William R. Hornibrook, 73, builder, golfer who died on the course
William Richard "Dick" Hornibrook of Heritage Village, Southbury, a Ridgefield builder and former Kiwanis Club president, died Sunday, July 16, after suffering a heart attack while playing golf. He was 73 years old and the husband of Anita Styles Hornibrook.
"Golf was his life," his wife said Monday. "He always said he wanted to die on the golf course."
A native of Stamford, Mr. Hornibrook was born on Oct. 25, 1926, a son of the late George and Helen Wood Hornibrook. When he was just barely 18, he joined the U.S. Navy, serving in World War II aboard the battleship U.S.S. Alaska. Just two weeks ago he attended a reunion of his shipmates in Newport, R.I.
The Hornibrooks moved to Ridgefield in 1956, living at first at the Ridgefield Lakes, then on Ridgecrest Drive and finally on Lounsbury Road. Mr. Hornibrook was a builder who erected a number of homes, particularly in the Lounsbury Road area, and also operated an electrical contracting business.
For the past 12 years, he had been an assistant building inspector for the Town of Newtown.
He was a member of the Ridgefield Kiwanis Club for many years, and served as its president in the early 1970s. He also also a longtime member of the Ridgefield Volunteer Fire Department and had served as a chief.
He belonged to the Ridgewood Country Club in Danbury and later the Newtown Country Club.
Mr. Hornibrook was also a boating enthusiast, and was a former member of the Wilson Cove Yacht Club in Rowayton. For many years the Hornibrooks had a winter home in Naples, Fla., and there Mr. Hornibrook was active in the Coast Guard Auxiliary.
In the late 1980s, the Hornibrooks moved to Brookfield and 10 years ago to Heritage Village.
Besides his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Sharyn Eber of Brookfield, and three grandchildren, Sandra, Alison, and Robert Eber.
A son, George, died in 1988.
Visitation and services took place Wednesday evening at the Kane Funeral Home.
Contributions in Mr. Hornibrook's memory may be made to the Regional Hospice of Western Connecticut, 30 West Street, Danbury CT 06810.
Arleen Karnoff, antique house expert
Arleen Karnoff of Redding, an expert in antique houses who had careers in interior decorating and real estate and who was a major benefactor of Temple B’nai Chaim, died Tuesday, Aug. 1, at her home on Newtown Turnpike.
Mrs. Karnoff, a longtime Ridgefielder, was founder of Realty 7 in Wilton and later became a well-known consultant on both the histories and construction of old houses.
In 1981, she and her husband, Martin Karnoff, donated the land to the newly formed Reform Jewish congregation, B’nai Chaim, that enabled the construction of its temple in Georgetown.
A native of New York City, Mrs. Karnoff was the daughter of the late Phillip and Rita Siegel. She grew up in the city and graduated from Edgewood Park School in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y. She studied at the Kansas City Art Institute and became an interior decorator.
In 1969, the Karnoffs moved from California to Wilton and four years later bought an 18th Century house on Nod Road in Ridgefield. They lived there until moving to Redding in 1999.
After qualifying to become a real estate broker, Mrs. Karnoff worked in the profession for several years and around 1978, founded Realty 7 in Wilton. She was active on the Wilton Board of Realtors and was a graduate of the Realtors Institute. She sold the business several years later.
Her interest in houses led her to Yale University where she studied architectural history. This prompted her to undertake a successful campaign to save the 18th Century Matthew Marvin House on Route 7 in Wilton, which was slated for demolition. The house had been acquired when the town bought land on which Wilton High School was built. The Karnoffs signed a 30-year lease from the town, carefully restored the building, and used it at first for offices, then apartments. The building, which will revert to the town in 2013, has since been placed on the National Register of Historic places.
With her combined interests in houses and architectural history, Mrs. Karnoff developed a practice of researching and documenting the chain of title and changes in construction for old buildings, and became a consultant to owners of historic houses, community historical societies, and local governments, developing “house histories” for a number of them.
She was a consultant to the Keeler Tavern Museum in Ridgefield, and had lectured there.
Mrs. Karnoff also enjoyed cooking and in 1975 wrote a book, A New England Sampler, featuring old New England recipes and kitchen tips. In recent years, she had also been a docent at the Maritime Aquarium in South Norwalk.
Besides her husband, Mrs. Karnoff is survived by two sons, Phillip of Redding and Robert of Newtown, and a daughter, Jodie Karnoff of Watertown; and five grandchildren, Caite and Alex of Redding, Stephen and Peter of Watertown, and Rachel of Newtown.
Services were private.
Contributions in her memory may be made to the Regional Hospice of Western Connecticut, 30 West Street, Danbury CT 06810.
