Alumnae Memorials

Alumnae Memorials

Jean Gregory Downes ’36 died on April 6 at age 103.

Jean and Tom raised their four children in Winchester, Mass. As her last child headed off to college, Jean’s early fascination with science motivated her to embark on a career as a hematology laboratory research technician. Later, she and Tom retired to Vero Beach, Fla. When he died in 1992, Jean continued to play duplicate bridge, and at the ages of 87 and 88 won the state championship for her class. At 93, Jean moved to the Village at Waterman Lake in Smithfield, R.I., where she enjoyed many community activities and the company of her children and their families. She is survived by her four children, four grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Bonnie Downes Leonard ’59, daughter

Mary Elizabeth “Betty” Anderson Barnes ’38, 101, passed away peacefully on Nov. 1, 2018, in Delray Beach, Fla.

Betty married Edwin A. Barnes, Jr., in 1940. They lived in New York City, Westchester County, and London, and then retired to Boca Raton, Fla. Her husband died in 1994, and Betty moved to Harbour’s Edge, Delray Beach, in 1999. While living in Delray Beach, Betty was active with Wellesley, and served as vice president for the class of ’38 from 2003 through 2008. Betty is survived by her daughter, Lisa, and her husband, Stephen, of Hertford, N.C., and two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her son, Bradley, in 2005.

Lisa Hard, daughter

Mary Louise Snellenburg Harris ’45 died peacefully on March 10.

Mary Louise will be remembered for her bright smile and sparkling wit. Sophomore year, she followed her husband, Miller Harris, to Cornell to continue her education.

When Miller returned from WWII, Mary Louise and he enjoyed distinguished careers in family businesses: Eagle Shirtmakers, Pierre Cardin, and Viyella. They traveled extensively in search of fine fabrics, patterns, and weekend escapes.

When their grown children scattered, they arranged yearly gatherings in La Jolla, Sante Fe, and Bucks County, promoting tight bonds among their grandchildren.

Mary Louise was an inspiration to her surviving three daughters, 10 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband and her son, Mickey.

Jill Harris, daughter

Patty Paul LaFave ’47 of Waterloo, Iowa, died on Oct. 20, 2018, in St. Paul, Minn. Patty married Ed LaFave, president of the Citizens Bank in Morris, Minn., and they lived in Morris and Alexandria and wintered in Ponte Vedra, Fla. She loved her volunteer work with children. She and Ed were part of a group that was instrumental in the founding of the University of Minnesota at Morris. Patty loved psychology, Shakespeare, and especially astronomy. Her memory will be cherished by her five children, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, whom she taught to “brighten the corner where you are.”

Julie LaFave ’79, daughter

Eleanor Curtis van Hoogstraten ’48, a longtime resident of Bronxville, N.Y., and its environs, died on March 11.

After graduating with a degree in art history, Eleanor traveled to Munich, Germany, and worked with voluntary agencies to assist refugees and displaced persons in the aftermath of World War II. There, she met her husband of 58 years, Jan van Hoogstraten, who predeceased her. She continued her art studies at the Art Students League of New York and later worked for Macmillan Publishers as an illustrator of books for children and young adults. During the 1970s, she taught art at the Bronxville, N.Y., public school. She gave private lessons in painting and sculpting, and was also a potter and jewelry maker who frequently exhibited and sold her work.

David van Hoogstraten

Margaret “Peggy” Griffith Olsson ’54 died on May 16, 2018.

Peggy and I both lived in Noanette on the third floor. Although we lived in different dorms after the first year, we kept in touch. The summer after our sophomore year, we traveled in Europe for six weeks. Everywhere we went, we met boys. They all fell for Peggy. She was tall, slender, and very pretty, but more importantly, she was smart and had a wonderful wry sense of humor that made every day full of fun. Peggy married John, and they settled in Dallas. She had five children and earned a master’s in library science and enjoyed many years working at the university library. I will certainly miss her at our class’s 65th reunion.

