May 5, 2015

In Celebration Of A Life:   Obituary for Ruth Ann Brown Coxe           

Ruth Anne Brown Coxe, widow of Samuel Hanson Coxe, died Wednesday March 11, 2015 of natural causes.  She was 85 and lived at the family’s homestead of an 18th century home, The Captain Thomas Sill House in Old Lyme, Conn.

An early pioneer of ‘Farm to Table,’ Ruth Coxe was an advocate for healthy, local natural foods free of commercially convenient chemistry with unknown health consequences.

Ruth Brown grew up in a prominent family in Mansfield, Conn.  Her father Frank Ignatius Brown ran the Spring Brook Ice Manufacturing, supplying all of Eastern Connecticut.  As a young girl she loved to romp on her own in nature and enjoyed fishing.  She attended Briarcliff Junior College and continued her education to Washington DC and enrolled in the May Boult Interior Design School.

Considering an operatic career, she headed to New York City and studied voice, recording on record for a short time while working at ABC Studio. Advice from a family priest discouraged theatre as it was a risky and risqué business, and she left New York City.

An adventurer at heart, Ruth pointed her car west to San Francisco, Calif., and found employment in a real estate firm.  There she met her future husband, Samuel Coxe, Yale Class of 1943 and WWII Pacific Theatre Marine Air Corps. Pilot, then studying Law at the University of San Francisco.

They married in 1959 and began a family.  She opened the Grinnell Grinder sandwich shop in the financial district and she became active in the La Leche League of San Francisco.  However, pulled back by New England roots, they returned to Old Lyme and Samuel Coxe began his practice in Constitutional Law.

Always a pioneering spirit and active in the La Leche League, Ruth pursued her curiosity around the Major Fred Hargesheimer survival in Papua New Guinea, interviewing the Major and learning more about his experience and survival aided by the people of the Island who nursed him back to health with mothers’ milk.

Prompted to investigate further, in 1970 she headed to Papua New Guinea, New Britain Island with her 7-year-old son Sam to study the habits and diet of the indigenous tribes.  She was later joined by her husband, mother-in-law and second son Stanislaus, and her husband began a newspaper on the Island and they remained for a year.

A return to Old Lyme Sill House was followed by her next adventure with the boys to visit Japan, and in 1976 with the children she travels to Dominica Island to study once again the indigenous people and diet.  Her sojourn continues to Mexico, Central America, and Peru, schooling her children while on the odyssey.

Tragedy strikes in 1981 when her husband Samuel Coxe dies unexpectedly and she is threatened to lose her home on Sill Lane.  Confronted by loss and the auction of her land on the horizon, she reaches out to California friend,  Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, for help.  His actions aid her to legally keep her home and remain in the family homestead with her children.

An advocate for the organic movement, Ruth created a recipe for gluten-free, unleavened bread by sprouting wheat and rye berries.  The bread called Sill House Bakery Essene Bread sold in New York City and Cambridgem Mass., at the first Whole Foods Markets, delivered by van from her Old Lyme kitchen. Her entrepreneurial skills and instinct put to use in her own kitchen helped her survive widowhood.  Always referring to her husband in the most loving and devoted way.

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Gordon Neal Garvin 01/23/15

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Carl C. Lombard Sr., 01/03/15

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Dr. Borger 11/28/14

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Jane (Dunn) Wamester: 12/31/14

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Jane (Dunn) Wamester: 12/31/14

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Edward “Buddy” Forster: 12/30/14

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Robert James Reed 12/26/14

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Stanley Theodore Ahlers 12/25/14

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Marcia (Epstein) Schonberger 12/24/14

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Patricia A. Blatnik-Harbin 12/22/14

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Josephine (Longofano) Belli 12/22/14

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Milton Schonberger 12/18/14

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Anne Stamatellou 12/17/14

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Death of Old Lyme Resident Richard Blair Announced: Outdoorsman, Environmental Activist, Singer, Bridge Master

Richard Taylor Blair, 85, died on Nov. 19 of complications from a stroke.  The son of Vernon R. Blair and Sara Taylor, he grew up in White Plains, N.Y. and graduated from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in 1950.  He was married to the former Diana Nebauer for 58 years.  They lived in Armonk, N.Y. for 30 years where they raised their family and pioneered the local recycling program.  Following in his father’s footsteps, Richard was a sales representative for the Heywood-Wakefield Co. and later became an independent rep. for various furniture manufacturers.

In 1991, he and his wife moved to Old Lyme where he had an active retirement.  Richard shared his loved of the out of doors with his family and continued to grow a large vegetable garden and fish with friends on Long Island Sound in his boat.  At the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, he and his wife started an environment committee and he also served as a deacon there.  In his eighties, inspired by his love of music, he joined the church choir and took private singing lessons.  He was also the treasurer of the Old Lyme Land Trust for two terms.  Richard was an accomplished duplicate bridge player, well known in local bridge circles.

He is survived by his wife, two children, Linda Sargent and James Blair and their spouses, John Sargent and Joanne Blair, two grandchildren, Sara and Eric Sargent and his mother-in-law Evelyn Nebauer.

