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Joan Ann Cole Fernandes Hanssler, 83 of Greenwich, passed away peacefully on May 6, 2017.

Born in Port Chester on August 5, 1933, she was the daughter of Ernest and Lillian Cole. She grew up in Rye and graduated from Rye High School.

She began her administrative career at Empire Brush Works in Port Chester, then worked for many years at Avon in Rye. In 1996, she retired from Direct Media in Greenwich.

Known for her dedication to her work and caring ways, Joan had a way of noticing and connecting with you, whether she saw you every day or just now and then, with a kind word or inquiry about you, your family, your dog or cat. While work filled her days, family filled her life.

Fun to be around and generous in nature, she and her husband Bill enjoyed their extended families and friends, traveling, and dining out. She possessed a love for all animals and always had a special dog in her life.

She had a very close relationship with her children, JoAnn and Jeffrey, and welcomed their friends any time of day or night. She was thrilled when the grandchildren came along and her family grew. She was a natural grandmother who loved spending time with — and slightly spoiling — Jen, Bobby, Jeffrey, and Holly. They enjoyed seeing one another often and have wonderful memories. “She was strong when necessary and accomplished what eludes so many of us – a joy for life and a close-knit family,” noted her family.

Mrs. Hanssler is survived by her daughter, JoAnn Rispoli, and son, Jeffery Fernandes; four grandchildren: Jennifer (Nick) Crane, Robert (Norma) Rispoli, and Jeffrey and Holly Fernandes; her sisters, Diane (Kenneth) Dahlgren and Maureen (Sal) Rosa and half-sister, Lillian Ambrosino; and many nieces and nephews.

William Hanssler, her husband of 34 years, passed away the day before her death. She was predeceased by her half-sister, Hazel Bradbury, and her son-in-law, Robert Rispoli.

Donations in Mrs. Hanssler’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Dr. John E. Walsh of Rye, age 82, passed away peacefully on December 22, 2016, surrounded by his loving family.

Born March 6, 1934 in New York City, Jack, as he was known, was the son of John and Kathryn (O’Keefe) Walsh.

He received a B.A. degree from New York University in 1956, and Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from New York University College of Dentistry in 1960, and was a member of Psi Gamma Delta. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army Dental Corps, retiring in 1965. Upon returning to New York, he established a private dental practice at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, which he maintained for over forty years.

He was elected to Fellowship in the American College of Dentists in 1971 and was a life fellow of the New York Academy of Dentistry.

Giving back to his community was important to him. He served as Chief of the Port Chester/Rye/Rye Brook Volunteer Ambulance Corps and was particularly proud of the transition to modern ambulances and a refurbished station house under his watch. In 1971, he was recognized as a Knight of the Order of Malta for U.S.A. service.

Dr. Walsh never stopped learning and enjoyed technical challenges. He learned to fly while in the Army and went on to earn Commercial Pilot ratings: Single Engine Land & Sea, Multiengine, Instrument and Rotorcraft Helicopter. When he retired his airplane, his passion shifted to boating, particularly fishing with his family, at American Yacht Club. He was an avid sportsman who showed a deep appreciation for his natural surroundings.

When not on the water or in the air, he could often be found around Rye enjoying his favorite cigar and sharing his vast, often esoteric knowledge.

He and his wife, Joan, who moved to Rye in 1965, celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 2012. In retirement, they enjoyed extensive travel, exploring six of the seven continents.

In addition to his beloved wife of 53 years, Dr. Walsh is survived by his children: Cybil (Brian) Powers of Rye, Anne (Stephen) Lake of Cheltenham, England, John (Amy) Walsh, of Wallingford, Conn., and Luke Walsh of Rye; eight grandchildren; and a sister, Geraldine McFarland. His sister, Patricia Peters, died recently. He was predeceased by his brother William Walsh.

A memorial mass will be celebrated at Church of the Resurrection on Saturday, June 3, at 10 a.m. Donations may be made to Murray-Weigel Hall, an infirmary and retirement home for Jesuit priests: Murray-Weigel Hall (attn. Fr. Dan Fitzpatrick), Fordham University, 515 E. Fordham Road, Bronx, NY 10458.

Violet Loriel DeCaro passed away peacefully at her home in Rye on April 24, 2017. She was 94.

