Class of 1957 Summer 2019 Class Notes

Pat Wade Fraker

Elva Brackett Alden sent a wonderful email telling of the long, fulfilling life she and her husband Howard “Howie” had together. After time in the Army, Howie earned his Ph.D. in forestry, and his academic career took him to the University of Michigan, the University of Idaho, and Colorado State University. Along the way, the couple had four children.

By the time he retired in 2003, Howie had done Peace Corps work in Peru, worked in Hungary, studied white rhinos in Southern Africa, taught as a Fulbright Scholar at Lincoln College in New Zealand in 1975, and in 1985 went as a Fulbright Scholar to New Zealand to work for the Department of Lands and Survey, developing the country’s recreation plan.

Once retired, Howie continued his involvement in many projects and received numerous honors, until he had a stroke and passed away in 2006.

Elva retired as a school district librarian/media manager in 2002 and is busy with community and church activities.

“I am just a general busybody with eight grandchildren and three great-grands,” she wrote. In 2009 she married Marshall Petring, a friend and widower from church. “Marshall’s wife passed away just a week after Howard. We are good companions, good friends, and he puts up with me. Life continues to have surprises,” she added.

Paul Taiganides wrote that his play, The Trial of Socrates, was enthusiastically received last summer in his village of Avdou in Greece, where Paul and his wife summer. Congratulations, Paul!

Wes English wrote: “Since 1999 I have been living in Florida and pretty much out of touch with things at UMaine. Since June 2017 my wife of 57 years [Elizabeth] had to be placed in memory care in Florida. Later that year, my daughter and I moved her to a memory care facility in Dover, NH. I therefore spent this past summer at a KOA campground in New Hampshire to be close to my wife and to help my daughter with the visitation. During the summer I made a number of trips to southern Maine, one of which was in September to have lunch with some of my Phi Mu Delta fraternity brothers. Bud Nolan was one of them.” Wes expects to be back at the KOA campground in Tamworth, NH, this summer. He said he hopes to be “mingling across the border in Maine as frequently as I can with the State Street Traditional Jazz Band and with the Phi Mu Deltas and anyone else who will have me.”

Mary Flood Thompson was in Maine at Floods Cove most of the summer. In the fall she had surgery in Boston that hopefully will relieve the excruciating neck pain she’s endured for years. Her email address is

John Bridge was honored in mid-September by the Kennebec Historical Society for his contributions to the society. John was a former Augusta mayor and construction business owner and has donated generously to many local organizations. John was presented with a framed copy of his biography. Congratulations, John!

Dottie Richards Marshall, her daughter, and traveling companions had a wonderful trip to Italy in May 2018. They toured several cities, thoroughly enjoyed many beautiful sights, and had wonderful food, especially the gelato!

Thanks to an article forwarded to me by Jan Higgins Nolan, we have this exciting news of Aram Garabedian, who was nominated as one of three individuals to receive the 2017 National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) Medallion Award for civic duty. I would urge you to go to this link: to read the full and very impressive article about our amazing classmate. Aram was quoted in the article as saying the award he received really made him happy because it recognized his lifelong dedication to two things: “helping the common good and making mom proud.” According to Aram, his mother always told him he should help everybody he could. It sounds as though you’ve done just that, Aram, in spades. I’m sure your mom is mighty proud of you!

It is with great sadness that I report the passing of our new class president, Connie Doe Leslie, on January 14, 2019. There will be a memorial service in July in Belfast, ME.

I sincerely hope you will read the full, unedited version of this article on the Class of ’57 page at

Please contact me now with news for the next edition.