Thursday, December 31, 2009

"Connie Hines, rivaled ‘Mr. Ed’ for Wilbur’s attention; at 78"

LOS ANGELES - Connie Hines, an actress on the 1960s television show “Mr. Ed,’’ died Friday at her home in Beverly Hills. A native of Dedham, Mass., she was 78.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Figuratively speaking, I think.

"She will always be remembered as an exceptional cook. Her specialties being her famous Pierogi's and Golomki's which no one could get enough of."

Monday, December 28, 2009

It's the simple pleasures that count.

"He spent his life loving his family and rooting for the Boston Red Sox."

Saturday, December 26, 2009

So begins his obit, written in his own hand. Don't miss it.

"I'm dead of lung cancer at age 69, after 34 years of not smoking, anything. It's one of life's little editorial comments. What an eye-opener life turned out to be!"

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"The Mets were his team until ..."

"He loved being outdoors and taking care of his lawn and garden. He was an avid gardener and his garden's tomatoes were the best. He loved watching baseball and football. The NY Mets were his team, until they did poorly every year, at which point he would become a Tampa Bay Rays fan. His interests were movies and reading. Whenever his grandson, Bradley, would bring him a book Carl would always put down whatever he was doing and read it to him. Carl also loved being in the backyard playing with Bradley's dog, Tabitha."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"His recollections were of spectacle."

"OLD ORCHARD BEACH — George Wesley Shorey, a local businessman who for years after his retirement headed up the town's beach-cleaning crew, died Friday at the age of 96.

"Mr. Shorey, called "GW" by those close to him and "Grampy" by the younger members of his extended family, had the good fortune to spend most of his long life in Old Orchard Beach, accumulating a wealth of memories and fondness.

"His recollections were of spectacle.

"Mr. Shorey was working as a Western Union boy when in 1927, Charles Lindbergh, possibly the most famous person in the United States at the time, set down his airplane on the beach because it was too foggy to find the Portland airfield.

"Mr. Shorey used to show movies out on The Pier, and could tell stories of seeing some of the biggest names on the big band scene, giants like Duke Ellington and Count Basie."


(H/T to Sarah Mahoney)

Monday, December 21, 2009

That about says it all, doesn't it.

"New London - Samuel A. E. Kalil, 97, died Thursday morning, Dec. 17, 2009, at Bayview Health Care Center in Waterford, after a long, happy life filled with family, hard work, corny jokes, and lots of bowling."

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sam was a demon whistler!

"Children loved Sam and asked him to come out to play; he used a lot of vinegar building excellent rockets. He relished limericks, puns and Edward Gorey. He delighted in a good joke, though no one told a joke more ineptly. He loved Mozart, 'Candide,' and Kurt Weil. He gave to every street musician he met and was a demon whistler. Sam never said no to Patti Cooke’s peach pie, he made a mean Chicken Cacciatore, and his skill with an oyster knife was legendary."

(H/T to The Wellfleet NonResident Taxpayers Association)

Friday, December 18, 2009

He'd have liked this weekend!

"He enjoyed weather watching and recorded daily weather conditions for over 30 years. He also enjoyed gardening, reading about and practicing good nutrition, and sharing those ideas with everyone around him. He loved a good conversation and a lively discussion. He was very proud of his upbringing in a diverse neighborhood in Buffalo where he learned to appreciate and respect people of all cultures and ethnicities."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

First and last grafs: Great writing. Enjoy!

"Dollars to doughnuts, Robert H. Rines will be mainly remembered not for holding more than 800 patents, starting a law school or writing music for the stage, but for his dogged pursuit of the Loch Ness monster.

"His inventions that live on include a way to use ultrasound radiation to treat cataracts that he conceived while having his own eyes examined several years ago. His dream of inventing something to stop tornadoes never materialized."

Click here to read the whole thing.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

She was a good luck charm for the teams!

"'Ma Bean' drove bus #14 for the East Lyme School system for over 20 years and was best known as the good luck charm for both the baseball and football teams at the high school."

Saturday, December 12, 2009

5,739 recipes. Count 'em!

"Having grown up cooking for her family by age 11, Rosie developed into a creative and talented chef who served up delicious delicacies using ingredients from the family garden. Throughout her life, she catalogued 5,739 recipes."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

"Homemade with love" was her middle name

"She was also a fantastic cook and baker who could always be found in the kitchen cooking big meals for her family. "Homemade with love" was Donna's middle name."

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

From out Fargo, N.D., way, a real keeper of a man!

"His name was Warren. He was a small round fellow with a braying laugh and a loud voice whose tenor tone could atomize cement; there was never any doubt that Warren had arrived at the party. If you wanted to assemble a cliche of a loud guy who told jokes and laughed at his own and sucked up all the energy in the room, you might think Warren was a suitable template – until you met him.

"If he laughed at his jokes, it’s because they were funny. If he raked the room with tommy-gun patter, it’s because he was dealing with a bunch of taciturn mokes who needed some inspiration. He was the most exuberantly extroverted man I knew growing up, and he was also the least overbearing. Warren was a delightful man. He blazed."

