Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Frederick A. D’Aiuto, a lifelong Westport resident and husband of Shirley (Tedesco) D’Aiuto, died April 8 at Norwalk Hospital. He was 80.
Born Oct. 1, 1931 in the Bronx, N.Y., son of the late Anthony and Jennie D’Aiuto, he was a master craftsman and designer of kitchens and fine cabinets.
A 1950 graduate of Staples High School, he was a member of the South Norwalk Boat Club, the Knights of Columbus Westport chapter, and the Westport Sons of Italy where he served as one of the original organizers of the Festival Italiano. He was also a U.S. Army veteran and served in the Korean conflict.
Survivors in addition to his wife of 60 years, include five nephews; Dean Lindquist, Raymond D’Aiuto, Joseph D’Aiuto , Anthony D’Aiuto and John D’Aiuto, and three nieces, Victoria D’Aiuto, Paige Kousidis and Beth Stallings. He was also predeceased by his brothers Joseph D’Aiuto, Raymond D’Aiuto and his sister Florence Jackson.
Alison Rice Willard of Wilmington, N.C., a former Westport resident, died April 3. She was 89.
Born May 17, 1922, she was raised in New Jersey and was a graduate of the University of North Carolina - Greensboro. She spent the majority of her adult life sharing time in Westport and Vergennes, Vt.
She was an avid volunteer and supporter of the American Red Cross, giving countless hours to blood banks and service to families in need. Her greatest love and devotion was to her family.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 64 years, Donald Willard. She is survived by sons, Scott Willard and Malcolm Willard; daughter, Laura Willard Ratcliff and her husband, Thomas Ratcliff; grandchildren, Matthew Willard Ratcliff and his wife, Melissa, and Sarah Ratcliff Cooper and her husband, Derick; and great-granddaughter, Addison Kate Cooper.
Monday, April 09, 2012
Andrew Tobias Wolfson, a longtime Westporter who was instrumental in gaining support for the Westport Center for Senior Activities, died April 3. He was 94.
He was an award-winning citizen of Westport for 34 years, He and his late wife Janet, who died in 1984, joined the community after 20 years in South Norwalk, and loved their new home.
He was a vital member of the Y’s Men of Westport Weston and a leading advocate for the Center for Senior Activities. With his powers of articulation and the energy of ethical commitment, he served as vice chair of the Commission for Senior Services, and on the Site Committee.
After hours of meetings and phone calls, yards of typewriter ribbon, and a sheaf of letters to the Westport News, he could not have been prouder at the opening ceremonies of the Center in January 2004—the jewel in the crown of his devotion to Westport, and now one of Westport’s jewels.
UPDATE (adds memorial service) Lewis A. Wirth Jr., former owner of Wirth and Son Plumbing & Heating of Westport, died March 17 in St. Petersburg, Fla. He was 88.
A proud veteran of World War ll, he retired to Inverness where he was captain of the sheriff’s volunteer neighborhood watch and president of Fletcher’s Music Club.
Predeceased by daughter Lucinda May Kerrigan of Westport, he is survived by his wife, Loretta Wirth of St. Petersburg; son Lewis lll of Westport; daughters Sandra Beardsley of St. Petersburg, Wendy Spencer of Inverness; seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, April 28 at 4 p.m. at the Harding Funeral Home in Westport.
Mary Frances Sullivan, a former Westport school teacher, died April 1 in University Place, Wash. She was 65.
She was a special education teacher at Sunset Primary School in University Place. Born in Waterbury on July 19, 1946 to Mary and Frank D’Ambrose of Oakville, Conn., she graduated from the University of Hartford and soon after began her teaching career in Westport.
In 1975, she married Gerard Sullivan and moved west with him to help him establish his chiropractic practice in University Place, where they have lived for 37 years. Teaching positions were scarce in 1975, and her teaching career was interrupted for some 17 years while she worked as a manager for AT&T/Pacific NW Bell/US West.
Her return to teaching was done mostly at Sunset Primary, a school and school family she loved. She loved singing in the St. Charles Chancel Choir and enjoyed the many activities and friendships in the Chambers Bay Greater Federation of Women’s Club.
