Jerry Marcus, leading cartoonist, actor
Jerry Marcus, a cartoonist whose work has appeared in almost every major magazine and in more than 200 newspapers worldwide, died Friday, July 22, 2005, in Waterbury Hospital after a long illness. He was 81 years old.
Since 1947, Mr. Marcus's gag cartoons have appeared in every major magazine, from The New Yorker to the Paris Match, and for many years, he was ranked among the top 10 in his field in the country.
While most successful cartoonists stick to either magazine gags or newspaper strips, Mr. Marcus was successful at both. His King Features daily and Sunday strip, Trudy, appeared in hundreds of newspapers since it began in 1963, and focused on the life of a suburban homemaker N modeled, he said, a bit after his strong-willed mother who, as a young widow, had to raise four children in a cold-water flat in New York City.
Mr. Marcus was born in June 27, 1924 in Brooklyn, the son of Clara and Julius Marcus, immigrants from Austria-Hungary. His father died when he was three, and his mother depended on welfare to help support her and children.
Mr. Marcus would recall how one welfare department caseworker would periodically burst into their room without knocking, and walk around looking for any signs that the welfare money had been spent on luxuries. One time, he said, the caseworker opened the icebox door, and found a half pint of ice cream that his mother had bought to celebrate one of the children's birthdays. The woman scolded her for squandering taxpayer money on luxuries.
As a young boy, he knew he wanted to be a cartoonist. When he was still in P.S. 165, a Brooklyn grammar school, he sold his first cartoon for the $2.50 to the School Bank News, a paper published by a local bank for distribution to school children.
When World War II broke out, he tried to join the Navy, but lacked the weight. Instead, he served in the Merchant Marine aboard aviation fuel tankers in the North Atlantic until he had built up enough weight to be accepted by the Navy. After a stint with the Seabees in the Philippines, he was discharged in 1946.
After the war, he studied at the Cartoonists and Illustrators School in New York City. Almost immediately after his graduation, his cartoons began appearing in national magazines, including The New Yorker, Look, Saturday Evening Post, McCall's, and Ladies' Home Journal.
Mr. Marcus's cartoons and comic strips have had a worldwide audience, and two have hung in the White House. In 1960, after Gary Powers' U-2 spy plane flight was shot down over Russia, Premier Nikita Khrushchev cancelled a summit meeting. Soon after, President Dwight D. Eisenhower made a speech in Portugal that began, 'Have any of you seen that recent cartoon that said: 'The next speaker needs all the introduction he can get'''
That cartoon by Mr. Marcus later hung in the White House. The second to be displayed there appeared in Saturday Evening Post, just after John-John Kennedy was born. It showed two guards outside an otherwise darkened White House, with a single brightly lit window. 'It's probably the 2 o'clock feeding,' one guard says.
Bernard Baruch was so tickled by one of his panels featuring a little boy sitting on Santa Claus' lap that he asked for and received the original. The cartoon's caption said, 'I'll tell you want I want... I want to go to the bathroom.'
His daughter, Jeremia Buechelmaier of Brookfield, fondly recalled another panel. 'He did a cartoon about Regis and Kathie Lee Gifford. They showed and read it live on the air and then my father was invited to meet Regis and Kathie Lee in New York, which he did and he took me.'
Mr. Marcus would often spend more than 40 hours a week at his drawing board, but many more hours were devoted to dreaming up gags. Sometimes that inspiration came literally in dreams.
'Believe it or not, there have been times when I've dreamed of a gag and drawn it when I woke up,' he once told an interviewer. 'It's really not so unusual. I know any number of people who keep a pad near their bed to jot down ideas that come to them when they're dozing. In my case, I'm a cartoonist, so I keep a piece of drawing paper handy.'
More than a dozen books containing his work, including many Trudy collections, have been published. Hundreds of his cartoons have appeared in The Press, especially during the 1960s and 1970s when his work ran weekly.
Mr. Marcus came to Ridgefield in 1956 and worked here more than 40 years before moving to Danbury and then to Waterbury a year and a half ago. For many years he would often been seen walking in the village with his friends, especially fellow cartoonist Orlando Busino of Ridgefield.
