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1940s & 1950s


1940 On May 2, the opening day of the Philadelphia Furniture and Furnishings Show, I found Reid Leonard busy with customers. For nine years he has had a booth at the show with displays of veneered “furniture for small spaces” in a lively, colorful patterns. Most popular are the chair-side “October tables” with veneered tops in a variety of patterns, no two alike. Reid earned a Ph.D. in agricultural chemistry at the University of Wisconsin after graduating from UVM. He worked for 14 years on the chemical conversion of wood, then ran his own laboratory in Pensacola, Fla. Reid and his son, who builds furniture for interior designers, have a thoroughly-equipped shop for furniture construction. Reid, who calls himself a “veneer junkie,” has collected more than 150 wood species. “Veneer keeps me going,” he said. How delightful to receive a newsy letter from Alta Plumb Slack, who reported the arrival of her first great grandchild, a daughter’s daughter’s daughter, born May 9, 2003. The Vermont Plumb family has a most impressive record of attendance at the University of Vermont. Does any other Green Mountain family have six siblings with degrees from UVM? Perhaps the Paquettes. I should have kept the statistics. Here’s the Plumb record: Robert ’39, Alta ’40, Ransom ’41, Charlotte, ’49, Donald ’51, Judy Loring ’60, Clayton ’56, Dorothy Plumb Bent, G ’68. Alta keeps active in Marietta, Ohio, with courses at the college and numerous activities associated with Ohio’s bicentennial. Continue to keep us informed, Alta. We can hardly wait for your 2005 report. I am very sorry to report the death of our classmate, Frederick Mehlman, on April 30, 2003. I am also sorry to report the deaths of Elvira Palermo DiPietro, Col. Carl Schofield, Elizabeth Jorgensen Stone, William Simonson, and Elliott Hawkins. We extend sympathy to their families and friends. Regarding the Class of 1940 Scholarship Fund: The UVM Financial Aid office reported six recipients, four women and two men, with majors in business administration, mechanical engineering, environmental science, and professional nursing. The total endowment is $115,821. The Scholarship budget for the academic year was $8,000. Assistance level was $7,950.
Class secretary - marytanner@earthlink.net

Class secretary - maywoodak@aol.com

1942 Approximately 14 members of the class of ’42 and their spouses enjoyed getting together at the Green and Gold Luncheon during Reunion Weekend in June. Please send me some news for our next column. Everyone likes to keep in touch.
Class secretary - alumni@uvm.edu

1943 Unfortunately, we were unable to attend our 60th reunion, although we had planned to go. I thought there should be something in this issue about reunion happenings, so I decided to call my dear friend, Marge Abell Swift, who I knew had been planning to go. I thought Marge would be a great “guest editor.” Imagine my dismay when I called to learn that she had passed away. Marge was always a role model for me in college and after because of her innate, unwavering goodness, her calmness in all situations, her dry wit, and her loving nature. I had a heartwarming conversation with Marge’s daughter, Laurel, who spoke of her mother’s great courage. Marge will be sorely missed by all. Janet Dike Rood, a great friend of Marge’s from Burlington High School days, has consented to fill us in regarding reunion. Janet is our new president, and she reminded me that Marge was elected president of the class when we were seniors, evidence of how much we all held Marge in high regard. Janet’s report follows: We broke all sorts of records at our 60th: the numbers who came, the dollars we gave, and the enthusiasm we showed. Older we may be, but weaker we are not. Our new vice president Jack Williams delighted us all at our class dinner with a presentation of new words (written by him) to our beloved “Cotton Babes.” Remember that? Of course you do! Verse after verse (14 in all) rolled out as Jack Williams and Janet Dike Rood sang the peripatetic lines. Then the assembled diners joined in on the last choruses, which went like this:
“Memories of Vermont are like a chorus
Of all the good things that went before us
You’ll see you just can’t help but adore us
Life never bores us. We’re Class ’43!
Vermont has been on a special mission
To set a climate of erudition
Dan Fogel’s vision, done with precision
It’s our tradition. We’re Class ’43!
A special part of Saturday evening was enjoying the 25 photos that were sent to Jack Williams by those who could not come but cared enough to share. They were made part of the program for the evening. Who came? Fifty in all, 35 from the class of ’43: Martha Beatty, William Benoit, Robert Bickford, Palmina Frabotta Cawley, Dorothy Franklin Cole, Joe Corbett, Dudley Davis, Marguerite Benoit Downes, Frances Marritt Drees, Robert Earley, Sam Germain, Bibby Deming Goeller, John Hoyt, Milt Kaufman, Betty Jenks Lane, Margaret Charles Lang, Elaine Burns Little, George Little, Mary Lee McClesley, Mark Linwood Mclean, Florence Bevins Melick, Helen McLean Meyer, Mary Scutakes Monti, William Murray, Joan Newton, Ed O’Connell, Ray Pestle, Janet Dike Rood, Frank Swift, Dick Swift, Theresa Coderre Trahan, Harry Twitchell, Howie Vreeland, Florence Smith White, and Jack Williams. Before we adjourned, we all signed a card that was sent off to our original class president, whose plans to come just didn’t work out. Marjorie Abell Swift called to say she received it with great joy. And then we lost her.” Thank you so much, Janet, for the above.
Class secretary - alumni@uvm.edu

