Nancy Ericke Ambrose

Nancy Ambrose of Edgartown, Mass., died peacefully early Monday evening, July 5, after a tough fight with cancer. Mrs. Ambrose died surrounded by her three children, at the home of her son William, where she had been cared for during the final month of her struggle. She was 79.

Born in Cleveland February 17, 1931, she was the elder of two children, and grew up in Detroit, graduating from the University of Michigan in 1952. Soon after marrying her husband, Edwin Ambrose, they moved to Darien where she lived for 25 years. She served as deputy registrar of voters for the Democratic party, and she spent countless hours working for Darien Book Aid, which collected donated books and sent them to underdeveloped countries.

She and her husband moved to Edgartown in 1992, following four years living in the southern African country, Botswana.

Wherever she lived, Mrs. Ambrose was involved in her community. In Edgartown, she was a trustee and longtime volunteer for the Edgartown Public Library, where she passionately supported development of a new library. She also volunteered for many years at Windemere Nursing and Rehabilation Center, Sheriff's Meadow Foundation, Polly Hill Arboretum, and she was a member of the Martha's Vineyard Garden Club. When she was not volunteering, Nancy gardened, transforming her homes into floral sculptures.

Survivors include her three children: Sarah Ambrose, of Maynard, Mass.; William Ambrose, of Acton, Mass., and his wife, Amy Davis, and their daughter, Emily, and son, Whitney; and Robert Ambrose, of Talkeetna, Alaska, and his two sons, Nico and Corey. She was predeceased by her husband, who died in March 2009.

The family held a private interment Saturday, July 10, at the Westside Cemetery in Edgartown

In lieu of flowers, donations my be made in Mrs. Ambrose's name to The Edgartown Library Foundation, P.O. Box 1198, Edgartown, MA 02539.

Thomas H. Black

Thomas H. Black, of Fairfield, previously of Darien and Greenwich, husband of Lisa Hunter Black, died June 30 at Stamford Hospital. He was 85.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Mr. Black was raised in Riverside and Greenwich. He served in the United States Navy Seabees for two years at the end of World War II. He worked for Time and Life magazines in advertising sales. Later, he helped establish Smithsonian Magazine, where he served for 25 years before retiring as associate publisher. During his career, he lived in New York City, Detroit and Darien, and recently moved to Fairfield.

Mr. Black was a member of Weeburn Country Club and a former member of the Yale Club. A true Yankees fan, he was a real sportsman who loved playing squash, football, skiing and hockey. He was an especially talented tournament golf player.

Mr. Black traveled much of the world for business and enjoyed taking his family along when possible.

In addition to his wife of 51 years, survivors include two daughters, Kelly Windsor, and her husband, Michael, of California, and Leslie Cheney, and her husband, Jim, of Fairfield; six grandchildren, Hailey and Madeline Windsor, and Caylin, Jillian, Tess and Blake Cheney; one sister, Deborah Kelly, of Massachusetts; and many nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by two sisters, Irene Clark and Ann Matson.

His memorial service was Wednesday, July 7, at Fairfield Grace United Methodist Church with the Rev. Kunsam Cho officiating.

Memorial donations may be directed to the American Heart Association, 1 Union St. Suite 301, Robbinsville, NJ, 08910 or the American Lung Association, 45 Ash St., East Hartford, CT 06108-3272

Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Lesko & Polke Funeral Home of Fairfield Center. To sign an online guest register, visit

Patricia E. Brown

Patricia E. Brown, a long time Darien resident, died Wednesday, July 14, at Stamford Hospital. Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time. Visit for more information.

E.F. Gidley Jr.

Former longtime Darien resident E.F. Gidley Jr. died of a heart attack July 11 at Norwalk Hospital.

Born April 16, 1923, in Schenectady, N.Y., he was the son of the late Everett and Marion Gidley.

When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, he was a freshman at Williams College and volunteered that following spring for the U.S. Air Force. Mr. Gidley, a P-47 fighter pilot, was shot down over Karlsruag, Germany, after evading capture for about 30 days he became a POW in Nuremberg, Germany. He escaped the prisoner of war camp and celebrated VE Day in Paris, France.

Mr. Gidley returned to Williams College and graduated in 1948.

Mr. Gidley was employed by the Coca-Cola Export Corporation in South America and the Caribbean until 1951 at which time he joined his father in business in New York City. Mr. Gidley was an active volunteer in many Darien community organizations including the Beautification Commission, Darien YMCA, The Depot and was a longtime member of the Tokeneke Club and Darien Congregational Church.

Survivors include his daughter, Karen Gidley Mulvaney of Lafayette, Calif., and two sons, Everett Fenton Gidley III of Los Angeles and Stephen C. Gidley of Wilton; two sisters, Jane Rice and Susan Angell; and five grandchildren, Eric Cutler Gidley, Emilie Kellogg Gidley, Juliette Blanchard Gidley, Mason Gidley Mulvaney and Marguerite (Meg) Mulvaney.

He is predeceased by his wife of 49 years Marguerite Cutler Gidley.

A memorial service and reception in celebration of his life will be held at the Darien Congregational Church, 14 Brookside Road, on Saturday, July 24, at 2 p.m.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Bennett Cancer Center in lieu of flowers.

Thomas Lee Kraig

Thomas Lee Kraig died May 30 at Stamford Hospital of respiratory failure after a valiant four-and-a-half week battle. He was 93.

Born Oct. 18, 1916, in Manhattan, he was the son of William and Elin Kraig.

Mr. Kraig graduated from City University of New York, received his law degree from Fordham Law School and was in the first class at New York University to receive a master's degree in taxation in 1947.

