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Julia Osler Hall

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BRADENTON, Fla. -- Julia O. Hall died in her sleep at the age of 98 in Bradenton on Aug. 17, 2005. She was born in Yonkers, N.Y., on Dec. 15, 1906, to the Rev. and Mrs. Charles H. Buck, DD.

She attended Knox School in Cooperstown, N.Y., and later graduated from Halsted High School. She received scholarships in drama and dance at King Smith Studio School.

Following graduation from King Smith, she appeared on the New York stage in several productions prior to her marriage to Dr. Woodhull S. Hall in 1934. Moving to Bennington, Vt., she presented monologues and appeared in local productions from time to time.

In addition to acting, her range of interests included art, literature, dance, music, piano, gardening, horseback riding, investment management, tennis, golf and old movies of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. She was particularly interested in politics and substantive conversation.

Of her musical ability, her teachers said “Julia has the best musical instinct and the best brain of any pupil I’ve seen. Everything she does is right! She possesses the rare gift of sensing the inner meaning of music.” She had a long run to an appreciative audience and performed with grace and dignity. She would consider her greatest contribution to be her family and her music.

While in her teens her family spent summers on Lake Champlain. Her interest in architecture and interior decoration led her to design and build a much beloved log cabin on Willsboro Point, N.Y. While she lived in New York City, Vermont and Florida, her heart was always in her beloved Adirondacks, especially along the shores of Lake Champlain. There it is that she shall remain forever. Those who knew “Jay” called her the life of the party and a special friend.

She treasured and valued her many friendships. She is remembered for generosity with her time, talent and resources. She had a well-developed sense of humor and enjoyed a good laugh. She was always interested in people and their stories. Her gift was the ability to relate to both young and old.

Her special qualities included integrity, honesty, loyalty, independence and stubbornness. She possessed great courage, overcoming many obstacles in her life with grace and triumph.

She is survived by her son, Stanton C. Hall; her daughter, Diantha W. Gravelle; her son-in-law, John Damrath Jr.; grandchildren, Stephen Hall, Thomas Hall, Susan Hameline, Jenny Doerr, Diantha Edwards, John Damrath III and William Damrath; great-grandchildren, Katie and James Edwards, Alyssa and Daniel Doerr, Rachel, John and Amanda Damrath, Jackson and Ella Hameline and Sarah and Amelia Hall. Their successes were important to her. She was predeceased by Dr. Woodhull S. Hall and their daughter, Judith O. Damrath.

A donation may be made in her name to the American Cancer Society. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 at the Old First Church, Old Bennington, Vt.
Published in Bennington Banner on Aug. 31, 2005
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