Thursday, May 30, 2024



Barbara Ann Brzezinski, 77

Barbara Ann Brzezinski of East Hartford, a former Westport resident, died July 22. She was 77. Image
Barbara Ann Brzezinski : Staples graduate. Contributed photo

She was born in Bridgeport, a daughter of the late Stephen and Dorothy (Urban) Tichy. She was raised in Westport, was a graduate of Staples High School and attended the University of Connecticut.

She was a real estate agent for Gallery of Homes, Century 21, Re/Max East of the River, and most recently at Re/Max Edge. She was a member of St. James Church in Manchester, an active member of the East Hartford Women’s Club for 40 years, and a lifelong member of Beta Sigma Phi sorority, where she held many leadership positions.

She is survived by her husband of 53 years, Joseph Brzezinski, her son, David Brzezinski of East Hartford, and her brother, Stephen Tichy Jr. and his wife Rose of Bethlehem, and two nephews, Stephen Tichy III and Kevin Tichy.

Rosaria M. Vento, 84

Rosaria M. Vento of Westport died July 23 at home. She was 84. Image
Ra Vento: 58-year Westport resident. Contributed photo

Born July 23, 1935 in the Bronx, New York, the daughter of the late John and Raffaela (Corsano) Vento, she had been a Westport resident for 58 years. She was known to many as “Ra” and identified by friends and strangers alike around town by her Bronx accent.

While her children were young, Ra worked as a crossing guard for the Westport school system, and later worked for many years as the secretary to the director of Public Works for the Town of Westport. Ra volunteered at the Norwalk Hospital Gift Shop, and was an active parishioner of Assumption Church in Westport where she served as co-president of the Catholic Daughters of Assumption.

Ra loved the theater, and served as an usher at the Westport Country Playhouse, the Westport Community Theatre, the Palace Theater in Stamford, and the Regina M. Quick Center at Fairfield University.

Michael Ann Hay, 77

Michael Ann Hay of Fairfield, a former Westport resident, died July 21 at home. She was 77. Image
Mikey Hay: Staples grad. Contributed photo

The wife of the late John “Jack” Hay was born in New York to the late Joan and Charles S. Schnelle, Sr. and was a lifelong area resident. Mikey as she was known, was a graduate of Staples High School and was an integral volunteer on the Reunion Committee, Class of 1959.

She loved to travel and especially liked to accompany the Knights of Columbus trips planned by her stepson-in-law, John Benard.  She also enjoyed family vacations in Westbrook on the Connecticut coast.

A faithful communicant at Holy Family Church, Mikey could always be found volunteering at many church events. She was an avid reader, particularly mystery novels and always enjoyed a good PBS Masterpiece special.

Robert B. Northrop, 84

Robert B. Northrop, a former Westport resident, died July 17. He was 84.

His mother was an artist, his father, a doctor who practiced in Norwalk. Robert grew up in Westport with his parents’ scholarship and talent as his background. Earning his BS in electrical engineering from MIT in 1956, he attended the University of Connecticut at Storrs to continue his education.

When he finished his MS in EE in 1958, he began teaching, and discovered how much he enjoyed it. A project he was invited to compete for a physiologist at the university led him to begin Ph.D. studies in Comparative Neurophysiology. At this time, he developed an electrical method to direct migrating fish, and to collect them for census.

He married Adelaide, his wife of 58 years, while a graduate student. He completed his degree as a Cell Biology Fellow shortly before the birth of his first child in 1963, and was appointed a professor in engineering.

Catherine Estey, 77

Catherine Estey of Westport, wife of the late William H. Estey, died June 28. She was 77.

She was born in Bridgeport, daughter of the late John and Ethel (Allen) Kinnane and has been a resident of Westport for 42 years and is a graduate of Stratford High School. She also is a former member of the UN Hospitality Committee.

Survivors include one son, Andrew Estey of Westport, two sisters, Eileen Knablin and Barbara Budda both of Stratford, and five nieces and nephews.

As she wished, all services were private.

Paula C. Cairo, 69

Paula C. Cairo of Westport died July 12 at Saint Joseph Center in Trumbull. She was 69.

She was born in Norwalk, daughter of the late Martin and Carmella (Dorta) Cairo and has been a lifelong Saugatuck resident.

She was a 1968 graduate of JM Wright Technical School in Stamford. Prior to retiring she worked as a hairdresser and licensed cosmetologist.

Survivors include one daughter Tina R. Ty and her husband Dennis of Jupiter, Florida. One brother, Mariano (Marty) F. Cairo of Newtown, one granddaughter, Payton Joanne Ty, and two nephews.

Eric J. Mockler, 57

Eric John Mockler of Bethesda, Maryland, a former Westport resident, died after a 10-month battle with stomach cancer. He was 57. Image
Eric Mockler: former Westporter.  Contributed photo

He spent his last months in the compassionate care of staff of Medstar Georgetown University Hospital.

He is survived by his wife Shirley, children Aisling and Christian, parents Dolores and Dennis, sister Lisa, brother Brian, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, extended family, friends, neighbors and colleagues.

He had a distinguished career in commercial real estate in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Stamford. He juggled this with a deep commitment to charitable works.

Molly Katz, 76

Molly Katz of Sarasota, Florida, a former Westport resident, died April 26. She was 76. Image
Molly Katz: former Westporter. Contributed photo

An author, animal lover, foodie, and traveler, she was born Jan. 12, 1943 to Hubert and Betty Simon and grew up in New Rochelle, New York.

She met her first husband, Peter Katz of White Plains, New York at Boston University. They had twins. Her writing career blossomed with author and second husband, William Parkhurst of New York City. Keystrokes on her dinosaur IBM typewriter shook the house.

They performed stand-up comedy as a team in the late ‘70s into the ‘80s, lived in Dobbs Ferry and Bedford, New York. She continued to Westport, where she truly lived in her element.

Michael A. Joakim, 73

Michael (“Mike”) Anthony Joakim of Rocky Hill, a former Westport resident, died July 9 at Saint Francis Hospital from complications of pancreatic cancer. He was 73.

Two communities, Rocky Hill and West Tisbury, Massachusetts, have lost a truly remarkable and honorable man.

Mike was born in Lisbon, Portugal on Nov. 16, 1945 into a family representing several generations of service in the Belgian Diplomatic Corps.

He was the oldest of three children born to the late George M. L. Joakim of Liege, Belgium, and the late Marye (Bowden) Joakim of Leamington Spa, England. His father was part of the World War II Belgian Underground, a decorated paratrooper on loan to the British Secret Intelligence Service.

Christopher J. Orrico, 53

Christopher James Orrico of Fairfield, a former Westport resident, died suddenly at home on July 8. He was 53. Image
Christopher Orrico: former Westporter. Contributed photo

He was the son of James Orrico of Southport and the late Marion Brooks Orrico. He was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey and grew up in Westport where he enjoyed a wonderful childhood living close to Compo Beach.

He moved to Fairfield as a teenager. He was a 1985 graduate of Kents Hill School in Maine. His heart will always have a place in Westport and the West Village in New York, where he was happiest.

A graduate of American University, Chris went on to own a successful computer company, Connect Data. He sold it to pursue one of his passions, interior design. He worked for Design Within Reach in New York, eventually opening and successfully managing their East Hampton location.