'Jerry Marcus was truly one of America's funniest cartoonists,' Mr. Busino said yesterday. 'He had a genuine sense of humor, and his drawings and captions were superb. I feel privileged to have known him for nearly 50 years. He was a dear friend and will be missed.'
For many years Mr. Marcus, Mr. Busino, Joseph Farris, and Dana Fraydon, all noted cartoonists, would ride the train together to Manhattan to 'make the rounds' of the magazines with their cartoons.
Throughout his career, Mr. Marcus also did work with advertising agencies, and his series of cartoons for American Airlines was considered a classic.
More recently, 'Dad also did huge cartoon ads about four years ago, which hang in almost all of the subway cars in Tokyo, Japan,' said Ms. Buechelmaier.
He often appeared with fellow cartoonists in programs at schools and libraries in the area, and at VA hospitals. He made several trips to Europe and the Far East, visiting veterans hospitals with other cartoonists, where they would draw caricatures of the hospitalized veterans and entertain them with cartoon routines.
'He was known not just for marvelous gags but for drawings of wonderfully expressive people and particularly dogs,' said longtime friend Ed Plaut of Ridgefield.
Mr. Marcus was also a member of a regular lunch group of mostly cartoonists, who met for years at Nick's and other restaurants in Danbury.
Cartooning wasn't his only 'career.' Mr. Marcus, who'd acted in high school, was proud of the fact that he had appeared in 'Exodus,' the 1960 Otto Preminger movie, as well as in other movies including 'Loving' with George Segal and Eva Marie Saint. He also starred in a number of commercials, such as for Timex, Burger King and Kodak, and he had been a member of the Screen Actors Guild since 1970 when he did his first commercial.
'I think, had my life taken a different direction, I would have liked to get into movies,' he said in 1983. 'And I think I would have done OK.'
Besides Ms. Buechelmaier and her husband, Paul, of Brookfield, Mr. Marcus is survived by another daughter, Julie Marcus of Phoenicia, N.Y.; two sons, Julius Marcus of Westport and Gary Marcus of Palm Beach, Fla.; and three grandchildren, Alexander, Philip, and Bridget Buechelmaier, all of Brookfield.
His former wife, radio broadcaster Delphine Marcus, died May 18.
No public services were planned, but friends gathered Wednesday in Westport in his memory.
Contributions in his memory may be made the Ridgefield Library, 472 Main Street, Ridgefield CT 06877.
Sydney Johnson, polling executive
Sydney Paul Johnson of Ridgefield, a computer executive who had been active in the Catholic Church, died Monday, July 18, 2005, at his home after a long illness. He was 60 years old, the husband of Cynthia Francesca Johnson, and the father of St. John Johnson.
A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Mr. Johnson was born on Nov. 20, 1944, a son of Hugo Napoleon and Myrtle Alice Humble Johnson. He grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and graduated from Lehigh University with degrees in physics and in engineering. He earned his master's degree in economics at the University of York, England.
Mr. Johnson then lived in England for 16 years, working in market research on computer software and statistics.
He returned to the United States to help develop software, but soon joined Louis Harris, the polling and market research company, as vice president of computer systems.
Mr. Harris became a friend and when Mr. Johnson became disabled some years ago, 'he was really instrumental in helping the family,' Cynthia Johnson said.
Mr. and Mrs. Johnson met through friends in New York City, and were married at the Episcopal Little Church Around the Corner in New York City in 1986 and then in St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, Bedford, N.Y., in 1987. The Johnsons had lived in Bedford from 1986 before moving to Ridgefield in 1997.
A convert to Catholicism, Mr. Johnson was active in the Marquette Council, Knights of Columbus, in Ridgefield where he was a third degree member. He had been a fourth degree knight of the Dr. John G. Coyle Assembly in White Plains, N.Y.
Mr. Johnson was a member of St. Mary's Church, where he had attended daily mass and had been a participant in worshipping at the Adoration Chapel. In Bedford, he had been a lector at St. Patrick's Church.
'He worked very hard to develop a community and home life, despite being disabled,' Mrs. Johnson said. 'He was an enabler. He enabled people around him to do the best that they could.'
