Wednesday, May 29, 2024



Large Turnout for Howard J. Aibel Memorial Service Image
There was a large turnout today at a Unitarian Church memorial service for Howard J. Aibel, lawyer, conservationist, philanthropist, and passionate arts advocate, who died March 9 at age 88. There were tributes from Rand Araskog, former CEO, ITT Corporation where Aibel served as general counsel, Richard Lazarus, the Howard and Katherine Aibel Professor of Law, Harvard University, and Mark Lamos, artistic director, Westport Country Playhouse whose campus was recently dedicated as The Howard J. Aibel Theater Center at Westport Country Playhouse. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Francis H. Pepper, 91

Frances Harriet Pepper of Westport died May 20 at home. She was 91. Image
Francis Pepper: longtime Westporter. Contributed photo

Born in Brooklyn, New York on June 26, 1926, she graduated from Theodore Roosevelt High School and attended City College of New York and Oklahoma University before receiving her degree from the University of Bridgeport at the age of 50.

She married Benjamin Pepper on June 22, 1947 and moved to Westport in 1958.

She was an entrepreneur who co-owned Allyn Studio in Stamford for over 30 years and owned the Kiddie Kloset and Just 4 Boys and Girls clothing stores in Norwalk.

Francis Reynolds, 89

Frances “Fran” Reynolds of Westport, former senior services coordinator for the Town of Westport and an inspiration to seniors in the community, died May 25. She was 89. Image
Fran Reynolds: friend to all seniors. Contributed photo

Beloved by many who made her acquaintance over the years, Reynolds held the senior services position for almost 25 years and received numerous awards during that time.

A Westport resident for 56 years, she was the wife of the late Robert “Bob” Reynolds.

Francis Kord Reynolds was born July 31, 1928, in Arlington, Massachusetts, daughter of the late Lucy and Zigmont Kord.

Jean Lowrie, 87

Jean Lowrie of Westport died May 19 at home of heart failure. She was 87. Image
Jean Lowrie: loved Westport. Contributed photo

She was born July 17, 1930 in Chicago, the daughter of Jane Murdoch Sammons and Edward Sammons.  Her mother was born in Scotland and met her father when he was in the Navy during World War I.

She grew up in Chicago and was a flight attendant for TWA based in San Francisco and New York City.  After her marriage to Thomas, she was employed at the World Council of Churches in New York.

Jean loved Westport, especially Compo Beach and the Community Theater. She was admired by her many friends. She loved to travel to Europe on river cruises and she and her family enjoyed visits to her many Scottish relatives.

E. Reynold Petray, 82

E. Reynold Petray (Pete), a longtime resident of Westport, died May 14 at home in North Branford. He was 82. Image
E. Reynold Petray; ad man. Contributed photo

Born and raised in Philadelphia, he worked for many years in the advertising industry. 

He was a graduate of Temple University and then earned a graduate degree in business at Xavier University. 

After a short time working for TV Guide in Cincinnati, he moved to the Chicago area to join Tatham-Laird & Kudner and raised his family on the North Shore.

Samuel M. Brody, 96

Samuel Meyer Brody of Westport died April 2 in Bridgeport. He was 96. Image
Sam Brody: advertising executive.  Contributed photo

Sam was a larger than life character who belonged to everyone he met.

Born in 1921 to Russian Jewish immigrants, he survived the Great Depression, World War II and went on to be a pioneer in the glory days of advertising on Madison Avenue.

During the Great Depression, Sam witnessed the eviction of his family. The two-bedroom apartments they lived in for the next several years were crammed full, not only with Sam’s family and their beloved dog, but two uncles, his mother’s younger brothers.

Howard L. Burling II, 83

Howard L. Burling II, a former Westport police officer, died May 19 at St Joseph’s Center in Trumbull. He was 83.

He was born in Flushing New York on Feb. 6, 1935, the son of Hal Burling and Gina Denlinger.  He served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean conflict.  He continued serving as a reserve officer retiring as a chief warrant officer II. 

After the Marine Corps, he joined the Westport Police Department.  While on the police department he designed the patch still worn today. He retired as captain from the police department after 20 years of service.

In 1968, he was honored to be on a first class U.S. postage stamp with his son Marc celebrating the police officer’s duty to protect and serve. Being an avid SCUBA diver he started the Underwater Rescue Team for the department. 

David C. Stone, 51

David C. Stone of Huntley, Illinois, a former Westport resident, died May 21. He was 51.

He was born in Norwalk and spent his childhood in Westport and Monroe. He graduated with Masuk High School’s class of 1985.

In his high school years and into early adulthood, he served his community as a volunteer firefighter. He then went on to receive his A&P Mechanic Certification from East Coast Aero Tech and began his career in aviation at Sikorsky Aircraft.

In 1989, he eagerly began his 29-year career at United Airlines in Oakland, California. His last position was in maintenance management at Willis Tower in Chicago.