Dear Classmates of 1962,
Betty Saunders Brooking unfortunately died on June 4, 2021 from complications related to Alzheimer’s. Her funeral was held in Ellicott City, MD. And her interment was held on 06/09121 in Timonium, MD. I believe she and husband, Hurley had moved to be close to one of their sons in Maryland.
It has been really nice to catch up with some of you and hope to remind you that we all would like to hear from everyone! Let’s see if my old brain can work well enough to collect and write up any news you are good enough to share. I hope you are well and have been able to function in spite of all the lockdowns, etc…We would love to find out about any plans, memories and changes in your lives. lf you know any news of our classmates and especially new or changed email and snail mail addresses, telephone numbers, l’d be so grateful to hear.
Our Class news is organized alphabetically by the last names we used when attending Coker. Bless you all and enjoy this summer,
300 East 54th Street, New York, NY 10A22
212.832.7462 and firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Bell Kittle and Joe have returned to Orkney Spring, VA for the summer and fall. They so enjoyed driving through a lot of upper Midwestern states last summer and fall. This past spring they drove from San Antonio to the Grand Canyon and back by way of Roswell, NM. lt has been wonderful to be able to visit so many places and meet so many interesting people. Mary and I were laughing about the fact that we’ve gotten so old and are so surprised.
Sherrie Berry Wolski – 5/16/21
My year—For Christmas my husband, Pat, gave me a small battery powered chain saw. lt is so neat, cuts pretty big limbs as big as the top part of my leg. Okay, I know I am not big. He doesn’t have a look of horror on his face when I use this one like he does every time I tell him I have to use the big chain saw. He just got a battery powered hedge trimmer for my birthday next month. I think he was either worried that I would electrocute myself if I kept using it or he was tired of taping the electric cord back together. Pat fell twice in
January and I could not get him up the second time. Called the Fire Department and they got here while I was still on the phone. They are only a fourth of a mile away. Took him to our hospital and after all the tests they sent him to the big hospital in Orlando. A woman doctor came in and started talking and you knew she knew what she was talking about. You don’t find doctors like that too often. She operated and cut the backs off five of his neck vertebra. He was in the operating room from 9:30 until 5:30. Hey he is eighty-one and I was getting worried. He said when he woke up the nurse told him to count from a hundred backwards by sevens. He said he ask her if she was kidding. Then he started and she said stop you are going too fast. Then she wanted to know how on earth he did it because no one had ever been able to do it. The next day when the doctor came in, she was so excited and called him her miracle patient. Said none of his stats changed the whole time. He is doing very well I think, but still has work to do on his walking. I am very blessed. Thank you God for always being with me.
Peggy Brown Buchanan 6/12/21 sounds well and happy. She is really blessed to be living in The Bishop Gadsden Episcopal Retirement Community. She enjoys the lectures, activities, the physical exercise programs, the people and wonderful meals. Peggy plays the piano for some Sunday night services. Her daughters are well and happy and her grand-twins have graduated from High School. Her granddaughter is planning to attend the College of Charleston this fall and her grandson enjoys a job working in landscaping and gardening.
I have her correct cell phone number and new email address.
Charlotte Daggett Bauguss says: I have such good memories of my “Coker nut” experience. Richard and I continue to be relatively well and sad news like this about Betty Saunders Brooking enforces our gratitude for ability to live independently. While the pandemic has certainly put a pause to our travel, we have arranged a few family trips to beach and mountains. Hope our other classmates are well. Enjoy every day.
Doris Duke Straight lives near Columbia where a daughter and a granddaughter live with her. Her son’s children are growing up and they live nearby. Doris is Iooking forward to visiting with her sister in McClellanville for a week,
Carol Elting Richardson has been well, and is grateful for the fact that her son, Brad, lives in their house and has been a big help this year. Carol has spoken to Charlotte Daggett Bauguss from time to time, but they have not been able to have real face-to-face visits.
Judith Ann Griggs is happy that her church is being able to function again and discovered that the daughter of their current minister is attending Coker. Various members of Judy’s family have missed their usual gatherings. But she mentioned that one of her cousins and she especially enjoy their Christmas Eves, when she and her cousin love to give gag gifts to each other. Last Christmas Eve Judy’s cousin made and gave Judy 12 masks with special designs for each month! Each one has come in very handy to celebrate each month.
Molly Holbrook Thomas – 5/16/21
Not much going on for me but as of today my upcoming trip to Jordan, Egypt, Petra, and the ancient Pyramids is on. Of course, this trip could be canceled at any time due to world events. I leave in late August and return mid September. This is the trip I have always dreamed of being able to take and if I don’t go now my age may not allow it later. Presently, my health is good, good sight and hearing is working well and I have the energy for such a trip. But I must remember that I am now, like most of us in the 1962 Coker class, in my eighties. This is considered advanced aging so I need to remember this. My children are well as are my grands, My newest family addition, a male cat who I have named Sebastian, has become a dear, sweet friend. He and I get along well together and seem to be able to read each other’s thoughts. Being quite young, he has kept me active during these months of isolation and given me great companionship. He will no doubt outlive me, being an indoor-only cat, so I have told my boys that I am leaving the house to the cat. That way I will know he is taken care of. (You know I am teasing.) Some of the activities that I was involved in are beginning to come back to life. lt seems like a rebirth of one’s life to me after these many months of confinement. Taking off the mask and being able to breathe freely again is reason to celebrate and get on with our lives. I thank God every day for life, health, and freedom of choice. I choose
to be happy and hope each of you do too.
