a columnist and feature writer for the Boca Raton/Delray Beach News and until shortly before the time of her death, she was a columnist for the Palm Beach Daily News. Mrs. Miller is survived by her daughter, Leslie Fontaine Niles and son-in-law, Michael Niles, of West Palm Beach; son, CAPT. Scott Davidson Miller USN (Ret.) and daughter-in-law, Katherine Miller, of Pine Mountain, Ga.; daughter, Anne Elizabeth Powell, of Franklin, N.C.; eight grandchildren, Matthew Robert Smith, Sarah Catherine Kajano, Hannah Margaret Niles, Caroline Grace Miller, Andrew Scott Miller, Laura Bethany Powell, Benjamin Robert Powell, and Andrew Scott Powell; and one great grand-child, Brody Jacob Smith.”

It’s a shame that the first we’ve ever heard about Louise Skinner McLaughlin is that she has died. I remember some wonderful evenings spent in her log cabin home off campus. Here is her obit: “Louise Skinner McLaughlin, 84, died 8/10/12, at Treasure Coast Hospice House, Fort Pierce, Fla. She was born in Baltimore, Md., and lived in Port St. Lucie for four months, coming from New Smyrna Beach, Fla. She received a bachelor’s degree from Sweet Briar College in Va. Before retiring, she was a travel agent and owned Coronado Travel in New Smyrna Beach. Survivors include her daughters, Catherine and Isabel McLaughlin, both of New Smyrna Beach, Margaret McLaughlin of Ashland, Ore., and Louise Piper of Port St. Lucie, Fla.; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband of 44 years, Edward H. McLaughlin, Jr. Memorial contributions may be made to Southeast Volusia Humane Society, 1200 S. Glencoe Rd., New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168. Services and interment will be private.”

I sent out about 30 emails asking for news for these class notes and was very pleased to get 8 responses. But I want more next time!

Sally Gammon Plummer writes that they had a family reunion the last week in July, which was great fun. She rented a cabin that was located high on a ridge with a wonderful view of the mountains near Bozeman, Mont. Her older daughter, Lisa, and her husband, Bill, came from Portland, Ore., son Dave, who works for the forest service, came from Missoula, Mont., and Sally drove up with her younger daughter, Nancy, who lives in Arvada, Colo., a northwest suburb in the Denver area. Her husband, George, joined them later during the week. They had trips to Big Sky and Yellowstone, but mostly just enjoyed being together. On Sept. 8 Sally leaves for a week-long birding trip to Cape May, N.J., and has high hopes for reaching 500 North American species seen. She’s at 491 now. She still volunteers weekly at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and is active at her church. (Cape May is a fabulous birding destination, so I’m sure Sally will reach her goal.)

Lamar Ellis Oglesby has had a hard year, losing her husband in Feb., having her knee replaced in May and now cataract surgery in Aug/Sept. Her knee op was a huge success, and she is walking normally now without pain. She and 19 family members are going to Costa Rica together after Christmas. Lamar solicits our prayers for her daughter Frances who has been fighting cancer for seven years.

From Jean “Sissy” Morris Long writes: “We’ve just moved…and what an experience! We love our new digs, but the move was horrendous. We sent one moving van to Atlanta (where all of the children are) and the other to our new home in a retirement complex. We have our own house and it’s perfect. We were able to supervise the building and of course Bill has all of the electronics just as he wants them. We brought both pianos and got them in our living room sans dining room suite, but can’t foresee many formal dinner parties anyway! Anne White Connell is right across the street in her home. She just got home to stay from Houston and her long round of chemo, which was successful. What a blessing! We have for years had a Friday night supper club but several have passed away, and Betty Gene Orr Atkinson is pretty much at home now. It’s so difficult for her to get out in the car after knee surgery. We moved from the gated community where she and E.W. live. I miss having them right down the street from me, but I try to go as often as I can. I do see “Peaches” Davis Roane. You know she lost Jack on Mother’s Day in May. She is adjusting beautifully. I am so proud of her. She had a great week with her daughters at Sea Island this summer. I published my book, “Finding Kate,” last Dec. (history of my grandmother who came to Ark. from Va. to teach school in 1885) and had great fun at the book signing and getting my allotted “moments of fame”! By the way Elaine Colmer ’55 also lives here in an apartment with her husband, Bob. (I got Sissy’s book and can recommend it to you all for some interesting reading. We’re sorry to hear of the death of Peaches’ husband.)

