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Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Veronica Kirchhof, 96
Veronica (Ronnie) Kirchhof of Hardy, Va., a former Westport resident, died Oct. 22. She was 96.
She was born and raised in Marcellus, N.Y., she was predeceased by her husband Bill Kirchhof; parents Edward and Caroline Hayes; her 14 brothers and sisters and daughter-in-law Theora Kirchhoff. After moving to Westport, in the mid 1960s, she worked for Pepperidge Farm. At retirement, she moved to Florida and then in mid 1990s, relocated to Virginia.
She is survived by her children Maggie (Tom) Gray, Hardy, Va.; Tom Kirchhof, West Palm Beach, Fla.; Martha Kirchhof, Bridgeport, and Peter Kirchhof, Randolph, Vt. Also surviving are her grandchildren Christopher (Tayo) Kirchhof, Coralyn Kirchhof, Brenda Gray and Holly Gray, as well as great-grandchildren Corrissa Springer and McKenzie Kirchhof. She is also survived by other family including countless nieces and nephews.
The family gratefully thanks the staff of Runk & Pratt Senior Living Community at Smith Mountain Lake, VA for their loving care of Mom for the past almost six years. She was predeceased by her husband Bill Kirchhof; parents Edward and Caroline Hayes; her 14 brothers and sisters and daughter-in-law Theora Kirchhoff.
Burial of her ashes will be at St. Francis Xavier Cemetery, Marcellus, NY, at a later date.
Monday, October 24, 2016
Gloria M. Hudson, 89
Gloria M. Hudson, a native of Westport, died Oct. 23. She was 89.
Gloria M. Hudson: native Westporter. Contributed photo
She was born Nov. 19, 1926 to the late Anthony and Angelina Manere.
A devout Catholic, she was one of the founding members of Saint Luke Church. She was awarded the Saint Augustine Medal of Service. She was a longtime member of the Westport P.A.L.
In addition to her parents, her husband, William A. Hudson Jr., predeceased her. She is survived by her five children Bill (Dianne) of Hollywood, Fla., Judy Palmer (Bill) of Fairfield, Sheila Lee of Milford, Bobby (Denise) of Trumbull, and Jack of Massachusetts; also by grandchildren Richard (Gina), Kimberly (Chris), Chrissy (Jason), Judy Lynn (Ray), Patty (Mark), Chelsey, and Jessie (Zoltan), Frank and Jaime, great-grandchildren Holly, Raymond, Jackson, Piper, James and Hannah. Sister of Shirl (Scott) and Bob (Fran). Many nieces and nephews.
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Ellen B. Zunick, 64
Ellen B. Zunick of Trumbull, an employee of the Westport school system, died Oct. 19 at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport. She was 64.
She was born in Boston., a daughter of the late Leon and Charlotte Steiff, and was a longtime member of Congregation B’nai Torah of Trumbull. She was a paraprofessional with the Kings Highway Elementary School in Westport, and was a teacher with the Hebrew School at Congregation B’nai Torah.
She is survived by her husband, Robert Zunick, her children, Michael Zunick and his wife Amanda of Hawthorne, N.J., Jonathan Zunick and his wife Thea of Hoboken, N.J., and by her sister, Ronda Sirot and her husband Jerold of Peabody, Mass.; also by her grandchildren, Caleb and Sarah. She was predeceased by her sister, Sharon Steiff.