Thursday, April 05, 2012
James “Jim” H. MacNaughton of Newtown, previously of Fairfield, died April 3. He was 89.
An architect, MacNaughton was a retired vice president of Petrucci Construction in Westport. He was also a member of the Fairfield County Hunt Club in Westport, where his family kept their own stable of horses.
Known as “Mac,” he was born in 1922 in Newton, Mass. He grew up in Newton and graduated from Williston Academy in Easthampton, Mass. MacNaughton met his wife at Syracuse University, where he majored in architecture.
During World War II, he served two years in the Pacific in the Navy as an aerographer. After the war, MacNaughton was employed by the Coolidge, Shepley, Bulfinch and Abbott architecture firm in Boston.
Mario R. Talin, Sr. of Danbury, a longtime employee of Porky Manero’s Steak House in Westport, died April 3 at Danbury Hospital. He was 83.
The husband of Antoinette (Scalzo) Talin was born in Venice, Italy, June 23, 1928, a son of the late Carpi and Gemma (Salvatore) Talin. He attended schools in Italy and at the age of 18 emigrated to the United States, first settling in New York City.
A resident of Danbury for 70 years, he was a retired member of the wait staff of Porky Manero’s Steak House of Westport where he had been employed for 32 years. The restaurant, now Rizzuto’s Wood-Fired Trattoria and Bar at 540 Riverside Ave., opened in 1959 and closed its doors in 1992.
He was also a retired maintenance man with Consolidated School of New Fairfield.
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Scores of persons attended a memorial service today at Westport’s Christ & Holy Trinity Church for R. Gavin S. Anderson, the former Westport selectman and Board of Finance member who died March 26 at the age of 74. Dewey Loselle, a good friend, told the mourners that Anderson had planned every aspect of the service. “Gavin even gave instructions for the bagpiper,” he said. “‘Amazing Grace’ is not to be played as he considered it a bastardized song, not fitting to the pipes.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
A memorial service for R. Gavin S. Anderson, the former Westport selectman and Board of Finance member, was held today at Westport’s Christ & Holy Trinity Church. Close friend Dewey Loselle said Anderson, who died March 26 at age 74 after a long illness, had meticulously planned the service. “You see, every piece of music you are hearing, every poem, every hym, every reading was carefully picked out by Gavin,” Loselle said. “It was his last gift to us.” Addressing his friend, Loselle said: “Even in death, you still managed to set a high bar of expectations, my friend, so I hope you’ll agree with the job we’re doing so far.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
Sunday, April 01, 2012
Dori Anne Bechtold of Weston, formerly of Westport, died March 30 in St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Bridgeport. She was 62.
Born and raised in Freeport, N.Y., she was the daughter of the late Edward and Edna Bedell Bechtold. Growing up on the water in Long Island nurtured what would be a lifelong love of water activities that included beach visits and lap swimming at the Westport Weston Family Y. She also enjoyed tending to her home and garden. She found great satisfaction in helping others.
Working in sales for Cuthberson Imports for many years, she changed her career to become a certified nurse’s aid, and cared for many clients with her private practice. She truly loved her family and friends and possessed a gift for making those in her life feel uniquely special. She will be deeply missed by her family, friends, and the many individuals whom she so positively touched.
She is survived by her sister, Edwinna Nault, of Cape Canaveral, Fla.; her brother, Kimball Bechtold, and his wife, Joan, of Southport; her niece and nephews, Tracy Buck, of Rockledge, Fla., Scott Nault, of Merritt Island, Fla., Justin Bechtold, of Black Rock, Gavin Bechtold, of San Diego, Calif.; grandniece and grandnephews, Heather and Devyn Nault, Eric Nault; longtime devoted friend, Patricia Giannini, of Weston.
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Mary McFeely of Westport died March 30 at Yale-New Haven Hospital. She was 74.
