Coker Class of 1962 news submitted November 6, 2017
Dear Classmates of 1962
Coker has changed publishing dates for future issues of the Commentary with mailings sent in June and December so we will still need to submit our class news by April 15th and October 15th. For classmates with computers we will be able to keep up by linking to the new alumni pages on the Coker website: https://www.coker.edu/alumni/class-news?bblinkid=62882916&bbemailid=5212736&bbejrid=388892663.
This year’s December news will include our news submitted in April as well as the news you can find below. Also for those who use Facebook, please follow the Coker University Alumni Association page at https://www.facebook.com/cokercollegealumniassociation/
A friend from Charleston sent an email link to https://shar.es/1TIvEB announcing that https://www.coker.edu/news-stories/princeton-review-names-coker-%E2%80%9Cbest-southeastern%E2%80%9D-college-13th-straight-year entitled Princeton Review Names Coker A 'Best Southeastern' College For 13th Straight year". For 20 years US News & World Report has ranked Coker positively, # 8 in the 2018 edition of Best Colleges is Regional Colleges South. Its tuition and fees are $27,624 (2016-17). Washington Monthly has ranked Coker # 63 among colleges in those that contribute most to the public good.
Please remember to consider donating to Coker University, as alumni participation is one of the measurements the college ratings services use in determining the values or ratings of best colleges. 97% of Coker students are helped with the aid made possible by our donations. Our donations matter. Coker awards more than $9 million annually in scholarships and grants over and above federal and state aid.
Do you realize that Coker now offers three programs for obtaining degrees? Most of us received “Traditional” degrees, but now there are also “Adult” degrees (giving flexibility to those who are working or are unable to enroll full time) as well as some “Graduate” degrees? It was very interesting to hear Dr. Wyatt discuss these at our 55th reunion last March.
News of our classmates is presented in alphabetical order by the last names we used while we were students. Unfortunately, quite a few classmates’ husbands have died recently and I know we all wish there were things we could do to help.
Linda Abbott Johnson’s husband, George Luther Johnson, died unexpectedly on May 11th. Flo Staklinski Taylor was kind enough to let me know. I was able to have a wonderful chat with Linda in mid-September and she is so grateful to have their son, daughter and grandchildren live in Greenville and therefore does not feel alone. . Gwen Thomason Adams and Beverly Jones Dinkins responded to my earlier email letting everyone know about Linda. http://www.blythfuneralhome.com/obituaries/George-Luther-Johnson-Jr?obId=2135636#/obituaryInfo
Sara Anderson Kummer wrote that she and her sister Charlotte ’60 have taken three trips this year. In May they rode on AMTRAK’s “California Zephyr” from Chicago across the country, visiting Yellowstone and Grand Canyon Parks (but missed Yosemite due to screw-up on the part of the company). They spent days in San Francisco and LA and a day trip on the Coastal Starlight (wonderful scenery). On their return to Chicago they stayed a few days, had nice tours, especially with their cousin who lives there, and finally saw Hamilton. In August they had a nearly three-week cruise in the Baltic Sea, visiting 7 countries and 9 ports. Their ship was small so crowds were not overwhelming. It was very comfortable and the food was amazing. They spent a few extra days in Stockholm and learned so much, as they always do on their trips. Grand Circle Tours does a great job of getting a lot of interesting things into these trips. The third trip was a week in Lynchburg, Va. with Coker girls. Sara, her sister Charlotte Anderson Ross ’60 and Carolyn Cobb Hurren visited Sally Bahous Allen. We had a great time, especially the older three who were roommates/suitemates 2 years ahead of our class. Sally and Charlotte transferred and graduated elsewhere. Carolyn and I stayed. Sally’s home is beautiful, appointed with treasures from Palestine. The best thing about this trip was the delicious Arabic food Sally served us. Next summer Charlotte will take her youngest grandchild, Ben, 17, to Alaska, with his father. Sara plans to take her family to London for a week. This is in the planning stage, so not sure of the details. Sara and Charlotte will travel as long as the money and their health hold out!
Mary Bell Kittle and Joe have returned to San Antonio from their summer home in Orkney Springs, VA and are frantically trying to clean up from the roofing/sky light replacement which were damaged by the weather while they were in Virginia. The dust, dirt and dead bugs are winning! Joe’s surgery last spring was successful and his leg is behaving very well. Gaby had hoped to visit them in September, but train and bus options were too lengthy and tricky.
