Funeral Arrangements Set For Tina Wessel

A funeral service for Tina Wessel is set for 1 p.m. 2 p.m. on Friday, December 9 at Christ & Holy Trinity Church. She’s the well-known local homeless woman whose recent death unleashed powerful emotions among those who helped her, tried to reach out, or were hesitant to interact with her.

Church staff are donating their time and talents. Tina spent time there during her life, and was welcome to use its facilities.

The public is invited to attend Tina’s service.


43 responses to “Funeral Arrangements Set For Tina Wessel

  1. God willing we should all be so loved & remembered by the community in which we reside — when fate has caused us difficulties.

  2. Although I never spoke with her, I saw her often on my walks. Bless your heart, Westport for honoring this woman. I hope she finds peace & comfort in her next life.

  3. Charlie Taylor

    The Lords Work

    Sent from my iPhone


  4. Julie Fatherley

    Who is attending to her mortal remains? Burial? Family? Many of us would like to know.

    • That is being worked on. Many people — including the family of Lee Papageorge, former owner of Oscar’s (who always looked out for her) — have offered to help.

    • An important thing for people to be aware of re. people w/ disabilities who could not access & afford legal help to have ‘advance directives’ etc. (= how they should be treated in the event of their being unable to speak for themselves & after their death) is that teaching university hospitals — such as Yale — use the bodies of homeless & other extremely poor people who do not have family to *train* medical students. (Frankly: to dissect them).

      I find this practise to be reprehensible. I believe it takes advantage of people who are poor & alone in the world and hence is extremely unfair. Some religions do not allow this and I hope Christ & Holy Trinity steps in and pays for a proper burial for Tina BEFORE her body would be used for *teaching* purposes.

      Some people willingly & specifically donate their bodies to teaching hospitals for that purpose so I believe the practise of using people’s bodies for this purpose — when they did not give their consent but were simply too poor to afford a lawyer & too alone to have left behind someone to protect their wishes — should be ended.

      • Relax, Zoe. Lots of people are working on a proper burial for her.

        • I am very “relaxed” (in fact I have the flu — so that is an understatement). I was attempting to address this important issue for people w/ disabilities who are without family & not only that of this specific person who is obviously being looked after. Many people are not aware of what I described and I would love it if they were more aware & concerned about it.

        • Thank You Dan. <3

  5. Yvonne Senturia

    I first met Tina while serving meals at The Gillespie Center, and then used to also see her walking around town and outside CVS. Will be in Chicago on Friday, so sadly missing her funeral.

  6. Name so familiar but not in our yearbook. Maybe she didn’t graduate? Pretty sure our class, Dan….

  7. Is this the woman with long grey blonde hair and difficulty with a leg? I often gave her money but never knew her name. What happened? Once on a cold winter day I gave her $20 in the CVS back parking lot and she said “oh wow, I can buy food medication” and it broke my heart. The homeless need so much more than a square meal. Perhaps I have the wrong woman but in any event I am saddened.

  8. While still local i haven’t visited the town scene in many years, I would have known Tina from school days, her name is known to me. So sorry. I’d have offered a room for her and her cats …so sorry…I’ll be there

  9. She was from Weston, not Westport

  10. Dan, class of 71, I knew her at Weston Jr High when we were in 9th grade before my fam moved back to Westport .

  11. On several occasions I sat with her at Starbucks. I would buy her a cup of coffee and we would just talk. I found her to be exceptionally graceful and grateful. I admired her independence and her strength to live in this world that demands so much from each of us. She was always a welcome reminder of what real freedom and strength looks like.

  12. Don L. Bergmann

    The above comments and all those for the original posting make me proud of all of you and of Westport.
    Don Bergmann

  13. Linda Pomerantz Novis

    Dan,I,too, remember Tina from my class at Weston elementary, Weston Jr. High (& maybe Weston
    high school, afterwards).. I remember she had long pale blond hair..she always seemed a bit ‘lost’,back
    Agree,Thanks for all these caring comments.

  14. Dick Lowenstein

    Didn’t Weston students attend Staples HS at one time? When did Weston get its own high school?

    • It opened in 1969 and !971 was the 1st graduating class…in fact the school is named the Trojans because of O.J. Simpson’s heisman season at USC in 1968). I do remember Tina from then.

      • When I was at Staples (class of 78) two (?) students I knew there then told me they lived in Weston. If you are saying Weston’s high school opened much earlier — there could be two reasons for this (that I can think of).

        Westport had ‘Alternatives’ on campus: which was the satellite program (including surrounding towns) for high school age children w/ learning (or behavioral) disabilities.

