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Gordon Henry Remembers Ahdel

Dear David,

When I learned this afternoon that Ahdel had died last night, I posted a message on our Paschal Class of 1963 closed group Facebook page. In it I shared a small part of the reminiscing that I have done this month and last. Here is what I posted:


Ahdel Chadwick, age 98, mother of our classmate David Chadwick, died last night. He was with her, as he has been for quite some time. When David and I were children, our parents were good friends. I was with his mother and father many times. David's father died when he was 11. (That loss always greatly affected my mother because she too had lost her father when she was 11.) Ahdel and my parents remained friends for the rest of their lives. I'm not sure that I can remember not knowing Ahdel. My mother and Ahdel did not have identical beliefs and opinions, but they were the very best of friends. They kept in close touch for decades. They shared an intense interest in music, and they greatly enjoyed each other's company.

Ahdel was calm, focused, and extremely intelligent. She was a superb conversationalist. She had a twinkle in her eye, a great many interests, and a strong love of family. She was especially proud of her son David and her daughter Susan.

Not long ago Ahdel and I discovered a remarkable coincidence. When she was in college at Vassar many years ago, one of her music professors was Quincy Porter. Later he became a music professor at Yale, where his parents had taught when he was growing up. Quincy Porter was a great teacher, and he won a Pulitzer Prize. In the years immediately preceding his retirement, he also served as the master of Pierson College, a residential college at Yale. I lived in Pierson College, and one of my favorite jobs involved working as a college aide for Quincy Porter. I was in his home many times. Photography was his hobby, and I frequently thought about that when photography became my hobby ten years ago. I was working for Quincy Porter when he retired at the end of my sophomore year, and I attended his funeral when he died during my senior year. He was a great man, but I only learned recently that Ahdel Chadwick's life was also touched by this remarkable man. (I have a friend who has long told me that everything connects.)

Please remember all of Ahdel Chadwick's family, and especially David, in this time of great loss.


March 9, 2013