Murray, Ruby

Ruby Murray, 82, of Hartford, passed away on October 18, 2018. She was born on July 12, 1936 in St. Catherine, Jamaica, to the late Llewellyn Russell and Doris Edgil. Ruby was known as a hard worker, great listener and the glue that held her family together. She loved to cook.
She leaves to cherish her memory, sons Terrence and Junior; daughters Andrea and Jacqueline; brother Samuel; sisters Rita, Eudell and Veronica; 13 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren; a host of step-children, nephews, nieces and relative and friends. Besides her parents, Ruby was predeceased by her husband Benjamin Murray; three sisters Winnifred, twin sister Nora and Cynthia; her beloved great-grandson Mark Anthony and her step-daughter Pamela.
Friends may call at The Ahern Funeral Home, 180 Farmington Ave., Hartford on Saturday (Nov. 3) from 4:00-5:00pm with a Memorial Service to be held in the funeral home at 5:00pm. Burial will be in Jamaica.

Staunton, Rosemary

Rosemary Clifford Staunton of South Windsor, CT, beloved wife of the late Patrick Staunton, passed away on October 17, 2018. The daughter of the late Daniel and Mary Clifford, she was born and raised in Waterbury, CT. She attended Waterbury Catholic High School and St. Mary’s Hospital Nursing School and worked as a nurse at St. Mary’s and St. Francis Hospitals. In her twenties, she started an Irish dance school with her sister and remained actively involved in Irish dance and the Irish community. An avid sports fan, she especially enjoyed cheering on the UConn Men’s and Women’s Basketball and the Boston Red Sox. She loved spending time at the beach and taking day trips to Ocean Beach in New London. Many of her happiest moments were spent vacationing in Cape Cod and on island cruises.
Rosemary is survived by her daughter Kathleen (Staunton) Hall and her husband Eric of Marlboro, MA, sister Maura (Clifford) Nevin and her husband Chris of Hingham, MA; nieces Colleen Nevin of Washington, DC and Tara Nevin Olivier and husband David and their three children of Hingham, MA; nephews Brian Nevin and wife Siobhan of Hingham, MA and Christopher Nevin of Weymouth, MA; and several loving and supportive sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law and several nieces and nephews. Her dog Terry was her loving companion.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend visiting hours from 4-7pm on Sunday, October 21 at The Ahern Funeral Home, 180 Farmington Ave, Hartford. Funeral procession from The Ahern Funeral Home will be Monday, October 22 at 9:45am followed by the Funeral Liturgy in St. Margaret Mary Church, 80 Hayes Rd in South Windsor at 10:30am. Burial will be at Mt. St. Benedict Cemetery, Bloomfield. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Connecticut Humane Society, 701 Russell Road, Newington, CT 06111.

Velez, Jessica Marie

Jessica Marie Velez, age 31, born May 19th, 1987 in Hartford, CT. Beloved mother, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin and friend of New Britain, passed away unexpectedly with family by her side Thursday, October 4th 2018 at The Hospital of a Central Connecticut-New Britain General. Raised in Bristol, CT Jessica was a Bristol Central Graduate Class of 2005. Spending 13 years with Citgo, the last few years as manager so hard working and outgoing, she loved it. Young and full of LOVE! Jessica lived everyday like it was her last, partied like she’d never do it again. So smart and adventurous. Absolutely beautiful, caring and selfless. She leaves behind her only son Daniel Amesquita, Mother Nancy Colon, 3 Sister’s Jacinta, Tania & Cindy Colon, Brother Johnnie Colon, Godsister Juliana Gonzalez, her maternal grandmother Gladys Fontanez, and many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends who she loved all dearly. Jessica joins her Father Juan and Nephew Aiden in Heaven. She left our life the greatest hero, leaving a legacy of life saving FOUR lives through organ donation. The family wishes to thank all those who have reached out to offer their condolences and memories of Jessica’s life—all the kind words have been deeply appreciated. Calling hours will be held in The Ahern Funeral Home, 180 Farmington Ave, Hartford, CT on Sunday (Oct. 14) at 5:00pm.

