Lillian Ruby Chaffee, 93, of Hardwick died peacefully on Sunday, October 5, 2014, at Copley Hospital in Morrisville, with her loving family at her bedside.
She was born on May 19, 1921, in Greensboro, the daughter of the late John G. and Adella (Dezan) Dickson. She attended Greensboro public schools.
On July 30, 1938, she married Charles Chaffee in Island Pond.
Much of Ms. Chaffee’s working years were spent in the Greensboro area, where she was a domestic for many years. She and her husband owned and operated a dairy farm for more than 28 years. Later, she was a nurse’s aide at the Greensboro Nursing Home. Following the sale of the farm, the Chaffee family relocated to East Hardwick. In the early 1970s, Ms. Chaffee moved to Hardwick, where she has since made her home.
She loved spending time with her family. She enjoyed being with her friends, meals, games, trips, especially the music provided by the Hardwick senior citizens. Other enjoyments included quilting, sewing, and handiwork.
Survivors include three daughters: Shirley Sicard of Barton, Louise Russell and her husband, Roderick, of Morrisville, and Holly Hill of Fairfax; a brother, Eugene Dickson, of Albany; and by eight grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, eight great-great-grandchildren, and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
She was predeceased by her husband, Charles, in 1964; a daughter, Sarah Chaffee; five siblings: Roger Dickson, Willard Dickson, Lulabelle Marckres, Gertrude Sargent, and Wallace Dickson; a great-grandson, Roger Simino; two sons-in-law: Lawrence Sicard and Terry Hill; as well as by a dear friend, John Phelps.
Graveside services will be held at 1 p.m on Saturday, October 11, in the Irasburg Cemetery in Irasburg.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to the Hardwick Fire Department, P.O. Box 1279, Hardwick, Vermont 05843.
Evelyn E. Comtois, of Derby died peacefully on Tuesday, September 30, 2014, in Burlington.
She was born in Lowell on June 22, 1923, to Eugene and Ethel (Sherbert) McAllister.
She and her husband, Ernest, owned and operated a family farm for over 16 years, where they brought their family up, in the Newport Center area. In later years, she worked at J.J. Newberry and Slalom Ski Wear and Newport Plastics, from where she retired after five years.
They spent many winters in Florida as well as in Vermont.
She enjoyed playing cards, puzzle books, sewing, and she loved to cook, write poems, have family come to visit, and family gatherings.
She is survived by her children: Reg Comtois and his wife, Diane, of Milton, Bernard Comtois and his wife, Rita, of South Carolina, Francis Comtois and his wife, Pauline, of North Carolina, Rene Comtois and his wife, Nancy, of Missouri, Yvette Bathalon and her husband, Jean, of Irasburg, and Maurice Comtois and his wife, Mary Ellen, of South Carolina; her daughter-in-law Carole Comtois of Georgia; her sisters-in-law: Dianna McAllister, Barbara McAllister and Lillian Tessier; 19 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild; her brother Ronald McAllister and his wife, Sally; and by several nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her husband; her son Arnold; her brothers: Stanley, Glendon, Vincent and Urban; and by her sister Idel Bonneau.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, October 10, at 11 a.m. at St. Edward’s Catholic Church in Derby Line, where a Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated. Interment will follow in St. Ignatius Cemetery in Lowell.
Online condolences at curtis-britch.com.
Suzanne Fay Conn, 61, of Westfield died on September 26, 2014, in Lebanon, New Hampshire.
She was born on May 9, 1953, in Concord, to Arthur and Louise (Daniels) Stanley.
She graduated from North Country Union High School in 1971 and later received a bachelor’s degree in human services. She was a family resource social worker employed by the Orleans Coordinating County Supervisory Union.
Her hobbies included gardening, boating, swimming in her pool, working in her flower garden, and spending time with her children and grandchildren.
