Archive for March 2019

O’Donnell, Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth O’Donnell, a self-described “ordinary girl, with an extraordinary life”, having just turned 102, passed away on March 27, 2019. In fact, she was an extraordinary person who had a remarkable life. Born the month before the United States entered WWI, on the Ides of March, March 15, 1917, to Thomas J. and Elizabeth (O’Malley) O’Donnell in the Bronx, NY. The youngest of four daughters, Mary grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens, NY. The daughter of Irish immigrants, Mary enjoyed growing up with an extended family of first and second cousins.
A child during the twenties, Mary came of age during the Great Depression. Lying about her age and using an older sister’s license and dress for the interview, Mary got her first job as a seasonal sales girl at Macy’s department store (back when there was only one Macy’s). Thus, began a long career in retail, that saw her grow as a buyer and fashion merchandising consultant, later becoming the first woman to manage Carson Pirie Scott’s New York office.
Mary had a great love for traveling and enjoyed many adventures along the way. A proud native New Yorker, Mary completed a cross country road trip before obtaining a driver’s license. She also inadvertently drove on the Merritt Parkway before it was officially opened. After WWII she travelled to Europe several times, visiting cousins in Ireland and her sister Alice in Rome and Paris.
Ever unsure of herself but fortified by the belief (instilled by her step-mother) that as long as you possessed good table manners, one need not fear any social interaction, she was fearless in her pursuit of new friends and experiences. She had a wonderful knack for making anyone she met feel special.
Following retirement in 1983, Mary moved to Avon, Ct to be near her sister’s Eileen and Alice and their families. While growing up during the Depression may have deprived her of some things, strong opinions were not among them. Mary was passionate about her Irish heritage, progressive politics (with a capital D), and Catholic faith. She was an eternal optimist and a prolific storyteller. She possessed a remarkable capacity to connect with and stay in touch with people, in some cases multiple generations of families, former-colleagues, and friends up until her death.
Mary is predeceased by her sisters, Kitty O’Donnell of New York, Alice Shea of Manchester, Eileen Akin of West Hartford, her step-brother, Monsignor Claire O’Dwyer of Baltimore, and her niece Christine Akin of Hartford. She is survived by her nephews, James Akin and his wife Eileen Brewer-Akin of West Hartford, and Peter Akin of East Hartford. Mary was beloved by her great-nephews and nieces; Wiley, Patrick, James, Olivia, and Audrey Akin, upon whom she doted.
Mary’s family would like to thank Mary, Nina, Marina, Alice and Zina for everything they did to enable Mary to remain in her home until almost the very end.
A Mass of Christian Burial will held Saturday April 13, at 10 AM at St. Mary Star of the Sea, 145 Main St (Rt 4) Unionville, Ct. There will be no calling hours, the burial will be private. In lieu of flowers please make a contribution in Mary’s name to the charity of your choice or one of her favorites: The Joseph House, PO Box 1755, Salisbury, MD 21802.

Valliere, Armand John

Armand John Valliere, age 79, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, March 26, 2019, in Port Saint Lucie, Florida after a courageous battle with prostate cancer.
Armand was born in New Britain, CT on June 22, 1939 to the late John E. Valliere and Irene (Brulotte) Valliere. On March 2, 1957 he married his loving wife Laurel J. (Lang) Valliere. They moved to Burlington, CT in 1965 where he lived and raised his family. He retired in 2006 to Port Saint Lucie, FL and Ogunquit, ME.
Armand attended New Britain High School and served in the National Guards for 11 years where he was a sharp shooter. He worked as a welder for over 48 years at Pratt and Whitney Aircraft and Dynamic Metal Products in Manchester, CT. Armand was an avid Boston Red Sox fan and also enjoyed watching UCONN Huskies Women’s Basketball. He also enjoyed traveling, cruises in the Caribbean, and he loved WWII documentaries and movies. He was an expert on WWII and was thrilled to travel to Normandy, France with his family. He also had a passion for World Geography and for military aircraft and had attended many airshows. He was a member of the Elizabeth Eaton Catholic Church in Port Saint Lucie, Florida. Besides spending winters in Florida, Armand loved his summers in Ogunquit, Maine with his large loving family. He loved long walks on the beach, floating down the river with his grandkids, cookouts and happy hours in the backyard. His family meant the world to him. His children and grandchildren adored him. He was known fondly as “Bup” to all the grandkids and their friends. He will be etched forever in our hearts and we will miss him immensely.
Besides his wife of 62 years, he leaves his four daughters: Terry and John Ciquera of Bristol, CT; Lori and John Kutsukos of South Glastonbury, CT; Lisa and Craig Baldwin of Reno, NV; Patti and Robb Yenulonis of Las Vegas, NV; his two sons; David Valliere of Collinsville, CT and Gregg and Hilary Valliere of New Hartford, CT; his loving grandchildren Brian (Cindy) Stranahan, Amy (David) Farrell, Kristina & Jack Kutsukos, Deven, Kai, & Tiana Valliere, Sorelle & Trent Valliere, Armand Baldwin and his great-granddaughter Lila Stranahan as well as step grandchildren and several adoring nieces and nephews. Armand was predeceased by his sisters Edna Dauphin and Rita Piclardi, and his brothers Donald and Ronald Valliere.
Friends may call at The Ahern Funeral Home, 111 Main St., Rt. 4, Unionville on Tuesday (April 2) from 5:00-8:00pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday (April 3) at 10:00am in the Church of St. Mary Star of the Sea, 145 Main St., Unionville, CT.

