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Sunday, February 07, 2016

Robert Boras, 85

Robert (Bob) Baras of Westport died Feb. 7 at home. He was 85.

He was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. to Esther (Hertan) and Solomon Baras. Both were Romanian immigrants. He was raised in the Bronx and graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School, and then attended City College.

He was a longtime resident of Manhattan, and Tourette-Sur-Loup, France. He was happily married to his wife of 49 years, Francine Baras. After building a large textile company, Inwood Knitting Mills, which he sold to National Distillers in 1969, he was able to realize his lifelong dream, his true passion for painting.

He attended School of Visual Arts and received a BFA with honors. He spent the next 40 years painting and living his dream. His last show was at the White Gallery in Lakeville in May 2015. He was also a photographer and left a large body of work.

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Wednesday, February 03, 2016

William H. Weeks II, 65

William Harrison Weeks II of Somerset, Pa., formerly of Westport, died Jan. 29 at Somerset Hospital.  He was 65.

He was born July 7, 1950 in Bridgeport, son of William Richard and Pauline O. (Kovacs) Weeks.

He was a U.S. Army Vietnam veteran and received a bachelor’s degree in social work.

He was a member of Saint Luke Catholic Church, Westport, D.A.V., and American Legion Post 63, Westport. He had a great respect for the military and loved rock and roll music.

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Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Arnold R. Ganz, 90

Arnold R. Ganz, a Westport resident for 47 years, died at Jan. 21 at home. He was 90.

He was born in New York City, son of the late William and Irene Ganz, and was a U.S. Army veteran who served during World War II. He was a recipient of a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. He attended Biarritz American University and New York University majoring in business administration.

He was president of Pervel Ind., a subsidiary of Bemis Corporation, until his retirement in 1990.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Enid W. Ganz, his children; Austin (Cheryl), Harrison (Heidi), and Andrea (Robert Vogel), and grandchildren Evan, Bradford, and Jordan. He was predeceased by his sister, Lenore Epstein.

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Monday, February 01, 2016

Donna J. Bender, 63

Donna Jane Bender of Fairfield, a former Westport resident, died Jan. 28 at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport. She was 63.

She was born in Asheboro, N.C. and had been an area resident for 45 years. A graduate of Katherine Gibbs College in Manhattan and Staples High School in Westport, she worked at various retailers and The Fairfield Store, and as computer support technician for the Fairfield public school system at Stratfield Elementary School, and more recently at Roger Ludlowe Middle School.

She was very active at in the faith she converted to at Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in Fairfield, serving as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, lector, a member of the Liturgical Committee and head of the Family Mass Committee.

She enjoyed needlework, visiting the beach, visiting with friends and family, wineries, and reading, and taught classes on knitting and computers.

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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Patrick C. Haggerty Jr., 46

Patrick C. Haggerty Jr., a lifelong Westport resident, died Jan. 28 at home. He was 46.

Born in Norwalk on April 23, 1969, he was the son of Karen A. Haggerty and the late Patrick C. Haggerty Sr.

He was a well decorated Go Kart Racer. He raced in Connecticut, New Hampshire, and South Carolina and was a member of the Nutmeg Go-Kart Association.

He was an avid fisherman, collector of music art and music. He was a loving father to his son Patrick.

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Friday, January 29, 2016

Antonia Welsher, 61

Antonia “Toni” Welsher of Toms River, N.J., a former Westport resident, died Jan. 28 at Community Medical Center. She was 61.

Born in Italy, she came to the United States when she was four years old. She lived in Westport prior to moving to Toms River in 1984.

Shei was the founder and operator of the Michel Welsher Scholarship for pediatric cancer, which awards high school children college scholarships.

She was predeceased by her son, Michael Welsher. She is survived by her husband Joel Welsher; one son Matthew Welsher and his wife Brianne; two grandchildren, Benjamin and Megan; one sister Pasqualina Coppola and her husband Teodoro; niece, Flora and her husband Dario; nephew, Stefano and his wife Donna; also by her great nieces and great nephews, Lillian, Luke, Michael, Sophia, and Sabrina.

