Christopher Blackwell, decorated firefighter
Christopher Blackwell, 42, stepson of former Ridgefielder Edwin B. Allan, remains missing following the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11.
A New York City firefighter, Mr. Blackwell had previously received the New York Medal of Valor and the Thomas Kenney Award for Courage.
As a fireman with Rescue 3 in the Bronx, he was among the first emergency personnel responding to the World Trade Center last Tuesday.
He was a paramedic in Ridgefield who worked on a per diem basis for Danbury Ambulance when it provided paramedic coverage for the town, from about 1985 to 2000.
"He's been involved in a lot of the major incidents that have occurred down there, with plane crashes and the World Trade Center before," Ridgefield Fire Chief Louis Yarrish said.
"He was a great fireman and a great paramedic. He was a good friend to a lot of people here," Ridgefield firefighter Mickey Grasso said.
His mother, Frances Allan of Danbury, and stepfather say that Mr. Blackwell is missing in action.
He has a wife, Jane, and three children, Alexandra, 15; Ryan, 13 and Samantha, 11. His father is Donald Blackwell of New Fairfield.
Christopher Blackwell grew up in New Fairfield and lives in Putnam Lake, N.Y.
Margaret H. Blessey, 88, avid gardener
Margaret H. Maione Blessey, a former longtime Ridgefielder, died at Pope John Paul Center in Danbury on Wednesday, Oct. 24. She was 88 years old and the widow of Robert L. Blessey.
Born Aug. 20, 1913, in Flushing, N.Y., Mrs. Blessey was one of 10 children of Italian immigrants Charles and Maria Maione. A housewife, mother and avid gardener, she was often seen planting and caring for the island, near her home, at the intersection of King Lane and Peaceable Street.
The Blessey family came to Ridgefield from Long Island in 1967 and lived at 183 Peaceable Street. Mr. and Mrs. Blessey moved to the Pope John Paul Center in Danbury in 1996. Mr. Blessey died in February 2000.
Mrs. Blessey is survived by four sons: Richard and his wife Lucille of Brookfield: Robert Jr. and his wife Carmen of Katonah, N.Y.; Raymond and his wife Sue of Manhattan Beach, Calif., and Ronald of Santa Fe, N.M.; and her sister, Fanny Yosca, of Burbank, Calif. She also leaves nine grandchildren Ryan, Noelle, Rodd, Noah, Ralph, Molly, Marla, Bryan and Natesha and one great-granddaughter, Cailin Ann Blessey.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Monday at St. Joseph’s Church in Brookfield. Burial was in St. Peter’s Cemetery, Danbury.
Contributions in her memory may be made to either: St. Joseph’s Church, 159 Whisconier Road, Brookfield, CT 06804; or Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, 16 Forest Road, New Canaan, CT 06840.
Gerry Boyle, 68, former Ridgefielder
Therese Geraldine “Gerry” Boyle, 68, of La Quinta, Calif., a former Ridgefielder who had been active in the community, died Saturday, July 6, after a long battle with cancer. She was 68 years old and the wife of Jack Boyle.
A native of Wissahickon, Pa., Mrs. Boyle was born on March 22, 1934. She grew up in Pennsylvania and met her future husband while they were both still in grade school. They were married in 1958.
The Boyles moved to Ridgefield in 1970, living on Settlers Lane until 1982 when the family moved to Palos Verdes, Calif.
While here, Mrs. Boyle was active in the Newcomers Club, Scotland School PTA, St. Mary’s Parish, and as a volunteer for the Ridgefield Library.
“Gerry had a warm, pleasant nature and was a friend to everyone she met,” her family said. “She will be remembered for her generous love and kindness, and her inspiration of those qualities in her family.”
Besides her husband, Mrs. Boyle is survived by four children: Helen Bristow of Cary, N.C., John Boyle of Torrance, Calif., Betsy Eigen and Brian Boyle, both of New York City; six grandchildren: Meghan Boyle, Kelly Bristow, Jacqueline Bristow, Matthew Eigen, Liza Eigen and Kevin Boyle; and three sisters: Mary Genay of Cupertino, Calif., Margaret Maley of Smithville, N.J., and Betsy Weber of Overland Park, Kans.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, July 13, at 10 a.m. at St. John the Baptist Church, Rector Street, Philadelphia, Pa.
