Mary H. Gillotti, 93, grew up here
Mary H. Gillotti of Orlando, Fla., who grew up here, died last week (May 2005) at her home after a brief illness. She was 93 years old and the widow of Albert Gillotti.
Born in Castelcolonna, Italy, the daughter of John and Matilda Cioccolanti Montanari, she grew up in Ridgefield and later lived in Danbury and Palm Bay, Fla.
She enjoyed cooking, reading, gardening, and playing pinochle and Scrabble.
'She spent her life caring for her family and friends and was greatly loved by all who knew her,' her family said. 'She will be profoundly missed.'
She was a member of St. Andrew Church in Orlando for the past 20 years.
Mrs. Gillotti is survived by her daughter Eva J. White of Danbury and her husband, Raymond; her son Robert J. Gillotti of Orlando and his wife, Catherine; her son David A. Gillotti of Danbury and his wife, Anne; and her daughter Pamela G. Hyman and her husband, Melvyn, of Prospect; her sister, Susan J. Montanari, of Ridgefield; seven grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. A daughter, Sylvia, died in infancy.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Saturday at St. Andrew Catholic Church. Burial was at Woodlawn Memorial Park.
Contributions in her memory may be sent to St. Andrew Catholic Church, 801 N. Hastings Street, Orlando, FL 32808, or to Hospice of Orange-Osceola, 411 Metric Drive, Suite 4, Winter Park, FL.
Patricia Warren, Thrift Shop aide
Patricia O'Connor Warren of Ridgefield, a longtime volunteer at the Ridgefield Thrift Shop, died on Thursday, May 19, 2005, at her home. She was the wife of Richard F. Warren and 'was not as old as she would have liked to be,' her family said.
Mrs. Warren, a Ridgefielder for the past 37 years, had volunteered with the Ridgefield Thrift Shop since 1972. She 'thoroughly enjoyed being with the customers and the other volunteers,' her family said.
She was also a member of the same weekly bridge group since 1968.
'All who knew her will sorely miss her thoughtfulness, her sense of humor and her smile,' her family said.
Besides her husband, Mrs. Warren is survived by her children, Douglas and Melissa Warren of Baltimore, Md., Linda and Arthur Christiani of Easton, and Andrew and Sharon Warren of Rockville, Md.; eight grandchildren; and her brother, Alvin Richard O'Connor of Fort Myers, Fla.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Wednesday in St. Elizabeth Seton Church.
Interment was in St. Mary's Cemetery.
Contributions in her memory may be made to the Ridgefield Fire Department Ambulance Fund, 6 Catoonah St., or to the Ridgefield Thrift Shop, 15 Catoonah St., Ridgefield, CT 06877.
The Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Celia Marinelli Toetenel, 83
Celia Marinelli Toetenel of Norwalk, a former Ridgefielder, died Thursday, May 19, 2005, in Norwalk Hospital. She was 83 years old.
Mrs. Toetenel was born in Danbury on April 17, 1922, daughter of the late Nazzareno and Giovanna Pierpaoli Marinelli, and had lived in Ridgefield before moving to Norwalk in 1960.
She is survived by a son, Richard Toetenel, of Norwalk; a daughter, Donna M. Schofield, and her husband, Gary, of Naples, Fla.; a sister, Jean Tavella, and her husband, Mike, of Norwalk; and two grandsons, Justin and Cory.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Monday in St. Matthew Church, Norwalk.
Burial was in St. John Cemetery, Norwalk.
Contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, 607 Main Ave., Norwalk, CT 06851.
Paul A. Hotchkiss, 63, musician
Paul Averill Hotchkiss 63, of Sharon, a former Ridgefielder who was a musician and songwriter with two Gold Records, died at his home on May 18, 2005, after a brief illness. He was 63 years old and the husband of Shelley Hotchkiss, and had lived in Sharon for the last 10 years.
Mr. Hotchkiss was born in New York City, son of Shirley Dawson and the late Rollin D. Hotchkiss, and grew up in Douglaston, N.Y. He attended Marietta College and graduated from Hofstra University.
He lived in Ridgefield for 18 years before moving to Bethlehem and finally Sharon.
Mr. Hotchkiss had worked in sales for Continental Oil, Crawford Russell, Boehringer-Ingelheim, and most recently at the Lakeville Journal newspaper.
'His true profession and love was music,' his family said. An accomplished guitarist, he began writing songs in his teen years and performed in a band, which got recorded by Shelly Records, producing their first hit, 'Lovey Dovey.' Another early 60's hit, 'Tight Spot,' was recently re-released by Ace Records of London, in a CD collection of 'golden age' rock and roll instrumentals.
In his Ridgefield home at 25 Bob Hill Road, he started his own recording studio and record label and music publishing company, Red Kastle Records and Blue Hill Music. He was 'Hutch' of Malone and Hutch, performing country and Irish music with partner Gerry Malone for the last 30 years throughout greater New England, New York, and Ocean City, Md.
