Friday, April 12, 2024

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Obituaries

Regina Freeman, 92

Regina Leslie Freeman (“Gina”) of Westport died May 24 at home. She was 92.

She lived in Westport for more than five decades. Born in New York City in 1925, she was the only child of vaudeville comedian Stanley and his wife Nancy. Later she also had a devoted stepfather Harold.

She received a Bachelors of Science in chemistry from Hunter College in New York City during World War II, at a time when less than 5 percent of women graduated college. She went on to work at Sloan Kettering and Columbia Presbyterian Hospitals.

She and John married in 1954 and moved to Westport in 1961. She later received her Master’s in education from the University of Bridgeport.

Stefanie I. Dreyfuss, 96

Stefanie I. Dreyfuss of Westport died May 23. She was 96.

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Stefanie I. Dreyfuss: fled Nazi Germany. Contributed photo

A beloved mother, mother-in-law, sister, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, and friend, she faced her death in the same way she lived her life — with bravery, dignity, and fierce love for and from her family.

Stefanie I. Blumenthal was born in 1921 in Oranienburg, Germany, and spent her teen years in Berlin. In 1939, at the age of 17, Steffi, her parents and her brother narrowly escaped Hitler’s Germany.

They fled to Shanghai, China, where they lived for the next eight years in a Jewish ghetto with thousands of fellow refugees from Europe.

Martin A. Cohen, 83

Martin A. Cohen of Westport and New York died May 23. He was 83.

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Martin Cohen: Renaissance man Contributed photo

Born in Monticello, New York on Aug. 4, 1934, he was a true Renaissance man, visionary, and pioneer.

As an advocate for social justice, he began his career as a political and crime reporter. He later founded three companies including Marcon Communications, which he took public in 1969, and Marcon Capital, an SBIC (small business investment company.)

He lived life on his own terms, owning racehorses, producing movies, playing poker and backgammon, traveling the world with his wife, and avidly staying abreast of the news.

Evelyn M. Sweetnam, 82

Evelyn M. Eggers Sweetnam, wife of the late Richard J. Sweetnam, Sr., died May 12 at her home of 46 years in Westport. She was 82.

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Evelyn Sweetnam: longtime Westporter. Contributed photo

Born Jan. 27, 1936 in Brooklyn, New York, to Dorothea Stuermer Eggers and George Eggers, she graduated from Fontbonne Hall Academy, Brooklyn, in January 1936. 

She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in education on a full scholarship from St. John’s University, graduating magna cum laude. While completing her studies, she taught in the New York City public school system until 1961.

She and her family moved to Westport in 1972 from Huntsville, Alabama where her husband had worked for IBM.

Peter J. Velardi, 86

Peter J. Velardi, a former Westport resident, died May 14 in Jupiter, Florida. He was 86.

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Peter Velardi: former Westporter.  Contributed photo

He will be remembered as a “larger than life” role model - a man of integrity committed to his wife, family, career, and friends. He was the retired chairman and CEO of Vanity Fair Mills, at that time the nation’s leading manufacturer of intimate apparel.

He was born Sept. 2, 1931 to Salvatore and Marie Velardi in Flushing, New York. After graduation from Flushing High School, he began his career with Vanity Fair in 1949 as an office boy in their New York office.

As he attended NYU in the evening, he progressed in his career while obtaining his advanced education.

Sarah A. Kennedy, 75

Sarah A. Kennedy of Lakeland, Florida, formerly of Westport, died May 14 at home after a long illness. She was 75.

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Sarah Kennedy: former Westporter. Contributed photo

She was a 1959 graduate of Staples High School and a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design.

She was an accomplished, highly recognized jeweler for over 50 years in Westport, where she owned and operated Cellar Workshop. She was a creative and spirited artist who loved traveling, gardening and animals.

She was predeceased by husband Jack W. Kennedy and survived by her companion Mark Wilson, her brother Ian Goldy of Riverdale New York, her two daughters Michele Mottola of Marblehead, Massachusetts, Sherry Schultz of Minneapolis, Minnesota and three grandchildren.

Lorraine Seaton, 92

Lorraine Kenney Seaton, a former Westport resident and employee of the Westport schools, died May 14 at her home in Ipswich, Massachusetts after a long illness. She was 92.

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Lorraine Seaton: former Westport teacher. Contributed photo

Born in Cranston, Rhode Island, on June 2, 1925 she was the daughter of the late William and Helena (O’Rourke) Kenney.

She graduated from Classical High School in Providence, in June 1943. Later she graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 1947. She was a member of Delta Zeta Sorority and was a member of the URI Golden Grads. Lorraine was also a member and secretary of the Phi Delta Drama Club.

After graduation, she settled in Westport for the next 42 years and raised her two daughters.

Stanley M. Vogel, 97

Stanley M. Vogel of Westport died May 11 at home. He was 97.

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Stanley Vogel: taught at Suffolk University. Contributed photo

He was born Jan. 21, 1921 in Norwalk to the late Betty Jacobson Vogel and Morris Vogel. He graduated from Norwalk High School in 1938, where he was voted the most brilliant member of his class and most likely to succeed.

He received a full four-year scholarship to New York University where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa Society. He was then awarded a fellowship to Yale but his studies were interrupted to serve in the intelligence branch of the armed forces during World War II.

After completing his masters and Ph.D. degrees at Yale, he did post graduate work at Harvard and Oxford University in England.

Judith Brennan, 93

Judith Hall Brennan of Peterborough, New Hampshire, a former Westport resident, died May 5 at Monadnock Community Hospital, after a brief stay. She was 93.

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Judith Brennan: former Westporter. Contributed photo

She was born in New York City, but spent most of her early years in Westport where she met her lifelong love, Joe Brennan. They married in Westport in 1949, where they had four children before moving to West Wilton, then later Peterborough.

She worked for several years with the Visiting Nurse Association, then as office Mmanager for Dr’s. Brodkin & Seigel.

For over 20 years, she and Joe also collected and sold antiques, traveling to hundreds of shows throughout New England, and maintaining booths at several shops until their late 80s.

Linda G Fay, 74

Linda G Fay of Westport died May 9 as a result of complications from a long illness. She was 74.

Her faith was important to her as she was a lifetime member of the Catholic Church. She also cared deeply about helping others, which was obvious throughout her long career as a nurse.

She was born in Queens New York to Russell and Priscilla Grout and spent her childhood in both Massachusetts and Michigan with her sisters Judy, Barbara, Ellen and Grace; before settling and raising her family in Connecticut with her deceased husband Deacon John Fay Sr.

She was a devoted mother and is survived by her five children John Fay (Lisa), Michael Fay (Julie), Gayle Higgins (TJ), Judy Kollmorgen (Matthew), and Heather Dawson (Rob). She also leaves her 15 grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.