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WestportNow publishes obituaries without charge. Funeral homes or individuals may submit obituaries to . Photos in jpeg format may be submitted to the same address. Obituaries should indicate full name of deceased, date and place of death, age, and connection to Westport. Please provide a name, telephone number, and email address for verification. WestportNow reserves the right to edit obituaries to conform to our editorial style.

Harding Funderal Home, Westport, CT

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Louis G. Cheek, 86

Louis Glenn “Lou” Cheek, a former Westport resident, died July 2 in Vermont Respite House in Williston, Vt. He was 86. Image
Louis Cheek: worked for General Electric Co. Contributed photo

He was born in Aurora, Ind., on June 1, 1927, the last of nine children of the late William and Nellie (Meenach) Cheek. He graduated from Aurora High School in 1944, and served in the occupation Army in Germany from 1944-47. He graduated from Salmon P. Chase College in Cincinnati, Ohio.

He had a long and successful career in the field of human resources. He spent 35 years in various senior management positions for General Electric Co. For the last several years prior to retirement, he served the CEO of the company as corporate manager of executive compensation. He subsequently did consulting work in the field for other major companies, including Bethlehem Steel, Clark Equipment, and Merrill Lynch.

He was an active member of various compensation organizations, The Ohio Commodores and the Bankers Club, while living in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Y’s Men of Westport Weston while in Westport, as well as a 56-year member of the American Legion in his hometown of Aurora, Ind.

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Posted 05:54 AM
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Thursday, August 01, 2013

Walter Howard, 56

Walter “Scott” Howard, formerly of Westport, died July 24 in Lutz, Fla. after a brief illness. He was 56.

Born in Abington, Pa., he was the son of the late Walter Spencer Howard and Rita Musgrave, who predeceased him. He was a graduate of Staples High School class of 1974 and the University of Bridgeport, where he received his BA and MBA.

He is survived by his wife Christelle and two children, Pauline and Remy.

A service to celebrate his life will be held at Van Dyke Church in Lutz, Fla. on Saturday, Aug. 10, at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the W.S. Howard Children’s Fund, 19414 Sandy Springs Circle, Lutz, FL 33558-9735.

Posted 11:07 PM
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Stephen D. Schoenhaus, 75

Stephen David Schoenhaus, a former Westport resident, died July 27. He was 75.

Born Oct. 15, 1937 in Yonkers N.Y., he was raised in Westport and later moved to California.

He graduated at the top of his class at Georgetown University and passed his stockbrokers exam the first time. He also wrote music and played the piano and most recently worked for Gelson’s Supermarket.

Interment and service on Tuesday, Aug. 6 at 11 a.m. at Oakwood Memorial Park & Cemetery 22601 Lassen St,. Chatsworth, Calif.

Posted 06:27 PM
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Sarah Elizabeth Coss, 77

Sarah Elizabeth Coss (Sallie), a 45-year resident of Westport, died July 25 at home. She was 77. Image
Elizabeth Coss as Ludmila in “The Bartered Bride.” Metropolitan Opera photo

The daughter of the late Warren and Helen Pohle Coss of Ashland, Ohio, she was born on July 16, 1936 and raised in Garden City, N.Y.  A professional singer, she was also a voice teacher, mother and grandmother. She received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Eastman School of Music, class of 1959. 

She was a critically acclaimed opera singer and performed for many years as a principal soprano at the Metropolitan Opera cast in leading roles in “Der Rosenkavlier,” “Aida,” “The Bartered Bride,” “Elektra,” “Die Walkurie,” “Arabella,” “Il Barbiere di Siviglia,” “Norma,” and several others. 

She appeared as guest soloist with several symphony orchestras nationally and in Fairfield County.  Earlier in her career she was a member of the Ray Charles singers on the “Perry Como Show” and was the soprano soloist at St. James’ Episcopal Church in New York City.

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Posted 12:49 PM
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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Virginia A. Arnett, 87

Virginia A. Arnett of Shelton, a former Westport resident, died July 29. She was 87.

The wife of Charles Arnett, she was born in Chicago on Sept. 16, 1925, daughter of the late Michael and Anna (Hadzima) Malata.  She lived in Shelton for more than 27 years after moving from Westport.

