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Sunday, November 13, 2016
James F. Ward, 77
James Francis “Jim” Ward of Washington Court House, Ohio, a former Westport resident, died Nov. 7 at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus. He was 77.
James Ward: Staples grad. Contributed photo
He was born Jan. 28, 1939, in Plattsburgh, N.Y. to William George and Helen Nappa Ward. He was a 1957 graduate of Staples High School in Westport, and received a degree in industrial management in 1965 from Wilmington College.
He was a successful businessman, opening French Hardware in 1971. He formerly worked for the Cincinnati Milacron Company in Cincinnati and Wilmington. He had also worked for ITT Semiconductors in West Palm Beach, Fla. and Fairchild Camera and Instrument Corporation in Mountain View, Calif.
He was a proud and active member of the St. Colman of Cloyne Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus. He also served in the U.S. Army.
Saturday, November 12, 2016
Betty DeVoll, 86
Betty “Lee” (Snyder) DeVoll of Holland, Michigan and Block Island, R.I., a former Westport resident, died Nov. 8 in Holland. She was 86.
She was born on March 1, 1930, in Cleveland, Ohio, to Elizabeth (Scott) Snyder and Fredrick Amos Snyder, M.D. She graduated from Wells College in 1952.
While at college, she met the love of her life Willys D. DeVoll Sr., to whom she was married for 63 years, until his death in 2015. She and Will raised their family in Kinnelon, N.J. They subsequently lived in St. Louis, Missouri ; 31 years in Westport and Chester, Conn., prior to moving to Michigan.
She was an active volunteer wherever she lived, supporting her children and grandchildren’s activities and spending many years volunteering with the food pantry at Christian Community Action in Norwalk. She dearly loved spending time with her family and friends, her many dogs, cooking, gardening, knitting, and she treasured time spent on Block Island.
Daniel L. Krez, 73
Daniel Leonard Krez, most recently of Wilton, formerly of New York City and Chicago, died after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 73.
He had retired after a long career with Citibank and was a proud alumnus of Cornell University, where he crewed on Big Red’s 1963 Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championship team and rowed in the Grand Challenge Cup at the Henley Royal Regatta.
After retiring, he pursued his passion for rowing, winning alumni national championships for Cornell and national and international masters’ competitions as a member of Westport’s Saugatuck Rowing Club.
He was predeceased by his wife, Denice Rassas Krez, his parents, Leonard and Dorothy Krez, his sister Carole Krez Foran, brother-in-law Robert Davis Foran and stepmother, Susan Krez; uncle of Michael (Dawn) Foran, Robert (Monica) Foran and Nancy (James, Jr.) Nash; grand uncle of Megan and Michael Foran, Carolyn Nash, Katherine Foran, James Nash III, Alec and Jadyn Foran, and friend to Edward and Claudia Steinglass.
Thursday, November 10, 2016
John B. Travers, 57
John Benton Travers of Hollywood, Calif., a former Westport resident, died Nov. 8 at home. He was 57.
John Travers: 1977 Staples grad. Contributed photo
Over three decades, he edited numerous films and wrote and directed screenplays.
Born in New Orleans and raised in Westport, he was the son of novelist Robert Travers and half-brother to folk singer Mary Travers, of Peter, Paul and Mary. He and his father loved baseball and participated wholeheartedly in the Westport Little League.
Enamored with movies at an early age, he graduated from Staples High School in 1977 and earned his film degree from the University of Bridgeport.
Tuesday, November 08, 2016
Josephine C. Ottomano, 90
Josephine C. Ottomano of Weston died Nov. 6 at home. She was 90.
Born in New York City, she was the youngest child of Arthur and Mamie Cognato. She graduated from Manhattan High School, and married Gill Ottomano when he returned from World War II, having served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army. The couple settled on Lyons Plains Road, where they raised a family and lived together for 57 years until Gill’s death in 2005.
Josephine continued living independently in the family home, and on May 20 celebrated her 90th birthday at an outdoor party attended by family and friends.
A founding family of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Weston, she served as an original member of the Ladies Guild, and stayed active in church through prayer groups, Bible study and social events.
Monday, November 07, 2016
Dino Nebel, 56
Emil Blakely Bernadino (Dino) Nebel of Westport died Oct. 29. He was 56.
