Elizabeth Cairns, 89, retailer, bowler
Elizabeth A. Cairns of Old Town Road, Ridgefield, a retired Wilton retailer, died Wednesday, March 12, at Wilton Meadows. She was 89 years old and the widow of James R. Cairns Sr.
Mrs. Cairns was born in Queens, N.Y., on Nov. 20, 1913, the second of 14 children of Robert and Elizabeth O’Keefe Dillman. She attended Long Island schools and lived on Long Island until her marriage to James Cairns in 1931. Mrs. Cairns then moved to Staten Island, N.Y., and later to Mount Kisco, N.Y. In 1940 the couple came to the area, and had a home in Branchville since 1960. Mr. Cairns died in 1974.
For many years, Mrs. Cairns was a manager of Maggie’s Children Store in Wilton. She was an avid bowler and a member of the Mary Rebekah Lodge in Ridgefield.
Mrs. Cairns was a member of the First Congregational Church of Ridgefield.
“Her family was the most important part of her life and she very much enjoyed her extended family as well,” her family said.
Mrs. Cairns is survived by three sons, James R. Cairns Jr. and his wife Lucille of Venice, Fla., Donald Cairns and his wife Marcia of New Milford, and Roy Cairns and his wife Laura of Mahopac, N.Y.; two sisters, Rita Abrams of Long Island, N.Y., and Katherine Lobracco of Indiana; a brother, Frank Dillman of Florida; nine grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
The Rev. Mark Allan of the First Congregational Church in Ridgefield conducted services Monday in the Kane Funeral Home. Burial will take place in Fairlawn Cemetery, Ridgefield, in the spring.
Contributions in her memory may be made to a charity of one’s choice.
Sidney Brown, gunner shot down twice
Sidney C. Brown of North Port, Fla., and Westbrook, a World War II bomber gunner who was shot down twice during World War II, died Jan. 7 at Middlesex Hospital, Middletown, after a brief illness. He was 83 years old.
A native of Ridgefield, Mr. Brown was born on Jan. 15, 1919, one of 12 children of William M. and Louise Brown. He had lived most of his life in Danbury.
Mr. Brown was married to Charlotte Virginia Cohn on Dec. 7, 1941, the day Pearl Harbor was attacked, and was drafted by the U.S. Army only weeks later.
Trained in the Army Air Corps, he flew two dozen missions in the 34th Bomb Group as a gunner, first in a B-17 and then B-24, “The Flying Fortress.”
He was shot down twice, first over his own airfield in England and second over the Black Forest in Germany where he was captured and held in a German prison camp for 13 months.
He earned a Purple Heart, four Oak Clusters for successful missions, the Bronze Star and many other ribbons and medals for service to his country. He was active in a national ex-prisoner of war organization and attended reunions annually.
Mr. Brown retired early from the Perkin-Elmer Corporation in 1978 after working on numerous projects, especially the Mercury space capsule flown by Scott Carpenter.
He also served on the Civilian Conservation Corps building roads in Connecticut after World War II.
Mr. Brown is survived by three children: son Ronald Brown of Venice, Fla.; daughter Jo Ann Brown of Danbury; and Francine DeLelle of Stamford; grandchildren Shelly Brown of Middletown, Del., Stephanie Cypher of Waterbury; Meredith McDermott of Danbury; Jason DeLelle of New Milford, Michelle DeLelle of Stamford; Virginia Greenwood of Nokomis, Fla., Michael Brown of Venice, Fla; great-grandchildren Jozlyn, Madison and Blain; and his second wife Eileen D. Porter Cohn Brown.
There are no calling hours and no funeral. Mr. Brown will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery within the next two weeks and be honored at a military ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Condolences may be sent to his daughter Jo Ann Brown at 45 Tamarack Avenue, Danbury, CT 06811.
Mylo Ziegenhagen, marketing expert
Mylo E. “Zieg” Ziegenhagen, an industrial maketing expert and a Ridgefielder for 30 years, died at Danbury Hospital on Thursday, Feb. 27, of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 88 years old.
