Ruth Wyman Corsini ’32 died on Nov. 18, 2014, at age 103.
Ruth loved nurturing her family, enriching those around her with her interests in visual arts, music, dance, and theater. She had an amazing memory, enjoyed languages, majored in Latin and Greek, and taught high school French and Latin. For her 100th birthday, Ruth was interviewed during a Metropolitan Opera intermission to honor her loyalty to opera. She attended ’32 class luncheons at the College Club and last summer picnicked by Lake Waban, delighting her daughter and son-in-law with folklore about Tupelo Point.
She was my dear companion.
Donna Corsini Marshall, daughter
Constance Dorfman Hoffert ’42 died on March 6, 2014.
Being a Wellesley graduate was a key and proud part of my mother’s identity. This was underscored for me when I found, safely tucked away in her bedside table among her most important personal papers, the full program from her 1942 graduation ceremony—including the emergency instructions in case of an air raid. As the first anniversary of Mom’s death approaches, it feels right to share this recollection with her larger Wellesley family.
Rebecca Hoffert Rosow
Jean Goodman Stumpf ’43 died on Nov. 6, 2014.
Jean was just 17 when she entered Wellesley after graduation from the University of Chicago’s Lab School. She majored in sociology and was active in the Baptist student group led by the young chaplain Sam Stumpf. After their July 1943 marriage, Jean devoted 30 years to family and community, mostly as a Vanderbilt professor’s wife, before earning an M.S.W. in 1966. She became the full-time director of the Planned Parenthood Health Center in Nashville and later took leadership roles in the Nashville Council on Aging. Jean had a long, full, and happy life, during which she embodied the College’s motto.
Carolyn Pratt Brock ’68
Claire Ann “Ricki” Richter O’Meara ’43 died on Feb. 13.
Ricki and eight of her closest Wellesley friends kept up a “round robin” letter circuit since graduation. Now four friends continue the tradition. She funded a continuing summer internship for Wellesley students. Ricki lived the Wellesley motto, serving others, volunteering, and making new friends until her death. She rose to leadership wherever she was involved, and in 1980 was honored as the St. Louis Globe-Democrat Woman of Achievement. An avid arts supporter, she loved hiking, bird-watching, bridge, and traveling. She treated everyone with love, respect, and good humor.
Mary Anne Polk O’Meara ’70
Esther Vail Falk ’43 died on Feb. 1.
Esther was born in Miraj, India, where her father was a medical missionary. The family returned to the US when she was 17. After graduating from Wellesley and then the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, Esther worked as a relief nurse in Lahore, Pakistan, and there married Clarence Falk. Later they settled on a farm in Dummerston, Vt., and raised their daughters, and Esther began her lifelong service to the community. (Recent example: a “custard mission,” delivering homemade custards to ailing neighbors.) As a dedicated gardener, she always raised fruits, vegetables, and flowers galore. At age 92, she developed her hobby of designing note cards featuring her own hand-pressed blossoms into a business. Dear, wonderful Esther died of a heart attack while walking through snow on her beloved farm.
Betsey Harwood Wood ’43
Lila Manfield Sapinsley ’44 died unexpectedly at home in Providence on Dec. 9, 2014.
Energetic, vibrant, and caring, my mother had a distinguished political career in Rhode Island, including 15 years in the state Senate, where she was elected minority leader. She served on the boards of the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the Wellesley Centers for Women, among many others, and received a Wellesley Alumnae Achievement Award in 1974. I followed her to Wellesley because I wanted to be just like her, which was of course impossible—there was only one Lila. My three sisters and I, and her nine grandchildren, miss her more than words can say.
Jill Sapinsley Mooney ’67
Rose Wind Stone ’46 died on Sept. 16, 2014.
“Rhody’s” fondest memories of Wellesley were the friendships she made, the campus visit of Mayling Soong Chiang 1917, stargazing at the observatory, and voice lessons. She subsequently earned a master’s degree in social work from Boston University while she and her husband, the late James Stone, raised four children. During her career, Rhody helped hundreds of elementary school students and their families within the Whitman, Mass., school district. She was appointed by the governor of Massachusetts to serve as an advisor on the state’s Board of Mental Health.
Ellen Stone Goodman
Patricia Freeman Lehrburger ’53 died on Nov. 28, 2014, at her home.
Raised in Dallas, and with family roots among West Texas cattle ranchers and merchants, Pat studied at Wellesley before settling in New York. Pat was a homemaker and educator, and followed her father’s passion for investing. She loved to garden and to dance, but her greatest joy was family, and she created magic memories for her grandchildren. Her optimism, warmth, generosity, and strength of spirit were inspiring. During her last years, Pat enjoyed support and love from close family, devoted caregivers, and dear friends. She is greatly missed.
Elizabeth Marlow ’08
Nancy Halter Dacek ’55, an unwavering moderate Republican, died Jan. 12, leaving Ray, her husband of 57 years; five children; and nine grandchildren.
With children successfully launched, Nancy used her poli sci major and Case Western master’s to impact the politics of Montgomery County, Md. Her lifelong voice for fiscal moderation and balanced growth, from PTA president to County Council to County Elections Board, made her an up-county legend. Nancy’s directness and wry humor were also the guiding force behind the Black Rock Center for the Arts. Her other passions included tennis, gardening, and her Cleveland Indians.
