Class correspondent:
Helen Desh Woodbridge
3574 Browning Lane; Bethlehem, PA 18017;casw1@verizon.net

Posted 12/20/17

Recent events and the 275th anniversary of Moravian College led me to think about Founder’s Day 2018.  Our 1954 class has had only two returning members, Sister Millicent Drake and me.   This is far fewer than our 50th reunion in 2004.  Recently I had a nice chat with Dawn VanKeuren.  Dawn still has in mind a visit to Bethlehem.  I have also spoken to Marion Oland Diehl ’53.  Marion is a longtime friend since Moravian College for Women days.  Marion came to MCW, from New Jersey, at age 16, as did other girls.  Countess Benigna was just 16 when she came here from Saxony, with her father, Count Zinzendorf.  It was in the log house, the first house of Bethlehem, where the small group met that first Christmas Eve in 1741.  Legend has it that Zinzendorf named the town that night during the singing of “Not Jerusalem, Lowly Bethlehem.”

Posted 8/3/17

Since my last writing I continue to keep in touch with our classmates.  Sister Millicent Drake continues to attend our Founder’s Day where she has been reading the Scripture, Psalm 103. She continues leading the weekly Bible studies at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Boyertown and currently serves as Pastoral Care Provider for Sunday mornings at Friedens Hill Church near Kempton. Lois Lutz Geehr and husband, Fred, enjoy living at their apartment in Ambler, Pa. near one of their children as neither of them drives anymore.  Her spinal concerns and Fred’s Alzheimers Disease prevent her from keeping in touch with Moravian.  Dawn VanKeuren’s health issues have kept her in Al. since our 50th reunion in 2004. Pat Krolik Nebinger spoke about her interest in the recent Magazine article about the history of the Ladies Seminary & College since she attended the Seminary in ’48 & ’49 before entering MCW later that year. Pat’s daughter Lori is an ’84 grad from Moravian.
During our Founder’s Day 2017 Gloria Badel Hilbert ’53 spoke at the luncheon and reminded us of our yearly tuition of $450.  Further responses were encouraged to which I responded by telling about the two teachers who influenced my choice of studies; Miss. Muriel Wilson 1926 and Miss. Mary Crow 1920.  The last person to speak was Richard Wright ’57 who told how his interest in birds and Bob Snyder influenced his coming to Moravian.  Also, related to Founder’s Day is Countess Benigna whose statue as highlighted at 4:00 p.m. on May 7, 2017 the day before Founder’s Day.  Nancy Zeleski Frantz ’53 and I attended.
This year being the College’s 275th anniversary many events were planned.  One was held on November 7, 2016, a Fireside Chat, was about MCW in the fifties.  I accepted the challenge, and told about Moravian during my years here for about a half hour before answering questions.

Posted 1-31-17

We are sad to report that John Gilliland, MD passed away on January 6, 2017.

Posted 11/30/16

We are sad to report that Bruce Cortlain Reimer passed away on November 10, 2016.

Posted 8/30/16

We are sad to report that James Overton Blanton, III passed away on August 18, 2016.

Posted 7-28-15

Founder’s Day 2015 was observed May 29 with a reception in Payne Gallery, the girls’ gym in former years.  Following the reception was the traditional Lovefeast in Peter Hall, the Chapel in former years, followed by the much enjoyed luncheon in Clewell Dining Hall.  The event observed the 273rd year since Countess Benigna founded the girls’ school in 1742 in Germantown before it moved to Bethlehem.  The Founder’s Day speaker was Paul Peucker, Moravian Church Archivist, whose slide talk; “Treasurers from the Vault” included the Countess’ role in women’s early education.  The Lovefeast concluded with the singing of the Alma Mater, written by Charles Meschter, the music by T. Edgar Shields.  Knowing nothing of Charles Meschter I went to Reeves Library where Linda LaPointe found that he was an English professor at Moravian and also an assistant English professor at Lehigh.  We both hope to learn more, including the story behind the colors purple and gold.
During lunch Eleanor Simmons MacCormick ’53 shared some interesting memories of her student days with all as did some of the men including Tom Haupert ֺ ’65 who recalled the influence of Deans Curtis, Bushnell and Sartwell.
Sister Millicent Drake and I missed being with many  classmates who attended in the past and added much to the singing of our Alma Mater, like Lois Lutz Geehr and her husband, Fred.  Also absent this May was my husband, Cas, who passed away March 14 of this year.
Drop me a line – a post card will do.

