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Friday, October 02, 2009

Westporter Heidi Armitage Dies at 43

Westporter Heidi Armitage, wife, mother, daughter, sister and great friend to all who knew her, especially those in the Coleytown Elementary School community, died peacefully Wednesday at home surrounded by her loving family. She was 43 and had fought a six-month battle with breast Image
Heidi Armitage: Had “unique ability to light up any room she walked into.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Heidi’s father Bob said his daughter, born Nov. 19, 1965 in Toronto, Canada, always had the “unique ability to light up any room she walked into.”

She lit up the room when she first met her husband, Adam, 23 years ago at camp. In her 20s, she lit up the world as she traveled its length and breadth, looking for—and finding—adventure. And she lit up Westport, her home since December 2000, in her 30s and beyond.

With a twinkle in her eye and a smile on her face, Heidi lived life to the fullest. She always saw the good in everyone and everything, and she sparkled with fun wherever she went.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Carole J. Picard

Carole J. Picard, of Milford, formerly of Westport, and wife of William Smith, passed away Monday, Sept. 28 at Connecticut Hospice, Branford.

Carole was born in Norwalk, daughter of the late Thomas and Bertha (Bogdansky) Cotroneo and had resided in Westport for many years before moving to Milford 30 years ago.

She was the co-owner of the Finishing Touch Gift Shop in Fairfield for many years.

Survivors in addition to her husband include one Aunt, several cousins and many devoted friends.

Family and friends are invited to attend a graveside service on Saturday, Oct. 3 at 11 a.m. in Willowbrook Cemetery, 395 Main St.

The Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Road East, is assisting the family with the arrangements. Memorial contributions in memory of Carole may be made to Conn Hospice, 100 Double Beach Road, Branford CT 06405. 

Posted 08:38 PM
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Jane (Dolly) L. Wilcox, 80

Jane (Dolly) L. Wilcox, 80, of Westport, wife of Anthony L. Wilcox, passed away Tuesday, Sept. 29.

Mrs. Wilcox was born July 9, 1929 in Norwalk and has been a lifelong resident of Westport. A devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother, Mrs. Wilcox also loved music and was a fan of western films.

Survivors in addition to her husband of 59 years, include two daughters, Nancy A. O’Neill of Westport, and Mary C. Purcell and her husband Thomas of Westport; two sons, David P. Wilcox and his wife Kimberly of Norwalk, John A. Wilcox of Westport, two brothers, Joseph Izzo of Westport, Peter Izzo of Strafford, Pa., 11 grandchildren, six great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends in the Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Road East, Friday from 9 a.m. to 9:40 a.m. The funeral will leave the funeral home at 9:40 a.m. and go to Assumption Church, 98 Riverside Ave. for a Mass of Christian Burial. Interment will follow in Assumption Cemetery, Greens Farms.

Contributions in memory of Mrs. Wilcox may be made to Eternal Word Television Network, 5817 Old Leeds Road, Irondale, AL 35210

Posted 08:33 PM
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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Emily Haines Davidson, 93

Emily Haines Davidson, a longtime resident of Westport and Weston, died on Aug. 26 at the age of Image
Emily Haines Davidson: longtime resident of Westport and Weston. Contributed photo

She was born and grew up in Philadelphia, Pa, a city she loved for its place in American history.  It was in Philadelphia, at the Chambers Wylie Presbyterian Church, that she met her future husband, William A.B. Davidson, a Canadian college student at the Philadelphia Textile Institute, which was directly across from the church.

Early in their marriage, they moved to Westport, where they immediately became active in the community. Emily was involved in the early days of the Friends of the Westport Library. 

Emily and Bill loved art, music, literature and the theater.  Many of their close friends were artists, writers and theatrical producers.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Noted Westport Illustrator Bernie Fuchs Dies at 76

Bernie Fuchs, a Westport illustrator whose influential work ranged from presidential portraits to classic racing cars, died Thursday of esophageal cancer at a care facility in Fairfield, the Washington Post said today. He was 76. Image
Bernie Fuchs: balanced art and commerce. File photo

His work appeared in many magazines from Cosmopolitan to Sports Illustrated and seamlessly blended qualities of traditional narrative with hints of abstract composition, the newspaper said.

