Archive for June 2019

Horrigan, John “Jack” P.

Mr. John “Jack” P. Horrigan, of Milton, MA, and Simsbury and Avon, CT, born on February 10, 1937 in Montclair, New Jersey, to the late Lillian and Joe Horrigan, passed away at age 82 on June 27, 2019 in Avon, Connecticut. He was surrounded by family and was peaceful as he went to Heaven for a tee time. Jack graduated from Boston College High School in 1954, where he was an All-City basketball player during his junior and senior seasons, and a baseball pitcher who had a try out with the Philadelphia Phillies. A proud Boston Irishman, Jack became a “Double Eagle” upon his graduation from Boston College in 1958 where he earned a BS in business administration. Upon graduation, Jack went to work for Goodyear, Hallmark and he also worked as a salesman at Heublein until he retired in 1994. Jack also served his country as a member of the Navy and Naval Reserves. Jack was married to Elizabeth “Betty” Leary Horrigan of Milton, MA for an amazing 58 years. He was preceded in death by his sister Mary Driscoll and her husband Bill, sister Ann O’Neil and her husband Matt, and brother, Joe Horrigan. He is also survived by his sister in law Lou Horrigan. Jack is survived by his sons, Jay Horrigan and his wife Cheryl of Franklin, MA, Dave Horrigan of Seattle, WA, and Denis Horrigan and his wife Kristen of Simsbury, CT; and grandchildren, Anna Horrigan, John Horrigan III, Declan Horrigan, Jack Horrigan, and Mason Horrigan. In addition, numerous nieces and nephews survive Jack, as well as too many friends to count. Jack loved all sports, especially playing golf, and spending time with family. Friends and family can pay their respects at the visitation at Ahern Funeral Home – 111 Main St., Rt. 4, Unionville, CT, 06085 between the hours of 5:00-8:00 PM on Tuesday, July 2, 2019. A celebration of Jack’s life will take place at St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Church, 145 Main St., Unionville, Connecticut, 06085 on Wednesday, July 3, 2019 beginning at 10:00 AM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Jack’s name to High Watch Recovery Center, PO Box 607, Kent, CT, 06757 and McLean Care, 75 Great Pond Road, Simsbury, CT, 06070.

Saxton, G. William (Bill)

G. William Saxton (Bill), 91, of Farmington, beloved husband of Jessie (Salzer) Saxton, passed away peacefully Thursday, June 27th, 2019. Born in Hartford, he grew up in the Frog Hollow neighborhood where he created lifetime friendships that endured these so many long years. He was most proud of being a member of the Hartford Public High School, Class of 1945. He attended Wesleyan University with the help of a Louis A. Fox Scholarship to graduate in 1950 with a BA in Mathematics. Throughout his career he continued to mentor Fox scholars and following Mr. Fox’s death became the foundation’s executive director for twenty years. He was forever grateful to Mr. Fox and his veterans’ benefits, earned for service in the US Army Occupation of Japan immediately following World War II, for the financial resources to finish college. His career as a teacher and administrator in the Hartford Public Schools began in 1951 as a math teacher at Weaver High School, later becoming head of the math department at Buckley High School. From 1964 until retiring in 1992, he served in a variety of administrative positions as Director of Secondary Education and Research to complete his career as assistant to the superintendent. He earned a Master’s Degree from Trinity College. Bill loved travelling with old friends and especially his son and daughter-in-law to his favorite destinations in Germany and Austria. He and Jessie learned to square dance forty years ago and were devoted to the large group of friends at Central Valley Squares that shared fun times dancing. The family is most appreciative of the wonderful care given to Bill during his brief stay at Avon Health Center.
He and Jessie, married nearly 67 years, raised a family in the Highlands neighborhood of Farmington. Bill is survived by his two children, Brian Saxton and his wife Lisa of St Joseph, MI and Sharon Farrell and her husband Tim of Cromwell; his grandchildren, Pam Saxton, Bill Hatfield, Kelly Farrell, and Jennifer Farrell; and son-in-law Fred Hatfield. He was predeceased by his beloved daughter Larilyn “Missy” Hatfield in 2012.
Funeral services and burial will be private at the convenience of the family

Connon, Tom

Tom Connon, 63, who passed away on Sunday, June 23, was everybody’s favorite even though he would have humbly denied this. Now that he’s not here to protest, it’s a bittersweet truth that we can finally sing Tommy’s praises.

