Isabella Lukens Higginson ’31 died on March 5, 2016.
At her death at age 107, “Aunt Isy” was not only Wellesley’s oldest living alumna, but perhaps our longest lived alumna ever. Non Ministrari sed Ministrare was very much her personal motto. As Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper noted when presenting her with a 2007 Denver Foundation award, from packing Red Cross bandages at age 7 in 1916 to clipping coupons to help feed the homeless at age 105, she devoted her life to others. She herself attributed her longevity to regular exercise, a zest for life, and a passion for helping others. She was the great-great aunt of Julia Lukens ’17.
Louise FitzSimons ’54
Barbara Rounds Carson ’40 died on Nov. 3, 2015.
Barbara won the Mademoiselle magazine Prix de Paris contest her senior year. Due to the war in France, the prize was a year of study at Tobe Coburn School of Fashion Merchandising in New York City. She went on to be a buyer at Macy’s, where she met her husband-to-be. They moved to Athens, Ga., where she spent the rest of he life. She had five children and taught English at the University of Georgia, where she earned the title of professor. She had a busy and active life until the end.
Nancy Rounds Stimson ’49
Phoebe Norton Hagler ’41 died on Aug. 5, 2016, at age 98.
Phoebe was awarded a scholarship to attend Wellesley with the help of her aunt (Bessie Bell Bowers 1901). She was only able to attend for one year, but that year left a lifelong impression on her. Phoebe continued to pay this forward as a Washington State alumna by giving generously with her time, skills, and donations to help other young women starting out. The friends she cultivated over the years lasted a lifetime, and her passion for literature and writing continued into her final days.
Ann Hagler, daughter
Suzanne Kibler Morris ’44 died on Aug. 18, 2016.
Sunny and gracious, Susie loved people and she loved life, and her appreciative, positive attitude was magnetic. With architect husband SI, she raised five children in Houston and also gave her time to Planned Parenthood, the Houston Symphony, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Garden Club of Houston. Having served the College as chair of the National Development Council, Susie became a Wellesley trustee in 1986, and as chair of the building committee for the arts, and of the architect selection committee, she enjoyed helping to create the Davis Art Museum.
Maria Morris Hambourg Barlow ’71
Gloria “Rhodie” Rhodenizer Sanders ’47 passed away on April 8, 2015, surrounded by her beloved family in Stuart, Fla.
Rhodie had a passion for her family, travel, cooking, reading, gardening, and her summer home in Bertie Bay, Ontario. Her husband, Robert, predeceased her in 1981, and she leaves behind four children and five grandchildren. She is dearly missed.
Gloria Amenta and Barbara Sanders, daughters
Jean Senger Brusila ’48 died on Aug. 31, 2016, in Topsham, Maine.
After Wellesley, Jean worked for the government, first in DC, then for the foreign service in Switzerland. Next came marriage, three daughters, and moves to four different states.
In DC again, she returned to government employment as a grants specialist. Throughout adulthood, she fulfilled regular volunteer commitments as swim teacher and museum docent. She relished world travel, music, theater, social gatherings, and reading. She continued these activities after moving to Maine in 2003.
Her daughters and their husbands, four grandchildren, a brother, and a sister-in-law survive. All miss her keen mind, tenaciousness, and adventurous spirit.
Nancy Aitken Senger ’57, sister-in-law
Jean “Johnny” McCouch Bell ’49 died on Sept. 8, 2016.
Jean was Concord’s (Mass.) 2004 Honored Citizen for her volunteer service on behalf of the community. She co-founded Widening Horizons, Concord Prison Outreach, and Communities for Restorative Justice, and was profiled in the Boston Globe on Oct. 13, 2016. She served on the boards of the Community Chest, the League of Women Voters, and Trinity Episcopal Church. Active in the Christian Association and a Vil Junior as a student, Jean was a loyal Wellesley supporter, coordinating room assignments and leading memorial services at class reunions. She is survived by three sons and four grandchildren, one a Wellesley graduate.
David Bell, son
Patricia John Cochran ’50 died on Nov. 11, 2016.
Patty, kind and smart and artistically gifted, enjoyed goofy humor. A watercolor she painted and gave me long ago shows clusters of cheerful (they’re smiling) balloons. Patty titled it “Up in a Balloon or Slightly Mironic”—a nod to surrealist painter Joan Miró. The summer after junior year, Patty and two classmates lived in an insect-friendly fifth-floor walk-up in Greenwich Village while Patty worked in an ice-cream factory in Brooklyn. Marriage and family followed; Dick and Patty became voracious opera-goers. Years later, living in Vermont with son Forrest, Patty enjoyed the operas broadcast from the Met, with neighbor Sally Martyn Lacy ’50 watching with them.
Barbara Carlson ’50
Wendy Altschul Rolland ’52 died on Aug. 8, 2016, after a lengthy battle with cancer.
Wendy maintained the same vitality of spirit with which she arrived at Wellesley in 1948 right up to the end. Peter was a super caregiver, and I’ve not known more caring and supportive children than David, Seth, Janna, and their children! As an architect, Wendy had an unfailing eye for design and color. We passed many an hour sharing talk about the wonders, beauties—and absurdities—of life! A treasured friend, her passing leaves a huge hole in my life, as it does for many others.
Nancy Nesbitt Ost ’52
Betty Ghormley Baker ’54 died on May 21, 2016.
We were blessed with 61 years in six states. Travel—five continents, but never Antarctica. Betty said Minnesota was cold enough. Working excursions—bookstore, placement agency, ESL tutoring, and director of religious education at our church. Household? Our three boys would say, “Mom made the rules, and sometimes Dad knew what they were.” Grandchildren? Practically perfect, including a redheaded granddaughter.
