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Monday, October 13, 2014
Paulette M. Wallat, 69
Paulette M. Wallat: co-owner of Westfair Fish Market. Contributed photo
Paulette Michele Bourdeau Wallat of Fairfield, who with her husband, William, owned and operated Westfair Fish Market in Westport for 30 years, died Oct. 12 at home. She was 69.
Born in Bridgeport on Sept. 23, 1945, she was the eldest daughter of the late Paul and Jennie Mandell Bourdeau of Fairfield. She graduated from Harding High School in 1963 and worked at the Bullard Co. for many years.
She married William on April 20, 1968 and together they owned and operated Westfair Fish Market in Westport for 30 years.
She was a very strong and thoughtful woman, who battled a number of illnesses, cancer, and COPD, to which she eventually succumbed, her family said.
Friday, October 10, 2014
James W. O’Neil, Jr., 84
James W. O’Neil, Jr. of Dorset, Vt., a former attorney in Westport, died Oct 1. He was 84.
He was born April 17, 1930 in Far Rockaway, N.Y., son of the late James W. O’Neil and Florence C. O’Neil. He grew up in Woodmere, Long Island where he attended local schools. He attended Xavier High School in New York City, Manhattan College and Columbia Law School, graduating in 1954.
While at Columbia, he was elected president of the Livingston Chapter of Phi Alpha Delta fraternity. He was engaged in the practice of law in New York City for 17 years, then Westport for several years, and in Manchester, and Dorset.
He was a member of the New York State Bar Association for more than 50 years. He also was a member of the American Bar Association, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the Connecticut Bar Association, and the Vermont Bar Association.
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Kathleen A. Fell, 63
Kathleen A. Fell of Vancouver, British Columbia, a former Westport resident, died Sept. 5 at home. She was 63.
Born Oct. 12, 1950 in Syracuse, N.Y. she was a 1968 graduate of Staples High School. She was a dedicated nutritionist and holistic health provider and a founder of the Callanish Society in British Columbia, Canada providing seminars for people with cancer.
In addition to her mother, Mary Jane Stokes of Hudson, Fla., she is survived by her sister Tina Kafka of Edmonton, Alberta, her brother Bill During and his wife, Karen of Fairfield, and several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her father, William During and her brother, John During.
A memorial service was held on Oct. 4 in 100 Mile House British Columbia, Canada. A donation may be made in her memory to the Callanish Society 2277 West 10th Ave. Vancouver, BC V6K2J1. http://www.callanish.org.
Tuesday, October 07, 2014
Emanuel Lieberman, 70
Emanuel “Manny” Lieberman of Westport died Oct. 6. He was 70.
Emanuel Lieberman: social worker, actor. Contributed photo
The son of Jack and Estelle Lieberman, he was raised in Brooklyn and attended City College of New York. He spent his career as a social worker and at the same time acted in theaters throughout Fairfield County.
In addition, he enjoyed an early performing arts career in New York City and acted in numerous films including “Here Come the Tigers (1978),” and “Manny’s Orphans (1978).”
He is survived by his sons Edward Batlin and Jonathan Lieberman, his daughter Martha Lieberman Joerger, and his cousin Beverly Sakofsky. He is also survived by his daughters-in-law Anne Batlin and Julie Lucas, his son-in-law Alexander Joerger, and his seven grandchildren. He is pre-deceased by his son Nicholas Lieberman. He was predeceased by his wife, Judith Kealey-Lieberman.
Michael R. Westcott, 56
Michael R. Westcott, a former Westport resident, president of Design Management Institute (DMI), died Oct. 4 in Cohasset, Mass. after a battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). He was 56.
Born Sept.17, 1958 in Germany, he grew up in Westport where he attended Assumption School, Coleytown Junior High School, Staples High School, and went on to Syracuse University.
He was an accomplished soccer goalie, earning varsity letters at Staples and Syracuse. While at Staples, he played for legendary coach Albie Loeffler, a two-time National Coach of the Year.
