Obituaries 2.5.20

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Steve E. Wright IV

Steve E. Wright IV, 78, of Craftsbury died at home on Thursday, January 16. 

Steve was born December 12, 1941, to Stephen Egbert Wright III and Mary Will Johnson Wright, in Milledgeville, Georgia.

After his father’s death, his mother’s marriage to Felix Billue in 1949 introduced Steve to a family tradition of hunting and fishing.  These pursuits led to a lifelong love of the outdoors, and shaped his career choices.

Family life with two sons, hunting dogs, and a tolerant wife was filled with sports, music, square dancing, and always hunting, fishing, paddling, roaming the woods, and lots of storytelling.

Steve could rally a room full of people, or hold a dinner party rapt.  Storytelling served him well as an educator and advocate, and endeared him to friends, colleagues, and students.  He loved sports and played baseball, basketball, football, and tennis.  Later in life he played town league baseball with his sons.

Steve earned a bachelor’s degree in biology at Georgia Southern College, and a master’s degree in aquatic biology/fisheries from University of Georgia.  

In 1968, Steve and his wife, Susan, moved with their newborn son Stephen, to Craftsbury.  First hired as a science teacher at the Sterling School, Steve spent 25 years at what eventually became Sterling College. During that time he held positions as an outdoor educator, in administration and public relations, and for three years as Sterling’s President. Steve inspired students. Long after his Sterling years, former students continued to ask him for career guidance.

Steve took three leaves of absence from Sterling:  a 1974 return to Georgia where he worked as a county extension agent, focused on natural resources programming for young people; two years (1979-1980) as a wilderness manager for the U.S. Forest Service on the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness in Idaho; and served as commissioner of Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department from 1985 to 1988.

Deeply committed to habitat conservation, Steve didn’t shy away from the challenges in that work.  He served seven years on the Vermont State Environmental Board.  

As a member of the “Rise to the Future” initiative, his leadership helped quadruple the USDA-Forest Service fisheries budget, increasing angling opportunities in the national forests.  He retired in 2009 after eight years as New England regional representative for the National Wildlife Federation as a climate change educator.

Barely two years into retirement, Steve became a leading voice opposed to siting 21 turbines along three miles of the Lowell Mountains.  It was his last role as an educator — to help Vermonters understand that preserving intact upland forest was more valuable climate action than generating electricity.  Today, protecting high elevation forest from fragmentation is a cornerstone of Vermont’s climate change policy.

Steve continued to hunt, fish, and canoe as much as his deteriorating health from Parkinson’s allowed.  He was known locally for his photographs, and was a familiar sight along town roads hovering over his camera waiting for perfect light.

He is survived by his sons Stephen E. Wright V and Starker Wright; his former wife, Susan Wright; his granddaughters Cortland Wright and Brooks Wright and their mother, Lynn Wallace; his brothers Frank Billue and Philip Wright and his wife, Diane; his nephew Wesley Wright; and his niece Erin Wright.

Friends and colleagues are invited to a celebration of Steve’s life on Saturday, April 11, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Sterling College.

To send online condolences to his family please visit www.cremationsocietycc.com, or send them directly to:  The Steve Wright Family, P.O. Box 81, Craftsbury Common, Vermont 05827.

Donations in memory of Steve Wright can be made to Craftsbury Public Library, P.O. Box 74, Craftsbury Common, Vermont 05827, or to the Craftsbury Historical Society, P.O. Box 55 South Craftsbury Road, Craftsbury, Vermont 05826.

Anthony M. Tremblay

Anthony “Tony” M. Tremblay, 53, of Westmore died unexpectedly at his home on January 30, 2020, in Westmore.

He was born on August 14, 1966, in Barre.  On February 17, 1996, he married Holly Wells, who survives him.

Tony owned and operated Tremblay Electric Service.  He enjoyed riding motorcycles, going camping, and spending time with family and friends.