Gigliotti, Frank ” Frankie”

Frank “Frankie” M. Gigliotti, 75, peacefully passed away at home on Saturday, Sept. 29, surrounded by friends and family. Frank is survived by his sisters, Marie Penna and Catherine Root, brother-in-law William Root, as well as five nieces and nephews, Margaret Penna, Philip Penna, Jacob Penna, Alicia Tapper and Jessica Dorau. A lifelong resident of the Parkville section of Hartford, he made friends all around the neighborhood as he ran errands. He was employed by Royal Typewriter Co. and Litton-Dresser Industries until his retirement. Frank was a remarkable son, brother, and uncle. He was always there for others, whether to watch his nieces & nephews, help paint his sister’s house multiple times, or take care of his father until his passing. He was a passionate fan of the Boston Red Sox, despite famously taking a year off to root for the Yankees out of respect for Derek Jeter during his final season. He then went right back to cheering for his beloved Red Sox. Visiting hours and a memorial service will take place on Monday, October 8 from 3-6pm at The Ahern Funeral Home, 180 Farmington Avenue in Hartford. In lieu of flowers we kindly request a monetary donation to the American Cancer Society at https://www.cancer.org/.

Custer, Alice S.

Alice S. Templeton Custer died peacefully in her sleep on September 12, 2018, just days before she would have turned 91. Born on September 17, 1927, she was pre-deceased by three husbands: William Templeton, Richard Custer and Archibald Stuart. She was the beloved mother of three children: William Templeton Jr of Atlanta, Allan Templeton of Costa Rica and Alice Templeton of Boston; and is also survived by two grandchildren, Abby and Jack Templeton, and her sister Ann Pangman of Toronto. She graduated from the Loomis Chafee School, got her BA from Smith College with Honors and Magna Cum Laude, earned a Masters in Political Science from Trinity and finally, another Masters in Library Science from Central Connecticut. Her family would like to thank Atria Hamilton Heights for their incredible kindness. Alice loved living there and considered the staff and aides as an extended family. She was loved by all who knew her, since she was infectiously happy through and including her last day, didn’t possess a malicious bone in her body and instinctively thought first of others at all times.
A Memorial Service will be held on Monday, October 1, 2018 at 11:00 am in the Unitarian Universalist Church, 433 Fern Street, West Hartford, CT 06107. Donations may be made to the Unitarian Universalist Church.

Sullivan, Jean Marie

Jean Marie Sullivan, of Enfield, CT, passed away on July 28, 2018 at St. Francis Hospital. Jean was born on June 11, 1957 to Charles J. and Regina R. (Foley) Sullivan and grew up in Hartford. She attended St. Justin’s School, Northwest Catholic High School and CCSU. Before taking early retirement, Jean worked at the City of Hartford for 20 years in a variety of positions. She also worked for the Windsor Public Schools, Town of Enfield, Model Market and Pegasus.
Besides her sisters Margaret and Kathleen, Jean leaves behind a multitude of loyal two and four legged friends. Jean loved and was loved by them all. If you were lucky enough to have Jean as a friend, you knew how dependable she was and how she went above and beyond always. Her deepest friendships were lifelong ones. Jean’s true passion was taking care of the most vulnerable among us (people and animals). From wandering strays to her multiple adopted rescues to anyone facing physical or mental challenges, Jean spoiled them all and had a soft spot for anything neglected or abandoned.
Jean was truly an original and there will never be anyone like her. She was unconventional and had eclectic tastes in art, fashion, music and an incredible imagination where she could create something wonderful from the mundane. Jean was quiet but observant and introverted but social. She loved travel, gardening, tap dancing, flea and craft markets, thrift stores and getting a bargain.
A Memorial Service for Jean is being planned. If you wish to honor Jean’s memory, please donate to The Sato Project or the Alzheimer’s Association.

Campbell, Steven L.

