Pauline Serfilippi, waitress, seamstress
Pauline Albanesi Serfilippi of Palm Harbor, Fla., a longtime Ridgefielder who had been a waitress and a skilled seamstress, died on Friday afternoon, June 6, at Manor Care Health Center, Palm Harbor.
She was 88 years old and the widow of Reno J. Serfilippi, who died in 1997, and the mother of the late Richard N. Serfilippi, who died April 25.
Mrs. Serfilippi was born in Bridgeport on March 26, 1915, a daughter of the late Nazzareno and Esterina Albanesi. When she was a small child, her family moved to Corona, Queens, N.Y., where she grew up and attended local schools.
She came to Ridgefield in 1938 when she married Reno Serfilippi. She raised her family on South Olmstead Lane.
In the 1960s, Mrs. Serfilippi became a waitress at the former Hayloft Restaurant on Route 35 in South Salem, N.Y. In the 1970s, she worked as a waitress at the Silver Spring Country Club.
She was also a skilled seamstress, making clothes for her own family as well as on commission for other families in Ridgefield.
“She was an excellent seamstress,” said Town Clerk Barbara Serfilippi, her daughter-in-law. “She also loved to knit and crochet.”
Barbara Serfilippi added that her mother-in-law “was an excellent cook — she taught me a lot.”
Mrs. Serfillippi moved to Palm Harbor in 1998. When she lived here, she had been a member of St. Mary's Church.
Besides her daughter in law, Mrs. Serfilippi is survived by a son, Peter L. Serfilippi of Palm Harbor; four grandchildren, Andrew, Mark, Laura and Nicole; two great-grandchildren; a brother-in-law, Frank Serfilippi and his wife Natalie of Ridgefield; two sisters-in-law, Rose Belardinelli and Louise Serfilippi, both of Ridgefield, as well as several nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated today, Thursday, at 10:30 a.m. in St. Mary's Church, Ridgefield.
Burial will follow in St. Mary's Cemetery.
There will be no calling hours.
Memorials may be made to the Visiting Nurse Association, 90 East Ridge, Ridgefield 06877.
The Kane Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Richard Serfilippi, official, volunteer
Richard N. Serfilippi of 32 Colonial Lane, Ridgefield’s longest serving town constable, died on Friday evening, April 25. He was 64 years old and the husband of Town Clerk Barbara Torcellini Serfilippi.
Known among old-time Ridgefield residents by his nickname, “Serf,” Mr. Serfilippi was born on Feb. 10, 1939 to Pauline Albanesi Serfilippi and the late Reno J. Serfilippi. He lived in Ridgefield all of his life.
“He was a townie in the true sense of the word,” said Mr. Serfilippi’s friend and fellow native, Police Chief Richard Ligi.
Mr. Serfilippi graduated from Ridgefield High School in 1956 and, following family tradition, became a contractor and landscaper. The former owner of A&M Maintenance Company of Ridgefield, he was employed in later years by the Ridgefield Supply Company and by Total Comfort in Danbury.
Mr. Serfilippi enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1957 and served until 1960 when he was honorably discharged. He was an active member and past commandant of the Ridgefield Marine Corps League and was known throughout the community for his volunteer service, including his work for the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots campaign and its annual spring benefit game dinner.
“He was selfless in his volunteer work. He gave it his all,” recalled current corps commandant Frank Kunst.
Besides his service as a town constable and league commandant, Mr. Serfilippi was a member of the Conservation Commission and the Italian American Mutual Aid Society. He was formerly a member of the Ridgefield Contractors Association, was active in the Ridgefield Old Timers Association and in regular attendance at the Early Bird Old Times’ breakfast club. Mr. Serfilippi was a parishioner at St. Mary’s Church and formerly a sexton of St. Mary’s Cemetery.
He was active in the Ridgefield Little League and devoted time and physical labor to creating the playing field off Bennett’s Farm Road that was later named in his honor.
“In addition to his devotion to his own sons, Mark and Andy, he just loved kids,” said Ridgefield Volunteer Fire Chief Eddie Gabbianelli, who rented his first home from the Serfilippis. “It was still being remodeled and Serf made sure that the workers didn’t wake up our son while the work was in progress.”
