Class of 1969 News Summer 2020

Class Rep News

Patti Combs sent Easter Blessings that she is well.

Pat Hewitt sent the message for everyone to please stay safe and hold our Father’s hand because He has this.

 Joyce Tice wrote: John and I are staying put.  It’s a good thing that we still like each other and time passes quickly.  We are determined to stay busy and not just watch TV all day.  As I still have my business, it is never a dull moment in dealing with staff and clients.  Our staff is terrific and so eager to continue working from home.  We have Zoom conference calls each morning and again in the afternoons.  In the beginning, the calls were established to have some accountability but we have quickly learned that their real purpose is socialization.  The need to connect with others is something that we have all taken for granted for years.  Families come in many different forms and I am very grateful for all the personal connections that we have built over the years. With God’s help, we will survive this terrible ordeal and it is my hope that we will continue to be more prayerful, kinder and loving individuals. Be blessed and be safe.

 I received the good word that others were doing well too when I received Mother’s Day responses from Ginny Bagby, Diane Mann, Ruby Lynn Barnes and Linda Edwards. It is so good that we can stay in contact and learn about the well being of our classmates. It is especially great to have positive responses with the loss of our dear Mandy Hubbard Sedgwick still fresh in our hearts. I so appreciated that Carol Armstrong had seen the news to pass it to us even though it was sadness to share. I was certainly saddened to break the news to Carol Ruthven and then to the rest of our classmates.

 Many of our classmates were praying for Rebecca Krueger’s sister, Rachel from Coker’s 1965 Class.  So, it was a thankful time when Rebecca sent news that Rachel had undergone successful surgery and found a Rehab facility near her son in Greenville. Hyatt Brandt had sent a suggestion to try to help in their search.

 Ginny Bagby replied to let us know: “ Jack and I are in isolation due to his health risk because of his lung lymphoma.  We are staying busy with our church sewing ministry of making face masks as requested by our large medical community.  Such a VERY strange time we are in…..but God definitely has a purpose for allowing it. I believe many, many hearts are turning to HIM as believers are shining His light and His love into the world around them.”

 Jennie Smith sent us this news:Dick and I are doing fine as is our family. Actually we are enjoying staying put in Bluffton. Nancy Baker Bell (Class of ‘68)and I have enjoyed visiting (social distancing of course). She and her husband are sheltering in place for much of the week here on Estill Beach Circle also. In addition,  I have spent much time in our little yard planting, weeding, transplanting, and repotting. We have a bluebird nesting box and it has been so much fun for Dick and me to watch the bluebird pair busily raising four babies. Thankfully technology has kept us connected with our family. Face Timing with the grandchildren is not like actually being in the same room with them, of course. I am part of a Bible study via Zoom on Thursday afternoons led by our minister’s wife and a Zoom prayer group on Friday mornings.. I continue to take walks for exercise and listen to books on tape as I walk. Who would have ever guessed we would be living in such times as these. For so many it is a terrible, terrible situation. More than ever “People Need the Lord” and “Because He Lives” we can face tomorrow. Prayers for your safety, my dear classmates, Jennie

 Anne Blomeyer shared these sweet thoughts at the end of April: We are at home. Have been “in” with only about eight trips away from home since March 8th, for supplies and groceries and including trips to the post office to ship for my business. And we don’t plan to increase our frequency of leaving home until a miracle occurs and we start getting adequate testing availability and much better daily results with new cases. In the meantime, we are becoming skilled at three-dimensional Scrabble (UPWARDS), restoring/updating old houses via endless varieties of TV shows, and watching from our balcony for hawks who live in the parks around us. Bob retired, again!, in mid-January. The timing was like a miracle because we got him moved out of the rental duplex in Livingston, near Houston, where he’s been practicing on and off for about 10 years, and were able to donate excess kitchen stuff, bedding, his work clothes, etc., before the virus said, “stay home!” Otherwise, we’d be climbing over all that excess stuff going from the kitchen to the bedroom! Some of you know that my sweet father died, after a number of years with Alzheimer’s, in mid-January, (when I was in the middle of chairing the finals of the Juanita Miller Concerto Competition for the Texas Association for Symphony Orchestras, an annual statewide competition for student musicians grades 9-12.) Needless to say, my brain seemed to have exited my body during most of the finals! I finally began the grieving process, mindfully, in late January. And like all of you, I am also grieving the loss of our classmate, Mandy Hubbard Sedgwick. Thank you all who have been in contact and those who have sent air-wave thoughts and prayers in this crazy time. I hope everyone is safe and well along with their families and friends. Hope to see you at our next reunion! The last one was wonderful, wasn’t it? But we so missed those of you who couldn’t be there!