During his music career he wrote hundreds of songs that were recorded by numerous country music artists, in the U.S., Canada and Europe. He earned two Gold Records, and numerous top 100 hits in this country and abroad. He was a member of BMI, and the Connecticut Songwriters Association.
He also had a passion for railroad history, antiques, birds, and baseball. He and his wife Shelley were antiques collectors and dealers. Additionally, he coached Little League baseball, played and competed in badminton and tennis.
He is survived by his wife, Shelley Hotchkiss of Sharon; his mother, Shirley D. Hotchkiss and his sister, Cindy Lydgate, both of Camden, Maine; his three children, all of whom attended and graduated from Ridgefield schools: Margit Hotchkiss Milligan of Dalton, Mass.; David Paul Hotchkiss and wife, Dorothy, and Richard M Hotchkiss of Denver, Colo.; his stepmother, Magda G. Hotchkiss, of Lenox, Mass.; his stepdaughter, Jessie Lane of Sharon; his grandchildren: Lincoln Hotchkiss and Alex Chapman of Denver; Meagan, Marissa, and Aubrey Milligan of Dalton, Mass.; and several cousins, aunts and uncles, and many, many friends.
He was predeceased by his father, Dr. Rollin D. Hotchkiss, formerly of Lenox, Mass., and his former wife, Anita Juve Hotchkiss.
Memorial services were held May 22 at the Sharon Congregational Church, on the Green in Sharon
The Hotchkiss family invites friends, neighbors and fans to visit the Web site, maloneandhutch.com, to view photos, read and add thoughts to the talk board.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the Audubon Society, Sharon, Connecticut Land Trust, World Wildlife Federation or the American Cancer Society.
The Kinney Funeral Home, 41 Main Street, Sharon, has care of arrangements.
Delphine Marcus, radio broadcaster
Delphine Marcus, a former actress and art scholar who became a popular radio broadcaster, died on Wednesday, May 18, 2005, in Bethel Health Care Center after a long illness with cancer. She was 73 years old.
Ms. Marcus, a longtime Ridgefielder, had appeared on WMNR Fine Arts Radio for more than 20 years, and was famous for her soft, English accent and her warm, friendly style.
'Her programs fascinated listeners with a rich tapestry of classical music, Broadway and film music, and light jazz,' a station tribute said. 'Delphine presented programs that were always spontaneous, done without script or notes, and peppered with many of the recordings from her personal collection. Because she was such a world traveler, her fascination with music of all cultures permeated her programs and made them exciting and interesting.'
Before settling down to radio, Ms. Marcus had led a varied and colorful life on four continents.
Delphine Costelloe Scott-Young was born on Nov. 20, 1931, in London, England. Her father died when she was an infant and her mother, Estelle, married an English diplomat, Charles Scott-Young. Her mother later became a pilot who ferried aircraft across the Atlantic during World War II.
Because her stepfather was often on overseas assignments in such places as Nigeria, Ms. Marcus spent much of her childhood in boarding schools and living with her grandparents. When she was nine, she narrowly escaped death in London when a bomb plowed through her grandparents' house.
'I was in a four-poster bed in the middle of the house, and the ceiling fell in,' she told an interviewer in 1979. 'It took firemen five and a half hours to dig me out.'
As a girl, she studied dance and eventually got an engagement with a ballet company. But she was also drawn to acting, and studied dramatic arts at the Royal Academy. She appeared in two films with Stuart Granger and went to Rome to act as the stand-in for Elizabeth Taylor in the barge scene in Cleopatra.
Ms. Marcus, who had an Egyptian great-grandmother and a French grandmother, studied at the Sorbonne and at Heidelberg University. In Germany, after becoming friends with several Iranians, she paid $50 for an old Chevrolet and set out for Teheran. She eventually spent two years in Iran where she studied and received a degree in Islamic art.
She traveled widely in the Middle East and northern Africa, spoke fluent Arabic and was often mistaken for an Arab. In Libya, where she worked for an American oil company, 'I came to love the Beduouins and lived with them, camping in the desert,' she once told The Press. 'I dressed as an Arab with their bangles and jewelry in the nose. I took care of their children, pounded meal, and learned to eat with the sheik, using only the right hand, thumb and two fingers.'
In 1963, she visited friends in the United States and wound up going to work as a translator for the New England Institute for Medical Research on Grove Street.
At a party, she met cartoonist Jerry Marcus and a month later, the two were married. They had two children, which led Ms. Marcus to become involved in the Ridgefield schools. In the 1970s she staged programs of music, mime and dance at Farmingville and Veterans Park Schools, and in 1975 was a founder of Productions for Young People, which brings cultural programs into the schools. PYP is still operating 30 years later.
