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Obituaries

Obituaries

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Carol V. Caldwell, 78

Carol V. Caldwell, wife of Thomas W. Caldwell Jr. and 30-year resident of Easton, died Nov. 18 at Bridgeport Hospital. She was 78. 

She was born in Norwalk on Aug. 5, 1936, the daughter of the late Henry and Alice (Bard) Vornkahl.

She was an upbeat and optimistic person and remained so during her illness, her family said. She was a folk art painter and her family and friends have many remembrances of her through her artwork. 

She was also an avid reader and instilled in her children and grandchildren her love of art and literature. She also was a diehard New York Yankees fan, even when that was not popular. She will be especially missed by her dog Winston. 

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Posted 12:39 PM
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Renee H. Cooper, 92

Renee Haas Cooper of Richmond, Va., a former Westport resident, died Nov. 12. She was 92.

She died at St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond, where she had volunteered for 25 years, after surgery to remove blood clots from her legs, said her son, Philip Millstein of Princeton, N.J.

She was the daughter of Burton Franklin Haas and Essye Voltter Haas, of Plainfield, N.J. and Manhattan.

She studied art at the University of Wisconsin and Hunter College. Upon graduation at age 20, she turned down a job offer from Walt Disney so that she could design ships for the U.S. Navy and serve as an air raid warden during the war.

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Posted 11:44 AM
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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sari K. Biklen, 68

Sari Knopp Biklen, a resident of Westport from 1955 to 1970 who graduated from Staples High School in 1963, died on Sept. 16 at Fletcher Allen Hospital in Burlington, Vt. She was 68. The cause was complications from cancer.

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Sari Knopp Biklen: Staples ‘63. Contributed photo

She is survived by her husband of almost 44 years Douglas Biklen of Orwell, Vt., also a 1963 Staples graduate and former dean of the Syracuse University School of Education; a son, Noah Biklen of New York; a daughter, Molly Biklen of New York; a brother, Alex Knopp, former mayor of Norwalk, and two grandchildren.

Her parents were active Westport residents for many years. Her deceased father, Burton Knopp, founded and operated The Country Gal, a women’s clothing store on Main Street in Westport. Her mother, Fay Honey Knopp, helped found The World Affairs Center.

In May, she retired from Syracuse University after 38 years of service where she was the Laura and Douglas Meredith Professor for Teaching Excellence in Cultural Foundations of Education. She was a specialist in popular culture, qualitative research methods and youth culture, and was the former director of the Institute on Popular Culture and Education at Syracuse University.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Althea D’Aiuto, 78

Althea Francis Keene D’Aiuto of Stuart, Fla.. formerly of Westport and Lantana, Fla.,  died Nov. 14 after a brief battle with cancer. She was 78.

She was born Dec. 10, 1935 in Norwalk to the late Harold and Ethel Keene, and in 1955 she married the love of her life Joseph D’Aiuto.

After moving to Florida she became a true Miami Dolphin fan, and was a season ticket holder for more than 20 years. Very rarely would she miss a game. even while fighting cancer she would have to be up to watch as she puts it “my Dolphins.”

She was predeceased by her husband Joseph, brothers Charles, Harold and Jimmy. Survivors include her children, Victoria D’Aiuto of Connecticut, Joseph D’Aiuto of Okeechobee, Fla., and Anthony F. D’Aiuto and his wife of Marathon, Fla., as well as her sisters Ethel, Emma and brother Paul. Also four granddaughters, Michelle and Danielle Martinez, Lynsay and Jennie D’Aiuto, two great granddaughters and two great grandsons, and her cat Cali. along with many lifelong friends.

She will be cremated and be interned with her husband Joseph at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington Va.

Posted 05:30 PM
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Midge Lanouette, 89

Midge (Jane Smith) Lanouette, a former Westport resident, died Nov. 11 after a very long decline from Alzheimer’s Disease. She was 89.

She was born on Sept. 6, 1925 in Glasgow, Mont. and spent her childhood in Vermont and Queens, N.Y. She graduated from the University of Vermont where she met her husband of 66 years, Ken. After living in Colorado for a brief time, they spent two years living in Japan before settling in Westport, where they raised their two daughters, Caron and Jennine.

