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Obituaries

Obituaries

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Rhoda M. Goldman, 91

Rhoda Miller Goldman of Westport, a commercial real estate investor, owner and manager, died June 24. She was 91.

She was greatly loved by her entire extended family and remembered most for her devotion, kindness and generosity, her family said.

Her family said she led “four incredible lives” with late husbands Dr. Jacob Goldman, Dr. Leo Miller, Larry Wolf and Robert Stanley.

She is survived by her grandsons Lawrence and Reuben Rosof, and her great granddaughter Susannah.

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Edward R. Sheldon, 77

Edward R. Sheldon of Westport died June 19. He was 77.

Born April 14, 1935, he was the son of Bernice and the late Max Sheldon. A longtime Westport resident, he is survived by his wife Barbara; children Amy, Wendy and Spencer; grandchildren Maggie and Nicholas, and brother Robert.

“You were truly the kindest and most gentle man, involved with every member of your extended family,” his family said. “We thank you for loving each of us so completely and teaching us so well the most important lessons of life.”

Services were held June 22 at Temple Israel, Westport.

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James E. Barber, 48

James E. Barber of Westport, formerly of Bridgeport and New York City, died June 18. He was 48.

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James Barber: worked with homeless. Contributed photo

Born in Bridgeport, on Nov. 9, 1963, he was the son of Elizabeth Prendergast Barber and the late Ronald “Red” Barber. He attended Southern Connecticut State University and later moved to New York where he attended Columbia and New York Universities.

He was formerly employed by Greenpeace, the Margolis Group Home, and Bailey House in New York City, the nations’ first response to homelessness among men living with AIDS. He was most recently employed by the Gillespie Center in Westport as the evening shift intake supervisor.

He loved his time living in New York City. He loved the culture and the diversity of the people, and he had a deep fondness for and was actively involved in daily life in Westport.

He had a passion for travel, having extensively visited Europe and especially Ireland. He also traveled the United States from coast to coast several times. He was an accomplished guitarist and collector of guitars.

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Stanleigh Wells, 87

Stanleigh Wells of Bridgewater, Conn., a former Westport resident,  died June 21 at Danbury Hospital. He was 87.

Born in Nutley, N.J., he was son of the late Sheldon S. and Maybell Wells. He was a 1942 graduate of Staples High School and attended the University of Virginia for Electrical Engineering and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was a designer for the library supply industry and was the holder of several patents.

In addition to his wife Alison, he is survived by his children: Alden Wells-O’Dwyer of Bridgewater, Leigh Wells of Bridgewater, Keith Wells of Roxbury and Kendall Wells Machado and husband David of Woodbury, his sister-in-law Jean B. Wells of Westport, three grandchildren: Brooke, Erin and Terence, eight great grandchildren and two nephews. He was predeceased by his brothers, Sheldon B. Wells and David S. Wells.

There will be no calling hours. Cremation will take place at the direction of the family. Memorial services will be held at a later date.

06/22/12 03:04 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Jack P. DeWitt, 84

Jack P. DeWitt, a longtime resident of Norwalk and husband of longtime Westport WVEMS volunteer Susan DeWitt, died June 18 at Norwalk Hospital after a battle with cancer. He was 84.

The couple have been among the premier breeders of terriers in Connecticut.

Born in Detroit on April 30, 1928, he was the son of the late Reinhold and Katie DeWitt. He was raised primarily in Watertown, Conn. and attended high school at the Taft School there. He went on to MIT, graduating in 1950.

From MIT, he served as an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from 1951 through 1953 and was stationed in the European Command. He received the Occupation Medal (Germany) and the National Defense Service Medal.

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Swimmer Taken Ill in Triathalon, Later Dies

UPDATE A competitor in in the Targettrainig Sherwood Island Sprint Triathalon today was pulled from the water and CPR administered to the swimmer on the beach shorty after the event began, according to witnesses. He later died at Norwalk Hospital, according to a funeral home obituary.

