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Wednesday, September 02, 2015
Charles Heller, 87
Charles Heller of Westport, a former department store executive, died Aug. 30 at home after battling lung cancer. He was 87.
He was born in Beckley, West Virginia, son of the late Joseph and Sadie Heller. He earned his B.A. at Ohio State University and his MBA at Columbia University.
A self-made man, he enlisted in the U.S. Army as a private and rose to the rank of first lieutenant before completing his tour of duty. He went on to a career in retailing, working for Macy’s in New York and Higbee’s in Cleveland before moving to Westport to become president of Howlands, a New York-based junior department store with branches located throughout New England and the Tri-State area.
In 1975, he went on to be named president of the Baltimore-based Stewart & Company, where he worked closely with then-Mayor William Donald Schaefer to spearhead the renewal of downtown Baltimore as he completely remade Stewart’s downtown Howard Street location.
Tuesday, September 01, 2015
Joyce Clarke, 103
Joyce Clarke of Westport died Aug. 30 at home. She was 103.
Joyce Clarke: PR veteran. Contributed photo
She was born in Liverpool, England, on Feb. 11, 1912, to Katie and John Clarke, a merchant ship captain and member of the Royal Navy Reserve.
She was raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., attended New Utrecht High School and earned a degree from Brooklyn College in 1932. She was co-founder of an all-women’s public relations firm, Sally Dickson & Associates, which she established in 1943 with her longtime friend Sally Dickson.
The New York City-based company had major accounts including Good Housekeeping, Bristol-Myers, Ocean Spray, Borden, Avon, and Procter & Gamble.
Natalie Barrett, 82
Natalie Barrett of Westport died Aug. 30 at home soon after discontinuing her 12-year-long dialysis treatments. She was 82.
Natalie Barrett: community volunteer. Contributed photo
She was born Feb. 28, 1933 in New York, daughter to May Damiano and Max Kowalsky and sister to her brother Leonard. She grew up in The Bronx and graduated from William Taft High School in 1951, where she met her husband, Anthony Barrett, whom she married in December 1953.
While living in the Gun Hill Road section of The Bronx, she worked as a secretary in New York in the advertising business.
Later she moved to Westport, where she worked for Norwalk Hospital and the Mid-Fairfield Child Guidance Center, and also was a lunch lady and recess supervisor at Hillspoint Elementary School. She often played hop-scotch and four square with the young children.
John L. Guidone, 80
John Louis Guidone of Plymouth, Massachusetts, a former administrator in the Westport school system and husband of Lorraine (Aldieri) Guidone., died Aug. 27 at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Plymouth. He was 80.
John Guidone: Westport school administrator. Contributed photo
Born in New Haven on May 18, 1935, he was the son of the late Pasquale and Mary (Guidone) Guidone. He received a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree from Southern Connecticut State University, and did his post graduate work at Fairfield University.
For most of his life, he worked as an administrator in special education for the Westport Board of Education. He also taught art at Southern Connecticut State University and was an accomplished artist in many media forms.
He served in the U.S. Navy as an air controlman from 1955-1957. He and Lorraine shared time between Port Saint Lucie and Plymouth, previously residing in Orange.
Sunday, August 30, 2015
John B. Sias, 88
John B. Sias of Houston, Texas, a former longtime Westport resident whose media leadership positions included president and CEO of San Francisco’s Chronicle Publishing Company and executive vice president of Capital Cities/ABC, Inc., died Aug. 23. He was 88.
John B. Sias: former Westporter. SFGate.com photo
A member of the Westport Library Board of Trustees, Sias and his wife Lucretia, whom he met as a 15-year-old high school student in California, had been Westport residents since 1957. He also served as president of Westport’s Fairfield County Hunt Club.
The San Francisco Chronicle quoted his son, Donald, a Staples High School graduate, as saying his father retired from ABC when he reached the mandatory retirement age of 67. Soon after, in 1993, he got a call to lead the San Francisco publishing company.
“There was much trepidation over his arrival, but Mr. Sias was adept at putting the staff at ease, even in a time of upheaval for The Chronicle,” the newspaper said in its obituary.
Blanche Klein, 87
Blanche Klein of Westport died Aug. 30 at home. She was 87.
She was born March 8, 1928 in Mamaroneck, N.Y. to Nathan and Augusta Schwartzreich and graduated from Mamaroneck High School before getting married and moving to Westport.
She was a resident of Westport for more than 65 years and served the community by volunteering at the American Red Cross for more than 35 years. She had a passion for helping people, working countless blood drives for the Red Cross and at the Jewish Home for the Elderly in Fairfield.
She had two brothers, Sydney and Edward, who predeceased her. She is survived by daughter Carol, and son Kenneth. Her other daughter Suzzanne died two years ago. She has five grandchildren, Richelle, Kevin, Katherine, Gregory and Merideth.
Friday, August 28, 2015
Arthur M. Dinitz, 81
Arthur M. Dinitz of Westport, a leader in transportation safety, died Aug. 27 at home after a valiant battle with cancer. He was 81.
Arthur M. Dinitz: transportation safety executive. Contributed photo
Born Dec. 8, 1933, son of Irving and Frances Dinitz of Brooklyn, N.Y., he was a graduate of Brooklyn Tech and New York University, where he was captain of the swim team, earning a Bachelor of Engineering degree.
In 1968, he founded Transpo Industries, Inc., a New Rochelle, N.Y.-based company focused on transportation safety products and infrastructure preservation materials.
An industry pioneer, he was recognized in 2004 by the Washington, D.C. -based American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) as one of its 100 Transportation Leaders of the 20th century.
