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Class of 1955


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Class Notes

Welcome to 1955'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


Robert Alter '55 B.D. and Ellen Alter ’56. Div. have been living in retirement in Wooster Ohio since 1993. They had served 47 years as Presbyterian Missionaries in India. Robert’s assignments included Community Development activities and school administration. He is ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church (USA), as well as an ordained Presbyter of the Church of North India. They return to a home They have in India each year, usually September through November.


In 1997, Elizabeth Anderson ’55 M.R.E. and Stanley Moore ’55 B.D. retired from Liz’s UCC interim ministering and Stanley’s teaching of philosophy in Wisconsin at UW-Platteville to this extraordinary 320-person Christian retirement community called Pilgrim Place in Claremont, CA. The community is alive with passion (peace, justice, environment), full of love and friendship (they have a common meal daily with randomized seating), exciting people around like, until recently, Davie Napier, with lots of intellectual/
theological challenges. Liz is much involved in women’s issues, runs a food pantry, writes hymn lyrics, does pottery and knits up a storm, while Stan does wood-working, leads Bible studies, with his guitar jams a lot with other lovers of folk/gospel/country music. It helps that their son Tom is professor of physics at Pomona College (he learned biblical Hebrew at YDS while earning his doctorate in physics downtown and now leads glorious Bible studies), while their daughter-in-law is pastor of their local UCC church. “We are blessed.”


Jim Boice ’55 B.D. married Sally Phillips January 1, 2009. She is a PhD from Penn State in Art education and a practicing artist. They live at Luther Ridge, Chambersburg, PA. Jim is teaching a group of progressive Christians at Memorial Lutheran Church, Shippensburg, PA using the "LIVING THE QUESTIONS" curriculum. Jim's daughter has three children and is a special education teacher for visually handicapped children in the Richmond, VA area.


Richard A DeMott ’55 M.Div. lost his wife Jane after 38 years of good marriage when she died on March 16th of Alzheimer’s. He writes, “Her gradual decline was a difficult journey. Yet, it afforded opportunity to be more disciplined to ‘dig into’ the practice of prayer and contemplation and to reach out and minister to others.” He continues in service to his town in its planning and governance. In ministry DeMott assists at St. Mary Parish, Blowing Rock and as a priest at the Lutheran-Episcopal church in Newland, both in North Carolina.


After serving two denominations (Methodist and Episcopal) at two universities (Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and Oklahoma State, Stillwater) E. John Dorr, ’55 B.D. had two pastorates (Grace Church Chadron, Nebraska and St. James, Newcastle, Indiana) and then came two chaplaincies at hospitals (Newcastle State and Carmel Care Center, Indianapolis)--these following an internship in chaplaincy at IU Medical Center. Retirement to Florida brought opportunity to care for his mother and to assist in a local church and retirement community.


Richard B. Ford ’55 M.Div. and Patty have been living in Healdsburg, 75 miles north of San Francisco, for the past 13 years. Involvement in the life of the Church consists of membership on the Board of the Bishop's Ranch, the Episcopal Conference Center nearby, and other volunteer duties. Gratitude for YDS increases as the years go by.

James H. Hargett ’55 B.D. has donated his papers and other related materials, 1955-2007, to the Amistad Research Center, Tulane Unversity, New Orleans, LA.  His collection of papers during the Civil Rights era have been selected to be part of a $900,000 collaborative project between Emory University/Auburn Avenue Research Library, Robert W. Woodroff Library, Atlanta University and the Amistad Research Center, documenting Civil Rights and Voter Education Movements in the United States.


The library of James H. Hargett, which includes books and papers of his father, Rev. F.A. Hargett, Sr., has been donated to the Pastoral Leadership Development Program of the Southern Conference, United Church of Christ and Franklinton Center


Guy Hammond ’55 M.Div. and his wife Jean moved to Charlottesville, VA after his retirement from the Department of Religious Studies at Virginia Tech. There they have found a fine community of retired clergy and religion professors. Guy continues to cultivate his interest in the thought of Paul Tillich by attendance at conferences and occasional publications. They also spend some summer time in Highlands, N.C., where he plays a lot of tennis.


Alan F. Mather '55 B.D. still enjoys retirement in New Hampshire with occasional breaks from winter by escaping to Florida for a month or two. He preaches from time to time and sometimes performs weddings but most of Alan’s ministerial activity is minimal. If he has any ministry at all, he would describe it as a ministry to the unchurched -- from the looks of things, that's a growing population!


Richard S. Parker ’55 M.Div. remains active in their New York Methodist Conference, mostly for justice issues and full acceptance of LGBT persons. He is still a Trustee of New York Methodist Hospital, and Chair of the Committee on Quality; and also at Brooklyn UM Church Home. Sailing on "Charisma" provides much joy, and this year included a 2-week cruise to Martha's Vineyard. In June, Richard helped host classmate Dick Wilke and Julie at their Annual Conference, where he spoke to their reconciling group, and preached at Ordination.


James Phillips ’55 B.D. is fortunate to be living just a few blocks from YDS, at Whitney Center, a retirement community. The Lord has given him good health, and he is able to drive his car, even making nearby day trips. His wife Ruth passed away in 1999, but their two daughters are doing well, and are not that far away. Daughter Cathy is married to Steve Erban, in Shrewsbury, MA, with two sons. And daughter Marjorie is married to Steve Carrig, in Arlington, VA, with a daughter. From time to time Phillips checks up on these families, and they on him. He tries to keep up with things in his local church, his presbytery, and the Presbyterian Church (USA) in general. Since YDS is so close, he’ll be looking in on convocation, and hopes to see lots of friends there!


John C. Wagner ’55 B.D. and his wife Miriam have been living in Westerville, OH since John’s retirement in 1996 from United Theological Seminary (UTS). The two are involved in theological dialogue and public policy discussion groups, and are engaged in prayer and witness through Faith Communities Uniting for Peace.


Their son John (YDS '83) is a pastor of a US Air Force-related parish near Dayton (OH), son Dave is a main anchor for an NBC TV station Charlotte, NC, and their daughter Patty (UTS '93) an urban pastor who with her daughter lives nearby in Columbus. 


Since 2000 he has used an electric wheelchair and scooter. With Miriam's help John gets around very well, and hasn’t hit anybody. They continue to enjoy their condo which overlooks some 45 acres of farmland quickly reverting to a field of natural grasses, flowers, trees, birds, deer and other assorted life.

Dick Wilke ’55 B.D. had his book, The Tie That Binds, recently published by Abingdon Press. He continues to work for prison ministries through Disciple Bible Studies and for prison reform.