Amalia H. Koenig, church volunteer
Amalia “Amy” Hubner Koenig, a former Ridgefielder who was a Meals on Wheels volunteer, died Tuesday, Feb. 26, in Exeter, N.H. She was 98 years old.
Mrs. Koenig was born in 1903 in Brooklyn, N.Y., the youngest child of Hartman and Emily Hubner. She married Theodore J. “Ted” Koenig and for 50 years lived at Truesdale Lake in nearby South Salem, N.Y.
Mr. and Mrs. Koenig were active in Republican political affairs in Lewisboro and Westchester County. Mrs. Koenig was a member of the South Salem Presbyterian Church for more than 70 years, working sometimes as a church representative at the state level. She was also active in helping the Lewisboro schools. She had belonged to the Waccabuc Country Club.
After her husband’s death in 1967, Mrs. Koenig moved to Ridgefield, where she was active in the Meals on Wheels program.
In 1995 she moved to RiverWoods, a retirement community in Exeter.
Mrs. Koenig is survived by her three children: John Koenig of York, Maine, Jean Till of Leawood, Kans., and Amy Brinckerhoff of Irving, Texas; a niece, Anne Wells of Shelby, N.C.; five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Burial will be in South Salem at a date to be determined.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the South Salem Presbyterian Church, 111 Spring Street, South Salem, NY 10590.
Geraldine Kennedy, active in church
Geraldine S. Kennedy of Clemson, S.C., a former Ridgefielder who was active in the First Congregational Church, died on Saturday, Feb. 16, in Anderson, S.C. She was 84 years old and the widow of the Rev. William T. Kennedy, a Presbyterian minister and former career Navy chaplain.
A native of St. Louis, Mo., Mrs. Kennedy was born on Sept. 14, 1917. She grew up in Tulsa, Okla., and graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern and a master’s degree in speech from Columbia.
Mrs. Kennedy had been an elementary reading teacher, mainly in Westchester County, N.Y.
She and her husband lived on Ridgecrest Drive from 1987 to 1991 when they moved to Newtown. Mr. Kennedy died a short time later. Mrs. Kennedy returned to Ridgefield in 1997, living on North Salem Road with her daughter, Lynda Wiggins. After her daughter’s death in 2000, she moved to Seneca, S.C., to be closer to other family members.
Mrs. Kennedy was active in the First Congregational Church and in its Elizabeth Circle. “She loved going to the Saturday night contemporary service,” said her granddaughter, Christine Wiggins of Clemson. “She loved the First Congregational Church and she loved Ridgefield.”
An avid reader, she also enjoyed the Ridgefield Library — “she spent a lot of time there,” Ms. Wiggins said.
Besides Ms. Wiggins, her survivors include her son, Thomas Kennedy of Mora, Minn.; and four grandchildren, Ms. Wiggins of Clemson, Karri Sieglein of Houston, Texas, Shawn Kennedy of Dallas, Texas, and John Samuel Wiggins of New York City.
A memorial service will take place at the First Congregational Church in May.
Contributions in her memory may be sent to the American Stroke Foundation 10540 Marty, Suite #200, Overland Park, KS 66212.
Zofia Kaczorowski, 88, fought for Poland
Zofia “Baba” Kaczorowski of 22 Lounsbury Road, a longtime Ridgefielder who had fought with the Polish underground and been imprisoned during World War II, died on Thursday, Aug. 1, at Laurel Ridge Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. She was 88 years old and the widow of Zbigniew Michael Kaczorowski.
Mrs. Kaczorowski was born in Jaslo, Poland, on Feb. 14, 1914 and attended schools in Poland.
After Poland had fallen to the Nazis in September 1939, Zofia and her fiancé, a lieutenant in the Polish Army, knew he would soon be sent to a prison camp. On Oct. 1, they were married and a short time later, Lt. Kaczorowski was arrested and spent the rest of the war as a prisoner at a camp in Murnaw.
Zofia Kaczorowski joined the Polish underground Army, and was eventually arrested and sent to a concentration camp in Germany.
The couple was reunited in Italy in 1946. From there they went to England for five years. Taking advantage of the Special Immigration Bill for Polish Veterans, they came to the United States in 1951 and settled in New York.
There, Mrs. Kaczorowski went to work as a seamstress in the dressmaking industry. “She was an incredible seamstress,” said her granddaughter, Krysta Cuccia Hamilton of Ridgefield.
The Kaczorowskis came to Ridgefield in 1961, living at first on Hayes Lane and then, in the late 1970s, moving to Lounsbury Road.
