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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ray H. Space, 93

Ray H. Space of Stratford, formerly of Westport, died April 15. He was 93.

Born Oct. 20, 1917 in Patterson N J. son of the late Bertha Wallace Space, he was the husband of the late Anna (Luciano) Space of Westport for 63 years and devoted father of the late Ray “Corky” Space.

He is survived by a grandson, Todd Space who currently lives in Germany; a brother Doug Space and his wife, Bette of Massachusetts, several nieces and nephews and a dear friend, Helen Popp of Stratford. Additionally, Ray was predeceased by a brother Kenneth Space.
Ray led a life full of adventure. From an early age he enjoyed music and singing, fine automobiles, and even getting into the boxing ring. 

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Eugenie Thrush, 83

Eugenie Thrush, a lifelong resident of Westport, died April 16 at home. She was 83.

She was born Feb. 23, 1928 the daughter of the late William and May (Bell) Thrush. Prior to retiring in 1984, she was employed for 39 years as a bookkeeper for Thrush Press in Stamford. She was a member of the 1945 graduating class of Staples High School.

Survivors include three nephews, William L. Thrush, William T. Thrush III, Duke P. Thrush, and four nieces, Dana Foote, Lauriston Avery, Robin Jovanovich, Poppy Murphy, sixteen great nieces and nephews. She was also predeceased by one niece Donna Thrush.

Friends are invited to attend a graveside service Thursday, April 21 at 1 p.m. in Willowbrook Cemetery 395 Main St., with a memorial service to be held immediately following at 1:30 p.m. in the chapel of Christ and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 75 Church Lane.

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Cindy Kerrigan, 53, Loses Battle With Cancer

Lucinda (Cindy) W. Kerrigan, wife of Thomas F. Kerrigan and a lifelong resident of Westport, died April 17 after an eight-year battle with cancer. She was Image
Cindy Kerrigan: lifelong Westporter. Contributed photo

An extraordinarily gifted athlete, she excelled at bowling—which she did with her father/coach Lew Wirth, Sr. – as well as rifle shooting, softball, and tennis.  She also was an outstanding shortstop, a position she played with the Black Duck Girls Softball team for many years. 

At age 12, Cindy joined the PAL Junior Rifle Club where she was not only the youngest, but the only female participant. The Rifle Club is where she started competing with her neighbor and future husband Tom Kerrigan. 

Later in life, at age 32 Cindy took up tennis where she competed at the highest amateur level and achieved a 4.5 level USTA rating. Cindy’s competitive spirit will remain with her family and close friends for eternity.

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Stanley Bleifeld Service Draws Large Crowd Image
There was a large crowd at today’s memorial service for noted sculptor Stanley Bleifeld of Weston at Westport’s Unitarian Church. Bleifeld, 86, died March 25 following a fall four days earlier at his home. Some of his sculpture was on view in the reception area of the church. His well known works are on display in Washington, D.C., the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., and numerous other locations. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for

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Service Today for Stanley Bleifeld Image
Stanley Bleifeld: died of head injury. Helen Klisser During / WN photo
A memorial service for noted sculptor Stanley Bleifeld of Weston will be held today at 2 p.m. at Westport’s Unitarian Church.

Bleifeld, 86, died March 25 following a fall four days earlier at his home. (See WestportNow March 26, 2011)

Some of his sculpture will be on view in the reception area of the church at 10 Lyons Plains Road.

Bleifeld’s well known works are on display in Washington, D.C., the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., and numerous other U.S. locations as well as in Scotland and in Italy, where he spent part of every year.

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Philip M. Brown, 60

Philip Martin Brown, 60, of Redding died March 24 in Norwalk Hospital after a brief illness. He was 60.

Born Sept. 15, 1950 in Philadelphia, Pa., he has been a resident of Redding for the past seven years. He is a former teacher in Glastonbury and school administrator in Southbury, in North Haven, in Eastchester, N.Y., and in Cos Cob.