Steven L. Campbell 52, of Windsor Locks, after a long and brave battle with cancer passed away August 15th peacefully in his home with the love of his life his wife Cindy, son Tyler and daughter Jessica by his side.
Born August 6, 1966, Steve grew up in West Hartford the beloved son of Donald and Agnes Campbell and wonderful brother to Sue Campbell Dunn.
Steve was an amazing father who adored his children. He was a kind and gentle man whose courageousness was an inspiration to others. Steve will be greatly missed by his loving wife, children, numerous family members and the many lives he touched.
Friends may call at The Ahern Funeral Home, 180 Farmington Ave., Hartford on Tuesday, (Aug. 21) from 5:00pm-8:00pm. The Funeral Liturgy will be celebrated Wednesday (Aug 22) at 11:00 am in St. Mary’s Church, 42 Spring St., Windsor Locks. All are kindly asked to meet at Church.

Billings, Donald Galle

Donald Galle Billings, 73, of Hartford beloved husband of Patricia (Pat) Power passed away July 1, 2018 at Hartford Hospital with his wife of 33 years by his side after a brief battle with cancer. Don grew up in Fairfield before moving to the Greater Hartford area. He is a graduate of the University of Bridgeport with an Engineering Degree. He worked in the engineering field and later as an engineer for Pratt and Whitney before becoming a bartender at the Marriott Hotel in Farmington where he loved engaging traveling businessmen from all over the world in great conversations. His infectious smile will be greatly missed. His gentle spirit and optimistic attitude were shared with all who came in contact with him.
Don had many hobbies, loved running, was an avid reader of financial news and world history and always educating himself through courses he took. He was a lover of jazz and a big collector of Doo-Wop music and was a Yankees fan. His greatest pleasure was renovating Pat’s treasured family 1878 Second Empire Victorian in the West End of Hartford where they both lived for the past 17 yrs. He loved helping out their gardens and used to say “Life Is Good” while relaxing with his evening cocktail in front of the fireplace with Pat and their feline family or outside under their wisteria covered pergola. He and Pat loved taking get away weekends, dining out and Barbados was their favorite island to relax every April.
Besides his wife, friend and soulmate Pat, he leaves behind his sister and brother in law Reverend Sharon and David Blackburn of Fairfield, Connecticut, nephews John Wilbourne currently of Alabama, and Doug Wilbourne, wife Trish and their children Morganne and David of Virginia Beach, Virginia. He also leaves behind several cousins. He is predeceased by both parents, Clarence and Yolanda Billings and nephew Allen Wilbourne.
Private family Memorial Service will be held later this summer. Donations may be made to The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation. https:/cholangiocarcinoma.org, 5526 West 13400 South #510, Herriman, UT 84096.

