Laurie DeLuca, former Ridgefielder
Laurie Ann DeLuca of Danbury, a former Ridgefielder, died on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2004. She was 37 years old.
Ms. DeLuca was the daughter of former Ridgefielders Patricia Mackenzie Thompson of Essex and Frank DeLuca of Brookfield. She grew up in Ridgefield, living on Hillsdale Avenue, and was a member of the Ridgefield High School Class of 1984.
Besides her parents, she is survived by her brother, Stephen DeLuca of Brookfield; her maternal grandmother, Carolyn Manus of Seal Beach, Calif.; and her paternal grandmother, Elvina DeLuca of Charlestown, RI., formerly of Ridgefield.
“Laurie’s warm heart and spirit were appreciated by her family and friends and her true gift of two children is being embraced by many loving people,” her family said.
A private family service will be held in Charlestown, R.I.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to Child and Family Agency, 255 Hempstead Street, New London 06320.
Joan Gillespie, had cleaning service
Joan Lee Febbraio Gillespie of Danbury, a former Ridgefielder who had operated a cleaning service, died on Friday morning, Aug. 6, 2004, at Bridgeport Hospital. She was 61 years old.
Mrs. Gillespie was born in Westport Feb. 5, 1943, daughter of Alice Sweeney Febbraio of Danbury and the late John Febbraio. She attended Westport schools and graduated from Staples High School.
In early years, Mrs. Gillespie worked for Electric Regulator Corp. of Norwalk.
In 1968 she moved to Ridgefield where she was a member of St. Mary’s Church. She was a proprietor of a residential cleaning service.
For the past three years she had lived in Danbury.
“Mrs. Gillespie enjoyed life, her family and most especially her grandchildren,” her family said.
She is survived by her mother, two sons, Darrin C. Burr and his wife Stephanie of Watertown, and Erik J. Burr of Fairfield; a brother John J. Febbraio and his wife Karen of Guilford; and three grandchildren, Jacob, Alex and Kayla .
Funeral services were held on Tuesday at the Jowdy-Kane Funeral Home in Danbury.
Interment was private.
Memorial donations to the Bridgeport Hospital Development Fund for Cardiac Intensive Care, P.O. Box 5000, Bridgeport, CT 06610 would be appreciated.
Earle Greenwood, 82, Navy veteran
Earle Sanford Greenwood of Darien, a former marine chemicals manager and a Navy veteran, died on Saturday, July 31, 2004, at Norwalk Hospital. He was 82 years old.
Mr. Greenwood was born in East Norwalk on April 8, 1922, a son of the late Frederick and Alberta Twist Greenwood. He lived in Norwalk until 1926 when his family moved to Darien.
At Darien High School, he played baseball and basketball for three years and football all four years, in which he earned letters. In his senior year, 1939-1940, Mr. Greenwood was captain and quarterback of the football team and upon graduation in June, was recognized as an outstanding athlete and holder of the highest scholastic average as a senior and received the Class Achievement Cup.
He attended Dartmouth College and shortly thereafter, was accepted at the U.S. Naval Academy where he graduated with the Class of 1946 with a bachelor’s degree.
At the Naval Academy, he won letters in sailing, was captain of the Sailing Team and top academy racer for three years. He was awarded the Col. Thompson Spyglass for placing second of all regimental racing competition in his junior year.
“Greenie,” as classmates at the Naval Academy knew him, was also a talented ventriloquist, performing on stage at academy variety and Musical Club shows with his “Charlie McGish” partner.
Mr. Greenwood served for seven years in the U.S. Navy. He attended Naval Amphibious Command and Mine Warfare Schools in Little Creek and Yorktown, Va. Ensign Greenwood’s overseas tour of duty included minesweeping in Shanghai, China, and serving aboard six minesweepers in two years.
Mr. Greenwood’s career began with the Texaco Oil Company, first as an industrial salesman and later with Texaco’s Marine Department. He then worked for the Perolin Corporation, the Rolfite Company, Fuel Tech and Todd Marine, each as logistics manager dealing in marine chemicals and chemicals for major power companies.
