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 2020 UPDATES

Have something to share with the Class? Drop a line. 

We would all like to hear from you!  Here's what we "hear" 

latest posting first.

Please send me your birthday or anniversary (or any other classmate birthday/anniversary) and we will post it on the appropriate month.

Thanks- Marcy

2019 Updates Page may be viewed "HERE"

We are wishing all our classmates the very best of health in the upcoming months.  Remember that you have a large family of classmates out there.  These are difficult times.  Keep us posted on how things are going with you.​

Marcy & Honey 

END OF YEAR (2020) LETTTER FROM MARCY

    Every December for the past 15 years I have written an end of the year letter for classmates. It was a way of looking back on the past year as we look forward to the new one. This has been a year like no other. I just don’t know where to begin. Most of us have had our lives turned upside down. We missed out on so many family gatherings and life events like weddings and funerals. It has been nine months since I have hugged a grandchild.


     Most of us receive pensions from Social Security and/or our former jobs. Retirement does have its benefits. We don’t need to worry about income during the pandemic but we do worry about our children or grandchildren who may be out of work.


     COVID-19 took the life of Barbara Van Valen-Elsherbini. That brings our total of deceased classmates to 73. Please take the time to ask your loved ones to notify us in the event that you should pass away. I don’t mean to be morbid but with a pandemic still very much with us and the reality of our advanced ages, it should be addressed. Very often we do hear this news from a family member but other times we find out after the fact from some other source. I am always grateful when one of you has passed this type of news on to me if you hear it first.


     Thanks to each and every classmate who has contributed news or a picture on this site. You may have no idea how much others enjoy them.


     This January starts the third year of our “new” class site. I will say this again because it needs to be said. There would be no class website without Honey stepping up and learning how to navigate the technology. We owe her a big debt of gratitude.


     We want to wish a very healthy year for all of you in 2021. With this new vaccine on the horizon, how joyous it would be to fully embrace our family and friends once again.


      Special warm wishes to those of you who are caregivers. Condolences to all who lost spouses or family members this past year.


      Stay well, stay safe, wear a mask and wash those hands.

Marcy (12/17/2020)

My annual "Thank you both" for all you do in keeping our class updated and informed. We all really appreciate everything you do.

 

I'm doing well and feeling fine. My oldest grandson came home from Indiana U about 6 weeks ago after testing positive for Covid, but he had a very mild case and has been feeling good. Thankfully, everyone else in my family has stayed well.

 

My best wishes to you and your families for a great holiday and a happy and healthy 2021.

 

Harvey Pearlstein (12/22/2020)

Patt & I want to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!  May you all be happy, healthy, safe, and wise (....not so much).

Be well,

Patt & Bob Levine (11/26/2020)

Hi Honey,

I always look through anything that classmate sends me from the class of 61. Today it said it was a picture of a classmate. It turned out to be Robert Rubinstein. It’s a much better picture than the one we have on "Then and Now" section. I didn’t ask his permission but I’m sure he wouldn’t mind if we switch the pictures out.  Marcy (11/08/2020)

Marcy --

 

Its great to hear from you.  Moving to SC has sort of separated us from a lot -- Family, etc.

I*m sorry, but I don't think I can send a picture.  It is our 50th on Nov. 7th, but we will have to spend dinner alone.

I will always appreciate what you have done for our class of 1961, bringing us together again.  It was a special time.

 

Lou Chanin (11/1/2020)

Louise DeNardo Cassano:

I am receiving the NYS Senate District 6 Hometown Heroes Award recognizing exceptional businesses, community leaders and outstanding women on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 at 7 PM via Zoom. A link follows, if you are interested in “attending” the ceremony.

No masks or social distancing required unless you’re congregating with non-family.

Refreshments will be postponed till a later date. 

I will not hold it against you, if you decide to NOT attend. 

 

Zoom link:    https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUkfu-vrDMoGt1no-_RTsmjqJKMBfqr50Se 

As a reminder, Louise has an upcoming live interview with Danny Tighe on Back2Levittown this coming Friday, October 23rd  at 8:30 Eastern Time.  If you are unable to see it live, Dan posts the interviews on the page and other LMHS pages.

Hi Honey & Marcy + the class of 61,

 

    Thank you for the get well cards, they were beautiful, they came last night.   Gary & I will take about a year before we are both O. K.  My daughter went home to be with her family 2 weeks ago.  So Gary & I are working together to help each the best we can.   

