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Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Former Westporter Nick Ashford, Music Legend, Dies at 70
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.
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.
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 WestportNow.com
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.
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.
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 WestportNow.com
“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.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Marie M. Fowler, 89
Marie M. Fowler (Tina) of Westport, wife of the late Cornelius (Neil) Fowler, died Aug.19 at Norwalk Hospital. She was 89.
Marie M. Fowler: 32-year Westport resident.Contributed photo
Born in Roxbury, Mass. the daughter of the late William and Mary Murphy, she had been a Westport resident since 1979.
She received her Bachelors Degree from Regis College. She retired as an executive assistant at the Katharine Gibbs School in Norwalk.
She was a member of the Westport Historical Society, the Gaelic American Club in Fairfield and was very active in the Westport Republican Party. She enjoyed gardening, shopping, dining out with friends and her weekly video group.
Friday, August 19, 2011
Hundreds Say Goodbye to Manny Margolis
By James Lomuscio
More than 200 family members, friends and colleagues filled the standing-room-only Abraham L. Green Funeral Home in Fairfield today to say goodbye to “a mensch,” Westporter Emanuel “Manny” Margoils, 85, who died Wednesday after a two-year battle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
An overflow crowd attended the funeral at the Abraham L Green funeral home in Fairfield. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
With tears, humor and musical selections including “Sunrise, Sunset” from “Fiddler on the Roof” performed by his daughter Sarah Margolis Marsh, one of his five children, and her husband Tomas, the funeral service celebrated a longtime civil libertarian whose love for family was only matched by his love for the law.
Josh Margolis, Manny’s son, described his attorney father as a humble, yet a fierce litigator who, when he was not poring over casework in his study at home, was often puttering with flowers in the garden or ready to play ball with him.
Present were the Margolises’ five married children: Elizabeth and David Margolis-Pineo, Cathy and Laurence Margolis Goodman, Abby and Chris Margolis Newman, Josh and Aimee Good Margolis and Sarah and Tomas Margolis Marsh.
Tess Jacqueline Tanner Meisel, 12
The Meisel family today issued the following obituary:
Tess Jacqueline Tanner Meisel, 12, of Westport passed away due to a tragic accident on Aug. 17.
Tess Jacqueline Tanner Meisel: “a natural giver with a humble heart.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Born Dec. 27, 1998 in Westwood, Los Angeles, Tess was the beloved daughter of Suzanne Tanner and Gary Meisel, of Westport and Los Angeles, adored sister of Jacob Meisel, 15, cherished granddaughter of Mary Tanner and the late Jack Tanner, of Mashpee, Mass. and Harriette and Emiel Meisel, formerly of Westport and currently of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, valued niece, devoted cousin, faithful friend, and proud owner of her new 7-month old puppy, Celli, named for the orchestra section at Coleytown Middle School, where she was to enter eighth grade.
Tess was first and foremost a healer. Her tenderness, genuine empathy and radiant smile provided her the tools to help others, which she practiced daily.
A natural giver with a humble heart, she offered random acts of kindness and love to all she encountered. She never lacked for creativity or ideas and pursued each of her ventures with determination and zest, including a small business she started selling her handcrafted jewelry to raise funds for the Polar Bears.
Leon Forman, 82
Leon Forman of Westport died Aug. 11. He was 82. He was the husband of Edith Forman.
Born June 25, 1929, in Brooklyn, N.Y., he served in the Korean Conflict, during which he was awarded the Purple Heart. He worked as a union electrician and a teacher.
Survivors, in addition to his wife, include a daughter, Bettina Jody Ramsey; two sons, Marcus Forman and Michael Forman, and four grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Leon Forman Memorial, c/o Rob Reeves, CEO, Westport Weston Family Y, 59 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Manny Margolis, Lifelong Civil Rights Advocate, Dies at 85
Emanuel Margolis, a Westport attorney who had a lifelong devotion to civil liberties and civil rights and joined in a weekly peace vigil in Westport’s center, died today of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his wife, Estelle, said. He was 85.
Emanuel Margolis: “truly one of a kind.” Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
Margolis was a member and partner of the law firm of Wofsey, Rosen, Kweskin and Kuriansky, LLP, in Stamford since 1960 and also taught First Amendment law at Quinnipiac University School of Law.
His wife recalled In 1947 as a returning wounded Purple Heart veteran to the University of North Carolina, he protected a group of early black freedom riders. “The South was still deep in segregation, and there was an active Klu Klux Klan in the area,” she said. “There were no black students at UNC at the time.
“The riders came by bus to the campus and were offered the church for an overnight stay. Manny organized all the veterans on campus and stood guard all night. ”
Martin M. Davidson, 94
Martin M. Davidson: pictured at Scientific American Magazine where he worked for 19 years. Contributed photo
Martin M. Davidson, a Westport resident for more then 50 years, died Aug. 15 in South Palm Beach, Fla. He was 94.
Born in Youngstown, Ohio Feb. 28, 1917, he was the son of (Rabbi) Isadore and Rose Miriam (Ginsburgh) Davidson. He graduated GAR Memorial High School, Wilkes-Barre, Pa. class of 1935.