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the daughter of Henry and Cynthia (Hope) Roberts, she was the wife of Jim F. McFeely for 47 years. A devoted and faithful woman, she enjoyed knitting, painting, playing piano and baking cakes for special occasions. She was well-known around Westport as she would walk to the local shops.
In addition to her husband, she is survived by her four children; Helen Dilworth and her husband Mike of Easton, Madeleine McFeely of Norwalk, Friar Jude Mary of the Precious Blood, Fl, of Griswold, and Mary McFeely of Westport and Buenos Aires, eight grandchildren: Monica, Michael, Francis, John, Jane, Mary, Chiara and Colette Dilworth, as well as her siblings; Libby Augspauch, John Roberts and Cynthia Seiguer all of Argentina, and brother Edward Roberts of New Hampshire. She was predeceased by her brother Henry Roberts.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, April 3 at Assumption Church, Westport, with burial to follow at Assumption Cemetery, Greens Farms.
Native Westporter John M. Bieling Jr., a.k.a. Junior, a plain spoken, garrulous grill man who kept memories of old Westport alive to all who came to Jr.‘s Hot Dog Stand on Riverside Avenue, died Friday at Bridgeport Hospital. He was 80.
Beiling, a Staples High School graduate and a lifelong school sports booster, opened the stand, actually a riverfront sit down restaurant with counter seats and tables, in 1976 with his late wife Carol Digisi Bieling, a Westport teacher.
Prior to opening the restaurant, Bieling, a Korean War veteran, tended bar at Joseph J. Clinton VFW Post down the road. Before that stint, he owned and operated The Jockey Club, a restaurant and bar in Saugatuck.
In 2004, the couple sold the restaurant to Jeff Arciola, a Johnson and Wales graduate, who remodeled the interior and revamped the menu from mostly burgers and hot dogs to offer more salads and healthier fare.
Harriet L. Hodish, wife of Hyman Hodish of Westport, died March 30 at Notre Dame Convalescent Home in Norwalk. She was 84.
Born April 13, 1927 in Stamford, she was the daughter of the late Minna and Louis Levenson. In addition to her husband, Hyman, she is survived by her son Michael Hodish.
Funeral Services will be held on Sunday, April 1, at 11 a.m. in the Collins Funeral Home, 92 East Ave., Norwalk. Burial will follow in Beth El Memorial Park, Richards Avenue, Norwalk. Shiva will be observed at the home of Hyman Hodish from 2 p.m. on Sunday until Thursday evening. Minyan will gather at 7:30 p.m. each evening.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to Congregation Beth El, 109 East Ave., Norwalk, CT 06851, or to the Alzheimer’s Association 2075 Silas Deane Highway, Suite 100, Rocky Hill, CT 06067.
William A. Romano, a Staples High School graduate, died Feb. 17 at Sun City Hospice House, Ruskin, Fla. after a brief illness. He was 83.
He was born on July 17, 1928 in Norwalk and attended Staples High School in Westport. He served in the U.S. Army as PFC during the Korean War from 1949-1951 and then went on to become a partner/owner of L & L Air Conditioning and Heating of Norwalk until his retirement to Ruskin.
He was an avid golfer and loved race horses. He will be remembered for his generosity and kindness.
He is survived by his daughter, Lori Romano, his step-son Bruce Laurance of St. Petersburg, Fla., his brother, Richard Romano of Norwalk, and his life partner, Jeanne Carter of Ruskin. He was preceded in death by his wife Freda (Rosenbloom) Romano and his parents, William and Mary Romano. Services will be private.
Friday, March 30, 2012
Robert Gavin Stewart Anderson of Westport, husband of Kendall Gardiner, died March 26. He was 74.
Born in England to the late George and Isabel Anderson, he was a veteran of the British Royal Navy having served four years on active duty and seven years in the reserves. Prior to his retirement, he was a senior executive for Colgate Palmolive where he lived in several different countries around the world. He was a member of the Foreign Trade Council, the U.S./South African Business Council which he helped create, and the Council on Economic Priorities.