Posted 3/31/15

We are sad to report that Donald Sweeney passed away on March 19, 2015.

Posted 1/29/15

We are sad to report that Richard DiGiacomo Dee passed away on January 2, 1015.

Posted 7/30/14

We are sad to report that Judith Lyon Swenson passed away on June 28, 2014.

Posted 5/2/14

We are sad to report that Walter Haftl passed away on April 13, 2014.

Posted 3/31/14

Marjorie Eaton Martin writes: Sorry I will not be with you on May 17th.  Funnily enough I will be in England on that day attending a celebration at my old school and class reunion.  All is well with me, my children, grandchildren and great grandchild as well.  Best Wishes to all.
We are sad to report that Betty Ann Boone Wallwork passed away on March 16, 2014.

Posted on 2/11/14

We are sad to report that Shirley Beck Dutt passed away on January 5, 2014.

Posted 9/26/13

We are sad to report that Dorothy Ruyak passed away on August 21.

Posted 2/5/13

From Helen:
My most recent contact with MC classmates came from Christmas cards from Sister Millicent Drake , Pat Nutall Lewis, Pat Miller Scott and her husband, Ian, Marian Wagner,  and Patricia Krolik Nebinger with whom I shared our Putz and Moravian cookies (homemade sand tarts) and tea.  I missed hearing regular news from Lois Olietz Geeks and Elynor Fishel Rights.  I enjoy seeing college friends at Moravian alumni luncheons, Founders Day committee meetings and at annual Founders Day events, where Rita Dikon Adams, Sister Millicent Drake, Shirley Beck Dutt, Lois Lutz Geehrand her husband, Fred,and Marian Wagner represented our class at the May 2012 event.  Now I’m looking forward to Founders Day, May 19, 2013 and Alumni Weekend as I hope you are too.  I keep sewing “Polly Heckewelder” dolls Tuesday mornings with the ladies sewing group at Central Moravian church where I also meet monthly with one of the women’s groups, ‘Circle 6’.
We are sad to report that Mary Jeane Moser Romer passed away on January 6, 2013.

Posted 12/4/12

Helen Desh Woodbridge; 3574 Browning Lane; Bethlehem, PA 18017
From the Alumni Office:
We are sad to report that Elizabeth Rita Kuss Erney passed away on November 30, 2011.

From the Alumni House:

We are sad to report that Edward Zamiskie, Sr. passed away on September 13, 2011.