He is survived by his parents, Ernest and Carol Tremblay of Fairplay, South Carolina; his children:  Brittany (John) Auclair of Kannapolis, North Carolina, Sara Locke of Watervliet, New York, James Davio II of Orleans, and Angela Davio of Newport; grandchildren:  Lily Davio, McKenzie Patrick, Madison Davio, Morgan Davio, Xzavier Auclair, Remi Auclair, Fallon Davio, and Raistlin Davio.  He is also survived by his sisters:  Tonya Hutchinson of Montpelier, Terri (Kurt) Mangold of Castroville, Texas, and Aimee Nolan of Barre; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Tony’s life will be remembered and celebrated on Friday, February 7, at 3 p.m. at the Orleans Municipal Building, located at 1 Memorial Square in Orleans. 

Online condolences may be made at curtis-britch.com.

Enoch John Rowell III

Enoch John Rowell III died and walked with God, to his home in Heaven, January 29, 2020, surrounded by his loving family.

Enoch was born in Newport at the Broadview Hospital on October 28, 1954, to Enoch John Rowell II and Grace (Albee) Rowell-Maynard.  He enjoyed many things in his life — farming, hunting, fishing, basketball, cars, and most importantly, his family.  

Enoch had a real passion for helping people.  He worked for Youth Services at NEKCA, CoSA (Circles of Support and Accountability), Reparative Justice, the DARE Program, in prison ministry, as an anger management counselor, an alcohol and drug counselor, deputy sheriff, chief of the Orleans Fire Department, Orleans Ambulance, and he opened the Outreach Center in Newport.  He and his wife, Kim, were also foster parents and shelter parents.

Enoch was committed to the cause of Christ, introducing people to Jesus Christ so they could live eternally with God and receive freedom from emotional and spiritual trauma and the addictions that emerge from that trauma. 

He married the love of his life, Kim, on November 9, 199l.  Together, they ministered at the Free Will Baptist Church, Lowell Congregational Church, and founded Harvest Christian Assembly.  Enoch was also the associate pastor at Life in Christ Fellowship with Pastor Paul Essaff.

Enoch is survived by his devoted wife of 28 years, Kim; their blended family, which includes children: EJ Rowell IV, Seth Rowell, Walter Kempton (Erin Sheriden), Angela (Christopher) Birk, and Sara (Craig) Farrar; grandchildren:  Chelsea (Dylan) Magwire, Kristen Rowell, Cara Rowell, Enoch John Rowell V, and their mother Barbara, Trevor Rowell (MaKayla), Avery Rowell (Lily), and their mother, Heather, Faith, Tala, and Rome Kempton, Kayla, Destiny, and Peyton Birk, and Julianna and Heidi Cole; great-grandchildren:  Oden and Cedar Rowell, Madilynn Rowell, Brantley (and soon to come, Benjamin) Fortin; brothers:  Reg (Denise) Rowell, Eric Rowell; and sister Karla (Leo) Piette; sister-in-law Jill ( Robert) Gosselin; brothers-in-law:  Andrew Loura, Gary (Andrea) Loura, and Scott (Melissa) Tinker.  He also leaves several nieces, nephews, godchildren, and many special brothers and sisters in Christ.

He was predeceased by his parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and in-laws.

There will be calling hours at 11 a.m., Saturday, February 8, at Life in Christ Fellowship, 81 Weaver Street in Newport, followed by a celebration of life at noon, officiated by the Reverends Janet and Allan Bishop, and the Reverend Paul Essaff.  A luncheon will follow.

Donations in Enoch’s memory may be made to Teen Challenge (a residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation center), Attention:  Rick Welch 1296 Collins Hill Road, Johnson, Vermont. 05656.

Arthur Menard

Arthur Menard, 88, of Craftsbury died on January 27, 2020, at Copley Hospital in Morrisville. 

He was born October 13, 1931, in Hardwick, a son of George Menard and Diana Boulais Menard.  He married Alice Lee on September 3, 1960, at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Craftsbury.