She was a very talented fabric and needlework artist who also loved working with children. She was a religious education teacher at the Unitarian Church in Westport for years, writing a curriculum for kindergarten. She was recognized as Volunteer of the Year in 2001 for her work at the Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk.

Her love of gardening led her to become a certified Master Gardener which only added to her gorgeous gardens that were the site of many happy family events. She spent her final four years in the compassionate care of the staff at Astoria Park in Bridgeport.

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Posted 05:39 AM
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Monday, November 17, 2014

Robert J. DeMaria, 67

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Robert J. DeMaria: former Westporter. Contributed photo

Robert J. (Dinky) DeMaria of Barnstead, N.H., a former Westport resident, died Oct. 31. He was 67.

He was born on Aug. 19, 1947 in Norwalk, the son of the late, Joseph F. DeMaria and Helen DeMaria Paige.

He is survived by his partner and best friend Barbara Valiante, his sister Carole Franko( Bill) of Milford, his brother Joseph DeMaria (Brenda) of E.Kingston, N.H. ,his daughter Vanessa, his grandson Devin, many nieces, nephews, cousins, and his dog Chazzy.

All will remember him for his great sense of humor, his love of hunting and photography, and as a master carpenter specializing in remodeling antique homes, his family said. Services will be private.

Posted 01:34 PM
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Susan S. Palmer, 74

Susan Scriggins Palmer of Bellingham, Wash. formerly of Westport and Trappe, Md., died Oct. 27 after a long illness. She was 74.

She was born on Feb. 3, 1940 to Edwin Palmer and Muriel Ellen (Niemeyer) Scriggins in Summit, N.J.

She lived a life full of fun and friendship, her family said. She had a special affinity for animals. When she was young, she and her mare Babe jumped their way to many a ribbon. Later in life she took to cart driving with Fern, The Wonder Pony.

She had many dogs and cats over the years—often strays who found a warm bed, good eats and lots of love at her house. She also loved to paint and draw, and she took delight in the world of miniatures, creating amazing, tiny little rooms and scenes.

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Posted 07:45 AM
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Friday, November 14, 2014

Peter G. Babkie, 63

Peter Graham Babkie of Framingham, Mass., a former Westport resident, died Oct. 10 following a period of declining health. He was 63.

He was born in New York City on Nov. 22, 1950 the son of the late Joseph Babkie and Joyce (Williams) Babkie.

He was a resident of Framingham for the past few years and previously resided in Wayland, Mass. and spent his formative years in Westport. He was a graduate of Staples High School iand received his B.S. in education from Boston University.

He had a long career in the field of education and was a life science teacher for the City of Newton at the Meadowbrook Junior High/Charles E. Brown Middle School.

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Posted 01:26 PM
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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Ingrid E. Gilbertie, 71

Ingrid E. Gilbertie of Westport died Nov. 11 at Norwalk Hospital. She was 71.

The wife of Ralph J. Gilbertie, she grew up in Wilton and lived in Westport for 49 years. She was owner and operator of Bargain Boutique of Fairfield and Browsers Nook of Norwalk for more than 20 years, and had also worked for Settlers and Traders of Westport.

In addition to her husband of 55 years, she is survived by her sons Michael R. Gilbertie and his wife Betsy of Westport and Ralph J. Gilbertie, Jr. and his wife Victoria of Stratford; daughters Amy M. Gilbertie of Westport and Kristina J. Gilbertie and her partner Jeri of Bloomfield; a brother Edward Hardy of Monroe; sisters Signe Miller of West Palm Beach, Fla., and Kari Barrett of Dallas, Texas; six grandchildren Jessica, Mitchell, Kaitlin and Jason Gilbertie and Nicholas and Eddie Cuff. She was predeceased by a sister, Sandra Hardy.

Services will be private. Contributions may be made in her memory to the National Kidney Foundation.

Posted 07:41 AM
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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Jean M. Hampe, 80

Jean Mitchell Hampe of Westport died Nov. 8 of lung cancer. She was 80.

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Jean Hampe: noted real estate broker. Contributed photo

Born in Whitefish Bay, Wisc. and a high school graduate of Downer Seminary, she also graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a B.A. degree.

