November 2018

Barbara Phillilps

Barbara Russell Phillips was born in Joliet, Will County, Illinois, on June 1, 1938. She was the only child of Leslie Ruel Russell and Catherine James Russell. She attended the University of Iowa, where she received a B.S. in Pharmacy in 1959. She married that year to Dean E. Phillips. Upon graduation, the couple moved to central New York, where they lived for several years and where Barbara practiced pharmacy. In 1968, they moved to Portland, Connecticut. While raising their family, Barbara worked for several years in pharmaceutical sales, and subsequently, she managed her husband's engineering and home inspection practices. Barbara was very active in her community, first with the Portland Junior Women's Club, where she served in many roles and ultimately served as president. She was also active in Republican politics, first heading the party's town committee and subsequently serving four terms on the Board of Selectmen. When Dean retired, the couple toured the southern states in search of a suitable retirement community. They settled in Savannah, Georgia, in 2006, where they lived until 2015, at which time they moved to Alexandria, Virginia, to be close to their daughter, Cynthia, and her family. We will remember Barbara for her kindness, her toughness, her resilience, her directness, her integrity, her sense of humor, and her endless generosity. Barbara is survived by her husband Dean of Alexandria, Virginia, son Curtis Phillips (Heather Smith) of Middletown, Connecticut, son Douglas Phillips of Cromwell, Connecticut, daughter, Cynthia Phillips (James May) of Alexandria, Virginia, and granddaughter, Catherine May, also of Alexandria, Virginia as well as her dearest friends, Cindy Varricchio, Kris Strubell, and Fran and Charlene O'Brien. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, November 10th at 11 a.m. in the Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St., Portland. Pastor Jane Hawken will be officiating. Burial will be in the family plot in the Swedish Cemetery, Portland. Friends may call at the funeral home Saturday morning from 10 a.m. until the time of service. 

Donald Cahill

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved father, grandpa, brother and friend Donald J. Cahill, 57 of Portland, CT. Donald passed away on Friday, November 16th at Middlesex Hospital after a long, courageous battle with cancer. Born on August 14, 1961, he was employed by W.A. Parsons of Durham, CT for many years and more recently with Chapco, Inc. of Chester, CT.
Our dad was an avid Cowboys, Celtics and Yankees fan. He enjoyed doing yard work, detailing his car and spending time with his family. He will forever be remembered for his sense of humor, loyalty to his family and friends, as well as his kind and generous heart.
Don was predeceased by his mother, Katherine Mifflin and is survived by his three loving children and their partners Stephanie Cahill and Matt, Hollie Cahill and DJ, Justin Cahill and Lily, his three siblings Kenneth Mifflin, Barbara Miller, Debra James with extended nieces and nephews. Additionally, his grandson Julian Cahill "Beaner," son of Hollie Cahill, Sheila Ballard his longtime friend and mother of his children, Mary Ballard "Auntie" and the entire Ballard family. It would be important to mention, our dad also had three best friends he respectfully called his "Brothers from another mother," James Pianka, Edgar Pianka and Richard Pianka who were a very important part of his life.
By everyone he touched, Donald J. Cahill will be forever missed.
Heaven has gained another angel.
The funeral will be held on Tuesday, Nov 27th at 10 a.m. in the Trinity Episcopal Church, 345 Main Street, Portland. Burial will be in Pine Grove Cemetery, Middletown. Friends may call at the Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main Street, Portland on Monday evening from 5-7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that any donations be made to the hospice center at Middlesex Hospital for their generosity and care: Middlesex Hospice Unit c/o Development Office, 55 Crescent Street, Middletown, CT 06457. 

Viola Karpe

Viola (Vi) Karpe of Portland died at the Portland Care and Rehabilitation on November 19th. Vi was born May 8, 1925 in Middletown, CT. She was the wife of the late Charles J. Karpe, Jr. and the daughter of the late Frank and Mary Ciaburri. Vi and Charlie were married for 58 years. Surviving are her children, Paula Karpe of Virginia, and her sons, Robert Karpe of Connecticut, and Peter Karpe of Michigan and her daughter-in-law, Jackie. Besides her children, Viola leaves a granddaughter, Kathryn Karpe of Nevada and her sister-in-law, Patricia Karpe of Connecticut. She also has many nieces and nephews.
Viola was predeceased by her brother, John Weglowski, three sisters, Anna Bighinatti, Genevieve Slimowicz and Frances Keane. In addition, she was predeceased by her nephew, Edward Keane, and her nieces Janice Deckleman and Marie Slimowicz.
Viola graduated from St. Mary School in Portland in 1938 and from Portland High School in 1942. After graduating from high school, Vi was employed at Robert Gair Co. for 11 years. In 1972, after her children were grown, Vi returned to work at Scott and Daniels for 16 years. After retirement, Vi and Charlie traveled extensively.
Vi was an avid reader and loved making crafts. She was a Girl Scout and Cub Scout leader. Vi loved teaching children how to make crafts, sew, cook, and bake. Vi was an expert knitter, mastering the old art of knitted lace. She also loved sewing, embroidery, and needlework. Viola was known for her cooking and baking. When Vi's children were younger and friends were at their house, there was nothing more important than everyone sitting down to eat.
Vi was very social and adored her friends, "young and old", as she would always say. She loved flowers and watching birds in her yard. She loved a good laugh and enjoyed listening to and telling stories to whomever was near. Every dog that came into the Karpe family was a cherished member of the family. Viola was a member of St Mary Catholic Church for most of her life. We will miss her spirit and love of life.
The funeral will be held on Wednesday, Nov 28th at 8:30 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 10 a.m. Burial will be in the family plot in the Swedish Cemetery, Portland. Friends may call at the funeral home on Wednesday morning from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
The family would like to thank Portland Care and Rehab for the wonderful care and love they gave Viola during these last 2 months. Her nurses and the staff were very comforting to Vi and her family during this difficult time.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Mary Church, 51 Freestone Ave., Portland, CT 06480 or to St. Jude Children Research P.O. Box 50 Memphis, TN 38105. 