 

    Honey, please say Hi to your Mom for me.  I saw a bunch of pictures of her, you & your boys & grandson. You all look so great,  I see your dad in your son. 

 

   You asked about pictures of some craft projects my husband & I worked on  together.  I will try to send them to you soon.   

 

   Take care & stay safe.  Again thank you all.                         

Kathy   (10/13/2020)  

 

P. S.  Saw a picture of Al Hoppe with his wife dancing on FaceBook.

Hi Marcy,

     Keep up the good work on our class website.  Sorry I don't sit at the computer as often as I used to.

    Say HI to all from me. I saw a picture of Al Hoppe and his wife dancing.  If you hear from him tell him I said 'hello'.  His Mom was my sister's Godmother.  Dennis Foley's Father was my sisters Godfather.  Long time ago.

Take care, Kathy LoMedico-Polcari (10/8/2020)

Hi Marcy,

Just want to let you know that I’m being interviewed by Danny Tighe on Back2Levittown’s Friday night Facebook Live on October 23 at 8:30 PM. Honey suggested that I let you know so you can let LMHS alum know. Here’s the link to the FB page. https://www.facebook.com/daniel.j.tighe.

Louise

 

Louise Cassano

LuCas Communications

29 Lilac Lane

Levittown, NY 11756

lc@louisecassano.com

516-735-5901

Message from Marcy:

     Honey and I have both been trying to reach  Brad Scott to see how he made out in the hurricane. Pictures of Pensacola on the news last week were truly frightening. He has not been online and of course that was a concern to us.
    Brad called this afternoon after finally getting service. He has had no electricity for a week and they suffered a lot of damage in the storm. Right now they are dealing with insurance and clean up. He said the storm hovered over for 7 1/2 hours which is several hours more than they have experienced in the past.
     Thank you Brad for checking in!

Congratulations to Carol Manning-Del Prete who was a 'Snowbird' but recently sold her Levittown Home and is now living in Florida full time.  Her Levittown address will be removed from her picture in the "Yearbook" Section.  

Mary Mennette DeLuca would like to share some thoughts with her classmates:


'Praying for this pandemic to be over soon, wishing every family is keeping safe... isolation stinks, I know it’s important for all our safety, just miss the social life we all enjoyed.... hope to see everyone soon! Stay safe'

 
8/28/2020

Hi Marcy.....I haven't seen any posts from you lately and I'm just checking to see how you're doing.

 

Things are quiet and good here. My oldest grandson goes back to Indiana U on 8/18. No news yet on high school for my younger grandson. The only thing he's heard is that varsity football is pushed off until the spring.

 

I'm doing fine and hope you and your family are too.

 

Harvey (8/7/2020)

Honey,

Great to hear from you.  You and Marcy do a great job. It is amazing that I can still recognize some people after all these years.  

Here is a picture you can share of me

Carol Lutz Smemoe

6/25/2020

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(Received from Eileen Wolf-Turner 5/24)

 

Honey,

 

Sure, it’s OK to list the second email address. (cpaws03@gmail.com)

 

Actually, I retired from corporate life in the defense business and established my own business about 20 years ago.  But now I don’t pursue any more earnings work, instead I volunteer my time and skills to the causes I like to support.  Much less stress, but still plenty of work.

 

We do have a nice boat that we travel in a lot.  Used to cruise up to NY and New England for summers, but won’t go this year because of the constraints at yacht clubs and marinas regarding the COVID-19.  So we are self-quarantining either on our boat cruising the Chesapeake Bay, or at our house. No problem for us.  Except, I will really miss the NY pizza, real deli sandwiches, and special breads, rolls and bagels that are only available in NY. Once the disease is contained we might have to take a road trip up there to quell our desires.  And we are eagerly awaiting the time we can do more international travel by air or cruise ships. (We had to reschedule a cruise to the South Pacific islands until next year; let’s hope we are allowed to do it in 2021.)

 

Hard to believe that 2021 will be the year of our class’s 60 anniversary.  Anything in the works?

 

Eileen

Written By Aaron Banikiotes

My mom died peacefully on Wednesday April 29th with my dad, my sister and me around her at home.She was my first call for medical advice and my last call before I made any life decision. She was the speech therapist who helped with my R’s before she 5 so I could say my name. She went on to be a Vice President at a few east coast healthcare companies.  She studied at CCNY, Purdue, Wisconsin, Notre Dame and most notably the High School for Performing Arts. Her best role was the strongest, most musical, smartest woman role model for a kid or grandkid. She crushed Jeopardy with ease. She read thousands of books and encouraged me to read too. Over the last year she was my book club.