Mullen, Jessica Ann

Jessica Ann Mullen of Vernon, CT, passed away August 7, 2018. The daughter of Robert K. Mullen and Julie A. (Cross) Mullen, she was born in Burlington, VT on September 10, 1982. A longtime resident of Vernon, CT, she graduated from Rockville High School in 2000 finishing in the top 10% of her class, and was a 2-time member of the National Honor Society. Jessica was a stellar athlete lettering in softball, volleyball, indoor track, and cheerleading and was named to numerous academic all-conference teams in addition to being All-State in volleyball in 2000. As a youth, Jessica achieved a high level of success in gymnastics, and skated for a local youth hockey club for one season. Outside of sports, Jessica had a love for dance with training in both tap and classical ballet, and was Homecoming Queen and Queen of the Senior Prom at Rockville High School. She attended the University of Connecticut and excelled as a student receiving a Fine Arts Talent Scholarship. While at UConn, Jessica continued with her athletics playing 3 years for Huskies Women’s Club Volleyball team. Jessica was an accomplished artist and was featured in juried art exhibits in both Massachusetts and Connecticut including the prestigious Nor’Easter Annual Juried Exhibition at the New Britain Museum of American Art. In 2013, Jessica was named Easterseals Capital Region & Eastern Connecticut Medical Rehabilitation Patient of the Year, having undergone retraining after suffering a traumatic brain injury in 2011.
She is survived by her mother Julie A. (Cross) Mullen and father Robert K. Mullen of Vernon, CT; her brother James F. Mullen of Vernon, CT; her brother John P. Mullen of Concord, NH, his wife Keyla R. (Heisson) Mullen and their children Nathaniel, Ayva, and Grace; her grandparents Jean L. Mullen of Manchester, CT and William G. and Gayle B. Cross of Colchester, VT. She is predeceased by her paternal grandfather, Joseph L. Mullen formerly of Manchester, CT.
She leaves behind her many friends, cousins, aunts, and uncles whom she grew up with. They, along with her treasured nieces and nephew, will miss her infectious smile and joyful laughter. She was thoughtful, passionate, and loved deeply. She was a beautiful person and is a magnificent soul. She will be sorely missed.
Friends may call at The Ahern Funeral Home, 180 Farmington Ave., Hartford on Monday (Aug. 13) from 3:00-7:00pm. The Funeral Liturgy will be celebrated Tuesday (Aug. 14) at 10:00am in the Cathedral of St. Joseph, 140 Farmington Ave., Hartford. All are kindly asked to meet directly at church. Memorial contributions can be made to the Easterseals Capital Region & Eastern Connecticut, 100 Deerfield Road, Windsor, CT 06095.

Woolley, Joseph E Jr.

Joseph E. Woolley, Jr. of Hartford, CT passed away at St. Francis Hospital on July 5, 2018 after a battle with cancer. The eldest son of Joseph E. and Genevieve (McCue) Woolley, he was born in Hartford, CT on May 22, 1947. He attended and graduated from St. Joseph’s Cathedral Grammar School, Northwest Catholic High School Class of 1965, and St. Edwards University, Austin, TX Class of 1969. He served two years active duty in the U.S. Army most of it in South Korea attaining the rank of Spec5. After a time in Active Reserves he was Honorably Discharged on September 1, 1975.
He worked for Aetna Insurance Company for a number of years and for the last nineteen years has been employed by St. Francis hospital.
He is survived by four brothers and three sisters-in-law; Richard B. and Karen W. Woolley of Wakefield and Block Island, RI, Peter A. and Susan A. Woolley of Oceanside, CA, Bruce J. and Margaret M. Woolley of West Hartford, CT and Christopher Woolley of Hartford, CT; three nephews and two nieces and their spouses’ Michael J. and Corie Woolley of North Ridgeville, OH, Mark and Jenna (Woolley) Ewing of Charlotte, NC, Gregory Woolley of West Hartford, CT, Ben and Kayla (Woolley) Young of Lake Forest, CA, and Aaron Woolley of Los Angeles, CA as well as two grandnephews, Matthew Young and Michael Ewing and two grandnieces, Emily Young and Collette Ewing.
Joe leaves behind many friends from his years playing football at Northwest Catholic and lifting weights with his teammates and pals as well as those friends and the many people he interacted with at both Aetna and St Francis having decided to spend his life in the Hartford area. He also leaves many friends from his summers spent on Block Island. His four brothers will greatly miss their “big brother”. A memorial service will be held at a time and place to be announced, burial will be in the family plot on Block Island.
Memorial Contributions can be made to the Mary D Fund P.O. Box 303 Block Island , RI 03807.
Arrangements are being handled by The Ahern Funeral home, for online condolences visit www.Ahernfuneralhome.com

Fredericks, Bertrand P.

