Penn Willets Fullerton
Susan Sudduth Hiller
I got a late start in assembling our news, so I didn’t have time to follow through with the non-responders. Please folks, check in! Nonetheless, we do have a few good shares. Myself, Penn Willets Fullerton, Jane Nelson, and Susan Sudduth Hiller remain a solid “PG” (to borrow from our sociology definition of Peer Group). We managed our annual reunion in NH this year, in time for the end of the fall colors. We stayed in a cabin owned by Penn’s brother, and had a wonderful time hiking, exploring, eating, yes shopping…Penn’s life remains full, with tutoring in creative writing, time in her Gold country cabin (with hubby George) and all 3 children married, 2 with families, and her youngest just announcing pregnancy. Grandparenting is a big part of Penn’s life, as it is for Susan’s, with 2 from daughter Penn and more from husband Chuck. In recent years, Susan has weathered a scary blood clot in her leg, a wrist crack, and lately, her first fracture on the ski slopes after 35 years of the sport. No surgery required, and she expects to be totally fine and ready for skiing next year. She and Chuck love their condo in Aspen, and love their Corgi Finian. Jane is totally absorbed with chaplaincy at Westminster Canterbury in Richmond, VA. She looks forward to her family reunion in Culpeper this summer, as she hosts family coming from “far and wide.”
I, Keenan, retired this fall from active parish ministry in the Presbyterian Church. The transition is harder than I’d expected, although with both my kids buying houses within 10 mi. of me, I’ll soon be happily immersed with grandsons, 7 and 12, and granddaughter, 20 mos. I’m still struggling to find new community and purpose. Makanah Dunham Morris made the same transition 3 years ago, and she’s my role model. She continues to stay happily occupied with a variety of ministry endeavors after parish retirement. She and Bob are helping the congregation, of which they’re members, to become an official “Green Sanctuary Congregation.” Encouraging members to become more mindful and committed to eco-sustainable lifestyle choices as well as reaching out to the wider Lynchburg, VA, community to help others with environmental justice projects. Makanah regularly sees Kit Baker Sydnor, her neighbor just down the road who has an adorable granddaughter (2) named Lily, and Betty Booker Morriss, her sister-in-law who is married to Bob’s brother. Makanah and Bob also act as supervisors for an intern minister in the Unitarian Universalist church in Charlottesville—very rewarding work.
Andrea Pearson Pennington has also mastered retirement. She writes: Al and are doing various things for both fun and, sometimes, profit. I had very unexpected heart bypass surgery 2 weeks ago, but fortunately have been very lucky in recovery and am now back to most of my normal activities, except for being restricted from driving until next week. Lesson to be learned: pay attention to those myriad of articles that say a woman’s heart event isn’t like a man’s and doesn’t even necessarily involve real pain. If I hadn’t read so many of those cautions in various media, I wouldn’t even have gone to be checked out, because I exercise, keep up with doctor visits, cholesterol stats, etc. and eat relatively well and had no strong symptoms. So sometimes caution pays off! A trip to Spain is in our near future! Our oldest daughter, Katy Ferry, moved to Madrid, in 1/2013 for 3 years. Her husband Scott is with the FBI and is attached to the Legal attaché’s office at the US Embassy in Madrid. Their daughter Caroline (2) is, of course, with them and experiencing the Spanish culture as well.Our 2nd daughter, Anna Powell, is moving from Birmingham, AL, back to Mobile for the first time since 2005. Her husband, Robert, will be working for O’Neal Steel in sales and Anna will continue working remotely for Medseek, a Birmingham-based medical IT company, doing product marketing. I’ll be enjoying my daughter and son-in-law, but most especially, my grandson (19 mos.), Harding Powell.”
Marilyn Morris had 2 weddings in her family in 2012: son Tony was married in San Antonio in March and daughter Blair was married in Wilmington, DE, in June. Blair and her husband are expecting their first child in June—Marilyn’s first grandchild! She writes: I’ve had the great pleasure of seeing Marty Rogers Brown and Mary Meade Gordon Winn here in FL this winter! Also a good friend Pinkie Roe ’57 and her husband have bought a house in Vero Beach and will be winter residents, which will be such fun for me!”