His friends remember Mr. Serfilippi not only for his love for children, but also his commitment to his family and his desire to preserve the old Ridgefield traditions of his Italian-American heritage, as well as for his wry sense of humor.
Mr. Serfilippi enjoyed hunting and other outdoor activities with his Ridgefield friends but enjoyed most of all the camaraderie and traditions that came with those activities. “Whether helping Andy Montanari prepare and roast porcetta or helping his uncle Frank make wine, Richard loved keeping those old traditions alive,” said former Old Timer’s Association chairman Tom Belote.
Beside his wife of 39 years and his mother, Mr. Serfilippi is survived by two sons and daughters-in-law, Andrew and Judy Serfilippi and Mark and Lauren Serfilippi of Bethel; a brother, Peter Serfilippi of Palm Harbor, Fla.; his mother-in-law and father-in-law, Yolanda and Don Torcellini of Ridgefield; his sister in-law, Carol Torcellini of Bethel; his uncle Frank Serfilippi and wife Natalie of Ridgefield; and two aunts, Rose Belardinelli and Louise Serfilippi of Ridgefield.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Wednesday, April 30, at St. Mary’s Church. Burial was in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Contributions in his memory may be sent to the Danbury Hospital Development Fund for Oncology, 24 Hospital Avenue, Danbury, CT 06810.
The Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Charles W. Schoenfeld, 79, retired engineer
Charles W. Schoenfeld of Glen Road, a retired engineer and longtime Ridgefielder, died at his home Sunday, Jan. 26, 2003. He was 79 years old and the husband of Mary Anna Duus Schoenfeld.
Mr. Schoenfeld was born in Flushing, Long Island, N.Y., on March 3, 1923, son of the late Charles and Emma Waln Schoenfeld. He grew up in western Pennsylvania, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of New Mexico and received a master’s in business administration from the University of Connecticut.
Mr. Schoenfeld, who moved to Ridgefield in 1965, had worked for more than 25 years at Unimation before retiring as manager in the mechanical engineering systems division.
He was a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, as well as the Ridgefield Men’s Club.
His interests included his family and gardening. “He had a huge vegetable garden,” noted Mary Schoenfeld, his wife of 54 years.
He was also a “dedicated traveler — he loved traveling, particularly in Europe,” Mrs. Schoenfeld added.
Besides his wife, Mr. Schoenfeld is survived by a daughter, Lynn Abrahamson of South Windsor; two sons, Steven Schoenfeld of Ridgefield, and Martin Schoenfeld of Trumbull; a sister, Barbara Neuman of Chicago, Ill.; and three grandchildren.
Services will be private and at the convenience of the family.
Contributions in his memory may be made to WECAHR, 211 Main Street, Danbury, CT 06810; or to Devil’s Den Nature Conservancy, P.O. Box 1162, Weston, CT 06883.
Carole L. Rieg, 65, retired IBM accountant
Carole L. Rieg of 57 Prospect Street, a retired accountant who was on the staff of St. Ignatius Retreat House, died on Tuesday, May 6, at the Danbury Hospital. She was 65 years old.
Miss Rieg was born in Shanghai, China, March 1, 1938, a daughter of Harold L. and Marian Haskin Rieg.
She had a long career with I.B.M. where she had been an accountant. In recent years, she had been a member of the staff at St. Ignatius Retreat House of Ridgefield and a member of Christ the King Church there.
Miss Rieg came to Ridgefield from Los Angles, Calif., 38 years ago. For many years she had lived at Casagmo.
“She was a very interesting person and very smart,” said longtime friend Christian Nugent. “She was very well liked, helpful and thoughtful, and always had something nice to say.”
Miss Rieg enjoyed cats, liked gardening, and loved to cook. “She’d get a new recipe and she’d go to town with it,” Ms. Nugent recalled.
There are no immediate survivors.
A Solemn High Requiem Funeral Mass was celebrated Tuesday at Christ the King Church on Tackora Trail.
Burial was in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Contributions in her memory may be made to St. Ignatius Retreat House, 209 Tackora Trail, Ridgefield 06877.
The Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Jennie Aleksandrowicz, retired clerk
Jennie V. Aleksandrowicz of 2 Silver Spring Park Road, who worked at Stop & Shop when the store first opened here, died on Thursday evening, June 26, at Danbury Hospital. She was 73 years old and wife of John M. Aleksandrowicz Sr.
