Alumnae Memorials

Alumnae Memorials

Louise Conway Belden ’31 died on July 17.

My mother loved Wellesley. After she was paralyzed from a stroke six days prior to her death, I sang Wellesley songs to her. Her eyes “smiled”! Louise majored in French and minored in botany. She thoroughly enjoyed her 37-year career as a curator at Winterthur Museum near Wilmington, Del. She earned a master’s degree in American studies, wrote three books, and lectured on early American social history. What impressed family and friends most about Louise were her sharp mind, observant demeanor, and generosity. She told me that she wants to be remembered as a woman who “enjoyed her life and was proud of her family.”  How  true!

Elizabeth “Betty” Belden Iwan ’63

Mary Halley Spencer ’36 died on July 13.

Mary credited Wellesley with focusing her path in life, which began with undergraduate work at Colorado University, and went on to include a master of arts degree from Newnham College in Cambridge, England, and a master’s degree in social work from Mills College in California. Her passion for psychiatric social work was equaled by her passion for travel and lifelong learning, which she shared as an active member of the Jung Institute in San Francisco, and as a docent for the Museum of Asian  Art.

Marianne Spencer Pearlman ’67, daughter
Karen Terhune, granddaughter

Harriet “Pat” Towle Gagne ’36, M.S. ’38, died on March 25.

After Pat graduated from Wellesley, she went to Brown University to pursue a Ph.D. in biology. There, she met and married Robert Gagne. She spent her early married life raising two children, doing volunteer work, weaving, and supporting Robert’s career. From 1960 to ’82, she worked as a lab technician, running an electron microscope. Pat maintained a lifelong friendship with two classmates from Wellesley—Sudie Peterson and Marian Sigler Wessel—getting together with them almost yearly. Pat’s children and grandchildren will remember her for her breadth of interests and her compassionate nature, both of which were nurtured at Wellesley.

Ellen Gagne

Mildred “Millie” Sacarny Asbell ’41 died on April 29.

After graduation, Millie contributed to the war effort as one of the celebrated “government girls.” She also met and married Bernard Asbell, later an author of nonfiction books and articles. After the war, in Chicago, Millie set up a Midwestern office for People’s Songs, the folk-music organization founded by Peter Seeger, and worked to find gigs for blacklisted musicians.

Four children and a move to Connecticut later, Millie earned a master’s in library sciences and headed the medical library at Connecticut Valley Hospital for 17 years. Her retirement years were rich in family, friendships, travel, and reading. To the end of her long life, books were her vital sustenance.

Christine Intagliata, daughter-in-law

Mary-Louise Shriver Gradwohl ’47 died in Paris on April 6.

After her beloved college years, she spent a great part of her life traveling between her native Denver, Colo., and the French capital, which she adopted happily after having met Pierre Isaac Gradwohl, a banker and a musician, who became her spouse and the father of Catherine, now a writer (pen name Catherine David). A voracious reader, M.L. spent years writing English subtitles for French movies, and was the personal assistant of Jules Dassin. She was a lovely lady. Her family, including her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, miss her  sorely.

Catherine David-Gradwohl

Ann Terry Barclay ’47 died on March 26 at her home in Upperco, Md.

Ann drove trucks, bred horses, volunteered with therapeutic riding programs, and traveled eagerly.

She was born in England and evacuated during World War II to Canada. At Wellesley, she was known because she could smoke a cigarette while standing on her head. She left Wellesley her sophomore year to join the British army auxiliary, which sent her to Egypt to drive  trucks.

After the war, in the US, she married (and divorced), and raised her three boys on her farm. She rode and jumped horses into her late  years.

Ann was brave and kind and funny. She leaves her three boys, who were with her when she  died.

Barbara Carlson ’50

Harriet Wald Schley ’47 died on May 26.

That Harriet would eventually receive a degree in social work came as no surprise to Tower Court classmates. She began that career by treating our concerns with a combination of New England practicality and loving kindness. She brought this attitude to family life with Len, her husband of 67 years, and their children and grandchildren. Their summer house on the Cape became a second home for family and a haven for friends. Her commitment to Wellesley was constant, as her campus and class service show, and who can forget our 65th reunion present from son Daniel—three shells for the crew? Memorable and missed as wife, mother, and  friend.

Gail McWhorter Rummell ’47

Patricia Keefer Stoeffel ’50 died on Aug. 18.

Patty was a wonderful nonjudgmental listener and friend to classmates in Elms, then Severance, and in Shakespeare Society. She could always find the humor in our disasters. She roomed with me freshman and sophomore years and then with Anne  Johns.

After college, Patty worked at Merrill Lynch in New York. She married Dick Stoeffel, and they moved to the Milwaukee suburbs, where they had three children. Patty loved Milwaukee and lived there all her life, working as a successful real-estate agent before retirement. A much-loved vacation spot was the Keefer family cottage in Eagles Mere,  Pa.

Eleanor Helm Ketcham ’50

Constance “Connie” Warren Fleischner Hogan ’51 died on July 21 in Tampa, Fla.

