William C. Reed, manager, teacher, ran for first selectman
William Chapin Reed Sr. of 8 Abbott Avenue, a longtime community volunteer who once ran for first selectman, died on Saturday morning, Dec. 20, at Danbury Hospital. He was 77 years old and husband of Sandra Wilkinson Reed.
Although he was born in New York City on Dec. 2, 1926, a son of John Alden and Emily Chapin Reed, Mr. Reed was of Connecticut stock whose Bushnell and Chapin ancestors were among the early settlers of the Hartford area.
He grew up in New York and Washington, D.C., and graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor's degree in history. He later obtained a master's degree from the University of Bridgeport.
During his career, Mr. Reed was a federal government manager, teacher and small businessman. He was an administrator with the federal "Upward Bound" program, and later served as a budget manager in the U.S. Information Agency's Division of Libraries and Institutes.
For seven years, he taught politics, economics and American history in private prep schools and then became president of the National Education Services, an education credit consulting firm for private schools and colleges.
In recent years, he had been a small business entrepreneur, and most recently owned and operated Reed Landscape Management Company here.
He came to Ridgefield in 1968, living at first on Ramapoo Road before moving 20 years ago to Abbott Avenue, and has been active in church, political and community work.
A Republican, Mr. Reed was a candidate for first selectman in 1975, running against the popular native Louis J. Fossi, an incumbent Democrat. His campaign focused largely on curbing rising tax rates, both through changing management and inducing more corporations to move here. During his campaign he mailed out many hundreds of cards, each with a penny glued on. "This is only a penny," the cards said. "It is a token of the many thousand more you need to pay your increase in taxes this year. Ridgefield has the largest increase in mill rate in its history. I would plan ahead and do my best not to let this happen again."
He favored replacing the Town Meeting with a Representative Town Meeting, a legislative body with representatives elected from neighborhood districts.
"In this way all points of view would be heard," he told an interviewer. "We would then weaken the importance of small but loud vested interest groups and increase the importance of the whole of Ridgefield."
Though he lost the election, he did well enough that the Republican Party asked him the next year to run for state representative or state senator. He declined, saying he still had debts to pay from his first selectman campaign and that it would be unfair to his family.
Mr. Reed had served as program director of the Ridgefield Republican Club and had been a member of the Republican Town Committee. He also belonged to the Kiwanis Club and the Toastmaster's Club.
He was active at Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church, including working for many years at the Yankee Peddler Fair. "He was 'the burger guy'," said his daughter Heidi Dahnke, recalling his job at the annual church event.
Mr. Reed enjoyed all sports, especially following the Washington Redskins.
For many years, he coached Pop Warner football here.
He was also a history buff, and once served on the Board of Directors of the Keeler Tavern Preservation Society.
Besides his wife, Mr. Reed is survived by fours sons, William Reed Jr. of California, Karl R. Dahnke of Indianapolis, Ind., William Reed II of Tampa, Fla., and Scott Reed; five daughters, including Artis Reed of California, Joy Gardineer of Corning, N.Y., Jennifer Beneventano of Wilton, and Heidi Dahnke of Boston, Mass.; two brothers, Phillip Reed of New Hampshire and James Reed of Cape Cod, Mass.; and 12 grandchildren.
The Rev. William Pfohl led services Tuesday, Dec. 23, at Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the Ridgefield Fire Department Ambulance Fund, 6 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877.
The Kane Funeral Home was is in charge of arrangements.
Joyce Montanari Roache, Ridgefield native
Joyce Montanari Roache, 76, of Cave Creek, AZ, died December 4, 2003 at her home.
Mrs. Roache was born in Ridgefield, February 18, 1927 and graduated from Ridgefield High School. In 1948, she married Augustus Montanari who preceded her in death in 1959. She later married Robert E. Roache with whom she shared her life and her love from 1968 until her death.
Joyce will be remembered for her creativity, her love for family and her courageous spirit.
In addition to her husband, a daughter Tracey Seymour, son in law Jim and grandchildren Andy and Beth of Glendale, AZ, a son Guy Montanari, daughter in law Roberta and grandchildren Lauren and Lindsay of Danbury and husband Robert’s children Luann Mullen, Bruce Roache, Rusty Roache and their families, sister Dee Kramer and brother Philip Bailey survive her.
Graveside funeral services will take place on Friday at 2PM in Lakeview Cemetery, New Canaan, CT.
There will be no calling hours.
The Kane Funeral Home, 25 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield is in charge of arrangements.
Richard J. Rosevalt, 55, engineer
Richard Jay Rosevalt of Ridgefield, a broadcasting satellite engineer, died on Thursday morning, Dec. 25, at Stamford Hospital. He was 55 years old and the husband of Cecilia Bierwirth Rosevalt.
Mr. Rosevalt was born in Stamford on Oct. 5, 1948, a son of Edna Dziok Rosevalt of Stamford and the late Victor Rosevalt. He attended Stamford schools and graduated from Norwalk Technical College with a bachelor’s degree in engineering.
At the time of his death, Mr. Rosevalt was a broadcasting satellite engineer with Ascent Media of Stamford, formerly Group W Network Services of Glenbrook.
A licensed ham radio operator, Mr. Rosevalt was the owner and operator of K1DR amateur radio repeater station in New Canaan. He had also assisted the Ridgefield ham group, R-Com, with setting up emergency communications equipment.
He enjoyed history and boating and was a former member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary of Norwalk.
A resident of Ridgefield since 1986, Mr. Rosevalt had previously lived in Glenbrook.
He was a member of the First Congregational Church here.