From out Fargo, N.D., way, a real keeper of a man!

"His name was Warren. He was a small round fellow with a braying laugh and a loud voice whose tenor tone could atomize cement; there was never any doubt that Warren had arrived at the party. If you wanted to assemble a cliche of a loud guy who told jokes and laughed at his own and sucked up all the energy in the room, you might think Warren was a suitable template –- until you met him.

"If he laughed at his jokes, it’s because they were funny. If he raked the room with tommy-gun patter, it’s because he was dealing with a bunch of taciturn mokes who needed some inspiration. He was the most exuberantly extroverted man I knew growing up, and he was also the least overbearing. Warren was a delightful man. He blazed."

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

An avid listener of talk radio

"Mrs. Valakos was a homemaker who enjoyed cooking and trying new recipes. She was also a backyard bird-watcher and an avid listener of talk radio."

Monday, December 7, 2009

His little dog, Chichi ... sweet!

"Scooter had a unique personality, once you met him, you'd never forget him. He was mechanically inclined and loved John Deere, old trucks, GMC 1983, his dream truck, tractors and anything diesel, heavy equipment.

"Fall and winter were his favorite seasons. He couldn't wait for the first snowstorm. He loved going out in the wee hours to snowplow.

"Besides his mother and grandparents, he leaves his aunt and uncle, Donna and Philip Houk, his uncle, Allyn; his cousins, Adam Houk, Emily and Joseph Tinnel, Angel and Gina; great aunts and uncles; cousins; many special friends and especially his little dog, Chichi, who he loved so much; woof woof."

Saturday, December 5, 2009

"Tight as ticks" I love it!

"Her parents were Rollin and Vera DeWolfe and she and her two sisters were tight as ticks. Sister Mary Jane King died in 2007, and her sister and dearest friend Shirley Avery died in 2008."

Friday, December 4, 2009

Dancing the salsa in the wind

"Debra's earthly remains will be taken to St. Johns, U.S. Virgin Islands where she looked forward to owning a condo. There she will dance the salsa in the wind and the waves on the shore forever."

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

She knew how to enjoy life with grace

"She was a hard worker, overseeing a household and assisting her husband in his law practice. She enjoyed physical labor and, with the exception of the past several months, possessed the energy of a much younger woman. She loved ironing, which she did almost daily, hanging clothes to dry on the line upon spring's arrival, and particularly relished working in her yard. In summer months, she could be spotted atop her riding mower, sun visor on her head, tending to her vast lawn.

"She cherished life's simple pleasures, kitchen-table chats, backyard cookouts and rides with her beloved sisters to Watch Hill or Stonington Point for the views.

"Her home was always tastefully decorated for seasonal holidays, specifically Christmas, her favorite. She was a wonderful hostess and cook, and her 4th of July celebrations, in honor of her own and our nation's birthday, featured fireworks and patriotic sing-alongs and were a summer highlight among family and friends for the past forty years.

"One of her greatest attributes was her humility, an admirable quality so often lacking in today's society. She was quiet and graceful, and lived her life in service to her family."

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Won a few dollars at gin rummy -- and the lottery

"He truly loved his many friends and occasionally won a few dollars at gin rummy. He was blessed with good luck and had the distinction of winning the State Lottery in 1973."

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thursday nights'll never be the same

"Ida was a wonderful mother and homemaker, and life-long Red Sox fan. She instilled many important values in her family, one of which was to make the community part of her family, and her family part of the community.

"Her doors and house were always open to those who were hungry or who had no place to stay. People from as far away as China, Germany, Italy, and Russia have graced her table and knew of her hospitality. Thursday nights were her most favorite time for family and friends to gather as she hosted her spaghetti and meatball dinners with multiple home made desserts."

Thursday, November 26, 2009

An oldie but goodie: Great lede!

"Selma Koch, a Manhattan store owner who earned a national reputation by helping women find the right bra size, mostly through a discerning glance and never with a tape measure, died Thursday at Mount Sinai Medical Center. She was 95 and a 34B."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Way to go! New wordage

"prebituary
n. An obituary composed or published prior to a person's death; a prediction of failure, particularly of a political candidate. Also: pre-bituary.
"

Hat tip to Thom Forbes for this one. Just this morning, thinking on this, I coined a word: Autobituary. When you write your own obituary. Like?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Memories of Niantic

"Bobby's fondest memories were of Niantic and England."

Monday, November 23, 2009

She loved to read and laugh

"Adele was interested in art and antiques, needle point, gardens, horseback riding in Wyoming, and she loved to read and laugh."

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Started each day with a bowl of oatmeal ...

"Harvey was a second generation steamfitter and a proud member of the Plumbers and Pipefitters Union Local 777 for 58 years. He was an avid fisherman, loved gardening and the great outdoors, and is well known for starting each day with a bowl of oatmeal and a crossword puzzle."

Friday, November 20, 2009

Think I've heard that one ...