Ms. Marcus was also a docent at the Aldrich Museum. She lectured there and throughout the region on Islamic art, and also gave historical and dramatic readings -- all the time continuing to delve into history, literature, music, and art.
'She just loved to study,' said her daughter, Jeremia Buechelmaier of Brookfield. 'She loved to learn. She was just a wealth of information.'
It was at WMNR-FM in Monroe that Ms. Marcus perhaps found her greatest satisfaction. She joined the staff more than 20 years ago, when the station switched to an all-music format that is mostly classical, and had programs every Wednesday and Friday evening. She rarely missed a broadcast and, in winter, would often travel through snowstorms to reach the station.
One of her most popular features was her classical music quiz on the first Friday of the month. She also did the weekly announcements on the Connecticut Cultural Calendar.
'Over the years she became very dear to her many admirers,' WMNR said. 'So intimate and so personal were her style and presentation that many people felt a deep kinship with her, and her mailbox was always stuffed with fan letters.'
Ms. Marcus once told her audience, 'I have the great luxury of being able to share my musical loves with you, the listener here at WMNR. What pleasure it brings me when you tell me how much you enjoyed a certain piece of music that you have just heard. I think we all can remember some event when music has played an important role in our lives. What would life be without music, and, of course, WMNR!'
Five years ago Ms. Marcus moved from Ridgefield to Brookfield to live with her daughter.
Besides Mrs. Buechelmaier, Ms. Marcus is survived by a son, Julius Marcus of Westport, and three grandchildren, Alexander, Philip, and Bridget Buechelmaier, all of Brookfield; and her former husband, Jerry Marcus.
No services are planned. However, in her memory WMNR, at 88.1 mHz, will be broadcasting a special program on Friday, May 27, from 6 to midnight. Listeners have been invited to share personal remembrances of her and her broadcasts via e-mail to music @ wmnr.org.
Her family has requested that donations may be made to Regional Hospice of Western Connecticut, 405 Main Street, Danbury, CT 06810. --J.S.
Theresa Liberta, active in church
Theresa L. Liberta of Ridgefield, who was active in the Catholic Church, died on May 18, 2005. She was 87 years old.
A former resident of Peru, Ill., Mrs. Liberta attended St. Mary's Church while living in Ridgefield. She was a member of Holy Rosary Church in LaSalle, Ill., and had been very active there in Mother Cabrini and Altar and Rosary Society.
She was an avid gardener and had beautiful gardens at her Peru home.
She is survived by her son, Michael, and wife, Teri, of Ridgefield; her daughter, Pamela Hanson, and husband, Chuck, of Princeton, Ill.; seven grandchildren, Douglas and wife, Patti, Liberta of Hopkinton, Mass., Vicky and husband, Rob, Martin of Wheaton, Ill., Steven and wife, Sarah, Liberta of Ridgefield, Kimberly and husband, Jason, Robinson of Maple Grove, Minn., Laurie and husband, Paul, Rades of Chicago, Rebecca Hanson and fianc', Matt Pecorelli, of Chicago, and Andy and wife, Lindsey, Hanson of Plainfield, Ill.; seven great-grandchildren, Danny, Christopher, Rebecca, and Elizabeth Liberta, Carl and Hannah Martin, and Lucynda Robinson; and two sisters, Jenny Yirga of Oglesby, Ill., and Dorothy Wegg of Libertyville, Ill.
Her husband, Michael, and numerous sisters and brothers died before her.
Kane Funeral Home of Ridgefield and Burgess Funeral Home of LaSalle are in charge of the arrangements. Burial will be at St. Vincent's Cemetery in LaSalle.
Memorial donations may be made to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
Dolores Kramer, RHS Class of 1951
Dolores Bailey Kramer of Danbury, a 1951 graduate of Ridgefield High School, died Monday, May 16, 2005. She was 71 years old and the wife of Lewis Kramer.
She was born in New Canaan on Aug. 2, 1933. She was a 1951 graduate of Ridgefield High School.
'Dolores will be remembered for her strong appreciation of life,' her family said. 'Her most important quality was being a devoted loving wife and mother. She was a constant inspiration to her family. The greatest gift she gave was herself.'
Besides her husband of 49 years, Mrs. Kramer is survived by her sons Joseph Kramer and his wife, Lisa, of Asheville, N.C., and Richard Kramer of Brookfield; her daughters, Kim Kramer Oldham of Massachusetts, Susan Elbaum and her husband, Charles, of Bridgewater, and Lynn Kramer of New Fairfield; four grandchildren, Jay Oldham, Glenn and Robert Elbaum, and Jane Bailey Kramer; her sister-in-law, Mae Marzano; and several nieces and nephews.
A son, Robert, died before her.
Graveside services were held Saturday, May 21, at Branchville Cemetery.