Arthur and his family lived on a dairy farm in Hardwick in his early years.  In 1942 at age ten, his family moved to Craftsbury to operate a dairy farm there.  

He enjoyed working in the sugarhouse.  He was an avid reader and could converse on about any subject.  He was also an accomplished woodworker and enjoyed projects such as making tables, bookshelves and cradles.  He enjoyed going out on his four-wheeler and using his weed wacker.  He helped others by volunteering as a blood donor over the years.  Most of all he loved his grandkids.

Arthur served in the U.S. Army in France for two years during the Korean War era.

He is survived by his wife of over 59 years, Alice; their children:  Barbara Menard Pugliese of Medford, Massachusetts, Annette Menard of Craftsbury, Kenneth Menard and his wife, Rita, of Craftsbury, Ernest Menard and his wife, Sharon, of Craftsbury, Lynne Jewett of Morrisville, and Lauri Menard of Craftsbury; his siblings:  Lionel Menard and Ivan Menard (Joan McKay), all of Southington, Connecticut, Armand Menard and his wife, Mollie, of Wallingford, Connecticut, Cecile Valcour of Morrisville, Marcelle Houde of St. Johnsbury, Marie Yeager of Worcester, and Therese Ferguson of New Port Richey, Florida; grandchildren:  Antonia, Julia, Alicia, Eric, Michelle, Kristen, Andrea, Michael, Tiffany, Bradley, Kaitlyn Nicole and Jenna; and great-grandchildren:  Owen, Ryan, Madison, Jessa, Casey and Benjamin.

A Mass was celebrated on Saturday, February 1, at St. Norbert’s Church in Hardwick.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Mary Queen of All Saints Parish, P.O. Box 496, Hardwick, Vermont 05843, or Lamoille Home Health and Hospice, 54 Farr Avenue, Morrisville, Vermont 05661.

Online condolences may be made by visiting faithfh.net.

Richard James Little

Richard James Little died Wednesday, January 15, 2020, surrounded by his family at his home on Ray Hill Road in Wilmington.  

He was born February 27, 1943, to Richard I. Little and Doris (Flushing) Little in Queens, New York.

He grew up in Malverne, New York.  After high school he joined the U.S. Air Force and was a member of the missile combat crew.  After four years in the Air Force, Rich and his wife, Catrionia, moved to Vermont with their daughters, Tracy and Jennifer.

Rich had many different careers before becoming a real estate broker for Greenspring of Vermont, some of which included being a U.S. postal worker, builder, and MOOver driver. He also had a love for many activities, which he always gave 100 percent to.  They included golfing, fishing, woodworking, running (he was in a marathon), yoga, waterskiing, and especially photography.

He married his wife, Katy (Bennert), in 1992 and they established their home in Wilmington.  They eventually bought a camp on Lake Parker in West Glover where they enjoyed being with family and friends over the years. 

Rich was a great dad and grandfather.  He will be truly missed, as will his great sense of humor.  He leaves behind his wife, Katy, of 28 years; his daughters Tracy Little and Jennifer and her husband, Tim Graves; his stepson Trevor and his wife, Caryn Adams; his stepdaughter Story Adams; his sister Pat Little and her husband, Steve Richter; his brother Bill and his wife, Maureen Little and his brother Joe and his wife, Ann Little; grandchildren Isabella Graves, Daniel Little, and Jaxon and Parker Adams; his loving dog Dixie Day and grand-dog Lainey (whom Rich endearingly nicknamed Meatloaf); and several nieces and nephews.

Rich was predeceased by his sister Katherine Little. 

A memorial service will be planned in the springtime. 

Leslie Myron Lane Jr.

Leslie Myron “Babe” “Bear Tooth” Lane Jr., 96, died on January 20, 2020, at his home with close family by his side.