Posted 8/1/11

From Helen Desh Woodbridge:
Writing your ’54 class column has been affected, in part, since spring 2009 when its publication online began.  Then later in the year a hip replacement also affected my routine and energy.
Back in March 2010 classmate, Joan Kinard Mercado in Houston, Texas, wrote me about her interest in reading this column and about her offer of news. She volunteers much of her time to her community as you can see.  For her work in education, she received from the Houston Symphony League an award called the Arayce Tostengard Crystal Cello Award.  At church, First Presbyterian, she coordinates pianists for their Coffee Hour, coordinates a Senior Adult group and leads the volunteers in the music department.  She sings in the Houston Tuesday Musical Club where she serves as recording secretary and coordinates competitions for the young.  She mentioned her earlier part in our college choir and with Lehigh Madrigal when Dean Bushnell “allowed her to return after hours from singing.”
This month brought all of us good news from Moravian’s Pat Hanna ’82, assistant director of Alumni Relations, that three yearly publications of the Moravian magazine will again also include Class Notes.  Since spring ’09 one classmate, Pat Nuttal Lewis from Colorado Springs, CO, wrote that she missed reading our Class Notes because of having no internet.  She also wrote at Christmas that their family was together in Alabama in July.
Others heard from at Christmas were Grace Reed MacMurtrie, in town, Dorothy Ruyak from Parkville, MD, Elynor Rights from Clemmons, NC, Marian Wagner from Myerstown. Ian Scott from Woodstock, CT, reported that Pat who is under excellent care at Matulaitis Nursing Home “continues to defy the norm.” Lois Lutz Geehr in North Wales, shared a photo of her great granddaughter, Charoltte Rae, who “enjoys all who come within her range of vision.”  Lois herself expressed a very positive outlook.  She and Fred get to Bethlehem for many of the monthly Bach-at-Noon concerts in the Central Moravian Church.  They again attended Founders Day in April where Cas and I found ourselves during luncheon in Clewell Dining Hall seated at table with them and a student.  Others attending this event were Sister Millicent Drake, Boyertown, who read the Scripture during Lovefeast.  Marian Wagner came from Myerstown with her sister, Elaine K. Martinez ’52 from Illinois and Shirley Beck Dutt from Easton.
Pat Nebinger, in town, keeps me up to date on her daughter, Lorelai Broskey ’84 and two grand children – Bridget in Middle School and Victor in High school here in town, whose lives also involve hers.  Like her, we are friends of Pat Brown Hunter ’53 who recently celebrated her 80th birthday with family and friends at historic Mill House at Illicks Mill Park.
Being with Sister Millicent at lunch with friend Caroline Bruch Cole in Fleetwood again last spring, 2010, I had a fun time, also in company with Milly’s two dogs and Cally’s cat.  While there, Milly agreed to come to Bethlehem on September 16th to give her presentation of Ruth in Biblical dress for the women of my circle at Central Moravian Church.  The event occurred on schedule and included friends Grace Reed MacMurtrie, Helen V. Keyser ’55 and Bev Bell ’56.

Posted 10/29/10

From the Alumni House:
       Joan Mercado writes, “This has been a year of exciting events in my life! In January, I sang in a concert with Taylor High School Choral Union, Katy, Tex., at Carnegie Hall, performing Haydn’s ‘Lord Nelson Mass.’ This was the ultimate event in my singing career. In March, the Houston Symphony League honored me with the Ardyce Tostengard Crystal Celoo Award given to an outstanding education volunteer. Ten years ago I started this award in honor of Ardyce and was so pleased to receive it this year.”
       We are sad to report that Nicholas H. Warker Jr. passed away on October, 20, 2010.

Posted 1/7/10

From the Alumni Office:

Dale L. Pharo passed away on December 1, 2009.

Posted 8/3/09

From Helen Desh Woodbridge:
Pat Krolik Nebinger ’54 and I attended the Picnic Lunch & Reunion Photos on Saturday May 30th at the HUB. In the hallway we were glad to meet Lois Lutz Geehr ’54 and her Fred before the lunch at 12 noon. We selected a table for six on the porch overlooking the playing field and got in line for the picnic offerings. We were joined at our table by Patti Price and Robert Frick ’49. We heard the announcement of our class photo about 12:45, so Pat, Lois and I met the photographer at the indoor fireplace. There we were joined by classmates Shirley Beck Dutt ’54 and Bev Bell ’56. It was interesting to view the memorabilia room where Bev had several of our class items on display. Then we all joined the tour bus to South Campus to the new dorm, to be ready for students in August. Standing in front of the building we heard about it before entering, then walking up to the third floor. We missed being with our classmates for lunch and the singing of the MCW alma mater (sung earlier that morning). However, the weather was fine for the outdoor events.

Posted 6/29/09

3 cups of Tea, the book by Greg Mortenson, was a centerpiece of  a meeting of the Church Women United in January at nearby Advent Moravian Church.  A lively discussion followed the breakfast.  After the meeting I chanced to meet and talk to two Moravian grads- Barbara Schwarz Egerton ’73, an elementary school teacher, and Sandy Magill ’73. a caseworker for the Office of Vocational Rehab in Allentown.   

