Lily Hoyt, 88, shop owner, was active here
Lily Okerblom Hoyt of Fairfield, a former Ridgefielder who was active in the community, died Monday, Sept. 11, at Cambridge Manor in Fairfield. She was 88 years old and the widow of Robert L. Hoyt.
A native of Buffalo, N.Y., Mrs. Hoyt had lived in Ridgefield from the 1950s until the 1980s, and had belonged to many women’s organizations.
In the 1960s she operated The Tower House, an antiques shop in the tower building of The Elms Inn complex on Main Street.
The Hoyts lived on Huckleberry Lane. Mr. Hoyt died in 1980 at their winter home in Coral Gables, Fla.
Survivors include two nieces, Carol Borona of Huntington and Jean Klaric of Stratford; a nephew, Carl A. Okerblom of Stratford; and several grandnieces and grandnephews.
Three sisters and four brothers had died before her.
Services will take place Friday at 10 a.m. at the Salem Lutheran Church in Bridgeport. Burial will be in Mt. Grove Cemetery, Bridgeport.
There are no calling hours.
Contributions in her memory may be made to the Salem Lutheran Church Memorial Fund, 3160 Park Avenue, Bridgeport CT 06604.
The Larson Funeral Home in Bridgeport was in charge of arrangements.
Margaret Johnson, 92, active in First Congregational Church here
Margaret M. Johnson of 104 Main Street, a retired beautician who was active in the First Congregational Church, died on Tuesday evening, Sept. 5, at Hancock Hall in Danbury. She was 92 years old and the wife of the late Elmer R. Johnson.
Mrs. Johnson was born in Clintonville, Wisc., on June 24, 1908, a daughter of the late George and Catherine Kroft Glass. She attended Clintonville schools and was a retired beautician.
A resident of Ridgefield for the past eight years, Mrs. Johnson came here from St. Charles, Wisc. She was a member of the First Congregational Church of Ridgefield as well as a member of its Bible Study program and the Women’s Fellowship.
“Margaret enjoyed a long and fulfilling life as a bookkeeper, beautician, mother and grandmother as well as an avid contract bridge player,” said her son, Dean R. Johnson of Main Street. “But after her family nothing was more important to her than her commitment to the Congregational Church, first in Batavia, Ill., and later in Ridgefield.”
He said that “one time, when she was working in the church kitchen for a luncheon the Women’s Fellowship was hosting, a friend asked her why she was not sitting down at the table with the other guests. ‘After all,’ the friend remarked, ‘the luncheon was for senior citizens’ (many of whom were 20 years younger than she). Margaret replied that she got more joy out of serving than being served. Her life could be summed up in that moment — a deep commitment to serving others.”
Mrs. Johnson was familiar to many Main Street strollers as the elderly woman who would walk the family papillon, Madam Butterfly, each day, rain or shine, along Main Street near the fountain.
Her survivors include a son, Dean R. Johnson of Ridgefield and his wife Jean Marie; two brothers, Raymond Glass of Aurora, Ill., and Kenneth Glass of Clintonville, Wisc.; and two grandsons, Alexander K. Johnson and Christopher K. Johnson.
The funeral will take place on Friday, Sept. 8, at 11 a.m. in the First Congregational Church, Ridgefield.
Burial will take place in River Hills Cemetery, Batavia, Ill.
Friends may call at the Kane Funeral Home, 41 Catoonah Street, on Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m.
Contributions in Mrs. Johnson’s memory may be made to the First Congregational Church, 103 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877.
Robert Kane, 65, funeral director, Kiwanian, fireman
Robert A. Kane, a second generation funeral director who had operated the Kane Funeral Home here for 40 years, died unexpectedly Sunday, Aug. 20, at his New Hampshire home. He was 65 years old and had lived in Hampton, N.H. and on Catoonah Street.
“One of the things he was really proud of was the service the funeral home provided the community,” said his son Kevin Kane of Scituate, Mass. “He helped a lot of families in a lot of different ways. He was dealing with people during their most tragic times and he always did it with grace and compassion.”
