Winter 2014

Bonnie Beaver wrote: Leaving on our summer family trip to the Galapagos and Panama. Also planned for our 30th Anniversary, we are going to Burma and Viet Nam in December.   I’m still quite busy providing GYN care now that so many more women have insurance thanks to the ACA. Younger daughter Gabrielle is starting her MBA at Northwestern so we are back to paying some more tuition!

Evelyn Brown just got back from a 3-week trip to Hawaii: 3 weeks, 3 islands. I actually stood up on a surfboard. Never too old to try something new. What a great way to spend the Welcome-to-Medicare birthday!

Otherwise, I am still volunteering with Operation Gratitude where I not only do hands-on tasks and represent them as part of their speakers’ bureau, but also get to practice my hobby as one of their “official” event photographers.

I have been running half-marathons, about one a month all year. Having fun traveling for the races. Even found a race during our trip to Hawaii.

Katherine Dietz and husband Dave have three granddaughters; our older son has a 2 1/2 year old and a 6 month old and our daughter has an 11-month old. It is as much fun as everyone said it would be. Our younger son finished his time in the Marines, including seven months as an infantry platoon commander in Afghanistan. I’m glad that period in our lives is over. I see Cally Huff Burns frequently.

Sandra Renee Jones El-Amin has received a Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology on June 1, 2014.

Diane St. Cyr Francis writes that her younger daughter Hillary gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Courtney Renee, on Dec. 13, 2013. “This makes the #13 very lucky for us! Courtney joins her older brother A.J. (Anthony James) who is now 2 and a half. Hillary and her family travelled to visit with us for 2 weeks over the July 4th holiday. It is a delight to be a grandmother.”

Karen Di Franza is enjoying the summer working with students from our local high school in the composting and organic gardening program I started in 2008 – ( .

“During vacation months, we sell our produce at the farmers’ market and make health products from our garden herbs. Once school begins, all our produce goes into the cafeteria. The kids are inspiring!”

“I’m also tending our down-sized gardens ( with adult children on their own, fewer veggies, more flowers!) and doing lots of swimming. Our grandchildren – and their parents! – have moved from our small town in central Mass. to Northampton., and we visit frequently.”

Susan Garber has officially retired! ‘After a solid year of looking very hard’, she wrote, ‘I have stopped looking for a job in my field (IT Business Analyst) and retired. I find it’s not much different from my life when I was looking for a job. So far, I’m enjoying the pressure being off. I volunteer at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, leading tours for physically or developmentally challenged individuals and groups of all types. The idea is to provide “Access” to all who want to visit the museum.

I adopted a “new” shelter dog, so have 2 again – I highly recommend it!’

Ellen Grew is still actively working (had kids later in life, divorced, so no early retirement for her). She’s living in N Reading, MA.

She entered into insurance sales at age 58 (her last career change), now a district manager for Aflac with a dozen agents (enables employers, even very small businesses to offer rich benefits to their staff at no cost to their businesses). Such “voluntary” benefits are increasingly important in today’s rapidly changing health care landscape (high deductible health care plans).

Ellen has two daughters – Stephanie (24, Yale 2012) starting Harvard Law in September; Kimberly (20) starting her sophomore year as a  transfer student at Burlington College in Burlington, VT, small, progressive, interdisciplinary school with a focus on applied arts, where she will major in art therapy, she is hoping to work with children with autism and learning disabilities.

Susan Salomon Hargett sent this: In October of last year, my daughter had a baby girl and I became the full-time nanny.  For all these months, I’ve been amazed at how much I had forgotten (too stressed or too tired at the time?) about my own daughter’s infancy and early development. I am thrilled that I can have the opportunity once again to see how incredible babies are! A friend shared a saying with me that “Grandchildren are like icing on the cake of life” and I totally agree!

