Class of 1966 Winter 2022 Class Note

With any kind of good fortune, by the time you see this the COVID Delta variant will have morphed into one called Levee, that not only causes no symptoms but also blocks the mutational development of any other form! OK, I was an experimental endocrinologist, not a virologist, but we can hope, can’t we?

Speaking of levees, my email blast resulted in a reply from Gary Vincent, who lives with his wife, Kathy, in a location where they are commonplace, New Orleans, LA. I mentioned a Columbia and Snake River cruise that Marge and I have booked, and coincidentally he and Kathy took a similar one three years ago and loved it. He strongly recommended the Hells Canyon side trip and a couple of historical stops. Marge and I saw that there were several associated winery tours.

While we’re covering the northwest, Anne Bostrom Sullivan reported that she and her husband are enjoying life on Whidbey Island, WA. They were expecting their first grandson in September, shortly after this was written. Anne has found life to get busier by the day, largely in her two-year stint as president of Washington State Federation of Garden Clubs, which is affiliated with both the Pacific Region Garden Clubs, and the National Garden Club. Before the pandemic, this resulted in travel to meetings and conferences across the country and interactions with other inspiring and dynamic garden club members. While Zoom meetings have continued, the face-to-face interactions of these gatherings have decreased, but access to online resources has provided previously unknown possibilities. Anne’s motto for successful aging is, “Do not audit life. Step up and make the most of life now!”

John and Linda Talbot Eaton reside in Marshfield Hills, on the South Shore outside of Boston, and enjoyed a few days away at a cabin on Sebago Lake in the middle of last August. Their eldest son, Paul Eaton ’19G, is a faculty member in the English Department at UMaine in Orono and is completely enjoying both teaching and interacting with his departmental colleagues. Their entire family loves the State of Maine in general and the University of Maine in particular.

Charlie Newell demonstrated New England persistence when his computer received my email but wouldn’t let him respond. He sent me a newsy response by snail mail (noting that autocorrect is the new white-out)! He fondly remembers the years at Maine, especially being a member of Phi Mu Delta and pitching in the 1964 College World Series (special thanks to Coach Jack Butterfield). After UMaine he joined the Marines and did a tour in Vietnam (Semper Fi to all other Marines). For 35 years he taught biology and coached baseball and soccer at two high schools in Bethel, ME. He and wife, Cathy ’68G, are the proud parents of two children and the doting grandparents of four grandchildren. He sends his best wishes to all ’66 classmates.

John Violette put his B.S .in mechanical engineering to good use working for Sikorsky Aircraft immediately after graduation, married his wife, Jean Brown Violette ’69, in ’67, and soon transferred to Hamilton Standard in Windsor Locks, CT. There he first worked on the backpacks for the Apollo moon mission, and then was in design and development of military and commuter propellers for 28 years (more on this below). Jean and John have four children and six grandchildren. After retiring from Hamilton in ’98, he and four other engineers founded their own small company, AeroComposites (ACI), developing and selling composite propellers to people building their own planes. This drew the interest of Sikorsky Aircraft, who used the ACI propeller as a pusher for their A2 Demo helicopter (now in the Air and Space Museum), which won an unofficial World Speed Record by doing 250 knots. He completed his professional career as president of another composite propeller company, RCT (Rotating Composite Technologies), which produced a stronger propeller for the Sikorsky S97 RAIDER helicopter. Since retirement and spending 54 years in Connecticut, John and Jean have moved to Maine, buying a condo in Gorham and a lakeside home in Weld on the shore of Lake Webb, where they enjoy kayaking, boating, and mountain climbing.

I recently received an email message from Clint Maxim. This was especially of interest to me because Clint, Nancy Scamman Huber, and I were not only UMaine ’66 classmates, but were also classmates in the “new” Bonney Eagle High first graduating class of ’62. We’ve sort of dispersed to three of the four winds, Nancy in Arizona, Clint in Florida, and me in Ohio. I keep in social media touch with Nancy but haven’t heard from Clint on a regular basis. After receiving his B.S. in chemical engineering, Clint spent his entire career in Springfield, MA, and retired in 2001. His family moved to Cape Cod in 2004 and to Florida in 2005. Sadly, his wife, Olivia, passed away in 2006. He is currently helping to raise his two great-grandsons, ages two and four. In his leisure hours he plays baritone sax in a community concert band of about 50 members, and in a Glenn Miller-style swing band (I remember you as a French horn player in BEHS orchestra, Clint). He reports that he tries to get back to Maine each summer to visit with the few remaining relatives and to enjoy the seafood, weather, and smaller crowds! And he apologizes for not remaining in close contact with UMaine. Great to hear from you, Clint!

Thanks to all the classmates who provided information for this column! Best wishes to all of you and we’ll be back with you in the summer.