Edward McAleer, RHS Class of 1961
Edward C. McAleer of Vero Beach, Fla., who grew up in Ridgefield and graduated from the high school here, died Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2003, with his family at his side after a battle with lung cancer. He was 60 years old and the husband of Barbara McAleer.
Mr. McAleer was born on Aug. 23, 1942, in Southampton, N.Y., and grew up in Ridgefield on the Eleven Levels Estate on West Mountain. He graduated from Ridgefield High School in 1961 and moved to Bethel in 1969. He served in the United States Navy aboard the USS Shangrila.
Mr. McAleer was employed by the former Plasticrete of Danbury, the former B. J. Dolan’s of Bethel and O&G of Danbury. He retired after 30 years in the industry and, in 1997, moved to Vero Beach.
He belonged to New England Teamsters and Trucking Local 677.
Besides his wife, he is survived by his children: Barbara A. St. Germain of Fairfield, Michael E. McAleer of Danbury, Patricia A. Kenny of Sebastian, Fla., Robert H. Paugh of Vero Beach and Sherrie L. McGary of Vero Beach; his mother, Margaret McAleer of Danbury; his sisters and brother: Mary Morrill of Bethel, John McAleer of North Andover, Mass., Kathleen Skandera of Woodbury, Eileen McAleer of South Salem, N.Y., Alice Carboni of Ridgefield, and Regina Bell of Hampton, N.J.; his grandchildren: Nicole, Meghan, Kayla, Morgan, Gregory, Mason, Ryan, and Matthew, and by many nieces and nephews.
His father, Patrick McAleer of Ridgefield, died in 1989.
A funeral mass took place Friday at St. Helen’s Church, Vero Beach.
Donations in his memory may be made to the American Cancer Society, Attention: Lung Cancer Research Division, 3375 20th Street, Suite 100, Vero Beach, FL 32960
The Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Daphne McLachlan, former Ridgefielder, Florida developer
Daphne Banks McLachlan of Umatilla, Fla., a real estate developer in Florida and a former longtime Ridgefielder, died on Sunday, Dec. 1. She was 83 years old.
Mrs. McLachlan was born in New York, N.Y. and moved to Eustis, Fla., in 1921. She graduated from Eustis High School and Rollins College.
Mrs. McLachlan went to work for Pan American Airlines in Miami, where she met her future husband James “Scotty” McLachlan. They were stationed in Miami, Brownsville, Texas, Frankfurt, Germany, and New York.
The McLachlans moved to 35 Woodlawn Drive in Ridgefield in 1959 . For many years she was a volunteer at the Ridgefield Thrift Shop and had served as its vice president.
Her husband died in 1981.
In Florida, to which she moved in 1990, Mrs. McLachlan was a real estate developer and owner of Dalhousie Groves. She was the developer of Lake Dalhousie Estates.
She was also an artist, worked as a volunteer at Florida Hospital/Waterman, was a member of the Azalea Garden Club, and the Pan American Clipper Pioneers Club.
“She was an avid, accomplished bridge player,” her family said. “She was a generous, loyal, and loving person.”
Mrs. McLachlan is survived by her daughters, Christie M. Estey of Raymond, N.H., and Laurie M. Flaherty of Umatilla, Fla.; and her son, Robert McLachlan of Gloucester, Mass. ,and four grandsons, Christopher, Scotty, Brian, and Timothy.
Dr. Michael Frandsen led services Thursday, Dec. 5, at the Eustis Chapel of Hamlin & Hibish Funeral Directors. She was buried alongside her parents and brother.
Contributions in her memory may be made to Florida Hospital/Waterman, 201 North Eustis Street, Eustis, FL 32726, specifically to Cancer Research in memory of Daphne McLachlan.
Robert C. Meyer, 77, active in tennis
Robert Charles Meyer of Weaverville, N.C., a former Ridgefielder who in retirement became active in tennis, died unexpectedly Friday, Jan.17, of natural causes. He was 77 years old and the husband for nearly 60 years of Elva Meyer.
Born in Chicago in 1925, Mr. Meyer enlisted in the Navy in August 1942 and served on Okinawa. After his discharge, he attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., and graduated from Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., with a degree in mechanical engineering.
He and his family lived on Christopher Road from 1957 to 1978 while he was vice-president of H.O. Penn Machinery Company, a dealer for Caterpillar Tractor.
Since retiring to North Carolina in 1987, he became active in tennis, playing frequently, teaching youth classes, and serving as a certified umpire/referee for the Southern Conference of United States Tennis Association.
After taking woodworking classes at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he volunteered his time at the Harvest House woodshop. He was a member of the men’s garden club and participated in many of their civic projects. He was well known in his community as someone to call on for help with a project.
Besides his wife, he is survived by daughters Cynthia Conti and her husband, Ernest, of Ridgefield; Marcia Ardissone and her husband Randy of Vallejo, Calif.; Claudia Noyes of Burlington, Mass.; and Audrie Meyer of Sacramento, Calif. Grandchildren are Ernest Conti, Linda Fiddner, Ross Noyes, Rob Noyes, Ryan Noyes, Sean Moore, and Nicholas Walters. Great-grandchildren are Christopher Fiddner, Kyle Fiddner, Daniel Fiddner, and Allison Fiddner.
