Margaret K. (Knight) Neelans, 87, of Enfield, beloved wife of the late Harold Neelans (1976), passed from this life on Tuesday, May 16, 2000, at a local nursing home.
Margaret was born in the Thompsonville section of Enfield and was a lifetime resident. Margaret was graduated from Enfield High School and New Britain Normal School. She received her bachelor's degree from Bridgewater State Teachers College in Massachusetts. She had been a teacher in Enfield all of her career, retiring from the Hazardville Memorial School in 1978, where she had taught third grade. She was a member of St. Mary Episcopal Church, Enfield, and a former member of the Altar Guild. Margaret was a member of the Enfield Historical Society, past president of the Enfield Woman's Club, and was a member of the Enfield Teachers Organization. She belonged to the Order of the Eastern Star Ionic Chapter No. 100, and was past Worthy Matron. Margaret had been the organist at the Somersville Congregational Church for many years, and had belonged to many other local organizations. She was a summer resident of Eastham, Mass.
Margaret is survived by her son, Alan K. Neelans of Wilbraham, Mass.; her daughter, Nancy Bishop of Allentown, Pa.; and her brother, Edward Knight of Florida. She also leaves four grandchildren, Kimberly Jones of Wilbraham, Keith Neelans of Breckenridge, Colo., Lt. Andrew Bishop, U.S.N. of Jacksonville, Fla., and Eric Bishop of Yuma, Ariz.; and her two great- grandchildren, Kaileigh and Kelsey Jones of Wilbraham; and several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her brother, George Knight.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, May 19, at St. Mary Episcopal Church, 383 Hazard Ave., Enfield. Burial will be private and at the convenience of the family.
There are no calling hours.
Leete-Stevens Enfield Chapels, 61 South Road, Enfield, has been entrusted with the arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in her name to the Joan Neelans Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Wilbraham United Church, 500 Main St., Wilbraham, MA 01095.
Wendell T. "Scotty" Odell, 89, of Merrow Road, Tolland, died Wednesday, May 17, 2000, at a local nursing home. He was the husband of the late Doris (Prescott) Odell.
Wendell was born Oct. 9, 1910, in West Stewartown, N.H., son of the late Edward and Verne (Gleason) Odell. He resided in Tolland since 1952, and was a well-known retired salesman for Snap-On and Cornwell tools. In 1953, Wendell was a founding father of the Steward Highlander Bagpipe Band, now known as the Manchester Police-Fire Bagpipe Band. Scotty was instrumental in the development of traditions and the uniforms that are still used today. The band is the second oldest in Connecticut and the fifth oldest in New England. Scotty was a music teacher of the bagpipe. In his earlier days he was a professional wrestler in Boston. Mr. Odell was a member of the First Baptist Church of Tolland.
He is survived by his son, Wendell T. Odell Jr.; and his daughter, Karole E. Howe, both of Taunton, Mass.; four grandchildren; and two great- grandchildren.
The funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, May 19, at White-Gibson-Small Funeral Home, 65 Elm St., Rockville, with the Rev. Dr. Ray Roach officiating. Interment will be private.
Family and friends may call at 1 p.m. until the time of service, Friday, May 19, at the funeral home.
Memorial donations may be made to the Manchester Police-Fire Bagpipe Band, c/o British American Club, Inc., 73 Maple St., Manchester, CT 06040; or to the First Baptist Church of Tolland, 75 Cider Mill Road, Tolland, CT 06084.
Richard Rabbett, 60, the husband of Donna M. (Hills) Rabbett, died Wednesday, May 17, 2000, at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford after a short illness.
Born and raised in Windsor Locks, he had lived in Manchester for the past 14 years. Richard was employed at Kaman Aerospace for more than 20 years, and was currently a lead man in the sheet metal department. One of his great loves was his Harley. He especially enjoyed riding, the comradery of his fellow Harley enthusiasts, and his pride in being able to break down and reconstruct this historic motorcycle.
Besides his wife, Richard is survived by his children, Richard Rabbett III of Boston, Wendy Keene and her husband, Kenny, and Kerry Sparrazza and her husband, Bill, all of Enfield, Amy Lautz and her husband, Scott, of Maryland, and Andrew, Katy, and Adam Rabbett, also all of Enfield; four grandchildren; his parents, Richard and Viola Rabbett; and his aunt, Doris Prattson of Windsor Locks. He is also survived by his brother, his sisters and their spouses, Danny and Donna Rabbett of Ellington, Gerry and Joe Mistretta of Simsbury, and Jeanie and Joe Obrias of Andover; and his stepchildren, Jason Hills-Nevin of Ellington, and Darcee Lee Nevin of Manchester. Richard was also very close to his wife's family who will miss him greatly.
