Class of 1953 Winter 2024 Class Note

 The leaves and acorns are falling as I write, always late and every six months. Then I forgot how to do it. Computer-illiterate, that’s for sure, but I’m 92. Four classmates were at our 70th class Reunion in Orono in September: Helen Strong Hamilton, Exeter, NH; Jean Dolloff Kreizinger, Newtown, CT; Warren Noyes, Madison; and myself. Orono is such a pretty town, with its white houses and columns and trees, and as I neared town, I smelled pizza. Now there’s a scent waiting to be made. When I arrived at Buchanan Alumni House, I was happily surprised to see a huge inflatable bear’s head with its jaw wide open outside the entrance. I just had to have someone take my photo inside it.

The two days I was there, I ate (and ate), went to lectures, was entertained by the school’s Jazz Trio, sang the “Stein Song,” visited the bookstore (and its “pop-up” at Buchanan — a great idea), and talked to alumni of different years. We heard from a panel of non-traditionaI students and questions by the audience (very interesting). One sat at our table-Zachary Mitchell ’25, of Howland, business/marketing major. He had definite ideas of what he wanted to do with his life, how he would attain it. Even to the make of his car. Was it a Corvette? I did talk to a ’63 classmate, thinking he said ’53. A sociable fellow from Chicago.

I toured campus, visited my nephew, a freshman, and would have stayed another night for pre-game refreshments/socializing at the President’s House and watch the football game vs. Stony Brook, but not alone and too late/dark in getting home. At our class business meeting, a large beautiful arrangement of white flowers took center stage at our conference table. It was given in memory of Carol Prentiss Mower by her three sons. Carol was our class treasurer forever. At our meeting, we learned the names of our non-traditional scholar recipients: Sophie Kummer, a senior studying computer science from Fryeburg; and Kenzie Alley, a senior studying chemical engineering from Frankfort (ME). Jean brought up the idea of holding our 71st Reunion next year on the university’s Portland campus, making it closer for classmates to attend. Yes? We’ll wait and see. Also, Jean’s brother Dana ‘63 received the Black Bear Award. Congratulations! His wife, Sally, and daughter Lenore were there. Also, Jean’s brother Jim ’65 with his wife, Barbara, and Jean’s daughter Tracy attended.

On to classmates: 153 active; 46 lost; 675 deceased. This is an approximate figure.

Who owns a black Ford UMO 69 car? I saw it downtown Kennebunk in August. Just curious. (Mine is a gray Chevrolet UMO 53.)

Bev Finney Aker called me in August to say she wants classmates to know she’s “alive and well.” She gave me permission to print her address/phone: 242 Lincoln St., Lexington, MA 02421-7521, tel. (774) 249-5224. She’s interested in “everything,” has two children, four grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and drives a 2019 dark blue VW. (A reunion-goer, Orono was too far to drive, but Freeport is not.) So, perhaps we’ll see her in ’24. She knits, crochets, does jigsaw/Sudoku, reads mysteries, watches TV, and summers in Sebago. She mentioned classmate Ann Twombly Bonang of Brunswick.

I saw Bob Hunter’s wife, Nancy, at the Gorham House in Gorham about a month ago. They both live there, in separate units, as he needs a lot of care. He has had quite a time, having been hit by a vehicle in 2014, but he’s a survivor. (I was a 1949 Lewiston High School classmate of his.) Hi, Bob.

Dee Draper Weidemeyer, Clearwater, FL, married to Carleton “Woody,” is “doing great.” Mother of three daughters who live 3-12 miles away. I’d say they’re all set. She said she hasn’t been to Maine for about four years, to the cabin in Harpswell her father built in the 1950s. Her married granddaughter lives there, and her daughter breathes in the ocean air, takes a photo, and sends it to Dee.

Originally from Cornish, Dee, a med tech student who practiced for eight years, said her parents were “snowbirds” and wintered in Florida. Dee’s roommate at South Estabrooke was Peggy Given White, who recently died. (I’ll write about Peggy farther on)

Cynthia “Cindy” Cowan Dunlap, Orono, keeps moving. Hard to keep track of her. I finally reached her, and she said I could include her address and phone number: Orono Commons, 117 Bennoch Road, Orono, ME 04473; tel. (207) 866-3504. Please don’t move, Cindy. She’s back home in Orono, two blocks from Brownie’s Park.

Dawn Miller Woodbrey also said I can list her address/phone: 28 Harborview Dr., Stockton Springs, ME 04981; tel. (207) 433-0700. She’s near the ocean, watches the boats go by, and near her children and grandchildren. She also sees her great-grandchildren Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Dawn’s son and wife live with her.

I called Woody Carville at Dirigo Pines, Orono. who’s “alive and well,” but had a hard time hearing me. He handed the phone to Tom Perry ’67, who was visiting at the time. Tom, who lives on Bennoch Road, Orono, across the street from where Woody once lived, visits Woody once or twice a week. Tom said he took Woody to Brewer the Friday of Reunion to attend the induction of the entire 1951 football team into the University of Maine Sports Hall of Fame. He said Woody had been individually inducted earlier. Congratulations!

Now the sad news of classmates who are no longer with us.

Suzanne Tasker Rich Buteyn died April 22, 2023, in Holland, MI. Formerly of South Portland, she was a government major and Pi Beta Phi member. In the obituary I received from her son Mark’s wife, Diane Rich of Holland, “her enduring legacy as a woman of God, prayer warrior, and evangelist will serve family, friends, and unknown others, for generations to come.”

Lt. Col. James D. Murtha died July 6, 2023. From Colorado, Jim was at our 69th Reunion in Orono.

Dick Searles, of Old Orchard Beach, died July 20, 2023. He liked to watch the stock market and had fond memories of reunion in Bar Harbor. He and his wife, Joan, had been married 64 years.

Peggy Given White, of Reading, MA, formerly of Brunswick, died August 29, 2023. She graduated with honors and was a UMaine Black Bear. Her obituary stated that Peggy, a UMaine donor, and reunion and function attendee, “believed in the motto, ‘never stop learning.’” She had “incredible knowledge in many areas including history (especially British and the Royal Family), architecture.” She also was at our 69th Reunion.

I must close. Hoping to hear from you 1953 grads, spread out from sea to shining sea, and Dr. Robert M. Kellogg of West Vancouver, Canada.

The best always,