Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Westporter Hy Zaret, Tin Pan Alley Lyricist, Dies at 99
Westporter Hy Zaret, one of the last of the Tin Pan Alley lyricists, whose most indelible work was the oft-recorded 1955 hit “Unchained Melody,” died Monday at his Saugatuck Shores home, The New York Times said today. He was 99.
Hy Zaret: Wrote “Unchained Melody” lyrics.File photo
His son, Robert, announced the death, the newspaper said. Zaret would have turned 100 on Aug. 21.
Zaret liked to tell about the time the composer Alex North called him to say he had written a song for a movie and needed words, the Times said.
Zaret replied that he was busy painting his house. But he found time to write the lyrics for “Unchained Melody.” The movie itself, “Unchained,” a low-budget prison film, turned out to be a lot less memorable than the song.
Friday, June 01, 2007
Anna Videler, Co-founder of Videler Photography, Dies at 75
Longtime Westport resident Anna Videler, founder with her late husband Cornelis J. Videler of Videler Photography in Westport, died Thursday at Connecticut Hospice in Branford. She was 75.
Anna Videler: Westport resident 50 years. Contributed photo
Born in Amsterdam, Holland, she was the daughter of the late Johann and Anna Maria (Hammers) Hennen and has been a resident of Westport for 50 years.
She and her husband emigrated to the United States in 1957 where they settled in Westport and founded Videler Photography.
First and foremost in her life was her love for her family, especially her grandchildren. She adored the outdoors and gardening, and her treasurered dogs, Lexus and Lucy, her family said.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Gene Takahashi, IBM Exec and Korean War Vet, Dies at 79
Longtime Westporter Gene Takahashi, a former IBM executive and Korean War veteran profiled by the late author David Halberstam in his forthcoming book on the war, died Tuesday night at his Westport home after a lengthy illness. He was 79.
Gene Takahashi: “a genuine war hero.” File photo
Takahashi was a strong supporter of the Westport Public Library and was key in getting the Pulitzer Prize-winning author to accept an invitation to be honored at the library’s May 27 “Booked for the Evening” fund-raiser. The event will now be a tribute to Halberstam.
“Some two years ago I went out to Westport, Conn., to interview Gene Takahashi for a book I was writing about the Korean War,” Halbertstam wrote in a Forbes magazine article a month before his April 23 death in a California car crash. (See WestportNow April 23, 2007)
“There were, it soon struck me, two Gene Takahashis, the first the former IBM executive, quiet and exceptionally modest, the model citizen of a prosperous Connecticut suburb; and then another Gene Takahashi, someone whom almost none of his neighbors knew anything about.”
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Longtime Westporter Robert J. Ellwanger Dies at 77
Robert J. Ellwanger, a longtime Westport resident and businessman, died Monday at his home in Naples, Fla., his family said today. He was 77.
The husband of Margaret W. Ellwanger, he was born in Queens, N.Y., on April 19, 1930, to the late John and Daisy Ellwanger.
Ellwanger graduated from Bayside High School and the Pohs Institute of Insurance & Real Estate.
He moved to Westport in 1973 from Fairfield, where he had been employed by Real Estate Insurance Management. He founded Ellwanger Insurance Consultants at 12 Avery Place before moving the business to 180 Post Road East.
Friday, April 13, 2007
Longtime Westporter Barbara Raymond Dies at 83
Barbara Butler Raymond, a longtime Westporter active with the Westport Historical Society and other local organizations, died Thursday night at her home of cancer. She was 83.
Barbara Raymond: made history come alive. Dave Matlow/WN file photo
Barbara and her husband Allen, the town’s official historian, often led walking and bus tours of Westport and surrounding areas. With their extensive knowledge of Westport people and events, they brought history alive for many who had little knowledge of the area’s rich colonial history.
The Raymonds also have been active members of Earthplace, The Nature Discovery Center, the Green’s Farms Congregational Church, and other local organizations.
Barbara Raymond was one of the founders 51 years ago and an original director of the Westport Young Woman’s League.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Longtime Westporter Gloria Hunter Dies at 79
Gloria Hunter, a longtime Westporter who worked as a journalist, teacher, author and columnist and taught reading and college test preparation skills to countless area students, died Sunday at her Westport home. She was 79.
Gloria Hunter: Westport resident since 1965. Contributed photo
Hunter had struggled valiantly to maintain a normal life with family and friends and in her community as she waged her battle against cancer, according to Thomas Hunter, her husband of 56 years.
Hunter was known to many Westporters for her “As I See It” column in the weekly Westport Minuteman newspaper for the last 13 years. Her last column, “Teaser Titles,” was completed just before her death.
Born in Chicago, Hunter was the daughter of the late Eleanore Kline and David Waldron Hunter. She spent her early married life in Ann Arbor, Mich., Summit, N.J., and Cleveland, Ohio before making Westport the permanent family home in 1965.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Former Westporter Ellen Hanley, Broadway Star, Dies at 80
Former Westporter Ellen Hanley, 80, a stage actress best known for playing Fiorello LaGuardia’s first wife in the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical “Fiorello!” in 1959, died of a stroke Monday at Norwalk Hospital after a long battle with cancer, her family said.
Hanley was honored last October at a Westport Town Hall ceremony with an award from the Westport Arts Advisory Committee.
Born May 15, 1926, in Lorain, Ohio, Hanley made her Broadway debut in “Annie Get Your Gun,” starring Ethel Merman, in 1946. The following year she appeared as Clothilde Pfefferkorn in “Barefoot Boy With Cheek,” a zany collegiate musical featuring Nancy Walker and Red Buttons.
In the 1952 revue “Two’s Company,” which starred Bette Davis, Hanley introduced the Vernon Duke-Ogden Nash song “Roundabout.”