Mr. Kane, an owner of the Kane Funeral Home here and the Jowdy-Kane Funeral Home of Danbury, was born in Danbury on Feb. 4, 1935, a son of the late William C. and Leona Warner Kane. As a boy he lived with his family in Hartford and attended Hartford schools. The Kanes returned to Danbury in 1950, and he attended Danbury High School, where he was a member of the varsity football team. He graduated in 1953.
About the same time, his father established the Kane Funeral Home in Ridgefield and the family moved to Catoonah Street.
Mr. Kane served in the U.S. Army, stationed at Ft. Devens, Mass. After his discharge he studied at the New England Institute in Boston where he obtained his diploma in funeral directing and embalming. Upon graduation, he joined his father at the Kane Funeral Home and later became president of the firm. William Kane died in 1974.
For the past two years, Mr. Kane has been semi-retired and has spent most of his time in Hampton where he enjoyed playing golf and visiting with his grandchildren.
Mr. Kane was active in the Ridgefield community. When the Ridgefield Kiwanis Club was formed in November 1962, he was elected its first president and over the years he served on many Kiwanis committees, including the annual military band concerts, horse shows and charter night celebrations.
He was also a member of the Ridgefield Volunteer Fire Department, had held various offices, including treasurer, and was often involved in the planning of the annual Fireman’s Ball. He was an honorary life member of the department.
A past coach of the Pop Warner Football league, he was also active with the Tiger Touchdown Club. He was an avid golfer and had belonged to the Ridgewood Country Club in Danbury.
Mr. Kane also belonged to the Marquette Council Knights of Columbus of Ridgefield, the John A. Gildea, Division #3, Ancient Order of Hibernians of Danbury and St. Mary’s Church.
He was also a past member of the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association.
Besides his son Kevin and Kevin’s wife Laurie, Mr. Kane is survived by another son, Timothy A. Kane of Ridgewood, N.J., and his wife Laurie; a daughter, Kelly Ann Doherty of Scituate, Mass. and her husband, Robert; four grandchildren, Conor and Molly Doherty of Scituate. and Kate and John Robert Kane of Ridgewood. His former wife, Catherine J. (Murphy) Kane of Hampton, N.H. and an aunt, Ursula Otto of Brookfield, also survive.
The Rev. Robert P. Morrissey, pastor, will celebrate a Mass of Christian Burial Friday at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary’s Church. Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Friends will be received today, Thursday, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Kane Funeral Home, 41 Catoonah Street.
Contributions in Mr. Kane’s memory may be made to St. Mary’s Church Building Fund, 183 High Ridge Avenue, Ridgefield, or to Meals-on-Wheels, 25 Gilbert Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877.
Henry Korzennik, chemistry teacher, art conservator
Henry Korzennik of Norwalk, who had taught chemistry at Ridgefield High School for three years and had been involved in art conservation, died Wednesday, Oct. 5, at his home. He was 53 years old and the husband of Lesley Schab Korzennik.
Mr. Korzennik had been hired in February 1997 to replace James Menousek, who had retired. Mr. Menousek died three days earlier, on Oct. 2.
A native of Vienna, Austria, Mr. Korzennik was born on Jan. 30, 1947, the son of the late Michael and Rose Bronheim Korzennik. He came to this country as a boy, and graduated from Bard College in 1968 with a bacehlor’s degree in chemistry. He held a master’s in the teaching of chemistry from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and had earned many extra credits in biology at Hunter College.
Mr. Korzennik began his teaching career at the International School of Lusaka in Zambia, West Africa, where he taught chemistry and physics for a year, and coached rugby. He also taught for two years in Costa Rica.
From 1985 until he came here in 1997, Mr. Korzennik taught at the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts, the Manhattan school made famous in the movie, Fame.
Mr. Korzennik, who had also taken many courses in art history at Columbia University, had been a volunteer with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, working in its painting conservation laboratory. He had lived in Norwalk for 11 years.
Besides his wife, Mr. Korzennik is survived by a son, William Korzennik.
