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Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Trike, a three-legged Husky mix well known to Westporters who frequent Winslow Park and Compo Beach, died Thursday at the age of 18. Trike, who lost his right rear leg due to an accident as a pup, was adopted from a shelter in 1990 by Peter McCulloch, who moved with him to Westport in 1997. They were everyday visitors to Winslow and, in the off season, to Compo. Messaged WestportNow reader Scott Wilder: “Mostly it was because of Trike’s outgoing personality and love for life that endeared him to everyone. Trike always had a happy, inquisitive look on his face and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Darren McGavin: former Old Mill resident. File photoFilm and television actor Darren McGavin, a former Westporter who got involved in a dispute with town officials over the height of his Old Mill home, died Saturday in Los Angeles. He was 83.
McGavin appeared on many television series and shows and set a standard for cynical and hard-boiled gruffness as a reporter in “The Night Stalker” and a detective in “Mike Hammer.”
McGain lived in Westport in the 1960s and is remembered by longtime residents for the zoning fight he had with the town over adding an extra story to his house on Old Mill Beach. It is still the tallest house in the area.
McGavin, who is survived by four children, perhaps had his most memorable role as the grouchy father in the film “A Christmas Story,” originally released in 1983, but a television staple on holidays ever since.
Monday, February 20, 2006
Malcolm S. Beinfield, a longtime Westport physician and surgeon who served as sideline doctor to the Staples High School football team for 38 years and never missed a game, died today at his Westport home. He was 84.
Malcolm Beinfield:Westport doctor for almost 50 years. Contributed photo
Beinfield, Westport’s first board-certified surgeon, had been ill for some time, according to a family spokesman.
The Brooklyn-born, Yale-educated Beinfield headed a Westport practice that at one point included four physicians, a staff of 20, and had 543,000 patient charts. In almost half a century of practicing medicine in Westport, there were few longtime residents who did not come to know “Doc” Beinfield.
In 1951, Beinfield became chair of Red Cross medical services in Westport and medical director of the town’s civil defense unit. The same year he became surgeon to the Staples athletic program, running out to assess injuries on the football field for every home game until 1989.
Saturday, February 04, 2006
Mark Smith: “extremely dedicated volunteer.”WN photoMark A. Smith, former chair of the Westport Parks and Recreation Commission, died Friday at his Fairfield home of a heart attack, friends said. He was 61.
Smith resigned from the commission last June when he moved to Fairfield. He had served since January 1998.
Under his tenure, the panel had considered a range of controversial issues including dogs on the beach, recreational fees, and renovations to town facilities.
At the time of his retirement, then Westport First Selectwoman Diane Farrell praised Smith as “an extremely dedicated volunteer, contributing numerous hours, effort and hard work to our community.”
Monday, January 09, 2006
William H. Guthman: expert in military Americana PBS photoWilliam H. Guthman, a prominent antiques dealer and museum consultant, died at his Westport home Dec. 28. He was 81.
The cause was lung cancer, said his wife, Elizabeth Stillinger, according to today’s New York Times.
Guthman was a dealer in Colonial and Federal Period Historical Americana and one of the country’s leading authorities in the field.
He established Guthman Americana in Westport and exhibited his collections at New York’s Winter Antiques Show for 32 years. He was an appraiser on Public Broadcasting Service’s “Antiques Roadshow” for five seasons.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
A former Bridgeport resident was found dead of an apparent suicide outside a business on Westport’s Post Road West Sunday morning, police said today.
James Neil Darragh, 37, was found outside European Travel Management, 237 Post Road West, in his Geo Tracker with a vacuum hose attached to the exhaust pipe and extended into the rear window, said Sgt. Jerry Shannon, police public information officer.
He was pronounced dead at the scene, and his family, who live in Ireland, were notified on Monday, he said.
Shannon said Darragh used to work at European Travel Management but left in October on good terms.
Sunday, September 18, 2005
Ricardo Petrillo: dies in fall. Qunnipiac University photoA 20-year-old 2003 Staples grad died early today after falling from a third-floor dormitory balcony at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, police said.
Ricardo Petrillo, who lived on campus, suffered head trauma after falling from the balcony at about 2:30 a.m. He was treated at the scene and brought to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where he died a short time later, police said.
Police said they were investigating and did not release other details, such as the cause of the fall. University officials said the sophomore political science major lived in the dorm with the balcony from which he fell.
The university community was saddened to learn of Petrillo’s death this morning, said college spokesman John Morgan. He said the university was holding a service for Petrillo tonight and offering counseling services to affected students.
Monday, September 05, 2005
By Jennifer Connic
With a setting sun as the backdrop, residents gathered at Westport’s Compo Beach this evening to dedicate the marina to Edwin K. “Ned” Dimes.
Farrell on Dimes:“A man who was truly larger than life.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ron Malone for WestportNow.com
“He was a living chart for life,” said the Rev. John Danner of Saugatuck Congregational Church. “He showed how to be a citizen of a town, a trustee of a community organization, a member of a church, a husband and a father.”