Influenced by his father, Edgar, he spent his professional career as a passionate designer and entrepreneur. He was a visionary thinker and a champion of the power of design to drive value, enrich lives, and tackle pressing social issues.
Richard Kilian, 86
Richard Kilian, a former Fairfield resident, died at Hospice House in Rockledge, Fla. after a brief illness. He was 86.
He was born in New York City on Dec. 8, 1927, to Joseph and Hannah Kilian (n. Smith). His siblings were Joe, a dealer in antique English silver, and sisters Gladys Hughes and Jerry Appenzeller, all deceased.
His father Joseph Kilian died at an early age, and Richard was raised by his mother Hannah and her second husband Horatio Seymour ‘Birdie’ Baker. He was president of his class at George Washington High School, and entered Williams College in the fall of 1944, earning his bachelor’s in history in 1948.
His education was interrupted when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1945, was sent to the Naval ROTC program at Cornell and went on to flight school in Iowa, Illinois and Maryland. When the war ended, he finished his studies at Williams and thereafter sailed for Europe on the SS Edam.
James B. O’Connell, 91
James B. O’Connell of Darien, a former Westport resident, died Oct. 1 at Stamford Hospital. He was 91.
Born May 7, 1923, in Cambridge, Mass. the eighth of nine children of William H. O’Connell and Catherine T. O’Connell, he was a writer, editor, executive, singer and world traveler.
He was a 1944 graduate of Harvard, served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps in China, edited several magazines in New York, and was an executive at IBM for 27 years, serving as director of public affairs. He lived in Westport from 1954 through 1978.
He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Beatrix W. O’Connell; son James W. O’Connell; son Andrew O’Connell and daughter-in-law Sharon A. Levine and their daughters Molly O’Connell and Jenny O’Connell; son Patrick M. O’Connell and daughter-in-law Maggie Baird and their son Finneas O’Connell and daughter Billie O’Connell; stepson Timothy B. Yarrow and his wife Elizabeth Raven Walters and their daughter Camille Yarrow and son Garrett Yarrow; stepdaughter Suzanne E. Yarrow and her son Andrew Yarrow-Escaladas; and brother Paul E. O’Connell. His first marriage was to Jean S. O’Connell, who died in 1975.
Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Loraine M. Shaw, 81
Lorraine Shaw: one of 12 siblings. Contributed photo
Lorraine Mary Shaw (Rainy) died Sept. 23 in St. Petersburg, Fla. She was 81.
Born May 20, 1933, she was one of 12 siblings raised in Westport. She and Thomas H. Shaw reared four boys Marc, David, Eric, Steven and daughter Abigayil while residing on Summer Hill Road in Westport. Later the family moved to Fairfield.
She battled and survived breast cancer in 2001, continuing on to enjoy her family, including 13 grandchildren and one great grandchild.
Her family asked that those who attend her service wear color in celebration of her vibrant spirit. It will be held Monday, Oct. 6 at 11 a.m. at the Saint Patrick Church, 169 Black Rock Turnpike, Redding.
Monday, September 29, 2014
Nancy C. Mason, 90
Nancy Cartledge Mason, a lifelong resident of Westport and recently of Fox Hill Village in Westwood, Mass, died Sept. 23. She was 90.
Born in 1923, she was raised in Westchester County, N.Y., and attended St. Lawrence University. She married to Edgar J. Donaldson in 1945, and they had two children, Peter and Ann, who survive them.
Nancy was an avid golfer and she loved sailing and travel. In 1990, she married her second husband, Norman Mason, also of Westport, and they enjoyed many trips throughout the world together.
She was active in her community, volunteering for many worthwhile causes, including the Westport Garden Club, the library, Norwalk Hospital and others. She was adventurous, quick witted and fun-loving. She cherished her many friendships both in Westport and Westwood.
Sunday, September 28, 2014
Shirley W. Land, 96
UPDATE (adds memorial service details) Shirley Wolfson Land, formerly of Westport, died July 13 in Pittsboro, N.C., where she had been living for the last six years. She was 96.
