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Obituaries

Obituaries

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Joan P. Smith, 87

Joan Patricia Smith of Westport died Aug. 11 at Edgehill in Stamford, where she had been a resident for a short time. She was 87.

She was the daughter of Dr. William Francis and Helen (Finnegan) Flanagan. She was raised in New Britain with her four siblings, Helen Walsh, William “Billy” Flanagan (deceased), Barbara “Bobby” Barry (deceased), and Jean Sposato.

She attended Moreland Hill School in Kensington, Conn., and then Trinity College in Washington D.C. She continued her education in music at Rochester School of Music in Rochester, N.Y, and then at the Julliard School, where she studied piano, her lifelong love.

She loved her life in Westport, and was involved in the community as a member of the Westport Garden Club and the Westport Historical Society.

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08/22/12 09:53 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Don Z. Filson, 65

Don Z. Filson of Roanoke, Va., a former Westport resident, died at his home on Aug. 18 after a two-year courageous battle with ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease). He was 65.

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Don Filson: 1965 Staples grad . Contributed photo

Born in Chicago on Feb. 14, 1947 to Floyd V. Filson and Marguerite B. Filson, he was originally from Cleveland. He spent his high school years in Westport where he was captain of the football and wrestling teams and graduated from Staples in 1965.

He graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1969 and proudly served his country in the U.S. Army until 1971. After five years as a surety bond underwriter, he was hired by the Roanoke office of Thomas Rutherfoord, Inc. as a surety bond agent and was a dedicated Thomas Rutherfoord employee for 35 years.

He was probably best known for his honesty, generosity, sense of humor, keen wit, infectious laugh, sincere concern for others, love of sports and music, and of course, his slight-of-hand card magic, his family said.

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08/22/12 03:20 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Roberta H. Grahn, 69

Roberta Harris Grahn, a former Westport resident, died Aug. 13 from an allergic reaction to a bee sting. She was 69.

She was born Aug. 12, 1943 in Martinez, Calif. to Darrol and Irene Harris. She moved to Westport in junior high school where she met Robert, her soul mate and lifelong companion whom she shared her life with and was married to for 47 years.

She graduated from Staples High School in 1961 and went on to college at Tufts University where she was a double major in psychology and education. The week after she graduated from college, Robert graduated from college and the next day they were married and “honeymooned” by hosting a group of kids at their children’s summer camp in Rangeley, Maine which they did annually for eight years.

At the end of each summer, she was an elementary school teacher for two years in New London and four years near Rochester, N.Y. She stopped teaching to raise their son David. Shortly thereafter they moved to California where they purchased Pine Grove Resort, where she spent the next 30 years raising her family and working side by side with them in the family business.

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08/22/12 03:07 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Jennifer M. George, 36

Jennifer Madelyn Consuelo George of Westport and Hamden died Aug. 4 at her home in Hamden. She was 36.

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Jennifer George: musician and songwriter. Contributed photo

The daughter of Madelyn Consuelo ( Armijo ) George and the late Robert Vincent George, she was born in Mexico City on Jan. 6, 1976 and moved to Westport with her family in 1978.

Jennie was an incredibly gifted musician and songwriter who dedicated her life to music and philanthropy, her family said. From an early age, she immersed herself in music and was a member of various choral and musical theater groups at Long Lots Elementary, Coleytown Middle School, and Staples High School, including the award-winning Staples Players and the internationally renowned Staples Orphenians. She graduated in 1994.

Her high school era bands How to Grab Bugs, Decade and Divine Illusion garnered praise from audiences and music critics alike, and Divine Illusion would go on to win the Battle of the Bands at the Levitt Pavilion in 1994.

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Nancy L. Mills, 66

Nancy Lucille Mills, a Staples High School graduate, died Feb. 27 in Jacksonville, Fla. She was 66.