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Robert Hartline: died Monday at Norwalk Hospital. Contributed photo

A crew from Westport EMS was on standby for the event and responded to the man in distress on the East Beach. An ambulance transported the swimmer to Norwalk Hospital. Witnesses said he apparently suffered a medical complication while swimming, possibly a heart attack. He was brought to the beach by a kayak. No police escort boats or lifeguards were on the water as in many water sports events.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Energy and Environment, which oversees Sherwood Island State Park, said the man was a 62-year-old Wethersfield resident. An obituary from a Wallingford funeral home later identified him as Robert Hartline, a Navy veteran, who marked his 62nd birthday on Saturday.

It said he was an accomplished runner in the 1980s, having competed in the Boston Marathon.

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Patricia C. Taylor, 84

Patricia (Pat) C. Taylor, a longtime resident of Westport and wife of 55 years of Paul C.Taylor Sr., died June 14 at Norwalk Hospital. She was 84.

Born in Bronx, N.Y., she was the daughter of the late Dr. Gerald Carroll and Florence (Donnelly) Carroll.  Prior to raising their four children, she worked as a teacher in the Norwalk school system.

She is a graduate of Georgian Court University in New Jersey and received a Master’s Degree in education from Columbia University.  She served many years as a member of the Assumption Church Women’s Guild.

Later, she started a second career as an administrator at the Southport Racquet Club where she worked for more than 20 years. She had a love for reading, knitting and looked forward to her weekly bridge games with “the ladies.” Her home, neighbors and life at Compo Beach were very dear to her heart.

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

William H. Gish, Jr., 97

William Henry Gish, Jr., a former Westporter, died May 24 at Scripps Encinitas Memorial Hospital in Encinitas, Calif. following a brief illness. He was 97.

He was born april 28, 1915 in Peekskill, N.Y., the son of William H. Gish and Bertha Naylor Gish. After graduating from Peekskill High School, he attended the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton School where he received a degree in economics.  He was a member of Sphinx Honorary Society and Phi Sigma Alpha fraternity.

He spent his career as a corporate investment counselor working for the firm ‘Lionel Edy,’ as well as an additional 28 years on Wall Street specializing in pension management. Upon retirement in 1980, he moved from Westport to Encinitas to be near his son, William Gish, III.

In 1984, he met and married Dorothy Hatfield Mitchell. A true philanthropist, he supported Scripps Memorial Hospital, the San Diego Symphony, the San Diego Zoo, the Magdalena Ecke YMCA, and other charitable organizations.

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Loren F. Northrop, 92

Loren F. Northrop of Big River, Calif., formerly of Westport, died June 10 after after a brief illness. He was 92.

A third generation Westporter, he was born in Saugatuck April 25, 1920 to Frank H. Northrop and Evelyn Crocker Northrop.

“Larry” attended Westport schools, graduating fom Staples High School in 1937.  With the outbreak of World War II, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving on a patrol craft in the Pacific for the duration of the war.

After his discharge, he began his career with the Westport Bank and Trust Co., retiring from the bank in 1979 after 34 years.

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Margaret L. Sloane, 94

Margaret Lunder Sloane, a Westport resident for 62 years, died June 12. She was 94.

She was born Ella Margaret Lunder in Canton, S.D. on May 7, 1918 to Paul M. and Ellida Algarheim Lunder. The Lunders were pioneering Norwegian farmers of the great Dakota Territory.

She attended St Olaf College, a Lutheran liberal arts college in Northfield, Minn. from which she graduated as class salutatorian.

She majored in English and drama, and was a member of the world renowned St. Olaf Choir.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

William M. Kiedaisch, 75

William M. Kiedaisch, a Westport and Lighthouse Point, Fla., resident died May 23 at home. He was 75.

Born Nov. 24, 1936 in Chicago, he was a graduate of Loyola University in Chicago, receiving a B.S. and M.A. in mathematics.

He started his career as a teacher and chairman of the Department of Mathematics of Brother Rice High School, Chicago. From there, he went into computer systems with Western Electric, RCA Data Processing, Northwest Industries, and General Foods.

