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Update March 26

Update March 26, 2010

An announcement arrived recently, of the graduation from the University of Tampa on May 8th of Robert Lee Stephenson, son of Marilyn (nee Stewart) and Michael Stephenson of Pittsford NY (near Rochester). Robert connects my two pastorates in Brooklyn and on Long Island.  His mother was in my confirmation class at Christ United Methodist Church in 1969; Robert and his sister Julie were confirmed at Grace United Methodist Church, Valley Stream, in 2001, after a year's study conducted electronically between Valley Stream and Pittsford (these details might not be exact, but accurate records are not readily accessible... and it's the news that's important).  Congratulations, Robert!  Godspeed as you embark on a career in Advertising/Public Relations and Journalism and Mass Communications.


Subsequent to the already noted visit (see the preceding update) with Chesley and Leslie Wiger, they sent photos of a get-together in Georgia with Harold Johnson and his second wife Lois.  Harold, when last seen by me, had a generous silver crown of hair; now he seems to have gone the way of Michael Jordan.  That's an apt comparison since Harold starred on the Brooklyn church basketball team.  He also served a year or so as the president of the church's Board of Trustees, moving then with his wife Bonnie and two girls, Ellen and Jeanne, to Teaneck NJ, from which he commuted to Harlem and a job as assistant to the president of City College.

Leslie also sent photocopies of an article in Nordisk Tidende, a Brooklyn neighborhood newspaper catering to Norwegian-Americans.  The article, by Harriet Terdal, traces the history of Sunset Park Norwegian Methodist Church through its transformation into Christ United Methodist Church, pastored in 1975, the date of the article, by Tom Fisher, Jr.  The second page includes a photo of the pastor from 1956-73, a fellow named Robert Howard, with long sideburns.  I can send photos of this article, as Email attachments, to any who request them.


Among the many items of mail which find their way to our house is the New York State Teacher.  The March 18th edition contained this obituary for Stan Bishop, friend and onetime member of Grace United Methodist Church.

When I last heard from those who would know (Allison Starr Esposito and sister Tracy), Amanda was married and teaching in Asia.  Caroline was soon to complete her graduate education in law.


Faith Breiner, an annual correspondent and occasional phone caller in my retirement, sends a post-holiday letter with a portrait of the family.  Faith continues to work, albeit part-time, as a nurse, planning to retire in December. She and Gerry Sr. now live in Coram NY.  Faith's recounting of the family's various medical procedures leads me to believe they ought to have their own personal orthopedist, what with shoulders and knees and necks in need of repair, now repaired. But all are nonetheless thriving.


A phone call yesterday (March 25th) from Dr. Edward (Sonny) Dalland reported the death of his mother Ruth, in New Jersey, following a brief illness.  She was 88 years old.  The photo here was taken at her husband's funeral in April 2008.  The funeral service will be held Sunday, March 28th at the Mundy Funeral Home in Dunellen NJ.  I shall be presiding.  Ruth, the widow of Edward Dalland Sr., is survived not only by Sonny, but by daughters, Carolyn, Geraldine, Julie, and Diana, plus many grandchildren and several great-grandchildren, including two recently born, one for Grandma Geraldine and one for Grandpa Sonny.

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