Wednesday, April 17, 2024



Charles J. Palmer, Jr., 62

Charles J. “Charlie” Palmer, Jr. of Wysox, Pennsylvania, a former Westport resident, died Dec. 7 after a long and courageous battle with a heart-related disease complicated by issues due to a spinal injury in 2015. He was 62.

He was predeceased by his mother, Helen; father, Charles, Sr.; sister, Patty Palmer; nephew, Jamie Booker and childhood friend, Stewie Everly.  He is survived by Robin, his wife of 27 years. Robin, a registered nurse, has been a tremendous caregiver providing extensive knowledge, understanding, passion and compassion over the years.

“Charlie,” as he was known by his friends and family, is also survived by daughter, Jenny Marino of Towanda, her husband, Dillon and granddaughters, Kirsten Shults and Abigayle Marino; stepson, Lee McNeal of Albany, New York; brother, John Palmer and wife, Penny of Wysox; sister, Claire and husband, Norman Nickeson of Sugar Run; nephews, Daniel Booker, Jordan Palmer and Jared Palmer; nieces, Christina Cobb, Kimberley Brown, Jessica Bartkus, and Katie Askins, and his childhood and lifelong friend, Tony Luciano of Lutz, Florida.

He graduated from Staples High School in Westport in 1975 and went on to work with his brother-in law, Steve Booker at Riverside Esso in the Saugatuck area. Charlie was formerly employed by the Town of Westport Highway Department and served as a short order cook on weekends at the Mansion Clam House until he moved to Wysox with his family in 1978.

Peter Pastorelli, Jr., 44

Peter Pastorelli, Jr., a noted movie producer and former Westport resident, died suddenly on Oct. 28 in Rhinebeck, New York. He had celebrated his 44th birthday just two days earlier.

Born in Rockaway Beach, New York on Oct. 25, 1975 to Peter Pastorelli, Sr. and Barbara Good, he moved to Westport when he was 5. Peter attended Saugatuck Elementary School, Bedford Middle School and Staples High School, where he was a member of the lacrosse team.

After Staples he headed to Castleton University in Vermont. He graduated with a major in history and communications, and served as president of his fraternity.

Peter followed his father’s footsteps into the movie industry. He began as a location scout, and moved quickly into producer and executive producer roles. He worked on many films, including “Garden State,” “When We First Met” and “Beasts of No Nation.”

Winifred McKenna, 90

Winifred “Tona” McKenna (née McCrann) of Westport died Nov. 22, She was 90. Image
Tona McKenna: physician. Contributed photo

She was born on April 5, 1929, in Strokestown, County Roscommon, Ireland. Predeceased by her husband, Eugene R. McKenna Sr., she was the mother of Eugene R. McKenna, Jr., and the late Rev. Colin J. McKenna. She was the 10th of 11 children born to Edward and Katherine McCrann, and was predeceased by all her siblings.

Winifred, more commonly known by her nickname “Tona,” was an excellent student, and studied medicine at University College Dublin in Dublin, Ireland, where she received her medical degree, and became a practicing physician.

The only one of her family to immigrate to America, she met her husband-to-be in New York City, and the two were wed in 1960, at which time they moved to Westport, where they would live and raise a family for the next 20-plus years.

Kenneth D. Potter, 86

Kenneth Dewey Potter of Westport, son of Albert Dewey Potter and Kay Potter Davis, died Nov. 28 at home after a long illness. He was 86. Image
Kenneth Potter: longtime Westporter. Contributed photo

He was raised in Poultney, Vermont and throughout his life enjoyed spending time at the family cottages on Lake St. Catherine.

He graduated from Colgate University where he was a brother of Theta Chi Fraternity. After graduation he was commissioned to the Navy and became an officer on the USS Bunting.

After serving in the Navy, he began his career at General Electric/Black & Decker where he worked for over 30 years. He and his wife, Marion married in 1963 and moved to Westport to raise a family.

