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Obituaries October 28, 2010

Posted on 29 October 2010

George H. Cunningham, 100

George H. Cunningham of Manorville, L.I., formerly of Southampton, died quietly in his 100th year on October 10.

He was the beloved father of Senator Nancy Cassis of Novi, Mich.; Judith Cunningham of Fort Wayne, Ind.; Michael Cunningham of Sag Harbor and Melinda Cunningham of Lake Worth, Fla. He is predeceased by his wife Frances Cunningham, mother Violet, father George Cunningham of Sag Harbor, two brothers Maurice and Thomas, two sisters Virginia Canapary and Margaret Daniels.

Mr. Cunningham was the grandson of James Cunningham, an Irishman who survived a shipwreck off Mecox and came to make Sag Harbor his home in the 1840s. He leaves behind six grandchildren: Caroline and Drew Covert; Francesca, Raphael and Gabriel Forestieri and Travis Cunningham; and five great-grandchildren.

He served his country as a member of the “Greatest Generation” during World War II on the USS Hamul in the Pacific Theater battle for Okinawa.

Returning from the war, he was a Metropolitan Life Insurance agent in Southampton and Brooklyn for more than 35 years. In retirement he spent his time between Briny Breezes, Fla., and Manorville. An avid golfer he was a founding member of Southampton Golf Club.

Mr. Cunningham loved to discuss politics and sports and maintained a great sense of wit and humor, always enjoying a good laugh throughout his life.

“He will be remembered fondly by his children, in whom he instilled the compelling value that ‘Family is everything,’” said the family.

Family received friends at Wesche Funeral Home in Center Moriches with interment at Calverton Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in George’s name to:

Welcome Back Veterans, 37002 Eagle Way Chicago, IL 60678-1370 or online at

Dorothy Muriel LaFreniere

Dorothy Muriel LaFreniere, a resident of Sag Harbor for 38 years, passed away October 19, 2010 in Sag Harbor. She was 67. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y. on October 26, 1942, she was the daughter of Alfred and Muriel (Korndorfer) Vachris. She had also lived in Huntington, L.I.

Mrs. LaFreniere was a saleswoman working in the wine and liquor industry.

She is survived her three children, Robert of Falls Church, Va.; Christian of Sag Harbor and Michele Dixon of Derwood, Md.; her brother Alfred Vachris of Lloyd Harbor, NY; her two sisters, Georgiann Chapman of Bridgeport, Conn.; Muriel Diverson of East Northport, L.I., one grandchild, four nieces and six nephews. She was predeceased by her husband, Robert Louis LaFreniere.

A service was held Thursday, October 21 at Yardley & Pino Funeral Home in Sag Harbor. The mass was held on October 22 at noon at St. Andrews Church.

Norma Preiato

Norma Preiato, a resident of Sag Harbor for 54 years, died October 23, 2010 at her home here. She was 82.

Born in Tacoma, Wash., on February 20, 1928 she was the daughter of Claude and Lucille (Koppelberger) Bray.

Mrs. Preiato was raised in California, where she attended high school.

She is survived her six children, Jean (Tony) Lawless of Sag Harbor; Elaine (Michael) Fink of Mississippi; Judy Preiato of Sag Harbor; Edward (Linda) Preiato of Florida; Ernest (Mariane) Preiato of Southampton; and Thomas Preiato of Sag Harbor; eight grandchildren, three great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband, Ernest Preiato and her brother, William Bray.

A memorial service will be held today, Thursday, October 28 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Andrews Church. Interment will follow at Calverton Cemetery. Memorial donations can be made to East End Hospice or Sag Harbor Volunteer Ambulance Corps.

Helen H. Coulter

Helen H. Coulter, 84, of Chester, Conn., passed away peacefully at home on October 18, 2010.

Mrs. Coulter was born June 8, 1926 in Great Neck, N.Y. to Harry L. and M. Louise (Van Nostrand ) Hicks.

She is preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Charles P. Coulter and a brother, Everett K. Hicks. She is survived by four children; Keith S. Coulter and his wife Robin (Foltz) of Storrs, Conn., Leslie C. McKearney and her husband Peter of Brimfield, Mass., Scott P. Coulter and his wife Claritza (Colon) of New Milford, Conn., and Barbara C. Polley and her husband, Mark of New Milford Conn.

Mrs. Coulter is also survived by six grandchildren; Alyssa Coulter, Jeffrey, Jamie and Kevin McKearney and Zachary and Katie Polley, a brother, Harry L. Hicks and his wife Mary Lou of Williamsburg, Va. and a sister, Grace V.N. Johns of Manhasset, N.Y.

Mrs. Coulter spent her childhood in Manhasset, NY, graduated from Middlebury College in Middlebury, Ver.,  raised her family in Setauket, N.Y. and retired with her husband Charles to Sag Harbor before moving to Connecticut in 1997. She was an active member of her church, an avid gardener, and an accomplished seamstress. She also enjoyed braiding rugs, sailing and spending time on the beach.

Family and friends attended a memorial service on Saturday, October 23 at Killingworth Congregational Church. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Killingworth Congregational Church, 273 Route 81, Killingworth, Conn., 06419 in memory of Helen H. Coulter.

Kenneth M. Tichnor

Kenneth Tichnor died on October 17, at his home in Sag Harbor. Mr. Tichnor had previously lived in Massachusetts, San Francisco, East Hampton and New York City.

Mr. Tichnor was an artist who expressed his creative talents through jewelry design. “His patience and understanding coupled with his raw talent and technical expertise produced  the finest and most treasured  heirlooms,” said a release. “The passion for his work is timeless.”

Mr. Tichnor cherished his life on the East End of Long Island and was a frequent fixture in the villages of Sag Harbor and East Hampton. He was often seen with his closest friend Rumi, his dog.

“Their bond was unbreakable and Rumi, who was very ill for a number of years, survived to be with Ken until the end,” said the release. “Rumi was found deceased along with Ken.”

Mr. Tichnor’s life was filled with friends, “adopted” families and community service. He loved his Jewish roots and found a home with the Goldberg family of East Hampton where he frequently shared Shabbat dinner. He loved the rituals, warmth and family interactions shared over Challah and Michelle’s homemade dinners.

“Glenn, Michelle, Charley, Ryan, Joel and Haley will miss him greatly and are deeply saddened by the loss of their dear friend and beloved ‘family member,’” said the release

Mr. Tichnor was laid to rest in his hometown of Brookline, Mass. There will be a memorial and prayer service at Main Beach in East Hampton on Saturday, October 30, at 3 p.m., rain or shine.

“Join us in helping Ken’s spirit find its way back to his most cherished home,” said the release.

Donations can be made to the Elton John Aids Foundation 584 Broadway, Suite 906, N.Y., N.Y. 10012.

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