Obituary: Walter “Bud” Smith, 97, Beloved Father, Veteran, Mason, Yale Football Fan

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Jan 142022

Walter “Bud” Smith, 97, of Orange, beloved husband of the late Leontine “Lee” Smith, passed away peacefully with his family by his side on January 9, 2022.

Born on December 27, 1924 in New Haven, he was the son of the late Walter H. and Adeline Smith and brother to the late Jane Wilcox. Bud grew up in Westville and was a graduate of Hillhouse High School.

Facing the spectre of WWII, Bud enlisted in the United States Army at age 18 before he was captured at the Battle of the Bulge. He was liberated in Spring of 1945 and returned home to his family in Connecticut. Following his return, he attained his B.S in Engineering at the University of Connecticut.

After college, he began his lifelong business endeavor with his father in what would become Orange Hills Country Club, in Orange. With a group of 6 men, a bulldozer, and his handy crowbar, Bud cleared & built the back 9 holes at the golf course over 7 years.

During the golf season he was a constant presence at the course, whether picking rocks in the fairway, setting up golf matches, or socializing with golfers in the clubhouse. Walter had a way of making golfers and employees alike feel like family, and he remained passionate for and actively involved in the family business up until the last days of his life.

He was a proud member of the Wooster Lodge No. 79 A.F. & A.M, a Life Member of the CT Superintendents Association, and he was inducted into the CT State Golf Association Hall of Fame in 2000 for his Service to Golf.

Bud’s passion for and avid support of local sports teams started at age 8, when he and his friends snuck into a Yale Football game with a fake mascot bulldog (an imposter Handsome Dan). This began a lifelong tradition of attending and organizing tailgates for friends & family at the Yale football games.

Later in life, UCONN basketball became another fixture of Bud’s – hardly a Lady Huskies’ basketball game transpired without his focused attention and play-by-play commentary.

More than anything, Walter loved and cherished spending time with all his family, and friends that he considered family. He is survived by his two children, son Jud W. and daughter Judith A. Smith, both of Orange; his 4 grandchildren Justin P. Morgan, Jennifer L. and spouse Katelin V. Morgan-Kohl, Rebecca S. Morgan, and Staci Baranchak; and his nephew John J. and spouse Lynn-Ann McGrail. He was predeceased by a son, Paul W. Smith and a daughter Patricia A. Henriques.

His family will be forever grateful for the loving care provided by Jirapha Glover, Maria Biondi, Rose Marie Green and Dawn Dalrymple.
Services are private at this time.

There will be a Celebration of Life this Spring at Orange Hills Country Club. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Wreaths Across America, The Tommy Fund, or The Connecticut Association of Golf Course Superintendents (CAGCS).

To leave online condolences, visit the Cody-White Website at www.codywhitefuneralservice.com.

Pay Your Respects To George Chatzopoulos Today

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Jan 142022

George Chatzopoulos, 55, of Orange passed away peacefully on January 10, 2022 at his home surrounded by family after a valiant battle with brain cancer.

Beloved son of Dionissios Chatzopoulos and late mother Aggeliki Chatzopoulos of Makrissia, Greece. Loving brother of Dina Bajko (Adam) of Orange, Peter Chatzopoulos (Katerina) of Athens, Greece, Vasiliki Koufolia (Fotis) of Makrissia, Greece.

Cherished uncle of AJ Bajko, Alexander Bajko, Evan Bajko, Eleni Koufolia, Aggeliki Koufolia, Thanasis Koufolia and Maria Angela Chatzopoulou. Also survived by many uncles, aunts, cousins and friends.

George was the epitome of the American dream. He migrated in 1988 to the United States in his early 20’s and started working alongside his father as a dishwasher. In 1995 he began his journey of entrepreneurship when he purchased Eats and Sweets in West Haven, CT.

After selling Eat’s and Sweets he worked as the General Manager in the Athenian Diner in Milford, CT. In 2003 he bought Chip’s Family Restaurant of Orange, CT. This would be the beginning of his American dream coming to fruition. With hard work, dedication, ambition and endless devotion he created an experience that would allow his guests to become family.

Through George’s passion and with the undying support of his family and special staff, Chip’s became a restaurant of choice for families and friends to gather. These core values are what he instilled in his Chip’s Team and has now become part of his legacy.

George was extremely proud of his Greek heritage and humble beginnings. He will be remembered for many things but most of all for his loving and giving heart. He was the first to say, ” How can I help?” and offer to fundraise or contribute whatever way he could to a cause.