1944 Gerald Didinsky of South Fallsburg, N.Y., retired from his family-owned and operated wholesale beer distributing business in 1988. He and his wife have been married for 46 years and they have three daughters, five granddaughters, and one grandson. The Didinskys enjoy playing golf and skiing. Gerald would be happy to hear from his Phi Sigma Delta brothers. Leonard Kunken has been living in Orlando, Fla., for the past 18 years. He retired eight years ago, and he enjoys being a member of the Orange Tree Golf Club. Louise Bianchi Kraith wrote that she seldom misses a UVM gathering in New York City. She plays bridge four days a week and reads to the blind once a week. Annette Lilley Pestle wrote from Brattleboro, Vt., “I prepared a few income tax returns for friends since a major operation and chicken pox.” Dr. Rod Humphreys and wife Nancy enjoy the hobby of raising 125 rosebushes as well as exhibiting, judging, presenting programs on how to grow a rose for church members and friends. They also enjoy visits from their three grandchildren, two from Massachusetts and one from Greece.
Class secretary - alumni@uvm.edu

1946 I enjoyed the Green and Gold luncheon with Mary Boardman Ciaschini and husband Walt, Mary Jean Dunsmore Cox, Alice Miller Wright, and Betty Johnson Bahrenburg. This event is nice, because you always see old friends from other years. Come join us next year. In March, I attended an Elderhostel and met a couple from Vinalhaven, Maine. I asked if they knew Laurel, and they had my answer before I said her last name. Laurel Hansen Reed and friends enjoy their life on Vinalhaven and are well known for their beautiful organic gardens. Ruth Schoppe Propst has been recuperating from a total hip replacement. She still hopes to get back for another reunion. Hurry up, Ruth! Vermont Historical Societies benefit greatly from the class of ’46. Mary Jean Dunsmore is a volunteer docent in St. Albans. Virginia Campbell Downs is active in Lyndonville and has written stories of old time Vermonters. Mary Green Lighthall works with the Charlotte Historical Society. Mary Boardman Ciaschini and husband Walt keep the Greensboro Society going.
Class secretary - histories@mymailstation.com

Class secretary - rdharper@comm.umass.edu

1948 The living members of the class of 1948 bid a sad but fond farewell to Dr. Hal Bloomenthal, who in life enjoyed photography, reading, website design, and doughnuts. He will be remembered for one of his strengths, his loyalty and support of UVM and the class of 1948. Barbara Kilborn Frawley shops for, collects, and sells antiques in Derby, Vt. She has four children and three grandchildren. Bridge and community friends provide enjoyable pastimes in her busy life. Elizabeth Barber Bushell posted a note from Northport, N.Y., sending all of her classmates greetings and congratulating everyone on our 55th reunion. Ben Bursten, M.D., has retired from psychiatric practice and consults with government and attorneys on psychiatric issues. He also has written a book, Psychiatry on Trial — Fact and Fantasy in the Courtroom. He has two children and lives in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Class secretary - normangjohnson@earthlink.net

