Janet Dressler Lister ’45 passed away peacefully on July 23 in Naples, Fla., where she lived the last 35 years of her long life. Born and raised in Cleveland, she followed a favorite aunt, Kathryn Albin Hodgman ’29, to Wellesley, where she majored in English composition and met her future husband of 66 years, Charles Lister. They raised three children, including Joan Lister ’71, and enjoyed their four grandchildren. Like many of her generation, Janet was primarily devoted to her home, family, and friends. After living in Philadelphia, Cleveland, Northern and Southern California, northern New Jersey, and Columbia, S.C., she and Chuck finally settled in Naples. She was an avid bridge player, gifted seamstress, and active volunteer, including serving as a past president of the Wellesley College Club of Naples. She was much loved and will be missed by her family and friends.
Joan Lister ’71, daughter
Nan Curran Sanford ’46 of Exeter, N.H., died peacefully on April 13. Born Catherine Ann Curran on Jan. 17, 1925, Nan lived a happy 97 years filled with friends, family, Airedales, and adventure. Nan was the oldest of seven siblings and grew up on a farm in Stamford, Vt. Known for her integrity and common sense approach to life, she will be missed for her wise words and friendship. The family would appreciate contributions to Wellesley College.
Flora Sanders ’46, born in Little Rock, Ark., but a lifelong New Yorker, died on June 6 at age 97. She was the fourth member of our family to attend Wellesley. Her freshman roommate, Elaine Baum Ryder ’46, became a dear friend for life. After college, Flo settled in Manhattan and taught English for more than 50 years at the Ethical Culture School and the Fieldston School. She took advantage of all that New York had to offer. She was a loyal member of her book group and hosted concerts in her Upper East Side apartment. In retirement, Flo taught literacy classes to new immigrants. Most importantly, Flo was a treasured friend to many, with a delightful laugh and smile.
Judy Ratner ’73
Margaret Farquhar Adelfio ’48 died peacefully on Aug. 13 in her beloved second home in Sicily immersed in what she loved: summer, Italy, and family. Born Quaker in rural Maryland, Margaret was a lifelong and passionate learner. Wellesley both nurtured and transformed her. A math major, she also took art history and audited Nabokov’s literature courses. In 1961, Margaret and her Italian husband, Antonio Adelfio, founded a travel agency in Maryland. The business thrived. Welcoming of everyone, Margaret maintained a sense of wonder and curiosity for all things. She was the daughter, mother, aunt, and grandmother of Wellesley alums.
Luisa Adelfio ’86, daughter and
Stevens Traveling Fellow, 2021–22
Helen Silverstein Ratner ’48 died on Aug. 18. She began Wellesley with the class of 1949, but accelerated and graduated in 1948. After earning a master’s at Teachers College at Columbia, she taught biology at schools in New York. She was especially proud of her work teaching advanced placement biology and the successes of her students. Wellesley was a cornerstone of her growth, education, and identity throughout her life, and she attributed much of her achievements and self confidence to her Wellesley education. She also met the love of her life, Frank Ratner, while at Wellesley and enjoyed one of the happiest times of her life on campus and on the shores of Lake Waban. My mother accompanied me to my reunions, and I, to hers after my father’s passing in 1998.
Jill Ratner ’77, daughter
LaVerne Megee Broad ’53 passed away at home on April 16. The only child of General Vernon and Nell Megee, LaVerne moved often. She celebrated her ninth birthday aboard a ship bound for Lima, Peru, where she lived for three years, becoming fluent in Spanish. She always fondly remembered her time at Wellesley amidst the beautiful campus and life-long friends. She settled in Albuquerque, N.M., with her family and owned The Last Straw, a gallery featuring Native American and Hispanic artists. Her relationships with these artists afforded her opportunities to attend numerous weddings and dances at neighboring pueblos and communities, an honor LaVerne deeply treasured. LaVerne is survived by her daughter and son.
Tyson Broad, son
Toni Inman Palter ’54 died on May 23 in Austin, Texas. At around age 5, I met Toni while visiting my grandparents in Peekskill, N.Y. On a play date, Toni announced she wasn’t into dolls, but preferred exploring my grandparents’ big old Victorian house. That was Toni: unafraid to speak her mind and seek adventure. Years later, I was thrilled to find us Wellesley classmates. In Munger our junior year, I came to appreciate Toni’s knowledge of everything literary. We raised our families thousands of miles apart, but kept in touch. When I visited her in Austin after she had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, I was not surprised to find the same vibrant, intelligent, venturesome woman I had known much of my life.
