Archive for September 2012

Gaztambide, Sr., Mario

Mario Rafael Gaztambide, Sr., of West Hartford, beloved husband of Jacqueline Acevedo de Gaztambide, passed away Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at St. Francis Hospital with his family by his side.  Born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, May 24, 1940, son of Lourdes Gomez de Gaztambide, of San Juan, Puerto Rico and the late Jose Rafael Gaztambide.


Mario was a loving and dedicated husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle, brother-in-law, cousin and teacher.  Besides his wife and mother, Mario is survived by his sons, Mario Gaztambide and his wife, Hilary of West Hartford and Karl Gaztambide of Miami, Florida, grandchildren, Mario Liam Gaztambide and Ana Isabel Gaztambide, brothers, Paul Gaztambide of Florida, Peter Gaztambide of Florida, Jose Gaztambide of Puerto Rico and sister, Maria de Lourdes Cintron of Puerto Rico.


Mario dedicated his life to his family and the education of his students who he held so close.  Mario was the headmaster at Dorado Academy in Dorado, Puerto Rico prior to coming to New Britain where he served as a bilingual teacher at the Smalley School and a consultant for the Consolidated School District in New Britain.  After retiring he served as an education consultant for the Government in Puerto Rico and as a realtor in the West Hartford/New Britain area.


A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Monday, October 1, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. in the Cathedral of Saint Joseph, 140 Farmington Avenue, Hartford.


Memorial contributions in lieu of flowers may be made to Mario Gaztambide Scholarship Fund c/o Michael Foran, Principal, New Britain High School, 110 Mill Street, New Britain, CT 06051.

Arrangements are being handled by The Ahern Funeral Homes, Inc.  To send on line condolences to the family, please visit

Koprusak, Anne

Anne C. (Rabinko) Koprusak, 84, formerly of Unionville, widow of Andrew B. Koprusak, passed away peacefully Wednesday, September 26th. She was born in Torrington, March 26th, 1928. Prior to retiring, Ann was a Bus Driver for the Fellage Company in Farmington, was also associated with Fafnir Bearing in Torrington and was the former manager at Cumberland Farms in Unionville. She was a longtime communicant at the Church of St. Mary Star of the Sea in Unionville. She is survived by her two sons, James A. Koprusak and his wife Bernadette of New Britain and Paul D. Koprusak and his wife Lori of Newington and her three grandsons, Joesph Koprusak, 11, John Paul Koprusak, 5, and Anthony Joseph Koprusak, 18 months. Friends may call at The Ahern Funeral Home, 111 Main St., Rt. 4, Unionville on Tuesday (Oct. 2) from 5:00-8:00pm. Funeral procession from The Ahern Funeral Home will be Wednesday (Oct. 3) at 9:15am followed by the Funeral Liturgy in the Church of St. Mary Star of the Sea, Unionville at 10:00am. Burial will be in St. Mary Cemetery, Avon. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 2075 Silas Deane Highway, Suite 100, Rocky Hill, CT 06067.

Balazy, Richard “RD”

Richard “RD” Balazy, 54, of Terryville, passed away suddenly on Saturday, September 22, 2012. RD was born on June 19, 1958 in Hartford, son of the late Walter and Jean S. Balazy. He was a 1976 graduate of Farmington High School and attended the University of Hartford. RD was involved in the development of several patents in the field of semi-conductors. A die-hard Patriot fan, RD loved attending games and always cheered for his team no matter where he was in his travels. RD is survived by his son, Bryan, daughter, Kalie, brother, Robert, sister Jean Ann Ward, aunt, Stacia, and former wife, Karen. Friends may call at The Ahern Funeral Home, 111 Main St., Rt. 4, Unionville on Saturday (Sept. 29) from 10:00-11:30am with funeral services to follow at 11:30am in the funeral home with Rev. Karl Duetzmann officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association, P.O. Box 417005, Boston, MA 02241-7005 or online at

