Obituaries 10.23.19

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Erin Simmons

Erin Simmons, 26, of Jericho died unexpectedly on Thursday, October 10, 2019.

 Her passing has been devastating to her mom, Pat, her father, Dan, and her older brother Ethan.  The family is fortunate to have the support of many great friends and family as they deal with their loss.

Erin was a unique individual.  She was incredibly strong, wicked brave, fiercely loyal, a great athlete (especially basketball and snowboarding), a gifted writer, and best of all, she had a great sense of humor.  If you were lucky enough to make her acquaintance, it’s not something you’d soon forget.

Erin was a graduate of Mount Mansfield Union High School, class of 2011, and studied journalism at Columbia College in Chicago.

During the past 26 years our family has shared so many wonderful experiences.  Together, we have fished, hunted, hiked, camped, rock climbed, skied, canoed, kayaked, sailed, dirt biked, target shot, house painted, and watched the Persied meteor showers while lying on the driveway.  We’ve laughed, cried, and held each other when one of us had a rough patch.

The fact that the opioid crisis has taken this person from our family and all who knew her is incredibly sad.

The world was a better place when Erin still walked among us.  We are so proud of the person she was, and will always treasure the time we had together.

It’s going to be a very long time before we can think of her and not cry.

A celebration of life was held at the Essex Alliance Church in Essex Junction on Monday, October 21.

Shirley M. Pion

Shirley M. Pion, 92, of Newport Center died on Tuesday, October 15, 2019, in Newport Center.

She was born on February 12, 1927, in Lowell to Bertrand H. Powers and Viola Smith Powers. On August 28, 1944, she married Rene O. Pion, who predeceased her in 1997, at St. Vincent de Paul Church in North Troy.

Shirley attended Newport Center High School. She was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother. She was an excellent seamstress and in her younger years she was an avid hunter, she liked fishing, camping, and traveling with her husband.  They spent six months in Florida for over 30 years to get away from Vermont winters.

She is survived by her daughters Diane Tetreault and her husband, Rene, of Newport Center, and Linda Washburn and her husband, Tony, of Morrisville; her grandchildren Robert Tetreault and his wife, Brenda, of Newport Center, Larry Tetreault and his wife, Diane, of Newport Center, and Jim Densmore and his wife, Jennifer, of Morrisville; her great-grandchildren: Hayley, Brianne, Cameron, and Tyler Tetreault of Newport Center, and Garrett and Connor Densmore of Morrisville.  She is also survived by her sisters-in-law:  Huguette Pion of Lowell, Annette Pion of Morgan, and Fran Powers of Woodsville, New Hampshire; and Kristy Loremer; and her great-great-grandsons Emmett and Tucker Tetreault.

She was predeceased by her granddaughter Donna Densmore; and her siblings:  Elwin Powers, Hazel Morey Wheeler, Katie Blogett Henley, Archie Powers, Theda Allen, Dale Powers, and Roger Powers.

Funeral services took place on Tuesday, October 22, at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Lowell.  Memorial contribution in Shirley’s memory may be made to Norris Cotton Cancer Center North, 1080 Hospital Drive, St. Johnsbury, Vermont 05819.

Online condolences may be made at

William “Willy” L. Patenaude

William “Willy” L. Patenaude, 50, died suddenly at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center on Wednesday, October 16, 2019.

Willy was born in Newport on July 31, 1969, to Maurice and Denise (Guillette) Patenaude.

Willy brought lots of laughter and joy to his family and friends with his smile and easy-going manner.  Even though he was experiencing many physical challenges, he kept his cheerful disposition and made the best of his situation.  He constantly made new friends, especially with those at Newport Health Care Center.  All will truly miss him.

Willy enjoyed woodworking, fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, four wheeling, astronomy, and listening to AC/DC music.  He was very patriotic and had a great respect for those who served in the military.  Willy was also a third degree member and past officer of the Knights of Columbus Council #2285.

