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STASHOWER, HILDEGARDE DARMSTADTER

STASHOWER, HILDEGARDE DARMSTADTER

STASHOWER, HILDEGARDE DARMSTADTER (23 Dec. 1902-30 Apr. 1994) was a leading figure in the early growth and the continuing development of the CLEVELAND PLAY HOUSE.

Born to Ludwig and Freida Freundlich Darmstadter in Cleveland, Hildegarde attended Cleveland public schools, graduating from Glenville High School. She then began her college studies in Cleveland at Western Reserve College (see CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY), but later transferred to Barnard College in New York, from which she received her bachelor's degree in 1924.

After returning to Cleveland, she married FRED P. STASHOWER on 24 Nov.1926; she was mother to two children, David L. and Deborah.

Her professional life began in journalism, working for the short-lived CLEVELAND TIMES but she soon left the newspaper to join the public relations firm of Farnham & Moriarty, one of the first such enterprises to be owned and managed by women.

In 1929 she began the long association with the Cleveland Play House for which she is best remembered. She began as the theater's publicity manager, but her role soon broadened to include not only marketing but promotions and development. In 1950 she retired from full-time employment at the Play House, but continued actively to serve the theater as a honorary life member of its Women's Committee. She was involved in the project to write the theater's history, Leaps of Faith, which was published in 1985. She was also a member of the Play House's advisory council, retaining that post until the time of her death.

Stashower survived her husband of 65 years by only three months. She is buried with him in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.