April 2018

Mary Esposito

Mary J. (Rossitto) Esposito, 97, of Portland, beloved wife of the late Anthony P. Esposito died peacefully on Thursday, April 12, 2018, at the Portland Care & Rehab Center. Born in Portland on July 7, 1920, she was the daughter of the late Guri and Pasqualina (DeRita) Rossitto.
All that knew Mary loved her. She was "Meema" to everyone. She was a kind and funny woman who crocheted many, many afghans for family and friends. She is survived by three loving sons and their wives; Gerald and the late Bette Esposito of St. Petersburg, FL., Patrick and Patricia Esposito of Portland, and Peter and Andrea Esposito of Portland; nine Grandchildren, over twenty great grandchildren, and a sister, Pam Cox of Montville. She was predeceased by a son Anthony "Guy" Esposito Jr., three brothers, Anthony, Fred and Jerry, and three sisters, Nicky Mastergeorge, Den Sienna, and Sue Green.The funeral will be held on Thursday, April 19th at 9:30 a.m. from the Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main Street, Portland, followed by a mass of Christian burial in St. Mary's Church, Portland at 11 a.m. Burial will be in the family plot in St. Mary's Cemetery Portland. Friends may call at the funeral home on Thursday morning from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The family would like to give a special thank you to the nurses at the Portland Care and Rehab facility for the special care of our mom. 

Richard Gildersleeve

Richard R. Gildersleeve, of Westbrook, formerly Portland, died Sunday, April 8, 2018, after a brief battle with cancer. He was born on November 23, 1942, to James B. and Mary (Allen) Gildersleeve. At a young age, Rick developed a passion for drumming that stayed with him for the rest of his life. He played in various local bands for many years. Rick worked as the Store Manager for Carolyn Adams Country Barn, in Durham. He also dedicated years of service to the Portland Historical Society, including serving as the Society's president and program director, and spent time researching and writing about Portland history, the Gildersleeve shipyards, and family genealogy. Rick's passion for history also led him to cultivate an interest in the Civil War and, especially, cannons. In his retirement, he devoted himself to serving Trinity Episcopal Church, where he attended services each week, served as a member of the Vestry, and volunteered his time cleaning and maintaining the church facility, even after moving to Westbrook. Rick also spent significant time in his retirement caring for his two young grandchildren, Abigail and Zachary, who adored their grandpa as much as he adored them.
He is survived by his wife of forty-two years, Lynn (Carey) Gildersleeve, of Westbrook; his daughter, Elizabeth Gildersleeve, her husband, Michael Alviar, and their children, Abigail and Zachary, of West New York, NJ; his son, Andrew Gildersleeve, and his girlfriend, Emily Keevil, of Arlington, VA; his sister, Rebecca (Gildersleeve) Robinson, of Middletown; his brother-in-law, John Carey, of Pawcatuck; his sister-in-law, Pamela Carey, of Holderness, NH; and devoted nieces, nephews, and friends.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, April 21st, at 11:00 a.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church, 345 Main Street, Portland. A reception will follow immediately afterward in the church hall. Burial will be at the discretion of the family.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Trinity Episcopal Church, 345 Main Street, Portland, CT, 06480, or the Portland Historical Society, 492 Main Street, Portland, CT, 06480. The Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main Street, Portland, is in charge of arrangements. 

Frederick Stanger

Frederick J. Stanger Jr. was born, February 11, 1950, in Windsor Locks, CT to Fred and Margaret Stanger. Fred grew up in Portland, Ct. and graduated from Portland High School in 1968. After High School he joined the United States Air Force rising to the rank of sergeant and served his Country honorably. Pararescueman Sgt Stanger's bravery and courage during the Vietnam Warwill never be forgotten. He ran many helicopter search rescue missions, saving and helping anyone he could. Upon retiring from the Air Force, he worked as a machinist on aircraft parts in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Fred was always a very good story teller and had a wonderful sense of humor. Fred was always the life of the party. His children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews, were the light of his life. Fred passed away on April 14, 2018, in Chicopee, MA. after a long battle with cancer. Mr Stanger is survived by his children, Heidi Pina (Lucas), Christopher Stanger (Jennifer), three grandchildren, Emily, Jessica, and Madison, two brothers, James Stanger (Marge), Thomas Stanger (Lynn), several nieces and nephews, longtime companion Sandra Callahan and her granddaughter Cassy, and many, many friends. Graveside services will be held on Friday ( April 27 ) at 1 pm in the State Veterans Cemetery Middletown, Ct. with full military honors. Friends may call at the Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St. Portland on Thursday (April 26) evening from 5 to 7 pm. 