Mr. Ziegenhagen was an ardent gardener and wildlife enthusiast, who had served as a ranger at Aldrich Park on New Road for several years. There he cleared and supervised trails as well as created new ones.
Mr. Ziegenhagen grew up on a farm in Columbus, N.D., where he was born on Feb. 7, 1915, a son of Emma and Albert Ziegenhagen. He received a degree in engineering from the University of North Dakota in 1938.
For two years during World War II, Mr. Ziegenhagen served as engineering officer on Navy destroyer escorts in the Pacific Theatre. At one point during the battle for Iwo Jima, his ship was nearly hit by kamikaze planes.
Mr. Ziegenhagen, who was a lieutenant, used his engineering expertise to devise a way of automatically clearing salt from the desalinator aboard his ship. Unlike larger and fancier vessels in the fleet, “his boat had a limitless supply of pure water for showers,” said his son, Robert. “His crew loved him.”
After the war he worked in industrial advertising and marketing, starting out as an account manager for General Electric, later working for Worthington, and finally serving as director of advertising, sales promotion and public relations for Babcock & Wilcox Companies. After moving to Ridgefield in 1973, he developed a consulting practice, advising corporations on marketing strategies. He retired in 1985.
During his career, he had been chairman of the Association of Industrial Advertisers and president of the National Association of Industrial Advertisers.
Mr. Ziegenhagen was well known in his Farmingville neighborhood for contributing his skills learned on the farm and through engineering. “He could fix anything,” his son said. “He was the neighborhood handyman.”
He leaves his wife, Anne Thompson Ziegenhagen; two sons, Robert L. Ziegenhagen of Longmont, Colo., and John I. Ziegenhagen of Waterbury; three granddaughters, Susan King of Montrose, Colo., Lynzi Lack of Pacific Grove, Calif., and Deirdre Ziegenhagen of Danbury; three great-grandsons, Connor and Ryan King and Zander Lack; and two sisters, Mrs. Leo Torreson and Mrs. Clifford Kittelson of Fergus Falls, Minn.
Services were private.
Contributions in Mr. Ziegenhagen’s memory may be made to Regional Hospice, 405 Main Street, Danbury, CT 06810.
The Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Anne Ziegenhagen, 85, active in Ridgefield
Anne Thompson Ziegenhagen, a Ridgefielder for 30 years, died at home in Danbury early Monday morning, April 21, from complications of lung cancer. She was 85 years old.
Mrs. Ziegenhagen spent most of her years in Ridgefield enjoying her beautiful property on Farmingville Road. She and her late husband, Mylo, who died in February, were avid gardeners and enjoyed tending to their various flower, vegetable and fruit gardens. Every year they allowed the elementary school children from Farmingville to take field trips to their property and learn about nature. Many of the neighborhood children also learned how to swim at the Ziegenhagen pool.
Mrs. Ziegenhagen was an athlete in her younger years. She played football with the neighborhood boys until her early teens, was an enthusiastic swimmer and senior lifesaver, and also enjoyed softball, tennis and figure skating.
She attended Smith College where she was president of the Glee Club and a member of the Smith Madrigals. She graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in 1939.
She joined the Junior League in 1935 and became a sustaining member in 1975. During WWII she was a Pink Lady and rolled bandages as part of the war effort.
Mrs. Ziegenhagen helped enlarge and organize the town library in Summit, N.J., and then again when she moved to Ridgefield in 1973. She helped found the Friends of the Library organization in Ridgefield and became president in the early 1990s. She was also an active member of the League of Women Voters and held the position of recording secretary for years. When she first moved to Ridgefield, she was a hostess at Keeler Tavern and later became a forest ranger at Aldrich Park.
