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Maguid Megalli, 75, of Rye, New York, passed away on December 3, 2017, surrounded by loved ones, after a nearly two-year battle with multiple myeloma.

Loved by all whose lives he touched, Mike, as he was known, will be remembered as a doting father, husband, brother, grandfather, uncle, doctor, and friend.

A true American patriot who believed deeply in the American dream, he emigrated from Egypt with his wife Viviane in 1969, becoming a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, in which he served for 12 years, and receiving his American citizenship in 1976.

He was a board-certified and nationally renowned urologist for many years before becoming a hospital executive for the second half of his illustrious career.

He completed a residency and fellowship in Urology at Columbia Presbyterian in 1974 and received a Masters of Business Administration from Pace University in 1988.

From 1982 to 1988, he served as the Chief of Urology at Saint Joseph's Medical Center in Yonkers, and as Executive Vice President of Medical Affairs from 1988 to 1999. In addition to founding SERVITAS, he served as its chairman, was Chief Medical Officer of the Catholic Health Care System, President of Benefice Advantage, and Chief Medical Officer of Our Lady of Mercy. He was also a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

His passions were politics, travel, backgammon, history, and real estate, but nothing defined the contours of his life more than his love for family and friends.

He was a longtime contributor to the Nantucket Cottage Hospital, AmeriCares, and the Republican Party. He also volunteered as the Police Surgeon for the City of Rye.

In addition to his beloved wife of nearly fifty years, Viviane Megalli, he is survived by his sons, Michael (Enrica Basilico) Megalli and Mark (Jenifer Wells) Megalli; his grandchildren, Ina, Margot, Ramzi, and Naomi Megalli; and his sisters, Myriam and Maggie. He was predeceased by his parents, Ramzi and Lydia Megalli, his brother Emad, and his sister Mona.

A memorial service was held December 17 at Coxe & Graziano Funeral Home in Mamaroneck. Donations may be made to Doctors Without Borders. For more information or to place an online condolence, visit www.coxeandgraziano.com.

 

James Sheehan Dineen, a 50-year resident of Rye, N.Y., passed away on December 6, 2017. He was 84. 

Born in New York City on January 3, 1933, he was the son of Francis Xavier and Edythe Sheehan Dineen. 

After attending the Loomis School, and the Wharton School of Finance, he graduated from Fordham University with a B.S. in Marketing in 1956.

His business career included forming JD Industries, Inc., which represented over twenty European textile mills in the United States. He retired in 2007.

Later in life, Mr. Dineen created an endowed scholarship fund for one student annually entering the teaching profession and generously supported the music department at Fordham College Lincoln Center, as well as the Fordham University Choir. 

Highbridge Voices was a cause that was near to his heart. As one of the founding trustees, he passionately supported the organization’s mission to use the performing arts to teach lessons of self-discipline, delayed gratification, and teamwork to children of the Highbridge community in the Bronx. His commitment to Highbridge Voices will have a lasting impact on the lives of hundreds of children.

He married Elizabeth “Betsy” Heminway on October 3, 1959. She survives him, as does their son, James “Chip” Dineen Jr. of Sag Harbor, and a brother, Francis Xavier Dineen of Hamden, Conn.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated December 12 at the Church of the Resurrection in Rye. 

Donations may be made in Jim Dineen’s honor to the Palliative Care Unit at Greenwich Hospital and the Outreach Program at Church of the Resurrection.

 

Gilmer Totten passed away peacefully on October 29, 2017, in West Hartford, Conn. He was 93.

Born in Cincinnati on January 24, 1924, he graduated from St. Xavier High School and attended Ohio State University before and after World War II. He served as a cryptographer in North Africa during the war.

His self-described best decision in life was marrying Laura Jeanne Heekin on June 18, 1947. The couple would go on to have 12 children, all of whom were educated in Rye.

Gil and Jeanne moved to Rye in 1962. He worked in advertising in New York City, and in the 1970s co-founded Park Row Publishers, which published medical journals.

