Notable local lives lost last year
NEW MILFORD — Several notable figures in politics, religious life and business from greater New Milford died in 2017. They came from all over the country, but left their marks with residents here.
Dan Falls, 64
New Milford businessman Dan Falls died in August from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident in Monroe in July. “Danny had a huge heart and will be very much missed by all who knew him,” said Doreen Van Valkenburgh, Dan Falls’ sister.
Michele Marsh, 63
Longtime New York TV anchor Michele Marsh died of complications of breast cancer at her home in South Kent in October. Marsh was an Emmy winner and a groundbreaker, the New York Times said, one of a handful of women “who had by 1980 swept into anchor positions at all five of the New York stations that had late-night news programs.”
Biddy Roger, 82
Biddy Roger was a “founding mother” of the New Milford nonprofit agency Loaves & Fishes Hospitality House that has served an estimated 400,000 meals to the underprivileged since 1984.
Emelia Worth, 18
Emelia Worth had recently told faculty and students the boarding school she attended, the Kent School, that she was transgender. Then, in January, she took her own life. “I don’t think I’m unique in being transgender, being depressed, or being at a loss for the meaning of my own life,” Emelia, a former Norwalk resident, told her peers in December 2016.
Lou White, 82
Lou White was New Milford’s first selectman from 1971-77, and a longtime leader of the local Democratic Party. Although he was a career woodworker, he was “probably the best dressed selectman or mayor New Milford has ever had,”said Art Cummings, a former editor of The News-Times.
Harry H. Taylor Jr, 86
Harry Taylor was a lifelong New Milford resident, a longtime owner of local business H.H. Taylor & Son and a volunteer firefighter with Water Witch Hose Co. #2 for 66 years.
Grace Meddaugh, 91
Grace Meddaugh was Bridgewater’s town clerk for more than three decades before retiring in 1995 and moving to Arizona, according to her obituary. She died on December 4, a month shy of her 92nd birthday.
Russ Ayre, 92
Russ Ayre was pastor of the First Congregational Church in New Milford for 32 years. He died peacefully April 10 at his home in Florida.
Tommy Roberts, 67
Tommy Roberts was one of New Milford High School’s all-time best atheletes. He was an outstanding cross-country runner, a good basketball player and exceptional middle-distance runner. He died in November.
Tommy Mitchell, 68
Tommy Mitchell, who died Dec. 3, was co-manager of the popular M&B IGA grocery store in New Milford before his retirement.
Timothy Day, 46
Tim Day was the owner and operator of Tim Day Trucking. After his death, a parade was held in his honor. He died suddenly at his home on July 22, according to his obituary.
Michael Yoder, 55
Michael Yoder was an avid gardener who died on Aug. 8 of liver and kidney failure after a severe case of babesiosis, an increasingly common tick-borne disease.
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