Deirdre Sheil Bray, a vibrant woman of remarkable grace, strength, and compassion, died on September 5, 2018, after a brief illness. Born in Hartford on November 29, 1949, she was the daughter of the late John R. and Beverly Sheil.
A graduate of Mercy High School and Southern CT State College, Deirdre went on to earn a Master's Degree in Speech Pathology at Florida State University. She began her career as a speech pathologist in the Maryland School System and also worked at several health care facilities. After returning to CT, she worked for Middlesex Hospital Home Care and for the past 11 years at Gaylord Hospital, until she reluctantly retired due to Parkinson's Disease. Following her retirement she became a warrior in her fight against this disease, joining Rock Steady Boxing Gym, in her efforts to remain active and diminish the effects of Parkinson's.
Deirdre's profession as a speech pathologist gave her great happiness and fulfillment. She cherished the time spent working with her colleagues, her patients and their families. She also took tremendous joy in music, singing in the choir at St. Mary Church. She was a voracious reader, a bird lover, and an avid gardener with a deep appreciation for nature. Deirdre loved to talk sports (to anyone), especially about her favorites: FSU Seminoles, Boston Red Sox, Green Bay Packers, Golden State Warriors, Providence Friars, and UConn Women Huskies. Above all, her world revolved around her family, especially her husband of 43 years, her son and daughter-in-law, and her precious grandchildren.
Deirdre was a beacon of love who always reached out to others. Her personal kindness and ever generous spirit touched many lives. She was a champion of human rights and human dignity. As an advocate for those who struggle with addiction, she volunteered her time with Families Anonymous, Portland Chapter. She had a deep and abiding faith from which she drew her strength.
She leaves behind her beloved soul mate and husband, Mel L. Bray, her son Keith and daughter-in-law, Lyra, her granddaughters, Areia, Alexia and Savanna Rose. She also leaves her siblings, Keavy (Ralph) Peterson, Maura Sheil-Hughes, Michael (Natalie) Sheil, and Jay (Wendy) Sheil and nephews, Evan, Kurt, Ryan, Tyler, Neal, Ian, and niece, Christina, all of whom she adored. She took great joy in her great nephews and nieces, Elliott, Noah, Hayden, Evan Boyd, Keegan, Cecelia, and Gabby, and a host of wonderful cousins and friends. Her step-daughter Virginia Bray Holmberg predeceased her.
Deirdre, you will always be missed, you will always be remembered, you will always be loved.
The funeral will be held on Tuesday, September 11th at 9 a.m. from the Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St., 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 Indian Hill Cemetery, Middletown. Friends may call at the funeral home Monday, September 10th from 5 to 7 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to: The Church of St. Mary Renovation Fund, 45 Freestone Ave., Portland, CT 06480 or to The Michael J. Fox Foundation, Donation Processing, P.O. Box 5014, Hagerstown MD 21741-5014.
Julia Ann (Hawley) Blauvelt passed into eternal rest and peace on Thursday, September 6th, 2018. Known to all as Julie, she was born in Monroe, CT on Saturday, July 6th, 1929. Her delighted parents were Bradford William Hawley and Fanny Henrietta (Schmidt) Hawley.
Julie attended Monroe Elementary School, Whittier Junior High School and Bassick High School in Bridgeport, Connecticut, graduating in June, 1947. As a young girl Julie had a dog named Skippy whom she loved dearly and Skippy loved cows. Julie enjoyed acting in many school plays. This enjoyment partially shaped her future career. After graduating from Bassick, Julie attended The Teachers' College of Connecticut in New Britain (now known as Central Connecticut State University), graduating in 1951 with a degree in elementary education. Julie's first teaching position was at Charter Oak School in West Hartford. On July 5th, 1952, Julie married Richard I. (Dick) Blauvelt and they settled in Middle Haddam, Connecticut. In 1953, she took a new teaching position at Central School in Portland, Connecticut. In 1954, Julie moved to the old Gildersleeve School in Portland as teaching principal and second grade teacher. 1960 saw a move to the Hebron Avenue School in Glastonbury, Connecticut to teach kindergarten. A 1963 career pause to raise her younger son, Peter, ended in 1969 when both Julie and Peter returned to elementary school. Julie continued teaching first grade at the Valley View School in Portland until her retirement in 1995. Many children who passed through her classes remember being in a play because she gave one every year she taught.
Peter Pan, Katie No-Pockets and other plays brought many good laughs over the years. In retirement and as a longtime member of Trinity Episcopal Church of Portland, Julie found fulfillment with the Women's Guild of the church and spent many hours volunteering at theThrift Shop along with her friends. Julie leaves two sons, Richard H. Blauvelt and his fiancé, June Goguen, of Hinsdale, N.H. and Peter T. Blauvelt and his wife, Pamela, of Newport Rhode Island; three grandchildren, Emma and Jillian of Boston, Massachusetts, and Christopher of East Hampton, CT. Julie was predeceased by her daughter, Jill Anne, in July of 1974 and by her husband, Dick, in July of 2011. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, September 15th at 11 a.m. in the Trinity Episcopal Church, 345 Main St., Portland. Burial will be in the family plot in the Swedish Cemetery, Portland. Friends may call at the Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St., Portland on Friday, September 14th from 5 to 7 p.m.
Anne F. Kvietkauskas, 94, of Portland, passed away September 9th, 2018 at Portland Care & Rehabilitation. She was the loving wife of the late Adolph F. Kvietkauskas to whom she had been married for 62 years. Born in Providence, RI on July 24, 1924, daughter of the late Annie (Flynn) Guckian and Patrick Guckian. She had been a resident of Portland for over 64 years. Prior to her retirement she worked at Middlesex Hospital in the Volunteer Services Department. After she retired she volunteered many years at Middlesex Hospital. She enjoyed travel with her husband and traveled extensively, visiting the Far East, Tahiti, Australia, New Zealand and all over Europe.
