Dorothea Verzillo, a frequent visitor to the East Hampton home of her niece Madeleine Meehan, died in her sleep at her residence in Florence, Italy, on Sept. 26. She was 104.
She was born in Berlin on May 8, 1908, a daughter of Dr. Leo Meyer and the former Irma Goldstein. She was working in the art market at a time when National Socialism under Hitler began restricting creative freedoms, and left Germany for Florence. Her parents stayed behind, and perished in the Holocaust.
In Italy, an employer who owed her back wages asked if she wanted to attend a soccer match; they were married in 1935. Her husband, Rienzo Verzillo, was an engineer with the Italian National Railroad. After he died in 1952, Signora Verzillo taught German, English, and Italian at the Berlitz School in Florence. She lived on the Via Caracciolo there throughout her long life.
In a farewell letter to her niece, she wrote that living through two world wars, losing her parents at Auschwitz, then losing the German-speaking friends with whom she could reminisce about growing up in Berlin, and no longer being able to travel to Australia to be with her closest friends and their families, she did not want to live anymore.
In addition to Ms. Meehan, who lives on Jericho Close, Sra. Verzillo is survived by the Levy and Lett families of eastern Australia.
Phyllis McKay, 93
Phyllis Marion McKay, a former housekeeper at Gurney’s Inn who lived on West Lake Drive in Montauk for many years, died of natural causes on Sept. 26 at Kettle Brook Care Center in East Windsor, Conn. She was 93.
She was born on July 7, 1919, in Port of Spain, Trinidad, to John DeCastro and the former Delphena Calderia. She married John McKay, a native of Scotland, on March 31, 1951.
The couple and their growing family settled in Montauk around 1960, recalled Ms. McKay’s daughter Margaret (Mugzy) Blakeley of Windsor Locks, Conn. “Everybody knew them,” Ms. Blakeley said of her parents. “We were there so long.”
In the late 1970s, Ms. Blakeley said, her parents retired to Vero Beach, Fla. Eleven years ago, following a stroke, Ms. McKay moved to Kettle Brook Care Center to be closer to her children. There, she was a member of the resident council and an enthusiastic bingo player. Mr. McKay died in 2004.
In addition to Ms. Blakeley, Ms. McKay is survived by her daughters Jackie Fitzsimmons of Centereach and Elizabeth Borawski of Manchester, Conn., as well as four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. A brother, Noel DeCastro of Vero Beach, also survives.
Ms. McKay’s family has suggested memorial contributions to the Kettle Brook Care Center Recreation Fund, 96 Prospect Hill Road, East Windsor, Conn. 06088.