Monday, April 22, 2024



Popular Coleytown Middle Teacher Douglas Dauz Dies After Brief Illness

Doug Dauz: “will be sorely missed by all.” CMS photo
Grief counselors went to Westport’s Coleytown Middle School today following announcement of the death of Douglas P. Dauz, a popular physical education teacher who had been ill only a short time.

Dauz, 52, was diagnosed with lung cancer only six weeks ago and died Wednesday night at Norwalk Hospital, according to school staff members. He had been associated with Coleytown Middle for almost 30 years.

“Several children went home crying,” said one teacher, who added that the news was especially crushing coming only hours before tonight’s Coleytown Middle School graduation ceremony. Three grief counselors were on hand at the school during the day.

“The entire school community mourns the loss of Doug Dauz,” said Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon. “Beloved by colleagues, students and parents, he will be sorely missed by all.”

Former RTM Member Catherine “Kay” MyGodney Dies at 81

Catherine MyGodney: former RTM member. WN photo
Catherine “Kay” MyGodney, a lifelong resident of Westport and former member of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM), died Sunday at Norwalk Hospital. She was 81.

MyGodney, who served on the RTM from 1997 to 2003, was a longtime member and current chaplain for the Ladies Auxiliary of the Joseph J. Clinton VFW Post #399. She was also a regular attendee at the weekly Town Hall brown bag lunch.

Born Nov. 8, 1923, she was the daughter of the late John and Anastasia Guida MyGodney.

Survivors include one sister, Mary Alice Bella of Stamford., one brother, Stephen MyGodney of Fairfield, two nieces and two nephews. She was also predeceased by one sister, Anna Preg in 1998.

Actor Frank Gorshin, Former Westporter, Dies at 72

Frank Gorshin: lived here 1980-1998. File photo
Former Westporter Frank Gorshin, the master impressionist and character actor best known as the Riddler on the 1960s �Batman� television series, died Tuesday in Burbank, Calif.. He was 72.

Gorshin lived in Westport from 1980 to 1998 and often was seen driving around town in a silver-colored Rolls-Royce bearing a license plate that said STOLEN.

He received an Emmy nomination for his role on the “Batman” series and more recently brought comedian George Burns to life in a one-man Broadway show.

Gorshin died at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, where he had been hospitalized for three weeks.

Fallen Westport Police Officer Honored in Washington, D.C. Ceremony

A group of Westport Police Department members traveled to Washington, D.C. Friday to honor a fallen colleague as part of the 17th annual candlelight vigil held at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. The ceremony honored 153 law enforcement heroes who in 2004 made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as 262 additional fallen heroes whom history had until this point forgotten. Added to the memorial this year was Auxiliary Police Officer Aldo J. Santini of the Westport Police Department. Santini, 47, was killed in the line of duty while working on Westport�s police boat in 1964. He was injured on July 26, 1964, while assisting a grounded boat off Saugatuck Shores, and died on Aug. 1, 1964 from his injuries. Westport officers accompanying Santini’s daughter, Anita Santini (front row, 2nd l), to the ceremony included front row (l-r): Chief Al Fiore and Officer Linda Vena; back row (l-r): Honor Guard Officers Eric Woods, Foti Koskinas, Philip Restieri, Anastasia   DeLuca, and Lt. Dale Call. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

W. Michael “Mike” Bliss Dies at 56

W. Michael “Mike” Bliss, a longtime member of the Westport business community and active and dedicated community volunteer, died Wednesday, his family said today. He was 56.mikebliss75.jpg
Mike Bliss: longtime community volunteer. WN photo

“Mike will be fondly remembered as a loving husband, a devoted father, and an active and dedicated member of the Westport community where he resided for the last 25 years,” a family statement said. “He was a successful and generous businessman, a respected leader and teacher, and a treasured friend to many.”

Son of Mrs. Jane Bliss and Dr. William Bliss, Mike Bliss was born in 1949 in Ames, Iowa. He attended Iowa State University on a football scholarship and earned an MBA at Harvard Business School in 1974 after serving in the U.S. Army.

A longtime member of the Westport business community, he was affiliated with the financial planning firm Westport Resources Management, Inc. since 1986, first as an investment advisor agent, and since 1987 as a portfolio manager.