Shirley W. Land: active volunteer in Westport. Contributed photo
The wife of the late Alexander Land, she was the youngest of six children born in Chicago to CJ and Sabina Wolfson.
She attended the University of Illinois at Champagne-Urbana and graduated in 1939 with honors from the school of journalism. Post college she worked in New York City for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and at ad agency Kenyon & Eckhardt.
But the best thing to happen to her in New York was meeting her future husband, Alex, the love of her life. They had a whirlwind romance that continued for more than 60 years, a mutual adoration for each other evident throughout their life together, her family said.
Saturday, September 27, 2014
John Buchta, 73
John “Jack” Buchta of Shelton died Sept. 26 at Bridgeport Hospital. He was 73.
John Buchta: headed Westport printing company. Contributed photo
Born in Norwalk to the late Frederick and Elizabeth (Hogan) Buchta, he was the proprietor of Klein’s Printing Company of Westport for more than 30 years.
He was also a member of the Printing Industry of Connecticujt and a former member of the Sunrise Rotary Club in Westport. His favorite pastime was spending time with his family and vacationing on Cape Cod.
He is survived by his wife Rosemary (Pedwano) Buchta of Shelton; two devoted daughters Karen Martin and her husband Edward of Cheshire and Jennifer Meyers and her husband Steven of Oxford; his twin brother James Buchta and his wife Concetta of Norwalk; his sister Frances Manere and her husband Robert of Weston; four cherished grandchildren Steven, Amanda, Adriana and Kayla Meyers and several nieces and nephews.
Ann Brannigan, 84
Ann Brannigan: Broadway performer. Contributed photo
Ann Brannigan of Westport died Sept. 23. She was 84.
She was born in Pittsburgh, Pa. and graduated high school at the age of 15 to move to New York City along with her mother and grandmother to pursue a career in dance and musical theater.
She worked uninterrupted for more than 15 years dancing and performing on Broadway in such classics as “Annie Get Your Gun,” “Brigadoon,” and countless others including an early career stint as a Radio City Music Hall Rockette.
After a very successful Broadway run, she transitioned her talent to a newly emerging forum, television where she was a regular for years on such memorable shows as “Your Show of Shows” and “The Jimmy Durante Show.”
Thursday, September 25, 2014
Stephen M. Lessler, 92
Stephen Marvin Lessler of Fairfield, a former employee of Mitchells of Westport, died Sept. 23. He was 92.
A Fairfield resident for more than 65 years, he was the son of Philip and Ruth Lessler of New York.
He was the proprietor of Steven’s Clothes and the Outlet Men’s Store, longtime men’s retail clothing stores in Bridgeport and later in Fairfield. He also worked at Rodney’s Men Store in Bridgeport at the start of his career and at Nadelson’s and at Ed Mitchell’s of Westport at the end of his career.
He served in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II. He was a founding and lifelong member of Congregation Beth El in Fairfield.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Gregory R. LaValla, 51
Gregory R. LaValla, a longtime Westport resident, died Sept. 23 in Norwalk Hospital. He was 51.
Greg LaValla congratulates a player. Contributed photo
Born in Stamford on Dec, 27, 1962, he was the son of Ralph and Judith (Schneider) LaValla.
He played Westport PAL football until he attended Staples where he was a wrestler and graduated in 1980. He was a proud volunteer of the Westport PAL and has coached PAL football for 22 years and PAL basketball for five years.
He was on the board of directors of PAL football and was a part of Minuteman Race, the Special Olympics, PAL fireworks and he worked the PAL booth at the Westport Italian Festival for many years in Westport.
Ruth G. Roth, 76
Ruth Geraldine (Gerry) Roth of Westport died Sept. 20. She was 76.
She was born to the late Gerald and Marie Schaffer Dec. 10, 1937, in Tell City, Ind. She graduated from Mt. Vernon High School 1956 where she was a member of the National Honor Society. She married the love of her life, Donald Roth in 1957.
At the age of 40, she earned a double degree in history and English literature while raising three children.
An avid reader and student of life, she loved to travel and learn about the world around her and was happiest when surrounded by her family,