Class of 1961 Summer 2020 Class Note

Judy Ohr

So nice to hear from a fellow journalism major, Ron Drogin, who wrote a weekly sports column for the Campus. He says he chose not to pursue that career after graduation, fearing he might be working in some small Maine town, not being able to afford a lobster dinner. Now he is back in print writing for The Platina Post, the community quarterly in Boynton Beach, FL, and finds it challenging and fun although his editor deleted his comments about not taking photos in the gym and banning steroid usage.

Remembering our freshman English text — Chase and Sans — Wallace Hinckley mentioned that author Mary Ellen Chase, Class of 1909, was a great aunt. The Alumni Association is recognizing the Chase family with the Fogler Award for the accomplishment that 15 members of the Chase family attended the University. See the related story in this issue.

Meg Thompson Villarreal visited with Shirlene Heath Gosline ’73G as she recovered from her first knee surgery. They talked about our mini reunion and how great it was to see so many folks. Now on to our next one. It is not too early to save the date. Our 60th will be in September 2021. Betsy Flynn Drake and husband, Jack, enjoyed their fifth winter in Myrtle Beach, SC, and are grateful to be snowbirds. Etta Libby Davenport skipped her annual out-of-the-country trip this year but did go to New Sweden for their Midsommar Festival and visited with freshman roommate Mary Lou Nelson.

Rick Brennan updated me on his life. He married Helen Martin ‘59 and they had two children, Chris and Beth. Chris has his own real estate appraisal business; Beth earned her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia and taught at Arizona State University and Randolph Women’s College for a number of years. Rick retired from the Army in 1985 with 24 years of service that included assignments in the California Mohave Desert, UMass Senior ROTC instructor, tours in Italy and Germany, and, of course, two tours in Vietnam. After the army, the couple settled in the Richmond, VA, area. Post retirement from the service included 17 years of management in the IT industry, as a private consultant, and several years with a not-for-profit company creating jobs for people with disabilities. He and Helen have enjoyed many years of retirement travel in Europe for business and pleasure, including Berlin last May and southwestern France in November. Larry Schiner was honored by New Jersey City University, where he worked for 40 years.

Jean Ramsay Platt, Elaine Hoffses Davis, Judy Hackett Owens, and Leanne Duke Mitchell meet every five years since they turned 50. This year’s reunion was in Nashville where Jean’s daughters live. Elaine’s daughter lives in Kentucky and joined their reunion. They had a great time at the Grand Ole Opry and touring on the Nash Trash Bus. A special treat of Maine Lobster Rolls was enjoyed from Cousins Maine Lobster food truck. A neat photo of their reunion is on our webpage. then click on class notes, class pages, 1961. Scroll to photo album. And if you have a photo to add to our growing historical album, email it to me at the above address.

Although not a classmate but truly a special friend to so many of us, I heard from art professor Harry Greaver at Christmas time. He celebrated his 90th birthday in good health except for macular degeneration, which is limiting his time in his art gallery in Oregon. Fortunately, his wife, Hanne, is well and his three kids all live in the area. During my years at Maine, Prof. Greaver dispensed lots of advice about men to me. Alas, I didn’t listen!