Frances Pratt Caswell
25 Thornton Way #106
Brunswick, ME 04011
I’m writing this in the midst of a fierce Maine winter. It brought a bad wind storm that left a lot of us without power for weeks and draped trees and power lines over the roads. That was followed by an ice storm the ice was measured in inches. We also experienced a blizzard that featured one of the biggest ocean surges ever recorded in Maine. I hope when you read this the sun is shining on you.
Elwood Beach writes that he is enjoying life at Ocean View, Falmouth, in the winter; but from April until it’s time to close the cottage, he can be found on Raymond Pond and he welcomes company with friends and relatives. Woody still plays the pipes at church services and at UMaine. At Reunion last September he became president of the Senior Alumni group. Congratulations, Woody.
Joan Wiswell Beach and I attended the annual UMaine luncheon at The Highlands in Topsham last November. Sarah Porter ’13 gave an informative and inspirational talk on heart and stroke awareness.
Our Class of ’51 Scholarship fund continues to help descendants. Alexander Thacker is a senior majoring incomputer science and a member of the Pep Band. He is from South Deerfield, MA. Both his parents and his grandfather, Vance Norton ’51, graduated from UMaine. Alex wrote, “Thank you for your generous contribution to my education at the University of Maine. Recently I have been required to take additional loans to help pay for college. This scholarship will go toward helping to pay for my tuition.” Benjamin Quimby is a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering and interested in concentrating in aeronautics. He is a member of Engineers Without Borders and the Rock Climbing Club. His parents attended UMaine, and his grandfather, Dodd Roberts ’51, ’55G, was a well-known professor at UMaine for many years. Ben has secured an internship at Neenah Paper in Brattleboro, VT, for the summer of 2018. He writes, ”I am very grateful that you chose me to receive this scholarship. This money will allow me to focus on schooling and not have to worry quite as much about the cost.”
Alan “Mike” Plaisted of St. Albans, VT, is very thankful for the progress medicine has made. In September 2017 he had transcatheter aortic valve replacement surgery and now looks forward to a much healthier life ahead.
Cora “Tillie” Laverty Duchaineau of Westbrook died September 29, 2017. Tillie graduated from Westbrook High School and majored in education at UMaine. She worked in the research department of S. D. Warren and Scott Paper Company for over 37 years, retiring in 1990. She was a member of Highland Lake Congregational Church, UCC; Mizpah Chapter #3, OES; the Westbrook Historical Society; and Rivermeadow Golf Club. She was predeceased by her husband, Paul Duchaineau.
Leslie W. Banks, Jr. of Kittery, died November 27, 2017. A member of the Penobscot Nation, Les was born on Indian Island in 1924 and spent his youth exploring the Penobscot River, learning to fish, hunt, and paddle canoes. He enlisted in the U.S. Army after attending Old Town High School. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge and was wounded in combat at St. Vith, Belgium. He was awarded the Purple Heart and the Silver Star for Gallantry in Action during WWII. Upon his return to the U.S. he married Marion Sibley. They celebrated their 70th anniversary in 2017. After earning a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering at UMaine, he went to work at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, where he was employed as a project manager until his retirement. Les was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed leading Boy Scout expeditions through the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. He built hunting camps on Roach Pond, hiked sections of the Appalachian Trail, and climbed Mt. Katahdin, most recently in his sixties. Les is survived by his wife, Marion, five children, five grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. In his obituary his family asked, “Please pass along a generous smile and kind words to whomever you may meet, just as Les Banks would have done.”
Your correspondent will be having a solo art show of oils and watercolors during August and September 2018 at Thornton Oaks in Brunswick. Do stop by if you are in town. Remember to contact me about your latest adventures or favorite memories of your days at UMaine.