Obituary: Virginia B. Rand, 99, owned Entre Nous boutique in Darien

Virginia B. Rand of Essex, a former Darien resident and business owner, died Wednesday, Feb. 1. She was 99.

She was born Nov. 29, 1912, in New York City to Edward and Elizabeth Schoder Barrett.

Mrs. Rand, raised her family in Darien. She was active for many years in the Children’s Aid Society of Connecticut and was a long-term member of the Darien Garden Club. Mrs. Rand was one of the original owners of Entre Nous, a gift and needlepoint boutique in Darien. In 1995, she and her husband moved to Essex Meadows in Essex, where they spent the rest of their lives. One of her greatest joys in her later life was the time she was able to devote to her grandchildren, her family said.

Mrs. Rand was predeceased by her husband, Richard Rand. She is survived by three children, her son, Richard Rand Jr. and his wife Revonda Barger of North Carolina; daughter, Lee Simonds Brown and her husband Shepard Brown of Massachusetts and son, Robert Rand of Massachusetts; eight grandchildren, Richard Rand III, Whitney Franz, Christina Fish, Courtney James, Peter Simonds, Charlie Simonds, Ginny Ramos, Chris Simonds; 33 great-grandchildren, a sister, Dorothy Fuller and a brother, Mike Barrett.

A memorial service was held on Saturday, Feb. 4, at the First Congregational Church in Old Lyme.

Memorial donations may be made to Essex Meadows Scholarship Fund, 30 Bokum Road, Essex CT 06426.

Obituary: Ballard Hill Cantrell, 91, Rowayton resident was sailor, worked for SNET

Ballard Hill Cantrell of Pine Point, Rowayton, died on Monday, Jan. 30, at Norwalk Hospital after a brief illness. A sailor and woodworker, Mr. Cantrell, 91, grew up in Darien and lived in Rowayton for the past 52 years.

Mr. Cantrell was born in New York City on April 17, 1920, the only child of the late Ruth Ballard and Florent Cantrell. He was raised in Darien and attended local schools. At 14, Mr. Cantrell began working at Hickory Bluff in Rowayton, which began his life-long association there and his love of sailing.

Mr. Cantrell graduated from Darien High School in 1938 and soon began a 39-year career with the Southern New England Telephone Company. With advent of World War II, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he served in the Communications Division, and worked tracking German U-boats in both Long Island Sound and New York Harbor. Mr. Cantrell was then transferred to the West Coast, where he was stationed at Camp McQuaid in Watsonville, Calif.

In 1949, Mr. Cantrell married Grace Ruddy of Stamford. She predeceased him in 1995.

Mr. Cantrell was an avid sailor, who enjoyed both long and short trips with family, friends and sometimes alone. He drew great strength from the sea. He was also a self-taught wood worker and produced many beautiful, intricate and creative pieces, his family said. His hobbies also included fishing and a love of dogs. A kind and gentle man, Ballard was always willing to help others.

Mr. Cantrell is survived by his two sons, Michael Cantrell and his wife Kay Pennington Cantrell of Madison, and Peter Cantrell of Rowayton; two grandchildren, Kimberly Cantrell and Christopher Cantrell of Madison.

There are no calling hours. A celebration of his life was held on Sunday, Feb. 5, at the Rowayton Yacht Club.

Memorial donations may be sent to Save the Sound, CT Fund for the Environment, 142 Temple Street, 3rd Floor, New Haven, CT 06510.

The Edward Lawrence Funeral Home in Darien is in charge of the arrangements.

Obituary: William J. Harford, 89, WWII fighter pilot, former Darien resident

William J. Harford of Naples, Fla, a former long time Darien resident and World War II fighter pilot, died Monday, Jan. 30, at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York. He was 89.

Born on June 4, 1922, in Jersey City, N.J., he was the son of the late Thomas and Jane Henderson Harford.

Mr. Harford attended Notre Dame University from 1940-42 and in 1947 graduated from Harvard University, were he played baseball and basketball. He served with the U.S. Marine Corps from 1942-46 as a fighter pilot during World War II and obtained the rank of captain.

Mr. Harford was owner of Harford Corporation, which was in Darien for 50 years. He also worked for New York Life Insurance Co. from 1951 to 1961 and Prudential Group Ins. Dept. as manager of the New Orleans Group Office from 1949 to 1951. He was also director of Bankers Security Life Insurance Society from 1955 to 1965 and Dairylea Cooperative, Inc. from 1970 to 1985.

He was a member of the Harvard Club of New York City; Woodway Country Club in Darien and Club Pelican Bay in Naples. He also enjoyed playing golf.

Mr. Harford is survived by his three children, William J. Harford of Chicago, Jean H. Cortes of New Canaan, and Robert M. Harford of Arlington, Va.; six grandchildren, William Harford III, Benjamin Cortes, Kathleen Harford, Robert Cortes, Mary Jean Harford and Cristina Cortes; a brother, James Harford of Princeton, N.J.; and a sister, Mary Jane Ferro of New Jersey.