Women in our Moravian churches who attended monthly circle meetings have this year been introduced to the writing, Sacred Mountains of the Covenant People by John D. Rights ’85.  From his summer camping ministry at Laurel Ridge in N.C. and from backpacking parts of the Appalachian Trail with his late father, Burton J. Rights ’55, he developed an appreciation for mountain heights.  It covers nine sacred mountains from Mt. Ararat to Mt of Olives and is also of special interest to me because his mother, Elynor Fishel Rights, is a classmate, with interest in our reunions. 

My part in contacting classmates for our 55th reunion, along with Bev Bell ’56, Shirley B. Dutt and Pat K. Nebinger, has brought two responses, one from my email to Lois Neustein Krassner and another from my note to Mom Johnson Bott.  Mom wrote that “they enjoy the blessings of a lovely home, good health, and family love in Tucson, Az.”  They also keep in touch with events in the Lehigh Valley through the Morning Call online Edition.

At Weis Market in Hanover Twp.  I recently chatted with Millie Siftar Kimock56 who spoke of Chris Sideris ’56, then her own four sons, seven grandchildren; for her 15 year old grandson she is looking for a gift.  Also, Alice Schofer Durner ’52 plans to come to Founder’s Day.  The Allentown Alumnae Club met again this spring at Old Main in the area once the office of Dean Curtis and Bushnell.  Bev Bell ’56, Olivia Musselman Barnes ’38, and I were seated at a table with Peter Caputo, Vice-President for Institutional Advancement, and with Julia Gasdaska ’07, Assistant Alumni Director.  A place was set for Mary Pongracz ’52 who was not able to make it.  The speaker was Gordon Weil on Moravian College today; he is Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty.  He and Mrs. Weil sat at another table.  They are now occupants of the Freunauff House, the house next door visible through the large windows.  Some of us remember it as Wolle Hall that housed music classes and practice rooms.

Posted 4/20/09

From Helen:

Elizabeth Bees Anyfantis ’70, my niece, who lives in Athens, Greece, visited her family and friends in August and September.  She was again a volunteer at Musikfest and helped make beeswax candles with a group at Central Moravian Church in September.  She enjoyed eating cherry tomatoes and we were able to keep her well supplied from our garden.
Joanne Albright Hoodmaker ’56 and I had lunch here before going over music for the November 7, Church Women United program.  She sings for many groups and also gives programs on the Titanic.
In November , I attended the luncheon with Allentown Alumna at Hanoverville Roadhouse attended by Mary Strock ’38 and friend Gladys Koder, Alma Albright ’40, Margaret Albright ’43, Nancy Frantz ’55, Helen V. Keyser ’55, Joan L. Schlegel ’55, and Bev Bell ’54.  Marsha Stiles ’99, director of alumni relations, Julia Gasdaska ’07, new assistant director of alumni Relations, and Patti Price, director of planned giving also attended. 
In December, the group met again at Krista’s for lunch, except for Bev and the addition of Ruth Kelly.
In December Cas and I joined Shirley B. Dutt and Harold and Pearl Stein ’57 for dinner at the Star Fish restaurant in Bethlehem.  My visiting relatives from Wisconsin also were in our group and attended  the College Vespers at Central Moravian Church. 
Moravian College continues the tradition of afternoon teas for women.  The recent one was held on November 21 where I was glad to see Shirley B. Dutt, Bev Bell, Nancy Frantz, Helen V. Keyser, Bertie Francis Knisely ’69, director of leadership giving, Marsha Stiles, and Julia Gasdaska.  Professor of sociology, Bettie Smolansky told of her plans to retire after coming to Moravian in 1964.  We met some of her current students and former students now working at the college.  We also met Kathy Glick Weil who resides at the President’s House (Freauff), and she was interested to know the building was once called the Wolle House that housed music and practice rooms.
In October Cas and I were able to attend the wedding of our grandson, Tim in Columbus, IN attended by our other two sons.  During the four days there we saw familiar and new family members and friends.