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.

I Can’t Say Enough About Pat Winkel

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Apr 032018

For several years, since I began covering sports for Orange Live – and Yes, I know I’m still a bit oblivious about writing sports stories, but I have developed a pretty good eye at picking out the “star” players on different teams, just by watching the boys and girls during scrimmages.

One young man who’s impressed me for many years, during Amity and American Legion Baseball games, is catcher Pat Winkel.

He has natural instincts, speed, skill and an excellent swing, and after this weekend’s scrimmage games I wanted to write something about him. But I knew it wouldn’t do him justice after I read a wonderful write up on the Register’s Gametime Webpage about him.

Author Dave Borges did a phenomenal job highlighting Pat’s rise from a little league player to the dream prospect of becoming a Major League draft pick.

Read this excellent story HERE and share in the excitement of what may lie ahead for Orange’s hometown boy. 



Obituary: Nathan Sokoloff, 100, Hardworking Man of Integrity, Beloved Father of Heidi Saxe

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Nov 132017

Nathan Sokoloff, 100, a long time resident of Orange, and most recently of Tower One in New Haven, devoted husband of the late Clara (Tolchinsky) Sokoloff, died at his home on November 10, 2017.

Born in Brooklyn, NY., December 16, 1916, he was the son of the late Irwin & Rachel (Wiener), Sokoloff. He was preceded in death by wife Clara; grandson Jeremy Saxe; son-in-law Gregory Johnson; his brother George and his sister Sophie. Beloved Father of Jill Noel (John) of Hamden, Heidi Saxe (Tracy) of Orange and Michael Sokoloff (Judy) of Cheshire. Cherished Grandfather of Dayna, Jessica, Robert, Ryan, Brian, Thomas and the late Jeremy Saxe.

Nat had a long career working full-time from 13 years old in the Garment District in NYC and was still working one day a week even after his 100th birthday. In addition to his long career in textiles, he had success in other industries as well, including the game industry, banking and, finally, working part-time in legal services. Nat served in the US Army during the Second World War. He was also President of Orange Little League during their championship year.

Nat was an extremely devoted husband, father, and grandfather. Nat and Clara were married for more than 70 years before she passed in 2010. Always the love his life, she inspired in him a passion for songwriting after her death that resulted in him writing over 70 songs in both English and Yiddish, many of them romantic ballads to Clara’s memory. He began to perform live shows at his new home at Tower One in his 90s and was preparing another performance at the time of his death. They both excelled at ballroom dancing and enjoyed traveling.

There was nothing Nat wouldn’t do for his family. Nathan leaves behind a loving family who have always admired him, learned from him, and will deeply miss him. Well educated, and self-taught, he continued his lifelong learning to the very end through extensive reading, research on the internet and kept current with technology using his iPhone for texting and social media to keep abreast of his grandchildren.

A celebration of the life of Nathan Sokoloff will be held at Robert E. Shure Funeral Home, 543 George Street, New Haven on Tuesday, November 14, 2017, at 10:30 a.m. with interment services to follow with military honors at B’nai Jacob Memorial Park, 200 Wintergreen Avenue, New Haven.

Nat’s family will be receiving from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be sent to Jeremy Saxe Foundation Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C. 35 Nutmeg Drive, Trumbull, CT 06611.

To sign an online registry book or leave a message of condolence, please visit: www.shurefuneralhome.com

It’s Time To Register for Orange Little League — Discount Ends Today

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Jan 312017

Orange Little League is now taking registrations for its Spring Season Tee Ball, Baseball and Softball teams.

Visit www.OrangeCTLittleLeague.com


Today, Tuesday, Jan. 31, is the last day to receive a $20 Early bird discount.

Tee Ball $160

Baseball $200

Softball $200

Based on 2017 Age Calculator

Complete the online registration and pay by credit card
NEW REGISTRANTS must provide a copy/ image of the player’s birth certificate
(Use a smartphone and take a picture of the birth certificate – email to OLL_CT@aol.com )

Large families only pay registration for the older two players 2017 season starts in April – based on weather conditions

Registrations will not be accepted after Evaluation Date(s)


Every effort shall be made to maintain the number of leagues and the age makeup of Leagues based on the local rules. Player assignments are made with considerations of age, player skill, and parent requests, however the Player Agent, in consultation with Vice President may (based upon annual registration numbers) propose adjustments to the number of Leagues and player assignments.

