Monday, December 06, 2021

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Obituaries

Danielle L. Murrugarra, 73

Danielle L. Murrugarra,  former wife of Manuel T. Murrugarra of Westport, died July 6 at Norwalk Hospital. She was 73.

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Danielle Murrugarra: Peru native Contributed photo

Born July 29, 1945 and raised in Lima, Peru, Danielle was part of the first class of female police officers in Lima.

Though enrolled to study medicine, Danielle immigrated to the United States in 1965, where she married Manuel T. Murrugarra, having met in their adolescent years back in Peru.

Of strong character and work ethic, Danielle was a self-employed housekeeper and became a mother to two sons, Richard and Peter.

Douglas T. Dryburgh, 50

Douglas T. Dryburgh, a graduate of Staples High School, class of 1987, died recently after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 50.

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Douglas Dryburgh: Staples graduate Contributed photo

Douglas arrived in Westport from Palos Verdes, California as a sophomore.  He quickly adjusted to life at Compo Beach and became an intricate part of the lifeguard program.

His love of music lead to the creation of a band, Pseudo Blue.  They became an immediate success and the Battle of the Bands was created.

Douglas lasting effect on Staples High School is his founding of a charter for the Key Club, a Kiwanis organization.  This club today is the largest service organization at Staples.

Christina Tippit Brown, 94

Christina “Tina” Tippit Brown, writer, photographer, performer and longtime wife and collaborator of “The Wiz” librettist William F. Brown, died July 2 at her Westport home. She was 94.

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Tina Brown: writer Contributed photo

Brown started her writing career at the age of 19 while still attending Texas Tech University, seeing her comedic pieces published in The New Yorker and performed on “The Tonight Show.”

She went on to develop material for performers including Imogene Coca, George Gobel, Hermione Gingold and Virginia Graham. Over her long career, she authored screenplays, television projects and worked on TV’s “As the World Turns.”

With her late husband of 38 years, William F. Brown, she was co-librettist of the musical “Have a Nice Day,” co-author of the comedy “Mixed Doubles” and a musical revue, “Cole.” See full obituary HERE from Broadway.com.

Michael S. Towner, 69

Michael S.Towner of Wellsburg, New York, a former Westport resident, died June 26 after an extended illness. He was 69.

Mike was a self-employed mason. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army serving during Vietnam and was a member of the Lakewood Sportsman’s Club.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his second mother Janice Towner; sister Robin Scheepsma and brother Larry Towner. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Andrea (Rainey) Towner; daughters Melissa Healy of Jacksonville, FL and Heather (Vinny Spadaro) Towner of Ansonia, grandchildren Sgt. Patrick (Simone) Healy, U.S. Army, Yuma, AZ, Connor Healy of Daytona Beach, FL and Iris (Peter Ayala) Delgado of Cheshire; siblings Charles (Joyce) Towner III of Danbury, Wesley (Tonya) Towner of VanCleave, MS, Robert (Carol) Towner of Millerton, PA, Brenda (Howard) Alvoid of Horseheads, NY, Gail (Dan) Drake of Ulster, PA, Holly (Timothy) Roupp of Elmira; sister-in-law Kathy Towner of Meriden; brother-in-law Robert Scheepsma of Navarre, FL along with several nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, those wishing, may remember Mike through donations to Guthrie Cancer Center, One Guthrie Sq., Sayre, PA 18840

Anne S. Jacques, 94

Anne Strick Jacques, a former Westport resident, died on May 30 after a brief illness. She was 94.

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Anne Jacques: former Westporter Contributed photo

Anne grew up in California and attended Stanford University, where she met her future husband, Harry Strick. Harry’s career took him to southeast Asia for 25 years. After he proposed to her from Indonesia, Anne boarded a Dutch freighter and sailed to the south seas to join him.

They lived in Indonesia, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Malaysia. Their five children were born in southeast Asia.

In 1968, the family moved to Westport. Harry died in 1987 and in 1990 Anne married Ted Jacques. Anne and Ted traveled the world together.

