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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Obituaries

Obituaries

WestportNow publishes obituaries without charge. Funeral homes or individuals may submit obituaries to . Photos in jpeg format may be submitted to the same address. Obituaries should indicate full name of deceased, date and place of death, age, and connection to Westport. Please provide a name, telephone number, and email address for verification. WestportNow reserves the right to edit obituaries to conform to our editorial style.

Harding Funderal Home, Westport, CT

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Robert A. McCoy Jr., 57

Robert A. McCoy Jr. of Fairfield died Feb. 9.  He was 57.

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Robert A. McCoy Jr : master craftsman. Contributed photo

He was a master craftsman, upholsterer extraordinaire, licensed captain of his vessel, the Jinellen, and avid offshore fisherman. He earned the title of Mr. Connecticut Bodybuilding Championship 1980. 

He had a tremendous love of animals, especially his dog, Judgie, and his cat, Joey. He was a kind, gentle, and loving husband, son, and brother and he will be sorely missed, a real sweetheart.

He is survived by his wife, Joan Ellen Maglione McCoy; also by his sisters Carole (Don MacIntyre), Robin (Richard Burns), Susan (Tom Kokoska), and brothers, Don and William.  He was pre-deceased by his parents, Robert and Helen McCoy.

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Posted 07:52 PM
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Janette B. Arenander, 98

Janette B. Arenander a former Westport resident, died Feb. 4 at Lincoln Meadows in Parker, Colo.  She was 98.

She was born Aug. 19, 1917 in Bronx, N.Y. to Matthew and Janette Briggs.  She was a former art teacher in the Westport schools for 42 years.

Her passions in life were curling, bicycling, reading and volunteering.  She was a remarkable lady with an adventurous spirit.  In 1947 she received her pilot license from Sea Wings in Westport, bicycled through Holland and went tobogganing in the Colorado Rockies with her family.  She enjoyed life and made the most of it.  She was a longtime member of the Saugatuck Congregational Church.

She is survived by sons David Pawel (Mary) of Colorado, Alarik Arenander (Cynthia) of Iowa,  granddaughter Sarah Mayhew (Jake) of Colorado, great-granddaughters Madilyn and Sophia Mayhew of Colorado, nephew Steve Pawel (Michelle) of Tennessee, niece Janet Robertson (Lee) of Tennessee, and Lorie Arenander Kimball of Utah. 

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Posted 11:56 AM
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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Colleen Plantinga, 92

Colleen Plantinga of Westport died Feb. 7 at home. She was 92.

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Colleen Plantiga: Westporter since 1962. Contributed photo

The wife of the late John E. Plantinga, she was born in Grafton, W.V. in 1923 to the late Walter and Virginia Ball. She had been a Westport resident since 1962. 

A devoted wife and mother, she was raised in New Martinsville, W.V., where she grew up swimming in the Ohio River, playing the organ at her church, and graduating valedictorian of her high school.

She was awarded a degree in English literature from Vassar College in 1945. After a brief stint as a flight attendant for Eastern Airlines, she worked at Lord & Taylor in New York City as a fabric buyer.

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Posted 02:26 PM
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Sunday, February 07, 2016

Robert Boras, 85

Robert (Bob) Baras of Westport died Feb. 7 at home. He was 85.

He was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. to Esther (Hertan) and Solomon Baras. Both were Romanian immigrants. He was raised in the Bronx and graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School, and then attended City College.

He was a longtime resident of Manhattan, and Tourette-Sur-Loup, France. He was happily married to his wife of 49 years, Francine Baras. After building a large textile company, Inwood Knitting Mills, which he sold to National Distillers in 1969, he was able to realize his lifelong dream, his true passion for painting.

He attended School of Visual Arts and received a BFA with honors. He spent the next 40 years painting and living his dream. His last show was at the White Gallery in Lakeville in May 2015. He was also a photographer and left a large body of work.

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Posted 01:24 PM
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Wednesday, February 03, 2016

William H. Weeks II, 65

William Harrison Weeks II of Somerset, Pa., formerly of Westport, died Jan. 29 at Somerset Hospital.  He was 65.

He was born July 7, 1950 in Bridgeport, son of William Richard and Pauline O. (Kovacs) Weeks.