She is survived by her children: Charles Winston Norton Jr. and his wife, Delaina, of Essex, and Trent Laramee and his fiancée, Kim Dodson; her grandchildren: Charles Winston Norton III, and Gwen, Adrian, and Eligah Lamoureux; her brother John Conn and his wife, Judy, of Clute, Texas; her nephews: Chad and Jonathan Conn; her nieces: Carmon and Tara; her boyfriend, Don Savage, of Westfield; and by extended Stanley family members.
She was predeceased by her children: Erin Ranai Norton in 1989, and Dustin Ryan Laramee in 2005; and by her brother Harold Conn in 2011.
Funeral services were held on October 4, in Newport. Interment took place in North Hill Cemetery in Westfield.
Should friends desire, contributions in her memory may be made to the Dystonia Foundation, Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center, Mclean Hospital, 115 Mill Street, Mailstop 138, Belmont, Massachusetts 02478.
Online condolences at curtis-britch.com.
Ellen F. Dignan, MD, died on October 3, 2014, about a week shy of her eighty-fourth birthday, in Middlebury, after a brief illness.
She was born in 1930 in Melrose, Massachusetts, to Thomas G. and Hester C. (Sharkey) Dignan of Wakefield, Massachusetts.
A graduate of Tufts University (1952) and its School of Medicine (1958), she originally trained in surgery and practiced for almost 40 years as a surgeon, and emergency care and primary care physician. She performed much of that work in distant lands, traveling twice with CARE Medico, to serve in Pahang, Malaysia, and, later, with the Medical Missionaries of Mary, in Nigeria and Tanzania. At home in the U.S. she served from time to time at various institutions, including Pondville Cancer Hospital in Massachusetts, Northwest Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, and Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford, Massachusetts. In 1964, she was credited with saving the life of a Catholic nun who, according to a contemporary press account, was “swept from a rocky ledge into a surging sea off Swampscott.” After firefighters had fished out Sister Leona of the Sisters of Mercy, Dr. Dignan performed an emergency tracheotomy there on the rocks, using the barrel of a ballpoint pen to maintain the victim’s airway.
Dr. Dignan retired from medicine in 1995, took up botany and horticulture and ran a small business, Haile Selassie Memorial Gardens, for five years, raising day lilies and planting and maintaining flower gardens for customers on the North Shore of Massachusetts. In the spring of 2000, she suffered a fall, which brought an end to this physical work, but for several years thereafter, she drove herself daily to St. Joseph’s Food Pantry in Salem, Massachusetts, where she volunteered as an administrative assistant. She continued traveling well into her later years, spending time out west with her sister Marion and her niece Maria and her family, and visiting Africa again. Eventually, she came to live with her sister and brother-in-law, Joan and Alfred Fuller, in Craftsbury. She involved herself as a volunteer in the town, computerizing vital records to make them readily searchable by genealogy aficionados and other researchers. The town of Craftsbury honored her for these efforts by dedicating its 2009 Town Report to her.
“Binky,” as she was known to her family and friends, was a great animal lover — particularly dogs and guinea hens. A lifelong Catholic, she took the middle name “Francis,” after St. Francis of Assisi, at her confirmation. She maintained a lively, ongoing interest in current events, and in the fortunes and foibles of her many nieces and nephews, who adored her for her abiding concern, her sense of humor, and the vivid accounts of daily life in Asia and Africa that she meticulously penned to them on thin, blue air letters. Always a frugal soul herself, she was ever mindful of human need around her, and carefully preserved many of the gifts she was given, passing them on to others who could make use of them.
Dr. Dignan is survived by her sisters: Joan Fuller of Vermont and Beth McGinty of Duxbury, Massachusetts; her brother Thomas G. Dignan Jr. of Bonita Springs, Florida; and by her eight nieces, six nephews, 23 grandnieces and grandnephews, one great-grandnephew and one great-grandniece.
She was predeceased by her sisters: Hester Curtis and Marion Drury.
Since 2012, she has made her home in an assisted living residence at Eastview at Middlebury, where she died while resting, shortly after midnight on Friday. Per her wishes, there will be no funeral, but a memorial gathering will be scheduled at the convenience of the family.
