Edith Waters, 103, Ridgefield native, teacher, traveler
Edith Waters of Warm Springs, Ga., died Friday, March 29, at Roosevelt Place in Warm Springs. She was 103.
Born Dec. 13, 1898, in Ridgefield, Mrs. Waters was a daughter of the late Albert Leopold and Nellie Canfield Blockman.
Graduating at age 16 from Stamford’s Burdick School (the former name of Stamford High School), Mrs. Waters became the teacher at the one-room Dantown School on the North Stamford-New Canaan border from 1915 to 1917. During the spring and fall, she walked four miles every afternoon to and from the school and her New Canaan home; in the winter, she boarded with a family across the street from the school.
Mrs. Waters earned $40 a month at school, teaching reading, writing, arithmetic, history, and geography. In a 1991 interview with The Stamford Advocate, she recalled that the boys at Dantown School did not go past the eighth grade because they had to work, making most of her older students girls.
In 1918, she married Carleton Waters. The couple moved to Stamford and founded the High Ridge Bus service, which ran from the 1920s through 1939.
Mrs. Waters and her husband moved to Pound Ridge, N.Y., in 1939 and opened a general stores in Scotts Corners, which they ran until 1954, when they retired.
After her retirement, Mrs. Waters kept active. She traveled through 49 states, and, at age 75, she began transcribing books in Braille for the Library of Congress, which she continued doing until she was 95.
She was honored with many awards, including Pound Ridge’s The Good Neighbor Award in 1971 and the Westchester County Office for the Aging Award. In 1999, the Lions Club established the Edith Waters Talking Books Fund at Hiram Halle Library in Pound Ridge.
Mrs. Waters moved to a log cabin in her granddaughter’s farm at Pine Mountain, Ga., in 1999. From there she moved to the assisted living facility at Roosevelt Place in Warm Springs.
She is survived by a daughter, Helen Britton of Warm Springs; and two grandchildren, Barbara Lee of Pittsfield, N.H.; and Linda Straub of Pine Mountain, Ga.; and a great-grandson.
Her husband died in 1979. Three sisters, Louise Blockman, Marie Blockman and Hilda Kugleman, and a brother, Albert Blockman, also died before her.
A service celebrating her life was held April 14 at Pound Ridge United Methodist Church.
She was buried in High Ridge Cemetery in Stamford.
Ethel Webster, former Ridgefielder
Ethel Marie Wright Webster, formerly of Ridgefield, died on Thursday evening, Sept. 26 at The Clough Center, New London, N.H. She was 90 years old and the widow of Harry Webster.
Mrs. Webster was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. Aug. 5, 1912, a daughter of the late Arthur and Adelaide Gardella Wright. She lived in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., and Ridgefield before moving to Arizona and New Hampshire three years ago to be near her daughters.
She had spent winters in Carefree, Ariz., and summers in Newbury and New London, N.H.
Mrs. Webster enjoyed time spent with her family, music, literature and travel.
She is survived by two daughters, Gladys Savino and her husband Ben of New London, N.H., formerly of Weston; Susan Creighton and her husband Tom of New London, N.H.; a son: Glenn Webster and his wife Kathy of Bethany; five grandchildren, Sr. Damien Marie, Kenneth Savino and Scott Savino, Kelly Webster and Daniel Webster, as well as several nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Monday in St. Francis of Assisi Church, Weston.
Burial was in the Cemetery of the Gate of Heaven, Hawthorne, N.Y.
Memorial contributions in Mrs. Webster’s memory may be made to the Upper Valley Humane Society, HC63, Box 52A, Lebanon, NH 03766.
Joseph Zullo, 57, painting contractor
Joseph Zullo of 263 Branchville Road, a self-employed painting contractor, died on Sunday morning, Aug. 25, at his home. He was 57 years old and the husband of Marian DeCanto Zullo.
Mr. Zullo was born in the Bronx, N.Y., on April 30, 1945, a son of the late Guiseppe and Mildred Andrews Zullo.
He had lived in La Crescenta, Calif., for many years before moving to Ridgefield seven years ago.
Besides his wife, Mr. Zullo is survived by a son, Joseph C. Zullo of Ridgefield.
Private funeral services will take place at the convenience of the family.
Burial will take place in La Crescenta.
There will be no calling hours.
The Kane Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Charles H. Daudt, 90, airline pioneer
Charles H. Daudt of Essex, a retired American Airlines captain who was a pioneer in many fields of commercial and military aviation, died on Wednesday, Dec. 11, at Middlesex Hospital in Middletown. He was 90 years old and the husband of Marie Myers Daudt.
Mr. Daudt was born in St. Louis, Mo., on June 18, 1912. His parents died when he was a young child, and he was brought up by his aunt and uncle in St. Charles, Mo.
He graduated from Purdue University in 1935, Harvard Business School in 1937 and became a professor of aviation at Indiana University in Bloomington.
