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Resident Highlight: Lelia H.

Lelia H. started life in Richmond, Virginia, and had a happy southern childhood with her two sisters, a liberal Mom and a conservative Dad. Life was peaceful and predictable…and then came college.

At the University of North Carolina (“there’s only one Carolina”), Lelia studied art history and started broadening her world. An opportunity at graduation to go to Europe was enhanced by a gift of a VW Bug from her aunt. She and her pal, Ducky, picked up the auto direct from the factory and proceeded to tour the many museums and cities. Meeting many locals—soon to be friends—she heard first hand the explanation of the artwork and why it was important. She went everywhere, including Paris, Madrid, Portugal and Morocco, to name a few places, enjoying the music, dancing and foods of the local places and meeting those who lived there. “It was a journey of a lifetime.”

Eventually, she had to return to the US; she decided Richmond was not where she wanted to live and came to DC. Still in her early twenties, she went to work for Congressman Alphonzo Bell (R-CA). There were many lively discussions, as Lelia had adopted her mother’s liberal political thinking! With the Congressman and his Legislative Assistant in California, she had many senior responsibilities and managed to get a bill to the Congress to help a private citizen get his tugboat out of an international mess with Canadian licensing. She loved the work and learned about networking before it was “networking.” Meanwhile, her social life was just as much fun, if not more so, as she had re-connected with her soon-to-be-husband!

Lelia met Bill H. back in NC, but he had left to go to law school. Now both in DC, they went to Cellar Door concerts, summered in Rehoboth in group houses—separate girls and boys, of course—sunning and dancing on “Whiskey Beach” and watching the advent of the “bikini.”

They married in Richmond and made a home in NYC. They welcomed two children, Stuart and Patricia, and then moved back to DC. She decided to go back to school, juggling motherhood with classes, as women in the changing times started to do. She studied photography from the best, including Ezra Stolor. With her great organizational sense, she opened a business, Starwood Publishing, in Bethesda with a partner, and the women were extremely successful. She lived in her home in Bethesda for 44 years and was married to Bill for many years until his passing.

Lelia enjoys the beautiful architecture and the portico entrances of Kensington Park and meeting new friends. “It’s a beautiful home and very welcoming.” She loves visits from her children and hopes to take photos of the KP buildings in various seasons. She enjoys all the trips and activities that keep a very busy woman very busy. Stop by and hear all her travel tales – ask about belly dancing in Morocco!