Canton college roommates and sorority sisters meet up again – 60 years later, at Canton-Potsdam Hospital
Tuesday, July 1, 2014 - 6:02 am

Ortha Whitmore Sibbitts of Canton is on the right and Connie Leary McLaughlin of Brasher is in the middle in this photo from their sorority days 60 years ago.

POTSDAM – Women from Canton and Brasher in the same room at Canton-Potsdam Hospital discovered they were old friends, former college roommates and sorority sisters that hadn’t seen each other in 60 years.

Ortha Whitmore Sibbitts of Canton and Connie Leary McLaughlin of Brasher were roommates and members of Alpha Chi Omicron who met at Canton Agricultural and Technical Institute – now SUNY Canton -- in 1953 when both were in the food service nutrition program, according to Ortha’s son, Gary. They both graduated the next year.

“They had been on a New York City field trip together,” Gary said. He now lives in St. Louis; his brother Paul is still in Canton; sister Elaine Noble lives now in Potsdam, sister Marie Montgomery lives in Auburn, and sister Gail Steigerwald lives in Moravia.

The clan was in Canton to celebrate Mrs. Sibbitts’ 80th birthday last week.

Gary said his mother had shown some signs of pneumonia, so she was admitted to C-PH. Not long after arriving, she discovered her old pal in the next bed.

“Connie just told my mom how she would go crazy if she didn't have my mom to talk to,” Gary emailed. “They are so cute, so feisty and fresh. A lot of laughs.”

Gary said Connie was being released, and that his mother was feeling better.