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New Class Notes

Mary Kiley celebrated her 80th birthday in November. She is still traveling - London, Scotland, and Norwegian Fjords. Her next cruise is in February to the Caribbean. She spends the remainder of the year at her home in Naples, Fla., and enjoys reading and concerts.


From Norma (Wright) Walker: "Our class was saddened by the death of Jill (Knight) Wyman. She was a strong supporter of class activities and was our class secretary. I hope there is someone else in our class that will do this for us. Is there a volunteer out there among you? It's an opportunity to reunite with classmates and their families.

"Our condolences to the family of Joe McCaffrey, who passed away in October. Joe had spent several months in a nursing home after a period of failing health. Did you know that Joe won a Bronze Star for leading an assault platoon in the recapture of Vegas Hill in Korea in March 1953? Mary sent me a photograph of it being awarded to Joe in July 1953. I'll put it in my 1951 scrapbook.

"Ruth (Bickford) Peck enjoyed a wonderful vacation in Provence, even though it was rather warm. She loved the fields and fields of lavender and sunflowers as well as the festivals and open air markets in every town she visited.

"Pat (Parent) O'Donnell wrote that she had been visiting an ill friend in Maine. She had traveled up from Florida to spend time with the friend. Pat sounds like a special friend we all wish we had. Back in Florida she is glad the weather is getting cooler. Her letter was written during the World Series, and she said everything was blue to support the Devil Rays.

"Beverly (Proctor) Boyer spends her summers in Delaware and New Jersey, but when it starts to feel like winter she heads to Naples, Fla. She enjoys her family, and they spend a great deal of time together.

"Once again Charlie and Lois (Flint) Plimpton '54 hosted the Golden Circle at Hart's Turkey Farm this summer. It's nice to have classmates who are willing to help. Other classmates that have attended some of the luncheons are Richard Rogers, Jim McShane, Elaine (Schnidt) Chelsey, Margaret Harrigan, Joan (Greeley) Simpson, and Pauline (Bullard) Brown.

"The Golden Circle celebrated its 100th luncheon at Lilly's on the Pond in Rindge, N.H., last November with more than 60 alumni and friends. I was surprised when 24 alums lined up in front of me, each with a yellow rose. It was a complete surprise to me. Dr. Giles-Gee brought news of the College to the group. It's always special to have her join us at the luncheons.

"I had a surprise call from Stan Johnson. He wanted the class to know that he and Dorothy had moved to Keene. We had a wonderful chat catching up on life since graduation.

"Do you believe we'll be graduated from Keene Teachers College 60 years in 2011? It is time to start thinking about how you would like to celebrate that important date. Next summer maybe some of you will be willing to meet and start to make plans of activities, a special gathering, and one last class gift to the College. If you are interested, please let me know, and I'll make arrangements for a meeting."

Margaret Harrigan writes: "I have a new dog, Phoebe, who is 1-1/2 years old and keeps me very busy!"

From Nina Witham: "We had a great gathering in September. Our thanks to Norma (Wright) Walker for bringing wonderful people from KSC with her. Fifty-five years later, we're still together. Hope we can make it to 100th celebration."

IN MEMORIAM: Charlotte "Jill" Knight Wyman '51
July 26, 2008
Concord, New Hampshire


Lila Murphy '52
November 16, 2008

Irene DiMeco Parent writes: "We were very sorry to hear of the death of our classmate Lila Murphy on Nov. 16, 2008. She was a very kind and caring person, loved by her classmates as well as her former students. She will be sorely missed. We send love and prayers to her family.

"I received a note from Don Carle. He writes that in October he took a bus tour to Washington, D.C. He hadn't been there since WWII, and there were a tremendous number of new attractions to see. He was very interested in everything, but the memorials were the number one things to see, and he saw them all. The Iwo Jima memorial was the most impressive as was the WWII memorial. He went to some of them at night. Don states, 'I would go to all of them in the daytime and then visit them again at night as the lighting was very special. The Air and Space section of the Smithsonian was tremendous. Our group was there for an afternoon, and we never got off the first floor. The tour was well organized and sponsored by the Cheshire County Y. I had a tremendous time.'"