Friends may call on Friday, July 12, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Fitzpatrick’s Funeral Home, 425 Lyceum Avenue, Philadelphia.
Contributions in her memory may be made to the American Cancer Society, 372 Danbury Road, Wilton CT 06897.
Andrew Brady, retired postal worker
Andrew F. Brady Jr. of South Portland, Maine, who grew up in Ridgefield and had worked for the post office here, died Thursday, July 18, at his home. He was 59 years old and the husband of Marilyn Kimball Brady.
Andy Brady was born in Danbury on Feb. 14, 1943, the son of Margaret Kehoe Brady of Ridgefield and the late Andrew Brady. He graduated in 1961 from Ridgefield High School where he played football and golf.
Mr. Brady attended Norwalk Technical College before joining the U.S. Navy. After his discharge he worked at the Ridgefield Post Office in the late 1960s until transferring to Portland around 1970. He worked there many years before retiring.
An avid golfer, Mr. Brady was especially proud of a hole-in-one he once hit. He had been a member of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Maine.
Besides his mother and his wife of 37 years, Mr. Brady is surivived by two daughter, Alia Annemarie Fahlborg and her husband, Erik, of Redondo Beach, Calif., and Karen Willows and her husband William of Queensbury, N.Y.; a sister, Patricia Shaw of Ridgefield; and four grandchildren, Bradley, Benjamin and Cady Willows, and Madison Fahlborg.
A graveside service took place Wednesday in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Ridgefield.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the American Cancer Society, 372 Danbury Road, Wilton CT 06897.
Mary K. Brennan, 91, native of Ireland
Mary Kathleen Brennan, 91, of 51 Prospect Ridge, Ridgefield, died January 7, at Laurel Ridge Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Ridgefield.
Mrs. Brennan was born in Easky, County Sligo, Ireland, March 12, 1910, a daughter of the late Thomas and Kathleen (Foy) Bourke.
At the age of 29, Mrs. Brennan emigrated from Ireland and settled in New York, NY where she was a retail sales clerk for the R. H. Macy Store in Sunnyside, Queens.
A resident of Ridgefield since 1989 coming from New York, she was a member of St. Mary’s Church, Ridgefield.
A nephew, Thomas Venus of Ridgefield, survives her.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday at 10AM in St. Mary’s Church, Ridgefield with the Rev. Leszek Szymaszek. Parochial Vicar, officiating.
Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
There will be no calling hours.
The Kane Funeral Home 41 Catoonah Street Ridgefield is in charge of arrangements.
Isabel F. Brooks, registered nurse
Isabel F. Brooks of Quince Court, wife of Dr. David M. Brooks, died on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 9, at her home. She was 73.
Mrs. Brooks was born in Providence, R.I., July 10, 1928, a daughter of the late Albert and Isabel (Pritchard) Hesketh. She attended schools in Pawtucket, R.I., graduated from the Massachusetts Hospital School of Nursing with a R.N. degree and Western Connecticut State University with a bachelor of arts in psychology. She received nursing training at Massachusetts General Hospital.
A nurse by profession, Mrs. Brooks was associated with various hospitals in the area and was last employed in Health Services of Western Connecticut State University of Danbury.
An area resident for the past 38 years coming from Rhode Island, she attended the First Congregational Church of Ridgefield.
Survivors besides her husband of 52 years include two sons, David M. Brooks III and his wife Sophie of Winthrop, Maine and Steven J. Brooks and his wife Anna of Ridgefield; a brother, Albert Hesketh of North Carolina and a grandson, Mitchelson Brooks.
A memorial service will take place on Monday, Dec. 17, at 2 p.m. in the First Congregational Church. Burial will be at the convenience of the family. There will be no calling hours. The Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Alice Creagh Brown, longtime teacher
Alice Creagh Brown of Rochambeau Avenue, who began a long teaching career in a one-room New Canaan schoolhouse, died on Friday, Nov. 16, at the Filosa Convalescent Home in Danbury. She was 90 years old and the widow of Francis L. Brown.
A lifelong Ridgefielder, Mrs. Brown was born in the Creagh homestead at 22 North Salem Road on Aug. 14, 1911, a daughter of the late William and Mary Brady Creagh. She attended Ridgefield schools and graduated from Ridgefield High School with the Class of 1929.
