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Published by Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay, 2018-04-13 09:50:05

Harbor Light Special Biography Edition-April 2018

Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay's newsletter.



APRIL 2018



APT. NW-307 EXT. 234

You will be delighted to meet Catha (KAY-tha)
and Martin Abrahams, who recently moved into
the Northwest Garden Building. They are
charming, delightful, and have had so many
interesting experiences.

Catha was born in New York City and attended Pennsylvania. After serving in the Army, he
Brooklyn College and Columbia University. She decided to become a CPA and worked for
and Martin met by chance on Nantucket. They Coopers & Lybrand (now Pricewaterhouse-
married and had two children, Nancy and Jerry. Coopers) for 38 years. He then spent 17 years as a
The Abrahams like to spend as much time as member of the Board of Directors of Everest Re
they can visiting their children and five teen-to- Group Ltd. Martin has also served on many
adult grandchildren in Manhattan. other Boards: the Manhattan Theatre Club,
WNYC (New York City’s public radio station),
Catha worked at many occupations: she taught Connecticut’s Chamber of Commerce, a
several different elementary school grades; homeowners association in Connecticut, and the
taught Methods of Teaching at Brooklyn College owners association of Fairway Bay I.
and supervised student teachers at Hunter
College; then worked with the Voluntary Action What does Martin like to do in his spare time?
Center in Connecticut; and finally was Executive He is very involved with computers and is an
Director of the Rape and Sexual Abuse Crisis avid reader of history, physics and biology. He
Center in Stamford. She has been active with the also enjoys biking and editing his photos. As you
YWCA and the Jewish Community Center in can see, the Abrahams are a wonderful addition
Hartford, Jewish Family Services in Stamford, to Plymouth Harbor. I predict it is only a
League of Women Voters (LWV), and the question of time until they become involved in
American Association of University Women many of our committees.
(AAUW); served as a Guardian Ad Litem; taught
at the Women’s Resource Center here in 
Sarasota; and coordinated the Book Club at
Fairway Bay for 12 years.

Catha plays the recorder and takes lessons—she
would love to find others who play the recorder!
She also enjoys walking, yoga, exercise classes,
bridge and Scrabble. This is a gal with many
talents and interests!

As for Martin, he was born in Germany, but
luckily his family emigrated to New York just as
he was beginning school. He eventually
graduated with honors from the University of

— Addie Hurst


GREGORY HETTER & ANITA PIHL successful interior design business. She also had a
gallery and frame shop, specializing in Art Nouveau
APT. NW-303 EXT. 155 posters. About 20 years ago the couple retired and
their life really changed. They began dividing their
Anita Pihl is Swedish, and Gregory Hetter spent time between Siesta Key and a country villa in
formative years in Sweden, but it took a Halloween France, which they spent five years renovating.
party in San Francisco to get them together. When they sold that property, they rented an
apartment on Lake Zurich in Switzerland as their
Gregory’s father was in the Navy, and the family European base.
moved often. He attended nine grammar schools in
eight years, but only Phillips Exeter Academy and Also when they retired, Anita and Gregory decided
William Penn Charter for prep school. After graduat- to marry after 27 years together. They told almost no
ing, he went to Sweden to visit relatives and ended one and managed to surprise many relatives by
up spending seven years there. During this time, he slipping the wedding into the 60th birthday party of
earned a master’s degree in genetics, began medical an uncle in Sweden. The husband of Gregory’s first
school at Uppsala University, married and had a wife performed the ceremony.
daughter. The marriage ended when he moved to
Seattle to finish his M.D., although the couple Anita and Gregory have done a lot of traveling,
remained on friendly terms. Gregory served two especially since retirement. Gregory is very interest-
years as an Army doctor, finished his residency in ed in wine, as well as food. At one time he had a
otolaryngology and set up practice in Redwood City, 5,000-bottle cellar. Both enjoy cooking (Anita has
California. studied under chefs in France) and entertaining.
They also share a love of Baroque music, opera and
Anita, who was born and raised in Sweden, started ballet, and they enjoy sports. Gregory was a varsity
her professional life as a mechanical draftsman. hurdler in prep school. Growing up in Sweden, Anita
Among other things during her four years in this was a county champion in swimming, basketball,
profession, she drew the prototypes of the first bow bowling and table tennis. In the United States,
thrusters ever developed. However, she tired of Anita’s sport became tennis, which she still plays
drafting and took an opportunity to learn the then regularly.
new skill of computer programming. After two years
with Swedish Shell Oil, she decided there were more Anita and Gregory are very happy to be settling into
opportunities in programming in California and Plymouth Harbor. As Anita said, “After twenty years
moved to San Francisco. Indeed, interesting job of retirement, now we are really retired.” It is a great
opportunities abounded, and she was taken with the pleasure to welcome them here.
San Francisco life of the 1970s, so she stayed much
longer than the planned one year. During this time — Lorna Hard
she sailed to Hawaii as cook on a 72-foot ketch with
no keel and no engine. She also attended the fateful
Halloween party.