He was predeceased by his wife, Jean M. Harford in 2001.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Thomas More Church, 374 Middlesex Road, Darien on Monday, Feb. 6, at 10:30. Burial will follow with full military honors at Lakeview Cemetery in New Canaan.

Memorial donations may be made to Founders Fund, The Club Pelican Bay, 707 Gulf Park Drive, Naples, FL 34108.

Obituary: Barbara S. Saverine, 57, Darien native, nurse

Barbara S. Saverine of Southport, a nurse who grew up in Darien, died of cancer on Friday morning, Jan. 27, surrounded by her family. Mrs. Saverine, 57, was the wife of Peter C. Saverine.

Born May 5, 1954, she was raised in Darien by her mother Barbara H. Smolewski and her late father Anthony Smolewski.

Mrs. Saverine was a 1972 graduate of Darien High School. She graduated from Mt. Ida College in Wellesley, Mass., followed by the J.M. Wright Technical School in Stamford, where she became a licensed practical nurse. Having practiced as an LPN at a variety of Fairfield County medical offices, she was most recently working in a Norwalk dermatology group.

Mrs. Saverine had “a cherished group of family and friends to whom she devoted her life by creating special memories with her love, laughter, encouragement, stylish flair and passion for life by the beach,” her family said.

She is survived by her husband of 33 years, Peter C. Saverine, “who was her soul mate and close friend since the fourth grade. Together over the years, they made their home in Darien, Wilton and Fairfield, where they shared great pride in their four children.” She is survived by her children, Lauren Saverine Stisser (and husband Timothy), Justin Saverine (and wife Mackenzie), Megan and Jeffrey Saverine; and a brother, Stephen A. Smolewski of Stamford.

The family held a seaside celebration of Barbara’s life at their home over the weekend, filled with shells, mermaids, starfish and hydrangea. A private beach gathering at Mrs. Saverine’s favorite place will be held this summer at the Brant Point Lighthouse on Nantucket.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Edward Lawrence Funeral Home in Darien.

Memorial donations may be made to American Cancer Society, P.O. 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123 ( or to Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens, 151 Brookdale Road, Stamford, CT 06903 ( or for floral plantings in her memory.

Obituary: Martin Spohn, 86, former Darien resident, Broadway stage manager

Martin Spohn, a former Darien resident and Broadway stage manager, died Friday, Jan. 27, at Norwalk Hospital. He was 86.

Mr. Spohn was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1925, and immigrated to the U.S. in 1936. He graduated from Mt. Herman Prep before enlisting in the U.S. Army, serving in the 101st Airborne Division. Mr. Spohn fought in World War II s a paratrooper in the European Theater, including the battles of Normandy and Bastogne.

After the war, Mr. Spohn attended the New School for the Arts in New York City, graduating with a bachelor of arts degree. He stage managed several shows on Broadway and tried his hand at acting in Hollywood. For most of his professional life, Mr. Spohn represented major handbag manufacturers to department stores.

Mr. Spohn is survived by his daughters, Melissa Spohn-Wenman of Wilton and Christina Bradford of Thousand Oaks, Calif.; and six grandchildren.

He was predeceased by his wife, Diane Martin Spohn.

A funeral service was held at the Noroton Presbyterian Chapel on Tuesday, Jan, 31. Burial followed with full military honors at Willowbrook Cemetery in Westport.

Obituary: Edward J. Filanowski, 87, World War II veteran, father of Darien resident

Edward J. Filanowski of Milford, father of a Darien resident, died at his home on Sunday, Jan. 22. He was 87.

Born on July 29, 1924, on the family farm in Milford, he was the son of the late Marko and Victoria Filanowski. Mr. Filanowski was the husband of the late Elizabeth Stowe Filanowski.

He was a proud World War II veteran who served with the U.S. Army in the China, Burma, India theater. He worked for Remington Rand for more than 30 years as a truck driver, warehouse manager, and carpenter. Mr. Filanowski was a member and past commander for the American Legion Post 34 in Milford. He served on the World War II monument committee, and was active in many other community activities.

Mr. Filanowski will be remembered for his fun, loving spirit, for the great picnics in his backyard, and for engaging in conversation with anyone he would meet, his family said. He loved cooking, fishing, planting flowers, UConn Basketball (especially the girls), playing cards, helping neighbors, and time spent with family and friends.

Mr. Filanowski is survived by his four children, Lori A. Maki of Troy, N.Y., Mark L. Filanowski of Darien, Karen M. Cogswell of Cape Coral, Fla., and Lynn B. Domangue of Schertz, Texas; a brother, Mark Filanowski; a sister, Frances Rindos; eight grandchildren, seven great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

A funeral service was held Wednesday, Jan. 25, at Cody-White Funeral Home in Milford. Burial followed at King’s Highway Cemetery in Milford.

Memorial donations may be made to Connecticut Hospice Inc., 2 Trap Falls, Suite 408, Shelton, CT 06484.

Obituary: June Alexander Van Sciver, 88, Opened the Bait Shop 50 years ago

obt-Van Sciver 01-26June Alexander Van Sciver, a Darien native who opened the Bait Shop with her husband in town, died Friday, Jan. 6, surrounded by her family in Pawling, N.Y. She was 88 years old.