A nice note came from Magaret Jones Steuart, written from their home in Jamaica. Peggy says: “We’re in Jamaica right now with some of our family, Brad, middle son and his five children…the youngest is three and she is absolutely adorable…all 28 have been here this summer at one time or another…lots of activity…wish I could bottle the energy…ages of the grandchildren range from one to 28! Never did Guy and I dream of this back in 1954! I see Doreen Booth Hamilton every now and then and a group of other SBCers in other classes, Tuttie Webster, Kay Diane Bowles ’57 to name a few. We’re so fortunate to have four lovely daughters-in-law and a great son-in- law. Everyone lives about 15 minutes from us. Still volunteering as chair of the garden committee at the Washington Cathedral and on the Board of Tudor Place Historic Home and Gardens in Georgetown.”

Jerry Dreisbach Ludeke writes: “My big trip this year was to Iceland and Greenland with Overseas Adventure Travel. The threat of the San Andreas earthquake fault, which we Californians live with, pales next to living on Iceland where any spot could blow up at any time. The pretrip to Westman Island was fascinating—nearly lost in 1973 due to a volcanic eruption. Since then I’ve had two camping trips in the High Sierra. Our older son is still in Costa Rica where he and his wife both work for the American Embassy. To our delight, their three children are all in the states, two in California and the married one in Washington, D.C. Our younger son and wife plus three sons (10, 13, 15) are still in San Francisco, so I enjoy taking Amtrak to visit. Meanwhile, I’m back directing the Bakersfield College Archives and getting geared up for next year’s centennial celebration.”

I can always count on a nice newsy email from Dallas “Dilly” Johnson Jones—Here’s what she wrote, so the ‘I’ is Dilly, not me. “Daughter Louise ’84 and Jim have son Charlie, a sophomore at Wofford playing soccer, and son Giles, a freshman at W&L playing soccer. Their daughter Lucia is a freshman at the Atlanta International School. They still live in Atlanta. Daughter Sanford and husband Gene are in Great Falls, Mont. where Gene is Pres. of Univ. of Great Falls. Their triplet boys are freshmen in high school there and are all playing football! (Dilly might get to see Vicky Toof Johson when visiting in Great Falls.) In May, Ann Collins Teachout and Bill came to Macon to see me and visit for five days! We absolutely had a wonderful time! All the years since ’54 simply melted away… it was as though we had been together the day before! Of course, we have seen each other thru the years and have kept up thru phone and email. They had been on a cruise out of Fla. with Bill’s sisters, and I prevailed on them to come here while they were in the east. Now I want to go see Sanford and on to see Ann and Bill…possibly in Oct! About a week after the Teachouts were here, Vaughan Inge Morrissette came and spent a night! She has more energy than ten people put together! She had been to D.C. to the Mt. Vernon Board meeting (I think she has now rotated off) and was en route to Athens, Ga. to a state meeting of the Colonial Dames. Driving all the way, of course! She has a big job with the Dames…I think that she said that she is one of four national vice-chairmen? Anyway, she was leaving here for a meeting in Calif., I think!

“The news from Ruth Frye Deaton and Hugo is not so cheery. Several years ago Ruthie had bone surgery on one of her ankles, and it has not gone well. She is in a lot of pain still and although she can walk some, she travels a good bit via wheelchair. Hugo has had cancer. They went to Johns Hopkins before Christmas where he had the Whipple procedure. He came thru it OK, but has since had to take chemo and has lost a lot of weight and strength. They are home with help.

“I also know that the last time I heard from Merrill Underwood Barringer and Paul (shortly after their 50th anniversary party that Vaughan and I went to), they were taking a condo in Charlottesville, but were also keeping a place in Weldon.

“One more funny thing: I recently received an invite to a party in Highlands, N.C., to educate people about a Historic Trust house here in Macon. The hostess for the party was listed Mrs. Frank McLain. When I called to regret as I was not going to be in Highlands, I told the lady that I had a classmate at Sweet Briar named Mary Lee McGinnis McLain and her husband was Frank. Could this be the same person? She said, ‘No, this Mrs. McLain’s name is Missy!’ I laughed, and said, ‘Yep, she’s my classmate…and please tell her that Dilly sends her best and is sorry not to be there to see her!’ Small World! And the great Sweet Briar connection continues!” Thanks, Dilly!