Gendreau, Helen (Vrabec)

Helen (Vrabec) Gendreau, 84, of Farmington, CT passed away peacefully Monday, March 25, 2019 after a brief illness with her loving sons by her side. Born April 24, 1934, she was the youngest child of Stephen and Marie (Stibravy) Vrabec of Torrington, CT.
Before becoming a homemaker, she worked as a clerk typist for Chandler Evans Inc. in West Hartford, as well as the bookkeeper for the family business. Helen was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother, who enjoyed knitting, sewing, reading, cooking and her daily soap operas. She loved family gatherings, and especially enjoyed hosting Christmas dinner. For several years one of her favorite pastimes were trips to Ogunquit, ME where she and her husband Roy enjoyed the ocean-front view and walks along the Marginal Way.
Besides her parents, Helen was pre-deceased by her husband of 61 years, Roy E, Gendreau, sister Marie Vrabec Roy and brother Edward Vrabec.
Helen is survived by her two sons, Roy S. Gendreau and his wife, Donna of East Windsor, Robert E. Gendreau and his wife Mary Lou of Kensington, and 4 grandchildren who she adored, Sarah, Rachel, Stephen and Meredith Gendreau. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews.
Friends may call at The Ahern Funeral Home, 111 Main St., Rt. 4, Unionville on Sunday (March 31st) from 2:00 – 5:00 pm. Funeral services will be held Monday (April 1st) at 10:00 am in The Ahern Funeral Home followed by burial in Fairview Cemetery, West Hartford. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, Inc. 103 Vision Way, Bloomfield, CT 06002 (www.fidelco.org).

Cosker, Mary Ellen Sisson

Mary Ellen Sisson Cosker passed away to peace on March 22, 2019. Born September 7, 1945 to Margaret (Kane) and Ralph B Sisson, she was a proud, lifelong resident of Collinsville, CT.

Mary Ellen touched so many lives in a positive way during her caring, friendly service for 11 years as a school bus driver, 35 years as a florist at Hinman’s Flower Shop and then as a driver for the Farmington Valley ARC. Maryellen truly enjoyed working with, giving to and helping others. She connected well with everyone and was a genuine, committed employee and friend.

Mary Ellen was beyond passionate about learning and sharing the history of her town, Collinsville/Canton, and the surrounding area. She procured an amazing collection of memorabilia and references and spent hours researching to help others identify family history and historical town connections. She offered a wealth of knowledge and creative ideas to the Collinsville Historical Society in her many years of service and was a go-to resource for just about anything Collinsville or Collins Company related. Her love for history also served well as an auction runner at the Canton Barn Auction for many years – yet another place where Mary Ellen touched many and enjoyed so much.

Mary Ellen had so many passions. Number one always – giving and spending time with family and friends. Mary Ellen never passed up an opportunity (when she was able) to send a card, make a call or drop in for a visit. Her heartfelt sincerity and commitment to those she loved was unwavering. This included family pets and local birds/wildlife! Mary Ellen was enamored with her own and her family’s house pets, who always brought a smile to her face even in dire times. Her fascination with local birds provided a daily enjoyment and purpose for her – particularly as she pondered ways to keep the squirrels at bay from her feeders!