Hawkins, Aileen

Aileen Baynes Hawkins, died on Wednesday, September 26th. She is preceded in death by her husband of 58 years, Joseph P. Hawkins and is survived by her three children: Sister Nancy Hawkins, IHM of Rochester, NY, Sheila (Jeff) Marshall of Quinlan, TX, Paul J. (Kerstin) Hawkins of Farmington and one grandson, Conor. Friends may call at The Ahern Funeral Home, 111 Main St., Rt. 4, Unionville TODAY from 5:00-7:00pm. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday (Sept. 28) at 9:30am in the Church of St. Patrick, Main St., Farmington. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association, P.O. Box 417005, Boston, MA 02241-7005.

Fackelmann, David

David Matthew Fackelmann, 52, of Burlington, passed away on Saturday, September 22, 2012. David was the beloved son of Virginia and the late, Joseph Fackelmann. He is also survived by two sisters, Amy Fackelmann of Los Angeles, CA, and Kathleen Fackelmann of Takoma Park, MD and; niece and nephews, Julia, Aaron and Brant Weckstein. David worked as a paramedic for 24 years in the greater Hartford and Meriden area. He was also a United States Air Force Master Sergeant Reservist who served in Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom. David loved photography, the outdoors, cooking and spending time with friends and family. David’s calm, caring ways and great sense of humor will be greatly missed by all who knew and cherished him. Friends may call at The Ahern Funeral Home, 111 Main St., Rt. 4, Unionville on Wednesday, September 26th from 5:00-8:00 p.m. A funeral procession from Ahern Funeral Home will be Thursday, September 27th at 9:00 a.m., followed by the Funeral Liturgy in the Church of St. Mary Star of the Sea, Unionville at 10:00 a.m. Full Air Force honors will be rendered following the Mass. Donations may be made to Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides free or low cost lodging to veterans and military families receiving treatment at military medical centers. Fisher House Foundation, 111 Rockville Pike, Suite 420, Rockville, Maryland 20850. To send online condolences to the family, please visit

Demers, Steven

Steven (Philip) Demers of Mansfield Center died in the arms of his beloved wife, Kathryn, on September 23 from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. He was born May 15, 1954 in Southbridge, MA, and grew up in Woodstock Valley, CT. Steve graduated from Woodstock Academy and the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Early in his career, Steve was employed as a chef at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. As newlyweds, Steve and Kathryn traveled cross-country, stopping along the way to work and enjoy everything America had to offer. For 33 years, Steve was employed as a chef by Dining Services at the University of Connecticut, ending his career at South Campus. Steve leaves his wife Kathryn (Clark) Demers, his son Joshua and wife Lauren of Cromwell, son Jason and wife Brianna and twin grandsons Jackson and Landon of Ashford, sister Karen Demers and her life partner Cheryl Bertocchi of Killingly, brother David of Woodstock Valley, cherished nieces and nephew, and his faithful dog, Tia. Steve was predeceased by his parents, Roland and Irene Demers of Woodstock Valley. Steve adored his family, particularly his new twin grandsons. He loved his extended family and spent many special moments with the Clarks, DeMaios, and Joneses. Steve was an enthusiastic cyclist and rode many miles with his brother-in-law Kenny Jones. He liked to golf with his good friend Dave Gould, and play poker with his brother-in-law Bob DeMaio and the rest of the group. The annual golf/poker outings to Cape Cod were legendary. Steve also leaves his “work wife” Grace Danso with whom he had a special relationship, and his good friends and neighbors, Butch and Carol Storrs, with whom he spent many happy hours mulling the meaning of life. Steve’s good humor, helpful demeanor, and constant, cheerful whistling, will be missed by all who knew him. Steve’s family would like to thank the Hartford Hospital ninth floor Neuro Trauma Unit and Conklin hospice staff for their enduring professionalism and loving care. You are angels. A celebration of Steve’s life will be held at a future date. Arrangements are being handled by The Ahern Funeral Homes, Inc.,