He attended Harvard University, graduating (cum laude) in 1939. Soon afterwards, he took his first job in publishing with Broadcast Magazine in Washington, DC.
After the outbreak of World War II, he applied for the OCS program in the Marine Corps. Two letters of recommendation were required and one written for him was from the office of John J. Pershing, General of the Armies.
He served with the Third Marine Division in the Pacific and saw action on Bougainville, Guam and Iwo Jima. He retired with the rank of major.
Richard M. Samose, 69
Richard Samose: 1960 Staples graduate, Contributed photo
Richard M. Samose of Redding, a former Westport resident, died Aug. 14. He was 69.
Raised in Westport, he graduated from Staples High School, Class of 1960. He was the husband of Catherine Finlay Samose for 42 years.
He recently shared his memories of growing up in Westport when Longshore Club Park marked the 50th anniversary of its purchase by the Town of Westport.
He was born on May 13, 1942, in New York, N.Y., the older child of the late Morton Samose and Audrey Fierman Samose. He moved with his family to Westport in 1954.
Lois Malnati Lenfest, 90
Lois Malnati Lenfest of Lewisburg, Pa., a former resident of Westport, died July 20 in the Riverwoods Nursing Home in Lewisburg. She was 90.
Born Feb. 4, 1921, in Helena, Mont., she was the daughter of the late Flora Simpson and Louis John Malnati. She attended Boise Junior College and earned a bachelor of arts degree from Stanford University.
She volunteered for several local clubs, including the Westport Women’s Club, the Garden Club and Green’s Farms Congregational Church. She and her husband, George Chesley Lenfest of Lewisburg, moved to Huntington and, in 2006, to the RiverWoods Commmunity in Lewisburg.
In addition to her husband, she is survived by two children, Georgia Armstrong of Unityville, Pa., and Janet Antonucci of Somers, N.Y.; four grandchildren, Christopher Lenfest, Martha Kathryn Armstrong and Jaclyn and Robyn Antonucci; and three great-grandchildren, Lily, Atticus and William.
Regina Barclay Sacks, 91
Regina Barclay Sacks of Fairfield, a former Westport school teacher, died Aug. 3. She was 91.
Born in New Rochelle, N.Y. on Aug. 17, 1919 to the late Clara and Harry Berkowitz, she taught fourth grade for many years at Kings Highway Elementary School.
She was predeceased by her husband, Leonard and her three older brothers. She is survived by sons, Douglas of Wethersfield, his wife Margaret and grandchildren Tyler, Emma and Nora, and Russell of Madrid, Spain and his wife Mar and grandson, Adrian.
There are no calling hours. Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery with her husband.
Bruce W. McShane
Bruce Winthrop McShane, a former Westport resident, died Aug. 13.
Born in Montclair, N.J., he was the son of Bruce Winthrop and Mary Crane. When he was a year old, his father died in a car crash.
He was the brother of Leslie Anne Roach, Elizabeth Carter Conway, Devin McShane and Bryan McShane. After his mother remarried Gordon McShane in 1952, his family, consisting then of Bruce and his older sister Leslie, moved to San Raphael, Calif., where Gordon worked. While they lived there, Bryan and Devin were added to his family.
In 1955, the family moved back to the east coast and took up residence in the Morristown area of New Jersey. In that year, Carter was born.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
David A. Goby
David A. Goby of Trumbull, a former science teacher at Westport’s Staples High School, died Aug. 14. The 06880 blog said cause was complications of lymphoma treatment, many years ago.
Born in New Haven, he was a son of the late Louis and Roze (Rood) Goby. He graduated from Central High School in 1959, and Marietta College in 1963. He received his Master’s degree in education at the University of Bridgeport and law degree from Quinnipiac Law School.
He had a long career in education, having taught science at Staples High School and eventually becoming the K-12 science coordinator before retiring. He then taught science at Ezra Academy in Woodbridge until retiring again in December 2010.
He was the founding director of Merkaz, the community high school for Judaic studies in Bridgeport, which he directed for 12 years. He always felt Merkaz was his legacy to the community, his family said.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Rickita “Kita” Smalls, 22
Rickita “Kita” Smalls of Bridgeport died Aug. 6 in Norwalk. She was 22.
Rickita Smalls: Westport Stop & Shop employee. Contributed photo
Born in Norwalk, she was a lifelong resident of Bridgeport. A graduate of Bassick High School, she was formerly employed with Stop & Shop of Westport. She was a member of New Vision International Ministries.
She is survived by her biological father, Ray Jenkins of Norwalk: her parents who raised her, Michael and Notassha Smalls-Blake of Bridgeport; paternal grandparents, maternal grandparents, Curlee Fludd of South Carolina and Barbara Smalls of Norwalk; maternal great-grandmother, Eula Smalls of Bridgeport , several other relatives and friends.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, Aug. 16 at 11a.m. at Bethel AME Church, 110 Grove St., Bridgeport with The Rev. Donald C. Luster, officiating. Interment will take place at Park Cemetery, Bridgeport following the funeral.