Obituaries & Tributes

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Current Services for Nicholas F. Cognetta Funeral Home & Crematory These funeral listings represent services entrusted to our care over the past 15 days.

  • Richard Friese
    on September 14, 2021 at 4:00 am

    Richard Paul Friese born July 15, 1929, died peacefully at home on September 14, 2021 surrounded by his remaining loved ones. Richard P. Friese began his career in 1953 with J. Walter Thompson in NYC. He was appointed Account Executive for UniLever’s Lux Toilet Soap; the largest selling brand in America. The development of the Lux brand was credited to a decades long advertising campaign, “9 out of 10 Hollywood stars use Lux. “ Mr. Friese worked with the most glamorous stars in the Motion Picture industry, including his favorite Grace Kelly. Following a photo shoot at the Richard Avedon studio, he recalled the two of them walking down Fifth Avenue for 20 blocks. He noticed not a single New Yorker recognized the most beautiful woman in America. Parting on Fifth and 42nd Street, Grace gave him a hug and kiss, walked away soon be known as “Her Royal Highness Grace Princess of Monaco." In 1955 Mr. Friese moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico to open and manage J. Walter Thompson Company Caribbean. JWT's first assigment was to service it's highly valued account Pan American World airlines, the "flag carrier" of the United States of America. San Juan was Pan Am's largest station in the world outside of NYC. The airline was investing millions of dollars in advertising in San Juan including a nightly TV news broadcast that concluded the broadcasting day. Friese returned to NY On January 1, 1959. Ironically during the flight the pilot announced "Fidel Castro has marched triumphantly into Havana" The passengers errupted in applause but what the passengers didn't know was that Juan Trippe, the founder of Pan Am had warned President John F. Kennedy months before that Castro was an avowed Communist and an enemy of the USA. In 1962, Mr. Friese joined Newsweek at a time when the magazine industry was heavily recruiting advertising agency executives. For the next ten years he served as Corporate Adverting Manager and head of three branch offices; Pittsburgh, Los Angeles and Chicago, the only executive in the history of the magazine to hold these distinctions. Newsweek, a leading liberal publication whose editorial policies ran counter to many top Republican corporate executives; "The so called Captains of industry" In October 1962, the Cuban Missle crisis between the USA and the Soviet Union over Soviet missiles deployed in Cuba hit the news. It was the closest point to escalation into a full scale nuclear war between the two nations. The news coverage was sparse and Friese captured the moment by installing a Newsweek news ticker in the reknowned Duquesne men's club in Pittsburgh where most of them dined for lunch. It was a brilliant public relations move that helped to ease tension between democratic Newsweek and the republican captains of the industry. Friese, a life long conservative Republican convinced the corporate "captains" that Newsweek was indeed a worthy news operation. In 1969, Mr. Friese joined Ziff-Davis Publishing Company beginning his meteoric rise wthin the company from Publisher to President in less than ten years. He served as Publisher of Hotel and Travel Index, Publisher of Travel Weekly, Corporate Senior Vice President, President of the ZD Business Publications Division and finally President of Ziff-Davis Publishing Company. ZD Publishing Company published over 50 consumer magazines and business publications. Friese was an expert in magazine branding and positioning. One of his most notable repositionings was Travel Weekly, a struggling publication that grew in 18 months to become the largest trade publication in the world. Mr. Friese was an acknowledged expert on aviation and government issues and policies. He retired in 1988 following the sale of Ziff-Davis to NewsCorp and CBS Magazines. Six months later he was a principal in the acquisition of Travel Agent Magazine from Capital Cities Communications serving as President, Publisher and Editorial Director. He repositioned the publication as a newsweekly directed to the travel industry. Over the next ten years he authored over 500 consecutive weekly articles concerning industry affairs, aviation and government issues and interpretation of the news. Mr Friese served as a guest lecturer at the University of Massachusetts, Cornell University, Niagara University, and advisor to the University of South Carolina developing the Alfred Sloan Foundation School for Travel and Tourism. He served as an advisor to President Clinton on the development of Clinton's White House Conference on Travel and Tourism. He served on the Board of Directors for the Travel Industry Association of America. He received the HSMI Northwest Airlines first distinguished travel award and was the recipient of ASTA Melva Peterson Award for excellence in journalism. A lifetime golfer, Friese held memberships at the Berwind Country Club, San Juan, Mt. Lebanon Country Club, Pennsylvania, Knollwood Country Club, New York, Lakeside Golf Club of Hollywood, California, Ardsley Country Club, New York, Harbour Ridge Country Club, Palm City, Florida. An alumnus of New York University, Friese served with the United States Air Force during and after the Korean War. Upon his retirement the Travel Industry Association of America issued the following citation summing up Friese's worthy contribution: "Whereas Richard P. Friese is a highly regarded expert in the USA travel industry and has dedicated much of his time and effort to promoting industry unity and economic growth by utilizing his considerable communication skills, to bring clarity, consensus and closure to industry issues. TIA honors and commends Richard P. Friese for his passion and dedication for embodying the true sprit of industry volunteerism for the outstanding contributions he has made to the advancement of the travel and tourism industry of the United States of America." May beautiful memories of his life comfort all who knew and loved him. For those who wish to remember Dick Friese, gifts in his name may be sent to Special Olympics Connecticut at : 2666 State Street Suite One Hamden, CT 06517 Services to be held Sunday, September 19, 2021 at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Brookfield, CT at 1pm.

