Archive for March 2015

Willey, John B.

John Bartlett Willey passed away peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, March 29, 2015. He was 93 years old and had been living in the Harbor at River Ridge Senior Living in Avon since 2011. John was born in Boston on January 13, 1922, the only child of Dr. Leon Bartlett Willey and Matilda Louise Willey. He was raised in Middletown, CT, where his father was a dentist. John loved his parents dearly and was very close to them until they died in the early 1970s. For most of his adult life, he was a philatelist, a hobby he had shared with his father since he made his first stamp album as a child. He also loved the outdoors, especially the Maine woods and coast. John attended Williams College in the early 1940s, where he played football, majored in history and won the history prize as a senior. Going the accelerated route, he graduated early in order to attend officer training for the U.S. Navy. He served on a destroyer escort as Second Lieutenant in the South Pacific from 1942 to 1944, and after the war he took a job at Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, where he worked for 30 years. In 1947, John married Dorothy Lemon of Indiana, and they raised their four children in Bloomfield and Simsbury. For many years, they were active members of the First Baptist Church of West Hartford and later attended the Covenant Presbyterian Church in Simsbury. They retired to Martinsville, Maine, then moved back to live in Barkhamsted in the 1990s. After Dorothy died in 1998, he remarried a family friend, Mary Jane Smith of Glastonbury, with whom he shared four happy years. At River Ridge, John was the constant companion of Darlene Jusilla, who passed away this past September. He was loved and well cared for by the River Ridge staff in his final years. To the end of his life, John’s friends and family appreciated his wonderful sense of humor and optimistic outlook on life. He leaves his three daughters, Susan Clearwater of Nashville, IN, Lynne Zelasko of Cuenca, Ecuador, and Mimi Madden of New Hartford. His son, John Bartlett Willey, Jr., lives in Conway, NH. He also leaves 10 grandchildren and 1 great grandson. Friends may call at The Ahern Funeral Home, 111 Main St., Rt. 4, Unionville on Thursday (Apr. 2) from 12:00-1:00pm followed by Funeral Services in the funeral home at 1:00pm with Rev. Daniel W. Hille officiating. Burial is scheduled for the spring in Indian Hill Cemetery, Middletown. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Smile Train (

Harris, Nellie Locke

Harris, NellieNellie Locke Harris, 72, of Hartford, passed away Friday, March 20, 2015. She is survived by her daughter, Maree Clarke and her husband Vincent of Hartford, one sister, four brothers, 4 grandchildren, 1 great-grandchild and a host of nieces and nephews. Friends may call at The Ahern Funeral Home, 180 Farmington Ave., Hartford on Saturday (Mar. 28) from 9:00-10:00am followed by funeral services at 10:00am. Burial will be in Mt. View Cemetery, Bloomfield.

Joy, John J. “Jack”

John J. “Jack” Joy, Sr., 84, of Hartford, husband of the late Marjorie (Coffey) Joy, passed away Tuesday, March 17, 2015. Born January 9, 1931 in Hartford, son of the late Michael P. and Margaret (Kavanaugh) Joy. Prior to retiring, John was employed at The Hartford Times and later by the United States Post Office. He raised his children in Manchester for 25 years and was involved in many organizations in town, including, Boy Scouts of America, Troop 15 and was a communicant at St. Bridget Church. He was a longtime active member at the Cathedral of St. Joseph where he was a member of the Funeral Ministry and was a member of the Knights of Columbus #11405 where he served as Grand Knight for two years. He was a United States Air Force veteran of the Korean War. John is survived by his children, John J. Joy, Jr., of Hartford; Michael F. Joy and his wife Myra of Noblesville, IN; Terri Joy Medeiros and her husband John of Warwick, RI; Dennis P. Joy and his wife Tamara of Vernon; Edward J. Joy and his wife Barbara of Tolland, grandchildren, Andrea Joy, Margaret Joy, Christopher Joy, Gabrielle Joy, Andrew Joy, Erica Philbrick and her husband Matt, Richard Dean and his wife Beth, Matthew Dean and his wife Emily and Kathleen Joy, his great grandchildren, Gillian, Jackson, Peter, Thomas, Erin, Mason, Cooper, Morgan and Violet, his aunt, Catherine Keane of Vernon, his brother, James Joy of West Hartford, his sister, Marian Murphy and her husband Francis of Windsor, his sisters-in-law, Sr. Marie Coffey RSM of West Hartford, Jean Gronda of Manchester and Kay Coffey of Simsbury and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sister, Kathleen McCarthy and her husband William, his in-laws, Frank and Mary Coffey, his sisters-in-law, Ann Joy, Elizabeth Casey and her husband John, Anne “Nancy” Coffey and Eileen Coffey, his brothers-in-law, John Gronda and Frank Coffey, his niece, Mary Koltuniak, his nephew, David Casey, his great nephew, Connor Casey, his great niece, Julia Moran and his great nephew, Benjamin Soltys. He loved his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren with all his heart, and was loved by all who met him. Friends may call at The Ahern Funeral Home, 180 Farmington Ave., Hartford on Friday (Mar. 20) from 4:00-7:00pm. Funeral procession from The Ahern Funeral Home will be Saturday (Mar. 21) at 9:15am followed by the Funeral Liturgy in the Cathedral of St. Joseph at 10:00am. Burial will be in the family plot at Mt. St. Benedict Cemetery with full military honors. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Knights of Columbus, Knights of Columbus Charities, One Columbus Plaza, PO Box 1966, New Haven, CT 06509-1966.

