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Saturday, March 28, 2015



Thursday, March 26, 2015

Chester Harlow, 93

Chester A. “Chet” Harlow of Westport died March 23 at home. He was 93. Image
Chester Harlow: longtime Westporter. Contributed photo

He was born July 8, 1921 in Brooklyn, N.Y., to the late Dr. Arthur Holzman and Theresa Metzger. He graduated from Boys High in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1937, and enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942.

He served as a navigator in the 8th Air Force and flew 25 missions over Germany during World War II. He completed his service and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1947 with a degree in chemistry. He married the love of his life, Sally, in 1944 and eventually moved to Westport where they lived for 48 years.

He retired after working at Olin Chemical for 35 years as a chemical engineer. Following retirement he continued to pursue his many passions including sailing, model boat making, playing bridge, as well as spending time with family and friends.

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Posted 08:18 PM
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John A. Kendrick, 83

John A. “Jack” Kendrick, who lived for a time in Westport during the 1960s and 70s, died March 9 at the home he shared with his wife Ulla in Stockholm, Sweden. He was 83. Image
John Kendrick: actor, poet, athlete. Contributed photo

Born in Vermont in 1931 and raised in Lake Placid, N.Y. along with his four sisters and one brother, he rose from humble beginnings to become an internationally respected author, athlete, actor and educator.

He was known especially for his several volumes of poetry and as a playwright. He was a roving Cold War ambassador, often for USAID, and shared his poetry and athleticism wherever he went as well as his pride in his adopted hometown of Lake Placid.

In the 1960s and 70s, he lived with his sister, Agnes Reiss, at her home in Westport and performed at the Westport Country Playhouse, gave poetry readings at the Westport Library and helped coach the Staples wrestling team as well as its track and field teams.

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Posted 12:02 PM
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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Bernard L. Kabacoff, 93

Bernard Louis Kabacoff, husband of Beatrice Nemzer of Westport, died March 25 at the Jewish Home for the Elderly in Fairfield. He was 93.

Born Jan. 7, 1922 in Philadelphia, Pa., he was the son of the late Morris and Fannie Richlen Kabacoff.

He was the chief chemist at the Revlon Research Center. He developed many of their products including the women’s fragrance “Charlie” and “Touch of Grey” for men. He received the Cosmetic Toiletry and Fragrance Association “Chemist of the Year Award.”

In addition to his wife Beatrice, he is survived by his children Dena Steinfeld and her husband Alvin of Brooklyn, N.Y., Lawrence Kabacoff and his wife Katherine of Columbia, Md., Robert Kabacoff and his wife Carol Lynn of Portland, Maine. He is also survived by his stepchildren Joshua Nemzer and his wife Reah Pantazoupolis of Milton, Mass., Dorothy Sandler of Ewing, N.J., and Adam Nemzer and his wife Valli Tschirgi of Washigton, D.C.; and by eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his first wife Leah Kabacoff. Funeral services are private.

Posted 10:19 PM
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William S. Roberts, Jr., 71

William S. Roberts, Jr. of Martinsville, N.J., a former Westport resident, died March 24. He was 71. Image
William S. Roberts, Jr: 1961 Staples graduate. Contributed photo

He was born Nov. 8, 1943, in New Rochelle, N.Y., to the late William S. Roberts, Sr., and Marie-Louise (Moran) Roberts. He graduated from Staples High School in Westport in 1961, and the University of Rochester in 1965, where he met his wife, Carol.

After graduation, he entered the U.S. Air Force Reserves. He then settled in New Jersey, working at ExxonMobil Corp. for 33 years until his retirement in 2000.

Following retirement, he became a dedicated member of the Martinsville Rescue Squad, where he served as a crew chief and treasurer. He was also an active member of the United Methodist Church of Bound Brook, where he was a past president and treasurer of the trustees, and member of the Chancel Choir.

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Posted 01:30 PM
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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Anna Lee Fuchs, 79

Anna Lee Fuchs of Westport died March 8 at home. She was 79. Image
Anna Lee Fuchs: wife of noted Westport illustrator. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed grapic

Born Jan. 9, 1936 in O’Fallon, Ill. to Alma Fries Hesse and Henry M. Hesse, longtime mayor of O’Fallon, she graduated from MacMurray College in 1954. In 1955, she married illustrator Bernard Fuchs, her high school sweetheart. They lived in Detroit before moving to Westport in 1960.

Bernie Fuchs, whose influential work ranged from presidential portraits to classic racing cars, died Sept. 17, 2009. He was 76. (See obituary here)

Anna Lee managed her husband’s illustration business and later, his career as a gallery and children’s book artist. She worked for many years at the Society of Illustrators in New York City, organizing and cataloguing their annual show.

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Posted 01:29 PM
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Jennifer S. O’Grady, 72

Jennifer Skemp O’Grady of Sandy Hook, a former Westport resident, died March 22 after a long battle with lung disease. She was 72. Image
Jennifer O’Grady: hosted ‘Ballet Hour” on WMNR. WMNR photo

She was born on March 2, 1943 in Chicago to noted artist Robert Oliver Skemp and his wife, the former Betty Wellington Steele. She grew up in Westport and graduated from Greens Farms Academy. She summered in Sagaponack, a village in the Town of Southampton in Suffolk County, Long Island, as a child and continued to do so throughout her life, with her family.

Recently she and her husband purchased a family dream home in Amagansett overlooking Napeague Harbor. Some of her passions included, world travel, her grandchildren, taking care of her animal friends, and volunteering as a broadcaster for her local fine arts radio station WMNR for more than 25 years.

In a biography on the WMNR website, the station said of her: “The soft-spoken lover of the ballet has been telling her fairy tales on the WMNR ‘Ballet Hour’ on Saturday mornings since 1982. Jenny was a serious student of the ballet as a girl and studied modern dance in college. After a brief time at Randolph Macon College, Jenny returned home to marry her childhood sweetheart.

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Posted 04:45 AM
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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 Image
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 Image
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

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. Image
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 Image
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

Posted 01:03 PM
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