Flowers, music, clouds, poetry, nature….just a handful more things in which Mary Ellen took delight. Those of us who have spent time with her finding pictures in the clouds, combing through clovers for the evasive 4-leafed, identifying beautiful wild and exotic flowers or toe-tapping and singing aloud to any one of the many artists enjoyed are better for it — better for the genuineness, education and love within those memories.

Mary Ellen was the utmost proud and honorable woman who exemplified strength, perseverance, formidable capability, charisma and integrity. No matter what challenge she faced, she met it head on with grit, determination and often a sense of humor and “stubbornness”. Her loving, resilient character will be missed sorely by so many.

Mary Ellen was predeceased by her sister Nancy Russo, and her beloved son-in-law Robert Cole Davidson, Jr.

In pure love, she leaves her daughter Lisa Noreen Cosker Davidson, granddaughter Jaela Nicole Davidson and grand-dog Daisy Davidson, all of Collinsville. She also leaves her nephew and wife, Corey and Shannon Russo of Collinsville; niece Ciera Russo and newborn grand-niece, Baylee of Torrington; her son-in-law’s treasured parents, Robert and Janice Davidson of Collinsville, his sisters Susan Hubbard and Deb Barnhart and their families on the east and west coasts; cousin Paula Morra and her husband, Robert from Bolton; lifelong family friend James Barraclough of Collinsville; and many other cherished friends.

A special thank you is sent to Hartford Hospital Vascular team and the special caregivers at Avon Health and Rehabilitation for the attentive care and support they provided Mary Ellen and her family.

A remembrance service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 28, 2019 at Ahern Funeral Home 111 Main St, Unionville, CT. There will be no calling hours.

If desired, donations can be presented in Mary Ellen’s memory to the CT Audubon Society: https://ww.ctaudobon.org/donate/ or to help offset end-of-life expenses: https://ww.gofundme.com/mary-ellens-lifestyle-fund.

Michaelis, Raymond A.

Raymond A. Michaelis, in his 99th year of life, of Farmington, CT and Westerly, RI, husband of Ann Kiczuk, passed away on March 20, 2019. Born and raised in New Britain, CT, Ray graduated from New Britain High School as President of the Class of 1938, and then earned a Bachelors’ degree from Teachers’ College of CT (now CCSU). Ray proudly served in the United States Army Air Forces from 1942-1945 as Technical Sergeant, Intelligence Specialist. He made twenty five aerial photo reconnaissance missions over the European theatre aboard B-17s during World War II, and was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross, a Bronze Star, and the European African Middle Eastern Theatre of Operations (EAMETO) Medal. A mere month following his honorable discharge from the military Ray married Ann, the love of his life. Ray continued his service after the war as a Supervisor in the United States Postal Service for 38 years until his retirement in 1988. He was a dedicated member of the Farmington community, and served as President of the Farmington High School Booster Club throughout the years his children attended school. Ray avidly followed Farmington High School athletics, particularly the girls’ sports played by his daughters and granddaughter. Ray continued to attend FHS girls’ volleyball and basketball games through the Fall of 2018, and was affectionately called “Grandpa Ray” by coaches and team players. Ray enjoyed viewing and inspiring competition, which has carried over to his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. His greatest joys in life came from being Ann’s husband and a father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
He leaves six daughters, Marie Nicksa of Hilton Head, SC; Kathy Gagne of Cape Coral, FL; Nancy Burke of Enterprise, AL; Susan Michaelis of Willimantic, Jane Crowell and her husband Martin of Berlin and Hartford; and Elizabeth Michaelis and her husband Hon. David P. Gold of Middlefield. Ray was predeceased by his wife, Ann Kiczuk Michaelis, his youngest child and only son, Raymond J. Michaelis, and sister, Helen Rittner. The family would like to thank Dr. Lavern Wright and Dr. Joseph Camilleri for their outstanding care for Ray over so many years.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, March 25th at 11am at The Church of St. Patrick, 110 Main Street in Farmington. There are no calling hours; the family will receive guests at the luncheon venue following the burial in Riverside Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Farmington High School Girls’ Volleyball Team, 10 Monteith Drive, Farmington, CT 06032, Attention: Coach Laura Arena.

Gregerick, Theresa Ann

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Theresa Ann Gregerick. She went to be with God on March 20, 2019.

