Erik M. Nigro, 54, chef, manager
Erik M. Nigro, son of former Ridgefielders, died Saturday, Jan. 26, at Danbury Hospital. He was 54 and had lived in Danbury for the past 20 years.
Born in Rockville Center, N.Y., he was the son of Mary Daly Nigro of Norwalk and the late Louis A. Nigro. The Nigros moved to Stonecrest Road in 1966 when Mr. Nigro was a student at C.W. Post College. The family moved from Ridgefield in the late 1970s.
Mr. Nigro received a bachelor of arts in business administration from Sacred Heart University in 1970.
He was a waiter, cook and chef at area restaurants, including Touchstone’s in Ridgefield, Christopher’s in Brookfield, and Chuck’s Steak House in Danbury. More recently he was bar manager at Waccabuc Country Club in Lewisboro, N.Y.
Besides his mother, he is survived by a brother, Louis Nigro of Chesterfield, Mich.; two sisters, Mary Florio of Norwalk and Charlotte Senulis of Grand Island, N.Y. His sister, Margaret, died before him.
A Mass of Christian Burial took place Jan. 30 at St. Matthew Church in Norwalk. Burial was in St. John Cemetery in Norwalk. Contributions may be made to American Heart Association, 2550 U.S. Highway 1, North Brunswick, NJ 08902.
The Collins Funeral Home in Norwalk was in charge of arrangements.
Linda Paiva, grew up here, RHS 1979
Linda S. Paiva of Miller Street, Waterbury, who grew up here and was a Ridgefield High School graduate, died Friday, Sept. 13, at Yale-New Haven Hospital. She was 41 years old and the wife of David Paiva.
Mrs. Paiva was born in Norwalk on Feb. 19, 1961, daughter of Ray and Mary Guarino Saraceno of Ridgefield. Linda grew up in Ridgefield and was a 1979 graduate of Ridgefield High School.
She had been employed as a clerical worker and had lived in Waterbury for the past 15 years.
Besides her parents, she is survived by two brothers, Raymond Saraceno and Lawrence Saraceno, both of New Milford, as well as by several nieces and nephews.
Services were Wednesday at the Green Funeral Home in Danbury. Cremation will take place at the convenience of the family.
Contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 528 Preston Avenue, Box 1004, Meriden, CT 06050.
Gino Bob Polverari, ran water system
Gino Bob Polverari, longtime overseer of the Ridgefield Water Supply Company’s system of wells, reservoir, standpipe and distribution lines, died on Thursday morning, July 26, following a brief illness. He was 85, lived at 213 High Ridge, and had been married for 62 years to Alda (Paolini) Polverari.
“We’re all going to miss him,” said his son, Kenneth Polverari.
He recalled his father as man of simple tastes, who enjoyed working in his garden and sitting under the big old maple trees behind his home on High Ridge.
“He always had a smile,” Mr. Polverari said. “You know what he said to me one day? He used to go by this house, when he worked for the water company, and he’d see this little old man sitting under the tree. He told me last year, ‘Now I’m the little old man.’ ”
Gino Bob Polverari was born in Ridgefield Dec. 16, 1915, a son of the late Giuseppe and Annunziata Dottori Polverari. He attended Ridgefield schools.
He was a longtime employee of the Ridgefield Water Company, acting as superintendent of a distribution system that piped water around much of southern and central Ridgefield. Today that system, now owned the BHC Company, serves some 6,800 people at 2,400 commercial and residential addresses.
“He said that in all the years he was there, 57 years, he never had to give bottled water,” his son said, passing on a laugh his father had enjoyed at the expense of BHC, which took over the Ridgefield Water Supply a few years ago and had to provide bottled water last summer after microbes were detected surviving the chlorine treatment.
The water company job was demanding. “He was on call, 24 hours a day, his whole life,” his son said.
But Mr. Polverari enjoyed work. “Always home, no vacation, he just loved work,” his son said.
He also had a number of other enterprises. He co-owned the former Town Spirit Shoppe with Alex Santini, and for many years owned the ice machine in the Grand Union parking lot, behind the firehouse.
