Roundup: Easter Baskets, Rising Sisters, Abilis Gala …

It’s an Easter tradition: custom-made baskets, filled to the brim and beautifully decorated, from Savvy + Grace.

Savvy shoppers can click here for the website. Call 203-221-0077. Email

Or go old school: walk in and shop local (146 Main Street).


Women’s History Month ends Friday.

But “Rise Up, Sisters!” — a traveling exhibit from the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame, chronicling a diverse group of women instrumental in the suffrage movement — opens a 3-week run at the Weston History & Culture Center April 16. The exhibit ends May 7. It’s open Sundays and Thursdays, from 1-4 p.m.

The many different stories include the Smith sisters of Glastonbury, who spoke up about injustices against women and helped to spark others to follow in their footsteps, and Alice Paul, who put her life on the line to force the issue on a national level.

For more information, click here.


Abilis — the nonprofit providing services and support to more than 800 individuals with special needs and their families — celebrates its annual Spring for Abilis Gala April 29, at Darien’s Woodway Country Club.

Leslie Smith Clarke of Westport — mother of a young adult who enjoys Abilis services — co-chairs the event.

Billy Blanks Jr. — a longtime Abilis supporter — is the celebrity emcee. There’s music from ETA, dinner, dancing, and live and silent auctions.

It’s the first post-COVID in-person gala. Click here for tickets, and more information.

Bidding opens soon for the Abilis Giving Garden and Art Gallery, with one-of-a-kind artwork created by the program participants, along with silent auction items.

The Giving Garden is also where supporters can purchase items for Abilis’ programs, like diapers, educational games and books for the Birth to Three program.


Former Staples High School guidance department chair Bob Hanf died last week. He was 79 years old.

The Massachusetts native earned a liberal arts degree from Harvard College in 1965, and a master’s in guidance from the Harvard School of Education a year later.

He began his career in education with the Westport Public Schools, and remained there for 34 years until his 2000 retirement. His impact on thousands of students — and his entire department — was profound.

After retiring, Bob and his late wife Kathy moved to Upper Arlington, Ohio. He helped many students in Columbus Schools prepare for college, as a volunteer with the Project Grad program.

The couple met at a conference. They shared their first meal together at (coincidentally) Bob and Kathy’s Diner. They married in 1998 in Rhode Island where Bob had summered with his family most of his life, enjoying sailing, kayaking, and rooting for the Red Sox.

Bob is survived by his sons Rob (Mary) and Mike (Laura) Zelch; grandchildren Zoe, Chloe, Bailey, Zachary, and Michael; sister Marion DeTora (Andy); niece Andrea DeTora Reagan (Brian)l grand-niece Caitlin and grand-nephew Daniel.  

Bob’s life will be celebrated in a private memorial service. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Kobacker House Hospice in Columbus, OH.

Bob Hanf


Longtime Westporter Glenn Gerry, died earlier this month, after a long illness. He was predeceased by his wife of 63 years, Louise (Weezie) in 2011.

The Providence native moved to Greens Farms at 16 with his family. He graduated from Staples High School the next year.

After 2 semesters at Yale University and a 1- year tour of duty in the Navy (where he spent time painting the USS Coral Sea in Chesapeake Bay), he attended the University of Connecticut before moving back to Westport to work as a carpenter to support his growing family.

Glenn never gave up on achieving higher education. He attended the University of Bridgeport at night, graduating with a BS in electrical engineering in 1970.

He worked at the Burndy Corporation and Pitney-Bowes for many years, before becoming a quality  control engineer and traveling throughout the U.S. and Mexico. He branched out to freelance contracting before retiring.

Glenn loved music. He was a tenor with the Greens Farms Church choir. He also filled in at the Unitarian Church, and sang with the Westport Madrigal Singers for many years.

