Alexander Schemm, war veteran
Alexander W. Schemm of Blountstown, Fla., a World War II veteran and former Ridgefielder, died March 14, 2004, at Parthenon Healthcare of Blountstown. He was 85 years old.
Mr. Schemm was born in New York, N.Y., June 24, 1918, son of the late Alexander W. and Pauline Montoske Schemm. He was a graduate of New York University and served in the United States Army during World War II, taking part in the invasion of Europe.
He was employed for many years at General Diversities Inc. in King of Prussia, Pa., as a CPA before retiring in 1983.
Mr. Schemm is survived by two daughters, Arlene M. Cochran and her husband Michael of Los Gatos, Calif.; Catharine A. Kolaski and her husband Andrew of Ridgefield; a daughter-in-law, Karen A. Schemm of Peoria, Ariz.; four grandsons, Warren S. Cochran and his wife Kassandra of Los Gatos, Calif.; Jeffrey J. Cochran and his wife Aletia of Portland, Ore.; Andrew P. Kolaski Jr., his wife Laura, and their son Quinn of Shelton; Jason T. Schemm and his wife Emily of Gaylordsville; one granddaughter Jennifer C. Cochran of Boulder, Colo., and four great-grandsons: Dylan Cochran, Miles Cochran, Kade Cochran, and Jonas Schemm.
A son, Paul B. Schemm, died in 1997.
Services were held at both Peavey Funeral Home in Blountstown and Williams Funeral Home in Skippack, Pa. Interment was at Limerick Garden of Memories, Limerick, Pa.
Ian M. Sharpe, 44, tax executive
Ian MacDonald Sharpe of Ridgefield, tax director and tax counsel at GE Equity in Stamford, died Sunday, Feb. 22, after a long illness. He was 44 years old, the husband of Lisa Sharpe, and the father of Jennifer, 10, and Robert, 8.
Born in Sacramento, Calif., Mr. Sharpe was the son of Marian S. Sharpe of Ridgefield and the late Robert H. Sharpe. He grew up in Sacramento and graduated from Jesuit High School there in 1977.
Long active in Boy Scouting, the young Ian Sharpe attained the rank of Eagle Scout. His scouting accomplishments led to his selection as a representative to the World Jamboree at Lillehammer, Norway, in 1975. During the same year, he served as club president in the Sacramento Valley chapter of the National Forensic League, in which he held a Degree of Honor.
Many families in the Sacramento area experienced the teenager’s gift for teaching during their summers at Camp Sacramento in the 1970s. Over many seasons, he introduced young and old to the plants and animals of the Sierra Nevada. While conducting one of his nature classes in 1979, he assisted a badly injured hiker his group had come upon; a resolution of the California State Legislature credits him with saving the hiker’s life.
His career in tax accounting started when he was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1986 after earning a J.D. degree at the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law in 1985.
He went on to earn an M.B.A. in finance from the University of California at Davis in 1987. He was an active Golden Bears football fan, having become so during his undergraduate years at the University of California at Berkeley, where he received an A.B. degree in environmental geography in 1982. During his Berkeley days, he was also a member of the Iota chapter of Sigma Pi fraternity and served as chapter president for a year.
Mr. Sharpe joined the tax department of PriceWaterhouse in San Francisco, where he met his future wife, Lisa Klepinger. He rose steadily to become tax manager before accepting an invitation to work with PriceWaterhouse’s Washington National Tax Services in Washington, D.C., in 1992. There, he monitored and analyzed legislative and regulatory developments and shared his views on these subjects both in print (Journal of Bank Taxation) and at the lectern (AICPA National Conference on Banking). He came to Connecticut when he was promoted to senior tax manager, in charge of an outsourced tax department for a regional commercial bank.
After nine years of work in public accounting, Mr. Sharpe took a position as senior tax manager and tax counsel with GE Capital in Stamford. He later worked at Mason, Ohio, and Cherry Hill, N.J., and was promoted to tax director, then vice president-taxes, before returning to Stamford as tax director and tax counsel with GE Equity.
