Laurence “Larry” Virgil Nichols, 87 of Portland, CT passed away on February 27th, surrounded by family.
Larry, also known as “Pudge”, was born on March 16th, 1934 in Keene, N.H. and grew up on a farm nearby in Gilsum. He was the son of Laurence Nichols and Carolyn Johnson.
After moving to Middletown, CT, Larry graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1952. Then, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, proudly serving as a paratrooper.
Larry held many jobs to support his family: Milkman at Borden Dairy, Salesman for Fuller Brush, and Owner of Middletown Steam Cleaning with his lifelong friend Lawrence Helfant. After retirement, Larry continued to work as a shuttle bus driver at Rushford until the age of 82.
From jumping out of planes to swimming across the Connecticut River, there wasn’t much Larry wouldn’t try once. He loved sharing wild stories like how he climbed a tree during the Hurricane of ’38 - and we were never sure if he was being serious or just pulling our leg.
He loved New England sports, fishing, playing cards, and shooting pool. For decades, Larry joined his friends and family for an annual fishing trip.
Larry is predeceased by his wife of 56 years, Linda Moore Nichols, his daughter Michelle Nichols, and siblings Althea Whalen, Ann Kauder, Mark Nichols, and Robert Nichols. He is survived by his son Larry Nichols Jr. and his wife Joan Estelle-Nichols and her sons Michael Casserino and Orlando Casserino III, daughter Kelly Nichols-Johnson and her husband Shelvie Johnson, sister Jane Delaney, sister-in-law Marilyn Smigel, and granddaughter Kayla Johnson, as well as several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, March 8that 12:00 noon in the Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St, Portland. Burial with full military honors will be in the State Veterans Cemetery, Middletown. Friends may call at the funeral home on Tuesday morning from 10 a.m. until the time of the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to:
Dept. of Veterans Affairs Recreation Fund
287 West Street
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
Attn: Tammy Marzik
Marabeth C. Gildersleeve, 76 of Portland, CT, beloved sister, mother and friend, passed away Thursday, February 24, 2022 at home. She was the daughter of the late Allen Carlson and Mary (Flood) Carlson. Born on June 27, 1945 in Middletown, she grew up and lived in Portland her whole life. Marabeth worked in real estate for Berkshire Hathaway Home Services in Glastonbury, CT. She loved working with clients to find their forever homes. She was a member of the Middletown Elks Club and loved getting out for a round of golf at one of the Portland courses. Marabeth was known around town for her upbeat personality, fashion sense and being the life of the party. She enjoyed spending time with her friends to the fullest playing setback, having martinis with the girls on Thursday or enjoying music at the Winchester Sunday afternoons. She never met a stranger as they say. She was predeceased by Chris Gildersleeve and leaves behind daughters Deb Gildersleeve of Old Saybrook, Jill Gildersleeve (Taradeina) of Portland and Sara Gildersleeve of Cromwell, CT, a sister Susan (Carlson) Whitney and her husband John of Longmeadow, MA and 5 nieces and nephews and 7 grand-nieces and nephews. The funeral will be held on Friday, March 4th at 10 a.m. from Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St., Portland. Followed by a Mass of Christian burial in St. Mary's Church at 11 a.m. Burial will be held at a later date in Center Cemetery, Portland. Friends may call at the funeral home, Thursday, March 3rd from 5 to 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to MARC Community Resources of Middletown (marccommunityresources.org) or The Sunshine Kids Foundation (sunshinekids.org)
Martha was born in Hartford on October 7, 1942 to Mary Louise Wilkins McClure and Arnold McClure. Her mother later married E. Curtis Ambler and resided in Newington.
She spent the first 12 years of her life in Portland living in a house that her great grandfather built. She and her parents, and brother William, then moved to Newington where she became active in many student activities.
Martha received a Bachelor’s degree In English from Wake Forest and a Masters in Theater from the University of Michigan. She had the opportunity to work in many summer stock theaters where she met several actors who later became famous.