Whether it was pasta and cannoli at an Italian restaurant (his favorite), late-night leftovers and conversation at 2:00 AM in the kitchen, or the occasional gas station hot dog, Tom was a witty and interesting dining companion who was as comfortable eating on a white tablecloth as he was in the front seat of his Honda.

Sadly, one of the tragedies of Tom’s life is that he never appeared on Jeopardy. He could wipe out a category faster than most of us could find the remote. His Guesstures performances were legendary, and his country music Name That Tune abilities would rival those of anyone at the Grand Ole Opry. Willie’s Roadhouse never had a more enthusiastic fan.

Born in Denver, Colorado on May 5, 1956, Tom spent most of his life living in Stamford, Connecticut after his family moved there in the mid-1960’s. Tom made his mark as the captain of the Westhill High School wrestling team and went on to wrestle at Southern Connecticut State University before transferring to the University of Connecticut in Storrs. After college, he worked as a housepainter, salesman, and as a news reporter among other jobs. One of his favorite jobs was working as a lifeguard at Cummings Beach where he worked alongside his older brother and best friend, Bill.

With a natural technical proficiency, Tom eventually found work as an audiovisual technician at M Communications in Stamford, where he had a life-long connection to the company owned by his childhood friend, Alex. He also spent more than a decade commuting to New York City to work as a corporate AV specialist at AllianceBernstein. By all accounts, the clients enjoyed working with Tom, particularly the conference presenter who accidentally went into the bathroom wearing his live microphone, but was stopped by Tom in the nick of time.

Tom enjoyed traveling. In addition to traveling for work, some of the more memorable trips Tom made during his life included a mission trip to Russia with the Grace Evangelical Church (where he ran the sound board for many years), and to Hawaii with his older sister, Muffie, where they watched Sumo wrestling and toured Pearl Harbor.

Tom also made frequent trips to Arizona spending Christmases with Muffie, her husband Clarke, and with their children Clark, Jonathan and Amy hiking Camelback Mountain and riding mules across the border in Nogales. Reviving his Western routes, Tom often showed up at the Phoenix airport wearing a cowboy hat. While out West, Tom enjoyed the Desert Botanical Garden’s annual holiday Luminaria exhibit, and he spent time soaking up the desert sun and swimming in the pool with the family Labs.

For many summers, you could find Tom sailing off the coast of Mystic, Connecticut with his brother Bill, Bill’s wife, Nancy, and from time to time their daughter Katie, son-in-law, Pete, and son Mike. As life-long Yankee fans, Tom and Bill (along with cousins Jamie and John) made numerous trips to Yankee stadium and followed in the fan tradition instilled in them as children by their grandfather who listened to the games on transistor radio. Tom also participated with Bill yearly in the Thanksgiving Day Road Race in Manchester, the occasional Canton Connecticut 5K Lobster Loop, kayaked and tubed in the Farmington River, and spent time working on handyman projects where Tom developed a reputation for regularly wearing a headlamp and, over time, convinced everyone else in the family to wear one, too. (Bill now keeps one in his car and at least one niece and a nephew swear by them.) Tom, also known as T-Man, built a swing set with Bill and their Dad when Bill’s daughter Katie was about 3, and Tom enjoyed years of giving Katie and, later, her brother Mike “Ka-BOOMs,” and more recently, Lilly, his great niece and god daughter, though those were more like “ka-booms.”

Throughout his life, Tom was known for his keen sense of humor and dry wit. He never missed an opportunity to share his comedic view of the world with his sister Joanne, her partner Jack, her son, Makano, Jack’s son, John (wife Raisa and son Johnny) and daughter Ashley (husband Ken). With Joanne and her family, Tom found comic inspiration, a shared fondness for the absurd and an appreciation of the arts. Whether it was visiting a NYC museum, or attending a New Yorker Festival panel or a Willie Nelson concert, Tom was always poised to explore Manhattan, and beyond. Sometimes they simply stayed at Joanne’s in Milford, Connecticut and played Scene It? and ate Pepe’s pizza. Tom filled many roles in this world, but there are few that he took more seriously than that of his role as Joanne’s protective older brother, and she was equally devoted to him.

