Class of 1951 Winter 2021 Class Note

From the Bangor Daily News we learn Bryce Beattie was inducted into the Maine
Basketball Hall of Fame in January 2020. Bryce coached and accumulated more
than 400 wins at George Stevens, Freeport, Windham, and Noble high schools.
At Freeport, his teams won state championships in 1964, ’66, and ’69 with an up-
tempo style predicated on full-court pressure. Before retiring to North Berwick, he
coached and taught at Salem High School in Massachusetts. At the University of
Maine, Bryce majored in phys ed and belonged to Theta Chi.

From the Lincoln County News we learn George N. Weston celebrated his 100th
birthday on June 26, 2020. George was born in Alna, ME, and moved to
Nobleboro when he was young. During his birthday week friends stopped by his
home and wished him well from a distance due to the COVID-19 precautions. In
his honor friends gave donations to the Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder
Restoration, of which George had been a longtime supporter, although he
doesn’t enjoy alewives himself. He said, ”My grandfather had three smokehouses
… but alewives are too bony for me.”

George enjoyed the outdoors when he was young, fishing for large and
smallmouth bass in fresh water and striped bass in salt water. He graduated from
Lincoln Academy in 1938 and joined the navy in 1939, serving six years
throughout WWII. Before the war he was assigned to a patrol squadron based at
Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, NY, and in Greenland. After Pearl Harbor his
squadron was relocated to Hawaii, where it took part in Pacific Theater
reconnaissance. In 1943 George was transferred to Guadalcanal in the Solomon
Islands, where he served as a bombardier on a Consolidated B-24 Liberator, a
heavy bomber.

He returned to the U.S. in April 1944, but was called back into combat as a
gunnery officer in the South Pacific. He received several medals, including the
Distinguished Flying Cross.

After graduating from the University of Maine with a degree in mathematics,
George worked for the Navy Hydrographic Office for 23 years, becoming director
of the navigational science division of the Defense Mapping Agency. He retired
and returned to Damariscotta Mills in 1975. He says, ”A lot of new houses have
gone up. I see a lot of new people walking by.” He still mows his lawn on a riding
mower. He established the George and Helen Weston Fund for Mathematics to
purchase up-to-date technology for Lincoln Academy’s math department and was
named Lincoln Academy Alumnus of the Year in 2007.

Woody Beach, who is head of Senior Alumni, participated in UMaine’s Virtual
Reunion in September. The remote format enabled people to visit via Zoom and
to listen to presentations by various campus leaders.

Stanley Christianson called recently saying he enjoyed the 1951 class columns.
Stan majored in history, was a member of Phi Kappa Sigma, played in the
University of Maine Marching Band, and was in ROTC. He received his army
commission immediately after graduation and served in the Korean War. His first
wife, now deceased, was Margaret Knight ‘51. Before retiring, Stan worked as an insurance claim investigator for Liberty Mutual Insurance. He and his wife, Helen,
live at 60 Stafford Street, Apt. 204, Plymouth, MA, 02360-8117. His phone
number is (207) 253-9559, and he would love to hear from his fraternity brothers.

Ruth Curtis Joy, a resident of Needham, MA, passed away from COVID-19 on
May 28, 2020. She was predeceased by her husband, Wendell Joy ’51. They
were not close friends during their days at UMaine, but got together after college
when they were both employed by AT&T. Ruth was a senior account
representative before retirement. She was a member of Christ Episcopal Church
in Needham and active in its Steeple Exchange Program. She loved antiques,
especially antique dolls. While at the university, Ruth majored in sociology and
was a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority and Canterbury Club. She is survived
by two sons, Steven and David.

Millicent “Penny” Guptill Higgins, of Manchester, ME, died on November 5, 2019.
Penny was in the five-year nursing program so was technically a member of the
Class of 1952, but she enjoyed going to reunions and summer lunches with the
friends she had made during her first years at Orono. She was predeceased by
her husband, Thomas C. Higgins ’50. After graduation, Penny practiced nursing
and then returned to school for advanced degrees. In 1972 Penny earned an
MSN from Boston University, and in 1989 she completed her ED.D. from Boston
University. She taught at Newton-Wellesley School of Nursing in Newton, MA;
Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA; and St. Joseph’s College in Windham, ME.
She was a member of Sigma Tau, American Nursing Association, and the
National League for Nursing. Her published writing includes articles in
the Journal of Nursing Education, Journal of Continuing Education, and The
Maine Scholar. She was always active in the community life of the towns where
she lived, most recently in the Lithgow Book Club, a knitting circle, and Augusta
Senior College. She is survived by her daughter Diane Higgins Niles ’75.