Funeral services will take place on Friday, Oct.. 21 at 11 a.m. at the Abraham L. Green and Son Funeral Home 88 Beach Road, Fairfield, with interment following at B’nai Torah Cemetery on Reid Street in Fairfield. Shiva will be observed at the Zunick residence in Trumbull on Saturday evening. Memorial contributions may be made to Congregation B’nai Torah 5700 Main Street, Trumbull, CT 06611.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Lincoln Center Memorial Service for Noah Witke
A memorial service for Westport actor Noah Witke was held today at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York. Fellow former Staples High School Player Max Stampa-Brown remembered his close friend in front of hundreds of Witke’s friends, family and colleagues. Witke, 25, a 2009 Staples graduate, died Sunday in a fall from his Harlem rooftop (see WestportNow Oct. 17, 2016). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Actress Cecilia Hart Jones, 68
Cecilia Hart Jones, wife of actor James Earl Jones, died Oct. 16 after a year of battling ovarian cancer. She was 68. She is pictured with actor Paxton Whitehead when they played husband and wife roles in the Westport Country Playhouse 2015 production of the Alan Ayckbourn comedy “Bedroom Farce.” (See video here of Jones and Whitehead) Whitehead and Hart said they have played stage roles of husband and wife five times in four plays over the years. Hart met her real husband while working on the TV series “Paris” in 1979. She appeared twice on Broadway; in “Dirty Linen” in 1977 and played Desdemona to Jones’ Othello in 1982. In addition to her husband, their son, Flynn, and her brothers James A. V. Hart and William F. Hart III, survive her. Donations may be made in Cecilia’s name to: The Actors Fund https://donate.actorsfund.org/donate or Hudson Valley Hospice https://www.hvhospice.org/index.php/foundation/donate/. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Anita Alic, 74
Anita Alic of Ludlow, Vt., a former Westport resident, died Oct. 8 at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. She was 74.
Anita Alic: gardener. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Born in Chicago in 1942, she grew up in many places, mostly in Texas although no trace of Texas remained in her accent, and graduated in 1964 from Northwestern University with a BA in art history. She met husband Jim at Northwestern and they married in December of their senior year.
After a couple of years in Chicago, they moved to Birmingham, Mich, where children Michael and Amanda were born. In 1970, they moved to Westport, where they lived for most of the next 30-plus years.
Starting with a condo at Okemo in 1977, Anita and Jim fell in love with Vermont and built a home in Ludlow in the late 1980s, planning to eventually retire there. They finally made the move in 2002.
Monday, October 17, 2016
Lewis J. Burke, Jr., 85
Lewis Joseph Burke, Jr. of Trumbull, a former member of the Westport Community Band, died Oct. 13. He was 85.
The husband of Elizabeth Jean Wargo Burke was born and raised in Bridgeport, son of the late Lewis Burke Sr. and Ella Kovacs Burke, He had lived in Fairfield for 48 years before moving to Trumbull two years ago.
He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy, and later worked at the Bullard Company, Nash Engineering, and finally for Stop & Shop of Westport after his retirement.
He was a longtime member of the First United Church of Christ of Bridgeport and was the bass soloist in the church choir. He also played the trumpet and played with the Westport Community Band for 12 years.
Gary Singer, 86
Gary Singer of Bradenton Fla, a former Weston resident who was co-founder of the Westport Community Theatre, died Oct. 15. He was 86.
Gary Singer: co-founder Westport Community Theatre. Contributed photo
He was born Nov. 27, 1929 in Norwalk. He was the son of Benn Singer and the former Sylvia Shilepsky, who, with her brother Maurice, opened Shilepsky’s clothing store on Westport’s Main Street.
A graduate of Norwalk High School and the University of Bridgeport, he was a proud veteran of the Korean Conflict.
His career in advertising – both with major New York agencies, as well as leading his own company – was augmented by his dedication to volunteer community and civic service.
Staples Grad Dies in Fall From NYC Apartment Building
Noah Witke as he appeared in 2009 Staples Players’s “12 Angry Men.” Contributed photo
UPDATE Noah Witke, a 2009 Staples High School graduate, died Sunday in a fall from his Manhattan apartment building, the New York Daily News reported.
The 25-year-old actor who died after falling from the roof of his Harlem building had forgotten his keys at work and was trying to climb onto the fire escape to get in when he lost his balance and fell, police said, according to the newspaper.
“Witke had gone out to a party for the closing of the New York Film Festival with fellow actors and co-workers Saturday night, but forgot his keys and bag at Lincoln Center, where he was working for the cinematic celebration, police and friends said,” the Daily News reported.
It quoted witnesses as telling investigators Witke left a bar after having a few drinks around 4 a.m.
Ernest K. Gazdik, 65
Ernest Kenneth Gazdik of Westport died Oct. 3. He was 65.
