Mary Bellagamba, 96, native of Italy
Mary A. Bellagamba, 96, of 641 Danbury Road, formerly of 612 Main Street, a native of Italy who had lived here more than 90 years, died on Wednesday morning, May 1, at Laurel Ridge Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.
Mrs. Bellagamba was the widow of Nazzareno “Nano” Bellagamba.
Mrs. Bellagamba was born in Mondolfo, Province of Passaro, Italy, on Dec. 7, 1905, a daughter of the late Allesandro and Anna Monte Mencucci. She immigrated to this country with her parents at the age of 13 months settling in Ridgefield.
Mrs. Bellagamba was a retired laundress.
She was a member of the Italian American Ladies Mutual Aid Society and of St. Mary’s Church.
Her survivors include three grandchildren, Anthony Bellagamba of Randolph, N.J., Andrew Bellagamba of Newtown, and Judith Keenan of Simi Valley, Calif.; two sisters, Louise Rossini of Ridgefield and Tina Garfield of Norwalk; three great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
A son, Arthur V. Bellagamba, died before her.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday morning at 10 in St. Mary’s Church.
Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Friends will be received in the Kane Funeral Home, 41 Catoonah Street, on Thursday evening from 6 to 8.
Contributions in Mrs. Bellagamba’s memory may be made to Regional Hospice of Western Connecticut, 405 Main Street, Danbury, CT 06810.
Mary Jane Beltran, 63, nursing professor
Mary Jane Beltran, a nursing professor who loved to sew, knit, cook and read, died Nov. 27 at the Crescent Manor Care Center in Bennington, Vt., after a long illness. She was 63, the wife of Ernesto G. Beltran, and lived in Ridgefield and on Lake St. Catherine in Poultney, Vt.
Mrs. Beltran was born on Sept. 10, 1938 in West Lebanon, N.H., the daughter of the late Wells and Priscilla Blanchard Hadley. When she was six, her family moved to Poultney, Vt. She cherished childhood memories of summers spent at nearby Lake St. Catherine, and passed on this love to her husband and sons when they acquired a vacation home there in 1965.
“We moved around quite a bit during my career,” Mr. Beltran said. “But that place in Vermont ... has always been a constant for the boys and us. We’d spend our summers there. She’d even pack up the station wagon, and wait for the boys the last day of school — pick them up and go.”
After her illness the family replaced the old summer home with a year-round handicapped accessible house, built by a neighbor’s son she used to baby-sit for. She enjoyed sitting on her deck in her wheelchair, looking out at the lake. “One of our neighbors said she used to hold court from the deck,” Mr. Beltran said, “because the neighbors would come around and the kids would play, and she’d talk to neighbors.”
A 1956 graduate of Poultney High School, she received her bachelor of science degree from the University of Vermont School of Nursing in 1960. She was married July 9, 1960, in Poultney.
After working as a hospital staff nurse she continued on to graduate school, obtaining two master’s degrees, in nursing and in nursing education, from Teachers’ College, Columbia University. Mrs. Beltran taught medical and surgical nursing at Rutgers University in New Jersey and the University of Connecticut at Storrs.
The Beltrans moved to Ridgefield in 1975 and she taught for several years at Western Connecticut State University and served on several university and departmental committees, notably as a leader in curriculum development for the baccalaureate nursing degree accreditation program. Mrs. Beltran co-authored a book, Clinical Nursing Interventions with Critical Elements, published by Wiley.
“She loved classroom and clinical contact with her students,” Mr. Beltran said. “I think when she stopped teaching, one thing that she missed most was the interaction and intellectual challenges she enjoyed with her students.”
Mrs. Beltran was active in the Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church. She was one of the original instructors in the Bethel Bible Series, and until her illness prevented her further participation, was involved in the hospital/home bound visitation ministries.
She was a member of the American Association of University Professors, the National League of Nursing, Connecticut Nurses’ Association, and the Alpha Chapter of the Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society.
She volunteered for the Visiting Nurse Association at events such as blood drives and health day screenings. Later, when she was ill, the VNA helped care for her.
“She loved to sew, knit and read,” her husband said. “She liked to collect original recipes. Her joy in cooking and sewing she learned from her grandmother, Georgia Blanchard.”
Besides her husband, she is survived by two sons, Gerald Wells Beltran of Lee, Mass., and Timothy Clarke Beltran of Queens, N.Y., their respective wives Laura and Martha, and two grandchildren, Leah Beltran and Cian Beltran.