A celebration of his life took place Monday, Jan. 20, at the Weaverville United Methodist Church.
Florence Minett, 90, expert at bridge
Florence A. Minett, an expert at the game of bridge, died on Wednesday, March 12, in Alexandria, Va., from cancer. She was 90 years old and a former Ridgefielder.
Mrs. Minett was born on Dec. 2, 1912, on Long Island, New York, where she was raised in a large Swedish family of eight children in West Hempstead.
She lived in Massapequa, Long Island for 25 years, where she was active in a number of women’s groups, volunteering her time to raise money for local charities. She then retired with her husband, Herbert Walter Minett, to Boynton Beach, Fla.
A resident of Ridgefield for nearly three years after her husband died, she moved to Paul Spring Retirement Community in Alexandria where she lived for several years. Mrs. Minett was an expert bridge player and taught bridge for most of her adult life. he played at the Community Center in Ridgefield while she was a resident.
Mrs. Minett is survived by a daughter, Gail Minett Eltringham of Ridgefield; two grandchildren, Dana Kristin McInnis of Alexandria, and Ryan Andrew Eltringham of Virginia Beach; and her 97-year-old sister, Alice Brayshaw of New London, N.H.
Memorial services were held on Sunday, March 16, in the chapel at Paul Spring Retirement Community in Alexandria.
Memorial contributions may be made in her name to Hospice of Northern Virginia, 9300 Lee Highway, Suite 500, Fairfax, VA 22031.
‘A.J.’ Morelli, 42, retailer, RHS 1979
Andrew Nicholas “A.J.” Morelli Jr. of Hopbrook Road, Brookfield, a Ridgefield native and hardware retailer, died unexpectedly on Sunday, Feb. 2, at Danbury Hospital. He was 42 years old and the husband of Lisa Canessa Morelli.
Mr. Morelli was born on Jan. 15, 1961, in Danbury, son of Andrew N. Morelli Sr. and Elizabeth Shaw Morelli of Indian Shores, Fla. He grew up in Ridgefield and graduated from Ridgefield High School in 1979. Four years later, he received a bachelor of arts degree in electrical engineering from Florida Institute of Technology.
Mr. Morelli had been an assistant manager for the last four years at Keough’s Paint & Hardware Store in Branchville. Before that, he had worked for eight years with his father at the D.F. Bedient Company, the family hardware store on Main Street.
He long had an interest and expertise in the use of computers and helped set up the first computer systems at Bedient’s.
While he enjoyed working with computers and was an expert woodworker and furniture maker, Mr. Morelli was best known as a family man. “He was an absolutely wonderful father, who just adored his children,” said his wife, Lisa, also a former Ridgefielder. The Morellis were married here in 1985.
His mother, Betty Morelli, recalled her son’s wit. “He was a quiet man, but he had quite a sense of humor.”
Lisa Morelli added that her husband enjoyed helping others. “He had the biggest heart,” she said.
Mr. Morelli was a parishioner of St. Joseph Church in Brookfield, and was a past member of the Fifth Connecticut Regiment, the Revolutionary War re-enactment group.
Besides his wife, and his parents, Mr. Morelli is survived by a son, Andrew Nicholas Morelli III of Brookfield; a daughter, Amanda Nicole Morelli of Brookfield; two brothers, Staff Sgt. Mark Morelli of Camp Lejeune, N.C., and Kevin Morelli of Danbury; a sister, Irene Morelli Tennant of Nantucket, Mass.; as well as several nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated today, Thursday, Feb. 6, at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph Church, Brookfield. Burial will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Ridgefield.
Donations in his memory may be made to the Educational Fund for the benefit of Andrew the III and Amanda Morelli at Union Savings Bank, 200 Federal Road, Brookfield, CT 06804 or The Brookfield Volunteer Fire Co., 92 Pocono Road, P.O. Box 5111, Brookfield, CT 06804-5111.
The Brookfield Funeral Home, 786 Federal Road, is in charge of arrangements.
Margaret Moylan, nurse and World War II veteran
Margaret Mary Moylan of Raleigh, N.C., a Ridgefield native who was an operating nurse near battle lines in World War II, died Wednesday, Dec. 11, in North Carolina. She was 86 years old.
Miss Moylan, a daughter of Frank P. and Margaret Fahey Moylan of Ridgefield, graduated from Ridgefield High School in 1933. She received her nursing degree from St. Luke’s Hospital in New York City where she subsequently became assistant supervisor in the operating room.
In May 1942, she enlisted in the U.S. Army and after training at Fort Monmouth and Fort Dix, was shipped to England in early 1944. Lt. Moylan landed in France shortly after D-Day, serving as the head operating nurse with the 90th General Hospital Unit. She continued to care for the troops in France until the war ended.
Upon her return to the States, Miss Moylan continued her nursing career, working at a geriatric center in Mount Kisco and doing private duty work.
She lived for many years on High Ridge, and in 1986 moved to North Carolina to be closer to her brother, Dr. Joseph J. Moylan Sr. and his wife Marie, who live in Clayton, N.C., and who survive her.
