Wednesday, September 22, 2021

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Obituaries

Kimberley G. Johnson, 73

The joint award was fitting because they were a unit, inseparable and tireless in their efforts to improve and serve the village where they planted their roots.

Kim, with her compassion, empathy, intelligence, generosity, kindness, love, honesty, and sense of humor, was one of God’s blessings. She served as an officer for multiple town boards, from zoning to trash. She was a life member of the Noank Volunteer Fire Department, having served for over 25 years as an EMT and fire police.

She was a foster mother who frequently took in strays, both two and four-legged. She served on the board of Noank Baptist Group Homes for many years as a champion for teens in need of residential stability. For over 40 years Kim was an active member of Noank Baptist Church, just up the hill from her house, raising her voice in song and using her talents to promote social justice throughout the world.

Kim and Ed were married on June 29, 1969, at her family’s homestead in North Pomfret, Vermont. Daughter Lacy joined the family in 1978.

Kim graduated from Westport’s Staples High School in 1964 as a National Merit Scholar and attended Beloit College in Wisconsin and Briarcliff College in New York, studying physical anthropology and chemistry.

In her professional career she worked for a number of companies, including Insurance of North America (INA) and AT&T. She retired in 2011 due to health issues, but service to her neighbors was her real career, and her commitment to improving all their lives never waned.

Kim is survived by her husband of 50 years, Edward Rice Johnson, by their daughter, in Lacy Kastner Johnson (Richard Libby), by her brothers, Wesley M. Graff III (Janet Young) and Chris Graff (Nancy Price Graff), both of Vermont, their children and grandchildren, as well as many other friends and family far and wide. She is also survived by her godmother, Dorianne Guernsey of Woodstock, Vermont. She was predeceased by her mother, Patricia Kastner Graff McCord, her father, Wesley Monteith Graff, Jr., and her stepfather, Bert McCord.

Kim liked nothing better than sitting with Ed on the Noank town dock watching the comings and goings of boats and tides. She loved gardening and feeding the birds who visited their yard. Like her husband, Kim was an outsized person with an outsized personality that captivated everyone she met. She loved laughing and living in the small corner of the world where she could—and did—make a big difference.

A celebration of Kim’s life will be held Saturday, March 7, at 1 p.m. at the Noank Baptist Church with a reception to follow in the vestry.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in her honor to an animal rescue organization, Noank Historical Society, or Noank Baptist Church.

Gary B. Wippick, 62

He thus began his long career in computers and network engineering working with major banks and brokerage houses including Wang Laboratories, Shearson/Lehman, American Express, Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Bank of America.

He recently ended his career by moving Affinion Group from their Trumbull location to Stamford this past summer. He was a computer engineer, network guru, data center designer, and all around jack of all computer trades.

Gary loved to tinker, build, and fix, particularly cars, motorcycles, clocks, and small engines. He loved to travel to Florida, Greece, Germany and Austria.

He was a skilled boater, both sail and power, and was taught to “drive using the stars” by his paternal grandfather Hans Wippich, who was a captain to the Vanderbilts in Palm Beach, Florida.

Gary was clever, kind, fair, calm, crafty, easygoing, helpful, humble, and the most loving and patient man. There wasn’t anything he couldn’t build or fix with his gifted hands: a house, a car, a boat, a lawn mower, any and every appliance.

God truly broke the mold after making this precious soul of a man. Gary had an inquisitive mind and was beyond brilliant — he possessed an encyclopedic knowledge of all topics, putting “Hey Google” and “Alexa” to shame.

He was predeceased by his mother Byrne Dolkos Wippick, his aunt Helen Wippich Greene and uncle Jerome D. Greene. He is survived by his father, Thomas H. Wippich, his sister Brenda Wippick Schmitz, his wife Maria Vailakis-Wippick, his son and daughter Thomas J. Wippick and Helena D. Wippick. Other relatives include aunts and uncles Ann and Eric Neidhardt, Denise and David Bays, cousins Phil Schneider, Cathy Schneider, John Wasley, David Bays and Angela Simonelli, and Becky and B.J. Leggieri.

A memorial service and reception following the service, is planned for Saturday Feb. 8 at 2 p.m. at Christ & Holy Trinity Church, 75 Church Lane.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Smilow Cancer Institute at Yale-New Haven in Gary B. Wippick’s name.

Ann E. Schaffer, 60

During her years in Bridgeport Ann was a familiar figure in Beardsley Park and the surrounding blocks, where she regularly walked her beloved Schipperke, Winter Moon. She had a generous spirit and was always willing to help a friend.

She loved photographing dogs and flowers. After starting cancer treatment Ann stayed for extended periods at Bridgeport Manor, where she was much loved by her fellow residents. 

During her long periods of illness, she passed the time with coloring and crafts projects. She received assistance from Helping Others to Succeed of Bridgeport, and loved and trusted her support people, Clotilda Adorno and Mellonie Williams.

Ann is survived by a brother, David (Nancy), of Clifton Park, New York; and a sister, Mary, of Tucson, Arizona.

A celebration-of-life memorial service will be held Saturday, Feb. 1 from 1 to 3 p.m., in Redgate—Hennessy Funeral Home, Main Street and Gorham Place, Trumbull, followed by a gathering at the Parallel Post Restaurant at the Trumbull Marriott Hotel.

Commemorative donations can be made to Helping Others to Succeed of Bridgeport at http://www.helpingotherstosucceed.com, or mailed to 1000 Lafayette Blvd, Bridgeport, CT 06604.

Rita A. Zavidow, 97

With her husband and continuing after his death, she traveled extensively around the world and, with her eye for beauty, built a collection of artistic treasures, particularly from several Asian and Pacific Rim countries.

