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Hedi Strebi

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Hedi Strebi

JACKSONVILLE, VT. Hedi Strebi, 89, passed away on Thursday, September 3, 2015. Hedi was born and educated in Lucerne, Switzerland. As a young woman, she apprenticed in retail design, creating window displays for fashionable shops. While in Lucerne, Hedi met her future husband, Bob Strebi. The two shared a love of adventure, including kayaking and motorcycling, and in 1952 they married. In 1954 Hedi and Bob moved to New Jersey. There, after attending courses in fashion at NYU, she was hired by the purchasing department of the Peter Pan company. Peter Pan was then one of the nation's leading manufacturers of women's foundation garments. They were best known for their circular-stitched brassieres, which were marketed with the slogan, "The secret's in the circle." Hedi quickly rose through the ranks at Peter Pan, becoming an expert in the manufacturing and production process. As the 1960s dawned, she helped the company move away from stitched brassieres to the new molded cup design. After Peter Pan was sold, Hedi accepted a position at Kayser-Roth, another leading lingerie maker, with headquarters on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. There she served as the personal assistant to Ruth Hirschberg, Kayser-Roth's legendary vice president and fashion director. During their years working in New York, Bob and Hedi had discovered Southern Vermont. Both fell in love with the forested hills and pristine waters, and in the late 1950s they built a vacation home in Halifax. When it was time to retire, they built an addition to their home and moved permanently to Vermont. Both Hedi and Bob had discovered the joys of sailing on Harriman Reservoir, and, along with other local sailors, had helped found the Windham Sailing Club, now in its fourth decade. In retirement Hedi found many outlets for her energy, creativity, and love of design. Sewing, quilting, and furniture upholstery were favorite pastimes, and she was widely admired for her beautiful quilts and handbags. She was also a celebrated cook and, along with Bob, loved to entertain friends with authentic Swiss fondue. She even found time to learn how to play golf. But most of all, Hedi loved to be on the water. She spent countless hours sailing her Sunfish on Lake Whitingham even winning races. In her later years she became indispensible to the Windham Sailing Club as treasurer and in planning and organizing the Club's social activities. Several years ago, Hedi was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. But to the end, she always found a way to smile. She will be very much missed. FUNERAL NOTICE: Covey Allen Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements. There will be a memorial service for Hedi on Friday, September 11th, 2015 at 11a.m. at the Jacksonville Community Church, with a reception to follow. The Windham Sailing Club will host an additional remembrance at Lake Whitingham in October. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Jacksonville Community Church.
Published in Brattleboro Reformer on Sept. 9, 2015
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