Bert Anderson, 82, former soccer star, commercial artist
Robert “Bert” Anderson of Ridgefield, a former professional soccer player who earned the Bronze Star on Iwo Jima, died Wednesday, Nov. 20, at the Laurel Ridge Health Care Center. He was 82 years old and the husband of Adele Anderson.
Mr. Anderson, a commercial artist, had played 16 years of professional soccer and had captained all-star teams that played internationally.
A native of Varberg, Sweden, Mr. Anderson was born on Feb. 11, 1920, son of the late Victor and Agnes Anderson. He moved to the United States at age nine and lived in Brooklyn and Queens for 59 years. He graduated from Textile High School in New York where he excelled at soccer.
For 16 years Mr. Anderson played professionally in the American Soccer League and was a member and captain of several all-star teams representing the United States in international competitions. The Swedish Football Club recognized his soccer accomplishments, honoring him in 1979, and he was inducted into the Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL) Hall of Fame in New York City in 1989.
During World War II, Mr. Anderson was a U.S. Army radio operator attached to the Fourth and Fifth Marine Divisions. He fought at Iwo Jima where he earned the Bronze Star.
After the war, he attended the four-year Art Career School in New York City, and then began a long career as a commercial artist for several major advertising agencies, specializing in not only illustration, but ad layout and typography. He started out at Dreher Advertising, where he worked for 23 years and became art director. Among his accounts were Avon Cosmetics. He then joined Norman, Craig and Kummel as art director, and finally worked at Doyle Dane Bernbach.
In 1988, the Andersons moved to Ridgefield where Mr. Anderson enjoyed attending many Ridgefield High School soccer games, but where he especially liked following his grandsons who played both soccer and baseball.
“His biggest enjoyment was just watching,” said his wife, Adele. “He thought it was great the way soccer had become so popular.”
Mr. Anderson was an avid golfer and was a member of the Knights of Columbus here.
Besides his wife, Mr. Anderson is survived by a daughter, Laura Leonard and her husband Thomas of Ridgefield; and two grandsons, Matthew and Kevin Leonard of Ridgefield. A sister, Lillian Wick, died before him.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Monday morning at St. Mary’s Church. Burial was in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Donations in his memory may be made to the Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association, 90 East Ridge, Ridgefield, CT 06877.
Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Margaret "Polly" Carney, 90, native of Ireland
Margaret "Polly" (Guinan) Carney, 90, of 12 East Farm Lane, Ridgefield, mother of Mary Ann Faraguna of Ridgefield died on Monday morning, March 24, 2003 at Hancock Hall, Danbury. She was the wife of the late John J. Carney who died in 1974.
Mrs. Carney was born in Ireland, October 19, 1912, one of ten children of John and Bridget (Kelly) Guinan.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday morning, March 26, at 10AM in Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, Georgetown.
Burial will follow in St. John's Cemetery, Middle Village, New York.
Friends will be received at the Kane Funeral Home 41 Catoonah Street Ridgefield Tuesday from 5PM-8PM.
Winifred Carriere, author, publisher
An informal memorial gathering will be held in Ancramdale, N.Y., on Saturday, April 12, at 2 to celebrate the life of author and publisher Winifred Carriere, a Ridgefield native.
Mrs. Carriere died Nov. 29, 2002, at the Sharon Health Care Facility, where she was a resident for several months. She was 90 years old and had lived with her daughter, Anne Carriere, in Ancramdale.
Win Carriere was the author of two books, Cats 24 Hours A Day and Gardening Under Lights. For many years she also published and edited Professional Florist Magazine, a trade publication. One of her widely quioted observations from Cats 24 Hours A Day is “Cats always know whether people like or dislike them. They do not always care enough to do anything about it.”
Born in Ridgefield on April 20, 1912, Winifred Carriere was the daughter of Richard Osborn and Beulah Sanford. Her father had founded the coal and lumber company that is now Ridgefield Supply, was a chairman of the school board, and a director of the Ridgefield Library.
