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.
Srvices 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.
Richard Fischer, systems analyst
Richard Pierie Fischer, a longtime Ridgefielder, died on Friday, Feb. 25, 2005, at Norwalk Hospital. He was 66 years old.
Mr. Fischer was born in Philadelphia on June 13, 1938, the eldest child of Herman W. and Elizabeth P. Fischer. His bachelor of arts degree in French from Wesleyan University came with the accolade of 'Distinction.'
Mr. Fischer worked as a systems analyst until his retirement in 2002.
'He was a sailing enthusiast, avid reader, supporter of just causes, loving parent and husband,' his family said. 'He was an entirely ethical human being.'
Mr. Fischer is survived by Bonnie, his wife of 39 years; a daughter, Julia B. Fischer of New York; a son, Peter R. Fischer of Brooklyn, N.Y.; a brother, Edward, and his wife Vanessa Fischer, of West Sussex, England; and a sister, Patty Fischer of Prescott, Ariz.
A memorial service will be held at Kane's Funeral Home, 25 Catoonah St., Ridgefield, on Friday, March 4, at 11.
In lieu of flowers donations in his memory may be made to the American Civil Liberties Union, 125 Broad St., 18th Floor, New York, NY 10004, or to the Foundation for Melanoma Research, 3601 Spruce St., Philadelphia, PA 19104.
Chip Hendrickson, historical dancer
Charles 'Chip' Cyril Hendrickson III of Newtown, a former Ridgefielder who was widely known for his knowledge of historic and square dancing, died at Danbury Hospital on Friday, Feb. 25, 2005, from complications of a stroke. He was husband of Frances Cibel Eitapence Hendrickson, and had lived in Ridgefield from 1962 until 1967 when the family moved to Newtown.
Mr. Henrickson was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Sept. 26, 1932, son of the late Ruth Copeland and Charles Cyril Hendrickson II of Oceanside, Long Island, N.Y.
He grew up on Long Island, attending Oceanside schools and receiving an associate's degree in surveying from Brookline College. His career in technical illustrating included work at Branson Sonic Power, and other companies in southwestern Connecticut. He had worked at Schlumberger Doll in Ridgefield from the late 1970's until 1988 when he retired from corporate work.
As a pre-teen, Mr. Hendrickson saw a presentation by a American Indian family at a Long Island library, and that began a life-long commitment to educating the public about Indian ways. He formed a dance group in his teens and later, with his five children as the Te Wa Hey Dancers, continuing the education process. He created regalia after learning beadwork skills, leather craft and feather work.
After a stroke in January 1997, he was unable to dance but could still teach and display his items.
A longtime square dancer, Mr. Hendrickson became a caller for many local clubs and traveled across the country. He made 27 recordings and wrote for a national square dance magazine. He had been the square dance caller for the father-daughter Girl Scout dances in Ridgefield, as well as for other groups, and also did American Indian dance demonstrations for schools and Cub and Boy Scout groups here.
As Cyril Hendrickson, he was dancing master for historic re-enactment groups including DeLancey's Brigade based in Trumbull, and The Living History Foundation, based in Virginia. In 1990, he was employed by Colonial Williamsburg as dancing master.
Mr. Hendrickson was also involved in Boy Scouts with his sons, serving as an assistant leader and an adviser.
He is survived by two sons, Bob and Russell of Newtown; three daughters Ruth and her husband Gary Hard of Ridgefield, Carol and her husband Jim Mayhew of Shelton, and Susan and her husband Tim Vogelman, of Newtown; two stepsons, Adam Eitapence of Waterbury and Christopher Eitapence of Orange Park, Fla.; and grandchildren Timmy, Christopher, Alex, Allison, Reed, Benjamin and Matthew, and step-grandchildren Danielle, Kerstin and Kyle, as well as his former wife, C. Elaine Hendrickson of Southbury.
Services will take place at 3 p.m. today, Thursday, March 3, at Trinity Episcopal Church, 36 Main Street, Newtown.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the Chip and Fran Hendrickson Benefit Fund at Newtown Savings Bank, 250 South Main Street, Newtown, CT, 06470, to help defray extensive medical costs.
The Green Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Bill Grech, 80, decorated veteran
Raymond 'Bill' Grech of Ridgefield, a decorated war veteran and retired marketing executive who had been a popular Visiting Nurse Association volunteer, died on Friday, Feb. 25, 2005, at Danbury Hospital. He was 80 years old.
Mr. Grech was born in Savannah, Ga., on July 1, 1924, son of Joseph and Naomia Conaway Grech. He attended Savannah schools.