1949 Irene Urie Vollbrecht, a member of a small group of nursing classmates, is semi-retired in Fremont, Calif. She continues to do hearing and screening tests for the public schools, and she enjoys RV traveling, canning, and jam making during her retirement hours. Irene stays in close touch with her nursing classmates Jean Easton McEdward, Claire Riggs Moran, Mary Hard Bort, Harriet Squires Christiansen. Irene noted sadly that Jean Perking Avery, Lori Lynn Smith, and Sue Poljacik Bolwell are deceased.
Class secretary - alumni@uvm.edu

1950 Charles Carlton of Fairport, N.Y., assisted with the editing of Labor and its Remuneration. He has prepared a review of a new Romanian journal. Janet Babich wrote that her husband, Walt Babich, died on July 2, 2003. He lived in Valrico, Fla., for the past 35 years, and he especially enjoyed the class of ’50’s 50th reunion, which brought him together with old friends, many of whom he continued to correspond with, giving him great joy.
Class secretary - candh@sover.net

1951 I heard from Ray Vescovi that a gathering was held in Fort Myers, Fla., at the winter home of Harry and Beth McCarthy. In attendance along with Ray were Bill Grant, Dick Hungerford, Don Hedach, Stan Fitts and their wives. Everyone had a great time, and they left with many good memories of their days at UVM and Kappa Sig. In May, Mark Byron CLU, ChFc, of Livingston, N.J., was elected to the Gem America Hall of Fame. He is one of only ten in the nation to receive this honor. Mark has been a principal at New Jersey Life and Casualty Associates, Inc., since 1956. He is a life and qualifying member of the Million Dollar Round Table, an international organization as well as being a former board member of the Association of Advanced Life Underwriting. Charlotte Bostwick of New Milford, Conn., wrote that her “day is made” when the Vermont Quarterly arrives. She has retired from music education and is now working at the Oratory, a healing mission house. Mary Bremer Williams is active in the North Point Orchestra Association, Inc., of North Point, Fla. She serves as treasurer of the organization. In March, Mary was guest artist, playing the first movement of Beethoven’s “Concerto No. 3 in C Minor.” She plays piano and viola in the orchestra.
Class secretary - jsabens@aol.com

1952 Kenneth Miller lost his wife Priscilla “Kit.” He has moved from Fairfield, Ark., to Dallas, Tex., to be near his oldest daughter, Valerie, and her family. Joan Crane Braverman is on her way to recovery after a bout with diabetes. In April, I went on a trip to the Grand Canyon, Zion, and Bryce with my husband. A wonderful, beautiful experience. I also attended the class of ’53’s reunion with friends Bob Green, Len and Fran Sherman, Irwin Plotkin, Mark Pitman, Phyllis and Morrison Mixer, and David Pearl. I heard from Ed Francis’s TEQ brothers that he is now well. Bertina Pope Lawlis has moved to be nearer her children. Good luck to Bertina on her new home.
Class secretary - twre@gmavt.net

1953 My job as class secretary is now official, thanks to election at reunion in May. Class president Frank Leary sent the following post-reunion message for you: Greetings to all of our classmates. “We had a wonderful 50th reunion. Many thanks to all who attended and helped to make it so enjoyable. We missed seeing those who were not able to attend and are sorry you couldn’t make it. Special thanks to
all those who contributed to our record-breaking class gift of almost $700,000, which represents contributions by 50 percent of our class.” Al Purcell, co-chair of our class gift committee, noted that our class made a clean sweep of the top three Reunion awards for class giving and attendance, the Class of 1925 award, the McCullough Cup, and the Milk Can Award. Congratulations to us! Where’s our trophy case? The Milestones Memory book for the Class of 1953 is a wonderful update on the past 50 years of classmate activities. With great delight, I have read the whole thing through twice. Now I can picture the marvelous “Golden Year” faces on many of you who contribute to this column. Thomas Holzinger was awarded the UVM College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Outstanding Alumni Award for 2003. Tom is recognized internationally as a leading dairy expert, and his distinguished career with the Borden Company has spanned more than 34 years. He rose through the ranks to become director of quality assurance and compliance for Borden’s 5,000 products, which are produced around the globe. He continues to share his knowledge and expertise as a volunteer, providing technical assistance to numerous organizations in the areas of food safety, quality, and development. Congratulations, Tom! Unfortunately, he was unable to attend reunion, because of an assignment in Kosovo. Our class had a hugely successful reunion, earning four awards for participation and generosity. Three cheers for the class of 1953!
Class secretary - nanhiker@aol.com

