Tuesday, May 30, 2023



Peter Nilson, 82

Peter Nilson of Durham, a former Westport resident, died June 21 at Middlesex Hospital in Middletown after a long illness. He was 82.

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Peter Nilson: Staples grad. Contributed photo

He was born on April 7, 1937 in New Haven and raised in Westport. He attended Westport public schools and graduated from Staples High School in 1955.

He married Maria Nilson in 1962 with whom he enjoyed 56 years of a happy and devoted marriage. When his children were young, Peter ran the Westport Fence Company. Later he worked as a diesel mechanic for L.H. Gault & Sons, an oil, sand, and gravel company based in Westport.

He was a wonderful, loving and dedicated husband, father and grandfather. He enjoyed nothing more than being surrounded by his family for holidays, special occasions or picnics.

Gayle Koenen, 75

Gayle Frances Koenen, a former Westport resident, died March 25 in Portland, Oregon. She was 75.

She was born and raised in Darien and later married to become Gayle Shiller, wife of Dr. Jack Shiller a longtime Westport resident of over 30 years.

She was an avid gardener fund-raising for the Nature Center and volunteering at The Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens in Stamford. Earlier in her career, she worked as a professional “headhunter” managing her way up from secretary to vice president.

She advocated for gender equality and wrote for Woman in Business for many years.

Philip C. Amarante, 90

Philip C. Amarante of Stamford, a former longtime resident of Westport, died June 15 on his 90th birthday.

An early technology executive, he culminated his business career as the vice president and national sales manager for the Olivetti Corporation of America in New York City.

He later became an Olivetti independent sales agent and was in the first wave of professionals to learn computer coding.

Though he had a traditional business career, his leanings as a young man were in the creative realm. He attended Yale University as a talented art student and also trained as an opera singer.

Barbara A. O’Connell, 60

Barbara A. O’Connell, known to her family as Bink, of Westport died June 6 at home after a long and courageous battle with breast cancer. She was 60.

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Barbara O’Connell: technology trainer. Contributed photo

Born on May 12, 1959, she spent her early years in Darien, later graduating from Weston High School and Manhattanville College where she majored in economics and English literature.

A lover of computers and technology especially the early Apple, she pursued a career focused on technology training and education.

She held positions at IBM, NYNEX, and Vanstar and ultimately was a director at eCoreXperience where she loved developing online learning materials.

Jean L. Henry, 86

Jean L. (Fournier) Henry of Woodbridge, a former Westport resident, died June 10 at Griffin Hospital, Derby. She was 86.

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Jean Henry: former Westporter. Contributed photo

Born in Norwalk on July 9, 1932, she was the daughter of the late David and Maryanne Schmeltz Fournier. She had been employed by the former GFK Company of Mamaroneck, New York, where she served as vice president before her retirement with many years of faithful and dedicated service.

She was proud to have belonged to the Westport Republican Town Committee for many years. She was a woman of great faith and was a longtime member of Assumption Church in Westport.

Upon moving to Coachman Square at Woodbridge in 2012, she was welcomed with open arms and built many lasting friendships. She will be forever remembered as the life of the party and found great enjoyment socializing and attending the theater.

Jacqueline B. Shulman, 68

Jacqueline Banks Shulman of Westport died June 14 at Yale-New Haven Hospital. She was 68.

She was born in Cincinnati, a daughter of the late James and Miriam Banks.

She is survived by her husband Mark Shulman, her children William Shulman and his wife Angela, Amanda Shulman, Adam Shulman and his wife Annie, grandchildren Addison Shulman, Natalie Shulman, Jonathan Shulman, sister Katherine Grayson and her husband Ron Roman, sister-in-law Diane Shulman, niece Jennifer Grayson and her husband Matthew Libman, and nephews Noah Grayson and his wife Sarah, and Peter Brodsky and his wife Lael. She was predeceased by her half-sister Barbara Brodsky.

A graveside service will be held privately.

Joseph L. Boland, 82

Joseph Louis Boland of Grand Rapids, Michigan, a former Westport resident, died June 2 after a long illness. He was 82.

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Joseph Boland:  Staples graduate.  Contributed photo

Born in Englewood, New Jersey to the late Joseph L. and Dorothy (French) Boland, he attended schools there and in Westport. He was an Eagle Scout, and a graduate of Staples High School, where he and his tennis partner were the Connecticut State doubles champions in 1955.

He graduated from Middlebury College with a BA in 1959 and was a member of Alpha Tau Omega. In 1960, he moved to Alaska where he worked as the director of public relations for Alaska Methodist University in Anchorage.

He later returned to New York City and served as president of Boland, Briggs and Varley Advertising Agency.

Leon I. Hyman, 91

Leon Irving Hyman, a longtime resident of Westport, died June 5 at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport. He was 91.

He was born in Bridgeport, the son of the late Wolf and Fannie Hyman. After completing high school in Bridgeport, he served in the U.S. Army from 1946 to 1948 as part of the Occupation Forces in Japan. After his Army service, he completed his college education at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Finance with a BS degree in economics.

He began his working career in New York City with New York Life Insurance Company, and then moved to California in 1968 to join the Group Insurance division of California Western State Life Insurance, where he led pioneering efforts in the developing field of medical cost containment strategies.

His early efforts with the Kaiser Permanente Hospital Group and local medical associations led to the creation of the first PSRO, the forerunner of HMOs developed to help employers and medical provider manage the costs of health care.

Charles C. Reid, 81

Charles Clark Reid, a celebrated American watercolor painter, died June 1 at his Green’s Farms home in Westport. He was 81.

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Charles Reid: celebrated watercolor artist. Contributed photo

Through an almost 60-year career, he worked as a fine artist, illustrator, author and teacher. He was a member of the National Academy of Design and the Century Association.

His work has been exhibited in galleries throughout the United States, and is included in the permanent collections of Smith College, Brigham Young University, the Century Club, the Yellowstone Art Center, and the National Academy of Design. He also wrote 11 instructional books on painting.

Born Aug. 12, 1937 in Cambridge, New York, he was educated at the South Kent School in Kent and attended the University of Vermont and the Art Students League in New York City. He insisted that his most valued educational achievement was his Eagle Scout badge.

Jane Mangold, 91

Jane Edmondson Mangold of Westport died May 28 after a brief illness. She was 91.

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Jane Mangold: edited church newsletter. Contributed photo

Married for 55 years, she was the wife of the late George Kenton Mangold. Born and raised in Brighton, Iowa, she was the class valedictorian of her high school.

She subsequently graduated from the University of Iowa and was a devoted Hawkeye.

She was a beloved member of the Saugatuck Congressional Church for more than 55 years, serving in a number of capacities, including membership on the Board of Deacons and the marketing and communications team.