St. Mary's College of Maryland
The Writing Issue

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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

Violet Richards Nichols '40 died October 10, 2009, in Williamsburg, Virginia, at age 89. A native of Hurlock, Maryland, she graduated from St. Mary's Female Seminary-Junior College, and also attended Western Maryland College and the Peabody Conservatory. She taught piano and ballroom dancing. Violet is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Sally and Frederick Haller. Donations may be made to the Shriners Hospitals for Children, 2900 Rocky Point Drive, Tampa, Florida 33607, or online at

Doris Brewster Stewart '46 died November 21, 2006, in Easton, Maryland, at age 78. She lived in St. Michaels, Maryland, for most of her life. Doris enjoyed reading, music, and needlework. She was a choir director and Sunday school teacher at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in St. Michaels and a member of the Eastern Star. Doris is survived by her children, Albert, Jane Stewart Vandenberg, and Denny; and seven grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband of 50 years, Walter Maynard Stewart, and her sister, Norma Messick.

Carolyn "Nupie" Baumann Waltz Boor '49 died April 9, 2010, in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, at age 80. Carolyn earned an associate's degree from St. Mary's, a bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of Maryland, and implemented a reading initiative in Newtown, Pennsylvania, that continues today. Carolyn was a program and income development director with the American Cancer Society in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, before retiring as the Philadelphia division district director. In Doylestown, Pennsylvania, she volunteered with numerous charitable and political organizations. Carolyn is survived by her two sons and their wives, Bruce and Jan Waltz, and Mark and Margie Waltz; her daughter and her husband, Christine Waltz Dallaire and Richard Dallaire; six grandchildren and one great-grandson. Memorial contributions in her name may be made to the Bucks County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, P.O. Box 277, Lahaska, Pennsylvania 18931.

Joan Walker Brittingham '66 died January 28, 2010, at home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, at age 63. While at St. Mary's, she played field hockey and was an avid sailor and tennis player. Joan worked many years in the in-home health care field, as a nursing service manager, consultant, and medical assisting program instructor at the Sussex Tech Adult Division in Georgetown, Delaware, and later, as its medical program coordinator. She was co-owner of Community Nurses of Delaware. Joan is survived by her son, Andrew, shown with her at his 2009 graduation from the University of Delaware; her brother, John Walker; and her husband, Walter. Contributions may be made in her memory to Tunnell Cancer Center, 424 Savannah Road, Lewes, Delaware 19958, or to Delaware Hospice, 100 Patriots Way, Milford, Delaware 19963.

Michael Arthur Kratz '68 died January 14, 2010, in Annapolis at age 61. After graduating from St. Mary's, he served for six years as a U.S. Navy hospital corpsman. He then became chief radiology technician at Calvert Memorial Hospital; worked at Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant; and then worked in the nuclear industry as a contractor, most recently with Cabrera Services. Mike is survived by his wife, Laura; his daughter and son- in-law, Michelle and James Allison, and their children, Chase, Morgan, and A.J.; his daughter and son-inlaw, Caitlin and Joshua Ketcher, and their child, Aubree; his daughter, Margaret; and his mother, Irmgard Kratz.

Diane Velie Butler '71 died February 16, 2009, in Fort Collins, Colorado, at age 59. After St. Mary's, Diane earned her bachelor's degree in teaching at the University of Maryland and also did graduate work in speech pathology at the University of Florida. A veteran of the Peace Corps, Diane taught in Barbados and traveled extensively throughout her life. Her true passion was teaching. Diane is survived by her husband, David; her children, John and Olivia; and her sisters and their husbands, Nancy and Michael Moore, Jane and Michael Waters, and Mimi Velie Dole '76 and Steve Dole.

Marion "Regina" Combs Hammett '72 died April 7, 2010, in Lexington Park, Maryland at age 80. She was a lifelong resident of St. Mary's County. She graduated in 1964 from St. Mary's Seminary-Junior College and in 1972 from St. Mary's College of Maryland. Regina was the official St. Mary's County historian from 1988 until her death. She was the editor of the St. Mary's Chronicles from 1984-1995 and wrote two definitive books on the county's history. Regina received the College's Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006 where former College president Maggie O'Brien remarked, "Nothing can now be written on any aspect of St. Mary's County without first checking into Regina Hammett's book." She is survived by her husband of 62 years, Michael; her five children, Michael Hammett, Jr., Donald Hammett '75, Mary Hammett Kalmus, Anne Hammett, and Mark Hammett; her sister, June Dutton; and nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

B. Joanne Pyle '81 died September 24, 2009, in Blackstone, Virginia, at age 68. Born in Nebraska and raised in Oregon, Jo joined the U.S. Air Force, and met her husband, Ron, a Navy pilot. While Ron was stationed at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Jo got her bachelor's degree at St. Mary's at age 41. She worked for the St. Mary's County Health Department, and in 1992 Jo and Ron retired to Blackstone where she volunteered at the local geriatric hospital and hospice, and visited shut-ins. She was a master gardener, accomplished artist, and church choir member. In addition to her husband, Jo is survived by her children, Katherine Pyle, Mark Pyle, and Patricia Steiner; her mother, Betty Parr; her brothers, Gary and Dennis Parr; and six grandchildren.

Patrick Kennedy, member of the Class of 2012, died February 26, 2010, at age 20. He had attended St. Anselm's Abbey School in Washington, D.C.; graduated from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School; and completed his freshman year at St. Mary's before taking a medical leave of absence. Patrick touched the lives of many through his music. While at St. Mary's he studied Latin, Greek, Chinese, and history. In his short life, Patrick explored the literature classics of Europe, America, and Asia in greater depth than most do in a lifetime. He studied in China for a year, inspiring many with his language proficiency. A natural athlete, Patrick spent countless hours practicing and playing lacrosse. A celebration of his life was held at the College in March. Patrick is survived by his mother, Gretchen; his father, Steven; his sister, Maggie; and his two brothers, Daniel and Ian. As his father said in his tribute to his son, "Pat-like Don Quixote, like St. Francis- did us the honor of imagining us, in his innocence, to be better than we are. To rise to those expectations can become our quest if we believe, as I do, that his sweetness was the emanation of something mysterious and great."