Class of ’74 Fall 2017 Class Notes

Diantha Hawkes Grant

6999-02 Merrill Road #292

Jacksonville, FL 32277

(904) 860-3550


Greetings from the lakefront. By the time you receive the next alumni news, I will be back in Florida, hopefully working peak season at Amazon. I must be a glutton for punishment! This will be my third year of 10-hour days on my feet! Don Grant gets to be dog sitter/dog walker. Summers in Maine are always the best, if perhaps a little wetter this year, but there’s nowhere else we would rather be.

What are our classmates doing?

Cathy Anderson, former owner of The Briar Patch children’s bookstore in Bangor, has hit retirement! She transitioned from a degree in special education and a master’s in child development to working for many years at Eastern Maine Medical Center as a child life specialist. She was looking for a new opportunity in the mid-’90s and The Briar Patch happened to be for sale. The store weathered many changes in the Bangor economy, changes in location, and the electronic book age. After 22 years as her own boss, she decided it was time to enjoy some traveling with her husband, Stephen McKay, and Hawaii and Switzerland were on their bucket list. She was fortunate to find a buyer for her business, one of her employees as a matter of fact! Best wishes on a footloose retirement!

We had a nice note from Katherine Roberts Gaudet. She has used her degree in elementary education for the past 22 years at the Friends Academy in Massachusetts. She taught 4th grade but founded the Sally Borden Program in 2008. The program is for children with language-based learning differences and serves 45 students. She was promoted last year as assistant head of school for admissions and community engagement. She and her husband, Philip, have been married 41 years and have four sons, Justin, Connor, Devon, and Charles. Justin ’00, a scientist and Devon ’06, a mechanical engineer, are also Maine grads. Thank you for the update!

Winthrop town manager, Peter Nielsen ’01G, resigned from his position at the end of June. He was with the town for two years. We wish him well in his next move.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Portland and Bangor were among the many cities that received funding for Urban Renewal. One of the people currently involved in the soon-to-be disbanded Urban Renewal Authority is Bangor’s city solicitor, Norm Heitmann. He and Gerry Palmer ’70 were the only two people at a recent meeting and they discussed the next steps to officially end the authority. Funding for the Authority stopped in 1974, so there hasn’t been much to do. The city of Bangor purchased the remaining properties still owned by the Authority in 1987, according to Norm.

There was a nice note from Jennifer Stevenson regarding her father, David Stevenson ’92G. Besides his UMaine undergrad and master’s degrees, he received a doctorate from Boston University in 2007. He has taught music in Maine for 41 years and is currently director of the Mt. View High School Chamber Singers. Prior to his tenure at RSU3, he served as music educator/choral conductor in the Boothbay Region School Unit, an elementary music educator in the Searsport School District, and as the choral director at the Hinckley School. He is also a published author of choral arrangements and compositions through APIMusic. The Chamber Singers perform many concerts throughout the year and they have performed in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Italy, and England.

That’s all I have. I know that some of you are doing exciting things. Feel free to email me at with your updates. Go Blue!