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Monday, October 04, 2010

John Ege, 94

John Ege, a longtime Westport resident, died Oct. 1. He was 94.

He attended Harvard University, but to help pay his tuition, took a year off from school to travel the country as an entertainer with the World of Mirth Circus.

He graduated Harvard with a bachelor of science degree in chemistry in 1939 and served the Navy in a Harvard-affiliated program to oversee construction of battleships and destroyers supporting the war effort.

After the war, he went back to Harvard to complete graduate studies, earning a master’s degree in 1946.

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Michael Smollin, 85

Michael Smollin, an acclaimed artist and illustrator who called Westport home for almost 40 years, died Sept. 23 in Fort Meyers, Fla. He was Image
Michael Smollin: Westporter for almost 40 years. photo

Smollin was most widely known for his first concept illustrated to become Sesame Street’s best selling book of all time, “The Monster At The End Of This Book,” a classic now in its third printing, which captured the hearts of children and adults since its release in 1971.

His illustrations graced a variety of magazines and publications for 30 years.

In a varied career, Smollin also won an Emmy for his work on “The Great Space Coaster” television program. Baby Boomers have all seen television commercials he directed between 1951 and 1968 such as Milkbone’s Doctor Spot, an original Smollin character, who warned that tooth-tartar is the main cause of “Bad breath in dogs!,” and the Triple S Blue Stamps’ trio of dancing vaudevillians.

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Marden Recalled as Heroic, Courageous Mom

By James Lomuscio

Family and friends today described longtime Westporter Maura F.  Marden who died at 53 Monday after a four-year battle with cancer as a heroic, inspirational and loving Image
Maura Marden posed with her Team Pride II teammates at the Swim Across the Sound fund-raiser for St. Vincent’s Medical Center of Bridgeport last month. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Whether running for selectman, swimming across the Long Island Sound, fund-raising for Al’s Angels or cheering on her three boys at swim meets, she always evoked courage and optimism in spite of her health problems, they said.

“She was a fantastic candidate and a fantastic human being,” said John Izzo, the Republican candidate for first selectman who chose Marden as his running mate in 2001. “She was compassionate, thoughtful and a great friend, and she was a courageous woman.

“It took a brave candidate to go up against the highly popular (incumbent Democratic First Selectman) Diane Farrell,” he added about the election that Farrell won.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sylvia S. Cooper, 97

Sylvia S. Cooper of Westport, wife of the late Louis Cooper, passed away Sunday, Sept. 26 in Norwalk Hospital.

Mrs. Cooper was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. on May 13, 1913, daughter of the late Meyer and Regina (Gross) Siegler and has been a resident of Westport for 40 years.

Prior to moving to Westport, Mrs. Cooper was a resident of Wilton. During the 1950s, she owned and operated the Show of the Month Club. In 1960, Mrs. Cooper founded Fairfield County Show Bus and then Show Bus Tours.

Survivors include nieces, nephews and cousins. In addition to her husband, Mrs. Cooper was also predeceased by one sister and two brothers.

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Bernard X. “Mac” McGeady, 85

Bernard X. “Mac” McGeady, 85, of Westport, husband of the late Lee (O’Connor) McGeady, passed away Tuesday, Sept. 28 at The Watermark, 3030 Park Ave., Bridgeport, surrounded by his family.

Mr. McGeady was born Feb. 23, 1925 in Brooklyn, N.Y., son of the late Bernard and Sarah (O’Donnell) McGeady and has been a resident of Westport 58 years.

He was a founding partner in the law firm of Toren, McGeady and Associates P.C. in New York City, retiring in 2008.

Mr. McGeady received his undergraduate degree in Engineering from Manhattan College and his Masters in Engineering from New York University. He went on to earn a law degree from St. John’s University

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Maura F. Marden, Former Selectman Candidate, Dies at 53

Maura F.  Marden of Westport, a former Republican selectman candidate, died Monday at Yale-New Haven Hospital after a four-year battle with cancer. She was Image
Maura Marden: fought four-year battle with cancer. Contributed photo

She was the running mate of First Selectman candidate John Izzo in the 2001 election against incumbent Democrats Diane Farrell and Carl Leaman. The Democrats won 71 percent to 29 percent.