Anita and Gregory did not experience love at first
sight, but they shared many common interests and
soon were enjoying their life together. When
Gregory decided to change his specialty to plastic
surgery and do a second residency in Phoenix, Anita
accompanied him, and they have been together
since. Gregory set up his second practice in Las
Vegas, where they lived for 20 years. Gregory became
an early practitioner of liposuction and formed a
U.S. society that gave seminars on the procedure to
many plastic surgeons. He also helped write and edit
the first English language textbook on lipoplasty.
During their time in Las Vegas, Anita had a



APT. NW-308 EXT. 243 of Rio Grande in Ohio where Jack was honored with
a Doctor of Public Service, Honorus Causas, and was
The Bakalar Air Force Base in Indiana was “sealed granted Honorary Fellow Status in 2008. In 2004, the
shut” immediately after the arrival of a busload of University named the “Kidd Math and Science
young airmen. Jack Kidd had just completed eight Building” in their honor. Meanwhile, literally back at
weeks of Basic Training in San Antonio, Texas. He the ranch, (an 800-acre spread in Jackson, Ohio,
peered out of the bus window, asking: “What is my where they raised cattle and Jack loved driving the
car doing here?” and “How did Jane get inside of a tractor) the Kidds started their family. Their oldest
‘sealed’ military base?” The base was closed due to son Larry was born in 1964 followed by Peggy and
the Cuban Crisis, but she managed to get inside the finally Doug in 1971. Among them they have given
base moments before closure. She had driven from Jane and Jack five wonderful grand children.
Ohio to see her husband. After greeting each other
warmly, Jane suggested that they “get away for a The Kidd family spent leisure time on South Padre
day.” Jack told her that would be impossible, but Island, Texas for many years. From 2004 they lived at
Jane responded with, “Who’s the boss around here?” the Sanctuary and the Water Club on Longboat Key,
and then took herself to the Base Commander’s where they served as officers. They are also active
office to ask him to kindly issue a pass. He was members of The Bird Key Yacht Club where Jack was
granted a 24-hour pass; off they went. To this day, Treasurer and served on the Board of Trustees and
Jane and Jack are a focused, get-things-done couple. Jane mentored new members.

Jane was born in Minneapolis but lived in many In their spare time they have enjoyed boating, golf,
cities, as her dad was often transferred during her kayaking, social events, exercise, great food, and, last
early years. After high school in Winter Haven, but not least, family. Both Jane and Jack have served
Florida, Jane went to Miami University in Ohio. on countless Boards in Ohio and Sarasota. Jack is
currently the President of the Board of Trustees of
Jack was born and raised in Cincinnati. He loved the Glasser-Schoenbaum Human Services Center, a
playing baseball and decided to go to Miami one-stop resource for the needy. Jack will be happy
University, where he was one of the pitchers. Jane to tell you more about this wonderful project.
and Jack met as sophomores in a class at the Obviously these new neighbors of ours are caring,
university. When they started dating, Jane insisted warm, compassionate, and energetic, and they will
that their dates be “study dates.” Jack soon suggested be a marvelous addition to our Plymouth Harbor
that they get married so that they could study Community. Be sure to greet them—you will be glad
together more. They married in 1961 and graduated you did.
in 1962. He went into the Air Force in surveillance at
the time of the U-2 flights. After his tour of duty he — Estelle Silbert
worked as a CPA for Grant Thornton & Co. in
Ohio. Jane worked as a social worker for two years
and then happily became a stay-at-home mom.