Until her mid-teens she lived in Ridgefield with her great-aunts, Annie Tallman Osborn and Carolyn Winifred Osborn. She graduated from Syracuse University, where she met and married Albert Carriere, an aspiring playwright. They had one child.
After her divorce she moved to New York City, and began a career in editing, which took her to Prentice Hall, McGraw-Hill and the Institute of Radio Engineers before she entered magazine publishing. She returned to Ridgefield in the 1960s and 1970s, and had a home on Cedar Lane.
The gathering will be at 51 Catalano Road, five miles north of Millerton, just off Route 22.
Virginia Carrison, 67, Ridgefield native
Virginia Ann Weaver Carrison of Waterbury, a Ridgefield native who was a food services manager, died on Wednesday, March 19, at Danbury Hospital. She was 67 years old and the wife of Jordan Dwight Carrison.
Mrs. Carrison, who was known as Ginny, was born in the First Congregational Church House here on July 13, 1935, a daughter of Maurice “Buck” and Ida “Bunchy” Weaver.
She attended Ridgefield schools and was a 1953 graduate of Ridgefield High School where she was a cheerleader. She lived in Ridgefield for 33 years until she moved to New Smyrna Beach, Fla., where she was owner of Hansen's Sports Center.
In 1986, Mrs. Carrison and husband returned to Connecticut where she became chef manager for Sodexho Food and Management Services, most recently at Jockey Hollow Middle School in Monroe.
Besides her husband of 23 years, Mrs. Carrison is survived by four sons: Robert E. Hansen II and his wife Dorothy and their children, Robbie, Erika and Chet of Durham, N.C., Clay M. Hansen and his wife Kathy and their children, Logan and Kara of South Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Gary M. Hansen and his wife, Sylvia of Greensboro, N.C., and Michael N. Hansen and his wife, Gretchen of Largo, Fla.; a stepdaughter, Vikki and her husband Steve and their children, Josh and Shawna of Palm Bay, Fla.; a brother; Wilfred “Woofie” Weaver of Port Charlotte, Fla.; a sister, Barbara Melanson of Bremerton, Wash.; several nieces and nephews as well as her beloved toy Yorkshire terriers, Boggie and Shaggy.
Services took place on Saturday, March 22, in the First Congregational Church, 103 Main Street, Ridgefield.
Burial was private.
Contributions in her memory may be made to the Praxair Cancer Center, Danbury Hospital, 24 Hospital Avenue, Danbury, CT 06810.
The Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Janice L. Cocks, 67, watercolorist
Janice L. Cocks, a noted local artist and longtime resident of Ridgefield, died Saturday, Nov. 16, at her home after a 13-year battle with breast cancer. She was 67.
As an artist, Mrs. Cocks is best known for the vibrancy of her watercolor paintings. She participated in many group shows, including the Ridgefield Art Guild, and had several one-man shows of her watercolors. She did much of her work at a vacation home on Lake Champlain in Vermont.
She began her art education at the University of Toronto where she earned her degree. In her early work, she painted in oils and studied with the late Albert Werner. Her work is in private collections in the U.S. and Canada.
A native of Canada, she married Robert L. Cocks in 1958. The family moved to Ridgefield in 1966 with their two sons, Geoffrey and Paul. Their son, Lt. Paul Cocks, USAFR, was killed in an air crash in Honduras in January 1985.
She is survived by her husband Robert and son Geoffrey and a brother G. Keith Rodgers of Burlington, Ontario.
Mrs. Cocks was active for 20 years in the CLASP Group Homes organization of Westport. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent in her memory to CLASP Homes Inc., 246 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880.
A memorial service is planned for January.
Charles Coles, 80, bank president, veteran, historian
Charles Coles Jr. of 18 New Street, a retired Ridgefield Bank president who had been active in the community and a student of its history, died on Monday, March 10, at Danbury Hospital. He was 80 years old and the husband of Ruth Orton Coles.