She is survived by daughters Carolyn A. Shillington and her husband Jerry, Catherine A. D’Aulizio and her husband Tom, Cynthia A. Pleasant and her husband John, and Cheryl A. Zebendon and her husband Randy. She also leaves nine grandchildren, Steven and Nina, Cara and Craig, Veronica and Ian, Andrew, Alison, and Scott, as well as four great grandchildren, Nicolas, Anilyn, Antonio, and Adrian, and several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by several brothers and sisters.

Friends may greet the family at the Riverview Funeral Home, 390 River Road, Shelton, on Thursday, Aug. 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.  Her funeral procession will then leave for a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Lawrence Church at 11:30 a.m. Burial will be private. Memorial contributions can be made to Birmingham Foundation-Back to School, PO Box 658, 435 East Main St., Ansonia, CT 06401 in support of The Umbrella Center “Adopt a Child” program.

Posted 12:33 PM
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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Sue K. Johnson, 73

Sue K. Johnson, wife of the late Warren W. Johnson, of Old Saybrook and formerly of Westport, died July 29 after a brief illness. She was 73.

Daughter of the late Frank and Sophie Kapanowski, she was born Nov. 3, 1939 in Chicago and attended Loyola University in Chicago.  It was in Chicago where she met, and later married her husband Warren. 

They later settled in Westport where they lived for more than 30 years.  She was a member, and former president of the Westport Young Women’s League.

Later settling in Old Saybrook, she enjoyed gardening her roses and tomatoes, spending time with her walking group, and socializing with many friends and neighbors.  She was an active member of St. Mark the Evangelist Church in Westbrook.

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Posted 08:35 PM
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Ruth R. Howson, 92

Ruth Rebecca “Becky” Howson of Westport died July 24 in Norwalk Hospital as a result of injuries sustained in a fall. She was 92. Image
Ruth Rebecca “Becky” Howson: longtime Westporter. Contributed photo

The granddaughter of German and Irish immigrants, she was born May 12, 1921 in Lakewood, Ohio.

Her father, Michael Dowling, was a conductor on the interurban railway, her mother, Mae Müller, owned a boarding house. A top student, she was offered a full scholarship at Case Western Reserve but was unable to attend, something her family said she regretted all her life.

Instead, she went to secretarial school and worked at the Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company until her marriage to Harold Bruce Howson, a freelance commercial artist.

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Posted 06:32 PM
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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sue L. Bronson, 94

Sue L. Bronson, who operared an antique store in Westport, died July 26, at VNA Hospice House in Vero Beach, Fla. She was 94.

She was born in Birmingham, Ala., and lived in Vero Beach since 1990, coming from Hilton Head, S.C. Before retirement, she owned and operated an antique store in Westport

Survivors include her daughter, Lynda Hanson of Shelton, Conn.; three grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and two stepgreat-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by husband, Horace Bronson; and son, Bill Bronson.

Services will be Sunday, July 29 at 11 a.m. at the Indian River Estates Chapel. Memorial contributions may be made to VNA Hospice of Indian River County, 1110 35th Lane, Vero Beach, FL 32960.

Posted 03:16 PM
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Friday, July 26, 2013

Grace M. Renzulli, 88

Grace M. Renzulli of Westport died July 24 in Norwalk Hospital. She was 88.

Born March 31, 1925 in Norwalk, she was the daughter of the late Nicholas and Ann (LePenta) Amatulli and was a lifelong resident of Westport She is a former member of the Saint Anthony’s Society in Westport and was formerly very active in the Republican Party.

Survivors include one son, Michael J. Renzulli Sr. and his wife Donna of Newtown; two grandchildren, Staci Quire and her husband Derrick Sr. of Muncie, Ind.; Michael J. Renzulli Jr. and his wife Patricia of Shelton. six great grandchildren, Derrick Jr. Kayla, Krystina, Ryan, and Karley Quire and Sofia Rose Renzulli, two great great grandchildren, Niko and Evan, one niece, Debbie McAlpine, one grand niece, Nicole Westand and two close friends, Mike and Amanda Pianka.

In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by one brother, Frank Amatulli and one sister, Constance Bennette.

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Posted 09:46 PM
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Margaret ‘Peg’ E. Fowler, 73

Margaret “Peg” E. Fowler of Westport died July 19 in her home. She was 73. Image
Margaret Fowler: active in serving community. Contributed photo

Born Oct. 20, 1939 in Berea, Ohio. she was the daughter of Jenevieve and Bruce Fowler. 

