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Obituaries

Obituaries

Friday, March 26, 2010

Louise S. Couffer, 79

WestportNow.com Image
Louise Couffer: Compo Beach devotee. Contributed photo
Louise S. Couffer, 79, a Westport resident for 48 years and a devotee of Compo Beach who could be found every summer, friends said, “two life guard stands down from the Soundview parking lot,” died Wednesday, March 24.

Born in Minneapolis, Minn. on Nov. 3, 1930 to Bertha and Leon Sterling, her family later settled in Scarsdale, N.Y., where Louise, called Weaser by family and friends, graduated from Scarsdale High School in 1948.

Afterward she attended St. Lawrence University where she met James G. Couffer, Jr. whom she married Aug. 19, 1952, a couple of months after graduation.

Coufer worked at Gilbertie’s Herb Gardens in Easton for the past 23 years, and her pastimes included gardening, swimming, sunbathing and watching football on television, say family members.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sara T. Restaino, 95

Sara T. Restaino, 95, of Southport, passed away Tuesday, March 23 in Saint Vincent’s Medical Center, Bridgeport.

Miss Restaino was born Feb. 17, 1915 in Bridgeport, daughter of the late Vincent and Catherine (Caldana) Restaino and had resided in Westport for 64 years prior to moving to Southport 24 years ago. She was a graduate of Staples High School.

Survivors include one sister, Mary Restaino and one brother, Michael Restaino both of Southport. Miss Resstaino was also predeceased by one sister, Columbia J. Restaino and one brother, Joseph Restaino.

Friends are invited to attend the funeral Friday at 10 a.m. from the Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Road East,  and at 10:30 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 Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Posted 09:10 PM
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Raymond Porter, 74

Raymond Porter, 74, beloved husband of Carol A. (Polizzi) Porter, died Thursday, March 18, at Norwalk Hospital after a brief illness. WestportNow.com Image
Ray Porter (r) greeted guests at the Westport Public Library in 2004 as it celebrated the 174th birthday of library benefactor Morris K. Jesup. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

Born in Hazleton, Pa., and raised in Philadelphia, he earned a scholarship towards a BFA in photography from Philadelphia College of Art.

Upon graduation, he was employed as a staff photographer for Seventeen Magazine in New York, where he met Carol, his devoted wife of 46 years.

Mr. Porter was also a veteran of the U.S. Army. He later taught photography for many years at Famous Schools in Westport, where he has been a resident for the past 40 years.

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

George W. Wassell, 85

George William Wassell, 85, of Kennebunkport, Maine, died on Friday, March 19.

His father and mother were Frank Lloyd Wassell and Georgene Parkin Wassell. He attended Staples High School in Westport and then served as a U.S. Air Force pilot in World War II.

He married Elizabeth (Betsy) Schuyler of Westport in 1945. They raised a family of six children. He worked with his father in their business, the Wassell Organization which manufactured office control systems.

After his retirement, the family moved to Washington, N.H., where they had built a home of his design. This led to a new life’s work of designing and building homes in Sunapee, N.H., Vero Beach, Fla., and Kennebunkport. He furnished these with his own beautiful hand-crafted furniture.

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Jean Noder Plasan, 86

Jean Noder Plasan, devoted resident of Westport, wife of the late Howard Otto Plasan, died March 17 in Bradenton, Fla. She was 86.

Born Dec. 29, 1923, in New Haven, she was a daughter of the late Henry and Jean Noder. Jean graduated from Hill House in New Haven and then from Grace New Haven as a registered nurse in 1944.

In December 1944, Jean enlisted in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps and cared for wounded World War II soldiers in Tinian, Iwo Jima and Guam until 1947.

Jean returned to formal education in 1948 and earned her B.S. degree in Public Health Nursing from the University of Connecticut in 1950, Cum Laude.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ruth A. Bassett, 93

Ruth Anita Bassett, 93, of Wilton passed away March 10, in her Wilton home.

She was the daughter of Walter S. and Edna Swift Bassett. She was predeceased by her sister, Marion Timmins, brothers Walter and Norman Bassett, and her niece Cynthia Timmins. She was born AuG. 25, 1916, in Roselle Park, N.J. She moved to Wilton in 1923 with her family and lived in the same house for the past 87 years.

She walked to a one-room school on Nod Hill Road before graduating from Staples High School in Westport in 1933.

She attended business school and then worked in New York City for the Vacuum Candy Machinery Company and several other firms. In the 1940s, she worked for Attorney Sherwood Chichester in Wilton and later for Attorneys George McKendry and Albert Perry.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Morton G. Feldman, 76

Dr. Morton G. Feldman, 76, died March 13 at the Rosenthal Hospice Residence in Stamford.

Born in New York City, he was the son of the late Herman and Helen Feldman and a longtime resident of Westport. He also resided for many years in Fairfield.

Prior to his retirement from surgical practice, he was a member of the Department of Surgery of St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport. and maintained a surgical practice in Bridgeport for more than 40 years.

Feldman graduated from Boston University Medical School and then trained in head and neck surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City, where he taught medicine before setting up practice in Bridgeport.

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Posted 07:37 PM
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Park Lane Tree Victim Was Celebrating Sister’s Birthday

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Jennifer Thibault: grew up in Fairfield. Contributed photo
UPDATE Jennifer Thibault, the 39-year-old New Jersey woman killed by a falling tree on Park Lane Saturday night, was in Westport to celebrate the birthday of one her sisters, according to her husband.

