Class of 1977 Summer 2021 Class Note

Pearl Turcotte Gapp
6 Cromwell Harbor Road
Bar Harbor, ME 04609
(207) 801-9216

Greetings, classmates! Welcome to summer 2021. I hope you are enjoying the nice summer weather, as we all ponder and muddle our way through post-vaccination “COVID normal.”
Here’s the latest news from our classmates:
I received a very nice email from Donald Breen. He retired in 2017 from the Department of the Army at Fort Drum, NY, with over 32 years of federal civilian service. He and his wife live in Theresa, NY, and have two grown children. Pre-COVID they enjoyed family day trips to Kingston and Ottawa, Ontario, and Toronto. They also visited Ireland and hope to return once the virus has run its course or something near global immunity prevails. Meanwhile, Don enjoys getting out and fishing.
Richard Balentine ‘83G has been inducted into the inaugural Hampden Academy Athletic Hall of Fame. Richard was Hampden Academy’s varsity girls’ and boys’ cross country coach from 1979 to 2016. He also coached indoor track and boys’ varsity basketball and taught in RSU 22 for 41 years.
Phillip Mateja G has retired after a 47-year career primarily working as an athletic trainer, including 13 years as AT at the University of Maine. In Phil’s words, “It has been a good run. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve done. It’s time to shift gears and go in a different direction.” After his wife of nearly 43 years, Judy, passed away unexpectedly in June 2020, Phil decided to retire and move to Saco, where he will be closer to his son and grandchildren.
John Burns is phasing out of his role as managing director of the Maine Venture Fund. He joined what was previously known as the Small Enterprise Growth Fund in 2000 and led it for 20 years. The fund was an outgrowth of the realization during Governor Angus King’s administration that Maine lagged the nation in research and development funding.
During John’s tenure, the fund has invested in over 80 companies. John is planning to travel with his family for a while, and then see what new and challenging options are ahead. 
Finally, I have some news of my own. I am thrilled to report that, after 42 years of living in exile, I have returned to Maine! My husband and I moved back to Bar Harbor last November. The new house was supposed to be completed by then but, five months later, construction still continues. Trust me when I say this has been a crash course in Home Building 101. Even though the move did not go according to plan, I am over the moon happy to be here and look forward to getting settled once the dust, quite literally, settles. Do get in touch if you are ever in the area!
That’s it for now. I don’t know what in-person activities will look like in 2021 but remain optimistic that life as we used to know it will slowly return. If you are fortunate enough to get together with UMO friends and classmates this summer please take pictures and send them along. Meanwhile, best to all of you — take care and stay well!