She was in the Delta Gamma sorority where she exhibited a great sense of humor by chairing the sorority’s annual “Spring Fling.”

After college she moved to San Francisco, working in merchandising and personnel.  She then moved to Washington D. C. to recruit the first members of the Peace Corps.

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Posted 09:53 AM
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Monday, November 10, 2014

Sally R. Jones, 59

Sally Rice Jones of Austin, Texas, a former Westport resident, died Nov. 7 after battling stage IV breast cancer for six years. She was 59.

WestportNow.com Image
Sally R. Jones: Staples graduate. Contributed photo

She was born on Aug. 28, 1955 in Westport, where she attended Staples High School. She attended Duke University, where she studied English. She worked in the book and periodicals publishing industry.

She is survived by her mother, Dian Rice; her sister, Lisa Rice Thai; and her children, Madeleine, Caroline, and Henry Jones. She was preceded in death by her father, Robert Rice.

A celebration of life service will be held at St. David’s Episcopal Church (301 East 8th St.) on Friday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m., with a reception immediately following. The family asks that those attending wear blue, Sally’s favorite color, instead of black, to celebrate her life. In lieu of flowers, her family asks that donations be made to the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Texas.

Posted 02:37 PM
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Saturday, November 08, 2014

Dan J. Samuel, 89

Dan Judah Samuel of Westport, 4th Viscount of Mount Carmel and Toxteth in the City of Liverpool, died Nov. 7. He was 89.

His title is in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1937 for the Liberal politician and former High Commissioner of the British Mandate of Palestine, Herbert Samuel. His grandson, David, the 3rd Viscount, was a prominent Israeli chemist and neurobiologist. He died last month, and Dan, his younger brother by three years, succeeded him as 4th Viscount.

Born in Jerusalem in 1925. Dan was a World War II veteran and served in the fledgling Israeli armed forces during the War of Independence.

He was a graduate of Balliol College, Oxford where he received his B.A. and M.A. He retired as the president and chief executive of the Scallop Corporation, the New York subsidiary of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group.

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Posted 05:59 PM
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John D. Rendleman, 88

John David Rendleman of Westport died Oct. 24 at home. He was 88.

The cause of death was complications from Parkinson’s disease. He had been a Westport resident for 58 years.

Born Sept. 30, 1926 in Exira, Iowa, he was a son of the late John Dodge and Marie Andersen Rendleman. 

After his service in the Navy, he attended Drake University, graduating in 1950. He had a long career in advertising sales for Meredith Corp. in Des Moines.

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Posted 03:04 PM
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Friday, November 07, 2014

Eric C. Olsen, 75

Eric Christian Olsen of Westport died Nov. 3 after a battle with cancer. He was 75.

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Eric Olsen:  ex-IBMer, sailor. Contributed photo

He was born in New York City on April 3, 1939 and grew up in Staten Island. He attended Brooklyn Tech, and at the age of 16 went to Syracuse University, where he obtained a bachelor’s and master’s degree in engineering.

He was employed for 28 years by IBM, which sent him to Harvard Business School, where he received an MBA. He married Darthea Patch and the couple had three children, Karen, John, and Dorothy.

When that marriage ended in divorce, he married the late Helen Bianco. They lived in Paris for five years and then moved to Westport, where they had a daughter, Christina. That marriage also ended in divorce.

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Posted 02:31 PM
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Thursday, November 06, 2014

Olga B. Spencer

Olga Brom Spencer of Southport, a former Westport resident active in issues related to seniors and a former president of the Westport-Weston AARP, died Oct. 29 at the Connecticut Hospice in Branford after a long illness.

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Olga Spencer: former AARP president. WN photo

She had been a Westport resident since 1994, recently moving to Southport. Prior to that, she resided in Bronxville, N.Y. and Douglaston Manor, N.Y.

She was first married to the filmmaker, author and explorer, Dr. John L. Brom with whom she had two children, Isabelle and Clarence-John. They emigrated from Austria in 1964, after having lived in France, Germany, and Africa.

After his untimely death, she dedicated her life to her work and family and later married Edward H. Spencer, to whom she was married 20 years, before his death.

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