Kathleen Klein, 50, Press writer, athlete, who fought cancer
Kathie Klein, a 14-year resident of Ridgefield, died on Wednesday, July 12, after a two-year struggle with cancer. Mrs. Klein was 50 years old.
She was born Kathleen Margaret Andrews on Nov. 28, 1949 in Garden City, Long Island, in New York. She was the second daughter and fourth child of John and Agnes Andrews. After high school she moved to St. Thomas in the U. S. Virgin Islands, where she became vice president of sales and marketing of Aqua-Action Inc., a firm engaged in underwater scuba-diving, exploring marine biology and terrestrial ecology.
She married Kenneth C. Klein in St. Thomas in 1981, and they eventually had two sons. When the children reached school age, she relocated the family to Ridgefield. While raising the children, she was employed by The Ridgefield Press in various journalistic and marketing capacities.
Mrs. Klein was also active in various community service projects, including raising and training seeing-eye dogs for the blind, volunteer work for Center for Hope in Darien, and various outreach volunteer efforts for St. Stephen's Church.
Mrs. Klein was an enthusiastic athlete, engaging in downhill and cross-country skiing, swimming and scuba diving, jogging and running, aerobic and yoga training. She was an avid gardener, a nutritionist, and a voracious reader. She kept a journal and hoped to publish a memoir of her illness and experimental treatments that might have been beneficial to other cancer victims.
She is survived by her former husband, Kenneth Klein of St. Thomas; two sons, Christopher 17, and Casey, 14, both of Ridgefield and St. Thomas; a sister, Mary A. Williams of Ridgefield; and two brothers, John F. Andrews of Chatham, N.J., and James P. Andrews of New Canaan.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in honor of Mrs. Klein's memory may be made to St. Stephen's Church.
A wake will be held at Kane Funeral Home on Friday, July 14, from 5 to 8 p.m.
The Rev. John R. Gilchrist, rector, will conduct a memorial service at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church on Saturday, July 15, at 10 a.m.
Clayton R. Lund, minister at First Congregational Church for 30 years
The Rev. Clayton R. Lund, theologian, philosopher, historian and counselor, died Wednesday, July 5, at Danbury Hospital.
Mr. Lund served as the 17th senior minister of the First Congregational Church of Ridgefield for 30 years from 1956 to 1986 and at his retirement was appointed minister emeritus. He spent his retirement years in Danbury and most recently resided at The Village at East Farms retirement community in Waterbury. He was 81 years old.
Before coming to Ridgefield Mr. Lund served churches in Hingham, Mass., and Brooklyn, N.Y.
After his retirement from Ridgefield in 1986, he served the Saugatuck Congregational Church as supply and interim minister in a relationship that spanned seven years.
Mr. Lund was born in Providence, R.I., on March 31, 1919 to the Rev. Anders Gottfrid Lund and Iris Sofia Fredrika Lindblade. He grew up in New York and Worcester, Mass. He was a graduate of Clark University and Andover-Newton Theological Seminary. He was ordained at First Congregational Church in Fall River, Mass.
"Mr. Lund's love of Christ, eloquent sense of history and personal warmth provided an anchor for an ever-changing Ridgefield community and congregation," said a family spokesman. During his tenure, the church grew to 800 members, which mirrored the growth of Ridgefield from 4,000 in the 1950's to 22,000 in the late 1980's. Many changes were made during his tenure including the forming of a Church Council from the Cabinet, strengthening the Board of Mission and adorning the sanctuary with more comfortable pews and a hand-hewn cross above the Communion table.
Most notably, Mr. Lund led the congregation through the difficult time following the fire in 1978 of the 100-year-old Church House. In December 1980 the new Church House was dedicated to the glory of God and the hope of the Phoenix Fund campaign "out of ashes, newness; out of destruction, a great joy" was realized. The fellowship room was named Lund Hall in his honor.
Mr. Lund is survived by his sister, Gretalyn Lund Elmen of Woodstock; his niece, Elisabeth Levesque and her husband and son, Joffre and Paul of Pomfret; and a nephew, John Elmen and his wife, Robin Neely of Falmouth, Maine. A brother, Anders Godfrey Lund, died before him.
The memorial service was conducted July 13, at 1 p.m. at The First Congregational Church. A reception will follow the service in Lund Hall. A family interment will be conducted in Woodstock.
Contributions in memory of Mr. Lund may be made to The First Congregational Church, 103 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877 for the Clayton R. Lund Scholarship Fund of Andover Newton Seminary, or the Clayton R. Lund Endowment Fund of The First Congregational Church.
