1952

The holidays brought many greetings, but sad reminders that some of you—or your spouses—have health issues that prevent your coming to our 60th reunion in May. Joanne Holbrook Patton, bless her, keeps up with you all regularly, and seems not to have slowed down since her total hip replacement last fall. With her customary enthusiasm and diligence, Joanne is leading the rally to come to Reunion.

Marty Legge Katz and Bill will not be joining us at Reunion, but they are often joined at home by a delightful posse of grandchildren. Benita Phinizy Johnson, who spent Christmas in N.C. with her sons, received special urging from Nancy Hamel Clark to make the trip to Sweet Briar. I’d love to see my dear roommate after far too many years.

Mary Lois Miller Carroll wrote that since husband High has been having health problems they consider relocating closer to their children, but the thought of a move from Fla. to the Virginia/Maryland area is daunting.

There are sad losses to report each year. After Peggy Nelson Harding lost her dear husband Nort, she became ill, but hopes for a brighter 2012. Unfortunately a partial commemoration of the life of Susanna Crist Lee was lost in the process of reprinting my last Class Notes. As I wrote then, I wish I had kept up with Susanna over the years. Her obituary reflects a rich, rewarding life. She is survived by her husband of 60 years, two daughters, and four grandchildren. She was active in community beautification, literacy and journalism. She created, directed and produced a quiz show, Toss Up, where teams of students from local high schools competed to be the “smartest and brightest.” More recently, Edith Marsh Fonda passed away in late Dec. 2011. Edie left behind 3 children, 7 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren. Her obituary noted that she loved dogs, golfing, horses and needlework, as well as reading, walking, and clamming on the Bass River. Susanna and Edie, we miss you.

I can bring you happier news! Grace Wallace Brown and daughter Catherine celebrated the 60th anniversary of her Junior Year in France by returning to France. In Nov., she joined her daughters for a getaway trip to the mountains. We look forward to Grace’s next trip in May to join us at reunion.

Jackie Razook Chamandy is as active as ever in real estate: “I do my best to conceal my advanced age! Experience is a good marketing device, but 32 years is a bit more experience than one needs in one’s resume!”

Nancy Morrow Lovell continues to expand rather than contract her activities. She has been creating digital scrapbooks for friends to commemorate celebratory occasions. (Come to Reunion, Nancy, and bring your camera!) She has also traveled to Las Vegas and more recently to Fla.

Joanne Holbrook Patton attended the Jan. SBC brunch in her area, where she was delighted to see 2 classmates: Betsy Wilder Cady and Jane Russo Sheehan. Joanne sent along a photo, which shows that all 3 of them are clearly flourishing. Betsy is off to Spain in May, but Jane, I hope, will join us at reunion. More recently, Joanne had lunch in N.Y.C. with Sue Bassewitz Mentzinger and Ginger Dreyfus Karren. Ginger, who has very happily remarried, runs a bed and breakfast service in N.Y., something to bear in mind when planning a visit to that exciting city.

Harriet “Binji” Thayer Elder continues to see clients, exercises, hikes and goes dancing each week. She reported an inspiring resolution of a real disaster. “My house was flooded in the Nashville flood and had to be gutted with most all belongings ruined. Now it is repaired and I am back in. Besides the trauma, what stands out in my mind is the amazing number of people who have come from as far away as N.Y. to help all of us. With so much negativity in the world it has been so great to see how many wonderful compassionate people there are.”

I think that’s a good note to end on, along with the hope that I will see many of you in May.

(Patricia Layne Winks, plwinks@earthlink.net)