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Obituaries

Obituaries

Monday, September 15, 2014

Joseph A. McAleenan, 86

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Joseph A. McAleenan: served on Westport and Weston Police Departments. Contributed photo

Joseph Austin “Mac” McAleenan of New Bern, N.C., a former Westport resident and retired Westport and Weston police officer, died Sept. 12. He was 86.

Born in New York, N.Y. on Feb. 24, 1928, the son of the late Harold and Muriel (Moore) McAleenan, he had been a resident of Westport until 1990 when he and his wife moved to New Bern.

Prior to moving to North Carolina, he served as a police officer in Connecticut for 40 years.  He was first appointed a patrol officer with the Westport Police Department on July 1, 1950, and progressed through to the rank of lieutenant. 

On July 1, 1975, he became the first chief of police of Weston, where he served an additional 15 years before he retired on July 1, 1990.  He also was a graduate of the 90th session of the FBI National Academy on Sept. 15, 1972.  He also proudly served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Arthur H. Kesten, 92

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Arthur Kesten and his wife, Dotty, in Japan during the post-World War II occupation. Contributed photo

Arthur H. (Art) Kesten of Westport, who founded Army Aviation Magazine in 1953 with his wife, Dotty, and the Army Aviation Association of America, (AAAA) in 1957, died Sept. 6. He was 92.

A Westport resident for almost 60 years, he was inducted into the Army Aviation Hall of Fame along with Dotty in 1975.

He served as executive vice president of the AAAA from the time of the association’s founding until his retirement in 1989.

He joined the U.S. Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at Cornell University as a cadet in 1942 and became editor of the student newspaper, the Cornell Daily Sun.

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Doris L. Johnson, 67

Doris Lydia Johnson of Westport died Sept. 4 after a brief illness. She was 67.

She was born in Norwalk Hospital, and was raised in Silvermine. In 1984 as a young adult she moved into her lifelong home on Pine Drive in Westport.

She had a great appreciation of beauty, rainbows and flowers. Her love for coffee cannot be put into words. Her face lit up at the mere aroma. She spoke with a beautiful Finnish accent, and sang sweet songs. She also drew and painted as a way of sharing her artistic side.

She was beloved by so many people. She lived for 30 years in her home, lovingly supported by the CLASP staff who were her extended family.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Irene A. Seifer, 72

Irene Audrey Seifer of Westport died Aug. 26 at home. She was 72.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1941 to Ruth Belle Becker Gross and Philip Gross, she was married to the late Arthur M. Seifer of Westport.

She held B.A. and M.A. degrees from Brooklyn College and Long Island University respectively with a concentration in psychology. Beginning her career as a social worker, assisting incarcerated women moving into rehabilitation, she ultimately became a director of human resources at Perkin-Elmer Corp., where she worked for 20 years.

Following her retirement, she took up a second profession as an artist and teacher of paper arts, craft, and jewelry at Westport’s Great American Stamp Store. Her work appears on the cover of and in several books on paper crafts published by Arena Books.

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J. Portis Hicks, 76

J. Portis Hicks, father of Westport award-winning photographer Tyler Hicks, died Aug. 27 in New York City. He was 76.

A retired partner in Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittmann LLP, he was a volunteer mediator at the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, First Judicial Department.  He was also an avid skier, theatergoer, cyclist and world traveler.

He is survived by his wife, Laura J. Corwin, of New York City; his children, Darcy Anne Hicks of Westport, and Tyler Portis Hicks of Nairobi, Kenya; his grandchildren, Eli, Theo and Henry Koskoff, and his son-in-law, Joshua Koskoff, all of Westport; his brothers, Irwin Hicks of Wilmette, Ill.,, Hilary Hicks of Monrovia, Calif., and Carter Hicks of Bluffton, S.C.

There was a celebration of his life on Sept.  7 at The Yale Club, 50 Vanderbilt Ave., New York City.

