CLASS OF 1977 | 2021–2022 | WINTER ISSUE

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The floodgates have opened: folks are travelling, people are gathering, and weddings have been rescheduled. All in all, we have begun to exhale after the tough year of 2020 and appreciating seeing people from outside our respective bubbles. Will and Liz Sillin will be in Zion this September after his residency was rescheduled to this year. Vanessa Burgess checked in to remind all about contributing to the Wesleyan Fund and to make sure that we note that our 45th Reunion is in 2022. Francis Rath wrote on being on the front line during the COVID crisis at the Loudoun County Help Desk, managing volunteers for the health department that put in over 90,000 hours of time. They cannot be thanked enough!

Susanna Peyton writes that while their lives were uprooted for their special needs son during COVID, the addition of a small one who is their other son’s first child has made the whole clan happier. Susannah’s father is 89, requiring family care, so it has been a busy year.  Michael Balf, the assistant mayor of his kibbutz for the last four years, wrote suggesting several terrific ideas for panel discussions at our Reunion next year, including panels on local government and kibbutz life, and a panel of people who have lived their adult lives overseas, looking at the United States from afar and up close.

Jonathan Gertler wrote that all children are healthy and thriving in their varying professions as are he and wife Jane. And in the “triumph of persistent delusions, Jonathan’s third album No Fear is being released by a Nashville label (Rock Ridge Music) in September. While thankful for his day job, he still loves making music. Jonathan keeps in close touch with Bob Krakower, Ellen Gendler and Susan (Davis) Pereira. Jane Goldenring is a proud new parent of Teddy, a rescue bichon frise mix. As we know dogs add a great deal to the quality of our lives.

Jane Eisner has returned to Manhattan, from upstate New York. She has happily had in-person reunions over dinner and drinks with Argus “brothers,” Don Lowery and Cliff Chanin ’75. She is grateful that she along with her family are in good health. As a second time Granny, Iddy Olson is experiencing opposing pulls in her life: torn between work client needs and children’s hugs awaiting in Jackson Hole. David Schreff is current enjoying his role as CEO at ACTV8me.com in Los Angeles. He is an adjunct professor teaching at Parsons School of Design (Paris). He recently became a granddad, which provides much new joy in his life.

Jay Kilbourn writes: “A dramatic year following divorce. Continued sustainable infrastructure consulting project in Kenya. Contracted COVID-19 with my new companion, Wendy, in March last year in New York City, as they declared a state of emergency.” They both recovered after moderate cases replete with fear, atop all the symptoms. They traveled the country in a camper trailer for five months, sporting their “immunity” and masks. She adds, “Amazing look at America during the time of COVID. Now expecting first granddaughter.”

I could relate to Joan Goldfeder’s wishes that the reopening of the world did not come with long automobile traffic. Joan expresses great gratitude for family and friends: lots of long calls, lots of laughter, lots of shared sorrow and joy. She had dinner with Joe Tringali recently in LA. I In addition, she just started a new marketing consulting project with the University of California, Los Angeles Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities, expecting to be busy the next several months. And in September, she and son Eli went to Oregon on a hiking and biking trip. By the way, Joan, it is not pathetic that you requested an e-bike for this trip.

Finally, I close with a pair of sad news items. Our class lost two members recently: Maco Stewart and Winifred Van Roden. Winifred fought a 17-year-long battle with bronchiectasis. She is survived by husband John Williams and daughter Frances Williams ’14.  Frances comments: “Winifred was strong and funny and creative and stubborn (which I inherited) and effortlessly elegant (which I did not inherit), and she fought so hard for so many years. I feel so lucky that we got to be adults together for a little while. I really wanted more time. She was at the top of the transplant list when she died. As much as we were hoping for new lungs, we are grateful she was able to donate some of her organs.” Maco Stewart had been described as a “seeker” throughout his life: from studying meditation and Eastern religions to becoming an active member of the congregation at Crossroads Bible Church. He was father to five children and died peacefully from cardiac arrest in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

GERRY FRANK | gfrank@bfearc.com