Questions? Email Jenn Martone at: OLL_CT@aol.com

It All Begins In Orange Little League

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Jun 142016

The Champion Orange Little League BEES.

The Champion Orange Little League BEES.

On Monday night, June 13, the Orange Little League Bees won the Eastern League Championship Vs. The Ducks, 2-1 in extra innings.

Congratulations Boys! Someday you all may play under Coach Sal Coppola at Amity High School.

Two Orange Residents Get Top Honors At The Amity Block A Dinner

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Jun 132016

IMG_9769Every year the Amity Booster Club hosts the Block A Dinner (Athletic Awards) honoring individual Amity athletes for their exemplary work on – and off – the fields, courts and tracks – throughout the year.

Perhaps the most coveted award is that of Athlete of the Year, it is the final presentation of the evening and the only one whose recipients are a closely guarded secret, known only to the Athletic Director and his administrative assistant.

This year, two Orange residents, who honed their skills on the Orange Little League fields and became legendary on the Amity High School softball and baseball fields (and the Amity Basketball court), were named the male and female Athletes of the Year.

It is our pleasure to announce that Katie Koshes and Chris Winkel are this year’s Top Amity Athletes.

Both of them have proved their integrity, sportsmanship, talent and drive for the past four years and we are so happy that through all their success they remained humble and rejoiced in their fellow players’ accomplishments.

Katie and Chris represent everything that the Athlete of the Year should be — Congratulations!

Don’t Delay, It’s Time To Register For Orange Little League

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Feb 252016

IMG_9839-300x248In winter, sports fans think about basketball, hockey and skiing but in Orange, where championship teams are born, it’s time to think about baseball and softball.

Registrations for the 2016 Orange Little League season are now open to boys and girls in Orange and surrounding communities.

Registration deadline is approaching and completed forms must be in by next Tuesday, March 1.

Register online or download a form by going to www.OrangeCtLittle League.com

Your child could be part of Little League World Series History!

Koshes Commits To Play Softball At UCONN

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Dec 172015


(Paul Crisci photo)

We’ve watched her play softball since she was a little girl in the Orange Little League, and now Amity Senior and star pitcher Katie Koshes has signed a National Letter of Intent to play Division I collegiate softball at UCONN.

Katie earned her scholarship as a pitcher and will join the Huskies in the fall of 2016.

Congratulations Katie, you’ve always made us proud and we know you will continue to do so.

Register Now For Orange Little League Fall Ball

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Aug 082015

Little League LogoOrange Little League, from which the 2015 CT 10-11 year old State Champions reigned, is now taking registrations for its Fall Ball program.
Registration is open to the Towns of Orange, Bethany, and Woodbridge. Deadline is Sunday, August 23.
Hard Ball
For anyone new to the Fall Baseball League, it is a great opportunity to get a jump-start into next season.
For kids in the younger age groups moving up, this will be their first look at facing kid-pitching as opposed to a coach or a machine. It will get them acclimated and ready for the Spring season.
For kids in the older leagues, they will start to see better, faster pitching, also in preparation for the spring.
Fall ball is played against other local towns with some travel. Games begin right after Labor Day through mid-November.
Who may register? Boys ages 7 to 12, based on the 2016 LL Calendar. Boys 6 in 2016 – prerequisite,: played Tee Ball in 2015.
For more information, e-mail OLL_CT@AOL.COM
Girls Softball: information and registration will begin soon.
OLL Mission Statement: 
To encourage participation in a healthy, safe and fun program that teaches the understanding of sportsmanship, competition, respect while promoting the development of age appropriate baseball\softball skills and general athleticism.


Meet The 2015 10-11 CONNECTICUT Little League State Champs — Orange Little League!

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Aug 022015

Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 11.04.53 AMManager Keith Soldra “I want every player recognized, the accomplishments of every boy played a role in our success.” 