He enjoyed a Tuesday evening ritual of going down to the ice machine, taking care of it, and then stopping by to socialize with his friends, the Amatuzzi brothers, who own nearby Roma Pizza. “He’d just sit back there and chat with them,” his son said.
He also worked for many years at Silver Spring Country Club, performing a variety of functions. “Everything from the locker room to the bar,” his son said, “and he helped them with their sprinkler system.”
Early in his working life Mr. Polverari worked with his father as a caretaker at the Lynch estate on West Mountain, and then worked in construction for local concerns such as the Bedini and later the Bacchiochi firms.
At one point in his youth, “he got a job in a hat shop in Danbury and rode his bicycle to work every day,” his son said.
He started with the water company in 1938.
Mr. Polverari was a member and a past chief of the Ridgefield Volunteer Fire Department. He was also a member of the Italian American Mutual Aid Society of Ridgefield.
He enjoyed golfing, and maintaining his properties and garden.
In addition to his wife and his son, Mr. Polverari is survived by a daughter, Maria Polverari of Wilton; and two sisters, Edith Frattini of West Haven and Ann Montesi of Hamden. He also leaves five grandchildren: Kristin Ryan, Donna Polverari, Renee Polverari, Kevin Polverari and Matthew Polverari.
Mr. Polverari was predeceased by a son, Peter Polverari, and by a sister, Jeannette DeMunde.
Cremation services will take place at the convenience of the family. There will be no calling hours.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the Ridgefield Volunteer Fire Department, 6 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield.
The Kane Funeral Home 41 Catoonah Street Ridgefield is in charge of arrangements.
Stephanie Pongetti, 79, homemaker
Stephanie B. Pongetti of 312 Bayshore Road, Nokomis, Fla., a homemaker, died on Tuesday morning, Augu. 27, at her home. She was 79 years old and the widow of Gilbert V. Pongetti.
Mrs. Pongetti was born in Pawling, N.Y., on May 12, 1923, a daughter of the late Isaac and Stephanie VanVlack. She attended Pawling schools and had been a homemaker.
A resident of Florida for the past 31 years, Mrs. Pongetti was a member of the Epiphany Cathedral Church there.
She is survived by a son: Gilbert Pongetti, Jr., of Monroe; two daughters: Catherine Pongetti and Stephanie Oefinger, both of Nokomis; a brother: Stanley VanVlack of Port Charlotte, Fla.; seven grandchildren, nine great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
Her husband Gilbert, a Ridgefield native who died in 1991, was a brother of Adrian Pongetti and the late Mary Cesca.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday 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 Friday from 5 to 8 p.m.
Memorial donations in Mrs. Pongetti’s memory may be made to Hospice of Southwest Florida, 5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34238.
Jerry Robinson, 62, pilot, real estate agent
Jerry C. Robinson of Savannah, Ga., a former Ridgefielder who had been a jet pilot and a real estate agent here, died unexpectedly at home Sunday, Oct. 6. He was 62 years old.
Mr. Robinson was born on May 4, 1940, in Dickson, Tenn., a son of Charles and Margaret Robinson. He grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., and graduated from Tulane University in New Orleans, La., in 1962.
He served seven years as a pilot in the United States Marine Corps where he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and 13 Navy Marine Corps Air Medals for his service in Vietnam.
He and his wife Dottie moved to Mimosa Circle in 1970. At the time he was a corporate pilot for the Bowater Company in New York. He later became chief pilot with General Signal Corp.
After his retirement from professional flying, Mr. Robinson became a broker with Neumann Real Estate.
“Jerry was a generous and loving person who always cherished his family and friends,” said Russ Neumann, who worked with Mr. Robinson for many years. “He loved his work and aspired to success with everything he did. Jerry was good to everyone and will be dearly missed by all those whose lives he touched.”
Mr. Robinson moved to Savannah in 1989 and was the owner of The Buyer’s Agent in that city.
In Savannah, he had been on the Board of Directors of Union Mission since 1993, serving two terms as chairman. Under his leadership, Union Mission assumed management of the Hacienda and opened the Employment and Training Center, a nationally recognized program.