Mason Adams Dies at 86

Mason Adams
IMDB File photo
Longtime Westport resident Mason Adams, the actor best known for his role as the easygoing managing editor on television’s “Lou Grant” show, died of natural causes Tuesday at 86 in his Upper East Side home, The New York Times reported today.

Mason, who had received three Emmy nominations for his TV role, was also the voice over pitchman for the J. M. Smucker Company with his signature line, “With a name like Smucker’s, it has to be good.” His warm, grandfatherly, Rockwellian voice and screen presence, won the actor recognition as an embodiment of Americana.

Adams, who began his career in radio, was also a stage actor. The Times reports his last play was the Roundabout Theater’s production of Arthur Miller’s “The Man Who Had All the Luck” in 2002.

Adams moved to Westport in 1957 when he married Margot Fineberg, and they also maintained a home in Manhattan. Besides his wife, he is survived by a daughter Betsy, and son, Bill.

Longtime YMCA Employee Charlie Moffat Dies at 68

Charlie Moffat, who served on the staff of the Westport/Weston YMCA for 37 years as a member services representative, custodian,  health center attendant, and chief of laundry operations, has died at the age of 68, the YMCA announced today.moffat04250501260.jpg
Paul Newman was among those paying tribute to Charlie Moffat on his retirement in 1998. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Moffat, known for his cheery “Have a nice day!” greeting, died Thursday after a long illness.

At a retirement tribute offered on the occasion of Moffat’s 61st birthday on March 26th, 1998, retired YMCA Executive Director Matt Johnson said that Moffat had been one of the most dependable and conscientious YMCA employees he ever worked with. 

Johnson recalled fondly the Monday night men’s fitness group in which Moffat played volleyball at the YMCA.

James K. Woog, Longtime Westporter and Civic Volunteer, Dies at 82

James Katten Woog, longtime Westport resident and volunteer in civic affairs, died today at Norwalk Hospital. He was 82 and worked until his death as a stockbroker.

Born Nov. 11, 1922, in Crestwood, N.Y, he was the son of the late Sidney and Carolyn Katten Woog. After graduating from Roosevelt High School at age 15 he entered Antioch College, where he was elected as the community manager, and served as a student on the board of trustees.

Following graduation from Antioch he joined the Merchant Marines as a radio operator. His service during World War II included several crossings of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. He was in Japan just a few weeks after V-J Day.

Following the war, Woog joined the training program for Merrill Lynch, and embarked on a career as a stockbroker. He worked for almost 60 years, first in New York and later from his home in Westport.

Pete McGovern, PR Legend and Local Columnist, Dies at 90

Pete McGovern: “We’ll all miss him.” Contributed photo
Pete McGovern, a PR legend, longtime Westporter and local gossip columnist, died Thursday at Norwalk Hospital, his wife, Phyllis, said today. He was 90 and had been in failing health for some time.

Perhaps best known outside of Westport for his two decades as publicist for Jackie Gleason, most townspeople knew McGovern from his Westport Minuteman “Sense of Rumor” column. The somewhat surreal gossip feature ran from the newspaper’s inception in 1994 until about two years ago.

Rumor defied time, place and writing conventions as McGovern melded the town’s Who’s Who from different time periods. Revered for making the past prologue, the column was nonetheless devoured by gossip-hungry readers.

McGovern, always quick to mention he was born in the back of a Jersey City police paddy wagon on Valentine’s Day, 1915, was a garrulous raconteur. He lunched regularly with newspaper cronies at the VFW or Mario’s and seemed to bask in his Rumor celebrity status as he strolled Main Street or the Compo Beach area near his former Bluewater Hill home.

Longtime Westport Music Teacher John Hanulik Dies at 71

John M. Hanulik, a member of the Westport Arts Advisory Committee and longtime music teacher in the Westport school system, died Monday night at Norwalk Hospital. He was 71.

First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell named Hanulik to the committee in 2003.

Mollie Donovan, co-chair of the arts group, said he was “a very valuable member who brought a great store of musical knowledge to the committee and his input will be greatly missed.”

Hanulik taught music—vocal, band, orchestra and music theory—in the Westport school system at all levels—elementary, junior and senior—for more than 37 years.

A wake will be held at the Harding Funeral Home in Westport on Thursday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be conducted at St. Luke Church in Westport on Friday at 10 a.m.