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Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Barbara Meyers Secrist, 63
Barbara Meyers Secrist, a former member of Westport’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM) and paralegal in the Town Attorney’s Office, died Sept. 7 at Redding Hospital & Medical Center in Redding, Pa. She was 63.
Barbara Meyers Secrist: former RTM member. Contributed photo
The wife of Edward Secrist was born in Pottsville, Pa., the daughter of the late Harold and Ann (Fatula) Harris. She worked as a paralegal for the Town Attorney’s office for many years and served on the RTM from 1989 to 1993.
In 1995, she filed a federal lawsuit against then First Selectman Joseph Arcudi alleging he made unwanted sexual advances toward her. The suit, which also named the town and Town Attorney Andrew Fink as co-defendants, was dismissed two years later in U.S. District Court in New Haven.
Survivors include one daughter, Deborah Auriemme and her husband Jon, three sons, Frank Culmone and his wife Amanda, Christopher Culmone and Robert Meyers and his wife Andrea, three sisters, Pat Harris, Donna Iafrate and her husband Angelo, Joan Mest and her husband Bob, five brothers, Robert Harris and his wife Linda, Bruce (Jim) Harris, Peter Harris and his wife Nancy, Thomas Harris, Jerome Harris and his wife Bobbi; six grandchildren, three great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. In addition she was also predeceased by one sister Arlene.
Friday, September 14, 2012
Nicholas Rudd, 69
Nicholas Rudd, a longtime Westport resident active in community affairs, died Sept. 14. He was 69.
Nicholas Rudd: marketing expert. Contributed photo
He was owner/principal of a management consultancy, The Anderson Rudd Co. Inc., and principal in a unique merchant bank, AMG Capital Advisors LLC. His personal focus was on providing insight and perspective to facilitate and accelerate businesses, programs and projects.
Skilled in facilitating strategic planning meetings for organizations of all types and sizes, he was most interested in assisting clients in developing their own solutions.
He spent more than 31 years with Young & Rubicam, Inc., with line responsibilities for client business in marketing communications as well as integrated marketing.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Cameron J. Howe, 20
Cameron Howe nationally ranked snowboarder. Contributed photo
Cameron James Howe of Westport died Sept. 6 in Santa Barbara, Calif. He was 20.
Born in Manhattan on Nov. 11, 1991, he was the son of Jim and Patti Howe and brother of Caroline Howe. The Howes are longtime Westport residents.
Cameron lived more in his 20 years than most live in a long lifetime, his family said. He had a zest for life and dedication to follow his dreams. This led him to attend high school at Stratton Mountain School in Vermont, where he graduated with honors while competing as a nationally ranked snowboarder.
For college he chose to go west and move from the snow to the surf, attending the University of California Santa Barbara. He would have been a junior this fall.
Monday, September 10, 2012
Sheldon E. Kempler, 59
Sheldon E. Kempler of Westport died July 23 at home after suffering many illnesses throughout his adult life, his family said. He was 59.
Sheldon Kempler: Westport resident. Contributed photo
”His courage was so great and his attitude so strong that most people never knew what illnesses he was plagued with,” his family said. “He was the best husband and father that anyone could dream of having.
“We felt his love, his care and his support for our well being each and every day. He was a brilliant man who would become an instant expert in everything to better coach and guide us.
“He had so many interests and possessed a breadth of knowledge that would be difficult to rival. His sense of humor and comedic timing was unparalleled.
Sunday, September 09, 2012
John H. Rieckers, 79
John H. Rieckers of Convent Station, N.J., and formerly of Short Hills, N.J., died Aug. 25. He was 79.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Beverly (nee Danks), and his three daughters, Nancy and her husband, Sam Gault, of Westport; Susan and her husband, Greg Voetsch of New Vernon, N.J., and Sandra “Ricki” and her husband, Josh Darwin, of Needham, Mass.
Affectionately known as “Pop Pop,” he was adored by his six grandchildren, John Voetsch, William Voetsch, Jillian Gault, Benjamin Gault, Jack Darwin and George Darwin.