The funeral will be held at 10:15 a.m. Friday, May 19, from the John F. Tierney Funeral Home, 219 W. Center St., Manchester, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. at St. James Church, Manchester, with burial in East Cemetery, Manchester.
Family and friends may call from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. today, May 18, at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to a charity of the donor's choice.
Albert C. Schneider was born Oct 6, 1920,in Scotia, N.Y., and died Tuesday, May 16, 2000, at Rockville General Hospital, Vernon. He is survived by his wife, Mabel, and their many friends.
Al served as staff sergeant in the U.S. Army Air Corps from Aug. 14, 1942, to Nov. 20, 1945. He participated in the Air Offensive Europe in the Ardennes, Normandy and Rhineland campaigns. He was the recipient of the World War II Victory Medal and the European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal. He was employed by the Defense Contract Administration as an industrial property clearance specialist until his retirement in November 1980.
Al was a volunteer with the Red Cross and Rockville Hospital. He was an active member of the First Congregational Church of Vernon, and served many years as a deacon as well as on other boards and committees. Most recently he participated in the Men's Breakfast Group. Church members, friends and neighbors will remember him as a patient prince for his beloved Mabel.
There are no calling hours.
A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 20, at the First Congregational Church, 695 Hartford Turnpike, Vernon. A reception will be held in Fellowship Hall immediately following.
Memorial gifts may be sent to the Albert C. Schneider Memorial, First Congregational Church, 695 Hartford Turnpike, Vernon, CT 06066.
Jeanette "Cookie" Bifolck, 42, of Vernon, died Thursday, March 9, 2000, at Manchester Memorial Hospital. She was the wife of Vincent J. Bifolck.
Cookie was born in Vernon, and made it her home throughout her life. She was a communicant and active member of St. Bernard Church, Vernon. She was a bingo leader and helped with the school and summerfest. She loved to bowl. Cookie worked as a medical assistant in the office of Dr. Ellen Marmer.
Besides her husband, she leaves her children, Jamie Bifolck and his special friend, Lisa Mozille, Stacey Bifolck and her fiance, Kevin Bowman, Virginia Bifolck and Victoria Bifolck; her granddaughter, Danielle; her father, P. Lamar Dick and his fiance, Terry Gedrim, all of Vernon; three brothers, Charles Dick of Providence, R.I., and Raymond Richards and Richard Dick, both of Vernon. She also leaves her father-in-law and mother-in-law, Vincent and Carmelle Bifolck of Vernon; and many nieces, nephews, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, cousins, and special friends, including Charlene Turkington, Kim and Jeff Kennedy, and Tracy and Mark Siedlik. She was predeceased by her mother, Barbara (Bradley) Dick. The family would like to express their special thanks to everyone at Ellington High School.
A funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 11, at the St. Bernard Church, 25 St. Bernard Terrace, Vernon. Burial will be in St. Bernard Cemetery.
Friends may call from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. today, March 10, at the Ladd-Turkington Funeral Home, 551 Talcottville Road, Route 83, Vernon.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Bernard School, Box 177, Rockville, CT 06066, or to DeQuattro Cancer Center, Manchester Memorial Hospital, Development Office, 71 Hayes St., Manchester, CT 06040.
Jewell R. Burnham, 73, of South Windsor, died Wednesday, March 8, 2000.
Born in South Windsor, he was a lifelong resident. He was the postmaster of the South Windsor Post Office for 30 years, retiring in 1983. He was then employed by Automatic Data Processing in East Hartford and Windsor for 12 years. Mr. Burnham was an Army veteran of the Korean War, a member of the First Congregational Church of South Windsor, a former member of the Board of Trustees, and the deaconate at the church, and a former member of the Manchester Lodge of Elks. He also maintained a second home in Sunapee, N.H., for 30 years.
He leaves his wife Iva (Howard) Burnham; his daughter, Cathy Backus of Colchester; a brother, Russell L. Burnham of South Windsor; three grandchildren, Lindsay Adams, Brenden Backus, Ryan Backus; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 11, at the First Congregational Church, 993 Main St., South Windsor. Burial will be in Center Cemetery, South Windsor, at the convenience of the family.
His family will receive friends from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. today, March 10, at the Samsel & Carmon Funeral Home, 419 Buckland Road, South Windsor.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Deacons Fund of the First Congregational Church, Box 165, 993 Main St., South Windsor, CT 06074.
Nelson Fiedler died Tuesday, March 7, 2000, at Largo Medical Center, Largo, Fla.
