Alumni News & Notes


Alta Stevenson visited New York City to see her son Mark receive the Maria Moors Cabot Award from the Columbia University School of Journalism for his reporting on violence in Mexico. He is an Associated Press reporter and UAlbany alum, and has lived in Mexico City for the past 20 years. Alta’s other son lives in Denmark, and her two daughters live in the U.S. Some of Alta’s grandchildren are having great experiences in Spain and Portugal as part of their college studies. Vickie Eade Eddy attended her grandson’s outdoor wedding in Seattle and recently celebrated the 85th birthday of her sister, Mary Bett ’51. Tom Holman reports that his sister lives in Big Stone Gap, Va., the same town as author Adriana Trigiana. When the movie adaptation of Trigiana’s “Big Stone Gap” was produced, Tom’s sister’s house was used in the film. Tom says, “It’s a strange feeling to see a movie set with Ashley Judd in my bedroom.” Tom was in Big Stone Gap for the movie release.

Kitty Kloser Irons and Marty have had a quiet year but kept up with their usual activities, including bridge, church, book discussions and trips to New York City. Their oldest granddaughter, Megan, who is in the Peace Corps in Senegal, visited for three weeks this past winter. Evie Erdle Eisenhard and husband Robert are enjoying retirement in a John Ericson Community, Ashburn, Va. They head a welcome committee, and she manages one of six community book clubs. Mary Anne Lanni and husband Bob don’t get out much anymore, but Bob continues to send letters to the Albany Times Union concerning education reform. He recommends the book A Path Appears – Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunities by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn for those planning to leave money to a charity. Mary Anne reads for two book clubs and lunches with former colleagues from the state education department. Their four grandchildren are busy and productive: Leo is in Nigeria; Paloma is working in New York City; and Dave and Chris continue to work for the New York State Department of Taxation and coach basketball at their former high school.

Thea VanDer Ven (Dorothy Simmons) reports that her grandson Ian joined the Navy last year. She recently accompanied her son Guido, his wife Nancy, and sister Grace to Ian’s graduation from boot camp and later flew to San Francisco to send Ian off as he left for a three-year stint in Japan. She plans to travel to Japan to watch Ian run a marathon and hopes to see a tea ceremony in Kyoto. Thea’s other son, Simon, is an artist. Bert Jablon and wife Myra attended a family wedding in Winter Park, Fla., last fall. They enjoyed a visit from their son Brien and his daughter Yarden, who reside in Israel. Al Stevenson states, “Well, the old horse is still pulling the plow.” He is teaching again for what he plans will be his last semester. He looks forward to spending time with friends in Orlando, and hopes to move there after retirement. Virginia Maurer Tracey sold her house and moved two miles south, closer to the landfill and the shooting range. She’s still singing, swimming and walking regularly, and hasn’t lost her sense of humor. 

Madeline Weitloft Huchro is still commuting between Westport, N.Y., and Florida. She had two falls that required hospitalization, but is feeling much better following physical therapy. Joyce Leavitt Zanchelli continues with her many activities, though she was slowed down a bit this winter following knee-replacement surgery. Her husband, Joe, says, “Joyce will soon be a bionic woman, as she will have had two knee replacements, a hip replacement and a new aortic valve!” 

Class notes councilor: Joyce Zanchelli,


Your class councilor is sorry to report that her husband and soul mate, Robert Hughes, passed away in August 2015. His favorite charities were Vincent House in Wayland, the Open Door Mission, and Sojourner House. Your councilor must also announce the passing of two more members of the class. Jeanne E. Simon Morrison Beebe died in October 2015. She was known as “Cookie Grandma” to her grandchildren. Jeanne had a number of degrees from higher-education venues, including the New York State College for Teachers at Albany; I’Université de Paris, Sorbonne, Paris, France; I’Université Poitiers, Tours, France; Teachers College, Oneonta; and Central Connecticut State University. Jeanne is survived by her husband, two children and two grandchildren. Francis Joseph Schatzle was a retired United States Navy officer with the rank of captain. He passed away in June 2015 in Annapolis, Md. Frank, a runner who competed against historic Roger Bannister, ran races and marathons for decades. He enjoyed a distinguished 29-year naval career and retired in 1983. He was considered one of the top hurricane experts in the country. Frank is survived by three children and 10 grandchildren.

