Alexandra Leigh-Hunt died peacefully in her sleep on December 2, 2015 in her home in Sag Harbor. Noted in equal measures for her elegance, the warmth of her hospitality and the conviction of her opinions, she was 85 years old and in failing health.
The middle of three daughters of Louise de Vilmorin, the noted French poet, and Henry Leigh-Hunt, an American entrepreneur and decorated veteran of the Battle of Belleau Wood, Ms. Leigh-Hunt was born on April 1, 1930 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, a suburb of Paris. She bore the burden of April Fools with grace.
In 1941, Ms. Leigh-Hunt and her sisters fled Nazi-occupied France (by way of Portugal). She came to reside in the United States, first in Santa Barbara, California and later in New York City, then Wilmington followed by Dover, Delaware. A resident of Sag Harbor since 1982, she never relinquished her love of adventure, travelling to such far flung parts as the Adriatic, the Antipodes and the Great Wall of China until ill health did her in. Fortunately it could not quench her love of fine food and wine, good books, both French and English, and evenings with friends, whether at home playing bridge or out at the cinema.
Ms. Leigh-Hunt was for many years a mainstay at Local TV (LTV) in East Hampton, for whom she also hosted a cooking show, the altar guild and thrift shop at St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, Bridgehampton, where she was a devoted congregant, and the Bridgehampton Child Care Center. She was a member of the Society of the Colonial Dames, The Friends of the John Jermain Memorial Library, for whom she was renowned for her teas, Planned Parenthood, The Hamptons Choral Society, The Sag Harbor Whaling Museum, The Sag Harbor Historical Society and the League of Women Voters of Suffolk County. In addition, she was an early contributor to Slow Food East End, where she helped raise funds for the first greenhouse at the Hayground School.
Ms. Leigh-Hunt’s marriage to Henry Ridgely Horsey ended in divorce, but they remained on the best of terms and she welcomed into her life his later children, Robert and Elizabeth Horsey.
Ms. Leigh-Hunt is survived by her five children: Henry Horsey, Jr., of Washington, DC; Edmond Horsey, of Denver, Colorado; Therese Seibert, of Berlin, Germany; Ridgely Biddle, of Katonah, New York; and Revell Horsey, of Stonington, Connecticut. In addition, she is survived by 11 grandchildren, for whom her house was a special haven, and many dear friends, including those from the Women’s Luncheon Club, and a beautiful garden to which she assiduously tended.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 19, at St. Ann’s Episcopal Church with an interment at Oakland Cemetery and a reception to follow.
Memorial donations may be made to the Bridgehampton Child Care Center, Doctors Without Borders, the John Jermain Memorial Library or Planned Parenthood.