Elizabeth Mulvaney, 85, longtime teacher
Elizabeth "Betty" Mulvaney of Wooster Street, died on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2001, at Danbury Hospital. She was 85.
Miss Mulvaney was born in Ridgefield May 9, 1916, a daughter of the late George and Mary (Fischer) Mulvaney. She attended Ridgefield schools, graduated from Ridgefield High School and earned her teaching degree from New Britain Teacher's College and her master's degree from New York University.
As an educator, she taught at the Hawley School, Newtown, for 10 years and was then a fifth grade teacher in the Ridgefield school system for 27 years before her retirement. She enjoyed gardening, crossword puzzles, and reading.
Miss Mulvaney was a member of the National and Connecticut State Teacher's associations and of St. Mary's Church, Ridgefield.
Survivors include a brother, Joseph Mulvaney and his wife Doris of Ridgefield, a sister-in-law, Helen Mulvaney of Ridgefield, and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. Three brothers, Robert, George and James, and two sisters, Mary Griffiths and Martha Minella, predeceased her.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Saturday, Dec. 15, at 10 a.m. in St. Mary's Church, with the Rev. Robert P. Morrissey officiating. Burial will follow in St. Mary's Cemetery.
Friends will be received in the Kane Funeral Home, 41 Catoonah Street, on Saturday from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.
Dolores Murray, homemaker, bagpiper
Dolores A. Murray of Barlow Mountain Road, a homemaker and sportswoman who once played the bagpipes in a New York City band, died on Wednesday, March 27, at Danbury Hospital. She was 74 years old and the widow of Bartholomew R. Murray
Mrs. Murray was born in White Plains, N.Y., on Oct. 11, 1927, a daughter of the late Jermaine and Adele Simonson Petrie. She attended schools in White Plains and graduated from Bellows High School in Mamaroneck, N.Y., in the Class of 1945.
During her school years, Mrs. Murray was an accomplished piper playing in her father’s Glengarry Pipe Band in the Bronx. In later years she occasionally brought out her bagpipes to play for family gatherings. She was also an avid sportswoman and had been drum majorette in school.
Mrs. Murray went to work for McGraw-Hill Publishing, leading a research and development group in a magazine division. She left the company in 1955 when she married Bartholomew R. Murray. He died in 1991.
The Murrays moved to Ridgefield in 1976 from Palos Verdes, Calif. She was an expert duplicate bridge player and belonged to local bridge groups, including at the Community Center. She also enjoyed golf and was a member of the Ridgefield Ladies Golf Association
She had been volunteer at the Dorothy Day Soup Kitchen in Danbury, and a member of St. Mary’s Church.
Mrs. Murray was “a devoted mother, grandmother and friend who was able to find time to enjoy golf, duplicate bridge and Sunday afternoon movies,” her family said. “She loved entertaining, travel and animals. Mrs. Murray never tired of watching wildlife and swans on her lake in all seasons.”
She is survived by a son, Gerard R. Murray and his wife Ann of Bethel; a daughter, Jacqueline A. Hogan and her husband William of Danbury; two brothers, Edward R. Petrie of East Hampton, N.Y., and Malcolm Petrie of Florida; a sister, Jeanne Devos of New York; a grandson, William G. Hogan V of Danbury and a granddaughter, April Olean of Bethel.
A sister, Kathleen Bellsey, died before her.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Tuesday in St. Mary’s Church, Ridgefield. Burial was in St. Mary’s Cemetery beside her husband.
Contributions in Mrs. Murray’s memory may be made to a wildlife foundation or to one’s favorite charity.
The Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Captain Erik Nilson, 30, Marine pilot
Capt. Erik T. Nilson of Wilmington, N.C., a Marine helicopter pilot who grew up in Ridgefield, died Friday, May 31 at his home. He was 30 years old.
A native of Stamford, Capt. Nilson was born on April 11, 1972, and came to Ridgefield when he was two years old. He attended Scotland, Farmingville, and East Ridge Middle Schools, and graduated from Ridgefield High School in 1990.
An athlete all his life, he played Little League and soccer, and swam with the Great Pond Swim Team, placing third in the state in the breast stroke when he was only 8. He was head acolyte at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, president of the parish youth group, and sang in the church’s children’s choir. “He did that until soccer practice and choir practice ended up on the same day, and choir went down the tubes,” said his mother, Deborah S. Nilson of Ridgefield.
At Ridgefield High School, he lettered in both soccer and lacrosse, and was a member of the National Honor Society. He was also a driver for the Meals on Wheels program in town.
U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman appointed Capt. Nilson to the U.S. Naval Academy. Upon graduation in 1994, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps and underwent basic officer training at Quantico, Va.
He trained as a helicopter pilot at the Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida, and was designated a naval aviator and awarded his Navy Wings of Gold in December 1996, flying CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters. While at Pensacola, he met his wife, Christine Mary Petricola, and the two were married Oct. 26, 1996.