A veteran of the U.S. Army, Mr. Grech served 54 months in World War II and participated in the landing at Normandy. In 1950, he was recalled to active duty as an infantry platoon leader in Korea where he received the Silver Star and Purple Heart for wounds suffered in action.
Mr. Grech had been the chief operating officer of Telephone Marketing Programs Inc. before his retirement in 1995. A resident of Ridgefield since 1987, he had at first lived at Casagmo and later at Ridgefield Crossings.
After his retirement in 1995, Mr. Grech became a volunteer worker for the Visiting Nurse Association of Ridgefield. He often told family and friends that the VNA offered the most gratifying experience of his entire life.
'He was a wonderful, wonderful person,' said Helena Jedlinsky, executive director of the VNA. 'He was very committed to the individual client.'
Mr. Grech was a member of the VNA's Friendly Visitors program and was a driver for patients who needed transporation. He had also advised Ms. Jedlinsky on marketing.
'He always had a smile, always had a laugh,' she said. 'He'll be sorely missed.'
Mr. Grech was a member of St. Andrew's Lutheran Church.
He is survived by four sons, Michael Grech and William Grech, both of Walled Lake, Mich., Matthew Grech of San Diego, Calif., and Philip Grech of Port Saint Lucie, Fla.; three daughters, Nancy Oliver of Macon, Ga., Robin Boccuzzi of Ridgefield and Catherine Bacon of Shelton; nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
A son, Raymond W. Grech II, died in 1974.
Services took place on Monday in St. Andrew's Lutheran Church. Burial followed in Long Ridge Union Cemetery, Stamford.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the Visiting Nurse Association, 90 East Ridge, Ridgefield, CT 06877.
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.
Elaine K. Finklea, 83, was active here
Elaine Kelleam Finklea of Brookfield, formerly of Ridgefield, died on Sunday, Feb. 20, 2005, at Filosa Convalescent home in Danbury. She was 83 years old.
Elaine Kelleam was born in Amarillo, Texas, on Sept. 21, 1921, the daughter of Dr. Fanan and Heba Kelleam. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She met and married Ernest E. Finklea, a research engineer for Schlumberger, who was transferred to Schlumberger Research Center in Ridgefield as an executive in 1960.
Mrs. Finklea was very active in the Ridgefield community, especially in the PTA, Girl Scouts, and the First Congregational Church. She was also active with the Bethel Congregation of Jehovah Witnesses. She and her husband moved to Bethel when he retired in 1985.
Mr. Finklea died in 1997.
Mrs. Finklea is survived by three sons, Ernest E. Finklea III of Arizona, Dr. James N. Finklea of Ridgefield, and Philip A. Finklea of Bethel; one daughter, Ellen J. Vozzo of Walkill, N.Y.; five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at Kingdom Hall of Jehovah Witnesses, 48 Payne Road, Danbury on Saturday, Feb. 26, at 1:30. Burial will be private.
The Hull Funeral Home, 215 Greenwood Avenue, Bethel is in charge of arrangements.
A Requiem Mass will be celebrated at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in New York City at a later date.
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.
Carol Byram Kauppila, teacher, artist
Carol Byram Kauppila of Holden, Mass., a former Ridgefielder who had been an art teacher, died Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2005, in UMass Memorial Healthcare, Worcester, from complications of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. She was 61 years old and the wife of David Kauppila.
Mrs. Kauppila was born in Glen Ridge, N.J., the daughter of Theodore and Dorothy Miller Byram. She graduated from Ridgefield High School in 1962 and earned bachelor's and master's degrees in art from Southern Connecticut State College in New Haven.
She taught art classes at the East Ridge Junior High School in Ridgefield for several years after earning her teaching credentials, and was named 'Outstanding Young Educator' in 1969.
In Massachusetts, Mrs. Kauppila worked for the Worcester Elder Care Service.
She was a talented water colorist and won several prizes from the Fitchburg Art Museum as well as from other museums in Massachusetts. She also loved gardening and making pottery.
Besides her husband of 17 years, Mrs. Kauppili is survived by her father, Theodore Byram of Vero Beach, Fla.; a sister, Judith Ashton, of Aptos, Calif.; three step-sons, Kenneth D. Kauppila of Orchard Park, N.Y.; Eric J. Kauppila and Christopher R. Kauppila, both of Worcester.
Services were private and under the direction of the Miles Funeral Home, 1158 Main Street, Holden.
Memorial donations may be made to the ALS Association, 73 McNeil Way, Dedham, MA 02028.