He is survived by his wife, Dorothy Robinson of Savannah; his son and daughter-in-law, Scott and Jodi Robinson of Slidell, La.; his daughter and son-in-law, Kim and Tim Dunne of Sterling, Va.; his grandchildren, Brandon and Blake Robinson and Patrick, Andrew and Katie Dunne; his sister and brother-in-law, Joyce and William Blackburn of Jacksonville, Fla.; his brother, Rob Robinson of Jacksonville, Fla.; and several nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held today, Oct. 10, at 11:30 a.m. at Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Island Chapel in Savannah, Ga.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the Union Mission 120 Fahm Street, Savannah, GA 31401 or the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, P.O. Box 998, Quantico, VA 22134.
Fred Romeo, 97, athlete, carpenter
Frederick J. Romeo Sr. of 28 Lakeview Avenue, Lakeville, a carpenter and longtime Ridgefielder who had been a well-known local athlete, died on Friday, March 8, at his home. He was 97 years old and husband of the late Corinne Bertotti Romeo.
Mr. Romeo was born in Katonah, N.Y., on Feb. 23, 1905, a son of the late Joseph and Franchesca Schivone Romeo. His father, a native of Italy, was a stonemason who had worked on the Panama Canal before coming to the United States and Katonah.
The family moved to Ridgefield around 1912, living in the old Romeo homestead that stood at the elbow of Bailey Avenue.
Mr. Romeo attended Ridgefield schools, graduating in 1924 from Ridgefield High School where he played baseball and basketball. He later played on the semi-professional Ridgefield Baseball Club team, and was a boxer at the old Ridgefield Gym Club in the 1920s.
A carpenter by trade, Mr. Romeo had worked for such local contractors as Harold Ritch and Bacchiochi Inc. and had been active in the Carpenter’s Union Local 210.
For a time in the 1930s, he was a clerk for the H.P. Bissell Drug Store. During World War II, he worked at the old Outpost lumber mill here, which cut wood for naval ships.
He and Corinne Bertotti were married in 1930 and lived on New Street. They moved to Lakeville around 1978. Mrs. Romeo died in 1980, a few months after their 50th wedding anniversary.
Mr. Romeo was a member of the Marquette Council Knights of Columbus of Ridgefield and of St. Mary’s Church.
He is survived by his son Fred and his wife Marion of Lakeville; a brother James Romeo and two sisters, Frances Romeo and Edith Romeo, all of Newtown; four grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Wednesday in St. Mary’s Church. Burial followed in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Contributions in Mr. Romeo’s memory may be made to the Visiting Nurse Association of Salisbury, 30 Salmon Kill Road, Salisbury, CT 06068.
The Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Frances Romeo, 98, longtime Ridgefielder
Frances B. Romeo, 98, of 3 Old Tavern Road, Newtown formerly of Ridgefield died at her residence on Saturday evening, August 17, 2002.
Miss Romeo was born in Katonah, New York, September 10, 1903, a daughter of the late Joseph and Franchesca (Schivone) Romeo. She moved with her parents at an early age to Ridgefield and resided in Ridgefield until 2000 when she first moved to Brookfield and thereafter Newtown.
She attended Ridgefield schools and was a retired domestic for several Ridgefield families on their estates as well as being a member of St. Mary’s Church of Ridgefield.
A brother, James Romeo and a sister, Edith Romeo both of Newtown as well as several nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, survive her. A brother, Fred Romeo, died in March.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday morning at 10:30AM in St. Mary’s Church, Ridgefield with the Rev. Peter Lenox, Parochial Vicar, officiating.
Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Ridgefield.
There will be no calling hours.
Contributions in Miss Romeo’s memory may be made to a charity of your choice.
The Kane Funeral Home 41 Catoonah Street Ridgefield is in charge of arrangements.
Helen Knoche, former obstetrics nurse
Helen G. Knoche of Ridgefield, a former nurse who had lived in Ridgefield more than 75 years, died at her home on Monday morning, June 9. She was 91 years old and the widow of Terrance J. Knoche Sr.
Mrs. Knoche was born in New York City on Aug. 31, 1911, a daughter of the late John and Ellen McCarthy Golden. At an early age, she moved with her mother to North Salem, N.Y., and later to Ridgefield. She attended schools in North Salem and graduated from Ridgefield High School in the Class of 1929.
