First, many thanks to you who took the time to answer my plea for notes. You are still a fascinating and accomplished group of women.
Kudos to our own Elaine Schuster, who was named Sweet Briar’s Distinguished Alumna of 2012. Most of us don’t know what an exemplary career Elaine has had.
Another inspiring member of our class is Poogie Wyatt Shields, who is facing Parkinson’s with courage and a good heart. Four yrs. ago she returned to Crozet, VA, close to where she raised her family. She’s learned to play mah-jongg and spends a lot of time exercising. In 8/13 she spent 2 wks. in Emerald Isle, NC. With her were her 4 children, their spouses and 7 grandchildren. Much to the amusement of her young, she rented a “tricycle” and got lots of smiles and waves as she pedaled about! Poogie had a fine time at Reunion and, because her Parkinson’s has progressed to a point where she needs help from time to time, said our classmates were “generously forthcoming with assistance.” Poogie thought the highlight was the class dinner followed by photos. “I missed those of you who couldn’t make it but thoroughly enjoyed those who did.”
Ina Hamilton Hart has returned to Shaker Heights, OH, where 2 of her sons and their families live. She and John have an amicable divorce and he has stayed in Chicago near his young. She has the travel bug—went to Cuba on an amazing trip with Road Scholars (that’s right!) and is going with the same group in Sept. to the Grand Canyon. The 1st time she stayed on the rim; this time she’ll go to the bottom and “see the view looking up.”
Mary Taylor Swing has retired as a financial planner so now has ample time to travel on husband Bill’s business. Although Bill is no longer Episcopal bishop of CA, he continues as president of United Religions Initiative (URI), an organization he founded that now operates in 86 countries. They recently visited Warsaw for the dedication of the Museum for History of Polish Jews; while there they visited Krakow and Auschwitz-Birkenau, as well as Prague. Mary wrote that earlier in their careers they spent extended assignments in the Middle East (8 yrs.) and China (10 yrs.) This fall they will be in Kazakhstan and will also visit Mexico, England, Ireland and Scotland. Home is Burlingame, 30 mi. south of San Francisco; Mary enjoys their little house, gardening, cooking and, of course, their 3 grandchildren. During a recent driving trip through VA, Mary was delighted to run into Ginny Tyson Lawrence and Tibby Moore Gardner. She sees Mary Johnson Campbell when Mary accompanies husband David west on business trips and Eleanor St. Clair Thorpe, whose daughter lives near the Swings. She also sees Pat Ashby Boesch, who lives nearby and Patty Sykes Treadwell, who lives in Marin.
Edie Knapp Clark retired from teaching high school chemistry for 14 yrs., still finds plenty to keep her busy in Portland, OR. She and Roger are in good health and she stays active with tai chi, volunteering with Planned Parenthood, studying Spanish, reading and lunching with friends. Happily, both sons live nearby; one manages the prop shop for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the other is a county attorney. Last Jan., Edie traveled to Cuba on a People to People exchange. She said the island was beautiful and the people were very nice. “Parts of Havana are crumbling, other areas of the city in good repair…Lots of equality—everyone is equally poor. Many things Americans consider essential are in short supply.” Edie is especially proud of granddaughter Erin, who broke the longstanding state record in the 3000-m run; it is also a national record. Erin is now at U. CO to run with the Buffalos.
Susan Day Dean also calls the West Coast home in Tacoma, WA. She lives a quiet life but is pleased to be near her daughter’s family. Susan wrote that it was too long a “hop” to Reunion, but was delighted to see the class picture in the latest alumnae magazine. She added, “Yay for those who represented the Class of 1958!”
Life is good for Adele Scott Caruthers in Santa Fe, NM. She recapped her career as an occupational therapist and in 1991 took the 1st-ever hand therapy exam for board certification, thus adding CHT to her OTR/L degree. In her 39-yr. career, Adele practiced in Boston; D.C.; Bloomfield, NJ; and Concord, MA. Some yrs. ago Adele took a painting tour of Provence; she has had exhibits of her work in Albuquerque and other venues in the area. She enjoys reading, writing and taking classes at a local organization similar to Elderhostel called Renesan; she also ushers at Pro Musica chamber music performances. She recently visited her daughter and 2 grandchildren in Clyde, NY, a beautiful area that includes Amish settlements. Although Adele has had bilateral hip and knee replacements, she says she is well and loves her life in Santa Fe.
