Pengue, Orten L. Jr. Of Hamden, CT, born in Bridgeport, the son of Orten Pengue Sr. and the late Marie Hogan Pengue of Stratford. Ort is survived by his life partner of twenty-eight years, Julian Schlusberg of Hamden, their daughter, Jennifer Gelzinis and grandson, Kyle Jeffrey. Ort also leaves siblings Sandra Askue of Oakdale, CT, Denise (John) Duddie of Lisbon, Kevin Pengue of Jupiter, FL, Marie (Fred) Sheets of Hobe Sound, FL and Pamela (Terry) Maher of Naugatuck, CT and Ort Sr's wife, Betty Dobensky. Ort's fourteen loving nieces and nephews will miss him - John Jr, Amy, Eric, Carri, Nathaniel, Jessica, Ashley, Kevin, Rachel, Sarah, Nicholas, Samantha, Stefanie and Deirdrah - as will so many friends, family members, students and colleagues. Ort received both his Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Communication; the former from the University of Miami and the latter from Fairfield University. His colorful and diverse employment history includes teaching in Coral Gables, FL and Danbury, CT serving as a chef on a private yacht out of Key West, managing a ski shop in Aspen Highlands, CO and working in the food industry as a restaurant manager in Westport, CT. He also was a head waiter at the Sanford Barn Restaurant in Hamden, pastry chef at the Halcyon Restaurant in Hamden, and Head Chef at Elegant Edibles Gourmet Restaurant in West Haven. In addition, Ort was an accomplished carpenter, plumber and electrician. But the major part of Ort's career was devoted to the Costume Bazaar, Inc., of New Haven where he worked for twenty-four years. There he established himself as a leading costume, make-up and hairstyle artist in the New England region. His caring and giving nature and his rare ability to make every individual feel special won him a host of friends as he costumed, advised and led workshops for many local schools, companies and corporations, as well as creating strong bonds with an overwhelming number of individual clients. Ort was also an award winning theater set designer. He was particularly devoted to educational theater and was a mentor and friend to hundreds upon hundreds of teachers and students throughout the region. For his outstanding work with children, he earned the prestigious Distinguished Service Award from the Connecticut High School Drama Association. He also designed costumes and make-up for professional and community theater and opera companies. Much of Ort's work centered around the theater programs at Hamden High School where he taught theatrical set building courses, as well as other aspects of technical theater, and for the past nine years, at the Foote School in New Haven where he was instrumental in the growth of the theater program. In June of 2008, Ort was the recipient of the Hannah Lee Honorary Diploma awarded by the graduating class of the Foote School for the individual who best exemplifies 'an enjoyment of and excitement about learning, enthusiasm, determination, compassion, perseverance and humility.' A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Our Lady of Peace Church in the Lordship section of Stratford, 651 Stratford Rd, on Saturday, October 25th at 10 AM. In Ort's memory, contributions may be made to the Orten Louis Pengue, Jr. Scholarship Fund, c/o Foote School, 50 Loomis Place, New Haven, CT 06511. Arrangements are under the direction of BEECHER & BENNETT, 2300 WHITNEY AVE, HAMDEN.

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  1. Dear Julian , I did not know Orten and you very well ,but I know what my son has told me of what fine gentlemen you both are and how you greatly touched his life when you gave him the the opportunity to work with you at the Foote School, for that I am greatful.Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you,may your fondest memories of Orten comfort you always. Best Regards

  2. Dear Julian and family, Please accept our sincere sympathy on Ort’s passing. Whenever we would meet he always had that welcoming smile. Beyond your very personal loss, the theatre community has lost a legend. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Sig and Linda Jensen

  3. Dear Julian and the families. My heartfelt sympathy at your loss of Ort, a man taken too soon, and a man of wonderful qualities not to be forgotten. Burt Glassman

  4. Dear Julian and the Pengue family, I am sorry for the loss of Ort. We will all miss him, a joyous and joyful soul. I always had a blast at Costume Bazaar. I’d walk in and he’d roll his eyes and say .What now?. But no matter how whacky my request, he was always able to fill it, from the Elvis Nun to the Cow Fairy. His imagination and caring were top notch! Think of the good times, and, with time, you will heal.