Day, Elizabeth

Elizabeth “Beth” Marie Day, 24, of Canton passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, September 19, 2012.  Beth was the beloved daughter of Jimmy and Joanie (Anasoulis) Day, of Canton.  She leaves behind her 14 month old son, Dominik, her brother, Jim and her sister, Stephanie Day of Canton.  She also leaves her grandfather, Buddy Day of Canton and Tina and Sal Difabio of New Hartford.  Her aunts and uncles, Debbie and Charlie Huntley, Cheryl Dzis, Lori and Phil Ouimette, Tracey Wedge, Carol and Steve Rose, Sandy Anasoulis, Bob and Michele Anasoulis and 13 cousins.  She was predeceased by her grandfather, Robert F. Anasoulis and her grandmother, Cathy McCahill Day.  Beth graduated with high honors from Canton High School in 2006 with an award in Art.  She attended CCSU and majored in Art.  She was a valued employee at Ocean State Job Lot as head of visuals.  She was employed there for 6 years and was much loved by her fellow workers.  Beth was a wonderful mother, daughter, sister and good friend to many especially her best friend, Jocelyn.  She will be forever loved and missed.  Friends may call at the Ahern Funeral Home, 111 Main Street, Route 4, Unionville on Tuesday, September 25, from 11 am – 1 pm.  Funeral services will be held in the Ahern Funeral Home at 1 pm with the Rev. Wendell Taylor officiating.  Burial will be in Greenwood Cemetery, Avon.  Contributions can be made to the Connecticut Humane Society, 701 Russell Road, Newington, CT 06111.


Peltier, Marie

Marie (Minor) Peltier, R.N., 87 of Unionville, beloved wife of James Maxwell Peltier, passed away suddenly on Friday, September 21st at UConn Health Center surrounded by the family she loved so much. Born on June 27, 1925 in Unionville, daughter of the late Kathleen (Shearer) Beyer and Earl Minor.  Marie’s father passed away when she was very young and she was raised by her mother “Kay” and her step-father Hans Beyer while living at Miss Porter’s School in Farmington.  She spent the entirety of her life living in Unionville, Farmington and Kihei, Hawaii.  In 1948 she was reacquainted with James “Max” Peltier at a family wedding.  They started dating and one of life’s truly great love stories began.  They were married in 1950 and moved to Webster Street in 1954 where they raised their family and live to the present day.  At an early age Marie decided she wanted to be a nurse.  She achieved that goal and devoted her heart and soul to her chosen profession for the remainder of her life touching countless lives along the way.  She trained at Worcester Hanneman Hospital, Boston City Hospital and Providence Municipal Hospital, making life long bonds with many of the women she trained with.  At the age of 23 she was appointed head of the nursery at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, a position she relinquished three years later to start her family.  She went back to work in 1956 at the Avon Convalescent Hospital and remained there until her retirement in 2002.  She rose to the position of Director of Nursing which she held for over 40 years.  She took tremendous pride in her tenure at Avon.  Marie would often tell her family that she was working on Christmas or Thanksgiving so that the other nurses could be with their families, but the truth was it was so important to her to be with her patients on these special days.  Marie was proud about many things; being head cheerleader at Farmington High School, her time as a Navy Cadet nurse, her B.S. degree from the University of Hartford which she attained at the age of 58 and her subsequent induction into the National Nursing Honor Society.  But of course she was most proud of her second home at the Mana Kai in Kihei, Hawaii where she and Max visited over 40 times with many of their friends and family and their life-long friend, Bill LaPointe.  Max and Marie renewed their vows on the beach at the Mana Kai on their 50th anniversary with their family in attendance.  Marie was also proud of the many women she inspired to pursue a career in nursing and she cherished her lifelong friendship with “The Gang”.  Marie was involved with various service organizations her entire life such as the Unionville Columbiettes and The Legion of Mary and she was a Eucharistic minister at St. Mary’s Star of the Sea. Besides her husband, Marie is survived by her children, James M. Peltier, Jr. and his wife Gina of Cheshire, Michael G. Peltier and his wife Gail of    Unionville, her five grandchildren, Michael G. Peltier, Jr., Alexander Daisy Peltier, Maxwell William Peltier, Joshua Asadow and Jessie Asadow, who were all perfect in her eyes, her sister, Margaret Kerchis of Farmington and her brother, Kenneth Beyer of West Hartford, her in-laws, Edward Peltier of Unionville, Bernadette Scalia of Bristol and sister-in-law, Roberta Beyer of Farmington and numerous beloved nieces, nephews and cousins. She was predeceased by her brother, George Beyer.  Marie’s family would like to assure her many friends and family members that she was at peace and in full faith that she would be united with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Friends may call at The Ahern Funeral Home, 111 Main St., Rt. 4, Unionville, TODAY, September 23rd from 2-6 p.m.  A mass and memorial service will be at a later date. Donations in her memory may be made to the Church of St. Mary’s Star of Sea, 145 Main Street, Unionville, CT 06085 or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105. To send online condolences to the family, please visit

