MONTGOMERY Gratia ``Topsy'', of Round Hill in South Dartmouth, MA, died Sunday, February 20, 2005 at her home. She was 77 years old. Topsy was known for her boundless enthusiasm and generosity, which she spread over a vast array of charitable organizations which included Southeastern Massachusetts University, The Animal Rescue League, St. Luke's Hospital, The New Bedford Whaling Museum, Dartmouth Natural Resource Trust, and Woodshole Oceanographic Institute. Born and raised in New York City, she was the daughter of the late Alan G. Rinehart and Gratia Houghton Rinehart. Topsy came to South Dartmouth for the summers at a young age and eventually settled here. While often traveling the world on various philanthropic quests, she always looked forward to returning to the peace and serenity of South Dartmouth. A long time friend, supporter and Honorary Trustee of the Woodshole Oceanographic Institute, Topsy had been affiliated with WHOI for more than three decades. While involved, she supported a number of the Institute's education programs, helping dozens of summer student fellows, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows launch oceanographic careers. Her commitment to coastal research was recognized by WHOI when she was awarded the Cecil H. Green Award for outstanding individual contributions to oceanographic research. Topsy came from a distinguished family. She was the greatgreat granddaughter of Amory Houghton Sr., founder of Corning, Inc.; granddaughter of mystery writer Mary Roberts Rinehart; and daughter of the late Alan G. Rinehart, former editor and producer for Paramount Pictures. In addition, her late uncle, Arthur Houghton Jr., owned the historic Wye Plantation on Maryland's Eastern Shore. She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Peter and Nancy Allatt of Greenwich, CT, three grandchildren, one step-granddaughter and two greatgrandchildren, two nieces and one nephew. Her memorial service will take place on Saturday the 19th of March at 11AM in Grace Episcopal Church, 422 County St., New Bedford, MA, followed by a reception at the Wamsutta Club across the street from the church. Information: Wilson Chapel, 479 County St., New Bedford. Remembrances may be made in her name to the Taiping Foundation, which she founded in 1964, C/O Market St. Trust, 80 E. Market Street, Corning, NY 14830.
Published by New York Times on Mar. 2, 2005.