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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 26, 2012

John O’Donnell Jr., 84

John O’Donnell Jr., a longtime Westport resident, died Sept. 21. He was 84. Image
John O’Donnell Jr.: longtime Westporter. Contributed photo

Born Sept. 28, 1927 son of John and Marie O’Donnell, he was raised in Mount Vernon, N.Y. and attended Mount Vernon High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1944 during World War II when he was 17. He later reenlisted for a second tour of duty and was honorably discharged in 1951. 

After the Navy, he worked his way through college ultimately graduating from University of Denver with an electrical engineer degree. 

His first job out of college was with General Electric as a design engineer. This commenced what would turn out to be a successful 30-plus year career at GE which allowed him to travel the world running a global organization selling GE Power Systems.

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Posted 01:39 PM
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George C. Lenfest, Jr., 91

George Chesley Lenfest, Jr., a former Westport resident, died Sept. 22 at his residence in Lewisburg, Pa. He was 91.

He born Aug. 17, 1921 in Caldwell, Idaho, the youngest of five children. During his high school years in Boise, his family partly supported themselves with a riding stable and he became an excellent horseman and instructor.

In 1939, he joined the Idaho National Guard, was on Calvary maneuvers and won entrance to the West Point Prep School at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. He entered West Point in June 1942 as a sergeant. At West Point, he soloed airplanes and was in flight school, played polo, and became honor rep and first sergeant for company F-2.

He roomed with (Major General to be) George W. Casey for three years (“an honor indeed”). He was 52nd in his class of 861 in Aptitude for Service, was a sought-after instructor by department heads and compiled a good record.

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Posted 03:15 AM
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Westport’s Oldest Resident Dies at 110 Image
Westporter Loretta Olsen, pictured celebrating her 110th birthday Sept. 6 with neighbor Will Haynes, 10, who was born on the same day, died today. Believed to be Westport’s oldest resident, she has lived with her only child, daughter Muriel Durner, on Tamarac Road for the past 13 years. There was no immediate word on services. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 02:42 AM
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Frederic R. Lexow, II, 49

Frederic R. Lexow, II of Westport died Sept. 22 after a courageous battle with recurring staph infections. He was 49. Image
Frederic R. Lexow, II: 20-year Westport resident. Contributed photo

Born Aug. 8, 1963 in Stamford and raised in Darien, he had been a resident of Westport for more than 20 years.

He graduated from Tabor Academy in Marion, Mass. in 1982, received his B.A. from Tulane University in 1986, where he was also a member of the Sigma Nu Fraternity, and later received his MBA from Fordham University in 1993.

He spent his entire 20-plus year career at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, New York, serving as a managing director and the former head of equity trading.

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Posted 10:53 PM
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Patrick D. Lucci, 99

Patrick D. Lucci, a Westport resident for 82 years, died Sept. 13 at home. He was 99.

Born April 17, 1913 in Jelsi, Italy, he was son of the late Salvatore and Caterina (Santella) Iapalucci. He emigrated from Italy to Westport in 1930 at the age of 17.

Upon graduating from Staples High School in 1934, he attended and graduated from the New York School of Design.

His career as a graphic artist with his studio based in New York City spanned almost 60 years. His clients included Seventeen Magazine, the New York City Blood Program and his largest, the Socony Mobil Company.

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Posted 02:46 AM
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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Frederic A. Petrie, Jr., 86

Frederic A. Petrie, Jr., a former Westport resident, died Sept. 17 in Morganton, N.C. where he was a longtime resident. He was 86.

Born to the late Frederic A. and Orvetta Fox Petrie July 28, 1926, in Westport, he graduated from Staples High School and attended the University of Connecticut.

Petrie enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II. After the war, he worked for Handy & Harmon and the Connecticut State Highway Department before starting a career spanning almost 40 years in the ladies garment industry.

During that time, he managed plants in Mississippi and South Carolina before taking a position with Shadowline, Inc. in 1966, retiring as a vice president in 1991.

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Posted 02:28 AM
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Olga E. Clayton, 86

Olga E. Clayton of Perth Amboy, N.J., a former Westport resident, died Sept. 18 at Aurora Rehab And Nursing Center in Norwalk. She was 86.

Born in Perth Amboy to the late Balint and the late Agnes Kesz Vash, she had lived all of her life in Perth Amboy until she moved to Westport in 2005.

She was a member of the Hungarian Reformed Church, Perth Amboy and the Church’s Women’s Guild. She was employed as a secretary with the Hungarian Reformed Church, Perth Amboy for many years before becoming a homemaker.

She was also predeceased by a brother, Balint Vash. She is survived by her son, Paul R. Clayton Jr. and his wife Gwen of Chesapeake City, Md., and a daughter, Amy E. Clayton and her boyfriend Robert Puchalski of Westport.

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Posted 02:00 AM
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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Barbara Meyers Secrist, 63

Barbara Meyers Secrist, a former member of Westport’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM) and paralegal in the Town Attorney’s Office, died Sept. 7 at Redding Hospital & Medical Center in Redding, Pa. She was 63. Image
Barbara Meyers Secrist: former RTM member. Contributed photo

The wife of Edward Secrist was born in Pottsville, Pa., the daughter of the late Harold and Ann (Fatula) Harris. She worked as a paralegal for the Town Attorney’s office for many years and served on the RTM from 1989 to 1993.

In 1995, she filed a federal lawsuit against then First Selectman Joseph Arcudi alleging he made unwanted sexual advances toward her. The suit, which also named the town and Town Attorney Andrew Fink as co-defendants, was dismissed two years later in U.S. District Court in New Haven.

