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Sunday, September 25, 2016



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.

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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Mike Kulich, 29

Mike Kulich, a 2004 Staples High School graduate who became a top executive in the adult entertainment industry, died late Friday or early Saturday, Adult Video News (AVN) reported. He was 29. Image
MIke Kulich: 2004 Staples grad. File photo

It quoted longtime friend Rob Russell as saying that he found Kulich’s body at around 9 p.m. Saturday in his Los Angeles living room after his fiancée, Erin Clark, called Russell concerned that she had not been able to reach Kulich in about a day.

Clark and Kulich were scheduled to be married next month, and Russell was to serve as Kulich’s best man, AVN said.

“An official cause of death has not been issued, but Russell said Clark had suspected that Kulich was having a drug relapse,” the report said.

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Posted 04:06 PM
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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Jack Rotman, 92

Jack Rotman, a longtime Westport resident, died Sept. 20 in Fairfield. He was 92. Image
Jack Rotman: longtime Westporter. Contributed photo

He was born Jan. 24, 1924 in Providence, R.I. to Abraham and Gertrude Rotman two minutes after his twin brother, Stanley.

He graduated from Hope High School and Brown University.As an Army lieutenant in World War II, he served in Japan and the Philippines.

For many years, he was president of Industrial Marking Supply, a distribution company he founded. He was an avid tennis player and loved to travel.

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Posted 02:23 PM
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Keith R. Verges, 55

Keith Robert Verges of Dallas, Texas, a former Westport resident, died Sept. 12. He was 55. Image
Keith Verges: attorney, physicist. LinkedIn photo

He was born Feb. 7, 1961 in Norman, Okla., grew up in the Northeast and graduated from Staples High School in Westport. In just three years of attendance, he earned three bachelor of science degrees from Southern Methodist University in mathematics, chemistry and physics, becoming the first recipient of the school’s Frank C. McDonald Memorial Award in Physics in 1981.

He went on to earn his master’s degree in applied physics from Princeton University. During this time, he worked as a project physicist at Teledyne-Geotech and spent a cold summer as part of a team installing the first seismic station on the continent of Antarctica in 1985 on a government contract for which he was awarded the Antarctica Service Medal from the U.S. Department of Defense.

Also during this time, he met his future bride Laurie, who joined him on his many adventures in life. Though he loved his work in physics, he felt the need to change course and decided to end his studies towards his Ph. D and return to SMU to pursue a law degree.

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Posted 11:33 AM
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Julia E. Juhasz, 77

Julia E. Juhasz of Manchester Center, Vt., a former Westport resident, died Sept. 20 at Equinox Terrace assisted living facility in Manchester Center. She was 77.

She was born in Szeged, Hungary on May 12, 1939, the daughter of the late Janos Koncz and Julia Koncz, and attended local schools. She came to the United States in 1956 and ultimately settled in Westport.

She worked as a quality control engineer in Connecticut for many years. She started her career at Norden Systems, followed by running an automotive business with her late husband Alex Juhasz. She finally retired from DataComm Management Sciences.

She enjoyed gardening, carpentry, skiing and spending time with her family.

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Posted 11:27 AM
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Thomas Ikeda, 92

Thomas Ikeda of Balleys Harbor, Wisc., a former Westport resident, died Sept. 9 after a long illness. He was 92. Image
Thomas Ikeda: worked for Norden Systems. Contributed photo

Born in California and educated in Japan, he returned to the United States after the war and graduated from Columbia University with a M.Sc. in electrical engineering. He married Akiko in December 1954, and they were active members of the church and community in Westport.

He retired after a 36-year career with Norden Systems, and eventually he and Akiko divided time between Westport and Sarasota, Fla.

A man of few words, Thomas conveyed his love to his family and friends through his actions and steadfastness. He was an avid bridge player, audiophile, photographer and sports fan.

