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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

Monday, March 23, 2015

Walt A. Reed, 97

The following obituary was supplied by the family:

Walt Arnold Reed, husband to Mary Inez Reed, died March 18 at his Westport home. He was 97.

Walt is remembered primarily as a champion of the art of illustration and his various activities—illustrator, author, lecturer, editor, historian, archivist, and art dealer—were all engaged with the promotion of illustration art as a valid field of art history and a viable branch of the art market.

Walt founded the specialized art gallery Illustration House, in Westport, in 1973. He moved it to South Norwalk in 1979, and New York City in 1987.

Walt was born in Big Spring, Texas, in July 1917, to Edith and Fay Reed, and was raised in Grand Rapids, Mich. He went to New York to study art, first at Pratt Institute and then at the New York Phoenix School of Design. He married Mary Garavagno in 1948.

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Posted 08:38 PM
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Nancy H. Laughlin, 94

Nancy H. Laughlin of Westport, a former Town of Westport employee, died March 3. She was 94.

She was born on April 13,1920 in Westport to the late Hilary and Stella Horelick. She married her husband, Walter, on June 28, 1941 at the Assumption Church in Westport.

She was a secretary for the Town of Westport Building and Zoning Department. She enjoyed many summer vacations with her family on Cape Cod. She enjoyed daily walks and gardening.

She is survived by her daughter Barbara Negeli and her husband Robert of Fairfield her three grandsons, Robert Negeli and his wife Kristina of Shelton, Brian Negeli and his wife Charity of Monroe, Chet Wickett of Bozeman, Mont., and three great-grandsons, Bryce Carter Negeli ,Collin John Negeli, and Sebastian Wickett.  She was predeceased by her husband, Walter J Laughlin, sisters Stella Chapman, Anna DeLuca, Rose Carpenter,and Helen Wanat, and by her daughter, Patricia Laughlin Wickett.  A private service was held at Assumption Cemetery in Westport.

Posted 05:32 PM
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Remembering Famous Artist Walt Reed

By James Lomuscio

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Walt Reed in his studio in the 1960s. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Ed Gerber, president of the Westport Historical Society, says it was a love of the town’s arts history, illustrators in particular, that forged a friendship 15 years ago with renowned illustrator Walt Reed who died at his Saugatuck home March 18 at age 97.

Gerber, a collector of art by George Hand Wright, an illustrator who ushered in Westport’s arts community in 1907, recalled being at Reed’s New York City gallery, in search of Wright’s work.

“I bought a lot of stuff through the gallery, Illustration House, then on West 25th Street,” Gerber said.

Reed, once described as the founding father of the study of American illustration as well as its chief archivist and its patron saint, started Illustration House, Inc. in 1973 in Westport. His son Roger Reed now operates it at 34 West 27 St.

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Posted 01:58 PM
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Walt Reed, 97,  Noted Westport Artist

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Westport artist Walt Reed, once described as the founding father of the study of American illustration as well as its chief archivist and its patron saint, died March 18. He was 97. Once an instructor at Westport’s Famous Artists Schools, he authored numerous books and articles, including one on fellow Westport artist Harold von Schmidt. He founded Illustration House in Westport in 1974, which was devoted to the art and history of illustration. His son Roger joined him in 1981, and in 1987 they moved the gallery to New York City. He is pictured front of his 1976 American bicentennial U.S, postage stamp issue showing the flags of each of the 50 states which was part of a 2012 Westport Historical Society exhibit. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

Posted 01:52 PM
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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Clemente V. Laudanna, 95

Clemente V. Laudanna of Bridgeport, former head chef of Westport’s Café de la Plage restaurant, died March 11 at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Bridgeport. He was 95.

Born in Bridgeport to the late Salvatore and Gelsomina Laudanna. he was a lifelong resident of Bridgeport and served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was awarded the American Defense Service Medal, the Victory Medal, the American Theater Campaign Ribbon and Good Conduct Medal.

Upon discharge from the Army, he worked as a chef his entire career, which included 25 years as head chef of Café de la Plage in Westport and 15 years at the Jewish Home for the Elderly in Fairfield.

