Class of 1953 Summer 2021 Class Note

Nancy Schott Plaisted
7 Ledgewater Drive
Kennebunk, ME 04043
(207) 967-1380
207) 251-7655 cell

The pandemic (Covid-19, and other variants) is still with us, as I write in late March, but with more people being vaccinated, life is becoming more normal. It’s been a year like none other for everyone. TV, with Hallmark, Netflix, and other channels, has been a lifeline for me along with the holidays (although sitting outdoors with family and friends in March, and for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas was a bit chilly. Easter should be warmer. )

As usual, I called classmates, and was so happy when I found them. And here they are!

Tom Laskey, of Woodstock, CT, moved to a condo, Westview, in October, and is receiving therapy. When he drives to therapy, he likes to take along a couple of six-packs of doughnuts for the crew. And guess where they come from? His daughter orders them on Amazon from LaBree’s in Old Town and has them shipped to him. (He only had two packs of chocolate coconut ones left, his favorite.) Tom plans to travel to Lincoln to visit his sister, either in May or August. He spoke of classmate Doug Vollmer, who lives in Yarmouth. And on a sad note, his girlfriend, Carol, died in March. She will be missed.

Cindy Cowan Dunlap, who said I could print her address, lives at Dirigo Pines, 9 Alumni Drive, Apt. 180M, Orono, ME 04473. She sounds great. (Bob, her husband, died in 2019.) Cindy spoke of her daughter, Connie, of Ellsworth, who teaches art and gifted and talented children K-8th grade, who brought her an angel cake and flowers for her 90 th birthday in March. Cindy also spoke of her two sons, Dave ’81, of Albuquerque, NM, professor of physics; and Steve ’85, Orchard Park, NY, in charge of sales; and a grandson in Orono who commutes to work at Jackson Lab in Bar Harbor. Cindy, a zoology major, had planned to work with mice there, but along came husband and family. She also has five grandchildren, ages 31-15. Cindy also spoke of classmate Ann Grumley Lester, MD, of Miami, FL. I called Ann twice, left messages, but never heard back. Perhaps she’s moved.

Izzie Stearns Foss, of Temple (near Farmington), is “muddling along.” Mother of six, grandmother of 10, and great-grandmother of three, she knits, sews, reads, does puzzles, listens to Maine Public Radio, watches the Lawrence Welk show (I do too; makes me feel happy), and wishes the country “would come to its senses!” After graduation, Izzie said she worked as a medical technologist for 10-12 years and for the Federal Aviation Administration testing water in Milford, NH, for five years. (I’m not sure which came first.) She’ll be 91 in May and said: ”I can look at dusk a lot longer.” When asked if she has any animals: “A cat, do you want it?” Its name is Whitey, 15. She mentioned classmate Ruth Mitchell Hartley and husband, of Islesboro summers, who winter in Connecticut, and Shirley Stillings Keene and husband, Maurice ’52, of Auburn. I talked with Shirley, who said she’s lived in Auburn ever since they were married in 1954. Both still drive and they have three children (a daughter died in 2019): one daughter in Wisconsin; another in Tennessee; and a son, Steven ’81 in Canton, ME; five grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren, with another on the way.

Dave Hale, of Burlington, VT, had just had neck surgery a week before I called. I talked with his wife, Nancy, who said Dave was in rehab; she gave me his number, so I called him. However, he was in pain, so we only talked for a minute, if that. Hoping you’ll soon feel better, Dave. I think Nancy called him an “Adirondacker.” He loved to ski. Nancy said they usually winter in Punta Gorda, but not this past winter due to the pandemic. Nancy skis, hikes and said she’d been to Bar Harbor where the hotel and town were beautiful, but quiet.

Bob Hampson, of Newcomb, NY, a TKE fraternity man, a forestry major, is in rehab (pneumonia) in Lake Placid, NY, a little more than an hour from Newcomb. His son David, of Illinois, answered the phone, talked a minute, and then handed it to his mother, Margaret Snow Hampson ’64. We had a nice talk. She said Bob looked “terrific” when she had seen him that day and that their other son, Craig, of Charleston, SC, was arriving the next night, when David would fly out. Margaret (no nickname, but said, “Just as long as they call me to dinner,”) said she and Bob, married 52 years, had been to one reunion in Freeport. (They adopted a cat; Kitty-cat is his name.) She spoke of her roommate Elizabeth Blanchard Trouant ’64 and her husband, Peter ’64, of Meddybemps, ME, with one son in Alabama and one in Augusta. Get well soon!