Congratulations Orange Little League 11 District Allstars Team members: Jacob Crow; Ben Daddio; Christian DÁstous; Dylan Gherlone; Sebastian Holt; Owen Leszczak; Colby O’Connor; AJ Soldra; Drew Visnic; Charlie Windsor and Martin Zhang Manager Keith Soldra, Coaches Mike Visnic & Jim Windsor

A Rundown of this year’s accomplishments:

June 30, 2015 – Orange 8, Milford National 4

July 2, 2015- Orange 16, West Haven 9

July 6, 2015 -Orange 11, Hamden 0

July 8, 2015- Orange 26, North Branford 3

 July 9, 2015- Orange 11, Hamden 0

District 4 Championship July 11, 2015

Orange 12, West Haven 2

2015 Division 1 Pool Play

July 18, 2015 Orange 8, Stamford North 5

July 19, 2015 Orange 8, Monroe 7

2015 Division 1 Championship Game:

July 21, 2015 Orange 9, Stamford North 2

2015 Section 1 Championship Game:

July 23, 2015 Orange 5, Berlin 2

Orange pitcher, Owen Leszczak retired the first six Berlin batters he faced.  While, Drew Visnic staked Orange to a 1-0 lead on a leadoff homerun in the home half of the 1st.  In the 2nd, Christian D’Astous reached on an error and Martin Zhang walked to start the inning.  Leszczak’s 2-run double put Orange back in front 3-0.

However, Berlin was able to get something going against Leszczak in the 3rd.  After striking out the first batter of the inning, Leszczak hit the next two.  The next batter flew out to Colby O’Connor at second base.  A walk loaded the bases with two out.  Berlin’s next batter smacked a double to the fence.  Two runs were in, a third was on the way.

Charlie Windsor, playing right field, made a perfect relay throw to O’Connor, who gunned it to catcher Jacob Crow covering home to erase the runner at the plate and end the inning.  Berlin was only down a run, trailing 3-2.

Holt would push the lead to 4-2 on a solo homerun in the 3rd.  Leszczak held Berlin scoreless in the next two frames, surrendering just one hit.

Orange tacked on a run in the 5th on Ben Daddio’s RBI single.  O’Connor came on the pitch the top of the 6th  for Orange to record the save.

He retired Berlin’s 3-4-5 hitters in order on just 11 pitches.  Leszczak pitched 5-innings, allowing just two hits and struck out six for the win.

Orange was crowned Section 1 Champion and earned a spot in the State Championship Series against Section 2 Champion, Tolland, in a best-of-three series.

2015 Connecticut Championship Series:

July 26, 2015 GAME 1:  Orange 5, Tolland 3

With rain possible, Orange manager, Keith Soldra, decided to push his ace, Sebastian Holt, back and gave Martin Zhang the start on the mound instead.  It was a risky move but it was a decision the manager felt comfortable making.  Zhang had thrown well in previous starts and deserved the opportunity.

After striking out the leadoff batter, it looked like the move was a good one.  However, the next batter doubled and advanced to third on a ground out to Sebastian Holt playing third base.  A single up the middle plated a run and Tolland led 1-0 after half an inning of play.

Orange was retired in order in the home half.  Zhang’s second inning of work did not get off to a good start.  The leadoff batter walked.  Tolland decided to play “small ball”. A sacrifice bunt moved the lead runner to second base.  The next Tolland batter also bunted.  Zhang fielded the ball in front of the mound and made an errant throw to first that went up the right field line.  One run scored.

The batter advanced to second base.  Tolland again bunted.  Holt fielded and fired to first to retire the batter.  The runner on second broke for third on the throw.  First baseman, AJ Soldra attempting to cut the runner down, threw the ball away.  The runner scored and Tolland was ahead 3-0.

After a single and a walk, Zhang was able to get a groundout to second baseman, Colby O’Connor to end the inning.  Orange was again retired in order in the home half of the 2nd inning.  Tolland’s pitcher was brilliant through two innings, keeping Orange’s potent offense at bay by pitching backwards. He was using his breaking ball early in the count to set up his fastball.  Orange was unable to hit anything hard halfway through the contest.

Zhang settled down over the next two frames, striking out three of the seven batters he faced.  Orange was finally able to get some offense going in the 3rd.  With one out, O’Connor singled.  Visnic followed with a double to plate O’Connor.  Soldra also singled, putting runners on first and third.  Jacob Crow’s fielder’s choice to short plated Visnic.  Orange cut Tolland’s lead to 3-2.

