Elin G. Lowden, 74, banker and bowler
Elin G. Lowden of Danbury, a former banker who had lived in Ridgefield for more than 20 years, died on Sunday, Sept. 21, at Danbury Hospital after a long illness. She was 74 years old and the widow of Edward H. Lowden.
Mrs. Lowden, who had lived in the area all her life, was born in Georgetown on Aug. 1, 1929, a daughter of the late John and Gerta Malmgren Peterson. She was raised in Georgetown, attended Gilbert & Bennett School there, and attended Danbury High School, to which she commuted each day by bus.
Mrs. Lowden met her husband, Edward, on a blind date. After their marriage on Nov. 17, 1954, they lived in Georgetown, then in Stamford for 11 years before moving to Bennett’s Farm Road in May 1968.
In the 1950s, Mrs. Lowden had worked for the Fairfield County Trust Company’s Data Processing Center in Darien. After she raised her family, she joined the staff of the Ridgefield Bank, working in its Branchville office until her retirement in 1989.
Mrs. Lowden had been an active bowler at the old RidgeBowl on Danbury Road, and had been an officer in the Ridgefield Women’s Bowling League. She had been a member for many years in the Moose lodges in Norwalk, Stamford and Danbury.
She also enjoyed playing bingo at the Odd Fellows in Ridgefield and in Danbury.
Survivors include her two daughters, Debra LoCicero of Ridgefield and Karen Valle of West Columbia, S.C.; a sister, Ing-Britt Miller of West Redding; four grandchildren, Alicia and Briana LoCicero and Bretany and Katherine Valle; and several nieces and nephews. Mrs. Lowden was also predeceased by her sister, Lillian Nelson.
Her husband died in 1987.
The Rev. Eric Hillabrant, pastor of the United Covenant Church of Wilton, will lead services on Friday, Sept. 26, at 11 a.m. in the Bouton Funeral Home, 31 West Church Street, Georgetown.
Burial will follow in Branchville Cemetery.
Friends may call the funeral home on Thursday, Sept. 25, from 7 to 9 p.m.
Cynthia Thompson, active in church
Cynthia Marie Thompson of Ridgefield, who was active in the First Congregational Church for many years, died Monday, Sept. 22, at her home. She was 73 years old and the wife of Robert F. Thompson.
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Mrs. Thompson was born on Sept. 11, 1930, a daughter of the late Alexander and Cynthia Allen Du Flon. She graduated from St. Agnes High School in College Point, Queens, and from the Katharine Gibbs of New York.
Mrs. Thompson had been a secretary for the Soap Association Inc. for several years and then worked for a law firm in Pensacola, Fla., while her husband was stationed at the Naval Air Station during the Korean War.
She and her husband met in the fifth grade and were dating by their junior year at St. Agnes High School. “We were high school sweethearts,” Mr. Thompson said.
The Thompsons were married in 1952 and lived in Florida, St. Albans, Queens, and Flushing before moving to Ridgefield in 1964.
Here Mrs. Thompson became active in the First Congregational Church. She served in many capacities, including as a deacon for many years and as a member of the New Church Organ Committee. She was on the search committee that, in 1987, selected the late Dr. William Nigh as minister of the church.
Mrs. Thompson had also been active in the P.E.O., a philanthropic organization that promotes the education of women. She had served in many capacities, including president of the local sisterhood.
She had also been a frequent volunteer at the Dorothy Day soup kitchen in Danbury.
“She was a very kind, caring and outreaching kind of person,” her husband said. “She was most interested in helping people any way she could.”
Mrs. Thompson enjoyed traveling, frequently accompanying her husband on business trips. She especially enjoyed visiting California and Wyoming.
Besides her husband of 51 years, Mrs. Thompson is survived by two sons, Stephen Joseph Thompson and his wife Marie of Hampton Bays, N.Y., and David Robert Thompson of Newtown; a sister, Jane Thompson of Brookfield; five grandchildren, Andrew, Christopher, Brian, Sarah and Kelly; and several nieces and nephews.
A sister, Eileen, died before Mrs. Thompson. Her mother, who had lived with the family in Ridgefield, died last February at the age of 96.
The Rev. Dale Rosenberger will lead services on Friday, Sept. 26, at 11 a.m. in the First Congregational Church.
Burial will take place in the family plot in St. John’s Cemetery, Middle Village, N.Y.
Friends may call at the Kane Funeral Home, 41 Catoonah Street, on Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m.