Services took place Friday at Temple Shalom Synagogue in Norwalk. Burial was in Independent Hebrew Society-Temple Shalom Cemetery in Norwalk.
Marthe Krueger, noted dancer, teacher
Marthe Krueger of Wilton, an internationally known concert dancer and choreographer who toured many of the great cities of Europe and America , died on Wednesday, Sept. 20, at Norwalk Hospital. Ms. Krueger had lived in Ridgefield early in her career.
“She not only leaves some gigantic pointe shoes to fill and a void in our lives, but most importantly, leaves behind a legacy of love,” Christine Leventhal, a former student, noted. “She was a pioneer of dance in Fairfield County; devoted to her students surely, but even more, devoted to the art of dance and a never-ending pursuit of excellence in her art.”
Ms. Krueger was born in Mulhouse, Alsace-Lorraine, France, on Feb. 7, 1910. She began her ballet training at eight years of age in Strasbourg, Alsace-Lorraine, and went on to study in Paris with such dance luminaries as Mmes. Egorova, Vera Trefilova and Wladi Kamecki. She also studied with the famed Monsieur Nicolas Legat in London.
She performed as a soloist throughout Europe, and upon coming to America at the age of 23 in 1933, made her debut at New York City’s Town Hall. Miss Krueger went on to teach at several of New York’s finest dance schools, where she became close friends with the legendary ballerina Muriel Stuart. During World War II, she not only toured with a U.S.O. unit, entertaining the troops, but also worked as a professional photographer, opening her own studio in New York.
She found that the fluidity and lyrical qualities of dance are close to many of the qualities found in nature. This belief inspired her to move to Connecticut, where she opened her first studio in Ridgefield in the 1940s in what was called the old Coach House on her estate on Branchville Road. Later she served as ballet mistress at the Silvermine Guild, and in 1960, opened her signature studio in Wilton.
The Marthe Krueger School of Dance was a huge success, former students noted. Ms. Krueger “surrounded her lovely glass-walled studio with the best of nature: a tree-encircled pond complete with swans Sigy and Odette (whose elegant necks and movement inspired those within); all sizes, colors and kinds of birds; mallards, wood ducks and geese; deer; muskrats; raccoons; and most thrilling of all — the great blue heron,” recalled Ms. Leventhal. “Marthe loved her animals and birds. She was a gifted gardener as well, and bright swatches and drifts of color surrounded her property.”
When asked how one produces a ballerina, Ms. Krueger said in an interview in 1966: “Stars are born, dancers are made.” The ingredients of teaching were simple, she said. “You must gain the confidence of your pupils. The rest is easy.”
“Marthe taught her last class the day before she fell ill and went to the hospital,” Ms. Leventhal recalled. “I was blessed to have been in that class. I will never forget her, swaying with her arms, as she exhorted us to even more graceful and moving balances and waltz turns; praising when she saw something she liked; clucking her tongue, shaking her head, and then with a mischievous glint in her eye when she couldn’t get what she wanted from us.
“Marthe was a gift and inspiration to us. What could be more wonderful than looking forward to getting up each morning, no matter how old you are, because there is always something more to learn, to experience, to see, to treasure? This is what she left us. Thank you, Marthe, from the bottoms of our hearts.”
Ms. Krueger’s husband, Adolf Mayer, died in 1939. She is survived by Jill and Adolf Mayer and Valerie Torcia of Scarsdale, N.Y., and relatives in Iceland and Europe. Her wish was to be cremated, so that her ashes could be scattered around her beloved property and home. A private “scattering of the ashes” will take place this month.
In honor of her memory, a Marthe Krueger Scholarship has been founded at the Conservatory of Dance in Georgetown. Director Lori Ruggles began her dance career under Ms. Krueger’s tutelage as a young child, and wants to perpetuate her memory by fostering the love of dance in a student each year. Memorial contributions may be made to the Marthe Krueger Scholarship Fund, Conservatory of Dance, c/o Lori Ruggles, Director, 9 New Street, Wilton 06897.