Remembering there were people that supported him as he got started and then as his business was growing George believed deeply in “paying it forward”. One of the ways he did this, was through his annual Thanksgiving fundraisers where 100 percent of the proceeds were donated to a local charity.

George was happy to contribute to organizations large and small such as Relay for Life, Make A Wish Foundation, Columbus Housing for the Veterans, Children’s Hospital of Special Care, Operation Hope, Marrakech Inc., Juneteenth Foundation, Orange Country Fair, Orange Fireman’s Carnival, local fire departments, police departments and multiple school and town charities.

He was honored to be a board member of the Connecticut Restaurant Association, Pan-Gregorian Association of Connecticut and proud to be a part of the Lyons Club, Rotary Club, and multiple Chambers of Commerce. The hard work and dedication of the Chip’s Team was never lost on George.

He was forever grateful for their loyalty, dedication and teamwork. He was a mentor to many, always willing to give an opportunity to those that exhibited enthusiasm and ambition.

He would often be found relaxing while listening to his Greek music. One of his favorite past times was dancing zeibekiko along with friends and family. He was many times the life of the party. He had a special appreciation for true friendship and cherished the time spent with his friends. He was happiest when his family and friends were enjoying life beside him.

Visiting his homeland of Greece annually was something he was sure to make time for. His family and friends there looked forward to his visit since his arrival always brought the spirit of joy, fun, and feast to the village of Makrissia.

While George enjoyed many pastimes, his pride and joy was spending time with his family, especially his nephews, AJ, Alex and Evan he referred to as “his boys” whom he treated like his own. Some of their best times were their drives to get ice cream or going out to dinner, just Uncle George and the boys.

The Greek word “filotimo” captures the true essence of who George has always been. In the Greek language filotimo represents hospitality, pride, honor, integrity, respect, acts of kindness and unconditional love.

George will be sorely missed by his family, friends and his Chip’s Team for all of these things and so much more. His legacy will live on through his loved ones forever.

Calling hours will take place at St. Barbara’s Church at 480 Racebrook Road in Orange, on Friday, January 14 from 4 to 8. A funeral will take place on Saturday, January 15 at 10:00 a.m. followed by interment at Orange Center Cemetery.

A celebration of life will be held at St. Barbara’s Church Hall following the interment. In the true spirit of George’s giving nature, the family is requesting that in lieu of flowers memorial contributions can be made to the George Chatzopoulos Scholarship being administered through the endowment fund with St. Barbara’s Church. www.saintbarbara.org. www.northhavenfuneral.com

Obituary: Mary Ann Ettinger, 90, Beloved Mother, Grandmother

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Jan 132022

Mary Ann Ettinger, 90, of Orange, died peacefully on Monday, January 10. She was born July 2, 1931 in Aurelia, Iowa, daughter of the late Wesley Kenneth Nelson and Esther Christine Rolfs.

Mary Ann is survived by son Joel Ettinger and wife Rachel Must-Ettinger, of Orange Connecticut and daughter Claire Sehringer and husband Gottfried, of Wayland Massachusetts; grandchildren Samuel and Jae Ettinger and Gabriel and Larissa Sehringer.

Also survived by brothers Larry Nelson and David Nelson, sisters Marcia White and Gretta Earnest; several nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.

Family and friends may gather on Monday, Jan. 17 at 11:30 a.m. at the Cody-White Funeral Home 107 Broad St., Milford. A Funeral Service will begin at 12 p.m. that day at the funeral home followed by a burial at West Cemetery, Boston Post Rd., Madison, CT.

Those who cannot attend the service may join us virtually at: https://view.oneroomstreaming.com/. Event ID: Codywhitefh; Password: LH48P9
To view the full obituary and leave online condolences, please visit our website at www.codywhitefuneralservice.com.

Obituary: Annette “Nettie” Azzaro Bartocetti 84, Avid Gardener, Town Treasure

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Jan 122022

Annette “Nettie” Azzaro Bartocetti 84, of Orange beloved wife of the late Harry P. Bartocetti passed away on January 7, 2022 in CT. Hospice.

Loving mother of Laura (Robert) Keefe of Guilford, Lisa (Patrick Connellan) Bartocetti and John (Barbara) Bartocetti all of Orange and Rick (Stephanie) Bartocetti of Hamden. Cherished grandmother of Michael (Maureen) Keefe, Neil (Brittini) Keefe, Paige (Kevin) Girvin and Adam Bartocetti. Great grandmother of Ryann Girvin and Cameron and Nora Keefe.

