Katherine Dresdner

Obituary of Katherine Dresdner

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Katherine W. Dresdner, nee Katherine Van Duyne Winans, "Kay", died peacefully February 23, 2011 at the Medical Center of Princeton, Princeton, New Jersey. Kay Dresdner was the only child of Robert A. Winans and Katherine B. Winans born on April 8, 1929 in Jersey City, New Jersey. She grew up in Glen Ridge, New Jersey. Kay graduated from The Stuart Hall School in Staunton, Virginia. In June 1950 she received her B.A. degree from Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts and that month married K. Philip Dresdner at St. Bartholomew's Chapel in New York City. They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary this past June. Kay raised her family in Upper Montclair, New Jersey where she was an active volunteer for many years working in Children's Theatre of the Montclair Junior League, in Mountainside Hospital, and as a Docent at the Montclair Art Museum. She enjoyed tennis year round and skated with the Essex Skating Club. Her passion for gardening began when she was a child. Kay was a member of the Montclair Garden Club and served as its President in 1975 through 1977. While President of the Montclair Garden Club she supervised a major civic project- a large water fountain surrounded by a flower bed in Montclair's central business district. Working from her home as a landscape designer, she designed and installed many private gardens with significant water features throughout Essex County, New Jersey. In 1980, Kay received a Certificate in Landscape Design from The New York Botanical Gardens. Later that year Kay and her husband moved to Princeton where she continued her commitment to volunteerism as a driver for The Lawrenceville School Infirmary. Kay then founded her second landscape design business. She designed and supervised the installation and care of gardens and landscapes for many large private residences in the Princeton area; her work including her own residence where she created formal rose and perennial garden beds, a hillside of daffodils, a reflecting pool, and planted specimen trees. Among the specimen trees of significance are a large espaliered magnolia and a maturing white oak that she grew from an acorn of the historic Mercer Oak in the Princeton Battlefield State Park. Her gardens have been featured on many garden tours including tours of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. In 1986, The Lawrenceville School's Katherine W. Dresdner Cup was created following the Board's decision to begin admitting girls to the School. The Dresdner Cup recognizes the athletic competitions of girls in an equal manner as the boys' competitions at the School. The most important athletic prize awarded to girls, the Dresdner Cup is presented annually to the girls' Crescent House with the best record in House and Sports Competitions each year. Throughout her life Kay planned the creation of classic beauty and elegance inside her home and out in the world. A member of the Garden Club of Princeton, where she had been a chair of the Horticultural Committee, Kay was known for her extraordinary horticultural knowledge and received a special recognition award in 2007. Kay was a renaissance intellectual with interests that knew no bounds and strong opinions; she loved a good argument among friends. She supported the work of the ASPCA; the Humane Society; The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga, New York; Retired Thoroughbred Race Horses; the Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Association; and the Hopewell Valley Citizens Group. She will be remembered as a "dog person" with a special fondness for Golden Retrievers and for her knowledge of thoroughbred horse breeding and racing. Kay also loved to sail and travel with family. In her later years she preferred to be at home with her Golden Retrievers Beecher and Belle at her side, reading, working on her beautiful gardens, and playing bridge with friends. Kay is survived by her husband, K. Philip Dresdner; by her children Katherine V. Dresdner, Esq. of Hopewell, N.J., Dr. Karl P. Dresdner, Jr. of West Windsor, N. J., Robert P. Dresdner, Esq. and his wife Avril G. Dresdner of Vienna, Virginia, and William W. Dresdner and his wife Lynne Lacroix Dresdner of Montpelier, Virginia; and by her grandchildren Katherine E. Dresdner, Theodore G. Dresdner, Maura K. Dresdner, and Brendan P. Dresdner; and by Brooke, her Golden Retriever. Calling hours will be on Monday, February 28 from 4 to 6 p.m. at The Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, 40 Vandeventer Ave., Princeton, N.J. A Memorial Celebration will be held at The Lawrenceville School Chapel, Lawrenceville, New Jersey on Tuesday, March 1 at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, please send memorial donations in Kay's honor to SAVE, 900 Herrontown Rd., Princeton, New Jersey 08540 (609) 924-3802.
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