Obituary: Mary Naydine Simonds, 95, Beloved Mother, US Navy WAVE, Artist

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Nov 252016

screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-3-48-35-pmMary Naydine Simonds, 95, of Orange, passed away peacefully at home on October 30, 2016.

She was born in Plymouth, IN on August 12th, 1921 to the late Edward Bagley and Mary (Young) Bagley. She was predeceased by her loving husband of 65 years, Philip H. Simonds. She is survived by her four children: John (Niko) Simonds of White Plains, NY, Naydine “Susie” (Stuart) Shenk of Galax, VA, Karen (Bruce) Bonfiglio of Morriston, FL and Beth Dale of Orange, CT.

Mary also is survived by ten grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Predeceased by her brothers Franklin Bagley, Elwood Russell and sister Beth White and survived by her brother Charles Bagley. She served in the US Naval Reserve, also known as the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service), where she met her husband in April of 1943 while both were stationed in Washington D.C. They were married two months later at the Washington National Cathedral. She served in the WAVES from 1942 to 1944.

After raising her four children she was employed as a secretary/bookkeeper by a stockbroker in New Haven. When her husband retired they moved to Galax, VA where they enjoyed living in the Blue Ridge Mountain area for 14 years before moving back to CT in 1992. While living in Galax she was very involved in establishing their local Hospice center.

She was a talented artist and enjoyed watercolor painting. She was an avid gardener with a green thumb, tending to beautiful outdoor plants as well as a large number of orchids that she was quite proud of. She was an excellent cook and baker and loved to share her baked goods with many happy recipients.

The family will have private services, however memorial contributions may be made to Seasons Hospice of CT, 1579 Straits Tpke., Unit 1E, Middlebury, CT 06762.

Obituary: John Joseph Pierce, 74, Beloved Husband, Father, Grandfather, Veteran

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Nov 232016

screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-11-04-59-amJohn Joseph Pierce, 74, of Orange, beloved husband of 46 years to Linda Kregel Pierce, passed away peacefully, on November 18, 2016. Born on November 24, 1941 in Fort Monroe, VA, he was the son of the late Harold and Catherine Kelly Pierce.

John proudly served his country in the United States Airforce, where he was trained as a radar technician. He was employed with Grumman Aircraft and worked on the L.E.M. that went to the moon and then with Sperry Gyroscope, where he was responsible for teaching navy personnel how to use the MK-92 Radar.
John went on to retire from Sikorsky Aircraft in December of 1999. He was skilled in the art of wood working and liked to read science fiction. His greatest joy in life was the time he spent traveling and being with his family.
In addition to his wife, Linda, John is survived by his children, John K. (Rebecca) Pierce and Melissa Pierce; grandchildren, Emma and Meghan Pierce; siblings, William Pierce, Patricia (Lee) Hendershot, Robert (Susan) Pierce and James (Peggy) Pierce; several nieces and nephews. John was predeceased by his sister, Mary Beckman.
A Memorial Service with Military Honors will be held on Saturday, November 26, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. at the CODY-WHITE FUNERAL HOME, 107 Broad St., Milford, CT. Friends and family may call on Saturday, November 26, 2016, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the funeral home.
Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in John’s name to St. Jude Children Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105; CT Hospice, 100 Double Beach Rd., Branford, CT 06405, or a charity of choice.

Obituary: Geraldine Hazel Mattia, 77, Beloved Wife and Mother

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Nov 202016

screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-11-25-55-pmGeraldine Hazel Mattia, 77, of Orange passed away on November 14, 2016 at Yale-New Haven Hospital (St. Raphael Campus) after a valiant battle with COPD.

She was the daughter of the late Americus and Irene Aceto of East Haven, CT. Born in Meriden on October 10, 1939, Geraldine was a graduate of St. Mary’s High School, New Haven, and earned a B.S. degree in Early Childhood Education from Southern Connecticut State University.

