The Unionville community lost a remarkable woman when Georgianna Hannum Stapleton passed away in the early hours of Jan. 17.
Georgie was a kind, generous and hospitable friend to me and to so many others. She was smart, beautiful, lively, curious, stylish and utterly hilarious. She was so brave, stoic and matter-of-fact about her long illness that a lot of people didn't even know she was sick.
Georgie, who always took a great interest in people, was an avid reader of "Unionville in the News" from the beginning. Early in this column's existence, she invited me to brunch -- she was an amazing hostess -- and I wrote an item about it afterward, something about how you could be sure of having a great time when she was around.
My mistake was using exactly the same line in my thank-you note to her.
Of course, she put two and two together immediately, called me and cried, "YOU'RE TILDA!"
After that I would receive random -- always funny -- emails from her about the column, everything from wondering how I don't gain weight with all the restaurants I visit, to thanking me for promoting a sense of community.
Georgie and I were both on the Primitive Hall Board of Directors, and from experience I can say that she was someone you wanted in your corner when you were dealing with any kind of property transaction. The owner of Country Properties in Unionville, she was a shrewd businessperson, and often she'd wait until the end of a discussion and then state her well-reasoned opinion, and everyone would think, "But of course!"
I will miss her beautiful presence so much. My deepest sympathy to her husband, Walter, and her whole family.
And Georgie, trust me, I won't breathe a word about your deviled-egg secret.