NOVEMBER 2005


President:  Gordon Hostetler                                                                                   

Secretary/Treasurer:  June Dewsberry


Dear MHUSA Alums:


 “Glorious are the woods in their latest gold and crimson”.  I can’t help quoting  William Cullen Bryant at this beautiful time of the year.  And of course the lovely Fall scene reminds me that it’s Newsletter time.


Art and I enjoyed a driving trip to California in June when our oldest granddaughter Rebecca graduated from highschool in Long Beach.  From there we motored up the west coast to northern California to visit our oldest son and his family in Eureka.  We stopped in a number of National Parks along the way including Arches, Zion and Yosemite.  Visited with Marylou Engle Bert and Phyllis Engle Saltzman in Eugene, OR after leaving Eureka, and with Linnea Sword Davenport in Turner, OR the next day.  We wound up in Bremerton, WA to visit with my 105 year old Aunt before returning home through Idaho, Nebraska and Iowa.  What a spectacular country we have!


We returned recently from Phoenix, AZ where I did my second  3-Day 60 mile walk for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation on October 21, 22 and 23.  1700 men and women participated in this event and we raised 4.1 Million dollars to be used for Breast Cancer research, education and awareness - a most worthy cause.  Many thanks to those of you who so generously supported my effort.  As the oldest walker, I was one of the few who suffered no aches, pains or blisters.  But the 90 degree mid-day temperatures almost did me in.  With lots of rest stops and plenty to eat and drink along the way I survived with no ill effects.  Art was always a welcome sight at the lunch stops each day when he brought me a change of shoes and sox and gave me encouragement.  And at the end of each day he retrieved me and took me back to the motel where I could get a good night’s sleep.  Last year I tented - and I decided that was not conducive to restful slumber!  While in Phoenix, we had the pleasure of both a dinner and a breakfast visit with Mally and Marylou Davis.


Our two sons (from Eureka and Thunder Bay, Ontario) and their families were with us for Canadian Thanksgiving on October 10.  With our widely spread family, we find it works better to celebrate at that time when airways and roads are not crowded and the weather is good. 


And now we look forward to the Holiday Season and send our good wishes to all for the best of Holidays and a Happy and prosperous New Year.


With warm greetings to all,





Laverne (Vogt) Nafsiger thinks sending the Newsletter by email is a great idea  - saves on postage and also saves the trees! On March 7 Laverne had both knees replaced.  Only the first day was a bad day - everything has gone well since then. “By the time I came home in 4 days, I could help my self in and out of bed and do all of my care, using a walker. “  By now, Laverne will be able to drive again.  Laverne wishes more English alums had email - it's so much easier to communicate.  Laverne sees Gordon Hostetler and Phyllis at Goshen College activities from time to time.


Another email enthusiast is Hazel (Innes) Craig.  She even managed to download the Newsletter!  Hazel indicates the U.K. reunion was postponed until September in order to secure a venue.  Hazel is taking Yoga classes - send us a picture of your favorite pose Hazel!


John Macdonald writes: “After some eye trouble, Mary (Kelly Macdonald) had a cataract-removal operation on her right eye on April 2. The surgeon is pleased with her progress.  Our daughter Katherine, who lives here, does the family shopping. The other children appear from time to time, and issue various instructions, some of which we obey. We really are well looked after.”


Linnea (Sword) Davenport tells me she has a book, "Kathleen", at a number of literary agents hoping to get it published. …“It's about Assam when we lived there and is based loosely on the story of Carolyn Glich.  It's all fiction, except for the places and historical people I mention, but Carolyn's situation gave me the idea.  The characters involved are all dreamed up in my imagination, but once again loosely based on missionaries I grew up with.”….  We wish you luck Linnea - let us know how it goes.  Art and I were delighted to have a chance to have a brief breakfast visit with Linnea while we were touring the West coast in June.  Turner, Oregon is close to Portland, and was right on our route.  Linnea is much the same as I remember her, and she is aging very gracefully!


Ira (Dash) Rao also approves of the email format for the Newsletter.  She tells about a visit to St Louis where they renewed a host of memories.  Their three children, one son-in-law, and three grandkids joined them.  The Raos are planning a visit to India late this year with their son, Nik, 41, single, who lives in San Diego.  They plan to visitl Delhi, Orissa, Hyderabad, Pune and Mumbai.


June (Anderson) Wallin updates us on her family news.  “ After the celebration of Christmas, our next exciting moment was a phone call from our oldest grandson, Jared Johnson.   He's a Wheaton college graduate and is on staff at George Washington University in D.C.  He surprised his Wheaton girlfriend by giving her a lovely diamond in Central Park, New York, a carriage ride, lunch at Tavern On the Green, and dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. This was followed by a quick train ride back to D.C.  Jessica gets her Masters Degree at American University, Washington, D.C. on May 8th. The wedding will be in March 2006 in Cleveland. Grandma can hardly wait.”  June recomends a 3 disc DVD available from entitled “Himalaya” with Michael Palm and the BBC.