Besides his wife and his mother, Mr. Rosevalt is survived by a daughter, Rebecca J. Rosevalt of Ridgefield.
The Rev. Mark Allan led services on Tuesday in the First Congregational Church.
Burial was in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the Bennett Cancer Center, 34 Shelburne Road, Stamford, CT 06902.
The Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Mary A. Rouse, 93, former nanny
Mary A. Rouse of 198 Main Street, Danbury, who had worked here as a nanny years ago, died on Saturday, Dec. 20, at Laurel Ridge Nursing and Skilled Care Center on Route 7. She was 93 years old and the widow of William Rouse.
Mrs. Rouse was born in North Salem, N.Y., on Feb. 13, 1910, a daughter of the late Lee and Annie Christopher Brown. She grew up in Ridgefield and attended local schools.
In early years, Mrs. Rouse was employed by the Connolly family and later the Jessup family, both of Ridgefield, as a domestic and nanny.
In later years, Mrs. Rouse worked for the Barden Corporation from which she retired in 1970.
A Danbury resident for the past 43 years, Mrs. Rouse was a daily communicant at St. Peter’s Church and was responsible for the altar preparation and weekly Mass at Ives Manor. She was also active in the Danbury Senior Center.
She is survived by a son, William J. Rouse and his wife Rhoda of Clermont, Fla.; four grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
Her husband and six siblings, and a son, Richard Rouse, died before her.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Tuesday in St. Peter Church, Danbury.
Burial will take place in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Ridgefield, at the convenience of the family.
There will be no calling hours.
Contributions in her memory may be made to Regional Hospice of Western Connecticut, Home Health Care, 405 Main Street, Danbury, CT 06810.
The Jowdy-Kane Funeral Home, 9-11 Granville Avenue, Danbury, is in charge of arrangements.
Betty Ryan, 72, actress and singer
Betty Ryan, a longtime Ridgefielder who was active in amateur theater, died on Dec. 19, 2003, at home with family in Cloudland, Ga. She was 72 years old.
Born on Aug. 12, 1931 to George and Idelle Engelhardt in White Plains, N.Y., she attended public schools there, graduating from White Plains Technical College in 1951.
Ms. Ryan worked for Reader’s Digest, starting as a correspondent in 1962 and retiring in 1995 from the magazine circulation department in the capacity of forecasting the direction of the business.
A longtime resident, she moved to Ridgefield in 1963 and was a member of the Ridgebury Congregational Church where she served in many lay positions and volunteer capacities, as well as in the choir.
A lifelong fan of the theater in general and musicals in particular, Ms. Ryan was very active in community theater, belonging to the Charles Pope Choristers and to the Ridgefield Workshop for the Performing Arts. She is remembered for such roles as Aunt Eller from Oklahoma! and as the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz.
She enjoyed local summer stock and frequently traveled to New York to attend Broadway shows, opera, classical music recitals and the ballet. “To Betty, all the world was a stage and everybody was a star,” said her son, Michael La Grange.
In 2001, Ms. Ryan moved to Orlando, Fla., to be closer to family.
Survivors include her son, Michael La Grange and his wife Marianne of Orlando and Cloudland; a daughter and grandson, Suzanne and Jake La Grange of Missoula, Mont.; a brother, George Engelhardt of Lexington, Va.; and several nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held in the spring in Ridgefield.
Contributions in her memory may be made to Heyman Hospice Care; P.O. Box 163, Rome, GA 30162-0163.
John Sunley, 90, active volunteer, longtime Ridgefielder
John Hornibrook Sunley of Ned’s Mountain Road died on Dec. 28 of pneumonia. Jack, as he was known, was 90 years old.
Well known for his volunteer work in this community, Mr. Sunley was on the board of the Visiting Nurses for 25 years and served on many committees.
Born in Vancouver, B.C., Mr. Sunley grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and later graduated from the University of Toronto with a master of arts in psychology.
He served in the Canadian Army for three years, returning from the European theater as a major.
He worked for the American Can Company in Manhattan and in Greenwich, directing the market research department.
Mr. Sunley and his wife, Ruth, purchased property on Ned’s Mountain Road 50 years ago. The weekend house for 25 years became the year-round home when Mr. Sunley retired 25 years later.
Besides his wife of 63 years, Mr. Sunley is survived by Ruth, a niece in Calgary, Alberta, and two nephews, one in Toronto and one in South Australia.
Remembrances may be sent to the Visiting Nurse Association of Ridgefield, 90 East Ridge.
Molly Ann Tango, 10, enjoyed horseback riding
Molly Ann Tango, 10, daughter of Todd M. and Catherine (Barnell) Tango died on Tuesday morning, December 23, 2003 at Westchester County Medical Center, Valhalla, NY.
Molly was born in Danbury April 27, 1993 and has been an area resident all of her life. She participated in the Pegasus Horseback Riding Program in Ridgefield and was a member of St. Mary’s Church.
In addition to her parents, she is survived by her siblings, Connor, Caitlin and Lily all of Ridgefield, her paternal grandmother, Marjorie (O’Hara) Tango of Ridgefield, her maternal grandfather Joseph Barnell of Venice, FL, formerly of Ridgefield, as well as several aunts, uncles and cousins.
A twin sister Megan Marie Tango and grandparents, Richard Tango and Eileen Barnell predeceased her.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday at 10:15AM in St. Mary’s Church, Ridgefield.
Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Friends will be received in the Kane Funeral Home, 25 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield on Sunday from 4PM to 7PM.
In lieu of flowers the family would appreciate donations to the Molly Ann Tango Fund, Chase Bank, 92-98 Grove Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877 to aid families with children of special needs.