St. Mary's College of Maryland
photo by Jay Fleming '09

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Lee Capristo, editor
The Mulberry Tree
Phone: (240) 895-4795
18952 East Fisher Road
St. Mary's City, MD 20686

In Memoriam

Ella Mae Parran Woodward '29 died December 14, 2008, in Atlanta,
Georgia, at age 96. She also attended Towson University and is survived by her two children, William and John.

Doris Brewster Stewart '46 died October 1, 2008, at the William Hill Manor Nursing Home in Easton, Maryland, at age 80. Her three children, Albert, Linda Stewart Vandenberg, and Denny, survive her.

Julia Clark Miller '47

Julia Clark Miller '47 died September 12, 2008, in Fort Myers, Florida. Born in Stanton, Virginia, she was a long-time resident of Maryland and came back to the College in 2007 for her 60th anniversary celebration. She is survived by her children, Marcia Markley, Muffin Weakley, Kennie Mauche, and Archer Miller; sister, Amy Dale; and two grandchildren. Donations may be made in her memory to ECHO , Inc., 17391 Durrance Road, N. Fort Myers, FL 33917 or

Barbara Ann Raley '54

Barbara Ann Raley '54, former director of the St. Mary's College Foundation, died March 20, 2009, at her residence in Annapolis, Maryland, at age 74. Born in Baltimore, she moved to
St. Mary's County as a high school student. Her bond with St. Mary's continued throughout her life, and she looked forward to seeing friends at June reunions. She is survived by her son, John P. Cook, of Hollywood, Maryland; mother, Dorothy W. Taylor, and brother, Howard M. Taylor, both of Towson, Maryland; and granddaughter, Julie P. Cook '09, of Hollywood, Maryland. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of St. Mary's, P.O. Box 625, Leonardtown, MD 20650.

Marilyn Jacobs Ott '55

Marilyn Jacobs Ott '55 died January 1, 2009, in Bethesda, Maryland, at age 74. She is survived by her children, Brad Ott of Katy, Texas, and Brenda Green of Germantown, Maryland; her devoted companion, Don Sievers; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Daughter Brenda says her mother saw humor in everything and always told everyone to smile. Even her license plate was stamped ‘CHEERY .'

Shirley Mae Sheckells Wentz '66

Shirley Mae Sheckells Wentz '66 died January 31, 2009, at age 62. A native of Prince Frederick, Maryland, she worked for the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C., until the birth of her children. She re-entered the workforce in 1976, working as a bookkeeper for her husband's company until she retired in 1994. She is survived by her husband, Charles "Butch;" daughter, Charlene; son, Gary and daughter-in-law, Mila; and sisters, Peggy Marie Thompson, Faye S. Sheilds and Terry Lynn Shannon.

Michael Stuart Daugherty '72

Michael Stuart Daugherty '72 died December 12, 2008, in California, Maryland, at age 58. While living in Adamstown, Maryland, he continued to commute to a part-time job as a database engineer for Wyle Laboratories at Patuxent River Naval Air Station. He is survived by his wife of 24 years, Marie; his parents, the Rev. Charles and Jessie Daugherty of Leonardtown, Maryland; son, John, of Adamstown, Maryland; sister, Anne Miles of Hollywood, Maryland; and brother, Ray, of Loudonville, New York. Memorial contributions may be made to Friends Meeting School, 3232 Green Valley Drive, Ijamsville, Maryland 21754.

David Ray Kyle '72 died January 16, 2009, at age 59. A native of Frederick, Maryland, he was living in Moore, South Carolina, at the time of his death. David was a chemist for Cryovac Food Processing Systems in Duncan, South Carolina, where he had earned several patents for his work. An avid gardener, he was an active member of the Men's Garden Club in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He is survived by his mother and stepfather, Helen and James Carlisle; a son, Pere; sisters and brothers-in-law Linda and Jeff Ibex and Cathy and Paul Fenton; brother and sister-in-law, Tim and Vickie; stepsister, Alice Moore; and stepbrother and sister-in-law, Keith and Nancy Carlisle. Memorial contributions may be sent to the Spartanburg Garden Club, P.O. Box 1502, Spartanburg, SC 29304.

Frederic Stevens Schroeder, Jr., '94

Frederic Stevens Schroeder, Jr., '94 died in his hometown of Wawa, Pennsylvania, October 6, 2008, at age 37. He is survived by his father, Frederic; his brother, N. Thayer; and his nephew, Nathaniel. An arborist, he liked to joke, "I juggle chainsaws and climb trees for a living." But his true passion was Ultimate Frisbee. At St. Mary's, he was very active in Frisbee Gold and Ultimate Frisbee. After graduation, he was the field director and assistant coordinator of the annual Wildwood Beach, New Jersey, Ultimate Tournament, the largest beach Ultimate tournament in the world, and was a member of the Washington Area Frisbee Club and the Philadelphia Area Disc Alliance. Memorial donations may be made to the Mayo Clinic, Samuel C. Johnson Program in the Genomics of Addiction, 200 1st Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905.

