Ralph J. Braibanti, James B. Duke professor emeritus of political science at Duke University and a pioneer in academic studies of the contemporary Isl
Dr. Braibanti grew up in Danbury, the grandson of Italian and Polish immigrants who moved to that city at the turn of the century to find work as hatters. His father managed hat factories in nearby Bethel and Norwalk between the end of WW II and the collapse of Danbury's hat industry in the 1960s.
Dr. Braibanti was a 1941 graduate of Western Connecticut State University. He earned his master's and doctoral degrees at Syracuse University after serving in the U.S. Army during WW II and the occupation of Japan. Trained to speak Japanese, he spent two years as a military government officer in Japan, service that became a lifelong point of pride through his work in helping that war-devastated nation move away from a long history of authoritarianism toward democratic self-government. His experience in Japan was the wellspring for Dr. Braibanti's lifelong academic interest in the relationship between culture and religion and "good governance." This interest underlay his success as a long-time advisor on administrative reform to the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Ford Foundation, the World Bank, and several foreign governments.
Dr. Braibanti began his career in teaching and research in 1947 at Syracuse University. Two years later, he accepted an appointment at Kenyon College, where he remained until moving to Duke University in 1953. His teaching and extensive research in Islamic-Western relations flourished at Duke, beginning with his widely praised Pakistan studies in 1957. He received the university's highest and most respected academic honor, a James B. Duke professorship, in 1968.
At Duke, he was renowned among undergraduates for his classroom teaching. He received both the Outstanding Professor Award, bestowed by undergraduates themselves, and the Duke Alumni Association's Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award. His students praised him as a gentleman-scholar, one who encouraged and respected a diversity of viewpoints, though as one undergraduate noted, perhaps a bit ruefully, "he is a hard grader." Dr. Braibanti directed 39 doctoral dissertations, an extraordinary number.
In retirement he remained fiercely devoted to his former students, many of whom went on to important positions in government and academia.
In addition to his teaching and academic responsibilities at Duke, Dr. Braibanti wrote or contributed to 19 books. His clear, concise writing style graced scores of journal articles, essays, newspaper articles and book reviews on political development and administrative reform. He was a member of numerous editorial boards, among them the Journal of Pakistan Studies and the Journal of Arab Affairs. He was the founding president of the American Institute of Pakistan Studies, which he led for nine years, helping nourish strong bonds of friendship between the United States and predominantly Muslim Pakistan. Late in life, he still found time to write a biography of the late A.R. Cornelius, a Roman Catholic who as chief justice of Pakistan administered a legal code derived from Islam. He saw in Cornelius a shining example of how the two cultures might be bridged.
Dr. Braibanti's intellectual contributions to Islamic studies in the United States were profound. He devoted 30 years to teaching, researching, consulting, and founding institutions devoted to furthering understanding of Islam.
In 1977 he established the Islamic and Arabian Development Studies Center at Duke with support from the Saudi Arabian government and 20 U.S. and multinational corporations. He directed the Center until his retirement in 1990.
In his writing, seminars, and speeches, Dr. Braibanti never minimized the deep-rooted problems of the Middle East and Southwest Asia. Five years before the 9/11 bombing of the World Trade Center, he wrote, "The geographic arc embracing Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan to the west and Kashmir to the east may well be the next source of serious conflict in the world." Yet he remained stubbornly optimistic that tensions could be eased and conflicts avoided through education and economic development.
Among Dr. Braibanti's most cherished personal accomplishments at Duke was the donation to Perkins Library of 6,000 books on Islamic subjects. These books, many of them rare editions, came from Dr. Braibanti's personal library and from two collections donated to the Islamic Studies Center by close friends Joseph J. Malone and Louis and Nancy Hatcher DuPree. This was reportedly one of the largest individual gifts of academic materials in the history of the university.
A man of boundless intellectual energy, Dr. Braibanti spent his final years on such projects as publishing a book of post-World War I poems by his father-in-law, Charles Henry Kauffman, and organizing a coalition of neighbors to promote the esthetic renaissance of his beloved Hope Valley community.
