Restaurant, in Reversal, Refunds Deposit After Bride-to-Be Dies

<i> Associated Press</i>

A restaurant owner refused to refund a $1,500 deposit even though a wedding was canceled because the bride-to-be died. The restauranteur changed his mind after the story appeared in newspapers.

“I personally apologize for any lack of timeliness in the decision that was made,” Mark Haseltine wrote Thursday in a letter to Daniel Barretto.

Barretto’s fiancee, Nancy Ogrodowczyk, died in April after suffering an asthma attack. The couple were to be married on Aug. 13 and had made the deposit at Haseltine’s restaurant, Levi Lowell’s Restaurant. It was there he had proposed to her.


His apology came after Barretto complained to at least two newspapers, which published his story.

Haseltine called the complaint premature, although he had earlier written a letter to Ogrodowczyk’s estate calling the deposit “totally non-refundable as stipulated in the contract.” He had also written that he would consider refunding part of the deposit if he could book a function similar in size and cost for the date.

Barretto, 31, had set up a scholarship in his fiancee’s name at Souhegan High School, where she had taught for about a year. Teachers and students sent a petition to Haseltine criticizing him.

The photographer and disc jockey hired by the couple for their wedding returned deposits so they could be used for the fund.