He was most recently a selectman on the Board of Selectman for the Town of Westport. He also served on the Westport Representative Town Meeting, the Board of Finance for seven years, a chair and member of the Selectman’s Maintenance Study Committee, the Saugatuck River Watershed Partnership, and the Sherwood Mill Pond Committee. He was also an active member of the Westport Sunrise Rotary Club.
He was the father of four children, Heather Dubrosky and Kirstin O’Gorman, both of Fairfield, Amanda Matiello of Virginia, and Jay Anderson of Florida. He is also survived by two sisters, Juliet Hubbard and Rosaland Wolfes, both of England, and seven grandchildren, Ethan Dubrosky, Luke and Declan O’Gorman, Sophia Dubrosky, Sara and Dillon Matiello and Nicholas Anderson.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
By James Lomuscio
As international obituaries painted the legendary Hilton Kramer as a harsh, poison pen critic who could send shivers through the art world, even shutter galleries, one local artist recalled the former Westporter who died at 84 from heart failure in Maine Tuesday as “very kind and inspirational.”
“Everybody has a different opinion of him, but we loved him,” said Ann Chernow who with her late husband Burt Chernow, an art historian, were close friends of Kramer and his wife Esta. “He was very different from what people thought of him as a critic, and he was always very kind to us.”
Kramer has been described as a no nonsense, acerbic critic who embraced modernism while deriding postmodernism, pop art and conceptual art during his tenure at The New York Times from 1965 to 1982.
According to The Times, he once called postmodernism “a revolt against the basic traditions of Western civilization.”
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Mark G. Channing of Orlando, Fla., a former Westport resident as well as resident of Marblehead, Mass., died Feb. 29 at the Meadows in North Andover, Mass. He was 86.
He was born July 5, 1925 in Berlin, Germany, son of Jacob and Manya Baum and stepson of Jack Goldberg.
He is survived by his daughters, Candace Channing and her husband Salvatore LaRusso of Fairfield, Stacey Channing and her husband Robert Portney of Andover, Mass.; and his four granddaughters, Lindsay LaRusso and her husband Lucas DeDeus, Lauren LaRusso, Chelsea Portney and Lisa Portney.
An immigrant who fled from Germany to arrive in the United States after two years in Cuba, he and his family came through Ellis Island and settled in New York City. On his 18th birthday, he joined the U.S. Army and the next two years found him in Europe in some of the heaviest fighting and bloodiest battles of World War II. A recipient of three Purple Hearts and a Victory Medal, he fought in Normandy on D-Day.
Richard H. Wilson of Sandy Hook (formerly of Fairfield), a former employee of Brooks Community Newspapers in Westport, died Feb. 22. He was 59.
A graduate of Fairfield Country Day School, he attended Tabor Academy in Marion, Mass., the King School in Stamford as well as Roger Ludlowe High School. Upon graduation from New England College he pursued a career in photography.
He engaged in both studio work and freelance event projects. Later he was employed at Brooks Community Newspapers in Westport.
A lifelong sailor, he was an avid participant in yacht racing. A member of Fayerweather Yacht Club, he raced his 38-foot yawl, ARTEMIS. More often he crewed on numerous other racing yachts.
John A. Hojdich of Trumbull, a longtime butcher at Westport’s Westfair Market, died March 23 at Bridgeport Health Care. He was 94.
He was born in Bridgeport to the late Paul and Julia (Zubricsky) Hojdich and was a longtime Trumbull resident. He was employed many years as a butcher at Westfair Market in Westport.
He was a World War II Army veteran, He was also an usher at the 4 p.m. mass at St. Catherine of Siena for many years, where he greeted everyone with a smile and a piece of candy.
He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Wanda Piurek Hojdich of Trumbull; one son Ronald Hojdich and his wife, Charlotte of Stratford; two granddaughters Laurie Hojdich and Julie Press and her husband Jeffrey of New York; and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sister Mary Keller and two brothers Frank and Paul.
Monday, March 26, 2012
By James Lomuscio
UPDATE (adds services) Westporter R. Gavin S. Anderson, a stalwart Republican who served on the Board of Finance for seven years and later as selectman before resigning in 2010 for health reasons, died early today at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Bridgeport after being ill for some time. He was 74.
