Wednesday, November 26, 2014
J. Elwood Betts, 89
J. Elwood Betts of Westport died Nov. 25 at Norwalk Hospital. He was 89.
J. Elwood Betts: lifelong Westport resident. Contributed photo
He was born in Westport at home on Oct. 1, 1925, son of the late Charles E. and Marjorie (Foster) Betts and has been a lifelong resident of Westport. He was employed as an engineer with General Electric for 42 years prior to retiring in 1989.
He was a 1943 graduate of Staples High School, and a 1946 graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) with a degree in chemical engineering. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant.
A lifelong member of the Saugatuck Congregational Church, he served the church in many capacities. He was a deacon and a trustee emeritus.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Jean S. Holland, 88
Jean Swint Holland, a former Westport resident, died Nov. 21 in Wallingford. She was 88.
Jean Holland: 40-year Westport resident. Contributed photo
She was born on Aug. 1, 1926, the daughter of Frederick and Stella (Combest) Swint in Paducah, Texas.
She graduated from Texas State College for Women (now Texas Women’s University) and worked as a fashion illustrator for Frost Brothers, a high fashion retailer, in San Antonio.
She married Henry K. Holland, Jr., in 1955 and they lived an extraordinary life travelling the world as part of the extended Mobil Oil family. She lived in Westport for 40 years and was a devoted member of the Wilton Baptist Church.
Monday, November 24, 2014
Hal Kendig, 82
Hal Kendig of Weston, formerly of Westport, died Nov. 22 at Norwalk Hospital. He had been battling cancer for three months. He was 82.
Hal Kendig: 28-year Westport resident. Contributed photo
He was born May 6, 1932 in Emporia, Kan., the son of the late Harold and Roxanna (Plumb) Kendig, who instilled in him a love of travelling from an early age.
He enlisted in the Navy upon graduation from the University of Washington, and was stationed in Morocco for much of his service. From there he joined Pan American World Airways, and spent 25 years with the airline, working all over the world.
But he was always most at home in Westport, where he was a resident for 28 years, before moving to Weston last year.
Allen R. Coutermash, 25
Allen Ray Coutermash of Darien, a former Westport resident, died Nov. 22 at Norwalk Hospital. He was 25.
Allen Coutermash: Staples graduate. Contributed photo
Born on Sept. 16, 1989 in Stamford, he was the son of Shawn Bray of Weston and the late Ray Allen Coutermash, who died in 2006.
He spent his life living in Darien and Westport and graduated from Staples High School. He received an Associated Degree from Lincoln Technical Institute in Hamden. He was excited about his acceptance into the U. S. Navy.
Besides his mother, he is survived by his sister, Amber Coutermash of Norwalk, his grandparents, Gene E. Bray of Idaho, Irene E. Jerue of Sarasota, Fla., and Pat Coutermash of Darien; and five uncles and three aunts. He was predeceased by his grandfather, Allen Ray Coutermash in 1998.
Sunday, November 23, 2014
Jacqueline P. Trautmann, 83
Jacqueline Pierrot Trautmann, a longtime resident of Westport, died Nov. 5 after a prolonged illness. She was 83.
Jacqueline Trautmann: emigrated from France. Contributed photo
Born in Paris, France in 1931, she survived German-occupied France as a child living on her grandparent’s farm where on several occasions German soldiers garrisoned and battled the French resistance. After the war, she met and married Rudi when they both worked at a Paris advertising agency.
Shortly thereafter, they immigrated to the United States, crossing the Atlantic on the famed SS Constitution ocean liner. With Rudi working as a graphic artist, they settled in Westport in the late 1950s when it was known as an artist community.
Arriving in the States without knowing a single word of English, she worked hard to learn the language eventually mastering the New York Times crossword puzzle, even the infamous Sunday edition which she would complete in a single sitting in pen, her family said.
Friday, November 21, 2014
Max Harley, 94
Max Harley of Stratford, a former Westport resident, died Nov. 18 in Norwalk Hospital after a period of illness. He was 94.
