Class of 1961, News April 2017

Edna DuRant Ellis, Class Rep

Thank you, Classmates, for responding with your news.  Technology is wonderful and keeps our Class in touch with one another.  Remember, “Age does not matter, unless you are a Cheese!”

Frances Gray Atkinson: She lives at the Methodist Manor in Florence.  She said that “it’s just like dormitory life except you don’t have to study!”

Bleeker Sisk Cannon: Bubba and Bleeker went on a European trip in 2016 to celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary and Bubba’s 85th birthday.  They have 2 grandchildren at Clemson, and 3 grandchildren (triplets) graduating from high school in spring 2017, and 2 grandchildren in 4th and 7th grades.

Jayne Burch Cannon: She continues to work mornings at the Brochure business in Myrtle Beach which she founded.  The owner, who was Jayne’s employee and bought the business, really appreciates her expertise and dedication.  Her older sister who is 87 lives with her.

Beryl Hills Carter: She and her husband live in Lake City.  She enjoyed a weeklong vacation in October 2016 to Saphire Valley, NC with Judy McCartt Dickson, her roommate at Coker.  She is still working full time with her husband at their furniture restoration business, Chehaw River Woodworks.   She is a volunteer at ARTFIELDS in Lake City.  Look up artfieldssc.org on the internet and see the exciting things that happen in April each year.  They have a 2 year old grandson living in Mt. Pleasant and a granddaughter who is a senior at Clemson and interested in wildlife, birds of prey, and all animals.

Rita Croft Hennecy: Rita lives in Marion.  Her husband, Bobby, served on the School Board for 28 years. After his death in 2004, Rita won his seat and is still serving (13 years).  She says she continues to serve so the teachers have a “friend” on the School Board.  She keeps in touch with Rosalind Carrigan Hearon ’62, and Jane McLeod Webb who lives in Augusta, GA and Isabel (Ibble) Larue Smith who lives in N. Myrtle Beach.

Betty Wise Jackson: Betty and Clyde continue to enjoy their home in Trenton, SC.  They have 3 children who live close to them and 2 granddaughters…one is a sophomore at the University of Georgia and one   in the first grade.  Betty has been very active in the Garden Club of SC which is divided into 7 districts.  She has been a District Director (35 garden clubs) of the West Sandhills District for 4 years.  She will be the Garden Club of SC’s Historian for 2017 and 2018.  Betty keeps busy with her volunteer work (20 years) with the Farm Bureau of SC.  She serves on the State’s women’s committee with five other ladies.  She is the Central District Chairman of the Farm Bureau. She and Clyde attend the National Farm Bureau conventions.  In January, the meeting was in Phoenix, Az. and she and Clyde had a nice visit with Liz Kendall Ramsey.  Betty and Liz were roommates in South dormitory their sophomore year at Coker.  This volunteer work along with her church activities keeps her busy.

Joyce Coats Leasure: Since January, Joyce has been having health issues.  By the time you receive this we hope she is okay and “back in action” again.  She says “I have places to go and things to do.”  She and Larry have plans for trips in 2017.  She went to a Lee Greenwood concert in Florence in March 2017.  She has a picture with him for proof!  Her granddaughters are going on a mission trip to Guatemala in June 2017.  They will go to Fort Wilderness in Upstate Wisconsin for a week this summer.

Judy McCartt Dickson has lived in Taylors, SC since 1974.  Both of her children and all of her grandchildren and one great grandchild live in the Greenville area.  Three of her grandchildren got married in 2016.  Her first born grandchild has a five year old boy, her great grandchild.  Her entire family took a trip west last July for two weeks – seeing the National Parks mostly.  They made it all the way to Glacier National Park, seeing Yellowstone National Park, the Tetons and many more.  Their last park was the Rocky Mountains for 3 days before heading back to SC.  She says that it was so wonderful that they are planning another trip to the southwest the summer of 2018.  She and her Coker roommate, Beryl Hills Carter, spent a week together October 2016 in the mountains at Sapphire Valley, NC.  Beryl’s granddaughter who is a student at Clemson came to visit them.  They made a day trip to The Highlands and hiked up Whiteside Mt. near Cashiers, NC.  They also hiked to Whitewater Falls on another day.  Beryl and Judy were proud that they could keep up with Beryl’s college granddaughter. Judy and her sister who lives in Florida took a cruise to Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands in November 2016.

