Anne S. Blackwell, 73, writer, poet, volunteer
Anne Stires Blackwell of Ridgefield, CT and Nantucket, MA died on August 10, 2014. She was 73 years old. Anne, who refused to be called “Mrs. Blackwell,” was born in Manhattan to Jane Van Cott Stires and Hardwick Stires and was one of five girls.
She was the granddaughter of Right Rev. Ernest M. Stires, the 3rd Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island.
Early in life she was a model and dancer. She attended the Brearley School, Briarcliffe College, and received her BA in English from Sarah Lawrence College. She married James Madison Blackwell IV, whom she met while both were working on a political campaign for a New York City councilman, in 1963. Their perfect marriage lasted until his death in 2003.
In the early 1960s, she was a copy writer at Vogue magazine in New York City. The Blackwells moved to Ridgefield in 1968, living at first on Silver Spring Lane and in 1973 acquiring their 18th-Century home on Old South Salem Road. From 1977-1985, she was a co-owner of a specialty shop for collectors and builders of miniatures in Ridgefield called “Small Joys.”
Anne was a regular volunteer at the Ridgefield Thrift Shop, where she was also a past president. First and foremost always a writer, she was a published poet and considered poetry her true calling. She also wrote a popular weekly column in the Ridgefield Press for the Thrift Shop. Anne generously supported many charitable organizations. She enjoyed tennis and dance, and spent most of her summers on Nantucket Island. She was a member of the Silver Spring Country Club and the Caudatowa Garden Club of Ridgefield.
She is survived by two of sisters, Sidney Stires Stark and Sheila Stires Lloyd; her three children, Stephen Hardwick Blackwell of Knoxville, Tenn., Hillary Blackwell Abrams (Paul) of Bethel, CT, and Carolyn Blackwell Hewson (John) of Philadelphia, PA; and five grandchildren. Anne was preceded in death by two of her sisters, Sally Gratwick and Lesley Freeman. A celebration of her life will take place on Thursday, August 14 at 12:00pm at the Silver Spring Country Club. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to the Alzheimer's Association. The Kane Funeral Home of 25 Catoonah Street in Ridgefield is in charge of arrangements.