D’Appollonio, William

William J. D’Appollonio, 93, of Farmington, husband of the late Madge (Marrocco) D’Appollonio passed away peacefully on Monday, September 17, 2012. Born in McKeesport, PA on September 13, 1919 son of the late Andrea and Giulia (Marrocco) D’Appollonio. Prior to retiring, he was employed in the Printing Department at Cigna Insurance Co. for 25 years. Prior to that, he owned and operated the Forestville Shoe Shop for many years. He was a United States Army veteran of World War II, serving in the European, Middle Eastern and African Theatres with the 859th Bombardment Squadron. He was a communicant at the Church of St. Patrick in Farmington, a member of the Lenolese Society in Farmington, a life member of the DAV, and a member of the VFW Post #10688 in Canterbury. He loved watching all the Yankee games as well as all UCONN basketball games. He is survived by his three sons, Andrew D’Appollonio of Farmington, William D’Appollonio and his wife Clare of Scotland, and Richard D’Appollonio of Somerville, South Carolina, his six grandchildren, Stacy, Jason, Kristen, Katelyn, Brett and Brandon D’Appollonio and two great grandchildren, Alexis D’Appollonio and Kayla D’Appollonio. He is also survived by his three brothers, Americo D’Appollonio of West Hartford, Fulvio D’Appollonio and Mario D’Appollonio both of Italy and his five sisters, Ermina DeLuca of Hartford, Rosina Mastrobattista of Bristol, Filomena Catena, Concetta Panno and Emilia D’Appollonio all of Italy. He was predeceased by two brothers, Aldo D’Appollonio and Pasqualino D’Appollonio, and two sisters, Elda Cardi and Assunta Davia. Friends may call at The Ahern Funeral Home, 111 Main St., Rt. 4, Unionville on Thursday (Sept. 20) from 4:00-8:00pm. Funeral procession from The Ahern Funeral Home will be Friday (Sept. 21) at 9:00am followed by the Funeral Liturgy in the Church of St. Patrick, Main St., Farmington at 10:00am. Burial will be in Riverside Cemetery, Farmington.

Faiver, Jacqueline

Jacqueline M. Faiver, 26, formerly of Unionville, passed away unexpectedly Thursday, September 13, 2012 in Florida. Born in Farmington, July 8, 1986, beloved daughter of Cynthia and James Hardin of Sebastian, FL, and Madison. Jacqueline was an avid music lover and was always singing . She always showed concern for others with her kindness and enjoyed spending time with dogs and children. Besides her mom and stepfather, she is survived by her sister Ashley Faiver of Bristol, her grandmother Antionette Shine of Sebastian, FL and her father David Faiver. The Funeral Liturgy will be celebrated Saturday (Sept. 22) at 10:00am in the Church of St. Mary Star of the Sea, Unionville. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Jacqueline Favier Memorial Fund, for the benefit of music enrichment for young adults, at any Wells Fargo Bank.