Nancy Jianakoplos wrote: My Smith experience greatly enhanced my trip to Europe this summer. I was delighted to find that the French I learned for JYA in Geneva came back and allowed me to inquire — totally in French — about purchasing an SD card in a shop on Mont St.-Michel. I could also explain -totally in French– to a Metro employee in Paris that none of the tickets in my brand new carnet worked in the machines. (I had demagnetized them in my purse.)

Best of all, I had the pleasure of meeting Louise Armstrong ’69 and Susan Seamans ’70, both from Comstock House, on a river cruise through Germany. The company of exceptional Smith women made the cruise so much more interesting. Otherwise, I have 2 new titanium hips, so I don’t limp when I walk and I continue as an Economics professor at Colorado State University, a job I continue to enjoy and find very stimulating.

From Kitty Lansdale: This year I was quite fortunate to start the summer with a beautiful 2 week trip in England, beginning in London at The Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge, which I highly recommend. Traveling with old and dear friends adds so much to the enjoyment of any trip. We explored various parts of the country, staying in historic properties starting with Lucknam Park Estate near Bath, moving on through the Cotswold’s, then to a country house called Gidleigh Park in Devon, surrounded by the wilds of the Dartmoors. Our final stop was Chewton Glen, nestled in the mystical New Forest, located within walking distance of the sea on Christ Church Bay overlooking the Isle of Wight.

All too soon the real world of life and work in Washington, DC returned. But I do love the Nation’s Capital and have been here for 40 years. After 31 years of Lansdale Associates, I will be downsizing somewhat and moving my business to my home office in 2015, which I am looking forward to. There is more to life than work. We are currently busy working on our events for fall including one for one of my oldest clients, The Children’s Defense Fund, headed up by one of my great heroes, Marian Wright Edelman. I remember hearing her speak at Smith while we were students there. She remains an inspiring force for justice, civil rights, and children. If anyone is interested in knowing more about Lansdale Associates, please take a peek at my website:

Sarah McElhone Moriarty’72 sent this Wilder Wenches- 3rd reconnection report: A wonderful weekend chez Bonnie Blair O’Connor ’71. She was recently named professor emerita, Brown U Med School; we are so proud of her. There were Wilder Wenches from ‘71 thru ‘74.and “Wenchmen.”.

Submitted by Sarah McElhone Moriarty’72, a Wilder Wench:  08-15-14 In the photo (left to right) Carla Montori '71, Marion Hamill '73. Sarah McElhone Moriarty '72, Michael Maggiani UMass’71, Bonnie Blair O'Connor '71, Jane Hathaway Mitchell '74; Helena Bentz Hartnett '73.  In the afternoon Judy Lesser '73 briefly visited, we Skyped Margie Allen '73, texted Lizzie Reutlinger '72 and talked to Fred Snider, Amherst '72.

Submitted by Sarah McElhone Moriarty’72, a Wilder Wench: 08-15-14
In the photo (left to right) Carla Montori ’71, Marion Hamill ’73. Sarah McElhone Moriarty ’72, Michael Maggiani UMass’71, Bonnie Blair O’Connor ’71, Jane Hathaway Mitchell ’74; Helena Bentz Hartnett ’73. In the afternoon Judy Lesser ’73 briefly visited, we Skyped Margie Allen ’73, texted Lizzie Reutlinger ’72 and talked to Fred Snider, Amherst ’72.

Tiffany Baker Mullican wrote: My husband and I moved to Richmond,Virginia two years ago to retire. We have a lovely little house on the water and enjoy the views every day. I wish I enjoyed retirement as much; I am bored to death! So I have been actively looking for a part time job in emergency nursing.

Winter-2014---Tiffany-Baker-MullicanTiffany with her four children taken at daughter Emily’s wedding this past November. (left to right Katherine, Bride Emily, Mom Tiffany, Courtney, and Tommy)

Lucy Bodine Nattrass stepped down from her time consuming voluntary role as a senior administrator in the Scout Movement after ten fulfilling years, but still enjoys taking part in camps and events. Part time work continues as a teacher of ESOL(English for Speakers of Other Languages) in a poor area of Manchester. She appreciate getting to know cultures and festivals from all over the world especially troubled areas such as Somalia, Syria and Iran. Lucy and her husband enjoy singing in small choirs, playing chamber music, playing in orchestras and attending plays and concerts. Their three children are teachers: one in Manhattan, one in Berlin and one in London, so holidays always involve cheerful travelling to see them.