Elizabeth Seymour Bynum ’54

Judith Mae Rulnick Hyman ’56 died on March 27 in Philadelphia.

Former development director for many charitable organizations, Judith was a consummate professional and a great, funny lady. A blonde to the end, brilliant and kind, she always bettered a bad world. Whatever she did, she did with gusto and style. For those who were curious about our names, we were doubly related: Our fathers were brothers, our mothers first cousins.

Judith Myrna “Mert” Rulnick Klau ’56, cousin

Mimi Armstrong ’62 died on Oct. 26, 2018, in Belgium, from cancer.

After graduating from Wellesley, Mimi lived a fulfilling life in Brussels, Belgium. She studied musicology but eventually went back to university for a degree in psychology. She was passionate about her job as a psychoanalyst and involved in many different projects throughout the years: music, theater, travel, reading, writing papers. Mimi made friends fast and is remembered by them for her caring ears, her easy laughter, and her hospitality. Family was very important to her: She is deeply missed by her children, Anne Ferrard ’90, Sébastien Ferrard, their spouses, and her five grandchildren. Mimi’s mother, Anne Jackson Armstrong ’34, went to Wellesley, as did her grandmother Mary Smith Jackson 1902.

Anne Ferrard ’90

Elizabeth “Lee” Sutton Stuart ’62 passed away on June 29, 2017, in Amherst, Mass.

During Lee’s long, productive career, most recently as associate professor of microbiology and director of chlamydia vaccine research at UMass Amherst, she developed a chlamydia vaccine and delivery system and discovered the presence of live chlamydia in human blood donor samples and the carriage of chlamydia in breast milk. She tirelessly mentored her lab students; many have achieved industry and faculty research positions.

Lee’s friends miss her love of a good laugh and argument, quirky sense of humor, kindness, and generosity.

We send our sympathy to Lee’s daughter Anne, son Sam, grandchildren Rachel and Zachary, sister Patricia, and brother, Edmund.

Carol Ohta ’62

Alexandra Brittain Knox ’63 died peacefully on March 11 in Lancaster, Pa.

After graduating from Wellesley with a major in French, Alex received an M.A. in French from Bryn Mawr College and later an M.A. in speech and language from NYU. She worked for many years as an ASHA-certified speech pathologist specializing in working with older adults.

Alex had a lifelong passion for music, international traveling, horticulture, and serving her church. Her love of language was manifested in her talent for writing and speaking. She was a vibrant personality who enjoyed people. Her two children and eight grandchildren survive her.

Elizabeth Brittain Braun, sister

Deborah Davis ’67 died on April 18, 2018.

Debbie and I met when we were selected for the two female leads in the Main Stage production of Night of the Iguana. We also acted together in plays put on by Shakespeare Society. She was an enormously funny person, engagingly self-effacing and sympathetic, much loved at Wellesley. Coming from Wyoming, she felt part of the American West, and moved to California after college to take a doctoral degree in early-childhood development. Living and teaching in Claremont, she and her husband, Tom Caughron, had a wide circle of friends, lively and creative people. Tom and their two sons, Nick and Toby, survive Debbie.

Pamela Price ’66

Marisa Regula Shanstrom ’82 died on Sept. 8, 2018, in Denver from complications due to cancer.

Marisa graduated cum laude, with a double major in English and biology. She moved to NYC and worked in the arts, and later received her J.D. from American University. In 1996, she joined the Certosa, in Italy, as a Catholic postulant for the Carthusian order. After leaving the monastery, she worked as a lay missionary. She spent several years in Haiti as a volunteer with the Haitian Health Foundation, and taught English at a missionary school in Taiwan. Marisa taught in Catholic schools throughout the U.S. Marisa often spoke about the education and special friendships formed at Wellesley. Her shining spirit and beaming smile will be remembered always.

