Class of 1954 Winter 2020 Class Note

Harmon D. & Jane Stevens Harvey

It seems that as we age, time passes so quickly! Our 65th Reunion took place at Orono in September. There were programs, a number of activities, and a class business meeting at the familiar Buchanan Alumni House. We hope our next column can report about the gathering of ‘54ers.

Most of you will remember, Mary ”Mac” MacKinnon Nelson, our co-column writer whose death we sadly reported about two years ago. We see Mac’s son, Lee Nelson, and his wife, Cindy Williams, as co-anchors regularly on WCSH-6, Portland, ME. We were very pleased to catch a special segment that Cindy did at the closing of last winter’s state legislative session. Of great concern at the time was passage of a Death with Dignity Bill. Cindy spoke eloquently and with passion of the struggles impacted by difficult death and its effects on all involved.

As we report about deaths, the June 9, 2019 Central Maine newspaper featured the obituary of Elliott R. Barker III of Boothbay, ME. Elliott graduated from Waterville HS and UMaine with a degree in chemical engineering and went on to a distinguished career in Virginia and Massachusetts. As a philanthropist he established the Elliott R. Barker III Professorship in Chemical Engineering at the University of Maine Foundation. He served on many local community boards and was a patron of the arts. Our condolences go out to his family.

While on the subject of Waterville High School, we received a Bangor Daily News article naming inductees of the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame, including Albert “Al” Halliday, who was a star athlete at Waterville High. He went on to coach the 10th Army basketball team in Germany. He has been active in officiating for over 50 years, working more than 2,000 games, including many regional and state championship contests. He has also served on the Maine Basketball Commission and Maine Principals Association.

More on basketball! The February 15, 2019 Kennebec Journal reported a special feature on Edward “Ed” S. Coffin. Ed has been attending high school tournament games at the Augusta Civic Center since the building opened in 1973. Almost from day one, Ed’s special seat has been Seat 17, Row H of Section 17, his home away from home. Every year Ed asks management if they are going to save his seat for him. Recently Ed was called in to the Civic Center for some “history.” Upon arrival, he was taken to the stands, where a sheet was removed from his favorite seat, then appearing as the only yellow seat in the entire stands and with the name COFFIN placed prominently in capital letters on the back!

A recent article in the Central Maine Sunday newspaper featured Fern Sterns, of Hallowell, in a story about the restoration of the Kennebec River after the Augusta Edwards Dam was breached several years ago. Fern described how the flora and fauna along the banks had recovered so naturally.

As we were working on this column an email arrived relating the death of William “Bill” S. Emery, age 94. Bill was born in Bryant Pond, ME, and served in the US Army in Germany during WW II. After the war Bill returned to Orono and earned a degree in engineering. Bill, married 70 years, and his family enjoyed travel and he, especially, journaling about his experiences. Our condolences go out to his family.

Closer to home, our family was especially gratified earlier this year when the love of my life (and spouse of 60 years), Jane Stevens Harvey, was celebrated by the Maine Health Care Association as one of about 20 individuals. Jane was honored at the Augusta Civic Center as part of the Remember Me Photography Exhibit & Recognition Ceremony. She had been nominated earlier by her assisted care facility staff in recognition of her lifetime career in early childhood development and community service achievements. Jane had earlier been honored as Hallowell (ME) Citizen of the Year in 2002.

Finally, we have just received notice from the University of Maine Foundation that this year’s award of $1,537 has been made from the Class of ‘54 Scholarship Fund to Morgan Moon, a wildlife ecology major. This good news should remind us all that the value of our UMaine education has been immeasurable. With this being the 65th anniversary of our graduation, a fitting act of gratitude might be a “pay it forward” gift to our Class of ‘54 Scholarship Fund or a bequest to the Foundation.