Israel "Izzy" Cohen, 90, native son, boxer and restaurateur
Word has been received that Israel “Izzy” Cohen, once a popular New Canaan restaurateur, died Aug. 22, at his home in Sunrise, Fla. He was 90. A Ridgefield native, Mr. Cohen was a former professional boxer who later sponsored many New Canaan baseball, basketball and football teams.
He was born on June 12, 1910, son of the late Rubin and Bessie Cohen, and as a boy moved to New Canaan where he spent most of his life. He and his wife, the former Ida Rodansky, moved to Florida about 20 years ago.
In his first venture in business, Mr. Cohen ran a candy and cigarettes store in New Canaan There was also a gym in the building and that was where he launched his boxing career. “Izzy” Cohen then entered the bar and restaurant business in the 1930s as an assistant to Joe Doyle, a blind man. Their unlikely association was touted on their business card, which bore the image of an Irish leprechaun encircled by shamrocks, printed in green, and a Hebrew inscription directly below it.
When Mr. Doyle died, his heirs gave the business to Mr. Cohen in appreciation for his loyalty and honesty over the years.
“Izzy’s Place” soon became a town forum, attracting people from all walks of life who gathered there regularly to discuss community events. Among the regulars were Madison Avenue executives who lived in New Canaan and created a series of advertisements that drew widespread readership and gained regional attention for their humor. In the 1940s, another patron, noted artist and decorator E. Kenyon Davies, offered to design the interior of Izzy’s Place, which had expanded into a full-fledged restaurant when space formerly occupied by a Chinese laundry was annexed.
Sports competition then was interrupted by World War II, but Mr. Cohen’s support of New Canaan’s young men continued unabated. He compiled a “home-town” newsletter circulated monthly to all local men in the Armed Forces all over the world.
He also launched “Operation Smokescreen,” sending candy and cigarettes to local servicemen regularly throughout the war years. When they all came home again, he hosted what is still regarded as “the biggest party in New Canaan history.” Hundreds of men (reports said every male in town) attended the clambake, “Izzy Cohen’s Fresh Air Frolic,” on a farm in Vista, N.Y. And then his team took to the fields again, now adding football, and no victory ever was complete until he led the singing of at least one chorus of “New Canaan Will Shine Tonight.”
Mr. Cohen’s record as a sports promoter and youth booster was recognized in tributes paid to him over the years by area organizations. Tributes recalled Mr. Cohen’s own active career in sports. Weighing 118 pounds, he became a boxer in 1925 and won all 16 of the fights he had in two years on the amateur circuit in New England, and he won the Fairfield County championship. He turned pro in 1927, and he took on all comers for three years. His won-lost record in that time remains a bit hazy and Mr. Cohen always dismissed inquiries with the explanation that “I quit before my brains got completely scrambled.”
He remained a competitor, however, turning to golf, a sport he learned as a caddy at the Country Club of New Canaan when he was still a boy. It was said also that “Izzy knew more horses than people and he knew thousands of those.” He was an ardent fan at Yankee Stadium as well as the tracks.
Surviving, besides Mrs. Cohen in Sunrise, are twin daughters, Estelle Hofmann of Fairfield and Ruth Wenzel of Bridgeport; a sister, Jeanette Cohen of New York City; two granddaughters, Valerie Hofmann Gray of Atlanta, Ga., and Laura Gorlick of Milford, and three great-grandchildren. Three brothers died before him: George and Milton “Mickey” Cohen, who were both in the printing field, and Abraham, known throughout the area for his chauffeuring service.
Earl Edighoffer, active in scouting
Word has been received that Earl A. Edighoffer of Holiday, Fla., a former Ridgefielder, died July 29
Mr. Edighoffer and his wife Kay had lived here from 1958 until 1975, first on Bayberry Hill Road and later on Wilton Road West. Mrs. Edighoffer, who died in 1991, was active in town political circles while Mr. Edighoffer was a leader in the Boy Scout program here.
Mr. Edighoffer had retired in 1985 from Panametrics, a company in Waltham, Mass., where he was production manager. The Edighoffers had moved to Holiday, Fla., soon after.
Survivors include his son James, a member of the Class of 1972 at Ridgefield High School who lives with his wife in Alliance, Ohio; a daughter, Ann Zarechian of Dracut, Mass., a 1975 Ridgefield High School graduate; a brother, Harold Edighoffer of Newport News, Va.; a sister, Dorothy E. Schlicher, of Dunedin, Fla.; four grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.
A memorial service took place at St. Francis Church in Dracut on Sept. 30.
Contributions in his memory may be made to The American Cancer Society, 372 Danbury Road, Wilton CT 06897, or to Hospice House of Pasco, 6230 Lafayette, New Port Richey, FL. 34652.
Jeffrey Mead, 41, twin, dies in store accident at Home Depot
Jeffrey Thomas Mead, who grew up in Ridgefield, died on Sunday, July 9, at Danbury Hospital after an accident at Home Depot on Federal Road in Danbury.
He was 41,and is survived by his twin brother, Dennis Mead.
