E. Carolyn Zachary
Greetings from Midcoast Maine!
I heard from two classmates at Christmastime. From Sally Day Brown in Glastonbury, Conn., came the sad news that she lost her husband Roger in mid-March 2019 to complications of dementia. Our sincere sympathy, Sally.
From Beverly Smith Hance and husband Jim in Charlotte, N.C., came holiday greetings with a beautiful family photograph of Bev and Jim surrounded by children and grandchildren.
And then, in February, Stu Gerald emailed that his wife, Maggie Edgar Gerald, passed away in November 2019, leaving Stu, their son Jason, his wife Tanya and two grandsons, Alex and Max, who live in Minnesota.
“Our 51 years of marriage took us to exciting foreign lands and several states … 31 years in the Army, retiring in 1996, and we spent 23 wonderful years at our summer home in Belgrade Lakes. As an Army wife, she … very ably bore the challenges of establishing 25 households over the years.”
Maggie, a Chi Omega at UMaine, earned a Master of Fine Arts degree at New York University in 1968. “As a Bar Harbor girl, she always felt the strong tug of Maine and we were fortunate to be able to return each summer,” Stu wrote.
Jim Jandreau’s efforts have triggered considerable activity among several Vietnam-era veterans from our class who have been pooling their knowledge of others who served there and those who might have died in the war. Incidentally, Jim served almost 27 years with the Army.
From Horace Horton: “Hank Schmelzer, Owen Wells and I served and safely returned from Vietnam. While in country, I ran into John Ireland and fraternity brother Dick Perkins in Danang. Bill Flahive and I reminisced about Zim [Alan Zimmerman, who died in Vietnam], also a Phi Eta, at our 50th.”
Bill Flahive wrote that he was on orders for Vietnam three times but never served there – graduate study kept him from active duty until 1971.
“While I was at Ft. Sill, finishing OBC in January '71, Nixon changed everyone’s orders so that no one was scheduled for Vietnam,” Bill wrote. “The draw-down had begun. That news brought mixed reactions from all soldiers, but I had a wife and kids at that time so I was not disappointed to miss the separation that Vietnam would involve.”
Bill said he believes everyone else in his flight class at UMaine served in the war: Wayne Robbins, Larry Hower, Alan Zimmerman, Paul Stimson ’64, Axel Larson and Elwyn Wooster.
Jack Page and Norm Viger both wrote that Thomas Ferguson of Rumford, a Marine, died as a result of injuries in Vietnam; Norm said he found the names of both Tom and Alan on the traveling replica of the Vietnam Wall. Jim Jandreau said Alan’s name can be found at Panel 47E, Line 10, and Tom’s name at Panel 14E, Line 110, of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D. C.
Other names that have come up as having served in Vietnam include Don Herrick, Vic Whitehouse, possibly Craig Deakin, Joe Weston, and Steve Melgard, who was with the 82nd Airborne. Steve died in July 2018.
Thank you all for your service and sacrifice. I believe we will hear a full report at our 55th reunion Sept. 23; hope you saved the date, as requested, and plan to come.
Before I heard from so many of the veterans in our class, I issued a plaintive cry for content for these class notes, which now are published just twice a year. Horace and Barbara Waters Horton and Hank Schmelzer kindly responded.
Horace and Barbara pondered, via email, how they could have children over age 50 and grandchildren in college, acknowledging “that’s what happened when we graduated from Maine in ’65, were married a couple of weeks later, worked in D.C. and went off to see the world!”
Barbara taught high school while living in College Park, Maryland, and Horace worked at the National Security Agency at nearby Fort Meade until the Army beckoned, and he spent 1968 in Vietnam.
“Following the addition of two daughters and completing law school at Maryland, we hurried back to Maine, where I joined the law firm of Drummond and Drummond in Portland and where I remain after over 46 years,” he wrote.
Barbara eventually left teaching to become a residential real estate broker in Portland and Yarmouth, where they’ve lived since the fall of 1973.
Also heeding my call, Hank Schmelzer wrote that he is now on the board of the University of Maine Foundation and chairs the Investment Committee for the foundation’s $240 million endowment.
“Also, I am continuing to teach Italian occasionally at Acadia Senior College,” Hank wrote, “and my wife, Cynthia Livingston, and I continue to hike, ski and travel regularly in our beloved Dolomites.”
Dave Swett stopped by the newspaper office to say hello last summer on his annual visit to his hometown.
We made a couple of trips to Presque Isle last summer and fall with our miniature dachshunds to see my UMaine roommate, Carol Farley Hartt and her miniature dachshunds. Beautiful country up there in The County!
I’m now assistant editor of The Republican Journal, at 191 the oldest weekly newspaper in the state. My husband and I live in rural Waldo, which borders Belfast, with two dogs, three cats and four chickens: Maine, the way life should be!
And that’s all she wrote. Until next time.