Maria D. Scott, 92, teacher, scholar
Maria Dikareva Scott, a teacher, writer, and scholar whose parents were Russian peasants, died peacefully on Nov. 5, 2004, in her home on Peaceable Ridge Road. She was 92 years old.
A resident of Ridgefield since 1948, Ms. Scott was the widow of Time-Life correspondent and author, John Scott.
She was born on Dec. 21, 1911, in a tiny village halfway between Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. Her father, Ivan Kalinich, and mother, Yekaterina Ivanovna, were poor, illiterate peasants who worked hard to support their large family. Thanks to free education after the Revolution, they produced two teachers, two engineers, two doctors, an economist, and a college dean.
Always known as Masha to her family and friends, Maria Scott studied mathematics and chemistry at the Mendeleyevsky Institute in Moscow, and in 1933 moved to the brand new city of Magnitogorsk in the Ural Mountains. There she met a young American college dropout, John Scott, son of Scott Nearing, a prominent radical economist, educator and proponent of simple living. Mr. Scott was working in the steel mills as a welder.
After a whirlwind courtship they were married in 1934, and had two daughters: Leigh (Elka), born in 1935, and Elena, born in 1938. Masha Scott continued studying and teaching, and was even crowned the city’s chess champion.
In 1938 the family moved to Moscow, where John Scott became a journalist. After years of trying, he finally succeeded in obtaining exit visas for his family so they could come to the United States.
They left Moscow in the summer of 1941, shortly after Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, and traveled by train to Vladivostok, then to Japan, where they got passage on the Asama Maru, the last Japanese boat to leave for Honolulu before Pearl Harbor.
The Scott family lived in New York City, where Ms. Scott learned English and began studying at New York University, while her husband wrote Behind the Urals, a book that has become a standard text for Soviet studies.
He worked for Time & Life Inc., spending several years in Europe during World War II as a war correspondent. In 1943 Masha Scott became active as a lecturer for the Russian War Relief Organization, and was a featured speaker at the New York Herald Tribune Forum on Cultural Events in October 1945. That same year she co-authored with Pearl Buck a book about her life, Talk About Russia with Masha Scott.
After the war, Mr. Scott became head of Time’s Berlin bureau, and the family moved to that war-torn city, where, together with the French, British, Russian, and American conquerors, they lived in luxury amidst a defeated and divided Germany. The Berlin blockade was in full force in 1948 when the Scott family returned to the U.S., flying out over the Soviet zone with bag and baggage, which included two large dogs, two grand pianos, a sailboat and a Jeep.
John and Masha Scott picked Ridgefield for their home, and settled in a prefab on a wooded ridge with a spectacular view. The then Standpipe Road (now Peaceable Ridge Road) was a dirt path with only three other houses. During the next decade they designed and built with their own hands and the help of Don Sturtevant, an experienced local carpenter, an imposing, four-story stone house.
Masha Scott busied herself with her children, flower and vegetable gardens, and occasional forays into the city for opera, museums and shopping, while continuing studies at New York University and the New School. She and her husband had an active social and community life as members of the First Congregational Church, the Couples Club and the Lions Club. They traveled together when Mr. Scott was sent on his many assignments to Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America, everywhere meeting heads of state like Jawaharlal Nehru and celebrities like Albert Schweitzer.
In spite of the raging Cold War, Masha Scott also went to the Soviet Union to visit her aging parents and many siblings. After her daughters’ marriages, she became more involved with her growing family, caring for four grandchildren at a time so that her daughter could go to summer school. And she herself continued studying, finally earning her master’s degree from the Institute for Critical Languages in Vermont in 1966. She taught Russian at the University of Connecticut and Norwich University in Vermont, all the while working on her doctorate of philosophy in Russian language and literature at New York University.
Her life changed radically in 1971 when she attended a Bible class and was born again; studying the Bible became her passion. In 1976 her husband died, but she continued her active life for nearly another quarter century. She held weekly Bible classes in her home for 25 years.
She translated into Russian 12 volumes of Dr. Paul Wierwille’s Biblical research, but never received permission to publish her work. She faithfully attended every year until 1988 the Rock of Ages Festival in Ohio, where her daughter Elena lived and worked, and until 1998 the Bread & Puppet Theater’s Our Domestic Resurrection Circus in Vermont, where daughter Elka lives and works.
“Masha loved her home, which she called ‘Paradise on Earth,’ and her adopted country (she became a U.S. citizen in 1946), and ‘God Bless America’ was a constant refrain,” said her daughter, Elka Schumann. “But her ties to her native land and culture and her memories of her village childhood were deep and strong. Throughout the nineties, Elena interviewed her mother extensively and transcribed the memories into a 275-page book.”
