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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.

Harding Funderal Home, Westport, CT

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Westporter Helen Reichert Dies at 109

By James Lomuscio

Helen Faith Keane Reichert of Westport and New York City died at her midtown Manhattan home Sunday at the age of 109, “just a few weeks shy of her 110th birthday on Nov. 11,” her sister-in-law Elisabeth Keane of Westport said today. Image
Helen Reichert: pictured in Westport two months ago. Contributed photo

“Her nickname was Happy, and it was a nickname that suited her entire life,” Keane said.

Throughout her life, Reichert vigorously promoted a rigid recipe for success: chocolate truffles, hamburgers, Budweiser beer, cigarettes and New York nightlife. Strictly forbidden were vegetables, exercising, getting up early and complaining.

Reichert was one of four centenarian siblings, including Keane’s husband, Westporter Peter Keane, “the baby of the family who will be 102 in February.” Other siblings included Irving Kahn, the 105-year-old chairman of Kahn Bros., a New York City Investment firm.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mina Martins, 44

Mina Martins, the former Mina Sboros, of Westport died Sept. 26. She was 44. Image
Mina Martins: fiancé of Westporter Doug Meier. Contributed photo

Born in Bridgeport on April 13, 1967, she attended Blackham School and attended six years of Greek school. She was a graduate of Central High School and Gibbs College. Her career was in the banking business as a teller and an assistant supervisor for many years. She enjoyed trips to Greece to visit her aunts, uncles, and cousins, her family said.

Predeceased by her mother, Joan (Joanie) Sboros, she is survived by her father and stepmother, Angelo and Louise Sboros of Shelton, her brother and his wife, John and Kim Sboros of Melbourne, Fla., her daughters Lisa and Maria Martins, and their father, her former husband and constant friend, Tony Martins. 

She is also survived by her fiancé, Doug Meier of Westport, and his mother, Carol Meier, as well as her favorite four-legged constant faithful companion, Yunque.

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Posted 09:27 PM
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Monday, September 26, 2011

Edwin R. Clark, 66

Edwin R. Clark II died Sept. 25 under hospice care in his home in Potsdam, N.Y. The former Westport educator was 66. Image
Edwin R. Clark II former Westport educator. Contributed photo

Born in Meridian, Miss. on May 13, 1945, he grew up in South Norwalk, the eldest of eight children of Edwin R. Clark, Sr. and Melinda (Ruta) Clark. He received his Bachelor of Science in art education from Southern Connecticut State University in 1967. He was drafted and served in the Army at Fort Jackson, S.C. during the Vietnam War.

He worked as an art educator in Westport elementary schools until 1975 when he left to study art and Spanish in Mexico. He received his Master of Fine Arts in Ceramic Sculpture in 1981 from the Instituto Allende, University of Guanajuato in San Miguel Allende, Mexico.

He was an innovator in many artistic media including handmade paper, the book arts, photography, ceramics, glass and the performing arts. Of note was his storytelling with the mouth harp and musical saw.

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Josephine Faust, 87

Josephine Faust, wife of the late Alvin B. Faust, died Sept. 25 at Norwalk Hospital. She was 87.

Born Jan. 18, 1924 in Westport, she was the daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Carmine Famiglietti.

She is survived by son Alvin Faust Jr. and his wife Debora of Stamford, and five daughters; Bettylou Mattison of Port St. Lucie, Fla., Carolyn Coughlin of Port St. Lucie, Sandra Ermark and her husband Alan of Monroe, Jane Cuddy of Orlando, Fla.,, and Toni McQuillan and her husband Edward of Norwalk. In addition to her children, she is survived by 13 grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren and two sisters; Louise Pacheco and Rosemary Andresen.

She was predeceased by her first grandson, Matty, her two brothers Anthony and Sebastian Famiglietti and her sister Connie Faust.