In January 1997 he joined the “Fighting Griffins” Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron at New River Air Base, and was promoted to captain in August 1998. He served as an embark officer, pilot training officer and flight officer.
Capt. Nilson had completed two Landing Force Sixth Fleet deployments with the 24 Marine Expeditionary Unit in 1999 and 2001, serving in such areas as the Persian Gulf, Kosovo, and Macedonia.
His decorations included the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
At services June 4 at the New River Air Station Chapel, eulogies were delivered by several Marines, ranging from a full colonel to a sergeant, his mother noted. “He was respected and loved by the people above and under him as well as by his peers,” Mrs. Nilson said.
Besides his mother and his wife, survivors include a son, Luke Anthony Nilson, who is 2; a brother: Matthew Nilson of Ridgefield; a grandmother: Barbara G. Smith of Naples, Fla.; two aunts: Nora Barton Tobin of Ridgefield and Christina Moore of Upper Lake, Calif.; and an uncle: Steven Goodhue of Australia.
The Rev. John R. Gilchrist, rector, will conduct a memorial service on Saturday, June 29, at 11 a.m., in St. Stephen’s Church. A luncheon reception will take place afterward at St. Stephen’s North Hall.
Burial was at the military cemetery at the Pensacola Naval Air Station.
Contributions in Capt. Nilson’s memory may be made to a trust fund for his son, Luke, in care of Howard S. Tuthill III Esq., trustee, Cummings and Lockwood, P.O. Box 120, Stamford, CT 06904. Checks should be made out to Cummings and Lockwood.
Otto Pambianchi, 85, decorated veteran
Otto Pambianchi, a lifelong Ridgefielder who was a decorated veteran of World War II, died on Friday evening, Oct. 12, at his home. He was 85 years old.
Mr. Pambianchi was born in the Branchville section of Ridgefield on March 15, 1916, a son of the late Ferdinand and Matilda Franceschini Pambianchi. He attended Ridgefield schools.
During World War II, Mr. Pambianchi served in Africa and Europe as a technician fifth grade with the U.S. Army Coast Artillery Corps of Battery B, 879th Field Artillery Battalion. He received commendation for outstanding performance, the Good Conduct Medal and the European African Middle Eastern Theater Campaign Ribbon. He saw service in Tunisia, Naples, Foggia, Rome, Arno, southern France, Rhineland and Central Europe.
He and his wife, the former Frances Ancona, were married on Sept. 27, 1947, at Sacred Heart Church in Georgetown.
Mr. Pambianchi was a former mechanic and later quality control supervisor for Pamby Motors Inc. For more than 25 years, he was also a school bus driver for Pamby Motors when the company had contracts with the town and St. Mary’s for school bus services. More recently, he had operated Pamby’s towing equipment, responding to calls around the clock.
“His work was very important to him,” said his daughter, Rose Marie Pambianchi of Ridgefield. “He liked to be around people and he liked to help others.”
Mr. Pambianchi was also a family man. “He was a very wonderful father,” his daughter said. “He was very dedicated to his family. You couldn’t ask for a more wonderful guy.”
He was a member of the Italian American Mutual Aid Society, the American Legion, the OWLS, and St. Mary’s Church, all of Ridgefield.
Besides his wife and his Ridgefield daughter, Mr. Pambianchi is survived by another daughter, Judy Skelly and her husband Joseph of New Fairfield; three grandsons: Joseph Skelly, Ryan Skelly and Michael Skelly; and by several nieces and nephews.
Four brothers and two sisters died before him: Matty, Harry, Leo, and Turk Pambianchi, and Sadie Pancotti and Ida Cingolani.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Tuesday in St. Mary’s Church. Burial was in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Contributions in Mr. Pambianchi’s memory may be made to Regional Hospice of Western Connecticut, 405 Main Street, Danbury, CT 06810
The Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Mary B. Pannozzo, cafeteria manager
Mary Bruschi Pannozzo of Ridgefield, a retired school cafeteria manager and a lifelong Ridgefielder, died on Sunday, Aug. 11, at Danbury Hospital. She was 84 years old and the widow of the late Gerald J. Pannozzo, who died in 1984.
Mrs. Pannozzo was born in North Salem, N.Y., on March 30, 1918, a daughter of the late Vincenzo and Pasqualina Bedini Bruschi. She grew up in Ridgefield and attended schools here.
A lifelong Ridgefielder, Mrs. Pannozzo was a retired employee of the Ridgefield public school system where she was the cafeteria manager of the East Ridge Middle School.
She was a member of the Italian American Ladies Mutual Aid Society and of St. Mary’s Church.
“She enjoyed cooking and the love of people,” her family said. “Mary took her greatest joy in traveling with her children and grandson, from Spain and Italy to Lake Tahoe, Florida, the Bahamas and the Caribbean.”
