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Mary Fraser

Currently Lives In: Niles, MI USA
Children: son: Jonathan (Nov. 1967)
son: Alex (4 children)
daughter: Anna
School History:

Norwich: grades K-8
Hanover: grades 9-12
HHS graduate


April 8, 2011 –

I have not been able to find work here in Hoosierville, so I am starting a new business doing what I did in Vermont for all those years, raising cut flowers and selling bouquets. (Am adding vegetables this time around to sell at a farm stand in Niles, Michigan.) Now if it would just warm up. I have thousands of seedlings started in the house. Very exciting.

Another granddaughter was born on March 30 in LA. Am going to meet her next week. Also very exciting.

Mary wrote again later in the month, April 28 –

I love flowering trees and shrubs. I put in a fragrance garden in Santa Fe - roses, lavender, mock orange, rosemary - it was intoxicating. Hope to do something similar in Michigan . I am blown away by the number of cardinals here in South Bend. I never need an alarm anymore as the birds wake me at the hint of dawn.

I was recently in LA to meet my granddaughter, Kenna. Jonathan took me to several very cool nurseries, which for me is like a kid in a candy shop. I just drool over the many specimens I'll never be able to grow here. But it was great fun helping him find new things for his beautiful back yard. Happy Spring.

Bio Summary:

Sept. 10, 2010 –

Dear Class of ’65!!!! It has been so much fun opening my email every morning to find all these great high school connections and updates on your lives. Kathy Mosenthal sent Edie Hazard and me the photos from reunion. Edie and I quickly got on the phone to go through them together - laughing and crying. Yesterday I was on the phone with Susie Joiner for two and a half hours!!!! It was as if no time had passed since we were "bombing around" Hanover in my Corvair - I just love her laugh! I was very sad to have missed the reunion this year. I was in the middle of a traumatic move from Connecticut to South Bend, Indiana - another chapter in the Life and Times of Mary Fraser!

After graduating I went on to UVM (for a short stint) and then to Katherine Gibbs in Boston. It was there that I met my husband, Henry Regnery, who was a student at Northwestern. We married and had two children rather quickly, trying to avoid the draft in Cook County, Chicago. We lived in Norwich for one year before leaving for St. Andrews in Scotland, where Henry got his PhD. I loved our time in Scotland (I still had family in Glasgow), and we met wonderful people, both at the University and in Fife. I attended Elmwood College in Cupar, Fife. We did a lot of hiking in the highlands and the Hebrides, and spent time in Europe before returning to the States.

When we left Scotland, we were expecting our third child. Henry had always had a romantic notion of being a "gentleman" farmer. We bought a farm in upstate New York, south of Watertown, and raised sheep and Black Angus. I opened "The Wool Shop", first at the farm and later in Syracuse. Henry's parents were beside themselves that Hen was farming and put enormous pressure on him to return to the Midwest and the family publishing business. We eventually moved to South Bend, Indiana, and Hen was killed in a plane crash at O'Hare in 1979. My first thought was to return to Vermont and have the support of my family to help me raise three children, but the South Bend community embraced us, and the children were educated here.

Jonathan went to Indiana University and left for L.A. right after graduation. He has had a successful and impressive career as an actor. He is married and they are expecting their first child in April. He is an exceptional cabinet maker and has a small business making high-end cabinets. He and Kim also own SkinMedics. Kim is a surgical nurse and a pro volleyball player - a great addition to our family. Alex, my second son, graduated from the five year architectural program at Tulane and is an architect here in South Bend. His wife, Pam, teaches 7th and 8th grade. They have four children (or should I say, I have four grandchildren!!!), Gavin, Duncan, Alex and Mina. The boys are all avid hockey players and Mina has an amazing way with animals and would like to be a vet. Gavin just started high school this year. My daughter, Anna, went to the Art Institute of Chicago and is an artist in Santa Fe. She is single and has no children.

I moved back east and lived in the Upper Valley for many years. I started a cut flower business, Posies, growing everything from seed on my little farm on Jericho Road in Hartford. The business grew to include garden design and landscaping. Gardening is my passion! After my father died, I was responsible for my mother, who had been very ill for a long time. I gave up Posies and focused on my mother and my parents' property.