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Evan Rackson, 25

Evan Rackson of Westport died Jan. 28 at Norwalk Hospital. He was 25.

Born in New York, N.Y., he was a 2009 graduate of Staples High School.

He s survived by his parents, Alan and Fran Rackson, his brother and sister, Brian Paul Rackson and Alyson Michelle Rackson, and by his grandparents, Hy and Taffy Goldberg and Chester and Selma Rackson.

Services will take place on Sunday, Jan. 31 at 1 p.m. from The Conservative Synagogue of Westport, 30 Hillspoint Road, with interment following at The Conservative Synagogue of Westport Cemetery, Reid Street, Fairfield. Shiva will be held at the family’s home on Sunday immediately following the funeral until 8 p.m. with minyan at 5p.m., Monday from 1 to 4 p.m., and 7 to 9 p.m., Tuesday from 1 to 4 p.m., and 7 to 9 p.m., Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m., and Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m.with Shiva minyanim held each night at 7:30 p.m.

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Concetta A. Gomes, 86

Concetta (Connie) Arre Gomes, a former Westport resident, died Jan. 18 in Kingwood, Texas. She was 86.

Born in Westport, she was one of four children of the late Stephen and Mary Arre of Enfield. Her love was raising her family and watching them grow. While doing so, she was able to enjoy volunteering at the schools her sons attended, knitting, golf, and bowling. Her warm, welcoming smile and engaging personality touched so many.

She is survived by her husband of more than 60 years, Joseph W. Gomes, and her sons Joseph, James, and John. She also leaves behind her daughter-in-law Valerie Gomes, Jacqueline Crowder, and her grandchildren Mackenzie, Marissa, and John Gomes. She is also survived by her sister Christine Savio, sister-in-law Joanne Coehlo, and brother-in-law Fredrick Gomes, as well as many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her brothers Stephen and Anthony (Red) Arre, brother-in-laws Ronald and Edward Gomes, and sister-in-law Ruth Wilbur.

A private memorial service will be held at the Kingwood Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Cancer Society and/or the Joslin Diabetes Center

01/28/16 09:56 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Dale E. Lamberty, 69

Dale Elise Lamberty of Westport died Jan. 24 at Norwalk Hospital. She was 69.

Born in Long Island the daughter of the late Dolores Cutler Wollam and Nat Cutler, she had been a Westport resident for 48 years. She graduated from college in New Paltz, N.Y., and later proudly received a nursing degree from St. Vincent’s College of Nursing.

She had a great talent for baking cakes like few others and would create amazing 3D replicas of anything. She was part owner of the original Great Cakes and since then has been known by many as Cake Lady Dale.

She was an avid gardener and a member of the Fairfield Garden Club where she won many awards. Above all else, cooking and baking was one of her greatest passions and she loved to share her many creations.

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01/27/16 02:23 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Stuart S. Bernard, 96

Stuart Sidney Bernard, a former Westport resident long involved in community activities, died Jan. 22 at Meadow Ridge retirement community in Redding. He was 96. Image
Stu Bernard: active in community affairs.  Contributed photo

In Westport, where he and his late wife Perry moved in 1959, he became involved in organizing the Greens Farms Association. He also served on the Representative Town Meeting (1995-97), the Flood & Erosion Control Board, Commission for Senior Services, Commuters Association, Long Lots Intergenerational Program, was Y’s Men president (1994-95), co-founder of their singing group, the Hoot Owls, and driver for Meals-on-Wheels and Red Cross.

He was also on the Senior Center Construction Committee. He remarked to WestportNow Associate Editor James Lomuscio for a series on Westport seniors last summer: “You’ll find my name on a goddamn plaque outside the goddamn Senior Center.”

