Alumnae Memorials

 A photo of the iconic Wellesley lamppost

Elsie “Peter” Pavitt Palmer ’44 died at home in Norfolk, Va., on July 26.

A French major and Spanish minor, she taught those languages at Eastern Christian High School in New Jersey. She was a devoted Bible teacher, correcting prisoners’ Bible lessons and authoring a Bible story book.

“Peter”—a Wellesley nickname that stuck—is remembered for her vivaciousness, curiosity, gentleness, wisdom, intelligence, indefatigability, laughter; her joy of life, delight in family (49 descendants, including spouses), faithfulness to church, relishing of nature (highlighting Cassiopeia—“the Wellesley W”), enjoyment of travel, nurturing of others, and passion for her Savior Jesus.

Peter supported her husband, Edwin H. Palmer, as pastor of three churches and coordinator of the New International Version of the Bible.

Randall Palmer, son

Carolyn “Punchy” Roehl Blish ’44 died on March 3, 2017. Punchy was proud that she was born (and grew up) in Brooklyn, N.Y., and that she was a graduate of Wellesley. These came up in conversation whenever she met someone new. She also loved her work as a conservator of textiles. She volunteered with the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum and then happily turned her trade into a business. Punchy loved traveling the world and went to all seven continents. Wherever she was, whether home in Connecticut or off in another beautiful country, it was such a joy to watch her beautiful smile light up the room.

Punchy is survived by two children, three grandchildren (one a Wellesley graduate), and four great-grandchildren—who miss her very much.

Deborah Judson Blish, daughter

Jean Chilton Abrams Smith ’48 died on July 22.

Jean and I discovered each other as Wellesley grads in Coronado, Calif., in 1962. For several years, we had fun alternating as San Diego Wellesley Club presidents. Jean set the standard for graciousness and for devotion to community. At each stage of her life—as the wife of a naval officer, as a mother, then a bereaved mother, then a grandmother and great-grandmother—she took on each role with charm, love, and then quiet bravery as age took its toll. She leaves behind a loving and well-nurtured family.

Blossom Appel Sanger ’52

Martha Fraser Kasting ’49 passed peacefully on May 2.

Martha spent her life as a scholar and a creative, loving, family woman; in 2018, she celebrated her 67th year of marriage to beloved husband, Richard Kasting. She majored in chemistry at Wellesley and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. Afterward, she worked for General Electric, earned a master’s degree in mathematics at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and taught mathematics and calculus for 25 years at UAH and the University of Louisville.

Martha’s legacy is her three adoring children, five grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and many inspired students.

Sandra Mulders, daughter

Jean “Jorge” Levering Brown ’49 died on July 2.

Our group was together all four years—Elliot, Tower, and Beebe. Jorge was always full of energy, feisty, and adventurous. She was a geology major and won the Hooprolling contest. Jean and Jack resided in Penfield, N.Y., most of their married life, where she was a gardener, artist, and volunteer in many organizations. They enjoyed driving to see their children, who were scattered all around the country. In earlier years, they attended several reunions, sometimes with a Wellesley daughter. She is survived by Jack, her husband of 68 years, a sister, four children, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Marty McDaniel Ellsberry ’49

Jeanne Rudolph Pechin ’49 passed peacefully on July 26 in Hana, Hawaii, at age 90.

Jeannie was famous for introducing people to others. At her Hana home, people from all walks of life and corners of the globe mingled and enjoyed each other’s company. Her love of travel, curious nature, and broad range of interests made her many friends. Her guests felt welcome and at ease. Jeannie raised two sons of her own and was mom to five stepchildren, along with countless dogs and cats. She contributed 46 years of tireless volunteer service to many nonprofit organizations in the Hana community.

Jeannie’s family and friends

Nancy Nolan Abu Haydar ’50 died on June 30.

In 1953, Nancy married Najib Abu Haydar, a Lebanese physician studying at Harvard. In the mid-’50s, they moved to Beirut, where French and Arabic are spoken, families drop in at all hours, and civil war can happen. Nancy watched over her children’s multicultural educations, joined an expat group helping people in need, and became involved in the problems of Palestinian refugees.

