Alumnae Memorials

Alumnae Memorials

Virginia “Ginny” Plumb White ’39 died on May 21, 2015, in Burr Ridge, Ill.

My mother made a Wellesley difference in everything she did. She was an active volunteer for Wellesley and, later, for the Smithsonian Women’s Committee, where she cofounded the Smithsonian Craft Show, now in its 33rd year.

She was an accomplished pianist and artist. She operated an interior-decorating business for a number of years. With Philip, her husband of 69 years, she enjoyed traveling, playing games and sports, and entertaining friends and family. She especially loved calling the White clan together, where at the latest reunion she was matriarch over five generations. We all miss her deeply.

Cathy White O’Rourke ’71

Violet Beye Linenthal ’40 died on Sept. 20, 2015, two days after her 96th birthday.

Violet and I met as freshmen and maintained a wonderful firm friendship for these 75 years. I am lost without her.

Beatrice Diamond Donis ’40

Elizabeth “Betty” Bamford Watkins ’41 died on Aug. 17, 2015, in Ponte Vedra, Fla.

At Wellesley, Betty majored in mathematics, was the stroke on the crew and a forward and captain of the basketball team. A native of Schuylkill Haven, Pa., Betty married Sam Watkins in 1942, and they raised four children together. Betty was the Alumnae Association vice president (1974–76), class president (2007–11), and class vice president twice (1948–53 and 2002–06). She was record-book chair in 2006 and worked in College fund-raising, serving as class Durant chair (1977–81).

Betty was a dedicated wife and mother, a champion golfer—and a longtime loyal supporter of Wellesley.

Bob Watkins, son

Joyce Gulick Nelson ’45 died on Oct. 12, 2015.

After graduation, Joyce attended Columbia University and worked at Standard-Vacuum Oil Company, where she met Sanford Nelson, a civil engineer. They married in Singapore in 1947, and also lived in Thailand, East Pakistan, Japan, and Ridgefield, Conn.

While raising her four daughters, Joyce tutored students, taught Sunday school, led a Girl Scout troop, volunteered for the Red Cross, took up oil painting, and became the first woman senior warden of her church. An avid knitter, she was teased that she could knit, converse (also in French), read a book, and watch television all at the same time.

Patricia Nelson Hilton-Johnson

Keiko Okamoto Chiba ’53 passed away on Sept. 1, 2015.

Keiko married Kazuo in 1954, commencing a diplomatic life that included his serving as ambassador to Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom. His father was also an ambassador, and their son, Akira, is a Japanese diplomat, as is the husband of their daughter, Midori.

Keiko was blessed with great energy and grace. She will be remembered for her inner and outer beauty, devotion to family, open personality, her genuine kindness, and her generosity of spirit. Her husband died in 2004. In addition to her children, she is survived by four grandchildren.

Maureen Kuwano Hinkle ’53

Barbara Nancy Black Beran ’55 died on Aug. 23, 2015.

Barbara died suddenly but peacefully in Rockville, Md. Her love of Mark (who passed in 2013), her three children, six grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren was immeasurable, as was her love for Wellesley and her 1955 classmates. She spoke endlessly of her Wellesley experiences and treasured her many memories. She was known to be the loudest voice heard when the class cheered at reunions. Barbara kept up with classmates, even when living with her family in Israel from 1974 to 2006. She loved travel, reading, and debate. Her keen wit, extensive curiosity, and unlimited passion for life will be sorely missed.

Barbara Lang Brown ’55
Sarah Beran Steinberg

Lucinda Prout Janke ’64 died on Oct. 27, 2015.

I met Cindy the day we moved into Beebe in September 1960, and over the years our friendship morphed into something more like family. (Her daughter Jenny, in introducing visiting Kriegers to college friends, called us her “subfamily,” a name that, for better or worse, stuck.) I admired the enthusiasm with which Cindy embraced everything in life, from our shared interests—food, mysteries, the Times crossword puzzle, long beach walks in North Carolina, and Wellesley reunions, where we were roommates for years—to her passion for Washington, which led to a successful career as a respected historian and writer.

Ellen Krieger ’64

Cheryl Birdsall ’67 died on Oct. 5, 2015.

Fond memories of Cheryl: Marathon bridge games on the common room floor. Yellow legal pads carpeting the room as Cheryl stitched together meticulously constructed papers on Jane Austen—albeit during all-nighters. Long, wine-fueled conversations “solving all the world’s problems” at our Mass. Ave. apartment.