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Beatriz De Ferrere “Betty” Cohen, 80

Beatriz De Ferrere “Betty” Cohen died at her home in Syracuse, N.Y. on Sept. 23. She was 80.

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1931, she graduated summa cum laude from the National Conservatory of Music and came to the United States in 1953.

Mrs. C/Beatriz, as she was affectionately called by her friends, lived in New York, Massachusetts, and Michigan before settling in Westport in 1975. She taught music, English as a second language, and art appreciation most of her life.

She owned the Noroton Gallery in Darien from 1975 until her retirement in 2002.

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Felix (Phil) Palmer, 73

Felix (Phil) Palmer of Westport died Sept. 23. He was 73.

Born in Norwalk on Sept. 28 1937 to Peter Sr. and Jenny Palmer, he lived in Westport all of his life. He was a longtime employee of the city of Norwalk and worked with his brothers for many years.

Known as “Felix the Cat,” he talked to everyone and will be sadly missed by the many people who knew him, his family said.

Predeceased by his parents, he is survived by his wife of 29 years, Sue Palmer, daughter Debbie Borges of Norwalk and her children, son Charlie Palmer of Westport, twin brother and best friend Carlo and his wife AnneMarie of Bridgeport, brother Peter Palmer Jr. and his wife Rosalind of Westport, brother Tony Palmer and his wife Susan of Westport, sister Jean Wanat and her husband John of Westport, as well as several nieces and nephews.

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Posted 09:41 PM
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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ex-Westporter Keith Conant, Noted Violist, Dies at 49 Image
Keith A. Conant: 1980 Staples graduate. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Keith Abbott Conant, the principal violist with the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra who was a 1980 graduate of Westport’s Staples High School, died of a heart attack Sept. 15. He was 49.

Conant most recently played with the Lyric Opera Orchestra during the “Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park” free concert on Sept. 10. The performance included his viola solo during “The Tales of Hoffman,” and was heard by more than 15,000 people in the park.

“I am shocked and deeply saddened by the news of Keith’s death,” said Sir Andrew Davis, Lyric’s music director. “He was a wonderful musician and colleague whose kind and gentle spirit shone through in the musical gift he shared with us all.”

Conant had been the principal violist since the 1997-98 season. He joined the orchestra for the 1987-88 season.

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Andrew Passarelli, 90

Andrew Passarelli of Westport died Sept. 10, He was 90. Image
Andrew Passarelli: was tailor in Westport. Contributed photo

Born in Ielsi, Campobasso , Italy on April 5, 1921, he was predeceased by his wife Benedetta, daughter Frances, son Michael and his brother Pasquale.

He served as a sergeant in the Italian army during World War II and was sent to Russia. He was one of the few Italian soldiers that made it back to Italy. He was a tailor as was his father Michael before him.  His three brothers were also tailors.

After World War II, they all immigrated to Maracay, Venezuela to find work.  Andrew was the chief tailor working for the Venezuelan Air Force. Eventually, he and his family found their way to the United States, settling in Westport in 1957. 

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Charlotte E. Constantino, 66

Charlotte E. Constantino of Westport, wife of Thomas Constantino, died Sept. 15 at home. She was 66.

Born in Norwalk Nov. 26, 1944 daughter of the late Isaac and Pearl Wakeman, she has been a lifelong resident of Westport. Her main interest in life was spending time with her family, grandchildren and friends.

Survivors in addition to her husband include one son, Thomas (Bill) Constantino Jr. and his wife Kim of Westport, and one daughter, Melinda Carruthers and her husband David of Stratford; two sisters, Barbara Reznar of Antioch, Ill.,, Jeanne Mann of Hamden, and four grandchildren, Cody and Todd Carruthers and Ashley and Kaitlyn Constantino.

The family will receive friends on Monday from 4 to 8 p.m. in the Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Road East. All are invited to attend a Mass of Christian burial on Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 10 a.m. meeting directly at Saint Luke Church, 49 Turkey Hill Road North.

