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Thursday, January 28, 2010

“Nikki” Stone, 99

Genevieve Marie Nichols “Nikki” Stone, 99, of Westport, died Dec. 28, 2009.

The youngest of five children, she was raised in New Canaan and attended Normal School in Stamford, where she graduated with honors and was the salutatorian of her class.

She received her bachelor’s degree from The Teachers College of Connecticut (now named Central Connecticut College) in 1934. She then taught at Center School in New Canaan until her retirement 50 years later. Many students still remember her fondly as their first grade teacher.

In 1938, she was married to William “Bill” E. Stone, past vice president of The Westport Bank and Trust, who predeceased her in 1980. An avid bridge player, Stone was active in the Westport, Weston and Norwalk senior centers. She will be remembered as a loving wife, caring teacher and compassionate friend.

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Robert B. Meny, 85,

Robert Blake Meny, 85, of Trinity, Fla., a resident of Westport for 30 years, died Jan. 8 in Clearwater, Fla., after a long illness.

He was the husband of 55 years of Vera M. Meny, 82, of Palm Harbor, Fla.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on March 24, 1924, he was the son of Louis and Lillian Meny of Ozone Park and Point Lookout, N.Y. He graduated in 1940 from John Adams High School, Queens, N.Y., as valedictorian. In the same year, at the age of 16, he was accepted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

While at MIT he was captain of the track team and, in 1942, qualified for the Olympic Trials in the 220- and 440-yard relay dashes at the Millrose Games in Madison Square Garden, New York City.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Frances G. Lee, 101

Frances Moy Lee, who with her late husband operated the West Lake Chinese Restaurant in Westport for 25 years, died on Dec. 6, two days after her 101st birthday.

Born Frances Gum Moy, on Dec.  4, 1908, in Providence, R.I., she was the daughter of Pink Fun Moy — of San Francisco; New York City; New Bedford, Mass., Providence and Newport, R.I. — and Fong She, his second wife.

Frances graduated at the top of her class at Julia Richmond High School in 1926, and earned an accounting degree with honors from New York University in 1930, as well as winning a New York State Regent’s Prize. She was of one of the few women of that era — certainly, one of the few Chinese-American women — to earn a college degree.

In 1930, she married Edward Wonkai Lee. They had three children: Georgia (deceased), of Greenwich; Myron, of Incline Village, Nev.; and Patricia, of Bloomington, Ind., and Hong Kong.

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mary L. Shornick, 88

Mary L. Shornick passed peacefully at home in Bellingham, Wash., on Jan. 8 with her beloved husband and two of her children at her side.

Mary was born Oct. 26, 1921, to Effie and George Sproull in Kansas City, Mo., and she married Winston, the love of her life, in 1939.

Mary is survived by Winston; children James (Golda), David, Jeffrey (Brenda), and Catherine; 12 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. Mary and Win gifted their four children with an extraordinarily rich childhood in Kansas City and Westport, Conn.

They later lived in California, Texas, and Washington in order to be near children and grandchildren.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Lois Braznell Auer-Sherry, 88

Lois Braznell Auer-Sherry, of Hendersonville, N.C. and formerly of Southport, died on Wednesday, Jan. 20 at her residence.

Born in Pittsburg, Pa. on April 24, 1921, she was the widow of the late Lt. Robert J. Auer and the late Louis Sherry and the daughter of the late Carl Braznell and Agnes Ferguson Braznell.

She grew up in Hendersonville, and was a long-time resident of Southport, Conn. She was active in the Republican Party, serving with the Republican Women of Westport as well as being a campaign staff member of the late Congressman Stuart B. McKinney, Republican of Connecticut’s 4th District.

She was a graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in psychology and education, a Phi Beta Kappa member, and was active in numerous charities, and support groups.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bertram H. Grossman, 86

Bertram H. Grossman, M.D., husband of Beatrice Grossman of Westport, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 19 at Norwalk Hospital. He was 86.

Born July 18, 1923 in New York City, Bert (as he was known) was the son of the late Arnold and Rose Berger-Grossman, and grew up in Mount Vernon, N.Y. During World War II, he served as a captain in the U.S. Army Air Corps, performing active duty as a meteorologist in the South Pacific from 1943-1946.

He received his undergraduate education from the University of North Carolina, where he also earned a Master of Science degree in public health and a life-long love of the Tarheels.

Dr. Grossman later attended Georgetown University Medical School, where he received his medical education and doctorate in 1959.

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Adonia R. Starzyk, 95

Adonia R. Starzyk of Fairfield passed away peacefully in the company of her sisters on Monday, Jan.18. She was Image
Adonia R. Starzyk: amateur artist. Contributed photo

Ms. Starzyk was born Feb. 13, 1914 in Springfield, Mass., daughter of the late Paul and Antonia Starzyk.

She had resided in New York City for 60 years prior to moving to Bridgeport 15 years ago and then Fairfield in January of 2009. She was a woman who was very much involved in the arts.

She was an amateur artist and loved playing the violin and piano. She also sang in several church choirs in New York City and the Oratorio Choir in Bridgeport. Her kind and loving nature will always be treasured by her family and friends.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Noal Thomas Clark, 70

Noal Thomas Clark, 70, of Sugar Land, Texas, formerly of Westport, died Jan. 13, following a long illness.

Born April 16, 1939, in Reno, Nev., he graduated from Stanford University in 1961 with a degree in history.

A lover of all sports and an avid reader, he had a quick wit and an optimistic approach to life. His demeanor was calm, rational, accepting, realistic and non-judgmental. He will always be remembered for his courage and will to survive despite devastating health challenges.