She lived in Denver where she held several administrative positions. She later was able to travel to Naples, Italy where she was the Chairperson of the Air Force Wives Committee which helped new Air Force wives acclimate to life on the base. She had the opportunity to live in various European countries such as Turkey and Cyprus.
Ending her travels, she returned to Newington where she got involved in Republican politics running for Town Council and Board of Education. It was on the Fair Rent Commission that she met her present husband James McCabe.
One of her greatest thrills was moving back to Portland and buying back the house where she spent her youth.
Martha was very family oriented as was shown by her treating everyone in her outrageously extended family as her immediate family being a mentor to many of them. She was persistent in arranging family get together. She was an avid reader, as is evidenced by the thousands of books in her library. She also was a lover of crossword puzzles. You could always find her working on two or three at a time. Martha enthusiastically looked forward to her annual trips with Jim to Manhattan and the Berkshires. She was an avid fan of train travel. She and Jim criss crossed the US and Canada by rail.
Martha worked as Administrative Assistant for the Connecticut Correctional Ombudsman for 15 years, which dealt with Inmate complaints against the Department of Corrections. Martha then spent time working for the state Housing Department Deputy Commissioner. She then went on to be the Administrative Assistant to the Hartford Ballet Artistic Director until it disbanded. She often opened her house to Choreographers who were in Hartford on a temporary assignment. She then took on the ordeal of working for her husband in his financial advisory firm.
She leaves behind her husband James, brother William (Edna), step brothers Tracy (Nancy) and Curtis (Susan) Ambler, and step sister Rosalind (Joseph) Greco. As well as many nieces and nephews: Leonard (Kristina) Engel, Thomas (Lourdes) Engel, Kristin (Paul) Muratori, Melissa (John) Shaw, (whom she considered her kids), David (Lisa) Ambler, Paul (Deb) Ambler, Timothy (Cristina) Johnson, Michael (Dayna) Johnson, Ryan (Christina) Pomeroy, Brendan (Nicole) Pomeroy, Brett (Amanda) Ambler, Devon Ambler, Marie (Jon) Saporito, as well as many great nephews and nieces. She also leaves her two cousins Donald (Barbara) Goodrich and Allan (Teresa) Goodrich.
Graveside services will be held on Saturday (February 26) at 11 a.m. in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Portland. Friends may call at the Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St., Portland, on Friday (February 25) from 5-7 pm. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to your favorite pet organization.
Frank Leslie Sanborn Jr., 98, died peacefully on February 21. He was the beloved husband of the late Lorraine Fournier who passed away on January 3, 2017.
Born September 6, 1923, the second child of F. Leslie Sanborn and Bertha W. Stemmler of Middletown, CT. A lifelong resident of Portland, CT. Frank attended local schools and enjoyed life growing up in a small town. From 1943 through 1945 he proudly served his country during WWII as a member of the US Army Air Corp. Frank flew in 35 combat missions on a B-24 Liberator all over Europe from a base in England. On October 14, 1950, Frank married the love of his life Lorraine, whom he met at a dance hall in Hartford. Frank loved Anne Murray’s rendition of the song “Could I have This Dance,” and said it perfectly embodied how he felt when Lorraine and he shard that first dance. Together they built their home on Rose Hill Rd. with the help of family and friends. Frank was employed by the power company for 40 years starting at the Hartford Electric Light Co. and ending with Northeast Utilities. Frank was a former member of the Hemlock Grange, American Legion, and Portland Fire Dept. No. 2. Frank was also a proud member of the Portland Exchange Club and contributed many hours at the club grounds by the Conn. River. Frank loved singing in the Glee Club, fishing, gardening, playing cards, golfing, and woodworking in his shop. When his children were young the family camped up and down the Eastern Seaboard; where fond memories were made and many friendships formed. Later in life Frank and Lorraine traveled to Hawaii, Europe, England, and the Canadian Rockies.
