2020 Class Notes

HARRIET LEVINE WEISSMAN                                                                                    We have received the sad news that Harriet’s husband, Paul, passed                        away 9/30/20. He and Harriet were devoted supporters of Mount 
Holyoke. Together, they pioneered and endowed new programs that touched
the lives of so many students in many institutions.  With Harriet, Paul
helped transform Mount Holyoke in many ways. The Weissman Center for
Leadership, made possible through Harriet and Paul’s visionary support,
celebrated its 20th anniversary last fall and is a tangible representation
of a legacy that will continue to enrich the lives of so many in the Mount
Holyoke community far into the future. Our thoughts are with Harriet and
the Weissman family during this difficult time.

CINDY CARPENTER McFADDEN                                                                            finds the Covid-19 quarantine nothing different from my usual life and                       routine except for not being able to socialize with anyone, enjoy an                      occasional dinner in a nice restaurant, or attend our summer musical                   theater(but) life has become a drudgery and I am becoming more crabby                    day by day!!!!  She observed that classmates like us had bucket list of events they wanted to enjoy and now can’t, and here we are getting older and older so may never have the chance to enjoy such activities. She and Duncan find their major concerns are for their younger family generations: a Covid-19 ICU nurse, teachers in “hot spots”, essential teaching in person, etc

 ALLISON PETERS JABLONKA                                                                           Has been “sheltering-in-place” in her home in NH since March.  Just before the lock-down, she was joined by her younger daughter from Belgium. “The two of them keep busy on ZOOM  and Whats App communications with Allison’s granddaughter and great-grandson in Holland.  They feel fortunate to be able to support local farmers by shopping at the weekly Farmers Market where almost 100% of the customers and farmers are masked up!” She continues to work on updating her blog  (https://turningwiththeearth.blogspot.com) with vignettes from her 2014 return to Papua New Guinea.  “I’m finding this medium to be a fascinating challenge.”

CONNIE GODFREY KELLER                                                                                 writes, “My life has changed in many ways this year. In January I had a total left hip replacement . It is still “talking” to me. In March Pat, my husband of 62 years , died of cancer. Our 4 children came home and helped me hospice him and that was a powerful time for us. We had a family service in the church garden but are waiting to distribute his ashes when our full family can gather. Our son, who has lived in Arizona,  is probably moving back to Cody to live with me as he deals with a diagnosis of Parkinsons. He can access VA care here within a mile rather than having to drive miles in urban traffic. We work well together. So new challenges and skills but surrounded by friends, a great church community, bridge club , in the home we have loved for many years. So stability in the midst of chaos!!”

BIBI MOMSEN                                                                                                      describes her life in quarantine. “Our retirement center shut itself down in March, and nothing much has changed since then. We are still in the face mask wearing, 6 feet apart situation at all times. We are lucky in that we have to-go meals available, and an in-house “Marketplace” which has pretty much all the basics one might need (milk, bread, eggs, cereal, butter, and many restaurant-style side dishes). Our in-house libraries have remained open. I have a cat to keep me company, which he does extremely well. I’m spending my time finishing up genealogy projects I started years ago, and am refreshing my Danish with Duolingo. I go to the grocery store only rarely, at Senior time, and to doctor appointments; otherwise, it’s stay in and relax!”

NANCY HEALD LANDERS                                                                                      passed away 5/31/20, from complications of COVID-19. She attended MHC briefly before marrying and raising a family, initially in Barrington, RI, and then in West Falmouth, MA. where she would live for more than 30 years.  For a time, she owned The Corner Cupboard, a gift store in that village. She later lived in Bourne, spending the winters in Palm Desert, CA and Sillver Springs, MD with friends and family.  Nan was a competitive tennis player and an avid golfer who had 3 holes-in-one.  She also was a skier.  Nan loved painting landscapes and nature, photography, knitting, singing in the church choir, and doing jigsaw and crossword puzzles.  She was the widow of Thomas B. Landers, Jr. and leaves 5 children, 12 grandchildren., and 11 great-grandchildren.

SUE STEINBERG ROSEN                                                                                      reports, “We are still in the Berkshires and happy to be in a place that has not been hit too hard from the coronavirus. However, we have been in quarantine since the middle of March and plan to continue to do so.” “I am pretty conscientious about walking on our treadmill once a day.” Fortunately, , they’ve been successful ordering online, groceries, orders from CVS and some no-contact pick-up from restaurants. 

“Our granddaughter, Ariana, just graduated virtually from the University of Rochester Medical School, having been elected to the Medical Honor Society. She is to begin a CardioThoracic Surgical Residency at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester in June, the only woman in the program.”

Another granddaughter , Alexandra, is working remotely in Jersey City for GOOGLE as an Event Planner. Grandson, Axel, is finishing his Junior Year of High School remotely in Boulder, CO.