Elizabeth Seymour Bynum ’54
Enid Rutenberg Offenbach ’54 of Roslyn, N.Y., died on May 30. Filled with gratitude for her Wellesley years, Enid cherished her many long-lasting college friendships and was delighted to have a legacy granddaughter, Rachel Spaulding Carty ’11. For many years, Enid was the director of the East Meadow Jewish Center Nursery School. She and her late husband, David, traveled extensively, often by camper or with Elderhostel groups. Enid’s thirst for knowledge, her affection for children, and her dedication to family made her a remarkable woman whom we felt blessed to know and love.
Nancy Spaulding, daughter
Elisabeth “Betsy” Turman Ervin ’54 died on May 21 in Blue Bell, Pa., a week after her 90th birthday. She and Bob Ervin were married for 69 years. Betsy had an exceptional understanding of horses and those who rode them. In her unique and quiet manner, she spent years successfully training equines and equestrians. She belonged to the U.S. Equestrian Federation, other related professional organizations, and the Junior League of Philadelphia. Betsy was a woman of perception, empathy, grace, and whimsy, who shared a remarkable depth of feeling for family and friends. She was a very special human being.
Kitty Coffield Courtney ’54
Jane “Jinx” Leichtle Ward ’55 passed away on July 14. She treasured her years at Munger Hall and the lifelong friends made there. My mother raised four children, all of whom she was happy to declare possessed an “SoH”—sense of humor. She commenced a 28-year professional career at age 30, the latter half working at Digital Equipment, where she met her second husband, David. Together they led 14 tours to Africa. Jinx lived in Lincoln, Mass., starting in 1959, and helped to start Lincoln’s Council on Aging. She was an avid knitter, so Jinx’s family and friends were multi-time beneficiaries of her craft.
Geoff Ward, son
Ellen Birk Kallman ’56 died on Aug. 2. Ellen came to Wellesley from Atlanta, blessed with Southern charm and a keen intellect. After college, she lived in New York, where she became involved in the Jewish Foundation for Education of Women, serving as its president. Although Ellen was fortunate in many ways—traveling extensively with her husband, Donald, and spending time in Easthampton, N.Y., and Longboat Key, Fla.—she always cared about others and the larger world around her. She cherished her family (two children, five grandchildren) and was a devoted friend. Her warmth, sense of humor, and grace will be sorely missed.
Sara Levy Danziger ’56
Sally Hennen ’57 died on June 21. She was a beautiful, talented, funny lady. She was a beloved professor at Marquette University in Milwaukee for 30 years. Growing up, she collected stamps with her father. Her mother insisted she take ballet lessons because she thought Sally was clumsy. She enjoyed downhill skiing and playing bridge and tennis with her many friends. She enjoyed the symphony, opera, and the Milwaukee Brewers Major League Baseball team. Mostly, she loved reruns of Chuck Norris’s Walker, Texas Ranger. She had a peaceful death at 87 years old.
Anne Stevens Martin ’58 died on May 19. A devoted Chicagoan, she married fellow Chicagoan Judson Martin in 1961. Jud’s early death in 1976 placed great responsibility on Anne to raise their two sons and two daughters, which she did with vision and determination. Organized, spirited, and alert to the politics of the day, Anne had multiple community involvements, including as president of both the Glencoe and New Trier school boards. Her love of the arts and lifelong learning she attributed to her treasured Wellesley education. Anne included us in her life, and our friendship overcame diverging political views, as we attempted to understand the world we were living in. We truly miss her.
Dixie Snow Huefner ’58
Claudia Wienert Moyne ’58
former roommates of Anne
The Rev. Sue Huntress Crommelin-Dell ’60 passed away on June 30, 2021, at home in Norfolk, Va., after living a very full life, including eight years with lung cancer. She was a history major who raised three children while earning her M.S.W. and then became a Jungian analyst. Later, she became a spiritual director, and from ages 67 to 70, she earned her M.Div. at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass. She was ordained an Episcopal priest in 2008. Susie is survived by her husband of 41 years, Dr. Paul Dell, her children and their spouses, her grandchildren, and her sister.
Sally Crommelin Ward ’90
Barbara Lynch Braunstein ’60 passed away on July 14. She was comforted by her two children and her son-in-law during her final days. Barbara was a lifelong learner, an avid reader, a lawyer, Jeopardy! aficionado, mother, grandmother, and cat lover. She held dear her commitment to public service and volunteering. Prior to the pandemic she remained involved in several book clubs, University Synagogue, and the public library, where she relished her time as a “volunteer grandma” ready and willing to read to children and help them make book selections. Throughout her life, she was earnestly devoted to supporting her alma mater, Wellesley College, the Democratic Party, and many liberal causes. She is survived by her two children, son-in-law, and four grandchildren.
