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Sunday, October 04, 2015



Friday, October 02, 2015

Helen M. Burke, 86

Helen Louise Moroni Burke of Sarasota, Fla. a former Westport resident, died July 7 after a short illness. She was 86. Image
Helen Burke: former Westporter. here. Contributed photo

A Westport resident for almost 60 years, she was a devoted mother to her daughters, Pamela Burke Camarda and Marsha Burke Mangold, and loving wife to her husband Charles Burke, a Staples High School educator.

Born Feb. 11, 1929 in Marlborough, Mass., she was the daughter of the proprietor of a dry goods store, raised during the Great Depression and the war.  She moved to Westport in 1957 after her husband Charles began teaching at Staples High School and settled for most of her adult life in a storybook-like little stone house at 7 April Drive.

She was remembered for her Italian cooking and hosting family dinners, for which she was even written about in The New York Times in the late 1970s.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Joan S. Atterbury, 83

Joan Shirley Atterbury of Westport died Sept. 21. She was 83.

Born in Westerly, R.I, on Dec. 13, 1932, to John Gordon Anderson of Aberdeen and Margaret Patton of Edinburgh, she was sister to Marshall Anderson and the late Margaret Anderson Marler.

She attended Norwich Free Academy in Connecticut, University of Rhode Island, and Eastern Connecticut State College, where she earned her master’s in science. She went on to teach first grade in the Redding School District for more than 30 years.

She married Henry “Budge” Clinton Atterbury Jr. in 1955 and together they had four boys, with the family expanding over the years to include seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Susan C. Kimber, 81

Susan C. Kimber of Hamden, a former Westport resident, died Sept.17 at home. She was 81.

She was born Aug. 3, 1934 in Bridgeport, the daughter of Virginia B, and John A. Kimber, She was a granddaughter of Arthur and Matilda Bristol.

She grew up in Westport, attended Westport public schools and graduated from Staples High School in 1952. She also attended the College of William and Mary for two years in Williamsburg, Va. Her employment experiences included, among others, the Stauffer Chemical Company in Westport and C.R. Gibson in Norwalk.

It was discovered that at age 6 she was able to sing in harmony with her older sister. Her love of choral singing included singing in church and high school choirs. She was a member of The Fairfield County Chorale for 25 years and toured Spain, Holland, Switzerland, Ireland, France, Yugoslavia, and Greece with the Chorale.

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Margaret B. Joyner, 72

Margaret Edith Blair (Susie to her family) Joyner of Gainesville, Fla., a former Westport resident, died Sept. 30, 2014 in Gainesville after a long respiratory illness. She was 72.

She was born May 16, 1942 in the Bronx, N.Y. She was the daughter of John Kenneth and Cornelia Ensign Joyner and grew up in Westport

She earned a B.A. in English, and a M.A. in English, with distinction, as well as a B.A. in plant physiology, and B.S. in environmental horticulture, at the University of Connecticut, and an M.S. in plant physiology/tropical agriculture at the University of Florida. She had almost finished a dissertation for a doctorate in anthropology at the University of Florida.

She was editor of the Florida Museum of Natural History Bulletin for a time and supervised various science department laboratories at UF in her years as a student. Later she edited many theses and dissertations usually for students for whom English was a second language, as well as book manuscripts, journal articles, and grant proposals.

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Royal Sandford Graves, III, 92

Royal Sandford Graves, III of Westport died at home Sept. 19. He was 92.

He was born in Orono, Maine in May 1923 to Royal S. Graves II and Eva May Thomson. He grew up in Lisbon Falls, Maine and spent many summers with his cousin Russell Houghton at their grandparents home “The Royal Rest” on Orr’s Island, Maine.

In May 1944, he married Alice Deering Morse at the Yale Chapel, New Haven. They moved around the country during his assignments and training in the army weather corps. They celebrated 65 years of marriage before Alice’s death in 2009.

He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Maine and completed his master’s in education at Harvard University. His career as an elementary school principal took him to Jenkins and Hatherly Schools in Scituate, Mass., Loker School in Wayland, Mass., Hindley School in Darien, and Beecher Road School in Woodbridge.

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Robert G. Lanehart, 90

Robert G. Lanehart of Georgetown died Sept. 19. He was 90.

Born Nov. 14, 1924 in Westport, he graduated from Staples High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at the age of 17 and served for three campaigns during Word War II on the islands of Iwo Jima, Saipan and Tinian. He further served for two years in China.