Born in Unionville, CT to Joseph and Mary (Durstin) Gregerick on February 26, 1929, Theresa was the youngest of 10 children. After losing their home to the flood of 1955, the family rebuilt and Theresa was able to stay in the home she lived in since 1957. We were blessed to be able to keep her in her home for the remainder of her life.

Theresa retired from the Travelers Insurance Company in Hartford after many years of service. She enjoyed her retirement and “not having to take the bus into work anymore”!

Theresa had a gardener’s green thumb! Her yard was always kept nice with pretty flowerbeds and shrubbery. She also maintained a vegetable garden for several years. Theresa enjoyed the outdoors and took frequent walks to enjoy nature. She handpicked greenery in the surrounding woods and made homemade Christmas wreaths. And Christmas time always meant enjoying the many different cookies she would bake and put in pretty tins for us. Her homemade breads were delicious too! Theresa enjoyed knitting and has made many scarves, hats, mittens, and afghans. Theresa was a special auntie who will be missed beyond words!

Theresa had quite the sense of humor and could get silly by simply singing a TV commercial jingle. She and her caregivers often found time to talk and laugh, share stories, discuss recipes, or simply just sit.

Theresa was predeceased by her parents Joseph and Mary, as well as her brothers Mike and Joe, and sisters Ann, Helen, Mary, Sophie, Margaret, Catherine, and most recently Frances (Davis). She leaves behind her niece Annmarie Davis; nephews Tim and Michael Davis; brother-in-law Melvin Davis; great-niece Lindsay Audibert and Lindsay’s husband Andrew; and great-niece Heather Davis. Theresa also leaves behind several other nieces and nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephews who she loved very much. She also leaves behind her special and beloved 16 year old Manx cat Missy who she called “my little snickerdoodle”. Missy remained vigilant at Theresa’s bedside.

The family wishes to acknowledge and profoundly thank Theresa’s caregivers Kim, Blanca, Sue, and Lisa for the love, respect, comfort, caring and dignity they provided. It wasn’t always an easy job but they continued to love her and take good care of her. A big thank you to the Hospice nurses for their love and compassion provided to Theresa. A special thank you to Nurse Caitlin for her continuous love and support! A special thank you to Diane for everything she did and continues to do for Theresa and the family! All the nurses and caregivers became a part of Theresa’s family! We just can’t thank you all enough!

Friends may call at The Ahern Funeral Home, 111 Main St., Rt. 4, Unionville on Monday (Mar. 25) from 5:00-7:00pm. Burial will be private at the convenience of the family at St. Mary Cemetery, Avon. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully suggests making a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association, 200 Executive Blvd., Suite 4B, Southington, CT 06489 or the CT Humane Society, 701 Russell Road, Newington, CT 06111 in Theresa’s name. Thank you.

Grocki, Helen

Helen Grocki, 99, of Farmington passed away peacefully on March 18, 2019. She was the wife of the late Michael S. Grocki. She was born January 2, 1920 to the late Bertha and Walter Piwnicki. Helen grew up in Avon, attending local schools, and graduating from Canton High School where she was a member of the girl’s basketball team. After her marriage, she resided in Farmington and worked as a cashier at Noah Wallace School cafeteria. She was a parishioner of St. Patrick’s Church in Farmington for many years. Helen enjoyed knitting and crocheting, making beautiful sweaters, scarfs and hats for her family and charities. An avid sports fan, she followed the Boston Red Sox and supported her children’s and grandchildren’s multiple sports and school events. She also loved her weekly pinochle card games with friends.
A beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and great-great grandmother, she will be greatly missed. Helen is survived by her daughter Elaine Bemis and her husband Mel and her son John M. Grocki and his wife Jean; grandchildren Leanne Bemis (Bob), Stephen Bemis (Beth), Jeffrey Bemis (Nichole), Karen Pons (Jeff), Jay Grocki, Michael Grocki (Jamie) and William Grocki (Michelle); great grandchildren Sam and Olivia Donahue, Calvin, Rory and Tate Bemis, Jeffrey and Michael Bemis, Courtney Pasquale (Jeff), Aubrianna Zavilla (Zach), Liam, Kai, An, Jake and Mara Grocki; great-grandchildren Emilia and Darby Zavilla and Finn Pasquale. She also leaves many nieces and nephews. In addition to her husband and parents, Helen was predeceased by her siblings Sophie Yacek, Joseph Piwnicki and Regina Pilitowski. Her family wishes to thank her many friends for their support and prayers as well as all of the care-givers at Avon Health Center who assisted Mom during the late stages of her life.
A Memorial Service will be held on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at 10:00am in the Church of St. Mary Star of the Sea, 145 Main St., Unionville. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Farmington Foundation, P.O. Box 18, Farmington, CT 06034. This charity offers scholarships and loans to Farmington residents to advance their undergraduate education.