The family provided the following obituary:

Maura F. Marden (aka Reenie to her family), age 53, of Westport, passed away peacefully Monday, Sept. 27, in the company of her husband, Bill (sometimes mistakenly known as “Big Bill”) her mom, and brothers and sisters, following a difficult battle with cancer.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ian McNamee, 60

Ian McNamee died in his home on Sept. 20. He was 60.
Born in Paris in 1950, he was a lifelong resident of Connecticut. Raised in Westport, he was a graduate of Staples High School Class of 1968.

He was owner of County Kitchen Refinishing for 30 years, self-employed as a master craftsman and highly respected for his meticulous work.

McNamee is survived by his daughter, Kim Saleh, and granddaughter, Alyssa Eaton of Brookfield. They were the most important forces in his life and his love for them was boundless. He also leaves his companion of 20 years, Pam Saleh; as well as his parents, Gordon and Mollie McNamee; a sister, Michele McNamee; sister Annie McNamee~Oxley and brother-in-law, Gilman Oxley; a neice, Sarah Galaske; and two great-nephews, David and Kyle Galaske, all of Vermont.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Ellen P. Wilson, 54

Ellen Page Wilson, Staples High School Class of 1974, a noted photographer and owner of Ellen Page Wilson Photography in New York’s Chelsea area, died Sunday, Sept. 26. She was Image
Ellen P. Wilson: Staples ‘74 grad was noted photographer. Contributed photo

The daughter of Page Hedden Wilson of Westport and Ian Holroyde Wilson of San Rafael, Calif., Ellen was born on Jan. 2, 1956.

In addition to her parents, she is survived by her son, Willem DeVos and former husband Fred DeVos of Brooklyn N.Y.; her companion Joe Famiglietti of New York City; and her four sisters and their families: Rebecca Wilson Armstrong and her husband John of Weston, and their children, Ian and Anne; Dorothy Swain Wilson and her husband George Ostasiewicz of Norwalk, and their children Alexandra, Sarah and Peter; Holly Wilson Luce and her husband Jim of Denville, N.J. and their children Emily, Jim, Megan and Peter; and Dr. Alix Wilson and her husband Terry Dawson of Austin, Texas, and their children Fiona and Liam.

After graduating Staples in 1974, Ellen attended Connecticut College and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1978 with a Bachelors of Arts degree.

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Remembering Joan Schine Image
Judy Seltz, a daughter of Joan Schine, addresses a memorial service for her mother today at Westport Town Hall. “She didn’t flinch from doing what she considered right,” Seltz said. At right is her brother Robert who also spoke. Schine died Sept.18 at the age of 87 after battling Alzheimer’s Disease. A former Westport Board of Education president, her efforts to bring Bridgeport schoolchildren to Westport in 1970 as part of Project Concern virtually divided the town and touched off efforts to have her recalled. (See WestportNow Sept. 20, 2010) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 06:38 PM
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

John M. Slauson, 81

John M. Slauson, 81, of Stratford and a former Westport resident, the husband of Evangeline Michell Slauson, died Sept. 18 at Bridgeport Hospital.

He had lived in Indianapolis and later Zionsville, Ind., from 1962 until 2006. He was a founding partner of Dart Controls in Zionsville and retired in 1998, but remained on Dart’s board until his death. He moved to Connecticut in 2006 and became a volunteer at the Maritime Aquarium until his recent illness.