Mr. Mead was born in Norwalk on Sept. 6, 1958, a son of the late Samuel L. and Mary Alice Broadhurst Mead. He grew up in Ridgefield, and had lived in Norwalk for 10 years before making Sandy Hook his home 18 months ago. He was employed by the PeopleÕs Bank in Newtown.
The accident at Home Depot is still under investigation. Dennis and Jeffrey were at the store when a one-ton pallet of landscape timbers fell on them. Dennis was extricated from the timbers, but Jeffrey was apparently in the direct path of the falling pallet.
Efforts to revive Mr. Mead by a Home Depot employee and then by Sgt. Alan Mattei of the Danbury Police were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead at Danbury Hospital shortly after the accident. Dennis Mead was also treated at the hospital, and released.
Mr. Mead was also the brother of Samuel L. Mead Jr., a lifelong Ridgefielder and employee of the Ridgefield Highway Department, who died in 1995.
The Rev. Mary Hoynes, pastor of the Stevens Memorial United Method Church in Lewisboro, N.Y., led services Wednesday, July 12, at the Bouton Funeral Home in Georgetown. Burial was to be private.
Joseph Galbraith, 80, zoning official in the 1960s
Joseph Galbraith of New Fairfield, a former Ridgefield official, died Wednesday, Sept. 6, at his home. Mr. Galbraith was 80 years old and the husband of Virginia Harvey Galbraith.
He was born in Dalmuir, Scotland April 19, 1920, a son of John and Mary (Nolan) Galbraith.
Mr. Galbraith was an accountant to the corporate comptroller for the Texaco Corporation. He lived in Ridgefield in the 1960s during which time he served on the Zoning Board of Appeals and on the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Mr. Galbraith was also active in the town’s Wetlands Commission and volunteered in the Connecticut State Trails. He was a member of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.
He moved to New Fairfield in 1969 and was a member of St. Edward the Confessor Roman Catholic Church and was an active volunteer in St. Edward’s Appalachian Drive.
Besides his wife Virginia, he is survived by three sons, David Galbraith of New Fairfield, Joseph Galbraith of Thomaston, and Kevin Galbraith of Stamford; a daughter, Marian Galbraith of Groton; and three grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Friday at St. Edward the Confessor Roman Catholic Church. Burial was Saturday at St. John’s Cemetery, Queens, N.Y.
Contributions in his memory may be made to St. Edward the Confessor’s Appalachian Drive, c/o St. Edward the Confessor Roman Catholic Church, P.O. Box 8866, New Fairfield, CT 06812.
Joseph Glowinski, 85, former resident
Joseph Glowinski of Bethel, a former Ridgefielder, died on Friday, Aug. 25, at the Danbury Hospital. He was 85 years old and the husband of Josephine M. Balcerak Glowinski.
Mr. Glowinski was born in Greenwich on Feb. 25, 1915, a son of the late John and Anna Buduc Glowinski. He had lived in Norwalk before moving to Ridgefield in 1962. He lived on Ashbee Lane many years, then moved to Spring Hill, Fla, and finally, about 15 years ago, to Bethel.
Mr. Glowinski was employed by such area firms as the Pratt and Daniels Company of Norwalk, Allied Signal and Perkin Elmer, retiring 30 years ago.
Besides his wife of 63 years, Mr. Glowinski is survived by one son; John J. Glowinski, of Ridgefield, three daughters; Geri Soukup, of Bethel, Joanne G. Livesay, of Pipersville, Pa., and Marianne Honey, of Lincoln, R.I.; eight grandchildren; four great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
A memorial Mass was celebrated on Monday, Aug. 28 at the Church of St. Mary, Bethel at 10 a.m..
Interment will be private, and at the convenience of the family.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 372 Danbury Road, Wilton, CT 06897-2523.
The Bethel Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Muriel Hanson, 83, church historian, Woman's Day editor
Muriel R. Hanson of North Chatham, Mass., a former feature editor of Woman’s Day magazine who wrote a history of the First Congregational Church here, died Wednesday, Aug. 23, on Cape Cod. She was 83.
Mrs. Hanson had lived in Ridgefield from 1957 until 1972 and was the widow of Donald P. Hanson, founder of Woman’s Day.
“Researching 250 years of church history is like doing an enormous jigsaw puzzle,” said Mrs. Hanson in a 1962 interview about An Event Which Has No Parallel, her 56-page history. “The shape of one piece suggests another and eventually the picture falls into place.”
Mrs. Hanson spent four years poring over church, town and state records, most of them hand-written and some of them in poor condition.
“I got so drawn into these records that I found myself sitting at the meetings and waiting anxiously for the next speaker,” she said. “I came to know the different personalities of an era’s churchmen and commenced speculating which viewpoint each might take at the next meeting.”
The book’s title, An Event Which Has No Parallel, came from a quotation by Connecticut historian Benjamin Trumbull. The book appeared in the fall of 1962, when the First Congregational Church was celebrating its 250th birthday. The Rev. Clayton R. Lund had asked Mrs. Hanson in 1958 to write the history. Mr. Lund died July 5 this year.
A native of New York City, Mrs. Hanson was born on July 7, 1917, a daughter of Henrietta and Walter Ripperger.
