Class of 1953 Spring 2017 Class Note

Nancy Schott Plaisted

7 Ledgewater Drive

Kennebunk, ME 04043

(207) 967-1380


Our 64th Reunion is all set for late August in Freeport at the Harraseeket Inn (will let you know the specific date as soon as one is set). Hopefully you’ll be there, along with many other classmates. An informal reception is planned with lunch following. At that time, Helen Strong Hamilton, our class president, will receive the “Block M Award.” Congratulations, Helen!

Just think …our 65th Reunion is happening next year, 2018 … and Helen would like classmates to send along your picture when you were a student at the university and a present-day photo, to be added to the 1953 Memory Book that was put together for our 50th Reunion. (Other people can also be in the photos you send.) Please try your best and send them to Helen at 7 Riverwoods Drive, F101, Exeter, NH 03383. Thanks. Also, last year at our 63rd, classmates expressed an interest in going to Bar Harbor for a couple of days before heading to Orono for our big reunion. What do you think and what would you like to happen up in Orono? Give Helen a call at (603) 772-6432 or email:

Doug Vollmer’s photo appeared in the Maine Sunday Telegram in January, under the heading “Wild & Scenic Film Festival/Nov. 12,” so I gave him a call in Yarmouth. In the photo was one of Doug’s former biology students at the Maine College of Art who has produced films for a festival that involves environmental problems related to changes taking place in the Gulf of Maine due to anthropogenic climate change. (Did I get that right, Doug?) It’s an annual festival, held at the University of Southern Maine, to generate funds.

A Delta Tau fraternity guy, with a wildlife conservation major, originally of Sebasco, Doug and his wife, Kristina, moved a year and a half ago from a house to a “Bluffs” condominium “from Yarmouth to Yarmouth,” as he put it. Doug had just returned from a cataract surgery checkup, and it happened to be the day of their 54th wedding anniversary. He’ll be at Reunion —he was last year— and he keeps in touch with classmates Tom Laskey, of Woodstock, CT, and Pete Shumway, of Etna, NH.

Doug cycles 15 miles every day and cross-country skis locally when the snow is good—“not good now,” he said. He’s also doing a lot of reading—All the Light We Cannot See, by a Bowdoin graduate; Dark Money, about the Koch Brothers; and Boys in the Boat. Doug retired a year ago after 60 years (“Don‘t put another 0 after it,” he said) of teaching biology at Westbrook College, St. Joseph’s; USM, after starting out in Montana.

Tom Laskey, an Old Town ’49 grad, just came in from the town hall in Woodstock, CT, when I called, so he’s still involved in his life’s work—development. He was looking forward to March 2 and the Red Sox Spring Training game when the Alumni Association travels to Ft. Meyers and sponsors it all “big time,” as Tom said …with a tent and lunch. Tom spoke of renting a condo on the west coast with Carol, his “significant other.” (You can find Woody Beach at the game, too.) Tom and Carol were planning to going to Mexico for five nights, up in the mountains, which he can’t pronounce. He goes to the gym three times a week, does his own workout and paints. I think we should go see his 250-year-old barn, with its balconies, white painted railings, 1 hour from Hartford and 1 hour, 15 minutes from Boston.

And then there’s Pete Shumway and his wife, Kay, of Etna, NH. He and Tom spoke of the Naval Reserve, and the names floated by—Doug Vollmer, the Weatherbee brothers—I just have to write faster. Well, the Shumways fully retired Halloween 2010 from their Moose Mountain Lodge, (cross-country skiing) but still live there and are conserving the 330-acre tree farm through the local conservancy. The Appalachian Trail runs through it—Moose Mountain. Their son Warren and his wife, Marina, of Bow, NH, have a new baby boy, Peter, who joins his four-year-old brother, Bentley (just like the Biker’s Bar here in Arundel, after Bentley Warren). Pete left the university in ’52 to go in the Navy until ’55 and then Boston University, ’58 grad, “It took me nine years to go through four years of college,” he said. And he broke his hip, of course, cross-country skiing. He’s still on crutches as he had a second operation last August. Just have to stay out of snow, Pete!

Alanson “Mick” Noble’s name was mentioned, so I gave him a call in Otisfield. “I try to keep up with current events,” he said. “My mind is pretty good.” His secret for arthritic pain or a tremor? “A shot of vodka.” He has a truck, Virginia (whom he met at a dance) has a car, but neither drives one another’s. His secret to their happy marriage? “After 20 years, I realized she was the boss. After that, things went surprisingly well,” he said. They have four children (“none of them in jail,” he quipped), six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren; all live fairly locally, and Virginia is the organist at the Congregational Church in South Paris.

Here’s to another happy marriage, 65 years, that of Austin Carter Sr., and his wife, Charlene, of Herman. In the photo dated 7/4/2016 of the Bangor Daily News, the two are looking adoringly at one another at an “outdoor picnic attended by family and friends.” They were married on June 16, 1951, and have five children. Congratulations!!

Among the recent classmates who have died is Wallace I. Getchell, 85, of Punta, FL, and Standish, on Jan. 16, 2017 “after a brief illness,” as was written in the Portland Press Herald, Monday, January 23, 2017. “Wally, or Ace, as many knew him, was a well-known and respected Portland banker and loan officer who helped many area businesses, still thriving today, get their start. He also gave a lifetime of service to the states of Maine and New Hampshire, and to the nation as an Army National Guard Officer. Also, so sad to hear of his “beloved wife, Bert,” in 2010. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.

And more sad news. I said in my last notes, I would update you on Dr. Duncan “Sandy” Cameron ’60G, of Thornhill, Ontario, Canada. Sandy died Sept 26, 2016, of kidney failure with a service held Thanksgiving Day in Thornhill. I talked with his wife, Geraldine Judkins Cameron ’57, originally of North Anson, who said a tentative service is planned in the spring/summer, with his ashes spread over Mt. Katahdin. Sandy, a wildlife conservation major, went an extra year, graduating in ’54, and received advanced degrees: MEd UMaine; Ph.D. (zoology), University of California; and his post doctorate in Vancouver, British Columbia. As to his businesses: Professor Emeritus, Department of Biology, York University, Toronto; and President, Duncan M. Cameron Ltd., Environmental Consulting and Research, Thorndike. And there was his career. So long and varied, his special interests, including backpacking, gardening, photography, and his favorite memory (“Fellowship of Fraternity Life—Lambda Chi—(especially the humor”) and Most Remarkable Change: “Becoming a husband, parent, and grandparent. Gray hair. Occasionally getting serious about life.” He retired in 1992. We’ll miss you, Sandy. (I wish I could write more, but space does not allow, and there is so much to tell.) Our thoughts go out to you, Geraldine, their three children and five grandchildren.

This is it for another six months. Wishing you all the best—send news and photos, please!