Turker Aksoy, 46

Turker Aksoy died Nov. 22 at Branford Hospice. He was 46.

A native of New Jersey, he was born Jan. 30, 1973. His family ran a carpet business which a young Turker worked for.

Having the opportunity to install the carpet in the White House was a proud moment for the family.

Turker was a 13-year veteran of the Westport Fire Department with several awards being earned though out his career. He worked as a paramedic in Hartford for several years prior to starting as a Westport firefighter.

Rocco J. Urciuoli, 100

Rocco J. Urciuoli, a lifelong resident of Westport, died Nov. 24. He was 100.

One of eight children, he was born on May 2, 1919 in the family home on South Compo Road, Westport. He was drafted to serve in the U.S. Army during World War II, stationed in the South Pacific, then Fort McClellan, Alabama where he trained troops.

After honorable discharge, he returned to live in Westport where he built several houses, worked for the Town of Westport, and retired from Emery Air Freight.

 He was a skilled fine woodworker, carpenter, and mason. His love of gardening was second only to his love for his family.

He was an organic gardener before it was a fashionable trend, even growing peanuts and will be remembered for growing big and tasty tomatoes.

Rhoda Rosenthal, 88

Rhoda Rosenthal of Santa Barbara, California, a former Westport resident, died Nov 18. She was 88. Image
Rhoda Rosenthal: former Westporter. Contributed photo

She was born in Bayonne, New Jersey on April 2, 1931 to Abram Turteltaub and Gertrude Wigdor Turteltaub.

She spent two years at Bennington College and finished her BA at Sarah Lawrence College in 1975. She attended Yale Law School, breaking age and gender barriers, and graduated in 1979. This led to a career as counsel for W.R. Grace Restaurant Group.

Living in Westport from 1955 to 1985, Rhoda was married to Edwin R. Green from 1950 to 1970. Subsequently she married Herbert C. Rosenthal in 1971 and they were together until his death in 2007.

Burton H. Eden, 95

Burton H. Eden of Westport died Nov. 16 at home. He was 95. Image
>Burton Eden: longtime Westporter. Contributed photo

He was born on April 5, 1924 in Glen Cove, Long Island to Joseph and Anne Edelstein. He graduated from The Cooper Union in 1944 and received his MS in mechanical engineering from Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute.

He led product development teams for Dictaphone, Remington Rand, Burndy, Pitney Bowes, Summagraphics, and others.

Burt was cherished for his kindness, generous spirit, self-effacing manner, and gentleness with others. He was known for his keen intellect, infinite curiosity, and unceasing desire to learn. Burt enriched countless conversations with his insights and humor.

Turk Aksoy, Westport Firefighter, 46

Westport Firefighter Turk Aksoy, a 13-year veteran of the department who worked many years prior as a paramedic, died today after battling an occupational cancer, his union announced. He was 46. Image
Turk Aksoy: 13-year veteran Contributed photo

Aksoy was predeceased by his wife Denise in January. He leaves behind two children.

Turk will be memorialized by the Westport Firefighters, Local 1081 and the Westport Fire Department; the details of his services are still pending.

“Please keep Turk’s children, his family, friends and fellow firefighters in your thoughts for strength and healing in this difficult time,” the union said. “Donations can be made in Turk’s memory and in support of his children at:

Michael L. Brockman, 74

Michael Leeroy Brockman of Westport died Oct. 14 at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He was 74.

Born Aug. 7, 1945 in Orlando, Florida, the son of the late Sula, a homemaker, and Holmes Brockman, an air traffic controller, he was raised in Central Florida and graduated from Edgewater High School in 1963.

Michael entered the U.S. Army and became an educator and nuclear weapons specialist. He graduated from the University of Central Florida in 1975.

Michael worked as Road Test Editor at Motor Trend Magazine while living in Los Angeles. He began racing professionally in 1979 and competed in events such as the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.