Thea Duell died with grace and dignity on June 27 in her home overlooking the ocean in Greenwich, Conn. after a long, courageous fight against cancer.

A regal woman who was a prolific painter and sculptor for over 40 years, Thea was also the only female lawyer at the prestigious Morgan, Lewis and Bockius law firm in Philadelphia, a lifelong, generous patron of many causes, and the cornerstone of the family real estate business in New York city for three decades up until her passing. She was a true Renaissance woman and the matriarch of the Duell family.

She was born in New York city to Manny and Irene Duell, a Holocaust survivor. She attended Brearley and the Ethical Culture Fieldston School before getting her Bachelor of Arts degree at Swarthmore College, followed by a law degree from Columbia University and Boston College. After practicing law at Morgan, Lewis, and Bockius, a rare achievement in those days as the only female in the firm, Thea moved to Connecticut, had three children, and then began working at and ultimately running the family real estate company in New York city along with her brother Benjamin.

Throughout all of her life’s many stages, she was a brilliant and steadfast painter, sculptor, and collagist, amassing an evolving body of work that began in childhood art classes at Museum of Modern Art, and continued to flourish until only months before her passing at her home studio overlooking Byram Harbor. Few artists can claim such dedication.

She was an incredible cook, insatiable reader, and had a lifelong passion for traveling the world, especially in Italy, where she lived for a time outside of Florence. It was a time she cherished.

With a fiery joie de vivre and sense of humor, she was never one to take life too seriously.

Even in her dying days, Thea had poise, wit, and a timeless grace, as if from another era.

She truly was.

Thea is survived by her husband, Peter Cook; her children, Damon Duell McMahon, Alexander Duell McMahon and Theodore Howell; her daughter in law Emma McMahon; her beloved grandchildren Oona and Fox McMahon, and her brother Benjamin Duell.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Lung Cancer Alliance or The MSA Coalition in Thea’s honor.