Vivien Kapsiak, pharmacist, teacher
Vivien S. Kapsiak of Ridgefield, a pharmacist who was also a teacher for 25 years, died on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2005, at Bethel Health Care. She was 76 years old.
Mrs. Kapsiak was born in Long Branch, N.J., on Dec. 3, 1928, daughter of Herbert T. and Bessie Wagner Smith, and attended New Jersey schools.
As a geology and biology major, she graduated from Rutgers University at the age of 18, received her master’s degree from Fordham University, and was certified in advanced studies from Wesleyan University.
Mrs. Kapsiak moved to Ridgefield from Mount Kisco, N.Y., in 1971. Her career included working as a pharmacist for a New York hospital, teaching earth science in Brewster High School, and most recently, working as a pharmacist at the Rite Aid Pharmacy of Danbury.
Mrs. Kapsiak was a member of the New York State Teachers Association, the Connecticut Pharmaceutical Association, the Revivers Ñ a breast cancer support group in Ridgefield, and Ann’s Place: the home of I Can, in Danbury. She was also a 20-year member of Alcoholics Anonymous and belonged to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Danbury.
Mrs. Kapsiak is survived by three sons, Eric R. Kaye and his wife Nancy of Northampton, Mass., Douglas A. Kaye and his wife Karen of Sugar Land, Texas, and Roger Kaye and his wife Teresa and their children Justin, Hyla and Evan of Fort Ann, N.Y., and her former husband Gorden Kaye of Garrison, N.Y.
The Rev. Dr. Linda Hanson of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Danbury led a Celebration of Life Tuesday in the Kane Funeral Home.
Gretl Nitsche, 94, real estate agent
Margaret “Gretl” Nitsche of White Horse Village, Newtown Square, Pa., a former longtime Ridgefielder who had worked in real estate, died on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2005. She was 94 years old.
Mrs. Nitsche was a native of Munich, Germany, before immigrating to the United States in the early 1930’s.
She worked for many years as a Realtor for the Gordon Walsh Agency on Main Street.
Mrs. Nitsche made Ridgefield her home for more than 50 years before moving to Pennsylvania in 1998. She lived from the early 1950’s to mid-1960’s on Lounsbury Road, then moved to Old Branchville Road where she lived until she moved to Pennsylvania.
She is survived by her two sons, Marc and John, both of whom graduated from Ridgefield High School, and by five grandchildren.
A memorial service will take place in Pennsylvania on Friday, March 11, at 1:30 at White Horse Village.
Ada K. Quigg, active in Taproot here
Ada K. Quigg of Hawthorne Hill Road, who had been circulation director of Foreign Affairs, died Jan. 28, 2005, in Danbury Hospital. She was 82 years old.
Mrs. Quigg was active in the nonprofit Taproot Workshops & Journal as workshop coordinator, treasurer and business manager, virtually a full-time job. Earlier she worked in New York City at the Slatkin Galleries.
She met her husband, Philip, in 1962 at the Council on Foreign Relations, where she headed the circulation department of Foreign Affairs, of which he was then managing editor. They married in 1967.
She moved with her husband to Ridgefield from Long Island in 1994 to be nearer to her extended family.
Besides her husband, she is survived by a son from a previous marriage, Michael Gennuso, also of Ridgefield, three grandchildren and a great-grandson.
Timothy Rowe, 53, orchestra founder
Timothy Rowe, a classical musician, orchestra founder and music lecturer who grew up in Ridgefield, died last week in northern Virginia, where he had lived for many years.
Mr. Rowe’s body was found on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2005, in the woods near a dirt road in Shenandoah County, Virginia, according to The Washington Post. The death is being investigated by the Shenandoah County Sheriff Timothy C. Carter, according to The Post, and preliminary autopsy results indicate Mr. Rowe died of a self-inflicted stab wound. “We have no reason to believe there was any foul play,” the Post quotes Sheriff Carter as saying.
The sheriff’s office offered no further news of the investigation on Wednesday.
Mr. Rowe, 53, grew up on High Ridge Road in Ridgefield. He was a son of the late Dr. Robert Rowe, longtime music teacher in town and director of music for the Ridgefield Public Schools for many years, and the late Page Rowe, a former children’s librarian at the New Canaan Library and longtime volunteer at the Ridgefield Thrift Shop.
One of five children in a very musical family, Mr. Rowe graduated from Ridgefield High School in 1969 and earned degrees in music from Middlebury College in Vermont and also the University of Wisconsin, where he studied under Robert Fountain.
He was the founder and music director of the Amadeus Orchestra, founded in 1983 in Great Falls, Va., and was founder and artistic director of the Potomac Theater Orchestra started in 1996. He made his conducting debut in Carnegie Hall in 1991.
Mr. Rowe started the Amadeus Concerts series, presenting classical music at sites throughout northern Virginia for the last 24 years. He was an adjunct lecturer at Georgetown University, and senior lecturer in music for the Smithsonian Institution. He designed the certificate studies program in music history for the Smithsonian Associates and was a guest lecturer for organizations such as a The Washington Opera and the Baltimore Symphony.
