Penn Willets Fullerton
Susan Sudduth Hiller
Approaching her 70th birthday, Barbara Dublin Van Cleve loves her life in her “new-to-me” cottage at Pennybyrn at Maryfield. She decided downsizing sooner than later was the wiser way to go, so sold her house and took the plunge. Her kids and their families are scattered from near her to Peoria, IL, Tulsa, OK, and Seattle, WA. “All are well, productive and happy…Life is very good.
Jeannie Jackson Exum and her husband live in Kinston, NC, “our ‘official’ address,” although they spend a lot of time on the coast. Three children and 6 grandchildren (plus a 7th on the way) also live in NC, with lots of opportunities for fun family get-togethers. Joe and Jeannie have been able to travel a lot since she retired from teaching. She also has enjoyed playing duplicate Bridge again and treasures reconnecting at the card table with Marcia Pace Lindstrom and Nancy McLean Parker. She maintains contact with Harriette Horsey Sturges, Sheila Nolan Fuller, Virginia Pennel Brooks and Carol Dean Spratlin Davis.
Harriette Horsey Sturges met Marcia Pace Lindstrom and Virginia Pennel Brooks in Atlanta and hopes to meet there more often. She and her husband are both retired, though Harriette is still on staff at a nearby Episcopal church in Oxford, NC. She is still an advocate for the environment and the Latino community and continues to learn more Spanish. She’d love to hear what others are reading, enjoying or being challenged by.
Susie Wilson Ashcom and Bobby just passed their 49th wedding anniversary and look forward to their 50th. They live near Warrenton and Charlottesville. Ninie Lang, who taught at SBC for many years, Betty Gookin and several other SBC alumnae live nearby; the area SBC reunions are fun. Grandchildren are accomplishing things they never would have dreamed of. Wilson spent part of the summer traveling across China on the Orient Express on his way to Mongolia to help in an orphanage, then on a trek riding Mongolian ponies. His sister Annabel spent 6 wks. at Interlochen because of her extraordinary voice. She sings in the National Cathedral choir while at the National Cathedral School. Their little brother is a Northern VA swimming and diving champion. These children make Susie tired thinking of what they do every day while their parents compete in triathlons! The CA grandchildren are just normal young girls who like dressing up and glittery things! They are “no-brainers” when Christmas comes around! Susie and Bobby are very thankful for what life has brought and for their educations, which have helped enormously.
Jean Campbell Barquin says life is good. Their daughter was married on 3/30 in Barcelona, where she has been living for 10 yrs. She married Tim Stutts, an American from VA Beach (they met in Spain). Elisa finished her doctorate in linguistics last Nov.; she and her husband recently left Spain to move to Austin. Their son still lives in D.C., about 15 min. from them; has a daughter (3) and, in Dec., a baby boy. Babysitting for her granddaughter keeps Jean busy. She feels lucky to have them all nearby. Jean still plays tennis and has started to play lots of competitive Bridge traveling to tournaments with her partner, hoping to become a Life Master soon. She and her husband continue to travel—short but frequent trips as he is still running his company.
Wonderful news from Sidney Turner: “On 3/5, after much testing and monitoring, I received a kidney transplant. The donor was my twin sister. I am so grateful to her and to the 2 other family members who volunteered to donate a kidney. I am also thankful for Baltimore’s 2 (!) transplant centers, the skilled and compassionate surgeons, nurses and other staff at Johns Hopkins Hospital, good medical insurance and supportive friends and family. What an incredible blessing. My post-operative journey was more hectic and complicated than I ever imagined, but I have been making steady progress and look forward to a future where life is almost normal.”
Peggy Gilmer Myers says her family is still basically the same—her husband raising cattle, grown children all in VA and 2 delightful grandsons. Her 2012 major activity was having a great time and learning a lot co-writing a local tour book, “Sunday Drives: Cruising the Back Road of Amherst and Nelson Counties” with fellow SBC alumna Ann Hopkins Rucker ’74. The book is available at Amazon.com.
