Elizabeth “Lisa” McGraw Webster, a philanthropist and renowned supporter of American figure skaters, died on Saturday, June 28, at her vacation home in Sun Valley, Idaho. She was 88.
Ms. Webster was born in New York City to Elizabeth Murtland Woodwell and Curtis Whittlesey McGraw, president of McGraw Hill Publishing from 1950-53. She was the granddaughter of James McGraw, founder of the publishing house. Ms. Webster lived her entire life in Princeton, N.J., where she attended Miss Fines School. She went on to Foxcroft School in Middleburg, Va., and Finch College in New York City.
Ms. Webster had a deep love for figure skating, and served on the board of The Skaters Fund, an organization that provides assistance to skaters and coaches in need due to illness, disability or age. Additionally, over some four decades, she sponsored numerous national and Olympic champions including Nancy Kerrigan, Paul Wylie, Steven Cousins, David Liu, Parker Pennington, Derrick Delmore, Jeremy Abbot, Alex Akin and others. In recognition for her commitment to the sport, she was nominated for the Figure Skating Hall of Fame.
Ms. Webster also supported figure skating on the local level. She was a charter member of The Princeton Skating Club and her contributions built the club’s state-of-the-art Lisa McGraw Skating Rink at Princeton Day School.
Ms. Webster was active throughout the Princeton community, serving on the board of directors of Princeton Hospital, and holding memberships at the Nassau Club, Bedens Brook Golf Club and the Pretty Brook Tennis Club. She was a founder and charter member of the Contemporary Garden Club of Princeton. She also established the Curtis W. McGraw Foundation and the Lisa McGraw Figure Skating Foundation, both in Princeton.
Ms. Webster was married twice, to James Stoltzfus and George Webster; both marriages ended in divorce. She is survived by two daughters, Lisette Stoltzfus Edmond and Marian Stoltzfus Paen; a son, Curtis McGraw Webster; grandchildren Elizabeth Edmond, Victoria Edmond, Alexandra Edmond, Nicolas Edmond, Antony James Maricich, Alexander McGraw Maricich, Anastasha Tatiana Maricich and Theo McGraw Webster; sons- and daughters-in-law, and great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at the Nassau Presbyterian Church, 61 Nassau Street, in Princeton, on Oct. 11, 2014. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: the Lisa McGraw Figure Skating Foundation, Post Office Box 627, Princeton, NJ 08542-0627, or The Skaters’ Fund, 202 Park Knoll, Princeton, NJ 08540.