Thursday, May 08, 2008
William C. Whalen, 85
William C, Whalen, 85, a resident of Westport, died April 25 after a long illness.
William C. Whalen: 32 years with NBC. Contributed photo
He was born in Springfield, Mass., to Thomas and Hazel Card Whalen, and he was grandson of Colvin Card, original editor and publisher of the Millerton Telegram/Lakeville Journal. He was educated in Springfield schools and graduated from Classical High.
He was a veteran of World War II in the U.S. Naval Air Corps, and he served in the Marshall Islands, South Pacific Theater. Following the war, he attended New York University, the American Theater Wing, and the Arts Students League of New York.
He enjoyed a long career, which began in the pioneering days of early television and spanned the most exciting years of live television including coverage of the U. S. space program; the political turmoil of the ‘60s and great live TV drama.
Mr. Whalen began his career as an actor and singer, appearing on the concert stage and in musical comedy. He pioneered and starred in one of the earliest and most popular children’s television shows in New England — “Out West with Bill,” from Channel 55 in Holyoke, Mass.
He then joined NBC-TV in New York in 1957, beginning a 32-year career with the network where he became an associate director and director with the News and Special Events Division. He received three Emmys from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 1969 for his participation in “Apollo: A Journey to the Moon”; in 1979 for “Interrogation in Budapest”; and again in 1980 for “Pope John Paul in Poland.”
In the early days of the U.S. space program, he was a member of the NBC Space Unit and he covered every space flight from Gemini 11 to Soyuz. During the political turmoil of the mid-‘60s, Mr. Whalen covered the Chicago Democratic Convention; every political primary; and the assassination of Robert Kennedy. He also participated in many NBC productions including the first dramatization of “As You Like It”; the Huntley-Brinkley Report; and the Johnny Carson Show.
Upon his retirement, he took an avid interest in sculpting. A summer resident of Ogunquit, Maine, for many years, his sculpture “The Bocce Game” is in the permanent collection of the Ogunquit Museum of American Art.
Mr. Whalen is survived by his wife of 57 years, Mary (Hoctor); a son, William A. of Fairfield; a daughter, Cynthia W. Keating of Greenwich; a brother, Dr. Thomas Whalen of Montgomery, Mass.; three sisters, Ellen Rydell of East Longmeadow, Mass., Ruth Herter of Wilbraham, Mass., and Annette Dourte of Austin, Texas; a granddaughter, Cameron Barker of Wyoming; and three grandsons, Stephen C Barker of Greenwich, and William J. Whalen and Thomas M. Whalen of Fairfield; and many nieces and nephews.
A private memorial service for family and friends will be held in the near future.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the Connecticut Hospice, Branford, Conn.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Sameer Mathur, 19
Sameer Mathur, beloved son of Aparajita and Alok Mathur of Westport, lost his battle against an infection of the brain Wednesday, April 30, 2008 and took his leave of us to go to a much better place. Sameer was a brilliant young man who has been torn from us at the early age of 19.
Sameer loved music, played the guitar exceptionally well, composed poetry, and excelled in foreign languages having lived more than 10 years in in Switzerland and India and traveled to more than 20 other countries. Sameer was a superb student of mathematics and science. He was a semi-finalist in the prestigious Siemens-Westinghouse Mathematics, Science, and Technology Competition.
Sam’s project dealt with molecules that regulate genes and Sameer did part of this research at Yale University. Sameer excelled at expository writing and was an avid snowboarder. Sameer was a boy scout for seven years and attained the rank of Life Scout at Troop 100 in Westport.
Sameer had a very large circle of friends throughout the globe, the dearest among them was Kira Kim-Fredell, with whom he enjoyed a special relationship. His best friend was Trevor Morris, also of Staples High School, who was a constant companion.
