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.
Dr. 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/).
A 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.
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.
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.
Jean Washburn Hernandez died peacefully on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at her home in Essex Meadows in Essex, Connecticut. She was 93 years old.
Jean was born on September 20, 1920, in Brooklyn, NY, to Lawrence and Margaret Washburn and was the oldest of three sisters. Raised in Montreal, Canada and Scarsdale, New York, she was the 4th generation of women in her family to graduate from Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn Heights, NY. After a childhood bout of polio, she attended Mt. Holyoke College where she contracted tuberculosis. After recuperating in upstate NY and Arizona, she resumed her studies at the University of Arizona.
At the start of WWII Jean enlisted in the American Red Cross and served at an Army Air Force Base in Arizona, at Camp Edwards in Massachusetts, Otis Field on Cape Cod, and at Washington DC’s St. Elizabeth Hospital. In all locations she tended the returning wounded, particularly those impacted by psychological trauma.
Before the war she met her future husband, Silvio E. Hernandez in Havana, Cuba while staying with family friends. She married him in 1946, when he returned from wartime service with the U.S. Army in Europe. They first resided in New York but shortly after the births of their two children were sent by Westinghouse Electric to Madrid, Spain where they remained for 8 years. From there they moved to Havana, her husband’s birthplace, a year before the Cuban Revolution. After being witness to the tumultuous changes brought on by Castro’s policies, they fled in 1960, settling in Essex CT so as to be near Jean’s parents who had retired there. She remained a resident of Essex for 54 years as an active and contributing member of the community.
Jean was a homemaker and dedicated volunteer. She was on the Board of the Florence Griswold Museum, in Old Lyme, CT, where as a volunteer, she initiated and ran a successful travel program for the members of the Museum. She was President of the Essex Garden Club, on the Board of the Essex Library Association, and active with St. John’s Episcopal Church in Essex, the Child and Family Agency of SE CT, and many other charitable and community organizations. Jean and her husband loved to travel and together they enjoyed taking extended trips throughout the world.
Jean was preceded in death by her loving husband of 55 years and more recently by her gentle companion, George (Bud) Lethbridge. She is survived by her daughter Margaret (Maggie) Hernandez of Key Biscayne, FL, son Robert (Laurie) Hernandez of Essex, CT and their sons Alexander and Christopher.
A memorial service will be held May 2, 2014 at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Essex, CT at 10 a.m.
Memorial donations can be made to the Florence Griswold Museum, 96 Lyme St, Old Lyme, CT, 06371