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Sunday, October 04, 2015



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

Friday, September 11, 2015

Colin J. McKenna, 51

The Rev. Colin J. McKenna of Wilton, a former Westport resident, died Sept. 9 in Westport. He was 51. Image
The Rev. Colin McKenna: former Westporter. Contributed photo

Born in Bridgeport, the son of Winifred (Tona) McKenna and the late Eugene R. McKenna, he was a Westport native and had been a lifelong area resident. He graduated from Fairfield College Preparatory School in 1982 and the University of Vermont in 1986.

While at Prep, he was a co-captain of the Prep Swim Team. An avid swimmer, he also coached the swim team at New Fairfield High School and was the Aquatic Director at the New Canaan YMCA.

He earned his Master’s of Divinity from Pope Saint John XXIII Seminary in Weston, Mass, in 1999, and was ordained to the priesthood by the Most Rev. Edward Egan, the third Bishop of Bridgeport, in 1999.

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Posted 10:35 PM
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Florence L. MacDonald, 81

Florence L. MacDonald of Westport died Sept. 9 in Norwalk Hospital. The wife of the late John M. MacDonald was 81.

Born in Westport on Oct. 11, 1933 and a lifelong resident, she was the daughter of the late Placido and Carrie (Capasse) Anastasia.

She was a member of the Women’s Auxiliary American Legion Post No. 12 in Norwalk as well as an avid bingo player, member of St. Luke Church in Westport and a loving friend to many.

Survivors include three daughters; Kathleen MacDonald, Sheila MacDonald both of Southbury, and Patty McCormick and her husband Mike of Westport, one brother, John R. Anastasia of Westport, two sisters, Josephine Ricca of Boca Raton, Florida, and Eleanor Buno of Boulder City, Nevada, five grandchildren, Thomas MacDonald, William Gallo Jr., Nicholas Gallo, Shane Nicholson and Hannah Nicholson, and many nieces and nephews. In addition to her husband John of 47 years, she was predeceased by seven brothers and sisters, Frank Anastasia, Anthony Anastasia, Pat Anastasia, Edward Anastasia, Samuel Anastasia, Mary Ricca and Ann Kozar.

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Posted 04:26 PM
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Sheila M. Dunne, 83

Sheila McLaughlin Dunne, formerly of Redding, a founder with her late husband William J. Dunne of Westport Insurance Center Inc., died Sept 10 at Carolton Chronic & Convalescent Hospital in Fairfield. She was 83.

She was the only child of the late Frank and Harriet McLaughlin of Milford, where she spent her happy childhood by Bayview Beach.

She was raised in Milford, graduated from Milford High School and Lasell College in Newton, Mass., where she was her graduating class alumni chair for several years. 

She was very popular and social. She loved the beach, and the outdoors and loved animals, especially her pets. She was the happiest however, when she was around her five children and their families. She loved the holidays, especially Christmas, and enjoyed all the family traditions.

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Posted 02:54 PM
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Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Elsa Nad, 85

Elsa Nad of Westport died Sept. 8 at home. She was 85.

She was born in New York, N.Y., a daughter of the late Dr. Herman and Dr. Esse Schiff. She graduated from Columbia University with a Master’s in English, was editor of the business periodical, Directorship, and was a published writer of poetry and fiction.

She is survived by her husband Abraham Nad, her daughters Karen N. Bernstein and her husband Peter and Laurie S. Desjardins, her grandchildren Rebecca Anne Bernstein and Benjamin Jacob Bernstein, her sister-in-law Edith Schiff, and her nieces Talia Mercer and her husband Mark and Leora Schiff and her husband Scott. She was predeceased by her brother Charles Schiff.

Services will take place Friday, Sept. 11 at 11 a.m. at Temple Israel, 14 Coleytown Road, with interment following at the Temple Israel Cemetery, 225 Richards Ave., Norwalk. Shiva will be observed at the Nad residence on Friday following services, and Tuesday, Sept. 15, from 6-8 p.m.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Westport Public Library, 20 Jesup Road, Westport.

Posted 07:07 PM
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Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Frank Petrone, 84

Frank Petrone of Pacific Palisades, California, a former Westport resident, died Sept. 6 at home. He was 84. Image
Frank Petrone: former Westporter. Contributed photo

He was born March 3, 1931 in Brooklyn, N.Y. to Peter and Palma Petrone. He was one of four brothers, Peter, Nick and Mike. He went to work at Odora Plastics right out of school and there he met the love of his life, Adeline Farruggia.