Born in her West Avenue home in Darien on June 16, 1923, she was the daughter of Walter Edmond and Helga Nilsson Alexander. She was the youngest of three children. Her mother, father, brother Walter Nilsson and sister Muriel Eleanor all predeceased her.

As a child, Mrs. Van Sciver attended Royal School, and spent many happy days playing at Tilly’s Pond, helping in the garden and delivering her mother’s pies to the neighbors. Darien was a smaller town back then, and Mrs. Van Sciver grew up loving her small town friends and small town life.

After graduating from Darien High School in 1942, she became a secretary at Pitney Bowes, and World War II began. As a way to contribute, she warmed the hearts of many young enlisted men overseas with her encouraging letters, and kept all of their return letters close to her heart in the hopes that they would return safely, her family said.

After the war, Mrs. Van Sciver met the love of her life, Herbert Benjamin Van Sciver. They were married on Sept. 27, 1947, in a ceremony at St. Luke’s Church in Darien, as her mother and father had done forty 40 earlier in 1907. This year the Van Scivers would have been married for 65 years.

June continued to work as a secretary until she had her first child, Nancy, in 1951. Her youngest daughter, Diane was to follow in 1954. By then, June had come to be known as a beautiful, fun loving, hard working wife and mother, her family said, driving her husband to work in the mornings, getting the kids off the school bus, taking the girls to Pear Tree Pt. Beach in the summer months, working part time at Grade Teacher and helping to organize the fabulous rummage sales at St. Luke’s Church. “She had many fond memories of the good times there with her friends,” her family said. “The summer vacations spent with our friends on the Cape will forever be etched in our memories as simply perfect.”

In 1961, the Van Scivers opened the Bait Shop Inc. on the Post Road in Darien. After 10 years and a major fire, the Bait Shop relocated to its present location in Rowayton on the Five Mile River. Mr. and Mrs. Van Sciver were known for their Annual Mako Fishing Tournament parties on the water, where everyone, young and not so young enjoyed the fishing, the fantastic food, the prizes and the fun that was always anticipated, their family said.

Mrs. Van Sciver worked as the Bait Shop’s bookkeeper for more than 40 years. Her retirement years were filled with birthday party lunches with her girlfriends and holiday celebrations with her close-knit family in Darien, Sharon, and Pawling.

“Most of all, June was loved by all who knew her,” her family said. “She was a bright star who cared for all the people she knew; she never forgot a birthday; was a terrible liar; loved to feed the crows; made an amazing apple pie, and very rarely put herself first. She loved to bet on gray horses at Saratoga, and watch ‘America’s Most Wanted’ and ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ She loved ‘dressing to the nines’ and always looking her best. She loved her husband and children unconditionally. She was innocent and naive and wise, and the voice of reason if you asked. She was our Rock of Gibraltar! We will all miss her so.”

Mrs. Van Sciver is survived by husband, Bert Van Sciver; her daughters, Diane Van Sciver and Nancie Van Sciver Evoniuk; and son in law, Tom Evoniuk.

Memorial donations may be made to PAWS Pet Animal Welfare Society, Norwalk, CT (

Obituary: John Bernard ‘JB’ Sipple, 56, executive chef at Country Club of Darien

John Bernard “JB” Sipple of Darien, executive chef at the Country Club of Darien, died Tuesday, Jan. 17. He was 56.

Born John Bernard Breuer in Carlisle, Pa., on Feb. 15, 1955, he grew up in Camden, N.J.

A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Mr. Sipple had been executive chef at Darien Country Club for six years. Before that he was club executive chef at Amelia Island Plantation in Florida. A member of the American Culinary Federation, Mr. Sipple was winner of Gold and Silver medals in Ice sculpture from the Ben E. Keith Food Show in Lubbock, Texas. He graduated as valedictorian with honors from the Greenbrier in White Sulpher Springs, W.Va.

His wife of 20 years, Charla Sipple, died on Jan. 2, 2011.

He is survived by his two children, Brittany Sipple and Spencer Sipple; two sisters, Barbara Dever and her husband Jack and Patricia Esola; a brother, James Sipple; and seven nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, Jan. 29, at 2, at the First Congregational Church of Darien, 14 Brookside Road.

Obituary: Florence A. Howe, 93, Darien resident

Florence A. Howe of Darien died of a heart attack on Thursday, Jan. 19, while visiting family in Crystal Lake, Ill. She was 93.

Born in New York on Aug. 25, 1918, she was the daughter of Richard and Florence Spink.

“Although Florence is no longer physically with us, she will always be in the hearts of her family and friends,” they said.

Mrs. Howe was predeceased by her husband, Frederick P. Howe Jr., a longtime local building contractor, and her sister, Helen Bryant.

She is survived by her five children, daughter Linda and her husband Mike Orawsky, and sons, Rick and wife Georgiana Howe, George Howe, John Taubl and Clayton Taubl; sister, Marie Minihan; and many grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Florence is also survived by her dear sister, Marie Minihan.

No immediate services are planned.

Memorial donations may be made to the Noroton Heights Volunteer Fire Department, 209 Noroton Ave., Darien, CT 06820.