Besides being a member of the State Bar of California’s Section of Taxation, Mr. Sharpe was a member of the American Bar Association’s Section of Taxation, the Tax Executives Institute (Connecticut Valley chapter), and the Mortgage Bankers Association of America’s Tax Subcommittee. For brief periods, he taught tax-related courses at both the University of San Francisco and the University of Hartford.
His family said that, “Even though Ian had a distinguished and successful career in tax accounting, his first love and joy was his wife and family... Ian was an attentive and active father, always making time to be with his children, whether to teach them soccer, to read to them from books including his boyhood favorite, Tolkein’s ‘Lord of the Rings,’ or just to share his love of learning and life.
“As a husband Ian was always supportive; he participated fully in raising the family, encouraged Lisa in her career and kept the magic alive. His family will cherish their memories of everyday events, such as family movie nights, to special occasions, like their vacation to Camp Sacramento, where Ian spent many of his boyhood summers.”
Besides his wife of 12 years, his children, and his mother, Mr. Sharpe is survived by a brother, Marc Hammond, of Somersworth, N.H., many relatives in the San Francisco Bay area, and a large extended family and many friends.
A memorial service will take place Saturday, Feb. 28, at 11 a.m. at St. Stephen’s Church, 351 Main Street. This service will be followed at the same location by a celebration of his life.
Lunch will be served upon the conclusion of the service at North Hall.
In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations for either the education of Lisa and Ian’s children (donations should be made out to John Reese, Trustee, 470 Main Street, P.O. Box 1048, Ridgefield, CT, 06877 along with a note indicating that it is for the Sharpe children), or to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, P.O. Box 19024, J5-200, Seattle, WA 98109-1024.
The Kane Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Lillian Scaglia Stevens, 90, native
Lillian Scaglia Stevens of Wilton, a Ridgefield native, died on Thursday, March 18, 2004, at Wilton Meadows Care Center. She was 90 years old and the widow of Charles Stevens, who died in 1991.
Mrs. Stevens was born in Ridgefield on Oct. 6, 1913, a daughter of the late Michele (pronounced “Michael”) and Flora Mead Scaglia. The family homestead was on Danbury Road near where Adam Broderick hairstylist is today.
She grew up in Ridgefield, attending the old Titicus Schoolhouse and graduating from Ridgefield High School. After her marriage, she lived for a while in Georgetown and then made her home in Norwalk for many years.
Mrs. Stevens was a skilled craftswoman, and did many kinds of needlework. She was a ceramicist, enjoyed baking, and, while living in Norwalk, did upholstery work for an antiques store.
“She was great at everything,” said her daughter, Esther Sturges of West Redding.
“She loved her garden,” Mrs. Sturges added. “She used to have corsages for us every Easter from her garden.”
Besides her daughter, Mrs. Stevens is survived by her son, Ronald L. Buckley of Norwalk; eight grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.
A daughter, Betty Dunphy, died before her.
Services and interment are private.
There are no calling hours.
The Bouton Funeral Home, 31 West Church Street, Georgetown, was in charge of arrangements.
Rita Tuccio, homemaker, Miss Italy
Rita Tuccio of Ridgefield, a homemaker who had once been Miss Italy, died Monday, March 22, 2004, at her home after a 13-year battle with cancer. She was the wife of Joseph Tuccio.
Margherita Nazzarena Stazi was born at home in Castellazzo, Italy, a daughter of Mario and Teresa Boidi Stazi. She grew up in Milano, experiencing World War II during her childhood.
At the age of 22, she became Miss Italy and then competed in the Miss Universe Pageant in Hollywood, Calif.
She married Joseph Tuccio and, in 1958, moved to the United States. The Tuccios have lived on Lookout Point for 40 years.
“Mom will be remembered for her beautiful laugh, and her dedication and devotion to her children and grandchildren,” her children said. “She lived for her family. She was a stay-at-home mom first and foremost, postponing her career aspirations.”
After raising her family, Mrs. Tuccio went to Western Connecticut State University, earning a degree in accounting in 1983. She then worked in real estate.
