Helen Stroud Hamilton, former faculty member of the Philadelphia Museum School of Art and renowned illustrator of the Happy Hollister books, a thirty-two title series, died Saturday in Southampton, PA, at age 93. Her art was exhibited at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Carnegie Institute, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Library of Congress, where it is represented in the permanent collection. Born in 1921 to Ethel Finlay Stroud, she grew up in the Roxborough section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a girl, she traveled widely in Europe and North America. Helen graduated from Germantown Friends School and Wellesley College, where she won the prestigious hoop race in her senior year. After college, she taught color and design classes at the Philadelphia Museum School of Art (now called the University of the Arts). While teaching, she met William Henry Hamilton, her student, an artist and future library activist. They married in 1950. Soon after, she was selected to illustrate a new children’s book series being produced by the Stratemeyer Syndicate, publishers of Nancy Drew, The Bobbsey Twins and The Hardy Boys. The first Happy Hollister book appeared in 1953. Her work was also published by Prentice-Hall, Doubleday, Lippincott, Charles Merrill, and others. She and her husband worked on projects together in their Conshohocken home and while raising a family, became involved in community issues. Together with a small group of progressive neighbors, they published and distributed a newsletter called ‘The Alert” to inform residents about local political matters. Through their activism, they were able to establish the first public library in Whitemarsh Township, The William Jeanes Memorial Library. When the couple moved to Stuart, Florida, Helen continued her design work and community involvement. After returning to Pennsylvania in 2000, they settled at Twining Village in Southampton. Helen survived her husband by 12 years, teaching and creating vibrant tapestries. She is survived by her four children, Faith H. Gowan of Boulder, CO, Kate S. Hamilton of New Paltz, NY, Andrew S. Hamilton of Doylestown, PA, and Liz H. Appelson of Mt. Tremper, NY, and eight grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made in the name of Helen Stroud Hamilton to Fleisher Art Memorial. Send to the attention of Melissa Phegley, Fleisher Art Memorial, 719 Catherine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147.

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