Tom was a dynamic addition to holiday gatherings taking place in the homes of his siblings as well as in the home of his cousin, Joanne, who never missed an opportunity to include him. Tom was an “adoptive son” to Bill’s parents-in-law, Bob and Gloria, who thoroughly loved Tom as one of their own. Although there may have been times when Tom felt disappointment because he did not have a family of his own, in his death, it has become clear that Tom had many families: three with his siblings and more with his cousins and their families (Jamie and wife Carolyn; John, wife Roxanne, and children Jade and Pearl; and Joanne, husband Bernie, and children Brady and Christopher). One family might just not have been enough for all the love Tom had to give.

As Tom’s health declined due to his battle with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), one of his true joys were visits from his nieces and nephews. Over the years, Uncle Tom had rarely missed a religious milestone, sporting competition, musical recital, birthday party, or school event. He helped out on college move in/move out days and attended graduations from Boston to Montreal to Tucson. At the end of his life, he was visibly moved by the love he felt from his nieces and nephews. Even his great niece, Lilly, lifted Tom’s spirits by seeing past his wheelchair and inviting him to dance and sing with her.

Tom’s humility, kindness, generosity and intelligence stood out to all who knew him. His friend Brian said that Tom tried to present himself as an “average Joe,” but that he had trouble pulling this off because his elevated vocabulary and wordsmith skills gave him away. Another example of his character occurred during a difficult time in Tom’s life. Even though Tom knew he could not benefit from his efforts because there is no known cure for PSP, he volunteered to participate in lengthy and tiring research studies at Yale to help find treatment options for PSP sufferers who would come after him.

Tom was predeceased by his parents, Marianne and Jack Connon, his aunt and uncle, Joan and Peter Moore, his maternal grandparents, Jane and Frank Smith, his paternal grandparents Agnes and John Connon, and by his brother, Johnny Connon, who passed away in infancy.

As we say good-bye to Tom, we quote Willie Nelson, one of Tom’s favorites, and his song, Just Breathe:

Nothing you would take,
Everything you gave.
Love you till I die,
Meet you on the other side.

We will all miss you, Tom.

His entire family extends a special thank you to the loving caregivers at the Cherry Brook Health Care Center in Canton and at Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday (June 28) at 10:00am in St. Patrick’s Church, Collinsville. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Cure PSP at or to the Connecticut Humane Society at

Petersen, Robert E.

Robert E. Petersen, 91, of Simsbury, formerly of West Hartford, beloved husband of the late Edna (Rowe) Petersen, passed away peacefully Monday, June 17, 2019. Born October 25, 1927 in the Elmwood section of West Hartford, he was the son of the late Hans E. and Olive (Farrell) Petersen. He was a graduate of Farmington High School and was a United States Army veteran. Prior to retiring, Robert was partners with his brother Richard for 42 years with Petersen Bros. Inc., where they built many homes in the Farmington Valley.

Robert joined the East Farmington Volunteer Fire Department in 1951. He held the position of Assistant Chief and proudly served as Chief from 1963-1971. Along with his father, his brother Richard, and his nephew Gary Petersen, they established the Petersen Award which is annually presented to an outstanding member of the East Farmington Volunteer Fire Department.

Bob is survived by his children, Darryl Swain Haberern of Canton, Darcy Swain Mantel of Concord, New Hampshire, and Darren “Duke” Swain and his wife, Keiko, of Mableton, Georgia; his daughters, Roberta Miller of Cromwell and Linda O’Doherty of Cromwell and her son Shawn Michael O’Doherty; and his sister Barbara P. Woodward and her husband Henry of Denton, Texas, and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brothers Edward and Richard Petersen and his sister Elsie Dixon. Robert was affectionately known as “Bumpa” and is also survived by grandchildren: Jamie Haberern, Cameron Mantel and his wife Gina, Gabrielle Mantel, Ryan Swain, Toni Swain and his only great-grandson Nicholas Mantel.

Friends may call at The Ahern Funeral Home, 111 Main St., Rt. 4, Unionville, on Wednesday, July 24, from 10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. followed by a brief service in the funeral home. Graveside Funeral Services with full military honors will be held immediately following at Riverside Cemetery, Farmington.

