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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

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Restaurateur ‘Junior’ Bieling, 80

Native Westporter John M. Bieling Jr., a.k.a. Junior, a plain spoken, garrulous grill man who kept memories of old Westport alive to all who came to Jr.‘s Hot Dog Stand on Riverside Avenue, died Friday at Bridgeport Hospital. He was 80. Image
The Sportsmen of Westport in 2005 honored John M. Bieling, Jr., better known as “Junior,” with the William A. Krause Humanitarian Award, named for the group’s late president. Presenting him with the award were state Sen. Robert Duff (l) and his wife Tracy, Krause’s daughter. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

Beiling, a Staples High School graduate and a lifelong school sports booster,  opened the stand, actually a riverfront sit down restaurant with counter seats and tables,  in 1976 with his late wife Carol Digisi Bieling, a Westport teacher.

Prior to opening the restaurant, Bieling, a Korean War veteran, tended bar at Joseph J. Clinton VFW Post down the road. Before that stint, he owned and operated The Jockey Club, a restaurant and bar in Saugatuck.

In 2004, the couple sold the restaurant to Jeff Arciola, a Johnson and Wales graduate, who remodeled the interior and revamped the menu from mostly burgers and hot dogs to offer more salads and healthier fare.

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Posted 08:12 PM
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Harriet L. Hodish, 84

Harriet L. Hodish, wife of Hyman Hodish of Westport, died March 30 at Notre Dame Convalescent Home in Norwalk. She was 84.

Born April 13, 1927 in Stamford, she was the daughter of the late Minna and Louis Levenson. In addition to her husband, Hyman, she is survived by her son Michael Hodish.

Funeral Services will be held on Sunday, April 1, at 11 a.m. in the Collins Funeral Home, 92 East Ave., Norwalk. Burial will follow in Beth El Memorial Park, Richards Avenue, Norwalk. Shiva will be observed at the home of Hyman Hodish from 2 p.m. on Sunday until Thursday evening. Minyan will gather at 7:30 p.m. each evening.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to Congregation Beth El, 109 East Ave., Norwalk, CT 06851, or to the Alzheimer’s Association 2075 Silas Deane Highway, Suite 100, Rocky Hill, CT 06067.

Posted 02:51 AM
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William A. Romano, 83

William A. Romano, a Staples High School graduate, died Feb. 17 at Sun City Hospice House, Ruskin, Fla. after a brief illness. He was 83.

He was born on July 17, 1928 in Norwalk and attended Staples High School in Westport. He served in the U.S. Army as PFC during the Korean War from 1949-1951 and then went on to become a partner/owner of L & L Air Conditioning and Heating of Norwalk until his retirement to Ruskin.

He was an avid golfer and loved race horses. He will be remembered for his generosity and kindness.

He is survived by his daughter, Lori Romano, his step-son Bruce Laurance of St. Petersburg, Fla., his brother, Richard Romano of Norwalk, and his life partner, Jeanne Carter of Ruskin. He was preceded in death by his wife Freda (Rosenbloom) Romano and his parents, William and Mary Romano. Services will be private.

Posted 02:26 AM
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Friday, March 30, 2012

Robert Gavin Stewart Anderson, 74

Robert Gavin Stewart Anderson of Westport, husband of Kendall Gardiner, died March 26. He was 74.

Born in England to the late George and Isabel Anderson, he was a veteran of the British Royal Navy having served four years on active duty and seven years in the reserves. Prior to his retirement, he was a senior executive for Colgate Palmolive where he lived in several different countries around the world. He was a member of the Foreign Trade Council, the U.S./South African Business Council which he helped create, and the Council on Economic Priorities.

He was most recently a selectman on the Board of Selectman for the Town of Westport. He also served on the Westport Representative Town Meeting, the Board of Finance for seven years, a chair and member of the Selectman’s Maintenance Study Committee, the Saugatuck River Watershed Partnership, and the Sherwood Mill Pond Committee. He was also an active member of the Westport Sunrise Rotary Club.

He was the father of four children, Heather Dubrosky and Kirstin O’Gorman, both of Fairfield, Amanda Matiello of Virginia, and Jay Anderson of Florida. He is also survived by two sisters, Juliet Hubbard and Rosaland Wolfes, both of England, and seven grandchildren, Ethan Dubrosky, Luke and Declan O’Gorman, Sophia Dubrosky, Sara and Dillon Matiello and Nicholas Anderson.