        The other reason (which I am not sure of) may be that people came there to take specific classes not offered in their hometown school — but required for entrance into a certain university program. This is still done w/ advanced placement classes now. Someone I knew of recently from Fairfield (Ludlowe) who was going into pre-med — took advanced placement chemistry in Danbury or the Litchfield Hills. (I’ve forgotten exactly where — but Northwest of Fairfield).

        I pretty much lived in the art building having loaded my schedule w/ as many art classes as possible — so they may have been there to take art classes as well. (Westport had a larger art program than many schools: a whole building w/ three visual art teachers — not even including the drama dept./Players).

        Someone else would know better than I when ‘Alternatives’ was opened in Staples & about kids taking AP or other classes in neighbouring towns then (when that began): but perhaps Tina did go to Staples for one of the above reasons — since someone here remembered her from Staples.

    • ’68 was the last Weston class to attend 10th grade at Staples. In ’69 the 9th graders opened the new high school and graduated in ’71. Tina’s class. She didn’t go to Staples but the “Weston kids” all hung out in Westport…but they had great parties 😉

  15. As a member of the class of 1966 I remember a Ludy Wessel who was from Weston, possibly a brother?

    • Dick Lowenstein

      There is a Ludy Wessel, born Oct.12, 1946, died August 16, 2009, probably Staples class of 1964. The Westport Library has Staples yearbooks, a good place to start.

      • Re. the name you have given Mr.Lowenstein: ‘Ludy’ is the German nickname/diminutive for Ludwig. (It can be spelled ‘Ludi’ because ‘y’ is more of a loan letter in German & hence less common). Also ‘Tina’ is a common diminutive of various girls names in German — such as Bettina etc. Their surname is German also. Thus perhaps their parents (or grandparents they were possibly named after) were immigrants from Germany or Austria etc. — as not many people born in the States name their son Ludwig.

  16. Now this sounds like the Westport I grew up in! So sorry that she had such a difficult time,glad that people came together over this.

  17. My question is a difficult one: Did Tina resist medical help, a ride to the hospital?

  18. Thank you Dan for posting information on her funeral service.. Your Blog is a wonderful service to all who love Westport 🙂 I now live 2,000 miles away but so enjoy your writings !

  19. Linda Pomerantz Novis

    Ludy Wessel was Tina’s older brother-(Growing up in Weston, we sometimes would see Ludy hitchhiking along Weston Rd.(my mom used to say their family lived in Georgetown.) I’m not sure if he’s still alive..

  20. Please remove if not allowed Dan. Appears there is an Uncle still living in Germany. I have some contacts & could possibly find him if this may be of some help.

    Marga Wessel
    Guest Book
    The Guest Book is expired.
    Restore the Guest Book

    WESSEL A private memorial will be held early next week for Marga Wessel, age 83, widow of Paul Wessel and beloved mother of Ludwig and Christine Wessel. Mrs. Wessel was born and educated in Soligen, Germany; emigrated to the United States; and became a citizen together with her husband in the early 1960s. In 1992, following a successful career of 25 years with Home Equity of Wilton, Mrs. Wessel retired from her position as a senior manager to enjoy a period of travel through North America and Western Europe. Mrs. Wessel is survived by her son, Ludwig, and daughter, Christine, both living in the United States; a brother, Herbert Wetter of Hilden, Germany; and a number of close friends in both the United States and Europe, all of whom remember her gracious and generous spirit of hospitality and her lively and loving zest for life.
    Published in Connecticut Post on Feb. 24, 2006
    Print | View Guest Book |
    – See more at:

    • I believe the obituary you have pasted has an error in that it should be Solingen — not “Soligen”.

      As this is from ten years ago & because of the age of Tina’s mother when she died — this uncle may no longer be alive. I would contact the German consulate in NYC (which serves our area) & also Christ & Holy Trinity Church.

      I thought Tina’s parents must have been German immigrants due to having named their son Ludwig (& the diminutive Tina vs. Chris for Christine. It is the more common nickname in German for girls names ending in -tina). I wish you & others luck in finding her uncle.

