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Class of 1947


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Class Notes

Welcome to 1947's Class Notes page. Here you will find news from your classmates on what they've been doing since graduation.  Enjoy!

Moved? New job? Retired? Newly married? New grandchildren? Please submit your Class Notes to your Class Secretary or the Alumni Office by August 31, 2009, for publication in the next issue of Spectrum.


2010 Notes


Ernest W. Seckinger ’47 Div. writes, “My Darling Jessie of 58 years died February 23, 2007.” She was mother of five, grandmother of nine, Ernest’s co-worker, and loving companion. “It is a different world; but God and a host of supporters are making still a good world!” Since August 2008 he has been a resident of Stonehenge Assisted Living: 2679 Stonehenge Dr., Blairsville, GA 30512. He leads churches services at Stonehenge. His computer has a 150-page account of reflections and stories on about 70 years as a Methodist Minister. He would love to hear from roommates Chuck Estes, Parker Rossman, and Bacon House friends.

At 86 Elmer Talcott ’47 M.Div., gardens, plays the piano, water colors, occasionally preaches, baptizes and marries. He remains active with the global peace committee of Presbytery and serves on the Board of a Trust for First Presbyterian Church in Elizabeth. Vital signs so far so good. All for a single payment plan for national health and other radical regulatory controls. Selah.

  Connie Thurber ’47 M.Div. is happy to report a recent memorable family reunion, a nine-day Caribbean Princess cruise with two of three sons, their spouses and three grandchildren. This was an absolutely ideal way to be together with activities for all ages and attentively served delicious meals together. She is grateful to worship regularly at Nassau Presbyterian Church, Princeton, well-planned worship, eight choirs, excellent music and frequent Taize style congregational singing plus outstanding preaching.


Notes from 2008


Harvey N. Chinn ’47 Div. and his wife have lived in the same home in Sacramento, CA for fifty years. Chinn devoted 22 years as pastor for a congregation near the state capital, and the next 25 years as an advocate for faith-based causes before the California legislature before retiring in 2005. The pastorate fulfilled God's calling to influence families through several generations. Lobbying meant research, writing, and public relations, working with church executives, debating, testifying before legislative committees and counting votes. 


Frank Doty ’47 B.D. and his wife, Kathy, are living in Mankato, MN and are in reasonable health. Kathy has written three books in her 80s: A Long Year of Silence (Edinborough Press, 2001), finalist for the Minnesota Book Award; The Wild Orphan (Edinborough Press, 2006); and Becoming the Mother of Me: a Memoir (Edinborough Press, 2008). Frank has a book coming off the press in a few weeks entitled A Ministry Remembered, a story of his life and ministry.


In 1947 Arthur Eikamp ’47 B.D married Norma from New York, and they spent two years ministering to agricultural migrants. The two then went to Japan as missionaries for 35 years, establishing two churches and a mission school. They were ushered in to see Emperor Hirohito and given a medal by the Japanese government. Arthur and Norma returned to the US and did all the carpentry work on their new home near the Oregon coast. Arthur published Sensei (Xlibris Corp., 2001) as an autobiography, and the couple adopted two sons in Japan.


After serving as a prep school chaplain and serving in the parish ministry and then a career as a chaplain in the U.S. Navy, Don Fitzsimmons ’47 B.D. ’55 S.T.M. realizes how fortunate he has been to experience the learning of the lessons of faith from able professors and good classmates. The one thought connected to all the positive influence is gratitude to God, teachers, classmates, and family.


After serving seventeen years in churches and twenty-four years in college teaching, Richard Hudson ’47 B.D., ’50 S.T.M returned to Connecticut. In his retirement he has been doing research on the life of a 19th century clergyman, missionary and educator, John Dempster. Unfortunately, he has been temporarily sidelined by blood clots in both legs. Research will continue as soon as his physicians permit. “May the blessing of our Master be with you all.”

Albert Kean ’47 M.Div. is a “pretty happy fellow,” celebrating 59 years of marriage, two fine daughters, one a paralegal and the other a special education teacher, and a grandson attending Vanderbilt Law School. He enjoys reading about 100 books a year, 98% of them are non-fiction in all fields of study. He just finished a John Collins book replete with familiar YDS names like Bainton, Childs, and Lindbeck.


John Powell ’47 B.D. lives a pleasant and easy life in the independence that Creekside Oaks offers him and his wife of 60 years, Shirley. John’s vision is poor, and Shirley’s hearing is limited, but they are able to drive to the local doctor and shops. John writes, “We make a great pair.”


With theological degrees from YDS and BU, John J. Shepard ’47 B.D. began parish ministry and chaplaincy in North Carolina, Kentucky and Ohio, for a total of 37 years. Clinical Pastoral Education has been his focus for the last 22 years. John’s family retired to a new home in Arkansas in 1982. In 2001 he and his wife, Rose, entered a retirement facility in Lexington, KY. Rose died there in 2007 after a short illness. At 91, John continues to be active in his community and local church, as well as playing tuba in a local concert band.


Carolyn Flinn Swearingen ’47 Div. arrived by train, at 21, from the University of Texas, with a B.A and a commitment to the YM-YWCA student Christian movement during the earliest of exchanges between the black and white colleges of Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. She attended the first interracial conference at Hollister, MO campground in 1944 just out side of Little Rock, complete with released Japanese American, Neisei college students from internment camps just to be with attendees. No police or protestors present - all was carefully secluded and as students they had no awareness of this being a danger – so it was well handled. She met Fred Swearingen ’46 B.D. that first week in his senior year, and they were married that June entering 45 years of parish ministry together. Carolyn was the professional volunteer in the church and community advancing to the National YWCA board for 12 years. Carolyn chaired the citywide committee for peaceful integration of Corpus Christi, Texas public schools in the 1970s. Fred died in 2004 of prostate cancer. Carolyn is in a retirement center in Santa Fe having survived 10 years of leukemia (chronic), but is still able to walk with a walker and live independently in her apartment in Santa Fe at 84 years. Her memories at YDS are life changing. She was able to be present for possible "redemption "of the issues all were challenged with, leaning on the wisdom of Professors Pope, Niebuhr and especially Bainton.


C. Edward Weber ’47 B.D. has helped his church over the past 18 months in the resettlement of a Sudanese refugee family. He also serves as worship committee chairman, leading the singing. Weber has the wonderful job of transporting his grandchildren to their various actives, and he still preaches occasionally. He and his wife, Alice, traveled to the Gulf Coast and helped a with the Katrina rehab. Ed reads a book a week (about half of them are non-fiction).