Catherine Beyer Meredith
Catching up with some of the reunion no-shows brought in news from classmates around the country and beyond. Nancy Diefenbach Pearce assures us that she is alive and well and still living in Ocean Pines, Maryland—11 years now. But in early October, she was writing from the South Pacific where she and Lew were on a 28-day cruise from San Francisco to Hawaii, French Polynesia, American Samoa, New Zealand and Australia. “Since the 45th reunion we have been on two African safaris (South Africa in 2010 and Namibia in 2013), visited Egypt (Cairo and down the Nile in 2010) and done some other cruising,” Nancy wrote. “In between I had a partial mastectomy for Stage 2 breast cancer, along with chemotherapy and radiation. I didn’t suffer any horrible side effects from the various treatments and only cut back a bit on my volunteer activities. I send best wishes for good health and happiness to all of our classmates.” Beverly Jones Gibson reported that son Barry now has two sons, Carter, 6 and Zach, 2 1/2, and that daughter Courtney is slowly recovering from her automobile accident that had kept Bev in Richmond almost three weeks last spring, causing her to miss the reunion. “I’m still hawking properties with Long & Foster in Crofton, Maryland,” Bev wrote. “Anyone looking to buy/sell/rent near Washington/Baltimore/Annapolis, give me a call or text. There are still some great buys out there.” Marion (Meg) Griffis Hadley has lived in the smallest state capitol—Montpelier, Vermont—since 1970. During those 45 years, she raised three great sons who are all engineers: one a software engineer, another a mechanical engineer and the third a geological engineer. Meg, retired from a long career as a high school history teacher, and her husband, retired from the federal government, enjoy traveling to faraway places. HannahJane Hurlburt did attend the reunion but wrote to report on classmate Sandy Hickman Lee who couldn’t join our festivities due to family wedding in Colorado. While there, she had dinner with Carol Matthews Smith, of Boulder, for a mini reunion of their own. Sandy splits her time between homes in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, and Sun Valley Idaho, depending on the season and musical and family events. Additionally, since retirement, she has taken up teaching knitting on the Crystal Cruise Line. In that capacity, she and husband Pete have traveled to Singapore, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Italy, England, Canada and the northeast U.S.A. Joan Joice Taylor and husband Rufus also enjoy a mountain retreat in Idaho, where they frequently go to escape the summer heat in their hometown of Henderson, Nevada, and in winter to enjoy riding snow machines. Joan gave up skiing after hip and knee replacements, but she still loves swimming and walking for exercise. This summer, son Charles and his family and son-in-law Ken and youngest grandson Luke joined the Taylors in Idaho, but daughter Cathy, a career military officer, was in Iraq with the 82nd Airborne Division. Kathryn Kahn Rusk wrote, “so sorry I didn’t make it to the reunion! The Sunday before, I was diagnosed with double pneumonia and I hadn’t even had a cold for five years!” Now recovered in Kirkland, Washington, Kathy is within driving distance of her three children and seven wonderful grandchildren, ages 6 to 16. She works four or five days a month as a nutritional consultant, a health coach and quality control for health facilities. “I love working on my time,” she wrote. “I’ll be going to France this month, to Italy in April, to my children’s homes and to the next reunion!” Susan Nau Steidl attended Hood for just her freshman year with Maureen “Mimi” Flynn as her roommate and then transferred to the University of Florida to study nursing. After graduating in 1965 with a B.S. in nursing, “I returned to my hometown of Cincinnati, where I married my childhood sweetheart Jerry. There, I practiced intensive-care nursing and taught ER nursing at a local hospital. From Cincinnati, we moved to Mansfield, Ohio, where we lived for seven years. Finally we moved to Orlando, where I worked with a large hospital system for 35 years and retired from administration in 2013. Jerry is a minister, and we have three terrific children—two daughters and a son—and five grandchildren. We now live in The Villages, Florida, and I still do special project work for the hospital in Orlando to keep a few brain cells active!