Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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Obituaries

Ulf Lundell, 72

Ulf Uno Lundell of Norwalk, a former Westport resident and early pioneer in the high-rise construction industry, died Nov. 15 at home. He was 72.

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Ulf Lundell: high-rise construction pioneer. Contributed photo

Born in Sweden, he was a man that had a vision to work hard and enjoy life. He moved to the United States and lived out his vision of the quintessential American dream.

When he was 10, he lost his father due to a tragic accident, working for Linden Cranes. Forced to help support his mother and brother, he sold tulips door to door in Vasteras.

They poignantly remained his favorite flower throughout his life. Linden Cranes also gave him work, first as a little boy sweeping the stock room floor and then later hiring him as a full-time employee.

Florence Wokanovicz, 89

Florence M. Hiznay Wokanovicz of Westport died Nov. 19 at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport. She was 89.

She was the daughter of the late Louis and Margaret (Dina) Hiznay. She was a graduate of Ss. Cyril and Methodius Commercial High School and attended the University of Bridgeport. She worked for many years at CBS Records and retired from the Sony Music Corp.

She was a former president of the St. Anthony of Padua Women’s Guild and also served as the guild’s recording secretary for many years. She was also a member of the St. Anthony’s Seniors.

Sewing, reading and cooking were among her favorite leisure activities, but she mostly enjoyed gettogethers with family and friends.

Michael A. Cleary, 72

Michael A. Cleary of Stratford, a former Westport resident, died Nov. 11 at Bridgeport Hospital. He was 72.

He was the son of the late Joseph Patrick Cleary and Margaret Gallagan Cleary. Also a former resident of Wilton, he and his wife, Lynn, owned the Merritt Country Store in Westport for many years.

He is survived by his sons, Michael of Stratford and Matthew and his wife, Holly, of Eliot, Maine, his grandchildren, Sean, Addie and Jack, brothers John of New York, and Brian and his wife, Honey, of Florida, and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brothers, Joseph and Terrence, his sister Maureen and niece, Angela.

A Memorial Mass will be held on Friday, Nov. 18 at 11:30 a.m. at Saint Luke Church, 84 Long Lots Road. A reception in his honor will immediately follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Smilow Cancer Center at Yale New Haven Hospital, 20 York St., New Haven, CT 06519.

Kathryn Brooks, 82

Kathryn (Kay) Frazer Brooks of Westport died Nov. 7 at home after a lengthy illness.  She was 82.

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Kathryn Brooks: loved books. Contributed photo

She was born Jan. 8, 1934 in Fairfield to Bernard and Catherine Arnold, and was the youngest and last survivor of seven siblings. She has been a Westport resident since 1960.

She was a true autodidact, fueled by an insatiable love of books and innate curiosity.

Throughout her life she exhibited a quick and powerful intellect and a remarkable ability for recalling details from history and literature. 

Carlo Palmieri, 74

Carlo John Palmieri (“Tuchy”) of Fairfield, a former Westport resident, died Nov. 12 at home. He was 74.

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Carlo Palmieri: former Westporter.  Contributed photo

He was born in Westport on Oct. 3, 1942 to the late Filomeno and Josephine Pagliaro Palmieri. He was a pioneer in the computer business and retired CEO of Computer Resolutions.

He became an avid author publishing many inspirational books to help mankind through the struggles of life. He was a member of Saint Thomas Aquinas Parish and dedicated much of his life serving others. He had a devotion to helping mankind through different 12 Step programs on a weekly basis. He also attended the Sterling Institute and lead his team called the “Bald Eagles.”

He graduated Staples High School and attended college at the University of Bridgeport in 1965. He went on to work selling computers for Burroughs Corporation from 1966 until 1987 when he founded his own business.

James F. Ward, 77

James Francis “Jim” Ward of Washington Court House, Ohio, a former Westport resident, died Nov. 7 at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus. He was 77.

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James Ward: Staples grad. Contributed photo

He was born Jan. 28, 1939, in Plattsburgh, N.Y. to William George and Helen Nappa Ward. He was a 1957 graduate of Staples High School in Westport, and received a degree in industrial management in 1965 from Wilmington College.

He was a successful businessman, opening French Hardware in 1971. He formerly worked for the Cincinnati Milacron Company in Cincinnati and Wilmington. He had also worked for ITT Semiconductors in West Palm Beach, Fla. and Fairchild Camera and Instrument Corporation in Mountain View, Calif.

He was a proud and active member of the St. Colman of Cloyne Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus.  He also served in the U.S. Army.

Betty DeVoll, 86

Betty “Lee” (Snyder) DeVoll of Holland, Michigan and Block Island, R.I., a former Westport resident, died Nov. 8 in Holland. She was 86.

She was born on March 1, 1930, in Cleveland, Ohio, to Elizabeth (Scott) Snyder and Fredrick Amos Snyder, M.D. She graduated from Wells College in 1952.

While at college, she met the love of her life Willys D. DeVoll Sr., to whom she was married for 63 years, until his death in 2015. She and Will raised their family in Kinnelon, N.J. They subsequently lived in St. Louis, Missouri ; 31 years in Westport and Chester, Conn., prior to moving to Michigan.

She was an active volunteer wherever she lived, supporting her children and grandchildren’s activities and spending many years volunteering with the food pantry at Christian Community Action in Norwalk. She dearly loved spending time with her family and friends, her many dogs, cooking, gardening, knitting, and she treasured time spent on Block Island.

Daniel L. Krez, 73

Daniel Leonard Krez, most recently of Wilton, formerly of New York City and Chicago, died after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 73.

He had retired after a long career with Citibank and was a proud alumnus of Cornell University, where he crewed on Big Red’s 1963 Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championship team and rowed in the Grand Challenge Cup at the Henley Royal Regatta.

After retiring, he pursued his passion for rowing, winning alumni national championships for Cornell and national and international masters’ competitions as a member of Westport’s Saugatuck Rowing Club.

He was predeceased by his wife, Denice Rassas Krez, his parents, Leonard and Dorothy Krez, his sister Carole Krez Foran, brother-in-law Robert Davis Foran and stepmother, Susan Krez; uncle of Michael (Dawn) Foran, Robert (Monica) Foran and Nancy (James, Jr.) Nash; grand uncle of Megan and Michael Foran, Carolyn Nash, Katherine Foran, James Nash III, Alec and Jadyn Foran, and friend to Edward and Claudia Steinglass.

John B. Travers, 57

John Benton Travers of Hollywood, Calif., a former Westport resident, died Nov. 8 at home. He was 57.

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John Travers: 1977 Staples grad. Contributed photo

Over three decades, he edited numerous films and wrote and directed screenplays.

Born in New Orleans and raised in Westport, he was the son of novelist Robert Travers and half-brother to folk singer Mary Travers, of Peter, Paul and Mary. He and his father loved baseball and participated wholeheartedly in the Westport Little League.

Enamored with movies at an early age, he graduated from Staples High School in 1977 and earned his film degree from the University of Bridgeport.

Josephine C. Ottomano, 90

Josephine C. Ottomano of Weston died Nov. 6 at home. She was 90.

Born in New York City, she was the youngest child of Arthur and Mamie Cognato. She graduated from Manhattan High School, and married Gill Ottomano when he returned from World War II, having served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army.  The couple settled on Lyons Plains Road, where they raised a family and lived together for 57 years until Gill’s death in 2005. 

Josephine continued living independently in the family home, and on May 20 celebrated her 90th birthday at an outdoor party attended by family and friends.

A founding family of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Weston, she served as an original member of the Ladies Guild, and stayed active in church through prayer groups, Bible study and social events.