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Compiled by Robin Jovanovich
Dr. Ondino Morelli
Dr. Ondino Anthony Morelli, a longtime resident of Rye, died on January 14, 2015. The cause was an aortic aneurysm. He was 88.
Born in New York City on May 5, 1926, he was the only child of Michael and Teresa Morelli. He spent his early childhood years in Massachusetts, where his family had several businesses and many relatives in Newton.
During World War II, he served as a radioman on B-17s in the United States Army Air Force. He was recruited for an emergency military mission as captain of a ship that got caught in a typhoon in the South Seas off of Japan while bringing food and ammunition to U.S. troops. He christened his ship the Lady Iris after Iris Anne Ferraro, whom he married on August 18, 1950. She was the daughter of New York composer Joseph Ferraro and his wife Ermelinda.
In 1950, he graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Science degree. He received a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from The New York University School of Dentistry in 1955, where he was President of Xi Psi Phi. A year earlier, he was elected President of the New York University College of Dentistry Inter-Fraternity Council.
Dr. Morelli taught pedodontics, children’s dentistry, at New York University for several years. He also did postgraduate work in periodontia at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
He had a general dentistry practice on Kimball Avenue in Yonkers for almost sixty years, working long hours, and often volunteering his services to patients who needed mentoring or could not afford dental care. He had amazing dexterity at an advanced age, and was running a dental practice up until his final days. He was an active member of the American Dental Association and of the New York State Dental Society.
In 1962, he moved to the grounds of the Westchester Country Club, where he and his wife built a home and raised their four children.
He was a devoted father and husband and an adoring grandfather who loved doing things with his grandchildren. Among his interests were history, opera, antiques, and traveling to exotic places with his family.
Dr. Morelli was very proud of his family history. He was descended from a noble military family that served as Papal Knights (Cavalieri), an order under the direct command of the Pope.
He is survived by his wife, Iris, and four children: Dean R. Morelli of Rye, Deborah (John) Wygal of Darien, Dr. Robert Morelli of Salt Lake City, and Diane (Steven) Hildner of Leesburg, Virginia; and nine grandchildren: Wynn, William, and Caroline Wygal; Katherine, Robert, and Thomas Morelli and Steven, Dean, and Jacqueline Hildner.
A funeral mass is planned at Church of the Resurrection, followed by a private burial, with honor guards, at Our Lady Queen of Peace Mausoleum at Gate of Heaven Cemetery.
Theresa Crowley Avery, formerly of Rye, died peacefully January 24, 2015 at the Garden of Health in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, surrounded by her family. She was 89.
Born July 22, 1925 in Larchmont, she was the daughter of Fenton V. and Sarah Daniels Crowley. After graduating from Mamaroneck High School, she attended the College of New Rochelle.
She married her sweetheart and best friend, Edwin C. Avery Sr., on February 25, 1945.
Mrs. Avery dedicated her life to her family, the church, and all the children she educated over many years as an elementary education teacher at Holy Trinity School in Mamaroneck and Corpus Christi School in Port Chester.
In 1964, the Averys moved to Rye, where Mrs. Avery helped with the Rye Golf Club swim team and was active at Resurrection Academy and Elementary School.
“The neighborhood (Overlook Place) kids affectionately referred to our mother as ‘Sarge,’ because she kept us all in order,” said her daughter Annabelle.
After moving from Rye, Mr. and Mrs. Avery lived in Cos Cob for many years. After his death in May 2002, Mrs. Avery moved back to Rye and lived at Rye Manor for several years before relocating to Florida.
“She will be remembered as a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and daughter,” said her family.
Mrs. Avery is survived by five children; Audrey Marie O’Brien (Joe), Ayn Marie Avery (Joe), Alice Marie Avery (Al), Edwin C. Avery Jr. (Cathy), and Annabelle Marie Strozza (Jeff); ten grandchildren; and four great- grandchildren. Her son, Alan C. Avery, died suddenly on August 29, 1980.
A wake will be held January 30 from 4-8 p.m. at Graham Funeral Home. A funeral Mass will be held January 31 at 10 a.m. at Resurrection Church. Interment will follow at Greenwood Union Cemetery.