Marilyn Garabrant Morris writes that her big news is being a grandmother for the 1st time! Daughter Blair and husband Michael had a little girl born on 6/12—“of course she is perfect.” Marilyn saw Mary Meade Winn and Marty Rogers Brown this past winter in FL in Vero Beach and visited Marty in VA Beach in Sept. with Eleanor Gilmore Massie. Marilyn keeps in touch with classmates each year if possible. She is already planning several trips to NYC where her granddaughter and parents live, so the West Palm Beach-LaGuardia route will be well traveled.
Ellie Gilmore Massie’s news is that she recently moved back to Baltimore, where she grew up and is enjoying reconnecting with old friends and classmates. She has signed up for a lot of interesting classes, a chorus, and takes advantage of the many educational opportunities nearby. Ellie is looking to the visit with Marty and Marilyn, with lots of catching up.
Abby Patterson Shultis finds it hard to believe we are turning 70 this year or next! She feels lucky to be able to have a full and active life in the Southern Pines/Pinehurst area, still riding and driving her horse, busy in her garden and yard—too much mowing this year—and lots of friends and activities of all kinds. She hopes anyone traveling her way will stop by. Daughter Parker (SBC ’90) is still in Roanoke with a successful career and a horse for relaxation. Younger daughter Ashton is in advertising in Seattle—a big trip to visit the grandkids, but well worth it.
Judy Barthold Desimone writes she is responding to class news requests because it’s so “dang nice” to hear from classmates and because she retired from law practice and enjoys having time to savor important, heart-touching matters—much lovingly recalled friends and recollections of and from Sweet Briar. She is blessed to have a husband of 47 yrs.; 2 healthy, well-grown and independent children; 5 grandchildren and 2 more “almost”-grandchildren. She finds herself encouraging a grandson (16) to think of the value of a liberal arts education in this technological era. Judy increasingly harks back to the important foundation for her life that was laid at Sweet Briar. “I am always curious, tickled, happy and giggly to read about my classmates.”
Andrea Pearson Pennington has been retired for 2 1/2 yrs. She volunteers as a mentor in a girls’ program at Strickland Youth Center, from which she retired; through her Catholic church; as a Reading Buddy for an elementary school child; and mostly as president of the League of Women Voters of Mobile, working with kids, educating and encouraging them to be participatory citizens. Andrea and Al have 2 grandchildren (2). Granddaughter Caroline Ferry lives with her parents in D.C. and Madrid, where her dad’s work with the FBI takes them. They have visited recently, and the Penningtons went to Madrid for 3 wks. in May and June. Their other daughter and son-in-law are in Mobile with grandson Harding Powell, so Andrea enjoys him on a regular basis now. Both of them are so wonderful to watch grow and learn. Andrea had heart bypass surgery unexpectedly in Feb. and was very lucky to have no damage. Al is also retired but officiates tennis for the SEC at LA. St. U., for Tulane, and for the Sun Belt Conference, U. South AL. Both Andrea and Al enjoy using retirement to give back to their community.
Penn Willets Fullerton and family have had a wonderful year—blessed to have 3 grandchildren close by, and 3 others not too far away! Penn still loves teaching creative writing part time in the public schools and in classes at home. Husband George is busy part time with civil engineering. Penn and George escape when possible to their cabin near Yosemite for weekends of hiking and fishing and feel very lucky that the big fire spared their cabin. Penn sees Randi Miles Long and Keenan Colton Kelsey often and enjoys the “golden time” of the yearly visit with SBC roommates Keenan, Jane Nelson and Susan Sudduth Hiller. Penn is active in her area SBC alumnae club, noting it is great to see how excited the current students are about the College. They are always so impressed when alumnae share stories about “the old days.” Penn encourages all to get in touch if in San Francisco.
Susan Sudduth Hiller recalls the highlight of the yearly roommate reunion. Since her husband Chuck retired completely from pulmonology practice, they have more time to visit children and other relatives. Daughter Penn continues to practice law in NYC while being an incredible, amazing single mom to precious Katie (11) and Andrew (6). Susan sees them as often as possible and was so pleased that they visited in Little Rock recently. Penn is engaged to wonderful Christopher Anderson, also a lawyer. Dear Corgi Finian Maelgwyn (12)—“handsome prince of the hounds”—continues to be a joy; moving a little more slowly, “but don’t we all?” After 35 yrs. of skiing, Susan sustained her 1st fracture—her leg—on the slopes last Jan. All fine now, and she looks forward to more skiing in Feb. She continues hospice, lay chaplain and grief counseling work.