Kim Nantais

Kim Nantais beloved husband of Jacqueline Newsom Nantais passed away peacefully November 21, 2018. He was born November 27th, 1953, son of the late Henry and Beatrice (Goulart) Nantais. He leaves behind his 3 brothers Clyde Nantais of Boston MA, Alexander Wood of Salem CT, Steven Bell of San Diego CA. He also leaves behind his son Raymond Peterson of Mansfield Ct and a daughter Lauren Peterson Kerr and her husband Shawn Kerr of Walpole MA, and granddaughters Mya Rae Peterson and Madeline Diane Kerr. He also leaves nephew Alex Wood and a niece Jenna Wood and an aunt Virginia Rahill. He leaves his in laws Peter and Jean Newsom, sister in law and brother in law Judy and Jeff Smith and brother in law John Newsom. Kim enjoyed traveling with his wife especially their trips to Martha's Vineyard, and had a passion for photography, history, softball and playing his guitars. The loves of his life were his granddaughters Mya and Maddie. Funeral services and burial will be private. The Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St., Portland is in charge of arrangements. 

Kerry Heidenis

Kerry Hunt Heidenis had a rich deep baritone/bass laugh, and an elegant speaking voice to go with it. Born to Stanley and Mary (Hunt) Heidenis of Cromwell, he joined a brother, Kent. Kerry went to Cromwell schools, graduating in 1962. During his school years, he worked at Pierson's Nursery, as did many other Cromwell residents. He recalled fondly hearing the old men at Pierson's entertaining all listeners with their stories and antics. Upon high school graduation, Kerry took a bus trip across the United States, served in the Army Reserves, and later enrolled at Manchester Community College. After a year, he gained entry to Central Connecticut State College, graduating in 1971. In 1970, he married Bernice Jones and they settled in Wallingford. The Heidenises had two sons, Brent in 1972, and Dean in 1976. Kerry worked for various companies before settling on the insurance business. He established an independent insurance company in 1982, and, a year later, began a similar business in Meriden using Nationwide Insurance. He ran this program till 1996. Over the years, Kerry had coped with the stresses of life by drinking, not unlike much of the rest of America. But by 1996, this problem got so intense that he entered Lebanon Pines' six-month program. He emerged from the program in early 1997, working first for Bee Automotive in Middletown, then later as a Resident Assistant at the Rushford Center in Middletown. Kerry and Bernie had divorced in 1992. While working as an assistant for Bee Automotive, Kerry met Doris Sherrow, a fellow divorcee from Portland, and the two became a couple in early 1997. Kerry began to pursue a Master's Degree in Counseling, serving as an intern at Rushford Center in Middletown and at Lebanon Pines' program. He eventually became a counselor at Lebanon Pines, then later at Catholic Family Services in New Britain. In 2006, he joined the staff at Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown, retiring in 2011 after having served many clients. Kerry got a lot of pleasure from playing golf in the last twenty years. In fact, in a list of subjects to be written about, which he "never got around to," he wrote "Golf and sobriety-more similarity than what meets the eye." Another of Kerry's interests was Barbershop singing – he had a strong, elegant bass singing voice. He appeared in many barbershop shows during this period. He also developed a love of, and a fury for, kayaking – testing his mettle on the various and sundry rivers in the area. Shortly before his death, he had – not one, not two, but five kayaks – at his house. This past year, medical situations descended on Kerry, ending with pulmonary fibrosis, the disease that had taken his Uncle Glen Hunt a decade before. He died around 10:15 PM on November 24, 2018. Kerry is survived by his wife Doris Sherrow Heidenis, and his sons and their families – Brent and Leigh Heidenis and their children Brooke and Braden, and Dean Heidenis and his sons Gabe and Jude. He also leaves his step-children, Sam Sherrow and Athena Wang of Denver CO, Sarah Sherrow of Somerville MA, and Esther Sherrow and Rich Wilson, and their children, Oscar, Maxine and Elroy Wilson of Paris, France. Also surviving him is his brother and sister-in-law Kent and Barbara Heidenis, niece Sarah Heidenis, and nephew Chad Heidenis and his wife Ana, and grand-niece Winter Heidenis. Kerry – "Poppy" to his grandchildren – will be fondly remembered by a host of friends and relatives. He kept the family gatherings lively with humor and insight. And his cat Missy misses him – intensely. The funeral will be held on Thursday, November 29th at 10 a.m. in the Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St., Portland. Pastor Jane Hawkins will be officiating. Burial will be in Center Cemetery, Portland. Friends may call at the funeral home Wednesday, November 28th from 5 to 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Dravet Syndrome Foundation Inc., P.O. Box 3026, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034.