Thomas F. Moore, 66

Thomas F. Moore of Clinton, New York died June 23 at home. He was 66.

Born in Gardner, Massachusetts, Tom graduated from Staples High School in Westport and St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York.

He pursued his childhood ambition of being a commercial airline pilot, logging early flight hours at Pilgrim Airlines, Connecticut and later, locally at Empire Airlines. He flew for People Express, USAirways and finally, American Airlines, with a tenure there of more than 33 years and achieving the rank of captain on the Airbus 319, 320 and 321.

His love of aviation also led to sailplane and floatplane ratings and to owning several private aircraft over the years, culminating with a restored Cessna 170 taildragger hangered at Hamilton, New York.

Jean L. Simons, 87

Jean L. Simons of Westport, wife of the deceased Ted Simons, “Westport’s Music Man,” died on June 22. She was 87.

Born in Norwich, she attended Eastern State University and then attended Columbia University receiving a Master of Arts degree.

She had a varied career life. She danced in night clubs before becoming a teacher, worked as a bookkeeper for an advertising agency while attending Columbia, then combined teaching and dance in NYC, teaching dance and movement classes. She went on to doing costumes for Industrial shows and helping her husband to produce shows. She lived in NYC for 30 years before making Westport the family home.

Her husband quoted that “she had a great love for life and a wild sense of humor.” Ted Simons died in 2017 at age 84. (See obituary HERE.)

Garry H. Meyers, 89

Garry H. Meyers of Stratford died June 11 at home. He was 89.

He was a teacher, a storyteller, and a marriage and family therapist, but most important, he was the beloved husband of Donna Rae Hitt Meyers for 51 years, and father to Liese Meyers Niedermayer, Jennifer Meyers (Mark), Adam Meyers (Ingrid), Melissa Fable Dempsey, Kimberly Fable, and Chaz Fable (Valeria). Garry was predeceased by his youngest daughter, Rebekah Meyers Aronson.

Garry was born on June 26, 1930, to Henry L. and Mary Shattuck Meyers in Bridgeport. After graduating Warren G. Harding High School in 1948, Garry attended Dartmouth, earning a membership in Phi Beta Kappa while there and the distinction of Magna Cum Laude as a graduate in 1952.

Garry was a veteran of the Korean conflict, and earned a master’s degree in education from the University of Bridgeport in 1956 on the GI Bill. He taught English at Staples High School in Westport and was a principal of the firm Tape Book, before creating the first public high school special education program for emotionally disturbed adolescents in the state of Connecticut.

Gregory Katz, Journalist, 67

Gregory Katz, an acclaimed correspondent for The Associated Press in London and Staples High School class of 1971 graduate, died June 23. He had been ill in recent months and had contracted COVID-19. He was 67.

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Gregory Katz: Staples graduate AP photo

An AP obituary said his career over four decades took him across the globe, from Latin America to Africa, Asia to Russia, the Middle East and Western Europe.

He was part of the team in 1994 that won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting at The Dallas Morning News for a series on violence against women around the world.

A native of Westport, Katz also wrote frequently about music, particularly his lifelong passion for rock ’n’ roll. He was the only journalist inside the Dakota Apartments on the night in 1980 when John Lennon was murdered and wrote a definitive account of the killing for Rolling Stone magazine.

Eva M. Wiener, 92

Eva Michel Wiener of New York City and Westport died at home on June 17. She was 92.

Eva was born in Hamburg, Germany and fled with her family to Enghien les Bains, France, during World War II. Educated at La Sorbonne in Paris, Eva was fluent in English, German and French.

Eva worked as a translator for the Marshall Plan, the U.S. Air Force at Fontainebleau, and later, translated engineering and architectural programs for EUCOM in Orleans, France.

Eva was a lover of good food and was also an excellent cook. She managed the gourmet food boutique at The Common Market in Westport with Martha Stewart in 1976.