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Elizabeth Smith, 52, of Rye, beloved mother, sister, daughter, family member, and friend, died peacefully on June 10, 2017 at Greenwich Hospital surrounded by family, following a courageous battle with cancer.

Born Elizabeth Bishop Smith on February 8, 1965 in Boston, she was the daughter of Robert M. Smith and Ellen (Prouty) Smith. After spending her childhood years in Cohasset, Mass., she and her family moved to the Philadelphia area, where she graduated from Episcopal Academy. In 1988, she earned a Bachelor of Arts from Trinity College in Hartford.

For a number of years, she worked at Miller, Anderson & Sherrard, an investment management firm in West Conshohocken, Pa., where she earned the professional designation of Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

She married and raised her family in Brooklyn and Rye, where she was an active member of the community, cultivating meaningful and lasting friendships with many.

An avid traveler, Ms. Smith enjoyed exploring foreign and even exotic locales and cultures around the world. Besides being the chief instigator of several women’s poker groups, she served on board of trustees of the Rye Historical Society and was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Society of Mayflower Descendants.

The accomplishment in which she took the greatest pride and satisfaction was her four children: Robert (Rob) Hash, a resident of Steamboat Springs, CO; William (Will) Hash, a student at Tulane University; George Hash, who recently graduated from Brunswick School in Greenwich, and will attend Virginia Tech in the fall; and Aubrey Hash, a student at Sacred Heart in Greenwich.

In addition to her four children, she leaves her father, Robert Smith and his wife Mary, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.; her mother, Ellen Cotts and her husband Ron Cotts of Boulder; her sisters, Cathy Smith of Auburn, N.H., Allison Smith of East Granby, Conn., and Melissa Smith of Washington, D.C., as well as two nieces and one nephew. She was predeceased by her sister, Debbie Smith.

Funeral services and burial were private. A public memorial service will be held locally at a future date, time, and place to be announced.

Donations in Betsy Smith’s memory may be directed to Doctors Without Borders.

Margaret M. Dunne passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family, at her home in Old Saybrook, Conn., on May 20, 2017.

Born in Ireland, she was the daughter of Armour and Margaret (McSweeney) Meldrum.

She married William J. Dunne in Dublin, Ireland. In the 1950s, they moved to New York, where they started a family and eventually settled in Rye.

She received Master of Fine Arts from Manhattanville College, where she continued her love of the arts as an Adjunct Professor of Art Education.

Not only was she an accomplished artist and exceptional pianist, but she was also an avid tennis player and golf enthusiast.

She and her husband moved to Old Saybrook in 2014. He survives her, as do their five children: Michael (Dana) of Old Saybrook, David (Peggy) of Yonkers, John (Karen) of Auburn, N.Y., Sheila of Old Saybrook, and Lynda (Mike) of Cornwall, N.Y. She is also survived by sixteen grandchildren: Nicole, Patrick, Maggie, Betsy Dunne, Ian, Aiden, Mairead, Casey, Molly, Rory, Katie, Liam, Emma, Mikey, Carley, and Meghan.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, June 17 at 11 a.m. at the Church of St. John in Old Saybrook.

Donations may be made to the ALS Foundation.

<p>Bradley H. Becker, who helped shape the Harrison Public Library, passed away May 17, 2017 shortly after his 84th birthday. </p><p>A resident of Greenwich, he grew up in Rye, the son of Harold and Gladys Becker.</p><p>After graduating from Rye High School in 1951, he went on to study commercial art at Syracuse University. For many years he was owner of the Bookworm on Harrison’s Halstead Avenue. Subsequently, he became Associate Director of the Harrison Public Library. The Library’s significant building expansion and physical plant renovation were completed during his career there.</p><p>Mr. Becker also consulted for other Westchester and Fairfield libraries, free-lanced as a commercial artist specializing in publicity posters, and volunteered in the Guidance Department of Greenwich’s Western Junior High School as a role model counseling at-risk middle school students.</p><p>An occasional “Broadway Angel”, who extended his artistic bent to the Great White Way, Mr. Becker was also involved in community theater groups and summer stock performances. </p><p>His love for the seashore, which extended from Rye Beach to Tod’s Point to Rhode Island to Cape Cod, filled his summers.</p><p>He was a very special influence in the lives of his nephew Steve Feeney and niece Jessica (Feeney) Antico, both of Rye, and their families. His nine great-nieces and great-nephews revered him in a grandfatherly way. He was predeceased by his sister, Beverley Feeney.</p><p>He greatly enjoyed all family holiday and birthday celebrations and will be remembered for his creativity, sense of humor, and high spirits.</p><p>A Memorial Service was held, in celebration of a life well lived, at Rye Presbyterian Church on May 27.</p><p>Contributions in Brad Becker’s memory may be made to the Harrison Public Library.</p>

Compiled by Robin Jovanovich

Alexander John Abate died peacefully in his sleep the morning of June 7, 2017, at his home in Port Chester, N.Y. Born November 14, 2000, AJ was the son of John Thomas and Kimberly (Toor) Abate and he grew up in Rye. 

While limited physically and mentally from birth, AJ’s ability to impact lives through his spirit, attitude, and smile was monumental. He was a gift to all who came in contact with him from day one. His spirit will live within all he touched in his nearly 17 years on earth. 

In addition to his parents, AJ is survived by his brother, Andrew (Drew) and his sister, Abigail (Abby); his grandparents, Mario and Rita Abate; his great-aunt, Vickie Barrows; aunts and uncles, Kevin and Christine Toor, Jane and Kevin Nugent, Mary Jo Tucker and Bobby Bramson, Carolyn and Tom Lowenthal, Laura and Steven Schaffer, and Donna and Jim Potter; and 22 first cousins.