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Posted 03:11 AM
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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Artist Recalls Hilton Kramer as ‘Very Kind’

By James Lomuscio

As international obituaries painted the legendary Hilton Kramer as a harsh, poison pen critic who could send shivers through the art world, even shutter galleries, one local artist recalled the former Westporter who died at 84 from heart failure in Maine Tuesday as “very kind and inspirational.” Image
Hilton Kramer: art critic lived in Westport 34 years. File photo

“Everybody has a different opinion of him, but we loved him,” said Ann Chernow who with her late husband Burt Chernow, an art historian, were close friends of Kramer and his wife Esta. “He was very different from what people thought of him as a critic, and he was always very kind to us.”

Kramer has been described as a no nonsense, acerbic critic who embraced modernism while deriding postmodernism, pop art and conceptual art during his tenure at The New York Times from 1965 to 1982.

According to The Times, he once called postmodernism “a revolt against the basic traditions of Western civilization.”

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Posted 12:58 AM
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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mark G. Channing, 86

Mark G. Channing of Orlando, Fla., a former Westport resident as well as resident of Marblehead, Mass., died Feb. 29 at the Meadows in North Andover, Mass. He was 86.

He was born July 5, 1925 in Berlin, Germany, son of Jacob and Manya Baum and stepson of Jack Goldberg.

He is survived by his daughters, Candace Channing and her husband Salvatore LaRusso of Fairfield, Stacey Channing and her husband Robert Portney of Andover, Mass.; and his four granddaughters, Lindsay LaRusso and her husband Lucas DeDeus, Lauren LaRusso, Chelsea Portney and Lisa Portney.

An immigrant who fled from Germany to arrive in the United States after two years in Cuba, he and his family came through Ellis Island and settled in New York City. On his 18th birthday, he joined the U.S. Army and the next two years found him in Europe in some of the heaviest fighting and bloodiest battles of World War II. A recipient of three Purple Hearts and a Victory Medal, he fought in Normandy on D-Day.

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Posted 03:30 AM
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Richard H. Wilson, 59

Richard H. Wilson of Sandy Hook (formerly of Fairfield), a former employee of Brooks Community Newspapers in Westport, died Feb. 22. He was 59.

A graduate of Fairfield Country Day School, he attended Tabor Academy in Marion, Mass., the King School in Stamford as well as Roger Ludlowe High School. Upon graduation from New England College he pursued a career in photography.

He engaged in both studio work and freelance event projects. Later he was employed at Brooks Community Newspapers in Westport.

A lifelong sailor, he was an avid participant in yacht racing. A member of Fayerweather Yacht Club, he raced his 38-foot yawl, ARTEMIS. More often he crewed on numerous other racing yachts.

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Posted 03:25 AM
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John A. Hojdich, 94

John A. Hojdich of Trumbull, a longtime butcher at Westport’s Westfair Market, died March 23 at Bridgeport Health Care. He was 94.

He was born in Bridgeport to the late Paul and Julia (Zubricsky) Hojdich and was a longtime Trumbull resident. He was employed many years as a butcher at Westfair Market in Westport.

He was a World War II Army veteran, He was also an usher at the 4 p.m. mass at St. Catherine of Siena for many years, where he greeted everyone with a smile and a piece of candy.

He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Wanda Piurek Hojdich of Trumbull; one son Ronald Hojdich and his wife, Charlotte of Stratford; two granddaughters Laurie Hojdich and Julie Press and her husband Jeffrey of New York; and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sister Mary Keller and two brothers Frank and Paul.

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Posted 03:18 AM
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Monday, March 26, 2012

Selectman Gavin Anderson, 74

By James Lomuscio

UPDATE (adds services) Westporter R. Gavin S. Anderson, a stalwart Republican who served on the Board of Finance for seven years and later as selectman before resigning in 2010 for health reasons, died early today at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Bridgeport after being ill for some time. He was 74. Image
R. Gavin S. Anderson: had been receiving dialysis treatment. WN file photo

A message relayed to friends said he died at about 12:30 a.m. and quoted wife Kendall Gardiner as saying: ““My sweet Prince, my beloved Gavin, slipped from my arms into the arms of the Angels and is with our heavenly Father”.

A British subject who later became an American citizen, moving with his wife to Westport in 1977, Anderson had been receiving palliative care at St. Vincent’s. The palliative care came after more than two years of various treatment protocols, such as dialysis, had been suspended so he could rest comfortably, said the Rev. John H. Branson, Rector at Christ & Holy Trinity Church where Anderson was a parishioner.