Bertrand Patrick Fredericks, 80, of Windsor Locks, completed his earthly journey on Sunday, June 24, 2018 comfortably and peacefully at home. Born in Guyana, he also lived in Canada before moving to the U.S. in 1981. He was a machinist at Chandler Evans for over 20 years. He treasured family and good friends, August vacations and great instrumental music. Bertrand spent the last of years with his daughter Michelle Fredericks and granddaughter Heather Rivera-Fredericks. He was formerly married to Maureen Fredericks of Windsor, CT for 34 years. He also leaves brothers Kenneth Morris (Brooklyn, NY), Derrick Morris (California) and sister Olive (Amsterdam) in addition to many nieces, nephews, beloved best friends and the Sookram family he remained a part of for over 50 years. He is predeceased by Evelyn Morris (mother), Lionel Fredericks (father), Beulah Fredericks (stepmom) and sisters Lenise Fredericks, Glenda Palmer, Joy Tappin and Faye Greene.
Friends may call at The Ahern Funeral Home, 180 Farmington Ave., Hartford on Friday (June 29) from 5:00-8:00pm. Funeral Services will be held in The Ahern Funeral Home on Saturday (June 30) at 10:00am followed by burial in St. Mary Cemetery, Windsor Locks.

Katz, Joan (Garrity)

Joan (Garrity) Katz, born March 29, 1932 died on June 20, 2018 in Hartford, Connecticut. She was the daughter of the late Helen (Savage) Garrity and Frederick Raymond Garrity. She was raised by a maternal aunt, the late Miss Louise C. Savage. Mrs. Katz was born in Hartford and worked as a secretary in area firms for over 38 years. She retired from State Service in 1989. She was educated in Hartford Schools, graduating from Weaver High School in 1950. She also attended Hillyer College. A Graveside Funeral Service will be held Monday (June 25) at 11:00am in Mount Saint Benedict Cemetery, 1 Cottage Grove Rd., Bloomfield. There are no calling hours.

Smolen, Elizabeth Jane (Fay)

Elizabeth Jane (Fay) Smolen, 91, passed away peacefully at home on May 1, 2018 with family by her side. Born January 18th, 1927 in Hartford, she was the daughter of the late Irving W. and Inza Mae (Drake) Fay and was predeceased by her brother Irving W. Fay Jr. of AZ and ex-husband Joseph R. Smolen of CT. Elizabeth graduated from the St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing, Class of 1948 and worked as a Surgical Nurse at Middlesex Memorial Hospital for 22 years. In retirement, she attended Paier College of Art, graduating Cum Laude in Fine Arts, Class of 1997. She is survived by her five children, Fay E. Smolen of CT, Joseph W. Smolen of CA, James B. Smolen of CT, Jeffrey D. Smolen of CT and Sara A. Holmes of ME. The Funeral Liturgy will be celebrated Tuesday, May 29th at 10:00am at the Cathedral of St. Joseph, 140 Farmington Avenue, Hartford. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to HospiceVolunteersofWaldoCounty.org.

Farrell, Thomas W.

Thomas W. Farrell, Jr., of West Hartford, died Tuesday, May 1st at the age of 77 after a 50 year daily struggle against Multiple Sclerosis. Tom was the son of the late Thomas W. and Eleanor (Wehrly) Farrell and brother of Sharon Raeder. He attended three different high schools in different states in four years and joined the United States Navy after graduation. He trained for submarine service but did his tour of duty on the USS Severn as a radarman in the Mediterranean. Tom attended Boston University first at CBS where he was President of his class and graduated from the School of Communications. He was a Resident Assistant at the notorious Myles Standish Hall. He was a President’s Host and had the honor of driving Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., for the library dedication. After graduation, he worked for GE in advertising before joining Merck Sharp and Dohme as a “detail man” for Pharmaceuticals. When Tom was no longer able to work for Merck, he volunteered as a daily friendly caller for the Town that Cares and loved checking in and talking to “Perk” every day for years. He also loved his volunteer work at the American Red Cross working with military families and his time spent with Johanna Murphy. In 1967, Tom married Edna Foster and moved to Connecticut. After buying a starter house he declared there’d be no more moving and 50 years later Tom died in his starter house.
Tom is survived by his wife Edna, his special cousin Eleanor Blake of Hartford and Terrell Sewell of Virginia and several Farrell cousins. Edie expresses thanks to those who gave Tom loving care and respect; Dr. Margaret Rathier and Kathleen O’Neill of the VA HBHC, Cathy and Michelle of VITAS Hospice, Tulia Pereira, his joyful “pancake flipper and honorary daughter”, Linda Wright, who has brought Edie food for her body and soul and most especially, Sally Williams who was love and life itself to us for 20 years as VNA’s Friendly Visitor and who left us in March to see if it was okay for Tom to leave this earth and find peace.
The Funeral Liturgy will be celebrated Wednesday (May 9) at 10:00am in the Chapel of the Cathedral of St. Joseph, 140 Farmington Ave., Hartford. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Town that Cares, c/o West Hartford Social Services, 50 South Main St., Room 306, West Hartford, CT 06107 or to the American Red Cross, 209 Farmington Ave., Farmington, CT 06032.