He retired from Kraft Foods as vice president of information technology in 1996. He owned his own management consultant firm and was a member of the Research Board in New York City.

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Joy Walker, 89

Joy Walker, formerly of Westport and Roxbury, an English teacher at Staples High School for three decades, died June 6. She was 89.

WestportNow.com Image
Joy Walker: taught English at Staples. Contributed photo

She was born March 4, 1923 to Phil and Jessie Schuyler. She graduated from Staples High School in 1940 and Bennington College where she majored in English and minored in modern dance. She received her Masters in Education from the University of Bridgeport. She was a much loved English teacher at Staples High School for more than 30 years.

Her interests included the literary arts, gardening, golf, tennis, fishing, dancing, bird watching, collecting wildflowers and completing The New York Times crossword puzzles.

She loved playing Charades and was nearly impossible to defeat in Scrabble. She was extremely well read but no snob. Finding the inherent good in others was one of her most enduring talents and she maintained a positive outlook on life to the very end. 

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Elizabeth B. Valentik, 72

Elizabeth Berg Valentik of Falmouth Foreside, Maine, a former Westport resident, died June 5 at Gosnell Memorial Hospice House in Scarborough, Maine. She was 72.

The daughter of Elmer and Gladys Drysdale Berg, she was born on Oct. 3, 1939, in Richmond, Ind., and attended Richmond schools, Oak Grove School in Vasselboro, graduated from Richmond Senior High School, and from John Herron Art School of Indiana University in Indianapolis in 1962.

She worked for the Indianapolis Star and Indianapolis newspapers, moved to New York City and worked in advertising before moving to Connecticut. She then worked for Southern New England Telephone Company for 12 years in a variety of jobs in a variety of Connecticut towns.

Married to S. Thomas Valentik in 1977, they lived in Westport until 1985, then moved to Maine.

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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dudley H. Speros, 50

Dudley H. Speros of Westport and Rindge, N.H. died June 7 at his home after a brief illness. He was 50.

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Dudley Speros: homes in Westport and New Hampshire. Contributed photo

Born Dec. 28, 1961 in Winchester, Mass., he was the, son of the late Arthur C. and Sandra D. (Hall) Speros. He was a 1980 graduate of Dover-Sherborn High School and continued his education at Nasson College and graduated from Clark University in 1985 with a Bachelors of Science degree.

Professionally, he was a master negotiator and an accomplished salesman. He took great pride in being an integral part of the Trinity Packaging Corp. team in Armonk, N.Y. and being instrumental in its growth. He was currently serving as the senior vice president in the Consumer Products Division.

Not only was Dud “master of the deal” in his work, he used his craftsman negotiating skills to complete “Dud Deals” for both friends and family in his personal life. Countless friends can look at something they own and smile at the thought of Dud leading their negotiations in its purchase.

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Friday, June 08, 2012

Robert M. Pinto, 78

Robert M. Pinto of Milford, a former Westport resident, died June 6 in Milford Hospital. He was 78.

Born Dec. 14, 1933, he was the son of the late Alphonse Pinto and Caroline Troiano. A veteran of the U.S. Army, he was a 50-year resident of Westport prior to moving to Milford.

Survivors include four sons, Kenneth Pinto of Bridgeport, Daniel Pinto of Milford, Robert Pinto and his wife Jamie of Trumbull, and Richard Pinto of Port St. Lucie, Fla., one daughter Nora Pinto of Milford, four sisters Ann Kling, Norine Forcier, Angela Armentano all of Norwalk. and Louise Kish of Fairfield,. one stepsister Maryann Troiano also of Norwalk, and nine grandchildren In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by one stepbrother, Ralph Troiano.

Friends are invited to attend a funeral on Monday. June 11 at 10 a.m. directly at Assumption Church, 98 Riverside Ave., Westport for a Mass of Christian Burial.