Surviving Dr. Braibanti are his wife of 62 years, Lucy Kauffman Braibanti of Durham; a son, Ralph Lynn Braibanti of Reston, Va.; a daughter, Claire B. Harold of Chapel Hill, owner of Claire's Cottage interior design firm in Durham; four grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at Clements Funeral Chapel, 1105 Broad St., Durham, today at 2 p.m.
Max David Lesnick
Max David Lesnick, 95, a long time resident of Danbury dies at his home in West Palm Beach, Fla., Nov. 25, 2005. Max was born the son of the late David and Rose (Mendelevitch) Lesnick on Aug. 24, 1910 on Odessa, Russia.
He worked as a letter carrier for the U.S. Post Office in Brooklyn, N.Y. until his retirement in 1966. He was a union steward for the NALC, worked as a cab driver in Manhattan, installed windows and doors, he did electrical work on televisions and radios and served in WW II in the U.S. Army, during the Battle of the Bulge receiving a purple heart.
He will be most remembered for his sense unique and quirky sense of humor.
His wife Sue of Danbury; three children: Miriam Lesnick of Danbury; David Lesnick and his wife Barbara of Goodyear, Ariz.; Stuart Lesnick and his wife Nancy of Broomfield, Colo.; four grandchildren: Michael, Marc, Jeffrey Lesnick, Amy Villanueva, eight great grandchildren, three nieces: Helen, Sally, Annette and one nephew, David survive him.
He is predeceased by two brothers: Hyman and Jack Lesnick.
A graveside service will be held Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. at Wooster cemetery in Danbury. The family will welcome friends to Shiva at 42 Carol St. in Danbury from Tuesday until Friday.
Funeral Arrangements have been entrusted to the Green Funeral Home in Danbury.
Harold F. Keenan Jr.
Harold F. Keenan Jr. 74, of Danbury, husband of Rita A. (Kelly) Keenan, died at Danbury Hospital Nov. 25, 2005. He was born in Danbury on June 18, 1931, son of the late Marjorie Durkin and the late Harold F. Keenan, Sr. He graduated from Henry Abbott Technical School. He received a degree certificate in communications from Fairfield University.
Harold served as a master sergeant for the United States during the Korean War.
He was a past president of the Candlewood Amateur Radio Association. He was an accomplished amateur photographer and had interests in wood working, bird watching, computers and lake fishing.
He was employed as an electrician for Kimberly Clark prior to his retirement.
He is survived by his wife Rita Keenan, his six daughters: Maureen Salinger of Brewster, N.Y.; Susan Arconti of Brookfield; Phyllis Keenan of Danbury; Carolyn Keenan-Smith of Danbury; Maura Keenan of Danbury; Jacqueline Keenan of Rochester, N.Y.; his two sons: Harold F. Keenan III of N.Y. and Kelly P. Keenan of Danbury; two brothers: Michael and William Keenan and a sister, Mary Ellen Kerry. He is also survived by ten grandchildren.
He was predeceased by his two sons: James M. and Leo P. Keenan.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the Cornell Memorial Home, 247 White St. in Danbury. Burial will follow in St. Peter cemetery. The family will receive friends Monday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.
Memorial contributions in his memory may be made to the American Lung Association of Connecticut, 45 Ash Street, East Hartford, CT 06108-2372.
To light a candle of hope and remembrance please visit our website at www.cornellmemorial.com.
Alice M. Jaber
Alice M. Jaber passed away peacefully at Hancock Hall, Danbury, on November 23, 2005. She was the wife of Paul S. Jaber.
Alice was a lifetime resident of Danbury and a graduate of Danbury High School, Class of 1941. In her earlier years, she was employed at Bosch Manufacturing Company and the Barden Corporation. Alice also worked alongside her husband at their family-owned business, The Liquor Shop, located on Main Street in Danbury.
In between a very active family life, Alice was a 15-year volunteer for the American Red Cross Bloodmobile and an active member and past president of the St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church Ladies Society.
Alice devoted her life to her family, friends and church. She was a loving wife to her husband of 59 years and an inspiration and role model to her daughter. With a quick wit and an easy smile, Alice was loved for her generosity and service to her friends, family, church and the entire Danbury community.