"His family would like to thank the Groton Senior Center and Shoreline Day Care for their kindness through the years and to all the people who listened to his 'European' joke, thank you."
""

His family would like to thank the Groton Senior Center and Shoreline Day Care for their kindness through the years and to all the people who listened to his "European" joke, thank you.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The dash between the dates

"Bennett, Clark Lynn
September 10, 1939
-
November 14, 2009
His incredible life's story is the dash between dates. That dash represents all the time he spent alive on earth, and everyone who knew him knows what that little line is worth.
He loved and was loved."

(Thanks to Nina Murphy, who found this in the Daily Breeze in Southern California.)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

One white rat?

"Her early childhood was greatly influenced by World War II, in which her father served on Navy ships in the Pacific. In her teens and early adulthood, her life was one of a traditional Southern debutante in the post-World War II U.S. Navy world. She was known for her beauty, as her mother and maternal grandmother had been before her, and she won various beauty contests during her time at the University of New Mexico, from which she graduated in 1956. Far more importantly, however, as throughout her life, she was always an extremely strong-minded, outgoing, charismatic person, with an agile intellect and an out-sized and vivid personality; she was a formidable force to be reckoned with in any setting.

"Beginning in the late 1960s, she became increasingly involved in various progressive causes, first and foremost, feminism, but she was also strongly committed to civil rights, peace and environmental causes as well. Among other things, she wrote a column on feminism during the 1970s for a New London Submarine Base newsletter, and taught adult education on the same topic at Robert E. Fitch Senior High School of Groton as well. She was deeply involved in the 1968 presidential campaign of Eugene McCarthy. After her divorce, she decided to adopt the Bonney surname as a symbol of her commitment to feminist principles; it was the maiden name of her much-loved paternal grandmother, after whom she had been named, Winifred Bonney Davis, a suffragette.

"Ms. Bonney had several careers. Before her first marriage, she taught third grade in Pensacola, Fla. During her children's younger years, she was a stay-at-home mother. After her divorce, from 1976 to 1999, she worked as an editor for the Bureau of Business Practice, a division of Prentice-Hall. She held several positions in the local government of Groton. She also served on the Old Lyme Wetlands Commission from 1995 to 1998.

"For the remaining four decades of her life, she continued to be a fearless and passionate advocate of her views regarding the political and social issues of her day; indeed, despite declining health over the last decade, she remained deeply involved in, and vocal about, the many issues about which she fervently cared. She was a gifted writer and editor, a voracious reader, as well as a lover of crossword puzzles and double acrostics. She was also an artist and craftsperson (oil painting and knitting) and deeply interested in the arts. Moreover, she was a great animal lover. Her many pets over the years included many dogs, cats, birds, and tropical fish, and one white rat. In addition, she also was an avid traveler, visiting Europe and Israel in her thirties; she and Mr. Chester also travelled widely, visiting among other countries Sweden, Belize, Mexico, England, Wales, Italy, and Egypt."

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Not many like to walk in the rain; he did

"He loved everything about the outdoors and walking in the rain was something he would often do."

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My sister and I would like to have known Edna

"Groton - Edna F. Wernau, 87, of 425 Drozdyk Drive, Groton, scratched her final ticket Wednesday, June 24, 2009, and won a spot in heaven.
"Edna was blessed with a sharp wit and keen sense of humor into her final days and often joked that she would gladly trade in all her pills for just one Brandy Alexander. She enjoyed romance novels, Wind Song perfume, and scratch-off tickets, and provided an endless supply of Mentos to her friends and loved ones."

Friday, November 13, 2009

Relish: Adverb, noun or both?

"She was happiest when she was with her family and friends, cooking and baking for everyone, making pinucchi fudge, performing seamstress work, and eating a grilled hot dog with relish."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Her sense of humor was particularly droll

"Fran's early experiences in the military generated a life-long love of travel, and she was particularly enamored of Ireland, England, Italy and India. An avid reader, she had wide ranging interests and a lively curiosity, always alert to the vicissitudes of the 21st century while firmly rooted in the values and ethical precepts of her New England upbringing. And her strength in the face of medical adversity was exemplary, having survived two bouts of cancer as well as lesser ailments with determination and dignity. Her sense of humor was particularly droll, with the result that conversations were laced with piquant observations and pointed commentary. She was a staunch ally, a generous friend, and a loving mother."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Jessica's "unique squeaky voice"

"Wherever she was, Jessica's zest for fun, enthusiastic energy, unique squeaky voice, and contagious laughter brought smiles to those around her."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

He was ready to fix anything broken

"From an early age Don loved to fix things. In a photo of "Donnie" at about three years old he shows off his treasured "suitcase" of tools and string, ready, even then, for any opportunity to put them to helpful use. Friends remember that he always kept a toolbox in his car so that he would be ready to fix anything broken or work on any project where his help was needed. He is also remembered for mending problems with his thoughtful listening and caring help, which he kept at the ready for everyone."