 Mary Merritt Benson sounded her always cheery self. She expressed how she has felt the best she has in 9 years! On March 6 she had the removal of the eye in which she had the retinal melanoma and is so thankful she made that decision. She says we need to have another reunion; she is “Reunion Ready”. You may recall she was not able to join us for the reunion because of the distortion and discomfort the eye was causing.

 Gail Worrell Townsend recently had a visit with her oncologist in Wilmington and had been given the news that everything was clear! It is such good news to hear she continues to get these good reports concerning her lung cancer. When I spoke with her she was enjoying keeping up with a couple of her grandchildren, since the daycare was closed. She has a total of 6 grands- 4 are boys and 2 are girls!

 Libut Hauser has a great tenderness for animals. She was taking care of birds in her yard when she learned of a cat staying near. As it turned out she brought the cat in and later discovered she was pregnant and the result was 6 kittens. Since she did not feel the animal shelter could take care of them as well as she, she still has them. She says that was not intended- she is not the Cat Lady! She also has 2 dogs for which she has been caring. Libut sent this word: “Wash your hands, wear a mask and stay well.”

 Even though Deborah Allen Vrooman did not graduate with our class, she still considers herself one of our classmates and we do too! She sent good wishes for good health for everyone. Here is another email or gmail address for her if you can not reach her at the one on our class list:

 Frankie Watson shared that she and Chip have plans to move to Summerville to be near their son and family. We will look forward to more news of those plans.  

 Connie Brock – My best for each of you, my dear classmates! As far as we know our family is well. We are proceeding with our vacation to the mountains with our son- Scott, daughter-in-law Tammy and our grandsons- Jake and Adam. We have not been with them since Scott’s birthday March 10. Jim and I are so ready to see them in person. Tammy who is a nurse at the hospital is planning to be tested before we leave to be sure all is good. She has been concerned that she doesn’t cause any germs to be carried to us especially since Jim has COPD. He is on an inhaler and doing fine with it. He still  continues to work and delay retirement. He currently still likes having that business propose. He seems to be gradually making preparation for when he will retire his business though. It is wonderful news to receive that we have secured a President for our Coker University! I am pleased that we now have our first female president. I look forward to her leadership. May each of you stay safe and healthy and keep in touch! Many blessings!

Carolyn McCutcheon Grayson – My family and I are all well, and we thank God for our good health. Our oldest granddaughter Grayson Caroline Copeland is graduating from high school this year. We hope that they will be able to have some sort of graduation ceremony in May (maybe a drive-by at the football stadium or something similar). We are so proud of her. She plans to attend Francis Marion University and major in nursing. Then, hopefully complete a degree as a pediatric physician assistant. May God bless all of you and keep you safe. “For He shall give His angels charge over you to keep you in all your ways” Psalm 91:11 

April Garnier PoitrasJoe and I celebrated our 50th Wedding Anniversary on Dec.20, 2019! We celebrated by inviting our sons and their families to a large cabin in the hill country of TX. We had great fun with our 3 grand kids, ages 3, 7, and 10. And our families did all of the cooking. One of our sons made a photo/music DVD of our years together. Also we traveled to Portugal and Spain for a month. Celebrated with local friends, too. We were glad to visit Austin for our granddaughter’s 4th birthday in March right before stay at home orders. I miss playing pickleball twice a week and miss friends at church; we have Sunday School via Zoom and services are on line. Most of all I miss our families in Austin, TX and in NJ, and FL. Hope we can safely travel soon! Glad we had our 50th Coker Reunion last year.

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