banner1gif.gif

 

Frederick Joseph Pagnani, age 83, a longtime resident of Greenwich and Rye, died peacefully at home on October 18, 2017.

Born on October 24, 1933 in New York, he was the youngest of five children of Salvatore and Mariana Pagnani. He graduated from Grover Cleveland High School, City College of New York, and Harvard Law School. During his college years, he worked at the New York Bar Association Library and, after graduating, served in the Army Reserves.

A successful lawyer and businessman, his career spanned from mass torts defense and insurance defense litigation to Russian Adventure Tours. Through his involvement with the 1964 New York World’s Fair, he developed business and personal relationships that would take him all over the world and involve him in ventures in Russia, China, and London.

Outside of his professional life, Mr. Pagnani supported the arts and volunteered his time with organizations that he cared about. He served on the Board of Governors and as President of Westchester Country Club, and was a trustee of the Army War College, and a longtime member of the board of trustees at Hackley School.

If he wasn’t working or volunteering, Mr. Pagnani could be found at Westchester Country Club on the tennis or paddle courts with his friends, in the Harvard Hall room at the Harvard Club holding court (and a cocktail), or listening to classical music, likely at Lincoln Center or Tanglewood.

An avid sports enthusiast, he was both a player and a fan. From the handball courts to the baseball diamond, if he was not playing or cheering on one of his many children or grandchildren, he was watching and praying for his beloved Mets and Jets.

His love of the arts and sports was only surpassed by his love of family. He was the devoted father of Pamela, Allyson, Rick, Keith, Marissa, and Vanessa, and cherished grandfather of Jennie (Mark DiFiore), Charlie, Aidan, Colin, Eli, Mackenzie, Sloan, Kiernan, Keith Jr., Kristen, and Kyle. He considered himself blessed to have a beautiful great-granddaughter, Charlotte, and to count his daughters-in-law, Amy and Katy, and sons-in-law, Christopher and Michael, as such important parts of his family. And, who could forget, his beloved grand-dogs, Kooper and Ace.

He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Christine Pagnani, with whom he traveled the world, entertained the neighborhood, enjoyed countless tennis games and rounds of golf, and experienced the great music and theater afforded by wherever they were. He is also survived by his loving sister, Mathilda Pezalano of Rye Brook, and his first wife, Virginia Pagnani.

A funeral service was held October 24 at Resurrection Church. A celebration of life followed at Westchester Country Club.

Contributions in Mr. Pagnani’s memory may be sent to Part of the Solution (POTS), 2759 Webster Avenue, Bronx, NY 10458.

 

Eugene Edward O’Brien, age 89, of Stratford, Conn., passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family on October 21, 2017.

Born to Terese (née Dunn) and Thomas Chester O’Brien Sr., Gene was a longtime resident of Rye and a graduate of Rye High School, class of 1946.

After serving in Europe during the Korean War, he earned his bachelor and master degrees in International Relations at the Universidad Interamericana in Mexico City.

He then returned to Rye, and went on to a long career in promotions and advertising at Dunham & Smith, a leading military marketing and services company located in Greenwich and Norwalk.

Mr. O’Brien and his wife Maureen (Kelley) later moved to Fairfield, where they spent the last 18 years enjoying retirement.

In addition to his beloved wife, he is survived by his two sisters, Karin Carozza of Bridgeport and Marjorie Mori of San Mateo, Calif.; fourteen nieces and nephews; four stepchildren, Brien E. Kelley (Patricia), Ellen R. Kelley, Regan Kelley Orillac (Manuel), and James P. Kelley (Brigid); and twelve grandchildren.

He was predeceased by his brother, Thomas, and sister, Mary Gratia, O.P.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at Our Lady of Peace Church in Stratford. A future private burial will take place in Rye. Donations in Eugene O’Brien’s memory may be made to Our Lady of Peace Sanctuary Fund.

Regan Kelley Orillac

45 E 82 Street, Apt 10E

New York, NY 10028

+12122560801

Robert Michael Mullins Jr. passed away peacefully on September 12, 2017 in Houston, Texas, just four days shy of his 90th birthday.

Born in Rye on September 16, 1927, he graduated from Rye High School in 1945. The day after graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, and served his country in the Pacific at the end of World War II.

After returning from service, in 1950, Mr. Mullins received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Iona College, where he was a member of the Gaelic Society.

During his professional career, he worked for a banking institution, Sinclair Oil Corporation, and Shell Oil Company, from which he retired.

He wed his sweetheart, Joan Catherine McAneny, whom he met at Rye Beach, on December 26, 1955 in Brooklyn.

In 1971, the Mullins and their four children moved to Houston, where Bob became an avid Houston Astros fan, and a parishioner at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, where he volunteered for many years at the Food Pantry.

Mr. Mullins’ two biggest passions were his family and his faith. He will be remembered as a kind, gentle, patient man with a wry sense of humor, a loving father and grandfather, and a loyal friend.

He was predeceased by his wife Joan, and survived by their children: Robert (Kim) Mullins of Houston, Claire (Scott) Kothlow of Denver, Joan (Alex) Fahrenthold of San Diego, and Ann (Mark) Herzog of Houston. He is also survived by five grandchildren.

A funeral service was held September 19 at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Houston. Donations in Bob Mullins’ memory may be made to the American Cancer Society.



Robert Franklin Ennis Sr. of Rye and Westhampton Beach, Long Island, a longtime advertising executive, died peacefully on October 15, 2017 at the age of 93.

