2016 Class Notes

Posted September 30, 2016

ELIZABETH (BETSY) DANA STEWARDSON FORD                                                  died in Princeton 9/24/16. After graduating MHC, Betsy worked as a librarian at Haverford College. She married her childhood sweetheart, William Stewardson and they settled in Princeton where she worked at Miss Fine’s School and helped her husband form a real estate brokerage firm. They were the loving parents of 3 children. In 12/72, Mr. Stewardson died suddenly. Mrs. Ford rejoined her late husband’s real estate firm, Stewardson-Dougherty Real Estate Associates, Inc., in ’74, as V.Pres. and married Jeremiah Ford who was a good friend of both and the architect who had designed the family home in ’75. Betsy enjoyed traveling with her family and summering in Nantucket. Her many interests included playing bridge, leadership roles in the Garden Club of Princeton, the Marquand Park Association and the Mt. Holyoke Alumni Association. She enjoyed her involvement at the Foundation Fighting Blindness, the Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia and The Present Day Club in Princeton. In addition to Mr. Ford and her 3 children she is survived by 2 stepdaughters, and 5 grandchildren. “Truly adored by her family,she was known as “Granny B” and they will always remember how she shared her great joy in the beauty of the natural world around her – watching clouds, digging for clams, gardening and tracing the advance of the butterfly from cocoon and caterpillar.”Betsy was Reunion Dinner Chair for our 50th after also serving as Class Agent and Cornerstone Representative in previous years. MARCIA (MUFFY) TAYLOR SEIFERT writes that she is “deeply saddened.She was my Matron of Honor and it truly is a great loss.”  ALISON (RHOADS) SCHECTER writes, “I loved her and will miss her indomitable spirit.”

ALISON SCHECHTER                                                                                                Alan Schechter, GINNY KEITH, MISTY GIDEONSE, ANN DOLBEAR and Tren Dolbear returned to another Camden Conference in Maine in February for three days which focused on Africa. We had the opportunity to hear speakers who were journalists, scholars, entrepreneurs and elected officials  who shared their knowledge and experiences of a variety of the African countries. It gave us an opportunity to get together and catch up on our own lives and become informed about the complexity of Africa. The focus was on Africa’s need to motivate and support enterpreneurs who could develop the country’s own leaders.

Posted September  9, 2016

passed away on Sept. 2, 2016. After attending Northfield School for Girls in MA she graduated from MHC Magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a major in Sociology and Economics. I, your scribe, have vivid memories of taking dance classes with Joan, taught by Helen Rogers, and her many performances over our 4 years. After graduation, she pursued her love of modern dance, taking a position at Hofstra College in Hempstead, Long Island. During that time, she met Sam Karff, the Assistant Rabbi at her family’s congregation in Hartford, CT. After living in Hartford, Flint, MI, and Chicago , they moved to Houston,Texas where Sam became the Senior Rabbi at Cong. Beth Israel. Joan taught dance at Rice University in Houston from 1976-84. In 1975, she founded Joan Karff’s New Dance Group and proudly led that company for over 20 years. During those years, Joan created beautiful and elegant dances; her work was greatly influenced by the artistic legacy of Martha Graham and other iconic modern dancers. Joan’s creative gift was really as a storyteller, and her dancers were the words she used to tell a story. One of her favorite dances, “Study in Black and White,” depicting the burgeoning love between a black man and white woman, won Joan a state prize in dance. Another favorite of hers was a series of dances she choreographed based on the writings and letters of the poet, Sylvia Plath- who attended nearby Smith College. In 2001, Joan decided she needed a change from the dance company, and started Women on the Way Up, a mentoring program at Lamar High School. Each year, 10 senior girls were chosen to participate in this yearlong program. Almost all the young women were minority students who came from underprivileged backgrounds. “Since its founding, nearly every graduate of Women on the Way Up has completed college and many have gone on to obtain graduate degrees. Joan’s goal was to be a mentor for these young women; she expanded their awareness of the world and showed them the opportunities that she knew existed for them beyond the worlds that they came from. Joan’s contagious love of learning inspired her students to learn more about the world, while promoting their social, political, economic, and intellectual growth. She took them on field trips to the symphony, theater, dance concerts, and art exhibits and brought in speakers on various topics. Recently, there was a reception at the Karff home where 50 of the graduates returned to pay tribute to Joan and thank her for inspiring them and helping them to achieve (and often surpass) their goals. ” Her sister, Margery Mag Andrews, was in the MHC Reunion Class of ’53, and her daughter, Rachel Karff Weissenstein was in the MHC Reunion Class of ’82. Joan was described as an amazing mother and grandmother to her 3 daughters, their husbands and 7 grands. . . loving and imaginative. . . the perfect role model. . . who created a home that was overflowing with love and laughter. “One could never know exactly what would cause her to dissolve into giggles, but when this happened, her laughter was contagious.” Joan was a life long Democrat, who would defend her positions with passion, insight and eloquence at every opportunity. She was extraordinarily well versed in history and enjoyed reading memoirs of historical figures. “Her legacy will extend far beyond her own family.”

Posted August 10, 2016                                                                                               JOYCE BERNSTEIN KLEIN                                                                                          just returned from 2 weeks in Mongolia.It is a fascinating country but a difficult trip for someone approaching 80 years of age. The infrastructure is almost non existant once you leave the capital city of Ulaanbaator. Hiking up mountains on rough and uneven surfaces without railings was quite a challenge. The people are very hospitab;e and welcoming.  In the end of August my husbAND AND I ARE TAKING A RIVER CRUISE ALONG THE Seine and I expect this will be  a much easier trip.  Still working parttime and enjoying every minute ofit.  Grandchildren are both in college, one a senior at Wesleyan and the other a freshman at Oberlin.

