Charles Maucere, 92, veteran, boxer
Charles J. Maucere of 86 Old Sib Road, a former Golden Gloves champion who had been a Ridgefielder for many years, died Thursday, Aug. 22, 2002, at Laurel Ridge Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. He was 92 years old and the husband of the late Jane Morealli Maucere, who died last November.
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Mr. Maucere was born on May 23, 1910, a son of the late Bartholomew and Mary DiGiovanni Mauceri. He attended schools in Brooklyn and, as a teenager, was a champion Golden Gloves boxer, fighting at Sunnyside Garden in Brooklyn. He won 29 fights before his mother found out he was boxing. “She won the last fight,” said his son, Bartholomew Mauceri of Ridgefield.
During World War II, Mr. Maucere was in the U.S. Army during World War II, serving with General Patton’s Third Army in France, Italy and Germany.
After the war he went to work for the former Brooklyn Navy Yard. At the time of his retirement, he was a superintendent.
He and his wife bought land on Old Sib Road at Eight Lakes in 1952 and soon, Mr. Maucere began building a home there. Driving up from Brooklyn and working weekends for three or four years, he completed what was at first a weekend and vacation house, and what in 1964 became the family’s full-time home.
Mr. Maucere was an avid golfer, often playing five days a week at the Dlhy Ridge Golf Course. “He lived and breathed golf,” said his son. “That was his big thing.” Years ago, he also bowled with Ridgefield leagues at Ridge Bowl.
He was also a member of St. Elizabeth Seton Church, where he had once been a member of the choir.
Mr. Maucere is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Deacon Bartholomew J. and Joanne Mauceri of Ridgefield; a brother: Rosario Maucere of Ridgefield; three sisters: Joy Montelone and Rose Daugherty, both of Saugerties, N.Y., and Lucy Bruno of Texas; four grandchildren: Roseanne Thomas, Bartholomew Mauceri Jr., Joseph C. Mauceri and Diana Marie Mauceri; a great-granddaughter: Amelia Rose; and several nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Tuesday at St. Elizabeth Seton Church.
Burial was in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Contributions in Mr. Maucere’s memory may be made to the Visiting Nurse Association, 90 East Ridge, Ridgefield, CT 06877; or to the Fairfield County chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, 607 Main Ave., Norwalk, CT 06851-1758.
The Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Community leader for six decades - Daniel M. McKeon of Old Stageoach Road, a leading citizen and advocate of conservation and local history, died late Wednesday afternoon, July 11. He was 94 years old.
Affectionately known as the “Squire of Ridgebury,” Mr. McKeon was a Yale graduate who had operated the last working farm in Ridgefield, a spread that he and his late wife, Louise, acquired in 1937 and part of which was recently purchased by the town. He has been a leader in town government, in the Catholic Church, and in local and regional conservation and organic farming movements for more than 60 years.
Daniel Manning McKeon was born on Sept. 23, 1906, in New York City, a son of Robert J and Catherine Manning McKeon, a prominent Catholic family that was involved in the establishment of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. In 1924, he was among the first 50 graduates of The Canterbury School in New Milford, a then-new prep school and experiment in lay Catholic education.
Mr. McKeon graduated from Yale in 1928 and went to work in Manhattan in the investment field, holding a seat on the New York Stock Exchange for many years. He sold his seat in 1965 when he retired.
Mr. McKeon and Louise Hoguet were married in 1935 in St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Her family, leaders in the Catholic education, co-founded St. David’s School in Manhattan and Portsmouth Priory in Rhode Island.
Arigideen Farm - Two years after their marriage, the McKeons bought a 135-acre farm at the corner of Ridgebury and Old Stagecoach Roads, naming the spread Arigideen after a river in County Cork. The farm was steeped in history, parts of it having been granted by the colony to one of Connecticut’s early physicians in the late 1600s, long before the town was settled. French troops camped there in 1781 and the house, built in 1782 by Revolutionary War veteran Captain Henry Whitney, was once a stagecoach stop and later the home of the one-armed Civil War veteran and selectman, Samuel Coe.
Mr. McKeon was best known locally for his long service in planning and zoning, starting in 1958 when he was appointed a charter member of the Planning Commission. A year later, he was elected its chairman, and when the Planning and Zoning Commissions were combined in 1962, he was its first chairman.