In 1970 Jack and a partner bought Oak Hill Banks, a
small community bank in Southern Ohio, with 10
employees and 10 million in assets. In 2007, after
amazing growth, the bank was merged with
WesBanco of Wheeling, West Virginia, where Jack
served on the Board until 2011.

Active members of their church in Ohio, Jane and
Jack continued that tradition here. They also
involved themselves in activities at the University



APT. NW-309 EXT. 277

When a recently widowed radiologist moved
next door to a widowed choir director, you can
guess what happened. It may have required a bit
of “backing and filling”, but the result was a
happy second marriage—five years and

Their years at Stoneybrook, in south Sarasota, spent 15 years as a docent at the Ringling
followed 45- and 50-year marriages during which Museum. They both love sports, but perhaps
they would never have encountered each other. their greatest mutual passion is travel, anywhere,
Marita, born in White Plains, New York, earned anytime.
bachelor’s and master’s degrees in voice and
music education from the State University of Albert, who was a District Governor of Rotary
New York at Potsdam and Connecticut State. For International and a supporter of People-to-
25 years she taught music from kindergarten People, traveled widely as part of these groups.
through high school, most of the time as Choral As a sideline, he raised Andalusian horses and
Director in high schools, primarily in learned how to shoe them! Physical fitness,
Westchester County. Meanwhile, she was sing- swimming, bicycling, sculpting and painting
ing professionally in New York and in round out the interests of this fascinating
Westchester. couple. Between them, they have four children
and five grandchildren who are, of course, a
At the same time Albert, born in Brooklyn, was source of joy and delight.
studying at Manhattan College, followed by
Downstate Medical College, which granted him When you meet the Marshes, you can talk about
his M.D. In 1955, he became board certified in the arts in Sarasota or, if you are interested, ask
Diagnostic Radiology, Radiation Therapy, and Albert about Shamanism.
Nuclear Medicine. He practiced in New York,
Maryland, and Vineland, New Jersey, where he 
established a private practice. His busy office
provided CAT Scans, MRI, nuclear medicine,
mammography, ultrasound, and a women’s
diagnostic center. In 1999 he retired, but not
before starting a school for radiology

The breadth of the interests of this pair is truly
all-encompassing. Marita, active in everything
musical in Sarasota, the Key Chorale and St.
Boniface Church, has always supported all our
artistic companies. Switching hats, she also

— Isabel Pedersen



APT. NW-310 EXT. 290

“They tried to tell us we’re too young.” But
that song is irrelevant if you are as much in
love as Shirley Kingsbury and Buck Martin.
They knew each other through elementary and
high school in Buffalo, New York. They married
when Shirley graduated. She took a position as
a secretary and enjoyed it very much. Little did
she know then that she would be in charge of
the office operations for a huge corporation
owned by the Martin family.

