Madeleine A. “Queenie” O’Connell Mraz of Watertown Connecticut, a former Westport resident, died Dec. 23 at Masonicare in Newtown. She was 92.
She was born Sept. 2, 1924 in Bridgeport to Dr. John G. O’Connell and Madeleine A. Barwin O’Connell. She was a 1941 graduate of Bassick High School and received an Associate’s Degree from Weylister Secretarial Junior College, both in Bridgeport.
During World War II, she worked for Sikorsky Aircraft, Stratford, helping to make the famous Corsair airplanes. She was proud that due to her petite stature she was one of the few small enough to fit in the nosecone to work on the aircraft.
On Dec. 4, 1948, she married William W. Mraz, who predeceased her in 2004. They moved to Westport in 1956 and lived and raised their family here until 1981 when they moved to Woodbury and later to Watertown where they resided since 1985.
Perhaps more than other years, 2016 for Westport was marked by farewells, perhaps too many of them. From those who moved on or retired after long careers to those who died leaving behind larger than life legacies, it seemed like an avalanche of goodbyes.
Elliott Landon on eve of retirement: his greatest achievement is people. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
But it wasn’t all losses when it came to those who epitomized the town’s sense of community. Westport also made some positive gains, small steps and large ones, most of them having to do with infrastructure needs and planning for the town’s future.
As the clock ticks down, what follows is WestportNow.com’s annual look at highlights of the past year.
After 17 years at the helm, Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon marched in his final Staples High School commencement late June, saying goodbye as he headed into retirement. Most of the graduates were toddlers when he had arrived in the district.
On this fourth night of Hanukkah, the Westport menorah at Compo Acres Shopping Center was officially lit with Rabbi Levi Stone of the Schneerson Center in Westport doing the honors. Westport Police Officer Rachel Baron (r) of Danbury watches after lighting the first candle, called the shamash, which is used to light the others. This is the 11th year of the event, which included dancing and live music. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Westport Police Officer Rachel Baron (c) was asked to light the Hanukkah shamash candle tonight at a Westport memorah lighting at Compo Acres Shopping Center. The candle is used to light the other candles on the menorah, one for each night of the eight-day Jewish celebration, which began on Saturday. With her are Rabbi Lev Stone (l) and Rabbi Yehoshua Hecht of Beth Israel of Westport-Norwalk and The Schneerson Center for Jewish Life, CT, which sponsored the event, now in its 11th year. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
While buyers looking to purchase a home in Westport have less available homes to choose from these days, that will increase in the next few months.
Featured Home: This home at 4 Lowlyn Road is listed at $1,140,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of William Raveis Westport
Our market has seasonal highs and lows for inventory, just as certain months are historically better for closed sales than others.
According to the National Association of Realtors 2016 Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers, buyers typically searched for 10 weeks and looked at a median of 10 houses before they purchased a home.
Among the buyers who utilized the internet in their search, 89 percent found photos very useful, and and 85 percent found descriptions to be very helpful in their searches. These few tidbits of information tell us a lot.
Richard Pustari of Westport died Dec. 13 at home. He was 83.
The husband of the late Barbara (Britto) Pustari, he was born in Stamford on Dec. 9, 1933 and was the son of the late Frank and Bertha (Sterc) Pustari. He worked for SNET as a technician for many years and in his later years he drove for Enterprise for enjoyment. He was an avid golfer and loved animals.
Survivors include two sons: Rit Pustari of Stratford, Bob Pustari of Norwalk, two daughters: Vickie Pastuszak of Delray Beach, Florida, Debbie Pustari of Denver, Colorado, one brother: William Pustari and his wife Barbara of New Canaan, one sister: Doris Macari of Norwalk, four grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, one nephew and two nieces.