CLASS OF 1982 | 2019 | ISSUE 1

Class of 1982 Endowed Wesleyan Scholarship
Matthew Frishkoff ’21, Philadelphia, PA

First off, thanks to Michael Ostacher, whom I was pleased to see after 25 years (yes, we both look exactly the same), for volunteering to share the class secretary job. Michael is at Stanford doing psychiatric research, treating veterans, and teaching undergraduate courses on addictions and the opiate epidemic; he and his wife have a daughter in high school and a son at American University. Which explains why he has all that spare time to do the notes, i.e. the goodness of his heart.

Thanks also to Ginny Pye (check out her lovely new book of stories, The Shelf Life of Happiness), Walter Massefski (a nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopist working as core manager at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute), and Danielle Rudess (neé Nancy Kornbluth) for offering to share the job. I caught up with Danielle after her keyboardist/composer husband Jordan’s world tour, and persuaded her to come salsa dancing.

Jeannie Gagné has had a busy year, completing her 19th season as voice professor at Berklee College of Music, teaching a course online (check it out if you’d like to improve your pipes), as well as teaching and performing in Kenya, China, Hong Kong, and Santa Fe. She sang at the Urban Renewal reunion party with musicians Rob Levin ’81, Joel Kreisberg ’81, Bryant Urban ’81, Joe Galeota ’85 (also a Berklee prof), and many others. Her family renovated the top of their barn in eastern Massachusetts, once a hay loft, into a recording and workshop space, where her son, Dylan Wolff, is recording an album, and Jeannie is writing new songs.

David Loucky, professor of trombone and euphonium at Middle Tennessee State University, performed at the 100th anniversary of the premiere of Igor Stravinksy’s A Soldier’s Tale with Nashville’s new music ensemble, Intersection, along with Wynton Marsalis’ companion piece of the same instrumentation, A Fiddler’s Tale.

After 25 years in magazines, Janet Wickenhaver Allon has a new gig working for NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, as associate commissioner of marketing and communications of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (perhaps she will use her editing skills on that title, formerly known as the Film Office, but now encompassing film, TV, music, publishing, advertising, digital content—and, get this, the Office of Nightlife). Janet lives in Dumbo and just sent her youngest off to college.

Sabina Brukner is the literary manager of the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, now in its 104th consecutive year bringing Yiddish theater to audiences in New York and beyond. She served as a Yiddish coach and script supervisor for Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, directed by Joel Grey.

Suzanne Kay is producing a documentary about Ed Sullivan’s little known support of racial justice and the impact of his show on American culture. She is also part of Daughters of the Movement, working with others whose mothers were on the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement (in her case, mom Diahann Carroll) to put together a podcast and speaker series.

Matthew Capece has been admitted to the DC bar and honored with the Samuel Gompers Award from the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions.

Clara Silverstein published her fifth book and first novel, Secrets in a House Divided (Mercer University Press), about the complicated relationship between two women, one white and one African-American, in Civil War Richmond. Clara and her architect husband George Schnee ’80 are living in the Boston area and traveled to Indonesia last year to meet their son, who was studying gamelan and linguistics—bringing them full circle, as they met in the gamelan group at Wes.

Denise Joseph married Jonathan Watson in Newton, Mass., on July 14. Alice Apley, Beth Ross ’83, Laurie Trupin, Heather Baker, Liz Feigelson, Kay McCabe ’83, Marion Wilson ’83, Andrea Smith ’83, Deborah Schneider ’78, Clara Silverstein, and George Schnee ’80 attended, providing a wonderful song/dance rendition of “I’ll Be There.”

Finally, we end with sad news. Ed Goss wrote, “I am very sorry to say that Bob Marraffa died on Dec. 6 of pancreatic cancer. He was truly grateful for his tremendous life, which included a great four years at Wesleyan, where he was a government major, captain of the football team, played two years on the hockey team, an assistant coach of the women’s hockey team, and president of DKE. He leaves his wife, Jackie ’84, whom he married 34 years ago in the Wesleyan Chapel; three sons; Bob Jr., Jack, and Nick ’18; and a grandson named Robert (for him). Bobby started his own very successful business 30 years ago, and his oldest son, Bob Jr., will continue as president. Many Wesleyan friends were present at the memorial service, including Dr. Mike Rosenblatt ’80, who coincidentally oversaw Bob’s medical care at the Lahey Clinic outside of Boston, where Mike is the chief medical officer.”

And, we were sorry to hear that longtime newspaperman Alvin Morris, who was an older classmate of ours—he was a 39-year-old freshman—has passed away. He is survived by his family including his wife, Mary ’77.

Laura Fraser |