  • Sister Eufemia Novello
    on September 12, 2021 at 4:00 am

    Sister Eufemia (nee' Teodolinda) Novello, POSC, a member of the Little Workers of the Sacred Hearts entered into eternity on September 12, 2021, lovingly cared for by her community of Sisters. Born on November 20, 1925 in San Martino di Finita (Cosenza), Italy, she was the daughter of Redendore and Elena (Ceraldi) Novello. Sister Eufemia is survived by her nephews Italo and Levio Bellafronte residing in Italy, her cousin Vincenza Corso residing in Florida and many nieces and nephews in Canada. Sister Eufemia entered the Pontifical Institute of the Little Workers of the Sacred Hearts on August 25, 1950; made her first profession in July 1952 and took her perpetual vows on December 25, 1957. Sister Eufemia faithfully served as a religious for 71 years. In 1954 along with four other members of her congregation, Sister Eufemia left Cosenza for Stamford to support the then fledgling apostolic mission in the United States. Upon her arrival, Sister Eufemia was assigned to Saint Basil's Preparatory School as well as the Chancery of the Bishop of the Ukrainian Diocese of Stamford. From 1954 to1992, she was the principal chef for both Saint Basil’s Seminary and Saint Basil’s Prep, preparing hot meals for the hundreds of young men who passed through their doors. Since 1992, Sister Eufemia has been responsible for preparing meals for the eleven Sisters at Our Lady of Grace Convent, always providing them with sustenance and comfort. Until August, she was still busy in her beloved kitchen planning daily menus and helping to cook her famous recipes. Known for her maternal love for her community, her unassuming humility and quiet determination, Sister Eufemia will long be remembered for her spirit of sacrifice and her pragmatic approach to her work. Indeed, if food is love, then Sister Eufemia spread abundant love to everyone she met. Friends of Sister Eufemia and her community may call at Saint Maurice Roman Catholic Church, 358 Glenbrook Road in Stamford from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM on Friday, September 17, 2021. A Mass of Christian Burial will immediately follow the viewing. Entombment will be at St. John Catholic Cemetery in Darien. Masks are required for all in attendance. The Nicholas F. Cognetta Funeral Home & Crematory, 104 Myrtle Avenue, Stamford, CT 06902 is honored to assist the Sisters with the arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to The Little Workers of the Sacred Hearts, c/o Our Lady of Grace Convent, 635 Glenbrook Road, Stamford, CT 06906-1409.