A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated June 12 at the Church of the Resurrection in Rye. 

Donations in AJ Abate’s memory may be made to Our Lady of Lourdes School, 468 West 143rd Street, NY, NY 10031, or Blythedale Children’s Hospital, att. Jane MacDonald, 95 Bradhurst Ave., Valhalla, NY 10595.

Catherine F. Wilson died on May 25, 2017, in Beaufort, S.C. She was 78.

Born on August 13, 1938 in Port Chester, N.Y., she was the daughter of John J. and Mary (Rogers) Farrell, and the granddaughter of four Irish immigrants.

Raised in Rye, she graduated from Academy of the Resurrection in 1955. Shortly after graduating from Wheaton College, she went to work in advertising and media in New York City. She started her career with J. Walter Thompson and worked for Metromedia Channel Five (now Fox 5) in various capacities for both founder John Kluge and television host and media mogul Merv Griffin.

In July of 1967, she married Robert J. Wilson Jr. The growing family moved to Greenwich in 1973. Mrs. Wilson was active in the Riverside School PTA and volunteered with the Greenwich High School Wrestling program. She was a member of the Greenwich Junior Women’s Club where she served as editor of The Link and played bridge weekly.

After moving to South Carolina in 1998, Mrs. Wilson became active in a local book club as well as helping at St. Peter’s Catholic Church Food Pantry in Beaufort.

Known as a wonderful conversationalist and writer, she enjoyed gardening, art, following tennis, and traveling with her family.

In addition to her husband, Robert, Mrs. Wilson is survived by her sons, Christopher Wilson (Christine) of Harrisburg, Pa., and John Wilson (Erin) of Old Greenwich; her daughter, Abby Sparks (Jamie) of Milford, Conn.; and three granddaughters, Caitlin, Mackensey, and Morgan Wilson.

A funeral mass in celebration of Catherine Wilson’s life will be held June 17 at 12:30 p.m. at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Riverside, Conn. Interment will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Rye Brook.

Patricia Aileen Kelly Bratches, founder of Rye School of Dance, died peacefully at her home in Rye, on May 6, 2017, surrounded by her family. She was 88.

Born on March 26, 1929, she was the daughter of William and Theo Kelly, and brought up in the Beverly Hills section of Chicago’s South Side, along with her sister Sharon. When Pat, as she was known, was 15, the family moved to Mamaroneck, N.Y.

She attended Mamaroneck High School, where she was a cheerleader and fell in love with dancing and Walter’s Hot Dogs. Her affinity for each stayed with her throughout her life.

While a student at the College of New Rochelle, from which she received a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, she began to turn her passion for dance into a profession, teaching at Camp Mohawk in White Plains during summer break.

It was at Camp Mohawk that she met her future husband, Howard Bratches. Hoping to catch Pat’s eye, Howard led his young campers in an army crawl through the middle of her dance class. It made Pat laugh – which is what Howard did every day of their 62-year marriage, until his passing in 2013.

Howard and Pat wed in Larchmont on May 16, 1951, and soon began their family. Daryl came first, soon followed by Janice, Beth, Kurt, and Kyle. The family of seven settled in Rye in 1962.

Once in Rye, Pat became a big part of the community. She loved Christ’s Church, where she could be found in her favorite pew every Sunday. She was involved in the Altar Guild, the Education for Ministry, the Vestry, and Neighbors in Christ. Outside of the church, she participated in Rye Women’s Interfaith, Outreach, and the 26th TWIG. She was a member of Manursing Island Club and an avid participant in Rye Recreation’s senior exercise class.

Pat continued to dance throughout her life and touched the lives of so many students, including members of her family, through her love of dance.

She began teaching at The Steffi Nossen School in Scarsdale, eventually bringing her four daughters along with her to class. In 1975, she started the Rye School of Dance with her daughter, Daryl. Two quickly became four as Kyle and Beth joined the family business. Pat continued to teach alongside her daughters until her 60th birthday.

After she retired, Pat never missed a performance, cheering on her daughters and granddaughters at every single show. Her legacy lives on, with Rye School of Dance celebrating its 41st year.

Her creativity extended beyond the dance studio. She loved writing poetry, and you could often find her at her kitchen table with glasses around her neck and a No. 2 pencil in hand. When she wasn’t working on a poem, she was working on a crossword puzzle – and she was always simultaneously baking oatmeal cookies.

She also loved being outdoors and was an avid gardener. Her grandchildren always received fresh cut peonies for their dance performances. She could often be found exploring the Marshlands or walking and biking around town. On Block Island, where the family vacationed, Pat was always biking around the island. She was also the first to lead her grandchildren in a rock climb up the Mohegan Bluffs or out to the beach to watch a storm roll in.

“Pat was the best wife, mother, and grandmother you could ever hope for,” said her family. She was quick to laugh. She loved adventure. She loved her family, and we loved her. Life will not be the same, but we are all so happy that she is at last reunited with Howard. We know they are up there laughing.”

She will be remembered every day by her sister Sharon; her children: Daryl, Janice, Beth, Kurt, and Kyle, and their spouses Bob, Barb, David, Beth, and Mark; and her eleven grandchildren: Kate, Meggie, Brendan, Billy, Taylor, Christy, Chelsea, Wills, Kevin, Charlie, and Johnny.

A memorial service was held May 13 at Christ’s Church. Donations in Pat Bratches’ memory may be made to Christ's Church Rye, 2 Rectory Street, Rye, NY 10580.