Max Harley: former Westporter. Contributed photo
In addition to Westport, he also lived in Indianapolis, and Greenville, Ohio.
He was born Aug. 24, 1920 in Hollansburg, Ohio, to Howard R. Harley, MD, and Cleo Mote Harley. After his father’s death, the family moved several times and Max graduated from high school in Fountain City, Ind.
He followed his brother George to Miami University in Ohio, and, upon graduation, into the U.S. Navy during World War II. After training as a gunnery officer he was posted to the Pacific theater.
John G. Wanat, Sr., 68
John G. Wanat, Sr. of Westport died Nov. 21. He was 68.
He was the son of the late George and Mary (Kondub). A lifelong resident of Westport, he retired as the owner/operator of Westport Electric.
He was a very religious man, and was an active member of many local churches including serving as deacon at St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Bridgeport. He was also currently serving as president of the Ukrainian-American Club of Southport.
In addition to his wife of 47 years, the former Jean Palmer, he is survived by two children, his son John G. Wanat, Jr., and his daughter Jeanmarie Wanat; two brothers, George Wanat, Jr. of Westport, and William Wanat and his wife Judith of Southport; three brothers in law, Carl Palmer and his wife Ann of Bridgeport, Peter Palmer and his wife Rosalind of Westport, and Tony Palmer and his wife Susan of Westport; and sister in law Sue Palmer of Westport; several nieces and nephews, and grandchildren Mark and Max. He was also predeceased by a sister, Arlene Sabia and brother in law Phil Palmer.
Richard H. Olson, Sr. , 78
Richard H. Olson, Sr. of Westport died Nov 18. He was age 78.
He was born Sept. 8, 1936 in Bronxville, NY, son of the late Anton and Elizabeth Olson.
He retired as manager of facilities for Pepperidge Farm after working more than 35 years.
He loved his home in Vermont and traveled to many different places in the United States and abroad. He enjoyed the outdoors and found solace at the beach.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Carol V. Caldwell, 78
Carol V. Caldwell, wife of Thomas W. Caldwell Jr. and 30-year resident of Easton, died Nov. 18 at Bridgeport Hospital. She was 78.
She was born in Norwalk on Aug. 5, 1936, the daughter of the late Henry and Alice (Bard) Vornkahl.
She was an upbeat and optimistic person and remained so during her illness, her family said. She was a folk art painter and her family and friends have many remembrances of her through her artwork.
She was also an avid reader and instilled in her children and grandchildren her love of art and literature. She also was a diehard New York Yankees fan, even when that was not popular. She will be especially missed by her dog Winston.
Renee H. Cooper, 92
Renee Haas Cooper of Richmond, Va., a former Westport resident, died Nov. 12. She was 92.
She died at St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond, where she had volunteered for 25 years, after surgery to remove blood clots from her legs, said her son, Philip Millstein of Princeton, N.J.
She was the daughter of Burton Franklin Haas and Essye Voltter Haas, of Plainfield, N.J. and Manhattan.
She studied art at the University of Wisconsin and Hunter College. Upon graduation at age 20, she turned down a job offer from Walt Disney so that she could design ships for the U.S. Navy and serve as an air raid warden during the war.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Sari K. Biklen, 68
Sari Knopp Biklen, a resident of Westport from 1955 to 1970 who graduated from Staples High School in 1963, died on Sept. 16 at Fletcher Allen Hospital in Burlington, Vt. She was 68. The cause was complications from cancer.
Sari Knopp Biklen: Staples ‘63. Contributed photo
She is survived by her husband of almost 44 years Douglas Biklen of Orwell, Vt., also a 1963 Staples graduate and former dean of the Syracuse University School of Education; a son, Noah Biklen of New York; a daughter, Molly Biklen of New York; a brother, Alex Knopp, former mayor of Norwalk, and two grandchildren.
Her parents were active Westport residents for many years. Her deceased father, Burton Knopp, founded and operated The Country Gal, a women’s clothing store on Main Street in Westport. Her mother, Fay Honey Knopp, helped found The World Affairs Center.
