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Connecticut Obituary and Death Notice Archive

Connecticut Obituary and Death Notice Archive - Page 666

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Date: Thursday, 3 March 2016, at 6:53 p.m.

Anita Spadt, 73, community volunteer

Anita Yvonne Spadt of Trumbull, a Ridgefielder for more than 30 years who had volunteered for many community organizations, died on Sunday, Aug. 18, at her home. She was 73 years old and the widow of Carl R. Spadt, who died in 1986.
Mrs. Spadt was born in Port Washington, N.Y., on Sept. 14, 1928, a daughter of the late J. Edmond and Yvonne LaPierre Doble. She grew up in the New York City area and after her marriage, moved to Levittown, Long Island, where she began raising a family.
In 1966, the Spadts moved to Ridgefield, becoming one of the first families to live at Mimosa.
Here, Mrs. Spadt was active — often behind the scenes — in many community organizations, including youth sports programs, scouting, and social services. For more than 20 years, she had been especially involved in the Sunshine Society, which provided assistance for the elderly and handicapped, and in the Meals on Wheels program.
The Spadts were founding members of the Ridgefield Family Y and the Mimosa Homeowners Association, had helped with the establishment of Ridgefield’s Dlhy Ridge Golf Course, and in the 1970s had worked on the successful campaigns of former First Selectman Louis J. Fossi.
“She loved people and she loved associating with people,” the family said. “She was always there to be a support system for people.”
She was active in St. Mary’s Parish here, at St. Joseph’s in Danbury, where three of her children attended grammar school, and at the former Notre Dame Academy in Ridgefield. “Spirituality was a major part of her life,” the family said.
Mrs. Spadt also enjoyed antiquing and spending time with her family. “She had a great love for her family — especially the grandchildren,” the family said. “She was also a great friend for many people. She had a wonderful, big heart.”
Four years ago, Mrs. Spadt, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, moved to St. Joseph’s Manor in Trumbull.
She is survived by her son, Carl D. Spadt of Darien; three daughters, Suzanne Y. Clark of Richmond, Va., Heidi M. Robert of Woodbury, and Zoë Anne Gardner of Southbury; a brother-in-law, Dominick DiFrisco of White Plains, N.Y.; three grandchildren, Andrew Clark, Matthew Clark and Adam Rogers; as well as several nieces and nephews.
The Rev. Paul Murphy, parochial vicar, celebrated a Mass of Christian Burial on Wednesday morning in St. Mary’s Church. Burial was in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Contributions in Mrs. Spadt’s memory may be made to St. Joseph’s Manor, 6448 Main Street, Trumbull, CT 06611.
The Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Cora Spratt, 74, reader for the blind