On their first date they saw the movie “Singin’ In The Rain” at the Loews Theatre, and they were never apart from that point on. He worked for Pfizer in the Brooklyn plant for 30 years as a quality control supervisor before retiring with his wife to Westport in 1998.

In 2011, he and Adeline moved again to Pacific Palisades to spend more time with their family and grandchildren.

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Posted 06:49 PM
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Sunday, September 06, 2015

Gladys C. Tobler-Boehm-Carlsen, 89

Gladys Caroline Tobler-Boehm-Carlsen of Westport, known as “Toby” to her family and friends, died Sept. 3. She was 89. Image
Gladys Tobler-Boehm-Carlsen: moved here in 2007. Contributed photo

She was born Oct. 7, 1925, in Weehawken, N.J., to Nellie and Hans Tobler, of Stein-Tobler Embroidery Company, Union City, NJ, designers and manufacturers, known for the creation of military insignia worn by all military branches during World War II.

She grew up in Teaneck, N.J. and graduated from Gettysburg College in 1947 with a B.A. in economics. She married John “Jack” Boehm in 1947. Residing in Oradell, they had two children, Kenneth Boehm and Claudia Boehm. Toby was widowed at a young age. In 1958 she married Arnold Carlsen of Harrington Park and Oradell. They had two children, Ann-Lorraine “Lorrie” Nantz of Westport, and Steven A. Carlsen of Cannon Falls, Minnesota.

Toby moved to Westport in 2007, to be close to her family, after having lived in Teaneck and Oradell for 81 years. She was a longtime member of the Church of the Annunciation, Oradell, and the Episcopal Church Women (ECW) who knitted scarves for the Seamen’s Church Institute Christmas at Sea Program. Toby used her love of knitting to knit hundreds of scarves to warm mariners’ hearts and bodies.

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Posted 01:50 PM
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Saturday, September 05, 2015

Gayle B. Israel, 62

Gayle Benderoff Israel of Fairfield died Sept.4 following a brief battle with cancer. She was 62. Image
Gayle Israel:  active at GFA and Birchwood. Contributed photo

She was born in Kansas City, Missouri, but grew up in Detroit, Michigan, along with four younger siblings, and always took pride in her Detroit roots. After she graduated from the University of Michigan in 1974, she moved to Manhattan and met and married her husband, Sy, in 1977. They lived in Manhattan for the next two decades, before moving with their children to Fairfield.

Gayle launched her four-decade career in publishing at Businessweek, and then became a book editor at William Morrow and later Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. She then co-founded the Benderoff and Geltman Literary Agency, representing experts in décor and leisure topics.

Her intellectual curiosity and love of the arts made her a regular at the 92nd Street Y, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York City Ballet, and countless theaters across Connecticut and New York City. She loved to patronize small, independent businesses, and was a fixture in the village of Southport.

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Posted 10:08 AM
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Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Charles Heller, 87

Charles Heller of Westport, a former department store executive, died Aug. 30 at home after battling lung cancer.  He was 87.

He was born in Beckley, West Virginia, son of the late Joseph and Sadie Heller. He earned his B.A. at Ohio State University and his MBA at Columbia University.

A self-made man, he enlisted in the U.S. Army as a private and rose to the rank of first lieutenant before completing his tour of duty. He went on to a career in retailing, working for Macy’s in New York and Higbee’s in Cleveland before moving to Westport to become president of Howlands, a New York-based junior department store with branches located throughout New England and the Tri-State area.

In 1975, he went on to be named president of the Baltimore-based Stewart & Company, where he worked closely with then-Mayor William Donald Schaefer to spearhead the renewal of downtown Baltimore as he completely remade Stewart’s downtown Howard Street location.

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Posted 01:54 PM
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Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Joyce Clarke, 103

Joyce Clarke of Westport died Aug. 30 at home. She was 103. Image
Joyce Clarke: PR veteran. Contributed photo

She was born in Liverpool, England, on Feb. 11, 1912, to Katie and John Clarke, a merchant ship captain and member of the Royal Navy Reserve.

She was raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., attended New Utrecht High School and earned a degree from Brooklyn College in 1932. She was co-founder of an all-women’s public relations firm, Sally Dickson & Associates, which she established in 1943 with her longtime friend Sally Dickson.

The New York City-based company had major accounts including Good Housekeeping, Bristol-Myers, Ocean Spray, Borden, Avon, and Procter & Gamble.

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Posted 08:07 PM
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Natalie Barrett, 82

Natalie Barrett of Westport died Aug. 30 at home soon after discontinuing her 12-year-long dialysis treatments. She was 82. Image
Natalie Barrett: community volunteer.  Contributed photo

She was born Feb. 28, 1933 in New York, daughter to May Damiano and Max Kowalsky and sister to her brother Leonard. She grew up in The Bronx and graduated from William Taft High School in 1951, where she met her husband, Anthony Barrett, whom she married in December 1953. 