He was a U.S. Army Vietnam veteran and received a bachelor’s degree in social work.

He was a member of Saint Luke Catholic Church, Westport, D.A.V., and American Legion Post 63, Westport. He had a great respect for the military and loved rock and roll music.

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Posted 03:39 PM
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Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Arnold R. Ganz, 90

Arnold R. Ganz, a Westport resident for 47 years, died at Jan. 21 at home. He was 90.

He was born in New York City, son of the late William and Irene Ganz, and was a U.S. Army veteran who served during World War II. He was a recipient of a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. He attended Biarritz American University and New York University majoring in business administration.

He was president of Pervel Ind., a subsidiary of Bemis Corporation, until his retirement in 1990.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Enid W. Ganz, his children; Austin (Cheryl), Harrison (Heidi), and Andrea (Robert Vogel), and grandchildren Evan, Bradford, and Jordan. He was predeceased by his sister, Lenore Epstein.

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Posted 04:20 PM
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Monday, February 01, 2016

Donna J. Bender, 63

Donna Jane Bender of Fairfield, a former Westport resident, died Jan. 28 at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport. She was 63.

She was born in Asheboro, N.C. and had been an area resident for 45 years. A graduate of Katherine Gibbs College in Manhattan and Staples High School in Westport, she worked at various retailers and The Fairfield Store, and as computer support technician for the Fairfield public school system at Stratfield Elementary School, and more recently at Roger Ludlowe Middle School.

She was very active at in the faith she converted to at Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in Fairfield, serving as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, lector, a member of the Liturgical Committee and head of the Family Mass Committee.

She enjoyed needlework, visiting the beach, visiting with friends and family, wineries, and reading, and taught classes on knitting and computers.

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Posted 11:13 PM
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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Patrick C. Haggerty Jr., 46

Patrick C. Haggerty Jr., a lifelong Westport resident, died Jan. 28 at home. He was 46.

Born in Norwalk on April 23, 1969, he was the son of Karen A. Haggerty and the late Patrick C. Haggerty Sr.

He was a well decorated Go Kart Racer. He raced in Connecticut, New Hampshire, and South Carolina and was a member of the Nutmeg Go-Kart Association.

He was an avid fisherman, collector of music art and music. He was a loving father to his son Patrick.

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Posted 02:01 PM
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Friday, January 29, 2016

Antonia Welsher, 61

Antonia “Toni” Welsher of Toms River, N.J., a former Westport resident, died Jan. 28 at Community Medical Center. She was 61.

Born in Italy, she came to the United States when she was four years old. She lived in Westport prior to moving to Toms River in 1984.

Shei was the founder and operator of the Michel Welsher Scholarship for pediatric cancer, which awards high school children college scholarships.

She was predeceased by her son, Michael Welsher. She is survived by her husband Joel Welsher; one son Matthew Welsher and his wife Brianne; two grandchildren, Benjamin and Megan; one sister Pasqualina Coppola and her husband Teodoro; niece, Flora and her husband Dario; nephew, Stefano and his wife Donna; also by her great nieces and great nephews, Lillian, Luke, Michael, Sophia, and Sabrina.

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Posted 08:09 PM
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Evan Rackson, 25

Evan Rackson of Westport died Jan. 28 at Norwalk Hospital. He was 25.

Born in New York, N.Y., he was a 2009 graduate of Staples High School.

He s survived by his parents, Alan and Fran Rackson, his brother and sister, Brian Paul Rackson and Alyson Michelle Rackson, and by his grandparents, Hy and Taffy Goldberg and Chester and Selma Rackson.

Services will take place on Sunday, Jan. 31 at 1 p.m. from The Conservative Synagogue of Westport, 30 Hillspoint Road, with interment following at The Conservative Synagogue of Westport Cemetery, Reid Street, Fairfield. Shiva will be held at the family’s home on Sunday immediately following the funeral until 8 p.m. with minyan at 5p.m., Monday from 1 to 4 p.m., and 7 to 9 p.m., Tuesday from 1 to 4 p.m., and 7 to 9 p.m., Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m., and Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m.with Shiva minyanim held each night at 7:30 p.m.