Monday, November 9, 2009

He disdained moderation in all things

"As he grew to young manhood, so did his love for everything physical and anything outdoors. A parade of outdoor sporting gear--bikes, skateboards, wake boards, snow boards--seemed constantly to attach and re-attach itself to his feet. He was Austin-grown, through and through, a perfect fit for this city and its surrounding terrain. He did nothing at half-speed, knew no half-measures and disdained moderation in all things."

"As he grew to young manhood, so did his love for everything physical and anything outdoors. A parade of outdoor sporting gear--bikes, skateboards, wake boards, snow boards--seemed constantly to attach and re-attach itself to his feet. He was Austin-grown, through and through, a perfect fit for this city and its surrounding terrain. He did nothing at half-speed, knew no half-measures and disdained moderation in all things."

Sunday, November 8, 2009

"Whether it was piling the neighborhood children into a car for a day at the beach, taking power walks through town, or quietly practicing Tai Chi, Dorothy used the time given her with grace, good humor and indomitable spirit."

Saturday, November 7, 2009

He had a chocolate one instead

"He had routines he used to follow and one of them was going to Dunkin Donuts. They treated him greatly. His favorite thing at Dunkin Donuts was a Great One Black, a chocolate coconut and a rainbow sprinkle chocolate top and butternut donuts. If they didn't have the coconut one, he had a double chocolate instead."

Saturday, October 31, 2009

In the end, she was a pip

"Betty was a natural cook who loved nothing more than gathering her family for a meal. She was a quick study with a love of witty banter. She also loved to dance and often performed a soft-shoe tap routine in her kitchen. Short of stature, she vowed to come back as a Rockette at Radio City Musical Hall and invites all to look for her there. Whenever a gathering of friends came to visit, you could count on her to get everyone singing. She worked on crossword puzzles until the day she died.

"Her Maine accent was a family treasure. When the Red Sox made it to the World Series in 2004, she said that if they won against those damn Yankees, she’d be ready to go. She was, in the end, a pip."

Thursday, October 29, 2009

In honor of the World Series, four baseball fans

"She loved reading, her garden, and birds. She also loved to travel, especially her Opera Tour to Europe. She was an avid New York Yankees fan."
____________________________________________________________

"Tom was a lighthouse collector, enjoyed watching the Red Sox and Patriots, using his computer and spending time with his family."
____________________________________________________________

"Paul enjoyed the simple pleasures of life whether it was a Yankees game, a good cup of coffee, a fish dinner (his favorite!), or a ride down Main Street, Niantic."
____________________________________________________________

"SACO — Arthur McInnis loved the New York Yankees. His wife loved the Boston Red Sox. ... But Jean fell in love with Arthur, they married and for the next 62 years, they waged their annual battles. ... On Thursday, Jean McInnis held her husband's hand as he passed away."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Loved teams from Calif. except for two

"He was a former tuba player in Auburn's Marching Band. His musical interests were broad and eclectic, encompassing everything from Brahms to Brubeck, Count Basie, the Doobie Brothers, and Sir Elton John. His love of American popular composers in performance found satisfaction in the Music Circus. His literary interests were likewise diverse; he read everyone from Faulkner to Borges, Sax Rohmer to Flannery O'Connor, Gerard Manley Hopkins to William Stafford. His longing to experience the fine arts inspired travel to the world's greatest cities, museums, concert halls and opera houses. His love of sports included a passion for all things Notre Dame, and a love of all teams from California (except the Dodgers and USC)."

Monday, October 26, 2009

She loved blue crabbing

"Lucie enjoyed animals, especially cats. She also loved life, blue crabbing, seafood and most of all, spending time with her family."

Saturday, October 24, 2009

She told the best family stories ... and secrets

"Reather loved people. She was warm, friendly, caring and fun to be around. When there was laughter, there was Reather in the center of it all. She told the best family stories and secrets. She loved to travel, dance and sing."

Friday, October 23, 2009

Higher praise there never wert

"David R. Hinkle was a happy man, a hardworking entrepreneur, a loyal friend, a real patriot, and a solid family man. In uniform he was more than a capable mariner; he was that, of course, but also a great deal more. He was technologically competent, militarily innovative, and a real leader of men."

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A strong and diverse woman

"She was a strong and diverse woman. She loved to travel abroad, was a strong swimmer, and until ten years ago, she was still skiing. She was an avid reader even after losing her sight, she would listen to books on tape."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What a Renaissance kind of guy!

"He enjoyed skiing in Vermont, sailing on Long Island Sound, and traveling in Europe and the Caribbean.

"As a young man, George was employed by Pfizer and also was the owner and manager of Scacciaferro's Excavating Business from 1952 until his successful retirement at the age of 46. He moved to East Lyme in the early 1960s and became a flourishing land developer. He worked throughout southeastern Connecticut with projects including Olde Mistick Village and Tweed Airport. Many streets and roads in East Lyme were named by George.

