Marilyn (Zsazsa, Minu, Mo, Mary-Loon) Breselor died suddenly on October 27, 2023. She was born on July 28, 1950, to Irving and Shirley (Kosman) Breselor, and lived in the Bronx until the family moved upstate. She graduated from Colonie Central High School and Smith College before moving to the Upper Valley and raising her own children with husband Dan. Marilyn enjoyed a brief midlife detour to San Francisco but returned to New Hampshire to be a grandmother.
Marilyn filled her life with the people, objects, and activities that brightened her days. She was a connoisseur of miniatures and novelty socks, a collector of cameras and commemorative presidential plates, and a diehard patron of the LISTEN Center. A skilled yet unaccomplished artist, she dabbled over the years in knitting and fiber arts, classical guitar, choral singing, and ceramics. She could and would harmonize with any melody and was known for (almost) completing a queen-sized quilt made entirely of clothing labels, a truly obsessive masterpiece. She knew about birds, gardening, and cooking, though her expertise did not always manifest in visible or practical ways. She also loved word puzzles and games, reveling in the minutiae of vocabulary, grammar, and punctuation. A gifted gift giver and good neighbor, Marilyn was always up for an adventure, from a fool’s errand to Ocean State Job Lot to a hike up Kilimanjaro. She showed us how to live fully, taking care of others and herself along the way. We loved her so much.

Link to obituary:

Jo-Anne Marie Bessette was born July 18, 1950. Growing up, she danced, sang, and in high school was a cheerleader and valedictorian of her graduating class.

After high school, she attended Smith College. While at Smith she met her future husband Norman Perr. It was at the end of freshman year of college and was love at first sight for both of them. She was blessed with a beautiful voice and sang in the chorus at Smith College and in the Smiffenpoofs. She spent her junior year at Amherst College and sang in a ragtime band.

After Smith, Jo-Anne attended Tufts Medical School and subsequently trained in Boston as a hematologist/oncologist. Her husband became a cardiologist and they settled in Northampton, MA, both practicing their subspecialties. While practicing at a teaching hospital in Springfield, MA, she sang rock and roll with a group of docs.

Jo-Anne loved her family. She was a great dog lover, and had wonderful dogs, Max, Sophie, and Crazie Billie.

Jo-Anne became ill and in her last years led a very restricted life. She suffered the restrictions of her illness with grace. She stayed at home until her passing.

Link to full obituary:

Judith Burnett Halsey passed away peacefully October 19, 2023 after a brave and long battle with brain cancer.

Judy grew up in Richmond, Virginia, with her parents John Sheldon Halsey and Judith Burnett Halsey. She attended St. Catherine’s School in Richmond from Kindergarten through 12th grade. Judy graduated from Smith College in 1972 and earned her Masters of Architecture from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, in 1977. After graduating from UVA, Judy moved to Washington, DC, and then Chevy Chase, MD, where she lived for more than 40 years. As a teen, she spent summers with her family at a river cottage in Callao, Virginia. As an adult, for more than 15 years she spent her summers in Martha’s Vineyard, becoming active in the community, while honing her artistic skills as a watercolorist.

Judy was not only a gifted painter, but a talented and successful architect, practicing at Weihe, Black, Jeffries and Dove and then at Keyes, Condon and Florance, where she was an Associate. Becoming a mother, Judy devoted herself to raising two beautiful children, while also being active at St. Columba’s Church, the Junior League, the Chevy Chase Club, the Sulgrave Club and later at the West Chop Club and Vineyard Haven Yacht Club in Marthas Vineyard.

Diagnosed with brain cancer in 2005, Judy carried on bravely, fighting the terrible debilitating disease for many years before succumbing peacefully. She had been married to Stephen Vanze. She is survived by her daughter, Judith Shaw Vanze; son in law Kenli Okada, son Griffin Halsey Vanze; daughter in law Carmen Yeung; two granddaughters and one grandson.

Link to obituary:

Patricia “Patty” Clark Haberstroh, July 24, 2023. Patty was diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, in 2017. She wrote a blog for our class website about the “ALS Pepper Challenge” started by her family to raise money for ALS researchRead Patty’s Full Obituary Here




Anna Yinglai Gee, August 20, 2022. The freshmen cohort that arrived at Sessions House in the fall of 1968 consisted of a dozen young women from widely varied backgrounds. Anna was among the most intriguing – a Chinese American woman whose family ran a grocery store in Los Angeles and who had never seen snow. Astute, hilarious, and already politically conscious, she quickly gained the admiration of her classmates. That she went on to become a community organizer, practitioner of traditional healing arts and oral historian perfectly suits the independent and caring young Smithie we knew. Anna was a positive inspiration to so many. – Beth Carver Wees ‘72

“Through the Fire: In Tribute to Anna Yinglai Gee,” by Mary Uyematsu Kao, October 1, 2022, The Rafu Shimpo.


Yvonne Ruth (LeCamp) Boucher, 91, died June 29, 2021 at the Fisher Home in Amherst.

Born September 22, 1929, in Upper Silesia, Germany, she fled with her family to Belgium in 1939, and then to Aix-en-Provence in southern France, where she lived the rest of the war. Emigrating to the US in 1947, she settled with her family in New York City.

An avid walker, she met her husband, F. Robert “Bob” Boucher, on a hike in 1952. They married in June 1953 and lived in New Jersey, before moving to Northampton in 1956.

A graduate of the Evening Division of Maurice Evans High School in New York City in 1954, she began her college studies twelve years later. After four years at Holyoke Community College, she transferred to Smith College, where she graduated magna cum laude with honors in French in 1972. She earned her doctorate in French at UMass in 1984. She was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi.

Mary Kerner, September 13, 2017, Mary’s love and enthusiasm for dance, especially ballet, was her life’s focus.  Initially after college, she taught dance technique and appreciation in addition to writing.   Then as a free-lancer, Mary focused on dance and performance reviews in addition to celebrity interviews for a variety of newspapers and magazines.  She authored Barefoot to Balanchine (How to Watch Dance) in 1990.  Free-spirited Mary travelled extensively throughout the USA and Europe.  Her greatest loves were dance, classical music, writing, ocean swimming, her beloved sheltie Balanchine, and teaching folk dancing at summer “Bals” in France.   After many years of deteriorating health which impacted her mobility, Mary died in Paris, France on September 13, 2017.  – Annis Legrow, MHC 1972

Marja-Riita Vallila, December 23, 2018.  The best part of Junior Year Abroad was becoming friends with Marja-Riita Vallila when we lived together with a host family in Aix-en-Provence, our academic way station before Paris and the Sorbonne. She was a bohemian in both senses of the word—a cosmopolitan with an unconventional approach to life, born in Czechoslovakia. The important artist that she later became was prefigured in all of her artistic forays at the time I knew her best:  Three-dimensional shaped canvasses painted in a way that recalled the Color Field artists. Monotypes made on glass. Small oils on whatever material was at hand, including matchboxes. Delicate etchings. Later, big, heavy-metal welded sculptures. And, finally, wildly exuberant, biomorphic slip-cast ceramics of small-ish scale. Marja wasn’t interested in creating inaccessible art of ponderous and recondite meaning. Instead, she embraced Matisse’s dictum that art should be “un bon fauteuil”—something comfortable and pleasurable. Marja spoke four languages, attended five colleges, taught for 25 years at SUNY-Albany, and could not be limited by anything until a rare and early dementia took her speech, her creativity, and eventually her life in Memphis, Tennessee, in December 2018. — Barbara Satz, Class of 1972

Susan Begg, September 15, 2019.  A vital and valued member of Emerson House, Sue often led and always accompanied her housemates on their adventures, taught them to accept differences, and showed them how to “live life large”.  She moved on from Smith to graduate from Cornell Veterinary School, intern at the American Medical Center in NYC and complete her residency at Cornell.  Her business, Vet Express located in Ithaca NY, was one bucket of her multi-bucket life of sports (softball and rugby), friends, Unitarian Universalists, and most notably perhaps, the Merchant Marines.

Sue knew who she was and what she wanted. She was beset with hurdles, some too great for her to conquer, but she addressed them honestly and directly and soldiered on. Perhaps her greatest gift to the world was that her raw honesty permitted others to see life through a different lens and perhaps even address their own demons out loud.  As her friends have noted, “she was one of a kind”.  We will miss her!

Melinda Moore, January 17, ’19, at home in Darnestown, Maryland, having bravely battled ovarian cancer since 2017.  Born in southern California, Melinda attended Smith College for two years before being accepted to Harvard Medical School, where she earned her MD and MPH.  During her extraordinary career in global health – 20 years at CDC, 5 at HHS, and 14 at RAND – she attained the rank of Captain in the USPHS, worked in over 45 countries, and touched countless lives.