A 1972 graduate of the University of Maryland, he and received his master’s degree from the University of Hartford and did post graduate work toward his Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut.

Brown is a member of the National Association of Elementary School Principals and a former member of ASCD, an Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

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Crosby G. Patterson, 97

Crosby Gardner Patterson, a former Westport teacher, died April 11 at his home in Verona Island, Maine. He was Image
Crosby G. Patterson: former Westport teacher. Contributed photo

He was born Feb. 3, 1914, in Bangor, Maine to Leander G. Patterson and Grace Hart Patterson. Gardner was a graduate of Bangor High School and Higgins Classical Institute. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maine in journalism and English, as well as a Master of Education degree several years later.

As a teacher in Westport, he continued his graduate work at Columbia University in New York, and Fairfield University. As a young man, Gardner worked at several of Maine’s newspapers as a reporter and feature writer, including the Bangor Daily News and Portland Press Herald. He also worked at Time magazine before returning to Maine to teach.

He began teaching at Pennell Institute, Gray, and also taught at Bangor High School, Orono High School, and the Walt Whitman School, New York City, and for many years taught history and social studies at Bedford Junior High School in Westport.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Anna DeMattio, 92

Anna DeMattio, of Westport, wife of the late Carmen DeMattio, died April 11 at the Wilton Meadows Health Care Center. She was 92.

Born May 19, 1918 in Southport, she was he daughter of the late George ande Nellie (Luchkcnich) Drabaski and has been a resident of Westport for the past 68 years. Her passion in life was spending time with her family.

Survivors include one daughter, Barbara McKay and her husband John(Sean) Mckay of Westport, two sisters, Nellie Michalek of Southport, Mary Sonnenfeld of Paris, Maine, one grandson, Michael McKay and his wife Sharon McKay, two great grandchildren, Colin and Dillon McKay and several nieces and nephews.

Friends are invited to attend the funeral service Friday, April 15 at 10 a..m. in The Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Road East. Interment will follow in Willowbrook Cemetery, Westport.

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Antoinette (Cacavelle) Renzulli, 99

Antoinette (Cacavelle) Renzulli, wife of the late Michael A. Renzulli Sr. mother, sister, grandmother and great grandmother, died April 7. She was Image
Antoinette Renzulli: lifelong Westporter. Contributed photo

She was born Aug. 31, 1911 in Westport, daughter of the late Angelo and Angela Marie (Giordano) Cacavelle and has been a lifelong resident of Westport.

She is a former member of the Saint Anthony’s Society and prior to retiring worked for the Town of Westport as a cook in the food service department of Bedford Elementary School.

She loved cooking, going to church, and spending time with her family and friends. She did this with her whole heart and enjoyed every minute of it. Antoinette was a very strong person and an inspiration to everyone.

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Friday, April 08, 2011

Max Wilk Memorial Service Set for Saturday

A memorial service will be held in Southport Saturday for Westport author, playwright and film and TV writer Max Wilk who died Feb. 19 at the age of 90. (See WestportNow Feb. 21, 2011) Image
Max Wilk addresses a Westport Public Library audience in 2008. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for

The 3 p.m. event is at the Pequot Library, 720 Pequot Ave.

Wilk was also a music impresario who produced Westport Arts Center jazz and live musical shows for almost 20 years.

His best-known nonfiction work was 1973’s “They’re Playing Our Song.” This collection of interviews with and stories about the great Tin Pan Alley and Broadway songwriters of the 20th century has been in print for almost 40 years.

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Thursday, April 07, 2011

Esther Kramer, Legendary Bookstore Founder, Dies at 93

UPDATE (memorial service location changed for second time) Esther Kramer, founder and for 32 years, owner of the The Remarkable Book Shop, a hot pink colonial house at the end of Westport’s Main Street, died April 2. She was 93. Image
Esther Kramer: Remarkable woman. Contributed photo Image
The Remarkable Book Shop on Westport’s Main Street in this 1987 view. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow/ file photo

Even as the street shifted from local shops to national chains, the store stubbornly thrived, featuring rubber chickens, wooden monkeys, Left Bank bookstalls and whole rooms of cookbooks, poetry, and books on sailing. 