Alderman, Clifford Thomas

Clifford Thomas Alderman died March 17, 2019 after a long struggle with complications from heart disease. Born on April 8, 1961 in Bristol, Connecticut, he lived in Unionville for most of his life. Cliff was the son of his late mother Beatrice Pearce Alderman and Truman E. Alderman. Cliff attended local schools and graduated from Farmington High School in 1979, and later received a degree from American University in Washington D.C. in 1983. Following graduation from American University, Cliff worked for various institutions in Washington D.C. which included The U.S. Department of the Interior and The White House. Cliff was especially proud of the work he did for the Interior Department on the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration. Cliff would often write for The President when he spoke on matters concerning The U.S. Department of the Interior.
After returning to Connecticut in the early 1990’s, Cliff received a Law Degree from the University of Connecticut Law School and later Cliff was employed by The Hartford Insurance Company.
For many years Cliff was a member of the Congregational Church in Burlington, where for a time he was the Clerk for the church. Cliff enjoyed gardening, stately architecture, classical music, and the beauty of nature. Cliff was a great caretaker of his parents. One of the things that Cliff loved to do was to take his mother for long rides in the country, which provided her great comfort in her later years. He was the author of many articles about local history, Cliff enjoyed making the history of the Farmington Valley come to life. Cliff gathered a large collection of Carte de Visite photos of Connecticut Veterans of the Civil War which he donated to the Connecticut Historical Society. Cliff was the author of The Images of America book, Unionville. One of the passions of Cliff’s life was the Unionville Museum, where he served in many capacities, including President. Cliff was a special friend to cats and dogs, especially his beloved Airedale Terrier, Rosie.
He will live in the hearts and be missed by all who knew and loved him. He is survived by his father, Truman E. Alderman, Jr., and his brother, The Rev. Dr. Keith C. Alderman and his wife Penny of Westminster, MA, his uncle Tom and aunt Marilyn Pearce of Conklin, MI, and many cousins.
Friends may call at The Ahern Funeral Home, 111 Main St., Rt. 4, Unionville on Saturday (Mar. 30) from 10:00 – 11:00am followed by Funeral Services in the funeral home at 11:00am. Burial will be in Center Cemetery, Burlington. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Unionville Museum, 15 School Street, Unionville, CT 06085.

Airas, Carmen Iris

Carmen Iris Airas, beloved wife of Carlos Alberto Airas for more than 35 years, passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family on Wednesday, March 20, 2019. Carmen was born August 17, 1959 in Cidra, Puerto Rico; to parents Marcelina Rivera and Juan Colón.
Late 1979, Carmen moved from Cidra, Puerto Rico to Connecticut, where she met her now-husband who she is survived by, Carlos Alberto Airas. Carmen married her soulmate, Carlos Alberto Airas, on April 15, 1980, and eventually resided in Bloomfield, Connecticut with their beloved dog, Charlie. Carmen was a truly gentle soul, with much love given with smiles and laughter spread. Carmen was a strong, loving woman who devoted her life to her family, faith, and the outdoors. She loved nature and the outdoors, spending hours on end tending to the flowers and trees that surrounded the home, hiking through hills, valleys and mountain sides with family, and walking through parks with her grandchildren. Carmen was wonderfully devoted to her 3 daughters: Jesennia Da Costa, spouse of Marco Da Costa of Newington, Neysa Airas of West Hartford, and Jacqueline Airas, fiance of Juan Laboy of East Hartford, all of whom she loved and cared for without end. Carmen is survived by many loving grandchildren: Jonathan, Naiela, Marco Jr., Ismail, Noah, and Khloe.
Friends may call at The Ahern Funeral Home, 111 Main St., Rt. 4, Unionville on Sunday (Mar. 24) from 5:00-7:00pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in Our Lady of Sorrows Church at 10:00 am Monday (Mar. 25). Family and friends are asked to meet directly in the church, 16 Greenwood Street Hartford CT. Burial will follow in West Meadow Cemetery, Newington