Cora H. A. Spratt of 793 Ridgebury Road, who had recorded scores of books for the blind, died on Monday, July 8, at the Danbury Hospital. She was 74 years old and the wife of Harold A. Spratt.
For more than 20 years Mrs. Spratt has been taping books for the blind and at the time of her death was the manager of the Connecticut Volunteer Services for the Blind and Handicapped studio at the Ridgefield Library.
Mrs. Spratt was born in Darlington, Durham, England, on Oct. 22, 1927, a daughter of the late James W. and Helena M. Marr Brown. She grew up in Darlington and in 1946 met her husband there in a night school — both were catching up on educations interrupted by World War II. They were married in 1952 and had just marked their 50th wedding anniversary on June 14.
The Spratts came to the United States in 1968, first settling in Darien. In 1978, they moved to Ridgefield, buying the town’s oldest home, the Hauley House on Main Street. They lived there seven years before moving to Stonecrest Road in 1985 and finally to a house built for them by their son Martin on Ridgebury Road.
It was while moving to the United States that their other son went blind. With the help of readers, including his mother, Adrian Spratt went on to graduate from Amherst College and Harvard Law School, served as an assistant attorney general in New York and is now a writer.
Inspired by the assistance spoken words provided for her son, Mrs. Spratt began recording books, magazines and pamphlets for the blind in a basement studio at the Ridgefield Library in the early 1980s. She eventually became manager of the program, overseeing two dozen readers and support volunteers from throughout southwestern Connecticut. The program, headquartered in Litchfield, distributes the recordings to blind and visually handicapped persons and others in need of such assistance in Connectictut as well as to member libraries throughout North America and even Europe.
“She was very proud to be a manager for Connecticut Volunteer Services for the Blind and Handicapped,” said Harold Spratt, her husband. “She was keenly aware of the benefits that program gave to the blind and visually impaired.”
Mrs. Spratt was a supporter and major benefactor of a number of area organizations, including Danbury Hospital, the United Way, the Women’s Center of Danbury, and the Music and Arts Center for the Handicapped in Bridgeport. She was “always reticent to be in the limelight,” her husband said, but “she was a quiet but firm mover behind the scenes.”
She was also a member of the Ridgefield Community Center and had recently been named to its board of incorporators. An avid bridge player, she played weekly at the center. She also enjoyed and supported the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra.
Mrs. Spratt was an accomplished cook and her traditional English Christmas pudding was featured in a 1985 Food and Drink column in this newspaper. “She was a great cook,” Mr. Spratt said. “It was plain, simple English food, but it was wonderful.”
Mr. Spratt said that his wife was “extremely proud of her two children.”
“I was so very fortunate to be her husband,” he added.
Besides her husband, Mrs. Spratt is survived by her two sons, Adrian Spratt of Brooklyn Heights, N.Y., and Martin Spratt of Wilton, and a grandson, Justin.
The Rev. Paul Beavers, director of pastoral services at Danbury Hospital, will lead a memorial service Thursday, July 18, at 2 p.m. at the Ridgefield Community Center.
There will be no calling hours.
Burial will take place in England.
Contributions in Mrs. Spratt’s memory may be made to the Danbury Hospital Development Fund, 24 Hospital Avenue, Danbury, CT. 06810
The Kane Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Frances Strouse, 92, founded Frances Cleaners

Frances J. Strouse of 145 High Ridge, a savvy businesswoman who established the first dry cleaners in Connecticut, died on Sunday, July 21, at Danbury Hospital. She was 92 and wife of the late Arthur J. Strouse.
More than 60 years ago Mrs. Strouse founded Frances Cleaners , a business still operated by her family in her High Ridge home.
Mrs. Strouse was born in Ridgefield on New Year’s Day, 1910, a daughter of the late Cesaro and Theresa Buzzi Zandri, and attended Ridgefield schools.
When she was 11 years old, Mrs. Strouse began working with her parents to clean the linens and laundry for the area National Guard unit. By the time she was 20 years old, she had a reputation as a meticulous cleaner that brought her business from wealthy families in Ridgefield, Redding and New Canaan.
“It was quite a big business,” said her niece, Maura Lanzarone of Greenwich, in a 1999 interview. “She hired girls and would board them.”
Until the 1930s, her operation used laundry vats so large that the process of heating the water for a day’s work began the night before. Things changed one day when a French woman stopped by and told Mrs. Strouse about a new process called dry cleaning that was in use in France.
“Being the businesswoman that she was, she started the first dry cleaners in Connecticut,” Ms. Lanzarone said two years ago. “She was on the cutting edge. She’s pretty amazing — she started everything on her own.”
In 1943, Mrs. Strouse and her husband Arthur bought the Victorian house on High Ridge where she moved the business and where she lived the rest of her life. Her husband died in 1983.
In a 1999 interview just before her 90th birthday, Mrs. Strouse said that while the town had changed a great deal from her youth, “I like it better now. People have more things to do.”
In recent years Mrs. Strouse has been cared for by her grandson Richard Maltas and his wife, Marianne; Richard now operates Frances Cleaners. “I would like to acknowledge with gratitude the care and concern given to Frances by Richard and Marianne,” said Marilyn Maltas of Redding, Mrs. Strouse’s daughter. “They permitted Frances to remain at home while tending to her needs. For this, I will be forever grateful.”
Mrs. Strouse was a member of the Neighborhood Cleaners Association and St. Mary’s Church.
She is survived by a daughter, Marilyn Maltas and her husband Brian of Redding; two brothers, Joseph Zandri and his wife Maureen of Southbury and Edward Zandri and his wife Dorothy of Ridgefield; two sisters: Ethel Garbin and Elsie Carboni, both of Ridgefield; two grandsons: Richard A. Maltas and his wife Marianne of Ridgefield and Scott T. Maltas of Redding; two great-grandchildren, Brittany and Devin, as well as many nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Wednesday at St. Mary’s Church.
Burial followed in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Contributions in Mrs. Strouse’s memory may be made to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, 386 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016.
The Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Alma Thomas, 93, former switchboard operator