Both teams were held scoreless in the 4th inning.  Colby O’Connor came in to pitch for Orange in the 5th.  O’Connor retired Tolland in order.

With Tolland’s pitcher starting to tire, Orange pounced.  O’Connor’s walk and three singles by Visnic, Crow, and Holt plated three runs.  Orange jumped ahead 5-3.  The Orange manager, decided to roll the dice again.  Not wanting to burn O’Connor for Game 2 of the series, he brought in Sebastian Holt to pitch.  But, he would not push him past 20-pitches.

Holt was going to start Game 2.  Holt didn’t have his usual command of the strike zone.  He allowed a leadoff single to start the inning.  After two strikeouts, a catcher’s interference, and a walk, Tolland had the bases loaded.  With two out, Holt had reached his limit of pitches and Orange manager, Keith Soldra, had to make a move.  He called on shortstop, Drew Visnic.

Visnic had pitched sparingly in the Post Season, but he had something Tolland hadn’t seen all evening….A curveball.  With bases loaded, and the game on the line, Tolland’s #3 hitter stepped into the batter’s box.  Orange is a power-pitching team and Tolland had seen fastballs all evening.  Visnic’s first pitch a beautiful curveball for strike one.  Visnic’s next pitch, also a curveball, was weakly grounded back to the mound.  Visnic fielded and fired to first.

Game 1 was in the books.  Orange took a 1-0 series lead.

July 27, 2015 GAME 2: Orange 15, Tolland 4

Orange went down in order to start the 1st inning.  Orange ace, Sebastian Holt, followed suit setting Tolland down 1-2-3 in the bottom half.  Holt would lead off  the 2nd inning with a double for Orange.

Dylan Gherlone, playing right field, struck out before Christian D’Astous worked a walk.  D’Astous stole second without a throw, putting runners second and third.  Ben Daddio’s RBI ground out to second plated Holt and Orange was up 1-0.

Holt surrendered a double to Tolland in the home half, but two consecutive bunts back to the pitcher ended the threat.  Orange was set down in order in the 3rd.  Tolland was able to scratch a run across in the bottom half of the 3rd.  The first two batters were hit-by-pitch.  A passed ball moved the runners to second and third with no outs.  An RBI groundout to Daddio at third knotted the score at 1-1.

Holt regained command.  A one-out ground ball back to the mound, forced the lead runner to stay at third.  Now, with two out, Holt produced another groundout to third that ended the inning.  Orange’s offense would erupt in the 4th inning.  Crow singled.  Holt walked.  Gherlone doubled.  Charlie Windsor singled.  Daddio singled. Leszczak singled.  O’Connor walked.

Seven straight batters reached base and six runs scored, before Drew Visnic groundout out to first.  The last blow of the inning would come off the bat of AJ Soldra, who launched a 2-run bomb to centerfield.  The 8-run inning gave Orange a commanding, 9-1 lead after Holt set Tolland down in order to end the 4th inning.  Orange was able to load the bases in the visitor’s half of the 5th, but couldn’t push a run across.

Tolland wasn’t throwing in the towel just yet.  After sandwiching a walk between two strikeouts, Tolland was able to touch Holt for a single and a 3-run homerun to cut the Orange lead to 9-4 after five innings.  Orange, as they had done all post season, answered.

Holt lead off with a double.  Gherlone reached on an error.  D’Astous laced an RBI single up the middle with two strikes.  Daddio singled, but was cut down between first and second, for the first out of the inning. Leszczak and O’Connor both reached base.  Visnic singled and Soldra walked, before Crow drove a 2-run single to the fence.  Crow was cut down trying to stretch the single into a double, for the second out.

Holt, who started the rally was retired on a screaming line-drive back to the pitcher.  Holt would close the door on Tolland in the home 6th.  He struck out the first batter looking.  The second batter grounded out to Daddio at third.  The final out landed in the outstretched glove of center fielder, Owen Lesczak, as he approached the outfield fence.

The celebration was on.  Game over….Series over.

Orange wins Game 2.

Orange had completed the magical run.

Orange was the 2015 10-11 Connecticut State Champions.

Orange the 2015 10-11 Connecticut Champions