My heartfelt thanks to Wellesley and ’54. Wellesley was an important time in her life (and mine, too). Empress Theodora said, “Once you put on the purple, you can never take it off.” Yup! A wonderful life.
Charlie Baker, husband
Lee Strauss Strong ’55 died on Sept. 18, 2016.
Twenty-seven years ago, our book group was formed, and I met Lee. We had monthly meetings and other happy events each year since. To our profound shock and sorrow, Lee was killed while crossing Third Avenue in New York City. Lee was a gracious and charming person whose kindness made everyone comfortable. Although Lee had the advantages of a comfortable Manhattan life, she remained an unpretentious Chicago girl—a beautiful friend, a wonderful wife to Roger, and a devoted mother to Roger Jr., Jeffery, and Thomas. She will always be missed and lovingly remembered by everyone who knew her.
Laura Ginsburg Strauss ’56
Lucile “Lockie” Stafford Proctor ’60 died on Oct. 21, 2016.
At Wellesley, Lockie lived in both Claflin and Severance halls and remained a strong supporter of the College her whole life. She spent most of her life in her hometown of Princeton, N.J., where she embodied the Wellesley liberal-arts philosophy. She performed in Princeton Pro Musica, and she served on the local school board for nine years. She was an active member in both her church and her garden club, and she became a certified national judge of the Garden Club of America. She also held numerous positions in the Wellesley Club of Central New Jersey. She is survived by her four children.
Barbara Bryan ’66 died on Oct. 17, 2016.
“Hard to imagine a world without Barbara Bryan,” writes a close Wellesley friend. Barbara’s kindness, fairness, generosity, insight, and joy in life enriched us. She had deeply loving relationships with her husband, stepsons, and grandchildren, and was a caring daughter, sister, and aunt. She cherished her Wellesley friends, eager to share conversation, meals, travel, and attend reunions; she was dearly glad she could come to our 50th! Barbara valued her Peace Corps stint in Turkey, and loved exploring nature, history, art, music. She faced illness with courage and amazing grace, and remains a clear, present light in our lives.
Ellen S. Jaffe ’66
Martha Hammond Kerr ’66 died on July 8, 2016, in Portland, Ore.
My sister got married and moved to Oregon right after her Wellesley graduation. She raised two children in Portland, enjoyed a career in the travel industry, volunteered for several organizations, and in later years treasured her active role of “Ayah” to five grandchildren.
Martha came east every year to visit family and looked forward to the years that she could add Wellesley reunions to her itinerary. She was an avid reader, New York Times-crossword-puzzle solver, board-game competitor, and hilarious storyteller. She deeply valued her family and many women friends and will be missed by all who knew her.
Louisa Hammond Garrison, sister
Victoria Koo Hitchins ’67 died on June 17, 2016.
Vicki was my official Wellesley “big sister.” It was my good fortune, as a shy, quiet 17-year-old, to be paired with an outgoing, gregarious, wise fellow science major. Vicki happily embraced the quaint traditions surrounding big sisterhood; she also became an immediate friend and guide, introducing me to her friends, arranging my first blind date, and often checking on me sophomore year. Vicki made me feel at home and in place at College.
We kept in touch for 40+ years. I treasure Vicki’s letters, filled with enthusiasm for biochemistry, cooking, gardening, classmate news, and especially travel and child-raising. She will remain a lifelong influence.
Gail Suzedell Saxton ’69
Reta “Renee” Hoskin Schiber ’73 died on July 31, 2016.
Renee and I lived with or near each other the whole time we were at Wellesley. She was much smarter and more intellectually curious than I was—would take astronomy, philosophy, and German in the same semester. And she saw the humor in the most inane things. She spent her career as an honors English teacher in her former high school; grateful students often kept in touch over Facebook. Renee died suddenly after complications from a successful knee surgery. She is survived by her husband, Doug, their son, John, daughter-in-law Marie, and beloved granddaughter Kara Renee.
Karen Grigsby Bates ’73
Elizabeth “Betsey” Crockett Shay ’80, of Boulder, Colo., passed away on July 22, 2016, after fighting glioblastoma for 19 months.
A proud third-generation alumna, she followed her mother (F. Shirley Harris ’54) and grandmother (Florence Langley 1919) to Wellesley. A native of Dummerston, Vt., Betsey lived and worked in Washington, D.C., North Carolina, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Missouri, and finally Colorado. She enjoyed a long and successful career as a fund-raiser, with a specialty in corporate and foundation relations. A fast friend to many, known for her smile and laugh, she especially enjoyed family times. She attended her 35th reunion with her daughter Katie last year.
Robert Shay, husband
Erin Virginia Lehman ’81 died on Aug. 7, 2016, of acute myeloid leukemia.
The air crackled when Erin entered a room, promising an adventure, which occasionally ended in a conga line. Her wit and cheer framed the deep love of her family, Wellesley, Hugz, travel, tennis, politics, the Rose Parade, and her dog. Erin’s scholarly pursuits led to a Ph.D. from City University London, management consulting, and many years at Harvard University researching social psychology. With a genuine interest and respect for everyone she met, Erin inspired us all. The cancer was never in her spirit. She is missed, every day.
Julie Bergholz Markowitz ’81
Jill Lynne Wrigley ’87 died on Oct. 5, 2016.
In 1994, Jill gave me an illuminated manuscript, which read: “Let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.” Her life encapsulated this quotation.
Jill was devoted to her husband, Michael Sarbanes, and their three children, adopted from Ethiopia and Baltimore, where they live. Her ideals extended to her community, where she founded Great Kids Farm, bringing organic produce and nutrition education to children. Fluent in Swedish and Spanish, Jill plotted till her last days to learn new languages: “Luisa, how do you say: ‘together forever’ in Italian?” Her curiosity and zest for life never left her.
Maria “Luisa” Adelfio ’86