Obituary: Kenneth Lyke Jr., 68, Beloved Husband, Father, Friend, Public Servant

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May 142021

Kenneth E. Lyke Jr., 68, of Orange passed away peacefully May 12, 2021, with his loving family by his side. He was the husband of Kathleen DeLoughery Lyke.

Ken was born April 24, 1953, in New Haven the son of Kenneth E. And Marjorie Toelken Lyke. He was a dedicated firefighter for Sikorsky Aircraft for many years. Ken also worked for Flanagan Ambulance, was a CERT Leader in Orange, and was the owner of Ken’s Chauffeured Transportation, also of Orange.

Besides his wife Ken is survived by his daughter Jeannine (Ryan) Mann, his son Kenneth E. (Jennifer) Lyke III, his grandchildren, Camden and Brielle Mann, Vivienne Lyke, several nieces and nephews, and a host of family and friends all of whom he touched with caring and kindness.

Family and friends may pay their respects at the Celentano Funeral Home, 424 Elm St., New Haven, on Sunday from 1:00 – 4:00 PM.

To leave a condolence visit www.celentanofuneralhome.com.

Orange Loses A True Town Treasure

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May 122021

Words cannot express how I feel about the passing of Kenny Lyke, a friend, a true gentleman, the hardest working man I know.

Kenny passed away peacefully at the hospital this afternoon with his family by his side.

Many residents knew Kenny as a limousine driver, an EMT-Paramedic at Flanagan Ambulance, a Fire Fighter/EMT at Sikorsky Aircraft, or as the leader of the Orange CERT.

Kenny, Annie Davis, and Tim Smith were instrumental in the establishment of the Orange CERT many years ago.

Annie and Kenny adored, trusted, and treasured one another. They had a friendship that lasted for decades. When Annie died on Monday, Sept. 23, 2019, I started a fundraising drive for a memorial bench in Annie’s honor, and Kenny was the first to step up to assist in any way he could. He was my right-hand man throughout the process taking it upon himself to order the bench, find a place to store it until the weather was a little nicer, and recruit Roy Cuzzocreo from Orange Fence to set it in place for us.

The only thing remaining was to hold a dedication. We’d planned it for several months ago, but COVID restrictions and cold and/or rainy weather made it difficult to pin a date down. He called me in late April and left a message for me, that’s the last time I heard his voice. He was admitted into the hospital soon afterward and I was unable to contact him again.

It breaks my heart to dedicate Annie’s bench without Kenny by my side, after his tireless efforts to get it done.

The only comfort I have is picturing Tim Smith giving Kenny a hearty handshake and big bear hug and Annie greeting him with a tender hug as they greet him up in Heaven. Three friends back together again.

Kenny, you already are missed. You were one of a kind. I hope you are pain-free now.

Orange Live will post the details of his funeral arrangements as soon as they become available.



The Best Memories Come From Special Moments

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Jul 222020

Throwback photo from the 90s. Peter Goodwin, his mother, Bette, Bert Galant, Baron, and Annie.

About 13 years ago, Annie Davis, known to many as “Elf Mama,” was working in the Fire Marshal’s office. I was working at the Amity Observer Newspaper back then.

Annie called me and asked if I could come to the office around 3:30 p.m. or so “And bring Baron,” she said.

Longtime residents and town workers may remember my golden retriever and best buddy, Baron von Saberwolfe. Annie loved him, as did a lot of town employees, firefighters, and police officers.

When Baron and I arrived, he made a bee-line to Tim Smith’s office then ran into the Deputy Fire Marshal’s office to find Annie.

Annie waved us into the fire inspector’s office where she was talking to three people I’d never seen before, then introduced me to the Goodwin family.

She explained that the family was donating animal air masks to the Orange Volunteer Fire Department for fire emergencies when a pet would need resuscitation or fresh air. She said that Baron was the perfect model for a photo to show how they would be used.

Now, Baron was a sweet, easy-going boy, and he was always willing to help in any way, but when it came to putting his whole snout into an enclosed cup, well, that was a different story.

