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Julius Wadsworth Dies April 13, 1999|By BILL DALEY; Courant Staff Writer MIDDLETOWN — Julius Wadsworth, a diplomat and sculptor descended from one of the city's most prominent families, has died. He was 96. Wadsworth was the last surviving son of Col. Clarence S. Wadsworth, the turn-of-the-century environmentalist and philanthropist whose mansion, Long Hill, is now being restored by the city as a wedding, banquet and conference center. He died April 4 of cardiac arrest at the Woodside Center in Silver Spring, Md.
His wife, Cleome Carroll Wadsworth, died in December at age 102. Although Wadsworth had lived since 1945 in Washington, D.C., he continued to exert a presence of sorts in downtown Middletown through one of his sculptures, a memorial tablet to the Wadsworth and deKoven families. Thousands of motorists every day drive past the 1950 work, which stands just outside the side entrance to the deKoven House community center at Washington Street and deKoven Drive. The future of Long Hill, Wadsworth's boyhood home and site of his 1934 wedding, continued to be of interest to the couple. Deputy Town Clerk Linda Bettencourt Teti was one of two members of a Long Hill historical committee who visited Julius and Cleome Wadsworth in 1995. Although his memory was dimmed by age, Wadsworth recalled for Teti how he had tried to go fishing as a boy at Long Hill but was stopped by his father. Col. Wadsworth, an avid classicist, insisted that his son first recite the Lord's Prayer in Latin. Young Julius did. ``He had such a sweet nature, Teti said. ``I wish I had met him in his prime; it would have been fascinating. Donn K. Jenkins, Wadsworth's attorney, said his client had a marked affinity for languages, speaking French, German, Spanish, Norwegian and Latin. A Harvard graduate, Wadsworth was a foreign service officer in Norway, Colombia, Shanghai (where he met his future wife, Cleome) and in the free city of Danzig just before World War II. He served in an Army intelligence unit during the war, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel. With the coming of peace, Wadsworth retired from public life and focused on his sculptures. Among his better-known works was a head of Christ titled ``Peace, a head of Gen. Douglas McArthur and a statue of Christ that was erected on an oceanside hill he owned on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The statue was a navigational landmark for years, and the surrounding 7 acres, now known as Wadsworth Peace Hill, were donated to the National Park Service. Wadsworth leaves nieces and a nephew. Funeral arrangements are undetermined, Jenkins said.
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