In 1999, he and his wife became the first husband and wife team to be honored as grand marshals of Westport’s Memorial Day Parade.

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Alice J. Chappa, 99

Alice Chappa (Jaya) , a former Westport resident, died Oct. 13, 2015 in Jacksonville, Fla.. She was 99.

She was born Jan. 8, 1916 in Oran, Algeria the daughter of Pedro Maria Jaya Galvez and Isidora Amelia Martinez She was one of four sisters, including Teresa, Jeanne, and Odette Joya.

She came to the United States in 1947 after World War II. Prior to moving to Westport, she resided in North Africa as a French citizen where she worked for the United States during the war.

There, she met Michael J. Chappa, a native Westporter, who was in charge of a Quartermaster Company In Oran at the time. He asked her to come to the United States. where they married in 1947.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Janet G. O’Connell, 96

Janet Griffin O’Connell of Westport died Jan. 19. She was 96. Image
Janet O’Connell: speech pathologist, Realtor. Contributed photo

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., she was a graduate of The College of New Rochelle and earned a master’s from Columbia University.

During World War II, she joined the American Red Cross and was posted to Miami Beach where she served until the end of the war supporting the Army Air Force redistribution service, while also meeting her future husband Bob.

She taught speech and drama (her first love) at both her alma mater and Manhattanville College. After focusing on her young daughters, she began work as a speech pathologist for the Norwalk school system.

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01/26/16 04:50 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Christopher Lanni Vigil Canceled

Organizers of a planned vigil today at 7 p.m. on Jesup Green for Staples High School freshman Christopher Lanni, 14,have canceled the event. He died Dec. 23. Image
Christopher Lanni: Staples freshman. Contributed photo

The announcement followed Saturday’s death of Staples English teacher Cody Thomas, 27. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has ruled both took their own lives.

“We hope the Lanni family can find comfort in knowing that the intent and spirit of the vigil has already affected and impacted many in our community,” organizers said in a Facebook posting.

“In holding the safety of our students and families in upmost importance, we are cancelling tonight’s vigil.”

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Services Set for Staples Teacher Cody Thomas

Services were announced today for Cody Thomas, the Staples English teacher and co-adviser to the award-winning Inklings school newspaper who died Saturday at age 27. (See WestportNow Jan. 25, 2016 Image
Cody Thomas: died Saturday. Contributed photo

Relatives and friends may call at the Lacerenza Funeral Home, 8 Schuyler Ave., Stamford on Thursday, Jan. 28 from 2 to - 8 p.m.

A prayer service will be held at the Lacerenza Funeral Home on Friday, Jan. 29 at 10 a.m. Interment will follow at Fairfield Memorial Park, Oaklawn Avenue, Stamford.

Donations may be made in his memory to Staples Tuition Grants, PO Box 5159, Westport, CT 06681-5159 or

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Monday, January 25, 2016

Cody Thomas, 27, Staples Teacher

UPDATE Staples High School English teacher Cody Thomas, 27, took his own life, Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon told the school community today. Image
Cody Thomas: popular teacher. Contributed photo

“Mr. Thomas’ death has been declared a suicide and we are all profoundly saddened by this event,” Landon said in an email to Staples parents.

An email from him on Saturday informed them of the death of Thomas, of Fairfield, who was also co-adviser to the award-winning student newspaper Inklings.

Landon said an announcement at Staples today told students: “All of us want you to know that we are here to help you in any way we can. We know that Mr. Thomas’ death has been declared a suicide.

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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Seda Kochian

Seda Kochian of Fairfield, wife of 60 years of Varujan Kochian, died Jan. 21. Image
Seda Kochian: seamstress at Plumed Serpent. Contributed photo

Born in Sivas, Turkey, she had been a Fairfield resident since 1981 A talented and gifted seamstress, she worked for many years at the Plumed Serpent Bridal Shop in Westport where she was delighted to meet and become friends with many future brides.

