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Obituaries

Obituaries

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Catherine “Peggy” Rabut, 97

UPDATE (adds memorial service details) Longtime Westport resident Catherine “Peggy” Rabut died May 29 at home. She was 97.

WestportNow.com Image
Catherine “Peggy” Rabut: taught in Westport schools. Contributed photo

A 1938 graduate of Smith College with a Masters in education from Columbia University, she taught elementary school for several years before her marriage to illustrator Paul Rabut.

They moved to Westport in 1949 where she devoted herself to raising their four children. Later she returned to teaching first grade in the Westport school system and retired at age 69. 

Retirement allowed her to pursue service projects throughout the world, which she did with great enthusiasm. Traveling with groups such as Global Volunteers and Global Citizens Network, she helped dig ditches in Guatemala, build a medical clinic in Kenya, and assemble street signs in Mississippi, among other efforts.

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Morton R. Shapiro, 73

Morton “Mort” Robert Shapiro, a former Westport resident, died Aug. 9. He was 73.

He was born June 23, 1940 in Manhattan, N.Y., to David and Frances Shapiro. He grew up in Brooklyn and graduated from Brooklyn College with a B.A. in economics.

He married his wife of 50 years, Carol in September 1962. His first career was a system analyst. In 1980, he took his skills as a system a manager and joined his entrepreneurial wife owning and managing franchises of Lawn Doctor in the Norwalk, Wilton, Bethel, Redding and Brookfield areas.

In 2004, he retired and relocated to Hobe Sound, Fla. Being in Florida, he was able to pursue his love of boating, fishing and golf.

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Roger B.Clark, 80

Roger Browne Clark of Hilton Head Island, S.C., a former Westport resident, died Aug. 13 at home after a year-long battle with glioblastoma, a malignant brain tumor. He was 80.

Roger was born in Boston on Feb. 15, 1933, the son of Helen (Browne) and Earl Clark. Following high school at St. Louis Country Day, he moved east, graduating from Amherst College in Massachusetts. While at Amherst, he was an active member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity.

After graduation, he joined the Air Force and married his high school sweetheart Barbara, as she was finishing her senior year at Wellesley College.

The Air Force stationed Roger in Germany, beginning a long life of travel adventures for the young couple.

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Posted 07:48 PM
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Irene Breeden, 74

Irene Breeden, a 35-year resident of Westport, died Aug. 13. She was 74.

WestportNow.com Image
Irene Breeden: 35-year Westport resident. Contributed photo

Born in Floral Park, N.Y. on Nov. 16, 1938 to the late Vincent and Marion O’Grady, she lived in Long Island, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Avon, Conn., and Kansas prior to living and loving Westport.

She graduated from Sewanhaka High School in Floral Park and then worked in New York as a administrative assistant at J.C. Penney’s Headquarters. Soon after she chose the career she desired the most, that of being a wife and giving life and love to her five children.

In her spare time, she had a passion for human and animal charities, while having fun at tennis, bowling. bridge, boating, gardening, cooking/entertaining and cruising and traveling the world.

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Posted 07:37 PM
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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Barbara Trentham, 68

Barbara Trentham died Aug. 2 at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago of complications of leukemia. She was 68.

WestportNow.com Image
Barbara Trentham: Staples grad. Contributed photo

She was born Aug. 27, 1944, in Brooklyn, N.Y. and moved to Weston as a child and graduated from Staples High School in 1962. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 1966 and moved to England that year to study art at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art at the University of Oxford.

She married Giles Trentham in 1967. The marriage ended in divorce in 1970. She worked as a model in London during the early 1970s. Her photograph appeared on the cover of the English edition of Vogue Magazine and other magazines numerous times. She also had supporting roles in several movies, including “The Possession of Joel Delaney ” (1972) with Shirley MacLaine, “Rollerball” (1975), with James Caan, “Sky Riders” (1976) with James Coburn and Robert Culp, and a made for TV movie, “Death Moon” (1978).

In the mid 1970s, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. Deciding that she wasn’t an actress, she worked in television in Los Angeles as a reporter and a producer of “Those Amazing Animals” until 1980, when she met and married British comedian and writer John Cleese and moved back to London.

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Posted 06:20 PM
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Friday, August 09, 2013

Alexander Kish Jr., 88

Alexander Kish Jr. of New Bern, N.C. and Westport died Aug. 3, at Courtyards at Berne Village in New Bern. He was 88.

He served in the U.S. Navy aboard the aircraft carrier, U.S.S. Boxer and as commander of the Cape Lookout Sail and Power Squadrons. He was very active in the River Bend community.

He is survived by his daughters, June D. Kish of Barkhamstead, Conn. and Janet Shapiro of Parsippany, N.J.; and one sister, Dottie Allen Salerno of Fairfield.

A memorial service will be held at a later date. Online condolences may be made to the Kish family at http://www.cottenfuneralhome.com.

Posted 06:26 PM
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Thursday, August 08, 2013

Howard R. Udell, 72

Howard Robert Udell of Westport died Aug. 2. He was 72.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., he graduated from Hunter College and NYU School of Law. After 15 years in private practice at the law firm Millard Green & Udell, in 1979 he assumed the role of general counsel to the pharmaceutical company now known as Purdue Pharma, where he remained for 30 years.

Trusted and wise counselor and friend, known for his character, integrity, sagacity and sense of humor, he was also active in civic life, and served on the board of Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University for over 25 years.

In 2009, he co-founded the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center (CVLC), which provides free legal services to hundreds of veterans each year. Until his untimely death, he served on CVLC’s board and regularly counseled veterans.

