Lee Madden Chernes, 53, of Seymour, formerly of Fairfield, wife of Jeffrey S. Chernes, died Oct. 17, 2009.

Born in Boston, Mass., the daughter of the late Richard and Jeanne Madden, she was a life-long Fairfield resident prior to moving to Seymour six years ago.

Chernes was a graduate of Roger Ludlowe High School and an avid Boston Red Sox fan. She will be remembered as a wife, mother, grandmother and aunt who delighted in time spent with her family and friends.

Survivors, in addition to her husband Jeffrey, include three children, Jonathan Chernes of Pennsylvania, Casey Chernes of Black Rock and Joshua Chernes of Bridgeport; a granddaughter, Skyler Chernes; a brother, Gregory Madden of Florida; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by a brother, Richard Madden.

The family greeted friends Thursday in the Spear-Miller Funeral Home, 39 South Benson Road, Fairfield. Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to the Chernes family through the funeral director. For information to offer an online condolence, visit www.Spear


Richard E. Eldh Sr. of Westport died Oct. 20, 2009.

Better known to all as Dick, he will be remembered by family and friends for his unending devotion to and volunteerism for the town of Westport during his 35 years living there with his wife, Cheryl, and their four children.

Eldh was known for his disarming personality and charm, his thoughtful comments and opinions, his great listening skills and his unwavering commitment to get the job done and get it done right.

His indelible mark is evident all over town, as a charter member, former president and long-time member of the Charitable Giving Committee of the Sunrise Rotary; a member of the Town of Westport Public Site and Building Commission; and a member of the Westport Y's Men, where he actively participated in the Hoot Owls and Investment Club, to name a few.

Eldh was a valuable contributor of ideas and energy during the renovations of the Westport Library and Police Headquarters, as well as many other facilities throughout the town. He was extremely proud of his role as a member of the Westport School Building Committee, for which he was chairman of the Coleytown Middle School Renovation Sub-Committee.

Eldh spent his formative years in Chicago and was a graduate of Carleton College in Northfield, Minn. He was owner and president of North American Plastec. Prior to operating this business, Eldh had a successful sales and marketing career in the packaging industry with American Can Co., which spanned 30 years, living in Wisconsin, Missouri, New York and Connecticut.

Sailing was one of the many personal endeavors he enjoyed immensely. He and his wife, Cheryl, were active members of the Saugatuck Harbor Yacht Club from 1982 to the present, and served as treasurer as well as chair on many club committees. He loved to ski in Vermont, attend cultural events, including the New York Metropolitan Opera, Longwharf Theater and Westport Playhouse, and always loved a nice bottle of red wine.

In additon to his wife, Cheryl of Westport; Eldh is survived by a daughter, Susan and Bruce Orr of Darien; daughter, Terry Eldh of Bethel; son, John and Katie Eldh of London, England; son, Rich and Joyce Eldh of Westport; and 10 grandchildren, Kaki, Bruce, Andrew and Charlie Orr, Caroline, Emily and Hannah Eldh, and Mckenna, Cydney and Richie Eldh. His sister, Barbara Horsley, and a brother- and sister-in-law, Sid and Karen McKenna, reside in Florida.

Friends are invited to attend a memorial mass at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24, at St. Luke Church in Westport. Interment will be private.

Memorial donations may be made in Eldh's name to Sunrise Rotary, 21st Century Foundation, P.O. Box 43 Westport, CT 06881; or to the Norwalk Hospital Foundation, c/o the Whittingham Cancer Center Research Fund, 34 Maple Ave., Norwalk, CT 06851.

The Shaughnessey Banks Funeral Home, 50 Reef Road, Fairfield, has been entrusted with the funeral arrangements. To send an online condolence, visit www.shaughnessey


Anna Nazarijchuk Kovacs, 91, of Westport, wife of the late Andrew Kovacs Sr., died Oct. 20, 2009.

Born and raised in Flint, Mich., Kovacs was a resident of Fairfield and Westport for most of her life. She had worked for the General Electric Co. in Bridgeport during World War II.

An avid gardener, she enjoyed travel and especially cherished the times she spent with her grandchildren.

She is survived by her sons, Andrew Kovacs Jr. and his wife, Brenda, of North Haven, and Stephen Kovacs of Darien; her daughters, Carol Flathers and her husband, Richard, of Ansonia, and Mary Kovacs of Westport; one brother, Vincent Obloj; eight grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews.

In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by her sisters, Mary and Helen, and three brothers John, Walter and Edward.

Calling hours will take place today, Oct. 23, from 5 to 8 p.m., in the Lesko & Polke Funeral Home, 1209 Post Road, Fairfield, with a prayer service at 7 p.m. All others services will be private.

Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of one's choice in her memory. To sign an online register, visit


Mary Alice Morley, 61, a life-long Fairfield resident, died suddenly on Oct. 19, 2009, while vacationing on Nantucket. Born in Bridgeport to the late James and Mary Esther Morley, she attended Roger Ludlowe High School, class of 1966, and the University of Bridgeport, where she attained a bachelors degree in sociology.