Mary Jo Hull Robison writes: After sharing the rather unorthodox task of raising and homeschooling 10 children with my husband of 43 years (Rich, MIT ’72), I decided to brave the other side of the desk and become a pupil once again. And so it is that, 7 years later, I found myself joining the ranks of the Dr. Robisons in our family, though I am, at least for now, the one and only clinical psychologist among us.

Ann Hickey Peloquin became a first-time grandmother twice– daughter, Suzie, gave birth to a little girl on June 2nd, and 25 hours later, daughter-in-law, Julie, gave birth to a little girl on June 3rd. Suzie is nearby in Garden City, NY, while my son and Julie live in the East Bay area of San Francisco.

We moved to Brooklyn Heights and completely renovated a townhouse 5 years ago and couldn’t be happier. My husband and I had our first apartment in Brooklyn (Boerum Hill) almost 37 years ago–we’ve come full circle, from city life to suburban life back to city life.

Robin Rainie-Lobacz and our class are singing the Beatles this year as we all turn 64. In honor of this, I am attending a Beatles tribute concert next month. I also am taking up a new sport (golf) which I promised to do when I got old after I got my first B in Smith gym class on this very challenging sport. I’m now 4 months in and going surprisingly well.

Genie Dudding Short says:.  Life is good at the Short house here in Dallas, TX.  Husband Gary & I had a wonderful Mediterranean Cruise in late May from Athens to Istanbul on the Cruise Line, Seabourne Odyssey. We celebrated a niece’s wedding in Minnesota in June, spent time with family in Washington, DC over the July 4th weekend and will travel to NYC to watch tennis at the US Open over the upcoming Labor Day weekend. Travel around work schedules will be easier in 2015. Gary will be finishing his legal career at Jones Day on December 31st, 2014, with full-time retirement. He plans to play a lot of tennis, add a trainer to his exercise routine, and help me in the kitchen (…I added that last item… no thank you…). I still teach economics, part time, at SMU during the Fall & Spring Semesters and plan to continue till I hit “65”, which is just around the corner.

Regarding our children: daughter, Daelyn, is married and lives with husband Jonathan Farnham in San Francisco, CA. Our two sons, Eric & David, are single. Eric lives in Dallas, and David in NYC. All are doing well and we get to see them often. Life will change with Gary’s retirement, but we are looking forward to more leisure time together. We may even be able to return to Smith for annual reunions. It would be fun to see old friends on the beautiful Smith campus and enjoy the traditions at the Smith graduation.

Susan Soloyanis is dashing out the door for a summer tradition – rafting. This time, for 6 days on the Main Salmon in Idaho. I will be leaving behind my new beehive and the chickens, who are waiting to meet Deborah Emerson Pinkham ’72, who will be visiting soon after I get off the river. Summer is short but sweet at 8000’ above sea level.

Earlier this year I went to the Eilat Birding Festival in southern Israel and will be on another birding trip to South Africa in October. I am 90% retired and loving my urban homestead and lots of travel.

Claudia Vess writes: With two exhibitions coming in the fall, one with paintings and the other featuring a new installation (White Noise), my summer break was early so I was able to enjoy the delicate scent of linden trees in Berlin.  The gallery that represented me closed in 2010. A colleague and I have moved the experimental venture  to a new location, and have recently been showcasing affordable artworks in partnership with a  art/frame gallery just off K St. in downtown DC.   In the spring, I had the pleasure of a visit with Cheryl Suchors at the National Gallery of Art, a favorite place in the city. Cheryl is finishing her memoir “48 Mountainsthe story of how, as a middle-aged woman and a cancer survivor, she hiked to reinvent herself.