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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

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

John W. Honeycomb, 85

John W. Honeycomb of Naples, Fla., a former Westport resident, died Jan. 21 at the Stuart F. Meyer Hospice House, Palm Coast, Fla. He was 85.

Born in Schenectady, N.Y, the only son of Clyde and Vera Honeycomb, he was a 1949 graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

He worked for Pratt and Whitney Aircraft in East Hartford until he left to join IBM in 1961. His 27 years at IBM were spent with the real estate and construction division, overseeing IBM construction of facilities around the world.

His love for sailing began when he was in High School in Newport, R.I. and it continued during his many years living in Westport. He also enjoyed skiing with his family at Okemo Mountain in Ludlow, Vt.

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Posted 04:18 PM
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Monday, February 18, 2013

Stephen Tate, Prominent Westport Attorney, 90

Stephen Tate of Norwich, Vt., a longtime prominent Westport attorney, prosecutor, judge, and member of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM), died Feb. 17 in Hanover, N.H. He was 90. Image
Stephen Tate: long active in Westport community. Contributed photo

An obituary said he died at the Hanover Terrace Healthcare and “although Steve was recently in poor health, his loving wife Jo, kept him smiling to the end.”

Tate’s law career spanned 50 years in Westport. During that time, he served on the RTM (1961-73, 1981-85), was president of the Westport Public Library Board of Trustees, and was active in the Y’s Men of Westport Weston.

Born Aug. 25, 1922 in Montclair, N.J., to the late Laura (Bromell) Tate and Cecil Whitter Tate, he was the youngest of four children (Robert, Arthur and Norman). He attended Dartmouth College, graduating with the class of 1944.

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Posted 06:49 PM
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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Christina Bensey, 80

Christina Bensey, a 60-year resident of Westport, died Feb. 14. She was 80.

She was the wife of the late Eddy Bensey, and together they were longtime owners of Eddy’s Gulf Service of Southport. She was also a devoted volunteer at Southport Manor for many years.

She is survived by four sons, Edward A. Bensey and retired Fairfield Police Detective David R. Bensey, both of Westport, Timothy G. Bensey and his wife Pamela of San Diego, Calif., and Randall S. Bensey of Shelton; 10 grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, and a sister, Jean Cocivi and her husband Buster of Fairfield. She was also predeceased by a daughter Susan L. Bensey.

The family will greet friends on Sunday, Feb. 17 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Fairfield Funeral Home of Edmund W. Dougiello, 36 South Pine Creek Road. Burial at Oak Lawn Cemetery in Fairfield will be private.  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Chris’s memory to the local children’s program of one’s’ choice.

Posted 04:36 PM
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Eileen T. Duffy, 85

Eileen (Thornton) Duffy of Salem, a former Westport resident, widow of the late James “Bob” Duffy, died Jan. 28 at Apple Rehabilitation in Colchester.

Born Sept. 16, 1927, she was a daughter of the late John and Margareta (McHugh) Thornton. Upon Bob’s honorable discharge from the Marines, they married on Feb. 16, 1952 and moved from Brooklyn, N.Y. to Westport to raise her family. Together they retired to Salem in 2000.

She had worked as a secretary for Asiatic Petro in Manhattan. She and Bob shared 59 years of marriage before he predeceased her on May 28, 2011.

She is survived by her five children: Deirdre and her husband Gregory Moran; Brendan and his wife Sharon; sons Patrick and Sean and a daughter Delia and her husband Michael O’Connor; Eileen has nine grandchildren: Bridget Moran O’Halloran, Caitlin and Eamon Moran, Jordan and Quinn Duffy, Lucas Duffy and Jack, Grant and Derek O’Connor; she also had two siblings, Bob Thornton and Frances Fussler.

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Posted 01:41 PM
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Barbara (Bobby) K. Saipe, 87, Long Active in Westport

Barbara (Bobby) K. Saipe, a former member of the Westport Representative Town Meeting (RTM) and active in many community organizations as a six-decade town resident, died Feb. 14. She was 87.

She was born and raised in New York and was a proud graduate of Wheaton College in Massachusetts where she was a member of the Triton Synchronized Swim Team. Saipe served 10 years on the RTM (1973-75, 1983-89) from District 8 and also was a member of the Parks and Recreation Commission.