Willy is survived by his parents, Maurice and Denise Patenaude; his brothers:  Roger Patenaude and his wife, Donna, Richard Patenaude and his wife, Jackie, and Timothy Patenaude and his wife, Crystal; His sister Susan Vanasse and her husband, Donald; his nephews and nieces:  Adam Vanasse, Patrick Vanasse, Bradley Vanasse, Alyssa Patenaude, Gabrielle Patenaude, Bryce Patenaude, Zebulon Bickford, and Michael Johnson; and many of his relatives and friends. 

He was predeceased by his grandparents Abel and Elise Patenaude, and Wilfred and Aline Guillette; and his little dog Benji, who was very cherished by Willy.

A Mass will be held at St. Edward’s Church in Derby Line at 11 a.m. on Saturday, October 26, with the burial immediately following at St. Edward’s Cemetery in Derby Line at noon.  A celebration of life and luncheon will be held afterward at St. Edward’s Parish Hall at 1 p.m.

Memorial contributions in Willy’s memory may be made to St. Mary’s Church Roof Repair, 191 Clermont Terrace, Newport, Vermont 05855.

Online condolences may be made at

Michael Archie Lacoss Sr.

Michael Archie Lacoss Sr. died peacefully at Bel Aire Nursing Home on Tuesday, October 15, 2019.

Michael was born in Newport on August 24, 1950, to Archie and Katherine (Johnson) Lacoss. Michael graduated from Lake Region Union High School in 1968.  He married his high school sweetheart, Betty Dawson, on April 25, 1969. They celebrated 50 years of marriage in 2019. From this marriage came two sons Michael Lacoss Jr. and Mark Lacoss.

Michael was a machinist throughout his life working at Tivoly in Derby and Kennametal in Lyndonville.  His family was the love of his life. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and golfing (getting his only “hole in one” at the Barton Country Club).

Michael is survived by his wife, Betty; his sons Michael Lacoss Jr. and his wife, Barbara, of Brownington, and Mark Lacoss of Derby; his granddaughters Oliva and Bria Lacoss of Brownington; his grandson Benjamin Lacoss of Barton; his sister Bonnie Chartier and her husband, Joe, of Orleans; his brother Robin Lacoss and his wife, Claire Talbot, of Newport Center; his brother-in-law and sister-in-law David and Judy Poirier of Newport; his sister-in-law Marilyn Lacoss Currier of Newport; and several nieces and nephews.  

He was predeceased by his parents; his sisters:  Betty Moquin and her husband, Francis, Phyllis Vallier and her husband, Conrad, and Judy Wilcox; his brothers Reginald Lacoss and his wife, Shirley, and Rodney (Donnie) Lacoss.

At the Michael’s request, there will be no calling hours.  A private service will be held at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made in memory of Michael Lacoss Sr. to The Shriners Children’s Hospital, attention Shriners Children’s Hospital Development, 51 Blossom Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02114.

Pamela J. Hebert

Pamela J. Hebert, 58, of Newport died at her residence in Danville on Sunday, October 20, 2019.

Pam was born on May 21, 1961, to Antonin and Cecile (Diette) Hebert.

She was disabled for her whole life but never let it slow her down.  She was very social and interacted with almost anyone she came in contact with.  Pam liked to latch hook, do puzzles, loved bowling, family days, and being able to participate in the local Special Olympics.

Pam is survived by her brothers: Ronald and his wife, Anne, of Amherst, New Hampshire, Craig of Brownington, Dennis of Derby, Phil and his wife, Sallie, of Alabama, Rodney of Brownington, and Terry and his wife, Joyce, of Newport.  She is also survived by 21 nieces and nephews; and several great-nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her parents; by Michael; by Charmaine Adams; and by Robert.

A memorial service will be held at the Curtis-Britch and Bouffard Funeral Home at 4670 Darling Hill Road in Newport on Friday, October 25, at 11 a.m.  Friends may call on Friday, October 25, at the funeral home from 10 a.m. until the hour of the service.  