Cifaldi, Patricia

Patricia Mack Cifaldi, of Unionville, widow of Dominic A. Cifaldi, passed away peacefully Thursday, September 13th at Hughes Convalescent Home in West Hartford. Born in Unionville, March 13th, 1927 daughter of the late James E. and Catherine (Kolosky) Mack, she was a lifelong town resident. Prior to retiring, Pat was the Secretary at Masse Construction in Unionville for many years. She was a longtime communicant at the Church of St. Mary Star of the Sea in Unionville. She is survived by her five children, Irene Bragg of Tamarac, FL; Diane Turner and her husband John of Unionville; Marie Pryzbek and her husband Russell of West Hartford; Nicholas A. Cifaldi and his wife Leslie of Avon and Anthony Cifaldi of Unionville, her two sisters, Mary Prindiville of Burlington and Theresa Gondek of Florida, her two brothers, Edward Mack of Burlington and William Mack of Maryland, eight grandchildren, Sharon Bonini, John Turner, Amy LaCilento, Michael Turner, Robbie and Jason Pryzbek and Hannah and Katelyn Cifaldi, eleven great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her beloved grandson, Grayson Pryzbek. The family would like to extend their sincere thanks and gratitude to the staff at Hughes for the kindness and care extended to Patricia, most especially, to her granddaughter Amy. Friends may call at The Ahern Funeral Home, 111 Main St., Rt. 4, Unionville TODAY from 5:00-8:00pm. Funeral procession from The Ahern Funeral Home will be Monday (Sept. 17) at 9:00am followed by the Funeral Liturgy in the Church of St. Mary Star of the Sea, Unionville at 10:00am. Burial will be in the family plot St. Mary Cemetery, Avon. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Pat’s memory to the Dr. Edward P. Dunne Scholarship Fund Inc., P.O. Box 625, Unionville, CT 06085. To send online condolences to the family, please visit

Wontka, Mary

Mary L. Wontka, 90, of Farmington, widow of Richard F. Wontka, passed away peacefully Wednesday, September 12th. Born in Hartford, January 13th, 1922, daughter of the late James and Sarah (Hopkins) Larkin, she had resided in Farmington for 39 years and West Hartford for 22 years. Prior to retiring in 1986, Mary was a Teller Manager at CBT in Hartford for 25 years. She was a communicant at the Church of St. Timothy in West Hartford and the Church of St. Patrick in Farmington. Mary is survived by her three children, Carole A. Baumes and her husband Paul of Latham, NY; Richard F. Wontka and his wife Mamella M. of Plymouth, MA; Andrew J. Wontka and his wife Nancy B. of New Hartford, seven grandchildren, Ben Baumes and Sean Baumes; Kristin Longo; Matthew Wontka; Kurt Wontka; Dennis Wontka and Laura Wontka, three great grandchildren, Scott and Reese Longo and Avery Wontka, her sister-in-law Mary C. Larkin of West Hartford, several nephews and one niece. She was predeceased by her two brothers, James Larkin and Thomas Larkin. The Funeral Liturgy will be celebrated Monday (Sept. 17) at 12:00pm in the Church of St. Patrick, 110 Main St., Farmington followed by burial in the family plot at Mt. St. Benedict Cemetery, Bloomfield. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal, P.O. Box 28, Hartford, CT 06141-0028.

Force, William

William G. Force, 90, of Unionville, husband of Marjorie “Midge” (Leonard) Force, died Friday, September 7th at Avon Health Center. He was born June 9, 1922 in Rahway, NJ, and had been a resident of the Hartford area for several years prior to moving to Unionville in 1965. He was a graduate of Casey Jones School of Aeronautics and New Haven Junior College. Before his retirement in 1983 he was employed as a product design engineer by United Technologies Corporation for 24 years and, previously, by Chance Vought Aircraft for 17 years. He saw brief service with the Army Air Force in the 1940’s. Besides his wife, Mr. Force is survived by several cousins. Graveside funeral services will be held Thursday (Sept. 13) at 1:00pm in Riverside Cemetery, Farmington.

