Tag Archives: John Washburn

Roundup: COVID Ornaments, Carissa Schumacher, Holiday Market


Marley Brown is an enthusiastic, creative junior at Staples High School. Her most recent project: designing a holiday tree ornament to commemorate the development and distribution of COVID vaccines. It can hang for years to come, a reminder of the trials and triumphs of the global pandemic.

She and her family spend nights and weekends sticking labels on vials, stuffing plastic baubles, and tying ribbon to create the cute decorations. They are available with Pfizer, Moderna or generic labels.

Marley has already sold hundreds of ornaments all across North America, via Etsy, Facebook and Amazon.

She’s earning money. But she’s paying it forward. Marley donates some of her profits to the Ehlers Danlos Society. She and her mother suffer from the genetic connective tissue disease, which makes her joints prone to injuries and dislocations.

Click here to purchase ornaments — and help find a treatment for EDS.

One of Marley Brown’s COVID vaccine ornaments.


I stopped reading the New York Times story about a California spiritual adviser who receives messages from the dead after the 3rd paragraph (when I learned she charges $1,111 an hour — she “likes the synchronicity”).

But several “06880” readers read on. They learned — deep in the story — that Carissa Schumacher — the high-priced medium to stars like Jennifer Aniston, Uma Thurman and Andie MacDowell — was raised in Westport.

She was a member of Staples High School’s Class of 2000 (and earned All-FCIAC status as a cheerleader). She went on to Brown University, where she majored in cognitive neuroscience.

After learning of our high school (and college) connection, I re-read the article. It’s actually pretty interesting. Click here to see.

Caarissa Schumacher meditates in the Elfin Forest. (Photo/Michelle Groskopf for the New York Times)


The Westport Farmers’ Market is all about shopping local. So it’s natural for them to hold a special Holiday Artist Market this Saturday (December 4, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Gilbertie’s Herbs & Garden Center.

“Local artisans don’t experience supply chain issues the way big box stores do,” notes Lori Cochran-Dougall, executive director of the Farmers’ Market. “If there was ever a year to spend, support and give local, this is it.”

The Artist Market takes place in 3 open-air greenhouses, and features a wide array of one-of-a-kind handcrafted gift ideas. Food trucks will be on hand too.


Longtime Westporter John Washburn died peacefully at his home recently. He was 91.

He was born in Pittsburgh to Dr. Stephen and Lois Fellows Washburn, both educators. He received his BS in industrial management from Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon) in 1952.

One week after graduation he married his high school sweetheart, Olga Dukewich. They moved to Cleveland, where John started his career with Standard Oil of Ohio.

They brought their young family to Westport in 1968, when John joined Xerox Education Group in Stamford as a vice president. Over the course of his career John held senior executive positions with Xerox, Scovill, Mott and GenRad.

In retirement, John served on the board of directors of Physicians Health Services, and as a consultant to the Eastern Companies. He spent many hours dedicated to his beloved Westport community, including as treasurer of both Greens Farms Church and the Westport Historical Society, as a member of the Westport Schools Building Planning Committee and the Westport Conservation Commission, and as a volunteer with the Y’s Men, Westport Library, and at the polls on election days.

John’s greatest joy and accomplishment was his family. He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather who enjoyed life. John loved to sail and kayak in the waters around Westport. He played tennis and golf, swam, and took daily walks in his neighborhood.

He especially loved traveling with Olga to Europe and Asia, and visiting their children and grandchildren. For years John and Olga hosted a spring gathering for their children and grandchildren in Sanibel, Florida.

John is survived by his wife of 69 years, Olga; their children Pamela Washburn (David Boyers) of Los Altos, California, Janice Trentacosti (Charlie) of Austin, Texas; John S. Washburn of Carmel, Indiana, and grandchildren Michelle, Michael, Jordan, JB, Julia, Anabelle and Sophia.  He is also survived by his sister Carolyn Shields of Staunton, Virginia, brother Alan of Monterey, California, and many nieces and nephews.

Services were held at Greens Farms Church. Donations in John’s memory can be made to Westport EMS.

John Washburn


This handsome guy posted near Longshore for today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature.

He almost blended in with the scenery. That’s the idea, right>

(Photo/Elisabeth Levey)


And finally … today in 1982, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” was released worldwide.

Yes, the best-selling record album in history — nearly twice the sales of AC/DC’s 2nd-place “Back in Black” — is now 39 years old.