Elizabeth Floyd Smith, active volunteer
Elizabeth F. Smith of 18 North Street, a former teacher and a volunteer with the schools and many local organizations, died Sunday, March 3, at Danbury Hospital after a long illness. She was 77 years old.
Mrs. Smith was born on March 28, 1924, in Hackensack, N.J., a daughter of the late Emerson and Florence Carroll.
After attending Walnut Hill preparatory school, she went on to Wellesley College, where she graduated with honors in 1947.
She taught elementary school in Summit, N.J., where she met her late husband, Wave C. Smith. They were married in 1949. Mr. Smith died in 1980.
After living in Atlanta, Ga., and Hackensack, N.J., they moved to Ridgefield in 1964. During her years in Ridgefield, she volunteered in the Ridgefield public school libraries, at Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church, Meals on Wheels, the Ridgefield Library, and the Thrift Shop.
She helped open the Silk Purse consignment shop on Main Street in 1977 and worked there until 1990.
Mrs. Smith was an avid gardener, voracious reader and “a huge Mets fan — there was no one who knew more about the Mets than she did,” said her son David.
Mrs. Smith is survived by three children: Wave C. Smith and his wife Gloria of Danbury, David F. Smith and his wife Cindy of Redding, and Anne Mory and her husband Rob of Roswell, Ga.; a sister: Ruth C. Donovan of Southbury: and one grandchild: Robby Mory of Roswell.
The Rev. William Pfohl will conduct a memorial service today, Thursday, March 7, at 6 p.m. at Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church. There will be a reception immediately following the service at the church.
Contributions in Mrs. Smith’s memory may be made to the Ridgefield Library, 472 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877.
Elizabeth Smith, 90, town official, pianist
Elizabeth B. Smith of Lilburn, Ga., a former Ridgefielder and town official, died Sunday, Feb. 10, at Delmar Gardens Nursing Home in Lawrenceville, Ga. She was 90 years old.
Mrs. Smith was born in Janesville, Wisc. on April 1, 1911, the daughter of the late George and Dorothy Baumann. She was a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, where she majored in music.
“She had a lifelong interest in the piano and played extremely well,” said her daughter, Barbara S. Bachtel of Lilburn.
Mrs. Smith was the wife of the late Frederick A. Smith, who died in Ridgefield on July 28, 1995. The Smiths moved to Ridgefield in 1967 and she had lived on Stonecrest Road for more than 30 years.
Mrs. Smith was an active volunteer at the Ridgefield Thrift Shop, and enjoyed playing bridge and gardening. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, she was elected an alternate member of the Zoning Board of Appeals.
She moved to Georgia two years ago to be closer to her family there. “She hated to leave her home and all of her friends and neighbors in Ridgefield,” her daughter said. “While here, she always talked about wanting to go back to Ridgefield, which she considered home.”
Mrs. Smith is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Barbara and John Bachtel, and by a son and daughter-in-law, Peter and Eliza Smith of Haverhill, Mass. She also leaves five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Memorial donations may be made in Mrs. Smith's name to the Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association, 90 East Ridge, or to the charity of one’s choice.
Edward Smith, 70, Army & Marine veteran
Edward R. Smith of 294 Old Sib Road, a veteran of both the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, died on Tuesday morning, Jan. 1, at the Rosary Hill Home in Hawthorne, N.Y. He was 70 years old and the husband of Cecile Collett Smith.
Mr. Smith was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on March 12, 1931, the youngest of eight children of the late J. Sarsfield and Margaret Wallace Smith. He grew up in Rosedale, N.Y., and attended Woodrow Wilson High School and City College of New York.
Mr. Smith joined the U.S. Army and was honorably discharged in 1947 and later enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving from 1952 to 1954.
After being discharged from the military, Mr. Smith joined the Elevator Constructors Union and was a longtime employee of Westinghouse before his retirement.
He enjoyed fixing things, puttering around his garage and working on his boat.
“A loyal, honest and patriotic person, he was a very caring man, always putting the needs of others before himself,” his wife said.
“Ed maintained a wonderful sense of humor and enjoyed a good laugh,” Mrs. Smith said. “You could always count on him to lend a helping hand. He was a person with a high spirit of generosity.”
Besides his wife of 37 years, Mr. Smith is survived by a daughter: Margaret “Meg” Smith of Ridgefield: a son: Douglas Smith and his wife Justine of Bethel; a sister: Agnes Cunningham of Jamestown, N.Y.; and by several nieces and nephews.