Ann Collins Teachout confirms that Dilly will be visiting them in Oct. She and Bill are busy volunteers and have had an eventful year with grandchildren: two graduating from college and one of those marrying, another producing twin girls making them great-grandparents. Those events resulted in some fun family get-togethers. They also took a spring cruise to the Caribbean with his older sisters—a grand reunion for the three octogenarians who are all in good health. The Teachouts’ oldest daughter moved to New Haven last year and they love that excuse to visit New England where Bill grew up and went to college and grad school. Like many of us, they are thankful for good health. And like Bill and me, they have not been to Africa for a few years, but still pour over all the tour brochures we get. If only it was easier getting there.

Another Ann heard from was Ann Thomas Donohue. She said they didn’t have any exciting news for you, outside of experiencing the late June derecho (a word not previously in our vocabularies—SBC suffered lots of tree damage in the same storm). In Arlington where Ann lives, it consisted of a weird sturm und drang with lots of lightning and formidable winds, which did in countless trees and wiped out electricity for quite a spell. On the more fun side, Ann and Tom had a wonderful few days on the eastern shore with assorted kids and grandkids plus dogs, where they enjoyed consuming the requisite amount of Chesapeake Bay seafood.

Our London classmate, Joan Oram Reid, sent a nice update: “My husband, Bob, and I are still living in Central London as he is still the Chairman of ICE Futures, the oil trading exchange, whose headquarters are in Marietta, Ga. So, I am still busy with my historical research, mainly to do with Benjamin Franklin. I am also curating a small exhibition at The Wallace Collection Feb. through April 2013, showing the 300 year silver inscription collection of the Past Overseers Society of Westminster. All very British and quirky and delightful. The family are all busy; we seem to have four small businesses to support, track and cross our fingers over. Cirrus Communications , Frog, Fish and Scoobits. Fish has just sold some software to the FBI in Washington.” (Joan sent a post script explaining those businesses: Scoobits are identifiers for children’s scooters designed and run by daughter-in-law Clare, an architect in non-children life. She has won an award for her website, but no profits yet! Fish provides digital enhancement software beginning to be used by the police in the UK for fingerprints, etc., and the FBI for identifying shrapnel fragments. It’s run by eldest son Douglas’ partner in the UK and now Michael, his son, is over from IBM Australia to implement the contracts. Frog is an environmental venture capital company run by my youngest son, Michael, with capital from an Austrian entrepreneur. Lots of interesting initial investments. Cirrus Communications, is an Australian broadband wireless provider in the outlying towns, but now in most commercial districts. Started by Douglas and now run by middle son Paul. This one has relatively optimistic outlook! Nobody else is making any money yet!”) Joan’s grandchildren are all growing up, with two of the Australians with them at the moment for their work and gap year activities. Joan noted that they are somewhat devastated by the loss of Anne Sheffield Hale and her husband Bradley. They were their excuse for regular visits to Atlanta. Other than that they enjoy all the delights of London and add that the Jubilee and the Olympics were marvelous.

That just leaves me. There has been a lot of traveling this year. I spent a wonderful week with a friend who lives in Merida on the Yucatan Peninsula in Feb. She arranged a schedule that showed me all the sights and sites and lots of terrific birding too. In May I spent a long weekend in Savannah with a photo club from Southern Pines, N.C., as the guest of a member. Such a beautiful city, even though we here in Charleston think of it as being so young—LOL. June saw us at North Topsail Island, N.C., for another get together with my sister, Virginia Watts Fournier ’44, and family. In July, Bill and I enjoyed a lovely boat trip down the Elbe River from Hamburg to Prague. Those Grand Circle river boats are so nice, and we like not having to pack and unpack all the time. We went ashore to towns and cities every day of course. I had a skin cancer removed with MOHs surgery from my shin, where there is no circulation, in April and under the care of a wound specialist in Charleston, it has finally begun to fill in and should be done by late Sept. Valet parking at the hospital has taken all the stress out of driving into the city. Otherwise here it’s photography, gallery website, journaling trips, choir, folding bulletins, and driving senior citizens to appointments—so far none have been younger than me! It doesn’t take much to keep in touch—email me!