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Compiled by Robin Jovanovich
Dr. Willard Cates Jr.
The world lost one of its champions of public health, with the passing of Dr. Willard Cates Jr. on March 17, 2016. He was a pioneer researcher in the fields of HIV/AIDS and women’s reproductive health.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, on November 16, 1942, to Willard and Dorothy Sands Cates, he grew up in Rye, New York. After graduating from Rye High School in 1960, he attended Yale University, from which he earned a Bachelor’s degree in History in 1964. He traveled to England to further his studies during a fellowship at King’s College at Cambridge University.
While in England, Ward, as he was called, had two unexpected experiences that shaped the trajectory of his life. First, he met his future wife, Joan, and pursued her throughout the capital cities of Europe. And secondly, he was injured during a rugby game, which subsequently sparked his interest and lifetime passion in medicine and public health. Shortly thereafter, he returned to Yale where he was the first to complete a combined M.D./Master’s in Public Health degree in 1971.
After a stint in the United States Army where he achieved the rank of captain, he began a two-year fellowship with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Epidemic Intelligence Service, a fellowship that helped to launch his long and storied career in reproductive and public health.
Dr. Cates began his fellowship shortly after the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision and became engrossed in the field of women’s reproductive health. He served as the first permanent Chief of the Abortion Surveillance Branch at the CDC where he quickly emerged as the world’s leading abortion epidemiologist. After nine years in the Family Planning Evaluation Division, he became the Director of the Division of Sexually Transmitted Diseases at CDC, a position he took at the dawn of the HIV epidemic in the United States. Working on the Kaposi Sarcoma/Opportunistic Infections Task Force proved challenging yet rewarding for Dr. Cates who became an HIV/AIDS expert. This experience helped to shift his career path as he became interested in the international epidemic.
In 1994, he was recruited to work as a researcher at Family Health International (now FHI 360), a leading global development organization. Dr. Cates was the President/CEO of its Institute for Family Health and was serving as the President Emeritus of Research at the time of his death. During his time at FHI 360, he worked as principal investigator on many microbicide trials including the CAPRISA 004 trial of 1% tenofovir gel, a trial that showed a 39% reduction in HIV acquisition among women using the gel. From 1997-2002, he was a scientific investigator for the HIV Prevention Trials Network and was a principal investigator for the Microbicide Trials Network. He was a member of the Institute of Medicine.
A renowned leader and mentor, Ward Cates inspired two generations of leading scientists, public health officials, and clinical practitioners and provided much guidance for those in the fields of family planning, STD/HIV prevention, and epidemiology. Perhaps the best documentation of his leadership is his co-authorship of eight editions of Contraceptive Technology, widely regarded as the standard textbook in family planning. He was also a regular speaker at the twice-yearly Contraceptive Technology conferences and he co-edited two supplements on family planning and HIV for the journal AIDS.
As accomplished as he was in his professional life, he found his greatest joy in his family. Known as Bompa by his grandchildren, he loved hearing about and following the interests of his children and grandchildren. Whether on the sidelines watching his family excel on the fields or on his couch following Duke basketball, the L.A. Dodgers, or Red Zone, he was always the loudest fan cheering for the things he loved.
Dr. Cates is survived by his wife, the love of his life, Joan Roberts Cates; two daughters, Deborah Cates Knighton (Tim) and Sarah Cates Parker (Andy); and four grandchildren, Charles Knighton, Henry Knighton, Katherine Parker, and Addison Parker. He was preceded in death by his sister, Margot Cates Kagen.
A private interment was held at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia. A celebration of Ward Cates’ life will be held later in the spring. Contributions in his memory may be made to The Guttmacher Institute, 125 Maiden Lane, 7th floor, New York, NY 10038.
Leonard F. Schindo, a lifelong resident of Rye, died April 22, 2016, while visiting his daughter in New Port Richey, Florida. He was 92.
Born on June 1, 1923, the son of Frank and Clara Schindo, he went through the Rye City school system.
During World War II, he served in the Pacific Theatre with the U.S. Coast Guard. After the war, Mr. Schindo served as the Court Clerk for the City of Rye.