Sameer is survived by his 21-year old brother, Mohit of Westport, a unior at University of Connecticut from whom he was inseparable. Sameer was treasured by his grandmothers, Mrs. Krishna Mathur and Mrs. Padam Bhatnagar, both of whom wrote poetry about Sameer. He was dear in the hearts of his uncles, Umesh, Ashok and Anil Mathur, Dr. Vibhay Bhatnagar, Vinay Bhatnagar, and the late Major Vijay Bhatnagar.
His aunts, Alka Kapur, Lata Kumar, and Kavita Lal, will miss him terribly and mourn his passing. He leaves behind a host of cousins on both his mother’s and father’s side, all of whom were devoted to him. Of these, Drs. Shantanu and Kunal Lal and Gaurav Bhatnagar were at his bedside throughout.
Funeral Services were held Saturday, May 3.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Salvatore E. Romano, 77
Salvatore E. Romano, a lifelong Westport resident, died suddenly Sunday morning at home. He was 77.
Mr. Romano was born at home in Saugatuck on Aug. 7, 1930, son of the late Dominick and Lillian (Valiante) Romano. He was the owner of Romano Construction Company in Westport. He graduated from Staples High School in 1949, and served in the U.S. Navy during the early 1950s.
He was an ardent sports fan. Mr. Romano was an avid golfer and supporter of Staples High School football.
Survivors include one daughter, Sally Anne Romano of Torrington; three sons, Dominick E. Romano of Raleigh, N.C., Joseph E. Romano of Palm Springs, Calif. and Tim J. Romano of Westport; five grandchildren, Jamie, Ana Maria, Tim, Kelly and Lauren; and his former wife and lifelong friend, Rosemond Romano of Norwalk.
Mr. Romano was predeceased by four brothers, Dominick, Carmine, Joseph and Edward.
Friends are invited to attend the funeral Wednesday, April 30 at 9:30 a.m. at the Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Road East, Westport and at 10 a.m. in Assumption Church, 98 Riverside Ave., Westport, for a Mass of Christian burial. Interment will follow in Assumption Cemetery, Green’s Farms.
Contributions Mr. Romano’s memory may be made to The Grid Iron Club, 606 Post Road East, Suite 619, Westport, CT 06880
Charles William Horsfall, 85
Charles William Horsfall, formerly of Westport, died Dec. 10, 2007. He was 85.
A memorial service will be held Sunday, May 4, at 2 p.m., at Southport Congregational Church, 524 Pequot Ave., Southport.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Water For People, 6666 W. Quincy Ave., Denver, CO 80235.
Sidney Boyar, 84
Sidney Boyar of Westport died April 18. He was 84.
Mr. Boyar was born in Newark, N.J. He graduated from New York magnet science schools, Stuyvesent High School and City College of New York.
His professional career included senior R&D positions at IBM and various other leading technology companies in the Northeast.
He was an active outdoors man, involved in hiking, sailing, skiing and tennis.
Mr. Boyar was a member of the Y’s Men of Westport Weston and a board member of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. He also volunteered at Norwalk Hospital.
Survivors include his wife, Ann; son, Robert; and grandson, Adam.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Dorothy A. (Dotty) Picarello, 86
Dorothy A. (Dotty) Picarello of Westport, wife of the late Anthony G. Picarello, died Thursday, April 17, at the Carolton Health Care Center in Fairfield. She was 86.
Mrs. Picarello was born in New York City May 6, 1921, daughter of the late Harry and Julia (Palle) Bolter. She lived in Westport for the past 64 years.
For many years she worked locally in retail, beginning at Lieff Textile in South Norwalk in the late 1940s, then at The Paul Zabin Shop in Westport. Later, she worked as a receptionist at Maurice and Georges and Act One.
Survivors include her daughter, Barbara Wanamaker and her husband, Charles, of Westport; one sister, Alice Switzer of Fairfield; two grandchildren, Lynne Marie Wanamaker and her partner, Elizabeth Rich, and Carrie Wanamaker and her husband, Jason DePalma; two great grandchildren, Alice Wanamaker and Chase DePalma; one nephew, Carmine Picarello; and one niece, Mary Linda Picarello.