As a scientist, she said, 'he absolutely believed that science and God are not in opposition. He believed that God created scientists. He was a brilliant man and scientist, and a great fan and student of Albert Einstein.'
Although he was six feet, four inches tall and had an imposing aspect, she added, 'he was a very gentle man.'
Besides his wife and his son, who is a student at Sacred Heart University, Mr. Johnson is survived by two brothers, Bruce E.H. Johnson and Kenneth H. Johnson, both of Seattle, Wash.; a sister, Carolyn Johnson of Grand Rapids, Mich.; and six nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday, July 22, at 11 a.m. in St. Patrick's Church, Bedford.
Friends may call Friday between 9 and 10 a.m. at the Kane Funeral Home, 25 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the National Organization of Rare Disorders, P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813.
Sherie Fabrizio, anti-drinking leader
Sherie A. Fabrizio of Sunrise, Fla., a former Ridgefielder who had been active in programs that fought teenage drinking here, died on Monday, July 18, 2005, in Sunrise. She was 51 years old.
Ms. Fabrizio, who had lived in Ridgefield from 1991 until 2003, had served as president of Ridgefield's Alcohol & Drug Awareness Committee in the 1990s.
She was also an adviser to the Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD) group at the high school and had been active in Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). She had been instrumental in getting the high school to use Breathalyzers at dances and other social events and helped bring back the 'mock car crash' event at the high school.
Her efforts, including her involvement in the creation of the town's first 'Prevention Convention,' earned her the 1996 'Woman of the Year' award from the Housatonic Valley Coalition Against Substance Abuse.
Her techniques were sometimes controversial. She once recalled that when she attempted to focus on parents as role models by developing the 'I Signed' sobriety weekend for adults, 'the police had to guard my house. I received threatening calls from parents, that I was invading their home.'
Ms. Fabrizio took a several-year break in her anti-drinking work, but resumed in 2002 when she was appointed to the Ridgefield Alcohol and Drug Use Commission. 'I'm back with a vegeance,' she said at the time. 'Too many kids are drinking. It's so obvious we need programs for them.'
'She worked tirelessly to help educate students of Ridgefield about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse,' her family said this week. 'She was a woman who will always be remembered as a loving mother and a person whose character was deeply rooted in kindness and generosity.
'Although her life ended much too abruptly, she lived with enough love and vigor to last a number of lifetimes.'
Ms. Fabrizio was born in Flushing, Queens, N.Y., daughter of Daniel Davis of Florida and the late Caryle Friedman Davis. She was raised in the Howard Beach section of Queens, and attended local schools and Brooklyn Collge.
For a time, she was associated with her father in his accounting firm.
Ms. Fabrizio was a former administrative assistant at the First Congregational Church of Ridgefield.
Besides her father in Florida, Ms. Fabrizio is survived by three daughters, Erica, Allison and Michelle, all of Ridgefield, and a nephew Jason Harrington.
Her mother, a sister, Brenda Harringon, and a nephew, Marine Sgt. Foster Harrington, who was killed in Iraq, died before her.
Rabbi Solomon Ackrish will lead services on Sunday at 11 a.m. in the Kane Funeral Home, 25 Catoonah Street. Burial will follow in Ridgebury Cemetery.
The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Sunday at 10.
A Period of Mourning will be observed at 19 Walnut Grove Road on Sunday evening from 6 to 9.
Francis 'Don' Waters, marketing consultant
Francis M. 'Don' Waters Jr., a public relations and marketing expert who had lived in Ridgefield more than 40 years, died on July 17, 2005, in Easton, Md. He was 86 years old.
Mr. Waters was born in Springfield, Mass., on July 10, 1919, to the late Francis M. Waters Sr. and Grace Alden Waters. The family moved several times, and he lived in various towns in New York and New Jersey.
Mr. Waters received his secondary school education in Mt. Vernon, N.Y. He enrolled at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., graduating in 1940 with a bachelor of arts degree in economics and political science.
He began his career in New York City in public relations and advertising. At the outbreak of World War II he volunteered for service in the U.S. Army and became a commissioned officer in the anti-aircraft artillery branch. He was selected as an instructor in that field, and later volunteered for overseas service in the infantry.