Fent H. Ferris

Former St. Mary's College professor and registrar, Fent H. Ferris died in Fremont, California, February 24, 2009, at age 85. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Fent earned her bachelor of science from Cornell University. Widowed with four children still at home, she juggled graduate school and working full-time to earn her masters and doctorate degrees. She was a professor of educational psychology and instructional methods at St. Mary's for 14 years, and the College's registrar until she retired in 1990. (The accompanying photo was taken at her retirement party.) After retiring, Fent spent most of her time in Fremont, California, near her children. She is survived by her brother, David Hoffman; son and daughter-in-law, John and Beverly; daughter, Susan; daughter and son-in-law, Elizabeth and Burtin Hart; daughter-in-law, Joan; eight grandchildren; and many extended family members. Burtin Hart '88, her son-in-law, described Fent as the consummate ‘teacher's teacher.' Donations in her memory may be made to the American Heart Association or the American Cancer Society.

Paul C. Spencer

Paul C. Spencer, coach of the College's men's and women's tennis program from 1992-2000, died at his home in Bowie, Maryland, November 21, 2008, at age 65. While at the College, he posted a combined career record of 105-85, including a 56-33 career mark with the men's program. He also was named the Capital Athletic Conference Men's Coach of the Year in 1996 and 1998. In March 2000, he suffered a heart attack while preparing for a match and was unable to continue his coaching career. A retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, he was interred at Arlington National Cemetery. Coach Spencer is survived by his wife, Patricia.

Alice R. Waldschmitt

Alice R. Waldschmitt, trustee emerita, died March 6, 2009, at her winter home in the British Virgin Islands, at age 89. A memorial service, with a special program by the College's Chamber Singers, was held at St. Mary's Hall April 18. Alice provided many years of dedicated service to the development of the College. From 1985 to 1990, she served as a director on the College's Foundation, and on the College's Board of Trustees from 1990-2001. A leading patron of the College's performing arts program, she sponsored international choral performances by the Chamber Singers. She also was a great friend of the College's sailing program and established the Joseph Waldschmitt Memorial Championship "Best in Fleet" trophy awarded during the Governor's Cup Regatta. In recognition of her outstanding service to the College, Alice was awarded an honorary degree at the 2002 Commencement. Alice is survived by her son, Robert, a College trustee and a member of the Foundation, and his wife, Carol, of Solomons, Maryland; three grandsons; and a niece. Memorial contributions may be made to the Three Oaks Center, P.O. Box 705, Lexington Park, MD 20653 or Hospice of St. Mary's, P.O Box 625, Leonardtown, MD 20650.

Jessica Laurel Wells Natalie '07 and Phillip Brian Natalie

Jessica Laurel Wells Natalie '07 and Phillip Brian Natalie died October 10, 2008, in a motorcycle crash in Lexington Park, Maryland.

Theirs was a love story that ended way too soon. Jessica met Brian in early 2005 when she was working part-time at Damon's Restaurant in Lexington Park. At the time, Brian was on active duty with the U.S. Navy, stationed at Patuxent River Naval Air Station. "She just captured his heart right away," says Jessica's mother, Janet Wells.

Jessica, who graduated magna cum laude, majored in Spanish and Latin American culture. For her semester abroad, she traveled to Costa Rica to work with MUSADE, an organization assisting abused and battered women. Jessica wrote a program, which Janet Wells says is still being used there today, to give the women hope and to teach children what respect and honor are. "My daughter changed a piece of this world." After Jessica returned from Costa Rica, she continued her studies while working full-time at the Abberly Crest apartment complex in Lexington Park and taking care of her grandparents in Broomes Island. She quickly advanced to assistant complex manager. Brian joined DynCorp, a defense contractor, while he studied aeronautical engineering. "Brian saved lives," says Janet. "He would go out on aircraft carriers and fix jets, all over the place. He had a great passion for what he did. We couldn't have been more proud."

Jessica and BrianOn June 21, 2008, Jessica and Brian were married at The Inn at Buckeystown in Montgomery County. Just 111 days later, Brian and Jessica were on Brian's motorcycle headed for home when a car pulled out in front of them. A celebration of their lives was held at The Inn at Buckeystown. After graduation, Jessica and Brian had spent a lot of time at the College. In fact, the night before the accident, the couple had been on campus watching one of those beautiful St. Mary's sunsets.

Janet Wells wants to thank students and alumni for their outpouring of love and kindness. She says she lost two children but gained 100. Months later, friends of Jessica still call each week or visit. Contributions in their memory may be made to the American Breast Cancer Society, St. Mary's College of Maryland, or MUSADE. (Contact Professor Joanna Bartow at, about donating to MUSADE.)