John Clark, graphic designer, RHS ’69
John G. Clark of Wickford, R.I., a graphic designer and teacher who graduated from Ridgefield High School, died on Nov. 13, 2004, after a year-long battle with cancer.
Mr. Clark was born in Manhattan on Jan. 28, 1951, and won his first art award at the age of 10 with the Best in School painting of a circus tent. He spent his youth in Ridgefield, graduating in 1969 from Ridgefield High School where he was a member of the National Honor Society, played saxophone in the high school band and was editor-in-chief of his yearbook. An avid outdoorsman, he earned the rank of Eagle Scout and was a member of the Order of the Arrow, vice chief of his lodge.
Mr. Clark graduated with honors from Rhode Island School of Design in Providence in 1973, earning a bachelor of fine arts in graphic design. In 1974 he married his high school sweetheart, Christina Silander, and began a long career in graphic design and marketing communications.
After working as an art director and creative director for many New England ad agencies, Mr. Clark started his own business in 1983. Studio John Clark, based in Providence, provided creative services to such clients as Laura Ashley, Garnet Hill, Oxxford OKClothes, Alfa Romeo and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. His work appeared in HOW magazine, the annual Swiss publication of GRAPHIS, and the American Institute of Graphic Arts annual, among others, and earned regional, national and international awards.
Based on his success creating mail order catalogues for his clients, Mr. Clark started his own mail order business in 1994. He also taught for 10 years in the Continuing Education Division at Rhode Island School of Design, lecturing on topics ranging from creative concept development to advertising design.
The Clarks moved in 1983 to Wickford where Mr. Clark became a founding member of Historic Wickford Inc. and served as one of the 11 investor-directors who saved and renovated “Old Yellow,” the town’s oldest house. He was a three-term appointee to the Historic District Commission.
Besides Christina Clark, his wife of 30 years, Mr. Clark is survived by a daughter, Katrina Silander Clark of Wickford, and a brother, Edward B. Clark of Salt Lake City, Utah.
A celebration of Mr. Clark’s life will take place on Saturday, Nov. 20, from 2 to 4 at St. Paul’s Parish House, 76 Main Street, Wickford.
Contributions in his memory may be made to Development Office, Rhode Island School of Design, Two College Street, Providence, RI 02903, in support of scholarships for Continuing Education’s Young Artists Program for children and teenagers.
Edward Czyr, 71, longtime builder here
Edward J. Czyr of Lansdale, Pa., a longtime Ridgefield builder and former Lions Club president, died Friday, Oct. 22, 2004, at Doylestown Hospital. He was 71 years old and the husband for 47 years of Ellie Czyr.
Born in Stamford, Mr. Czyr was the son of the late Frank and Valeria Shall Czyr. He had lived in Ridgefield most of his life and has been a resident of Lansdale since 1993.
He was a residential builder with his brother, Anthony, for several years and later was a commercial builder. Most recently he was employed by Home Depot in Montgomeryville as a district trainer.
Mr. Czyr was an Air Force veteran of the Korean War. He was past president of the Ridgefield Lions Club.
Mr. Czyr enjoyed collecting antique model trains, stamps and coins and was an avid sports enthusiast.
Besides his wife, he is survived by two daughters, Lauren C. Tyler of Long Beach, Calif., and Lisa C. Bitzer and her husband William of Doylestown, Pa.; three grandchildren, Adam, Zac and Derek Bitzer; two sisters, Frances Healy of Portland, and Helen C. Jones of Easton, Md., and several nieces and nephews. His brother, Anthony J. Czyr, died last year.
A memorial service was celebrated Wednesday, Oct. 27, at the Reed and Steinbach Funeral Home. Interment was private.
Memorial donations in his name may be made to the American Cancer Society, High Point Professional Building, 700 Horizon Circle, Suite 201, Chalfont, PA 18914.
Barrus Dickinson, sales executive
Sarah Barrus Dickinson of Miami, Fla., a retired sales executive who spent many summers here, died Friday, Oct. 8, after a short illness. She was 83 years old.
A native of New York City, Mrs. Dickinson was born Oct. 16, 1920 and had lived in Westchester County for many years before moving to Miami in 1976.
A 1942 graduate of the New York University School of Journalism, she had worked most recently as a sales executive with Gelco International SA, a flower importer in Miami, retiring in 1991.
“Barrus spent many summers in Ridgefield and had many friends here, including her special ‘Great Pond’ friend, Billie Levesque,” said her daughter Suzanne Dickinson. “Her footprints in this life will be missed by all who crossed her path.