From Winnie Woodbury Langtry: "Lila and I had special times together, and we were both active with vocational education and Future Homemakers with our students. She and I had a passion also for helping students get equal opportunities in fields not open to both sexes, such as auto mechanics for women and nursing for men. Now there are as many women doctors as male doctors. I am proud to say she was a dear friend. I shall miss her, as will so many others. It was a wonderful tribute to her. Charlie Mitchell and his wife cared and did so much for Lila for such a long time. They are to be hailed for the work they did to help her.

"I returned to Biloxi, Miss., with a team of 25 workers from our church in Hopkinton, N.H., in October. We had a wonderful rewarding week and are still on high for all we accomplished and the lasting friendships we made, both on previous trips and again this year. My dear friend Jean Evans surprised me with a visit on Sunday after I let her know we were at Back Bay Mission and made arrangements for Ruth White and me to accompany her to the soup kitchen early Monday morning. The meals were put out, and I even made the crumb topping for apple crisp one day. We served more people each day at the soup kitchen and on Friday (usually a slow day), they served 140 meals. I used the money gifts given to me to purchase 56 pairs of new socks for people at the soup kitchen, as well as purchase supplies to assist Jean to finish the painting on her home, which is almost restored again.

"Our team also began building a new home and got the walls up, built a ramp and porch on another house, and just did so much that we were thrilled. Back Bay Mission really made us feel so proud of our accomplishments, and they invited our two carpenter team leaders back in February when they plan to build a home from scratch in one week. We immediately agreed to raise the plane fare for each person if they were going to give up another week of work at home.

"I feel good, but we all had the sense of teamwork and family. Thanks everyone. May God bless you all as he has blessed us."


Joann and Irving Baker have been married for 50 years and have five children, nine grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. Life has been focused on marriage, an every-growing family, and a steady stream of cats, gerbils, hamsters, and parakeets. Now they are enjoying retirement. Last year they celebrated their 50th anniversary with a large party with most of the family present. Joann writes that Irv is extremely quiet. He has had nine strokes and two heart attacks, and is on kidney dialysis three days a week. He's very family oriented and adores the children when they visit. Joann also knew Nick Hatzos '51 and Neal Slocum '52. She has been writing to Beverly Slocum. Two of her cousins attended Keene: Dick Smith and Patti Cogswell. At KTC, Irv enjoyed the company of his best friend Arnold Lowry and fraternity life.

Bill Baston writes: "I served in the military from 1946 to 1948 in Panama. From 1949 to 1951, I played baseball in the Red Sox farm system. My wife, Carolyn (Ramsey), and I have one child and three grandchildren. After leaving KTC, I worked as a teacher, coach, vice principal, and principal at the high school level. Later I worked at the New Hampshire State Department of Education and served as superintendent of schools for 20 years. I enjoy playing golf. My fondest memories of my KTC days are meeting my wife and living in Alpha House with Fred Barry and all of our activities there."

From Priscilla (Osborne) Bechok: "Attending our 50th class reunion was a great experience, and reconnecting with friends I had not seen for many years was wonderful. Trying to grasp all the campus changes was almost mind-boggling. It seemed huge compared to what it was in the early '50s. I still like to think back to the way it was, small and intimate, but change and growth are important. My husband, Dave, who attended KSC for two years, then completed his B.A. and M.A. at California State L.A., still likes to think of KSC as his alma mater. Even though we have lived in California for 45 years, New Hampshire will always hold a very special and warm place in our hearts. I taught one year in Walpole, and one year in Hillsborough before we moved. Dave and I taught for 30 and 27 years, respectively, close to the L.A. area. I have always been so glad I chose home economics as my major. I used to tell my students that I chose a career I use every day of my life. Our son just married for the first time last summer to a lovely gal who was sure worth waiting for. She also, was marrying for the first time, and is a high school math teacher. We now live in the San Diego area, in Carlsbad. Dave and I have traveled extensively. In 1976 we were awarded a sabbatical leave from our teaching positions and traveled around the world, visiting 27 different countries in the course of four months. What a fantastic educational experience, which only enhanced our teaching. Since then we have been to Europe again, Hawaii many times, Alaska, cruised the Mexican Riviera and the Baltics, Panama Canal, and other places. We have been very actively involved in our church over the years. God has blessed us immeasurably."