He is survived by his son, Gary Sanborn, and his wife, June Valli, his daughter, Gail Phillips, and her husband, John Phillips, all of East Hampton, Connecticut, and his son, Dennis Sanborn, of Portland, Connecticut. Grandsons, Michael (Heather) Phillips, and Steven (Maggie) Phillips of East Hampton, CT. Five great grandchildren; Madison, Coen, Hunter, Ashley, and Aubrey. A brother, William (Harriet) Sanborn of Portland, CT, and a sister, Lorraine (Joseph) Rizzo of Wilton, CT, and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a brother, Peter, and sisters, Barbara, Constance, Elizabeth, and Rosemary. The family would like to thank his former caregiver, Rebekah Tosto, and his primary Physician, Gianpaolo Rufo D.O. for their loving care and friendship. The funeral will be held on Monday, February 28th at 9 am from the Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St. Portland. Followed by a mass of Christian burial in St. Mary’s church at 10:30 am. Burial with full military honors will be in the State Veteran’s Cemetery in Middletown. Friends may call at the funeral home on Sunday, February 27th from 5-7 pm.
Jane H. Scovill, loving wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother, passed away peacefully in her home on February 19, 2022.
She was born to Mary Alice and William Leo Mayhew on February 28, 1945, in Woodsville, NH.
Jane is survived by her husband of 57 years, J Cliff Scovill of East Hampton, CT, as well as her children: Timothy Scovill of East Hampton, CT, James and Jacqueline Scovill of Portland, CT, Cliff and Donna Scovill of Gilman, VT, Joseph and Eva Scovill of Port Saint Lucie, FL, Kimberly and Shawn Greenlaw of Moodus, CT, Patricia Klick and Peter Furlani of East Hampton, CT, as well as her 15 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.
She is also survived by her siblings, Rochelle Villeneuve of Lisbon, NH, Francis and Doreen Mayhew of Middletown, CT, as well as several nieces and nephews.
Jane was an active member of St Mary's Church in Portland, CT for many years. She will be loved and missed by many.
Graveside services will be held on Wednesday, February 23rd at 11 a.m. in St. Mary's Cemetery, Portland.
The Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St, Portland, is in charge of arrangements.
Arthur A. Tomm, 72, died unexpectedly on February 9, 2022 at his home in Portland, CT. Art was born in Germany on August 15, 1949 and was predeceased by his parents Alex and Augusta (Kutz) Tomm.
Art grew up in Portland, CT with his sister Hildegard (Tomm) Adinolfo. In 1967, Art graduated from Vinal Technical High School in Middletown, CT. He married Kathy Bolles formerly of East Hampton, CT and they had two children, Mathew Tomm and Mary (Tomm) Knowlton. After his separation from Kathy, he married Alison (Stiles) Tomm and had his third child, Amanda (Tomm) Vaughan.
Art moved to Brookneal, Virginia and lived there until he returned to Portland to live with and care for his mother until her death in 2019.
Art is survived by his sister, his son, Mathew Tomm of New Market, Tennessee, and his daughters, Mary Knowlton of Mansfield, CT, and Amanda Vaughan of Brookneal, VA. His six grandchildren Dylan and Alex Tomm, DeLaney and Damian Vaughan, and Jeffrey and Julie Knowlton will miss their “Opa” terribly.
Art was a Marine Veteran and was honorably discharged after serving his time. Since his retirement, he spent his free time with his many close friends, who were like family, at the Portland, CT VFW Post 6121.
There will be a private memorial at a later time. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). The Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St, Portland, is in charge of arrangements.
