Maree F. Rambo, arts patron and Grace Kelly bridesmaid

The bridesmaid dress Mrs. Rambo wore at Grace Kelly's wedding is now owned by the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
The bridesmaid dress Mrs. Rambo wore at Grace Kelly's wedding is now owned by the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Posted: March 12, 2012

Maree Frisby Rambo, 84, of Chestnut Hill, a patron of cultural and charitable organizations who was a bridesmaid to Princess Grace of Monaco, died of an apparent aneurysm at home Saturday, March 3.

In April 1956, Mrs. Rambo was Maree Pamp, one of the bridesmaids at the royal wedding of Grace Kelly - a friend from the Stevens School in Philadelphia - to Prince Rainier III of Monaco.

Kelly, an Academy Award-winning actress, had given up her career and was a princess after her storybook romance.

The Inquirer chronicled the bridesmaid's adventures leading up to the nuptials: Her purchase of a wardrobe from Lord & Taylor; the transatlantic crossing aboard the SS Constitution; and the theft of her jewelry along with the jewelry of other wedding guests at the Hotel de Paris.

After the wedding, the former bridesmaid and the princess kept in touch as their family lives evolved.

A few months after the wedding, Maree Pamp filed for divorce from her husband, Arvid A. Pamp, with whom she had a daughter, Linda. In 1958, she married Joseph Scheidt Rambo, a stockbroker. They had a daughter, Louise.

Mrs. Rambo and Princess Grace spoke on the phone, visited each other, and traveled together to Ireland, Switzerland, Canada, and California. The princess was Louise Rambo's godmother.

When Kelly was in Philadelphia, she and Mrs. Rambo would lunch on hamburgers and bloody Marys at Campbell's Place in Chestnut Hill, and "talk and giggle about old times and the people we knew," Mrs. Rambo told The Inquirer in 1982.

Princess Grace suffered a stroke and died while driving on a Riviera mountain road in September 1982. Mrs. Rambo and daughter Louise flew to Monaco for the funeral and stayed at the palace.

In 1997, Mrs. Rambo donated her yellow silk organdy bridesmaid dress to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which also owns Princess Grace's wedding dress.

Active on the Philadelphia social scene, Mrs. Rambo chaired fund-raisers for the Philadelphia Committee for the Homeless, the National Council on Alcoholism, and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. She was a member of the Women's Committee at Jefferson and was a volunteer at Monkey Business, a Chestnut Hill thrift shop formerly operated by the committee.

"She was the embodiment of style and sophistication, a must-have guest, the life of a party and someone whose company, wit, and conversing everyone enjoyed," her daughters wrote in a tribute.

Mrs. Rambo was a voracious reader and lover of animals and was a supporter of the ASPCA. Several years ago, while on vacation in the Cayman Islands, she found a dog wandering the beach, adopted it, and shipped him home, her daughters said.

Mrs. Rambo was a longtime member of the Philadelphia Cricket Club, Sunnybrook Golf Club, the Union League, and the Cape May Beach Club.

She is survived by daughters Linda Farnum and Louise Vanderlip; a stepdaughter, Wendy Shuford; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Joseph Rambo died in 1993. She was also predeceased by her first husband.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 13, at the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, 8000 St. Martins Lane, Philadelphia.

Donations may be made to the Abington Health Foundation, 1200 Old York Rd., Abington, Pa. 19001.


Contact Sally A. Downey

at 215-854-2913 or sdowney@phillynews.com.

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