Ginny Bellinger Ollis
4022 Front Street
San Diego, CA 92103
I originally met Reinhard Zollitsch in German language class, just arrived from his native country to sharpen his English and related skills. He was our instructor. But cleverly, before he had us open our books, he spent several days sharing with us his love, pride, and enthusiasm for his native country. By the time we did turn to page 1 we were all so engaged, the study never felt like work but like a passion. He taught and did a lot of other professional and German cultural work for 42 years, but since has been paddling his way around waterways — the ocean, Lake Champlain, following the routes of John Cartier, John Cabot, and Henry Hudson; the entire German Baltic shoreline from Denmark to Poland. His longest was a 4,000-mile loop around the northeastern states and Canadian provinces and up through Newfoundland. He wrote up his stories for U.S., Canadian, and German magazines. (You can see his website at ZollitschCanoeAdventures.com.)
Beverley Baum Soule was with us until marriage interrupted her degree pursuit, but fulfilled her B.S. in social work and Master’s in Public Administration elsewhere. Her careers in both celebrated her determination. Beverley has been living in Maine the past 30 years and enjoys politics, gardening, and fly fishing. Wow, what a span.
Dana Leon Gerald was a member of our class who was killed in Vietnam three years after graduating. Many of us may have wonderful memories, and we promise to always hold our courageous veterans in our hearts.
Bob Gill majored in forestry and wildlife management, and then spent 25 years in engineering, mostly naval engineering. But since 1986 he has been deeply engaged in the salt water fisheries world in the Gulf of Mexico — business and fisheries management, policy, and education. And he has maintained his joyous sense of humor, remarking that with his last name, he had no choice!
Susan Oakes Ackor and late husband, Jefferson Ackor ’62, produced four UMO grads. She smiles that she still sees a few friends with masks and care, but before COVID loved traveling. She visited son Jeff and family in Seattle, WA, a city I know well for its art, marvelous landscape, and savvy entrepreneurs; her daughter in Coral Gables, FL, and her sons in Maine. I confess, the hardest thing for my life is being separated from my native New England, and especially Maine.
Helene Nardino Thompson (and husband Robert “Hank” Thompson ’62 Lambda Chi Alpha) have been living seven months a year in Naples, FL, and five months in Connecticut. They and neighbors in Naples have nightly outdoor happy hours wisely distanced. But she is busy: knitting comfort bears for Hospice, police department, and shelters; reading and jigsaw puzzles; and since retiring they have traveled to Russia, China, the Canary Islands, the Caribbean islands, Scandinavia, and five times to Italy — once to the towns of her ancestors! And she stays in touch with Nancy Poole Gavel, Nancy Conant Goodwin ’66G, Susie Conant Flynn ’66, Lou Clark Ellis Grant ’63, and Janiece Bacon Oblak ‘65. Taking life by the handle!
A 1961 grad and I are working to establish a So-Cal Alumni group (San Diego to L.A.), so if you know anyone who might be interested, all years, have them contact me. The last time I can recall we did this was a lobster dinner (must have been Maine lobsters — out here they don’t have claws, yuck!) at a spectacular home in Point Loma.