Mrs. Picarello’s family would like to thank the nurses and staff of the South Wing at Carolton Health Care for the loving care and friendly nature with which they cared for Dotty on a daily basis.
Friends are invited to attend a funeral service Saturday, April 26, at 11 a.m. in the Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Road East, Westport. Interment will follow in Willowbrook Cemetery, Westport.
Contributions in memory of Mrs. Picarello may be made to a favorite charity.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
James “Jim” Walter Call Jr., 87
James “Jim” Walter Call Jr. of Westport, husband of the late Elizabeth (Mann) Call, died Thursday, March 20, at home. He was 87.
Mr. Call lived in Westport for the past 38 years. He was born June 28, 1920, son of the late James W. Call Sr. and Courtney (Nunn) Call, and grew up in Wilson, N.C. He graduated from North Carolina State University with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and was elected to Tau Beta Kappa.
Mr. Call retired several years ago following a long career with Stauffer Chemical Company. He had been very active in many Westport organizations, including Sunrise Rotary Club, Y’s Men, Cotillion Dance Club and the United Methodist Church of Westport. He also served on the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) from 1985 to 1991 and enjoyed bridge, golf, tennis and traveling.
Survivors include one daughter, Sallie Call Brown; one son, Walter Call; grandchildren, Alison Brown Hahn, Jonathan, Melissa and Dennis Call; and his longtime friend Dottie Hazard.
A memorial service will take place Sunday, April 27, at 2 p.m. at the United Methodist Church of Westport, 49 Weston Road.
Interment was held in Maplewood Cemetery in Wilson.
Contributions in memory of Mr. Call may be made to the United Methodist Church of Westport or Westport Sunrise Rotary 21st Century Foundation, c/o Arlo Ellison, 6 Harbor Hill, Westport, CT 06880.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Dorothy M. Kokoszka, 82
Mrs. Dorothy M. Kokoszka, 82, of Westport, wife of the late Mathew F. Kokoszka, passed away Friday, April 18 at Connecticut Hospice, Branford.
Mrs. Kokoszka was born in New York City Dec. 18, 1925, daughter of the late Francis and Kathleen (Kiely) O’Neill and had been a long-time resident of Westport.
Prior to retiring, Mrs. Kokoszka had worked for 30 years in food service for the Westport public schools. She is a 1945 graduate of Staples High School and a former member of the South Norwalk Boat Club.
Survivors include one son, Matthew F. Kokoszka of Westport, one daughter, Sharon L. Soltes and her husband Thomas of Norwalk, one sister, Eleanor Gill of Stratford, one grandchild, Ian Soltes and many nieces and nephews. Mrs. Kokoszka was also predeceased by two brothers, Charles and Frank O’Neill and one sister, Jane Gill.
Friends are invited to attend the funeral Monday, April 21, 10:30 a.m. from the Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Road East, and at 11 a.m. in Saint Luke Church, 84 Long Lots Road, for a Mass of Christian Burial. Interment will follow in Assumption Cemetery, Greens Farms.
The family will receive friends in the funeral home Monday from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 am. Contributions in memory of Mrs. Kokoszka may be made to Connecticut Hospice Inc., 100 Double Beach Road, Branford, CT 06405.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Albert R. Cuseo Jr., 65
Mr. Albert R. Cuseo Jr., 65, of Westport, passed away April 14 at Saint Vincent’s Medical Center, Bridgeport.
Mr. Cuseo was born Sept. 25, 1942 in Bridgeport, and has been a life -long resident of Westport. He was a partner in the Albert R. Cuseo & Sons, Cuseo Refuse, Cuseo Exxon Station and Cuseo School Bus Business. His activity in the different facets of the family business inspired Albert’s interest in becoming an inventor. Albert was a hardworking individual who loved to make people laugh.
Survivors include two sons, John A. Cuseo and his wife Michele of Westport, Albert R. Cuseo III and his wife Melissa of Easton, his mother, Yvonne Sirois Cuseo of Westport, one brother, Peter J. Cuseo and his wife Teresa of Westport, four grandchildren, Maggie, Harry, Chelsea, and Amelia, his niece and nephew Christina and Jimmy, and his former wife and good friend Deanna Cuseo. Mr. Cuseo was also predeceased by his father Albert R. Cuseo Sr.