He led several trips to the Danube countries of central Europe for the Smithsonian and the Trust for Historic Preservation, and was a panel member of the USIA Cultural Ambassadors program.
Mr. Rowe chose Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony for a free concert given by the Amadeus Orchestra on the first anniversary of the Sept. 11th attack on the Pentagon, which had taken the lives of six people from Great Falls, Va.
At the time he spoke of choosing for the occasion a symphony written after Beethoven came to accept his loss of hearing.
“He thought his composing life was over in 1802. He had to change his way of living, He did, and he was reaping the joy of life in a way: every note is an affirmation of hope,” Mr. Rowe said.
“In the Seventh, he had come to grips with his loss of hearing and emerged in triumph. Even the slow movement is a contemplation and not a tragedy.”
A memorial service for Mr. Rowe is planned Saturday, March 5, at 4 p.m. at St. Francis Episcopal Church, 9220 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls, VA, 22066.
Timothy Rowe is survived by four siblings: Judith R. Michaels of Hopewell, N.J., Randolph B. Rowe of South Egremont, Mass., Christopher G. Rowe of Concord, Mass., and Ellen H. Rowe of Storrs.
Maria Kibby, former Ridgefielder
Maria H. Kibby of Old Saybrook, a former Ridgefielder who was a public relations executive, died on Jan. 26, 2005 in Middlesex Hospital after a brief illness.
Mrs. Kibby was born in New York City to Karl and Maria Heitz. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Syracuse University and was employed throughout her life as a public relations executive. Over the years she had worked for J. Walter Thompson, Siemen’s Corporation and General Electric.
Later she had her own company, Kibby Communications, in Ridgefield.
The Kibbys came to Ridgefield in 1986, living on Old Stagecoach Road. They moved to Old Saybrook in the late 1990s. Mr. Kibby died in 1999.
Mrs. Kibby is survived by four sons: Geoffrey Alan Kibby and wife Christina of Kingsville, Texas, Stephen Karl Kibby and wife Michelle of San Diego, Calif., Matthew Clark Libby and wife Eva of Monroe, and Mark Robert Kibby and wife Cathryn of Granby; and by eight grandchildren.
Private services are being arranged by her sons who were all at her bedside throughout her final days.
Marguerite Seyfang, of bakery family
Marguerite Hurzeler Seyfang of Bethel, whose family operated a Main Street bakery for many years, died on Friday evening, Feb. 25, 2005, at Hancock Hall, Danbury. She was 94 years old and the widow of the Karl H. Seyfang.
Mrs. Seyfang was born in Danbury on March 8, 1910, daughter of Rudolph and Pauline Heitz Hurzeler. In 1924 she moved with her family to Ridgefield where she attended local schools. She graduated from Short’s Business School of Stamford and was involved in the family’s former bakery business, located where Planet Pizza is today.
Mrs. Seyfang’s sister, the late Ruth M. Hurzeler, was Ridgefield’s town clerk for many years, the first woman to hold that job after more than 240 years of men. Her sister, Marie Hurzeler, was longtime clerk of the probate court here.
Mrs. Seyfang is survived by a son, Karl H. Seyfang Jr. and his wife Diane, and their daughter Lynn, all of Bethel, and a sister-in-law, Elois Hurzeler of Houston, Texas.
Besides sisters Ruth and Marie, another sister, Bertha H. Hurzeler of Ridgefield, and a brother, Rudolph P. Hurzeler of Texas, died before her.
Services took place on Wednesday in the Jowdy-Kane Funeral Home in Danbury.
Burial will take place in Elmwood Cemetery, Bethel, in the spring.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Hancock Hall Residents Recreational Fund, 31 Staples Street, Danbury, CT 06810.
George W. Tortosa, 88, was a POW
George W. Tortosa of Ridgefield, a retired plumber who had been a prisoner of war in World War II, died on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 27, 2005, at Danbury Hospital shortly after admission. He was 88 years old and the husband of Jennie Trefon Tortosa.
Mr. Tortosa was born in Flushing, Queens, N.Y., on Aug. 22, 1916, a son of Michael and Delores Paradiso Tortosa. He attended Flushing schools and graduated from Flushing High School.
He was a World War II U.S. Army veteran in the European theatre and had been a prisoner of war.
A lifelong plumber before his retirement in 1984, Mr. Tortosa became a “weekend” resident of Ridgefield in 1950 and a permanent resident in 1975.
He was a member of St. Mary’s Church and the Marquette Council Knights of Columbus.
Besides his wife of 29 years, Mr. Tortosa is survived by three sisters, Theresa Tortosa, Mildred Tortosa and Ann Tortosa, all of Bethel; a brother, Sam Tortosa of Redding; a granddaughter; and several nieces and nephews.
