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Terry Backer

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Terry Backer Obituary
Backer, Terry
Terry Backer, age 61, a career Long Island Sound fisherman and veteran state lawmaker who won national renown as the state's first and only Soundkeeper, died Tuesday morning in Bridgeport Hospital.
The son of a fisherman, the late Henry J. Backer, Terry was the former chairman of the legislative Environment Committee, as well as the Energy & Technology Committee. He led the Soundkeeper Fund for 27 years joining with fellow activists including Robert F. Kennedy Jr., senior attorney and president of the board of Waterkeeper Alliance, a non-profit focused on grass-roots efforts to protect and enhance waterways around the world, whom he befriended.
Backer was first elected in 1992, representing the South End of Stratford, including the Lordship neighborhood where he lived. He won re-election in 2010, 2012 and 2014 while fighting the brain tumor. Backer was too ill to attend last week's special session of the General Assembly,
Born in Stamford on August 3, 1954, Backer attended Norwalk public schools and later earned a license as a Merchant Marine officer from the United States Coast Guard. Backer worked with his father, Henry Backer, for decades, harvesting lobsters and shellfish in the Southwestern Sound.
Terry is survived by his mother, Catherine Lagana Backer of Norwalk; two sons, Luke Backer of Stratford and Jacob Henry Backer of Bristol; a grandson Caleb Backer, of Stratford, a brother James J. Backer and wife Diana of Groton; two sisters, Kathleen A. Patchen and husband Richard of Weston, Cheryl B. McNeill and her husband Kevin of Norwalk; the mother of his children, Mary McNeil Backer; his former wife & friend, Monica Anton Backer; nieces and nephews, Jessica Backer, Victorial Backer Smith, Christopher Patchen, Tracie Patchen Wain, Barbara Patchen Hayes, Adam Backer, Megan & Mackenzie McNeil; great nieces and nephews, Kyle & Delshaun Backer, Julia & Jessica Patchen, Madison & Gabby Hayes, Isabelle & Oliver Wain. He was predeceased by a niece, Arian Rose Backer.
Friends are invited to greet the family on Thursday December 17, 2015 from 4:00 to 8:00 PM in Norwalk's Hoyt-Cognetta Funeral Home & Crematory, 5 East Wall St. A mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday 10:00 AM DIRECTLY at St. Matthew's Church 216 Scribner Ave. Norwalk. Interment will be private. Please visit www.norwalkfh.com for more information
Published in Connecticut Post on Dec. 16, 2015
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