Mrs. Pannozzo is survived by a daughter, Geraldine P. Ryba of Ridgefield; a son, Vincent and his wife Lucretia Pannozzo of Ridgefield; a grandson, Vincent John Pannozzo of Ridgefield; a sister, Josephine B. Petrini of Ridgefield; and many nieces and nephews.
A sister, Polly B. Forcelli, and a brother, Reno Bruschi, died before Mrs. Pannozzo.
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 the Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association, 90 East Ridge, Ridgefield 06877.
The Kane Funeral Home of 41 Catoonah Street was in charge of arrangements.
Irene Pastorello, 81, native of ‘Little Italy’
Irene R. Pastorello of 18 Sunset Lane, Ridgefield, a homemaker and native of New York City, died at her home on Friday, July 13. She was 81 years old and the widow of Thomas Pastorello.
Mrs. Pastorello was born in Little Italy section of New York on Nov. 11, 1919, a daughter of Calabrian immigrant parents, Dominic and Laura Restivo Fiorella. She attended New York schools and was a homemaker.
Mrs. Pastorello had lived in the Bronx and later in New Rochelle before moving to Ridgefield six years ago.
She attended Our Lady of Fatima Church in Wilton.
Mrs. Pastorello is survived by three sons: Joseph Pastorello of the Bronx, Thomas Pastorello of Camillus, N.Y., and Dominic Pastorello of Wilton; a brother: Joseph Fiorella of Mays Landing, N.J.; three sisters: Lucy DeMarco of the Bronx, Frances Colangelo of Tampa, Fla., and Mary Arrotti of Katonah, N.Y.; eight grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and several nieces an nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Tuesday in Our Lady of Fatima Church in Wilton. Burial was in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Hawthorne, N.Y.
The Kane Funeral Home in Ridgefield was in charge of arrangements.
Louise Pease, cafeteria manager
Louise Pease of Ridgefield, a longtime New Canaan resident who had managed a school cafeteria, died early Thursday morning, Aug. 15, after a brief illness. She was 92 years old and the widow of John W. Pease who died in 1988.
Mrs. Pease grew up and lived most of her life in New Canaan, where she served as the cafeteria manager of East Elementary School. Reporting on her retirement in 1979 the New Canaan Advertiser quoted school officials as saying, “Mrs. Pease not only prepared delicious meals for the children but was also their special friend.”
In 1990 she moved to Barrack Hill in Ridgefield where she lived with her son and family until her death.
Family members remarked, “Though she suffered more than her share of personal tragedy, she maintained a positive and cheerful outlook on life. Her smile and laughter raised the spirits of all those who knew her. She loved to bake, especially homemade bread and desserts. Gramma’s kitchen was a warm and happy refuge filled with the wonderful smell of fresh bread baking in the oven.”
Most of her life was spent caring for others: first her children, then her mother (who survived until the age of 102) and husband.
She was a member of the Lewisboro, N.Y., Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses and was active up until the last few weeks of her life sharing Bible instruction with others.
Mrs. Pease is survived by her daughter, Nancy Thompson of Wilton; her daughter, Judy and her husband Randy James of Eagle Bridge, N.Y.; her son, Jonathan and his wife April Pease of Ridgefield; and grandchildren Lee Thompson, Allison Pease and Justin Pease.
A memorial service will be held Friday, Sept. 6, at 7:30 p.m. at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 233 Smith Ridge Road, South Salem, NY 10590.
Contributions in her memory may be made to the Watchtower Disaster Relief Fund, 25 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY 11201-2483.
Yolanda Phelan, 45-year Ridgefielder
Yolanda P. Phelan of Charlestown, R.I., a former longtime Ridgefielder, died Sunday, Aug. 19, of leukemia at her home. She was 79 years old and the wife for 59 years of C. Ray Phelan.
Mrs. Phelan was born in Brewster, N.Y., on June 1, 1922, a daughter of Peter and Palma Sottile Salvia. She had lived in Ridgefield for 45 years before retiring in Charlestown.
While here Mrs. Phelan was active in Meals-on-Wheels. She was an avid golfer and enjoyed swimming.
Mrs. Phelan’s survivors include a daughter, Faith P. LaBossiere of Charlestown; four sons: Ray Phelan of Green Hill, R.I., Robert Phelan of Coventry, R.I., Richard Phelan of Charlestown, and Thomas Phelan of Wakefield, R.I.; a sister, Rosaria Merante of Westerly, R.I.; two brothers: Anthony Salvia of Loveland, Colo., and Samuel Salvia of Brewster; 13 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Services will take place today, Thursday, Aug. 23, at 10 a.m. at St. Andrew Church, 15 East Beach Road, Charlestown. Burial will be private at the Veterans Cemetery in Exeter, R.I.
Donations in her memory may be made to the Coventry Scholarship Foundation Trust, William E. and Louise H. Phelan Fund, 78 Ripley Hill Road, Coventry, CT 06238.
The Forbes Funeral Home, 28 Columbia Street, South Kingston, R.I., was in charge of arrangements.