Dimes, who died last March 4 at the age of 81, served 18 years on the Board of Finance, 14 as chairman, before retiring in 1997. He was involved in a number of community organizations, including the Westport-Weston YMCA Board of Trustees.
Last spring, the Board of Selectmen and Representative Town Meeting unanimously approved naming the Compo Marina in honor of Dimes.
Friday, August 19, 2005
There will be a retrospective art exhibit in Boston next week for Kirsten Anne Malone, a 1993 Staples graduate who died in June 2004 at the age of 29 as a result of injuries received when she was hit by a car while bicycling.
“Kirsten A. Malone: Retrospective,” a three-day exhibition, opens Thursday at the Copley Society Boston, 158 Newbury St. It will be the first retrospective of her photography, video, sculpture, and performance since her death.
An online description of the exhibit says: “Malone introspectively integrates her own experiences with acute commentary on the social constructs affecting her life as a young woman in Boston. Employing her characteristic intelligence and sharp wit, personal histories become pertinent social critique of stereotypes, consumption, and technology.”
Malone grew up in Westport and after Staples attended Boston University where she graduated in 1997 with a bachelor of arts in photo journalism. She went on to study at the Massachusetts College of Art, graduating in 2003 with an additional bachelor of arts in fine arts.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
James Edward DeCourcy, longtime New England weekly newspaper editor whose stints included time in Westport, died today in a New London, N.H. nursing home, the AP reported. He was 93.
Ed DeCourcy, as he was known, was editor of the now-defunct Westport Town Crier in the 1940s. He was editor of the Milford Citizen from 1949 to 1961.
Known for his defense of civil liberties, bow ties, fastidious grammar and graceful writing, DeCourcy retired in 1982 after 21 years as editor and publisher of the Newport (N.H.) Argus-Champion.
DeCourcy was born in Darien, where he attended Darien High School and began his journalism career as editor of the school newspaper. He also was a stringer for the Norwalk Hour.
Monday, August 08, 2005
Cor Videler: a Westport photographer since 1957. Contributed photoCornelius J. Videler, a noted Westport photographer for almost half a century, died Sunday at home. He was 74.
Videler came to Westport in 1957 from his native Holland. He operated Videler Photography, specializing in weddings, portraits, and events, on Compo Road South.
He had also been employed by Pepperidge Farm in Norwalk as a photographer. Aside from his tremendous love for his family, he also loved fishing and his garden.
Survivors in addition to his wife of 51 years, Anna Hennen Videler, include his sons and daughters, Niel Videler of Rochester, Vt, and John Videler of Westport; Beverly Rosen of Trumbull, Conn., and Barbra Biase of Greenwich, Conn. Seven grandchildren, Case, Elle and Sinjin Videler, Brett and Molly Rosen, Cor and Olivia Biase and three brothers, Chris, Wim and Harry and four sisters, Riet, Annie, Feeny and Leny.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Mortimer Levitt, the millionaire businessman/patron of the arts and benefactor of Westport’s Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts, died Tuesday in his Green’s Farms home, his family said. He was 98.
Mortimer Levitt: Recently honored by Town of Westport. Contributed photo
Levitt, who founded Custom Shop Shirtmakers in 1937 in New York City and was a millionaire by the age of 35, was best known around town as the flamboyant, opinionated arts patron sporting a straw hat at summer concerts.
A New York Times obituary today said at 75, Levitt began writing and became the author of five how-to books including: “Class: What It Is and How to Acquire It,” “The Executive Look: How to Get It, How to Keep It,” and “How to Start Your Own Business Without Losing Your Shirt.”
His most recent book published two years ago also evoked Levitt’s chutzpah as he pondered his own mortality: “Ninety-Six and Too Busy to Die: A Life Beyond the Age of Dying.”
Friday, July 08, 2005
Evan Hunter, the prolific writer born Salvatore Lombino who wrote under the Hunter name as well as Ed McBain and several others to become one of America’s best-known mystery and crime novelists, died Wednesday in Weston of cancer of the larynx, his agent said. He was 78. In September 2003, Hunter (box) was among those honored by the Westport Arts Advisory Committee at a Westport Town Hall ceremony. He startled the audience with his gravely voice and finger constantly held to a white button on his throat, explaining he lost his vocal chords to cancer and was speaking with a synthetic voice. Hunter ended his brief talk with thanks to Westport and the Arts Advisory Committee for selecting him as an honoree. “Art is all about voices,” he said. “And Westport is all about art.” Gordon Joseloff/WestportNow.com photo
Saturday, July 02, 2005
Longtime Westporter William J. Brink, a former managing editor of The Daily News of New York who was responsible for one of the most memorable headlines in American journalism, FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD, died Friday in Norwalk, The New York Times reported today. He was 89.
The cause was congestive heart failure, his son William A. Brink said. Brink had lived for many years on Birchwood Lane.
Set in huge bold letters, the headline screamed across Page 1 of the paper on Oct. 30, 1975. In six taut syllables, it brought home its message with the power of a knockout punch: At the height of New York’s fiscal crisis, President Gerald R. Ford had declined to bail the city out, the Times said.
