Elizabeth Reeke died peacefully at home in Scottsdale, AZ, on December 23, 2023. She is survived by her brother, George, and her sister-in-law, Gail (MHC '64), of New York City. Elizabeth grew up in Green Bay, WI. She majored in Psychology at Mount Holyoke College, graduating in 1968, and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi. Elizabeth was a Mary Lyon Scholar. She also earned master's degrees at Harvard and Tufts Universities.
Elizabeth’s professional work included research and program design and development in the fields of psychology and education. She also explored some less traditional roles, including field study in the Oregon clearcuts searching for endangered plants, and a year's apprenticeship in a violin repair shop. Her desire to understand consciousness and the mystical led her to travel across the world and to study the music of many lands. Spending time with a Bedouin healer on a tiny isle in Greece, living in old beekeeper huts by the sea, she learned all she could of music and healing. Upon returning to the U.S., she taught a number of workshops in the New England area. She also studied the North Indian rudra veena, Chinese ghuzheng, Japanese koto, and Celtic harp, and undertook periods of artistic exploration of Chinese brush painting, batik, and weaving. She was a gifted poet, and her poems were published regularly in the online magazine Poetry Porch.
Donations in Elizabeth's memory can be made to charities that she was particularly interested in: UNICEF, Nature Conservancy, and Mount Holyoke College.
With sorrow, we report the death of Lynn Aaron in New York City on January 6, 2023. Lynn is survived by her husband Robert H. Friedman. Classmates are requested to send remembrances of Lynn to Eloise Killeffer, our class scribe, for sharing with her MHC classmates and friends.
Jamie (Gardner) Vernon, 76, of Windsor, loving wife of 53 years to Charles Vernon, passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 25, 2022. Jamie was born on May 14, 1946, in Philadelphia, PA, one of two children to the late James and Ruth (Planz) Gardner. Jamie grew up in Pennsylvania, completed her education and was a graduate of Cheltenham High School, Class of 1964. After high school, Jamie enrolled in Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts where she earned her bachelor's degree, majoring in Greek. In August of 1968, Jamie and Charles began their long life together. Shortly thereafter, Jamie began work in the Actuarial Department with Traveler's Insurance Company for two years. While the Vernon family lived at Loomis Chaffee and their children were very young, Jamie worked part-time in the school library. She also tutored students in Latin and also taught typing. As her two children grew older, she spent more time in the library and also began working as a tax preparer for H&R Block in Manchester which she did for 25 years before her retirement in 2010. After retirement, she volunteered completing free tax work for CRT in Hartford and also SNAP, where she assisted families in signing up for food stamps in the town of Bloomfield for many years. Her volunteer work came to an unfortunate halt in 2020 when the pandemic took full effect. All the while, she served as Treasurer of the Windsor League of Women Voters for decades and was also a 40-year member of the First Congregational Church in Windsor where she served with their financial group for many years. As a young girl, Jamie loved spending time with her family. She looked forward to her time spent with her parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, her brother and their families. Then, as she began a family of her own, she cherished her time with her husband and her children and now, grandchildren. Back in 2000, Jamie overcame a huge obstacle in her life and conquered breast cancer. She relied on her family and friends for support, and she received the assistance she needed with open arms. She adored her fellow parishioners at First Church and her friends that she considered family within the Loomis Community. In her spare time, Jamie loved hosting countless events and gatherings at the Jersey Shore Vernon household during the summer months. She prepared amazing dishes and just adored having everyone together and watching everyone have a great time. Jamie's family will miss her dearly, and they know her memory will be cherished in the hearts of all she came in contact with. In addition to her husband, Jamie is survived by her two children, Jill Salinardi and her fiancé Todd Lang of Simsbury and Andrew Vernon and his wife Adrianne of Seattle, WA, as well as her four grandchildren Lila, Jenna, Hannah and Tatum. Jamie was predeceased by her brother, William Gardner. A memorial service for Jamie will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 28, 2022, at the First Church in Windsor, 107 Palisado Ave., Windsor. Burial will be held privately. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in her name may be made to the First Church of Windsor, 107 Palisado Ave., Windsor, CT 06095. To leave an online message of condolence for her family, please visit www.carmonfuneralhome.com.
With sorrow, we report the death of Julie Saunders-Monroe, as reported in the Newark Star Ledger on April 22, 2021.
