Alumnae Memorials

Alumnae Memorials

Ann Hamilton James ’42 died on March 3 at age 95.

Throughout her life, Ann wore the labels “Wellesley girl” and “Air Force wife” with great pride. Prior to graduation, she married Art James, a pilot, who served his country 31 years. Wherever the Air Force sent them, she was an active volunteer and leader. In Colorado Springs, Colo., Ann was an active member of the League of Women Voters chapter, serving the league for more than 35 years. She spent the last seven years of her life in Knoxville, Tenn., where her oldest son, Art Jr., and his family lived.

Bruce James, son

Alice Horton Tibbetts ’45 died on Dec. 27, 2016.

Soon after Alice graduated, she became Miss Mac’s stepdaughter when her father, Douglas Horton, married Mildred McAfee, then Wellesley’s president. That fall, as president of the U.S. Student Assembly, Alice attended the 1945 World Youth Conference in London, which marked the founding of the World Federation of Democratic Youth. Alice married Norris Tibbetts, and they lived in Madison, Wis., where Norris taught at the UW Extension School for Workers. Alice received her master’s in education from the UW and taught grade school. In retirement, she enjoyed volunteer work, a book group, and singing and playing stringed instruments. Alice and Norris spent summers in Randolph, N.H., a Horton family summer location since the 1930s.

The Tibbetts Family

Elizabeth “Betsy” Loy McMahon ’48 died on March 5, 2016.

Betsy gave abundantly to every aspect of her life. She was the matriarch of Loy-Lange Box Company, St. Louis, founded in 1897 by her grandfather. She was inspired by family, faith, friends, and nature. Her passions were her three children, gardening, arts, theater, French, baseball, the environment, and the writing of light verse and lyrics.

As a freshman in Webb House, Betsy made lifelong friends, and as a senior on bell duty in Severance, she met her future husband of 56 years, Carroll McMahon (Harvard ’46). Betsy was active in the St. Louis Wellesley Club, serving many roles, including president; attended every class reunion, but one; led Stepsinging; composed class songs; and proudly wore her red beanie.

Catherine “Kitty” McMahon Bartholomew ’80, daughter

Elizabeth Bell Friou ’50 died on Dec. 19, 2016.

Betty was an award-winning composer and co-founder of New York Women Composers, Inc. Known professionally as Elizabeth Bell, she served on the board of governors of the American Composers Alliance and was involved in numerous music associations.

A direct descendant of the ninth U.S. president, William Henry Harrison, she studied at the Juilliard School, the only woman in the composition program. A lifelong advocate for women in music, she was equally passionate about Wellesley, where it all began.

She is loved and missed by her three sons, two stepdaughters, and an extended family of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Paul Drake, Rippy Drake, and Steven Drake, sons

Gainor Ingersoll Miller ’51 passed away peacefully on Feb. 4 at her Cathedral Village apartment in Philadelphia.

Gainor was a woman with an understated but powerful creativity, unique grace, and generosity of spirit that manifested in her relationships, her interests, and her sense of humor. An art history major at Wellesley, Gainor later attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and became an accomplished sculptor, operating her own independent studio for decades. Years later at Cathedral Village, she ran the clay studio. Gainor also loved horticulture, graduating from the Barnes Foundation program and participating in the Philadelphia Flower Show for many years. Gainor was predeceased by her beloved husband, John, and is survived by her four loving children and six grandchildren.

Marian Ingersoll Schoettle, daughter

Betty Anne Swartz Newmark ’52 died on Jan. 3.

Betty was still married to her Harvard man, Allan Newmark, whom she wed a few weeks after graduation. She leaves three children, four grandchildren, and two step-grandchildren. Although Betty lived in Chappaqua, N.Y., for the past 60 years, she never lost her Boston accent or her love for the Red Sox, or baseball in general. She also never lost her intellectual curiosity, and she continued traveling to exotic locations all over the world until just months before she succumbed to complications of Type 2 diabetes.