Potter, Nancy J.

Nancy J. Potter passed away unexpectedly at her home on Sunday, March 8th, 2015. She is survived by her son, Scott Lee, her granddaughter, Mia Lee, her mother, Joan Brauge and her brothers, Robert and Paul Andle. A Memorial Service will be held Saturday (Mar. 21) at 1:00pm in The Ahern Funeral Home, 111 Main St., Rt. 4, Unionville with Rev. Wendell Taylor officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 20 Batterson Park Road, 3rd Floor, Farmington, CT 06032.

Collier, Donald R.

Donald Ralph Collier died at home on March 10, 2015. He was born November 13, 1926 in Williamson, NY, son of Glen B. Collier and Edith Estella (Ketchum) Collier. He served in the US Army as a paratrooper in WWII. He moved to Unionville, CT in 1947 where his mother and stepfather, Clarence Miller, had relocated. After meeting nurse Elaine Carruth King during a brief hospital stay, they married in 1948. They built their own home and a hobby farm where they raised five children while he worked in building and excavating contracting. In 1973, he began a thirty-year career with Diamond Transportation as a long haul, owner-operator truck driver. Don was a good provider for his family and cheerfully lent a hand to any work project, making the job fun. He loved hunting for deer and moose in Maine and fishing and boating on Long Island Sound. He was past president of the Lions Club in Unionville, CT and a member of Evening Star Lodge #101, A.F & A.M. Don was predeceased by his parents, his stepfather, his wife, his brother Lester and one son, Donald Glen. He is survived by his son Russell and wife Theresa, his son Norman and wife Marian, his daughter Candace Walker and husband Randall, and his daughter Mandy Wright and husband Christopher. In addition to his children, he leaves 18 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren, and his good friend and companion Jeanette St. Peter. He was dearly loved and will remain forever with us in our memories. Visiting hours at The Ahern Funeral Home, 111 Main St., Rt. 4, Unionville, CT will be TODAY from 5:00-8:00 PM with a Masonic service at 7:00 PM. The funeral will be held at the First Church of Christ, Congregational, 81 High Street, Suffield, CT on Saturday, March 14 at 10:30 AM. Burial with full military honors will immediately follow the funeral at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Suffield, CT. Memorial donations may be made to The Dr. Dunne Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 625, Unionville, CT 06085 or the Unionville Lions Club Eye Research Fund, P.O. Box 203, Unionville, CT 06085.

Collier, Donald

Morales, Vivian Albert

Vivian Albert Morales, 54, of Wilkes Barre, passed away Saturday, March 7, 2015. She is survived by her four brothers, one sister and many nieces and nephews. Friends may call at The Ahern Funeral Home, 180 Farmington Ave., Hartford on Sunday (Mar. 15) from 5:00-9:00pm and again on Monday (Mar. 16) from 9:00-10:00am followed by burial in Mt. St. Benedict Cemetery, Bloomfield.