Marie Hoffman reconnected with Joan Stocker Borden. Joan has a son, grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Retired from full-time teaching in Lansingburgh, N.Y., she enjoys going to Connecticut to visit her granddaughter, a lawyer in New York City. Joan’s grandson-in-law is a hedge-fund trader. Joan has two great-granddaughters and is looking forward to her grandson’s summer wedding. She has kept in touch with Tillie Malouf Hecox, her sorority mother, who lives in Utica, N.Y. Your councilor last saw Tillie at the 50th reunion. Anna Christodulu Brooks sold her house in Gloversville and moved closer to her daughter in Auburn, Ga. She lives in a senior-housing development. Kitty Brumfield Pickett says her handwriting “isn’t what it used to be” since she has multiple sclerosis. She lives in Charlottesville, Va., and would love to hear from classmates.

Marion Howard Bon and Peter Bon have been married for 62 years. They have two daughters and two granddaughters. Marion is a retired high-school librarian. She went back to school to study horticulture at age 70 and became certified as a master gardener. She has enjoyed working with the Sussex County (Delaware) Master Gardeners for more than 12 years. Peter, retired from teaching and school administration, is now a very active volunteer archaeologist.

Owen Smith reported that his daughter, Claire, a UAlbany alum, works for the Commission of the European Union in Brussels, Belgium. Sadly, his son, Owen, died in 1976. Owen’s son, Owen Daiki Yamauchi, works as a software engineer for Facebook. Owen said that the NYSCT professor who made a lasting impression on him was Harry Price. Owen has been married twice. His first wife, UAlbany alum Derilda, died of cancer in 2003; “we loved for 60 years,” he said. His second marriage was to Maryalice, to whom he has been “hitched” for eight years. Owen taught for 30 years, was a NYSTA field rep for four years, and an antique dealer for 32 years. He volunteers as a church sexton. He’s traveled to Belgium, England, Japan, France, Italy, Luxemburg, Holland, Germany, and Canada. Owen mentioned the passing of his college roommate, Dick Jacobson. He and his wife keep in touch with Dick’s wife, Margaret Eckert ’54.

Margaret Hebert Wernette was selected to teach overseas in the Department of Defense schools after teaching three years in Saranac, N.Y. She spent one year in the following: Goose Bay, Labrador; Itasuki, Japan; Ankara, Turkey; and Bitburg, Germany. Margaret spent 33 years in London, where she met a Texan named Jack Wernette. They have been married 51 years. Margaret retired after teaching high-school math for 40 years and relocated to her husband’s ranch in Castroville, Texas, last year. She recently visited with Barbara Grim Dann in Plattsburgh, N.Y.

Dolores White and husband John Granito ’54 continue to summer in Penn Yan on Keuka Lake and spend winters in Pine Island, Fla. They recently went on a Viking Cruise on the Dordogne, Garonne, and Gironde rivers. Their oldest granddaughter graduated from Fordham Law School and began work at a New York City law firm. Dolores and John spent July 4 in Philadelphia, where their youngest grandson is a University of Pennsylvania doctoral student. John is still doing consulting work, and Dolores is playing and making cards.

Herbert “Herb” D. Thier is still active and having fun. Lucille Guthrie lives in Brant Lake, N.Y., from May until the beginning of October, and spends winter in Venice, Fla. Mary Preston Cooper wonders if classmates remember making apologies at the weekly student government assemblies for having broken any rules. She and her husband Ted have been married for 60 years and have nine children, eight of whom are college graduates. They have 13 grandchildren. Two of their sons live in Hawaii; the other children are scattered from Denver to Raleigh, N.C. Mary and Ted have traveled to Australia, Peru, Greece, Egypt, Costa Rica, and more. After she retired, Mary worked as assistant director for a Huntington Learning Center in Pittsford, N.Y.  In 1993, she and Ted retired to Florida, where she volunteers for Meals on Wheels.

Sal Schaertl and husband George spent Thanksgiving with their three daughters and 10 grandchildren, all of whom are college grads with jobs. Marion Horn Doody is widowed, but her big accomplishments are her seven children – six sons and one daughter. She has traveled to Russia, Germany, Belgium, England, Wales, and Ireland. Bill Whitwer and his wife have been married 44 years. They have two daughters, a professional photographer and a nurse anesthetist. Bill spent 58 years in the ministry and started four Presbyterian churches. He recently retired at age 85. Bill’s hobbies are turkey hunting and piloting. He keeps in touch with classmate Vince Aceto. Bill’s website,, is read worldwide. He’d love classmates to visit the site.