In 1940 he joined American Airlines. During World War II he was a captain the United States Air Transport Command, serving in the military while still working for American Airlines. He and the crews of Project 7-A pioneered an all-weather airline route via Labrador and Greenland over the North Atlantic. He was involved in establishing new routes around the world to aid the war effort. In 1943 he flew the transport known as the C-87 over the Hump from India to China.
During his career with American Airlines, Captain Daudt served on many committees for the airline industry, specializing in engineering and air safety. He was an acceptance test pilot for the Boeing 707 airliner for American and also worked on the design of the instrument panel for the 707 before it reached the flight line.
He designed and developed the flight attitude system for commercial aircraft.
Captain Daudt retired from American in 1972. He and his wife lived on West Lane in Ridgefield from 1960 to 1974. Their home was Windover, the former house of John Ames Mitchell, publisher of the original Life magazine.
He maintained a lifelong love of sailing, cruising and racing, which began when he was a member of the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club on Long Island, and was for many years a member of the Essex Yacht Club.
During his retirement years, his favorite sailboat was the Flying Eagle, a 47-foot ketch. He sailed the Flying Eagle from England with his son and crew to Essex in 1985.
Captain Daudt was a member of the International Order of Characters, an organization for aviators, the Wings Club of New York City, the Gray Eagle Association with American, and the Allied Pilots Association.
He was also a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers, the American Air Transport Command group, The Hump Pilots Association, and had also been a member of the National Guard in the state of Indiana. He was also a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.
Besides his wife, he is survived by a son, Charles H. Daudt Jr. of Wolcott; a daughter, Diane Daudt of Old Saybrook; two grandchildren, Deidre and Calin of Old Saybrook; a sister, Marian McBride of St. Louis; a cousin, Louis Daudt of Seaford, Del.; and two nieces and a nephew.
A private family service took place in Essex.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the Gray Eagle Foundation, American Airlines, 14600 Trinity Boulevard, Suite 500, Fort Worth, TX 76155-2512, or the Essex Ambulance Association, P.O. Box 233, Ivoryton, CT 06442, or the Essex Meadows Employees Association Fund, 30 Bokum Road, Essex, CT 06426.
John De Lutio, taxpayer activist
John A. De Lutio, who was once the public voice of worried Ridgefield taxpayers, died Friday, Nov. 1, at Hartford Hospital. He had suffered a stroke. Mr. De Lutio lived in Litchfield, where he had moved in 1999 with his wife, Isabel Cantillo De Lutio, after 26 years in Ridgefield.
"He did a lot for people here," said longtime friend Hope Wise. "He did a lot for seniors. He always fought for what he believed in. He did it in a gentlemanly fashion. I don't ever remember him raising his voice.
He just was a gentleman through and through."
In the years he lived on Walnut Grove Road Mr. De Lutio was an outspoken opponent of tax increases and of what he viewed as excessive spending projects that fell hard upon senior citizens.
He was a founder of the Coalition of Concerned Citizens and at the height of activism probably attended more meetings of public agencies in town than anyone who wasn't an elected official. Mr. De Lutio worked hard to keep town senior citizens aware of local issues and involved in politics, giving regular political debriefings at meetings of the OWLS and AARP. Perhaps his most prominent role was in leading efforts that defeated plans to build a middle school for fifth and sixth graders on the Ippoliti property off Route 35.
He wrote letters to the editor, taking on the powers that be in a voice that could be acerbic. "What happened to the huge amounts of monies that pour in for capital projects?" he wrote in a letter on Parks and Recreation spending. "That's the sucking sound that you hear when we taxpayers fork over dough for the likes of a new parking lot, roof repairs/replacements, playing fields, lockers, etc. etc. etc."
Opposing a town purchase of land in Ridgebury, he wrote: "P.T. Barnum is alive and well, residing in Ridgefield in drag. Just remember his adage, 'A sucker is born every minute' "
He served on a town committee that worked on tax breaks for senior citizens, and ran for selectman on the ticket of the maverick Independent Party.
"His legacy here in Ridgefield is going to be, I believe, that everyone has the power to change the way things are," Ms. Wise said. "I think he taught that to the seniors. He taught them to band together and how to become a strong group...
"I think he'll always be remembered for looking after the underdog," she said. "And, he never missed a meeting. He was at every meeting there was. Everyone will remember Jack, whether they agreed with him or not."
She noted that he'd continued his activism after moving. "When he did move to Litchfield he got himself on the Board of Finance and found that Litchfield had no referendum process. So, what did Jack do? He went out in front the supermarkets, got a petition up, and Litchfield now has a referendum process."
Mr. De Lutio was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Aug. 1, 1929. He was a U.S. Navy veteran who served during the Korean War. He was retired from a career as a salesman in the paper industry.
Besides his wife he is survived by two sons, John A. De Lutio of Ridgefield and Jeffrey J. De Lutio of Danbury, a daughter, Mary Potter of Bethlehem, a sister and three grandsons.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Thursday, Nov. 7, at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Litchfield, with burial in Bethlehem Cemetery, Bethlehem.