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Monday, September 08, 2014

William J. Chiarchiaro, 94

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William J. Chiarchiaro: operated insurance companies. Contributed photo

William J. Chiarchiaro of Fort Myers, Fla., a former Weston resident who operated insurance companies in Weston and Westport, died July 16. He was 94.

He was born in the Bronx, N.Y. on July 25, 1919, the son of Ignatius and Rose Chiarchiaro.

Before retiring to Florida in 1984, he owned and operated William J. Chiarchiaro Insurance Agencies in Weston and Westport.

He was a staunch Democrat. While residing in Weston for 35 years, he was president of the 25th Senatorial District Democratic Committee and chairman of the Weston Democratic Town Committee.

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Saturday, September 06, 2014

John R. Howley Sr., 86

John “Jack” Howley, Sr. of Danbury, a former Westport resident, died Sept. 4 at Danbury Hospital. He was 86.

Born in Norwalk on Oct. 15, 1927, he grew up in Westport, graduating from Staples High School and working as a mate at Captain Allen’s Clam House.

After graduating from Staples and enlisting in the U.S. Navy, he began his life-long career in the construction business.

He was an avid snow skier and a scratch golfer, but his passion was sailing. After his retirement, along with his wife, he sailed from Westport to Key West, Fla. and throughout the Caribbean. For 15 years, he spent every winter in Key West. He loved being a grandfather and great-grandfather.

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Thursday, September 04, 2014

Anthony J. Gilbertie, 91

Anthony J. Gilbertie of Bethel, a former Westport resident, died Sept.1 at Bethel Healthcare. He was 91.

He was born Aug. 7, 1923 in Norwalk to the late Antonio and Filimina Gilbertie of Westport. He grew up in Westport and worked in his parants business, Norwalk Greenhouses, before joining the Air Force.

He was stationed in England during World War II where he met his future wife Mildred Betton of Lancashire. They were married April 16, 1946 in Preston, England. He worked for many years in the electrical supply business at Sexton Electric in Norwalk before retiring.

He was predeceased by his wife Mildred, son Stephen Gilbertie and sister Celeste Kozar. He is survived by his son Paul Gilbertie and his wife Linda of Bethel, brothers Joseph Gilbertie and wife June, Albert Gilbertie and wife Vera, sister Ginger Barber and husband Michael, grandchildren Stephen Gilbertie and wife Jennifer, Julie Hurgin and husband Justin, and Jason Gilbertie. Also surviving are great grandchildren Dylan and Kayla Gilbertie, step-grandchildren Ron and Heidi Warner and their children Jack and Grace; Sean and Mary Jo Warner and their children Allison and Adam.

There are no calling hours and services will be private.

Posted 01:50 PM
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Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Patricia F. Miles, 85

Patricia Frances Miles of Westport died Memorial Day, May 26, at the Wilton Meadows long-term care facility in Wilton. She was 85.

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Patricia Miles: Westport resident since 1969. Contributed photo

Born and raised in Chicago, she was a Westport resident since 1969. In 2005, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and for the past five years she had been residing first at The Greens in Cannondale and then at The Meadows in Wilton.

It was while working at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago in the early 1950s that she met her future husband, (Charles) Chuck Miles. They were married in 1953 and together raised a family of five children.

The Miles family moved from the Midwest in the mid-1960s, relocating in the New England area several times before settling down in Westport.

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Monty D. Kaufman, 61

Monty Dorn Kaufman of Weston, co-owner of Puppies of Westport in Norwalk, formerly in Westport, died Aug. 29. He was 61.

He was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., to the late Ruth Dorn Kaufman and Albert Silver. His mother and the late Robert Kaufman raised him. He graduated from New York University with his Bachelors in 1975 and his JD in 1978.

Kaufman and his wife Lauren opened Puppies of Westport at 420 Post Road West in Westport in July 2006 and later moved it to 255 Westport Ave. in Norwalk.