On the occasion of his 10th anniversary as chairman, the commission presented him with a commendation for his “prodigious endeavors” on behalf of the town. It noted that for many years, the commission had no paid staff, and Mr. McKeon had “devoted many hours performing multitudinous duties necessary for the proper functioning of the commission.”
Fight of his life - Several months earlier, Mr. McKeon had been involved in what his supporters called “the fight of his life,” a Republican primary challenge from former town planner Lowell I. Williams, who had been linked to real estate development interests.
“His enemies, self-interested people, have sworn to beat him because he has never ceased to fight for you and for his town,” a pro-McKeon advertisement said in September 1969. His campaign focused on his efforts to upzone residential areas, his work to zone more than 1,000 acres for light industry, and his having “led the battle to have the town buy 1,000 acres of land for open space and recreation.”
Mr. McKeon handily defeated his challenger and went on to serve 25 more years with the commission, retiring in the early 1990s.
A lifelong Republican, Mr. McKeon often worked in support of GOP candidates, both locally and nationally. In 1952, after President Eisenhower was elected, he was considered a possible appointee as U.S. ambassador to Ireland.
Work for church - Like their parents, the McKeons were closely involved in the Catholic Church. Mr. McKeon helped establish the St. Thomas More Center at Yale and contributed toward the establishment of a chair of Catholic philosophy there. In 1975, the McKeons flew to Rome to attend the canonization of Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton as the first American saint. Later, they were instrumental in the establishment of St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Ridgebury, where Mr. McKeon served as a trustee and on the parish advisory council.
In 1983, Mr. McKeon was made a knight of the Order of St. Gregory the Great, a papal honor that was conferred on him at St. Augustine Cathedral in Bridgeport. The McKeons counted among their friends Father James Keller, founder of the Christophers, and Frederick Shrady, the noted Catholic artist who was the first American to have a sculpture placed in the Vatican gardens.
Interest in history - Throughout their lives, the McKeons had a deep interest in history, perhaps inspired by their old farmstead. Mr. McKeon was considered an expert on early Ridgebury and was especially interested in the role French soldiers played in the American Revolution. In 1781, French troops under Comte de Rochambeau and Duc de Lauzun camped on the McKeon farm and it’s believed that the first Catholic mass ever celebrated in town took place there. For many years Mr. McKeon was a part of an American regiment that portrayed the French troops, and he took part in the re-enactment of the Battle of Yorktown at its 200th anniversary in 1981. Two years later, he portrayed the Duc de Lauzun of the Lauzun Legion, marching with the Rochambeau Army in Chartres, France, during ceremonies honoring Rochambeau.
An excellent horseman, Mr. McKeon was a longtime master and member of the Goldens Bridge Hunt Club. In 1985, when he was 79, he was hospitalized after a fall during a hunt club event. After recuperating, he continued to ride until 1990.
Both he and his wife, who died in 1993, were involved in the preservation of the Keeler Tavern, and in the establishment of historic districts in the village.
Conservation efforts - Soon after his arrival in town, Mr. McKeon became active in conservation and by 1950, had been appointed to the Connecticut Conservation Commission. He also later served on the Fairfield County Soil and Water Conservation Board of Supervisors, helped establish a state association of conservation districts, and was a director of the national association.
Mr. McKeon kept a herd of as many as 45 Brown Swiss dairy cows on his farm. In 1947, the McKeons became interested in organic farming, and, leaders in the organic farming movement in this region, were founders of the Connecticut Chapter of Natural Foods Associates. Their farm was often visited by organizations and students from as far away as Europe who were interested in organic gardening.
In the spring of 1971, when a huge outbreak of gypsy moth caterpillars was expected, the selectmen hired a helicopter service to spray the town with insecticide. Mr. McKeon joined other conservationists in threatening to sue the sprayer, arguing that the indiscriminate spraying would kill countless useful insects and might harm people as well. The sprayer backed down, and the caterpillars eventually died of a natural disease.