She graduated from Vassar College in 1938 and went to work for Woman’s Day as a feature editor. In 1943, she married Donald Hanson, who had founded the magazine in the 1930s and continued to be publisher until his retirement in 1968. He died in 1978.
In Ridgefield, Mrs. Hanson belonged to the Ridgefield Garden Club and was active in the Thrift Shop, helping it produce a cookbook many years ago. She was also a trustee for many years of the Hammond Museum in North Salem. The Hansons belonged to the Silver Spring Country Club.
In 1972 the couple moved to Wellfleet, Mass. Their house opposite the local Congregational Church overlooked Wellfleet Harbor. She was active in the church there and, according to her son Donald P. Hanson Jr. of Portland, Ore., “she was an avid whale watcher and had adopted a whale” through a cetacean society.
About five years ago, she moved to North Chatham.
Besides her son, Donald, Mrs. Hanson is survived by another son, Lars P. Hanson of Honolulu; a daughter, Wendy Gimbel of New York City; a sister, Margaret Milbrath of Jacksonville, Fla.; and by seven grandchildren.
Services were private.
Contributions in her memory may be made to the First Congregational Church, 103 Main Street, Ridgefield CT 06877.
The Sperry & McHoul Funeral Service of North Attleboro, Mass., was in charge of arrangements.
Edward Horaj, Army veteran of Korea
Edward Anton Horaj of 7 Pine Lake Road, a U.S. Army veteran who served in Korea and was a retired baking technician, died on Tuesday evening, Oct. 24, at Danbury Hospital. The husband of Clara Weber Horaj, he was 68.
Mr. Horaj was born in New York, N.Y., April 9, 1932, a son of the late Anton and Mary (Scurka) Horaj. He attended New York schools.
He was employed by Caravan Products of Totowa, N.J., retiring in 1982.
An avid fisherman, Mr. Horaj had lived in Ridgefield for the past 21 years, having moved here from Queens, N.Y. He was a member of St. Mary’s Church.
In addition to his wife, to whom he had been married 43 years, he leaves a brother, Frank Horaj of Windham, N.H., as well as nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Saturday at 10 a.m. in St. Mary’s Church. Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery. Friends will be received in the Kane Funeral Home, 41 Catoonah Street on Friday from 5 to 8 p.m.
Contributions in Mr. Horaj’s memory may be made to the Visiting Nurse Association, 90 East Ridge, Ridgefield, or to the Danbury Hospital Development Fund, 24 Hospital Avenue, Danbury, CT 06810.
Paul Horvath, 37, plumber and guitarist
Paul Michael Horvath of 20 Dogwood Drive, who’d lived in Ridgefield all his life, died Sunday, Aug. 27, at his home. He was 37 years old.
Mr. Horvath was born in Norwalk on Nov. 14, 1962, a son of Frank, Jr. and Mary Stamo Horvath of Ridgefield. He attended Ridgefield schools and was a 1981 graduate of Henry Abbott Regional Technical School in Danbury.
Mr. Horvath was a plumber in the Norwalk-Greenwich-Stamford area and a member of the Connecticut Pipe Trade Union Local #777.
A lifelong Ridgefield resident, Mr. Horvath was a member of St. Mary’s Church in Ridgefield. He was an avid Harley-Davidson motorcycle rider, softball player and guitarist.
Besides his parents, his survivors include his companion, Tracey Hughes of Wilkes Barre, Pa.; and one brother, Frank Christopher Horvath and his wife, Tracy, of Collingdale, Pa. Several nieces and nephews also survive.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated today, Thursday, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary’s Church. Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
The Kane Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Matthew Houlihan, Hamilton student
Matthew William Houlihan, 19, a former Ridgefielder, died unexcpectedly at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., on Tuesday, Oct. 3. He was the son of William F. and Elizabeth D. (Hunt) Houlihan of Falmouth, Mass.
He was born in Salem, Mass., and had lived in Andover, Mass., Ridgefield and New York City before moving to Falmouth. He attended school in Andover, the Browning School in New York and was a 1999 graduate of the Tabor Academy in Marion, Mass., where he lettered in football, crew and wrestling and won the Tabor Coaches Award for football. He was a communicant of St. Joseph’s Church in Woods Hole.
Mr. Houlihan was a sophomore at Hamilton College where he was a member of the crew team, Chi Psi fraternity and was an avid painter. He attended with a scholarship from the St. Joseph’s Church Scholarship Fund.
“He leaves many loved and dear friends with wonderful memories,” said his family.
In addition to his parents, Mr. Houlihan is survived by three brothers, Daniel P. and Sean C. Houlihan, both of Boston, and Michael P. Houlihan of Denver, Colo., his maternal grandmother, and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
There will be calling hours on Thursday, Oct. 5, from 3 to 9 p.m. at the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, 475 Main Street, Falmouth. A funeral mass will be celebrated Friday at St. Patrick’s Church, Falmouth, and burial will follow in Massachusetts National Cemetery, Bourne.
Contributions may be made to the Friends of Hamilton Crew, Hamilton College, 198 College Hill Road, Clinton, NY 13323.