Ernest Gazdik: truck driver. Contributed photo
He was born on June 25, 1951 in Bridgeport, the son of the late Julius and Margaret Gazdik and brother Julius (Gus) Gazdik of Fairfield.
He attended Andrew Ward High School and was a truck driver for over 30 years.
He is survived by three daughters, Michele Convertito and her husband Dave Convertito of Oxford, Melissa Gazdik and her fiancé Mark Alves of Shelton, and Maria Gazdik of Stratford; also by three grandchildren, Lia, Sofia and Julianna Convertito along with several nieces nephews and great friends.
Saturday, October 15, 2016
Jane Gay, 94
Dorothy Jane Burns Gay of Florida, a former Westport resident, died Oct. 1. She was 94.
Dorothy Jane Burns Gay: former Westporter Contributed photo
Born Aug. 8, 1922 in Endicott, N.Y. to Ester Mae Wilson and Leland Ralph Burns, she was a graduate of Union-Endicott High School class of 1940.
In New York City, she pursued a modeling career, met and married her World World War II veteran husband, Samuel A. Gay in 1946, who worked on Wall Street his entire career.
She was a dedicated wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, a wonderfully talented and creative homemaker, and supportive church member. After retirement, Jane joined her husband in becoming a full time missionary.
Lois Dawers, 96
Lois Samuel (Cosden) Dawers of Piedmont, Calif, a former Westport resident, died April 20. She was 96.
Lois Dawers: former Westporter. Contributed photo
Born Sept. 27, 1919, she was a native of San Francisco, and 47-year resident of Piedmont. She was the daughter of Jacob (Jake) and Anna Samuel, and younger sister of Edna Samuel (DeRoy) Liebman. Bright, gifted, courageous and giving, she enriched the lives of others throughout her life.
An artist since childhood, she created many beautiful, meaningful paintings, both large and small. At Presidio Jr. High School, she was student body president and valedictorian.
After high school, she attended the San Francisco School of Fine Art (now the San Francisco Art Institute), where she won awards, and practiced commercial art. In 1940, on a trip to New York City with her mother and favorite aunt (Gussie), she was introduced at a dinner party to her future mother-in-law (Blanche Cohn), who quickly arranged for her son, William (Bill) Edward Cosden, to meet her.
Thursday, October 13, 2016
Russell L. Brenneman, Pioneering Environmentalist, 88
Russell L. Brenneman of Westport, an environmental lawyer, teacher, and activist, died Oct. 10 at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport. He was 88.
Russ Brenneman was honored in June in Westport for his environmental work. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
He was a pioneering member of the environmental movement, in which he was active for over half a century.
From the movement’s infancy in the 1960s until his death, he devoted countless hours to the conservation and management of forests and open land, the control of air and water pollution, and the development of environmental and energy policy.
He was born Aug. 15, 1928 in Springfield, Ill. to Russell L. Brenneman, Sr., a banker, and Anita Seeds Brenneman, both of Columbus, Ohio. He was raised mostly in Tucson, Ariz., and Columbus.
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Helen L. Gordon, 96
Helen L. Gordon of Ridgefield, a former Westport resident, died Oct. 8 at Danbury Hospital. She was 96.
The wife of the late John W. Gordon was born in New Sharon, Maine on April 4, 1920, the daughter of the late William and Marjorie (Reynolds) Haase.
She was a longtime resident of Westport before moving to Ridgefield eight years ago.
She worked for many companies over the course of several years including Pepperidge Farms, Famous Artists School and MBI.
Saturday, October 08, 2016
Elizabeth R. Metsos, 82
Elizabeth Rigea Metsos of Westport died Oct. 7. She was 82.
Elizabeth Metsos: accomplished artist. Contributed photo
Born and raised in Bridgeport, daughter of the late Dimitrie and Athena Adam Rigea, she moved to Westport and lived here for more than 20 years. She worked for the Ally Industries Co. of Bridgeport for more than 25 years until her retirement.
She was a very outgoing and friendly person, she enjoyed cooking for family and friends, she was an accomplished artist creating oil paintings and especially loved world travel.
She will be fondly remembered as a wonderful sister and friend who lived life to the fullest. She will be greatly missed.