Recent Stories: Obituaries

Star Staff
February 21, 2018
Donald L. Hunting, whose credentials as an active member of the East Hampton community read almost like a catalog of good citizenship, died on Monday at Southampton Hospital at the age of 90.

Donald L. Hunting, whose credentials as an active member of the East Hampton community read almost like a catalog of good citizenship, died on Monday at Southampton Hospital at the age of 90. His family said he had been in declining health.

Star Staff
February 21, 2018
Ian McNeil Cumming, a part-time East Hampton resident, businessman, and member of the national board of the Nature Conservancy and on the Utah State Boards of Regents, died on Feb. 2 at home in Jackson, Wyo., of a prolonged illness.

Born in Vancouver, Canada, in 1940, to Elaine and John Cumming, a psychiatrist and a sociologist, Ian McNeil Cumming spent his childhood moving around the country with his peripatetic parents. In his 77 years he called many places home, including East Hampton, where he and his wife had owned a house since 1982. Mr. Cumming died on Feb. 2 at home in Jackson, Wyo., from complications of a prolonged illness.

Star Staff
February 21, 2018
Nancy Ann Reals Perl Benderoth, an artist, designer, and producer of a documentary film that was nominated for an Academy Award, died at her Jericho Road, East Hampton, house on Feb. 6. She was 84.

Nancy Ann Reals Perl Benderoth, an artist, designer, and producer of a documentary film that was nominated for an Academy Award, died at her Jericho Road, East Hampton, house on Feb. 6. Her family, who were with her at the end, said the cause of death was cardiac arrest brought on by pneumonia. She was 84 and had been in declining health for several years. 

Star Staff
February 21, 2018
Nina Walker Wainwright, a graduate of the Brearley School in Manhattan and of Pine Manor College, outside Boston, died at home on Dunemere Lane in East Hampton Village on Friday after a long illness, her family said. She was 88.

Nina Walker Wainwright, a graduate of the Brearley School in Manhattan and of Pine Manor College, outside Boston, was very energetic throughout her life in the pursuit of a broad variety of civic causes and charitable activities. She died at home on Dunemere Lane in East Hampton Village on Friday after a long illness, her family said. She was 88.

Star Staff
February 21, 2018
Dr. Robert Hayes Stackpole of Elizabeth, N.J., and Bluff Road in Amagansett died on Jan. 28 at Trinitas Hospital in Elizabeth. He was 87.

Dr. Robert Hayes Stackpole of Elizabeth, N.J., and Bluff Road in Amagansett died on Jan. 28 at Trinitas Hospital in Elizabeth. 

Mr. Stackpole was born on Nov. 19, 1930, in Montclair, N.J., to Philip West Stackpole and the former Sarah Musson. He attended Montclair High School, graduated cum laude from Amherst College, and received his medical degree from Cornell University College of Medicine. 

After completing an internship at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan and a residency in surgery at New York Hospital, he served as a United States Navy lieutenant commander at the Bronx Veterans Administration Hospital. After that, Mr. Stackpole returned to New Jersey, where he practiced urology in Elizabeth for more than 50 years. He retired at the age of 83.

Star Staff
February 21, 2018
For Sandra Jarvis, her children and grandchildren were her life. The resident of Cosdrew Lane, in Northwest Woods, died on Friday at Stony Brook University Hospital after a brief illness. She was 66.

For Sandra Jarvis, her children and grandchildren were her life. The resident of Cosdrew Lane, in Northwest Woods, died on Friday at Stony Brook University Hospital after a brief illness. She was 66, her family said.

Ms. Jarvis worked in a variety of food-service roles, and will be remembered by longtime residents from her days as a waitress at such well-loved East Hampton restaurants as Eddie’s Luncheonette, the Grand Cafe, and Brothers Four Pizza on Newtown Lane, as well as Buoy 11, Rocking Wells (now home to John Papas), and, most recently, the Springs General Store.

Her family said that she was a very hard-working person and acted as caregiver to her mother until she only recently became too sick to continue.

Star Staff
February 21, 2018
Sharon Einsmann of Durham, N.C., died of pulmonary failure there on Monday, at the Treyburn Rehabilitation Center. She was 74 and had been in poor health for some time.

