At 91, Francis Whitcomb recalls varied career

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Judy Bevans, former chairman of the Vermont Democratic Party, looks on while Representative Sam Young of Glover reads a resolution honoring Francis Whitcomb of Albany.   Photo by Donald Houghton

Judy Bevans, former chairman of the Vermont Democratic Party, looks on while Representative Sam Young of Glover reads a resolution honoring Francis Whitcomb of Albany. Photo by Donald Houghton

copyright the Chronicle September 10, 2014

by David Dudley

ALBANY — At 91 years of age, Francis Whitcomb has held any number of titles, formal and otherwise: Lister, moderator, planning commissioner, justice of the peace, chairman of the Orleans County Democratic Committee, teacher, principal, farmer, sugarmaker, singer, advisor, father, and husband, among many others.

Mr. Whitcomb tried to add state Representative to that list, but the title eluded him through seven campaigns.

Sitting at the head of the kitchen table in his old farmhouse in Albany Monday, Mr. Whitcomb had the air of a preacher. He’s tall and was dressed simply, as though he were going to spend the day in the garden, in the sugarhouse, or engaged in one of his favorite pastimes, walking.

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In girls soccer: Rangers rout Enosburg in season opener

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Rangers junior Karamae Hayman-Jones prepares to send the ball deep into Hornets territory in Friday's win. Apart from playing air-tight defense, Hayman-Jones pitched in with an assist in the Rangers’ impressive season opener.  Photo by David Dudley

Rangers junior Karamae Hayman-Jones prepares to send the ball deep into Hornets territory in Friday’s win. Apart from playing air-tight defense, Hayman-Jones pitched in with an assist in the Rangers’ impressive season opener. Photo by David Dudley

copyright the Chronicle September 10, 2014

by David Dudley

Tyrah Urie scored three goals to lead the Lake Region Rangers to an impressive 7-0 victory against the Enosburg Falls Hornets Friday.

The heat and the humidity didn’t slow the Rangers a bit. Through the first ten minutes of play, they played sticky defense, consistently pressuring the Hornets.

Rangers Coach Brad Urie was pleased with his squad, who held the Hornets to only four attempts on goal throughout the entire game.

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Taxpayers angered by big tax jumps

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albany schoolhouse smaller

copyright the Chronicle September 10, 2014

by Tena Starr

WESTFIELD — Since property tax bills here went out recently, town officials have heard a lot of griping — and confusion. Why did the residential property tax rate go up 24 percent when the Jay-Westfield School budget went up by about 5 percent?

“We’ve had a lot of people not happy, and I’m in that category,” said Westfield Town Clerk LaDonna Dunn. “This year in Westfield we got hit pretty hard.”

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Obituaries September 10, 2014

obit aronsonDouglas V. Aronson

Douglas V. Aronson, “The Ole Troll,” died peacefully at home in Woodbury on Friday, September 5, 2014.

Born January 23, 1935, to Harry and Iris Aronson in Hartford, Connecticut, he was one of four children.

Mr. Aronson attended public schools during early childhood in Hartford. With the onset of World War II, he was moved to Woodbury, to live with his grandparents and help work their family farm. At this time, he attended Woodbury Graded School. After WWII, he moved back to Hartford and finished high school. His love of the land and animals led him to continue his education at Vermont Technical College in Randolph, and then to Howell Cheney Technical College in Manchester, Connecticut, where he earned his AS in animal husbandry.

On July 7, 1974, he married Sandra (Trefren) Aronson in East Montpelier. They blended their families to raise a family of nine before having a child together. In 1975, after running a family dairy farm in Berlin, Mr. and Mrs. Aronson bought the Woodbury Country Store and moved to Woodbury. For years, the Woodbury Country Store thrived and diversified as an authentic general store by selling bait and tackle, and having a snack bar and deli. Customers fast became friends, as the store was a hub for the town. Mr. Aronson’s love of hunting, fishing, boating, and snowmobiling was obvious to those who patronized the store. His fishing tips and advice soon turned into a radio show on WDEV known as the “The ‘Ole Troll.”

