Mary Ann Adams, 59, nurse's aide
Mary Ann Elizabeth Adams of Wilton and Meherrin, Va., a former Ridgefielder who had been a nurse's aide and an EMT, died this week in late May 2005 after a brief illness. She was 59 years old.
Ms. Adams was born on Sept. 27, 1945, in Brooklyn, N.Y., the eldest daughter of Edward and Claire Adams of Wilton.
She was a certified nurse's aide in Amelia, Va., and at the Southside Community Hospital in Farmville, Va., and a nurse's aide and home health aide for VNA Nursing & Home Care at Mid-Fairfield Hospice in Connecticut.
She worked in the parish churches of Saint Casimir's and Saint Stanislaus in Brooklyn, N.Y. She had been an EMT volunteer with the Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Service and a volunteer at Mid-Fairfield County Hospice and Bread and Roses, an AIDS shelter in Georgetown.
Ms. Adams is survived by seven brothers and sisters, Claire Mignon Theune of Meherrin, Gregory Matthew Adams of Corona del Mar, Calif., Laura Ellen Halloran of Ridgefield, Mark Edward Adams of Forest Hills, N.Y., Kenneth Robert Adams of Forest Hills, Ellen Lisabeth Romer of Redding, and Jennifer Jean Clark of Pasadena, Calif., and several nieces and nephews.
A memorial Mass will be celebrated at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Wilton on Tuesday, June 7, at 10.
Burial will be in St. Mary's Cemetery, Ridgefield.
Ann Manion, 76, active volunteer
Ann Manion of Ridgefield, an active volunteer who had been a founder of the Ridgefield Woman's Club, died on Friday morning, May 27, 2005, at Danbury Hospital. She was 76 years old and the wife of William J. Manion.
Mrs. Manion was born in Orange, N.J., on Sept. 28, 1928, daughter of Thomas and Viola Morrison Degnen. She attended New Jersey schools as well as secretarial school.
A resident of Ridgefield for the past 41 years, coming from Simsbury, Mrs. Manion was active in the Ridgefield community and St. Mary's Parish.
She was a co-originator of the Ridgefield Woman's Club and active with the Meals on Wheels Program. She served as co-chairperson of the first St. Mary's Church Fair and was a former religious education instructor.
Mrs. Manion enjoyed swimming, traveled extensively throughout the world, enjoyed theater 'but especially enjoyed being with her family and most especially her grandchildren,' her family said.
In addition to her husband of 53 years, Mrs. Manion is survived by three daughters, Kerry A. Manion of Brookfield, Mary Elizabeth Potamkin and her husband, Charles 'Kit,' of Newport Beach, Calif., and Meg M. Manion of Newburyport, Mass.; two sons, Kevin P. Manion and his wife, Carrie M., of Foothill Ranch, Colo., and Peter T. Manion and his wife, Martha P., of Sandy Hook; a brother, Thomas Degnen and his wife, Barbara, of Alabama; a sister, Dorothy Savage of Tennessee; and 10 grandchildren.
A sister, Mary Elizabeth Degnen, died earlier.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Wednesday in St. Mary's Church.
Burial took place in St. Mary's Cemetery.
Contributions in her memory may be made to the American Stroke Foundation, 11902 Lowell Suite 104, Overland Park, KS 66212, www.americanstroke.org.
Mildred R. Sessa, 93, saleswoman
Mildred R. Sessa, a Stamford resident for many years and a Ridgefield resident for eight years, died Thursday, May 26, 2005, at the Danbury Hospital at the age of 93.
She was born Oct. 14, 1911 in Stamford, the daughter of the late Salvatore and Josephine Valenti Raffaele. She worked as a saleswoman for Bloomingdale's department store and also worked at C.O. Miller's and Best & Company.
Her husband, Samuel P. Sessa, died before her.
Survivors include her daughters, Carol S. Hamilton of Ridgefield and Arlene Bahr of Pontiac, Mo., a son, Paul A. Sessa of Mt. Pleasant, S.C., a sister Yolanda Scalfani of Stamford., eight grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
She was predeceased by her brothers, Salvatore Raffaele, Alfred Raffaele and Ernest Raffaele, and a sister Rose Iuso.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Tuesday, May 31, at Sacred Heart Church in Stamford. Burial followed in St. John Cemetery, Darien. The Lacerenza Funeral Home in Norwalk was in charge of arrangements.
Memorial donations may be made to the VNA, 90 East Ridge Road, Ridgefield 06877.
Lottie Bielicki, 76, homemaker
Lottie T. Bielicki of Ridgefield, a homemaker, died on Thursday morning, May 26, 2005, at Danbury Hospital. She was 76 years old and the wife of Lucian C. Bielicki.
Mrs. Bielicki was born in Plains, Pa., June 24, 1928 and attended Plains schools.
In 1950, Mrs. Bielicki moved from Pennsylvania to New Jersey, and to Connecticut in 1969 where she lived ever since.
As a homemaker, she was also an exceptional cook, her family said.