From 1987 until 2001, Mr. Greenwood worked for Chartrek Travel of Darien.
He and his wife, Barbara Margaret Vance Greenwood, lived at 204 High Ridge Avenue during the 1990s. Mrs. Greenwood died in 1995.
Mr. Greenwood was a member of the Westport American Legion Post, Toastmasters International and was honored in 1989 by the Darien Old Timers’ Athletic Association.
“In 2001, Mr. Greenwood accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior and was initiated through the living water of Baptism,” his family said.
Mr. Greenwood is survived by a son and daughter-in-law, Gary F. and Anne D. Greenwood, and their children Jessica and Hannah of Bethel.
The Rev. Joel Eidsness, senior pastor of the Walnut Hill Community Church in Bethel, led graveside services Wednesday at Ridgebury Cemetery.
Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Flory Mische Lotspeich, sanitarian
Florence Mische Lotspeich, a longtime public health official, died on June 7, 2004, after a battle with leukemia. She was 53 years old.
A daughter of the late Joseph and Greta Mische, formerly of Ridgefield, Flory Lotspeich was born March 7, 1951, in Rockville Centre, N.Y. She spent her early years in East Meadow, N.Y., then moved with her family to their new home on Limestone Road in Ridgefield in 1962. She attended Ridgefield public schools and graduated from Putnam Catholic Academy in 1969.
After graduating she worked for several local companies, then joined the U.S. Army, serving as an environmental health specialist for seven years in the United States and Germany. After her military service she lived in San Bernadino, Calif., where she earned her bachelor of science degree in health science from California State University and became a registered sanitarian.
Her career then took her to McMinneville, Ore., where she was a county health inspector for many years. In 1996 she relocated to Portland to help to care for her ailing mother, as well as serve as an ombudsman on behalf of nursing home residents with Alzheimer’s disease. Until just before her unexpected death she was employed as a home health aide for the elderly.
She traveled extensively, including many trips back to Ridgefield for family get-togethers and reunions with her friends from high school.
Ms. Lotspeich leaves a sister, Theresa Magda Mische of Orcas Island, Wash.; two brothers, Philip Mische of Ridgefield and Eric Mische of Oregon City, Ore.; nephews and nieces Jack and Nicholas of Ridgefield and Alyssa, Sarah and Deanna of Oregon City, Ore.
There will be a funeral mass on Aug. 28 at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church in Portland, Ore. A memorial service and burial in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Ridgefield will take place at a future date.
Donations in her name may be made to the Oregon Humane Society, PO Box 11364, Portland, OR 97211.
Charles Miller, grew up here
Charles Napier Miller, 42, formerly of Ridgefield, died July 30, 2004, in San Diego, Calif., after a brief illness.
Born in Ridgefield, the son of Charles and Martha Miller, longtime residents, he attended Ridgefield High School, the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in New York, the University of Tours in Tours, France, and graduated from Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, class of 1983.
He was employed in new business sales for a number of companies in the New York area.
Mr. Miller is survived by a sister, Sarah Deering of Powhatan, Va., and his father, Charles Taylor Miller of Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, Calif.
A memorial service was held in Rancho Bernardo, Calif.
Winifred Prosser, outdoorswoman
Winifred B. Prosser of Ridgefield, an outdoorswoman who was involved in the producing some of the world’s most famous fly rods, died on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2004 at her home. She was 78 years old.
Mrs. Prosser and her first husband, Harold “Pinky” Gillum, founded the Gillum Fly Rod Company in Ridgefield, selling bamboo rods that Mr. Gillum created in his home workshop. Today, nearly 40 years after his death, original Gillum rods sell for as much as $20,000.
A native of Ludlow, Vt., Winnie Prosser was born on Jan. 27, 1926, a daughter of the late Everett and Rose Beckley. She grew up in Vermont and as a young woman, worked for Orvis, the sporting goods retailer, making fishing rods.
