Carol Castelli, 58, of Portland passed away on Thursday January 14th, 2021 after a brief hospital stay, surrounded by her loving family. Carol was born on December 27th, 1962, the youngest child of the late Charles “Bud” and Lucille Anderson.
Carol grew up on her family farm along the Connecticut River. Her life was her family. She enjoyed spending time with family, especially her kids and grandkids who called her “Me Ma.” She enjoyed spending time at the beach, taking pictures, collecting primitive antiques, music and attending concerts. She was a lover of animals and even fostered dogs and volunteered for Protector of Animals. Carol spent the last 21 years working for the Portland Public Schools.
She was a loving mother, grandmother, wife, daughter, sister, niece, and aunt. She is survived by her husband, Steven Castelli of Portland, her daughter, Jessica (and Joshua) Shelberg of East Lyme, her son, Jeremy (and Ammie Bordoy) Castelli of Portland, her grandchildren, Cole Shelberg, John Shelberg, and Carolanne Castelli, sister Nancy Anderson of Rehoboth, MA, brothers John Anderson of Madison, WI, Jeffrey Anderson of Durham, NC, and Daniel Anderson of Portland, her aunt Margret Kirsche, and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews. She was predeceased by her parents, brother Charles Anderson, and sister Catherine Anderson Mullen.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to: The Protectors of Animals, 144 Main Street Unit O, East Hartford, CT 06118 http://poainc.org.
Graveside services will be held on Friday January 22nd at 11:00 am at the Swedish Cemetery on William Street in Portland. The Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main Street, Portland, is in charge of arrangements.
Richard “Rick” M. Fillback of Portland, CT died Saturday January 2, 2021 after several years of declining health. The son of Waino R. Fillback and Loretta M. (Dauphin) Fillback, Rick was born August 24, 1941 in Pittsfield, MA. He and his family lived in Chester, MA until 1943 when they moved to Portland. Rick, a lifelong Portland resident, attended Portland Schools and graduated from Vinal Technical High School in Middletown. He was a member of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and worked as a millwright for many years. Rick, an avid reader of history, had a love for the CT River and its history that began in childhood and lasted throughout his life. In his later years he loved nothing more than watching the river flowing past his house. He leaves his devoted wife Joanne Manter; three sons, Richard M. Fillback, Jr. and Jeffery J. Fillback of Middletown and Peter C. Fillback of Portland; a daughter, Alaina S. Fillback of Portland; five grandchildren; a brother, Wayne E. Fillback of Andover, MA; a sister Cynthia A. Dauphin of West Falmouth, MA; and two nieces. If you wish to make a donation in Rick’s name, they may be made to Zagray Farm Museum, a nonprofit educational farm museum where Rick volunteered his time and expertise, 544 Amston Rd., Colchester, CT 06415. There will be no services. The Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main Street, Portland is in charge of arrangements.
Judy Strickland age 79 passed away peacefully on January 31,2021. Born in Portland Connecticut she was the oldest of 7 siblings born to Mary (McBrien) & Francis DeBari where she was raised on the family dairy farm. She was a member of 4-H, former member of the Hemlock Grange, Portland Fife & Drum Corp, played the saxophone in the school band, and graduated from Portland High School. Judy had many jobs throughout her lifetime including Jarvis Airfoil, CNA, phlebotomist, activities director at Sunrise Resort, and a hospital switchboard operator. Judy was a registered clown with the stage name of "Pickles". She was all about entertaining and put on many magic shows at multiple venues & family gatherings. Judy wintered in Florida and then transitioned there full time for many years in Englewood. She was a dog lover, especially fond of her her most recent dog Sophia, loved arts & crafts, her parrot "Rosie", gardening, karaoke, cooking, annual travel to Cancun, Mexico, and always out for a laugh. She was predeceased by her mother & father, brother Jerry DeBari, and former husband, Melvin Strickland. She is survived by 3 daughters Michelle Stevens of Portland, Kim Stevens and her son Dejuan of Mississippi, and Lisa & husband Scott Cunningham and their children Joshua & Lauren of Portland as well as many nieces, nephews,stepchildren and step grandchildren. In addition, she leaves behind siblings Denise (& Alan) Kateley, Donna (& Jim) Fitzsimmons, Brien (& Karen) DeBari, Mary DeBari & Rhea DeBari. Private Services and a celebration of her life will be held at the convenience of her family. She will be missed by all who knew and loved her.
The Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St, Portland, is in charge of arrangements.
John Sullivan, 69, of Portland passed away peacefully Friday, January 22nd in Florida with family and friends by his side. John was born January 27, 1951 and was the youngest child of William and Anne (Fitzgibbons) Sullivan.
John grew up in the town of Portland and spent his entire life in the town. He truly loved Portland. He graduated from Portland High School in 1969. Always an entrepreneur at heart, John began working in the office equipment industry, selling and repairing typewriters. Eager to own and run his own business, John and his business partner Vincent Lanzi struck out on their own in 1983 and purchased what was to become A&A Office Systems. John put his heart and soul into the business and made the company a success. John relocated the business in 2001 to Middletown because he loved the community and wanted to have his business there. He built several buildings and the company grew to almost 100 employees.
John also had a passion for improving Portland and purchased several buildings on Main Street to improve them. Along the way, he started two other businesses, the Brownstone Bottle Shop and the White Dog Café. He was very proud of his businesses and what he had accomplished professionally. He sold all his businesses over the last several years and all are still thriving. John always had an instinct for business and the ability to make the right move at the right time.
John met his wife Eileen Keser after being set up on a blind date. They were married in 2000 in Portland and moved to a house on Portland Golf Course the same year. Living overlooking a Portland golf course had been a dream of John’s since he was a young boy. John and Eileen have been together over 20 years and they truly loved each other through thick and thin. John was married previously to Debra (Haydon) Sullivan also of Portland with whom he had two children, Barry and Robyn Sullivan.
John had the heart of a philanthropist and was very generous over the years to many organizations and individuals. He always donated generously to the Middlesex United Way, Middlesex County Community Foundation, Portland Food Bank, St. Mary’s Church, Middlesex YMCA, and the Portland Police Department to name a few. He was given the Alexis deTocqueville Philanthropy award from the United Way in 2016. His contributions to Middlesex Hospital over the years even resulted in a room being named in his honor. He sponsored and helped plan and run the annual “Chumley” Golf Tournament for 10 years in Portland that was given in honor of Eileen’s brother Chumley and benefited the Portland Food Bank. You would always see him there smiling and making sure everyone was having a good time. John also helped countless individuals who needed help over the years. During this past year, John donated a great deal of money to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and other pediatric cancer research foundations after the diagnosis of his youngest grandchild. John had an infectious personality and always gave you a cheerful greeting and a smile. He will be remembered for his one-liners, his humorous wit, and that million-dollar smile. His blue Irish eyes constantly twinkled, giving away his gregarious and mischievous spirit.
John enjoyed cars and racing and travelled many years to watch the Daytona 500 and other races around the country, always rooting for Darrell Waltrip. He was also a New England Patriots fan and season ticket holder as well as a Boston Red Sox fan. He enjoyed going to games with friends and family. John was a diehard Rolling Stones fan and went to many of their shows over the years. John had a zest for living, a quick wit, and was the life of many a “partay” as he would say. He made everyone he was with feel important and special.
In addition to his loving wife Eileen, John is survived by his son Barry Sullivan, and his wife Micky of Portland; daughter Robyn Sullivan of Wethersfield; stepdaughter Meagan Salinsky of Glastonbury; stepson Patrick Dill of Colchester; stepdaughter Moira Dill of Portland; grandson Brady; granddaughters Haydon and Abigail; they were the apples of his eye!! He is also survived by sister Betty Martyszczyk and her husband Bill; nieces Kathy Thurz and her husband Mike, Susie Angersola and her husband Don, Jennifer Dellavecchia and her husband Bob, Kim Clark, Kelly Sullivan, and Kyli Sullivan; nephews Brendyn Sullivan and his wife Kori, and Easton Sullivan and his wife Jessica, his best friend Jim Curley, and the two family cats Big and Little.