Among his portraits was one of President John F. Kennedy, now in the Kennedy Library permanent collection,. “I spent a half hour with him,” Fuchs recently recalled. “When I walked out, I was literally in a daze. I just couldn’t believe I was just with the president of the United States.”

Fuchs was adept at balancing art and commerce. “He met the needs of mass-circulation magazines accustomed to Norman Rockwell-style realism, but he injected a fresh vitality and impressionism that became hugely popular and transformed the illustration field,” the Washington Post said.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pauline Garrido, 83

Mrs. Pauline Garrido, 83, wife of Hector J. Garrido, passed away Tuesday, Sept. 8 in Norwalk Hospital.

Mrs. Garrido was born in Great Yarmouth, England, Jan. 29, 1926, daughter of the late John and Dorothy Henderson and had resided in Buenos Aires, Argentina prior to moving to Westport more than 50 years ago.

A loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother; she is a former tennis player and a great competitor. She played in many state and out of state tournaments and was ranked.

Mrs. Garrido also played at the Longshore Country Club where she was the woman’s tennis champion through the mid 1960s. She will be deeply missed by both her family and friends.

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Sharing Westport Memories Image
Edgar T. See (l), a longtime Westport attorney who was active in many local causes, reminisced about his Westport memories 10 days ago with longtime friend Allen Raymond, Westport’s municipal historian, at See’s home in the Compo Mill Cove area. See died Monday night after a long battle with cancer at the age of 93. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 06:35 PM
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Edgar T. See, Longtime Westport Attorney, Dies at 93 Image
Ed See: He was grand marshal at this year’s Memorial Day parade. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for
Edgar T. See, a longtime Westport attorney who served as Town Attorney and a member of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM), died Monday night at Norwalk Hospital.. He was 93.

See, who had served as this year’s grand marshal at the Memorial Day parade, had been battling cancer for some time. He was also grand marshal in 1946.

“Westport has lost another icon,” said First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff. “Ed See, like Leo Nevas whose death preceded his by several weeks, was one of those who made Westport the great town it is today. His commitment to public service was legendary. He shall be dearly missed.”

See was a founding partner in the Westport law firm of Wake, See, Dimes, Bryniczka, Day & Bloom (now merged into Berchem, Moses & Devlin). He was elected to the first RTM in 1949 but resigned before the first meeting to become Town Attorney. He later returned to serve a full term in 1955-57 and another in 1967-69.

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Sunday, September 06, 2009

Albie Loeffler, Founder of Staples Soccer Progam, Dies at 93


Albie Loeffler — the founder of the soccer program at Westport’s Staples High School— died today at his home in Oxford, N.C. Active and independent until breaking his hip earlier this summer, he would have been 94 years old on Image
Albie Loeffler: coached first varsity team in 1958. photo

Mr. Loeffler — no player, and few alumni, ever called him “Albie” — retired with a then-national record 314 wins. His teams won 13 FCIAC championships — including five in a row — and seven state titles (including a then-national record five in a row). More than 175 of his players went on to play college soccer. Many became captains, and several enjoyed professional careers.

Mr. Loeffler also coached basketball, baseball and track at Staples, and is a member of the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame as a referee. One of the premier soccer officials in the nation, he refereed the first-ever two-man system college game, as well as the very first NCAA Division I finals.

When Mr. Loeffler arrived at Staples in 1952 — replacing legendary physical education teacher and coach Roland Wachob, who died at 39 of cancer — he was already a highly regarded coach. For 10 years he had taught history and coached at Windsor’s Ellsworth Memorial High School, winning two state championships in basketball and one in soccer.

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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Noted Cookbook Author Sheila Lukins, Staples ’60, Dies at 66

Sheila Block Lukins, a former Westporter and 1960 Staples High School graduate whose “The Silver Palate” cookbook helped popularize gourmet cooking in America’s home kitchens, has died. She was Image
Sheila Block Lukins: co-author of “Silver Palate” cookbook. File photo

Lukins, who also operated a pioneering gourmet takeout shop, died Sunday at her home in New York City, announced Parade magazine, where she had been food editor.

