Lucetta Sharp Alderfer ’39 died on March 10 at the Quadrangle in Bryn Mawr, Pa.
Lucetta was a classmate of my mother, Elizabeth Johnson Wray, and they were dear friends for 80 years. My “Aunt Lucetta” was a fervent supporter of Wellesley, serving as class president, secretary, treasurer, and class representative.
A teacher and school administrator, she was head of Agnes Irwin Lower School in Rosemont, Pa., for 23 years.
She was fiercely independent, confident, and a consummate volunteer. She married S. Stanley Alderfer later in life; they were devoted to one another until his death. Both my mother and I will miss her enthusiasm for Wellesley and her steadfast friendship.
Laura L. Wray ’74
Elizabeth Johnson Wray ’39
Harriet C. Mills ’41 died on March 5 at Collington, a retirement community in Mitchellville, Md.
An English major, Phi Beta Kappa, and Durant scholar, Harriet worked briefly as an editor for John Day Publishing in New York before focusing on graduate work in Chinese language and literature at Columbia. Awarded a Fulbright in 1947, she went to Beijing to continue doctoral research. Imprisoned as a spy by China’s Communist government in 1951, she endured over four years in a Beijing political prison before release in October 1955. After completing her Ph.D., she taught at Columbia, Cornell, and the University of Michigan until retirement in 1990. She was the recipient of many academic honors, and her students considered her an excellent teacher.
Angie Mills ’47, sister
Louise Carroll Wade ’48 died on Feb. 17 in Eugene, Ore.
I met Louise 40 years ago when she moved to Eugene to join the University of Oregon history faculty. A great supporter of Wellesley, a proud graduate, she was thrilled that my daughter also attended Wellesley. She will be missed. She had a keen, curious, adventurous mind. A Wellesley girl, for sure. She was a loyal and involved friend to so many. It was my honor to know her.
Norma Joseph Hart ’50 died on April 23.
After Wellesley, Norma earned an M.A. and M.Phil. from New York University and a Psy.D. from Yeshiva University. Norma worked as a school psychologist for the New York City Board of Education. She was a delegate-member of the United Federation of Teachers and a founding member of two committees, Hispanic Affairs and Capably Disabled. She was a single mother who raised three sons and adored her two grandchildren. She was a member of the board of the City Club of New York and a proud Democrat. She will be remembered as a loving mother and grandmother, a loyal friend, and a tenacious advocate for others.
Michael Hart, son
Joan Schiff Beren ’51 died on Jan. 25.
Joan’s life revolved around good deeds, lifelong learning, and her love of family. Notably, Joan was president of the Mid-Kansas Jewish Federation, chair of the Board of Regents of Wichita State University (WSU), on the board of governors of the WSU Endowment Association for the Arts, and vice president of the Community Council for Women’s Studies. By example, she taught not only the importance of family, but also the value of hard work, being a member of the community, and helping others. She will be especially missed by her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, as well as those privileged to know her. She made everyone in her life feel loved and special.
Irene Schiff Groban ’45, sister
Nancy Beren ’73, daughter and 1951 “Class Daughter”
Amy Beren Bressman ’77, daughter
Ursula Blum Granite ’51 died on Nov. 22, 2015.
Ursula came to Wellesley from Lawrence, Mass., where her family settled after escaping Nazi persecution in 1939. This experience, and attendance at public schools with children of unemployed workers in a depressed textile city, engendered in Ursula a lifelong desire to aid others. After sophomore year, Ursula moved to Rochester, where she married, had two daughters, and completed her education. As a medical social worker, she brought compassion and bioethical skills to minister to the needy. Survivors include Ursula’s sister, two daughters, three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Marilyn Jacoby Boxer ’51
Suzanne Gallant ’61 died on Feb. 22 in Annapolis, Md.
Suzanne lived and worked in the Boston area, where she raised two children, Margaret and Edward Lynch. Sadly, Eddie died in an auto accident when he was 25. Suzanne made many visits to our Wyoming ranch, and she and I traveled a lot over the years. Suzanne’s last years were difficult, as she suffered from pulmonary fibrosis, leading to a lung transplant.
A loving sister, mother, and grandmother, Suzanne was a steadfast friend, and a gifted poet who spoke the truth as she saw it.
Katherine Morehead ’61
Roberta Montgomery Long-Twyman ’65 died on April 10.
Although I did not meet Roberta at Wellesley, she became part of my Denver life when she joined the League of Women Voters in the 1990s. She was an avid defender of children in her work with Denver Social Services and later at the Colorado legislature as a member of the LWV Colorado Legislative Action Committee. At our 50th reunion, we walked all over campus together, talking about how things have profoundly changed and yet how Wellesley still anchored us. She succumbed to pancreatic cancer five short months after diagnosis. Her spirit was very strong, and we shall all miss her gentle smile and thoughtful comments.
Roberta Fletcher Heisterkamp ’65
Pamela Pilkonis ’71 died on Feb. 3.
Pam, an art history major, was a gifted, well-regarded artist and teacher and an intellect extraordinaire. You could not tell her about a book she hadn’t already devoured. Visiting a museum with her was an unparalleled experience. She exuded warmth, wisdom, beauty, and elegance. She spent over two decades in Lacoste, France, teaching sculpture, coordinating a creative-arts program, and adding to her own impressive catalogue of work. She returned to New York in the late ’90s and enriched the lives around her. Pam will be remembered as a loving and beloved daughter, sister, aunt, great-aunt, and friend.
Shelley Duckstein Fischel ’72
Fairlea Sheehy ’72 died on Sept. 18, 2014, of multiple sclerosis.
Remembering Fairlea Sheehy:
The laugh, the astute mind, the never-ending curiosity.
Who gives up law practice to cook in a DC Tex-Mex restaurant? Ms. Fairlea.
Who takes up Greek to read the Odyssey in the original? Ms. Fairlea.
Who buys a monster house in the District and then, through some degrees of separation, rents to a young friend of a friend (and they become lifelong friends)? Ms. Fairlea.
Certainly stardust now, absolutely debating with the sages of the ages.
Lift your glass to joy and a life fully lived.
Nancy Roberts ’72
Elizabeth “Mopsy” Trooper Matthews ’74 died on Jan. 25. The cause was complications from sudden cardiac arrest.
Azee’ííł’íní naa naalwoł—“the doctor who is running around”—so Mopsy was named by the Navajo people at the Indian Health Service. Her career in pediatrics/family medicine began there in New Mexico, and extended to Southeast Asia and India.
Mopsy was a creative writer, avid reader, adventurer, artist, sailor, mushroom hunter; a mentor, a role model. A grinning bundle of energy and generosity of spirit. In the hearts of the friends and family she adored, and the people she served as a doctor, Mopsy’s humanism and love of life still runs.
Deneene Whitehead ’76