Full House for ‘Katie’ Chase Service
There was a full house today at the Greens Farms Congregational Church for services for Kathryn “Katie” Dudley Chase of Westport, who died Aug. 9 at age 76. A lifelong community volunteer, she served as president of the Westport Historical Society, the Westport Young Woman’s League, the Y’s Women of Westport, and Staples High School PTA as well as working with the Westport Schools Permanent Art Collection. Sister Ann Dudley recalled that “by age 12, Katie held a fundraiser in our back yard and raised $12 for the local hospital. As far back as I can remember, she would help others.” (See obituary here) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
JoAnne C. Rueckert, 63
JoAnne Cottrell Rueckert of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, formerly of Westport and Weston, died July 2 at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. She was 63.
JoAnne C. Rueckert: former Westport & Weston resident. Contributed photo
Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, she was the daughter of the late Thomas Edward Cottrell and Laura Shethar Cottrell.
She was a graduate of Bradford Junior College and received a Bachelor’s Degree from Syracuse University. She was a longtime parishioner of Norfield Congregational Church in Weston.
Since 2013, when she moved to Florida, she attended the Gardens Presbyterian Church in Palm Beach Gardens.
Thursday, August 13, 2015
Andrew D. Lewis, 61
Andrew D. Lewis of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, a former Westport resident, died Aug. 2 after a short illness. He was 61.
Andrew Lewis: former Westporter. Contributed photo
He was born on Aug. 14, 1953, the third son of Richard and Emily Richard Lewis, formerly of Lauderdale-by the-Sea. He was born in Atlantic Beach, Florida and grew up in Westport. He was a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
He married Katherine Dumas in 1980. They resided in the Annapolis, Maryland area, where they enjoyed sailing and Andrew established his own business, Bay Marketing.
Following an amicable separation from Katherine in 1998, he moved to Lauderdale-by-the-Sea and began a new life with his partner Craig Caruso.
Kathryn D. Chase, 76
Kathryn “Katie” Dudley Chase of Westport died Aug. 9 at home. She was 76.
Katie Chase: community volunteer. Contributed photo
She was born July 10, 1939 in Elizabeth, New Jersey to Kathryn G. and Fred Dudley and grew up in Terre Haute, Indiana, graduating from Garfield High School. She received her BA in American Studies in 1961 from Mills College. In 1968, she married William “Bill” Chase. They lived in Atlanta, New York City, Rio de Janeiro, and for the last 40 years in Westport.
She worked as copy editor for Little, Brown, Praeger Publishing and Greenwood Press and more recently had her own business as a freelancer.
As a lifelong community volunteer, she assumed many leadership roles for her college and local Westport organizations. She served as president of the New York Mills Club, and governor for Mills northeast region, president of the Westport Young Woman’s League, Y’s Women of Westport and Staples High Schoool PTA as well as working with the Westport Schools Permanent Art Collection.
Monday, August 10, 2015
Kathleen ‘Kitty’ E. H. Todd, 91
Kathleen “Kitty” E. H. Todd of Westport, a 35-year Westport Police Department employee and a founding member of the Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Service (WVEMS), died Aug. 7 in Norwalk Hospital. She was 91.
The wife of the late James T. Todd was born Oct. 13, 1923 in White Plains, N.Y. and was the daughter of the late Haswell and Anais (Haase) Herbert.
She moved to Westport in 1933 and was a 1942 Staples High School graduate, where she was voted the Best Athlete in her graduating class. After high school, she attended Antioch College in Ohio. She worked at Bridgeport Brass Company, where she was the first woman tool setter.
In 1972, she began work at the Westport Police Department as bookkeeper and secretary and remained there until her retirement in 2007.
Antonette M. Doddo, 105
Antonette M. Doddo of Westport, wife of the late Patsy J. Doddo, died Aug. 7 at home. She was 105.
Antonette Doddo celebrated her 102nd birthday in 2012 with family members. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
She was born July 10, 1910 the daughter of the late Salvatore and Geneva (Barber) Gilbertie. A lifelong resident of Westport, she worked in the Westport schools cafeteria and for the Burndy Corp. She was a member of Assumption Church in Westport and the Catholic Daughters.
In addition to her husband, Patsy, of 65 years, she was predeceased by her daughter Angela M. Doddo, sister Theresa Falasco, and brother Lester Gilbertie. Survivors include two daughters, MaryLou Bell of Westport, and Annette and her husband A. J. Izzo of Westport, five grandchildren, Bob Stephens, Jimmy Izzo, Kathy Santarella, Pattie Kinasewich and Susan Izzo, eight great-grandchildren, many nieces and nephews.
Many thanks to her compassionate care giver Lucy, Dr. Leslie Fernow and Christine and Lynda of Visiting Nurse and Hospice of Fairfield County.
Nathan H. Magida, 87
Nathan H. Magida of Westport died Aug. 8. He was 87.
Nathan Magida: lifelong volunteer. Contributed photo
The son of Abram and Henrietta Magida, he was born in Kansas City, Missouri and grew up in New York City. He attended Bronx High School of Science and graduated from Columbia University in 1948 with a Bachelor’s of Science in electrical engineering.
He worked for the Electric Regulator Company, Sorenson, and for Thermosen, Inc., an electronics manufacturing company, which he later purchased. As president of Thermosen, he was awarded several patents relating to electronic switching.
A lifelong volunteer, he was committed to actively supporting the communities of which he was a part. He served on the boards of SACIA, the Mid-Fairfield Child Guidance Center, the Jewish Home for the Elderly, and Temple Israel of Westport.
Sunday, August 09, 2015
Kathryn “Katie” D. Chase, 76, Historical Society Official