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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Emily L. MacLachlan, 93

Emily Louise MacLachlan of Westport died July 27 at home. She was 93. Image
Emily MacLachlan: 45-year Westport resident. Contributed ohoto

She was born in Lancaster, Ohio on May 22, 1921, oldest daughter of Albert and Emily Steiner. She attended St. Mary of the Springs Academy in Columbus and was an honors graduate of Trinity College in Washington where she was a vice president of student government.

She served three years in the U.S. Navy (WAVES), attaining the rank of lieutenant junior grade and joined the U.S. State Department after World War II. Admitted to the Ohio State University Law School, she elected instead to work in the Foreign Service Branch of the State Department in Washington, D.C. 

Subsequently, she worked in the U.S. embassy in China where she was among the last Americans to leave Shanghai when Mao Zedong came to power. Transferred to Iran, she met and married her husband, Robert MacLachlan, a native of Glasgow, Scotland, who was with British Petroleum. 

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Posted 01:36 PM
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Brian L. Neufeld, 67

Brian Lawrence Neufeld of Westport died July 13 at home after a five-year battle with prostate cancer. He was 67. Image
Brian Neufeld: financial investor. Contributed photo

Known for his optimism, humor and lifelong love of learning, he worked through the years in positions as varied as high school French teacher, mortgage company owner and financial investor. He co-founded Resource Management Technologies, a company that developed and financed both energy management and alternative energy projects.

He was born in the Bronx, N.Y. on June 28, 1947, to the late Lorna (Gradwell) Neufeld and Herbert Neufeld, a dentist. He was the eldest of the couple’s three sons, although the family boxer, Champ, was jokingly referred to as the fourth brother.

As a boy growing up in the Riverdale neighborhood, he was part of an all-accordion orchestra that won an elite competition with its rendition of Franz von Suppé‘s operetta “The Beautiful Galatea.” He graduated in 1965 from Horace Mann School, where he played varsity football and basketball and was captain of the golf team.

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Posted 01:31 PM
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Eleanor G. Sporre, 90

Eleanor Grace Sporre, a former Westport resident, died May 31 at Hearthside Nursing Home in State College, Pa. She was 90.

She was born on July 22, 1923, in Worcester, Mass., the daughter of the late Frank H. and Lula Linscott Flagg, also of Westport.

On June 19, 1943 she married Kurt Erik Sporre, who preceded her in death on Sept. 6, 2002. She was a real estate agent and also enjoyed crocheting, knitting, oil painting, gardening and playing bridge.

She is survived by her three sons, Tor Sporre, Roger Karl Sporre of State College and Barrett Linscott Sporre of West Haven. She is also survived by her eight grandchildren; Erik John Sporre, Ian Sporre, Erik W. Sporre, Heidi Sporre Galloway, Jennifer Moeny, Rebecca Domagola and Roger Paul Sporre. Also surviving are her 11 plus great grandchildren; Ryker, William, Katie, Michael, Nathaniel, Jonathan, Anthony, Kirsten, Nikolas, and Natalie. She also left behind in California her very special nieces and nephews; Tobi, Katie, Johnny and Allen. Also two other nieces Kin and Didi (formally Flagg from Westport).

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Jean R. Lee, 84

Jean Remlin Lee of Westport, wife of Kenneth R. Lee, died July 25 in Norwalk Hospital following a lengthy illness. She was 84.

Born Feb. 7, 1930, she was a lifelong resident of Westport.

Survivors in addition to her husband of 63 years include two daughters, Victoria L. Harding and her husband Richard of Smyrna, Del., Sandra A. Bailey of Norwalk, one son, Larry J. Lee of Stratford, one brother, Joseph Remlin of North Carolina, four grandchildren, Richard Harding Jr. and his wife Kelly, Duane Bailey, Catherine and Rebecca Lee. two great grandchildren, Justin Harding and Richard Harding III. She was also predeceased by two brothers, Clifford and Charles Remlin.