Four sisters, Margaret Dean, Lillian Horak, Frances Dennigan and Patricia Fegan, and two brothers, Jack J. Smith and Charles W. Smith, died before him.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday at 1 p.m. in St. Mary’s Church. Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
There are no calling hours.
Contributions in Mr. Smith’s memory may be made to the Rosary Hill Home, 600 Linda Avenue, Hawthorne, NY 12457.
Mel Small, 77, photographer, teacher
Milford “Mel” Small, a longtime Ridgefielder who was a commercial photographer and a teacher, died on March 26 in Wallingford.
Born on Feb. 19, 1925, he was fifth and last child of Isaac and Yolanda Smulovitz. “Being that he was 15 years younger than his closest sibling, and that his mother was 35, the doctor thought Yolanda had a tumor,” said his son, Gregory Small of West Tisbury, Mass.
Mr. Small grew up loving bike riding, swimming, shop class, photography, science fiction, and Tarzan novels, his son said. Upon high school graduation in 1942, at the age of 17, he was drafted into the Navy Seabees and served in France, Scotland, the Philippines, and the New Hebrides in the South Pacific. During his service, he was the unofficial company photographer.
After the war, he married Barbara Brock and went to California to study photography at the Fred Archer School on the GI Bill. The couple then moved to New York City so Mr. Small could pursue a career in commercial photography in the advertising industry. During the 50s and 60s, the couple became involved in the Long Island Dolphins diving club.
They began raising a family and bought a home in Ridgefield in 1966. Mr. Small commuted to New York City until 1981, then moved his photography studio to his home. He taught photography at Silvermine in Norwalk.
In the mid-90s, Mr. Small was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He was able to remain living in his home here with assistance from family and friends until two months before his death.
“He was loved by his family,” Gregory Small said. “His family desired his memorial services to be held privately. If you wish to honor him: Don’t be prejudiced, be kind to the land, and wild creatures. Dance and go for a walk in the woods. And don’t step on the ferns.”
Besides his son Gregory and Gregory’s wife, Claire Anacreon, of West Tisbury, Mr. Small is survived by two daughters: Nancy Small and Robin Small, both of Connecticut; and one grandchild: Marissa Small of West Tisbury.
Gwendolyn Tulipani Sjovall, 71, Ridgefield native
Gwendolyn Tulipani Sjovall, RN, of Wallingford, a Ridgefield native, died Sunday, June 23, at her home after a seven-year battle with cancer. She was 71 years old and the wife of William C. Sjovall Sr.
Mrs. Sjovall was born in Ridgefield Sept. 1, 1930, a daughter of the late Julius and Lily Hines Tulipani. She had been a Wallingford resident for many years.
Ridgefield survivors are her sister, Phyllis Franceschini, and her brother, J. Robert Tulipani.
A memorial Mass of Christian Burial is scheduled for Monday, July 1, at 10 a.m. in Our Lady of Fatima Church, 382 Hope Hill Road, Yalesville, Wallingford.
Memorial contributions may be sent to the Franciscan Hospice Care, P.O. Box 40001, Meriden, CT 06450-2715. Arrangements are under the direction of the Yalesville Funeral.
William Simmons, 76, math teacher here
William John Simmons Jr., a former mathematics teacher at Ridgefield High School who had lived here nearly 34 years, died Tuesday, Feb. 19, at Laurel Ridge Health Care Center. He was 76 years old and husband of Glennis Corr Simmons of 9 Pondfield Road, New Fairfield, also a longtime Ridgefield teacher.
A native Lowell, Mass., Mr. Simmons was born on Aug. 29, 1925, a son of William Sr. and Berneca Pope Simmons. He grew up in Lowell and graduated from Northeastern University with a bachelor’s degree in electronic engineering.
For many years Mr. Simmons was a quality control engineer with Sylvania in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, and then joined Sperry Semiconductor in Norwalk. In 1965, the family moved to Circle Drive East, where they lived for more than 30 years.
Around 1969, Mr. Simmons decided to change careers and become a teacher. He obtained his master’s degree from the University of Bridgeport and joined the Ridgefield schools in 1970 as a math teacher at the East Ridge Junior High School. A year later, he joined the faculty at Ridgefield High School, where he taught mathematics for 20 years.
“He was a good math teacher,” said Paul Hazel, the school system’s personnel director. “And he cared about kids a lot.”
A Mason for more than 50 years, Mr. Simmons had been active in the Jerusalem Lodge of Masons #49 in Ridgefield, where he had been master, treasurer and a director. In 1987, he was appointed a district deputy of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Connecticut, supervising the operations of six Masonic lodges in Fairfield County.
“He was very proud of the fact that he had been a Mason for 50 years and had been awarded a 50-year pin,” Mrs. Simmons said.