Throughout his life, he excelled in sports. He was an avid golfer and managed to score fourteen holes-in-one. He enjoyed his days at Rye Golf Club, long morning walks on the Playland Boardwalk, and Tuesday night pizza with his brother Ed and friends.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Kathleen Schindo; two daughters, Kathie Bender (Louis) and Carol Schindo; a granddaughter, Danielle; a grandson, Louis Bender Jr.; his brothers, Frank and Ed Schindo; his cousins, Mary Savage and Jack Schindo; and many friends. The eldest of five children, Mr. Schindo was predeceased by his sister, Mary Bisignano, and his brother, William Schindo.
A Memorial mass to celebrate his life will be held May 6 at 11 at Church of the Resurrection.
Donations in his memory may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (st.jude.org).
Patricia F. Carey, a local art and music leader, died on March 17, 2016 at Greenwich Hospital. The cause of death was complications following major surgery. The longtime Rye resident was 90.
Mrs. Carey was a founder and the first president of the Rye Arts Center. She was the first coordinator of educational programs for children at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts and served as a trustee on their board for 35 years, and remained on their Advisory Board. She was also a board member of Hope House in Port Chester.
She graduated from Girls High School in Philadelphia and from Swarthmore College, and she studied at both the Art Students League and The Barnes Foundation.
Her father, Dr. Victor H. Frank, was president of the American Society of Oral Surgeons and her mother, Lee W. Frank, an artist, also hosted her own radio show, “Tea with Merry Lee.” She grew up in a home founded in a love of family, appreciation for the dramatic and fine arts, the pursuit of world peace, and Penn Football.
As a younger woman, she was a member of the Philadelphia Forum, the Student World Federalists, worked in radio with Young and Rubicam, and campaigned tirelessly with lifelong friend Louise Hoffman on the 1952 presidential campaign for Adlai Stevenson.
Pat Carey shared her magical smile and twinkle in her eyes with everyone she met. “Regardless of the situation, she was always there to bring hope and apositive perspective to all,” said her family. “Her artistic vision brought out the beauty of every endeavor and helped frame the best path to take.”
Her husband John recalled that in 65 years of marriage, “Pat never spoke a harsh or mean word. There was never a moment of unpleasantness.”
Her optimism and spirit was and is best captured in her favorite song, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from the Rodgers and Hammerstein show “Carousel.”
Mrs. Carey was predeceased by her brother, Olympian Victor H. Frank Jr., and her second son, John Carey Jr. In addition to her husband John Carey, a former judge and mayor of Rye, to whom she was married for 65 years, she leaves behind three children: Henry (Faye) of Decatur, Georgia, Douglas of Rye, and Jennifer Reichle (Philip) of Fredericksburg, Texas. She was most proud of her five grandchildren: Shenoa Victoria, John Henry, Miho, Caleb, and Nathaniel.
A funeral service was held March 26 at All Souls Church in Port Chester, followed by interment at Greenwood Union Cemetery. A celebration of her life will be held in late spring.
Donations in Mrs. Carey’s memory may be made to the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, 149 Girdle Ridge Road, Katonah, NY 10536.
William Gerard Klein, who served his country during World War II, retired as a Lieutenant Commander in the Naval Reserve, and went on to a long and successful career in life insurance, died March 6, 2016. The longtime Rye resident was 89.
He was born on July 27, 1926 in New York City, the son of Florence and William Klein. Following graduation from Fordham Preparatory School in 1943, he served in the Navy in the Pacific during World War II. Upon his discharge, he entered Fordham College, graduating in 1951 with a B.A. in History. While working for the New York State Life Insurance Department, he received an MBA from the Stern School of Business at NYU. In 1965 he received a second Master’s degree, this time in American History, from Fordham University. While pursuing his graduate studies, he also applied for a commission in the US Naval Reserve, where he earned an Intelligence Classification and Top Secret Clearance. He was attached to the Third Naval District Intelligence Unit, New Rochelle Naval Reserve Training Center, and retired as a Lieutenant Commander.
In 1966, he married Kathleen (Kate) Rees. “We were looking forward to celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary later this year,” she said.
While working for the Life Bureau of the NYS Life Insurance Department, he was promoted from Principal Examiner to Supervising Examiner, and finally to Chief III. During this time he continued his studies at the NY College of Insurance achieving the following designations: Chartered Life Insurance Examiner, Chartered Financial Consultant and Fellow in the Life Management Institute. At the time of his retirement, in 1995, he was the only member of the NYS Life Insurance Department with these five designations.