She is survived by her sons, Robert and his wife Teresa of Carlisle, MA; Dennis and his wife Laura of Hebron; Gary and his wife Francine of Portland; and daughter Julia Ahearn and her husband Brian of Killingworth; seven grandchildren: John and Michael Ahearn, Peter Kvietkausakas, Callie and Scott Yorker, Annie O'Malley and John Pauler. She was predeceased by a brother Francis Guckian and sisters Margaret Guckian, Rita Egan, and Catherine Finch. The family wishes to express gratitude to her caregiver, Marina. We cannot say enough about the loving care she gave our Mother. Also, the kindness, support, and compassion from the staff at Portland Care and Rehabilitation. The funeral will be held on Thursday, September 13th at 10 a.m. in the Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St., Portland. Burial will be in the State Veteran's Cemetery, Middletown. Friends may call at the funeral home on Thursday morning from 9 a.m. until the time of service. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, 2911 Dixwell Ave., Suite 104, Hamden, CT 06618.
Susan Martha (Brown) DeRing, 74 of Portland, died Sunday, September 9, 2018 at The Hospital of Central Connecticut surrounded by her family. She was born in Granville, NY to Edith (Lorenz) and Raymond Brown. She was a Registered Nurse and graduated from St. Mary's School of Nursing in Amsterdam, NY. She has been a resident of Portland for 48 years. Sue co-founded Young Horizon's Day Care Center in Higganum in 1982 and dedicated her life to providing a nurturing and loving environment for so many children. In addition to her passion for early childhood development, Sue was always helping those in need and those less fortunate. You would always find Sue preparing home cooked meals for her children and neighbors, baking for her church and other charities and assembling care packages for the troops overseas. Sue is survived by her daughters, Kathleen DeRing and Kristine Howard of Portland; her sons Lt. Col. Tommy DeRing (Jessica) of Portland and Joseph DeRing (Maureen) of Belleair, FL. Sue lived for her grandchildren. They were truly the lights of her life: Ryan, Maryssa, Brandon, Emily, Gracie, Faith and JJ. She is also survived by her brother David Brown of Little River, SC and several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her brother James Brown and her former husband Philip DeRing.
The funeral will be held on Friday, September 14th at 8 a.m. from the Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St., Portland followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Mary's Church, Portland at 10 a.m. Burial will be at a later date in Granville, NY. Friends may call at the funeral home on Friday morning from 8 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions in the name of Susan DeRing to St. Mary's Church of Portland, Birthright, The Portland American Legion, or St. Vincent DePaul/Amazing Grace Food Pantry.
With a heavy heart, we announce the passing of Mary E. (McMurrer) Fiddler, 89, on September 14, 2018. She was born in Swansea, Ma., daughter of the late Mary E. (Clark) McMurrer and John J. McMurrer. She was raised in Fall River, MA, and graduated from Sacred Heart Academy in 1947. Mary greatly enjoyed attending many Academy reunions. She was the beloved wife of the late Joseph Norman Fiddler for 60 years, whom she met while roller skating at Lincoln Park in MA. She worked for the New England Telephone Company until the family moved to Portland CT in 1966. Mary worked as a reading aide at St. Mary's School in Portland and then as a reading paraprofessional at Bielefield School in Middletown for more than 20 years, where she worked until her retirement in 1993. Mary was an active member of St Mary's parish in Portland, where she served on the Ladies Guild, the Century Club, and other various committees. She was an exceptional knitter, avid reader, cribbage player, and bowler. Her greatest joy was spending time with her family and watching the games, recitals and concerts of her grandchildren. She was a wonderful mom to Michael & Karen (Len) Fiddler of Middlefield, Edward and Marie (Diaz) Fiddler of Scituate, MA, and Lori & Simon St.Amand of Rockfall; a loving grandmother to Jennifer & Michael Fiddler Jr., Andrew & Matthew Fiddler, and Eric & Meghan St.Amand; a devoted sister of Michael McMurrer of Swansea, MA, and a loving aunt to numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. Besides her parents and husband, Mary was predeceased by her brother John McMurrer and sisters Loretta Furze and Madeline Gagnon. The family would like to thank the wonderful Middlebrook staff at Middlesex Health Care Center, and the Middlesex Hospital Hospice Care team for your unending compassion and kindness. The funeral will be held on Tuesday, September 18 at 9 a.m. from the Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St, Portland, followed by a mass of Christian burial in St. Mary's Church, Portland, at 10 a.m. Burial will be in the State Veterans Cemetery, Middletown. Friends may call at the funeral home on Monday, September 17th from 5-7 p.m.
Delora B.Ehlers, 79, of Middletown, CT., passed away Monday, September 10,2018 after a long illness. She was born February 13,1939 in Saratoga Springs, NY. Delora was the daughter of Bernard Van Wagner and Vincenza ( Jean) Melaccio Van Wagner. She was predeceased by her brother Bernard Van Wagner.
Delora is survived by her husband Charles H. Ehlers, daughter Lara J.Ehlers of Middletown, son Scott A.Ehlers Emanuele of Higganum, sister Barbara Gega and niece Joyce ( Pip) Gega of Staten Island, NY.
Delora loved horses all her life, and all animals. She was an artist and painter, mostly oil painting. She loved doing her many crafts, especially jewelry making, seamstress work and tending to her flower gardens.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Delora’s memory may be made to Middlesex Hospital Hospice and Palliative Care, 28 Cresent St, Middletown, Ct. Delora would have loved a donation to www.Piepermemorial.com/Foundation.
Private services will be held at the discretion of the family. The Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St, Portland, is in charge of arrangements.