Elizabeth Ann Grange, 99, longtime volunteer

Elizabeth A. Grange
Elizabeth A. Grange
Posted: January 15, 2014

Elizabeth Ann Schwarz Grange, 99, of Bryn Mawr, a volunteer for many years, died Tuesday, Jan. 7, of age-related causes at Beaumont at Bryn Mawr.

A native of Syracuse, N.Y., Mrs. Grange moved to Merion with her parents as a child. She attended the Shipley School until 1929 and graduated from Westover School, a boarding school in Middlebury, Conn.

In 1935, she married Francis R. Strawbridge Jr., who became an executive of the family's Strawbridge & Clothier department stores. The couple had three children before divorcing in 1958.

In 1960, she married Herman K. Grange, who died in 1980. Mrs. Grange moved to Beaumont at Bryn Mawr, a retirement community, in 1988.

Mrs. Grange served as president of the Junior League of Philadelphia from 1942 to 1944.

She also was president of the Philadelphia-based Ralston House - now Ralston Center - from 1954 to 1957. The organization helps improve the quality of life for older adults. She served on the center's board of managers, actively and then as a member emerita, for 50 years.

Mrs. Grange served two terms as president of the Garden Workers, an affiliate of the Garden Club of America. The first was in 1956 and 1957, the second from 1974 to 1976. She is the only one to have held the post twice, her family said.

The garden club presented her with its Medal of Merit in 1979 and its Gold Medal of Conservation in 1989.

Mrs. Grange loved growing flowers and did so even at Beaumont in a tiny garden.

In addition to gardening, Mrs. Grange enjoyed needlepoint and decoupage, the art of applying cut paper to a surface and finishing it with varnish. She was devoted to her large family.

"She was a very open, loving person, always interested in other people and what they were doing," said her son, Francis R. Strawbridge III. "She was admired and respected by friends in the Garden Club and wherever she went."

She was a member of the Society of Colonial Dames.

Besides her son, she is survived by another son, David W. Strawbridge; a daughter, Elizabeth Ann Nord; nine grandchildren; 12 great grandchildren; a brother; and stepdaughters Ann G. Hess and Banning Flynn.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14, at the Church of the Redeemer, 230 Pennswood Rd., Bryn Mawr, Pa. 19010. Burial is private.

Donations may be made to the church or the Ralston Center, 3615 Chestnut St., Philadelphia 19104.




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