Class of 1978 Winter 2024 Class Note

 Brook Merrow has published a new young adult mystery, Trapped. The synopsis reads as follows:

“In a small coastal town in Maine, high school senior Ethan Olson struggles to investigate the disappearance of his brother, the death of a friend, and nonstop harassment that threatens his family’s lobstering livelihood. Despite help from a potential girlfriend — if only he can make the next move — Ethan must first overcome lingering trauma and guilt from a decade-old tragedy.”

Brook, originally a journalist, has taught English/language arts in middle and high school, as well as at the college level. She and her husband, Hy Adelman, live in Bass Harbor, ME. She claims to love tasteless movies, raunchy humor, exquisite irony, and all types of exercise.

Gary Merrill, the first non-family member to lead Hussey Seating, has stepped down as CEO. He remained in an advisory capacity through the end of 2023, after which he planned to assume a seat on their board of directors. Under Gary’s leadership, Hussey had four of its best five sales years in the history of the family-owned company. The North Berwick-based company, with 300 employees, manufactures stadium and arena seating as well as the telescopic bleachers found in most high schools.

Classmate Ned Lightner has a love of Belfast, ME. He is the station manager of the two local access channels that chronicle the goings-on in town — BC-TV is the local community access channel while BEL-TV is the local government access channel. In his role as station manager, Ned films events and meetings in Belfast and surrounding communities, edits his video to produce programming, takes cares of all the equipment, and even acts as the janitor to keep the studio clean. He even produced a children’s show that was picked up by a station in Cape Town, South Africa. “I admire those people that ask us what we can do for our community,” he said. “This makes me feel like I’m doing something good and making a difference in my little corner of the world.”

The Mark “Rookie” Letendre Award is presented annually to an outstanding athletic trainer who best reflects the ideals, dedication, loyalty, and commitment to the profession of athletic training and the University of Maine. Mark is in the UMaine Sports Hall of Fame, the National Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame, and is the recipient of the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Presidential Award. He served as the fundraising co-chair for the Wes Jordan Center education facility, located at Lengyel Gym. The Center is the hub of the new master’s degree-level training program, which started this fall.

We are sorry to report that Joyce C. Sutherland, who earned her master’s in zoology in 1978, passed away in August. After graduation from UMaine she had a long career as a teacher at Oak Grove Coburn School in Vassalboro. After retirement she lived in Brunswick. One of her sons, Peter Sutherland, is a 1983 graduate with a BS in electrical engineering.

I have started working two days a week as the chaplain at the new Homeless Services Center in Portland. The work can be heartbreaking and frustrating, yet it is incredibly rewarding. There are so many people trying to find a path forward in their lives.