Just after graduating, she was a teacher in the Cheshire and North Haven school systems and, after raising a family, at St. Louis School in West Haven. Geraldine was active for many years in the Westville Garden Club and the Mothers Circle of Orange, and she was a founder of the Connecticut Rose Society and active in the group since 1980.

She also was a long-time volunteer at WHEAT (West Haven Emergency Assistance Taskforce), West Haven’s pantry for people in need.Geraldine is survived by her husband of 55 years, John Paul Mattia Sr., and by her son John Paul Mattia Jr., Ph.D., of Santa Monica, CA and daughter Jill Irene Mattia, Ph.D., of North Bethesda, MD.

Friends are invited to a Mass of Christian Burial on Friday, November 25, at 11 a.m. at the Holy Infant Church, 450 Racebrook Road, Orange and to a reception with her family after the Mass in the church hall.

Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, a memorial donation may be sent to WHEAT at 674 Washington Ave, West Haven, CT 06516 (or wheatpantry.org).

The family is being compassionately cared for by the CODY-WHITE FUNERAL HOME, 107 Broad St., Milford, CT. To leave online condolences, please visit our website at www.codywhitefuneralservice.com 

Obituary: Olive P. Scranton, 94, Former Church Secretary, Beloved Mother

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Nov 092016

screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-1-38-16-amOlive P. Scranton, 94, passed away peacefully on Nov. 6, 2016, in New London. She was the wife of the late Charles M. Scranton.

Olive was born on June 29, 1922, in New Haven to the late Carl A. and Lucille B. Peterson.

Olive grew up in Orange and graduated from Stone College. She was active in the Eastern Star and an active and faithful member of St. Michael’s Church. She enjoyed gardening, spending time with her family, and living in the country.

Olive worked as the secretary of the First Congregational Church for many years, retiring in 1994. She was a member and past Matron of Ephraim-Kirby Chapter O.E.S of Litchfield and past Grand Warder of the Connecticut O.E.S.

She is survived by her four children, Olivia J. Connors of Waterford, Charles M. (Marge) Scranton Jr. of Westerly, Judith R. Scranton of New London, and Mary S. Daalhuyzen of Sharon; five grandchildren, Michael A. Connors, Jennifer L. Scranton, Rachel S. Kurczy, M. Van Daalhuyzen and Anneka J. Daalhuyzen.

The family would like to thank Bacon and Hinkley and Beechwood Nursing Homes for the exceptional care and love they showed to their mother.

A Funeral Service will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 25 South Street, Litchfield, CT 06759. Burial will follow in Cornwall Cemetery, Route 4, Cornwall, CT 06753.

Kindly visit www.rowefuneralhome.net to send the family an online condolence.

Obituary: Betty (Buddy) J. Branchini, 95, Beloved Mother, Grandmother

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Nov 012016

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-9-14-55-pmBetty (Buddy) J. Branchini, 95, passed away on Wednesday, October 19, 2016, in New Haven.

Born in New Haven, CT on March 9, 1921, Betty, lived in CT her whole life. She was the daughter of the late Frank and Adriana DiLorenzo of New Haven, who immigrated from Naples, Italy.

Buddy, as she was known by her family and friends, enjoyed many activities. She was a dedicated jigsaw puzzler, using 500-1500 pieces. Her completed puzzles ranged from the simple to the complex: Monet’s “The Water-Lily Pond,” a Jackson Pollock or a simple New York skyline. A puzzle was always on her kitchen or dining room table; it became a family activity.

She was an avid bird-watcher and bird-lover, one who enjoyed reading and collecting bird anthologies. She also enjoyed reading modern fiction and her favorite authors were Nicholas Sparks and Janet Evanovich.

During baseball season, Betty would never miss the Mets games on television. Conversant with the names and statistics of the team, she impressed her family with her knowledge of the sport.

At the age of 90, she bought herself an iPad and learned how to email in order to correspond with her family and friends. She also had her own cellphone, with which she learned to take photos of the wild turkeys and deer in her backyard.