Buck attended General Motors Institute co-op Ginger fits the idea of entrepreneur; she recently
school, later to become Kettering University. opened Apricot Lane Boutique on St. Armands
Entrepreneur is a term easily associated with Circle. If you want to see faces light up, ask
the family; Buck’s main interest in the business Buck and Shirley about their 10 grandchildren
world was as an industrial engineer, building and 15 greats!
and selling big equipment for the gas and oil
industries. Some of the companies that can be The couple had visited Florida many times
identified with Buck are Nitram Energy, Dresser starting in 1981. They sailed their boat from
Industries, Niabco Sales Company, among many Buffalo through bays, oceans, and waterways
others. Shirley was a strong partner throughout to this area. They saw Bird Key and loved it.
the many phases of the family careers. That adventure led to membership in Bird
Key Yacht Club and residences on Longboat
Buck started Nitram Energy, a multi-million Key. Their lives have not been all work and
dollar company based in Orchard Park, New no play. Tennis, fishing, golf, and boating are
York, that produces a variety of equipment for things they do for fun. Shirley had a hole-in-
the industrial gas processing and engineering one at age 77!
industries, including the oil and gas patch. He
acquired several other firms, including Burgess “I owe my business life to General Motors
Manning, a worldwide manufacturer of Institute. It gave me the necessary tools to
industrial equipment. These businesses grew to develop my business, which ultimately allowed
include offices and marketing all over the world. me to include my family in the company. For
This led to meeting many interesting people and that I am grateful,” says Buck. 
forming friendships that still exist today.

The couple has been married 64 years, and
they have four children. Kevin is involved in
the business. David is in the medical field.
Daughter Sherry recently retired after owning
a dance studio in Buffalo for 40 years. Daughter

— Cerita Purmort




APT. NW-302 EXT. 154

Her friends wondered why Lee Murphy was
leaving her pleasant West Garden apartment.
At least they wondered until they saw her
new apartment in the Northwest Garden with
its 10-foot ceilings and huge window walls.

Lee, really Elizabeth, grew up in St. Paul, of the five years they have been at Plymouth
Minnesota. After graduating from Centenary Harbor. The largest part of every day is spent
College in New Jersey, she returned to St. with Jim, a tribute to the good years they
Paul. Her busiest times were as the owner and spent together.
buyer of a specialty shop. Buying trips took
her to England, Ireland, Iceland, and much of And, for the new residents of the Northwest
America—probably not a real hardship. Garden, Lee will be the “go-to” girl. “Where is
the X?; Whom do you call for Y?” She has al-
Her life took a happy turn when she met Jim ways been willing to help.
Murphy at the graduation ceremonies of her
son and his daughter. Their marriage, at
Spanish Point, brought together her three
sons, his three children, and thirteen grand-

Partly because of this, she and Jim spent years
mentoring young people in Sarasota County
schools in the Take Stock in Children pro-
gram. Lee, a lover of Mother Nature, also
spent 16 very active years in the Founders
Garden Club. Her Junior League membership
goes back to her Minnesota days.

She has been busy at Plymouth Harbor, too, 
as a member of the Grounds and Health
Committees and secretary of the West Garden

But, more than anything else, her friends ad-
mire her devotion to her husband who has
been living in the Smith Care Center for four

— Isabel Pedersen



APT. NW-304 EXT. 156 who would stand up and applaud him as he
entered the classroom. Sarah’s most memorable
Service is in this couple’s DNA. George’s moment occurred a few years after her
father was a Greek Orthodox priest, based in retirement from MCC/SCF when the faculty
Massachusetts where George was born, and asked her to be graduation speaker. The
Sarah's mother left a Wisconsin farm for teacher standing ovation they gave her as she reached
training and then taught in Puerto Rico, Sarah’s the podium brought her to tears, but she
birthplace. Both Sarah and George have had managed to make her speech.
distinguished careers in higher education and
have influenced countless students, faculty, and The couple met at Penn State, where Sarah
art lovers.
took several of George’s art courses. A smitten—
After obtaining a BA at Penn State, an MA at
USF, and EdD from Nova Southeastern, Sarah but respectful—student, after her graduation
taught and then worked in administration at
various Florida colleges, starting programs and and move to New York City, she wrote to praise
building campuses. She is well known locally
as the former very successful president of his teaching and asked him to contact her if he
Manatee Community College (now State College
of Florida). She has served on many boards, ever came to the area. George did not recall her
recently as a member of Plymouth Harbor's
Board of Trustees. Currently “only” on the by name, but checking his class records he saw
Ringling Museum Board of Trustees and Tiger
Bay Club Board, she also manages to participate the note “tall girl” and remembered her! A bit
in a book club and volunteer at Sarasota
Memorial. Her awards and honors are later he was in the city, and their meeting
numerous. A fun one was carrying the 1996
Olympic Torch in Volusia County. blossomed into 52 years of marriage. George has