Mr. Aronson went on to do various jobs including as a meat cutter for Grand Union and in retirement he became a part-time delivery driver for Bond Auto Parts, Inc. Over the years, he served the town of Woodbury, in various capacities including serving on the volunteer fire department and as a justice of the peace. He helped organize the children’s Christmas and Halloween parties, and he worked tirelessly on the town skating rink. He was proud to be a Mason and enjoyed the camaraderie of his brothers.

Those close to Mr. Aronson never knew when they would be on the other end of one of his fun-loving pranks — as he loved to laugh, tell stories, pick on people he liked, party, and talk about his large family. He had a huge heart and would help anyone he could — he always found the good in someone no matter who they were.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 40 years, Sandi Aronson of Woodbury; his sons and daughters-in-law: Doug and Maria Aronson of Mt. Hood, Oregon, Carl and Marina Aronson and Scott and Tammy Aronson of Randolph; his daughters: Tammy Aronson of North Fort Myers, Florida, Karen Lilley of Berlin, Kim Aronson of Wilmington, and Ann and her husband, Mike Cookson, of Cabot; his stepchildren: Marilyn Ready of Bristol, Connecticut, Carlos Gomez of Kingman, Arizona, and Diana Lisevick of Bridgeport, Connecticut; and by his 25 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. Also surviving are two sisters: Dawna Stewart of West Palm Beach, Florida, and Althea Aronson of Woodbury.

He was predeceased by a brother, Clarence “Cal” Aronson.

A celebration of his life will be held at the Woodbury Methodist Church in the center of Woodbury Village 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 13, followed immediately by a graveside service at the South Woodbury Cemetery. The family encourages all to share a favorite memory at his service and invites people to join them directly after the graveside service for a luncheon at the Woodbury Town Hall.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Hardwick Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 837, Hardwick, Vermont 05843; or to Central Vermont Home Health & Hospice, 600 Granger Road, Barre, Vermont 05641.

obit KelleyMaxine M. Kelley

Maxine M. Kelley, 91, of Brownington died peacefully on August 25, 2014, at her daughter’s home in Brownington.

She was born on August 15, 1923, in Barton, to Perley and Arline (Burdette) Ingalls.

On July 29, 1941, she married Elwin Kelley Sr., who predeceased her.

She was a clipper for Columbia Forest Products, from where she retired after 18 years of service.

She liked to dance, especially the Charleston. She also enjoyed playing darts, going for rides, and going out to eat. She spent many hours crocheting, as the family each received many of her works. She was an avid reader and was always very independent and lived next door to her daughter, Brenda, which enabled her to do so. She was a very big part of her family.

She always enjoyed her many cats and dogs over the years.

She is survived by her children: Brenda Simons and her husband, Earl, of Brownington, Dorine Lombarto of Florida, Wayne Kelley and his wife, Linda, of Quebec, and Dean Kelley and his wife, Pauline, of Alabama; her grandchildren: Kim and Tom Thompson, Terri and Jeff LaClair, Lynn Farrand, Kenni Ann and Joe Hawkesworth, Elwin and Shelley Kelley, Bobbie-Jo and Paul Beauregard, Lisa and Jeff Lanoue, Scott and Shelley Kelley, Chad Kelley, Kelly, Phillip, Sherry, Christine, Robin, Carmen, Tonya, Tammy, Christie, and Skylar; her great-grandchildren: Cassidy, Natalie, Dillon, Perry, William, Ethan, Sheyanne Thompson, Tom Thompson, Dustin, Alex, Caleb, Matthew and Derrick; her great-great-grandchildren: Jessie and Savanna Thompson, Aiden Farrand, Mikalya Farrand, and Kaya Moore; and by her sister, Marcella Dow and her husband, Dick, of Florida.

She was predeceased by her son, Elwin Kelley Jr., in 2008; her special grandson, Josh Simons, in 2011; and by five brothers and one sister.

Funeral services were held on August 30, in Brownington. Interment followed at the Derby Line Cemetery.