At the time of my mother's death, I moved to Santa Fe. I fell in love with New Mexico and expected to spend the rest of my life there. I loved hiking in the Sangre de Christos, spending Friday evenings on Canyon Road wandering from one art gallery to the next, the Santa Fe Symphony was exceptional and gardening was a joy, growing a whole new (to me) variety of plants in the high desert. But that was where my perfect retirement ended.

An old beau enticed me to move back east and buy a house with him in Brooklyn, CT, where we were supposed to live happily ever after. After three days, I knew I had made the biggest mistake of my life!!!! My sons helped me move to South Bend at the end of July. My dog, Jacques, and I moved into a lovely little apartment that Alex owns. I love being close to my grandchildren and am rather desperately trying to find a job. But in the meantime, fall in South Bend is beautiful, Notre Dame won their first game, and Jacques and I walk three times a day along the St. Joe River and in the many lovely parks here. I still have a few old friends here, so life is good!

I can't wait for our 65th birthday reunion, and I look forward to knowing more about our HHS classmates. (By the way, where the heck is John Lauziere? I haven't heard anything about him.)

My very best to all, Mary Fraser

School Memories:

Sept. 10, 2010 --

I was particularly pleased to read Kevin Church's biography. First of all, it is great to know where you are, Kevin! The last time I saw you was at the restaurant in Fairlee. I loved what you had to say about growing up in Norwich and agree that we were very privileged to have had such an excellent public education. Much has been written about Marion Cross, the principal of the Norwich Elementary School. She was years ahead of her time in her approach to education, and she was responsible for bringing together all of the outlying one-room schools in the Norwich School District.

I too remember all of our teachers. (Well, Kathy had to remind me of our 8th grade teacher, Mrs. Dean's name. She was the one who was pregnant and cried all the time. Actually, she had to resign before we gave her a nervous breakdown.)

I wish we could put together a reunion of our Norwich classmates, many of whom did not go on to Hanover High. Joyce Atwood? (I believe she is a surgical nurse at the VA in WRJ.) Kari Prager? (I heard he owned a large Harley Davidson place in California - but that was years ago.) Cathy Stern lives in Vermont. The red headed twins, Jane and Judy Goodwin? Michael Anderson? Bill Ballard is tuning pianos in the Upper Valley. (Do you remember how he used to draw detailed battle ships on his arms and hands? It's a wonder he didn't have lead poisoning.) I absolutely adored Stuart Wilmott and Wayne Laber. Conrad Tebbetts was my very first date! (He invited me to a church dance and to this day when I smell gardenias, I am reminded of the wrist corsage that he brought me.) I cried when I received Steve's email saying "Butch" had died. Nancy Minard and I were great friends. Her braids must have been three feet long! I will never forget the day she lost her eyesight in one eye in a horseback riding accident at my house. Janis Powers? Does anyone know where she is? I really miss Jeanne Grant and Ruthie Ballam. I wish we could persuade them to come to the next reunion. Of course when Edie Hazard joined our third grade class (all the way from Kentucky!), I knew my life would never be the same. She sure had a knack for always falling through the ice on the brook.

One of the great highlights of growing up in Norwich was the Norwich Pool. It was fed by melting spring snow and ice cold springs. Junior Life Saving classes were at eight o'clock in the morning and it was damn cold! But the afternoons were filled with volleyball games, picnic lunches and new crushes. I spent three summers at Little Boar's Head babysitting for the Fowler family.

I was not intimidated about going to Hanover High from Norwich, probably because I already knew so many people. Remember the Spurger's Dancing School? The only Hanover boys I remember from those classes are Peter Remington and Jerry Milne. We had many friends from the year ahead of us, Jon Newcomb, Lee Bridges, Stephen Harold, Linda Dyke, Day Yeomans, and Joy Grant, so I believe we had a pretty good introduction to high school.

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Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 1:21 AM
Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 1:21 AM
Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 1:21 AM
Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 1:21 AM
Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 1:21 AM