Ralph P. Gill Sr., 72 of Manchester, VT, passed away at his home on Aug. 27, 2009. He was born in Queens on Dec. 3, 1936, the son of Ralph S. and Catherine (Nakelski) Gill. He was married to the former Rose F. Labanowski.
Ralph served in the United States Navy from 1955 to 1959 as a electricians mate. After leaving the Navy he worked as a union electrician at Sperry Corp. in Lake Success. Ralph then became a law enforcement officer for the town of Port Washington, which he served for 20 years. Following his retirement from the Port Washington Police Department, Ralph joined the I.B.E.W in Raleigh, NC Local 553, where he worked for another 10 years. He was a member of the Protection Engine Company in Port Washington for 50 years as a volunteer. While serving as a fireman he also served as an AMT and EMT. Ralph was also a life member of the Port Washington Exempt Firemen’s Benevolent Association.
Sidney Farkas, formerly of Glen Cove, passed away on Aug. 15, 2009 at the age of 92. He is survived by his two daughters, Shelley Farkas Davis of New York City and the Hudson Valley and Barrie Farkas Miller of New York City. He is also survived by his nieces, Roberta Witlin Hirsh, Sindee Schenker Weinbaum and Cathy Witlin Blake as well as his nephews, Sandy Witlin and Steven Schenker.
Catalina Gill shared her stories of life from her native Chile to everyone around her. From her life as a nun, her political thoughts about Pinochet and the family that she left behind. Her aspirations in life were simple – to love and be loved and that is exactly what she found when she settled into her life in Port Washington for 42 years. It was there that Catalina began a new chapter of her life at the Silverstein household, helping to care for four young children. To the family, she imparted her joy of life, her values of respect and goodness and the importance of friendships. Catalina made friends wherever she went – everyone in town loved her sense of humor, her fabulous stories and she always made sure to tell them about “her family.”
John Henry Fetherston of Southampton, NY, formerly of Port Washington, passed away on Aug. 5, 2009 at the age of 81. He is survived by his three daughters, Patty Bellon (Greg) of Flower Hill, Gail Anthony (Howard) of Selma, NC, and Cathi Hewston of Dingmans Ferry, PA. He is also survived by his sister, Catherine Roeder (Alexander) and twelve grandchildren and many nieces and nephews and predeceased by his brother Jay.
“Jack” and his family moved to Port Washington from Staten Island in the 1930s and were original homeowners in New Salem. He attended St. Peter’s Elementary School and graduated from St. Dominic’s High School. While living in Port Washington, Jack was proud to be a member of the Flower Hill Hose Company. He served in the US Navy during the Korean War and was always ready with a Navy story. Jack was also active in the Knights of Columbus in Smithtown, NY, and enjoyed serving as a Grand Knight.
A funeral Mass will be held on Thursday, Aug. 13 at 9:30 a.m. at St. Peter of Alcantara Church.
Mamie Elois McCurty was born Dec., 9, 1943 in Pinola, MS, to sharecropping parents Javous and Nellie Standfield. A survivor of inhumane Jim Crow segregation, she grew up in Mississippi with nine brothers. Later, Mamie met and married David McCurty in 1962 where they had four children from this union. They relocated to Port Washington where Mamie dwelled for 40 years. Local town resident of Cow Bay Apartments, Mamie departed this life and went home to be with the Lord on July 7, 2009.
Dr. Seymour Gruber, formerly of Flower Hill, died on July 13, 2009 at the age of 89 in Coconut Creek, FL. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Ruth (née Dubrow) and their children Steven of Coconut Creek and Joanne of Manhattan (another son Michael predeceased him).
After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from New York University and from NYU School of Medicine as a member of Phi Lambda Kappa, Dr. Gruber was an Army captain and the base pediatrician at Carlisle Barracks, PA, where he served as the pediatric director of the Army War College Hospital. He returned to private practice in pediatrics in Brooklyn and then became the first child psychiatrist on Long Island, treating patients well into adolescence. He was also on both the staff and the faculty of North Shore University Hospital and, for several years, director of its March of Dimes multiple-birth-defects clinic.
An avid sailor, he was active on the board of governors of the Knickerbocker Yacht Club, including stints as director of the clubhouse/dining room and the swimming pool. Upon retirement Dr. and Mrs. Gruber moved to East Chatham, NY, where he became a passionate vegetable and flower gardener, and finally to Florida.
Donations may be made to a cancer or an Israel-affiliated charity of your choice.
Violet Mae Pechar, age 87, passed away following a short illness while spending the winter in St. Augustine, FL.
A native of Astoria, Violet thoroughly enjoyed living in Port Washington for the past 55 years. She was a dedicated and caring secretary at Weber Junior High School where she touched the lives of many students and co-workers throughout her 27-year career. After her retirement in 1998, she remained active with the Port Washington Retired Educators Association. Along with lunching on a weekly basis with friends, she continued to enjoy traveling and visiting family. She was a devoted and loving grandmother and great-grandmother.
She is survived by her son Gary (Carol) Pechar of Macungie, PA; daughter Corinne A. (Jan) Voparil of Hutington Station; four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Arrangements were made by the Craig Funeral Home, St. Augustine. Inurnment will be held at St. Michael’s Cemetery in East Elmhurst, NY, at a later date. In lieu of flowers you may make a memorial donation to Community Hospice Foundation for the Bailey Center 4266 Sunbeam Rd., Jacksonville, FL 32257.
Louis G. Picciano, affectionately known as “Lou,” was a warm-hearted, traditional gentleman with a mischievous sense of humor. He passed away after a short illness on July 8, 2009 at St. Francis Medical Center in Roslyn. He was 96.
Lou was born at home on Mott Street in Manhattan’s Chinatown on Oct. 27, 1912. His family moved in 1926 to Manhasset where he attended Manhasset High School, graduating in 1931. After being discharged from the Army following his service during WWII, he and his wife, Ann Ciminera, whom he married on June 25, 1944, moved to Port Washington, where they raised their two children.
Mother Plummer, the daughter of George S. Hills and Alice Shaw Hills, was born in New Rochelle, on Nov. 28, 1935. She attended Thornton Donovan Primary School and Rye Country Day School and graduated from Vassar College in 1957 and Mercer Theological Seminary in 1990. In the period after graduation from Vassar, she was employed by the Ladies Home Journal and the National Council of Churches.
Dr. Charles E. Rogers passed away at his Port Washington residence at the age of 88 on July 8, 2009. Chuck, as he was known to his friends, led a privileged life helping members of the community as a physician, mentor, friend and leader.
Born Feb. 23, 1921 in Milwaukee, WI, he received his doctor of medicine from Marquette University. In 1954 he retired after 20 years of service from the US Navy with the rank of captain. The medical career continued with a successful practice in surgical oncology. Dr. Rogers was on the staff of several hospitals and in 1966 joined the medical staff of St. Francis Hospital. While with St. Francis he focused his efforts on improving the quality of health care and established one of the first ambulatory surgery units (day op center) in the county. He served as director of surgery at St. Francis from 1970 until his retirement in 1995.
Chuck was very active in the Port Washington community serving on a variety of boards and councils. He loved the Port Washington area and often remarked how beautiful the sunset was on Manhasset Bay. When he retired from the Navy, he immediately knew this was where he wanted to stay for the rest of his life.
He is survived by Zita, his wife of 44 years; son Charles “Peter”; daughter-in-law Debbie; and two grandchildren, Michelle Porrill and Christopher Rogers.
Arrangements were made by Fairchild Sons Funeral Home, Manhasset. Funeral Mass at Our Lady of Fatima RC Church.
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