Following his retirement, Mr. Klein devoted his efforts to genealogical research, tracing the Gurnee (his mother’s maiden name) family back to the 1500s in La Rochelle, France. Some of these Gurnees (also spelled Garnier) were the original settlers of the City of New Rochelle. In addition, he was a distant cousin of President Theodore Roosevelt through Resolved Waldron (1610-1690) of New Amsterdam, and grandson of John Waldron of Hampshire, England (1560-1609).
All of Mr. Klein’s research has been documented and presented to the NY Genealogical/Biographical Society; the Huguenot Society of New Rochelle; the NY Public Library; the LDS Family History Center in Salt Lake City, Utah; the Family History Library at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah; the Rockland County Genealogical Society; Iona College Library, New Rochelle; the Theodore Roosevelt Public Library; and the Roosevelt Library at Hyde Park, N.Y.
“Because of Bill’s research, he and I traveled all over the country,” recalled his wife. “I can’t tell you how many Revolutionary War graves we visited!”
Mr. Klein was a parishioner of Resurrection Church, a member of the NY Genealogical/Biographical Society, the Rockland County Genealogical Society, the Rye Historical Society, the Military Officers Association of America, and the Retired Reserve Officers Association of Westchester.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Klein is survived by their sons, William Rhys and Dr. John Curnee (and his wife Marianne); and two granddaughters, Maria and Cianna.
A funeral was held March 12 at Resurrection Church. Donations in Mr. Klein’s memory may be made to Fordham Preparatory School.
Janet Ikeler Becker, who served her country during World War II, passed away peacefully at Greenwich Hospital on February 20, 2016. A longtime Rye resident, she was 92 years old.
She was born on July 3, 1923, in York, Pennsylvania. Soon after, the family moved to Peekskill, N.Y., where her father took over ownership of the Peekskill Evening Star newspaper. After graduating from Mount Holyoke College in 1944, she was recruited by the United States Navy, and served as an officer in the Waves for the balance of World War II, at the Department of Naval Intelligence in Washington, D.C.
After her discharge, she moved to New York City, and pursued a graduate degree in International Relations at NYU, where she met her future husband, Irving Becker. She received her M.A. in International Relations, U.S. Foreign Policy, and International Law from NYU in 1954.
In 1957, Mr. Becker was offered a position with the United States State Department, which gave them the opportunity to live in New Delhi, India for the next two years. When they returned to the United States, they eventually settled in Rye, where Mrs. Becker became involved in many community organizations.
In addition to serving as president of the Rye chapter of the League of Women Voters, she was an active member of the Rye Human Rights Commission. Her love for travel drew her to working part-time as a travel agent at Haigh-Donovan Travel in Rye Brook. In later years, she served as a volunteer at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich.
Her family said, “Jan will always be remembered for her sly wit, intense curiosity, and strong love of family. She never failed to make us laugh.”
Mrs. Becker is survived by her sons, Jonathan (and his wife Pat)and D.C. (and his wife Norma); her granddaughters, Rachel Becker and Alexandra Hine (and her husband Chris); and three nephews and a niece.
A memorial service for Jan will be held at a later date. Jan was a strong advocate of Doctors Without Borders, and in lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to that organization (doctorswithoutborders.org). 888-392-0392.
Jean Edwards Behan, a former longtime Rye resident, died peacefully in the presence of her family on the evening of February 2, 2016.
Born on August 25, 1923 in Toronto, Canada, she spent some of her childhood in Sydney, Australia.
On September 11, 1953, she married Reginald Behan in Toronto. After the birth of their two daughters, the family moved to Rye in 1959. Mrs. Behan spent many years working as an executive assistant, a real estate agent for Zinsner’s Real Estate, and a travel agent for Travel Anywhere, and as a member of the TWIG organization.
An avid Yankee fan, she was known to drive around her daughter’s neighborhood in Tennessee to find good reception on the radio for the evening’s game if it wasn’t televised. She was an avid ice-skater, knitter, and seamstress.
In 2012, Jean and Reg Behan moved to Ellicott City, Maryland, where their daughter Jill resides.
Mrs. Behan is survived by her husband; her daughters, Jill Schutzman and Lesley Ford; her grandchildren, Justin and Lindsay Schutzman and Jason and Eric Ford; and her brother, Ross E. Edwards.