“Where we have been his drivers to and from Fairfield for his dialysis treatments, it is now time for us with prayer and gratitude to give him back to God from whence he came,” Branson wrote in an email to friends as Anderson’s death was imminent. “He has relished your company and companionship on those journeys to and from dialysis, treasuring the opportunity to share stories, a bit of history, laughter and wisdom with each of you.”

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Posted 11:33 AM
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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Elizabeth Christine (Horn) Abbott, 86

Elizabeth Christine (Horn) Abbott, a former teacher at Westport’s Bedford Junior High School, died March 23 in Belfast, Maine. She was 86. Image
Elizabeth Abbott: taught at Bedford Junior High. Contributed photo

She was born Aug. 3, 1925 in Bridgeport to Julius Henry and Christine Bessie (Howe) Horn. The family moved to Stratford in 1926, and she graduated from Stratford High in 1943. She graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in education.

After teaching in Stratford, she continued at Bedford Junior High in Westport during which time she earned her Master of Arts degree at the University of Bridgeport and a fellowship at Yale University.

In 1956, she married William Abbott of Verona, Maine settling in Belfast. She was a member of First Church, UCC, Belfast, serving on numerous committees, was a member of Northport Golf Club, was on the board of the Rainbow Girls, the Waldo Hospital Aid, Sweetser Board, American Red Cross, a volunteer at Penobscot Marine Museum and a longtime member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood.

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Posted 03:27 AM
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Friday, March 23, 2012

Joseph Kohout, 91

Joseph Kohout, co-founder of Quigley and Kohout Electric in Westport in the 1950s, died March 18 at home in Dummerston, Vt. He was 91.

The youngest of four children of George Kohout and Mary Ellen McNamara, he was born Nov. 14, 1920 and was educated in New York City.

In 1943, he joined the Merchant Marines and served as a purser and pharmacist mate until the war’s end. He shipped out several times—to South America, the South Pacific and the North Atlantic and shared lively stories of the people and experiences he had during his time at sea.

After the war, he owned and operated a Sunoco station in Brooklyn, N.Y. with a partner, Buddy Simpson. It was at this time that he met Helen Griffin, a secretary for UNICEF at the United Nations.

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Posted 03:06 AM
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Lea A. Cooper, 85

Lea A. Cooper, a former Westporter, died Jan. 11. She was 85.

Born in 1926,  she would have celebrated her 86th birthday on May 16. Originally from Jamaica, Queens, N.Y., she lived in Rio de Janeiro for four years before returning to Westport in 1961 where she raised her children.

With her children grown, she spent many years living in Southport, where she worked and pursued her interests in travel with her closest friend Lucille.

She retired to Brevard, N.C. where she devoted her time to volunteering at The Sharing House, a philanthropy dedicated to the poor and the homeless. As her heath declined she relocated back to Connecticut to be close to her family.

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Posted 01:24 AM
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Brooke T. Prudhon, 31 Image
Brooke Prudhon Contributed photo

Brooke Tiffany Prudhon of East Haven, a former Westport resident, died March 18 at her home. She was 31.

Born in Freemont, Calif., she was the daughter of Cameron J. Prudhon of Monroe and Chantal Poggi of Berlin. Along with her parents, she is survived by her sister, Ami Prudhon of Lewiston, Maine.

A graveside service will be held on Friday, March 23 at 10 a.m in Rose Hill Memorial Park, 580 Elm St., Rocky Hill.

Friends may call on Thursday, March 22, from 6 to 8 Doolittle Funeral Home, 14 Old Church St., Middletown and may send messages to the family at

Posted 11:05 PM
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Monday, March 19, 2012

Robert W. Steele, 94 Image
Robert Steele: moved to Westport in 1941. Contributed photo

Robert William Steele, longtime Westport resident, died March 18. He was 94

Born Aug. 26, 1917 in Uniontown, Pa., he graduated from Wharton School of Finance and Commerce at the University of Pennsylvania.

He was a devoted husband to his wife Kathryn (Kitty) Munger. They were married in 1941 and moved to Westport at that time.

He joined Remington Arms in 1941 and worked there until his retirement as secretary and treasurer in 1982. The couple spent many years with friends enjoying Compo Beach and as participating members of Saugatuck Congregational Church.

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Posted 11:26 PM
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Ruth Ashcraft, Long Active in Civic Affairs, 87 Image
Ruth V. (Strong) Ashcraft, long active in Westport civic affairs including eight years on the Representative Town Meeting (RTM), died March 14. She was 87. In 2004 (above), she was the proud recipient of the Silver Donkey Award given by the Democratic Women of Westport. See obituary here. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jessica Bram for

Posted 11:18 PM
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