Nettie is predeceased by her sister Dolores Sacrider. Nettie was born in New Haven on March 8, 1937 daughter of the late Anthony and Josephine Diotaiuto Azzaro.

Nettie was a member of the Orangewood Women’s Club, Holy Infant Guild, Republican Town Committee of Orange, Garden Club, New Haven Symphony Auxiliary and Save the Children.

In 2015 Nettie was the recipient of the Town of Orange Living Treasure Award.

Private arrangements are in care of the PORTO FUNERAL HOME 830 Jones Hill Rd. West Haven. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital 501 St. Jude Place Memphis, TN. 38105.

Sign Nettie’s guest book online at www.portofuneralhomes.net.

Obituary: Aaron Marc Steinberg, 34, Musician, Amity Grad

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Jan 112022

Aaron Marc Steinberg, 34, of Brooklyn, NY and originally of Orange, CT, passed away on January 8, 2022.

Born on February 13, 1987 in Milford, CT, he was the son of Paul and Kathleen (Listenes) Steinberg.

Aaron lived for music, and was known as “Music Wizard” to his friends. A 2005 graduate of Amity High School, he was a creative and talented guitarist.

His passion first led him to move to New York City. He then relocated to Los Angeles to attend Musician’s Institute and landed a role on L.A. Rock City, a television show. Eventually he moved back to Brooklyn to be closer to his family during the pandemic.

Aaron was adventurous and loved to travel and visit new places around the country. With a fantastic sense of humor, he enjoyed making everyone around him laugh. Aaron was a wonderful son and encouraging big brother. His family will forever miss his infectious personality and presence.

In addition to his loving parents, Aaron is survived by his younger sister Rebekah Nash and her husband, Sean, and his younger brother Samuel Steinberg; his maternal grandparents, Rosemarie Davis and Alan Listenes and his wife, Elaine; and by his many aunts, uncles, and cousins. Aaron was predeceased by his grandparents, Pearl and Samuel Steinberg, and Edward Davis.

Graveside service will be held on Thursday, January 13, 2022 at 11 a.m. at Congregation Or Shalom Cemetery, 75 Farwell St., West Haven, CT 06516.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to a charity of choice.

The family is being cared for by the staff at the CODY-WHITE FUNERAL HOME, 107 BROAD ST., MILFORD, CT. To leave online condolences, visit www.codywhitefuneralservice.com.

Dec 192021

A lot of readers find out that I’ve posted a new story on this site through cross posted material on Facebook.

I haven’t been able to cross post anything from Orange Live on Facebook in days. The new “improved” security measures that “META” – Facebook has installed is impossible for me to deal with.

Each day I log in using my laptop, which I have used for YEARS to access Facebook and I get this message.

Login approval needed

We noticed a login from a browser, device or location you don’t usually use. We need to confirm it was you before you can get back on Facebook.

It gets worse

Oh, it offers options, like identifying 4 “recent” comments that are mine out of a random list of 10.
I do so, even though some of those recent comments were from 2 months ago — and a window pops up telling me that I FAILED to confirm my identity — AND that I have exceeded my hourly limit for that option. Nine hours later that option STILL isn’t available to attempt again.
It then expects me to confirm my identity by logging into another computer or device — yet it fails to inform me what to do when I try to check my phone — then immediately states that I FAILED to confirm my ID with that option as well.
After 10 years, people aren’t logging into Orange Live automatically every day and depend on reminders from Facebook or Twitter that there’s something to offer here.
If Anyone understands this new security insanity, please help! I will come to YOU with my computer and phone so you can walk me through it.
Give me a call at 203-506-1747 and leave a message.
NOTE: No one has come forward yet. Someone MUST know how to get through this. Please!

Obituary: Gwendolyn Spencer, 89, Former OCC Nursery School Teacher

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Dec 092021

Gwendolyn W. Spencer, 89, of Bloomfield, CT, beloved widow of Dr. Richard P. Spencer, passed away on December 5, 2021.

She is survived by her daughter Carolyn R. Spencer of Bloomfield and six nieces and nephews.

