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Obituaries

Obituaries

Monday, March 01, 2010

Marguerite T. “Peggy” Heintz, 80

Marguerite T. “Peggy” Heintz, 80, of Westport passed away at home on March 1 with her family by her side.

Born in Cambridge, Mass., Mrs. Heintz was a first generation Irish American and the daughter of the late John Joseph and Margaret Mary Darcy. She was a longtime Westport resident.

Prior to moving to Westport, she was raised in Newton, Mass., and was a 16-year resident of Norwood, Mass.

Mrs. Heintz received her Bachelor of Science in Education from Boston University in 1951 where she met her former husband, the late Francis W. Heintz.

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Margaret (Peggy) Oliver Shays, 98

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Peggy Shays: pictured watching November 2009 vote returns. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Margaret (Peggy) Oliver Shays, mother of former U.S. Congressman Christopher Shays, died quietly in her sleep Feb. 25. She was 98.

She was a longtime Darien resident who later lived in Bridgeport’s Black Rock section with the congressman, who has since moved to Maryland.

Peggy was born in Rose Valley, Pa., in 1912 to Judge L. Stauffer Oliver and playwright Margaret Scott Oliver. She began an acting career in repertory theater at age 12, which took her to the Broadway stage.

Prior to her marriage, she attended Bennington College in Vermont. In 1934, she married singer and bandleader Thurston Crane (Bud) Shays, who also performed on the Broadway stage. Both gave up their theater careers to raise their four sons, all of whom graduated from Darien High School.

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Elaine Y. Suan, 75

Elaine Y. Suan, wife of Andre C. Suan, died at her home in Westport on Feb. 26. She was 75.WestportNow.com Image
Elaine Y. Suan: Westport resident since 1971. Contributed photo

She was born May 22, 1934, in China and was the daughter of the late Shen Fu and Su Hwa (Fan) Chang. She has been a resident of Westport since 1971.

She graduated from the University of Illinois in 1958 with a bachelor’s degree in home economics. She was a member of Phi Upsilon Omicron, a professional home economics fraternity.

After her graduation she worked as a dietician for Yale University. She was a member of the Connecticut Piecemakers and was an avid quilter and gardener as well as a wife, mother and grandmother.

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Friday, February 26, 2010

Robert M. Olex, 78

Robert M. Olex, a mail carrier in Westport for 20 years, died Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010, at the Dover Rehabilitation & Living Center in Rochester, N.H. where he resided. He was 78.

He was born July 15, 1931 in Bridgeport, son of the late Michael and Anna (Klamka) Olex.

Bob served his country in the National Guard as a cook and was a mail carrier in Westport for more than 20 years.

He was a wonderful chef and loved to entertain friends and family. He spent his retirement years keeping up with his grandchildren, enjoying the arts, travel, beloved Red Sox, English mysteries, and many jigsaw puzzles.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Elaine Lewis, 76

Elaine Lewis died Jan. 30 at home in Westport, surrounded by family. She was 76.

Born on Jan. 21, 1934, in Bronx, N.Y., she was the daughter of the late Milton and Sylva Goldman. Following public school in Mount Vernon, N.Y., she attended New York University.

In 1954, she married Daniel B. Lewis, from whom she was subsequently divorced. She never re-married. Her ex-husband attended to her in her final months.

She lived in various places before settling down in Weston in 1960, before moving to Westport in 1977. She was an avid gardener who obtained her master gardener’s certificate from the University of Connecticut Agricultural Cooperative. She loved to play bridge and spend summers at Compo Beach.

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Hugh B. Kennedy, 71

Hugh Brian Kennedy of Westport died Feb. 22 at his home. He was 71.

Born Jan. 10, 1939, in Dublin, Ireland, he was the son of the late Rev. Brian Kennedy and Cherie Kennedy. An international executive, he worked for major multi-national firms in Scotland and Ireland and later relocated to the United States in 1973.

In the U.S., he held numerous executive human resources positions with corporations including Joseph E. Seagram & Sons and Vintner’s International. He subsequently started his own wine importing venture, Avoca Wines.

Kennedy was a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, where he received a higher diploma in education and a master’s degree.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Gregory J. Smith, 46

Gregory John Smith, 46, of Brookfield, Conn., soared to the great beyond Sunday, Feb. 21 in Danbury Hospital.

Greg was born April 22, 1963 in New York City, son of Lillian Smith and the late Harry L. Smith. Greg, who was also known as “Dingo” to his friends, marched to the beat of his own drum.

He grew up in Westport and attended Staples High School before setting his sights on adventure, and building a life for himself in Norway.

When he came back to Westport after several years abroad, Greg, who had a heart as big as the world when it came to animals, decided to combine his passion and his work.

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Shirley K. Mecklin, 89

Shirley Karr Mecklin died Feb. 7 in her sleep at her home in Westport. She was 89.

Born in North Dakota in 1920, her family moved to Chicago when she was very young. Mecklin graduated from the University of Chicago in 1942.

