Tuesday, December 02, 2014
Carole L. Haber, 72
Carole L. Haber of Westport died Nov. 27 at home following a lengthy illness. She was 72.
Carole Haber: co-produced Broadway shows. Contributed photo
Born and raised in Downey, Calif., she was the daughter of the late Alfred and Marguerite Deitricht Senechal. She received her Bachelor of Arts and Teaching Credential from the University of California.
She met her husband Bill while teaching at the Foundation for the Junior Blind in Los Angeles in 1955. The foundation’s founder, Norman Kaplan, was the godfather of their children. She was a French teacher in Palos Verdes High School for five years.
She and her family lived in Los Angeles and Malibu for 50 years. In 1995, they moved to Westport to take a greater part in the international humanitarian organization, Save the Children.
Monday, December 01, 2014
Charlene (Chou Chou) Merrill, 62
Charlene (Chou Chou) Raum Merrill of Brookline, Mass., a former Westport resident, died Nov. 29. She was 62.
Chou Chou Merrill: 1970 Staples graduate. Contributed photo
She grew up in Westport, where her father, Jason Raum, owned and operated Jewels by Jason on Main Street. She was a 1970 graduate of Staples High School.
She married Michael Merrill of Westport in a 1973 ceremony at the Unitarian Church in Westport. Among the attendees was Michael’s mother, film star Bette Davis of Westport. The couple eventually settled in Brookline where she lived for 41 years. She also lived in Captiva, Fla., and Prout’s Neck, Maine.
A real estate agent for many years, she was passionate about her love first for her “boys” and secondly for Brookline. But she always remembered Westport and was a frequent poster on Facebook pages about Westport.
Robert M. Curtis, 96
Robert (“Bob”) Miles Curtis of Westport died Nov. 20 at Norwalk Hospital. He was 96.
Robert M. Curtis: longtime Westport resident. Contributed photo
Born April 9, 1918 in Nova Scotia, he was the son of Claude Curtis and Claire John. After his mother died in the flu epidemic of 1918-19, his Aunt Helen moved in to care for him and his sister Margaret.
The family moved frequently. He attended elementary school in Fall River, Mass., and began high school in Olympia, Wash., where he fell in love with sailing. He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy and Williams College.
He played trumpet with the Purple Knights, a Williams College jazz ensemble, and in 1938 they were hired to play on the French luxury liner SS Normandie as it made its 100th Atlantic crossing.
Sunday, November 30, 2014
Lois E. Treadway, 70
Lois EttaTreadway (born Alois Etta Palmer) of Norwalk, a longtime employee of Minute Men Cleaners in Westport, died Nov. 25 at Danbury Hospital. She was 70.
She was born in Norwalk on March 16, 1944 and graduated from Port Chester High School in Port Chester, N.Y. Class of 1963. After her tenure at the Westport business, she she spent most of her time as a volunteer for Lifeline in Norwalk and was a dedicated bell ringer for the Salvation Army during the holidays.
Her greatest joy was her family, she had a huge heart of gold, undeniable compassion for anyone she met no matter the circumstances, enjoyed playing Bingo and was a faithful member of Bethany Baptist Church in Stamford and Parkway Assembly of God in Norwalk during her earlier years, according to her family.
She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Mary and James M. Pearson, Sr of Newtown. grandchildren James Jr and Rebecca Pearson, family member Betty Pearson, siblings Ward and Joy Palmer, Sr., Bernadette “Bunny” Palmer, Louise and Joe Willette, Charmaine Letendre, Peggy and Paul Raymond and Charles Palmer, Jr., along with many nieces, nephews and cousins. She was predeceased by her mother Maybelle Heney, parents Charles and Bernadette Palmer, sister Ella-Mae Romsky and brother William A. Palmer, Sr.
Anthony L. Wilcox, 87
Anthony Lyle Wilcox of Westport, husband of the late Jane L. Wilcox, died Nov. 27 in Norwalk Hospital. He was 87.
Born June 19, 1927 in Norwalk, he was son of the late William and Mary (Romananski) Wilcox and has been a resident of Westport for 63 years.
Prior to retiring in 1992, he was employed as a foreman by the Town of Westport Department of Parks and Recreation for more than 20 years.
He was a graduate of Norwalk High School, loved fishing and spending his free time with his family. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
J. Elwood Betts, 89
J. Elwood Betts of Westport died Nov. 25 at Norwalk Hospital. He was 89.
J. Elwood Betts: lifelong Westport resident. Contributed photo
He was born in Westport at home on Oct. 1, 1925, son of the late Charles E. and Marjorie (Foster) Betts and has been a lifelong resident of Westport. He was employed as an engineer with General Electric for 42 years prior to retiring in 1989.
He was a 1943 graduate of Staples High School, and a 1946 graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) with a degree in chemical engineering. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant.
A lifelong member of the Saugatuck Congregational Church, he served the church in many capacities. He was a deacon and a trustee emeritus.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Jean S. Holland, 88
Jean Swint Holland, a former Westport resident, died Nov. 21 in Wallingford. She was 88.
Jean Holland: 40-year Westport resident. Contributed photo
She was born on Aug. 1, 1926, the daughter of Frederick and Stella (Combest) Swint in Paducah, Texas.
She graduated from Texas State College for Women (now Texas Women’s University) and worked as a fashion illustrator for Frost Brothers, a high fashion retailer, in San Antonio.
She married Henry K. Holland, Jr., in 1955 and they lived an extraordinary life travelling the world as part of the extended Mobil Oil family. She lived in Westport for 40 years and was a devoted member of the Wilton Baptist Church.
Monday, November 24, 2014
Hal Kendig, 82
Hal Kendig of Weston, formerly of Westport, died Nov. 22 at Norwalk Hospital. He had been battling cancer for three months. He was 82.