When her daughter Krystyn Cuccia Zipparo died in 1986, Mrs. Kaczorowski took over raising her two children, Krysta Cuccia Hamilton and Alexandra Zipparo.
Mrs. Kaczorowski was active in St. Mary’s Church and had been a member of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union in New York. She volunteered her sewing skills to create uniforms for the Friends of Polish Girl Scouts in America, Ms. Zipparo said, adding “she was an extremely gifted seamstress.”
The granddaughters also described Mrs. Kaczorowski as an excellent gardener and cook. “She took great pride in her flowers,” Ms. Hamilton said.
“She made killer pierogies,” added Ms. Zipparo.
Besides her granddaughters, Mrs. Kaczorowski is survived by five great-granddaughters: Kimberly, Jessica and Nicole Hamilton of Ridgefield, and Melissa and Christina Zipparo of Danbury; her former son-in-law, Dr. Joseph Zipparo of Ridgefield, and his three sons, Greg, Joe and Jay Zipparo.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Tuesday in St. Mary’s Church. Burial was in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Contributions in her memory may be made to Friends of Polish Scouts, 6005 West Irving Park, Chicago, IL 60634.
The Kane Funeral Home, 41 Catoonah Street, is in charge of arrangements.
James 'Spence' Hyde, 36, diver
James “Spence” Hyde, 36, of Del Ray Beach, Fla., died Friday, Nov. 16, after a boating accident. He was 36 years old.
Born in Danbury, he spent the first 30 years in Ridgefield and was a graduate of Ridgefield High School, Class of 1984. He moved to Del Ray Beach, where he loved the ocean and was the president of the Florida Branch of Commercial Divers Inc.
His survivors include his parents, Brian and Patricia Mercurio Hyde of Cross Junction, Va.; a brother, Paul Hyde of Cross Junction; a sister, Sarah Hyde of Asburn, Md.; a niece, Katherine Hyde; an aunt, Sally Mercurio Ward of Fairfield; and many local aunts and uncles.
He was predeceased by his grandparents, A. James and Grace Mercurio of Fairfield, and Edward and Mildred Hyde of Ridgefield.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated today, Wednesday, Nov. 21, at 10 a.m. at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 1719 Post Road, Fairfield. Burial will be at Oaklawn Cemetery.
Donations be made in his memory to The Dolphin Research Center, 58901 Overseas Highway, Grassy Key, FL 33050-6019.
The Shaughnessey Funeral Home, 50 Reef Road, Fairfield, is in charge of arrangements.
Lawrence C. Hoyt, 100, the Harmonica Man
Lawrence C. Hoyt of 189 Silver Spring Road, a Ridgefield native who spent nearly all of his 100 years in his hometown, died Sunday, Aug. 4,
at Danbury Hospital. He had marked his 100th birthday on April 30.
Except for a stint in the U.S. Army Cavalry, Mr. Hoyt had lived in Ridgefield all of his years and had remained active in the social life of the community until shortly before his death. He was a regular at the Early Bird Café, where he delighted friends with stories of life in
Ridgefield long ago and with playing his harmonica.
Larry Hoyt was born in his grandfather's house on Wilton Road West, a son of the late Ellis and Lottie Valiere Hoyt. His earliest education was in one-room schoolhouses in town.
When he was 17, Mr. Hoyt enlisted in the U.S. Army, with the aim of serving in the cavalry. Raised among farmers, "I had always loved animals, especially horses," he said in an interview two months ago.
He served with Troop A of the Third Cavalry inVermont, training horses for military combat and drills.
"I think being in the cavalry was a highlight for him," said his daughter, Doris H. Ventres of Ridgefield. "If he didn't get married, he probably would have gone out and been a real cowboy."
In 1925 he married Gertrude "Trudy" Thomas, daughter of the village blacksmith, and was working as a caretaker on private estates in Ridgefield. He later became head custodian at Veterans Park School.
When the school was new, he planted spruce trees inside the circle.
He and his wife raised two children during the Depression. Mrs. Ventres recalled her father as a gentle man who never got angry. "I don't think I have ever seen him mad," she said in June. "He's been a wonderful daddy."
In the 1980s, when his wife was diagnosed with a disease similar to Alzheimer's, Mr. Hoyt refused to allow her to go to a nursing home. He continued to care for her at home for nine years until her death in 1989.
An avid gardener, he enjoyed raising hybrid tea roses. In season his yard was always filled with flowers, much to the enjoyment of those who traveled Silver Spring Road. Even at 100, "he spades his own garden, he mows his own lawn, he trims his hedges, he takes care of his perennial bed," said neighbor and friend John Beckett recently.