Visitation will take place Tuesday, July 29 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. The funeral will leave at 10:30 a.m. from the Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Road East for a Mass of Christian burial at 11 a.m. in Assumption Church, 98 Riverside Ave. Interment will follow in Assumption Cemetery, 73 Greens Farms Road. Contributions in her memory may be made to the Whitingham Cance Center, 34 Maple St. Norwalk, CT 06856.

Posted 09:20 PM
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Alphonse ‘Buck’ Iannacone, 88, Devoted P.A.L. Volunteer Image
Alphonse “Buck” Iannacone of Westport, a 61-year supporter of the Westport Police Athletic League and to many the face of Westport P.A.L., died Friday in Norwalk Hospital. He was 88. A World War II veteran where he received a Purple Heart and Bronze Star Medal, Iannacone served as grand marshal of Westport’s Memorial Day parade in 2012.  See full obituary here.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for

Posted 06:52 PM
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Alphonse ‘Buck’ Iannacone, 88

Alphonse “Buck” Iannacone of Westport, a 61-year supporter of the Westport Police Athletic League where he was a devoted volunteer, died July 25 in Norwalk Hospital. He was 88. Image
Alphonse “Buck” Iannacone: devoted volunteer with PAL. Contributed photo

Iannacone, husband of the late Florence Esposito Iannacone, served as grand marshal of the Westport Memorial Day parade in 2012.

As he sat in the reviewing stand that year, he said, “I tell you I have tears in my eyes. A lot of people have come out today, and so many are saying thank you, thank you.”

Iannacone said then that his legs still bothered him. The unyielding pain of war, he noted, is the reason he received the Purple Heart and a ribbon with one Battle Bronze Star after taking a blast of shrapnel during the Battle of the Bulge.

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Posted 06:48 PM
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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Malcolm Magruder, 89

Malcolm Magruder of Hingham, Mass., a former Westport resident, died July 11 at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, Mass. He was 89.

He was born March 5, 1925, in Fort Sill, Okla. As the son of Brig. Gen. l John Magruder, who served as the military attache to China in the 1920s and who helped found the Organization of Strategic Services during World War II, he grew up in a variety of international settings. Throughout his adolescent years, he lived in China, Switzerland, Virginia, and Washington D.C.

After graduating from St. Albans School in 1943, he went on to serve in the U.S. Army as a part of the 10th Mountain Division during World War II in northern Italy. He received a Bronze Star in 1945 for his meritorious service during combat near Castel dAlano, Italy.

After his service in Italy, he attended Cornell University on the GI Bill. He graduated in 1949.

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Posted 04:11 PM
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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

William B. Mervine, 93

Willam B. Mervine of Westport died July 4 at home. He was 93. Image
William Mervine: World War II veteran. Contributed photo

He was born in New York City on Oct. 15, 1920, son of Arthur E. and Ruth Weaver Mervine. Soon after, the family moved to Scarsdale. He attended Peddie, then graduated from Wesleyan University in 1947 and received an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business.

He enlisted in the U.S. Eighth Army Air Force after two years at Wesleyan. He was promoted to tech sergeant and completed 35 missions over Germany and German occupied territories in the 92nd Bombardment Group, the oldest heavy bombardment group in England.

He was awarded the Air Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters and the Presidential Citation for meritorious achievement while participating in sustained bomber combat.

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Posted 06:37 PM
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John Lillis, 69

John (Jack) Munroe Lillis of Saint Johns, Fla,, a former Westport resident, died July 16 at Baptist South Hospital in Jacksonville. He was 69.

He was born on May 4, 1945, in Greenwich to James (Jim) and Vera Lillis. He grew up in Westport, graduating from Staples High School in 1963. After high school, he attended Syracuse University and received a Bachelor of Science degree.

He worked in various sales positions and started a manufacture rep business in Denver that specialized in giftware and Christmas decorations.
He married Karen Rogers in 1976 in Denver and were happily married for 38 years.