Good job, dear Bates buddy and roommate.
Anita Racioppi Craven ’55
Lura Allen Mountford ’55
Mary Munroe West ’55
Eustis Barber Cowardin ’56 died on Nov. 6, 2014, surrounded by her family.
Eusty married Lewis Cowardin after graduation and embarked on a remarkable life. While devoted to her growing family of four children, she also engaged in a large range of activities and volunteer work. Her hobbies included hunting, fishing, and watching her grandchildren play hockey. Her devotion to service and faith was exemplified in her hospice and pastoral work. She was ordained to the priesthood of the Episcopal Church in 1999. Eusty embodied the Wellesley motto and will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved her.
Ann Forger Homsy ’56
Beverly Buckner Stough ’63 died on Dec. 4, 2014.
Everyone who knew Bev in Navy, Davis, and the Tupelos remembers her sweet and supportive personality, even sweeter voice, and Texas twang. Bev was an accomplished singer and soloist: during high school in Houston, with the Tupelos, and with church choirs and groups in Boston, Austin, Taos, and San Jose. After graduation, she worked at Harvard Divinity School and for various state and federal agencies. She worked tirelessly in disaster relief after hurricanes devastated the Texas Gulf Coast. Bev enjoyed cross-country travel and being with her children and grandchildren, moving to California five years ago to be closer to them.
Helen “Cookie” Smiler ’63
Elisabeth Thresher Scharlack ’67 died on Jan. 5.
Betsey channeled her gale-force energy so that it reached others as a refreshing, warm breeze. A true lifelong learner, Betsey earned advanced degrees in art, business management, and teaching. She nurtured three brothers, two sons, and two orphaned nephews. Betsey opened young minds to new cultures. Partnered for 45 years, she and husband Ronnie shared passions for gardening and travel. Only two weeks after her diagnosis, Betsey was swept away by cancer, leaving a wide circle of family and friends devastated but consoled by their warm memories of her.
Cynthia White Hecker ’67
Carolyn Painter Billet ’79 lost her long-fought battle with cancer on Jan. 22.
She died peacefully at home in Bedford, N.Y., with her husband, Tom Billet, and son, Matt Billet, by her side. A woman of grace, dignity, and courage, she was 57. She was a member of the class of 1979 and received her M.B.A. from Boston University in 1983. Carolyn worked for Blue Cross/Blue Shield until the time of her marriage (1991). She was active in various Armonk organizations, particularly St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and the Friends of the North Castle Public Library.
Kim Henderson ’79
Sherrie A. Inness ’86 passed away on Aug. 11, 2014, after a far too short but accomplished life.
After receiving her Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego, she became an associate professor of English at Miami University of Ohio, and was a distinguished visiting professor at Denison University. She was a prolific author and editor; her many books included Tough Girls: Women Warriors and Wonder Women in Popular Culture and Intimate Communities: Representation and Social Transformation in Women’s College Fiction, 1895–1910. Most recently she lived in California. She always recalled her time at Wellesley fondly.
Meera Sheffrin ’06
Ginny Y. Chung ’93 died on Nov. 8, 2014, of colon cancer.
We met the summer of our junior year, serving as interns together at the State Department in Washington, D.C. Ginny and I maintained lifelong friendships with others we met that summer. Ginny was professionally accomplished, most recently serving as acting deputy international tax counsel for the Department of the Treasury. Ginny enjoyed reading, traveling, volunteering, and working in her garden. She will be remembered for her authentic smile, loyal friendship, and unselfish nature. Ginny adored her two children. Ginny is also survived by her husband, Aaron King; her parents, George and Grace; and sister, Christine.
Aniella Gonzalez ’93
Elisha Ann LeFlore Inferrera ’99 died on July 24, 2014.
Elisha was the great-grandniece of E. Elizabeth Jones, professor of zoology at Wellesley College in the mid-1900s; the granddaughter of Margaret Jones Becker ’46; and the daughter of Ann Becker Behravesh ’73.
Elisha was a passionate and loving soul, a committed elementary school teacher, and a deeply devoted mother to her three children. At Wellesley, she majored in education and sang in the Wellesley College Choir. She earned a master’s in education from Wheelock College, and was working on a second master’s in special education.
Elisha is deeply missed.
Ann Becker Behravesh ’73
Miriam Haskell Berlin, a former lecturer in history at Wellesley, died on Jan. 1.
Mimi Berlin was fiercely engaged with life: curious, demanding, powerful in intelligence, accomplishment, and personal magnetism. She blew into Wellesley in 1958 like a gale force, liberating our intellects years before “women’s lib,” gripping her desk as she leaned forward into our young minds, challenging us to think and write clearly, to ask original questions, to embody (not just study) the intelligentsia. Her Russian history classroom was no place for the vague or unprepared. Her stringency strengthened us; her standards sharpened us; her handwriting baffled us; and her amused affection and generosity upheld us, long past graduation. Mimi marked not just our papers; like the great teacher she was, she marked our minds.
Linda Salzman Gottlieb ’60
Clare Novak ’75