He will be missed by his loving family and his many friends.  He was a man of integrity and lived his life with great appreciation, generosity of spirit, love and enthusiasm.  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Old Lyme Land Trust, Box 163 or the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, music fund, 2 Ferry Road, Old Lyme, CT 06371 or The American Chestnut Foundation at www.ACF.org.  There will be a memorial service at the church on Saturday, Dec. 13, at 2 p.m.

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Walter Sjoquist 10/31/14 & Pearl Sjoquist 11/01/14

LYME: Click to read full obituary.

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Death of Dr. William H. “Bill” James, 104, Announced

Dr._William_JamesDr. William H.  “Bill” James, age 104, of North Branford, Connecticut, died peacefully on August 19, 2014.

 Blessed with long life, good health, and a strong work ethic, William was possibly Connecticut’s oldest military veteran, serving in May this year as Grand Marshall of his town’s Memorial Day events, at which he gave a speech.  He leaves a record of accomplishment, drive, intelligence, and widespread friends and affiliations.  Born in 1910 to John and May James, William came of pioneer stock and spent his childhood on rural farms.  Starting in the 1920’s, he and his mother traveled to Europe where each pursued educational opportunities, with William studying at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, before returning to the U.S. to attend and graduate from Brown University in 1933.

William held a variety of jobs before, during and after college.  He began his professional career during the Depression, working as a public school teacher in New Canaan CT.  Three years later he switched to the school system in Easton CT, where he began as a Teaching Principal in 1936 and advanced to increasing responsibility until interrupted by WWII, for which he volunteered and served in the Air Force (chiefly in India, China, and on Tinian Island), ultimately retiring as a Major.  Returning home after WWII, William resumed his work with the Easton schools while using the GI Bill to obtain his Masters and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University.

William also married after the war, taking as his bride in 1950 the former Virginia Stowell of New Britain, CT, daughter of Austin and Doris Stowell of that city.   Promoted to Superintendent of Schools for Easton in 1953, William in 1958 relocated to the larger school system of Branford CT to become Superintendent of Schools there.  It was at  this time that he, Virginia, and their daughter Hillery moved to Northford CT where Hillery attended public schools and Virginia taught in the Wallingford school system. In 1966 William became an Associate Director of the Connecticut Commission for Higher Education, from which he retired in 1977.   He had also begun part-time college teaching in 1949 and continued until 1993 as an adjunct professor for several universities.  A long-time writer, William wrote newspaper columns during the 1930’s, writing about political and economic affairs, and he is the author of several books:  “The Monetarists and the Current Crisis” (1975), “The Monetarists and the Continuing Crisis” (1997) and “The Monetarists and the Evolving Crisis:  Wake Up, Americans, We are Losing our Great Nation” (2011).   From 2011 forward, William published occasional commentaries on public affairs. Besides writing, William stayed active with educational organization, Rotary International, the SAR (Sons of the American Revolution), the American Legion, and the VFW, among others.  He was also an avid follower of local, national, and world events, enjoying several newspapers each day.  In addition to his work and writing, William enjoyed small-town America and invariably became “Bill” during his many decades of visiting Lyme CT, Halifax VT, or New Harbor, ME.   Some of his greatest pleasures were talking with friends, meeting new people, telling stories, working outdoors, or enjoying nature and wildlife.  Well remembering his own struggles with early poverty, the chaotic ’20’s, the Depression, and WWII, Bill was sympathetic to those who struggle against forces larger than themselves; at the same time, he was a strong advocate of hard work and continuous self-improvement, believing that such effort gave any individual his or her  best chance for a good life.  William was predeceased by his sister, Lucy Merrill James; by his father, John James; by grandson Yoni Chung; and by his mother, Dr. May Hall James, who became a prominent Connecticut educator, author of “The Educational History of Old Lyme Connecticut 1635-1935,” and a former Dean at Quinnipiac College (now Quinnipiac University).  William is survived by his wife, Dr. Virginia James of North Branford; by their daughter, Hillery, and son-in-law Chris Chung, of New Smyrna Beach, FL; and by his grandson, Doron Chung, of Sanford, Fl.  He is also remembered by numerous former students, associates, neighbors, and extended family members in multiple communities.

Family and friends are invited to go directly to the Northford Congregational Church on Saturday morning, August 23rd at 10:00 to attend a funeral service and are also invited to attend the committal services immediately following with full military honors in Northford Cemetery.  The visiting hours will be Friday, August 22nd from 4 to 7 pm at the North Haven Funeral Home, 36 Washington Avenue, North Haven.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to either the Northford Congregational Church Steeple Fund (Old Post Rd, Northford CT, 06472) or the Maine Sea Coast Mission Society (http://www.seacoastmission.org/).

