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Harding Funderal Home, Westport, CT

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Charles K. Griffith, 88

Charles Kellogg Griffith of Westport died Oct. 21 at his home on Pheasant Lane. He was 88.

Born Feb. 17, 1923, he lived with his wife of 60 years, Leone Kulak Griffith, since 1951 in the house they built and raised their four children.

Known in the Westport area as a contractor and builder for 40 years, he was proud of his service in the Peace Corps in Ghana from 1988 through 1990. There he served with his wife and developed a trade school for the young people of their village.

He spent the next several years as both a student and volunteer at Housatonic Community College, where he earned an Associates Degree in Fine Arts.

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Posted 07:39 PM
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Former Police Chief William Stefan Dies at 75 Image
William A. Stefan: avid outdoorsman. Contributed photo

UPDATE Former Westport Police Chief William A. Stefan died today at home after a lengthy illness, the Police Department said. He was 75.

Stefan, husband of Janet Stefan, served as chief from March 1974 to February 1984.

Calling hours will be Monday, Oct. 17 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Road East, Westport.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 18 at 11 a.m. at Assumption Church, 98 Riverside Ave.

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Posted 06:43 PM
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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Katherine M. Palmer, 84

UPDATE (adds services) Katherine McGarrie Palmer, wife of the late Frank J. Palmer, died at Norwalk Hospital Sept. 1. She was 84.

Born in Norwalk June 12, 1927 on the daughter of the late William and Agnes Hauser McGarrie, she has lived in Westport most of her life.  She worked with her family and friends with “Those Two Girls” for many years and was a member of the Westport Center for Senior Activities and the Church of the Assumption. 

She enjoyed playing cards, tag sales, visiting with friends and taking walks on Compo Beach.  She will be dearly missed by her family which she adored and was always there to support, her family said.

She is survived by her three children, Jeanne Helfrich of Roswell, Ga., Janice Gray of Deltona, Fla., and Mark Palmer of Westport, her brother, William McGarrie, and her sister, Carole Maddock, both of Westport, six grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

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Posted 05:02 PM
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Clare C. (Cusack) Donoghue

Clare C. (Cusack) Donoghue of Fairfield died Oct. 9.  Born in New York City to the late Thomas and Margaret Cusack, she was a longtime Fairfield resident. Image
Clare C. Donoghue: longtime Fairfield resident. Contributed photo

She is survived by her husband of 44 years, John Donoghue, her children: Kristen Donoghue and her husband, Jonathan Hacker of Chevy Chase, Md., John Donoghue and his wife, Rebecca Martin of Westport; her grandchildren, David, Maggie, John, Maeve and James;  her extended family, and her many friends.

Friends are invited to attend the funeral on Thursday, Oct. 13 at 10 a.m. directly at St. Pius X Church, 834 Brookside Drive, Fairfield for a Mass of Christian Burial.  Interment will be private.  Friends may greet the family on Wednesday, Oct, 12, from 3 – 8 p.m. at the Shaughnessey Banks Funeral Home, 50 Reef Road, Fairfield. 

Memorial contributions may be made to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: P.O. Box 27106, New York, NY 10087 or

Posted 03:52 AM
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Saturday, October 08, 2011

Sonny Fox Remembers A Friend Image
Entertainer Sonny Fox, a former Weston resident, traveled from California today to help pay tribute to his friend Manny Margolis at the Westport Public LIbrary. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for

Posted 05:45 PM
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Victor F. Perkowski, 76

Victor F. Perkowski of Westport died Oct. 5. He was 76. Born in Westport to the late Sigmund and Frances Perkowski, he was a lifelong area resident.

He was the proprietor of Victor F. Perkowski Excavating. He was a member of the Ukrainian American Club of Southport and a life member of the Kent-based Connecticut Antique Machinery Association.

He is survived by his wife, Eileen Kunesch Perkowski of Westport, his stepson Terrence Vidal of Minnesota; sister Carol Hoffman of Florida and brother and sister-in-law Fred and Priscilla Kunesch of Torrington.  He was predeceased by two sons, Victor F. Perkowski Jr. and Brian Perkowski.

