Thursday, January 20, 2022

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Obituaries

Alden O. Sherman, 100

Alden Outram Sherman of Weston, a former Westport resident, entrepreneur, aerospace industry legend, machinist, inventor, and classic car collector, died Nov. 10 at Norwalk Hospital. He was 100.

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Alden Sherman: vintage car collector. Photo by Jo Shields

He was born to the late Avice Lauretta Rabbitt and Outram Willett Sherman on May 6, 1918 in Rye, New York. He and his family moved to Westport in 1947 and then to Weston in 1956.

He lived in the same Weston house at the time of his death. It had been built by a local carpenter, with only a handshake as the agreement. Even at the end of his life, he was known for the strength of that handshake.

He attended a one-room schoolhouse in Mahopac, New York and graduated from the high school there.

Thomas J. Murray, 94

Thomas J. Murray of Weston, a former Westport resident, died Nov. 17 at home. He was 94.

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Thomas Murray: advertising executive.. Contributed photo

Born March 12, 1924, he grew up in Bridgeport and graduated from Central High School. He went on to graduate from Dartmouth College in 1944.

His college years were interrupted by World War II, where he served in the Army Air Corps as a first lieutenant bombardier in the 8th AF 92 Airborne Bomb Group flying the B-17 Flying Fortress.

He flew 45 missions over Europe, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with three oak clusters and the European African Middle Eastern Service Medal.

Evan B. Dean, 88

Evan Benedict Dean of Westport, husband of Janice, his wife of 62 years, died Nov. 16 at Bridgeport Hospital. He was 88.

He was born in Alton, Illinois, son of Allen and Nancy Dean, and had been a resident of Westport for the past 44 years.

Before retiring in 2003, he was the chief administrative officer at Vector Capital Management LLC, a Norwalk-based financial services firm.

He was senior vice president of the Segal Group, a benefits, compensation and human resources consulting firm in Manhattan until 1995.

Jacquelyn M. Baker, 93

Jacquelyn M. Baker off Westport, wife of the late Gerald Baker for over 37 years, died Nov. 14 in Bridgeport Hospital. She was 93.

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Jacquelyn M. Baker: Staples graduate. Contributed photo

Born in Westport to the late Henry and Helen Rippe, she was a graduate of Staples High School and was a lifelong resident. Before her retirement, she was employed as an office manager with the Bridgeport Hydraulic Company.

She was an avid bowler from her high school days throughout her retirement. She was a regular on the golf course at Smith Richardson and the Par 3.

She enjoyed playing games and cards with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She looked forward to going to Rhode Island every summer with her children and grandchildren. What she enjoyed most in life was spending time with her family. 

Geraldine C. Epstein, 79

Geraldine “Geri” Connell Epstein of Westport and Palm Beach Gardens, Florida died Nov. 10 in New York City. She was 79.

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Geri Epstein: deeply committed to Westport. Contributed photo

She was born and raised in Queens, New York and earned her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees at Hunter College. She worked in the advertising industry and for the New York City Commission for the United Nations.

She and her husband moved to Westport more than 30 years ago, and although in recent years they were part-time residents, they remained deeply committed to the Westport community. 

A co-founder of the David and Geri Epstein Private Foundation, she provided college scholarships to Staples High School graduates, supported the construction of the new Levitt Pavilion, and was a sponsor of several Westport nonprofit organizations.

Janet Beasley, 82

UPDATE (adds memorial service details) Janet Beasley of Westport died Nov, 3 at home. The cause was chronic lymphocytic leukemia and lymphoma. She was 82.

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Janet Beasley: longtime Westporter. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

She was born on Nov. 30, 1935 in Berlin Germany. Her mother Kate Grybski was Jewish but her father Hans Grybski was not. 

Her father was a member of the German Army and as long as he was alive they were protected and allowed to live at home. 

When he was killed on the Russian front she and her mother were immediately sent to the concentration camp Terazin in Czechoslovakia because they were Jewish. 

Elizabeth Epifano, 85

Betsy Epifano, nee Elizabeth Margaret Byrnes, died Nov. 9 at The Jewish Home in Bridgeport. She was 85. Most recently she had been living with her daughter in Westport.

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Betsy Epifano: nursing graduate.  Contributed photo

She was born to James and Elizabeth Byrnes of Brooklyn, New York, on Dec. 18, 1932. She always liked to share that she was born on the dining room table. As an adult, she really hated preparing and serving formal meals — go figure.

After graduation from Bay Ridge High School on June 26, 1950, she attended Kings County Hospital School of Nursing, from which she graduated on June 11, 1953.

She became a nursing supervisor before she “retired” to family life, when she married Leonard Epifano. Their family grew to include three children and various pets, notably the family cat, Bentley, and, years later, the beloved dog, Scout.

Dale T. Wehmhoff, 57

UPDATE Dale Thomas Wehmhoff of Norwalk, a former Westport resident, died on Nov. 7 in Norwalk Hospital. He was 57.

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Dale Wehmhoff: hockey was his passion.Contributed photo

He was born in Harvey, Illinois, in 1961 and moved with his family to Westport in 1967. He attended Westport schools where he played basketball, baseball, and ice hockey, graduating from Staples High School in 1979.

It was his love of ice hockey, in particular, which led him to an assistant coaching job at the age of 18 with Staples High School and thereafter as a head coach with Norwalk High School.

A few short years later, Coach Dale took the Norwalk team to the state championship final, cementing his lifelong passion for coaching in the Fairfield County region.

Leslie G. Mills Jr., 68

Leslie “Jody” Goodsell Mills Jr. of Westport died suddenly on Oct. 30 in Norwalk Hospital. He was 68.

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Jody Mills Jr. : Westport native. Contributed photo

Born April 14, 1950 in Norwalk Hospital, he was raised at 177 Cross Highway and attended the Westport schools. He was a hard worker, a loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather.

He is survived by his wife Selva, his three children Sunny, Alex, Kevin, and his four grandchildren Faith, Anthony, Christopher, and Jestin. He was predeceased by his parents, Leslie and Marjorie Mills.

Harding Funeral Home, Westport, is in charge of arrangements. No service is being offered. There will be a private family burial

Selig Skolnick, 80

Selig “Sel” Skolnick of Mesa, Arizona, a former resident of Westport and Weston, died Oct. 29 in Phoenix of complications after heart surgery. He was 80.

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Sel Skolnick: actor. Contributed photo

Born in Brooklyn, New York to Diane and William Skolnick, he was the first of his family born in the United States.

He was a natural-born actor, beginning his career by attending the High School of Performing Arts in New York City.

After serving in the Army, he pursued his acting career in movies, theater, and television in New York City and Los Angeles.