Born in New York City on Jan. 13, 1933, he was raised in Bloomfield, N.J., as the only son of Mabel and Harry Rieckers. After serving for two years as a medic in the U.S. Army, he graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, N.J., and began a successful career in chemical sales for Union Carbide.
Saturday, September 08, 2012
William N. Wallace, 88
UPDATE (memorial service set) William N. Wallace of Westport, a former sports reporter for The New York Times and one of the first to cover professional football beyond following the local team, died Aug. 11 in Norwalk. He was 88.
William N. Wallace: 1973 photo. New York Times photo
He had recently been found to have acute myeloid leukemia, his wife, the former Linda De Refler, said, according to the newspaper.
The Times said in its obituary that Wallace, along with Dave Brady of The Washington Post, was one of the first reporters assigned to write about broader issues affecting both the National and American Football Leagues, including their merger in 1970. It quoted Joe Browne, senior adviser to N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell.
In 1986, he received the Dick McCann Memorial Award from the Pro Football Writers of America for distinguished reporting.
Emily Muller, 93
Emily Del Mar Muller, a former Westport Public Library employee, died Sept. 2 at the Deerfield Retirement Community in Asheville, N.C. She was 93.
Emily Muller: former Westport librarian. Contributed photo
She was born Dec. 25, 1918, in New York City to Breta Longacre, a painter in the Hudson School, and William Alexander Del Mar, an electrical engineer.
She attended the Greenwich Academy and, just as World War II started, married Ralph Edward Chapman, a commercial pilot for Pan American. During the war, she served as a nurse at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami and became a mother as the war ended.
After the war, she divorced and moved with her two young sons to Chapel Hill where she received a BA in art history and a Master’s degree in library science. Upon graduation at age 38, she moved herself and two young children to Germany where she worked as a librarian in a secondary school for Army dependents.
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
Grace B. Veenis, 85
Grace B. Veenis of Guilford, formerly of Westport and a longtime employee at the Staples High School library, died Sept. 2. She was 85.
She was the wife of the late William J. Veenis for 50 years. Together, they traveled the world and built a company, VeeMetCo, Inc.
Born in Pittsburgh, she founded a school library in Pittsburgh, earned an MLA on top of her business BA and worked for years at the Staples High School Library.
She was a lifelong passionate gardener, churchwoman, reader and champion of libraries. She always loved meeting friends for games of serious bridge and light-hearted banter.
Friday, August 31, 2012
Nancy K. Ivison, 92
Nancy Kenna Ivison, former owner of the Pymander Bookshop in Westport and a former New Canaan resident most recently of Atlanta, died Aug. 27 in Atlanta. She was 92.
Nancy Ivison: owned Pymander Bookshop. Contributed photo
Born April 25, 1920 in Knoxville, Tenn. to Louise and Jo Kenna, she grew up in Charleston, W.V. where she attended Charleston High School and later Salem Academy in Winston-Salem, N.C. She was a graduate of King- Smith Studio School in Washington, D.C. where she studied theater arts and drawing.
She returned to Charleston and was an ambulance driver during World War II. She met and married Quin Morton, also of Charleston, with whom she had two daughters, Nancy Louise and Alice Byrd Morton.
The couple divorced in 1955 and she later married M. Thayer Ivison of New York City and moved with him to New Canaan where she lived until 2007. They had two children together, Catherine Cady and Douglas Thayer Ivison.
John K. Neale, 81
John Kennedy Neale of Fairfield, a former Westport resident, died Aug. 26. He was 81.
John Neale: former Westporter. Contributed photo
Son of the late John Kennedy Neale Sr. and Virginia (Neale) LeBlanc, he was born in Saugus, Mass. A graduate of Saugus High School and Southeastern Louisiana University, he excelled at football while at both schools. He was both a U.S. Navy veteran and physical therapist for more than 40 years.
He was very active in both the Gaelic American Club and Port 5 Naval Club. He was also a lifelong and avid New England Patriots fan.