Horak, Douglas Brassil

Douglas Brassil Horak, 25 years old, of West Hartford and beloved eldest son of Ellen Brassil and Jack Horak died an untimely death on Friday, September 7th, 2012. Doug also leaves his three younger brothers, John, Tom and Martin, who all adored him and looked up to him since childhood, remembering his help with projects, imaginative games and traditions like building the “Christmas fort.” A graduate of the University of Hartford, Doug was a gifted artist and illustrator and would have completed his MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design next spring. Doug’s art had drawn the attention of many, and in addition to his talent as an illustrator and portrait artist, he had mastered many techniques using complex 3-D modeling software such as Maya and Z-Brush and had ventured into the challenging world of skilled animation. Doug had won many art awards and his work earned international acclaim, including Grand Prize Winner of the 2011 Lucasfilm “Man versus Nature” Concept Art Award, leading to an internship at Lucasfilm studios in California. Doug recently won a competition sponsored by Animation Magazine for his rendition titled “Box,” about a young protagonist and his robot creation – drawn from his own sketch book. “I try to draw inspirations from everywhere and everything,” said Doug of his source material, evidenced in everything from his watercolor landscapes done while studying in Sicily, sketches of friends or his animation production entitled “ Viridian,” with music and sound design by Douglas Perry. Even as a boy, Doug knew the height, speed, G-forces and other vital statistics of the world’s great roller coasters. He was a talented carpenter, from building half-pipes, forts and ramps as a boy to recently working with his mom to re-design the living room mantle. Doug loved all animals and over the years had helped care for family pets as varied as dogs, ferrets, gerbils, rabbits, and even his aunt’s horses. Doug became an avid reader sailing through many of the classics for a second time just for the fun of it after finishing college. Doug enjoyed playing his great-grandmother’s piano, and his trumpet in the Conard High School band and was a natural athlete who excelled in skating and diving. Doug had a charitable heart and bristled at meanness, always ready to befriend peers in need or defend a quiet kid being pushed around. In addition to his parents and brothers, Doug leaves many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Douglas’ legacy will continue on in others through the gift of tissue donation. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church on Farmington Ave in West Hartford at 11 am on Friday, September 14th. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery, West Hartford. Donations in Doug’s memory may be made to Connecticut Institute for the Blind Oak Hill, 120 Holcomb St., Hartford, CT 06112 or The Little Sisters of the Poor, 1365 Enfield Street, Enfield, CT 06082.

Swingle, Robert P. Jr.

Robert P. Swingle Jr., 69, of Farmington, beloved husband of Diane (Rodrigue) Swingle, passed away Saturday, September 8th. Born in Augusta, GA, August 14th, 1943, son of the late Robert P. and Teresa (Pieronowski) Swingle. Prior to retiring, Bob was a Production Manager at Projects Inc., in Glastonbury and was more recently associated with Dial-A-Ride Services for the Town of Burlington. Bob had a passion for woodworking, renovations, building or anything to do with working with his hands; he was the guy that could fix anything. He also enjoyed the outdoors, hiking, golfing, skiing, taking day trips and vacations to warm places. Bob worked hard his whole life and enjoyed the time he had with his family and friends. He enjoyed the people he was involved with in his work with the seniors. Most of all he loved and cared for his wife Diane of 46 years. They always had dogs in the home that brought them so much pleasure as well. Besides his wife, Bob is survived by his two children, Serena M. Torres and her husband Jason of Hermiston, OR, and Bryan M. Swingle of Ithaca, NY and grandchildren, Kali and Lana Torres. A Memorial Service will be held later this year at a time to be announced. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Connecticut Humane Society, 701 Russell Road, Newington, CT 06111.