Services were private.

Posted 04:54 PM
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Thursday, October 06, 2011

Carol W. Leyshon, 85

Carol Wills Leyshon, a longtime Westport resident, died Sept. 25 at Norwalk Hospital. Her family said death was due to heart failure caused by respiratory complications related to treatment of a long illness. She was 85. Image
Carol Leyshhon: longtime Westporter. Contributed photo

Born on a farm in Mendota, Ill., she attended a one-room country school until eighth grade. At Mendota High School, she was an honor student, led the school debate team and participated in athletics and other activities. She went on to Beloit College in Wisconsin, and graduated with a degree in journalism from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where she met her husband, David Leyshon.

Following their wedding in 1949, they moved to Westport where David Leyshon was employed by the Dorr-Oliver Company. Residents of Westport for many years, they later divided their time between Westport and Lakeland, Fla., after David Leyshon was employed by Jacobs Engineering starting in the mid-1970s.

Carol Leyshon was very active in business and community affairs in Westport. She was co-owner of two catering businesses, P&C Catering and Carol’s Touch, focusing mainly on weddings and private events.

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Posted 01:03 PM
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Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Herbert Z. Halbrecht, 84

Herbert Zvi Halbrecht, a former Westport resident, died Oct. 2 of a heart attack at his home in Chapel Hill, N.C. He was 84.

Born June 22, 1927 to Samuel and Gertrude Halbrecht in New York City, Herb, as he was known, was raised without much in the way of material comforts but with great and lasting values, his family said.

He worked his way through school and after serving in the Navy during World War II, used the GI bill to attend college at City College of New York, and received an MBA from the University of Chicago in 1949.

He was a pioneer in the field of executive search consultancy and built his business, Halbrecht Associates, into a premiere firm in the field, as an early specialist in what was then a new area of information technology.

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Posted 02:23 PM
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Saturday, October 01, 2011

Robert J. Ellrich, 80

Robert John Elllrich died Sept. 23 in Seattle, Wash. He was 80.

Born in Bridgeport on Jan. 15, 1931 to David and Martha Ellrich, he grew up in a big old house on U.S. Highway 1 in Westport. He showed a wide-ranging curiosity from childhood. He was happy in the outdoors. He was always an avid swimmer and spent summers on a farm in Pennsylvania where he learned to raise chickens.

He nourished a love of music, first while listening with his mother to radio broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera. He became an accomplished pianist at an early age. A close friend and neighborhood playmate was famed harpsichordist, Igor Kipnis.He received a classic Jesuit education at Fairfield College Preparatory School.

As a Harvard University undergraduate, he concentrated in French and earned his AB “magna cum laude” in 1952. He pursued graduate study at Harvard and received his Ph. D. in Romance Languages and Literatures in 1960.

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Posted 05:25 PM
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Margot Ann Eiseman

Margot Ann Eiseman died Sept. 27 in Akron, Ohio after a five-year battle with ovarian cancer. Image
Margot Ann Eiseman: 1969 Staples grad. Contributed photo

An artist and an art teacher, she was born in New York City in 1951 and raised in Westport where she was a member of the Staples High School Class of 1969. 

She attended Hiram College where she met Bob Benedict whom she married in 1976. She earned a Master of Arts in textile design from the University of Iowa and went on to teach and coordinate the Fiber Arts Program at the University of Akron.

She later taught art and was the Art Department chair at Hoban High School. Throughout her life she produced her own works and showed in many art shows.

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Posted 05:11 PM
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Westporter Helen Reichert Dies at 109

By James Lomuscio

Helen Faith Keane Reichert of Westport and New York City died at her midtown Manhattan home Sunday at the age of 109, “just a few weeks shy of her 110th birthday on Nov. 11,” her sister-in-law Elisabeth Keane of Westport said today. Image
Helen Reichert: pictured in Westport two months ago. Contributed photo

“Her nickname was Happy, and it was a nickname that suited her entire life,” Keane said.