He was born in Connecticut on July 29, 1925, but attended school in Tilton, New Hampshire, where he and his brother Bud are honored and were awarded a bronze plaque that is on the wall of his childhood school today.  At the age of 17, he quit school, lied about his age to join the Navy in World War II with his brother Bud.  Dedicated to serving his country, he was a Pacific war gunner.  He received two Purple Hearts for his service.  He was shot down twice in the Pacific.  While repairing plane propellers on a carrier in the Pacific the pilot opened full throttle, throwing him into a wall.  He was hospitalized at a Navy medical center for over a year when his mother, Mindy Lane, gathered her natural herbs and jumped a train to go to him.  She concocted a variety of natural medicine from the woods and made a poultice that she applied to his wounds and saved his life.  She stayed with him until he recovered and they traveled back home by train together.

He was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1950.  After returning from the military he got his pilot’s license, which he had until 1979.  He was a pilot, owned airplanes, and loved every chance he got to get into his plane and fly.  It was more than just a hobby to him, it was a passion that he held very dear.  He flew with his brothers Bud and Arthur many times, as he was very proud of his family and the experiences he was able to share with them for many years.  Later on in his life all his experience is what led him to build an airstrip in Brownington.  

He spent the last 40 years of his life visiting his family and maintaining lifelong friendships.  He was very loving and loved by so many people.

He married his second wife, Dorothy Pearl Chase, and was with her for 14 years until her death in 1973.  Together they cared for and raised five children.  He owned his own construction and equipment operating and repairs company and helped many people with their construction equipment repairs.  He shared a lifelong friendship with Ralph Swett that lasted over 60 years, and included traveling together and sharing the same values and hobbies.  His tribal heritage was something he held sacred.  Honorary Tribal Judge Bear Tooth and Chief Spirit Water (Ralph Swett) founded the Clan of the Hawk in 1990 in Brownington, which included the construction of all the buildings that are currently present on the reservation.  The title of honorary tribal judge is something he held and maintained active with until his death.  He Attended powwows with family and his lifelong friends for over 65 years.  Rainbow was present for the first clan meeting and powwow.  First Light Drum was present for Bear Tooth’s last birthday.  Rainbow is just an example of how much he cherished friendship, family, and heritage.  What started as a friendship with Homer Tinker of Brownington quickly turned into feeling more like family.  They lived together for many years, and loved taking trips together to the casino.  

For the last 25 years of his life he was cared for, loved and looked after by only his family, which meant a lot to him.  His daughters Harriet and Susan shared caretaking responsibilities prior to his grandson and granddaughter.  For many years until his death, caretaking responsibilities where shared by Mark Benjamin, Richie Watt and Julie Benjamin.  He always liked to have his family close.  No matter how far away they were, he would travel and work to establish relationships, which he cherished deeply.  He was dedicated to serving his country, loved his family, and maintained unwavering loyalty to all he held dear including his lifelong friends.  He cherished and was dedicated to walking his sacred native path and keeping his tribal heritage with him his entire life.  He loved camping, campfires, fishing, hunting, gardening, traveling, going to the casino, and visiting family and friends.  He also enjoyed sharing stories with Mike Chadwick.

He is survived by his children:  Shirley Nielson of Florida, Susan Benjamin Michael of Vermont, Michael Lane of Vermont, and Melonie Bell Warren of New Hampshire; grandchildren:  Timothy and Alan Jones of Florida, Mark Benjamin and Richie Watt of Vermont, Joshua Benjamin and Samantha of Vermont, Jason Benjamin and Samantha of Vermont, Samantha, Michael, Scott, and Adam Lane of Vermont, Michael Corbin and Lisa Marie of New Jersey, Michelle Lamont and David of New Hampshire, Christina Kellner and Johnny of Vermont, Jason Chadwick of Vermont, Olivia, Jessica, Cody and Brian of New Hampshire; his great-grandson Aaron Corbin; as well as 17 great-granddaughters; 24 great-grandsons; three great-great-granddaughters; and two great-great-grandsons.  He also leaves behind his brother Arthur Lane of Maine; and many nieces and nephews, especially his special nephew Danny Lance, who shared many memories and blessings with his uncle Babe; and countless friends and family.