Born in San Francisco, Frank, as he was known, attended Stanford University until World War II broke out and he transferred to the Naval Academy. After serving his country, he earned a degree in Engineering. Following graduation in 1947, he remained in the Navy for seven years, stationed primarily in the Mediterranean. A fellow officer introduced him to Betsy Simpson in New York, and they married in 1952.

Following the Navy, Frank worked as an advertising account executive or division manager for BBDO, Glaxo, Smith-Kline Beecham, and Hoffmann-LaRoche, with clients such as Chanel and Yardley.

Frank and Betsy raised their four children, Wynne, Rob, and twins Lisa and Cam in Rye. In 1999, a tragic plane crash took the lives of Betsy Ennis and sons Rob and Cam, who had all been on safari. To honor Rob, Mr. Ennis donated a ship model that Rob had built, which is displayed in the ballroom at American Yacht Club.

At age 80, Mr. Ennis started a bridge club at the Westhampton Beach Free Library, and continued organizing duplicate bridge for over 80 members until a few weeks ago. An avid tennis player, he put away his racquet at the age of 90.

In addition to his daughters, Wynne Ennis and Lisa Barron, Mr. Ennis is survived by his granddaughters, Alyssa Lawson, Lindsay Syhakhom, and Leigh Barron, and his grandson, Mason Barron.

A memorial service was held at Rye Presbyterian Church on November 2. Donations in Mr. Ennis’ name may be made to The S.E.L.F.-Help Foundation, 570 Main Street, New Rochelle, NY 10801.

 

Bradford Ernest Smith, a longtime Rye resident, died peacefully at The Osborn Pavilion on October 18, 2017. He was 89.

B
orn on September 1, 1928 in Worchester, Mass., he was the son of Gertrude and Ernest Smith. He grew up in Bayside, Queens, and later attended Harvard University from which he graduated in 1949.

He worked as a reporter for several newspapers before he was called up to serve in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. After serving his country, Mr. Smith went to work for a number of corporations, including: CBS, Bell Telephone, Mobil, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. In many of these positions he worked as a journalist and was responsible for preparation of promotional materials and reports. He also had the opportunity to work behind the camera in preparing various programs for broadcast as both a scriptwriter and director.

In 1958, he married Justine (Tina) McGann and they moved to Rye, where they resided for over 50 years.

Mr. Smith was an avid sailor, skier, swimmer, and traveler. For many years he could be found at the helm of his Herreshoff “S” Class sailboat, <Nereid>, participating in weekend races on Long Island Sound. He and his wife traveled all over the globe by air and sea and visited many countries in South America, Europe, and the Middle East.

After retiring in 1986, he dedicated his remaining time to supporting his wife and family. It was then that he began to develop his writing and pursue other avenues of literature. He prided himself on being a voracious reader and critic of the written word. 

“Brad was a kind and inquisitive rebel always searching for the truth,” said his family. After his wife's death, he became an active member of the community at The Osborn, where he continued to write and develop his passion for playing the piano.

Mr. Smith is survived by his brother
, Harold Smith; his sister, Jeanne Smith; his sons, Gregory Bradford Smith (Jodi) and Martin Rene McGann (Lee); and five grandchildren.

A memorial for Mr. Smith will be held at K
ensico Cemetery in Valhalla, N. Y., on Sunday, November 19 at noonAll are welcome to attend and celebrate his life.

Donations in Brad Smith’s memory may be made to The Rye Arts Center, 51 Milton Road, Rye, New York 10580. 

Follow Up on the News

According to City Council member Julie Killian, Port Chester’s interest in the Thruway property sought by Rye Country Day, and perhaps, by the City of Rye, was short-lived. At the October 4 Council meeting, Killian said she ran into Port Chester Mayor Fritz Falanka who explained that his village became interested in the property completely separate from Rye’s own interest. Killian said he told her, “When I found how much it was going to cost, there was no way we were going to be involved in it;” to which Killian added, “So, issue dead. It’s off the table.”

She also took the opportunity to say Falanka’s comments showed that there was no collusion between Rye’s Mayor Joe Sack and Port Chester, a charge that Council members Emily Hurd and Danielle Tagger-Epstein had previously made. Sack called allegations “untrue and unfair.”

Although not on the agenda, the Thruway property and the possibility of Rye moving DPW there, creating City playing fields there, or sharing playing fields with Rye Country Day raised its head a short time later.

Rye resident Anthony Dicaprio commanded the podium for about forty minutes, during which he calmly, methodically walked Sack and the Council through the issue, with the Mayor respectfully taking exception to several points.

Dicaprio asked Sack about his June 20 letter to the Governor requesting he not sign a bill allowing a sale of the land to Rye Country Day. “Under what authority were you making that request?” he asked. “My authority as Mayor of Rye,” responded Sack. Dicaprio then asked who the “we” were in the letter, and whether the letter was discussed or voted on in a council meeting? The Mayor laid out his thinking. Dicaprio continued to probe.

At one point, the mayor said, “I’d like to find ways to work with Rye Country Day.” Dicaprio admitted to having a child at the school and also to being a lawyer who did mediation work. He urged the Council to renew talks with the school and tell them their needs. Councilman Terry McCartney volunteered to meet with the school and RCD Headmaster Scott Nelson who was present agreed.

A formal meeting date had not yet been arranged at press time. Mayor Falanka did not return calls seeking confirmation of Port Chester’s loss of interest or to say if he would rescind his own letter to the Governor trying to prevent the sale to the school.

– <Tom McDermott>