DORIS HAYNIE CUNNINGHAM                                                                               passed away in April 17, 2019. She married Robert Cunningham in ‘59 and went on to earn a Master of Science in Education from Hofstra Univ. Doris enjoyed bowling, duplicate bridge and became a well renown dog breeder, handler and trainer.  ”Many of the dogs she trained earned degrees in obedience and agility and won their breed championships. Doris’s dogs also competed in the Madison Square Garden Dog Shows. Several appeared in print and television commercials. . . including Polo by Ralph Lauren. She is survived by 3 sons, their spouses, and 8 grandchIldren. Doris was preceded in death by her husband, Robert.

CONSTANCE (CONNIE) LANE NISSLEY                                                           passed way 11/09/19 at Cedar Lane in Seattle, WA where she and her husband, Peter, had lived for many years. She graduated MHC in ‘58 and earned a degree from the Univ. of Penn. in ‘59.  Connie spent many years teaching science in 3 different independent schools. She and Peter used to travel together and enjoyed many outdoor activities. Wherever she was she shared her joy of life and love of nature and the outdoors.  Connie was a cook, a quilter, a puzzle solver and a friend to many.  She is survived by a daughter, Elinor, son,Thomas and Laura,  Peter (widower), Henry and Alex.                                                      

 ANNE (ANZIE) ENSWORTH WHITNEY                                                           writes that she had a long note from NINA MATHEWSON BACON who “… has moved from her cabin in New Haven to a facility in Middlebury.  Her new address: 100 East View Terrace, Room 212, Middlebury VT 05753.  She sounded happy with her life . . .”  “I am puttering along!  My personal trainer is doing wonders for me. . .”  “I am having lunch with LYNNE OSBORN next week.  We have been doing this for many years – it is wonderful to have someone in our class who is so close”.  Christmas in Pittsburgh was followed by daughter, Susie, visiting here and New Year featured a visit from daughter, Emily, and extended Ensworth and Whitney family.  “We had a great time – a good pajama party!  We did not make it to midnight.”

CHARLOTTE (CHAR) BARTON SORNBORGER                                           had a “nice surprise” when she and Marty  moved to Duncaster, a life care facility in Bloomfield, Connecticut. “Today at a get-together I was happily surprised to see CAROLYN JACOBUS FOWLER; she and her late husband have lived here for many years” . . . “A New-old friend”!  This is a good move for us, as one of our sons lives nearby. I was able to comfortably finish up my role as head of the turtle research team in our home town in Rhode Island and also complete my last management plan for the Barrington Land Conservation Trust. Altogether a good and timely move! (Only a few miles from Mount Holyoke, as well).”

ALLISON PETERS JABLONKA                                                                              “I’m balancing my life between Italy where my daughter and grandsons live, and Keene, NH, where I delight in carless/bikefull existence.  I’m involved in the production of a film about my return to Papua New Guinea in 2014.  The film, “Wanpela Taim: Then and Now in PNG” tells the story of my return 50 years after my first anthropological fieldwork there in the 1960’s.  In November I attended the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association  –  this year in Vancouver, BC, in collaboration with Canadian colleagues and greatly enjoyed a beautiful exhibit created by the Haida. My biggest news of the year is that on December 14 I became a great-grandmother!”

MARY (EDGY) EDGERTON SLOAT                                                                    sent a holiday card describing a year of changes and remarkable travels. She and her wonderful partner, Tedd Osgood, (whom many of us met at our 60th) moved in together, followed by “a quick trip to Iceland to see the Northern Lights,” followed by some late-season skiing in Colo. for Edgy, followed by a trip to England, followed by various travels for family events, a reunion and sailing the Alaskan coastlines

CINDY CARPENTER McFADDEN                                                                         sent a holiday letter summarizing a tale many of us recognize: less ambitious travels; gratitude for a “rare spontaneous visit” by ALL our children AT THE SAME TIME, and all of the younger generation is healthy, busy and “gainfully employed”!    She added, however: Sadly we’ve had our last trip in our very antique (25 yrs.) ‘little house on wheels’ and antique (20 yrs.) rusting truck. “Everything wears out with time including us!”

MARCIA(MUFFIE) TAYLOR SEIFERT                                                                        sent a holiday card telling tales of traveling and feeling pretty settled in southern NJ. “The one thing missing is bridge-one of my passions, so I started to teach beginning bridge in our community.”  She’s clearly hoping for a “bridge foursome” to emerge!

RUTH GERARD POLEY                                                                                      continues her usual diversions—cooking, reading, knitting, socializing, and volunteering, but now shares her newest activity, African drumming.  She even owns her own djembe (drum) and has added participating in a drum circle to her bucket list!  Ruth has  been coping with numerous hip and femur surgeries which limits her traveling as “. . . I am afraid of being too far from home and having it happen again. I am now very careful about how I move my body so as not to precipitate another dislocation.”  Meanwhile, her life goes on as she continues to “. . . learn how to live as a single after 54 years as a partner.” Her younger son lives nearby and is the father of her only grandchild so it’s nice to have them that close. “My grandson became a bar mitzvah in October and that was a great time.”