Susanna Valentine Mitchell Gammell, 82, a poet, author and playwright, died Monday at Sibley Memorial Hospital after an apparent heart attack.
Mrs. Gammell was born in Philadelphia, the daughter of playwright Langdon E. Mitchell and Marion Lea, an actress. She was educated in the country and abroad and was associated with the J. Walter Thompson Co. in New York City before her marriage ended in divorce.
During the early 1930s, she was editor of a poetry magazine, Smoke.In 1936, under the name S. Valentine Mitchell, she published a collection of poems, "Journey Taken by a Woman." She later published a novel, "No Second Spring," and a collection of stories, "In This Bright April Weather."
In the mid-1950s, she published a novel-in-verse, "Make New Banners," which was set in the time of Christopher Columbus. She also wrote a play version of it, and it was produced here in 1977 by the American Society of Theater Arts.
Mrs. Gammell came to Washington in 1952. She was a patron of the National Symphony Orchestra, the Big Brothers of the National Capital Area and the Police Athletic League. She also was an early supporter of Planned Parenthood.
Survivors include two daughters, Helena-Hope Gammell, of Perryville, R.I.; and Elwyn Kelbenov, of Oslo, Norway, and Washington; a son, A. Middleton Gammell, of Potowomut R.I.; a brother, Weir Mitchell, of Minneapolis, and four grandchildren.
The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Big Brothers of the National Capital Area or to the National Symphony Orchestra.