The family sends much love to Becky and Bill Gale. 

He was predeceased by his parents, Leslie and Mindy Lane; siblings Ann, Chick, Virginia, Bud, Joe, Mindy, and Edna; his first wife, Elaine; and his second wife, Dorothy Pearl Chase; his daughter Harriet Corbin; great-granddaughter Elizabeth Anne L’Esperance; great-grandson Nathan and step-grandson Michael Chadwick.

Online condolences may be made at curtis-britch.com.

David A. Labounty

David A. Labounty, 74, of Middletown, Delaware, formerly of St. Johnsbury, died peacefully on Friday, January 24, 2020.

David was born on October 25, 1945, in Newport to the late Alfred and Iva (Besaw) Labounty. 

He married his high school sweetheart, Trudy LeBaron, in 1965.  They had two children and were married for 28 years.  Trudy died on January 19, 1993. 

David married Gloria Foley in 1995.  They were married for 20 years until Gloria died in 2015.  At that time, David went to live in Delaware with his daughter.

David and Trudy owned and operated the family jewelry store after his parents retired.  His passion was in radio broadcasting, which he did for many years.  

During his life, he enjoyed photography, camping, and playing chess.  He was a fan of the NFL Dallas Cowboys and enjoyed watching NASCAR racing. 

David announced races at Bear Ridge Speedway in Bradford for many years.  He was a member of the Army National Guard, the Jaycees, and the Kiwanis Club.

David was a loving and devoted father.  He is survived by his children Lisa Labounty of Montpelier and Brenda Carpenter and her husband, Bill, of Middletown, Delaware; and his two grandchildren Thomas and Emma Carpenter.

A graveside service will be held in the spring at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Newport. 

Marguerite (“Maggie”) Kenyon Griffith

Marguerite (“Maggie”) Kenyon Griffith of Newport died Sunday, January 26, 2020.  

Marguerite was born in Burlington on November 3, 1939, the daughter of Ellen and Harold Kenyon.  She spent the first 17 years of her life in Bristol.

She was a graduate of Bristol High School and Trinity College.  She taught at Derby Academy and North Country Union High School (NCUHS) for 36 years.  She coached soccer, basketball, and softball until she had her own children.  She taught English and then became an administrator at NCUHS.  Noel Ford and she established the team-taught humanities program at NCUHS.

She married Charles Griffith in 1963.  He preceded her in death in 1990.  

She is survived by four children and five grandchildren:  David and his wife, Greta, and their son Tommy of Atlanta, Georgia, Ellen and her wife, Kim, of Memphis, Tennessee, Daniel and his wife, Nancy, and the “Twinkies,” Gabrielle and Zachary, of Newport, and Michael and his wife, Dana, and their children, Mia and Charlie, of Suwanee, Georgia.  Her grandchildren were her pride and joy.  She is also survived by her brothers and their wives:  Harold and Betty Kenyon of New York, and Gardy and Angie Kenyon of New Jersey; and her sister Mary and her husband, Richard, of Minnesota.  She is also survived by many nieces and nephews, in particular, Catherine Kenyon of Rochester.

She was preceded in death by her brother John and his wife, Jean, and their daughter, Linda. 

Since she and her husband loved sports, their children were always involved in sports at NCUHS, including soccer, football, ice hockey, basketball, softball, baseball and golf.  Her favorite sports teams were the Boston Bruins, the New England Patriots, the UConn Huskies women’s basketball team, the Boston University men’s ice hockey team and the Duke Blue Devils men’s basketball team.

She leaves behind some very precious friends, including Nita Fugere, Noel Ford, Al Fellows and Tom and Glennis Barry.  She also leaves behind her “fire girls” — so named because during warmer weather they sat around the fire pit of Joanne Scott and Polly Poulin.  Their motto was always “What is said at the fire, stays at the fire”.