In 1979, with tensions rising, she lived in Beirut but purchased a condo in Wellesley, so her youngest son could be schooled in the U.S. After Najib died, she lived permanently in Wellesley, often returning to Beirut; family gathered there for her 90th birthday. She will be greatly missed on two continents, especially by Wellesley friends like me.

Sara Crowell Levant ’50

Peggy Liberman Osher ’51 passed away on May 22.

My beloved sister Peggy was my best playmate, my best friend, and my inspiration. She lived Wellesley’s motto, constantly ministering to her family, friends, and community. Wellesley was an important part of her life, and she and her daughter Nancy Osher Blumberg ’76 graduated 25 years apart and shared reunions. Peggy had two other daughters and a son. She was very involved in the Portland (Maine) Museum of Art and worked with her husband, Harold, developing the Osher Map Library at the University of Southern Maine. In the words of Winnie the Pooh: How lucky I am to have something that makes saying good-bye so hard.

Nancy Liberman Ratliff ’52

Elisabeth Stevens Schleussner ’51 died on June 10.

Tough, independent, insightful, my mother had a career path resembling those of women of later generations. Her advice to working women (and to me): “You can have it all, but not at the same time.” Hired as a general reporter for the Washington Post in the early 1960s, she became its art critic and later held the same position at the Wall Street Journal and the Baltimore Sun. Despite her journalistic career, she considered fiction writing a higher calling, publishing over 20 books of poetry, drama, and short stories. Next to her desk hung the words of Nathaniel Hawthorne: “The hall of fantasy is likely to endure longer than the most substantial structure.”

Laura Schleussner Forné, daughter

Allie James Quinn ’52 died peacefully surrounded by family on Feb. 21. Allie had a loving heart, great intellect, a passion for exploring the world, and a deep sense of community. She loved Wellesley, and remained dear lifelong friends with her freshman roommate, Mary Ellen Hayes Kania ’52. Allie married her beloved Brian in 1950, and nurtured three children, three grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. She traveled the world and loved nature. She was a community leader, and co-founded the Montshire Museum of Science and Quinn Nature Preserve serving New Hampshire and Vermont. She made the world better, and we miss her.

The Quinn Family

Nikki Spencer Toole ’55 died on May 17 with her beloved children at her side.

At Wellesley, Nikki majored in English and made lifelong friends, including me. We took many of the same courses, spending hours together, searching the stacks of the library, hanging out at the El Table, and pulling all-nighters writing papers. She was a member of the Free-Bate Eight, an a cappela singing group.

Nikki was an accomplished docent at the Yale University Art Gallery, manager of Berzelius, a Yale secret society, and contributor to many local organizations. At 65, she received a master’s degree from Wesleyan.

She will be remembered for her gracious manner, enduring style, and incisive wit.

Patricia Gough Beck ’55

Janet Patton Gardiner ’56 died on May 20.

Jan was “Sunshine” to her Munger friends. We assumed this wonderful nickname had become attached to her because of her shining red hair, or her naturally sunny disposition, or her habit of humming sunny tunes, in her lovely soprano voice, as she went about her day. But in preparing for this remembrance, Nancy Selin Hudson ’56 offered the true reason: “Senior year, Jan used to come into my room and throw open the blinds to assist me in rising for the day. I nicknamed her ‘Sunshine.’ The name stuck. That is its origin.”

Whatever the reason, it fit. Jan, we will miss your sunshine.

Anne Sinnott Moore ’56

Winnie Jess Tierney ’57 died on June 25.

Winnie was an enthusiastic Caz dormmate for three years. Since then, I appreciated her quiet, encouraging manner when I sent squibs for the alumnae notes. At a reunion a few years ago, I sat next to her husband, who obviously adored Winnie. He raved about her accomplishments, her personality, her way with people. He told me that she had joined Lord & Taylor’s management training program and was the youngest person to be put in charge of one of their stores—their new, impressive West Hartford, Conn., site. Winnie was one of our early glass-ceiling smashers!

Francine Berth Myles ’57

Meredith Baldwin Weddle ’61 died on May 26.