She is also survived by a sister-in-law, Pauline Moylan of Ridgefield, and many nieces and nephews. Her brother, Francis P. Moylan, and her sister and brother-in-law, Mary M. and Robert Mulvaney of Ridgefield, died before her.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Saturday in St. Mary’s Church. Burial was in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Wake County, 1300 St. Mary’s Street, Raleigh, NC 27605.
Gunborg Olson, 99, native of Sweden
Gunborg E. Olson, a native of Sweden and the mother of Ethel O. Pettit of Ridgefield, died on Saturday, Dec. 14, at the home of her daughter. She was 99 years old and the widow of Stanley Olson.
Mrs. Olson, known to her many friends as Betty, was born in Bollnas, Sweden, a daughter of the late August and Christina Hillgren. She immigrated to the United States at the age of 20 and met her future husband Stanley in Bridgeport. They were married in 1925, and she became a homemaker.
The Olsons lived in Bridgeport until 1964 when they retired to Southern Pines, N.C., where she served as a blood bank volunteer. When Mr. Olson died in 1975, Mrs. Olson moved to Ridgefield to be with her daughter.
She enjoyed her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Mrs. Pettit said.
Besides Mrs. Pettit, Mrs. Olson is survived by another daughter, Jean Langan of Southport, and by nine grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
A daughter, Norma Olson Anderson, and two sons-in-law, Jack Langan and Dr. Gordon G. Pettit Sr., died before her.
The Rev. Mark D. Allan led a memorial service on Wednesday, Dec. 18, in the First Congregational Church.
Burial will take place at the convenience of the family.
Contributions in her memory may be made to a favorite charity.
The Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Al Pfeifer, Marine veteran, volunteer
Alfred E. Pfeifer of 25 Gilbert Street, a Marine combat veteran of World War II who had been active in the community for more than 30 years, died on Sunday evening, Jan. 12, at Heritage Heights in Danbury. He was 91 years old and the husband of Helen Colopy Pfeifer.
Mr. Pfeifer was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., April 17, 1911, a son of Charles and Dorthea Freese Pfeifer. He attended Brooklyn schools and the University of Pennsylvania.
In the 1930s he went to work for Firestone, managing tire stores in a variety of locations, including rural Ohio where he met his future wife — they were married at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina after Mr. Pfeifer had enlisted in the Marines.
Mr. Pfeifer served in the Marines from 1943 until 1946, starting out as an enlisted man, then graduating from Officer Candidate School in 1944. As a second lieutenant, he saw service as a platoon leader in the Pacific Theatre and fought at the Battle of Okinawa.
In an interview a few years ago, Mr. Pfeifer recalled the Japanese soldiers’ desperate bonzai charges against the invading Americans on Okinawa. “They come in with sabers and rifles — anything they could put their hands on — and make a charge,” he said. “They rushed right in, like bees, all over the place.”
When the war ended, Mr. Pfeifer saw service in China until his discharge.
Back home, Mr. Pfeifer returned to Firestone, becoming a district manager. He later worked for Bandag, whose stores supplied the trucking industry with tires.
Mr. Pfeifer had been a member of Ridgefield’s Marine Corps League detachment since shortly after it was founded in 1971, was the oldest member, and had held every office in the detachment, including commandant.
In 1997, he became the first Marine Corps veteran to be grand marshal of Ridgefield’s Memorial Day Parade.
“He’s one of the finest guys I ever met in my life,” said Bill Lawler, a fellow league member. “He handled everything in an orderly, military manner. He was very dependable — he’s the kind of guy you would want next to you in a foxhole.”
A Ridgefielder since 1967, Mr. Pfeifer was a founding member of the Ridgefield Men’s Club, was active in the OWLS and the AARP, and was a volunteer for Are You OK?, the volunteer service that calls homes of the elderly and infirm each day to make sure they are all right.
He often lent a helping hand to his neighbors. “Anyone who needed anything at Ballard Green, he’d help them,” said his daughter, former Ridgefielder Susan Pfeifer Scala.
“You could always find dad walking all over the village,” Ms. Scala added. “He had been a track man — and had been Penn Relays when he was at Penn. He loved getting out and walking.”
He was also a member of the Bethelem Lutheran Church and later St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church.
Besides his wife, Mr. Pfeifer is survived by a son: Eugene E. Pfeifer of Danbury; a daughter: Susan Pfeifer Scala and her husband Robert of Stonington; four grandchildren: Robert B. Scala and Victoria Scala Schwartz, both of Stonington, and Conor Pfeifer and Maevereen, both of Weston; a niece: Ann Chalkley of Virginia; two nephews: Charles Pfeifer and William Pfeifer; and a cousin, Ann Bihary.
The Rev. Hans Schoenfeld will lead services today, Thursday, at 1 p.m. in St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, 6 Ivy Hill Road.
Burial will take place in the spring in Lutheran Cemetery, Middle Village, Queens, N.Y.
Contributions in Mr. Pfeifer’s memory may be made to the Dorothy Day Hospitality House, 11 Spring Street, Danbury, CT 06810.
The Kane Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.