Published: March 31, 2020
Alice Kirkpatrick Kugelman, a longtime resident of West Hartford, died on March 27 at her home in Bloomfield after a long illness. She was 84.
For nearly 50 years, she balanced her professional career as a personal property appraiser and estate sale coordinator with significant contributions to the greater Hartford community. With a rare combination of vision, organizational skill and sheer determination, she started a number of organizations that improved the lives of countless community residents.
Born on December 30, 1935 in Hinsdale, Ill., to Arthur Loomis Kirkpatrick and Frieda McLellan, she grew up in Chevy Chase, Md., and graduated from the Sidwell Friends School. After attending Denison University, she studied at the University of Geneva where she focused on the harpsichord. She earned her music degree from the Yale School of Music studying under Ralph Kirkpatrick.
At Yale, she met her future husband, Thomas P. Kugelman, who predeceased her in 2013. The Kugelmans settled in West Hartford in 1964 after Dr. Kugelman set up a dermatology practice at Hartford Hospital.
Alice dedicated herself to community service. She served as president of the West Hartford League of Women Voters, and in 1975 co-founded and became the first president of Hartford Interval House, a shelter and advocacy organization for victims of domestic violence. She was a long-time member of Asylum Congregational Church in Hartford and served as its first female moderator. Inspired by businessman Eugene Lang’s “I Have a Dream” Foundation, she convinced Asylum Hill’s congregation to adopt an 8th grade class graduating from West Middle School and guaranteed their college education, as well as services to support them through high school. In the 1990s she turned her energies to Connecticut Canine Search and Rescue, founding the volunteer organization in 1994 to provide emergency response for lost, missing or drowned persons. With her beloved Newfoundland dogs, she participated in rigorous trainings and rescues into her late seventies.
Alice and her husband had shared passions for classical music and antique furniture. Collectors of antiques since the time of their marriage, they became experts in Eighteenth Century Connecticut furniture. In 2005 they published a scholarly book with Robert Lionetti, Connecticut Valley Furniture by Eliphalet Chapin and His Contemporaries, and organized an accompanying exhibition at the Connecticut Historical Society. Readers can revisit that book and exhibition at www.antiquesandthearts.com/connecticut-valley-furniture-eliphalet-chapin-and-his-contemporaries-1750-1800/.
Alice also maintained a lifelong interest in genealogy and spent her later years fleshing out her family tree. She was a proud descendant of Joseph Loomis (1590-1658), one of the first settlers of Windsor, and of William J. Kirkpatrick (1838-1921), a musician and composer of Christian hymns, including “Away in a Manger.”
Alice is survived by three daughters: Lisa Kugelman and her husband Roy Wiseman of West Hartford, Karen and Robert Paruolo of Glastonbury, and Margaret and Andrew Hofer of New York City, as well as eight grandchildren. The family extends its gratitude to Iris Gray, as well as to Pat, Antonia, Lorna and Kathy, for their loving care.
A celebration of her life will be held at a future date at Asylum Hill Congregational Church. In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to Asylum Hill Congregational Church, 814 Asylum Ave., Hartford, CT 06105, or Hartford Interval House, PO Box 340207, Hartford, CT, 06134.
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