Nancy Christina Godwin (Ahlberg), 68, of Portland, died peacefully at home on February 24, 2023, surrounded by her loving family after a short but courageous battle against cancer.
Nancy was born in Middletown, CT on December 9, 1954, to Eric and Dorothy (Johnson) Ahlberg of Portland, CT. She was a 1972 graduate of Portland High School and a 1995 graduate of the Ona M. Wilcox College of Nursing in Middletown, CT. She retired from Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown, CT in 2016. She loved her career as a nurse, and she served her patients with true compassion and humanity.
Nancy is survived and greatly missed by her loving husband of 48 years, Robert, of Portland, and their children Matthew (Jamie) Godwin of East Hampton, CT, Betsey (Philip) Lynch, of Nantucket, MA, and Jennifer (Stephen) Lohmeyer of East Haddam, CT. She will be forever cherished and remembered by her seven grandchildren Dylan, Madison, Colin, Padraig, Keira, Ellinor, and Abigail, and her three great-grandchildren Lily, Daisy, and Weston. She is also survived by her sister Lisa Brochu, of Portland, CT, Joan (Ellen) Ahlberg, of Portland, OR, and William Ahlberg of Middletown, CT. She will be loved and missed by her many loving aunts, nieces and nephews, and cousins.
Nancy is predeceased by her parents Eric and Dorothy (Johnson) Ahlberg, of Portland, CT, and several aunts, uncles, and brothers-in-law.
Nancy will be remembered for her kindness, generosity, and compassion. She always saw the good in people and truly cherished her family, friends, coworkers, and even random encounters with strangers. She was an attentive listener and cared deeply about people and their stories. She had a gift for serving others and was accepting of all. She was an active member of her community and Zion Lutheran Church, where she was a lifelong member.
On the morning after her passing her children found an old newspaper clipping in her jewelry box that perfectly captured her outlook on life. It said, “On judgment day if God should say ‘Did you clean the house today?’ I’ll smile and say, ‘I did not—I played with my children, and I forgot.” She valued spending time with those she loved, especially her children and grandchildren, and creating beautiful memories together.
She loved family vacations on the coast of Maine and could always be found swimming in the frigid cold water. Her cold-water dips weren’t exclusive to Maine. She was lucky enough to live by Great Hill Lake which she frequented almost daily from Spring until Fall. She loved camping with her husband, especially in her retirement when she had the freedom of packing up and going whenever they wanted to. She was very proud of her Swedish heritage and loved traditional Christmas Eve celebrations with her extended Swedish side of the family.
Nancy found easy joy in the simple things in life: listening to the birds, gardening, playing setback, and having a good cup of coffee. She loved her frequent visits to Nantucket to visit her daughter, where she enjoyed walking along the many beautiful beaches, reading books while listening to the sounds of the ocean, and shopping at the “Madaket Mall.”
Nancy was passionate about volunteering and giving back to her community. She was active in the organization Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS) and with Amazing Grace Food Pantry in Middletown. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to these organizations at https://irisct.org/donate/ and https://svdmiddletown.org/donate-to-svd/.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, March 2ndat 10 a.m. in the Zion Lutheran Church, 183 William St, Portland. Burial will be in the family plot in Swedish Cemetery, Portland. Friends may call at the Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St, Portland, on Wednesday, March 1st from 4-6 p.m.
Kelly Anne (Thisdale) Nordstrom, 37, of Summerville, SC. Cherished mother of Nicholas and Madison Nordstrom passed away February 7, 2023, after a courageous battle with metastatic breast cancer. Kelly was born on September 18, 1985 to Deborah (Bitcon) Franklin and John Thisdale and grew up in Portland, CT. She was a graduate of Portland High School class of 2003 and went on to continue her education at Central Connecticut State University. She later received her master's degree from SNHU. In 2005, Kelly began her career at Aetna and over her 17-year career was a devoted employee and manager. She was beloved by her team and peers alike. She was able to hold multiple positions ending with a Senior Manager in IT operations.
Kelly was an eternal student always learning something new to add to her reservoir of knowledge. To say she will be missed is an understatement, however her family is comforted knowing she is reunited with her animals and family again whom she loved dearly. Among many interests, Kelly was an avid fan of murder mysteries and true crime docuseries.
Kelly had many accomplishments throughout her life, but her most treasured was being a loving mother to her children. Though Nicholas and Madison only had a short time with her she was able to display and teach love, values, morals and devotion. All of which will be with them forever.
Along with her parents and children, Kelly is survived by her husband Nicholas Nordstom, her sisters Carissa Thisdale, Meaghan Franklin, Kathryn (LJ) Jurczak, and brothers Daniel Bitcon and Samuel Bitcon, her cousin Elizabeth (Jonathan) Knox, nieces Zoe Robinson, Sharlotte Bitcon and nephew Lawrence Jurczak and her in-laws Lee and Pam Nordstrom. Many aunts, uncles, cousins, and her cherished lifelong friends. She was predeceased by her stepfather Craig Franklin, her maternal grandparents Donald and Joanne Bitcon, her paternal grandmother Mary Thisdale and her uncles David Bitcon, Dean Bitcon and James Thisdale.