“She learned to play golf and ride horses,” her children said. “She will be remembered for her many talents: Her gardening, sewing, knitting, interior design, and... her Italian cooking. She was the quintessential ‘Mama Bella.’”
Besides her husband of 50 years, Mrs. Tuccio is survived by three sons, George Tuccio and his wife Debbie of Valhalla, N.Y., Bill Tuccio and his wife Barbara of Holt, Fla., and Joseph Tuccio Jr. of Ridgefield; two daughers, Sue Heinrichs and her husband Tom of Fairbanks, Alaska, and Linda Tuccio-Koonz of Newtown; seven grandchildren, Joey, Gina, George, Michael, Lina, Eva, and Risa; and a large family in Italy, including Zia Lina, her sister, Giuseppina, and cousin Letizia.
A memorial service will take place Friday, March 26, at 11 a.m. in St. Elizabeth Seton Church.
Contributions in her memory may be made to FISH, c/o Mrs. Ruth Sell, 54 Riverside Drive, Ridgefield, CT 06877.
The Kane Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Michael J. Violante, 49, architect, active in community
Michael J. Violante of Craigmoor Road, an architect who was active in the town government, died unexpectedly of natural causes Wednesday morning, March 3. He was 49 years old and the husband of Melinda Bowen Violante. His devoted constant companion was Einstein, a black Lab.
Mr. Violante, who had been elected to the Republican Town Committee in January, had been an active participant in town government, speaking at many town meetings and before government agencies, particularly about taxation. He had frequently contributed letters to The Press on town government operations. Some years ago, he had served on the town’s East Ridge Middle School Building Committee.
Mr. Violante was born July 19, 1954, in Bridgeport, a son of Wanda and the late Michael J. Violante Sr. He grew up in Bridgeport and graduated from the New York School of Technology on Long Island.
He came to Ridgefield about 14 years ago, living first on Pin Pack Road. At the time he had been a staff architect with Duty Free International here, specializing in the design of retail stores at airports around the world. He later established his own architectural firm, ARC International Architects, but continued to design for Duty Free and had just completed the Duty Free shop at the new Philadelphia International Airport. He also designed many other projects, including his own home on Craigmoor Road.
He had received many professional awards, including one from the Connecticut Historical Association for his redesign and renovation of the Westport Carriage House.
Mr. Violante had served as president of the Mamanasco Lake Improvement Fund. He enjoyed wildlife and had frequently contributed observations on birds at Lake Mamanasco to this newspaper’s BirdNotes column.
Besides his wife and mother, he is survived by a brother, Joseph Violante of Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.; two sisters, Marie Rambush of Milford and Donna Tamayo of Manchester; and nine nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday at 11:30 a.m. at St. Mary’s Church. Burial will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Calling hours will be announced by the Kane Funeral Home.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the Shelter Building Fund, c/o ROAR, Box 43, Ridgefield, CT 06877.
Helen Weaver, 79, postal worker
Helen Anne Weaver, a former Ridgefielder who had worked for the post office and had been active in a national postal union, died Wednesday, March 3, 2004, at Middlesex Hospital in Middletown. She was 79 and the widow of Elon Weaver.
Born Dec. 6, 1924 in Norwalk, Mrs. Weaver was a daughter of the late John and Helen Putnoki Ott. She grew up in Norwalk and graduated from Norwalk High School. She went on to obtain bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Western Connecticut State University, and, when she was 50 years old, an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Northwestern Connecticut Community College.
She had lived in Ridgefield for more than 50 years and had worked 26 years for the U.S. Postal Service in Stamford. Both she and her husband, who had worked at the Ridgefield Post Office, were active in union work, and she had been a leader in the Woman’s Auxiliary of the United Federation of Postal Clerks.
She was an extensive world traveler and also enjoyed transcontinental camping expeditions. In 1966, she, her husband and their son Mickey traveled across the country by car and visited Mexico. A year later, they took an 11,000-mile camping trip to Alaska.
Mrs. Weaver is survived by her daughter, Melody Mulvihill of Old Saybrook; a sister, Elizabeth Pollack of Torrington; three grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and many cousins.