Mr. Waters was a combat company commander in the Italian Theater until the end of hostilities in Italy, after which he was in charge of a prisoner-of-war camp for German soldiers, voluntarily delaying his return home.
He was recalled to active duty with the Army during the Korean War and served in Army headquarters at the Pentagon in Washington.
Upon his return from World War II, Mr. Waters resumed his career, working in several large companies in public relations, advertising, marketing, opinion research, and management consulting.
He later began his own company, Don Waters & Associates, and served a varied roster of clients in southern Connecticut. He also worked for several years as the editor of Business Digest magazine in Danbury.
In the 1970s, Mr. Waters served as chairman of the Ridgefield Community Corporation, a nonprofit organization aiming to provide affordable housing in town.
In his retirement Mr. Waters taught several classes in his field at Western Connecticut State University, and volunteered extensively for various nonprofit agencies, most recently for the SCORE chapter for Western Connecticut in Brookfield. This organization's members are retired business executives who donate their time to advising small business clients on various aspects of their business: starting a business, improving one or expanding one. During his time at SCORE, Mr. Waters counseled hundreds of small business owners, and served as the chapter chairman for three years.
In 2002 he moved from his home of more than 45 years in Ridgefield to the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where he settled in the town of Easton. He enjoyed the towns and countryside of Talbot County and Chesapeake Bay, and, in particular, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.
Mr. Waters enjoyed spending time and keeping in touch with family members throughout the country, as well as reading, traveling, shell collecting, photography, and movies at home.
He was predeceased by his wife, Marilyn Graham Waters, in 1988 and by his twin sister, Harriet, in 1921.
Surviving are his four sons: Christopher of Tucson, Ariz., Timothy of Orange, Calif., Jeffrey of Summerville, S.C., and Kevin of Fancy Gap, Va.; his daughter, Elizabeth Edwards of Danbury; their spouses; and nine grandchildren. Also surviving are his long-time companion, Alyce Waters Varney, and his brother William.
Private services took place Saturday, July 23.
Donations in Mr. Waters' memory may be made to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, Navy Point, P.O. Box 636, St. Michaels, MD 21663, or to the charity of one's choice.
Artist Sperry Andrews dies at 87;
led effort to preserve Weir Farm
Charles Sperry Andrews III, the open air artist who was at the heart of the effort to preserve the physical landscape and artistic legacy of The Weir Farm, died Thursday, July 14, 2005, at Danbury Hospital. He was 87 years old, the husband of the late Doris Bass Andrews, and had lived and painted for 48 years on the Nod Hill Road property that in 1990 became the Weir Farm National Historic Site.
'His vision of a singularly beautiful world inspired all those who knew him,' said his daughter, Catherine Barrett Andrews. 'He was unfailingly gracious and polite in his approach to people, and to life itself.'
On her father's relationship to the farm, which he bought from J. Alden Weir's son-in-law, Mahonri Young, in 1957, Ms. Andrews quoted Gordon R. Fairburn, a founding member of the Weir Farm Heritage Trust: He was 'conservator, anecdotal historian, and, most importantly, painter of the farm's light, moods, intimate views and landscapes.'
Born Oct. 5, 1917, on Central Park West in New York City to Alice Peterson Andrews and Charles Sperry Andrews II, a Danbury native, he was the third of five children. The family moved to Bronxville, N.Y., in 1920 when his father became president of the newly formed Bronxville Trust Company Bank.
Mr. Andrews attended both public and private schools, and knew from a very young age that art was his field. He began sketching seriously at eight years old.
He studied at the National Academy of Design in New York and later at the Art Students League of New York.
Mr. Andrews was in the First Army Division during World War II, serving in Iceland, France, Belgium and Germany from 1941 to 1945. He was in charge of munitions, and took part in the second wave of the invasion of the beaches at Normandy.
It was at Art Students League that he met fellow student Doris Bass, who was his wife for 55 years when she died in 2003. The couple had three children, and in 1948 moved to Ridgefield, living in the old 'book barn' on Route 33 on the Wilton line.