He was born June 4, 1960 in New Haven to Patricia Stewart and Emil Corrado Nebel, and grew up near his sculptor-grandfather’s stone studio on Roseville Road in Westport.
He graduated from Staples High School in 1978, played ice hockey and went on to box in the Golden Gloves competition. He was a cook at the Arrow Restaurant, DeRosa’s Restaurant, the Nisticos Red Barn, Dino’s Diner, and the Brick Restaurant. In 2012, he addressed a gathering of former Arrow Restaurant employees—see video here and here.
He moved to Rangeley, Maine in 1981 to be the chef at the Mountain Inn, where his brother, Chris was part owner. There he met Sara Drought, also a Staples graduate, and they married in 1984, after moving back to Westport.
Sunday, November 06, 2016
Joe Marquette, 79
Joe Marquette, a Pulitzer prize-winning photographer and father of Westport News reporter Chris Marquette, died Nov. 5 at home in Tulsa, Okla. after a series of lengthy illnesses. He was 79.
Joe Marquette: prize-winning photojournalist. CSPAN.org photo
In the course of a five-decade career, he worked for several major news organizations beginning with two decades at United Press International (UPI) and then moving on to Reuters in 1983 to help establish the wire service’s photo service in the United States as chief photographer in Washington, D.C.
He subsequently spent a year as a photo editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer in Philadelphia. Later, he spent a decade as a photographer at The Associated Press before becoming bureau manager for the European Press Agency, both in Washington. He retired in 2007 and in recent years has been living in Tulsa
Born Jan. 6, 1937 in Indianapolis, Ind., Joseph Chartrand Marquette grew up in Detroit where he became smitten with photography when his parents, Eugene and Loretta Marquette, gave him a brownie camera.
Saturday, November 05, 2016
Stephen J. Maruszak, 65
Stephen John Maruszak of Westport died Oct. 27. He was 65.
He was born in Norwalk, son of the late Eve (Mills) Maruszak, and was a lifelong Westport resident.
He was a dedicated custodian for many years for Long Lots Elementary School in Westport. He was also an active member of the African Violet Society in Shelton.
He is survived by his friends, Mathew and Shirley Fitch of West Haven, Shirley Backus of Stratford, and Edna and Al Rourke of Shelton.
Miriam Weinstein, 90
Miriam Weinstein of Westport, the mother of the filmmakers Harvey and Bob Weinstein and an inspiration for the name of their first film company, Miramax, died Nov. 2 at her home. She was 90.
Miriam Weinstein: inspiration for Miramax name. The Weinstein Company photo
“I remember when they called from Buffalo and told me they had named the company Miramax — meaning Miriam and Max,” referring to her husband, she told The New York Times in 1997.
“It was the ultimate compliment for a mother and dad. Sometimes I slip into a film, all by myself, here in the city, like ‘Shall We Dance?’, and look at the logo as the movie starts, and seeing our names joined like that ——” She never quite finished the sentence, the Times said.
She was a part of her sons’ business from the beginning. After Miramax was founded in 1979, originally just to distribute independent films, she was the receptionist at the company’s first Manhattan headquarters.
Wednesday, November 02, 2016
John Lomartire, 95
John Lomartire of Westport died Oct. 31. He was 95.
Born Sept. 16, 1921 in Providence, R.I. he was the only child of Emelia and Michele Lomartire, both Italian immigrants. He spent his childhood in Providence and then attended local Brown University, graduating in 1943 with a degree in chemistry.
After graduation, he worked for almost a year on a high-priority military project to manufacture synthetic rubber. For the remainder of World War II, he was a radar instructor in the Navy, attaining the rank of petty officer.
After the war, he spent a number of years as an applied chemist in the textile industry. Most satisfyingly, he was a member of the original cohort of northern technicians who built Chemstrand, a maker of synthetic fiber, in Alabama and Florida.
Nicholas W. Thiemann, 76, Former Selectman
Nicholas Wicker Thiemann of Westport, an attorney long active in local Democratic politics, died Oct. 27 at home. He was 76.
Nicholas W. Thiemann: Westport attorney. Contributed photo
He made an unsuccessful run for first selectman on the Democratic ticket in 1993 against Republican Joe Arcudi and was a selectman from 1993 to 1997. He also served as a member of the Board of Finance. the Flood and Erosion Control Board, and the Representative Town Meeting (RTM). He was a moderator at polling places for many years.
