Obituary: Eugene Siemiatkoski

The leadership of District 53 Toastmasters is sad to report the death of Eugene Siemiatowski, on January 20, 2023. Brought into Windsor Toastmasters by his wife Wanda, Eugene was a regular competitor in District contests, and also served a term as an Area Director from time to time. He was an excellent professional chef and active in numerous other organizations besides Toastmasters.

His family will receive friends on Saturday, February 4, 1 p.m.-3 p.m., with a Celebration of Life at 3 p.m., at Carmon Windsor Funeral Home, 807 Bloomfield Ave., Windsor. 

A more complete obituary can be found at the Carmon Funeral Home page.

Jennifer K. Mighty, 1969-2022

District 53 is sad to report the passing of a Past Area Director and District Table Topics contest winner, Jennifer X Mighty, a member of Talk It Up Toastmasters #8045, in Windsor, CT.  She was fifty-three years old, and leaves behind a son, Kristian, as well as her mother, a brother and four sisters, and a loving partner John Haywood, Jr.  

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, she moved to the United States at an early age  and graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University with a degree in Professional Accounting. She worked for much of her professional career at United Technologies in various Finance departments

Jennifer joined Toastmasters through the Talk It Up Toastmasters club in January 2015, and competed at the fall Table Topics Contest that year in the District contest. She was an Area Director in the 2017-18 year, serving for Area 53 in the Windsor area under then-Division Director Andrew Watt.  She was also heavily involved in helping the Carribbean American Toastmasters Club of Hartford, commonly known as CATCH, #5187872.  A Past President of CATCH, John Rhone, said that while her own busy schedule prevented her from joining the club, she was a constant promoter and supporter of its mission, and a brand ambassador for a club she had not represented.  She also strived to build a woman-centered Toastmasters club  for the many inspiring women of color she met in the African-American, Caribbean-American, and Latino communities around Hartford.

Past President of Talk It Up Toastmasters, and current PublicRelations Manager Mohan Padamati said, “Jennifer was a great woman to work with. She brought lot of value to the Talk It Up Toastmasters club through her unique leadership & communication style. She was very creative in Table Topics speaking and gave such effective evaluations that helped us all improve. My deepest condolences to her family.”

Another Toastmaster, past Division Director Heather Turner DTM, said, “Jennifer Mighty was always a vibrant presence in District 53 and especially in the Windsor-Hartford area. I very much appreciated her help with projects we worked together on over the years in the Divisions she and I were both involved with. I have and always will, appreciate and admire her positive and enthusiastic attitude and her willingness, selflessness and great heartedness to go out of her way to help others. She was a talented speaker and a truly exceptional person. She will be greatly missed.”

Jennifer believed in service to a greater community, and treated her Toastmasters leadership experiences as practice for the other things she wanted to achieve.  Past District Director Andrew Watt DTM, recalled her, “Jennifer was like a stream of fresh lava, or a brand new steam engine — steady, uncompromising, full of fire, and always certain about what she was going to do next.”

We Mourn a Giant (9/1/2022)

1 September 2022

Dear Fellow District 53 Toastmasters,

I interrupt my usual bi-monthly schedule to report some sad news.

Portrait of Sam Young, DTM, member of District 53's 2022-23 Officers team as District 43 Director
Sam Young, DTM

Sam Young, DTM, and distinguished member of the District 53 community — a frequent flier among District officers including serving in the present term as Area 43 Director in Division D, the long-serving District Parliamentarian, a Club Mentor and Sponsor or Coach for several clubs, a regular voice and face at District conferences and officer training events — has died unexpectedly at home after a brief illness.

Sam was a great soul and mentor to many of us, and it’s a great loss to this organization and to our community. Sam was an anchor and a rock of support to so many District leaders in the last few years, and he will be deeply missed.

At this time we have only partial news about his passing, but additional information shall be posted on the District website as a separate news item as we learn more. The Memorial Service will be in Middletown, CT at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church at 346 Butternut Street. Please keep him and his family in your prayers and good wishes in the present hour, and let us prepare to mourn his passing as we learn more in the days and weeks to come.

In Toastmasters service,
John J. Hogan, DTM
D53 District Director 2022-2023