Tag Archives: Sally Deegan Kellogg

Remembering Sally Deegan

Sally Deegan — for many years the secretary to the principal of Staples High School, and part of a long-time, well known Westport family — died earlier this month. She was 93. Her family writes:

Our mother, Sally J. Deegan, passed away after a valiant battle with old age.

She was born May 28, 1926 in Ridgefield, to Marion Wakeman and Sereno Thorp Jacob. Her dad was a pioneer aviator who flew in The Lafayette Escadrille during World War I.

As a child, Sally battled numerous life-threatening illnesses and missed a lot of school. However, her determination to succeed at everything she did, saw her through. She graduated from Ridgefield High School as class valedictorian.

A child of the Great Depression, after high school she went right to New York City, and was hired as secretary to the president of Faberge Perfumes. Fable has it she was taking dictation while watching a plane crash into the Empire State Building.

In 1946 she married our dad, Donald B. Kellogg. They lived at Compo Beach. Don passed away several years after their 4th child was born, leaving Mom a young widow with 4 kids under the age of 13. She drew on her warrior spirit, doing what she had to to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table.

Not long after she met the love of her life, William F. Deegan. They married in 1962. He had the courage to take on 4 kids, and survived our teenage years. Bill was a crack golfer so Mom, drawing again upon her tenacious spirit, learned how to play.

Sally Deegan

After summers spent on Fairfield Beach, they pursued their dream of having a home in Vermont. They joined the Woodstock Country Club, where Mom won the club championship and chaired the women’s golf committee.

Before moving to Vermont permanently, Mom was secretary to several principals at Staples High School in Westport. No student wanted to be confronted by her.

She also formed the union for public school staff that provided health insurance benefits. She was brilliant at reading fine print, and learning the ins and outs of the insurance industry, which served her for the rest of her life.

Bill and Mom enjoyed many years in Woodstock. They played lots of golf, and made many friends. Bill passed away in 1997.

Before moving to Naples, Florida in 2001, Mom worked at The Bank of Woodstock, and was a part-time realtor.

Mom loved her hard-earned retirement years in Naples. She enjoyed lots golf, tennis, bridge, and many new friends. She played golf just before her 90th birthday, and had a wicked short game. However, old age crept up. Her final years were spent at Aston Gardens Senior Living, where she made even more friends.

Our mom was a Valkyrie. She had gumption and grit. She was smarter than most, and her intuition never failed her. Saint Peter better have his office in order, because she will see to it that his filing system is in order, and his desk clean.

She is survived by her brother, Merritt W. B. Jacob of Hendersonville, North Carolina; children Sally Kellogg (Bruce Tansey) of Naples, Florida, William Bradley Kellogg of Fairfield, Hope Kellogg Kokas (Dan) of Holderness, New Hampshire, and Donald B. Kellogg, Jr. (Anthony Arguelles) of Providence, Rhode Island, and step-daughter Sharon Deegan.

She will be missed as well by her 5 grandchildren  and 7 great-grandsons. She was Aunt Sally to the Jacob girls, residing in Connecticut and Newport, and their brother. Finally, she will be missed by her beloved cat Casper.

We will be forever grateful to Jessica Anderson for her dedication to Mom’s comfort and care for the past 6 months; the folks at AVOW Hospice, and all the staff at The Inn at Aston Gardens.

Internment will take place in Westport. In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to The Humane Society of Naples or The First Tee Naples/Collier.

Old Mill Restaurant Battles: The Back Story

Friday’s “06880” post on the benefits and drawbacks of a restaurant in the residential Old Mill neighborhood noted that 4 years ago, area residents opposed Positano’s owners plan to add 4 tables of outdoor dining at the site.

Several commenters pointed out that before Positano, Cafe de la Plage enjoyed a long and storied run as a beachside dining spot. Sally Kellogg Deegan remembered a restaurant called Leo Williams in the 1940s.

She’s exactly right. But there’s a lot more to the tale than that. And it involves the same issue that Positano faced decades later: neighbors.

The Bridgeport Post of August 21, 1954 ran this headline: “‘Fed Up With Town,’ Says Restaurateur Leo Williams in Quitting Westport.”

The story begins:

Leo Williams’ restaurant, a landmark at Old Mill Beach since 1945, will change owners on or about October 1 as the result of a zoning feud between the proprietor and the town.

Ired by what he termed the ‘petty complaints of jealous neighbors,’ Williams and his partner, Fred Wittenberger, moved to Essex, where they purchased a colonial mansion.

In 1945, Williams had taken over the Old Mill restaurant. Officials granted permission to build a screened-in porch, on land that partly encroached on town property.

Leo Williams' Old Mill Restaurant, in 1954. The screened-in porch can be seen on the right. (Photo/Bridgeport Post)

Leo Williams’ Old Mill Restaurant, in 1954. The screened-in porch can be seen on the right. (Photo/Bridgeport Post)

In 1954, he added a wooden fence in front of his adjacent Hillspoint Road home. Neighbors complained it was on Old Mill Beach property. Williams said the land was his.

After a survey, Westport’s selectmen ordered the fence removed. Williams refused. The case went to the Court of Common Pleas.

Leo Williams' Hillspoint Road home, with its fence.

Leo Williams’ Hillspoint Road home, with its fence. (Photo/Bridgeport Post)

Williams then placed large boulders in front of his fence. He said he needed protection against tidal storms. The selectmen had the rocks removed, and billed Williams.

After Williams announced he was moving to Essex, neighbors told him to remove the porch. They said it belonged to him, not the restaurant. Williams countered that without the porch, no one would sublet the restaurant.

Comparing himself to Vivien Kellems — a longtime Westporter who left for Stonington following zoning battles over her cable grip manufacturing company — Williams said, “I’m getting out of Westport and the sooner the better. If the porch must be removed, I’ll take it with me to Essex. I’m fed up with the town and my nosy neighbors.”