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Harding Funderal Home, Westport, CT

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Herbert S. Sacks, 84

Herbert S. Sacks, a clinical professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, a past president of the American Psychiatric Association, and an international medical consultant, died Aug. 30 in New Haven. He was 84. Image
Herbert Sacks: maintained private practice in Westport. Contributed photo

Dr. Sacks, who maintained a private practice at 260 Riverside Ave., Westport until his death,  was a longtime leader of professional psychiatric organizations, first in Connecticut, and then nationally. In this capacity, his broad concern was how modern psychiatry is represented in society.

His contributions to the understanding of such issues as patient advocacy and confidentiality have informed social policy. As president of the Connecticut Psychiatric Association, he led a successful campaign to mandate group insurance coverage for outpatient psychiatric treatment, the first such state legislation in the country.

In 1997, as the president of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), he spearheaded a national initiative for mental health parity in insurance coverage as part of a policy of universal access to mental health care,.

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Posted 05:56 PM
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Tuesday, September 06, 2011

B. V. Brooks, 84

(Editor’s note: the following obituary was provided by the Brooks family)

B.V. (Dexter) Brooks of Westport died Aug. 31—two days before his 85th birthday—at AmeriMed Hospital in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico of a heart attack.

Three days earlier he had suffered a first heart attack while on a cruise ship out of San Francisco bound for New York City. Although he rallied after treatment at AmeriMed, the second attack was fatal.

Brooks was born in New York City on Sept. 2, 1926, the only child of Babert Vincent Brooks, Sr. and Florence Goodwin Brooks.

He grew up in Coral Gables, Fla. and lived in Beverly Hills, Calif. for a short time before the family settled in Westport in 1941.

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Posted 04:57 PM
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Saturday, September 03, 2011

B.V. Brooks Dies at 84: ‘He Loved Life’

By James Lomuscio

UPDATE (adds memorial service details) From world travel to investing in Broadway shows to boating to tooling around on his motor scooter to creating crossword puzzles to taking weekly Latin dance lessons, B.V. Brooks, Westport’s iconic publisher and real estate magnate, was described by family members today as a man who loved life. Image
B.V. Brooks: publisher and real estate investor Contributed photo

Brooks, known as Dexter to family and friends, died Wednesday, two days shy of his 85th birthday, in a Mexican hospital following a heart attack, his family said. He was stricken with another heart attack three days earlier while on a cruise ship which had left San Francisco bound for the Panama Canal. (See family-provided obituary here.)

“He was taken to a hospital in Cabo San Lucas (a city at the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula), and he was in and out of consciousness,” said Torrey D. Brooks of Weston, his son.

“He was in the hospital for several days, and he had rallied,” said Kay Brooks, B.V. Brooks’s wife of 25 years. “But on August 31st he had another heart attack, and he did not rally, and he died that afternoon.”

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Posted 09:45 PM
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Friday, September 02, 2011

Betty S. Sobel, 87

Betty Saltman Sobel of Westport, died Aug. 30 in Golden Hill Health Care in Milford. She was 87. Image
Betty Sobel: longtime Westporter Contributed photo

Born Sept.13, 1923, in Bridgeport, she was the daughter of the late David and Bertha Saltman. She moved to Westport in 1960 and lived here since then.

She helped found the Westport fellowship of the Ethical Culture Society and supported the Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy, the World Affairs Center as well as local and national civil rights and anti-war organizations during the 1960s and 1970s. She was also a member of the board of trustees of the international women’s networking organization, Women Welcome Women.

She worked for radio station WMMM in Westport before starting her own public relations company, Poco Promo and a singles travel business, Solo Flights.

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Posted 01:26 PM
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Westport Businessman B.V. Brooks Dies at 84

Westport businessman B.V. Brooks, former owner of the Westport News and other community newspapers and a prominent real estate developer, died Wednesday of a heart attack in Mexico after becoming ill on a cruise, according to a person close to the family. He was 84.

Full obituary to come.

Posted 11:38 AM
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Thursday, September 01, 2011

Imogene Ann Wimer, 72

Imogene Ann Wimer of Weaverville, N.C., a former resident of Westport and wife of James Harold Wimer, died Aug. 29 at home of heart failure after being weakened for more than 10 years by a rare blood disorder. She was 72. Image
IImogene Ann Wimer: passion for bridge. Contributed photo

Born Nov. 9, 1938 in Buckhannon, W.Va., she was the daughter of Ethel Gladys Green Moss and James Raymond Moss. She graduated from Buckhannon-Upshur High School in 1956 and attended West Virginia Wesleyan College in her native Buckhannon.