Meredith Baldwin was president of our freshman class. You could always spot her curly red hair as she walked to and from Shafer. At Wellesley, she majored in political science, received an award in astronomy, and met her future husband, Steve Weddle. They settled in Chappaqua, N.Y., and raised four sons. She continued her interest in modern dance, founded and directed a preschool program, and was active in the Friends community. She earned her Ph.D. in history at Yale and wrote Walking in the Way of Peace. Her family was her greatest joy. She is survived by her husband, sons, daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren.

Patty Milano ’61

Allison Tupper ’61 died on June 22.

Allison grew up in St. Louis, lived in Tower Court, and moved to New York City after graduation. A gifted reading specialist, she took the subway to the Bronx to teach there. When asked why she commuted such a distance, she replied simply and characteristically, “Because they need me.” She took full advantage of the cultural events in the city. She was committed to local politics and to environmental issues. She was on the board of the Sierra Club’s NYC Group and was co-chair of its Hudson River Estuary Committee. She will be remembered as a gentle soul with a whimsical spirit and a delightful sense of humor.

Sarah Priest Breed ’61

Helen Tyson Muller ’61 died on Dec. 19, 2017.

Helen was intelligent, unpretentious, thoughtful, fun-loving, compassionate, and immensely competent in a down-to-earth way. During college summers, she worked with the American Friends Service Committee in Mexico and Lebanon; on graduating, she learned Swahili and worked for two years in another AFSC program in Tanzania, conceiving and setting up a women’s agricultural co-op.

Helen and Werner raised three children on a warmly hospitable, music-loving ranch in northern New Mexico, where she stacked hay, tended chickens and bees, branded livestock, worked in silver jewelry and photography, taught Swahili at New Mexico Highlands University, collected oral histories, and worked first as a reporter and then managing editor for the Optic, the daily newspaper.

Joan Marx ’61, with
Jeanette Favrot Peterson ’61
Kathy Kitch Hagerman ’61
Marcia Mason Cook ’61
Ginny Tansey Wilkinson ’61

Susan Behrens Borkow ’62 died on May 30 of Lewy body dementia in New York City.

On our very first day at Wellesley, Susan and I became best and lifelong friends. The image of our introducing ourselves in the hall at Munger remains vivid.

The fall after graduation, Susan married Stephen Borkow, an orthopedic surgeon. They had two sons, of whom she was very proud, and five beloved grandsons. She attended Hofstra Law School, and practiced real estate law.

Although she suffered an incurable degenerative condition, I thought somehow that Susan, being Susan, would triumph. I miss her deeply.

For anyone who knew Susan, the world is richer for her having been part of it.

Marjorie Jacobs Yashar ’62

Celestine “Cely” Favrot Arndt ’62 died on July 21 of ovarian cancer.

Cely and I became friends after she moved to Los Angeles in 1994. Even though she had transferred to Berkeley our junior year, Cely remained a loyal Wellesley alum, and we had wonderful times planning West Coast mini-reunions. Cely was a passionate advocate for the World Wildlife Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Population Communications International. She was warm and gracious, with a delightful sense of humor and great empathy for others. Upon her husband’s death in 1984, she became a single parent to her four sons. She brought the same resilience and courage to that tragedy as to her final illness. She will be missed.

Jane Allison Anderson ’62

Inghilt Traenkle ’62 died on Dec. 30, 2017.

We became friends in Davis sophomore year, probably drawn together as “strangers in a strange land.” Born in Germany, she grew up in the U.S., although her scientist father had intended his work here to be temporary. As a consequence, Inghilt never really “assimilated,” nor felt “truly accepted.” After Wellesley, she earned an M.A. in German and taught for many years at the university and high school levels. After a life filled with struggles, she found a cozy cottage by a lake in Plymouth, Mass. There, she finally felt she belonged and could pursue her enduring passion for preserving her immediate environment and our planet.

Karen Capriles Hodges ’62

Anne Ballard Shumadine ’65, a quiet and thoughtful businesswoman, philanthropist, and advisor, died peacefully at home on July 24.