Louise Petfield Burns reported that after 4.5 years in a nursing home, her husband, Roy, passed away. They were married more than 20 years. Louise has been going to several Bible studies and continues to sing in church choir. She also plays piano for an adult Sunday school class and a senior-adult choir. Her three daughters have visited Colorado over the past year and a half. Louise is in good health following several surgeries a few years ago. She traveled to Jordan and Israel for the third time last spring. Louise has fond memories of her college years, mostly of Big Fours and Miss Futterer’s drama classes. The Class of 1953 Facebook Group can be found at It is a great place to post old photos and to chat with classmates.  

Class notes councilor: Rose Mary (Rosie) Keller Hughes,


John (Jack) Cooper and wife Terry recently attended the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Ore. They visited their son and his wife in Albuquerque, where they attended the balloon festival; they also explored Santa Fe and Taos. Jack volunteered as a Meals on Wheels driver in Portland. Jack and Terry say, “Life is good and has been good to us – for which we are very thankful.” Marie Elder Sejersen and husband John both spent six months of 2015 fighting cancer. They remain positive and feel good. They purchased a new car and, after they were cleared by doctors, they made a three-week, 3,700-mile road trip to visit their daughter in Indiana. They recently traveled to New Orleans and Biloxi, Miss. They welcomed another grandchild in December.

Jim Thompson and Bill Floyd continue to meet with Albany-area friends monthly. Thirteen local class members gathered at Jim’s home for a Halloween-themed brunch last fall. Jim attended his 65th-year high-school reunion in Liberty, N.Y. He attended the retirement ceremony for Navy Captain Scott Thompson ’91 at the Hall of Heroes in the Pentagon and officiated his granddaughter Carissa’s wedding on the Vermont shore of Lake Champlain last summer. Bradford Miller and wife Ingeborg celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with family at the Otesaga Hotel in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Patricia Byrne Manning journeyed through Lecce, Martina Franca, Matera and Potenza and “stayed in everything from a cave to a convent” on a recent trip to Italy. John Zongrone and Rose Mary Bradt Zongrone visited their first great-grandchild, Brody, in Tucson last fall. Three grandchildren will graduate – from the Fashion Institute of Technology, Boston College and Syracuse University – this May. John is working at his insurance agency in Schenectady, and Rose Mary is enjoying retirement. Joan Mackey Stronach remains active with volunteering, bridge, and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Howard Benenbock is doing well. Mary Ann Frascatore Corsi and Carmen are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary this year. They are fortunate enough to see most of their family frequently, since all live in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. They traveled to the Amalfi Coast with family members in the summer. Mary and Carmen attended YMCA activities; they stay in their studio apartment in NYC some weekends and recently spent time in Naples, Fla. They invite classmates to visit if they’re in the Montclair, N.J., area.

Naoshi Koriyama celebrated his 89th birthday. His translation of 90 tales from Konjaku Monogatari Shu (a 12th-century collection of Japanese tales), titled Japanese Tales from Times Past, was translated with Bruce Allen and published by Tuttle Publishing in August. Dick Bailey has taken weekly t’ai chi classes at the local senior center for 11 years. Bonnie Brousseau and husband Armand traveled to Vermont to visit Armand’s daughter this year. Bonnie also attended her granddaughter’s wedding in October. Bonnie and Armand have one great-grandchild and another on the way. Bonnie is still quilting, and Armand stays busy playing golf.

Frank Giannone and Laura Giannone celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with 80 relatives and friends last August. They spent time enjoying the sun and sand in Maui with their daughter, Lisa. Laura is still recovering from hip replacement. Richard “Dick” Hannis was recognized for his community service through SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) and for his work as CEO of Upstate NY Rural Initiative. He was awarded an honorary doctorate of commercial science by Paul Smith College; Dick helped establish the college’s business department, and develop and sustain the business curriculum. He and his wife, Jeannette Katz ’55, will take their fourth European river cruise this summer.

Class Notes Councilors: Bernice Gunsberg Shoobe,,
and Joan Paul,