Born February 1, 1923 in the Bronx, Violet was the daughter of Flora and John Lewis.

During World War II, she worked in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and it was there that she met her future father-in-law, Nicholas DeCaro, who made sure to introduce Violet to his son, Thomas, when he returned to New York in 1945 after serving his country. Thomas and Violet were married on December 23, 1945.

The couple first settled in Mount Vernon, and then moved to Rye Beach Avenue in Rye in 1966.

Active in in the Rye community, Mrs. DeCaro was a member of American Yacht Club, the Ladies Auxiliary, the Friends of Rye Town Park, and Rye Seniors. She was also an accomplished seamstress and quilter. Never one to shy away from hard work, she could always be found with a paintbrush or power tool in hand, ready to tackle the next project around the house. She enjoyed walking in Rye Town Park across the street from her home and spending time at Rye Beach.

Her family lovingly described her as an impassioned woman, “who always told it like it was.” Her husband Tom said that it was her unwavering encouragement that pushed him through both engineering and law school when he wanted to quit.

Married for 72 wonderful years, Violet and Tom were quite the pair. They enjoyed traveling in their motor home in their later years. Fortunate to have their three children settle with their families in Rye (all within walking distance), they were active in their grandchildren’s lives and hosted weekly Sunday night dinners at their home.

In addition to her husband, the Honorable Thomas G. DeCaro, she is survived by her children: Tom (Faye) DeCaro of Greenwich, Lori DeCaro of Rye, and Phil (Leah) DeCaro of Rye; her sisters, Patricia Trumm of Rye and Connie Ryan of Kinderhook, N.Y.; and ten grandchildren; Kristin Rodriguez, Peter Junggren, Andrew Junggren, Stephen Burkly, Lauren DeCaro, Chelsea DeCaro, Carson DeCaro, Callie DeCaro, Molly DeCaro, and Thomas DeCaro. She was predeceased by her siblings, John Lewis, Charles Lewis, and Mary Brown.

A Memorial service will be held at a later date. 

George Razook, a women’s fashion store legend and longtime resident of Rye, died peacefully on May 13, 2017 with his family by his side.

Born in New York City on April 25, 1926, he spent his early years in Pinehurst, N.C. He fondly remembered attending Miss Chapman’s one- room schoolhouse in Pinehurst, before leaving for The Fessenden School. He graduated from The Taft School and, after serving in the Army during World War II, Williams College. A loyal Williams’ alumnus, he took great pride in being amongst “the stubborn survivors of the class of ’50.” After receiving his business degree at NYU Stern School, he joined Razook’s, a designer women’s clothing chain located at the Plaza Hotel, Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Lake Placid Club, and Pinehurst.

As president, he expanded the footprint of the company his parents founded and moved the headquarters to Greenwich, in the 1960s. The company thrived under his leadership, and was noted by Time magazine as having been used in a superior court case to define luxury retail.

Mr. Razook enjoyed the camaraderie of golf as much as the game itself. He first held a golf club at the age of 3, and in later years swore by his putter “Magic.” His years in the US Seniors’ Golf Association were a great source of happiness. He was a member of the Apawamis, American Yacht, John’s Island, and Lake Placid clubs.

From the first summer of his life until almost his last, he spent summers in Lake Placid,  and the  lifelong family friendships made there were among his most treasured. His years at Camp Dudley became an honored tradition for his son Bradley, daughter Lauren, and grandsons.

He loved to dance; at the Stork Club or Palladium, at parties, weddings, or “Club 50,” one would find him with his wife Claudia on the dance floor having a ball. One of the great joys of their extraordinarily happy 64-year marriage was their shared morning “Tex and Jinx” breakfast. They were best friends and never tired of each other’s company.

An optimist, he took great care to convey that attitude to his children and grandchildren. He would often say, “demand good luck”, and he received it in volumes. His friends thought him the best of friends, he was a cherished husband and father, and his eight grandsons adored him.

In addition to his wife, Claudia, Mr. Razook is survived by his children, Leslie (Hans Eschricht), Bradley (Mary Jo), and Lauren (John Roth); grandsons George (Christina), Charlie, Christopher, and Harry Razook, Nicholas, Peter, and William Roth, and Henry Eschricht; and his sisters, Jacqueline Chamandy and Renee Dunne.