She went on to attend the Danbury Normal School, now Western Connecticut State University, graduating with her teaching degree in 1931.
Mrs. Brown began her teaching career at the Church Hill School in New Canaan, commuting in a Model T Ford. The rural, one-room schoolhouse, now a private home, served eight grades and had neither electricity nor running water. She later taught at Center School also in New Canaan.
Mrs. Brown continued teaching until her marriage in 1940 to Francis Leo Brown. Mr. Brown was a local contractor and for many years a partner in the K.E.B. (Keeler, Elliott & Brown) Mobil gas station on Danbury Road, and Mrs. Brown helped with the business. Mr. Brown and his partner Fred Cogswell subdivided and built the first homes on Stonecrest Road and Hobby Drive. He also built his family’s home on Rochambeau Avenue. Mr. Brown died in 1955.
Mrs. Brown returned to teaching in 1961, working for about eight years at St. Mary’s School. She subsequently taught at Ridgebury, Scotland and Veterans Park Schools. After her retirement in 1973, she provided childcare for several local families.
Mrs. Brown was a member of St. Mary’s Church and was a past trustee. She was a charter member of CCC-Sewing Club, a group of local women who met every other week in each other’s homes continuously over a period of 60 years.
Mrs. Brown liked walking, especially along Main Street, and when she was younger enjoyed horseback riding.
Mrs. Brown is survived by four sons: William C. Brown of Menlo Park, Calif., Christopher L. Brown and Alan G. Brown of Kohala, Hawaii, and Paul J. Brown of Jamaica Plain, Mass.; two sisters: Mary Creagh and Agnes Creagh, both of Ridgefield; and six grandchildren.
Her eldest son, Leo, died in 1991, and a brother, William Creagh and two sisters, Margaret (Mrs. Thomas) Christopher and Katherine (Mrs. Octavius) Carboni, also died before her.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, Nov. 24, at 10 a.m. in St. Mary’s Church. Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Friends will be received in St. Mary’s Church on Saturday after 9.
Contributions in Mrs. Brown’s memory may be made to the Dorothy Day Hospitality House, 11 Spring Street, Danbury, CT 06810.
The Kane Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Leigh Carroll, 41, businessman, RHS Class of 1979
Leigh Gerard Carroll of 5 Jotham Road, New Milford, who grew up in Ridgefield and operated a business here, died on Sunday, Sept. 1, at the New Milford Hospital. He was 41 years old and husband of Amy Gaige Carroll.
Mr. Carroll was born in Stamford on Nov. 22, 1960, a son of Charles F. and Noreen Anderson Carroll of Ridgefield. He attended St. Mary’s Parochial School and graduated from Ridgefield High School in 1979. He moved to New Milford six years ago.
Mr. Carroll co-owned and operated Russell’s Carpet Warehouse of Ridgefield. He started working there when he was 15 years old and became a partner in the business about 10 years ago.
He was active in the local sports programs and enjoyed archery, hunting and fishing. He was a member of the New England Archers and of St. Mary’s Church. He was also active in the Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Carroll was known as a generous man. “He would do anything for anybody,” said his wife, Amy. “Whenever anyone stopped by the store looking for help for a good cause, he was always ready to make a donation.”
“He was very much a family man,” she added.
Besides his wife of 17 years and his parents, Mr. Carroll is survived by his three children: Justin Carroll, Ryan Carroll and Alyssa Carroll, all of New Milford; four brothers: Gary Carroll and Kevin Carroll, both of Ridgefield; Charles Carroll Jr. and his wife Kristi of Tampa, Fla. and Paul Carroll of New Milford; two sisters: his twin, Lisa Silvi and her husband Marco of Italy and Kimberly Carroll of Ridgefield; his mother-in-law and father-in-law: Sally and Alan Gaige of Charlottesville, Va.; as well as several nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.
A brother, Michael J. Carroll, died in 1985.
The Rev. Paul Murphy, parochial vicar, will celebrate a Mass of Christian Burial Thursday morning at 10:30 a.m. in St. Mary’s Church. Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Memorial contributions in his memory may be made to Regional Hospice of Western CT, 405 Main Street, Danbury, CT 06810 or to the New Milford Hospital Cancer Center, 29 Elm Street, New Milford, CT 06776.