November 2019

Donald Barrett, Jr.


Donald R. Barrett, Jr., 76, of Country Squire Drive, Cromwell, died peacefully at home on Monday, November 11th. Born in Middletown on June 23, 1943, he was a son of the late Donald R. Barrett, Sr. and Julia (Mendello) Barrett. He was a resident of Portland for over 76 years and proudly worked for his town as a highway maintenance worker for over 38 years before retiring. He was also a member of St. Mary’s Church. He is survived by four siblings and their families, Peter and Barbara Barrett of West Cornwall, Jeffrey Barrett of Manchester, Janice and Michael Derosier of Portland and Angela Mendello of Cromwell as well as two nieces and one nephew and their families, Robyn and Steve Johnson and their daughter, Parker; Christopher Barrett and Susan Barrett and her son, Cole.  He also leaves his wife, Janet (Garstka) Barrett, of Portland, several cousins and many friends. Calling hours will be held Thursday, November 21st from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM at St. Mary’s Church, 51 Freestone Ave., Portland with a Mass of Christian Burial following at 11:00 AM. Burial will be in the family plot at St. Mary‘s Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to Middlesex Hospice, 28 Crescent St., Middletown 06457 or St. Mary's Church, 51 Freestone Ave., Portland 06480.  The Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St, Portland, is in charge of arrangements.

Marie Nelson


Marie Eileen (Swanson) Nelson, 93, of Hebron passed away peacefully, at home, surrounded by family on Thursday, November 14, 2019.  She was much beloved by all her family and friends and will be dearly missed.  She was the widow of Charles Nelson, who predeceased her in 1984, and the daughter of Joseph and Alice (Peterson) Swanson.  Also predeceasing her were sisters Gertrude (Joseph) Samson, Hildur (Frank) Sullivan and daughter-in-law Martha.  She was born on December 4, 1925 in Brooklyn, NY.  She married in April, 1949.  She resided for many years in Mineola, NY, where she raised her children.  She also resided in Temple Terrace, FL, Glastonbury, CT and Hebron, CT.  She was very active in the altar guild at Zion Lutheran Church for as long as she was able. She leaves two sons, Carl (Sandra) Nelson of Sutton, MA, Richard (Suzanne) Nelson of Huntington, NY and daughter Kathleen (Jeffrey) Visinski of Hebron, CT; grandchildren, Karl (Nicole) Hills of Albertville, MN, Erik (Sarah) Nelson of Worcester, MA, Charles (Devon Young) Nelson of North Smithfield, RI, Owen (Lisa Kleiner) Nelson of Farmingdale, NY, Elinor (Brit) Hargreaves of East Hampton, CT, Claire (Jon) Bush of Vernon, CT, Ian Kirkpatrick of New York City, Keith Kirkpatrick of San Francisco, Colin Kirkpatrick of New York City, Erika (Adam Henry) Visinski of Manassas, VA and Laura (John Soltis) Visinski of Atlantic Beach, FL; great-grandchildren, Katherine, Alexander, Hannah, Hayden, Henry, Elliott, Sean, Brendan, Dylan and many nieces and nephews. 

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Nov 23rd, at 10AM in the Zion Lutheran Church, 183 William Street, Portland.  Burial will be in the family plot in the Swedish Cemetery, Portland.  There will be no calling hours.  The Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main Street, Portland is in charge of arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Protectors of Animals, Inc., 144 Main St., Unit O, East Hartford, CT 06118; Zion Lutheran Church, 183 William St., P.O. Box 202, Portland, CT 06480 or a charity of one's choice.

Michael Cannata


Michael S. Cannata, 75, of Portland died on Friday (November 22) at his residence. Born on September 6, 1944 in Middletown,  son of the late Sebastian  "Midge" and Josephine Cannata.  He  was retired from EIS Brake Parts Co.  A veteran of the Vietnam War serving in the U.S.  Army.  He is survived by his loving  family, a son Michael, daughter Kerri, grandchildren Emma Ellis and Hayden Johnson, also several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his  brothers Joseph and Richard.

Graveside services will be held on Tuesday (November 26) at 12 noon in  St. Sebastian Cemetery, Middlefield  with full military honors.  The Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St., Portland, is in charge of arrangements. 

Elizabeth "Lib" Ellsworth


Elizabeth P. Ellsworth (Lib), 88, of Portland, wife of the late Thomas K. Ellsworth, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, November 27th.

Born on December 28th, 1930 to the late Jeanette S. and Richard Penfield, she was a lifelong resident of Portland, CT, graduated from Portland High School, class of 1948 and Westbrook College, class of 1950.

She married her high school sweetheart, the boy next door, Thomas K. Ellsworth in 1953.

Lib is survived by her two children, Robert Ellsworth and his wife Janet, and Elizabeth (Betsy) Ellsworth, all of Portland, five grandchildren – Jennifer Bouffard and her husband Eric, Shelly Rustek-Esten and her husband Rich, Joseph Thomas Rustek, Timothy John Rustek, and Jaclyn Ferruolo and her husband John, and two great-grandchildren, Cayla and Alex Bouffard.

She was predeceased by her beloved husband Tom in 1978, and her son Richard in 1998.

Lib was one of five sisters, ‘The Penfield girls’ and is survived by Nancy Williamson and her husband Jeff of Madison, Wisconsin, and Martha Umba and her husband David, of Bethel, VT. She was predeceased by her sisters Mary-Jane Jackson and Patricia Dalglish, and her godson Michael Umba.

She was a lifelong member of Trinity Church in Portland.

Her first job out of college was working for Dr. Joseph Epstein in his Portland office. After her children were born, she would type term papers for Wesleyan students at night, using a manual typewriter and carbon paper, after the kids were safely in bed.

She later worked with her husband in his private law practice in Portland, until the time of his passing. She then returned to work for Dr. Epstein, eventually retiring as an Executive Secretary at Travelers Insurance Co. in Hartford, CT.

Lib enjoyed vacations, whether it be at the family cottage on Lake Pocotopaug in the early years, Misquamicut Beach, and in later years traveling with her sisters, enjoying many cruises, and visiting their homes in the USVI, Vermont, New Hampshire, Florida, and Wisconsin. Any time spent with her family made her happy.

She was very proud of her grandchildren and their accomplishments, and was an important part of their lives.

Above all, she was a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, and will be forever missed and loved.

The funeral will be held on Wednesday, December 4th, at 11 a.m. in the Trinity Episcopal Church, 345 Main St, Portland. Burial will be in the family plot in Center Cemetery, Portland. Friends may call at the Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St, Portland, on Tuesday, December 3rd, from 5-7 p.m.