Contributions in her memory may be made to the Deacon’s Fund at the First Congregational Church, 103 Main Street, Ridgefield, the Visiting Nurse Association, 90 East Ridge, Ridgefield, or to the P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education, c/o Sue Carr, Treasurer Chapter G, 11 Woods Way Road, Redding, CT 06896.
Aldo Tulipani, 86, mailman, musician
Aldo A. Tulipani of Ridgefield, a retired mail carrier and musician who was one of five brothers to serve in World War II, died on Friday afternoon, July 11, 2003, at Hancock Hall, Danbury. He was 86 years old and the husband of the late Antonia Bedini Tulipani.
Mr. Tulipani was born in Ridgefield on Dec. 31, 1916, one of five sons and a daughter of Vincent and Evelina Branchini Tulipani. He was raised on the family’s 65-acre farm on Nod Road and could remember Main Street before it was paved and clogged with cars, and when it was lined with majestic elms. “It was like going through a green tunnel,” he once said. And “it was soooo quiet.”
He grew up during the Depression, but never regretted the hard times which, he said, helped foster a sense of community. “Everybody stuck together,” he said. “Nowadays everybody’s going one way or the other. There’s no time for meditation — no time for quietness.”
He attended the old Whipstick Schoolhouse on the corner of Nod and Whipstick roads and graduated from Ridgefield High School in 1934.
Mr. Tulipani got started in the postal business in 1940. Mail for the Ridgefield village post office arrived by train in Branchville and one day in October, the man who was supposed to catch the mailbag thrown from a passing train was a minute late. The bag broke open on the platform, and hundreds of letters were scattered all over. The messenger refused to pick them up and quit.
Postmaster John L. Walker called Mr. Tulipani for help and the young man took over the job of mail messenger. Although the pay was only $75 a month, it was enough to enable him to marry his sweetheart, Antonia Bedini.
“The thing I most remember about the Branchville Station is the steam from the coal-fired trains on cold mornings,” Mr. Tulipani said in a 1976 interview. “It was picturesque, it was beautiful. The station would be bustling with commuters, trains, engineers, flagmen, and the air was crisp and speckled white from the steam. It’s something that’s gone today — you won’t find it. But it’s part of my life I’ll always remember.”
When World War II broke out, Mr. Tulipani’s four brothers, one by one, left for the service. As a married man with two children, he was not eligible to be drafted until late in the war. When his time came, he joined the Army and was sent to the Philippines with an anti-aircraft unit, in preparation for the invasion of Japan.
Soon after he arrived in the islands, the atomic bombs were dropped on Japan and his duty changed to seeking out Japanese troops still holed up in caves in the Philippines. There, one day in a remote jungle, he was accosted by a Filipino guerilla, who drew a pistol on him. Brother Joseph Tulipani, who had served in the jungles of New Guinea and the Philippines, had worked with the local guerillas and was well-known to them. The guerilla looked at Aldo and saw Joseph. The Filipino might have shot the stranger, Joseph recalled many years later, except that “they recognized him as me.”
After the war ended, Mr. Tulipani continued to serve in the Army in a different capacity. Since his early teens, he had played the accordion and he spotted a notice saying “musicians wanted.” He wound up in a unit playing solo instrumentals and backing up famous musicians during vaudeville shows at out-of-the-way military bases.
Mr. Tulipani was discharged a year later. Back in Ridgefield he returned to the post office and to performing music locally. Before the war he and his siblings, all musicians, had formed an Italian American dance orchestra. After the war, he and many of them played with such groups as the Berkshire Mountain Boys and the Sagebrush Serenaders, performing in vaudeville and minstrels shows, and at square dances in western Connecticut and eastern New York.
At the post office, Mr. Tulipani was a foot mail carrier until 1956 when he took over a rural route that stretched from Branchville across the south part of town into South Salem, N.Y., which was then covered out of the Ridgefield post office. The route included 532 stops along 39 miles of road.
He would take along boxes of candy for the children on his route. “Thursday was candy day,” he said. “But before the kids could get some, they had to say the Pledge of Allegiance. I remember one little girl who could barely even talk, but her brothers and sisters made her practice the pledge all week. When Thursday came, though, she said it all the way through. Oh, gosh, she was only about three years old — she could barely pronounce words like ‘indivisible.’
“I used to get a great kick out of that,” he said. “After a while there were so many kids that I had to have them all say it at once or I’d never have finished the route.”