Catherine Axon Elder ’72, March 26, ’19, at home in Kennett Square, PA, from a fall. Catherine had retired there with her husband, Tom Elder, MFA ’71, after a career as a professional librarian and then several positions in finance. She was active in local politics, especially public welfare projects and equal access to programs and services. She married Tom in 1973; their son, Adam Axon Elder, born in 1984, is now a music producer in Los Angeles. Catherine was exceptionally intelligent, insightful, strong and determined, an inspiration to so many of her Smith friends.—Kiki Smith ’71

Sally Kennedy ’72, Nov. 7, ’17, in Hingham, MA. Sally majored in Italian and spent her junior year abroad in Florence. She worked in clinical operations in the pharmaceutical industry for more than 25 years and founded her own consulting firm 10 years ago. She helped bring drugs to market in the areas of oncology, HIV, reproductive endocrinology and metabolism. She enjoyed intricate baking projects (the more challenging, the better), gardening and spending time with her beloved Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Penny. Sally’s sister, Katharine (Kay) Kennedy ’68, survives her. Sally’s mother, aunt and grandmother were also Smith alumnae.

Rosanna Sattler, of Cambridge, on Friday, November 24, 2017. For 44 years the beloved wife of Edward Orenstein. Devoted daughter of the late Sonya (Krisoff) and Joseph Sattler. Rosanna was among the first women to be admitted to Yale University, where she graduated in 1972. Member of Phi Beta Kappa at Yale. She graduated from Harvard Law School in 1978. First female Partner at Posternak, Blankstein & Lund. Private services will be held in NY. A Celebration of Rosanna’s life to be scheduled. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the Heart Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support Program, c/o Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115 or to your favorite charity . Levine Chapels, Brookline

Yahee Fernandes-Baxter ’72, March 30, ’17, after a brief battle with a rare cancer.  Yahee lived in Chase House.  In 1972, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Voice, and in 1973, received a Master of Arts in Teaching from Smith.  Show business was Yahee’s vocational calling, so she moved to New York, NY, to pursue her craft.  She became an Entertainer – singing, dancing and acting – and performed both “on” and “off” Broadway for many years in shows like The Skin of our Teeth, Salute to Broadway, Gotta Dance, and South Pacific to name just a few.   She appeared in more than 150 television commercials and radio voiceovers.  Yahee originated and played for almost five years the role of Star Stoner/Wilson on the ABC network soap opera, The Edge of Night.  We will never forget Yahee’s enthusiastic performance at our 40th Reunion.  Yahee is survived by her husband Greg, two sons, and her nine sisters.

In Memoriam

Nancy Ashton, 2013
Susan Dow Barra, 2022
Susan Begg, 2019
Julia Lampson Blackwood, 2007
Ann Blum, 2015
Yvonne Ruth (LeCamp) Boucher, 2021
Jeannetta Bronner, 1995
Lisa Connor, 2010
Frances Dalton, 2016
Virginia Smith Harvey Dawson, 2016
Susan Delehanty, 1993
Elizabeth Kelly Ebitz Esq., 2004
Catherine Axon Elder, 2019
Yahee Fernandes-Baxter, 2017
E.J. Fischer, 1986
Patricia Dodd Flynn, 2016
Emma Foa, 2007
Christine Hamilton Foote, 2014
Barbara Fritz, 2014

Susan Garber, 2015
Katy Flowers Gerke, 2013
Nancy Gilmore, 2013
Beverly Holmes Hall, 1987
Nori Hall, 2017
Ellen Hassett, 1973
Anne Hilliard, 1973
Ann Imbrie, 2006
Cassia Whiteside Jevremov, 1978
Cynthia Jones, 1988
Mary Kelly, 1972
Sally Kennedy, 2017
Mary Kerner, 2017
Mary Blagdon Kinnas, 2021  
Martha Love, 1979
Frances Twohig Mather, 2001
Melinda Moore, 2019
Stephanie Monka, 2021
Candida Susan Ohnysty, 2021
Jean Osborne, 1999
Laura Anderson Park, 2000
Deborah Post, 2021
Elizabeth Fennelly Sasser, 2009

Rosanna Sattler, 2017
Deborah Sobol, 2014
Katherine Sorenson, 2001
Jane Southwick, 2016
S. Florence Spencer, 1981
Mary Jo Corral Sultenfuss, 2010
Christine Swenson, 2004
Sylvia Thompson, 1973
Kathryn Torda, 1993
Elizabeth Herman Tracy, 1999
Marja-Riita Vallila, 2018
Marie Viita, 2003
Catherine Hoover Voorsanger, 2001
Anne Winchester, 1992
Cynthia Works, 1999
Eleanor Yee, 2017