Obituaries November 27

Posted on 26 November 2008

Richard Novatka

Richard Novatka, born September 20, 1949 and raised in Sag Harbor, died on November 8, 2008 in West Palm Beach where he had chosen to retire. On that sunny morning he was riding his bicycle when his heart gave out and the Lord called him home.

“Those who remember Rich know he was a fun loving person with a great sense of humor and a contagious laugh,” said the family. “You couldn’t help but want to be in his company.”

“In later years he became dedicated to the cause of helping others turn their lives around by taking one day at a time. His strength and commitment was an inspiration to many who considered Rich their hero. Surely he was ours!”

Mr. Novatka is survived by his five children, Richard Jr, Charles David, Nola-Marie, Jodi Elisabeth, Kasey Adam and three grandchildren, Jayden Marques, Quince Syon, and Zaiya Marie. He leaves behind three brothers Jack, Mark and Michael and their families. Among those who will dearly miss him are his extended family members. His fiance Deb McKluchsky, her two children Melissa, Angela, and two grandchildren Reese and Olivia.

Although services were held in West Palm Beach condolences are being accepted by his former wife and life-time friend Francine Novatka, 1106 St Andrews Drive, Wilmington, NC 28412.


Donald Vincent Saunders

Donald Vincent Saunders, 70, of Stafford County, Virginia, died Monday, October 13 at Mary Washington Hospital there.

Mr. Saunders retired as an electrical engineer for the Federal Aviation Administration after 37 years of service. He was a 1955 graduate of Pierson High School and graduated from Renselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York in 1961. In his retrement, Mr. Saunders became a member of Master ardeners and served as the past president of the Master Gardeners of the Central Rappahannock region. He and his wife, Diane, enjoyed extensive traveling and bird watching. He enjoyed his visits back to Sag Harbor, and kept in touch with its growth and activities.

Mr. Saunders was an active member of the Regester Chapel United Methodist Church and had found peace with th eLord.

Mr. Saunders was predeceased byy his parents, Elizabeth (Sherry) and Charles C. Saunders. Survivors include his wife, Diane Saunders; his daughter, Donna Saunders of Stafford, Va.; his stepsons, FrankLeDoux (and his wife Jacqueline of Stafford) and Robert LeDoux (and his wife, Lorraine of Mason City, Iowa); his brother Richard Saunders (and his wife,Maureen of Jacksonville, Fla., ) and ten loving grandchildren. He also leaves behind his dear pet cockatoo, Snoops.

The funeral was held on October 17 at Regester Chapel United Methodist Church, the Rev. W. J. Kim and Rev. Theodore Smith officiating, Interment followed at Stafford Memorial Park.


Leatrice Schiavoni Sherry

Leatrice Schiavoni Sherry passed peacefully on November 12 at home in St. Petersburg, Fla. She was 73 years old.

Mrs. Sherry graduated Pierson High School and “fell madly in love and married a sailor named Joe Sherry.”

The couple traveled the world throughout Mr. Sherry’s 20+ year career with the Navy and after many adventures settled down in their hometown of Sag Harbor to raise their family.

Mrs. Sherry was predeceased by her parents, Angelo and Constance Schiavoni, and brothers John and Steven.

She is survived by her husband Joseph and children Matthew, Thomas, Ann and Jon.

“A devout Catholic,loving spouse and mother, Lea Sherry was a good, kind-hearted friend to those who knew her and will be missed by all,” said the family.

Prayer services were held at Yardley and Po Funeral Home on Sunday, November 16, with a Mass at St. Andrew R.C. Church on Monday November 17. Interment followed at St. Andrew Cemetery in Sag Harbor.


KeeKee Raftopoulos

KeeKee Raftopoulos died peacefully on November 2 at her home in Bridgehampton, with her husband and children by her side. She was 72 years old.

Born on May 14, 1936 to Konstantinos and Maria Caragounis in Corinth, Greece, she spent her childhood in the village of Oropos and later moved to Athens. In 1958, at the age of 22, she married her only love, Jerry Raftopoulos, whom she and her family had been acquainted with for many years. A short time after marriage she and her husband moved to Mainz, Germany, where they lived for nine years and where she gave birth to her two children, Elizabeth and Steve. In 1967 the family immigrated to the United States, and all became U. S. citizens in 1975. She has resided in Bridgehampton since 1994, a place that she loved.

On October 11, 2008, she and her husband celebrated their golden anniversary.

She is survived by her husband Jerry Raftopoulos, and her two children Elizabeth and Steve Raftopoulos.

“She was a dear and loving wife and mother, whose patience, tenderness and selfless nature were remarkable,” said the family. “She loved and lived for her family and enjoyed the simple things in life; flowers, birds, gardens and trees, she was an exceptional cook, and was most content when she was helping others. Above all, she loved and longed to be with her Lord and Saviour, in whose presence she now resides, free from the troubles of this life. She will be tremendously missed by her family who loved her so dearly, and are comforted in the knowledge that ‘Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his saints.’ – Psalms 116 v.15”

Mrs. Raftopoulos was interred at Edgewood Cemetery in Bridgehampton on November 22. In lieu of flowers, donations to Memorial Sloan Kettering ( or East End Hospice (, institutions whose wonderful care she was very grateful for, would be greatly appreciated.


Alice L. Buckheit

Alice L. Buckheit of Murrels Inlet, S.C., formerly of North Haven, died on November 12. Born October 29, 1922, she was the wife of Frank H. Buckheit.

She is survived by her children: Barbara (and Bob) Murray of Murrels Inlet. S.C., Bruce (and Pat ) Buckheit of Fairfax, Va., Kathleen (and Jack) Agnitsch of Tampa, Fla., Daniel Buckheit of East Islip, L.I., Mariann (and Martin) Megna of Sag Harbor, Theresa Speck of Rockville Centre, L.I., Frank Buckeit (and Virginia DeVault) of Rocky Point, L.I., and Laura Buckheit of Sayville, L.I.

She is also survived by her grandchildren, Daniel (and Karen) Buckheit, Melissa (and Mike) Dempsey, Rachel (and William) Cowan, John (and Amanda) Agnitsch, Sara, Kate, Cody, Brittany, Lauren, John, Donna and Christian Buckheit, Allison Murray and Elizabeth, Amy and Meredith Speck.

She is also survived by great-grandchildren Drew, Evan and Michael Dempsey, Jackson and Ella Agnitsch, William and Jacqueline Cowan and Kaitlyn and Thomas Buckheit.

Services are to be held at Yardley and Pino Funeral Home in Sag Harbor with a funeral Mass at St. Andrew R.C. Church.



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