Judy Wilson Grant writes: Life in CO continues to be fast-paced and fun. I’m returning to the SBC board next year and looking forward to that. We have kids strung out across the U.S. from Boston to Santa Fe, all doing well. Newell is gearing up for my return to the board since, as he says, “They are always so nice to me.” My volunteer activities include the Mesa Verde Foundation, the Denver Debutante Ball, Central City Opera, Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver Fortnightly Club, Perennial Garden Club and Garden Club of Denver. Nice that SBC taught me how to multi-task!”
Lin Campbell writes: We’re happy, relatively healthy and still here in Brooklyn. Husband Tom has retired from UNICEF. I still work full time, mostly enjoying it, and still feel challenged by it. We had a wonderful trip to Tuscany and Umbria in Sept. and will be going to Seattle in Aug. for some of my cousin’s last productions as general dir. of the opera. We enjoy the Philharmonic, the Met opera, the museums, theatre and gardening, although last summer was too hot to spend much time enjoying the garden.”
This news came via the online class notes submission form: Donna Martin Zahorik died at home on 3/8/13 from lung cancer and other health complications. She was with friends and family at the time. She was born on 1/6/1944 in Roanoke, VA, the daughter of H. C. and Katherine Martin. She graduated from Patrick Henry High School in Roanoke, and then attended Sweet Briar College, where she graduated with a major in psychology and minor in classic Greek in 1966. She married Tony Zahorik, a fellow graduate student at the U. of IL (Urbana), in 1969. She received a Ph.D. in physiological psychology from IL in ’71, and after a post-doctoral fellowship there, taught psychology at Cornell U. until 1982. At Cornell she was a leading member of the Cornell Eleven, a group of women that won a judgment of sex discrimination against Cornell. She has lived in Nashville since 1982, raising 2 children, Patricia Nicole McNew of Nashville and Ronald Anton Zahorik of Tonganoxie, KS, while combating M.S. and other ailments. In addition to being a loving mother Donna was a great fan of spectator sports, especially ACC basketball, and of politics, her dogs, and discussing science with her twin sister, Dr. Patricia Rodier, a leading researcher in autism. She was preceded in death by her parents and by her sister, and is survived by her brother W. Steven Martin of St. Charles, IL, her husband, her 2 children, and 5 grandchildren. She is also survived by her loving caregiver and “surrogate daughter,” Camile Sanders of Nashville. A memorial dinner for Donna will be held later in the spring.
Nancy Conkle Swann and David have had a good year, highlighted by her 50th reunion at St. Catherine’s in 4/2012, and more recently, David’s 50th at W&L this spring—how time goes by! They celebrated 45th wedding anniversary in Bermuda with the whole family. Their 4th grandchild was born in Sept., “Henry Walker, who is adorable and a good baby (which is a good thing as his parents have a little girl who turns 2 in March—lots of diapers!)We spend our time between Asheville, NC, and St. Barths in the Caribbean and travel a lot in between.”
Our final update is a shout-out for prayers and support for Sydney Turner. She writes: “Well, I feel fine and look fine, but as it turns out, I’m not fine. On March 5, I’ll go into Johns Hopkins Hospital for a kidney transplant. I’m grateful to the 3 family members who offered to be donors. I’m grateful that I have good medical insurance, and that Baltimore has excellent medical facilities, with skilled medical personnel, and advances in medicine that make this operation possible—still, feeling a little anxious, especially about the powerful immunosuppressant drugs that I’ll be on for the rest of my life.”
As the years go one, I fear none of us will escape, aging processes can be treacherous. But the gift of life and the grace to still be strong and alive is precious. As we navigate retirements, economic vagaries, grandchildren, arthritis, travel, freedoms, let’s remain in touch and in contact. Sharing our experiences of life helps us all. I look for more contributions next time and urge you to plan ahead for our own 50th reunion!