Services will be held this Saturday (January 8) for Horace Lewis. The beloved head custodian at Staples High School — and before that at Coleytown Middle School — died last month of complications from COVID, following a stroke. He was 62 years old.
The family will receive visitors from 10 to 11 a.m. at Kingdom Life Christian Church, 597 Naugatuck Avenue in Milford. The funeral service follows, at 11 a.m. Interment will be at Union Cemetery in Stratford.
Larry Aasen’s family has sent along his official obituary. Here are more details, on one of Westport’s most remarkable residents:
Larry Aasen died on Sunday, January 2, at Norwalk Hospital. He was 99 years old. The cause of death was complications of COVID-19.
Larry and his wife Martha married in 1954. They moved to Westport in 1963. Martha died in October 2020, at 90.
Larry was born in a log house on a farm near Gardner, ND, on December 5, 1922, during a heavy snowstorm. There was no electricity, running water or central heating. His grandparents were immigrants from Norway.
He attended North Dakota State University from 1941 to 1943, then entered the U.S. Army. Larry rose to sergeant in the 13th Airborne Division. After training in North Carolina, he was sent to France during World War II. His job was cryptographer, encoding and decoding secret messages. His division had 20-person gliders. Their mission was to drop behind enemy lines and destroy anything of value.
One year after his 1946 discharge, Larry received a journalism degree from the University of North Dakota. He added a master’s degree in public relations from Boston University in 1949.
Larry moved to New York, where he began his career as a journalist for McGraw-Hill trade publications. He spent 14 years with New York Life Insurance, rising to vice president of public relations, then 20 years with the Better Vision Institute on campaigns urging Americans to get their eyes checked.
He was active in Westport’s civic life. He served 17 years on the Representative Town Meeting (RTM). Other volunteer activities include the Democratic Town Committee, Y’s Men and Rotary Club. He was an active member of the Saugatuck Congregational Church. In 2018, he served as grand marshal of the town’s Memorial Day parade
He wrote 4 books about his beloved North Dakota, including “North Dakota 100 Years Ago,” “Images of North Dakota” and “North Dakota Postcards 1900-1930.” “North Dakotans Never Give Up” was written when he was 97 years old.
Larry is survived by his children, David and Susan; son-in-law David Rutkin, and extended family members in North Dakota and Minnesota.
Because of the pandemic, there will be no funeral at this time. A memorial service will be held in the spring. His family requests that no flowers or gifts be sent to the Aasen residence. Instead, memorial gifts may be sent to Saugatuck Congregational Church (click here, or send to 245 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880).
This week’s weather is great for skating, at one of Westport’s 2 rinks.
That’s right. In addition to the Westport PAL Rink at Longshore, there’s another not far from downtown.
However, this one is private.
Josh Fass passed his love of hockey to his kids. Carter — a junior at Staples High School — plays on the boys varsity team. Lexie is a freshman; she skates for the Staples/Stamford co-op girls team. (The oldest is studying molecular and cellular biology in California.)
Creating a rink on their front lawn was a passion project last year, and a saving grace during the long COVID winter. The virus is still here — but thankfully, the rink is back.
A Westporter writes:
My husband and I have been doing a daily walk around our neighborhood. We see things that — well, shouldn’t be there.
So the other day we took a couple of bags with us. In just 20 minutes around the corner and back, we filled them (see photo below). We picked up something almost every 10 yards.
So here’s my “food (garbage) for thought”: Why does this happen in one of the wealthiest and most highly educated places in the country — in front of million dollar homes? I’m sure we wouldn’t see this on their living room floors.
In days to come, we’ll bring bigger bags. And maybe a truck, for the barbecue grill someone threw away.
On Monday, “06880” reported on the cache of unopened tin cans Wendy Crowther found in a decaying Baron’s South tree.
Several readers speculated they might have been left there by a homeless person.
Wendy returned, and examined the labels. The oldest “Best By” date was February 28, 2017. Others were dated as late as 2022. A plastic jar of unopened peanut butter that rolled downhill from the rest had a “Best By” date of 2023.
Such dates dates typically range from 1 to 3 years, Wendy says. It’s hard to know who stashed the cans, and when. But, she adds, “No matter who, it’s a reminder that someone’s next meal may depend on the secrecy and integrity of a tree cavity, even here in Westport.”
The Westport Book Shop starts the new year off with a different kind of Artist of the Month. Literary and visual artist Diane Meyer Lowman — our town’s poet laureate — offers 9 original haiku. Superimposed on a photo taken by Diane in Westport or close by, they’ll be exhibited in the store through January 31.
Lowman is a poet, author and essayist (click here to read). Her memoir Nothing But Blue was published in 2018. Shortly thereafter, she received her M.A. in Shakespeare Studies from the University of Birmingham.
Sarah Bloom Raskin is the leading candidate for vice chair of supervision at the Federal Reserve.
According to Axios, “By settling on Raskin, a former deputy Treasury secretary, for the powerful bank regulator position, [President] Biden is giving progressive senators like Elizabeth Warren a policy and personnel win on a position about which they care deeply.”
Raskin — a law professor at Duke University — served as a Federal Reserve governor before joining the Treasury Department under President Obama. She is married to Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland.
Why is this “06880”-worthy? She is the daughter of longtime Westporter Arlene Bloom and her late husband, Herb. (Hat tips: Mary Condon and Sheila Weiss)
Gulls are a constant summer presence at Compo Beach.
Unlike other birds, they don’t fly south for the winter. They’re still here, enjoying — like human non-snowbirds — the solitude of the shore.
Amy Schneider snapped this “Westprot … Naturally” photo yesterday:
And finally … in honor of Amy Schneider’s photo (above), we present below: