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Marianne Josephine Woudhuysen died peacefully on September 30, 2017 at her home in Greenwich, Conn.

She was born on September 19, 1921, to Maurits and Marie de Kadt in Haarlem, the Netherlands. When war came to the Netherlands in 1940, her family was vacationing in southern France and managed to leave from there for the United States.

In New York City, Marjo, as she was called, reconnected with a Dutch friend, Andries (Dries) Woudhuysen, who had escaped the German occupation through Sweden, and then made his way to the United States through the Soviet Union, Japan, and Canada. They were married in New York City in 1942.

The couple moved to wartime London, where they lived until after the end of the war and where Mr. Woudhuysen served with the Dutch armed forces and later the Dutch Foreign Service. Mrs. Woudhuysen served in the Red Cross woman’s military auxiliary organized by the Dutch government in exile.

After the war, they moved to Washington D.C., where he served as Financial Attaché at the Dutch Embassy. In 1952, they moved back to New York City, when he joined the investment-banking firm of Burnham & Company, later Drexel Burnham Lambert, and went on to become a prominent international security trader.

In 1956 they settled in Rye. Marjo became a well-known member of the Dutch community in New York City and served for many years in several charities in Rye of which the Twigs of Westchester County and its shop, Twig Antiques, were especially dear to her. She also volunteered at United Hospital in Port Chester.

After her husband retired, he was asked to serve as a consultant at Burnham & Company’s Tokyo office. During the nearly two-year assignment in Japan, Mrs. Woudhuysen became happily involved with the American community there and it was one of the highlights of their early retirement.

When they returned to the States, they settled in Greenwich, where Marjo volunteered with Neighbor to Neighbor.

The Woudhuysens shared a long and happy marriage with travel to many countries and an active social life. Marjo was a woman with an outgoing personality and a well-developed sense of humor, and a great hostess who loved to entertain her many friends. Dries died in 1996.

Shortly before her death, she celebrated her 96th birthday with her daughter and a group of friends. She was devoted to her daughter and granddaughters and loved spending time with them.

She is survived by her daughter, Marianne Penn of Norwich, England, and her granddaughters, Caroline Penn of London, and Victoria Penn of Norwich. Her younger sister Edith and elder brother Sidney predeceased her.

A celebration of Marjo Woudhuysen’s life will take place at a future date. Donations in her memory may be made to Mercy Ships or Doctors Without Borders.

 

Frederick Joseph Pagnani, age 83, a longtime resident of Greenwich and Rye, died peacefully at home on October 18, 2017.

Born on October 24, 1933 in New York, he was the youngest of five children of Salvatore and Mariana Pagnani. He graduated from Grover Cleveland High School, City College of New York, and Harvard Law School. During his college years, he worked at the New York Bar Association Library and, after graduating, served in the Army Reserves.

A successful lawyer and businessman, his career spanned from mass torts defense and insurance defense litigation to Russian Adventure Tours. Through his involvement with the 1964 New York World’s Fair, he developed business and personal relationships that would take him all over the world and involve him in ventures in Russia, China, and London.

Outside of his professional life, Mr. Pagnani supported the arts and volunteered his time with organizations that he cared about. He served on the Board of Governors and as President of Westchester Country Club, and was a trustee of the Army War College, and a longtime member of the board of trustees at Hackley School.

If he wasn’t working or volunteering, Mr. Pagnani could be found at Westchester Country Club on the tennis or paddle courts with his friends, in the Harvard Hall room at the Harvard Club holding court (and a cocktail), or listening to classical music, likely at Lincoln Center or Tanglewood.

An avid sports enthusiast, he was both a player and a fan. From the handball courts to the baseball diamond, if he was not playing or cheering on one of his many children or grandchildren, he was watching and praying for his beloved Mets and Jets.

His love of the arts and sports was only surpassed by his love of family. He was the devoted father of Pamela, Allyson, Rick, Keith, Marissa, and Vanessa, and cherished grandfather of Jennie (Mark DiFiore), Charlie, Aidan, Colin, Eli, Mackenzie, Sloan, Kiernan, Keith Jr., Kristen, and Kyle. He considered himself blessed to have a beautiful great-granddaughter, Charlotte, and to count his daughters-in-law, Amy and Katy, and sons-in-law, Christopher and Michael, as such important parts of his family. And, who could forget, his beloved grand-dogs, Kooper and Ace.