Anne truly lived a sed Min life. She is most remembered by her family and friends as a loving and loved woman who, despite her extensive accomplishments and awards, cherished the successes of those around her more than her own. Throughout her life, Anne displayed quiet confidence and extraordinary ability. Her business dealings were marked by caring, considerate, and individually crafted advice. She was an exceptional cook and gardener and a consummate hostess. She touched many lives and is greatly missed.

Megan Libbey Kinnane ’96, niece
Emma Shumadine ’20, granddaughter

Ann Bergren ’65 died on May 10 at her home in Venice, Calif.

Professor emerita in classics at UCLA, Ann taught Greek literature, literary theory, and contemporary architecture. She wrote Weaving Truth: Essays on Language and the Female in Greek Thought (2008). Lucky, the students who took her course Body House City Cosmos: The Construction of the Female in Greek Thought, and the Wellesley students, long before, who remember her brilliant staging of The Bacchae. Joan Fucetola Icklan ’65 writes, “It is hard to believe that Ann, full of light, life, and creative energy, is no longer here. She always made me smile—and think more deeply.”

Selma Landen Odom ’65

Nancy Hartsock ’65 died on March 19, 2015.

Nancy’s books Money, Sex, and Power: Toward a Feminist Historical Materialism (1983) and The Feminist Standpoint Revisited and Other Essays (1998) reached a vast readership. She retired in 2009 from the University of Washington, where she had taught political science since 1984. Nancy triumphed over late-stage breast cancer for 30 years, sustained by her colleagues, students, horse, cats, and love of playing music. Nancy wrote her Wellesley honors thesis in the dorm room next to mine, so I was thrilled to hear this path-breaking scholar speak at a symposium in 2012.

Selma Landen Odom ’65

June Milton Gray Stobaugh ’66 died on March 15, 2017.

June married Robert Toms Gray III and moved to Houston, where she received an M.A. degree in English, published poetry, and raised two sons. Several years after Robert Gray’s death, June married Robert “Bob” Blair Stobaugh Jr.

June worked to improve children’s health care and classroom education, serving as president of the Junior League of Houston, the first director of development for the Children’s Museum of Houston, and executive director of Young Audiences of Houston. June served on the board of the Friends of the Library at Wellesley for nine years and began to collect artists’ books.

June is survived by her sons, four beloved grandchildren, three stepchildren, five step-grandchildren, and two step-great-grandchildren.

Kate Sayen Kirkland ’66

Linda Daignault Howell ’67 died on March 29.

Linda was smart, fun, glamorous, hardworking, and filled with enthusiasm for all that makes life special. She adored her husband, Jim, and they worked closely together for more than 30 years. She loved her friends and they loved her for all her generosity of spirit, support, great recipes, and gardening tips. She loved Wellesley and was so proud of her sister, Laura Daignault Gates ’72, whose Wellesley leadership she so admired. She was a special friend to many and is greatly missed.

Julie King Stamm ’67

Linda Boise ’70, my college roommate and close friend, died unexpectedly on July 2.

Linda and her husband, Steven Goldberg, were visiting their son, Sylvan, in Colorado. She is also survived by her daughter, Emily, Emily’s husband, Kevin, and her 2-year-old granddaughter, Ellis. Linda had a master’s in public health and a Ph.D. in urban studies. She spent her career working to improve health care for underserved communities. She had retired from Oregon Health & Science University in 2016, but continued to be very active. She was the chair of Green Empowerment, and had traveled to Ecuador, the Philippines, and Borneo to advance clean water initiatives.

I will always remember Linda as a determined, calm presence in the fight for a better life for those who were not born with privileges she and I had.

Ellen “Terry” Bruce ’70

Joyce Bove ’72 died on Aug. 15.

Smart, passionate, and fun-loving, Joyce was a consummate professional, treasured friend, and devoted mother to son Alec. Native to Stoneham, Mass., she moved to New York, serving as senior vice president at the New York Community Trust until 2012—the year she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. At the trust, Joyce oversaw the distribution of $750 million to nonprofits across the city. Lauded for pioneering work responding to the AIDS epidemic, her unstinting efforts on behalf of the mentally ill, and her marshaling of philanthropic resources for New York’s recovery after the 9/11 attacks, she touched countless lives, including ours.