I tried, Annie tried, and the Goodwin family members even attempted it, but the big guy wanted nothing to do with it.

UNTIL the light bulb went off above Annie’s head. She took the largest mask and brought it into the firehouse kitchen where she’d made some Chicken Picante for the guys.

When she came back, she handed the mask over and said, “Call Baron.”

When the mask was extended, Baron shoved his face all the way into the mask and I captured the moment on camera. (You can see Annie laughing in the background)

“What did you do?” we all asked.

“Picante sauce,” Annie said with a sly smile. “I put a spoonful of Picante sauce in the bottom of the mask, I knew he couldn’t resist it.”

I’m not sure how many times the masks have been used at fire scenes, but I just found this photo, and it brought back a flood of happy memories. Both Annie and Baron are gone now, but their memory lives on. And this thoughtful, generous gift from the Goodwin family helped our OVFD to save the lives of the most vulnerable family members.


Correction: The original version misidentified the generous donors as the Case family. My apologies for the error. 


Annie Davis Fundraiser In Two Days (Friday, Nov. 8)

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Nov 062019

The Fundraiser in memory of Annie “Elf Mama” Davis is just two days away.

On Friday, Nov. 8, the Orange Ale House, 517 Boston Post Road, will open its “Big Room” up for this event from 5 to 9 p.m.

Online ticket sales are picking up. Advance sale price is $20, At The Door tickets are $25.

You can save a little bit of money by buying in advance HERE and use those savings for our VERY DIFFICULT “Guess how many candies are in the jar” contest, and getting raffle tickets for a chance on one of our wonderful donated prizes (10 for $5 or 25 for $10). We’re confident that we’ve got something of interest for everyone. We’ve got a whole team of Annie’s friends collecting them.

We’ve been told that some people are afraid to give their information online, so we will offer you this option. Send an e-mail to orangectlive01@gmail.com by 10 a.m. on Friday with the words “Tickets” in the subject line, and you will be put on the list of attendees for the $20 advance ticket price. 

We are hoping to fill the Ale House with those special families that shared the joy of Santa’s Helper over the years, as well as bringing Annie’s friends and co-workers together to share stories.

Skip Dinner at home and stop by the Ale House and enjoy their special fundraiser cuisine (included) or you CAN buy dinner for yourself and order from the regular menu.

We’re working hard to make this a memorable celebration. If residents, business owners, municipal offices, organizations, or any group would like to donate a raffle prize, or collect money and we will assemble an appropriate basket in your name, text Terri at 203-506-1747, and I will be happy to come and get it by Thursday, Nov. 7.

Contributors will be recognized at the event and on Orange Live.

Thank You in advance for remembering Annie.

Orange’s Santa’s Helper Is World Famous

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Jan 152015

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 6.38.37 PMThe Orange Volunteer Fire Department’s Santa’s Helper program has gone global, and our own “Elf Mama” Annie Davis has been getting phone calls from around the world since a Subway company newsletter was delivered to EVERY Subway from here to Timbuktu and beyond.

Davis, an associate member of the OVFD, who began the Santa’s Helper fundraiser 20 years ago to raise money to buy rescue equipment for Orange’s all-volunteer Fire Department, also happens to work at Subway World Headquarters in Milford.

When someone in the office learned about the unique program, and that another employee, Eric Sudol, who also is a Subway Shop franchisee, fed Santa and his elves on Santa’s Helper delivery night with 80 SUBWAY to Go! boxed meals (prepared by 3 Sandwich Artists— Debbie, Donna and Kim — at his Milford store) She gathered information and wrote a little story for the company newsletter.

Davis said she’s received requests for information from several people from across the country who are interested in starting Santa’s Helper programs for their own volunteer fire departments. (Something she is happy to provide)

Davis works on the project 9 months (or more) each year — really! It’s a lot of work, but she loves the energy that abounds when Santa and the elves return to the station after they deliver the gifts, and the response she gets from families after their visits.