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Zilita 'Zil' Black, 90, Formerly Of Greenwich

Zilita "Zil" Black
Zilita "Zil" Black Photo Credit:

STAMFORD, Conn. – Zilita “Zil” Deshon Black of Stamford died Dec. 19 at her home. She was 90.

Black was born Nov. 27, 1922, in Philadelphia to Gruzilla and Ralph Deshon. She attended Grey Court School in Stamford and graduated with honors from Finch Junior College in 1941. She married William “Bill” A. Black Jan. 20, 1945, in New York City, who predeceased her.

Throughout her life, Black called many places home, including Nicaragua, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa, Puerto Rico, North Carolina and Greenwich. Her family said  wherever she lived, she volunteered her time and talents to those around her.

She was involved in summer stock theater in Rye Beach, N.H., was one of the first women bank tellers during World War II, started a puppet theater in Singapore and bred Rhodesian Ridgebacks in South Africa.

Black was an active member of the Presbyterian Church, establishing a Haiti aid program in New Bern, N.C., overseeing many fundraisers for the church and serving as a deacon at Old Greenwich Presbyterian Church.

While living in Chapel Hill, N.C., she was president of the board of the senior center and served on the board at Edgehill Senior Living Community in Stamford, where she moved in 2001.

She is remembered by family for her love of life, her quick wit, skilled bridge game and her annual Kentucky Derby party.

Black is survived by four children, Jonathan Black, of Fairfield, Ret. Lt. Col. Christopher Black, of Belton, Texas, Meredith Schoff, of Darien, and William Black, of Phoenixville, Pa.; a brother, Ralph “Bob” Deshon, of Indiatlantic, Fla.; 11 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

There will be a memorial service at 3 p.m. Jan. 5 at Noroton Presbyterian Church in Darien. A reception will follow at the church. Edward Lawrence Funeral Home in Darien is handling the arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Connecticut Hospice of Norwalk, 1 Park St., Norwalk, CT, 06851.

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