Mr. McKeon’s survivors include three sons, Daniel of New Fairfield, John of Plano, Texas, and Denis their spelling of Foster City, Calif.; and four daughters, Louise Belt of Wildwood, Mo., Katherine Bailly of Mortefontaine, France, Mary Jessie Cosnard of Jugon les Lacs, France, and Sheila Schwartzburg of Berkeley, Calif.
Services were incomplete and will be handled by the Kane Funeral Home, 41 Catoonah Street.
Anne M. McNamara, 91, retired nurse
Anne Meehan McNamara, a retired nurse and longtime Ridgefielder, died on Thursday, Sept. 5, at Laurel Ridge Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. She was 91 years old and the widow of Joseph M. McNamara.
Mrs. McNamara was born in New Haven on May 23, 1911, a daughter of the late Thomas and Elizabeth Diffley Meehan. She attended New Haven schools and graduated from the Hospital of St. Raphael School of Nursing in New Haven.
Early in her career, Mrs. McNamara was a member of the nursing staff for the City of New Haven’s Department of Public Health. She later became a private duty nurse, practicing in Mount Vernon, N.Y., where she had lived for many years.
In 1952, the McNamaras acquired land in Ridgefield and built a house here. They summered in Ridgefield until 1970 when the town became their full-time home.
She was a member of St. Mary’s Church and had belonged to the Eight Lakes Association.
Mrs. McNamara is survived by two sons: Thomas McNamara and his wife Emma of Washington, D.C., and Joseph McNamara of Satellite Beach, Fla.; two daughters: Elizabeth Werner and her husband Robert of Laurel, Md., and Nancy McNamara of Ridgefield; a brother: Edward Meehan of Englewood, Fla.; five grandchildren: Steven Werner, Michael Werner, Kathleen Werner, David McNamara and Michelle McNamara; and three great-grandchildren: Hunter McNamara, Owen McNamara and Kelsey McNamara.
Five brothers and a sister died before her: John Meehan, Thomas Meehan, James Meehan, Joseph Meehan, Bernard Meehan, and Margaret Meehan.
Her husband, a superintendent with the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, died in 1983.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Monday in St. Mary’s Church. Burial was in St. Lawrence Cemetery, West Haven.
Memorial contributions in Mrs. McNamara’s memory may be made to Catholic Charities of Fairfield County, 30 Main Street, Danbury, CT 06810.
The Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Betty Pouliot Metz, Vermont native
Betty Beulah Pouliot Metz of Ridgefield, a native of Vermont, died Friday, Nov. 9, in Danbury Hospital. She was 88 years old and the widow of George E. Metz.
Mrs. Metz was born in East Raygate, Vt., the daughter of the late Odelon and Georgianna O’Burn Pouliot, and had been a Norwalk resident for more than 40 years.
Survivors include three sons: J. Raymond Metz of Ridgefield, Donald Metz of Danbury, and Henry Metz of Wells, Maine; one daughter, Lily White of Powhatan, Va.; one brother, John Pouliot of Edison, N.J.; one sister, Arlene O’Sullivan of Bethel; nine grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Tuesday in St. Matthew Church in Norwalk. Burial was in St. John Cemetery, Norwalk.
Contributions in her memory may be made to the American Cancer Society, 372 Danbury Road, Wilton, CT 06897.
Kenneth Meury, 44, Subaru manager
Kenneth E. Meury of Owings Mills, Md., a former Ridgefielder who was a manager for Subaru, died Thursday, Oct. 25, at his home. He was 44 years old and the son of George E. and Marion Suden Meury of Ridgefield.
Mr. Meury was born in Stamford on Aug. 13, 1957. He came to Ridgefield in 1966 when he was nine years old, and attended Ridgebury School, East Ridge Junior High, and graduated from Ridgefield High School in 1975. He was active in both the baseball and hockey programs in Ridgefield, and was a former member of the Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church.
After graduation, Mr. Meury worked for Ridgefield Auto Parts. He joined Subaru of America more than 20 years ago, and was most recently a district operations manager for the southeast region. He had worked for Subaru on assignments in Florida, Georgia, Texas, West Virginia, and New Jersey before taking the post in Maryland. No matter where he lived, his mother said, he remained an enthusiastic fan of the New York Mets.
Mr. Meury was in Ridgefield for his 25th class reunion last year. “He was delighted to see his old friends,” Mrs. Meury said.