Mrs. Knoche graduated from the Rhode Island School of Nursing and Columbia University. She then began her career as a registered nurse with special training in obstetrics at New York Hospital until her retirement around 1940.
In 1937, she married Terrance Knoche. He died in 1984.
Though she had left her career to raise a family, Mrs. Knoche continued to use her nursing skills to aid both family and friends, particularly the homebound, and had also done volunteer work at polio clinics.
But most of her life was devoted to her family. “She mainly took care of the six of us,” said Mary Ellen Miller of Ridgefield, her only daughter. “She had her hands full taking care of us!”
She was a member of the Rhode Island Hospital Nurses’ Alumni Association and of St. Mary’s Church. She was also an avid reader.
Besides her daughter, Mrs. Knoche is survived by five sons, Terrance J. Knoche Jr. and his wife Barbara of Danbury, Robert G. Knoche and his wife Rose of Chazy Lake, N.Y., John B. Knoche and his wife Donna, Philip E. Knoche and his wife Susan, and Charles A. Knoche and his wife Debra, all of Ridgefield; 16 grandchildren, Elizabeth Knoche, Victoria Knoche, Kathryn Knoche, Philip Knoche Jr., Jennifer Knoche, Brian Knoche, Terrance Knoche, Erin Knoche, Roberta Miller, Jeffrey Miller, all of Ridgefield, Deborah Knoche of Danbury, David Knoche of Florida, Lawrence Knoche of Lyon Mountain, N.Y., Lisa Brown of Danbury, Barbara Pahutsi of Maryland, and John Knoche Jr. of Ridgefield; and by five great-grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated today, Thursday, at 1 in St. Mary’s Church.
Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Contributions in her memory to the Ridgefield Volunteer Fire Department, 6 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield 06877 or to the Rhode Island Hospital Nurses’ Alumni Association, 105 Lockwood Street, Providence, RI 02903 would be appreciated.
The Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Janaile 'John' Severini, RHS ’37, decorated veteran
Janaile J. “John” Severini of Norwalk, a former Ridgefielder who was a decorated veteran, a former volunteer fireman and star athlete, died Monday, Dec. 2, at Notre Dame Convalescent Home in Norwalk. He was 85 years old and the husband of the late Helen Severini.
Mr. Severini was born in Ridgefield on Nov. 18, 1917, son of the late Charles and Antonia Belbusti Severini. He grew up in Ridgefield and graduated from Ridgefield High School in 1937.
While at the high school, Mr. Severini played varsity baseball and basketball. He was the right fielder on baseball teams that were state powers in their era. As a sophomore, he once went six for six, including a home run, in a game in which Ridgefield scored 33 runs.
Mr. Severini was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II, serving in the infantry in Europe and earning a Purple Heart.
In 1940, Mr. Severini married Helen Mary Botticelli of New Canaan and moved to New Canaan where he lived until 1972 when he moved to Norwalk. He was a retired plater for Machlett Laboratories in Stamford.
Mr. Severini played baseball and softball in leagues in New Canaan and Stamford. He and his wife had both enjoyed bowling and often bowled together in a mixed league. He also played golf.
He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, Council 46, and had been a captain in the New Canaan Volunteer Fire Department. He also was an usher at St. Mary’s Church in Norwalk for many years.
In 1996, Mr. Severini was honored by the Ridgefield Old Timers Association, which noted that in 1938, he helped organize the Spartans Junior Football Team in Ridgefield. He played on the team until entering the Army.
Mr. Severini is survived by two daughters: Barbara J. Correnty of Norwalk and Carole A. Lisowski of Milford; a brother, Reno Severini of Ridgefield; a sister: Mary Albanetti of Danbury; six grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. A sister, Sistina Albanetti, died before him. His wife died about two years ago.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated today, Thursday, at 10 a.m. in St. Mary’s Church, 669 West Avenue, Norwalk. Burial will follow at Lakeview Cemetery in New Canaan.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the Notre Dame Convalescent Home or the Sisters of St. Thomas of Villanova, both at 76 West Rocks Road, Norwalk, CT 06851.
Magner Funeral Home in Norwalk is in charge of arrangements.