In addition to his wife, survivors include his children, Margot Karlin of California, Laura Muirhead of New Jersey, James Slauson of Indiana and Dina Major of New Mexico; three step-children, Evangeline Breen of Montana, Linda Colby and James Michell, both of Connecticut; two step-children from a previous marriage, Jennie Evensen of Illinois and Susan Baldwin of Indiana; a sister, Joan Margaret Schmidt of Illinois, and 20 grandchildren.

A memorial service will take place Saturday, from 1 to 4 p.m., at the Olde Dominion Clubhouse, 185 Dominion Drive, Zionsville, Ind. Memorial donations may be made to the Maritime Aquarium Volunteer Department, 10 North Water St., Norwalk, CT 06854.

Posted 05:41 PM
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Robbie E. Roberts, 69

Robbie Elizabeth Roberts, aka Robbie Holmes Roberts, 69, died Sept. 17 in Tucson, Ariz.

She was born born July 30, 1941 in Live Oak, Fla.

She is survived by her daughter Selena Roberts who resides in Westport, and son Shawn Roberts who resides in Tallahassee, Fla. Her first son Mike Roberts was deceased in 1971. She is also survived by her Sister, Joan Radford of Live Oak, Fla., and her grandson, Noah Michael Roberts.

Robbie was an active member of Casas Baptist Church, Tucson.

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Henry Lemaire, 89

Henry Lemaire, a former Westporter,  died Sept. 20 at his home in Shelburne, Vt. from complications of Alzheimers Disease and heart problems. He was 89.

Henry was born in New York City on Jan. 24, 1921. He attended Riverdale Country School, graduated from Pomfret School and received his B.S. in chemistry from MIT. On graduation day in 1942, he also received his commission in the U.S. Army Chemical Corp and served his country for four years.

After his Army service, he studied at the California Institute of Technology and achieved his Ph.D. in Synthetic Organic Chemistry in 1950.

He worked for Wyandotte Chemicals for two years, then took a postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin for further research.

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Posted 03:55 PM
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Friends Remember Schine as Courageous and Innovative

By James Lomuscio
Friends today remembered Joan Schine, a former Westport Board of Education chairman who died at 87 Saturday after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease, as a courageous innovator who remained stalwart despite serious threats as she dared to do the unthinkable in 1970—to integrate Westport with 25 Bridgeport Image
Joan Schine: “brave and courageous.” Contributed photo

The program, Project Concern, caused such outrage among some residents, there was a townwide movement to have her recalled. A court ruled that a recall referendum would be illegal and enjoined the selectmen from holding it.

“The way people carried on it was really quite horrible,” said Martha Aasen, a former president of the Westport Democratic Town Committee who was vice president of the League of Women Voters at the time. “It was a real campaign we had to put on to stop the recall.”

She said that opposition to Project Concern was based on racism and the fear of busing.

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Joan Schine, Championed “Project Concern,” Dies at 87

Joan Schine, who as chairman of the Westport Board of Education in 1970 battled anger and a recall election for trying to enact a state program called Project Concern which bused underprivileged youngsters from Bridgeport to Westport, died Saturday at her Westport home after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. She was 87.

A daughter, Judith Seltz of Alexandria, Va., said a memorial service will be held on Sunday, Sept. 26, at 2 p.m. at Westport Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Ave. (See obituary here)

Posted 07:49 PM
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Joan Schine, 87

Joan Goldwasser Schine, widow of Harold L. Schine, died Sept. 18 in her Westport home after a long illness.  She had Alzheimer’s disease. She was Image
Joan Schine: fought back recall attempt. Contributed photo

Born in 1923 and raised in New York City, Mrs. Schine was the daughter of Edith (née Goldstein)  and Israel Edwin Goldwasser. She attended Horace Mann School and was graduated from Smith College.

Following her marriage to Harold L. Schine, of Bridgeport, the couple moved to Trumbull and then Westport, where they raised their four children. 

Mrs. Schine was a longtime chair of the Westport Board of Education during the late 1960s and early 70s and was instrumental in bringing Project Concern, a program that enrolled students from the Bridgeport schools, to Westport schools.

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