Besides his parents, survivors include a sister, Kathryn Perkins and her husband, Jeffery, of Lawrence, N.J.; his grandmother, Margaret Suden of Bridgeport; an aunt, Eleanor Suden of Bridgeport; and a niece, Nicole Perkins.
Services will be conducted Friday at 10 a.m. at the Kane Funeral Home. Burial will follow in Ridgebury Cemetery.
Friends will be received at the funeral home on Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m.
Contributions in Mr. Meury’s memory may be made to the Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association, 9 East Ridge, Ridgefield, CT 06877.
Mary F. Montesi, Ridgefield native
Mary F. Montesi of Danbury, a Ridgefield native, died at Mediplex of Danbury on Wednesday, May 8. She was 91 years old and the wife of the late Risieri “Jerry” Montesi.
Mrs. Montesi was born in Ridgefield Dec. 13, 1910, a daughter of the late Alexander and Rose Castalano Frulla. She grew up in Ridgefield and lived here until she married and moved to Danbury in 1932.
Mrs. Montesi was a member of St. Peter Church, the Daughters of Isabella, and for many years had been an avid fan of the Danbury Industrial Softball League. Until her health failed, she attended the softball games on a regular basis.
Mrs. Montesi is survived by a daughter, Norma A. Smigowski of Danbury; two sons, John E. Montesi and his wife, Julia of San Jose, Calif., and Frank P. Montesi and his wife, Zia of North Carolina; a brother, Alex Frulla of Ridgefield; three sisters, Elda Ruopp of Brookfield, Augusta Brusca and Pauline Moylan both of Ridgefield; three grandchildren, Sharyn Panagides, Brenda Hogue and her husband Steven and Brian Montesi and his wife Rayleen; two great-grandchildren, Marisa Montesi and Nicholas Hogue, and many nieces and nephews.
Beside her parents and her husband, she was predeceased by a daughter, Pamela Montesi, a brother, Armando Frulla, and a sister, Quinta Montesi.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Peter Church, Danbury, on Monday morning. Burial will take place in St. Peter’s Cemetery.
Mary L. Morris, longtime Ridgefielder
Mary L. Morris of 25 Gilbert Street, a Ridgefielder for more than 40 years, died at her home on Wednesday evening, April 17. She was 85 years old and the widow of Edward Paul Morris.
Mrs. Morris was born in St. Johns, Newfoundland, on Dec. 8, 1916, a daughter of the late Charles and Gertrude Murphy Liddy.
She came to the United States as a child with her family, settling in New York City. She attended New York schools, George Washington High School and graduated from Cathedral High School. Mrs. Morris, upon graduation, became a secretary for the Prudential Insurance Company at its New York City office.
A resident of Ridgefield since 1961, Mrs. Morris was employed at the former Ridgefield Playhouse, active with the District Nursing Association, the Community Ambassadors, a member of the O.W.L.S. and St. Mary’s Church.
A daughter, Joan E. Voss and her husband Stephen of Redding, and a son, Kevin P. Morris and his wife Dana of Armonk, N.Y., and two grandchildren, Elizabeth A. Voss and Adrian Voss, survive her.
The Rev. Robert P. Morrissey, pastor, celebrated a Mass of Christian Burial Monday in St. Mary’s Church. Burial will take place in St. Mary’s Cemetery at the convenience of the family.
Contributions in Mrs. Morris’s memory may be made to the Visiting Nurse Association, 90 East Ridge, Ridgefield 06877.
Francis P. Moylan, 81, fire chief, marshal
Francis P. Moylan Sr. of 5 Stebbins Close, who spent more than a half century as a fireman and was the town’s first full-time fire marshal, died Tuesday, July 24, at Danbury Hospital. He was 81 years old and the husband of Pauline “Polly” Frulla Moylan.
“I enjoyed it all and I’m glad I was able to do what I’ve done all the years that I’ve done it,” Mr. Moylan told a gathering in his honor in 1990, his 50th anniversary as a Ridgefield volunteer fireman.
A Ridgefield native, Francis Patrick Moylan was born on Oct. 20, 1919, a son of the late Frank P. and Margaret Fahey Moylan. He attended Ridgefield schools and graduated from Ridgefield High School in 1937.
