WestportNow publishes obituaries without charge. Funeral homes or individuals may submit obituaries to . Photos in jpeg format may be submitted to the same address. Obituaries should indicate full name of deceased, date and place of death, age, and connection to Westport. Please provide a name, telephone number, and email address for verification. WestportNow reserves the right to edit obituaries to conform to our editorial style.
Friday, August 31, 2012
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.
Don Z. Filson, 65
Don Z. Filson of Roanoke, Va., a former Westport resident, died at his home on Aug. 18 after a two-year courageous battle with ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease). He was 65.
Don Filson: 1965 Staples grad . Contributed photo
Born in Chicago on Feb. 14, 1947 to Floyd V. Filson and Marguerite B. Filson, he was originally from Cleveland. He spent his high school years in Westport where he was captain of the football and wrestling teams and graduated from Staples in 1965.
He graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1969 and proudly served his country in the U.S. Army until 1971. After five years as a surety bond underwriter, he was hired by the Roanoke office of Thomas Rutherfoord, Inc. as a surety bond agent and was a dedicated Thomas Rutherfoord employee for 35 years.
He was probably best known for his honesty, generosity, sense of humor, keen wit, infectious laugh, sincere concern for others, love of sports and music, and of course, his slight-of-hand card magic, his family said.
Roberta H. Grahn, 69
Roberta Harris Grahn, a former Westport resident, died Aug. 13 from an allergic reaction to a bee sting. She was 69.
She was born Aug. 12, 1943 in Martinez, Calif. to Darrol and Irene Harris. She moved to Westport in junior high school where she met Robert, her soul mate and lifelong companion whom she shared her life with and was married to for 47 years.
She graduated from Staples High School in 1961 and went on to college at Tufts University where she was a double major in psychology and education. The week after she graduated from college, Robert graduated from college and the next day they were married and “honeymooned” by hosting a group of kids at their children’s summer camp in Rangeley, Maine which they did annually for eight years.
At the end of each summer, she was an elementary school teacher for two years in New London and four years near Rochester, N.Y. She stopped teaching to raise their son David. Shortly thereafter they moved to California where they purchased Pine Grove Resort, where she spent the next 30 years raising her family and working side by side with them in the family business.
Jennifer M. George, 36
Jennifer Madelyn Consuelo George of Westport and Hamden died Aug. 4 at her home in Hamden. She was 36.
Jennifer George: musician and songwriter. Contributed photo
The daughter of Madelyn Consuelo ( Armijo ) George and the late Robert Vincent George, she was born in Mexico City on Jan. 6, 1976 and moved to Westport with her family in 1978.
Jennie was an incredibly gifted musician and songwriter who dedicated her life to music and philanthropy, her family said. From an early age, she immersed herself in music and was a member of various choral and musical theater groups at Long Lots Elementary, Coleytown Middle School, and Staples High School, including the award-winning Staples Players and the internationally renowned Staples Orphenians. She graduated in 1994.
Her high school era bands How to Grab Bugs, Decade and Divine Illusion garnered praise from audiences and music critics alike, and Divine Illusion would go on to win the Battle of the Bands at the Levitt Pavilion in 1994.
Friday, August 17, 2012
Nancy L. Mills, 66
Nancy Lucille Mills, a Staples High School graduate, died Feb. 27 in Jacksonville, Fla. She was 66.
Nancy Mills: 1963 Staples grad. Contributed photo
Born March 21, 1946 in Norwalk to Dr. Clifford Wheeler Mills and Lucille Jones Mills, she attended Staples High School, graduating in 1963, then went on to Laselle College in Massachusetts, and Norwalk Technical College.
After an early interest in a career in nursing, she began working as a computer programmer for Union Trust Bank, and has been a systems analyst and change management executive for Bank of America for the last 21 years.
She loved needlepoint, antiques, and raising zebra finches, her family said. She also read widely. Her favorite author was Agatha Christie, who was filled with wisdom that she embodied. Both knew that good advice was bound to be ignored, but should be given anyway, and that for everything one loves, one pays a price, according to her family.
Edward C. Sheppard, 78
Edward Camillo Sheppard, MD, of Westport died Aug. 10, after a brief illness. The cause was cancer, his family said. He was 78.