In addition to her husband, Alice is survived by her loving daughter and son-in-law, Catherine and David Kreiger; her beloved grandson, Joshua Lahey and his wife, Amy Rosenbaum; and her great-granddaughter, Hannah Paige Lahey. Alice is also survived by her loving brother, George Massoud; and her dear and very close sister-in-law, Mary Faria, who never left her side during her illness. She is preceded in death by a sister, Isabelle Kanan. Alice leaves several nieces, nephews, cousins and a lifetime of friends who will miss her deeply, but who know she is in a better place.
It should not go without mention that Alice spent the last 10 months at Hancock Hall where she was treated with love, dignity and compassion. The first floor nursing staff, aides, recreation and administration staff and residents all became part of her extended family. In addition, Regional Hospice of Western Connecticut provided comfort and care to her and her family.
The Rite of Burial will take place Monday at 10:30 a.m. in St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, Danbury.
Burial will follow in Wooster cemetery, Danbury.
The family will receive friends in the Jowdy-Kane Funeral Home, 9-11 Granville Ave., Danbury, today 11-27 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Contributions in her memory may be made to Saint George Church, 125 Kohanza St., Danbury CT 06811 or Regional Hospice of Western Connecticut Home Care Program, 405 Main St., Danbury CT 06810.
Muriel Warner Stanton
Muriel Warner Stanton of Black Rock, died peacefully at the Danbury home of her daughter, Muriel "Mooie" Greenspan and her husband Andrew, Thanksgiving night, Nov. 25, 2005.
A long time resident of Fairfield, Mrs. Stanton was a loving and devoted wife of 57 years to the late John W. Stanton. Mrs. Stanton is also survived by her daughter, Susan Stanton Rickard and her husband Denis of Redding; two brothers: Robert W. Warner of Jamestown, N.J.; Timothy S. Warner of Brooklyn, N.Y.; a sister, Pamela McAneny of Chester, Vt., several nieces and nephews, and best friend and sister in law, Helen Stanton Ritter of Leesburg, Fla. A loving and colorful grandmother, "Moomie" will be greatly missed by her nine grandchildren: Douglas, Matthew, and Patrick Rourke, Shannon Rourke Merced, Eirinn and Denis "DJ" Rickard, Jr., Carol, Emily and Mark Greenspan, five great-grandchildren: Charles, Allison, Delany, Dakota Rourke and Gabriel Merced.
Mrs. Stanton was pre-deceased by her daughter, Carol Stanton Rourke, granddaughter, Sarah Rourke and great-grandson Michael Rourke.
Calling hours have been omitted. Funeral services in Arlington, Vt. will be private and at the convenience of the family.
The family requests in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the SIDS Organization.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Lesko & Polke Funeral Home, 1209 Post Road in Fairfield Center. To sign an on-line register, please visit www.leskopolkefuneralhome.com.
Evelyn Sadler Macey
Evelyn Sadler Macey of Valley View Drive, Danbury, passed away peacefully Nov. 22, 2005. She was born in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. on Feb. 2, 1944, daughter of the late Helene and Edward (Bud) Sadler.
She lived in New Fairfield for 25 years before moving to Danbury, ten years ago. She's been employed at the Danbury Hospital Emergency Department.
Evelyn is survived by daughter, PatriciaLynn Macey and Jon Gatrell of Redding; son, Robert and his wife Sherry of Clifton Park, N.Y. with their three children: Leland, Amanda and Nolan, son David and his wife, Gioia of White Plains, N.Y. expecting twins in Jan. and daughter, Jessika Macey of Danbury. She is also survived by her brother, Edward and his wife, Georgette Sadler, lifetime residents of Saratoga, N.Y.
Cremation and arrangements are being handled by Green Funeral Home, 57 Main St., Danbury. Private burial will be held at Greenridge in Saratoga, N.Y. A day of remembrance will be held Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Evelyn's home, 7 Valley View Drive in Danbury.
Contributions in her memory may be made to the Danbury Animal Welfare Society, P.O. Box 871, Danbury CT 06813.
Robert Lewis Hennessey, 63, of Malabar, Fla., died Monday December 5, 2005, at Palm Bay Community Hospital in Florida.