Should friends desire, contributions in her memory may be made to the Orleans Emergency Unit, in care of Dot Collier, 1327 Dry Pond Road, Glover, Vermont 05839.

Online condolences at curtis-britch.com.

Peter T. Leck

Peter T. Leck, 62, of Glover, formerly of North Troy, died on August 22, 2014, in Glover.

He was born on October 12, 1951, in Yonkers, New York, to Charles and Marguerite (Farese) Leck.

He was a cook for the North Troy Inn.

During his lifetime, he enjoyed doing woodworking.

He is survived by his mother, Marguerite Savio of North Billerica, Massachusetts; and by seven brothers and sisters: Philip, Richard, Charles, Kathy, Deborah, Elizabeth, and Karen.

He was predeceased by his father, Charles Leck, and by his brother, Michael.

A graveside service was held on August 30, at the Notre Dame Cemetery in North Troy.

Should friends desire, contributions in his memory may be made to the Mary Wright Halo Foundation, 1071 Upper Quarry Road, Newport, Vermont 05855.

Online condolences at curtis-britch.com.

obit SykesArdis A. Sykes

Ardis A. Sykes, 85, formerly of Morgan, died on September 6, 2014, in Newport.

She was born on June 16, 1929, in Newport Center, to Eben and Carrie (Norris) Wilcox.

On April 4, 1949, she married Raymond Sykes, who survives her.

She was a helpmate to her husband on their dairy farm in Morgan for many years.

She was an avid reader and enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren. She also enjoyed cooking, gardening and helping her husband with the farm work.

She is survived by her husband, Raymond Sykes of Newport; her children: Richard Sykes and his wife, Helene, of Newport, Kenneth Sykes and his wife, Denise, of Morgan, Randy Sykes and his wife, Sharon, of Derby Line, and Gary Sykes and his wife, Christine, of Norton; and by her 11 grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister, Merna Ashman of Island Pond; and by several nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by two infant sons; four brothers: Marshall, Wendall, Basil and Kenneth; and by two sisters: Shirley and Audrey.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m., on Friday, September 12, at the Curtis-Britch-Converse-Rushford Funeral Home, at 4670 Darling Hill Road in Newport, with the Reverend Richard Whitehill officiating. Friends may call at the funeral home on September 12, from noon until the hour of the funeral. Interment will follow in Newport Center Cemetery.

Should friends desire, contributions in her memory may be made to the Bel-Aire Activities Fund, 35 Bel-Aire Drive, Newport, Vermont 05855.

Online condolences at curtis-britch.com.

Service

Ashley Marie Allard

Calling hours for Ashley Marie Allard of Derby will be from 1 to 2 p.m. on Friday, September 19, at the Curtis-Britch-Converse-Rushford Funeral Home, at 4670 Darling Hill Road in Newport, where funeral services will be held at 2 p.m., with the Reverend Fred and Carol Ann Barker officiating.  Burial will follow in Pine Grove Cemetery in Newport.  A reception will follow at the Community Church of Derby, located at the intersection of Route 5 and Route 105 in Derby.

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Vermont Watercolor Society’s MAC show opens September 12

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“Breath Taking Ride” by Ann Lisner is one of the watercolors which is part of the Vermont Watercolor Society’s fall 2014 show at the MAC in Newport.  Image courtesy of Darlene Ratte

“Breath Taking Ride” by Ann Lisner is one of the watercolors which is part of the Vermont Watercolor Society’s fall 2014 show at the MAC in Newport. Image courtesy of Darlene Ratte

Opening day of the Vermont Watercolor Society’s fall 2014 watercolor show at the MAC Center for the Arts in Newport is Friday, September 12, with an opening reception that day from 5 to 7 p.m.

This year’s theme will be “It Happens In Vermont.”  There will be stunning works of art painted by over 20 very talented watercolor artists that live and create in Vermont and mostly in the Northeast Kingdom.

The show will be open daily, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and closed Sundays, through October 3.  The exhibit will be in the lower gallery at the MAC.  All work is for sale.