Mrs. Ziegenhagen is survived by two sons, Robert L. Ziegenhagen of Longmont, Colo., and John I. Ziegenhagen of Waterbury: three granddaughters, Susan King of Montrose, Colo., Lynzi Lack of Pacific Grove, Calif., and Deirdre Ziegenhagen of Danbury; three great-grandsons, Connor and Ryan King and Zander Lack; and a brother, Ike Thompson.
Services are private.
Contributions in Mrs. Ziegenhagen's memory may be made to Regional Hospice, 405 Main Street, Danbury, CT 06810. The Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Anna Ancona, active at Sacred Heart
Anna T. Ancona, a homemaker and a resident of Ridgefield for more than a half century, died on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2003, at Danbury Hospital. She was 76 years old and the wife of Philip C. Ancona.
Mrs. Ancona was born in Trumbull on July 26, 1926, a daughter of the late Domenico and Teresa Grippi Cariello, who were natives of Italy from the province of Salerno. She and her husband met at a wedding in Trumbull, and the two were married on June 21, 1952. They celebrated their golden wedding anniversary last year.
Mrs. Ancona was a homemaker and, her husband reports, a wonderful mother to her two children.
Mrs. Ancona was also a devout Catholic, attending mass every day, and was an active member of Sacred Heart Church in Georgetown, where she belonged to the Rosary Society.
He added that his wife went out of her way to help her family, friends and church, but was a modest person and never wanted any credit for her work.
Besides her husband, Mrs. Ancona is survived by two children, Charles P. Ancona of New York City and Teresa Ancona of Geneva, Switzerland; two sisters, Mary Cariello and Elizabeth Cariello, both of Trumbull; a grandson, Michael Philip Krell of Geneva; and several nieces and nephews.
Her brother, John Cariello, and two sisters, Antonette Apicella and Carmela Cariello, died before her.
The Rev. M. Joseph Joaquin, pastor, celebrated a Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday, March 1, in Sacred Heart Church. Burial was in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Contributions in her memory may be made to Sacred Heart Church, P.O. Box 388, Georgetown, CT 06829.
The Bouton Funeral Home in Georgetown was in charge of arrangements.
Doris Andrews, 82, artist, preservationist
Doris Bass Andrews of Ridgefield, a moving force in the creation of the Weir Farm National Historic Site and the surrounding Weir Preserve in Ridgefield and Wilton, died May 25 at Danbury Hospital after a lengthy illness. She was 82 years old..
Born in Louisville, Ky., on Aug. 14, 1920, Mrs. Andrews was the daughter of the late Dr. Albert L. and Dorothy Kelly Bass. She is the great-granddaughter of William Kelly, who discovered the pneumatic process for refining steel.
After graduating from the Erskine School in Boston, she returned to her home town, where, during World War II, she mastered Morse Code and served as a telegraph operator for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Subsequently she moved to New York City to study at the Art Students League. There she met a fellow art student, Charles Sperry Andrews III, whom she married in 1948.
In 1957, the couple bought as their home the house, art studios and part of the farm that had been owned during the late 19th and early 20th centuries by the American Impressionist painter Julian Alden Weir, and subsequently by Weir’s daughter Dorothy and her husband, the sculptor Mahonri Young.
From 1882 to 1919 the farm had been a gathering place for Weir and his wide circle of friends including Albert Pinkham Ryder, Childe Hassam, John Singer Sargent, and John Twachtman, who gathered to socialize and to paint. Following the Youngs, Mrs. Andrews and her husband, both watercolorists, were the third generation of working artists to live at Weir Farm.
When it became clear that parcels of this naturally and culturally significant landscape would not withstand pressures for development, Mrs. Andrews and her husband formed a grass-roots organization to help preserve the property for use by the public and visiting artists. After years of work by many people, a substantial portion of the farm was saved, through efforts involving the Nature Conservancy, the Trust for Public Land, the State of Connecticut and U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman.
By donation and purchase, the Weir Preserve of the Nature Conservancy was created as a natural area.
