Nick De Filippis, Engineer, Musician

Nick defillipisLong-time Ridgefield resident, Nicholas (Nick) Amadeo De Filippis, 81, died of congestive heart failure on Sunday, August 7, 2011 at Hancock Hall, Danbury. The widower of journalist Elizabeth (Betsy) Prince Ehrhardt De Filippis, he was born Nicolo on August 18, 1929, in Mount Vernon, New York, to Francesco De Filippis and his wife, Maria Liotino.

A graduate of Davis High School, the University of Notre Dame, and the United States Navy’s Officers Candidate School, it was as Engineering Officer, on the destroyer USS Ellyson in Charleston, South Carolina, that Mr. De Filippis met his future wife, a native of that city.
           

After Mr. De Filippis married Miss Ehrhardt in Charleston in1955, the Equipment Gas Company moved them to Würzburg, Germany. Mr. De Filippis also held positions at the Curtis-Wright and Kearfott Corporations, in New Jersey, before moving with his family to Ridgefield in 1966, and settling at Perkin-Elmer Corporation, in Danbury (now Goodrich ISR), where he worked for thirty-five years. At Perkin-Elmer he was a program manager for the Hubble Space Telescope and AXAF (now Chandra Observatory) X-Ray Telescope projects. In 1990, as the space shuttle Discovery rocketed into space with Hubble aboard, the New York Times captured for its next-day front-page feature Nick and two of his colleagues’ exultant faces as they watched from the ground.

Mr. De Filippis served on Ridgefield Building Committees, and was active in the Ridgefield Men’s Club.

Mr. De Filippis’ lifelong love of music began early, enabling him to work as a professional clarinetist and alto saxophonist while still in high school. Mr. De Filippis was a member of the Danbury Symphony Orchestra, the Danbury Clarinet Choir, and the Danbury Concert Band. Mrs. De Filippis was an accomplished pianist, and, in addition to music, she and her husband shared a passion for bridge, gardening, and dancing. Photography was another favorite avocation.

Mr. De Filippis is survived by his five daughters: Laura Kaiser and husband John of New Milford, Marybeth De Filippis of New York City, Suzanne Anderson and husband Arthur of Ridgefield, Caroline Burns and husband John of Ridgefield, and Jeanne Bartlett and husband Charles of Sinking Springs, PA; ten grandchildren: Sean Kaiser and wife Michelle, Gregory, and Ryan Kaiser, Elizabeth Chen, Rebecca and Carly Anderson, Alden and Katherine Burns, and Samuel and Amelia Bartlett; his sister Antoinette Nastro of Greenwich, CT, and his brother Joseph De Filippis and wife Lynne of Wappinger Falls, NY. His brothers Anthony and Peter De Filippis predeceased him.

Friends may call Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. at Kane Funeral Home, 25 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield. Services will be Thursday at 11 a.m. at Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church, Ridgefield. Contributions in Mr. De Filippis’ memory may be made to the Ridgefield Library, Building & Development Campaign, 472 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT, 06877. Mr. De Filippis’ daughters are profoundly grateful to the expert staff at Hancock Hall for the exceptional care and compassion they accorded the family during their father’s last days.

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Jowdy Kane and Kane Funeral Homes