"George was affectionately known by his family and friends as the "World Conqueror." Upon his retirement, George developed his legacy, Pond Mere Farm in East Lyme where he built the home, barn, and gardens. He dug a four-acre pond, becoming a licensed fishery where he enjoyed fishing with his grandchildren. For a period of time, George and his first wife, Barbara, raised championship French Alpine dairy goats, traveled to goat shows throughout the country and placed in the Top Ten in the Grand National Championships. He was a member of National Dairy Goat Association.

"As a hobby in later years, George, "The Wood Man", designed and built a number of world class wood splitters for sale and personal use. George also enjoyed buying and refurbishing trucks and antique tractors. He was an avid storyteller and his tales will be sadly missed by all who knew him."

Monday, October 19, 2009

Yet another way to put it

"Westerly - Ian Geoffrey Robin MacLaury, an artist and illustrator of great whimsy, and prolific philatelist, had his final closing in the morning of Monday, July 6, 2009, at the Westerly Hospital, surrounded by family, dear friends, and life companion, Kathleen Harkins. His struggle with cancer was conducted with great courage and stoicism, greater, perhaps, than loved ones may have wished."

Friday, October 16, 2009

A satisfied real estate broker

"He found satisfaction as a real estate broker helping families find homes in Rockland County, N.Y., after the Tappan Zee Bridge was built across the Hudson River. His wood sculpture has been exhibited in area galleries and his wood carving talent can be seen locally on the pediment of the Mystic and Noank Library, the eagle and Liberty cap at the top of the Mystic flagpole and several hand carved, gilded commercial signs in the Mystic area."

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Joe was simply a good man.

"He had a passion for swimming and would swim for miles at Pleasure Beach in water temperatures fit only for polar bears. In his later years, he could be found nearly every morning at the Waterford High School pool. Joe was simply a good man. He gave much and asked little. He loved unconditionally. Joe will be especially remembered for his outgoing, happy personality and the kindness he showed to all he encountered. Joe was blessed in life, achieving all of his goals with ease."

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fireworks on her birthday

"She was born on the Fourth of July 1929, in Norwich. Her birthday was always a great source of pride for her and since childhood considered the festivities her own personal birthday party. … Jeanne lovingly embraced her extended family and friends by acknowledging all special occasions with cards."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My all-time favorite obituary lede

"Groton - The naturally-selected DNA of Dr. Kevin Rice Jones, 85, Groton has run its course.

"With nicknames from his Navy days 'Available Jones,' family 'Ol' Bear' and locally 'KJ,' 'KR,' Jones loved sailing, playing (and all things) tennis, the UConn women's basketball team, his tools and gadgets, skiing, playing bridge and poker, computing, his annual vacations to visit beloved friends in Westport, N.Y., reading, and living life in a way that defies description.

"Among his many memorable experiences: jumping off a roof onto a trampoline, several ocean sailing trips, being on a Selma march with Dr. Martin Luther King, constructing a 90-pound ping-pong table, building a slot-car racetrack, coaching volleyball at the University of Kansas (and recruiting Wilt Chamberlain), creating a 'teaching machine,' being nationally ranked for his age-group in racquetball, and buying an ultralight plane at age 82.

"A member of Mensa, Jones was a lifelong defender of going barefoot, a habit begun as a child in idyllic times on a Lake George, N.Y. island."

Monday, October 12, 2009

A thoroughly modern obit

"Her email signature sums up what was most important to her, simply and elegantly, 'Love & Family. Embrace them.' Indeed, her hugs will be sorely missed."

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Big fan of the 'Duke'

"In his spare time, he loved to fish and bowl, and he enjoyed watching westerns, especially those featuring John Wayne."

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Teach and Jean

"Teach was a ferocious reader of history and politics and loved to share his great knowledge with family and friends (living up to his nickname "Teach"). He also had a passion for the sea where he will be buried. His love of classical and big band music touched his soul deeply. Teach and his siblings sang for many years as a family tradition. His family and friends enjoyed many gatherings of laughter and debates throughout the years with Teach. He was never at a loss for words or a gut wrenching burst of laughter. He lived a wonderful life with the love of his life, Jean, for almost 60 years."

Friday, October 9, 2009

Still at it in her 80s

"Well into her late 80s she would still correct speakers in their grammar."

Thursday, October 8, 2009

How poetic

"Roger lived a life that was filled with family and friends he truly loved, laughter that, at times, made him cry, and adventure that took his breath away. His life was filled to overflowing and no regrets were left behind."

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Wow, you read about tsunamis ...

"Old Lyme - Thomas James Douglas Jr., 60, of Old Lyme, passed away on Oct. 4, 2009, at his home with his family by his side.

He is predeceased by his father, Thomas James Douglas Sr., and his mother-in-law, Fofoga Timoteo, who died on Oct 1, 2009, a victim of American Samoa Tsunami."

Wow, the timing here is so sad

"Old Lyme - Thomas James Douglas Jr., 60, of Old Lyme, passed away on Oct. 4, 2009, at his home with his family by his side.

He is predeceased by his father, Thomas James Douglas Sr., and his mother-in-law, Fofoga Timoteo, who died on Oct 1, 2009, a victim of American Samoa Tsunami."