Lisa Braunstein Pendo ’84
Ann “Moxxi” Maddox ’61 passed on Aug. 7 in Santa Cruz, Calif. She is survived by her three children: Erin, Gillian, and Dylan McGinty. Ann had lived in Santa Cruz since retiring from teaching in the learning disabilities department at Santa Monica College. She received her Ph.D. in L.D. and loved teaching. She spent several years teaching in Japan and even studied the language. She loved gardening, reading, and, of course, her family and friends. Everyone loved Ann: She was empathic, non-judgmental, and had a great sense of humor. She will be sorely missed.
Stephanie Shevlin Peek ’61
Marcia Burick ’62 died on June 4 while at her 60th reunion. Marcia’s life at Wellesley was filled with accomplishments, academic and College-wide. She was a political science major and worked with key members of the political science faculty. Marcia was a writer of our Junior Show. She was elected president of College Government. She had said recently that her happiest life experience was her four years at Wellesley. She was my college roommate and a close friend for 64 years. We were like sisters. I miss her in my life.
Carol T. Schreiber ’62
Martha Reardon Bewick ’62 died on June 20. We are all grieving Martha’s death; she was such a wonderful friend, with her energy, smile, humor, good will, inclusivity, honor—she was special. It was Martha who herded us together, especially those like me who strayed from the flock. Roommates in Tower Court, we learned our different schedules and styles with friendly jousting. For years, we enjoyed our close friendship and wonderful correspondence. This spring, we reminisced about her mum’s Indian pudding and my visit to her family home for Thanksgiving years ago. It’s hard to know she’s no longer in the world, always making it better and happier for all.
Patricia “Pat” Dickey Spencer ’62
Susan Standish Brown ’62 died on June 10. I moved into Davis sophomore year and met Sue, then usually called Suki. Years later, in the late ’90s, I think, my husband, Bob, was in Milan on business, and I tagged along. I knew that Sue’s husband, Dave, was stationed there with the Canadian embassy. I contacted her, and we spent my last day in the city having lunch and trying to see the sights. Unfortunately, there was a strike on, but though Milan’s museums were closed, we had a wonderful time together, as if decades had not passed. The strike extended to airlines, which meant we could not fly to Geneva, our next stop. Having turned in all our lire, we were “penniless.” Sue spontaneously lent us the cash to buy train tickets and saved us! We have always been immensely grateful to her. That day in Milan was Suki’s special gift to me, and her death was the loss of a wonderful person.
Karen Capriles Hodges ’62
Irene “Renie” Stifel Smith ’62 died on July 23 in Oberlin, Ohio. When we moved to McAfee our senior year, our friendships blossomed. Renie’s high school sweetheart, Dave Smith, visited often from Amherst, and our end of third floor McAfee loved them both. Married in 1964, they settled in Cleveland and raised three children. Renie taught computer programming, first at IBM, then in other educational venues, and was a committed volunteer for many nonprofits. Reconnecting after the 40th reunion, Renie and Dave, Lynette Porteous, and I traveled together. The 40-plus years just melted away, and we were fun-loving students again. David called us the Three Scary Smart Women. Renie was a lovely woman—hard-working, dedicated to causes, animal lover, mom and grandma, and yes, smart.
Judy Meyers Kinsey ’62
Sally Swigert Hamilton ’66, my dear friend and classmate, died on June 26 in Cincinnati. She was gifted in languages, a Durant Scholar in classics, but she could also do a hilarious improvisation about a bacteriophage infecting a bacterium. Sally received a law degree and traveled the world as a legal counsel working in the airlines/aviation industry. She had NYU certification in French to English translation. Sally was insightful and kind, and is mourned deeply by me, her many friends, and her son, Andrew S. Hamilton.
Susan Rittenhouse ’66
Nancy Hughes Clark ’67 died on July 18 in Los Angeles. As she was statuesque with chiseled features, freshman friends were in awe of her. She smoked Peter Jackson cigarettes, drank scotch, managed a double Italian/poli sci major, and had a busy extracurricular life. She was charismatic in two performances of Twelfth Night and directed Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author. Nancy saw humor in much of life and was appreciated for her remarkable perspicacity, candor, and wit. A great listener, she always spoke the truth, without artifice, from the heart. Her friends feel fortunate to have grown up together.