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Posted 04:45 PM
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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Concetta A. Gomes, 86

Concetta (Connie) Arre Gomes, a former Westport resident, died Jan. 18 in Kingwood, Texas. She was 86.

Born in Westport, she was one of four children of the late Stephen and Mary Arre of Enfield. Her love was raising her family and watching them grow. While doing so, she was able to enjoy volunteering at the schools her sons attended, knitting, golf, and bowling. Her warm, welcoming smile and engaging personality touched so many.

She is survived by her husband of more than 60 years, Joseph W. Gomes, and her sons Joseph, James, and John. She also leaves behind her daughter-in-law Valerie Gomes, Jacqueline Crowder, and her grandchildren Mackenzie, Marissa, and John Gomes. She is also survived by her sister Christine Savio, sister-in-law Joanne Coehlo, and brother-in-law Fredrick Gomes, as well as many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her brothers Stephen and Anthony (Red) Arre, brother-in-laws Ronald and Edward Gomes, and sister-in-law Ruth Wilbur.

A private memorial service will be held at the Kingwood Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Cancer Society https://donate.cancer.org/index and/or the Joslin Diabetes Center http://www.joslin.org/giving/memorial_gifts.html.

Posted 09:56 PM
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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Dale E. Lamberty, 69

Dale Elise Lamberty of Westport died Jan. 24 at Norwalk Hospital. She was 69.

Born in Long Island the daughter of the late Dolores Cutler Wollam and Nat Cutler, she had been a Westport resident for 48 years. She graduated from college in New Paltz, N.Y., and later proudly received a nursing degree from St. Vincent’s College of Nursing.

She had a great talent for baking cakes like few others and would create amazing 3D replicas of anything. She was part owner of the original Great Cakes and since then has been known by many as Cake Lady Dale.

She was an avid gardener and a member of the Fairfield Garden Club where she won many awards. Above all else, cooking and baking was one of her greatest passions and she loved to share her many creations.

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Posted 02:23 PM
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Stuart S. Bernard, 96

Stuart Sidney Bernard, a former Westport resident long involved in community activities, died Jan. 22 at Meadow Ridge retirement community in Redding. He was 96.

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Stu Bernard: active in community affairs.  Contributed photo

In Westport, where he and his late wife Perry moved in 1959, he became involved in organizing the Greens Farms Association. He also served on the Representative Town Meeting (1995-97), the Flood & Erosion Control Board, Commission for Senior Services, Commuters Association, Long Lots Intergenerational Program, was Y’s Men president (1994-95), co-founder of their singing group, the Hoot Owls, and driver for Meals-on-Wheels and Red Cross.

He was also on the Senior Center Construction Committee. He remarked to WestportNow Associate Editor James Lomuscio for a series on Westport seniors last summer: “You’ll find my name on a goddamn plaque outside the goddamn Senior Center.”

In 1999, he and his wife became the first husband and wife team to be honored as grand marshals of Westport’s Memorial Day Parade.

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Posted 01:37 PM
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Alice J. Chappa, 99

Alice Chappa (Jaya) , a former Westport resident, died Oct. 13, 2015 in Jacksonville, Fla.. She was 99.

She was born Jan. 8, 1916 in Oran, Algeria the daughter of Pedro Maria Jaya Galvez and Isidora Amelia Martinez She was one of four sisters, including Teresa, Jeanne, and Odette Joya.

She came to the United States in 1947 after World War II. Prior to moving to Westport, she resided in North Africa as a French citizen where she worked for the United States during the war.

There, she met Michael J. Chappa, a native Westporter, who was in charge of a Quartermaster Company In Oran at the time. He asked her to come to the United States. where they married in 1947.

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Posted 02:12 AM
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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Janet G. O’Connell, 96

Janet Griffin O’Connell of Westport died Jan. 19. She was 96.

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Janet O’Connell: speech pathologist, Realtor. Contributed photo

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., she was a graduate of The College of New Rochelle and earned a master’s from Columbia University.

During World War II, she joined the American Red Cross and was posted to Miami Beach where she served until the end of the war supporting the Army Air Force redistribution service, while also meeting her future husband Bob.

She taught speech and drama (her first love) at both her alma mater and Manhattanville College. After focusing on her young daughters, she began work as a speech pathologist for the Norwalk school system.

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Posted 04:50 PM
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