Charles McFarlane, 35, had many interests
Charles King McFarlane, who had lived in Ridgefield 24 of his 35 years and had been active in scouting, died Thursday, Aug. 3, at his home after a long illness.
Mr. McFarlane was born on Nov. 27, 1964, in Fort Worth, Texas, the son of Zayne Joyce King McFarlane of Ridgefield and Charles Byrne McFarlane of Southbury. He lived with his family in Huntington, Long Island, before settling in Brookfield in 1970. In Brookfield he attended Center School, played with the local Little League team and was an active member of the Cub Scouts.
The family moved to Ridgefield in 1976, and Mr. McFarlane attended Ridgefield Public Schools where he developed and pursued many interests including trumpet, drums and horseback riding. He was an avid fishing enthusiast.
Mr. McFarlane took great pride in serving with Boy Scout Troop 26 where he mastered many skills and rose to the level of Senior Scout. He was also a member of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.
He graduated from Staples High School in Westport in 1986.
Besides his parents, he is survived by a sister, Maureen Elizabeth McFarlane of Stamford. A sister, Kathryn Ann McFarlane, died before him.
“He will be lovingly missed by many extended relatives,” said his mother.
The Rev. Victoria Miller, associate rector, conducted services Tuesday at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. Burial was in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Contributions in Mr. McFarlane’s memory may be made to the United Leukodystrophy Foundation, 2304 Highland Dr., Sycamore, IL 60178.
The Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Arthur McKenna, 86, voice on civic issues
Arthur James McKenna, a soft-spoken old-fashioned gentleman who was an untiring voice for fiscal restraint, open government and limited growth, died Thursday, April 6, at his home on Silver Spring Road. He was 86 and the husband of Marjorie Colville McKenna.
For nearly 40 years he was a factor in Ridgefield politics, holding a variety of elected and appointed offices, writing letters, taking stands, making phone calls to get the vote out for elections and referendums. "He was very intent on getting his message across, and he always did his homework," his wife Marjorie said.
"He was some great guy. He lived a wonderful life, and he was rare in being a man of absolute integrity -- just a good solid guy with great values of family and responsibility and civic participation."
Mr. McKenna's political service to the town included stints on the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Republican Town Committee -- which he chaired -- the Sewer Advisory Committee and, most recently, the Elderly Tax Credit Benefit Committee.
But his most consistent contribution, year in and year out, was as a budget watchdog.
"One does not have to be a genius to conclude that governments locally and in Hartford have been on a profligate spending spree," he wrote in a 1991 letter to the editor. "Locally, since 1986, town spending has increased 85% while the schools with an enrollment decline have spent 50% more. The result is that the local spenders are demanding an 11% tax increase. On top of this we can probably expect to pay a state income tax in order to cover Hartford's past extravagances."
Mr. McKenna was born in New York City July 16, 1913, a son of the late Arthur J. and Eileen MacGuire McKenna -- "both from families of recently emigrated Irish" his daughters Constance, Barbara and Katherine wrote in a retrospective on his life.
He grew up in Garden City, L.I., attended The Choate School in Wallingford and was a 1936 graduate of Yale University, where he received his bachelor's degree.
"Throughout the really dark years of the Depression, the family conspired to pay his tuition at Yale University, where he joined the Socialist League," his daughters wrote. "Summers he worked on ships with the merchant marine, and sailed to France at least once. At college, he majored in engineering, but minored in sociology and worked in the sociology department as a teaching assistant. This launched an interest in history and politics that grew ever more passionate as he applied it ever more practically.
"Weeks before his death he would muse hopefully on the power of the Internet. He speculated that its potential for instant communication would spell the end for dictatorships that fester in dark corners of the world."
Mr. McKenna volunteered for the U.S. Navy in World War II. Although only a lieutenant, he was in charge of compressed gases for all the branches of the service in the South Pacific theater of war.
"He certainly never forgot the Depression and World War II," his wife recalled.
After the war, Mr. McKenna joined the Dorr-Oliver Corporation where he was a sales engineer and international consultant. "A company man, just loved selling equipment and then going into plants for Ôstart-up,' " his daughters wrote. "Uninterested in promotions or management positions, he had the same disdain for people who sat behind desks that he had for lawyers. He talked about the days when a man's handshake was his word, and lawyers weren't needed.
"He was supposed to retire at 65, but at his retirement party, his boss approached him and asked if he'd like to continue working. They sent him out on the really challenging start-ups then, in Chile, Brazil, the Philippines and more. He retired again at 70, but not for long."
After his second retirement in 1983, Mr. McKenna became a sales consultant for Carbtrol in Westport for 10 years.
"He stopped working on his 81st birthday." Mrs. McKenna said.
