Eric P. Richards, 77

Eric P. Richards of New Canaan, CT passed away peacefully January 14, 2022  at home surrounded by his loving family.  He was 77. Eric was born on August 28, 1944 in San Francisco, CA to Roland Richards, then on a west coast assignment with the FBI, and Beatrice “Betty” Richards both of Darien, CT.  The family returned to Connecticut in 1945 and Eric was raised in Darien on the family’s waterfront property on Five Mile River Road.  

Enamored with the water from an early age, Eric began rowing boats almost from the time he could walk, then sailing and motoring around in runabouts at his Darien home.  He was an early racing sailor winning his first trophy at age 10 in Noroton Yacht Club’s mid-week dinghy series in 1955, sailing the Club’s lapstraked, wooden dyer dinghies.  Eric later successfully campaigned the family’s Jet 14 at Noroton, winning several more trophies.  This period of his life culminated in sailing on Bolero in 1964 and ’65 and racing in the ’66 Bermuda race aboard Mah Jong a 53’ all teak custom built yawl.  It was a trip to remember with estimated 50+ knots of wind crossing the Gulf Stream, the boat falling off square waves, much derring do, Eric’s first adventure into the open sea. 

Eric attended local schools in Darien through the ninth grade before enrolling at Deerfield Academy, a prep school in Massachusetts, from which he graduated in 1962.  Following Deerfield, he received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Columbia University and attended Columbia’s Graduate School of Business for a term while awaiting a commission in the US Naval Reserve.  He attended the Navy Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI.  Upon receiving his commission in March 1968 he had refocused his efforts from ships to flight and was accepted into the Naval Aviator pilot training program in Pensacola and in jets in Meridian, MS, Pensacola, FL and Kingsville, TX.  

Eric took leave to marry then Cheryle Lee Kitchen of New York City, whom he met in a French class at Columbia 2 ½ years earlier.  Following a brief honeymoon in New Orleans’ French quarter, Eric and Cheryle returned to Pensacola, then on to Texas where Eric completed his training. Eric, call sign “Yankee”, was a natural pilot.  In the spring of 1969, at the end of his training, Eric was invited to return to the advanced squadron as an instructor.

Cornelia Ann Fairty, 76

Cornelia (Corky) Ann Fairty, 76, of New Canaan, CT passed away on January 13, 2022, at home with loving family members by her side.  Corky was born on July 29, 1945, in New York City to the late Cornelius Donnelly and Margaret Stafford Cornell.  She married Robert (Bob) Fairty on April 28, 1972, and went on to have two children, who were the center of her life. Corky attended Epiphany Elementary School and Notre Dame High School in New York City before moving to Carmel, NY where she graduated from Carmel High School in 1964.  Corky always had a head for numbers and while her children were young, she worked as a bookkeeper for various residents of New Canaan.  In 1989, she started working for Bird Bonette Stauderman Inc. where she ultimately became the Chief Financial Officer.  Corky retired in 2019 but stayed on with the company as a consultant. Corky supported her community in numerous ways throughout the years, but most loved being involved with her children’s activities.  While her children were in school, Corky could be found on the PTO, running book fairs, and flipping pancakes at fundraisers.  Corky was also an active member of the United Methodist Church of New Canaan where she volunteered with Midnight Run, traveled to Mississippi to help rebuild houses in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and served on various committees alongside dear friends whom she considered family. In her free time, Corky enjoyed spending time with family, especially her grandchildren.  Corky also spent countless hours creating beautiful keepsakes for her family and friends by knitting and crocheting blankets and creating beautiful works of cross stitch and needlepoint.  Corky was also famous for her apple butter and apple jelly that she made from scratch from an old Fairty Farm recipe. Corky is survived by her children; Marc (Katie) Fairty of Orange, CT; Megan (Jeff) Easler of Zionsville, IN; her five grandchildren – Ella and Ryan Fairty and Abigail, Norah, and Raymond Easler; her brothers Peter Donnelly of Boston, MA and Marc Donnelly of Estacada, OR; her sisters Susan Burns of North Kingston, RI and Deidre (Amy Purdue) Donnelly of Richmond, VA; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and dear friends.  She is predeceased by her loving husband of 47 years; her parents; her stepfather Steven Cornell; and her brother-in-law, Gerry Burns.

Katherine Kelly Young, 59

Katherine Kelly Young (“Katy”) passed away on December 31, 2021 in New Canaan, Connecticut. She was born on April 11, 1962 in New York City to Robert Jackson Kelly Jr. and Patricia Cohalan Kelly. She is survived by her husband, William Beekman Young Jr., her son William Beekman Young III, and daughter, Sarah Margaret Young; her brothers, Robert Jackson Kelly III and Thomas Michael Kelly; and her nephew, Robert Jackson Kelly IV, and niece, Erin Patricia Kelly. Katy grew up in Darien, Connecticut. She was a graduate of Darien High School.

Patti Anne Sharpe, 71

Patti Anne Sharpe of New Canaan, CT passed away at 71-years-old on December 30, 2021, after a long battle with cancer. She was an incredible mom, wife, sister, and friend who lived her life with vibrance, a great sense of humor, and a huge heart. 

Born to Dr. and Mrs. Lawrence Shultzaberger in Philadelphia, PA, on June 27, 1950, Patti was the second of five children and grew up in Cortland, NY. She graduated from Homer Central High School before earning her degree in Biology from Bucknell University in 1972. After graduation, Patti worked in pharmaceutical sales before dedicating herself to family and friends following the birth of her first son. She lived in Philadelphia, PA; Houston, TX; Sparta, NJ; Paoli, PA; Santa Barbara, CA; and Berwyn, PA before settling in New Canaan, CT in 1990.

Mario Socci Sr., 85

Mario Socci passed away peacefully on December 27th, 2021 at the age of 85 at The Long Ridge Acute Care in Stamford, CT. 

Mario was born in Settefrati Italy on March 3rd 1936 to Guiseppe and Gaetana Socci. Mario came to America in 1954 and he worked as a laborer in New York City and later worked for the City of Stamford for 32 years. He had a landscaping business that he and his sons worked together for many years which he always took great pride in. 

He was survived by his beloved wife Margaret Socci of 62 years and his four children. His daughter Marlene Socci-Tiani and her husband Fredrick Tiani Jr of New Canaan, CT, Joseph Socci of Stamford, CT, Mario Socci Jr and his wife Dawn of Redding, CT, and Anthony Socci of Seymour, CT. And he also leaves behind four grandchildren, Fredrick Tiani III of New Canaan, CT, Ginamarie and her husband Alex Golan of Darien, CT, Christopher and Matthew Socci of Redding, CT.