During the Depression, she left the University of Minnesota to help support her family, working as a clerk. She joined the Navy WAVEs during World War II.
She and her husband, Harold, raised their family in St. Louis Park. After Harold died in 1973, she moved to England, where her son was in graduate studies at Oxford University.
"It was a very big idea" for a woman in her late 50s to head off for London by herself, said Tom Friedman, a New York Times columnist.
She became a senior life master at bridge, earning an invitation to play in Paris. Once she traded bids with movie star and bridge expert Omar Sharif, said her son. She returned to Minnesota in the late 1970s.