A Ridgefielder for the past 38 years, Mr. McKenna lived all that time in the same house on Silver Spring Road -- a place readers of The Press history page may know as the home of 19th Century diarist Jared Nash. The McKennas moved to Ridgefield from Park Forest, Ill., where he had served on the local planning board.
He was a member of St. Mary's Church in Ridgefield and was an early board member of the Keeler Tavern Preservation Society. He was active in the Ridgefield Community Center and its annual June flea market, which he chaired for many years. Mr. McKenna was a long and active member of the Ridgefield Men's Club, and particularly enjoyed a group that had meetings and guest speakers on foreign and political affairs -- they mockingly called themselves "the pundits."
"Oh, how he loved that," Mrs. McKenna recalled. "He loved the men's club."
As a local political activist, Mr. McKenna's principal themes -- after fiscal restraint -- were controlling development through planning and zoning, open and honest government, and sewer-related issues to which he brought his engineering background.
A 1996 letter to the editor touched on all three. "Once again in Ridgefield, we are seeing the time-honored democratic tradition of conducting the public's business in public treated with contempt," Mr. McKenna wrote. "In the negotiations for an inter-local agreement with Danbury to bring sewers to the proposed Ridgebury condo development, the veil of secrecy imposed by town hall has been well-nigh impenetrable...
"Clearly, the town's proposal advocates the developers' interests ... the overwhelming reaction of those residents of Ridgebury who have learned of what's afoot has been one of alarm, and with good reason. The impact would be enormous, and has scarcely been evaluated: the semi-rural ambiance of the area will be destroyed; traffic congestion will increase incrementally, and that's only for starters. The resulting necessity to provide additional classroom space and the cost of educating students has not even been addressed. And what of property values? Shouldn't all these factors be considered before the whole deal is presented to Ridgefield as an accomplished fact?"
But for all the power of his skillfully wielded pen, Mr. McKenna was notable among those active in Ridgefield's seemingly endless political and budget wars for his lack of vitriol. Polite and friendly even in vehement disagreement, he never held people's positions against them, or took criticism of his stands as personal attacks.
"Sometimes he didn't even perceive the arrows coming his way," Mrs. McKenna said.
Barbara Wardenburg, a former Republican Town Committee member, bitterly divided the town in the 1970s with her lawsuit challenging the Boys Club's policy of accepting only males. She wrote recently to Mr. McKenna's family. "He looked out for me," she said. "When I was fighting the Boys Club fight, he was chairman of the Republican Town Committee, and I would come to the meetings and all those men were against me, but Arthur was always fair. Everyone was allowed to have his or her opinion, he would say. Did you know how kind he was to me? I will never forget it."
John Tobin, a neighbor, shared with Mr. McKenna's daughters his perception of their father's civic activism. He recalled a story about some young men seeking advice from George Washington near the end of the great man's long life. "He had just one thing to say to them: ÔPractice good citizenship.' I thought of your father when I read that," Mr. Tobin wrote. "He and your mother, the hours, the years they dedicated to this town, never expecting or getting anything back. They practice good citizenship."
Mr. McKenna's life was not all politics and issues, of course. A neighbor from South Olmstead Lane recalls that in the late 1970s he would come by weekly to drive her mother to OWLS meetings.
His daughters wrote of his lifelong pleasure in gardening. "While at Choate, Arthur started and tended a community garden that fed the poor in that town. He kept a vegetable garden ever after, and took pleasure not only in the harvest but in canning and jelly-making.
"There was a period where he concocted his own kind of New England poteen, dandelion wine. This was when his three daughters were in college and graduate school. The daughters would come home to hilarious, long candlelit dinners during which Arthur would quietly excuse himself, disappear into the cellar with a small ceramic pitcher, and return with his magic yellow concoction to fill up everybody's glass."
"He was extremely proud of his three daughters and five grandchildren," Mrs. McKenna said. "Really, he was very old-fashioned in so many ways. Duty, honor, church, family -- that's old-fashioned stuff, but I tell you, when you get down to the end it's what matters."
Besides his wife and three daughters -- Katherine L. McKenna of Nyack, N.Y., Constance E. McKenna of Rockville, Md., and Barbara McKenna of Washington, D.C. -- he is survived by a brother, Robert L. McKenna M.D. of Denver, Colo.; a sister, Constance McKenna of Sun City West, Ariz.; and five grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Monday at St. Mary's Church. A bagpiper played before and after the service, which family members said he would have loved. Burial will be in St. Mary's Cemetery at the convenience of the family.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association, 90 East Ridge, or to the Keeler Tavern Preservation Society, 132 Main Street. --M.K.R.