Brenda Kay (Schoppe) Dow died on Sunday, September 28, 2014, after a period of failing health. She had been a resident of the St. Johnsbury Health & Rehabilitation Center for the past two years.
Born in Newport in 1932, she was the oldest of Rolfe Weston Schoppe and Dorothy Spencer Schoppe’s four children.
She attended elementary school in Orleans and graduated from Orleans High School in 1950. She married Winston Cecil “Pete” Dow on January 17, 1951, and they in turn had four children together, living in Orleans during the first few years of their marriage and then moving to St. Johnsbury, where they resided for the rest of their lives.
Ms. Dow found work at St. Johnsbury Trucking and did coding on the evening shift for more than 25 years. Because of her work schedule, she became a night owl, shopping for groceries when she got out of work at midnight, staying up reading till 3 or 4 a.m., then sleeping late in the morning.
She will be remembered by her family, friends, and co-workers at St. Johnsbury Trucking for her affinity for blue denim, her quirky sense of humor, and for her cooking: her signature recipes are still “must-have” fare at family celebrations and holiday meals. She also contributed a number of recipes to the St. Johnsbury Trucking Employees Cookbook of Favorite Recipes, published in 1988.
Ms. Dow loved decorating her house, and the footbench near her favorite chair was always covered with stacks of Country Home and Country Living magazines. Each summer she’d hang baskets of bright-red geraniums on her porch, plant sunflowers in her garden, and train morning glories to grow on a trellis outside her back door. She was very attached to the animal companions she had over the years: numerous cats and kittens (some from Patenaude’s barn in East St. Johnsbury), her German Shepherd Gretchen, and in later years, her much-loved golden retriever Murphy.
She didn’t learn to drive until she was in her forties, but once she started, there was no stopping her. She was especially fond of exploring back roads in the area, often with her grandson Matt, who was her constant companion when he was growing up. After she and her passengers had some, shall we say, “memorable” experiences on the less-traveled roads around St. Johnsbury, she eventually settled on one rule for herself: if a road has tall grass growing in the middle of it, it’s probably not a good idea to take it! But everything else was fair game, and she had some great adventures over the years.
She enjoyed antiquing and she collected all kinds of interesting pieces, especially blue and white china. She was an avid reader and a familiar face at the Athenaeum, where she would head directly for the mystery section and bring home five or six books at a time.
When she was still mobile, she enjoyed going up to “Time-Out,” the family camp on Shadow Lake in Glover that was built by her parents back in 1940. She spent many happy days there, starting when she was a child herself and continuing well into her 70s. Her husband Pete’s parents, as well as other members of the extended Dow, Bassett, and Jones families, also cherished their time there.
She was not only a good mother, she was also a devoted daughter. When her parents were in their 80s and needed help with everyday tasks, she was always there for them, bringing them groceries, cooking favorite foods, doing errands, and taking them to their doctor appointments. In 1992, when they both went into the nursing home within a week of each other, she visited them there every day for the next four years.
Survivors include her children: Nancy Dow Bassett of St. Johnsbury, Michael Peter Dow and his fiancée, Karen Bugbee, of St. Johnsbury, and Lori Ann Dow and her husband, Dan Kelliher, of Peacham; her sister Joan Spencer Weston of East St. Johnsbury; her brother Scott Weston Schoppe and his wife, Clara, of St. Johnsbury; and by three grandchildren who meant the world to her: Matthew Bassett and his wife, Lindsay, of Danville, Justin Dow of St. Johnsbury, and Warren Dow of St. Johnsbury. Other survivors include her husband Pete’s brother and sister and their families, as well as nieces, nephews, and two young grandnephews.
She was predeceased by her youngest daughter, Joni Lynn Dow, in 1974; her husband, Pete Dow, in 1984; her sister Carol Schoppe Jones in 1992; her parents, Rolfe and Dorothy Schoppe, in 1995 and 1996; and by her oldest daughter Nancy’s husband, Wayne Bassett, in 2001.