He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Christine Pagnani, with whom he traveled the world, entertained the neighborhood, enjoyed countless tennis games and rounds of golf, and experienced the great music and theater afforded by wherever they were. He is also survived by his loving sister, Mathilda Pezalano of Rye Brook, and his first wife, Virginia Pagnani.

A funeral service was held October 24 at Resurrection Church. A celebration of life followed at Westchester Country Club.

Contributions in Mr. Pagnani’s memory may be sent to Part of the Solution (POTS), 2759 Webster Avenue, Bronx, NY 10458.

 

Eugene Edward O’Brien, age 89, of Stratford, Conn., passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family on October 21, 2017.

Born to Terese (née Dunn) and Thomas Chester O’Brien Sr., Gene was a longtime resident of Rye and a graduate of Rye High School, class of 1946.

After serving in Europe during the Korean War, he earned his bachelor and master degrees in International Relations at the Universidad Interamericana in Mexico City.

He then returned to Rye, and went on to a long career in promotions and advertising at Dunham & Smith, a leading military marketing and services company located in Greenwich and Norwalk.

Mr. O’Brien and his wife Maureen (Kelley) later moved to Fairfield, where they spent the last 18 years enjoying retirement.

In addition to his beloved wife, he is survived by his two sisters, Karin Carozza of Bridgeport and Marjorie Mori of San Mateo, Calif.; fourteen nieces and nephews; four stepchildren, Brien E. Kelley (Patricia), Ellen R. Kelley, Regan Kelley Orillac (Manuel), and James P. Kelley (Brigid); and twelve grandchildren.

He was predeceased by his brother, Thomas, and sister, Mary Gratia, O.P.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at Our Lady of Peace Church in Stratford. A future private burial will take place in Rye. Donations in Eugene O’Brien’s memory may be made to Our Lady of Peace Sanctuary Fund.

Regan Kelley Orillac

45 E 82 Street, Apt 10E

New York, NY 10028

+12122560801

Irene Berns of Rye passed away on October 24, 2017 at The Osborn, where she had lived for a number of years. This summer, she celebrated her 90th birthday with family and friends at a luncheon at La Panetière.

Born in Riga, Latvia, on June 23, 1927, she was the daughter of Max and Helen Brussovansky. The family traveled through western Europe to escape the Nazis, eventually making their way from Portugal to New York City in December 1940. In 1944, she graduated from the Calhoun School on Manhattan’s West Side as salutatorian. She then attended the University of Vermont and in 1948 graduated from Barnard College, where she majored in French and International Studies. During college, she studied for a year at the University of Geneva. She obtained her teaching certificate at Marymount College in 1955, and her Master’s in Education in French and Russian at Teachers College, Columbia University in 1965.

For many years, she taught languages at Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua, where she was proud to have started the Russian and German language programs. She also taught French and Spanish, and was fluent in Italian. She kept up her reading in several languages until recently.

Irene believed that teaching foreign culture was a essential to teaching a language. An accomplished cook, she often invited her language classes home for Russian, French, or German-themed dinners. Both before and after retirement in 1982, she was active in foreign travel and student exchange programs. In 1975, she attended the University of Moscow on a U.S. government grant to study the teaching of Russian language and culture.

In April 1949, she and Richard T. Berns were married at her parents’ apartment at The Majestic on Central Park West in Manhattan. They were married for 53 years. Richard was a travel agent until his retirement, and they traveled frequently around the world. She continued her travels after her husband’s death in 2012, and in recent years she visited Germany, Italy, England, and Switzerland with her children.

She was the loving mother of Mitchell Berns (Kimberly) of Rye, Barbara Klein (Gregory), and Diana Bern;, cherished grandmother of Austin and Lindsay Klein and Max, Blake, and Henry Berns; and great-grandmother of Anora Irene and Eden Rose. In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by her dear brother Victor Brussovansky.