In 1946, after she married Ridgefield-native Pinky Gillum, the couple settled here and eventually built a home at Stonecrest. In early years, Mrs. Prosser was employed by Electro-Mechanical Research of Ridgefield as a supervisor and then worked for 20 years at Data Control Systems of Danbury retiring in 1978.
Operated from their home, the Gillums’ company produced custom-made rods and flies that were sold around the world. Both she and Mr. Gillum were avid anglers and Mrs. Prosser had been especially fond of fishing in Nova Scotia.
Mr. Gillum died in 1966 at the age of 70, and a year later, Mrs. Prosser married Marcus R. Prosser, an engineer at Data Control Systems, who was also a fisherman and hunter. After his retirement in 1970, he joined his wife in operating the Gillum Fly Rod Company.
Mr. Prosser died in 1991.
When she was 52, Mrs. Prosser was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and became active in regional support groups. Although she was eventually unable to walk, she kept up an active life. “I do everything from a wheelchair — vaccuuming, gardening, cooking,” she said in a 1991 interview. “I’ve got a life to live.”
Mrs. Prosser is survived by a son, John “Jack” Prosser and his wife Adrianne of Danbury; two grandsons, Dean Prosser of Danbury and Colin Prosser of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; a great-grandson Zachary Prosser; a sister, Evelyn Carlisle of Springfield, Vt.; and several nieces and nephews.
Two sisters, Lillian Baldwin of North Springfield, Vt., and Lucille Kimble of Danby, Vt., died before her.
Services will take place on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. in the Kane Funeral Home, 25 Catoonah Street.
Interment will be private.
Friends will be received in the Kane Funeral Home on Thursday after 11 a.m.
Contributions in her memory may be made to the Visiting Nurse Association, 90 East Ridge, Ridgefield 06877.
Vilma Salvestrini, 79, homemaker
Vilma J. Salvestrini of Spring Hill, Fla., a longtime Ridgefielder, died April 9, 2004, in Spring Hill. She was 79 years old and the wife of Dante Salvestrini.
A native of the Bronx, N.Y., Mrs. Salvestrini was born June 24, 1924, a daughter of Elda and Aristide Sartini. She grew up in Brooklyn and before her marriage had been a seamstress.
She and her husband were married April 10, 1948, in Brooklyn, and soon after, came to Ridgefield where she raised her family.
The Salvestrinis had lived on Jeffro Drive and retired to Florida in 1992.
Besides her husband, Mrs. Salvestrini is survived by two daughters, Pat Morrissey of Brewster, N.Y., and Denise Howard of Poughquag, N.Y.; seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
A memorial mass will take place Saturday, Aug. 28, at noon in St. Mary’s Church.
Contributions in her memory may be made to the American Cancer Society.
Brian Schlierf, 8, Ridgebury pupil
Brian Michael Schlierf, age 8, son of James M. and Janine (Cassar) Schlierf of Ridgefield, died on Wednesday afternoon, August 18, 2004, at Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, Florida. Brian died of burns suffered in a room fire at a resort in the Dominican Republic a week and a half earlier.
Brian was born in New Rochelle, NY, May 15, 1996 and was to enter the third grade at Ridgebury School, Ridgefield.
A resident of Ridgefield for the past four years coming from New Rochelle, he was a participant in the after school athletic programs as well as karate and baseball.
He was a member of St. Mary’s Church.
In addition to his parents, Brian is survived by his brother Kevin Schlierf and sister Samantha Schlierf both of Ridgefield, his paternal grandmother Alice Schlierf of Yonkers, NY and Margaret Cassar of New Rochelle, NY, three aunts, four uncles and many cousins.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, August 25th at 10:15AM in St. Mary’s Church, Ridgefield.
Burial will follow.
Friends will be received in the Kane Funeral Home, 25 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield on Monday and Tuesday from 2PM to 4PM and 7PM to 9PM.