Obituaries 03.18.20

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Ronald Lee Smith Sr.

Ronald Lee Smith Sr., 83, a resident of Barton, died peacefully at home with his family on Sunday morning, March 1, 2020, after his second battle with cancer.

He was born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, in 1936 and married his wife, Irene, in 1960.

Ron served in the Army from 1955 to 1963.  He then worked for the Holmes Protection Group, in New York City for 28 and a half years and then proudly served in the Newport City Police department as a detective for six and half years. 

Ron retired in 1996 from the Vermont State Department of Corrections where he worked for another two and a half years.

He was active in the American Legion and the Knights of Columbus.

He loved fishing, gardening, and spending time with his grandchildren and his beloved dog Freddie.

He is survived by his wife, Irene Smith, of Barton; his children:  Ronald Smith Jr. of Newport, Christopher Smith of Newport, and Jacqueline Wilson of Barton; his grandchildren:  Jonnie Brewster, Alexander Smith, Matthew Smith, Julia Payson, Jayden Smith and his mother, Wendy, and Jericho Wilson; and by his great-granddaughter Michelle McElroy.

He was predeceased by his son Peter; and his sister Pat Manchester.

Should friends desire, contributions in his memory may be made to the Barton library.

Arnold J. McAllister

Arnold Joseph McAllister of Lowell died peacefully on Friday, March 6, 2020. 

He was born on August 19, 1929, in Westfield to Frederick and Elvira (Ducharme) McAllister. 

On November 11, 1949, he married Rejeanne Routhier.  They were married 70 years lacking six months, a marriage that granted them five children — four boys and a girl. 

Rejeanne predeceased him on May 22, 2019.  Arnold was a wonderful husband.

He is survived by four sons:  Tom and his wife, Sally, Marc, Francis and his wife, Joan, and Michael and his wife, Donna; a daughter, Lyse; four grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren: his brother-in-law Maurice Routhier; two sisters-in-law:  Helen and Angela Routhier; and many nephews, nieces, cousins and friends.

He was predeceased by his brother Robert McAllister; sister Nancy McAllister Chamberland; nine sisters-in-law; and 15 brothers-in-law.

Calling hours will be held on Saturday, March 28, at St. Andre Bessette (Sacred Heart Church) at 103 South Pleasant Street in South Troy from 10 a.m. until the hour of Mass at 11 a.m.  A burial will be held in the spring for Arnold and Rejeanne together in Lowell. 

Should one wish to make a donation, please send it to the Lamoille County Cancer Network, 198 Farr Avenue, Morrisville, Vermont 05661. 

A special thank-you and blessing to Dr. Perez, Dave and Jean, Dr. Coddaire and staff, Dr. Dupris, Copley Hospital and staff for the care and comfort provided to Arnold through his journey with cancer and heart problems. 

Please visit to share memories and condolences.

Michael “Mike” W. Griffin

Michael “Mike” W. Griffin, age 55, of Derby died suddenly in his home on Monday, March 9, 2020. 

Mike was born in Kittery, Maine, on February 25, 1965, and graduated from North Country Union High School in 1983.

 Mike enjoyed listening to classic rock, his favorite being anything from Pink Floyd.  He was probably the biggest New York Giants fan around.  When he wasn’t rooting for his team, he would have his camera in hand taking as many pictures as he could of friends and family, or he would be out riding the back roads taking photos of wildlife.  Mike always had a smile on his face, and probably knew most everyone in town.

Mike is survived by his parents, Ronald Griffin of Derby and Donna Perkins of Derby Line; his siblings:  Steve Griffin, Randy Griffin, and Tanya Griffin; his only son Mike D. Griffin; and his only granddaughter Makenna Griffin, who he cherished more than anything.

 Services will be held at the convenience of the family.

Online condolences may be made at


Robert A. “ Bob” Gravel

Robert Albert “Bob” Gravel, 80, of Woodbury, formerly of Hardwick, died March 13, 2020, at Copley Hospital in Morrisville with family at his side.

He was born November 18, 1939, in Barton, one of 14 children born to the late Raymond and Margaret (Lussier) Gravel.  He attended West Glover public schools and St. Paul’s Catholic School in Barton.

On June 2, 1962, he married Betty Ann Patrick at St. Paul’s Church in Barton.  They moved to Hardwick in 1967, where they raised their family and lived for more than 40 years.  After Bob’s retirement they relocated to Woodbury.

Following his education, he assisted his father on the family dairy farm in West Glover.  His family moved to Wolcott and he worked with his parents and brothers operating Gravel’s Mill.  He worked for Buck’s in their grocery and used furniture store.  For nearly 35 years, he was employed by Pizzagalli Construction Company in South Burlington.  His extensive construction career provided opportunities to work the more complex projects including river crossings, tunnel constructions, hydro dams, and both water and wastewater treatment plants.  His experience, combined with his hard work and dedication to his craft, eventually earned him the position of superintendent, which he held for many years until his retirement in 2001.  He later co-owned and operated Berlin Equipment.