John was predeceased by his parents, his big brothers Michael and Billy; his beloved sister Patricia Sienkiewicz; brothers in-law Edward Sienkiewicz, Joe Keser, and Charles “Chumley” Keser, his friend Dana Sweet and his baby Isis, the dog.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to be made to either the Portland Food Bank or Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, January 29th at 11:00 AM at St. Mary’s Church in Portland. Burial will be private in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Portland. Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St., Portland is in charge of arrangements.
Gary J. Grimm Jr, 64, of Portland, CT passed away peacefully on Sunday, January 3, 2021.
He was born in Hartford CT, and a 1974 graduate of Wheeler High school in North Stonington. Gary was a natural born salesman, holding positions in sales throughout his life. He could sell anything, from home video equipment, real estate, home improvements, or ice to an Eskimo. He had many hobbies, including reading, traveling, acting, Star Trek, and had a profound love of music and movies, and especially loved snacks. He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, and their cats, Smokey and Sophie. Gary was known for his quick-wit, charming personality, cleverness, and his love of life. A very loving, and light-hearted soul who was the embodiment of integrity, and held in the highest esteem by his family, friends, and peers. To know Gary was to know love and laughter, and he always had a good joke.
In addition to his loving wife of 23 years, Debra K. (Swanson) Grimm, he is predeceased by his parents, Gary Grimm Sr. and Priscilla (Scribner) Taylor.
He leaves behind his adoring fiancé Kathleen Stonick of Portland, son Justin Grimm and his wife Kerry of Moosup CT, daughter Aubrey Grimm and her beau Chad of Meriden CT, son Jeremiah Grimm and his beloved Meghan of Sioux City IA.
Gary is also survived by brother Mark Grimm and his wife Analee of Oklahoma, sister Lorrel “Cookie” Wilczek and her husband David of Norwich CT, brother Scott Grimm and wife Tammy of Texas, and brother Christen Grimm of Maryland. Grandchildren Jayce and Autumn Grimm of Plainfield CT, and Delilah Droskoski of Meriden CT. A great-grandchild, Sophia Grimm and his stepmother, Elizabeth Grimm of Oakdale CT. Daughters of his fiancé, Kaylee Manchester and her husband Brendan of New Haven CT, and Jayna Stonick of France. And several nieces and nephews.
A memorial service/Celebration of life will be held at a later date, TBD. The Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St, Portland, is in charge of arrangements.
On Saturday, January 9, 2021, Andrew E. Sebula of Portland, CT passed from this world to a better place. Andy was born in Vernon, CT on April 8, 1945 to Andrew Sebula and Margaret (Rowe) Sebula. He attended Rockville High School and graduated from the University of Connecticut with is Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmacy. Upon graduation, he became employed by Middlesex Hospital where he worked for over 40 years. He mentored many younger pharmacists who grew their careers at Middlesex. He was a beloved member of the medical staff always sharing stories or words of wisdom. Andy was also known for his unique sense of style whether it was his bow ties or bright red corduroy pants.
Andy was a lover of nature, taking several spiritual vision quests in the Southwest. Because of his spirituality, upon on his retirement, he became an ordained Interfaith minister through One Spirit Learning Alliance in New York City. Other places of significant spiritual meaning were Rowe Camp & Conference Center in Rowe, MA and the Unitarian Universalists Society: East where he was a member of the Small Ministry and Dream Groups.
Andy is survived by his beloved wife Christina (Tina) Veronesi, daughters Kathleen Poulin & Stephanie Poulin, and his cherished grandsons Connor McAllister and Adrien Gorny. He is also survived by his sister Linda Clark, her husband Roger and their children Jared and Elizabeth; his sister Donna Nezmek, her husband Tom and their daughter Sarah. Andy is remembered by his special family member, Matthew Gorny. He will be dearly missed by Roscoe and Mama Cat. The family plans on a private burial on April 8th, his birthday and wedding anniversary. A celebration of life will be held in the summer months. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions go to Rowe Camp and Conference Center.
Bubba will always be remembered as a man whose words of wisdom, selflessness and sense of humor brought light to all who knew and loved him.
The Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main Street, Portland is in charge of arrangements.