Friends are invited to attend a funeral service Friday, April 18 at 11 a.m. in the Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Road East. Interment will follow in Willowbrook Cemetery, Westport.
The family will receive friends in the funeral home Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Contributions in memory of Mr. Cuseo may be made to the Connecticut Health of Southport, 630 Mill Hill Terrace, Southport, CT 06490 or St. Lukes Church, 84 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880.
A special thank you and deep appreciation goes to the staff and aids at Connecticut Health Care of Southport for their splendid care for Albert.
Evelyn L. Meyer, 77
Mrs. Evelyn L. Myer, 77, of Westport, wife of the late James E. Myer Sr. passed away Sunday, April 13 at Norwalk Hospital.
Mrs. Myer was born in Bridgeport on Jan. 30, 1930, daughter of the late Andrew and Helen (Kovacs) Link and has been a resident of Westport for 55 years. Her greatest love was her children and grandchildren. She was an avid bowler with the Westport Women’s League and enjoyed sports at every level. She also enjoyed her trips to Vermont and Block Island.
Survivors include one daughter, Elizabeth L. Petroni and her husband Kevin of Huntington, Conn.; five sons, Edward R. Myer and his wife Gail of Bridgeport, James E. Myer and his wife Laura of Westport, Richard B. Myer and his wife Laura of Deluth, Ga., David A. Myer and his wife Karen of Milford, and Robert A. Myer and his wife Elizabeth of Newtown; one sister, Joan O’Hara of Uncasville, Conn., 10 grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Mrs. Myer was also predeceased by two brothers, Andrew and Robert Link.
Friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial Thursday, April 17 at 10 a.m. directly at Saint Luke Church, 84 Long Lots Road, Westport. The family will receive friends in the Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Road East, Westport, Wednesday, April 16 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Contributions in memory of Mrs. Myer may be made to a favorite charity.
Monday, April 14, 2008
K. Burr McGhee, 85
K. Burr McGhee, a former member of Westport’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM), died on March 22, 2008, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. He was 85. His wife, Shirley McGhee, predeceased him.
Mr. McGhee was born in Chicago, Ill., the son of Laura (Moss) McGhee and Robert McGhee. Raised in Gary, Ind., he attended the Illinois Institute of Technology and the Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y.
During World War II, he served in the Merchant Marine. Following discharge, he attended Purdue University, earning a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering.
He was employed at Union Carbide Corporation for more than 20 years. In 1965, he joined Norwalk Powdered Metals and the family moved to Westport. In 1975 he joined Harrel, Inc. in Norwalk where he was employed until 2007.
Mr. McGhee was a member of the RTM from 1969 to 1973 and again from 1975 to 1983. He was also chairman of the Inland Wetlands Commission.
Survivors include daughter Bonnie and her husband, William Strittmatter, of Fairfield; daughter Kay Hood of Jacksonville, Fla.; and grandchildren Laura and Alex Strittmatter and Kay Lewis Hood.
A memorial service will be held at Greens Farms Congregational Church in Westport on Saturday, April 26, 2008 at 11 a.m.
Keith A. Landesman, 37
Keith Alan Landesman MD, 37, of Weston, formerly of Westport, husband of Evelyn Cusack Landesman MD, passed away Sunday morning at home in the company of his family.
Keith A. Landesman: 1988 Staples graduate. File photo
Dr. Landesman graduated from Staples High School in 1988, Tulane University in 1992 and University of Connecticut Medical School in 1997. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine in 2000 and Fellowship in Cardiology in 2003 at Brown University. Dr. Landesman practiced cardiology in Stamford from 2003 to 2008.
He was a long-standing member of Birchwood Country Club in Westport.
Friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 15 (directly) at Assumption Church, 98 Riverside Ave., Westport. A private burial will follow.