Mr. Hennessey was a United States Marine Corps veteran and a Catholic by faith. He is survived by his loving wife of 16 years, Ilona; son, Eric Hennessey, of Sweden; stepdaughter, Elona Demeny, of Palm Bay, Fla.; mother, Mary McDonald, of Danbury; brother, William Hennessey, of Danbury; sister, Kathy Toomey, of Sandy Hook; brother-in-law, Michael Dinho, of Danbury; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his sister, Joan Dinho. A visitation will be held on Saturday December 10, 2005, at Fountainhead Memorial Funeral Home in Palm Bay, Fla., from 10 a.m. until noon. Funeral services will immediately follow at noon.
Rev. James P. Flynn
Fr. Flynn of Mamaroneck, N.Y., went home to his Divine Lord on Thursday, December 8, 2005, after a brief illness. He had served as a priest of the Archdiocese of New York for more than 58 years.
Father was born in Manhattan on February 25, 1922, to Patrick and Catherine Monaghan Flynn, and attended Immaculata High School, Manhattan College, and St. Joseph's Seminary, Dunwoodie. He was ordained on March 1, 1947, and his first assignment was St. Mary's Parish in Ellenville, N.Y. In 1953 he was reassigned to Most Holy Trinity Parish in Mamaroneck, N.Y., where he served for more than 21 years. Here he focused his ministry on the parish youth and began the Jr. Holy Name Society for the boys and the Jr. and Sr. Sodalities for the girls and young women. An athlete himself, he introduced CYO sports, including softball, basketball, and cheerleading teams for grammar and high school youth, acting as coach of most of the teams, many of which were Archdiocesan champions.
He was named administrator of Our Lady of Refuge Church in the Bronx in 1974 and pastor in 1977. His last assignment was pastor of Sacred Heart Church, Patterson, N.Y., from 1985 until his retirement in 1997. Upon retiring, he moved to Mamaroneck where he continued his ministry serving at Greenwich Woods Health and Laurelton Health Care Centers in Greenwich, and Resurrection Church in Rye, N.Y.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Joseph, and sister, Elizabeth.
A Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated on Monday, December 12, 2005, at 10 a.m. at Sacred Heart Church, Patterson, N.Y. The principle celebrant will be the Most Rev. Dennis J. Sullivan, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of New York and the homelist will be the Rev. Thomas M. Lutz, pastor of Sacred Heart Church.
Interment following at St. Lawrence O'Toole cemetery, Brewster, N.Y. Friends may call at the Beecher Funeral Home, 1 Putnam Ave., Brewster, on Sunday from 2 to 7 p.m.. On Monday there will be a visitation at Sacred Heart Church from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. before the Mass.
Lt. Col. Frank L. Larson
Lt. Col. Frank L. Larson, U.S. Army Artillery (Ret.), entered into rest November 23, 2005, in San Antonio at the age of 88. He was born in Bethel, son of Frank E. and Anna East Larson, on the historic farm of Hy-Croft Dairy on the top of Hoyt's Hill. He was President of his 1934 High School Class. After attending the University of Maryland, he entered service with the Connecticut National Guard in February 1941 and fought in the European Theater during World War II. He left the service in 1945, but was recalled to active duty in January 1951 during the Korean War. He served for 16 months in Korea. After graduating from the Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., he continued to serve in the U.S. Army until retirement in March 1966. He was a Past Master of Eureka Lodge No. 83 A.F. & A.M. of Bethel, where he was a member for 60 plus years. He was a dual member of the David Crockett Lodge No. 1225 A.F. & A.M., Scottish Rite of Free Masonry Valley of San Antonio, Texas, and Alzafar Shrine. He attended church at the Fort Sam Houston Chapel, where he served as an usher. He is survived by his wife, Christine Snow (Tina) Larson; son, Jerald F., of Los Angeles; daughter, Melanie Larson-Knaub, of San Antonio; four grandchildren and one great grandchild; a sister, Frances Larson Baris, of Dover, Ohio; and three cousins in Connecticut. The family requests memorial donations be made to the American Cancer Society.
