Eileen Oberhammer, 41, sales engineer
Eileen Dunworth Oberhammer of Bethel, who grew up here and graduated from Ridgefield High School, died on July 19 of leukemia. She was 41 years old.
Mrs. Oberhammer, who was affectionately known as “Booie” to her family and friends, was the wife of Christopher Oberhammer and mother of Sara, Erin and Casey Oberhammer.
She was born in New York City, the daughter of Joseph and Florence Dunworth of Danbury, former longtime West Lane residents.
Mrs. Oberhammer grew up in Ridgefield, graduating from Ridgefield High School in 1980. She had lived in Bethel for more than 18 years and was an active member of St. Mary’s Church there.
She had been a sales engineer with Panatech Engineering Co. of Newtown.
Besides her husband, children and parents, Mrs. Oberhammer is survived by her sisters, Lolly Turner of Redding, who owns the Whistle Stop in Branchville, Terri Tucker of Hopewell Junction, N.Y., Niki Utecht of Valley Center, Calif., and Grace Doyon of Newtown.
A memorial service will be celebrated at St. Mary’s Church in Bethel on Saturday, July 26, at 10 a.m.
Her friends have established the Oberhammer Children Education Fund at Union Savings Bank, Bethel. Contributions may be sent in care of Eleanor McClellan, 1 Settlers Road, Bethel, CT 06801.
The Bethel Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Rose M. Oliver, 83, Sister Magdalene of New Skete Monastery
Rose M. Oliver, a former Ridgefielder who entered a convent after a business career, died March 17, in Guilderland, N.Y., at Our Lady of Mercy Life Care Center. She had been a resident there for 11 months. She lived at Carpenter Close in Casagmo from 1972 to 1975. Survivors include a son, Ken Oliver, who was an X-ray technician at Ridgefield
Orthopaedic Group for several years.
Born April 3, 1919 in New York City, she was the daughter of the late William and Anna Horn. She was a graduate of Cathedral High School and Hunter College, both in New York City. She was director of the Norwalk School of Business and executive secretary to the president of Caldor.
In 1975 she joined New Skete Monastery and became Sister Magdalene. One of her contributions was starting the world famous "Nuns of New Skete" cheesecakes.
"When my mom entered the convent in 1975 as Sister Magdalene, she brought to them her love of baking. She was asked to make some desserts for a few local restaurants and from there it ballooned into their livelihood through word of mouth and people visiting the monastery. They added a professional bakery and today distribute all over the USA," her son Ken said.
"She was always a spiritual person. She was very active in the church in St. Mary’s in Norwalk, and in the Mother’s Guild, Rosary Society and many fund drives for the church. She raised us alone and when we were all grown and had our own lives, she entered the convent where she had a calling."
"She was one of the original supporters of New Skete Monastery when it got its start in 1965," he said. The monastery is part of the Orthodox Church of America. She was also an avid reader and at the time of her death, was working on a book about baking and her spiritual life.
Survivors include her four children, Simeon Oliver of Belton, S.C., Lyn Detroy of Norwalk, Ken of South Salem, N.Y., and Betsi Cole of New Milford; a sister Ann Brown of Emerson, N.J., and 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Funeral services took place at Holy Wisdom Church at New Skete Monastery in Cambridge, N.Y., and the burial was at New Skete Monastery Cemetery. Contributions in her memory can be made to Nuns of New Skete, Cambridge, N.Y.
Donald Paris, 83, highway crewman
Donald E. Paris of Danbury, a former Ridgefielder who worked for the town, died Saturday, July 19, at Danbury Hospital after a long illness. He was 83 years old.
Mr. Paris was born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada, June 28, 1920, a son of the late Robert H. and Mabel Gero Paris of Glover and Lyndonville, Vt.
Mr. Paris worked for the town highway department from 1952 until his retirement in 1982. He had lived in Ridgefield for many years, including on Soundview Road and later on Bailey Avenue.
He is survived by his wife Prudence Clap Paris; two daughters, Cherie Robinson and Robin Paris, both of Danbury; two sons, Paul Paris of Bethel and Edmund Paris of Danbury; four children from a previous marriage to the late Marjorie Wilson Paris, Carol A. Green of Warren, Maine, Eileen F. Might of Danville, Va., Donald S. Paris of Dryfork, Va., and Robert L. Paris of Milton, Vt.; two brothers, Lloyd Paris of Lyndonville, Vt., and Robert Paris of Danbury; nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will take place on Sunday, July 27, at 12:30 in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Route 25, Brookfield Center.
Memorials may be made to the American Lung Association of Connecticut, 45 Ash Street, East Hartford, CT 06108-3272.
The Jowdy-Kane Funeral Home, 9-11 Granville Avenue, Danbury, is in charge of arrangements.
George Passantino, 80, artist, teacher, August 18
George C. Passantino of Ridgefield, an artist, teacher and author whose portraits and landscapes are in collections throughout the country, died Monday, Aug. 18, at St. Raphael’s Hospital in New Haven. He was 80 years old and the husband of Bobbi Passantino.
Mr. Passantino, a Ridgefielder since 1966, taught at the Art Students League and Famous Artists School and produced several books on painting during his long career as an artist.
A native of the Bronx, N.Y., Mr. Passantino was born on Dec. 3, 1922, a son of the late Michael and Eva Presti Passantino. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps and fought at Iwo Jima with the Fighting Fourth Marine Division.
After the war, Mr. Passantino took advantage of the G.I. bill and attended the Art Students League in New York City for five years. He studied under such influential artists as Robert Ward Johnson and Howard Trafton, but felt his most important teacher was Frank J. Reilly who, according to a biography of Mr. Passantino, "taught him how to go on learning all of his artistic life — how to choose good information and eliminate the trendy."
In 1957, Mr. Passantino joined the Famous Artists School in Westport where he became not only a teacher, but a supervisor of other instructors. He worked there until 1972. Six years later, he joined the faculty of the Art Students League, teaching life and landscape classes for 13 years. He also taught at the Silvermine College of Art in New Canaan, and led many workshops throughout the country.
"I teach a lot," Mr. Passantino told a Press interviewer in 1980. "I myself was taught well and I feel an obligation to share it with those who want to learn."
He confessed that"I’d rather spend all my time painting." But, he added, "there are so many dumb teachers in the art world, if I can start people off with the right ideas, I think I should do it."
Mr. Passantino was an author of three books, The Portrait and Figure Painting Book (1979), which has been published in seven languages; Figures in Oil (1980); Portraits in Oil (1980); and Figure Painting Step by Step (2000). He contributed to the book, Six Artists Paint A Portrait, first published in 1974 and still in print.
Mr. Passantino appears in both Who’s Who in the East and Who’s Who in American Art. His awards include the Charles Noel Flagg prize at the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts. He has been a judge of many shows. Mr. Passantino’s work has been exhibited at the Salmagundi Club, the Wadsworth Athenaeum, the National Academy, and many shows. He is represented by Portraits Inc. in New York City and locally his work is found
at the Southport Harbor Gallery.
Mr. Passantino was a communicant of Sacred Heart Church in Georgetown.
Besides his wife of 44 years, Mr. Passantino is survived by two daughters, Nina Allen and her husband David of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Donna Thomas and her husband Stirling of Concord, Mass.; a brother, Matthew Passantino of New Jersey; a sister, Catherine Sanzari of New Jersey; and three granddaughters and a grandson.
The Rev. M. Joseph Joaquin, pastor, will celebrate a Mass of Christian Burial today, Thursday, Aug. 21, at 11 a.m. in Sacred Heart Church, Georgetown.
Burial will be private.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the American Heart Association, P. O. Box 100, Wallingford, CT 06492.
The Bouton Funeral Home in Georgetown was in charge of arrangements.
Stanley Peterson, retired engineer
H. Stanley Peterson of Ridgefield died on Tuesday, Aug. 19, at Danbury Hospital after a lengthy illness. He was 86 and lived here for 36 years.
Mr. Peterson was born in New York City on June 1, 1917, the son of Gustav Herman and Anna Ahl Peterson. Mr. Peterson moved to the Cos Cob section of Greenwich as a child and graduated from Greenwich High School where he became interested in art. While he was in high school, he had some illustrations published in The Greenwich Time and also was paid for commercial art he created for store advertising. He also contributed to high school publications.
Faced with a decision to pursue a career as a commercial artist or as an engineer, Mr. Peterson elected the latter and earned a degree in mechanical engineering from New York University.
Mr. Peterson’s professional contributions include the design of high-precision ball bearings at Norma Hoffman, gas turbines at Elliot Company and Wright Aero, petroleum refineries at MW Kellogg and finally industrial robots at the Unimation facility in Bethel.
Mr. Peterson retired from Unimation in 1982. He remained active in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers during his retirement.
Mr. Peterson was an Eagle Scout and a Sea Scout. As the father of two sons, he continued to be active in the Boy Scouts of America for many years.
The son of a Swedish cabinetmaker, Mr. Peterson also loved woodworking. He built furniture for his home and taught furniture repair at the Ridgefield Men’s Club.
Mr. Peterson was also a gifted watercolorist and cartoonist, giving numerous paintings to family members. During his retirement, he created many cartoons for use on Christmas and other cards that he and his wife sent to family and friends.