On Star Island, N.H., during a weeklong youth outing, a hand-carried note informed my mother she could attend her “dream school.” At Wellesley, besides politics, economics, French, and geology knowledge, she gained lifelong friendships.

She was born in Boston and raised in nearby Milton. During the six decades she was married to Alfred Joseph Hogan, she assisted his home-designing and fire-protection-engineering businesses, and nurtured their son, A.R., future broadcasting and space historian-journalist. An active alum, she served as Wellesley Central Florida club president. She also served for 32 years on the Winter Haven Public Library Advisory  Board.

Her scrapbooks documented how love of travel took her to Washington, D.C., 43 US states, and some 15 lands  beyond.

Alfred Robert “A.R.” Hogan

Nancy Milne McIntosh ’51 died on Aug. 5 at her home in McLean, Va.

Nancy is survived by her husband, Bob, five sons, and 10 grandchildren. Her first career was as a biochemist working on childhood leukemia at Boston Children’s Hospital. After raising her family and earning a master’s degree, she served as a juvenile court probation officer.

At 40, Nancy learned to fly; at 50, she took up windsurfing and won medals beating men and women half her age; at 60, she began scuba diving, becoming a Master Diver. Nan and Bob lived aboard a 37-foot sailboat for 15 years. They truly loved each other, and she lived a beautiful  life.

Bob McIntosh

Carlota Patricia Kelley Theiss ’56 died on April 20 in Washington, D.C.

Tall and slender, with a crown of silver hair, Patsy was a beautiful and brainy woman who combined training in science with a passion for art. She received a master’s degree in zoology and did research for several government agencies. After her marriage to Erich Theiss, she lived in Switzerland for 15 years, translating German reports for Hoffman-LaRoche. On returning to the States, she took a position with the Department of Health, from which she retired. A world traveler, her last trips were to Cuba in search of information about her grandmother, for whom she was  named.

Miriam DeCosta-Willis ’56

Sybil Schuyler Bruel ’61 passed away on July 3.

Sybil was a dear friend not only from our years at Wellesley but since first grade at Girls Latin in Chicago. She was always a leader—tall, smart, athletic, and easy to talk to. What I admired most was her ability to make and nurture long-lasting friendships. From Chicago to Wellesley, London, New York, and finally Linden Ponds in Hingham, Mass., she was the go-to person to get a job done or to confide in. Despite declining health and mobility, she found joy in her family and friends, and especially in her four beloved grandchildren. We will miss  her.

Jacqueline Chor Dormitzer ’61

Betty Diener ’62 died on Jan. 23.

In 1975, Betty, as a dean at the School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, developed “Women in Management,” a curriculum aimed at women with no undergraduate business background who wanted to pursue an  M.B.A.

Betty sent information to Wellesley alumnae in the area and, being ready to rejoin the work force, I enrolled. Betty taught marketing and generated enthusiasm, optimism, and a Wellesley spirit of camaraderie. She acted as mentor and cheerleader. Because of her bold venture, I overcame my fear of statistics and then pursued a successful IT career. Thanks,  Betty!

Susan Bloomenthal Maynard ’63

Susan Dorrance Kopecek ’62 passed away unexpectedly on Aug. 16.

Susan loved her years at Wellesley, excelling at English and forming lifelong friendships with her professors, fellow English majors, and classmates. Perhaps her most cherished Wellesley memories were climbing to the top of the bell tower and playing the carillon bells. She is and always will be greatly missed by her family and friends.

Sarah Kopecek ’96

Mary Ann Radner Pike ’64 died on March 7 in Sarasota, Fla. But part of her had died in June 1969, three months after the birth of her only child, Ingrid Graf, when her heart stopped. When she awoke from a 10-day coma, she was still smart and funny, still beautiful, stylish, and self-assertive. But she had suffered significant brain damage. She could no longer work effectively in a library, despite her degree from Simmons, where she met her first husband. She no longer wrote richly allusive, moving poems, like those that won the prestigious Glascock prize in 1964. Nor could she manage on her own. And after her beautiful and talented daughter’s cardiac arrest in 2009, she seemed to lose all interest in staying alive.

John Radner

Leslie Brotherhood Dickinson ’67 died on June 30, after a valiant battle with ALS. A Spanish major, Leslie sang alto and played oboe and recorder in the Wellesley College Choir. We lovingly remember Leslie’s British humor, measured temperament, and uncanny ability to sum up conversations with just a few (usually hilarious) words. Lifelong musician, she sang in the choir at the Church of St. James the Less in Scarsdale, N.Y. There, Leslie met and married Chuck Dickinson, an advertising executive and widowed father of four daughters. Leslie precipitously became the steadfast center of a house of creative, vibrant individuals.

Leslie was a librarian for the Yonkers, N.Y., Public Library for 40 years. She is survived by daughter Karen Dickinson Pekowitz ’96, four stepdaughters, and their families.

Polly Gambrill Slavet ’67

Karen Stefancic ’80 died on June 11 after a brief illness.

