Frederick William Ensling, Jr., 87, passed away at Connecticut Hospice, Branford on Friday, Feb. 7, 2014. He leaves his devoted wife and companion of 44 years, Eileen M. Benoit, of Branford.
Born in New Haven on July 5, 1926, Fred was the son of the late Frederick William Ensling, Sr., and Clara Elizabeth (Elsie) Strack Ensling. He grew up in Milford graduating from Milford High School, class of 1945, and from Southern Connecticut State College in 1966. He was employed by the State of Connecticut, Judicial Department, as a chief adult probation officer in New Haven until his retirement.
Fred’s loss is mourned by his children, Catherine Nolan (Steve Langley), Barbara Raucci (Rick) and Eric Ensling (Betsy Young) and grandchildren, Emily Nolan, Ricky, Annie, Jeffrey, and Paige Raucci, all of Milford. He also leaves his “adopted: Laotian-American family, Kate (Kak) and Larry Nitirouth and their sons, Andrew and Justin, of Meriden, Vanhkham and Mone Lavarn and their daughter, Christina, also of Meriden, and Joy and Bob Pocobello, of Wallingford.
Fred found solace and joy in the beauty of the natural world. Until the age of 80, he enjoyed hiking and cycling with friends in the New Haven Biking Club, the Sierra Club and the Appalachian Mountain Club. In retirement, he tracked the territorial migrations of mountain lions in Idaho, explored Monument Valley on horseback, and learned to mush a dog team in the snows of Montana. He cycled with his wife in France, Switzerland, and Germany and they also vacationed in Italy, Mexico, Costa Rica, Curacao, Morocco, Egypt, and 16 U.S. states, including Hawaii.
He practiced yoga for many years and prided himself on being limber and fit. He also liked country dancing and square dancing and was a member of the Guilford Shoreliners Square Dance Club for several years. He spent special holidays at the homes of his daughters and was both pleased, and pensive, observing another generation growing up and finding their way in this world.
A voracious reader, he loved to engage in animated discussions about historical and contemporary topics and he was honest and forthright in sharing his thoughts and feelings. He was a gentleman and kind, gentle man. He lived a rich, but simple life and was loved by all. At the end, Fred relished the peace and tranquility of his home, where he listened to classical music from dawn to dusk and where, even on the coldest days, he loved being outdoors and basking in the sun. He died surrounded by those he loved.
Fred also is survived by his brother, Richard (Rita) Ensling, of Kingsman, Ariz.; and nephews, Scott and Mark Ensling, of New York City, N.Y.; his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Bob and Janice (Benoit) Fodero, of Orange; his former brother-in-law, Edward Delaney, of Milford; and his hiking and biking buddy of many years, Jeff Jafferis, of New Haven. Fred was predeceased by his ex-wife, Anne Delaney Ensling, the mother of their children, and by his lifelong friend, Larry Voight, of Morris.
Contributions in Fred’s memory may be made to Connecticut Hospice, 100 Double Beach Road, Branford, CT 06405, Smilow Cancer Center at YNHH, 20 York St., New Haven, CT 06519 and/or Branford Hills Health Center, 189 Alps Road, Branford, CT 06405.
The family is grateful to all of Fred’s caregivers including neighbors, Sandra Toepel and Ruth Schuchman.
Friends and acquaintances are invited to meet and reminisce with Fred’s family on Sunday, March 23, between 2 and 5 p.m., at the Branford residence. Parking is available in the complex and along Hosley Avenue.