Doris (Cook) Crouch “Dot", 96, of East Hampton passed away peacefully on Friday, February 11, 2022 at Middlesex Hospital after a short illness with her loving family by her side. She was the beloved wife of George W. Crouch, Sr. who she was predeceased by in 1994 after 52 years of marriage. Doris was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on August 24, 1925 to Homer and Faith (Evans) Cook. She was the third child and last surviving of their 10 children. Doris is survived by her five children; Bill Crouch, Patti Tarallo, Jackie Lagana (Richard), Stephen Crouch (Chris), and Lance Crouch (Nancy); her 12 grandchildren whom she adored and who loved her so much; Debbie Shurberg (Karl), Pamela Zagami, Jason Crouch (Tara), Sean Tarallo (Annabelle), Megan Staples (Chris), Corey Stabach (Jason), Ryan Crouch, Joel Crouch (Malori), Wes Crouch (Kayla), Jillian Demers (Andrew), and Claire Hebert (Kyle). She is also survived by her 17 great grandchildren whom she adored; Sam and Rachael Shurberg, Sofia and Ava Zagami, Cameron and Joshua Crouch, Jake and Alexa Tarallo, Tyler and Gabby Staples, Will, Nathan and Lily Stabach, Drew and Elle Demers, and Blake and Miles Crouch. She is survived by many nieces and nephews who she loved as her own. In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by her granddaughter, Dana Marie Lagana and her son-in-law Joseph Tarallo.
Doris grew up in a large and loving extended family. While working in a local bakery in her hometown, she was spotted by a young man in uniform who was stationed at Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg. Captivated by her, he declared to his army companions that he was going to marry that pretty girl behind the counter at which they laughed, but he did just that and they were married in 1942. After some moving back and forth, they eventually settled in Portland, CT where they continued to raise their family. Doris was employed for over 25 years at Connecticut Valley Hospital where she worked in both Battell Hall and then in Nursing Education. She was a lover of the written word and would read several books a week. She could talk on any topic and never lost her cognitive skills. In good weather, you could most always find her tending her flower gardens in which she was a master. Her grandchildren were never so happy than to congregate at “Nanny and Grandad’s” house for overnights on most weekends and that sometimes included the “granddogs’ as well. She was rooted in her southern hospitality and charm. There was always room for one more at the table and an extra place to sleep could always be found. She was never so happy than when she was surrounded by her family and took great pride in their every milestone and event. The family would like to thank the doctors and nursing staff of Middlesex Hospital, especially the Comfort Care Unit and Hospice team for the compassion and kindness they extended to her and her family during her final days.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Middlesex Hospital Hospice Home Care or Comfort Care Unit, c/o Middlesex Hospital 28 Crescent St., Middletown, CT 06457. A private cemetery service is being held.
The Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St, Portland, is in charge of arrangements.
Suzanne Phelan Wiezbicki, 54, of Portland, Connecticut passed away on Sunday February 6th. She was a beloved wife, daughter, sister, and most of all, mother to 2 wonderful sons.
Born in Waterbury, she was the daughter of Barth and Ellen Phelan of Middlebury. Growing up in Middlebury, Sue liked to sing, listen to music, dance, and perform “shows” with her sister, Kathy. She especially loved to play “school,” leading to her career path. Her family endured many “lessons” from Sue!
Sue was a teacher in the Waterbury school system for 31 years and touched the lives of many children. She loved telling stories about her “kids” at school. Her love for teaching extended to teaching CCD for many years.
Sue also enjoyed spending time with her husband and family. She was a great friend to all and was very family oriented. Sue called her mom every day to play trivia games and talk about their activities. Sue was passionate about her two dogs, Zoey and Lily. She loved to brag about her son, Christopher, who – in case anyone ever forgot – was valedictorian of his high school class.
She is survived by her husband of 27 years, Bryan; son, Christopher; mother, Ellen; sister, Kathy Tharrington and husband Ed; sister-in-law, Tonya Charlwood and husband Scott; nieces and nephews Kayla Charlwood, Lindsay Bates and husband Joe, Zachary Charlwood, Brittany Kirschner, Matt Kirschner and wife Hailey, Andrew Kirschner; many cousins, aunts, uncles; and special aunt, Barbara Welton. She was preceded in death by her son, Alex, and her father, Barth.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, February 12, at 11:00 am at St. Mary’s Church in Portland. Calling hours will precede the service and will begin at 10:00 am, also at St. Mary’s.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, 282 Washington Street, Hartford, CT, 06106. CCMC took great care of Alex during his time of need, and Sue and Bryan will be forever grateful for their loving compassion to him. The Portland Memorial Funeral Home at 231 Main St. Portland, CT is in charge of arrangements.
