Class of 1944

Welcome to the Class of 1944 official webpage on the University of Maine Alumni Association website. Here you will find any special announcements or reminders the Class of 1944 needs to know.

Class Officers 2009 - 2014

President: Albert Ehrenfried     Vice President:  Russell S. Bodwell       Secretary: Esther Holden Hopkins
Class Correspondents:
Joyce Iveney Ingalls        Executive Committee: Mildred Wooster Roberts

Eva Woodbrey Lekachman ‘44 died at 91 on her wedding anniversary, June 11,

2015. A 1940 Standish High School graduate, she was one of the most intelligent

and generous of women. Her late husband, Bob Lekachman, equally charitable

and scholarly, was a noted liberal economist and a superb writer and speaker.

Bob had an agreeable, humorous, keen, and when appropriate, most disarming

wit. Eva and Bob were truly a loving couple and very much wanted children of

their own. Sadly that was not to be.

With coursework at Westbrook Junior College in the summers of 1940-41, and a

B.A. degree in business administration with Phi Beta Kappa honors from the

University of Maine in 1943, Eva began her career working for RCA Victor and

then Price Waterhouse. She continued studies of business administration at

Northwestern University, earned the MBA at Columbia and then taught at two

other universities. Following studies of the Russian language, she became a

translator for the federal government. Later, Eva graduated from Columbia law

school and became a member or the New York State bar. As a public defender

she represented destitute, troubled young women who suffered from overly harsh

court actions in Manhattan.

Eva was a longtime, active liberal Democrat. She and Bob were very much

involved in the Riverside Democratic Reform Club. With the support of Eleanor

Roosevelt, Herbert Lehman and the reform Democratic movement of the late

’50s, they were instrumental in the election of William Fitts Ryan to Congress in

1960, an historic accomplishment in defeating the longtime entrenched

Democratic establishment Tammany Hall machine.

Serious in her knowledge and understanding of music, Eva was highly

accomplished at the piano. She took opportunities to entertain her many relatives

and their friends at performances at the Philharmonic, the Met, Carnegie Hall,

and Broadway shows. Her support was generous and frequent. She never

missed occasions such as graduations and birthdays. Eva challenged us, and

even though some could disagree with her politically, we all respected and loved

her. A family matriarch is gone and our world is now a much smaller place.

Written by her remaining siblings: Herbert, Victor ‘52, Henry ‘53, and James

Woodbrey ’56.

70th Reunion, July 22, 2014

Back row, left to right: Al Ehrenfried, Link Jewett, and Leslie Brewer
Front row, seated: Russ Bodwell, Joy Iveney Ingalls, Julius Goos, Barbara Doore Goodwin, and Sylvia Belden Pidacks

3 generations of UMaine Alumni

Click here to watch the smile box from the 70th Reunion on July 22, 2014.

CLICK HERE to read the class column from the Spring 2014 issue of MAINE Alumni Magazine.

Visiting in October are (seated) left to right: Pat Cummings '89, ’44H, interim vice president for development and alumni relations; Robert D. Buchanan ’44, Dorain Foster ’68H, and Bion Foster ’68, ’70G. Standing, left to right: Jeff Mills ’82, president of the UMaine Foundation, and Todd Saucier ’93, ’97G, ’44H, president of the UMaine Alumni Association.

The Class of 1944 participates in the Class Adoption Program and has adopted the Class of 2010.

Click here to see Smilebox of the Class of 1944 gathering on 7-23-13 by Pat Cummings '89, '44H.

Classmates and honorary members of the Class of ’44 gathered for lunch on July 23, 2013, in Orono. Front row (l-r): Bob Beverage, Don Bail, Al Ehrenfried, EdieAnne Young Hutchinson, and Russ Bodwell. Middle row (seated l-r): Leslie Brewer, Joe Ingalls, Joy Iveney Ingalls, Al McNeilly, and Pat Cummings ’89, ’44H. Back row (standing l-r): Jeff Mills ’82, ’44H, Todd Saucier ’93, ’97G, David Batuski ’44H, Jim Frick ’44H, Janet Waldron, Danny Williams ’91, ’94G, ’44H, David Bergquist ’66, ’69G, ’44H, Liz Downing ’77, ’44H, Doug Marchio ’44H, Chris Corro ’44H, and Dana Humphrey ’44H.

Class of 1944 Class Project

In 2003 the Class of '44 stepped forward to bring back a lost UMaine Tradition - the Bear's Den.  For generations of alumni, the Bear's Den was a favorite spot to meet friends, study, eat, or even have a drink.  When the Memorial Union underwent a major renovation in 2000-2002, the Bear's Den was demolished.   Thanks to the generosity of the Class of 1944, the Bear's Den is back at the Union, reminiscent of an old-style English pub. 

