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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

Friday, July 11, 2014

Louis B. Gentile, 63

Louis B. Gentile of Fairfield, a retired Westport firefighter, died July 10 at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport. He was 63. Image
Louis Gentile: 27-year Westport firefighter. Contributed photo

Gentile, who retired in 2007 after 27 years, was the husband of Joan Szilagyi Gentile.

Born June 20, 1951 in New Haven the son of the late Louis R. Gentile and Marie Pastore Gentile, he was raised in Fairfield and had been a lifelong Fairfield resident.

He enjoyed boating and fishing in Long Island Sound and motorcycling on long distance cross country tours. He was a great fan of the 4th of July fireworks and was an all around handyman, studying the project and fixing the problem.

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Robert W. Obrecht, 92

Robert William Obrecht of Redding died June 29 at Meadow Ridge. He was 92.

He was born in Rolfe, Iowa on Feb. 7, 1922. He was a proud graduate of the Iowa public school system and received his B.A. from the University of Iowa. HE served in World War II as a second lieutenant in the 69th Tank Battalion of the 69th Armored Division and was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.

Upon completion of active military duty, he attended Columbia University School of Law and received his L.L.B. in 1949. The majority of his career was spent in the law department of what is now Exxon Corp.

A longtime resident of Fairfield County, het served on the Board of Education of the Weston Public Schools and was very active in the Unitarian Universalist Church in Westport, where he served on the board and taught Sunday School.

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Wednesday, July 09, 2014

John J. (Jack) Donovan, 87

Longtime Westporter John J. (Jack) Donovan, husband of the late well-known community volunteer Mollie Donovan, died July 4. He was 87. Image
Jack and Mollie Donovan at a 2004 event. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

A lifelong Connecticut resident, he was born in New Haven, April 6, 1927. He graduated president of the class of 1945 from Commercial High School in New Haven. He joined the U.S. Army and was honorably discharged in November 1946.

Returning to Connecticut, he attended The Connecticut College of Commerce (later to become Quinnipiac), and later earned his Certificate of Public Accountancy in 1953. He was a 50-year member of The Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants.

He established a private accounting practice in Westport that he maintained until his retirement at the age of 78.

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Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Marjorie Berke, 93

Marjorie Berke of Redding, a former Westport resident, died July 2. She was 93.

She had resided at Meadow Ridge in Redding for more than three years. Prior to moving to Meadow Ridge with her husband Arnold, she had lived in Westport for more than 50 years.

She was born in Boston on April 9, 1921 to Ida Letitia and Rueben L. Cate and was raised in East Concord, N.H.

She graduated in 1942 from Colby College in Waterville, Maine with a B.A. in foreign languages. She pursued her interest in languages by teaching French full time at two public schools in New Hampshire and Connecticut.

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Sunday, July 06, 2014

Gary N. Gill, 59

Gary Newell Gill of Westport died April 10. He was 59. Image
Gary Gill: Westporter since age 9. Contributed photo

He had just recently moved back to Westport from Norwalk, where he had lived for more than 20 years.

Born in Long Island, N.Y. on May 2, 1954, he moved with his family to the Compo Beach area when he was nine years old. He attended Saugatuck Elementary and Bedford Junior High School prior to graduating from Staples High School in 1972.

He was a member of Boy Scout Troop 36 where he attained the rank of Eagle Scout and attended many national and international Scouting Jamborees.

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Saturday, July 05, 2014

Jean A. Silvestro, 81

Jean A. Silvestro of Sandy Hook died July 2.  She was 80.

She was born on July 7, 1932 in Westport, daughter of late Michael and Amy Gilbertie.

In addition to her husband of 55 years, Albert, she is survived by daughter Diana Stewart and husband Gary; sons Larry Silvestro and wife Katya Ilina, and Michael Silvestro and wife Suzanne; her brothers Ralph and Michael Gilbertie; seven grandchildren and a great-granddaughter; and several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her brother Julius.

There will be no calling hours, and the memorial service will be held on Tuesday, July 8 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Rose Church at 46 Church Hill Road, Newtown. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the COPD Foundation at

Posted 05:26 PM
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Zenecia (Necia) Byerly Doyle, 80

Zenecia (Necia) Byerly Doyle of Norwell, Mass., formerly of Westport, died July 1. She was 80.

Born in New London on Sept. 11, 1933 to David and Mary Byerly, she grew up in Middletown and attended Connecticut College. 

She met her husband, Richard J. Doyle, in Hartford, and, after traveling the globe for his work, they finally settled in Westport where they raised their five children. She was known to all her friends for her generosity, warmth, and sense of humor, said her family, which was the cornerstone of her life.

For almost 31 years she was the wife of her late husband. She is survived by Richard J. Doyle, Jr. of Easton and his wife Susan; Michael D. Doyle of Dover, Mass., and his wife Gina; Timothy C. Doyle of Pepperell, Mass., and his wife Catherine, Mary Catherine French of Herndon, Va., and her husband Daniel, and Zenecia D. O’Neill of Hingham, Mass. and her husband, Raymond. She was also the grandmother of 13 grandchildren.

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Thursday, July 03, 2014

Harriet Hiller Lebish, 75

Harriet Hiller Lebish of Bridgeport, a former Westport resident and reporter and editor at the Westport Minuteman, died June 30 at home. She was 75. Image
Harriet Hiller Lebish: former Westport Minuteman editor-reporter. Contributed photo

Hiller served as arts and good living editor at the Minuteman from its founding in 1993 until 2002. She had earlier worked for The Hour of Norwalk. She also contributed to The New York Times, Connecticut Post, and the Westport News.

