Class Notes

NEWS OF 1955


NEWS OF 1954
Reunion May 21-22, 2004

From Helen Desh Woodbridge:

Founder’s Day ’03 was the day Cas and I left for Columbus, Ind., for the graduation of our elder son, an event we didn’t want to miss.

So our class representatives were Shirley Beck Dutt, Lois Lutz Geehr, and Dorothy Ruyak, who also attended the alumni luncheon on Saturday. Founder’s Day started with a reception at the president’s house, where committee members Shirley and Beverly Bell ’56 provided name tags. Dottie and Anne Enright ’52 poured at the Lovefeast, chaplain David Bennett ’88 was on stage with Helen Canfield ’47, committee chair, who introduced the speaker, Mildred Diefenderfer Thompson ’39, retired editor and author. (Her talk is available on the Moravian College website.) Having brought Fred along, Lois said: “Moravians are kind and generous to allow a Muhlenberg grad and choir member to participate in these special women’s events.”

At the luncheon in Clewell Dining Hall, Shirley, Dottie, Lois, and Fred sat with Paul Acampora from the Development Office. After lunch, Shirley, Bev, Dottie, and Anne joined the bus tour to North Campus to the new Priscilla Payne Hurd Academic Complex.

During the summer, I’ve had more time to do things, as three activities take a breather: Tuesday Sewing Society (making Polly Heckewelder dolls); Pennsylvania German Friends, which I attend with June Shafer Scholl ’51; and Civil War meetings.

Having met with Bertie Knisely ’69, alumni director, and Joan Lardner Paul, development office, I’m forming a planning committee for our 50th reunion.

Those willing to serve on the committee, so far, are Rita Dikon Adams, Shirley Beck Dutt, Lois Lutz Geehr and Dottie Ruyak. Rita is about to begin her second term as president of Northeastern Synod, Lutheran Women, which covers 14 counties and involves meetings and travel.

Marian Wagner and Elynor Fishel Rights also have expressed interest in attending the reunion, as have Pat Nebinger and Patricia Parth Johnson. Nancy Schmoyer Kressley also has marked her calendar for a date that seems far off, but she doesn’t want it to conflict with the frequent trips she makes to New England to be with their four grandchildren, all younger than 4.

Mim Johnson Bott, however, is uncertain, because she and her husband divide their time between here and Tucson, Ariz. Perhaps some of us will get to talk to her during her Musikfest visit.

Lois’s sister, Marty Lutz Samuels ’50, from Goodyear, Ariz., has been visiting. She recalls her piano instruction at Moravian when Mrs. Myers was department head and her role as Mabel in Lehigh University’s production of The Pirates of Penzance. Their sister Sally lives in the same town as Marty but spends summers in the Poconos. Some may remember seeing all three of them at Founder’s Day luncheon 2000.

Shirley and Karl plan in early fall to visit their daughter who lives near Dallas and their son in Arizona. Dottie continues her activities, including the League of Women Voters.

If anyone knows the whereabouts of Jane Culp, Nan Dexheimer, Betty Horn, Maria Juno, or Millie Warner, who are listed on the wall plaque outside Peter Hall, please let me know.

How did your years at Moravian make a difference in your life? Let us know!


NEWS OF 1953

From E. Allen Schultz:

The Class of ’53 reunion: what a wonderful, exciting time! The entire weekend was filled with opportunities to renew acquaintance—for many, for the first time in 50 years! Alas, the weather left a lot to be desired. The block party cookout on Friday was moved indoors, and the big parade on Saturday was cancelled, both because of rain. However, the two days were brightened with conversation, tours of the new Priscilla Payne Hurd Academic Complex, and other activities.

Among those ready to march in the parade were: Bob Engelbrecht, Dave Henkelmann, Charlie Hasenecz, Lou Michelin, Charlie Peters, and Jack Ridge, Bethlehem; Jack Gotthardt, Dallas; Carl Helmich, Louisville, Ky.; Ed Malinowski, Willingboro, N.J.; Ed Novogratz, Northampton; Ed Pastir, Hellertown; Humbert Russoli, Allentown; Allen Schultz, St. Petersburg, Fla.; Bob “Snuffy” Smith, Ophelia, Va.; and Phil Trimble, Williamsburg, Va.