Sharon Einsmann of Durham, N.C., died  of pulmonary failure there on Monday, at the Treyburn Rehabilitation Center. She was 74 and had been in poor health for some time.

Ms. Einsmann came from an Amagansett family of Long Island Rail Road engineers that included her great-grandfather James Eichhorn, her grandfather George Eichhorn, and her father, Edward Eichhorn. Her maternal grandfather was an Amagansett whaler. 

Her daughter Pamela Schreiber of Southampton recalled being able to ride the train for free as a child.

Ms. Einsmann was born in Queens in 1944, one of three children of Edward Eichhorn and the former Alberta Bartman. She went to school there. She 

Star Staff
February 21, 2018
William B. Fritchman of Brick Kiln Road in Bridgehampton died at home on Jan. 31. He was 95.

The death has been reported of William B. Fritchman of Brick Kiln Road in Bridgehampton on Jan. 31. He was 95 years old and died at home.

Mr. Fritchman had lived in Bridgehampton for about 50 years, according to a friend, Manuela Lago. A pianist and piano teacher, he had graduated from and received a master’s degree at the Juilliard School, having moved to New York City before enrolling.

  He was born in Akron, Ohio, on Oct. 29, 1922, to James B. Fritchman and the former Dorothy Rankin. He was cremated, and there was a private ceremony.

Star Staff
February 15, 2018
Deborah Lee Scheffer of Montauk died unexpectedly on Friday at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital of complications related to childbirth. She was 36. She is survived by her husband, Daniel Scheffer, and the couple’s two sons, Coen, age 4, and Benjamin, a newborn.

Deborah Lee Scheffer of Montauk died unexpectedly on Friday at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital of complications related to childbirth. She was 36.

She is survived by her husband, Daniel Scheffer, and the couple’s two sons, Coen, age 4, and Benjamin, a newborn.

The couple moved from Easthampton, Mass., to Montauk in 2013 to help Mr. Scheffer’s grandfather Robert Schorr run his property management business. Mr. Schorr, a retired Marine and Hempstead police officer, formed Schorr Caretaker Services in 1979.

Star Staff
February 15, 2018
Donald R. Smith of Manhattan and East Hampton died on Nov. 5 of prostate cancer. He was 80.

Donald R. Smith of Manhattan and East Hampton died on Nov. 5 of prostate cancer, which was diagnosed 22 years ago. He was 80.

He was a keen outdoorsman, climbing Mount Rainier in Washington State and hiking the John Muir Trail through the Sierra Nevada range in California, biking (especially in France), windsurfing, and sailing. 

Star Staff
February 15, 2018
Frances Edith Wright Bennett of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., died at home on Feb. 6 of cardiac arrest at the age of 99. Mrs. Bennett was married on Aug. 23, 1939, to Richard Bacon Bennett of Old Saybrook, Conn., who had East Hampton roots, and she had frequently visited here.

Frances Edith Wright Bennett of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., died at home on Feb. 6 of cardiac arrest at the age of 99. Mrs. Bennett was married on Aug. 23, 1939, to Richard Bacon Bennett of Old Saybrook, Conn., who had East Hampton roots, and she had frequently visited here.

She was born on May 16, 1918, in Portland, Me., the daughter of Joseph and Fannie Wright. She attended Syracuse University, where she majored in English.

She is survived by four daughters, Georgia Panya of Knoxville, Tenn., Ginne Munson of Ponte Vedra Beach, Barbara Walters of Bradenton, Fla., and Joan Mickelson of Anacortes, Wash.

Star Staff
February 15, 2018
Gandolfo Vincent DiBlasi of Manhattan, a renowned lawyer who was known to friends and colleagues as Vince, died on Jan. 14 from complications of pneumonia. He was 64.

Gandolfo Vincent DiBlasi of Manhattan, a renowned lawyer who was known to friends and colleagues as Vince, died on Jan. 14 from complications of pneumonia. He was 64.