A gathering was held on October 2 in St. Johnsbury. A private graveside service will be held in the Pleasant View Cemetery in Orleans at a later date.
Memorial contributions in her name could be directed to the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum at 1171 Main Street, St. Johnsbury, Vermont 05819; or to St. Johnsbury Health and Rehabilitation Center, 1248 Hospital Drive, St. Johnsbury, Vermont 05819, specified for the employee fund, made payable to St. Johnsbury Health and Rehabilitation Center.
Memories and condolences may also be shared privately at www.saylesfh.com.
Robert R. Fournier, 86, of Troy died peacefully on September 28, 2014, in Newport.
He was born on May 30, 1928, in Newport to Arcade and Alexandrine (Jacques) Fournier.
On April 30, 1951, he married Pauline Lahar, who survives him.
He entered the U.S. Army and served his country during the Korean War.
He was a self-employed auto mechanic and also worked for various auto shops in the area and in Florida. He and his wife spent over 23 years in Eustis, Florida. There he raised beautiful roses and poinsettias. They enjoyed camping in their RV and traveled the east coast before retiring and moving back to Vermont.
Mr. Fournier loved model railroading and filled their basement with track and trains.
He is survived by his wife, Pauline Fournier, of Troy; his children: Gail Sicotte and her husband, Marc, of Lowell, Sandra Stephens and her husband, Mark, of Arkansas, and Gary Fournier and his wife, Christine, of North Carolina; his grandchildren: Brittany Marquette and her husband, Phillip, David Sicotte and his wife, Shana, Chelsey Carpenter and her husband, Kyle, Alex Sicotte, Nicholas Stephens, Ashley Dutta and her husband, Vik, Jacob Stephens, and Brynn Fournier; his great-grandchildren: Spencer, Paige, and Parker Marquette, Taylor and Natalie Sicotte; and by his sisters and brothers: Leonard Fournier of Copake, New York, Roger Fournier of Copake, Paul Fournier of Coventry, Gerard Fournier of New Hampshire, Dennis Fournier of Westfield, Rita Deslandes of Troy, and Evelyn Meunier of New York.
He was predeceased by a brother, Richard, and a sister, Aline.
Funeral services were held on October 4, in Troy. Interment followed in St. Ignatius Cemetery in Lowell, with full military honors.
Should friends desire, contributions in his memory may be made to the Missisquoi Valley Ambulance Service, P.O. Box 131, Troy, Vermont 05868.
Online condolences at curtis-britch.com.
Margaret Josephine (Brown) Hodgdon
Margaret Josephine (Brown) Hodgdon, 84, of Craftsbury died at her home on October 4, 2014, following a brave battle with lung cancer.
She was born in Greensboro on January 12, 1930, the daughter of Linvel and Celia (Olmstead) Brown. She graduated from Craftsbury Academy in 1948 and in 1949 she married Edward Hodgdon.
All her married life, she worked at many different jobs to help support her family. She served hot lunch at Craftsbury Academy for several years, was employed by the Greensboro Nursing Home as a cook, did wallpapering in the area, picked potatoes, made wreaths on the kitchen table of her home, and in later years worked as a housekeeper and cook for many families who came to Caspian Lake in Greensboro during the summer months.
She enjoyed spending time with friends and her family, always insisting that family holidays and get-togethers be held at her house. She was an avid reader and well known for her knowledge of birds and waterfowl.
She was predeceased by her husband, Edward, in 2006; and by her brother Francis Brown of West Bridgewater, Massachusetts in 2004.
She is survived by five sons: Warner Hodgdon and his wife, Kathleen, of Waterford, Brad Hodgdon and his wife, Nancy, of Cincinnati, Ohio, Gary Hodgdon and his wife, Roberta, of White River Junction, Dennis Hodgdon and his partner, Gail Durkee, of Craftsbury, and Paul Hodgdon and his wife, Carole, of Craftsbury; 13 grandchildren: Barrett, Ethan, Travis, Meghan, Katie, Michael, Kristen, Eric, Daniel, Dennis, Greg, Joel and Janelle; eight great-grandchildren; and by numerous nieces and nephews.