George gained his degrees at Massachusetts an artist son, Tom, a banker daughter, Jane, and
College of Art, Harvard University (with courses
at MIT) and his Doctorate in Art Education from two college-age grandchildren. One reason
Penn State. He taught art there for 10 years and
then at USF for 27 years, also serving as chair of Sarah and George moved to Florida was to be
the department. George is well known in art near the children.
circles, exhibiting in galleries here and elsewhere
(Ringling Museum purchased one of his They have other delightful stories that I have
paintings), and he served on the Board of no space to relate here. I suggest that you meet
Trustees of the Hermitage Artist Retreat. For them and learn what a dynamic and warm
George, profession and hobby blend together in couple they are.
his painting, which he continues in his home
studio. — Celia Catlett

But his favorite career memory goes back to his
days as an art teacher for third-grade students


MARGOT & JACK ROBINSON advantageous if she earned some money instead
of just spending it. This was the beginning of her
APT. NW-306 EXT. 204 career in Real Estate. Some of us may have met
her as she continues as a Realtor on Longboat
Jack Robinson first spotted Margot walking out Key and Sarasota.
of a Western Civilization class. He “liked what They lived at Fairway Bay and The Atrium until
he saw” and soon asked her out. Margot was arriving here. Jack continues his writing,
looking forward to going to a fraternity party, currently on “Federal Income Taxation of Real
but instead he took her downtown to a dimly lit Estate.” Among other books, he is the author of
bar with a large portrait of naked ladies on the “Homeowner’s Tax Breaks: Your Complete Guide
wall. Next he proceeded to lead into (from his to Finding Hidden Gold in Your Home.” Jack
point of view) a lively discussion of Dialectical “hates to pay taxes,” so his books might help the
Materialism. Margot had a few doubts, but once rest of us to avoid a few. He has lectured at the
she realized he had a winning sense of humor, LBK Educational Center and belongs to the
she came around. Association of Retired Attorneys of Sarasota.
Enthusiastic bridge players, the Robinsons also
The Western Civ course was at Cornell. Margot enjoy films, ballet, and the symphony. A prize
graduated with a degree as a Government major for a talented high school musician was
and Jack with an AB. He went on to earn an LLB established by the two of them—just one more
from the University of Maryland, and then a example of the wide interests ofthis charming
Master of Taxation from NYU. and dynamic pair.

After marrying in 1955, Jack completed law — Ann Anderson
school, entered the army and was sent to Fort
Knox near Louisville. Walking down the street,
soon after learning that he was to be a radio
operator in a tank, he ran into an officer he had
known from law school. A very lucky break.
With a little help from his friend, he became a
noncommissioned officer on Courts and Boards.
He and Margot were sent to Germany where
they spent two delightful years traveling around
Europe in a little red Austin-Healy.

From the 60s until they moved to Longboat Key,
they lived in Stamford, Connecticut, where their
two children grew up. The family now includes
four grandchildren. For 42 years Jack commuted
to New York, where he practiced law while
writing at night and on weekends for several

Observing that his wife was spending most of
her time on political causes and doing an awful
lot of shopping, he suggested it might be



APT. NW-301 EXT. 153

It would take a book to document the stuffed-to-
the-brim lives of Al and Sandy Weis.

