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Compiled by Robin Jovanovich
Patricia Mooney Denison of Rye passed away on October 21, 2014. She was 88.
Born in Fall River, Mass. on December 7, 1925, she attended Dana Hall School in Wellesley and Georgian Court University in Lakewood, New Jersey. While spending her junior year abroad in Paris, she met her future husband, David Denison. They were married in 1950.
Before settling down to raise her family, she worked as an assistant beauty editor at Town & Country.
The Denisons spent most of their married life in Larchmont, where Mrs. Denison was an active community member. She volunteered at New Rochelle Hospital, the Larchmont Public Library, Mother Theresa’s Soup Kitchen in the Bronx, and the Lighthouse for the Blind. A member of the Junior League of Westchester, she also served on the Ladies Auxiliary of St. Augustine’s Church in Larchmont.
But what she loved most was doing things with her family — especially trips and reunions — according to her husband of 64 years.
In 2007, the Denisons moved to The Osborn in Rye.
In addition to her husband David, Mrs. Denison is survived by her daughter, Mary Ellen Walsh (Jeffrey) of Rowayton, Conn.; her three sons: David (Gretchen) of Cambridge, Mass., Andrew (Rebecca) of Philadelphia, and James (Pirkko) of Edmonton, Canada; and six grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held October 24 at the Church of the Resurrection. Donations in her memory may be made to the Cancer Support Team, 2900 Westchester Avenue, Suite 103, Purchase, NY 10577.
Gloria Bohm Geiger, of Port Chester, New York, died October 15, 2014 at age 78 following a yearlong battle with cancer.
A native of Edwardsville, Illinois, she received her B.A. from Washington University and her M.S. in physical education at UW – Madison, where she met her future husband, David Howard Geiger. They were married in 1959. The Geigers spent their early years living and working in New York City and traveling extensively. Travel was a passion for her from the time she was a teenager; during her lifetime, Mrs. Geiger traveled to more than 40 countries and six continents.
In 1974, the Geigers moved to Rye, where they raised their three daughters. When the children were older, Mrs. Geiger worked at Mutual of New York and later at the Westchester County Department of Health. She was active in the Rye Presbyterian Church and its Mission & Outreach Program. In 1989, she was widowed when her husband died while in Korea for work.
In the last 15 years, Gloria and her companion Don McLeod enjoyed dancing and travelling the world. She also enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and coordinating annual family vacations.
A loving mother and grandmother, she will be missed dearly. Mrs. Geiger is survived by her daughters, Linda (Tom) Ross of Venice, Calif., Tina (Don) Keppler of Bethesda, Md., and Karma (Brian) Hughes of Minneapolis; grandchildren, Calvin Ross, Thea and Axel Keppler, and Carter and Spencer Hughes; and by her sisters, Paralee Dorman and Audree Bohm.
A celebration of her life was held at Rye Presbyterian Church on Sunday, October 19.
Donations in her memory may be made to the Mission & Outreach Program at Rye Presbyterian Church.
Teodora I. Beary passed away peacefully on October 11, 2014. She was 57 years old.
Born in the Philippines, Dorie, as she was called, graduated from Visayas University with a degree in Food Science. She traveled to Hong Kong to pursue her career. A sense of adventure and the desire to expand her knowledge brought her to Washington D.C.
In 1991, she married Thomas J. Beary at Resurrection Church, where she became an active member and found great comfort within the church community.
She made sure to instill a sense of adventure in her daughter, Bernadette. On their trips to the Philippines, they shared love and laughter with Mrs. Beary’s four sisters, father, aunts, uncles, cousins, and many nieces and nephews, all of whom, as well as her daughter, survive her.
Mrs. Beary was a fan of many things: the New York Yankees, the Duke Blue Devils, turkey at Thanksgiving, long drives, and Vermont foliage, but above all she loved to know she was helping people.
To honor her memory, donations may be made to the Light of Life Foundation, which is dedicated to thyroid cancer research and education.
A memorial mass was held October 16 at Resurrection Church.
Suzanne Alderman Brainard, 83, a longtime resident of Rye, died October 10, 2014 in Greenwich.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio on January 16, 1931 to Royal McCoy Alderman and Eunice Whalen Alderman, she spent her early years in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and New York City, before moving to Rye. After graduating from Rye High School, class of 1948, she received a B.A. in English and Drama from Catholic University in Washington D.C., graduating cum laude in 1952.
In 1957, she moved back to Rye to raise her family, and soon dedicated herself to community service.
She was a member of the Mother’s Guild in the 1960s and 1970s, holding various board positions for seven years, including one term as president. She volunteered at the Westchester Golf Classic during those same years, helping to manage public relations and ticket sales.
Her lifelong love of the arts led her to join the Rye Arts Center in 1975 and serve in a number of positions over the next 30 years, including as president and chairman of the board.
For many years, Mrs. Brainard was a parishioner at Church of the Resurrection and a member of American Yacht Club. When she moved to White Plains in 1986, she enjoyed worshipping at St. Pius X Church in Scarsdale, and for many years served Gedney Commons Association as chair of the grounds committee.