Besides her husband of 46 years, Mrs. Bielicki is survived by two sons, Mark S. Bielicki of Ridgefield and Thomas M. Bielicki and his wife, Siobhan, of Trumbull; a daughter, Linda Hemphill and her husband, Gary, of Blackstone, Mass.; two sisters, Sr. Michelle, Bernadine Sisters of Stamford, and Irene Zulus of North Plainfield, N.J.; six grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Wednesday, June 1, in St. Mary's Church.
Burial was private.
Contributions to Regional Hospice of Western CT, Home Health Care Program, 405 Main Street, Danbury, CT 06810 or to the Visiting Nurse Association, 90 East Ridge, Ridgefield, CT 06877 would be appreciated.
Brigid T. Flynn, 95, native of Ireland
Brigid T. Flynn, 95, of Ridgefield, wife of the late David J. Flynn, died on Wednesday morning, May 25, 2005 at Pope John Paul II Center for Health Care, Danbury.
Mrs. Flynn was born in Cappoquin, County Waterford, Ireland, September 20, 1909, one of seven children of John and Ellen (Fennessy) Cullinane. Raised and educated in Ireland, Mrs. Flynn emigrated to the United States in 1927 at the age of 18 settling in New York, NY.
In 1934, she married David J. Flynn who died in 1992.
A resident of Ridgefield for the past 11 years coming from Breezy Point, NY, she was an educated woman who was well read and very politically motivated.
Mrs. Flynn was a former member of the Waterford Association and of St. Mary's Church of Ridgefield.
Three daughters, Kathleen Donnelly of Wanaque, NJ, Mary Maguire of Ridgefield and Ann Flynn of Warwick, RI, four sons, Christian Brother Gregory Flynn of Ethiopia, David Flynn of County Cork, Ireland, William Flynn of Emerald Isle, NC and Patrick Flynn of Sebastian, FL, ten grandchildren and six great grandchildren survive her.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, 10:15AM in St. Mary's Church, Ridgefield.
Burial will follow in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Hawthorne, NY.
Friends will be received in the Kane Funeral Home, 25 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield on Sunday and Monday from 2PM to 4PM and 7PM to 9PM.
Peter R. Fagan, 91, shipbuilder
Peter R. Fagan of Ridgefield, a retired shipbuilder and former Grand Knight, died on Wednesday evening, May 25, 2005, at Laurel Ridge Nursing and Skilled Care Center. He was 91 years old and the husband of Margaret Engelke Anthony-Fagan
Mr. Fagan was born in White Plains, N.Y., on Aug. 8, 1913, son of John 'Bill' and Ellen Mann Fagan. He attended White Plains schools, graduated from White Plains High School and became a steamfitter and welder.
In 1938, Mr. Fagan enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was honorably discharged as a first class petty officer.
For many years, Mr. Fagan worked as a shipbuilder and was a member of Union Local 311 and later Union Local 777, Connecticut Pipe Trades of Wethersfield.
In 1961, Mr. Fagan moved to Ridgefield from Stamford. He was a member of the John A. Gildea, division number three, Ancient Order of Hibernians of Danbury, Marquette Council Knights of Columbus of Ridgefield, where he served as a past Grand Knight, a member of the Rev. John D. Kennedy assembly fourth degree Knights of Columbus, where he served as a past faithful navigator and color corps commander, a member of AARP and OWLS in Ridgefield, and a member of Founders Hall and of St. Mary's Church, where he served as an usher and was a former member of the Widow and Widower's Club.
Besides his wife, Mr. Fagan is survived by a son, Peter F. Fagan of Leesburg, Va.; three daughters, Janice Smolen and her husband of Stony Point, N.Y., Christine Grendanin and her husband, Valerio, of Wallkill, N.Y., and Mary L. Fagan and her life partner Sharon Fagan of Northampton, Mass.; a stepson, William Anthony and his wife, Cheryl, of Waterbury; four stepdaughters, Catherine Luciano of Naugatuck, Patricia Grabiec and her husband, Joseph, of Trumbull, Diane Taylor and her husband, Jonathan, of Norwalk, and Irene Kish and her husband, Louis, of Oakville; four grandchildren, Andrea DiGiovanni, Vanessa McArthur, Melissa Franzen, and Mitchell Smolen; three great-grandchildren; 17 step-grandchildren; and a niece and a nephew.
Mr. Fagan was predeceased by his first wife, Eleanor Brown Fagan, his sister Ellen Fagan Rooney, and a stepdaughter, Margaret Hultberg.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Saturday in St. Mary's Church, Ridgefield.
Burial followed in St. Mary's Cemetery, Ridgefield.
Contributions in Mr. Fagan's memory may be made to St. Mary's Church Organ Fund, 55 Catoonah St., Ridgefield, CT 06877, or to Regional Hospice of Western Connecticut, Home Health Care Program, 405 Main St., Danbury, CT 06810.
Roy Cogswell, 57, Early Bird owner
Roy Cogswell, the longtime owner of The Early Bird restaurant who was noted for his kindness and humor, died of liver cancer Wednesday morning, May 25, 2005, at Danbury Hospital. He was 57, and had been a Ridgefielder all his life.