It was most pleasing for us reunion repeaters to see and chat with the wives of our classmates again (or in some cases for the first time): Joan Engelbrecht, Mel Henkelmann, Nancy Novogratz, Gigi Pastir, Betty Peters, Laura Ridge, Marie Russoli, Dianne Smith, and Pat Woodring Trimble, whom I knew back in college days at College Hill Moravian Church.

It was also fabulous to spend time with former faculty members Burns Broadhead and Alden Sears. Both gentlemen are in fine health and exuded the same friendliness and camaraderie that we recall from many years ago.

Jack Ridge did his homework (instead of assigning homework) as the presenter of the 50th class pins at the 50+ Club breakfast and ceremony.

We have an Ogden Nash as a classmate! At the class dinner on Saturday, we learned that Carl Helmich, during his years as a copy editor at Presbyterian Publishing House, wrote poems commemorating special events in the lives of his fellow employees: birthdays, retirements, etc.

In addition to the pall of the weather, we were saddened, then heartened, at the news about Gene Glasser, who had planned to attend. He and Earl Stephan, from Rochester, Minn., were to drive from Lake Mills, Wis., where Gene lives, to Indianapolis to meet up with Carl Helmich and then continue to Bethlehem, picking up Fritz Morgenstern in Richmond, Ind. However, the Sunday before he was to leave Lake Mills, Gene was felled by a severe heart attack. During the reunion, we heard that Gene came out of a coma at a hospital in Madison, where he had been airlifted from Lake Mills. I spoke with him in early July at his home, where he was recovering. He also received a brief visit from Carl and a call from Fritz. But Gene died August 28 in Madison while recovering from his second heart operation. He is survived by his wife, Jean, four sons, two daughters, and seven grandchildren. Our condolences to his family.

I also learned that Fritz is having serious back problems. Anyone who wishes to send greetings and wishes to him can contact me for the address.

Many thanks to the reunion committee, who in coordination and cooperation with the Alumni Office and Development Office, worked so hard to make us feel welcome and the event a success. The committee included: Hugh Connell, Joe Farris, the late Gene Glasser, Charlie Hasenecz, Dave Henkelmann, Ed Novogratz, Ed Pastir, Jack Ridge, Allen Schultz, and Phil Trimble.

Now we can look forward to our next celebratory year: 2008. You owe it to yourself to see all the changes and accomplishments on campus. It will make you extremely proud to be an alum of Moravian College.

From Polly:

Our 50th reunion is but a pleasant memory. Returning to South Campus on Founder’s Day was a particularly pleasant journey into the past. In contrast, the trip to North Campus was a look at the future: the state-of-the-art new academic building.

Returning classmates were: Charlotte Riggs Bearse, Ann Hentschel Cutler, Sue Ann Henkelman Fortney, Gloria Badel Hilbert, Joan Wagner Koehler, Eleanor Simmons MacCormick, Henrietta Gruber Mooney, Charlotte Haag Walek, Jane Campion, Nancy Zeleski Frantz, and me.

I had a note from Dolly Boher Hege, who was sorry she had to cancel plans to attend, but “it turned out to be a busier summer than I expected.”

Shayne Dunbar Arnesen had a conflict with visits from family. Constance Nonnemacker Strain had planned to attend but had to attend the dedication of a stained-glass window in her church, which her late husband, Bill, was instrumental in construction. She would love to hear from classmates.

Ann Hentschel Cutler was amazed at the changes she saw on campus. (It was her first visit back.) She and her husband, Jim, traveled from Powley’s Island, S.C., where they’ve lived since retiring in 1993. They had lived in Farmington Valley, northwest of Hartford, Conn., for about 40 years. Ann was a homemaker until her three sons graduated from high school, then worked as a nurse at Hartford Hospital for 14 years. Now she’s learning to play golf and is active in the Loggerhead Turtle Conservation Project.

Char Haag Walek and her husband love retirement on Cape Cod. After 26 years of teaching science to sixth-graders and math to seventh-graders in South Windsor, Conn., they relocated to the Cape, where they volunteer at the Museum of Natural History and are active in St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, sewing projects, and building an HO-gauge train layout, which occupies their entire basement. They also spend time with their two sons, David and Tom, and three grandchildren.

