April 12, 1928 ~ October 5, 2016
Eugene Girdwood, 88, of Wallingford, formerly of Old Saybrook, died peacefully on the evening of Wednesday, October 5th, 2016. Gene described himself as 'a jack of all trades, master of none,' but he was a master as a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He was a graduate of West Haven High School Class of 1946, and then served two years in the Navy. He was 3 semester hours short of his Bachelor's Degree, earning his Associates Degree from New Haven College, and he ran a successful business in Old Saybrook, The Paint Shop, which is still thriving. His wife of 57 years, Jayne Cordiner Girdwood, predeceased him in 2008. He leaves three children; Mary Jayne Chillemi (Stephen) of New Haven, Eugene N. Girdwood, III (Mary Lockhart) of Bethlehem, NH, and Judy Girdwood Westcott (Philip) of Binghamton, NY, 9 grandchildren; Adam Jungeblut (Reetika Motwane) of Tokyo, Scott W. Jungeblut (Melissa), parents of Gene's great-grandchildren Isabella and Sofia, of Milford, Samuel J. Jungeblut of East Haven, Jesse Girdwood (Carisa Stelmat) of Cavendish, VT, Emily Girdwood (Mark Cram) of Crested Butte, CO, Will Westcott, Peter Westcott (Jacalyn), Philip Westcott, and Alexander Westcott, all of Binghamton, NY. He is also survived by dear family friend Jean Byrne, and the Byrne family children and grandchildren, with whom he spent many summers. He was active in many civic organizations, including Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce (as president), the Old Saybrook Exchange Club, Siloam Lodge (as Grand Master), Sahib Shrine, and a Hospice clown. He served his churches faithfully; St. Thomas in New Haven, West Haven Congregational Church, Old Saybrook First Church of Christ, the Sarasota Presbyterian Church during the wintertime, and the Franconia Community Church in summer. Despite his commitment to many organizations, he always made his wife, children, grandchildren, and friends feel as though they were the most important part of his life. He was 'master' to many beloved dogs, the last Tootsie, his faithful companion for the last five years of his life. His motto was 'Laughter is the best medicine,' and he promoted his Smile Club-'Smile, it's free!' There will be no calling hours. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 29th at 10 AM in the First Church of Christ in Saybrook (Congregational), 366 Main St., Old Saybrook, CT 06475. Burial will follow in the Memorial Garden on the church grounds. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the New Haven Animal Shelter, 81 Fournier St., New Haven, CT 06511, or to Masonic Home Health & Hospice Care, 33 N. Plains Industrial Rd., Wallingford, CT 06492. Arrangements in care of BEECHER & BENNETT FUNERAL HOME, 2300 Whitney Ave., Hamden, CT.