Alma G. Thomas of Danbury, a former Ridgefielder, died on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Danbury Hospital. She was 93 years old and the widow of Edward A. Thomas.
Mrs. Thomas was born in Milford, Mass., on June 24, 1908, a daughter of the late Elmer and Anna McMahon Warren. She attended schools in Milford.
Mrs. Thomas was a retired telephone switchboard operator and had lived in Ozone Park, N.Y., before moving to 18 Sunset Lane in Ridgefield in 1996. She moved to the Pope John Paul Center in Danbury in 1999.
She was a member of St. Elizabeth Seton Church.
Mrs. Thomas is survived by a son: Edward A. Thomas and his wife Jane of Ridgefield; and three grandchildren, Matthew, Amanda and Michael Thomas, all of Ridgefield.
A daughter, Donna Thomas, died before her.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Wednesday in St. Elizabeth Seton Church. Burial took place in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington, N.J.
The Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Rachel Trombacco, 92, former Ridgefielder

Rachel Trombacco, a resident of Ridgefield from 1973 to 1993 and wife of the late James J. Trombacco, died on April 9 in Austin, Texas. She was 92.
Born on May 20, 1910 in Yonkers, N.Y., she grew up with five brothers and three sisters, graduated from Yonkers public schools, and married her childhood sweetheart, James J. Trombacco, also of Yonkers. They were married more than 64 years. He died in 1997.
Mrs. Trombacco was active in her church communities and was a member of the choir of Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish and an executive member of the Women’s Guilds at Our Lady of the Rosary and Christ the King parishes in Yonkers until she and her husband retired to 2 Circle Drive East, where they lived across the street from their children and grandchildren.
During her 20 years in Ridgefield, she was involved in several ministries at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church. She was a longtime member of the steering committee of Queen’s Daughters in Yonkers and a member of the Ridgefield OWLS, working on blood drives and at voting polls. In 1993, she and her husband moved to Austin, Texas, where her daughter, Marie, and her husband, Stan, had moved.
Survivors include her twin daughters, Marie Gianzero, formerly of Ridgefield, and Nancy McKay of Port St. Lucie, Fla.; sons-in-law, Stan Gianzero and Charles McKay; grandchildren, Gina Gianzero, wife of Kevin Kelly; Nancy Gianzero, Dr. Marc Gianzero, Charles McKay and William McKay; and great-grandchildren Nicholas, Alexandra, and Benjamin. She is also survived by a brother, Angelo Troccoli of Port St. Lucie, Fla., several sisters-in-law, godchildren and nieces and nephews.
A funeral mass was celebrated at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Austin on Friday, April 12. Burial was at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, N.Y.