Edward Sheppard: had psychiatric practice in Westport. Contributed photo
He was born March 10, 1934 in Atlantic City, N.J. to Edward Francis Sheppard, who predeceased him, and Rita Gargale Sheppard, currently of Fairfield. He pursued his undergraduate degree at Rutgers University and earned his doctorate in medicine from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
His professional memberships included the American Psychiatric Association and the New York Academy of Sciences. In the early 1970s, he began his psychiatric practice at Norwalk Hospital and established private practices in Manhattan and Westport.
In his more than 40 years of serving people with emotional and psychological issues, he improved the quality of life for hundreds of patients and their families. His patients speak with praise for his creative, analytical approach, and therapies that rely minimally on prescription drugs, his family said.
William M. Shaner, 81
UPDATE William M. Shaner, Jr, formerly of Westport, died Aug. 15 at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Bridgeport after a brief illness. He was 81.
Born in Philadelphia, he grew up in Wynnewood, on the Main Line, as he was fond to say. He was the son of William M. Shaner, Sr. and Marion Steele Shaner.
He attended Old Penn Charter School and went on to Amherst College. His time at Amherst, where he was a member of the Chi Phi fraternity, was interrupted by service in the U.S. Marines during the Korean conflict.
After graduating in 1954, he moved on to law school at the University of Pennsylvania. But his real love was advertising. After dropping out of Penn, he moved to New York City to pursue an advertising career. He met his first wife and mother of his children, Phyllis Quinn Shaner (currently of Westport) while in New York.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Genevieve Kral, 97
Genevieve “Jean” S. Kral of Westport died Aug. 14 at home. She was 97.
Genevieve Kral: lifelong Westporter. Contributed photo
Born in Westport to the late Bernard and Sophie Stahursky, she was a lifelong resident. She loved gardening, reading and cooking but most of all, loved spending time with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was a devoted parishioner of St. Luke Church.
She is survived by her children, Robert Kral and his wife, Crescent of Fairfield, Thomas Kral of Westport and Barbara Bazyk of Fairfield; two brothers, Bernard and John Stahursky of Westport; three sisters, Helen Rutski of Westport, Wanda Oronowski of Norwalk and Bertha Matis of Westport; six grandchildren, Christopher Kral, Jonathan Kral and his wife, Cristin and their children, Brendan and Ryan, Diana Kral, Laura Kral, Jeffrey Bazyk and his wife, Angelica and their children, Benjamin, Alex and Angelica and Tracey Bazyk; and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to her husband, Anthony V. Kral, and parents, she was preceded in death by her siblings, Frank, Joseph, Steve and Sophie Stahursky.
Mariam Correia, 94
Mariam Correia of Roanoke, Va., a former special education teacher in the Westport school system, died Aug. 11. She was 94.
Mariam Correia: Westport special ed teacher. Contributed photo
Mariam Elizabeth Ellen Barbour Correia was born on Sept. 20, 1917, to Squire Robert and Estella Younger Barbour in Roanoke. She graduated from the first Lucy Addison High School and attended St. Augustine College in Raleigh, N.C. She also attended North Carolina Central University in Durham, N.C.
She was employed by Roanoke City Schools and the Westport school system in the Special Education Department until she retired with her husband to her hometown of Roanoke.
Upon her arrival, she rejoined the Sweet Union Baptist Church, where she was a member of the Flower Club. She was also an active member of the Roanoke Chapter of the Continental Societies.
Monday, August 13, 2012
Richard H. Jager, 61
Richard H. Jager, a former Westport resident who most recently lived in Seymour after many years in Shelton, died Aug.1. He was 61.
“Rick” grew up in Westport, where at the age of 13, he began his first business, Harbor Marine Services. After graduating from Brown University, he incorporated his business as Subsea Associates and Waterfront Associates, specializing in designs, inspections and repairs of underwater structures.
Professionally he was active in many organizations and served on the board of the Association of Diving Contractors. He was a longtime resident of Shelton, where he raised his family.
While living in Shelton, he served on the WPCA and was vice president of Clean Sound, a volunteer organization developed to keep the local marshes and river banks clean of debris.