  5. Dear Julian- My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this terribly sad time. I will always remember Ort’s beautiful smile and hearty laugh….whenever you two walked into the theatre, I just knew I’d be lauging within minutes!! Now those angels up in heaven are the lucky ones, sharing all those laughs with your wonderful Ort!! My heart is with you, Julian…you will remain in my prayers. Love, Tracy

  6. Dear Julian, family, and friend of Ort, My deepest condolences go out to you for your loss. Having known Ort for only a short period of time, i learned of his caring personality and purity of heart. I consider him one of the nicest men i have known in my life and wish the best for his friends and family in such a hard time. Know that your time spent with him was time spent with a true man who showed respect and love for everyone around him. I hope that you find comfort in knowing that he is in a better place. I’m sure he would want you to smile in his remembrance and know he cared about you. Love, your friend, Pat Campolattano

  7. Dear Julian, I am so very sorry for your loss. It is a huge loss to the whole theatrical family, but your personal loss is the greatest of all. This because he loved you as much as life itself, and the man knew how to love life! I feel so grateful to have loved Ort and learned from him. He taught something to everyone who ever met him. Always giving of himself and his time. I heard it recently said of Paul Newman .every once in a while, God creates a perfect human being.. I feel honored to have known Ort–a perfect human being. May your pain and suffering be eased by the beautiful memories you both shared. With love, Cindy

  8. Dear Julian, I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. While it has been many years since I met you at the wedding of a mutual friend of Ort and I, the one thing I noticed was that he had finally found happiness in his life with you. He was a dear wonderful man who will be missed by the many whose lives he touched, including mine. Please accept my condolences to you and the family. I will remember you in my prayers. God Bless. Mary Jo

  9. Dear Julian, My deepest condolences to you and the family over the passing of Ort. I am very sad that I will be unable to attend the service on Saturday, as I have out of state family arriving in the morning for the day only. I will be in touch next week.

  10. Dear Julian, My thoughts and prayers are with you. Ort was truly a wonderful person. I know that he will be missed by many. I will always cherish my memories of Ort. Fondly, pt

  11. Dear Julian, Our Sympathy and thoughts are with you at this sad time. Ort always made my kids feel special and that the production they were doing was important. I will miss our great conversations. The love and pride he had for you, Jennifer and Kyle was evident to all.

  12. Dear Julian, So very sorry to hear of Orten’s passing. He was a delight…always unpredictable…witty and a bundle of energy. I have such vibrant memories of him as he always lit up the room with his presence! My sympathy to you. Sincerely, Judy Philippi

  13. Dear Julian, We are all so saddened to hear of Ort’s death. He was one of those few adults who remain legends in our children’s minds. Ort’s nonjudgmental affection for Chas and Claire during a time of angsty adolescence, and his wonderful sense of humor which allowed them to laugh at themselves, were the perfect combination. We send you strength, Julian during this difficult time.

  14. Dear Julian, Words can’t express the sadness that I feel over the passing of Orten. Ort as I knew him, was a great friend to me for the past 31 years. Our friendship will last an eternity and beyond. Please always remember that true fiendship and unconditional love have no boundaries and they both will last forever. May you find Peace in the love and caring you both shared together for so many wonderful and beautiful years. See you soon my friend. Your Friend Always, Chuck Catania

  15. Dearest Julian, I was so sorry to hear about Ort’s passing. He was a wonderful, good-hearted, vibrant man, and a devoted life partner to you. I recently read a lovely quote from a 7 year old boy who said, .Love is what’s in the room on Christmas when you stop opening presents and listen.. From your letters, I know that you and Ort did a lot of important listening these last few weeks and I hope you can find solace in those memories. I am holding you and your family close to my heart as always. Much love, Lisa

  16. Hi Julian, I just wanted you to know that you’re in my thoughts and prayers. You may have seen that sign in the NYC subway: You remember your first grade teacher’s name…who will remember yours? Just as you have, Ort dedicated his energies and formidable talents to helping to develop the artistic awareness and sensibilities of countless numbers of students. This is a tremendous loss for the community and (I’m sure) an unbearable loss for you, but the effects of his work will continue to ripple outward in unforeseeable and infinite ways.

  17. Hi, Schlus– I was saddened to learn of Ort’s passing, and wanted to express my condolences. My thoughts are with you.

  18. I am very sorry for your loss. Ort was a treasure to Foote School and beloved by many. We will all miss the gift of his many talents and his giving personality. Sincerely, Christine Chiocchio

  19. I smile in my heart when I think of Ort, and will always remember him. It was so much fun working with him during theatre productions at Hamden High School. His passion for life, and his genuine care for others was always evident. My condolences to all who loved and knew him; you are in my prayers.

  20. I was very fortunate to know Ort from his years at the Costume Bazaar. He was so helpful and offered advice about makeup and costumes over the years. I learned much from him over the years. He had his finger on the pulse of theater in CT. Everyone seemed to know Ort. He will be missed by many people. My condolences to his family, friends and to Julian.