Donations in Theresa Avery’s memory may be sent to Intrepid Educational Scholarship Fund, Pier 86, W. 46th Street and 12th Avenue, New York, NY 10036.
Dr. Warren J. Keegan, a longtime Rye resident, died peacefully on New Year’s Eve, at the age of 79.
Born in Junction City, Kansas in 1936, he was the son of a farmer and a homemaker, Donald and Edla (nee Polson) Keegan. Growing up three miles from the geographic center of the continental United States, he lent a hand at the family gas station and John Deere dealership and helped his father tend the family farm.
He attended Junction City High School where he was president of his senior class. From there he earned his Bachelor’s (1958) and Master’s degrees in Economics (1959) from Kansas State University.
While at Kansas State, he enrolled in the Army ROTC program where he received a commission as a second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. After graduation, he served at Ft. Benjamin Harrison, Indiana, and in the Massachusetts National Guard.
He then enrolled in Harvard University’s MBA program. Dr. Keegan developed a particular interest in the fields of marketing and international business, the disciplines to which he would devote the rest of his career.
While enrolled at Harvard, he accepted an assignment at the Boston Consulting Group, where he worked with the founders of the firm on major strategy assignments. At Harvard, he also served as an MIT Fellow in Africa, as Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Development Planning and Secretary of the Economic Development Commission, Government of Tanzania, where he lived and had his first child.
After receiving his MBA (1961) and later a doctorate (1967) from Harvard, Dr. Keegan taught at many academic institutions, including Columbia Business School, Baruch College, George Washington University, the Wharton School of Business, and the Stern School of Business.
Dr. Keegan also served as a visiting professor at many international business schools, including Cranfield University School of Management in the U.K., the China European International Business School in Shanghai, ESSEC in France, the Stockholm School of Economics in Sweden, and University of Hawaii, among others.
In 1982, he joined the faculty of the Pace University School of Business in New York, where he was appointed the Distinguished Professor of Marketing and International Business, a position he held until his retirement from academics.
In addition to teaching, Dr. Keegan was an accomplished scholar. His research in the areas of marketing and global business has been published in the Administrative Science Quarterly, the Journal of Marketing, the Journal of International Business Studies, and the Harvard Business Review.
Dr. Keegan published over 30 books in his field, including global academic textbooks. His texts have been translated into more than a dozen languages and have been used in graduate level business courses around the world.
For many years he and his son Mark ran a firm specializing in litigation consulting. He served in the capacity of an expert witness in numerous complex litigation matters.
In Rye, he was an active and longtime member of Rye Presbyterian Church (1970), where he was elected and ordained as an elder, and Manursing Island Club (1973), where he enjoyed the occasional game of tennis.
His love for travel brought him to all corners of the globe. Both for business and pleasure, Mr. Keegan was either away on a trip or planning the next one. He also enjoyed many adventurous trips on his motorcycle.
“Warren’s intellect and ability to participate in your most interesting conversation of the day is what many of his friends will dearly miss,” said his family. “He most enjoyed his time with others and always wanted to know what you thought.”
He is survived by his wife, Cynthia MacKay Keegan; his sister, Marian Fuller; and his children from a previous marriage, daughter Tracy Keegan and son Mark Keegan and his wife Lisa and their four children. He was pre-deceased by his son Donald Warren Keegan.
A funeral service was held January 4 at Rye Presbyterian Church. Donations in his memory may be made to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
Mary C. Dikeman, age 103, passed away on January 3, 2015.
She was born on February 28, 1911 in Philadelphia, to Janet Wilson Ord and Leander Chapin Claflin. After attending Miss Sayward School in Philadelphia, she graduated from Smith College where she majored in French and spent her junior year studying in Paris.
In 1940, she married Munn Brewer, an attorney with a practice in White Plains, who was also Justice of the Peace of the Town of Mamaroneck. They settled in Larchmont, where they raised their two sons. Mrs. Dikeman was active in the Larchmont Garden Club, the Larchmont Cotillion, and the Larchmont Yacht Club Ladies Sailing. An avid photographer, she left an archive of family photos and movies.