Later, she was an adjunct professor of art history at Housatonic Community College and Sacred Heart University,

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y. to the late Edmond and Janette Shiller, she was raised in The Bronx, where she graduated from William H. Taft High School. She attended City College, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and George Washington University before graduating cum laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in art history from the University of Bridgeport.

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Posted 10:37 PM
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Martin Garment, 95

Martin Garment of Westport and Longboat Key, Fla. died July 3.  He was 95.

He was father of Susan (Jeffrey), and John (Adriana), grandfather of Elyse, Jillian, Natalia , and Martín.

He was predeceased by wife Sylvia, and by brothers Charles and Leonard.

Services are scheduled Sunday, July 6, at 2 p.m. at Abraham L. Green And Son Funeral Home in Fairfield.

Posted 07:30 PM
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Wednesday, July 02, 2014

William “Bill” F. Meyer III, 85

William “Bill” F. Meyer lll of Westport, husband of Carolyn Meyer for 16 years, died June 28 at his home following a two year battle with cancer. He was 85.

He was born in Englewood, N. J.on April 27, 1929, son of William F. Meyer, Jr. and Hope Hills Elmer. He was a graduate of Peddie Prep School in New Jersey and University of Hartford.

He was known by many for his 30-year involvement in Westport Girls Softball in which he served most of these years as president. He was also involved in numerous other activities; a long time mentor to Westport and inner city students, not to mention Sunrise Rotary Club, the Y’s Men, Representative Town Meeting (RTM), and his beloved Saugatuck Congregational Church.

Besides his wife, Carolyn, he is survived by his daughter, Trina Seltzer and her husband, Jeff; his son, Mark Meyer and his sister, Faith Meyer; two step children, Allison Ramirez and John Kelsey; and grandchildren Gretha and Juliana Seltzer and Scott, Christopher and Tristen Ramirez.

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Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Suzanne S. Bergmann, 76

Suzanne S. Bergmann of Westport died June 26 at home. She was 76. Image
Suzanne Bergmann: 41-year Westport resident. Contributed photo

Born in Zermatt, Switzerland on Aug. 6, 1937, she had been a Westport resident for 41 years.

Known as Suzi, she was one of two children of Franz and Gertrude Perren (nee Camani).  Franz was a 1932 Olympic participant, representing Switzerland in the ski jump, and had a career as a mountain climber, climbing the Matterhorn over 150 times. 

Suzi was raised in Zermatt as ski racer, training on the Swiss national team until a ski crash during a downhill race put her in a coma for three days.

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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Westport Mourns Loss of Bill Meyer, 85

By James Lomuscio

William F. “Bill” Meyer III, the avuncular, ever present cheerleader during announcements at the Representative Town Meeting (RTM), the indefatigable Westport volunteer celebrated town wide last year for his myriad community service roles, a tour de force among seniors and a statewide proponent of the right to die, died tonight after a two year battle with multiple myeloma. He was 85. Image
Bill Meyer at a 2010 Y’s Men meeting. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for

Meyer, who in 1994 faced criminal charges, later dismissed, after detailing in a Connecticut Magazine article how he had helped his cancer-stricken father end his own life three years earlier, died at his Westport home, according to First Selectman Jim Marpe.

The 42-year town resident and 18-year RTM member was a descendant of Thomas Hooker, a Congregationalist minister who arrived in Boston in 1633. In keeping with his lineage, he had served as a deacon in the Saugatuck Congregational Church.

He was also a Westport Little League organizer and umpire, so ebullient he was dubbed Umpire Bill. In addition, Meyer was a Native American champion whom the Blackfeet Indians named an honorary chief, a longtime mentor to Westport and inner city students and a member of the Y’s Men group, where he proudly boasted about the number of new members he brought in.

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Bill Meyer, Community Leader, 85 Image
William F. Meyer III, better known to his friends as Bill, died tonight after a two-year battle with cancer, according to a family friend. He was 85. Meyer, shown receiving the key to the town at a March 2013 tribute to him, was an indefatigable volunteer. A member of the Representative Town Meeting, he founded the Westport Little League softball program, served as a member of the Little League board of directors, was an umpire and had a softball field named in his honor. His held leadership positions with the Y’s Men, Sunrise Rotary, Westport Center for Senior Activities, First Night, Westport Community Theater, AARP, Saugatuck Congregational Church, volunteered for Meals on Wheels, and was a board member of Bridgeport’s Isaiah House. Services were to be announced.. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for

Posted 01:45 AM
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Westporters Honor Bill Meyer

Scenes from a March 10, 2013 tribute to Bill Meyer at Christ & Holy Trinity Church in Westport. He died tonight at 85. Larry Untermeyer for

Posted 01:40 AM
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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Gertrude (Trudy) O’Grady, 90

Gertrude (Trudy ) O’Grady of Westport, where she lived for 56 years, died June 7. She was 90. Image
Gertrude O’Grady: 56-year Westport resident. Contributed photo

Born in Brooklyn N.Y., Aug. 12, 1923 she moved to Westport in 1956. She was a volunteer with the Westport Red Cross and a lifelong member of the Assumption Church’s Catholic Daughters.

She was predeceased by her husband John A O’Grady. She is survived by her daughter Janice Nusher of Annapolis, Md.,, son John D. O’Grady of Westport, son Daniel F. O’Grady and his wife Linda of Orlando, Fla., daughter Helen McGannon and husband Richard of Redding. and grandchildren Robin, Robert, Annastasia, Aubrey, Ralph, Tricia, Tammy, Kailey, Matthew and seven great grandchildren.

The funeral was held on Thursday June 12 at St Mary’s Cemetary in Hollestin, Mass.


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