There will be no visiting hours. A public graveside service will be held at the Craftsbury Village Cemetery in Craftsbury, on Saturday, October 18, at 11 a.m. The family wishes to invite everyone to attend a light luncheon after the service, to be held at Ms. Hodgdon’s home in Craftsbury.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to the John Woodruff Simpson Memorial Library, care of Sherry Urie, 300 Shields Lane, Craftsbury Common, Vermont 05827; or The Lamoille Area Cancer Network, 198 Farr Avenue, Morrisville, Vermont 05661.
Online condolences may be sent to curtis-britch.com.
Vernal Harold Lafoe, 88, beloved husband of the late Alice E. Lafoe, died peacefully on September 17, 2014, in Inverness, Florida.
He was born on June 7, 1926. He was a U.S. Navy (Seabee) veteran of World War II, serving in the South Pacific. He was a lifetime member of VFW Post #550 in East Hampton, New York.
A native of northern Vermont, Mr. Lafoe was the son of Harold and Pearl Lafoe of Brownington Center. He was a sibling of six, survived by Dooreen Roberts of Florida, and Louis Lafoe of Louisiana. He was predeceased by his brothers, Leon Gage and Thomas Lafoe, and his sister Greta LaMonda.
After the war, he worked as a dairy farmer in East Hampton, New York, and at Schwenk’s Dairy for over 20 years before retiring to Florida in 1983.
He was blessed with four children: Vernal Chris and his wife, Sally, Scott and his wife, Suzie, Kathryn and her husband, Danny, and Perry and his wife, Ceci; nine grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
Pop, Dad, Grandpa, G pa, friend and veteran — thanks!
A celebration of his life took place on September 26, in Inverness. Internment followed at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida, with full military honors.
Online condolences at www.chronicleonline.com.
Eternal Father, strong to save, Whose arm hath bound the restless wave, Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep, Its own appointed limits keep; Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee, For those in peril on the sea!
Julian Ballard Perry, 85, died in the log home he built in Derby on September 30, 2014, after battling lung cancer. His family and beagle, Grace, were at his side.
Mr. Perry was born in St. Albans on March 6, 1929, the son of Eliza (Sweeny) and Lucius Perry.
He graduated from BFA St. Albans and attended the University of Vermont for two years before enlisting in the United States Army for the Korean War. In 1951, he married Ethelyn Roche, and together they raised four children. Upon his honorable discharge from the Army, he was accepted into the United States Border Patrol where he served in places from Colton, California, to Houlton, Maine. His last station was Derby Line, where he was an immigration supervisor and port director. He retired in 1985 with 30 years of service.
Following his retirement, he drove a school bus in Derby for several years because it was fun and he loved the little kids. He and wife, Ethie, enjoyed snowmobiling, traveling with a camper, attending the grandkids’ activities and square dancing with the North Country Swingers.
Mr. Perry’s passion was always the outdoors, especially deer hunting in the deep woods of the Allagash in northern Maine, where he built a camp dubbed “Fort Courage” at Nine-Mile on the St. John River. He was an excellent tracker and marksman. His hunting partners considered him one of the best hunters of his time.
Being the son of a veterinarian, animals were always a big part of Mr. Perry’s life. Over the years, he rescued numerous dogs and cats, along with raising basset hounds. Later in life, he helped to found the Northeast Kingdom Spay-Neuter Program and worked countless hours to raise money to spay or neuter dogs and cats. His most favorite fund-raiser was the Kingdom Run in Irasburg.