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Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Craig Matheson, 81

Craig Matheson of Westport, founder of the Staples Players, died Aug. 3 at Norwalk Hospital. He was 81.

WestportNow.com Image
Craig Matheson: Staples Players founder. Contributed photo

The husband of Annetta (McCartney) Matheson, he was born Sept. 22, 1931 in Middleboro, Mass., son of the late Jack and Verna (Dunphy) Matheson. He has been a Westport resident for 56 years.

A graduate of the University of Southern Maine, he received his Master’s Degree from Wesleyan University, and did his doctoral work at Columbia University.

He was a longtime member and former deacon at the Saugatuck Congregational Church and a member of the Y’s Men of Westport Weston.

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Posted 03:07 PM
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Sunday, August 04, 2013

Craig Matheson, Staples Players Founder, 81

WestportNow.com Image
UPDATE Craig Matheson (r), founder of the Staples Players theater group, died Aug. 3. He was 81. Matheson, who led the Players from 1959 to 1968 and was a former teacher and administrator at Staples High School, is shown with David Roth, current Players director, in 2009 during the Players 50th anniversary Alumni Reunion Performance at Staples. See obituary here. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 11:10 PM
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Kate McGraw, Noted Westport Educator, 84

Kate Foster Robertson McGraw of Hamden, former Westport resident, educator in the Westport school system, and founder of Westport’s Project Return, died July 28. She was 84.

WestportNow.com Image
Kate McGraw: founded Project Return. Contributed photo

She was assistant superintendent for special education and pupil personnel services in the Westport School District from 1977 to 1994.

Her vision and her persistence were instrumental in founding Westport’s Project Return, a residential environment for adolescent girls and young women in crisis which opened on Compo Road North in 1986. In addition, she served on numerous boards including the United Way of Westport-Weston, the Westport Public Library, and A Better Chance of Westport.

She was a member of the Westport Rotary Club and served on committees of The Unitarian Church in Westport and committees at the Beardsley Elementary School of Bridgeport.

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Posted 05:49 PM
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Honoring Kate McGraw

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Kate McGraw, who died July 28 at age 84, was honored in 2011 on the 25th anniversary of the founding of Westport’s Project Return. She was a founder of the residence for adolescent girls and young women in crisis. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 05:45 PM
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Memorial Service Set for John Sachs

WestportNow.com Image
John Sachs: served on RTM. Contributed photo

A memorial service has been set for John Sachs, a former Westport resident who served on the Representative Town Meeting. He died June 23 at Meadow Ridge in Redding at 93. (See WestportNow June 26, 2013)

It will be held on Sunday, Aug. 11, at 2 p.m. at the Westport Woman’s Club, 44 Imperial Ave.

He was predeceased by his wife, Eva, in 1990 and was interred by her side in a private ceremony at the Temple Israel Cemetery in Norwalk on June 25.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

Posted 02:04 PM
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Saturday, August 03, 2013

Howard F. Ackerly, 84

Howard Frank Ackerly of Stamford, a former Westport resident, died Aug. 2 after a long illness. He was 84.

Born on Aug. 8, 1928 at home in Westport, he was the son of Ruth Gregory and Wallace Ackerly. He graduated from Staples High School and proudly joined the U.S. Army to serve during World War II as an MP.

After his honorable discharge, he went to school on the GI bill at the University of Bridgeport, earning a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He joined Bartlett Tree Experts as an accountant and retired from there 47 years later as a vice president and comptroller of the company.

On July 17, 1954, he married Beverly Cook of New Canaan on her birthday. They celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary two weeks ago and have two children, Karen L Jones of Stamford and Scott H. Ackerly and his wife Maria of Lexington, S.C.

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Posted 06:30 PM
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Louis G. Cheek, 86

Louis Glenn “Lou” Cheek, a former Westport resident, died July 2 in Vermont Respite House in Williston, Vt. He was 86.

WestportNow.com Image
Louis Cheek: worked for General Electric Co. Contributed photo

He was born in Aurora, Ind., on June 1, 1927, the last of nine children of the late William and Nellie (Meenach) Cheek. He graduated from Aurora High School in 1944, and served in the occupation Army in Germany from 1944-47. He graduated from Salmon P. Chase College in Cincinnati, Ohio.

He had a long and successful career in the field of human resources. He spent 35 years in various senior management positions for General Electric Co. For the last several years prior to retirement, he served the CEO of the company as corporate manager of executive compensation. He subsequently did consulting work in the field for other major companies, including Bethlehem Steel, Clark Equipment, and Merrill Lynch.

He was an active member of various compensation organizations, The Ohio Commodores and the Bankers Club, while living in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Y’s Men of Westport Weston while in Westport, as well as a 56-year member of the American Legion in his hometown of Aurora, Ind.

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Posted 05:54 AM
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Thursday, August 01, 2013

Walter Howard, 56

Walter “Scott” Howard, formerly of Westport, died July 24 in Lutz, Fla. after a brief illness. He was 56.

Born in Abington, Pa., he was the son of the late Walter Spencer Howard and Rita Musgrave, who predeceased him. He was a graduate of Staples High School class of 1974 and the University of Bridgeport, where he received his BA and MBA.

He is survived by his wife Christelle and two children, Pauline and Remy.

A service to celebrate his life will be held at Van Dyke Church in Lutz, Fla. on Saturday, Aug. 10, at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the W.S. Howard Children’s Fund, 19414 Sandy Springs Circle, Lutz, FL 33558-9735.

Posted 11:07 PM
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