His other interests included woodworking and stamp collecting. Mr. Simmons had also been a member of Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church here.
Besides his wife of 44 years, Mr. Simmons is survived a daughter and son-in-law, Wendy and James Filmer of New Fairfield; and three grandsons: twins Andrew and Stephen, and Daniel.
Services will be private and there are no calling hours.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the Shriner’s Hospital for Children, 516 Carew Street, Springfield MA 01104, or a charity of one’s choice.
The Jowdy-Kane Funeral Home in Danbury was in charge of arrangements.
Selina Silleck, 88, led Pratt department
Selina E. A. Silleck of Hobby Drive, a former department chairman at the Pratt Institute, died Friday, Sept. 7, at Danbury Hospital. She was 88 years old.
Ms. Silleck was born in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, N.Y., on April 9, 1913, a daughter of the late Millie Osborn and W. Fred Silleck Jr. She lived much of her life in Brooklyn and Queens before moving to Ridgefield in 1983.
A graduate of Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, she received her bachelor’s degree from Adelphi College and a master’s from New York University. Early in her career she worked at Alex Taylor’s in New York City, which sold sporting clothing.
Ms. Silleck had been head of the Department of Physical Education for Women at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn for many years. She had also been a mathematics instructor there. She was a former field hockey and lacrosse player and later often served as an umpire for those sports.
Ms. Silleck enjoyed wildlife and was a supporter of the North American Wildlife Association. In recent years, she had become interested in computers for entertainment.
“She was a lady — a very nice lady — and a lovely person,” said her longtime friend, Maureen Flanders. “She had fun and a good life!”
Her survivors include a niece, Diane Sweeney, and three great-nieces.
Services are private.
Contributions in her memory may be made to the Freeport Humane Society, 2 Rider Place, Freeport, NY 11520.
The Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Essie Sharon, nursery school teacher
Estrella “Essie” Sharon of Knollwood Drive, a popular nursery school teacher and outdoorswoman whose interests ranged from parachuting to scuba diving, died at her home Sunday, June 16, after a five-year battle with cancer. She was 58 years old.
“She endeared herself to many Ridgefield families with young children as a loving nursery school teacher,” said her husband, Denis Sharon, who added that a number of her former nursery school pupils have continued to stay in touch with her as college students.
Mrs. Sharon was born on the island of Kauai in Hawaii on Sept. 2, 1943, a daughter of Veronica Ulanday of Kekaha, Hawaii and the late Bernaldo Ulanday.
Before moving to Ridgefield in 1983, Mrs. Sharon had worked extensively in the travel industry while living in Hawaii, Michigan, Massachusetts, Texas, and Stony Brook, N.Y.
She had been a teacher at the Ridgefield Children’s Center, which later became New England Country Day School. She spent the last two of her six years there as assistant director.
She later worked for Pinchbeck Brothers’ Nursery on Peaceable Street where “her abundant talent and charm was appreciated by many faithful customers and flowers and plants alike,” Mr. Sharon said.
Mrs. Sharon loved the outdoors and new ways of enjoying it. As her husband put it, she “was well known by her many friends as a passionate lover of life’s adventures.” In recent years — until becoming ill in 1997 while accompanying her mother to her childhood home in the Philippines, Mrs. Sharon had participated in sport parachute jumping, backpacking through Europe, scuba diving on The Great Barrier Reef in Australia, as crew chief for her husband’s vintage motorcycle road racing endeavors, parasailing in Mexico, skiing in Austria, and hitchhiking in New Zealand.
“Even while fighting her disease, she continued to maintain a colorful flower garden and, until very recently, could clear off virtually any dance floor with her grace,” Mr. Sharon said.
Besides her husband of 26 years and her mother, Mrs. Sharon is survived by three sons: Alan Sharon of Danbury, Kevin “Kiwi” Sharon of Ridgefield, and Shane Ulanday of Hawaii; four sisters: Jeanie Warren of Texas, Lettitia Ulanday of Hawaii, Loraine Stout of Hawaii, and Christine McDaniel of California; two brothers: Bill and Mark Ulanday, both of Hawaii; and by five grandchildren.
Friends may call at the Kane Funeral Home on Saturday, June 22, from 2 to 5 p.m.
The Rev. John R. Gilchrist, rector, will lead a memorial service Saturday, July 13, at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. A second memorial service, to be held in Hawaii, is planned for a later date.
Contributions in her memory to establish a permanent scholarship fund for St. Theresa’s School in Kekaha, Hawaii, may be sent to her husband at 133 Knollwood Drive, Ridgefield 06877.