A longtime resident of Stafford Springs, Nelson moved to Florida in 1969. He was born in Broad Brook.
He is survived by his wife, Louise; his daughter, Sandra Holderith; his son-in-law, Harold (Lanny) Holderith; two grandchildren, Kimber Holderith Hartman, and Alan Holderith; and two great-grandchildren, Shaye Kimber Hartman and Michael Taylor Hartman, all residing in Pinellas County, Fla.
Stephen S. Gracewski, age 83, died at his home Monday evening after a lengthy illness.
He was born July 18, 1916, in Enfield, the son of Waclaw and Vanja Chmielska. Mr. Gracewski received a bachelor's degree from Harvard
University in 1939, and a master's degree in education in 1941 from the University of Connecticut. He was a foreign language teacher at New London High School, retiring in 1974. Mr. Gracewski was a 40-year member of the Niantic Lions Club and had served as past president. He was also a member of the Connecticut Teachers Association and the National Education Association. Mr. Gracewski served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He enlisted as an aviation cadet in March of 1942. He attended preflight training at California's Santa Ana Army Air Field, primary pilot training at Marana Field, Ariz., and finally advanced navigator training at Mather Field, Calif. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant on April 17, 1943. He taught aerial navigation for 20 months at San Marcos, Texas, graduating four classes of cadets. He was then assigned to the 1st Combat Cargo Squadron in the China-Burma Theater of the war. He flew missions as navigator for 14 months in China and India on various cargo aircraft on the route known as the "Hump." He received his honorable discharge on May 20, 1946, attaining the rank of first lieutenant, and returned home to commence his life as a civilian. He married Julia Mish on June 22, 1947, in Hadley, Mass.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, Capt. Alan Gracewski, U.S. Coast Guard; two daughters, Diane Gracewski of Cole Brook, and Nancy Ginther of Deltona, Fla.; two brothers, Joseph Gracewski of Venice, Fla., and Frank Gracewski of Enfield; a sister, Bertha Waleryszak of Ellington; and six grandchildren.
The funeral was to assemble at 10:15 a.m. today, March 10, at the Thomas L. Neiland & Sons East Lyme Funeral Home, 48 Grand St., Niantic, and proceed to a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. at St. Matthias Church, East Lyme. Burial with military honors was to be in East Lyme Cemetery.
Donations in his memory may be made to St. Matthias Church Building Fund, 317 Chesterfield Road, East Lyme, CT 06033, or to the Niantic Lions Club.
Rebekah A. Kelley, 53, of Manchester, died Wednesday, March 8, 2000, at Manchester Memorial Hospital.
Born in Attleboro, Mass., she had lived in Manchester for several years.
Rebekah is survived by her children, Robert E. Hmieleski of New Sharon, Maine, Dorothy A. Kelley, Roberta J. Kelley, Stephanie A. Kelley, and Jennifer J. Kelley, all of Hartford; 11 grandchildren; two brothers, Steven and Donald Shepardson; and her sister, Noel Hancock.
A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 11, at the John F. Tierney Funeral Home, 219 West Center St., Manchester. Burial will be at the convenience of the family.
George M. Thomas, 73, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, March 8, 2000, at Vernon Manor Health Facility.
Born in Darlings Lake, Nova Scotia, Canada, on July 10, 1926, he was the son of the late Alvin M. and Verna (Reynolds) Thomas. He was an active and loved resident of Vernon Manor for the past five years, previously residing in Clinton, East Haven, and Lockeport, Nova Scotia. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts School of Agriculture and was a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II. He also served many years as scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts of America and leader for the Indian Guides in East Haven before retiring from United Nuclear in Uncasville in 1974. George was also an avid UConn Huskies fan and New York Rangers Hockey fan.
He is survived by his loving daughter, Diane E. Stone of Vernon; his former wife, Norma Beach of Manchester; a granddaughter, Allisa Stone of Vernon; two sisters, Mildred "Mim" Brasky and her husband, Art, of North Madison, and Madora Woron of Ontario, Canada; two brothers, John "Jack" Thomas and his wife, Kathy, and Alvin Thomas and his wife, Beverly, both of Guilford; and many nieces and nephews. George also leaves behind many loving and supportive friends and family members. He was predeceased by a son, George A. Thomas.
A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 11, at the Ladd-Turkington Funeral Home, 551 Talcottville Road, Route 83, Vernon, with the Rev. Mike Bennett officiating. Burial is private and at the convenience of the family.
Calling hours will be from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. Saturday, March 11, at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, 73A Haynes St., Manchester, CT 06040.