A memorial service to celebrate the life of Mary Jane Beltran will be conducted on Saturday, Dec. 15, at 1:30 p.m. at the Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church in Ridgefield.
Contributions in Mrs. Beltran’s memory may be made to the Ridgefield Visiting Nurses’ Association at 90 East Ridge, Ridgefield, CT 06877 or the Ridgefield Fire Department Ambulance Fund, 6 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877.
Elias Frank Blanchard, former Ridgefielder
Elias Frank Blanchard of Strawberry Oaks Drive, Orange City, Fla., a former Ridgefielder, died on Friday, May 3, at Debary Manor, Debary, Fla. He was 90 years old and husband of Blanche Utz Blanchard.
Mr. Blanchard was born in North Abington, Mass., on Oct. 21, 1911, a son of the late Alfred and Carrey Belcher Blanchard.
Mr. Blanchard was retired worker for Automatic Signal in Norwalk. He had lived in Stamford and Norwalk before moving to Mamanasco Road during the 1980s.
Though he and his wife moved to Florida in 1991, they had maintained their house here as a summer place.
Besides his wife, Mr. Blanchard is survived by a brother in law, John Utz of Bethel, formerly of Ridgefield.
Graveside services will take place on Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. in Bald Hill Cemetery, Wilton.
There will be no calling hours.
The Kane Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Bettie Caraway, aided church and shop
Bettie Wilkerson Caraway of Ridgefield, who was active in church and charitable work, died on Wednesday, Nov. 21, at Norwalk Hospital. She was 72 years old and the widow of Morgan R. Caraway.
Mrs. Caraway was born in Polo, Mo., May 17, 1929, a daughter of the late Floyd M. and Sarah Pauline Couch Wilkerson. She attended schools in Missouri and graduated from the North Kansas City High School.
The Caraways came to Ridgefield in 1966 from Hauppauge, Long Island. Mrs. Caraway was an office manager for Lawrence Lefkowitz, M.D. of Norwalk, from 1976 until 1996.
Mrs. Caraway was a member of the First Congregational Church of Ridgefield and served on its Board of Deacons as well as a member of the Chancel Guild. She was also a volunteer at the Ridgefield Thrift Shop for some 20 years and served as a member of its Board of Directors as well as a past president.
She enjoyed helping people, said her son, Ray. “She never met a stranger.”
For relaxation, Mrs. Caraway played bridge, traveled — most recently with the AARP groups in town — and collected antiques.
She is survived by two sons: Scott C. Caraway and his wife, Laurie, of Guilford and M. Ray Caraway and his wife, Debra of Cartersville, Ga; a brother, Floyd M. Wilkerson and his wife, Daralene of Colorado Springs, Colo.; and four grandchildren, Kathryn M., Kristie M., Matthew S. and M. Kent.
Her husband, an airline pilot, died in 1975.
Memorial services took place Monday in the First Congregational Church. Burial was private.
Contributions in Mrs. Caraway’s memory may be made to the Ridgefield Thrift Shop, 15 Catoonah Street, or to the Norwalk Hospital Foundation, P.O. Box 5050, Norwalk, CT 06856-5050.
The Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Norma Cassavechia, 77, school cook
Norma F. Cassavechia of Charlestown, R.I., a cook for the Ridgefield school system for many years before retiring in 1982, died Wednesday, Nov. 14.
She was 77 years old and the wife of Reno P. Cassavechia.
Born in Keyport, N.J., a daughter of the late Benjamin and Lillian (Schafer) Walling, she lived in Ridgefield many years before moving to Charlestown, R.I., in 1982.
She belonged to St. James Chapel.
Besides her husband, she leaves three sons, Gary Cassavechia of Rochester, N.H., Peter Cassavechia of Tucson, Ariz., and Joseph Cassavechia of Annandale, Va.; a daughter, Wendy Natale of Charlestown; two sisters, Dorothy Laurie of Sterling, Colo., and Katherine Padula of Westport; and four grandchildren and a great-grandson.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Saturday in St. James Chapel. Burial was private.
Dominic Colabufo, elevator mechanic, enjoyed Italian Club
Dominic Colabufo of Grove Street, a retired elevator mechanic and a veteran of World War II, died on Thursday morning, Oct. 4, at Laurel Ridge. He was 83 years old and the husband of Margaret (Garofalo) Colabufo
Mr. Colabufo was born in Syracuse, N.Y., April 12, 1918, a son of the late Thomas and Mary Petrone Colabufo. He attended Syracuse schools.
A US Army veteran, Mr. Colabufo served in Okinawa during World War II.