Mrs. Aleksandrowicz was born in Stamford on Jan. 22, 1930, a daughter of the late Dominick and Mary Bregiallo Pope. She attended Stamford schools and graduated from Stamford High School.
She moved from Stamford to Ridgefield 41 years ago. She went to work for Stop & Shop when the store first opened in 1972 and retired in the late 1970s.
Mrs. Aleksandrowicz was a former Cub Scout den mother at Veterans Park School and was a member of St. Mary’s Church.
She enjoyed knitting and crocheting, and often made sweaters, hats and pocketbooks for members of the family.
Besides her husband of 51 years, Mrs. Aleksandrowicz is survived by three sons, John Aleksandrowicz Jr. of Ridgefield, Michael Aleksandrowicz and his wife Donna, and Robert Aleksandrowicz and his wife Christine, all of New Milford; a brother, Frederick Pope of Orange; a sister, Frances Moniz of Stamford; six grandchildren, Michael Jr., Joseph, Nicole, Miranda, David and Thomas; and several nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Wednesday in St. Mary’s Church.
Burial followed in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Contributions in her memory may be made to the American Diabetes Association, 300 Research Parkway, Meriden, CT 06450.
The Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Martin Allen, 54, Vietnam veteran
"Bull wants, also maybe pilot?" - MARTIN E. ALLEN
Martin E. Allen, a former Redding resident who had been a tree surgeon, died Tuesday, July 29, in Wilton Meadows Health Care Center. He was 54 years old and had suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Marty Allen was born in Norwalk on May 25, 1949, grew up in Westport and Weston, and had lived in Ridgefield, Redding and other area towns. He graduated from Staples High School and was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of the Vietnam War.
An outdoorsman, he had been a tree surgeon with New England Tree in Bethel for 16 years. “He would often be found eating his lunch sitting up in the boughs of a tree 30 feet high,” a friend said.
Mr. Allen had been active in local softball leagues, both managing and pitching. He maintained that he never had a losing season in 24 years of play.
Nearly three years ago, Mr. Allen learned that he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly called Lou Gehrig’s disease, which progressively attacks and kills nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. During his illness many friends rallied to his support. Last November, 150 people gathered to honor him at a party held at Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church in Ridgefield.
“Friends keep me alive,” he told a reporter after the event.
Linda Avila, a Wilton Meadows nurse who cared for Mr. Allen, said last fall that “he’s charmed all the staff here and is always smiling. I’ve never seen anybody handle [Lou Gehrig’s disease] like him. He’s an inspiration.”
Last fall, Mr. Allen and a group of more than 30 friends got together to support the fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. He was asked to cut the ribbon to begin the walk-a-thon and despite being wheelchair bound, he led his group in raising more than $3,500.
His survivors include a son, Kyle, who lives in Illinois, two sisters, Joanne and Betty, and two brothers, Frank and Patrick.
Friends and family will gather at the Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Road East, Westport, on Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m.
A graveside service will take place Friday at 11 a.m. in Christ and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church Cemetery, Kings Highway North at Old Hill Road in Westport.
A memorial service will be held at a later date in Allens Meadow in Wilton.
Vera Baker, 74, expert at miniatures
Vera A. Baker of Old Stagecoach Road, a retired Perkin-Elmer worker who was an expert at creating miniature pieces for doll houses, died Sunday, June 22, at the age of 74.
Mrs. Baker was born in Beckenham, England, and moved to Connecticut in 1956 and to Ridgefield in 1960 with her husband, Leonard C. Baker.
Mrs. Baker had worked for 15 years as an electronics assembler at Perkin-Elmer. She was well known for her work with miniatures and her ability to turn any small item into furniture or decorations for her doll houses. Many of her creations were sold at her daughter’s store, The Small Collector, which was on Route 7 in Redding.
“She loved working with fabrics and material and could often be found at her sewing machine,” her family said.
Besides her husband of 53 years, Mrs. Baker is survived two daughters, Lisa McBride of San Antonio, Texas, and Debra Mecozzi of Georgetown; and six grandchildren Nicholas, Jason and Allyson McBride, and David, Derek and Derrien Mecozzi.
Services were private.
Donations may be made in her name to Ann’s Place, 103 Newtown Road, Suite 1B, Suite 1B, Danbury, CT 06810.