Mayo, Elizabeth “Betty”

Elizabeth “Betty” Muldowney Mayo died on March 13, 2019 at her home in Farmington. She was born in Hartford on August 20, 1931 and lived in the Hartford area all of her life, over 61 years of which were spent with her beloved late husband, Joseph Charles Mayo, who predeceased her by 72 days on December 31, 2018. Betty and Joe were married in 1957, and raised their family in their much loved home on Fernwood Rd in West Hartford. They moved to Farmington in 2009. Together, they were life-long parishioners at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford. Betty graduated from Mt. Saint Joseph’s Academy in 1949 and from Saint Joseph’s College in 1953. She received a Master’s degree from the University of Hartford in 1957.
Betty was an elementary school teacher in the Hartford Public Schools for many years, the longest of which was at Clark Elementary School where she taught English as a Second Language. Later in her career, she was a specialist with the Connecticut Mastery Test where she helped prepare Hartford students for success, along with administering and grading portions of the exam. Betty enjoyed playing tennis, reading and gardening, as well as many summer vacations at Provincetown on Cape Cod with her family. She was an ardent supporter of the Boston Red Sox and the UCONN Men’s and Women’s basketball teams. Family activities also included Red Oak Hill Swim and Tennis Club in Farmington, CT and the Springfield Ski Club in Blanford, MA. After retirement, she and Joe traveled frequently with their longtime friends Bob and Nancy Wilson throughout the U.S. as well as Europe.
She taught her children the values of honesty, hard work, acceptance, and charity for others.
She is survived by 4 children: Catherine Mayo of Jamaica Plain, MA and her adopted son Delmace, Joseph Mayo Jr. of Hampton NH, his wife Kim Rivest and stepdaughter Bonnie Branson, Sharon Charron of Campton, NH, her husband Wayne and stepdaughter Charlee-ann McMahon, Susan Mayo of Martinez, CA, her wife Helen Muscolo and stepchildren Kelly Hand and Michael Muscolo. She is also survived by her dearest cousin, Mary Catherine Tompkins of West Hartford, who was like a sister to her.
At her request, there are no calling hours. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at the Cathedral of St. Joseph, 140 Farmington Ave, Hartford on Saturday March 30, 2019 at 10:00am. Interment will follow in Mount St. Benedict Cemetery in Bloomfield. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made in her memory to the Office of Radio Television, Archdiocese of Hartford 15 Peach Orchard Rd., Prospect, CT 06712-1052 http://www.ortv.org/donate.html.

Turner, Marguerite Radigan

Marguerite Radigan Turner, of Canton, beloved widow of Roland E. Turner, to whom she was married for 68 years, passed away surrounded by her loving family on March 16th, 2019. Born June 13th, 1927, she was the daughter of the late John T. and Myrtle May (Callan) Radigan and was one of 11 siblings. She most recently lost her sister, Helen Hanson who passed away on February 2, 2019 at the age of 101.
Prior to living in Canton, Marguerite lived in Ocala, Florida for 25 years moving from Unionville where she raised her family. She stayed at home until her youngest attended school then she worked in the school system in the cafeteria food system. She also worked alongside her husband at O’Neil Chevrolet in Avon driving for the parts department and her last job was as a CNA at Avon Health Center.
Marguerite liked to travel New England and Maine with her grandchildren Kayla and Austin, Boston, Vermont and Massachusetts. She visited Hawaii with her sister Helen and went to Florida to visit her son Roy and his family and to spend time with friends. She was an avid Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, UConn women and men’s basketball fan. She knew the women were headed to the final four again. She loved to cook and bake, read and crochet.
She is survived by her children and their spouses, John and Diane Turner of Unionville, Roy and Stella Turner of Ocala, FL, Maureen and Joe Lagana of Newington, Donna and Paul Erasmus of Farmington, Theresa and Greg Kilduff of Canton, where she resided the past five years and her daughter –in-law, Elaine Turner of Farmington. Marguerite “ Rita”, GRAM mostly as she was known had 16 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren: Lisa Guglielmo (Lauren, Christian and Alyssa), Tracy Carroll, Sharon Bonini (Jake), John Turner (Vanessa and Nathan), Michael Turner (Dominick, Christian and Harper), Amy Peruiti (Olivia, Madison and Ellinana), Kristine Ellis (Madelyn, Molly and Brady), Kelly Machuga (Laney and Ella), Troy Turner, Keith Turner (Caleb and Denver), Frank Lagana (Giuseppe and Giulianna), Jennifer Lagana (Sofia and Grace), Steven Erasmus (Christopher), Tamara Bross (Kyle and Erica), Jason Kilduff (Kayla and Austin) and Daniel Kilduff (Ava). She was predeceased by her two sons, Roland E. Turner, Jr., and Raymond Turner.
Friends may call at The Ahern Funeral Home, 111 Main St., Rt. 4, Unionville on Friday (Mar. 22) from 8:30 – 10:00am. Funeral procession from The Ahern Funeral Home will be at 10:00am followed by the Funeral Liturgy in the Church of St. Patrick, 110 Main St., Farmington at 10:30am. Burial will be in the family plot at Riverside Cemetery, Farmington. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Disabled American Veterans Unknown Solider Chapter 12, Greater Hartford, Inc., P.O. Box 280281, East Hartford, CT 06128.