Actually, there is a book, Al’s “The Business of Retiring at 50, Sandy could not stay retired, so
Changing Lives.” Allan, a Queens, New York boy, she reinvented herself. And talk about Act Two!
spent three years at the University of Kansas. He She created the Yoga and Meditation Center,
left for a summer job with IBM in Armonk, New where she taught for 18 years until moving to
York, and never looked back. For thirty years he Sarasota in 2004. Predictably, she loves Tai
worked, among other things, on developing the Chi, as well as many other strenuous activities
Internet, a major part of which is his doing. In including Pilates, kayaking, cycling, mountain
1990 he founded and served as president of ANS, hiking. She and Al have shared many adven-
a company designed to advance education and turous travels over land and sea. His list of
science by accelerating the use of computer favorite activities is shorter than hers but, to
network technology. In 1996 Allan founded cruising the world and walking, he has added
ThinkQuest, which helped students and cooking. Sandy’s newest interests include
educators learn computer and network duplicate bridge and painting, watercolors
technology as they created educational websites particularly.
that were used as teaching tools to others. All
this is in his book. What the book does not This is but a small sample of the interests and
mention is that he met Sandy at MIT, where “helping” activities of this hyper-busy pair. Just
each of them had arrived on a Sloan Fellowship. ask them yourself. Whatever it is, they have
probably already done it.
What followed has been a 33-year marriage, with
Al’s two children and one grandson adopting 
Sandy into their clan.
— Isabel Pedersen
Sandy, then and now, has been as busy as Al.
After her BA in Political Science from Penn
State she spent most of her working life in
Washington as, among other jobs, a public
policy analyst with the Defense Intelligence
Agency, the Office of Management and Budget,
and the Civil Aeronautics Board.

After marrying Allan, they moved to Greenwich,
Connecticut, where she served as a strategic
planner on business development for GTE. Then
she found her true calling at Prodigy Services
Company where she helped establish them as
the online industry’s telecommunications public
policy leader.



APT. NW-305 EXT. 167

Moving from one home to another can be
difficult, but for Marcia and Tom Ward, help
from children who live here simplified the
transfer from Osprey to Plymouth Harbor’s
Northwest Garden, their new residence.

Marcia was born in very warm Columbia, South with GE. During college, he had married and had
Carolina, where her father was stationed during three daughters. In 1980, he accepted the job of
WWII. As soon as her mother could travel, she Senior VP of Human Resources with
and baby Marcia moved north to cool Grosse Rubbermaid in Wooster, Ohio. By 1994, it was
Pointe Farms, Michigan, where Marcia grew up. time to retire.
She was sent to Ferry Hall in Lake Forest,
Illinois, for high school, then came back to Retirement is active for Tom. He is especially
Michigan’s Alma College for a BA in elementary enthusiastic about the Boys & Girls Club, where
education. She married and soon left teaching to he helps with counseling. “Growing up where I
form Kalfact Plastics Co., a plastic injection did in New York, it was the best place to go after
molding business with her husband. “I did every school,” he says. He has also served as President
job there was, even driving the truck,” Marcia of The Oaks Condo Association and worked with
says laughing. She also had two sons. the United Way.

In 1994, they sold the business, were divorced, Marcia and Tom both look forward to living at
and Marcia retired. She traveled extensively, Plymouth Harbor. With them will be Marcia’s
worked at staying fit, and learned to scuba dive. assistance animal, a dog named Katherine
Retirement in Sarasota found her volunteering Hepburn! (They call her “Katie.”)
at SPARCC and the Child Protection Center. At
her request, a group of women started making 
blankets for abused children. The blankets
became symbols of safety for those children.

Tom also retired to Sarasota. He was born and
raised in Manhattan during WWII. His parents,
from Great Britain and Germany, were first
generation Americans. Asked to describe the
“American Dream,” Tom replies, “My life!”

He attended Catholic elementary schools, joined — Sallie VanArsdale
the Navy during the Korean War, and then
graduated with a BS in industrial relations from
LeMoyne University in Syracuse, New York. He
took a job with GE, which gave him a variety of
work assignments and frequent location
changes. He lists nine U.S. cities during 21 years




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