Nothing could stop him from being home with his wife and children, and it was a rare day when the family did not eat dinner promptly at 6:15 p.m. at their home at One Grace Church Street.

A proud liberal Democrat, Mr. Totten helped raise money for Martin Luther King Jr. during the march on Selma in 1965, marched against the Vietnam War, and penned many letters to Presidents Johnson and Nixon inviting them to resign. On a local level, he served as treasurer of John Carey’s successful campaign for Mayor of Rye in 1974.

An accomplished poker player and athlete, he led his softball team, Nick’s Uncs, to victory, took home trophies from tennis tournaments, and in one feat captured in the local newspaper of the time, bowled 100 pins over his average.

In the 1970s, he was a fixture at Rye High School sporting events, where his sons played soccer, basketball, and baseball.

Mr. Totten retired in 1981 and lived in Belle Haven, Va., Burlington, Vt., and, for the last 25 years of his life, in Middletown, Conn.

In addition to his wife Jeanne, he is survived by his children: Laurie of West Hartford, Conn., Lucy of Essex, N.Y. and Miami, Fla., Margaret of Arlington, Va., Willie of Rye; Grant of Napa, Calif., Priscilla of Alexandria, Va., Dennis of West Hartford, Angela of Gaithersburg, Md., Toby of South Windsor, Conn., Ranald of Wilmington, N.C.; and Hope of Richmond, Va. His eldest son, Glenn, predeceased him in 2006.

Mr. Totten is also survived by his sister, Charlotte Heinrich of Cincinnati; 12 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

Plans for a memorial service are pending. Those wishing to honor Gil Totten’s memory with a donation may consider one of his favorite charities: Southern Poverty Law Center (www.splcenter.org); American Civil Liberties Union (www.aclu.org); or the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (www.bradycampaign.org).

 

Rosemary C. Sinnott, 75, passed away peacefully on December 11, 2017 at Greenwich Hospital, surrounded by her family. Mrs. Sinnott was a longtime resident of Rye, New York, where she was a dedicated parishioner at Church of the Resurrection.

Mrs. Sinnott was born on December 7, 1942 in Waterbury, Conn., the eldest of nine children of the late Dr. and Mrs. M. Carroll Culhane. She was named for her mother, Rosemary (Dowling), and was affectionately known as Romie.

She was a graduate of St. Margaret School in Waterbury, Conn., and Immaculata University in Immaculata, Pa.

She met her future husband, Peter Sinnott III, on a cruise for college graduates. After traveling across the Atlantic and through Europe, they fell in love in Rome. One year later, he proposed on the dock of the cruise ship’s departure. They were married on November 27, 1965 and celebrated their 52nd anniversary last month.

They were blessed with the birth of a son, Peter, in 1966, and after raising him she reentered the workforce. The Sinnott’s marriage was a true partnership and they spent 41 years working side by side at the family business, Sinnott Management Co.

A longtime member of Apawamis Club, she loved skiing at Stratton Mountain, and enjoyed spending time on the water, in particular with her family at their childhood cottage at Bayview Beach in Milford, Conn.

Mrs. Sinnott was the first woman member of the board of trustees of Canterbury School. Along with her husband, she was a past co-chair of United Way of Rye, a recent capital campaign for the Rye Free Reading Room, and the nationally recognized Rye Invitational Paddle Tennis Tournament.

Rosemary Sinnott will be remembered as a woman of deep faith, indomitable strength of character, and extraordinary kindness. Devoted to her family, she relished her role as a wife, mother, grandmother, and sister.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by her son Peter Sinnott IV and his wife Erin, and their son Michael, all of Rye; three brothers and four sisters: Michael (Mary) Culhane of Middlebury, Conn.; David Culhane of Milford, Conn.; Peter (Adrienne) Culhane of Pacific Palisades, Calif.; Anne (Don) Postles of Williamsville, N.Y.; Maureen (John) Morris of Ridgewood, N.J.; Maryjane (Paul) Markey of New Canaan, Conn.; and Carroll (Peter) Kennedy of Big Horn, Wyo.; and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her brother, Edward Culhane of Waterbury, Conn., and her niece, Corey, of Hoboken, N.J.

