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JOHN KENT DIRLAM Beloved brother, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle and friend, passed away on November 14, 2012 at his home in Arlington, VA after a brief illness. He was 95. Born in Corning, NY, son of John and Agnes Dirlam and the brother of Dolores and Arthur, he worked for many years for Western Electric and the Department of the Interior until his retirement at the age of 89. He was a civil engineer who graduated from Cornell University's School of Engineering in 1939. He was an Army officer in World War II and served in North Africa and the Mideast from 1942 to 1945. He married Marie Valck in 1945, and they had three sons: John, Jim, and Jeff. Marie passed away in 1962, and his subsequent remarriage to Patricia Letts brought him two step-children: Doug and Alison. He leaves his sister, four children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. A resident of Old Greenwich from 1948 until 1979, he was a member of the First Congregational Church and created the Meetinghouse News in the 1967 with Patricia. He was known in the DC area as the " Chocolate Man", for his seemingly endless supply of Hershey Special Dark chocolate bars, which he bestowed on all those he met during his daily rounds. He was an avid theater-goer and especially enjoyed the Folger Shakespeare, often seeing the same production several times. His favorite activities on the National Mall were visiting the Smithsonian and riding the Carousel. A memorial service was held on November 21 in Arlington VA attended by many members of his family who had arrived to celebrate Thanksgiving with him. Contributions in Kent's name may be made to the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Smithsonian Institution, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Foundation, or the League of Women Voters or the First Congregational Church in Old Greenwich. His remains will be interred in the Columbarium in Old Greenwich with others in the family.
Published in GreenwichTime on Dec. 9, 2012