Kelly was a devoted student and animal lover. In lieu of flowers, the family asks either for donations to Dorchester Paws, 136 4 Paws Lane Summerville, SC in her name or simply pass forward an act of kindness to someone that may need help.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 25th at 2:30 pm in the Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St., Portland. Friends may call at the funeral home from 11 a.m. until the time of the service.
Laurie “Schaef” Schaefer Sweeney, age 61, of Portland, CT, left us too soon on February 13, 2023.
Born September 27, 1961, she was the daughter of Edwin and Barbara Schaefer.
She was predeceased by her husband, Darnell Sweeney, her four legged companions; Goldie, Ella, and Kaylee (aka Poppida Squiggly), along with an endless list of characters and outlaws that she is now reunited with once again; sharing stories of the good ole days while sitting around a card table, a pack of smokes and blackberry brandy on hand, listening to a jukebox filled with all of the 90’s country and classic rock favorites.
Laurie is survived by her beloved sons, Terry Lee Groeper Jr, of Portland, and Timothy Lester Groeper, of Marlborough, their father, Terry Lee Groeper Sr, of Portland, her granddaughters Brooklyn Elizabeth and Vivienne Ray. Sisters Cathy DaBica and Debby Schaefer, dear friend Shirley Bougor, lifelong friends/the Hale sisters: Susie Colby, Laurie Estabrook, Nancy Dube, and Wendy Penkes, as well as a whole crew of “adopted kids” that she considered her own, and lastly, scores of friends that she loved like family.
Schaef found her love of cooking and bee-bopping around the kitchen while feeding the masses at Portland Care and Rehab Center, then later at the Connecticut Valley Hospital until her retirement.
To know Laurie meant you never experienced a dull day so long as she was part of it. She lived life with her own brand of rules, in her own unique style, with all the love in her heart. She never failed to find the funny, no matter how sacred or serious the subject. This was especially evident in her knack at being the master of nicknames, lots of which only made sense to her, but she didn’t give a “flying JB” either way.
It’s the humor that will be missed most by the ones she loved, along with her unmistakable cackle of a laugh, her delicious food, and of course her tough exterior that surrounded her heart of gold.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, February 24th at 5:30 p.m. in the Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St, Portland. Friends may call at the funeral home from 4 p.m. until the time of the service. Burial will be private.
Patricia Shortell, 85, of East Northport, New York passed away peacefully on Saturday February 11, 2023. Pat was predeceased by her husband of 62 years, Thomas. She is survived by her three children Thomas, Michael and Robert, daughter in-laws Dina and Christine and ex-daughter in-law Melissa. Pat was also a grandmother of seven, Thomas, Timothy, Kevin, Christopher, Andrew, Jordan and Drew.
Pat was always and avid reader who loved books, her dream job was working in the library of Old Field Middle School in Harborfields New York for over twenty years. She loved working with the children at the school and valued the opportunity to be home when her children got off the school bus. Pat was also an enthusiastic “sports mom” whether it be soccer, basketball or baseball. One of Pat & Tom’s favorite hobbies was going to the casino to test their luck at the slot machines, often coming home with more than they arrived with; however, there were instances when all Pat would say was that “they had fun”.
Pat was a loyal and devoted daughter, sister, wife, mother and grandmother. Her devotion to her family and friends will be remembered by all who had the good fortune of knowing her. She will be greatly missed.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, February 18th at 11 a.m. at the Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main Street, Portland. Family and friends may call at the funeral home on Saturday, February 18th from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service. Burial will be in the family plot in Swedish Cemetery, Portland.
Lionel (Leo) DeGraff (79), of Portland, beloved husband of Marie (Vogt) DeGraff, passed away peacefully on Thursday, Feb 2 at Middlesex Hospital surrounded by his loved ones. Born May 24,1943 in Buffalo, NY; son of the late Joseph and Alice (Robida) DeGraff.
Besides his wife, Leo is survived by his three daughters; Karleen and her husband Mark Kapitzke of Higganum; Lisa and her husband Rick Aiello of Charlestown, RI; Kerry and her husband Richard Morosky of Middletown. He was also the proud Pepe’ to his six grandchildren; Timothy and Matthew Kapitzke; Taylor and Zachary Aiello; Kaylee and Meghan Morosky. Leo also leaves behind many nieces and nephews and dear friends.
He is predeceased by his brother Joseph DeGraff; sister Joan Dickinson; brother-in-law’s Richard Dickinson and Ernst Vogt.
Leo spent his pre-retirement working at Pratt & Whitney in Middletown for 37 years. He enjoyed traveling with his wife and family and was an avid fan of the Boston Red Sox and UCONN basketball.
Family and friends can attend calling hours on Saturday, February 11th at Zion Lutheran Church, 183 Williams St, Portland, from 1-2 p.m., followed by a funeral service at 2 p.m. Burial will be in the family plot in Swedish Cemetery, Portland. The Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St, Portland, is in charge of arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to St. Jude’s Hospital in Leo’s name.