Violet Tedlie Doherty, 81, Of New Canaan; Airline Stewardess

NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- Violet Tedlie Doherty of New Canaan died at Norwalk Hospital on Tuesday, Jan 6. She was 81.

Violet Tedlie Doherty

Violet Tedlie Doherty

Photo Credit: Contributed

Born in Montreal on June 27, 1933, she was the daughter of John Cecil Tedlie and Georgina Johnston Tedlie. After graduating from high school graduation, she worked for the Bell Telephone Co. of Canada until she was accepted into the American Airlines Flight Academy. She graduated in 1955 and fulfilled her lifelong dream of becoming a stewardess.

From 1955 to 1964 she traveled the world as a stewardess for American Airlines based out of both New York and Los Angeles. She delighted in flying during the heyday of glamorous air travel, where she collected stories of meeting celebrities and politicians of the era.

In January 1959, she was chosen to fly on the inaugural Boeing 707 flight from Los Angeles to New York when American became the first airline to offer coast-to-coast jet service. Her wings were clipped at the age of 32 when she was deemed “too old to fly.” She continued her career on the ground as skipper in the Admiral’s Club at LaGuardia Airport until the birth of her daughter.

Years later, she rekindled her relationship with American Airlines, working part time in its New York City sales office.

She married Joe Doherty of New York City, a former FBI agent and later director of corporate security for AT&T, in December 1965. In 1967, their only child, Diane, was born and the family resided in Peter Cooper Village in New York City until 1976 when they moved to Mendham, N.J. She moved to New Canaan shortly after her husband’s death in 2001.

During her 13 years in New Canaan, She loved spending time with her daughter, son in-law and four grandchildren. She was a devoted member of the First Presbyterian Church of New Canaan. She was an active volunteer, who enjoyed giving her time to the Norwalk Hospital gift shop, assisting at church events and shopping for New Covenant House.

She is survived by her daughter Diane Hobbs of New Canaan, her son-in-law, Ian, and her grandchildren Holden, Shea, Tess and Faith.

A memorial service will be conducted at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, Jan 17, at First Presbyterian Church in New Canaan with the Rev Paul Gilmore officiating.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donation remembrances may be made to: The Myositis Association at, the First Presbyterian Church of New Canaan, or a favorite charity.

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