Whether you've lived in New Canaan, CT. for a day, month, year, or fifty of them, you'll always
be part of the now ritzy, but always special town in the southwest part of the state. It's a place
where people know everybody and the degrees of separation is far less than six.
In 2014, a few of those people who touched my life, as well as many others in town, passed away
and left us far too soon.
BOB SPALLER. In November, the 1981 graduate of the high school, Spaller, just 52-years-old
was killed in a single-car accident near his home in Massachusetts. Spaller was a gentle and kind
hearted-soul who marched to the beat of his own drummer. He was a salt-of-the-earth type of
man who didn't have any enemies. We were teammates for the Rams on the gridiron, which
made all of us who wore the red and black, brothers forever. I remember him as a player who squeezed every ounce of talent he had and left it all on the field every single game.
ROGER FULTON Fulton passed away in September at the age of 83. He was a staple of
the sports scene during his time in New Canaan and served as the athletic director on
a volunteer basis at the high school. A regal and classy man, Fulton was also the varsity
baseball coach. I moved to New Canaan as a sophomore and had the privilege of playing
for Fulton and being part of a team that advanced to the FCIAC playoffs. His son, Bob,
was the third base coach and the Fulton & Fulton team made quite an impact on all those
who played for them.
JEFF SMITH Smith never lived in New Canaan but as the owner of the Deli Bake on
Elm Street, he was part of the fabric of the community. He looked like the Marlboro
man and had the strength of a lumberjack. Smith, who died at the age of 70, was a
no-nonsense kind of guy who worked at a frenetic pace and non-stop. Smith
teamed up with his father, who was quite a character in his own right, to run the
popular deli in town. I worked for both of them after my senior year in high school
along with two of my friends, Tommy Towers and Rich Connors. We took the famous
sandwiches on the menu to a whole different level, piling them as high as those seen in
New York City. And with the amount of food we ate, I'm sure profits went down, but
Jeff and his dad didn't seem to mind very much, they actually got a kick out of us.
KELLY KRAUSER. I didn't know Kelly personally, but I was friends with other
members of her beautiful and loving family. A 1987 graduate of New Canaan, Kelly
died in December after a lengthy bout with cancer. She left this world far too soon.
Kelly was just 45-years-old.
CAROL "CHICK" LYTTLE. Talk about a well-educated and rounded man. The longtime
New Canaan resident went to Phillips Exeter, Princeton University, and Columbia Law
School. Lyttle was a member of the Congregational Church where he sang in the choir.
Lyttle was the father-in-law of New Canaan legend Steve Tonra. Whenever Tonra needed
a ringer for his paddle ball tournaments, Chick was always ready and willing to fill in, even
when he was well into his 70's. Lyttle was 85 when he passed away in September.