Mr. DiBlasi  was a litigator for the Wall Street firm of Sullivan & Cromwell, handling many high-profile cases, which ran the gamut from takeover law to securities, antitrust, commercial, and white-collar crime cases. According to his family, the cases he took up would “always involve matters that were particularly challenging and urgent.” He was a director of the Legal Aid Society, a trustee of the Federal Bar Council, a trustee of the Riverdale Country School, and director of Asphalt Green, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting health through sports and fitness.

Star Staff
February 15, 2018
Giacomo A. Lucente, a World War II Army veteran and a former bartender at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post when it was on Main Street in East Hampton, died of lung disease last Thursday at the age of 90.

Giacomo A. Lucente, a World War II Army veteran and a former bartender at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post when it was on Main Street in East Hampton, died of lung disease last Thursday at the age of 90. 

Known as Jack, Mr. Lucente was a fisherman and clammer whose introduction to East Hampton came as a child when he would spend summers with relatives who lived on the former peach farm in Northwest Woods. 

Born on Aug. 2, 1927, in Hackensack, N.J., the son of Anthony Lucente and the former Rose Urato, Mr. Lucente was a graduate of Hackensack High School. After joining the Army and serving in World War II, he returned to New Jersey and worked as a beautician for many years. Later, he sold airplane parts for the Air Works company. 

Star Staff
February 15, 2018
Herbert Haucke of Montauk, a partner in an insurance firm in Manhattan that he built into a successful business, died on Feb. 1 at the Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead after a fall. He was 84.

Herbert Haucke of Montauk, a partner in an insurance firm in Manhattan that he built into a successful business, died on Feb. 1 at the Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead after a fall. He was 84.

Star Staff
February 15, 2018
Lisa Anne Hegner Ward, a Montauk woman who was devoted to her church, her children’s schools, and to East Hampton High School’s basketball teams, died at home on Feb. 5. She was 55.

Lisa Anne Hegner Ward, a Montauk woman who was devoted to her church, her children’s schools, and to East Hampton High School’s basketball teams, died at home on Feb. 5. She was 55 and had been diagnosed with cancer just five months ago.

Ms. Ward was born on Sept. 20, 1962, to Ray and Bonnie Archer Hegner. She attended the Montauk School, East Hampton High School, Syracuse University, and received a Long Island University bachelor’s degree, having attended its Southampton campus.

She and John B. Ward were married on June 18, 1987, and she joined him at John Ward Plumbing and Heating. He survives.

Star Staff
February 15, 2018
Michel Berty, an international businessman and IT pioneer, died at home in Wainscott on Feb. 12 of pulmonary fibrosis. He was 78.

Michel Berty, an international businessman and IT pioneer, died at home in Wainscott on Feb. 12 of pulmonary fibrosis. He was 78.

Star Staff
February 15, 2018
Mary Ellen Thiele Rooney, a writer and photographer with a great sense of adventure who was born in Bridgehampton — and was for many years one of the East End’s inspiring personalities — died at home in Hudson Heights, N.Y., on Feb. 5 after an illness. An indomitable spirit, known to friends as Reggie, she was 83.

Mary Ellen Thiele Rooney, a writer and photographer with a great sense of adventure who was born in Bridgehampton — and was for many years one of the East End’s inspiring personalities — died at home in Hudson Heights, N.Y., on Feb. 5 of cancer. An indomitable spirit, known to friends as Reggie, she was 83.

Ms. Rooney’s writing was published widely, in The New York Times, Newsday, and the United Nations Society of Writers’ magazine, Reflections, among others. Her “Windows on Wise Women” photography series was exhibited in Boston.

Her exploits ranged from driving a potato truck on a Bridgehampton farm to teaching sailing to diving with the Cousteau Society in French Polynesia to becoming a licensed falconer when she was 70.

Star Staff
February 9, 2018

Visiting hours for Mary Ellen Thiele Rooney will be Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. at Brockett Funeral Home on Hampton Road in Southampton, with a prayer service at 3 p.m.

Burial will be private on Monday at the Sacred Hearts Cemetery in Southampton. A memorial event will be planned in New York City for a later date with details to follow.  

Ms. Rooney, who was known to friends as Reggie, died on Feb. 5 in New York City. She was 83.