Mr. Coles was a man of many interests, but his two favorites were banking and Ridgefield history. He rose from the position of teller to become president of the Ridgefield Savings Bank, now the Ridgefield Bank. His love of and faith in banking was demonstrated in many ways, but none quite as intensely as when he chewed out a Press editor for a half hour after the newspaper ran a quotation over the front page flag, saying: “A penny saved is a penny getting smaller.”
He was fascinated by Ridgefield history and memorabilia, collecting and studying items ranging from candlesticks made here in the 1800s to hundreds of antique Ridgefield postcards. He was also an collector of and expert on antique clocks, many of which he had exhibited at the bank’s several offices.
Though people thought of him as a native, Mr. Coles was born in Oakville, Toronto, Ontario, on Sept. 11, 1922, a son of the late Charles Sr. and Elizabeth Evans Coles. His family came to the United States three years later, first settling in Garrison, N.Y., and then moving to Ridgefield in 1928.
He attended Ridgefield schools and graduated from Ridgefield High School in 1941. During his high school years, he was active in athletics, especially baseball, and earned the nickname of “Slugger Coles” because of his hitting abilities. He was a member of a team that nearly won the state championship for Ridgefield in 1940.
Mr. Coles was a student at Danbury State Teachers College in 1943 when he joined the U.S. Army and was assigned to the 193rd tank battalion. Sent to the Pacific, he took part in the invasion of Okinawa in April 1945. On April 19, his unit lost 22 of the 30 tanks in the assault on Kakazu Ridge, the greatest tank loss of the campaign. Only an hour after Private Coles was transferred from a tank that morning, its entire five-member crew was killed.
After the war Mr. Coles, who attained the rank of sergeant, served in the Army Reserves and was on active reserve status during the Korean War.
Back home in 1946, Mr. Coles joined the Ridgefield Savings Bank as a teller and bookkeeper. He became assistant treasurer in 1956, an incorporator in 1958, a director in 1970, and president in 1971. He served as president, chairman of the board, and chief operating officer at various times through the 1970s until his retirement in 1987. He remained a director until 1993.
Ridgefield Savings Bank became “the fastest-growing savings bank in the state” in the 1980s, he reported at the 1984 annual meeting. Under his leadership, the bank acquired land at the corner of Danbury and Farmingville roads to build its new headquarters.
Over the years he had been a student of banking, completing the Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University in 1960, and graduating from the American Institute of Banking (of which he was later a board member) and from various schools sponsored by the national Association of Mutual Savings Banks. He served as president of the Fairfield County Bankers Association, was on the Conference of State Bank Supervisors in 1985, and had been a member of the Legislative Committee of the Savings Bank Association of Connecticut.
“His whole life was the bank,” said Paul S. McNamara, current chairman of the Ridgefield Bank board of directors. “He loved the bank — he loved going to work.”
“Charlie really believed very strongly in the value of the customer,” added Mr. McNamara. “His focus was always on the customer.”
In 1971, on the occasion of the bank’s 100th anniversary, Mr. Coles teamed up with Karl S. Nash, editor and publisher of The Press, on a history of the Ridgefield Savings Bank. Mr. Coles did the bulk of the research for the publication, which appeared as a special supplement to The Ridgefield Press and chronicled the history of the bank and its leaders. The 36-page section was based on many hours of interviews with longtime residents and from research into old documents, and included dozens of old photos of the town, many from Mr. Coles’ postcard collection.
Twenty years later, Mr. Coles was one of the lead writers on another history section in The Press, describing the town’s participation in World War II. He spent months researching the 49 members of the Ridgefield High School Class of 1941 and their contributions to the war effort. His long article was entitled “Class of ’41: First to Go.” (Two classmates, George Vetter and Charles Cogswell, never returned.)
Mr. Coles had a great interest in antiques and especially antique clocks, a subject on which he became known as a local expert. He was especially interested in Ridgefield antiques and ephemera and had dealers all over the country helping him locate Ridgefield-related items.
In 1983, for the town’s 275th anniversary celebration, he put together a large display of old postcards, which he exhibited at the bank’s Main Street office.
