Wednesday, April 17, 2024



Dorvan Manus, 93

Dorvan Manus sof Westport died in April. He was 93. Image
Dorvan Manus: artist, adman Contributed photo

Born in Toronto in 1927, only child of Marvin G. Manus and Bella Schafer Manus, he moved to New York City as a young man, where he worked as an antique dealer, later as a Madison Avenue copywriter.

In the 1950s he and his lifelong partner, Francesco Saltalamacchia (‘Salty’), lived in Gramercy Park before moving to Westport in the 1960s, where they shared the house on Compo Road South with stage actress Grace Carney.

They were known for entertaining many people of stage and screen including Hedy Lamar and Eileen Heckart.

Edward J. Mallon, 94

Edward Joseph Mallon, formerly of Westport, died April 8. He was 94. Image
Ed Mallon: former FBI special agent Contributed photo

Ed was born in Summit, New Jersey, on May 5, 1925 and was raised in nearby Short Hills. After graduating from Seton Hall Preparatory School in 1942, he served as a Forward Artillery Observer in the U.S. Army during World War II.

Following the war, he graduated from Seton Hall University with a B.S. degree in accounting and shortly thereafter became a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. After brief assignments in Detroit and Los Angeles, Ed served for 26 years in New York City.

He began his career in counterintelligence and later moved to the Organized Crime Division. In 1958, he met Elizabeth (“Lisa”) Trunz and they married on June 3, 1960.

David Avila, 74

David Avila of Southbury died May 29 at home. He was 74, Image
David Avila: practiced in Westport. Contributed photo

He was born in California on May 15, 1946 to the late Carlos A. Avila and Elsie Pitman. David grew up in Franklin and Chester, Vermont. He graduated from Swarthmore College in 1969.

He served in the U.S. Army, as a conscientious objector from 1970-1972. He earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) from the University of Connecticut in 1977, and was a practicing clinical social worker for many years, working at Norwalk Hospital and MCCA in Danbury. He also had a private practice in Westport for many years.

He devoted his professional and personal energies to helping others. He was an avid reader, and enjoyed fly fishing, photography, and the telling of terrible jokes.

John R. Anastasia Sr., Veteran Westport Police Officer, 83

John R. Anastasia Sr, a veteran Westport police officer, died June 3 at home. He was 83. Image
John Anastasia: retired as deputy chief. Contributed photo

A native Westporter, he served 34 years on the force, retiring in 1993 as deputy chief. During his illustrious career in law enforcement, he received several promotions and commendations for his service.

Born Nov. 28, 1936 to Placido and Carrie (Capasse) Anastasia, John grew up in Saugatuck as the youngest of 11 children and where he shared many neighborhood memories with family and friends.

He graduated from Staples High School in 1955 and married his high school sweetheart, Annette Ferrone, on July 4, 1958.

Marilyn Acquino, 88

Marilyn Ann Fordham Acquino, formerly of Southampton, New York and Westport, succumbed to the Covid-19 virus May 1 in Riverhead at the Peconic Bay Medical Center. She was 88.

Marilyn was born to William and Caroline Fordham on April 16, 1932 in Southampton. She grew up in Southampton, visiting often with her maternal grand parents Tony and Carolyn Halsey Wilde and her father’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Irving Terry, who owned the Irving Hotel.

Between “Carrie” Wilde who was a hoot, and her grandmother Terry who was a snoot, she had quite a wonderful childhood. During the war, the Fordhams moved to Akron, Ohio where Bill built fighter planes.

After the war the family moved to Westport where Marilyn met her husband and high school sweetheart John G. Acquino. They would have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary this June.

Dina P. Belta, 94

Dina Paoletti Belta of Westport died May 30. She was 94. Image
Dina Belta: longtime Westporter Contributed photo

The family said in an obituary: “It is with a heavy heart that the family of Dina Belta of Bayberry Lane in Westport marks her passing.