Life is not fair she told me. And after 50 and a half years of marriage to my dad he crushed. They walked three miles a day even with chemotherapy. She had not an ounce of fat on her. I’ve been grieving losing her for the past year, and now it is real. She wanted to be remembered for the light she brought wherever she went, for her sense of humor, stories, jokes, shopping, and the music she shared not for the cancer that took her far too soon.
An Zoom shiva and memorial is planned for Sunday evening.

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Hi Marcy, hope you are staying well. You can share, if appropriate. Include the following explanation:

 “Sheltering at home”.
    My position at our Children’s hospital and being in the “protected” age (not me) has allowed time to spend on a hobby- collage art. This is a collection of headlines and pictures from the Atlanta Journal Constitution over a five week period. The white blotches are toilet paper! The tiny yellow pieces were taken from a mask I was about to discard. Also, paint, tissue paper and stamps.

    Between work , house cleaning, gardening, cooking a lot, walking, reading, movies, home and art projects the days are filled.
    We feel very fortunate. Nevertheless, family celebrations,  a high school graduation, basketball state finals and scheduled trips all missed.

    Thank goodness for Zoom.
    This weekend we will tailgate with some friends. I wonder what others are doing???
 Stay well.
 Roni Cojac Mintz (5/2/2020)

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Obituary

Mary Louise Benson Lathuras was born on April 1st, 1934 and passed at home on April 25th, 2020. She is survived by her  loving husband George. She and George spent 62 amazing and inspiring years together. She is also survived by her son Jack, and daughters Ari, Christine and   Meg.  She was the oldest of three siblings and is survived by Fran Benson and Bill Benson. She was graced by seven granchildren: Katie, Matthew, Josselin, Victor, Patrick and Dylan and her angel in heaven James. She also had one great grandchild Samuel and two more on the way.

Mary was born in Boston to an Irish Catholic family and was an avid swimmer. She was awarded a medal of excellence by Esther Williams. She attended Boston teacher’s College where she met George, and here their love story began.

She moved to Long Island with two girlfriends in 1955 to begin her teaching career.. In 1958 she and George were married and both became teachers on Long Island. They started their family here and made the decision not to return to Boston and bought their current home on Rita   Place in Farmingdale in 1966.

Mary was a very active volunteer including BOCES in Massapequa, St Killian’s Church Outreach, Hope for the Future and Pax Christi, and a supporter of Mama’s House.

She was awarded the Nassau County   Extraordinary Woman of 2016 at the age of 81.

Mary loved the ocean and spent all her summer days relaxing on Jones Beach with her children and a group of close friends. “Mary was surfing while George was turfing.”

She and George enjoyed a wide circle of friends and a very active social life. Mary was always in touch with friends  and family near and far, and went to great lengths to celebrate anything and everything. Their annual 4th of July party was the highlight of many celebrations.

We look forward to celebrating Mary’s extraordinary life later in the year with her large community of family and friends.

In Lieu of flowers please consider a donation to Hope for the Future. www.hopeforthefuture.com . or St Killian’s Outreach 140 Elizabeth st Farmingdale, NY 11735.

Arrangements entrusted to Arthur F. White Funeral Home, Inc.

Thanks Marcy using that picture would be perfect!

Funny this year..Usually Del leaves for Indianapolis for the race right before our anniversary. This year was no different but the race has been postponed until August so we are going to be together for our anniversary for the first time in years....in quarantine!!  Hilarious!

 

We are still in Mexico since most incoming flights were canceled..now on flight in early June if they dont cancel it.


Hugs to you and say hi to Frank if you talk to him
Sandy (5/1/2020)

Dear Honey, 

   I just received heartbreaking news tonight that Barbara Van Valen Elsherbini just died from the virus after a short hospitalization. 

   A light just went out in the world.

    I hope this finds you well. 

Barbara Steinman-Bengels

4/20/2020

Barbara Van Valen-Elsherbini is survived by one brother.  Condolences may be sent to Mike and Valara Van Valen at 4 Halfcircle Drive., Holbrook, NY 11741.  Barbara's yearbook photo has been moved to the Gone But Not Forgotten section.  If anyone would like to add a rememberance of Barbara please let us know.  Louise DeNardo-Cassano remembers "Barbara" fondly

Hi, Marcy,

 

we all seem to have time on our hands right now so it gave me an opportunity to check out our website in its entirety.   It looks great and I’m sure takes quite a bit of time to keep up with it.  Thanks to all involved in making it so interesting.