Kathleen (Cashman) McMeken passed away peacefully Thursday afternoon in her home after a long battle with cancer. Kathleen, or Kathy as she was known by her friends, was born in Middletown to Muriel (Marks) and James Cashman of Portland. She was a student of the St. Mary’s School and went on to graduate from Portland High School. She was the second daughter of 4, who were better known around town as “those Cashman sisters”. After graduation she took a job with Travelers Insurance in Hartford, where she made many friends.
Kathy met the love of her life, John (Jack) McMeken, at the age of 16. They were married April 25, 1964 and were rarely seen apart. Kathy left her job at Travelers to accompany John to Worms, Germany, where he was stationed with the Army. Kathy and Jack spent time traveling around Europe and frequenting the beer houses of Germany. When they returned to the states, they settled into their forever home in Portland. It wasn't long before they welcomed their son and life was complete. Kathy was a doting mother, an amazing friend and the “go-to” for her nieces and nephews. She loved having cookouts with family and neighbors, bowling in a local league, playing bunco with the girls and singing with “The Jackettes”.
Kathy is predeceased by her parents, her sister Maureen Prout and her husband Jack.
She leaves behind her son Cliff McMeken of Portland, his wife Colleen and her granddaughters, Jaclyn and Brynn - the apples of her eye. She also leaves two sisters, Patricia Weidl and Susan Lavoie, both of Florida, as well many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends, all who would agree they were the lucky ones to have known and been loved by her.
Graveside services will be held at a later date in Swedish Cemetery, Portland. The Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St, Portland, is in charge of arrangements.
Helen Marie (Russo) Sutkowski, 93, of Portland CT, wife of the late Alfred Sutkowski, passed into eternal life on Sunday February 6, 2022 with her family at her side. Daughter of Sebastian & Sebastiana Russo, Helen was born on May 9, 1928, and was the youngest of 9 children.
A woman of unwavering Catholic faith, Helen was a life-long communicant of St. Mary Church, Portland, and member of the St. Mary’s Ladies Guild and Middletown Emblem Club No. 452.
Helen worked for many years in the floral trade, including Jim’s Flower Shop that was owned by her older brother, Jim, and other local floral shops. Helen was an avid reader of at least 3 books per week. Helen’s family would like to extend their gratitude to the Portland Public Library, who kept Helen well furnished with all the latest novels. In addition to reading, she enjoyed a competitive round of bingo. A sports enthusiast, Helen followed the UCONN Women & Men Basketball teams, the Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, the New York Giants and race car driver Joey Logano. Helen was well known for her tasty desserts and special dishes.
Helen is survived by her loving and devoted daughter Laura, beloved nephew Noel Greaves and his wife June, 4 God Children John DeGostin, Susan Pusz, May Beth DelBalzo and Stephen Ledoux, as well many nieces and nephews and friends. Helen also leaves behind her closest friend, Elaine Fazzino.
In addition to her parents, Helen is predeceased by her 3 brothers and 5 sisters, James, Salvatore (Trixie), Joseph Russo, Minnie Lapadula, Sant Spada, Connie Degostin, Lena Inferrera, Betty Greaves and Godson Richard Greaves.
The family would like thank the nursing staff of Middlesex Hospital Comfort Care Unit for their compassionate and respective care in Helen’s final days. The funeral will be held on Friday (February 11) at 9:00 am from the Portland Memorial Funeral Home at 231 Main Street Portland followed by a Mass of Christian burial in Saint Mary’s church at 10:00 am. Burial will be in the family plot in Saint Mary’s Cemetery Portland. Friends may call the funeral home on Thursday (February 10) from 4-6 pm. Memorial donations can be made to St. Mary Church, Portland, CT or the Portland Public Library.