Patricia Bonardi writes: "Since graduating from KTC, I taught in Westport, Conn., for 40 years. After retiring, I returned to my home in Bethlehem, N.H., where I am involved with many civic activities. At the moment, I am in the process of selling my home with plans for a warmer and more diverse area. Bethlehem is lovely in the summer, but I prefer winters here to be a memory. Since our 2003 reunion I have enjoyed Paris (yes in April!) and Venice. I do look forward to seeing many classmates in June. My cherished memories from KTC are those of the friendships. Who could forget Miss Eston? I remember negotiating with Mrs. Randall for later curfew on special occasions, working in the kitchen with Miss Aldrich, and watching Dean Corrigan with a mountain of pots to clean with a smile on his face. How those women in the kitchen adored Dean! And then of course, there was the 'fun' climb up Mount Monadnock and campus politics."

Charlotte (Nelson) Carle writes: "Don and I married in 1953 and have thoroughly enjoyed our three sons and three granddaughters. I taught for 32 years and finally received my master's degree in 1982. As I transferred to Keene State after being at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst for two years, I did not know many of the Keene State instructors. However, the teaching and teaching methods of Ella Keene, Mrs. Deans, Mr. Waltz, Dr. Wolffer, and Arlene Lund were long remembered during my years as a teacher."

From Faith Sargent Collins: "I have two children and three grandchildren. My granddaughter Christina Collins '11 is at Keene State College. When we visited our granddaughter we were so impressed with the new, very large school. We were small but very intimate; it's a different world now after 55 years."

Dean Corrigan writes: "Since our last reunion we have moved permanently to our place in Burlington, Vermont. We are not strangers to Burlington since we lived here for nine years in the late '60s and '70s, when I was dean of the College of Education and Social Services at the University of Vermont. Also, 53 years ago this past December we spent the first night of our honeymoon in Burlington on our way to Montreal, Canada. Many of the faculty and students we worked with are still here, so we have many friends. Of course, we miss Texas friends after living there for 27 years while working at Texas A&M University. My wife, Jane, worked in the graduate college and I served as dean of the College of Education and Human Development, professor, and first holder of the Harrington Endowed Chair in Educational Leadership.

"Our children and grandchildren are strategically located for visits. All are well and happy. In January 2008, we joined the 'snowbirds' and took off for South Carolina for a month's visit. Then, in February, we flew to New Orleans to attend the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education annual conference and visit our family there. After returning to Vermont to catch up, in mid-March we flew to College Station, Texas, for a visit and some warm weather.

"One interesting thing that is keeping us busy is our participation in the activities of the Vermont Interfaith Action group. Working in partnership, a coalition of members from local churches and community agencies are involved in a wide variety of programs focusing on selected problem areas: (1) a living wage for all Vermonters, (2) low income housing, (3) connecting with our youth, and (4) health care for all. Several results are already visible from this collaborative grass roots effort."

Peg and Ed Curtis write: "Because of another commitment we are unable to be at the reunion this year. We have not missed very many. We both stay busy with club work and Ed also is in the American Legion Color Guard, so he has participated in more than 30 military funerals this year. Ed has also donated more than 32 gallons of blood! We have three children, seven grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. They are spread from Vermont to California to Louisiana. One grandson returned from Iraq this week. He is a corporal in the Marines. Our best wishes to all."

From Don Johnson: "Since our 50th reunion, Jean and I have continued our good life back on my old farm in Deering, N.H., where we retired after 33 years at NYU where I taught Asian Studies and International Education. We keep a small NYU apartment in Greenwich Village. We have three children and three grandchildren.

"Jean and I have spent much of our time since retirement on various writing projects, including a fifth revision of our Through Indian Eyes, which came out in March. In addition to books we have written several articles and given papers at various professional organizations such as the World History Association and the Association for Asian Studies. We also serve as speakers for the New Hampshire Humanities Council and during and after the Iraq war I gave many talks on the Middle East and foreign policy issues, including one at Keene State College in 2003.