He will be deeply missed by his wife, Rebecca Boulanger, who he married in 2003; his three sons: Dave Perry and his wife, MaryAnn, of Landaff, New Hampshire, Michael Perry and his wife, Tammy, of Bangor, New York, and Dennis Perry of Westmore; his sister Josephine Perry Smith of St. Albans; and by his brother-in-law Steve Boulanger and his wife, Margo, of Winchester, Massachusetts. He was greatly loved by nine grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
He was predeceased by his parents; his wife, Ethelyn Roche Perry; his sister Martha Perry Lyon; and by his daughter Patricia Ann Perry.
Keeping with Mr. Perry’s wishes, his ashes will be buried in the family gravesite at St. Edward’s Cemetery in Derby Line with a family gathering, and at his favorite spot on Kidder Hill, marked by a stone engraved with Psalm 121:1, “I lift up my eyes to the hills.”
Edward H. Thibeault, 91, of Derby died peacefully on September 28, 2014, in Newport.
He was born on October 14, 1922, in Paquetteville, Quebec, to Arthur and Mary (Daignault) Thibeault.
On June 16, 1945, he married Leona Pariseau, who survives him.
Mr. Thibeault owned and operated his own dairy farm in Irasburg for many years.
He loved farming, bowling, playing cards, and watching the Red Sox and Montreal Canadians.
He is survived by his wife, Leona Thibeault, of Derby; his children: Serge Thibeault and his wife, Marcia, of Swanton, Patricia Anderson of St. Albans, and Aline Blanchard and her husband, Edwin, of Barton; his daughter-in-law Sharon Thibeault of Irasburg; 17 grandchildren; 32 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; his sisters: Hanna Dube of Hartford, Connecticut, and Henryette Pariseau of Paquetteville; and by numerous nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his son Marcel Thibeault; his grandson Chad Blanchard; and by three brothers and two sisters.
Funeral services were held on October 4, in Derby Line. Interment followed in St. Edward’s Cemetery in Derby Line.
Should friends desire, contributions in his memory may be made to the Derby Line Ambulance Service, care of Brian Fletcher, P.O. Box 105, Derby Line, Vermont 05830.
Online condolences at curtis-britch.com.
Therese Blanche Vigneault, 72, of Norton died peacefully on Friday, October 3, 2014, at her home, with her loving family and companion, Franklin Henry, at her side.
She was born on June 30, 1942, in Colchester, a daughter of Archille and Blanche (Cote) Chamberland.
She attended Sacred Heart High School in Newport.
On October 21,1961, she married Lucien Henri Vigneault, who predeceased her on November 12, 2007.
From 1982 to 1990, she worked at the Norton Village School as a bilingual teacher’s aide. She worked at the Norton Post Office for 28 years, until her health no longer allowed her to do so.
She was an active member of St. Bernard’s Church until it closed in 2012. She could often be found volunteering her time to help with benefits for the church. Ms. Vigneault could always be found helping the church and community, whether it was decorating the church for Christmas, renovating the church and hall, planning and participating in the Hunters’ Suppers, or singing in the choir. She was a pillar of the community serving as both an auditor and a school board member for many years.
She was a beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother who enjoyed knitting, going out to eat, going for rides, and spending time with her family, especially going on family vacations in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, and Florida.
She is survived by her sons: Roland Vigneault and his wife, Gina, and Ronald Vigneault; her daughter-in-law Sarah Vigneault and her companion, Bill Taylor; her grandchildren: Laura Marquis and her husband, Daniel, Diana Thurow and her husband, Jeremiah, Lyanne Vigneault and her companion, Jason Riley, Dencie Vigneault and her companion, Zacharie Covill, Ashley Smith and her husband, Cody, and Monica Vigneault and her companion, Elias Emerson; her great-grandchildren: Aidan Thurow and Blake Smith; her brother Raymond Chamberland and his wife, Penny, of Lyndonville; her sister Jeannette Buck and her husband, Andy, of Blairsville, Georgia; and by several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held at the St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Norton, on October 8, at 11 a.m. Interment will follow at St. Bernard’s Cemetary in Norton.
Online condolences may be sent to curtis-britch.com.