Should friends desire, contributions in her memory may be made to the Special Olympics, 16 Gregory Drive, Suite 2, South Burlington, Vermont 05403.

Online condolences may be made at

Katherine “Kay” Louise Purcell Greeley

A life well lived was completed the morning of October 19, 2019, with the peaceful death of Katherine “Kay” Louise Purcell Greeley, 91, formerly of Boston, Massachusetts, and Kalamazoo, in Marquette, Michigan.

The beloved daughter of Timothy Joseph Purcell and Catherine Louise Whitty, Kay was born September 10, 1928, in Boston.  She was enrolled in the first grade at age four by her parents, because she was “asking too many questions” at home.  Kay loved her childhood in the Irish neighborhoods of Dorchester and Quincy, Massachusetts, especially the early days on Rosaria Street.  At age 17, she was already a freshman at Regis College, and that summer she met the love of her life, Marine Corporal Roger Elting Greeley, when they both were clerks at the Boston gourmet food shop, S. S. Pierce.

Rog was waiting for September to start his college education at Boston University, thanks to the Government Issued bill (GI).  Their first date was a Boston Red Sox game on Kay’s eighteenth birthday.  Fenway would also be where she debuted her engagement ring.  They married in 1949 and moved to a studio apartment at 320 Beacon Street in Boston.   Kay’s cute smile got her selected from the New York audience of the live television show, “Break the Bank”, and her great brain earned her $500, correctly answering the questions.

Upon graduation from Regis at 19, Kay began her teaching career at a Miss Vanston’s private girls’ school in Boston, while Rog finished his master’s degree.  When he was offered a teaching job in Battle Creek, Michigan, they moved to the Midwest, where their three children were born and raised.  Kay never met a person she didn’t consider lovely, or a child or dog she didn’t love.

Moving to Kalamazoo in 1957 when Rog was hired as minister at the People’s Church, Kay considered returning to school to begin a career in nursing.  She had loved volunteering as a “gray lady” at the local hospital, but when she learned nursing school meant she would not be with her children in the summer, she opted to return to teaching, and never regretted her choice.

In 1968, Kay completed her master’s in education at Western Michigan University, with a special concentration in the teaching of remedial reading.  Thus began her love affair with teaching kindergarteners and fourth graders in the Kalamazoo public schools for more than 25 years.  Providing an excellent education was not all her students received.  Their teacher was also known for providing winter coats, boots, and other supplies, and for her summer pool parties at the Greeley home on South Westnedge hill. 

Kay made time for Democratic candidates and the 1970s peace movement, joining the March on Washington in 1963, as well as anti Vietnam protests in New York City and Washington, D.C. and at her daughter’s University of Michigan graduation, where she held a “jail to the chief” sign during Vice President Gerald R. Ford’s commencement address.

Kay’s life was also filled with the duties of a minister’s wife, which she embraced with her typical enthusiasm and friendliness, inspiring the church’s family dinners and parody productions of Broadway shows.  She will always be remembered for her singing the role of Nathan Detroit’s sweet girlfriend in Guys and Dolls.

World travel with Rog included cruises to Alaska and Scandinavia, and touring England and Russia.

Reading, sewing, calligraphy, needlepoint, crossword puzzles, thrift shops, baseball, brisk walking, riding the Atlantic beach waves, water aerobics, camping, sunsets, golf, and winters in Florida were among her avid interests.  In Marquette, her best day was the weekly trip to the casino with her son Tim.

A loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Kay found her greatest joy in family life, and was famous for gifts and handknit sweaters sent to her three children, six grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. 

