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Obituaries

Obituaries

Friday, April 03, 2015

Robert P. Mizak, 82

Robert P. Mizak of Trumbull, a former employee of Fable Funeral Home in Westport, died April 1. He was 82.

A funeral director for about 10 years, he served in the U.S. Army Graves Registration Unit in Korea and Japan, worked at Fable Funeral Home in Westport and Raymond Funeral Home in Norwalk. The family moved to Trumbull in 1965 and established Mizak Realtor’s in 1967.

His wife Donna joined the boutique firm in 1971, which is now part of William Raveis Real Estate. He was a Scoutmaster at Middlebrook Elementary School, vice president of the Greater Bridgeport Board of Realtors, membership chairman of Pequonnock Yacht Club, and a member and former president of the Trumbull Kiwanis Club, where he was awarded the George F. Hixson 25 year service award.

He enjoyed boating, offshore fishing, traveling, and was a regular attendee of 7:30 a.m. mass at St. Theresa’s.

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Thursday, April 02, 2015

William F. Keplesky, 89

William F. Keplesky, a former Westport resident, died March 31 in Hampton Va. He was 89.

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William F. Keplesky: Westport native. Contributed photo

A native of Westport, he worked for TEK Bearing Co in Stratford as comptroller and chief contract negotiator until his retirement. 

He was one of the original parishioners of St Luke Parish where he served as an usher and organized the annual men’s retreat. He was a fourth degree member of the Knights of Columbus. 

He and his wife Dorothy moved to Wilmington, N.C. in 1994 where he quickly became active in volunteer work in the community as well as at St Mark Catholic Church.

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Regina Brauer, 93

Regina Brauer of Westport and New York City died March 28. She was 93.

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Regina Brauer: librarian, sailor. Contributed photo

Born Dec. 17, 1921 in New York to George and Ella Preiss Berkowitz, she was raised in Sea Cliff, N.Y. where her love of the sea and sailing was born.

She graduated from Adelphi University, Garden City, N.Y., and in 1950 married Earle W. Brauer, a medical doctor. Shortly thereafter they moved to Teaneck, N.J. to raise their family.

In Teaneck, she was an active member of the League of Women’s Voters and the PTA.  After receiving a Master’s in library science from Columbia University, she worked for many years as the children’s librarian at the Hunter College Elementary School.

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George Ahmuty,  93

George Ahmuty of the Villages at St Barnabas retirement community in Gibsonia, Pa., a former Westport resident, died March 28 at the Arbors Nursing Home in Valencia, Pa. He was 93.

Born in Indiana, he was the son of Mary and Richard Ahmuty of Cumberland, R.I. He graduated from Woonsocket High School and Chancey Hall prior to entering MIT where he earned degrees in aeronautical and industrial engineering. 

He served in the U.S. Army in World War II from 1942-1944 and was honorably discharged as a private first class.

He was predeceased by his first wife, Alice of Westport, where they made their home for over 30 years. Both had grown up in Woonsocket, R.I. He is survived his second wife, June Elliott of Pittsburgh, Pa., where they moved after their wedding in 1993.

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Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Thomas W. Wilson, Jr., 83

Thomas Wayne Wilson, Jr. of Westport and Center Harbor, N.H. died March 9 of heart failure. He was 83.

Born Dec 27, 1931 in Des Moines, Iowa, he moved to Scarsdale, N.Y. with his parents as a teenager. He graduated from Scarsdale High School in 1949. He earned a B.A. from Dartmouth College in1953 and then fulfilled his NROTC requirement serving as a Lt J.G. in the U.S. Navy on the USS Cambria. He subsequently earned an MBA from Wharton Business School in 1958.

He began his distinguished work career in brand management at Procter & Gamble where he worked for eight years. From there he was recruited by McKinsey & Co. in New York City where he worked from 1966 to 1990 and led the firm’s consumer goods industry practice group for most of that time.

During 1970-75, he directed McKinsey’s work with the U.S. grocery industry’s Ad Hoc Committee to develop the Uniform Product Code (UPC or bar code), which has become the well-known standard in information tracking and management of packaged goods, and with the European group that adopted a compatible version as the EAN code.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Edward I. Barlow, 83

Edward I. Barlow of Westport died March 29 at Bridgeport Hospital after a short battle with leukemia. He was 83.