Mr. Tulipani retired in 1976 after 34 years with the post office. He was only 50, but he continued his second career, teaching and performing on the accordion. He had been teaching the instrument since 1938. As a teenager he had studied at the Accordion Conservatory in New York City and to help pay tuition, gave performances in many Fairfield County towns.
In 1933, while still in high school, Mr. Tulipani performed live on radio station WPCH in New York City. In 1938, he won a state championship in New Haven and was invited a year later to play before a crowd of several thousand people at the New York World’s Fair.
A member of the American Accordion Association, Mr. Tulipani had an automobile license plate that said SQZBX, which stood for “squeezebox,” a nickname for his instrument. He continued to play and perform publicly until about two years ago.
In 1962, Mr. Tulipani was among the founders of the Post 3052 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Ridgefield. He served as chaplain, surgeon and quartermaster, as well as chairman of the Voice of Democracy essay competition for high school students. He also belonged to the Everett Ray Seymour Post of the American Legion, and had been its service officer.
In 1990, he was named grand marshal of the Memorial Day Parade. “We chose Aldo because of the type of man he is: very humble, quiet and he’s done so much for the town,” said Rene Franks, an American Legion official, at the time. “Aldo has done a lot of painting and repairing for us at the Legion Hall. He’s played accordion at our social events. We all enjoy and love him very much.”
Asked at the time what advice he would offer younger generations, Mr. Tulipani said, “Have faith that everything is going to work out.” And, he added, “Always try to see the other guy’s side of things.” His main goal in life, he said, was always “to keep the peace.”
Mr. Tulipani was a member of the Italian-American Mutual Aid Society and of St. Mary’s Church.
Mr. Tulipani is survived by three daughters, Virginia “Ginny” Zaleta and her husband Donald of Danbury, Irene Gray of Wilton and Patricia Becker and her husband Robert of Hingham, Mass.; two brothers, Alfred Tulipani and Joseph Tulipani; and his sister, Ada Walker, all of Ridgefield; nine grandchildren, Diane Hassan, Karen Coglan, Andrew Zaleta, Susan Zaleta, Donald Zaleta Jr., David Gray, Brian Gray, Allsion Becker and Robert Becker Jr., seven great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
Brothers John and Albert Tulipani died before him. His wife died in 2000.
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.
The V.F.W. and American Legion had special services Wednesday night in the Kane Funeral Home.
Contributions in his memory to Regional Hospice of Western Connecticut, 405 Main Street, Danbury or to the Visiting Nurse Association of Ridgefield, 90 East Ridge, Ridgefield, CT 06877 would be appreciated.
Annie Tulipani, caterer, voting official
Annie Marconi Tulipani, a lifelong Ridgefielder who had been an avid cook and popular caterer, died on Saturday morning, Sept. 6, at Danbury Hospital. She was 80 years old and wife of Joseph A. Tulipani.
Anna Teresa Marconi Tulipani was born in Ridgefield on April 21, 1923, the daughter of Rudolph and Amalia Piaggesi Marconi. After her mother died when she was 12 years old, she became close to the Lavatori family and was a lifelong friend of Angie Lavatori Santini.
She attended Ridgefield schools and graduated from Ridgefield High School with the Class of 1941.
During World War II, she worked in war support industries, including at Remington Arms in Bridgeport.
She began dating Joseph Tulipani after his return from the war, and the two were married on Oct. 4, 1947, in St. Mary’s Church.
Mrs. Tulipani was an avid cook, baker and gardener. Her culinary skills were often called upon to make preparations for and oversee many private catering functions throughout Ridgefield and surrounding towns. She was expert at making homemade pastas and was famed for her quiche.
During the 1990s, Mrs. Tulipani served as an assistant registrar for the Republican Party, and had also been a frequent worker at the polls. She had also been a volunteer at the Boys Club.
Mrs. Tulipani enjoyed raising African violets and Christmas cacti as well as engaging in cross-stitch sewing. Years ago she had also bowled with the Ridgefield Women’s Bowling League. She liked to travel and had been to Europe and Italy several times.
Mrs. Tulipani was a member of the Italian American Ladies Mutual Society, where she would help out with events, and was also a member of St. Mary’s Church.
“She was a very happy, jolly person,” said her longtime friend, Elsie Carboni. “She was someone you always wanted to be around. Her personality was great — everyone just loved her.”