    • And then just 3 short years after he mothers death, Tina loses her only sibling, her brother Ludwig(Ludy) Wessel, . A lot to deal with in a short period of time.Ludwig’s Ct Death record listing. Name: Ludwig Wessel
      Gender: Male
      Marital Status: Never Married (Single)
      Birth Date: 12 Oct 1946
      Birth Place: Germany
      Address: 1524 MAIN
      Residence : Stratford, Fairfield, Connecticut
      Death Date: 16 Aug 2009
      Death Place: Bridgeport, Connecticut
      Age: 62
      Father’s Surname: Wessel
      State File #: 17038

  21. Just wanted to make sure the proper folks had it.
    Her mothers resting place below.
    Evergreen Cemetery
    New Haven
    New Haven County
    Connecticut, USA
    Plot: Section 14, Plot: 2, Grave: 3

    RIP Tina.

    • This is very important Lisa — because perhaps their is a plot purchased for the children there (next to their mother). The cemetery will be able to tell this over the phone. (I know because I researched my grandparent’s & uncle’s graves in Ohio just last year). If Ludy (Ludwig) & Tina’s father are buried there also — perhaps there is an empty plot awaiting burial. (Sometimes they are not exactly near each other — as not everyone can afford one large plot all at once).

      Also sometimes a burial can take place in a grave that already contains the coffin of a family member. I think it depends on the cemetery & or State (?). Please contact Christ & Holy Trinity Church w/ this important knowledge. This is so very kind of you. <3

  22. Sadly, I was able to find a January 18, 1966 Bridgeport Post news item entitled: “Missing Man Found Dead in Georgetown.” I could only view the article, so I have retyped it here:

    “GEORGETOWN – State Police found Paul Wessel, 46, of Route 57, dead near his car parked on Kramer Lane, last night at 11:55 o’clock after he had been reported missing by his wife, Marga.

    Westport Medical Examiner Dr. Robert Nespor pronounced the cause of death as an apparent suicide. He said Mr. Wessel had died of gun-shot wounds.

    Weston Resident State Trooper Albert Kruzschak found Mr. Wessel with a shot-gun near his parked car in the heavily wooded section.

    A search had been initiated by troopers from the Ridgefield and Westport barracks and the Georgetown Fire Department when Mrs. Wessel reported her husband missing at 9:30 pm. He had not been heard from since 8:30 a.m. yesterday when he left the house to go on a hunting trip, police said.

    Mr. Wessel was a night worker at Young’s Nursery in Wilton.

    Dr. Bolton ordered the body removed to the Boulton funeral home. “

    • He would have been WWII draft age when he was in Germany 20+ years earlier. Perhaps he had PTSD. (As most did — inc. German civilians). This — that you have reported — could cause PTSD in his surviving family as well. I’m hesitant about people’s family tragedy being posted online though. It’s a razors edge to walk. Those sort of decisions: town history vs. privacy & honour. Something to weigh… Very sad…

  23. The article said she had a cat. Does anyone know anything about this? I never saw her with one and wonder if maybe it was a stray she fed. Just trying to make sure that if this poor woman left an animal behind, it’s addressed.

  24. Stanley K. Ross

    Tina’s family have been friends of my family since the 1950s. We saw them regularly when they lived in Weston and her father owned a local nursery. She traded me her Beach Boys album, “Surfin’ Safari” for the Stones first live album, “Got Live If You Want It”. I still have the album.
    Rolf, her father and Tina’s mother, Marga, were Junckers from East Prussia who lost all their land and wealth in the defeat of Nazi Germany and the redrawing of national boundaries in East/Central Europe at the end of the Second World War.
    The premature death of her father affected the family greatly with neither Tina nor her brother Ludi being able to overcome the loss. Tina became a free spirit, but was never able to find her peace in the world. Various interventions by other family and friends were unsuccessful in getting either of them back on their feet.
    The family history is a tragedy of World War II, a reminder that war, however noble the cause of the winning side, has human consequences far beyond the times we generally allot in historical description.
    Unfortunately, as I now reside in the UK, I will be unable to participate in the service. However, my mother (who has celebrated her 39th birthday some 54 times) will be in the congregation.
    The people and town of Westport have our thanks for all you have done for Tina in the last years of her life, and for your recognition that all lives matter especially those who may not have been as successful as they ought in benefiting from their natural talents.

  25. Tina and I were friends in elementary school in Weston. She was a fun, whimsical child with a great sense of humor. She did not go to Weston High School, however; I think her family moved to Westport sometime after her father’s death, when she was in junior high. She went to Staples, and would have been in the class of ’71, but I don’t know if she stuck it out till graduation. I ran into her eleven years ago at the Y in Westport and had a long conversation with her, in which she told me about some of her life, living and working on ranches out west before coming back to Westport. She seemed happy, despite the way she was living here. I was saddened to hear of her death. I am glad that someone thought to look for her cat, who I’m sure, had brought her great comfort.