Survivors include a son, Ken Dickinson and his wife, Sandi of Lyndhurst, Va., and Suzanne Dickinson and her husband Stan and their daughter Sarah of Ridgefield, four other grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren.
Her husband, Ken, and her grandson, Graham Dickinson of Ridgefield, died before her.
Services took place at the Van Orsdel Funeral Home in Miami.
Dominic DiOrio, Hughes toolmaker
Dominic DiOrio of 100 River Road, Wilton, a Ridgefield native who was a tool and die maker, died on Monday, Nov. 1, 2004, at the Pope John Paul II Center for Healthcare in Danbury. He was 90 years old.
A son of Biagio and Maria DeBenigno DiOrio, Mr. DiOrio was born on July 17, 1914, in Branchville. He attended Ridgefield schools and graduated in 1933 from Ridgefield High School. He played high school baseball as well as local hockey.
He attended Henry Abbott Technical School and worked as a tool and die maker in Bridgeport and Long Island before relocating to California in 1941 where he worked for Hughes Aircraft for 25 years as a toolmaker, price analyst and engineering and procurement liaison before his retirement. He moved back to the Ridgefield-Wilton area in 1993.
Mr. DiOrio was active in tennis, playing in local tournaments and was an avid golfer and pool player.
He is survived by four nephews, Donald Edwards of Tucson, Ariz., Eugene “Gus” Edwards of New Fairfield, Jerome Edwards of Wilton, and James P. DiOrio of Antioch, Ill., as well as several grandnieces, grandnephews, great-grandnieces and great-grandnephews.
Two brothers -- Louis DiOrio and James V. DiOrio -- and three sisters -- Rose Marie DiOrio, Zuleme Nunzarro and Catherine Edwards -- died before him.
A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, Nov. 22, at 10:30 a.m. in Sacred Heart Church, Georgetown.
Interment will take place in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
There will be no calling hours.
Contributions in his memory may be made to Sacred Heart Church, P.O. Box 388, Georgetown CT 06829
The Kane Funeral Home in Ridgefield is in charge of arrangements.
Jay Docimo, 37, bank manager
Jeffrey James “Jay” Docimo of Ridgefield, a banking executive, died Friday, Nov. 12, 2004, from injuries sustained in an auto accident in New York City. He was 37 years old.
Mr. Docimo was born July 4, 1966, in Stamford, son of Frank “Hank” and Jean Docimo of Stamford. He grew up in Stamford and was a former president of the Stamford Ambulance Corps, a member of the Belltown Fire Department, president of the Bronxville, N.Y. Rotary Club and was active in the Meals on Wheels Program.
Mr. Docimo had worked for several banks and was the vice president and branch manager for the Bank of New York in New Rochelle, N.Y. He received various awards for his service to the communities he lived and worked in, including Most Hours Worked from the Stamford Ambulance Corps, and the Corps’ President’s Award.
He was an avid New York Yankees fan and coached Little League, hockey, soccer, and basketball teams in Ridgefield and New Fairfield.
Besides his parents, Mr. Docimo is survived by a son Jeffrey Docimo Jr. of New Fairfield; his former wife, Kelly Leone of New Fairfield; three brothers, Frank Docimo and Mark Docimo, both of Stamford, and Scott Docimo of Beacon Falls; two nieces and four nephews.
Calling hours were at the Nicholas F. Cognetta Funeral Home and Crematory, 104 Myrtle Ave., Stamford.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Tuesday at St. Gabriel’s Church in Stamford. Burial was in Fairfield Memorial Park Cemetery, Stamford.
Darrell Duffy, 32, RHS 1991
Darrell Duffy of Norwalk, a Ridgefield High School graduate, died Thursday, Nov. 18, 2004, at his home. He was 32 years old.
Mr. Duffy was born in Norwalk and has been a lifelong area resident. As a teenager, he lived in Ridgefield and was a 1991 graduate of Ridgefield High School
He was a longtime active member of the Norwalk Carting Association and a member of the Sons of American Legion Frank C. Godfrey Post in Norwalk.
Survivors include his father, Richard Duffy of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; a brother, Richard Delano Jr. of Massachusetts; and a sister, Toni Lynn Johnson of Elkin, N.C. His mother, Gloria L. Duffy, died earlier this year..
A graveside service took place on Tuesday at Willowbrook Cemetery, Westport.
The Harding Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hole in the Wall Gang, 555 Long Wharf Drive, Dept. “W,” New Haven, CT 06511.
James Hartle, active in Ridgefield
James R. “Jim” Hartle of Osprey, Fla., a former Ridgefielder who’d been active in school, church and in youth programs here, died Saturday, Sept. 11, 2004, in Sarasota, Fla. He was 62 years old and the husband of Ellie Hartle.