Heslin, Mary Mazurek

Mary Mazurek Heslin 89, a life-long resident of the City of Hartford, died peacefully on Friday, June 21, 2019. She was the loving and devoted wife of Attorney Thomas P. Heslin by whom she was predeceased. Mary was born to strong and hard-working Polish Immigrant parents; Sophia Yanda and John Mazurek.
She attended St Cyrils’s, Bulkeley High School and earned a BA in Education from The University of Connecticut and a MA in History from Trinity College. She was proud of her Public Service to the citizens of Hartford and served in the positions of Councilperson and Deputy Mayor of Hartford. Mary brought the same zeal and commitment serving as Commissioner of Consumer Protection under the Grasso and O’Neill administrations. She was Hartford’s first female Democratic Councilperson and one of the first female Commissioners in the State of Connecticut. She was truly a woman ahead of her time
She cherished the life-long bonds she shared with her former Weaver students as an impassioned and inspirational educator.
Mary was also dedicated to the Polish community, both on the local, national, and international levels and served on numerous Polish Cultural and Philanthropic organizations.
After-retirement she was active as a consultant to many national consumer protection safety boards. The University of Connecticut always had a special place in her heart and she served as chairman of the NEAG School of Education Advisory Board and was recognized by receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award.
She was an avid golfer and a member of the CWGA once shooting a 74 with a hole in one on the same day at the PGA West course in Florida She was a member of Wampanoag Country Club and Bear Lakes Country Club in West Palm Beach. She loved to travel and garden and spent hours tending to her roses with her “Polish green thumb.”
Her home was an always a hub of activity for both family & political functions and Mary loved to entertain as long as someone else did the cooking and cleaning!
She is survived by her daughter Mary Ellen Taub and her son John W. and daughter in law Tracey Heslin. Mary is also survived by son in law John P Laverty and daughter in law Cindy Romer Heslin. She was predeceased by daughter Joanne P. Laverty Esq. and son Dr.Thomas P. Heslin Jr.
Grandchildren include: John, Michael, Julie, Thomas, Andrew, Melanie, Jack, Haley, Connor and 6 great-grandchildren.
She was also predeceased by Brother John “Whitey” Piurek and sister’s Stacia Holmes, Stephanie Plocharczyk, and Josephine Chupas
The family will receive friends this Wednesday, June 26th from 3 – 8pm at Ahern Funeral Home, 180 Farmington Ave., Hartford, CT.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, June 27, 2019 at 10 am at St. Cyril and Methodius Church, 55 Charter Oak Ave, Hartford, CT. (All attending are kindly asked to go directly to church.) Burial will follow at Cedar Hill Cemetery Hartford
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to:
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation 20 Batterson Park Road 3rd floor Farmington, CT 06032 Connecticut Women’s Golf Association, Susan Grayson, Treasurer, 251 Talcott Notch Road Farmington, CT 06032

Rogers, Helen (Ropiak)

Helen (Ropiak) Rogers, widow of Milton Neal Rogers to whom she was married to for 59 years, was born on February 21, 1926 and passed away peacefully on June 16, 2019 at the age of 93. Helen was born in New Britain then moved at a young age to Unionville. Helen attended the old school house and then started at the newly built Union School in second grade. She graduated from Farmington High School in 1944; where she was a cheerleader and secretary of her class. Upon graduating she worked at Wasley Products for three years, then spent twenty-four years at Trans Flex Packagers as a bookkeeper until retirement. Helen volunteered her time with several organizations; Meals on Wheels, representative of St. Patrick’s Church at St. Agnes Guild, Our Lady of Calvary retreat house, Extend a Hand and life member of Senior Citizens of Farmington. Helen was also an active member of St. Patrick’s Women’s Guild and had a deep affection for her church friends, especially the “Silver Bells.”
Helen had an innate quality for establishing close bonds and lifelong relationships with anyone who “crossed her path.” She held no reservations to walk up to a perfect stranger and engage in conversation. She held a deep love for her family and was always willing to go to any lengths to provide love and support when needed. Helen and Neal’s greatest source of happiness was to attend family and social gatherings and be surrounded by many others. She was also happiest when attending soccer games in and out-of-state to cheer on her grandchildren, great-grandchildren and close friends. She embraced others with her generous and loving spirit that made others feel special. Those that knew Helen could count on receiving thoughtful notes in her perfect cursive penmanship. She was best known for her abundant vegetable gardens and blueberry bushes and was always willing to share her home-grown commodities with others. Helen’s pool was a favorite location for her family along with all of their friends to enjoy every summer for many years. The pool was a place where everyone was greeted with joy and enthusiasm and encouraged to visit again often at any time. Helen remained at her home in Farmington until the age of ninety; then moved to Village Gate where she spent three years developing new friendships and participating in all activities; her favorite being winning at Bingo.
Helen is survived by her four children; Lucille Caren Munterich and spouse, Ronald of Farmington; Donald Rogers and spouse, Debra of Farmington; Nancy Ashley and spouse, Louis of Pennsylvania; and Neal Rogers, Jr., and spouse Claudia of Unionville. Helen is survived by her nine grandchildren: Thomas Munterich and spouse, Jackie; James Munterich and spouse, Melissa; Carie Beth Currier and spouse, James; Candy Bartley and Donald Rogers, Jr.; Jason Ashley and spouse, Shannon; Timothy Ashley and spouse, Molly; Jeffrey Rogers and spouse, Kristen; and Scott Rogers and spouse, Jenna. Helen is also survived by eighteen great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her brothers, Joe, Edward and Stanley Ropiak; her sister, Irene Ruschmann; her grandson, David Rogers; and her great-grandson, Noah Rogers.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday (June 24) at 1:00pm in the Church of St. Patrick, 110 Main St., Farmington followed by burial in Riverside Cemetery, Farmington. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to New England Donor Services, 60 1st Ave., Waltham, MA 02451 or to Noah’s Memorial SIDS Foundation, 5140 Kimberly Lane, Plymouth, MN 55446.