Determined to have adventures and brilliant at work, she could flip the switch from “banker” to “glamorous” with equal zeal and style. Karen started out at Bergdorf Goodman, got her M.B.A. at Dartmouth, and returned to New York for a career in banking and credit analysis.

As the alumnae president of ZA for many years, she worked tirelessly to raise and manage money for the “little white house.” Karen loved her cats, the beach, and old movies. For Greg, her partner of 34 years, life will not be the same without her. Whenever we hear a song by Earth, Wind and Fire, we will picture Karen dancing—champagne in hand. Here’s to you, my dear  friend!

Liza Lynn ’80

Maura Will Klinge ’83 passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends on May 28.

Maura transferred to Wellesley in January 1981 and was immediately embraced by the Shafer Hall residents. Her warm smile, sharp intellect, and drive to excel were qualities Maura exemplified at Wellesley and in her life and career after graduation as a technology executive.

Maura married the love of her life, Mark, and was extremely proud of their accomplished, beautiful daughter, Christina. For those of us who had the pleasure of knowing her, Maura was a source of strength and true friend. She will be deeply  missed.

Ellen Goldberg Luger ’83

Lisa Stewart ’92 died on April 27 in Savannah, Ga.

Lisa is survived by her husband, Jay Whittle, a 5-year-old daughter, Emily, parents Robert and Barbara Stewart, and sisters Amy and Susan Stewart ’94. She studied chemistry at Wellesley and was a member of the crew team. Lisa graduated from medical school and completed her residency and nephrology fellowship in South Carolina. Notwithstanding all of her academic and professional accomplishments, Lisa was most proud of her daughter, Emily. She will be remembered for her clever wit, her devotion to her family and friends, her quest for self-improvement, and her compassion for and commitment to her patients.

Susan Stewart ’94

Lin Davina Huang ’13 passed away on March 10 at age 25, having accomplished much in her short life. She was surrounded by her family, close friends, and Wellesley sisters.

At Wellesley, Davina was an Albright Fellow who excelled in international relations and history while serving as the Japan Club president. Davina’s legacy of service spanned the world, including projects with SEALNet Philippines, Ringa kindergarten in Yunnan, and women’s education in Uganda. Her passion, vivaciousness, intelligence, and work ethic inspired those around her. She will be remembered as a strongly independent woman, a devoted daughter, and an aspiring lawyer at Michigan  Law.

Kok Keng Goh


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  • Dorothy J. Newnham, July 9, 2015


  • Catharine McHenry Rogers, Jan. 18, 2015


  • Carolyn Cook Dilworth, Feb. 28, 2014
  • Elizabeth Rudy Cuddeback, May 1, 2015


  • Mary Halley Spencer, July 13, 2015
  • Harriet Towle Gagne, March 25, 2015


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  • Elizabeth Duff Shute, April 23, 2015
  • Harriet Rasor McCarthy, July 24, 2014


  • Shirley Eberlin Ward, Feb. 10, 2015
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  • Dorothy Jacobs Christensen, June 15, 2015


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  • Elisabeth O’Brien Weisiger, April 25, 2015


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  • Eve Grodnick Scheinman, May 22, 2015
  • Elinor Peck Severinghaus, March 16, 2015
  • Anne Schaeffer Plachta, May 29, 2015


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  • Mary Jane Farnsworth Grasty, Feb. 8, 2015
  • Gwen Gunter Morgan, Sept. 4, 2015
  • Mildred Kelton Meyer, July 10, 2015
  • Lucille Spengler Fenning, July 5, 2015
  • Olga Stekionis MacFarlane, June 24, 2015
  • Ann Terry Barclay, March 26, 2015
  • Harriet Wald Schley, May 26, 2015
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  • Jo Ann James Smith, March 21, 2014
  • Patricia Keefer Stoeffel, Aug. 18, 2015
  • Virginia Long Patterson, Aug. 6, 2015


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  • Kathryn F. Luttgens, July 12, 2015
  • Nancy Milne McIntosh, Aug. 5, 2015
  • Ruth Randall James, Aug. 10, 2015


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  • Grace Yap Chan, Jan. 27, 2015


  • Patricia Swinehart Bilbao, May 19, 2013


  • Bonnie Baron Mayer-Sommer, March 26, 2015


  • Ilene Beal, Aug. 1, 2015
  • Leslie Brotherhood Dickinson, June 30, 2015
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  • Edith Jones Rosen, Dec. 3, 2014


  • Chinwe Dike, May 20, 2015


  • Ellen Cope-Flanagan, May 25, 2015
  • Mary Phelps McGinity, May 11, 2015


  • Karen L. Stefancic, June 11, 2015


  • Maura Will Klinge, May 28, 2015


  • Lisa R. Stewart, April 27, 2015


  • Patricia M. Carrillo, Aug. 11, 2015
  • Sue Ford-Montague, July 18, 2015
  • Mary Jane Holmes, July 23, 2015
  • Bernice Ortenberg Manello, April 14, 2015

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