“In these very unusual times, it seems the first thing to say is no, it was not Covid-19. The present pandemic caused many challenges to her medical treatment, but truth be told, she received excellent medical attention and passed peacefully after a short illness.

“This very good and caring mother would warn you not to put off your normal health care checkups out of caution or fear of contracting the virus. The family is especially grateful to everyone from Bridgeport Hospital and her devoted caregiver Gladys.”

Patricia M. McCarthy, 76

Patricia M. McCarthy, a longtime resident of Westport, died May 31 at Norwalk Hospital. She was 76.

Born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, she graduated from Staples High School in 1961 and Carlow University in 1965.

She began her career as a speech pathologist in Baltimore, lived abroad for several years and raised two children.

In 1989, Patricia turned her love of books into a business, co-founding Cornell & McCarthy, an agency that represented illustrators specializing in artwork for children’s books.

Stuart W. Lawson, 79

Stuart W. Lawson of Westport died May 27 after a short battle with cancer. He was 79.

He is survived by his two children, Sarah Dransfield and her husband Billy also of Westport, and Mark of San Francisco. Additionally, he is survived by his grandchildren, Whitney and Will Dransfield and Beatrice and Aria Lawson. He is also survived by his brothers Ray and David and his sister Laurie Wycoff. He was predeceased by his wife Shelley in 2006.

He was born in Binghamton, New York the son of the late Stuart W. Lawson and the late Betty S. Lawson. He was educated in Binghamton and was graduated in 1963 from Wilkes University with a B.A. in economics and in 1965 from Babson College with an M.B.A.

In 1965 after graduation from Babson, he married the former Shelley Smith, also from Binghamton, and they located to New York City.

Robert M. Whitaker Jr., 88

Robert M. Whitaker Jr, of Saratoga Springs, New York, a former Westport resident, died May 30 in hospice care after a brief illness. He was 88.

Born in New York City on Feb. 16, 1932, he was the son of the late, Robert M. and Eleanor (Alexander) Whitaker Sr. and was raised in Westport.

In addition to his parents, Bob is predeceased by his first wife, Patricia (Foster) Whitaker.

He is survived by his wife, Tinker Chaplin Whitaker; his children, Kent A. Whitaker (Mona), Wende W. Neitzel (Mike), Kaiser C. Chaplin and Robert A. Whitaker (Laurie); his grandchildren, Stevenson, Katherine, James, Jack and Estelle; his sisters, Sally W. Freud (Raymond) of Cherry Hill, NJ, Anne W. Eaton (Frederick) of Stonington, Conn.; his brother in law, John F. Foster (Lorraine) of Sun City, FL.; as well as several nieces and nephews.

Robert P. Scholl, Prominent Attorney, 88

Robert P. Scholl, a prominent former Westport attorney and the man who always said, “super duper!” when asked how he was, died May 28 in Middlebury. He was 88. Image
Robert Scholl: always “super duper” Contributed photo

Scholl practiced law in Westport for more than 55 years and served in numerous elected and appointed positions. He represented the Greens Farms Association for many years and was the longest serving member of the Westport Volunteer Fire Department.

He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Carolyn Barton Scholl; his brother, Donald B. Scholl (Margaret) of Westchester, Pennsylvania; four children (Jennifer Scholl Swanson (Dick) of Westford, Massachusetts; Jeffrey B. Scholl (Deborah) of Stratford; Gregory H. Scholl (Kelly) of Clearwater, Florida; and Anthony T. Scholl (Donna) of Royal Palm Beach, Florida); four granddaughters (Winry, Jessica, Emily, and Sara) and one special-needs cat, Sophie Scholl of Middlebury (and yes, he wrote this obituary). He is also remembered by a niece, three nephews, and countless friends across the globe.

Born May 29, 1931 in Englewood, New Jersey, he grew up in Tenafly and moved to Connecticut in 1947, where he lived the rest of his life in New Canaan, Wilton, Bridgeport, Fairfield, Greens Farms, Westport (40 years), and Middlebury.