She is survived by her husband of 70 years, Roger; her children:  Bethany Knight of Connecticut, Timothy Greeley and his wife, Janet, of Marquette, and Will Greeley and his wife, Mary, of Midland; her grandchildren:  Elliot Kaiman and his wife, Ali, of Connecticut, Emily Haugh and her husband, Brandon, of Hopkins, Minnesota, Patrick Greeley and his wife, Amy, Theodore Greeley and his wife, Erika, of Marquette, Nathan Greeley of Lansing, Michigan, and Matthew Greeley and his wife, Alyssa, of Madison, Wisconsin; and her great-grandchildren Malcolm and Otto Kaiman, Lucy Greeley, Virginia Greeley, and Addy Greeley.  She is also survived by her sister Ann Macdonald and her husband, William, of Braintree, Massachusetts; her 20 nieces and nephews; and her dearest friends, best friend forever, Vicki and Clyde Winfield of Kalamazoo and Bradenton.  

Kay grieved the loss of many good friends, all of whom she outlived.  The entire family salutes the loving staff of Millcreek Court Assisted Living in Marquette, for tending to and loving her unconditionally.

The family will celebrate Kay’s life and honor her wishes with a private memorial service next summer in Marquette, when a bench is dedicated overlooking Lake Superior with the inscription, “contemplate.”

In lieu of flowers, friends are invited to donate to their local Alzheimer’s Association chapter or the noble charity of their choice.

Well done, Mom.  “We loved you living and we love you now.”

Joyce Elaine Farrand

Joyce Elaine Farrand, 70, died on Monday, October 14, 2019.

Joyce was born July 31, 1949, in Hardwick to Dewey and Doris Farrand.

She is survived by Thomas Farrand; her sister Helen Leno; and by her many nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her mother and father; her sisters:  Francise, Shirley Dezotell, Lucille Spaulding, Patricia Dunn; her brothers Kenneth Farrand and Dexter Farrand Jr.; her brothers-in-law:  Darrell Dezotell, Roy Spaulding, and Randolph Dunn.

Joyce was born with multiple sclerosis and was unable to work during her lifetime.  She attended a special school in the late fifties, where she was able to learn how to read and write and do math.  Her biggest enjoyments in life were shopping at Newbury’s with her mother, going to McDonald’s in her later years, and her television. Her friends and family will sadly miss her.  

A graveside service was held on Monday, October 21, at Pine Grove Cemetery in Newport with Reverend Paul Prince officiating.  Memorial contributions in Joyce’s name may be made to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, 431 Pine Street, Burlington, Vermont 05401.

Online condolences may be made at

Doris Austin Brown

Doris Austin Brown, 89, of Derby died on Tuesday, October 15, 2019, in Newport. This world lost one of the sweetest and kindest angels on earth today.  Her children had the privilege of calling her mom. 

She was born on March 2, 1930, in West Charleston to Lynn Austin and Evelyn Allen. On August 6, 1948, she married Floyd Brown who predeceased her in 2005.

Doris centered her life on her children; her life revolved around them.  She loved her children unconditionally; this love was spread to grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  Doris enjoyed homemaking, baking, and loving her children.  And her love and joy will now be given to all in heaven.  

She is survived by her children:  Faye Stocker and her husband, Ken, Gail Sheltra, Sherry Ingalls and her husband, Dennis, and Blaine Brown and his wife, Pearla; her ten grandchildren; her 11 great-grandchildren; her brothers Gordon Austin and his wife, and Wayne Austin; and her numerous nieces and nephews.  

She was predeceased by her husband Floyd Brown; her daughters Linda Basford and Christine Brown; her son-in-law Brian Basford; her sister Beverly Bowen; her grandson Jeremy Brown; and her great-grandson Hunter Brown.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, October 29, at the Curtis-Britch and Bouffard Funeral Home at 37 Lake Road in Newport with Reverend David Lisner officiating.

Friends may call from 10 a.m. until the hour of the funeral at the funeral home. Interment will follow at West Charleston Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made in Doris’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Association of Vermont, 300 Corner Stone Drive, Suite 128, Williston, Vermont 05495.

Online condolences may be made at

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