Donations in remembrance of Irene Berns may be made to the Arthritis Foundation, P.O. Box 96280, Washington, DC 20067, or online at www.arthritis.org (“Honoring and Memorials” tab under the “Donate” tab).

A graveside memorial service was held October 27 at Westchester Hills Cemetery in Hastings-on-Hudson. To place an online condolence, visit www.zionchapel.com.



Robert Franklin Ennis Sr. of Rye and Westhampton Beach, Long Island, a longtime advertising executive, died peacefully on October 15, 2017 at the age of 93.

Born in San Francisco, Frank, as he was known, attended Stanford University until World War II broke out and he transferred to the Naval Academy. After serving his country, he earned a degree in Engineering. Following graduation in 1947, he remained in the Navy for seven years, stationed primarily in the Mediterranean. A fellow officer introduced him to Betsy Simpson in New York, and they married in 1952.

Following the Navy, Frank worked as an advertising account executive or division manager for BBDO, Glaxo, Smith-Kline Beecham, and Hoffmann-LaRoche, with clients such as Chanel and Yardley.

Frank and Betsy raised their four children, Wynne, Rob, and twins Lisa and Cam in Rye. In 1999, a tragic plane crash took the lives of Betsy Ennis and sons Rob and Cam, who had all been on safari. To honor Rob, Mr. Ennis donated a ship model that Rob had built, which is displayed in the ballroom at American Yacht Club.

At age 80, Mr. Ennis started a bridge club at the Westhampton Beach Free Library, and continued organizing duplicate bridge for over 80 members until a few weeks ago. An avid tennis player, he put away his racquet at the age of 90.

In addition to his daughters, Wynne Ennis and Lisa Barron, Mr. Ennis is survived by his granddaughters, Alyssa Lawson, Lindsay Syhakhom, and Leigh Barron, and his grandson, Mason Barron.

A memorial service was held at Rye Presbyterian Church on November 2. Donations in Mr. Ennis’ name may be made to The S.E.L.F.-Help Foundation, 570 Main Street, New Rochelle, NY 10801.

 

Bradford Ernest Smith, a longtime Rye resident, died peacefully at The Osborn Pavilion on October 18, 2017. He was 89.

B
orn on September 1, 1928 in Worchester, Mass., he was the son of Gertrude and Ernest Smith. He grew up in Bayside, Queens, and later attended Harvard University from which he graduated in 1949.

He worked as a reporter for several newspapers before he was called up to serve in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. After serving his country, Mr. Smith went to work for a number of corporations, including: CBS, Bell Telephone, Mobil, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. In many of these positions he worked as a journalist and was responsible for preparation of promotional materials and reports. He also had the opportunity to work behind the camera in preparing various programs for broadcast as both a scriptwriter and director.

In 1958, he married Justine (Tina) McGann and they moved to Rye, where they resided for over 50 years.

Mr. Smith was an avid sailor, skier, swimmer, and traveler. For many years he could be found at the helm of his Herreshoff “S” Class sailboat, <Nereid>, participating in weekend races on Long Island Sound. He and his wife traveled all over the globe by air and sea and visited many countries in South America, Europe, and the Middle East.

After retiring in 1986, he dedicated his remaining time to supporting his wife and family. It was then that he began to develop his writing and pursue other avenues of literature. He prided himself on being a voracious reader and critic of the written word. 

“Brad was a kind and inquisitive rebel always searching for the truth,” said his family. After his wife's death, he became an active member of the community at The Osborn, where he continued to write and develop his passion for playing the piano.

Mr. Smith is survived by his brother
, Harold Smith; his sister, Jeanne Smith; his sons, Gregory Bradford Smith (Jodi) and Martin Rene McGann (Lee); and five grandchildren.

A memorial for Mr. Smith will be held at K
ensico Cemetery in Valhalla, N. Y., on Sunday, November 19 at noonAll are welcome to attend and celebrate his life.

Donations in Brad Smith’s memory may be made to The Rye Arts Center, 51 Milton Road, Rye, New York 10580.