He is survived by his wife, Violet (Bunny) Laudanna, a sister, Rosemarie Parauka, nieces Lorayne Gillen, Jessica Martino and Karen Budahazy, and a nephew, Nicholas La Pietra. He was predeceased by a step-daughter, Theresa (Tess) Bennett, a sister, Edythe Mihok, three brothers, John Laudanna, Lorenzo La Pietra and Antonio La Pietra, a niece, Anna Harbs, and a nephew, Richard Mihok.

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Posted 02:25 PM
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Robert DeLay, 96

Robert “Bob” DeLay of Tucson, Ariz., a former Westport resident and the longest-tenured president of the Direct Marketing Association at 26 years, died Feb. 14. He was 96.

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Bob DeLay: direct marketing expert. Contributed photo

During a run of service spanning 1956 to 1984, DeLay helped establish direct marketing as a distinct channel of commerce, according to said Alliant CEO JoAnne Monfradi Dunn, current president of the DMA board of directors. “As a result of Bob’s work, DMA stands as the world’s largest marketing trade association,” she said.

In the 1960s, DeLay led an effort to have the mailing industry work together with the Post Office to establish the ZIP Code, which was necessitated in large part by growing volumes of business mail crowding postal facilities at that time.

DeLay became the face and the spokesperson of direct marketing through hundreds of radio and TV appearances, including on” 60 Minutes.” As an established marketing industry leader, he received several invitations to White House events and met with three presidents.

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Posted 02:33 AM
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Friday, March 20, 2015

John Sych, Sr., 94

John Sych, Sr. of Westport died March 18 at Aaron Manor under hospice care in Chester. He was 94.

Born in Southport the son of Pauline and Constante Sych, he moved to Westport in 1925. He grew up in Westport and remembered the trolleys on the Post Road and working on local farms as a boy.

He graduated from Staples High School in 1940. He served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1945 in the Prisoner of War Administration in North Africa.

He was a longtime employee of Sturm, Ruger & Company in Southport.

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Posted 12:00 PM
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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Genevieve Gontar, 90

Genevieve (Sattarelli) Gontar, a longtime resident of Westport, died March10 at the Ellis Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Norwood, Mass. where she had been a resident since 2011. She was 90.

Born, raised and educated in Mount Vernon, N.Y., she was a daughter of the late Frank and Pauline (Signorelli) Sattarelli. She married and lived a short time in Ardsley, N.Y., prior to settling in Westport.

She was employed in advertising and sales with the Westport News for many years. She continued her education with writing courses at the New School of New York and went on to contribute feature articles to the paper.

She had also worked in real estate as a receptionist. A very creative lady, she particularly enjoyed drawing, printmaking and reading. She will also be remembered for her “party in a box,” a devise she designed to spread love and cheer to family and friends far and wide.

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Posted 06:54 AM
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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Large Turnout for John Izzo Funeral

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There was a large turnout today at Westport’s Assumption Church for funeral services for former Selectman John J. Izzo. He died Friday after a three-month battle with heart disease exacerbated by diabetes, according to his family. He was 71. (See WestportNow March 13, 2015)  Fairfield resident Carl “Tucci” Palmieri, a lifelong friend, said of him: “Once he’s your friend, he’s your friend for life. John was a republicrat. He had compassion. He wanted everyone to win.”  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 01:03 PM
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Remembering John Izzo

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Family members greet mourners today outside Westport’s Assumption Church following a funeral service for former Selectman John J. Izzo, who died Friday at age 71. A reception followed at Mario’s Place restaurant in Saugatuck, one of Izzo’s favorite haunts. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 12:58 PM
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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Loretta A. Frimpter, 87

Loretta Anna Frimpter of Westport died March 13 in St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Bridgeport. She was 87.

