Westonites are mourning the loss of Postal Clerk Gaspar Veloso, 64, who died suddenly at his Bridgeport home on Wednesday, April 11.
A longtime employee and familiar face at the Weston post office, Mr. Veloso was known for his kind, gentle and wry sense of humor. An avid gardener, he tended with care the flower beds along the post office walls.
“In what was a parking lot sidewalk in front of the post office, Gaspar took his time to plant and tend a perennial garden that bloomed and flowered from early spring through the fall. A space that could have been left unnoticed and bare, Gaspar thoughtfully improved our day to day errands by creating his garden,” said postal customer Wally Young.
“He was one of Weston’s bright lights, and we will miss him,” said Nancy Hammerslough, who enjoyed talking to Mr. Veloso about dahlia bulbs and the proper staking of tomato plants.
Calling him the “dean” of the Weston Post Office, Arne and Helen de Keijzer said there was much more to Mr. Veloso than his love of gardening. “He was deeply knowledgeable about all things postal… and was a man whose intellectual curiosity ranged widely,” they said.
Roy Marsh agreed. “You could tell there was an awful lot behind him. Gaspar was a lot of fun in a quiet way. He had a quiet determination,” he said.
Professional photographer Bruce Plotkin called Mr. Veloso “a true gentleman and gem of a man” about whom he really knew nothing except for Mr. Veloso’s “David Crosby look-alike appearance, smiling face, and welcoming demeanor.”
The men shared an interest in photography. “We’d talk about the weather, but not so much in the way people talk about the weather for lack of better conversation. He knew how important good weather on the weekend was for the events that I photograph, and he seemed genuinely interested in my concerns and in my work. I know I’m not alone in mourning his loss. We’ll all miss our daily dose of Gaspar,” Mr. Plotkin said.
Co-workers Pete Hernandez, Tim Killian and Edward J. Butner also said Mr. Veloso would be missed. They admired his vast knowledge of music and astronomy. “He was like a teacher to us,” Mr. Hernandez said.
Mr. Veloso was also humble and modest. Though he drew accolades for his gardening and flower beds at the post office, he wanted no public acknowledgment or credit. When a Weston Forum reporter asked if she could write a story about his floral handiwork, Mr. Veloso declined. When she persisted, he was gentle, but firm. “If you write a story about me I won’t plant any more flowers,” he said with a slight twinkle in his eye.
Born in Bridgeport on Nov. 11, 1947, Mr. Veloso was the son of the late Jose and Maria (Loureiro) DeAraujo Veloso. He was a graduate of Central High School and earned his bachelor and master’s degrees from the University of Bridgeport.
A Vietnam veteran, Mr. Veloso went to work for the U.S. Postal Service in 1973. He worked at post offices in Westport and Saugatuck and spent many years as a much respected and admired postal clerk in Weston.
His survivors include his stepmother, Teresa Veloso; sisters, Rosa Veloso Pope and husband Ted, and Maria da Gloria Riberio and husband Alvaro; one brother, Antonio Veloso and wife Mary Bartelt; nephews Alvaro Ribeiro and wife Rebecca, Victor Riberio and wife Naomi DaPaz, Rui Riberio and Amanda Angrisano, and Andrew Veloso; nieces Christina Veloso Pope and Sarah Veloso Pope; and other extended family.
Funeral services were held on Saturday, April 14, in Bridgeport.