The daughter of Dr. J. Donald and Louise Fitzpatrick Corridon, she was born at Georgetown Hospital in Washington, D.C., where her father was an assistant professor of surgery. Shortly thereafter her family moved to East Norwalk, where her father began a medical practice.
Mortell learned to swim at the Longshore Club in Westport at the age of five, and it became readily apparent that she had a natural ability and much potential as a speed swimmer. This resulted in her becoming a national champion in the 100-yard freestyle in 1948 -- breaking the existing U.S. record in that event. She won the event again in 1950.
In 1948, Mortell was on the 400-meter freestyle relay team in the London Olympic Games, where she won gold and set a new Olympic record in the process.
After the Olympics, she worked for the United States Olympic Committee reporting to its president, Avery Brundage. She was later employed as an executive secretary at the Walter Reed Army Hospital. Upon returning to Norwalk, she worked in the public relations department of Norwalk Hospital.
She was predeceased by her husband, William Edwin Mortell.
She is survived by her seven children, Maureen Mortell Koziol and her husband, Dr. Joseph Koziol of New Jersey, Michael Mortell and his wife, Bethlam Forsa of New York City, Kerry Mortell of Los Angeles, Kate Mortell of Weston, Sheila Mortell Stolarski and her husband, Edward of Weston, Margaret Mortell Montesi and her husband, John of Riverside, and Anne Marie Mortell of New York City; 11 grandchildren; and her two brothers, John Corridon of Falmouth, Mass., and James Corridon of Wilton.
Calling hours will take place Monday, May 31, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Collins Funeral Home, 92 East Ave., Norwalk.
Funeral services will take place Tuesday, June 1, at 11 a.m. at St. Thomas Church on East Avenue. A private family internment will take place at Pine Hill Cemetery in Southbury.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Mortell's name may be made to Norwalk Hospital Foundation, Stevens Street, Norwalk, CT 06850; or USA Swimming Foundation, 1 Olympic Plaza, Colorado Springs, CO 80909.
Condolences may be made online at www.collinsfh.com