Survivors include one daughter, Deborah Auriemme and her husband Jon, three sons, Frank Culmone and his wife Amanda, Christopher Culmone and Robert Meyers and his wife Andrea, three sisters, Pat Harris, Donna Iafrate and her husband Angelo, Joan Mest and her husband Bob, five brothers, Robert Harris and his wife Linda, Bruce (Jim) Harris, Peter Harris and his wife Nancy, Thomas Harris, Jerome Harris and his wife Bobbi; six grandchildren, three great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. In addition she was also predeceased by one sister Arlene.

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Posted 01:31 PM
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Friday, September 14, 2012

Nicholas Rudd, 69

Nicholas Rudd, a longtime Westport resident active in community affairs, died Sept. 14. He was 69. Image
Nicholas Rudd: marketing expert. Contributed photo

He was owner/principal of a management consultancy, The Anderson Rudd Co. Inc., and principal in a unique merchant bank, AMG Capital Advisors LLC.  His personal focus was on providing insight and perspective to facilitate and accelerate businesses, programs and projects.

Skilled in facilitating strategic planning meetings for organizations of all types and sizes, he was most interested in assisting clients in developing their own solutions.

He spent more than 31 years with Young & Rubicam, Inc., with line responsibilities for client business in marketing communications as well as integrated marketing.

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Posted 07:42 PM
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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cameron J. Howe, 20 Image
Cameron Howe nationally ranked snowboarder. Contributed photo

Cameron James Howe of Westport died Sept. 6 in Santa Barbara, Calif. He was 20.

Born in Manhattan on Nov. 11, 1991, he was the son of Jim and Patti Howe and brother of Caroline Howe. The Howes are longtime Westport residents.

Cameron lived more in his 20 years than most live in a long lifetime, his family said. He had a zest for life and dedication to follow his dreams. This led him to attend high school at Stratton Mountain School in Vermont, where he graduated with honors while competing as a nationally ranked snowboarder.

For college he chose to go west and move from the snow to the surf, attending the University of California Santa Barbara. He would have been a junior this fall.

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Posted 02:02 AM
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Monday, September 10, 2012

Sheldon E. Kempler, 59

Sheldon E. Kempler of Westport died July 23 at home after suffering many illnesses throughout his adult life, his family said. He was 59. Image
Sheldon Kempler: Westport resident. Contributed photo

”His courage was so great and his attitude so strong that most people never knew what illnesses he was plagued with,” his family said. “He was the best husband and father that anyone could dream of having. 

“We felt his love, his care and his support for our well being each and every day. He was a brilliant man who would become an instant expert in everything to better coach and guide us.

“He had so many interests and possessed a breadth of knowledge that would be difficult to rival. His sense of humor and comedic timing was unparalleled.

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Posted 06:22 PM
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Sunday, September 09, 2012

John H. Rieckers, 79

John H. Rieckers of Convent Station, N.J., and formerly of Short Hills, N.J., died Aug. 25. He was 79.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Beverly (nee Danks), and his three daughters, Nancy and her husband, Sam Gault, of Westport; Susan and her husband, Greg Voetsch of New Vernon, N.J., and Sandra “Ricki” and her husband, Josh Darwin, of Needham, Mass.

Affectionately known as “Pop Pop,” he was adored by his six grandchildren, John Voetsch, William Voetsch, Jillian Gault, Benjamin Gault, Jack Darwin and George Darwin.

Born in New York City on Jan. 13, 1933, he was raised in Bloomfield, N.J., as the only son of Mabel and Harry Rieckers. After serving for two years as a medic in the U.S. Army, he graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, N.J., and began a successful career in chemical sales for Union Carbide.

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Posted 05:10 PM
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Saturday, September 08, 2012

William N. Wallace, 88

UPDATE (memorial service set) William N. Wallace of Westport, a former sports reporter for The New York Times and one of the first to cover professional football beyond following the local team, died Aug. 11 in Norwalk. He was 88. Image
William N. Wallace: 1973 photo. New York Times photo

He had recently been found to have acute myeloid leukemia, his wife, the former Linda De Refler, said, according to the newspaper.

The Times said in its obituary that Wallace, along with Dave Brady of The Washington Post, was one of the first reporters assigned to write about broader issues affecting both the National and American Football Leagues, including their merger in 1970. It quoted Joe Browne, senior adviser to N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell.

In 1986, he received the Dick McCann Memorial Award from the Pro Football Writers of America for distinguished reporting.

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Posted 04:55 PM
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Emily Muller, 93

Emily Del Mar Muller, a former Westport Public Library employee, died Sept. 2 at the Deerfield Retirement Community in Asheville, N.C. She was 93. Image
Emily Muller: former Westport librarian. Contributed photo

She was born Dec. 25, 1918, in New York City to Breta Longacre, a painter in the Hudson School, and William Alexander Del Mar, an electrical engineer.

She attended the Greenwich Academy and, just as World War II started, married Ralph Edward Chapman, a commercial pilot for Pan American. During the war, she served as a nurse at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami and became a mother as the war ended.

After the war, she divorced and moved with her two young sons to Chapel Hill where she received a BA in art history and a Master’s degree in library science. Upon graduation at age 38, she moved herself and two young children to Germany where she worked as a librarian in a secondary school for Army dependents.

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Posted 12:07 AM
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Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Grace B. Veenis, 85

Grace B. Veenis of Guilford, formerly of Westport and a longtime employee at the Staples High School library, died Sept. 2. She was 85.

She was the wife of the late William J. Veenis for 50 years. Together, they traveled the world and built a company, VeeMetCo, Inc.

Born in Pittsburgh, she founded a school library in Pittsburgh, earned an MLA on top of her business BA and worked for years at the Staples High School Library.

She was a lifelong passionate gardener, churchwoman, reader and champion of libraries. She always loved meeting friends for games of serious bridge and light-hearted banter.

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Posted 02:56 AM
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