1954 Mary Ann Clowse Jenkins wrote, “I have lived in Idaho for 25 years. Came out to ski and stayed. My three sons, their wives, and grandchildren live on the East Coast, and my daughter and her husband live in California. We get together at our summer home on Caspian Lake in Greensboro, Vt. We have spent 40 summers there. A few years ago, I built ‘Grandma’s Place’ on the same property near the big cottage. Here in Idaho I just opened a new real estate office. For fun I play tennis, ski, and do volunteer work.” Note: Mary Ann and I grew up together in Richmond, Vt., and graduated from Richmond High School in 1950. Peter Rose, aka Frederick Peter Rose in our 1954 yearbook, reported that he recently tramped around New Zealand before spending a week with Don Novick and his wife, Lillian, in McLaren Vale, Australia. They talked at great length about fellow classmates, including Andy Gerber, Matt Baigell, and teachers like Louis Feuer and Francis Colburn. After retiring, Peter went back to school at Bard College and earned an MS degree in environmental science. He is currently serving a second term as a trustee on the UVM School of Natural Resources board. He has long been an active supporter and contributor to the Fleming Museum. We have shared reminiscences by phone about our undergraduate days. Peter sees former classmates Don Forst and Ken Grinspoon, who lives in his area of New York State. He also mentioned Marcia Pearl Jamil ’56. Henry and Sonia Follett (’53) Fuller were looking forward to celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in August when they wrote earlier this year. They planned a family get-together on Long Island in Maine. The Fullers live on Moose Pond in Denmark, Maine, as do fellow UVMers Bill and Joan Kopp Robinson; they spend their winters in Sebring, Fla. Retired home economics professor Ruth Pestle has contributed two poems to a book, Pebbles from the Stream by Mad River Poets that is now in its second edition. She makes her home in Tallahassee, Fla. Edward Mead retired from his career as an engineer in 1991 and has been cruising in his yacht summers and wintering at marinas. Theodore Milberg of Delray Beach, Fla., is enjoying a “sporty” retirement that includes tennis, golf, and bowling, mixed with water color painting and volunteer work. As he noted, “Someone’s gotta do it.” Harry Rutten of Maplewood, N.J., is also living the outdoor life in his retirement: long-distance cycling and cross-country skiing. Phyllis Cameron Bricker took a three-week safari in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Botswana. She makes her home in Santa Ana, Calif. Rabbi Esor Ben-Sorek spends time commuting from his home in Israel to Queens, N.Y., where he serves as director of Pastoral Counseling Services at the Margaret Tietz Center. Charlie Perkins and his wife, Jann, now divide their time between work and travel. The latter includes skiing in Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, and Europe. They own the Vermont Gift Barn in South Burlington, Vt. Charlie’s mother, who is 108, is the oldest living Vermonter. David Machanic and wife Karin operate a bed and breakfast n Charlotte, Vt., He was recently elected a trustee at Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vt. Robert Foster, having semi-retired from his consulting engineering business, has joined the Federation International des Geometres (FIG). He lives in Hopkinton, Mass. Bruce Bailey retired in 2001. He and his wife, Gretchen, live in Raleigh, N.C. They have four married children and seven grandchildren. Bruce continues to be active in the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. In 2002, he received an award for leadership and contributions to the department. He co-authored a technical paper presented in May at the IEEE annual meeting in St. Louis. The Rev. Charles McAllister has retired and is now living in McMinnville, Oreg., where he enjoys the activities of two grandchildren and works as a volunteer in an elementary school reading program. In all, he has 16 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Elizabeth Flint Holzhauer is contemplating retirement after 27 years as office manager of a real estate firm in Iowa. Richard Ross of Stoughton, Mass., wrote in March to let us know that Tau Epsilon Phi held its first reunion after 50 years. Clement Nadeau still sells real estate, but his volunteer work now takes up much of his time in Killeen, Tex., where he has been a member of the Kiwanis and the Chamber of Commerce for more than 30 years. He has served on a number of boards assisting the needy, including the Mission Soup Kitchen and Killeen Home and Hope Shelter. Late in 2002, your secretary had heart surgery, a quadruple bypass from which I am recovering very nicely. I am doing very well, so dear classmates, do write or send me an email message to share your own news. After all, we are closing in our 50th reunion. A year will pass, like the last 49 have, quickly. Fran Strickler Sherman, our class reunion chair, sent a note to classmates: “Welcome to our 50th reunion year. Can you believe 50 years have gone by? Our reunion will be June 3-6, 2004, so please put these dates on your calendar. We hope to see as many of you as possible. We will be planning a great time. Please contact other classmates and encourage them to come. If you would like to help, please contact me at francs@worldnet.att.net or our class secretary, Kathy, at her email address below. We really need your help. I have been in Vermont twice this year — in September for my husband’s first reunion, and in June for Len’s 50th reunion. The campus is beautiful and has many new buildings. I hope to contact as many of our classmates as possible, and I hope to see you all in June.”
Class secretary - kwendling@aol.com