Monday, October 5, 2009

Farmington River ducks were fed

"Mario had a full career in the restaurant business, but carried his passion for good food and company with him everywhere and in all aspects of life. He could be found on any given afternoon of his retired life strolling through Farmington on his bike, playing golf with his grandsons, or enjoying a meal and story telling with his family. ... Memorial contributions can be made in lieu of flowers to Farmington River Watershed Association ... in light of Mario's love for the Farmington River, where he enjoyed to bring his daughters, grandchildren, a fishing pole and bread to feed the ducks."

(Thanks to Onella Gayraud, whose daughter wrote this obit for her grandfather.)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Coupla white lies?

There are eight million stories in the Naked City -- and, evidently, a couple of little white lies:

Burke obituary: The obituary of actor Paul Burke that appeared in Section A on Sept. 15 quoted Burke in a 1963 interview in which he said he did numerous stunts on the TV series "Naked City," including once climbing to the top of the 59th Street Bridge in New York City and, on another occasion, jumping from one roof to another. Max Kleven, who was the stuntman on "Naked City" and Burke's stunt double, said he did all of the stunts for Burke, including the two mentioned.

(Thanks, Thom Forbes!)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Kickapoo Juice, anyone?

"They traveled many places together and enjoyed jumping in the car to 'go for a ride'. Of course, if they just happened to pass a casino and Virginia could play her nickel slots, so much the better! Virginia had an insatiable curiosity and was always interested in learning new things and exploring new ideas. She was a wonderful cook, displaying her talent for preparing delicious seafood recipes from her native New England and sharing them with friends and family. She was the resident expert on vitamins and healthy eating and was always ready with a dose of her famous 'Kickapoo Juice' if anyone she cared about came down with a sniffle!"

"Whether it was piling the neighborhood children into a car for a day at the beach, taking power walks through town, or quietly practicing Tai Chi, Dorothy used the time given her with grace, good humor and indomitable spirit."

Kickapoo Juice, anyone?

"They traveled many places together and enjoyed jumping in the car to "go for a ride". Of course, if they just happened to pass a casino and Virginia could play her nickel slots, so much the better! Virginia had an insatiable curiosity and was always interested in learning new things and exploring new ideas. She was a wonderful cook, displaying her talent for preparing delicious seafood recipes from her native New England and sharing them with friends and family. She was the resident expert on vitamins and healthy eating and was always ready with a dose of her famous "Kickapoo Juice" if anyone she cared about came down with a sniffle!"

Kickapoo Juice, anyone?

"

They traveled many places together and enjoyed jumping in the car to "go for a ride". Of course, if they just happened to pass a casino and Virginia could play her nickel slots, so much the better!

Virginia had an insatiable curiosity and was always interested in learning new things and exploring new ideas. She was a wonderful cook, displaying her talent for preparing delicious seafood recipes from her native New England and sharing them with friends and family. She was the resident expert on vitamins and healthy eating and was always ready with a dose of her famous "Kickapoo Juice" if anyone she cared about came down with a sniffle!

Kickapoo Juice, anyone?

"They traveled many places together and enjoyed jumping in the car to 'go for a ride.' Of course, if they just happened to pass a casino and Virginia could play her nickel slots, so much the better!

"Virginia
had an insatiable curiosity and was always interested in learning new things and exploring new ideas. She was a wonderful cook, displaying her talent for preparing delicious seafood recipes from her native New England and sharing them with friends and family. She was the resident expert on vitamins and healthy eating and was always ready with a dose of her famous "Kickapoo Juice" if anyone she cared about came down with a sniffle!"

Thursday, October 1, 2009

What will your obit say about you?

Early responses to our latest poll indicate a strong preference for being remembered as one whose Facebook posts “always provoked a response.” Sixty-six percent of respondents chose that answer to “What will your obit say about you?”

One-third would like to be remembered as “a champion Scrabble player.”

How about you? Vote today!

'A brilliant conversationalist.' Nice.

"Amy was well known to so many as a superior culinary expert, queen of the kitchen. She was widely renowned for knitting prowess, making everything from mittens and hats for charity to very elaborate Afghans that she gave to many. She was a brilliant conversationalist, and her sense of humor was legendary."

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

If you doubted obits are a-changin' ...

"North Stonington - Vilma Justine Carocari, daughter of Noah R. Carocari and Aristea Baruffaldi Carocari was born on May 25, 1931, and passed Sept. 27, 2009.

"So long everybody! I'm headed for a new adventure. If I can figure out the trick, I'll send back a post card, or something. In any case, stay alert, be on the lookout.