R. Gavin S. Anderson: had been receiving dialysis treatment. WN file photo
A message relayed to friends said he died at about 12:30 a.m. and quoted wife Kendall Gardiner as saying: ““My sweet Prince, my beloved Gavin, slipped from my arms into the arms of the Angels and is with our heavenly Father”.
A British subject who later became an American citizen, moving with his wife to Westport in 1977, Anderson had been receiving palliative care at St. Vincent’s. The palliative care came after more than two years of various treatment protocols, such as dialysis, had been suspended so he could rest comfortably, said the Rev. John H. Branson, Rector at Christ & Holy Trinity Church where Anderson was a parishioner.
“Where we have been his drivers to and from Fairfield for his dialysis treatments, it is now time for us with prayer and gratitude to give him back to God from whence he came,” Branson wrote in an email to friends as Anderson’s death was imminent. “He has relished your company and companionship on those journeys to and from dialysis, treasuring the opportunity to share stories, a bit of history, laughter and wisdom with each of you.”
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Elizabeth Christine (Horn) Abbott, a former teacher at Westport’s Bedford Junior High School, died March 23 in Belfast, Maine. She was 86.
She was born Aug. 3, 1925 in Bridgeport to Julius Henry and Christine Bessie (Howe) Horn. The family moved to Stratford in 1926, and she graduated from Stratford High in 1943. She graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in education.
After teaching in Stratford, she continued at Bedford Junior High in Westport during which time she earned her Master of Arts degree at the University of Bridgeport and a fellowship at Yale University.
In 1956, she married William Abbott of Verona, Maine settling in Belfast. She was a member of First Church, UCC, Belfast, serving on numerous committees, was a member of Northport Golf Club, was on the board of the Rainbow Girls, the Waldo Hospital Aid, Sweetser Board, American Red Cross, a volunteer at Penobscot Marine Museum and a longtime member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood.
Friday, March 23, 2012
Joseph Kohout, co-founder of Quigley and Kohout Electric in Westport in the 1950s, died March 18 at home in Dummerston, Vt. He was 91.
The youngest of four children of George Kohout and Mary Ellen McNamara, he was born Nov. 14, 1920 and was educated in New York City.
In 1943, he joined the Merchant Marines and served as a purser and pharmacist mate until the war’s end. He shipped out several times—to South America, the South Pacific and the North Atlantic and shared lively stories of the people and experiences he had during his time at sea.
After the war, he owned and operated a Sunoco station in Brooklyn, N.Y. with a partner, Buddy Simpson. It was at this time that he met Helen Griffin, a secretary for UNICEF at the United Nations.
Lea A. Cooper, a former Westporter, died Jan. 11. She was 85.
Born in 1926, she would have celebrated her 86th birthday on May 16. Originally from Jamaica, Queens, N.Y., she lived in Rio de Janeiro for four years before returning to Westport in 1961 where she raised her children.
With her children grown, she spent many years living in Southport, where she worked and pursued her interests in travel with her closest friend Lucille.
She retired to Brevard, N.C. where she devoted her time to volunteering at The Sharing House, a philanthropy dedicated to the poor and the homeless. As her heath declined she relocated back to Connecticut to be close to her family.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Brooke Tiffany Prudhon of East Haven, a former Westport resident, died March 18 at her home. She was 31.
Born in Freemont, Calif., she was the daughter of Cameron J. Prudhon of Monroe and Chantal Poggi of Berlin. Along with her parents, she is survived by her sister, Ami Prudhon of Lewiston, Maine.
A graveside service will be held on Friday, March 23 at 10 a.m in Rose Hill Memorial Park, 580 Elm St., Rocky Hill.
Friends may call on Thursday, March 22, from 6 to 8 p.m.at Doolittle Funeral Home, 14 Old Church St., Middletown and may send messages to the family at http://www.doolittlefuneralservice.com.