  • Dr. Samit Malhotra
    on September 11, 2021 at 4:00 am

    Dr. Samit Malhotra, father, husband, son, brother, and friend, passed away Saturday, September 11, 2021 in his home of eight years in Stamford, CT at the age of 47. His death was unexpected and has caused significant grief to a family that loved him greatly. Dr. Malhotra is survived by his wife Divya Malhotra; his two daughters Rhea Malhotra and Myra Malhotra; his father Vijay Malhotra; his sister and her husband Ashu Sackett and Major Caleb Sackett and his beloved cousins, nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.Dr. Malhotra was born in Ludhiana, India on February 22, 1974 to Vijay and Veena Malhotra and raised in Dubai, UAE. Samit and Divya met and fell in love in 1993 and eventually married on May 7, 2000. They built a life together, raising two beautiful girls, Rhea and Myra, who continue to remind us every day of him. Samit was a great father that provided everything for his girls. Seeing his family happy always put a smile on his face. He loved every second he spent with his daughters and supported them through all their endeavors. He loved doing arts and crafts with them and guiding them through life’s challenges. Along with being a great family man, he was also a good friend who had a giving soul. For those who knew him both professionally and personally, he was truly a magnanimous man that was loved by everyone around him. Aside from his family, he was most proud of his professional achievements. He graduated from the University of Mysore, India with a M.B.B.S (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery). Following his graduation, he immigrated to the U.S. and began his Residency in Adult Neurology at SUNY Downstate, Brooklyn, NY. After completing his Residency, he became a Fellow of Sleep Medicine at Stanford University, CA and then eventually went onto establish his own practice, Sleep & Neuroscience Associates in Greenwich, CT. He was incredibly proud to serve in the tri-state area and truly loved helping people improve the quality of their life by treating their sleep issues. Dr. Samit Malhotra was driven and focused. His dedication to his work was appreciated by his patients, along with his sense of humor and wit. Samit will always be remembered for his gentleness, grace, and kindness. He seemed to find the good in everyone and would always put others before himself. Samit, thank you for who you were, thank you for your love, thank you for your lessons, and most of all thank you for the endless laughs and a lifetime of amazing memories. You will forever be missed. Please join us in our celebration of life remembering and honoring Dr. Samit Malhotra this Saturday, September 18, 2021 at Nicholas F. Cognetta Funeral Home & Crematory located at 104 Myrtle Avenue, Stamford, CT 06902. Masks are mandated per the state of Connecticut while in the funeral home. Prayers keeping with the Hindu tradition will be open to immediate family at 11:30 A.M. The Visitation will be open to all family, friends, and colleagues between 12:00 P.M. – 2:30 P.M. Additionally, you can join the Visitation at the following Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/7255419169?pwd=SCtuRmYyeXpYNzlsUHBIUHZ5T0JBUT09 Meeting ID: 725 541 9169 Passcode: Malhotra if you are unable to make it in person. Cremation will follow at 2:45 P.M. at the Crematory on site for the immediate family. Memorial donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital https://www.stjude.org/donate/donate-to-st-jude.html?frequency_selected=2 or American Heart Association at https://www.heart.org/?form=FUNPFMPJJTT. We wish to extend our gratitude to all that have supported us during this unexpected and difficult period.

  • Margaret Schwartz
    on September 10, 2021 at 4:00 am
  • Catena Bemonte
    on September 9, 2021 at 4:00 am

    Catena “Tena” Bemonte, 67, of Stamford passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving children on Thursday, September 9, 2021, at Stamford Hospital. She was born in Dasa Calabria, Italy to the late Francesco and Maria Vivona Scaturchio. Tena was best known for her love of life, warm heart and giving nature. She was a true legend in living life to its fullest. Her contagious smile brought love, joy, and laughter to those who surrounded her. Tena’s unconditional love for her children and grandchildren was evident in all she did. She will be dearly missed by her family and friends. Tena is survived by her loving children, Alec Bemonte and his daughter, Isabella, Jen Hilderbrand and her husband, Stephen and their children, Olivia and Stephen II, and Christa Bemonte and her children, Nevaeh, Josephina and Jezzel. Also surviving are her siblings, Agata Sette-Gentile and her husband Frank, Anthony F. Scaturchio and his wife Teresa, Joseph Scaturchio and his wife Lucy, as well as 14 nieces and nephews. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, September 14, 2021, at 11:00 AM at St. Mary’s RC Church, 566 Elm Street, Stamford. Interment will follow at Queen of Peace Cemetery, Stamford. There will be no calling hours. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Catena’s memory to Breast Cancer Research Foundation/BCRF, 28 West 44th Street, Suite 609, New York, NY 10036 The Nicholas F. Cognetta Funeral Home & Crematory is honored to assist the family with the arrangements. To leave online condolences, please visit www.cognetta.com

  • Antonio Catino
    on September 9, 2021 at 4:00 am

    Antonio Catino, 77, of Stamford passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Thursday, September 9, 2021 at Stamford Hospital. He was born in San Mango Sul Calore, Italy to the late Teodoro and Giuseppa Prizio Catino. Antonio was a man of humble beginnings. Like so many from San Mango sul Calore, he had a dream. Not to be famous or to be a politician, but for a better life. With that dream and little else, he immigrated with his family to America with the intention of doing a little better than his parents. A loyal union man to the end with the Bricklayer’s Union, he worked harder than anyone we know and he did what he set out to do – he made a comfortable life for his family and prepared his family for the future. He was a man who enjoyed the simple things in life: spending Sunday morning at the the San Manghese club, a nice bowl of pasta with a homemade glass of wine, and a nice game of briscola. He found peace in his love for his vegetable garden, which even to the end was bountiful. Antonio gave it his all and never quit. He was a great Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother, Friend, Paisano, Teacher, Provider, Inventor and one of the most talented Stone Masons in Fairfield County. Antonio is survived by his devoted wife, Angiolina Loisi Catino of Stamford, his loving sons, Teodoro “Ted” Catino and his wife Elena of Wilton, Joseph “Joey” Catino and his wife, Joann of Norwalk, five grandchildren, Lauren, Gabriela, Brianna, Anthony and Nicholas Catino, as well as his siblings, Vincenzo Catino of Stamford, Michele Catino of Italy and Carmella Catino of FL. Besides his parents, Antonio was predeceased by his sister, Assunta LaRocca. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, September 13, 2021 at 10:30 AM at Sacred Heart RC Church, 37 Schuyler Avenue, Stamford. Entombment will follow at Queen of Peace Cemetery in the Catino family private Mausoleum. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Antonio’s name to the American Cancer Society, CT Chapter, P.O Box 280285, East Hartford, CT 06128 The Nicholas F. Cognetta Funeral Home & Crematory is honored to assist the family with the arrangements. To leave online condolences, please visit www.cognetta.com

  • Mary Filardo
    on September 7, 2021 at 4:00 am

    Mary C. Filardo passed away peacefully on Tuesday, September 7, 2021 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida at the age of 99. She was born in Greenwich on March 10, 1922 to the late Joseph and Catherine Grabarz Calka. Besides her parents, Mary was also predeceased by her husband, John M. Filardo, and five brothers, John, Edward, Anthony, Bruno and Charles. Mary was a caring wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister and friend. She was a supervisor at Vectron Labs in Greenwich, where she made many life-long friends. She resided in Springdale for 64 years before moving to Florida in 2018. Mary is survived by her loving son, John M. Filardo, Jr. and his wife Susan of Florida, a brother, Joseph Calka of Stamford and two grandsons, Michael Filardo and his wife Amy of Maryland and Peter Filardo and his wife Krissy of North Carolina. Also surviving are four great-grandsons and several nieces and nephews. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, September 13, 2021 at 10:30 AM at the Church of St. Cecilia, 1184 Newfield Avenue, Stamford. Entombment will follow at St. Mary’s Mausoleum, North Street, Greenwich. The Nicholas F. Cognetta Funeral & Crematory is honored to assist the family with the arrangements. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Mary’s memory to the Church of St. Cecilia, 1184 Newfield Avenue, Stamford, CT 06905. To leave online condolences, please visit www.cognetta.com.

  • Harriet Abruscato
    on September 4, 2021 at 4:00 am

    Harriet G. Abruscato, who lived a long and happy life of 97 years, passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family on Saturday, September 4, 2021. She was born in Stamford on September 30, 1923 to the late Antonio and Speranza Russo Gervasio. Harriet was a lifelong resident of Stamford where she grew up and raised her family on the east side and was an active member of St. Mary’s Church. She was a proud graduate of Stamford High School, where she formed lifelong friendships. The “Club Girls” continued meeting monthly for over 50 years, and shared annual picnics at Sherwood Island with their families. Harriet took great pleasure in working with the Cingari family at Grade A Market for many years. For the last 46 years Harriet was involved in various volunteer positions at St. Leo Parish in Stamford. Harriet’s greatest joys came in times spent with her family. Her presence will be deeply missed. She is survived by her loving daughters, Mary Ann “Scottie” Dombrowski, Charlene (Rick) Heffernan and Jeanne (Gordon) Knight all of Stamford. She is also survived by her six grandchildren, Rebecca (Dani Brown) and David Dombrowski, Christopher and Laura Heffernan, Kevin and Rachel Knight, and two great grandchildren, Adley and Camden Brown as well as many nieces and nephews. Besides her parents, Harriet was predeceased by her husband of 58 years, S. Charles Abruscato, three sisters, Mary Attanasio, Jean Baldassare and Theresa Rotante, two brothers, Daniel and Ralph Gervasio and her son in law, Peter Dombrowski. The family is very grateful for the loving care she received at home from her healthcare aides. Family and friends may call at the Nicholas F. Cognetta Funeral Home, 104 Myrtle Avenue, Stamford on Saturday, September 11, 2021 from 9:30-10:30 AM. The funeral procession will be leaving at 10:30 AM for a Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated at 11:00 AM at St. Leo Parish, 24 Roxbury Road, Stamford. Interment will follow at St. John’s Cemetery, Darien. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Harriet’s memory to Bennett Cancer Center/Can’t Beat Pete, 1351 Washington Blvd, Suite 202, Stamford, CT 06902 or to a charity of one’s choice. For the safety of all those attending her funeral services, please wear face coverings and maintain social distancing. To leave online condolences, please visit www.cognetta.com

  • Christopher Tejeda
    on August 26, 2021 at 4:00 am

    Christopher Joseph Tejeda, 32, passed away on August 26, 2021, after a long and difficult battle with diabetes. There isn’t a hospital room big enough to fit all the people who would have wanted to be with Chris during his final moments, but his mother, father and brothers were with him until the end, trying their best to make sure he knew how many people loved and cared about him. Chris was born on July 16, 1989, in Flushing, NY. After spending the first few years of his life in Queens, he and his family moved to Lynn, MA, where Chris would spend his formative years and majority of his life. He would go on to live for short periods of time in Arizona, Maine, and a return to New York before settling in Stamford, CT in his final years. Chris was a gentle soul. The kindest and most affectionate of his immediate family. He loved others more than he loved himself, never hesitating to give on to others whatever little he had. Chris was quirky but was also insightful. He’d often find a way to cheer you up just when you needed it and would travel long distances just to see someone he loved or cared about. Even through his illness, he would remain extremely positive and tell you he was fine so as not to worry anyone. There is so much that could be said about Chris: he enjoyed cooking and loved food; liked the outdoors; loved anime, manga and going to NY Comic Con; but what he’ll be remembered for the most is the impact he had on others. He’d spend hours every day on the phone, not just with friends, but with his niece, Ana, or his cousins. He was a friend and confidant to the teens and young people in his family especially. Forever young at heart and a model of kindness, Chris was always ready and willing to listen and offer advice if you ever needed it. Chris would want to be remembered as a caring, kindhearted son, brother, uncle and friend who loved those closest to him more than anything. As a goofy, sweet, and fun person who was always up for karaoke, a game of Guitar Hero, or a last-minute trip to the movies. Either that, or he’d want to be remembered as a wolf. Chris is survived by his grandmother, Ofelia Mejia. His mother Virginia E. Tejeda. His stepfather Jaime Acosta. His father, Felixberto Nova. His brothers Andres, John, and Gustavo Tejeda. His nieces Ana and Rin Tejeda and his nephew Marco Tejeda. In lieu of flowers, you can make a donation to the Diabetes Foundation - https://diabetesfoundationinc.org/ Select “Make a Donation” at the top right corner of the home page. Follow directions and, towards the end, check the box under “Honoree Information” and enter “In Memory” and Christopher Tejeda.

  • Richard Nowlin
    on April 21, 2020 at 4:00 am

    Richard T. Nowlin passed away on the morning of April 21, 2020 due to complications from COVID-19, with a caring and devoted medical staff by his side. We would like to thank Stamford Hospital for their dedication to Richard. Born on June 16, 1944, to Evelyn M. and Terry W. Nowlin. Rick was a lifelong Stamford resident, who always cherished all the opportunities life had to offer. Rick attended Willard Elementary School, Burdick Junior High, graduated from Rippowam High School in 1963 and shortly after graduation, enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Rick always had many interests and passions, especially when it came to horses, becoming an excellent equestrian at an early age, thanks to his parents. Rick was also a third-generation volunteer fire fighter at the Turn of River Fire department following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather (Willis T. Nowlin), and also had a love and passion for hunting. But his interests didn’t stop there. As time went on, his love and passion for automobiles and motorcycles took over, whether it was driving them or rebuilding them. He was also an avid fan of Country and Western music (but only the old artists, as he would say) and couldn’t understand how they called today’s new music Country at all! Rick will always be remembered for having the biggest heart, for being a good kind man, always putting everyone else’s needs before himself and of course he had the most infectious laugh and smile. We will always thank God for having him in our lives. Rick leaves this world as loving his two sons, Peter Nowlin (Donna) and Michael Nowlin (Terri), his grandchildren, Amanda Beschle (Adam) and Alexa Bitzer, his great-grandchild, Kiya Beschle and a new great-grandchild, Baby Beschle, arriving in June. He also will be sadly missed by his former spouse, Theresa Charkales, who remained his lifelong friend and a constant in his life; his sisters, Barbra Nowlin Bernini (Skip), Valerie Nowlin Mascaro and Traci Nowlin Rotante (Paul), His Aunt and Godmother, Ruth Valenzano. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, great niece and nephew and cousins. Due to the current health crisis in our state, no wake or funeral services will take place. A graveside service and the inurnment will be held at a later date along with a celebration of his life. Arrangements are being graciously attended to by The Nicholas Cognetta Funeral Home & Crematory in Stamford, CT.