According to Nancy Faesy of the Weir Preserve Stewardship Committee, “We owe Doris Andrews immense gratitude for having the vision and energy to get the Weir Preserve organized and expanded to its current 110 acres.”
In 1977, Mrs. Andrews received the Nature Conservancy Connecticut Chapter’s White Oak Award for her work on behalf of the preserve.
In 1990, Congress passed legislation authorizing 60 acres of the historic farm as Weir Farm National Historic Site. It is the only unit of the National Park System in Connecticut, and the only National Park Site in the country that celebrates American painting.
Weir Farm is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is considered the finest remaining landscape associated with American Impressionism.
Mrs. Andrews was a member of the Council of Overseers of the Weir Farm Trust, the non-profit organization that works in partnership with the National Park Service to preserve Weir Farm’s unique resources and provide programs for artists and the visiting public.
In addition, Mrs. Andrews was for many years an active worker for Minks to Sinks of Wilton, a charity fund-raising event on behalf of the Family and Children’s Agency.
“She was intensely devoted as a mother,” said her daughter, Catherine Barrett Andrews. “She was highly opinionated and amazingly stubborn. She had an almost unerringly accurate artistic sense of what was right and what was not right — in everything.”
As an artist, she worked in watercolor and pen and ink. Her daughter recalled an evening when her father, well known for his own artwork, lamented the years she had not pursued her own talent.
“She was a brilliant watercolorist,” Ms. Andrews said. “She really gave up her artwork for him, when they got married and started a family. And at one point my father and bunch of their artist friends were sitting around and my brother Sperry produced a number of her early works, watercolors, and everyone present was just amazed at how beautiful they were. There was just this stunned silence. And my father said ‘Oh my God, I should have given up my life for hers.’ ”
She is survived by her husband; a daughter, Catherine Barrett Andrews of Madison, Ga.; two sons, Charles Sperry Andrews IV of Sedona, Ariz., and Albert Ballard Andrews of Wilton; and a brother, Bruce Bass of Louisville. She also leaves seven grandchildren, including Benjamin, Nathaniel and Sebastian Andrews of Wilton.
A memorial service is being planned at The Weir Farm, and will be announced.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Weir Farm Trust at 735 Nod Hill road, Wilton, CT 06897.
Robert Atkinson, financial executive
Robert Leo Atkinson of Greenbrier Lane, Fox Hill, a retired financial executive and World War II veteran, died on Sunday, March 2, at Danbury Hospital. He was 78 years old.
Mr. Atkinson was born in Carbondale, Pa., on Jan. 19, 1925, son of Loretta and Walter Atkinson. He grew up in Carbondale until the age of 12 when he and his family moved to Astoria, Queens, N.Y.
During World War II, Mr. Atkinson served in the U.S. Army Air Force in England as a technician working on bombers with the 13th Mobile Repair and Reclamation Unit. He received the European African Middle Eastern Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.
After the war, Mr. Atkinson graduated from New York University School of Business and Management and joined Deknatel Corporation, a manufacturer of medical equipment, which was later acquired as a division of Pfizer Corporation. He spent 33 years with Deknatel, most recently as a financial officer. After his retirement, he continued as a consultant to the company for five years.
A Ridgefielder for the past six years, Mr. Atkinson came here from Shirley, Long Island. Before that, he had lived in Floral Park.
He is survived by his wife and longtime friend, Carmela Atkinson of Ridgefield; his daughter, Anna L. Karashik and her husband Steve of Ridgefield; and five grandchildren, Robert and Daniel Atkinson of Queens, N.Y., and Matthew, Robyn, and Adam Karashik of Ridgefield.
A son, Robert Atkinson, died before him.
Services took place on Wednesday at the Kane Funeral Home.
Burial with full military honors will take place in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia at a future date.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the Meals on Wheels Program, 25 Gilbert Street, Ridgefield, 06877 or to the National World War II Memorial Fund, American Battle Monuments Commission, P.O. Box 96074, Washington, DC 20090-6074.