Sherrie Berry Wolski has been busy, as always, working in her garden and house on a lake and she sends wonderful photos from time to time. She has even cut down trees by herself this year. Gaby’s balcony just has room for four or five pots of my very old and well-bred geraniums, quite a few pots of Christmas cacti and a pot or two of wonderful basil. Sherrie has room for all sorts of beautifully planted flowering plants and greens as well as a vegetable garden. She still loves Halloween and has so many wonderful “ornaments” among the trees and plants and her house. She always has a lot of trick-or-treaters because it looks so inviting – and scary. Sherrie found a lovely old photo of some classmates on a parade float. If you remember that, please let me forward a copy by email to you.
Gayle Brandt Faust and I have been sharing titles of books and names of authors whose work we have enjoyed. Gayle still plays bridge twice a month An email on August 7th mentioned that she had a nice talk with Ida Pace Storrs and that Henrietta Ramsey van Arsdale’s Columbia house has been bulldozed. You may recall that the Columbia floods destroyed the house and gardens a few years ago and the last I heard she had moved near a son and his family.
Peggy Brown Buchanan reports that she finally had a hip replacement and recovery has gone very well, with no more pain. She is walking most mornings around the beautiful Bishop Gadsden, where they moved last year. She and John are very comfortable and happy to be living in this wonderful place in Charleston.
Brenda Cromer Miller’s Winnsboro house sold and in August she has moved into a condominium in/on Pawley’s Island. And is getting settled in. She has interesting neighbors and has found a doctor and church. She continues to divest of excess furniture and hopes a neighborhood yard sale in early November will clear her garage. Tess, her elderly yellow Labrador Retriever, has adapted well and keeps Brenda company. There is a small garden area that is just enough for her to keep her hands in the dirt and be happy. She is training as a volunteer at Hobcaw Barony by working at the admissions desk and learning how to lead tours of the house and grounds. The history of the Barony is extensive and a copy of the guest book shows visits from personalities such as Churchill, Roosevelt, entertainers, sportsmen, novelists, and military officers. Brenda has a daughter close by and they talk daily. She would love to see classmates so if any are at the beach please give a call or come to visit.
Louise Dubose Webber’s husband, David, died last March 14th unfortunately. They have two sons and four grandsons. http://williamsburgfuneralhome.com/obituary/david-c-webber/
Dorothy Herlong Hay and Charles are well and busy. They loved having their children and grandchildren visit for the Fourth of July week. One son lives in Leesburg and they see him every week. Their Delaware family hopes to return for Christmas. In the meantime, they are still busy with their church and exercise classes three or four times a week.
Molly Ann Holbrook Thomas Birchler wrote that she and Al did not make their annual trip to NW Ohio this year where they usually visit friends and family. She mentions that the weather was hot and humid for quite a few weeks and that they look forward to cooler fall temperatures. She sent a lovely photo of her beautiful granddaughter dressed for her prom.
Lee McCown Huey emailed that she did enjoy the reunion very much and life has been good since. Her daughter and she attended a ceremony in Annapolis that gave them the opportunity to see many of her husband’s family members. They had spent Lee’s mother-in- law’s 99th birthday with her in Delaware and took her to an amusement park to ride the merry go round in celebration, a great memory for them. Lee’s and her sister, Gail, ’61 spent a week at the Aspen Music Festival. Beautiful scenery and fabulous music, but best was the time together. Lee has enjoyed several trips to the NC Mountains to visit old friends who were on vacation there.
Peggy McCue Freymuth wrote that she is very proud to have been able to send an email – her first – about Bonnie Murray Bull’s husband’s death. Peggy has also written that she has been in touch with Gail Arnette Sinclair, who mentioned that Gail and Bonnie Murray Bull’s husband were related through Gail’s grandmother. Peggy was kind enough to let me know by sending an email for the first time – using daughter Anne Carter’s iPad.
Julia McCutcheon Bell’s husband, Jerome “Pete” Bell, died on August 25th. http://www.kistlerhardeefuneralhome.com/obituaries/Jerome-Pete-Bell/ – ! /Obituary. Frances Segars Kelley is the classmate who kindly let me know about this sad news.
Paula Moran sounds very happy and well. She still enjoys her cats and it sounds as though she is tempted to adopt another adorable kitten, this one is a Persian. While Paula misses working at Publix, she decided she should probably leave, but from time to time she goes shopping there to see her friends and customers. Her wonderful 13-year old Honda was bumped into and so she has bought another Honda, but is still getting used to it.
Bonnie Murray Bull’s husband, James Witte Bull, died on September 11th. Their three children live quite near Charleston and Holly Hill. Peggy McCue Freymuth was kind enough to share this sad news. http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/charleston/obituary.aspx?pid=186631101
Ida Pace Storrs sounds well and is so grateful to have a helper and friend who drives her to different appointments and shops for her. David also helps with sorting and tossing projects and lifts heavy things. Ida’s dog, Archie, still keeps her company and protects her. Ida mentioned that Rosalind Carrigan Hearon has had problems with bursitis. Gaby finally reached Roz in her hospital room and it seems she developed pneumonia and her doctors think heartburn problems are the result of a hiatal hernia.