(the photos mentioned are locted on the Family 2020 page)

The second photo is of two of our five granddaughters, Danielle and Kerry, who live in Kentucky.  Dannie has graduated college and just purchased a home in Lexington.  Kerry is graduating high school this spring and starting college in the fall.

 

The last photo is of our grandson Sean with my husband Chuck on an annual charter boat fishing trip..  Sean is an ironworker in NY like his dad, and lives in Miller Place, Long Island.

 

Thanks, Betty Csontos-Shuster

03/24/2020

See the link at the end of this post to access the Newsday Article and Video

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Who says you can't go home again?

Long Island native and bestselling mystery writer Phillip Margolin returned to his hometown of Levittown earlier this month to be inducted into the Levittown High Hall of Fame. The very same week, he celebrated publishing his 23rd novel A Reasonable Doubt (St. Martin’s Press, $27.99).

Margolin, a former attorney, spoke by phone from Portland, Oregon about Perry Mason, the Levittown pool and the power of chess.

When you were growing up in Levittown in the 1950s, did you ever think you might get inducted into the Levittown High Hall of Fame?

I was shocked when I got the letter! I was not a stellar student. In fact, I was a failure growing up. I was a lousy student, didn’t get into any college I applied to the first time, or law school. Things finally started going uphill after I went to the Peace Corps. I had an exciting career as a criminal defense lawyer for 25 years, and then I became a bestselling writer. I just sent my 24th book to my publisher.

What is your fondest memory of growing up in Levittown?

Levittown was great for kids. There were big families and someone was always playing football or baseball or heading to the pool, which was very close to my house. We rode bikes all over, going to the deli and grabbing hero sandwiches. We’d play tennis on the town courts and the loser would have to buy Twinkies and Cokes. I even had a paper route, and I think it was for Newsday.

How did you transform from a lousy student into a Hall of Famer?

Chess really turned me around. I flunked math in eighth grade — this was the best thing to ever happen to me. The summer school math teacher was a chess player and we started playing after class. I was a poor student because I had a short attention span. If I didn’t get a problem in two seconds, I’d lose interest. But in chess you have to sit for long periods of time and analyze. It trained me to become unemotional and objective about schoolwork, to not get upset if I couldn’t figure out a math problem. I had a low opinion of my IQ and didn’t think I was smart, but I started thinking that if I could beat my math teacher at chess, maybe I’m not so stupid after all. In ninth grade I applied myself and went from a C average to 90s and in another two years I was taking all honors classes.

Did you always want to be a writer?

I never even thought of being a writer growing up. Since I was 12 years old, I only wanted to be like Perry Mason and do murder cases. I read all his books as a kid and then moved on to Ellery Queen. When I was in Liberia, West Africa with the Peace Corps, there was no rule of law; they had secret police, torture, and you had no right to an attorney. After two years in Africa, I came back and decided to go to law school. I wrote my first book the summer between law school and my first job.

This is your fourth book following young criminal defense attorney Robin Lockwood. But this is your first that focuses on magic.

I just love magic. When I moved to Oregon in 1970 there was a show late at night where they had magic. I’d never seen big time magic, where they made people disappear and things like that, and I became obsessed. I wondered how they did it. Over the years, I’ve seen the big magicians in person, but I still don’t know how they do it, and I still love it! I got this idea for a magician who gets murdered in the middle of performing on stage in front of 3,000 people. That was the fun part for me, working out the murder.

Did you ever try your hand at magic?

No, I have really poor eye-hand coordination. I play tons of sports, but I’m not good at any of them. You have to really manipulate cards and I can barely tie my shoes.

You dedicated this book to former executive director of Chess for Success. Do you still play chess?

Chess is, pound-for-pound, the best educational tool, period. I helped form the nonprofit Chess for Success, which is now in more than 100 schools and 20 school districts. It is an educational program that uses chess to trick kids into learning. We work with 4,000 kids a year and I know what you are thinking: they are probably all nerds with pocket protectors. Not true! I challenge you to come up with a group as diverse as ours. We teach boys and girls, gifted and talented, kids with physical disabilities, learning disabilities, non-English speaking kids, and they all work together on an even playing field. All these kids get to participate.

Has chess helped you become a better mystery writer?