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Longtime Westporter Peter J. Petropoulos Dies at 80
Peter J. Petropoulos, chair of the Westport Weston Health District, died Feb. 2 at his home after a lengthy illness. He was 80.
Petropoulos, who had lived in Westport for 43 years, was a member of the Y’s Men of Westport Weston and a founding member of the “Compo Beach Bunch.”
He worked for Uniroyal Inc. for more than 20 years, retiring in 1987 as vice president of marketing.
Born July 5, 1926 in Newport, R.I., Petropoulos was the son of the late John and Olga Petropoulos. He was a 1950 graduate of Brown University where he was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity.
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Famed Artist and Musician Eric von Schmidt Dies at 75
Eric von Schmidt, a renowned Westport artist and pioneering figure in the folk music explosion of the late 1950s and early 1960s whose works touched the lives of generations of musicians, died Friday at a Fairfield convalescent home. He was 75.
Eric von Schmidt (c) posed with Westport artist Howard Munce (l) and Mollie Donovan of the Westport Historical Society in September 2004 prior to the debut of an exhibit of his paintings from his “Giants of the Blues” series. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
His daughter Caitlin von Schmidt of Westport said her father had been in ill health since suffering a stroke in September. She said a memorial service will be announced later.
Eric von Schmidt, a Westport native and 1949 Staples High School graduate, was the son of the late illustrator Harold von Schmidt whose rustic portraits of the American West appeared on Saturday Evening Post covers and in other magazines.
He perhaps became best known as a folk and blues singer-songwriter of the folk/blues revival of the 1960s, a key part of the East Coast folk scene and crowd that included Bob Dylan and Joan Baez.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Longtime Westporter William F. Cribari Dies at 88
William F. (Crobar) Cribari: lifelong Saugauck resident. WN file photoWilliam F. (Crobar) Cribari, a longtime Westport resident known to many commuters as the man who directed traffic in Saugatuck for many years, died Tuesday at West Haven Veterans Hospital. He was 88.
A life member of the Saugatuck Volunteer Fire Department, Cribari was a special police officer for Westport for more than 30 years.
For many of those years he could be seen walking Main Street every Saturday and directing commuter traffic at the intersection of Riverside and Saugatuck Avenues.
When a traffic light was installed at that intersection, he moved to the intersection of Riverside Avenue and Bridge Street where he directed traffic until retiring a few years ago.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Former Deputy Fire Chief Dies
Former Westport Deputy Fire Chief David A. Sanford died today in Danbury Hospital after a long illness, fire officials said. He was 62.
Sanford, a West Redding resident, served Westport from May 1980 through May 1988. He was fire marshal of the West Redding Volunteer Fire Department as well as a former chief there and was also a former deputy chief in Wilton.
Fire Chief Christopher Ackley said Sanford is responsible for the success of a lot of firefighters who have served in Westport.
“Without him, we wouldn’t be the experienced, professional department we are today,” he said. “Our department is what it is today because the people in leadership positions were under his tutelage.”
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Longtime Westporter Clark G. Ford Dies at 76
Clark G. Ford, an accomplished advertising professional and Westport resident since 1959 who was active in numerous community endeavors including designing award-winning floats for the town’s Memorial Day parade, died Friday in Westport. He was 76.
Clark G. Ford: ad man who designed parade floats. Contributed photo
Ford, a former member of the Westport Country Playhouse Board of Directors and member of Westport’s Yangzhou, China Sister City Committee, was also active in the Y’s Men of Westport Weston and the Saint Luke Church Ushers Group.
He was perhaps best known locally for the award-winning floats he designed and helped construct for Westport’s Memorial Day Parade on behalf of the Playhouse and the Y’s Men between 1993 and 2006.
Ford put the finishing touches on the Y’s Men float for the most recent Memorial Day parade while at Norwalk Hospital, according to his son, Jeff, a Westport resident, who took photos and a video of the work in progress to his hospitalized father.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Former Westporter Robert A. Potts Dies at 79
Former Westport resident Robert A. Potts died early today at his home in Essex, Conn. He was 79 years old.
Robert A. Potts: lived in Westport 38 years. Contributed photo
He was a longtime cancer survivor, according to his son, Mark.
A retired magazine publishing industry executive, Potts was the publisher of Dun’s Business Month and also held senior positions at Watson Publishing and Cahners Publishing.
He was active in many local and civic organizations in Essex and Westport, where he lived for 38 years. He was known to his family and many friends as a raconteur and for his hearty appreciation of a good joke or funny story.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Westport Marketing Executive Robert S. Shulman Dies at 55
Robert S. Shulman, a Westport marketing executive, author, and adjunct professor at Columbia University Business School, died Thursday at home. He was 55.
Robert Shulman: formerly served on Westport Arts Center board. File photo
Cause of death was liver cancer, according to an e-mail to members of the Westport Arts Center where Shulman formerly served on the board of directors.
Shulman was chairman and CEO of Norwalk-based Markitecture, Inc., a leading marketing research and strategy firm
He formerly was CEO of Westport-based Yankelovich Clancy Shulman, Inc., and co-founder and CEO of Copernicus, both marketing firms.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Actress Jane Wyatt Appeared at Playhouse in 1932 and 1963
Actress Jane Wyatt, who died Friday at age 96, was in the 1932 repertory company at Westport Country Playhouse. She is pictured at far left on one of the Playhouse’s outside staircases. Armina Marshall Langner, the Playhouse’s co-founder, is on the next step. Wyatt was the season’s ingénue, appearing in several productions during the summer of 1932. She returned to the Playhouse in 1963 in “The Strangers” with Cornelia Otis Skinner. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Westport Country Playhouse photo
Note: WestportNow Publisher Gordon F. Joseloff is also First Selectman of Westport