Clark was preceded in death by his parents, Noal Ford Clark and Blanche Inez Punty Clark.

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George S. Harkins, 82

George S. Harkins, 82, of Fairfield and Palm Beach, Fla., the husband of the late Jane L. Harkins, died Jan. 17, at his home of 40 years, with his family by his side.

Born in South Amboy, N.J., he was the son of the late James and Helen Harkins.

He joined the U.S. Navy and was on the USS Princeton during the end of World War II. After he left the Navy, he attended Seton Hall University, which he paid for with a GI loan and by starting his own hot dog road stand.

Upon graduation, he married his high school sweetheart, Jane. His first job was as a real estate broker for his father’s firm, James A. Harkins and Son.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Arlene McSherry Jackson, 88

Arlene McSherry Jackson of Ocala, Fla., a homemaker, died on Jan. 16. A native of Waterbury, Conn, she moved to Ocala in 1991 from Stratford, Conn., and Westport.

A loving and loved mother, Mrs. Jackson was a member of Queen of Peace Catholic Church, OTOW Singles and the Red Hat Society.

Survivors include her daughter, Lisa Mohyer, Bristol, Tenn.; three sons, Peter B. McSherry, III of Milford, Conn., William H. McSherry of Walnut Creek, Calif., and Craig J. McSherry of Alamo, Calif., and five grandchildren.

Arlene was preceded in death by her husbands, Peter B. McSherry, Jr. and Howard A. Jackson and a grandson, Michael R. McSherry.

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Loren Troy, 90

Loren Troy, a native of Westport, passed away Saturday, Jan. 6 at Danbury Hospital. He was 90.

Mr. Troy was born March 31, 1919 at his home in Westport, son of the late Edward and Theresa (Belanger) Troy and has been a lifelong resident. He was employed for 31 years with the U.S. Postal Service and retired Sept. 2, 1983 as a supervisor.

He was a former president of the American Postal Workers Union.

Mr. Troy graduated from Staples High School class of 1937. He is a former bowler, avid tennis player and loved to go clamming. He was also played semi-pro ice hockey for a team in Norwalk at the Crystal Ice Rink.

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Charles J. Bennett Jr., 56

Charles J. Bennett Jr., previously of Trumbull, Fairfield and Westport, died Wednesday, Jan. 13, at the Lafayette Health Care Center in Marblehead, Mass. He was 56.

Charles, a former bagger for the Stop & Shop, Madison Ave., Bridgeport, was born in Bridgeport and was an area resident most of his life.

He was active in the Connecticut Special Olympics where he won many awards especially for bowling.

He is survived by his mother, Julia Cleary of Marblehead, Mass.; a brother, Richard S. Bennett of Marblehead, Mass.; and several cousins.

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Jan van Breems, 86

Elaine van Harwegen den Breems, known as Jan van Breems to most, daughter of Violet Jorgenson and Arthur A. Petersen, died Dec. 21 at Norwalk Hospital after a brief illness. She was Image
Jan van Breems: moved to Westport in 1962. Contributed photo

Born on Jan. 27, 1923, in Chicago, she grew up in Evanston, Ill., where her father was a Chicago plumbing contractor and building owner. Jan graduated from Evanston Township High School in 1941 and attended a local community college. She was an early convert to the Christian Science religion.

After a brief marriage which produced her only daughter, Arlene Tarson, she divorced. Her father had given her a convertible Buick upon graduation, which she sold and headed off to Europe, typical of her independent streak (ok, it was a little more than a streak!) 

She became a newspaper correspondent for the Chicago Tribune, and wrote travel-related stories under the name Jan Peters as she toured around Europe in her small Fiat in the early 1950s.

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Mary K. Jennings, 70

Mary Kehler Jennings, 70 of Eutawville, S.C., and formerly of Westport, died peacefully in her sleep on Thursday Jan. 14 at her home. She was 70.

She was born on Feb. 13, 1939, and lived in Westport until moving to South Carolina in 2001. The daughter of the late John Peter and Margaret Kehler of Southport, she was the wife of Robert E. Jennings.

May, or May-May as she was known to her friends and family, was a retired case worker for Save the Children. 

She is survived by her three children, Karen Jennings of Fairfield, Sharon Landowne, her husband Gary, and their son Justin of Exeter, N.H.., one son Peter Jennings, his wife Ruth, and their two daughters, Katelin and Emily, of Westport, and one sister, Gail Ford and her husband Carl of Newtown, and a niece Holli Schleicher, of Sarasota, Fla., and nephew James Bonito of Venice, Fla.

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Elizabeth W. Kiester, 82

Elizabeth “Betty Ann” Wimsatt Kiester, a longtime Westport resident and founder of Creative Windows, died on Wednesday, Jan. 14, after a long and graceful struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was Image
Elizabeth Kiester: longtime Westporter. Contributed photo

She was born in Owensboro, Ky., on April 6, 1927, the daughter of Robert P. Wimsatt and Ethel Smith Wimsatt and had two sisters, Roberta and Emily and three brothers, Thomas, Philip and John.

Growing up in Owensboro, Betty Ann Wimsatt sang in a trio with her sisters—first during intermissions at the local movie house, then at parties held for departing World War II soldiers.

At 18, with her mother’s encouragement, she moved to Pittsburgh to attend the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, but was soon snapped up by the art department of the Star-Telegraph newspaper (in part, she was later told, because she was so pretty).

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Note: WestportNow Publisher Gordon F. Joseloff is also First Selectman of Westport