I’m deeply saddened to report the death of Cornelia Neil Keller. I’m reprinting parts of her recent obituary: “Cornelia F. Keller, of Waterford, VA, human rights activist, philanthropist, conservationist, historic preservationist, loving mother and devoted friend, died 1/16/13, at the age of 66. She graduated from Kent School, Sweet Briar College and Columbia U. (1971, MA in teaching). She then married and moved to Richmond, VA, where she was an activist for women’s health and rights, vitally involved in the formation of the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood. [Neil] was a founding member in 1979 of the Peter Paul Development Center in Richmond, the oldest community-based organization serving Church Hill children and families, and also involved in the formation of the Richmond Urban Institute. In the 1980s, living in Washington, D.C., she strove to reduce Cold War tensions through Peace Child International. Most recently, from her restored cottage in Waterford, VA, she promoted environmental conservation and historic preservation with the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership, which she co-founded. [Neil] was also a significant contributor to research toward a cure and management of neurofibromatosis type II, a disease with which she lived courageously.”
To happier news and thoughts: I hope that you are all coming to Reunion this spring! We should have a goodly number there. Come find out what we all look like, and what we have done to stay in or out of trouble these past 45 years.
The question of the moment is, can you find your envelope? You know, the one in which you have been sequestering money annually to give to our 45th Reunion gift. Now is the time to send it all in (even if it’s only the $5 a year that you put aside). We want to improve our participation rate. There are about 12 members on our Reunion Giving Committee hoping that you save us from embarrassment!
Barbara Baur Dunlap writes, “We’re very busy with 11 grandkids, 3 under 3 mos. old! We had a baby boom. Charlie is busy losing weight for his 50th high school reunion, already down 20 lbs! I’m trying to play bridge once a week, lead a bible study on Wed. and spend 5-6 days a month in St. Louis. We have about 14 people over here for dinner every Thurs. night and I cook it so my hand is still in the pot so to speak!”
Martha Bennett Conner says, “I’m actually fairly busy with real estate. Have my first child wedding with Hartwell getting married in 11/2013. It was great to see Jeanne Forsythe Powell in Asheville, NC, as she came to my brother Walter Bennett’s reading of his novel, Leaving Tuscaloosa. Also saw Ann Banks Herrod’s youngest, Kathleen, her husband and daughter while in Durham as they looked for places to rent when he works at Duke Medical Center for a year. Hopefully that will bring Ann and husband Hank to Durham. My husband and I play golf when we can, travel and enjoy the day! Hope to see you at the reunion!”
Lesley Bissell Hoopes says that the opening of the American Painting galleries at the MET was a highlight for her this past year. Among travel experiences, she and Toby cruised along the Seine, including the beaches at Normandy and Monet’s gardens at Giverny. They were also in London for Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee.
Libby Harvey Fitzgerald: “Retired and doing pro bono consulting for friends who want advice about herbal products and dietary supplements. Continuing to volunteer with Rotary and young people in our schools, and to serve on several economic development groups. Hiking, bicycling and playing more tennis—still in good shape with a lively sprint on the courts, but the other day I did trip and fall while going for that tough shot, did a cool tuck ‘n roll, skidded on my left hand, but no broken bones. John and I are having fun spending more time with our family and friends, doing bicycle trips (Santa Fe and Taos last Sept.; Banff and Jasper in July 2013) and other travel adventures, and just enjoying northern CA’s bounty. We are blessed.”
Nancy Hickox Wright and Gil sent a wonderful collage of photographs of their 5 adorable grandchildren. She is hoping to make it to Reunion.
Anne Kinsey Dinan reports that her “East River neighborhood is rebuilding, repairing and recovering post-Hurricane Sandy. Below my windows and between the dumpsters, there still remains (12 weeks later) a 7-foot wooden traffic sign lettered “Houston Street Detour,” which traveled a mile upriver before it was swept over the banks, through Stuyvesant Cove park, under the FDR drive, over the access roads and into Peter Cooper Village! Husband Terry is semi-retired and enjoying his new career as an adjunct professor at NYC College of Technology, while I spend many evenings and weekends writing and illustrating ABC picture books, which I hope to submit to professionals after retiring from my day job in a midtown law firm. Meanwhile we dote on our darling grandchildren, Evie and Sebastian, who are also my first customers: Anna’s book dummies make unique coloring books.”
Frances Kirven Morse and John continue to be involved with the Friends of Edgewood Park. John is the treasurer, and Frances helps with all sorts of projects, including monitoring bluebird boxes and “helping orchestrate Bluebird Summer.” Frances reports, “In case you were thinking we had a perfect year, we did have a few MMs (medical moments)! I fell while walking backwards downhill (don’t ask why or how), sustaining 3 muscle tears, a hematoma and a deep pelvic bone bruise. I was on crutches/cane for 2.5 months and had a pretty lousy summer!” She is all better now and hoping to come to Reunion.
Suzanne Weston is retired and busier than ever. Stan and I have traveled around the country on our 2 BMW motorcycles and also rented BMWs in Ireland last year and Norway this year. Best wishes to the rest of the class.
Katherine “Kazie” Burton in La Grange Park, IL, writes: “I retired last June and honestly don’t know how I ever had time to work. My husband, Ron Ritsert, had heart surgery last Feb. at the Cleveland Clinic to replace his aortic valve and repair part of his aorta. After taking a 2-mo. family leave to help him through his recovery I dreaded returning to work (advertising sales), so decided on retirement. I’m spending more time with my daughters and 5 grandchildren, catching up on neglected household projects and enjoying life. We had a fabulous cruise to AK last Aug., and shorter trips to Palm Springs in the fall and FL this winter. We hope to do more traveling in the future.
Amy Thompson McCandless is leading another group of students to the U.K. over spring break. She is looking forward to 8 days of whirlwind travel (nicknamed by her previous class as “the death march”). Last summer, she joined her son, Alastair, for 8 days of his 4000 mile walk across the U.S. to raise money for the Wounded Warriors Project. Amy and her significant other, Steve, spent time in Jamaica, where he is consulting for Alcoa. They enjoyed “walking the beaches of Negril, driving through the coffee plantations of the Blue Mts., and touring the reggae sights.” Amy continues, “Eventually, I shall have to retire, but I have been blessed with a wonderful job and terrific colleagues in a great location.” She too is hoping to come to Reunion.
Please send pictures, stories, life histories etc. to me so that I can make a scrap book for our REUNION!
As for yours truly, Lynne Gardner Detmer, Jim and I had a wonderful trip around South America this winter. We learned so much in a very short time. Just about everything was a surprise for me from the jungles to the deserts to the fjords to the pampas and back to the jungle! Basically, I knew diddly about South America before this fabulous trip along the coasts. The history is fascinating, the cultures amazing and the people interesting. We hope to explore the interior some day! Looking forward to Reunion with all of you!