Christopher, Georgette Blanchet

Georgette Blanchet Christopher passed away peacefully on Friday, March 15, 2019. Born August 11, 1932 in Quebec Canada, she was the daughter of the late Romeo and Germaine (Hebert) Blanchet of Watertown, CT. She graduated from Sacred Heart High School in Waterbury CT in 1951 (voted Best Legs). She met the love of her life, Robert J. Christopher of Oakville CT, at the CYO in Watertown CT and her plans to become a nun changed forever when they married in 1952. They lived with her parents in Watertown and then Robert’s parents in Oakville and started a family in 1955. She worked at Hemingway and Bartlett in Watertown, Connecticut before raising three children. Moving to Unionville with her family in 1967 she later worked at Plainville Savings Bank and Farmington Savings Bank (becoming head teller) and retired after 15 years as an administrative clerk at the UConn Health Center in 1992.
A pious woman, Georgette was a dutiful patron to The Church of St. Patrick in Farmington, CT and The Church of St. Ann in Avon, CT after moving to Avon with her husband in 2004. Georgette was a beloved mother and grandmother, selflessly doting on the needs of her progeny. She was a lifelong crafter. She would come to be known for her impeccably coordinated outfits and, as Alzheimer’s progressed, enjoyed word scramble puzzles.
Besides her husband of 67 years, Georgette is survived by her children, Debra (Christopher) Stearns of Pensacola, FL, Ronald J. Christopher and his wife Marie of Carlsbad, CA, and Robert M. Christopher and his wife Susan of Amherst, NH. She also leaves grandchildren Chelsea (Stearns) Williams, Adam Stearns, Alexandra Stearns, Dante Stearns, Jaclyn (Christopher) Casey, Austin Christopher, John Christopher and Cole Christopher. She leaves great grandchildren Isak Williams, Juliet Williams and Violet Casey.
Friends may call at The Ahern Funeral Home, 111 Main St., Rt. 4, Unionville on Thursday (Mar. 21) from 10:00am – 12:00pm followed by a Prayer Service at 12:00pm in the funeral home. Burial will be in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Watertown, 669 Platt Rd., Watertown, CT. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 200 Executive Blvd., Suite 4B, Southington, CT 06489.

O’Connell, Patrick J.

Patrick J. O’Connell, 62, died peacefully of natural causes at his home in Eastham, Massachusetts, on March 15, 2019. He was a beloved husband, brother and uncle, and a friend to many musicians and music lovers around the world. Born in 1957 in Hartford, Connecticut, he attended the Loomis-Chaffee School, in Windsor, where he served as president of his senior class. He was a graduate of Duke University, earning an undergraduate degree in political science in 1979 and a subsequent master’s degree in education in 1980. He also earned his J.D. degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1988, and he practiced law for several years with the firm of Carmody & Torrance of Waterbury, Connecticut. He married his devoted wife Kathleen Finucane in 1995 and settled in Eastham, Massachusetts, where he was active in civic affairs and the local music community.
Known to his friends as Pat or P.J., he was a passionate lifelong lover of music and an accomplished singer-songwriter. As a longtime resident of North Carolina during the 1980’s, he led the Durham-based Flying Pigs, a band whose releases include “Desi” and “Mexican Divorce.” As P.J. O’Connell, he released “Dream Life” (2001), “Happy Go Lucky” (2002), “Careful” (2007), and “Join the Crowd” (2011), recordings that featured many of his musical friends, including members of NRBQ and the Incredible Casuals. As a performer, he played stages across the United States and in Japan, and All Music Guide called him an “Americana power pop auteur on a journey that keeps getting more and more beautiful with each release.”