At the reception, the Wind Quintet of the Newport Area Community Orchestra will play music, and there will be light refreshments.  MAC writer-member Catherine Holm will read a short excerpt from her work at 6:15 p.m., after an awards ceremony to three of the artists, when prizes will be announced with a first prize of $75.  — from the MAC and Darlene Ratte.

For more things to do, see our Events page.

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Two handmade Shipley books honor writing and farming

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Woodcuts by Mary Simpson illustrate Adam’s Mark; Writing from the Ox-House.

Woodcuts by Mary Simpson illustrate Adam’s Mark; Writing from the Ox-House.

copyright the Chronicle September 3, 2014

Adam’s Mark: Writing from the Ox-House, published by Plowboy Press in Burke, with woodcuts by Mary Simpson. A limited edition hard cover version is available directly from the publisher for $250. A smaller softcover trade copy, 54 pages, is $12. First Do No Harm, by Honeybee Press in Burlington and New Orleans, Lousiana, 48 pages, softcover, $15. Both published in 2014, both written by Julia Shipley. Both available locally at the Galaxy Bookshop in Hardwick.

Reviewed by Bethany M. Dunbar

Wesley Langdell’s barn and paddock are across the street from the Morrisville Price Chopper. He sold his southern hayfield in the early sixties to developers who built the Ames Plaza, Price Chopper and McDonald’s. I gaze at his place from the parking lot where I shop because I cherish things that are about to vanish.

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Doctor publishes first book of bedside tales

Sally Willard Burbank, MD, originally from Derby, has published her first book.  Photo by Natalie Hormilla

Sally Willard Burbank, MD, originally from Derby, has published her first book. Photo by Natalie Hormilla

copyright the Chronicle September 3, 2014

Patients I Will Never Forget, by Sally Willard Burbank. 282 pages. Paperback. Published by Clovercroft Publishing. $14.99. 

by Natalie Hormilla

Sally Willard Burbank, MD, remembers writing her first book when she was in fourth grade.

“It was about a girl named Aggie who was fat, picked on, and it was definitely autobiographical,” Dr. Burbank said. She wrote the novel shortly after her family moved from Derby to Montpelier, where she didn’t really fit in.

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World War II friends reunite after 45 years

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Left to right are Seymour Leven, a female acquaintance, and Addison Merrick.  This photo was taken in Texas in 1945.

Left to right are Seymour Leven, a female acquaintance, and Addison Merrick. This photo was taken in Texas in 1945.

copyright the Chronicle September 3, 2014

by Bethany M. Dunbar

Addison Merrick of Craftsbury and Seymour Leven of Cavendish met in Peyote, Texas, in late 1944 or the very beginning of 1945.  They were in the U.S. Army Air Corps getting ready to be shipped out to the Mariana Islands in the South Pacific during World War II.

Dr. Leven, who later became a psychiatrist, remembers it well.  He walked into a Quonset hut where a bunch of the men had already chosen bunks. He looked around.

“The only one who was reading was him,” said Dr. Leven.

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In Glover: Association wants to close part of Shadow Lake

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The Shadow Lake Association has petitioned the state, asking that a roughly one-acre section of Danforth Cove at the north end of Shadow Lake be temporarily closed to human use in order to control milfoil.  The area is already marked by orange buoys and is not supposed to be used for fishing, boating, or swimming.  Photo by Tena Starr

The Shadow Lake Association has petitioned the state, asking that a roughly one-acre section of Danforth Cove at the north end of Shadow Lake be temporarily closed to human use in order to control milfoil. The area is already marked by orange buoys and is not supposed to be used for fishing, boating, or swimming. Photo by Tena Starr

copyright the Chronicle September 3, 2014

by Tena Starr

GLOVER — Members of the Shadow Lake Association have petitioned the state, asking that a roughly one-acre section of the lake be closed to human use in order to control milfoil. It would be only the second time in Vermont that part of a lake has been closed to public use because of milfoil.

The last time the rule was exercised was in 1998 when part of Lake Morey was closed due to a milfoil infestation, said Matthew Probasco, aquatic nuisance control and pesticide general permit coordinator at the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

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