His first wife, Lucille, died before him.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated today, Thursday, at 10:15 a.m. in St. Mary’s Church. Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
The Kane Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Benjamin Finkelstein, pharmacist
Benjamin B. Finkelstein, a Ridgefield resident for the past 32 years, died on Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2005, at Danbury Hospital following a massive stroke. He was 72 years old and the husband of Eleanor “Elie” Singer Finkelstein.
Mr. Finkelstein was born and grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., the youngest child of Morris and Ida Applebaum Finkelstein. He attended New York schools and was a U.S. Army Korean War veteran and a graduate of Brooklyn College of Pharmacy.
Mr. Finkelstein had owned the Westfair Pharmacy in Westport from 1960 to 1976. He was then a pharmacist at Wilton Pharmacy and in later years, Rite-Aid Pharmacy in Danbury and most recently the Rite-Aid Pharmacy in Bridgeport.
Mr. Finkelstein was well known in area theater groups for his expertise and work in designing and building sets, stage managing, serving on the boards, and “doing anything and everything that was needed,” his wife said.
He was serving on the board of the Pound Ridge Theatre Company. Previously, he had been a board member at Ridgefield Workshop for the Performing Arts, now the Ridgefield Theater Barn, and was the first recipient of its Lifetime Achievement Award.
Mr. Finkelstein belonged to various pharmaceutical associations in the area and along with his wife was an active participant in Jewish Marriage Encounter.
He was a member of Temple B’nai Chaim of Georgetown.
“He was loved and will be missed by many,” Mrs. Finkelstein said.
Besides his wife of 48 years, Mr. Finkelstein is survived by a son, Everett Finkelstein, and his wife, Tara Demyan, of Providence, R.I.; two daughters, Mardi Smith and her husband, David, of Newtown, and Amy Joyce and her husband, Edward, of Reston, Va.; two sisters, Marion Weinstein of New York and Florida and Louise Gross of Long Island, N.Y., seven grandchildren, Zo‘ and twins Hannah and Jacob Finkelstein, Kyra and Brandon Smith, and Sarah and Samantha Joyce; a sister-in-law, Barbara Zucker, of New York, N.Y.; as well as several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Rabbi Leah Cohen led services on Friday in Temple B’nai Chaim. Burial followed in Old Montefiore Cemetery, Springfield Gardens, Queens, N.Y.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the Danbury Hospital Development Fund (restricted to the Stroke Center), 24 Hospital Ave., Danbury, CT 06810.
The Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Richard McCormick, RHS graduate
Richard “Rick” McCormick of Fayetteville, Ga., a Ridgefield High School graduate and star musician, died Feb. 18, 2003, as the result of injuries sustained in a car accident on Jan. 31. He was 42 years old.
Mr. McCormick was born Jan. 3, 1963 in Tarrytown, N.Y., son of Joanne and Ted McCormick of Ridgefield.
He was a 1981 graduate of Ridgefield High School where he was a leading musician, earning All-State honors. He was an alternate in the McDonald’s All-American Jazz Band and received a music scholarship to the University of Rhode Island.
An active athlete in school, he still played basketball and golf.
In Georgia, he was an active member of the Brooks United Methodist Church and worked as a crew chief for Brent Scarborough Construction Company.
Besides his parents, he is survived by his wife, Lesia, and three stepsons, John Knost, his wife Gillian and their son, Wyatt, Andrew Knost and Matthew Knost. He is also survived by his brother Ted and his wife Cheryl and their daughters, Kelly and Erin, of Berlin, N.H.
A memorial service took place at the Brooks United Methodist Church on Monday, Feb. 21.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the Brooks United Methodist Church Building Fund, 119 Morgan Mill Road, Brooks, GA 30205.
Mark Piekarz, software developer
Mark A. Piekarz of St. Augustine, Fla., a software developer who lived here as a boy, died on Saturday, March 12, 2005, in St. Augustine. He was 38 years old.
Mr. Piekarz was born in Yonkers, N.Y., on Jan. 4, 1967, son of Donald R. and Elizabeth Speth Piekarz of Ridgefield. He attended Yonkers schools and at the age of 10, moved with his family to Ridgefield. Here, he was a member of St. Elizabeth Seton Parish, attended Ridgefield schools, and graduated from Ridgefield High School in 1985. He went on to obtain his bachelor of science in computer science from the Rochester Institute of Technology.
A software developer, Mr. Piekarz first worked for Dupont of Wilmington, Del. He later became an independent software consultant and most recently was a software developer for Citigroup.
During his career, several of his software developments later became patented.
He enjoyed music, was an avid reader and most recently took up the sports of surfing and sailing.
Besides his parents of Ridgefield, Mr. Piekarz is survivived by two brothers, Eric Piekarz and his wife Wynter of Madison, and Craig Piekarz and his wife Mary of Southborough, Mass.; his maternal grandmother, Ella Speth of Yonkers; four nieces, one nephew and several aunts, uncles and cousins.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday at 10 in St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church, 520 Ridgebury Road.
Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery.