Year In Review: Remembering Newtown Residents’ Lives

Published: December 31, 2018 at 06:45 am


Whether a person was a lifelong resident or called Newtown home for just a short while, the community faced the loss of many people this year who will be remembered for their great impact.

On February 13, Church Hill Road lost one of its longest tenured neighbors, Faith Gulick, 84, when she died at Masonicare in Newtown. Ms Gulick resided for almost 60 years in one of the oldest houses in Sandy Hook. During her time in town, she served as trustee of the Newtown Historical Society and was a member of the Newtown Horticultural Club.

Just three days before Frederick James Pendergast, Sr’s, 85th birthday, the lifelong Newtown resident died peacefully on September 20. He grew up with a passion for agriculture and farming, spent many days at the SAC fields, and became a United States Air Force veteran. He served in the Korean War from 1951 to 1955 as a tail gunner and won many medals.

When Mr Pendergast left the service, he worked at the Fabric Fire Hose for several years and loved driving Bus #15. For more than half a century, he was an owner/operator for the Newtown Public Schools and retired in 2009.

While in town, he established a lawn and field mowing business and Newtown Garbage Removal (NGR), the latter of which is now under the care of his son, William. Mr Pendergast was also lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus Council 185 and VFW Post 308.

Fellow Knights of Columbus member Michael Lucas, Jr, 92, died September 28. Mr Lucas was a longtime resident of Sandy Hook and was active in his church, St Rose of Lima.

After serving in the US Army during World War II, he was employed at Fairfield Hills Hospital and the State of Connecticut as a driver until his retirement. Mr Lucas also served as a chief and was a Life Member of the Sandy Hook Fire Department, celebrating his 70th anniversary with the company this past January.

Paris, France, native Stephane Colbert, 72, of Sandy Hook, died November 1 after a battle with cancer. He followed his passion for photography and became the proud owner of Colbert Photography in town.

The following day, another local photographer, Karie Marie Peterson-Hinckley, 34, of Newtown, died suddenly and unexpectedly on November 2. She was known throughout town as a loving and talented professional photographer who owned Karie Peterson Photography.

In the same edition of The Newtown Bee that her obituary was printed, one of her photographs from earlier this summer serendipitously was featured on the front page for the article “Longtime Residents Of Newtown: The Hanna Family.”

Ms Peterson-Hinckley had also been featured in The Newtown Bee’s July 29, 2017, Snapshot article, where she noted that she had recently moved to Newtown in 2014 because of her work with The Lathrop School of Dance.

Most recently, “Coach” Owen James Gallagher, 76, of Aberdeen, N.C., died peacefully December 8, at home, surrounded by his family. Mr Gallagher taught for 35 years in Newtown. He coached boys and girls in a variety of sports for 40 years, including supporting Jump Rope for Heart.

Though these residents may no longer be here, their legacy will continue on.


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