A man whose trademark was his modesty and self-deprecating humor, Mr. Cogswell quietly helped many people as he joshed and smiled his way through life.
'Fantastic, always giving,' lifelong friend Carol Casey Mitchell said of him. 'He was the same person when he was dying that he was his whole life -- very gentle, respected, private. He was always there for everyone that needed help.'
'Roy is so low key, most people don't even realize that he did these things,' friend Ron Singer said of the helping hand Mr. Cogswell extended to so many.
Born June 28, 1947 to Frederick and Ruth DeForest Cogswell, he grew up on Danbury Road. His mother died when he was 12, Ms. Mitchell recalled, and he spent a lot of time at her family's home, across the street. He played Little League and Babe Ruth baseball. He graduated in the Class of 1965 at Ridgefield High School, and played catcher on the RHS baseball team. He went to Boston University.
Mr. Cogswell worked summers during high school driving an ice cream truck, and he later had a wide range of employments. He worked in carpentry and for Knapp Brothers Tree Service. He owned a deli in Vista, and tended bar at Galloway's Pub in Ridgefield. He owned the Hay Day Meat Market, operating as an independent within the high-end food store.
Mr. Cogswell bought The Early Bird restaurant and ran it for 15 years, often getting up at three in the morning to start preparations for the first wave of early morning customers. Under his ownership The Early Bird became the breakfast and lunch spot for townies and old timers, a place where people gathered for companionship as well food.
'Not many places you can spend $1.35 for a cup of coffee -- that keeps getting refilled -- and hang around for four hours,' John Katz, one the Early Bird regulars, said in March when Mr. Cogswell's condition became known and friends began organizing a fund-raiser.
'Really, his whole life was The Early Bird, getting up at 3 o'clock in the morning,' Ms. Mitchell said. '...There was a real early group of men that went in there.'
Tom Belote, a high school classmate, said, 'As you can see from the atmosphere that Roy created at The Early Bird, Roy was a kind and caring individual. Old timers and new residents alike enjoyed his warmth and wit. His volunteer activities for his hometown set an example for us all.'
Mr. Cogswell was a member of The Lions Club and had been president and secretary of its Ridgefield chapter, and chaired various committees. He received the Lions Ambassador of Sight Award this year, and in 2002 received its Melvin Jones Fellowship.
Having conquered alcohol and drug problems himself, Mr. Cogswell was helpful to many who battled them. A man whose son had trouble with drugs recalled how Mr. Cogswell had befriended him at the group meetings, 'took him aside and helped him, got him a job, and brought him home a number of times after the meetings, and helped him out.'
He added, 'Ever since that, I'd do whatever I can to help Roy.'
Testimony to Mr. Cogswell's friendliness and penchant for helping folks out was the dinner and auction in April that brought in more than $50,000 from people eager to help him. The volunteers who cooked and cleaned and waited table included nine of the people who worked for Mr. Cogswell at The Early Bird.
'Roy's passing in no way diminishes his essence, which will be reflected in every cup of coffee we continue to drink at The Early Bird,' Mr. Katz said.
Mr. Cogswell is survived by his aunt, Evelyn DeForest of Ridgefield; his cousin, Lee DeForest of Ridgefield and his wife, Margaret; his cousin Wayne DeForest and his wife, Mary of Waverly, N.Y., and four nieces and nephews.
Besides his mother, his father died before he did, as did his sister, Lynn Tracey of Waverly, N.Y.
He also leaves a circle of devoted friends including Ms. Mitchell, Walter Valentine and Bob Donohue, as well as 'extended family' that includes the staff and regular customers of The Early Bird.
Calling hours will be tonight, May 26, from 6 to 9 at the Kane Funeral Home, 25 Catoonah Street. Funeral services will be Friday, May 27, at 1 at Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church, 207 Main Street.
Donations in his memory may be made to the Oncology Department at Danbury Hospital.
Ethel O. Pettit, 79, active in church
Ethel O. Pettit of Blacksmith Ridge, a homemaker who was active in church work, died on Tuesday, May 24, 2005, at Carolton Manor in Fairfield, after a long illness. She was 79 years old and the widow of Dr. Gordon Pettit Sr.
Mrs. Pettit was born in Bridgeport on Oct. 22, 1925, a daughter of Gonburg Hillgren and Stanley Sven Olson.
A homemaker, she had been very active in The First Congregational Church, and had been an early volunteer with the Meals on Wheels program.
Her husband, a longtime Ridgefield dentist, died in 1993. They had been married in 1964 in the First Congregational Church.
Mrs. Pettit is survived by a sister, Jean Langan of Southport; a stepson, Gordon Pettit Jr. and Patricia Pettit of Ridgefield; a stepdaughter, Helen Pettit Murratti of Branford; three stepgrandsons and three step great-grandsons; nine nieces and nephews; and 13 grandnieces and nephews.
Her sister, Norma Anderson, died before her.
A memorial service will be take place Saturday, May 28, at 11 a.m., at the First Congregational Church.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Music Ministry of the First Congregational Church, 103 Main Street, Ridgefield CT 06877 or any other organization of your choice.
Kane Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.