On Sunday, April 11, 2021, longtime Newark resident Julie Gaetanina Saunders-Monroe, age 74, an activist and longtime Newark, NJ resident, died in South Carolina following a long illness. Born in Newark, New Jersey to Louise Gaetanina (Gaetty) and Carter Morton Saunders, Julie graduated from West Side High School in 1964. Coming of age at the height of the Civil Rights Movement fueled her passion for promoting justice in all aspects of American life. She attended Mount Holyoke College and New York University before receiving a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from Rutgers University in 1997. In January, 1990, Julie married Frank F. Monroe, Jr. Although she lost Frank in 2010, they spent 20 wonderful years together, traveling and enjoying their friends, while actively engaged in the work of the Kappa Psi fraternity.
Politically astute, Julie was a community advocate and activist. In her early career, she worked at NAPA (Newark Area Planning Association) which fought Negro removal and assured the development of low income housing. She helped organize the Black and Puerto Rican Convention which promoted the election of Newark's first black mayor, Ken Gibson. From there, she held management positions at Bloomingdale's import Office and retired from Alcatel-Lucent's Corporate Accounting Division in 2013.
Following her retirement, Julie relocated to Charleston, South Carolina where she continued her advocacy. She was active in the Charleston Area Branch of ASALH (The Association for the Study of African American Life and History). She was serving as its President at the time of her illness.
She had a passion for the struggles of Black people in America. She loved learning about her people, she loved her family and friends, she loved opera and she loved good food and drink. Julie is survived by her sister, Constance Saunders, niece Alexis Hilton, step daughters Lynda Mallory and Shari Monroe, grandchildren Miles and Madison Mallory along with many cousins and lifelong friends. A memorial service will be announced in the near future.
On Wednesday, September 29, 2021, Barbara L. Chattin, formerly of Indianapolis, Indiana and Fort Myers Beach, Florida passed away at American House in Bonita Springs, Florida. She was 75 years old. Barbara was born on March 18, 1946 in Indianapolis, Indiana to Dr. William and Martha Chattin. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a B.A. in Political Science in 1968. She received an M.A. in Political Science from Michigan State University in 1969. In 1978 she received an M.S. in Economics from University of Kansas. She received a Ph. D, in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University in 1982.She said of her time at Purdue where she worked informally with people in other disciplines that "It was a foundation, working with people who have a different framework. You learn to listen, to work together and appreciate what everyone brings." Barbara spent most of her working life in Washington, DC and Geneva, Switzerland. Barbara was Director of the Uruguay Round Negotiations on Agriculture, United States Trade Representative on detail from the United States Department of Agriculture from 1988 until 1994. She was Director for Tariff Affairs in the Office of the United States Trade Representative from 1994 until 1999. She was Deputy Assistant United States Trade Representative for Market Access in 2000.She was honored with the Distinguished Agricultural Alumni Award at Purdue University in 2000.Barbara enjoyed hiking, gardening, watching Jeopardy, and was an avid sports fan. Barbara was preceded in death by her father, Dr. William Chattin. She is survived by her mother, Martha; brother Bill (William); sister-in-law Francine, brother John, sister-in-law Shanida. She will be missed by her many friends. A celebration of life was held on Thursday, November 18, 2021 at the Castleton United Methodist Church, 7101 Shadeland, Indianapolis, Indiana. Online condolences may be made at www.indianafuneralcare.com
With great sorrow, we report the death of JoAnn Zotter Runk on March 17, 2021. JoAnn is survived by her husband, Robert, daughter Amy and son Andrew, as well as her ’68 sister-in-law Jean Kay McCoy. This obituary was published on the Legacy website:
JoAnn Margaret Runk, a 34-year resident of Southport, CT and beloved wife of Robert P. Runk for 51 years, passed away peacefully at home on March 17, 2021, surrounded by her family. She was 74.
JoAnn was born in New Britain (CT) to the late Carl and Josephine (Herzy) Zotter where she attended New Britain High School and was the Valedictorian, graduating in 1964. In 1968, she graduated from Mt. Holyoke College with a BA in Art History. Before her children arrived, she worked as Operations Director for the Compass Group in Westport (CT) and subsequently took the position of Development Director for the Discovery Museum in Bridgeport (CT). In 1999, she cofounded RunkDouglas Antiques in Southport.
She loved art, music, and sports and in her later years, produced a great number of paintings and drawings of her own. But most of all she loved her family and friends.
She is survived by her husband and her children, Andrew of Weston, and Amy, of Boston, MA; her grandchildren, Alexander & Emily Runk of Weston; and her brother, Bruce Zotter of Washington, DC. Jean Kay McCoy ’68 is her sister-in-law.
A private memorial service was held on March 27, 2021 at Southport (CT) Congregational Church.
Memorial contributions in JoAnn's name can be made to the Southport Congregational Church, 524 Pequot Avenue, Southport, CT 06890.
Mount Holyoke College Class of 1968
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