Robert was a member of St. Norbert’s Catholic Church in Hardwick.  He loved family gatherings, especially the time that he spent with his grandchildren.  He enjoyed operating equipment, especially his skid steer where he spent many hours working on his property in Woodbury.  During his time with Pizzagalli Construction, he travelled extensively, working many projects up and down the east coast.  During that time he built many lasting friendships, visiting many of the country’s landmarks and learning about history.  He enjoyed wintering in Florida and took pride in collecting antique cars, owning one from each decade that he lived. 

He is survived by his loving wife, Betty, of Woodbury; his five children:  Gene Gravel of Barre, Rita Richardson and her husband, Russell, of Woodbury, Michael Gravel and his wife, Bobby Jo, of Hardwick, Michele Ridgway and her husband, Matthew, of Clarksville, Tennessee, and Mark Gravel and his wife, Aimee, of Richmond; his twelve grandchildren:  Ryley Gravel and Nathan Gravel of Barre, Patrick Richardson of Long Beach, California, and Emily Richardson of Nashville, Tennessee, Brandon and Robert Gravel of Hardwick, Connor and Victoria Ridgway of Clarksville, Tennessee, Darren and Andrew Gravel of Richmond, Skylar and (Kelsie) Dailey of Newport News, Virginia, and Shanda and (Ryan) Morin of Eden; his two great-grandchildren Keegan and Evelyn Dailey of Newport News, Virginia; his ten siblings:  Roland Gravel and his wife, Theresa, of Northfield, Connecticut, Jane Bachert of East Hardwick, Arline Pasette of Hardwick, Lucien Gravel and his wife, Portia, of North Wolcott, Paulette Hill and her husband, Clifton, of Johnson, Norman Gravel and his wife, Stella, of East Hardwick, Hazel Bowen and her husband, Gordon, of Morrisville, Marcel Gravel and his wife, Barb, of Wolcott, Debbie Draper and her husband, Jimmy, Edward Gravel and his wife, Sandy, all of East Hardwick; his two aunts; and his numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Bob was predeceased by his son, Adelord; and his three siblings Raymond Gravel, Susan Campbell, and Delores Dannat.

Visiting hours were held Tuesday evening at Northern Vermont Funeral Home.

A Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m., on Wednesday, March 18, at St. Norbert’s Catholic Church in Hardwick.  Spring interment will be in the Fairview Cemetery in Hardwick.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, P.O. Box 3704, Memphis, Tennessee, 38101-2132.

Arrangements are in the care of Northern Vermont Funeral Service.

Veda Gonyaw

Veda Gonyaw, 70, died in Newport on Sunday, March 8, 2020, with her daughter by her side. 

She was born November 14, 1949, the eldest daughter of Irwine and Beulah Ellam.

Veda grew up in Morgan and after graduating from Derby Academy; she worked as a waitress at the Buck and Doe.  She then began her thirty-two year career at the Island Pond and Orleans Ethan Allen factories.  She took great pride in the many positions she held there including working on the machine floor and in the sanding department, in human resources, in plant scheduling, and as a supervisor and superintendent.  

 She and her husband, Dennis, lived in East Charleston and they enjoyed snowmobiling and spending time outside.  Veda loved photographing nature and puttering with her flowers.  She could often be found walking by her pond, driving the Gator around the trails on her property, and sitting on the bench below a pine tree where she read, her golden retriever at her side.  

She appreciated the camaraderie, exercise, and breakfast outings she got from her local bone builders classes.  Veda kept in close contact with her family and was known to love her sweets and shopping trips.  She also was happy when she was playing cribbage, other card games, and Scrabble in which she usually won.  

 During the twenty-three years she lived with Parkinson’s disease, she demonstrated an unfathomable strength, resilience, and spirit.  Veda will be remembered for her friendly and patient disposition, her curiosity and creativity, her sincere love of nature and family, her beautiful photographs, and her wit and unrelenting determination even in the most difficult of circumstances.  She was small but strong, quiet but fierce.  

 Veda is survived by her daughter Jodi Gonyaw-Worth and her son-in law Michael Worth; her grandchildren Cara and Colby Worth; as well as her siblings and their spouses:  Roy and Betty Ellam, Marsha and Bill Archer, Craig and Jo-anne Ellam, Gregory Ellam, and Sara and John Gregory.  She is also survived by her brother- and sisters-in law Don and Joan Gonyaw and Ann Shover; as well as her many nephews, nieces, and cousins.

