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Edwin C. Fordham

April 14, 1923 June 6, 2020
Edwin C. Fordham
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Obituary for Edwin C. Fordham

Edwin Calvin Fordham, age 97, formerly of Stratford, passed away on Saturday, June 6, 2020 in Chandler, AZ.
Edwin was born in Bridgeport to the late Henry Edwin Fordham and Ruby R. Nearing Fordham. He was the husband of the late Ellen Davis Fordham (m. 1943-1994) and to the late Inez Wheeler Hallstrom Fordham (m. 1996-2006). He was a longtime Stratford, CT resident before moving to Chandler, AZ in October 2017.
Edwin graduated from Stratford HS in 1941. He came from a long family line of oystermen and throughout high school would work on his father’s crew. He used the money he earned from dredging to train in New York City to become a professional ballroom dancer. He went on to graduate University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, CT with a B.S. in Science and obtained his master’s degree from Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT.
Edwin served as a B-24 Bomber Pilot, Army Air Corps in the Asiatic Pacific Theatre during WWII, First Lieutenant, 31st Bombardment Squadron 5th Bombardment Group.
After the war he purchased his own oyster boat, the Priscilla, a 60-foot classic oyster dredging sloop built in 1888. The Priscilla is now located in Long Island Maritime Museum in West Sayville, Long Island, NY. She is the oldest surviving boat from the Great South Bay oyster fleet. The Priscilla was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006.
He co-founded and owned Housatonic Marina at the mouth of the Housatonic River in Stratford, CT. He brought the first boat storage racking system to Connecticut and developed the system to put boats in and out of the water with a regular six-foot differential tide.
He was one of the founding members of Connecticut Marine Trades Association (CMTA) and one-time President working with Connecticut state senator, Doc Gunther, to establishing boating laws and the preservation of Long Island Sound waters.
From his desire to preserve oystering on Long Island Sound he founded the Stratford Shellfish Laboratories. He developed and held patents for spawning and growing young oysters in a hatchery and for a process to transition the young oyster to a natural habitat to set. Again working with Senator Gunther he established laws on shellfishing and together founded the Stratford Shellfish Commission.
Edwin was also a dedicated teacher at Milford HS in Math, at Stratford HS in Science, and at Bunnell HS in Biology, Chemistry.
Edwin is survived by his children, Jill Fordham Westmoreland of Stratford, CT, Janice Fordham Sinal (George) of Chandler, AZ, and Calvin Fordham of Seymour, CT; stepchildren, Melissa Hallstrom White (Daniel) of Trumbull, CT, Timothy Hallstrom (Helen) of Trumbull, CT; grandchildren, Heidi Westmoreland Maraucci (Anthony) of Maineville, OH, Edwin Westmoreland of Vancouver, WA, Brian Sinal of Vancouver, WA, Christopher Sinal of Chandler, AZ, and Robyn Sinal Riggs (Andrew) of Chandler, AZ; step-grandchildren Patrick Hallstrom of Syracuse, NY and Denise Hallstrom of Monroe, CT; great-grandchildren Tehya of Gilbert, AZ, Mikel and Harley of Chandler, AZ, and Emily and Gabriella of Maineville, OH; beloved Goddaughter, Betsie Dana of Monroe, NC; special family friend, Carol Stosse of Stratford, CT; and many cousins.
In addition to his parents and his wife Ellen and wife Inez, Edwin was predeceased by his sister, Ruby C. Fordham and his son-in-law, John T. Westmoreland, Sr., both of Stratford, CT.
Interment will be held privately in Park Cemetery, Bridgeport. A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Hospice of the Valley, 2020 E. Woodside Court, Gilbert, AZ 85297 or call (602) 530-6900, or to the Edwin Fordham Memorial Scholarship, c/o Bunnell High School, One Bulldog Blvd, Stratford, CT 06614, or for the Priscilla in Edwin’s memory to the Long Island Maritime Museum, 88 West Ave., West Sayville, NY 11796 ( to express condolences online.

Previous Events

Private Services




10:00 AM 6/20/2020 10:00:00 AM
Park Cemetery

Lindley Street and Capitol Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06606

To watch a recording of the graveside service, click the blue "Watch Tribute Video" button below Mr. Fordham's picture, or click the "Watch Now" button on the Tribute Wall.

Park Cemetery
Lindley Street and Capitol Avenue Bridgeport 06606 CT
United States

Memorial Contribution

Long Island Maritime Museum

88 West Ave.
West Sayville, NY 11796

Hospice of the Valley

2020 W. Woodside Court
Chandler, AZ 85297

Edwin Fordham Memorial Scholarship

c/o Bunnell High School
One Bulldog Blvd
Stratford, CT 06614

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