WWW.NORTHHAVENFUNERAL.COM

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Death of Maitland McNamara, “Coach Mac,” Announced

HeadshotA mass of Christian Burial for Maitland V. McNamara Jr., 86, of Old Lyme, will be held this morning at 11 a.m. at  Christ the King Church in Old Lyme.   Mr. McNamara passed away on Friday, Aug. 15, 2014, surrounded by his family.  He was most well known for his avid involvement and support to Lyme-Old Lyme Athletics, affectionately known to many as “Coach Mac”.  Don Desautels, who served as coach of the Lyme-Old Lyme High School girl’s soccer team for more than 20 years with whom Mr. McNamara worked closely, will deliver the eulogy at today’s service.

Mr. McNamara was born on May 18, 1928, in Bridgeport, to Maitland McNamara Sr. and Mary Hemson. He married his wife of 63 years, Ramona Watkins, on Oct. 6, 1950 in South Dakota. He honorably served in the Army during World War II. He was a faithful member of the VFW in Old Lyme; serving as the chaplain for many years. 

Mr. McNamara is survived by his loving wife, Ramona McNamara; two daughters, Gail Griswold and her husband, Michael Griswold, of Cary, N.C. and Bonnie Russ and her husband, Paul Russ, of Waterford; and three grandchildren, Amanda Russ, Caroline Griswold, and Garrett Russ.

He was predeceased by his daughter, Beth Alane McNamara.

Calling hours will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, in Fulton-Theroux Funeral Home, 13 Beckwith Lane, Old Lyme. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014, in Christ the King Church, Old Lyme. Burial will be held at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22, 2014, in Duck River Cemetery, Old Lyme.

Please visit www.fultontherouxoldlyme.com for photos, tributes, directions, and more service information.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Maitland’s memory to the VFW Post in Old Lyme.

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Death of James Scheide, 56, of Lyme, Announced

James Scheide

James Scheide

James Rathbun Scheide, 56, of Lyme, died on Sunday July 6th, 2014 after a brief and courageous battle with cancer.

Born in Hartford, CT, on Sept 4, 1957, Jim was the son of the late Philip Cornell Scheide and Margaret Rathbun Scheide of Lyme. Jim was a graduate of Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado.

Jim is survived by his two children who were the pride and joy of his life; Alexandra and James Scheide of Lyme.

Jim, known by many of his friends as Jimi, had a truly amazing spirit and a real zest for life. He particularly loved the outdoors, including skiing, snowboarding, cycling, sailing, hiking and kayaking, whether in the Connecticut, Vermont or in Durango, Colo. He loved his years as a Ski Patrolman at Purgatory Mountain, and his summers mountain bike racing, including The Big Jim Classic, all in Durango, Colo. He was also an avid musician and an accomplished chef. He will be remembered for his optimism and boundless love of life, his great sense of humor, his love of his family, his wise counsel, the special love and kindness he shared with everyone he encountered … and his bandanas.

Jim was passionate about his work at Four Mile River Farm in Old Lyme and his loving friends there. He was previously employed for many years at Action Sports in Old Saybrook.

Jim is also survived by his three siblings, Jane Schellens (Tom) of Old Lyme, Sarah Voda (Dennis) of West Warwick, RI and Phip Scheide of Salem. He is also survived by his nieces and nephews, Win Schellens (Jordan), Jamie Schellens (fiancee Katrina) and Christopher Schellens, Samantha and Madeline Voda and Ethan Scheide, as well as his former wife Elizabeth Scheide.

At Jim’s request there will be no public service, but a celebration of his life will be held at Tom and Jane Schellens’ house at 1 Academy Lane, Old Lyme, CT on Friday July 25th at 4pm. All friends are welcome.
Memorial donations can be made to Center for Hospice Care Southeast CT, 227 Dunham Street, Norwich, CT 06360.

Please visit www.fultontherouxnewlondon.com for tributes and more information.

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Death Announced of Leon Machnik, Founder of Machnik Brothers

Leon Machnik

Leon Machnik

The death has been announced of Leon Machnik of Old Lyme and Hobe Sound, FL. He died on March 31, 2014, in Middletown.

Son of Polish immigrant parents Jozef and Paula (Makera) Machnik, Leon was born on Grassy Hill Road in Lyme on January 7, 1925. The family moved to what is now known as Mile Creek Farm in Old Lyme, where Leon lived his life and raised his family with his wife Eleanor (Spooner) who died in 2008.

Mr. Machnik attended Colby College and was a veteran of World War II. He was a Second Lieutenant in the Army Air Corps and was a B-24 pilot. He and his brother Tony founded Machnik Bros. Inc. General Contractors, in 1957. Together with his wife, they built Witch Meadow Lake Campsites, a family campground in Salem, CT

Mr. Machnik is survived by his children Judi Hahn and her husband Alan, and Todd Machnik and his wife Becky, all of Old Lyme. His cherished grandchildren Kristen Hahn, Abby Lynn Farmer and her husband Drew, Tom Machnik and his fiancee Kathleen Mathews, Kevin and Peter Machnik. He was predeceased by his siblings Helen Grimes, Mary Connors, Mildred McGowan, Julia Elliott, Tony Machnik and Paula Smith.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday April 4th at 11am in Christ The King Church, McCurdy Rd., Old Lyme. Burial with military honors will be in Duck River Cemetery.

To sign the online guest book, visitwww.fultontherouxoldlyme.com.

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