The loss of our classmate, Alice Perry Park, on 12/11/11, prompted increased email communication among many of us, and the question of how many of the class have died. There have been 20 deaths since 1977, and Sweet Briar’s Alumnae Listing shows that 156 of us are living. Messages of sorrow and condolence were received from Laura Haskell Phinizy, Gabrielle Fraser Hale, Saralyn McAfee Smith, and Stephanie Eggleston Harrover. Then the computer crashed; apologies for any messages that are missing from this report.

Sarah Porter Boehmler communicated with Harriet Wall Martin about “Alcie’s” death and how extraordinary it was for Alice to attend reunions all the way from Guatemala.

Melinda Musgrove Chapman expressed sorrow about Alice’s death, and says what keeps her going are her grandchildren, working out 3 times a week, and her real estate job.

Mary Ellen Freese Cota’s husband Alberto turned 80 this year. They entertained a wonderful but exhausting number of visitors during the holiday season. Mel and Alberto go almost every weekend to visit his widowed sister Rosa in San Luis de la Paz, Guanajuato. They hope Rosa will join them in Queretaro when her house sells. Mel says what keeps her going is studying yoga journals in preparation for teaching and doing yoga, and being with her grandchildren; 3 of her 6 are too far away.

Alice Virginia Dodd wrote about the 20 classmates we have lost and paused to remember them.

Alice Foster Ficken appreciated Sweet Briar sending out the news and said she could not imagine our 50th reunion without enthusiastic and generous Alice in our midst.

Elizabeth Hunt’s son Hunt Allcott (31) received a three million dollar grant from the McArthur Foundation, no strings attached. He will continue his research in the area of pollution, based on a mathematical model. Beth’s daughter Elizabeth graduated from Cornell and returned to Ore. where she works for King Estate Winery. King Estates produced the award-winning Pinot Gris at a competition in England a few years ago. Their wines are organic. Husband John continues in the practice of medicine. Beth continues seeing adults and couples in her psychology practice. Neither one is thinking of retiring. Once a year Beth sees Mimi Vogt Macht, who lives along the beautiful Columbia River Gorge, 3 hours from Beth’s home in Eugene, Ore. Mimi teaches French and German lessons privately. The Olympic Track and Field Trials are coming up next year in Ore, so stop in Eugene if you’re coming west.

Libba Hanger Luther and her husband Steve lived in Guatemala City in the mid-70s and Libba reminds us that Alice Perry was president of her family’s meat packing company, Empacadora Perry, which she took charge of after her father’s untimely death during our years at Sweet Briar. Alice later married Bob Park. Her mother had recently died before our last reunion. She is survived by her brother Jim and one nephew who was in college in the U.S. recently. Her wry little smile, laugh, dry sense of humor, and honesty, and also the Guatemalan textile gifts she brought us, will be so missed when we gather for our 50th. Please note in your records that Libba’s new address is [email protected]

Nancy MacMeekin sent condolences and sorrow at Alice’s death.

Dana Wasson Noyes Paulus wrote that she enjoyed seeing other alumnae on a SBC trip to Sicily a few years ago and appreciates getting news about our class even though she has not participated in alumnae events.

Milbrey Sebring Raney has talked with Alice’s husband Bob several times since her death. She has both his and Alice’s brother’s mail and email addresses if any of you want to contact them. Recently Milbrey sang the Rutter anthem of George Herbert’s “God Be in My Head” at church, and tears made it difficult to sing the last line, “God be at my end, and at my departing.” But she heard Alice’s voice teasing her, “Oh, come on, Mibs, you can do it!” She sang it well and with a smile.

Sally McCrady Hubbard retired from the Music Festival in Aug. primarily because of increased caregiving duties at home, but also geriatric resistance to adding Twitter, Facebook, etc. etc. to an already busy work day, dang. Old dogs can learn new tricks, but are these really any more useful than email? Her husband Charles began hemodialysis in Jan., and is having a tough time of it. What keeps her going? Book club, chorale, a writers’ group, two local brothers, and grandson Duncan. She’s planning a weekend in Fort Worth to hear Duncan play violin with the Youth String Orchestra. Too magic for words.

But, listen up, we should all begin to think about whether we’d like to plan a group trip after our 50th. Be thinking about it; and contact our class president, Brenda Muhlinghaus Barger, or Sally with your ideas. Wouldn’t it be fun!

(Sally Hubbard, [email protected])