Born Feb. 15, 1928 in Norwalk, she was the daughter of the late Joseph and Anna (O’Connor) Smith. She worked as a bookkeeper for Wassell’s, She loved gardening as well as her role as wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

Survivors include a son, Donald Frimpter and his wife Elaine of West Redding, a daughter, Donna Frimpter of Trumbull, two sisters, Florence Chalfant of Miami Springs, Fla., and Agnes Violette-Danzer, three grandchildren and one great-grandchild. She was predeceased by her husband, Donald E. Frimpter and her parents, and two brothers, Edward Smith and James Smith.

The family will receive friends on Wednesday, March 18 from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Road East. Friends are invited to attend a funeral on Thursday March 19 at 10 a.m. meeting directly at Assumption Church 98 Riverside Ave., for a Mass of Christian Burial. Interment will follow in Assumption Cemetery on Kings Highway North.

Condolences for the family may be left on line at http://www.hardingfuneral.com. Memorial contributions in lieu of flowers may be made to a charity of your choice.

Posted 12:26 PM
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Monday, March 16, 2015

Svea K. Sommer, 97

Svea K. Sommer, a former teacher in the Westport school system, died Feb. 20 at Norwalk Hospital after a brief illness. She was 97.

Known for her prodigious intellect, generosity, and zest for life, she was a role model for those with whom she came in contact. They included her many colleagues at Westport’s Staples High School, where she taught students with special needs, to the friends she made in her myriad and varied activities.

During the World War II, she enlisted in the U.S. Women’s Auxilliary Corps, where she achieved the rank of staff sergeant.  In New York, shortly after the war, she was introduced to John Sommer by their respective best friends. They began their 66 years of solid gold marriage six weeks later.

She lived life fully, working in many disciplines. During the 1940s, she was an avid labor organizer for autoworkers. When she and John became parents, she happily spent several years as a stay-at-home mother with their daughter, Catherine.

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Posted 03:35 PM
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Gerald M. Apoian, 65

Gerald “Jerry” Michael Apoian of Westport died March 10. He was 65.

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Jerry Apoian: award-winning creative professional. Contributed photo

He was born Nov. 11, 1949 in Detroit, Mich. to parents of Armenian descent. He was a longtime Westport resident, moving here from New York in 1993.

He learned the values of hard work and devotion to family by witnessing his mother and father’s commitment to establishing a better life for their children in America, his family said.

Like his parents, he put his family before himself, and was unconditionally supportive of their happiness. His warmth and love were felt in abundance at family gatherings, annual Christmas trips to Michigan, and his delight in his three young grandchildren.

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Posted 01:31 PM
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Robert S. Genualdi, 84

Robert S. Genualdi of Bridgeport, a musician and retired educator who served twice as acting principal at Westport’s Staples High School, died March 14 at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport. He was 84.

He was born in Chicago to Biagio Genualdi and the former Elizabeth Doll. He was a conductor of the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestras and a founding member of the Fairfield Country String Teachers Association and with his wife, Dorothy Straub Genualdi, helped run the P.T. Barnum Museum’s Jenny Lind Competition for many years.

He also gave private music lessons and composed music. He played string bass in the Miami, New Haven, Greater Bridgeport and Greenwich symphonies.

He served as acting principal of Staples High School in 1972-73 and again in 1975, and principal of Andrew Warde High School, then Roger Ludlowe and Andrew Warde High Schools in Fairfield simultaneously, and then as headmaster of the “new” consolidated Fairfield High School in Fairfield.

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Posted 01:29 PM
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Sunday, March 15, 2015

William E. Reed, 70

William Edward Reed, “Bunker Bill,” of Westport and Norwalk died March 5 in Norwalk Hospital. He was 70.

Born in Norwalk on Sept. 24, 1944, son of the late Wilmont and Jeanne Reed, he was a lifelong Westport and Norwalk resident, and a U. S. Navy veteran of the Vietnam War.

He was a self-employed landscape contractor and property manager. He served on the board of directors of Value Line Inc. in New York City and the board at the VFW in Westport.

He was an avid horseman who had a passion for thoroughbred racing. However, his true love was boating and fishing. He was a member of the Westport Striped Bass Club and a lifetime member of the South Norwalk Boat Club for more than 30 years.

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