Marjorie Blakeney Filmyer
I wish I did not have to begin this column on a sad note, but it may help Ann Barnum Connellee to know that our prayers and thoughts are with her. Ann’s youngest daughter Lynne, age 59, died in May of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). Ann’s final thought was that our children should outlive us. Shirley Benson Rice reported two happy occasions. Her grandson Brooke graduated from high school as an honors student and his mother was voted “Best Teacher of the Year” for their Virginia county. Bette Blome Winyall and Milton drive 45 minutes from their retirement community, Charlestown, to attend the church in their former community. Milt, who is recovering from heart surgery, is active in the chess club while Bette enjoys The Little Theater Company both as an actor and director. Pat Callender Hewit has 10 great-grandchildren. After selling her homes in New Jersey and Florida, she has enjoyed independent living in Lakewood, N.J. During our cold winter, both Anne Chaney Mesmer and her husband Ted fell while on the way to a medical appointment. The accident resulted in weeks of hospitalization and Anne still is not fully recovered. In July, Corinne “Corky” Edwards Shulman’s clan gathered for their annual family reunion in Hawaii. Great-granddaughter Maile and her fiancé will be the honored guests at a gathering with Corky in New York in September. Corky is planning a trip to Vermont to visit her son. Nancy Eggleston Fraser lives close enough to the Big Apple to enjoy trips to Manhattan to visit the art galleries and museums. She and Howard visit their children in Colorado and New Hampshire. During the winter season, cross-country skiing has now replaced down-hill for Nancy. In June, Connie Glann Battle enjoyed a two-week safari to Kenya with her three children. In July, they and their partners and children planned on joining Connie in South Carolina. Jaynie Gillis de Constant is still in remission and “hippety-hopping” on her walker while enjoying her two grandchildren and their friends. The young ones know where she keeps the cookie jar! Marcia Gurwitt Wofsey and Bob have enjoyed their senior residence in Ryebrook, N.Y., for more than two years. Their grandchildren are in graduate school at nearby Columbia, Princeton and London, while Marsha and Bob’s travel is limited to nearby restaurants and day trips to NYC. Jackallen “Jackie” Handy Arthur thinks of our class so often. She is retired and does a great deal of volunteering with the Salvation Army. She continues to be involved with the Episcopal Church while annually attending the church’s General Convention since 1986. Barbara Heiss Jackson has lived in Sarasota, Fla., for 36 years and recently moved to an independent retirement community. She is very active enjoying the variety of activities her community offers. Elaine Henderson Cortelyou continues to volunteer at the local food bank. Her home overlooking the Cohansey River in New Jersey is the perfect location to bird watch. She is now an expert. Katherine “Katsy” Maguire Rafferty and John are traveling less due to his ongoing physical problems. They have given up their get-away home in the Colorado mountains. Nancy O’Neill Carignan commented on our front position in the Hood alumnae news. I responded with the phrase “time passes quickly when you are having fun!” Sunny Ruby Hocutt and she chat from time to time. Betty Paterson Reims is recovering from broken femurs but the future looks brighter. One of her grandsons was married in June and the youngest great-granddaughter joined in the festivities. Louise “Tootie” Renninger Rittenhouse, P’74, G’07 has experienced two bouts of melanoma but is now on the mend. Her goal is to live to match her grandmother’s age of 99 years. Louise has five grown grandchildren and wishes that one of them would get married! This spring, Dorothy “Slush” Schlesinger Seeber sold her New Jersey home and moved to Chattanooga, Tenn., to be near her son. Due to the harsh winter, there were delays in construction and her new home will not be ready until August. Dorothy said the move has been difficult and that starting over in your senior years is not easy. In the fall, Marjorie “Midge” Blakeney Filmyer traveled with her oldest son to visit her youngest son in San Francisco. In the spring, her daughter and granddaughter accompanied her to the Chicago area to visit her brother. While living in Philadelphia, she enjoys her season tickets to the theater. Her bi-weekly sessions with her exercise trainer are exhausting but valuable in maintaining good health.