Susan Kunzmann, health care executive
Susan Ann Kunzmann of 42 Round Lake Road, a registered nurse who was a vice president at Nursing and Home Care of Wilton, died Saturday, Sept. 23, at her home. She was 59 years old and the wife of Robert O. Kunzmann.
A native of New Haven, Mrs. Kunzmann was born on March 14, 1941, the daughter of the late Walter and Eleanor Frey Kenney. She attended West Haven schools and graduated from West Haven High School in 1958.
The daughter of a nurse, she obtained a degree in nursing from the University of Connecticut in 1962.
“She became a nurse because she wanted to be a stewardess,” her husband reported. “In those days, you had to be a nurse to be a stewardess.”
However, she enjoyed nursing so well, she decided to stay on the ground and pursued a career in health care, starting in Michigan with part-time work.
A year after the family moved here from Baltimore in 1979, Mrs. Kunzmann joined the Visiting Nurse Association of Wilton. The association has since grown into Nursing and Home Care, which serves several towns. At the time of her death, she was vice president of homecare services, which provides both clinical services and home help aides.
In 1990, Mrs. Kunzmann became one of only 83 people in Connecticut to be certified in community health nursing by the American Nurses’ Association.
In 1999, she received a master’s degree in health administration from Western Connecticut State College.
She had also served on a medical advisory committee for the Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association.
Over her years in Ridgefield, Mrs. Kunzmann was active in supporting athletic programs that her children were involved in. She was a treasurer of the Soccer Club of Ridgefield, and a volunteer with both youth hockey and Tiger hockey programs.
A member of St. Stephen’s Church, Mrs. Kunzmann was a former member of the Altar Guild and had once been a Sunday school teacher.
Though suffering from the effects of cancer, Mrs. Kunzmann also enjoyed riding through the Connecticut countryside on the back of her husband’s motorcycle.
Besides her husband of 31 years, Mrs. Kunzmann is survived by a son, Brian W. Kunzmann of Ridgefield and his wife, Rebecca; and a daughter, Elizabeth F. Thomas of Asheville, N.C., and her husband, Jeffrey.
The Rev. John R. Gilchrist, rector, led a memorial service Tuesday at St. Stephen’s Church.
Contributions in her memory may be made to Mid-Fairfield Hospice, P.O. Box 818, Norwalk CT 06852, or to the Oncology Nursing Services, 8-East, Danbury Hospital, 24 Hospital Avenue, Danbury CT 06810.
The Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Alice McGuinness, 72, former Ridgefielder
Alice S. McGuinness of West Palm Beach, Fla., who had lived in Ridgefield for 20 years, died Oct. 24 in Atlantis, Fla. She was 72 years old and the widow of Clarence “Mac” McGuinness.
Mrs. McGuinness was born and raised in Stamford and moved here in 1957, living first on South Olmstead Lane and later on Acre Lane. Her husband, who died in 1987, was a real estate agent associated with Bartholomew T. Salerno, and three of her brothers, Frank, Bob and John Symon, were well-known Ridgefield builders. Frank and Bob have both died, and John Symon, Mrs. McGuinness’s twin, now lives in Fort Pierce, Fla.
While here, Mrs. McGuinness was a homemaker and a member of the First Congregational Church. In 1977 she moved to West Palm Beach and eventually went to work in administration for Subaru, the car manufacturer. In 1987, she was transferred to Georgia where she lived for 10 years. In 1997, she returned to West Palm Beach.
Besides her brother John, Mrs. McGuinness is survived by two sons, John of Austell, Ga., and Jeff and his wife Judith of Loveland, Ohio; two daughters, Ali Parish and her husband Jim of Naples, Fla., and Jennifer Duntz and her husband Mike of West Palm Beach; four grandchildren, Nicholas Caporale of Bethel, Chelsea Parish of Naples, Christopher and Heather Duntz, both of West Palm Beach; two sisters Ann McAndrew of Bridgeport and Lillian O’Neil of Stamford; and another brother, Charlie Symon of Brookline, Mass. A sister, Helen Perran, and another brother, Joe, died before her.
Services were held at E. Earl Smith & Son Funeral Home on Oct. 26.
Donations in her memory may be made to Hospice.