In addition to her husband Dick, she was predeceased by her daughters, Jennifer H. Spencer and Priscilla J. Spencer, a brother Perry R. Williams and his wife Anne B. Williams, as well as a sister-in-law Linda Spencer. Gwen, the daughter of Claude G. and Ednah D. Williams, grew up in Garden City, Long Island.

On April 7, 1956, she married Dick, her best friend. They settled in Orange, CT where they raised their three daughters. Gwen received a BS in Nursing from Skidmore College in 1954, a Master Gardener’s Certificate from the University of Connecticut, and a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education.

She spent most of her career as a nursery school teacher at the Orange Congregational Church and then at First Church in West Hartford. Gwen will be remembered for her kindness, beautiful smile, sense of humor, and love of all things bright and beautiful.

She and Dick enjoyed going antiquing and traveling around the U.S. and the world.

There are no calling hours. A funeral service will take place on Friday, December 10, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. at Asylum Hill Congregational Church, Hartford. Masks are required in Church. It can be livestreamed at: ahcc.org/live-streaming and then by clicking on “Live Stream Access.”

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society of Connecticut or the charity of one’s choice.

The family would like to thank the staff on the Cedar Unit of Caleb Hitchcock for their excellent care of Gwen. Molloy Funeral Home of West Hartford has care of arrangements.

Obituary: Eunice Dupre, 86, Beloved Mother of Pamela Boynton

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Nov 262021

Eunice Marie Sylvestre Dupre, age 86, beloved wife of Normand George Dupre, of Woonsocket, RI, passed away peacefully Saturday, October 30, 2021, in Columbia, South Carolina.

She leaves her children, Pamela Dupre Boynton of Orange, CT, Lynn Dupre Chabot and son-in-law Peter of Old Greenwich, CT, and son, Chip Dupre and daughter-in-law Jamie of Columbia, SC.

She is survived by her sister, Lois Sylvestre Buzzetti and brother-in-law Tony Buzzetti of Lexington, SC, lifelong friends and loving confidants who valued years together in the Palmetto State.

She also is survived by her sister-in-law Rose Sylvestre of Cumberland, RI. The nurturing and loving grandmother of 8 granddaughters. Laura, Katie, and Sally Boynton, Alexandra and Samantha Chabot, and Claire, Christa, and Colleen Dupre.

Eunice was nicknamed Bopper for her engaging and doting personality. She embraced every holiday and family dinner and is lovingly remembered as the devoted core of her family.

Remembering Denise With Tie Dye And No Tears

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Nov 032021

Last year, during the pandemic, my longtime friend Denise Mirto called out of the blue one day to tell me something important. “I’ve got cancer,” she said.

“Don’t tell anyone,” she directed. I kept that promise.

She shared it with trusted friends and colleagues, but she didn’t want to have everyone moping around whenever they saw her or thought about her because of an illness.

Shocked and saddened, I asked all of the usual questions, “What kind? How bad? What can they do? How are you dealing with it?”

To this day, I’m embarrassed to admit that I can’t remember what type of cancer she suffered from, but I do know that it was advanced and there was nothing that could be done to save her.

Although it ravaged her body, the cancer never defined who she was as a person. Denise didn’t want to upset anyone or worry them with this part of her life that couldn’t be changed.

Over the following months, we talked about chemo and possible experimental treatments. Losing all of her hair and her plans not to wear a wig to cover up her bald head. “I’ve got a nice shaped head, and I have my scarves,” she said.

Still, I bought the softest Hygee yarn and knitted a hat with her in mind. Knowing my “Deadhead” (fan of the Grateful Dead) friend, I even bought some cool tie dye material adorned with the band’s signature dancing bears with which to sew some face masks to use during the ongoing pandemic.

I offered both to Denise, but she politely turned them down, saying she was all set and had plenty of head coverings to keep her warm and masks to provide protection.

In early January, during a conversation via text, she wrote, “Feel exhausted every day – no chemo for past month – waiting for new plan tomorrow.”

Sadly, nothing the doctors tried worked. She was not going to get better, and she had come to terms with it.

This year, friends, neighbors, former coworkers from Real Estate agencies and around town came by with food or to visit. She and her husband, Bob both expressed their appreciation for the kindness everyone showed toward her.

When I spoke to Denise on Oct. 8, she told me that she had made her funeral arrangements at the West Haven Funeral Home. They discussed her obituary and her desire to have visitors leave their tears at home and to wear their tie dye shirts.

Denise strongly believed that we all impact those around us and even when we’re gone, the ripple effect can be felt and seen.