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Nancy Mills: 1963 Staples grad. Contributed photo

Born March 21, 1946 in Norwalk to Dr. Clifford Wheeler Mills and Lucille Jones Mills, she attended Staples High School, graduating in 1963, then went on to Laselle College in Massachusetts, and Norwalk Technical College.

After an early interest in a career in nursing, she began working as a computer programmer for Union Trust Bank, and has been a systems analyst and change management executive for Bank of America for the last 21 years.

She loved needlepoint, antiques, and raising zebra finches, her family said. She also read widely. Her favorite author was Agatha Christie, who was filled with wisdom that she embodied. Both knew that good advice was bound to be ignored, but should be given anyway, and that for everything one loves, one pays a price, according to her family.

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08/17/12 04:07 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Edward C. Sheppard, 78

Edward Camillo Sheppard, MD, of Westport died Aug. 10, after a brief illness. The cause was cancer, his family said. He was 78.

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Edward Sheppard: had psychiatric practice in Westport. Contributed photo

He was born March 10, 1934 in Atlantic City, N.J. to Edward Francis Sheppard, who predeceased him, and Rita Gargale Sheppard, currently of Fairfield. He pursued his undergraduate degree at Rutgers University and earned his doctorate in medicine from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

His professional memberships included the American Psychiatric Association and the New York Academy of Sciences. In the early 1970s, he began his psychiatric practice at Norwalk Hospital and established private practices in Manhattan and Westport.

In his more than 40 years of serving people with emotional and psychological issues, he improved the quality of life for hundreds of patients and their families. His patients speak with praise for his creative, analytical approach, and therapies that rely minimally on prescription drugs, his family said.

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08/17/12 03:11 AM Comments (1) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

William M. Shaner, 81

UPDATE William M. Shaner, Jr, formerly of Westport, died Aug. 15 at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Bridgeport after a brief illness. He was 81.

Born in Philadelphia, he grew up in Wynnewood, on the Main Line, as he was fond to say.  He was the son of William M. Shaner, Sr. and Marion Steele Shaner. 

He attended Old Penn Charter School and went on to Amherst College. His time at Amherst, where he was a member of the Chi Phi fraternity, was interrupted by service in the U.S. Marines during the Korean conflict. 

After graduating in 1954, he moved on to law school at the University of Pennsylvania. But his real love was advertising. After dropping out of Penn, he moved to New York City to pursue an advertising career. He met his first wife and mother of his children, Phyllis Quinn Shaner (currently of Westport) while in New York.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Genevieve Kral, 97

Genevieve “Jean” S. Kral of Westport died Aug. 14 at home. She was 97.

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Genevieve Kral: lifelong Westporter. Contributed photo

Born in Westport to the late Bernard and Sophie Stahursky, she was a lifelong resident. She loved gardening, reading and cooking but most of all, loved spending time with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was a devoted parishioner of St. Luke Church.

She is survived by her children, Robert Kral and his wife, Crescent of Fairfield, Thomas Kral of Westport and Barbara Bazyk of Fairfield; two brothers, Bernard and John Stahursky of Westport; three sisters, Helen Rutski of Westport, Wanda Oronowski of Norwalk and Bertha Matis of Westport; six grandchildren, Christopher Kral, Jonathan Kral and his wife, Cristin and their children, Brendan and Ryan, Diana Kral, Laura Kral, Jeffrey Bazyk and his wife, Angelica and their children, Benjamin, Alex and Angelica and Tracey Bazyk; and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to her husband, Anthony V. Kral, and parents, she was preceded in death by her siblings, Frank, Joseph, Steve and Sophie Stahursky.

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08/15/12 01:18 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Mariam Correia, 94

Mariam Correia of Roanoke, Va., a former special education teacher in the Westport school system, died Aug. 11. She was 94.

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Mariam Correia: Westport special ed teacher. Contributed photo

Mariam Elizabeth Ellen Barbour Correia was born on Sept. 20, 1917, to Squire Robert and Estella Younger Barbour in Roanoke. She graduated from the first Lucy Addison High School and attended St. Augustine College in Raleigh, N.C. She also attended North Carolina Central University in Durham, N.C.

