Class of 1950 Summer 2021 Class Note

Ruth Holland Walsh
186 Jerry Browne Road
Apartment 1112
Mystic, CT 06355
(860) 536-6265

As we get ready to celebrate our 71st Reunion, I hope that our classmates, their families, and friends have remained healthy and safe during this past year!

I received a lovely note from Eva Burgess, who reported that she and her husband, Hank Newell, of Melbourne, FL, celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary in January. They are well and are delighted that their daughter and her husband are now neighbors in Florida. They also have a new great-grandson, Finn!

William York and his wife, Nancy, of Skowhegan, ME, celebrated 70 years of marriage with a drive-by anniversary party. After the coronavirus pandemic created increased restrictions on social gatherings, their family thought a car procession and outdoor event would be the perfect way to celebrate. Nancy’s wedding dress was pulled out of storage and displayed for all to enjoy and the celebration even included a renewal of their wedding vows! We hope for many more gala celebrations for this wonderful family.

Our treasurer Alton “Hoppy” and Dorothy Lord Hopkins of Nashua, NH, continue to volunteer in their community — from monitoring weekly bingo nights, providing transportation to those in need, VFW, Shriners, and hospital volunteerism. Dottie even knits caps and scarfs for the hospital. As you all remember, Hoppy was our treasurer for our entire stay at the University of Maine. He kept us honest and then some!

I am saddened to report that Imanuel Wexler, beloved husband of Betty Friedler Wexler, passed away in October 2020. Imanuel was an emeritus professor of economics at the University of Connecticut, where he taught for 37 years, specializing in international economics. He was considered an expert on the Marshall Plan and author of The Marshall Plan Revisited. Betty still lives in Storrs, CT, playing tennis when she can, enjoying time with her son and grandchildren, and participating in activities at the University of Connecticut.

Sadly, we also lost classmate Colby Chandler ’79 Hon. Sc.D. Colby joined Eastman Kodak as a quality control engineer. He became the company president in 1977, and from 1983-1990 was chairman and CEO. Colby was an active member of the Rochester, NY, Alumni Chapter.

Finally, we are mourning the loss of our beloved president and friend Henry Warren Saunders III, who passed away in February.

After graduating, he was commissioned in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, serving in the active reserves 1950-1963. During this time he met his wife, Marjorie. They were married in 1953.

As a young employee at Saunders Brothers, Henry flew a Piper J-3 Cub airplane over northern New England forest land surveying white and yellow birch. When he retired in 1986, Henry started building his dream house along the shores of Sebago Lake.

Henry received a number of awards — UMaine’s College of Forest Resources honored him with the Distinguished Service Award. The Alumni Association gave him a Black Bear Award, and he received a Francis Crowe Award from the College of Engineering. He was also a member of the Stillwater Society.

His lifelong dedication to education led him to set up several professorships at the University of Maine: the Henry W. Saunders Forestry Professorship; the Kenneth W. Saunders and Henry W. Saunders Professorship in Leadership and Management in memory of his son; and the Marjorie H. Saunders and Leslie S. McManus Leadership Professorship in memory of his wife and in honor of his daughter.

Henry created the Leadership Training Course, which has been taught at UMaine, and is designed to teach leadership at both the undergraduate and graduate level. He also established the Marjorie Higbee Saunders and Henry W. Saunders Endowed Scholarship Fund with Maine Medical Center/Tufts University School of Medicine Program to support doctor and nurse training.

He was generous with his time and talent and we will miss him dearly. He leaves his daughter, Leslie Saunders McManus, and his companion for many years, Karen Marie Reilly. And so, we honor Henry:

“Fill the steins to dear old Maine! / Shout ‘til the rafters ring!”

Stay healthy, everyone. Take care of yourselves. Wear your masks, wash your hands, watch your distance, and please get your vaccines. I am proud to say, I received both of mine!

Love, Ruthie