Amy Newmark, daughter

Barbara “Bobbie” Lackey Cohen ’55 died on Dec. 5, 2015.

Bobbie and I met sophomore year, when we both lived in one of Wellesley’s many enclaves: the tower of Tower Court, and I have fond memories of good times spent there. She was a wonderful person—cheerful, warm, caring, and beautiful in every way. She left after junior year to marry, but finished her Wellesley degree, and also a master’s, at Columbia. She leaves husband Chuck, son Laurence, daughter Julia Balk, and grandsons Daniel Balk, David Balk, and Dylan Cohen. Bobbie used her talent designing lovely jewelry under her label Barbara D’Oro. Our class jewelry was of her design. A wonderful person to know, she is missed by her family and many friends.

Andy Kieffer Kirkman ’55

Anne Ransdell Riendeau ’55 died on Sept. 28, 2016.

Annie and I were friends at Crofton and at Munger. Annie, born and raised in Indiana, settled with Dick in Latham, N.Y. She was a true New Yorker and a devoted Yankee fan. She always spoke of her rich and full life as a mother of four, grandmother, teacher, and wife of a coach. How she loved and appreciated Wellesley and our class. Generous and caring, when her college roommate, Donna Crissman Jackson ’55, was too ill to attend our 50th, Annie arranged a phone call to her from those of us in attendance. When Donna died, Annie honored her with a memorial tribute in this magazine. A math major, Annie was a lifelong teacher and learner and, in later years, a caregiver to her parents and husband.

Cathie LaGuardia Petersen ’55

Jo Reeser Cassidy ’55 died on Feb. 10.

Jo married Martin in the Wellesley chapel the Friday before our graduation, creating many occasions for a dual celebration. By 1980, Jo, Martin—a geologist—and their three children had moved 18 times. An English major, Jo wrote professionally for newspapers and as a freelance writer, and personally in humorous, perceptive letters. In 1963, Jo was certified as a Braille transcriber by the Library of Congress, and until her death, worked with visually handicapped students. In 2015 at our Long Island home, we met to celebrate the college graduation of James, one of Jo’s five grandchildren. When she settled in Cypress, Texas, we understood that Jo would not move again, and that retiring was something only to talk about. In 2010, she wrote, “Still thinking some day I’ll be old enough to retire.”

Cathie LaGuardia Petersen ’55

Dorothy “Dee” Angell Rutherford ’56 died on Sept. 2, 2016, at home in Bethesda, Md.

Dee never stopped exploring and learning. Both Bible majors, we often studied together in Wellesley’s library stacks; no question, Dee was by far the better scholar.

Dee lived for several years in Bangladesh and became fascinated with Bengali culture. This led to her Ph.D. in anthropology in 1984, focusing on Bengalis in America, and to a career consulting on immigrant issues. For many decades we frequented Washington’s museums and art galleries like students, had fun, and learned lots. A wonderful cook, Bengali style, Dee eagerly shared recipes. How I treasure the jar labeled “Dee’s Curry Mix” I see every day in my kitchen.

Ellen Thompson Rye ’56

Mary Catherine Harris Biern ’56 died on June 20, 2016, in Annapolis, Md.

Mary Kay was gentle, solicitous … a most loving, affectionate friend. (She greeted you by holding both your hands in hers!)

She was hard-working, disciplined, and committed to her Christian faith and to community service. Among her many longtime involvements: She was a volunteer for Historic Annapolis, a member of Caritas of St. John’s College and the Friends of St. John’s, a founding and board member of the Mitchell Gallery, and a member of the Garden Club of Old Annapolis-Towne.

Mary Kay was married for 36 years to the late Robert “Bob” Biern. She is survived by her daughters, Cathy and Betsy, their spouses, and two grandchildren.

Mitzi Drucker Jonas ’56

Gizella “Gigi” Parrish Callender ’56 died suddenly on Feb. 15.

With wit, intelligence, and energy, Gigi lived life to the fullest. She gave of herself 100 percent to whatever she did—teaching Chinese cooking, wildflower botanizing, being a grandmom, attending almost every Wellesley Symposium, and playing later-in-life competitive tennis.