 She was predeceased by her husband, Dennis Gonyaw; her parents, Irwine and Beulah Ellam; and her brothers:  Ross, Bradley, Richard, and Roger Ellam; and her niece Jennifer Ellam.  

 A celebration of life will be held in the spring.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be sent to the Vermont Chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association at P.O. Box 2191, South Burlington, Vermont 05407.  

 Online condolences may be made to

Linda Ann Cole

Linda Ann Cole, 56, of Newport died on Saturday, March 7, 2020, in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

She was born on March 6, 1964, to Robert and Ruth (Mckeown) Denomme in Putnam, Connecticut.  In August 2013 she married the love her life, Robbie Cole, who survives her.

Linda worked at MSA making helmets for many years.  She did some housekeeping for Jay and a few other jobs over the years.  She enjoyed country music, playing cards with her friends, and loved their many cats and dogs they had over their lifetime together.

She is survived by her husband, Robbie Cole, of Newport; her one daughter Alisha Taylor of Tennessee; her brother Thomas Savage and his partner, Ethan; Donald Savage; Christopher Corey; her mother-in-law Kathleen Cole; her brothers-in-law; her many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins; and her very close family friend Tammy Smith and her husband.

She was predeceased by her parents.

Services will be held at the convenience of the family.

Online condolences may be made at

Marylou Blais

Marylou Blais, 81, of Newport died peacefully on Monday, March 9, 2020, at her home surrounded by family.

She was born September 4, 1938, in Bellows Falls, daughter of Merle and Elizabeth Jackson.

She graduated from Bellow Falls High School and attended Castleton Teachers College.  Marylou worked as a telephone operator for New England Telephone during her high school years and after college, where she met her husband of 51 years.

She was an active member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Newport and was a member of the Daughters of Isabella organization.  She enjoyed participating in the After Five programs in Newport and enjoyed attending Special Olympics events with her daughter Monique. 

Marylou was a devoted wife to her husband, Romeo, and helped shepherd him through 14 years of dialysis treatment.

She attended many sporting events of her grandchildren and immensely enjoyed family vacations to Cape Cod.

 Marylou is survived by her children:  Thomas Blais and Cynthia Morello of Canton, Connecticut, Michael Blais and his wife, Janet, of Newport, Nicole Gaboriault and her husband, Norman, of Newport, and Monique Blais of Newport; and by her cherished grandchildren: Sophia and Connor Blais, Jeffrey Blais, and Lindsey and Patrick Gaboriault.

 She was predeceased by her husband, Romeo; her parents; and her brother Merle (Skip) Jr.

 Funeral services were held on Friday, March 13, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Newport.  A spring interment will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 16, at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Newport.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory can be made to Ron Holland Dialysis Center, North Country Hospital, 189 Prouty Drive, Newport, Vermont 05855, or to Mary E. Wright Halo Foundation, 1073 Upper Quarry Road, Newport, Vermont 05855.

Online condolences may be made at

Robert A. Beaupré

Robert A. Beaupré, 82, died on Monday, March 2, 2020, at his home in Northfield in the company of his loving wife, Maryann.  The cause of death was a heart attack. 

Bob was born on November 1, 1937, in Southbridge, Massachusetts.  The first of two sons of Armand and Alma (Boudreau) Beaupré, he attended local schools and played in the hedgerows and streams of Southbridge where he acquired his love for the outdoors. 

In 1955, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and after his service worked at the Southbridge News.  In 1960, he married Louise Ann Kennedy and started a family, living in Sturbridge and Holland, Massachusetts. 

During his childhood, Bob discovered Vermont while on family trips to Québec and would return often as a young man, hitchhiking to hunt in the Green Mountains.  In 1966, he seized an opportunity to move his family to Vermont when he took a job as advertising sales manager at the Bennington Banner.  Vermont would become his home for the rest of his life.

Bob was a lifelong sportsman and a great enthusiast for the written word.  Those interests converged in his work as a writer for and eventual owner of the Vermont Sportsman newspaper.  He also operated B&D Painting Co. in southwestern Vermont and had stints as a substitute postman and school custodian.

In 1982, he married Maryann Larson Whitesell, and in 1990 they moved to the Northeast Kingdom to open the Vermont Sportsman Lodge on Seymour Lake, where they provided rooms, meals, and guiding services for fishermen and hunters of deer, moose, bear, and upland game birds. 

A voracious consumer of both high and low brow fiction, newspapers, and the New Yorker on its day of arrival each week, Bob was a devoted regular at the Bennington, Derby, and Northfield public libraries.  Setting camera traps, identifying birds at the feeder, and staging a good practical joke were how he passed the long winter days. 

