Shirley Griffith, executive secretary
Shirley (Thomas) Griffith, 83, of Ridgefield, a former lifelong Stamford resident and retired 40-year City of Stamford municipal employee, died on Friday morning, May 7, 2004 at Danbury Hospital due to respiratory failure.
Shirley was born in Stamford, August 8, 1920, a daughter of the late Harry and Emma (Purdy) Thomas. She attended Stamford schools and graduated from Stamford High School.
She worked as a secretary for Yale and Town, the lock company. Then, in 1950, she became a municipal employee of the City of Stamford and held various positions throughout the 40 years of service, including executive secretary to the head of the Dept. of Public Works and administrative assistant to the Commissioner of Health. She retired in 1990.
In early years, she enjoyed horseback riding, skiing, skating, swimming, and always loved nature and wildlife. She was an advocate for preservation of open space and the protection of wildlife. For many years, she summered with her family at Oak Point on the St. Lawrence River. Her many nieces and nephews will always remember her easy laughter and loving companionship.
A resident of Ridgefield since November 2003, she was a member of the First Congregational Church of Stamford.
A son Thomas F. Griffith, his wife Karen of Ridgefield and their three children, Dale, Renee and Wade and a brother Everett F. Thomas of Oak Point, Hammond NY survive her. Her brothers Harry L. Thomas and Frederick J. Thomas predeceased her.
A Memorial Service will take place in the First Congregational Church, Stamford at a time to be announced.
The family will receive friends following the service.
Memorials contributions to the CT Humane Society, 701 Russell Road, Newington, CT 06111 would be greatly appreciated.
The Kane Funeral Home, 25 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield, CT is in charge of arrangements.
Roland R. Hatter, 70, caretaker
Roland R. Hatter of Ridgefield, a retired caretaker, died on Saturday morning, Oct. 9, 2004, at Danbury Hospital. He was 70 years old and the husband of Ruth Colbert Hatter.
Mr. Hatter was born in Stamford, on Sept. 6, 1934, son of Earl and Delia Tillot Hatter. He attended Stamford schools and graduated from Stamford High School, where he was active in athletics and especially football.
A U.S. Army veteran of the Korean era, Mr. Hatter was a retired caretaker, working on private estates in Ridgefield, where he had lived for the past 33 years. He had earlier worked as a tree surgeon in Stamford.
Besides his wife of 47 years, Mr. Hatter is survived by two brothers: Ernest Hatter of Stamford and Charles Hatter of Ridgley, W.Va.; a sister, Annette Micheli of Darien; and several nieces and nephews.
Chaplain Kendall Palladino of Regional Hospice of Western Connecticut conducted services Wednesday in the Kane Funeral Home.
Interment was in Fairfield Memorial Park, Stamford.
Roger Hill, 53, petroleum engineer
Roger A. Hill of 75 Hunter Lane, a retired petroleum engineer, died on Sunday evening, July 25, 2004, after an extended illness. He was 53 years old and the husband of Rhonda Rand Hill.
Mr. Hill was born in Neosho, Mo., on March 22, 1951, a son of the late Basil and Pearl Durham Hill. He grew up in Carthage, Mo., and attended schools there. He later attended the University of Missouri where he earned his bachelor’s degree. He received his master’s degree in business administration from the University of New Orleans.
Mr. Hill was a petroleum engineer. He began his career with Getty Oil, working in New Orleans and in Mobile, Ala. He later was an energy banker for Texas Commerce Bank in Houston, and had taught at the University of Houston before moving to Ridgefield seven years ago.
He was a member of the First Congregational Church of Ridgefield. His hobbies included photography and he enjoyed traveling.
Besides his wife of 27 years, Mr. Hill is survived by a daughter, Meredith Hill of Ridgefield; two brothers, Edwin Hill of Johnstown, Colo., and David Hill of Orange Park, Fla.; a sister, Lola Baake of Jefferson City, Mo.; and nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, and great-grandnephews.
Services and interment will take place in Carthage.
Contributions in his memory may be made to a charity of one’s choice.
The Kane Funeral Home is in charge of local arrangements.