She was a woman of great intelligence and style, with a larger than life personality. But her greatest gift was her generosity of heart: she became the “second mother,” trusted friend and confidante to men and women of all generations.

In the words of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.” Rita Zavidow had 20-20 vision.

She is survived by her one daughter, Marilyn Zavidow of Westport and an extended family of friends and relations including, Carole and Tony Mazzarella of Westport, Susan Silver of Fairfield, Stephen Pratt of Westport, Susan Lucks of New York City, Ann and Jack Dillon of Torrington, Jeffrey Earls of Black Rock, Terry Lupo of Norwalk and the remarkably kind and loving caregivers of the Carolton Hospital’s West Wing.

Graveside services were scheduled for Thursday,  Jan. 30 in Beth Israel Cemetery, Richards Avenue, Norwalk.

A Memorial Celebration is planned for May 2020 in Westport.

Robert J. McManus, 56

Most recently, Bob worked at BMW of Ridgefield in customer service.

He also enjoyed spending his time with the Westport and Norwalk emergency services groups and was a longtime member of the Westport Volunteer Fire Department.

Services will be private.

Memorial gifts may be made in Bob’s honor to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (https://www.firehero.org/).

For information or to sign an online register, please visit http://www.SpearFuneralHome.com.

Elefterious A. Schurman, Sr., 83

He and Ellie owned and operated a Carvel Ice Cream franchise on the Post Road in Westport. Later Ellie took over operation of the Carvel business when Al bought a tractor and trailer and began E.A. Schurman Services, hauling produce from farms as far away as Florida and Maine.

Al was especially proud of his ability to deliver fresh produce to market distributors in east coast cities, often driving all day and night and stopping for extra ice to keep the load fresh. He would often bring samples of his delivered produce home for his family to enjoy and for Al to judge freshness.

Al got off the road in 1979 and went into business repairing trucks and trailers, and later moved into light excavation and landscaping. Al never had to look for work; his phone rang because people knew of his abilities and work ethic.

When asked what he did for a living he would answer, “Whatever comes along.” Al had many hobbies. He loved to take his boat on Long Island Sound where he would fish, often from dawn to dusk. He enjoyed barbecuing for friends and family.

In the wintertime Al’s longing for “salt air and sunshine” would take him to friends and family in Florida for golf and fishing. Al was an accomplished and dedicated golfer, having once qualifying for a Senior PGA Tournament.

He built and operated radio-controlled planes and sailboats and was active in local clubs. The beauty of his models reflected his lifelong skill and craftsmanship. Later in life, Al took to the road on his Harley-Davidson, enjoying weekend club rides with Ellie.

Al was especially proud of mission work trips with Black Rock Congregational Church to Haiti and Guadalupe. He was able to fashion scant resources into shelters and water systems, a skill he attributed to his World War II childhood, about which he once smiled and said “I had some of my best days at the dump.”

Al was predeceased by is parents, as well as his brother John Schurman. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Eleanor (Faltings) Schurman, daughter Susan O’Donnell and son-in-law Mike O’Donnell, Jr. and their children, Caitlin, Shawn and Michael III O’Donnell; a son E.A. Schurman, Jr. and daughter-in-law Terri Schurman, and their daughters Taylor, Alexandra and Courtney Schurman; a son Thomas J. Schurman and daughter-in-law Andrea Schurman, and their children Adrianna and Thomas J. Schurman, Jr. , as well as several cousins, nieces and nephews.

Calling hours will be on Friday, Jan. 31 from 5-6:30 p.m. with a memorial from 6:30-7 p.m. at Spear-Miller Funeral Home, 39 South Benson Road, Fairfield.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation to Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research (http://www.alzinfo.org). For information or to sign an online register, please visit http://www.SpearFuneralHome.com.

Leonard M. Baker, 85

He is survived by his wife, Ruth Baker, his sons, Charles of New York, New York, Drew of White Plains, New York, Doug of Westport, and by his grandchildren, Matthew, Eric, Haley, Griffin, Daphne and Jacob.

Funeral services will be held on Monday, Jan. 27 at Temple Israel Cemetery in Norwalk.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society.

Edward Hahn, 71

Those lives touched by Ted Hahn were enriched by the experience.

Ted is survived by his son, James, daughter-in-law, Lily, three grandchildren, Jameson, Cameron, and Nina, his siblings, Mary Hahn, Poppy Hahn, Fritz Hahn, Deborah M. Woods, Martin Hahn, sister-in-law, Janet N. Hahn, brother-in-law, Chris, Woods and his nephews, Robert Woods and Gustavo Hahn, and nieces, Ashley W Hollister and Morgan. Woods. He was predeceased by his parents Frederic (Ted) and Ann Deely Hahn.

John J. Zwolinski, 92

After the war, John decided not to return to Poland but joined the Second Polish Corps stationed in Italy. He later immigrated to Britain with other members of the Corps in 1946.

John attended the University of London and later met and married his wife, Nancy, a Canadian. John and Nancy immigrated to Canada in 1953 where three of their six children were born.

In 1960, John and Nancy relocated to the United States and moved to Westport in 1962. John worked as a chemical engineer/economist for a number of firms in New York and the World Bank in Washington, D.C.

As a result of his work, John and Nancy traveled extensively throughout the world. After retiring from the World Bank, John was a board member of the Canada Newfoundland Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board.

Along with his wife, he continued to travel in his retirement often back to Warsaw, Poland. When not traveling, he enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren.

Friends are invited to attend a Memorial Mass on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 11 a.m. at the Church of the Assumption, 98 Riverside Ave., Westport. A military funeral will be held in Warsaw, Poland at a later date.