In 2006 the Class of '44 challenged the class of 2010 to elect officers, bring back class participation and unity, and leave their mark at UMaine. The Class of 2010 has created the Traditions Trail as their class project, and have held numerous class events on campus -- preserving tradition, establishing unity, and building a legacy with assistance from the Class of 1944.

Thanks to the Class of '44 for reviving this important UMaine tradition for future generations of Black Bears.

To make a gift to our Class Reunion Fund, contact the Reunion giving department at 1-800-934-2586 or give using the online giving form.

Below is the class column from the Summer 2013 issue of MAINE Alumni Magazine.

Joyce Iveney Ingalls
7 Seabury Lane
Yarmouth, ME 04096

Another year is in the offing and we think again about the Class of ’44—the good times we all had together, back in the ’40s and the almost annual get-togethers over the years planned by our good presidents, past and present. So we think about what to say now in our class notes. There’s not too much input in my file but I’ll let you know what I have received.
Not many Christmas cards from the class this year but those we received this year came from:
Al McNeilly: A great picture of him and his granddaughter Lib. But no note! We’ll be looking for a note next year, Al.
Esther Holden Hopkins says, “Maine news still enhances my days.” Hopefully Esther will get back east next summer and we’ll have an hour or so to visit with her.
Al Ehrenfried: A beautiful card (one of Jo Ann’s horse cards) with a couple of nice thank yous from our president.
Russ Bodwell ’47G: Sadly, this Christmas we remembered our honorary classmate, Barbara Higgins Bodwell (H), ’45, who passed away October 15, 2012. Barbara and Russ had enjoyed 66 ˝ years of married life. The letter that accompanied Russ’s Christmas card reflected on their life together and the close relationship they shared. It was very moving.
There was also a card from Pat Cummings (H) ’89 and Doug Marchio (H) sharing “best wishes” from Dana Humphrey (H).
I’ve had several notes from Rhoda Tolford Stone, who continues to enjoy the warm climate of Florida. Her family is nearby and she visits with them often.
Joe and I see Anita Stickney (H) at church each Sunday She is now at a retirement home, Oceanview in Falmouth, and seems to be quite content there. Several of her family members are in the area though her daughter Beth and family are currently living in Rome, Italy, where her husband heads an American School. Anita’s address is: Oceanview, 20 Blueberry Lane, Falmouth, ME 04105. I’m sure she would love to hear from any of you.
This seems to be all I have accumulated in my file. I do welcome any and all correspondence from classmates. I’m sure others of you have news that would be relevant. Keep those cards and letters coming!

This photo of Midi Roberts was sent in by her daughter Jean.  Midi was dressed as a UMaine Black Bear for Halloween 2012.

 Click here to photos and video of Al Ehrenfried's 90th Birthday Bash 6-19-12  at the Sherborn Inn

Class of '44 67th Reunion 7-27-11 at the Bear's Den

To see more photos of reunion by Pat Cummings, click here.

Homecoming 2010

The highlight of the afternoon was the unveiling of the 2010 Traditions Garden, a gift from the most recent graduating class with assistance from several other classes.  The traditions concept grew out of the class’s interaction with Al McNeilly ’44, who initiated the “adopt a class” program four years ago.  Asked to speak to first year students about UMaine traditions from the past, Al and the class formed a bond that led to the Class of ’44 working with the Class of 2010 to help them build class unity and make a difference to the university. According to class president, Ashley Robinson '10, the class could think of no better way to contribute than to help preserve the University’s heritage through their new garden.  The landscaped area with stepping stones, benches and plaques explaining each of the traditions, (such as Maine Day, Ivy Day, Senior Skulls and Sophomore Owls among others) is located on the side of Buchanan House facing the Lengyl Gym.  Students and alumni are invited to come sit and enjoy the quiet atmosphere.

Al McNeilly '44 with Ashley Robinson '10 at dedication of Tradition Gardens, Homecoming 2010.

Class of 2010 at dedication of Tradition Gardens, Homecoming 2010. Al McNeilly '44 is second from right.

Alvin “Al” McNeilly ’44 was also honored for his many contributions to the University and the Alumni Association with the creation of a new recognition society: The Alvin McNeilly Cornerstone Society. Members will have contributed a cumulative $10,000 or more to the University. Adrienne Pelletier ’05, ‘08G, Director of Alumni Giving, presented the plaque to McNeilly and quoted his many accomplishments and contributions. In accepting the honor, McNeilly talked about his relationship with the Class of 2010 and said, “If you are worried about next generation, don’t be.  These are smart kids who will make a mark on the world.”


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Class of 1944

Welcome to the Class of 1944 official webpage on the Univers...

Class of 1945

Welcome to the Class of 1945 official webpage on the Univers...

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