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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.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Playwright A. R. ‘Pete’ Gurney, 86 Image
Playwright and author A.R. “Pete” Gurney, whose works focusing on the quirks and barely concealed anxieties of the privileged class were seen frequently by Westport Country Playhouse audiences, died Tuesday at his Manhattan apartment. He was 86. He is pictured with Mark Lamos, Playhouse artistic director, on July 25, 2015 at the world premiere at the Playhouse of Gurney’s “Love and Money.” Not only were several Gurney plays performed at the Playhouse, but Gurney and his wife Molly attended many other opening night performances there. In addition to “Love and Money,” other Gurney productions at the Playhouse include “The Dining Room” and “The Cocktail Hour.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 09:47 PM
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Shirley R. Doyle, 96

Shirley R. Doyle of Denver, Colorado, a former Westport resident, died June 4, one week before her 97th birthday. Image
Shirley Doyle: former Westporter. Contributed photo

Born in Brooklyn, New York, she and her husband Harry moved to Westport in 1953 where they raised their five children. 

She volunteered at Saint Luke Church and the Fairfield Junior League. She worked at the Pottery Corner in the 1970s and 1980s. 

She loved playing tennis with her longtime friends. A favorite pastime was walking the beaches and collecting sea glass. She enjoyed playing bingo at the Westport Senior Center. She moved to Colorado in 2011.

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Posted 07:58 PM
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Arthur Marciano, 88

Arthur Marciano, a longtime Westport resident and teacher, died June 12. He was 88. Image
Arthur Marciano: former Westport teacher. Contributed photo

Born in Waterbury on Oct.14, 1928, he was the son of the late Anthony Marciano and Giaconda Perugini. 

He was the youngest of seven children, and upon the premature death of his parents, raised by his sisters. 

After starting a business, Arthur’s Flowers, he entered military service for two years. He went on to attend Central Connecticut State College on the GI bill.  He subsequently earned two master’s degrees from Columbia University’s Teachers College.

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Posted 12:07 PM
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Andrew P. Fain, 64

Andrew (Andy) Paul Fain of Huntington Beach, California, a former Westport resident, died April 27 after a brief illness. He was 64. Image
Andrew Fain: Staples grad. Contributed photo

He was born Oct. 6, 1952 to the late Howard Fain and Joan (Katten) Fain in West Hartford, where he resided with his parents and brother Michael.

His father and hero, Howard Fain, was a captain in the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army. He was severely wounded during the Battle of the Bulge and died at age 42 when Andy was just 11 years old.

Three years later, his mother married Edwin Lasner, an industrial realtor and former Navy Seabee in Westport, with two sons, Mark and Stephen.

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Posted 11:29 AM
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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

James F. McFeely, 76

James F. McFeely of Westport died June 11 at home. He was 76. 

The husband of the late Mary Roberts McFeely was born in Brooklyn, New York. He worked as a teacher and enjoyed translating the classics from Greek and Latin into English. He also wrote poetry.

Hw is survived by his four children: Helen McFeely of New Mexico, Madeleine McFeely of Norwalk, Friar Jude, Mary of the Previous Blood, FI, of Griswold, and Mary McFeely of Argentina, eight grandchildren, and a sister-in-law, Frances McFeely as well as his nieces and nephews: Thomas, Joan, John, Mary, Kathleen and Michael.

His family will receive friends on Wednesday, June 14, from 5 p.n. to 8 .m. at the Magner Funeral Home, 12 Mott Ave, Norwalk. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday. at Assumption Church, Westport with burial to follow at Assumption Cemetery, Greens Farms.

Posted 11:04 AM
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Monday, June 05, 2017

Bernard W. Pianka Sr., 93

Bernard W. Pianka Sr. of Westport died June 2 at Brookdale Assisted Living in Wilton. He was 93. Image
Bernard W. Pianka Sr.: Navy veteran. Contributed photo

The husband of the late Dolores R. Pianka was born in Troupe, Pennsylvania on June 15, 1923 and was the son of the late Walter and Stella Fiedorczyk Pianka.

He was a U.S. Navy veteran who served on the South Pacific forward air base in Okinawa. 

He retired after a several decades career at ExxonMobil. He is also fondly remembered for his time working as a waiter at the Arrow restaurant during the 1960s. 

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Posted 04:52 PM
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Manuel Diaz, Jr., 63

Manuel Diaz, Jr. of Norwalk died June 4 at Connecticut Hospice in Branford after battling Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. He was 63. Image
Manuel Diaz, Jr. : former synagogue employee. Contributed photo

Born Oct. 4, 1953 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, he was the son of the late Manuel and Angela Diaz-Zayas. He was a retired facilities manager for The Conservative Synagogue of Westport and was currently employed with ShopRite, Norwalk, in the produce department.

A hard-working family man, he was an avid Yankee fan and took great pride in watching his children participate in all of their sports.

He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Lori (Milici) Diaz and their three sons, Joseph (Bibiana Yoguez), Michael, and Daniel Diaz all of Norwalk. He is also survived by his daughter, Carmen Diaz of Long Branch, New Jersey and his son Manuel (Allison) Diaz III of Atlanta, Georgia, his brother, Efrain (Migdalia) Diaz, seven grandchildren and several nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. In addition to his parents, he is also predeceased by his sister, Carmen Milagros Diaz.