"I wish I could have lingered a little longer because I really didn't get to finish the "to do" stuff on my life list. But I did put quite a dent in it. I started out by arriving here on Earth right in the middle of the Great Depression, later followed by the incredible experience of World War II. As a kid, I lovingly raised a passel of beautiful little animals, and throughout my life helped many animals in the wild regain their freedom and their health; proudly owned a great, branded western work horse named Toby; learned and loved to operate not only automobiles but also trucks, buses, snow plows and earth moving equipment; graduated from the University of Connecticut (and still root for our great UConn teams); in the late 40s, drove with a couple of college buddies in my 1930 Model A Roadster all the way to Niagara Falls - WOW!; proudly worked for the U.S. government in magnificent Washington D.C. for about seven years; motored around the breathtaking Gaspe Peninsula with my sister, Noemi, in my old Jeepster; sailed the great Atlantic in the wonderful old cruise ships Maasdam and Leonard da Vinci and spent a couple of years in Europe, including visiting the beautiful Italian Dolomite mountain valley where my father was born; drove the old Jeepster coast to coast all around the U.S. taking in all the sights; participated in numerous camping horseback trail rides in our spectacular Rocky Mountains; played out my "Jack London fantasies" by learning to drive sled dogs across the frozen Alaskan wilderness, in the dead of winter (and brought home a one month old baby sled dog for a souvenir - better than a picture place!); spent some time traveling the Far East; became a teacher for 29 years in the town of Stonington; sailed to the exact location where the Titanic met its doom and paid my respects while floating there above its remains; traveled to the Canadian Arctic and Greenland with my great niece, Nizhoni, where we encountered polar bears in the wild, up close and personal, and glided, touching close, among breathtaking, gigantic icebergs; became a long time season ticket holder of the New England Patriots (and made it to three Super Bowls, all in New Orleans, including our first S.B. win); reveled in photographic activities my entire life; and yes, fulfilled a lifelong passion by learning to fly, especially those tired old World War II planes (like me). Except for the stinging sadness of losing so many beloved people along the way, all in all, I had quite a run!

"So, I wish good luck, happy and rewarding life, and love to all my friends and relatives, most especially much love to my niece, Vilma Gregoropoulos, my great niece, Nizhoni Brown, and my great nephew, Noah Brown. Without these three, the quality of the last years of my life would not have been possible. And special thanks and love to my cousin, Joanne Fontanella who always stood ready to help and never turned me down. Ciao, tutti!!

"If you would like to honor my memory, while simultaneously helping my marvelous, beloved little hometown, please send a contribution to the North Stonington Grange or to the Wheeler School and Library, where I was once a high school student. Thank you."

13 toothbrushes!

"Though she traveled throughout Europe and North America, Mrs. Powell took the greatest delight in sharing her home in Valdosta and house at Cherry Lake with family and friends, her children and their friends, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, friends' children and their grandchildren and sometimes even strangers.

"In fact, after she was widowed, there were 13 toothbrushes in her bathroom, all kept there by people who regularly enjoyed her company."

(Thanks to Maggie Farley!)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Under the Tuscan Sun

Watching it again just now, I realize how much I understand now about connections that happen and aren't forced. I think this is why I much enjoy reading about people's lives in obits, that I can appreciate. I hope my own life is understood this way.

Bushel and a peck and ...

"She was an active member of the Ladies Guild of Christ the King Church in Old Lyme, where she enjoyed organizing tag and bag sales. She also enjoyed going to tag sales with her girlfriends. Violet loved baking, especially colonial doll cakes for birthdays and was well known for her tomato soup cake. Besides cooking, she enjoyed mushroom and blueberry picking, crocheting afghans, reading, babysitting her grandson, and saying her daily rosary and praying to St. Jude, her patron saint. Later in life she became quite active in the senior citizens group in Old Lyme. She will be remembered for her kind heart, positive spirit, and razor sharp wit. She wants all her family and friends to know she loved you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck."

Monday, September 28, 2009

All 50 states

"He liked the New York Yankees and the New York Giants. He also liked the UConn women's basketball team. His hobby was collecting the United States quarters."

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Having picnics, sharing stories

"As a young lady, Audrey loved dancing, roller skating, and ice skating. In her latter years, she enjoyed square dancing and crocheting. She spent a lot of time with her little dogs and had a green thumb when it came to growing indoor plants. Her favorite pastimes were shopping on QVC, attending auctions, and spending time with family having picnics and sharing stories."

Friday, September 25, 2009

I'd like to have know him

"Ian was much loved and admired for his prodigious talent, uncommon intellect, and quirky humor. Blending easily in all crowds, whether wearing paint splattered shorts, seersucker or a tuxedo, he found the words to engage any individual into detailed, knowledgeable conversation."

A lady of grace indeed

"She was a lady of style, grace, charm, gentle humour, culture and talent, and a true mistress of the domestic arts. A gracious hostess, she set a table that was second to none, especially at Christmas."

(From the obituary of Yolande Q. Lono of St. John's, Newfoundland, as written by her son, Simon Lono)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A charming individual

"Bob was a man that walked as easily in the company of kings as he did with commoners, but God help those who put on airs. Yet he could charm the petals off a rose."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Poll: Two days left to vote!

Respondents to our first poll are evenly divided on what they’d like to see in their obits. Forty percent said they’d like their obits “to reflect the person I really am” while the same percentage said they want “all kinds of stuff in there, true or not.”