A carpenter by trade, Mr. Moylan in early years was associated with the former Borglum & Meek Carpentry Company.
As a young man he worked at the gas station across the street from the firehouse and became interested in the goings on there. In 1940, as soon as he turned 21, he joined the department. His only break in service occurred while he was in World War II, serving as a tail gunner with the 13th Air Force in the Pacific. He was still responding to fires when he was in his early 70s.
Mr. Moylan was elected chief of the Ridgefield Volunteer Fire Department from 1954 to 1956. In 1954, he also became the town’s fire marshal, which was then a volunteer, part-time job. After working his job as a carpenter, he would do fire safety inspections in his spare time.
“We spent Sundays going around checking oil burners,” Pauline Moylan said.
In 1982, he was named the town’s first full-time fire marshal, a job he held until 1986.
His years with the fire department were always an important part of family life. In the 1950s, for six weeks each summer, Mr. Moylan would relieve the three career firefighters, filling in the 4 to midnight shifts at the firehouse so each could take his two weeks vacation.
“He would go straight from his job to the firehouse,” Mrs. Moylan said. Every night, she and the children would go down to the firehouse with his supper. “That was the only time we got to see him those two weeks,” she said.
Mr. Moylan would go to bed with clothes spread out, ready to respond to a fire. He considered himself always on call — even once when he had just gotten out of the hospital from an appendix operation and Le Bretagne Inn on West Lane caught fire. In the process of fighting it, he lost his wedding ring. Another fireman later found it in the ruins.
In his more than 50 years of fighting fires, there were close calls. During the Flood of 1955, he was called to a fire at an old home on Peaceable Street where an abandoned underground tank, used to provide fuel to light the building before electricity, seeped gas. He and a couple of other firefighters were in the basement when the gas exploded. They managed to escape without injury.
At the Stonecrest mansion fire off North Street in 1949, a tub fell through the ceiling and came crashing down moments after he had left a room.
The Republican Caucus on Tuesday night observed a moment of silence in honor of Mr. Moylan, a lifelong Republican who often worked for the party and at the polls. He had been the person who maintained the town’s voting machines for many years. Mrs. Moylan was Republican registrar of voters for 32 years.
In 1996, Franny and Polly Moylan marked their 50th anniversary with 170 family members and friends at the Italian American Club, where their wedding reception had taken place on Oct. 5, 1946. They had lived on High Ridge, and then on Bryon Avenue for more than 25 years before moving to Casagmo five years ago.
“We’d been married over 50 years and I can’t ever remember him showing any anger,” Pauline Moylan said yesterday. “He was just the kindest person you could ever meet.”
Mr. Moylan belonged to the Ridgefield Old Timers’ Association, which had honored him for his involvement in community sports as a manager and coach. Mr. Moylan was also in years past active in the Ridgefield Scouting program.
He was a member of the American Legion, the V.F.W., and of St. Mary’s Church.
Last year, more than 100 people attended Mr. Moylan’s 80th birthday party at the Casagmo Barn. His son, Dennis Moylan, recalled his dad’s telling the gathering: “I’m 80 years old and I’ve been married over 50 years, have five kids, all these grandchildren, and a wonderful life — what else could a man possibly ask for?”
Besides his wife of 54 years, Mr. Moylan is survived by two sons: Francis P. Moylan Jr., of Drums, Pa., and Dennis J. Moylan of Nuremberg, Pa.; three daughters: Margaret Norris of Ansonia, Barbara Picard of Somers and Carol Prottas of Wilmington, Del.; a sister, Margaret M. Moylan of Raleigh, N.C.; a brother: Dr. Joseph Moylan of Raleigh; and by 14 grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
A sister, Mary Mulvaney, died before him.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday at 10:30 in St. Mary’s Church. Burial with full military honors will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Friends may call at the Kane Funeral Home, 41 Catoonah Street, on Thursday from 5 to 8.
The American Legion Service will be conducted in the funeral home on Thursday evening at 6:30.
Contributions in Mr. Moylan’s memory may be made to the Ridgefield Old Timers’ Athletic Association Scholarship Fund, c/o Andy Montanari, P.O. Box 13, Ridgefield, CT 06877-0013.