On Sept. 23, 1950, he married the love of his life, Doris Dunnigan. Together, they had six children. He worked as a lineman for CL&P for 37 years.

He was a visible part of his community as a member of the Marine Corps League, Lions Club, and a longtime parishioner at Sacred Heart Church. He was known for his beautifully maintained hedge and high flying flag. To the delight of his neighbors, he would broadcast marches and American songs on the Fourth of July from his front porch

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Jerome J. Klein, 84

Jerome Joshua Klein of Norwalk, a former Westport resident, died Sept. 20 in Norwalk after a long battle with cancer. He was 84.

He was a gifted and caring physician to thousands of patients in the Fairfield County area during a 48-year career in medicine.

He joined the Norwalk Medical Group in 1965 as an Internist with specialties in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism, routinely making house calls to see patients. He held privileges at Norwalk Hospital, Bridgeport Hospital, St. Vincent’s Medical Center, and Yale-New Haven Hospital, among others.

He cared for his patients wherever they were sent, at rehab centers and skilled nursing facilities, across Fairfield County. Working in both primary care and as a specialist, he soon became known as a diagnostician, galvanized by the hunt for the correct diagnosis to difficult-to-identify illnesses.

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Ralph W. Sopkin, 89

Ralph Weston Sopkin of Palm Beach, Fla., a former Westport resident, died Sept. 15 in Boynton Beach, Fla. He was 89. Image
Ralph Sopkin: former Westporter. Contributed photo

Before moving to Palm Beach, in addition to Westport, he lived in Chicago and Providence, R.I. Born Feb. 4, 1926 in Chicago, son of Beda and Henry Sopkin, he attended Morgan Park Military Academy in Chicago and served in the U.S. Navy.

He married Selma Weiss of Pawtucket, R.I. in 1948, and they lived in Westport with their three daughters from the early 1950s to the late 1970s, where the children attended nursery school through high school. He was a member of Birchwood Country Club for many years and commuted to New York City, where he worked for Helmsley-Spear.

He also had a career in dress manufacturing, working for Wentworth Manufacturing Co., founded in 1901 by his grandfather and where his father was vice president and secretary.

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Monday, September 21, 2015

John F. McAuliffe, 77

John Francis “Jack” McAuliffe of Ridgefield, a former Westport resident, died Sept. 17. He was 77

He was born in Boston on May 5, 1938 to John F. (Sr.) and Hazel (Swan) McAuliffe. A graduate of the Boston Latin School, Boston College and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, he played both hockey and golf at BLS and captained the golf team while at BC. He was also the 1956 New England Jr. golf champion.

It was while he was at Wharton that he met Kathi, a native of Philadelphia. They married in 1963 and soon after moved to Watertown, N.Y., as Jack began his career in sales and marketing, first with Lever Brothers and then with Pfizer and elsewhere.

Job opportunities and their expanding family took them to homes in Brooklyn, N.Y., Westport and Weston, and Montreal, Canada. They also lived for many years in Georgetown,  where he was self employed in the financial services field. A sports fanatic, Jack stayed true to his Boston roots and was a lifelong fan of his beloved Red Sox, the Bruins, and the Patriots.

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Ruth K. Fine, 93

Ruth Klosterman Fine of Shelton died Sept. 19. She was 93.

She grew up in Fort Washington, Pa., and graduated from Abington High School in 1939. Then, like so many bright women of her time, attended secretarial school before entering the work force in Philadelphia. In 1950 she married Roy Fine, an engineer then working for RCA, and subsequently raised three sons first in Haddonfield, N.J., then in Wayland, Mass., and finally in Trumbull.

She was a longtime member of the League of Women Voters and served in a variety of leadership positions with its branch in Haddonfield. After moving to Wayland in the 1960s she rejoined the work force as the administrator of the Framingham Youth Guidance Center.

While living in Wayland she was also an active member of the First Parish (Unitarian) Church. After moving to Trumbull in 1972, she gave of her time and talents to many worthy causes. She served on the steering committees for the Connecticut Coalition against Gun Violence and the Greater Bridgeport Coalition for Choice. She also contributed much over the years to the Unitarian Church in Westport, and she was recognized in the 1990s as one of the congregation’s “unsung heroes” for her volunteer work.

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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Dorothy L. Nazzaro, 84

Dorothy L. Nazzaro of Westport died Sept. 19 at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport. She was 84.

A 75-year Westport resident, she was the wife of Donald J. Nazzaro Sr.

