Theodora Cogswell (Do) Deland of Darien, Connecticut, died at Stamford Hospital on Nov. 20, after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage Nov. 16. She was 95.
Mrs. Deland was born on Nov. 6, 1923 to James Kelsey Cogswell II, the co-inventor of platform tennis, and Francesca Heffenger Cogswell, both of Scarsdale. She was raised on Old Army Road, enjoyed activities at the Fox Meadow Club and graduated from the Masters School in Dobbs Ferry. She attended Connecticut College and graduated in 1946 from Sarah Lawrence College.
Mrs. Deland began her career as a residential real estate broker in Darien in 1971 with Realtech Associates. In 1981, she was recognized as Darien’s top real estate broker. For 10 consecutive years, she was the highest earning broker in all of Realtech’s 19 offices. Her career spanned 44 years, ending with the sale of her personal residence in Darien.
Mrs. Deland was a fiercely competitive athlete. Between 1962 and 1968, she reached the finals of the Women’s Doubles Nationals American Platform Tennis Association (APTA) championship tournament five times, winning in 1962 and 1965. In 1975, she won the Senior Women’s Doubles National APTA championship.
Mrs. Deland was a member of the Tokeneke Club and Wee Burn Club in Darien, the Colony Club in New York and the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America. Her ancestors include a naval captain in the Civil War, a rear admiral in the Spanish-American War and the sister of one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
On Feb. 1, 1947, she married Rawle Deland, also of Scarsdale, at St. James the Less Church. They moved to Darien in 1950 and raised four children. She was a member of St. Luke’s Parish since 1950.
Mr. and Mrs. Deland enjoyed entertaining family and friends at their summer home in New London, New Hampshire. Mrs. Deland loved to ski, sail, play golf and read poetry. She and her husband donned clown costumes for the Stamford Health and Humor Associates (the HAHAs) and entertained patients at the Stamford Hospital. The last five years of her life were spent at Atria of Darien.
Mrs. Deland is survived by her children Rawle Deland Jr. and his wife Jane of Sarasota, Florida, Alexander T. Deland and his wife Susan of Pelham, Jonathan T. Deland and his wife Emme of New York City, Theodora Deland Walton and her husband William of Jacksonville, Florida; eight grandchildren, Devie Deland Perry and her husband J.W. of Pelham, Rawle J. Deland and his wife Lucy of New York City, Kate Deland and her husband Vladimir Gorbaty of Brooklyn, Francesca Walton, William Walton IV, Alonzo Walton, Alexander T. Deland Jr. and Diane Deland; and three great-grandchildren, Jack and Rawle Perry and Daphne Deland. She was predeceased by her parents; her brother, James Kelsey Cogswell III; and her husband of 66 years.
A memorial service will be held at St. Luke’s Parish, 1864 Post Road in Darien, on Feb. 2 at 11 a.m. Memorial donations may be made to the St. Luke’s Parish.