Her wish would be that memorial donations be made to the charity of your choice. Jean’s charities were N.Y.C. Rescue, Habitat for Humanity, UNICEF, St. Jude’s, CARE, and Doctors without Borders.
Thomas Patrick Fitzgerald of New Port Richey, Florida, formerly of Rye, died peacefully on February 1, 2016. He was 84.
“Fitz,” as he was called, was born in Rye on August 30, 1931, to Winifred and James Fitzgerald. He was a member of the Rye High School class of 1951.
During the Korean War, he served with the Eighth Air Force. His love of aviation led to a career as a mechanic in corporate aviation at Westchester County Airport. Mr. Fitzgerald took pride in the fact that he and his crew never missed a departure.
Mr. Fitzgerald is survived by his wife, Betty (Jennings) Fitzgerald; his children, Thomas (Joan Kelley), Debra (Keith Hughes,) and Scott (Patricia Fitzgerald); and his grandchildren, Casey and Ryan Fitzgerald. He was predeceased by his brother, Edward.
“Fitz loved and lived life to the fullest. He was always there to help anyone in need,” said his family. He will be remembered as a kind and gentle man that touched the lives and hearts of many.
A service will be held April 9 at 11 a.m. at Resurrection Church. In lieu of flowers, please perform a kind deed in his memory.
William H. Switzer, a well-known architect who designed schools and athletic facilities in Westchester, died on February 10, 2016. He was 90.
He had a long and varied architectural career and spent seven years with Perkins & Will Architects before establishing a private practice, which he pursued in Westchester County from 1959-1999. Mr. Switzer, along with the Municipal Library in Hastings-on-Hudson, Fordham Preparatory School, the Greenburgh Community Center, and a cottage at The Children’s Village.
Mr. Switzer also worked on numerous projects for the NY State Correctional Facilities from 1968-1990. He was a member of the American Institute of Architects, President of the Westchester/Mid-Hudson Chapter AlA in 1971, and Chairman of the AlA National Committee on Architecture for Justice in 1980.
He was born in New Rochelle, on November 10, 1925. A lifelong New Yorker, he grew up in Hastings-on-Hudson, his favorite town. He was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy where he served in the Philippine Islands at the end of World War II, mine sweeping on PT Boat 15.
He spent two years at the Syracuse University School of Architecture, and was a 1950 graduate of the Yale School of Architecture.
His civic affiliations included the Hastings-on-Hudson Planning Board, where he was Chairman for ten years. He was also Captain of the Hastings-on-Hudson Volunteer Fire Department in 1967.
He and his wife moved to Rye in 1997. They enjoyed membership at Rye Golf Club. Most recently, Mr. Switzer served as President of the Milton Harbor House Association.
Working as an architect was like being able to play each day, he often said. Mr. Switzer had a love of the sea and sailing, and was for many years an active participant in the sport of curling. “Always a gentleman” best describes Bill Switzer, said his family.
He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Diane (Abbandonato Gardella); four sons, David (Chris), Steven (Ruthanne), Peter (Sabina), and Matthew (Nisha); two stepdaughters, Adriana Gardella and Suzanne Gardella; seven grandchildren; three step-grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. He is also survived by a brother, Barry Switzer. A sister, Elizabeth Henderson, predeceased him.
The family will receive friends on February 22 from 10 to 12 at Graham Funeral Home. A religious service will be held at noon, followed by burial at Greenwood Union Cemetery in Rye.
Contributions in Mr. Switzwer’s memory may be made to United Hebrew Nursing Home, 391 Pelham Road, New Rochelle, NY 10805.
Jane Fuller Waters, a longtime Rye resident, died peacefully in New London, Conn., on February 20, 2016. She was 97.
Born to Sara and Walter Fuller on May 20, 1918 in Woodbury City, New Jersey, she grew up in Bryn Mawr, Pa. Her father was President of the Curtis Publishing Company from 1934 to 1950, and was Chairman of the National Association of Manufacturers in 1941 when U.S. industry was being converted to wartime production.
A graduate of St. Catherine’s School, Va., she married Somerset Waters in 1940. She traveled the world extensively for many years, assisting her husband as assistant editor in the annual publication of The Big Picture – Travel Industry World Yearbook. Both she and her husband were fully engaged in the community, especially the Rye Free Reading Room. A member of American Yacht Club and the University Club in New York City, she was a valued 40-year member of The Rye Garden Club and a loyal parishioner of Christ’s Church.