Posted May 3-23, 2016                                                                                                IRENE VIRGINIA SMITH                                                                                         passed away on 2/23/15.  She was a History major while at Mt. Holyoke and lived in Madison, CT.  She was College Editor at Harcourt Brace Jovanovich and  self-employed as a Free-Lance Editor and Proofreader for many years.  Irene is survived by her sister, Barbara Smith Delmhorst, MHC Class of ’63.

ANNETTE FOISIE                                                                                     Annette writes:  ” I have been invited to be included in the August ’16 issue of Southwest Art magazine;  the feature will be Women in Art,  with invitees from around the world.  An honor.”

CAROLYN FOSDICK TAKAHARA                                                                         passed away on December 27, 2015, in her hometown of Auburn, Maine, following a short illness. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Mount Holyoke, “Lyn” continued her studies at Radcliffe (MA 5/59) and Harvard where she earned a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature(6/76). Lyn taught French in Iowa, New Hampshire and Maine, including being an Ass’t Professor at Coe College and a Professor of French at the Univ. of New Hampshire. PARKY GRAHAM WAUGH , a friend over the years, shared this thought: “Lyn lived a life filled with love and devotion to her family and friends, and to her endless hours of reading.”  She was a Class Agent for our class in ’98 and Secretary of the MHC Club of N.H. Lyn is survived by her sister, son, Jun, and granddaughter, Sara, of Tokyo. Her husband, Russell Phelan, pre-deceased her. Condolences may be sent to her sister, Una Tuck,and family at P.O. Box 148, Greene, ME 04236

ELLEN BOLES OLSON                                                                                      is pictured in the Quarterly’s article featuring Victoria Shuck (Spring 2016, p. 21). Having served as Director of Planned Parenthood and several times as volunteer President of the Piedmont League of Women Voters, Ellen lives with her husband at Well Spring Retirement Community, Greensboro, NC. Vickie was one of her guiding lights MHC through internships and beyond through friendship.

ANN R. THOMPSON (THOMPS)                                                                       moved to the Bella Vista retirement community in Asheville, NC. She writes: “I am enjoying life here in the mountains. I am fortunate to have studio space in our building so I continue to do small stained glass projects in addition to giving lessons to individual residents. Singing in the choir and participating in two women’s groups keeps me connected with my UU church. A new passion is making Soul Collage cards and that is a pastime that is fun, artistic, and filled with learning for the sunset years of my journey. I had a wonderful trip to visit my daughter who has been living in Germany for 35 years, and it was great to reconnect with Debbie, my three grandsons and my son-in-law. Even though I have macular degeneration, it has been helped with eye shots. I no longer drive, but the bus at Bella Vista takes me everywhere I need to go. All in all I must say I am getting along well.”

SARA ALBERT BRONSTEIN                                                                                          In the nicest February weather in Santa Monica ever”, PATTI (MP) CAMERON NUGENT and I shared a couple of visits for the first time in 20 years. What fun to relive the past going back to Safford in 1954! So much in common these days too. Patti (MP) adds : “It took Sara and me about 30 seconds to re-establish our close college connection. . . . Just made me realize how much I appreciate our Mount Holyoke experience.”

NANCY MAXWELL PORTER                                                                                        I’ve not been much in touch. I live in Hawthorne Gardens, an assisted living community in Portland, Oregon. A year ago I suffered a catastrophic stroke, went into rehab, suffered another stroke, eventually returning to my living community, with the determination to give back the love and support I have been fortunate enough to receive from friends, staff and caregivers here. I organize programs for the Resident Council and work hard at continuing rehabilitation.

CINDY CARPENTER McFADDEN                                                                               and Duncan traveled south in 12/15 for a granddaughter’s graduation from Radford Univ, in VA, and visited more family and friends in VA and NC. Though no longer traveling far in their ”House On Wheels”, they managed to “escape” motorcycle week in their NH locale and used it to camp in Maine. They ARE planning to spend Feb. & March near Riverside, FL. Cindy is in touch with Sally Dumper Wiseman and Bob via visits and phone contact. Sally reported a wonderful lunch visit with Molly Keith Foti when vacationing in Hawaii.

CAROLYN HOGGAN LARSEN                                                                                passed away on 2/1/16 at her home in Salinas, CA. She was preceded in death by her husband of 54 years, Vernon S. Larsen. Carolyn attended MHC briefly and completed her B.A. in English at the University of Utah. Following graduate studies, Carolyn joined her husband at the U. of Chicago, where she held a fellowship in pre-doctoral studies in human development. The major portion of her professional
career was spent as an editor of learning materials at Science Research Associates (SRA). Carolyn and Verne made their home in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago for 25 yrs. In 1990, opportunities with McGraw-Hill Education led the couple to California’s Monterey County. Carolyn volunteered at the John Steinbeck Public Library and in retirement continued collecting classic works of literature, politics, history, mysteries, philosophy, poetry, film and music.

CAROLYN BUMPO MARSH                                                                                  and John moved into a CCRC last year (new town but 2 1/2 miles from our old house) and are glad they did it while they could to it together. “Each ofus have had the usual (and unusual) repairs for our age but we are recovering from them fine. We are both still heavily involved in the birding magazine that has given us a lot of rewards in the past few years. Lots of MHC alums here so that is fun too, although I haven’t played the Alma Mater in the lobby yet !”