Just 20% said they hope their obits “will include some nice things about me.”

Let us know what you’d like to see after you’re gone. Vote today!

One of the first that struck me ...

"Mrs. Johnson lived all her life in Lyme. Her greatest joys were her flower and vegetable gardens. She enjoyed home life and walking her dogs in the woods with her husband, Herbert."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Way to go!

"William A. Cross, Jr. MMCM(SS), USN, Ret. went out with a bang on July 4, 2009."

Monday, September 21, 2009

Elvis' cook, Mary Jenkins Langston, 78

"For breakfast, he'd have homemade biscuits fried in butter, sausage patties, four scrambled eggs and sometimes fried bacon," she said. 'I'd bring the tray up to his room, he'd say, 'This is good, Mary.' He'd have butter running down his arms."

(h/t to Debbie Seaman)

The future of obits?

I was talking with Joe Mandese, editor in chief of MediaPost Communications, today about obits. He remembered being an intern at the New Haven Register and the guy who handled obits was a stern and humorless guy who drummed into Joe's head the importance of the obituary.

He also told Joe to be sure the info came from a funeral home and not from families (who could make up information). Those were, of course, the days of free obit space.

I asked him what he thought would happen to the obit where families got to bury their dead without the funeral home involved and Joe said, "Someday there won't be obits; they'll just be blogs."

What do you think?

Sweet!

"Mr. Harty loved the outdoors, was an avid fisherman, and enjoyed making homemade maple syrup."

Sunday, September 20, 2009

She found comfort in the election

"She used her ever-quick mind, her sense of humor, her resilience and her perseverance to create new possibilities for those around her. She was thrilled by the election of President Obama last fall and found comfort in the hope he represents."

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Such stamina

"She never smoked, drank or cursed, although maintaining this harried household certainly provided ample grounds to take up any or all of the three."

Friday, September 18, 2009

Perfect stove top popcorn -- and toast

"Kathy frequently told her family that she hoped to be remembered for her perfect stove top popcorn and toast."

Thursday, September 17, 2009

He preferred eels to the piano.

"He went to Kedron State and Brisbane State High schools, where he failed the junior certificate and left at 15. Young Barrett had other strings to his bow, however.

"Realising her son was not academically minded, Mabel Barrett, a talented pianist, decided that he should take up a musical instrument. Ray preferred catching eels in Kedron Creek to practising the piano."


(h/t to Vanessa Horwell)

And so it is said.

"She enjoyed crocheting, crafts of all sorts, word puzzles and was an avid reader. She also enjoyed playing card games with her grandchildren, BBQ's, the color red, a colorful tee shirt, a good sweatshirt and a good laugh. Let it be said she was quite the connoisseur of hamburgers and enjoyed them more than anything."

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Caught a ball during a Red Sox game!

"Jean was an avid Red Sox fan who once caught a baseball during a game. She liked to crochet, making afghans for all her family, she grew beautiful flowers and vegetables in her many gardens in Oakdale. Jean was proud of her large collection of salt and pepper shakers; she has at least one set from every state plus many others."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A master of the obituary

"Hugh Massingberd, who died on Christmas Day aged 60, always used to insist, during his time as obituaries editor of The Daily Telegraph, that understatement was the key to the form."

You can read more about this delightful man here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1573717/Hugh-Massingberd.html. Thanks, Charlie Clark!

Peggy Olson, perhaps?

Rosina worked for Benton & Bowles advertising agency prior to marrying and raising her family, which she did successfully despite her lifelong reluctance to advance her culinary arts, particularly when they interfered with her tennis.

Monday, September 14, 2009

From the Hawkeye State

Thanks to my sister-in-law:

"Cora was well-known for raising thousands of dollars for charities each year by collecting cans in Greenwood Park, a territory she guarded tenaciously, arising at 5 a.m. if she found someone had beaten her to a cache of cans. ... She was a dedicated and liberal Democrat, although she tolerated some Republican friends when she saw redeeming characteristics in them."

Welcome!

I have been reading the obituaries in my local paper for years. Perhaps since I became a newspaper journalist back in 1975, news about people has always fascinated me and never more than in the obituaries can we learn the fine details of a person's life.

Most obits contain information that includes the usual details, date of birth, place of birth and relatives both dead and surviving. But since newspapers began charging for obits, they have allowed survivors to include whatever facts they want to pay for -- by column length.

So now we have a wealth of information never before included in an obit. Take this paragraph from a departed man's obit:
"It was his personal philosophy that one's civic duty is to make plain what your thoughts are on the affairs of state. To sum up this sentiment, the ancient Greek statesman Pericles said, 'Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.'"

Such an opinion we now have of this individual, that he not only was a civic-minded man but his descendants felt a need to let the world know in this way.

I'll be posting lines from obits on a daily basis. Please feel free to send me items you find by emailing them from the publishing party. Nota bene: This is not a place to make fun of the departed. Typos are not encouraged.

Nina