Rye Garden Club members said Jane Waters would long be remembered for “her graciousness, wonderful sense of humor, and creative flair. Her sense of style and fun were demonstrated in her whimsical Annual Meeting hats and in the amazing museum-quality doll houses and miniature rooms she created.” Each spring, she and her husband generously shared their dahlia tubers with Club friends.
Her nephew John Waters said, “My aunt was so eccentric and chic in her own original way. She always seemed to have a good-natured chuckle, even when I was a nutty teen; she was one of the few relatives that took it all in stride.”
Another nephew, Wally Ogelsby recalled, “Warm morning sun streaming into the white Rye kitchen, with gentle, welcome conversation and chicken livers on toast. Nothing but good.”
Mrs. Waters’ passions were painting, miniatures, music, and writing. She built and exhibited her miniature rooms at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich. She found great solace in playing the piano, especially during the last year. She was published in The New York Times and self-published Tuesday Afternoons at Jane’s. She lived at The Osborn in Rye for ten years until moving to New London last year.
Her husband died in 2005. Mrs. Waters is survived by her brother, Dean Fuller; four children: Deane Kysar, Jane Price, Somerset Waters, and Rachel Waters; five grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
Funeral services were held at Christ’s Church on February 29.
George Leier Jr.
George Leier Jr. died peacefully, surrounded by his family in Transitions Hospice House, on February 26, 2016 in Raleigh, N.C. He was 85.
Born at home in the Bronx on June 17, 1930, he was the son of George and May Leier. Growing up, he worked for years in his father’s plumbing business before moving on to work at Hertlein Tool and Die.
In 1956, he began a long and distinguished career at IBM, where he worked as both a hardware and software engineer. He retired in 1987 but remained as a consultant until 2000.
Mr. Leier was a longtime member of Wakefield Grace Methodist Church in the Bronx, before becoming an Episcopalian when he married in 1957 and joined St. John’s Episcopal Church in Larchmont. After moving to Raleigh, he became a member of Church of the Good Shepherd.
Mr. Leier raised his family in Rye, where he helped with community organizations such as the Boy and Girl Scouts and was a member of Rye Fire Department’s Milton patrol. He was also a Mason and longtime member of John Stewart Lodge in Mount Vernon. He continued his community service in Raleigh, driving kidney dialysis patients to treatment and supporting World Vision and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital throughout his adult life.
An avid puzzle solver, Mr. Leier was a fan of “Jeopardy” and “Wheel of Fortune.”
He possessed a zest for living, a joyful outlook on life, a wonderful sense of humor, and contagious optimism. “George was a truly kind and compassionate man who loved well and genuinely fostered that which was good and decent,” said his family. “He was always willing to help others, often using his uncanny ability to fix anything to rescue those in need.”
He and his wife Dorothy were married for 58 wonderful years. She survives him as do his daughters, Margaret Leier of Raleigh and Karen (Tim) Kuhns of Apex, N.C.; his son, George (Vickie) Leier of Elkton, Md.; six grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter. He was predeceased by his brother, William Norman, and his sisters, Martha and Ruth Ann.
A funeral was held March 2 at Church of the Good Shepherd in Raleigh.
Donations in Mr. Leier’s memory may be made to St. Jude’s Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
Richard H. Schneider, a resident of Rye for 36 years, died on January 29, 2016 after a short illness.
Mr. Schneider (better known as “Dick”) was born in Chicago, on March 9, 1922. He grew up in the suburb of Oak Park, along with his two brothers, Herb and Donald.
In 1943, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in the European Theater of Operations. Most notably, he was stationed in a small village in Belgium throughout the duration of the Battle of the Bulge.
Once the victory in Europe was announced, Mr. Schneider was placed on a ship with other troops destined for the Pacific Theater. It was only a few hours before they reached the Panama Canal (the point of no return) when they heard that Japan had surrendered and that they would be turning around and heading to New York for the end of their service.
After the war he married Betty Renfro (also from Illinois) and returned to the Chicago area where he began work for the Walgreens drug store chain in their corporate offices. By the early 1960s he had risen to the position of Director of Public Relations for the chain.
The couple had two children – Peter in 1957 and Christopher in 1959.
In 1969, after 23 years with Walgreens, Schneider accepted a job as Senior Editor with Guideposts magazine in New York City. (Guideposts was founded and managed by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale.) He and his family moved to suburban New Jersey at that point.