She was employed by Roanoke City Schools and the Westport school system in the Special Education Department until she retired with her husband to her hometown of Roanoke.

Upon her arrival, she rejoined the Sweet Union Baptist Church, where she was a member of the Flower Club. She was also an active member of the Roanoke Chapter of the Continental Societies.

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Richard H. Jager, 61

Richard H. Jager, a former Westport resident who most recently lived in Seymour after many years in Shelton, died Aug.1. He was 61.

“Rick” grew up in Westport, where at the age of 13, he began his first business, Harbor Marine Services. After graduating from Brown University, he incorporated his business as Subsea Associates and Waterfront Associates, specializing in designs, inspections and repairs of underwater structures.

Professionally he was active in many organizations and served on the board of the Association of Diving Contractors. He was a longtime resident of Shelton, where he raised his family.

While living in Shelton, he served on the WPCA and was vice president of Clean Sound, a volunteer organization developed to keep the local marshes and river banks clean of debris.

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Kathleen Lenihan, 60

UPDATE Kathleen Lenihan, a former Westport resident and mother of Dan Roberti, Democratic candidate in Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District, died Aug. 11 after a six-year battle with melanoma. She was 60.

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Kathleen Lenihan: former Westport resdient. Contributed photo

Lenihan died in hospice care in the Candlewood Valley Health and Rehabilitation Center in New Milford, according to an announcement from Roberti’s campaign.

Originally from Ridgewood, N.J., she most recently has been a resident of Kent. A former schoolteacher in Bridgeport, she raised her two sons for many years in Westport.

“My mother was an inspiration to everyone in our family,” Roberti said in a statement. “We drew on her strength, relished her wit, and sought to embody her compassion.

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Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Lynn Rosenfeld, 77

Lynn Rosenfeld, a longtime Westport resident and special education teacher here, died Aug. 3. She was 77.

Born Dec. 13, 1934 in Grand Junction, Colo., she had an idyllic childhood among extended family on a fruit ranch in Grand Junction. Her family later moved to Layton, Utah where she graduated from high school and the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

When a sorority sister introduced her to Kurt, later to become her husband, their first date was on the slopes of Alta, in knee deep powder down the Wildcat Run. They were married in 1957.

The couple moved to Westport in 1962 where they raised their children. She spent endless hours at Compo Beach, playing tennis at Longshore and nurturing a beautiful garden.

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Sunday, August 05, 2012

Virginia N. Hermann, 90

Virginia Ann (Nevins) Hermann of Wethersfield, a former Westport resident, died July 19 at the Atria in Rocky Hill. She was 90.

Born May 10, 1922 in Bridgeport, she was the daughter of the late Richard and Louise (Schneider) Nevins. She graduated from Staples High School in Westport and attended the University of Connecticut at Storrs, where she met her future husband Ralph. She was a member of the Gamma Sigma Sorority.

During World War II, she worked at Remington Arms in Hartford and married Ralph in 1945 at the Nevins family home in Easton. Wethersfield became their home and they were members of the Wethersfield Country Club.

She served as chairman of the Ladies Division and helped to plan many special events there. She was also active with Trinity Episcopal Church in Old Wethersfield. She loved all aspects of the arts: music, dance, painting, crafts, cooking and gardening. She was an active member of local Garden and Bonsai Clubs.

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Friday, August 03, 2012

John A. Larson, 85

John Alfred Larson, M.D., psychiatrist, a former Westport resident, died July 29 in Louisville, Colo. He was 85.

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John A. Larson: former Westporter. Contributed photo

Born Feb. 10, 1927, the first of six children born to Mildred and Edwin Larson, he was raised in New Richmond, Wisc. Despite the family’s struggles during the Great Depression, and the loss of two of his younger brothers, he attended Northwestern University on full scholarship, where he decided, inspired by the town doctor who was a powerful influence in his early life, to enter medical school.