Ms. Wise said that 15 or 20 Ridgefielders planned to car pool to Litchfield to visit Mrs. De Lutio during calling hours Wednesday night.
"We've got people who really want to show respect," she said, "and let her know that he meant a lot to people here."
Herman DePass, sheet metal worker, musician
Herman A. DePass of 51 Prospect Ridge, a native of Jamaica who was a sheet metal worker and a musician, died on Saturday, Oct. 19, at Laurel Ridge Health Care Center. He was 96 years old and the husband of Barbara Chombok DePass, who died in 1993.
Mr. DePass was born in Jamaica, British West Indies, on Sept. 24, 1906, a son of the late Emma Brent and Augustus DePass, an American businessman who lived in Jamaica.
He came to the United States at the age of 16, settling in New York City, and then spent the greater part of his life in Irvington, Westfield, and Toms River, N.J. In 1997 he moved to Congregate Housing in Ridgefield to be closer to his family.
Mr. DePass was a sheet metal worker and a longtime member of the Sheet Metal Workers’ Union Local 22 in Cranford, N.J., retiring in 1966.
He loved music and played the saxophone, guitar, piano, and organ. He also composed music and wrote lyrics.
“He also loved the ladies and had a deep appreciation for the staffs of Ridgefield Primary Care, VNA Ridgefield and Utopia Assisted Living who attended to many of his medical and support needs,” said his son, Gerry DePass of Ridgefield. “He thoroughly enjoyed his many new Ridgefield friends at Congregate Housing and Prospect Ridge.”
His survivors include his son, Gerald and his wife Nina of Ridgefield; and a granddaughter, Debra DePass Jones and her husband, Kevin of Stamford; and several nieces and nephews.
Family and friends are invited to attend a celebration of his life at Congregate Housing, 51 Prospect Ridge, on Sunday, Oct. 27, at 3. Private interment services will be held at Whiting Memorial Park, Manchester Township, N.J.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the Visiting Nurse Association of Ridgefield, 90 East Ridge, Ridgefield, CT 06877.
The Kane Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Armand Gallo, 83, longtime teacher here
Armand Joseph Gallo, a former resident who taught at Ridgefield High School for 23 years, died in Des Moines, Iowa, from cancer on July 23, with his family at his side. He was 83 years old and the husband of Rose Mainiero Gallo of Des Moines.
Born and raised in Bridgeport, Mr. Gallo was a lifelong foreign languages teacher who taught Spanish and French at Ridgefield High School from 1960 until he retired in 1983.
“He was one of those old-time, dedicated teachers with very high standards,” said his son, Nick Gallo, who lives in Seattle. “He made kids work hard, which they probably didn’t appreciate until they went to college or traveled to another country.”
A U.S. Army veteran of World War II, serving in the Pacific Theatre as a radio operator, Mr. Gallo graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from New York University in 1948. After continuing his studies at NYU and receiving a master’s degree, he went on to complete course work for a Ph.D. degree in Spanish literature at Columbia University.
Fluent in Spanish, French, Italian, and Latin, Mr. Gallo began his career as a faculty member of Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., before returning to Connecticut with his family in the mid-1950s to continue teaching. For more than 25 years, he taught high school students in Monroe and Ridgefield the intricacies of Romance languages, taking special joy in introducing young people to the rich cultures of other countries. He also taught at Sacred Heart University in Bridgeport.
Always known as one of the hardest working teachers on staff, Mr. Gallo touched the lives of thousands of students — more than he probably realized, his son said. “Throughout his life, he studied in many different places — Italy, France, Argentina, among them — and passed along to his family his love for travel, his warmth for people, and his eagerness to look beyond borders to find the commonality among all people,” Nick Gallo said.
During his years in Ridgefield, Mr. Gallo and his family lived on Twopence Road in Ridgebury. He and his wife, Rose, were members of St. Elizabeth Seton Church.
After he retired in 1983, they moved to Des Moines to be near a daughter and grandchildren. There, he continued to be an avid Yankees fan and enjoyed gardening, swimming, and playing bridge. “He will be remembered by his children as the best of fathers, a man who always made sure that his wife and kids came first,” Mr. Gallo said. “It is a gift his children treasure and will never forget.”
Besides his wife of 53 years and his son Nick, Mr. Gallo is survived by two other sons: Alex of Eugene, Ore., and Herb of Newport, Ore; two daughters: Lory Gallo of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Mandy Krantz of Des Moines; three sisters: Jane Caggianello of Stratford, Ann Hiltz of Milford, and Theresa Pierelli of Bridgeport. He also leaves four grandsons, Jeff, Alex, Glenn, and Noah.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 13, at Holy Rosary Church, 365 East Washington Avenue, Bridgeport. Burial will follow at St. Michael Cemetery, 2205 Stratford Avenue, Stratford.
There are no calling hours.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Central Iowa, 1821 W. Grand Ave., West Des Moines, IA 50265.
Spadaccino Funeral Home in Bridgeport is in charge of arrangements.