A 59-year Westport resident, her other activities included volunteering as a swim instructor at the Westport/Weston YMCA and driving for Meals on Wheels. She was also active with the PTA, the League of Women Voters of Westport, the Democratic Women of Westport, and SWICA.

When not volunteering, she loved to ski, swim, and play tennis with her friends and family. Her greatest joys were traveling with her family and beating them in Scrabble and backgammon, her family said. She was an avid competitor.

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Posted 01:39 AM
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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Charles L. Klein, 69

Charles L. Klein, husband to Peggy A. Keane-Klein of Norwalk, the Westport Tax Collector, died Feb. 12 at home. He was 69.

Born Nov. 17, 1943 in Cincinnati, Ohio, he was son of Beatrice and John Klein.

He worked as a corporate credit manager for several years before buying his own carpet cleaning business and then worked as the head custodian for the Westport School District.

He served in the U.S. Army during from 1962 to 1964 during the Vietnam War as a military police officer.

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Posted 07:04 PM
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Ingrid M. Levin, 72

Ingrid M. Levin of Westport, wife of the late Eugene S. Levin, died Feb. 13 at Norwalk Hospital. She was 72.

Born May 13, 1940 in Germany, she was the daughter of the late Alfons and Anita Kanz.

She emigrated with her family to the United States in the early 1950s and grew up in Port Jefferson, N.Y. After marrying Eugene, they moved to Westport where she resided for 40 years.

She inspired many through her perseverance through many hardships in life. her family said.

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Posted 12:18 AM
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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Donald L. Hendrickson, 85

Donald Lamont Hendrickson of Topsham, Maine, a former Westport resident for 40 years, died Dec. 20 in a hospice house in Auburn, Maine following long illnesses. He was 85.

He was born on Sept. 19, 1927 in Ponca City, Okla., the son of E.G. and Louise Hendrickson, now deceased, of Lake Charles, La.

He grew up primarily in Haddonfield, N J. but completed high school and college in Lincoln, Neb. where his grandparents lived.

He graduated from the University of Nebraska with a degree in chemical engineering in 1948 and received a Master of Science degree from MIT in 1950.

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Posted 11:01 PM
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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

David F. Kidney, 84

David Francis Kidney, a Westport resident since 1960, died Feb. 7. He was 84.

The son of David and Sara Kidney was born and raised in Hartford. After graduating from high school, he volunteered and served in the Army of the Occupation in Japan.

He came home, graduated from UConn, and went to work for Traveler’s Insurance, where he worked for 35 years.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years Barbara G. Kidney, his daughter Susan, son-in-law John, son David, daughter-in-law Kimberly, his son Steven, sister Claire, and brother-in-law Hugh. His grandchildren, Megan, Caitlin, Jenna, Sara, John, Will, Michaela, Dana and Emma.

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Posted 04:45 PM
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Eloise R.  Brunnemer

Eloise Rabon Brunnemer, an 18-year Westport resident, died Feb. 9. The family provided the following obituary: Image
Eloise Brunnemer: 18-year Westporter. Contributed photo

Eloise Rabon Brunnemer entered the last chapter of her long and happy life, just a few weeks ago, quietly closing the final page of her story book, Saturday evening, Feb. 9, 2013 around 5 p.m. Her age is, and still remains, as she would always say, “a military secret.”

She was comfortable and cozy in the arms of her daughter Mary Ann Hall with her son-in-law Bill Hall close by. Bill, Mary Ann and Eloise were together at The Hilton Garden Inn where they had taken Eloise during the snow storm, just in case they lost power.

Her family hoped that she would be present to greet her first great grandchild, but instead, she chose to send her spirit out to greet the new baby. This new baby, due any minute now is the first child of Westport native, Emily Rabon Hall and husband Nick Stevens.

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Posted 04:26 PM
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Actor Kevin Gray, 54 Image
Kevin Gray and wife Dodie Pettit visit Staples Players in 2007. Contributed photo

UPDATE (corrects age, adds services) Actor Kevin Gray of Westport, a Staples High School graduate who became the youngest actor to play the title role in “The Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway, died Feb. 11 after suffering a heart attack at home. He was 54.