Buddy was an excellent cook; everything was made from scratch, ranging from traditional recipes to testing new ones and even inventing some of her own. If she could have lived her life again, she would have gone to culinary school.

Betty spent many years working in the shoe department at Malley’s. She often received recognition for her outstanding customer care and service.

For more than 30 years, she volunteered her time at the Barn Sale in Hamden, a charitable, non-profit agency. She worked alongside her sister Ann Klimczak, the manager, and enjoyed a special circle of “Barn-lady” friends.

Betty is survived by her two daughters: Marie García-Abrines, Professor Emerita of SCSU of New Haven and Alberta (Ralph) Gagliardi of Vero Beach, Florida. Her grandchildren are Robert (Sara) Gagliardi, Jill (Joseph) Smith, Gina (Robert) DeFiore, Mark (Penny) Gagliardi, Linda (John) Isaacs and Alicia (Paolo) Romanacci. Her great-grandchildren are: Jarrod, Jenna, Brianna, Bryan, Masen, Olivia, Nicholas and Beck.

While Betty lived most of her life in Hamden, CT, at the age of 90, she moved to Orange, CT to be close to her family.

The Funeral Mass will be held on Thursday, November 3, at 10:00 a.m., in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, 2819 Whitney Avenue, Hamden.

Obituary: Jane Mary McKeon, 72, Beloved Sister of Ralph Whitman

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Oct 312016

screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-2-33-48-pmJane Mary (Whitman) McKeon, 72, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family, at Agrace HospiceCare on October 28, 2016.

Jane spent most of her time caring for and spending time with her large family. She loved unconditionally and with her whole heart.

Her contagious laugh made her someone people wanted to be around. Jane had a passion for reading, she could always be found curled up with a book.

Jane also loved to travel the world and was lucky enough to get to do that with her soulmate. In their 40 years of traveling together, Steve and Jane experienced things from riding a camel in Egypt to kissing the Blarney Stone in Ireland.

Jane was a loving wife, a strong mother, a caring sister, a loyal daughter, a fun aunt, and most of all an incredible friend to all. She was loved by many and will be missed by all.

Jane is survived by her loving husband of over 50 years, Stephen “Steve” McKeon; daughters, Kerry (Troy) Olson, Kathy McKeon, Kristine (Michael) Sutter, Kimberly (Robert) Schiro, Kelly (John) Longseth; and son, Stephen (Jacque) McKeon, Jr.; NaDean Huolihan and Erin Whitman, who hold a special place in Jane’s heart; mother-in-law, Ellen McKeon of Jacksonville, FL; sisters, Martha (Joseph) Gagliardi of Windsor Locks, CT and Mary (David) Connelley of Wichita, KS; and brothers, Ralph (Jill) Whitman of Orange, CT, Richard Whitman of Key West, FL , Mark (Barbara) Whitman of Highland Lakes, NJ, and Jeffrey (Stephanie) Whitman of Hollywood, FL.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Henry and Catherine Whitman, her father-in-law, Samuel McKeon and her brother, Paul Whitman.

Jane was blessed with and also survived by many grandchildren; Jessica, Stephanie, Alyssa, Justine, Kaitlin, Kali, Jennifer, Jordan, Chelsea, Mason, Madelyn, Michael, Nina, Sadie, Emma, Francesca, Samantha, Kristopher, Brayden and Cora; and two great-granddaughters; Genevieve and Natalie.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at ST. ANDREW CATHOLIC CHURCH, 301 N. Main Street, Verona, with Father William Vernon presiding.

A visitation will be held from 4 – 8 p.m. on Tuesday November 1, 2016 at RYAN FUNERAL HOME, 220 Enterprise Drive, Verona.

A luncheon will follow Mass on Wednesday at The Legend at Bergamont, in Oregon, WI.

A special thanks to Stoughton Hospital, Ingleside Nursing & Rehabilitation Facility and Agrace HospiceCare for their loving care of Jane and their kind and caring assistance to the family.

