Eleanor (Daniels) Bronson Hodge, a Falmouth resident for 40 years, died on May 9 in Falmouth. She was 101. Born in Worcester in November 1917, she was the daughter of the late Fred Harold and Eleanor Goddard Daniels.
Her family and friends admired her for her generosity, her wide-ranging friendships and interest in others, her grace, poise, and sense of humor, her precise and appealing use of language, and her spirituality and capacity for joy.
Known to many as Ellie, she was an open-minded and adventurous traveler and a perceptive chronicler -- skills and interests that were fueled by the year she spent in France as a college junior. She wrote: “[That year] nudged me out of complacency and set me searching and striving.”
Witty observations and thoughtful musings fill the journals she kept during her travels. She worked from those journals to write, illustrate, and self-publish five memoirs, the first in 1997, Sojourner: People and Places I Have Loved. In 2015 she published her last book, A Doughnut Girl Overseas, excerpts from letters she had written home to her parents when she served with the American Red Cross in England and France during World War II.
In the 1980s and early 1990s, she wrote and illustrated several travel articles for The Enterprise.
Mrs. Bronson Hodge attended the Bancroft School in Worcester and graduated from Miss Hall’s School in Pittsfield. She received a BA degree from Smith College in 1939 and an MA in art from Manhattanville College in 1975.
Before she served with the Red Cross in Europe, she was an editorial assistant for Houghton Mifflin Company in Boston. “I loved working with words, reading them, assessing them,” she wrote. She continued what she called “my book career” when she returned to the United States in 1946 and worked for the McMillan Company in New York.
In 1950 she married Samuel C. Bronson who shared her adventurous spirit and love of music.
The Bronsons lived in Stamford Connecticut for 25 years (from 1953-1979) with the exception of two life-changing years (1969-1971) that Mr. and Mrs. Bronson and their children, Peter and Amy, spent in Vienna, Austria. Those years were particularly significant for this family of faith. Mr. and Mrs. Bronson moved to Chapoquoit Island in West Falmouth in 1979. Mr. Bronson died in 1981.
In 1985, she married G. Stuart Hodge. During their 12 years together they divided their time between West Falmouth; Boynton Beach, Florida; and traveling the world.
Mr. Hodge died in 1997 and five years later (2002), she moved to Treetops on Woods Hole Road.
Starting as a child, she spent summers with her family in Woods Hole. They lived in rented houses until 1938 when her father closed on their Bar Neck Road house the day after the hurricane. As an adult she spend part of her summers in the cottage next to the larger family home.
Woods Hole was where Mrs. Bronson Hodge developed her love of sailing, tennis, and golf. She also enjoyed skiing, taking long walks with her dachshunds, and singing with her church choir, the Falmouth Chorale, and the Woods Hole Cantata.
Mrs. Bronson Hodge served on the editorial board of Spritsail, published by the Woods Hole Historical Collection.
She was a deaconess of the North Falmouth Church and a member of Neighborhood Falmouth and the Woods Hole Golf Club. She was an oblate member of the Community of Jesus in Orleans. From 1990 - 2000 she was a member of the Falmouth Academy Board of Trustees and was named a trustee emerita upon her retirement.
She was a former director of the Fred Harris Daniels Foundation.
She was predeceased by her brother Bruce G. Daniels and his wife, Janet.
She leaves a son: Peter G. Bronson and his wife, Ornella, of Norwalk, Connecticut; a daughter, Amy Bronson Key, and her husband, Wayne, of Hope Town, Abaco, Bahamas; a stepson, Rex Hodge and his wife, Debra-Price Hodge; a stepdaughter, Phoebe Hodge Farmer and her husband David Farmer; grandchildren Sarah Danielle Ingalls Jones of Tacoma, Washington, and Caroline Bronson Key and Julie Daniels Key, both of Hope Town; 10 great-grandchildren; as well as nieces and nephews Sarah Daniels Morse and her husband, Harvey; Judy Daniels Ott and her husband the Honorable Stanley Ott; Eleanor Daniels and her wife, Donna Broderick; Fred Daniels and his wife, Christine; Martha Daniels and her husband, Ezra Kreamer, and many great-nieces and nephews.
Interment will be at Stanwich Congregational Church Cemetery in Greenwich, Connecticut at 2 pm on June 2.
A memorial service will be held June 16 at 2 pm at the North Falmouth Congregational Church, 155 Old Main Road, North Falmouth.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made in her name to:
The Community of Jesus, 5 Bay View Drive, Orleans 02653, Falmouth Academy, 7 Highfield Drive, Falmouth 02540, Falmouth Hospital c/o Cape Cod Healthcare Foundation, PO Box 370, Hyannis 02601, The North Falmouth Congregational Church, PO Box 403, 02556, or The Eleanor Bronson Hodge Book Fund at The Woods Hole Library, P.O. Box 185, Woods Hole 02543.