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Posted 05:38 PM
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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Swan Yuan, 88

Swan Yuan of Westport, husband of Helen (Kao) Yuan for more than 58 years, died July 16 at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport. He was 88.

He was born on Aug. 12, 1925 in Ningbo, China and was a resident of Westport for more than 20 years.

Prior to retiring, he was a textile garment executive in the clothing manufacturing industry in Hong Kong. He was a graduate of Shanghai Baptist University in China with a textile chemistry degree. He loved and enjoyed spending his leisure time with his family, especially with his grandchildren, his family said.

Survivors in addition to his wife include two sons, Dr. Andrew Yuan and his wife Sieglinde of Fairfield, and Jim Yuan and his wife Sharon of Westport, four grandchildren, Kristina, Kristopher, Connor, and Rachel.

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Posted 06:24 PM
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Geoffrey Doyle Hunn, 63

Geoffrey Doyle Hunn of Fairfield, a former Westport resident, died July 10 at his home. He was 63.

He was born June 10, 1951 in Hackensack, N.J., son of Olivette Doyle Hunn and the late Daniel I. Hunn.

He was a former resident of Westport and a 1969 graduate of Staples High School.

He loved the outdoors and enjoyed sailing and scuba diving. He had formerly worked with his father in commercial animation, producing short subjects and advertising.

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Posted 06:15 PM
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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

David Giardina, 95

David D. Giardina of Westport, retired head of the radiology department at Norwalk Hospital, died July 10 at home. He was 95. Image
David D. Giardina: radiology head at Norwalk Hospital. Contributed photo

He was born in New Haven on July 5, 1919 to the late Vincenzo and Marianna (Alu) Giardina. He graduated from James Hillhouse High School, Columbia University, and New York Medical College where he earned a medical degree in radiology.

His education was interrupted by World War II when he served as a sergeant and a medic with the U.S. Army in the European Theater. He went on to work at Norwalk Hospital as the head of the radiology department until he retired in 1984.

During that time, belonged to the Connecticut Medical Association and the Connecticut Radiological Society where he served as a past president. He, also, taught radiology courses at Yale University.

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Posted 08:26 PM
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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Robert Stein, 90

Robert Stein, editor, publisher, media critic, journalism teacher and blogger, died July 9 at the home of his son, Keith Stein, in Westport. He was 90. Image
Robert Stein: journalist summered in Westport.  Contributed photo

Keith Stein said in a posting on his father’s website,, that death was due to “kidney issues related to his several month battle with multiple myeloma cancer.”

In a career that spanned more than 70 years, Robert Stein was influential in bringing many of the political and social issues of the times to national attention.

His editorial discretion while heading Redbook and McCall’s magazines helped empower a generation of women by treating them as world citizens on equal footing as men—helping clarify the serious issues of the day and bringing insights into the problems and challenges of their lives.

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Posted 12:21 AM
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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Fist Pumps and Humor Mark Bill Meyer Memorial Service

Westport today bid farewell to its fist-pumping cheerleader Bill Meyer with a poignant, humor-filled memorial service that included fist pump salutes from speakers and a musical sendoff of “I’ll Be Seeing You” and “When the Saints Go Marching In.” Image
Former U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays greets Carolyn Meyer today at the Christ & Holy Trinity Church memorial service for her husband. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Meyer, a tireless community volunteer, died June 28 after a more than two-year battle with cancer. He was 85. (See WestportNow June 28, 2014)

The pews of Christ & Holy Trinity Church were overflowing for the slightly more than one hour service that attracted family and friends from all of Meyer’s causes, including the Representative Town Meeting, Y’s Men, Sunrise Rotary Club, Little League baseball, as well as his beloved Saugatuck Congregational Church.

Former U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays said in his 34 years of public service, he “never knew anyone like Bill Meyer.”

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Posted 09:45 PM
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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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Posted 08:56 PM
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WestportNow wins 13 citations in the 1913 Society of Professional Journalists, Connecticut Awards