Donald Kierys

Donald A. Kierys 64 a long time resident of Portland, Ct. passed away peacefully on Sunday ( April 15 ) . He was born in 1953 in Meriden, Ct. and graduated from Maloney High School and went on to graduate from Northwestern University with a Bachelor's degree in Business. He retired from Cigna Insurance as an IT Project Manager. He was an active Member of St. Mary's Church and the Knights of Columbus. Don's favorite time of the year was summer, when he could spend his time gardening, fishing, camping, and swimming in the lake. He is survived by his two sons, Donald A. Kierys Jr. and Anthony Kierys, his daughter-in -law Christina Kierys , two grandchildren Addison and Ryan, and his sister Judy Kierys. A Celebration of Life Mass will be held at St. Mary Church 51 Freestone Ave. Portland on Thursday ( April 26 ) at 10 am. Friends may call at the Portland Memorial Funeral Home 231 Main St. Portland on Wednesday ( April 25 ) from 5 to 7 pm. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers , Don requested donations be made to the American Cancer Society" target="_blank">https://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ad?iu=/423686928/prod/obit-aff/obit-premium/clio-inline-1&t=clio%3DACS%26cobrand%3Dhartfordcourant%26linkurl%3Dhttps%3A//donate.cancer.org/index.aspx%3Fcampaign%3Dlegacy2%26giftFirstName%3DDonald%26giftLastName%3DKierys%26giftType%3Dmem%26fn%3DDonald%26ln%3DKierys&sz=1x1&c=1345853414"/> P.O.Box 188 North Haven, Ct. 06473. 

Franklin Barker

Franklin Gordon Barker formerly of Portland, CT., joined his loving wife of 64 years Gala, on Sunday, April 29, 2018. Gordon was born October 5, 1931, the second son of Robert and Sarah Barker of Newfields, New Hampshire. Gordon and Gala lived the majority of their lives in Portland before spending their final years at Masonicare Health Center in Wallingford, CT.
After serving in the Army Signal Corps during the Korean conflict, Gordon worked for 19 years as a lead man in the quality review crib at Pratt & Whitney. He attended New England Tractor Trailer school, obtaining his class A CDL license, after deciding to change careers to follow his dream of becomming a professional truck driver. Gordon drove trucks at Stop & Shop for 13 years before moving on to be an owner-operator, starting Barker Trucking and traveled the country with Gala for a number of years. Barker Trucking was the primary transportation company for Bob's Clothing and Footwear stores during late 80's and early 90's. Gordon was fortunate to share his business operations with Gala and his youngest son, Gordon. After retirement, Gordon drove the Portland Senior Center bus, transporting seniors to various area activities. He was a friend to everyone he met. Gordon had a warm smile and a calm and gentle spirit.
Gordon was a congregant of the Portland United Methodist Church, serving in various capacities including the lead chef of the annual Blueberry Pancake Festival. His strong faith in God saw him through several difficult periods in his life including the death of his youngest daughter.
A member of the Masons Warren Lodge #51 in Portland, CT, Gordon received his 50 Year Member card in 2003.
In addition, Gordon was a ham radio operator and member of the Middlesex Amateur Radio Society for more than 60 years also serving as part of the Military Auxiliary Radio Service.
Gordon is survived by a daughter, Audrey Giorgio and her husband John of Cheshire, a son Ralph Barker and his wife Trish of South Windsor, and a son Gordon Barker of Louisburg, NC. He is also survived by grandchildren Carol Szymaszek, Dan Szymaszek and his wife Maria, Matthew Szymaszek and his wife Molly, Aleta and Alexandria Barker, Kyle and Evan Barker, and great-grandchildren Madison, Cameron, Cody, and Ryan as well as many nieces and nephews. Gordon was predeceased by his wife Gala and a daughter Carol Ann Taylor.
Calling hours will be held on Thursday, May 3, 2018, from 5-7 at the Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main Street, Portland, CT. A graveside service will be held at the convenience of the family at a later date.
Donations in his memory can be made to the Masonic Warren Lodge #51, Freestone Avenue, Portland, CT 

Judith Springer

Ms. Judith (Judy) Elaine (Bolin) Springer, 76, of Portland, CT (previously from Kensington, CT and Clover, SC) passed away on April 28, 2018. She was born on July 3, 1941 in York, South Carolina to the late Cora Clinton Bolin and John Henry Bolin. She graduated from The Medical School of South Carolina in Charleston, SC as a registered nurse. Judy loved to help people and to laugh. She had a generous heart and took great pleasure in giving gifts to her friends and family. Judy enjoyed traveling and was able to see much of the world. She is survived by her sons and their wives: Eric and Cindy Springer of Portland, CT, Bruce and Anya Springer of San Diego, CA and David and Samy Springer of Phoenix, AZ. She also leaves eight beloved grandchildren; Kelsey, Erin, Colin, Aiden, Nicho, Dayne, Nicholas and Alexia. Judy is also survived by her brother, Dicky Bolin; and sister, Kay Bolin Morris. Judith was preceded by her brother, James Bolin. The family would like to thank the wonderful, caring staff of the Portland Care and Rehabilitation Center. In lieu of flowers, donations in Judith's name can be made to the Nation Multiple Sclerosis Society. A private memorial service will occur at a later date. M.L. Ford Funeral Home is handling arrangements in Clover, SC. Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main Street, Portland is in charge of local arrangements.