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Fairfield County Said Goodbye To Egan, Gifford, DeLuca And More In 2015

State Rep. Terry Backer of Stratford
State Rep. Terry Backer of Stratford Photo Credit: Connecticut House Democrats

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — Fairfield County marked the passing of several famous figures in 2015 — from a Catholic leader to a sandwich king to a beloved Long Island Soundkeeper to an NFL great.

Roman Catholic Cardinal Edward Egan , who led the Diocese of Bridgeport as bishop from 1988 to 2000, died on March 5. He was 82. Egan was archbishop of New York from 2000 to 2009 and was elevated to cardinal stature in 2001.

Frank Gifford , a star running back and receiver for the New York Giants who went on to become a nationally known sportscaster, died in his Greenwich home on Aug. 9. He was 84. Gifford spent 12 years with the Giants before becoming a play-by-play announcer and commentator for ABC’s “Monday Night Football” for 27 years.

Philip Jones , a lifelong Shelton farmer and former state representative who worked tirelessly for conservation and land stewardship causes, died on Aug. 10. He was 96. Jones lived his entire life on the Jones Family Farms on Walnut Tree Hill Road.

Fred DeLuca , who, at 17 became the co-owner of a Bridgeport sandwich shop that would spawn the international business sensation known as Subway, died on Sept. 14. He was 67. DeLuca became CEO of Subway, which has 44,000 locations around the world, and made $3.5 billion.

Bruce Wennerstrom , co-founder and chairman of Greenwich Concours d’Elegance, died Oct. 1. He was 88.

On Nov. 16, Emmy Award-winning actor David Canary died at The Greens of Cannondale in Wilton. He was 77. Canary, perhaps best known for portraying twins Adam and Stuart Chandler on "All My Children," also had roles in the film "The St. Valentine's Day Massacre," TV's "Gunsmoke," and Broadway's "Great Day In The Morning."

Joseph F. Engelberger , an engineer and entrepreneur who pioneered the field of robotics, died Dec. 1 at his home in Newtown. He was 90. Widely known as the father of the modern robotics industry, Engelberger's technology was adopted for industrial use in a General Motors plant in 1961 and was deployed at factories worldwide.

On Dec. 14, Terry Backer , a longtime state representative from Stratford fondly known as the Long Island Soundkeeper, passed away after a long battle with brain cancer. He was 61. Long known for his homespun charm, the Democrat spent 12 terms in office.

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