By the Family
Oct. 5, 2016: Elsie M. Hall, 92, longtime resident of Bronxville, died peacefully at home on August 8, 2016.
Predeceased by her husband, William Worth Hall, she is survived by her children, Martin (wife Katherine), Kenneth (wife Katherine), Patricia, and Christina, along with grandchildren Nicholas, Samuel, and Julia.
Born in Chicago of Swedish parents, her family soon returned to Sweden to live at their country estate in Delsbo. Ranked at the top of her secondary school class in Stockholm, Elsie was impatient to experience "real life" and took a position at the Swedish women's magazine Vi Damer, where she dazzled colleagues with her creative talents. After only a few months on the job, she was appointed editor-in-chief, the youngest in the magazine's history, and she went on to greatly enhance the magazine's appeal and circulation. She was the first female journalist in Sweden to ride in a helicopter, one of many adventures made possible by her position.
She met her husband, Bill, in the home of her parents. He was running Standard Oil (now known as Exxon Mobil) in Sweden at a time when Sweden was one of the few places in a world at war where citizens of Axis and Allied countries could meet.
Many great adventures followed, including travels on all seven continents, crossing the Sahara Desert, appearing as otherworldly spirits to African villagers when walking out of the jungle in black tux and shimmering white gown, flying precipitously into Saigon to avoid enemy fire during the war years, calming nervous guards at Checkpoint Charlie, and driving down the Alps to Milan with only the handbrake working to get Bill to his plane on time.
Living variously in Rome, New York, Stockholm, and Lisbon, Elsie and Bill were blessed with one child born in each city before finally settling in Bronxville to raise their four young children.
In the ensuing years, Elsie and Bill never lost their taste for travel and adventure, taking extensive summer trips as a family to Alaska, Mexico, Russia, and the French Alps, always skiing during the winter months.
A devoted wife and mother, Elsie had a keen intellectual curiosity and kept up her passionate interest in music, journalism, and international affairs. Among her local interests, she served as head of the international relations arm of the League of Women Voters, where she persuaded many well-known speakers to address the group.
In addition to her children and grandchildren, Elsie leaves behind many family members and friends in the US, Sweden, and elsewhere: dear American cousins Marilyn, Nancy, and Ginny (predeceased) and their families; her much-loved Swedish nieces and nephew, Susanne, Catarina, Charlotte, and Christian; and half-siblings Kerstin and Jan-Olaf, along with their families.
A memorial service will be held at The Reformed Church in Bronxville on November 19 at 11:00 am.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in her name to The Reformed Church of Bronxville Music Ministry, 180 Pondfield Road, Bronxville, NY 10708.
Vila i frid med all vår kärlek (rest in peace with all our love).