In May, she retired from Syracuse University after 38 years of service where she was the Laura and Douglas Meredith Professor for Teaching Excellence in Cultural Foundations of Education. She was a specialist in popular culture, qualitative research methods and youth culture, and was the former director of the Institute on Popular Culture and Education at Syracuse University.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Althea D’Aiuto, 78
Althea Francis Keene D’Aiuto of Stuart, Fla.. formerly of Westport and Lantana, Fla., died Nov. 14 after a brief battle with cancer. She was 78.
She was born Dec. 10, 1935 in Norwalk to the late Harold and Ethel Keene, and in 1955 she married the love of her life Joseph D’Aiuto.
After moving to Florida she became a true Miami Dolphin fan, and was a season ticket holder for more than 20 years. Very rarely would she miss a game. even while fighting cancer she would have to be up to watch as she puts it “my Dolphins.”
She was predeceased by her husband Joseph, brothers Charles, Harold and Jimmy. Survivors include her children, Victoria D’Aiuto of Connecticut, Joseph D’Aiuto of Okeechobee, Fla., and Anthony F. D’Aiuto and his wife of Marathon, Fla., as well as her sisters Ethel, Emma and brother Paul. Also four granddaughters, Michelle and Danielle Martinez, Lynsay and Jennie D’Aiuto, two great granddaughters and two great grandsons, and her cat Cali. along with many lifelong friends.
She will be cremated and be interned with her husband Joseph at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington Va.
Midge Lanouette, 89
Midge (Jane Smith) Lanouette, a former Westport resident, died Nov. 11 after a very long decline from Alzheimer’s Disease. She was 89.
She was born on Sept. 6, 1925 in Glasgow, Mont. and spent her childhood in Vermont and Queens, N.Y. She graduated from the University of Vermont where she met her husband of 66 years, Ken. After living in Colorado for a brief time, they spent two years living in Japan before settling in Westport, where they raised their two daughters, Caron and Jennine.
She was a very talented fabric and needlework artist who also loved working with children. She was a religious education teacher at the Unitarian Church in Westport for years, writing a curriculum for kindergarten. She was recognized as Volunteer of the Year in 2001 for her work at the Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk.
Her love of gardening led her to become a certified Master Gardener which only added to her gorgeous gardens that were the site of many happy family events. She spent her final four years in the compassionate care of the staff at Astoria Park in Bridgeport.
Monday, November 17, 2014
Robert J. DeMaria, 67
Robert J. DeMaria: former Westporter. Contributed photo
Robert J. (Dinky) DeMaria of Barnstead, N.H., a former Westport resident, died Oct. 31. He was 67.
He was born on Aug. 19, 1947 in Norwalk, the son of the late, Joseph F. DeMaria and Helen DeMaria Paige.
He is survived by his partner and best friend Barbara Valiante, his sister Carole Franko( Bill) of Milford, his brother Joseph DeMaria (Brenda) of E.Kingston, N.H. ,his daughter Vanessa, his grandson Devin, many nieces, nephews, cousins, and his dog Chazzy.
All will remember him for his great sense of humor, his love of hunting and photography, and as a master carpenter specializing in remodeling antique homes, his family said. Services will be private.
Susan S. Palmer, 74
Susan Scriggins Palmer of Bellingham, Wash. formerly of Westport and Trappe, Md., died Oct. 27 after a long illness. She was 74.
She was born on Feb. 3, 1940 to Edwin Palmer and Muriel Ellen (Niemeyer) Scriggins in Summit, N.J.
She lived a life full of fun and friendship, her family said. She had a special affinity for animals. When she was young, she and her mare Babe jumped their way to many a ribbon. Later in life she took to cart driving with Fern, The Wonder Pony.
She had many dogs and cats over the years—often strays who found a warm bed, good eats and lots of love at her house. She also loved to paint and draw, and she took delight in the world of miniatures, creating amazing, tiny little rooms and scenes.
Note: WestportNow Publisher Gordon F. Joseloff is also First Selectman of Westport