Mr. Kraig married the former Edna Dressler on June 22, 1940. Mrs. Kraig died of cancer in 1982.

After working at law firms in New York City, including Glass and Lynch, Mr. Kraig, his wife and two young sons moved to Burnt Hills, N.Y. Mr. Kraig worked at General Electric in Schenectady, N.Y., in the tax department. Eager to return to Manhattan, Mr. Kraig took a position in 1952 at Great Lakes Carbon Corporation, and the family moved to Darien. Mrs. Kraig's grandparents, Michael and Catharine Herrmann, lived in Darien in the 1860s.

Mr. Kraig's law career continued at Great Lakes Carbon Corporation until his retirement in 1982. He worked for the company as vice president, secretary and tax counsel.

After leaving Great Lakes, Mr. Kraig continued in private practice working as the administrator for numerous trusts as well as preparing tax returns for many clients. Mr. Kraig's daughter, Katherine, worked with Mr. Kraig in the practice until his retirement in 2003.

Mr. Kraig loved to travel and he, his wife and daughter traveled extensively throughout Europe. After Mrs. Kraig's death, Mr. Kraig and his daughter continued to visit Europe on an annual basis enjoying the cuisine, museums, shops and historic sites. Mr. Kraig had a home in Vilamoura, Portugal.

Mr. Kraig also enjoyed travel in the United States and he rented homes in Naples, Fla., and Nantucket, Mass., for many years. Boothbay Harbor, Maine was a special family place where Mr. Kraig, Katherine and sons, Thomas and Bruce, with their families, would stay at Linekin Bay Resort.

Mr. Kraig was a man of many interests and talents. Possessing a tenor voice, Mr. Kraig performed in several church choirs including St. Paul's in Darien. An avid sketcher, he would draw on his travels and every year would feature, on his Christmas card, a pen and ink drawing of a church that he visited that year. An enthusiastic writer, he loved composing poetry, wrote a children's story about a mouse named Squeaky, and wrote a sequel to Robert Browning's poem, "My Last Duchess." His daughter hopes to find a publisher for some of Mr. Kraig's works.

Mr. Kraig and his wife joined Wee Burn Country Club in the 1960s. He loved the golf, tennis and paddle tennis at the club and he took special pleasure in dining at Wee Burn.

Mr. Kraig worked on the Planning and Zoning Commission in Darien in the 1960s and served three years as chairman. He also prepared tax returns pro bono for clergy and other individuals.

In addition to his daughter, Katherine Kraig, survivors include his sons, Thomas L. Kraig Jr., and his wife, Peggy, and his son, Bruce A. Kraig, and his wife, Tamara; five grandchildren: Katherine Mumma, and her husband, Peter, Thomas L. Kraig III, and his wife, Erin, Christopher Kraig, and his wife, Beth, and Alicia and Duncan Kraig; and two great-grandchildren, Harrison and Josephine Mumma.

A Service of Christian burial was held at 10 a.m. on June 5 in the Chapel at St. Luke's Church in Darien. There was a private family interment at Spring Grove Cemetery in Darien. A luncheon was held at the Wee Burn Beach Club for family and close friends. In September there will be a memorial service in celebration of Mr. Kraig's life at St. Luke's Church to be followed by a reception at Wee Burn Country Club.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Child Fund International, 2821 Emerywood Parkway, Richmond, VA 23294-3726.

Whitney H. Smith

Whitney H. Smith, of Darien, died on July 11. She was 30.

Born on April 28, 1980, in Newport Beach, Calif., Ms. Smith was the daughter of Christopher H. and Julienne D. Smith of Darien.

She was a graduate of the Kent School, and received her bachelor's degrees in economics and studio art from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass.

She was a registered retirement associate at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Purchase, N.Y.

In addition to her parents, survivors include her sister, Finley Smith of Darien; her fiancé, Doug Stella of Milford; and many aunts, uncles and cousins.

Thoughtful and generous, Ms. Smith cared deeply for her family and friends. She was an accomplished artist and sailor, who loved to travel. She and Mr. Stella were to be married in September.

Funeral services will be held at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 374 Middlesex Road in Darien on July 23 at 11 a.m.

Donations in her memory may be made to the Holy Cross Fund, College of the Holy Cross, P. O. Box DEV, 1 College St. Worcester, MA 01610.

Edward Lawrence Funeral Home is charged with arrangements.

Patricia J. Spivack

Patricia J. Spivack, a 22-year resident of Darien, died Friday, July 9, at the Richard Rosenthal Hospice Residence in Stamford.

Born March 12, 1951, in Teaneck, N.J., she was the daughter of Joline Santer Spivack of Southbury, and the late Edward Spivack. She was 59.

Ms. Spivack worked as a waitress/manager at Chuck's for 25 years. She also worked for Geico Insurance in Norwalk for seven years and Giovanni's in Darien. She loved to garden.

In addition to her mother, survivors include her husband, Michael P. Vitti of Darien; a daughter, Cara Tangreti of Darien; a grandson, Dominick Bacco; three sisters, Ellen Vacirca, and her husband, Joe, of Peoria, Ariz., Lisa Ruot, and her husband, Ernie, of Newtown, and Joeline Wruck, and her husband, Jimmy, also of Newtown; one brother, Richard Spivack, and his wife, Lorraine, of Oxford; and two very close friends, Vicki and Jane.

Funeral services and interment are private.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Richard Rosenthal Hospice Residence, Shelburne Road and West Broad Streets, Stamford, CT 06902.