Early on, he began to confront the challenges of his inner life, and focused his studies in psychiatry, becoming a resident at the Menninger Institute. He also married Dorothy Swanson and raised two children, while moving east to Longmeadow, Mass.

There he became chief psychiatrist at Bay State Hospital, working with poor families, and was twice elected president of the Western Massachusetts Psychiatric Association.

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Thursday, August 02, 2012

Katherine S. Maliszewski, 84

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Katherine Maliszewski: operated Sherman Inn. Contributed photo

Katherine Scott Maliszewski, a resident of Westport for 55 years and a former businesswoman in New Canaan, died July 23 in Santa Barbara, Calif. She was 84.

She was born in Scotland on Nov. 27, 1927. With her husband Walter as president, who died in 1979, they were operative partners in the Roger Sherman Inn in New Canaan from 1969-1985.

She is survived by her children, Anne Diamond and Willy Maliszewski, and by seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Her daughter Karen Shepard died in 1988.

A private family funeral will be at Lakeview Cemetery in New Canaan.

08/02/12 05:40 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Doris B. Shiller, 79

Doris Barker Shiller, a longtime Westport resident, attorney, and former Board of Education member who championed the controversial Project Return effort to bring Bridgeport students into Westport schools in the 1960s and ‘70s, died July 22 after a brief illness. She was 79.

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Doris Shiller: active in community affairs. Contributed photo

Born May 9,1933 in Brooklyn. N.Y., she was raised in Belle Harbor, N.Y. She graduated Barnard College cum laude in 1954 with a degree in economics and Yale Law School in 1979. She was the first woman partner at Marsh, Day, & Calhoun in Bridgeport. In 1985, she continued practicing at Berkowitz, Balbirer, Weisman and Lubell, P.C. until she retired in 2005.

She moved to Westport in 1957 and participated actively in many Westport civic and community affairs.

She joined the League of Women Voters, serving on its Long Range Budget Study. She joined the PTA and became an officer of the PTA Council.

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Jo-Anne G. Tallcouch, 73

Jo-Anne R. Graziani Tallcouch of Easton, a U.S. Postal Service employee in Westport for more than three decades, died July 28. She was 73.

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Jo-Anne Tallcouch: longtime Westport postal employee. Contributed photo

Born in Bridgeport on Aug. 28, 1938, she was daughter to the late Joseph and Anna Somen Graziani, A graduate of Bassick High School, Class of 1956, she had been a Fairfield resident for 35 years before moving to Easton 10 years ago.

She had worked in admissions for Long Island College and Norwalk Hospital. She later worked for the U.S. Postal Service in Westport for more than 32 years until retirement. While there, her likeness was used for a commemorative stamp honoring the U.S. postal worker.

She had also been a waitress in several area restaurants. She enjoyed traveling, especially her monthly trips to the Atlantic City casinos. She also loved her shopping trips with her sister Lorraine, which were always filled with fun and laughter.

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07/30/12 05:26 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Final Farewell to Restaurateur

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There was a large turnout today at Westport’s Assumption Church for services for Westport restaurateur Frank S. DeMace, co-founder of Mario’s Restaurant, who died Tuesday at the age of 78.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

07/30/12 04:17 PM Comments (1) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Travel Writer Suzy Gershman, Ex-Westporter, Dies at 64

Suzy Kalter Gershman, a former Westport resident best known for her “Born to Shop” travel series, died July 25 in her native San Antonio, Texas, after a year-long battle with brain cancer. She was 64.

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Suzy Gershman: known for her “Born to Shop” series. Contributed photo

An author, journalist and television personality, she brought her international expertise to readers, television viewers, travelers and shoppers the world over with her magazine articles, shopping tours, and the “Born to Shop” travel guides.

Gershman was also the author of “C’est la Vie,” a bestselling memoir about her first year of widowhood during which time she moved from her Compo Road South home in Westport to Paris and began a new life. On the book’s cover was a dog rescued from the Westport animal shelter.

