Class of 1953 Winter 2022 Class Note

We are the Class of ’53. Yes, we certainly are and some of you were at our 69th Reunion September 8-10 on the Orono campus. Present were: Helen Strong Hamilton, class president; Woody Carville; Peggy Given White with her son Tom ’80 and his wife, Joanne ’83; Jean Dolloff Kreizinger with her brother Dana ’63, and her daughter Tracy; Jim Murtha; Warren Noyes; and Nancy Schott Plaisted, who would love to hear from you.


I had taken a few notes at Reunion, and I had a few people write about themselves, but they’ve flown into oblivion (notes, I mean). I did so want to write about Jim, since I never had, but all I can say at the moment (until he emails me or calls) is that he came all the way from Colorado Springs, CO, to perhaps the only reunion he’s attended, that he was traveling to his hometown of Jackman, majored in civil engineering, belonged to Beta Theta Pi, has a great smile, is very congenial, and writes beautifully. Until the next issue, Jim. So sorry.


Our Reunion was filled with tours, guest speakers, a cocktail hour, All Alumni dinner, class meeting, reunion lunch with student guests, and closing reception. We certainly didn’t starve (food and drink were more than plentiful and delicious); student guests’ talks were very informative; and the university flute ensemble of four was totally unexpected and unique. I took the Hudson Museum tour on the second floor of the Collins Center for the Arts and was surprised that it even existed, on the floor above, that the North American Collection was so large, so beautifully exhibited.


I had breakfast at Governor’s with Jean Dolloff Kreizinger and family Friday morning, and of course paid the bookstore a visit. I also attended the pregame brunch at the President’s House Saturday morning (more a feast). What a grand performance, just outside, of UMaine’s Marching Band! I also met two ’62 class members there: Brenda Freeman Kuich and Betty Kingsbury Kimbrell, and her husband, Jim, and Black Bears’ “Bananas.” (Brenda is my sister Joan Schott Wiebe’s classmate, and Betty, the mother of my daughter’s high school classmate.)


At the class meeting, it was noted the 1953 scholarship recipients were Ethan Schwartz, a senior studying financial economics, and Hailey Fenwick, a senior studying biology. The 1953 Class Fund balance held at the Alumni Association, as of July 31, 2022, was $5,818. The class voted to move $1,000 from the 1953 Class Fund to the Honors Center Renovation fund as a donation from the class. The class also voted to transfer $818 from the 1953 Class Fund to the Class of 1953 Scholarship fund as a reunion gift from the class.


Just a note: I was watching a Patriots/Ravens game a few weeks ago with my son-in-law, when he pointed out that Ravens’ 6’3” fullback No. 42 Patrick Ricard had played college football for UMaine. A great fullback!


I stopped on my way home after Reunion to visit Dawn Miller Woodbrey, who lives in a cottage at Dirigo Pines in Orono. I enjoyed our time together-we talked on and on-about everything.

Zeke Mavodones, of Poughkeepsie, NY, calls/emails from time to time. He and his wife haven’t been feeling well lately. In fact, Zeke said he had been way too close to dying, but they’re better now, thank goodness. Stay well.


I had a voicemail from Bob Parsons, of Greencastle, IN, last week and called him back. He wanted to let me know that his wife, Beverly Pettengill Parsons, our classmate, had died July 5, 2022. A retired physician, he spoke of how they met in composition class in 1951 at UMaine (seated alphabetically) in Stevens Hall. Bob, a WWII veteran who spent a year at the Naval Air Station in Brunswick before the barracks at UMaine, said: “‘Bevy’ was kind of a giant.” After reading her obituary in the Maine Sunday Telegram, I’d say she was. He also spoke the names of Izzy Stearns, Lois Hunter, Leroy Peasely (Marines ’51, graduated ’53), and Carolyn Borstel and Connie Webb Korda, both deceased. The following is from the Telegram: “Despite 55 years in their beloved Streater IL, home, Bev and Bob remained Mainers. Bev wrote of her beloved, ‘he is the only person I know that craves a walk through the pines after a refreshing summer rain like I do’ and ‘even if I paid double in sorrow for every joy we’ve had together, it would be worth it to me.’”


I am saddened to list other classmates who are no longer with us, who died in 2022: Angelina Fioretta (Parisi) Olenezak, Palm City, FL, July 15; Patricia Huddleston DiMatteo, Cumberland Foreside, June 10; Priscilla Gordon Gallagher, Presque Isle; Patricia McCormick Wilkinson, Augusta, April 19. Such great classmates.


I don’t like to end this sad way, so please enjoy the life we have and try to be at our 70th Reunion in Orono in 2023. Meanwhile, I’d love to hear your voice.