She enjoyed the music of Josh Groban, Susan Boyle, Andrew Lloyd Weber, Neil Diamond, Celine Dion, Elton John and Luciano Pavarotti.  She traveled extensively after her retirement with trips to Hawaii, Alaska and the Grand Canyon and cruises to the Caribbean.  She also went on what she considered the trip of a lifetime when she traveled to Israel.  Maggie was an avid reader, especially books about John and Jackie Kennedy, the Kennedy family, Princess Diana and other U.S. presidents.  Her interest in politics ran deep and she was a staunch Democrat.

Maggie specifically requested that her obituary mention Dr. Peter Harris and Dr. Megan Batchelder.  Each of them did all they could for her when she suffered bouts of depression and experienced other health issues.  She was forever grateful to them and the care they provided to her until the end.

Maggie will be remembered as one who spoke her mind and refused to be a hypocrite.

The Griffith family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Maggie’s honor to fund the Maggie Griffith Memorial Scholarship at NCUHS, which will be awarded to a deserving NCUHS student to assist them in pursuing a college degree in education.  Please send donations referencing the Maggie Griffith Memorial Scholarship fund to NCUHS Business Office, 209 Veterans Avenue, Newport, Vermont 05855

A celebration of life in honor of Maggie will be held Saturday, February 8, at noon in the auditorium at NCUHS with visiting hours with the family an hour prior.  A short reception will follow at the East Side Restaurant in Newport.

Online condolences may be made at curtis-britch.com.

Clifford Biron

Clifford Biron, age 94 and a half, died peacefully of natural causes while in the presence of his daughter Cynthia and son Alex at the Care Dimensions Hospice House in Lincoln, Massachusetts, on January 31, 2020.

Cliff was born in Norton on July 29, 1925.  He spent his youth working on the family farm.  He attended school in Norton and Brighton and graduated from Brighton High School in 1944.

Just after high school he was drafted into military service.  He served from 1944 to 1946 and was honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant.  He was very proud of his military service, and was a dedicated member of the American Legion Post #80, performing in the role of service officer for many years.  He also served as commander.

Cliff was elected the state representative for the town of Norton in 1948 and served for one term.  At age 24 he was the youngest town representative in the state Legislature.  He decided that he would rather have a job that allowed him time outdoors and subsequently worked as a scaler for the Brown Company in northern Vermont and New Hampshire for a number of years.

In 1953 he married the love of his life, his wife, Pauline Henry, and they were married 52 years until her death in 2005. 

He worked as a soil conservation aid from 1957 to 1959 when he left the job to become a U.S. Customs officer.  He spent most of his career at the border station in Norton, until he retired in 1993.  He was a founding member of the U.S. Customs Honor Guard and participated for many years.

An avid lover of local history, Cliff was a dedicated historian for the Island Pond Historical Society and served as president from 1993 to 2001.  For years, he collaborated with his son Mark to publish newsletters featuring personal stories of local events going back to the days of the area’s founding.

Cliff was also active in town government, serving on the zoning and planning boards. 

He especially enjoyed spending time with his and Polly’s family and hosted many meals in his home and summer cottage.

He was predeceased by his sons Christopher and Mark; his daughter Lona; and his wife Polly.

Cliff is survived by his daughter Cynthia; son Alex; sisters Pearl Brissette, Betty Biron, Pauline Wolf and her husband, Gil; brother in-law Franklin Henry; sister in-law Jeanne Henry; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.  

Visiting hours will be held at the Curtis-Britch and Bouffard Funeral Home at 1199 Railroad Street in Island Pond on Thursday, February 6, from 7 to 9 p.m., and a funeral service will be held at St. James Catholic Church in Island Pond on February 8 at 11 a.m.  Spring interment will be held at St. James Cemetery in Island Pond.

Online condolences at curtis-britch.com.

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