When she returned to the work force after her children were grown, her first job was as Director of Volunteer Services for the Hall Brooke Foundation in Westport, Connecticut. Hall Brooke serves Fairfield County families with behavioral health care services. She later served as Director of Development for the Guidance Center of New Rochelle, whose mission is to help all ages overcome their circumstances to lead healthy lives.
Mrs. Brainard took great joy in learning about every plant and flower, and loved choral music, especially from the Gregorian Monks, and jazz ensembles. She adored animals, collecting different shaped and sized owl figurines and watching and listening to seals at play.
A collector of art, Mrs. Brainard supported local artists, such as Regi Klein and Howard Bratches.
Later in life, she volunteered with the Interface Council, a group of women throughout Westchester County who explored all things spiritual across Christian and Jewish doctrine.
She is survived by two sons, Stephen of Nashville, Tenn., and Jeffrey (Laurey) of Lexington, Mass.; two daughters, Laurinda, and Leslie, both of Hartford, Conn.; and four grandchildren: Douglas, Abigail, Katherine, and Christina.
A funeral service was held at Church of the Resurrection October 14, followed by interment at Greenwood Union Cemetery.
Donations in Suzanne Brainard’s memory may be made to the Rye Arts Center (www.ryeartscenter.org), 51 Milton Road, Rye, New York 10580.
Rosario Penichet, a longtime resident of Rye, died peacefully at the home of her son in South Salem, New York, on October 12, 2014, after a long battle with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and dementia. She was 90.
She was born in Havana, Cuba on October 7, 1924, to Salustiano Carbajal and Rosario Alvarez.
On February 4, 1950, she married Frederick Penichet, who went on to become Vice President for Avon Products. They were married for over 50 years.
Rosario, her husband and two children lived in Cuba until 1960, when they were forced to escape the Communist regime of Fidel Castro.
The family moved to Rye in 1962, where she raised two sons, and was the epitome of a wonderful, loving, caring, and beloved mother, wife, friend, and neighbor for 40 years.
A parishioner of the Church of the Resurrection in Rye, she was a benefactress to a number of local and regional charities, and reveled in her three favorite hobbies: family, the community, and shopping!
Mrs. Penichet was pre-deceased by her husband Frederick in 2001. She is survived by her two sons, Frederick and his wife Teri of Rye, and Luis and his wife Gina of South Salem; a sister, Carmen Marichal of Sound Beach, New York; six grandchildren: Jacqueline, Luis, Brittany, Jason, Vincent, and Christopher; three great-grandchildren: Skye, Jordon, and Jason Jr.; as well as a nephew, Joseph L. Fernandez of Rye Brook, and a niece, Blanca Marachal of Sound Beach.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held October 16 at Resurrection Church, followed by interment at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Rye Brook.
Jodi Ritter, owner of Paw-Pourri, the longtime dog grooming business on Milton Road in Rye, died September 1, 2014. She lived in Rye Brook.
She was born in Hiawatha, Kansas on March 15, 1960. Her father, Don was a Navy Seal so the family lived in many parts of the United States, but settled in Virginia Beach, Virginia when she was a teenager.
She had a lifelong affection for pets and started dog grooming at age 13 years old. In 1989, she opened Paw-Pourri, which was the embodiment of a small neighborhood business. Her two standard poodles greeted customers. Ritter was considered a gifted stylist and groomed dogs for Mariah Carey and Kathy Lee. Many of the groomers she trained went on to open their own businesses in other areas of the country. Jessica Marquez, who worked with her, will continue the business.
Throughout her life Ms. Ritter was involved in many animal advocacy groups including Adopt-a-Dog and the World Wildlife Federation. She was an amazing gardener and a certified scuba diver, who loved to travel.
She was pre-deceased by her mother, Margie, and her brother Randy. She is survived by her father and stepmother, Don and Betty Ritter, and her siblings, Sheryl, Murray, and Ryan.
Donations in Jodi Ritter’s memory may be made to Adopt-a-Dog, 23 Cox Avenue, Armonk, NY 10504, or Poodle Rescue, P.O. Box 188, Naugatuck, CT 06770.
Harold Cook Jr.
Harold Cook Jr., a lifelong resident of Rye, passed away peacefully on October 11, 2014, with his family by his side. He was 91.
Born in Port Chester on December 27, 1922, he was the son of Harold and Anna Cook.
He attended Resurrection Elementary School and graduated from Rye High School. In World War II, he served his country as a Seaman 1st Class in the United States Coast Guard. On December 14, 1945, he married Marjorie O’Rourke.
Mr. Cook worked for the City of Rye as the Parks and Trees Supervisor before retiring after 39 years of service.
An avid football fan, he played for and later devoted time and support to the Rye High School football program. He was also a devoted member of the Church of the Resurrection.
He was predeceased by his loving and devoted wife of 64 years in 2010, and by his only brother, Gerard, in 2011.
Mr. Cook is survived by his children, Pamela Jacobs of Rye, and Harold Patrick Cook of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan; a grandson, Sean P. Jacobs and his wife Anne of Norwalk; and four great-grandchildren: Luke, Zachary, Marjorie, and Charlotte.
A funeral was held October 15 at Resurrection Church. Donations in Mr. Cook’s memory may be made to the American Diabetes Association.