Throughout her life, Reichert vigorously promoted a rigid recipe for success: chocolate truffles, hamburgers, Budweiser beer, cigarettes and New York nightlife. Strictly forbidden were vegetables, exercising, getting up early and complaining.

Reichert was one of four centenarian siblings, including Keane’s husband, Westporter Peter Keane, “the baby of the family who will be 102 in February.” Other siblings included Irving Kahn, the 105-year-old chairman of Kahn Bros., a New York City Investment firm.

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Posted 01:13 AM
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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mina Martins, 44

Mina Martins, the former Mina Sboros, of Westport died Sept. 26. She was 44. Image
Mina Martins: fiancé of Westporter Doug Meier. Contributed photo

Born in Bridgeport on April 13, 1967, she attended Blackham School and attended six years of Greek school. She was a graduate of Central High School and Gibbs College. Her career was in the banking business as a teller and an assistant supervisor for many years. She enjoyed trips to Greece to visit her aunts, uncles, and cousins, her family said.

Predeceased by her mother, Joan (Joanie) Sboros, she is survived by her father and stepmother, Angelo and Louise Sboros of Shelton, her brother and his wife, John and Kim Sboros of Melbourne, Fla., her daughters Lisa and Maria Martins, and their father, her former husband and constant friend, Tony Martins. 

She is also survived by her fiancé, Doug Meier of Westport, and his mother, Carol Meier, as well as her favorite four-legged constant faithful companion, Yunque.

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Posted 09:27 PM
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Monday, September 26, 2011

Edwin R. Clark, 66

Edwin R. Clark II died Sept. 25 under hospice care in his home in Potsdam, N.Y. The former Westport educator was 66. Image
Edwin R. Clark II former Westport educator. Contributed photo

Born in Meridian, Miss. on May 13, 1945, he grew up in South Norwalk, the eldest of eight children of Edwin R. Clark, Sr. and Melinda (Ruta) Clark. He received his Bachelor of Science in art education from Southern Connecticut State University in 1967. He was drafted and served in the Army at Fort Jackson, S.C. during the Vietnam War.

He worked as an art educator in Westport elementary schools until 1975 when he left to study art and Spanish in Mexico. He received his Master of Fine Arts in Ceramic Sculpture in 1981 from the Instituto Allende, University of Guanajuato in San Miguel Allende, Mexico.

He was an innovator in many artistic media including handmade paper, the book arts, photography, ceramics, glass and the performing arts. Of note was his storytelling with the mouth harp and musical saw.

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Posted 11:03 PM
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Josephine Faust, 87

Josephine Faust, wife of the late Alvin B. Faust, died Sept. 25 at Norwalk Hospital. She was 87.

Born Jan. 18, 1924 in Westport, she was the daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Carmine Famiglietti.

She is survived by son Alvin Faust Jr. and his wife Debora of Stamford, and five daughters; Bettylou Mattison of Port St. Lucie, Fla., Carolyn Coughlin of Port St. Lucie, Sandra Ermark and her husband Alan of Monroe, Jane Cuddy of Orlando, Fla.,, and Toni McQuillan and her husband Edward of Norwalk. In addition to her children, she is survived by 13 grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren and two sisters; Louise Pacheco and Rosemary Andresen.

She was predeceased by her first grandson, Matty, her two brothers Anthony and Sebastian Famiglietti and her sister Connie Faust.

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Posted 05:46 PM
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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Beatriz De Ferrere “Betty” Cohen, 80

Beatriz De Ferrere “Betty” Cohen died at her home in Syracuse, N.Y. on Sept. 23. She was 80.

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1931, she graduated summa cum laude from the National Conservatory of Music and came to the United States in 1953.

Mrs. C/Beatriz, as she was affectionately called by her friends, lived in New York, Massachusetts, and Michigan before settling in Westport in 1975. She taught music, English as a second language, and art appreciation most of her life.

She owned the Noroton Gallery in Darien from 1975 until her retirement in 2002.

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Posted 05:15 PM
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