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Gaiss, Sally

Sally Gaiss, 62, of Cheshire, Conn., passed away on October 11, 2014. Sally was a selfless and beautiful soul. Her qualities that stand out to all are her beautiful smile and infectious laugh, her gracious demeanor, her quick and witty sense of humor and her natural caretaking abilities to help anyone in need. Sally was a blessing to all whose lives she touched. She was artistic, loved antiques, cooking and baking, painting, and music, but mostly she loved spending time with her family. She was a proud grandmother to Thomas Gaiss, who was the apple of her eye. She lived with her son Andrew and Thomas Gaiss for the last four years and treated Thomas as her own. Caregiving came naturally to Sally. While raising their son, she and her late husband cared for her nieces, Jackie, Shayna, Danielle and Leah, all of whom are crazy about her.

She was predeceased by her husband Kevin. Sally and Kevin were happily married for 23 years. After Kevin’s passing, she became a CNA. She took care of an elderly couple in Waterford, Conn. and while living in Maine she cared for an autistic woman.

Sally leaves her only son, Andrew Gaiss; two sisters, Nancy and her husband Luke, and Carol and Charlie Chamberlin; her mother-in-law, June Gaiss; her brother-in-law, Larry and his wife Beth; five nieces, Jackie, Shayna, Danielle, Leah and Shelby; and a nephew, Kevin Gaiss (named after her late husband). She also leaves Michael Pettinicchi, her neighbor and best friend growing up, and many other beloved friends and extended family.

There will be a memorial Mass in her honor on November 1 at 11 a.m. at St. Bridget Church. Burial will be private.

Smith, Alvina

PROSPECT – Alvina Smith, 95, passed away on Monday, September 29, 2014 at the Masonic Hospital in Wallingford. She was predeceased by her husband Charles J. Smith who passed away in 2010.

She was born on July 31, 1919 in McCrory, Ark., daughter of the late Allan and Julie (Hale) Justice.

Alvina was a "Rosie the Riveter" during WWII. In her free time she enjoyed crafts, quilting, and spending time with her family and friends in Connecticut, Chester, Virginia and Cecilia, Kentucky.

She is survived by her two daughters, Charleen Becker of Prospect (formerly of Cheshire) and Eileen and her husband Robert Norris of Tolland; six grandchildren, Ryan and his wife Basia of New Haven, Jeff and his wife Stephanie of Southington, Julie Becker of Prospect, Steve Phillips of Virginia, Scott Phillips and his family of Perry Hall, Maryland and Cindy Biedenbach of Carlsbad, New Mexico; six great-grandchildren; and her daughter-in-law, Neina Phillips of Chester, Va. She was predeceased by her son, John Phillips.

A Memorial Service for Alvina will be held on Saturday, October 25, 2014 at 11 a.m. at The First Congregational Church of Cheshire, 11 Church Dr., Cheshire, 06410. A luncheon will be held following the service in the church hall. Burial will be held at the convenience of the family. There are no calling hours. The Alderson-Ford Funeral Home of Cheshire, 615 South Main St., is assisting with the arrangements. To view these arrangements online, or share a story, please visit

Svrchek, Carmela Rita

CHESHIRE – Carmela Rita Svrchek, 92, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at the Masonic Home in Wallingford. She was predeceased by her husband John Svrchek in 2005.

She was born on June 19, 1922 in Greenwich, daughter of the late Santo and Angelina (Mecali) Crucitti.

Carmela was a cafeteria manager in the Greenwich School System prior to her retirement.

She is survived by two daughters, Karen and her husband Jim Dwyer of Old Saybrook, and Carol and her husband Bruce Barker of Savannah, Ga.; four grandchildren, Kim, Kristin, John, and David; and great-grandchildren Katelyn, Jeffrey, Sydney, Maggie Rose, Penelope, Maeve.

A funeral service for Carmela was held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 18, 2014 at Alderson-Ford Funeral Home of Cheshire, 615 South Main St., 06410. Burial was in Cheshire Hillside Cemetery. There were no calling hours. To view these arrangements online, or to share a story, please visit

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