Judy Wilson Grant writes of a busy summer for the Grant family. Son Will is in Mongolia for 3 mos. collecting material for a book on the horse culture there; daughter Caroline and husband Fred Waddell have relocated to Wellesley, MA, where she runs Paper & Presents; son Newell Jr. and wife Helena are still in downtown Boston, where he works for his boarding school, Westminster; daughter Margaret and husband Scott are busy with Tairis (3) and Keller (1). Judy and Newell have had a wonderful summer of houseguests, both family and friends. As of July, Judy returned to the SBC board as development chairman, so we will ALL be hearing from her!
Tia Campbell McMillan and Bob still live in the Eastern Panhandle of WV, having moved from Martinsburg to Shepherdstown 4 yrs. ago, with their house overlooking the Potomac. Tia and Bob are still in the beer business. Son Andrew has recently moved back to WV to work in the distributorship—so nice to have children and grandchildren living nearby. Their 2 other children and families remain in San Francisco. Tia had a nice visit with Jo Ellen Parker and Heidi McCrory last month when they stopped by for lunch on their drive up I-81 and enjoyed hearing about all that is happening at SBC.
Jane Utley Strickler had a great trip to Rome, Italy, for a week in May, spent a week in London in Aug., and has been going to Highlands, NC, lots—loves traveling with her friend Bill. Daughters Kathryn and Leigh visited Egypt with their father Cy before “all hell broke loose.” Jane is working part time for a wonderful commercial real estate person who has started a networking organization for people involved with real estate in Atlanta. She goes to 2 ballet classes/wk., plays lots of tennis and loves her Anglican church in Atlanta—“God is good all the time.” She would love to visit SBC one day.
Dianna “Peppie” Yaeger Rankin moved to Lake Worth, FL, near Wellington, the winter equestrian place to be. She still rides at least 4 days/wk. and works full time in West Palm Beach as a medical practice administrator. Four of her 5 children are married; 1 still in graduate school. Peppie has 6 “fantastic” grandchildren—5 playing ice hockey but only 1 equestrian. She has taken up and really enjoys golf—introduced to the game while visiting her daughter and family in Toronto.
Lee Mackubin Miller writes that life is good and all is well in Atlanta. She and Rick are busy as always with work, family and fun, with Lee working with the homeless and mentally impaired. She sees a great deal of her 3 grandchildren in Columbia, SC. They are a blessing! Off to Disney World in Oct.
Martha Madden Swanson and David traveled in the past year to Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti and Bora Bora; then to England and Scotland; and then to Austin, TX, to see Georgetown win the national championship in coed sailing. They recently were in St. Petersburg, FL, to watch Georgetown in the College Sailing Championships and a few days in Key West. In 9/12, they were in New England to see a good friend inaugurated as president of the Coll. of the Holy Cross, staying north to see some family and at Cape Ann, MA. They also attended Martha’s 50th high school reunion. They spent Christmas in CA with their daughter—“different atmosphere in Santa Monica from Arlington, VA.” The Swansons are still busy with things at Georgetown, going to sporting events, lectures and performances. They also continue to fundraise for their school in Kenya for AIDS orphans. Children are doing well—Sarah travels for the NFL Network; Michael is happy not to travel, unless for fun. Martha is trying to get her siblings and their offspring together for a family reunion—truly a challenge! She and her daughter spent a day at the US Open in a nice suite, watching Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka play their semifinal matches, and Serena and Venus play a doubles semi. Great fun!
Betty Booker Morriss and Dabney were invited in July by in-laws Makanah Dunham Morriss and Bob for a wonderful week of Chautauqua Institution lectures on “Markets, Morals and the Social Contract,” subjects the sisters were well-prepared for by SBC. Love liberal arts!
Jane Nelson: I continue my work as a lay chaplain at the continuing care retirement community Westminster Canterbury Richmond. We had a wonderful family reunion, which we do every other year, in Culpeper in June—much intergenerational fun, including relay races, the family “philharmonic,” group singing, laughter and catching up. Lots of preparation work but so worth it! I too love the yearly reunion with my SBC roommates and enjoy hearing what all of you are doing. Best wishes for the holiday season and the rest of 2013.