Kandrysawtz, Jr., Michael Joseph

Michael Joseph Kandrysawtz, Jr., passed away on June 10, 2018. Owner of Elite Tile for many years, he was a loving husband, father, brother and grandfather. He leaves behind his wife of over 60 years, Shirley Ann Kandrysawtz, his two sons Michael Kandrysawtz III and his wife Beth Kandrysawtz, David Lee Kandrysawtz and his wife Lisa Warren, his daughter Christine Kandrysawtz her daughter and his granddaughter Amanda Swanson, granddaughters Kathy and Aliza Kandrysawtz, his brother Ken Kandrysawtz and his sister Linda Kandrysawtz. Michael was a generous man who enjoyed life to the fullest. He will be greatly missed.
A Memorial Service will be held Friday (June 21) at 11:30am in The Ahern Funeral Home, 111 Main St., Rt. 4, Unionville.

Ahern, David Edward

David Edward Ahern, 80, passed away peacefully on June 5, 2019, surrounded by loved ones, just shy of his 81st birthday. Dave is survived by his wife, Dianne (Hebert) Ahern, and was lucky enough to get to celebrate their 58th wedding anniversary, two days earlier. He had a passion for old cars and was a member of the Model A Ford Club of America and conveyed his passion, talent and skillfulness, building both a 34 Ford and a 28 Ford Special. He was a lifelong member of the Burlington Men’s Club, where he shared many laughs and club events with his numerous friends. Dave spent many summers with family and friends in Rhode Island, Maine and the Lake House in Bantam, enjoying boating and fishing. David was a kind, strong, compassionate, talented and funny man, a loving brother, father, uncle, husband, grandfather and great-grandfather.
In addition to his wife Dianne, he is survived by his sister, Sister Nancy Ahern; brother, Edward Ahern and his wife Kathy Ahern, his children, Daniel Ahern and his wife Susan Ahern, Sherry Duby, Michelle Ahern and her partner Jen Rose, Jennifer Kane and her husband Sean Kane; his grandchildren, Danielle Robidoux and her husband Mathew Robidoux, Ashley Perrone and her husband Michael Perrone, Joshua Ahern, Justin Ahern, Connor Kane, Aidan Kane and four great-grandchildren.
Friends may call at The Ahern Funeral Home, 111 Main St., Rt. 4, Unionville on Monday (June 10) from 9:00-10:30am. Funeral procession from The Ahern Funeral Home will be at 10:30am followed by the Funeral Liturgy in the Church of St. Ann, Avon at 11:00am. Burial will be in St. Ann Cemetery, Avon. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Autism Families CONNECTicut, P.O. Box 370162, West Hartford, CT 06137.

Grevalsky, George

George Grevalsky, 81, of Unionville, passed away Wednesday, June 5th, 2019. Born November 3rd, 1937 in Unionville, he was the son of the late Rudolph and Catherine (Fidorek) Grevalsky. Prior to retiring, George was a self-employed painting contractor. He was a United States Marine Corps veteran. George was one of nine children, Joseph, Stephen, Thomas, Edward, Theresa, Betty, Veronica and Agnes. Graveside Funeral Services will be held Saturday (June 8) at 10:30am in St. Mary Cemetery, Avon. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Church of St. Mary, Bidwell Sq., Unionville, CT 06085.