Sharon Burns Walsh
With only a few months left until our 50th reunion, Susan Marano and I hope your plans to be part of the weekend are well underway. If you’re not there, we can promise that you will be missed. Mary Bloodgood VanHyning was headed to California to visit her daughter, son-in-law and two granddaughters in late October. She envies people whose grandchildren live nearby. She definitely plans to be at the reunion as do several people from French House. She had heard from Linda Winter-Blacksher that she will not be able to attend the reunion because of a previously scheduled trip to Italy. Marjorie Field Trusler retired in 2005 as a professor of French and Spanish at West Virginia Wesleyan College. She has spent the last ten years doing all the community work, traveling, visiting, reading, exercising and lolling that she didn’t have time for when she was working. She has been looking for an awe-inspiring answer to the question, “So what have you been doing since you retired?” People keep asking Sue Warshaw Stinson if she’s busier in retirement than she was while working, and her response is a definite, “No, I am definitely busy but rarely frantic as I used to be.” She thought she was finished with professional work after her book was published in late 2015, but is still finishing a couple smaller projects. Her major activities these days revolve around volunteer civic engagement at the local, state, and national levels. She works with the League of Women Voters (including committees and action on Immigration, Social Justice, Voter Education/Registration, and Fair Elections) and also volunteers with a couple of community agencies. “And then there is the increasing amount of time I have to spend to keep my body going with as little pain as possible. Jim and I occasionally fit in some travel, including our fourth Road Scholar trip this past spring to Peru. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at the reunion.” Gail Davis Williford is in the midst of packing for a move to the Austin, TX area. After 41 years she has left Houston to return to the city where she first lived in Texas. Both of her children and her ex live in Austin. Daughter Jean is a social worker at Seton Hospital in Austin, and son Richard works in commercial real estate. John is retired. Gail retired from the ministry and now works as a life coach and fills in doing weddings, funerals, etc. She says, “I love having the opportunity to stay active in people’s important life events. Life is good.” Also in moving mode was Charlotte Sizoo Whitenight who was leaving her home in Catonsville, MD last November for a new one in Baltimore. “My advice to all my classmates is never stay 25 years in one house, unless you’re more disciplined than I about clearing clutter! I’m doing the baby-boomer thing, moving to a downtown city neighborhood, Baltimore City, into a high-rise condo. The neighborhood is fantastic, a block from Johns Hopkins University, vibrant, walkable and filled with students, lots of new restaurants and entertainment.” Since she has friends and volunteer activities in the general area, she will no longer be driving 20K miles per year. As a member of the Class Gift Committee, along with Sandy Gerwin Herndon and Pam Nicholson Neuman, Charlotte thanks those in the class who have supported Hood’s Annual Fund each year, and thanks you in advance for your continued, generous support. Everyone’s support is especially crucial in our Reunion year. The Committee was thrilled to have 8 major donors by last October who pledged donations of $60,000 to the Scholarship and Annual Funds. $28,000 was already received as cash donations for the scholarship by late October. The total goal for the Class of ’68 gift is $136,000, with a 68% participation rate. Of this total amount, our specific goal for the Scholarship is $64,000. Charlotte adds, “This seems ambitious but we can do this! I chose the painless way to donate, a direct IRA donation. Look on Hood’s website for information on IRA donations–it’s really easy!” She encourages everyone to think about including Hood in your will for any amount or percentage as have eight of our classmates. We’d love to be able to announce at the Reunion luncheon a substantial increase in this number. Many thanks to Pam, Sandy and Charlotte for taking on this considerable fund-raising effort on behalf of our class. Hoping to see everyone at Hood in June!