He had a zealous personality that persisted throughout his life, his family said. A true dog lover, gardener, poet, and creative spirit, he brought his enthusiasm to life and all of his pursuits.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Adeline B. Renzulli, 94

Adeline B. Renzulli of Westport, wife of the late Arthur P. Renzulli, died Aug. 27 in Bridgeport Hospital. She was 94.

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Adeline B. Renzulli: 75-year Westport resident. Contributed photo

Born Oct.1, 1919 in Fairfield, daughter of the late Pasquale and Rosina (Divino) Baladino, she has been a Westport resident for 75 years.

Prior to retiring, she was employed as a switchboard operator for the Westport Board of Education for many years.

She was a longtime member of the Westport Center for Senior Activities, loved gardening and enjoying time spent with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

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Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Kuhner, 98

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Elizabeth “Betty” Kuhner: a photographer married to photographer Russell O. Kuhner. Contributed photo

Elizabeth “Betty” Kuhner of Palm Beach, Fla., a former Westport resident, died Aug. 24. She was 98.

Born May 8, 1916, in Stamford, she was the daughter of hardware store owner Lorenzo and Annie (nee Zarr) Stottler. As a child growing up in Stamford and Darien, she was a talented artist and athlete.

She met her future husband, photographer Russell Ohm Kuhner, at a fashion show where she modeled a bridal dress. Taking the hint, the couple married in 1939 and moved to Westport.

After the war, her husband opened a photography studio—Russell O. Kuhner became well known in Westport for his work—and one day sent his hesitant wife off on an assignment, creating what she later described as a “photographer by association.”

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Stanley M. Katz, 96

Stanley M. Katz of Westport died Aug. 4 at Yale-New Haven Hospital. He was 96.

Husband of Charleene B. Katz for 67 years and father of Barbara and Steven Katz, he will be remembered for his brilliant mind, sense of humor and broad range of interests, his family said.

He was a Westporter for most of his adult life.

After graduating from New York University and taking graduate courses in computer science, he pursued a career in business and finance.

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Westporter John Akers, former IBM Head, 79

UPDATE John F. Akers of Westport, chief executive of IBM for eight years during the company’s struggle to shift from the mainframe to the personal computer era, died Aug. 22 at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He was 79.

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John F. Akers: led IBM in turbulent times. Contributed photo

A spokesman for IBM said the cause was a stroke, The New York Times said. Akers was a 39-year Westport resident, making his home on Sturges Highway. The family also has a summer home in Nantucket.

He was born in Boston on Dec. 28, 1934, to the late Kenneth F. and Mary J. (Reed) Akers. Kenneth Akers headed the Boston office of the National Fire Insurance Company of Hartford. John Akers graduated from Yale University in 1956, was an All-Ivy League hockey player and received Yale University Athletics’ George H.W. Bush, Lifetime of Achievement Award in 2001.

Following Yale, he joined the U.S. Navy, where he served as a carrier pilot from 1956 to 1960 attaining the rank of lieutenant.

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Arthur G. Burke, 93

Arthur G. Burke, formerly of Trumbull, died Aug. 15, 2014 at Masonic Health Center Hospice in Wallingford. He was 93.

He was born in New York City, March 28, 1921. He enjoyed a lifetime of following his bliss as an artist, working as a professional in the field of interior design for 40 years, and as a member of The Silvermine Guild of Artists in New Canaan and the Westport Arts Center.

His work was shown in many galleries throughout Connecticut, New York City, Provincetown, Mass., and Nantucket. Inspired by the work of Joseph Cornell, he became well known as a creator of “Kinetic Assemblage” or the art of gathering found objects into a theme and assembling them into a framed box with moveable parts. He called himself a “Boxist.”

He was predeceased by his wife, Maddie, who died in August 2005. Survivors include his twin daughters, Geraldine Burke of West Hartford and Denny Burke of Wallingford, Denny’s spouse, Nancy Davis; the Burke, Ostrowski and Allard families; his cadre of “Boxists” friends; and many longtime friends.

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