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Thursday, June 07, 2012

Heinz Rueckert, 89

Heinz Rueckert, a resident of Westport for 62 years, died May 17 at Wilton Meadows. He was 89.

Born in Germany, he had been a Westport resident since 1950. He was married to Anita Rueckert for 39 years until her death in 1988. He owned his own painting company in Westport for 30 years.

He is survived by his brother Werner and his wife Irmgard Rueckert of Germany and his three sons: Roger of Newfane, Vt., Robert and his wife JoAnne of Westport, and Michael and his wife Lucretia of Kissimmee, Fla.

His big smile and charisma enriched the lives of all he met. He will be truly missed. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.

06/07/12 07:15 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Jordan Kaplan, 86

Jordan Kaplan (Jordie), husband of Dorothy Kaplan of Westport, died June 6 at Norwalk Hospital. He was 86.

Born Dec. 7, 1925 in Boston, he was the son of the late Joseph and Syd Kaplan. He attended Colby College and also served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. 

He was in the liquor business for 30 years but more importantly he loved to volunteer and spent much of his time helping others at the Veterans Association, Headstart, STAR, Homeless Shelter and coaching Little League.

He is survived by wife Dorothy, sons Matthew and Russell Kaplan and grandchildren, Niko, Sophia and Isabella Kaplan.

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Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Marianne Liberatore, 83

Marianne van Hoorn Liberatore, active in promoting classical music and humanitarian causes in Westport and Fairfield County, died June 1 in her Weston home after a period of declining health. She was 83.

Born Sept. 30, 1928, in Wilmington, Del., she was the daughter of Helen Renner and Albert Willem Westpalm van Hoorn. Helen, of Sandusky Ohio, had an enduring career as an innovative secondary educator. Albert, born in Java, Indonesia, designed classic motor yachts of many sizes.

Marianne spent her childhood in Wilmington and Annapolis, where she was an avid sailor. A precocious student, she graduated high school at 16 and from Oberlin College at age 20 with a double major in history and art history. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

After college she worked in Manhattan as a buyer for Macy’s and a lecturer in retailing at the Tobe-Coburn School.

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Sunday, June 03, 2012

John E. Dulla, 56

John Edward Dulla, a Staples High School graduate, died June 1, in Avon. He was 56.

Born on Sept. 1, 1955 in Nyack, N,Y., he was a son of Francis E. Dulla of Hobe Sound, Fla., and the late Florence Blauvelt Dulla.  He was a 1972 graduate of Staples High School in Westport.

He attained a Bachelor’s of Science degree in industrial management from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1978.  He was a self-employed industrial engineer and entrepreneur. He was an enthusiastic Yankees, Patriots, and Whalers fan.

He is survived by his father, Francis; his brother, Robert Dulla; his sister-in-law, Beth Davis-Dulla; his niece and nephew, Katie and Jack Dulla; and his sister, Diane Dulla. John married Barbara A. Driscoll on Sept. 23, 1978. They were married for 33 years and had made their home in Avon, where they were parishioners of St. Ann’s Catholic Church.

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Friday, June 01, 2012

Joy C. Yinger, 87

Joy C. Yinger, a former Westport resident, died May 16 in the care of Home and Hospice Care of Rhode Island and North Bay Manor in Smithfield, R.I. She was 87.

WestportNow.com Image
Joy C. Yinger: 40-year Westport resident. Contributed photo

Born in New Kensington, Pa., the eldest daughter of the late John and Isabella (Bowen) Cooper, she had lived in Westport for 40 years before moving to Rhode Island in 2004. 

She was a dedicated professional musician and music teacher for more than 60 years, teaching both piano and voice at Cooper Bros. Music, New Kensington, The Westport School of Music, and at her own studio. 

She taught class piano at the Interlochen National Music Camp in Michigan for 24 summers.  Joy, being aptly named, described her home as an “Angel Station” where many souls were uplifted and laughter rang out.

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Mary Irene “May” Fitzgerald, 82

Mary Irene “May” Fitzgerald of Manchester,  a former Westport Board of Education employee, died May 22 at Manchester Memorial Hospital. She was 82.