Peggy McCue Freymuth via Facebook 06/12/21
I had surgery on my neck to replace a disc that appeared to be the
cause of numbness and tingling in my right arm and hand. That went well and reduced the pain level most of the time. However, a fall in which I landed flat on my back seems to have been the final straw for my right rotator cuff. I have surgery to replace the joint in July and hope that will eliminate the numbness and tingling on the right side. Yesterday, for about five minutes, my hand and most of my arm felt like it was on fire-far worse than any sunburn or regular burn l’ve ever had. Thank goodness it did not last longer. I finally seem to be on the verge of closing Wayne’s estate. I spent three hours with the accountant last Tuesday and have the tax forms ready to go in the mail. I dropped a copy off with the lawyer on my way home so things should progress from there. I will be SO happy when that is finally done. My brain no longer functions as it once did. Thank God for accountants! And to think I once thought of becoming one. lt’s a good thing I stuck with history. I took all the accounting classes Coker had but they did not have a major in it. I would not have left my friends nor the Civilization course to go anywhere else. My family is well. Anne and Shane have traveled several times so far this year and have three more trips planned. Harleigh continues to work for the same shoe store. While she is tired of it, a big advantage of moving between their stores here and in Beaufort she may keep it up until she graduates next year. Tanner starts his first real job on Thursday at a new car wash. He will finish high school next year and he has taped a video called Friday Nights under the direction of a local professional producer. He wrote the song and sings it. lt streams on YouTube and is pretty good, but of course, I am somewhat prejudiced. Grandmas have that right, I think. He had a solo in the theater arts program this year, receiving thunderous applause. How he can sing and act as though he is crying at the same time is beyond me. They were studying “Oklahoma” in class recently and he came home dying to play Curly, the lead, if you recall. He does have ambitions. I keep reminding him that music is a difficult business to break into but try not to discourage him but it is awfully quiet here. Do you have any idea how many of our class are still among the living? So many have passed away. Love to our classmates always, so many happy memories of days long gone.
From Lee McCown Huey: The plague year wasn’t bad at all for me. My sister(Coker ‘66) is also a widow. Our children brought her to my house last spring, and we spent the quarantine year together. It was wonderful for both of us. Never ran out of conversation or laughs. My son is across the road and kept us supplied. We have the best memories now. I have been in Delaware to celebrate my mother in law’s 103rd birthday. My daughter and I took her for a merry go round ride, which she loved. More good memories of days with my husband’s family after two years. I wish I could see our classmates. It is important to me at this time in my life.
Gabrielle (Gaby) Morandiere
So let’s see if my brain can work well enough to collect and write up any news you are good enough to share. I hope you are well and have been able to function in spite of all the lockdowns, etc… l know our classmates would love to find out about any plans, memories and changes in our lives. If you know any news of our classmates and even new or changed addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses, I’d be so grateful to hear. What a long and difficult time we have all been going through with Covid! New York City has changed drastically. We have been locked into our apartments for the most part and I am so grateful to have a small balcony where I can sit in a chaise with arm rests and a footrest while I look down 7 floors to watch the seasons change in a garden/park. lt has been a delight to have young children run, play and scoot. They have been learning to climb steps to and from a ledge even in ice and snow. Fortunately I have been able to order groceries and microwaveable meals from two places that deliver to my building and when the staff can bring the deliveries up to my apartment. I and a lot of other older people have forgotten how to walk on our streets properly – but we are improving and balancing better now that the weather is improving and the politicians are loosening some of their orders. Bless you all and enjoy this summer,
From Dee Pierce: formerly friend and contact for our alumni class of 1962, is the magician who made our reunions work so nicely and helped make sure that our class news was included in Coker’s newsletters. She recently wrote “l am writing to let you know that on May 28, my position at Coker will be eliminated and this email address will be gone.” I could never have succeeded as class representative without Dee’s help!
Valerie Powell White reached out just in time, thank goodness. She sounds just like herself and it was wonderful to catch up. Val had a hip replacement operation and while it has helped, there are some difficulties recuperating. Her daughter, Vanessa, who works for the NIH, was able to take about six weeks to stay with her recuperating mother and was able to work remotely. Vanessa has gotten married, and the two have decided to leave the big city of Washington and have bought a house in Bethesda, MD, where their lives can be more normal. They are waiting a while to actually move. Val enjoys being able to work in her garden and has continued to walk a neighbor’s dog for exercise, but the poor dog is showing it’s age. Val has especially missed her Yoga classes but looks forward to being able to find ways to move her body again. Oh, my! She was such a beautiful dancer. It is really hard to grow older, as we are all finding out!
Frances Segars Kelley sadly lost her husband, Henry, a year ago. She writes that she is finally getting out and going after COVID. Am at Camp Kinard near Columbia with 31 other ladies. We are having a sewing/quilting retreat. lt is fun to finally see and be with friends. Plan on spending a lot of time at the lake this summer and at the beach this fall.
Flo Staklinski Taylor – 5/16/21
Bill and I are vaccinated and ready to travel, HA! We wore masks and have been blessed in our health. Our trips to Greece and ltaly are cancelled. So, Hilton Head, SC and Carolina Beach, NC are on the calendar! We have extended our travels to 2022. Hope you all are well.
Nancy Thornhill Bolden
Nancy sounds happy, busy and well. She reports that her daughter has remarried – to a very nice man who has twins the same age as her son, Luke. Luke is now 6’3″, has his drivers’ license and wants to be a fisherman. Nancy has unfortunately lost a wonderful friend who enjoyed dancing and good music and would take Nancy on interesting and wonderful trips. Their last trip was to Puerto Rico where they enjoyed dancing and loved their bands.
Joanne Tuten Bellamy sounds happy and cheerful and is enjoying her yard and dogs. She’s been taking some trips to doctors in Charleston and sometimes her son, Mark, drives her there. She says that Pawley’s lsland has been bracing for a lot of traffic because so many people are happy to travel a bit again.