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Obituaries June – August, 2016

Joan Campbell, 86
Joan C. Campbell, a resident of Tarrytown,
died August 17 surrounded by her
family at Regional Hospice and Home
Care Center in Danbury, CT. She was 86.
She was the wife of the late Hugh P.
Campbell, who predeceased her in 2010.
A parishioner of Transfiguration Parish,
she was an active volunteer over the years
in the Phelps Memorial Hospital Auxiliary,
the Transfiguration School Guild, and
the Sleepy Hollow High School Hockey
Boosters Club. She enjoyed gardening and
reading and religiously completed the New
York Times crossword puzzle on a daily basis
for many years. She was an ardent supporter
of all of her children’s various activities
and sporting events and also kept up
with the goings on of all of her nieces and
nephews and their children as well.

Robert Conca, 87
Robert T. Conca, a longtime Tarrytown
resident, died August 18. He was 87.
Mr. Conca served proudly in the United
States Navy, having served mainly in the
South Pacific. Most of his time was spent
on the ATF USS Chickasaw. He remained
active with the USS Chickasaw Reunion
Association. He was a member and past
president of the American Legion Spencer
Kelly Post 267 in Tarrytown and the
VFW Post 1939 in Sleepy Hollow. He was
a presence at every gathering of veterans
in the area. He was also a member of the
Young Men’s Lyceum Club in Tarrytown.
Over the years, Mr. Conca had been a
manager at several country clubs in Westchester
County, and he belonged to the
Club Managers Association of America.

He had been married to Evelyn Komar
for 54 years when she predeceased him in
2011.

Margaret Ippolito, 89
Margaret Ippolito, a longtime Tarrytown
resident, died August 22. She was 89.
She was born on October 22, 1926 to
Thomas and Isabella Jennings in London,
England. She married Frank Ippolito in
London in 1944. They moved to the United
States in 1946. She worked as a cook
in the Tappan Hill School for many years.
She was a parishioner of Immaculate Conception
Church in Sleepy Hollow and a
member of the Tarrytown Seniors.

Vera Speno, 93
Vera F. Speno a lifelong resident of Tarrytown,
died August 19. She was 93.
She was born in Tarrytown on March 21,
1923 to Frank and Edith Dahl Chicachee.
In 1941, she graduated from Washington
Irving High School. She married George
E. Speno, Jr. and they raised their family
in Tarrytown. Mrs. Speno had been the
Court Clerk for the Village of Tarrytown
for many years.

Her husband George died in 2008.

Jane Willmott, 93
Jane F. Willmott, a former resident of
Sleepy Hollow, died peacefully June 23
at the Maine Veteran’s Home in Augusta,
ME. She was 93.

She married her high school sweetheart,
Raymond D. Willmott, on February 3,
1943. After his return from WWII, they
settled in Tarrytown, where they raised
their four children, who survive her. She
will be remembered for her beauty, generous
spirit, amazing magnetic personality
and the boundless love for her family.

Gabriel Banat, 89
Gabriel Banat, a noted virtuoso violinist,
23-year member of the New York Philharmonic,
musicologist, author, teacher, Holocaust
survivor and a resident of Dobbs
Ferry, died suddenly July 23 of a stroke at
his summer home in Begur, Spain. He was
89.

Born in Timisoara, Romania, he began
his studies of the violin at age six. At nine
he was heard by Bela Bartok. He became a
student at the Royal Academy Franz Liszt
in Budapest, Hungary where his teachers
included Ede Zathureczky and Zoltan Kodaly.
Despite Hungary’s anti-Jewish laws,
while still a student at the Academy he appeared
as soloist with most of Budapest’s
major symphony orchestras. At 17, just
before going into hiding from the Nazis,
he received his Academy diploma after
playing his degree program in secret, with
the faculty-jury hiding in the darkened
hall. Liberated by the Red Army, he became
the protege of Enescu, who joined
him at the piano in concerts.

After reaching the U.S. he worked
with Nathan Milstein, then toured the
U.S., Western Europe, and Japan, soloing
with major orchestras, including the
New York Philharmonic, which he joined
in 1970 and remained with for 23 years.
As a chamber musician he performed
with the Galimir Quartet, the Albeneri
Trio, the Marlboro Festival, and the New
York Philharmonic Chamber Ensembles,
among others. He edited a six-volume collection
of violinist-composers of the 17th
and 18th centuries titled “Masters of the
Violin.” Discovering Mozart’s original autograph
manuscripts of his five violin concerti,
he edited their facsimile publication
as “The Mozart Violin Concerti” so that
violinists could finally see Mozart’s original
bowing markings. He authored a biography
of the Chevalier de St. Georges,
the distinguished black French composervirtuoso
violinist of the late 18th century,
and contributed articles for Strad Magazine,
Allegro Magazine, Black Music Research
Journal and “The New Grove 2000.”

He taught at Smith College and Hart
College of Music, lectured at NYU, and
headed the violin department of the Westchester
Conservatory of Music where he
conducted the orchestra.

He is survived by his wife, Diana Stevenson
Banat, his children Catherine Banat
and Peter Banat, grandchildren Alexander,
Julia, Adam, and Derek, and his step-children
Cindy Wallen, Sue Brengel and Chris Brengel.

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