The friendship and hard work of our recently deceased members are sorely missed.
Sofi (Janaros) Cofield, 83, of Middletown, RI, a career Newport Public School Department employee, co-owner
of Rent-A-Husband, and beloved member of the St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church community passed away on September 7, 2023.
Born in Newport, RI, she was the loving wife to Clyde (Kip) H. Cofield, former Middletown police officer, and devoted mother to Michael H. Cofield and Steven C. Cofield. Sofi and Kip were happily married for 54 years, living in Middletown for the duration of their lives.
Her husband, Kip, and parents Michael P. Janaros and Mary (Pappas) Janaros precede Sofi in death.
Her loving sons Michael Cofield of New York City, and Steven Cofield of Portsmouth, RI and granddaughter, Taylor Nicole Cofield, of Portsmouth survive her.
Sofi is also survived by her twin sister, Tina Janaros Fowler, her sister Joanne Janaros Cadenazzi, and her brother Peter E. Janaros, and his wife Diane Marcucci Janaros. She also leaves godchildren, nieces, nephews, and many cousins and friends who were like sisters to her (you know who you are).
Sofi graduated from the then-new Rogers High School in 1958. After graduation, she began what became a 30-year career with the Newport School Department. Her fondest memories were of the 17 years she spent in the Dean's Office with Sheila Winter, James Martland, and Ferrer Buratti. She often enjoyed encountering her "RHS" kids and learning of their life accomplishments.
In the late 1980s, Sofi and Kip started the family-run handyman/construction business "Rent A Husband," which they operated together for 29 years.
Sofi was a member of the St. Spyridon Church Parish Council, Secretary of the church Restoration Project, and co-chaired the Beautification of St. Spyridon Church. She was an active member of the St. Spyridon Philoptochos Society, helping to lead the establishment of the St. Spyridon Soup Kitchen.
Sofi often joked that she was long on interest but short on talent in many creative endeavors. She claimed to be lousy in several mediums: charcoal, watercolors, oil paints, folk art, and ceramics, to name but a few. However, growing and showing her roses was her passion. Sofi was a well-decorated Rosarian and founding/charter member of the Rhode Island Rose Society serving as Publicity Chair, as well as many terms on the Board of Directors. She was active in both the Portsmouth and Middletown Garden Clubs.
Socially, she enjoyed her RHS "Homemakers Club", who gathered regularly for decades after graduation. For over 40 years Sofi and Kip enjoyed camping at Maple Park with family and good friends. Her Weight Watchers coffee group and Bunco Night were also a source of many fond friendships.
Sofi was happiest when she was surrounded by her family and friends and entertaining. She will be remembered for her sense of humor and laughter she shared with friends (and some strangers). Her spirit lives on through her pride and joy: her sons and granddaughter.
Her family wishes to gratefully acknowledge the compassionate care provided by the staff of Village House Special Care Unit during her two-year residence.
In lieu of flowers, Memorial Offerings in Sofi's memory may be made to St. Spyridon Church Soup Kitchen or Philoptochos Society.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, September 12, 2023, from 4:00-7:00 PM in the Memorial Funeral Home, 375 Broadway, Newport.
A Funeral will be offered Wednesday, September 13 at 10:00 AM in St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church, 390 Thames St. Newport. Burial will follow at the Four Corners (Middletown) Cemetery.
Dorothy Morris Backman March 23, 2023
Dorothy Morris Backman formerly of Portsmouth Rhode Island passed away peacefully at home in South Carolina on March 23, 2023, at the age of 82. She was the daughter of the late John and Mary Morris, also of Portsmouth. Dorothy was proud of her roots and considered Portsmouth her home. After she graduated from St. Catherine's Academy and Katharine Gibbs College, she married her loving husband, William "Bill" Backman. This past year they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Together they had three children, William Backman, Roger Backman, and Maria "Mia" Worrell. Dorothy was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend.
Dorothy worked for a few years with the phone company and with Raytheon, though she devoted much of her life to her true passion, spending quality time with family and friends. During the summer they enjoyed time at the beach and hosting pool parties. As winter rolled around the family spent many weekends with the Newport Ski Club in Vermont.
An active member of the local community, Dorothy cherished her time volunteering to help others and sought ways to make her community a better place. Dorothy organized flower shows for the senior center in Portsmouth, and knitted prayer shawls for the Veterans Home in Bristol. Dorothy was elected to the Town of Portsmouth Water Board, and the Zoning Board. She was President of the Portsmouth Garden Club and an Honorary Member of the Rhode Island Federation of Garden Clubs. Finding joy in her gardens, she tended to her vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Other hobbies included floral arranging, sewing, quilting, jewelry making, birdwatching, painting, and cooking. Her stuffed clams "stuffies" and candy cane cookies were legendary. When it came time to relax Dorothy enjoyed a nice cup of tea and a good book.
Dorothy is survived by her husband William "Bill" Backman, daughter Maria "Mia" Worrell (Timothy). two grandchildren, Vivienne and Holden Worrell and sister Marie D'Alessio (William).