She was born in Hartford on Dec. 11, 1929 and moved to Manchester in 1951 with her parents, Daniel Thomas Fitzgerald and Margaret (Queenin) Fitzgerald, and her Aunt Mary Irene Queenin. She attended Hillyer College and was graduated from Smith College with an A.B. in English Literature. She earned an M.A. in Guidance from the University of Connecticut in 1960 and received a Sixth Year Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in School Psychology in 1962.

Over 35 years in the educational field in Connecticut included teaching elementary and junior high in East Hartford and being a guidance counselor at Old Saybrook Junior-Senior and at Staples High School in Westport.

The last 26 years of her career were spent in Windham where she was a school psychologist working on all levels. While there, under a federal grant, she was a co-founder and assistant director of a family counseling service called “Self Search” which provided counseling to families in the evening. She retired in 1990.

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Burry Fredrik, 86

Burry Fredrik, a Tony Award-winning producer and noted director, died May 22 at her Weston home. She was 86. Cause of death was complications from a stroke she suffered more than two years ago.

Fredrik, who won a Tony Award for co-producing Tom Stoppard’s “Travesties,” led an active theatrical career spanning more than five decades.  At a time when women rarely held such positions, she made her Broadway debut in 1950 stage managing “The Relapse,” which had transferred from the Brattle Theatre in Boston.

As production stage manager, she would go on to such notable productions as the world premieres of “Inherit the Wind,” Jerry Herman’s first book musical “Milk and Honey,” and two collaborations between playwright William Inge and director Elia Kazan, “The Dark at the Top of the Stairs,” and “Loss of Roses,” the latter starring a young Warren Beatty.

She received her first Tony nomination for co-producing the revival of G.B. Shaw’s “Too True to be Good,” starring Lillian Gish, Eileen Heckart, Cyril Ritchard, and Glynis Johns. Other landmark productions include the 1975 revival of “The Royal Family,” “An Almost Perfect Person,” and “To Grandmother’s House We Go,” which starred Kim Hunter and Eva Le Gallienne.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Robert F. Melville, 82

Robert F. Melville died May 25 at OceanView Retirement Community in Falmouth, Maine. He was 82.

Born in The Hague, Holland, as Robert Augustus Henry Richard John Melvill van Carnbee, he was the son of Henry John and Virginia (Etnier) Melvill van Carnbee. He emigrated to the United States as a young boy in 1935 and was naturalized as Robert Frederic Melville.

Raised in Westport, he attended South Kent School and then Harvard University. He graduated from Harvard Class of 1951 with a degree in government.

He was a U.S. Army veteran having served in the Korean War.

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Marilyn N. O’Halloran, 75

Marilyn (Nardello) “Lynn” O’Halloran, of Clinton and Naples Fla., previously of Wilton, died at home on May 24. She was 75.

The wife of James J. O’Halloran, she was born Dec. 8, 1936 in Naugatuck, daughter of the late James and Winifred Nardello. She graduated from Sacred Heart High School in Waterbury. She was co-founder and partner of the family business, O’Halloran Advertising, 270 Saugatuck Ave., Westport.

She was an active member of her parish St. Mary’s of Clinton.

Besides her husband, she is survived by her children, Dr. James O’Halloran and his wife Bernadette of Litchfield, Cathy Cuddemi of Needham, Mass., Mark O’Halloran and his wife Kim of Easton, Kevin O’Halloran of New York, and Susan Rockett and her husband Ken of Holliston, Mass.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Martin A. Blumenfeld, 83

Martin A. Blumenfeld of Westport died May 21. He was 83.

He was the husband of 28 years to Barbara, father to Laurie and Bob, Karen and Andy, Eric and Kathy and Sue, brother to Michael and Cathy and Joan, and grandfather of Kristen, Samantha,  Jacob,  John, Rebecca and Liana

Memorial services took place on Wednesday, May 23, at the Abraham L. Green and Son Funeral Home in Fairfield.