Gray is survived his wife, Dodie Pettit, whom he met while starring in Broadway’s “Phantom.”

In 2011, Gray had begun as an associate professor of theater at The Hartt School at the University of Hartford.

Prior to taking up he teaching position,  Gray recently starred as Scar in the National Tour of Disney’s “The Lion King.”

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Posted 04:04 PM
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Patricia P. Donnelly, 75 Image
Patricia Donnelly: moved with husband actor Donal Donnelly to Westport in 1979. Dave Matlow for

Patricia Porter Donnelly, formerly of Westport, died Jan. 31 in Chicago. She was 75. 

Born Feb. 26, 1937 in Yorkshire, England to Dorothy and Norman Porter, she studied dance in London. Her professional career included dancing in West End London productions of “The King and I,” “West Side Story,” “Robert and Elizabeth,” and “Finian’s Rainbow,”’ as well as being featured in the BBC TV series “Cool for Cats.” 

While dancing the part of Susan the Silent in “Finian’s Rainbow,” she met her husband, Irish actor Donal Donnelly.

In 1979, the couple moved with their three children, Maryanne, Damian, and Jonathan, to Westport. Many will remember her from her years at Derma Clinic in Westport where she went by the professional name of Mila Porter.

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Posted 03:02 PM
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Saturday, February 09, 2013

Omar F. Elder, III, 57

Omar Franklin Elder, III, a former Westport resident, died Feb. 8 at Grace Nursing Home in Greenwich. He was 57. Image
Omar F. Elder, III: former Westport carpenter. Contributed photo

He was born in New York City to Omar Franklin Elder, Jr. and Betty Anne Nyman, who predeceased him. He was raised in Greenwich, where he graduated from Greenwich Country Day School and The Lawrenceville School in Princeton, N.J. He attended the University of Southern California and was an active member of the Chi Phi Fraternity.

He lived in Westport the majority of his adult life, where he was a carpenter. He highly valued a job well done and worked hard to please his customers.

He spent the last five and a half years of his life in Memphis with his sister. He loved to trap shoot and play golf. He cherished his friendships that he gathered throughout his life. He easily befriended those who fell on hard times and was an active volunteer at More Than A Meal sponsored by Idlewild Church until his health failed. He was a member of Idlewild Presbyterian Church.

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Posted 04:17 PM
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Friday, February 08, 2013

Dwight F. Fanton, 97

Dwight Fairchild Fanton of Fairfield, a former Westport resident and member of the Zoning Board of Appeals, died Feb. 4. He was 97. Image
Dwight Fanton: served on ZBA. Contributed photo

Born on Aug. 16, 1915, in East Orange, N.J., and raised in New Rochelle, N.Y., he was the son of the late Ethel and Willard Fanton of Weston. His forebearers settled in Weston in the late 1600s.

He graduated from Yale University in 1937, and received his law degree from Yale in 1940. He served in World War II as a major in the U.S. Army and was a member of the prosecution team for the military proceedings at Dachau in 1946.

His distinguished career spanned more than 50 years as a valued member and managing partner of the Connecticut law firm Pullman & Comley, LLC. Specializing in labor law, he represented many clients some of which were: Hubbell Corporation, Bridgeport Hospital, University of Bridgeport, St. Vincent’s and Park City Hospitals.

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Posted 04:12 PM
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Gloria D. Mull, 86

Gloria D. Mull of Gilford, N.H., a former Westport resident, died Feb. 3 at home. She was 86. Image
Gloria Mull: 38-year Westport resident. Contributed photo

The widow of William R. Mull who died in 1991, she was born July 12, 1926 in Brooklyn, N.Y., the daughter of Vincent and Mildred Grande. She resided in Westport for 38 years before moving to Gilford, N.H. 21 years ago.

She was a communicant of St. Andre Bessette Parish – St. Joseph Church and a former communicant of the Church of the Assumption in Westport.

She was a member of the Opechee Garden Club in Laconia and was a charter member of Lake Shore Park, Gilford where she spent her summers. She played Mah Jong there every Wednesday with the “Girls.”

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Posted 02:12 AM
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