Star Staff
February 8, 2018
Alfred G. Osterweil, an attorney who represented several police unions, died of pneumonia on Jan. 29 in Many, La. He was 86.

Alfred G. Osterweil, an attorney who represented all of the police unions in the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and most police unions in Bergen County, N.J., died of pneumonia on Jan. 29 in Many, La. He was 86.

The law was not only Mr. Osterweil’s work, it was his passion. “He loved the practice of law and won cases that changed laws in New Jersey,” his wife, Cynthia Anne Osterweil, wrote. He had recently won a case in New York regarding the right of “non-domiciled residents to own firearms,” she said. 

Mr. Osterweil began practicing public-sector labor law when it was a burgeoning field. In addition to the police unions, he also represented nurses at Englewood Hospital during their first strike. 

Star Staff
February 8, 2018
Anita Higgins Salembier, a longtime summer resident of Egypt Lane in East Hampton, died on Feb. 1 at home in Locust Valley. Mrs. Salembier was 96.

Anita Higgins Salembier, a longtime summer resident of Egypt Lane, died last Thursday at home in Locust Valley. Mrs. Salembier, who was 96, had become ill with pneumonia the week before her death.

As a young woman she had worked for the Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the Central Intelligence Agency, during World War II, translating French and German telegrams. 

Mrs. Salembier was president of the North Country Garden Club of Long Island and the Garden Club of East Hampton. Her family said that in addition to gardening, she enjoyed playing tennis and golf, and skiing. They said that she would be remembered for her energy and quick wit.

Star Staff
February 8, 2018
Anne Gibson Clark Washburn of Palm Beach, Fla., and a longtime summer resident of East Hampton, died in Palm Beach on Jan. 28. She was 98.

Anne Gibson Clark Washburn of Palm Beach, Fla., and a longtime summer resident of East Hampton, died in Palm Beach on Jan. 28. She was 98.

She was born in Brooklyn Heights on Dec. 11, 1919, and grew up there in what her family called “the bright city lights of New York’s Roaring Twenties.” She attended Brooklyn Heights Seminary and the Packer Collegiate Institute, where she showed a flair, her family said, for drama and dressing up in school plays. 

Star Staff
February 8, 2018
Christopher Louis Russo, who was the East Hampton Town highway superintendent for 18 years and had been chief of the Amagansett Fire Department and a founder of its ambulance company, died of congestive heart failure at home in Amagansett on Jan. 31, a few days before his 76th birthday.

Christopher Louis Russo, who was the East Hampton Town highway superintendent for 18 years and had been chief of the Amagansett Fire Department and a founder of its ambulance company, died of congestive heart failure at home in Amagansett on Jan. 31, a few days before his 76th birthday. 

Mr. Russo’s family said his reputation for honesty and doing what was right helped him become East Hampton Town’s top vote-getter, wining election as highway superintendent nine times.

Star Staff
February 8, 2018
Dorothy Marie Avallone, 85, who had worked in upper management at the Stern’s department store in East Hampton, died of congestive heart failure at Casa de la Luz Hospice in Tucson on Jan. 26.

Dorothy Marie Avallone, 85, who had worked in upper management at the Stern’s department store in East Hampton, died of congestive heart failure at Casa de la Luz Hospice in Tucson on Jan. 26. 

Mrs. Avallone, who was known as Dotty, lived in Seaford and on Staten Island before coming to East Hampton in 1973. Three years later, she took a job at Stern’s and remained with the store for 17 years. She and her husband retired to Oro Valley, Ariz., in 1998. 

Star Staff
February 8, 2018
Enid Roth of New York City and Amagansett, who had a long career in television, died on Jan. 27 at the Bristal, an assisted-living facility in Holtsville. She was 87.

Enid Roth of New York City and Amagansett, who had a long career in television, died on Jan. 27 of complications of breast cancer at the Bristal, an assisted-living facility in Holtsville. She was 87.

 In 1950, between her junior and senior years at college, Ms. Roth began what would turn into a 40-year career in television with a job at CBS and a salary of $45 a week. A year later, after she had graduated from Syracuse University, she thought a starting salary of $70 a week at NBC sounded better, and so she signed on, eventually becoming the associate director and then director of NBC’s local news.