She was born March 14, 1931 and was the daughter of the late Frank and Marie (Klauser) Decker. She was a graduate of Staples High School, where she was a cheerleader and later worked as a nurse’s aide for many years. 

Survivors in addition to her husband Donald J. Nazzaro Sr. of 63 years include one son, Donald J. Nazzaro Jr. of Stratford, one daughter, Cindy Stanton and her husband William of Shelton, two brothers, Harold Decker of Oradell, N.J., and Frank Decker of Westport, three grandchildren, Christopher Nazzaro and his wife Natasha, Michael Nazzaro, and Jessica Stanton. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by one sister, Carolyn Appel.

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Suzanne Courcier, 67

Suzanne Courcie of Yarmouth Port, Mass., a former Westport resident, died Sept 15 at Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, Mass. She was 67.

She was an expert in Shaker and Early American antiques and folk art as well as a community activist.

Born June 13, 1948, to Robert J. and Dorothy Holmgren Courcier, she was reared in Westport,, and met Bob Wilkins when she was a freshman at Bennington College in 1966. A junior at Williams College, Bob had never been to Bennington, where women were ferociously emancipated, or so he had heard. On an early date, they watched the first Super Bowl together, Bob unaware of his future partner’s contempt for football.

She graduated Bennington in 1970, where she majored in architecture and mathematics. She moved to New York City, where she worked under the supervision of Colin Turnbull, curator of the African Wing of the Museum of Natural History.

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Friday, September 18, 2015

Kenneth R. Lee, 85

Kenneth R. Lee of Westport died Sept. 16 at Norwalk Hospital. He was 85.

He was born April 30, 1930 and was the son of the late Robert and Alice Lee. He has been a Westport resident for 64 years, serving most recently as an assistant fire chief with the Westport Fire Department before he retired in 1990 after 30 years service.

He was a U.S. Navy veteran and served during the Korean Conflict.

Survivors include one son, Larry J. Lee of Stratford, two daughters, Victoria J. Harding and her husband Richard of Smyrna, Delaware, and Sandra Anne Bailey of Norwalk, four grandchildren, Richard Harding Jr. and his wife Kelly, Duane Bailey, Catherine and Rebecca Lee, two great-grandchildren, Justin Harding and Richard Harding III. He was predeceased by his wife, Jean (Remlin) Lee.

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Monday, September 14, 2015

William E. Wilson, 86

William “Bill” E. Wilson of Gloversville, N.Y. a frequent visitor to Westport, died Sept. 11 at the Mountain Valley Hospice House in Gloversville. He was 86. Image
William Wilson: leather tanning veteran. Contributed photo

Born in Gloversville on June 6, 1929, he was the oldest son of William L. and Blanche Hall Wilson.  He graduated from Gloversville High School in1947 and studied biology, chemistry and conservation at Lehigh University graduating in 1952. 

After serving in the U.S. Army, he returned to Gloversville, married Marie, raised a family and spent his career working in the leather tanning industry. He sold chemicals to the tanning industry for Ciba-Geigy, managed Ellithorpe Tanning and then partnered with his brother to own and operate Peerless Tanning, formerly owned by their father and grandfather in Johnstown, N.Y. 

At the end of his career, he shared his expertise by consulting to leather tanners locally and around the world, traveling with Marie to Majorca, Spain; London, England; San Antonio, Texas; Berlin, Wisconsin and Monterrey, Mexico. His skill as a tanner and colorist was highly regarded. He was a longtime member of the American Leather Chemists Association and served on the Tanners Council of Fulton County.

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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Nicholas Upton, 19

Nicholas Upton of Redding, who rowed at the Saugatuck Rowing Club in Westport, was killed in a swimming accident off South Africa’s Wild Coast on Aug. 30. After an extensive search, his body was recovered on Sept. 4. He was 19. Image
Nicholas Upton: rowed in Westport. Contributed photo

Nicholas was attending the University of Cape Town through a study abroad program at George Washington University. Majoring in international studies with a concentration in Africa, his goal was to be an intelligence analyst.

He was a member of both the crew team at George Washington University as well as the Kappa Alpha fraternity. He graduated from Joel Barlow High School in 2012 and rowed at the Saugatuck Rowing Club in Westport.

He is survived by his father, Jim Upton, mother, Margaret Mirowski, brother, Zachary Upton, stepsisters, Victoria and Alexandra Mirowski, stepmother, Jennifer Upton, stepfather, Mark Mirowski and grandfather, John Nipar, all of Redding as well as a grandmother, Gladys Upton of Fulton, Maryland, as well as 16 cousins.

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