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Obituaries

Obituaries

Monday, October 27, 2014

Harry J. Peabody, 76

Harry James Peabody of Wellfleet, Mass., a former Westport resident, died Oct. 22. He was 76.

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Harry J. Peabody: born and raised in Westport. Contributed photo

Born April 10, 1938 in Westport, he was raised in Westport where he said he had a Tom Sawyer-like small town childhood. He played ball and wrote and illustrated a comic strip for the Staples High School newspaper Inklings.

After a brief stint studying art at Pratt, he joined the 101st Airborne and served as a paratrooper—despite a fear of heights—in classified missions abroad. After an honorable discharge, he embarked on a career in computers, first as a programmer and later as a systems manager with Avon and then Dunn & Bradstreet.

He and his first wife, Sandy, raised his two children, Jennifer and Jeffrey, in Westport. Always armed with a camera, he was a regular on the Staples football, baseball and ice hockey sidelines and his daughter’s—and then granddaughter’s—ballet performances.

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Anna B. Rossi, 86

Anna Bennette Rossi of The Villages, Fla., formerly of Westport and Norwalk, died Oct. 24 at home. She was 86.

Born in Norwalk on April 25, 1928, she was the daughter of the late Joseph A. and Angela (Zilembro) Bennette. She had been a resident of The Villages for 14 years.

Prior to retiring, she was employed by the Westport public school system as a cafeteria worker.

Survivors in addition to her husband of 48 years, Charles L. Rossi, include three daughters, LouAnne Benson of Milford, Debra Rossi of Watertown, and Charlene Rossi of Westport; one brother, Salvatore Bennette of Southbury; seven grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Ekayne Schoke, 90

Elayne Schoke of Delray Beach, Fla., a former Westport resident, died Oct. 22. She was 90.

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Elayne Schoke: served Westport’s Temple Israel. Contributed photo

Born Aug. 28, 1924 in Chicago to Sol and Mae Rich, she graduated from Senn High School. She married James “Jim” Asher Schoke March 25, 1945 at the Covenant Club in downtown Chicago during World War II, when he was in the Army Corps of Engineers assigned to work on the Manhattan Project at the University of Chicago.

In 1959 the family moved to Westport, and she restarted her pursuit of a college degree. She graduated from the University of Bridgeport with a BA in education and received her MS in special education from Fairfield University.

She taught part time and became a Girl Scout leader. With her husband, she formed and led the first Temple Israel of Westport Youth Group, in which their daughters participated as teenagers.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Estelle Feldhuhn, 88

Estelle Feldhuhn, a Westport resident for 55 years, died Oct. 22, one day shy of her 89th birthday.

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Estelle Feldhuhn: 55-year Westport resident. Contributed photo

She worked for more than 40 years in the Westport residential real estate business, working both as an independent broker and with some of the town’s best known real estate agencies.

Born in New York City, she was a daughter of the late Henry and Celia (Ennis) Kodar. In 1946, she married Lawrence Feldhuhn, a veteran of World War II,  who was a certified public accountant and served as controller and treasurer of the former Burndy Corp. in Norwalk.

She is survived by her three children and their spouses, Paul Feldhuhn (Staples High School, class of 1967) and his wife, Janelle, of Palm Bay, Fla.; Jeanne Feldhuhn (Staples ‘71) and her husband, Mark Sheridan of Washington Depot; and Michael Feldhuhn (Staples ‘76) and his wife, Margaret “Meg” Curran of Providence, R.I.; her granddaughter, Margaret Elise “Margy”  Feldhuhn of Providence; and her sister Zena Livingston, and her husband, Dr. Leon Livingston, of North Bellemore, N.Y. and their children and grandchildren.

Contributions in Estelle’s memory may be made to Ludlowe Center for Health and Rehabilitation, 118 Jefferson St., Fairfield, CT 06825.

Posted 03:41 PM
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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

James B. Dye, 40

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James B. Dye: Staples grad. Contributed photo

James Brant Dye of Houston, a former Westport resident, died Oct. 7 after a battle with testicular cancer. He was 40.

Born Oct. 9, 1973 in Kansas City, Mo., he graduated Staples High School in Westport and attended Fordham University.