Christina Shanstrom Edwards, sister

Tejshree Thapa ’88 died on March 26 in New York City. Born in and deeply tied to Nepal, Tej was a citizen of the world. Tej devoted her career to confronting some of the most difficult and painful issues on Earth, including wartime atrocities and ethnic cleansing. But her most passionate cause was as the defender of women and girls who were victims of sex crimes, and she served as special rapporteur on violence against women at the UN. Lover of art, poetry, people, cities, music, conversation, and intellectual query, Tej lives on in our memories. Tej tried to save the Earth, and now we let Earth embrace its honored guest. Tej is survived by her parents, her sister, and her daughter, Maya.

Maria Marks ’88


Betty Sheaffer Branstad, Nov. 25, 2018


Jean Gregory Downes, April 6, 2019


Claire Berger Benenson, April 12, 2019


Margaret Bell Craig, April 24, 2019


Mary Cutler Crockett, Feb. 16, 2019
Ann Dixon Benson, June 15, 2017


Mary Boardman Waldo, Dec. 31, 2018
Audrey E. Clark, Feb. 26, 2019


Dorothy Freyer Pratt, March 27, 2019
Ellin Naumburg London, March 10, 2019
Elizabeth Slaughter Hendricks, March 18, 2019
Mary Louise Snellenburg Harris, March 10, 2019


Eugenia Bird Ackerman, Dec. 13. 2018
Patricia Black Smyth, March 10, 2019
Mary Buckley Lee, March 3, 2019
Glenn Hill Lattimore, March 24, 2019


Nancy MacKinnon London, Feb. 23, 2019
Ilah Neill De Paoli, April 9, 2019


Eleanor Curtis Van Hoogstraten, March 11, 2019
Margaret E. Phillips, March 16, 2019
Marjorie Winer Bloom, April 11, 2019


Natalie Price Bieber, Feb. 11, 2019


Myra Bloch Low, April 14, 2019
Helen S. Buttfield, Nov. 6, 2018
Lois Goldman Friedman, April 27, 2019
Abby Keebler Ryan, Nov. 22, 2017
Elise G. Meyer, Feb. 25, 2019
Lucie Whitehead Bourne, April 25, 2019


Helen Carpenter Engelbert, Feb. 16, 2019
Margaret Jewett Greer, March 19, 2019
Martha Willcox Roberts, April 3, 2019
Eileen Wynne Kellner, Feb. 4, 2019


Margaret Farmer Akers, June 7, 2017
Ruth Piette Steiner, Feb. 22, 2019


Alice Haughton Rice, April 8, 2019
Betty Nordquist Sayre, Jan. 31, 2019
Mary Sprague Iselin, March 15, 2019


Margaret Griffith Olsson, May 16, 2018
King Risley Sams, March 11, 2019


Ailene Blizzard Feldherr, March 3, 2019
Susan Dearborn Landon, April 16, 2019


Nancy Gordon Mahl, April 26, 2019
Frances Kossow Burka, Feb. 24, 2019
Judith Rulnick Hyman, March 27, 2019


Ann Jackson O’Sullivan, Feb. 19, 2019
Ann Stewart Anderson, March 4, 2019


Teresa Joan White, April 14, 2019


Sydney H. Pendleton, Feb. 15, 2019
Anne Robinson Davis, Dec. 29, 2018


Elizabeth Brenner Younggren, April 30, 2019
Julie Tisdale Gerrard, April 18, 2019


Sally Levitt Steinberg, Feb. 27, 2019


Alexandra Brittain Knox, March 11, 2019


Deborah Davis, April 18, 2019


Dorothy Collins Weaver, March 8, 2019
Jane Smith, Dec. 4, 2018


Elizabeth K. McCord, Oct. 6, 2016


Francee S. Boches, Dec. 3, 2017
Katharine S. Brigham, March 11, 2019


Lauren C. Abbe, May 14, 2018


Deirdre I. Kennedy, March 17, 2019


Tejshree Thapa, March 26, 2019


Stella Marie Crane, Nov. 7, 2018
Carol Rice, March 24, 2019

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