Natalie Benedict Burwell, of Millwood, Virginia, passed away on February 24, 2010 at Westminster Canterbury, Winchester, VA. She was born November 23, l921, in Columbus, Ohio, the daughter of Cyrus Hutchinson Benedict and Dorothy Wright Benedict.
Mrs. Burwell attended Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Massachusetts, Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, and Katharine Gibbs in New York City.
During World War II, she worked on aerial photography for the U. S. Navy at the Quonset Naval Base in Rhode Island. After the war, she moved to New York City where she was on Nelson Rockefeller's staff while he was involved with setting up the Museum of Modern Art, working with the United Nations, and managing Rockefeller Center. Subsequently, she became a member of the editorial staff of Mademoiselle Magazine.
Living in Greenwich Village on Manhattan, she met and, in 1953, married Charles Burwell, founding president of Thaibok Fabrics, Ltd. They have two children; Carter Benedict Burwell, who has composed music for dozens of movies, and Belinda Lee Burwell, a veterinarian, who is founding president of the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center.
In 1956, the Burwells acquired a commuting home in Darien, Connecticut, where Mrs. Burwell taught mathematics at Plumfield Elementary School, which her children attended. In addition to her various volunteer activities in the community, Mrs. Burwell enjoyed playing guitar and singing, which was a joy to her family and friends.
After both children had left for college, she and her husband moved back to the Burwell family home in Clarke County, Virginia. While there, she became president of the Greenway Garden Club, co-founding president of the League of Women Voters of Clarke County, a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Shenandoah Valley, and a member of the Board of Grafton School. She has also been a Gold Medal Volunteer with Concern Hotline, and a docent at both "Historic Long Branch" and the "Burwell Morgan Mill."
Surviving with her husband are the two children, Carter Burwell with his wife Christine Sciulli, of New York City; and Dr. Belinda Burwell with her husband James Klenkar, of Millwood; also four grandchildren, Anna Lee Klenkar, Stephen Klenkar, Tycho Burwell, and Tor Burwell; as well as a sister, Eleanore Benedict Hoar, of New Canaan, CT. A brother, John Dudley Benedict, is deceased.
A memorial service will be held at Old Chapel on Bishop Mead Road in Boyce on Saturday, February 27, at 2 pm, followed by a reception at the Millwood Country Club.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center, P. O. Box 326, Millwood, VA, 22646. (Tel: 540-837-9000)
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Published in Northern Virginia Daily on Feb. 25, 2010.