While living in the Gun Hill Road section of The Bronx, she worked as a secretary in New York in the advertising business.

Later she moved to Westport, where she worked for Norwalk Hospital and the Mid-Fairfield Child Guidance Center, and also was a lunch lady and recess supervisor at Hillspoint Elementary School. She often played hop-scotch and four square with the young children.

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Posted 04:17 PM
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John L. Guidone, 80

John Louis Guidone of Plymouth, Massachusetts, a former administrator in the Westport school system and husband of Lorraine (Aldieri) Guidone., died Aug. 27 at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Plymouth. He was 80. Image
John Guidone: Westport school administrator. Contributed photo

Born in New Haven on May 18, 1935, he was the son of the late Pasquale and Mary (Guidone) Guidone. He received a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree from Southern Connecticut State University, and did his post graduate work at Fairfield University.

For most of his life, he worked as an administrator in special education for the Westport Board of Education. He also taught art at Southern Connecticut State University and was an accomplished artist in many media forms.

He served in the U.S. Navy as an air controlman from 1955-1957. He and Lorraine shared time between Port Saint Lucie and Plymouth, previously residing in Orange.

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Posted 02:15 PM
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Sunday, August 30, 2015

John B. Sias, 88

John B. Sias of Houston, Texas, a former longtime Westport resident whose media leadership positions included president and CEO of San Francisco’s Chronicle Publishing Company and executive vice president of Capital Cities/ABC, Inc., died Aug. 23. He was 88. Image
John B. Sias: former Westporter. photo

A member of the Westport Library Board of Trustees, Sias and his wife Lucretia, whom he met as a 15-year-old high school student in California, had been Westport residents since 1957. He also served as president of Westport’s Fairfield County Hunt Club.

The San Francisco Chronicle quoted his son, Donald, a Staples High School graduate, as saying his father retired from ABC when he reached the mandatory retirement age of 67. Soon after, in 1993, he got a call to lead the San Francisco publishing company.

“There was much trepidation over his arrival, but Mr. Sias was adept at putting the staff at ease, even in a time of upheaval for The Chronicle,” the newspaper said in its obituary.

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Posted 11:14 PM
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Blanche Klein, 87

Blanche Klein of Westport died Aug. 30 at home. She was 87.

She was born March 8, 1928 in Mamaroneck, N.Y. to Nathan and Augusta Schwartzreich and graduated from Mamaroneck High School before getting married and moving to Westport.

She was a resident of Westport for more than 65 years and served the community by volunteering at the American Red Cross for more than 35 years. She had a passion for helping people, working countless blood drives for the Red Cross and at the Jewish Home for the Elderly in Fairfield.

She had two brothers, Sydney and Edward, who predeceased her. She is survived by daughter Carol, and son Kenneth. Her other daughter Suzzanne died two years ago. She has five grandchildren, Richelle, Kevin, Katherine, Gregory and Merideth.

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Posted 04:25 PM
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Friday, August 28, 2015

Arthur M. Dinitz, 81

Arthur M. Dinitz of Westport, a leader in transportation safety, died Aug. 27 at home after a valiant battle with cancer. He was 81. Image
Arthur M. Dinitz: transportation safety executive. Contributed photo

Born Dec. 8, 1933, son of Irving and Frances Dinitz of Brooklyn, N.Y., he was a graduate of Brooklyn Tech and New York University, where he was captain of the swim team, earning a Bachelor of Engineering degree.

In 1968, he founded Transpo Industries, Inc., a New Rochelle, N.Y.-based company focused on transportation safety products and infrastructure preservation materials.

An industry pioneer, he was recognized in 2004 by the Washington, D.C. -based American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) as one of its 100 Transportation Leaders of the 20th century.

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Posted 04:58 PM
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Full House for ‘Katie’ Chase Service Image
There was a full house today at the Greens Farms Congregational Church for services for Kathryn “Katie” Dudley Chase of Westport, who died Aug. 9 at age 76. A lifelong community volunteer, she served as president of the Westport Historical Society, the Westport Young Woman’s League, the Y’s Women of Westport, and Staples High School PTA as well as working with the Westport Schools Permanent Art Collection. Sister Ann Dudley recalled that “by age 12, Katie held a fundraiser in our back yard and raised $12 for the local hospital. As far back as I can remember, she would help others.” (See obituary here)  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 02:19 PM
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