As an artist, Mr. Andrews learned of Mahonri Mackintosh Young, the sculptor who was the son-in-law of American Impressionist Julian Alden Weir. When new in town he knocked on Mr. Young's door N the door of the farmhouse the late Mr. Weir had acquired in 1882 and made a country retreat for a wide circle of turn-of-the-century artist friends, including Albert Pinkham Ryder, Childe Hassam, John Twachtman and John Singer Sargent. It was an artistic legacy that Mr. Andrews grew to deeply appreciate, first as a friend of Mr. Young's, later as an owner and, eventually, as artist-in-residence at The Weir Farm.
The Andrews bought the main Weir farmhouse and surrounding property after Mr. Young's death in 1957. They lived there, painting, raising their children, and summering on Block Island. Mr. and Mrs. Andrews also became friends with Cora Weir Burlingham, another of Mr. Weir's daughters, who donated substantial portions of her nearby property to Nature Conservancy as the Weir Preserve.
In the late 1970's, as the property in the area began to succumb to land development pressures, Mr. and Mrs. Andrews began a grass roots effort to preserve the land for future enjoyment by the public and artists. Both Sperry and Doris Andrews devoted tremendous amounts of time and energy to preserving the property and insuring that others recognized its importance in the history of art in America.
After years of work by many people and with invaluable assistance from The Nature Conservancy, The Trust for Public Land, the State of Connecticut and various politicians, most notably U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman, their efforts were crowned with success in 1990 with the creation of the Weir Farm National Historic Site, the only national park site in the country that celebrates American painting.
While the Weir Farm became the property of the federal government, Mr. and Mrs. Andrews retained life use of the main farmhouse and each continued to live and paint there to near the end of their days.
Completely aside from his involvement in preserving the Weir Farm, Mr. Andrews was an accomplished and well recognized artist N largely, though not exclusively, as a landscape painter.
His work is in the permanent collections of the Wadsworth Atheneum, the Columbus Gallery of Fine Art, the National Academy of Design and the New Britain Museum of American Art.
He had one-man exhibitions at the Lacardia Gallery and Feragil Gallery in New York, the Lyme Academy of Art, and locally at the Katonah Gallery, Bethel Gallery and Westport's Kipnis Gallery. His work has also been exhibited at The National Academy of Arts and Letters and the Slater Memorial Musuem in Norwich, among others.
'Sperry Andrews paints year round out-of-doors,' New Britain Museum of American Art Director Charles Ferguson wrote in 1983. '...His paintings are completed on the spot, not the usual 'sketch from the field, redo it in the studio' scheme...
'That is undoubtedly why Sperry Andrews' paintings and drawings have such freshness and harmony of light, color and line. One may find traces of Cubism and the Orient in his work but he has developed a blend which is uniquely all his own.
'Dedicated to his profession, a model of self-discipline and perseverance, Sperry Andrews is a painter's painter whose work reveals great beauty all about us.'
Mr. Andrews' work has won many art awards and prizes, including the First Julius Hallgarten Prize, the John Pike Memorial Award and the Certificate of Merit of the National Academy of Design, the William Bradford Green Memorial Prize for Landscape from the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, and the Salmagundi Club Award for U.S. Citizen at the 20th Annual Exhibition, Audubon Artists, in New York.
He was elected a member of the Century Association in 1993 and made an Academician of the National Academy of Design in 1994.
Mr. Andrews is survived by three children: Catherine Barrett Andrews of Madison, Ga., and Ridgefield; Charles Sperry Andrews IV of Sedona, Ariz.; and Albert Ballard Andrews of Wilton. He leaves seven grandchildren, including: Sebastian, Benjamin and Nathaniel Andrews of Wilton; Catie Scarlett Andrews-Jackson of Madison, Ga., and Ridgefield; Sabrina Lord-Linde of Moscow, Russia; Maximillian Andrews-Lindberg of Ecuador; and Gioia Gaia Bonci of Italy.
Mr. Andrews was buried in a simple private ceremony Tuesday, July 19, at Hillside Cemetery in Wilton. A memorial service is planned, in connection with a show of his artwork, at the Weir Farm in mid to late September.
Contributions in his memory may be made to The Weir Farm Trust, 735 Nod Hill Road, Wilton, CT. 06897.