Elaine Murphy Burnham
1 Orin Lane
York, ME 03909
I am looking out my sliding glass door watching two cardinals and a bluebird at the feeder. It is blustery and cold, a typical March day. Yet, the odds are pretty favorable that when you read this, the day will be warm if not hot — after all it will be summer and hopefully our lives will once again have at least a degree of the normalcy we once knew. My guess is that we will never again take our freedoms for granted.
I have to start this column commenting on how much fun it was seeing all of you at our Zoom meeting in March with Dan Churchill and his wife, Betty ’63H. Dan, I know I personally loved hearing of your early work experience and time spent in Europe. You have contributed in a variety of ways both to our class and to the university. A link to Dan’s interview can be found on our class page on the UMaine Alumni Association website: https://bit.ly/2PiDC8N.
A sincere welcome to Betty Churchill, who was made an honorary alumna of the University of Maine and the Class of 1963.
Perry Clough reports that over the years he has kept in touch with some classmates and with what’s happening in Orono through trips to Orono for meetings of the Alumni Association, the Business School Dean’s Advisory Committee and helping to plan reunions. He and his wife, Sue, lived in five states while he worked for Kodak, Johnson & Johnson, and Blackstone Medical, an orthopedic implant company. Although he doesn’t say much about it, I know from other sources he co-founded Blackstone Medical. Since retirement, he and Sue have stayed in Greenwich, RI, where he has been involved with two state boards, a town committee, and a couple of social groups. Like many of us he is looking forward to reunions.
From Augusta, ME, Melicent “Mickie” Chapman Versteeg writes that she and her husband have spent a very quiet year. After retiring as a senior program analysist for the state of Maine in 2004, she and her husband traveled. They have been to all 50 states, attended seven major parades, zip lined over alligators, glided over Bar Harbor, rode in a tri-motor airplane over Kalamazoo, and were in a wagon as part of the bicentennial wagon train. No wonder they have found this past year quiet.
Bill Blood called to say he was staying in Maine this winter and not going to Florida. For the last few years, he could be found on Sanibel Island during cold weather. Bill taught biology at South Portland High School, retiring in 1993. He lives in Harpswell with Debbie Comee ’65 and stays busy with a variety of interests.
After hearing about Dan’s webinar, Algis Kalvaitis reached out to me. He was introduced to Dan by Pat Cummings ’89, ’44H of the University of Maine Foundation at a university event on Capitol Hill. Algis spent the majority of his working career at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, retiring in 2004. Much of his career at NOAA focused on oceans and managing programs that placed scientists underwater using submersibles, remotely operated vehicles, and undersea laboratories. He had a very rewarding career and now volunteers as a docent at the National Museum of Natural History’s Sant Ocean Hall. He and his wife, Suzanne, will celebrate 55 years of marriage in the summer of 2021. They have two children and seven grandchildren, including two sets of twins.
I have also had the pleasure of chatting with Sally Hanson Foster, who calls Manchester, ME, home. Sally and her husband, Warren, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary last fall. Sally began college like many of us, residing in Chadbourne Hall freshman year. However, she then became a nontraditional student and graduated several years later. Sally credits the continued support of the UMaine faculty, who gave her the impetus to succeed. She taught history at Cony High School and is now retired. A granddaughter, Erika Everett, graduated from Maine in 2020.
Hopefully, as you read this column, plans are complete for a mini reunion in Portland this fall. As our class president, Dana Dolloff ’64G, said to me (he was quoting someone else), “At this age we can’t have too many reunions.”
Remember to check our class page on the UMaine Alumni website and get in touch. It is always a pleasure to hear from you.