A mass of Christian burial will be held December 23, 2017 at 10 a.m. at the Church of the Resurrection in Rye.

Donations in her memory may be made to the Rye Free Reading Room.

 

Rachelle Marie Amira passed away on November 18,2017, a week before her 47th birthday, and after a long struggle with cancer, at Weill Cornell Hospital in New York City.

One of twelve children born to Theodore and Carol (Moran) Longnecker, Rachelle, along with her twin sister Renee, was born on November 25, 1970 in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. She attended Springstead High School in Spring Hill, Fla.

She gave birth to a beautiful daughter in 1992. Ten years later, and after her divorce, she met Frank Maro on a business trip in Lyon, France. They soon welcomed two boys and raised their family in Rye.

At the age of 39, Ms. Amira was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Initially given three years to live, she survived for more than seven years with grace and courage.

Art was the other love of her life. Known for her paintings and refurbished furniture, she possessed a happy “bohemian vibe”.

Her family said, “We’re so grateful for her artwork, which serves as a beautiful reminder of the love and light Rachelle brought to everyone.”

Her strength and resilience, said her family, were remarkable. “She greeted every treatment with a smile and every setback was an inspiration to live longer. She never considered the fact that death was a possibility. Every day was a new chance to beat this disease. Rachelle taught us all to make the most of the present moment and to smile through the hard times.”

In addition to her three children, Alexis, Frank and Michael, and her partner, Frank Maro, she is survived by her brothers: Randy, John, Teddy, Steven, Daniel, Gerald, and Timothy, and her sisters: Renee, Julie, Linda, and Lynette. 

A celebration of Rachelle Amira's life was held November 22 at Rye Presbyterian Church.

For those would like to make donations in her memory, the family asks that contributions be made to the family fund set up on You Caring, www.youcaring.com/rachelleamira-1015816.

 

Kenneth William Hirsch, age 64, of Rye, passed away at New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City on October 29, 2017.

Born in White Plains on March 15, 1953, he was the son Donald and Fay (Lipper) Hirsch. He earned an undergraduate degree in Sociology from Pitzer College in Clairmont, Calif., and an MBA in Finance from Columbia University. After graduation, he was recruited by NBC and served in the company’s Rockefeller Center headquarters for more than 20 years. There, he gained a reputation for getting things done.

For the latter portion of his career, Mr. Hirsch took on leadership positions with smaller companies where his expertise, drive, and attention to detail made a difference. At the time of his death, he served as CFO at Nicosia Creative Espresso, Ltd., an international design company with offices in Manhattan.

Mr. Hirsch was devoted to his family: his wife, Bonnie (Smith), and son, Ben. Active in the Rye community, he was a longtime and enthusiastic volunteer with the Boy Scouts. He was also a dedicated member of Community Synagogue of Rye, where he spearheaded a fundraising campaign and was a loyal member of an early morning Torah study group.

At the funeral, Rabbi Daniel Gropper spoke about Ken Hirsch’s good heart, generosity, and genuine interest in others. He also shared several stories, including one about his befriending a Starbucks barista in New York, who ended up inviting him to his child’s christening.

In his eulogy, Dr. Neil Kavey shared fond memories of his cousin, describing his fascination and talent for fixing and making everything from radios to television sets and his attentiveness and reliability at all times. “Ken was at the same time loving and giving. He was kind and warm. He felt deep love for his wife and son and deep affection for his friends. He was a true, good, and special man and much loved.”

He was predeceased by his parents, and his sister, Patty Hirsch.

Funeral services were held November 2 at the Jewish Community Center of Harrison. Internment followed at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Hawthorne.

Contributions in Mr. Hirsch’s memory may be made to the Adult Education Fund at Community Synagogue of Rye, 200 Forest Avenue, Rye, NY 10580.