After the war he went to work as an elevator mechanic for the Metropolitan Life Assurance Company in the Bronx. For the last 24 years of his career, he worked for IBM, at first in the company’s New York City facility and later at Franklin Lakes, N.J. He retired in 1986.
A longtime resident of the Bronx, he met his wife there after the war. They were married in 1947 and marked their 50th wedding anniversary Nov. 1, 1997 with a mass and a party at St. Elizabeth Seton Church.
The Colabufos moved to Ridgefield 11 years ago. He was a member of the nearby Italian American Mutual Aid Society of Ridgefield
“He loved to play cards at the Italian American Club and he’d show up there each day at 3 o’clock,” said his daughter, Marie Trebing of Ridgefield.
Mr. Colabufo was also a member of St. Elizabeth Seton Church.
Besides his wife and his Ridgefield daughter, Mr. Colabufo is survived by another daughter: Diane McCormack of Stormville, N.Y.; three brothers: August Colabufo, Gerry Colabufo and Nicholas Colabufo; six grandchildren: Adam, Marin and Michael Trebing of Ridgefield, and Meghan, Katie Ann and Michelle McCormack of Stormville; and by several nieces and nephews survive him.
Two brothers, Frank Colabufo and John Colabufo and a sister, Antoinette LaRusso, died before him.
The Rev. Joseph A. Prince, pastor, celebrated a Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday in St. Elizabeth Seton Church. Burial was in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
The Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Christopher Colaneri, 33, grew up here
Christopher Heintz Colaneri, a member of the Ridgefield High School Class of 1986, died suddenly on Friday, Oct. 11, at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where he lived. He was 33.
Born on Oct. 20, 1968, Mr. Colaneri grew up in Ridgefield and graduated from Ridgefield High School in 1986. He received his bachelor of arts from St. Lawrence University in 1990 and went on to receive a J.D. from New York Law School in 1994.
He was a member of both the New York and Connecticut Bar associations, admitted in 1995 and 1998 respectively.
Mr. Colaneri coupled his legal skills with a mind set to observe the nuances of human nature and found that he had a talent for helping people overcome unfortunate circumstances. He had spent the last few years volunteering at various law clinics in Connecticut and Massachusetts.
A lover of words and travel, Mr. Colaneri spent his free time reading fiction and exploring foreign landscapes. Of special interest to him were the stories written about places and the people within them. “He hoped one day to write of his own travels and his own experiences and also to chronicle the legacy of his family, which he loved with famous zeal,” his family said.
Mr. Colaneri is survived by his parents, Joseph Edward Colaneri Jr. and Amanda Heintz Colaneri of Ridgefield; his paternal grandmother, Emelia M. Colaneri of Port Chester, N.Y.; his maternal grandfather, Dr. Herbert W. Heintz of Clinton, N.Y.; his brother, Joseph Edward Colaneri III of Bridgeport; two sisters, Nicole Dowling Twomey and her husband Christopher Burke Twomey and their two children, Annabella Dowling Twomey and Eliza Goodwin Twomey of Beverly Farms, Mass., and Marisa Clemens Colaneri of New York, N.Y.
Friends will be received at the Kane Funeral Home on Thursday, Oct. 17, from 5 to 8 p.m.
Services will be held at St. Mary’s Church on Friday, Oct. 18, at 10:30 a.m.
Edward Cosgrove, artist, art director
Edward J. Cosgrove of Westport, an artist and former Ridgefielder, died Tuesday, Sept. 17, at home. He was 77 years old and the husband of Irene Duchesnay Cosgrove.
Mr. Cosgrove was born in New York City, the son of the late Richard and Joan Florian Cosgrove. He lived in Ridgefield for 25 years before moving to Westport five years ago.
Mr. Cosgrove was an artist. From 1980 to 2001 he lived part time in St. Croix, where he painted and exhibited. Before retiring he was an art director for William Esty Advertising Agency in New York City. He had worked 10 years for Marketing Corporation of America in Westport after his retirement.
He received his undergraduate degree from LaSalle University and attended the New York Phoenix School of Design.
Besides his wife, Mr. Cosgrove is survived by a son: Michael E. Cosgrove of Singer Island, Fla.; a daughter: Linda Cosgrove of Danbury; a brother: Richard Cosgrove of Colorado Springs, Colo.; and four nephews and a niece.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated in Assumption Church in Westport. Burial was in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Hartsdale, N.Y.
Contributions be made to the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 2680, North Canton, Ohio, 44720.
Harding Funeral Home in Westport was in charge of arrangements.