Bernard, Gilberte Marie

Bernard, GilberteGilberte Marie (Castonguay) Bernard , 86, of Unionville, Connecticut, beloved wife of Martial Bernard, passed away peacefully Thursday, March 5th, 2015. Born November 26, 1928 in La Bae Des Sables, Quebec, Canada, she was the daughter of the late Albert and Marie-Elise (Gagnion) Castonguay. Gilberte was a Children’s Nurse in Montreal,Quebec, Canada in her 20’s. After raising four children, she was an Avon Representative for 30 years, earning Presidential Award Honors. Besides her husband, She is survived by her three children, Chantal McAllister & husband Daniel McAllister and Aline Chenette and husband Dwight Chenette and their children David and Sam, and Marc Bernard. She was predeceased by her son, Serge Bernard. Friends may call at The Ahern Funeral Home, 111 Main St., Rt. 4, Unionville on Tuesday (Mar. 10) from 5:00-7:00pm. Funeral procession from The Ahern Funeral Home will be Wednesday (Mar. 11) 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 Special Olympics Connecticut, 2666 State Street, Suite #1, Hamden, CT 06517- 2232.

Johansen-Pitzen, Cheryl

Pitzen, CherylCheryl Pitzen-Johansen passed into the next life, from complications of cancer, peacefully on March 4, 2015 at home in Unionville in the presence of her family. She was preceded in death by her grandparents and her mother, Priscilla Pitzen. Cheryl is survived by her father, Charles Pitzen, of Lakeland, FL; her husband, Guy Johansen; step-daughters, Bethany Fairbairn and Vicki (and husband Matt) Dadona; along with 3 grandchildren. She is survived by her brothers; David (and wife Darlene) Taylor, of Three Rivers, MI and Larry (and wife Kim) Taylor, of Kalamazoo, MI; 6 nieces and nephews; and 4 grandnieces and grandnephews. She was also well loved by her large family of friends at Memorial United Methodist Church, TJ Maxx, and in the community at large. Cheryl was born November 16, 1974 in Schenectady, NY. She grew up in a few communities throughout the Midwest and graduated from Farmington High School in 1992. Cheryl earned her Bachelor Degree in History from Franklin Pierce College and had a long fulfilling career at TJ Maxx. She lived her adult life in the Farmington Valley area. Cheryl was a very active member of Memorial United Methodist Church in Avon. It was there that she put her history degree to work by serving as the Chairperson on the Committee of History and Records and initiated an ongoing project to sort, organize, properly maintain, and safely store vital church history records. Cheryl was also very active in Relay for Life, taking on many leadership and organizational roles, most recently by being the Entertainment Chairperson for the last 3 years. She loved to dance and was an accomplished ballroom dancer. She also enjoyed travelling with her husband and friends (Florida, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, and Israel to name a few). Friends may call at The Ahern Funeral Home, 111 Main St., Rt. 4, Unionville on Friday evening March 6, 2015 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, March 7, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. at Memorial United Methodist Church, 867 West Avon Rd, Avon. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that memorial contributions be made to Memorial United Methodist Church, Relay for Life, cancer research charities, or any charity of your choosing in honor of her humanitarian beliefs.

Allen, Ronald James

Ronald James Allen, 74, of Bristol, husband of Joyce (Rawn) Allen for 49 years, passed away after a courageous battle with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He was born in Arlington, MA on April 28, 1940 to the late James and Eleanor (Maher) Aulenback. He is survived by his son, Ken Allen and partner, Jenine Caulkins, his daughter Diane and son-in-law, Dr. Raymond Foley, grandchildren Nicole and Ashley Allen, Colleen, Jack and Brendan Foley and Garrett and Corbin Caulkins. He is also survived by his sister Joyce Johnson, her husband Dick, and his brother-in-law Bruce Rawn as well as by many nieces and nephews. He was a graduate of Northeastern University. He worked for Dun & Bradstreet in Boston prior to coming to Connecticut in 1971. He also worked at Seth Thomas in Thomaston prior to establishing his own company, the Thomaston Clock Company, that he ran for nearly 30 years. He was a long-suffering Red Sox fan until October 27, 2004. He experienced that joy two more times. He also enjoyed supporting UConn, the Patriots, and the Celtics. He was a born leader and someone that everyone respected for his intelligence and business acumen, but more importantly how he treated people. Family and friends meant everything to Ron and this was always the highest priority in his life. A special thank you to the physicians, nurses and staff at the UCONN Health Center as well as Dr. D’Avella and Dr. Dekker. Friends may call at The Ahern Funeral Home, 111 Main St., Rt. 4, Unionville on Wednesday (Mar. 4) from 5:00-8:00pm. Funeral services will be held Thursday (Mar. 5) at 11:30am in The Ahern Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to UCONN Health Department of Nursing, Oncology 6.Allen, Ronald