Bruce Watts Krucke
7352 Toogoodoo Rd
Yonges Island, SC 29449
[email protected]

We send belated condolences to the family of Elizabeth “Liz” Helm Lawson, who died last Feb. Before her retirement, Liz had been a school crossing guard for 12 years, beloved by all “her kids.”

Our thoughts go out also to the family of Joyce Walmsly Wellford, who passed away last Nov. Joyce was very active in charitable organizations and programs in her church, both in DE where they first lived and later in VA. She continued being very active after moving to the Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury, where she served on many committees.

Cynthia Sinclair Rutherford’s husband Bill sent a nice note with his Christmas card. Cindy has been in a nursing home for a year now. He lovingly reports that although her speaking has deteriorated, she still has perfect syntax. Bill also had a heart attack and five by-passes, but is in excellent health now and feeds Cindy twice a day nearly all the time.

Caroline “Kobo” Chobot Garner writes that her husband Thom lives in the Healthcare facility of the Village where they have their home in Chattanooga. He has difficulty swallowing and has had aspiration pneumonia a couple of times. Kobo and their daughter Laurie celebrated their big birthdays this year with a trip on the waterways of Belgium and the Netherlands at tulip time. Laurie’s children, Kobo’s grandchildren, are Parker, a junior at Purdue, and Caroline, an honor student in HS and manager of the football team. She also plays on the golf team. Kobo and Thom’s son, Gailor, has remarried and is a Lieutenant Colonel now, stationed in Charlottesville, where he is operations officer for Combat Incident Analysis Division at the National Ground Intelligence Center. His son Thomas IV is a sophomore in high school. His sister Clara is in 7th grade.

Sally Gammon Plummer sent a nice family picture taken the end of July when they all got together for their 4th annual reunion in a high mountain cabin near Bozeman, MT, where they did all the things nearby and had a wonderful time together. Sally’s other big trip of the year was a birding trip to Cape May, NJ, a birding mecca, where she got 3 new life birds. She lacks only 6 to reach 500 birds in the US. In Sept., Sally’s sister gave her a spa vacation for her 80th birthday. (Can you believe we are 80?!) Sally’s activities at home include volunteering at the natural history museum, where she arranges the monthly bird trips, and she’s also very active at her church.

Another lovely Christmas letter came from Hattie Hughes Stone. They were hard hit by Hurricane Sandy and had a tree on their roof for four weeks. They lost 10 other trees in their yard. Their son treated them to a week in Maui to recover. In the summer they again hosted all their grandchildren for a week—what a wonderful way for the cousins to get to know each other. Sept. saw them at the Story Telling Festival in Jonesborough, TN, followed by a week at a timeshare in Fairfield Glade. They visited family both on the way and on the way home again. Their grandson Jon is the head of the horse in the Theatre of Great Britain production of “Warhorse,” which opened her at Lincoln Center. Hattie and Dick, plus 15 other family members, went to see the play at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.

Jerry Dreisbach Ludeke sends the nicest cards that she makes every year. Her big trip for 2012 was with Overseas Adventure Travel to Iceland and Greenland. She was overwhelmed by the delightful people and a wealth of geological and historical treasures there, as well as the excellent guide. (She and I both recommend OAT trips.) She also did a Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel) trip hiking in the high Sierras and she joined her son Scott and family at the San Francisco Family Camp bordering Yosemite. Scott and Patty have three sons. Jerry went to the Rose Bowl and to Los Angeles to see “Warhorse,” the same one that Hattie’s grandson is in! Her son Kevin and Amy are still with the embassy in Costa Rica, but their 3 children are all living in the US now. When she’s home, Jerry is active with her church, and she still directs the Bakersfield College Archives. In her “spare time,” she makes pine needle baskets, does tai chi, and enjoys programs and classes at the college, which is only 2 blocks from her house.

Now don’t you wish you had sent me a Christmas card or an email with what kept you busy last year? I didn’t send any Christmas cards either though, so I can’t complain. We had two deaths in the family—Bill’s sister in the fall and his niece in Dec., which kind of took the edge off the holiday. But we did have all our kids, granddaughter, and Bill’s other sister and husband here for Christmas, so we were able to have a nice time. Had I sent a card, I would have told you about a lovely trip in July/Aug. on the Elbe River from Hamburg to Prague that we took with Grand Circle—same company as Overseas Adventure Travel. We also spent our annual week in June at North Topsail Island, NC, with my sister, Virginia Watts Fournier ’44. Now we’re gearing up to go on the OAT Ultimate African Safari in April. We decided we needed to go to Africa one more time. This will be the first time we’ve gone with a tour group, but felt we needed more supervision than usual at our age. Four friends are going with us and the whole group will be only 14. The wild game watching will be in Botswana, northern Zambia, and Zimbabwe, at camps we haven’t been to before except the one in Zimbabwe. We will end the trip with a couple of days staying with friends in Johannesburg. Please write to me!