Joseph R. Sexton (Joe) was born on March 1, 1925 in Litchfield, Minnesota. He was preceded in death by his parents, Elizabeth and Romeo Sexton, his sister, Eileen, his brother Jim, and his first wife, Barbara MacLea. Surviving Joe are his wife, Ann, his three sons Bennet of Stamford, CT, Steve of San Diego, CA, and Derek of New York NY, his step daughter Dianne Vara and her husband Michael, and his step grandchildren Chase, Carson and Claudia.
Joe’s small hometown of three thousand was a great place to grow up. He was baptized and made his first communion at St. Phillip Catholic Church in Litchfield, MN. While there his family had a lot of room, so they always had a pony, pigeons, baby chicks, and rabbits. His dogs were Duke and Mike, both Chesapeake Retrievers. There were also other dogs of questionable ancestry.
John B. Donovan is retired as a communications adviser to senior corporate executives, domestic and foreign, and the founder of a discussion forum for diplomats and business leaders in New York.
John will be speaking about his experiences a half-century ago pertaining to the Cold War — in Cuba, Vietnam, Berlin, and Washington. He is the son of the late New York lawyer James Donovan, whose story has just been dramatized by Steven Spielberg in the film “Bridge of Spies,” recently nominated for six Oscars. In the climax of the movie, James Donovan, played by Tom Hanks, negotiates the exchange of Soviet master spy Rudolph Abel for the American pilot at the center of what was called the U-2 affair. John himself was detained briefly in East Berlin the following year in an incident that also related to the KGB in a curious way.
Later that year his father negotiated with Fidel Castro for the release of the men captured at the Bay of Pigs, and John accompanied him on one of his negotiation trips as they traveled across Cuba with Fidel Castro – a situation that almost included a bizarre assassination attempt against Castro.
A resident of Norwalk, John is an alumnus of American University’s graduate program in world affairs from the standpoint of communication and is co-author with Pablo Perez-Cisneros of After the Bay of Pigs. He is a former vice chairman of the NY Metro Committee for UNICEF and the author of a book of Bible stories for children.
Charlie Dowd, who is currently Senior VP of Operations for Harbor Yards Sports & Entertainment in Bridgeport, will talk about the funny and not so funny things that have occurred in his over 22 years of senior management experience in minor league baseball and other sports.
He has served as General Manager of the New Haven Ravens and Connecticut Defenders (Norwich, CT) in the AA Eastern League, and CEO and General Manager of the Atlantic League (independent) Bridgeport Bluefish and Newark Bears.
Charlie, who resides in Madison, has a BA degree from CCNY and a Juris Doctorate from the Western New England College School of Law.
Philip Batterman Smith died on January 29th in Delray Beach Florida, after a brief illness. Mr. Smith was born in New York City on January 5, 1936 to Allen Batterman Smith and Eleanor Irving of Rye, NY. He was a resident of Darien, CT for 55 years, and part time resident of Delray Beach, Florida and Edgartown, Massachussetts.
Phil is survived by his wife of 55 years, Linda May Smith and his three daughters, Susan Smith Pettenati (John) of Ridgewood, NJ, Elizabeth Smith Klein (Michael) of Darien, CT and Alice Smith Clark (Jonathon) of New Canaan, CT, and his son in law, Kenneth A. Southworth. He was predeceased by his daughter Eleanor Smith Southworth. He is also survived by his 10 grandchildren Jack, Michael and Luke Pettenati; Molly, Larsen, and Grace Klein; Caroline and Jack Clark; Katherine and Alden Southworth and many more relatives including his two nieces, Marjorie Roney of Darien, CT and Dorothy Holt of Cumberland Foreside, ME and their families, and his cousin William H. Morton of Vero Beach Florida.
Born into a film-business family and raised in Hollywood, Susan appeared as a child actress in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, and Lassie.
For more than 25 years she has been an on-air television and radio critic, bringing an experienced and unique perspective to the movie business. Her commentaries are distributed around the world by SSG Syndicate.
In addition, her work has been published in The New York Times, Redbook, Ladies Home Journal, Working Woman, Family Circle, Cosmopolitan, and numerous other publications. Susan is also the feature film critic for Video Librarian magazine, distributed to libraries throughout the country.
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