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Obituaries

Obituaries

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

John M. MacDonald, 77

John M. MacDonald, 77, of Westport, husband of Florence (Anastasia) MacDonald, passed away Sunday, March 28 at home in the company of his family.

John was born Nov. 13, 1932, in Norwalk, son of the late Arthur and Ann (Lamb) MacDonald and has been a resident of Westport for the past 50 years.

Prior to retiring in 1982, he had been employed by Nash Engineering in Norwalk for 26 years in the Quality Control Department as an inspector.

John was a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War and a member of the Frank C. Godfrey American Legion Post No. 12 in Norwalk.

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Arthur E. Allen, 77

Arthur Emerson Allen of Virginia, formerly of Westport and Weston, passed away on March 26. He was 77.

Born on Jan. 12, 1933, in Norwalk, Arthur was the son of the late Ralph and Viola (Bay) Allen. He was raised in Westport and graduated from Staples High School in 1951. 

Following high school, he honorably served his country as Airman 1st Class in the U.S. Air Force from 1951-1955. He served two years overseas as a Tail Gunner on the B-29 Superfortress 307th bomb wing 372nd Bomb Squadron during the Korean conflict and later in the Air Force Reserves. 

Upon his return from the service, Arthur met and married his beloved wife of 40 years, Marion A. (Mantie) Allen.  Together, they raised three children in Weston.

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Maurice Josp, 89

Maurice Josp passed away March 21 in Concord, Mass. He was 89.

He was the husband of Susan (Muller) Jospe. Born and raised in Antwerp, Belgium, Maurice Josp was the son of Alexandre and Marthe (Lucas) Josp and brother to Roger and the late Jacques Josp.

Maurice served in the Belgian Army during World War II. He was a prisoner of war who later escaped, made his way to England and became a Spitfire fighter pilot in the Belgian Squadron of the Royal Air Force.

After the war, he immigrated to the United States with his first wife, Claire, and joined his father’s diamond business in New York City.

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Elizabeth Jones, 85

Elizabeth (Elma) Jones of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and Westport, passed away on March 22 after a short illness. She was 85. WestportNow.com Image
Elizabeth Jones: Westport resident more than 50 years. Contributed photo

She is survived by a brother, Alexander (Red) Hamilton, of Naples, Fla.; a son, Bruce Jones, of Decatur, Ga.; and a daughter, Leslie Jones, and two granddaughters, Katie Cusumano and Kristen Cusumano, of Bermuda. She was predeceased by her husband, Sam Jones, in 1990.

Elma was born in Yonkers, N.Y. on Jan. 1, 1925. After graduating from Roosevelt High School in 1942, she attended Katharine Gibbs School and went on to a career in advertising and marketing.

She continued to pursue her career while raising her children, working from home at a time long before such arrangements were common. She maintained a home in Westport for more than 50 years, as well as a home in Fort Lauderdale for more than 20 years.

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hundreds Bid Farewell to “Mayor of Saugatuck” Santella

By James Lomuscio

Louis M. Santella once noted that Westport’s Saugatuck area “was more a state of mind than a place,” that it represented an indomitable spirit of community.WestportNow.com Image
Photos of Lou Santella were displayed along with the memorial book today at Assumption Church. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Today his indomitable spirit was celebrated at a funeral mass at Assumption Roman Catholic Church on Riverside Avenue where hundreds came to bid farewell to the unofficial “Mayor of Saugatuck” who died Feb. 21 at his Florida home at the age of 77. (See WestportNow Feb. 21, 2010)

Up until his retirement in 1999, Santella, a 1951 graduate of Staples High School, cut hair at the Riverside Barber Shop which his father John had opened in 1928. Santella was also a fierce promoter of Saugatuck’s Italian-American heritage, working tirelessly on the annual Festival Italiano.

The summer festival had been a time honored tradition in Westport ever since Italians, many of whom worked building the railroad, settled in Saugatuck during the late 1800s and early 1900s to lay down their own tracks toward the American Dream.

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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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Park Lane Tree Victim Was Celebrating Sister’s Birthday

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