Ms. Schumann collected scores of her mother’s oft-repeated Russian proverbs and made them the theme of the 2002 Bread & Puppet calendar.
In 1999 Elena Whiteside moved from Ohio to help her mother, and that quickly turned into full-time care when her mother developed congenital heart failure. Ms. Scott recovered enough to spend time every year with Elka in Vermont. The condition returned this fall and she suffered a quick decline, refusing all food, and then liquids, in the last days of her life.
Maria Scott is survived by daughters Elka Schumann and her husband Peter of Glover, Vt., and Elena Whiteside of Ridgefield; by her sister Yekaterina Durseneva of Riga, Latvia; by brother-in-law Robert Nearing and his wife Jeanne of Troy, Pa.; by grandchildren Tamar, Solveig and Max Schumann and Michael Whiteside of New York City, Nicholas Whiteside of Port Washington, N.Y., Sylvia Morgan of Atlanta, Ga., and Salih and Maria Schumann of Glover, Vt., and by six great-grandchildren.
According to her wishes, Masha Scott’s remains were cremated. A memorial service is planned for the spring.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Advocates for the Blind Multi-Handicapped, 6240 Riverdale Ave., Bronx, N.Y. 10471, where her disabled grandson Michael is a resident.
Janice Tulipani, active in community
Janice Hunt Tulipani of Ridgefield, who had lived here most of her life and had been active in the community, died at her home on Monday evening, Oct. 25, 2004. She was 74 years old and the widow of John Tulipani.
Mrs. Tulipani was born in Danbury on April 4, 1930, a daughter of Lester R. and Mary Burns Hunt. She moved with her family to Ridgefield when she was a child and attended Ridgefield schools. She graduated from Ridgefield High School with the Class of 1948.
She had been a homemaker and a bookkeeper with the former John Tulipani & Sons Plumbing & Heating business.
Active in the Ridgefield community, Mrs. Tulipani was member of the Sewing Guild, Quilters and Rosary societies of St. Mary’s Church, and the Italian American Ladies Mutual Aid Society.
She enjoyed bowling, gardening, bird watching and traveling.
Mrs. Tulipani is survived by three sons, Michael Tulipani and his wife Robin of South Kingston, R.I., Robert Tulipani and his wife Karen of Newtown, and Thomas Tulipani of Houston, Texas; seven daughters, Susan France of Hudson Falls, N.Y., Theresa Rich and her husband Matthew of Prineville, Ore., Evelyn Redmond and her husband Timothy of Goffstown, N.H., Judith Espitee and her fiance Larry Kish of Bridgewater, Elizabeth McKnight and her husband William of Ridgefield, Diane Tulipani of San Diego, Calif., and Lynn Tulipani of Ridgefield; two brothers, Gordon J. Hunt and his wife Christine of Danbury and George Hunt and his wife Le of Port Wing, Wisc.; three sisters, Mollie Bethea of Sebring, Fla., Dorothy “Joan” Fuller and her husband Charlie of Lee, Mass., and Doris Hare and her husband Don of Hilton Head, S.C.; 17 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
Besides her husband and parents, two brothers, Lester R. Hunt Jr. and Willard F. Hunt, died before her.
A Solemn Requiem Funeral Mass will be offered on Friday morning at 10 at Christ the King Church, St. Ignatius Retreat House, 209 Tackora Trail.
Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
The family will receive friends today, Thursday, from 5 to 8 in the Kane Funeral Home, 25 Catoonah Street.
Contributions in her memory may be made to the Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association, 90 East Ridge; Christ the King Church, 209 Tackora Trail; or to the Ridgefield Fire Department Ambulance Fund, 6 Catoonah Street, all of Ridgefield, CT 06877.
Christine Ann West, grew up here
Christine Ann West of Newtown Road, Danbury, died on Friday morning, Nov. 12, 2004, at Danbury Hospital. She was 53 years old.
Ms. West was born in Teaneck, N.J., on Aug. 22, 1951, the daughter of the late Robert and Janice West. She grew up in Ridgefield where she graduated from Ridgefield High School in 1969.
She furthered her education at Friends World College, studying in many locations throughout the world including Kenya, Cyprus and Mombasa.
“Chris’s love for exploration and new experiences continued through her life,” her family said. “She traveled extensively with her loving partner of many years, Neil Reuben, whether it was to an island in the Caribbean or to a mountaintop in the Adirondacks. She was an adventurer who enjoyed nature through hiking, camping, scuba diving and many other outdoor activities.