Those six syllables, as Ford later acknowledged, almost certainly lost him New York State in his 1976 race against Jimmy Carter, and with it, the presidency.
Friday, June 17, 2005
Steve Ogilvy: nationally-ranked senior tennis player.Contributed photo Stephen H. Ogilvy, a Westporter who was a nationally-ranked senior tennis player, has died of injuries sustained in an auto accident in Ludlow, Vt., authorities said.
Ogilvy, 88, who lived on Valley Road in Westport, died Thursday in Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., according to the Rutland Herald. He had been returning home from a tennis tournament in Killlington, Vt.
A longtime member of Saugatuck Congregational church where he was active in the men’s group, Ogilvy competed in many senior tennis tournaments. In 2004, he was ranked No. 13 nationally among men’s 85 singles. He had held the No. 1 spot in New England in every age division beginning at 55.
Ogilvy was driving a newer model Cadillac into opposing traffic Wednesday in Ludlow and collided with a tractor-trailer truck driven by Michael W. Maxwell of Plymouth, Ind., police said.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Doug Dauz: “will be sorely missed by all.” CMS photoGrief counselors went to Westport’s Coleytown Middle School today following announcement of the death of Douglas P. Dauz, a popular physical education teacher who had been ill only a short time.
Dauz, 52, was diagnosed with lung cancer only six weeks ago and died Wednesday night at Norwalk Hospital, according to school staff members. He had been associated with Coleytown Middle for almost 30 years.
“Several children went home crying,” said one teacher, who added that the news was especially crushing coming only hours before tonight’s Coleytown Middle School graduation ceremony. Three grief counselors were on hand at the school during the day.
“The entire school community mourns the loss of Doug Dauz,” said Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon. “Beloved by colleagues, students and parents, he will be sorely missed by all.”
Monday, May 23, 2005
Catherine MyGodney: former RTM member. WN photoCatherine “Kay” MyGodney, a lifelong resident of Westport and former member of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM), died Sunday at Norwalk Hospital. She was 81.
MyGodney, who served on the RTM from 1997 to 2003, was a longtime member and current chaplain for the Ladies Auxiliary of the Joseph J. Clinton VFW Post #399. She was also a regular attendee at the weekly Town Hall brown bag lunch.
Born Nov. 8, 1923, she was the daughter of the late John and Anastasia Guida MyGodney.
Survivors include one sister, Mary Alice Bella of Stamford., one brother, Stephen MyGodney of Fairfield, two nieces and two nephews. She was also predeceased by one sister, Anna Preg in 1998.
Thursday, May 19, 2005
Frank Gorshin: lived here 1980-1998. File photoFormer Westporter Frank Gorshin, the master impressionist and character actor best known as the Riddler on the 1960s �Batman� television series, died Tuesday in Burbank, Calif.. He was 72.
Gorshin lived in Westport from 1980 to 1998 and often was seen driving around town in a silver-colored Rolls-Royce bearing a license plate that said STOLEN.
He received an Emmy nomination for his role on the “Batman” series and more recently brought comedian George Burns to life in a one-man Broadway show.
Gorshin died at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, where he had been hospitalized for three weeks.
Monday, May 16, 2005
A group of Westport Police Department members traveled to Washington, D.C. Friday to honor a fallen colleague as part of the 17th annual candlelight vigil held at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. The ceremony honored 153 law enforcement heroes who in 2004 made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as 262 additional fallen heroes whom history had until this point forgotten. Added to the memorial this year was Auxiliary Police Officer Aldo J. Santini of the Westport Police Department. Santini, 47, was killed in the line of duty while working on Westport�s police boat in 1964. He was injured on July 26, 1964, while assisting a grounded boat off Saugatuck Shores, and died on Aug. 1, 1964 from his injuries. Westport officers accompanying Santini’s daughter, Anita Santini (front row, 2nd l), to the ceremony included front row (l-r): Chief Al Fiore and Officer Linda Vena; back row (l-r): Honor Guard Officers Eric Woods, Foti Koskinas, Philip Restieri, Anastasia DeLuca, and Lt. Dale Call. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Friday, May 13, 2005
W. Michael “Mike” Bliss, a longtime member of the Westport business community and active and dedicated community volunteer, died Wednesday, his family said today. He was 56.
Mike Bliss: longtime community volunteer. WN photo
“Mike will be fondly remembered as a loving husband, a devoted father, and an active and dedicated member of the Westport community where he resided for the last 25 years,” a family statement said. “He was a successful and generous businessman, a respected leader and teacher, and a treasured friend to many.”
Son of Mrs. Jane Bliss and Dr. William Bliss, Mike Bliss was born in 1949 in Ames, Iowa. He attended Iowa State University on a football scholarship and earned an MBA at Harvard Business School in 1974 after serving in the U.S. Army.
A longtime member of the Westport business community, he was affiliated with the financial planning firm Westport Resources Management, Inc. since 1986, first as an investment advisor agent, and since 1987 as a portfolio manager.