In the late 1940s and 1950s, Mr. Coles played softball in leagues in Westchester and Ridgefield. In his first game in the newly formed Townies Softball League in Ridgefield in 1953, he hit a home run and pitched Hyde’s Liquors to a 10-6 win over Martin’s Jewelry Store.
His love of athletics led him to become active in youth sports. He was one of the organizers of Ridgefield Little League, and later served as its president. He had also managed Babe Ruth League baseball teams, had been a coach in the Red Raider football league, and managed boys teams in the Townies Basketball League.
For a while in the 1950s, Mr. Coles had been part-time sports editor for The Press. He was also fond of golf and invariably had a set of clubs in his car trunk, along with some of his latest antiques acquisitions.
Mr. Coles had been active in Boy Scouts, serving as committee chairman of Troop 47. He had also been a member of the Rotary Club for many years, an incorporator of the Ridgefield Boys Club, a treasurer of the Community Center, and treasurer for the local Red Cross.
In 1967, he was given the Ridgefield Jaycees Distinguished Service Award. When he retired after 42 years with the bank, he received testimonials for his service to the bank and community from President Ronald Reagan and Connecticut Governor John Rowland, then a congressman.
In 1999, the Ridgefield Old Timers honored Mr. Coles with its Civic Award, citing his “dedication and hard working in the various youth programs... Charlie spent many hours helping young athletes inprove their skills.”
Mr. McNamara added “something about Charlie that a lot of people are not aware of: He was very helpful to people in town in a very quiet way. If someone came to Charlie with a financial problem, he found a way to solve it. And he did that over and over again.”
Besides his wife of 55 years, Mr. Coles is survived by two sons, David C. Coles of Ridgefield and Gary R. Coles and his wife Barbara and their two children, Leigh Anne and Kevin R. Coles, of Bethel; and his brother, William Coles of Wilton.
Friends may call at the Kane Funeral Home, 41 Catoonah Street, on Friday from 5 to 8 p.m.
Graveside funeral services will take place in Fairlawn Cemetery in the spring.
Memorials may be made to the Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association, 90 East Ridge or to the Ridgefield Fire Department Ambulance Fund, 6 Catoonah Street, both of Ridgefield 06877.
Elizabeth Coray, secretary, musician
Elizabeth A. Coray of 640 Danbury Road, a retired executive secretary who was an accomplished musician, died at her home on Saturday evening, Sept. 28. She was 77 years old and wife of the late Warren G. Coray and the late Robert E. Busch.
Mrs. Coray, a former resident of Greenwich and Southbury as well as San Marino, Calif., was born in Downer’s Grove, Ill., on July 4, 1925, a daughter of the late Edward Clark and Margaret Dingle Derr.
She studied at the University of Illinois, The Chicago Conservatory of Music and Columbia (Ill.) College of Radio and Drama.
Mrs. Coray was a retired executive secretary of the U.S. Borax Corporation of Los Angeles, Calif.
As a Greenwich resident, Mrs. Coray was a pediatric volunteer at the Greenwich Hospital, a piano coach at the Greenwich Country Day School as well as a substitute instructor of choral music in the Greenwich public school system. She was also active in Republican affairs.
In years previous, Mrs. Coray was an accompanist at various vocal studios, recitals and ballet performances.
She had lived at Chancellor Park in Ridgefield since early this year.
Mrs. Coray is survived by a daughter, Christine Busch of Rockland, Mass.; and a son, Gary R. Busch and his wife, Lynn, of Ridgefield; a sister, Jean D. Hall of Northridge, Calif.; two grandchildren, Adriana Busch and Taylor Busch, both of Ridgefield; as well several nieces and nephews.
The Rev. John R. Gilchrist, rector, led services Tuesday morning in St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. Burial was in Putnam Cemetery, Greenwich.
Contributions in her memory may be made to the Visiting Nurse Association of Ridgefield, 90 East Ridge, Ridgefield, CT 06877 or to the Glebe House, Hollow Road, Woodbury, CT 06798.
The Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.