In 1976, the Schneiders moved to Lincoln, Va., where they oversaw the running of Chosen Books, a publisher specializing in inspirational titles. It was jointly owned by the Schneiders, John and Elizabeth Sherrill, and Catherine Marshall (widow of Dr. Peter Marshall).
In 1980 Mr. Schneider was asked to return to Guideposts as Executive Editor. It was at this point he and his wife moved to Rye. Schneider worked at Guideposts full time from 1980 up until 2005, when he retired at the age of 83.
During his years in Rye, Schneider wrote and published more than 30 books. These included both adult non-fiction and children’s titles. His large-format illustrated book on the Statue of Liberty (“Freedom’s Holy Light,” Thomas Nelson, 1985) was the first book to feature an Introduction written by a sitting President (Ronald Reagan). He also served as a co-author to several notable people, including Leon Jaworski, the Watergate prosecutor (“Crossroads,” D.C. Cook; 1981); Harold Hughes, former Governor of Iowa (“The Man from Ida Grove,” Chosen Books, 1979); and Max Cleland, former Senator and Director of Veterans Affairs (“Strong at the Broken Places,” Chosen Books, 1980).
Most notable among his children’s books is “Why Christmas Trees Aren’t Perfect” (illustrated by Elizabeth Miles, Abingdon Press, 1988). This title has remained in print to the present day and has sold over 100,000 copies. (The Amazon reviews will bear witness to the long sales history.)
In 2002 Schneider published “TAPS: Notes from a Nation’s Heart” (William Morrow; 2002), a warm-hearted telling of how this wistful bugle cry came to be and the role it has played in our nation’s history. “Stars and Stripes Forever: The History, Stories, and Memories of Our American Flag” followed in 2003 (William Morrow).
For many years, Mr. Schneider was also a regular contributor to The Rye Record, sharing his thoughts on faith and family. When he was not in the office writing books and articles or on the road, interviewing personages such as Jimmy Stewart and Mike Wallace, Mr. Schneider enjoyed sailing his 27-foot sailboat on the Long Island Sound – he kept the Blue Belle berthed in Rye Harbor, until he sold it just before he and his wife moved to The Osborn. Each summer would find the Schneiders and their sons, daughters-in-laws, and grandchildren in the Massachusetts village of Rockport, at the tip of Cape Ann. They loved the wild, rocky shoreline there as well as the adjoining old fishing town of Gloucester. They first visited the area in 1955 (making the long trip from Chicago) and they never missed a summer visit during the intervening sixty years. Rockport will stay a fixture in the lives of their children and grandchildren for decades to come.
In 2009 the Schneiders moved from their home on Oakwood Avenue to an apartment within The Osborn senior residence.
Betty Schneider died on July 11, 2014 after a short illness.
Funeral services were held for Richard Schneider on February 2 with interment at Greenwood Cemetery. Fittingly, a bugler played “Taps” from a nearby hill as he was laid to rest.
Russell Ruth, a lifelong resident of Rye, passed away January 7, 2016 with his family by his side. He was 68.
He was born on September 7, 1947 to Ethel and Joseph Martello of Rye. At Rye High School he was on the Swim team and was an award-winning diver. He worked as a security guard at American Yacht Club.
His family said, “Russ was comical, adventurous, and highly intelligent. There was never a question that he couldn’t answer. We called him ‘Google.’ He enjoyed watching ‘Jeopardy’ and doing crossword puzzles.”
His niece, Renee Drummond, said, “Our favorite spot in Rye was the seat that was closest to the kitchen at Kelly’s. We would talk for hours about all that he knew about the world and its rich history. I saw him live life ‘his way.’ I will always remember his one-liners, Florida tan, cowboy boots, Zippo lighter, and love for animals.”
In addition to his niece, Mr. Ruth is survived by his sister, Doreen Piacitelli and her husband Billy of Rye; his nephews, Jessup Lopez of Rye and Cole Finocchio of Rye Brook; and his former wife, Emilia Tropeano.
A service was held at Graham Funeral Home January 12.
Patricia Fendler Faunce passed away due to a stroke on January 25, 2016. She was 85.
Born to Donald C. and Ruth Ryan Fendler of Rye on March 24, 1930, she grew up in Rye and attended Westbrook Junior College in Portland, Me.