  21. Julian and Jen- I am so sorry for your loss. I am thinking about you and sending lots of love and prayers for you and your families at this time. Love always!! God bless

  22. Julian- My thoughts are with you and your families during this very difficult time. Ort enriched so many lives-including mine. I am smiling through my tears thinking of you both. Shelly

  23. Julian, my heart goes out to you. You are both such special people. Though I have not seen you guys in a few years my thoughts were always with you and the great people you are. I used to meet Ort on the train when he would be going into New York for something to do with Drama. For years he dressed me for Halloween. he was funny, witty,bright , clever and a loyal and wonderful person to know. I would love nothing more than to be with you saturday but I am committed to watching 3 of my grandchildren while their parents celebrate their anniversary, as a grand father yourself you know how they do count on us. I certainly will be in contact soon.Please know my heartfelt thoughts and love are with you. Fondly, Lyn Caliendo

  24. Julian, my thoughts and heart goes out to you on your loss. Ort was such a warm, wonderful and fun guy. It was not too long ago when I saw you both and Ort was even then, in great spirits. I will be thinking of you and regret being unable to see you Sat. but my thoughts will be with you both. Veda Klotzer

  25. Julian, Our hearts go out to you on such a sad occasion. I was able to introduce my partner Nance to Ort over a year ago when we rented Maid Marion and Robin Hood costumes for a party. We were the hit of the party and I never got the chance to thank Ort for the wonderful cleavage he gave Maid Marion (the other Nance of course). May you have comfort in knowing the many lives that Ort has touched and the many friends and family that will always keep his memory alive. Hugs & kisses, Nancy & Nance Tozzo a.k.a. .The Nances.

  26. Julian, The memories I have of you and Ort are nothing short of heartwarming. In fact, just the other day out of the blue, I was reminded of one memory that always seemed to make me chuckle. Ort may be gone, but he most definitely will not be forgotten. I am deeply sorry for your loss. Much love, Jennylin

  27. Julian, there are no words to express my feeling of sadness and loss to you at a time like this. Ort Pengue was one of a kind, a true renaissance man. Anyone who met him socially or worked with him professional was changed forever. For that was the impact that Orten had upon others. He was a force of nature for the absolute good. I was fortunate to call him friend. I will miss the lust for life and positive energy that always surrounded him. For all who know and loved him, his absence now leaves a void in our lives. But, his spirit will be with all of us forever. God Bless.

  28. Julian, There aren’t words to describe the tremendous feelings of loss and sadness that I feel for Ort, for you, the family… How I will always treasure my incredible memories of you together in love, laughter and friendship. Ort is a permanent fixture in the lives of us all, and his incredible soul, loving personality, and one-of-a-kind sense of humor will always be held dear. You are in my thoughts and prayers, and will always be. With love, Jennifer (and Family)

  29. Julian–Please accept my warmest condolences. These must have been terrible months for both of you, and I can only hope you will rely upon the many happier memories. Those are the ones I have of Ort, and I shall treasure them. Sincerely, Bob

  30. Mr. Schlusberg, My heart goes out to you and to all who have been touched by Ort’s brilliant presence on this earth. Love and peace to you in this time and always, Adele

  31. My former mother-in-law is the owner of Costume Bazaar, and my two children, Ben and Becky, visited there many, many times particularly when they were pre-teens. They also worked there often during the Halloween season as teenagers. Both they and I have a very special feeling toward Ort, as he was always ebullient. Whenever any of us walked in the door, Ort had a big hello; a very sincere welcome that lighted up our day. The kids trusted him to always be looking out for their best interest, whether they were working to control the Halloween crowds or, as Becky did one summer, sewing in the back room. Though I’m sure he greeted everyone the same way, I know in my heart it was always sincere. You can tell the special people in the world, who get wonderful energy from meeting and helping others. Ort was very special in that regard. We will miss him.

  32. Ort was a truly a loving friend, someone who always made me feel welcome and always knew what I wanted and needed when I visited him at the store. Halloween will never be the same, he dressed me for many years often saving me from my own bad taste. He also handled all of my craziness throughout the entire year and made my events more special with his creative style. At times I stopped in the store just to see how he was doing mainly cause I knew that he would always have some story to animate for me and to see his smile was a treat in itself. Often I would run into him in Stop & Shop and we talked about the various happenings in our lives and he was always a breath of fresh air. He will be deeply missed, more than he would ever know.

  33. Ort will be in my thoughts and prayers this Saturday. I always enjoyed watching him work with the students. He made each one of them feel like they were an important part of the production. He cared about them and it showed. His style, sense of humor, professionalism, and compassion will be missed. My heartfelt condolences to Julian, the family, and the many friends in Ort’s theater family.

  34. Ort, Sandy & the entire Pengue Family: My deepest sympathy is the loss of your .Ortie. (as I remember him). May time heal your wounds in this loss and may your fond memories of him help you through these sad times.

  35. Julian, Marie, and Pam, I do not know if you will remember me, but I worked with Ort, Marie, and Pam at Beef Steak Charlies in Westport, CT during the late 70’s ans early 80’s I just saw the obit that Ort died this pass October. Please accept my heart felt condolences on Ort’s death and My hope for all of you is that the pain becomes more tolerable. Peace, Deane

  36. I just learned of darling Ort’s passing. How? My love to Julian and the kids, whose lives were so enriched by Ort’s presence.

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