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Edward Hapgood Little

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Old Saybrook - Edward Hapgood Little died peacefully in the presence of his family in Milford, on Feb. 20, 2010, following a stroke. Formerly of West Hartford, Fenwick, and Old Saybrook, Ted lived in East Haddam since 1999 and Nantucket since 2007.

Ted's focus was always on others, never himself. He lived a life of service to his family and his church and his country. Beyond family and friends, his pleasures were simple: researching genealogies and especially his own family history, being outdoors with his dogs and children, observing the changing seasons, chopping wood and sailing.

Ted was born in Hartford at the Niles Street Hospital on June 20, 1927, to Mitchell Stuart and Elizabeth (Hapgood) Little. Locally, he was educated at Miss Wheeler's Open Air School, Fernwood School, and Kingswood School. College preparation was at the Groton School (1946) and Yale College (1950).

A U.S. Naval veteran of World War II and Korea, active duty took him to the Artic Ocean in 1946 aboard the USS Stormes. In 1952, he served in the Far East as part of Task Force 77, first aboard the USS Oriskany as an air intelligence officer in the dive bomb squadron. He later served on the Admiral's staff aboard the USS Yorktown.

From 1955 to 1973, Ted was a manufacturer with The Little Products Company of Hartford and New York. They produced the Exercycle exerciser, a forerunner of later fitness equipment. Beginning in 1973, Ted turned to working on what he loved, genealogical studies. He worked for 32 years as a professional genealogist, researching and compiling genealogies as well as establishing a number of collections at the Connecticut Historical Society. His prime interest was in the importance of the family in family lineages. In his research he sought to draw aspects of personality from historical records, so as to reveal a person's life experiences and qualities imbedded therein. Among other published works, he was privileged to research and write "The Davis Story" with his friend, John K. Davis, published in 1992.

From 1973 to 1984 Ted was a member of the Fenwick Historic District Commission and its chairman from 1979 to 1984. He was a member and past governor of The Connecticut Society in The Order and the Founders and Patriots of America and also The Society of the Descendents of the Founders of Hartford. Ted was baptized, confirmed, and married at South Congregational Church. He worshipped there his whole life and occasionally spoke on the church's unique heritage, including its strong and continuing ties to Thomas Hooker, Hartford's founder. From 1976 to 1979, he was the executive secretary of the Connecticut Congregational Fellowship. Ted was also a member of the Angler's Club on Nantucket and the Nantucket Historical Association.

Ted was a selfless individual, a true gentleman who quietly lived his faith, a loving and devoted husband, father, and grandfather.

In 1958, Ted married Sharon Bergfors. They were happily married for 44 years, until her death in March 2002.

Together they raised five children, all of whom survive him, Mitchell Stuart Little II and his wife, Stephenie, of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., Gordon Bergfors Little and his wife, Elizabeth McLarney, M.D. of Guilford, Vt., Catherine (Little) Files of North Stonington, Edward West Little of East Haddam, and Rebekah Hapgood Little of Waltham, Mass. He is also survived by five Little grandchildren, Tarrah and Mitchell Little, Ryan and Connor Little, and Russell John Files, Jr.; and by his sister, Virginia Little Miller of Bloomfield.

He was predeceased by his brother, Stuart West Little of Norfolk.

In 2007, Ted married Pamela Connolly Bartlett of Nantucket, Mass., formerly of Simsbury and West Hartford. While their marriage was short by measure of time, it was the great blessing of the final years of his life and hers. The marriage also brought Pam's daughter, Sarah Bartlett Neighbours of Simsbury and her two sons, Robert O. Neighbours and Taylor S. Neighbours into his family, and he loved them as he loved his other children and grandchildren.

Following a family burial service at Cedar Hill Cemetery, there will be a memorial service to celebrate Ted's life at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2010, at South Congregational Church, 277 Main St., Hartford, officiated by Pastor Adam T. Soderberg. A reception will follow in Gray Hall. In Nantucket at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 21, 2010, there will be a Service of Remembrance for Ted at St. Paul's Episcopal Church officiated by the Reverend Eugene C. McDowell, followed by a reception.

In lieu of flowers, the Little family would appreciate a donation in Ted's honor for the genealogical work at the Connecticut Historical Society, One Elizabeth St., Hartford CT 06105.

The James T. Pratt Funeral Service, Wethersfield, has care of the arrangements.

Published in The Day on Feb. 24, 2010
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