After she married, she lived in Baltimore, Md. and Bridgeport, W.Va., before relocating to Westport where she was an active volunteer in the schools. She was dedicated youth leader at the United Methodist Church of Westport and Weston and she volunteered for several local clubs.

Once her children were teenagers, she worked as a Realtor for various agencies in Westport during the 1970s and 1980s. But her passion was always bridge, a game she learned in college.

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Posted 05:54 PM
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Joanne Carol (Renzulli) DeLuca, 77

Joanne Carol (Renzulli) DeLuca, wife of the late Francis James DeLuca, died Aug. 27 at Norwalk Hospital. She was 77. Image
JoAnne DeLuca: Staples Class of 1951. Contributed photo

A loving woman who filled every room, and touched everyone who was fortunate to be in her company, she was a good friend to all, she lived with dignity, and died with grace, her family said.

Born Dec. 12, 1933 in Norwalk the daughter of the late John and Florence (Valiante) Renzulli, she was a third generation Westport resident and a graduate of Staples High School Class of 1951.

She and Franny were co-owners of the Saugatuck restaurant Franny’s for more than two decades. She also worked at King’s Highway Elementary School. 

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Posted 05:40 PM
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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Abraham Rothenberg, 80

Abraham Rothenberg, noted Westport architect, died Aug. 28 from complications from a stroke he suffered eight years ago. He was 80. Image
Abe Rothenberg: noted architect. Contributed photo

A graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic and Princeton University in architecture in the early 1960s, he worked for Curtis and Davis Architects in New York City where his major projects included the award-winning Worcester Public Library and the James Forrestal Building in Washington, which today houses the Department of Energy.

In the late 1960s, he worked for Pomerance Breines Architects where he designed the John F. Kennedy Center for Research in Mental Retardation in the Bronx, and the NYU College of Dentistry.

He established his own firm in Westport in the 1970s, where his major projects included the Museum of Modern Art Bookstore II in Manhattan, the Spector Playground in Central Park, the Sofia Building on the Upper West Side, the Memphis/Evans Tower on the Upper East Side, the Hewlett-Woodmere Public Library in Long Island.

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Posted 11:19 PM
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Maria “Riet” Theresia Ehrismann, 88

Maria “Riet” Theresia Ehrismann, wife of Harry Sebastianus Ehrismann, died Aug. 28 at home in the company of her family. She was 88.

Born Oct. 27, 1922 in Rotterdam, Netherlands the daughter of the late Antonius and Huberdina (Vissers) Stoopman, she has been a resident of Weston for 38 years. She was a member of both the Weston Senior Center and Westport Senior Center, the Westport YMCA where she swam for exercise for more than 30 years.

Riet was also an amateur oil painter, enjoyed beading, cooking and baking and won several awards for rug hooking.

Survivors include three sons, Anthony W. Ehrismann and Francis P. Ehrismann of Norwalk, and Paul C. Ehrismann of Weston. Seven grandchildren, one great grandchild and several nieces and nephews. She was also predeceased by two sons, Harry Ehrismann and Lawrence Ehrismann.

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Posted 05:33 PM
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Thursday, August 25, 2011

William P. Baynham, 90

William Patrick Baynham, a former resident of Westport and longtime postal employee here, died Aug. 23 in the Arbors Nursing Home in Shelburne, Vt. He was 90.

Born July 12, 1921 in Westport, he was the son of the late Mary Ellen Convey Baynham and William Baynham Sr. He was baptized in Westport’s Assumption Church and was a parishioner there until May 2002. He graduated from Staples High School in 1939 and attended St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt.

He was a soldier with the U.S. Army during World War II. After the war, he returned to Westport and worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 32 years.

He moved with his wife, Mildred Guilfoyle Baynham, to South Burlington, Vt., in May 2002. He lived at Allenwood at Pillsbury Manor and was a member of St. John Vianney parish. His siblings were James Baynham, Mary Baynham Keller and Margaret Baynham Murphy.

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Posted 11:34 PM
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George D. Pils, 80

George Dewey Pils, husband of Virginia (Carr) Pils, died Aug. 24 at Norwalk Hospital. He was 80.

Born Feb. 14, 1931 in New York City son of the late Edward and Barbara (Strohmeyer) Pils, he has been a resident of Westport for 37 years.

He served in the U.S. Marine Corps and was a veteran of the Korean War. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Pace University and went on to NYU where he received his Masters Degree.