Lukins was diagnosed with brain cancer three months ago.

“The Silver Palate” is one of the top 10 best-selling cookbooks of all time. She wrote it with her business partner, Julee Rosso, in 1979, two years after they opened one of the nation’s first gourmet takeout shops, in New York City.

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Final Farewell to Westport’s Leo Nevas Image
Family and friends today escort the coffin of Westport attorney Leo Nevas from Norwalk’s Congregational Beth El en route to a cemetery. Hundreds attended the service for the legendary Westporter who died Wednesday at the age of 97. (See WestportNow Aug. 27, 2009) Among them was a member of the family of the late Nobel laureate and Soviet dissident Andrei D. Sakharov who said her entire family joined in mourning the passing of the renowned fighter for international human rights. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Anna T. Nappa, 95

Mrs. Anna T. Nappa, 95, of Westport, wife of the late Michael J. Nappa, Jr., passed away Monday, Aug. 24 at Norwalk Hospital.

Mrs. Nappa was born Aug. 31, 1913, in Irwin, Pa., daughter of the late Joseph and Pamella (Tamula) Zavodny and has been a resident of Westport for the past 70 years.

Survivors include two daughters, Barbara Ann DeMattia and Marion Louise Nappa both of Westport; two sons, Michael J. Nappa III of Milford, and Robert J. Nappa, Sr. and his wife Linda of Wilton; two sisters, Helen Korchman and Mary Lombardi, both of Palm Beach, Fla.; one brother, Joseph Zavodny of Monroe, four grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

The family will greet friends on Monday from 4 to 8 p.m. in the Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Road East.

Friends are invited to attend the funeral Tuesday 9:30 a.m. from the Harding Funeral Home, and at 10 a.m. in Assumption Church, 98 Riverside Ave., for a Mass of Christian Burial. Interment will follow in Assumption Cemetery, Kings Highway North. Memorial contributions in memory of Mrs. Nappa may be made to Assumption Church.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Leo Nevas, Westport Legal Icon, Dies at 97

UPDATE Leo Nevas, lawyer, philanthropist, international human rights activist, and a Westporter involved in Jewish causes for 70 years, died Wednesday at his Westport home. He was 97. Image
Leo Nevas: Longtime Westport attorney. File photo

Nevas, a one-time Westport municipal judge who drove himself to his law office on Post Road East until several months ago, had suffered a mild stroke in May and a more serious one on Sunday.

“Our town and our nation have lost not only an icon of the legal profession but a man who came to symbolize how one person can make a difference in the lives of so many here in Westport and around the world,” said First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff.

“In Westport, he will be remembered as a giant who not only shaped our modern history but someone who helped make our town the warm and welcoming place it is today. There is no finer legacy.”

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pat Coplen, Former P&Z and ZBA Official, Dies at 89

Patricia E. Coplen, a longtime Westporter active in community affairs and former chair of the Planning and Zoning Commission as well as member of the Zoning Board of Appeals, died today at her Westport home. She was Image
Pat Coplen (l) posed with fellow League of Women Voters members before a 2004 tag sale. Contributed photo

Before and after serving in elected office, beginning in 1964, Coplen was active in the League of Women Voters of Westport, which recently celebrated its 60th anniversary.  She served on numerous committees and study groups.

She was also active in the Friends of Sherwood Island State Park where she was instrumental in securing initial funding for the recently opened Nature Center.

“Westport has lost a dedicated public servant,” said First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff. “Westport is a better town thanks to Pat Coplen. Our deepest condolences to Jack and the Coplen family.”

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Christine English Palmer, 85

Christine English Palmer, 85, of Westport, passed away on Saturday, Aug. 22 at Norwalk Hospital after a brief illness.

She is predeceased by her husband, Frank T. Palmer.

Christine was born in Norwalk and lived most of her life in Westport. She was a devoted homemaker, mother and grandmother.

To the delight of her family and friends, she was a talented cook and baker and above all else, Christine loved her family and will be greatly missed.

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Note: WestportNow Publisher Gordon F. Joseloff is also First Selectman of Westport