In the dawning of the age of feminism, Kramer staffed the shop with a dozen women savvy about every book in the store’s huge stock.

The shop became a social center of the town’s many writers and avid readers, and Kramer, a legendary storyteller and hostess, also became mother-confessor to three rising generations of Westport’s creative youngsters.

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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Deborah A. Bulakites, 55

Deborah A. Bulakites of Westport passed away April 4 at Norwalk Hospital. She was 55.

Born Oct. 9, 1955 in Memphis, Tenn., she was daughter of William Bulakites and the late Gertrude Gillis Bulakites. She graduated from Staples High School in 1974 and was a Westport resident for most of her life.

In addition to her father William, she is survived by her step-mother Ottilie, both of Wallingford; her uncle Eugene Bulakites of Shelton; and by two cousins, Laura Barton of Stratford, and Barbara Ferris and her husband Craig of Shelton.

Additionally, she is survived by her two step-sisters, Sidnie Crawford and her husband Dan of Lincoln, Neb., and Deborah White and her husband Gary Spenik of Alameda, Calif., and by many more cousins in Vermont.

A private graveside service will be held in Assumption Cemetery in Westport. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to the American
Diabetes Association (

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Monday, April 04, 2011

Thomas A. Deyo, 66

Thomas Anthony Deyo of Bridgeport passed away on April 1 at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport. He was Image
Thomas Deyo: one-time Westport resident. Contributed photo

Born Oct. 27, 1944 in Bridgeport, he was a son of the late George P. Deyo Sr. and Concetta Romano Deyo Ferraro. A graduate of Notre Dame High School, he resided in Westport for a time before returning to Bridgeport.

Thomas was a former employee of Altieri Bakery in Bridgeport before going on to CBT Bank and becoming the assistant vice president. He worked a various local banks and also taught catechism at St. Luke Church in Westport.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by a brother, George J. Deyo Jr.; stepfather, Dominick J. Ferraro; and best friend, James Taaffe. Survivors include a brother, Peter Deyo and his wife, Joann; sister-in-law, Annette Deyo; and many loving nieces and nephews.

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Saturday, April 02, 2011

Frances Parise, 88

Frances Parise of Westport, the beloved wife for 69 years of the late Frank Parise who died March 11, 2011, passed away in her home on March 31. She was Image
Frances Parise: Westporter since 1947. Contributed photo

Born Dec. 19, 1922, in Bridgeport, she was the daughter of the late Joseph and Josephine (Pazdan) Kirik. Frances graduated from Harding High School and worked at Manning, Maxwell and Moore, Inc., of Bridgeport as part of the war effort.

She married her childhood sweetheart and after the war they moved to Westport in 1947 where they had lived ever since.

Frances was the quintessential homemaker, mother and wife. Surrounded by her ever growing brood of children, she could be found in the kitchen cooking, in the backyard gardening, or at the grocery store shopping.

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Augusta Butcher Brennan

Augusta Butcher Brennan, formerly of Coral Gables, Fla.,, beloved wife of 61 years of the recently deceased Frank G. Brennan, passed away March 28 in Wallingford, Conn.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., the daughter of the late Isaiah and Augusta Butcher, she had previously lived with her husband for many years in Westport and Weston.

Prior to her marriage, she was one of the first female credit investigators for the then Chase National Bank. Irrepressibly restless, Augusta loved traveling over the years and witnessed many of the century’s historic events as they happened.

Home over the years included Havana, Santo Domingo, Buenos Aires, Budapest, and San Jose, Costa Rica, in addition to New York, Miami, and Connecticut.

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