With Wellesley friends she barged in France, settled for nothing but authentic hot pot in Chungking, slept in yurts in Morocco, and climbed over ruins in Turkey, eager for every experience and bringing her sense of humor and unique perspective to every day’s events.

Gigi, you were one of a kind.

Anne Sinnott Moore ’56

Gene Skewis Moll ’56 passed away on Sept. 18, 2016.

Education, especially for special-needs children, along with garden club, quilting, rug hooking, and reading were among her favorite things. Gene was well liked by everyone who knew her. She even took in other children from her immediate family who were going through difficult times. She had four girls and two boys of her own, but also worked in Head Start and special needs programs. She earned a master’s degree in school administration and worked 30 years in teaching, first as a reading consultant, then as a curriculum coordinator, and then as a school principal in several Maine schools. She will be greatly missed.

Joanna Smith Hunt ’56

Deborah Parsons Burns ’59 died on Feb. 20.

Debbie is especially remembered by all those who attended annual summer lunches on the beach by her home in Kennebunk, Maine. Jean Crawford ’59 was a faithful participant. Jean writes: “Debbie started having the summer lunches more than 25 years ago. She began with Harlee Levy Chandler ’59, who summered in Ogunquit, and me, whom she had seen in Rockport. The number kept growing until there were about 20 classmates each August. Parsons Beach is glorious and adjacent to salt marshes. It’s close to the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge. Debbie used to walk the beach early every morning.”

Nancy Harmon Jenkins ’59

Nancy Bass Wolfram ’64 died on Aug. 23, 2016, in California.

Nancy’s engaging smile and interest in everyone and everything won her many friends. Living in Severance and Beebe, her interests covered history and English, and skiing and sailing in her beloved Maine. During her adult life in Minnesota, New York, and California, she enjoyed travel and other cultures, and she was a respected teacher of students of English as a second language. Husband Chuck, daughter Catherine, son Peter, and grandchildren Sky, Sylvia, and Max were dear to her, and all lived close in California. Even as Nancy’s memory faded—far too soon—she retained her great personality and concern for others.

Carol Beebe Bosco ’64
Alison Kern Stitzer ’64
Caren Ericksen Wilcox ’64

Joan Nadler Davidson ’64 died on Dec. 12, 2016.

Throughout her life, even during her last few days, Joan retained her vibrant spirit, infectious laugh, and care for others. I remember a very spirited conversation we had as seniors about the relative intellectual merits of science (my major) and literature (her major). Last year, I had a wonderful visit with Joan and her husband, Bill, in Tucson, Ariz. Joan was an active member of the local JCC and with great kindness introduced me to two strenuous exercise classes where she excelled and through which I struggled (albeit with a great feeling of accomplishment). May her memory be for a blessing.

Nancy Harrison Kolodny ’64

Barbara Morris Caspersen ’67 died on Nov. 19, 2016.

Barbara and her late husband, Finn M.W. Caspersen, married in June 1967. As a young mother of four sons, Barbara earned her Ph.D. in literature at Drew University. Her dissertation, “The Flowering of Desire: Willa Cather and the Sources of Miracle,” demonstrated Barbara’s love of learning, literature, and nature.

A tireless volunteer, Barbara served on and chaired many boards, especially supporting education from preschool through graduate studies. To express their love for Wellesley, in the 1990s Barbara and Finn endowed a humanities chair at the College.

Barbara’s Wellesley friendships spanned 50-plus years. She inspired us with her generosity, warmth, and dedication to her large family and many friends.

Rhoda Morss Trooboff ’67

Deborah Baker McGuire ’69 passed away peacefully in New York City on Oct. 30, 2016. She was born on May 15, 1947, in Chicago, and attended the Latin School there and then Ferry Hall in Lake Forest, Ill., before going on to Wellesley. She married Michael McGuire and lived most of her adult life in Los Angeles, where she raised her daughters, Katie and Colleen, while completing her Ph.D. in English literature at UCLA. Along with her daughters, she is survived by her sisters, Nancy and Barbara. She was a loving friend with a winning smile and a great sense of humor.

