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Obituary: Zilita “Zil” Deshon Black

Zilita (Zil) Deshon Black, 90, of Stamford, Conn., passed away peacefully at her home on Dec. 19.

Zilita was born in Philadelphia, Penn., on Nov. 27, 1922 to Gruzilla and Ralph Deshon.

She attended Grey Court School in Stamford, and graduated with honors from Finch Jr. College in 1941. Zilita married the late William (Bill) A. Black on Jan. 20, 1945 in New York, N.Y., at the Church of the Covenant. Throughout her life Zilita called many places home including Nicaragua, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa, Puerto Rico, North Carolina and Greenwich, Conn. Wherever she lived she volunteered her time, talent and love to enrich the lives of those around her.

Zilita lived an active and adventurous life — Zil was involved in summer stock theater in Rye Beach, N.H., was one of the first women bank tellers during World War 2, started a puppet theater in Singapore, and bred Rhodesian Ridgebacks in South Africa. She was an active member of the Presbyterian Church, establishing an aid to Haiti program in New Bern, N.C., spearheading many fundraisers for the church, and serving as a Deacon at Old Greenwich Presbyterian. While living in Chapel Hill, N.C. she was President of the Board of the Senior Center and served on the Board at Edgehill Senior Living Community in Stamford, Conn., where she moved in 2001. Zil loved life; she will be remembered for her winning smile, her quick wit, her skilled Bridge game, and her annual Kentucky Derby party, her favorite sporting event of the year.

Zil is survived by her children, Jonathan Black of Fairfield, Conn.; retired Lt. Col. Christopher Black of Belton, Texas; Meredith Schoff of Darien, Conn.; William Black of Phoenixville, Penn.; her brother Ralph (Bob) Deshon of Indiatlantic, Fla., 11 grandchildren, Karen Snyder, Laurie Stefanowicz,  Jeffrey and Michael Black of Connecticut, Colleen Chernock and David Black of Texas, Emily and Ryan Black of Pennsylvania, and Andrew, Kate and Tripp Schoff of Darien, and eight great grandchildren.

In Zil’s words: “I had the best life anyone could have.”

A Memorial service will be held at Noroton Presbyterian Church in Darien on Saturday, Jan. 5, at 3 p.m. with a reception to follow at the church.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Connecticut Hospice of Norwalk, 1 Park Street Norwalk, CT, 06851

Funeral arrangements are being handled through Lawrence Funeral Home Darien, Conn., lawrencefuneralhome.com

—By the Family

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