From Anne Turtle, our past class president
Dear Wellesley ’62 classmates,
It’s been an eventful couple of weeks with highs and lows starting at our class meeting on May 17th. We scheduled the meeting on Zoom in advance of our actual reunion so that we could spend more time together during the reunion itself. When it was time to start, we noticed that Martha Bewick, our class secretary, had not signed in. After phoning her, we learned the shocking news that she had suffered a stroke and was hospitalized. Sally Phelps called for a moment of silent thoughts and prayers for Martha.
We proceeded with the meeting. The minutes from our 2017 class meeting were accepted. The Officers and Committee Chairs gave reports. Sally presented the slate of officers for the next five years (until reunion 2027):
Judy Myers Kinsey, President
Toni Hess Gal, Vice-President, Mini-reunions
Marj Parish Bribitzer, Vice-President, Zoommaster
Joanne Couch Cogar, Vice-President, Webmaster
Martha Reardon Bewick, *Secretary
Susan Connard Chenoweth, Treasurer
Sally Rial Phelps, Wellesley Fund Representative
* Please note that Karen Capriles Hodges will serve as interim class secretary due to Martha’s illness.
Immediately following the conclusion of our formal class meeting, Muffy Kleinfeld presented the memorial service honoring each of the forty classmates who had died since our 55th reunion. To do this, Muffy created a beautiful and moving video with pre-recorded musical performances, readings by classmates, and ending with Martha Bewick's solemn reading of the name of each classmate who had died. When Muffy initially volunteered to produce a memorial service, she envisioned its being held during reunion. Instead she rose to the challenge of producing a video to be shared online during our Zoom class meeting. What good fortune that these recordings were made well in advance since Martha Bewick was in the hospital the very day of our class meeting. Those of us who attended our reunion had a second chance to watch and appreciate the video.
Reunion began officially on Friday, June 3, at Freeman Dorm with 67 classmates and 25 guests attending. The weather was perfect, and the campus looked as beautiful as ever.The entire weekend was managed quietly and effectively by our fearless reunion chair, Nancy Briska Anderson, who brought on board an entire team consisting of her husband, Lanier, and their three grandchildren, Molly, Will, and Milo. At our age, help from the younger generations is most welcome.
Two especially popular events held on Saturday were group sessions organized by classmates: Saturday morning, Betsy Cole led a session on Navigating Transitions: Best Practices. We were divided into small groups and discussed past, current, and future
transitions, some of which had been difficult. The afternoon session was led by Joy Overstreet with Betsy's help. It focused on mindfulness: a practice in being present in your life. Joy demonstrated how mindfulness can be used to alter our experience and control even such things as eating. To our astonishment, Joy introduced us to ways to experience a small piece of chocolate and then throw it out without consuming it.
As usual, faculty lectures and tours were available on Friday and Saturday afternoons. A special treat was touring the gorgeous additions to the science complex and the Global Flora Conservatory. The opportunities to study STEM fields have been vastly expanded to the benefit of students and faculty at Wellesley. In Paula Johnson's address in Alumnae Hall, she mentioned that Wellesley has spawned more women going on to receive PhDs in STEM fields than any of their peer liberal arts colleges have.
Saturday evening was a beautiful time for socializing over cocktails and dinner in Alumnae Hall. Prudy and Bill Crozier provided a generous gift of wine, which they purchased from Corky Scheffey’s vineyard. Marj presented the three retiring class officers, Bonnie Millender, Nancy Anderson, and Anne Turtle with handsome gold gingko leaf pins.
Then on Sunday morning, news quickly spread of very sad news. Several classmates who had planned to have breakfast with Marcia Burick were unable to make her wake up. Police were summoned immediately. They were unable to resuscitate her, and she was pronounced dead. Although our classmates were badly shaken by the news, we bravely lined up for the traditional alumnae parade followed by step singing. Both the Wellesley College president and the director of the Alumnae Association sent notes of condolence. In addition, classmates viewed Marcia's memorial service online and exchanged many email messages with Marcia's family. We are comforted by knowing that Marcia was happy being among friends and back at Wellesley one more time.
Our sad news was compounded on the Monday after reunion. We learned that Martha Bewick had suffered a second stroke and was hospitalized again. She has been diagnosed with advanced gall bladder cancer. Sally visited Martha and gave her a purple cross body bag, our useful reunion insignia, and I sent her a collage of reunion photos, several programs and a letter. Sally reported that Martha was on medication that made her drowsy. She slipped in and out of conversation. "Little naps" as Martha called them. Martha's stepson, John Bewick, said Martha was loving all our notes and pictures from reunion.
Martha is now in a hospice facility:
Pat Roche House
86 Turkey Hill Lane
Hingham, MA 02043
Tel: 781 659 2342
Visiting hours (mask required)
10 AM- 7PM
Messages can also be sent via e-mail to Martha’s brother, Tom, firstname.lastname@example.org or to Martha’s stepson, John, email@example.com.
Classmates have exchanged many messages of concern, condolence and remembrance during the past few weeks. We are celebrating our classmates wherever they are and at the same time realizing that none of us knows how much time we have left. How fortunate we are to be members of the Wellesley College family and what special times we have enjoyed with one another through the 60+ years we have known one another.
Peace and love,