Marylou (Engle) Bert  enjoyed a week with sister Ardys (Engle) Thuma in Pennsylvania, in the Spring and they had a great time together. Ardys has no e-mail address and  all mail to her should be sent via regular mail. One of the things they did together was to read all the letters their mother had written to their dad, between the years 1942 and 1944......while he remained in India and they had to come back to the US.  (Mrs. Engle died in 1945 of a brain tumor.)  “They were poignant.......and I'm so glad our dad saved them”.  Marylou’s daughter got her masters' in Spiritual Theology and she and her husband are moving to Calif.  He will be the new CEO of a socio-Christian organization called Medical Ambassadors International.  The basic function is to send trained medical workers, chosen from third world go back with aid.  The Christian message is not overt..........but will be expressed through aid.  In late July Marylou went to Atlanta to play in a National bridge tournament.  No word on how that turned out.  It was our privilege to spend a lunch hour with Marylou and sister Phyllis (Engel) Saltzman in June as we drove through Oregon on our way to Eureka, CA.  You can’t go wrong with a gourmet lunch at Marylou’s!

Irene (Lehman) Weaver reads every word of the Newsletter and is very proud to be a Hermonite.  Though she doesn’t recognize many names, she is familiar with enough to make her feel a part of the group - and a part of that great land of “tinkly temple bells and spicy garlic smells”.  Irene is in a retirement home now and misses the spices in food, but has made curry for crowds of people with great pleasure  At 95, Irene says she is well and walks 2 miles every morning.  She praises God for allowing her to be born in India, and to go to school at Mt. Hermon.  She was a missionary in her childhood environment and also served in Nigeria, Ghana, Swaziland and Botswana.  Her husband Ed died 16 years ago.


I can always count on a letter from my dear friend Averil Watson for my birthday.  Daughter and Nurse Wendy travels up and down to Melbourne in her work with Premature Babies. Daughter Janice keeps busy with her hairdressing business and son Adam, 12.  Averil’s mother, Elsie Watson is now 102 and still with them.  The family takes her out in a wheelchair, but most of her time is spent in bed.


It was good to see Mally Davis and Marylou during our time in Phoenix.  They are both well and enjoying their retirement in the area.


Our thoughts are with John Turner as he misses Jane terribly.  His younger son has two cute little boys who were born before Jane died and that helps.





In the August issue of the OMHSA Newsletter, Hazel Innes Craig tells briefly of her visit to India in March.  She flew to Delhi and visited Mussoorie, but not Darjeeling.  She stayed at the Oak Grove School, founded in the 19th century for the children of Railway empoyees in India.  She found Delhi much the same except for the enormous amount of traffic with 6-lane highways and many more people.


In September, 14 OMHSA alums gathered at the Bombay Brasserie and enjoyed a curry lunch.  The group will be joining many other hill schools at the Hill Schools Reunion lunch on March 29, 2006.  It will be held at The Clay Oven in Alperton.  Cost is 29.50 pounds per head including wine.  If any of you are interested in attending, you may send your check made out to “OMHSA” (29.50 British pounds each) to James Sinclair, 14 Royston Court, Hook Rise North, Tolworth, Surbiton, SURREY KT6 7JX  England.                              



We send our loving sympathy to Dana Troyer and his family in the death of our dear Verna.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you Dana.

Our sincere sympathy is extended to the Swan family as we say goodbye to Ruth (Mrs. Lawrence) Swan.

Ruth Humphrey Swan died August 11th 2005 at her beloved Cooch Nahai after a short illness.  Born June 19, 1922 in Methuen, MA, she grew up and attended Edward F. Searles High School where she was voted “best all-around girl”.  An active Rainbow Girl she served as Grand Worthy Advisor from 1942-1943 of the Massachusetts Grand Assembly.  During the war she was the Colonel's secretary at the Climatic Research Laboratory in Lawrence, MA where she met and fell in love with an unconventional second lieutenant (Lawrence W. Swan) whom she married and accompanied on a lifetime journey of adventure.  Her honeymoon consisted of mountain climbing in Mexico after which she settled down to be the “rock” of a 54 year marriage to an eccentric professor naturalist in Redwood City, CA.  She worked first at Annual Reviews and then was a secretary in Medical Microbiology at the Stanford Medical School from 1966 to 1987.  She reigned as Rani of the Swan estate “Cooch Nahai” (loosely translated as the Realm of Nothing in Hindustani) for which she had the perfect combination of organization, charisma, and overall appreciation for imagination to be revered by all the hundreds of visitors, friends, students and colleagues that passed through. She was an accomplished pianist and organist, loved whistling with her Strawberry Finch and keeping beat with Sousa on the Fourth of July.  Her deep brown eyes and warm friendly smile always welcomed guests no matter what species her husband or children brought in.  Her partner, the Raja, preceded her in death in 1999.  No memorial service is planned but contributions may be made to the Hospice Foundation of America, 12000 Biscayne Boulevard #505, Miami, FL 33181 or the Sempervirens Fund, (Big Basin State Park) Drawer BE, Los Altos, CA 94023.







            You can’t answer the question “Where are you from?”

            You speak two languages but can’t spell either

            You watch National Geopraphic specials and recognise someone

            You speak to different ethnic groups in their own language

            You have friends from or in 29 different countries

            You wince when people mispronounce foreign words and countries’ names

            You believe vehemently that football is played with a round spotted ball

            You know the difference between patriotism and nationalism

            You watch a movie set in a foreign country and you know what the nationals are

                                    REALLY saying into the camera

            You appreciate having four distinct seasons other than: dry, very dry, rainy, very rainy

            After a couple of years in one spot, you’re ready to move again






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