His family says: “Known as a constant teacher of all things, Glenn was the person his grandchildren went to with math and science homework. All his children learned to care for a car at an early age. He taught us how to paint a house, bait a hook, identify constellations and skate on our little pond behind our Morningside Drive house, which Glenn built with family help in 1955.

“Glenn was known as a ‘baby whisperer’ among his family. He always had an aura of peace and safety around him. Somehow he was able to impart that peace to a squalling infant.

“He opened his house over decades to his sister, friends of his children and friends of grandchildren as a safe house while they contemplated their next life move. It was also the place to be for Friday folk music sing-alongs in the ’60s.

“Most of all, Glenn should be remembered for his early strikes at social injustice. While working at Burndy during the ’60s he befriended a man of color, and a recently emigrated German man. They had trouble fitting in. He hosted those men and their families to dinner at our house. InclusionGlenn always insisted on inclusion.”

“Glenn will be missed by all who knew his quiet, yet always accepting, self. His ability to commune without words, just sitting together. His way of “taking the back roads, rather than the highway. And always his profound love for his wife, Louise (Weezie), who died in 2011.

Glenn is survived by his children Michael of Riverside, California, Stephen of Redding Ridge, Judith Platt of Randleman, North Carolina and Evelyn Gerry Eastman of Norway, Maine; siblings George (Cliff) Clifford of Hendersonville, North Carolina, Connie Testani of Shelton, and Linda Clifford of Nokomis, Florida; 7 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and 1 great0great grandchild; a nephew and 3 nieces.

To leave condolences for the family, click here. Services will be announced at a later date.

Glenn Gerry


Laurie Sorensen’s tête à tête daffodils serve as a welcome “Westport … Naturally” reminder that spring is already here.

Yesterday’s weather notwithstanding.

(Photo/Laurie Sorensen)


And finally … happy 78th birthday to Diana Ross.

Years ago, I walked into Atticus Book Store & Café on Main Street. The moment I entered, I sensed something was going on. There was energy and excitement in the place, but I had no idea why.

It took a few minutes to realize that the woman Billboard named “Female Entertainer of the Century” in 1976 was sitting at the counter.

Everyone gave her her space. Just like fellow (but lesser) Supremes Mary, Flo and Cindy knew, you didn’t mess with Miss Diana.

But boy, was it fun watching her eat lunch.

At the 2:05 mark below, Diana Ross’ earring falls off. Watch her catch it like a pro!

(Diana Ross makes everyone smile. You can put a smile on our “06880” face: Please click here to support this blog. Thank you!)

One response to “Roundup: Easter Baskets, Rising Sisters, Abilis Gala …

  1. Barbara Sherburne '67

    I was a very good friend of Judy and Evelyn Gerry. We met when we were in junior high school. Weezie and Glenn definitely had an open-door policy at their home. I mostly remember their home on Ambler Road. At some point before 1988 they raised the roof of the home and built a second floor to accommodate all the people who were going to be living there, which included children and grandchildren. Of course their children had friends who dropped by, like me, and their grandchildren had friends who came by regularly, so it was a very full house. I was a member of the Westport Madrigal Singers for some years, but I never knew Glenn had also been a member. He was a very multi-talented man and as intelligent as anyone could be. He was a voracious reader among all the other things mentioned by Judy in the obituary. Glenn was determined to get his degree from UB, and he took a few credits every semester. It took him years to accomplish this at night. In my mind I vaguely remember the number 18, but I could be wrong. In any case, he stuck to his goal. I don’t know how many people could do that. I was more or less the pianist in the family, and we always sang around the piano on holidays. We did a pretty good rendition of Hallelujah Chorus. Between all of the singers, we covered every part. One of the best memories I have is going caroling for many years. We actually practiced at their home. We had notebooks full of songs. It was an incredible experience. With Glenn’s passing an era has come to an end. I have wonderful memories of Glenn and Weezie and of their family and friends. I miss you both, but thank you so much for everything you gave me over the years.

Leave a Reply