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Thursday, January 19, 2017
Edward B. Gill of Westport died Jan.15 at home. He was 91.
Born in Rockville, Connecticut on May 25, 1925, he was the son of Andrew Stanley Gill and Bernice Sophia Gill (nee Baron).
A World War II veteran, he served as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 242 Army Air Force Base Unit as lead navigator for the 730th Bomb Squadron in the 452nd Bomb Group of the 8th Air Force. He flew 17 missions from Deopham Green Airfield in England. After the war he served in the Air Reserve until 1961.
He graduated from the University of Connecticut with a B.S. from the College of Agriculture and received a Master’s in education from the University of Bridgeport.
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
An overflow crowd today attended the funeral of Westporter John Skinner, former airline pilot and a founder of the Builders Beyond Borders charity, at the Southport Congregational Church. He died Jan. 13 at age 80. (See WestportNow Jan. 16, 2017) Said son Chris Skinner: “My father had a blue collar attitude and wore the white shirt of professionalism. He was a man’s man, a regular guy.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Lucia Nebel White of Westport, a noted photographer and longtime member of Westport’s arts community, died Jan. 14 at home following a brief illness. She was 93.
Active into her 90s, she was a member of the High Tide Club, a group of elderly residents who swim at Westport’s Burying Hill Beach. She made it a point to swim there every day in all but the most inclement weather.
She was born April 19, 1923 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her father, Berthold Nebel, a Beaux-Arts sculptor, was born in Basil, Switzerland and came to the United States at age 1. Her mother, Maria Lucantoni, was born in Anticoli Corardo, Italy. They met at the American Academy in Rome, where Berthold had studied on a fellowship and where Maria was a model.
Lucia lived in Pittsburgh for four years while her father taught at the School of Sculpture at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, now Carnegie Mellon University.
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Lynn Beinfield of Colorado Springs, Colorado, a former Westport resident, died Jan. 1 at Baylor Hospital in Dallas, Texas while undergoing treatment for leukemia. She was 67.
Born in Brooklyn, New York on Feb. 8, 1949, she was a daughter of Marjorie and Malcolm Beinfield. Malcolm Beinfield, who died in 2006 at age 84, was a well-known, longtime Westport surgeon. Marjorie, a social worker at Norwalk Hospital, died in March 2016 at age 90.
The Beinfield family moved to Westport in 1951 where Lynn graduated from Staples High School in 1967. She was a graduate of Antioch College, and SUNY Downstate College of Medicine, where her father and her grandfathers, Henry Beinfield and Harry Koster, had gone before her.
She practiced psychiatry in Newtown before moving to Colorado.
Eleanor (Bickie) Shull of Westport died Jan. 11. She was 91.
A Westport resident for 60 years, she was born in Montclair, New Jersey, the daughter of Harriet Parsons and Ralph M. Watt.
She graduated from Smith College where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in her junior year, and also to Sigma Xi, a national honorary scientific society.
She had been an illustrator for children’s magazines, advertising manager/art director, copy editor, and most recently a painter.
Ernest “Ernie” I. Arnow of Westport, a World War II veteran, longtime Norwalk dentist, and former member of Westport’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM), died Jan. 15 at home. He was 92.
The husband of Elaine Walkoff Arnow was born, July 6, 1924 in Bronx, N.Y., the son of Samuel and Sadie Arnow.
He attended the Bronx High School of Science and then served in the U.S. Army during World War II in the Medical Corps in the Pacific. He proudly participated in Westport Memorial Day parades over the years.
He attended New York University (NYU) undergraduate school and NYU Dental School. He practiced dentistry in Norwalk for more than 50 years.
Stephanie (Cohen) Miller of California, a former Westport resident, died Nov. 22, 2016. She was 78.
She was born on March 21, 1938 to Edith and Reverend Phillip Cohen. She grew up in London and then married Laurence Miller and relocated to the United States.
She was an educator and strong advocate for children with learning challenges. She created a series of tales about Pierre, a dog lost in London and Paris, to assist the students she tutored in reading comprehension. Unfortunately, shedied before she had an opportunity to publish any of her work.
She was loved by many - especially her children Alan and Janet Miller, as well as her four grandchildren, Connor, Tyler, Ben and Sean. She moved from Westport, CT to Mill Valley to be closer to her family. She had a close attachment to her British roots and was an active member of the Daughter’s of the British Empire.
Monday, January 16, 2017
John Carl Skinner of Westport died Jan. 13 at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport as a result of injuries suffered from a fall the day after Christmas. He was 80.