"We have volunteered quite a bit of time to working in several election campaigns, including the Obama primary effort. In Deering, I serve as the chair of the Heritage Commission and actively participate in several other volunteer causes. We are active in our small church and especially on the World Service Committee, which sponsors work in prisons, public policy forums, earth day events for kids, and presently a project to assist Iraqi refugees.

"We have been lucky to be able to travel and since our 50th reunion have returned to India twice, visited England, Italy and Germany and taken our grandchildren to Sweden to visit the places where my father grew up and to connect them with their many Swedish relatives. We also greatly enjoyed taking our children back to India where we lived when they were very young. To share that experience with them was very special for us.

"All of these trips deepen our understanding of world history. As a member of the N.H. Social Studies Frameworks Committee, I labored long and hard to get world history included in the new New Hampshire standards.

"Our lives are full and we are privileged to work on projects that give our lives meaning. We often think of Reinhold Niebuhr's advice, 'Nothing worth doing can be accomplished in a single lifetime.'"

Beverly (Erickson) Laferrandre-Chess writes: "My first husband, Bill Laferrandre, died and I have since remarried, to Wayne Chess. I have three children and eight grandchildren. During my years at Keene, my roommates Jane Hickey, Peggy Bullard, Pat Wynn, and I decided we wanted to paint our study area (we had two rooms - slept in one and studied in the other). Since it had never been done, we went directly to the president and he said OK. A colorful room soon appeared."

From Claire (Turchon) Martel: "In 1957, I married a retired naval enlisted officer. We have one child and three grandchildren. Since graduating, I have taught in Hanover and Laconia, N.H., and Norfolk, Va. After marriage I lived and taught at a naval high school in Trinidad for three years. Since retirement I am now settled in Ledyard, Conn., and spend six months a year in Zephyrhills, Florida.

"At Keene State I was assigned a third-floor room in Fiske Hall. I didn't realize it was above the room of the housemother (Miss Bertha Manchester). One evening, a group of girls were in my room when a few fellows from campus headed out for a late snack at the Crystal Restaurant. Opening the window, we asked them to bring us back a snack. Upon their arrival, we tied bed sheets together and lowered them to the ground. The fellows placed the snacks in and just as we hoisted the sheets a hand reached out from the first floor window and pulled in the sheets, snacks and all! The following day I received a warning in my mailbox."

Gloria (Richardson) Matthews writes: "My husband, Malcolm, and I have one child and one grandchild. We have been married for 54 years. Since graduating from KTC, I have taught for 38 years, 36 of which have been in Tolland, Conn. We have enjoyed a lot of travel by train. While at KTC, one of my clearest memories is when my boyfriend came from UNH after visiting hours and stood outside Huntress calling my name, waking up many dorm masters. The housemother was not happy. I also remember our visits to the Gilsum potholes for those of us in Dr. Giovannangeli's class. Marguerite Wirth and I spent many hours sorting laundry in Fiske Hall's basement."

From Robert "Bob" Morgan: "I served in the military from May 1944 to June 1946. I served at Peleliu Island in the Western Pacific. I have four children and nine grandchildren. Since graduating from Keene, my highlight was teaching for six years with the DOD's Overseas Dependents' Schools in Europe, North Africa, and Japan. I taught for a total of 33 years.

"Have decided I wanted to spend winters in New Hampshire and truly enjoy looking at the backyard with our record-breaking snowfall of 4 to 5 feet. I've been retired for 21 years and enjoy keeping in touch with former colleagues and friends in England, Germany, and Japan. My best wishes to each classmate for good health and a long life with happy memories."

Patricia "Tish" Hunt Perro writes: "I have six children, 17 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren. I spent 28 years in newspapers in Maine and New Hampshire as general manager/executive editor. I'm now retired and spend six months in Maidstone Lake, Vt., and six months at Caladesi Island (living on a boat), working with State Park Rangers. My memories of KTC include roller-skating around the pool tables at Fiske Hall with Kitty Noonan, repainting our walls in Huntress (chartreuse!) with Irene Terrill, trips to various "night spots" with Bill and Joan Silver and Doc Chase, making hard cider on the fire escapes, waiting tables in the dining room, having Professor Perodin say I should write for publication (I did), being told by the faculty that I couldn't do cartwheels as a cheerleader because it was 'unladylike.'"