Prior to his retirement in 1993, he was an investor For GE Investments.

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Posted 05:26 PM
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Doris M. Pickering, 88

Doris M. Pickering of Westport, wife of Hugh, mother of Allison and sister of Robert L. Seymour, died Aug. 19 at Wilton Meadows Healthcare facility. She was 88.

She was an accomplished artist and maintained an avid interest in pure bred poodles throughout her life. Her first poodle was a gift from the late actor Marlon Brando.

Survivors also include three grandchildren: Amy Fulmer of Greenbriar, Ark., Rebecca Sealey of Fayetteville, N.C., and Jennifer Shick of Naples, Fla., and four great grandchildren Taryn and Timothy Sealey and Madeline and James Richard Fulmer.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to MentalHealthAmerica 2000 North Beauregard St., Alexandria, VA 22311-1749. Alternately to Poodle Rescue of Connecticut P.O. Box 188, Naugatuck, CT 06770.

Posted 05:05 PM
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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Former Westporter Nick Ashford, Music Legend, Dies at 70 Image
Ashford and Simpson’s 1979 album “Stay Free.”File photo

Former Westporter Nick Ashford, who with wife Valerie Simpson wrote such legendary Motown songs as “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand,” died Monday at New York hospital after a prolonged battle with throat cancer, his publicist announced. He was 70.

The couple were 33-year residents of Westport and were married here in 1974 at their 14-room Cross Highway estate on the corner of Bayberry Lane shortly after they purchased it. The 7.53-acre parcel with a main house dating to 1790 included a pool, tennis courts and a barn that doubled as a stable for horses.

They sold it in 2007 for $5 million and WestportNow featured it as the Teardown of the Day on Aug. 5, 2007. It was torn down six months later. (See WestportNow Feb. 25, 2008) The couple also had a Manhattan townhouse.

Neither Ashford nor Simpson took an active part in Westport life although he was often seen jogging along its roadways, stopping in at Coffee An’ on Main Street. Their annual 4th of July parties in Westport attracted luminaries of the music world.

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Posted 12:47 PM
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Monday, August 22, 2011

John Boyd, Key Figure in Longshore Purchase, Dies at 94

John Wetherall Boyd, a former Westport state representative and town attorney who was a key figure in the town’s 1960 acquisition of Longshore Club Park and in preventing Cockenoe Island off Compo Beach from becoming the site of a nuclear power plant in 1967, died Aug. 15 in Amherst, Mass. He was 94. Image
John Boyd returned to the area in April 2010 for the Westport Arts Center chamber music concert at the Pequot Library in Southport in honor of his late wife, Jean M. Boyd, who dedicated much of her life to educating children at the Westport School of Music and supporting the South Shore Music Club. Boyd is pictured with daughters (l-r) Nancy Boyd, Barbara Sternau, and Frances Boyd. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for

Born in 1916, he was the son of the late E.F. Boyd and Marguerite Van Voorhis. He attended Westport public schools, won a scholarship to Loomis Chaffee in Windsor and, in l939, graduated from Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y.

In l942, he received his law degree from Columbia University Law School. He taught military law during World War II and, in the 1960s served two terms in the state legislature.

He had a law practice in Westport and, in addition to serving as town attorney, also held positions on the Beach Commission, Town Court, Republican Town Committee and Planning and Zoning Commission.

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Posted 11:55 PM
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Family Celebrates ‘Tess’s Spirit’

By James Lomuscio

More than 600 persons filled Westport’s Unitarian Church today to for an emotional, almost two-hour service to celebrate the brief but gifted life of Westporter Tess Jacqueline Tanner Meisel, 12, who was killed in a crash in Farmington, Maine. Image
Jacob Meisel, 14, listens with his mother, Suzanne Tanner Meisel, at today’s Unitarian Church service for Tess Meisel. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

“She would have been thankful and amazed at all the people here today,” said Gary Meisel, her father as he addressed the overflow, standing room only crowd that spilled out through open glass doors on to the terrace of the sun-filled, modern sanctuary. He described Tess as a loving, insightful poet beyond her years, “an old soul.”

“She was a truly remarkable child in that sense,” he added. “As I go on with my life, I will keep my daughter in my heart, and I will visit her in my dreams.”

Tess, a Coleytown Middle School student, died Wednesday when the minivan she and three other campers were in was struck by a tractor-trailer carrying sawdust. Tess was the only fatality. One of the passengers, 13-year-old Samantha Galvao of Westport, attended the funeral, her arm in a sling.

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Posted 07:15 PM
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