She left this world on her own terms. She was home with those she loved when she crossed over. She knew that she’d taken the burden of funeral planning and the stress of obituary writing off of her family, and the only thing left was to remember her as she was, attending Orange baseball games, organizing volunteers at the food tent during the Orange Firemen’s Carnival and running around like crazy, making sure everything was just right at the Orange Country Fair — she was so proud of the white directional signs that stand on the fairgrounds during the weekend event each year.

I have one big regret that I’m trying to push back in order to honor her wishes. On Sunday, Denise was on my mind all day long. I was exhausted from lack of sleep and all I wanted to do was stay in bed. But when I did go out to retrieve a prescription, I felt a strong pull to drive to her house for a visit. But I didn’t, I went home, fed my dogs and went to bed early.

Two days later she was gone and it was too late. Now I can hear her saying, “STOP IT! You can’t change the past, embrace the future and make the best of it.”

If you’re going to her wake, don’t dare have a sad face. Celebrate everything good and be happy.

I like to think that Jerry Garcia greeted Denise at heaven’s gate with her beloved dog Franco, and that she is finally pain free, carefree, wearing her tie dye and dancing.

I can see her face as the words, “Keep in touch with Bob and don’t forget to appreciate every moment of every day” are stuck in my head today.

Thank You Denise for your friendship and all of the belief you had in me over the years. For showing me how to be strong and how precious our time on earth is. Enjoy the afterlife, and keep watching over us. We already miss you. Forgive me if I choke up, and I will try really hard not to cry.


Obituary: Denise Mirto, 71, Beloved Wife, Mother, Friend

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Nov 032021

Denise Comeau Mirto, 71, passed away peacefully on Nov. 2, 2021 at her home in Orange, surrounded by her family and friends after a battle with cancer.

Born on December 31, 1949, in New Haven, CT, she was the daughter of Frank and Irene (Matteo) Comeau.

She married the love of her life, Robert Mirto on January 30, 1981.

Denise is survived by her son, Jesse D. Irwin (wife Emily Agustin), of Chicago, IL, son Nicholas Mirto (wife Jen Mirto), of West Haven, CT, and her step-daughter, Lisa Mirto of Stratford, CT.

She also is survived by her eight siblings, Francis Fox (ex-wife, Jeanne Dubin who will always be family) of Wilmington, NC, Cathy Higgins (husband David Higgins) of Altamonte Springs, FL, Patty Kelley (husband Kobe Kelley) of Leland, NC, Mark Comeau of New Haven, CT, Mary Petrou (husband Milton Petrou) of Chester, SC, Greg Comeau of Orange, CT, Carrie Piazza (husband Jeff Piazza) of Denver, NC, and PJ Fox (wife Yayoi Fox) of Herndon, VA. She is survived by 19 nieces and nephews, a Cousin, Paula Idarola, Great Aunt Clara Mei, and three very special friends, Sharon Ewen, Rochelle Cyr, and Rose Addario Zajac.

Denise grew up in Orange and was a lifelong resident. She was always adventurous and travelled the world. She loved music, especially The Grateful Dead.

She has been a Realtor in Orange since 1995. She was well respected by both her clients and her peers. Volunteerism was her passion. She enjoyed community service and has been the voice as well as a major organizer of the annual Orange Country Fair. She acted as the general coordinator of the volunteer effort to build the Orange Kids’ Playground.

She served as a Past President of Orange Little League, past member of the Amity Board of Education, volunteer at the Orange Volunteer Firemen’s Carnival for 22 years, past President of Turkey Hill School PTA, and has served on other various Boards and Commissions in Orange. Denise will be missed!

The hours for visitation will be held on Thursday from 4-7 p.m. at the West Haven Funeral Home at the Green, 662 Savin Ave., West Haven, CT. Please consider wearing bright colors or your favorite tie-dye. Masks are required to be worn at the funeral home.

A private burial will be at the Orange Center Cemetery.

The family would like to thank all of the Hospice Nurses and aides for their loving care of Denise. They are truly heroes and the best America has to offer.

Memorial contributions can be made to Connecticut Hospice, 100 Double Beach Rd., Branford, CT 06405 or the Orange Playground in care of Lynn Plaskowitz, in memory of Denise Mirto.

Checks can be made out to the Town of Orange, and sent to 525 Orange Center Road, Orange, CT 06477. To leave an online condolence, please visit www.westhavenfuneral.com.