He was an active member of the Ridgefield Men’s Club, served Ridgebury Congregational Church in various capacities, and participated in both the Darien and Ridgefield Masonic Lodges.
Mr. Peterson is survived by his wife of 60 years, Gladys Diana Henchcliffe Peterson, and his sons, Dr. H. Kenneth Peterson, and wife Kathleen V. O’Connell, of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Stephen K. Peterson and partner The Most Rev. Richard G. Roy of Albany, N.Y.; his brother, The Rev. Gustave Peterson, and wife Barbara of South Hadley, Mass.; an aunt, Mrs. Josef Carlsson of Torhamn, Sweden; a cousin, Mrs. Charles Rettie of Riverside; as well as other cousins, nieces and nephews.
A memorial service for Mr. Peterson was held on Saturday, Aug. 23, at Ridgebury Congregational Church.
Donations in Mr. Peterson’s memory may be made to The Masonic Charity Foundation of Connecticut, 22 Masonic Avenue, P.O. Box 70, Wallingford, CT 06492 and to the Danbury Hospital Development Fund for Oncology and Intensive Care Nursing, 24 Hospital Avenue, Danbury, CT 06810.
The Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Rick Piasecki, 53, Vietnam veteran
Richard L. "Rick" Piasecki of Neptune, N.J., a decorated Vietnam veteran who had lived in Ridgefield in the 1970s, died Tuesday, Sept. 16, at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune. He was 53 years old
Mr. Piasecki had been a self-employed house painter for 25 years.
He was a U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War and served with the 101st Airborne Division. He received the Bronze Star, Combat Infantry Badge, and Distinguished Service Medal with Oakleaf Cluster. He was also a Wall youth soccer coach.
Born in Port Chester, N.Y., he had lived in Ridgefield from 1972 to 1981.
He was a member of the Atonement Lutheran Church, Asbury Park, the Vietnam Veterans of America, and the Wall V.F.W. Post 1398.
Surviving are his former wife, Jeanne Robichaud of Neptune; two sons, Richard P. Piasecki and David Lee Piasecki, both of Neptune; his mother, Frances Piasecki Echandi; five brothers, Anthony Piasecki of Howell, Paul Piasecki of Wall, Rodney Piasecki of New Lisbon, Alan Piasecki, and Michael Piasecki, both of Howell; and two sisters, Jane DiDonato of Wall, and Patti Horton of Ocean Township.
Burial was in St. Anne's Cemetery, Wall Township, on Monday, Sept. 22.
Arrangements were made through the Francioni, Taylor & Lopez Funeral Home, 1200 10th and Atkins Avenues, Neptune, N.J.
Kathleen Rowe, 70, traveler, sailor
Kathleen P. Rowe of Jupiter, Fla., a former Ridgefielder who enjoyed sailing the East Coast and traveling throughout the country, died Wednesday, Aug. 27, at the Jupiter Medical Center. She was 70 years old and the wife of Albert W. Rowe.
Mrs. Rowe was born in Port Chester, N.Y., a daughter of Mary and Edward Wallace and spent most of her early years in Greenwich. She was a 1950 graduate of Greenwich High School, where she met her future husband.
The Rowes moved to Ridgefield in 1958, one of the first families living at the Ridgefield Knolls. Here, she raised her seven children and was also active in the choir at St. Mary’s Church.
At the time of her death, Mrs. Rowe was co-owner with her husband of Twin Stamping Associates, L.L.C., a family business in New Milford that creates metal parts for electronic and medical equipment. The couple retired to Jupiter in 1991.
Mrs. Rowe was an avid traveler. She and her husband sailed the East Coast in their 42-foot sailboat, and they belonged to the Housatonic Boat Club in Stratford.
The couple also traveled widely in North America in their RV.
“She loved traveling in her motor home, singing, sailing and spending time with family and friends,” her family said. “She loved life and cared deeply about others.”
Besides her husband, Mrs. Rowe is survived by seven children: Eileen Tilford of Cary, N.C., Kevin Rowe of Bethel, Mary “Molly” De Joseph of Wilton, Albert W. Rowe III of Danbury, Brian W. Rowe of New Milford, Kathleen Shaw and Kerry Molyneaux, both of Ridgefield; a brother, Anthony Wallace of Landrum S.C.; a sister, Veronica Christiansen of Floral Park, N.Y.; 18 grandchildren, including Ridgefielders Tom and Mary Shaw, and Patrick and Erin Molyneaux; a great-grandchild; and several nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will take place today, Thursday, Sept. 4, at 10:30 a.m. in St. Mary’s Church. Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Contributions in her memory may be made to the Ridgefield Boys and Girls Club, 41 Governor Street, Ridgefield 06877.
The Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.