She also loved creating clothes for her family and friends.

Survivors in addition to her husband include two children, Markirit Edwards and her husband Simon of Trumbull and Mirijan M. Kochian and his wife Yeva of Southport; four grandchildren, Tigran and Hamlet, Maria Seda Kochian, and Varujan Edwards and; a brother, Manuk Bozoklu: a sister, Satenig Seheryildizi.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Douglas Wood, 85, Former First Selectman

UPDATE Douglas R. Wood, who served as Westport’s first selectman from 1989 through 1993, laying the groundwork for creating ball fields at Wakeman Farm, the expansion of the Compo Beach marina and adding 152 railroad commuter parking spaces, died Jan. 8, in Port Charlotte, Fla. after a long illness, family members said. He was 85. Image
Douglas Wood: First Selectman 1989-1993. File photo

Born April 17, 1930 in Roslindale, Mass., Wood was raised in Needham, Mass., graduating from Needham High School in 1947 before going on to receive a Bachelor of Science degree from Boston University in 1951. He later joined the Air Force, rising to the rank of first lieutenant.

Following his service, Wood joined Alcoa, working there for 10 years before joining IBM, where he remained for 25 years.

Wood, his wife Helen, daughter Suzanne and son Donald moved to Westport in 1970. While in Westport, Wood, a Republican, served on the Representative Town Meeting’s (RTM) Planning and Zoning Committee and later three years as its moderator. He was elected first selectman in 1989.

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Monday, January 18, 2016

George Kringel, 73

Longtime Westporter George (Nelson) Kringel, most recently of Fairfield and Marathon, Fla., died Jan. 9 in Atlanta, Ga. He was 73. Image
George Kringel: submariner. Contributed photo

Born April 4, 1942 in Pittsburgh, Pa., he lived in several locations around the country and around the globe before finally putting down roots in Fairfield County in the early 70s. A veteran of the U.S. Navy, where he served aboard the Balao-class submarine USS Clamagore, he was most at home on—and even under—the water.

An avid sailor and founding member of the Hobie Fleet at Compo Beach, he never strayed too far from the waters of Long Island Sound or his beloved Vaca Key in Marathon, Fla. He was also a licensed pilot and certified scuba diver who will be remembered as a devoted husband, father, brother, stepfather, and all-around gentle soul.

When he wasn’t saving baby rabbits from storm drains or stopping traffic on Hillspoint Road to allow a lone turtle safe crossing, he could most likely be found building and flying ultra-light aircraft, or otherwise tinkering with or conjuring various new inventions and creations.

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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Alison D. Gray, 90

Alison D. Gray (formerly Alison G. Murray) of Weston died Jan. 9 at home of complications from dementia. She was 90. Image
Alison Gray: art teacher. Contributed photo

She taught art for 39 years at the Unquowa School in Fairfield, having retired at the age of 82.

Prior to teaching at Unquowa, she taught art at the Thomas School in Greenwich. She was an accomplished artist and gardener, having exhibited her art throughout Fairfield County.

In earlier years, she designed exhibits and taught at the Mid-Fairfield County Youth Museum in Westport, now Earthplace, and reported for the Westport Town Crier.

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Friday, January 15, 2016

Alexandra Street, 75

Alexandra Street, a former Westport resident, died Jan. 11 of cancer in Santa Monica, Calif. She was 75. Image
Alex Street: former Westporter.  Contributed photo

Alex, as she was known, was born Jan. 30, 1940 in New York, N.Y., daughter of the late Wolcott D. Street and the late Ellen Street Ritter and the stepdaughter of the late Ann P. Street.

Her family moved to Connecticut in 1942 and that is where she grew up. She attended schools in Westport and graduated from the University of Connecticut.

After living and working in New York City, San Francisco and Seattle she settled in Los Angeles in 1975. Her career spanned advertising, veterinary medicine, TV, fundraising, events planning and finally working with a private investigator.