Class secretary - ane.battles@juno.com

1956 Carol Parker Day would love to hear from her dental hygiene classmates. She and her husband retired in 1999 after having operated a family shoe store in Barre, Vt., for 20 years. They have two daughters who are UVM grads and a grandson who attends UVM.
Class secretary - jkstick@aol.com

1957 Yes! Our reunion was wonderful. We enjoyed seeing underclassmen from ’58 and ’59, many of whom we hadn’t seen in 46 years. Many hugs and exclamations of “It’s great to see you! I knew you right away!” were given all around. The banquet was the climax of the reunion weekend as we joined the other two classes at the Sheraton on Saturday night for a convivial evening. The class of ’58 organized a full-length skit for us evoking the pleasures of UVM in the ’50s. Our classmates who participated were our vice president and class song leader Doug Burke, our lovely classmate Val Gluskin Levy and reunion committee member Bill Solomene. We were sad to hear that 99 of our classmates have left us too soon. Our class president Bob Wolfe read the names of the more recently deceased classmates in his remarks at the Saturday night banquet. He also announced that our class had won the 1928 award for our class gift of $83,009 from 151 donors. A tree will be planted in a grove on the campus in honor of our generosity. Bob accepted the award for us at the Saturday morning convocation at Ira Allen Chapel. Classmate Max Ansbacher gave a very well received talk on the current stock market — he gave no guarantees, of course. His wife, Chris, the “Wine Diva,” led a lively, informative wine and cheese tasting Thursday evening in the handsome Billings Library. You wouldn’t know how beautiful the library is until you see it without the stacks and students perspiring in intellectual exercise, and you are seated at tables with pink table cloths with candles and a wine glass in front of you. The reunion committee was headed by Bob Wolfe, Max Ansbacher, Julie and Robert Dempsey, and Don Kidder, with additional help from Edwin Austin, Joan Kienast Bitterman, Donna Davidson Borofsky, Janice Fayen Burke, William Keeshan, Leo O’Brien, Claire Lissner Shepherd, and Bill Solomene. Among the sororities that had open houses during reunion was a small gathering of Gamma Phi Betas. The Beta Nu chapter left campus in the mid-70s, and their house burned down a few years later. Your secretary joined Shirley Campbell Prushko, Sandra Phippen (’56) Klein, Carol Connor (’63) Frey, Joyce Drwiega (’63) Lawless, and Ann Wakefield (’62) Lanzet for some reminiscing and catching up on Saturday afternoon. Next time I will include news of the wonderful reunion that Sigma Gamma held last spring. Although people at our reunion were having too much fun to record their news, I have received some tidings from classmates. Nancy and Herb Boden sent regrets that they would miss reunion, having been such faithful attendees in the past. Michael Peattie emailed, “Have a good reunion.” Michael and his wife, Mary Alice, have retired in southern Arizona, just outside Tucson. He said it is a grand place, and the last move they will make. He retired from the aerospace industry, and his wife, from teaching in Los Angeles. Happily, they are both in good health, and Michael plays lots of golf. He may be contacted at mrmap@robsoncom.net. Gayla Schildhaus Hallbrecht, my classmate at Burlington High as well as UVM, wrote that she and husband Herb are being honored as “Couple of the Year” by Hadassah of Durham/ Chapel Hill for more than 30 years of involvement with Hadassah and other community activities. Anne Coughlan retired from Simmons College in 1993 as dean of sciences and professor of biology emerita. She was there 32 years. Please keep your classmates posted. It inspires us all. Reunion was an inspiring and gratifying experience. See you at our 50th in 2007!
Class secretary - suzanwc@aol.com