Mr. Hartle was born in Canton, Ohio, on June 11, 1942. He attended Penn State University and was employed by IBM for over 37 years, during which time he and his family relocated up and down the East Coast a total of 11 times. He and his family lived in Ridgefield from 1977 to 1984 and again from 1990 to 1996.
Throughout his career in Human Resources with IBM, he was well known for being a man of high integrity, who made sure that all employees were treated fairly and with dignity, his family said. “He was especially proud of the work he did with the IBM Diversity Counsel Group. He was considered a mentor by many.”
In his many moves with IBM, Mr. Hartle always became active in his communities. In Ridgefield, he was chairman of the church council, served on the Board of Trustees and was a deacon at the First Congregational Church. He also coached Little League and girls softball teams here.
He and his wife led the youth group at The First Congregational Church, were co-presidents of the Veterans Park School and Ridgefield High School PTAs, and ran art auctions and other fund-raisers to benefit the schools.
Besides his wife of 40 years, Mr. Hartle is survived by a daughter, Beth Jacobsohn of Virginia; a son, Lewis Hartle of Colorado; three grandchildren, Lewis James Hartle, Alex Jacobsohn, and Morgan Jacobsohn; a sister, Joan Finkelstein of New York; a brother, Jerome Hartle of Pennsylvania; and a stepmother, Netta Ross of Sarasota.
Donations can be made in his name to Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center (SPARCC), 2139 Main Street, Sarasota, FL 34237.
Thielo Howland, 92, ‘people person’
Thielo G. Howland of 1 Doubleday Lane, a toy industry tycoon and former U.S. Navy “special intelligence agent,” died peacefully at his home on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2004. He was a lifelong boater, tennis player, traveler and family man, known for his honesty, fairness and compassion. He was 92 years old and the husband of Genoveva Franco Howland.
Mr. Howland was born in Berlin, Germany, on July 15, 1912, the son of Nathaniel J. and Clara W. Howland. He attended German public and private schools before he moved to the United States in 1934.
From 1934 until 1942, Mr. Howland worked for an export trading company, living in Bayside, N.Y. In 1938, he met his first wife, Dorothy W. Whiting, with whom he had three children, John P., born in 1941, Deborah W., born in 1943, and Andrew P., born in 1947.
In 1942, Mr. Howland’s services were solicited by the United States Navy. Fluent in German and Spanish, and conversational in French, he worked as an intelligence agent for the Navy in the United States and abroad for four years, interrogating German prisoners during World War II.
When Mr. Howland was released in 1946, Geoffrey Tandy, the commander of U.S. Naval Forces and the chief of U.S. Naval Intelligence in Europe, said, “His wide knowledge of men and things and his outstanding, sound judgment have been of great value to us as well as to the U.S. Navy.”
Those characteristics proved useful in the business sphere as well. That same year Mr. Howland accepted the vice-presidency of H.G. Wathen and Company, and began what would be a nearly 60-year career, selling juvenile and toy products.
In 1965, H.G. Wathen split and Mr. Howland formed the T.G. Howland Co. By the early 1980s he saw sales increase from less than $1 million a year to about $23 million annually.
Meanwhile, Mr. Howland’s first marriage ended in divorce. A year later, in 1977, he met Genoveva Franco and married for a second time. They had one child, Richard F., in 1980.
In 1981, the Howland family moved to Ridgefield. They lived on Pin Pack Road until 1989, when they relocated to Doubleday Lane, where Mr. Howland died in his bed on Saturday.
Richard, who graduated from Ridgefield High School in 1998, remembered his father playing the piano at family holiday celebrations, and teaching him how to make his favorite drink with champagne and fruit.
Ms. Howland said her husband was a “people person” whose broad smile and twinkle in his eye made him stand apart, even into his 90s.
“It’s so hard to put into words, being together for so long,” she said. “He meant the world. We didn’t do anything alone.”
Mr. Howland continued to work until his death, presiding over the Waco Export Co. and the Howland Caribbean Co. in Puerto Rico.
But his love was traveling with family and friends. A month ago, he was planning a cruise. And his one regret, Ms. Howland said, was that he never made it to Kathmandu -- “probably the one place he hadn’t been.”
Mr. Howland is survived by his wife, Genoveva, of Ridgefield, four children, two sisters, and many other relatives.
A memorial will be held Saturday, Nov. 27, at 11 a.m. at Keeler Tavern.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association, 90 East Ridge, which supported and cared for Mr. Howland during his battle with cancer and the after-effects of cancer treatments.