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Posted 04:14 PM
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Saturday, June 03, 2017

John A. Creatura, 84

John Anthony Creatura of Westport died June 3. He was 84.

He was born in Bridgeport, the son of Grazio and Lena Creatura. He was a graduate of Fairfield Prep, of Yale College and of the Yale School of Medicine.

He served in the U.S. Army from 1967 to 1969, achieving the rank of lieutenant colonel. 

He spent his medical career with Bridgeport Radiology Associates and retired as chief of nuclear medicine at Bridgeport Hospital. 

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Posted 02:05 PM
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Friday, June 02, 2017

Brian R. Orrico, 60

Brian Richard Orrico of Bloomingdale, Georgia, a former Westport resident, died March 21 at home. He was 60. Image
Brian Orrico: Staples graduate. Contributed photo

He was born Aug. 1, 1956 in Jersey City, New Jersey to James and Marion (Brooks). As a child, he lived in East Brunswick, New Jersey and Westport. He is a graduate of Staples High School and a veteran of the U.S. Army. 

He worked for the last decade for the Economic Opportunity Authority in Savannah and was a Deacon at the Guyton Christian Church. He was an avid volunteer. 

He was a kind and caring person with a strong faith and work ethic in everything he did. He had a wonderful sense of humor and wit, along with an incredible memory and intelligence.

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Posted 11:40 AM
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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Michele M. Smith, 68

Michele (Miki) Smith died May 25 at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City following cardiac surgery. She was 68. Image
Michele Smith: Staples graduate. Contributed photo

She was born March 7, 1949 in Schenectady, New York. She moved to Westport in 1964 with her family. She graduated from Staples High School and Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia.

She worked various jobs through her life and was happiest when spending time with her family and friends.

She was predeceased by her parents Clifford E. and Mary Finnerty Smith. She is survived by her brother Stephen (Linda) Smith and sisters Karen (Wayo) Yegen, Nancy Smith and Judith (James) Deegan. She is also survived by four nieces, four nephews, one great niece and three great nephews.

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Posted 12:32 PM
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Sylvia L. Bell, 80

Sylvia Lee Bell of Westport and Boca Raton, Florida died May 18 at her Boca Raton home. She was 80.

The “most beautiful red- head in the world” was the wife of Samuel Bell Senior. Born on Jan. 23, 1937 in Louisville, Kentucky, she was the daughter of Pearl and Stanley Hatch.

After spending her childhood and young adult years in Kentucky, she earned her degree in finance and later pursued a career in New England.

She loved life and was devoted to her family and friends. She was passionate about entertaining and was an accomplished cook. She will be remembered for her gourmet meals, family gatherings and celebrations.

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Posted 11:51 AM
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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Joseph A. Izzo, 79

Joseph A. Izzo, a lifelong resident of Westport, died May 28 at the Carolton Chronic Convalescent Home in Fairfield. He was 79.

The husband of Gabriella (Testa) Izzo Joseph and the son of the late Joseph and Mildred (Capriola) Izzo, he was born in Norwalk on Sept. 9, 1937.

He graduated from Fairfield Preparatory School in 1956 and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1957, serving in Stuttgart, Germany until 1960.

He retired from the Aquarion Water Co. after many years of service and was a special police officer for the Town of Westport, a mainstay at his traffic post at Bridge Street and Riverside Avenue.

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Posted 01:36 PM
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Monday, May 29, 2017

Sports Writing Legend Frank Deford, 78 Image
Sports writing legend Frank Deford, a longtime former Westporter, died Sunday at his Key West, Florida home. He was 78. He had been treated recently for pneumonia, said his wife, Carol Deford, who said she did not know the exact cause of death. Deford is pictured giving a talk last June at the Westport Library.  He was a 39-year Westport resident before moving to Manhattan in June 2013. He was the author of 20 books, an NPR “Morning Edition” commentator, and the man the San Francisco Chronicle dubbed “the Sinatra of sportswriting.”  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for

Posted 03:24 PM
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Friday, May 26, 2017

Susan Ross, 71

Susan Ross of Easton, a senior nonprofit executive for more than 40 years, died May 17 at home after battling both pancreatic and breast cancer for over seven years. She was 71. Image
Susan Ross: nonprofit executive Contributed photo

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, she spent the past 45 years living in Putney and Westminster West, Vermont and Wilton and Easton. She received her BA from the University of Michigan and her MA from Boston University.

She served as the president/CEO of the Fairfield County Community Foundation from 1996 to 2011, focusing on improving public schools, increasing affordable housing, improving the lives of low-income working women and children and building the capacity of area nonprofit organizations.

During her tenure, the foundation’s assets grew from $10 million to over $150 million and community grants totaled more than $125 million.

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Posted 04:31 PM
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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Ruth S. Shaw, 75

Ruth Sierra Shaw of Westport died May 23 at home. She was 75.

The wife of the late Melvin M. Shaw was born in Andes, Antioquia, Colombia on May 29, 1941. She was the daughter of the late Carlos Jose Sierra and Ines Garcia.

She attended the Institute of Art in Medellin and received her higher education in New York, receiving a degree in business administration from Baruch College and a degree in fine arts from Hunter College.

She came to the United States in 1971, first settling in Woodside, Queens. She married Mel Shaw in 1982 and was a devoted wife until his death in 2015.

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Posted 04:10 PM
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