Barbara Maly Fish
Congratulations to Karen Kuechenmeister Lehrhaupt who married Ron Kolosek on September 13, after vehemently saying “never again” for years. She met him while taking one of her usual walks. It turns out that he was living 12 houses away from her, but she had never met him or his late wife. After a brief conversation, they moved on to coffee, movies, dinner dates, etc. and now Karen will be Karen Kolosek as soon as the paperwork is complete. Sadly, just six weeks after the wedding, Karen was diagnosed with cancer and is in the midst of chemo and radiation treatments. I know that we all send good thoughts and prayers to her. Congratulations also to Diana Hoke Smith, who received the National Court Appointed Special Advocate of the Year Award for her work with children in the foster care system. She began volunteering for this group after her retirement from teaching. Husband Joel is also retired, although that hardly applies to a couple who take care of 12 rescue dogs and three rescue cats on their 16-acre homestead in Young Harris, GA. As Diana says, she and Joel don’t travel much! Diana also writes for children and has had some of her poetry published in Highlights and other magazines. Google her! Ron and Kay Starcher Klausewitz are enjoying both retirement and the birth of their first grandchild, Oliver. Both Ron and Kay earned doctorates and worked as college professors, Ron in computer science and Kay in education. The Klausewitzes have retired to South Hadley, MA, where they participate in the Five College Learning in Retirement group. Nancy Hopkins Southard’s husband John retired in December after a 50-year career as a dermatologist. They had a taste of the retired life this past summer when they lived at their lake house while their Winston-Salem NC home was being remodeled. Nancy and John drove back to Winston-Salem twice a week to check on the progress of the remodel, to collect mail, and for him to see patients. In October, Nancy went on a walking trip to Ireland with a friend. Family vacations included a trip to Block Island with John’s family, Nancy’s trip to Mount Gretna with her sisters, and visits with their sons Tim in Atlanta and Rob in New Orleans. Grandson Kelton is a sophomore at the U. of South Carolina and his sister Lindsay is a high school junior. They are Tim’s children and live in Atlanta. Connie Heard Damon must not need much sleep. On February 5, she will depart for Kenya for the sixth time. She does missionary work at an orphanage for high school students and over the years has raised funds for them to have a well, a vehicle for emergency transport, cottages, a medical center, security fencing, and a recently completed additional classroom. Connie says, “I have been blessed to be able to send my sponsored ‘daughter’ there to the University of Mombasa where she is a sophomore.” When not in Kenya, Connie still lives at Melody Lane Farm, where she enjoys the company of her donkeys, goats, a horse, and chickens. She is also a Lay Leader in her Methodist church and has been a Hospice volunteer for over 30 years. Scarlett, her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, accompanies her in animal therapy for patients in nursing homes. After over 50 years of teaching piano, she is phasing out that work but still retains several students. She also accompanies two choral groups who give Christmas and spring concerts. On top of all this, Connie loves to travel to foreign countries. She toured Greece this past fall and will visit a friend in Germany in July 2019. She has already planned to attend the Oberammergau Passion Play in 2020, with future plans to go to Israel and Iceland. If reading about these classmates intrigues you, think how much more fun it would be to talk to them in person. Remember that our 55th reunion will take place on the weekend of June 7-9. I hope to see you there!