Nancy Heller ’67
Laura Grosch ’67
Erry Johnson ’67
Laura Stephenson ’67
Dana Stambaugh Semeraro ’67
Virginia Ellicott Simpson Aisner ’67 died of cancer on May 29. A person of grace, dignity, competence, and kindness, she made an everlasting mark on the lives of many as a teacher of Latin and Greek and then as an information technology expert for over three decades at Harvard. Educated in the classics at Wellesley, where she was a Durant Scholar, and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, she set the highest standards for her students. After teaching at several girls schools, Virginia accepted a job offer from her Birmingham, Ala., congressman, serving on the education and labor committee. A staunch supporter of civil and women’s rights, he was defeated in a primary in 1980. Returning to the town of Wellesley after her marriage in 1981, she completed a management program and then began her IT career. Virginia enjoyed reading, walking, swimming, and traveling. She loved animals, especially her Siamese cats, and was a patron of the Boston Symphony, Boston Ballet, and the Davis Museum.
Suzanne Sherwood Cane ’68, wife, mother, grandmother, and dear friend to many, died peacefully at home on March 29. She married David Cane in June 1967. Following a 25-year career as librarian and French teacher at the Lincoln School in Providence, R.I., Suzanne continually explored both old and new interests in reading, travel, French language and culture, rollerblading, hiking, swimming, scuba diving, and ballroom dancing, all while maintaining lifelong friendships with family and friends from all over the world. In collaboration with Janet Chapple, she translated and meticulously annotated a compelling 19th-century account of an early visit to Yellowstone National Park by Belgian travel writer Jules Leclercq: Yellowstone, Land of Wonders (University of Nebraska Press, 2013). Read her full obituary here.
David Cane, husband
Adrienne Germain ’69 died on May 19. Adrienne was internationally recognized for her passionate lifelong dedication to advancing women’s rights and reproductive health worldwide, and for her pioneering understanding of the broader need for education and support for women. After Wellesley, she received a master’s degree in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, followed by work at the Population Council and Ford Foundation before co-founding the International Women’s Health Coalition. Adrienne’s complex view of well being also encompassed the arts, humor, cooking, and concern for the environment, and perhaps especially her skilled gifts for nurturing friendships. Learn more about Adrienne’s work at bit.ly/AdrienneGermain.
Jane Grayson ’69
Ann K. Lambert ’69
Catherine N. Parke ’69
Suzanne Fleming Wells ’69
Margaret “Peggy” Holt Sammons ’71 died on Aug. 3. Peggy was one of a group of us who lived in Tower Court West as freshmen and who stayed together through our four years at Wellesley. Following college and three years in the Peace Corps in Liberia, she received an M.Div. degree from the Episcopal Divinity School and was ordained a priest in 1978. Peggy was one of the first women ordained to the Episcopal priesthood and the first from the Diocese of Western Michigan. In her vocation, she was a skilled preacher, teacher, and pastoral counselor. In her family life, she was a devoted wife and mother of two daughters, always finding time to volunteer in their various activities. Her three grandsons gave her tremendous pleasure.
Lula Kopper ’71
Kristin Mortimer ’71 passed away on July 14 after an extended battle with cancer. A New Jersey native, she joined the yellow class of ’71 and found her passions in music and art history, later receiving a Ph.D. from Harvard in art history. Her love of music and art defined her life’s work. She traveled extensively; loved most things British, 12th- and 13th-century architecture, and her cats; hiked throughout the U.S.; deplored new technology and social media; and generously supported numerous arts organizations in the Boston area. Though she left us early, we will always remember her intellect, curiosity, wit, sense of adventure, and empathy. Toward the end of her life, her seven Claflin dormmates sent her seven yellow roses. She knew we cared.
Lois Juliber ’71
Trudy Hanmer ’71
Deborah Sigrid Clarkson ’72 died on April 24. An English major at Wellesley, Debbie earned a master’s in English at Northeastern University. She worked briefly in administration at MIT and the University of Delaware and later taught at Southern Vermont College, Bennington. Debbie developed major health problems in 1993, suffered a debilitating stroke in 2003, and struggled with medical issues until she passed away while sleeping at home. Her husband, Norman Derby, an MIT Ph.D. and Bennington College professor, cared for her with loyalty and devotion throughout the years. We who knew Debbie treasured her gentle, sympathetic character, intelligent interest in literature and nature, and generous friendship.
