Joseph Thaddeus Raho of Rye, and Watch Hill, R.I., died peacefully on February 14 after a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 58.
Born in the Bronx, on March 25, 1954, he was the son of Christina and Nicholas Raho. He grew up in Scarsdale and later attended boarding school at Portsmouth Abbey. He cherished his time at Portsmouth, where he forged friendships that would remain strong for the rest of his life.
After receiving a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Boston University, Mr. Raho spent his career at White Cross Laboratories, and later founded JTR Chemical Corporation.
As much as he was committed to his work, his family said his greatest passions were woodworking, gardening, sailing, squash, and, most importantly, his children. Many of his greatest days would be spent harvesting tomatoes in the heat, sailing in Watch Hill harbor with his three children and his nephew Nick, and playing squash with his friends at Apawamis Club.
He is survived by his three children: Nick, Joe Jr., and Emily; his wife, Susan Oliveria and her son Colin Bailey; his father Nicholas C. Raho; his sister, Mary Julian, and six nieces and nephews. He was pre-deceased by his mother and by his brother, Peter.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at Church of the Resurrection on February 20.
Margaret L. Woo a 36-year resident of Rye passed away on February 20 at her home surrounded by her family.
She was born in Tai Shan, China on June 30, 1941, the daughter of Wing Jun Lee and Tuey Gok Ng. When she was a teenager, her family immigrated to the United States. She graduated from Central High School in Valley Stream, New York, and Fashion Institute of Technology.
After college, she put her design skills to work as a patternmaker for Simplicity Patterns. Mrs. Woo was also an avid gardener.
She was married to Frank S. Woo for 39 years. He survives her, as do her son, Andrew F. Woo, and her daughter Jennifer W. Thorsen and her husband Wayne. She is also survived by her brother, John Lee, and sister, Lun Ying Lee.
Her family described her as “the sweetest and kindest mother, beloved by her children and dogs everywhere.”
An avid gardener, she cherished time with her family and friends, whether it was playing golf or sharing a home-cooked meal.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at the Church of the Resurrection on February 25.
Donations in Mrs. Woo’s memory may be made to the Cancer Support Team, 2900 Westchester Avenue, Suite 103, Purchase, NY 10577 or at www.cancersupportteam.org.
John DiSesa Jr.
Advertising executive John J. DiSesa Jr., a longtime resident of Harrison, died at Greenwich Hospital on February 7. He was 84.
Mr. DiSesa, who was known as Jack, spent nearly 40 years in the advertising business, including as vice president and senior producer at Young and Rubicam in New York, where he produced over 5,000 television commercials for major advertisers. He won numerous industry production awards, including the Clio. Several of his commercials received recognition by the Advertising Hall of Fame.
He was born April 11, 1928 to John. J and Clara DiSesa of Harrison. As a teen, he was active in the Westchester County Swimming and Diving Association and was the 16-and-under County diving champion. He graduated from Harrison High School and Georgetown University.
On April 19, 1952, he married Joan Murray, also of Harrison.
“Jack had a great sense of humor and enjoyed people,” recalled his wife. They enjoyed traveling together and their longtime membership at Westchester Country Club.
In addition to his wife, Mr. DiSesa is survived by three children: William M. of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, Beth McCarthy of San Rafael, California, and J. Drew of Greenwich; eight grandchildren: Blair, Drew, David, Sean, Vivian, Dayne, Brynne, and Shane; and a great grandson, Jack. He was pre-deceased by his son, John J. DiSesa III.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated February 12 at the Church of St. Gregory the Great in Harrison.
Lillian Dordan Gray, a resident of Westchester Country Club and Jonathan’s Landing in Jupiter, Florida, died peacefully February 17, surrounded by her family.
She was born on March 23, 1921 in New York City to John and Rose Lyons Dordan. She attended Rosemont College and graduated from the College of New Rochelle with a degree in mathematics, which was an unusual major for women at the time.
During World War II, she worked as a statistician. She received a Master’s degree in Psychology from Fordham University and worked in that field for several years.
In October 1945, she married tennis champion and returning service man Lt. John Raymond Gray. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She raised her three children: John Christopher, Geoffrey Vincent, and Rosemary Victoria. For many years, she lovingly cared for her husband John, who suffered from Parkinson’s disease. He died from the illness in 1984.
Mrs. Gray was a successful businesswoman, managing several real estate properties she owned. An accomplished bridge player, her team at Westchester Country Club regularly won the interclub championship. She was a member of Westchester, where she also played a great many games of golf, for 62 years.
Her family said, “Lillian was deeply religious and a woman of strong character.”
She was the proud grandmother of six grandchildren: Winfield Gray, Brennan Lerner, Alexandra Gray, Emily Cronin, John Cronin, and Michael Cronin; and a great-granddaughter, Theodora Lerner. They survive her, as do her three children.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated February 23 at the Church of the Resurrection.
Donations in Mrs. Gray’s memory may be made to Resurrection Church.
Sandra Eileen Toohy passed away unexpectedly but peacefully February 14. She was 56.
Born in New York City, she lived in Greenwich and Rye before moving to Manchester, Vermont.
After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Colorado, she went to work for IBM. She later worked as a legal aid in Stamford.
She is survived by her parents, J. Thomas and Mary Toohy of Manchester; and her sister, Megan Toohy McMahon and husband Thomas and their four children. She was pre-deceased by her sister Mary.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held February 18 at Christ Our Savior Church in Manchester.
Gifts in Ms. Toohy’s memory may be made to the Second Chance Animal Shelter, c/o Brewster & Shea Funeral Home, P.O. Box 885, Manchester Center, VT 05255.