Memorial contributions to Planned Parenthood, MADD, or Alzheimer’s Association.

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John H. Wentzel, 82

John H. Wentzel, a resident of Darien and longtime Westport Board of Education employee, died May 14 at Stamford Hospital. He was 82

Born July 9, 1929 in Greenwich to the late Henry and Angelina Petrone Wentzel, he was employed with the Westport Board of Education as a school psychologist and school administrator for 35 years.

Following his retirement he was a consultant for the Southern Connecticut Newspapers for the Newspaper in the Educational program and for the Connecticut State Department of Education as a teacher assessor.

He also served with the U.S. Marine Corps, Parris Island, S.C. from 1952-1954. He was a former lifeguard and expert swimmer who taught all his children to swim.

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John B. Love, 86

John B. Love, a resident of Westport for 49 years, died May 17 of a heart attack. He was 86.

Born in Baltimore, Md. in 1925, he attended Loyola College and Harvard University, and obtained an MBA. from Harvard in 1947. He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy, serving during the mid-1940s.

Upon the completion of his service, he began his business career in Willimantic at the American Thread Co., ultimately moving to the New York headquarters and becoming chief executive officer in 1965. He subsequently became the vice chairman of Cadbury-Schweppes, Ltd., from which he retired in 1982.

He was an active civic leader, serving on many corporate and community boards over the years in Willimantic, Westport and Hartford, including Windham Community Memorial Hospital, Norwalk Hospital, Connecticut Bank and Trust, and the Jaycees.

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Ruth M. Brayton, 94

Ruth Montsie Brayton, a former Westport resident, died May 20 in Exeter. She was 94.

Born in Cambridge, Mass., on Oct. 1, 1917, she was valedictorian of her graduating class at Hanover High School, in Hanover. She attended Goucher College where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa in economics.

Her lifelong passion for investing in the stock market began with her undergraduate studies. While working in the banking industry in New York, she met Richard Mark Brayton, an architect, who was to be her husband of 35 years.

They lived in Manhattan leading an active social life, raising their four children in Westport and later in Durham.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

John H. Stewart, 79

John Harold Stewart died May 20 at home. He was 79. A 36-year resident of Westport, he also had homes in Naples, Fla. and Schull, County Cork, Ireland.

Born in Kingston, N.Y., he was the son of the late Harold and Marie Stewart. A graduate of SUNY Maritime College, he received a MBA from New York University.

Serving with the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant from 1954 to 1957, he retired from the U.S. Navy Reserve in 1976 with the rank of captain.

Stewart joined IBM in 1957. He held various management positions in financial planning before being named corporate manager of budgets, General Business Group, in 1970. He became controller for IBM’s Federal Systems Division in 1973 and was named controller of the Data Processing Product Group in 1976. Stewart was elected an IBM assistant controller in 1978 and was elected an assistant teasurer in 1985. He retired in 1995.

He served on the Board of Trustees of several organizations including, New York University Stein School of Business, Glucksman Ireland House of NYU, Financial Executive Institute, International Management and Development Institute, Institute of Internal Auditors, and Search For Change, Inc. where he was the father of their vocational program.

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Phyllis A. Feeney, 89

Phyllis A. Feeney died May 19 at her Westport home. She was 89. She was married to husband James for 69 years until his death in January 2011.

WestportNow.com Image
Phyllis Feeney is shown celebrating her husband Jim’s 90th birthday in July 2009 with neighbors from Vani Court. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Elaine Daignault for WestportNow.com

A lifelong resident of Norwalk and Westport, she accomplished many things in her life of work as an employee and business owner, but her greatest success was as a mother, grandmother, wife and friend, her family said.

The daughter of the late Allyn and Mildred Ostrander Goulden, she is survived by her son David and daughter Martha Harris (Mark), grandchildren Kelly Taylor (Ryan), Sean Harris (Brooke), great grandchildren Sophie and Marin Taylor and Brayden James and Madeline Harris.

A memorial service is planned for the end of June.

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