Musumeci, Joseph

Joseph Musumeci, affectionately known to his many friends as “Moose,” 65, of Kenyon Street, Hartford, passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, April 21, 2018. He was predeceased by his beloved wife of 27 years, Lisa Anderson Musumeci. Born in Sicily on December 26, 1952 to Felix and Josephine Musumeci, his family emigrated to Hartford, where he grew up and lived his entire life. He is survived by his beloved children, Michael Musumeci of Washington, D.C. and Nina Musumeci of Hartford. He also leaves his sister-in-law, Shirley Musumeci, his nephew and niece, Vincenzo and Eva Musumeci and a grandniece, Alexandra, all of Glastonbury, and numerous other loving relatives. He was predeceased by his brother, Rosario Musumeci. Joe attended Noah Webster School and Northwest Catholic High, where he was a proud Chieftain and wore #10 on his varsity baseball team jersey, a number that always found a place on his license plate. Joe also played twilight league baseball and was invited to a spring tryout by the Pittsburgh Pirates. After graduation, Joe began working in construction and eventually became employed at Imagineers in Hartford, where he headed the construction division and met Lisa. In the mid-nineties, Joe became a Deputy Sheriff, and later, a State Marshal, capably serving legal papers for lawyers and litigants. Active in local politics, Joe served on the Hartford Democratic Town Committee from 1977 to 1982 and continued to remain an active supporter and respected advisor for many local and state politicians. There was no better advocate than Joe for living in the city he loved. One could always count on Joe and Lisa being involved in charitable and volunteer activities, including hosting an annual teacher appreciation dinner for Noah Webster School and a party that collected donations for needy families at Christmas. For years, Joe served as the commissioner of the Rago-Coco Little League in Hartford’s West End. Joe also played the drums for a local garage band of would-be rockers, Duke and the Esoterics, which for the past 30 years, has performed at many fundraisers. He also coached a basketball team of friends who traveled to Europe and raised money for charity. Encouraged by Lisa, Joe learned to love sailing on their boat, Gabriella, which they docked in Noank, expanding their vast and eclectic network of friends. Joe became such a sailor, he eventually proudly served as Hartford’s harbormaster. Joe also was a seasonal resident of Vero Beach, Florida, where he served on his condominium’s board of directors and loved spending time just sitting by the ocean. He was a consummate host and a bit of a gourmet. Fortunate friends recall memorable Thanksgiving dinners in his welcoming West End home. Almost everyone Joe ever knew quickly grew to appreciate his friendship, loyalty and effervescent personality. Moose could talk to anyone, from governors to gas station attendants, and make any person he met feel that he or she mattered. He rarely declined an opportunity to be sociable, and always lit up the room when he arrived. Everyone wanted to be with Joe to enjoy his self-deprecating sense of humor and the affection he radiated. Many friends’ children grew up considering Joe an uncle. All of us whose hearts he touched know Hartford will not be the same without Joe. A celebration of his life will be held on Thursday, April 26, at 1:00PM in the Belding Theater at The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, 166 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106. Burial will be private and there will be no calling hours. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Work Vessels for Vets, Inc., P.O. Box 215, West Mystic, CT 06388 or Riverfront Recapture, 50 Columbus Boulevard, Floor 1, Hartford, CT 06106.