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Shirley Anne Rendleman, 87

Shirley Anne Rendleman of Westport, wife of the late John David Rendleman, died Jan. 10 at home. She was 87.

She was born June 3, 1928 in Sioux City, Iowa, daughter of the late Joseph and Sudie (Rucker) Heebner and had been a Westport resident since 1956. She was a graduate of Drake University and a longtime member of the Saugatuck Congregational Church.

Survivors include Kimberly J. Rendleman of New York City, Sue A. Rendleman of Silver Spring, Md., and John D. Rendleman and his wife, Patricia, of Tampa, Fla.

Friends are invited to a memorial service on Friday, Jan. 22 at 11:30 a.m. in the sanctuary of Saugatuck Congregational Church, 245 Post Road East.

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

David F. Ellison, 78

David F. Ellison of Westport, husband of Mariaolga Ellison, died Jan. 13 at home. He was 78. Image
David Ellison: Dublin native. Contributed photo

Born in Dublin, Ireland Dec. 1, 1937, he was the son of the late Dr. Charles and Agnes Ellison.  He graduated from Dublin University and earned his master’s in electrical and electronic engineering with honors at Cambridge University, where he continued award-winning research. 

In 1964, he began a 22-year career with General Electric, transferring his family to the United States in 1979. His work in engineering advanced at Macbeth and Hubbell Inc., where he obtained multiple patents. 

Shortly after retiring, he started ZDS Inc., a company that designed and installed security systems for local businesses, homes, and schools in Fairfield County. In addition to invention, he had a passion for classical music, the arts, his faith, and family.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Jeffrey L. Block, 71

Longtime Westporter Jeffrey L. Block,  an open space advocate and a business consultant with a focus on information technology (IT), died Jan. 12 after a long battle with cancer. He was 71. Image
Jeffrey Block: cochairman of Save Westport Now. Contributed photo

He and his wife Helen Martin Block were the prime movers with Representative Town Meeting (RTM) member Matthew Mandell, who in 2001 established the Partrick Wetlands Preservation Fund, leading the fight to save the wetlands from development.

“Jeff was not only one of the original members of our organization,” said Mandell. “He became one of the most relied upon for his analytical nature, his rationality and his constant humorous cynicism which aided us at every juncture.

“Jeff was a true believer in open space and worked with me and others to aid our neighbors in Norwalk to save the White Barn Property,” Mandell added. “Even in their latest bout he was there once again for them.”

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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Helen P. Kondub, 84

Helen P. Kondub of Westport died Jan. 8 at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Bridgeport after a brief illness. She was 84.

Born in Stamford, she moved to Westport after her marriage to her husband Joseph, to whom she was married for 56 years.

She had many wonderful memories where she lived on Imperial Avenue for more than 50 years.

Her home was the place where her family, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends spent Christmas Day together enjoying laughter and stories.

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Friday, January 08, 2016

Ethel A. Ferenc, 96

Ethel A. Ferenc of Westport, wife of the late Charles E. Ferenc, died Jan. 5 in Fareview Health Center of Southport. She was 96.

She was born Jan.25, 1920 in New York City and was the daughter of the late Fritz and Frances (Deneke) Riedel. She lived in the Greens Farms section of Westport for more than 60 years and has been a member of Greens Farms Congregational Church. She was a loving mother and she loved cats and dogs.

She is survived by one daughter; Donna F. Chachakis and her husband Paul of Westport. In addition to her husband and parents she was predeceased by one brother; Fred Riedel.

The family will receive friends on Monday Jan. 11 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in the Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Road East.  interment will follow in St. John’s Cemetery, 2610 Nichols Ave. Stratford. Contributions in her memory in lieu of flowers may be made to PAWS, P.O. Box 7428, Wilton, CT 06897.