Besides her husband of 55 years, Mrs. Tulipani is survived two sons, Vincent Tulipani and James Tulipani, both of Ridgefield, as well as many nieces and nephews, including First Selectman Rudy Marconi, Dale Ligi, Missy Tulipani, Cheryl Pribanic, Beth McKnight, and Lynn Tulipani, all of Ridgefield.
A brother, Nano Marconi, died before her.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Tuesday in St. Mary’s Church. Burial was in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Contributions in her memory may be made to the Visiting Nurse Association, 90 East Ridge, or the Ridgefield Fire Department, 6 Catoonah Street, both Ridgefield 06877.
The Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Wayne E. Weiss, company president
Wayne E. Weiss of Great Hill Road died Wednesday, Aug. 20, at Laurel Ridge, Ridgefield. He was 63 years old and the husband of Bonnie J. White Weiss.
Mr. Weiss was born on May 12, 1940, son of the late Harry and Sally (Mannushkin) Weiss in New York, N.Y.
Mr. Weiss had lived in New Canaan before moving to Ridgefield five years ago. He was the CEO and president of Max Weiss & Son, a healthcare manufacturer in Stamford.
Mr. Weiss enjoyed collecting coins and die cast toys. He was a member of the Danbury Coin Club and the American Numismatic Association.
Besides his wife, Mr. Weiss is survived by three daughters, Lisa Hopkowicz of Melville, N.Y., Stacey Moran and her husband, Edward, of Bethel, and Karen Hopkowicz of Ridgefield; two grandchildren, Ryan and Brianna Moran; and his nephew, Sgt. Chris Weiss and his wife, Paula of Fort Drum, N.Y.
He will also be missed by his three Bichon Frises, Sydney, Maximillion and Sally Girl, the family said.
His brother, Russell Weiss, died before him.
Services were private. There are no calling hours.
Donations may be made in his memory may be made to the Danbury Hospital Development Fund for Neurologic Programming and Services, 24 Hospital Avenue, Danbury, CT 06810.
The Cornell Memorial Home in Danbury was in charge of arrangements.
James G. Brady, 74, built dream house
James G. Brady of New Milford, a race car driver who grew up in Ridgefield, died on Sunday evening, Aug. 10, at New Milford Hospital after a brief illness. He was 74 years old
Mr. Brady was born in Kingston, N.Y., on Oct. 4, 1928, a son of James J. Brady Jr. and Elizabeth Cook Brady. His father had been Ridgefield’s first chief of police.
Mr. Brady moved with his family from Kingston to Ridgefield as a child and attended Ridgefield schools. A U.S. Army veteran, Mr. Brady participated in the Berlin Airlift of 1948.
He was a retired crane operator and a member of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local #648.
During his lifetime, Mr. Brady raced midgets and stock cars, especially at the Danbury Racearena, now part of the Danbury Fair Mall. He was a passionate fan of the NASCAR race circuit, and would keep his family up to date on all aspects of the point standings.
Mr. Brady held a private pilot’s license and a commercial fisherman’s license for fishing in the Florida Keys, which he loved to visit.
He also kept abreast of all local weather patterns to the point where he was affectionately known as “Doppler Dad.”
When he was in eighth grade in Ridgefield, Mr. Brady had a drafting assignment to draw his “dream house.” In an accomplishment he and his family were proud of, Mr. Brady took his eighth grade plans and many years later turned them into reality, building the dream house with the help of his sons. “He performed all aspects of construction,” his family said. “He was truly ‘jack-of-all-trades’.”
A resident of New Milford for the past 18 years, Mr. Brady had previously lived in Danbury for 20 previous years and in Ridgefield for 35 years before that. He had been a member of St. Mary’s Church here.
Mr. Brady is survived by four sons, James Brady of New Milford, Mark Brady of Unionvale, N.Y., Richard Brady of Sandy Hook, and Gary Brady and daughter-in-law Andrea of Unionvale, N.Y.; a sister, Kathryn Keeler of Franklin, Mass.; six grandchildren, Jessica, Meghan, Jennifer, Crysania, Erin and Mark; two great-grandchildren, Collin and Joshua; and several nieces and nephews.
A sister, Elizabeth Peterson, died before him.
The Rev. Peter Lenox, parochial vicar of St. Mary’s Church, will conduct graveside services today, Thursday at 11 a.m. in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Ridgefield.
Contributions in Mr. Brady’s memory may be made to the New Milford Hospital Development Fund, 21 Elm Street, New Milford, CT 06776.
The Kane Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.