Dave Beppler, of State College, PA, lives in a retirement community, a “wonderful, compatible neighborhood,’’ he said. “Yes, I took my nourishment this morning.” He’s still active and tries to reach out to his neighbors. He/they are also trying to establish a “demonstration” farm, “a small diversified farm, good crops and animals, so that it could be copied,” he said. This would be located in Malawi, Africa, “on the east side of the continent, below the Equator.” He said it needs “money, personnel, wisdom.” Let’s hope it succeeds. Dave also drives locally in his 2000, “off-silver” Toyota, with 185,000 miles. He also attends Wyman and Beppler family reunions and all are well.

Woody Carville, of Orono, is “standing up every morning,” does the dishes (he has a dishwasher), but “gets them back where they belong,” dusts, vacuums, washes clothes, mows, shovels, gardens — you get the picture, but he burns his oatmeal. So, off to Governor’s in Old Town he goes each morning! (And, he does have a cleaning woman come every two weeks.) He mentioned Bob Churchill’s wife, of New Hampshire and Florida, and said he sees her brother in Old Town. He spoke of cross country, basketball, and baseball at York High and playing football, left end, as a UMaine sophomore, continuing on his junior/senior years, 185 lbs. “I could run,” he said. Carry on!

Bob Hunter ’62G is now at Piper Shores Holbrook Nursing in Scarborough. Nancy, his wife, sent me an email last week and said he’s “OK, just celebrated his 90th birthday with Judy and family, their dog Lola from SC, Debbie and myself on March 19th. We had a small party with all of us there (he wearing a crown) with balloons and cake!”

Phil Hall, of Jefferson (“85 miles of roads, 2,800 people, 15 miles from everywhere, Damariscotta, Waldoboro — used to be called Balltown”), said he spends three hours exercising each day. He said he started out with the Class of ’52 in Brunswick, but graduated from Orono in 1953; received his doctorate in education in 1974 at Nova University in Florida (now Southeastern Florida University); his master’s at the University of Connecticut; and has been married to Joan 65 years. He spoke highly of Dean Shibles, dean of education at UMaine. “Dr. Phil” (the “first ‘Dr. Phil,’” as he refers to himself) said his eyesight is very limited, so someone comes in two days a week to help him with his computer work. He’s also enjoyed “Talking Books” the past three and a half years. He spoke of Jefferson, Damariscotta Lake, more small farms beginning, more woodworking people. Thanks!

And, on a sad note, our classmate Faith Taylor Diehl, of Annapolis, MD, died Jan. 14, 2021, of ovarian cancer. As her obituary in the Boston Sunday Globe read: “Home is the sailor, home from the sea.” Faith “worked as a charter chef in the Caribbean. She also made a ¾ around the world navigation, sailing from Annapolis west about to Knysna, South Africa. She was “happiest sailing across the bay from Back Creek.” For more than 40 years, Faith lived and worked in Annapolis. She was also “the technical librarian at ECAC/ITRI” and much more. She did make it to our 66th Reunion at the Harraseeket Inn in Freeport in 2019. Our sincere condolences to Faith’s family and friends.

On another sad note, our classmate Ron Bishop, of Cornelius, NC, died March 23, 2021, of pancreatic cancer. Ron was so outgoing, so ready to help those in need. As his obituary stated, after he moved to North Carolina in 1995, he became involved in "Our Towns Habitat for Humanity" in Cornelius, making international trips to build Habitat homes. For 10 consecutive years he built homes “with and for” local people in Guatemala “to improve the economic circumstances of families and communities in that country.” His life was an accomplished life. We’ll miss you, Ron. Condolences go out to your wife, Lorna, your family, and friends.

And, may I wish all of you good health, happiness, and just maybe, we’ll see one another in the fall at reunion time in Orono. You and I will know what has been decided before you read this. Until then —