Eleanor S. Gadd of Bloomfield, Conn., and Chilmark died on Friday, December 16, at Duncaster Retirement Community in Bloomfield at the age of 90.
Eleanor was born at home on Elizabeth Street in Hartford, Conn., on August 4, 1921, to Beatrice Dunham and James Barnett Slimmon. Soon after, brothers Robert and James arrived to complete the family. They moved from Elizabeth Street to the (Collins) “Block,” which is now the site of St. Francis Hospital. Surrounded by many cousins, aunts, and uncles, they enjoyed a magical childhood. In addition, the Slimmon family summered in Weekapaug, R.I.
Eleanor went to Oxford School in Hartford from pre-school through 12th grade, where she made many life-long friends. She attended Wellesley College and was a graduate of Connecticut College for Women in 1943. She volunteered at the Colt Arms Factory in Hartford as an inspector to support the war effort.
Eleanor taught nursery school before marrying Frank W. Gadd, also of Hartford and Weekapaug, in 1948. They raised three daughters in West Hartford and summered in Chilmark starting in 1954. For Eleanor, the Vineyard was the perfect spot and she had a lifetime love affair with the Island and the wonderful community that is the Vineyard.
She loved the spring when the flowers and foliage would burst forth and enjoyed starting her many seedlings and plants for her vegetable garden. She and her friend Grace Upson were among the first vendors at the West Tisbury Farmers Market. She and Frank enjoyed many hours sailing the Vineyard waters but an especially good day was one in which she caught a bluefish off the sailboat. She loved fishing off the north and south shore beaches up Island, clamming in Quitsa and Menemsha Ponds, playing tennis, joining her pals on the Abel’s Hill Beach and tending the vegetables, flowers, and cantaloupes in her garden. The Vineyard was her favorite place to be, and she appreciated the gentle simplicity of Island life.
Eleanor will be remembered for all of the above and for her great love of her family, for her kindness, generosity, and unfailing sense of humor. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
Eleanor was predeceased by her parents, her husband Frank and by her brother Bob Slimmon. She leaves behind her daughters; Emily B. Gadd of Bozeman, Mont., and Chilmark, Carol P. Gadd and her partner, John Bower, of Newington Conn., and Frances G. Demers and her husband, Philip J., and grandsons Daniel G. and John W., all of Chilmark, her brother Jim and sister-in-law Julie of Bloomfield, Conn., and sister-in-law Terri Slimmon of Jacksonville, Fla., as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
There will be an Abel’s Hill Cemetery service near the end of June. Memorial donations may be made to The Vineyard Conservation Society, P.0. Box 2189, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568 or a Hospice of your choice.