Hal Kendig: 28-year Westport resident. Contributed photo
He was born May 6, 1932 in Emporia, Kan., the son of the late Harold and Roxanna (Plumb) Kendig, who instilled in him a love of travelling from an early age.
He enlisted in the Navy upon graduation from the University of Washington, and was stationed in Morocco for much of his service. From there he joined Pan American World Airways, and spent 25 years with the airline, working all over the world.
But he was always most at home in Westport, where he was a resident for 28 years, before moving to Weston last year.
Allen R. Coutermash, 25
Allen Ray Coutermash of Darien, a former Westport resident, died Nov. 22 at Norwalk Hospital. He was 25.
Allen Coutermash: Staples graduate. Contributed photo
Born on Sept. 16, 1989 in Stamford, he was the son of Shawn Bray of Weston and the late Ray Allen Coutermash, who died in 2006.
He spent his life living in Darien and Westport and graduated from Staples High School. He received an Associated Degree from Lincoln Technical Institute in Hamden. He was excited about his acceptance into the U. S. Navy.
Besides his mother, he is survived by his sister, Amber Coutermash of Norwalk, his grandparents, Gene E. Bray of Idaho, Irene E. Jerue of Sarasota, Fla., and Pat Coutermash of Darien; and five uncles and three aunts. He was predeceased by his grandfather, Allen Ray Coutermash in 1998.
Sunday, November 23, 2014
Jacqueline P. Trautmann, 83
Jacqueline Pierrot Trautmann, a longtime resident of Westport, died Nov. 5 after a prolonged illness. She was 83.
Jacqueline Trautmann: emigrated from France. Contributed photo
Born in Paris, France in 1931, she survived German-occupied France as a child living on her grandparent’s farm where on several occasions German soldiers garrisoned and battled the French resistance. After the war, she met and married Rudi when they both worked at a Paris advertising agency.
Shortly thereafter, they immigrated to the United States, crossing the Atlantic on the famed SS Constitution ocean liner. With Rudi working as a graphic artist, they settled in Westport in the late 1950s when it was known as an artist community.
Arriving in the States without knowing a single word of English, she worked hard to learn the language eventually mastering the New York Times crossword puzzle, even the infamous Sunday edition which she would complete in a single sitting in pen, her family said.
Friday, November 21, 2014
Max Harley, 94
Max Harley of Stratford, a former Westport resident, died Nov. 18 in Norwalk Hospital after a period of illness. He was 94.
Max Harley: former Westporter. Contributed photo
In addition to Westport, he also lived in Indianapolis, and Greenville, Ohio.
He was born Aug. 24, 1920 in Hollansburg, Ohio, to Howard R. Harley, MD, and Cleo Mote Harley. After his father’s death, the family moved several times and Max graduated from high school in Fountain City, Ind.
He followed his brother George to Miami University in Ohio, and, upon graduation, into the U.S. Navy during World War II. After training as a gunnery officer he was posted to the Pacific theater.
John G. Wanat, Sr., 68
John G. Wanat, Sr. of Westport died Nov. 21. He was 68.
He was the son of the late George and Mary (Kondub). A lifelong resident of Westport, he retired as the owner/operator of Westport Electric.
He was a very religious man, and was an active member of many local churches including serving as deacon at St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Bridgeport. He was also currently serving as president of the Ukrainian-American Club of Southport.
In addition to his wife of 47 years, the former Jean Palmer, he is survived by two children, his son John G. Wanat, Jr., and his daughter Jeanmarie Wanat; two brothers, George Wanat, Jr. of Westport, and William Wanat and his wife Judith of Southport; three brothers in law, Carl Palmer and his wife Ann of Bridgeport, Peter Palmer and his wife Rosalind of Westport, and Tony Palmer and his wife Susan of Westport; and sister in law Sue Palmer of Westport; several nieces and nephews, and grandchildren Mark and Max. He was also predeceased by a sister, Arlene Sabia and brother in law Phil Palmer.
Richard H. Olson, Sr. , 78
Richard H. Olson, Sr. of Westport died Nov 18. He was age 78.
He was born Sept. 8, 1936 in Bronxville, NY, son of the late Anton and Elizabeth Olson.
He retired as manager of facilities for Pepperidge Farm after working more than 35 years.
He loved his home in Vermont and traveled to many different places in the United States and abroad. He enjoyed the outdoors and found solace at the beach.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Carol V. Caldwell, 78
Carol V. Caldwell, wife of Thomas W. Caldwell Jr. and 30-year resident of Easton, died Nov. 18 at Bridgeport Hospital. She was 78.
She was born in Norwalk on Aug. 5, 1936, the daughter of the late Henry and Alice (Bard) Vornkahl.
She was an upbeat and optimistic person and remained so during her illness, her family said. She was a folk art painter and her family and friends have many remembrances of her through her artwork.
She was also an avid reader and instilled in her children and grandchildren her love of art and literature. She also was a diehard New York Yankees fan, even when that was not popular. She will be especially missed by her dog Winston.
Renee H. Cooper, 92
Renee Haas Cooper of Richmond, Va., a former Westport resident, died Nov. 12. She was 92.
She died at St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond, where she had volunteered for 25 years, after surgery to remove blood clots from her legs, said her son, Philip Millstein of Princeton, N.J.
She was the daughter of Burton Franklin Haas and Essye Voltter Haas, of Plainfield, N.J. and Manhattan.
She studied art at the University of Wisconsin and Hunter College. Upon graduation at age 20, she turned down a job offer from Walt Disney so that she could design ships for the U.S. Navy and serve as an air raid warden during the war.
Note: WestportNow Publisher Gordon F. Joseloff is also First Selectman of Westport