She married journalist John Martin Mecklin in April of 1943 in Washington, D.C.  His work took them to live in many cities around the world, including London, Paris, Beirut, Rome, Hong Kong, Bonn and Saigon.

Upon returning to the United States, they lived in Westport for many years. After her husband’s death, she lived in Washington, D.C., where she worked for the University of Chicago until she returned to Westport in the late 1970s.

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William (Bill) M. Heineman, 84

William (Bill) M. Heineman of Westport, 84, died Feb. 21, at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, after complications from brain surgery.

Born Nov. 3, 1925, in New York City, he attended The Horace Mann School. In 1943, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was subsequently transferred to the Air Corps, where he trained as a B-29 flight engineer in the 20th Air Force. Upon discharge, he graduated in 1949 from Williams College.

In later years, Heineman served as president of his class and as chairman of its 50th reunion fund drive. He was president of the Delta Upsilon Fraternity his junior and senior year, and belonged to the Purple Key and the Interfraternity Society. He also played soccer while at Williams and became team manager.

After graduation, he joined Heineman and Seidman, a textile brokerage firm. He later helped form Heineman and Company, where he became a senior partner until his retirement, after 55 years, in 2004.

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Mary W. Franco, 81

Mary Wilhelmina Franco, formerly of Plymouth, Mass., died peacefully Friday, Feb. 19, in Southport. She was 81.WestportNow.com Image
Mary Franco: founder of Youth Museum. Contributed photo

Mary was born July 20, 1928, in Duluth, Minn. She was the wife of Vincent Franco, and daughter of the late Sadie and Holbrook Coulter.

Mary leaves two daughters, Elaine Williamson and Jeanmarie Klitzner, and a son, Robert Franco. She also leaves two granddaughters, Sydney Klitzner and Jennifer Heatly, three great grandchildren, Landon, Pace and Campbell Heatly, a brother, Daniel Coulter, and many nieces and nephews.

Mary was a gentle, calm, and charming woman who was liked by everyone. She met the man who became the love of her life in grammar school and they began dating as teenagers.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Judith Ekman, 89

Judith Ekman, a former Westport resident, died on Feb. 15 at home in Washington, D.C.

She was born on July 17, 1921 in Philadelphia, Pa., daughter of Paul and Eve Saturen, and graduated from Temple University in 1943.

She was married to Sheldon V. Ekman from 1943 until his death in 1982.

They raised their family in New York City and Westport and moved to Washington in 1980.

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Lou Santella, Longtime Saugatuck Resident, Dies at 77

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Lou Santella: unofficial mayor of Saugatuck. File photo
UPDATE Louis M. Santella, who operated a barber shop for many years in Westport’s Saugatuck area, died today at his Florida home, family members said. He was 77.

Santella took over the Riverside Barber Shop which his father, John, had opened in 1928 and operated until his retirement in 1989. John Santella died in 1994 at age 91.

Lou Santella, who retired in 1999, was a fierce promoter of Saugatuck and the Italian heritage of many of its residents. He was a 1951 graduate of Staples High School.

He was actively involved for many years in the Italian Festival in Saugatuck before retiring to Sarasota, Fla.

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Sister Theresa V. Hogan, 83

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Sister Theresa Hogan: Was Assumption principal. Contributed photo
Sister Theresa V. Hogan of the Sisters of Notre Dame, died Thursday, Feb. 18 in the Notre Dame Long Term Care Center, Worcester, Mass. She served as principal of Assumption School in Westport from 1975 to 1986.

Sister Theresa was born in Springfield, daughter of Martin J. and Catherine (Begley) Hogan. She graduated from Sacred Heart High School in Springfield and Emmanuel College in Boston.

Sister received a master’s degree in education from Fairfield University. She entered the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1944. She was a longtime educator in Notre Dame schools.

After serving as principal at the Assumption School in Westport, she was principal at St. Rose School in Meriden from 1986 to 1989.

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Julia L. Manchester, 89

Julia Elizabeth Lewis Manchester of Weston and Encinitas, Calif., died peacefully at home on Dec. 19, 2009.

Born on Aug. 26, 1920 in West Hartford to the late Joseph S. and Maud M. Lewis, she graduated from William Hall High, and married Roger S. Manchester of Westport on March 25, 1943.

They settled in Weston where they raised their four children. In 1999, she moved to Encinitas.

Betty loved tennis, skiing, and painting, though she always said that she loved being a mother the most.

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Gertrude W. “Trudi” Christensen, 82

Gertrude W. “Trudi” Christensen died Wednesday, Feb. 17, at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center in Myrtle Beach, S.C. She was 82.

A former employee of the Westport Board of Education, she was born April 13, 1927, in Trenton, N.J., a daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Edward Winters and grew up in Prospect Park, N.J.

Her brother, Peter Winters, predeceased her. Trudi was a loving and devoted daughter, sister, wife, mother and grandmother and both her family and her friends will miss her.

She retired from the Westport Board of Education and moved to Myrtle Beach following her retirement.

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