He was born in San Jose, California on March 22, 1936. He was adopted at age 6 by Cleo and Lempi Amanda Koivunen Skinner, and later at age 12 by Gladys May Skinner, following the death of Amanda.
He grew up in Sacramento and joined the Navy at age 18 where he served as a fighter pilot for 12 years. He met his future wife, Jeri Ann Hatch, at the Officers’ Club at Moffett Field in Sunnyvale, California.
They were married on July 5, 1959. They had two sons, Christian Carl born on Feb. 9, 1960 and Craig Steven born exactly two years later, on Feb. 9, 1962.
A memorial service for Glenn Hightower, longtime Westport educator who died Jan. 1 at age 76, will be held Saturday, his family said today.
The service will take place at United Methodist Church of Westport and Weston, 49 Weston Road, at 2 p.m. (See family-supplied obituary appended to the WestportNow obituary, WestportNow, Jan. 4, 2017)
In lieu of flowers, the family asks to consider a donation to the following organizations that will make an impact on people’s lives in a local community:
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Lois H. Roehr, a longtime resident of Westport and Weston, died in September. She was 84.
Born in New York, she grew up in St. Albans and studied at Queens College CUNY, majoring in Latin American studies. After graduation, she worked at the Benrus Watch Company in Manhattan while pursuing a Master’s degree.
She met her husband at a New Year’s party. They eloped sixth months later. They moved to Westport in the late 1960s and to Weston in the 90s.
She s tutored students for the English SAT, taught Spanish to adults and children, and worked as a freelance editor and translator. She also substituted in the Westport public schools.
Christopher Byron of Weston, a former Westport resident, prizewinning business journalist and New York Times best-selling author, died Jan. 7 at Bridgeport Hospital following a long illness. He was 72.
Byron’s career in business journalism spanned over 40 years, including editor positions at both Time and Forbes and contributing editor for publications such as Esquire, Playboy, Men’s Health, and Worth.
From 1995 to 2000, his “Back of the Envelope” column in the New York Observer exposed the swindlers and con artists from Wall Street to Silicon Valley.
He then wrote a weekly column for Bloomberg News and a column for the New York Post, and he wrote for TheStreet.com, all about similar subjects.
Sunday, January 08, 2017
Nat Hentoff, a free-thinking columnist and author who maintained a home in Westport for more than 30 years, died Jan 7 at his Manhattan apartment. He was 91.
His son, Tom Hentoff, said his father died from natural causes.
Hentoff was perhaps best known as a Village Voice contributor and columnist for 50 years. He also wrote for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Down Beat and the Wall Street Journal. His more than 25 books included jazz and First Amendment works, novels and memoirs.
Hentoff and his wife Margot purchased a home in Westport in 1972. They lived first at 21 Crooked Mile Road, then at 17 Darbrook Road, and then at the Lansdowne condominiums until 2006.
Galy Lapin Starzyk of Westport died Dec. 28 at home. She was 98.
She was born May 21, 1918 in Tuapse, Russia, daughter of the late Leonid B. and Olga Harrin Lapin. She came to the United States as a young girl and was employed at Sikorsky Aircraft in the early days of operation.
On April 30, 1944, she began her 71-year marriage to Michael L. Starzyk, raising son Paul and daughter Nona together. She also busied herself as a volunteer transporter at Norwalk Hospital and involvement with the Home Builders Association of Fairfield County.
In addition to her parents and husband, she was predeceased by a brother, Vitaly Lapin; son Paul and Paul’s “spiritual wife” Joyce Graham. Survivors include daughter Nona Starzyk of Danbury; granddaughters Rebecca Wilson with husband Stephen of Massachusetts and Rachael Wolff of Florida; great-grandchildren Andrew, Lily and Kyle Wilson of Massachusetts and Aidan and Alyssa Wolff in Florida; sister-in-law Gene Reale of Westport and several nieces and their families.
Friday, January 06, 2017
Renate W. Moss of Sandy Hook, a former employee of the Westport school system, died Jan. 3 at Danbury Hospital. She was 76.
She was born Aug. 9, 1940 in Landau, Germany, daughter of the late Michael and Walburga Harrer Gottfried. She met her husband, Edwin, overseas while he was serving in the Army, and returned with him to America to raise a family.
A longtime resident of Redding, she worked for the Westport public schools for 19 years until her retirement in 2003.
One of her greatest joys in life was being with her family, especially with her grandchildren and great-grandchild. She loved to sit in the sunshine with her morning coffee and a good book and enjoyed hearing birdsong in the spring and summer.
