Class of 1956 Fall 2017 Class Note

Faith Wixson Varney

69 Falmouth Rd.

Falmouth, ME 04105



I guess we knew what we were doing when we selected Bill Johnson as our class president. According to the April 9, 2017 edition of the Journal Tribune he has added one more award to his list – The Spirit of America Foundation Tribute honoring his volunteerism. He has been mayor and city councilor and served on many committees in the community and in his church – The First Parish Congregational Church, UCC. Mayor “Ron” Michaud presented the award to Bill at the city council meeting that Bill attended at his wife Mary’s ‘55 request. Ron was very complimentary to Bill at the presentation, saying Bill “represents what makes communities great. Bill has been a driving force in ensuring the community continues to be a vibrant and welcoming city.”

The officers and executive committee of our class met and elected the following to fill out the executive committee: Stuart P. Haskell, who will serve as our representative to the Senior Alumni group, which is planning a 9/14 and 9/15/18 reunion; as well as Evelyn Whitney Foster, Geraldine Wallace Williams, Robert J. Williams, Carroll Brown Mario, and John A Schwartz. They will also help on the mini-reunion planned for May 23 & 23, 2018 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Freeport. The following members of the Class of 1956 met the home of President Bill and Mary Johnson in Saco for a potluck lunch, business meeting, and planning session for a 2018 mini reunion: Betsy Harvey Ruff, Doc & Betty Brockway Nevers, Carolyn Bull Dahlgren, Grace Libby McKenlay, Joan Fuller Russell, & Faith Wixson Varney. Also present were Dan Willett and Dee Gardner from the UMaine Foundation. Doc Nevers reported on preliminary plans for the Mini-Reunion. He thanked Betsy and Carolyn for investigation venue possibilities. Ashley Nemer, from the UMaine Alumni office, has contacted the Hilton.

Judith Barker Carducci was about to leave for Australia to teach there again. She took another swing at beautiful Prague in October, having not been able to paint there last time after breaking her shoulder on the day of arrival. This one went better, and was followed by the fulfillment of a lifelong desire to see and paint Chartres cathedral, and then a final trip to southern France, where she’s taught for 10 years. In February she finally got to Israel, having had to bail on the plan to travel there two years ago, and she’s been busy creating paintings from sketches and notes she made since they were moving too fast to permit actual painting while there. In August her family and she will make what she’s sure will be her last trip to Italy, and in September she’ll be back on Monhegan Island for the annual painting trip. Meanwhile, the June/July issue of International Artist Magazine has an article by her on self portraits, for your reading enjoyment. It has images of some of her self portraits spanning her life from age 11 to now. Feeling her age physically but not otherwise! This long-distance traveling is due to be phased out—or at least curtailed.

Elwood Hewes was back in Maine (Sebago Lake in Standish) for the summer from South Carolina. I expect he’s back in South Carolina now.

Jerry Pangakis is doing fine and is excited that his eldest granddaughter just graduated from BC and his youngest daughter just adopted a baby boy! Senior golf league in his town has just started up so he gets out of Martha’s way for a few hours! All in all, life is good!

Andrea and Harold Hede took a Viking River Cruise on the Rhine River in June. They also took a pre-trip stay in Lucerne, Switzerland. He has been asked many times “what was the highlight of your trip?” He found each stop on the Rhine and Lucerne was special. They decided to do it while still in fairly good health. Andrea has had 3 back surgeries so walking was limited. He was interested in where his brother Howard [Class of 1953] had crossed the Rhine with the 103 Infantry in 1944. He would highly recommend this trip to anyone.

They sold their summer cottage in Bayside Northport a couple years ago. They may get up to Maine next year and visit his sisters.

Dick and Dena Jewett Ackerman just returned from a trip along the Maine coast to find my email. They started in Southwest Harbor, then south to Bailey Island, ending in Kennebunk Beach. Spent 3 nights in each place and had a little bit of every kind of weather. Started on June 13and returned home on the 23rd, celebrating their 58th anniversary with this trip! While in Southwest Harbor they drove up to the top of Cadillac and walked around the trail there on a beautiful sunny day. Also drove along Somes Sound, one of their favorite places. On a rainy day they went to the Seal Cove Auto Museum, where they saw a fantastic collection of antique autos. That place is worth a visit. Tell them Faith sent you.

Speaking of auto museums we visited one in Los Angles when we went out to Pasadena to see my sister Sharon Clark and her husband Glenn Gruber. We also toured the Huntington Gardens. It was a short trip but very worthwhile.

That’s all for now. You don’t have to wait until I write you. You can take the initiative, you know.