Barbara Hotchkiss Posener, a longtime resident of Amagansett and a founder of the Animal Rescue Fund, died on Monday morning at the Southampton Care Center at the age of 95. She had suffered from dementia for years, her family said.
Born in New Haven to William Merritt Hotchkiss and Frances Hotchkiss on Jan. 4, 1918, she attended elementary school there and graduated from the Meredith School, a boarding school in New Hampshire. She went on to attend Columbia University.
Hired as the first copy “girl” ever to work in the NBC newsroom, she eventually became a newswriter for the network, working both in Manhattan and for the old station WRC in Washington, D.C. She wrote for prime-time radio and television shows as well, for all three major networks, NBC, CBS, and ABC. Her credits include such 1950s TV shows as “Glamor Manor,” “The Big Payoff,” and “Strike It Rich.”
In 1957, she married Albert E. Posener. They had a house in Amagansett, where they spent summers with their daughter, J. France Posener of Southampton, until 1973, when they moved to the South Fork full time after Mr. Posener died.
Always a lover of and friend to animals, Mrs. Posener was the one who came up with the catchy name for ARF. She was the organization’s first president.
She was a longtime member of the Amagansett Library’s book committee and volunteered for many years at Meals on Wheels, where she eventually became a board member. She also worked on a number of shows as a producer at LTV, and produced and narrated a series of inspirational readings called “Imprints” for WLNG, the Sag Harbor radio station.
She was a frequent contributor of letters to the editor of this newspaper, often commenting on the wonders of nature and the animal world. “One of the most welcome holiday gifts for all who appreciate great beauty in outdoor life is the presence these days of two beautiful white swans instead of one beautiful lonesome swan who swam solo far too long. May they have many peaceful and contented years together paddling around in those special classy waters,” she once observed.
Her three siblings, Francis, William, and Pratt Hotchkiss, all predeceased her. In addition to her daughter, she leaves one granddaughter.
Burial was to be private, at the family plot in Orange, Conn. The family has suggested memorial contributions to the Animal Rescue Fund, P.O. Box 910, Wainscott 11975.