Loretta Pollock writes: "After graduating from KTC, I spent 35 years teaching and counseling. Later I worked at the Connecticut College Book Store and retired from there. I am enjoying my life on the shore of southeastern Connecticut and volunteer for the food pantry. I also love to travel far and wide. At KTC I worked in the dining room. Sports days were a lot of fun and very competitive. We fought long and hard for the Red Team. We also had some great all-night bridge parties. I spend a lot of time in the swimming pool, part of the water ballet team. The camaraderie in a small college was wonderful."

From Marguerite Worth Roberts: "Frederick, my husband for 50 years, died in July 2006. We have four children and five grandchildren. Since graduating from Keene, I have worked as a food service supervisor at the Kellogg Center at Michigan State University, taught home economics in Hayward, California, and at Hopkinton High School in New Hampshire, and worked for 21 years in the Vocational Food Service at ConVal High School. After retirement I joined the Peace Corps with my husband, and we served in Nigeria in West Africa at the School of Health Technology. I fondly remember the lawn parties at President Young's home and living in Blake House. I especially remember inviting Walt Dropo of the Red Sox to speak at the College."

Wallace Russell writes: "I served in the army from 1953 to 1955 with the rank of corporal and spent time in Japan. My wife, Sandy, and I have three children, four grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. We are now retired and living in Pine Brook, New Jersey."

From Mildred Turner: "Since our last reunion there have been many changes in the last five years. I've been on dialysis three times a week for three plus years, and I've had oxygen for about four years. So I won't be going to our reunion this year. I'm doing very well but the procedure is trying. Please stop by to see me if you're in the vicinity. Havenwood is on the east side of Concord."

Nina Whitman writes: "We are well and happy and celebrated 55 years together on June 21. After four years in Portsmouth, N.H., we moved to Marshfield, Mass., with our son Bruce. Summers we spend at York Beach, Maine, where Bob has had a beach business renting floats and umbrellas for more than 50 years. Our son Scott teaches at Rochester Vocational, drafting and woodworking like his dad. Most of our activities have been renovating old houses - the beach house and helping Scott with two he bought. After 38 years of teaching, Bob claims one has to keep active. We've been on a few cruises and to Pacific Groves, California. Our six-week stay at Marco Island, Fla., is our winter R and R, which we enjoy. Reunions have been a nice experience, and Norma Walker has done wonders with the Golden Circle. The class of '51 is happy to claim her as one of the most dedicated."

Bob Whitman writes: "We've gone to all my reunions since the 25th and not till the 50th have there been many from the class of '53. The 50th was a wonderful experience to see all the buildings and changes at KSC, especially Huntress and Fiske. I told our new and personable president those dorms never changed in 50 years. Miss Eton sure gave us a taste of food - jellied beef, baked potato, and peanut butter sandwiches - a memory. We see and are in contact with many from the classes of '51, '52, and '53, who are in the area. Life is good here at York Beach, and we enjoy our many friends and activities. We are at 90 Nubbles Road, and all are welcome any time."


James Parker is enjoying 20 years of retirement and his first great-granddaughter.


Harold Nugent started volunteering for Cedar Key and Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuges as well as Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park when he moved to the Florida Keys eight years ago. His interest in alligators and education led to his role at Paynes Prairie as a volunteer educator. Harold takes live alligators and crocodiles into classrooms throughout the region and has helped thousands of students understand the role alligators play in our shared ecosystem and the reasons they deserve our respect. In 2003, Harold was named Volunteer of the Year by the Florida Park Service. Harold values environmental education and says he owes a great deal to his KSC professors, especially Malcolm Keddy and Sprague Drennan. In all his educational endeavors, both at KSC and Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges, he received constant encouragement from two colleagues in the English department from 1965 to 1990: Fred Fosher and William Sultan.