Amy Benedicty ’72
Karen Dubinsky ’72
Sarah McFadden ’72

Joy Ann Kruse ’77 died on May 22.

Joy spent the last 17 years of her distinguished career as a partner and senior leader at Lieff Cabraser. Joy led by example in the area of pro bono civil rights representation, including on behalf of prisoners at Pelican Bay State Prison, who challenged the inhumane use of solitary confinement and unconstitutional policy of gang validation. Joy also served on the Equal Rights Advocates board of directors and litigation committee from 2010 to 2016, during which she provided invaluable guidance to ERA’s gender justice programs. Joy was an extraordinary lawyer, treasured ERA leader, and friend to many. ERA has formed the Joy Kruse Gender Justice Memorial Fund to honor her memory.

Joy’s friends and colleagues at ERA and Lieff Cabraser

Carol Elaine Allen ’78 passed away on March 3 in Los Angeles.

Carol would skate on her socks into our McAfee rooms with arms up in the air, talking at hyper speed and smiling her big, joyful smile. She was passionate about her family, her many friends, her elementary-school students, her church community, Shakespeare, baking, See’s Chocolates, the Dodgers, Yosemite, and Disneyland—but not the Hollywood Wax Museum, where she went only to make a friend happy. She always had hugs, prayers, or food to comfort anyone in need.

Dear Carol, wherever we walk, you are forever in our hearts.

Elaine Claar Campbell ’78
Susan Yee Jong ’78
Mimi Mengis ’78
Joan Sanger ’78
Ann Baker Steiner ’78

Jana Jacobson ’79 died on June 20 after several long and complicated illnesses.

Jana was a unique and creative true Westerner: raised on skis and traveling vast distances between her family’s home in Grand Junction, Colo., their ranch in the mountains, and lakefront homes in Michigan. She was a brilliant chemical engineer with additional degrees from MIT and Yale University. While a prolific and well-known expert in liquid chromatography in partnership with her husband, John Frenz, and an intellectual powerhouse, Jana derived the most joy and pride from her children, Amary and Hunter. Jana also leaves her sister, Kirsten Jacobson Lerner ’81, her brother, Eric, and us, her Wellesley family.

Patti Jungreis Sulser ’79

Kim Fairey ’80 died on Nov. 8, 2016, of pancreatic cancer.

Beginning as freshman roommates, it was a joy to have 40 years of friendship with Kim. An accomplished businesswoman, academic, musician, and friend, Kim made a lasting mark on all she touched. Those who knew her will recall her quick and hearty laugh, bright eyes, and brilliant smile! Always a learner, Kim got an M.B.A. and an M.Div. following Wellesley. Kim leaves behind many loving friends and family members, including her two precious daughters, Jennie and Sarah. We will always treasure how Kim pursued life with zeal, generosity, and grace.

Mary Tynan ’80


Jane Lockwood Barney, July 7, 2018


Harriet Chamberlain Wilson, April 24, 2018
Catherine Hascall Kinney, July 25, 2018


Augusta Ahrens Bauer, Aug. 7, 2018
Jane Gracy Bedichek, May 31, 2018
Barbara Kinyon Clark, Oct. 8, 2017


Beatrice Jones Reinfeld, April 24, 2018


Elizabeth Hartz Carroll, June 17, 2018
Gloria Hine Gamble, April 24, 2018
Sharlee Mysel Segal, July 1, 2018


Margaret Fiddler Gledhill, April 30, 2018
Patricia Kendall Salsich, July 20, 2018


Miriam Arnold Carr, May 15, 2017
Lois Ayres Knight, June 22, 2018
Alla O’Brien, July 23, 2018
Elsie Pavitt Palmer, July 26, 2018


Elizabeth Benson, March 19, 2018
Elizabeth Chalmers Todrank, June 25, 2018
Christine Curtis Leibbrand, July 24, 2018
Jean Hoskins Meibohm, March 25, 2018
Marcia Lane Feakes, May 26, 2018
Betty Vadner Haas, June 21, 2018