Morley was a dedicated employee of the Town of Fairfield since 1974. She was most recently the office manager of the finance and accounting department for the town. Prior to this position, she was the assistant town clerk for the Town of Fairfield.

A lover of life, she had a heart of gold and a special kind of caring for all those who knew her and share this loss. She lived a full, independent life despite what most would consider insurmountable challenges. She thoroughly enjoyed her annual trips to the New York Mets spring training games and Nantucket.

She was also an avid fan of bike racing, especially the Tour de France.

Morley devoted herself to her family and cared for her mother and her aunt toward the end of their lives. She was also a second mother to six nieces and nephews.

She is survived by a brother, James E. Morley of Fairfield; two sisters, Jane C. Heady and her husband, Alan, of Dunnellon, Fla., and Katherine Nassef and her husband, James, of Fairfield; six nieces and nephews, Donna Kessler, Karen Mancuso, A.J. Heady, Mary Katherine Nassef, Amy Nassef and Jim Nassef.

In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her aunt, Alice E. Smith.

Friends are invited to attend the funeral on Saturday, Oct. 24, leaving the Shaughnessey-Banks Funeral Home, 50 Reef Road, Fairfield, at 9:30 a.m. for a Mass of Christian burial at 10 a.m. at St. Thomas Aquinas Church. Interment will follow in St. Thomas Cemetery.

Friends may greet her family today, Oct. 23, from 4 to 8 p.m., at the funeral home.

Donations may be made in her memory to the Polio Survivor's Fund, c/o Dr. Richard Bruno, Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, 350 Engle St., Englewood, NJ 07631.

To send an online condolence, visit www.shaughnesseybanks


Rita Louise Passalacqua, 71, of Southport died Oct. 16, 2009, at St. Vincent's Medical Center.

Born in England, daughter of the late Louis and Rita Bianchi, she had been a resident of Southport for the past two and a half years. Prior to moving to Southport, she resided in Smithtown, N.Y., for many years.

Passalacqua graduated in the 1950s from Farmingdale Technical University with a degree in Horticulture. Formerly an entertainer, she was involved in many areas of the theater in New York. She was also a former fund-raiser, supporting the training of many Guide Dogs for the Blind, and a member of the American Italian Greyhound Association.

Survivors include her daughter, Dr. Jo-Anne Passalacqua and her husband, Lee Phan, of Weston; her sister, Carol Hubbard of Cheney, Wash.; and nieces, Heather Wells of Carlsbad, Calif., and Bonnie Rada of Denver, Colo.

Services and interment will be private. Memorial contributions in memory of Passalacqua may be made to St. Vincent's Foundation-Cancer Center, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport, CT 06606. Condolences to the family may be sent to


June E. Reilly, 81, wife of John Reilly, died Oct. 21, 2009, in St. Vincent's Medical Center.

Born in the Bronx, N.Y., she was the daughter of the late Frank and Anna Romano Starace.

In addition to her husband of 58 years, she is survived by her children, John Reilly and his wife, Allyson Pearl, of Fairfield, Maryann Herold and her husband, Stephen, of Seattle, Wash.; and one brother, Robert Starace of Bronx, N.Y.

Calling hours will take place on Saturday, Oct. 24, from 4 to 7 p.m., with a prayer service at 6:30 in the Lesko & Polke Funeral Home, 1209 Post Road, Fairfield.

Memorial contributions may be directed to Connecticut Humane's Society, 455 Post Road E., Westport, CT 06880.

To sign an online register, visit www.Lesko


Gertrude E. Rodrigue, 96, of West Hartford, died Oct. 19, 2009, at the St. Mary's Home.

Born in New Rochelle, N.Y., the daughter of the late Vincent William Rodrigue and Gertrude Gorman Rodrigue, she had been a Hartford resident for more than 50 years.

Rodrigue graduated from The Academy of Our Lady of Mercy, Lauralton Hall in Milford. She was retired from Connecticut General Life Insurance Co. (now CIGNA) and from Hartford College for Women. Her passions were painting, fine music and ballroom dancing.

Survivors include her sister, Ruth Marie Rodrigue; three nieces, Lauren Moore and her husband, Burns, Michele Walot and her husband, Irwin, and Robin Rodrigue; two nephews, Robert P. Rodrigue and his wife, Mary Ann, and Joseph Rodrigue; four grand-nephews and one grand-niece and many friends.

She was predeceased by her sister, Charlotte Rodrigue, and brothers, Vincent and Kenneth Rodrigue.

Calling hours were held Thursday morning in the Spear-Miller Funeral Home, 39 South Benson Road, Fairfield.

A Mass of Christian burial took place Oct. 22 at St. Ann's Church, Bridgeport. Interment followed in St. Michael Cemetery, Stratford.

If desired, memorial contributions may be made to the Daughters of the Holy Spirit, 66 Nash Lane, Bridgeport, CT 06605.

To offer an online condolence, visit www.Spear