Obituary: Leota Bauerfeld, 89

Leota Bauerfeld
Leota Bauerfeld

Leota Marjorie Bauerfeld, née Sperry, 89, most recently of Meadow Ridge in Redding Connecticut, formerly a long-time resident of Branford, passed away peacefully on January 19, 2019, after a long illness. She was surrounded by family and caring Meadow Ridge staff members.

Lee was predeceased in 2017 by her loving husband of 66 years, Richard A. (Dick) Bauerfeld. She is survived by her son Richard J. (Rick) Bauerfeld and wife Susan of Wilton, Connecticut, her daughter Bonnie Hataley and husband Kerry of Odessa, Florida, and her three grandsons Eric, Jonathan and Gregory Bauerfeld. Lee was an only child.

Lee was a lifelong resident of Connecticut, born and raised in Hamden, then resident in Cheshire, Redding, Branford (for 46 years), and finally Redding again. After marrying Dick, she became the Assistant Director of Human Resources at Metler Bros. in New Haven at a time when women did not normally hold such positions. With the birth of her children she became a stay-at-home mom. When her children headed to college, she obtained a real estate broker’s license and re-entered the workforce. She became a successful real estate broker in Branford, even selling one of the Thimble Islands twice.

Lee was extraordinarily active in her communities. Lee helped found the Redding Garden Club, and served in many capacities in the Branford Garden Club, including President. She served on the Board of the Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut for a number of years and as President from 1989-1991. In 2002 the Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut created an award to honor her, the Lee Bauerfeld Beautification Award, in the form of a traveling silver cup. That award was presented to the Wilton Garden Club in 2017 for work on Wilton’s Veteran’s Memorial Green. Lee also served on the Board of the National Council of State Garden Clubs for a number of years. When the garden clubs decided to raise funds for the restoration of the Statue of Liberty in 1985-1986, her efforts led the Branford Garden Club to raise the most in Connecticut, and the Connecticut clubs to raise the most in the country.

She helped establish and served on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station Associates for some years, for which the Associates awarded her a Keeper of the Centennial Medal. In her communities Lee was a chronic volunteer, who almost always said “yes,” participating in and often leading numerous events and organizations, including those relating to scouting, League of Women Voters, Friends of Connecticut State Parks, and her churches. In Branford, she co-chaired the Scholarship Committee for several years. She was recognized for her civic work by Branford in 1989, when May 10 was declared Lee Bauerfeld Appreciation Day and a weeping crabapple tree was planted in her honor at the Branford Community Center.

On March 3, 2019, the family will receive visitors beginning at 11:30 a.m., and hold a Celebration of Life at noon, in the Brubeck Room at the Wilton Library, 137 Old Ridgefield Road in Wilton. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to the Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut, Inc. at Arrangements are being handled by Bouton Funeral Home in Georgetown, Connecticut,, 203-544-8461. To offer the family online condolences please visit