A Celebration of Dorothy's Life will take place at North Burial Ground in Bristol Rhode Island on June 24th, 2023 at 11:00 am.
Posted online on May 11, 2023
Published in Newport Daily News
Marilyn Lee (Forte) Brockway
July 26, 1946- February 15, 2023
MARILYN, AGE 76 - WIFE, MOTHER, SISTER, GRANDMOTHER, LOVER OF FLOWERS AND ANIMALS, LIBRARIAN AND FRIEND - PASSED AWAY ON FEBRUARY 15, 2023. SHE IS SURVIVED BY HER THREE CHILDREN: ELIZABETH L. FOLLANSBEE (ANTONIO), DANA ROBERT COLARULLI (NANCY DRANE), AND KATIE I. BROCKWAY (MONA); HER GRANDCHILDREN AILINN AND BRAEDEN COLARULLI; HER SISTER ELAINE VENDETTI (JEFF), BROTHER JAMES FORTE (NANCY), AND BROTHER-IN-LAW ANTHONY DIIORIO; AND MANY NIECES, NEPHEWS SHE WAS PREDECEASED BY HER HUSBAND OF 40 YEARS, KENNETH H. BROCKWAY, HER PARENTS SAMUEL AND LEE FORTE, AND HER SISTER, DONNA DIIORIO (ANTHONY).
Marilyn had a loving heart, a warm presence and, throughout her life, was passionate about serving her community. Marilyn actively and proudly engaged in a variety of organizations including as a past president of the Portsmouth Garden Club (multiple terms), past president of the Portsmouth Public Education Foundation, and on the board of the Robert Potter League for Animals. She cared deeply about participating in her community and leaving behind a positive impact where she could. Whether that was organizing and fundraising for beautification projects in Portsmouth on behalf of the garden club or increasing resources available to support local teachers and students, she sought to do what she could to make Portsmouth a beautiful and vibrant community. Plants were just one of Marilyn's many passions. She loved the Audrey Hepburn quote: "To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow."
MARILYN RECEIVED HER BACHELORS OF ARTS IN 1968 AND THEN A MASTERS OF LIBRARY SCIENCE IN 1972 FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND. SHE BEGAN HER CAREER AS A CHILDREN'S LIBRARIAN. A COLLEAGUE ONCE NOTED THAT "HER CLAM AND EFFICIENT MANNER ALLOWED HER TO EFFECTIVELY INSTILL A LOVE OF BOOKS IN THE YOUNGEST AMONG US. SHE WAS PARTICULARLY PROUD TO HAVE SERVED AS A CHILDREN'S LIBRARIAN AT THE REDWOOD LIBRARY IN NEWPORT WHERE SHE REESTABLISHED THE CHILDREN'S COLLECTION AND DEVELOPED COMMUNITY PROGRAMS FOR CHILDREN. ALWAYS LEARNING AND GROWING, MARILYN ALSO REINVENTED HERSELF THROUGHOUT HER LIFE, WITH VARIOUS ROLES IN RHODE ISLAND AND DURING HER TIME LIVING IN NEW YORK.
A CARING, BRAVE, AND DRIVEN INDIVIDUAL, SHE UNAPOLOGETICALLY PRIORITIZED HER CHILDREN, HUSBAND, GRANDCHILDREN, AND FAMILY ON HER DAILY "TO DO" LISTS. SHE BELIEVED IN ONE'S ALLOWED HER TO EFFECTIVELY INSTILL A LOVE OF BOOKS IN THE YOUNGEST AMONG US. SHE WAS PARTICULARLY PROUD TO HAVE SERVED AS A CHILDREN'S LIBRARIAN AT THE REDWOOD LIBRARY IN NEWPORT WHERE SHE REESTABLISHED THE CHILDREN'S COLLECTION AND DEVELOPED COMMUNITY PROGRAMS FOR CHILDREN. ALWAYS LEARNING AND GROWING, MARILYN ALSO REINVENTED HERSELF THROUGHOUT HER LIFE, WITH VARIOUS ROLES IN RHODE ISLAND AND DURING HER TIME LIVING IN NEW YORK.
A CARING, BRAVE, AND DRIVEN INDIVIDUAL, SHE UNAPOLOGETICALLY PRIORITIZED HER CHILDRE, HUSBAND, GRANDCHILDREN, AND FAMILY ON HER DAILY "TO DO" LISTS. SHE BELIEVED IN ONE'S ABILITY TO CHART THEIR OWN DESTINY AND TO LEAVE THEIR MARK. SHE TOUCHED MANY LIVES ALONG HER JOURNEY WITH HER THOUGHTFULNESS, WARM SMILE, AND LOVING PERSONALITY. MARILYN, KEN, AND ELIZABETH HAVE BEEN ACTIVE PARISHIONERS AT ST. PAUL'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH. MARILYN LOVED AND CHERISHED THE FRIENDSHIPS SHE BUILT AT ST. PAUL'S AND IN THE PORTSMOUTH GARDEN CLUB. FOLLOWING KEN'S DEATH, MARILYN PETITIONED AND RECEIVED APPROVAL FROM THE STATE OF RHODE ISLAND AND THE TOWN OF PORTSMOUTH TO REVITALIZE A GARDEN AT THE INTERSECTION OF EAST MAIN ROAD AND CHURCH LANE IN MEMORY OF HER HUSBAND. HER FAMILY IS HAPPY THAT IT WILL CONTINUE AS A BEAUTIFUL REMINDER OF BOTH MARILYN AND KEN.