Richard B. Hitt, 71, cared for dogs
Richard B. Hitt of Ridgefield, longtime operator of The Yankee Clipper and a former assistant dog warden, died Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2004, at his home after a long illness. He was 71 years old and the huband of Carolyn Bardin Hitt.
A native of the Noroton Heights section of Darien, Dick Hitt was born on Aug. 7, 1933, a son of Ruth Scribner Hitt and Gilbert W. Hitt. He grew up in Darien and graduated from Darien High School in 1951.
His long association with dogs began at the age of 12, when he went to work for a Darien kennel. While still a teenager, he served as a junior handler for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden.
After high school, he worked for the Schulhof Animal Hospital in Westport and then became manager of its subsidiary, The Kennel.
“Dogs were in his blood from an early age,” said his wife. “Since he was 12, he hardly knew what a summer vacation was, and what a weekend off was.”
He met Carolyn Bardin, who is from upstate New York, in Darien, and they were married in 1959. They lived in Darien until 1962 when the couple moved to Ridgefield.
In 1974, the Hitts opened The Yankee Clipper grooming shop on Route 7. The shop marked its 30th anniversary last March.
“Over the years of The Yankee Clipper, he made many friends,” Carolyn Hitt said. “He had a charisma — and the dogs knew it. They would just walk into the cage and wag their tail.”
He was one of the few people who would also groom cats.
Mr. Hitt had also served as assistant canine control officer in Ridgefield from 1982 to 1992. “He did that with one hand and groomed dogs with the other,” said his wife.
Over the years he had been a lieutenant in the Darien Volunteer Fire Department, and did stage lighting for the Troupers Light Opera in Darien, Stamford Showcase Theatre, and for the Charles Pope Choristers of Ridgefield. He learned the craft from an old vaudeville lighting expert who had lived in Darien when Mr. Hitt was a boy.
For many years the Hitt family was famous with Route 7 travelers for the elaborate Halloween displays they set up each year at their home.
Mrs. Hitt said that the family wished “to express our gratefulness for the patience and understanding of our customers during his long illness. They are not just customers coming in with a dog, they meant much more than that.
“His customers were his family,” she added. “His closest friends were his customers.”
Besides his wife, Mr. Hitt is survived by a daughter, Catherine Mead and her husband Dennis of Sandy Hook; a son, Dan Hitt and his wife Laramie of Middlebury; and five grandchildren, Gregory, Steven and Michael Mead, all of Sandy Hook, and Amber and Eben Hitt of Middlebury.
Calling hours will take place next week at the Bouton Funeral Home at a time to be announced; call 544-8461 for information.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the Ridgefield Fire Department Ambulance Fund, 6 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield 06877.
Gertrude Ingels, purchasing agent
Gertrude “Trudy” Ingels of Ridgefield, a retired purchasing agent who had lived here more than 40 years, died on Friday, Sept. 17, 2004, at Filosa Convalescent Home, Danbury. She was 88 years old and the widow of Graham J. Ingels.
Mrs. Ingels was born in Astoria, Queens, N.Y., on March 8, 1916, a daughter of the late Francis X. and Catherine Barrett Patane. She grew up in Astoria and attended New York City schools.
Mrs. Ingels had been a purchasing agent for the former Perkin-Elmer Corp. of Norwalk for 20 years, retiring 18 years ago.
She and her husband came to Ridgefield in 1960 from Smithtown, Long Island.
She had been active with Ridgefield senior citizens, had belonged to the old Ridgefield Family Y, the AARP and St. Mary’s Church.
For many years, Mrs. Ingels enjoyed painting in both oils and watercolors, and had exhibited her work in shows in the area. She was also an avid gardener.
Mrs. Ingels is survived by a son, Graham J. Ingels and his wife Penelope of Newtown; a daughter, Deanna Dayley and her husband Ivan of Hot Springs, S.D.; a brother, Donald Patane of Massapequa, N.Y.; a granddaughter, Kristin Preyer of Longmeadow, Mass.; and several nieces and nephews.
Her husband died in 1991.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Tuesday in St. Mary’s Church.
Burial followed in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Contributions in her memory may be made to the Visiting Nurse Association, 90 East Ridge, Ridgefield, CT 06877.
The Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Ethel G. Kane, 90, mother, artist
Ethel Marie Gombar Kane of Ridgefield, a homemaker and watercolor artist, died Sunday afternoon, Sept. 26, 2004, in St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport. She was 90 years old.
Born in Bridgeport in 1914, Mrs. Kane was the daughter of the late John and Mary Pujda Gombar. She attended schools in Bridgeport and graduated from Harding High School in 1931. She married the late Robert J. Kane in 1933, and they had been married 63 years before his death in 1996. She had lived in Bridgeport for many years.
“Mrs. Kane was a fabulous cook who loved her family around the table at any hour,” her family said. “She was a watercolorist, who studied at Fairfield University, Silvermine and more recently at Ridgefield Adult Education. Her favorite subject seemed to be flowers. She could be found in good weather, or foul, tending her gardens. A naturalist at heart, she loved to travel the New England coast and inlands in search of subjects to paint.”
A devout Catholic, she was a member of St. Mary’s Church in Ridgefield, and a past member of St. Margaret’s Shrine in Bridgeport.
Mrs. Kane is survived by her daughter, Marilyn J. Murren, and her husband, John of Ridgefield; and by grandchildren Dr. Courtney Murren of Riverdale, Md., R. Terence Murren of Brooklyn, N.Y., Keefe J. Murren of Brooklyn, N.Y., Ian C. Murren of Brewster, N.Y., Kevin Kane of Austin, Texas, and Kathleen Kane of Rockville, Md.
Two sons, John A. Kane and Ronald L. Kane, and a brother Robert W. Gombar, died before her.
Her funeral services will take place on Friday at 9:15 a.m. in the Lesko Funeral Home, 1209 Post Road in Fairfield center, and 10 a.m. in St. Margaret’s Shrine.
Interment will follow in St. Michael’s Cemetery.
Calling hours are on Thursday from 4 to 8.
June Martin, homemaker, artist
June Pascoe Martin of Peabody, Mass., a homemaker and artist who had been a longtime Ridgefielder, died Friday, Sept. 17, 2004, at the Addison-Gilbert Hospital in Gloucester, Mass. She was 84 years old and the wife of Dr. Philip Martin.
A native of Detroit, Mich., Mrs. Martin was born on June 18, 1920, daughter of Jay and Elizabeth Pascoe. She grew up in New Kensington, Pa., and as a teenager, moved to West Lane. She graduated from Ridgefield High School in 1938. In the early 1940s, she was chosen Miss Ridgefield.
As a young woman, she worked for the Gladys Skillings Dress Shop in New Canaan and, after World War II broke out, became involved in the war effort on the home front. She was a volunteer at Norwalk Hospital, aided the Red Cross and was involved in War Bond drives.
While she was a senior at Ridgefield High School, she met Ridgefield native Phil Martin. The two dated for five years before being married in 1943, just before Dr. Martin entered the service.
For a while, Mrs. Martin worked in the jewelry store of her father in law, the late Francis D. Martin, on Main Street. After raising a family, she joined her husband, assisting in his practice of optometry on Main Street.
In 1988, the Martins retired and moved to Brooklyn, Conn. In 2003, after Mrs. Martin's health had begun to decline, they moved to Brooksby Village in Peabody.
Mrs. Martin was an artist who had been active in the Ridgefield Guild of Artists and had exhibited her work in the area and at national shows. She had won awards for her paintings, many of which depicted scenes in Ridgefield. She also enjoyed travel and had camped throughout North America, often with Airstream camper groups.
While in Ridgefield, Mrs. Martin had belonged to Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church and had been active in the Ridgefield Couples Club years ago.
Besides her husband, Mrs. Martin is survived by four children: Richard Martin of Danbury, Barbara Glass of Harrisburg, Pa., Stephen Martin of Northfield, Vt., and Patricia Martin of Beverly, Mass.; and by seven grandchildren.
Private family services at Ridgefield Cemetery will take place at a date to be set.
Contributions in her memory may be made to Regional Hospice of Western Connecticut, 405 Main Street, Danbury CT 06810.