Her husband, Elon H. Weaver, died in 1979. Her son, Elon “Mickey” Weaver, also died before her.
Services were held at Grace Episcopal Church in Old Saybrook.
Burial followed in the church's memorial garden.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Grace Episcopal Church Memorial Garden Fund, 338 Main Street, Old Saybrook, CT 06475.
Swan Funeral Home, 1224 Boston Post Road, Old Saybrook, handled arrangements.
Craig Welch, 58, RHS Class of ’63
Craig K. Welch of Watertown, an insurance entrepreneur who had lived in Ridgefield as a boy, died Monday, March 15, at his home. He was 58 years old and the husband of Berenice Toomey-Welch.
Mr. Welch was born Aug. 8, 1945 in New York City, son of the late Walter and Dorothy Kenny Welch, formerly of Ridgefield. Mr. Welch’s family lived on Ketcham Road from 1950 to 1972, and he graduated from Ridgefield High School in 1963. Mr. Welch served with the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.
A graduate of Central Connecticut State University, he also received Chartered Life Underwriter and Chartered Financial Consultant designations from the American College.
Mr. Welch was a member of the life insurance Million Dollar Round Table and over the past 35 years has owned and operated several insurance and investment firms in New Britain and Berlin. At the time of his death, he was an owner of BACH Investments Plus in Berlin.
Active in community and civic affairs, Mr. Welch was a past president of the New Britain Lions Club and a board member of the New Britain Youth Museum. An avid bass fisherman, he founded the local bass fishing club, Connecticut Valley Bass Masters.
Besides his wife, he is survived by three sons, Jeffrey, Jason and Ryan Welch, all of Unionville; a daughter, Brooke Toomey of Watertown; a twin brother, David Welch and his wife Judy of Ashland, Mass.; a sister, Diana Welch of Asheboro, N.C.; and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be today, Thursday, at 11 a.m. at the South Congregational-First Baptist Church, 90 Main Street, New Britain. For directions call 860-223-3691, ext. 3 or log on to www.southchurch.org.
There are no calling hours. Burial will be private.
Memorial contributions may be made to The New Britain Youth Museum, 30 Hugh Street, New Britain, CT 06051 or the American Cancer Society, 31 Capital Drive, W. Springfield, MA 01089.
The Rowe Funeral Home, 283 Torrington Road, Litchfield has charge of arrangements.
James Worrall, 77, retired engineer
James V. Worrall, a retired chemical and environmental engineer, died at his Ridgefield home on Monday, Feb. 23, after a short illness. He was 77 years old and the husband of Mary Lou Spring Worrall.
Mr. Worrall was born in Indianapolis, Ind., on July 3, 1926. He grew up in Indianapolis and served in the U.S. Air Force, stationed in Tokyo, Japan, after World War II. He graduated from Purdue University in 1950 with a degree in chemical engineering.
Mr. Worrall spent his early career with National Aniline, a division of Allied Chemical, in Buffalo, N.Y. He later joined Cowles Chemical Company in Skaneateles, N.Y., as technical director, and was transferred to the Ridgefield area in 1975 by Stauffer Chemical Corporation.
After his retirement from Stauffer in 1986, he worked as an environmental consultant for Roux Associates as a vice president, specializing in ground water contamination and remediation. He managed Roux’s Danbury office.
Since his retirement, Mr. Worrall has enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren. He was active in the Ridgefield Men’s Club. He was an enthusiastic bridge player and belonged to several bridge clubs.
Besides his wife of 51 years, Mr. Worrall is survived by his daughter Susan and her husband Paul Lind of Melrose, Mass.; two sons, James and his wife Jill of Denville, N.J., and John and his wife Cynthia of Wellesley, Mass.; five grandchildren: Emma and James of Denville, Matthew Lind of Melrose, and Hanna and Megan of Wellesley.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 27, at First Congregational Church, 103 Main Street.
Contributions in memory of Mr. Worrall may be made to Regional Hospice of Western Connecticut, 405 Main Street, Danbury, CT 06810.