Gretchen Shane Swackhamer, a former Ridgefielder, died after suffering a heart attack in Ventura, Calif. on Sunday, Sept. 30. She was 87.
The daughter of writer Margaret “Peggy” Woodward and humorist Ted Shane, she was born in Ridgefield in 1931. Gretchen attended Oakwood Friends School in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and Bennington (Vt.) College. While at Bennington she met E.W. Swackhamer and the two were married in 1951 at her parents’ home on North Salem Road. During her marriage, she modeled for fashion photographer Richard Avedon, to whom she was introduced by photographer Diane Arbus, a mutual friend. She also did research work for The Ridgefield Press’s Diamond Jubilee edition in the early 1950s.