Linda Walton ’69

Sarah Miller Caldicott ’80 died on Jan. 24.

Freshman roommates, we remained friends for over 41 years. Sally never told me she was a great-grandniece of Thomas Alva Edison till many years later. Humble and extremely hardworking, she combined a heavyweight marketing, writing, and consultancy career with raising her beloved sons, Nicholas and Connor, as a single mom. She remarried in 2012 and moved from Illinois to Florida with her new husband, Wayne Myers. Among her many talents, she was an accomplished musician, and I got used to having her harpsichord in our dorm room! She leaves her husband, parents, brother, sister, two sons, two stepsons, nieces, nephews, and many, many devoted friends. Her mother is Sylvia McDonald Lucas Miller ’56.

Krystina Lyon ’79

Linda Lee ’11 died on June 28, 2016.

Linda was someone at Wellesley that everyone knew and loved. If you had a class with her, shared a meal with her in the dining hall, or joined her at one of her many extracurricular activities, you know she was uniquely capable of making friends with anyone. She will be remembered for her sense of humor and wit, as well as her fierce intelligence, showcased especially well when she was learning a new language or taking a deep dive into history.

Sophie Wang ’11

Inger Raahauge Nielsen CE/DS ’92 died on Jan. 27.

Inger devoted much of her energy to helping women, beginning with her early career as a midwife, her work in Wellesley’s Alumnae Office, and through her work for One World Women’s Health in Sierra Leone.

A natural leader, Inger inspired us with her ability to be frank but not unkind, to be protective when required, and to deal with life straight on. She was beautiful, dignified, and funny. She never thought that just because something was it necessarily ought to be. Inger had a gift for seeing problems for what they were and solving them. When she couldn’t, she looked them—life, and her illness—right in the eye.

We miss her.

Anne Gothro CE/DS ’92
Jeannie Benton CE/DS ’92
Melanie Morgon CE/DS ’92
Gretchen Schmelzer (Mt. Holyoke ’87)
Maud Hazeltine Chaplin ’56
Bonnie Downes Leonard ’59


  • Mary-Leigh Call Smart, Jan. 11, 2017
  • Margaret Howe Sloan, Dec. 13, 2016
  • Emily Marks Skolnick, Jan. 29, 2017


  • Dora Foss Mann, Dec. 18, 2016


  • Sylvia Cohen Goldsmith, Feb. 2, 2017


  • Elizabeth Berry Babcock , Nov. 30, 2016
  • Virginia Merrills Anthes, Dec. 7, 2016
  • Mary Walling Beardsley, Jan. 20, 2017


  • Marjorie Burns Brown, Jan. 23, 2017


  • Ann Hamilton James, March 3, 2017
  • Katherine Sprunt, Dec. 16, 2016


  • Clara Ellen Bettes Gerould Van Dorn, Jan. 8, 2017


  • Sarah Ernst Bondy, Jan. 13, 2017
  • Marjorie Ober Roberts, Dec. 3, 2016
  • Phyllis Siebenthaler Hopple, Dec. 31, 2016


  • Margaret Bonsal Soleau, Dec. 25, 2016
  • Alice Horton Tibbetts, Dec. 27, 2016
  • Shirley Rosenblum Miller, Dec. 15, 2016
  • Thora Westergaard Frank, Nov. 18, 2016


  • Francis Jenkins Wirta, Feb. 23, 2015
  • Marion G. Spear, Jan. 8, 2017
  • Constance Wetherald Tily, Jan. 12, 2017


  • Joan Barker Melvin, Dec. 29, 2016
  • Alice Brown Bainton, March 7, 2017
  • Jean Doern Lieberman, Jan. 10, 2017
  • Alice Edwards Hinkamp, Dec. 23, 2016
  • Judith Karp Ritter, Jan. 11, 2017<
  • Ann Parry Gosling, April 21, 2015
  • Flo-Harriet Taylor Sand, April 7, 2016
  • Regine Weiss Ransohoff, Jan. 2, 2016
  • Priscilla Whitcomb Ford, Dec. 6, 2016