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Posted 11:17 AM
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Kenneth J. Grant, 65

Kenneth J. Grant of Bethel, a former Westport resident, died Sept. 19 in Redding. He was 65.

Born Jan. 18, 1951 in Westport, he was the son of the late Edward and Rita (Cullen) Grant.

He was a fourth generation Westporter and lived in town for more than 30 years and then moved to Fairfield, where he lived for 30 years and has resided in Bethel for the last five years.

He retired from West Tech Security, where he worked for more than 30 years as an alarm tech and more recently worked for Meadow Ridge Assisted Living in Redding, where he was a driver for the residents.

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Posted 10:45 AM
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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Christian M. Bernegger, 56

Christian Martin Bernegger of South Norwalk, a former Westport resident, died Sept. 17 at Norwalk Hospital.  He was 56.

He was born in Jackson Heights, N.Y. on Feb. 12, 1960 to Loretta and Max Bernegger. He was raised in Westport and graduated Staples High School in 1978.  He earned a bachelor of science degree from Tulane University in 1982.

He was an oil trader who worked in Hamburg, Germany. He then moved to London to open and run an office for his father’s company, First National Crude Oil, based in Norwalk. He moved back to the United States in 1986 to help his father run First National Crude Oil.

He excelled in athletics in his youth and as an adult was an excellent chef who was passionate about preparing meals for family and friends.

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Posted 02:57 PM
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Monday, September 19, 2016

Sean K. Romano, 41

Sean Kelly Romano of Indeo, Calif., a former Westport resident, died Sept. 18. He was 41. Image
Sean Romano: golf was his passion.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

He was born in Norwalk on April 27, 1975, the son of Patricia (Kelly) Romano and the late Joseph “Bo” Romano. He attended Assumption School in Westport, Fairfield County Day School, and Staples High School.

He graduated from Portsmouth Abbey School in Rhode Island. Having grown up at Longshore, it easy to tell why golf became his passion in life.

His passion became his career leading him to Florida and eventually California where he was general manager at the Indian Palms Country Club and Resort.

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Posted 07:19 PM
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Saturday, September 17, 2016

Eugene R. Bayliss, 89

Eugene (Gene) Ransom Bayliss of Milford, a former Westport resident and Broadway director and choreographer active with George Weigle in Staples High School productions in the 1970s and ‘80s, died Sept. 15 at Chandler Hall Hospice Pavilion, Newtown, Pa., from the effects of Parkinson’s and Parkinson’s dementia. He was 89. Image
Gene Bayiss: director, choreographer. Contributed photo

He was the last remaining of 11 children, born on March 28, 1927 to John and Catherine Bayliss in Birmingham, Ala. Together with his wife of 56 years, Madeline Deasy Bayliss, he was the proud dad to six children, granddad to 15 grandchildren and great-granddad to four great-grandchildren.

These families are: Randy (partner Deidre) and children Elizabeth, Christopher and Gregory; Madeline (partner Tom) and children Douglas (wife Kyoko) and Meredith; Philip (MD), wife Peggy and children Cathryn Marsala (husband Jaime and children Jack and Maggie), Ashley Markey (husband Casey and children Taylor and Ryan) and Philip (wife Amy); Maura White, husband Jim and son Casey; David, and children Allison (deceased), Christine, James and Ryan; and Stephen, wife Elissa and children Declan and Kendall.

Gene had his eyes on Broadway even before he left Birmingham for the Northwestern University’s School of Communication Speech and Theater program. He and Lola Mae Jones Coates graced the floor of the Steeple Arts Academy of Dance in Birmingham.

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Posted 11:43 AM
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Friday, September 16, 2016

Alexander Balas, 91

Alexander (Al) Balas, long active in Westport community affairs, died Sept. 11. He was 91. Image
Al Balas: community volunteer Contributed photo

He was a member of the Public Site and Building Commission, served on the board of the Friends of the Westport Center for Senior Activities (WCSA), and contributed his expertise to many town projects, including construction of the WCSA.