In an effort to learn more about the dog’s Westport background, she penned a plea for information in the dog’s name that appeared on WestportNow on Jan. 15, 2004.

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Paying Tribute to a Legendary Restaurateur

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There were long lines today as friends attended services at the Harding Funeral Home for legendary Westport restaurateur Frank S. DeMace, co-founder of Mario’s Restaurant, who died Tuesday at the age of 78. There will be a service Monday at 10 a.m. at the Church of the Assumption, 98 Riverside Ave. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

07/29/12 09:22 PM Comments (2) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Paul E. Conway, 89

Paul Emmanuel Conway, a longtime Westport resident who moved to New Canaan a year ago, died July 27 at Waveny Care Center in New Canaan. He was 89.

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Paul Conway: longtime Westporter. Contributed photo

Born on Feb. 24, 1923 in Cologne, Germany, he was the son of the late Hedwig and Albert Conway of New York City.

At a young age, he and his family moved to Berlin and in 1936 they fled Berlin for the safety of London. Shortly thereafter, he enlisted in the British Army and served as a member of the Royal Fusiliers. He was stationed in India and Burma during World War II and was recruited to the Prisoner of War Interrogation Section under the command of Lt. Co. Alexander Scotland which later became the War Crimes Investigation Unit.

He interrogated German war criminals under the command of Scotland. After the war, he emigrated to the United States. He had a successful career in the textile Industry, most recently co-owning C&L Sales. 

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07/29/12 08:47 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Mourning ‘Tiger’

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Mario’s Place on Westport’s Railroad Place is draped in black bunting today for Frank S. DeMace, known to friends as Tiger. The co-founder of the restaurant died Tuesday of cancer at the age of 78. Services are being held today from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Harding Funeral Home 210 Post Road East, and on Monday at 10 a.m. directly at the Church of the Assumption, 98 Riverside Ave. See obituary here. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

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Robert A. Carusone, 68

Robert A. Carusone of Fairfield, formerly of Westport and a Westport police officer for almost 34 years, died July 27 at Norwalk Hospital. He was 68.

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Robert Carusone: 34-year police veteran. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Born Oct. 16, 1943 in Bridgeport, he was son of the late Constantine A. and Sophie (Jarocki) Carusone. He retired to Westerly, R.I. in 2004, then moved to Fairfield five years ago. A Westport resident for 60 years, he most recently served as a crossing guard at Green’s Farms Elementary School.

He was appointed to the Westport Police Department on Aug. 1, 1965, appointed a desk officer Jan. 1, 1969 and became a detective April 1, 1976. he also served on the Westport Police Scuba Team. He retired from the police force on June 1, 1999.

He was a member of the Westport PBA, past president of the Westport PAL and a former member of the Staples Gridiron Club. He was honored by the Westport Sportsman.

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Dorothy D. Bonfietti, 86

Dorothy “Dee” Delling Bonfietti of Fairfield, a former preschool worker in Westport, died July 23 at the Trumbull home of her son. She was 86.

Born Sept. 20, 1925 in Bethel, she was daughter of Maxwell Delling and Edith (Lederer) Delling. She attended schools in Bethel and received her Bachelor’s Degree in textile design from the University of Connecticut.

She married Ebi Primo Bonfietti and raised five children in Fairfield.

Throughout her life, her primary focus was on her home and raising her children. Adventurous and committed to broadening her children’s horizons through education and travel, she traveled with her five children to historic sites, on ski trips and camping adventures for weeks at a time throughout the East Coast and Canada.

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Kenneth L. Robinson, 84

Kenneth L. Robinson, a former Westport resident, died July 25 in Hardwick, Vt. He was 84.

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Kenneth Robinson: 1946 Staples grad. Contributed photo

He was born on May 15, 1928, in Norwalk, the son of Charles H. and Rose A. Robinson. He graduate from Staples High School in Westport in 1946.

