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Greenwich Artist Hilda Cardwell Dies at 97

GREENWICH, Conn. – Hilda Strait Cardwell, of Riverside, died April 23. She was 97.

A memorial service will be held June 23 at 11 a.m. at the First Congregational Church in Old Greenwich.

Born in Yonkers, N.Y., to Josephine and Henry William Brandt, she graduated from Traphagen School of Design in New York City and became a fashion designer. Cardwell received many awards in both local and national art shows. In 1935, she married Almuth Vandiveer Strait of Yonkers, where they lived until moving to Greenwich in 1940.

A past president of the Old Greenwich Art Society, Cardwell displayed her work in national shows for the American Pen Women at Lever House in New York City, Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Hudson River Museum and the Bruce Museum.

Cardwell was selected to participate in "A Day of Portraits" held at Christ Church in Greenwich for the benefit of the Washington Cathedral. She painted numerous portraits, among them a child of the Bush family.

In 1979, she married Wallace Cardwell of Clearwater, Fla., who predeceased her. For many years, they maintained homes in Florida and Connecticut. Throughout her lifetime, Cardwell was passionate about gardening and flowers. She enjoyed the many varieties in her garden and portrayed them in her paintings.

She was an active member of the Greenwich Art Society, Old Greenwich Art Society, American Pen Women and the Riverside Garden Club. For many years, Cardwell taught painting at the YWCA and privately. Her work can be found in many private and corporate collections, including IBM and Texasgulf, and her murals hang in many hotels.

Cardwell is survived by three sons, Dr. A. Vandiveer (Julia) Strait, of Stamford, William H. (Diane) Strait, of Mandeville, La., and Donald Perry (Cindy) Strait, of Newtown; seven grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and a step-daughter, Janet Cardwell, of Virginia.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the New England Wildflower Society, 180 Hemenway Road, Framingham, MA 01701.

Funeral arrangements were handled by Leo P. Gallagher Funeral Home in Stamford.

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