In summer, he loved growing vegetables but hated eating them (except his beloved tomatoes).  Bob had no patience for self-important people, but would befriend and indulge eccentrics, outsiders, and the less fortunate among us.

Many were envious of his precise hand lettering, his graceful roll cast (Fenwick five weight), and his crack wingshot (Beretta 20 gauge side by side).  He read all of his junk mail.  He was preoccupied with garden-encroaching woodchucks and the weather, no matter the season, and nursed a particular obsession for the potholes and frost heaves on Union Brook Road during spring thaw.

Happiness was found in many places:  Hayden Pond, Somerset Reservoir, Barber’s Pond, Red Mountain, the Tunic, Mother Myrick Mountain, Clou Brook, and Norton Pond.  In recent years it was found by doing a crossword puzzle with Maryann near a wood fire, watching Jeopardy, perusing a new seed catalog, opening a jar of heavily salted peanuts, and sipping a cold Genesee. 

Bob is greatly missed by his large family.  He is survived by his wife, Maryann; his brother George and his wife, Wanda, of Southbridge, Massachusetts; his son David and his wife, Elizabeth, of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania; his daughter Catherine Dickie and her husband, Daniel, of Shaftsbury; his daughter Renée White and her husband, Chrispin, of Poultney; his son Daniel and his wife, Amy, of Takoma Park, Maryland; his son Andrew and his wife, Deirdre, of Little Rock, Arkansas; as well as his stepson Jeffery Whitesell and his wife, Carey, of North Bennington; his stepson David Whitesell of Hyde Park; and his stepdaughter Sonya Rhodes and her husband, Aaron, of Northfield; his sixteen grandchildren; his three great-grandchildren; his nieces; his nephews; and his pug Eleanor.

There will be a memorial service on May 2 at 11 a.m. at the Lake Paran Pavilion in North Bennington, followed by a private interment of ashes.

In lieu of donations and flowers, family and friends are asked to call or write the town of Northfield select board asking to have Union Brook Road repaved, the right way this time.

Donald Leon Baker

Donald Leon Baker “Don,” 85, of Summerfield, Florida, died after a brief illness on Sunday, November 29,  at his home surrounded by his loving family. 

Don was born on February 14, 1934, in Newport to Stanley and Doris (Leavitt) Baker.  He attended school in Newport and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1951.  He was discharged as a sergeant in 1954. 

He was married to Mary Pauline Letourneau on Christmas Eve 1954 and they shared 63 years together before her death on January 2, 2018.  Upon leaving the military service, Don went to work for HP Hood, Inc. in Newport.  He worked for the company for 25 years in both Newport, Vermont, and Newport, Maine, where he and Polly raised their family.  In 1980 they moved to Florida where Don continued his career in the dairy industry until his retirement in 2003.

He was survived by his brother Stanley Baker of Derby who died on February, 9, 2020; his sisters:  Mona Lewis and her husband, Micky, of Newport, Doris Demers and her husband, Leo, of Melbourne, Florida, and Whitefield, New Hampshire, and Valarie Cole of Arcadia, Florida; his sisters-in-law Jane Hackett of Newport and Enid Letourneau of Georgia; his three children: Donna Dunton and her husband, Tim, of Dixmont, Maine, Brian Baker and his wife, Jackie, of Covington, Washington, and Danny Baker of Boston, Massachusetts, and his wife Diane of Westford, Massachusetts; his seven grandchildren:  Jacob Dunton and his wife, Carley, of Dixmont, Maine, Rachael Keaton and her husband, Ben, of Waterbury Center, Jasmine Baker of Puyallup, Washington, Justin Baker of Las Vegas, Nevada, Olivia Dunton and her husband, Sean Miller, of Montpelier, Mary Jane Baker of Boston, Massachusetts, and Matthew Baker of Westford, Massachusetts; his three great-grandchildren:  Jaxon Baker, Cedar Keaton, and Willamina Dunton; and his many nieces and nephews.

In addition to his wife, Pauline, he was predeceased by his brothers Larry and Robert; and his sisters Vera and Bonnie.

Don enjoyed many summers in Maine and Vermont.  He loved to fish with his brother-in-law Mickey on Norton Pond.  He spent many hours playing cards with his sister-in-law Jane.  Cribbage was his favorite game.  His preferred cribbage challengers were his son Brian, his brother Stan, and his good friend Dale.  He was his happiest when surrounded by family.  He was a wonderful father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, and uncle.

Don requested a graveside military service at Bushnell Cemetery in Bushnell Florida.  The service is planned for Friday, May 8, at 2:30 p.m.  We are concerned about possible travel restrictions. Please contact Timothy Dunton at (207) 735-8964 after April 15 for an update.

We are extremely thankful for the support of the Marion County Hospice Agency.

In lieu of flowers please consider giving to your local hospice agency.

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