Cheryl was a gentle soul who always knew how to provide comfort and humor. She was also a fierce advocate for public education when she worked in the Senate and later for the American Federation of Teachers.

We will especially miss her infectious laugh. Cheryl fought a 10-year battle with cancer with grace and courage, never dwelling on her pain or challenges.

Kathy Gustafson Byers ’67
Doodie Gorrell Frank ’67

Mary-Lib Dahl ’70 died of breast cancer on Sept. 27, 2015, in Madrid, Spain.

A Spanish major, Mary-Lib received a fellowship to the Middlebury master’s program in Madrid. She stayed on afterward to run the SUNY Albany and Potsdam study abroad program and later worked for Coopers & Lybrand. She met her husband, Alfonso Calle Garcia, in the library where they studied; they had two wonderful daughters, Lisa and Maria. She was always involved in the American church in Madrid and had a special fondness for the ropero, which distributed used clothing to indigent people. She will be remembered as a very brave and positive person who had a strong religious faith, loved to read, and had a lot of friends.

Ruth Rowse ’70

Deborah Michels Badger ’72 died on Sept. 19, 2015, after a 29-year battle with multiple sclerosis.

I met Deb my senior year at Dartmouth in 1970, when she was a sophomore at Wellesley. Her smile and the sparkle in her eyes when we met remained part of her personality for the rest of her life. Deb graduated from Case Western Reserve Law School; we married in 1976. Her legal career focused on bringing equal rights and representation to those most in need. Ultimately, she became an appeals attorney at Equal Employment Opportunity Commission headquarters in Washington, D.C. Deb was a terrific mother to our son, Chris, and she remains the center and core of my life.

Leland J. “Lee” Badger

Adele Wick ’72 died on Sept. 27, 2015, of cancer.

Adele’s life was characterized by her love for family and friends and her insatiable quest for knowledge. Adele came to Wellesley from Cleveland and majored in economics. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa, studied at the University of Chicago, taught at Tulane University, and continued as an astute economics editor and writer. A talented athlete and tennis player, she loved nature and animals. Her eclectic interests, her generosity, and her insight created a large circle of friends of all ages. She lived in southern New Hampshire and was most proud of being the mother of Douglas, Patrick, Charlie, and Elizabeth Miller.

Jane Kirchheimer Davis ’72
Sarah Rountree Pease ’72
Nancy Black Norelli ’72
Nancy Smith Jenks ’72

Lynda Morris Thomas ’77 died on Nov. 17, 2015.

Lynda and I met soon after arriving at Wellesley, developing a friendship that lasted 42 years. She was vivacious and had a boundless curiosity and a generous spirit. Despite her numerous accomplishments, she never took herself too seriously. She was the first to laugh at herself and always had a funny story to tell. It was a joy to be her friend.

She faced her illness the way she lived her life—with grace, tenacity, optimism, courage, and humor. Lynda loved, and was loved by, her family and friends. We miss her dearly.

Karen Fulbright-Anderson ’77

William Cousins, a former Wellesley sociology faculty member, died on July 31, 2013.

Despite early polio that returned in his later years, Bill Cousins was a happy and greatly beloved man. He is believed to have been the first black professor at Wellesley, circa 1949—a place he truly relished and talked about proudly lifelong.

He received his B.A. and Ph.D. from Yale in sociology, and worked for the American Friends Service Committee in the United States, Pakistan, and India, and for USAID, UNICEF, and the Peace Corps.

Bill met challenges with an infectious smile. The Inner Light burned brightly in him, and his wisdom and compassion drew people to him all his life. He was truly precious—one of a kind.

Susan Bergman Meehan ’60

Tom Zajac, a member of the music department performance faculty, passed away on Aug. 31, 2015, after a struggle against brain tumors. Tom directed the College’s Collegium Musicum for over a decade. He was a multi-instrumentalist who specialized in early instruments such as the recorder, harp, flute, racket, psaltery, shawm, and bagpipe, as well as the Turkish santur, miskal, and zurna. He played these instruments with mastery and zest and can be heard on over 40 recordings. Tom was also a marvelous dancer with a sophisticated knowledge of steps and styles. He presented his final Collegium Musicum program last April, just four months shy of his passing—a feat of devotion to his work, to Wellesley, and to the world of early music.