IN LIEU OF FLOWERS, PER MARILYN'S WISHES, YOU MAY MAKE A DONATION TO THE PORTSMOUTH GARDEN CLUB, P.O. BOX 826, PORTSMOUTH, RI 02871, TO SUPPORT THE LONG-TERM MAINTENANCE OF THIS GARDEN, OR TO ST. PAUL'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH FOR THE ALTAR GUILD.
RECEIVING HOURS WILL TAKE PLACE AT CONNORS FUNERAL HOME, 55 WEST MAIN ROAD, PORTSMOUTH, R.I. 02871, FROM 3:00 TO 6:00 P.M. ON SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19. A MEMORIAL SERVICE WILL BE HELD ON MONDAY, FEBRUARY 20 AT 10: FEBRUARY 20 AT 10:00 A.M. AT ST. PAUL'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 2679 E. MAIN ROAD, PORTSMOUTH, RI 02871. THE SERVICE WILL BE LIVESTREAMED AND RECORDED. A PRIVATE BURIAL WILL IMMEDIATELY FOLLOW THE SERVICE.
Pamela Christine Maxon February 2, 2022
Pam, 75, passed from this life into the next on February 2nd. She was the daughter of the late Clark S. Maxson and Louise K. (Williams) Maxson of Newport, RI, and the wife of the late Stephen DeMello of Middletown, RI. She is survived by her son, Richard Sousa and his wife Kim, by her brother Stephen C. Maxson, by her sister Linda L. Irish, by her uncle Kenneth Williams and his wife Betty, by her grand-dog, Piper, by three nephews, two grand nieces, a grand nephew, by four great grand nephews, and many cousins.She was a graduate of Rogers High School (1964). While attending Newport Schools, she was a champion equestrian and an award-winning roller skater. After high school, she attended Jo Ann’s School of Cosmetology in Warwick RI. Initially, she was employed as a hairdresser and cosmologist at several salons on the Island. Later with others, she bought one of these.
This was rebranded as Oasis Salon and Spa which was very prestigious. During this time, she was an aerobics instructor at the Newport Athletic Club. She also participated in many walkathons to raise funds for charities. After retiring from Oasis, she obtained a degree as a Certified-Nursing-Assistant (CNA). As a CNA, she was employed at St. Clare’s Nursing Home in Newport and had several private duty patients on the Island. Also, she continued as a hairdresser for individual clients. More recently, she became the Assistant Director of Social Activities at the John Clark Nursing Home in Middletown. There she was also a hairdresser for the patients. The staff and patients had great affection for her.
She was deeply spiritual and religious. She attended Sunday school at the First Congregation Church in Newport. While in HigShe was deeply spiritual and religious. S While in High School, she was admitted to this church community. As an adult she was a servant leader to this church and for all. She led by example as she gave of her time and talents for others. She continued to be a servant leader upon joining the Calvary United Methodist Church in Middletown. She lived the two great commandments which are to love God and to love your neighbor. And she was much loved by family, colleagues, parishioners, friends, and many others.
Pam loved life in many ways. She thoroughly enjoyed Newport with its many restaurants and shops. She often dined or shopped with her sister of the heart, Annette Jarvis. She enjoyed cooking preparing excellent meals for herself and others; in her library, there were many cook books. She was thrilled by fire work displays such as those over the Pell Bridge. She was a collector of Japanese art and the art of her Aunt Ellen. She enjoyed working with plants and flowers, and she was member of the Portsmouth Garden Club. She was very passionate about environmental issues. These included ridding the seas of plastic straws which can be inhaled by sea turtles killing them.
She was also an avid collector of ceramic and glass turtles. When asked how these came home with her, she would often say that they just jumped into her purse. She also collected stuffed turtles, jewelry, art, and clothing. She often wore a turtle necklace, turtle earrings, and a shirt covered in turtles. Sometimes, she wore sox with many turtles on them. For all of this, she was known as “The Turtle Lady”.
When all else fails and fades, it will be her joie de vivre, energy, devotion, and love that will live on in our hearts. The funeral service will be held at 11am on Saturday, February 18 at Calvary United Methodist Church, 200 Turner Road, Middletown, RI. Burial will be at Island Cemetery at 1:30 pm.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Robert Potter League for Animals, RI Diabetes Association, or Calvary United Methodist Church,
JOY E. SCHUUR, December 27, 1933- October 4, 2022