She was Supervisor of Admissions at Thayer Hospital in Waterville, Me., before moving to Florida.
As a resident and member of the Indian River Club in Vero Beach, Florida, Mrs. Faunce was an avid golfer and participator in club activities. She was a Hospice volunteer, giving a helping hand whenever needed with a smile.
Bingo was her passion and she won often, and laughter was her specialty, said her family. “Pat lived her life to the fullest. She was a ‘people person.” She cherished her family, her friends, and her beloved Maltese, Cupcake.”
She is survived by her children, Dr. Thomas W. Tilton (Kris) of Geneva, Ill., MaryAnn Tilton of Vero Beach, and Donna Pirrotta (Joseph) of Wellington, Fla.; her grandchildren, Taryn and Tory Tilton, Zachary Ware, Carly Tanner, and Christopher Pirrotta; eight great-grandchildren; three bothers and two sisters. She was predeceased by her granddaughter, Lyndsay Pirrotta.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held January 29 at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Vero Beach. An internment will be held in Rye in the spring.
Online condolences may be shared at www.coxgiffordseawinds.com.
Memorial contributions may be made to VNA Hospice, 1110 35th Lane, Vero Beach, FL 32960, or to the charity of your choice.
Arthur S. Jefferson, known to friends and family as Jeff, passed away at home January 7, 2016 with his loving wife Beverley Underwood by his side. He was 91.
Born in Manhattan on June 1, 1924, to Richard and Alma Jefferson, the family moved to Rye when he was 2. After graduating from Harrison High School in 1942, he entered the accelerated course at New York State Maritime Academy. Upon graduation in 1943, he served in the Pacific Theater as a naval officer aboard USS Thuban AKA19. Following World War II, he attended Duke University on the GI Bill. He was the first member of his family to graduate college.
Mr. Jefferson’s love for the sea led him to a career in the Merchant Marine. He began with Farrell Lines, was promoted to Captain in 1956, and for the next 37 years he held command of freighters and container ships and sailed the world. Although he worked for several shipping lines, his years with Farrell were those that he held most dear. His career took him to Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and Europe.
It was during his time in South Africa that he met and married his first wife, Catherine Marie Millson, known as Marie. They moved to Rye, where they raised their three children. After he retired in 1992, the Jeffersons moved to Sarasota, Florida. They were married for 37 years, until Marie’s death in 1995.
In 2000, Mr. Jefferson married Beverley Underwood. They resided in Sarasota and vacationed in New Zealand.
Mr. Jefferson was an avid carpenter and gardener and among his many hobbies was the ancient nautical art of scrimshaw. Later in life, he took up woodcarving, creating lifelike animals for his grandchildren and exquisite Nativity figures.
During his children’s high school and college years he was a dedicated fan, never missing the chance to cheer them on at their sporting events. Throughout his retirement, he was an active member of Siesta Key Chapel, which became his spiritual home.
In addition to his wife, Beverley Underwood, Mr. Jefferson is survived by his children, Karen (Tim) Carlisle of Rye, Brett (Catherine) Jefferson of Darien, and Janet Jefferson-Bailey of Jacksonville; and his grandchildren, Jack, Caley, and Paige Carlisle, Emma and Cole Bailey, and Tyler, Reese, and Isabelle Jefferson.
A memorial service was held on January 16 at Siesta Key Chapel in Sarasota, to which donations may be made (4615 Gleason Ave., Sarasota, Florida 34242).
James A. Jennings Jr. of Rye, died peacefully at home on January 24, 2016. He was 90 years old.
He was born to James and Elizabeth Kirwin Jennings on November 6, 1925 in Deal, N.J. During World War II, he served honorably as part of the 405th Infantry, United States Army, and received both the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.
After returning from Europe in 1945, he married his longtime sweetheart, Eleanor Krueger. They settled in New Rochelle, where they raised their three sons. Mr. Jennings graduated from Iona College and enjoyed a distinguished career in the family construction firm.
He was a devoted parishioner at The Church of the Resurrection in Rye, and a member of the Knights of Columbus, as well as the American Legion.
Mr. Jennings is survived by his sons, James A. Jennings III and his wife Pamela, and Mark E. Jennings and his wife Katherine; seven grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife Eleanor, his son Scott, his sister Betty, and his brother Frank.
A Requiem Mass was held January 29 at Church of the Resurrection, followed by internment at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Valhalla.