Monica Elizabeth Spencer Bell ’78 (ED)
Monica Elizabeth Spencer Bell ’78 (ED) of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, died in the company of her husband and other family members on Oct. 22, 2017 at the University of Utah Medical Center in Salt Lake City. Life was a dance for Monica. She tap-danced and pirouetted through schools and hundreds of dance lessons while performing in many musicals and recitals. At UConn, where she performed as a Jet girl in West Side Story, she earned a BA in English Education. Monica spent many summer vacations with her parents and siblings visiting grandparents in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where her mother had grown up, instilling in her a lifelong love of the west. There was always a painting of the Teton Mountain Range hanging over her parents’ fireplace. Monica’s early career as a computer programmer led to a successful consulting business in New York City. In the early 1980s, she helped businesses automate processes using the new personal computer. In the late 1990s, Monica started her second career as a recruiter and career coach, helping thousands of professionals take the next steps in their careers. Monica and Bob Bell were married in Connecticut and lived there for several years before a job change relocated them to Alexandria, Virginia. Bob and Monica matched steps for 22 years sailing, traveling, working, volunteering, running marathons, dancing at every opportunity, and loving each other. Annual visits to Jenny Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park were an important element of her spiritual renewal. After retirement in 2013, they moved to Jackson, Wyoming, where Monica proclaimed, “My body has finally joined my spirit.” Giving back through volunteer work was paramount to Monica. She served on the board of directors for the Senior Center of Alexandria and First Night-Alexandria, and volunteered for numerous children’s literacy programs. Monica loved riding horses and volunteered with the Jackson Hole Therapeutic Riding Association. In the summer of 2016, she became a rider herself at JHTRA after suffering a major brain hemorrhage. In spite of the grueling physical therapy, Monica maintained her positive spirit and resiliency, often saying, “My new purpose is to inspire others by how I handle the adversity in my life.”
John F. Cawley ’56 MA, ’62 Ph.D
John F. Cawley ’56 MA, ’62 Ph.D passed away on February 9, 2018 leaving his wife, Louise, children and grandchildren. He received his MA and Ph.D from UConn and was on faculty as a Professor in Special Education and Grantsman and later a Professor Emeritus. It has been been said “his professional interests in curriculum and teaching caused special educators’ to focus, as it should be, on students learning ” and that his “ideas about learning and curriculum were highly innovative and accurate”. He authored numerous books on special education.
Roslyn (Swirsky) Dresner ’55 (NUR)
Roslyn (Swirsky) Dresner ’55 (NUR), 84, of Newington, Conn, died on April 1, 2017. Born in New Haven, she was the daughter of the late Mix and Esther (Himmelstein) Swirsky. For nearly 60 years, she was the beloved wife of Alfred J. Dresner. She was the adored mother of Debra and Mara. An honors graduate of the UConn School of Nursing, she worked as a registered nurse in both Mass. and Conn., concluding her career at The Hospital of Central Conn., New Britain General. She was very active in Women’s League for Conservative Judaism, serving in many capacities, most notably as President of the CT Valley Branch.