Unemotionally and objectively analyzing problems — that’s what chess teaches you. Now I am able to take a look at what I am writing and say: I wrote this, and this is really not very good, and I’ve got to keep working. If an editor says, “I don’t like this,” I’m not upset that he’s bad-mouthing my brilliant prose. Instead, if what he is saying makes sense, I figure out how to correct the problem. It’s all chess!

By Kelly McMastersSpecial to Newsday (link below to see the interview)

https://www.newsday.com/entertainment/books/phillip-margolin-levittown-a-reasonable-doubt-1.43164709

Honey:

Everyone is happy and healthy after a fabulous trip to Vietnam and Cambodia and Levittown. My book tour for A Reasonable Doubt started on March 9 with small crowds in Arizona and Texas. Then all but one event in Seattle and Portland cancelled. I still have one signing and two radio shows. The trip to Levittown was great. We drove right from the airport to Borelli’s which still has the best pizza in the universe. I showed my wife my house and Memorial and the Slate Lane pool. I really enjoyed the induction dinner. Hope you are staying safe in Tampa.

Phil  3/15/2020

On Feb 28, 2020, at 3:54 PM, Steven Weissman <stevenweissman43@gmail.com> wrote:
 



MARCY, Hope you are doing well.  Don't know if I mentioned that after 53 years of sales I retired in May.  Staying busy as President of my HOA and volunteering 2 days a week at our local hospital in the admitting office and as a courtesy cart driver (taking out patients to and from their cars.  Leaving next week for Colorado for a few weeks to our home in Lakewood.

NEED HELP - I am having a problem logging on to our class website lately.  I use lmhs61.org or tried lmhs1961.org. Neither seems to work. Is it the site or my computer (more likely operator error)?

Also, just to mention that a classmate of my brother's (past away 4 1/2 years ago) a graduate of class of '58 and I have been friends since 1955 when our family's moved to North Wantaugh.  We see each other 3-4 times a year when he visits south Florida from Columbus, Ohio. How can I know someone for 65 years??

STEVE WEISSMAN

Dear Honey,

Thank you, Honey, for your kind words and appreciation. Please share our work with others including those who may remember me.

You may use the description and picture of me at this link:

https://www.legacyintl.org/who-we-are/team/

 

You (and I am sure others) have done a lot of work on the website to be as welcoming and comprehensive as it is. Congratulations and thank you.

Best regards,

Marlene

PS. My last name is spelled wrong in the yearbook entry, the correct spelling is Ginsberg. Thanks for making the correction.

02/21/2020

This message was in response to the e-mail regarding a tentative 2021 Classes of the 60's reunion

Feb 14, 2020, 4:03 AM -0500, Phillip Margolin <phil@pdxlaw.com>, wrote:

I travel so much and this is so far off that I have no idea if I can make it. But please thank the person who nominated me for the Levittown High School Hall of Fame. I am going to the ceremony on March 12. Flying in from Dallas Texas in the middle of my book tour. Then back to Seattle. But I am excited to come back.

Phil 

Hi Marcy and Honey,  

 

I’ve been away and am home in Arizona playing catch up. I went to the LMHS61 website to get the address for you, Honey, to send a check - and then saw your letter, Marcy, about not needing any checks this year.  Wow….you two are amazing in what you have done with the website and the finances to keep it running.  My brother mentioned that he was told by one of his classmates that you have done an incredible job with finding classmates and keeping a really great website going.  I think his class is jealous !

 

I am planning to move to Jacksonville, FL sometime this year, but so far I am not making good progress with that.  The reason is I’ve been away helping my daughter-in-law who was diagnosed with cancer right before Christmas.  And since her husband, my son, is in a new job, needless to say they’ve needed some morale support and help with the driving.  The good news is their new home is twenty minutes from the amazing Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, and my daughter-in-law is getting amazing care.  The bad news is it means lots of trips to the hospital as she will have 20 weeks of chemo before surgery.  Right now, my son is handling the next two sessions and then I will go back when it switches from every two weeks to every week for 12 weeks.  In the meantime, I am packing boxes and trying to be ready to make the move once I get this house on the market.

 

Best wishes to you both and thanks again for the wonderful website.  

Lois 

2/5/2020

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From Louise DeNardo Cassano:


I am humbled and honored to have been chosen to be a member of the Levittown School District Hall of Fame. Thank you to Dr. Tonie McDonald and to all others who had anything to do with this. You've made 2020 a year I'll remember!

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