Sue Henkelman Fortney married her college sweetheart, Ralph, a year after graduation, and now they’re looking forward to their 50th wedding anniversary next year! They have two daughters, Janice and Sarah. Sue says, “Both have married great guys, and each presented us with two fabulous granddaughters, ranging in age from a college graduate to a 3-year-old. Our fantasy is to attend all their graduations.”

Looking forward to their golden wedding anniversary this summer are Char and Charlie Bearse. Now living in Morrisville after residing for many years in Bethlehem, Char says after graduation she married, taught school, and raised four children. Decorating and gardening have always been her passions. She has restored two older homes and is on the board of the local historical society. She’s also co-decorator-curator for a lovely home built in 1773—where, she says, “Washington really did sleep there while planning his crossing of the Delaware.” The Bearses enjoy their Avalon, N.J., summer home.

Another couple celebrating their golden wedding anniversary this year, in June, is Joan and Bob Koehler. Their two children, Bob Jr. ’82, of Ellicott City, Md., and Barbara Koehler Pruitt ’76 of Morristown, N.J., together have given them three grandchildren: Jamie, Kelsey, and Mitchell.

After their marriage in 1955, the MacCormicks spent 20 years living in exotic places: Taiwan, Thailand, Laos, and England. Eleanor taught English through the American Universities Association and at primary schools in Taiwan and Thailand. Her husband was employed by Civil Air Transport, a contract airline started by General Chennault of the Flying Tigers. Eleanor worked for the Ricoh Corporation from 1977 until her retirement in 2000. Now they’re enjoying Elderhostel programs, their favorite destination being Italy. Eleanor says: “For the past two years, we’ve been warming our bones in Florida during the winter, where we play a bit of golf, catch up on our reading, and enjoy the scenery.”

A big thank you to my co-chairman for the reunion, Gloria Badel Hilbert, for her assistance in contacting our classmates, attending all our planning committee sessions, and especially for exuding class spirit by coming to the luncheon in ’50s garb and wearing her freshman beanie.

Gloria spent only a year on campus, during which she was a cheerleader. She went on to complete her education in nursing at St. Luke’s Hospital and spent seven years as a missionary nurse in Bilwaskarma, a Meskito Indian village on the Atlantic side of Nicaragua. Now retired, Gloria is still doing private-duty nursing. Shortly after the reunion weekend, she and her husband, Myrl, left for Martha’s Vineyard for a three-week vacation and to get her sister’s cottage ready for summer guests.

I had a call from Nancy Zeleski Frantz. Though Nancy and her husband retired to Hollywood, Fla., they spend much time in Bethlehem. In Florida, she’s very active with the local medical center and is editor of its newsletter.

Louise Mauger Knauss couldn’t make it to the reunion but extended greetings to all classmates. Louise and her husband, Ernie, live in Hatboro. They have four children and nine grandchildren.

In her reply to the reunion invitation, Joanne Lohrman Cheatham said: “Wish I could attend, but at present too many animals to tend to. Have not yet found someone to feed and tend horses for that length of time.” Joanne, her daughter, and her granddaughter live in Chino Valley, Ariz., where she writes that aside from being the chief carroteer of five horses, she spends her time writing (two novels to date) and tending her garden. She enjoys spending time on her computer and receiving e-mails. Joanne says: “In my old age, I just purchased my first horse: a 9-month-old mustang filly. My daughter, Cheryl, is teaching me the how-to-do’s.”

As for me, one of the first questions asked was: “Are you still working for the Morning Call?” Well, I’m not. I finally retired in 2000. It was a grand, fulfilling career; I enjoyed every year of it. But now it’s time to enjoy freedom from deadlines, stress, and all that goes with an almost lifetime commitment. It didn’t take long to realize that what my retired friends kept telling me—“You’ll be busier than ever”—was true. I am.


NEWS OF 1952

From the Alumni House:

Gloria Abel Parkhill’s husband died June 24. We extend our deepest sympathy.

Anne Enright is happy to report that she moved to Moravian Village in Bethlehem.


NEWS OF 1951

From Carol Buechner McMullen:

On April 23, I was in Bethlehem to attend the “Keys to Success” program at Moravian. This was a daylong series of musical events: solo instrumental and vocal performances, a recital by the College Choir and a variety of instrumental groups. The music covered classical and modern selections, including an original composition. All these were held in Peter Hall (which I still think of as the chapel). Betsey Tait Puth was there for the occasion, and we were both impressed by the talent of the students who played and sang. Betsey commented in a later note that it was a day that inspired memories of the Moravian musical tradition as well as the promise of a bright future.