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Edward Barlow: worked at Stauffer Chemical. Contributed photo

Born in Weston on April 25, 1931, he was a son of the late Clarence and Eva (Wohlforth) Barlow.

He attended Weston Schools and served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict. He was a deacon and volunteer at Green’s Farms Congregational Church in Westport. He was a carpenter by trade, but also added electrician, plumber and jack-of-all trades to his list of skills.

He was retired from Stauffer Chemical Company where he was in charge of the maintenance department. He was also an awesome gardener, whose bountiful fig tree was enjoyed by many.

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Shirley S. Gonzales, 79

Shirley Ann Schappa Gonzales of Guilford, a former assistant planner in Westport, died Jan. 17 of colon cancer. She was 79.

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Shirley Gonzales: former Westport assistant planner. Contributed photo

Born in 1935 in New Haven, to Joseph Schappa and Alvena Menard of Providence, she attended Hartford Art School, then Paier Art School, entering the Department of Art and Architecture at Yale University.

Graduating in 1958 having earned a BFA in art with a thesis on fabric printing techniques, she married J Ernest Gonzales that same year and heralded the birth of her son Don soon after, followed by her daughter April two years later.

As her children grew up, she began writing art reviews for the New Haven Register under the guidance of editor and long time family friend Don Rabin in 1968. She visited the lively New Haven art scene on a weekly basis and continued to cover the Connecticut art scene for 22 years.

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Earl McNulty, 78

Earl McNulty of Norwalk, a former Westport resident, died March 7. He was 78.

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Earl McNuty: advertising executive. Contributed photo

Born May 8,1936 in Norwalk, he was the son of Harold and Gussie McNulty. After graduating from St. Luke’s Prep School, he attended Syracuse University and was a member of the Psi Upsilon fraternity.

At Syracuse, he met his future wife Jane. After serving in the U.S. Army, Earl and Jane married and started a family. He was a loving and devoted husband and father of three boys. The McNulty family lived in Weston and Westport, Miami, Fla., and Marietta, Ga.

He had a long and successful career in commercial advertising with agencies such as Young and Rubicam, Ogilvy & Mather, BBDO and Tucker Wayne/West Wayne. He had a passion for running, gardening, cooking and antiques.

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Charles B. Allen, 78

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Charles Allen: Korean veteran. Contributed photo

Charles Buddy Allen of Haines City, Fla. died March 24. He was 78.

Born in Westport, he was an U.S. Army veteran who served during the Korean Conflict in the 11th Airborne Division.

He was the former owner of Weston Plumbing and Heating Company and a member of the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 777.

He is survived by his daughter, Marjorie Allen Sorrentino, of Port St. Lucie, Fla., and sons David C Allen of Palm Bay, Fla., and Christopher S. Allen of Woburn, Mass.

Posted 02:43 PM
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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Chester Harlow, 93

Chester A. “Chet” Harlow of Westport died March 23 at home. He was 93.

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Chester Harlow: longtime Westporter. Contributed photo

He was born July 8, 1921 in Brooklyn, N.Y., to the late Dr. Arthur Holzman and Theresa Metzger. He graduated from Boys High in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1937, and enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942.

He served as a navigator in the 8th Air Force and flew 25 missions over Germany during World War II. He completed his service and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1947 with a degree in chemistry. He married the love of his life, Sally, in 1944 and eventually moved to Westport where they lived for 48 years.

He retired after working at Olin Chemical for 35 years as a chemical engineer. Following retirement he continued to pursue his many passions including sailing, model boat making, playing bridge, as well as spending time with family and friends.

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John A. Kendrick, 83

John A. “Jack” Kendrick, who lived for a time in Westport during the 1960s and 70s, died March 9 at the home he shared with his wife Ulla in Stockholm, Sweden. He was 83.

WestportNow.com Image
John Kendrick: actor, poet, athlete. Contributed photo

Born in Vermont in 1931 and raised in Lake Placid, N.Y. along with his four sisters and one brother, he rose from humble beginnings to become an internationally respected author, athlete, actor and educator.

He was known especially for his several volumes of poetry and as a playwright. He was a roving Cold War ambassador, often for USAID, and shared his poetry and athleticism wherever he went as well as his pride in his adopted hometown of Lake Placid.