He was born Oct. 19, 1924 in the Ukrainian city of Chernivtsi. His family moved to New York in 1940 when he was 15.

After finishing high school in New York City, he joined the U.S. Navy and served in World War II (Okinawa) and the Korean Conflict (stateside). 

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Posted 12:28 PM
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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Joan Malloy, 80

Joan Lee Malloy of Wilmington, N.C., , a former Westport resident, died Sept. 2. She was 80.

Born in Pittsburgh to Leo and Margaret Prendergast, she had three sisters, Luanne, her twin sister Jane, and Shelia. She attended St. Anslem’s grammar school and St. Thomas High School in Braddock, Pa., and graduated from Duquesne University, magna cum laude, with a bachelor of science in business administration.

Upon graduating, she was hired by Alcoa Corporation’s CEO John Harper in Pittsburgh, the largest aluminum company in the world. While at Alcoa, she was instrumental in the advancement of women in the workforce and providing relief to underprivileged American families through her efforts with the newly formed Alcoa Foundation and the Mellon Family.

She married the love of her life John T. Malloy, also of Pittsburgh, in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City on Sept. 5, 1964. She was happily married for 27 years, many of them spent in Westport. Following the death of her husband, she relocated to Wilmington.

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Posted 12:04 PM
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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Leone K. Griffith, 87

Leone (Kulak) Griffith, of Pittsboro, N..C. a former teacher in the Westport school system, died Sept. 11. She was 87. Image
Leone Griffith: former Westport teacher. Contributed photo

She was an exemplary educator, creative expressionist, ardent adventurer, and beloved mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend. She was born Oct. 21, 1928 in New Britain, Conn.

According to family lore, her parents Mary (Mae) and Joseph Kulak recognized that their first-born child was curious and precocious.

Mae had Leone tested so that she could skip kindergarten and start the first grade while just on the cusp of turning 5. Leone aced the test and entered the first grade at Smalley School in 1932.

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Posted 06:30 PM
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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Harriet T. Raffel, 90

Harriet T. Raffel of Bridgeport, a former Westport resident, died Sept. 9. She was 90.

She was the widow of William A. Raffel and is survived by two children, Nancy and Richard Raffel.

A graveside funeral service will be held Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 11 a.m. at the B’nai Jacob Cemetery, Jewell Street, New Haven.

Posted 11:00 PM
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Thursday, September 08, 2016

Annette R. Longmuir, 70

Annette R. Longmuir of Norwalk died Sept. 7 at Norwalk Hospital. She was 70.

Born in Norwalk the daughter of Albert and Antoinette (Maniglio) Renzulli, she was the wife of Robert Longmuir for 51 years. 

Her greatest joy was her family. She was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. She was also an avid New York Mets fan.

In addition to her husband Bob, she is survived by their children, Robert (Jennifer) Longmuir and Kathy (Tom) Bonaventura of Westport, seven grandchildren: Dylan, Lily, Jonathan, Abigail and Emma Longmuir, Michael and Matthew Bonaventura, and two sisters, Anita LeDuc and Audrey Roos. She was predeceased by her sister Amelia “Mimi” Mitchell.

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Posted 02:50 PM
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Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Mary Gunn, 95

Mary Elizabeth Hunter Gunn of Redding, a former 57-year Westport resident, died Aug 18. She was 95.

A former resident also of New Haven and Milford, she was the wife of Colin (Ben) Gunn, a longtime Westport resident and attorney who died in 2012 at age 91.

The daughter of Marion Doolittle and Frank Watson Hunter of Milford, she utilized her creative and artistic talents to explore life. She graduated from Laurelton Hall and Southern Connecticut Teacher’s College. 

After teaching in the Milford schools, she worked at the Peabody Museum at Yale with James Perry Wilson, painting woodland backgrounds and mounting animals in naturalistic positions.

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Posted 03:16 PM
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