As a boy, Mr. Hoyt learned to play the harmonica and eventually became known in the community as "The Harmonica Man," entertaining both young and old with his playing. At his 100th birthday party this spring, Mr. Hoyt put on a harmonica performance.
At the Early Bird, the Ridgefield Men's Club or among family and friends, Mr. Hoyt was known as a charming conversationalist who could tell stories of early 20th Century Ridgefield and cavalry life. He enjoyed recollections of listening to Franklin D. Roosevelt's fireside chats. "Roosevelt was a very effective president," Mr. Hoyt told an interviewer in May. "His character was different than presidents today."
He also had a fine sense of humor. In June, when more than 100 people gathered to celebrate his century of life, Mr. Hoyt confided that when he arose each morning, he'd look at a picture of himself as a young cavalryman and would ask: "What is that handsome young man going to do today?"
Besides his daughter, Mr. Hoyt is survived by a son, Lawrence M. Hoyt of Essex; a brother, Henry Hoyt of Lemster, N.H.: three grandchildren: Tad J. Ventres of Ridgefield, Dale H. Ventres of Wise River, Mont., and Larry M. Hoyt of Ivoryton; two great-grandchildren: Cody J. Ventres and Garret T. Ventres of Wise River; and several nieces and nephews.
Services will take place today, Thursday, at 1 p.m. in the First Congregational Church, Ridgefield. Burial will follow in Bald Hill Cemetery, Wilton.
Contributions in Mr. Hoyt's memory may be made to the Ridgefield Men's Club, Box 736, Ridgefield, CT 06877.
The Kane Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Frank Holik, 86, teacher and locksmith
Frank J. Holik of 642 Danbury Road, a retired Ridgefield teacher who had a second career as a locksmith, died on Monday, Aug. 5, at Laurel Ridge Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.
He was 86 years old and the husband of Ruby Schwen Holik, who died in 1989. They had been married 53 years.
A native of Ennis, Texas, Mr. Holik was born on Jan. 28, 1916, a son of the late Joseph J. and Rose Svarc Holik. He attended Texas schools and received his bachelor’s degree at Amarillo College. He earned a master’s degree from Fairfield University and had also completed work on a doctorate at Pennsylvania State University.
Mr. Holik had had several professions. Early on, he had been a radio broadcast engineer and a technical writer. From 1967 until his retirement in 1982, he taught science at East Ridge Junior High School.
After his retirement, he established the Village Locksmith at 440 Main Street, operating the business until 1999.
The Holik family moved to Ridgefield in 1960, living on Old Sib Road.
Mr. Holik was a former member of the Board of Directors of the Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce, and was active in Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church, where he had served as an usher.
He is survived by a daughter, Fran Novak of Stamford; a brother, Archie Holik; a sister: Lillie Dotson; four grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
A son, Michael Holik, died in 1990.
The Rev. William Pfohl, pastor, will conduct services Tuesday, Aug. 13, at 2 p.m. at Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church, 207 Main Street. Burial will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
There will be no calling hours.
Contributions in Mr. Holik’s memory may be made to the Jesse Lee Memorial Church.
The Kane Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Daniel J. Hayes, grew up here
Daniel Joseph Hayes, 60, of Northampton, Mass., who grew up in Ridgefield, died on Wednesday, July 18, at his home. He was the former husband of Dolly Coutermash Jennings.
Mr. Hayes was born on Jan. 15, 1941, in Stamford, a son of the late Floyd and Florence (Knapp) Hayes. A longtime area resident, he grew up in Ridgefield and lived in Bethel before moving to Northampton. He was a Paratrooper, Spec 4 in the U.S. Army serving as a chaplain’s assistant in Korea during the early 1960’s.
He was a motorcycle enthusiast and was the past president of the Western Connecticut Motorcycle Club. In his early years, he enjoyed hunting.
Mr. Hayes is survived by a son: Daniel J. Hayes Jr., of Newtown; a daughter: Heather F. Hayes of Bethel; three sisters: Carol Cawood of Ormond Beach, Fla., Helen Wright of Southbury, and Lorraine Hertzog of Fishkill, N.Y.; a granddaughter, Holly Amber Hayes; and several nieces and nephews.
A daughter, Holly Ann Hayes, died before him.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Friday at the Church of St. Mary, Bethel. Burial was in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Bethel.
Contributions in his memory may be made to: Datahr Rehabilitation Institute, 135 Old State Road, Brookfield, CT 06804.