She attended Pierce College and UCLA where she pursued her interest in anthropology, philosophy and psychology. Her passion for the arts and writing provided her with various opportunities in theater, broadcasting, and film.

She became involved with KPFK Public Radio where she filled many roles, some of which included promotion of women’s motorcycling (friends said she was a biker chick and self-proclaimed hippie); on-air fundraising; and hosting her own talk show. 

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Posted 07:47 PM
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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Helen Joseph, 101

Helen Joseph of Westport died June 23. She was 101.

Born in New York City, she moved to Westport in 1997.  Her career was spent as a fashion director and coordinator for the footwear industry.  Each year, she would tour the fashion capitals of the world looking at what was being shown in men’s and women’s footwear.

Her reports, fashion findings and recommendations to the National Footwear Association in the United States and Canada would dictate the styles, colors and looks that would be produced for men’s and women’s footwear each year. She retired at age 70.

Her family said she was a woman who lived her life to the fullest. She deeply loved her family, her friends, golf, bridge, theater, fine dining, and classical music. Her warm smile, wonderful disposition, mature wisdom and gentle sense of humor will be missed.

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Posted 03:06 PM
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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

James N. Donaldson, 73

James N. Donaldson of Fairfield, a former teacher in the Westport school system and later a Westport banker, died July 18 after a brief illness. He was 73.

Born in Canonsburg, Pa. in March 1940, he was the son of the late Attorney James Reed Donaldson and Alice Neill Donaldson. He grew up in East Washington, Pa. and graduated from East Washington High School in 1958. He obtained his BA in political science from Westminster College in 1962 and attended the University of Pittsburgh Law School from 1962-1964.

Changing focus, he received his master’s in education degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1965, doing his educational internship at Bedford Junior High School in Westport. He continued his educational career teaching at Colytown Junior High School from 1966-1967.

In July 1967, he joined Bankers Trust Company, NYC, (now Deutsche Bank) first as a trust administrator until 1970, then as assistant trust officer to 1973 when he became trust officer and manager of the White Plains, N.Y. Bankers Trust Office, a position he held until 1976.

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Posted 03:53 PM
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Friday, July 19, 2013

Vada S. Stanley, 80

Vada Shell Stanley, a former Westport resident, died July 13 at her home in New Canaan. She was 80.

Born in 1933 in Kentucky, her family said she had a life that was charmed in many ways but with challenges as well.

Coming from a loving family but not one in which people went to college, she did it with jobs through her high school and college years.

After a failed marriage with two tiny children to support, Bill and Glee, she got a job, a rare one for women then, as a marketing management trainee at the home office of Procter & Gamble.

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Posted 04:20 PM
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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Richard L. Sylander, 81

Richard L. Sylander, a longtime Westport resident until last year, died July 17 at home in Bridgeport. He was 81.

Born Dec. 21, 1931 in Chicago, he was the son of the late William and Isabel (Tamala) Sylander. He graduated from the University of Illinois with a bachelor’s degree in business. He was a U.S. Army veteran and served during the Korean Conflict.

He was the owner of R.L. Sylander Associates Inc. and was a resident of Westport for 44 years prior to moving to Bridgeport one year ago.  He was a member of the Westport Y’s Men and a former volunteer with Meals on Wheels and a former member of the St. Luke Church Choir.

In addition to his wife, Natacha (Danksha) Sylander, he is survived by one son, Richard L. Sylander Jr. of Fairfield, two daughters Karen A. Sylander of Chicago, and Elizabeth D. Sylander of Commack, N.Y., and one grandson, Owen E. Hammond.

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Posted 07:11 PM
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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Geraldine G. Abelow, 88

Geraldine Green Abelow of Exeter, N.H., a former longtime Westport resident, died June 10. She was 88. Image
Geraldine Abelow: longtime Wesrport resident. Contributed photo

Artist, gardener, a “cook’s cook,” and intrepid world traveler, she personified the art of living, her family said. Born Dec. 29, 1924 in Oak Park, Ill., she was a resident of Westport from 1954 to 2008.

She graduated from Averett University in Danville, Va. in 1944, moved to New York City, joined the CBS art department and worked alongside the artist Ben Shahn. 

There she met her husband, CBS writer and producer and later Grey Advertising executive, Samuel I. Abelow.  They were happily married until his death in 1981.

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Posted 10:48 PM
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