Mary Helen Kryda Weber ’72
Dagmara Bastiks ’72
Hedvika “Heddy” Urban Heinicke ’73 died in June 2021. I met Heddy my first week on campus. Heddy’s passion was biology. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a doctor. Even with her laser-like focus on pre-med, she found time to help me navigate Wellesley—revealing the locations of the best study nooks on campus and her winning strategy for fulfilling the P.E. requirement. Heddy went on to SUNY-Buffalo medical school and built her neurology practice in Louisville, Ky. She married Dr. Mark Heinicke, and they had a son and a daughter. In Heddy’s final years, she and Mark moved to Denver to be closer to their grown children and grandchildren. I will always be grateful for her no-nonsense advice and her welcoming support in my early weeks at Wellesley.
Jane Risser ’73
Sarah Higgs Pedersen ’79 died on Aug. 4 after a courageous two-and-a-half year battle with ovarian cancer. She grew up in Pelham, N.Y., graduating from Wellesley and the University of Chicago Business School. She was a Luce Scholar in Japan before returning to Wellesley, where she and her beloved husband, Pete, raised four beautiful children while she pursued her other passions in health care administration, church and community service, and the outdoors. Sarah was a beacon of light: selfless, ever optimistic, her infectious laugh and joyful spirit touched all who knew and loved her.
Lisa Rudolph ’79
Lisa “Sheena” Buchholz ’81 died from ovarian cancer on April 25 in Cambridge, U.K. Lisa grew up in Los Altos Hills, Calif. After graduating from Wellesley, she worked for a science/ethics journal at Harvard/MIT and then in nightclub management. She and her best friend, Ann Spencer Gates, hosted the anarchic “Mystery Girls” show on WMBR for five years in the ’80s. I met her after she moved to Paris to work for an energy consultancy, and we brought up our children, Theo and Zoe, in Cambridge. Her warmth, humor, and passion will be missed by all those who loved her.
Andrew Coleman, husband
Diane Nelson ’85 died on April 28. Diane combined a towering intellect, prodigious professional output, and compassionate activism. Amidst the many accolades she received as a professor of cultural anthropology and author, Diane excelled as well as the longtime love of her heartbroken husband, the generous caregiver to her mother, a playful Tia to her nephews, a deeply loved sister and friend, and a valued mentor to her students. She delighted in the natural world, singing, beekeeping, body-surfing, creeking, yoga, and martial arts. Diane accepted her cancer diagnosis with grace and curiosity. She gave her family the gift of her beautiful smile until the end.
Erika Nelson, Diane’s little sister
Lila McGill Fox ’85
Emily Spanel Schulz ’85 died on June 19. Emily had a love of music, of animals, and of helping clients with intellectual or physical challenges. She worked in a variety of settings and roles, recently as a clinical professor of occupational therapy at Northern Arizona University. She opened her heart and home to many animals including a special-needs greyhound, budgies, and more than a dozen cats. She volunteered with animal rescue centers and sang with her church. Under a pseudonym, she authored two children’s books. Emily was a kind, caring person who will be missed by her family, friends, and her beloved animals.
Lila McGill Fox ’85
Eleanor “Ellie” Chaffee M.A. ’67 died on Aug. 13, 2019, at age 84. Born in Cambridge, Mass., she was the daughter of a renowned Harvard physicist. In 1952, Ellie graduated from Belmont High School, and in 1956 from Mount Holyoke. She earned a master of arts in chemistry at the Wellesley College Institute in Chemistry (WCIIC) in 1967. After earning her Ph.D. from Brown in 1971, Ellie completed a fellowship in chemistry at SUNY Buffalo in 1972. She became a career researcher in inorganic chemistry for Eastman Kodak. After retirement, Ellie and her partner, Lillian Kellogg, moved from Webster, N.Y., to Rochester.
Erica Johnson ’67
Leigh Hallingby ’67
Ruth Shea Quinn M.A. ’67 died on Sept. 29, 1996, at age 70. A native of Springfield, Mass., she graduated from University of Massachusetts in 1948. Ruth worked as a research associate at Johns Hopkins’ applied physics laboratory from 1950 to 1952. She then was hired as the first woman research associate at MIT. Ruth, a wife and mother of three, earned a master’s degree in chemistry from Wellesley in 1967. After earning her doctorate in biological chemistry from Harvard in 1972, Ruth was a research fellow and instructor at Harvard Medical School and a researcher with the Rheumatology Clinical Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Erica Johnson ’67
Leigh Hallingby ’67