  • Jeanne Latham Reynolds, Feb. 15, 2017
  • Nancy Stafford Raynsford, Jan. 6, 2017


  • Jane Frieder Ellis, Dec. 24, 2016


  • Elizabeth Bell Friou, Dec. 19, 2016
  • Jane Davis Hartwell, Nov. 28, 2016
  • Priscilla Lamb Lunde, Jan. 2, 2017
  • G. Cellen Swan Fowle, Jan. 24, 2017


  • Gainor Ingersoll Miller, Feb. 4, 2017
  • Janice MacMahon Aldrich, Nov. 28, 2016
  • Polly Taylor, July 26, 2016


  • Anne Drought Wallace, Jan. 25, 2017
  • H. Jacquelyn McCarthy Hickey, Dec. 29, 2016
  • Martha Meyer Weilbacher, Jan. 26, 2017
  • Phyllis Nason Gelb, Feb. 12, 2017
  • Phyllis Shapiro Sewell, Dec. 26, 2016
  • Betty Swartz Newmark, Jan. 3, 2017
  • Nona Woodward Holmes, Jan. 29, 2017


  • Nancy C. Doyle, Feb. 13, 2017
  • Louise Rodewald Forni, Nov. 7, 2016


  • Harriet Baldwin Bryan, Jan. 1, 2017
  • Jacqueline Bennett Holmes, Jan. 30, 2017
  • Anna Marguerite McCann Taggart, Feb. 12, 2017


  • E. Anne Ransdell Riendeau, Sept. 28, 2016
  • Jo Reeser Cassidy, Feb. 10, 2017


  • Gizella Parrish Callender, Feb. 15, 2017
  • Marjorie Scheminger Wilson, Dec. 22, 2016


  • Jean Dodson Wright, Jan. 5, 2017


  • Camilla Sewall Wood, Dec. 19, 2016
  • Kathleen Taze Jeavons, June 30, 2013


  • Deborah Parsons Burns, Feb. 20, 2017


  • Gail Crisp Matheson, Dec. 15, 2016


  • Nancy Norris-Kniffin, Feb. 13, 2017
  • Carol Wentley Singer, Jan. 15, 2017


  • Sarah Crawford Fox, Jan. 3, 2017
  • Mary Serri Murray-Johnson, Dec. 9, 2016


  • Jane Paige Weld, Jan. 24, 2017


  • Joan Nadler Davidson, Dec. 12, 2016


  • Barbara Morris Caspersen, Nov. 19, 2016


  • Deborah Baker McGuire, Oct. 30, 2016
  • Carol Ebert Perry, Dec. 26, 2016


  • Adair P. Lane, Feb. 6, 2017


  • Edythe Anthony, Jan. 27, 2017


  • Anna Frager, Feb. 3, 2017
  • Susan K. McGinnis, Jan. 2, 2010


  • Sarah Miller Caldicott, Jan. 24, 2017


  • Nancy A. Nugent, Dec. 7, 2016
  • Elizabeth S. Rogers, Feb. 17, 2017
  • Terri D. Seales, Feb. 13, 2017


  • Meggan Clark, Jan. 5, 2017


  • Linda Lee, June 28, 2016


  • Inger Raahauge Nielsen, Jan. 27, 2017
  • Norma-Rae Wachs, Feb. 5, 2017


  • Barbara Walls Dolph, May 10, 2016

Post a CommentView Full Policy

We ask that those who engage in Wellesley magazine's online community act with honesty, integrity, and respect. (Remember the honor code, alums?) We reserve the right to remove comments by impersonators or comments that are not civil and relevant to the subject at hand. By posting here, you are permitting Wellesley magazine to edit and republish your comment in all media. Please remember that all posts are public.

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.