I met June Shafer Scholl and Fern Bachman Koplin, back once more for Founder’s Day on May 30. We attended the Lovefeast and lunch that followed and toured the Blue Parlors. The speaker at the Lovefeast, Mildred Diefenderfer Thompson ’39, spoke about “Moravian-Educated Women.”

June and Fern attended the reunion breakfast on May 31, as did Pat Kresge Buck. Pat wrote later to say that her daughter, Andrea, had received her Master of Science degree and has a full-time position in the microbiology lab at Penn Hospital, as well as a husband and two sons. Pat’s other daughter, Sabrina, is studying for her master’s at Bank Street College on Long Island. Pat was planning a visit with her.

Nancy Oplinger Dover and her husband, Ed, planned a trip east from their home in Albuquerque, N.M., and June Scholl invited me to join them for lunch while they were in the area. The result: a delightful impromptu reunion on June 23 with Lois Shafer Smith and Dick, Jane Kincaid Missimer and Sam, Janet Fabian Andre and Paul, Betsey Sherer Freas ’50 and Charlie, Fern Koplin, Harold Gesell (widower of Rosemary Seitz Gesell), and John Polansky (widower of Evelyn Horn Polansky) with his daughter, Ann Marie Barber. We met at the Hanoverville Roadhouse and shared an afternoon of memories, news, photos, and talk, as well as entertainment by Dick Smith, who is a talented comedian.

June Shafer Scholl was planning to leave for Hawaii on July 3 to attend the 50th-anniversary celebration of friends in Honolulu. Nancy and Ed drove to Hugh Moore Park in Easton, where they took a ride on a mule-drawn canal boat before starting their long drive back to New Mexico. Returning to Albuquerque, they found 350 acres of woods along the river had burned, and Nancy’s daughter and her family took refuge in Nancy’s home until they could safely return to their own. For more about Nancy’s work after the fire, see page 9. Nancy described riding her bike up to the bridge and the sad sight of a thick layer of ash on the ground and the black skeletal trees lifting their branches to the sky where the green woods had been.


NEWS OF 1950

From Bob Scholl:

Eric Schulze hit a milestone with the celebration of 50 years in ministry. For 29 years, Eric served congregations in the Moravian Church and the Reformed Church in America in Canada and the United States. Then he spent 12 years as chaplain at a nursing home in Wisconsin, which is under call of the Moravian Church. For the last nine years, he and his wife, Connie, have been involved in many part-time and volunteer ministries, which have given them much fulfillment throughout their lives.

From the Alumni House:

Congratulations to Bob Scholl, who was honored by the Bethlehem Rotary Club for 50 years of perfect attendance. This adds up to 2,600 consecutive meetings! Even when traveling, Bob would attend local Rotary meetings wherever he was.


NEWS OF 1949
Reunion May 21-22, 2004

From Thomas F. Keim:

We extend our sympathy to Ivan Backer on the death of his wife, Carolyn Bartholomew Backer. She died unexpectedly while they were vacationing in Yosemite National Park. Carolyn was a high school classmate of Louise and me at Liberty High School in Bethlehem. Ivan is president and director of Southside Institutes Neighborhood Alliance in Hartford, Conn. He has three children and six grandchildren.

From the Alumni House:

Albert Buralli and his wife, Betty, are doing fine in Florida and looking forward to their sixth trip to Europe in September. They will be taking a river cruise from St. Petersburg to Moscow in Russia. Last year, they traveled around the area of Moravian history in the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic, as well as Poland, Hungary, and Austria. Since Al’s heart surgery in 1999, he has climbed the Great Wall of China and the Acropolis in Athens.




Alumni Weekend 2003: Class of 1953 50th Class Reunion

Front row: Robert F. Engelbrecht, Charles Hasenecz, Humbert A. Russoli, and Charles M. Peters. Middle row: David M. Henkelmann, John J. Gotthardt, Edward P. Pastir, and Jack R. Ridge. Back row: E. Allen Schultz, Edward L. Malinowski, Philip Trimble, Carl Helmich, Robert F. Smith, and Edward Novogratz.

Photo: Christmas City Studios