Eleanor C. Gravdahl
Eleanor was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and was the daughter of Carl W. and Olga (Petersen) Johnson. She graduated from Bay Ridge High School and Syracuse University, where she majored in art education. While at Syracuse University, she was a member of the Alpha Chi Omega Sorority. She remained active in the sorority for most of her life and maintained lifelong friendships with her sorority sisters.
During their marriage, Eleanor and her husband John resided in Brooklyn, Livingston, N.J., and Wynnewood and Gladwyne, Penn. After spending many summers in Jamestown, Eleanor and John retired to their beloved Birdview in Jamestown.
Eleanor was active in community groups in both Philadelphia and Jamestown. While living in Pennsylvania, she was a volunteer and member of various women’s auxiliaries at Lankenau Hospital in Philadelphia and held the office of president of the Lankenau Hospital Women’s board for several years. After moving to Jamestown, she was active in the Jamestown Community Theater, the Conanicut Island Art Association, the garden club, the Jamestown Historical Society, and St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church. She served as president of both art association and the garden club. She was also a member of the Newport Art Museum, the Dumplings Association and the Conanicut Yacht Club.
Eleanor’s passion in life was painting. She worked in many mediums including pastels, pen and ink, watercolor and oils. She had a true gift of capturing the light, color, texture and nuance of whatever she drew or painted.
The love of Eleanor’s life was her family. She is survived by her son Jeffrey Gravdahl and wife Christina of Villanova, Penn., her daughter Nancy Sall and partner Gordon Potter of Bryn Mawr, Penn., and her daughter Barbara Lee Trout and husband Robert of Jamestown. She is also survived by her grandchildren and greatgrandchildren and extended family members: Jennifer Sall and partner Liz Hardwick, Elizabeth Sall, Kathryn Sall, Anja Brannstrom, Kirsten Gravdahl and husband Gabriel Lein, Josh Trout and wife Molly and daughters Ava and Katherine, Michael Sall, and Susan Gravdahl Parsons, as well as beloved friends, nieces, nephews and cousins both here in the states and in Norway, and her much loved golden retriever, Tucker. She was predeceased by her brother, Carl William Johnson Jr.
A memorial service and celebration of Eleanor’s life will be held in August. Interment will be private.
Memorial contributions may be made in her name to the Jamestown EMS, 11 Knowles Court, Jamestown, RI 02835, or to the Newport Hospital Foundation, 11 Friendship St., Newport, RI 02840.