Following the death of her husband in 1977, she married Edwin J. Dikeman Jr., and moved to Greenwich. Mr. Dikeman, who had a distinguished career at Bankers Trust Co., died in 1989. She moved to The Osborn Retirement Community in 1996, where she lived until her death.
“Her longevity can in large part be attributed to her optimism, gratitude, and love of life, qualities that were evident up through her final days,” said her family. “Mary was a kind and loving person who never had a harsh word to say about anybody.”
Mrs. Dikeman is survived by her sons, Robert C. (Lee) Brewer of Bluffton, S.C. and Chazy Lake, N.Y., and William O. (Adrianne) Brewer of New Rochelle. She was a beloved grandmother, known as “Minnie,” to her four grandchildren: Gwendolyn Brewer,Catherine (Bill) Daley, Katrina and Alex Brewer; and two great-grandchildren: Caroline and Brewer Daley.
A memorial service will be held at a later date to be determined.
Orlando L. D’Angelo, a 67-year Rye resident, passed away after a short illness on December 31, 2014, with his family by his side. He was 89 years old.
Born on July 4, 1925 in the Bronx, he graduated from Morris Park High School. During World War II, he served as a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corp. After he was honorably discharged on July 12, 1946, he began his lifelong career as a building contractor in partnership with his brother, Louis D’Angelo. He retired in 1987.
He was the loving husband for over 60 years of Ellen “Sis” D’Angelo and the father of two daughters.
Mr. D’Angelo was President of the Rye Kiwanis Club from 1982-1983. He taught religious instruction classes at Resurrection Elementary School in the 1960s, and was a volunteer at the William H. Ball Memorial Field Day events. For many years, he was an active member of American Legion Rye Post 128.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughters, Carol D’Angelo of White Plains, and Ginny Johnson and her husband Joel, and granddaughter Tracy of Charlotte, N.C. He was predeceased by his brother, Frank D’Angelo, and sister, Tina Marino.
A service celebrating Mr. D’Angelo’s life was held January 6 at Church of the Resurrection.
Donations in his memory may be made to The Wounded Warrior Project.
Irving Charles Herrmann, a 61-year resident of Rye, who had a long career as a landscape architect, died on January 1, 2015. He was 99 years old and lived at The Osborn.
Mr. Herrmann was born on August 17, 1915, in the Bronx, New York, the son of Charles Alfred and Sophie Bolte Herrmann. His father worked for the Building Department of the City of New York.
After graduating from Theodore Roosevelt High School, he entered the Forestry College at Syracuse University, where he was on the fencing team. Graduating in 1939, Mr. Herrmann practiced as a surveyor before working with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, building an airfield in Bermuda until 1942. Despite having been declared 4F because of lung damage from inhaled coral dust in Bermuda, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1943. Ending his navy career as Captain of a minesweeper operating in Philippine waters, he then worked for the Veterans Administration as a landscape architect, before joining Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in 1947. In 1953, Mr. Herrmann opened his own landscape architectural firm in Rye. He retired in 1978, but because of his knowledge and skill, his expertise was in high demand by friends and local organizations.
Mr. Herrmann served on the Rye Conservation Commission, was a former chair of the American Yacht Club Grounds Committee, and a founding member and president of Rye Rotary Club.
Irv, or Grandpa, as many knew him, was a true gentleman and a gentle man. He loved walking with his wife, Margery, in the Rye and Greenwich nature centers. His passion for fishing led him from Milton Point to the north woods of Quebec. He loved nature, and knew the names of every single species of tree. He was president of the Rose Society of Westchester and a member of the Orchid Society. He also had a passion for growing vegetables and kept a garden at The Osborn, growing corn and melons, which he shared with his Osborn friends.
Mr. Herrmann’s wife, Margery (Hoyt) Woodfield, predeceased him in 2000. He was also predeceased by his two stepsons, Denis Woodfield of Princeton, New Jersey, and Anthony Woodfield of Switzerland. He is survived by his stepdaughter, Roz (Rosamond Woodfield) Larr of Rye; a niece, Ellen Hockman; eight grandchildren; and seventeen great-grandchildren.
Contributions in Mr. Herrmann’s memory may be made to The Osborn Memorial Fund, the Rye Rotary Foundation, or a charity of choice.