Joyce Medlin Eaton: Joyce and her husband live in a patio home at the Methodist Manor in Florence. We enjoy living at the Manor!  As Frances Gray Atkinson says, “that it is just like dormitory life except you don’t have to study!”

Gail Power Helms: Tim and I go to Holden Beach in the spring to open the cottage for the summer.  She says that is a lot of work for 2 old people.  They enjoy their time there.

Barbara (Blue) Littell Nelson:  I do want to encourage more classmates to come to the next reunion.  I loved being there last year (55th) and seeing the few of us that were there.  The school is beautiful with fantastic facilities and the students were a joy.  I was proud to say I had been a student there and the town of Hartsville is growing with so much to offer.  Landy and I never imagined that we would be settling in SC but the friends that we made in our college years impressed us so we have always had a warm spot in our hearts for the people from this State.  Our year was good and we enjoyed our trip to Italy to visit our youngest daughter and family who live in Vincenza Italy.  We also celebrated 54 years of marriage which is unbelievable to us both…where has the time gone??  Well, here is to the next gathering we have with our classmates and I hope everyone will try to come.

Liz Kendall Ramsey: In March 2017 Liz had shoulder surgery. She says that it is a “process” to heal from shoulder replacement.  The knees and hip were different.  With the shoulder I have to stay in the sling most of the time for 6 weeks.  Then I go to outside therapy.  Right now I am gently exercising at home.  Patience is the name of the game!!  My right shoulder is as bad and has to be replaced so I am looking at another round of “being patient!”

Louise Foster Thomason: Louise and Buddy’s 50 year old son died suddenly March 11, 2017.  They think it was a bite from a black widow spider or a brown recluse spider that bit him on March 4, 2017.  Hard as this is she said that their Faith was keeping them strong.  Coker Class of 1961 friends are sharing in their sadness, and continue to keep them in our prayers.  A grandson was married in March 2017.  Louise and Buddy introduced Liz Kendall Ramsey and her husband Charlie at Coker. Buddy and Charlie were roommates at The Citadel.

Lou Stuckey Gardner:  She retired from teaching high school business after 31 years, then did some volunteer work in the community, and then took the job of Treasurer, Financial Secretary at her church, First Presbyterian of Hartsville.  She “retired” from that several years ago and now she enjoys playing bridge, traveling and following her granddaughter’s activities.  Her oldest granddaughter, is graduating from Presbyterian College this year and will go on to grad school for her Master’s.  Her youngest is a freshman in high school and plays every sport she can fit into her busy schedule.  Her son, Rob, and his wife live a block away from her and they enjoy spending time together and traveling together.  In June she is going with Rob and his family to Hawaii.  Then in August, Lou and her sister-in-law will take a British Isles cruise with a Pat Tours group.  She had a great 2-week visit with Sally Stuckey Aldrich in Florida this spring.  Lou is a member of the Coker Alumni Board and has enjoyed being reunited with them and knowing all the good things going on at Coker.  They seem to be thriving and growing without losing the special feeling that Coker has!

Edna DuRant Ellis: Larry and Edna spent 2 weeks in January 2017 in Jonesboro, AR. with their son, wife, and 2 grandsons (7th and 5th grades) and granddaughter (2nd grade).  We enjoyed watching lots of basketball.  A trip the end of May is planned to watch baseball, softball, and golf.  Our daughter, who is in her 16th year in public education plans a trip to Portugal in June 2017.  We keep her 6 year old black lab, Bonnie.  She does not realize that she is a dog!  She is named for Bon Jovi. She has been a fan of his since 5th grade.  She goes to all of his concerts that are close by.  She was lucky to see him in Greenville, SC and Atlanta, GA in early 2017.