Claire Fontijn, professor and chair, Department of Music


  • Elizabeth Flanders Cleveland, Nov. 14, 2015


  • Marie Cobb Mackay, Nov. 6, 2003


  • Violet Beye Linenthal, Sept. 20, 2015
  • Joan Kuehne Faus, Sept. 19, 2015


  • Deborah Hamilton Honsaker, Nov. 24, 2015


  • Helen Ransom Forman, Sept. 12, 2015
  • Winifred Wells Pickin, June 16, 2014


  • Julia Schaefer Blumenthal, May 9, 2015
  • Renee Trilling Levin, Apr. 5, 2015


  • Dorothy Wheeler Utter, Aug. 9, 2015


  • Alice Bixler Monroe, Oct. 26, 2015
  • Marion Groot Waters, Aug. 28, 2015
  • Joyce Gulick Nelson, Oct. 12, 2015
  • Dorothea Keil Dallas, Oct. 3, 2015
  • J. Preble Stritter, March 13, 2014
  • Jane Seddon Willson, Nov. 3, 2015
  • Elizabeth Summers Cary, Nov. 12, 2015


  • Dorothy Ashton Rago, Nov. 7, 2015
  • Anna Campbell Bliss, Oct. 12, 2015
  • Jane Lightner Meads, Oct. 30, 2015
  • Anne Thompson Shafer, Nov. 24, 2015


  • Ann Davison Burrows, Aug. 10, 2015
  • Mildred Kelton Meyer, July 10, 2015
  • Nancy Kochs Shaw, June 17, 2015
  • Dorothy Schoenfuss Howell, Nov. 13, 2015


  • Roberta Speier Dearing, Oct. 4, 2015
  • Ruth Weinstein Spiegel, Oct. 22, 2015
  • Nancy Wrenn Ogburn, June 5, 2015


  • Marilyn Cook Harris, Sept. 2, 2015
  • Mary Lumpkin Sparks, Sept. 30, 2015
  • Ruth Wasserman Fink, Oct. 3, 2015


  • Marcia Kline Boney, Sept. 19, 2015
  • Margo Philbrick Foley, Sept. 4, 2015


  • Ruth Randall James, Aug. 10, 2015


  • Jane Buchanan Johnson, Sept. 19, 2015
  • Justine Fitzgerald Juarez, Oct. 24, 2015
  • Keiko Okamoto Chiba, Sept. 1, 2015
  • Anne R. Wardwell, Feb. 24, 2015


  • Evyne House Tehan, May 1, 2015
  • Mary Vance Whitson, Aug. 21, 2015
  • Marguerite West Hiser, Nov. 8, 2015


  • Rochelle Cashdan, May 22, 2015
  • Margaret Simon Scott, April 21, 2015
  • Diane Taylor Olson, Sept. 1, 2015


  • Helen Fisher Grim, Aug. 26, 2015
  • Simone Solomont Weinert, May 3, 2012
  • Sue Stapleton Bambacht, Nov. 11, 2015


  • Jenneke Barton, Sept. 5, 2015
  • Gail Finkel Calder, Oct. 24, 2015


  • Mary C. Birchard, Nov. 5, 2015


  • Harriet Elwood Whiting, Aug. 5, 2015


  • Joan Glasser Keenan, Oct. 20, 2012
  • Shirley Pan, Aug. 28, 2015


  • Susan Dorrance Kopecek, Aug. 16, 2015


  • Lucinda Prout Janke, Oct. 27, 2015


  • Heather Symmes Cannon, Sept. 8, 2015


  • Cheryl Birdsall, Oct. 5, 2015
  • Edith Jones Rosen, Dec. 3, 2014
  • Jacqueline Schuker Winterkorn, July 11, 2015
  • Jacalyn Weinstein Brookner, May 15, 2015
  • Martha Wilson MacLaren, Oct. 24, 2015


  • Susan Wickenden Hunter, Sept. 23, 2015


  • Mary E. Dahl, Sept. 27, 2015


  • Claire Moore Dickerson, Sept. 2, 2015


  • Adele E. Wick, Sept. 27, 2015
  • Deborah Michels Badger, Sept. 19, 2015


  • Paula A. Tatarunis, Sept. 16, 2015


  • Lynda Morris Thomas, Nov. 17, 2015


  • Julie Holbrook O’Connor, Aug. 28, 2014


  • Thea Bolger Peach, Mar. 10, 2015

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