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Shirley M. Merke, 77

Shirley M. Merke died Sept. 10. She was 77.

Widow of the late William J. Merke and daughter of the late Joseph and Elizabeth Reilly., she graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a B.S. in Political Science and was a member of ADPi sorority.

She worked in the office at Assumption School in Westport for several years.

She was a member of the Ascension Catholic Church in Boca Raton, Fla. during her retirement. Throughout her life she enjoyed playing bridge and traveled the world with family and friends. She particularly enjoyed cruising.

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Posted 08:11 PM
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Peter G. Carusone, 60

Peter Gary Carusone died Sept. 3, 2011 in Trinity Medical Center, Rock Island Ill. He was 60

Born Aug. 27, 1951 in Norwalk, hee was the son of Constantine (Gill) Carusone and Sophie Jarocki Carusone .  He grew up in Westport lived a short time in Southbury, before moving to Kewanee, Ill. 

He attended Assumption and St. Luke’s grammar school and J.M.Wright Technical School.

He worked as a mechanic and a tractor-trailer truck driver and also was an instructor, teaching tractor-trailer truck drivers.  He could fix anything with a motor or with an electric current running through it, his family said.

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Howard “Buzz” Katzen, 79

Howard “Buzz” Katzen of Westport and Scottsdale, Ariz. died Sept. 9. He was 79.

Born July 27, 1932, he was the son of the late Julius and Margaret Katzen. He attended James Madison High School in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Syracuse University, and graduated from New York University.

A U.S. Army veteran, he was global marketing director for Xerox Corp. He retired to Scottsdale, where he was a jazz promoter and figure in the Arizona Musicfest.

In addition to Arlene Rieger, his wife of 54 years, he is survived by two daughters, Jane Katzen DeNunzio and Sue Katzen, and son-in-law Robert DeNunzio; nieces and nephews Robbie and Brooks Sumberg, Charles and Andrea Jayson, Matthew and Melitte Buchman and Victoria Lorini; and great-nieces and great-nephews Jenna and Jake Sumberg and Matthew and Zachary Jayson. He was predeceased by a sister, Joan Buchman.

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Loraine B. Forehand, 91

Loraine Baugnet Forehand died Aug. 24 in Atlanta Ga. She was 91. She was wife of the late Jack Marion Forehand of Savannah, Ga. and Westport. Image
Lorraine Forehand: World War II vet Contributed photo

Born in Casco, Wisc., on July 20, 1920, she was one of 10 children of John and Julia Baugnet. She served in World War II in the Woman’s Army Corps and was awarded two bronze stars for her service. Loraine met and married her husband, Jack in France during the war.

They had five sons, including Jack Jr., a 1965 Staples High School graduate and former quarterback and track standout for the Wreckers who was honored by the Sportsmen of Westport in 2005.  Jack Jr.’s wife, Sandy, was a fixture in the Staples High School athletic department for many years and was honored by the Sportsmen of Westport in 2007.

Lorraine Forehand was a member of the Savannah Garden Club which is affiliated with the Garden Club of America as well as the Froebel Circle where she ran the Fresh Air Home on Tybee Island for many years.

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Judith C. Kaiser, 74

Judith Pierce Cummings Kaiser of Newton, N.J. and Jensen Beach, Fla. died Sept. 7. She was 74. Image
Judith C. Kaiser:  Staples grad Contributed photo

The daughter of Benton Pierce and Marjorie Cummings of Branchville, N.J., she was born Nov. 25, 1936 in Northampton, Mass. She lived in that area for 14 years, and then the family moved to Westport where she graduated from Staples High School in 1954.

She attended the University of Vermont but transferred to Maryville College in Maryville, Tenn., where she majored in dietetics and also met her husband, George.

She is survived by her husband, with whom she recently celebrated a 51st anniversary, her son Paul Byron and his wife, Diane, of Marlboro, N.J., and her grandchildren, Lauren and Matthew.

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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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