To view and sign this guestbook, visit ryanfuneralservice.com

Obituary: Vivian Petz, 89, Beloved Sister, Aunt, Artist

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Oct 182016

screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-2-46-48-amVivian Petz, 89, passed away on October 2. She was predeceased by husband Michael Petz, a teacher in the Southington School System and daughter, Cynthia Petz, an attorney in MA.

She is survived by a sister Sandra Dietrich, several nieces and nephews, and many good friends. Vivian was born in Pennsylvania on September 8, 1927, daughter of the late Edward R. Berie and Tamie E. (Walters) Berie. She also was predeceased by her brother, Paul Berie.

Vivian graduated from Mansfield University, Mansfield, PA., and obtained her teaching certificate from Penn State University and her Master’s Degree from New Britain College, New Britain, CT. She also took additional credit courses at Central CT State University, in New Britain, CT.

Her teaching career began in PA, Dalmatia school system and Northumberland High School teaching Life Skills and Social Studies. Then she and her family settled in Southington, CT where she taught Home Economics for 36 years at John F. Kennedy Jr. High School.

A member of ADK, Vivian had many wonderful friends from the Southington School System especially Bette Ann, Carol, Barbara, Dale and Ceil. Other dear friends included Dottie and Tammy and Lou. She had an appreciation for the arts and painted in multiple mediums, with a particular eye for landscapes and portraits. Her portrait of her daughter Cynthia was hung in the law office where she began her career at the special request from her friends and fellow attorneys.

Her art work was displayed along with friend and fellow artist Lenny in the public library in Orange, CT. Vivian had a lifelong love of learning and traveled extensively enjoying many cultures and countries around the world.

She was an avid reader, loved history, old movies, bird watching, flowers especially lilacs, opera and classical music, fried oysters and lobster.

She kept active even after cancer surgery, sharing good times bowling with Captain Bailey, Emily and Erica. She will be remembered for her generosity, resilience, determination to do things on her own terms and sense of humor even in difficult times regarding her own health.

At Vivian’s request there are no calling hours. Burial will be in St Thomas Cemetery in Southington. CT. Visit www.dellavecchia.com for online tributes.

Donations in her memory may be made to Christian Appalachian Project, PO Box 55911, Lexington, KY, 40555.http://www.fbamc-ky.org/index.html.

The DellaVecchia Funeral Home, 211 N. Main St., Southington is assisting the family with the arrangements.

Obituary: John LaViola Sr., 87, Beloved Husband, Father, Grandfather, Philanthropist

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Oct 032016

screen-shot-2016-10-04-at-12-42-40-amJohn LaViola Sr., 87, of Orange, entered into rest on September 29, 2016.

He was the husband of Philomena DeMaio LaViola. Father of John (Maria) LaViola, Jr. and proud grandfather of Alexandra and John LaViola, III. Son of Louis LaViola and Rose Delfino LaViola, he was the brother of Isabelle LaViola Nastri and predeceased by Cosmo LaViola.

An active communicant of Holy Infant Parish, John served as a Eucharistic minister. He was well known in the community as the owner of LaViola Landscaping, a member of the Connecticut Historical Automobile Society, and for his display of antique cars at the Orange Country Fair.

He graduated from Quinnipiac University and was a fourth degree and past grand knight of the Hon. W. Patrick Donlin Assembly 2459 of the Knights of Columbus, Orange. Committed to education and numerous charities, John and his wife Philomena established endowed scholarships at Quinnipiac University and the Foote School.

The hours for visitation will take place on Monday, Oct. 3 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the West Haven Funeral Home at the green.

On Tuesday morning, the procession will leave the funeral home at 9:30 a.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in Holy Infant Church at 10 o’clock. Entombment will follow in St. Lawrence Cemetery.

Donations may be made to the LaViola Family Scholarship Fund c/o Foote School, 50 Loomis Place, New Haven, CT. 06511.

