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JAMES--Ardis Butler, of Stamford, CT, previously of Chappaqua, NY, died July 7, 2011 at the age of 85. Ardis was a native of Nebraska and received a honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Doane College in Crete, Nebraska in 2010. Ardis was survived by her husband, Robert G. James of Stamford CT, her daughter Catherine (Louis) Paglia of Greenwich CT, her son Ralph (Janice) James of Swampscott, MA, and her grandchildren Gregory James, Katherine James, Rebecca James, Samuel Paglia and Helen Paglia. She was preceded in death by her son, Robert G. James Jr. Ardis' greatest passion in life after her family was her love of quilting and fabric arts. She began collecting quilts in 1976 and, together with her husband, assembled an extensive and influential collection of antique and contemporary quilts. In 1997, they donated their collection of nearly 1000 quilts to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and founded the International Quilt Study Center & Museum, known as Quilt House. The mission of Quilt House is to collect, preserve, study, exhibit and promote discovery of quilts and quilt-making traditions from many cultures, countries and times. Ardis was an active member of the Mt. Kisco Presbyterian Church and was an elder in the Presbyterian Church for many years. Burial will be private. A memorial service will be held on August 24, 2011 at 10:00am at Mt. Kisco Presbyterian Church, Mt. Kisco, NY. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Quilt House, International Quilt Study Center, University of Nebraska Foundation, 1010 Lincoln Mall, Suite 300, Lincoln, NE 68508. To leave online condolences, please visit

Published in The New York Times on July 12, 2011
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