- FUN FEATURES
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|Castaneda, Shirley (Foster)||
Shirley Fredericka Castaneda passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of December 1, 2013 after a lengthy illness. Shirley was born to Ebenezer F. Foster and Ida Manton Foster on June 27, 1927 in Cheshire, Conn. She attended schools in New Haven and an LPN program at Eli Whitney School in Hamden. Shirley left a career as an LPN at Yale-New Haven Hospital to pursue her desire to become an at-home mother and childcare provider to numerous friends and family members throughout the Hamden-New Haven area. In recent years, she was lovingly cared for by nieces Myrtle White and Patricia Thomas of Hamden, Conn.
In her final days, Shirley received expert round-the-clock care from a dedicated nursing staff. In addition to thanking this staff, the family would like to also give their heartfelt thanks to VITAS Hospice care of Waterbury. She is survived by her children Karina Castaneda of New York City, N.Y. and Juan Lebron of Hamden, Conn.; grandchildren Cooper Marshall, and Mackenzie and Zachary Lebron; and a brother Howard B. Foster (Pearl) of Indian Trail, N.C., as well as a host of relatives and friends. Shirley was predeceased by her husband, Luis Manuel Castaneda; brothers Percy, Benjamin, Ebenezer (Tim), Richard and Chester Foster; and sisters Rhoda James, Myrtle Thomas, Ernestine Allen-Meyer; and her adored foster child April Meeker.
A Memorial Service was held on Monday, December 9, 2013, at 10 a.m. at Agape Christian Center, 90-100 Goffe St., New Haven, Conn. A graveside service will be held at the family’s convenience. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations sent to VITAS Hospice Care, 199 Park Rd. Ext., Suite 102, Middlebury, CT 06762. Services by Howard K. Hill Funeral Services, 1287 Chapel St., New Haven. To leave a message of comfort for the Castaneda family, please visit www.hkhfuneralservices.com.
Nina (Pantanella) Merriman died peacefully on December 1, with loved ones beside her. Aged 95, she was the widow of Thurston S. Merriman, her husband of 72 years.
The daughter of Italian immigrants, Rocco and Angelica Pantanella, Nina was born on February 4, 1918 in Lynn, Mass. She grew up in East Cambridge, the youngest of five siblings.
Besides her husband and parents, Nina was predeceased by her brothers Armando, Dino, and Robert, and her sister Ida, and by two sons-in-law, Stuart Elliott and Richard Fedalen. She is survived by her three daughters, Nina Fedalen, Susan Licht (Arnold), and Louise Elliott; and six grandchildren, John, Kate, and Joshua Fedalen, Jonah and Eliza Licht, and Amy Elliott. She also is survived by several nephews, including Anthony and Robert Picariello, and her husband’s four nieces, as well as six great-grandchildren.
Nina was a graduate of Cambridge High & Latin and the first in her family to earn a college degree: a B.S. from Boston University in 1939. She married Thurston in 1939 and reared her three children, first in Waterbury, and then in Cheshire, Conn. She enjoyed long vacations on Block Island, Rhode Island, which became a center for extended family life. She loved the ocean and the water was always “just perfect,” no matter how chilly.
Nina had a lively mind and scholarly inclinations. She taught herself to speak, write and read Italian. When her children were grown, Nina fulfilled a life-long dream of becoming a teacher. She went back to school and earned her teaching certificate from SCSC. She became a teacher of French and Spanish for over 20 years to students at John F. Kennedy Junior High School in Southington. She was very proud that many of her students went on to become teachers.
In her retirement, she loved long visits to her home on Block Island and spending time with her beloved grandchildren. Thurston and Nina moved to Larson Place in Hamden in 2001 and lived there for the remainder of their years. Both Nina and Thurston were lovingly cared for by Vanessa Lockhart, who will have our eternal gratitude.
To celebrate Nina’s life, a memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on January 25, 2014, at Atria Larson Place. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in her name to the North Shore Animal League and/or the Humane Society, or any animal rescue organization of your choice.
CHESHIRE – Sylvia (Propper) Sixfin, a longtime resident of Cheshire, age 89, died on December 5, 2013 at MidState Medical Center in Meriden surrounded by her loving family.
Born in New York City in 1924, Sylvia received a B.A. in History from Hunter College and a master’s degree in Education from Southern Connecticut State University. Sylvia taught elementary school in Harlem and then moved to Bethany, Conn., where she taught third grade for 23 years, often teaching two generations of the same family. She also loved music and taught many piano students through the years.
A very active woman, Sylvia loved playing tennis, traveling, often with her daughter Hilary, English Cocker Spaniels, watching New York Giants games, training and showing English Cocker Spaniels, and reading. She was deeply involved with the Cheshire Senior Center and the Cheshire Public Library and enjoyed going to movies and walking her dogs.
Her son, Adam Sixfin, predeceased her. Three daughters survive her: Leslie Merwin of Cheshire, Conn., Hilary Sixfin of Boulder, Colo., and Pamela Sixfin of Nashville, Tenn. She also leaves behind six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren who brought her great joy.
A celebration of Sylvia’s life was held at Luca Ristorante on Saturday, December 7. There will be a burial at Mount Carmel Cemetery in New York for immediate members of the family. In lieu of flowers, Sylvia requested that donations be made to the ASPCA. The Naugatuck Valley Memorial/Fitzgerald Zembruski Funeral Home has been entrusted with the arrangements. To send an online condolence, please visit www.naugatuckvalleymemorial.com.
Helen Slusarz, age 86, entered into rest on December 8, 2013 at Hartford Hospital. She was the devoted wife of the late Richard T. Slusarz, Sr. Helen was born on July 21, 1927 in Freeland, Pa., daughter of the late Joseph and Anna Zoshak Chonko, and had been a Cheshire resident since 1966.
Helen was a registered nurse, and that’s what people learned about her when they first met her. Proud and dignified of her ability to help those in need, she was one of the first RNs at the TBI Unit when it first started at Gaylord Hospital in Wallingford, where she worked for 30 years until her retirement. She aspired to be among the best in her profession, and her friends and colleagues would agree that she did obtain her goal. Helen was a founding member of St. Thomas Becket Church in Cheshire and would attend the Rosary weekly.
She is the beloved mother of Richard T. Slusarz, Jr. and his wife Jennifer of Prospect; Mark S. Slusarz and his partner Joseph Romano of Hasbrouck Heights, N.J.; and Mary F. Massa of Meriden. Helen is survived by her cherished grandchildren Melissa Hass and Brianna Slusarz, and her loving nephew and nieces. She was predeceased by her brothers; Joseph and George Chonko and her sister, Anna Gass.
Her funeral procession will leave the Alderson Funeral Home of Cheshire, 615 South Main St., on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 9:15 a.m. for a Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated at 10 a.m. at St. Thomas Becket Church. Interment will follow at St. Bridget Cemetery. At the request of the family with gratitude for the care Helen received at Gaylord and Elim Park, memorial contributions may be made to either Gaylord Hospital, Developmental Office, P.O. Box 400, Wallingford, CT 06492 or to Elim Park, Developmental Office, 140 Cook Hill Rd., Cheshire, CT 06410. To view these arrangements online, share a story or leave condolences for the family, visit www.aldersonfuneralhomes.com.