Monday, March 19, 2012
Robert William Steele, longtime Westport resident, died March 18. He was 94
Born Aug. 26, 1917 in Uniontown, Pa., he graduated from Wharton School of Finance and Commerce at the University of Pennsylvania.
He was a devoted husband to his wife Kathryn (Kitty) Munger. They were married in 1941 and moved to Westport at that time.
He joined Remington Arms in 1941 and worked there until his retirement as secretary and treasurer in 1982. The couple spent many years with friends enjoying Compo Beach and as participating members of Saugatuck Congregational Church.
Ruth V. (Strong) Ashcraft, long active in Westport civic affairs including eight years on the Representative Town Meeting (RTM), died March 14. She was 87. In 2004 (above), she was the proud recipient of the Silver Donkey Award given by the Democratic Women of Westport. See obituary here. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jessica Bram for WestportNow.com
Ruth V. (Strong) Ashcraft, long active in Westport civic affairs including eight years on the Representative Town Meeting (RTM), died March 14. She was 87.
Born April 30, 1924 in Cleveland, Ohio, she was a 44-year resident of Westport where she dedicated herself to the civic affairs and was a fierce defender of women’s rights. In 2004, she was the proud recipient of the Silver Donkey Award given by the Democratic Women of Westport.
She served for eight years on the RTM from 1971 to 1979 where she chaired the Education Committee, and was a member of the Staples Modernization Committee in the 1970s.
Over the years, she served on the board of the League of Women Voters of Westport and was instrumental in the promotion of a resolution by the RTM supporting the Equal Rights Amendment.
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Everett V. Wakeman, husband of the late Lillian E. Wakeman and lifelong resident of Westport, died March 16 in Bridgeport Hospital. He was 88.
Born Jan. 21, 1924 in Westport, he was a son of the late Dwight and Eva (Mills). Wakeman. A U.S. Army World War II veteran, he participated in the North African Campaign, the Invasion of Anzio, Italy, France and the German Black Forest.
He was instrumental in fund-raising and acquiring the new location for the Joseph J. Clinton VFW Post 399 on Riverside Avenue in Westport and remained an active member.
He worked for Turnpike Pontiac as a mechanic for 45 years and then for L and L Evergreen for another 25 years until he retired. He enjoyed traveling with his family and loved his dogs Sydney, Emma, Jacob and Jack. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather.
Anthony “Tony” F. Slez, Jr., a longtime Westport resident where he practiced law before moving to Wisconsin, died March 17 of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with his irreverent sense of humor good to the end, his family said. He was 65.
Born on May 23, 1946, he was the only son of Vanetta (Benos) and Tony Slez, Sr. He was married to Margaret (“Peggy”) Gorczynski on Jan. 27, 1973.
In addition to his wife and best friend—and former member of Westport’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM)—he is survived by his son Adam and daughter-in-law Jennifer Huck, as well as by his brothers- and sisters-in-law James and Elizabeth (Weiler) Gorczynski of Le Mars, Iowa, and Dr. Michael and Rosanne (McCann) Gorczynski of Brookfield, Wisc. He is also survived by nieces, nephews, cousins, and uncle Bernardin Slez of Myrtle Beach, S.C. He was preceded in death by both of his parents, his uncles Art Benos and Carl Slez, and his aunt Agnes (Slez) Sherwood.
He grew up and lived most of his life in Westport. He attended Assumption School from 1951 to 1960 and graduated from Fairfield Prep in 1964. Throughout his life, he fondly recalled memories of his Jesuit education.
Friday, March 16, 2012
William E. Roschen III of Westport, husband of Cathryn A. Roschen, died today (March 16) at Connecticut Hospice in Branford after a long courageous battle with cancer. He was 51.
Born Oct, 5, 1960 in New York City, he was a son of William E. Roschen Jr. and Susan Brown Roschen. He was a resident of Greenwich until 2001 when he moved to Westport.
He graduated Browning High School in New York and then attended Skidmore College and Pace University where he received his Bachelor’s degree. He worked at GMP Securities in New York City.
The joy of his life was his family.