To leave an online remembrance, please visit www.westhavenfuneral.com.

Obituary: Donna Pezzullo Petruzziello, 61, Beloved Mother Of Anthony Petruzziello

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Oct 012016

screen-shot-2016-10-01-at-2-44-39-pmDonna Pezzullo Petruzziello, 61, of West Haven, passed away surrounded by her loving family at the Smilow Cancer Center in New Haven on September 25, 2016.

Donna was born in New Haven on June 15, 1955 to the late Anthony and Matilda (Furino) Pezzullo. Donna graduated from the New Haven Academy of Business with an Associate Degree.

For the last ten years, she was a waitress at the Athenia II Diner in North Haven. Donna was a devoted mother and loving grandmother, she will be sadly missed.

She is survived by her three children: Anthony (Samantha) Petruzziello of Orange, David Petruzziello and Tara Gravely, both of West Haven. She is also survived by her sister Gail Pezzullo-Burgs (Robert) of Florida. She had nine grandchildren: Travis and Tyler Stephens, Matteao, Lia, Anthony Jr., Angelo and Amelio Petruzziello, and Jeana and Jason Farqueharson.

Family and friends may visit the Keenan Funeral Home, 238 Elm Street, West Haven, on Tuesday, October 4 from 4-7 p.m. There will be a memorial service at 7 p.m. at the funeral home. Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Breast Cancer Awareness, 60 East 56th St., 8th Floor, New York, NY 10022.

To leave an online tribute or condolence, visit www.keenanfuneralhome.com.

Obituary: Margaret “Peggy” Scharer-Esposito, 76, Beloved Mother, Grandmother

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Sep 232016

screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-2-46-36-pmMargaret “Peggy” Scharer-Esposito, 76, of Orange, passed away peacefully on Saturday September 17, 2016 at Masonicare after a courageous battle with cancer and ALS.

Peggy was born in Pittsfield, MA to the late Leo and Maryon Comalli.

She is survived by her beloved sons, John (Mary Beth) Scharer and Peter (Shawnee) Scharer; stepsons, Mark Esposito and his partner Tish Jacobson, and David (Sue) Esposito. Peggy is also survived by her grandchildren, Alex Scharer, Katie Esposito, Anthony Esposito and goddaughter Susan Chapman Hayes. She was predeceased by her husbands, Anthony F. Esposito and Thomas Wallace.

Peggy was a homemaker while her sons were growing up. She volunteered in her son’s activities including being a Cub Scout den mother, being active in the PTA and with their local swim team. After her son’s became adults, she worked for Lord and Taylor as a Sales Associate until she retired. She received the “white rose” designation by Lord and Taylor for her customer service and sales skills.

Peggy was an avid reader, enjoyed opera and was a flower and herb gardener. She always recognized loved ones on their birthday as well as wedding anniversaries. She was famous for calling family members on their birthday and singing the Happy Birthday song. She loved planning special dinners for family and friends birthday parties, and was known for her creative stocking stuffers for her family at Christmas.

Upon retirement she enjoyed studying European history and philosophy. When she moved to her senior living apartment at Silverbrook Estates she presided over the weekly rosary and prayer group.

Special thanks go out to Stacey Ricca of the ALS Foundation, Dr. Charles Whitaker of the Hospital for Special Care in New Britain who took great care of Peggy after she was diagnosed with ALS and the entire staff at Masonicare.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend Peggy’s funeral service on Saturday September 24, 2016 at 10:30am at BEECHER & BENNETT-TAYLOR FUNERAL HOME, 410 Campbell Ave., West Haven.

Visitation will take place from 9:30am until the time of the service. Entombment will follow in the Garden Mausoleum in St. Lawrence Cemetery, West Haven.

Memorial donations in Peggy’s name may be made to the ALS Foundation, c/o Stacey Ricca, 4 Oxford Rd., Unit E4, Milford, CT 06460. To share a condolence with Peggy’s family, visit www.beecherandbennett.com.