He moved to Houston in 1994 and had a successful career in gas and oil sales. His life was filled with a passion for sports, laughter, and a love for good food, his family said.

His greatest memories were filled with summers in Rockville, Ind. with his grandparents and sister and spending part of his life in Westport with lifelong friends.

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Posted 03:56 PM
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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Elizabeth D. Ensign, 88

Elizabeth Dunlop Ensign of Pinehurst, N.C., a former Westport resident, died Oct. 11 after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 88.

Born in Sanford, N.C. on Dec. 15, 1925 to the late Willard Lincoln Dunlop and Aileen Virginia Terry, she grew up on the Pinehurst dairy farm started by her grandfather J Sheldon Dunlop for Pinehurst founder James Walker Tufts. 

As the wife of a mining executive, she traveled the world with her husband. She lived variously in Bartow, Fla., St. Louis, Mo,, Westport, and White Pine, Mich. She was twice president of the Women’s Auxiliary to the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. (WAAIME), one of only two women to be so honored.

She was an expert sailor and was for many years a member of the Saugatuck Harbor Yacht Club in Westport, and the Apostle Island Yacht Club in Bayfield, Wisc. With her husband Chet, she cruised and raced the waters of the Great Lakes, Long Island Sound, the New England coastline, and the Gulf of Mexico.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Jean N. Groves, 83

Jean Noyes Groves of Yarmouthport, Mass. a former Westport resident, died at her home. She was 83.

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Jean Groves: former Westporter. Contributed photo

Born July 5, 1931, she was the daughter of Katherine (Smith) and William Henry Noyes, of Westport. She graduated from Staples High School and attended Connecticut College in New London.

She was married June 23, 1951 to Malcolm Freeman Grove and devoted herself completely to her husband and children.

Inspired chef, crafter, seamstress, watercolorist, gardener; reluctant skier and sailor; she created countless festive meals and occasions for her family, gamely attempting Julia Child’s boeuf bourguignon and Vidal Sassoon hairstyles long before they were fashionable.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Helen C. Morrow, 90

Helen C. Morrow of Westport died Oct. 6. She was 90.

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Helen Morrow: longtime Westporter. Contributed photo

Born Jan. 9, 1924, she was raised in Brooklyn, N.Y and graduated from Barnard College with high honors. She and her husband Jack recently celebrated their 60th anniversary.

Before settling in Westport, the couple lived in Kansas, Ohio and Maryland. She ran a family business for 30 years and dedicated her life to numerous volunteer organizations.

She was a member of the Saugatuck Congregational Church for 52 years where she served in various ministry positions, in the church library, and in the Church Crafters. She was devoted to the crib room, where she lovingly cared for parishioners’ babies for 30 years.

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Posted 08:22 PM
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Monday, October 13, 2014

Helen E. Rutski, 99

Helen Elizabeth Rutski of Westport died Oct 11 at home. She was 99.

Born in Westport to Bernard and Sophie Stahursky, she was a lifelong resident. She lived when travel was by horse and buggy, followed by trolley cars, and loved to share stories of growing up in the early days of Westport. She grew up on her parents farm on Maple Avenue North and was introduced to gardening at an early age.

She enjoyed and spent many hours planting her flowers and vegetables. She loved to cook and excelled at baking for her family and grandchildren, and was known to make the best apple pie and runner up pumpkin pies, her family said.

She is survived by her children, Carol Miller of New Canaan, her son David and his wife Nancy of Westport, and her son Richard and his wife Dolores of New Jersey; grandchildren, Michael and Alyssa Rutski, Richard Rutski, Jr. and his wife Stacey, Anthony Rutski, and Dorothy Hauser; great grandchildren, Angela and Robbie; one great great grandchild Robbie, and many nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her sisters, Bertha Matis of Westport and Wanda Ornousky of Norwalk and brothers Bernard and John Stahursky of Westport.

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Posted 03:01 PM
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Paulette M. Wallat, 69

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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.

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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.

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Posted 01:13 PM
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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.

Posted 01:23 PM
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Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Emanuel Lieberman, 70

Emanuel “Manny” Lieberman of Westport died Oct. 6. He was 70.

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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.

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Posted 06:34 PM
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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.

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Posted 02:05 PM
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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.

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