Ida Harrison Washington, May 30, 2018
Caroline Southworth Murphy, July 4, 2018


Kathy Bishop Cannon, Dec. 25, 2017
Virginia Carlin Terrell, July 6, 2018
Michal Ernst Feder, April 28, 2018
Jean Philbrick Strout, May 18, 2018
Mary Pride Sheehan-Heinrich, June 2, 2018
Roberta Solomon Greenwood, July 2, 2018


Jean Abrams Smith, July 22, 2018
Alice Aeschliman Wolfe, May 8, 2018
Anne Didriksen Habersetzer, May 25, 2018
Janice Hodgkins Bruemmer, June 18, 2018
Bettie Morris Magee, June 23, 2018
Beverly Sitrin Coleman, Aug. 28, 2018


Martha Fraser Kasting, May 2, 2018
Frances Hopkins Oxholm, Jan. 31, 2017
Frances Kord Reynolds, May 25, 2018
Jean Levering Brown, July 2, 2018
Ann Lindstaedt Copple, July 30, 2018
Juliette Persons Doster, May 5, 2018
Nancy Rudolph Pechin, July 26, 2018
Marjory Stephenson Dick, Aug. 17, 2018
Nancy Vredenburg Potter, July 14, 2018
Joan Youmans Mercer, July 24, 2018


Sallie Merritt Starker, Aug. 12, 2018
Nancy Nolan Abu Haydar, June 30, 2018
Marilyn Simons Turnburke, Aug. 6, 2018
M. Elisabeth Ward Gilroy, July 31, 2018
Elizabeth Weiner Vorenberg, July 19, 2018
Elizabeth Wise Dalton, July 2, 2018


Nancy Bliss Slavinsky, Aug. 20, 2018
Madge M. Phillips, July 20, 2018
Elisabeth Stevens Schleussner, June 10, 2018


Barbara Adams Norris, June 17, 2018
Verna Damon Matthews, July 6, 2018
Mary Ann Greenberg Leiner, July 16, 2018


Margery Mack Mead, May 21, 2018


Margaret Griffith Olsson, May 16, 2018
Joan Lloyd Jones, Aug. 22, 2018
Mary Wilde Carswell, April 6, 2018


Mary Jane Butler Shoemaker, May 27, 2017
Nikki Spencer Toole, May 17, 2018


Roberta Fielding Bregman, Aug. 2, 2015
Janet German Harris, July 14, 2018
Janet Patton Gardiner, May 20, 2018


Victoria Bradford Witte, Aug. 8, 2018
Winifred Jess Tierney, June 25, 2018


Patricia Didriksen Royall, July 7, 2018
Patricia Wilan Walker, Jan. 13, 2014


Meredith Baldwin Weddle, May 26, 2018
Gretchen Smith Truslow, Aug. 4, 2018
Allison P. Tupper, June 22, 2018


Susan Behrens Borkow, May 30, 2018
Celestine Favrot Arndt, July 21, 2018
Carolyn House Simmons, May 9, 2018


June Kalijarvi Conway, Aug. 3, 2018


Anne Ballard Shumadine, July 24, 2018
Ann Bergren, May 10, 2018
Sherry Clarke, May 23, 2018
Nancy Hartsock, March 19, 2015


Binney Bromley Miller, July 8, 2018
M.V. Ginny Neil Donahue, July 13, 2018
Marion Robie Arnold, June 15, 2018


Tamara Flake Sbelgio, Aug. 4, 2018


Linda Boise, July 2, 2018
Jo Ann Engelke Macbeth, Aug. 6, 2018
Anne R. O’Brien, May 11, 2018


Abigail Bacon, July 17, 2018
Joyce M. Bove, Aug. 15, 2018


Ellen Burke-Van Slyke, Aug. 4, 2017


Elaine M. Lewis, March 11, 2016
Carole L. Wong, Aug. 1, 2018


Joy Ann Kruse, May 22, 2018


Jana Jacobson, June 20, 2018


Kathryn Whitehead Tohir, June 24, 2018


Sama Chandrashekhar Mundlay, Aug. 25, 2018


Priscilla Firger Averbuck, June 24, 2018
Marion Rich Valpey, May 2, 2018
Susan Shaw, Feb. 2, 2018


Grace LaFauci Taylor, July 18, 2016

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