Upon graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served as a military policeman in occupied Japan. He then went on to trade school to become a machinist.

He was later deployed to France during the Korean War. He married Jean E. Worthy on May 16, 1953. They made their home in Connecticut where all five of their children were born and then in May 1971, they moved to Hardwick, Vt.

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Frank S. DeMace, 78

Frank Salvatore DeMace, the owner of the legendary Westport restaurant, Mario’s Place, died July 24. He was 78.

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Frank DeMace: Lifelong Westporter.  Contributed photo

Born at Norwalk Hospital on Dec. 23, 1933 to Josephine and Pasqual DeMace, he was a lifelong resident of Westport. He was a beloved figure to countless people whose lives he touched, his family said.

As one friend said, “He did more things by accident for people than most of us have done intentionally.” He was known as a man of few words with a big heart and a generous spirit.

The town is filled with stories of those whose careers he helped start or whose education he helped fund. He was a gentle man who couldn’t say “no” to anyone in need, his family said.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Lifelong Westport Restaurateur Frank DeMace Dies at 78

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Frank DeMace: Mario’s legend. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

UPDATE Lifelong Westport restaurateur Frank DeMace died Tuesday, according to Mario’s Place Facebook page run by former employees. He was 78.

Nicknamed Tiger by his Saugatuck boyhood chums, DeMace cut his teeth in the restaurant business working at the Arrow on Charles Street.

Later he partnered for decades at Mario’s Place at Railroad Place with the late Mario Sacco. (See WestportNow July 8, 2009) Sacco often credited DeMace with the restaurant’s success.

DeMace commanded a larger-than-life presence as Mario’s owner and as the chef whose steaks were revered statewide.

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Stephen J. Felia Jr., 83

Stephen J. Felia Jr. of Westport died July 22 in Connecticut Health of Southport. He was 83.

He was a longtime resident of Westport where he served his community as a Westport firefighter for 28 years.

Born on June 26, 1929, he was the son of the late Stephen J. Felia Sr. and Mary Lipsay Felia. As an early teen, he developed a love of aviation. Before he was of age to drive a car he had learned to fly at the then Monroe airport.

He attended Bullard Havens Technical School where he studied to become a master carpenter. Shortly after graduation, he joined the U.S. Navy and served in the Korean War as a Seabee. After the war, he worked in and around Westport building many houses. He enjoyed helping people fix things and always carried his tool box in his car.

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Joseph M. Quigley, 80

Joseph M. Quigley, formerly of Westport, died of cancer June 2 in Naples, Fla. He was 80.

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Joseph Quigley: supported Staples wrestling program. Contributed photo

He was the son of the late Joseph and Ethel Quigley of Nutley, N.J. He encouraged participation in high school sports and was a supporter of the Staples High School wrestling program in the late 1980s.

He sponsored many off season wrestling activities for a group of high school athletes, including trips to out-of-state tournaments. His stepsons, Peter and Zach Cahill, were both state-open champions.

After graduation from Cornell University in 1954, he worked in information systems for Burroughs, IBM, Xerox, Continental Can, and Comsat Corp. He retired in 1992.

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Edward F. Bieling, 83

Edward F. Bieling of Fairfield, a former Westport resident, died July 21 at Ludlow Health Care in Fairfield. He was 83.

Born on March 14, 1929, he was the son of the late John Sr. and Gertrude (O’Brien) Bieling. Prior to moving to Fairfield 43 years ago, he was a longtime resident of Westport, where he grew up and attended school. He was a U.S. Army veteran and served during the Korean Conflict.

He worked as a butcher and then a milkman for Wade’s Dairy for many years. After his retirement, he worked part time at Fair Auto Supply until he was 80. He was a member of the American Legion Post 143 in Fairfield. and the Joseph J. Clinton VFW Post 399 in Westport.

He was an avid New York Yankees and UCONN Women’s basketball fan.

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