Ruth Carpenter Pitts, Birmingham, AL, has broken a long silence with a newsy note. She has been a media escort, hosting authors who are on tour, but says she will soon “pass the reins over.” Her oldest Berrie Bamberg graduated from SBC in ’82 and later received a master’s in counseling. Daughter Berrian McVay graduated from Sewanee and went on to get a law degree; she now works in Atlanta as an assets manager at the U.S. Trust Division of Bank of America. Son William Henry (Bill) also attended Sewanee ’84 and married Kim Jeffreys; he is senior exec. VP of First Commercial Bank in Birmingham. Their son William is a senior at Birmingham Southern and daughter Maggie is a senior at U. AL. Ruth’s youngest, Charlie, graduated from W&L ’85, married Laura Locke and is president and GM at Cigna Carolinas; their son Charlie graduated from Harvard and is now in his 2nd year of medical school at Wake Forest U.; daughter Elizabeth is a senior at Princeton. The 4 Carpenter siblings with their young number 64; each year the entire group gathers on the “beautiful sands” of the Gulf of Mexico, where they rent adjoining condos, reserve the club house for the duration of their stay and ALL have dinner together each evening; since the clubhouse is open day and night, there are often small groups playing cards or games or just talking at all hours. Cornelia Long Matson and Dick have had a busy 2013. They sold their wine-growing estate in the Dordogne area of France to a Hong Kong businessman and now call the Hound Ears Club in the mountains of NC home. They bought a mid-century modern house that needs lots of TLC both inside and out with 5 stone fireplaces, a pool and elevator. The Matsons have kept their residence in Sarasota and plan to spend time there in the winter. She chairs a fundraiser in Sarasota for Planned Parenthood at the Yacht Club called “High Tide at High Noon.” Son David, ER/MD, and family live near Chapel Hill; their daughter Mackenzie is at Wake Forest U. and 2 other young are at E.H.S. Her Seattle granddaughter has started at Vassar.
I had a chat with Lanny Tuller Webster this week and she told me about Reunion; our class stayed in the new seniors’ Green Village apartments—very nice. Fifteen of our classmates were “active, young and swinging!” There was a Friends of Art reception on Friday night in Pannell Gallery (the former Refectory), followed by the class dinner after posing for the class picture. The class meeting was held during the dessert course. Molly Archer Payne was elected president and I will happily continue as secretary. Heidi McCrory, VP of alumnae and development, joined the guests for dinner and reported that we raised $48,605 with 40.6% participation and 62% over our goal of $30,000. Heidi congratulated us as “super strong!” Lanny added, “Way to go, ’58! I’m so proud of us!”
This is the 1st time I have missed a reunion, but my heart was at SBC. I was already committed to a big fundraiser in Cincinnati for an affordable living complex supported by Episcopal Retirement Homes; I’m starting my 3rd 3-yr. term on the corporate board—one of the most satisfying volunteer positions I’ve ever had. My dear husband Eddie died in April from complications of emphysema; we were married 53 yrs. and I’m slowly getting accustomed to widowhood. Our girls have been wonderful: Lee Caira continues her career as a victim/witness coordinator in Clarksville, TN. Her son Scott just graduated from TN Tech. U. and works in sales for Enterprise car rental. Martha Schenck, Ashburn, VA, is working as a vet tech; husband Don is about to retire from the Dept. of State—future plans pending. Their daughter Katie graduated from Mary Washington U. with a degree in fine arts and is examining her options for a career path; Lauren completed a program at Woodrow Wilson, a post-secondary school, and is also “looking.” Cole, a high school senior, is taking a college-level course in web design, plays the saxophone in the band and boxes at a local gym. Anne Kuntz is community liaison for Zusman Hospice, part of the Wexner Living Community. She also does grief workshops from time to time. Eddie and I moved to Powell (suburban Columbus), OH, in 2009; we have a charming patio condo about 10 min. from Anne and her partner Rick Farley. When Anne left Dayton, the girls wanted us to move close to one of them and Columbus made the most sense. I have gotten busy at my church, St. John’s Episcopal, in Worthington as chair of the Prayer Shawl knitters group; my dear friend Carole Lougheed and I are the “kitchen mamas” organizing the 3 kitchens there and I serve on the pastoral care committee and belong to the book club. I sang with Capriccio, a vocal ensemble, for 3 yrs., but retired this past spring at the onset of Eddie’s health problems. Carole and I joined the Friends of the Governor’s Residence for a marvelous private tour of Mount Vernon and an evening on Old Town Alexandria. I’m a “Governor’s Gardener”—spending 2 mornings/month working on the gorgeous grounds of the mansion. My own garden is great therapy for me; it has just blossomed this summer and I love puttering there.
I hate being the bearer of sad tidings, but we have had 3 deaths in the class this year: Nancy Milan Alexander died 2/16/13; Mary Louise (Weezie) Lineberger Roberts died 8/22/13; and Judy Graham Lewis died in early Sept. I know all of you send your condolences; their names will be listed in this issue of the magazine and read at the Alumnae Memorial Service during Reunion next spring.
Again, many thanks for responding to my request for news; please keep the notes coming—you don’t have to wait for a reminder from me. I’m so proud of all of you, still one of the most fascinating groups of leaders, volunteers and citizens. Carry on!