“She was surrounded by her family and friends in her last days who shared a deep love and respect for her courageous strength and positive attitude.”
Besides Mr. Reuben, Ms. West is survived by her daughter, Corie Ball of Danbury and her brother Greg West of Nevada.
A memorial gathering will be held at the home of friends. Contact friends or family for details.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, 372 Danbury Road, Wilton, CT 06897.
Richard Batesole, 50-year Ridgefielder
Richard Eugene Batesole of Ridgefield, a World War II veteran, electrical engineer, and home renovator, died at home on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2005. He was 80 years old and the husband of Vey Pallesen Batesole, his wife of 53 years.
Mr. Batesole was born in Elmhurst, N.Y., on June 11, 1924, and grew up and attended schools in Darien.
During World War II, he served in the Army Air Corps. His assignments included work on radar development on the West Coast and a stint as a meteorologist in Maine. His name appears on the Service Roster in the Ridgefield Town Hall.
After the war, he received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan. He then went to work for the Mosler Safe Company in Danbury, where he traveled extensively and became the head of the engineering department.
After early retirement, he formed the Old World Craftsmen with Ridgefielders Weichel Drummond and the late David Huntoon, a group that performed home renovations throughout the area and that specialized in older houses.
As a volunteer, he taught woodworking skills to four-year-olds at the Ridgefield Community Kindergarten, St. Stephen's Nursery School and in the Head Start Program in Danbury.
Throughout his life, Mr. Batesole enjoyed woodcarving and was an avid sports fan, loyal to the Detroit Tigers and his Michigan Wolverines. He had been a two-sports star at Darien High School, where he excelled in both basketball and baseball, and continued to play basketball at the University of Michigan.
Besides his wife, Mr. Batesole is survived by his son, Robert Batesole of Southbury; his daughter, Elizabeth Hainey of Plano, Texas; his brother, William of Brownsville, Vt.; three grandsons, three nieces and a nephew.
Services are private.
Donations may be made to the Regional Hospice of Western Connecticut, Home-Health Programs, 405 Main Street, Danbury, CT 06810.
William H. Browning II, entrepreneur
William Hull Browning II of Concord, Mass., an international businessman who lived in Ridgefield as a boy, died Saturday, Jan. 1, 2005, at Walden House Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Concord, Mass. He had suffered a massive stroke in London, England, three years earlier on his way to Jordan, a country to which he traveled extensively as an international entrepreneur.
Mr. Browning was born in New York City on Dec. 10, 1918, the son of the late William C. and Elizabeth Miner Browning of Ridgefield and Nantucket, Mass. His parents had maintained a home on Spring Valley Road for 40 years before moving to Redding in the 1960s.
Mr. Browning was a graduate of Harvey School and of Middlesex School in Concord; he also attended Harvard University.
During World War II, he enlisted in the United States Air Force, but a serious motorcycle accident prohibited his joining. He therefore joined the American Field Service as an ambulance driver attached to the British Army. He was awarded the British Empire Medal for outstanding bravery in the African and Italian theaters of the war.
After the war, Mr. Browning was associated with Kerby Saunders in Manhattan, and with two associates he formed the corporation Geodyne. Both companies were very involved in Pakistan and the Middle East.
He lived in Manhattan and Pound Ridge, N.Y., London, France, and most recently in Palm Beach, Fla. He had been a member of the Apawanis Beach Club in Rye, N.Y., and the Metropolitan Club in New York and the Bedford Golf and Tennis Club.
An avid equestrian, he was a member of the Goldens Bridge Hounds Club in North Salem, N.Y.
He is survived by three children from his marriage to Jordice G. Browning (Jordice H. Gigstad) of Wilton: his daughter Karen J. Browning of Belmont, Mass., and SouthHero, Vt., William C. Browning of Haverhill, Mass., and Dr. Scott W. Browning of Bala Cynwyd, Pa.; and his daughter from his marriage to his first wife, the late Gloria Cain (French), Mrs. John Mykolyk (Deborah Browning) of Long Beach, Miss., and six grandchildren, David, Alexis, Kirby, Ian, Drew and Owen. He is the brother of Kirk Browning of New York City and the late Ann Noble and is also survived by his former wife, Diane Morrell Browning of Winter Harbor, Me.
The Rev. William Eddy, rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Buzzard’s Bay, Mass., will lead services Friday, Jan.7, at 11:15 a.m. in the Massachusetts National Veterans Cemetery in Bourne, Mass.