A Memorial Service will be held at St. Cecelia’s Church, 1184 Newfield Ave., Stamford, on Saturday, April 19, at noon.
In lieu of flowers, please kindly send any donations to the American Cancer Society, 372 Danbury Road, Wilton, CT 06897. Please direct contributions for research.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
John J. Howell, Jr., 85
John J. Howell Jr. 85, of Westport, husband of the late Marion Loftus Howell, passed away Saturday, April 12, at Connecticut. Hospice, Branford, Conn.
Mr. Howell was born in Dorchester, Mass., son of the late John J. Howell Sr., and Sophie Broussard Howell and has been a resident of Westport for the past 40 years.
Prior to retiring, Mr. Howell was a executive with the Exxon Oil Company. He is a graduate of Boston Latin School and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
Mr. Howell was Deputy Harbor Master for the Town of Westport until 2007. He was also a member of the Y’s Men of Westport Weston.
Survivors include three daughters, Susan J. Howell of Arlington, Va., Nancy L. Howell of Miller Place, N.Y., Leslie P. Mitchell and her husband Gregory of Arlington, Va.; one sister, Dorothea Johnson of Wollaston, Mass., and one granddaughter, Emily Broussard Mitchell.
Mr. Howell was also predeceased by two sisters, Patricia Sarjeant and Mary Doyle.
Friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial Tuesday, April 15 at 11 a.m. directly at Saint Luke Church, 84 Long Lots Road, Westport. The family will receive friends in the Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Road East, Westport, on Monday, April 14 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Contributions in memory of Mr. Howell may be made to Connecticut Hospice, 100 Double Beach Road, Branford, CT 06405
Friday, April 11, 2008
Charles “Duke” Merdinger, 72
Charles Merdinger, also known as “Duke,” the former owner of Viva Zapata restaurant in Westport’s Saugatuck area, died on Sunday, April 6, 2008. He was 72.
A friend, Skip Lane, called him “one of the greatest characters in the history of Westport.”
Lane said he was an accomplished Hollywood actor in films such as “Wagon Train,” worked on Broadway, and at one time roomed with Dustin Hoffman.
Before coming to Westport in the 1960s, he owned a few Mexican restaurants in New York City. Paul Newman lent him the money to open Viva, according to Lane.
“He touched many lives in one way or another in his crazy years at Viva,” said Lane.
“I personally found him to be the absolute funniest person I have ever met. There were many nights at closing time, when he’d turn the garden hose on his customers to make them leave.
“He was rough around the edges, but a legend and we’ll miss you. Make em laugh up there.”
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Clare Frances O’Leary, 23
Clare Frances O’Leary, 23, of Westport passed away Sunday April 6, 2008.
Clare was born in London England, Feb. 5, 1985, and has been a resident of Westport for the past five years. Prior to moving to Westport, Clare had resided in Evanston, Ill. for seven years. She was employed as a receptionist for Carlson & Carlson brokerage firm in Greenwich
She is a graduate of Saint Scholastica Academy in Chicago and attended the College of Mount Saint Vincent. Clare loved sailing, music, animals and art.
Survivors include her father and mother, James J. O’Leary and Mary Ann (Torchia) O’Leary of Westport; one sister, Catherine Elizabeth O’Leary of New York City;, two brothers, James J. O’Leary of Bridgeport, Patrick W. O’Leary of Westport;her paternal grandparents, James and Mary Ann O’Leary of Plainfield, N.J., and her maternal grandfather, William Torchia of Hershey, Pa., and many aunts, uncles and cousins. Clare was predeceased by her maternal grandmother, Catherine Torchia.
Friends are invited to attend the funeral Friday at 11 a.m. at Assumption Church, 98 Riverside Ave., Westport for a Mass of Christian Burial. Interment will be private. There will be no calling hours.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Clare’s name to The New England Center for Children, 33 Turnpike Road, Southborough, MA 01772
Note: WestportNow Publisher Gordon F. Joseloff is also First Selectman of Westport