(Editor’s note: This obituary was submitted by the Island Trees School District in response to Susan Reckling’s request for more information about J. Fred Sparke, which printed in the Friday, Sept. 6 edition of the Levittown Tribune. This obituary was written on May 10, 1955 by the Island Trees School District Clerk.)
J. Fred Sparke, treasurer of school district #26 in the Town of Hempstead, County of Nassau, New York, for the past 43 years, passed away last night.
Barbour, Rita E., 90, of Levittown, died on Oct. 15. Beloved wife of James. Loving mother of James, and Meredith Markfield (David). Cherished grandmother of Evan, Keith, Scott, Allison, Daniel, Malin, and Oliver. Adored great-grandmother of Gabrielle, Cameron, Devin, Griffin, and Jack.
Rita and her husband moved to Levittown in August of 1949. She worked in the Island Trees School district from 1953 to 1987, where she retired from after being the business manager since 1980. Services were held at Charles J. O’Shea Funeral Home in Wantagh. A Christian mass was held at St. James R.C. Church, with interment at St. John’s of Jerusalem Cemetery in Levittown.
Widro, Gail (Tilton), 63, of Westbury, formerly of Levittown, died on Aug. 31 after a courageous, seven-year battle with colon cancer. A fixture in the community Gail volunteered as a Girl Scout Leader for Troops 1169 and 1061, was a Cub Scout Leader, and was actively involved in Boy Scout Troop 507. She was long time coach for the Levittown Swimming Association (LSA) for Bluegrass Pool and later Carman Ave. Pool. In addition, Gail was an active member of the PTA, she often ran blood drives, was involved at school board meetings, and could regularly be seen working the votes as a supervisor for the county board of elections. Gail had a passion for animals. Starting at an early age as a junior collie club member she helped her parents, raise, breed, and show collies. After attending Farmingdale and earning a Bachelor’s degree in Dairy Science from the University of Georgia; Gail worked as a dog groomer in Bellmore for 25 years. She was the beloved wife for 41 years of Arnold, loving mother to Amanda, Matthew, Bryan, and Marianne, caring sister to Alicia Bulger (Jim), Nancy Tilton, Tom Tilton (Kelly), and Jena Pinkham. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews. Services were held at Thomas F. Dalton Funeral Home, Levittown Chapel. Funeral mass was held at St. Brigid R.C. Church. Interment was private. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Hospice Care Network, 99 Sunnyside Blvd, Woodbury, NY 11797.
Steunenberg, Walter, of Levittown, died on July 9. Beloved husband of Carmen. Devoted father of Walter, Ward, Christa, and the late Wayne. Cherished father-in-law of Jeanmarie. Dear brother of Arnold and Annette. Loving grandfather of Ward, Kyle, Zoe, and Phoenix. Cherished uncle of many loving nieces and nephews. Visitation was held at Thomas F. Dalton Funeral Homes in Hicksville. Funeral mass was held at Holy Family Church. Interment at St. Charles Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donation are requested to Boy Scouts of America, 544 Broadway, Massapequa, NY 11758.
Henry E. Lapine, Jr., of Levittown, died on June 30. Beloved husband of Heather. Devoted father of Jill and Sara. Loving son of Henry Sr. and the late Joanne. Dearest brother of Denise, Sandy, Leslie, Robert, Stephen, Timothy, Ann and the late Paul. Also survived by many brother and sister-in-laws. Funeral mass was held at Holy Family Church, in Hicksville. Cremation was private. Arrangements entrusted to McCourt & Trudden Funeral Home Inc.
Althea A. “Kitty” Bishop, of Levittown, in her 100th year, died on June 26. Beloved wide of the late Albert. Loving mother of William (Carole), Kevin (Christine) and Christine Bishop. Dear sister of Nora Bittner. Cherished grandmother of eight and great-grandmother of 11. Dear aunt of many. Services were held at Thomas F. Dalton Funeral Homes in Levittown. Mass was held at St. Bernard RC Church. Interment at Calverton National Cemetery.
Dr. Vladimir Rus, 86, of Levittown, passed away at his home on June 11. Dr. Rus was born in Zlonice, Czechoslovakia. He grew up under Nazi occupation, and spent time in an internment camp. He later attended law school at Charles University in Prague but was forced to emigrate at the time of the Communist takeover in 1948. He lived in a displaced persons’ camp in Italy for two years, before immigrating to the U.S. in 1950. He met his future wife, Viola Daphne, in South Carolina in 1952, and the couple married that year in New York City.
Dr. Rus completed his PhD in German Literature and Language at NYU in 1963. The couple moved to Greenport, on Long Island and, in 1959, to Levittown, where they resided up to the present.
Dorothy Stamper, wife to Jim, mother to David and Lynn, second mother to Katie, P Jay, Jodi and Cliff, grandmother to Ethan, Emma, Addison, Frankie, Ally, Alden and Eldric, daughter to Richard and Dorothy Young, sister to Pat, Ricky, and Billy, beloved sister-in-law, aunt, friend, so much to so many, passed away on May 22. Dorothy did not live an extraordinary life, but she did make those lives she touched extraordinary. She gave her love unconditionally and made few demands. Seldom seen without a smile, Dorothy brightened the darkest of times. The world has suffered a loss now that she is gone although the world will never know, but those whose lives she touched will know.
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