Donations in his memory may be made to PB Cats Inc., P. O. Box 2922, Palm Beach, FL 33480, or to Buddy Dog Humane Society, 151 Boston Post Road, Sudbury, MA 01776.
The Joseph Dee & Son Funeral Service in Concord, Mass., is handling arrangements.
Charlene Carboni, Ridgefield native
Charlene Stevens Carboni of Newtown, a Ridgefield native and member of the Ridgefield High School Class of 1964, died Sunday, Jan. 2, 2005, at Danbury Hospital. She was 58 years old and the wife of William F. Carboni.
Mrs. Carboni was born in Ridgefield on June 14, 1946, a daughter of Howard and Marion Scofield Stevens. She attended Ridgefield schools and graduated from Ridgefield High School in 1964. She attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and graduated from the Berkeley School in White Plains.
While the Carbonis knew each other at Ridgefield High School, they didn’t begin dating until Mr. Carboni was a junior in college. They were married in 1967 and moved to the Los Angeles area, where Mrs. Carboni worked for several oil companies and for Grey Advertising.
After living in California for 16 years, the couple returned to Connecticut and made their home in Newtown.
Mrs. Carboni enjoyed touring in the couple’s motor home, especially visits to coastal communities from Cape Cod to Florida. Her primary interest, however, was her grandchildren, Kayla and Kyle, said her husband, Bill.
Besides her husband, Mrs. Carboni is survived by a daughter, Jennifer Murphy, and her husband, Karl, and their children, Kayla and Kyle of Woodbury; and a sister, Sally Sossei, and her husband Edward of Bethlehem.
The Rev. Kendall Palladino conducted services Wednesday in the Kane Funeral Home. Burial will take place in Ridgefield Cemetery in the spring.
Memorial contributions may be made to Mrs. Carboni’s favorite charity, the Connecticut Food Bank, P.O. Box 8686, New Haven, CT 06531-0686 or to Regional Hospice of Western CT, Home Healthcare, 405 Main Street, Danbury, CT 06810.
Valerie Casey, community leader
Valerie Dyer Casey of Main Street, who was active in Ridgefield community and volunteer work for a half-century, died on Saturday morning, Feb. 5, 2005, at Danbury Hospital. She was 87 years old and the widow of William H. Casey.
Mrs. Casey was born in New York City, daughter of the late Roy E. and Mary Wilson Dyer. She was raised and schooled in Montreal, Canada, where her father worked as a commercial artist with an advertising agency.
As a young woman, she returned to New York City as a fashion model. She met her future husband through a mutual friend at Lehigh University. They were married on May 3, 1939 in St. Patrick’s Cathedral and honeymooned at the Cobb’s Mill Inn in Weston. Early in their marriage, the couple lived in Forest Hills, Queens, and later moved to Kent and then Danbury.
The Caseys came to Ridgefield in 1948 when they bought a small fuel oil company from John Leahy, renaming it Casey Fuel. Mrs. Casey remained an active adviser to the business throughout her life.
Mrs. Casey was a volunteer in many community organizations. She was a member and past president of the Caudatowa Garden Club, was on the board of the Ridgefield Thrift Shop, served on the Parks and Recreation Commission, was on the board of the Ridgefield Boys and Girls Club, and worked with the Girl Scouts. She was a member of Silver Spring Country Club and St. Mary’s Church.
She was long active in the Visiting Nurse Association where she founded the Friendly Visitor Program and the volunteer driving program, and served many years on the board. “She was a very visible presence at the agency,” said Helena Jedlinsky, chief executive director of the VNA. “She was soft-spoken and her actions were always patient-focused. She was a remarkable lady.”
Mrs. Casey also enjoyed gardening and was an accomplished artist.
“She radiated beauty and lived a life of gentleness,” her family said. “She treated everyone equally well -- it’s something we all learned from her, her universal kindness.
“She will live in the hearts and minds of many people for many years.”
Mrs. Casey is survived by four children, Diane Brown of Brookfield, Michael D. Casey of Ridgefield, Laddie Casey of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Shaun Held of San Rafael, Calif. She also had seven grandchildren, Michael and Teddy Brown, Ford and Shane Casey, Laura Katie Casey, and Sophia and Annika Held; and three great-grandchildren, Joseph, Anna, and Rachel.
Mrs. Casey was predeceased by her husband, William, and her daughter, Kathleen Dervin Casey; and by two sisters, Audrey Dyer Kaine and Claire Dyer Audet.
The Rev. Paul G. Murphy, parochial vicar, celebrated a Mass of Christian Burial Wednesday in St. Mary’s Church.
Burial was 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.