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Obituaries

Obituaries

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ira Livingston, 70

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Ira Livingston: cotton industry executive. Contributed photo

Ira Livingston of Westport, a key voice in the cotton industry for three decades, died Feb. 17 at home. He was 70.

The cause of death was gastric cancer, according to a family friend, who said he lived in Westport since 1991.

Born March 22, 1944 in The Bronx, he was described by friends as a “fast-talking” executive—which he did not deny—with Cotton Inc., which promotes the use of cotton in apparel and home.

He played a significant role in growing the Seal of Cotton awareness to the public and improving the fiber’s market share in the apparel and furnishing markets worldwide.

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Isabel P. Gordon, 98

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Isabel Gordon: member of “High Tide Club” at Burying Hill Beach. Contributed photo

Isabel P. Gordon of Westport died Feb. 10 at home. she was 98.

Shel was born March 19, 1916 in Chicago to the late Anne Torp and Andrew Pedersen. She was the photographic illustrator for “The Shadow Book,” published in 1960, which received accolades for depicting a child’s relationship with his/her shadow.

She also wrote and illustrated “The ABC Hunt ” provided illustrations for “I Talk to Elephants!,” “Little Windjamer,” and other children’s books, but it was “The Shadow Book” that stood the test of time and remained in print by Harcourt, Brace and Company until the late 1990s.

She was a self-taught photographer and won second place in the 1960 International Popular Photography contest, which had over 175,000 entries. After more than 15 years in the darkroom, believing that long hours working with chemicals was affecting her health, she shifted her interest to self-study of the local environment.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Elizabeth Shoup, 96

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Elizabeth Shoup: community volunteer. Contributed photo

Elizabeth “Betty” Shoup of Westport died Feb. 16 at Norwalk Hospital. She was 96.

She was noted for her long term devotion and dedication to both her family and volunteerism to her community.

She was awarded the Westport YMCA volunteer of the year, and her dedication to the YMCA spanned over 50 years, teaching the importance of swimming to young children and working with PALS at the preschool wiping up tears and creating a smile.

A longtime member of Country Club of Fairfield, she enjoyed the many summertime activities there with her husband, Homer, a longtime pediatrician in Westport who died in 2002, and children.

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Louis F. Lemond, 88

Louis F. Lemond of Norwalk, a former Westport resident, died Feb. 8, at his home. He was 88.

Born March 6, 1926 in Chicago, he was a graduate of Chicago Latin and Northwestern University and a veteran of the U.S. Navy. He was a consulting professional engineer in New York and Connecticut and contributed to the safety and construction of many municipal projects in the New York metro area.

A Westport resident for 42 years and a champion sailor, he was a member of Kiwanis, the U.S. Power Squadron and a former commodore of Minute Man Yacht Club in Westport.

He is survived by his wife Emily, his sons Louis and wife Janet, Charles and wife Margaret and daughter Anne Lemond Taylor and her husband Thomas, his brother John Lemond, his grandsons William and Robert and granddaughter Giles Taylor Rekruciak and husband Joseph. He was predeceased by his son Paul.

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Mary Jane Grenier, 89

Mary Jane Grenier of Westport died Feb. 16 at Norwalk Hospital. She was 89.

Born in White Plains, N.Y. and raised in Valhalla, the daughter of the late Alfred and Margaret Lawrence, she had been a Westport resident for over 50 years, most recently residing at the Greens at Cannondale in Wilton.

She was an accomplished artist and a graduate of the Arts Student League in New York City. For many years she was a fashion illustrator for Vogue Magazine.

She was a talented oil and watercolor artist and exhibited her work locally including the Pequot Library, Westport Senior Center and the Silvermine Arts Center. She also was a volunteer at Norwalk Hospital.

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Posted 01:03 PM
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Nancy J. Edstrom, 76

Nancy Joan Edstrom of Scarborough, Maine, a former Westport resident, died Feb. 13 at Gosnell Hospice in Scarborough. She was 76.

She was born in Georgetown, Conn. and was the eldest daughter of Carl and Agnes Hedin. She graduated Staples High School in Westport and studied music at several colleges and universities including Augustana College in Illinois, Uppsala College in New Jersey, and USC in Los Angeles.

She had a lifelong passion for music and had a long, successful career as a piano teacher and as an organist for several area churches, including Most Holy Trinity in Saco, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Windham, and, most recently, St. Anthony’s (St Hyacinth’s) in Westbrook.

She also loved teaching piano to countless students for more than 40 years.

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Suzanne R. Kanner, 86

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Suzanne Kanner: almost 40 years in Westport schools. Contributed photo

Suzanne Rodin Kanner of Westport, a longtime Westport schoolteacher, died Feb. 13 at Norwalk Hospital. She was 86.

She retired from the Westport school system in 1995 after an almost 40-year teaching career.  She was a devoted board member and president of the Connecticut Alliance for Music as well as a member of the League of Women Voters of Westport.

Her active life in Westport touched so many people that her family said a walk down Main Street or a stroll at the beach meant a delightful barrage of hellos from past students and friends along with welcome introductions to new generations.

She was born in Philadelphia on Feb. 26, 1928 to Betty and Al Rodin. She was a fashion model in Philadelphia while she attended University of Pennsylvania and graduated with Bachelor of Arts degree.

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Paul Emmett, 62

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Paul Emmett: 1970 Staples grad. Contributed photo

Paul Emmett of Palm Beach, Fla., a former Westport resident, died Feb. 10 of complications from cancer. He was 62.

