1. 1979: Summer 2014


    Debbie Bennett:  Reunion weekend weather was beautiful, events were enlightening and fun.  Seeing classmates – priceless. Bec Seymour Sweeney, Paula Davis Driftmeyer, Nancy Garrow Aldrich, Susie Hawk Coy and I shared a wing of Shriner second floor.  It always warms my heart the way I meet up with my college besties after months/years of being apart.  It’s like we have never been apart.  I love them!  Esther Beckman Bowman and Julie Flynn, ’80, came for the weekend.  The all class dinner Saturday night was surprisingly fun.  Who knew we all would be on the dance floor when the DJ played “It’s Raining Men”!  It happened!  So glad to participate in one of Ron Volpe’s last reunion weekends!  What an amazing legacy he leaves at Hood!

    Gini Allen Natter:  Had a great, but short reunion visit – was so happy to see everyone.  Campus looks beautiful.  Left 3 days later to attend my son’s wedding and welcome a new daughter into the family.  I have a new position with Northrop Grumman so that I could work remotely – tired of commuting 2-3 hours daily.   Please please please join the Hood College Class of 1979 facebook page.  It is the quickest way for us to disseminate information and connect with one another.

    Jackie Totten:  spent a June weekend in San Francisco with Susan Gearey Van Pelt as she hosted a major milestone birthday for husband, Dr. Steven Van Pelt, at the Metropolitan Club in SF.  Jackie is now a proud member of the Metropolitan Club which is celebrating 100 years with a special membership drive to welcome 100 new members. She launched two new websites that focus on two of her passions – www.bestbocceball.com and www.birdingbackyardhaven.com

    Joyce Soucy:  Life has been very hectic lately.  Mom moved to assisted living and we’ve been dealing with that sandwich thing that happens.  My eldest daughter, Maura, is getting married in August in Narragansett, RI, so we’re busy planning shower and the wedding events.  My husband, Paul, and I enjoyed a 30th anniversary cruise from Istanbul to Venice (via Ephesus, Greece, Croatia, Slovenia).  I’m working part-time doing tax work for a local CPA firm to keep busy in the winter months.  Summers off – a requirement.

    Linda Thomas:   I am enjoying life here in Sarasota, FL.  My 20 year old son will be a junior at Western CT State. Upon graduation, he plans to become a State Trooper.  My 21 year old daughter is at Nova Eastern for a B.S in Nursing. If I am not on the road selling metal (or on the golf course!), I am hanging out here with my two dogs, Lilly and Maya.   Life is good.

    Malia Anderson:  Reunion weekend was a great time to get together and re-live our lives from years past!  Peggy, Esther and I are still laughing over who is remembering correctly – oh, no are we getting to that age!?  All of us agreed that we must work on getting more classmates to attend in 2019. The weekend at Hood was a great getaway.

    Mary Lancaster:  Gil, Chloe (our 17 year old daughter) and I are on vacation and about to leave Salzburg for Munich.  I’ll stop by the Junior Year in Munich office, where Dr. Almute Wedekind encouraged me to apply – it remains one of the most formative events of my life – a great,  transformative year.   I don’t use my German much anymore, but oddly it’s pouring out at a pretty comfortable clip, and for once, my family is begrudgingly impressed.  I closed down my office where I was the one/only chief cook and bottle washer – taking a small break and, once again, figuring out what I want to be when I grow up.  It’s nice to breathe…  Alles Gute!

    Rebecca Sweeney:  School’s out so we fled to Nova Scotia with friends for an adventure vacation. A moose crossed our hike on the Cabot Trail.  We solved some mysteries on both sides of the family tree.  Am now sitting on my can with foot elevated from foot surgery.  Am taking a writer’s workshop course – very fun and am chasing after our 2-year-old granddaughter, getting to the beach, grilling peaches, eating all meals on the deck.  Hope everyone is wallowing in all thing Summery.
    Wanda Juraschek:  I’ve just been blessed with my eighth grandchild – now an even 4 boys & 4 girls.  The oldest is 3!  Though widowed a year ago, my life is full of love thanks to my wonderful children and grandchildren.
  2. 1979: Winter 2014



    Hey hey hey hey hey (Mike Mike Mike Mike Mike)!  The class of 1979 35th Reunion is in June 2014 – join us for the fun!   Do we need a hospitality suite for gatherings?  It’s planning time!

    Bernice Graesch
    Last August 2012 we sold our Fort Lauderdale, FL home of 16 yrs and relocated to Boca Raton, FL.  I am in the process of closing my small drapery workroom and am ready to begin the next chapter looking for a new “job”.  My husband, Patrick, is Executive Director of Manufacturing & Operations at Nipro Inc. (glucose tests strips – TruTest or Walgreen’s label).  Our 26 year-old son lives and works in Davie, FL; our daughter, Morgan, 22, is soon to be a PTA.  I keep in touch with a few Hood friends and get home to NJ to visit family about once a year.

    Donna Gault
    I am busy teaching English as a Second Language, a volunteer position near my home in Owings Mills, MD.  My students are from Guatemala, Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Pakistan, and India and I love teaching adults.  They are gracious and we have such fun.  I also teach a ladies Sunday School class.

    As a hobby, I sew.  I’ve made 18″ doll (American Girl) clothes for a friend’s 9 year old daughter, quilts, purses, and each year I’ve made Christmas presents for the entire family.  One year it was aprons geared towards each person’s interest.  My stepfather is a vegetarian – his apron fabric was lettuces, my son and youngest brother are anglers – fish fabric for them.  But I have yet to make an apron for me!    THE SUN SHINES FOR 79!

    Ginni Natter
    Mid- June 2014 I will be the Mother of the groom and I will gain a new daughter.  Work responsibilities are ever changing – keeps life interesting.  Granddaughters are growing too fast.

    Janet Mullen
    Top three things to be anxious about, since you asked:  1. my company will have enough funding (small non-profit relying on grants);  2. my children being adults and my parents getting old;  3. being able to retire before I’m too old to enjoy it.

    Ruth Seel
    Life is good – almost empty nesters!  Traveling as much as possible.  Now many trips to Houston since our oldest daughter and family moved there.  It is hard to have the grandchildren so far away after living in the same town!  Thank goodness for Facebook and FaceTime.   Molly, our Hood girl, is preparing for May 2014 graduation.  She’s in the application process for the Peace Corps.  Top ten list:  finding great airfare, racking up airline miles, fall leaf colors, hugs from my students, daily laughs, clean floors, empty clothes hamper, Cock-a-poos who snuggle

    Steven Grigas is thankful for the following:
    1.  I am now a full Partner in Akerman, LLP – over 540 attorneys, 19 offices, in 8 states plus DC.

    2.  I’ve been named to The Best Lawyers in America 2014 Guide in the practice area of Health Care Law.

    3.  My son ranked 34th in the Florida High School cross country runners with a personal best 5K time of 16:09.  His high school team placed first in their regional race and are competing for the state championship.

    Trina Clickner
    It’s formally confirmed.  I seem to have (temporarily?!?) traded in my mobile computing career for a low-profile, low-budget, low-stress life of fiddling, looking after my aunt with Alzheimer’s/dementia, adorable basset hounds, scuffed up cowboy boots, red lipstick and a used Suburu Forester.  All is super duper – I just wish it paid more! )  What’s next!?!

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