Obituaries 11.9.22

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Russell M. Sykes


Russell M. Sykes, 94, of Derby Line, died on November 3, 2022, in Newport. He was born on September 8, 1928, in Holland, to the late Roger and Eula (Flynn) Sykes.

Russell was a veteran of the United States Army. He worked as a heavy equipment operator. He enjoyed snowmobiling, working in the woods, and was a jack of all trades.

He is survived by his sons: Robert Sykes of West Charleston and Jason Sykes of Springfield, Massachusetts; by his brother Brian Sykes and his wife, Caroline, of Derby, his sister Hazel Pillio and her husband, Rocky, of Concord, New Hampshire, as well as by many nieces and nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews, close niece Betsy McDonald of Derby Line, and companion Joceyln Davio of Derby.

He was predeceased by his parents, by his brothers Raymond, Harley, Earl, and Delwin Sykes, and by his sisters Beulah Ellam, Lois Carpenter, Mabel Judd, Janice Santa Cruz, and Eva Brown.

A graveside service will be held at the convenience of the family, at Mead Hill Cemetery in Holland.

Online condolences may be made at


Joan C. Clark

Joan C. Clark, 92, died on October 16, 2022, at her home in Northfield. She was surrounded by family, friends, and love. Joan was born in Schenectady, New York, on July 3, 1930, to Helene J. (Vrooman) Clark and Charles A. Clark.  Her father set off fireworks in the backyard. Joan was predeceased by her parents, her sister Barbara (Clark) Watson, and brother-in-law Harold Watson. Joan was a legend and the matriarch of a large family, all of whom carry her in their hearts.

Joan had nine children, 18 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and five great-great-grandchildren.

She was predeceased by three of her children: Michael Daly, Barbara Daly, and Gayle Holter.

Joan is survived by her children: Lynn Holter, Jon Holter, Heidi Holter Rose (David, deceased), Timothy Holter (Grace), Jeffrey Holter, and Heather Holter (Andre); by her grandchildren: Tiffany (Ted), Melissa (Steven), Garrett, Carey, Colyer, Josephina, Isabella, Jacob, Jonah, Johanna, William, Helena, Colin, Gabriella, Abigail, Marguerite, Cedar, and Ruby; by her great-grandchildren: Dejah (John), Ayesha, Elijah (Leah), Jeremiah, Nicolas, Liliana, and Julian; and by her great-great-grandchildren: Malayah, Amia, Mac, Sage and Micah, step-grandchild Emily (Jen), step-great-grandchildren Steven Jr., Autumn (John Jr.), and Tzipporah, and step-great-great-grandchild Noah.

Joan also maintained very strong connections with close cousins, extended family members, and many dear friends. “Joni,” “Mom J. Clark,” “Grandma Joanie,” was a mother and grandmother to many.  As a teacher and caretaker to many children, she left an indelible impression on all whose lives she touched.

She grew up with a loving family in upstate New York and enjoyed summers on Saratoga Lake with her cousins and Sunday dinners with her grandparents in Schenectady. She spent much of her life in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and enjoyed her last 15 years in beautiful Vermont.

Joan was strong, creative, generous, and courageous. She loved swimming in clean, cold mountain water, especially Shadow Lake. She took great pleasure in coffee on the beach, picnics in the car, dark chocolate, loon calls, and mountain views. She loved an afternoon drive that included thrift shopping or a barn sale and could never pass up a well-built wooden chair. There was always a pot of geraniums or a crock of pine boughs on her porch and she often painted flowers, pine trees, and mountain scenes on walls and furniture.

Joan was always the loudest member of the audience. She loved live music and theater, especially if her children or grandchildren were the performers, and was interested in what mattered most to her family, from a grandchild’s sporting event to a new job or college class. She was famous for her chocolate drop cookies, toasted ham and cheese sandwiches on homemade bread, and the way she opened her home. Visitors were promptly offered lemonade or tea.

She was elegant in a timeless way, her voice was like music, often literally singing while speaking. People she met in passing would comment on her beauty and radiance, turquoise jewelry, and colorful skirts. Joan’s whimsy and charisma earned her lifelong friends. Joan followed her heart, which wasn’t always the easiest path. She lived by her own rules, enjoyed an adventure, and a convertible or motorcycle ride. She preferred the long way and the dirt road. A survivor when the plans changed, she could start over when she felt she needed to. Joan was resourceful — she cut the cake into smaller pieces when more people arrived.

Joan loved people, especially children. She thrived on human connection. She respected people who did things with care and the old-fashioned way. Every birthday and holiday was cause for gathering and celebration. Christmastime was her favorite, and her beautifully decorated trees were up until Valentine’s Day. Joan relished life and loved her family unconditionally. Her family loved her to the moon and back.

Memorial contributions in Joan’s memory may be made to the Navajo Relief Fund:, The Bread and Puppet Theater:, or the family, care of Heather Holter, P.O. Box 335, Roxbury, Vermont 05669.

Please join a celebration of Joan’s life with love, music, and stories on December 27, 2022, at 4 p.m., at the Roxbury Union Congregational Church, and in Milwaukee at a date to be determined. The family invites friends to share memories and condolences by visiting



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