In the 1960s and 70s, he lived with his sister, Agnes Reiss, at her home in Westport and performed at the Westport Country Playhouse, gave poetry readings at the Westport Library and helped coach the Staples wrestling team as well as its track and field teams.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Bernard L. Kabacoff, 93

Bernard Louis Kabacoff, husband of Beatrice Nemzer of Westport, died March 25 at the Jewish Home for the Elderly in Fairfield. He was 93.

Born Jan. 7, 1922 in Philadelphia, Pa., he was the son of the late Morris and Fannie Richlen Kabacoff.

He was the chief chemist at the Revlon Research Center. He developed many of their products including the women’s fragrance “Charlie” and “Touch of Grey” for men. He received the Cosmetic Toiletry and Fragrance Association “Chemist of the Year Award.”

In addition to his wife Beatrice, he is survived by his children Dena Steinfeld and her husband Alvin of Brooklyn, N.Y., Lawrence Kabacoff and his wife Katherine of Columbia, Md., Robert Kabacoff and his wife Carol Lynn of Portland, Maine. He is also survived by his stepchildren Joshua Nemzer and his wife Reah Pantazoupolis of Milton, Mass., Dorothy Sandler of Ewing, N.J., and Adam Nemzer and his wife Valli Tschirgi of Washigton, D.C.; and by eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his first wife Leah Kabacoff. Funeral services are private.

Posted 10:19 PM
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William S. Roberts, Jr., 71

William S. Roberts, Jr. of Martinsville, N.J., a former Westport resident, died March 24. He was 71.

WestportNow.com Image
William S. Roberts, Jr: 1961 Staples graduate. Contributed photo

He was born Nov. 8, 1943, in New Rochelle, N.Y., to the late William S. Roberts, Sr., and Marie-Louise (Moran) Roberts. He graduated from Staples High School in Westport in 1961, and the University of Rochester in 1965, where he met his wife, Carol.

After graduation, he entered the U.S. Air Force Reserves. He then settled in New Jersey, working at ExxonMobil Corp. for 33 years until his retirement in 2000.

Following retirement, he became a dedicated member of the Martinsville Rescue Squad, where he served as a crew chief and treasurer. He was also an active member of the United Methodist Church of Bound Brook, where he was a past president and treasurer of the trustees, and member of the Chancel Choir.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Anna Lee Fuchs, 79

Anna Lee Fuchs of Westport died March 8 at home. She was 79.

WestportNow.com Image
Anna Lee Fuchs: wife of noted Westport illustrator. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed grapic

Born Jan. 9, 1936 in O’Fallon, Ill. to Alma Fries Hesse and Henry M. Hesse, longtime mayor of O’Fallon, she graduated from MacMurray College in 1954. In 1955, she married illustrator Bernard Fuchs, her high school sweetheart. They lived in Detroit before moving to Westport in 1960.

Bernie Fuchs, whose influential work ranged from presidential portraits to classic racing cars, died Sept. 17, 2009. He was 76. (See obituary here)

Anna Lee managed her husband’s illustration business and later, his career as a gallery and children’s book artist. She worked for many years at the Society of Illustrators in New York City, organizing and cataloguing their annual show.

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Jennifer S. O’Grady, 72

Jennifer Skemp O’Grady of Sandy Hook, a former Westport resident, died March 22 after a long battle with lung disease. She was 72.

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Jennifer O’Grady: hosted ‘Ballet Hour” on WMNR. WMNR photo

She was born on March 2, 1943 in Chicago to noted artist Robert Oliver Skemp and his wife, the former Betty Wellington Steele. She grew up in Westport and graduated from Greens Farms Academy. She summered in Sagaponack, a village in the Town of Southampton in Suffolk County, Long Island, as a child and continued to do so throughout her life, with her family.

Recently she and her husband purchased a family dream home in Amagansett overlooking Napeague Harbor. Some of her passions included, world travel, her grandchildren, taking care of her animal friends, and volunteering as a broadcaster for her local fine arts radio station WMNR for more than 25 years.

In a biography on the WMNR website, the station said of her: “The soft-spoken lover of the ballet has been telling her fairy tales on the WMNR ‘Ballet Hour’ on Saturday mornings since 1982. Jenny was a serious student of the ballet as a girl and studied modern dance in college. After a brief time at Randolph Macon College, Jenny returned home to marry her childhood sweetheart.

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