Frances Segars Kelley writes that she is enjoying her membership in the Magnolia Garden Club, which has a very active group of 20 members. They enjoy being together at the meetings with guest speakers and field trips. She is still active in the DAR and the Jacob Kelley Historical House Guild. These two groups help Frances catch up with her family heritage regarding the Revolutionary war and the War Between the States. Of course Quilting is still fun. She enjoys making art quilts rather than conventional quilts and enjoys taking classes from Nationally and Internationally renown teachers. She loves any times with her granddaughters. Sadly Frances’ sister-in-law, Louise Woodham Kelley ’61, (“Floogie”) died on September 1st.
Flo Staklinski Taylor and husband, Bill had a great summer. They enjoyed going to Hilton Head, S.C. and Carolina Beach, N.C. several times. They also went on a cruise to Cuba and other areas. The Cincinnati Tennis Open was a fun trip with two other couples–seeing all the PROS play! They both are still very involved working with the St. Vincent de Paul Society, reading, playing tennis and enjoying their grandchildren. They feel truly blessed.
Joanne Tuten Bellamy is planning to have a fourth pacemaker installed just before Thanksgiving, but sounds well and busy. She wants to get in touch with Brenda Cromer Miller to welcome her to Pawley’s Island. Hurricane Matthew hit Joanne’s property pretty hard and one favorite huge oak tree is not happy, but Joanne is giving it vitamins and encouragement.
Cathy Ward Parker and I had such a nice telephone chat on October 23rd. What a strong and brave person! She is happy to be living in a very pleasant assisted living very near her former home. She sounds well and strong and is delighted to be living at Stonehaven in Port Moulton, Canada, which is very close to the water and Cathy’s former home. She is able to fix her own breakfast in her apartment/room as Stonehaven employees shop for her breakfast groceries. She enjoys having lunch and dinner in the group dining room and Cathy is delighted she no longer needs to shop, cook and clean up. You surely remember that Cathy’s wonderful house burned and her husband, Jim, died. After many months recuperating in hospitals she is able to walk with a cane, but uses a walker if she has a long trip to make. She is the youngest resident and enjoys the lovely people who work there and the other residents. One of the residents is 105 years old and is sharp and active as can be. Please let me know if you want her contact information. By the way, Cathy’s relative, Myra Grayson Nuttall, ’74 is the thoughtful relative who has kept the alumni office and me informed about Cathy Ward Parker’s disaster. Myra is a delight on the telephone and recently sent an email recalling the May Day when she was in the fifth grade and visited Cathy and Coker University and decided then and there that wanted to attend Coker – from which she graduated in 1974! Myra is a neighbor of our Eleanor Sharpton Pitts and Louise Dubose Webber was one of her high school teachers. Don’t you love small worlds?
Bruce Williams sent an email sharing that Mary-Frances ’64 is having trouble using her left hand, which is her dominant hand. They went to a surgeon at MUSC and he said one of the discs in her neck was pressing on her spinal cord. She had surgery and 4 weeks of rehab, but it did not fix the problem. So Mary Frances and Bruce tried more rehab by going on a 34 day cruise to Iceland, Greenland, Norway, Scotland, Holland, and Germany. This helped their attitude but did not do much for her left arm. Getting old is not for sissies. They are sorry to have missed oure 55th year reunion.
Fred Williams was kind enough to remember to let me know where in NYC his wife’s niece lives and is working as Principal in one of the (too few) Charter schools here. I hope he and Carolyn will be able to come to New York to visit her (and me?).
I have enjoyed curling up to read a lot of good books this summer and sitting on my balcony in the morning to enjoy the sun and heading up to the 37th floor of my building in the afternoons to swim and join friends or just read some more. It has been a very relaxing summer and then as September arrived, I have been so blessed to have good, long-time friends from far away come to visit NY and that has been such fun.. My son, John, and I have a “date night” every Monday and it is so nice to be able to catch up with each other and enjoy supper, talk and watch a few of our favorite TV shows which I have taped. I also am busy trying to sort and recycle or toss as are so many of us.
Please remember to keep us posted about changes in contact information (especially telephone numbers, mailing and email addresses). And if you hear news about our classmates, I would really appreciate your letting me know. Has anyone contact information about Sara Funderbirk Atkinson, Betty Mullins Blackerby, Carolyn Hawkins Hopper, Annie Blakley Stackley, Bea Duncan Weston and Karen Mansfield (who may have moved to Nebraska)? I’ve had problems trying to contact them.
Sending very best wishes to each of you for a blessed Thanksgiving, Christmas and the coming New Year, 2018,
Gaby Morandiere, 212.832.7462