Lillian Tutules, taught in schoolhouse

Lillian E. Baker Tutules, who once taught in a one-room Wyoming schoolhouse, died Friday evening, Nov. 9, at Laurel Ridge Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. A Ridgefield resident since June 2000, she was 94 years old and the wife of the late Peter J. Tutules.
Mrs. Tutules was born on Jan. 31, 1907 in Billings, Mont., daughter of the late C.E. and Lillian Petzel Baker. When she was still a girl, she moved with her family to Wyoming where her father managed an electric power plant. The family lived at the plant, enjoying the benefits of electric lights, and when she later moved to Stamford as a young woman, she was surprised to see gas street lights for the first time.
As a young woman in Wyoming, Mrs. Tutules taught in a one-room schoolhouse. After moving to Stamford, she worked Yale & Towne, the lock manufacturers, and later became a homemaker.
Mrs. Tutules is survived by a daughter, Patrice T. Smith of Ridgefield; two grandsons, Michael Smith of Ridgefield and Kenneth Smith of Stamford; and a great-granddaughter, Caroline of Ridgefield.
Services were private.
The Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Anne Urban, federal court secretary

Anne Urban of 12 Casa Torch Lane, a retired secretary in the federal court system, died on Saturday morning, Jan. 12, at Danbury Hospital.
Miss Urban was born in New York City, a daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Urban. She attended New York schools and graduated from Fordham University. She worked within the U.S. Federal Court system and retired as the secretary to the chief justice of the Southern District of New York.
Miss Urban had lived in Ridgefield for 47 years. She was a member of St. Mary’s Church.
She is survived by a brother, Joseph S. Urban, and two sisters, Ella Walmsley and Mathilde Urban, all of Ridgefield.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Wednesday in St. Mary’s Church. Burial followed in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Contributions in Miss Urban’s memory may be made to the Visiting Nurse Association, 90 East Ridge, Ridgefield, CT 06877.
The Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Emily C. Verna, longtime Ridgefielder

Emily C. Verna of 61 Lake Place North, Danbury, a former longtime Ridgefielder who was accomplished at needlework, died on Tuesday morning, Oct. 2, at Danbury Hospital. She was 76 years old and the wife for 55 years of Faust J. Verna.
Mrs. Verna was born in Lewisboro, N.Y., on Oct. 11, 1924, a daughter of the late Fred and Clotilde Stefanelli Canestrari. When she was a child, her family moved to Ridgefield, and she attended local schools, graduating from Ridgefield High School in the Class of 1942.
It was at Ridgefield High that she met her future husband. They began dating in their junior year and were married Sept. 9, 1946, in St. Mary’s Church. The Vernas lived on Catoonah Street until 1955 when they built their home on Wilton Road West. They lived there 36 years before moving to Danbury in 1993.
In the 1940s, Mrs. Verna worked for the Ridgefield Savings Bank. In the 1960s she been a secretary with the A. Serfilippi & Sons General Contractors.
She was a member of St. Joseph’s Church and was a former member of St. Mary’s Church here.
Mrs. Verna enjoyed cooking, baking and especially needlework. “She did a lot of it — we have her needlework all over the house,” Mr. Verna said. She especially liked creating afghans as well as needlepoint and cross-stitch wall hangings.
Besides her husband, Mrs. Verna is survived by a son: Steve Verna of Falls Church, Va.; two daughters: Diane V. Dugan and her husband Michael of Slingerlands, N.Y., and Marie T. Dillon and her husband Patrick of Brookfield; three grandchildren: Mathew Michael Dugan, M.D., James Patrick Dillon and Kimberly Veronica Dillon; as well as by several nieces and nephews.
A sister, Gena Canestrari, and a brother, Gisto “Levio” Canestrari, died before her.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday morning at 10 in St. Joseph’s Church, Danbury.
Burial will take place in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Ridgefield, at the convenience of the family.
Friends will be received in the Jowdy-Kane Funeral Home 9-11 Granville Avenue Danbury on Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m.
Contributions in Mrs. Verna’s memory may be made to the American Diabetes Association, 300 Research Parkway, Meriden, CT 06450.

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