A resident of Westport for almost 50 years, he grew up in Greenwich, son of the late Aloys and Elizabeth Thiemann. He left Greenwich to attend college at the University of Connecticut and law school at the University of Virginia. After graduating from UVA, he spent two years in Nigeria as part of the Peace Corps, serving as a rural development officer.
Upon returning to Connecticut, he joined the law firm of Senie, Stock and LaChance, moving to Westport in 1967. Soon after, he branched out on his own and kept a law practice in Westport until his death.
Josephine A. Ricca, 94
Josephine Anastasia Ricca of Boca Raton, Fla., a former Westport resident, died Oct. 18 after a sudden illness. She was 94.
She was the daughter of the late Placido Anastasia and Carrie Capasse Anastasia. She was born Jan. 20, 1922 in Westport and was a lifelong resident until her move to Boca Raton in 2000.
She was loved and will be missed by everyone who knew her. She was a dedicated homemaker and a creative cook. She was a caring, gentle and kind woman but most of all, a special mother. She was a friend to all.
She was predeceased by her husband Gerald and son Mark. She is survived by her children Geraldine (Geri) Hill of West Linn, Ore.; Lewis and Karen Ricca, both of Boca Raton; her grandsons Daniel and Christopher Hines of Las Vegas, her granddaughter Carrie Hines and her great-grandchildren Caitlin Hines and Tyler Krutzsch all of Fallbrook, Calif.; her brother John Anastasia of Westport; her sister Eleanor Buono of Boulder City, Nev.; and many nieces and nephews.
Ian M. Sim, 74
Ian M. Sim, 74, of Norwalk died Oct. 30 at home.. He was 74.
Ian Sim: worked for Standard Oil. . Contributed photo
He was born Aug. 14, 1942 in Queenstown, South Africa on a Royal Air Force Base, the son of the late John and Margaret (McLean) Sim. He was a 1964 graduate of Amherst College and a U.S. Army veteran. He worked for Standard Oil in Connecticut for many years.
In addition to his wife, Hope V. (Grey) Sim, he is survived by one son: Alistair Sim of Brooklyn, N.Y. and two sisters: Ruth Morgan of Norwalk, and Pam Soper of Patagonia, Ariz.
The family will receive friends on Thursday, Nov. 3 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Harding Funeral Home 210 Post Road East. Friends are invited to attend a funeral on Friday, Nov. 4 at 2 p.m., meeting directly at Christ and Holy Trinity Church, 55 Myrtle Ave.
Tuesday, November 01, 2016
Francine Cook, 67
Francine Cook, a longtime resident of Westport, died Oct. 11 at her home in Daniel Island, S.C. after a battle with cancer. She was 67.
Francine Cook: longtime Westporter.. Contributed photo
She was born on Feb. 9, 1949 in New York, N.Y. daughter to Minerva Fayden and Frank Sawdon.
She devoted her time raising her two sons and enjoyed doing this in Westport for 35 years. She enjoyed her gardens, art, decorating and needlepoint.
She lived life to the fullest, and on her terms, never missing an opportunity that life brought her. Those that knew her, knew her strong spirit and laughter were infectious and one-of-kind. She was a sincere joy to be around and always found the good in those she met.
Monday, October 31, 2016
Warren Rossell, 94
Warren Clare Rossell of Westport (known in the business world as Dusty Rossell), long active in Westport community affairs, died Oct. 27. He was 94.
Warren Rossell: active in community affairs. Contributed photo
He had been a vice president at five advertising agencies in their creative departments as writer, TV commercial producer, creative director and account supervisor. The agencies were Ketchum, MacLeod & Grove, Sawdon & Bess, Grisworld Eshelman, Ross Roy and William Esty. He worked in both New York and Pittsburgh. Accounts included Texaco, Heinz and Wendy’s. He was also an executive producer at EUE Screen Gems, the TV Commercial Division of Columbia Pictures.
He and his family moved to Westport in 1962 where he became an active member of the community. He was a former president of the Y’s Men of Westport/Weston and sang with their choral group, The Hoot Owls. He was a member of the board of directors of the Westport Country Playhouse and was founder and president of the Playhouse Guild.
He was a board member of the Westport Weston Health District and had been elected to the Westport Representative Town Meeting from District 3. He was president of the Syracuse University Alumni of Fairfield County.