He grew up in Westport where his mother, Martha, who died Feb. 7 at age 87, was an author, newspaper editor, and reporter, and his father, Jay, commuted to New York and later became president of Warner Communications, Inc.

A 1970 graduate of Staples High School, he served 25 years as president of New York-based Restaurant Associates’ sports and entertainment division, and president of its Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse chain.

He moved to Florida in 1999, and led Duffy’s Sports Grill’s expansion to almost 30 restaurants.

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Beverly Travers, 88

Beverly Travers of Wilton, a former Westport resident, died Feb. 9 at Norwalk Hospital. She was 88.

She was born in Akron, Ohio, on Nov. 24, 1926, the daughter of Thelma Elcan and George Benton Herring. She graduated from George Peabody College for Teachers in 1948, and then moved to New York City, finding employment at Outdoor Life magazine as an editorial assistant.

At Outdoor Life she met her future husband, the novelist Robert Travers. They married in 1952. Their son John was born while they lived in New Orleans before settling in Westport. Robert Travers’ daughter from a previous marriage was Mary Travers of the folk singing trio, Peter, Paul and Mary. The couple also provided a home for several foster children.

Beverly Travers was a longtime member of the Saugatuck Congregational Church in Westport, and enjoyed singing in the choir.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Mary E. Banner, 84

Mary Elizabeth Banner of California, a former Westport resident died Jan. 18. She was 84.

She and her twin sister Ruth were born in New York City on Nov. 13, 1930 to Edward Stanley Banner and Dorothy Elizabeth ( Mauversley ) Banner.

They moved to Westport when they were in grade school and graduated from Staples High School. She married Donald Hartquist of Tennessee, and they had a daughter who died at birth. She later moved to California to be with her sister Ruth and her family.

She was predeceased by her parents and brother, Richard Banner and her nephew Kevin Deel. She is survived by her twin sister Ruth of California, nephew Christopher Deel and wife Joan, Brandon their son of California.

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Monday, February 09, 2015

Martha W. Emmett, 87

Martha Wiley Emmett, a former Westport resident, died Feb. 7 in West Palm Beach, Fla. She was 87.

Born in Rochester, N.Y. on June 6, 1927, to the Rev. John and Evelyn Wiley, she had an older brother John (Rusty) and younger sister, Elizabeth who predeceased her.

She proudly traced her family lineage back to the Winslow and Folger Pilgrim families. A graduate of San Diego High School and Colby-Sawyer College, she also received a Masters degree from Sarah Lawrence College.

She had a varied career. She was a factory riveter and Red Cross driver in World War II, a United Airlines flight attendant, and a newspaper editor/reporter in Westport, where she raised her family.

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Helen Dana, 92

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Helen Dana: raised two daughters in Westport. Contributed photo

Helen Dana of Westport died Jan. 25 at St. Joseph Manor in Trumbull. She was 92.

She graduated from Hunter College in New York City and worked at the Museum of Modern Art where she met her husband, Sam Dana. They moved to Westport and raised two daughters. She was an avid reader, artist and loved the theater.

She is survived by daughters Deirdre Kashetta, husband Bill Kashetta of Westport, and Hope Dana of Dallas; three grandchildren, David Kashetta of Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Daniel Kashetta of Westport, and Emmeline Gibbs of Dallas; two great-grandchildren Harrison and Morgan Kashetta of Cold Spring Harbor.

A private memorial will be held.

Posted 08:20 PM
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Paul Hush, 87

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Paul Hush: Greens Farms Bookstore owner. Contributed photo

Paul Hush of Orleans, Mass., former owner of The Greens Farms Bookstore, later known as The Greens Farms Store, in Westport, died Feb. 3 at home. He was 87.

He grew up in the Midwest. He was the valedictorian of his high school class in Cincinnati and went on to get an MBA at Cornell.

In the late 1940s, he served in the U.S. Army in the Aleutians. He considered the high point of his life his meeting with Joanne Stewart, who soon became his wife of almost 60 years.

He had a successful international career, for 20 years, with Time Inc. and traveled around the world negotiating publishing deals.

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Sunday, February 08, 2015

Shuchen Hwang, 101

Shuchen Hwang of Westport, wife of the late Ta-Ping Hwang, died Feb. 8 at home. She was 101.

She was born in China and had been a local area resident since 1978.

She is survived by her three children: Wen Chen Wong, Nan Jay Hwang, Rei Chung Hwang and their spouses. She is also survived by 16 grandchildren and 25 great grandchildren.

Services will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 10 at 11 a.m. in the Collins Funeral Home, 92 East Ave., Norwalk. Burial will follow in St. John Cemetery, 223 Richards Ave., Norwalk.

Posted 04:25 PM
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Saturday, February 07, 2015

Horace B. Lanute, 77

Horace B. Lanute of Fairfield, a retired Westport firefighter, died Feb.7. He was 77.

Born in Billerica, Mass., he was the son of the late Horace B. Lanute and Stella M. Lanute of Westport. He was a life-long area resident. He attended Staples High School and the University of Connecticut School of Agriculture and Dairy Production. 

He served the Town of Westport as a firefighter for 37 years. In addition, to satisfy his love of the great outdoors, he operated a successful landscaping business for many years.

A talented athlete throughout his youth and avid baseball fan, he found enjoyment in continuing to play baseball in the Danbury and Stamford twilight leagues.

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