Ann P. Laraja, 93, Vero Beach
Ann P. Laraja, 93, a resident of Westport, Ct., for over 80 years and Vero Beach, died peacefully with her family around her on Sept. 6, 2018. She was born in New York on Oct. 19, 1924.
She graduated from high school in Mount Vernon, N.Y., in 1942, where she was part of an accelerated class for exceptional math students. In 1946, she graduated from New Jersey College for Women (Rutgers/Douglass) with a BA in psychology.
She married Frank D. Laraja on June 28, 1947. As they began a family she found time to volunteer for several organizations that helped children and people suffering from illnesses such as; the Cerebral Palsy Association, the Cancer Society, and the March of Dimes.
She also worked on a United Nations study of Japanese American children interned during WWII. It was when she began volunteering at Norwalk Hospital in the mid 1960s, that she found her true calling and sense of purpose. While working in the operating room, she was asked to start a volunteer program for the emergency room. She then replicated that program for Bridgeport Hospital. In 1974, she became an EMT and worked for the Westport Ambulance Service until 1982.
The challenges and immediacy of EMT work was where her organizational skills, knowledge of procedures and dedication to service came together. Ann was a friendly, caring person, always curious to know and understand the people she met and grew to love. She dearly enjoyed playing Bridge throughout her lifetime and will always be remembered for her inviting smile, warm laugh, and ready advice.
Her husband, Frank, and her son, Donald, predeceased her.
She is survived by her daughter, Dianne L. Gilmore, of Norwalk; two granddaughters; Mika Durrell, of Martha ’s Vineyard, and Emma Gilmore, of Cape Cod; and two great-granddaughters.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Service.
Carolyn Lansing McCluney, 100, Vero Beach
Carolyn Lansing McCluney, 100, of Vero Beach, passed away peacefully on Sept. 26, 2018, at her home. Carolyn was born on May 1, 1918, in St. Louis, Mo. She was the daughter of Ab and Margaret Lansing from St. Louis.
Carolyn graduated from Mary Institute in Ladue, a suburb of St. Louis, and attended Smith College.
She was married to her beloved husband, Henry N. McCluney, for 73 years. Henry passed away on June 4, 2013.
Throughout her life, Carolyn was a huge sports enthusiast. While living in Short Hills, N.J., in the ‘50s, she made it to the finals of the nationals in platform tennis. She was an excellent tennis player and golfer and she loved baseball, especially her St. Louis Cardinals.
Carolyn adored playing bridge and played very well until she was in her 90s. She also was an avid reader and an excellent cook.
While living in St. Louis, Carolyn devoted much of her time to the Woman’s Exchange and the Junior League. She was a member of the Garden Club in Vero Beach and a member of John’s Island Club.
Carolyn, or “Carre,” as her grandchildren called her, is survived by her two daughters, Lyn Buford and Lisa Delafield, her five grandchildren, Elisabeth Collins, Kimmie Wise, Beau Buford, Trip Manley and Lance Buford, eight great-grandchildren; and her sister, Peggy Ekberg.
Funeral services will be held privately.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to VNA Hospice Foundation, 1110 35th Lane, Vero Beach, FL 32960.