Arthur Thibault of Long Valley, N.J. told the Daily Record of Parsippany, N.J. that his wife was driving with three of her sisters when a pine tree fell on their car about 7 p.m. during the strong wind and rain storm. Her sisters escaped the accident with minor injuries.

He said his wife had driven to Westport with one her sisters who lives in New Jersey to meet up with another two sisters who live in Connecticut.

He said he was called about the accident at 8:30 p.m. Saturday and was at Norwalk Hospital at 10:30 p.m, the newspaper said. It said Arthur and Jennifer Thibault have two children.

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Arline Joan Lerner Grant, 86

Arline Joan Lerner Grant, age 86, died on Sunday in Fairfield. She had lived with multiple sclerosis for 60 years.

Dr. Grant, a graduate of the Ethical Culture Fieldson School, Smith College and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, was a pediatrician who worked at Yale New Haven Hospital and taught at Norwalk Hospital.

She lived for many years in Westport where she was very active in community affairs.

She is survived by three children, Wendy Haskell of New Haven, David Marshall Grant of Bridgehampton, N.Y., Tom Grant of New Paltz, N.Y., five grandchildren and many life long friends.

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John E. Swaim, Sr., 70

John E. Swaim, Sr., of Sandy Hook, former long time resident of Norwalk passed away on Tuesday, March 9 in Manhattan following an illness. He was 70.

He was the husband of 44 years to Marilyn (Parenty) Swaim. Born in Norwalk on July 02, 1939, John was the son of the late James E. and Doris (Kitchens) Swaim and was raised in Westport. He was a 1958 graduate of Staples High School and resided in Westport until 1958.

He continued his education in Tennessee at the Nashville Auto Diesel School, where he graduated in 1959.

John served in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years and settled in Norwalk upon his return. It wasn’t until 2004, that he relocated to Sandy Hook with his beloved wife, Marilyn.

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Posted 05:47 PM
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Jerry Purcell, Jr., 75

Jerry Purcell, Jr., beloved husband of Elizabeth “Betty” Purcell, died Wednesday, March 10, at his residence in Fairfield. He was 75.

Born in Norwalk to the late Jerry and Josephine (Filanowski) Purcell, he has been a Fairfield resident for the past 45 years.

He was a proud veteran of the U.S. Navy. In his earlier years Jerry was employed as a heavy equipment operator for Hermenze Bros., Sereno Jennings, Mohegan Valley and William Wanat Construction.

Later he owned and operated Purcell’s Restaurant in Westport for 15 years. He then owned and operated Purcell’s Deli in Bridgeport and ultimately Purcell’s Inc., a food service business.

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Posted 05:43 PM
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Deborah L. Tumey, 60

Deborah L. Tumey, of Meredith, N.H., former longtime resident of Fairfield and Westport, died Feb. 28 in a house fire in her home in Meredith. She was 60.

She was born on May 26, 1949, in Sacramento, Calif., and lived in Fairfield where she graduated from Roger Ludlowe High School in 1967. She attended The St. Francis School of Nursing and graduated with a nursing degree in 1970 and became a registered nurse.

She began her career at The Carlton Nursing Home in Fairfield, followed by a long career in Public Health Nursing in both Connecticut and upstate New York. She eventually worked for New York Life Insurance of New York.

Once retired she was very active socially. She was the co-president of the American Women’s Club in London in 1980s and later was PTA co-president in Westport.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Jean Forman Wright, 86

Jean Forman Wright, 86, Sarasota, Fla. died on Monday, March 8.

She was born in New Salem, Pa., resided in Westport from 1964-1986, prior to retiring to Florida.

She served as an Ensign in the Navy Nurse Corps during World War II, and was a retired public health nurse, spending many years providing health care at Hillspoint Elementary and Staples High School.

She was a member of Alpha Xi Delta, Junior League of Sarasota, and the Sarasota Yacht Club.

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Posted 07:48 PM
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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Sheldon Metz, 83

Sheldon Metz, 83 of Westport, died March 5, at his home.

He was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., a son of the late Hyman and Becky Metz.

Metz is survived by his wife Joan Phillips; his children, Hillary Metz of Minneapolis, Minn., Alan Metz of Castaic, Calif., Ken Metz of Studio City, Calif., Mark Phillips of Westport, and Neil Phillips and his wife, Kim of Westport; his grandchildren, Ben Metz, Emily, Samantha, Jake, Nathaniel and Dylan Phillips; his sister, Harriet Wlodinger; a niece, Cheryl Wlodinger; and by his mother-in-law, Sylvia Phillips. Metz is also survived by his former wife, Barbara Lazarus Metz.

Memorial contributions may be made to Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (www.pancan.org).  A memorial service was held on Tuesday from The Abraham L. Green and Son Funeral Home, 88 Beach Road, Fairfield.

Posted 08:05 PM
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Thursday, March 04, 2010

Gordon P. Huppi, 83

Gordon P. Huppi, a former Westport resident, passed away peacefully on Feb. 27 at Epoch of Brewster in Brewster, Mass. WestportNow.com Image
Gordon P. Huppi: raised family in Westport. Contributed photo

Gordon was born in Manhattan to John and Jemima (McIntosh) Huppi and was raised in Larchmont, N.Y., where he graduated from Mamaroneck High School.

Gordon followed in his father’s footsteps, embarking on a career in advertising as a commercial artist, eventually attaining a position as Art Director for New York and Connecticut agencies.

Gordon married Nancy Messinger in 1952, and they moved to Westport in 1959 where they brought up their three daughters.

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Posted 04:22 PM
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Note: WestportNow Publisher Gordon F. Joseloff is also First Selectman of Westport