banner1gif.gif

<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>

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.

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.

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.