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Elsie Ashford, Namesake of Borden Cow

Artist and author Elsie L. Ashforth died of a heart attack in Greenwich on Oct. 30. She was 96.

In the 1930s, Ashforth was a model for John Robert Powers talent agency. Her name was used for the female cow, Elsie, wife to the bull Elmer, in the famous Borden Milk cartoon commercials.

A talented artist, particularly in watercolor, she exhibited her work in New York and Connecticut, and only stopped painting in her 80s, when she published her memoirs.

Ashford is survived by daughter Christina L. Madden; son Peter Madden; stepchildren, Mrs. Eldon Harvey Jr., Marna A. Geoffroy and Alden Ashforth; and 14 step-grandchildren, 30 step-great-grandchildren and two step-great-great-grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her first husband James H. Madden, her second husband H. Adams Ashforth, who had been chairman of the board of the Ashforth Co., a commercial real estate firm with properties on both coasts; son Michael Madden; and stepson Henry A. Ashforth Jr.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Round Hill Community Church, 395 Round Hill Road, Greenwich, CT 06831.

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