1958 I am writing this still under the “glow” of a great reunion weekend. We pretty well covered the four corners of the U.S. and most points in between. Amazingly, no one has changed! I, personally, enjoyed seeing “old” friends from the classes of ’57 and ’59, too. Win Wood sent his regrets but was with us in spirit. His daughter graduated from Randolph Macon College the same weekend. How ’bout my roommate Carolyn Hunt Wall making it back (first time) for our 45th reunion? Retirement certainly has its advantages. Malcolm Russell retired in 1995 from a career as a nuclear reactor fuel project manager at the National Reactor Testing Station in Idaho. He lists his lifetime accomplishments as helping to raise five successful children, induction into the UVM Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993, and winning a USA TAF-Masters-Program javelin throw in the National Championship in 2001. Congratulations! Judith Doe Collette has renewed friendships with Buff Chamard Harrington and Carol McKillop Willard, both Thetas from the class of ’60, now that they all live in Brunswick, Maine. Keep the news coming!
Class secretary - vtdawson@aol.com

1959 Reunion 45 was a resounding success and a “blast from the past,” as 41 alumni attended this two-day celebration. Friday afternoon there was an initial gathering at the Ice House in downtown Burlington, followed by dinner under the tent near the “cheese box” dorms. Saturday morning was the march into Ira Allen Chapel, where various classes and individuals were recognized for outstanding contributions. The class of ’59 gave a total of $72,342 for the fiscal year ending June 30, contributed by 139 classmates. This represents a generous 29 percent rate of class participation. A job well done. Saturday night we gathered for a reception and dinner at the Sheraton Hotel, featuring skits and songs performed by some of our unabashed and shameless classmates. The show, produced by Andy Skroback ’58 and Al Fields ’58, brought back dear old memories of bygone years. Reunion was a time for old friends to meet again and share the memories, but we missed many who were unable to attend. Looking forward to our 50th! Cynthia Mindick Weitz wrote that she still lives in beautiful Laguna Niguel, Calif. Before her husband David’s death last February, they met last summer with Bob Agel ’61 and his wife, Carol, with whom they traveled on previous trips to Tibet, Mongolia, and Central Asia. Cynthia would like to hear from classmates in the Southern California area by email at dweitz1@cox.net. Lewie Dodge reported that he moved to Rawlins, Wyo., to be close to his family in the West, after working for three years in Freeport, Grand Bahama. While taking a course on the history of Rawlins, Lewie discovered that he is related (sixth cousin, once removed) to General Grenville Dodge, who built the Union Pacific Railway in 1867 and named the town after a visit from General John Rawlins, U.S. Army chief of staff. “So,” he wrote, “we have come to enjoy the town started by a relative.” Robert Gallagher of Indian Harbor Beach, Fla., wrote that he hopes all had a great time at our reunion. Bob couldn’t get excited about the 44th and calling it the 45th. He expects to make it to the 50th unless it’s changed to the 49th. Deede Weiss Mufson of Huntington, W. Va., regretted missing Reunion 45, but her husband’s 50th reunion at Bucknell University was the same weekend. Deede still practices psychology in Huntington, and her husband, Harvey, continues working at The Marshall University School of Medicine. They often visit their children and grandchildren in Boston and Chicago and still find excuses to travel far and wide whenever possible.
Class secretary - hshaw@sc.rr.com