Thursday, January 05, 2017
Barbara J. Howard of Naples, Flordia, a former Westport resident, died Dec. 31 of complications from COPD. She was 79.
She was born Barbara Joyce Bethard on Oct. 28, 1937, in Litchfield, Illinois, daughter of Mildred McKee Bethard and Oral F. Bethard. She grew up in Barry, Illinois, where she attended Barry schools from first grade through high school, graduating as valedictorian of the class of 1955.
In high school, she and a girlfriend sang duets at school and at church, and were on the March of Dimes tour; they also won a talent contest on a local TV station. Among other activities, she was active in the school band (trombone and majorette), the 4H Club, and the Methodist Youth Fellowship. At graduation, she was given the American Legion “Good Citizenship” award.
She was awarded an academic scholarship to Illinois State University (then called Illinois State Normal University, a teachers’ college) where she attended one year, majoring in business education.
Wednesday, January 04, 2017
Glenn Hightower of Westport, who served three decades as principal at Bedford Junior High and Middle Schools and later as principal of Westport Adult and Continuing Education, died Jan. 1 at home. He was 76.
Known for his easy going manner, Hightower combined his love of teaching with his love of athletics.
A native of Oklahoma City, Glenn Edward Hightower, or Dr. Hightower as he became known to legions of Westporters, excelled in athletics through high school and at Oklahoma State University until a medical condition eventually ended his formal sports career, according to a profile published when he was honored in 2005 by the Sportsmen of Westport.
But he continued to be active, competing in area and national handball tournaments, running marathons, including the New York Marathon 15 times and 10 ultra (50-mile) marathons. It was routine for him to knock off eight to 10 miles before reporting to work and 20 to 25 miles on weekends.
Barend “Bart” van den Brink of West Hartford, a former Westport resident, died Jan. 1. He was 81.
The husband of Tonnie for 55 years was born in Rotterdam, Netherlands on Aug.16, 1935.
Besides his wife Tonnie, he is survived by his two children, their spouses, and his two granddaughters: his son Hans and wife Sheri of Georgia, and their daughter Bailea and husband Matthew of Texas; and his daughter Elisabeth, husband Nigel and their daughter Alexandra of West Hartford. He is also survived by two siblings: his sister Miep of Holland and brother John and wife Anneke of Holland.
He was defined by his great love for family, nature, animals and traveling. His last trip took him to Texas with family to attend his granddaughter’s wedding.
Adele (Tutino) Gazzelli of Westport died Dec. 31 at Norwalk Hospital. She was 88.
She was born in Brooklyn, New York on March 15, 1928 daughter of the late Bernardo and Carolina (Trifilitte) Tutino. She was a retired caterer. She was a longtime resident of Westport where she lived for 48 years.
She was a loving person who devoted her life to her husband and children. She enjoyed babysitting and playing with her grandchildren in her retirement. Adele loved to sing and introduced both grandchildren to music which developed into a passion for both of them.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband John, and three brothers Santo, Joseph, and Hugo. She is survived by her sister Frances Lemanski, son Christopher, daughter Caroline Goldstein and her husband (Paul), two grandchildren Robert and Lia, and several nieces and nephews.
Tuesday, January 03, 2017
Eugenio “Gino” Mercuri of Norwalk, former owner of Andiamo’s Deli in Westport, died Jan. 1 in Norwalk Hospital. He was 57.
He was born Feb. 21, 1959 in Nicastro, Italy, the son of Giuseppe Mercuri of Norwalk.
He graduated from Norwalk High School in 1977 and went on to become a licensed hairdresser and for many years was the co-owner of Tony & Gino’s Hair Salon in New Canaan. He later pursued his passion for the culinary industry and went on to become owner of Andiamo’s Deli, 177 Post Road West, in Westport.
He had many passions; however his greatest enjoyment was his family, especially his granddaughter Mia. This past summer he fulfilled his dream of taking Mia to Disney World. He also enjoyed the company of his many friends.
Monday, January 02, 2017
Edna Mae Thomas Butner, formerly of Westport and Nantucket, Massachusetts, died Dec. 13 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. She was 88.
She was born Sept. 24, 1928 in Negaunee, Michigan to Ira and Jennie Thomas. She attended Central Grammar School and graduated from Negaunee High School. She was a good student, and involved in her community, she was a Camp Fire Girl, as well as being part of many school clubs and organizations.
She attended Northern Michigan University until entering and graduating from Augustana Hospital School of Nursing in Chicago in 1950 as a registered nurse.
She met her future husband Edward in Long Beach, California and married him on Oct. 17, 1951. The couple moved to Westport where they lived their early years where they raised their three children.