A service in celebration of his life will be held at Christ’s Church in Rye, May 31 at 3 p.m. and be immediately followed by a reception at American Yacht Club. A memorial service will be held in Lake Placid later in the summer.

Donations in George Razook’s memory may be sent to Camp Dudley, 126 Dudley Road, Westport, NY 12993, or in lieu, root for the NY Giants.

 

Abdul Wahab Wohabe, 82, a longtime Rye resident, died peacefully on May 5, 2017, with his family by his side.

Born in 1935, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, he was the son of Abdullah and Miriam Wohabe.

After attending the Al-Najat Private School in Zubair, Iraq, and serving in the Royal Saudi Air Force, he moved to the United States to continue his education. Following his undergraduate studies at Williams College, he earned a law degree from Cornell Law School.

In 1959, Al, as he was known, married Jane Sunshine of Paterson, New Jersey, with whom he had three children. She passed away in 1993.

After graduating law school in 1962, he was associated with the law firm of White & Case and served as an officer of Morgan Guaranty Trust Co. In 1971, he founded his own law firm, at which his sons would eventually join him.

In his private practice, he was a trusted advisor to numerous private and public sector clients, including: General Electric, Getty Oil, Exxon, Texaco, Xerox Corporation, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of Commerce of Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of Industry & Electricity of Saudi Arabia, and the Saudi Arabian Embassy to the United States.

He was at the forefront of modernizing the commercial legal framework in Saudi Arabia, carrying out commissions by the government to review and draft national legislation, including a code of Business Corporations, Consumer Protection Code, Code to Regulate the Marketing of Financial Securities in the Kingdom, and rules governing the conduct of the accounting profession.

He was a founder of the Arab American Bank in New York and served as a member of its board of directors from 1976-80. He was also a founder of the U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce in New York.

Mr. Wohabe was a resident of Rye from 1963 until his death. He was active in the local community, as a member of Shenorock Shore Club and in local causes, including his sustained involvement in the successful opposition to the Oyster Bay-Rye Bridge across Long Island Sound proposed by Robert Moses.

A great lover of all things New England, he also enjoyed spending time at his home in Dorset, Vermont.

He was blessed to meet Vincenza (Enza) Boccasile, and they married in 2001. She introduced him to “la bella vita” of all things Italian, and together they enjoyed life surrounded by their children and grandchildren.

His family, near and far, was the most important thing to him. He was a devoted and loving father. As the oldest of eleven siblings, he was always looking out for them, and he was unhesitatingly generous with friends and family alike. His favorite times were the occasions when he would host the family for holidays and other gatherings. Even after a devastating stroke in 2000, he always made his presence felt wherever he was.

Everyone will deeply miss his strength, charm, passion for life, and sense of adventure.

In addition to his wife Enza, Mr. Wohabe is survived by his sons, David and Omar, and daughter, Miriam; four grandchildren; two sisters; and seven brothers. He is also survived by his stepchildren, Alessandra and Stefano, and four step-grandchildren. His brother Adnan predeceased him.

A private funeral service was held May 8 at Graham Funeral Home in Rye.

Robert Kniffin Henne, of Daytona Beach Shores, Florida, died on April 9, 2017, a few months short of his 100th birthday.

Born in Rye on October 17, 1917 in Rye, Bob was a star athlete at Rye High School. He played on the Baseball and Basketball teams, and was captain of the Football team. After graduating in 1936, he went to work in construction at Barber and Coccola of Rye.

During World War II, Mr. Henne served in the Navy and was stationed in Okinawa. He was returned to the U.S. on the hospital ship Hope after contracting malaria. 

Mr. Henne returned to work at Barber and Coccola, working his way up to vice-president. He retired in 1979. He was a volunteer fireman in the Rye Fire Department. 

In 1969, he moved to Westbrook, Connecticut, and to Florida in 1987.

Mr. Henne was predeceased by Julie Henne, his wife of 52 years, his daughter Claudia, and his brother Fred. He is survived by his son Robert “Hank” Kniffin Henne Jr. and his wife Jeanne, who live in Leesburg, Fla.

A service will be held at Christ’s Church in Rye on May 19 at 10 a.m. Donations in Bob Henne’s memory may be made to the charity of your choice.