He is survived by his sister Nancy (Neale) Ralph of Saugus and several nieces and nephews. John is predeceased by his longtime partner and fiancé, Gayle Clarke, of Westport.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Jean S. Pierson, 93
Jean Stringer Pierson of Darien and Delray Beach, Fla., formerly of Westport and St. Paul, Minn., died Aug. 22 at Meadow Ridge Health Center in Redding. She was 93.
Born on June 12, 1919 and raised in St. Paul, she was the daughter of McNeil Seymour and Louise Warren Stringer. She shared a birthday with her older brother Warnie, and when her mother and father returned home from the hospital with his new birthday baby, her brother asked, “Where’s my Babby?” This nickname stuck and she was known as Babby for her entire life.
She attended Summit School and graduated from Central High School in 1937. She then attended Pine Manor Junior College in Wellesley, Mass. before moving back to St. Paul where she held a variety of jobs including telephone operator at the Minnesota Federal Savings and Loan.
Despite a plethora of suitors, a fiercely independent Babby remained single until age 40, her family said. In her book, she believed there was no reason to get married until she met “the love of her life.”
Anne L. Duquette, 86
Anne Luciano Duquette, a Westport native who lived here more than 25 years, died Aug. 23 in Rutland, Vt. She was 86.
Anne Luciano Duquette: Westport native. Contributed photo
Born June 5, 1926 in Westport to Dominic J. Luciano and Constantina Capase Luciano, she graduated from Staples High School in 1944.
After marrying her husband, Roland R. Duquette in 1947 and starting her family in Westport, she moved to Wilton in 1951 where she lived until shortly before her death.
She began her professional career in Westport, working for the law firm Wake & See. She later worked for more than 30 years as an executive secretary for Vesper Corp in Fairfield.
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
David Zelkowitz, 71
David Zelkowitz, a longtime Westport resident, died Aug. 15. He was 71.
He was born in 1940 in a Soviet camp where his family was sent after having escaped Nazi Germany at the outbreak of World War II. He came to America in 1947 on the USS Ernie Pyle accompanied by his mother, father, aunts and uncles and settled in New York City.
He grew up in Washington Heights and attended Bronx High School of Science. He put himself through college while working his first job, graduating from City College of New York. There he met his wife, Suzanne Cowan.
They wed on Jan. 20, 1963, and remained married for 49 years. She was at his side when he passed away following a prolonged illness.
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Carolyn A. Frost, 81
Carolyn Aldrich Frost, a former Westport resident, died Aug. 15 in Colorado Springs, Colo. She was 81.
She was born Sept. 20, 1930 in Baltimore, Md. to Dr. Robert Henry Aldrich of Baton Rouge, La. and writer Rhoda Truax Aldrich of New York. She was raised in Cambridge where she graduated from the Cambridge School of Weston.
She moved to Colorado in 1948 to attend Colorado College from which she graduated in 1952. In 1953, she married Hunter Swift Frost of Pleasantville, N.Y., and they lived in New York City until 1966. She worked as a social worker at Woman’s Hospital.
In 1966, they returned to Colorado where she became director of social work at Brady Hospital and Hunter taught at Fountain Valley School. In 1982, the couple moved to Connecticut, where she became an active member of the Democratic Women of Westport and enjoyed time in New York visiting family and attending shows.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Joan P. Smith, 87
Joan Patricia Smith of Westport died Aug. 11 at Edgehill in Stamford, where she had been a resident for a short time. She was 87.
She was the daughter of Dr. William Francis and Helen (Finnegan) Flanagan. She was raised in New Britain with her four siblings, Helen Walsh, William “Billy” Flanagan (deceased), Barbara “Bobby” Barry (deceased), and Jean Sposato.
She attended Moreland Hill School in Kensington, Conn., and then Trinity College in Washington D.C. She continued her education in music at Rochester School of Music in Rochester, N.Y, and then at the Julliard School, where she studied piano, her lifelong love.
She loved her life in Westport, and was involved in the community as a member of the Westport Garden Club and the Westport Historical Society.