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Hanne N. Williams, 76, of Fayston, passed away on November 23, 2011, at the Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin after a spirited battle with cancer, with her family at her side.
Hanne was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1934, the daughter of Tage and Gerda (Christiansen) Nielsen. Hanne moved with family to the United States as a young girl and grew up in New Canaan, CT. She grew up with a passion for and was a participant in the Royal Danish Ballet, sailing and horseback riding, with a highlight of showing at Madison Square Garden.
Hanne attended Rosemary Hall and graduated from Vassar College in 1956. Hanne and her husband Arthur moved to Vermont in 1957 where they taught in one-room schoolhouses in Moretown and Fayston. Hanne served as the first executive director of the Vermont Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), a position she held for over 40 years until her retirement in 2010. Hanne also was the executive director of the New England Chapter of the AIA for 10 years.
After moving to Vermont, Hanne took up piloting gliders, earning her solo license. She also was one of the first women polo players in The Valley. Hanne was active in the Mad River Valley Players where she acted in numerous productions. Hanne also enjoyed skiing and was passionate about tennis, playing numerous times a week, and in recent years was an avid Zumba participant. Hanne volunteered many hours to school boards, the American Red Cross, the Mad River Valley Festival of the Arts and numerous other charities.
Hanne was loved and admired by friends and family. She is survived by her sister, Birgit Deeds of Charlotte; her husband, Arthur; her daughter, Astrid, and her sons, Nate and John, and their spouses; four grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
A private burial in the Bragg Hill Cemetery, Fayston, will be followed by a celebration of her life to be held at 3 p.m. at the Round Barn Farm in Waitsfield on December 3, 2011. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Hanne N. Williams Scholarship Fund, c/o the Vermont Chapter of the AIA, 88 Blanchard Lane, Charlotte, VT 05445. To send online condolences please visit www.perkinsparker.com and Facebook. Assisting the family is the Perkins-Parker Funeral Home in Waterbury.