Ethel P. Smith
Ethel P. Smith, at Hancock Hall in Danbury, died Dec. 9, 2005. She was born in Washington Heights, Manhattan, N.Y., daughter of Arthur E. and Lillian Hyde Lovelace Parrish. She attended schools in Hastings on Hudson and Yonkers, N.Y. As a young woman she moved with her family to Astoria, Queens and worked in lower Manhattan for 17 years in the insurance industry. While living in St. Albans, N.Y., she met her husband, Perry B. Smith. They were taking night adult high school classes in Jamaica, Queens.
Ethel and Perry successfully operated the Perry B. Smith Insurance and Real Estate Agency in Roosevelt, Long Island, N.Y., for nearly four decades. Most of the operational details of the agency were in Ethel's hands, since Perry worked full time in the Surrogate Court in Mineola, where he held the position of examiner of the Guardian accounts. Ethel had been very active in the Insurance Women's Association. Perry and Ethel took great pride in their son Robert who worked as a physicist for Gruman Aircraft on the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM). As the aerospace industry downsized, Robert joined the Nassau County Court and rose to be an officer of the court in the New York State Court System. During retirement, Perry and Ethel traveled the world and enjoyed being snow birds, traveling from their home in Garden City, N.Y., to Traveler's Rest, an Airstream Trailer Community in Dade City, Fla. After Perry's death, Ethel moved to Bellmore to be near her son and daughter-in-law and became active in the Senior Center. Soon after the unexpected death of her son, Ethel moved to the Homesteads in Newtown, where she enjoyed the fine amenities and good company until she needed supervised medical care, at which time she entered Hancock Hall.
She is survived by her very loyal daughter-in-law, Elizabeth T. Smith, of Bellmore, N.Y.; a devoted friend, Brenda Fleming, of Delhi, N.Y.; a nephew, Bruce A. Parrish, his wife, Joyce, and daughter, Becky, of New Milford.
Those who knew Ethel would agree that her most unique and endearing feature was her smile.
Funeral services will be conducted Monday at 11 a.m. at the Green Funeral Home, 57 Main St. in Danbury with the Rev. Dr. Laura Ahrens of St. James Episcopal Church officiating. Interment services will follow in Greenfield cemetery in Uniondale, N.Y., at 1:30 p.m. Friends will be received at the funeral home Monday from 10 to 11 a.m.
Contributions in Ethel's memory may be made to the American Red Cross, 2 Terrace Place, Danbury, CT 06810 or Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 185 Silas Deane Highway, Whethersfield, CT 06109.
Walter T. Mugan
Walter T. Mugan, 77, of Brookfield, husband of the late Ann C. Moreno Mugan, died Thursday December 15, 2005, at his residence.
Born in Stamford, he was the son of the late James and Delia Mugan.
Mr. Mugan had been a Stamford resident and had been affiliated with the Norwalk and New Canaan area.
He was retired from the U.S. Postal Service in Brookfield.
Surviving are a daughter, Cathy Felmer and her husband Brett of Danbury; son, James J. Mugan and his fiancie Dawn Erickson of Stamford; a brother, John Mugan and his wife, JoAnne of MA; a grandson, Branden Felmer; and numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces and nephews; and great-great-nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by three brothers, Harold Mugan, Joseph "Joe" Mugan and James Mugan; and two sisters, Helen Curnyn and Catherine Lee.
Funeral services were private at the family's request.
Margaret K. Howard
Margaret Katherine Quinn Howard, age 103, of Danbury, died Thursday, December 22, 2005, at Hancock Hall in Danbury. She was the widow of Harry Howard.
Mrs. Howard was born in Brewster, NY, August 17, 1902, a daughter of the late James and Margaret Quinn. She was a resident of the Danbury area most of her life and had been a resident at Hancock Hall for many years, where she received kind and loving care by the staff. She worked for many years as an Inspector at the Barden Corporation in Danbury.
She is survived by her son: Harry J. Howard and his wife Jean of New Milford; three grandchildren: David Howard of Boston, MA, Mark Howard of Brookfield, Laurie Molnar of New Milford; eight great-grandchildren: Emily Hults, Carey, Sean and Tracey Howard, Nicole and Gregory Sibilio, Kendra and Brendon Molnar.
Funeral services will be private. There are no calling hours. Hull Funeral Service, 60 Division St., Danbury, is handling arrangements.