Pat was legendary for his kindness and loyalty to his friends and fellow musicians, his incisive wit and discerning taste, an encyclopedic knowledge of popular music, and a vast recorded music collection.

He is survived by his wife Kathleen Finucane and is predeceased by their daughter Elsbeth Caitlin O’Connell. His other survivors include siblings Edward O’Connell (and wife Susan), James O’Connell, and Elise O’Connell Boccia (and husband Steven), his sister-in-law Elsbeth Finucane-Albert (and husband Brett), brother-in-law William Finucane (and wife Kalora), and sister-in-law Lisa Finucane, as well as loving nieces and nephews Quinn Albert, Lanie Albert, Anna Finucane, Patrick Finucane, Kathleen Boccia, Joseph Boccia, Steven Boccia, Daniel O’Connell, and Rachel O’Connell.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 19, in St. Thomas the Apostle Church, 872 Farmington Avenue, West Hartford, Connecticut, followed by burial at Fairview Cemetery, 200 Whitman Avenue, West Hartford, Connecticut.

Low, Francis C.

Francis C. Low, 89, of Unionville, beloved husband of Beverly (Maurice) Low, passed away peacefully at home on Friday, March 15, 2019. Born April 29, 1929 in Plainville, he was the son of the late Alexander and Elizabeth (Kerr) Low. Fran graduated from Plainville High School in 1947. During the Korean War, Fran enlisted in the U.S. Air Force before being honorably discharged in 1954. Following the war, he attended and graduated from Bryant College. In 1957, he met the love of his life, Beverly, on a beach in Misquamicut, RI. They were married in 1958. Prior to retiring, Fran was a Snap-On Tool dealer for more than 33 years.
A friend to all, Fran is remembered for his humor, storytelling, infectious laugh and great pride in his family. The legacy he leaves for his family includes a love for the beach, good food, family vacations, the Yankees, Sunday football and most cats.
Besides his wife of 60 years, Fran is survived by his sister, Shirley (Low) Brown, his brother and wife, George and Beverly (Schaffer) Low, his children Scott Low, Leslie (Low) DeGregorio, Allison (Low) and her husband, Paul O’Hara. In addition, he leaves grandchildren, Anthony and his wife, Kirsten DeGregorio, Page DeGregorio, Darien DeGregorio, Avery Low, Mary O’Hara and Samuel O’Hara, one great-grandchild, Lucille, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Friends may call at The Ahern Funeral Home, 111 Main St., Rt. 4, Unionville on Wednesday (March 20) from 5:00-8:00pm. Graveside funeral services will be held Thursday (March 21) at 10:00am in Riverside Cemetery, Garden St., Farmington.

Arnold, James R.

James R. Arnold, 71, of Glastonbury, passed away peacefully on March 10, 2019. Born on December 29, 1947 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he graduated from North Allegheny High School and Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics.
He moved to Connecticut in 1967 for a job at Pratt and Whitney and held jobs at various manufacturing companies as a buyer. Prior to his retirement, he started his own business, Arnold Enterprise.
He was a die-hard Steelers fan and spent many weekends with fellow fans at A D’s in Windsor. He was an avid golfer and enjoyed traveling to Aruba and Destin. When younger, he would organize neighborhood baseball games while his young daughters cheered from the side-lines. He liked to work on engines of any kind and was able to fix anything. He had an extensive workshop which allowed him to complete home and wood-working projects. He had a great sense of humor and loved watching comedy shows and movies and quoting memorable lines. In his later years, he enjoyed going out to eat with his granddaughters and watching Judge Judy every afternoon.
He was predeceased by his father, Ralph F. Arnold and long- time companion “Chizzie” Geraci. He is survived by his mother, Margaret J. Arnold and sisters, Peggy-Lou Sheedy and Diane Jacobson, all of Bonita Springs, Florida.
He is also survived by his two daughter, Pamela Mastrogiovanni of Farmington and Diana Hancin and husband Dennis of Marlborough; and four granddaughters, Lillian and Anna Mastrogiovanni and Julia and Katherine Hancin.
Burial will be private at the convenience of the family.