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Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Margaret Joyner Service Set

A graveside service for Margaret Joyner will take place Friday, Jan. 8 at 2 p.m. in Evergreen Cemetery, Evergreen Ave., Westport.

The Rev Alison Patton, pastor of the Saugatuck Congregational Church, will officiate.

She died Sept. 30, 2014 in Gainsville, Fla. She was 72.

See full obituary on WestportNow on Sept. 26, 2015.

01/06/16 04:28 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Arthur Dixon, 72

Arthur “Bruce” Dixon of Greenwich, husband of Carol L. Dixon, died Dec. 30 in Stamford Hospital. He was 72.

He was born in Wilton on June 9, 1943 and was the son of the late Arthur and Nellie (Thompson) Dixon.

A U.S. Air Force veteran,he worked in the Department of Public Works for the Town of Greenwich from 1978 to 2005. During his tenure as traffic operations supervisor, he was selected by the First Selectman of Greenwich and Commissioner of Public Works to act as liaison between the town and the State of Connecticut on all state projects in Greenwich, including the reconstruction of the I-95 bridge, following its collapse into the Mianus River.

While with the town, he also served as president of the Greenwich Municipal Employees Association. In 1994 he became the Zoning Inspector for the Town of Greenwich; a position he retired from in 2015.

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Anthony L. Falotico, 79

Anthony (Tony) L. Falotico of Westport, husband of Concetta J Falotico, died Jan. 5 at Harbor in Ridgefield Crossings in Ridgefield. He was 79.

Born in Far Rockaway, N.Y. on Feb. 27, 1936, he was the son of the late Vincent (Jimmy) and Rose Falotico. He earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree in engineering from George Washington University.

He enjoyed a 31-year career with IBM with assignments in the United States, London, Paris, Brussels and Tokyo.  He was a lifelong golfer and a nationally ranked Gold Master bridge player, but he derived his greatest joy from spending time with his friends and family, (particularly his grandchildren) who will miss his gentle kindness, broad smile, one-of-a-kind belly laugh, and sparkling blue eyes.

He was a devoted father and grandfather. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his sons and their families, Vincent (Angelina, Teresa and Anthony) of Ridgefield, and Anthony (Laura, Bella and Paul) of Brooklyn, N.Y.  In addition, he is survived by his brothers Daniel and Vincent and his sister, Mary.  He was predeceased by his sister Raquel. 

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Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Eileen L. Zeller, 91

Eileen L. Zeller of Kennett Square, Pa., formerly a longtime resident of Westport, died Jan. 3 at Crosslands Retirement Community.  She was 91. Image
Eileen Zeller: longtime Westporter. Contributed photo

She was the wife of Andrew F. Zeller, who died in 1994, and with whom she shared 48 years of marriage.

Born in Saginaw, Mich., she was the daughter of the late Oscar M. and Esther Nurminger List. She was a secretary working for various employers in Philadelphia and in Connecticut.

A member of St. Michael Lutheran Church in Unionville, Pa., she enjoyed traveling, collecting antiques and being with her family and friends.

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Saturday, January 02, 2016

Stanley H. Milberg, 91

Stanley H. Milberg of Brooklyn, N.Y., a former Westport resident, died Dec. 13. He was 91.

Born in Jersey City, N.J., he was a decorated World War II veteran, an Army Air Corps navigator who flew more than 20 bombing missions over Germany.

He graduated from Columbia College with a B.S. in 1947 and an M.S. in 1949. He lived for almost 40 years in Westport, where he and late wife Sylvia shared their active commitment to community well-being and the town’s Democratic Party. Sylvia Milberg, a founder and the first chairwoman of the Westport Historic District Commission, died in 1994 at age 66.

Co-founder of the management consultant company Marcom, Inc., he went on to a successful career as a stock analyst and broker. He was intellectually curious, a lover of music, the arts and the Mets, an avid reader and enthusiastic chef. He was brilliant, cantankerous, charming, generous, caring and funny.

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